advantage of the newly enfranchised cooperative businessesnthat operate as a form of free enterprise.nThere is a whole series of ironies in the current Sovietnscene. Marxism teaches the primacy of economics in socialnand political development, that politics is a passive functionnof economics. Yet the history of the Soviet Union hasnillustrated with more dramatic irony than that of any otherncountry the elementary error of Marx’s teaching. Leninnexplained and Stalin illustrated the primacy of politics, andnnow Gorbachev, having defied Marxist logic and commonnsense together by growing ever stronger in politics as hengrows ever weaker in economics, is unable to wield his vastnpolitical primacy in traditional Soviet fashion to lift thennation out of deepening depression.nThere is one bright ray of hope in perestroika. On Marchn9, 1989, Pravda announced that 20 McDonald restaurantsnare soon to be opened in Moscow. The only question is, willn20 be enough?nD emokratizatsiianis also a troubled idea. It is in a sensenproduced by disillusionment with the quality of then”new Soviet man” who presumably staffs the bureaucracy.nHe was supposed to have represented some imaginaryncompound of Poor Richard, Samuel Smiles, and the BoynScouts, a kind of Calvinist communist imbued with thenideals of socialist construction. He has failed, and Gorbachevnis now evidently searching for the same type ofnpersonality in the virtues of the common man — or, better,nwoman. But the promise of the search seems compromisednby two considerations. The first is that if perestroika andnprice reform seriously threaten the interests of differentngroups in society, then what reason is there to believe thatnthe public will support the program?nThe second consideration has to do with the nature ofnRussian democracy, and here I think that we ought tonrecognize that in our studies of foreign cultures we treat thensubject of Russian democracy quite wrongly. Our firstnmistake is to think that democracy is conspicuous in Russiannsociety only by its absence. On the contrary, in variousnnooks and corners of Russian life, it has a stronger grip onnthe people than it does among us. If authoritarianism hasnbeen a prominent feature of Russian life, so has egalitarianism.nIt is naturally more evident on the streets and in thenapartments in the Soviet Union than it is in Americannlibraries.nI cite four examples. First is the artel, a cooperativenorganization especially prominent in the economic life ofnthe emerging lower middle class before World War I. Therenwere industrial, commercial, and credit artels as well asnartels of consumers. The spirit of the organization wasnpurely egalitarian, and the management of it was democratic.nSecond is an institution far more familiar to us, the mir ornobshchina, the peasant commune. It was the darling of thenintelligentsia, both radical and conservative, as it representednthe spirit of the demos in its presumably pristine form. It hadna seamier side, one that ran to drink and dissipation, butndemocratic it invariably was. The third such institution isncriminal society. There was honor among these thieves, andnblood oaths; they swore, among other things, never toncooperate in any fashion with conventional civil society andnto kill any of their fellows who did. We can see glimpses ofn22/CHRONICLESnnntheir organizations in most of the memoirs from the camps.nBoth the KGB and the FBI are currently devoting massivenattention to them, and anyone at all can see their descendantsnin Brighton Beach, New York. My last example isnnearly omnipresent in Soviet Russia: it is the city bus. Eachncity bus contains a spontaneous but quite distinct government,nand in spite of its volatile and transient character, thenfact that a part of this government departs the scene and annew part enters at every stop, the character of the governmentnremains noticeably stable and uniform. The city busnmanifests in its most spontaneous form that cantankerousninterventionist impulse that J.R. Talmon has termed totalitarianndemocracy.nAdmittedly, democracy has not been a powerful phenomenonnat the national level, but that may be fortunate,nbecause our second serious mistake in considering Russianndemocracy is to imagine that it is naturally progressive. It hasnoften been otherwise. Thus the transfer of a democraticndynamic from local into national politics in the Soviet Unionnmight have a retrograde or even paralytic impact on thencourse of national development.nLet us consider the evidence. The peasant communenstubbornly repudiated economic opportunity, seeing in itnapparently some burden of obligation rather than godsendnof promise. We can recall the response of Leo Tolstoy’s serfsnto his proposal to set them free. They scratched their headsnand declined. The Stolypin “wager on the sober and thenstrong,” the dissolution of the commune, and the inaugurationnof private proprietorship they resisted more vigorously.nThe “land and liberty” for which the Russian peasantnlonged evidently did not mean freedom for the individual. Itnmeant freedom from the capricious tyranny of the landlord,nnot from that of the beloved tyrannically democratic commune.nIn the film of Brighton Beach, The Russians ArenHere, made by the PBS station in Boston, the emigresnrepeat two observations like a constant refrain: “There is toonlittle security in America, and there is too much freedom.” Inhold with the controversial thesis that Muscovite folkwaysnare “risk-aversive.” If so, Gorbachev is attempting to makenwar on the whole character of the Russian people.nWe have been reminded by the striking miners of thenDonbas and the Kuzbas of the unpopularity of the newnNepmen, the free enterprisers. Gorbachev’s resolution ofnthat problem reflects the old proverb that “the shortages willnbe divided among the peasants,” for the allocation ofnadditional goods to the strikers will simply increase thenshortages elsewhere. Similarly, a part of the merchandise ofnMoscow has just been reserved for residents: it is not to bensold to the several million itinerant shoppers who visitnMoscow daily.nIncidentally, the activity of the miners may well be thenfirst spontaneous and democratic entry of the Russian publicninto the national arena oi perestroika on a non-ethnic issue.nThis is evidently, what Gorbachev has been seeking as andesirable development. It might just as easily be regarded asnominous.nPerhaps Gorbachev’s most immediate problem at presentnis that glasnost and political reform have proceedednmuch faster than anyone imagined possible, and thenperestroika of economic reform has moved even moren