On Aug 18, 2011, at 10:12 AM, SA wrote:
> This idea that they had no choice - it's wrong. You talk as if dictatorships faced with stagnant economies automatically feel compelled to undertake more and more radical reform until they either collapse or the problem is solved. But they don't. They usually try to stand pat, change as little as possible, and clamp down on any dissent. Of course, that strategy itself can eventually prove self-defeating *if* the underlying problems are sufficiently grave and worsening at a sufficiently rapid pace. But the fact is that the USSR was, in the scheme of things, not in very serious trouble. There were certainly no seriously threats from below.
There was that Cold War thing. They were afraid of the US.