No this was not a lover’s warning, this was rather Gorbachev’s assertion, on the eve of taking power, that something was fundamentally wrong. He believe change had to come, and it came, but not in ways he could have predicted. In 1988 the state history exams were cancelled because as “glasnost” unrolled, the lies of the soviet textbooks became more and more evident.
Singled out as one of the most oppressive regimes by White, Honecker’s GDR, being depicted in our movie, was a place where Gorby had to muscle in and force some change. Some of the claims in the film, problems of corruption, prostitution, are supported by White here, as are the existences of the subversive authors and artists who, in White, want to push harder and harder for reforms.
I think its in Pipes, but it might be in Kissinger to come, someone makes the claim the regimes are at their most vulnerable when they begin to institute reforms. Reforms begin to trickle in and they’re like “salted peanuts” to use Kissinger’s analogy from before. People want more and more.
Why did change come in the way that it did? White has some musings on possible answers. What do you think?