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The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century

by Zbigniew Brzezinski

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989 It is with these bold, sweeping words that Zbigniew Brzezinski begins The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century -- a book of far-reaching conclusions from one of the most astute foreign policy experts of our time. The advent of communism, Brzezinski argues, was one of the most critical phenomenons in the history of the century. From the Cold War, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Korean War, Sputnik, the Vietnam War, the war in Afghanistan, we have lived our lives in the light of the Soviet Union as our predominant and most forbidding antagonist. At one time, one-third of the world's population was living under communism's domination. Now, as Brzezinski sets out before us in this book, the horrors of Stalin and the stagnation of Brezhnev have created an enormous internal crisis in the USSR. Marxist theory has proved a failure, as have its practical applications. Brzezinski cites specific factors that have led to this cataclysmic crisis:

For Communists around the world, the Soviet experience -- an icon no more -- henceforth must not be imitated but avoided. Communism thus no longer has a practical model for others to emulate. In the Soviet Union, the communist system's insoluble dilemma is that economic success can only be purchased at the cost of political stability, while political stability can only be sustained at the cost of economic failure. In Eastern Europe, communism's fatal flaw is the party's monopoly of power rooted in Soviet domination. Forty years after the imposition of communism, the elimination of both foreign and party domination is now widely seen as the necessary precondition to social rebirth. In China, communism's ideological dilution will be the price of economic success. Modern China may enter the twenty-first century still ruled by communism, but it will not be a communized China. The era of a monolithic Communist world movement built around a shared dogma has become a thing of the past. By the mid-1980s, the end has come to the notion of a movement of Communist parties unified in doctrine and action. As Brzezinski concludes, "the communist phenomenon represents a historical tragedy. Born out of an impatient idealism that rejected the injustice of the status quo, it sought a better and more humane society -- but produced mass oppression. It optimistically reflected faith in the power of reason to construct a perfect community. It mobilized the most powerful emotions of love for humanity and of hatred for oppression on behalf of morally motivated social engineering. It thus captivated some of the brightest minds and some of the most idealistic hearts -- yet it prompted some of the worst crimes of this or any century."

A startling and controversial book, The Grand Failure is destined to be the most talked about book of the season.

Zbigniew Brzezinski served during the Carter administration as Assistant to the President, National Security Affairs, and as Director of the National Security Council. He is the author of The Soviet Bloc, Between Two Ages, Game Plan, and Power and Principle.

-- (Hai_Hung@Yen_Phu.Com), December 08, 2004


Chnh tay Brezinski ny đ gp phần lm cho trung cộng đ dạy cho CSVN một bi học nảy lửa vo năm 1979 đấy...Thời đ CSVN ngu chết cha, TT Carter đ muốn bang giao với CSVN từ khi ng ta mới ln TT kia, nhưng thằng l duẩn v bộ chnh trị n ngu qu cứ nhắm mắt đi bồi thường chiến tranh v cn đi cn k xương lnh mỹ chết trận ở VN để bn cho mỷ m khng biết rằng, tay Brezinski ny đang đi đm với trung cộng v chuẩn bị bnh thường ho với trung cộng để chế ngự VN v lin x...

-- (, December 08, 2004.

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