Anyone who follows, even from a distance, the discussions now taking place
among political thinkers in the Soviet Union, and who also remembers something about the history of Russian radicalism, must be experiencing an uncanny feeling. It’s as if the writings of the long-forgotten critics of Bolshevism—the independent Polish Marxist Rosa Luxemburg, the left-Menshevik (Social Democratic) leader Julian Martov, but also a politically distant philosopher like Nicolas Berdyaevhave taken on a second life. And who knows? Perhaps the Soviet reformers and intellectuals interviewed in Stephen Cohen’s absorbing book Voices of Glasnost actually took the trouble to look up these “obsolete” critics in the “special” library rooms that harbor their writings. It would be interesting to know.
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