By John Gardner, Tony Saich, George Schopflin Stephen White
The 3rd version of this article presents a heritage to the politics of China, jap Europe and what used to be the Soviet Union. The ebook has been rewritten all through to mirror the emergence of pluralist multi-party structures and non Communist governments are marked.
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Extra info for Communist Political Systems: An Introduction
This was a period, still within the memory of older Soviet citizens, when political opponents were executed after show trials, or perhaps after no trial at all; when many millions of people were imprisoned by the secret police on the flimsiest of pretexts; and when an atmosphere of suspicion poisoned relations not only at the workplace but also within the family itself. THE POLITICAL CULTURES 39 'Any adult inhabitant of this country, from a collective farmer up to a member of the Politburo, always knew that it would take only one careless word or gesture and he would fly off irrevocably into the abyss', is Alexander Solzhenitsyn's comment on this period in his Gulag Archipelago (1973-75).
In systems of this kind there could be no single public opinion, because society was divided into several social and/or national fragments with limited or non-existent communication between them. Much of this was true of the Balkans, but there were also differences. The traditional native aristocracies had been swept away (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Slovenia) or else they had been co-opted into the state (Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania). In the Balkans a merchant-patrician Hite and the military were also of importance.
Without the Tsar, the land is widowed' 'God in the sky, the Tsar on earth '; 'No one is against God or against the Tsar'; there were some of the proverbs collected by the lexicographer Dahl in the mid-nineteenth century, for instance, and folk-songs spoke similarly of rulers such as Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great as friends of the people but ruthless enemies of aristocratic or ecclesiastical intrigue. If popular wishes were not respected it must be because the Tsar was an imposter or because he was being opposed by the nobility ('the Tsar is willing but the boyars resist'); between the real Tsar and his people no such conflict of interest appears to have been conceivable.