Did people really want an end to socialism or just more political freedom/change?
Now what is this…
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.
As a karate expert, I will not talk about anybody in this room......" - Jimmy McMillan
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.
Wonder Kim Powers Unite!
Yeah, and now the majority of the former USSR regret it's demise. Retrospect bias FTW.
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.
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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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.
I don't think that there was any serious support for Monarchy in Poland, even among the Anti-Communists.
I was talking about germany.
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.
Maybe it's just because I'm not familiar with Polish history, but... Source?
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?
Most Eastern Bloc people had TVs, telephones and stereos.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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