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Well, I think the 76% vote for the union in the 9 republics (Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Azerbaidjan and the five "Stans", all of which saw voting majorities ratify Gorbachev's new federal arrangement) speaks to the fact that the "empire," if that is what it could be called by the time the referendum took place, was certainly not democratically dismantled. Russians and citizens of 8 of the 14 other republics in the union did not want the union dissolved. That it was dissolved has more to do with the kleptocratic nature of the subsequent regime and the interests of ruling elites in those other republics, which in varying measure followed the same kleptocratic script.

Not sure that the analogy is quite so simplistic, either, as far as describing the enormous social and economic fracture that both periods represent, fractures which were purposefully caused by a ruling elite, in the former case by ideological zeal, in the latter by the more typical animating principal of elites everywhere, greed. New orders completely wiping out the old, and real people suffering as a result.

Your comment on Wallerstein and Cohen and their sympathies to a certain idea of what bolshevism meant is duly noted, though I expect that you see this as something of a negative, something which discredits their argument. I'd prefer to let the argument stand on its own two feet without impugning the motives of the arguer, myself.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 04:30:46 PM EST
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