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The rest of history

The late Ernest Gellner, a life-long anti-communist, deplored the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Here he explains his regrets-for those in the east who have had their moral universe shattered, and for those in the disorientated west who have jumped to the wrong conclusions

By Ernest Gellner   May 1996

The manner of the dismantling of the Russian revolution may come to be seen as a disaster comparable only with the revolution itself. I do not wish to be misunderstood. I write as a life-long anti-communist and anti-Marxist. For a person of my age and background, I belong to what sometimes felt like a small minority of people who never passed through a Marxist phase. As a schoolboy in wartime England I was powerfully influenced by Arthur Koestler and George Orwell; later, Karl Popper made the strongest impact on me in philosophy, and Raymond Aron in sociology. The toolbox of…

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