Rahul Mahajan rahul at hagar.ph.utexas.edu
Sat Apr 15 14:31:46 MDT 1995

JS wrote
>Personally I think it is wrong to blame or praise Gorby for the recent
>Soviet-->Russoan events. The system was in an advanced state of decay, as
>witness its almost effortless complete collapse. G's policies seem to have
>hastened the fall, but the fall was coming, G or no G. I do think G gets
>some points for supporting democratization and resisting a turn to
>repression, unlike Yeltsin.

Do you really think that's accurate. Sure, G initiated democratization, but
it turned out to be clearly an idea whose time had come, and the
groundswell of expression once people realized they weren't going to be
locked up for speaking their minds would have been rather difficult to
stop. Although G resisted very hard-line coercive measures like some of
Yeltsin's, it seems to me that he definitely started the trend of
concentration of power in the top executive post -- every year or so, you
would read about another adroit maneuver of his to get the legislative
branch to give more power to the president, which seems now to have
culminated in Yeltsin's ruling by decree. It seems to me that he at first
underestimated the power of democracy and then resisted it as best he

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