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From Romania to Germany, from Tallinn to Belgrade, : GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC)
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From Romania to Germany, from Tallinn to Belgrade, [#permalink]
20 Oct 2012, 05:35
I am not able to understand the below two questions, lets us discuss them. Let me know your answers with explanation/reasoning. I'll provide the answers later.
From Romania to Germany, from Tallinn to Belgrade, a major historical process—the death of communism—is taking place. The German Democratic Republic no longer exists as a separate 5 state. And the former German Democratic Republic will serve as the first measure of the price a post- Communist society has to pay for entering the normal European orbit. In Yugoslavia we will see whether the federation can survive without communism. 10 One thing seems common to all these countries: dictatorship has been defeated and freedom has won, yet the victory of freedom has not yet meant the triumph of democracy. Democracy is something more than freedom. Democracy is freedom 15 institutionalized, freedom submitted to the limits of the law, freedom functioning as an object of compromise between the major political forces on the scene. We have freedom, but we still have not achieved 20 the democratic order. That is why this freedom is so fragile. In the years of democratic opposition to communism, we supposed that the easiest thing would be to introduce changes in the economy. In fact, we thought that the march from a planned econ25 omy to a market economy would take place within the framework of the bureaucratic system, and that the market within the Communist state would explode the totalitarian structures. Only then would the time come to build the institutions of a civil soci30 ety; and only at the end, with the completion of the market economy and the civil society, would the time of great political transformations finally arrive. The opposite happened. First came the big political change, the great shock, which either broke the 35 monopoly and the principle of Communist Party rule or simply pushed the Communists out of power. Then came the creation of civil society, whose institutions were created in great pain, and which had trouble negotiating the empty space of freedom. 40 Only then, as the third moment of change, the final task was undertaken: that of transforming the totalitarian economy into a normal economy where different forms of ownership and different economic actors will live one next to the other. 45 Today we are in a typical moment of transition. No one can say where we are headed. The people of the democratic opposition have the feeling that we won. We taste the sweetness of our victory the same way the Communists, only yesterday our prison 50 guards, taste the bitterness of their defeat. Yet, even as we are conscious of our victory, we feel that we are, in a strange way, losing. In Bulgaria the Communists have won the parliamentary elections and will govern the country, without losing their 55 social legitimacy. In Romania the National Salvation Front, largely dominated by people from the old Communist bureaucracy, has won. In other countries democratic institutions seem shaky, and the political horizon is cloudy. The masquerade goes on: dozens 60 of groups and parties are created, each announces similar slogans, each accuses its adversaries of all possible sins, and each declares itself representative of the national interest. Personal disputes are more important than disputes over values. Arguments over 65 values are fiercer than arguments over ideas.
Which one of the following does the author imply may have contributed to the difficulties involved in creating a new democratic order in eastern Europe? I. The people who existed under the totalitarian structure have not had the experience of “negotiating the empty space of freedom.” II. Mistaking the order in which political, economic, and social restructuring would occur. III. Excessive self-interest among the new political activists. (A) I only (B) II only (C) I and III only (D) II and III only (E) I, II, and III
By stating “even as we are conscious of our victory, we feel that we are, in a strange way, losing” (lines 50–52) the author means that (A) some of the old governments are still unwilling to grant freedom at the individual level. (B) some of the new governments are not strong enough to exist as a single federation. (C) some of the new democratic governments are electing to retain the old political parties. (D) no new parties have been created to fill the vacuum created by the victory of freedom. (E) some of the new governments are reverting