Mikhail Gorbachev has been saying for years that the US needed change, and for the first time, he writes in the Washington Post, people have been meeting him with applause rather than skepticism. America needs a perestroika—a restructuring—because, like Russia in the 1980s, it can no longer revert to its past. The economic crisis reveals the free market dogma "force-fed to the rest of the world" to be an "illusion."
When the Soviet Union transitioned to the free market, the US hailed it as an ideological victory. But the global crisis shows that the US missed calls for change of its own, and now, Gorbachev argues, "The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing." The US was not only the "architect" of the world economic model, but its "main beneficiary," and so it falls to America to lead a global perestroika.