The Disintegration of the Monolith

In This Review

The Disintegration of the Monolith

By Boris Kagarlitsky
Verso, 1992
169 pp. $54.95
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Kagarlitsky, a Russian politician from the left and an anti-Leninist socialist, does not really try to explain the disintegration of the Soviet Union. He is far more interested in laying out the deceptions, phony dreams and hypocrisies of those who brought about its demise, including the leaders and parliamentarians of the new states. "The plane," he writes, "has taken off and a section of the public still believes it will land in Paris or Stockholm. But, in fact, the course has been set for Brazil, or even Nigeria, since this airline and this make of plane does not fly to the West at all." He is speaking not only of Russia, but of Ukraine, Belarus and the other successor states. His assault on both liberals and neo-Bolsheviks would not be of interest, despite the lean force of his writing, were it certain that the future battle for Russia's soul would be fought only between free-marketeer liberals and the authoritarians (whether communist, fascist or nationalist).