Why Gorbachev?

Why Gorbachev?

Gorbachev is of the same age as I am. Several days ago I read a post (on a Russian forum) in which he was accused of being responsible for the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In my opinion the country disintegrated spontaneously, after the truth about dark sides of Stalinism became known. Yes, Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Communist Party, did contribute to the fall, by promoting the policy of "glasnost," that is by allowing truth to be known. But reforms introduced by the President of the Soviet Union, Yeltsyn, were equally important. The same can be said about Gorbachev's predecessor Khrushchev, about Solzhenitsyn, Shalamow and Pasternak, whose books were allowed to be published, and about authors of many other documents.

Karl Marx would say that focusing on characters of exceptional individuals, such as Lenin, Stalin and Gorbachev, is not sufficient. He would most probably try to identify mistkes made by those who managed the country's economy, focusing on nationalization of means of production, collectivisation of agriculture, and on dealing with some national aspirations.

Ludwik Kowalski, Ludwik Kowalski

Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality (external - login to view)

A Russian author wrote:
"Gorbachev must be put on trial! This diversionary enemy worked for western intelligence services."
"Судить Горбачёва необходимо! Это враг, диверсант который работал на западную разведку!"
Quote: Originally Posted by kowalskilView Post

In my opinion the country disintegrated spontaneously, after the truth about dark sides of Stalinism became known.

The Soviet Union would have collapsed decades earlier if that had been the case. Stalin's successors weren't all that secretive about Stalin's dark side aside from the roles they themselves played (like Kruschev). Hell even Stalins kids (the ones who survived) were fairly vocal about how awful he was.
Gorbachev was a leader with the wisdom to recognise that the ethnic and economic divisions within the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe could not be patched over without force. What amazed me was how peacefully the separation of the constituent republics occurred. Gorbachev, to his credit, was that rare individual who could achieve that change. Leadership like his is too rare a commodity in this world.

Yes, there are divisions now with and within the Ukraine. Yes, power politics being what it is, nations will try influence the outcome. But what is needed are leaders like Gorbachev, both in the West and in Russia, that are willing to grant people the freedom to choose their their own way, whether it is a closer union with Russia or with the West.

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