Monday, March 30, 2009

The Singing Revolution

I'm pleased to note that the documentary film, "The Singing Revolution," about the importance of the Estonian tradition of choral singing in undermining Soviet rule, is scheduled to be shown on KOCE, Orange County's PBS station, April 9 at 7:00 p.m., as part of the station's pledge drive. I saw parts of the film some years ago at a conference when the producers will still putting together the final version, and I found it well-done and remarkably moving. And the singing is excellent. There are many ways to resist tyranny, and the Estonians chose a non-violent method that was eventually successful (helped along by the internal collapse of the Soviet system, of course).

This may be as good a place as any to acknowledge the sad fact that Estonia and most of the other Eastern European countries that were freed from Soviet rule and were doing so well economically, are suffering from the global downturn, perhaps more so than Western European countries. I remember numerous triumphal articles about how instituting a "flat tax" regimen had created remarkable proisperity. Well, a flat tax wasn't a bad idea, but it turns out that credit from German, Swedish and other Western European banks was a huge underpinning of the proeperity (extended probably in part because of the flat tax). With the global downturn that credit has been cut off and ther Baltic countries are suffering, flat tax, devotion to capitalism or no. It's sad, but honesty dictat5es this acknowledgment.

1 comment:

Tor Hershman said...

Singing to resist wee we, oui!
Of course, resistance is futile – but thin again, acceptance is also futile