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The new policy of "reconstruction" was introduced in an attempt to overcome the economic stagnation by creating a dependable and effective mechanism for accelerating economic and social progress. According to Gorbachev, perestroika was the : Conference of development of democracy, socialist self-government, encouragement of initiative and creative endeavour, improved order and disciple, more glasnost, criticism and self-criticism in all spheres of our society. It is utmost respect for the individual and consideration for personal dignity." Permeating and pervading Gorby s philosophy of Perestroika (restructuring), is Marx s and Lenin s Dialectic Materialism, which is adopted from Hegel s Dialectic Idealism. According to Hegel, Marx and Lenin, the essence of reality is contradiction. According to this theory, everything tends towards perfection and begets its own contradiction; and in the ensuing encounter and clash between the two concepts there results a richer reality or synthesis which further generates a second antithesis and so on until the concept or reality becomes perfect or absolute Gorby s concept of perestroika is to described dialectic movement. Our present society needs radical sweeping reforms for the better. We must restructure everything radically and totally, Gorbachev stresses. He stressed the necessity of drastic, revolutionary reforms while at the same time and with the same emphasis, he pleaded for universal peace as the only way to survival. Gorby is not a professional philosopher or logician, and his answer are always practical, intended for practical purposes. Thus, he hardly went beyond his net of nyet, nyet, nyet to support his negative contentions or stand. He could have easily parried the charge and escaped from his own net of seeming inconsistency by pointing out: 1. That the two concepts; peace and revolution, while admittedly adversarial, can be combined logically without incurring inconsistency; for there is such a thing as a peaceful revolution a concrete existential historical reality, as that exemplified in our own Edsa Revolution in 1986. 2. That the two concepts; peace and revolutionary, are not contradictory, but merely paradoxical terms. As we have explained in the chapter Man IS Paradox, there is a basic difference between contradiction and paradox; because the first signifies an absolutely irreconcilable opposition; while the second involves only a relative and reconcilable 3. one without bullets. indeed, his revolution is without the three abominable B s of war: bombs, bullets, bloodshed; and by this brand of revolution bloodless, bullet less, bomb less he became uniquely instrumental in bringing about the end of the cold war between the nuclear superpowers,
the liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet dominion or control by pulling out Russian troops deployed therein by Stalin, the cessation of the armament race, the outlawing of nuclear war except strictly for defence; preventing the building up of a nuclear arsenal in outer space; the dismantling of the past dictatorship converting it to democracy; the shifting from state controlled economy to free market enterprise ; change from a long regime of relentless religious persecution to freedom of worship; the restoration and reinshrinement of all human rights long banished from the altar of humanity by the iconoclastic wanton violations thereof in totalitarian regimes.
Contradictionless Contradiction: Consistent Inconsistency
The same charge of self contradiction is levelled against Gorbachev, when he proclaimed and still proclaims his hard adherence to Lenin s principles yet contradicts Lenin when he (Gorbachev) upheld, e.g, the right of private property outlawed by Lenin. His critics also claimed that Gorby turned his back against
Lenin when he worked for a thorough democratization of society. Democratization or restructuring is in perfect harmony with the law of dialectic, the law of change for the better, upheld by Lenin himself. Democratization itself signifies: 1. Process, 2. Progress, 3. Prosperity, 4. Happiness of man
Perestroika at present stands further improvement and change into a perhaps greater and better perestroika in the future without striking the faintest discordant note to disturb the symphony of the dialectic movement.
Gorbachev saw the distortions particularly the errors and defects that vitiate its implementation and interpretation. His initial reforms began with dismantling the past dictatorship, putting an end to
the one man rule or monopoly of power concentrated in the hands of the dictator and the transferring of sovereignty to the people. One main objective of Gorbachev s reforms was to liberate or lift the people from the quagmire of doctrinaire and dogmatic misconceptions and interpretations into which the true original socialism of Lenin had fallen.
Democratization signifies the change from a one man rule to the rule of the many, the people. Hence, pluralism is of the very essence of democracy. Other aspects of pluralism in democracy are: 1. Freedom of speech and expression which always signifies diversity of views and/or opinions. 2. It is not the case of one working as many; but of many working as one. Gorbachev appeals as fundamentally rational, social, and free. True peace is universal, perennial meant for all times, places and people. Peace is the universal constant in man, it has always been shaky, transitory, ephemeral and illusory is because it is made to depend on human variable the external, shifting, accidental factors in man s nature and relationships, such as the varying economic, political, social and technological conditions under which man live together. When Gorbachev speaks of radical and profound changes in all aspects of life to bring about true and lasting peace, he meant changes not only in the outward structure of society and also deeper transformation in the inner nature of man. According to him, the super colossal achievements of technology, science, economics, politics and all human pursuits by themselves alone cannot guarantee true peace and happiness for men. Sharing in the philosophy of Gorbachev, particularly in the necessity if inner renewal in man, President Baclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, pleaded for a radical transformation in man, a true conversion of heart as the only means for insuring lasting peace. The salvation of our world lies in the human heart. Selfishness still reigns supreme in the human breast. Man is still imprisoned in the narrow cell of his own ego, barred by possessiveness - I, my, mine, myself, my family, my company, my region, my nation. True peace can only come with the inner moral renewal in man by uprooting selfishness and cultivating instead, therein the virtues of the heart primarily responsibility and love for our fellowmen.
Love or Die?
In resolving dilemma confronting mankind, live together or die together , Gorbachev chooses the first alternative as any other human being would; but he also enlighten us on the very reason for this choice, and the proper attitude in living up to this choice. Living together does not mean living in the same place, in the same country under the same ideology. Nor does it mean merely living in peaceful co existence under the law of live and let live. It means mutual sharing of the sacrifices we may have to make, or the sufferings we may have to undergo in this life for our own survival. Thus he elevates and ennobles the motive behind human solidarity by invoking the use of reason, particularly freedom. In making the choice and living by it, we have to make use of our gift of freedom. We must live together, not because we are forced to do so as they only alternative but because we will to do so by our own free will, for our own survival. He appeals to the universal instinct of survival, found in all living things. He also sees in man something nobler, deeper and more fundamental, than the instinct of survival freedom. In making the choice between living together or risking total destruction, we have to make use of our God given gift of liberty. We must live together voluntarily sacrificing our private interests not because we cannot choose otherwise under the circumstances but because it is our own will to do so for our own good. Still, there is in man, that highest and noblest power, which gorbachev could and should have stressed and exploited further it is the most distinctive human prerogative to love and to be loved. Earlier, we spoke of the law, Live and let live, now we speak of a higher and nobler law Live and love, and in its deepest meaning, Love or Die . Thus true and lasting peace for mankind spring eternal from freedom and love. (Love or die herein means that it is not enough that we live together. It means: we must love each other, Else We Perish). (Appended to Gorbachev s Philosophy) 1. The concepts of perestroika, freedom, love and justice are not foreign or new to Filipino, long before Gorbachev , they were already conceived in the mind of Apolinario Mabini, the philosopher of the Philippine revolution. 2. However, Mabini s concept of revolution differs from that of gorbachev. Mabini speaks of bloody and violent revolution while Gorbachev , advocates a peaceful revolution without bullets, bombs and bloodshed. 3. Mabini envisioned Democracy as Christian humanism founded on love and justice.
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