Gorbachev and what if?

Quantum Quack

Life's a tease...
Valued Senior Member
I recall sitting having an evening meal when the news came on that stated in effect that the Cold War was over.
I never thought for a moment that I would witness the end of the USSR in my life time and that the USSR was to be dismantled.

Now, after so many years Mikhail G has passed at the age of 91 (30th of August, 2022) of what appears to be natural causation. (severe Diabetes and associated health problems)

As Mikhail was reportedly horrified by Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine it could be easily speculated that he may have been pushed a little, like so many critics of the war in Russia, have apparently been.



It has been written that his actions as the last leader of the USSR in the dismantling of the socio/military/political infrastructure was welcomed by many (especially in the West) but also was derided by many who had some idealistic, nationalist illusion about the strength and well being of the soviet system.

The current president of Russia, V. Putin who has probably derived the greatest gain from the collapse of the USSR was one of those Russian nationalists who favored Empire building and Russian supremacy.

I was wondering what would have happened if Gorbachev did not act as he did?
Did the USSR really have an alternative way out of their mess?

With an incredibly expensive to maintain Nuclear industry (WMD's and power) and little funding to afford it what would have happened if Mikhail Gorbachev failed to deliver ?

Care to speculate?
I think the writing was on the wall. It might not have fallen as cleanly as it did without Gorbachev but I think the results would have been similar.

I saw a quote from some Russian that said something like "Gorbachev gave us freedom but we didn't know what to do with it". I think he was just a little before his time. It's too bad that Putin didn't have a similar outlook and make it work instead of the path he has chosen.

I was in grad school a couple of years before that (MBA in Intl Business) and one professor was an attorney from W. Germany. He had a practice in Bonn and in Los Angeles and flew between the two once a month. He was teaching a course on the political and economic history of W. Germany and about current business practices. We asked him if he thought East and West Germany would ever reunite and he explained all of the historical and cultural differences and said that it wouldn't happen, if ever, for a long, long time.

Two years later, Germany was reunited. Change happens fast sometimes. It doesn't seem like North and South Korea will ever be reunited but...you never know.

It's too bad that Russia can't get rid of Putin but the people just don't have a culture and history of anything other than authoritarian leaders.

After the USSR did fall, I wouldn't have imagined that Russia would still look like it does now. I would have expected more. Just as after the last man walked on the Moon, I wouldn't have expected that all we would have done in the next 50 years would be a space station in low Earth orbit.

I never would have anticipated a Trump in our future either.
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