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How much support was there for the 1989 revolutions?

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Post 20 Apr 2011, 13:15
Did people really want an end to socialism or just more political freedom/change?
Post 23 Apr 2011, 05:59
I think a big part of it was the foreign pressure (US) to switch to a more capitalist democracy. When the superpowers of the world tell you that your government and economic system is wrong, something bad is bound to happen.
Post 29 Apr 2011, 09:45
Different people wanted different things. I would think that a majority people supported the revolution and wanted to break free from socialism to the extent it was going. Revolution cannot happen without the masses supporting it, like you guys say.
Post 29 Apr 2011, 15:33
Yeah, and now the majority of the former USSR regret it's demise. Retrospect bias FTW.
Post 29 Apr 2011, 15:48
Nobody in the GDR wanted reunification except old nazis, the bunch of irrelevant morons that made up its last parliament and a slightly bigger bunch of irrelevant morons who supported the latter. The youth was generally opposed to the protests. It was mostly disgruntled adults who had watched too much Western TV, and even those just wanted to have Western luxuries without getting rid of socialism.

To say that the majority of the population of the GDR wanted reunification or capitalism is an audacious lie.
Post 14 Jun 2011, 18:20
Actually one of the main selling points of Solidarity was to turn state factories, docks, and mines with one man management into cooperatives.

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Post 21 Jun 2011, 17:58
redhotpoker wrote:
Actually one of the main selling points of Solidarity was to turn state factories, docks, and mines with one man management into cooperatives.

That's what they did to sell themselves to Poland's working class. Just like how the Nazis called themselves 'National Socialists' to sell themselves to Germany's working class. All the other nationalist parties were popular perceived as parties of business or the monarchy.
Post 22 Jun 2011, 02:26
All the other nationalist parties were popular perceived as parties of business or the monarchy.

I don't think that there was any serious support for Monarchy in Poland, even among the Anti-Communists.
Post 22 Jun 2011, 18:40
I was talking about germany.
Post 14 Jul 2011, 06:57
I'm reading Constantine Pleshakov's There is No Freedom Without Bread right now. Great book so far. The mainstream anti-communist narrative in the west depicts the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe as struggles of "good versus evil" or "capitalist freedom versus communist dictatorship", but Pleshakov points out how the situation was far more complicated than that.

It's also important to remember that socialist countries like the USSR became progressively weaker as they implemented more and more market reforms. The Kosygin reforms of 1965 made profitability a measure of economic performance, and by Gorbachev's time, privatization was happening all over the place.

Actually one of the main selling points of Solidarity was to turn state factories, docks, and mines with one man management into cooperatives.

Maybe it's just because I'm not familiar with Polish history, but... Source?
Post 06 May 2012, 11:30
To win a lottery and be fabulously wealthy, to become the recipient of a huge medical malpractice lawsuit settlement or award that becomes final and pays out, etc, etc.

Such are the dreams that are held out that enslave the masses to protect and defend the rights and benefits of the 1% ers and even to pay for them, the slimmest of hopes that they too and if not them perhaps their children someday may join those ranks and live the good life.

The grass always appears greener on the other side, especially if a WALL and other impediments are put in your way to prevent you from reaching it. Those in the Soviet block HAD TO NOTICE that Westerners were freely allowed to enter their countries while they were denied the right to free travel. Of course they felt imprisoned, anyone would.

The luxuries of life, telephones, TVs, stereos, fast cars, etc can seem very alluring when you are already accustomed to GUARANTEED HOUSING, JOB, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, MEDICAL CARE, EDUCATION, BASIC FOOD, CLOTHING. How many people today WISH and would gladly trade their ANDROID CELL PHONE, IPOD, etc for those things now?
Post 08 May 2012, 12:54
Most Eastern Bloc people had TVs, telephones and stereos.
Post 10 May 2012, 23:48
Well we'll let the Libyans tell us how great the trade off has been!
From Green Book Greenish Socialism to the western Illusions of Freedom and prosperity.
Post 17 May 2012, 04:55
I think a lot of it had to do with the East's stagnating economy compared to the west, and lack of personal freedoms in the East. It was a kettle that was just about to explode.
Post 19 May 2012, 21:30
I would definitely not call it a kettle waiting to explode. Before 1988, only a few people had any idea that any regime change is going to occur, at least not in Czechoslovakia. And Eastern Bloc economies were weaker than Western, but offered many basic services and goods for the people for free/near-free and other at a low price.
Post 28 May 2012, 05:37
Good Afternoon to All,

I've only just today found this site, and perhaps someone here will be able to shed some light on the (very strong) rumours that circulating back in 1989 regarding the images that were screened in the West that depicted cheering crowds of 'EAST Germans', the rumour being that they were in fact WEST Germans. I suspected at the time that we weren't being told the truth about this, as I recall a couple of images of these people holding the flags of both the city of WEST Berlin, and WEST Germany. I can understand why the Western media would perpetrate and perpetuate such a lie, but is there anything on the internet that would provide information regarding this?

Also, is it true that during the 1920's and 1930's there were many black people who fled - defected from - the United States of America, in response to the promise that such bigotry that existed (still exists?) in the United States was absent in the Soviet Union.

Thank You
Post 30 May 2012, 21:40
I actually would not be so surprised if many East Germans cheered on that day back then. Many people who cheered in Czechoslovakia in 1989 are now drinking bum wine under the bridge.
Post 29 Aug 2013, 16:37
There was opposition to the German reunification in the period between the opening of the border and the actual dissolution of the DDR. A couple of weeks after the wall came down, a petition called "Für unser Land" (For our country) was published by several leading figures in public life, including dissidents. This wasn't really in opposition to the "revolution" itself, but rather against the destruction of all the gains of socialist construction in the DDR.

Für unser Land called for the maintenance of the DDR as "a society with solidarity, where peace and social justice, individual freedom, freedom of movement and the conservation of the environment are guaranteed" and expressed concern about "a sell-out of our material and moral values".

The petition was signed by 200,000 people in the first two weeks, including Egon Krenz (the last SED leader of the DDR) and Lothar de Mazière (a CDU politician), up to 1.17 million by January 1990 (and 12,500 negative responses). Strangely enough, the introduction to the document in the Federal Archive says about these numbers that:

"At the same time the amount of approvals reflects the situation in the DDR in late 1989. Only 10 to 15% of the population still supported the maintenance of socialism and their own state. The vast majority of the citizens wanted either a reunification or a confederation with the BRD as speedily as possible, and to achieve a marked improvement in living standards that way."

I don't know about the methods by which this petition was propagated, but considering that obviously only a certain percentage of the population will bother to sign a petition or participate in an opinion poll, it seems very unlikely to me that the 10-15% who supported this statement were the only ones, and that the rest of the population must therefore necessarily be against it. However, the CDU, now led by De Mazière, ran on a pro-reunification platform and won the 1990 election in the DDR by a landslide, so popular support must have been stronger than just "old nazis" as Mabool said.

Of course, the "improvement of living standards" that they expected now looks incredibly naive. And this election was also a bit questionable, given the vast material support given by the West German political parties to their new DDR sister parties. Between the clout of the western parties and the already present infrastructure of the PDS, the DDR dissident movements that participated in electoral lists outside of the imported western parties were blown away in the "imported election".
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