Gorbachev: Perestroika for America

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev compares Occupy to Perestroika

Gorbachev said America needs its own perestroika to free itself from its current economic and cultural crisis.

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev recognizes the Occupy Wall Street movement. He says the uprising sweeping America is like something he’s seen before himself.

Gorbachev likens Perastroika to Occupy protest

Speaking at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania last week, Gorbachev likened the current unrest in the US to what he witnessed before the dissolution of the USSR.

We are reaping the consequences of a strategy that is not conducive to cooperation and partnership, to living in a new global situation. People are asking ‘why do our leaders want to decide everything at the expense of the people?’.

In his address Gorbachev added America needs its own perestroika to free itself from its current economic and cultural crisis.

“We are reaping the consequences of a strategy that is not conducive to cooperation and partnership, to living in a new global situation. The world needs goals that will bring people together. Some people in the United States were pushing the idea of creating a global American empire, and that was a mistake from the start. Other people in America are now giving thought to the future of their country. The big banks, the big corporations, are still paying the same big bonuses to their bosses. Was there ever a crisis for them? … I believe America needs its own erestroika. The entire world situation did not develop properly. We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement.

My friend the late Pope John Paul II said it best. He said, ‘We need a new world order, one that is more stable, more humane, and more just.’ Others, including myself, have spoken about a new world order, but we are still facing the problem of building such a world order… problems of the environment, of backwardness and poverty, food shortages…all because we do not have a system of global governance. We cannot leave things as they were before, when we are seeing that these protests are moving to even new countries, that almost all countries are now witnessing such protests, that the people want change. As we are addressing these challenges, these problems raised by these protest movements, we will gradually find our way towards a new world order.”

Gorbachev ushered in perestroika during the 1980s as the Soviet Union moved towards disintegration. The restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system led to the dissolution of the USSR. Regardless of the outcome on American soil, Gorbachev feels something drastic needs to be done in America.

The former president of the Soviet Union said cries from Russian citizens were loud and constant. He said the people needed changes in our own country; the people were demanding change, saying ‘we can no longer live like this, we can no longer live as before.’ This required us, the leaders of the country, to propose something bold.

In its second month, the Occupy movement confirms similar cries that are growing.

The result was to move toward democracy and freedom… and step by step towards a new economy, toward market economics. But the most important thing was freedom and glasnost.

Gorbachev added that America’s current policy of funding the world’s largest military creates a society incapable of handling matters other than war, especially when the country is being terrorized domestically by a crumbling economy and opposition to the buy-out of politics. We need to build a society where human beings are at the center. A lot of brain power is concentrated in the military-industrial sector; we need to shift that to other goals.

Before concluding his address, the 80-year-old former president warned Americans to take action and not let the movement continue without lending their own voice.

History is not preordained. We can influence history if we understand the most important things


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Is Gorbachev right that the Occupy movement parallels Perestroika?

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Posted by on November 10, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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