Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, time for reflection

Spread the love

by Mikhail Gorbachev, The Progressive Media Project, November 10, 2009

As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s time to take stock.

The Berlin Wall was one of the shameful symbols of the Cold War and the dangerous division of the world into opposing blocks and spheres of influence.

Many politicians of my generation sincerely believed that with the end of the Cold War, humankind could finally forget the absurdity of the arms race, dispense with dangerous regional conflicts, abandon sterile ideological disputes and enter a golden century of collective security.

We hoped we would see the rational use of material resources, the end of poverty and inequality, and the restoration of harmony with nature.

Alas, over the last few decades the world has not become a fairer place: Disparities between the rich and poor have either remained or increased not only between the North and the developing South but also within developed countries themselves.

The social problems in Russia, as in other post-communist countries, are proof that simply abandoning the flawed model of a centralized economy and bureaucratic planning is not enough and guarantees neither a country’s global competitiveness nor respect for the principles of social justice nor a dignified standard of living for the population.

While we politicians from the last century can be proud of the fact that we avoided the danger of a thermonuclear war, for many millions of people around the globe the world has not become a safer place. Quite to the contrary, innumerable local conflicts and ethnic and religious wars, along with terrorism, have appeared like a curse on the new map of world politics, creating large numbers of victims.

Article continues . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.