Eastern Europe After the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.

by William E. Griffith

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A report addressed to the question, Has the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia permanently reversed or only retarded the trend toward national autonomy and liberalization in Eastern Europe? It examines the reaction to the invasion and current political developments in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The author concludes that the invasion has probably limited but not reversed tendencies toward national communism. Soviet society is tending toward "bureaucratic degeneration"; countervailing forces of intellectual ferment, nationalities tensions, and economic revisionism make a reversion to Stalinist imperialism in Eastern Europe extremely difficult. The invasion was primarily an assertion of Great Russian imperialism, not "proletarian internationalism." Everywhere in modernizing Eastern Europe politicization and nationalism, plus the demand for economic growth, threaten rigidly centralized regimes. The attraction of Western Europe, particularly the economic pull of Western Germany, is very strong. After an interim period of some repression, a gradual resumption of liberalization seems the most likely prognosis for Eastern Europe. 45 pp. Ref.

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