Skip to comments.Mikhail Gorbachev: I should have abandoned the Communist party earlier
Posted on 08/16/2011 7:08:50 PM PDT by SueRae
Politicians rarely admit mistakes, but Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev always was in a different class. So it is not surprising that, as he looked back on his six tumultuous years in power at the head of the Soviet Union, he was willing to count the errors he had made.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian he named at least five. They led not just to his own downfall 20 years ago; they also brought the collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of an unregulated economic free-for-all that turned a few Russians into billionaires while plunging millions of people into poverty.
Gorbachev cuts a relaxed, even cheerful figure these days, but there are still the occasional twinges of bitterness, particularly when discussing his arch-rival Boris Yeltsin, or when he described the plotters who put him under house arrest in the Crimea during their abortive coup 20 years ago .
"They wanted to provoke me into a fight and even a shootout and that could have resulted in my death," he said.
Asked to name the things he most regretted, he replied without hesitation: "The fact that I went on too long in trying to reform the Communist party." He should have resigned in April 1991, he said, and formed a democratic party of reform since the Communists were putting the brakes on all the necessary changes.
This judgement will be of particular interest to historians since it is Gorbachev's first public admission that he should have left the Communist party several months before the coup of August 1991. In the memoirs he published in 1995 he did not go so far.
Things came to a head at a session of the Communist party's central committee in April 1991.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Please give O-Hole a call.
It's never too late.
thanks for the post, I find some of his comments really interesting.... he was still really a communist (don’t know about now) but was desperately trying to reform the dying beast.... still I don’t see any of the events of the final days of the USSR with the same inevitability that many do in the west.... the system was doomed to be sure, but I think the world was lucky to have a Gorbachev and not a Stalin or Lenin or Andropov or Brezhnev at the end of the ‘80s..... that system produced plenty of thugs who would have been willing to fill the streets with blood and bodies for a long time......
In the August ‘91 coup, it is awfully lucky that the coup leaders didn’t perceive Yeltsin to be a problem ahead of time, b/c they easily could have arrested (or killed) him before he became a prominent symbol of opposition to the coup.
Why don't you go talk it over with Lenin's body?
I wonder how many went to the gulag while he worked his way up the commie food chain???
He coulda been a contenda.
Gorbacheve abandoned Communism? When did that happen? It certainly wasn’t while he was in power.
Gorbachev abandoned Communism? When did that happen? It certainly wasn’t while he was in power.
Yeltsin may have been a drunken clod as President, but he will always be a hero for standing up at the moment when the criminals tried to seize the Soviet government.
Has Gorby ever apologized for ordering the 1991 Vilnius Massacre?
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner.
I hope he dies horribly.
I don’t think it was “lucky”. I think after Andropov, the Politburo knew that just plugging along with the same repressive measures would lead at best to a slow decline and at worst to an implosion: they picked Gorbachev precisely because he was a loyal Communist and a potential liberalizing reformer (here liberal in the classical sense). Essentially the truth of the Austrian school critique of central planning had come home to them experientially, and even though they wanted to “make Communism work”, they bought Gorbachev’s idea of glasnost because you don’t have any hope planning an economy if you insist on shooting those who tell you what’s going wrong as “wreckers”. It was a gamble, and they lost, but they didn’t really have much choice.
Gorby found out you can't have a little bit of Democracy. Instead of a thin veneer of freedom, his reforms got out of hand and the old line communists couldn't rein them back in. Yeltsin, the old drunk that he was, was a helluva lot better than an timid, but sober Gorbachev.
He should have resisted arrest when the Red Army tried to seize control of power, and instead triggered the collapse of the Soviet regime. They might have shot him dead at that time, and we wouldn’t have to listen to any more of his double-talking BS. Thanks SueRae.