SEPTEMBER 7, 1991
The remarkable events in the Soviet Union since the failed coup of
August 18–remarkable both for the depth and rapidity of change-make it
almost reckless to venture a serious comment as we prepare this issue of
Dissent for the press. But if the risks are great, so is the temptation. And we
know you will bear in mind the date at the top of this paragraph.
At first sinister. then farcical, the coup collapsed, and everyone who cares
about democracy rejoiced. This was not, as Caspar Weinberger mindlessly
said on television, a Stalinist coup; had it been that, it might have succeeded.
though at terrible cost in life. No, this was a coup of thick-headed
apparatchiks trying to shore up their power and privilege, a coup by the
spiritual sons of Brezhnev. In their public appeal. the coup leaders had not
one political or ideological word to say, nothing about saving communism or
ending it eit...
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