Mikhaïl Gorbatchev citations

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Mikhaïl Gorbatchev

Date de naissance: 2. mars 1931

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Mikhaïl Sergueïevitch Gorbatchev , parfois surnommé « Gorby », né le 2 mars 1931 à Privolnoïe dans l'actuel kraï de Stavropol, est un homme d'État soviétique et russe qui dirigea l'URSS entre 1985 et 1991.

Résolument réformateur, il s'engagea à l'extérieur vers la fin de la Guerre froide, et lança à l'intérieur la libéralisation économique, culturelle et politique connue sous les noms de perestroïka et de glasnost. Impuissant à maîtriser les évolutions qu'il avait lui-même enclenchées, sa démission marqua le point final de l'implosion de l'URSS, précédée de deux ans par l'effondrement des régimes communistes en Europe de l'Est.

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Citations Mikhaïl Gorbatchev

„We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them. The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every US president has to have a war. As quoted in an interview with The London Daily Telegraph (7 May 2008) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1933223/Gorbachev-US-could-start-new-Cold-War.html

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„Progress towards the civilization of the 21st century will certainly not be simple or easy.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: Progress towards the civilization of the 21st century will certainly not be simple or easy. One cannot get rid overnight of the heavy legacy of the past or the dangers created in the post-war years. We are experiencing a turning point in international affairs and are only at the beginning of a new, and I hope mostly peaceful, lengthy period in the history of civilization. With less East-West confrontation, or even none at all, old contradictions resurface, which seemed of secondary importance compared to the threat of nuclear war. The melting ice of the Cold War reveals old conflicts and claims, and entirely new problems accumulate rapidly.

„Today, peace means the ascent from simple coexistence to cooperation and common creativity among countries and nations.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: Today, peace means the ascent from simple coexistence to cooperation and common creativity among countries and nations. Peace is movement towards globality and universality of civilization. Never before has the idea that peace is indivisible been so true as it is now. Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences. And, ideally, peace means the absence of violence. It is an ethical value.

„In the name of Communism we abandoned basic human values. So when I came to power in Russia I started to restore those values; values of "openness" and freedom.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: We have retreated from the perennial values. I don't think that we need any new values. The most important thing is to try to revive the universally known values from which we have retreated. As a young man, I really took to heart the Communist ideals. A young soul certainly cannot reject things like justice and equality. These were the goals proclaimed by the Communists. But in reality that terrible Communist experiment brought about repression of human dignity. Violence was used in order to impose that model on society. In the name of Communism we abandoned basic human values. So when I came to power in Russia I started to restore those values; values of "openness" and freedom. "Nature Is My God" - interview with Fred Matser in Resurgence No. 184 (September-October 1997) http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/184/gorbachev.htm

„During the last six years we have discarded and destroyed much that stood in the way of a renewal and transformation of our society.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: During the last six years we have discarded and destroyed much that stood in the way of a renewal and transformation of our society. But when society was given freedom it could not recognize itself, for it had lived too long, as it were, "beyond the looking glass". Contradictions and vices rose to the surface, and even blood has been shed, although we have been able to avoid a bloodbath. The logic of reform has clashed with the logic of rejection, and with the logic of impatience which breeds intolerance.

„No one is in a position to describe in detail what perestroika will finally produce. But it would certainly be a self-delusion to expect that perestroika will produce "a copy" of anything.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: I began my book about perestroika and the new thinking with the following words: "We want to be understood". After a while I felt that it was already happening. But now I would like once again to repeat those words here, from this world rostrum. Because to understand us really — to understand so as to believe us — proved to be not at all easy, owing to the immensity of the changes under way in our country. Their magnitude and character are such as to require in-depth analysis. Applying conventional wisdom to perestroika is unproductive. It is also futile and dangerous to set conditions, to say: We'll understand and believe you, as soon as you, the Soviet Union, come completely to resemble "us", the West. No one is in a position to describe in detail what perestroika will finally produce. But it would certainly be a self-delusion to expect that perestroika will produce "a copy" of anything.

„In the beginning we imprudently generated great expectations, without taking into account the fact that it takes time for people to realize that all have to live and work differently, to stop expecting that new life would be given from above.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: A period of transition to a new quality in all spheres of society's life is accompanied by painful phenomena. When we were initiating perestroika we failed to properly assess and foresee everything. Our society turned out to be hard to move off the ground, not ready for major changes which affect people's vital interests and make them leave behind everything to which they had become accustomed over many years. In the beginning we imprudently generated great expectations, without taking into account the fact that it takes time for people to realize that all have to live and work differently, to stop expecting that new life would be given from above.

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„We are witnessing most profound social change.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: We are witnessing most profound social change. Whether in the East or the South, the West or the North, hundreds of millions of people, new nations and states, new public movements and ideologies have moved to the forefront of history. Broad-based and frequently turbulent popular movements have given expression, in a multidimensional and contradictory way, to a longing for independence, democracy and social justice. The idea of democratizing the entire world order has become a powerful socio-political force. At the same time, the scientific and technological revolution has turned many economic, food, energy, environmental, information and population problems, which only recently we treated as national or regional ones, into global problems. Thanks to the advances in mass media and means of transportation, the world seems to have become more visible and tangible. International communication has become easier than ever before. Speech to the UN General Assembly (7 December 1988)

„If the Russian word "perestroika" has easily entered the international lexicon, this is due to more than just interest in what is going on in the Soviet Union. Now the whole world needs restructuring, i.e. progressive development, a fundamental change.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: If the Russian word "perestroika" has easily entered the international lexicon, this is due to more than just interest in what is going on in the Soviet Union. Now the whole world needs restructuring, i. e. progressive development, a fundamental change. Perestroika: New Thinking For Our Country and the World (1987)

„I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at the sun. If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. "Nature Is My God" - interview with Fred Matser in Resurgence No. 184 (September-October 1997)

„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.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: 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. A balance of interests rather than a balance of power, a search for compromise and concord rather than a search for advantages at other people's expense, and respect for equality rather than claims to leadership — such are the elements which can provide the groundwork for world progress and which should be readily acceptable for reasonable people informed by the experience of the twentieth century. The future prospect of truly peaceful global politics lies in the creation through joint efforts of a single international democratic space in which States shall be guided by the priority of human rights and welfare for their own citizens and the promotion of the same rights and similar welfare elsewhere. This is an imperative of the growing integrity of the modern world and of the interdependence of its components.

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„I have long ago made a final and irrevocable decision. Nothing and no one, no pressure, cither from the right or from the left, will make me abandon the positions of perestroika and new thinking. I do not intend to change my views or convictions. My choice is a final one.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: I have long ago made a final and irrevocable decision. Nothing and no one, no pressure, cither from the right or from the left, will make me abandon the positions of perestroika and new thinking. I do not intend to change my views or convictions. My choice is a final one. It is my profound conviction that the problems arising in the course of our transformations can be solved solely by constitutional means. That is why I make every effort to keep this process within the confines of democracy and reforms.

„There is a growing will to achieve consensus, and a growing understanding that we have a State, a country, a common life. This is what must be preserved first of all.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: After a time of rampant separatism and euphoria, when almost every village proclaimed sovereignty, a centripetal force is beginning to gather momentum, based on a more sensible view of existing realities and the risks involved. And this is what counts most now. There is a growing will to achieve consensus, and a growing understanding that we have a State, a country, a common life. This is what must be preserved first of all.

„A period of transition to a new quality in all spheres of society's life is accompanied by painful phenomena.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: A period of transition to a new quality in all spheres of society's life is accompanied by painful phenomena. When we were initiating perestroika we failed to properly assess and foresee everything. Our society turned out to be hard to move off the ground, not ready for major changes which affect people's vital interests and make them leave behind everything to which they had become accustomed over many years. In the beginning we imprudently generated great expectations, without taking into account the fact that it takes time for people to realize that all have to live and work differently, to stop expecting that new life would be given from above.

„Preparing for my address I found in an old Russian encyclopedia a definition of "peace" as a "commune" — the traditional cell of Russian peasant life.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev
Context: Preparing for my address I found in an old Russian encyclopedia a definition of "peace" as a "commune" — the traditional cell of Russian peasant life. I saw in that definition the people's profound understanding of peace as harmony, concord, mutual help, and cooperation. This understanding is embodied in the canons of world religions and in the works of philosophers from antiquity to our time.

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