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Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4720
Joined: 2004
Mikhail Gorbachev, RIP
8/30/2022 9:12:18 PM
Mikhail Gorbachev, one of the more human leaders of the Soviet Union, has died at 91.

I’m not about to write his obituary, or to list all the sound, decent, and life-affirming things he did in his short span as President of the USSR. But I believe he will be remembered as a good man whose climb to power culminated with the realization that the Soviet system could not work effectively in an increasingly computerized age. His policy of “perestroika” (restructuring), a recognition of better approaches than a closed and controlled economy. It was a policy that was to radical and too distinct from standard Soviet economic policy to work, particularly for a society as bankrupt of socio-economic adaptability as the the USSR was at the time. “Glasnost” too was too radical a concept to work in a complex nation with no experience of government interest in the needs and desires of the people.

I would expect that Mr Gorbachev died an unhappy man. His hopes for his nation had been reduced to the Stalinesque strutting of a former KGB agent, a breed he would have known well as he fought with various factions in his rise in the Politburo. He would see perestroika be reversed; the openness (“glasnost”) he called for has been replaced by severe restrictions on media; criminal charges against those who mention certain concepts; fantasies about the Russian dominion which make Soviet dreams seem somewhat insignificant.

I think the world has lost a statesman and leader much greater than has been recognized

Brian G
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6386
Joined: 2004
Mikhail Gorbachev, RIP
8/31/2022 1:51:03 AM
Gorbachev showed courage and resolve in undertaking a monstrously difficult task.

He exemplified “ the better angels of our nature “.

It’s horrible to see his efforts being repudiated by the current Russian leader.

Gorbachev sought to save the Russian people, Europe and the World from another war.

In view of what’s happening now, let’s hope that History will be kind to him.

Regards, Phil
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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