[June 12, 2018] There has much been said and written about the scourge of Communism and socialism and how these political systems hold people back, trap them with little opportunity, and destroys the community of people. U.S President Ronald Reagan was known for his desire to help free people from them and once said in a speech to the USSR SSecretary-General tear down this wall:
“There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
We all can learn valuable lessons from good leadership and in this case, the clarity and direct message to tear down the wall of Communism was heard around the world. Despite the attractiveness to societal elites about the “benefits” of such political systems, Communism and socialism have been a curse on humans since its beginning more than 100 years ago.
When Reagan gave his Cold War speech, it was his desire to reduce tensions between the Soviet Union and the West. It was also an attempt to kick-start talks about nuclear arms reduction. The speech, along with Reagan’s personality to poke the USSR, was instrumental in the beginning of the view that Communism is a failed system wherever it is tried.
It worked. The wall came down two years later; East and West Germans were deliriously happy when they literally tore down the wall.1 The wall was not to keep the capitalist enemy out – as it was touted by the Soviets – but as a way to keep their people in and from fleeing to freedom.