Friday, October 23, 2009

Remembering the Collapse of Communism

Bryan Caplan:
The collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe is - and will probably remain - the most glorious political event of my life. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I missed the 20th anniversaries of the end of Communist rule in Poland (August 24) and the opening of the Hungarian border (September 11). Here's a list of all the other 20th anniversaries not to forget this year. Highlights:
  • Nov. 9 - Berlin Wall and East German borders open.
  • Nov. 10 - Bulgaria's long-time communist dictator, Todor Zhivkov, removed by Politburo colleagues.
  • Dec. 25 - Ceausescus executed by firing squad.
  • Dec. 29 - Communist rule ends in Czechoslovakia after 41 years, with election of dissident playwright Vaclav Havel as president.
When I think about how quickly the world came to take these changes for granted - changes that liberated hundreds of millions and could easily have prevented World War III - it makes me sad. But that's nothing compared to how happy I get when I remember how much we have to be grateful for. Terrorism, global warming, whatever - it's all small potatoes compared to the totalitarian threat that crumbled before our eyes two decades ago.

(HT Nathanael Snow)

No comments: