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Gorbachev Just Another Failed Revolutionary?

General Urko

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How do you view Gorbachev's achievements/failures today?

I suppose the ultimate success of the capitalist system over the one he was immersed in back in the day, was his appearance in an ad for Pizza Hut -


I was a teenager in the 80s and I felt sure growing up the Berlin Wall and cold war would be constants throughout my life!





 


Dearghoul

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Poor oul' Gorby.

He couldn't put a foot right.

His deft engineering of Perostroika and Glasnost was an attempt to open up the Soviet Union under pressure which he thought insurmountable, (was it?) to a more liberal and Western leaning economic and social model.

What he got instead was a crowing right wing triumphalism in the US and a jumped up bunch of asset strippers with a clear KGB ethos at home.

Can't be blamed for trying I suppose...
 

owedtojoy

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Gorbachev took over a Soviet Empire already in a state of near-collapse - a stagnating economy, clearly falling more and more behind the west in providing its citizens with a decent quality of life, an unsustainable military-industrial complex, an unsustainable foreign policy subsidising countries like Cuba, and nationalist-democratic stirrings not only in Eastern Europe, but in the USSR itself.

His responses were quite bold and innovative. In foreign policy, we owe to him a large measure of credit in ending the Cold War and in agreeing significant nuclear arms reductions with the US. HE renounced the "Brezhnev Doctrine" that Warsaw Pact countries could intervene militarily (as in Hungary 1956, or Czechoslovakia 1969) to preserve "socialist unity". Within a few years, Communism had been overthrown in Eastern Europe.

It was his failed economic reforms in the USSR that undid him. It was a case of a revolutionary losing control of the revolution. Michael Collins, Trotsky, Danton and Robespierre would understand. But Gorbachev was caught between those who wanted to hold onto the old ways, and those (like Boris Yeltsin) who thought he was not going fast enough.

The personal split between Yeltsin and Gorbachev, dating back to Yeltsin's early career, was one tragedy. But after the failed conservative coup in 1991, Yeltsin seized his moment to sideline Gorbachev and break up the Soviet Union.

I think history will be kind to Gorbachev, and we are in his debt for reducing the fear of nuclear confrontation (at least for a while), for allowing the countries of Eastern Europe to go their own way, and for the freedom of the Baltic states. It many ways, the economic disaster was not all his fault - some was due to the predatory "shock doctrine" or "Big Bang" that handed the Russian economy to mafia thugs and oligarchs.
 

parentheses

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.
 

Fritzbox

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.

Deaths caused by the collapse of Communism, perhaps. Caused by so-called "neoliberal reforms," I doubt that very much.
 

owedtojoy

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.
What are the grounds for that?

In the USSR, overstretched health services collapsed and I can accept the death rate went up. But there were no instances of civil war, mass epidemics or starvation, AFAIK.

For example, there were supposed to have been > 7 million casualties of the Russian Civil War 1917 - 1922, and ~5 million in the Ukraine famine of 1932 - 1933. Nothing of the scale of those catastrophes occurred during the break-up of the USSR, or, it if did, it was not reported.
 

mr_anderson

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.
That's like saying 5 to 6 million cancer-ridden chain smokers died because of chemotherapy.
The problem always was communism.
It failed in every respect.
By the time it failed those at the top, everyone below were completely decimated.

The medicine didn't kill them (no matter how harsh it was).
 

Degeneration X

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How do you view Gorbachev's achievements/failures today?

I suppose the ultimate success of the capitalist system over the one he was immersed in back in the day, was his appearance in an ad for Pizza Hut -


I was a teenager in the 80s and I felt sure growing up the Berlin Wall and cold war would be constants throughout my life!





He is widely despised in Russia and across what he used to call "My Country" i.e the USSR - in many ways he was just a bungler on a spectacular scale, he had no idea how to fix what was wrong because he didn't fully comprehend the scale of what was wrong.

Gorby unlike previous Soviet leaders had little experience of the Gosplan bureaucracy that put the 5 and 7 year plans together.

Conversely, Gorbymania still remains somewhat buoyant in the West - a testament to just how much Mikhail gave away at the table.
 

Degeneration X

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.
Gorby was extremely foolish to allow that drunken buffoon to establish such a power base in the old RSFSR. The Russian people paid heavily for his political naivetee.
 

owedtojoy

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He is widely despised in Russia and across what he used to call "My Country" i.e the USSR - in many ways he was just a bungler on a spectacular scale, he had no idea how to fix what was wrong because he didn't fully comprehend the scale of what was wrong.

Gorby unlike previous Soviet leaders had little experience of the Gosplan bureaucracy that put the 5 and 7 year plans together.

Conversely, Gorbymania still remains somewhat buoyant in the West - a testament to just how much Mikhail gave away at the table.
Yes, of course you would have done a lot better. :rolleyes:

Gorbachev is worth the admiration of the West many times over - he did dissolve the brutal Soviet Empire, ended the Cold War, and made significant progress in nuclear disarmament. He did what Attlee did with India, and De Gaulle with Algeria. On that alone, he is worth a substantial reputation as a world statesman.
 
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Degeneration X

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Yes, of course you would have done a lot better. :rolleyes:

Gorbachev is worth the admiration of the West many times over - he did dissolve the brutal Soviet Empire, ended the Cold War, and made significant progress in nuclear disarmament. He did what Attlee did with India, and De Gaulle with Algeria. On that alone, he is worth a substantial reputation as a world statesman.
De Gaulle and Attlee achieved a socio-political settlement in their respective countries that remains largely in place even today.

To compare them to a bungler like Gorby is like comparing Ice Cream to Horse Manure.
 

bormotello

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Gorbachev took over a Soviet Empire already in a state of near-collapse - a stagnating economy, clearly falling more and more behind the west in providing its citizens with a decent quality of life, an unsustainable military-industrial complex, an unsustainable foreign policy subsidising countries like Cuba, and nationalist-democratic stirrings not only in Eastern Europe, but in the USSR itself.
Stalin got the former Russian Empire even in much worse conditions and managed to leave as the second superpower
 

owedtojoy

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De Gaulle and Attlee achieved a socio-political settlement in their respective countries that remains largely in place even today.

To compare them to a bungler like Gorby is like comparing Ice Cream to Horse Manure.
Wonderful undergraduate metaphors. Highly in-tell-ect-ual.

No politician enjoys 100% success. Neither Attlee nor de Gaulle did., in fact it is a truism that "All political careers end in failure".

Gorbachev failed to keep the USSR together .... but why count that a "success"if he had? It was an irredeemable pile of sh!t that did not deserve to survive.

It was the leaders who preceded Gorbachev who were just as responsible as he - especially Brezhnev and Stalin himself, who left the USSR with a burden of a massive military establishment, a political system not fit for purpose, and a repressive apparatus it could not support long-term.

Stalin died soaked in his own urine surrounded by "friends" who delayed getting him medical treatment. And he was a "success". Mikhail Gorbachev is still living quietly in Moscow. Go figure.

Thanks to Gorbachev, the USSR expired relatively painlessly. That is success, in my book.
 
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parentheses

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What are the grounds for that?

In the USSR, overstretched health services collapsed and I can accept the death rate went up. But there were no instances of civil war, mass epidemics or starvation, AFAIK.

For example, there were supposed to have been > 7 million casualties of the Russian Civil War 1917 - 1922, and ~5 million in the Ukraine famine of 1932 - 1933. Nothing of the scale of those catastrophes occurred during the break-up of the USSR, or, it if did,it was not reported.
Neoliberals collapsed the welfare system. Old and vulnerable starved or froze to death.
 

Degeneration X

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Wonderful undergraduate metaphors. Highly in-tell-ect-ual.

No politician enjoys 100% success. Neither Attlee nor de Gaulle did., in fact it is a truism that "All political careers end in failure".

Gorbachev failed to keep the USSR together .... but why count that a "success"if he had? It was an irredeemable pile of sh!t that did not deserve to survive.

It was the leaders who preceded Gorbachev who were just as responsible as he - especially Brezhnev and Stalin himself, who left the USSR with a burden of a massive military establishment, a political system not fit for purpose, and a repressive apparatus it could not support long-term.

Stalin died soaked in his own urine surrounded by "friends" who delayed getting him medical treatment. And he was a "success". Mikhail Gorbachev is still living quietly in Moscow. Go figure.

Thanks to Gorbachev, the USSR expired relatively painlessly. That is success, in my book.
Gorby had 0% success though - a blundering failure right the way through. Only his foreign enemies liked him, a telling failure.
 

Sweet Darling

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It has been estimated that 5 to 6 million people in Russia died as a result of the collapse of communism and the neoliberal reforms forced through by Yeltsin.
[/QUO
6 million? is that all. When the evil commies were running the place it's estimated 100 million dead between Mao Stalin and the gobsh1te Castro
 

raetsel

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Knowing how close the US Joint Chiefs Of Staff brought us to a nuclear disaster during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev did the word a massive favour by bringing an end to communism and the Soviet Union, even if that wasn't his intention. The Americans had an irrational paranoid fear of communism that was only set aside once the system was brought to an end in Europe. He was at least realistic in recognising that the game was up and that communist totalitarianism was an abject failure and could never, ever work.
 

Sweet Darling

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Knowing how close the US Joint Chiefs Of Staff brought us to a nuclear disaster during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev did the word a massive favour by bringing an end to communism and the Soviet Union even if that wasn't his intention. He was at least realistic in recognising that the game was up and that communist totalitarianism was an abject failure and could never, ever work.
Communist as an exsperiment was a failure every time it was imposed on the people.
The fact some people still want to impose it on the people beats me.
 


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