Czechoslovakia: the Velvet Revolution and Beyond by Robin H. E. Shepherd

By Robin H. E. Shepherd

Czechoslovakia, the most inflexible and authoritarian of the previous Soviet Union's satellite tv for pc states, began the transition from communism with excessive hopes. yet a decade of switch has uncovered the complete quantity of the wear and tear wrought to the rustic via many years of communist rule. For something, the rustic couldn't carry jointly, splitting aside into self sustaining states in 1993. This publication seems on the political and financial adjustments of 2 international locations in transition and argues that a lot is still performed earlier than they've got shaken off the legacy of a very harsh communist past.

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Still another way of characterising the events of 1989 is to see them as the year in which Europe finally came of age, ending the great European civil war of 1914-45. 19 The Soviet bloc, enforcing the dissolution of the continent's pivotal power, Germany, was a decades long hangover from which Europe had finally recovered. Ironically, the underlying cause of communism's eventual collapse, and the inspiration for the policies which engendered it, was the failure of the system's economic base. Communism, it seemed, contained the seeds of its own destruction.

He argued for decentralisation of decision making, a reduction in price controls, and the importance of market forces. This on its own entailed profoundly political consequences. In Soviet type systems of government the party apparatus was charged with control or supervision of all aspects of life. 6 Private property and markets, therefore, are not merely disfavoured by totalitarian systems; they represent their antithesis. Market decisions are 26 Czechoslovakia: the Velvet Revolution and Beyond decisions arrived at by freely consenting individuals.

The play off between market forces and totalitarianism was a zero sum game. The prospect of deep seated market oriented economic reform in all unreconstructed Soviet bloc countries had powerful political implications both at the level of ideology and at the day to day level of security for the established elite. 7 With these considerations in mind, party leader Antonin Novotny largely shunned Sik's recommendations. But the genie was out of the bottle. Sik's ideas had been aired publicly and significant sections of the party had been impressed.

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