Ukraine’s Orange Revolution might not have provided stability, but it sure has increased the entertainment factor of its presidential elections. They’re far more entertaining that Russia’s stuffy, no contest campaigns. Despite the high fun factor, Ukrainian voter disillusionment is high, while the candidates, hoping to jostle into a competitive pole position, are getting down and dirty. What a bunch of party poopers.
Forget about “civil society” destroying Communism in Eastern Europe, says Stephen Kotkin in this interview about his new book, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment on New Books in History. It’s a myth. The Communist establishments in Eastern Europe were quite politically stable and were hardly challenged by widespread opposition (except in Poland). Instead, Kotkin attributes the collapse of Communism to “uncivil society”, that is the elites who became disillusioned with their own system and by 1989 simply let it melt away. Lively and pointed, this interview will change your views on the collapse of Communism in the East.