Journal of Social Philosophy 22 (1):45-53 (1991)
The socio-economic “pro-democracy” revolutions which are currently sweeping the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the name of glasnost and perestroika have virtually stunned all but the best informed in the Western World. The demand for reform throughout the so-called “Soviet block,” and the concomitant impatience with the progress of these changes in the economic and basic social fabric of these societies, have come to exhibit an urgency which few observers, if any, had been able to forecast a few short years ago. The declarations by some members of the U.S. Congress that these changes are indicative of the fact that the cold war has been won by the West, and that we are now witnessing the precipitous collapse of Marxist ideology, together with the widespread sentiment that there is “no going back” to the repressive Leninist-inspired regimes of Stalin, Khruschev, and Brezhniev are all synergistic to the creation of a sentiment of optimism that indeed we have turned the corner in East-West relations. To a world which has lived under the long night of thermonuclear extinction for over four decades, the feeling accompanying the prospect of a possible end to the nightmare of Armageddon further enhances the euphoric sentiment
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