The defection of Boris Yeltsin from the Communist Party (Part A, July 13) dramatizes the question--will the future of Russia be in the hands of demagogues like Yeltsin, or ideologues like Mikhail Gorbachev? Demagogues seek power for its own sake. Ideologues seek power to implement programs which derive from a thoroughly conceived philosophical ideal. For Gorbachev this ideal is embodied in perestroika .
To satisfy their overweening drive to power, demagogues gravitate towards the center of power. When they fail to displace the center, as Yeltsin failed to displace Gorbachev, they strive to create another center.
Because Yeltsin lacks a philosophy other than the aggrandizement of power, he lacks the ability to negotiate. Yet, ironically, Gorbachev has proven time after time that the path to power lies through negotiation. It will be seen that Yeltsin's small center of limited power will vitiate and fall in upon itself, while Gorbachev's perestroika expands exponentially.