For ideology, as we have seen, taught them that the outside world was hostile and that it was their duty eventually to overthrow the political forces beyond their borders. Then powerful hands of Russian history and tradition reached up to sustain them in this feeling. Finally, their own aggressive intransigence with respect to the outside world began to find its own reaction; and they were soon forced, to use another Gibbonesque phrase, "to chastise the contumacy" which they themselves had provoked. It is an undeniable privilege of every man to prove himself right in the thesis that the world is his enemy; for if he reiterates it frequently enough and makes it the background of his conduct he is bound eventually to be right.
Now it lies in the nature of the mental world of the Soviet leaders, as well as in the character of their ideology, that no opposition to them can be officially recognized as having any merit or justification whatsoever. Such opposition can flow, in theory, only from the hostile and incorrigible forces of dying capitalism. As long as remnants of capitalism were officially recognized as existing in Russia, it was possible to place on them, as an internal element, part of the blame for the maintenance of a dictatorial form of society.
But as these remnants were liquidated, little by little, this justification fell away, and when it was indicated officially that they had been finally destroyed, it disappeared altogether. And this fact created one of the most basic of the compulsions which came to act upon the Soviet regime: since capitalism no longer existed in Russia and since it could not be admitted that there could be serious or widespread opposition to the Kremlin springing spontaneously from the liberated masses under its authority, it became necessary to justify the retention of the dictatorship by stressing the menace of capitalism abroad.
This began at an early date. In Stalin specifically defended the retention of the "organs of suppression," meaning, among others, the army and the secret police, on the ground that "as long as there is a capitalistic encirclement there will be danger of intervention with all the consequences that flow from that danger.
By the same token, tremendous emphasis has been placed on the original Communist thesis of a basic antagonism between the capitalist and Socialist worlds. It is clear, from many indications, that this emphasis is not founded in reality. The real facts concerning it have been confused by the existence abroad of genuine resentment provoked by Soviet philosophy and tactics and occasionally by the existence of great centers of military power, notably the Nazi regime in Germany and the Japanese Government of the late s, which indeed have aggressive designs against the Soviet Union.
But there is ample evidence that the stress laid in Moscow on the menace confronting Soviet society from the world outside its borders is founded not in the realities of foreign antagonism but in the necessity of explaining away the maintenance of dictatorial authority at home. Now the maintenance of this pattern of Soviet power, namely, the pursuit of unlimited authority domestically, accompanied by the cultivation of the semi-myth of implacable foreign hostility, has gone far to shape the actual machinery of Soviet power as we know it today.
Internal organs of administration which did not serve this purpose withered on the vine. Organs which did serve this purpose became vastly swollen. The security of Soviet power came to rest on the iron discipline of the Party, on the severity and ubiquity of the secret police, and on the uncompromising economic monopolism of the state.
The "organs of suppression," in which the Soviet leaders had sought security from rival forces, became in large measures the masters of those whom they were designed to serve. Today the major part of the structure of Soviet power is committed to the perfection of the dictatorship and to the maintenance of the concept of Russia as in a state of siege, with the enemy lowering beyond the walls. And the millions of human beings who form that part of the structure of power must defend at all costs this concept of Russia's position, for without it they are themselves superfluous.
As things stand today, the rulers can no longer dream of parting with these organs of suppression. The quest for absolute power, pursued now for nearly three decades with a ruthlessness unparalleled in scope at least in modern times, has again produced internally, as it did externally, its own reaction.
The excesses of the police apparatus have fanned the potential opposition to the regime into something far greater and more dangerous than it could have been before those excesses began. But least of all can the rulers dispense with the fiction by which the maintenance of dictatorial power has been defended. For this fiction has been canonized in Soviet philosophy by the excesses already committed in its name; and it is now anchored in the Soviet structure of thought by bonds far greater than those of mere ideology.
So much for the historical background. What does it spell in terms of the political personality of Soviet power as we know it today? Of the original ideology, nothing has been officially junked. Belief is maintained in the basic badness of capitalism, in the inevitability of its destruction, in the obligation of the proletariat to assist in that destruction and to take power into its own hands.
But stress has come to be laid primarily on those concepts which relate most specifically to the Soviet regime itself: to its position as the sole truly Socialist regime in a dark and misguided world, and to the relationships of power within it. The first of these concepts is that of the innate antagonism between capitalism and Socialism. We have seen how deeply that concept has become imbedded in foundations of Soviet power.
It has profound implications for Russia's conduct as a member of international society. It means that there can never be on Moscow's side an sincere assumption of a community of aims between the Soviet Union and powers which are regarded as capitalist. It must inevitably be assumed in Moscow that the aims of the capitalist world are antagonistic to the Soviet regime, and therefore to the interests of the peoples it controls. If the Soviet government occasionally sets it signature to documents which would indicate the contrary, this is to regarded as a tactical maneuver permissible in dealing with the enemy who is without honor and should be taken in the spirit of caveat emptor.
Basically, the antagonism remains. It is postulated. And from it flow many of the phenomena which we find disturbing in the Kremlin's conduct of foreign policy: the secretiveness, the lack of frankness, the duplicity, the wary suspiciousness, and the basic unfriendliness of purpose. These phenomena are there to stay, for the foreseeable future. There can be variations of degree and of emphasis. When there is something the Russians want from us, one or the other of these features of their policy may be thrust temporarily into the background; and when that happens there will always be Americans who will leap forward with gleeful announcements that "the Russians have changed," and some who will even try to take credit for having brought about such "changes.
These characteristics of Soviet policy, like the postulate from which they flow, are basic to the internal nature of Soviet power, and will be with us, whether in the foreground or the background, until the internal nature of Soviet power is changed. This means we are going to continue for long time to find the Russians difficult to deal with. It does not mean that they should be considered as embarked upon a do-or-die program to overthrow our society by a given date. The theory of the inevitability of the eventual fall of capitalism has the fortunate connotation that there is no hurry about it.
The promotion of premature, "adventuristic" revolutionary projects abroad which might embarrass Soviet power in any way would be an inexcusable, even a counter-revolutionary act. The cause of Socialism is the support and promotion of Soviet power, as defined in Moscow. This brings us to the second of the concepts important to contemporary Soviet outlook.
That is the infallibility of the Kremlin. The Soviet concept of power, which permits no focal points of organization outside the Party itself, requires that the Party leadership remain in theory the sole repository of truth. For if truth were to be found elsewhere, there would be justification for its expression in organized activity. But it is precisely that which the Kremlin cannot and will not permit.
The leadership of the Communist Party is therefore always right, and has been always right ever since in Stalin formalized his personal power by announcing that decisions of the Politburo were being taken unanimously.
The Communistic Societies of the United States by Charles Nordhoff
On the principle of infallibility there rests the iron discipline of the Communist Party. In fact, the two concepts are mutually self-supporting. Perfect discipline requires recognition of infallibility. Infallibility requires the observance of discipline. And the two go far to determine the behaviorism of the entire Soviet apparatus of power. But their effect cannot be understood unless a third factor be taken into account: namely, the fact that the leadership is at liberty to put forward for tactical purposes any particular thesis which it finds useful to the cause at any particular moment and to require the faithful and unquestioning acceptance of that thesis by the members of the movement as a whole.
This means that truth is not a constant but is actually created, for all intents and purposes, by the Soviet leaders themselves. It may vary from week to week, from month to month. It is nothing absolute and immutable -- nothing which flows from objective reality. It is only the most recent manifestation of the wisdom of those in whom the ultimate wisdom is supposed to reside, because they represent the logic of history. The accumulative effect of these factors is to give to the whole subordinate apparatus of Soviet power an unshakable stubbornness and steadfastness in its orientation.
This orientation can be changed at will by the Kremlin but by no other power. Once a given party line has been laid down on a given issue of current policy, the whole Soviet governmental machine, including the mechanism of diplomacy, moves inexorably along the prescribed path, like a persistent toy automobile wound up and headed in a given direction, stopping only when it meets with some unanswerable force. The individuals who are the components of this machine are unamenable to argument or reason, which comes to them from outside sources.
Their whole training has taught them to mistrust and discount the glib persuasiveness of the outside world. Like the white dog before the phonograph, they hear only the "master's voice. Thus the foreign representative cannot hope that his words will make any impression on them. The most that he can hope is that they will be transmitted to those at the top, who are capable of changing the party line.
But even those are not likely to be swayed by any normal logic in the words of the bourgeois representative.
See a Problem?
Since there can be no appeal to common purposes, there can be no appeal to common mental approaches. For this reason, facts speak louder than words to the ears of the Kremlin; and words carry the greatest weight when they have the ring of reflecting, or being backed up by, facts of unchallengeable validity. But we have seen that the Kremlin is under no ideological compulsion to accomplish its purposes in a hurry.
Like the Church, it is dealing in ideological concepts which are of long-term validity, and it can afford to be patient. It has no right to risk the existing achievements of the revolution for the sake of vain baubles of the future.
- Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto.
- 320 Baby Girl Names Beginning with S.
The very teachings of Lenin himself require great caution and flexibility in the pursuit of Communist purposes. Again, these precepts are fortified by the lessons of Russian history: of centuries of obscure battles between nomadic forces over the stretches of a vast unfortified plain.
Here caution, circumspection, flexibility and deception are the valuable qualities; and their value finds a natural appreciation in the Russian or the oriental mind. Upon opening it, she screams and bursts into flames. The hero and his secretary narrowly escape before the box explodes in a powerful atomic blast. Atomic Age fears provided science fiction writers with the inspiration for hundreds of stories, many of which conveyed political and moral messages as they shocked and entertained American readers and movie audiences.
Three story types had emerged by the mids: the first dealt with atomic warfare; the second showed dinosaurs or fantastical beasts awakened or created by atomic blasts; and the third type depicted human deformities resulting from atomic experiments gone awry. Some science fiction writers and film makers dramatized the horrors of atomic war in the hope that public awareness of nuclear annihilation would help prevent Armageddon.
Others supported the growth of an American nuclear arsenal as a way to discourage foreign attack.
Anticommunism in the 1950s
They portrayed the Soviets as aggressors who force Americans into a position of nuclear retaliation against the evil Communist empire. These science fiction stories almost always included a creature who is created and then destroyed by nuclear power, graphically illustrating both the fear and hope inspired by atomic energy.
Besides octopuses and dinosaurs, other mutants were made from ants, grasshoppers, crabs, alligators, and spiders. Some scholars believe the creatures also may have been metaphors for the Communists. The majority of these stories dealt with radioactive experiments that deformed humans, usually scientists. Some atomic accidents benefited those affected, but others led to death. A few stories looked at the possibility of nuclear accidents destroying the world in a way no different from an atomic war.
Positive portrayals of atomic bomb blasts, along with toys and games that made light of atomic bomb destruction like those in the case below, may have helped diffuse some of the fear the American public felt about the bomb by desensitizing them to the devastation an atomic bomb could cause. While "atomic fiction" depicted possible fearful scenarios using atomic bombs and radiation, documentary sources illustrated the reality. Newspapers, magazines, books, and pamphlets described in vivid detail the effects of nuclear bombs on the Bikini Atoll Republic of the Marshall Islands , Hiroshima Japan , and Nagasaki Japan.
These published sources also kept Americans abreast of the latest atomic developments and their destructive forces and explained the devastating results if a bomb were to be dropped on the United States.
The Immigrant's Statue
All combined to reinforce the fear Americans had about anything atomic. These newspapers, magazines, books, and pamphlets describe in vivid detail the effects of nuclear bombs on the Bikini Atoll, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The first was detonated in the air and caused relatively little damage.
The limited impact of this explosion received much press coverage and calmed many Americans. The second bomb test, exploded below water, caused tremendous damage and made at least those involved more aware of the destructive power of radiation. Today when Americans think of communism, it brings back memories of a dark time. Fears of communism in America were a manifestation of political anxiety over the infiltration of international influences, namely tied to Soviet Russia, during the 20th century.
The philosophical basis of this fear was based on the significant differences between capitalism and communism as economic systems while the most noteworthy historical examples of it were the Red Scare after World War I, McCarthyism in the s and the Cold War. There were several reasons that caused the fear of communism in the United States. These include the Red Scare and McCarthyism, the association communism had with the Soviet Union, The Cold War and finally, the simple fact that communism was the complete opposite of capitalism.
Communism in America began as a state ideology which emerged in Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution in Previously part of the Social Democratic Labour Party, the Bolsheviks used Lenin's charismatic leadership institutionalize their communist ideology in a new Soviet state. So, why did Americans fear it? Well, the "American Dream" that most people have historically associated with the United States comes from a capitalist system which emphasizes independent economic production and trading in a free market economy.
This is the opposite in communism, which is an economic system in which a governing body plans and regulates the economy and responsibility for production is shared equally by a society. Naturally, this made Americans afraid of what they didn't know, didn't understand and didn't practice themselves. Another factor that caused communism fears in the U.
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