Labels That Don't Stick
"In 1991 a radio news story described a political brouhaha in Russia between the ascending free-market style reformers and the old guard, the stubborn communists -- who were going out of style faster than a Leningrad minute. No, make that a St. Petersburg minute. The report labeled those clinging to the Soviet system as 'conservatives' and those in the process of sweeping them out of power as 'liberals.' When considered in light of the familiar Western view of matters political -- capitalists on the right vs. socialists on the left -- the role reversal of this situation’s fresh context was striking and amusing."