Looking for Democracy

Diemer, Ulli
Date Written:  1989-12-01
Publisher:  Connexions / Ulli Diemer, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1989
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3573

Instead of sitting on the sidelines congratulating ourselves on how wonderfully free and democratic we are, we should be pressing for a radical democratization of our own society.

Eastern Europe appeared to be, from the inside as well as the outside, an immovable monolith. The system of social control, while in some ways crude by Western standards, was total and relentless, and few saw any hope of ever achieving change. Only a tiny minority opposed the regimes, and they suffered for it.
Yet almost overnight, those who but a historical moment earlier had no hope or thought of resistance or rebellion suddenly came together in their tens and then hundreds of thousands, and the powerlessness, passivity, and resignation of the people turned almost instantly into their opposites.

The truly remarkable victories they have achieved should inspire us in our own efforts in working for change in the West and remind us that fundamental change is possible even against formidable odds.

The Western media are now engaged in an orgy of self-congratulation, repeating endlessly that "capitalism" has defeated "communism". Wishful thinking! The people of Eastern Europe are the ones who have won these victories, with little or no help from the capitalists who are rushing to take the credit.

- Ulli Diemer

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