chapter  5
16 Pages

THE YEAR OF TRUTH

ByTimothy Garton Ash

The thing that was comprehensively installed in the newly defined territories of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and in the newly created German Democratic Republic after 1949, the thing called, according to viewpoint, ‘socialism’, ‘totalitarianism’, ‘Stalinism’, ‘politbureaucratic dictatorship’, ‘real existing socialism’, ‘state capitalism’, ‘dictatorship over needs’, or, most neutrally, ‘the Soviet-type system’— that thing will never walk again. And arguably, if we can no longer talk of communism we should no longer talk of Eastern Europe, at least with a capital ‘E’ for Eastern. Instead, we shall have central Europe again, east central Europe, south-eastern Europe, eastern Europe with a small ‘e’ and, above all, individual peoples, nations and states.