Cato Policy Analysis No. 177 March 20, 1989

Policy Analysis

Gorbachev and Glasnost--A New Soviet Order?
Implications For U.S. Foreign Policy

by Thomas M. Magstadt, Ph.D

Thomas M. Magstadt is chairman of the political science de- partment at Kearney State College and has written widely on Soviet affairs.

Executive Summary

Ever since Mikhail Gorbachev launched the current reform movement in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, Western observers have puzzled over the Kremlin leader's motives and marveled at his deft maneuvers. Can a leader as canny and clever as Gorbachev be taken at his word? Does he really intend to open Soviet society to the outside world? Is he serious about opening the Soviet political system to meaningful popular participation? If not, what does he hope to gain by raising hopes (and fears) that democratization may be around the corner? If so, what are the implications for American foreign policy?

Gorbachev and Khrushchev are the two outstanding proponents of reform in Soviet history, but the similarity ends there. In both style and substance, these two leaders contrast sharply. Where Khrushchev was concerned, style was hardly a factor. He exhibited all the subtlety and finesse of a Mack truck. In substance, Khrushchev's restructuring had little to do with the marketplace and even less with the ballot box. He tried to reconfigure the party and state bureaucracies; he even pushed through a rotation system to rejuvenate the party leadership on a perpetual basis (although this particular "hare-brained scheme" was quickly reversed after his ouster in 1964). Also, he tried to decentralize the economy by creating regional economic councils (sovnarkhozi), but he apparently had no intention of moving toward a free- market system. His decision to split the party into agricultural and industrial sections was a daring (and ultimately disastrous) example of Perestroika (restructuring) but had nothing to do with privatization or democratization.[1]

True, Khrushchev did permit a short-lived liberalization, but it was hardly comparable in scope or duration to Gorbachev's glasnost. The publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is the event most commonly identified with this thaw. In retrospect, it appears to have been a fluke: Alexander Tvardovsky, then editor of Novy Mir, was a friend of V. S. Lebedev, a key adviser to Khrushchev on cultural affairs. Lebedev personally read Solzhenitsyn's book (or portions of it) aloud to Khrushchev, who subsequently agreed to its publication.[2] In all likelihood, Lebedev pointed out how this poignant little book, which vividly portrayed the cruel reality of life in a Stalinist labor camp, could reinforce Khrushchev's efforts to discredit Stalin. This dovetailing of idealism and self- interest is probably why the book was published. In any event, Solzhenitsyn's other books continued to be banned as were countless works by fellow Soviet writers, past and present, who did not accept the strictures of "socialist realism."

The Gorbachev liberalization of press freedoms and the fine arts has already gone far beyond the outer limits of individual expression permitted by Khrushchev. Thus the question is no longer, "Can Gorbachev experiment with cultural freedom a la Khrushchev and still survive politically?" (The leadership reshuffle at the end of September 1988, discussed later, is a clear indication that he is neither wavering nor losing his grip.) Indeed, the changes Gorbachev has wrought to date make previous dalliances with cultural experimentation pale by comparison, and yet he remains firmly in control, as the extraordinary party conference in late June 1988 clearly demonstrated. Khrushchev's "thaw" was, at best, skin deep; Gorbachev's appears to go to the very heart of the system.

The Gorbachev Renaissance

Gorbachev's economic restructuring drive (perestroika) amounts to a kind of Soviet reformation after years of orthodox Stalinesque central planning. No less remarkable is the renaissance in Soviet cultural and artistic life. Party history, long sacrosanct, is being rewritten with greater fidelity to the facts; many ideological issues previously off limits can be openly discussed; the Old Bolsheviks (most notably Bukharin) have been rehabilitated; previously banned writers and literary works are being published; history books used in the schools are undergoing extensive revisions; movies and plays can now raise searing questions about the Soviet past; nationalist groups in the Baltic states and elsewhere can get official permits to hold public rallies (unthinkable until recently) and some groups (e.g., the Lithuanian Reform Movement) have been allowed to hold national conventions(!); and newspapers and magazines regularly publish stories exposing the dark side of Soviet life. One popular magazine, Ogonyok more than doubled its subscribers from 1.35 million to over 3 million.[3] These and other changes have unleased a cultural and intellectual reawakening of breathtaking proportions.

Of course, an attractive image may not have much substance. But even skeptics, who have made mental checklists of changes that must occur before glasnost can be counted as anything more than glitter, must admit that something quite extraordinary is going on in the Soviet Union these days. By Western measures of liberty, Gorbachev's reforms still fall short; notwithstanding, the Soviet system is clearly changing. The question is: How fundamental are the changes?

Liberalization and the Rule of Law

Until recently, Soviet ideologists have treated the rule of law as nothing more than a bourgeois smokescreen for class domination. But Gorbachev wants to project a new image. For example, in Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World, he writes:

Observance of law is a matter of principle for us and we have taken a broad and principled view of the issue. There can be no observance of law without democracy. At the same time, democracy cannot exist and develop without the rule of law, because law is designed to protect society from abuses of power and guarantee citizens and their organizations and work collectives their rights and freedoms. . . . We know from our own experience what happens when there are deviations from these principles.[4]

How can law best serve the interests of society? Gorbachev's answer is ambivalent. He vacillates between the need for a "rigid framework" to protect the collective and the need "to make room for the initiative of citizens," but he tilts toward the latter. "Let's strictly observe the principle: everything which is not prohibited by law is allowed," he writes.[5] Such an injunction is especially intriguing because Soviet tradition has enshrined the opposite principle: everything not allowed by law is prohibited. Although this new principle applies primarily to economic management, Gorbachev carefully notes that it extends "to all forms of popular initiative."

Is this new emphasis on "popular initiative" a latter- day Leninist's way of saying that individual liberties will now be permitted to flourish in the new Soviet state? In late 1987, the new head of the Soviet Writers' Union, Daniil Granin, on a visit to the United States, presumably to promote glasnost, described the cultural thaw in the Soviet Union in almost storybook terms: "One fine day after Gorbachev came to power, censorship was abolished." He added, "It's the first time in the history of Russia, not only the Soviet Union."[6] But has censorship, in fact, been abolished, as Granin (and Gorbachev) would like us to believe? As the following discussion will show, the results thus far are encouraging but ambiguous.

Seeking the Truth

"We should seek the truth together jointly"--with this declaration, Gorbachev has challenged the Soviet intelligentsia to explore new frontiers of literature, art, and historiography.[7] The list of previously banned books and movies that are now approved for publication or release in the Soviet Union grows almost daily; it includes such famous works as Vassily Grossman's Life and Fate and Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivaqo.[8] In May 1988, the Soviet Writers' Union was told that Pasternak's abandoned dacha at Peredelkino would become a memorial museum. This announcement signaled the deceased writer's full and final rehabilitation.[9]

A week before the Pasternak decision was made public, Literaturnaya Gazeta caused a sensation by publishing a chapter from George Orwell's trenchant anti-totalitarian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Yevgeny Zamyatin's anti-utopian novel, We (written in 1920), and Andrei Platonov's Chevengur (written in 1928 and depicting self-appointed Communists in a small village as boorish and brutal thugs) were published at about the same time

In addition, long-suppressed works by dissident Soviet writers such as Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, and Nikolai Gumilev are now being published; Anatoli Rybakov's Children of the Arbat, a searing novel about the bloody Stalinist purges of the 1930s, was published in a literary journal after two decades in the Soviet censor's deep freeze. The recently deceased poet-singer, Vladimir Vysotsky, is being hailed as the "official bard of the Gorbachev era."[10] Finally, previously banned movies, including foreign films such as "Platoon," "Amadeus," and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest," are now being screened before mesmerized Soviet audiences.

All these developments signify a cultural thaw without precedent since Stalin's ascension to power in the mid-1920s, but they amount to no more (or less) than a good beginning. In fact, literary censorship of any kind is incompatible with glasnost. But we can dare to hope, in Irving Howe's words, that "If and when democracy comes to the Soviet Union at some point in the future, belated justice may be done for those who spoke the truth."[11]

Unfortunately, that day is still very distant. Otherwise, why is Alexander Solzhenitsyn, exiled author of The Gulag Archipelago and many other banned novels about life and death under Stalin, not granted permission to return to the Soviet Union? Why did an invitation from a distinguished group of Soviet celebrities last September fail to reach Solzhenitsyn's Vermont address?[12] (This episode represents a transparently clumsy piece of police-state obstructionism.) So long as the KGB goes on playing its domestic dirty tricks, Gorbachev's rhetoric will continue to have a hollow ring.

Telling the Truth

"To forget history or to use only some 'convenient' part of it is to damage the moral atmosphere of society"-- this sentiment is reminiscent of George Santayana's admonition not to forget history lest it repeat itself. What is remarkable about the quote, however, is its provenance, not its pedigree: it was culled from a January 1988 editorial in Pravda![13]

The changing official attitude toward Soviet history is illustrated by the de-mythologizing of Pavlik Morozov, the boy martyr who was long glorified as a model young Communist for denouncing his father to the Soviet authorities in 1932. Morozov is now being portrayed as a tragic symbol of the warped morality fostered by the Stalinist system. A movie called "Plyumbum, or A Dangerous Game" released in early 1987 started the ball rolling by featuring a young Morozov- like protagonist who cares about humanity only in the abstract and is utterly remorseless when it comes to the fate of real human beings. In the March 1988 issue of Yunost (Youth), a long article on Communist leaders in the 1930s attacks the Morozov myth directly, asserting that the saint was really a sinner--"not a symbol of steadfastness and class consciousness but of legalized and romanticized treachery." According to Soviet historian Vladimir Amlinsky:

People were destroyed, not only the prisons and the labor camps. There was another form of destruction [too], that deep psychological and moral deformation the spirit of which even now has not died out.[14]

Another sign of change was the rehabilitation of Nikolai Bukharin in February 1988.[15] Bukharin, Lenin's revolutionary comrade-in-arms, was executed for treason in 1938 after what is widely regarded as the most lurid and infamous of the "show trials" associated with Stalin's Great Terror.

More than a decade earlier, Bukharin had favored continuation of Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP), which allowed for private enterprise--particularly in agriculture. Stalin had first sided with Bukharin against the "left deviationists" (notably Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev) but later turned against him. Having purged Bukharin and other "right deviationists" from the leadership by the late 1920s, Stalin launched the collectivization drive that transformed Soviet agriculture (with baleful effects both then and now). The NEP men and kulaks (prosperous peasants) were liquidated. No one knows exactly how many died as a result of Stalin's all-out war on private enterprise, but some estimates put the figure at six million or higher.[16]

The rehabilitation of Bukharin has occurred quietly in the Soviet Union, but not without some fanfare. In January 1988, a previously unpublished Yevtushenko poem, "Bukharin's Widow," appeared in the United States. The poem, which expressed great admiration for Bukharin, had been written the previous June; its appearance in the West came amid accolades for Bukharin in the Soviet press and theatre following a speech in November 1987 in which Gorbachev spoke favorably of the man who, more than any other, symbolized the Leninist retreat from totalitarian controls.[17]

What is the political significance of Bukharin's sudden elevation? Why has it received so much attention so long after he was vaporized (to use Orwell's vivid term)? As one observer has noted:

To rehabilitate those whom Stalin killed in the spy trials and their aftermath is to rehabilitate also the policies that Bukharin and his friends died in defending.

Mikhail Gorbachev is using Bukharin to make respectable the things Mr. Gorbachev is trying to do to the Soviet system. He is trying to reintroduce private enterprise to retail trade, light industry, and some segments of agriculture. .

What he is doing would have been treason under Stalin, and even through the Khrushchev era down to Brezhnev.[18]

Similarly, Irving Howe has suggested that Bukharin may be the model Gorbachev needs "within the Bolshevik tradition."

Other Old Bolsheviks destroyed by Stalin have also been rehabilitated.[20] Even Trotsky, long the chief villain in Bolshevik party history and an "unperson" whose name no one dared mention in public, has been put back into the picture-- literally as well as figuratively. Two photos of Trotsky have been placed in the Central Lenin Museum--one of Leningrad's most important Communist memorials.[21]

That the rewriting of Soviet history is a serious commitment was further confirmed in May 1988 when the State Committee on Education canceled final secondary-school history examinations.[22]

The normally rigorous tests were replaced by an ungraded "oral discussion of current events" until the history textbooks could be revised. This action followed the Pravda editorial on history (quoted above), which, in retrospect, was clearly a presentiment of the new party line regarding the teaching, as well as writing, of history:

The growing role of historical consciousness in the life of society requires that a new level be reached in the teaching and study of history in schools . . . and in the system of Marxist- Leninist education. [It also requires] that the quality of syllabi and textbooks be improved. . . . Writing a good. truthful book on CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] history is an important task.[23] (emphasis added)

The treatment of Lenin is a key indicator of the extent to which writers can now tell the truth about the Soviet past. If Lenin cannot be criticized, then the reality of glasnost does not match Gorbachev's rhetoric. Soviet writers still clearly hesitate to express such criticism, but some critical accounts are beginning to appear. In June 1988 a leading Soviet journalist, writing in the monthly magazine Novy Mir, pointed out (correctly) that Lenin personally justified the use of state terror in managing the Soviet system.[24] Until very recently, no article dealing with Lenin's reign of terror--let alone one that stressed its progressive and malignant nature--would have passed the censors.

What then are the new limits of academic and artistic freedom with respect to the treatment of history? Pravda set down three rules in its January 28 manifesto: "No disparagement of the ideals of freedom, progress, and democracy; no poetic glorification of reactionary elements of the past; and no flagrant distortion of facts are permissible." An artistic work must be created "according to its own laws," wrote Pravda. What matters most is "its ideological and emotional influence and its contribution to society's moral and spiritual climate and to the cause of restructuring."[25] Even allowing for the fact that Lenin's disciples toss words like "freedom" and "democracy" around rather loosely, this new set of guidelines appears to be aimed at rehabilitating history, along with Stalin's other victims.

Testing the Limits: Shatrov's Plays

The most daring forays in party history have been attempted not by a Soviet historian, but by a Soviet playwright, Mikhail Shatrov. His play, "The Peace of Brest," caused a mild sensation when it was staged at a Moscow theatre in December 1987. The setting for the play is World War I. The Bolsheviks have come to power and must decide whether to foment revolution in Germany or to sue for peace. The main characters are Lenin, Bukharin, and Trotsky. (Especially significant is the fact that when the play appeared, Bukharin had not yet been rehabilitated and Trotsky was still unmentionable.) But Shatrov not only mentioned Stalin's two most famous victims, he put them in leading roles. Moreover, he did not make them treacherous or villainous--even Trotsky's views are presented as plausible. The play was subsequently praised in an article in Sovietskaia Kultura. (A reviewer in Pravda panned it, however.)[26]

In January, Shatrov published an even bolder historical play in Znamya. "Onward, Onward, Onward" dramatizes an imaginary debate involving not only Lenin and Stalin, but also their rivals outside the Bolshevik party. One of the most dramatic moments occurs when Lenin repudiates Stalin and denies Stalin's right to call himself a Leninist. A review in the Moscow News was generally favorable; elsewhere reviewers were harshly critical.[27]

The fact that plays like Shatrov's can be performed or read at all demonstrates that cultural liberalization is more than cosmetic under the Gorbachev reforms. At the same time, however, the Shatrov case points to a wide gap between the promise and reality of qlasnost: so long as the regime continues to control the press, a writer's work is unlikely to get a fair and impartial "trial" in the press.

Seeking a Higher Truth: Glasnost and Religion

In the Soviet Union the question of religion has always been emotionally and politically charged for at least two reasons. First, Soviet ideology is hostile to all religion, which Marx called the "opiate of the people." Second, the Russian Orthodox Church was a powerful cultural force and a bastion of the old order. As such, it posed a threat to the moral and political authority of the Bolsheviki, who were not about to tolerate a rival with so large a vested interest in the preservation of traditional institutions.

When 1988 marked the millennium of the Russian Orthodox Church, Gorbachev allowed quiet celebrations. But the church hierarchy, long accustomed to abject subservience, was careful not to stir up any controversy.[28] The reluctance of church leaders to get into the spirit of glasnost reflects 70 years of brutal repression and official hostility. As many as 50,000 clerics perished under Stalin, tens of thousands of churches were closed and multitudes of believers were persecuted.

No one knows exactly how many religious believers are in the Soviet Union today. (Feigning atheism is a well-practiced Soviet art, so accurate information of this kind is difficult to obtain, even by an official Soviet polling agency. Moreover, if the results were embarrassing to the government, they would probably not be disclosed.) In November 1988 the journal Nauka i Reliaiya (Science and Religion) estimated that about 60 million people (roughly 20 percent of the population) believe in God. The actual number may, in fact, be much higher. Gleb Yakunin, the dissident Russian Orthodox priest, puts the total of Orthodox believers alone at 30-50 million. Adding Muslims, Roman Catholics, Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholics, Baptists, and others yields a figure in the range of 75 million.[29]

Religion has received a new dispensation since Gorbachev's accession to power in 1985. Priests appear on television daily, many places of worship (and a few monasteries) have been reopened, and a new church, the first since revolution, may soon be built in Moscow. Gorbachev has promised greater freedom to preach, to engage in religious education, and to perform charitable functions.[30] A new Russian translation of the Bible is even being considered. (For centuries the only Bibles in Russia were in an archaic Slavonic language that only clergy and scholars could read.) But three facts remain: only "registered" churches (i.e., those officially recognized by the state) are legal; the state controls the facilities designated for religious use; and the hoary state publishing monopoly ensures a chronic shortage of Bibles and other religious literature.

Moreover, Moscow still refuses to recognize certain religions that it finds politically inconvenient, including the Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox churches.[31] The Eastern-rite Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholic Church has long faced an unholy alliance between the Soviet state and the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. Pope John Paul II has been particularly outspoken in his defense of Ukrainian Catholics--no doubt a major reason why he has not been allowed to visit the Soviet Union.[32]

Thus, although things have improved, much remains to be done before Soviet citizens enjoy anything akin to untrammeled religious freedom. So far the "new dispensation" mentioned earlier has been largely cosmetic: the kind of qlasnost skeptics have expected all along.

Glasnost and the Nationalities Problem

Former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski calls it "the Achilles' heel of the Soviet system"--the ethnically diverse Soviet state that spans 11 time zones, one- sixth of the world's surface, 120 official languages, and over 100 separate nationalities. Great Russians now constitute a bare majority of the total Soviet population (52.4 percent, according to the last official census).

Most of the major nationalities are recognized within the federal framework of the Soviet state as "union republics," including Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in the Baltic region, and Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus. Of these six republics, all except Georgia have experienced large-scale internal turmoil associated with a resurgence of nationalism in recent years.

The Armenian Troubles

The ethnic protests in Armenia in 1988, which continued to test the limits (and durability) of alasnost, illustrated the dangers and dilemmas Gorbachev faces as he presses forward with domestic reforms. Long-standing ethnic tensions between Armenians and Azeris (the indigenous population of Azerbaijan) were brought into focus when Armenian activists launched a campaign to bring about the transfer of the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh from predominantly Muslim Azerbaijani to Armenia. In February the situation took an ugly turn when rioting broke out in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait, a place where Armenians and Azeris had previously lived together in peace and harmony. When the rampage was over, 32 people (26 Armenians and 6 Azeris) were dead.[33]

The shock of the "February events" led to a lull that turned out to be short-lived. During the first half of 1988 huge demonstrations in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, culminated in a strike that paralyzed the city in mid-June. The unrest continued, despite repeated warnings from Moscow; it reached the boiling point when the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet declared that transfer of the contested land was "contrary to the interests of the Azerbaijani and Armenian population of the republic." In early September, Yerevan was again rocked by massive rallies. Calling qlasnost a fraud, demonstrators denounced Gorbachev while Armenian leaders (under the banner of a new Armenian National Front) redoubled their efforts to unite Nagarno-Karabakh with Armenia. The confrontation between an increasingly militant Armenian populace and the predominantly Russian security forces, which were dispatched to the Armenian capital to quell the disturbances, showed no signs of abating in the fall of 1988.[34] On the contrary, ethnic violence--including mass demonstrations and bloody rioting--erupted again in both Armenia and Azer- baijan in late November.

Political Ferment in the Baltic Republics

But the Caucasus is not the only Soviet region where nationalism poses a problem for proponents of cultural and political liberalization. This point was underscored by mass demonstrations that rocked the Baltic states in the summer of 1988. In mid-June, thousands of Latvians demonstrated in Riga, the capital, to mark the anniversary of mass deportations from Latvia under Stalin. The Soviet press agency, Tass, reported the march and noted that a monument would be built to the deportees. In the past, Soviet authorities had always forbidden exhibits of Latvian nationalism.[35]

Later that month Latvian leaders representing the local Writers' Union and other official bodies issued a proclamation calling for "a sovereign state" with the Soviet Union. The proclamation also asked that Latvia be allowed to have separate representation at the United Nations and the Olympic Games, to control its own press, to set its own foreign travel policy, to establish links with Latvians abroad, and to reduce the intrusive presence of the military and secret police. Asserting that Latvians were threatened with becoming "a minority within their ethnographic borders," the statement urged that Lettish be made the primary language and asked that local authorities be allow to limit the influx of Russians, who compose about 33 percent of Latvia's population. (About 54 percent is Latvian; corresponding figures within Lithuania and Estonia are 80 percent and 65 percent, respectively.)[36]

On June 21, the New York Times carried a front-page story proclaiming that "Authorities in the republic of Estonia, in an important precedent for other regions of the Soviet Union, have permitted the creation of the first large-scale political group outside the Communist Party." The story reported that the new organization, the People's Front of Estonia, "mushroomed" to 40,000 members in less than two months. Its platform combined support for Gorbachev's reforms with calls for greater political and economic independence for Estonia. A few days earlier, the front held a mass rally in Tallinn attended by 100,000-150,000 people, including the second-ranking Communist official in Estonia.[37]

In late August mass demonstrations were held in the capitals of all three Baltic republics to mark the anniversary (August 23) of the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact--the dark symbol of their subjugation under Stalinist rule. Some marchers demanded independence from Moscow and speakers repudiated the official Soviet version of history, which claims that the Baltic states joined the Soviet Union of their own free will in 1940. In Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, no fewer than 100,000 people, roughly one-sixth of the city's population, turned out. In keeping with the new norms of glasnost, Soviet authorities granted permits for the rallies--a precedent-setting show of solicitude in a region where Moscow has long kept a particularly close vigilance against nationalist yearnings.[38]

In Estonia, authorities made the widest concessions yet to nationalism. The Estonian press, for the first time, was allowed to publish the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet deal; these protocols, which Moscow has until now refused to acknowledge, raise obvious questions about the (preposterous) Soviet claim that the Baltic states entered the "union" of their own free will. Other concessions, both symbolic and substantive, have been made as well. Estonia's Communist party has agreed to legalize the national colors of the Estonian flag (an emotionally charged issue) and has agreed to switch to Estonian time (one hour behind Moscow). The party is also considering demands that Estonian be enshrined as the republic's official language (rather than Russian) and may even try to establish a separate and distinct Estonian (as opposed to Soviet) citizenship.[39]

The Estonian front, mentioned earlier, has managed to push through an extraordinary plan for the republic's economic autonomy, which has now been endorsed by Moscow. The plan will cut Estonia's links to the central ministries in Moscow and will institute market reforms in industry and agriculture.[40] Given the fact that only 10 percent of Estonia's industry is locally controlled, this plan adds a new regional wrinkle to perestroika--one with huge implications, particularly for an as-yet imperfectly integrated multinational society such as the Soviet Union.

But the most dramatic challenge to Soviet authority in the Baltic states came in mid-November 1988 when the Estonian Parliament unanimously rejected Gorbachev's proposed changes in the Soviet Constitution, claiming these "reforms" would further restrict the rights of individual Soviet republics. Instead, the Estonian chamber voted to amend the Estonian Constitution so that Estonia may exempt itself from Soviet legislation. This action seemed to put Estonia on a collision course with the Kremlin. At the same time, the Moscow government dispatched three high-level emissaries to the Baltic states to give stern warnings against rebellion. The Supreme Soviet lost little time in declaring the Estonian action unconstitutional, but Gorbachev conceded that certain, unspecified changes were in order in his proposed constitutional amendments.

Developments in nearby Lithuania were hardly more reassuring to Moscow. Nonetheless, the Lithuanian Reform Movement was allowed to hold a national convention in late October. Boasting a membership of 180,000 in grass-roots organizations throughout Lithuania, the movement (known locally as "Sajudis") is already nearly as large as the Lithuanian Communist party. The October meeting produced demands for sweeping reforms aimed at national autonomy and democratization.[41] However, Latvia and Lithuania backed away from confrontation in November when their leaders decided not to follow Estonia's lead.

Does Gorbachev's handling of the nationalities problem pass the glasnost test? Yes and no. The fact that these protests have been permitted, that there has been no reported police repression, and that the Soviet press has been allowed to publish stories about the mass rallies is a clear departure from the way the Soviet government formerly dealt with such problems. Nonetheless, foreign journalists are still banned from troubled areas and the Soviet media often distort the meaning of the events they report. For example, the media told Soviet audiences that mass rallies in the Baltic states on the anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet pact were in honor of Stalin's victims; they omitted any mention of the secret protocol under which Stalin annexed the Baltic region in 1940. Obviously, glasnost still does not mean that the Soviet press will be allowed (much less encouraged) to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Democratization: The Missing Ingredient?

Gorbachev's reforms are, in theory, three-dimensional: perestroika (restructuring), qlasnost (openness), and demokratizatsia (democratization). All indications are that Gorbachev means business when he talks about economic reforms and he believes that a partial deregulation of cultural affairs will enhance his personal popularity by giving him the grassroots political support he needs to sustain the restructuring process now under way. This strategy would make sense to any student of Machiavelli. In the eyes of many Soviet workers, the economic reforms pose the twin threat of unemployment and inflation.[42] Seen in this light, qlasnost is a form of social compensation for any inconvenience or hardship that economic restructuring may entail. It is also a splendid diversion--entertaining the masses and turning their attention from the negative to the positive side of the reforms.

Democratization is a more difficult matter. Any type of reform is risky in a country long accustomed to repressive rule, but advocating political reform is like playing with dynamite. Gorbachev's willingness to keep talking democratization holds out intriguing possibilities for the future of the Soviet system. But it must be emphasized that talking is about all he has done so far.

Before the 19th Party conference in June 1988, there was speculation both in the Soviet Union and in the West that Gorbachev would propose an overhaul of the party-dominated political system. As the conference approached, several internal developments added to the sense of anticipation. In late April, Boris Kurashvili, a Soviet lawyer and scholar at the prestigious State and Law Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, called for a new mass organization--a "democratic union"--to represent the majority of Soviet citizens who do not belong to the Communist party and to coordinate new grassroots "social-action" [obshchestvenny] groups.[43]

In May, Tatyanna Zaslavskaya, a key Gorbachev adviser, came out in favor of a "popular front" that would be a political alternative to the Communist party. Although Zaslavskaya did not specify what functions this new political formation would have, she embraced the concept behind Kurashvili's proposal. The latter envisioned an organization that would perform some functions of a political party such as nominating candidates, proposing legislation, and suggesting issues for national referendums. But Zaslavskaya made it clear that the kind of popular front she had in mind would not be an official opposition.[44]

In June an alliance of 17 nonformal political clubs met in Moscow, with the approval of local authorities, and adopted a platform calling for new across-the-board freedoms--from religion and emigration to education and labor unions. Following a boisterous debate, participants rejected a controversial proposal to create a popularly elected "president of the Soviet Union," chosen by direct, secret ballot.[45] The clubs also demanded the release of prisoners of conscience and called for a review of political convictions "from the 1920s to the 1980s." The most potentially threatening decision to emerge from this meeting was an agreement in principle to work toward creating a "popular front"--the very idea sent up as a trial balloon by Zaslavskaya a month earlier.

As already noted, the idea of a political alternative to the Communist party was no mere trial balloon in Estonia where authorities permitted the formation of a non-Communist "front"--the first of its kind in Soviet history. The Estonian front reportedly had reached 45,000-50,000 members by early July 1988.[46] Why does Gorbachev allow such a challenge to central authority? One possible answer is that he hopes to use popular fronts created outside the party-state structure as leverage against entrenched apparatchiki and bureaucrats who are resisting his reforms. Even if this is, indeed, Gorbachev's intent, it remains to be seen whether he can control the popular political forces now emerging outside the Communist party's framework.

Like the Estonian initiative, the unprecedented assembly of non-Communist political groups in Moscow was obviously timed with the upcoming party conference in mind. A conference delegate thought to be sympathetic to the independent clubs, Yuri Afanasyev, noted historian and rector of the Moscow Historical Archives, had reportedly agreed to present the clubs' ideas for consideration.[47] Incidentally, Afanasyev was also a participant in a June meeting, sponsored by the Moscow Komsomol (Young Communist League), at which a social scientists' club (appropriately named Democratic Restructuring) presented him with a set of a far-reaching proposals for political reform, including one that called for "transfer to the Soviets of the full range of power, from top to bottom."[48]

But unsolicited proposals were apparently not part of Gorbachev's script. One way to deal with dissent, so long as it does not spill out into the streets, is simply to ignore it. The fact that informal clubs are now allowed to meet is evidence that glasnost is alive; the fact that they are not represented when and where it counts most is evidence that qlasnost is not as well as Gorbachev would have us believe.

Gorbachev Ascendant?: The Latest Politburo Reshuffle

At the end of September 1988, Gorbachev called a sudden meeting of the Central Committee. It was probably no accident that his principal rival, Yegor Ligachev, was on vacation at the time; in any event, Gorbachev's opponents were caught unaware and were badly outflanked.

The results of the Central Committee plenum seem to have greatly strengthened Gorbachev's hand. Four aging Politburo members were dropped: Andrei Gromyko, Mikhail Solomentsev, Vladimir Dolgikh, and Pyotr Demichev, thus making room for younger members more sympathetic to the reforms. In a move that surprised nearly all outside observers, Ligachev was demoted from his powerful positions as chief ideologist and "second secretary" in the Politburo; he now bears chief responsibility for agriculture--an unenviable post, given the often disappointing performance of Soviet agriculture and Gorbachev's avowed intention to re-privatize farming. There is a certain poetic justice--as well as political cunning-- in putting Ligachev (the Kremlin's leading hard-liner) in charge of implementing free-market reforms in agriculture. If the reforms falter, Gorbachev can (and will) blame Ligachev; conversely, Ligachev now has a strong personal incentive to make the new rural Perestroika work.

Other leadership changes were also politically and symbolically significant. Of course, the most visible change involved Gorbachev's widely expected elevation to the presidency. Several Gorbachev proteges were promoted to the Politburo: Vadim Medvedev became a full (voting) member; Anatoly Lukyanov (who is also first vice-president), Alexander Vlasov, and Alexandra Birykova became candidate (nonvoting) members.

As part of Gorbachev's promised party reorganization, a decision was reportedly taken to cut the size of the Central Committee apparatus in half. Six new commissions were created within the Party Secretariat: Party Building and Cadre Policy (headed by Georgi Razumovsky), Ideology (Vadim Medvedev), Social and Economic Policy (Nikolai Slyunkov), Agricultural Policy (Yegor Ligachev), International Policy (Alexander Yakovlev), and Legal Affairs (Viktor Chebrikov). In return for his new post, Chebrikov, like Ligachev, was forced to relinquish his old one: Valdimir Kryuchkov replaced him as KGB chief.[49]

Gorbachev has assembled a new team consisting of Yakovlev (foreign policy), Medvedev (ideology), Razumovsky (cadres or personnel), and Lukyanov. Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, a close ally of Gorbachev's, completes this portrait. The reformers could barely conceal their sense of euphoria following the Central Committee plenum. With Ligachev removed from his number two position, the "chief spoiler" was gone-- or so it appeared. But the latest reshuffling of top party leadership, however dramatic, does not necessarily portend a lurch toward democracy. Indeed, most observers agree that Gorbachev's primary motive--and most urgent need--is to get the stalled economic reforms moving.

Enough Is Too Much: Gorbachev's Dilemma

The fact that Gorbachev has so far chosen to ignore the independent political voices now being raised in the Soviet Union does not mean that any and all political reforms are anathema to him. Indeed, he appears to see political restructuring as a necessary concomitant of economic restructuring. Some greater measure of free-wheeling popular participation is the price the party must pay to get the country out of the economic doldrums it is now in. How much "democracy" is too much? Where will Gorbachev draw the line? The party conference last June provides some clues.

Gorbachev's political reforms involve reconstituting the Supreme Soviet--the USSR's rubber-stamp legislature-- into a 2,250-member Congress of People's Deputies that will, in turn, elect a smaller, full-time parliament and a president (who would thus be indirectly elected). Under this new system, the president would assume the power now being exercised by the Communist party leader. As noted above, however, Gorbachev was "elected" president by the Central Committee at the end of September; hence, the party has apparently preempted the planned "parliament"--an all-too-familiar pattern to students of Soviet history.[50]

Another part of the plan would shift power away from party committees to local governing bodies (known as soviets). Multicandidate elections to the soviets at all levels are planned for 1989, and an "unlimited" process of nominating candidates for national as well as local soviets has been promised. It remains unclear what the precise relationship would be between the local party organization and the elected soviets, but the proposed change has potentially far-reaching implications for the way power is distributed from regional levels on down. This general diminution of party power beyond the center could benefit those union-republics with indigenous non-Russian majorities that seek greater autonomy from Moscow. On the other hand, Vladimir Bukovsky, the dissident Russian author, believes that "there is nothing suggested which will structurally reduce [the party's] power." Gorbachev, it should be noted, has indicated that the party's first secretaries will serve as chairmen of local soviets. (It is possible that hard-liners pressured him into making this concession to the party.) The net effect, says Bukovsky, will be to "submerge the soviets in the party machinery."[51]

Finally, Gorbachev has proposed limiting the tenure of senior officials to two five-year terms. This measure would help guard against the ossification of the Soviet leadership such as occurred under Brezhnev.

Some close observers see a lot more Machiavelli than Madison in these proposals. According to William G. Hyland, editor of Foreign Affairs, for example, Gorbachev is using democratization and qlasnost primarily to "strengthen his own position."[52] Andrei Sakharov--the famed Soviet nuclear- physicist-turned-dissident who was allowed to visit the United States for the first time in November 1988--has made similar allegations.

Nonetheless, Gorbachev's proposals did open democracy's door a crack. According to Paul Quinn-Judge of the Christian Science Monitor, writing in the early aftermath of the party conference, "Independent groups across the country are preparing to field candidates in next year's elections for a revamped Soviet parliament."[53] Non-Communist groups in Moscow and Leningrad, the Baltic state of Estonia, and the city of Sverdlovsk intend to nominate candidates for the April 1989 elections to a new national parliament. The Estonian front in particular is focusing its attention on the need for new legislation that would ensure the group's right to nominate candidates. In the unlikely event that non-Communist candidates are allowed on the ballot in Estonia (or any other Soviet republic), it would be the first time since Lenin established the party's power monopoly following the October Revolution.

If Gorbachev is taken at his word, however, any plans for truly democratic elections would be premature. At the June party conference, Gorbachev denounced recent attempts to "use democratic rights for undemocratic purposes." As examples, he specifically mentioned efforts aimed at "redrawing boundaries" or "setting up opposition parties."[54] In the one instance, he clearly had the Armenian question in mind; in the other, he was most likely thinking of Estonia. But his strictures would apply to nationalistic or democratic movements across the board.

Glasnost and Eastern Europe: The Other Wild Card

Gorbachev's reforms could shipwreck in Poland, Hungary, or Czechoslovakia, as well as places like Armenia and Estonia. Nationalism is a powerful force throughout Eastern Europe, as is anti-Russian and anti-Soviet sentiment. Certainly anti-Soviet sentiment, along with Roman Catholicism, continues to be a major unifying element in Poland, a country that has exhibited chronic "instability" (i.e., a spirit of rebellion that frequently erupts in large-scale demonstrations, strikes, and demands for expanded civil, political, and religious rights).

In August 1988, Solidarity resurfaced as a broad-based popular movement demanding satisfaction on bread-and-butter issues and wrapping these demands in a call for "talks" with the government. Talks did, in fact, take place, with Lech Walesa, the personification of Solidarity, in his familiar role as the Polish workers' point man. Again, Walesa took charge; again, the Jaruzelski government felt impelled to negotiate with him.

But there were differences between the 1988 revolt and one that occurred in 1980-81. This time Polish workers did not all strike (nor did all strikers go back to work immediately when Walesa urged them to do so). There were no large street demonstrations, no major confrontations between workers and government security forces. Police and soldiers reciprocated the workers' own restraint. Finally, backstage talks began before the crisis got out of control.[55] Like the situation in Armenia, however, the Polish unrest continued to simmer, the problems that caused it remained unresolved, and the crisis of confidence in the Jaruzelski government continued.[56]

Significantly, Gorbachev's visit to Poland in July may have been instrumental in rekindling the dry tinder of rebellion among Polish workers. The Soviet leader's deafening silence on Solidarity was profoundly disappointing to many Poles who, like their counterparts elsewhere in Eastern Europe, have come to expect that they, too, will be the beneficiaries of Gorbachev's much-touted commitment to democratization, as well as perestroika and glasnost.[57] In the words of Solidarity leader Konrad Bielinski, "Gorbachev's visit dissipated our illusions." According to one view, Gorbachev needs Solidarity as much as it needs him because only Solidarity can get the Polish workers to accept the sacrifices associated with perestroika.[58]

In mid-September, Poland's prime minister, Zbigniew Messner, faced with a vote of "no confidence" in the Sejm (parliament), resigned. An unprecedented event in any Communist country, the vote nonetheless did not directly threaten General Wojciech Jaruzelski's personal power. It did, however, underscore an important fact: the stalemate between a popular movement, which demands the right to be recognized in law, and an unpopular government, which continues to view any "free union" as a threat to the Communist party's leading role, must be broken sooner or later. When and how it is broken is a matter of enormous importance not only to Jaruzelski, but also to Gorbachev.

Toward the end of 1988, two remarkable events underscored the new possibilities in Polish politics. Walesa was allowed to debate the head of the official Communist trade union on Polish television. An estimated 20 million Poles watched this spectacle (70 percent of the nation). Walesa won hands down. About one week later Walesa was allowed to go to France at the invitation of President Francois Mitterand. The occasion was the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. The symbolism could hardly have gone unnoticed in Warsaw (or Moscow).

Nor is Poland the only troubled state in the region. In Hungary several hundred coal miners went on strike in late August. The symbolic significance of the revolt, which involved only a few hundred strikers, was far greater than its immediate impact: it was the first independent strike action in Hungary since the uprising in 1956.[59] Indeed, Hungary is poised to make a great leap ahead of Moscow in the realm of political reform. The perennial Janos Kadar-- dominant for over three decades--was recently replaced by Karoly Grosz, who represents a new generation of reform-minded leaders.

One of these new leaders is Imre Pozsgay, who epitomizes Eastern Europe's emerging model of democratic Communism. Pozsgay outspokenly supports an independent press (i.e., outside Communist party control) and a citizen's right of "free association" (by which he means the right to organize for political and social action including independent trade unions such as Solidarity in Poland). Removed from the top leadership in Kadar's last Politburo reshuffle in the summer of 1987, he was reelected to that elite body in May 1988. Says Pozsgay, "Our present-day economic stagnation is not economic in nature as much as social and political." He states his vision:

The political life in our country must provide for emergence of interest groups, groups which have autonomy. No longer would we only have one alternative in political life.[60]

In November 1988, steps were taken to revive the once- powerful Smallholders Party. In 1945, this party won 57 percent of the popular vote (the Communists gathered a mere 17 percent). It seems likely that Hungary will soon become the first former Soviet "satellite" to legalize significant non-Communist parties.[61]

Even in Czechoslovakia--a bastion of repressive neo- Stalinist rule for the past twenty years--a taboo-breaking event recently occurred: on August 20 some 10,000 demonstrators in Prague marked the anniversary of the Soviet- sponsored Warsaw Pact invasion that crushed the "Prague Spring" and ushered in two more decades of neo-Stalinist rule. Fraught with symbolism, this rally was the boldest act of public defiance in Czechoslovakia since the Soviet intervention. Unlike Hungary, though, Czechoslovakia has no rising young stars waiting for the chance to challenge the rigid rule of Milos Jakes and his cronies.[62] Consequently, the likelihood that popular pressures will build and lead eventually to a showdown, as has happened so often next door in Poland, looms larger as the gap grows wider between expectations and actual conditions. In mid-January 1989 while commemorating the death of Jan Palach, who had burned himself to death 20 years earlier in protest against the Soviet intervention, demonstrators were beaten and arrested by Czech police.

Pressures have been building toward a confrontation between a growing protest movement in Prague and the neo-Stalinist regime. The dissidents have articulate spokesmen who are adept at winning converts to the cause of freedom-- Vaclar Havel, playwright and Charter 77 founder; Jan Svoboda, a founder of the youthful Independent Peace Association; and Jiri Hayek, a 75-year-old former foreign minister turned dissident. Together, they have created a new organization called the Movement for Civic Freedom, which advocates capitalism and constitutional democracy. Havel recently commented that, "Our government feels threatened when only a few people get together and demonstrate. They know that 1,000 people today could be a million tomorrow."[63]

In East Germany, the Honecker government has held firm against any liberalization of culture or politics, so far without any destabilizing consequences.[64] The same can be said of Bulgaria and Romania. The situation is especially deplorable in Romania, where President Nicolae Ceausescu's unreconstructed Stalinist regime continues to rule in draconian fashion.[65] In early 1988 demonstrations in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe on behalf of persecuted Romanian dissidents marked the first "coordinated" human-rights action in Soviet bloc history.

Despite this checkered pattern, the spirit of glasnost is spreading in parts of Eastern Europe like a contagion. Unofficial or "nonformal" political groups are now springing up in great profusion, especially in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Many of these groups focus on specific social issues such as pollution, feminism, and the environment. Others stress nationalism. In Hungary the independent Democratic Forum focuses on the persecution of over two million Hungarians living in Romania. In Czechoslovkia, a group called Democratic Initiative has revived the memory of Thomas Masaryk, the nation's founder and first democratic president. In Poland, Josef Pilsudski, ardent defender of Polish independence, has become a cult figure.[66]

This expansion of what Eastern Europeans call "civil society"--the political space outside government control--is mirrored in a newfound fascination with the Soviet press. In Soviet bloc capitals these days, Pravda disappears from the newsstands as though it were the New York Times. One report even stated that a Czech censor recently tried to block a Prague newspaper from publishing a story from Novosti

press! (Supposedly, the article was printed after the editor complained that it came "from our Big Brother.")[67]

Thus Eastern Europe poses a terrible dilemma for Gorbachev. He cannot encourage reforms without jeopardizing party rule (and therefore Moscow's dominant position in the region). He cannot relax the party's grip without risking instability and possibly rebellion. He cannot undertake economic and political reforms without opening the floodgates of nationalism. Finally, he cannot continue to speak with moral authority about the "new thinking" needed to revitalize a languid society at home while remaining silent on the need for similar reforms elsewhere within a stagnating Soviet bloc.[68]

Assessing Soviet Reforms Cautiously

How far will Gorbachev go in reforming the economy and the political system? Probably no further than necessary to get the country moving again. But that may mean going further than anyone in the USSR, Gorbachev included, wants to go and further than skeptics in the West think he will go. Economic decisionmaking may be decentralized, but socialist ownership will continue. Control will remain in the party's hands unless "democratization"--now little more than a propaganda slogan-- acquires a momentum of its own (which could happen).

What does Gorbachev mean by democratization? He has made it clear that in the Soviet context it does not mean a multiparty system. Outside the Soviet Union, the existence of competing parties is widely seen as essential to true democracy. Of course, there are democratic systems where a single party perennially controls the government--Japan and India spring to mind. But in these countries opposition political parties are allowed to contest free and reasonably fair elections--a practice utterly at odds with Leninism and one that Gorbachev, a self-avowed Leninist, has explicitly ruled out.

What does Gorbachev hope to gain by advocating measures ostensibly aimed at democratization of the political process? First, he hopes to persuade public opinion in the West that the Soviet Union is not a threat, thereby improving the climate for new arms control agreements, undercutting the proponents of new strategic weapons programs, and attracting Western capital and technology. Gorbachev's popularity in Europe (on both sides of the "Iron Curtain") is undisputed. Second, he hopes to combat the most deeply entrenched resistance to his economic reforms by weakening the party's role in the economy and by making bureaucrats responsible to "elected" officials at regional and local levels. Third, he clearly stands to gain in personal power and prestige both at home and abroad by getting himself "elected" president. Fourth, Gorbachev wants to galvanize the society by making Soviet workers feel as if they have a greater stake in the system. Thereby he will get them to take greater pride in their work and force them to accept greater individual responsibility for the success or failure of the collective enterprises that will continue to be the foundation of the Soviet economy.

To summarize the argument thus far: Gorbachev is no doubt sincere about economic reforms, because without them the Soviet Union is facing a period of decline. Glasnost is the price Gorbachev must pay to get Soviet workers behind perestroika (which entails risks and sacrifices, especially in the short run). Demokratizatsia has been little more than window-dressing up to this point, although some signs, such as occasional dissenting votes cast in the Supreme Soviet, hint at new possibilities. The elections scheduled for 1989 will reveal whether Gorbachev is at all serious about creating a more pluralistic society and polity. Meanwhile, in the absence of political restructuring (i.e., democratization), glasnost could end as abruptly as it began.

As important as political reforms are, there is only one guarantee that the Soviet system will not revert to Stalinist methods and modes--and the Soviet people, not their leaders, hold the key. Nothing in their experience prepares the citizenry for even the limited democratization Gorbachev is proposing. Unless the Political culture changes--unless a fundamental value-shift occurs--any pluralistic gains could be wiped out in a heartbeat. As Fedor Burlatskii, a prominent Gorbachev speechwriter, observed in Pravda in the summer of 1987, what made Stalin's tyranny possible was the abysmally low level of political culture in the Soviet Union at that time. Burlatskii even quoted Jean-Jacques Rousseau's scathing comment: "Russia will never be a democracy, because it is a land of slaves; a people gets the government it deserves." of course, he added, the October Revolution proved Rousseau was wrong. (Soviet writers must still make their most telling points by nimble circumlocution.)[69]

According to Burlatskii, "Before our very eyes, a new Soviet political culture has begun to take shape, and along with it a new political man." Soviet writers have been bally- hooing about the "new Soviet man" since Stalin's day, so any mention of this notion is bound to evoke doubt and suspicion.

But Gorbachev does seem to understand the need to change the political culture as a prerequisite to improving the low labor productivity that has long plagued the Soviet economy. He knows that he cannot make the Soviet economic system work unless he can find a way to get the Soviet people to work-- something no Soviet leader has been able to do since Stalin's ascension to power.

In early 1987, Gorbachev told the party's Central Committee that official Soviet thinking "has been frozen at the level of the 1930s and 1940s," and he complained that "authoritarian views and opinions have become unquestionable truths." The fact that Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan could just as easily have uttered these words is an indication of how much things have changed in Gorbachev's USSR. Conversely, a 1988 New York Times and CBS News poll of 939 Moscow residents found that a majority of Muscovites believe street demonstrations "are not acceptable in our country"--a glimpse of how much remains the same.[70]

Ultimately, it is a question of moral sensibilities. Lenin and Stalin gave Marxism a Bolshevik spin and spawned such ethical abominations as the Morozov syndrome.[71] The bottom line is "Americans should be aware that for lasting change to occur in the USSR, Soviet young people must rethink old prejudices and past norms of Soviet behavior."[72] In other words, even if structural change does occur, it will not be irreversible until or unless it is accompanied by a transformation of the underlying political culture--a slow process, at best.

Implications for the United States

"The beginning of the Gorbachev era does not represent the end of the rivalry between the two superpowers," wrote former President Richard Nixon in March 1988. "Rather," he continued,

it represents the beginning of a dangerous, challenging new stage of the struggle. Under Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's foreign policy has been more skillful and subtle than ever. But it has been more aggressive, not less. If his dramatic domestic reforms are successful, we will confront a more productive--and more formidable--Soviet Union.[73]

The former president, who visited Gorbachev in 1986, came away with high admiration for the Soviet leader. "All in all, it was the most impressive performance I have witnessed in nearly 40 years of meetings with world leaders," Nixon recalled. Gorbachev spoke "without notes" and "exhibited a thorough understanding of all intricacies of arm control and other issues." The man who invented qlasnost "understands power and knows how to use it." But these observations were followed by a warning: although Gorbachev may look and sound like a Western politician, we must remember that Gorbachev still believes the Soviet system--not Western-style democracy-- "represents the wave of the future."[74]

Nixon may or may not be correct in his assessment of Gorbachev's abilities, motives, and beliefs. But not since Stalin's time has so much hinged on an accurate reading of one person's intentions. There can be little doubt that Gorbachev is deadly serious about economic restructuring. On this point, Nixon's analysis is particularly incisive:

As Gorbachev looks to the east, he sees the enormous challenges posed by China and Japan. China, still a potential enemy of the Soviet Union, does not today represent a military threat, but its huge population and enormous natural resources create an awesome danger for the future. Beijing's economic reforms compound the threat. If the Soviet Union's growth rate continues to lag behind China's as much as it has over the last five years, China will surpass Russia in gross national product by the middle of the next century.

Japan, with few energy resources and less than half the population and one-sixtieth the territory of the Soviet Union, has a per capita income more than twice as high. With its growth far outpacing Moscow's, Japan will leave the Soviet Union hopelessly behind in the next century. More ominous from the Kremlin's point of view, the Japanese Government has recently rescinded the formal limitations on keeping defense spending under 1 percent of G.N.P. and has undertaken a significant, though still modest, program to upgrade its defenses.[75]

In addition to challenges from China and Japan, the Soviet Union also faces a continuing challenge in the West and not only, or even primarily, from the United States. The European Community is scheduled to become a fully integrated economic bloc in 1992. Current projections indicate that integration will bring a new surge of growth and vitality to the Common Market after 1992 (if not earlier).

Given these challenges, it is not surprising that Gorbachev and the new generation of Soviet leaders are serious about perestroika. But the seriousness of their commitment to glasnost is another matter, and democratization is the only guarantee that even a limited dose of glasnost will last. Economic revitalization unaccompanied by a fundamental change in the social psychology of the Soviet labor force probably will not work. On the other hand, if a campaign to restructure the Soviet economy were to succeed in the absence of a corresponding dispersion of political power, then surely Nixon's warning of "a dangerous new stage" will be prophetic. Thus it is imperative that the United States and Western Europe correctly assess the challenges and opportunities presented by Gorbachev's predicament.

Glasnost, Public Opinion. and American Diplomacy

To its credit, the Reagan administration recognized the new diplomatic opportunities presented by the newfound Soviet concern for both domestic and world opinion. Gorbachev has agreed to place several major policy issues on the negotiating table, including human rights, arms control, and regional conflicts. The new Soviet willingness to discuss human rights is, in itself, something of a breakthrough. Not since the Helsinki Conference in 1975, under which Moscow pledged to respect human rights, has the Soviet Union been so willing to talk about freedom. According to Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead, until recently "Soviet officials would dismiss any talk of human rights as blatant interference in their internal affairs." Now that has changed. American diplomats do not hesitate to talk to their Soviet counterparts about "Soviet law and practices which we find troubling as well as the plight of individuals whose lives have been caught up in those practices."[76] Talk is cheap, but in the world of diplomacy it is a significant first step.

The United States should continue to press the Soviet Union on human rights without, however, directly linking Soviet human rights performance to, say, arms control. Direct linkage can be an effective propaganda tactic. If Moscow does extend civil liberties, the United States could take credit. On the other hand, if Moscow refuses to relax internal controls, the United States can point to Soviet "intransigence" as proof that Kremlin leaders do not really want arms control. But as the cold war has demonstrated, scoring propaganda points is easy; making real progress on serious problems is not.

Glasnost has sensitized the Soviet leadership to public opinion both at home and abroad in a way that makes the Kremlin more susceptible to diplomatic pressures. Gorbachev's predecessors could afford to ignore the effects of their foreign policy decisions on domestic opinion, as shown when Soviet troops marched into Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1979. But Gorbachev cannot. Having repeatedly tied his economic reforms to both alasnost and democratization, he will be most reluctant to intervene militarily in Eastern Europe, an action that would brand him as no different from Khrushchev or Brezhnev. If Gorbachev were to order troops into, say, Poland, qlasnost would be dead, his democratic rhetoric would lose all credibility, and he would forfeit the moral authority needed to have any chance of making perestroika (and the Soviet people) work.

In sum, having staked so much on his image, Gorbachev cannot now afford to ignore public opinion at home or abroad. The United States should take advantage of this vulnerability, using both public and private diplomacy rather than bargaining chips, linkage, or any other failed negotiating strategies. What qlasnost is likely to do--indeed what it is doing--is to politicize Soviet society in constructive way (i.e., to give Soviet citizens a sense of political efficacy they have never had before). Free-wheeling political participation has long been the missing ingredient. As the possibility of participatory politics expands in the Soviet Union, the possibilities for American diplomacy expand too.

Cultural and Economic Opportunities

As the Soviet Union opens to the outside world after centuries of self-imposed insularity, the United States' policy should be to encourage that opening, in part by re- doubling efforts to expand cultural and scientific exchanges, student exchanges, and economic and commercial ties. The Soviet Union should be pressured to open areas presently off limits to U.S. tourists (in return for similar concessions by the United States), to accept more U.S. students into Soviet universities (on a reciprocal basis), and to lift existing restrictions on Soviet travel abroad. If Gorbachev means what he says about "openness"--if the Kremlin has nothing to hide from the outside world and no longer wants to hide the outside world from its own citizens--why should easy travel back and forth between Moscow and Paris or Leningrad and New York (for their citizens as well as for ours) not be possible?

Gorbachev should also be pressured to tear down the longstanding barriers to Western ideas, fashions, films, music, books, magazines, and newspapers. As two keen observers of the Soviet reform movement have suggested, "The United States should make full use of Radio Liberty and the Voice of America and other communications."[77]

At the same time, the Soviet Union should be encouraged to export the products of its own diverse cultures. Competition in the cultural arena would benefit East and West alike. The publication of an English language edition of the Moscow News is a start. Soviet films, documentaries, tapes, records, and the like should be available to Western consumers as well. The Soviet Union encompasses more than a hundred ethnic groups. As a consequence, no other country displays a more impressive and colorful mosaic of indigenous cultures. American culture is avidly "consumed" in the USSR; conversely, there is no obvious reason why the products of Soviet cultures would not appeal to consumers in the West.

The U.S. government should encourage and facilitate private efforts to petition the Soviet Union on behalf of religious groups, national minorities, political prisoners, refusedniks, and others. Many Soviet national minorities, especially Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians, and Armenians, have vocal emigre support groups here in the United States. The same holds true for religious denominations such as Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Baptist, and Pentecostal. In this regard, the cooperation between the State Department and the Jewish community in urging Moscow to lift restrictions on Jewish emigration could serve as a model.

Similarly, careful attention should be given to ways the United States can support the efforts of other Western nations to focus on continuing human-rights violations in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Thus, for example, the United States should make known its support for Vatican efforts to focus attention on the plight of Ukrainian Catholics, for Israeli efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews, for West German efforts to negotiate greater freedom of movement for East Germans, or even for Hungarian efforts to bring the persecution of Hungarians in Romania to light.

The Romanian case is instructive concerning the effectiveness of possible U.S. tactics to encourage reform. The United States granted Romania most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment in 1975, largely to reward Bucharest for pursuing a foreign policy independent of Moscow. Romania's human-rights record, however, has been among the most deplorable in Eastern Europe (most observers agree that it has actually gotten worse over the past 13 years). Last year a measure to withdraw Romania's MFN status was introduced in Congress; in February the Romanian government, faced with growing pressure from the White House as well as the Congress, preempted the issue by renouncing its right to MFN treatment before the United States could withdraw it. As a result, the United States now has less influence with the Romanian government than it once had. What did the United States gain by withholding MFN treatment for over two decades, then granting it for more than a decade, then threatening to withdraw it? Are Romania's ill-treated evangelical Christians better off now that Romania's exports to the United States--which totaled a paltry $775 million last year--will be reduced by a third or so?

On the contrary, it seems likely that if there is any connection between trade and human rights--and the connection is tenuous at best--it works the other way. The more East- West trade, the more influence the United States and the West European nations are likely to be able to exert through both public and private diplomatic channels.

The West should look more broadly at the whole range of commercial and financial ties. If the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies want to do business with Western corporations (if they want to attract Western capital and technology), the way to do it is to decentralize their economies and democratize their political systems. The best insurance policy Western firms can have against arbitrary changes in rules affecting ways of conducting business in Soviet bloc countries is a diffusion of political power. Restructuring economies of those countries is a necessary step. But as long as the levers of power remain in the hands of an oligarchic party, Western assets can be seized at any time without warning, due process, or just compensation (an enduring lesson of the October Revolution and its offspring).

In the absence of fundamental political reforms in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the U.S. government should urge the business and banking community to proceed cautiously. The government should also make it clear that companies investing in politically unregenerate Communist countries will do so at their own risk.

Possible Solutions to Regional Conflicts

In other areas of mutual interest to the superpowers-- including regional conflicts, arms control, and European security--the Gorbachev thaw presents new opportunities and possibilities. The promised Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan is one indication of movement away from previous expansionist positions. But Afghanistan may not be the only place where Gorbachev seeks conflict resolution and is willing to make concessions to get it. In Central America, for example, Moscow's ardor for Nicaragua's Ortega regime appears to be cooling. In the Middle East, it is worth exploring whether Gorbachev is willing to play a constructive role--perhaps by urging Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization (among others) to recognize Israel as part of a larger regional peace plan.

The festering Indo-Pakistani conflict is another area in which progress toward peace is possible with superpower collaboration. Gorbachev's visit to India in November underscores the continuing friendship between Moscow and New Delhi. In Pakistan, the electoral victory of Benazir Bhutto, coupled with the traditionally close ties between Islamabad and Washington, presents new opportunities for the United States to exert a positive influence. Given the Soviet desire to get out of Afghanistan, South Asia is a region especially ripe for a joint superpower effort aimed at fostering negotiations to bring about regional peace. Moreover, success in one region might set a precedent and provide the momentum needed for successes in other regions.

There is mounting evidence that Moscow is applying pressure on client states, from southern Africa to Southeast Asia, to end costly conflicts that impose an undesirable burden on the Soviet treasury. The apparent success of a U.S.-mediated peace plan in Angola and Namibia may serve as a model for settlements elsewhere. Cuba has agreed to withdraw its 50,000 troops from Angola; South Africa has reportedly proposed giving the Soviet Union a role in the verification process for troop withdrawal. The Soviet Union was no doubt instrumental in urging both Cuba and Angola to accept the plan, just as the United States is prevailing upon South Africa to do so.

In Indochina, Vietnam has recently displayed a new flexibility concerning Cambodia, where Hanoi has maintained a puppet government for nearly a decade. Soviet support for Hanoi's hegemonic policies in Indochina has been the major stumbling block to improved Sino-Soviet relations, as well as an irritant in U.S.-Soviet relations. The guerrilla war, which has smoldered in Cambodia since Vietnam crushed the blood-thirsty Pol Pot regime in 1978-79, will very likely not end unless Hanoi agrees to give up control in Cambodia. Having subsidized Vietnam heavily for more than two decades, Moscow now appears to be exhorting Hanoi to reduce its external liabilities and get its economic house in order: precisely the formula Gorbachev himself is following.

Strategic Issues

Arms control presents still another set of opportunities and possibilities. The Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty signed in November 1987 was a sign of Moscow's need to reduce superpower tensions and decelerate the arms race. The connection between perestroika and strategic arms reduction is suspected in the West but until recently unconfirmed by the government. The connection underscores the fact that breakneck military spending is sharply at odds with Gorbachev's number one policy priority: economic revitalization. Thus, a reasonable supposition is that not only might Moscow now be willing to negotiate a sharp reduction in existing strategic nuclear arsenals, but Gorbachev might be amenable to measures leading to future cuts in military spending. These measures are not necessarily confined to sophisticated nuclear-weapon delivery systems: significant reductions in conventional forces--still the most expensive for both sides--should also be given high priority by the new administration.

Gorbachev's December 7 offer to make unilateral cuts in Soviet conventional forces (including 500,000 troops and 10,000 tanks) was a step in the right direction, albeit a small one. Apart from the recent Soviet move, there has been no restructuring of Soviet conventional forces in Europe since Gorbachev came to power in 1985; moreover, the Soviet Union continues to act like a nation addicted to the arms race, despite soothing assurances to the contrary.

According to General John Galvin, the Soviet Union is producing 700 combat aircraft, 10 nuclear submarines, and 3,400 advanced T-80 tanks per year. (The Warsaw Pact currently has 30,000 more tanks than NATO.)[78] If these figures are accurate, Gorbachev has been smiling at the West with iron teeth. Accordingly, any future conventional arms control talks must focus on the need for sharp cutbacks in the production of new battlefield weapons as well as in the reduction of existing weapons. (Any plan should also include the huge Soviet stocks of ammunition in East Germany and Czechoslovakia.)

Such concerns underscore the continuing importance of European security issues to peace and prosperity on both sides of the ideological divide--all the more reason for the Bush administration to undertake new initiatives in this area. Mutual and balanced force reductions (MBFR), as well as a variety of confidence-building measures, may now be possible. While it would be foolish to think that every diplomatic demarche directed at Moscow will succeed, it would be even more foolish to forgo the possibility of success by assuming failure.

The signing of a new human rights accord at the beginning of 1989 paves the way for conventional arms talks in Europe later this spring. The accord is evidence that winds of change are indeed stirring in the Soviet Union, and clearly the initiative came from Moscow. The leaders of East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria want economic concessions from the West; they still defer to Moscow in foreign policy, but they are hardly eager to expand human rights. The police breakup of a demonstration in Prague only one hour after Czechoslovakia had signed the new agreement was as a reminder that old habits die hard, as was Romania's brazen disclaimer, which served notice that its signature was not to be taken seriously.

A central argument of this paper is that for all the extraordinary changes it has wrought in the public life of the Soviet Union, qlasnost should not be mistaken for genuine democratization. At a minimum, the Communist party must give up its power monopoly before Gorbachev's rhetoric about the "new thinking" in Moscow can be taken at face value. Even then, there would be no assurance against a sudden reversion to dictatorial rule unless and until the political culture undergoes a democratic transformation.

It is probably true as some analysts have argued that "the Soviet leaders do not want to change their system or their behavior toward the West; if they change, it will only be because they must." It would indeed be foolish to make concessions "with the aim of propping up Gorbachev, on the theory that he is a benign influence or in the belief that pleasing communists will make them peaceful."[79] At the same time, the United States cannot ignore the danger that undue truculence could undermine Gorbachev and that the West might then confront a neo-Stalinist successor.

Prospects for Disengagement in Europe

The new Bush administration must also understand that qlasnost can be an elaborate trap if the West lowers its guard prematurely. Gorbachev's ascendancy does not mean that Western vigilance is no longer essential. Nonetheless, it is the economic vitality of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe (as well as such market-oriented Asian nations as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) rather than NATO's military might that has compelled the Soviet leadership to undertake reforms designed to improve the lumbering Soviet economy and make the Soviet Union look more like us (and therefore less menacing).

Western cooperation does not mean preserving the military status quo in Europe. Not only would such a strategy unwittingly bolster Moscow's already potent peace offensive aimed at European public opinion, but it might squander the opportunity to reduce tensions and end the Continent's division into rival military blocs--a division that, it should be recalled, was created by Stalin to preserve the Soviet sway in Eastern Europe. For these reasons, Washington should now press plans for the orderly phasing out of NATO and the disengagement of superpower forces. The truth is that Western political cooperation can only be undermined by a nostalgic insistence on maintaining a costly and obsolete military structure--as de Gaulle's decision to withdraw from NATO's military arrangements suggested more than 20 years ago.

How can the United States keep the pressure on Gorbachev to continue restructuring the Soviet economic and political system? Above all, Washington can work assiduously by means of diplomacy to enhance security interests of the West. Proposing that the NATO alliance be gradually dismantled while insisting that the Soviet Union reciprocate by dismantling the Warsaw Pact would allow the United States to take the diplomatic high ground at a time when arms control is at or near the top of both superpowers' agendas. The reciprocal dismantling would also allow the Bush administration to seize the initiative in promoting superpower military disengagement from Central Europe.

Gorbachev might view such an initiative as an opportunity to disengage from Eastern Europe in an orderly and honorable way. The possibility--indeed the likelihood--that pressures for democratization in Poland and Hungary (and perhaps in Czechoslovakia) will sooner or later threaten Communist rule in those countries is no doubt a matter of grave concern to Gorbachev. A new American proposal to dissolve the two alliances in Europe would probably add fuel to the fires of reform in the East bloc countries. But a simultaneous disbanding of NATO and the Warsaw Pact would give Gorbachev a face-saving way out. He could formally disavow the Brezhnev Doctrine (which justified Soviet military intervention on grounds of "socialist internationalism"). In so doing, he could stress that the Soviet Union is now practicing what it preaches-- namely, noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. This gesture would not only appear magnanimous but would also greatly enhance Gorbachev's international image as a new kind of Soviet leader.

Moving forward with a new approach to European security might, in time, obviate the need for both superpowers to continue spending more and more money on new, expensive, conventional weapons systems. Success in this enterprise is not a matter of military capabilities so much as a matter of politics and diplomacy. If the United States has an Achilles' heel, it is certainly not our armed might. It is our post- World War II tendency to rely on "nuclear diplomacy"--surely an oxymoron if ever there was one.

The Soviet reforms are incomplete to be sure. But a close examination points to the conclusion that they are quite promising--more so than any other reforms since the Bolshevik Revolution. In these new circumstances, old nostrums will not do. The United States' posture should be one of caution combined with creative diplomacy. Policymakers must avoid the tendency to believe that the limits of diplomacy associated with the Cold War are immutable laws of nature. The INF Treaty, the pledge to withdraw from Afghanistan, and Gorbachev's highly publicized diplomatic meetings with every major Western leader in the closing months of 1988 all suggest that Moscow is in a mood to negotiate. The Bush administration should move quickly to exploit this window of opportunity.


[1] See, for example, Carl A. Linden, Khrushchev and the Soviet Leadership: 1957-1964 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1966), pp. 150-51; see also Roy A. Medvedev and Zhores A. Medvedev, Khrushchev: The Years in Power (New York: Norton, 1978), pp. 153-54.

[2] Medvedev and Medvedev, pp. 138-39.

[3] Paul Quinn-Judge, "Outspoken Soviet Publication pusher for independence," Christian Science Monitor, December 23, 1988, p. 9.

[4] Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (New York: Harper and Row, 1987), p. 105.

[5] Ibid., p. 108.

[6] Lucy Komisar, "One fine day after Gorbachev came to power," Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1987, p. 3.

[7] See Dan Fisher, "Glasnost--Soviets Try to Open Up," Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1987.

[8] In fall of 1987 Ogonyok published excerpts from the epic World War II novel, Life and Fate, by the late Vasily Grossman. Completed during the heyday of Khrushchev's reign and often compared to Tolstoy's War and Peace, this immense and powerful work, which draws damning parallels between Nazi and Soviet rule, was suppressed for 27 years. (The entire novel was published in the literary monthly Oktyabr beginning in January 1988.) Pasternak's War and Peace was serialized in Novy Mir (also beginning in January 1988). Bill Keller, "Once More into the Literary Breach! Ink-Stained Warriors Rush Citadel," New York Times, January 28, 1988, p. 6.

[9] Andrei Voznesensky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the two towering figures among contemporary Soviet poets, had pushed hard for this vindication, as well as "for posthumous honors for the man whose poetry spoke a sorrowful truth to two generations of Russians accustomed to introspection and repression." Felicity Barringer, "Pasternak Retreat to Be a Museum," New York Times, January 27, 1988, p. 4.

[10] Felicity Barringer, "New Era and a Poet's Song of Truth," New York Times, January 27, 1988, p. 6.

[11] Irving Howe, "Gorbachev Meets Up with History," Dissent, Spring 1988, pp. 160-63.

[12] In early September 1988 the Western press widely reported that a blue-ribbon committee set up to supervise the building of the first Soviet memorial to Stalin's victims invited Solzhenitsyn to join the distinguished panel (Andrei Sakharov and Yevgeny Yevtushenko are among the members). However, the invitation, sent to Solzhenitsyn's secluded home in Vermont, was mysteriously "returned" to Moscow marked "insufficient address." The most likely explanation is also the most obvious: the KGB intercepted the letter before it got out. (See Bill Keller, "Solzhenitsyn in Exile Is Asked to Join Soviet Panel," New York Times, September 1, 1988, p. 8.)

[13] Pravda, January 28, 1988, p. 1.

[14] Felicity Barringer, "Changing Times Turn Tables on a 'Saint' of the Stalin Era," New York Times, March 21, 1988, p. 1.

[15] See Pravda, February 6, 1988, p. 1, or Izvestia, February 7, 1988, p. 1. Rykov and eight other lesser party figures were also cleared at this time.

[16] See Joseph C. Harsch, "The relevance of the past," Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 1988, p. 15; for an widely respected account of the human cost of collectivization, see Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

[17] David Shipler, "Yevtushenko's Poem Praises a Stalin Victim," New York Times, December 19, 1988, p. 1.

[18] Harsch, p. 15; for a parallel interpretation of Bukharin's exoneration, see Irving Howe, "Gorbachev Meets Up with History," pp. 160-63.

[19] Howe, Ibid.

[20] In June 1988, Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev, Grigory (Yuri) Pyatakov, and Karl Radek were finally cleared of treason charges and thus restored to a place of respectability, if not honor, in the Soviet pantheon of revolutionary heroes. Earlier, in March, N. A. Voznesensky and others who were purged by Stalin in the so-called Leningrad Affairs of 1950 were reinstated as party members, as were several notable military figures including Marshal Tukhachevsky, who was purged in the late 1930s. See Pravda, March 27, 1988, p. 1; see also Bill Keller, "Court Vindicates 2 Stalin Victims Who Were Close Allies of Lenin's," New York Times, June 14, 1988, p. 6.

[21] Philip Taubman, "At a Museum, Trotsky Is Reunited with Lenin," New York Times, February 11, 1988, p. 14. The huge museum in Moscow, just off Red Square, has not yet followed suit, and it is anybody's guess when or even whether Soviet historians will be allowed to make an objective reassessment of Trotsky's role during and after the October Revolution.

[22] Esther B. Fein, "Soviet Pupils Spared Exams While History Is Rewritten," The New York Times, May 31, 1988, p. 1.

[23] Pravda, January 28, 1988, p. 1. Despite its liberal tone, this editorial warned against treating Lenin cavalierly. Where Lenin is concerned, it admonished, "even the slightest inaccuracy, juggling of the facts or deviation from the truth is impermissible. "

[24] Although the author, Vasily Selyunin, attacks Lenin obliquely, he leaves little doubt that it was Lenin who set the stage for the gulag system and forced collectivization later undertaken by Stalin. Selyunin attacked Dzerzhinsky, the sainted founder of Lenin's secret police, more frontally, depicting him as a champion of "concentration camps" and conscript labor. "So we see that the limits of the use of force are expanded without limits," Selyunin writes, clearly implicating Lenin in this totalitarian design. "First it was used to suppress the opponents of the Revolution, then shifted to potential opponents, and finally it became a means of solving purely economic tasks." See Bill Keller, "Lenin Faulted on State Terror, and a Soviet Taboo Is Broken," New York Times, June 8, 1988, p. 1.

[25] Pravda, January 28, 1988, p. 1.

[26] G. Volkov, "We Are Descendants of October," Sovietskaia Kultura, December 31, 1987, p. 4; V. Maksimova, "Ask the Past about the Present," Pravda, January 28, p. 6.

[27] See Dimitry Kazutin, "Everyone Is Subject to History's Judgment," Moskovskiye Novosti, no. 2, January 10, p. 12; for a caustic critique of the play, see V. Gorbunov and V. Zhuravlev, "What Do We Want to See in the Mirror of the Revolution," Sovetskaia Rossiya, January 28, 1988, p. 2.

[28] Serge Schmemann, "Faith Meets State in Moscow at the Millennium," New York Times, June 13, 1988, p. 4.

[29] Bohdan Nahaylo, "Moscow Manipulates the Millennium," The American Spectator, March 1988, p. 16.

[30] Schmemann, "Faith Meets State"; see also Serge Schmemann, "Gorbachev and Church," New York Times, June 16, 1988, p. 1.

[31] Nahaylo, "Moscow Manipulates," p. 18.

[32] A close observer noted in the spring of 1988: "Even though Soviet authorities blocked his visit to Lithuania, which last year celebrated 600 years of Christianity, he continues to express a desire to travel to the USSR for the millennium celebrations--but only on two conditions: that he be allowed to make pastoral visits to Lithuania and the Ukraine, and that the Uniate church be recognized by the Soviet government." Ibid.

[33] Bill Keller, "Riots Legacy of Distrust Quietly Stalks a Soviet City," New York Times, August 31, 1988, p. 1.

[34] Bill Keller, "Strike Ends in Armenia as Unrest Slows," New York Times, June 15, 1988, p. 3, and "Armenian Capital Is Roused by Calls for New Freedoms," New York Times, September 5, 1988, p. 1.

[35] "Latvian Rally on 40's Purge Reported," New York Times, June 15, 1988, p. 3.

[36] Bill Keller, "Latvian Cultural Leaders Issue Call for a Form of Home Rule," New York Times, June 22, 1988, p. 12.

[37] Bill Keller, "Setting Precedent, Estonia Allows a Non- Communist Front to Form," New York Times, June 21, 1988, p. l; see also, "Estonians protest Soviet-Nazi pact and press for autonomy," Christian Science Monitor, August 23, 1988, p. 7.

[38] Bill Keller, "Thousands March in Baltic Capitals, Airing Resentment," New York Times, August 24, 1988, p. 1.

[39] "Estonians protest," Christian Science Monitor, August 23, 1988, p. 7.

[40] Ibid.

[41] See, for example, Philip Taubman, "Moscow's Baltic Thorn," New York Times, October 25, 1988, p. 1.

[42] For a discussion of Gorbachev's economic reforms, see Thomas M. Magstadt, "Communism Between Marx and the Marketplace: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy," Cato Policy Analysis, no. 87, June 2, 1987.

[43] V. Telegin, "A Scholar Looks at Restructuring--A Democratic Union of Social Forces: Utopia? Possibility? Necessity?" Kommunist, April 28, 1988, p. 3.

[44] Bill Keller, "A Gorbachev Adviser Urges a Political Alternative to the Communist Party," New York Times, May 24, 1988, p. 8.

[45] According to a New York Times story, "Among the ideas endorsed by the independent clubs today [June 12] were the establishment of free trade unions, the end of centralized control over school curriculums and textbooks, freedom of religion and the return of churches confiscated by the state, abolition of restrictions on travel and emigration, new pension and consumer protection laws, and cancellation of special privileges for the Communist Party elite." Bill Keller, "Moscow Political Clubs Issue Call for Expanded Freedoms," New York Times, June 13, 1988, p. 1.

[46] Bill Keller, "Setting Precedent, Estonia Allows a Non- Communist Front to Form," New York Times, June 29, 1988, p. 1; see also Paul Quinn-Judge, "New element on Soviet political scene: choice," Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 1988, p. 1.

[47] Keller, "Moscow Political Clubs Issue Call."

[48] Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 7, 1988, p. 1.

[49] See Paul Quinn-Judge, "Gorbachev's stronger hand," Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 1988, p. 1, and "How Ligachev lost out in Kremlin shuffle," Christian Science Monitor, October 6, 1988, p. 1.

[50] See Jonas Bernstein, "Glasnost Benefits Gorbachev Most," Insight, July 25, 1988, p. 38; see also Quinn-Judge, "New element."

[51] Quoted in Bernstein, "Glasnost Benefits Gorbachev."

[52] Ibid. p. 39.

[53] Quinn-Judge, "New element."

[54] Paul Quinn-Judge, "Gorbachev presses for a rollback of party's power," Christian Science Monitor, June 29, 1988, p. 1.

[55] See Joseph C. Harsch, "The Polish Story," Christian Science Monitor, August 30, 1988; see also William Echikson, "Whither Poland's independent trade union . . . eight years later," Christian Science Monitor, September 2, 1988, p. 9.

[56] John Tagliabue, "Walesa's Pleading Fails to Resolve All Polish Strikes," New York Times, September 2, 1988, p. 2; see also William Echikson, "A Pyrrhic victory for the Polish government," Christian Science Monitor, August 30, 1988, p. 7.

[57] John Tagliabue, "Gorbachev Skirts Solidarity Issue in Shipyard Visit," New York Times, July 14, 1988, p. 4; see also John Tagliabue, "Gorbachev Given a Tour of Cracow," New York Times, July 13, 1988, p. 3.

[58] William Echikson, "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble in Eastern Europe," Christian Science Monitor, August 26, 1988, p. 9.

[59] William Echikson, "East Europeans break political taboos," Christian Science Monitor, September 12, 1988, p. 1.

[60] William Echikson, "Outspoken Hungarian communist calls for radical reform," Christian Science Monitor, October 13, 1987, p. 14.

[61] Eric Bourne, "Hungarians jump the gun on new political rights," Christian Science Monitor, December 7, 1988, p. 13.

[62] William Echikson, "Czech leaders dig in to block Soviet- style reform," Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 1988, p. 1; for an account of the August 20 demonstration in Prague, see Echikson, "Bubble, bubble."

[63] William Echikson, "Czech protest: no longer just for Program intellectuals," Christian Science Monitor, December 13, 1988, p. 7.

[64] See, for example, Elizabeth Pond's articles on the East German crackdown in early 1988: Christian Science Monitor, February 2 (p. 7); February 4 (p. 8); February 5 (p. 10); and March 8 (p. 8).

[65] George D. Moffett III, "Measure in Congress would pressure Romania on human rights," Christian Science Monitor, May 20, 1987, p. 7.

[66] Echikson, "East Europeans break political taboos."

[67] Ibid.

[68] For a thoughtful appraisal of recent developments see William Echikson, "Trouble in Soviet Union's backyard," Christian Science Monitor, January 10, 1989, p. 3.

[69] Thane Gustafson, "The Power of the People" [book review of Robert C. Tucker's Political Culture and Leadership in Soviet Russia: From Lenin to Gorbachev], New Republic, March 28, 1988, p. 28.

[70] "Moscow Majority Oppose Demonstrations," New York Times, June 8, 1988, p. 6.

[71] Stuart Anderson, "Glasnost meets Ivan the Careerist," Christian Science Monitor, July 6, 1988, p. 11. In this article, the author relates an incident that illustrates the gulf between Western and Soviet norms of public morality:

In Volgograd last summer, a Soviet friend, Ivan, informed on a Western friend of mine for distributing a few harmless questionnaires on Soviet perceptions of America. This nearly resulted in the Western student being expelled from the country. I later discovered that Ivan, with whom I had regularly socialized, was a leader of the local Komsomol, the Communist Party's youth organization (age 14 to 30).

Ivan also betrayed his own friend Vladimir, who had assisted the westerner in handing out the questionnaires. What would motivate a person to "rat" on a friend? According to Anderson, "The Komsomol leader was trying to demonstrate his vigilance by turning in a foreigner--a move that could boost his career."

[72] Ibid.

[73] Richard Nixon, "Dealing with Gorbachev," New York Times Magazine, March 13, 1988, p. 26.

[74] Ibid., p. 30.

[75] Ibid., p. 66.

[76] John C. Whitehead, "America's Challenge to Gorbachev," U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., Current Policy, no. 1013.

[77] Henry S. Rowen and John B. Dunlop, "Gorbachev vs. Ligachev: The Kremlin Divided," The National Interest, no. 11, Spring 1988, p. 28.

[78] George Will, "Rumblings of Realism: Is External Soviet Policy Really Changing?" Omaha World-Herald, December 5, 1988, p. 11.

[79] Ibid., p. 27.

1989 The Cato Institute
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