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.