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Mikhail Gorbachev quotes (showing 1-23 of 23)

“If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven't done much today.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. Being at one with nature.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Americans have a severe disease — worse than AIDS. It's called the winner's complex.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“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.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Life is much richer and more complex than even the most perfect plans to make it better. It ultimately takes vengeance for attempts to impose abstract schemes, even with the best of intentions. Perestroika has made us understand this about our past, and the actual experience of recent years has taught us to reckon with the most general laws of civilization.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“One day we took each other by the hand and went for a walk in the evening. And we walked like that for our whole life.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“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.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“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
“Certain people in the United States are driving nails into this structure of our relationship, then cutting off the heads. So the Soviets must use their teeth to pull them out.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilization.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“The market came with the dawn of civilization and it is not an invention of capitalism. ... If it leads to improving the well-being of the people there is no contradiction with socialism.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“With Yeltsin, the Soviet Union broke apart, the country was totally mismanaged, the constitution was not respected by the regions of Russia. The army, education and health systems collapsed. People in the West quietly applauded, dancing with and around Yeltsin. I conclude therefore that we should not pay too much attention to what the West is saying.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“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.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Being resolute today means to act within the framework of political and social pluralism and the rule of law to provide conditions for continued reform and prevent a breakdown of the state and economic collapse, prevent the elements of chaos from becoming catastrophic.
All this requires taking certain tactical steps, to search for various ways of addressing both short- and long-term tasks. Such efforts and political and economic steps, agreements based on reasonable compromise, are there for everyone to see.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Ideological and political intolerance, even with the best and most sincere intentions, produces results that are the direct opposite of those intended.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World
“At times of profound, fundamental change in the foundations of social development it is not only senseless but impossible to expect some sort of previously worked out “model” or a clear-cut outline of the transformations that will take place. This does not mean, however, the absence of a definite goal for the reforms, a distinct conception of their content and the main direction of their development.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World
“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.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
“Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his speech accepting the Nobel Prize: “Violence has no way to conceal itself except by lies, and lies have no way to maintain themselves except through violence. Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World
“History teaches us, however, that when the times are ripe for change and the government refuses or is unable to change, either society starts to decay or a revolution begins.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World
“We won't survive if someone loses their nerves in the current tension.”
Mikhail Gorbachev


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