Self-serving speeches have been another glasnost weapon. Lenin’s glasnost speeches changed Marxism so much that his followers ended up calling it “Leninism.” Stalin put Marxism, Leninism, Hegel’s dialectics and Feuerbach’s materialism into one bowl of glasnost and came up with his own “Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism.”
Ceausescu’s glasnost speeches were a ludicrous mixture of Marxism, nationalism and Byzantine fawning called Ceausism. All his speeches were focused on Ceausescu, and all were so slippery, undefined and ever-changing that he filled 24 volumes of his collected works without being able to describe what his Ceausism really meant. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed, signaling the end of the Soviet Empire. On November 14, Ceausescu convoked the XIV Congress of the Communist Party where he gave a four-hour glasnost speech that persuaded the participants to reelect him and his illiterate wife as leaders of Romania.
Glasnost speeches work for people who do not know what glasnost really means. They have worked for President Obama as well. In his first 231 days in the White House, he gave 263 speeches.[xiv] All were basically about himself.[xv] His 2010 State of the Union speech contained the word “I” 76 times. In 2011, when he announced that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Ladin, President Obama used the words “I”, “me,” and “my” a combined 13 times in his just 1,300-word speech.[xvi] “I directed the director of the CIA … I met repeatedly with my national security team … I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action … At my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.”[xvii] President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address contained the word I 45 times and the word me 13 times. By that time he had been in the White House for 1080 days, and he had given 726 speeches.[xviii]