In fact, Gorbechev did not want the wall to fall, and made gallant efforts to keep it up. Instead, it was Ronald Reagan who was the first visionary who saw the writing on the wall (no pun intended) that it was time for the wall to come down. He saw this as a great opportunity for democracy.
At the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, Reagan said:
"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!"So, when the wall eventually did fall, it was a victory for democracy, and a failure for Communism. However, since the media is a champion of liberalism, a sister of Communism, they failed to see Reagan as being responsible; or at least failed to accept it. So it's for this reason most history books won't give credit to Reagan.
Instead, Gorbachev was seen as a hero for pushing for reform in Russia. It is for this reason that he, and not Reagan, won the Noble Peace Prize in 1990. He received the award "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community."
The truth is that Gorbachev did not push for reform by slight of his own desires, he did so because the Russian economy could not keep up with the United States.
The U.S. was able to accomplish this because Reagan created an economic environment whereby every person had an equal opportunity to improve his lot in life. In the U.S. there was the incentive of making profits for those who took risks. So Reagan was able to get the most out of the American people, and the economy thrived.
Gorbachev, on the other hand, was unable to accomplish this goal. Because all people made the same amount of money regardless of effort made, there was no motivation to do more than the minimum needed to survive; there was no monetary incentive. The Russian economy faltered. There was plenty of food, but no means of getting it to tables.
So while the American capitalistic democracy thrived, Soviet Communism failed. This is what lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with Gorbachev, and every thing to do with Reagan.
The truth is, as Margarette Thatcher said, the Wall collapsed because the Soviet Union could not keep up.
But the truth doesn't matter to those with a political agenda. Most of our historians, journalists, and teachers tend to be liberal, and it is they who report the news and write the history books. So they have a great opportunity to spin events to advance their liberal agenda.
Their version of the falling of the Berlin wall is that it was a symbol of strength of Communism and Socialism. Since liberalism is the antithesis of capitalism and a sister of Communism and Socialism, the fall of the wall was reported not as a success of capitalism, but a failure of Communism.
Wall Street Journal's Anthony R. Dolen, on November 8, 2009, explained it best in his commentary, "Four Little Words."
Reagan had the carefully arrived at view that criminal regimes were different, that their whole way of looking at the world was inverted, that they saw acts of conciliation as weakness, and that rather than making nice in return they felt an inner compulsion to exploit this perceived weakness by engaging in more acts of aggression. All this confirmed the criminal mind's abiding conviction in its own omniscience and sovereignty, and its right to rule and victimize others.The Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union had waged since about 1947. It did not end until 1991, and the brilliant campaign by Ronald Reagan that went against normal thinking is what caused the Collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. It's a shame he is not given rightful credit for this success.
Accordingly, Reagan spoke formally and repeatedly of deploying against criminal regimes the one weapon they fear more than military or economic sanction: the publicly-spoken truth about their moral absurdity, their ontological weakness. This was the sort of moral confrontation, as countless dissidents and resisters have noted, that makes these regimes conciliatory, precisely because it heartens those whom they fear most—their own oppressed people. Reagan's understanding that rhetorical confrontation causes geopolitical conciliation led in no small part to the wall's collapse 20 years ago today.