Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ronald Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall' speech... seeking peace in Eastern Germany

'Tearing Down The Wall' is deemed as being Ronald Reagan's most significant speech and was delivered on this date back in 1987, over a quarter of a century ago during a presidential visit to West Germany whilst within earshot of communist Eastern Germany at the base of the Brandeburg Gate in close reach of the Berlin Wall. A year and a half later the Berlin Wall was torn down over 3 days... 9-11 November 1989 by the people.

When you consider, this is a very interesting speech especially when we analyze the strata's in society and it can make you wonder whether we are better off in very real terms as poverty in Western Society is positively crippling. There are many people who believe that the communist system is actually fair... most of us accept that it is probably better to live in a free society where we have the means to create our own opportunities and at the very least are permitted freedom of speech.

"In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: 'We will bury you.' But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind--too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

"And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

"Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'"

We still seek peace within our world and our local communities, so let's carry on striving individually and as a united people.

Jaz McKenzie

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