To me the end of the SU meant the end also of various reform movements within the U.S. The decline of liberal politics started with the recession in 73-74, but it culminated with the fall of the wall in 89. In some sense the SU kept the alternatives that historically developed in the U.S. alive. That seems to me too closely aligned with the historical "facts" to ignore. I see this as the outcome of the "austerity" policies that the U.S. championed through Reaganism. The reform movement (internal to the US, and external in the world) would have subsided whether or not the SU existed as a shadow of itself, but the fall of the SU at least lets us know that a facade of inevitability that was posed to the world was an illusion. So we have been freed to consider the facts and interpret them freshly. To listen to many voices again.
Doyle Austerity from the world financial system broke the SU. Mainly through military Keynesianism. But to repeat myself for the sake of clarity, the old Cold War system was designed to encompass reform in the U.S. to block the SU, and limit the SU empire. Ending the Cold War, the fall of the SU. pulled down reform movements (the liberal trend in the U.S.).
Lew writes: Depends on what you're after, I suppose. As a socialist activist, I found it to be the biggest obstacle to socialism this century; without it perhaps we can now make some real progress.
Doyle The biggest obstacle to socialism in this century is the U.S., then next Nazi Germany (for different reasons). The S.U. couldn't control those who copied it's example. It was an obstacle to some forms of the socialist experiment. One has to recognize though that what ever one tried, the main enemies were the fascists, and then the U.S.
Doyle Brad remarks that it was ok with him to have killed the Indonesian Communists because they were Stalinist who would have killed more people than Suharto. That is a hypothetical argument related to extinct Cold War thinking. There is no sense in this of distinguishing different communist movements. From my limited reading the Indonesian communist suffered from being relatively reform minded, not revolution minded. They weren't in a position to move beyond the Italian Communist model. If you can't distinguish such things in external movements, then you are not informed. That seems to me part of the problem with Cold War thinking is the U.S. orientation of Cold War attitudes are moralistic thinking which can't see the nuances in the world, and simply goes along with outrageous policies that led to mass murder because hypothetically Stalinist would have killed more people. Incidently listing numbers without support data is worthless as an argument. regards, Doyle Saylor