In a 1989 Worldnet television program moderated by Ted Lipien, then director of the Voice of America (VOA) Polish Service, and broadcast on VOA Polish radio program, Polish Television and Polish Radio, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski discussed historic political changes which were taking place at that time in Poland and throughout East and Central Europe. Dr. Brzezinski was being interviewed by journalists in Poland which was still under communist rule but nearing the transition to democracy. Polish Television broadcast the program, as did the Polish Service of the Voice of America.
Dr. Brzezinski said that he disagreed with the theory of convergence, promoted by some in the United States and in Western Europe, which claimed that communism and capitalism would eventually each change and merge. Dr. Brzezinski said that communism was a failed system on its way out and talked about conditions for the eventual reunification of democratic Europe.
Ted Lipien: “Important changes took place in recent years in Poland and in Eastern Europe. Reforms taking place are transforming basic political and economic structures. Some believe long-term changes may result in relations between the Warsaw Pact and other nations outside of it. Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski will discuss today these historic changes. Between 1977 and 1981, he was President Carter’s National Security Advisor. He is now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Voice of Krzysztof Wojna, Polish Radio: “You are one of the authors of the very controversial Convergence Theory. Many political experts believe that the theory is not yet fully formulated. Do you share this view. If so, how would you expand this theory?”
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Allow me to explain to the radio and TV audience what this theory is about. Its basic premise is that in time communist systems and capitalist systems, or should we say from our point of view, democratic, will converge, and there will be some kind of basic coming together. I never favored this theory. I was rather its critic. In my opinion, this criticism is still valid. In my view, what is happening right now in the Communist Block is the death of the Communist doctrine, and in effect the fall of Communist systems. In some cases, this fall may be evolutionary. There will be a transition to pluralistic-democratic systems. Perhaps with some elements of Social-Democracy in the transition period. But in some cases, in countries other than Poland and Hungary, the fall of communist systems may have elements of deeper political upheavals.”
(Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, March 15, 1989) The program continued for about 30 minutes.