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Mikhail Gorbachev, Avatar of Hope, 1931-2022

August 31, 2022
Cover of the Soviet edition of Perestroika and New Thinking for Our Country and the Whole World, Mikhail Gorbachev, 1987

A great man has died, the soul of an era of hope rather than rage, learning rather than willful ignorance, and faith in our shared humanity rather than the pitiful, vengeful fetishes of nationalism. Mikhail Gorbachev was imperfect, like all of us, and time and oppression would ultimately mute his message, but few men have done more, in the face of almost insurmountable odds, to strip the world of its hardened layers of inhumanity. He is not to be faulted that, in his country and elsewhere, those layers have grown back, hard as an ox hoof. May his memory inspire us, once again, to regard this earth as a common human home, salvaged only by liberty, learning, truth, tolerance and cooperation. If that sounds corny, it should be cause for concern, because such concepts once changed the world.

Greg Blake Miller

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