RUSSIAN TO NOWHERE

Things are too crazy now. After two or three generations of institutionalized repression in Eastern Europe with pretensions to world domination, Communism has fallen flat on its ass with hardly a moment to spare. Though the reasons for the sudden collapse are complex and varied, I suspect more than a little thanks should go to Japan, who flooded the world with cheap VCR’s and other communication devices that made Berlin Walls seem not only outmoded and irrelevant, but incapable of hiding anything. More than that, they also showed that the for-members-only club of industrialized nations was not only not exclusive, but was not limited to European countries and their immigrant offspring. Leave it to capitalism to overcome racism, doing what religion not only had never accomplished, but which had frequently instigated. This mitigated the USSR’s attraction as the model of development for third-world countries. Of course the USSR was largely European itself, so its lag behind the West’s, and now Asia’s, leaders was particularly ironic. Forged in the pan-Slavism of the 19th century, the USSR is perhaps best seen as a noble experiment at that, despite its ineptitude as a world leader.