Un-Revolution: The Collapse of the Soviet Empire
From the paper:
“What happened in 1989 was not a revolution itself, but actually the final nail in the coffin of a revolution.
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The fall of the Soviet Union represented the end of a forty-year challenge to democracy and market capitalism, both of which had already been established as the status quo (at least of Europe, the main battlefield” of the Cold War). The revolution of western democracy and capitalism began in 1642 in England where the first popular rebellion against a monarchy brought about the execution of King Charles I. Less than a decade later, Thomas Hobbes, at least partially inspired by the upheaval in England, published his famous work Leviathan. Although he advocated submission to the absolute supremacy of the state, Hobbes was not concerned whether that state was ruled by a king or a parliament, and this non-commitment to monarchy laid the intellectual foundations for the development of democratic political theory. John Locke soon bridged the gap between Hobbes’ realism and what would become liberalism with the ideas of majority rule, natural rights, property rights, and the responsibility of the state to uphold these ideals. Montesquieu added the issues of separated and balanced governmental powers, and Rousseau defended self-determination and civil liberty. Adam Smith introduced the world to comparative advantage and put forth the belief that the ability of every citizen to make his own economic choices created the most prosperous economy. The ideas of these philosophers, along with Madison, Jefferson, Ricardo, and the rest, inspired more revolutions in America in 1776, France in 1789, across Europe in 1848, and again in American in 1860.”