In principle as a philosophy, a model of organising society, Communism has to be respected. As regards the use of certain methods to advance social justice and greater regulation by the state, there are certain methods that are useful. What we need is a new society, a new civilization and convergence of all that is best in both [Communism and Capitalism]
One of the reasons why this country undertook military action in Iraq was that there are quite a few problems here, and perhaps attention needed to be deflected from those problems. It sometimes seems that the U.S. economy works successfully only if it gets a stimulus from the defense industry. So perhaps in addition to showing the power and the might of the United States internationally, another reason was to help the defense industry and to help the U.S. economy recover.
Humankind has no option but to protect and live in harmony with its natural environment. However, it would be regrettable if in putting an end to revolutionary extremism, we should then come to environmental extremism. We should not forget that all extremes are the same.
The problem the world faces today is that only one-third of the world's population lives in decent circumstances, while half the population of the world lives on one or two dollars a day. And even as we have this poverty and backwardness, we are facing a global environmental crisis. We need developmental models that will take into account the specific and unique position of each country and at the same time will address the environmental crisis.
Though representatives of many ethnic groups came together in the United States, English became their common language. Apparently, this was a natural choice. One can imagine what would have happened if members of each nation moving to the U.S. had spoken only their own tongues and refused to learn English.
According to Lenin, socialism and democracy are indivisible.... The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction both in theory and in practice. We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy.
We desperately need to recognize that we are the guests not the masters of nature and adopt a new paradigm for development, based on the costs and benefits to all people, and bound by the limits of nature herself rather than the limits of technology and consumerism.
We are beginning to see practical support. And this is a very significant sign of the movement towards a new era, a new age.... We see both in our country and elsewhere... ghosts of the old thinking.... When we rid ourselves of their presence, we will be better able to move toward a new world order...relying on the relevent mechanisms of the United Nations.
I am an optimist and I believe that together we shall be able now to make the right historical choice so as not to miss the great chance at the turn of centuries and millenia and make the current extremely difficult transition to a peaceful world order.
We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren't enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.
On the day I became Soviet leader, in March 1985, I had a special meeting with the leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries and told them: 'You are independent, and we are independent. You are responsible for your policies, we are responsible for ours. We will not intervene in your affairs, I promise you.'
The emerging 'environmentalization' of our civilization and the need for vigorous action in the interest of the entire global community will inevitably have multiple political consequences. Perhaps the most important of them will be a gradual change in the status of the United Nations. Inevitably, it must assume some aspects of a world government.
No one, no single center, can today command the world. No single group of countries can do it. Under the current U.S. president, I don't think we can fundamentally change the situation as it is developing now. It is dangerous. The world is experiencing a period of growing global disarray.
Globalization was supposed to break down barriers between continents and bring all peoples together. But what kind of globalization do we have with over one billion people on the planet not having safe water to drink?
What happened to the Soviet Union happened mainly for domestic reasons. It was a failure of the model based on a command economy and dictatorship. The rejection of freedom and democracy, the decisionmaking monopoly of one party, and the monopoly of one ideology all had a chilling effect on the country. That model turned out to be incapable of making structural changes. It did not open up ways for initiative and was overly centralized.
We could still have continued the arms race, but the arms race was pointless, and it was another reason we decided to start perestroika. It was senseless to continue to accumulate weapons. We had enough weapons to destroy life on Earth 1,000 times, and therefore it was very clear to us that the arms race could spiral out of control. A conflict could have started, as both the Americans and the Soviets realized, not out of a wrong political decision but because of a failure in the command-and-control systems.
Imagine a country that flies into space, launches Sputniks, creates such a defense system, and it can't resolve the problem of women's pantyhose. There's no toothpaste, no soap powder, not the basic necessities of life. It was incredible and humiliating to work in such a government.
Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.
Some think that Russia should become a kind of a U.S. province, where it should supply natural resources to the United States and the rest of the world. But these people ignore one very important thing: The Russian people will never agree to this scenario. Russia is ultimately a self-sufficient country.
Communist ideology in its pure form is akin to Christianity. Its main ideas are the brotherhood of all peoples irrespective of their nationality, justice and equality, peace, and an end to all hostility between peoples.