Campeanu- The Revolution- The beginnig of the transition.pdf

With respect to the first of these terms the

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With respect to the first of these terms, the inevitable questions are: 1. Why do we claim that a revolution has taken place in Romania? 2. What was its nature? 3. What is its historical outcome; what constitutes its success or failure? 4. To what degree and in what way does the revolution link up with the transition?
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920 SOCIAL RESEARCH Basing our arguments solely on verifiable information, we answer these questions as follows: 1. A revolution occurred in Romania in December of 1989. 2. Directed primarily against the Stalinist social order, this revolution had a predominantly social nature. 3. By its immediate negative result, this was a successful revolution; it led to the irreversible crippling of certain of the vital structures of the Stalinist social organization. 4. The social revolution of December 1989 directed against the Stahnist regime represents the opening scene of the transition toward post-Stalinism, which followed upon it and is in the process of unfolding. All four of these assertions are not only controvertible but also have been long contested, even by public opinion. The survey entitled "After Three Years," undertaken in December 1992 by the CIS^ on a nationwide sample, shows that at the end of this period only 46 percent of those interviewed considered that the events of December 1989 represented a revolution. Why Revolution'? Revolutions are modalities of social change. The literature devoted to this subject describes revolutions by certain distinct major features: the radicalism of the changes pursued; the rapidity of change; and the harshness of the means, including the propensity toward violence and actions outside the law.^ Not only can this approach be improved upon—it tends to underestimate the importance of the social agent, among other things—but also it hardly comports with the reality of the change of 1989 as it occurred in certain Eastern European ^ CIS: Independent Center of Social Studies and Opinion Polling, with which both authors are working, performs monthly polling on political and social issues. ' Bob Jessop, Social Order, Reform and Revolution (New York: MacMillan, 1972).
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THE REVOLUTION 921 countries. Thus, there is a need to reevaluate the concept of revolution and to inject more flexibility into it. Making use of data which enabled a different approach inspired by the "velvet revolution," Precan^ proposes the concept of a "democratic revolution" characterized by dynamic anti- Communism, a belonging to the deep movement toward democracy and the modern world itself, the assumption of this mission by the civil society that had developed within the dictatorship, and, finally, its nonviolent nature. Except for the USSR and Yugoslavia, all the countries of Eastern Europe achieved such a turning point in 1989 (Albania last of all). The essence of the classic characteristics is indeed found in all tbese instances: the radicalism of the change, its significance as a "rupture of history," as it is called by Andre Decoufie.s While different in many ways, the revolution of Romania also shares decisive characteristics with tbe others. Its immediate negative action did not overturn a political regime
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  • Spring '14
  • AnitaC.Pritchard
  • Sociology

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