The So-Called Collapse of Communism
What's the point here? 1) We think of the "West" as a "system" or an abstract set of "values," but it is also a particular place, and a particular set of societies. Willingness to go along with the "West" is depends in large part whether the country involved can see itself plausibly as part of this particular place and trust those particular societies.
2) Yes muscular opposition by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and John Paul II had a major role in the break up of Communism. But the role of "Euro-weenies" in having a successful continent into which to integrate and which seemed welcoming and relatively unthreatening was probably even more important.
UPDATE: Jim asks: Is China still recognizably "communist"? I mean, they still say they are, but doesn't the existence of private capital markets suggest pretty directly that it's not?
Good point, but I was talking about the political system. And about that I'll let Bill Kirby respond (in the words of Peter Robinson here):
At a dinner last week for the Rockefeller Center, the public policy program at Dartmouth, I sat next to Bill Kirby, a China scholar and a former dean of the Harvard faculty of arts and sciences. (Bill and I also sat next to each other during a Rockefeller Center board meeting earlier in the day. Bill took copious notes—in Chinese.) Bill explained that he isn’t particularly optimistic that China will become a democracy any time soon. It might—but then again it most certainly might not.
Then Bill made a fascinating point. Whereas Stalin would find the power structure that now governs Russia altogether baffling—an elected president?—Mao would find the power structure in contemporary China altogether familiar. The dozen or so people who hold real power in China sit on the same committees and rely on the same bases of support—above all, the People’s Liberation Army—as did Mao and his circle. "Mao," Bill said, "would feel right at home."In other words, the remaining Communist states are highly likely to set up or be setting up private capital markets in the near future. But they are much less likely to be expanding decision making beyond twelve men on a self-nominated committee, unless they have a ______ Community in which to integrate.