>Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 01:33:31 +0100
>From: Amara Graps <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: Meme-set conflicts [was Re: some U.S. observations and notes]
>From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >> The answer is no. Look at communism, Robert. Communism didn't
> >> fragment until a number of other conditions were met (probably
> >> the Cold War didn't help much to support the "information wants
> >> to be free" meme, either)
> >It isn't clear to me precisely what caused communism to fragment.
It was some time ago but from what I remember, Gorbachev simply let it
fall. There appear to have been no efforts on his behalf behind the scenes
to support any of the regimes. I watched news from domestic, British,
Continental and U.S. news broadcasts, and I can't remember him uttering a
single word during this time. Moscow stayed well out of sight.
It looks as though this led the regimes to fold quickly (with the exception
of Romania) rather than a face a protracted civil/military campaign without
the backing of Moscow. If they'd had confidence that Gorbachev was with
them, they'd have had the tanks on the streets and ended the
rallies. Given that the Chinese had pretty much gotten away with Tiananmen
Square earlier that year, they would have no real reason to fear
Perhaps he didn't know it would happen, but I'm confident Gorby knew what
he was up to, and it probably pissed off enough Bigwigs in Moscow to
further nudge them towards the '91 coup.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and
crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures
to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-Q, Star Trek:TNG episode 'Q Who'
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