Everyone asks the question: How could communism, which seemed so monolithic and entrenched, just collapse without serious resistance? One possible explanation would be that the system had been dramatically eroded and eaten away from within, leaving a shell that collapsed when the external prop of the Brezhnev doctrine was removed by Gorbachev. The Emperor was naked, but until 1989 no one dared to say so far fear of provoking a Soviet reaction. As a result, the strategy of perestroika, namely what the moderate Czech reformers had hoped for, a genuine transformation that would legitimise the continuing rule of the party, became impossible. It was too little, too late. The communist party reformers were by then fighting a lost war.