The deeply anti-worker policies of the bourgeois governments, from Boris Yeltsin to the current administration of Vladimir Putin, leads more and more Russians to consider what they lost after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Huge social achievements were abolished, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer, while the income for the working class families shrinks year by year. Capitalism has shown its real, repulsive, barbaric face to the working people of Russia.
Standing in front of the Berlin Wall in June 1987, then President Reagan famously proclaimed:
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace … General Gorbachev, if you seek peace – if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe – if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
Despite the neoliberal talking points about “freedom,” “democracy,” and “peace,” the reality of life in post-Soviet Eastern Europe is not at all what was promised. Consider the abstractions employed by people like Reagan who framed the end of the Soviet Union as an event that would usher in “peace” and “prosperity.” And then consider the fact that neither peace nor prosperity has come to fruition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc.Read More »