Should we celebrate the fall of the Soviet Union

Nathan Newman nnewman at
Sat Jul 11 01:46:48 PDT 1998

-----Original Message----- From: Carrol Cox <cbcox at> To: lbo-talk at <lbo-talk at>

>even many of the non-Stalinists on these lists acknowledge, the fall of
>the Soviet Union was a disaster for us all, while the U.S. imperium of
>last 50 years is an even greater disaster for us all.

How was the fall of the Soviet Union a disaster for us? Psychologically, many folks who needed "real existing socialism" to justify their beliefs were demoralized, but the very existence of Stalinism had done much to undermine the Left for much of the 20th century. As a socialist, the basic fact is I have to qualify every self-identification as such to add that MY VERSION of socialism is not a totalitarian dictatorship, since the Soviet Union through both its attackers and its defenders had so come to define socialism.

At the purely human level, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of those political systems, however neoliberal in their first incarnations, open up the possibility of real democratic left movements throughout the former East Bloc.

I would rather live in a world where Kerala, India and Sweden are the best approximations of socialism we have rather than one in which an oppressive dictatorship is the model.

--Nathan Newman

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