Mikhail Gorbachev Quotes

Image, One of the reasons why this country undertook military action in Iraq

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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.

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Image, The problem the world faces today is that only one-third of the

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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.

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Image, What happened to the Soviet Union happened mainly for domestic reasons. It

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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.

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Image, We could still have continued the arms race, but the arms race

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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.

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Image, Please remember one lesson of the 20th century. One cannot force happiness,

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Please remember one lesson of the 20th century. One cannot force happiness, impose happiness on nations by imposing any kind of utopia on others. The Communist model of society was a kind of imposed utopia for which the Russian people in particular paid a great price. Still, sometimes we see that attempts are being made to impose some other kind of model on the entire world - maybe a Westernized or Americanized model... This is not the way to go because this can only create conflict.

Mikhail Gorbachev