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EDITOR'S LETTER

Ida Panicelli

AS WE GO TO PRESS, in the last days of August, the enormous events in the USSR are redrawing the world’s political and social geography. The consequences will be unfolding for years, and are unpredictable only a very short step into the future. At this writing, however, it seems possible and even likely that the Soviet Union will not ultimately survive the crumbling of Communism. As the Iron Curtain is melting, the western Soviet republics are looking to become independent nations in a reconstituted Europe.

In a parallel development—a further challenge to the West—the borders of the world’s wealthier countries are becoming ever more porous to migrations from the third world. Historically we tend to think of invasions as attempts to destroy an existing power structure and replace it with a new one. Surely the gradual, nonviolent invasion now going on is different: the multitudes

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