Former Soviet Union leader and Nobel laureate Mikhail Gorbachev knows better than most the workings of walls, the failure of the fortressed country. After Gorbachev gave a speech at the University of Texas yesterday, a local newscaster asked him, “President Gorbachev, if you agree that there’s a parallel between the Berlin Wall and the U.S. wall currently being placed along the border of Mexico and the United States what would you tell President Bush if he were here with us tonight?”
Though he didn’t give the answer that many of us would’ve liked -“Mr. Bush, don’t build that wall” – he did have some choice words about walls:
“Well, I cannot repeat what President Reagan once said,” said Gorbachev, through a translator. “But take each historically: the Great Wall of China, or the Berlin Wall, and other walls. They have not been particularly effective; not particularly efficient.” He also added “… given a country as wealthy as the United States, (it) doesn’t have all the money in the world. Why spend the money on this kind of thing?”
History has proven with predictable accuracy that behind the walls of empire lie the rotting remains of a decrepit civilization – and will do so again. Let us bring down these walls in our efforts to rise up and heal the planet. So, save the world by embracing your inner barbarian.