On My Country and the World2

Written by Mikhail Gorbachev

The dilemma formulated by wise men of old, to be or to have, has taken on a new and threatening meaning today. That is because human life is increasingly subordinated to this very desire to have. Consumerism and the desire for things, originating from the negative aspects of the market economy, have pushed into the background any desire for spiritual enrichment or cultural progress, the desire form improving or perfecting human thinking and consciousness. The "freedom to have" is regarded as the highest achievement of history, as its grand finale. Yet this is nothing more than the renunciation of all aspirations for a better, a genuinely humane future. 

If society enters the future with these current and distorted values, then it will have no future. It would mean the degeneration of Homo sapiens. God's highest creation.


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