Should we celebrate the fall of the Soviet Union

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Mon Jul 13 16:53:09 PDT 1998

On Mon, 13 Jul 1998, Louis Proyect wrote:

> I don't think Stalin ever did anything in his
> satellite states that begins to approximate the cruelty we have unleashed
> in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile,
> Guatemala, Honduras, Cuba, Grenada and Puerto Rico.

The thousands of residents of Budapest slain in 1956 or the victims of the post-Prague Spring crackdown (as well as the hundreds of thousands killed in the Afghanistan intervention) would beg to differ. A true socialist critique of the East would, I think, make the point that Stalinism was on a certain level very much identical to the Pax Americana. Each was the distorted reflection of the other: two military-Keynesian-powered regimes (one a metropole, the other an aspiring semi-periphery) facing off for raw materials and arms factories around the world. The equivalence extends even to the nominal contributions of both systems to human emancipation: where America helped to install democratic systems of governance in postwar Japan and Germany and co-financed the East Asian economic boom, the Soviets assisted socialist-leaning revolutions and anti-colonial movements in Cuba and Vietnam and elsewhere, etc. It's not that the two systems were completely similar, it's that they weren't all that different, in the end.

-- Dennis

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