The great Polish intellectual and philosopher Leszek Kolakowski has died at 81. John Derbyshire offers his salute over at The Corner, rightly noting Kolakowski’s massive achievement, Main Currents of Marxism, probably the best and most complete account of that malignant fad ever written.
In my forthcoming Reagan book I quote Kolakowski’s prescient prediction made in May 1983 (two years before Gorbachev and his wrecking crew arrived in the Kremlin): "We can imagine that the Soviet rulers, under the combined pressure of self-inflicted economic disasters and social tensions, will accept, however grudgingly, a genuine verifiable international disarmament plan and concentrate their efforts on a large-scale economic recovery, which they cannot achieve without a number of social and political reforms. This might conceivably usher in a process of gradual and non-explosive disintegration of the empire."
In that same article he anticipated the "velvet revolution" of 1989: "Certainly in Poland or Czechoslovakia (or in Hungary) Communism would fall apart within days without the Soviet threat." RIP.