The Current Revolution in Russia

The revolution is occurring in Russia and Eastern Europe, but its repercussions are worldwide. And not only in international relations, but also in what is happening in other countries that we would never have thought were connected with events in Russia and Eastern Europe. I will concentrate only on the Soviet Union because what has happened there is the key to what has happened in Eastern Europe. And what is happening now in the Soviet Union is the key to the future of the whole region, the key to the future of the international system. I intend to discuss two subjects in particular, but first I want to explore what really happened in Russia, and why—and especially why it took the form it took. My first point is that the process of change in Russia, which staffed as a guided reform, has passed irreversibly into a process of revolution, and that this revolution is accelerating rather than slowing down. My second point has to do with the direction in which the revolution is moving. I think it is possible to make some plausible scenarios predicting middle-range developments, and I think the odds are in favor of the development of some democratic processes in the Soviet Union. At the same time, however, I believe that both the Soviet Union and the United States face an immediate and immense danger, the danger of a crisis in the next year or maybe sooner that will change the situation and lead to developments that are truly unpredictable.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 30:2
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