Many have labeled the 1989 European Revolution as the death of communism. If this is true, why was Mikhail Gorbachev the driving force behind it all?
by Irvin Baxter
Editor’s note: The following is Irvin Baxter’s feature article that appeared in the very first edition of Endtime magazine, published in March of 1991. We felt that it was important to republish this article at this time, when even America teeters on the brink of falling to the deception of socialism.
Only a few short years ago, the specter of communism’s inevitable victory loomed large on the horizon. Our generation had witnessed the dramatic advance of communism from controlling 6% of the world’s population in 1942 to over 50% by 1982. Gains were continuing to be made in Central America, Africa and around the globe. It seemed that the twilight of capitalism had arrived and that it was only a matter of time until the world socialist government envisioned by Karl Marx would be a reality.
Enter Mikhail Gorbachev
In 1985 the personage of Mikhail Gorbachev burst upon the world scene. Things have not been quite the same since Margaret Thatcher said of him, “Here is a man with whom we can do business.” Andrei Gromyko, the long time foreign minister of the Soviet Union, while nominating Gorbachev to lead Russia before the politburo said of him, “Comrades, this man has a nice smile, but he has iron teeth.”
Gorbachev surprised the world when he boldly proclaimed that the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan illegally. He stated that Afghanistan was a sovereign nation and that the U.S.S.R. had no right to interfere with the internal affairs of another nation.
Since his nation had crushed the freedom movement in Hungary in 1956, squelched the reforms of Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and held Eastern Europe in its iron grip since World War II, these were strange proclamations indeed. Was this a portent of things to come? Possibly.
It seemed that it all began in Poland. Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa, had become a force that could no longer be denied. At the same time, Hungary amazed the world by boldly dismantling the iron curtain that separated it from Austria. When East Germans realized that the way to freedom was now open through Hungary, they began to flee to the West by the thousands. In an attempt to stop this massive hemorrhage of its brightest and most productive citizens, East Germany moved to prohibit all travel. Massive demonstrations of East Germans chanting “We want Gorbi” were triggered throughout the country by this action. With threats of intervention, Gorbachev could have stopped the rising tide of revolution. Why didn’t he?
In the midst of all this, Gorbachev paid a visit to East Germany. He plainly told East German leader Erich Honecker that those who didn’t respond to the demand for reform would be swept aside. His words proved to be prophetic. Nine days later Erich Honecker was toppled from power. His successor, Egon Krenz, moved quickly to satisfy the demands of the people. He first declared free travel for all citizens. Then on November 9th he shocked the world with the historic decision to open the 28-year-old Berlin Wall. Euphoria filled the streets of Berlin.
This was not to be the end. In quick succession the governments of Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria were toppled. Finally the last bastion of Stalinist hard-line communism was brought crashing to the ground with the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu, the head of Romania.
The world watched in awe as this revolution swept with breathtaking speed through Eastern Europe. The most amazing thing of all was that Mikhail Gorbachev was giving his approval to what appeared to be the death of the communist movement!
What Gives Here?!
Has the leader of the communist movement in the world become its executioner? Is the news media accurate when it speaks of a “communist meltdown”, the “death of communism”, and other such epithets? Gorbachev not only allowed these events to transpire, but is, in fact, the driving force behind them. All of these developments are a direct result of Gorbachev’s program of ‘perestroika’. Everything is obviously proceeding according to plan. But what is the plan?! What is the ultimate goal—the vision toward which the world is moving at breathtaking speed?
For the answers we go to Gorbachev’s book, Perestroika. Gorbachev disappeared from the world scene for two months in the fall of 1987. At the time some thought that he had been toppled from power. However, when he reappeared it was learned that he had written a book, Perestroika—New Thinking for Our Country and the World. In this book he describes the desired “new world order” as he sees it, and sets forward the path that must be followed to achieve it.
The question foremost in many minds is, “Do these plans include the extinction of communism?”
For the answer let’s listen to Gorbachev’s own words: Perestroika, page 10, “There are different interpretations of perestroika in the West, including the United States.
“There is the view that it has been necessitated by the disastrous state of the Soviet economy and that it signifies disenchantment with socialism and a crisis for its ideals and ultimate goals. Nothing could be further from the truth than such interpretations, whatever the motives behind them.”
On page 36 he states further: “To put an end to all rumors and speculations that abound in the West about this, I would like to point out once again that we are conducting all our reforms in accordance with the socialist choice. We are looking within socialism, rather than outside it, for the answers to all the questions that arise. Those who hope that we shall move away from the socialist path will be greatly disappointed.”
Page 37: “We will proceed toward better socialism rather than away from it. We are saying this honestly, without trying to fool our own people or the world. Any hopes that we will begin to build a different, non-socialist society and go over to the other camp are unrealistic and futile. Those in the West who expect us to give up socialism will be disappointed.” In an exclusive interview given to Time magazine, 1990, months after the velvet revolution, Gorbachev said, “I am a communist. I know this scares some people, but it’s perfectly natural and nothing to be afraid of.”
There you have it! In Gorbachev’s own words, he adamantly denies the slightest departure from socialism and reaffirms his allegiance to communism. So Gorbachev’s goal is not the dismantling of socialism. But if not, then what is the goal?
A New World Order
During his 1990 visit to the United States, Gorbachev was quoted in the Duluth News-Tribune (June 5, 1990) as calling for the establishment of a new world order. He had referred to this many times in his book, Perestroika. What does he really have in mind?
For over a decade the pro-Marxist nations have held the majority of votes at the United Nations. Gorbachev understands that the doctrine of socialism has so permeated the world that, if put on a democratic basis, the majority of nations of the world would choose socialism. I’m sure that Gorbachev is amused when, while the U.S. press announces the death of communism, we are adopting more and more socialistic measures. We have social security, extensive welfare, and seem sure to launch government health insurance and daycare in the near future. In his book Mandate for Peace, Gorbachev said, “We are ready for the most radical measures including total disarmament and submitting to an international authority.”
Gorbachev is not alone in trumpeting the dawning of a new world order. Pope John Paul II has promoted this theme. President George Bush said, “Iraq is the first test for the new world order.” This new world order will be a Union of World Socialist Republics under the United Nations.
What Does Bible Prophecy Say?
The Bible emphatically states that the last day government of the Antichrist will be a socialist government. In Bible prophecy, a beast is used to symbolize a kingdom or nation (Daniel 7:23-24). In Revelation 17:3, a beast is used to represent the government that will rule the world until Jesus Christ’s second coming. In fact, this prophesied government will make war against the Lamb (Jesus Christ), according to Revelation 17:12-14.
One outstanding characteristic of that beast (government) is that it was red. Red is used to represent socialism and communism in the Bible because God knew that red would be the official recognized symbol of socialism and communism in the time of the prophecy’s fulfillment.
Communism is not dead. It has merely switched tactics. When the governments of Eastern Europe toppled, one after the other in 1989, the news media of the world said, “Communism is dead!” Yet the leader of the communist world, Mikhail Gorbachev, applauded throughout the entire process! Recently he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as the man most responsible for the 1989 revolution! Who are we kidding?! This was not the death of communism. This was merely international socialism positioning itself to be accepted in the new world order, which it intends to dominate and, according to the Bible, will ultimately control.