Beyond Perestroika: The Future of Gorbachev's USSR

Beyond Perestroika: The Future of Gorbachev's USSR

Beyond Perestroika: The Future of Gorbachev's USSR

Beyond Perestroika: The Future of Gorbachev's USSR

Excerpt

The changes currently taking place in the Soviet Union are the most important international development since May 1968, if not since the victory of the Chinese revolution in 1949. They are having a profound effect on the whole world situation and those effects will make themselves felt for years if not decades to come. They will stamp their mark on the social and political dynamic in key sectors of the world. The fact that the people of the main capitalist countries will no longer be repelled by the political system of the Soviet Union, although socially and economically it will remain unattractive, is in itself a major change in what has been a constant factor in the world since the end of the Second World War. The essential change in the situation is not so much the democratic reforms that have been introduced or that will be introduced in the near future. Nor is it the personal role of Gorbachev and his undoubted success in the field of public relations, although we shouldn't underestimate the importance of these phenomena. The most important change has been the reemergence of the independent mass political activity of the Soviet working class, as evidenced in at least sixty major strikes in two years, many lesser disputes, often involving democratic rights, and massive mobilizations in Estonia and Armenia.

For more than forty years the working classes of the Soviet Union and of the United States of America, the two largest and most highly qualified working classes in the world, constituting more than one quarter of the whole world working class, have been absent from the political scene, as actors with a minimum of class independence. This has been an essential factor in the relation between the classes on an international level and has been one of the principal factors acting as a brake on the world struggle for socialism. The fact that the Soviet workers . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.