Gorbachev’s Christmas Farewell to the Soviet Union

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev addresses the Extraordinary meeting of the Supreme Soviet of Russian Federation in Moscow, August 23, 1991. (Alexander Natruskin/Reuters)
It remains a warning to the West: Materialism, elevated to an ideology, destroys political and social life.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he Soviet Union’s revolutionary experiment in Marxism-Leninism was launched, at least in part, as an assault on the beliefs and ideals of biblical religion. Religion, according to Karl Marx, was “the opiate of the masses,” a fantasy enlisted to exploit the working class. Yet, on Christmas Day, 1991, it was Soviet communism that proved to be illusory: the day when Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation as president of the Soviet Union, marking its complete dissolution.

“This society has acquired freedom,” Gorbachev said. “It has been freed politically and spiritually, and this is the most important achievement that we have yet fully

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Joseph Loconte is the director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation and the author of God, Locke, and Liberty. His most recent book is A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, which is being made into a documentary film at hobbitwardrobe.com.

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