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Qiushi: Lessons from the Former Soviet Union’s Lack of Control

Li Shenming, the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), published an article in Qiushi on the lessons to be learned from the experience of the former Soviet Union. The failure of the former Soviet Union to effectively solve the problem of underground publications, dissidents, and informal organizations may have contributed to its downfall.

Initially, the works that were published underground were merely some censored poems and literary works. Later underground publications started to include political contents that were critical of the existing government. The publishing center in Moscow became the center of a “liberal democratic movement.” Dissidents were exceptionally active during the Gorbachev period. The Soviet authorities not only restored their reputations, but also encouraged and supported them in various political activities. Sakharov is a classic example. The first "informal organization" appeared in 1986. They usually were small, secretive, unofficial, flexible, and run by amateurs. As Gorbachev condoned these organizations, their publications become the media pioneers of the anti-socialist and anti-communist movement.

Source: Qiushi, October 11, 2011