Mikhail Gorbachev gave a far ranging interview where he talks about regretting the collapse of the Soviet state, blaming the United States for not being more supportive of his efforts to reform the Communist system, and worries that Vladimir Putin is dragging Russia backwards into a state of plundered resources…a recap of the interview is available here: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2011/1013/Mikhail-Gorbachev-We-should-have-preserved-the-Soviet-Union
I want to react to his thoughts about The United States not being supportive enough of his economic and political reforms. I have a lot of personal respect for Mikhail Gorbachev not being another Soviet leader who left in a casket, and for making a legitimate attempt to better things for his people, but he’s off base in his criticism of the United States.
Some Russians regard Gorbachev as an agent of the West, implanted to bring down the Soviet system offering him more U.S. support only would’ve leant support to this view. Furthermore, the Soviet system spent sixty years demonizing the United States, how does us supporting you further, help you exactly?
Furthermore, all legitimacy is created domestically. By attempting such radical though necessary reforms in the face of such opposition is bound to create questions of legitimacy and if the Communist party couldn’t be unified than the mechanism of governing has been effectively broken.
The planned economy of the Soviet state was failing and Gorbachev was being attacked from all sides: the old school communists who wanted to preserve the Lenin system, and the liberals who felt that he didn’t go far enough in his reforms. It was his own communist brethren that brought him down because he couldn’t control the elements within the Soviet communist party.
None of these, where the fault of the United States.