It was a revolt of the masses and the intellectuals!
Has the world become a better and safer place after the fall of Communism? Views could differ. America as the sole Superpower is a good thing? or, what are the alternatives? All big and difficult questions. Politicians are no better judges,as they are transitory persons. Today they would hit the headlines, tomorrow they would be gone!
Yes, the intellectuals could help.But who are intellectuals and how many are really independent? Historians are better guides. They look at the past, the current situation and interpret what they know. Paul Johnson, Eric Hobsbawm I had read just once again. Johnson in his Modern Times and Hobsbawm in his, The Age of Extremes, a history of the world, 1914-1991 have much to say on how the fall of Communism in 1989 came about how it can be understood in the wider context. Johnson, given his broad sweep of historical look,puts the emphasis on religious forces, Catholicism in Poland, the late Pope John Paul’s involvement with the Polish trade union, Solidarity as the real trigger for the subsequent events. Given the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the post -Communist historic phase, may be the religious forces could have played a role. In Eric Hobsbawm’s (he still calls himself a Marxist historian) view the fall of Communism was owing to the internal contradictions in the former Soviet Union.
Johnson, in a telling anecdote says how in 1987 during the Gorbachev-Reagan summit, Mrs.Gorbachev (Raisa Gorbachev) went for shopping in New York with her American Express Gold card.An illegality in Soviet Russia but Russia was crumbling and succumbing to the capitalist economic forces.