October 16, 2008

The Search For A New Beginning by Mikhail Gorbachev


This is on a book I just finished reading; The Search For A New Beginning : Developing a New Civilization by Mikhail Gorbachev.

I asked the librarian for a short book and she found me this one, which was pretty good, cause it’s only about 81 pages. The font is big with lots of white space so it only took me about an hour to read.

I remember the name Mikhail Gorbachev cause they had him as a character on one of The Simpsons episodes. He has that gross thing on his head. I’m not sure if it’s skin cancer, or if he cut his head when he was shaving it, or if it’s a birth mark. It’s pretty gross, but that’s how I remember the guy.

I guess I will talk about the book now.

This book is about greening stuff. One of his chapters, IV, is titled “The Greening of Politics”, so that kind of tells you what it is about.

On pages 9 and 10 he talks about some cool stuff:

I believe that a new structure of international relations, which I here propose, combined with the absolute superiority of democratic nations in sophisticated conventional arms, provide guarantees that are quite sufficient for genuine national security in the new world order. [1]

When I saw “. . . new world order” on page 10 I thought of wrestling. With guys like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, The Giant, and nWo Sting who were in the nWo, which is short for “new World order.” nWo was started in like 1996, this book was published in 1995, so maybe this book is where nWo comes from, which would be pretty cool.

Also, when he talks about the “. . . absolute superiority of democratic nations . . .” on page 10 I kind of got an idea, after reading on page 44, where he says “. . . democracy can deteriorate and degenerate, often leading to the establishment of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.” The idea I got is that it is you could get all the countries in the world to be a democracy, then once you have them all as a democracy you can then have them deteriorate/degrade and become totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.

. . . democracy can deteriorate and degenerate, often leading to the establishment of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. [2]

I also got an idea when he was talking about his type of world, “The world of interdependence and cooperation . . .”. So I was thinking, with a world of interdependence where countries are authoritarian and totalitarian, you can have those countries have specific jobs in the world. So like you could have China just doing manufacturing, and you got Canada to do clean water or something like that. So if Canada does something you don’t like you could say, “Hey, Canada, you’re not getting any manufactured stuff from China.” Then Canada will start crying and stuff cause their stuff is collapsing and they don’t really have any factories to manufacture new stuff. So they’ll get in line and then they’ll start getting stuff from China. And if China does something bad then you could say, “Hey, China, you’re not getting any water from Canada.”, cause their water is all polluted from manufacturing, then they’ll start complaining and then get in line to get water from Canada.

The world of interdependence and cooperation . . . [3]

And he talks about greening on page 35, where I got another idea:

The greening of politics is an affirmation of the priority of values common to humanity, enriching education and upbringing with ecological content from childhood onward and developing a new and modern attitude toward nature. At the same time, the greening of politics is the return to humankind of the awareness of humanity as a part of nature. [4]

On Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy And Hope he talks about this dude Hegel. It’s either historical dialectic or Hegelian dialectic, where you have a thesis and antithesis, and they come together to form a synthesis.

Marx derived from Hegel what has come to be known as the “historical dialectic.” This theory maintained that all historical events were the result of a struggle between opposing forces which ultimately merged to create a situation which was different from either. Any existing organization of society or of ideas (thesis) calls forth, in time, and opposition (antithesis). These two struggle with each other and give rise to the events of history, until finally the two fuse into a new organization (synthesis). This synthesis in turn becomes established as a new thesis to a new opposition or antithesis, and the struggle continues, as history continues. [5]

It’s kind of like on Seinfeld where Jerry has a black and white cookie, and when you eat that black and white cookie it’s different than if you just had either a black cookie or a white cookie.

To be Earth Emperor it’s good to have a religion, cause religion means “to bind”. You hear on television a lot, “The truth will set you free”. So when you’re in a religion you can’t be free cause you’re bound. So as a religion I was thinking of a green religion as the synthesis.

So as the thesis you have the old religions like Christianity and Catholicism where they worship Gods, and then you have the antithesis where they worship the idea that their is no God. So they’re opposites, where one says that if you consume a lot then it’s a sin, and the other one says to just do it and be happy.

So they’re kind of like opposites; thesis and antithesis. So when you bring them together you could have like the crazy worship of the older religions and combine the “there is no God” worship from the other with that, so they’ll worship the Earth in a crazy way.

In the book on page 35, when Mikhail says you educate the children early on about greening, you can indoctrinate them and turn them into like that fat chick from Trading Spouses where she says she’s a “God Warrior!”. Have that type of person, but have them as an “Earth Warrior!”.

What I am saying here is that the disintegration of the middle class arose from a failure to transfer its outlook to its children. This failure was thus a failure of education, and may seem, at first glance, to be all the more surprising, since our education system has been, consciously or unconsciously, organized as a mechanism for indoctrination of the young in middle-class ideology. In fact, rather surprisingly, it would appear that our educational system, unlike those of continental Europe, has been more concerned with indoctrination of middle-class outlook than with teaching patriotism or nationalism. As a reflection of this, it has been more concerned with instilling attitudes and behavior than with intellectual training. [7]

So the green religion priests will not be the guys who wear the dresses, but they’ll be the guys who wear the white coats; experts, like the scientists. So experts and scientists will be the new priests for the new green religion.

Regardless of the outcome of the situation, it is increasingly clear that, in the twentieth century, the expert will replace the industrial tycoon in control of the economic system even as he will replace the democratic voter in control of the political system. This is because planning will inevitably replace laissez faire in the relationships between the two systems. This planning may not be single or unified, but it will be planning, in which the main framework and operational forces of the system will be established and limited by the experts on the governmental side; then the experts within the big units on the economic side will do their planning within these established limitations. Hopefully, the elements of choice and freedom may survive for the ordinary individual in that he may be free to make a choice between two opposing political groups (even if these groups have little policy choice within the parameters of policy established by the experts) and he may have the choice to switch his economic support from one large unit to another. But, in general, his freedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number, through his educational training, his required military or other public service, his tax contributions, his health and medical requirements, and his final retirement and death benefits. [8]

So that was what I was thinking, and that is about it.

Daniel Kemp


1. Mikhail Gorbachev, The Search For A New Beginning : Developing a New Civilization (San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, c1995.), 9-10

2. Ibid., 44

3. Ibid., 8

4. Ibid., 35

5. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and hope : a history of the world in our time (New York : Macmillan ; Collier-Macmillan, 1966), 378

6. “Religion.” The American dictionary of the English language based on the latest conclusions of the most eminent philologists . . . (New York : P.F. Collier & son, 1911)

7. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and hope : a history of the world in our time (New York : Macmillan ; Collier-Macmillan, 1966), 1249

8. Ibid., 866

Put in Books
  • http://www.londontheatreblog.co.uk Andrew Eglinton

    Hi, I came across your blog via your ad on 1938media and I like what you’re doing here. Parody without laughter is almost tragic.

    Since the books you’re reading and the overall theme of your blog deals with the mechanics of power, I’m wondering whether you’ve looked at Michel Foucault, particularly Discipline and Punish? Just a thought…

    Good luck with the show.

  • http://www.earthemperor.com Daniel Kemp

    @Andrew Eglinton: Hello Andrew.

    I have no idea who Michel Foucault is. What is it about Discipline and Punish that makes it good for me to read?

  • http://www.londontheatreblog.co.uk Andrew Eglinton

    Hi Daniel.

    on the surface, Discipline and Punish is Foucault’s exploration of the modern prison system. At its core, it is his ‘vivisection’ of institutional power, in which the philosopher lays bare the relationship between technology and power at the dawn of the modern era.

    The book is astonishing in its detail and wide-reaching in the application of its core tenets. It has given me a lot food for thought in reading around colonial history for example. I would suggest it as a stepping stone on anyone’s road to understanding the workings of ‘Western’ institutional power.

  • http://www.earthemperor.com Daniel Kemp

    @Andrew Eglinton: OK wicked. I will mention it to the librarian when I see her today or tomorrow.

    If you have any other book recommendations then let me know them.

    Thank you Andrew,
    Daniel Kemp