This chapter offers some perspectives on why the socialist reformers failed to realize their vision of a “better, more beautiful” socialism. Certainly the SED reformers labored under heavy burdens from the past. Socialized with the conviction that the Communist party embodied the laws of history, they found it very difficult to accept political pluralism. Krenz and his group remained convinced that a change of leaders would solve the GDR’s problems. Modrow and his allies looked beyond Kaderpolitik, but defended the old far too long.

As for the HRO reformers, when they took center stage the discussion of a better socialism had been superseded by the people’s desire for union with West Germany and no socialism at all.


Federal Republic German Democratic Republic Good Socialism Social Market Economy Political Pluralism 
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    Hans Modrow, “Die sozialistische Linke in Deutschland, 1989–2004,” Marxistisches Forum (no. 50, February 2005 ), 3–6;Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Dietrich Orlow 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietrich Orlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA

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