This paper was prepared for the Conference on Global Responsibilities and National Interests, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and DePauw University, and held June 17–20, 1990, in Greencastle, Indiana.
The Crisis of Communism and the Future of Freedom
Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
Ethics & International Affairs
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 87–97, March 1991
How to Cite
Billington, J. H. (1991), The Crisis of Communism and the Future of Freedom. Ethics & International Affairs, 5: 87–97. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-7093.1991.tb00232.x
- Issue online: 11 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
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The author presents how Russia's struggle to find its new identity in the aftermath of Communism's collapse is analogous to America's historical experience of drawing on religious and cultural roots in moving toward democracy. By rediscovering religion and forming voluntary cultural organizations, the Russians are patterning the evolution of the American democracy. Billington highlights Mikhail Gorbachev's crucial role in the early stages of the process. Noting the American experience in dealing with diversity, he notes the central role this experience can play in dealing with “a global process that… is moving forward to democratization and back to religion,” which is where the previously irreconcilable “Slavophile-Westernizer polarity” tends to converge.