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« Tomorrow | Main | Slaves of the Caribbean »

March 27, 2010


jj mollo

How did eastern Europe do it? What are the important characteristics of a society that can overthrow its long-time tyrants?

Frank Warner

Eastern Europe didn't do it. Gorbachev just let them go. The puppet dictators of East Germany, Poland, Romania and the rest of Eastern Europe weren't the ones holding the keys. It was the Soviet dictator, and when he said the Soviets weren't sending in tanks to protect those foreign regimes anymore, the jig was up.

In North Korea, Cuba, Iran and China today, the most important instruments of repression are internal.

China has some influence over North Korea, but probably not enough. If China said North Korea should become a democracy, that statement would embolden at least some North Korean democrats. But need I say, it's not likely that China's dictatorship will encourage democracy anywhere?

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