From our archives (revised edition, first published in 1990)—
The ecological abuses triggered by the pressure to develop in a hurry were compounded after WW2 by the bureaucratism and careerism that had begun to creep into many operations…”
PREFATORY NOTE: I wrote this article in the Fall of 1990 at a moment of heightened propaganda against the putative ills of communism and the Soviet Union, in particular, as the Western “democracies”, with the US in the lead, and already smelling the impending disintegration of their greatest ideological foe, stoked the fires of change and rebellion.
In this epochal process, Mikhail Gorbachev (left) played a pivotal role for which he has been both praised and—in my view— justifiably damned inside the former USSR. But while his place in history remains to be determined, the facts are clear and indisputable. After assuming the reins of power in 1985, Gorbachev’s reforms as well as summit conferences with Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For these efforts, the West, recognizing an ally, awarded Gorbachev the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992 as well as Honorary Doctorates from Durham University in 1995, Trinity College in 2002 and University of Münster in 2005.
Not missing an opportunity to put as many nails in the coffin of their former enemy as possible, the western media crowed frequently about the “inevitability” of the USSR’s downfall due to its inherently “inferior” political and economic system, one which, it was loudly proclaimed, was riddled with cronyism, rigidities, corruption, and total indifference to the fate of the environment. Considering the record of the West, and especially the United States in these matters, it took some cheek to point the finger at the Soviets for such sins, but the power of the Western media is so stiflingly total that few voices deemed it possible to file a dissenting view. Continue reading »
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