< Home > 6-21-2022 :: Understanding Russia   [ History of North America : "American History" : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States ]

Russian History [ VERSION 1 ]

 SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia#History ::   See Also > [  History of Russia VERSION 2  (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Russia  ) ]

 (Early history)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Age :: 

The first human settlement on Russia dates back to the Oldowan period in the early Lower Paleolithic. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Paleolithic )



"...   The Oldowan (or Mode I) was a widespread stone tool archaeological industry (style) in prehistory. These early tools were simple, usually made with one or a few flakes chipped off with another stone. Oldowan tools were used during the Lower Paleolithic period, 2.6 million years ago up until at least 1.7 million years ago, by ancient Hominins (early humans) across much of Africa. This technological industry was followed by the more sophisticated Acheulean industry (two sites associated with Homo erectus at Gona in the Afar Region of Ethiopia dating from 1.5 and 1.26 million years ago have both Oldowan and Acheulean tools[2]).

The term Oldowan is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where the first Oldowan stone tools were discovered by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in the 1930s. However, some contemporary archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists prefer to use the term Mode 1 tools to designate pebble tool industries (including Oldowan), with Mode 2 designating bifacially worked tools (including Acheulean handaxes), Mode 3 designating prepared-core tools, and so forth.[3]

Classification of Oldowan tools is still somewhat contentious. Mary Leakey was the first to create a system to classify Oldowan assemblages, and built her system based on prescribed use. The system included choppersscrapers, and pounders.[4][5] However, more recent classifications of Oldowan assemblages have been made that focus primarily on manufacture due to the problematic nature of assuming use from stone artefacts. An example is Isaac et al.'s tri-modal categories of "Flaked Pieces" (cores/choppers), "Detached Pieces" (flakes and fragments), "Pounded Pieces" (cobbles utilized as hammerstones, etc.) and "Unmodified Pieces" (manuports, stones transported to sites).[6] Oldowan tools are sometimes called "pebble tools", so named because the blanks chosen for their production already resemble, in pebble form, the final product.[7]

It is not known for sure which hominin species created and used Oldowan tools. Its emergence is often associated with the species Australopithecus garhi[8] and its flourishing with early species of Homo such as H. habilis and H. ergaster. Early Homo erectus appears to inherit Oldowan technology and refines it into the Acheulean industry beginning 1.7 million years ago.[9]


Canto tallado 2-Guelmim-Es Semara.jpg
Geographical range Afro-Eurasia
Period Lower Paleolithic
Dates 2.6 million years BP – 1.7 million years BP
Major sites Olduvai Gorge
Preceded by Lomekwi 3[1]
Followed by Acheulean
The Paleolithic
↑ Pliocene (before Homo)

Lower Paleolithic
 (c. 3.3 Ma – 300 ka)


Middle Paleolithic
 (c. 300–50 ka)


Upper Paleolithic
 (c. 50–12 ka)

↓ Mesolithic

 About 2 million years ago, representatives of Homo erectus Image of reconstruction based on ER 3733 by John Gurche (https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-erectus)  migrated to the Taman Peninsula ( https://www.google.com/maps/place/Taman+Peninsula/@45.2435993,34.5677528,7z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x40ee850b14002285:0xdae927440ccafb17!8m2!3d45.185556!4d36.791111?hl=en-US ) in southern Russia.[25]  ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Russia )

Flint tools, some 1.5 million years old, have been discovered in the North Caucasus.[26] Radiocarbon dated specimens from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains estimate the oldest Denisovan specimen lived 195–122,700 years ago.[27] Fossils of "Denny", an archaic human hybrid that was half Neanderthal and half Denisovan, and lived some 90,000 years ago, was also found within the latter cave.[28] Russia was home to some of the last surviving Neanderthals, from about 45,000 years ago, found in Mezmaiskaya cave.[29]

The first trace of a early modern human in Russia dates back to 45,000 years, in western Siberia.[30] The discovery of high concentration cultural remains of anatomically modern humans, from at least 40,000 years ago, was found at Kostyonki and Borshchyovo,[31] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostyonki%E2%80%93Borshchyovo_archaeological_complex )
and at Sungir, [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sungir ] 
dating back to 34,600 years ago—both, respectively in western Russia.[32] Humans reached Arctic Russia at least 40,000 years ago, in Mamontovaya Kurya.[33]


The Kurgan hypothesis places the Volga-Dnieper region of southern Russia and Ukraine as the urheimat of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.[34]

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan_hypothesis "... 

The Kurgan hypothesis (also known as the Kurgan theory or Kurgan model) or Steppe theory is the most widely accepted proposal to identify the Proto-Indo-European homeland from which the Indo-European languages spread out throughout Europe and parts of Asia.[1][2] It postulates that the people of a Kurgan culture in the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). The term is derived from the Russian kurgan (курга́н), meaning tumulus or burial mound.

The Steppe theory was first formulated by Otto Schrader (1883) and V. Gordon Childe (1926),[3][4] then systematized in the 1950s by Marija Gimbutas, who used the term to group various prehistoric cultures, including the Yamnaya (or Pit Grave) culture and its predecessors. In the 2000s, David Anthony instead used the core Yamnaya culture and its relationship with other cultures as a point of reference.


Gimbutas defined the Kurgan culture as composed of four successive periods, with the earliest (Kurgan I) including the Samara and Seroglazovo cultures of the DnieperVolga region in the Copper Age (early 4th millennium BC). The people of these cultures were nomadic pastoralists, who, according to the model, by the early 3rd millennium BC had expanded throughout the Pontic–Caspian steppe and into Eastern Europe.[5]

Three genetic studies in 2015 gave partial support to the Steppe theory regarding the Indo-European Urheimat. According to those studies, haplogroups R1b and R1a, now the most common in Europe (R1a is also common in South Asia) would have expanded from the steppes north of the Pontic and Caspian seas, along with at least some of the Indo-European languages; they also detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans which was not present in Neolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as Indo-European languages.[6][7][8]


Nomadic pastoralism developed in the Pontic–Caspian steppe beginning in the Chalcolithic.[35] Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in places such as Ipatovo,[35] Sintashta,[36] Arkaim,[37] and Pazyryk,[38] which bear the earliest known traces of horses in warfare.[36] 

In classical antiquity, the Pontic-Caspian Steppe was known as Scythia.[39] 
In late 8th century BCE, Ancient Greek traders brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.[40]

In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD, the Gothic kingdom of Oium existed in Southern Russia, which was later overrun by Huns.[41] 

Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, which was a Hellenistic polity that succeeded the Greek colonies,[42] was also overwhelmed by nomadic invasions led by warlike tribes such as the Huns and Eurasian Avars.[43] The Khazars, who were of Turkic origin, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas until the 10th century.[44]

The ancestors of Russians are among the Slavic tribes that separated from the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who appeared in the northeastern part of Europe ca. 1500 years ago.[45] The East Slavs gradually settled western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev towards present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk towards Novgorod and Rostov.

From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in western Russia,[46] and slowly but peacefully assimilated the native Finnic peoples.[41]

Kievan Rus'

Main articles: Rus' KhaganateKievan Rus'; and List of tribes and states in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine

Kievan Rus' in the 11th century

The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of Varangians, the Vikings who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas.[47] 

According to the Primary Chronicle, a Varangian from the Rus' people, named Rurik, was elected ruler of Novgorod in 862. In 882, his successor Oleg ventured south and conquered Kiev, which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars.[41] 

Rurik's son Igor and Igor's son Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all local East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule, destroyed the Khazar Khaganate,[48] and launched several military expeditions to Byzantium and Persia.[49][50]

In the 10th to 11th centuries, Kievan Rus' became one of the largest and most prosperous states in Europe.

The reigns of Vladimir the Great (980–1015) and his son Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054) constitute the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium, and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda.[41] 

The age of feudalism and decentralization had come, marked by constant in-fighting between members of the Rurik dynasty that ruled Kievan Rus' collectively.
Kiev's dominance waned, to the benefit of Vladimir-Suzdal in the north-east, Novgorod Republic in the north-west and Galicia-Volhynia in the south-west.[41]

Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated, with the final blow being the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240, which resulted in the sacking of Kiev, and the death of a major part of the population of Rus'.[41] 

The invaders, later known as Tatars, formed the state of the Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian principalities and ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over two centuries.[51]

Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Kingdom of Poland, while the Novgorod Republic and Vladimir-Suzdal, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation.[41] Led by Prince Alexander Nevsky, Novgorodians repelled the invading Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240,[52] as well as the Germanic crusaders in the Battle of the Ice in 1242.[53]

Grand Duchy of Moscow

Main article: Grand Duchy of Moscow

Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy in Trinity Sergius Lavra, before the Battle of Kulikovo, depicted in a painting by Ernst Lissner

The most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus' was the Grand Duchy of Moscow, initially a part of Vladimir-Suzdal.[54] While still under the domain of the Mongol-Tatars and with their connivance, Moscow began to assert its influence in the region in the early 14th century, gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus' lands' reunification and expansion of Russia.[55] 
Moscow's last rival, the Novgorod Republic, prospered as the chief fur trade centre and the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League.[56]

Led by Prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow and helped by the Russian Orthodox Church, the united army of Russian principalities inflicted a milestone defeat on the Mongol-Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380.[41] Moscow gradually absorbed its parent Vladimir-Suzdal, and then surrounding principalities, including formerly strong rivals such as Tver and Novgorod.[54]

Ivan III ("the Great") finally threw off the control of the Golden Horde and consolidated the whole of northern Rus' under Moscow's dominion, and was the first Russian ruler to take the title title "Grand Duke of all Rus'".

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Moscow claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. Ivan III married Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI, and made the Byzantine double-headed eagle his own, and eventually Russia's, coat-of-arms.[54]

Tsardom of Russia

Main article: Tsardom of Russia

See also: Moscow, third Rome

Tsar Ivan the Terrible, in an evocation by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897.

In development of the Third Rome ideas, the grand duke Ivan IV (the "Terrible") was officially crowned the first tsar of Russia in 1547.

The tsar promulgated a new code of laws (Sudebnik of 1550), established the first Russian feudal representative body (Zemsky Sobor), revamped the military, curbed the influence of the clergy, and reorganised local government.[54] During his long reign, Ivan nearly doubled the already large Russian territory by annexing the three Tatar khanates: Kazan and Astrakhan along the Volga,[57] and the Khanate of Sibir in southwestern Siberia. Ultimately, by the end of the 16th century, Russia expanded east of the Ural Mountains.[58] 

However, the Tsardom was weakened by the long and unsuccessful Livonian War against the coalition of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (later the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth), the Kingdom of Sweden, and Denmark–Norway for access to the Baltic coast and sea trade.[59] In 1572, an invading army of Crimean Tatars were thoroughly defeated in the crucial Battle of Molodi.[60]

The death of Ivan's sons marked the end of the ancient Rurik dynasty in 1598, and in combination with the disastrous famine of 1601–1603, led to a civil war, the rule of pretenders, and foreign intervention during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century.[61] The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, taking advantage, occupied parts of Russia, extending into the capital Moscow.[62] In 1612, the Poles were forced to retreat by the Russian volunteer corps, led by merchant Kuzma Minin and prince Dmitry Pozharsky.[63] The Romanov dynasty acceded to the throne in 1613 by the decision of Zemsky Sobor, and the country started its gradual recovery from the crisis.[64]

Russia continued its territorial growth through the 17th century, which was the age of the Cossacks.[65] In 1654, the Ukrainian leader, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, offered to place Ukraine under the protection of the Russian tsar, Alexis; whose acceptance of this offer led to another Russo-Polish War. Ultimately, Ukraine was split along the Dnieper, leaving the eastern part, (Left-bank Ukraine and Kiev) under Russian rule.[66] In the east, the rapid Russian exploration and colonisation of vast Siberia continued, hunting for valuable furs and ivory. Russian explorers pushed eastward primarily along the Siberian River Routes, and by the mid-17th century, there were Russian settlements in eastern Siberia, on the Chukchi Peninsula, along the Amur River, and on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.[65] In 1648, Semyon Dezhnyov became the first European to navigate through the Bering Strait.[67]

Imperial Russia

Main article: Russian Empire

Russian expansion and territorial evolution between the 14th and 20th centuries.

Under Peter the Great, Russia was proclaimed an empire in 1721, and established itself as one the European great powers. Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700−1721), securing Russia's access to the sea and sea trade. In 1703, on the Baltic Sea, Peter founded Saint Petersburg as Russia's new capital. Throughout his rule, sweeping reforms were made, which brought significant Western European cultural influences to Russia.[68] The reign of Peter I's daughter Elizabeth in 1741–1762 saw Russia's participation in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). During the conflict, Russian troops overran East Prussia, reaching Berlin.[69] However, upon Elizabeth's death, all these conquests were returned to the Kingdom of Prussia by pro-Prussian Peter III of Russia.[70]

Catherine II ("the Great"), who ruled in 1762–1796, presided over the Russian Age of Enlightenment. She extended Russian political control over the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and annexed most of its territories into Russia, making it the most populous country in Europe.[71] In the south, after the successful Russo-Turkish Wars against the Ottoman Empire, Catherine advanced Russia's boundary to the Black Sea, by dissolving the Crimean Khanate, and annexing Crimea.[72] As a result of victories over Qajar Iran through the Russo-Persian Wars, by the first half of the 19th century, Russia also made significant territorial gains in the Caucasus.[73] Catherine's successor, her son Paul, was unstable and focused predominantly on domestic issues.[74] Following his short reign, Catherine's strategy was continued with Alexander I's (1801–1825) wresting of Finland from the weakened Sweden in 1809,[75] and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812.[76] In North America, the Russians became the first Europeans to reach and colonise Alaska.[77] In 1803–1806, the first Russian circumnavigation was made.[78] In 1820, a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica.[79]

During the Napoleonic Wars, Russia joined alliances with various European powers, and fought against France.

The French invasion of Russia at the height of Napoleon's power in 1812 reached Moscow, but eventually failed miserably as the obstinate resistance in combination with the bitterly cold Russian winter led to a disastrous defeat of invaders, in which the pan-European Grande Armée faced utter destruction. Led by Mikhail Kutuzov and Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, the Imperial Russian Army ousted Napoleon and drove throughout Europe in the War of the Sixth Coalition, ultimately entering Paris.[80] Alexander I controlled Russia's delegation at the Congress of Vienna, which defined the map of post-Napoleonic Europe.[81]

Napoleon's retreat from Moscow by Albrecht Adam (1851).

The officers who pursued Napoleon into Western Europe brought ideas of liberalism back to Russia, and attempted to curtail the tsar's powers during the abortive Decembrist revolt of 1825.[82] At the end of the conservative reign of Nicholas I (1825–1855), a zenith period of Russia's power and influence in Europe, was disrupted by defeat in the Crimean War.[83] Nicholas's successor Alexander II (1855–1881) enacted significant changes throughout the country, including the emancipation reform of 1861.[84] These reforms spurred industrialisation, and modernised the Imperial Russian Army, which liberated much of the Balkans from Ottoman rule in the aftermath of the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War.[85] During most of the 19th and early 20th century, Russia and Britain colluded over Afghanistan and its neighboring territories in Central and South Asia; the rivalry between the two major European empires came to be known as the Great Game.[86]

The late 19th century saw the rise of various socialist movements in Russia. Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 by revolutionary terrorists.[87] The reign of his son Alexander III (1881–1894) was less liberal but more peaceful.[88] Under last Russian emperor, Nicholas II (1894–1917), the Revolution of 1905 was triggered by the failure of the humiliating Russo-Japanese War .[89] The uprising was put down, but the government was forced to concede major reforms (Russian Constitution of 1906), including granting the freedoms of speech and assembly, the legalisation of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the State Duma.[90]

Revolution and civil war

Main articles: Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War

Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and the Romanovs were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

In 1914, Russia entered World War I in response to Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Russia's ally Serbia,[91] and fought across multiple fronts while isolated from its Triple Entente allies.[92] In 1916, the Brusilov Offensive of the Imperial Russian Army almost completely destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Army.[93] However, the already-existing public distrust of the regime was deepened by the rising costs of war, high casualties, and rumors of corruption and treason. All this formed the climate for the Russian Revolution of 1917, carried out in two major acts.[94] In early 1917, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate; he and his family were imprisoned and later executed in Yekaterinburg during the Russian Civil War.[95] The monarchy was replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Provisional Government.[96] The Provisional Government proclaimed the Russian Republic in September. On 19 January [O.S. 6 January], 1918, the Russian Constituent Assembly declared Russia a democratic federal republic (thus ratifying the Provisional Government's decision). The next day the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.[94]

An alternative socialist establishment co-existed, the Petrograd Soviet, wielding power through the democratically elected councils of workers and peasants, called Soviets. The rule of the new authorities only aggravated the crisis in the country instead of resolving it, and eventually, the October Revolution, led by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government and gave full governing power to the Soviets, leading to the creation of the world's first socialist state.[94] The Russian Civil War broke out between the anti-communist White movement and the new Soviet regime with its Red Army.[97] In the aftermath of signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that concluded hostilities with the Central Powers of World War I; Bolshevist Russia surrendered most of its western territories, which hosted 34% of its population, 54% of its industries, 32% of its agricultural land, and roughly 90% of its coal mines.[98]

Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky during a 1920 speech in Moscow

The Allied powers launched an unsuccessful military intervention in support of anti-communist forces.[99] In the meantime, both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations and executions against each other, known respectively as the Red Terror and White Terror.[100] By the end of the violent civil war, Russia's economy and infrastructure were heavily damaged, and as many as 10 million perished during the war, mostly civilians.[101] Millions became White émigrés,[102] and the Russian famine of 1921–1922 claimed up to five million victims.[103]

Soviet Union

Main article: History of the Soviet Union

Location of the Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union in 1936

On 30 December 1922, Lenin and his aides formed the Soviet Union, by joining the Russian SFSR into a single state with the ByelorussianTranscaucasian, and Ukrainian republics.[104] Eventually internal border changes and annexations during World War II created a union of 15 republics; the largest in size and population being the Russian SFSR, which dominated the union for its entire history politically, culturally, and economically.[105] Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika was designated to take charge. Eventually Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, managed to suppress all opposition factions and consolidate power in his hands to become the country's dictator by the 1930s.[106] Leon Trotsky, the main proponent of world revolution, was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929,[107] and Stalin's idea of Socialism in One Country became the official line.[108] The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik party culminated in the Great Purge.[109]

Under Stalin's leadership, the government launched a command economyindustrialisation of the largely rural country, and collectivisation of its agriculture. During this period of rapid economic and social change, millions of people were sent to penal labor camps, including many political convicts for their suspected or real opposition to Stalin's rule;[110] and millions were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union.[111] The transitional disorganisation of the country's agriculture, combined with the harsh state policies and a drought, led to the Soviet famine of 1932–1933; which killed up to 8.7 million.[112] The Soviet Union, ultimately, made the costly transformation from a largely agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse within a short span of time.[113]

World War II

Main article: Soviet Union in World War II

The Battle of Stalingrad, the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, ended in 1943 with a decisive Soviet victory against the German Army.

The Soviet Union entered World War II on 17 September 1939 with its invasion of Poland,[114] in accordance with a secret protocol within the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany.[115] The Soviet Union later invaded Finland,[116] and occupied and annexed the Baltic states,[117] as well as parts of Romania.[118]: 91–95  On 22 June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union,[119] opening the Eastern Front, the largest theater of World War II.[120]: 7 

Eventually, some 5 million Red Army troops were captured by the Nazis;[121]: 272  the latter deliberately starved to death or otherwise killed 3.3 million Soviet POWs, and a vast number of civilians, as the "Hunger Plan" sought to fulfill Generalplan Ost.[122]: 175–186  Although the Wehrmacht had considerable early success, their attack was halted in the Battle of Moscow.[123] Subsequently, the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–1943,[124] and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943.[125] Another German failure was the Siege of Leningrad, in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941 and 1944 by German and Finnish forces, and suffered starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendered.[126] Soviet forces steamrolled through Eastern and Central Europe in 1944–1945 and captured Berlin in May 1945.[127] In August 1945, the Red Army invaded Manchuria and ousted the Japanese from Northeast Asia, contributing to the Allied victory over Japan.[128]

The 1941–1945 period of World War II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.[129] The Soviet Union, along with the United States, the United Kingdom and China were considered the Big Four of Allied powers in World War II, and later became the Four Policemen, which was the foundation of the United Nations Security Council.[130]: 27  During the war, Soviet civilian and military death were about 26–27 million,[131] accounting for about half of all World War II casualties.[132]: 295  The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation, which caused the Soviet famine of 1946–1947.[133] However, at the expense of a large sacrifice, the Soviet Union emerged as a global superpower.[134]

Cold War

The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Winston ChurchillFranklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.

After World War II, parts of Eastern and Central Europe, including East Germany and eastern parts of Austria were occupied by Red Army according to the Potsdam Conference.[135] Dependent communist governments were installed in the Eastern Bloc satellite states.[136] After becoming the world's second nuclear power,[137] the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact alliance,[138] and entered into a struggle for global dominance, known as the Cold War, with the rivaling United States and NATO.[139] After Stalin's death in 1953 and a short period of collective rule, the new leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and launched the policy of de-Stalinization, releasing many political prisoners from the Gulag labor camps.[140] The general easement of repressive policies became known later as the Khrushchev Thaw.[141] At the same time, Cold War tensions reached its peak when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the United States Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet missiles in Cuba.[142]

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satelliteSputnik 1, thus starting the Space Age.[143] Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, aboard the Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on 12 April 1961.[144] Following the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964, another period of collective rule ensued, until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader. The era of the 1970s and the early 1980s was later designated as the Era of Stagnation. The 1965 Kosygin reform aimed for partial decentralisation of the Soviet economy.[145] In 1979, after a communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces invaded the country, ultimately starting the Soviet–Afghan War.[146] In May 1988, the Soviets started to withdraw from Afghanistan, due to international opposition, persistent anti-Soviet guerrilla warfare, and a lack of support by Soviet citizens.[147]

Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with Ronald Reagan in the Reykjavík Summit, 1986.

From 1985 onwards, the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who sought to enact liberal reforms in the Soviet system, introduced the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to end the period of economic stagnation and to democratise the government.[148] This, however, led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements across the country.[149] Prior to 1991, the Soviet economy was the world's second-largest, but during its final years, it went into a crisis.[150]

By 1991, economic and political turmoil began to boil over as the Baltic states chose to secede from the Soviet Union.[151] On 17 March, a referendum was held, in which the vast majority of participating citizens voted in favour of changing the Soviet Union into a renewed federation.[152] In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected president in Russian history when he was elected president of the Russian SFSR.[153] In August 1991, a coup d'état attempt by members of Gorbachev's government, directed against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the Soviet Union, instead led to the end of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[154] On 25 December 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, along with contemporary Russia, fourteen other post-Soviet states emerged.[155]

Post-Soviet Russia (1991–present)

Main articles: History of Russia (1991–present) and Russia under Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office as president on his first inauguration, with Boris Yeltsin looking over, 2000.

The economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union led Russia into a deep and prolonged depression. During and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, wide-ranging reforms including privatisation and market and trade liberalisation were undertaken, including radical changes along the lines of "shock therapy".[156] The privatisation largely shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to individuals with inside connections in the government, which led to the rise of the infamous Russian oligarchs.[157] Many of the newly rich moved billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight.[158] The depression of the economy led to the collapse of social services—the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed,[159][160] and millions plunged into poverty;[161] while extreme corruption,[162] as well as criminal gangs and organised crime rose significantly.[163]

In late 1993, tensions between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament culminated in a constitutional crisis which ended violently through military force. During the crisis, Yeltsin was backed by Western governments, and over 100 people were killed.[164] In December, a referendum was held and approved, which introduced a new constitution, giving the president enormous powers.[165] The 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the North Caucasus, both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections.[166] From the time Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s, an intermittent guerrilla war was fought between the rebel groups and Russian forces.[167] Terrorist attacks against civilians were carried out by Chechen separatists, claiming the lives of thousands of Russian civilians.[e][168]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia assumed responsibility for settling the latter's external debts.[169] In 1992, most consumer price controls were eliminated, causing extreme inflation and significantly devaluing the ruble.[170] High budget deficits coupled with increasing capital flight and inability to pay back debts, caused the 1998 Russian financial crisis, which resulted in a further GDP decline.[171]

Vladimir Putin (third, left), Sergey Aksyonov (first, left), Vladimir Konstantinov (second, left) and Aleksei Chalyi (right) sign the Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia in 2014

In 1999, president Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned, handing the post to the recently appointed prime minister and his chosen successor, Vladimir Putin.[172] 

Putin then won the 2000 presidential election,[173] and defeated the Chechen insurgency in a civil war.[174] 

In 2008, Putin took the post of prime minister, while Dmitry Medvedev was elected president for one term, to hold onto power despite legal term limits.[175]

Following a diplomatic crisis with neighboring Georgia; the Russo-Georgian War took place during 1–12 August 2008, resulting in Russia imposing two unrecognized states in the territory of Georgia. It was the first European war of the 21st century.[176]

In 2014, following a revolution in Ukraine, Russia invaded and annexed the neighboring country’s Crimean peninsula,[177] and contributed to the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine.[178] 
Russia steeply escalated the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War on 24 February 2022 by launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.[179] The invasion marked the largest conventional war in Europe since World War II,[180] and was met with widespread international condemnation[181] and expanded sanctions against Russia.[182][183][184] 

As a result, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe[185] and suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council.[186] 

As of June 2022, Russian forces occupy a fifth of Ukraine's territory[187] and intense fighting is ongoing.


< Geography >  


 SOURCES:    https://archive.org/details/struggleforworld00burn/mode/2up ::::  https://archive.org/stream/struggleforworld00burn/struggleforworld00burn_djvu.txt 

  Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2011 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Archive )   -- with funding from LYRASIS ... and Sloan Foundation --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyrasis   (  https://www.lyrasis.org/Pages/Main.aspx ) ...
by Burnham, James  ::  archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Burnham%2C+James%22  

   STRUGGLE FOR THE WORLD  :: A BOOK ::  by James Burnham ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Burnham ) ::


 CONTENTS <Contents> Part 1. —The Problem

Part I. —The Problem  (page in book ) 
1. The Immaturity of the United States (1)
2. Is It Really One World? 14
3. The Political Consequences of the Atomic Bomb 26
4. World Government or World Empire? 42
5. The Nature of Communism 56
6. From Internationalism to Multi-national Bolshevism 75
7. The Goal of Soviet Policy 90
8. The Weakness and Strength of the Soviet Union 114
9. Is a Communist World Empire Desirable? 122
10. The Main Line of World Politics 130

Part II. — What Ought to Be Done
11. The Renunciation of Power 136

Part III. — What Could Be Done
12. Political Aims and Social Facts 144
13. The Break with the Past 150
14. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Defensive 161
15. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Offensive 181
16. The Internal Implementation of Foreign Policy 200
17. World Empire and the Balance of Power 211
18. Is War Inevitable? 222

Part IV. — What Will Be Done
19. The Policy of Vacillation 231
20. The Outcome  (242)

  < The END >  < end of the book > 

   SOURCE: https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?id=66   "James Burnham and the Struggle for the World"  "...  Daniel Kelly ISI Books, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 443 pages
... James Burnham (1905-1987) was one of the most influential anticommunist figures of the Cold War era, as Daniel Kelly's fascinating biography makes clear. But like many anticommunists, Burnham first started on the other side. Kelly tells the story of Burnham's political journey and intellectual transformation into -- as Richard Brookhiser once stated it -- "the first neoconservative." Including fascinating vignettes with characters as diverse as George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Andre Malraux, and Ezra Pound, Kelly's lively and definitive narrative must be read not only by anyone interested in the life of this seminal conservative thinker and Cold War strategist, but by all those who want a better understanding of the forces behind the most important ideological clash of the modern age.
... From inside the book  ..."

 SOURCE: https://www.commentary.org/articles/maurice-goldbloom/the-struggle-for-the-world-by-james-burnham/  "...  All in all, The Struggle for the World is a good enough book in part so that its failure to be better in toto becomes doubly exasperating. Perhaps this failure is due to the fact that Mr. Burnham still thinks in terms of a rigid theological orthodoxy—though this time neither Catholic nor Trotskyist—from whose premises the world may be deduced entire, and outside of whose fold there is no salvation. As to the last, he may be right. But if he is, then there simply is no salvation, at least for the Western Civilization in whose preservation Mr. Burnham is interested.  ..."

- SOURCE: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1947-10-01/struggle-world "...  Reviewed by Robert Gale Woolbert  ( October 1947 )
  The author of "The Managerial Revolution" postulates the inevitability of a conflict between the United States and a Soviet Union embarked on a calculated career of world conquest. He finds that objective conditions, in particular the atomic bomb, call for a universal state (he cites Toynbee) created under the aegis of a single Power, since the formation of a voluntary world government is presently impossible. He therefore urges the American people to prepare for the final showdown by going on a permanent war footing, with all that this involves in loss of personal, political and economic liberties. ..."

   "The Managerial Revolution" "PDF" < Google 
  -  https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.17923
  -  https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.17923/2015.17923.The-Managerial-Revolution_djvu.txt  
  -  https://ia801603.us.archive.org/11/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.17923/2015.17923.The-Managerial-Revolution.pdf

"THE STRUGGLE FOR THE WORLD" (A BOOK) by James Burnham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Burnham )

Part I THE PROBLEM < go to Contents>

1. The Immaturity of the United States 

 THE THIRD WORLD WAR began in April, 1944. <fiction

The details of an incident that then took place have not been disclosed. 

 "Manchuria" >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchuria

The incident itself, even less dramatic than the dropping of a small bomb 
on a "Manchurian bridge", was hardly noticed behind the smoke of clashing armies and the rubble of cities falling. 

The few ships of the remnant of the Greek Navy, operating as a 
unit under the British Mediterranean Command, were in harbor at Alexandria. [ Google MAPs Coordinates: 31°11′51″N 29°53′33″E ]

The Greek sailors, joined by some Greek soldiers stationed near by, mutinied. 

It was not a serious revolt, in either numbers or spirit. 

A few shots were fired, a few lives lost. 

The British rounded up the mutineers and placed them, for a while, in concentration camps. 

A few leaders were punished; but soon - the trouble was patched up and forgotten. 

It was recalled briefly by some when, later, a short, bitter civil war broke out in Greece proper. 

We do not know the details of what happened in the mutiny; 
but the details, important as they may be for future scholars, are unnecessary. 

We know enough to discover the "political meaning" of 
what happened, and for this details are sometimes an obstacle. 

The mutiny was led by members of an organization called ELAS. 

ELAS was the military arm of a Greek political grouping called EAM. 

EAM was a seemingly heterogeneous alliance of various Greeks with various political and social views. 

 But EAM was [in fact]  directed by the Greek Communist Party. 

The Greek Communist Party, like all communist parties, is a section of the international communist movement. 

International communism is led, in all of its activities, from its supreme headquarters within the Soviet Union. 

[ communism  >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism ]
 "... Dissolution of the Soviet Union  ( Further information: Dissolution of the Soviet Union )

With the fall of the Warsaw Pact after the Revolutions of 1989, which led to the fall of most of the former Eastern Bloc, the Soviet Union was dissolved on 26 December 1991.

 It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.[108]  The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do it at all. On the previous day, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev (the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union) resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over its powers, including control of the Cheget, to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. Previously from August to December 1991, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, formally establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States, and declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.[109][110]

Post-Soviet communism  ...

The Vietnamese Communist Party's poster in Hanoi

As of 2022, states controlled by Marxist–Leninist parties under a single-party system include: the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.[nb 4] Communist parties, or their descendant parties, remain politically important in several other countries.

 With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Fall of Communism, there was a split between those hardline Communists, sometimes referred to in the media as neo-Stalinists, who remained committed to orthodox Marxism–Leninism, and those, such as The Left in Germany, who work within the liberal-democratic process for a democratic road to socialism,[116] while other ruling Communist parties became closer to democratic socialist and social-democratic parties.[117] 

Outside Communist states, reformed Communist parties have led or been part of left-leaning government or regional coalitions, including in the former Eastern Bloc. In Nepal, Communists (CPN UML and Nepal Communist Party) were part of the 1st Nepalese Constituent Assembly, which abolished the monarchy in 2008 and turned the country into a federal liberal-democratic republic, and have democratically shared power with other communists, Marxist–Leninists, and Maoists (CPN Maoist), social democrats (Nepali Congress), and others as part of their People's Multiparty Democracy.[118][119]

China has reassessed many aspects of the Maoist legacy, and along with Laos, Vietnam, and to a lesser degree Cuba, has decentralized state control of the economy in order to stimulate growth. These reforms are described by scholars as progress, and by some left-wing critics as a regression to capitalism, or as state capitalism, but the ruling parties describe it as a necessary adjustment to existing realities in the post-Soviet world in order to maximize industrial productive capacity.[citation needed] In these countries, the land is a universal public monopoly administered by the state, and so are natural resources and vital industries and services.

The public sector is the dominant sector in these economies and the state plays a central role in coordinating economic development.[citation needed] Chinese economic reforms were started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, and since then China has managed to bring down the poverty rate from 53% in the Mao era to just 6% in 2001.[120] ..."

 Vladimir "Putin" has embraced  "Democracy" < Google >  ...results ...

 Politically understood, therefore, the Greek mutiny of April, 1944, 
 and the subsequent Greek Civil War, were "armed skirmishes" 
 between, the Soviet Union, representing international communism, and the British Empire. 

In the Second World War, however, which 
 had still - at that time - more than a year to run, 
 Britain and the Soviet Union were allies against a common enemy. 

We have been recording, we thus see, another war. 

In the late summer of 1945, Japan fell. 

The Red Army, though 
somewhat tardy in arrival, took quick control over Manchuria (as defined above) and parts of North China. 

During the time that followed, the communist armies of what had been called the "Yenan Government" ( 1, 2, 3 ... ), 
sheltered, equipped and in part "officered" by the Red Army [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army ] , 
attempted to establish independent sovereignty in Manchuria (as defined above - and below), northern and some of central China. 

 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria ]

These armies met in battle with the armies of the Chungking Government [link] , trained and equipped with 
the help of the United States Army, and transported toward the scene of action by ships of the United States Navy. 

But in the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies. 

In the Spring of 1946, a little late by the diplomatic clock, the Red Army (defined in fiction & reality - above)  withdrew from northern Iran .

 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran ]  hh ( map) 

  As is the custom of occupying armies, it [ the Red Army ]  left behind among the population a reminder of its stay. 

The young offspring was, however, more formidable than usual: 
a new little red army, trained, equipped and led by the aid of its political father, 
 with a new autonomous state and a new political party for its playthings. 

This "new little army" faced south and southwest and southeast, toward India, toward the Persian Gulf, 
toward the great oil fields of the United States and the British Empire, flanking the land bridge to Africa. 

We are inured to the fact that a "great war" stirs so deeply the "social cauldron" [that]
  the fumes and bubbling cannot be expected to subside at the mere official declaration of the end of hostilities. 

Subsidiary wars, mass strikes, civil wars, colonial revolts are the accompaniment of the last stages of great wars, 
  and the usual aftermath. [ In 1947 - they did not have the International Crimminal Court - but, they did have Nuremberg. ]

This was true of the First World War, in the period from 1917 to approximately 1924, 
  and it is true now of the postlude to the Second World War. 

The civil wars and strikes and revolts are a phase of the war. 

More accurately, both they and the war are phases of a wider historical process 
 - which comes to an acute head in the outbreak of large-scale fighting. 

 VE day May 8 , 1945 
 > https://www.defense.gov/Multimedia/Experience/VE-Day/

 VJ day August 15, 1945
 > https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/v-j-day 

 * The Russian Revolution, the civil wars in Germany in the years 
1918-24, the uprisings in India, the Allied intervention in revolutionary Russia, 
the Balkan revolts, the Turco-Greek war, the strike waves in nearly every country, were all part of what may properly 
be called the First World War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_World_War_I  < Causes of World War I

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_World_War_II   <  Causes of World War II

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Slavism  "Pan-Slavism" & "Putin"  > https://imrussia.org/en/nation/527-the-birth-of-pan-slavism 

* (these events) Not until their conclusion was the war itself brought to an end. World political conditions quieted — relatively — down. The interim period of recuperation set in, and lasted until the preparatory stage of the new war began. [ World War III ]

We now realize that the first battles of the Second World War were fought in Spain, and in China from 1937 on.

The new war (WW2) reached its overt military climax from 1940 to 1945 (the battles of 1939 were still pre- liminary), and is now fading out, with the expected aftermath.  [ Mussolini > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini ] The strike waves in the United States, the end of the Third Republic in France [ link], the ousting of the Italian monarchy [link], the Labour Party victory in England [link], the colonial disturbances in the Far East (below), all these may be included as part of the Second World War.

 SOURCE: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/the-far-east/656564/ ( https://cdn.theatlantic.com/media/archives/1946/12/178-6/132381470.pdf )

"... The Far East --  DECEMBER 1946 ISSUE ... IT TOOK from three to five years for the results of the First World War to develop a full head of political pressure in Asia. It is therefore not surprising that only now, a year and a half after V-J Day, is it becoming possible to measure political events and trends in Asia after the Second World War with sufficient accuracy to make meaningful comparisons with the post-war Asia of twenty or twenty-five years ago. ... Already two great changes stand out. Russia, which for some years after the First World War was a wavering question mark, has become a solid exclamation point. And in the field of Asiatic nationalism, there has been a major shift from the plane of theory to the plane of action. ... A quarter of a century ago, a man like Sun Yat-sen [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Yat-sen ] could see clearly, in theory, what he wanted - but methods were still experimental. The personnel of nationalist revolution was top-heavy with generals and colonels and fatally weak in steady, dependable sergeants.

 Today, nationalism is a going concern. Both its conservatives and its leftists know how to tap and organize political manpower by deliberate selection along lines of social and economic interest.

 These two great changes must be analyzed in combination. A quarter of a century ago the great powers had not yet conceded the ability of the Bolsheviks to survive even in Russia.

 The powers which invaded Russia and backed the Kolchaks and the Denikins were also the major colonial powers.

  The Russians, in their struggle for survival, therefore shouted the most bloodcurdling slogans they could think up, in order to incite the colonial peoples and create a diversion in the rear of the governments which were trying to stop the Revolution.

 In the colonial countries, however, and among the colonial peoples, Russian policy had no real roots. Even the most radical colonial leaders who began to call themselves "Communists" were not Russian trained. They were intellectuals, few in number, who had been in contact with Western European radical thought, and they were labor leaders, even fewer in number, who had learned something of the technique of trade-union organization. The

Russians could in fact do very little in the way of creating colonial unrest; all that they could do was to take advantage of colonial unrest already existing.

The shift in combination can thus be well expressed by pointing out that now it is the colonial nationalists and revolutionaries who are in a position to take advantage of the fact that Russia exists.

 Russia — and not just Russia, but the "Soviet Union", under Communist leadership and with a socialized economy — is a solid fact.

Asia’s leadership
Leftist leaders - in Asia - now believe that they can speed up the emancipation of their own peoples either under conditions of world hostility toward Russia or under conditions of world coöperation.

 If coöperation is to be the policy, they can take part in the general coöperation. If hostility is to be the policy, then they can put pressure from the rear on any country that has turned its face in hostility against Russia.

Moderate leaders believe that the balance of world power - between Russia and the Anglo-American bloc - leaves them room for maneuver. They have long abandoned the Gandhi dream of a return to an idyllic, unmechanized, pre-Western — and unreal — Asiatic past. They are convinced that, however much they dislike their rulers, they must borrow techniques of political organization and economic production from these rulers if they are to survive in the modern world.

Many of them believe that they can also borrow from the Soviet Union short-cut methods of education, political mobilization, and speeded-up economic progress without being captured themselves by Communism, or even Socialism. They can maintain freedom of choice, however, only as long as the balance between the Russians and the capitalist countries remains a balance.

The moderate leaders therefore - resist Russian infiltration and excessive leftward trends within their own countries; but they also resist pressure from the outside to make them climb on any anti-Russian bandwagon.

They feel safer with a capitalist world to hold Russia in check; but they also feel safer with a Russia strong enough to prevent capitalism from reverting to wide-open imperialism.

For the moment, however, it is the rightists of Asia who are most active; and they, too, take advantage of the existence of Russia. Last thing at night, the rightists of Japan remind General MacArthur to look under the bed for subversive trade-unions.

They have maneuvered Mr. George Atcheson, MacArthur’s political spokesman, into the weird position of defending not only the state of affairs in Japan but Japanese aims as “virtually identical with the Allied aims.” Allied aims are presented and defended as aims which allow the Russians no elbowroom. Since the anti-Russian Japanese are also the Japanese who financed and abetted the Japanese militarists from the Mukden Incident to Pearl Harbor, the effect of such special pleading is to make Mr. Atcheson the best spokesman of the Japanese militarist point of view since the ineffable Matsuoka.

The Philippine revolt spreads
In the Philippines, the drive of the rightists is to get American equipment and aid for the suppression of agrarian unrest.

Although an old directive from President Truman, now forgotten, urged considerate treatment for the agrarian guerrillas, on account of their considerable services against the Japanese, the present drive for law and order defers the satisfaction of even legitimate grievances, and gives priority to the suppression of those who have grievances.

Thus far, the result has not been a narrowing of the area of revolt, but a spread of revolt to new areas. Several thousand former guerrillas have seized plantations which once belonged to the prosperous Japanese colonists in Mindanao, and are now squatting on them.

Title to these plantations had been transferred by the United States Alien Property Custodian, for one dollar, to the Philippine government.

The conflict with the squatters has thus become a direct conflict between the people of the Philippines and their government.

President Roxas has made some statements, which read excellently, on the subject of distribution of farm lands, but the trouble lies in an old and deeply intrenched technique of political abuse. New farm lands cannot be opened up without new roads; when new roads are to be built, knowledge of them is leaked to those who are politically on the inside, and the adjacent land is taken up by landlords before claims can be filed by bona fide homesteaders.

Since the most powerful supporters of President Roxas regard this kind of graft as a legitimate perquisite, the only way in which he could restrain them would be to increase the political rights and representation of the peasants, who are his only strong, organized opposition; and since this is exactly what he is not prepared to do, the war of internal conquest against the peasants goes on.

The Korean experiment
In Korea, the rightists also jumped into the lead at the beginning of the American occupation; but because the Korean rightists, in addition to having almost no popular support, are unbelievably incompetent, the increasingly agonizing headache of the American occupation problem threatens to outweigh the satisfaction of blocking the Russians. The word has already been spread in Washington to lay off expressions of admiration and support for Syngman Rhee, because the Military Government is now ruefully convinced that the more he is supported, the more unpopular the Americans become.

Disturbances in Southern Korea are becoming more and more widespread. Responsibility for disorder is attributed to “inspiration” from across the border in Russian-occupied Northern Korea. The rare Americans who get into the Russian zone report that the Russians are also unpopular, and that Koreans there will take the risk of sidling up to Americans to whisper, “Russians bad; Americans good.” But for some reason, in the dismal competition to see which of the two occupying forces can make itself the more thoroughly disliked, the Russians have not had to face the kind of widespread, open, and popular manifestations of resentment which harass the Americans.

This may be because the Americans do not organize “inspiration” in the southern zone for infiltration into the northern zone. Or it may be because the Russian occupation forces are much larger, and able to crack down on popular resistance before it gets organized. Or it may be that the Russians are more intensely disliked, but by small groups of people, such as the landlords, while the Americans are more vaguely disliked, but by larger groups, such as the peasants. At any rate the situation cannot be cleared up until it is thoroughly aired; and Americans returning from Korea are outspoken in saying that it is high time for an airing.

Chinese puzzle
It is in China, however, that all issues linked with the position of Russia, the influence of Russia, and even the mere idea of Russia lead up to the biggest crisis. And this crisis tends more and more to become a crisis in American politics.

Already the gloves are off. Criticism of the extent of American intervention in China will increasingly be counterattacked as appeasement of Communism and of Russia. Demand for all-out support of the Kuomintang as the “only legitimate and recognized” government in China will increasingly be identified with a policy of hostility to Russia on all issues and in all countries, throughout the world.

The first subject of debate is General Marshall’s mission. Has General Marshall failed? It is noteworthy that those who were the first to say that General Marshall had been sent on an “impossible” mission, and the first to advise that he be withdrawn, are those who demand, on all issues, a policy of hostility to Russia. On the other hand, the Chinese Communists have been increasingly reckless in accusing General Marshall of condoning aid to the Kuomintang to an extent that invalidates his function as an impartial mediator.

The truth is that General Marshall’s mission has neither failed nor succeeded. It has merely been tacitly suspended. The real issue is not the monthto-month aid we are giving to the Kuomintang. That aid has been far too little to constitute a decisive intervention. It has in fact merely kept the Kuomintang from collapse and made possible the prolongation of a military stalemate which is still evenly balanced, in spite of the loss of Kalgan by the Communists.

To say this, is the same thing as saying that the real issue is whether to grant an enormous increase in aid to the Kuomintang, in order to enable it to assert a clear military superiority over the Communists, or to decrease American aid very slightly, which would instantly force the Kuomintang to make concessions to popular demands for a coalition government. It is because this fundamental decision has not been taken that General Marshall’s mission can be regarded as in suspension; and it is a fair inference that policy in China has been under review at the White House level.

The importance of the loss of Kalgan or Chefoo by the Communists should not be exaggerated. The “prestige” troops of the Kuomintang, its American trained and American-equipped divisions, were fought to a standstill in the mountains between Peiping and Kalgan, suffering heavy attrition, which meant the acquisition of a lot of American equipment by the Communists. Kalgan was entered by the troops of Fu Tso-yi, a semi-independent war lord. Thus while the Kuomintang “won,” it won without prestige for its crack troops, and in a way which encourages independent warlordism.

Moreover the Communists, while losing Kalgan, swung around and tore up a big stretch of the strategically important Peiping-Hankow railway. By disrupting Kuomintang communications more effectively than they had ever disrupted Japanese communications, they demonstrated once more that the Kuomintang is not so formidable an enemy as the Japanese were. The military situation, in fact, is still a stalemate.

Conscription, inflation, poverty
A military stalemate can last indefinitely, but there is no such thing as a political and economic stalemate. In politics and economics, a situation either gets better or it gets worse. In China, the situation is getting worse for the Kuomintang. When Kalgan was “liberated” from the Communists, no less than a quarter of the population, instead of waiting to greet the liberators, fled into the mountains. Of those who remained, Benjamin Welles cabled to the New York Times that “it was obvious that the Chinese civilans who were drawn up along the main streets to cheer the arrival of the Nationalist officials were not moved by any overwhelming emotion.”

Hesitation in welcoming Kuomintang liberators is explained by the fact that the Kuomintang, for lack of popular support, is being forced to increasingly harsh measures. Heavy losses in the field have led to the resumption of conscription with full wartime rigor, in a war-weary country.

Two new measures are especially ominous. Communist currency is being repudiated, instead of exchanged, in areas recovered from the Communists. As a result, inflation and poverty are flooding regions which, under the Communists, had been prosperous and had been secure against inflation. Even more drastic is the cancellation of Communist land reforms — a cancellation which all too often penalizes the peasant, who fought against the Japanese, in favor of the landlord, who either ran away or collaborated with the Japanese.

Such measures bear most harshly on all nonCommunists who prospered while the Communists were around. Worst of all, they make it nakedly clear that all the Kuomintang’s financial and material aid from America is being used for civil war, and none of it for much-needed reform.  ... "


But the events that I have begun by citing — the Greek mutiny and civil war, the Chinese civil war, the Iranian conflict — are of a different character.

They are not part of the Second World War, nor of its accompaniment nor aftermath. The forces basically opposed in them — opposed and clashing by arms, as well as by economic and diplomatic competition — are not aligned as were the opposing forces of the Second World War.

One of the main power groupings of the war has, indeed, been eliminated altogether.

Moreover, the new conflict [WW 3] pushes through those other disturbances which might, from one point of view, be judged as part of the war's after- math.

The comforting opinion [that] the world troubles - since August, 1945, are in a way "normal", the natural features of a time of settling- down and readjustment, like the headache and queasiness following a heavy drunk, is a delusion.

These troubles are not a hangover, but the first sips in a new bout. ( The armed skirmishes of a new war have started before the old war is finished. )

A "general peace agreement" is impossible - not because leftovers from the old war are still unswept, but - because the debris of a new war is already piling up.

After these years of so much death and suffering and exile and destruction, there is a great weariness in the world, and a hope for rest.

 It is hard to say, and still harder to believe, that this hope is empty, that there will be no rest, that a new war has already begun.

Nevertheless, this is the truth, and the penalty for denying this truth will be heavy.

Preliminary skirmishes, of course, even bloody skirmishes, are not identical with the grand battle.

Sometimes, even after the skirmishes have been fought, with dead on both sides, the battle itself is delayed, or, for the time being, avoided.

Sometimes, perhaps, the battle never does take place, though only if the issues at stake are resolved by some other means.

We can, then, consider it at least possible that the Third World War may never expand much beyond these preliminary stages, might end its life in its beginning,

like a new bud late-frosted. But what chance to avoid or to win the battle would a commander have who refused to believe the reports of his scouts, who would not listen when told that shots had already been exchanged, and who lolled carelessly in his tent, playing cribbage with his aide, and arguing the tactical merits of yesterday's engagement?

 The United States has made the irreversible jump into world affairs.  ( The Truman Doctrine > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Doctrine )

It [ the United States  ]  is committed everywhere, on every continent, in every major field of social action, and it can never again withdraw.

In the Third World War, the United States, whatever the wishes of its citizens, is one of the two dominating contestants.

But socially, politically and culturally, the United States is not prepared for the "world role" which it is nevertheless compelled to play.

Faced with the tasks of full social maturity, the United States is itself mature in one field alone: in the development of the technique of production.

In this, Americans themselves often do not understand their unparalleled supremacy. There is not, and has never been, anything approaching American methods of production. The last war showed that it is almost impossible to set goals too high for American factories to reach. Whether hairpins or battleships, air- planes or carpet slippers, cement or the most delicate precision in- struments, machine tools or penicillin, the United States can, so far as technique goes, flood the earth with them.

It is not so much in the machines themselves, where England and Germany and perhaps Sweden and Switzerland have done better, that the specific United States superiority lies. It is rather in a talent, by now almost a national characteristic, for the large scale organization of production.

England and Germany could build finer ships and airplanes and cameras, but they could not organize the hundreds of thousands of men and machines and secondary supplies and plants and freight cars and trucks into functioning organisms out of which could issue the immense quantities of very good, if not the finest, ships and airplanes and cameras.

This abiLIty - to organize production - is so well established that it seems capable of being applied at will, or under pressure, to new and unprecedented problems.

There is an instructive contrast between the petty Nazi attempts to manufacture atomic bombs, and the colossal, integrated Manhattan Project. Almost none of the fundamental research was done by Americans. The true creative energy of the United States was expressed in the organization and its mass functioning. The achievement was the same with blood plasma, radar, new drugs, or K rations.

The same talent was notable even in the military conduct of the war. The War and Navy Departments, the generals and admirals, inferior in the niceties of military tradition and science to those of other nations, were heroic as mass organizers. They hurled at the enemy overwhelming quantities of supplies, men, shells, food, ships, trucks, tanks, planes, so that the mistakes and crudities of details were buried in the mass.

The military methods were in accord with the American genius. To send thousands of planes and two million tons of shipping against a small Pacific atoll would have been absurd for any other nation, but it was exactly American.

From this supremacy in the technique of production, a supremacy that is like one of the wild artistic talents, irrational, only half- conscious, uncontrolled, out of balance with intelligence and other impulses, there derives, for the United States, a powerful urge toward a crude, narrowly conceived economic imperialism.

Driven by the potential of their mass production factories, the directors of the American economy would like to imagine the world as an open field, waiting for the rain of American goods and machines and money.
They can provide all, they dream, for all the world, and they do not need any help from other bungling, ineffective nations, a Germany or England or Japan.
The world, all the world, should be the vast market for American goods and machines and the source of certain desirable supplies. What a blessing it would be to the world!

If only it were not for the narrowness of foreign business competitors, and the blindness of generals and politicians at home as well as elsewhere, whose careers seem to be a wilful plot against rational and efficient production.

But the politicians and generals remain, and the ability to organize mass production is not a sufficient qualification for the proper conduct of the affairs of a great world power.

Human society is more than factories, weighty as is the influence of the factories on society as a whole.

And when we leave the premises of the factories, the American, there so seemingly mature and triumphant, appears as a gawky adolescent.

For this social immaturity, the circumstances of the nation's history provide an explanation.

The United States began only three centuries ago, as a colonial offshoot of Western Civilization.

During more than two of these centuries, its energies were concentrated on the comparatively primitive task of conquering a natural wilderness.

It was removed, in those generations, from the culture and learning of the civilization of which it was nevertheless a part, and from which its historical life was drawn. Its good fortune, moreover, hindered its normal cultural growth, like a gross boy too pampered and sheltered by a foolish mother.

Its rich material resources, its continental self-sufficiency, its geographical isolation until the present age, were curtains hiding from it the way of the world.

The natural wilderness was subdued, a nation was formed, a matchless economic machine constructed, but there was no art of its own, no music, no literature, no great philosophy or religion, none of those signs of an inner and deeper wisdom.

The foolish, sheltering mother is now dead, killed by the conseqences of scientific technology. The walls of the continental home are down.

The untrained adolescent must act on the world arena, not with an obscure apprenticeship but as a spotlit, featured star.

The result is a kind of schizoid split; the accomplished, confident technician of production is fused with a crude and hesitant semibarbarian.

Let us consider, as a symptom of this schizoid adolescence, the attitude of our soldiers at the end of the recent war. Most accounts agree that it was summed up in a single objective: to go home, to Mother, the Best Girl, a local job, and the corner drugstore or saloon. Emotionally the wish is understandable and sympathetic.

But rationally - it should be plain that such an attitude on the part of its young men is incompatible with the objective requirements of a world power. This was not the attitude of the young men of the Athens of the 5th century B.C., or of the Rome of the late Republic and the Empire, or of the Moslems of the 8th century, or of modern Holland and England and France. The young men of a world power must be ready to act in the world, to seek their career and its fruition in far places.

Power is not abstract, nor is it adequately embodied in bills of exchange, or mere material commodities.

As United States power stretches out to Brazil or Africa or China or Europe or the Near East, it must be concretized in men and their institutions, in soldiers and engineers and administrators and intelligence agents, in factories and airfields and plantations and railroads.

It is contemptible to blame the young soldiers for their provincial attitude, to condemn them, as has been not infrequently done, for cowardice or shirking.

It is the nation, not the soldiers alone, that is unprepared.

It was the members of Congress, not the soldiers, who showed real cowardice and blindness when they responded to the complaints of the soldiers not by pointing out to them the re- sponsibilities of world power but by yielding to the homesickness, and seeking demagogically to gain a few cheap votes by joining in the clamor to bring the boys home at whatever cost to the interest of the nation — and of the world.

The same provincialism, flatly counter to the needs of world power, is reflected in the educational system.

There are few Americans who can speak even tolerably well a foreign language, and fewer still who bother to learn intimately another nation's culture.

Until very recently, there were only one or two schools that trained students for international careers in diplomacy or business.

Even the New York Times, the most internationalist of the country's journals, advocates as the educational reform most to be desired a new concentration on United States history — at the very moment when what is required is an understanding of world history.

Equally revealing is the nation's attitude toward its armed services. Responsible world power must be based finally upon military strength.

The nation, daily and unavoidably intervening all over the world — from Argentina to Spain to Iran to Manchuria — suffers an extended internal crisis over the perfectly obvious question of a renewed Draft Law, a necessity which is so much accepted by all other nations as to be not even subject for debate.

This failure to take the armed services seriously has, of course, a long historical background. The seriousness was, in fact, not required in the past, because, on the one hand, possible wars developed slowly, with geography an adequate first line of defense; and, on the other, the nation did not have extensive permanent commitments throughout the world.

The carry-over of this attitude into the new period, when all has changed, when the United States is one of the two decisive world powers, is another sign of the nation's adolescent schizo- phrenia.

Psychically, the United States does not want to admit to itself that it is not a child any longer, but a grown-up man.

We may note similar characteristics in the nation's economic conceptions (as distinguished from its practical abilities at economic production).

The owner or manager of a factory is delighted to sell his goods abroad at a profit, and from his standpoint there the whole matter ends.

He doesn't want to reflect that if he and others like him sell abroad, then someone inside the country must also buy from abroad. (IN 1947) He hasn't learned that for a mature world power it is even more necessary to receive than to give.

Congressmen and busi- nessmen alike argue about loans to Britain or France or China as if they v/ere niggling credits arranged by a store at a local bank, in- stead of conceiving them in their actual meaning as instruments of world policy. Ship owNers and airways companies haggle over a foreign contract - to make it net a few more dollars, without any concern for the fact that they might be driving a potential ally into the network of the world opponent.

I have been mentioning a few symptomatic illustrations of what I have called the immaturity of the United States.

STOPped 6-13-2022 

This "immaturity" may be described more abstractly as a form of what sociologists call "cultural lag"; specifically, the persistence of habits, attitudes, ideas, customs, and to some extent institutional structures, appro- priate enough to the United States of the 19th century, into a new period where the actual position of the United States has com- pletely changed, and where these persisting habits, attitudes and ideas are incongruous and stultifying. The United States, become in fact a world power, potentially the greatest world power, cannot function properly as a world power because it still conceives itself and the world through the medium of ideas suited to what was, in reality, a province, out of the main stream. The illustrations could readily be multiplied. I propose, however, to restrict myself to one further instance, the most important of all, and the one most directly relevant to the subject matter of this book: the immaturity of the United States in political understanding. Three features of United States foreign policy during the past £vc years (though they are not confined to that interval) must have struck nearly every reflective observer. First, the policy abruptly shifts, without any adequate motivation. The United States forces Argentina into the United Nations, then takes the lead against Argentina by publishing the Blue Book on Peron; the pubHc is com- pelled to accept Tito, then the effort is made to help Mikhailovitch at his trial, and thereby to injure Tito; in China there is a flip-flop ■every few months; Soviet-dominated Poland is recognized at the same time that anti-communist exile Polish troops are aided; and so on. Second, the United States has not been securing political re- sults commensurate with its material strength. After all the con- ferences, Teheran or Yalta or Potsdam or London or Paris, it always turns out that the United States has made the significant conces- sions. This feature is the more striking in comparison to the habit of Soviet diplomacy, during these same years, to get results far greater than would seem to follow from its material strength. Even when the Soviet Union was on the edge of military defeat, it could still win political victories. Third, there is a peculiar ineptness about United States political actions. The political representatives are al- ways making mistakes, getting mixed up, getting lost in procedure, having to retract and start over. These features are all related to the fact that the United States does not have at its disposal among its citizens, governing or gov- erned, a trained understanding of' the field of politics in its more general sense, or, in particular, of contemporary world politics. Many of the poHtical representatives of the United States do not know either what they are doing or what they are up against; they do not even know, usually, what the problems are. The prevailing conceptions of politics in the United States have two chief sources, both extending back to the early years of the unified nation. One is the abstract, empty, sentimental rhetoric of democratic idealism, as established for us first by Thomas Jeffer- son. This is for speeches, conscience-soothing, and full-dress occa- sions. The other is the ward-heeling, hotel-and-saloon, spoils-system, machine practices, put on a working basis first by Jefferson's party colleague and first vice-president, Aaron Burr. This is the traditional American combination, holding as much for the Republican as for the Democratic Party. The amalgam, under Franklin Roosevelt, of the "idealistic" New Dealers with the "vicious city machines," so puzzling to many liberal commentators, is in the standard American style, and is to be found just as plainly functioning in Jefferson's election, through Burr, in 1800. Jeffersonian rhetoric has no connection with reality, and I shall not, therefore, be further concerned with it. When it is taken seri- ously, as it is not by many of those who most frequently employ it, it prohibits the understanding of political events. American machine politics, and the ideas corresponding to ma- chine politics, are remarkably effective within a limited range of political action, especially under more or less stable social conditions.
They can take over and keep control of a city administration or a State government, or swing the outcome of the national nominating convention of one of the political parties. They can, within their restricted sphere, suitably reward political friends and punish enemies. When, however, either the scale of political action sufficiently expands or the social conditions underlying politics enter a period of crisis, the machine conceptions are no longer adapted. Great nations, with a tradition and a culture, do not operate in terms of quashed parking tickets, building contracts, and soft jobs in the local courthouse. To deal successfully with them on a world scale, it is necessary to know something about world geography and eco- nomics — and even religions and morals, and about the history and behavior of civilizations. Moreover, in times of crisis, the control of the movements of the masses cannot be won by cigars and hand- shakes and postmasterships. The masses become subject to the in- fluence of ideas, of world-shaking myths, of vast, non-rational impulses. Here, also, the usage of the educational system is instructive.

In United States educational institutions, from primary school to uni- versity, politics is taught under such headings as "Civics" or "Gov- ernment."

The courses bolster the usual rhetoric
   with sterile charts of outward governmental forms — constitutions and bureaus and uni- or bi-cameral parliaments and departments and councils.

For practical training, students are taught case-work technique in social service, and how to become a Grade 8 civil servant.

We seldom find courses offered in world political history and its correlated fields, in geopolitics, world economics, military history.

In the United States, the "practical politician" despises the men of learning in the political sciences — for there are a few; and the men of learning, blocked from contact with the springs of power, become academic and sterile. We live in what Lenin correctly described as an "era of wars and revolutions," in the midst, indeed, of a great world revolution.
* A distinguishing and all-important development of this era has been the rise of the totalitarian political movements, of the essentially similar though variously named Nazi, fascist, and communist varieties. Nowhere is the political illiteracy of Americans more fully and disastrously shown than in their lack of understanding of these totalitarian movements. Many of our political leaders believe that the totalitarian parties, though somewhat strange and "foreign," are fundamentally similar to our own Democratic and Republican parties, -- those loose, shifting aggregations of millions of diverse- minded men and women, held together by vague sentiments, vaguer traditions, and the business of office-seeking. When General Patton slowed up in his de-Nazification of the Third Army's zone in Ger- many, he explained that after all the difference between Nazis and anti-Nazis was pretty much like that between Democrats and Republicans at home. He was relieved of his command; but his error was no greater than that of Roosevelt or Hull or Stettinius or Byrnes or Acheson or Wallace - when, all over the world, they accepted without protest the inclusion of the communists among the "democratic parties" that should be permitted to function with full freedom in liberated or conquered nations, and when they welcomed commu- nists into reconstituted governments. In China, indeed, the United States government compelled Chiang Kai-shek to propose, in the autumn of 1945, the inclusion of the Chinese communists in the Chinese government.

[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism ]  

SOURCE: https://online.ucpress.edu/cpcs/article-abstract/53/1/13/107200/Theory-behind-Russian-Quest-for-Totalitarianism?redirectedFrom=PDF 

Volume 53, Issue 1

March 2020

Issue Cover


Theory behind Russian Quest for Totalitarianism. Analysis of Discursive Swing in Putin's Speeches 

Joanna Rak,

Roman Bäcker

Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2020) 53 (1): 13–26.


These totalitarian movements, with their steel discipline, their 
monolithic structure, their cement of terror, their rigid and total 
ideology, their pervasion of every aspect of the lives of their mem- 
bers, are of a species totally different from what we are accustomed 
to think of as "political parties." 

No wonder the United States political representatives are constantly surprised by the behavior of 
the Soviet representatives at every conference, just as they were always surprised by the Nazis. 

Our diplomats believe that they are 
bargaining with other men who, though tough and shrewd, are of 
a similar kind to themselves, and who operate according to the same 
underlying rules. 

For the Soviet men, the bargaining is the lesser detail. 

They are there to use the conference as a forum from which to speak to the masses, 
and as a device not for gaining agreement with, but for promoting the destruction of, their fellow-conferees. 

Gromyko's rude behavior at the Security Council is unintelligible to Byrnes; 
  but Byrnes' vacillating behavior, unfortunately, is not unintelligible to Gromyko. 

The low level of political knowledge in the United States is shown 
 (also) by the books, articles, speeches, editorials and columns on political affairs. 

Here direct comparison can be made, and it is safe 
to say, I think, that our [United States] level is lower than that of any other nation. 

To an informed Russian or Englishman or Chinese or Brazilian, it 
must seem incredible that tens of millions of the citizens of the 
United States guide their political sense by columnists and radio 
speakers educated by years of scandal-mongering, sports writing, or 
cigar salesmanship; and try to find out what is happening in the 
world by reading the careless notes of journalists who consider themselves qualified 
as "political analysts" because they call famous men [1947]  by 
their first names and know the fashionable bar in each capital. 

It would be absurd to believe that a mere increase in political 
understanding could solve the catastrophic political problems that lie ahead. 

In spite of Bacon, knowledge is not of itself power. 
But - ignorance is weakness, because ignorance is not able to direct 
whatever resources may be available toward the goals that may be selected. 

Nonsense is a safe luxury only in times more tranquil than ours. 

The purpose of this book may be simply stated. I [ James Burnham ] propose to 
analyze, in its primary and most fundamental lines, the world 
political situation as it exists in this period following the conclusion 
of the Second World War; as it exists in reality, 
not as it is distorted in wishful dreams or in the lies of propagandists. 
I propose, further, in terms of the actual situation, to examine the alternatives 
of political action which are at the disposal of the United States. 

< go to Contents>

2. Is It Really One World? 

  ( https://archive.org/details/struggleforworld00burn/page/n7/mode/2up )

WENDELL WILLKIE, with an enthusiasm touched off by the 
wonders of modern air transport, popularized the phrase, "one 
world." The complex o£ feelings and ideas associated with the phrase 
were not, however, Willkie's discovery. They have a longer history. 

It is worth while to be clear about this question of the unity of 
the world, since more is at stake than a fruitful subject for after- 
dinner conversation or election campaigns. To many, there seem to 
follow, from the belief that the world is one, certain political con- 
clusions of great import. If the world is one, they argue, then it can 
and ought properly to be politically united; then there can, and 
should be, just one world government. In order to unite the world 
in a single world government, all that is necessary is to make known 
to the peoples of the world this fact that their world is one. 

Is it true that the world is one ? Or rather, since this first quesdon 
is ambiguous, is a way of confusing several different and independent 
questions, let us put it : in what sense or senses is the world one ? in 
what sense or senses is it many? In both cases, the answer must be 
in terms that are relevant to the problems of world politics. The fact 
that the world is one in an astronomical sense, as a single planet 
located in the gravitational field of a definite star, is not of political 

The first expression, in the West, of the notion of the unity of the 
world was, according to tradition, by Alexander the Great, who 
therein went beyond the philosophic ideas of his tutor Aristotle. It 
was developed further by the Stoics of the Roman Empire, by 
Dante, partly under Stoic influence, and by the medieval philoso- 
phers, with their doctrine of a universal "natural law." Kant, in his 
moral philosophy, gave it a new variation; and it reappears today 
among the beliefs of many internationalists. 

The oneness of the world, as interpreted by the core of meaning 
shared in this lineage, extended over 2300 years, and to be found 
also in Confucius and in the earliest, non-supernatural form of 
Buddhism, is a secular philosophic conception that all men are one 
because they share in a "common humanity." Whatever the diver- 
sities in their talents or circumstances, all men are subject to the 
laws of the universal cosmos, all men have reason, all men are moral 
beings, equally able to exercise moral will and equally bound by 
moral duty. "World humanity," "the world community," therefore, 
are not empty abstractions, but are phrases which sum up the ob- 
jective metaphysical reality of a single universal human nature. 

In recent years, this philosophic conception has been given a more 
naturalistic, empirical slant. Emphasis is sometimes put not so much 
on reason, moral will, and natural law that men are, in some com- 
plicated metaphysical manner, presumed to share, as on the basic 
biological and psychological needs, desires and impulses that they 
undoubtedly do share : needs for food, sex and shelter, the desire for 
some sort of security, the impulse toward sociality. 

A content similar to that of these secular conceptions is to be 
found, transferred into religious language, in the ideas of the great 
world religions, particularly in Christianity, Hinduism and Bud- 
dhism. In Christianity this is summed up in the New Testament 
doctrine of "the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." 
Since God is the Creator and Father of all men equally, since our 
being is alike derived from Divinity, we are therefore all brothers. 

This, then, is the first specifiable meaning, or rather set of mean- 
ings, that can be given to the phrase, "one world." The world is one 
because all men share a common humanity, whether that humanity 
is interpreted in naturalistic, metaphysical or religious terms. What 
bearing, then, does the oneness of the world, so understood, have 
upon the cold historical problems of world politics in our time? 

The answer, unfortunately, is that it has almost no bearing at all. 
Whatever common humanity men may have, they must have had 
it from the beginning. Men have existed on the earth for at least 
several hundred thousand years, and probably for several million. 
Their common humanity has never prevented them from always 
being divided, from always fighting, killing, torturing and oppress- 
ing each other. The very philosophers who proclaimed the meta- 
physical doctrine have been conspicuous in the fighting and the 

torturing; the religions which profess the Fatherhood o£ God have 
inspired among the fiercest of the wars and persecutions; the fash- 
ionable naturalists of common humanity in our own time have not 
been backward in defending the saturation bombing of helpless 
cities, where common humanity was thoroughly disintegrated in 

Experience does not, then, suggest that common humanity has 
had much effect in contributing to the historical goal of one world 
community. The trouble with the doctrine is, first, that in its selec- 
tion of certain common factors from the totality of human nature 
it neglects many less desirable but equally universal factors, such as 
man's impulse to destruction and pain as well as to fraternity, his 
need for hate, his desire for domination, in short his irrationality, 
which is at least no less plain than his reason. Second, the doctrine, 
having decided on its common factors, fails to note that, in concrete 
reality, these are inextricably bound up with many other factors, 
both common and special, both universal and particular: with the 
other, neglected common factors, and with all the particulars of 
tribe, family, city, nation, property relations, language, wealth and 
poverty, customs and taboos, material resources, science and religion 
and technology and art. What men actually do in history, and 
notably the conflicts they get into with each other, are determined 
not so much by the abstracted factors which they have in common 
as by the specific circumstances of place and social structure and 
time, wherein their interests diverge and their objectives clash. The 
humanity common to a Soviet commissar, a Trobriand native, a 
Midwestern small farmer, and a Spanish Jesuit is a rather pale resi- 
due, a not very substantial foundation for the construction of one 

Moreover, the common needs and impulses that men have — for 
food, shelter, women, pre-eminence, wealth, pleasure — ^far from 
invariably bringing them together in brotherhood, are more usually 
sources of their mutual struggle. When there is not enough food to 
go around, reason and the moral will have never proved adequate 
to the task of deciding who gets what. The nomads of steppes be- 
come arid through climatic change descend on the plain, with as 
much and as little attention to the claims of moral duty as die house- 

wives who throw themselves into the frenzy o£ the black market. 

It would, nevertheless, be wrong to dismiss altogether the doctrine 
of common humanity and the brotherhood of man. Taken as a 
description of what men have been and are, of how they behave, it 
is distorted and even dangerously false. Projected as a guiding ideal, 
as a goal and purpose, the doctrine has not only a splendid nobility, 
so wonderfully expressed in those passages of St. Matthew where 
Christ corrects the jealous separatism of the Scribes and Pharisees; 
but it has also, through the loyalty of those who believe in the ideal, 
a chance of influencing, toward the goal of brotherhood which it 
states, the course of history. 

It is not sentimental, but simply human, to have ideals. What is 
sentimental, and what so often leads to disaster, is to confuse ideals 
with present facts. Men are in fact not one but divided, not rational 
in their actions but predominantly irrational, not filled with love 
only but also with selfishness, not good but a strange mixture of 
evil and good. The facts remain, whatever words we use. But men 
can become less divided; and even if the hate and irrationality and 
evil cannot be eliminated, their consequences can, perhaps, be made 
less terrible. We rightly honor the ideal of common humanity. How- 
ever far it is from solving, or even helping us much in solving, the 
problems of today, it remains a hope, and the best hope, for tomor- 

From the time of Karl Marx, the notion of one world has been 
given another, very different interpretation, an interpretation ac- 
cepted by many who are not at all Marxists. The world has not in 
the past been one, the Marxists say, but it has become potentially 
one — will, they would say, inevitably soon become one — through 
the results of modern technology. Machines and mass production, 
rapid transportation and communication, world-wide economic in- 
terdependence through the world-wide division of labor and re- 
sources, the spread of science and its applications, all these have so 
linked all parts of the world together, so reduced the time and space 
dimensions applicable to human society, that the world is today as 
intimate a community as a county was a thousand years ago. When 

these facts are recognized, or merely through their effect even if 
unrecognized, the world as a whole will necessarily be organized, 
socially and politically, into a single world state or society, so that 
its political form will come into balance with its technological base. 

This Marxian conclusion rests upon an assumption drawn from 
the Marxian theory of history. According to the theory, the nature 
of human society and the process of historical change depend "in 
the final analysis" (to use Engels' ambiguous words) upon the 
development of technology ("the means of production," in Marxian 
language). In the long run, everything else, property relations, class 
divisions, political organization, philosophy, art, morality and reli- 
gion, follow causally from the state of technology as applied in the 
means of production. Therefore, Marxists reason today, since a single 
basic technology, a single means and method of production, are 
now world-wide in extent and influence, it follows that government 
(along with everything else) is, or is ready to be, world-wide. Man- 
kind has become one because mankind as a whole now depends 
upon a single means and method of production. 

This Marxian doctrine is in part true, and I shall 'separate out its 
truths before proceeding to state its errors. 

Through scientific technology, factories and machines and assem- 
bly lines, and an extreme division of labor. Western Civilization* 
has constructed the extraordinary mechanical appliances and the 
remarkable method of production with which we are all familiar. 
These appliances, especially during the past century, have been spread 
into all parts of the earth. For the use of the Western productive 
plant, raw materials of many kinds, agricultural and mineral, have 
likewise been drawn from all parts of the earth. Some regions — 
notably Japan, Russia, and sections of such countries as China, India 
and Turkey — not themselves part of Western Civilization have even 
borrowed the method of production itself, and are turning out on 
their own account the mechanical appliances. 

We must further note that historical geography depends upon 

* By "Western Civilization" I refer in this book to that civilization whose original 
home was in the European peninsula, whose traditional religion has been Christianity, 
and whose historical career began at the end of the Dark Ages that followed the col- 
lapse of Hellenic Civilization. 

... an Einsteinian rather than a Newtonian function; that is, upon a 
combined space-time function. The devices for rapid communication 
and transportation, and for long-distance warfare, have historically 
speaking greatly reduced the size of the earth. The historical, polit- 
ical distance between two places depends primarily upon how long 
it takes to get from one to the other, either in person, or in influence, 
as by the proxy of a message or a bomb. Today it takes much less 
time for a man to go from New York to Moscow than it took him 
150 years back to go from New York to Boston; and it takes in- 
comparably less time for a radio message or a rocket to travel either 
distance.* Therefore it is correct to say that, in certain respects at 
least, the world today is a community as geographically intimate as 
a county a thousand years ago. 

A conclusion of great importance does follow from these truths. 
They do not prove that the world and its civilization are one, or 
that a world community is inevitable; but they show that the ad- 
ministration of the world, or most of the world, as a single state is 
now technically possible. There is no longer any insuperable tech- 
nical obstacle to a degree of integration in armed power, police, 
courts, finances and economy sufficient to constitute a unified world 

From this positive conclusion, which I shall later use in positive 
analysis, we may turn to the errors in the Marxian doctrine. Of 
these, there are principally two. First, the existing facts are over- 
stated. Though it is true that the mechanical appliances of Western 
Civilization are found all over the earth, they are in many regions 
far from abundant, in not a few so rare as to make hardly a ripple 
in the sea of the local culture. Airplanes have by now been seen, 
probably, by most human beings; but there are comparatively few 
places where airplanes have become part of ordinary daily life. A 

* This fact alone shows the absurdity o£ those who argue that there can be two 
great nations today — the United States and the Soviet Union, for example — ^with no 
potential basis of conflict because they have no "points of contact": that is, their 
borders do not meet on a conventional map. Today the real borders of all nations — 
the limits of their interests — all overlap. 

... radio or an electric iron or a light bulb is still a magical sensation 
among well over half the peoples of the earth. If we study economic 
maps of the distribution of railroads or electric power plants or auto- 
mobiles or telephones, what impresses us is not that they diffuse the 
earth, but quite the contrary, that most of the world is almost en- 
tirely without them. 

If we consider the advanced Western means of production, we 
find that their distribution is even more narrowly limited. The maps 
show only a few major concentrations: in the United States, in Eng- 
land, in certain areas of the Soviet Union, in Japan and the adja- 
cent Chinese coast, and in part of Continental Europe; and the 
Second World War has considerably reduced the last two. Else- 
where, it is only in a few seacoast city areas in India, Brazil, Argen- 
tina, Australia and perhaps one or two other nations that we find 
significant quantities of the typical Western means of production 
— the factories, mills, power plants. 

The mechanical appliances of the West are not, therefore, literally 
present everywhere in the world. The most that we can correctly 
say is that their power and influence are felt, directly or indirectly, 
everywhere in the world. 

The second Marxian error is deeper. It is the error in the assump- 
tion drawn from the general theory of history, the error in the belief 
that technology is the sole determinant of the nature and process of 
history and civilization. Technology is unquestionably one of the 
decisive causal forces in history, and in the history of Western 
Civilization, especially since the Renaissance, it has been perhaps 
more influential -than any other causal force; but in the history of 
civilizations in general it must be reduced to merely one among 
several determining influences. Climate, custom, institutional forms, 
religion, moraUty, even intelligence and individual genius, all have 
at least a relative autonomy as historical forces. The nature and fate 
of civilizations is the resultant of the interaction of all of these, and 
still others, with each other, and with, of course, technology as well. 

We who belong to Western Civilization have our vision distorted 
by a parochial blindness. We assume the identity of mankind as a 
whole with ourselves. All that we can see of the peoples of the earth 
is ourselves — the "civilized" — and a dim outer fringe of "natives." 

And since we are peculiarly distinguished by our technological 
prowess, we further confound civilization with technology. Through 
this narrow slit, this egocentrism, the world can appear as one, or 
almost one. If, however, we try for a moment to lift and expand our 
vision, if we get rid of the filters of Westernization and technology, 
the map of the world falls into more profoundly varied contours. 

The nations of Western Civilization are themselves, for that mat- 
ter, bitterly and obviously divided, so bitterly that they have been 
engaged during the present century in the effort, not without suc- 
cess, to annihilate each other. They are divided in language, in 
economic interest, in governmental forms, in the axioms of juris- 
prudence. The fiercely divisive influence of nationalism is itself a 
phenomenon of our age. Our kind of nationalism arose in conjunc- 
tion with the French Revolution, and today it shows few signs of 
abating. It is a remarkable fact that during the Second World War 
the effective resistance in Europe to both Nazism and communism 
turned out to be nationalist in motive. Neither freedom in the ab- 
stract nor "class war" nor "United Europe" nor "World Govern- 
ment" proved to be the rallying ideas of the undergrounds and the 
resistance movements. It was the idea of "France," of "Poland," 
of "Greece." 

If there are these divisions within Western Civilization, how much 
more profoundly divided, then, is the world as a whole, where there 
simultaneously exist, along with Western Civilization, at least four 
other distinct civilizations — the Far Eastern, the Islamic, the Hindu, 
and the Orthodox Christian — together with the remains of several 
earlier civilizations, and even a number of surviving primitive cul- 
tures ? 

The misleading feature in the social environment has been the fact 
that, in modern times, our own Western Civilization has cast the 
net of its economic system round the World and has caught in its 
meshes the whole living generation of Mankind and all the habitable 
lands and navigable seas on the face of the Planet. . . . 

[Western observers who believe in "the unity of civilization," in 
"one world"] have exaggerated the range of the facts in two direc- 
tions. First, they have assumed that the present more or less com- 
plete unification of the World on a Western basis on the economic 
plane and the large measure of unification on the same basis which 
has been accomplished on the political plane are together tantamount 
to a perfect unification on all planes. Secondly, they have equated 
unification with unity. . . . 

[Their] vision of the contemporary world must be confined to the 
economic and political planes of social life and must be inhibited 
from penetrating to the cultural plane, which is not only deeper 
but is fundamental. While the economic and political maps of the 
World have now been "Westernized" almost out of recognition, the 
cultural map remains today substantially what it was before our 
Western Society ever started on its career of economic and political 
conquest. On this cultural plane, for those who have eyes to see, the 
lineaments of the four living non-Western civilizations are still clear. 
Even the fainter outlines of the frail primitive societies that are being 
ground to powder by the passage of the ponderous Western steam- 
roller have not quite ceased to be visible. How have our historians 
managed to close their eyes lest they should see? They have simply 
put on the spectacles — or the blinkers — of their generation; and we 
may best apprehend what the outlook of this generation has been 
by examining the connotation of the English word "Natives" and 
the equivalent words in the other vernacular languages of the con- 
temporary Western World. 

When we Westerners call people "Natives" we implicidy take all 
the cultural colour out of our perceptions of them. We see them as 
trees walking, or as wild animals infesting the country in which 
we happen to come across them . . . Their tenure is as provisional 
and precarious as that of the forest trees which the Western pioneer 
fells or that of the big game which he shoots down. And how shall 
the "civilized" Lords of Creation treat the human game, when in 
their own good time they come to take possession of the land which, 
by right of eminent domain, is indefeasibly their own? Shall they 
treat these "Natives" as vermin to be exterminated, or as domesti- 
cable animals to be turned into hewers of wood and drawers of 
water? .... Evidently the word ("Native") is not a scientific term 
but an instrument of action ... It belongs to the realm of Western 
practice and not of Western theory; and this explains the paradox 
that a classificatory-minded society has not hesitated to apply the 
name indiscriminately to the countrymen of a Gandhi and a Bose 
and a Rabindranath Tagore, as well as to "primitives" of die lowest 
degree of culture, such as the Andaman Islanders and tlie Australian 

... Blackfellows, For the theoretical purpose of objective description, 
this sweeping use of the word makes sheer nonsense. For the prac- 
tical purpose of asserting the claim that our Western Civilization is 
the only civilization in the World, the usage is a militant gesture.* 

Wendell Willkie, in his hurried trip, visited large cities, factories, 
airports and government offices. He talked to factory managers, gen- 
erals, bureaucrats and high administrators, who were besides anxious 
for favors, through a good report, from the United States. Not un- 
naturally Willkie saw that world as one. But it does not take a 
very long trip in from the seacoast of India or New Zealand or 
China or Arabia or Africa or Burma or Ceylon to remind those who 
are willing to see that culturally the world is not one but many. It 
does not, indeed, take a trip longer than that to our local museum 
or library, where songs and pictures and statues and symbols and 
religious books will offer the same evidence. The diversity, moreover, 
is not just a surface paint. There are even, hard as it is for a West- 
ern mind to understand it, "natives" — of China and India and 
Morocco and Turkey — who not only have no automobiles and bath- 
tubs and radios but who do not want them.f 

We may summarize the analysis, up to this point, of "one world": 
The world is potentially one in the light of a possible ideal of 
brotherhood, of common humanity. The world is actually one, at 
least at a certain level, through the direct or indirect influence of a 
particular technology and method of economic production. Politi- 
cally, and, most deeply of all, culturally, the world is many. 

* Quoted by permission from A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee, Vol. I, 
I, C, III, {b), pp. 150-153, published by the Oxford University Press (London) on 
behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In this chapter, and in 
Chapter 4, I have drawn considerably from this great work. 

t Toynbee, op cit., recalls "the story of the Sharif of Morocco who, returning 
home after a visit to Europe . . . , was yet heard to exclaim, as he sighted the 
Moroccan coast: 'What a comfort to be getting back to Civilization!' When our 
great-grandchildren make the same remark as their ship enters the Solent or the 
Mersey, will the joke be published in the comic papers of China and — Morocco?" 

I have dealt so far in this chapter with long-term phenomena: of 
more than a century in the economic and political instances; of a 
great many centuries in the case of the cultural plurality. I have left 
unmentioned one growingly familiar and outstanding fact, of direct 
bearing upon the question of "one world," which is a phenomenon 
of decades rather than of centuries. This fact more than any of the 
others has direct relevance to the question of political policy. Politi- 
cal action, however wise, cannot be meaningfully conceived in terms 
of centuries, but at most, of decades or a generation. Rational politi- 
cal action does not disregard the slow, vast, centuries-old phenomena, 
but it is compelled to accept them as an element of the situation 
which is merely "given," like the slowly changing sea for marine 
life, or the atmosphere. Deliberate political policy must concentrate 
on the main issue of today and a few years from today. 

The additional fact is that, independently of the unities and diver- 
sities which we have been considering, the world today is split 
sharply and decisively into two incommensurate regions, the com- 
munist and the non-communist. The very metaphors of contempo- 
rary rhetoric give witness to this split, and to its sharpness. We all 
know about the "iron curtain" at the dividing line. This metaphor, 
however, is misleading. The division is not correctly to be thought 
of as crystallized along a particular geographical line. The com- 
munist region infiltrates into every geographical area of the earth; 
and the split, though plainest along the boundaries of the Soviet 
Empire, is to be found also' within each nation outside of those 
formal boundaries, dividing within that nation the communists 
from the non-communists as formidably as, at a given moment, the 
Elbe divides Germany. 

Since much of this book will deal with the split of the world into 
communist and non-communist fragments, I shall here do no more 
than note the fact. It is a fact toward which every communist is long 
adjusted. From the time of Lenin, and implicitly before Lenin, every 
communist has been drilled to believe that in the world there are 
only two divisions of mankind: the communists, and all the rest. 
From the point of view of communist theory, all the thousand dif- 


ferences, among non-communists, o£ nation or wealth or learning or 
class or color or religion or policy are as nothing when weighed 
against that difference which separates the communist from all 
others. When the communist sings, "The international Party shall 
be the human race," he means what he says, and he expresses his 
view of the process by which alone he thinks that ultimate differ- 
ence can be overcome. 

< go to Contents3. The Political Consequences of the Atomic Bomb 

MOST OPINIONS about the historical meaning of the discovery 
and use of atomic weapons * can be divided into two general types. 
One, the less conspicuous, though adhered to by a number of mili- 
tary leaders, maintains that no essential change in warfare or in 
history is brought about by the introduction of atomic weapons. 
Atomic weapons are just one more item in a long list: clubs and 
stones, swords, spears, ships, bows and arrows, gunpowder, rifles, 
cannon, machine guns, airplanes, gas, rockets, atomic bombs. . . . 
New weapons have altered the range at which killing and destruc- 
tion can take place, and have increased the amount of killing that 
can be accomplished at one moment. The differences, however, are 
only of degree. Tactics, defensive and offensive, must accommodate 
themselves to the quantitative changes. The great principles of mili- 
tary strategy stand unaltered. An atomic war will look quite differ- 
ent from older fashioned wars, and will require different tactical 
preparations and dispositions; but it will be decided by the same 
combination of resources, morale, and strategic superiority that has 
always been in question. 

The other set of opinions, in extreme contrast, holds that the dis- 
covery of the use of nuclear energy, and its adaptation to warfare, 
have thrown us into an altogether new stage of world history. War, 
and in time human life, are at the beginning of a total change, un- 

* Atomic bombs are not, of course, the only new weapons of mass destruction. It 
has been claimed that some others, not yet disclosed, are still more devastating in 
effect than atomic bombs. For the sake of simplicity, I shall speak of "atomic 
weapons" or merely of "atomic bombs"; but I wish to be understood to refer in 
each case to the entire group of new weapons of comparable, or greater, destructive 
power. I may add, as my own opinion, that I should expect the nuclear weapons, 
based as they are on the unlocking of a new level of physical reality, to prove of 
much the greatest importance, 



recognizable and unpredictable from the point of view of the past. 
Experience can no longer be a guide. To be in accord with the revo- 
lutionary "nuclear age," we must also revolutionize our ideas. 

When confronted with two extreme and seemingly opposed views, 
the liberal mind customarily feels that the truth must lie in a com- 
promise halfway between them'. In this way, liberalism avoids the 
often rather grim duty of facing the flat truth, and recognizing that 
on most matters all views except one are simply false. 

In this instance, the truth is more complex than usual. Both ex- 
treme views happen to be true. There is no paradox, because those 
who maintain the two views are talking about different things. 

The first view is correct in recalling that atomic bombs were not 
created ex nihilo, and do not begin their career in a social vacuum. 
They do not make themselves, but are made and used by groups 
of human beings. These human beings do not change their biolog- 
ical and psychological traits at the moment of constructing atomic 
bombs. As human beings, they are parts of organized, institutional- 
ized societies; psychologically, individually and institutionally, they 
conduct themselves in behavior patterns largely determined by a 
long and continuing past. As a physical fact, the atomic bomb is 
for human knowledge something new, unique, startling. As a social 
fact, it is linked into the great chain of social facts. Its appearance, 
as a physical fact, is without human significance. The human prob- 
lem is : what is to be done with it, how is it to be used ? and this is 
a problem not of nuclear physics but of human behavior, a moral 
and social problem. Such problems did not begin with the cyclotron. 

The atomic bomb does not make men more intelligent or more 
unselfish; it does not abolish their impulses toward love or hate, 
power or kindness; it does not eliminate the struggle of classes for 
wealth and privilege, or of nations against other nations, or of free- 
dom against tyranny; it does not make a great country small, or a 
small one great, or a backward land advanced. What happens to 
atomic bombs, what is done with them, in short, is decided not by 
atomic bombs but by men; and men, in turn, make their decisions 
under the social conditions accumulated through the centuries. 

Looked at in such a context, therefore, it is correct to say that the 
introduction of atomic weapons involves no essential change. And 

it would be fatal to believe that the lessons from past experience 
have no application: there are no other lessons. It is, more narrowly, 
correct also to insist that the great principles of military strategy still 
apply. These principles, after all, are merely a statement of the gen- 
eral methods whereby any deliberate action in any field can be suc- 
cessfully carried out. 

Nevertheless, the second view has also its truth. Though as a social 
fact atomic weapons are like other social facts, and will be dealt 
with as other social facts have been, there is in the case of atomic 
weapons much more at stake than in that of almost any other social 
fact, far more than in any previous discovery of a new weapon; so 
much more that we may reasonably consider the problem they pre- 
sent as in decisive respects unique. 

Warfare has always been, with only a few minor primitive ex- 
ceptions, endemic to mankind as a whole. Up to the present, men 
have been able to assimilate warfare to the general conditions of 
human life sufficiently well to permit not merely life itself to con- 
tinue, but civilizations, with all their varied achievements, to develop 
and flourish. From a Malthusian standpoint, warfare can be under- 
stood as one of the checks which have kept population from exceed- 
ing too greatly the available means of subsistence; but war, together 
with the other checks, has never for long kept the world popula- 
tion from gradually increasing. In that sense mankind might be said 
to have been winning in the struggle for existence. It is remarkable 
that even during the very years of the first two world wars, in which 
the greatest mass slaughters of all time took place, the world popu- 
lation was apparently increasing not only as a whole but in almost 
all of the belligerent countries themselves. 

The uniqueness of atomic weapons is to be found first of all in 
this: that they create a definite material possibility of the total an- 
nihilation of human life.* This possibility could be realized in at 
least two obvious ways. By-products of atomic explosions, rays, gases, 
and so on, might so diffuse the global atmosphere that it would no 
longer support human life; or they might poison the soil in such a 
way that it would not bear the means of subsistence. Second, a 

* The possibility is also present in the methods of mass biological warfare. 


chain reaction involving some common, widespread element might 
eliminate life at one stroke.* 

I am aware that the nuclear scientists are anxious to deprecate 
both o£ these possibilities. They have, they assure us, everything 
under control. They calculate in advance just how much of what 
will be diffused, to make sure that only the proper air and soil and 
persons will be disintegrated. And their explosive chain reactions 
occur in the cases only of a few odd unstable elements at the top of, 
or beyond, the natural periodic table. I do not, however, have full 
confidence in the pubHc statements of the scientists. 

The basic ideas of nuclear physics are not too difficult for a lay- 
man. It is already evident — from, for example, the questions 
unsolved in advance about smoke dispersal at the Clinton plant, of 
water radioactivity at Hanford, or from the curious data on the 
smudging of photographic film hundreds of miles from Los Alamos 
some time following the test explosion — that the scientists do not 
understand thoroughly the question of the diffusion of the by 
products of atomic explosions. If they do not when the explosions 
are of single, extremely inefficient bombs, how much less are they 
aware of the total effects from the simultaneous explosion of thou' 
sands of efficient bombs. 

Moreover, though their own controlled results have been achieved 
only with critical concentrations of unstable elements high on the 
periodic table, they are not fully aware of the general conditions for 
chain reactions. By their own account, the energy cycle of the sun 
involves such common elements as hydrogen, carbon and helium. 
There can be no a priori reason for ruling out comparable reactions 
on the earth, started, perhaps, quite accidentally from the point of 
view of the intentions of the scientists. 

If we wish to know the historical meaning of nuclear technology, 
as it might be called, we must begin, then, by recognizing its most 
distinctive consequence: that it makes possible, not at all probable 

* There are other, more remote, but still conceivable, possibilities : climatic changes 
induced by alterations in ocean currents or the melting of polar ice; land displace 
ments through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions set off by atomic explosions; and 


but quite definitely possible, the early total annihilation o£ human 

This, however, Is perhaps not to be considered a "political con- 
sequence" of atomic weapons. Annihilation would, after all, end 
political problems. It is also possible, though still less probable, that 
life might be annihilated by an overlarge meteor or an unexpected 
comet or a hitch in the orderly processes of the sun; but we do not 
bring such possibilities into our political calculations. Let us turn, 
therefore, to consequences of atomic weapons, short of annihilation, 
which have a more direct relevance to political policy. 

First, we may note that, if the annihilation of life is improbable 
though possible, the early destruction of civilized society by atomic 
weapons is on the whole rather probable. One or two large scale 
wars in which both sides had and made use of atomic weapons 
would quite probably destroy what we call civilization. 

Modern civilization is dependent upon a very complex interlock- 
ing network of physical and institutional arrangements. The keys 
to this network and its maintenance are concentrated in large cities. 
Atomic weapons are peculiarly fitted to the destruction of cities. 
With an accumulation of such weapons on hand on both sides of a 
new war, and with the devices for launching them at long distance 
available, the rapid joint destruction of a great many cities and other 
industrial areas is feasible, and to be expected. This might cause a 
breakdown in the social processes beyond the possibility of recupera- 
tion, because the material means for recuperation would have been 
eliminated. Human life, reduced in numbers, would still continue, 
but at a much more primitive social and cultural level. "Our world" 
would have disappeared, as fully as the Minoan civilization dis- 
appeared after the sudden and mysterious calamity which visited 
its centers on its controlling island of Crete. 

It is our own Western Civilization that is in particular vulnerable 
to atomic weapons. The greatest world cities of the present are ours, 
and we are most dependent on cities. Our intricate, industrialized, 
mechanized social machine, which can be brought almost to a stop 


by no more than a strike o£ a few thousand persons, is the most 
exposed. A tractor can plow more land than a horse, but a horse 
needs only a little food and water and a peasant to keep going; and 
the peasant alone can still make the land yield. 

The more heavily industrialized a nation, the more concentrated 
its industrial areas, the more intertwined its communication and 
transport, the more vulnerable it is : England most of all, the United 
States, Germany as it functioned before the war, Belgium, northern 
Italy, parts of France. Where non- Western nations have taken over 
Western methods of production, they too have made themselves 
vulnerable: Japan — though in this last war it was not atomic weap- 
ons that brought about Japan's defeat; and Russia, though with her 
great spaces in the remote Heartland and her lower level of in- 
dustrial development, she is less vulnerable than the technologically 
advanced nations of the West. 

China, India, most of the Middle East, and, still more evidently, 
the African interior are in an incomparably better condition to sus- 
tain atomic warfare. Atomic weapons could, no doubt, wipe out 
Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Peiping, Can- 
ton. . . . Unless, however, the weapons were developed to a point 
that imminently promised the annihilation of all life, the Far East- 
ern and Hindu civilizations would still remain: a few tens of mil- 
lions of humans killed, perhaps, but their cultures hardly dented. 
The explosions would not disturb the African tribes in the jungles, 
on the veldt and along the river banks. The Chinese and Indian 
peasant and the African primitive, who do not know the blessings 
of the mechanical appliances of the West, are at the same time free 
from dependence upon them. 

It may very well turn out, then, that Western Civilization, by 
releasing nuclear energies, has committed suicide. 


An already observable consequence of atomic weapons is a still 
greater speedup in the rate of historical change, which had already, 
during the past fifty years, reached the highest level in history. The 
political, social and institutional changes of previous decades, or 


centuries, are becoming crowded into a year or two. Crisis succeeds 
crisis; there is no lengthened, restful interlude. We have already 
examined a major example of this speedup : the prelude to the Third 
World War has opened before the close of the Second. It is plain in 
every field: laws, regimes, boundaries, monarchs, property relations, 
constitutions, the value of money, change overnight. The nationaH- 
zation of whole industries, in France or Czechoslovakia or England, 
is carried through with less fuss than used to accompany a minor 
parliamentary investigation. Diplomatic showdowns, on Argentina, 
Iran, Manchuria, Germany, Spain, Palestine . . . trip each other's 
heels. A world bank starts one week, a civil war the next; evening 
headlines of a mass strike replace the morning's news of the revolt 
of great colonies. The United States seizes billions of dollars' worth 
of property more quickly than it once condemned a few acres for a 
new bridge or highway. Governments are rearranged like players in 
a progressive bridge tournament. 

Atomic weapons are not, of course, the sole cause of this speedup; 
they are, in some respects, rather a symptom than a cause. A more 
rapid rate of historical change is characteristic of revolutions — is, for 
that matter, the meaning of "social revolution" — and a generation 
ago, there began, on a world scale, a great social revolution, which 
has not yet run its course. The discovery of atomic weapons, how- 
ever, exacerbates the whole process, like oxygen under pressure 
added to an already flaming fire. 

The reason for this is that the existence of atomic weapons pro- 
hibits any long postponement of a showdown. The threat of atomic 
weapons presents the perspective of social annihilation, at the very 
least for the losers, not in centuries or generations, but on the imme- 
diate horizon. The Second World War itself, with its unprecedented 
slogan of "unconditional surrender" and its pulverization of the 
defeated, shows that the nations are morally prepared for wars of 
extermination. The nuclear discoveries place the physical means at 
their disposal. 

Everyone really knows, or senses, the change; and this general 
awareness accounts for the feverishness of the social atmosphere. 
Many respond with a crude hedonism, aiming to get what they can 
— money, pleasure, women, liquor — in what time is left. Some turn 


to religion, often of a mystical type. The generals respond by trying 
to hold their armies together, and by herding the scientists and tech- 
nicians into the martial laboratories. The statesmen frantically test 
one political combination after another. 

The atomic weapons, poised in their secret United States nests, 
just hatching from the laboratories of other powers, will not permit 
the world to wait. It therefore follows that no political program to- 
day has any concrete meaning unless it can provide, within a very 
few years, some sort of at least temporarily workable answer to the 
problem of atomic weapons. There is no time for ideal societies to 
be reached by education or other slow processes in a century or two. 
The goal for a significant political policy must be capable of being 
reached, at least sufficiently, within at most a decade. 

The logic of this conclusion is, I think, inescapable. With it a 
host of well-intentioned and abstractly worthy political programs 
fall at once in pieces. They do not, perhaps, have to be abandoned 
entirely; but any long-term program must be supplemented by a 
short-term policy, or it cannot meet the issue. It can only be Utopian, 
trivial, politically irresponsible. If a house is burning down, a pro- 
gram of reform for its inhabitants counts for nothing unless some 
action is meanwhile taken to put out the fire. 

Further, if we now relate the fact of the historical speedup to the 
considerations of the preceding section, an additional conclusion 
may be drawn: 

If a workable solution for the problem of atomic weapons is not 
found within a relatively few years, Western Civilization will cease 
to be the dominant civilization of the world (if it does not disappear 
altogether) , and will be replaced probably by one of the other exist- 
ing civilizations; or, if none of these retains enough creative power 
for the task, then Western Civilization v/ill be replaced at a much 
later date by some new civilization not yet in evidence. It is difficult 
in these questions to specify with any assurance what should be 
meant by "a relatively few years." The evidence — primarily consisting 
of the fact of the existence of atomic weapons and the probability, on 
the basis of present indications, of their early use — seems to show 
that the decision will certainly come within a few decades, a calcu- 
lation which allows for the possibility of Western Civilization's 


surviving the Third World (and First Atomic) War, and collapsing 
only, as it surely would, in the Fourth. 

This conclusion is so drastic that it will doubtless be thought by 
many to be mere rhetoric. Such a dismissal would rest on the illu- 
sion that our civilization is identical with civilization in general, our 
history with the history of mankind. Though we can realize that 
each of us individually must die, it is inconceivable that our entire 
mode of life should cease to be. "Doubtless," Toynbee observes, "the 
last [Egyptian] scribe who knew how to write the hieroglyphic 
script and the last sculptor who knew how to carve a bas-relief in 
the Egyptiac style cherished the same illusion, when the Egyptiac 
Society was in articulo mortis, that had been cherished by their 
predecessors at the time when the Egyptiac Society was still holding 
its own among its kind, and at the still earlier dme when, for all 
that its members knew, it was the only society of the kind that ever 
had existed or was destined ever to exist in the World." * 

Toynbee tells also the story of a conversation between a British 
statesman and a Persian visitor, in which the statesman sought to 
justify the cynical British policy toward Persia on the grounds that 
only through it was Russia brought into the First World War on 
the side of the Allies. " 'If,' concluded the statesman, 'seven years 
later, Germany had started the Great War with Russia as an ally 
or indeed as a neutral, she would certainly have won the war; and 
that would not only have been the end of the British Empire. It 
would have been the end of Civilization. When Civilization was at 
stake, how could we act otherwise than we did ? Put yourself in our 
place, and answer me with your hand on your heart.' 

"At this the Persian, who had at first been mildly puzzled and ag- 
grieved, completely lost his temper. His heart burnt within him and 
a torrent of denunciation issued from his lips: 'Your policy was 
infinitely more wicked than I had suspected! The cynicism of it is 
beyond imagination! You had the effrontery to look me in the face 
and tell me complacently that you have deliberately sacrificed the 
unique treasure which Persia preserves for Humanity — the priceless 
jewel of Civilizati9n — on the off-chance of saving your worthless 
Western Society from the catastrophe which its own greed and pug- 

* Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, Vol. I, I, C, iii, {b), p. 158. 


nacity were inevitably bringing upon its head! Put myself in your 
place, indeed! What should I have cared, and what do I care now, 
if Europe perish so long as Persia lives!' " * 

If, however, we are not yet ready to accept passively the final col- 
lapse of Western Civilization, we may state the following as a 
necessary first condition of any workable solution of the problem of 
atomic weapons: there must be an absolute monopoly of the produc- 
tion, possession and use of all atomic weapons. 

It might be argued that a much simpler and surer solution would 
be to get rid of all atomic weapons, and all the apparatus that might 
be used to produce them. This would be an example of the usual 
kind of argument in a historical vacuum. Atomic weapons and the 
apparatus which produces them did not jump fully primed out of 
the forehead of a 20th-century Zeus. They are a climactic end 
product of the whole long development of Western science and 
technology. To get rid of them, it would not be enough to bury 
them, denatured, in the sea, and to wreck the atomic plants and 
laboratories. We should have also to get rid of what had once 
brought them about, and would promptly do so again: that is, 
modern science and modern technology, as well as the scientists and 
technicians who are the carriers of science and technology. This 
would be the equivalent of wiping out Western Civilization, the 
same result that the atomic weapons themselves threaten, and would 
thus solve nothing. 

The only way in which atomic weapons could actually be elimi- 
nated is the way in which a monopoly often eliminates products 
which it controls: by withholding, at its own discretion, their 
manufacture and use. 

That monopoly control is a necessary (though by no means suf- 
ficient) condition for solving the problem of atomic weapons seems 
to me so evident, after reflection, as to be hardly open to doubt. 

Let us assume that more than one (two is enough for the assump- 
tion) power possesses, and is producing, atomic weapons. Each will 

* Toynbce, loc. cit., pp. 162-3. 


be improving the efficiency and destructive potential of the weapons 
as it goes along. Now let us try to reason as the leaders of these 
powers would be compelled to reason. 

Each leader of Power A could not but think as follows : Power B 
has at its disposal instruments which could, in the shortest time, de- 
stroy us. He has possibly made, or is about to make, new discoveries 
which will threaten even more complete and rapid destruction. At 
the moment, perhaps, he shows no open disposition to use these 
instruments. Nevertheless, I cannot possibly rely on his continued 
political benevolence — above all since he knows that I also have at 
my disposal instruments that can destroy him. Some hothead — or 
some wise statesman — of his may even now be giving the order to 
push the necessary buttons. 

Therefore? Therefore, in order to defend ourselves, we, since we 
have on hand a sufficient atomic armament for the purpose, must 
strike, striving by all means, political, diplomatic, psychological and 
economic, as well as military, to catch him off guard. Even thus, we 
must expect severe retaliation. But, if we are lucky, we shall be able 
to sustain it; and we shall have crushed, at one massive blow, the 
permanent foundation of his defenses, so that he can never recover 
for more than a futile death grapple. 

So also, each leader of Power B. 

How else would it be possible for them to reason ? Thoughts such 
as those should not be piously dismissed as the ravings of perverted 
and Satanic madmen. Serious leaders cannot, in their practical plans, 
accept the sentimental versions of political life given in primary 
school or liberal weeklies or their own holiday speeches. Nor would 
they, as the world goes, be in such reasonings irresponsible or even 
immoral. Their primary duty is understood to be to themselves and 
their own group. They know that no social group in history has 
ever been saved by reliance on the innate goodness of man. 

Even if there were no atomic weapons, many of the leaders 
would undoubtedly be reasoning today along these lines. Atomic 
weapons are, after all, not responsible for warfare, not even for the 
Third World War, which has begun. The fact that the political and 
social causes of a war are abundantly present stares at us from every 
edition of every newspaper. The existence of atomic weapons merely 


raises the stakes immeasurably higher, and demands a quicker 

It is true that few men and few leaders reason with unrelieved 
consistency. The force of the above assumed deduction might not 
be at once apparent to them, or they might not for a while be will- 
ing to accept it. But to assume, as do some foolish commentators, 
that fear of retaliation will be the best deterrent to an atomic war is 
to deny the lessons of the entire history of war and of society. Fear, 
as Ferrero so eloquently shows, is what provokes the exercise of 
force. Most modern wars have been, in the minds of every bellig- 
erent, preventive: an effort to stamp out the fear of what the other 
side might be about to do. 

Some delay in acting upon the deduction might also result from 
the intervention of other forces not completely under the control of 
the leaders of Powers A and B. In particular, public opinion might 
be operating against such a preventive atomic attack. Public opinion 
can, however, be directed. In the case of a totalitarian nation, the 
leaders are, on the one hand, accustomed to strict logic in their 
political deductions, and, on the other, relatively immune from the 
influence of an independent public opinion. 

The existence of two or more centers of control of atomic weapons 
would be equal to a grenade with the pin already pulled. 

An absolute monopoly of control, by whomever exercised, would 
not, if is true, make certain that atomic weapons would never be 
used. But it would automatically remove, from those in charge of 
the monopoly, by far the greatest motive for their use : the fear that 
someone else will use them. Responsibility, moreover, will be open 
and unavoidable before the whole world; and the opinion of all 
humanity would be brought to bear upon the actions of the mo- 
nopolist. If I possess the only gun, there can be no question who is 
the murderer when a man is found shot through the head. The 
atomic monopolist can never plead that he unleashed his atomic 
weapons because some other side was ready with its own. And — 
though this is perhaps cause for only minor satisfaction — monopoly 
control would at any rate guarantee that not all the earth would be 
turned into an atomic waste. It would at most be only the other 
side's section. Responsible statesmanship could, and would, decide 


on atomic warfare if control of atomic weapons is divided. But it 
would in truth need an insane leadership to launch general atomic 
destruction if it alone held the means of that destruction. 

If there is to be monopoly control of atomic weapons, who is to 
be the monopolist? 

Though there are various approaches to the argument, there is a 
fairly wide recognition of the necessity for monopoly control of 
atomic weapons. The usual answer to the question, "Who shall be 
the monopolist?" that must then follow, is: a "world government" 
or some kind of "international body." I shall return in the next 
chapter to the problem of "world government." Here I shall remark 
only that a world government does not exist, and cannot therefore 
be a present candidate for the monopoly position. If a world gov- 
ernment should come to exist in the future, there would no longer 
be any problem in the control of atomic weapons. The world govern- 
ment would exercise the sole control, or it would not be a world 

As for "international bodies" or "international commissions," such 
as those that are, as I write, being proposed through the United 
Nations, they cannot possibly answer; they will come to nothing, no 
matter what nominal agreements are made. All such bodies are, like 
the United Nations itself, not in any sense genuine "world institu- 
tions," since they have no independent sovereignty. They are merely 
talking, paper committees, or at most alliances, of individually sov- 
ereign states. Their political possibilities reduce in functioning terms 
entirely to the separate functioning of the individual states. To place 
atomic weapons in the hands of any commission composed through 
and out of the United Nations, or any comparable commission, does 
not in the least establish a monopoly. In practice, it would merely 
symbolize the fragmentation of the control, its division among the 
member-states. This would necessarily be, and remain, the case 
unless the "Atomic Commission" itself became the World Govern- 

Any hope, therefore, that some kind of United Nations sleight of 


hand is going to provide an easy, short-cut sohition to the problem 
o£ atomic weapons will in due course — perhaps even before this 
book appears in print — end in disillusion. 

Among those observers who believe that atomic weapons have 
upset all those principles heretofore applicable to warfare and to 
social action in general, there are some who hold that a small nation 
or even a group of private individuals (scientists and technicians, 
for example) could now, by means of atomic weapons, conquer 
great nations, or even the world. This opinion is mistaken. 

In the first place, the production of atomic weapons * requires the 
possession of comparatively large amounts of raw materials which 
are found in sufficient concentration in only a few places. This rules 
out at once most nations. Second, it requires, directly and indirectly, 
an enormous, advanced industrial plant, which hardly any small 
nation has at its disposal. Third, it requires large numbers of 
trained workers, scientists and technicians, which, again, are not 
available to small nations. As for groups of private individuals, 
obviously no state will permit them to function. 

If it remains still conceivable that one or two small nations (Switz- 
erland or Sweden, for example, which have precision industry and 
scientists) might produce atomic weapons, even this would not 
pose, on a world scale, a total threat. It would be like a single 
maniac, loose in a city with a machine gun. Terror and death, on a 
certain scale, could result. But nothing permanent would follow. 
The small nation would not have the men to follow up and con- 
solidate a quick orgy of destruction. 

The truth is that the role of a small nation in the production of 
atomic weapons could only be that of a front for a great and popu- 
lous nation. The apparent source of the atomic weapons might be 
a small nation (say, Czechoslovakia or Ecuador), but the controlling 
hand would be that of a great nation which could have some hope 
of administering the world of its defeated rivals. 

Most of the great and populous nations can likewise be quickly 
ruled out as candidates for monopoly control of atomic weapons. 

* It is possible, of course, that new methods of making atomic weapons more 
simply, from easily available materials, will be found. This does not seem probable 
for the future in which the issues will be decided. 


Since production depends upon an advanced industrial plant and a 
large group of scientists, only nations with those resources are in 
the field. Therefore India and China or Java or Brazil, for example, 
are not, for the present, in the running. Japan and Germany are 
crushed, as a result of the war, and could have, if any role at all, 
only that of "front," like one of the small nations. (The German 
nuclear scientists have, for that matter, been appropriated by the 
victorious great powers.) 

France, in any case not sufficiently populous, has been too weak- 
ened by the war and its own continuing internal crises to be ad- 
mitted. France, in international policy, can at best only go on as she 
has been doing, trying to preserve a partial independence by jockey- 
ing between the active powers. 

What remains? 

Abstractly reasoned, it might be thought that England, with the 
British Empire, remains on the list. England and Canada did, we 
know, have a prominent part in the first development of atomic 
production. In the concrete, however, we must recognize that Eng- 
land is on the historical defensive. England retains the potential for 
great achievement, but she can no longer take the initiative. Her 
empire is weakening, her independent expansive force has ended. 
It is only in association with a dynamic power that England can 
henceforth operate : as a subsidiary or associate or partner, but with- 
out an individual freedom of action. This has already been proved, 
in its own way, by the first stage of atomic development. Though 
England and Canada contributed greatly, the plants were built, the 
final secrets held, and the weapons themselves exclusively retained, 
in the United States. 

There remain, then, among existing social institutions, two, and 
just two, serious candidates for the monopoly control of atomic 
weapons. The United States and the Soviet Union alone possess all 
the necessary qualifications. 

The issue of atomic weapons, of atomic warfare, is an issue be- 
tween the United States and the Soviet Union. This is the reality 
that lies beneath the complex appearance through which the issue 
expresses itself in the press, in speeches, in the United Nations and 
at the conferences. It is a reality, moreover, which, in spite of all the 


irrelevancies o£ discourse, is well enough known by the leading 
parties to the disputes. Wherever and whenever the problem o£ 
atomic weapons comes up for discussion or debate, no one is really 
worried about Norway or Poland or Peru or China or New Zealand 
or Italy or Afghanistan or Greece or England or Spain. The sole 
"question of substance" (as the United Nations parliamentarians 
like to phrase it) is: What are the United States and the Soviet 
Union going to do ? 

< go to Contents4. World Government or World Empire? 

A RECOGNITION o£ the fact that the survival of Western Civili- 
zation, and perhaps of mankind, depends upon the early establish- 
ment of a monopoly control over atomic weapons usually leads, we 
have noted, to the conclusion that a "World Government" must be 
formed. The World Government would exercise supreme world 
sovereignty. In it the atomic monoply would be vested. Since there 
would no longer be independent, sovereign nations, international 
war would "by definition" become impossible, and mankind would 
thus be saved from the general atomic destruction which another 
war or two would make probable. 

Abstractly considered, the project for a supreme World Govern- 
ment seems to be much the best solution. Long before the birth of 
atomic weapons, and on more positive grounds than the defense 
against destruction, the ideal of World Government had been re- 
peatedly put forward. It has to recommend it the humanitarian, 
moral, and technological arguments which we discussed in Chapter 
2. True enough, a World Government would not of itself accomplish 
quite all that is claimed for it by its advocates. It would not guar- 
antee the end of wars. Wars as physical facts cannot be stopped "by 
definition." If, under a World Government, international wars could 
not take place for the semantic reason that there would no longer 
be nations, nevertheless mass warfare could still go on under the 
title of "civil war" or "rebellion." Death and suffering are not much 
changed by a switch of labels. However, if there were, or came to 
be, a World Government, it would in fact provide the most rational 
structure within which to meet the problems of modern world 
polity, economy and technology. And it would give the complete 
answer to the greatest of all immediate issues: the issue of control 
of atomic weapons. 

For the eloquence, wisdom, and goodness of heart with which the 
ideal of World Government has been in our time so well defended 



I have only admiration. I add nothing here to that defense only 
because I feel I have nothing new to say. I share the ideal; and 
what I am writing, however paradoxical this may often seem, is in 
its service. 

Unfortunately, however, the present advocates of a World Gov- 
ernment, now organizing in dozens of new Committees and Coun- 
cils, do not seem to understand either what a "government" is, or 
how, historically, a government comes to be. They think of a gov- 
ernment as a title, a name, a letterhead, or an imposing Committee. 
They seem to believe that if there "were some body — the United 
Nations, for example — that we would agree to call a World Govern- 
ment, then that body would be a World Government. They conceive 
of the means whereby a World Government might be brought into 
existence after the manner of a kind of international trick: a well- 
worded treaty to be signed, a pledge to be taken by individual per- 
sons all over the world, or a clever amendment to the United 
Nations Charter. It is not so easy. 

A genuine government is not an abstraction. It is composed of 
actual human beings, organized into institutions, and cemented by 
a common body of shared ideas. A considerable percentage of the 
subjects, or citizens, of a genuine government must be ready to 
recognize, freely or through coercion, that there is no political power 
superior to the government. That is what is meant by calling a gov- 
ernment "sovereign"; and without sovereignty it is not a govern- 
ment. That is why the League of Nations was not and the United 
Nations is not a world government or even a step toward world 
government. No one has ever recognized either of those organizations 
as the supreme political power. The charters of both of them, as 
well as their rules and practices, were so designed as to make im- 
possible their possession or assumption of sovereignty. 

The functioning institutions which are an essential part of any 
possible government must include at the very least those capable of 
executive, legislative, and judicial action. The same body can act in 
all three spheres; but all three functions must be performed, or sov- 
ereignty remains non-existent. The government must be able to 
make laws that are binding on all the citizens and subjects. It must 
be able to administer those laws. It must have courts, police, jails 


and armies to enforce them. If it does not have all these things, if 
it cannot do all these things, then it is not a government. If indi- 
vidual citizens or subjects, or groups of citizens and subjects, are at 
liberty to accept or reject the government's laws as they themselves 
see fit, if they can execute them after their own manner, if they can 
refuse to grant the jurisdiction of the courts and can resist the 
power of the police, if they can veto by their will an act of the gov- 
ernment, then it is not a genuine government, then it is only a name 
or a form, and the real power rests elsewhere. 

All of this is not yet enough. In order that a government should 
be established and maintained, its citizens or subjects, or a consid- 
erable percentage of them, must share at least a minimum set of 
ideas or formulas or myths. For the government to be in truth 
sovereign, the citizens or subjects must believe that it is sovereign. 
The sources of the belief may be various; but the question of source 
is secondary to the question of content. They might believe that the 
sovereignty is divinely ordained, or biologically inherited, or expres- 
sive of the will of the people, or rationally desirable; or they might 
simply believe that the government's power is unassailable. No 
matter, so long as the practical content of the belief — namely, the 
acceptance in action of the government's authority — is the same. 
But if they do not believe at all in the government's sovereignty, 
then that sovereignty itself is an illusion. 

This is the meaning of "government," any government, including 
a hypothetical World Government. A short reflection on the mean- 
ing is enough to show us how far from reality are the plans of the 
World Government's advocates. 

Our analysis has taken its departure from the fact of the existence 
of atomic weapons, understood as the principal material ingredient 
of the extreme crisis of world politics. We have observed that the 
destruction of Western Civilization is an immediate, not a distant, 
perspective. Granted the desirability of the attempt to preserve West- 
ern Civilization, we have therefore recognized as a first requirement 


for any solution to the crisis, a chance that it can be reaUzed within 
a comparatively few years. 

The achievement of a World Government is not impossible. We 
cannot correctly argue that because there has never been a World 
Government, one therefore can never be. Because, for tens of thou- 
sands of years, no human society exceeded a few thousand souls, it 
did not follow that no future society could comprise many scores of 
millions. Inferences from the past can be drawn only when they 
also take into account new material and social factors that were not 
present in the past. On the other hand, it is even more grossly fal- 
lacious to argue that because a certain solution is desirable or 
"needed," therefore it will come about. There is nothing whatsoever 
in either individual or social experience to suggest that men will get 
out of their difficulties in the way which, rationally considered, is 
best for them. Pointing out to an alcoholic that alcohol is bad for 
him does not stop him from drinking, any more than a lesson on the 
general evils of inflation will lead a farmer to sell his grain below 
the market price. A World Government would be the best solution 
to the present crisis. But this truth, even if it were far more generally 
accepted, is not enough to bring a World Government into being. 

If we judge by facts and not by wishes, we cannot escape the 
following conclusion: within the given time limits, the free and 
voluntary establishment of a World Government is historically im- 
possible. It is impossible because the necessary historical pre-condi- 
tions do not exist. 

A World Government means world political unity. Historical 
experience shows that political unity is achieved by cultural diflu- 
sion plus military conquest, or simply by conquest. The Roman 
legions plus the Roman educators and architects and language could 
unify Gaul and Italy; the soldiers and priests of Ancient Egypt 
could unite, politically, the valley of the Nile; Kultur plus diplomacy 
plus the best trained soldiers of Europe could bring together the 
small German states; by direct conquest, without cultural penetra- 
tion, the Ottoman Turks could unite the various Byzantine states of 
Asia Minor and the Balkans. But we find in history almost no ex- 
amples of the political unification of hitherto separate autonomous 
communities brought about by deliberate, voluntary decision. 


The seemingly voluntary unification of separate communities 
shows, on more careful examination, two conditions always present: 
a pre-existing cultural unity shared by the communities; and the 
actuality or strong threat of an external force directed against the 
communities which unite. Even these conditions are seldom enough 
to bring about unity. From the 4th to the 2nd centuries b.c, the 
Greek city-states shared a common traditional culture, a culture so 
deep that from the point of view of its language all non-Greeks were 
barbaroi — "barbarians." The Greeks faced both the threat and the 
actuality of an external force — ^from Macedonia and then from Rome 
— so mighty that every adult Greek understood that the separated 
city-states had no chance against it. Nevertheless, the city-states did 
not succeed in uniting politically. Their various leagues and coali- 
tions fell periodically to pieces, and Greece ended as a subject prov- 
ince. The history of the great Italian city-states of the pre-Renaissance 
was the same. In their case, too, there was a profound and splendid 
cultural unity. They, too, were battered by external force, by the 
armies of Spain and France and the Empire. They were, moreover, 
made fully conscious both of their situation and of the only possible 
solution for it, by the superb analysis and the moving rhetoric of 
Machiavelli. Still they did not unite. 

If the uniting of England and Scotland seems peaceful and volun- 
tary, this is only because we confine attention to the unimportant 
final act, and forget the many centuries of war and bitter conflict 
which preceded it. And in that case, too, there was the Christian 
civilization of the West shared in common. Before the Swiss Fed- 
eration became a united nation, centuries of changing leagues and 
coalitions, of foreign intervention and temporary conquest, had to 
be buttressed by the impact of Napoleon, the pressure of the Holy 
Alliance, and a sharp if brief and relatively bloodless civil war. 

It is above all in the founding of the United States that the be- 
lievers in World Government seek their precedents. There, they 
hold, is a positive example, by following which we could, today, 
voluntarily and peacefully, set up and maintain a unified govern- 
ment of the world. Analysis can easily show, however, that this 
analogy, so persuasive at first hearing, breaks down at every relevant 


The thirteen colonies, to begin with, shared not only the common 
Western culture, but, for the most part, the specifically English form 
of that culture, including the English language. As all dependencies 
of a single great power, they were accustomed to think of them- 
selves together politically, as united in a common political fate; and 
they had no tradition of separate sovereign existence. Spatial conti- 
nuity with each other and isolation from the rest of the world, with 
the vast sea to orie side and the vast wilderness to the other, imposed 
on them a geographical unity. They had fought together the long, 
difficult revolutionary war, and had together conquered. In the war, 
though their unity had been far from complete, though in many 
respects it was fought as a coalition of independent powers, they had 
come to possess in common many symbols and traditions of unity: 
a single Congress, no matter how limited in power; united and 
often thrilling Declarations; joint victories and defeats and treaties; 
national heroes. Influential classes of the population stood to gain by 
unity, and to lose much by separatism. Moreover, the very real 
threat of external force was by no means removed through victory 
in the War of Independence. Almost all of the leading statesmen of 
the colonies understood that the failure to become a strongly united 
nation would surely open the road to constant intrigue by the great 
European powers, playing off one set of States against others, with 
the long-term aim of re-establishing European domination. 

Even all of this was not enough to bring about a free, deliberate 
decision to unite. What was in reality a minority coup was in addi- 
tion required. The Philadelphia Convention had to violate its spe- 
cific instructions which limited it to the mere amendment of the 
Articles of Confederation. The new Constitution itself contained a 
blatant threat of coercion through the provision that the new gov- 
ernment would come into being after the adherence of only nine of 
the States. In the doubtful States, the bold campaign for adoption 
joined open intimidation to rational argument and demagogy. New 
York City's declared intention to secede from the State doubtless 
weighed as much at Poughkeepsie as Hamilton's speeches. And, 
finally, the unity was sealed only with the blood of one of the most 
terrible of Civil Wars. 

Even, then, if we were to grant the American precedent, it hardly 


suggests a soft slide into World Government. The precedent itself, 
however, is plainly inapplicable. In the world as a whole there is 
not cultural unity, but cultural plurality, and, in addition, the super- 
imposed fracture into totalitarian and non-totalitarian segments. 
Western CiviUzation is itself harshly divided into separate com- 
munities, with the inertial weight of centuries reinforcing the divi- 
sions. By the nature of the case, at any rate until the era of 
inter-planetary wars begins, there can be no exterifal force prompt- 
ing a move toward world unity. The evidence of experience is un- 
ambiguous. We can have no reason to believe that the people of 
the world will, in the predictable future, establish, through any 
form of free, deliberate decision, a World Government. 

We have been considering the prospects of a World Government 
achieved by free and deliberate decision. If, however, we shift the 
locus of the problem, and consider, not such a World Government, 
but rather a World Empire, established at least partly through 
force and the threat of force, the evidence from historical experience 
no longer dictates the same negative conclusion. ' 

There has, of course, never been a World Empire in the sense of 
an Empire the dominion of which comprised literally the entire 
earth. What Toynbee* calls "Universal Empires" have, however, 
come into being many times; and are, indeed, a usual stage — the 
next to final stage — in the history of civilizations. In the instances of 
those civilizations of which we have knowledge, what seems usually 
to happen is more or less this: Each civilization expands gradually 
from its original, comparatively limited home, by diffusion, coloni- 
zation and conquest. It becomes articulated into a number of inde- 
pendent (sovereign) political communities. At some point in the 
development there occurs a long series of catastrophes and crises — 
named by Toynbee the "Time of Troubles." At the culmination of 
the Time of Troubles, some one state succeeds in eliminating all 
rivals and founding a Universal Empire, the extent of ^^'hich coin- 
cides roughly with the sphere of cultural influence attained previ- 

* In this section I have made considerable use of Toynbee's ^-1 Study of History. 


ously by the civilization. The Universal Empire, in its turn, has so 
far always been followed by the breakup and destruction of the civili- 
zation in question. 

In some such order, there came into being the Universal Empire 
of the Han dynasties (for the earlier Chinese, or "Sinic" civiliza- 
tion); the Empire of the Guptas for the earlier Indian civilization; 
the Abbasid C^iphate (resuming the interrupted Achaemenian 
Empire) for Syriac civilization; the Ottoman Empire for the Ortho- 
dox Christian (Byzantine) civilization; the Empire centered on 
Crete for the Minoan civilization; the "Empire of the Four Quar- 
ters of the World," restored, after an interruption, by Hammurabi 
for Sumeric civilization; the Roman Empire for Hellenic civiliza- 
tion; the Empire of the Incas for Andean civilization; the Empire 
of the Mongols and later the British Raj for more recent Indian 
civilization; and so on. 

It should be noted that the state which succeeds in founding the 
Universal Empire of a given civilization sometimes (as in the case 
of the Hellenic, Egyptian, Sinic, Andean civilizations) belongs to 
that civilization. In other examples (such as those of the Indian or 
Orthodox Christian civilizations) it is a nation or tribe that comes 
raiding in from outside, and is culturally unrelated to the original 
civilization. In these latter instances, it is as if the original civiliza- 
tion, following a sequence of disasters, confronts an impasse for 
which a Universal Empire provides the only way out; but it fails, 
on its own initiative, to take that way, and must therefore be led 
through it by an alien hand. 

We who belong to Western Civilization are, with a natural pro- 
vincialism, best acquainted with the Roman Empire, since it was in 
the breakup of that Empire that the seeds of our own civilization 
were fertilized. For the sake of a possible analogy to our own 
present situation, we may recall the general form of the develop- 
ment of the Roman Empire. 

Following the breakup of the Minoan Society, Hellenic Civiliza- 
tion had its origin along the littoral, and on the islands, of the 
Aegean. From this source, for a number of centuries it gradually 
expanded. Politically, it was for the most part articulated into inde- 
pendent small city-states, many of them with various sorts of col- 


onies. After the victory over Persia during the first part of the 5th 
century B.a, two great coaHtions arose, under the leadership of 
Athens and Sparta. One or the other of these might have succeeded 
in unifying the Hellenic world; but, as it turned out, the long clash 
between them, in the Pelopennesian Wars at the end of the 5th 
century, ended with a mutual exhaustion from which the original 
homeland of the civilization never recovered. The mother cities lost 
the creative initiative. 

The problem of unification remained, however. Its challenge was 
taken up by the "semi-barbarian super-states of the periphery," as 
Toynbee calls them. For nearly three centuries, with intervals of 
relative quiet, Macedonia, Carthage, and Rome struggled to de- 
liver "the knock-out blow." War took on a new meaning, vastly 
enlarged in scope and fierceness, with limited specific aims trans- 
formed into the objective of annihilation — Carthago delenda est. 
These wars merged into gigantic class and social struggles, revolu- 
tions and civil wars. Spartacus, the Gracchi, Sulla, Marius, Pompey, 
Julius, Antony, Octavius fought in cross-tides over the entire area 
of the civilization, purged their own followers, overthrew the old 
social forms, proscribed and slaughtered the ranks of the defeated, 
until the definitive victory of Octavius established the Empire as a 
functioning and universal fact. 

How close is the parallel? The source of Western Civilization is 
in the western half of the European peninsula. Political separatism, 
becoming ever more intense since the Renaissance, poses more and 
more inescapably the problem of political unification. From within 
the homeland, first France, under Napoleon, attempts to meet the 
challenge, and fails. Then Germany tries twice, with an intervening 
collapse of all proposals for peaceful union. In the recently con- 
cluded second attempt, for the first time in Western history, anni- 
hilation of the defeated becomes the objective of war. The lists of 
the proscribed are drawn up in advance. The social and revolu- 
tionary wars cut across the lines of the international battles. The 
homeland has failed. There remain the two mighty, semi-barbarian 
super-states of the periphery, the American and the communist. If 
either of these succeeds, the resultant Universal Empire of Western 
Civilization, unlike the Universal Empires of other civilizations. 


will also be a World Empire. This will follow because, though 
Western Civilization is not culturally world-wide, its political influ- 
ence and material power dominate the world. 

Toynbee nowhere commits himself to acceptance of a positive 
analogy between Hellenic and Western history, although he outlines 
it in details that go much beyond the political scheme into parallels 
of philosophy, literature, moral attitudes and emotional moods. It is 
not, however, necessary to derive our forecast of world political 
developments from analogies based on past civilizations, the laws 
of which are, it may be admitted, very doubtfully known. The 
over-all nature of the present world political situation, the tendencies 
therein observably at work, can make sufficiently plain what, in 
general, is happening, and what is going to happen. 

It is now apparent to everyone that the pre-1939 world political 
division into a comparatively large number of independent, sov- 
ereign nations is finished. Two of the great independent powers 
have been destroyed by the war. Smaller nations are no longer seri- 
ous independent factors in world politics. The United Nations 
Charter drops even the fiction of the equality of small nations, 
which would be incompatible with the veto rules and the assign- 
ment of permanent seats on the Security Council. 

In The Managerial Revolution, written in 1940, some years before 
the advent of atomic weapons, I considered what might be expected 
to replace the dissolving world political structure. It seemed to me, 
then as now, that a single world state was the solution both ration- 
ally and morally best, and most in accord with economic and social 
needs. I believed then, however, that cultural diversities combined 
with administrative and military difficulties were so imposing as to 
make a single world state unlikely. It seemed to me more probable 
to expect a division of the world among a small number of super- 
states, possibly three chief such states centering around the main 
world industrial areas in Europe, Asia and the United States. At the 
same time, I predicted wars fought among these super-states with 


the aim of securing undisputed world control, an aim which I 
thought would probably not be achieved. 

This earlier prediction may still, in the end, be confirmed. It con- 
tains in any case, I still think, important elements of the truth, to 
some of which I shall return in a later chapter. For the historical 
period which we now immediately face, however, two decisive new 
elements have been introduced: first, the existence of atomic weap- 
ons; second, the fact that the Second World War has left in the 
world only two dynamic super-states, with the consequence that the 
kind of power-balancing that might have occurred if there were 
three or four has become impossible. 

The transcendent power concentrated in atomic M^eapons makes 
politically possible — as I did not believe it to be when there were 
no atomic weapons — the domination of the world by a single suffi- 
ciently large state, provided that state holds the monopoly of atomic 
weapons. The threat of mutual destruction by atomic weapons of all 
the states that might possess them, assuming that there are more 
than one, makes certain that each such state will strive to acquire 
the monopoly. But a monopoly of atomic weapons can be secured 
only by gaining world domination. 

The problem of the control of atomic weapons is identical with 
the problem of world political control. This identity is being ex- 
pressed in an illuminating way through the complex procedures 
of the United Nations. Politically, the highest body of the United 
Nations is the Security Council (or, formally, the Assembly, 
which is merely the Security Council with decorations). In the 
Spring of 1946, an Atomic Commission, presumably a subordi- 
nate body, was set up by the United Nations to handle the ques- 
tion of atomic weapons. But it became rapidly apparent that 
whatever body, however named, actually made the basic decisions 
about atomic weapons would be the supreme body. Therefore, two 
proposals had logically to follow, and were made : either basic deci- 
sions about atomic weapons had to be passed back to the Security 
Council itself, thus reducing the Atomic Commission to a purely 
technical bureau; or a new organization, outside the United Na- 
tions, had to be created for handling atomic problems. But in the 
latter case, it was at once clear to reflective observers, this new 


organization would supplant the Security Council, which would 
become a political subordinate. The naive belief that the insuperable 
political difficulties which stultified, and will continue to stultify, the 
Security Council, might be overcome in the case of atomic weapons 
by the mechanical device of setting up a separately named special 
commission exploded at the first touch of political reality. Who con- 
trols the atom will control the world. 

Whether we approach the problem from the point of view of the 
general pattern of history, or from that of a more or less Marxian 
analysis of socio-economic needs and possibilities, or from that of the 
potentialities of the new military weapons, or from that of the exist- 
ing division of the world into the two major power spheres, we are 
led to a single conclusion. A World Empire has become possible, and 
the attempt will be made to establish a World Empire. A World 
Empire would, moreover, solve the problem of atomic weapons, 
within the terms set in Chapter 3. That is, it would institute a 
monopoly control over such weapons. 

I wish to clarify the distinction which I have made between the 
terms "World Government" and "World Empire." 

The former I have been using in the sense which I believe is given to it by those 
who regard themselves as advocates of World Government. It means 
a world state set up by peaceful means, through some sort of con- 
stitutional or democratic processes, and in which the various peoples 
of the world would have, more or less, political equality. It is such 
a state that I regard as impossible for the next historical period. 

By a "World Empire" I mean a state, not necessarily world-wide 
in literal extent but world-dominating in political power, set up at 
least in part through coercion (quite probably including war, but 
certainly the threat of war), and in which one group of peoples (its 
nucleus being one of the existing nations) would hold more than 
its equal share of power. 

Let us suppose that the United States had been founded not 
through acceptance by all the States of the Philadelphia Constitu- 
tion, but in some such way as follows. New York and Pennsylvania, 


convinced that the unity of the colonies was necessary, and despair- 
ing of getting it in time through peaceful agreement, determined 
to force it. Through a combination of negotiation, threats, conces- 
sions, bribes, and perhaps some actual fighting, they succeeded; and 
brought all the colonies under the jurisdiction of a government so 
constituted that a predominant (though not necessarily exclusive) 
pov^^er over certain key questions, such as foreign affairs and the 
army, v^^as guaranteed to New York-Pennsylvania. Then, in the 
sense I am giving, the result would have been an "Empire." 

The word "Empire" has, for Americans, connotations of extreme 
tyranny and despotism which are historically unjustified. There 
have been many kinds and degrees of Empire, and I shall discuss 
later (in Chapter 17) some of these variations. 

An Empire is not incompatible with democracy in the imperial power — indeed, 
Athens and England, two of the greatest imperial powers in history, 
are the two most democratic governments so far known. The British 
Empire, as well as other lesser Empires, prove also that democracy 
can exist and develop within the subordinate realms of the Empire. 
The relations between the imperial power and the subordinate 
realms need not in all cases be the same, but may vary all the way 
from the harshest exploitation to nearly equal partnership. 

The imperial power need not be totalitarian — that is, intervening 
in all phases of social activity. It can be restricted to what is neces- 
sary in order to maintain the integrity of the empire. There is, in 
fact, only one absolutely essential world task of the possible World 
Empire of tomorrow: the preservation of the monopoly of atomic 
(and comparable) weapons. The fulfillment of the central task is 
compatible with much looseness of the imperial structure in other 

It goes without saying that the attempt at World Empire will not 
be carried out under the open slogan of "World Empire." More 
acceptable phrases, such as "World Federation," "World Republic," 
"United States of the World," "World Government," or even 
"United Nations" will be used. But in this book, I am concerned 
with realities, not with words. The truth is that the growing belief 
in, and propaganda for, various sorts of World Government are in 
historical actuality both a symptom of the need for a World Empire, 


a support for the attempt to achieve such an Empire, and a psycho- 
logical preparation for its acceptance, if it comes. A similar longing, 
similarly expressed, was widespread throughout the Hellenic world 
during the century preceding the foundation of the Roman Empire. 
It is like a bachelor who begins to prepare himself for the restric- 
tions of matrimony by discoursing on the beauties of "true love." 

Finally, it should be noted that there is not, historically speaking, 
an absolute opposition between World Empire and World Govern- 
ment. Rather is it the case that World Empire is the only means 
through which genuine World Government might be achieved. 
World Empire might, it is true, be at the outset, or evolve into, a 
word totaUtarian tyranny. But such a development is not inevitable. 
The believers in a free world government, if they are politically seri- 
ous, if their beliefs are more than dreams whereby they compensate 
for the grimness of actual experience and their own weakness, are 
in practice committed to an acceptance of the perspective of World 
Empire, because through that alone is there a chance for the realiza- 
tion of their more ultimate ideal. 

We may now summarize the result, up to this point, of our 

The discovery of atomic weapons has brought about a situation 
in which Western Civilization, and perhaps human society in gen- 
eral, can continue to exist only if an absolute monopoly in the con- 
trol of atomic weapons is created. This monopoly can be gained and 
exercised only through a World Empire, for which the historical 
stage had already been set prior to and independently of the dis- 
covery of atomic weapons. The attempt at World Empire will be 
made, and is, in fact, the objective of the Third World War, which, 
in its preliminary stages, has already begun. 

It should not require argument to state that the present candidates 
for leadership in the World Empire are only two : the Soviet Union 
and the United States. 

 < go to Contents5. -The Nature of Communism 

THE MOST COMMON source of errors about the nature of social 
and political movements is the idea that the words used by adher- 
ents of the movements, in alleged' explanation of their aims and 
activities, can be taken at face value. The words are not unim- 
portant, and sometimes they tell the truth. More frequently, how- 
ever, their function has nothing to do with the truth, but is to ex- 
press, as a kind of poetry, hidden sentiments, hopes and confusions. 
The words used publicly by communists about themselves and what 
they do are particularly misleading, because deliberate deception of 
others, as well as the normal unconscious self-deception, are an in- 
tegral part of communism. 

Most books on communism or the Soviet Union offer, as pre- 
sumptive evidence for their conclusions, citations from speeches, 
manifestoes, articles and books by communists, and from the Soviet 
Constitution, laws and decrees. Because a Constitution or set of laws 
says that there is racial, cultural, and national equality within the 
Soviet Union, it is taken as proved that such equality in fact exists. 
Because communists outside the Soviet Union declare that they be- 
lieve in democracy or free trade unions or civil rights or national 
prosperity and defense or wider educational opportunities, it is as- 
sumed not only that they do so beUeve but that they are practically 
striving toward such ends. Because a report on a Five Year Plan 
states that workers' housing, food and clothing have improved such 
and such a percentage, it is believed that this has indeed happened. 
Because a Soviet diplomat speaks for disarmament or the outlawing 
of atomic weapons, it is granted that he is really in favor of dis- 
armament and the outlawing of atomic weapons. Even those who 
have become rather skeptical about the current practices of com- 
munists are inclined to say that "Their goal — of a free classless 
human society — is a great and noble ideal," thus assuming that the 



goal which the communists profess in words is the real goal (that 
is, the probable outcome in action) of what they are doing. 

To understand political and social movements, we must approach 
reality by a route very different from this verbal boulevard. We 
must begin not with words but with social behavior. We must ex- 
amine the deeds of the movement, its history in action, its record in 
practice, its dynamic tendencies, the direction of its evolution. The 
words it uses must always be checked in terms of behavior, and 
may be taken at face value only when they sustain the check. We 
will find, in the case of communism, that some of its words, es- 
pecially those written not for a general audience but by communists 
for communists, are unusually revelatory of its inner meaning. But 
toward all words we must take the attitude: false, unless proved true. 

We are sometimes told that communism is young, new, untried, 
so that we do not yet have enough evidence for judgment. This 
argument is a device to try to stop us from rendering the judgment 
that the facts warrant. As a specific, differentiated socio-political 
movement, communism (or Bolshevism) was founded in 1903, forty- 
four years ago. It developed out of one emphasis in Marxism, which 
took fairly clear form in 1848 (that is, a century ago), with certain 
added elements from nihilism and Blanquism, which also had a 
considerable prior history. Since 1903, communism has developed 
consistently, with no discernible historical breach in its tradition or 
its pattern of behavior. For thirty years it has been in control of a 
great nation, and it has lately extended its full control to more peo- 
ples and areas. Throughout the world, it has for decades functioned 
in parties, unions, governments, industries, publications, and in thou- 
sands of committees and organizations. Communism can be studied 
in action in every type of social, political, cultural and moral en- 
vironment, in relation to every type of problem occurring in our 
society, in war and in peace, in power and out, on a large scale and 
on the most minute, in a bridge club or a Boy Scout troop as well 
as in a mighty army. The evidence by now at hand is not merely 
ample but overwhelming. The only excuse for not coming to a 
decision in our judgment of the nature of communism is ignorance 
or an unwillingness to face the truth. 

For Americans, Englishmen, and in general those whose concep- 
tions o£ politics are based upon acquaintance with the customary 
poHtical parties of democratic countries, there is a further obstacle 
to the understanding of communism. Though communism is recog- 
nized as having a "different program," it is assumed to be a political 
party in the same sense that applies to the Democratic or Republican 
or British Conservative or French Radical-Socialist parties. A mem- 
ber of the Communist Party is thought to be the same type of being 
as a Democrat or a Conservative. He has merely joined a different, 
but comparable, organization. 

Reasoning and acting on this assumption, it seems natural to deal 
v^ith communists in much the same way that one deals with the 
members of any other rival political party. One negotiates with the 
communist-controlled Soviet Union as one negotiates with any other 
nation. Communist parties are permitted to function legally, like 
any other party, and are welcomed or at least accepted into coalition 
governments. Electoral deals are made with communists, not only 
in Hungary or France, but in New York. Good citizens do not 
hesitate to join with communists in all sorts of committees for 
worthy purposes, or to form with communists editorial boards for 
magazines and newspapers. Liberals respond with indignation 
whenever communists complain that their civil liberties are being 

This assumption is grotesquely false. Apart from those generic 
traits which characterize all organizations, in this case of secondary 
practical significance, the Communist Party has nothing in common 
with democratic, parliamentary parties. It exists on a totally differ- 
ent plane of political reality. The parliamentary parties with which 
we are familiar are sprawling aggregations of diverse individuals, 
limited in their objectives, loosely united as electoral machines. They 
have no systematic program, at most a few traditional ideas, and 
periodic, not very seriously meant, "platforms" covering a few items 
of current political interest. For most persons, "to be a Republican" 
means little more than to contribute a few dollars now and then, 
and to vote the party ticket on election day. Even for the professional 
parliamentary poHtician, "politics" is comparable to any other "busi- 
ness," one and not necessarily the chief among the varied interests 
of life. 


The true communist, in complete contrast, is a "dedicated man." 
He has no h£e apart from his organization and his rigidly systematic 
set o£ ideas. Everything that he does, everything that he has, family, 
job, money, belief, friends, talents, life, everything is subordinated 
to his communism. He is not a communist just on election day or at 
Party headquarters. He is a communist always. He eats, reads, 
makes love, thinks, goes to parties, changes residence, laughs, in- 
sults, always as a communist. For him, the world is divided into 
just two classes of human beings: the communists, and all the rest. 
In his eyes, there are simply his own Communist Party on the one 
side, and all the rest of the world on the other. All non-communist 
parties are, as he would put it, "agents of the class enemy"; "openly" 
or "unconsciously," they are all "objectively counter-revolutionary." 

In order, therefore, to understand the nature of communism, we 
must rid our minds of all preconceptions drawn from our experi- 
ences of the traditional parliamentary parties. If we do not, it will 
be like trying to infer the nature of chess from an acquaintance 
exclusively with checkers, merely because they happen to use a 
similarly constructed board. Our success in dealing with commu- 
nists will be comparable to that of a checkers player, so instructed, in 
a chess tournament. 

On the basis, then, of the full evidence, communism may be sum- 
marily defined as a world-wide, conspiratorial movement for the 
conquest of a monoply of power in the era of capitalist decline. 
Politically it is based upon terror and mass deception; economically 
it is, or at least tends to be, collectivist; socially it is totalitarian.* 

* I am well aware that this definition may be applied almost without change to 
fascism also. This is not surprising because the two, fascism and communism, are 
variants of the same fundamental kind of socio-political movement. Their differences 
are primarily in the always secondary factor of the ideology or myth through which 
their activities are rationalized, and in the special circumstances of their origins. In 
their historical evolution, they have demonstrably approached a common norm. They 
are rivals only in the sense that, say, t\vo candidates for the heavyweight boxing 
championship are rivals; their aim and methods are identical. The communist claim 
to be "the world leader in the struggle against fascism" is, from the point of view 
of those who are neither fascists nor communists, one of the most ironic jokes in 


Every word in this definition is meant in the strictest sense, and I 
shall therefore proceed to elaborate its content. 

Official communism is, and has always, from the time of Marx, 
been conceived to be, a world-wide movement, recognizing no polit- 
ical, geographic or cultural boundaries. Since the founding of the 
Third International, this internationalism has been concretized in a 
rigid organizational form, so that all major policies of all official 
communists everywhere are controlled from a common center. It 
is a major effort of the propaganda of communists, and their dupes, 
to make us believe that Russian communists and American com- 
munists and Chinese communists and Yugoslavian communists are 
not the same thing. Such a belief is a naive illusion. The program- 
matic differences among the communist parties of various nations 
are themselves decided by the common center. These are never more 
than tactical variations, suited to the particular national conditions 
at the particular time. The central strategy is always one and the 

For communists, the formal dissolution of the Third International, 
in May, 1943, which created such a stir of speculation in the general 
press, had not the slightest significance. Communists never worry 
about "organizational forms." They knew that nothing had really 
changed, that the International had long before become a "bureau- 
cratic excrescence," not operationally necessary, and besides awk- 
ward in Soviet diplomatic negotiations. Already, in 1937, the Chinese 
Communist Party had withdrawn formally from the International, 
in order to further its local policy. In 1940 the United States Party 
took the same formal action, so that it might conform nominally to 
the provisions of the Smith-Connally Act. After May, 1943, nothing 
changed in communist world strategy, or in the subordination of the 
world movement to the central direction. Agents, funds, directives 
came and went as before — Tito, Thorez, Anton, Berger, Ibarruri, 
Mao, Togliatti continued to be as much at home in Moscow as in 
Yugoslavia, France, Mexico, the United States, Spain, China, or 


To many, it may seem odd to call the communist movement "con- 
spiratorial" when we all know that communist parties and multi- 
tudes of communist-controlled organizations flourish openly in all 
countries. The paradox here is within the non-communist world, 
not in communism. A conspiracy means a plan which, though it 
may also have legal phases, is in its basic aims and methods illegal, 
outside the law. From the communist point of view, legal work is 
always secondary, is no more than a cover for illegal activity. It 
could hardly be otherwise when, as Marx and Engels put it in the 
original Manifesto, the communist "ends can be attained only by 
the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions." "Legal 
work," Lenin declared,* "m.ust be combined with illegal work. The 
Bolsheviks always taught this. . . . The party which . . . does not 
carry on systematic, all-sided, illegal work in spite of the laws of the 
bourgeoisie and of the bourgeois parHaments, is a party of traitors 
and scoundrels." 

It is this attitude that dictates the communist conception of re- 
forms. To wish and work for reforms is, of course, "legal work," 
and Stalin sums up as follows, in his Foundations of Leninism: 
"The revolutionist will accept a reform in order to use it as a means 
wherewith to link legal work with illegal work, in order to use it 
as a screen behind which his illegal activities for the revolutionary 
preparation of the masses may be intensified." The communist eval- 
uation of the "legal work" of elections, the climactic political activity 
of parliamentary parties, is identical: "Comical pedants. They have 
failed to understand that voting in the limits of bourgeois parlia- 
mentarism is part of the bourgeois state apparatus which must be 
broken and smashed from top to bottom in order to realize the 
dictatorship of the proletariat . . . They fail to understand that, gen- 
erally speaking, it is not voting, but civil war that decides all serious 
questions of politics when history has placed the dictatorship of the 
proletariat on the order of the day,"f 

Conspiracy is so much a part of the essence of communism that 
it persists unchanged and in fact intensified even in a country where, 

*In an attack on Ramsay MacDonald, written in 1919. 

t Lenin, loc. cit. "Dictatqrship of the proletariat" is the circumlocution whereby 
communists refer to the "monopoly dictatorship of the communists." 


as in the Soviet Union, the communists are legally in control. Krav- 
chenko notes, in / Chose Freedom: "The G.P.U, had its eyes and 
«ars carefully deployed so that they would see and hear everything. 
Behind the backs of the formal authorities and the economic man- 
agers, I realized, there was a network of spies — spies of the secret 
police system and others of the Party, unknown to one another. 
Behind the ostensible government was a real government." 

All of communist policy is dependent upon the belief that tra- 
ditional, individualist capitalist society is in inescapable decline. This 
belief is probably true; but unless it is true, the communists are 
aware they would have no chance of reaching their final goal. 
It is the disintegration of capitalism that provides the opportunity 
for a compact, disciplined army of revolutionists to acquire a monop- 
oly of power. This belief, moreover, is one of the two sources of the 
communist economic policy of collectivization. Convinced that com- 
petitive private ownership cannot handle the problems of modern 
mass industry, that it must result in chronic economic dislocation, 
mass unemployment and periodic crisis, the communists reason that 
collectivization of industry will in the long run operate more effec- 
tively, will eliminate the worst of the economic troubles, and will 
thereby provide the strongest possible foundation for their regime. 

There is, however, another quite different and more decisive com- 
munist motive for collectivization. Property rights in the instruments 
of production are a form of social power. If these rights are exercised 
by individuals, at their own discretion, this means a decentralization, 
a plurality of power. The supreme objective of communism, to 
which everything else is subordinate, is a monopoly of power. They 
therefore look upon private property, correctly, as a threat to their 
monopoly. Their tendency is to minimize or wipe out important 
property rights as soon as this is technically possible. A certain flexi- 
bility would, however, seem to be possible on this point. Commu- 
nism, consistent with its own nature, can permit, at least temporarily, 
some retention of property rights, or even their mild revival, if this 
is an expedient maneuver (as under the Soviet New Economic 
Policy of 1921-28, or in some of the newly dominated puppet States 


of Eastern Europe), provided only that this does not seriously en- 
danger communist power. 

Economic collectivization, thus, w^hich was originally advertised 
as the guarantor o£ the economic emancipation of all mankind, 
turns out in practice to permit the most concentrated of all forms 
of mass exploitation. 

By calling communism "socially totalitarian" I mean that its 
power monopoly extends to all phases of human life: not merely to 
the limited ranges of experience that have been traditionally re- 
garded as within the sphere of politics, but to art, industry, agricul- 
ture, science, literature, morality, recreation, family life. A novel or 
a divorce or a painting or a religion or a symphony or a biological 
theory or a vacation or a movie are as much a "weapon of the class 
struggle" as a strike or a revolution. 

Every political regime is based upon force and myth, upon police, 
armies and jails, and upon an ideology which is at least partly at 
variance with reality. What distinguishes communism is that terror 
constitutes the force upon which it is founded, and deliberate decep- 
tion the content of its myth. Law, like everything else from the 
point of view of communism, is exclusively an instrument of power, 
to be used or by-passed as the expediency of the moment decides. 
Under communism, open, legal force is always subordinate to the 
secret, conspiratorial terror. The leading agent of this terror is the 
secret police, the N.K.V.D.,* numbering about 2,000,000 operatives 
active in every part of the world. These, however, are supplemented 
and at times counter-checked by many other agencies: the secret op- 
eratives of the official party and its Control Commissions, the mili- 
tary intelligence, the private spies of great bureaus or bureaucrats, 
and millions of voluntary or dragooned informers and provocateurs. 
The terror is everywhere, never ceasing, the all-encompassing at- 
mosphere of communism. Every act of life, and of the lives of 
parents, relatives and friends, from the trivial incidents of child- 

* This organization, formerly referred to as the "G.P.U.," and still earlier as the 
"Chcka," has recently changed its label to "M.V.D." I retain what I take to be the 
most familiar title. 


hood to major political decisions, finds its way into the secret and 
complete files o£ the N.K.V.D. A chance meeting with a stranger, 
a casual remark to a fellow-worker, a nostalgic reminiscence with a 
lover, a letter to a child or mother, all may be recorded, to rise to 
condemn a victim during his examination in one of the great purges. 
The forms of the terror cover the full range: from the subtlest psy- 
chological temptings, to economic pressure, to months-long third 
degrees, to threats against wives and children, to exile and forced 
labor, to the most extreme physical torture, to a shot in the back of 
the neck in the corridors of the Lubianka, to the trained assassina- 
tions, in a city street or a railway train, of the special Terror Section 
of the N.K.V.D. 

The scale of the terror is beyond computation. Its direct victims 
are numbered not in occasional dozens or scores, but in many mil- 
lions. During 1932-33, as a stimulus to the agricultural collectiviza- 
tion program, 3,000,000 Ukrainian peasants were deliberately starved. 
In the purges, tens of thousands are shot, hundreds of thousands 
jailed, and millions sent to the N.K.V.D.'s concentration camps and 
slave-labor gangs. 

The terror, though it can operate to the full only where the com- 
munists are in absolute control, as in the Soviet Union, is by no 
means confined within the Soviet boundaries. The N.K.V.D. oper- 
ates throughout the world. It advances with the Red Army into 
Eastern Europe, and there supervises the liquidation of the oppo- 
sition. In Spain, during the Civil War, it had its own prisons and 
torture chambers. Hundreds of anti-communist Loyalists were kid- 
naped or assassinated by its agents. It reaches into France to kill 
the secretary of the anti-Stalinist Fourth International, and, since the 
war, to arrest or kidnap Russians who have renounced Stalin; into 
Switzerland to assassinate Ignace Reiss, one of its own agents who 
thought he could resign; into Cuba, to murder Paul Maslow; into 
Mexico, to stab Trotsky; into China, to help settle with the Kuomin- 
tang; into Washington, to stage the faked suicide of Krivitsky; into 
New York, to shanghai Meyer London or Juliet Poyntz. 

It should not be supposed that the terror with which communism 
is linked is a transient phenomenon, a temporary device used and 
perhaps abused tor some special "emergency of the revolution." 


Terror has always been an essential part of communism, from 
the pre-revolutionary days when Stalin, as "Koba," was directing the 
bombings whereby Bolshevik funds were assembled, through the 
years before 191 7 when Lenin was approving the private tortures 
administered to political dissidents, into every stage of the develop- 
ment of the communist regime in power. Terror is proved by his- 
torical experience to be integral to communism, to be, in fact, the 
main instrument by which its power is increased and sustained. 
From the beginning of the communist regime in Russia, every major 
poHtical and economic turn has been carried through by terror. The 
liquidation of the opposition parties, the reintegration of the inde- 
pendent state of Georgia (both these under Lenin), the institution 
of the first Five Year Plan, the collectivization of agriculture, the 
liquidation of the old "specialists" inherited from the Tsarist regime 
and the later liquidation of the "Red Specialists," the turn to the 
popular front policy after the victory of Hitler in Germany, the in- 
troduction of "single responsibility" in the factories, the ending of 
the independence of the trade unions, the liquidation of factions 
within the Communist Party itself, the turn to the Hitler Pact, the 
early turn toward exaggerated nationalism in the constituent re- 
publics as well as the subsequent reverse of that turn, the mobiliza- 
tion for the war, and now, as I write, the attempt to re-consolidate 
politically after the partial demoralization left by the war: in every 
case, the basic reliance for the achievement of the objective has been 
put, not upon a law or a decree or education or appeals to loyalty 
or even self-interest, but upon terror. Each step has been driven 
through by its correlated purges, imprisonments, exilings, tortures 
and assassinations.* 

i * Apart from direct experience in the revolutionary movement, which is the only 
source for adequate knowledge of some aspects of communist operations, there is 
extensive first-hand documentation for these generalizations about communist terror,, 
in the writings of the following: Boris Souvarine, Anton Ciliga, Vladimir and 
Tatiana Tchernavin, Victor Serge, W. G. Krivitsky, Markoosha Fischer, Alexander 
Barmine, Victor Kravchenko, Jan Valtin, and the Poles who were Soviet prisoners 
during 1939-41, as well as many journalists, including pro-Stalinist journalists. Much 
can also be directly learned and easily inferred from official Soviet publications on the 
various purges and trials, the records of Party meetings and Congresses dealing with 
these problems, and the theoredcal justifications of terror which have been written 
by nearly all leading communist writers. What has been understood by only a very 


The tens of thousands of fellow-travelers of the communists in 
this country, the hundreds of thousands of innocents who serve the 
communists by working on the magazines and committees and 
fronts and appeals which the communists daily construct, the work- 
ers who follow their trade-union leadership, even the outer fringe 
of the Communist Party members, do not, most of them, under- 
stand in the least the meaning of the terror, though by their actions 
they support and defend it. They have no idea that it operates, though 
as yet on a small, guarded scale, within their own country. Much 
less have they any imagining of what it would mean if transferred 
intact, a possibility by no means too remote for imagining. During 
the years 1940-41 the United States made the political "turn" to the 
war. The method of terror would have meant: the arrest — in the 
middle of the night, without court warrant — of every person who 
had expressed "anti-war sentiments," and, under the convenient pre- 
text, of every actual or potential "opponent of the regime" as well 
as those against whom any high official or low informer happened 
to have a grudge; months of sleepless grillings, tortures, beatings of 
the "accused," along with more informal miscellaneous beatings and 
grillings throughout the country; confessions, prison sentences, slave- 
labor camps, starvation, death for hundreds of thousands. So, also, 
not only for so crucial an issue as war, but for the beginning (and 
end) of N.R.A., the start or stop of rationing, the arrival of an eco- 
nomic depression or a change in foreign alignments. The "enemies 
of the people" — that is, all who oppose, or once opposed, or might 
possibly sometime oppose, the party in power — are "scum," "offal," 
"mad dogs," and are rightly thrust into the outer darkness. 

The positive supplement to terror, as the second pillar of com- 
munism, is the deliberate deception of the masses. Truth, too, is "a 

few, however, is that terror is an integral part of communism as a functioning move- 
ment. Official communists defend terror as a legitimate and necessary temporary de- 
fense of the revolution against its class enemies. Opposition communists accept terror 
in principle, but say that Stalin has gone to excess. Non-communists who have be- 
come acquainted with the facts are too horrified to be able to grasp its general sig- 


weapon in the class struggle." This deception takes two forms. One 
is the direct lie: to deny that millions are starving when millions 
are dying of starvation; to affirm that a political opponent has met 
with Hitler or Trotsky or Churchill or the Mikado in Stockholm 
or Paris or Berlin or Denmark or Tokyo, when he had never been 
within a hundred miles of the place or the person; to destroy the 
records of a census (as in 1937) and kill the statisticians who made 
them, when the results are "not according to plan"; to confess to 
crimes not committed and often not even possible; to falsify, month 
by month, the records of industry, agriculture, wages, finance; to 
corrupt quotations and fake up photographs; to re- write every three 
years the history of Russia and the world, so that history itself will 
always be a confirmation of the immedate line of the Party. In 
London, a communist trade-unionist frames a non-communist official 
of his union; in New York a communist teacher * at City College, 
for years the Party leader of a large communist fraction of fellow- 
teachers, denies in court that there is any other communist on the 
faculty. They exhibit the same communist consistency with which 
an editor of Pravda denies Soviet interference in Iran, or Stalin at 
Yalta promises freedom for Poland or Rumania, or Molotov signs a 
non-aggression pact with Finland or Esthonia. 

The second form of deception is the manufacture of abstract 
formulas which distort the comprehension of reality. According to 
this method, the terrorist dictatorship of the Communist Party be- 
comes "the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat"; the expropri- 
ation of the lands, livestock and tools of the peasantry by terror and 
mass starvation becomes "voluntary collectivization"; the extreme 
inequality of income and living conditions within the Soviet Union 
becomes "a triumph for sociaUst realism"; the kiUing of potential 
opponents becomes "the liquidation of fascist agents of world im- 
perialism"; lies, sabotage, and terror directed, anywhere, against 
non-communists become "self-defense of the proletariat against its 
enemies"; the immeasurable suffering and misery of the Russian 
people become "the self-reUant happiness of the people of the land 
of socialism." 

* Morris U. Schappes, convicted and sent to prison for this perjury. 


All political parties seek power. That is the object for which polit- 
ical parties exist. The peculiar characteristic of communism is that, 
wherever it operates, it seeks an absolute monopoly of all power. 

When, say, the Republican Party in the United States wins a 
national election, it temporarily gains thereby more power within a 
certain limited field of the national life than any other party or or- 
ganization. It distributes to its own members a large number of 
official posts in the Administration and the bureaucracy. It passes 
certain laws, assigns revenues and readjusts taxes at least partly in 
accordance with what it takes to be its own special interests. It takes 
advantage of the control of the governmental agencies to present 
itself favorably to the public, and to pick up, for its members and 
friends, some of the informal fruits of office — juicy contracts and 
expense accounts, privileges in housing or transportation that can 
be charged to the government, an occasional bit of graft. 

At the same time, however, it does not seek literally to destroy 
all rival political organizations. Doubtless it tries to weaken them, 
and to provide the best chance for its own continuance in office; 
but it accepts as a practical axiom the right of its rivals to continuing 
social existence, and it takes for granted that some day one of the 
rivals may have its turn at the government, while Republicans redre 
to the oppositional sidelines. Moreover, the RepubUcan Party in 
office, or any such parliamentary party, recognizes in practice limits 
to the range of its power extension. Political parties are not the only 
power organizations in non-totalitarian society. Churches, trade 
unions, armies, farms, industries, banks, fraternal and other associa- 
tions, all are, in at least one aspect of their functioning, concentra- 
tions of social power. The Republican Party will consider it 
legitimate that this should be so, and that these organizations should 
continue to hold their independent share of the total power, even 
if, as will often be the case, their power is directed counter to the 
power interests of the Republican Party itself. 

What is in question here is a fundamental premise or rule not 
only of parliamentary parties, but of democratic society. In a free 
society, there, must be a multiplicity of relatively independent interests, 
there must be a fragmentation of power. According to the rules 
of a democratic society, it is proper for a political party or other 
organization to try to gain for itself more power than it already has, 
or even more power than any other single organization. But the 
rules provide that it must always grant the right of other organiza- 
tions to make the same try, that it accept the principle of the plural- 
ity of power. 

Historical experience has shown that the relation of communism 
"to power is of a totally different kind, that communism operates 
according to a different set of rules, a different principle. The com- 
munist party aims not merely at securing for itself more power than 
that possessed by any other political party or movement; its object 
is the possession of all power, not only all direct political power but 
all social power whatsoever. Therefore, negatively, it aims to destroy 
all rival, independent foci of power in society as a whole. 

That this is the aim (indeed, the supreme aim) of communism 
is proved by the fact that communists act in accordance with it 
wherever, and to the extent that, it becomes technically possible. It 
is exemplified just as plainly in the conduct of a communist frac- 
tion on a magazine's editorial board or in an American trade union 
as it is by communist behavior when they take charge of a nation. 

The necessity for the communist monopoly of power receives the 
customary distorted expression in the abstract formulas of com- 
munist theory. The nominal ultimate goal of communism is "the 
free, classless communist society." Communist society can be reached, 
however, only by the interim stage of the "proletarian dictatorship." 
Lenin is careful to remind us * that "the transition from capitalism 
to communism represents an entire historical epoch," in which is 
carried on "a long, stubborn and desperate war of life and death, a 
war which requires perseverance, discipline, firmness, inflexibility, 
and unity of will."f But the proletariat is ignorant, corrupted by 
centuries of capitalist rule, and therefore cannot itself exercise "its 
own" dictatorship. This can be done only by the "conscious van- 
guard" of "professional revolutionists" — namely, the Communist 
Party— whose integrity is guaranteed by its adherence to the correct 

* In The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky. 
\ Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. 


"ideology." The communists, and only the communists, have this 
ideology; and therefore they and only they can be the dictators. 
Everyone else, every other movement, is and must be an open or 
disguised agent of the counter-revolution, and must therefore be 
deprived of all powder, if the revolution is to succeed. "The only 
choice is: Either bourgeois, or Socialist ideology. There is no middle 
course (for humanity has not created a 'third' ideology, and, more- 
over, in a society torn by class antagonisms there can never be a non- 
class or above-class ideology). Hence, to belittle Socialist ideology 
in any way, to deviate from it in the slightest degree means strength- 
ening bourgeois ideology." * 

While communists remain a small and weak sect, operating 
within a society controlled by others, this principle has to remain 
submerged. But as soon as, and to the degree that, they get material 
power, it is put literally into operation. Thus, after the Revolution 
in Russia, we note: first, the destruction of all Tsarist, "bourgeois" 
and liberal parties (1918-19); then the destruction of all non- 
communist peasant or working-class parties (1918-21); then the 
smashing of the independent power of the Orthodox Church (191 8 
on); then the reduction to impotence of the Soviets, co-operatives, 
trade unions, etc. (1925-29); then the suppression of opposition 
factions within the Communist Party itself (1927-29) ; then the liqui- 
dation of all individual actual, former, or potential dissidents (in 
the Purges, especially those during the years following the assassina- 
tion of Kirov in 1934) ; and along with all these steps, the reduction 
of all social agencies whatsoever, from the most trivial to the great- 
est, to the single control. 

However, it is not necessary to look inside the Soviet borders to 
observe the principle operating. It operates, wherever there are com- 
munists, to the limit that is materially possible. It is operating today, 
on national scales, in Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Czecho- 
slovakia, Yugoslavia, Albania, eastern Germany and Austria, north- 
ern Korea and Iran. It operates in the Chinese territories controlled 
by the communists, as it operated in the Spanish LoyaUst armies. It 
operates within every trade union where communists are active or 
in control — in the American Communications Association; the Fed- 
eration of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians; Harry 
Bridges' Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union or Michael 
Quill's Transport Workers' Union; the United Public Workers of 
America; the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers; the 
Fur and Leather Workers' Union; and so on. It operated, very effec- 
tively, and to success, in New York's American Labor Party. It 
operates, though here still for the time being restrained by "unripe 
conditions," on the Political Action Committee; or the Independent 
Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, behind its 
changing facade of a Harold Ickes, Claude Pepper or James Roose- 
velt; in the Democratic State Committees of California and Wash- 
ington; in the New York City Council; and at a still earlier level 
in Congress or the State Department. Always and everywhere, the 
principle is the same: the conquest, for the communists, of an abso- 
lute monopoly of all power. 

From this principle, which is the central fact of communism, the 
essential and suiScient key to the basic understanding of the nature 
of communism, a conclusion follows: After communism has grown 
beyond the limits of a narrow sect, it is impossible for any other 
power grouping to coexist for any length of time with communism. 
A plurality of power is incompatible with communism. Communism 
must conquer, or perish. 

There is one communist tactic, so important at every level of com- 
munist activity, and so fundamentally misunderstood by most non- 
communists, that it is advisable to explain it briefly from the point 
of view of the analysis of the nature of communism. This tactic is 
what communists call "the united front." 

Whenever communists support or engage in an activity, or set up 
an organization, jointly with non-communist individuals, groups or 
organizations, this constitutes what can be called in general a "united 
front." Thus, a magazine like Science and Society is a united front; 
or a Committee to Save the OP A; or a League for Constitutional 


Liberties; or a Council for Soviet-American Friendship; or a League 
for a Free Africa; or a Political Action Committee; or a Federation 
of Atomic Scientists; or a Hollywood Screen Writers' Guild; or the 
lists of signers to some petition or open letter; or, at much higher 
stages, a popular front such as that formed before the war in France; 
or coalition governments which include communists, like those at 
present in France, Italy, and the East European nations; or the 
Allied coalition in the Second World War; or the United Nations; 
or even, in the Soviet Union itself, the electoral front of the "union 
of the Party and the non-Party masses." 

If we examine the individuals and organizations that belong to 
these various fronts — of which there have been tens of thousands 
during the past generation — we discover that some of the fronts are 
altogether counterfeit. They are limited to communists and close 
sympathizers, and are created for the sake of a nominal masquerade 
through v/hich the communists can hide their hand, manipulate 
finances, or gain legal immunities. Of this sort are, for example, the 
International Labor Defense, or the magazine New Masses. Other 
united fronts, however — such as the Political Action Committee or 
the Independent Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and 
Professions — include a maximum ideological range, from anti- 
communists to non-communists to innocents to fellow-travelers to 
communist party members to, in many cases, the N.K.V.D. itself. 

Entry into a united front presents itself to a communist in a way 
altogether incommensurate with the motives of a non-communist. 
The non-communist sees a certain task to be done — an arrested 
Negro to be defended, Chinese children to feed, trade unions to 
organize, colonial independence to further, a nation with no clear 
majority to be got somehow through a difficult period, a war to be 
won. He is willing, even eager, to join with everyone, including 
communists, who will promise to work jointly with him to accom- 
plish the task in which he is interested. Or, on some occasions, he 
sees no way to carry through the task alone, and feels compelled to 
join with others of different views and organizations, including 
communists. Nothing could, apparently, be more natural. 

But this is not the way the communist reasons. He may or may 
not be interested in the specific task for which the united front is 


ostensibly organized — very often he is indifferent to it, or even anx- 
ious that it fail. As aWays, he is interested centrally in advancing 
the monopoly of communist pov^^er. The primary purpose for which 
he enters into the united front is to get a chance to weaken the non- 
communist individuals and organizations that belong, with him, 
to the united front, and to destroy their political influence. The in- 
nocent or morally worthy ostensible purpose of the front is the bait 
to a trap. The communist, able to work from the inside through the 
device of the united front, can undermine the non-communist or- 
ganizations, win over their members, and either capture or "expose" 
and crush politically the leading individual non-communists. 

It is a law of modern politics without exception that non- 
communists always lose by entering into a united front, for any 
purpose whatsoever, with communists. They lose no matter what 
happens to the supposed specific purpose of the united front. As a 
rule, that purpose gradually evaporates after a few rounds of activity, 
when the communist line takes a new turn, or the communists feel 
that they have exploited the situation as far as is profitable. Very 
often the supposed purpose is quietly perverted, as when funds 
raised to provide medical relief to Spanish loyalists or Yugoslavian 
children go to provide jobs for deserving communists and finances 
for the Spanish and Yugoslavian sections of the Party and the 
N.K.V.D. But in every case, whatever else happens, the primary 
purpose of the communists is to use the united front as a vantage 
ground; to acquire a useful and respectable disguise for themselves; 
to recruit new members and fellow-travelers; to gain a platform 
through which they can speak to an audience not otherwise acces- 
sible or so favorably accessible to them; and, finally, to destroy the 
independent power of the other constituent organizations (or in- 
dividuals) either by capturing them, or, if this proves impossible, by 
crushing them. 

When Byrnes and Cadogan and the others sit with Gromyko at 
the sessions of the Security Council, they are constantly puzzled 
by Gromyko's behavior; they find it "incomprehensible." It is, how- 
ever, far more rational than their own. They are not aware that 
Gromyko sits there not because he has the slightest interest in solv- 
ing fruitfully any problems of peace or prosperity, but precisely to 


aggravate those problems; not because he has any wish to make 
genuine agreements with his fellow Council members, but because 
he is instructed to use the United Nations as a helpful wedge for 
weakening and destroying the other members and the nations they 
represent. When the Communist Party enters into a French coalition 
government, it is not because it proposes to aid in the reconstruction 
of France as a strong and prosperous power, but just the opposite: 
because it wants an inside post from which to make certain that 
independent French power will never be revived, that France will 
live again only as a communist-controlled state. Claude Pepper and 
Joseph Davies and Elliott Roosevelt and Henry Wallace and all the 
ministers and actors and writers and busy journalists are, I suppose, 
quite unconscious of the contempt with which they are regarded by 
the communists for the light-hearted way in which they make their 
speeches before united front meetings in Madison Square Garden, 
and permit their names to grace the imposing letterheads of united 
front committees. 

During 1946, as I write, there is being carried through a classic 
example of the united front tactic in Eastern Germany. First there 
are the separate socialist and communist parties. Then, stimulated 
by the Red Army and the N.K.V.D., there is a united front of the 
two parties. Then, in the late Spring of 1946, there is the culmination 
of the united front tactic — which is, of course, "unity." The Sociahst 
Unity Party comes into being. Now, the completion of the process 
will take place. The socialists in the Socialist Unity Party will either 
cease being socialists, or will cease to be. And the Socialist Unity 
Party will become, "not accidentally," as communists would say, the 
German Communist Party at a "higher stage of development." 

For communists, the only admissible form of unity is, in all 
things, total communist domination. 

< go to Contents>

6. From Internationalism to Multi-national Bolshevism 

DURING RECENT YEARS there has been much dispute about 
the question: has communism taken over Russia, or Russia taken 
over communism? Are we to understand communism as primarily 
an international movement, acknowledging no fatherland, that hap- 
pens to have had its chief local success to date in Russia; or are we 
to believe, as many analysts contend, that communism is, or has 
become, no more than a new outward form for the older nationalism 
and imperialism of Russia ? 

These two views seem incompatible; and there seems at hand 
much evidence, especially from the last decade, for the second. It is 
a fact that the Russian communists control the world communist 
movement. It is a fact that during the past ten years there has been 
within the Soviet Union a revival of Russian nationalist tradition. 
The cult of the traditional heroes of Russian history, tsars and sol- 
diers and even legendary figures, has reappeared with official ap- 
proval. Literature and the arts express pride in Russian themes. 
Tsarist military decorations, uniforms and even modes of address 
have been reinstated. The Orthodox Church has been permitted to 
resume a less hampered activity. During the war, internal propa- 
ganda stressed the patriotic defense of the holy motherland. In addi- 
tion, many of the aims of Soviet foreign policy, both those achieved 
and those still in process, are seen to be continuations of the foreign 
policies of imperial Russia. 

Nevertheless, these facts are deceptive. The truth is that the two 
views are not contrary to each other. Communism is both an inter- 
national movement and Russian imperialism. 

The communist world movement first came to complete power 
in the great and populous Russian Empire. There is nothing surpris- 
ing in the subsequent result that the Russian communists became 

75 . 


dominant in the world movement. This would have been true of the 
German communists, if Germany had been the first nation con- 
quered; or of the British communists if it had been England. And 
the succeeding stage of communist development would then have 
had a German or an English bias. Since 1917 the Russian com- 
munists have had at their immediate disposal the greater percentage 
of the material substance of power — human beings, funds, lands, 
factories, armies. Naturally, so backed, their voices have been louder 
in international communist councils than those of any others. Natu- 
rally, also, when it came to choices on international policy — in con- 
nection with Germany or China or Austria or Argentina — they 
would tend to support a decision which would be favorable to their 
own special interests, even if that decision meant difficulties for com- 
munists in Germany or China or Austria or Argentina. The Russian 
communists discovered, moreover, that to control the masses of the 
Russian people, to get them to endure uninterrupted sufferings and 
to die in wars, the symbols of Russian nationalism and even Russian 
religion were useful instruments. 

But to conclude from this that international communism is only 
"the Russian state party," an extension throughout the world of the 
Russian foreign office, and that communism is "nothing but Russian 
imperialism," would be a disorienting mistake. 

From the point of view of communists themselves, communist 
Russia is not a "national fatherland" in the ordinary sense, but a 
"fortress of the world revolution," just as a conquered trade union 
in a non-communist country might be considered a pillbox, or a 
communist cell in the State Department, a sentry post. The dispute 
between Trotsky and Stalin, so far as it was more than a struggle 
for personal power, was not over "world revolution" versus national-' 
ism. Both Trotsky and Stalin, like all communists, believed in both 
world revolution and the defense of a communist Russia. The 
principal issue between them was a purely tactical problem. What 
percentage of communist resources and energies should be assigned 
directly to the Russian fortress, and what to operations in the still 
unconquered sections of the earth ? Trotsky argued for a faster pace, 
and for a bigger allotment to the non-communist hinterland. Stalin 
wanted more time, and a relatively greater share given to increasing 


the armaments and strengthening the walls of the fortress already 

The internal consolidation of the proletarian dictatorship in the 
U.S.S.R., the success achieved in the work of Socialist construction, 
the growth of the influence and authority of the U.S.S.R. among the 
masses of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples of the colonies 
signify the continuation, intensification and expansion of the Inter- 
national Social Revolution. . . . The U.S.S.R. inevitably becomes 
the base of the world movement of all oppressed classes, the center 
of international revolution, the greatest factor in world history. In 
the U.S.S.R., the world proletariat for the first time acquires a 
country that is really its own. . . . The U.S.S.R. is the only father- 
land of the international proletariat, the principal bulwark of its 
achievements and the most important factor for its international 
emancipation. . . . 

These words are not from Trotsky, but from the 1928 Program of 
the Communist International, written under the direct supervision 
of Stalin.* 

Soviet patriotism, with its Russian component, is therefore not 
merely consistent with communist internationalism, but obligatory 
upon genuine communists. When the communists conquered power 
in one nation, the strategy of the world communist struggle for a 
monopoly of world power was thereby necessarily altered. Before 
that, communists were against the governments of all nations, and 
for their overthrow. Thereafter the communists had an existing state 
of their own; and every extension of the power or boundaries of that 
state became automatically an extension of world communism. 

Now Soviet Russia assumed, in the Communist creed, the role of 
an instigator, of a pioneer. To liberate the "oppressed peoples" be- 
came the function of a state, not of the revolutionary party [as 
formerly distinct from any state]. 

Thus, in 1939-40 [in the seized Baltic countries] socialization was 
carried out along new lines which were different from the classical 
concept of revolution. In the newly occupied countries industrial 

*This Program and the Constitution and Rules of the International are of very 
great significance, and should be read in their entirety. 


plants were not seized by the workers; on the contrary, the new 
regime ruthlessly suppressed all attempts of this kind. A complete 
scheme of "socialization of society" had been prepared beforehand 
and was systematically put into effect by the new authorities. Ties 
were established between industrial centers in Moscow and the cor- 
responding factories in the newly acquired territories. Special in- 
structions were issued concerning political reprisals against anyone 
guilty of ofiFering opposition.* 

Soviet "neo-Russian" imperialism is thus identical with "revolu- 
tionary emancipation." Nor is it surprising that there is a continuity 
between Soviet imperialism and Tsarist imperialism, since the gen- 
eral lines of both are in considerable part dictated by evident geo- 
political considerations. Soviet state policy is identical with world 
communist policy. That is why we can get light on Soviet policy by 
reading the New York Daily Worker and observing the activities of 
American communists, just as we get light on American commu- 
nists by noting what the Soviet government is doing. 

I propose, then, in the next two sections, to review certain develop- 
ments o£ Soviet policy not as "Russian incidents," but in their true 
sense, as the Soviet expression of developments in world communist 
policy which have in each case their complete international cor- 

Since the time of the Revolution, Soviet (that is, international 
communist) policy has been featured by periodic abrupt "turns," in 
which what was formerly good becomes, seemingly, suddenly bad, 
what was true becomes false, and what was white becomes in one 
stroke black. These turns are the source of the feeling so many per- 
sons have that there is something mysterious and unknowable about 
Soviet policy and intentions. They are also the source of many hun- 
dreds of misleading books. With each new turn, several dozen 
authors believe that a pet theory of their own has been finally 

* David J. Dallin, Soviet Russia's Foreign Policy, fg^g-42, p. 247. Quoted with 
the permission of the publishers, the Yale University Press. These remarks would, of 
course, apply equally well to Poland, eastern Germany and Austria, and the Balkan 
countries a few years later. 


proved; they assume that the turn is permanent; and they write a 
book interpreting Soviet history and perspectives in terms of it. 
What with the time required for writing and pubhshing, each set 
of books usually appears at just about the time the next turn in the 
series gets started. The books are thus out of date before they are 
read. Among the authors so caught are often prominent commu- 
nists themselves, whose books are hastily withdrawn from circula- 
tion and whose persons are not infrequently purged. 

Soviet, and world communist policy, since the 1917 Revolution, 
divides into seven clearly demarcated major periods, with a sharp 
turn occurring between each of them. The list is as follows: 


I. War Communism (1918-21) 

2. The NEP (1921-28) 
3. The Third Period (1928- 


4. The Popular Front (1935/6- 

5. The Hitler Pact (1939-41) 

6. The Teheran Period (1943-45) 

7. The Seventh Period (1945- ) 

(From June, 1941, until the end of 1943, that is, from the begin- 
ning of the Russo-German war until Stalingrad, there was an inter- 
regnum. The Soviet Union was fighting for existence, and the issue 
of the war was in doubt. The military struggle absorbed all energies, 
and "policy" was restricted for the most part to the immediate, des- 
perate reflex of the battlefield. Not until the victory at Stalingrad 
did the prospect of a successful outcome to the war become serious 
enough to permit a major new positive development in policy. It 
was only, therefore, at the end of 1943 that the Teheran Period took 
definite form. However, even in the course of the preceding year 
and a half, the groundwork for that period had been shaped. 

(The names for the first six periods are established in communist 
terminology. Since no, special title has yet emerged, I call the last 
noncommittally "the seventh period.") 


The first period covers the years of overt revolution and Civil 
War vi^ithin Russia. The second corresponds with the partial revival 
of small scale private enterprise. The third extends over the begin- 
nings of the Five Year Plans, and the agricultural collectivization. 
The fourth is the somewhat tardy reaction to Hitler's victory in Ger- 
many. The fifth is the deal with Hitler. The sixth is the political 
correlate of the joint fight, with the Allies, against Germany, and the 
effort to end the war on the basis most favorable to the Soviet 
Union. The seventh is the first stage in the specific preparation for 
the Third World War. 

I have already remarked that the turn or transition from one 
period to another is accompanied by a terrorist purge. The turn 
from the first to the second periods was linked with the liquidation 
of the "leftist" opposition parties and groups, which had outlasted 
the already liquidated right opposition parties; the turn from the 
second to the third, by the "Shakhty" trial and the other so-called 
"trials of the engineers," and by the liquidation of factions in the 
Party; the turn from the third to the fourth, by the great wave of 
purges and trials that followed the Kirov assassination (1934); the 
turn from the fourth to the fifth, by a smaller scale elimination of 
those opposing a united front with Nazism; the turn to the sixth, 
by the exiling of the Volga peasants of German stock, and by 
measures against miscellaneous persons who might have used the 
war for opposition. The new purge for the seventh period, a little 
delayed by the confusion following the war, is getting under way on 
a big scale as I write (in 1946).* It should be remembered that the 
Show Trials, usually staged with twenty or thirty rehearsed de- 

* The first public announcements of the post-war purge were published in the 
Moscow press during June, 1946. During the following summer and autumn, several 
American newspapers, especially the New York, Times, gave in their Moscow dis- 
patches frequent (though as a rule not featured) reports of its progress. The first 
wave of the purge evidently struck against administrative and technical personnel in 
industry, the trade unions, and to a lesser extent the collective farms, under various 
charges of "non-fulfillment of quotas," "holding back of wages," "falsification of 
statistics," etc. Then there was a concentration in the Ukraine, where much of the 
Party apparatus was ousted. The American news stories paid particular attention 
to a third wave of the purge which fell on many well-known personalities in litera- 
ture, the theater, and the movies, who were convicted of "bourgeois deviations." The 
tragic, broken Sergei Eisenstein, once the greatest movie director in the world, was 
among those compelled, not for the first time, to make public confession of political 


fendants in Moscow, are only the star acts of a drama that numbers 
its cast in milHons, and takes place in every town and most villages 
o£ Russia, as well as in all communist parties throughout the world. 

It will be noticed, from the list of periods, that communist policy 
has shifted in a Left-Right alternation. The ist, 3rd, 5th and present 
7th periods have all been "leftist." They have featured extremist, 
openly revolutionary, "class struggle" slogans. They have been con- 
temptuous of "bourgeois democracy," have denounced "social- 
fascists," made revolutionary attacks on "imperialist war," called for 
"colonial revolts," and insisted on "proletarian" orthodoxy in science, 
philosophy and the arts. The 2nd, 4th and 6th periods have in con- 
trast been much milder in slogan, have stressed the call for united 
and popular fronts, have preached the "peaceful co-existence" of 
socialism and capitalism, and advocated moderate "reformist" 

Nevertheless, it would be an error to conclude that the develop- 
ment of communist policy is a simple pendulum motion from Left 
to Right, and back. The four Left periods are not identical with each 
other, nor are the three Right. The direction of motion is rather 
that of a spiral, in which, along with the swing from one side to 
the other, there goes a cumulative progression from the starting 

Indeed, the alternations from Left to Right are the secondary, less 
important elements of the motion. They are confined to "tactics," 
which periodically change in response to real or imagined changes in 
internal Soviet conditions or world affairs. The fundamental "strat- 
egy" — with its univocal aim of the conquest of a monopoly of power 
— does not zig-zag, but develops through a continuous process. This 
difference, incidentally, explains a fact that is puzzling to outsiders : 
namely, the ease with which trained communists accept a sudden 
change in "line." The communists, unlike the outsiders, understand 
that the change is only tactical, and that the basic strategy remains 

We may illustrate the cumulative strategic development by ana- 
sins. Even Dmitri Shostakovitch, the international communist musical hero during 
the war years, was not exempted from a denunciation for the "anti-Soviet triviality" 
of his latest work. 


lyzing an important contrast in the application of the united front 
device in the various periods. The first use of the united front was 
during the second (NEP) period. It was Hmited, then, to other 
non-corrimunist "working-class" organizations, and is best shown 
by the Anglo-Soviet Trade Union Committee of that time, a bloc 
between the Soviet and English trade unions. In the fourth (the 
second Right) period, the "united front" evolved into the "popular 
front": that is, a bloc which includes not only non-communist work- 
ing-class organizations but also liberal-democratic bourgeois groups. 
This may be illustrated by the French Front Populaire (from which 
the period takes its name), which was a bloc between the French 
communists, socialists, and bourgeois-democratic Radical Socialists. 
In the sixth (Teheran) period, the popular front in its turn evolved 
into the "national front." In a national front, the communists are 
now prepared to extend their bloc to include any group or individual 
whatever, not merely proletarian and democratic-bourgeois, but con- 
servative, reactionary, monarchist, and fascist. In the Moscow Free 
Germany Committee, set up in 1943, there were (are, for that mat- 
ter, since the Committee still exists) communists, socialists, liberals, 
anti-Hitler Nazis, and extreme Junker reactionaries such as Generals 
von Seydlitz and von Paulus. In the second Badoglio government in 
Italy, the communists sat with the fascist Badoglio in the King's 
Cabinet. The Spanish "Supreme Council of National Union," formed 
by the communists in April, 1944, included communists, monarch- 
ists, conservative Catholics, and reactionary industrialists. The com- 
munists had no difficulty in dealing with King Boris of Bulgaria or 
ex-King Carol of Rumania. They have supported Peron in Argentina, 
and are today utilizing in eastern Germany millions of Nazis, while 
recruiting tens of thousands of them into their own ranks. For the 
United States, Earl Browder,* in 1944, summed up the new meaning 

* It is important not to be deceived by Biowder's expulsion from the Party for 
alleged "deviations from Marxism-Leninism." Browder, as leader of the Party, did 
not "deviate" during the Teheran period, but, as always, exactly followed orders. 
His nominal expulsion was part of the turn to the seventh period. He is, however, 
being kept by the communists in reserve, as a "second string to Stalin's bow," hold- 
ing out to the United States the prospect of a new "collaborationist" line to replace 
this leftist seventh period, and hoping for "vindication" in the by no means impos- 
sible next turn to a rightist eighth period. 


o£ the united front as follows: "If J. P. Morgan supports this coali- 
tion and goes down the line for it, I as a Communist am prepared 
to clasp his hand on that and join with him to realize it." And he 
added in an interview with the newspaper PM (March 15, 1944) : 
"I am not sorry when you say that leading members of the N.A.M. 
talk like me." 

There is another significant general difference between the early 
and the late periods. The first four periods were, on a world scale, 
mechanical and uniform in their "leftism" or "rightism." In a left 
period, every communist everywhere spoke and behaved as if he 
expected to be on the barricades tomorrow, and scorned even a 
haircut or a clean blouse as degraded symbols of bourgeois deca- 
dence. The united front itself was suspended, as suspect of "collabo- 
rationism." In a right period, every communist everywhere became 
respectable, shined his shoes, and kept begging non-communists for 
friendship and co-operation. 

From the fifth period on Vv^e may observe a much greater flexi- 
bility. Collaboration with Hitler can coexist with "leadership of the 
anti-fascist forces" in democratic nations. Friendship with J. P. 
Morgan can accompany open revolutionary struggle in the Balkans. 
In 1946, Nev/ York City communists can vote for candidates of the 
Democratic Party while their comrades in the United States and 
elsewhere denounce the government run by the Democratic Party 
as the world leader of imperialist counter-revolution. 

Both this change in the meaning of the united front and the in- 
crease of flexibility in the application of the "general line" are 
reflections of the inner development, since the 191 7 Revolution, of 
the world communist movement. This development is, simply, the 
mighty expansion, both quantitative and qualitative, of the power 
and independence of world communism. 

The temporary circumstances of the origin of communism gave 
it a special relation to two classes of the general population, the 
working class and the poorer peasantry. The communists themselves 
have always been an elite of professional revolutionists; but these 
two classes were, in the early days, the primary "mass social base" 


upon which communism rehed (much as the unemployed and cer- 
tain sections of the middle classes were the primary initial social 
base of Nazism), and with the help of which the communists car- 
ried through the 1917 Revolution. Following the revolution, the com- 
munists were still "tied," to one or another extent, to this original 
social base, and thereby limited in their freedom of action. That is 
why the original united fronts had to be restricted to proletarian and 
peasant organizations; and why the earlier propaganda and tactics 
had to have a relatively narrow class appeal. 

With sufficient power and resources, the communists were in a 
position to cut their original ties (except where they may wish to 
manipulate them again in taking over new peoples), and to gain 
almost complete freedom for themselves. This cutting of the original 
social cord was accomplished in particular by the terror, and was 
achieved at the time of, and largely through the culminating mecha- 
nism of, the great trials and purges of 1936-38.* 

This emancipation from the original social base might be called 
the sociological pre-condition of the new style of communist tactics. 
It is this that, sociologically, now permits communists to form a 
bloc with any social group, with any individual from any class, to 
adopt as easily a "no strike" as an "always strike" policy, to support 
or conduct an imperialist war in one month and a league of paci- 
fists the next. 

The organizational pre-condition for the new style is the maturing 
of the "cadres" of the world communist movement, in particular 
including the N.K.V.D. World communism now disposes, within 
and outside of the Soviet Union, an absolutely rehable and steeled 
core of men and women, hardened both ideologically and practi- 
cally. It is this core which is able to make any political turn instan- 
taneously (Hitler Pact, war with Germany, attack on Peron or 
support of Peron, support of Badoglio or of monopolies, collabora- 
tion with the United States or the attempt to smash the United 
States, strikes everywhere or strikes nowhere) . It then swings behind 
itself the various layers of less conscious, less politically skilled party 
members, fellow-travelers, sympathizers and dupes. "Above all," the 

* The best estimates are that in this series of purges from eight to ten million 
persons were shot, jailed, exiled, or sent to concentration and forced-labor camps. 


French communist leader, Andre Marty, remarked in 1944, "the 
Party has shown absolute firmness, changing its tactics three times 
in succession since September, 1943, without the least sign o£ a 

This organizational pre-condition was also largely fulfilled during 
1936-38. The purges sought to eliminate all real, potential or imag- 
ined opposition. Those who remain in the inner communist core are 
firm, flexible, true "Stalinists" — that is "men of steel." Only with 
such an organizational preparation could so drastic a turn as the 
Hitler Pact have been carried through with scarcely an organiza- 
tional loss. 

It is this organizational preparation which permits the communist 
leaders to dispense with organizational formalities. They can dissolve 
the Communist International, dissolve and re-constitute national 
communist sections, merge into other parties and split from them, 
enter governments and leave them, confident that the cement which 
binds their own ranks is firmer than any organizational formula. 
Moreover, because they are subject to a minimum of external social 
restraint, they can move politically with that startling rapidity which 
dazzles their world rivals, and keeps the initiative in communist 

They are, in short, ready. 

Independently of the separate tactical shifts from period to period, 
there has taken place in world communism since the 1917 Revolution 
a slower general development of major import. This is a transforma- 
tion of the form of communist "internationalism," into what Molo- 
tov has defined as "multi-nationalism." "This transformation," 
Molotov explained in a speech delivered to the Supreme Soviet on 
Feb. I, 1944, "is in direct accord with the principles of our Lenin- 
Stalin national policy." In it there is one of those personal correla- 
tions so frequently found in history. Stalin, from his early days in 
the Party, made himself a specialist on "the national question." As 
Molotov put it, Stalin is "the best authority on the national question, 
not only in our party and not only in our country." Multi-national- 


ism is, in fact, the most distinctive creative advance in communist 
theory and practice under StaUn's leadership. 

The internationalism of earlier communism — of communism 
while it vv'as still comparatively weak, still a relatively isolated sect — 
was doctrinaire, abstract. It was based upon a presumed identity of 
international "class forces," independent of all national divisions. 
The communists proclaimed that the masses had no true fatherland, 
that nationalism was just a trick whereby the class enemy forged 
heavier chains, that the main enemy was always one's own govern- 
ment, that sentiments of patriotism were shameful treachery to the 
revolution. These ideas were at variance both with reality and more 
especially with the deep traditional feelings of the masses. Conse- 
quently, this earlier internationalism, or rather anti-nationalism, 
often found itself crashing head on against the powerful sweep of 
national sentiment, which, far from subsiding, has reached a new 
intensity in our times. Potential recruits or followers of the com- 
munists were offended and repelled by the anti-nationalism; it v>^as 
a difficult barrier between communism and "the mind of the 

Social democracy, in accordance with Marx's own precepts, was 
also originally internationalist in this same doctrinaire sense, and 
met the same troubles. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World 
War, social democracy ended the dilemma by succumbing to na- 
tionalism. Within each of the warring nations, the socialists aban- 
doned their previous abstract formulas about the unity of the 
workers of the world, the duty of opposing "their own" govern- 
ments and fighting against "imperialist v/ars," and so on. They 
decided to be patriotic citizens and soldiers, fighting for their re- 
spective governments against the national enemies. The end result 
of this solution has been the disintegration of social democracy as an 
independent historical force. Social democracy (called simply "so- 
cialism" in the United States), in any crisis such as war or revolu- 
tion, henceforth became subordinated to one or another national 
state. Thus the socialist parties in many of the Allied powers in the 
Second World War became the governmental leaders in the fight 
for national survival. After the war the British (sociaHst) Labour 


Party or the French SociaHst Party is first o£ all English or French, 
and only secondarily socialist. 

Communism has taken a different path, o£ far greater historical 
weight. It is not succumbing to nationalism, but absorbing national- 
ism, and thereby integrating into one movement two of the greatest 
— perhaps the two greatest — historical forces of the present age. 
There is here a typical "triumph of Stalinist realism." The Stalinist 
method has always been to try, as far as possible, to swim with the 
tide, never directly counter to it, but always to keep on top of the 
water, not to be dragged under.* Since nationalist sentiments do 
exist, let us not weaken and isolate ourselves by bucking them, but 
rather let us exploit them, let us make them an avenue of approach 
to the masses instead of a wall of separation. 

A decade ago the national flag, in each country, began to appear 
on party platforms along with the Red Banner; comrades sang "The 
Star-Spangled Banner" or "God Save the King" as well as "The 
Internationale"; the portraits of the traditional patriotic heroes were 
hung beside those of Marx, Lenin and Stalin; the communist school 
in New York was re-named "The Jefferson School," and the 
N.K,V.D. recruited a contingent for the Spanish Civil War as "The 
Abraham Lincoln Brigade." The Red Army, during the war, organ- 
ized Czech divisions and Polish divisions and Hungarian and 
Spanish, and for that matter German divisions. Communism be- 
comes a kind of world political chameleon, more American than 
Washington or Lincoln ("Communism is 20th Century American- 
ism"), more French than Joan of Arc, more Chinese than Sun 
Yat-sen, more German than Frederick — and, needless to say, more 
Russian than Peter the Great. 

As an instrument of world political policy, the starting premise 
of "multi-national Bolshevism" gives it a considerable superiority 
over "national socialism," which it otherwise so closely resembles. 
National socialism, beginning with an intensification of Germanic 

* A revolutionist I knew, who later became a prominent communist, once ex- 
pressed the method through a personal anecdote. "In the First World War," he said, 
"I was an aggressive pacifist. One night a crowd o£ several thousand persons came 
to my house to lynch me, and I just managed to escape with my life, I resolved 
then and there that in the next mobs I had anything to do with, I was going to be 
leading them, not chased by them." 


nationalism, was brought into direct conflict with rival nationalisms 
when it went beyond the Germanic Fo/^. Communism, beginning 
with a non-nationalist ideology, now adapts itself to existing nation- 
alisms as it finds them, and thus can under many circumstances 
absorb their dynamic in order to utilize it for communism's own 

Stalin has written several tens of thousands of words about the 
national question; and on these there have been many million words 
of commentary. His "solution" of the national question, however, 
boils down to a very simple formula: grant nationalities everything 
expedient except power. Let them keep native costumes, songs, 
language, food, dances (it is all these that make big conferences in 
Moscow so colorful *) ; anything so long as they do not have power. 
Power, under the communist system, is a monopoly; that is the 
constant. The method was gradually worked out for the nationalities 
within the borders of the twelve original Soviet republics; it was 
extended to the four new republics formed during the war; and it 
is being used, with suitable adaptations and at various stages, for the 
nationalities that are brought under the expanding communist in- 
fluence. Many puzzling and seemingly irreconcilable features of 
present-day communist policy make ready sense when they are 
understood in terms of multi-nationalism. It would, moreover, be a 
grave mistake to underestimate the power of this remarkable hy- 
brid. Its career is not ended, but only beginning. 

The official recognition of multi-nationalism, and its formal in- 
corporation as part of the practicing doctrine of communism, took 
place when the Supreme Soviet, early in 1944, adopted — unani- 
mously, of course — the so-called federalist amendments to the Soviet 
Constitution. In the general press at that time, there was the usual 
idiotic comment on the meaning of the amendments. Most inter- 
preters discovered, as they periodically discover, symptoms of "de- 
centralization" and "democratization." ("Federation," Lenin wrote 

* And so impressive to those, like Corliss Lamont, who write books singing the 
praises of the freedom of races and nations granted by the Soviet s^'stem. A sufficient 
comment on the freedom is the fact that, during the purges of 1936-38, all the lead- 
ing personnel of all the "governments" of all the professedly autonomous constiment 
Soviet republics and "autonomous regions" were liquidated by the N.K.V.D. 


in 1920, "is a transitional form to the complete unity * of the toilers 
of all countries.") Soon thereafter the incident was forgotten. 

Such forgetfulness about these communist rituals is not advisable. 
There were two immediate purposes to be served by these amend- 
ments. The lesser was to prepare for the demand that the Ukraine 
and White Russia should be granted independent status in the 
United Nations. The second was to provide an easy juridical struc- 
ture for the incorporation into the Soviet Union of the four new 
republics, then on the agenda: the Latvian, Esthonian, Lithuanian, 
and Moldavian Republics. Their admission was voted by the Su- 
preme Soviet in the sessions following that which adopted the 

These four, however, are not at all the only candidates eagerly 
awaiting their chance to join the growing Hst of the Union of Social- 
ist Soviet Republics. A fifth, Mongolia, has already been signed up. 
A dozen others, in Eastern Europe and in Asia, are, we shall prob- 
ably discover before long, impatient. The Soviet club is not exclusive. 
Why should we suppose that the nations of the rest of the world, 
when properly educated by the N.K.V.D., will prove reluctant 

The truth is that these amendments, or more exactly the policy 
of multi-nationahsm which they express, are an integral and major 
part of the preparation for that ultimate goal which now, in the 
plans of the communist leaders, looms much closer on the historical 
horizon: the communist World Empire, entitled in communist 
terminology the World Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. 

*In communist language, the word "unity" means "complete subjection to unified 
communist control." 

  < go to Contents>

7. -The Goal of Soviet Policy 

WE HAVE ALREADY discovered, from several convergent direc- 
tions, that the ultimate goal o£ communist, and therefore of Soviet, 
policy is the conquest of the world. This is not a surprising or a 
fresh discovery. It is a secret only to the ignorant or the deceived. 

There has never been any mystery about this goal, except for 
those v^^ho have wanted it to be a mystery. From the very beginnings 
of communism, not only from the formation of the Bolshevik fac- 
tion in 1903 but from the time of Marx' and Engels' Manifesto, this 
goal has been reiterated in theory and furthered in practice. Marx 
told his followers, "You have a world to win," just as Stalin pro- 
claims in his chief textbook: "Here is the greatest difficulty of the 
Russian Revolution, its supreme historical problem — the need to 
solve international problems, the need to promote the world revo- 
lution." The Program of the International boasts in its introduction 
that it "is the only international force that has for its program the 
dictatorship of the proletariat and Communism, and that openly 
comes out as the organizer of the international proletarian revolu- 
tion'' It announces with confidence and satisfaction "the inevitable 
doom of capitalism." Part III of the Program of the International 
has as its title : "The Ultimate Aim of the Communist International 
— World Communism." The official History of the Communist 
Party, required reading for all communists everywhere, declares: 
"Study of the history of the Communist Party strengthens the cer- 
tainty of the final victory of the great task of the Lenin-Stalin Party : 
the victory of Communism in the whole world." 

The fact that this is the communists' belief, that world conquest 
is, in their own minds, their goal, is not, by itself, particularly im- 
portant. There have been, and still are, other groups and even indi- 
viduals who have believed in this same goal of world conquest. 
Several such individuals can be found in almost any insane asylum. 
There the belief is not taken seriously in objective terms. It is 



regarded as a delusion which, far from being coherently related to 
the total behavior of the maniac, is symptomatic of the breach 
between his diseased mind and its social environment. 

The situation is analogous when this goal is professed, as it has 
often been, by small and weak sects. Then, too, it can be treated as a 
more or less troublesome delusion. It is not materially possible for 
the sect to do anything about the goal, and the rest of the world 
does not have to be concerned. Often the actions of the sect, in spite 
of the professed goal, do not have any positive relation to it: the 
grandiose goal is no more than an inverted answer to some ob- 
scure psychotic need. Implicit in at least one interpretation of the 
doctrines of Mohammedanism, Judaism, and even Calvinism is a 
goal of world conquest; but none of these groups is acting in prac- 
tice to realize the goal; and none of them is in a material position 
to have a chance in this historical period to achieve it, even if they 
should attempt to do so. Therefore, in these cases also, the goal may 
be disregarded. 

When, however, we find that a belief in the goal of world con- 
quest is combined with both sufficient means to give a chance of 
achieving it, and actions which in fact work toward it, then the 
purpose must be taken quite literally, at face value. This was the 
case with Nazism; and it seems also to have been true of at least 
one section of the Shintoist-militarist Japanese leadership. It is much 
more obviously true of communism. In communist doctrine, there 
is not the slightest ambiguity about the goal of world conquest. In 
action, communists work always and everywhere toward that goal. 
And at the present time the means at their disposal, in numbers, 
material resources, and psychological influence, are enough to give 
them a very substantial probability of reaching it. 

However often this plain truth is repeated, very few of the leaders 
and citizens of the democratic nations really believe it. They do not 
believe it, I suppose, because they do not want to believe it. It is, we 
may grant, an uncomfortable belief, putting a pistol to the will, and 
demanding just Yes or No as an answer. Nevertheless, and in spite 
of however many exorcisms by Henry Wallace or the Dean of Can- 
terbury, it is true, and will continue to be true, until the issue is 


The communist doctrine, hardened as it is into a fixed mental 
pattern by a century's tradition, is not the only force impelling com- 
munism toward the goal of World Empire, though it alone is suffi- 
cient to establish and maintain World Empire as the goal of com- 
munist activity. At least three other major pressures are operative: 

1. We have already noticed, in some detail, the senses in which 
contemporary society is ripe for World Empire. This is evident to 
all observers, but seems particularly clear when analyzed from the 
Marxian point of view, in terms of which communists understand 
the world. The international division of labor, the development of 
rapid transport and communication, the complex inter-relationship 
of world industries, the unavoidable impact of each region of the 
world upon every other, the patent archaism of the present political 
divisions, the class stratifications ignoring national boundaries, all 
constitute what Marxists call the "material conditions" for a world 
state. A world state, Marxian reasoning concludes, must therefore 
necessarily come into being, since "political super-structure" is nec- 
essarily determined by "material conditions." There is no doubt, it 
may be added, that these conditions do act, not only upon the com- 
munists but upon other powerful groups and states also, as an ob- 
jective pressure directed toward world political integration. The 
communists themselves, independently of their ideas, are acted upon 
by these pressures. In addition, they reason consciously from them 
to the inference that if they do not themselves organize a World 
Empire for their own benefit, then others will at their expense. 

We have already seen how the advent of atomic weapons makes 
the question of World Empire incomparably sharper and more 

2. Another force driving the communists toward world expansion, 
of a type very familiar in historical experience, is the effect of 
economic and social failure within the Soviet Union, the primary 
base of communist power. 

The stories about the mighty successes of socialist industry within 
the socialist fatherland, about the communist "solution of the eco- 
nomic problem," are, of course, mythical. The fact is that the great 


mass of the Russian people has hved, under the communists, at 
a material level well below that which it had under Tsarism, and 
that this level has declined during the Five Year Plans. Hunger, 
cold, and squalor, as well as terror and slavery, are the products of a 
quarter century of communist victories. Soviet industry is for the 
most part incompetent, inefficient, and qualitatively at a low level. 
The mass of the terrorized population, moreover, bitterly hates, as 
well as fears, the communist masters.* 

Under these circumstances, the expansion of communist rule 
holds out several substantial promises. 

First, according to the time-tested formula, it serves to divert 
attention from the internal difficulties. Victories elsewhere make up 
for defeats at home. A ready-made excuse is provided for the 
wretched living conditions. The discontent and anger of the people 
is deflected from the heads of the communist rulers. 

Second, the looting of conquered territories means a temporary 
addition of desperately needed consumers' goods. From the start of 
the present stage of expansion in the Baltic nations, the communists 
have systematically stripped the stores, warehouses, barns and homes 
of the conquered territories. It should not be imagined that the 
individual soldiers who have done the initial looting have been 
permitted to keep commodities other than what they have put into 
their stomachs. After the first outbursts die down, the soldiers are 
in turn looted by the state, and the goods distributed according to 
the plans of the rulers. 

Third, the new territories yield the communists vast new reserves 
of manpower, upon which they rely to make up for industrial 

Fourth, the communists gain new capital goods — factories, mines, 
railroads, machines. 

3. Finally, even if World Empire were not the positive goal of 
communism, it would, from the communist standpoint, be a neces- 
sary aim as a defensive measure. The communists believe, and have 
always believed, that there are only two alternatives for modern 
society: communism or capitalism. In spite of what people may 
"subjectively" think, they are all "objectively" lined up on one side 

* See the Note at the end of this chapter. 


or the other: there is no in-between. When, therefore, communism 
became a serious world force by conquering a large section of the 
earth and its inhabitants, an inescapable historical dilemma was 
presented. Either capitalism would destroy the new communist 
world, or communism would conquer the remainder of capitalism. 
(Somewhat paradoxically, the communists hold the latter result to 
be in the long run "inevitable.") The showdown might be drawn 
out or for a while postponed, but it cannot be avoided. 

World capitalism (in which they include everything except them- 
selves) is at present, they believe, in its death agony. It is driven by 
its internal contradictions to an ever more ruthless policy of world 
exploitation. Above all, it hopes to get renewed strength by opening 
up to exploitation the areas and peoples of the Soviet Union, now 
shielded by the proletarian dictatorship. This objective, the com- 
munists believe, has nothing to do with the personal opinions and 
wishes of the capitalists themselves, or their political leaders. It fol- 
lows necessarily from the nature of capitalism in decline. It is 
inevitable, just as war under capitalism is inevitable; and just as it 
is inevitable that the "real meaning" of every war of the present time 
is an onslaught against the communist fortress of the Soviet Union. 

Stalin, in his principal theoretical work, Problems of Leninism, 
has summed up the issue as follows : 

The basic fact ... is that there no longer exists a worldwide 
capitalist system. Now that a Soviet country has come into exist- 
ence . . . worldwide capitalism has ceased to exist. The world has 
been severed into two camps, the imperialist camp and the anti- 
imperialist camp. [Vol. I., p. 369.] 

We are living, not merely in one State, but in a system of States; 
and it is inconceivable that the Soviet Republic should continue to 
exist interminably side by side with imperialist States. Ultimately, 
one or another must conquer. Pending this development, a number 
of terrible clashes between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois 
States must inevitably occur, [Vol. I., p. 56, quoting from Lenin, 
Works, Russian edition, Vol. XVI, p. 102.] 

As if to make certain that the entire world should know that 
nothing of this doctrine had been abandoned as a result of the re- 


formist demagogy of the Teheran Period, Stalin declared in his 
election speech of Feb. 10, 1946: 

It would be incorrect to think that the war arose accidentally or 
as a result of the fault of some statesman. Although these faults did 
exist, the war arose in reality as the inevitable result of the develop- 
ment of the world economic and political forces on the basis of 
monopoly capitalism. 

In terms of these beliefs, world conquest is for the communists 
the only means of self-defense. Any war which they conduct, no 
matter who fires the first shot or first invades — as, for example, the 
Finnish War of 1939 — is by definition a defensive war. 

The naive appeasers of the communists imagine that these beliefs 
of theirs can be altered if we show the communists that we are 
really their friends, if we talk softly to them, and grant everything 
they want. They overlook, to begin with, that what the communists 
want is the world. And they do not understand that, in the eyes of 
the communists, this friendliness from the class enemy must be 
either a hypocritical deception or a symptom of stupidity and weak- 
ness. Nothing is going to change these beliefs. Certainly no rational 
argument or evidence is going to change them, because, in the 
fundamental point that communism must either conquer the world 
or be itself destroyed, the communist belief happens to be true. 

Within the framework of the ultimate goal of World Empire, the 
specific present commuiiist objective is the preparation for the open 
phase of the Third World War. Preparation for the war is the basic 
communist "line." As always, this means that every communist 
activity, no matter how seemingly remote, is directly or indirectly 
subordinate to the "line." The Fourth Five Year Plan, the policy in 
the C.I.O., the new purges, Gromyko's behavior at the Security 
Council or the Atomic Commission, the seizure of Austrian indus- 
tries, the coup in Iran, the formation of the World Federation of 
Trade Unions or the recognition of Peron, the fighting by the 
Chinese communists or the anti-United States agitation throughout 


Latin America, the application by the British Communists to join 
the Labour Party or the campaign on the Franco question, the reor- 
ganization of the Red Army and Navy or the attempt to unify the 
United States seafaring and waterfront unions, the call for a monop- 
olistic American Authors' Authority or the intransigence on Ger- 
many, the step-up in activities among the U.S. Negroes and the 
nursing of Moslem friendship: all these and all the rest are simply 
part of the preparation for the war. Soviet policies are mysterious 
only to those who persist in looking at them from the outside, 
separately and piecemeal, who refuse to use the key which the 
communists themselves supply to all who wish to use it. If we have 
a general understanding of the nature and goal of communism, all 
that we further need is a grasp of the main current line. Then every- 
thing fits into place, from slogans to assassinations, and the policy as 
a whole is revealed to be not in the least mysterious, but more direct 
and simple than any other in the world. 

For convenience, the task of the preparation for the Third World 
War may be subdivided into the following: 

1. The attempt to consolidate effective domination of the Eura- 
sian continent. 

2. The simultaneous attempt to weaken and undermine all gov- 
ernments and nations not under communist control. 

In the present section, I shall confine myself to the first of these. 

In August, 1939, the communists, in this respect heirs of the Rus- 
sian Empire, held control of what geopoliticians call the "inner 
Heartland" of the "World Island." * For the first time in world 
history, the inner Heardand (Central Eurasia) possessed a mass 
population, a high level of political organization, and a considerable 

In August, 1945, communist domination, though not yet fully 
consolidated, extended in the West to a line from Stetdn south to 
the Dalmatian coast, and East to include all of the Balkans except 

* I am using, in particular, Sir Halford Mackinder's terminology. Cf. his Demo- 
cratic Ideals and Reality. 


Macedonia, Thrace, and the geopolitically unimportant Greek Pen- 
insula. This line on the West, except for the omission of Macedonia 
and the Turkish territory north of the Dardanelles, corresponds 
exactly with what Mackinder defined a generation ago as the outer 
border of the Heartland. 

In the East communist domination reached via the Kuriles to out- 
flank the Americas on the North, and moved into northern Korea, 
Manchuria, and North China. Its two lines of egress from the 
Heartland into China (into Manchuria, and futher south into 
Sinkiang) are also those previously defined by Mackinder. 

In the West, the communist pressure pushes against the northern 
flank (Scandinavia), with the main force exerted against Germany, 
the key to the rest of Europe. This thrust is combined with an at- 
tempted envelopment from the rear (Spain) and what might be 
described as a temporary holding operation in France and the 
lesser European states. 

In the Middle East, the pressure is felt throughout, in Afghani- 
stan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, down into Palestine and the lesser Arab 
states, and for that matter on into Egypt and North Africa generally. 
From the point of view of the thinking of traditionally naval 
powers, like Britain and the United States, this constitutes a "threat 
to the Empire lifeline," and is linked with the drive on Trieste and 
toward Italy. However, as understood from the point of view of 
land power and of fundamental geopolitical relationships, it is per- 
haps more fundamentally a drive across the land bridge to the 
southern adjunct of the Heartland, in Africa. 

In the Far East, the pressure is directed toward all of China. In 
India, which is outside the Heartland and of secondary importance 
from a geopolitical point of view, the direct force from the Heart- 
land is not yet being exerted. The pressure is felt from within, 
through the influence of the Indian Communists, the N.K.V.D. 
and military agents, and as an effect of the general pro-Moslem 

We may picture the perspective through the geometrical analogy 
of a set of concentric rings around an inner circle (see the following 




^^p:X\Ofi & DEM0/?4^,^ 




/latin M'i 

f LESSER i: »T^ 

: I WEST- R fsTATE' 

COMMON I ^ |i Wm 

•[WEALTH \ m ^^^J 

^ %>OLAND^„ 


AUGUST 1939 

^^iuKRM N eS f SmOLDAVIA^ 

^'^^^^^1^^^^'^M I DOLE *' 


ImongoumchuriaJ ^1 


frURKIsffl ^ AND 5 


Mp^^^,„„,..4 china J 

^_-r^.5#!" NORTH -^ 

I AND, ; 


(This figure is not meant to be either complete or in every respect 
exact. Its purpose is to represent not a static state of affairs, but the 
general character of a dynamic historical process.) 


The inner, magnetic core of the system is the estabHshed Soviet 
Union itself, within the boundaries temporarily crystaUized, after 
the Civil War and until August, 1939. In preparation for the Second 
World War, this was the communist fortress. It now becomes, in 
preparation for the Third, the inner defensive ring of the greater 
Eurasian fortress. 

The consolidation of the Eurasian fortress as a whole requires, 
for the inner core, a series of measures which are already well 
started. Economically, the new Five Year Plans are designed to 
expand at all costs the basic war industries, and to make a supreme 
effort to overtake the United States in the production of atomic 
weapons. New contingents of millions of slave laborers, drawn from 
the Russian people and from the conquered regions, provide a flex- 
ible mass labor force that can be concentrated at the will of the 
leadership on the economic tasks. The army, navy and air forces 
are being tightened and quahtatively developed, with the educational 
system revised to produce a maximum of disciplined, trained soldiers 
and officers. Politically, the new purges, the familiar N.K.V.D. ter- 
ror methods, and suitable propaganda are re-establishing firm con- 
trol over the people, which was somewhat loosened by the aftermath 
of the War, and are steeling them for the coming struggle. 

The first ring, surrounding the inner circle, represents those ter- 
ritories already absorbed, or scheduled soon to be absorbed, directly 
within the structure of the Soviet Union proper. This step was pre- 
pared for, as we have seen, by the federalist revision of the Soviet 

Circle II represents those nations which the communists, in the 
first instance, aim to dominate (rather than absorb directly into the 
Soviet Union) through one or another type of puppet government. 
Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, 
Albania, Northern Iran, Northern Korea, Eastern Germany, East- 
tern Austria, are already well inside this circle. To suppose that they 
will ever, voluntarily or by merely diplomatic maneuvers, be per- 


mitted to escape, is political idiocy. The communist design is, o£ 
course, exactly the opposite: to draw them futher inward, toward 
and finally into Circle I of Absorption; and to bring within Circle II 
of Domination other nations now balancing uneasily on its edge. 
Finland, the rest of Iran and Austria, Manchuria and North China 
(if the United States graciously ditches Chiang Kai-shek), Iraq, 
Turkey, and all of Scandinavia have even today one foot over the 

Germany, however, is the top prize of this circle. The leaders of 
the democratic nations, who do not have an over-all political line, 
and who are always distracted by side issues, have yet to understand 
the meaning of the kind of concentrated Bolshevik campaign which 
is being directed toward the domination of Germany. Domination 
of Germany will in turn guarantee effective domination of the en- 
tire European continent, and will complete in the West the structure 
of Fortress Eurasia. 

The importance assigned to Germany dates back to Lenin, and 
before him to Napoleonic days, when Prussian officers and divisions 
helped in the defeat of Napoleon. Lenin many times declared that 
German technology plus Russian manpower and resources would 
clinch the victory of the world revolution. From 191 8 to 1924 the 
communists tried repeatedly to carry through a German communist 
revolution. Thereafter they continued intimate relations with Ger- 
many. They brought in German machines and technicians, and 
permitted German officers of the army outlawed by the Versailles 
Treaty to gain experience training the Red Army. The Stalin-Hitler 
Pact was by no means so unprecedented a reversal as the world 
found it. 

Hitler's decision to launch the war against Russia did not end 
this more ancient perspective. As early as October, 1941, the com- 
munist veteran Walter Ulbricht was directing the formation of a 
communist-controlled league among the German war prisoners. In 
a speech delivered to the Moscow Soviet on November 6, 1942, 
Stalin assured all Germans: "It is not our aim to destroy Germany, 
for it is impossible to destroy Germany ... It is not our aim to 
destroy all military force in Germany, for every literate person will 
understand that this is not only impossible in regard to Germany . . . 


but It is also inadvisable from the point of view of the future." On 
July 12-13, ^943' ^^ Free Germany National Committee w^as formed 
in Moscovi^, under the nominal chairmanship of Junker General 
Walther von Seydlitz, captured at Stalingrad, and the real direction 
of Wilhelm Pieck, leading German communist and former Secre- 
tary of the Communist International.* 

The Free Germany Committee opened up offices under commu- 
nist direction all over the world. It drew into its membership 
abroad the bulk of the German-speaking residents and refugees: 
fellow-travelers, socialists, liberals, and ordinary patriotic but anti- 
Hitler Germans. Within the Soviet Union, the Committee and its 
affiliates undertook the job of indoctrinating the German war pris- 
oners, the transformation of German Nazis into German commu- 
nists, and the training of special agents and of the battalions of a 
future "Free Germany" army. By August, 1944, when Friedrich 
von Paulus, the German commander at Stalingrad, announced his 
adherence, nearly a hundred captured Gerrfian general officers had 
joined the Committee. 

So alarming to England and the United States did the prospect 
of the Free Germany Committee become, that at Yalta they obtained 
Stalin's signature to a paragraph renouncing any plan to install the 
Committee as a new German government. As always, for the com- 
munists, such a renunciation was purely of form, not of substance. 

The Free Germany Committee is the expression of the communist 
plan for Germany. Its program is a trap, bated for Germans with 
what seems to be the offer of a kind of junior partnership in the 
Soviet Eurasian, and future World, Empire. In reality, it aims at 
the incorporation of Germany under the monolithic communist 
control. This program stands unchanged by the Yalta Declaration, 
just as the Free Germany activities, under a variety of names, con- 
tinue unabated. 

The terms of the German capitulation gave eastern Germany to 
the communists. From eastern Germany as a base, they eye Germany 
as a whole. Already, by mid-1946, the progress in eastern Germany 

* I do not have space here to discuss in detail this extremely important committee. 
Cf. my article, Stalin and the ]un\ers, in the Sept. 15, 1944 issue of The Common- 


was sufficient to permit the preliminary moves toward the rest of 
Germany. The communists had swallowed the socialists by forcing 
them into the "Socialist Unity Party." The Free Germany Com- 
mittee members, communist-trained abroad, were brought back 
from Mexico, New York, Latin America, London, Stockholm, Mos- 
cow. For the first time since the War, in Paris during June, 1946, 
Molotov came out against federalism and dismemberment, and for 
a "united Germany." By then he believed that the outcome was 
assured, that a united Germany would be a communist Germany. 

The policy followed in the preliminary organization of eastern 
Germany is, in its fundamentals, the same as that throughout the 
area of "domination." There need not be any set formula under 
which the domination is to be achieved. Great flexibility, and many 
diverse forms of political movement, of social structure and of gov- 
ernment, are possible. The one constant, as always, is the eHmination 
of all power except communist power. Temporary concessions, 
favoritism, conversion, economic pressures, shuffling and re-shuffling 
of parties and governments, deception, and — essential and continu- 
ous prop to all the rest — the terror, threats, torture, killing, exile, 
forced labor, all of these, in mixed and varying dosages, gradually 
weed out all opposition, past, present, future, or imaginable. Coali- 
tions, elections, treaties, mergers, these are shadows. The substance 
is the communist drive toward all power. 

The boundary in the system of concentric rings between Circle II 
(Domination) and Circle III (Orienting Influence) is not always 
precise. Circle III represents those nations which the Soviet Union 
does not at the given moment feel in a position to absorb or reduce 
to outright puppet status, but within which it seeks enough influence 
to guarantee a pro-Soviet foreign policy, or at least to neutralize any 
tendency toward an anti-Soviet foreign policy. In Europe this in- 
cludes the effort to hinder the formation of the so-called Western 
Bloc. In Latin America it means pressure to cut the nations loose 
from subordination to the United States. 

The modes of influence in Circle III vary from direct pressure 
exerted by the Soviet state or the internal communist parties, to vari- 


ous forms o£ concession and conciliation. As examples of the latter, 
it may be noted that the Soviet government was the first to grant 
partial recognition to the De Gaulle Committee, and the first to 
grant full recognition to the Badoglio government in Italy and to 
Peron in Argentina. During 1946 it shipped grain to France. It 
offered, and in some cases put through, generous economic deals 
with various Latin American nations. Within all the nations of 
Circle III, the communist parties call for unity and collaboration 
in national fronts. They combine this call for unity with threats and 
strikes or other hostile actions to enforce abandonment of anti- 
communist or anti-Soviet tendencies. Within France and Italy and 
throughout most of Latin America, the communists have secured 
control of the greater part of the organized labor movement. There, 
and in China, they are ready to enter into coalition governments, 
where their veto p^ower can be exercised in the cabinets. 

In the nations of Circle III (including those, like the Scandinavian 
nations, which, though still in Circle III, are already drawn toward 
Circle II), the communists' poUcy is to strive for socio-political con- 
ditions that permit the communist movement to function effectively. 
That is why they advocate, for the present, a measure of democracy 
within them: communists abandon the forms of democracy when, 
but not until, communist domination is assured. That explains, also, 
their readiness to dissolve or merge national Communist Party or- 
ganizations, and their acceptance of posts in multi-party cabinets. 
At the same time, they work to absorb or destroy any non- or anti- 
communist revolutionary elements that tend to arise from the Left. 

It is to be observed that the relations within this whole system of 
concentric rings are dynamic. As long as the Soviet Union retains 
the political initiative, the center acts as an attractive force, pulling 
the outer rings toward itself. As the first ring is absorbed into the 
body of the central circle, the second ring (Domination) tends to 
fuse, in part at least, with the first. Additional territories or nations 
tend to become candidates for outright absorption rather than for 
mere domination. We may rightly expect that, before so very long, 
appHcations for admission to the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics 
will be filed by some nations now within Circle II. Similarly, the 
third ring (Orienting Influence) tends, as the process develops, to 


fuse into the second; and the nations o£ the third ring thus tend 
toward the Domination group. The whole set of relations within 
the system of rings is summarily epitomized by the 1939-40 history 

of the Baltic states. 

* * * 

We have dealt, in this section, with the nature of Circles I, II, and 
III. The discussion, except for its inclusion of Latin America, has con- 
cerned the first part of the task of preparation for the Third World 
War : the attempt to consolidate effective domination of the Eurasian 
continent. Circle IV carries us altogether outside of Eurasia, and 
relates only to the second part of the general task: the simultaneous 
attempt to weaken and undermine all governments and nations not 
under communist control. 

The principal occupants of Circle IV are the United States, Eng- 
land, and the British Commonwealth. Though the ultimate com- 
munist goal with respect to these is identical with that for every 
other part of the earth, the specific policy for the present period of 
preparation for the Third World War is, in many respects, radically 
different from the Eurasian policies analyzed in the preceding 
section. Within this period, the communists do not expect to be able 
either to absorb or to dominate the nations of Circle IV. They do 
not believe that in the United States they can even attain a decisive 
orienting influence, though they may have a small reserve hope of 
swinging England into line. 

Their policy toward the United States is, on the contrary, based 
upon the conviction that the United States is the only serious rival 
center of power to their own, and that the United States is their 
determining opponent in the developing Third World War. They 
believe that, in all probability, England and what is left of the Com- 
monwealth and Empire will continue the de facto alliance with the 
United States on into the open stage of the War. The policy toward 
England is therefore subsidiary to the policy toward the United 
States, and I shall confine the following analysis to the United States. 


The communist objectives in relation to the United States may 
be summed up as follows: 

First, to try to prevent interference by the United States with the 
communist plans for the consolidation of Fortress Eurasia, and even 
to gain United States assistance in fulfilling those plans. 

Second, to weaken, undermine and demoralize the United States 
to the maximum extent possible prior to the open war struggle. 

Third, to become imbedded within the social fabric of United 
States life in order to be ready for direct action — espionage, sabotage, 
stimulation of riots and revolts, etc. — when the open war begins. 

These objectives are furthered, of course, by communist activities 
and propaganda throughout the world. Within the United States 
and its dependencies they are promoted by a powerful and complex 
network. Many Americans, understanding nothing of totalitarian 
politics, dismiss the communists as "a negHgible force in American 
life," because the Communist Party gets few votes in elections. For 
communists, elections — particularly the vote one gets in elections — 
are among the most minor of political exertions. It might be recalled 
that in 1917, at the beginning of the Russian Revolution, the Russian 
Bolshevik faction, which became the Communist Party, numbered 
only about 25,000 members. In general it is a law of politics that a 
small minority, tightly organized and disciplined, knowing in ad- 
vance what it wants and planning consciously how to get it, has far 
greater weight than loose, amorphous majorities. 

The communist apparatus in the United States, even quantita- 
tively considered, is, as a matter of fact, very extensive. It is built 
out of a series of layers, which surround the inner steel, and merge 
at the outer edges into the general population. At the center, check- 
ing and supervising every activity, are thousands of N.K.V.D. 
agents. There are then thousands of other agents, of the military 
intelligence, and of the various special commissions, committees and 
bureaus of the Soviet State and the international party. All Soviet 
employees in this country, in whatever apparent capacity, are of 
course part of the machine. All foreign communist parties have their 
organized sections within all refugee and foreign-language groups 
in this country. Then there is the United States Party itself, with its 
own many layers; and the many communists who are instructed not 


to join any party. Then, in widening circles, there are the fellow- 
travelers, the sympathizers, the dupes, the simpletons; and the mil- 
lions of honest citizens who, without knowing its source or its 
direction, drink up the propaganda because it seems to correspond 
with some sentiment of their own. 

In order to carry out its triple objective, the communist network 
tries to infiltrate every level of American life. ("We must," Lenin 
commands in What Is to Be Done? , ''^^o among all classes of the 
people as theoreticians, as propagandists, as agitators, and as organ- 
izers.") From the smallest sports clubs to the highest departments 
of government, from great trade unions to neighborhood debating 
societies, from the established political parties to minute farm co- 
operatives, from the army to organizations of pacifists, from The 
Atlantic Monthly to The Protestant, from Hollywood parties to 
strike riots, everywhere communist influence is actively penetrating. 
Where an organization is already established, they wedge from the 
outside; where there is none, they create it. As their grease for in- 
filtration, they use everywhere the formula of the united front, 
which we have already studied. 

The infiltration is in part opportunistic: that is, the communists 
seize any chance that may appear to entrench themselves in any kind 
of organization whatsoever. However, in accordance with their 
specific objectives, they have in the United States certain concen- 
tration areas to which they devote the greater part of their deliber- 
ate and planned efforts. The chief of these are the following: 

I. The public opinion industry. Enormous energies and funds 
are spent on winning over or influencing writers, publishers, jour- 
nalists, editors, lecturers, radio speakers, government propagandists, 
theater and movie producers, directors and actors, teachers, ministers, 
and so on. Dozens of special united fronts have been created for 
them; hundreds of communist-controlled magazines, newspapers, 
confidential newsletters are put out. The Party plugs the sale of 
sympathetic books, and tries by every sort of pressure to suppress 
or hinder anti-communist books, plays, movies, or radio programs. 
Movie sequences are adroitly slanted by its Hollywood sympathizers. 
Lucrative Soviet contracts are carefully manipulated. Communists 


and fellow-travelers pour hundreds of books and articles into the 
American market, when necessary through their own organizations 
(such as International Publishers), but more frequently and desir- 
ably with the help of sympathetic or deceived sponsors among the 
established publishers. Hundreds of innocent radio speakers, maga- 
zine writers and newspaper journalists are happily unaware that 
the "inside information" with which they jazz up their programs 
and articles, and sometimes raise their own salaries, have been fed 
to them through a very long tube that traces back to the Agit-Prop 
section in Moscow. 

In accord with the public opinion concentration, it is not surpris- 
ing that during the war communists and fellow-travelers were so 
conspicuous and so successful in the Office of War Information, in 
"psychological warfare" work generally, and on the staffs of the 
army newspapers. 

2. Maritime and Communications. Already a large percentage of 
United States seamen and waterfront employees are in unions under 
communist control. The Party has also been notably successful 
among certain of the communication workers, including the ship- 
board radio operators and the employees of the crucial New York 
(Western Union) headquarters of international communications. 
Communist efforts among railroad workers and truck drivers have 
been stepped up, and, after earlier years of failure, are now making 
progress. The importance of this concentration from the point of 
view of war preparation is obvious enough. 

3. Intelligence Services. The communists are trying by every 
means to infiltrate the various intelligence services, military and 
governmental. The measure of their success is indicated by the war- 
time penetration of their ideas into some branches of the Office of 
Strategic Services, as well as into Military Intelligence and the State 
Department. Their work in this field is facilitated by their active in- 
terest in the United Public Workers of America, the union which 
is making considerable headway in the organization of government 
employees. Of course all communists, wherever they are located, are 
in effect intelligence agents for the world communist movement. 


4. Science, especially nuclear science and technology. Several years 
ago the communists began large-scale work in the sciences. From 
the time of its formation, they have vigorously supported the Inter- 
national Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Tech- 
nicians. With the approach and arrival of atomic weapons, this 
concentration has been intensified. Communists and fellow-travelers 
are active in most of the committees, unions and other organizations 
of nuclear scientists and technologists that are now being formed. 
The names of several of the leading nuclear scientists have, in fact, 
figured in united fronts. We may take it as certain that nearly all 
supposed secrets of atomic energy come into communist hands very 
shortly after discovery. 

From these and their other organizational vantage points the 
communists in the first place manipulate American public opinion 
in such a way as to permit the development of the communist Eura- 
sian policy. Communism has by far the greatest propaganda machine 
that has ever existed, and its achievements in this country during 
recent years are notable. United States opinion was led, for example, 
to accept the turning over of Yugoslavia to the communist Tito; 
and of Poland to the communist-controlled Bierut government. 
Communists, with detailed advance preparation, acted as a catalyst 
for the "Bring the Boys Home" movement following V-J Day, 
which demoralized the armed forces, and weakened the world dip- 
lomatic position of the United States. Many Americans now believe, 
or half-believe, that totalitarianism is a new kind of higher democ- 
racy. They are persuaded that there should be "non-interference" in 
China: that is, that China should be turned over to the Soviet- 
supported and -supplied Chinese communists. They will soon be led 
to think that all American troops should be brought home from 
Eurasia. They believe, or many of them believe, that Americans 
abroad nurse fascists and counter-revolutionists. They are told hor- 
rifying stories about Greek monarchists and Turkish tyrants and 
Iranians and Iraqians subsidized by British and American big busi- 
ness. Whatever the immediate issue, the propaganda always finds a 
reason, a whole set of reasons, why the United States should do 


nothing to interfere with the communist organization of the con- 
centric ring system, should, on the contrary, help in that organiza- 
tion with political friendship, food, supplies and industrial 

And tirelessly the propaganda hammers in the Soviet myth, the 
fairy story of the happy, prosperous land of socialism, where for- 
ward-moving humanity marches ahead with one mind and one voice 
to new and braver worlds. 

On another, related front, the communist propaganda and activi- 
ties stimulate and provoke all latent conflicts between the United 
States and other non-communist states. In the Philippines, the Huk- 
balahaps, the guerilla force exploiting the discontent of poor peas- 
ants, directs its arms and agitation against the American-sponsored 
new government. In Puerto Rico, the communists join the separatist 
movement. Throughout Latin America, the communists and their 
allies denounce Yankee imperialism. Especially is every occasion 
seized upon to stir dislike and distrust of Great Britain. 

Within the United States, the communists arouse and exploit 
every divisive possibility. Labor against capital, big business against 
little business, C.LO. against A.F. of L., farmers against business- 
men, Negroes against Whites, Christians against Jews, Protestants 
against Catholics, landlords against tenants, foreign born against 
native born. South against North, unemployed against employed: 
wherever there is a potential rift in the national life, the communist 
tactic is to deepen and tear that rift. 

To refuse ... to maneuver, to utilize the conflict of interests 
(even though temporary) among one's enemies; to refuse to tem- 
porize and compromise with possible (even though transient, un- 
stable, vacillating, and conditional) allies — is this not ridiculous in 
the extreme? . . . The old forms have burst. . . . We now have 
from the standpoint of the development of international commu- 
nism such a lasting, strong and powerful content of work . . . that 
it can and must manifest itself in any form, both new and old; 
that it can and must regenerate, conquer, and subjugate all forms, 
not only the new but the old — ^not for the purpose of reconciling 
itself with the old, but to be able to convert all and sundry forms, 
new and old, into a weapon for the complete, final, decisive and 


inevitable victory of communism. [Lenin, quoted by Stalin in 
Problems of Leninism.^ 

It is of course true that many of these rifts, or potential rifts, exist, 
independently of communism, within the fabric of our society. 
There vi^ould be a Negro problem, a labor problem, a religious prob- 
lem, a Jevi'ish problem, if there were no communist movement. It 
is further true that many good citizens, non-communists and anti- 
communists, concern themselves with these problems. Their con- 
cern, however, is to try to solve them. What they do not grasp is 
that the concern of the communists — with whom they so often join 
their activities, frequently without themselves knowing of the united 
front into which they enter — is not to solve them but to make them 
insoluble. They do not understand that the communists do not want 
to mend the nation, but to smash it beyond repair. The good citizen 
is glad to find communist allies when he seeks, say, a fair trial for 
a Negro; he does not know that the communist will use him for the 
precise purpose, not of helping the Negro, but of embittering and 
poisoning race relationships. The good citizen joins a committee to 
support, perhaps, the families of strikers; he does not know that the 
communists in the committee have as their objective not the well- 
being of labor but the hopeless exaggeration of class conflicts, and 
the undermining of the American economy. Or the good citizen, 
as a humanitarian, joins some committee "for Soviet-American 
friendship," equally unaware that the function of the committee is 
to protect and defend not the peoples of Russia and the United 
States, but the communist dictatorship today crushing the Russian 
people and tomorrow aiming for the people of America. 

So, if all goes according to plan, the full war will open with the 
United States so isolated, and so internally weakened, divided, de- 
moralized, that it will be unable even to make a good showing in 
the struggle. Meanwhile, in the war itself, with public communist 
activities limited or abolished, the infiltrated divisions will be in a 
position to take direct action to break down the industrial and mili- 
tary machine, and the morale of the nation. 

The downfall of the United States will remove the last great ob- 
stacle. The Communist World Empire will begin. 


It is not excluded that the present leftist Seventh Period will be 
followed by a temporary Eighth Period, rightist in outward form. 
If this happened, the Communist Party of the United States would 
drop some of the more extreme class struggle slogans and tactics, 
and would, as in the Teheran Period, profess to be more friendly 
toward the United States government. Earl Browder might resume 
his interrupted post as party leader. 

There are two possible occasions for such a shift. The United 
States might adopt such a strong policy toward the Soviet Union 
and communism that the communist leaders might feel that they 
had to run to temporary cover under a veil of friendliness. Or the 
mild approach might be thought a suitable bribe for the United 
States in return for United States economic assistance, and complete 
acquiescence by the United States in the communist Eurasian plans. 
There is some reason to believe that a. faction within the Soviet 
Union favors such a right turn, and that Stalin himself belongs to 
that faction. 

If such a turn occurs, it will, like the previous right turns, be 
hailed by public opinion in this country as proof that the Soviet 
Union has given up world revolution, and that permanent friendly 
co-operation between the Soviet Union and the United States has 
been established. 

It must be insisted once more that these political turns of the com- 
munists are purely tactical in significance. The fundamental strategy 
of the communists is irrevocably set. Nothing whatever of the analy- 
sis of this chapter would be altered by a shift to a rightist Eighth 
Period. The basic line would still be: preparation for the Third 
World War, by consolidation of the Eurasian base, and the weaken- 
ing of the rest of the world. The specific objectives within the United 
States would still be to prevent political interference in Eurasia, to 
demoralize the country, and to infiltrate every stratum of its social 
structure. The surface would alter: the slogans would seek to lull to 
sleep rather than to knock sharply on the head. But the knife would 
still be ready for the heart. 


Note. The evidence demonstrating the deterioration of the standard of 
living under the communist regime has been assembled and analyzed 
by a number of scholars. Among the relevant books that may be con- 
sulted in this connection, the following are representative: Wor\ers Be- 
fore and After Lenin, by Manya Gordon; Soviet Labour and Industry, 
by Leonard E. Hubbard; Russia's Economic Front for War and Peace, 
by A. Yugow; The Real Soviet Russia, by David J. Dallin. All of these 
books contain extensive bibliographies of first-hand sources. 

Under the conditions of Soviet life, with no legal, public mechanism 
through which opposition can be expressed, it is naturally impossible to 
get extensive direct evidence about the attitude of the people toward the 
regime. The ritualistic statements of loyalty to Stalin and communism 
made by Soviet citizens to foreign journalists show only what the citi- 
zens feel they must say in order not to risk trouble from the N.K.V.D. 
These statements are in direct contradiction to the reports of the former 
subjects who have renounced Soviet citizenship and have been able to 
speak or write in countries where freedom of expression is permitted 
{cf. Victor Serge, Walter Krivitsky, Victor Kravchenko, Alexander 
Barmine, etc.). 

The lack of adequate direct evidence, however, is more than com- 
pensated by what, can be indirecdy inferred from characteristic features 
of the Soviet system. Let us consider only three of the most striking that 
have a bearing on this problem: (i) the internal secret police; (2) the 
periodic mass purges; (3) the prohibition of any travel beyond the Soviet 
border, except on official missions, by any Soviet citizen (a prohibition 
enforced by severe statutory penalties which apply not only to an in- 
dividual who tries to leave the country but to the members of his im- 
mediate family and to anyone who has knowledge of his intended act). 

Let us ask: why are the secret police, the purges, and the prohibition 
of foreign travel considered necessary by the regime, and not merely 
admitted publicly in the controlled press, but constantly and spectacu- 
larly emphasized, especially in internal propaganda? The only possible 
explanation is that the regime recognizes the existence of profound mass 
discontent, however inarticulate and unorganized. If everyone, or nearly 
everyone, liked the regime, why would it be necessary to have the enor- 
mous secret police apparatus operating in every social, cultural, economic 
and political institution.? Why would it be necessary to institute the 
periodic purges which, by the official accounts, involve hundreds of thou- 
sands, even millions, of persons, and often sweep away the entire staffs 
of magazines, theaters, movie trusts, factories, farms, party committees. 


commissariats, and so on, which in many cases have been praised a few 
months before as the best defenders of the Revolution? If the masses of 
the people believe Stalin to be the Messiah that is described by our own 
fellow-travelers (exercising their decadent right of free speech from their 
vantage point on another continent), why, we may wonder, does Stalin 
need to make the attempt to get away from him a criminal offense? 

The regime confronts here an insoluble dilemma. In order to propa- 
gate the communist myth in the non-communist world, it must swamp 
the ether, the newsstands and the bookstalls of all countries with the 
story of the happy, contented land of socialism. In order to terrorize its 
own unhappy subjects into submission, it must fill the columns of 
Pravda, Izvestia, and Red Star with denunciations of wrecking, sabotage, 
graft, "diversions," plots and deviations, on a scale so huge that it would 
seem to indicate a belief by the regime that nine-tenths of the popula- 
tion must be criminals and traitors. Both versions are lies, but the sec- 
ond, in its own indirect way, informs us very plainly about the true 
relation between the regime and the people. 

< go to Contents8.- The Weakness aitd Strength of the Soviet Union 

I PROPOSE NOW to judge the equipment with which the communists are making their bid for World Empire. 

It is not my intention to cite quantitative statistics. Much of the statistical material is 
inexact, often deliberately falsified. Besides, because of the peculiar- 
ities of communist social organization, it is usually misleading, even 
when accurate. I shall attempt, rather, what might be called a quaU- 
tative estimate; and I shall have in mind, as the background of com- 
parison, the imperial rival: the United States. 

I. Geographical position. The communists, in control of the 
extended Soviet Union and its puppet territories, enjoy an incom- 
parable geographical position. This adjective is meant literally: there 
is no geographical position on earth which can in any way be com- 
pared with that of their main base. For the first time in human his- 
tory, as we have already remarked, the Eurasian Heartland, the 
central area of the earth's great land mass, has both a considerable 
population and a high degree of political organization. In this re- 
spect the communists are the heirs of the Russian Empire and of the 
predecessor Duchy of Muscovy which, in the i6th century, began 
the organization of the forests and steppes that for millennia had 
been the home of hunters and fishermen, isolated river-cities, and 
the scattered nomads who periodically descended upon the civiliza- 
tions of the periphery. 

Geographically, the Heartland, with its vast distances and its huge 
land barriers, is the most defensible of all regions of the earth. Sea 
power cannot touch it. Conquerors are swallowed up within its enor- 
mous confines. On the other hand, from the base within the Heart- 
land raids in force can issue East, West, Southwest, and South. 

Potentially, the Heartland controls the Eurasian land mass as a 



whole, and, for that matter, the secondary African Continent, with 
the southern section of the Heartland in its interior. From the point 
of view of Eurasia, with its African appendage, there remain on the 
earth only lesser islands. Geographically, strategically, Eurasia en- 
circles America, overwhelms it. 

Before the coming of airborne and atomic weapons, it was an 
axiom of geopolitics, and of common sense, that if any one power 
succeeded in organizing the Heartland and its outer barriers, that 
powefwould be certain to control the world. Sea power depends in 
the last analysis upon the control of its bases. But sea power cannot 
touch the Heartland. Land power, resting on its ultimate base in 
the Heartland, would, therefore, in the end, be sure to overcome sea 
power on its island bases. 

Air power and atomic weapons have upset the certainty of this 
former axiom. The Heartland is no longer inviolable. Nevertheless, 
they have not altogether done away with the facts of geography. 
Geographically, the Soviet position is still the strongest possible 
position on earth; and that remains a very great strength. If the 
communists succeed in extending their full direct control to the At- 
lantic, and in maintaining or extending their position on the Pacific, 
the odds on their victory would advance close to certainty. 

2. Manpower. The communists are very strong in manpower. Al- 
ready within the official Soviet borders there are about two hundred 
million human beings; within the already dominated territories 
there are over two hundred million more. Several tens of millions 
are in the communist-controlled movements of the rest of the world. 
The communists rightly consider that many of the colonial peoples 
constitute "strategic reserves of the revolution." Most of this com- 
munist-controlled population, moreover, arc great breeders, with 
birth rates far higher than that of the advanced nations of Western 

The commynists use their manpower to make up for other de- 
ficiencies. This is especially striking In the two crucial fields of in- 
dustry and warfare. In both, lack of training, machines, efficiency 
and quality is made up for by millions of human beings. Millions 
of Russian lives stopped the qualitatively superior Nazi war ma- 


chine; tens of millions overcome industrial defects. The most ex- 
pressive sympton of this method in the economy is the increasing 
reliance on slave labor, which is hurled by the millions upon mil- 
lions into the gigantic tasks of "socialist reconstruction." 

3. Natural resources. The Soviet Union has, as is well known, 
an abundance of almost all natural resources needed for modern 
industrial society. 

From one point of view, however, the amplitude of Soviet re- 
sources is perhaps over-stated. A "natural resource," like a mineral 
or lumber or water-power, is of economic and social significance 
only when it can actually be put to social use. If it is inaccessible, or 
accessible only at prohibitive cost, then the "natural resource" is a 
merely physical fact and not, we might say, a "social resource." A 
considerable part of the Soviet resources seem to be in this situation. 
For example, much of the great timberlands of Siberia are in ter- 
ritory where the rivers flow into the frozen Arctic: but great forests 
without rivers on which the logs can be floated to processing and 
shipping points are much reduced in social value. For a great deal 
of the mineral resources of Siberia, there are also extreme transpor- 
tation difficulties. Some of these difficulties can no doubt be over- 
come by increased railroad facilities, and by the use of airplanes. 
Some are met by the lavish use of manpower already mentioned. A 
technologically adequate solution, however, lies in a future beyond 
the time during which the world struggle will be decided.* 

4. Economic plant. The growth of the Soviet economy under com- 
munist control, though considerable, has been greatly exaggerated 
in communist propaganda. From a quantitative standpoint, the rate 
of growth has been no more rapid — in many important lines less 
rapid — than that of United States economy in the period following 
the Civil War. The quantitative output of most Soviet industries 
was, prior to the war, far below that of the corresponding United 
States industries, and has been heavily set back by the war's damage. 

The weaknesses of the Soviet economy in factors other than the 

* I am indebted to Professor Willard E. Atkins, of New York University, for an 
illuminating personal discussion of the point made in this paragraph. 


purely quantitative are even more striking. The economy^^sjrwhole 
is <jualitatively_^n a very low level, inefficient, and out o£ balance. 
The inadequacies o£ the transportation system, for example, both 
railroad and highway, constitute a persistent bottleneck. (Lend-lease 
trucks were probably as decisive as any other single element in the 
defeat of the Nazis.) The qualitative inferiority is not merely a hard- 
ship on consumers — a question of little concern to the communist 
rulers — but results in a maximum of spoilage and breakdown 
throughout the productive process. Combined with inadequate pro- 
visions for repair and upkeep, it leads to the g^tiick physical deteri- 
oration of buildings, machines, and factories. The administrative 
overheaH in both industry and agriculture, which must include the 
cost of the multitude of N.K.V.D. agents, and the elaborate check- 
ing, cross-checking and constant interventions of dozens of special 
Party and governmental bureaus, is fantastically high. A Soviet mine 
or factory always has two or three times the number of persons in 
its administrative personnel as a mine or factory with comparable 
oiitput in the United States. Stakhanovite stunts staged for propa- 
gandaTpTirposesvattempts by individual plants to make a spectacular 
showing on the Kremlin score sheets, and the inroads of purges in- 
terfere chronically with the smooth integration of production. The 
politically motivated passion for quick production figures leads to 
the operation of new factories before their buildings are finished, 
and before there are at hand proper storage facilities, supplies, tools, 
spare parts, and so on. Decent housing, transportation and food for 
the workers are never provided, deficiencies which contribute their 
share to the low man-hour output. 

There are, however, certain compensating factors in the economy. 
In general, it is incorrect to judge production costs in a totalitarian 
economy by exactly the same standards that apply within capitalist 
economy. A production cost that would mean bankruptcy for a 
capitalist enterprise might be justified from a political or strategic 
standpoint. I have already mentioned the use of the vast reserves 
of manpower as a substitute for economic quality. The communists, 
moreover, are making up for some of their own earlier lacks by 
exploiting the industries and labor force of the newly absorbed or 
dominated territories in Eastern Europe and Manchuria. 


More important, for strategic purposes, is the economic concen- 
tration which absolute poHtical control makes possible. This is of 
great significance in connection with the production of atomic weap- 
ons. Deficient as they are in almost all branches of economy, the 
communists can concentrate the most and the best of what they have 
both of human and physical equipment on a task which they decide 
to be dominant. It would, therefore, be a mistake to judge their 
atomic performance by their general industrial level. 

"'5. Cultural level. Though the communist regime has made con- 
siderable advances toward a general primitive literacy,* the cultural 
level within the Soviet Union remains low. The percentage of skilled 
workers is small. The number of technicians, engineers, scientists, 
doctors, teachers, and other professionals is inadequate. Their train- 
ing, for which skill in communist ideology and practice is consid- 
ered more fundamental than calculus or biology, is defective or 
distorted. Schools, hospitals, libraries, and so on, except for the show- 
places designed for the ruling class and visiting journalists, are in- 
ferior in numbers and quality. The rigid censorship and propaganda 
block genuine historical and sociological knowledge, though at the 
same time they make easier the problem of political manipulation. 

6. Armed forces. Technologically, the weaknesses in the Soviet 
economy and culture are reflected in the armed forces. With some 
exceptions, the quality of weapons and equipment is relatively low, 
andjn many lines there are major shortages. Soviet strategical ideas, 
however, take this difficulty into account. Manpower and concen- 
tration substitute for quality. The entire economy, the entire society, 
is concentrated on the preparation for the war. There is no argu- 
ment, in the Soviet Union, over conscription. The quotas for the 
mass production of soldiers are fulfilled. Strenuous efforts are being 
made to improve discipline, and to turn out a more thoroughly 
trained officer corps. 

*The "colossal" Soviet achievements in education are a favorite item in the com- 
munist myth, achieved by a juggling of statistics. The rate of progress toward literacy 
has been no higher than that under the last decades of Tsarism. Cf. Manya Gordon, 
Wor/(^ers Before and After Lenin, Part XI. 


The theory and practice of multi-nationahsm also aids in the ex- 
pansion of the communist divisions. The armies of the dominated 
nations are fitted readily into the over-all structure of the communist 
military machine. It should also be kept in mind that the com- 
munists within the non-communist nations are a direct military sup- 

¥7. Ideology. The communist myth, or complex of myths, is a 
special source of great strength for the communist movement. The 
general myth has traditional roots that push backv^^ard more than 
twenty-five hundred years. It expre?ses7Tn secular form, the great 
dream of a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. As a compensation for 
th(35e~who are weary and careworn, or an ideal for those who are 
aspiring, it permits that seductive leap from a reality which is not, 
and can never "fee, to oiir taste, into the vision of a Utopian society 
where all men are free and equal and good, where exploitation and 
war and hunger and wretchedness have vanished, and all mankind 
is linked together in a universal brotherhood. According to the man- 
ner of all hallucinations, this dream is mistaken for objective reality: 
the dream is taken to be the guiding law of the very process of his- 
tory, necessary, inevitable, destiny. The dreamer thereby gains that 
feeling of moral security which springs from the sense that we are 
at one with the Universe. Even the catastrophic, apocalyptic elements 
of the myth — the conviction that the goal will be reached only after 
great suffering and gnashing of teeth, in travail and blood and tor- 
ment, amid the thunder and crash of the institutions of the world 
— adds, as the experience of all religious faith testifies, to the hold 
which the myth acquires over the emotions of the believers. 

To the general myth, there has been deliberately added, during 
the past generation, the, Soviet variation. Tens of millions of persons 
throughout the world quiet their doubts and fears with that extraor- 
dinary fantasy of a purposeful, co-operative community where there 
are no landlords and absentee owners, where the workers and farm- 
ers own and rule, where there is security for all and no unemploy- 
ment, where the masses, despite all obstacles, are surging ever 
forward toward a new and happyTIfe: this vision substituting for 


the reality o£ a police-state founded on terror and slave labor, of in- 
comparable wretchedness and tyranny. 

From the myth, as from a magic elixir, a strength flows into the 
veins of the communist movement that enables it to soar beyond 
more grossly material limits. It is a comfort in adversity, as it is a 
crowning glory of happy days. 

Nevertheless, the present power of the communist myth would 
seem to be in most part negative. Social man cannot live without 
great myths. It is the deterioration of our religious myths as well as 
of the liberal and democratic myths of post-Renaissance civihzation 
that gives, by default, such a special enchantment to the communist 
myth. Bewildered by the awful problems of this prolonged crisis of 
a civilization, uncertain and afraid, disillusioned with the ideals of 
liberal democracy in action, skeptical or half-hearted in genuine reli- 
gious belief, men grasp at the communist myth so that their spirits 
may not altogether drown. 

There is, moreover, a seeming paradox that may prove of some 
practical importance. The communist myth is believed more ardently 
outside of communist-controlled territories than within them. 
Within the Soviet domain, there are, it is true, especially among the 
youth, some millions of total believers, whose minds and souls are 
shaped absolutely by the communist myth. But there is every reason 
to think that this is not true of the majority of the people. The out- 
side world may be led to beHeve that workers rule in Russia; but the 
Russian workers know by life that they are serfs and slaves. Com- 
fortable American journalists can beHeve that Stalin liquidated 
counter-revolutionary Kulaks as a class; but Russian peasants know 
that he tortured and killed and robbed their families and starved 
neighbors. English and American preachers and diplomats can ac- 
cept the confessions at the Moscow Trials and complacently explain 
them as expressions of the peculiarities of the Russian soul; but 
Russians who knew and worked with the defendants understand 
that the confessions are fables of the N.K.V.D. French poets can 
rejoice at the unanimity of will shown by a Soviet election; but 
Russians know how that unanimity is obtained. 

In 1939 the people of Eastern Poland hailed the Red Army as the 
liberator. But we know from much evidence that within a few 


months or weeks the welcome had faded. So in the other dominated 
territories of eastern Europe. After the first flush, it was not the 
myth, but the terror and fears, and hopes for a berth in the very 
unmythical apparatus, that kept the people, or most of them, under 
the communist whip. The communist reality blights the communist 
myth. The myth is powerful, but with the power of a compeUing 
mirage, not that of the substantial mountains. 

8. The International. Unique, and very high among the power- 
assets of communism, is the international organization. No nation 
has at its disposal any force remotely comparable. The international 
sections are an incomparable intelligence bureau; they are the great- 
est propaganda body ever known or conceived; they are a permanent 
pressure group; and, when necessary, they can act, from within, as 
a military auxiliary. They function, in addition, to forestall, either 
by diverting or capturing or crushing them, independent, non- 
communist mass movements. 

9. Political leadership. Perhaps the greatest single element of the 
strength of communism is the quality of its political leadership. 
World communism is headed by a large stratum of men whose en- 
tire lives are trained and dedicated to the pursuit of power. They 
study the problems of power with a concentration in which the 
objectivity of a research scientist is combined with the passion of a 
fanatic. Never before has an entire group of men been so conscious 
and deliberate about power. With the exception of a comparatively 
few individuals, the political leaders of the past, and the non- 
communist leaders of the present, have watered their political inter- 
ests with other human concerns. The cross currents of family 
affection, or aesthetic sense, or friendship, of moral conscience or 
religious belief, of an idea moving freely under its own impulse, 
divert at least occasionally the tide of their political motivation. 

But the communist leader is all political, all of the time. Neither 
wife nor child nor friend, neither beauty nor love nor pleasure nor 
knowledge cherished for its own sake, is allowed to deflect by even 
the smallest fraction of a degree the fixed direction of the com-" 
munist will to power. 

  < go to Contents9. -Is a Communist World Empire Desirable? 

IT IS HARD for ordinary citizens to realize that there are in the 
United States, as in every other nation, thousands, even hundreds 
of thousands, of persons who beHeve that a communist World Em- 
pire is not merely possible but good. Some of them work actively 
for that Empire; others would welcome it; many more are prepared 
to accept it, if it comes. They believe that it would be what they 
would call "the solution." 

On one point they are undoubtedly wiser than the rest. They see 
that the question of communist world rule is an issue which must 
be faced, about which a moral being ought to make a deliberate and 
plain decision. The communist World Empire is a part, the culmi- 
nating part, not of the myth of communism, but of its blunt reality. 
It is not the vague possibility of a remotely future century, but a 
quite probable outcome for the present generation. What, then, is 
our moral ballot: For or Against.? Is a communist World Empire 
desirable ? 

Such a question is always more complex than it appears. When 
we ask whether something is desirable, we must always presuppose 
certain assumptions in order that the question should be meaning- 
ful: desirable for whom, in relation to what standards, and in com- 
parison to what possible alternatives ? Even the Anopheles mosquito 
is desirable, if our standard is the ability to spread malaria. 

Naturally, a communist victory is thought to be desirable by the 
communist leadership which would share in and benefit by that 
victory. Our reference must be to the majority of men, which is not 

This book has made its point of departure the problem of atomic 
weapons, taken in the historical context of the present stage in the 
development of civilizations. A basic conclusion was reached that 
only a monopoly of atomic weapons, which could be exercised only 
by what would be in eflect a World Empire, could save Western 


Civiliz ation, and perhaps all organized human society, from destruc- 
tion. Only a World Empire could, in that sense, "solve" the prob- 
le|n_pj atomic weapons. 

It must, therefore, be recognized that the victory of a communist 
World Empire would solve this special problem from which we 
began. Though the communist Empire would not eliminate social 
violence, it would, by ending independent nations, end international 
wars. The communist rulers would hold the monopoly of atomic 
weapons. They would therefore no longer have as a motive for the 
general use of these weapons the fear that similar weapons would 
be used against them. Under those circumstances, there is reason to 
believe that the communist rulers would not consider it expedient 
to use the atomic weapons, or would at most use them on a limited 

These gains, even if rather negative, are mighty enough to be 
taken very seriously. If death is the immediate alternative we do not 
usually dispute with the surgeon when he tells us that an arm and 
a leg must go, to save life. We do not dispute even if we know that 
we will have to live on a plain, dull diet forever after, and that his 
fee will be our entire fortune. 

What else, then, would a communist victory mean? And what 
are the costs that must be balanced against the gain? These we can 
estimate only by an appeal to experience: the historical experience 
of the communist movement, where it has been in full power, where 
it is now in the process of establishing full power, and where it has 
operated, on a narrower scale, within nations themselves not com- 
munist dominated. 

The evidence does not seem to inform us conclusively about what 
material economic values would be realized through a communist 
world victory. Within Russia, a generation of communist rule has^ 
meant a definite lowering in the average real standard of living, at 
the same time that heavy industry has been considerably expanded. 
At the beginning of that generation, however, Russia was relatively 
backward industrially. The communists have, besides, had to operate 
within a hostile world political environment. We are not yet, I 
think, entitled to judge finally the economic possibilities of collec- 
tivized industry, — — 


There seem, nevertheless, to be two special features of the specifi- 
cally communist form of collectivization, both necessarily following 
from the nature of communism, that would always prevent a com- 
munist economy from raising the average standard of living: which 
would, that is to say, make it probable that a world communist econ- 
omy would not increase the material well-being of the majority of 

The central objective of communism is the conquest and mainte- 
nance of a monopoly of all power. From this there follows a 
complete subordination of economics to politics. The "natural" re- 
quirements of the economy — in terms of division of labor, organiza- 
tion of the productive process, balancing and integration of the 
various sections of industry and agriculture, some reference to de 
facto relations of supply and demand, and so on — are always handled 
with primary reference to strictly political ends. Building a new 
factory, locating a railroad, setting a production record in one de- 
partment of a particular plant, installing or firing an engineer, plan- 
ning new housing, allocating supplies, giving purges and decorations 
to economic villains or heroes, adjusting levels of wages and salaries 
and bonuses: these are all decided by their probable effect on the 
political monopoly. No doubt the classical economists have much 
overstated the naturalness of the natural economic laws. Hut it is"^ 
fact that technological and economic processes impose certain objec- 
tive limiting conditions that must be accepted if the economy is to 
have any chance of functioning reasonably well. In a large enter- 
prise, for example, you cannot attain maximum long-term output 
by staging, in one section of one department, a Stakhanovite stunt, 
which for a few days achieves a record output for that section at the 
expense of the equilibrium of the enterprise as a whole. When 
planning factories, you cannot disregard the location of coal mines 
or rivers or transport or housing or utilities or replacement facili- 
ties without raising real costs and thereby reducing potential out- 

From the primary communist objective there follows, second, the 
necessity of complete economic centralization. Complete centraliza- 
tion is not inherent in modified forms of collectivization: many sec- 
tions of the United States economy (such as, for example, the 


T.V.A.) are collectivized without being integrated into a totally 
centralized economy. But centralization must be a feature of a com- 
munist_collectiyism, becaiBe^ceiitralization would create potential 
economic bases of decentralized political power. Complete economic 
centralization means the attempt to direct the entire economy from a 
single authority (through Five Year Plans and similar devices). But 
it is humanly impossible that this should be done efficiently, not only 
for the world as a whole, but even within a single large nation. The 
attempt to do so results continually in economic distortions. 

The probability that a world communist economy would not 
mean an increase in the average world standard of living — would 
mean quite possibly a decrease — is not, however, a fact of identical 
significance to all human beings. For the inhabitants of the more 
prosperous nations, such as, above all, the United States, it would 
almost certainly involve a radical decrease in living standards. On 
the other hand, more than half of the world's inhabitants, in India, 
China, Indonesia, Africa, central Brazil, are already at or below the 
minimum possible standard of life. Their material condition could 
hardly be further lowered, might even be somewhat improved. 

For the greater part of the presently privileged classes in the non- 
communist world, a world communist economy would, of course, 
mean a drastically lowered standard where it did Mot bring, as it 
would in most cases, slavery or death. The new communized privi- 
leged classes — the managerial class of officials, bureaucrats, factory 
managers, functionaries of mass organizations, police and army 
leaders — would, in contrast, improve their relative material 

It is, thus, difficult to generalize about the desirability of a com- 
munist World Empire from the point of view of standard of living. 
Material standard of living is not, however, the only economic value. 
There are also the values of economic security and of various eco- 
nomic freedoms. 

Communist propaganda claims that communist economy, by 
abolishing unemployment, gives everyone economic security. To the 
extent that this is true (and it is not strictly true), it has been cor- 
rectly pointed out that the security is analogous to that existing 
witKm a prison. Much of the employment is in forced-labor camps 


and slave gangs. All labor is tied serf-like to its assigned job. But the 
fact that everyone not only may but must work to live does not at 
all by itself mean "job-security." Not only all workers under com- 
munism, but all subjects of a communist state — even the members 
of the privileged strata — have in reality a maximum of insecurity in 
their jobs, because of the fact that political intervention may at any 
moment snatch them away to another job, or to purging, exile, or 

At the same time, directly contrary to the propaganda myths, the 
communist economy eliminates every significant economic freedom. 
Deficient and often empty as economic freedoms have been under 
capitalism, they have at least included some measure of the rights to 
select or reject a given job, to quit, to start on one's own initiative 
a new line of work or new enterprise, the not inconsiderable right 
to fail without its being a penal offense, to criticize, organize, dem- 
onstrate and strike, to show numerous kinds of economic initiative. 
Besides these and other similar rights, there is the large and little 
recognized element of economic democracy which springs from the 
exercise of selective consumer preference : that is, by deciding, in the 
mass, what they wish to buy and not to buy, the general population, 
functioning as consumers, can direct, within limits but not incon- 
siderably, the course of economic enterprise. 

Under communist economy, all of these rights and freedoms are 
done away with, and must be, for the same reason that compels total 
centralization. These freedoms interfere with deliberate centralized 
control. In the organizational forms which embody them, they pro- 
vide foundations for potential political opposition. Under com- 
munism, there can be no independent organization of labor or of 
technical and administrative personnel. Each man in industry must 
be assigned to his job, and must change only with political permis- 
sion. No one can, of his own volition, initiate any enterprise. 
Ostensible unions and technical associations must be agencies of the 
communist control, not of their members. No strikes or other inde- 
pendent labor demonstrations can be tolerated. The central direction, 
not consumer preference, must decide what will be produced. The" 
relation of labor as a whole to the communist state becomes analo- 
gous to that of serfs to their feudal lord, without the mitigating 


effect o£ feudal social and religious custom or the reciprocal obliga- 
tions assumed by the lord toward his serfs. 

If material standards are not the whole of economic values, still 
less are economic values the whole of human values. The evidence 
from experience is that the world victory of communism would 
mean the destruction of all those values which have been most dis- 
tinctively cherished in the tradition of Western Civilization, as well 
as of a number of still more general values which Western Civiliza- 
tion shares, in aspiration, with such other civilizations as the Chinese 
and Indian. I want to be sure that I am here understood to be mak- 
ing an objective prediction, not in any degree a flourish of rhetoric. 
I am stating a fact, not expressing an attitude. 

I do not at all mean that Western Civilization, or any civilization, 
has ever adequately realized these values. I recognize, even, that 
their moral worth might be challenged, and that they might be 
judged better destroyed. Nevertheless, it is true that certain clusters 
of values have throughout the history of our culture functioned as 
at least partially operative ideals, and have thereby conditioned at 
least to some degree the forms of our social and individual life, and 
have defined our conceptions of the meaning and goal of humanity. 

Chief among these ideals are those which assert the absolute value_ 
of the single human person, of the individual. In the tradition of 
CKrTstiarrity, this is expressed through the doctrines of individual 
moral responsibility, guilt, conscience, and personal immortality, 
with "the consequent conviction that personal salvation is the su- 
preme goal of each^ human being. In the secular mode, similar' 
attitudes are expressed in the doctrines of traditional democracy and 
liberalism. Applying these ideals, we derive, as guides and tests for 
the good life and the good society, the further values of personal 
freedoms and personal dignity. 

Communist ideology and communist practice alike entail the de- 
struction of these ideals of the supreme worth of the human person, 
of personal freedom and dignity. The subordination of the person 
to the collectivity, the state, the Party, the Revolution, the historic 


process becomes not merely an occasional necessity but a highest 
duty and a permanent norm; and not merely the subordination but 
the degradation of the individual. It is not carelessness but settled 
policy and integral ideal that toss away millions of lives to achieve 
quick agricultural collectivization, or rapid industrialization, that in 
a purge sweep ten million individuals into slave labor, that fight a 
war with oceans of blood substituted for machines and strategy, that 
uproot millions — from the Baltic States or Poland or the Volga or 
the Sudetenland or the Ukraine — from their homes and families, 
that pass laws holding families responsible for individual crimes, 
that in the interests of immediate political tactic turn the workers 
of Germany or Austria over to Nazism without struggle, that sacri- 
fice the people of Spain or China or of a thousand trade unions to 
the insistence on a communist monopoly of all power. The Moscow 
Show Trials revealed what has always been true of the communist 
morality : that it is not merely the material possessions or the life of 
the individual which must be subordinated, but his reputation, his 
conscience, his honor, his dignity. He must lie and grovel, cheat and 
inform and betray, for communism, as well as die. There is no 
restraint, no limit. The slave must not merely obey but praise his 
master; and the master is himself crushed in his own chains. 

Our culture has, again, always held in one or another mode the 
ideal of an objective truth as the guide and goal, beyond the limits 
of our passions and interests, of our inquiries. In Christian theology 
this standard of truth appears as the archetypical ideas in the Divine 
Mind, the eternal laws of the universe decreed by the Omnipotent 
God. Throughout the secular tradition of post-Renaissance science, 
an analogous standard of truth is implicit in the humility before 
independent factual evidence that pervades scientific method. For 
communist doctrine and communist practice, truth, as merely an- 
other weapon in the class struggle, becomes a political tool. The 
Party can (as it has) declare the theory of relativity or the Men- 
delian laws of heredity false, because "counter-revolutionary," as 
readily as it doctors statistics or re-writes history or invents a new 
childhood for Stalin. What communists call "mechanical logic" — 
that is, the rules of objective inference and proof, the rules jJiat per- 
mit us to test for truth and falsity — is replaced by "dialectical loglcT*^" 


The law o£_dialectical logic is. simply that whatever serves the inter- 
ests o£ communist power is true. 

Though, in our history and in all histories, might has no doubt in 
practice ordinarily determined what the laws decree to be right, we 
have always rebelled against the belief that might is in truth right, 
and have asserted in action as well as in thought the claims of a 
superior right against existing might. Antigone, appealing to the 
laws written in the stars against the might of Creon, is a heroine for 
us as well as for the Hellenes. But for communist ideology, as well 
as its action, the distinction itself is obliterated. The final proof of- 
fered that communist power is right, and all the means used to 
advance that power, is the proclaimed inevitability of communist 

These, then, are among the costs that must be assessed against 
those gains which would result from the victory of a communist 
World Empire. If to some, and I think there are some, it will.appear 
bettgLjhat mankind should altogether perish than that communism 
should thus conquer, there will, I believe, be many, increasingly 
many persons in the United States and everywhere who will feel 
that these costs are not too high. 

 < go to Contentslo. - The Main Line of World Politics 

THE GREAT CAPTAINS of military history, varied as they have 
been in every other respect, have all been noted for their grasp of 
what military w^riters call "the key to the situadon." At each level 
of military struggle, from a brief skirmish to the grand strategy of 
a war or series of wars, they have understood that there is one 
crucial element which is this key to the situation. The key may be 
almost anything: a ford across a river, or a hill Hke Cemetery Ridge 
at Gettysburg; a swift blow at the enemy reserve, or the smashing 
of the enemy fleet as at Trafalgar or Salamis; stiflE discipline on the 
flanks as at Cannse, or a slow strangling blockade for an entire war; 
a long defensive delay to train an army or win an ally, or a surprise 
attack on a capital; control of the seas, the destruction of supplies, 
or the capture of a hero. 

The great captain concentrates on the key to the situation. He 
simplifies, even over-simplifies, knowing that, though the key alone 
is not enough, without it he will never open the door. He may, if 
that is his temperament, concern himself also with a thousand de- 
tails. He never allows details to distract his attention, to divert him 
from the key. Often he turns the details, which in quantitative bulk 
total much larger than the key, over to his subordinates. That is why 
the genius of the great captain is often not apparent to others. He 
may seem a mere figurehead, indolent, lethargic, letting the real 
work be done by those around him. They fail to comprehend that 
the secret of his genius is to know the key, to have it always in 
mind, and to reserve his supreme exertion for the key, for what 
decides the issue. 

The principles of political struggle are identical with those of 
military struggle. Success in both political knowledge and political 
practice depends finally, as in military affairs, upon the grasp of the 
key to the situation. The exact moment for the insurrection, the one 
issue upon which the election will in reality revolve, the most vul- 



nerable figure in the opposition's leadership, the deeply felt complaint 
that will rouse the masses, the particular concession that will clinch 
a coalition, the guarded silence that will permit an exposure to be 
forgotten, the exact bribe that will open up a new Middle Eastern 
sphere of influence, the precise hour for a great speech : at each stage 
and level of the political process there is just one element, or at most 
a very small number of elements, which determines, which decides. 

The great political leader (who is often also a great captain) — 
Pericles or the elder Cato or Mohammed or Csesar or Henry of 
Navarre or Bismarck or Hamilton or Lenin or Innocent III or the 
younger Pitt — focuses on the key. He feels whether it is a time for 
expansion or recovery, whether the opposition will be dismayed or 
stimulated by a vigorous attack, whether internal problems or ex- 
ternal affairs are taking political precedence. He knows, in each 
political phase, what is the central challenge. 

During the late 12th and for most of the 13th centuries, the 
Papacy struggled with the Hohenstaufen Empire, and concluded by 
destroying the Hohenstaufen. For all of Italy that struggle was in 
those times the key to the general political situation, no matter how 
it appeared to those whose political sense was distracted by tempo- 
rary and episodic details. For the first generation of the 5th cen- 
tury B.C., the political key in the Aegean was the attempt of Persia 
to conquer the Hellenic world. All of the contests among the Greek 
states, and all their internal city squabbles, were in reality subordi- 
nate to the relation with Persia. For a generation in America, until 
it was decided by the Civil War, the key was the struggle for a 
united nation. Everything else in politics, foreign or domestic, was 
secondary. For Western Civilization as a whole at the turn of the 
19th century, the key was the contest between England and France. 
England won, perhaps, because her governing class concentrated on 
the key, whereas Napoleon, only vaguely glimpsing the key with its 
shaft of sea power, dissipated his energies. 

For a given nation, the political key is located sometimes among 
internaTPsometiines among foreign affairs. For the United States, 
the key during most of its independent history has been internal: 
union or slavery or the opening of the West or industrialization or 
monopoly. For England, quite naturally, it has been more ordinarily, 


though by no means always, an external relation. It may be the 
church or the army or the peasant problem, or, for a brief period, a 
spectacular scandal like the Dreyfus affair or the South Sea Bubble 
or Teapot Dome. 

We have entered a period of history in which world politics take 
precedence over national and internal politics, and in which world 
politics literally involve the entire world. During this" period, nOw 
and until this period ends with the settlement, one way or another, 
of the problems which determine the nature of the period, all of 
world politics, and all of what is most important in the internal 
politics of each nation, are oriented around the struggle for world 
power between Soviet-based communism and the United States. 
This is now the key to the political situation. Everything else is sec- 
ondary, subordinate. 

The key is, much of the time, hidden. The determining struggle is 
not apparent in the form of individual political issues, as they arise 
week by week. The deceptive surface is the cause of the political 
disorientation and futility of so many of the observers and actors, 
which so particularly infect the citizens and leaders of the United 
States. They base their ideas and actions on the temporary form of 
political events, not on the controlling reality. 

Yugoslavia disputes with Italy over Trieste. Chiang Kai-shek 
fights with Chou En-lai over North China. Armenians begin to 
clamor for an independent Armenia. The new Philippine govern- 
ment confronts a revolt of the Hukbalahaps. Poland argues with 
Mexico in the Security Council. The French Cabinet calls for an 
immediate break with Franco. Harry Lundberg and the communists 
fight for control of the United States waterfront. The American 
Labor Party and the Liberal Party jockey for position in New York 
State. The British Communists apply for admission to the Labour 
Party. The World Federation of Trade Unions demands an official 
voice in the United Nations. The International Harvester Company 
objects to sending tractors to the Balkans. Japanese printers' unions 
refuse to set up editorials they don't like. Sweden signs a commercial 
agreement with Moscow. The United States asks for bases in Iceland 
or the Azores. Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania arm and succor 
Macedonian partisans. Joseph Clark Baldwin, ousted by the New 


York Republicans, is endorsed by Vito Marcantonio. Australia ob- 
jects to the veto power. 

The eyes of the public become entangled in the many-colored sur- 
face. The exact ethnic complexion of Venezia Giulia is debated with 
ponderous statistics. Owen Lattimore proves at length that Chiang 
is not quite democratic and that many peasants support Yenan. 
Arthur Upham Pope explains that there are reactionary landlords in 
Iran. Henry Wallace describes the geography of Siberia. The Nation 
catalogues the villainies of Franco. PM sturdily denounces the 
crimes of Greek Royalists. The New Republic gives the history of 
agricultural oppression in the Philippines. The innocent bystanders 
send in their dollars, join committees, and sign open letters. 

The statistics and records and swarms of historical facts are 
admirable enough to have at hand. But by themselves they are 
shadows, ashes. If we do not look through them to the living body, 
the focal fire, we know nothing. If we do not grasp that Trieste and 
Thrace, and Armenia and Iran and North China and Sweden 
and Greece are the border marches between the communist power 
and the American power, and that all the statistics and records are 
filigree work on the historical structure, then we know nothing. We 
know less than nothing, and we fall into the trap which those who 
do know deliberately bait with all the statistics and records. It is 
their purpose to deceive us with the shadows and to prevent us 
from seeing the body. If we do not know that the American Labor 
Party has nothing to do with America or with Labor or with any of 
the issues stated in its program and speeches, but is simply a dis- 
guised colony of the communist power planted within the enemy 
territory, then, politically, we know nothing. If we do not under- 
stand that the World Federation of Trade Unions is merely a device 
manipulated by the N.K.V.D. to further the communist objective 
of infiltrating and demoralizing the opponents in the Third World 
War, then we have not begun to realize what is at issue in the 
world. The central point is not whether Chiang is a democrat — 
though that too is an important point — but that he is, in his own 
fashion, a shield of the United States against the thrust of com- 
munist power out of the Heartland. The debates in the Security 
Council are not really over the absurd procedural ritual that appears 


on the surface of the minutes. The ritual is like a stylized formal 
dance reflecting in art the battle of the Titans. 

Walter Lippmann, after a tour of Europe in the Spring of 1946, 
told us in a widely publicized series of articles that the main issue of 
world politics was the contest between England and the Soviet 
Union, which was coming to a head in the struggle over Germany. 
The United States he found to be in the comfortable position of an 
impartial umpire who could generously intervene to mediate and 
settle the dispute. Mr. Lippmann was right in insisting on the cru- 
cial present role of the fight for Germany. But one look at the 
political map of Europe, with a side-glance at the state of India and 
the British colonies, should be enough to demonstrate that England 
could not possibly stand up as principal in a challenge to the com- 
munist power. England in Germany, whatever her intentions, func- 
tions as a detachment of the greater power which is the only existing 
rival in the championship class. If it were really England, and if the 
pressure of the United States were withdrawn from the European 
arena, the decision over Germany would long since have been 
C^ The determining facts are merely these : Western Civilization has 
reached tHe stage in it"s development that calls for the creation of its 
Universal Empire. The technological and institutional character of 
Western Civilization is such that a Universal Empire of Western 
Civilization would necessarily at the same time be a World Empire. 
In the world there are only two power centers adequate to make a 
serious attempt to meet this challenge. The simultaneous existence 
of these two centers, and only these two, introduces into world po- 
litical relationships an intolerable disequilibrium. The whole prob- 
lem is made incomparably sharper and more immediate by the 
discovery of atomic weapons, and by the race between the two 
power centers for atomic supremacy, which, independently of all 
other historical considerations, could likewise be secured only 
through World Empire. 

One of the two power centers is itself a child, a border area, of 
Western Civilization. For this reason, the United States, crude, awk- 
ward, semi-barbarian, nevertheless enters this irreconcilable conflict 
as the representative of Western culture. The other center, though it 


has already subdued great areas and populations o£ the West, and 
though it has adapted for its own use many technological and or- 
ganizational devices of the West, is alien to the West in origin and 
fundamental nature. Its victory would, therefore, signify the reduc- 
tion of all Western society to the status of a subject colony. Once 
again, the settled peoples of the. Plains would bow to the yoke of the 
erupting Nomads of the Steppes. This time the Nomads have 
taken care to equip themselves from the arsenal of the intended 
slaves. The horses and dogs have been transformed into tanks and 
bombs. And this time the Plains are the entire Earth. 

Between the two great antagonists there is this other difference, 
that may decide. The communist power moves toward the climax 
self-consciously, deliberately. Its leaders understand what is at stake. 
They have made their choice. All their energies, their resources, their 
determination, are fixed on the goal. But the Western power gropes 
and lurches. Few of its leaders even want to understand. Like an 
adolescent plunged into his first great moral problem, it wishes, 
above all, to avoid the responsibility for choice. Genuine moral prob- 
lems are, however, inescapable, and the refusal to make a choice is 
also a moral decision. If a child is drowning at our feet, to turn 
away is to decide, as fully as to save him or to push him under. It 
is not our individual minds or desires, but the condition of world 
society, that today poses for the Soviet Union, as representative of 
coffifnumsrn, and for the United States, as representative of Western 
Civiliza'tToh, tTie issue of world leadership. No wish or thought of 
ours can charm this issue away. 

This issue will be decided, and in our day. In the course of the 
decision, both of the present antagonists may, it is true, be destroyed. 
But one of them must be. 

  < go to Contents


11. The Renunciation of Power   < go to Contents>

IF OUR SUPREME AIM were in truth to solve finally the prob- 
lems of atomic weapons, of war and politics, to bring into the world 
a universal and permanent peace, then the way through which that 
aim might be fulfilled would not be obscure. The way, the only 
way, has been known for a long time. It has been repeatedly told to 
us in all the thousands of variations on the winged words that we 
link to the names of Christ and Buddha and Confucius and St. 
Francis and Lao-tse. 

We may have peace, permanent peace, when, and only when, we 
are ready to renounce power, to renounce it totally, absolutely. This 
is the way, and there is no other way. 

With the renunciation of power, the problems of politics, politics 
itself and war which is part of politics, cease even to exist, since 
politicsis. nothing but the struggle for power. But this can be only 
when the renunciation is total. So long as there is any impurity in 
cur aim,'s6 long as there is anything other than peace itself that we 
will not sacrifice, then the time will come when our wants will clash 
with the wants of others. We will be step by step driven to a judg- 
ment by force. 

If I seek for nothing, I cannot lose in my search. If in my own 
sour there is no sense of material possession, then who can rob me? 
If liberty and family and life itself are as nothing to me beside the 
absolute sin of power, then who can enslave or oppress me? 
Through the renunciation of power, I become immune to power. 
Through absolute renunciation, I become absolutely free, because my 
freedom is of another kingdom, not of this world. 



The renunciation o£ power has this peculiar distinction: that it is 
a revolution within the individual soul. It is thus a revolution that 
each individual human being can carry through for himself, to the 
end. I do not have to compromise and delay, to calculate probabili- 
ties, study social forces, educate and organize, wait for the world 
and thereby surrender to the world. I can act alone, because the 
source and end of the action, because the Kingdom of God, is 
within us. 

There is, I think, a remarkable symptomatic significance in the 
revival of interest in mystical forms of religion which has become 
apparent in Western society during recent years. Religion which is 
organized into churches descends through the fact of social organi- 
zation from the City of God into the City of the World, It is thereby 
enmeshed, necessarily, in the struggle for power. Mysticism, derived 
through the individual's inmost experience, alone with the Alone, 
joins naturally anH invariably with the renunciation of power. 

We find this movement toward mysticism expressed, to begin 
with, in those most sensitive of all historical barometers, the ad- 
vanced intellectuals. Gerald Heard, Aldous Huxley, Ignazio Silone, 
Evelyn Waugh, are only better known names that represent a much 
wider stratum among the younger , intellectuals of most of the 
Western nations. Within the ranks of the organized churches, both 
Catholic and Protestant, the same phenomenon is found, often 
rather disturbing to the established hierarchies. Part of the impulse 
in the rise of movements like the French Existentialism and Dolor- 
ism, the neo-Protestant turn toward Kierkegaard, the swing among 
some Catholic theologians away from Thomism toward (as a first 
stop) Augustine and Platonism, is not unrelated. The impulse filters 
down and is commercialized by middlebrow writers who turn out 
books with a "mystical angle" that are chosen by the book societies 
and reach the top of the best seller lists. 

Like everything else among us, mysticism becomes a racket. Few 
even of the best of the individuals who turn toward it win through 
to the end of the way; there is usually a Hollywood contract or a 
profitable anthology that pushes up in the mystic desert. These dregs 
of the City of the World should not, however, obscure for us the 
reahty of this fresh flow of mysticism out of that spiritual well 


which repeatedly, in periods analogous to ours, has sent its waters 
to the surface. Confronted with a social crisis which seems over- 
whelming in its proportions, which seems insurmountable by any 
means drawn from empirical analysis and practical calculation, men, 
or some men, seek to vault beyond the crisis through the way o£ 
mysticism and its total renunciation of power. 

The mystic revolution, for the individual who makes it, does solve, 
and solve permanently, the problems of politics and war and atomic 
weapons, as it solves every material problem. The world of matter, 
the social world, become Maya — illusion. The soul, drawn into the 
timeless reality of the mystic Nirvana, need no longer be troubled 
by the grotesque fantasies of Maya. Against this solution of him who 
has taken the mystic way, there can be no relevant argument. 

Nevertheless, Maya, even if illusion, remains, for others, after its 
own fashion. The mystic is exempt from argument only while he 
stays within the mystic world of his own soul. When he speaks, 
or we still ask, about that other world of mountains and valleys and 
cities, of machines and nations and classes, we must still apply the 
severe and relentlessly non-mystical criteria of natural reason, if we 
want reliable answers to our questions. 

These will readily enough indicate to us that the program of the 
renunciation of power, unassailable for the self-isolated individual, 
would solve the social and historical problems of politics and war 
only if everyone everywhere made the renunciation. For me, my 
own renunciation of power may be enough. But if my still worldly 
neighbor has not joined me in my renunciation, then robbery, cheat- 
ing, exploitation, murder will still exist in the historical world if not 
in mine : his acts, namely against me. If all the people of the Argen- 
tine renounced power there would still, after all, be the Uruguayans, 
who would then think their neighbors only the easier picking. 

The universal, total renunciation of power by human beings is 
not, perhaps, logically inconceivable. I do not think, however, that I 
heed give detailed proof that it is so wildly improbable that its 
realization would be a miracle beyond all bounds even of imagina- 


tive speculation. It would mean, as Arnold Toynbee notes, the trans- 
formation o£ human society to an entirely new level, at least as far 
removed from our type of civilization as this is removed from 
primitive culture. Perhaps, as Toynbee thinks, this transformation, 
foreshadowed by the teachings of the great reHgions and the lives 
of some of their saints, is the goal of human history. If so, it is a 
goal with which we have at present no contact, not even by the most 
delicate spiritual radar. We cannot, therefore, rely on its aid for our 

Let us suppose that the persons not of the whole world but of a 
single nation renounced power absolutely. They would no longer, 
of course, be a nation, because a nation is itself a form of organized 
coercion and power. For them, we know in advance, it would mean 
a total enslavement. We should not, with historical experience be- 
fore us, fool ourselves with the illusion that, because of the passivity 
of the slaves, this slavery would be less than the most harsh. Perhaps 
it would be better, morally better, to be thus enslaved, beaten, tor- 
tured, starved, than to take for defense to the sword — in particular 
to this horrible new sword which the nuclear physicists have fash- 
ioned for us. Perhaps we may even grant that if the people of a 
single great nation should freely make that sacrifice they would 
through their example, in time, in a very long time, draw behind 
them the other peoples of the world. 

Nevertheless, the probable fact, so highly probable that it is a his- 
torical certainty, remains that this people does not exist. For the citi- 
zens of a single great nation to make the ultimate renunciation 
would be a miracle as much beyond any rational speculation as the 
miracle of universal renunciation. We can pray for miracles, but the 
wish for their occurrence cannot guide rational social thought or ra- 
tional social practice. Miracles are what even theologians call Acts 
of Gratuitous Grace, whicE~we"neTther deserve nor have the right 

Tf,'"therefore, we wish to base our reasoning upon experience and 
the facts of the real world, ^i/e must give up the hope for a "perma- 
nent solution" of the problems of war arid politics, in general and in 
the newly acute form these now take through the advent of atomic 
weapons. We know what the only possible permanent solution is. 


We know that men are not going to accept that solution. When we 
nevertheless continue to adhere to the idea of a permanent solution, 
and when we construct a program in the light of that idea, we not 
only delude ourselves, but we fail to advance in the humbler task 
which is possible: the discovery of temporary and partial solutions. 
A man with a small business would be evidently foolish if he held 
out for non-existent million dollar propositions, and meanwhile went 
bankrupt through rejecting thousand dollar customers. 

Nothing we can do will guarantee permanent peace. Nothing will 

nTake~i"t"certaih that atomic weapons will not some day wipe out 

civilization and mankind. We can, however, take steps that will 

either postpone war, or make it less totally destructive, or give the 

— > best chance for a favorable outcome. If we cannot make certain that 

atomic weapons will not destroy us, we can at least take steps to 

make it less certain that they will. Moreover, i n spite of widespread 

/^romantic notions to the contrary, it has always seemed to me that 

J smaller, shorter and easier wars are, as a rule, better than bigger, 

"^ \ longer and more difficult wars. And, if by "winning a war" we mean 

C the outcome most favorable to what we believe in, it seems better to 

win a war than to lose it. 

What is called "public opinion" is a set of changing ideas and 
feelings that are incompatible with each other. The ideas include 
truths, half-truths, and errors; the feelings mix good with vicious 
impulses. There are few individuals capable of the mystic way, with 
its renunciation of power, which is reserved, after all, for saints. 
Watered versions of the attitude which has led to the mystic search 
are, however, reflected today in the complex of "public opinion." 

We constantly hear and read condemnation of "power politics." 
j^We are constantly told that the goal of national and international 
'' policy is, or ought to be, "peace." These two beliefs are at present 
accepted almost as axioms. They are always good for an editorial, a 
column, a speech, or a book on world affairs. They represent, how- 
ever, a profound confusion, an insurmountable barrier to clarity in 
political analysis or adequacy in pohtical proposals. 

"Power politics" is the only kind of politics there is. The idea of 


some sort of "politics" that would not be "power politics" is empty, 
self-contradictory. When someone condemns "power politics," it is 
a sign either that he doesn't know what poUtics is about, or that he 
is objecting to someone else's power politics while simultaneously 
camouflaging his own. 

Equally mistaken is the idea that "peace" can be the controlling 
objectrve"of"'political policy. Peace can be, as we have seen, the 
supreme objective of afTlndividual person's moral life. It cannot be 
the dominant goal of an organized social group, such as a nation, 
because that would be the equivalent of a decision by the group to 
dissolve, to commit suicide. The group (a nation, for example) 
exists as an organized structure of institutionalized interests which 
bind together and define the members of the group. These interests 
are under continuous attack from corrosive influences within the 
group itself and from the external pressure of other groups. Some of 
these interests are secondary, and can be thwarted without major 
damage to the group as a distinct social entity. But if the major 
interests, and the institutions which embody them, are negated, then 
the group simply does not exist any longer. The nation, if a nation 
is in question, is absorbed into another nation, or its people are dis- 
persed into the social wilderness. The individual human beings who 
previously constituted the nation may still exist; but the nation has 

To mak e peace the sup reme objective of national policy would 
mean in effect to decide that the major interests and institutions — 
that isj^the elements which make the nation a nation, which give it 
historical existence— will not be defended. Since the circumstances 
of social life make it certain that the pressures, both internal and ex- 
ternal, against these interests and institutions will continue to op- 
erate, this decision would mark the cessation of the nation's "will to 
exist." At the first crisis, which would not be long delayed, such a 
nation would be obliterated. There have been a number of examples 
of nations which reached this point, and from there went on to 
oblivion. Modern France was perilously close to it in 1939-40, as was 
indicated by the half-cynical but widely mentioned French slogan 
of those days : "It is better to lose a war than to fight one." 

Because peace cannot be the supreme objective of policy, it does 


not follow, as some fascist theoreticians have argued, that war must 
be. Peace cannot be. War may be, and in the case of some nations, 
has been. What more strictly follows is merely that a nation (or any 
comparable social group) must be willing to fight. It must be willing 
to fight whenever those m~af6r~ihterests and institutions, which 
define it as a distinct group and without which it would not exist 
as a nation, are seriously threatened. It may consider peace, among 
other things, as on the whole preferable, and therefore seek to pre- 
vent the occurrence of such a situation. But such situations will 
nevertheless occur. The nation must then be willing to fight, if 
necessary must in fact fight. Peace can never be more than the by- 
product of a policy which has, for the time being, succeeded in de- 
fending the major interests by means other than war. 

It is a popular view that those persons who exhaust their rhetoric 
in denunciations of power politics and war, in pledges of allegiance 
to "understanding" and peace, are "moral," "idealistic," and "good"; 
whereas the unregenerate few who insist on analyzing politics in 
terms precisely of the struggle for power, who are less concerned 
with praising permanent peace than with securing a temporary 
truce or charting the course of an approaching war, are "cynical" 
and "bad." If we judge only in terms of subjective motivation, there 
may be something to be said for this view. It is perhaps a tribute to 
man's moral nature that he so often allows his conscience to blind 
him to reality. However, if our concern is with consequences rather 
than with motives, there is a case for the cynics. Unfortunately, we 
do not get rid of cancer by calling it indigestion. 

It is advisable to observe, so far as consequences go, that the rhet- 
oricians of peace are not the best servants of their own avowed 
cause. You do not eliminate the conflicts between nations and 
classes by denying their existence. You merely make it that much 
harder to discover actions that might eliminate or lessen, if they can 
be eliminated or lessened, those conflicts. You do not stop an ap- 
proaching war by closing your eyes to it. You merely make it more 
likely that you will miss any chance there may be of averting it; 
and, if it does still come, that you will lose it. In practice, the tran- 
scendental ideals of the mystic renunciation of power, mixed into 
the vague impure medley of pubUc opinion, result in self-deception 


and irresponsibility. An impossible program is always irresponsible, 
because it cannot function in practice as a guide to real action. It 
ends up as an excuse for doing nothing, or as a cloak for doing some- 
thing quite different from what the program advertises. 

We have entered a period of history during which the attempt is 
to be made to organize world dominion, a^World Empire. There 
are, however, only two power-groupings capable oFlnaKing the 
attempt seriously: one led by communism with its Soviet base, and 
the other potentially under United States leadership. In these cir- 
cumstances, there are only three general alternatives from which the 
choice of each person must be madeTEven if he does not choose 
consciously and deliberately at all, or thinks in his own mind that he 
is choosing some fourth alternative, his actions in their practical 
consequences will favor one or another of just these three. 

/ He may renounce pov/er, and thus political life. If he does this 
genuinely and^ITthe way, then the catastrophes of politics and war 
will be for him like the merely material catastrophes of avalanche 
or earthquake or tidal wave, without moral significance. They may, 
quite probably will, overwhelm his physical being, but he will be 
morally outside of them. 

O' He m ay believe that a communist World Empire is the best solu- 
tion. If he does and is morally consistent, then he should act to make 
the triumph of the communist Empire as quick and as painless as 
may be. 

y If he rejects the communist Empire, and is not prepared for ulti- 
mate renunciation, then there is nothing left for him — and this will 
happen, whether or not he wills it — but to join the attempt to block 
the communist Empire by the only means which historical circum- 
stance has placed at our disposal. 

 < go to Contents>


12. Political Aims and Social Facts 144
13. The Break with the Past 150
14. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Defensive 161
15. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Offensive 181
16. The Internal Implementation of Foreign Policy 200
17. World Empire and the Balance of Power 211
18. Is War Inevitable? 222

< go to Contents>  

  12. Political Aims and Social Facts 

IT MAY BE that the course of history, of social and political life, is 

It may be, in other words, that the laws of historical 
development are independent of any influence from human reason 
or voluntary human choice. 

The growth and decline of peoples, the 
rise and fall of civilizations, the spread and dissolution of churches, 
all may occur in some sequence that has no causal reference to our 
own rational nature. 

Many philosophers have thought so, and have 
traced the causal root of history to
- the Will of an Absolute God 
- or to rainfall, 
- to Destiny 
- or Race 
- or the accidental meetings of atoms. 

If so, then all political debate and all discussion of social reform, 
all our arguments and supposed decisions about elections and wars 
and statutes and revolutions, are neurotic illusions, meaningless 
scrawls on a blank facade. 

All, then, that we could intelligibly do 
about history would be to contemplate it with a detached aesthetic 

This may be so, but we must, and we do, assume that it is not so.
We believe, and we cannot help believing, that what we think and 
decide makes some difference to the course of history. 

The question then arises: how much difference? 

We must beware of this assumption of ours. 

If we assume, and are perhaps justified 
in assuming, that our thoughts and decisions make some difference 
to history, it does not follow that they make very much difference.

It is, indeed, fairly easy to demonstrate that they make, at most, 
very little difference. 

If we have any freedom in relation to the 
course of history, to political and social affairs, it is a narrowly 
restricted freedom. 

Each of us, and each generation of us, comes into a world that is 
not our handiwork. 

From one point of view it is merely there, given 
as the scene and condition of our existence. 

We are not responsible 
for the stars or the oceans or the atoms, or for the density of the 
elements, the energy of nuclei, or the modes of operation of our 
own organism. 

Nor are we responsible for the houses that we find 
already built, the cities and factories and temples, the veins of ore 
that others have opened, the land that others have cleared, the tools 
and the machines that are the products of their ingenuity. 

No more 
are we responsible for the courts and armies and jails already func- 
tioning, the boundaries our fathers have drawn, the whole vast 
frame of thought and feeling, of science and myth and philosophy 
that reaches us out of the long past where we were not. 

The ponderous but moving weight of the world, the social as well as the 
material world, is, for us, a brute and alien fact. 

It is a snowball, not 
rolled by us, grown already monstrous when we come upon it, 
moving now under the compulsion of its own inertia. 

The most, surely, that we can propose to ourselves is to alter by a degree or 
two, with the lever of the mind, the direction or rate of its advance. 

 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince  ] 

I think it was Machiavelli who first compared history to a river 
the main course of which we cannot hope to divert, which, when it 
is in violent flood, we cannot in the least resist. 

Our aim must be more humble, using a time when our river is more calm, 
 so that- by bank's, and fences, and other provisions [we may perhaps] 
correct it in such manner [that] when it swells again, it may be carried 
off by some canal, 
 or the violence thereof rendered less licentious and destructive.

These general considerations have a relevance, which is often 
forgotten, to the problem of formulating a deliberate political pro- 

They explain the sense in which most "political programs" are 

They are Utopian because they try to reverse the course of the river. 

 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia ]

Instead of accepting the inherited set of social facts, 
and studying how these may be given a new impetus, a partial redirection,
the programs counter-charge head-on into the social facts. 

In that "direct assault" the programs are sure to be crushed, and the 
brute facts to conquer. 

Noble political longings for a past "Golden Age" turn into the 
 soured disillusion of the reactionary; 
abstract revolutionary idealism is transformed into tyranny. 

Today in this country we are told by a growing number of per- 
sons who are identified by such names as "democratic agrarians" or 
"personalists". that "industrial civilization" has been a mistake, that 
we ought to do away with large cities, and return to a rural culture 
based upon unmechanized family-size farms. 

This program has, in the imagination of the distracted city-dweller, 
a nostalgic emotional appeal. 

It is similar, it may be noted, to the program of the Epicurean movement 
 which flourished in a troubled period of Hellenic 
history analogous to the period in which we live. 

The sufficient comment on any such program is that it is impossible. 

Our cities and machines are not isolated accidents. 

They are integral phases of our entire social scheme and process. 

There is no magic in a noble moral impulse that enables us to wish away our past. 

The good agrarians do not, for instance, stop to reflect that ...
their plan would mean the destruction of four-fifths of the population, 
 in the (impossible) event that it should be put into effect. 

What happens - in practice - is what 
happened also with Epicureanism. 

The "agrarian primitivism" - for the 
common man - becomes the transfer of a few thousand sophisticated 
New Yorkers into the old farms of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, 
where they raise a few vegetables perhaps, and are supported by 
interest or dividends - and by writings paid for by the city publishers. 

Able and persuasive economists - have - of late been proving for us 
the dangers of economic collectivism. 

Their positive proposals are left vague; 
 but the essential meaning is always a return to a genuine market economy 
 and free enterprise. 

Again we must observe that their program is impossible. 

The "free enterprise" which they have in 
mind never did, as a matter of fact, exist anywhere. 

The actual economic relations of a century ago have vanished forever, 
together with the general social conditions which supported them. 

"Collectivism" need not, as I have argued, be identified with totalitarianism; 
 a large dose of some form of "economic collectivism" there is 
from now on certain to be. 

 The specific subject-matter of this book is the present situation in 
world poHtics. 

In Part I the character and tendencies 
o£ the present historical period have been analyzed. 

The general problem has been stated. 
The communist program — that is, the communist solution to 
the general problem — has been given. ( ... in Part I )

The communist program is neither empty nor Utopian. 

It is a genuine "program"" 
because its political aims are in sufficient conformity with the social facts. 

The communists are wrong in believing [that] 
the victory of their aims is "inevitable," 

but - nothing in the social facts makes it impossible. 

Their program, moreover, does provide a solution to the general problem
 ^n the only sense that 
politicafpr^lHrns are ever solved fa temporary and partial but still 
workable solution. 

Any counter^rogram to the communists, if it is to be a genuine 
program, a guide to action, must meet the test of these same criteria.

It must be in sufficient conformity to the social facts. It must actually 
solve, in a measure that would at least be workable, the general 
problem. We have seen, it should be remembered, that any solution 
of the present world political problem, which includes the problem 
of atomic weapons, must be such that it can be realized compara- 
tively quickly. 

We have been compelled, because it did not fulfill these criteria, 
t o rule oii tjyolimtary World Government as a solution. 

We have 
had also to rule out~ahy program the realization of which would 
have to wait for a future several generations or more distant. 

last would include all programs which place their reliance upon the 
gradual spread of proper education, enlightenment, and moral im- 
provement, since, from present indications, that spread is going to 
be very gradual; and all programs whose hopes rest on "social forces" 
that are now inconsiderable, since the development of these to a 
point where they can decisively influence history takes a long time. 

To rule these programs out as solutions for the present world 
political problem does not, of course, mean to abandon them en- 
tirely. They may be adhered to for the long term. 

Meanwhile there is a short-term crisis' 
  that must be met if there is to be any long term. 

You can't re-educate a wicked crew i£ it is going down, to- 
night, on the sinking ship. 

 The international programs of Americans usually have a good 
deal to say about the freedom and equality of all nations, large and 
small, the sanctity of treaties and international law, the rights of 
self-determination, and so on. 

All programs based on such conceptions are also hopeless in the present situation. 

They are hopeless 
because they, too, are completely at variance with social facts. 

History shows that treaties have never lasted, and have never done 
much more than symbolize temporarily existing power relationships. 

During this century they have all become nondescript scraps of 

In serious matters, there cannot be "international law" when 
there is no world state to enforce it. 

For us, "international law" can 
only be what it was at Nuremberg (and what it would have been 
at Moscow and Washington if the other side had conquered) : a 
cover for the will of the more powerful. 

We cannot make all nations equal by calling them equal, 
 or writing their equality into the provisions of a Charter. 

They simply are not equal, and that setdes 
the question. 

The so-called "revolts of small nations" at various international gatherings during the past few years are deceptions. 

The net effect is never anything but 
-- an expression of the alignments of small nations in relation to the great powers. 

All the fuss over the 
"veto power" in the United Nations is energy wasted. 

Whatever the Charter said, 
 the Soviet Union and the United States would always 
have a de facto veto power, because either of them [USSR & US]  is alone immeas- 
urably stronger than the United Nations. 

What an absurdity to think for a moment that Ecuador is equal to the United States, 
or Sweden equal to the Soviet Union! 

And what a preposterous absurdity to imagine - 
[that] the crisis of world politics 
 could ever be solved with the help of such juridical nonsense! 

 For whom can  "a counter-program" to the communist program be 
intended? A program must be addressed to some audience. 

The policies it proposes would have to be implemented by some social agency. 

There is, however, only one suitable agency in the world, 
and no time for the creation of a new agency. A world policy for 
Ethiopia or Belgium or Siam, abstractly unassailable in all respects, 
would be meaningless, because nothing that Ethiopia and Belgium 
 and Siam can do will materially influence the world political crisis.

Tlieonly_^ ... The only
possible policy will have to be implemented primarily 
through the United States government; because - that government - is 
the only agency which might in the next period o£ history channel a 
counter-power adequate to meet the challenge o£ the communist power. 

This does not mean that the program need be directed toward 
the United States government alone. 

A world program presumably 
seeks to recommend itself as widely as possible to the peoples of the 
world — including in this instance, very prominently, the Russian 
people, who must on all occasions be so carefully distinguished 
from the Soviet regime : 

They [the Russian people ] are the primary victims of that regime, 
as they may prove to be the chief immediate instrument of its downfall. 

Such a program will profit also 
 by the acceptance of governments other than the government of the United States. 

But its fate [ the "program's" fate ]
will be decided by the action of the United States. 

This is so 
- because the fate of the world in this epoch will be decided by the United 

The United States alone is capable of drawing together and 
leading the forces- that could prohibit the victory of world communism. 

The aim of the present section of this book is, then, to answer the 
problem stated in Part I. 

Without reference to the question whether 
it ought to be done, or will be done, I shall describe: what could be done. 

That is, I shall formulate, within the limits of the general 
criteria for any genuine "political program", a specific program that 
is both possible to carry out, and adequate to answer — not by any 
means for all time, but for "this historical period" 
— the threat of atomic weapons and the need for world political organization. 

This program is thus in direct opposition to the communist program, 
which is also both possible and adequate. 
 ( It will therefore presuppose a rejection of the communist program.)

Because of the world political position of the United States, such 
a program can only be, first and primarily, a proposal of policy,
 in particular though not exclusively "foreign policy", for the United States. 

It is therefore 
- terms of the United States that the program, will be, for the most part, presented. 

 13. - The Break with the Past 

UNITED STATES foreign policy, from the points of view both of 
national interest and of the world crisis, has for a number of years 
been mistaken in conception, in method, and in content. The first 
requisite for a viable policy is, therefore, a sharp break with the past. 

In the first place, the United States, most of the time, has not 
really had a foreign policy. What it means to have a policy is not 
clearly understood by many of the governmental leaders, or by the 
general public. 

I observed, recently, a typical example of this confusion. I was 
asked to speak professionally, one night, at a meeting of a Republican 
committee. During my remarks, I mentioned that the Republican 
Party did not have a policy, and that it was mistaken in supposing 
that, without a policy, it could count on winning sustained mass 
support by organizational measures and the errors of its opponents. 
In the discussion that followed, several members of the audience not 
only agreed heartily that it was a fine thing to have a policy, but 
told me that the whole matter of policy would soon be taken care 
of. A dozen or two committees had been appointed, they said, and 
were busily gathering statistics on agriculture, foreign trade, labor, 
industry, banking, consumers, and what not. Before long they would 
have their reports in; these would be summarized and put together; 
and there would be the program and policy of the Republican 

It is admirable, granted, for political leaders to be acquainted with 
a maximum of factual information about all relevant subjects. These 
earnest committees, however, could dig away for the facts from 
now until eternity, and they would still not come to the surface 
with a poHcy. A policy is not a set of facts. It is a proposal to do 

something about facts. If the proposal is intelHgent, it will naturally 
take the facts — enough of them, which is much less than all — ^into 
account; but if it is limited to the facts, then it is not a policy. 

A national policy on agriculture does not mean all the detailed 
mass of data about farms and farming and farmers in this country 
and in the world. It means a general directive, or small group of 
inter-related directives, which points to a goal, and which can serve 
as a guide to political action. The objective might be, for instance: 
to improve (or worsen) the economic position of farmers relative 
to the rest of the population; to increase (or decrease) total agricul- 
tural production; to shift from small-scale to large-scale farming, or 
from private to collective farming; to make some major change in 
the kind of crops grown, and so on; or it might be a combination of 
several such general objectives, so long as they are consistent with 
each other. Presumably a policy of this kind ought not to be adopted 
without a sufficient knowledge of agricultural conditions, and with- 
out relating agricultural policy to the national interests as a whole. 
Nevertheless, the facts by^ themselves cannot decide the policy* In-;^ 
deed, we do notknow what facts are relevant, what facts to look 
for, unless we are thinking in terms of policy. 

On the other hand, poHcy should not be confused with the specific 
means that are used to carry out the policy. If our agricultural policy 
were to improve the relative economic position of the farmers, we 
might try to do so by manipulating prices, changing tariffs, giving 
subsidies and bounties, promoting more efficient methods of pro- 
duction, lightening farm taxes and increasing city taxes, opening 
new export markets, squeezing processors and middle men, and so 
on, or by some combination of these. Any one of these particular 
means, however, is "policy" only in a secondary sense. To make 
sense, it has to be related to an over-all policy, consistent and fairly 
simple in conception. Otherwise, the various means will very likely 
have opposite effects, cancel each other out, and lead nowhere but 
to confusion. This, it may be added, is a result by no means infre- 
quent in this country's conduct of its affairs. 

What I have been saying applies directly to the problem of foreign 
policy. It is imagined that the nation can have a "sound foreign 
policy" by setting up, in the State Department, a "Yugoslavian desk" 


and an "Argentine desk" and a "Siamese" and forty other "desks"; 
and then grouping these desks together according to elegant and 
comphcated charts until, at the top of the page, you have presumably 
The World, presided over by the Secretary of State, as deputy for 
the President. 

Linked to each desk, at home and in the field, will be specialists, 
experts and research assistants, w^ho will have at their fingertips 
all the facts about their respective provinces. Then, by consult- 
ing the appropriate file or the appropriate specialist, you will auto- 
matically have the answer to any political question that arises 

Under the guidance of no-policy, you will treat each separate prob- 
lem "on its own merits." Canada wants too high a price for copper, 
scTyoli will switch to South Africa. The communist Polish govern- 
ment promises democratic elections, so you will throw the London 
Poles out of the window. Peron is rude to Braden, so you denounce 
Argentina in an official Blue Book. England must export to live, so 
you make them haggle over interest rates on a government loan- 
Jewish votes may decide the next election in the key States, so you 
indulge your demagogic talents on Zionism. The Russians threaten 
to get cross, so you reject your own man and take Lie as Secretary 
General of the United Nations. Chiang Kai-shek is not as demo- 
cratic as he might be, so you tell him he must take communists into 
his government. The communists want to kill all their political 
opponents, so you obligingly turn over to them all who they claim 
are "Soviet citizens" and all whom they accuse — accuse only — of 
"anti-Soviet acts." Franco is a bad man, so one day you condemn 
him in terms that ought to mean immediate war, and the next you 
prevent any serious action being taken against him. One day you 
think Japan should be rebuilt as a buffer against Soviet expansion, 
and the next that Japan should never again have a soldier or a sailor 
or an acre of heavy industry. You won't recognize a friendly French 
government because it was never officially elected; but you will 
recognize a government installed by Red Army bayonets because 
it is a "democratic coalition" — that is, it contains, besides avowed 
communists, disguised communists or communist-captives using the 
labels of three or four parties. You won't ask the Spanish govern- 


ment to join the United Nations because it is undemocratic; and 
you hand over half the world to the most undemocratic government 
that has ever existed. 

It all adds up to approximately nothing at all. Without a policy, 
the most p'erfectlydesigne^d and functioning apparatus in the world 
is as useless as tubes, canvas, easel and brushes without an artist. To 
have a foreign policy would mean for the nation to know what it 
wants in the world, where it intends to go. Without a policy, the 
desks and bureaus and divisions and specialists and consuls and 
diplomats are like the limbs and joints of a puppet, pulled and 
twisted by a thousand unrelated and conflicting strings. A policy is a 
central nervous system, and living blood, pumped from a living 
heart through every artery and vein, integrating into a vital whole 
a purposive organism. 

From the point of view of a genuine foreign policy, you cannot 
isolate each separate problem, and treat it on its own merits, because 
you understand that the merits of each problem can be judged only 
in their relation to the whole. Without policy, separate decisions are 
at cross purposes and get nowhere, or perhaps lead insensibly in a 
direction opposite to our desires. Informed and organized by a 
coherent policy, each decision counts, and moves a step forward in 
a general advance. 

In former times diere was no world polity. That is, active polit- 
ical relationships for most or even all nations did not entangle them 
with all the world, but only with their neighbors or special regions 
where they had special interests. Today every considerable nation 
is in continuous political relationship with every other nation and 
region; every political event of any significance has its effects spread 
everywhere. Foreign policy today, therefore, cannot be divided into 
"policy toward Portugal," "policy toward Peru," "policy toward 
Italy." There must be as a directing conception a world policy. What 
is the aim and the objective, not in relation to this or that problem 
or this or that individual nation, but in and for the world as whole ? 
This is the first and last quesdon that foreign policy today must 

We should further note that a foreign policy does not mean some 
special jewel locked in a top-secret box of the State Department. The 


State Department, plainly, has the principal direct concern with 
foreign policy. But an adequate foreign policy must be the policy 
of the entire government, of all its agencies, and for that matter of 
the entire nation. There must be one and the same policy directing 
all relevant activities of the Departments of War and the Navy and 
Agriculture and Commerce, of the Treasury and the Export-Import 
Bank and the Civil Aeronautics Board and the other great agencies 
and bureaus. In addition, the people, especially the organized groups 
of citizens, must be won to an understanding and acceptance of the 
policy. If not, then there is only the mixed discord of dozens of 
sub-poHcies whose sum is no-policy. 

Moreover, since today foreign policy takes precedence over in- 
ternal policy, since the world political problem is the key to the 
situation, is what decides, it follows that it is impossible to have a 
coherent and effective internal policy without having a coherent and 
effective foreign policy. All major domestic questions — synthetic rub- 
ber or labor or inflation "of anti-Semitism or civil Hberties or food 
production — are today dependent upon world political questions! 

To have a domestic policy we must have a foreign policy. To 
have any poUcy, we must begin by knowing what a policy is. 

A foreign policy, and an altogether correct policy, would still be 
of no use if it were not properly implemented. To put policy into 
practice, there must be men, with sufficient means. 

It is not my intention to discuss the deficiencies, in personnel, 
training and facilities, of what might be called — since it includes 
more than the State Department — the "political department" of the 
government. These are due in part to historical and social charac- 
teristics of the country as a whole. We have not developed a large 
class of persons trained in the required fields of knowledge and 
skills, from which class the government might draw. Nor does Con- 
gress, public opinion, or the State Department itself yet realize that 
the world political tasks, in intelligence, information, propaganda, 
negotiation, scientific research, and the rest, make ridiculously small 
the resources in men, money and physical facilities now devoted to 


them. It is true that better could be done with what is at hand. It 
is not necessary to accept the abundant self-confidence o£ a Wis- 
consin lawyer or even the experience o£ a reasonably successful 
military administrator as perfect qualifications for dealing with the 
shrewdest politicians in history. 

I wish, again, merely to note the fact that the carrying out of any 
given foreign policy demands certain correlated measures in con- 
nection with the armed forces and industry. Granted the policy, the 
determination of just what these measures should be is a technical 
problem. Difficult as it is in this country to get such measures put 
into effect, no special political question is involved. 

I should, however, like to direct particular attention to one factor 
in the implementation of policy which itself has a reciprocal influ- 
ence on the nature of the policy. 

A policy has to be administered and put into effect by human 
beings. In order that the policy should be in practice the operating 
principle of the government, the human beings who administer it 
must act in accordance with it. They must be, that is, loyal to the 

To guarantee such loyalty, reliance cannot be put upon mere 
verbal^ pledges, or even upon honest intentions. Human beings too 
easily deceive themselves. If the whole pattern of a man's life and 
thiiiking runs counter to the policy, he cannot, objectively, be relied 
on to implement it effectively. 

Let me illustrate. If United States foreign policy included the 
perspective of achieving union with Great Britain, it would not be 
well advised to appoint Colonel Robert McCormick as Ambassador 
to the Court of St. James's; nor would Senator Bilbo be the best 
choice as Minister to Liberia. If these examples seem absurd, they 
are no more so than the frequent practice of recent years. There was 
no reason to expect objective information on the situation in Yugo- 
slavia when Communist Party members were planted along the 
chain of intelligence, and sat in an office which funneled secret news. 
Henry Wallace does not seem the most adequate of reporters on 
Soviet Siberia. Can Owen Lattimore, whose writings have in recent 
years proved his adherence to views on China that are often hardly 
distinguishable from those of the communists, be a suitable instru- 


ment for a policy of supporting Chiang? Is there any point in set- 
ting up a Russian desk in an inteUigence unit, or a magazine to 
present the American point of view in Moscow, and then running 
them under the influence of communist fellow-travelers ? What kind 
of propaganda will an O.W.L put out, what kind of information 
on European undergrounds will an O.S.S. receive, when key spots 
throughout their organization are accessible to Communist Party 
members, fellow-travelers, sympathizers, and dupes? Why should 
Negrin, leader of a Spanish faction controlled by the communists, 
be received at the State Department, but the leaders of the Spanish 
anti-communist refugee parties and organizations be refused admit- 
tance? Lombard© Toledano, spearheading communist penetration 
of Latin America, has for years been courted and aided by officials 
of the United States government, as part, presumably, of the policy 
of Continental solidarity. In Germany, the selection of men for both 
civilian and military jobs of the occupation has often disregarded 
prior and deep-seated ideological commitments, so that the policies, 
confused enough to begin with, have repeatedly been reversed in 

The point here is so obvious, that the question cannot help aris- 
ing: why does this happen? We accept the principle that our very 
postmasters — whose technically important function is after all not 
very crucial for the political destiny of the nation — should be not 
merely undividedly American in outlook but members of the Party 
in power. Yet we so often entrust the implementation of our for- 
eign policy, upon which our fate and that of the world directly 
depend, to those who, if they do not deliberately sabotage, are 
hindered by ingrained mental habit from properly carrying out the 

The explanation is, I think, threefold. This happens, in the first 
place, as a result of ignorance. The appointing officials do not know, 
and do not take pains to discover, the habitual commitments of their 
subordinates. This can, of course, occur in connection with any 
policy at any time. There is a more profound ignorance, however, 
that affects operations in the present period. The appointing officials 
do not understand what it means for a person to have, or to be 
strongly influenced by, a totalitarian ideology. Their own political 


ideas occupy a special compartment of their minds. They are con- 
vinced, patriotic Americans, and are ready to change their ideas if 
they feel the national interest requires change. They assume that 
other citizens, in spite of differences in detail, think and believe and 
feel pretty much as they do. They know that they themselves will loy- 
ally carry out the policy decided upon, even if they do not altogether 
agree with it. And they suppose that other citizens will behave as 
they do. They cannot comprehend that a totalitarian ideology is a 
Weltanschauung — a world view and a life view, affecting the inner 
core of one's intellectual and moral being. It cannot be tossed in the 
basket, as one discards a soiled shirt. It is the fixed lens through 
which the believer sees the world, the lever by which he hopes to 
change it. As long as he remains even partially under the ideological 
spell, the beUever will necessarily, even in spite of his own subjective 
wish, act in accordance with the dictates of the ideology, and will 
press into its frame any policy whatsoever. 

Second, the communists and their friends are wonderfully skill- 
ful. Under the cover of their myriad disguises, they can edge through 
even the best guarded gates. They can hide quietly, like a dormant 
germ in the unnoticed marrow, and the organic repercussions of 
their activities can spread so far before discovery that a cure is 
neither quick nor easy. 

A third cause of this tendency to defeat policy by putting its exe- 
cution into the hands of men who cannot be counted on is, perhaps, 
a confusion about the application of democratic procedures. Many 
Americans, including many of our political leaders, feel that a clear, 
firm policy is anti-democratic because, if it is clear and firm, there 
will always be persons who sharply disagree with it. They feel that 
it is dictatorial to dismiss a man from a post because of a disagree- 
ment over policy — though they will not hesitate to appoint or dis- 
miss if the result can be counted in votes. It is true, of course, that 
a democratic nation must permit, in the nation as a whole, the ex- 
pression of opposition policy, and must, periodically, ascertain the 
will of the people with respect to leadership and policy. It does not 
in the least follow that there is any democratic rule against the 
vigorous execution of what is, for the time being, the national policy. 
If an opposition doesn't like it, and has a different policy, that is 


just the bad luck of being an opposition. It will have to wait its 
turn to take over. 

An ordinary business corporation would certainly not permit 
officers, salesmen and supervisory employees to decide, each man for 
himself, whether he will carry out the general plan of operations 
that the corporation has adopted. Anyone who failed to do so would 
be fired. If there were reason to think, on the basis of past experi- 
ence, that someone was incapable of going along with a new plan, 
he would be fired in advance. No one, not even the victims, would 
find that surprising. 

It is not a question of being democratic, but of being effective. If 
democracy cannot be made reasonably effective, it might as well 
quit now. 

Of course, however, it is the content of the policy that most of all 
matters. In content also, the first condition for a United States 
foreign policy that could work is a sharp break with the past. 

During the middle of the '30's, first publicly indicated by Roose- 
velt's Chicago speech in October, 1937, the policy of the government, 
iso far a"S it had any policy at all, came to be based upon the follow- 
ing central ideas: Nazi Germany was the main danger to the na- 
tional interest and to the kind of world political organization that 
the United States wanted. Japan, though secondary in the world as 
a whole, was the main threat to the preferred organization of the 
Pacific. Therefore Germany and Japan had to be stopped. 

I do not propose to examine these ideas of a decade ago. I believe 
that, though they were not altogether false, they were understood 
in so vague and confused a manner that they became disorienting. 
In any case, the United States acted in accordance with them. The 
result should apparently have been the occasion for one hundred 
percent rejoicing. Not only was the immediate danger removed. 
Germany and Japan have been so crushed that neither can ever 
again, in all probability, play a major independent role in world 
politics. The foreign policy adopted in the '30's has, thus, triumph- 
antly succeeded. 

It is unnecessary to stress how bitter is the flavor of this success. 


World communism is today in an immensely stronger position than 
Germany or Japan ever was, and is a far more direct and powerful 
threat to the interests of the United States. The world political situa- 
tion as a whole is immeasura^ply worse than that of a decade ago. 
Something plainly went wrong. 

Insofar as deliberate policy had anything to do with this unhappy 
consequence, it is obvious enough what went wrong. The mistake 
lay primarily in a completely false estimate of communism and 
therefore also of the communist dominated Soviet Union. 

It was thought that communism's revolutionary ideology had de- 
generated into a pious verbal racket used to help Russia's new rulers 
stay in power. It was believed that the Soviet Union could be not 
merely a helpful but a loyal ally in the war, that it would be grate- 
ful for assistance received, and that it would honor its pledges- 
Viewed through the spectacles of this false estimate, Russia was 
found to be growing more democratic and more normal. She was 
going "to resume her rightful place in the family of nations." With 
Germany and Japan out of the way, the world could be reorganized 
for lasting peace and prosperity under the harmonious joint leader- 
ship of the United States and the Soviet Union, with Great Britain 
a junior stockholder, France and China granted prestige posts on 
the Board of Directors, and the little nations given a forum where 
they could harmlessly blow off steam. 

As the blots on this pretty blueprint began to spread, the policy 
did not alter. The Russians were "suspicious," sometimes a bit rude, 
and not always duly appreciative of the favors with which they were 
showered. It became fashionable to say that the main problem of 
postwar world politics was "how to get along with Russia." As soon 
as the United States and the Soviet Union learned how to get along 
together, and they certainly would do so soon, one way or another, 
then everything would be solved. If we gave enough proofs of our 
own good intentions, the Soviet leaders' suspicions would evaporate, 
and the troubles would be over. 

In the Spring of 1946, United States policy seemed to many to 
have somewhat shifted. Undiluted appeasement was mixed with a 
dash of what many believed to be, and called, "getting tough with 
Russia." This shift, however, is of trivial importance. Primarily it is 


a shift in political rhetoric, not in political reality. No law of foreign 
policy is better founded than this: that there is no use talking tough 
unless you are ready to act tough. Nobody is fooled. For that matter, 
there is no use talking tough in any case. So far, the tough talk does 
not seem to have proved much of a hindrance to the communist 
plans. Even if a little real toughness w^ere added, this would still not 
mark any change in the fundamental estimate and perspective. It 
would be merely a minor change in tactics, after discouragement 
with the results of the tactic of total appeasement. 

What is wrong is not this or that tactic, but the basic idea. This 
idea is that, by some means or combination of means, you must and 
will solve the problems of world politics by "getting along with 
Russia," and this is interpreted to mean getting along not with the 
Russian people — who could be friendly enough — but with the com- 
munist regime which now dominates Russia. But the truth, which 
we have analyzed with some care in Part I, is that yoti "can get along 
with communism in only one way: by capitulating to it. 

< go to Contents>

14. - The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Defensive 

WE SEEK, THEN, to formulate a policy which the United States 
could follow, and which would be adequate to the demands of the 
present world political crisis. Though it might be phrased in a 
variety of ways, there is only one such policy. I shall restrict the 
present chapter to a statement of the negative or defensive phase of 
the policy, and reserve the positive or offensive phase for the next 
chapter. This separation is somewhat arbitrary. Defensive and offen- 
sive measures are, after all, only differing tactical applications of a 
single general strategy. However, the distinction is useful for analy- 
sis and exposition. 

The nature of a defensive policy is not an independent problem. 
A proper defense is derivative from the policy of the opponent, and 
is designed to block the fulfillment of that policy. If, therefore, we 
have discovered the opponent's policy, we have thereby indirectly 
learned also the objective of defense. Carrying out the defense may 
be difficult in practice, or even impossible, but we will at least have 
the great advantage of knowing what we are trying to do. If our 
vegetables are under attack from woodchucks, a fence around the 
garden will be a suitable protection. If the attack is from insects or 
birds, however, the fence will be irrelevant. 

For the United States, we know that the opponent is world com- 
munism. We know that the ultimate communist aim is a communist 
World Empire. Therefore, the general defensive goal of United 
States policy must be to prevent the fulfillment of that aim. In 
Chapter 7, we saw that this communist policy, in this present period 
which they interpret as the period of preparation for the open stage 
of the Third World War, reduces to two specific tasks: consolida- 
tion of effective domination of Eurasia, and the infiltration and 



weakening of all countries which cannot be brought under com- 
munist control. 

The specific defensive goals of United States foreign policy in the 
same period can, therefore, only be : to block communist domination 
of Eurasia, and to combat the infiltration. 

The communist drive out of the Heartland toward Eurasian domi- 
nance proceeds, by v/ay of the natural exits, in three general direc- 
tions. It plunges Westward into the European peninsula, across the 
plains of Poland and Eastern Germany, with flanking movements 
on the North via Scandinavia, and to the Southwest through the 
Hungarian gap and up the Danube valley. It presses South, down 
by way of the Iranian plateau. Southwest toward the Dardanelles, 
the Aegean and the Adriatic, Southeast into Afghanistan — waiting 
for disintegration of the Indian political situation for bigger moves 
toward India. Eastward, it marches on the Northern flanks of the 
Eastern Coastland of Eurasia, through the exits into Manchuria, 
Sinkiang and Mongolia, with all of China below. 

The Coastlands of the Eurasian World Island (to continue with 
Mackinder's phraseology), though gravely threatened through the 
breaches already opened, are not yet in communist hands. The first 
part of the Eurasian defensive task is then to secure ahd hold these 
Coastlands. United States policy must aim to prevent the European 
peninsula, Greece, the Middle East, China, India from being incor- 
porated within the communist Eurasian fortress, and must recognize 
Japan as an American outpost off the shores of the World Island. 

Communist control, though powerful, is not yet totally established 
in most areas outside of the 1940 Soviet boundaries. Defensive policy, 
here merging with offensive, must therefore strive to undermine 
communist power in East Europe, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Man- 
churia, northern Korea and China. The further, and implicitly offen- 
sive object of the defensive policy would thus be to reverse the 
direction of the thrust from the Heartland, turning the expansive 
advance into a demoralizing retreat. 

I shall, in this chapter, make only occasional reference to the sec- 
ond defensive task of combating communist infiltration in those 
parts of the world neither dominated nor immediately threatened 
at the present time by outright communist control. What this second 


task means, and the ways in which it could be accomplished if it 
were taken seriously, are for that matter fairly obvious. It may be 
added that one of the most fruitful of these ways of lessening com- 
munist influence everywhere in the world — including very promi- 
nently Russia itself — would be by a notable success in the first (Eura- 
sian) defensive task. Communism in disorderly retreat in Eurasia 
would prove much less appealing than communism in bold advance. 

Two comments might be made on the defensive policy which has 
just been summarized. 

In the first place, the policy might seem so obvious that it should 
be taken for granted without even the bother of stating it. Now I 
confess that, judged in terms of the interests of the United States 
and of a workable solution for the world political crisis, it does seem 
to me almost too obvious to need discussion. Nevertheless, the evi- 
dence proves that during recent years and at present it has not been 
and is not United States policy. 

During many of these years United States policy has been exactly 
the opposite: it has not hindered but furthered communist expan- 
sion on Eurasia; it has not combated but aided communist infiltra- 
tion all over the world, beginning with the United States itself. 

Furthermore, though this defensive task has occasionally or in the 
minds of some leaders been part of United States policy, it has never 
been accepted as the defensive phase of the supreme policy objective. 
This latter qualification is essential. Where the policy has been ac- 
cepted at all, it has always been as only one job among others of 
approximately equal rank. Along with it there goes the need, it is 
figured, of beating out England in the race for markets, of prevent- 
ing a third resurgence of Germany or a second of Japan, of captur- 
ing the bulk of the world merchant marine and air business, of 
overthrowing Franco, of indulging one's emotions about India or 
the East Indies, and so on. Success in the great defensive task, how- 
ever, would require that all such other matters be considered sec- 
ondary, that what is done about them be subordinated to the 
interests of the chief aim. The main present danger is not England 
or Franco or German resurgence; these are not even remote dangers. 


The main goal is not a few extra millions of profit in oil or trans- 
port. These today are trivialities, and should be so treated. 

Moreover, we must keep in mind that the whole isolationist tra- 
dition, still very influential, denies that the United States should 
have any Eurasian policy at all. The isolationists have branched out 
a bit, and are willing to include all of the Americas and much of 
the Pacific in the home garden. But, they tell us, not a step outside. 
For honest American farmers, there is nothing but trouble ahead in 
those barbarian Eurasian jungles. What does it matter, anyway, who 
runs things over there ? Let them go to the devil their own way. 

So, apparently, the policy is not obvious. 

A second and more gloomy comment would be made by many 
who would grant the desirability of such a defensive policy, but who 
would argue that it is already too late. There is nothing that the 
United States can do about the communist strategy. If it fails, it will 
be by a miracle, a stroke of luck. 

I shall amplify the meaning of the defensive policy and evaluate 
these comments by examining a few selected but typical errors of 
the recent past, and certain possibilities of the near future. 

In Yugoslavia, the United States, along with England, had a 
choice between Mikhailovitch and Tito. As political choices go, this 
one was unusually free. They chose Tito. 

It is hard to imagine a more utter political mistake than this choice 
of Tito. Mikhailovitch was a well-known Yugoslavian patriot, sup- 
ported by the overwhelming majority of the population. Tito was a 
communist agent from the outside, who had collaborated with the 
Nazis during the period of the German-Soviet Pact, and who had, 
when the Soviet war began, only a handful of followers, most of 
them Communist Party members. Mikhailovitch, with support and 
direction, could be relied on to fight the Nazis (as he did even with- 
out support and direction), and, equally, to resist communist domi- 
nation of his country and the rest of the Balkans. Naturally the 
Soviet Union pressed hard for Tito. But at the time the choice was 
made, there was not the slightest need for a concession. The Red 


Army was fighting for its life thousands of miles away. Russia could 
not have quit the war then, over the issue of Tito. 

But Tito was chosen and Mikhailovitch was abandoned, betrayed 
and permitted to be degraded and shot through the mechanism of 
a standard communist show trial. 

The choice of Tito was equivalent to handing over the Balkans to 
the communists. The Balkans might have been lost anyway — and 
they may still some day be regained — ^but if support had gone to 
Mikhailovitch, the odds would have been far more favorable. 

The political consequences of such an act, however, are much 
wider than the direct losses or gains in territory. Men everywhere, 
caught in the storm of the world struggle, note, and draw con- 
clusions. The communists back their friends and allies, to the limit. 
The United States has trouble telling friend from enemy, and can- 
not be relied upon. 

There is evidence that part of the cause of the choice of Tito was 
direct sabotage by communists and fellow-travelers in the American 
and British Balkans intelligence services. Misinformation about the 
Yugoslavian situation and the nature of Tito's government was suc- 
cessfully palmed oil on the Anglo-American military and political 
leadership. This sabotage is even being offered by some supporters 
of Churchill and Roosevelt as an excuse for the error. It is a poor 
excuse, since it is an additional error of the leadership that there 
were communists in the intelligence services, and a glaring error 
whenever reports that have filtered through communists or their 
sympathizers are believed without independent confirmation. How- 
ever, the misinformation was not the chief cause. This is to be traced 
to false policy, the false estimate of communism and its aims, the 
false analysis of world political realities. 

The Paris Conference, in the summer of 1946, proved unable to 
settle the Trieste issue. It will not be settled, even if the attempt is 
made to carry out a nominal compromise agreement, signed by the 
representatives of the Big Four. 

What is at stake in Trieste? Trieste is the great outlet to the 
Mediterranean and the South from the Danube valley. Supported 


by the Dalmatian and the Albanian coasts, it controls the Adriatic, 
outflanks Italy from the East, Greece from the North and West, 
and potentially opens into the central Mediterranean. The commu- 
nist power seeks this key point, either outright as demanded through 
Tito, or more gradually and indirectly through a phony inter- 

Could anything have been done — could anything still be done — 
about Trieste ? The answer is so plain and simple that it must make 
many an honest general weep. The Anglo-American armies control 
Italy; their fleets control the Mediterranean; their air forces control, 
or could control, the skies of Europe. All that would have been 
needed would have been an Anglo-American decision that Trieste 
and its surrounding zone were to remain Italian, together with an 
open readiness to enforce that decision. Who would have challenged 
it? Who would challenge it? In the remote chance that it would be 
challenged, what challenge could be easier and cheaper to meet ? 

The Trieste issue is related, of course, to the Italian problem as a 
whole. The major troubles over the Italian Treaty (in which a 
Trieste ruling is supposed to be included) are all of them absurd. 
It is not a lack of ability that has made impossible a settlement of 
the Italian question that would be in accord with American (and 
also English) interests. It is a lack of policy, adherence to the false 
policy of "getting along with Russia." All the months of negotia- 
tions, always ending with concession to the communists of the sub- 
stance of issues in return for their concession of a few empty words, 
could have been avoided by a brief United States declaration that it 
was ready to write and sign its own treaty with Italy regardless of 
whether anyone else signed. If the Soviet Union had chosen to keep 
its pen sheathed, all the better. The United States could then have 
proceeded unhampered to promote the integration of a non-commu- 
nist Italy into the still non-communist half of Europe. 

Roosevelt and other United States negotiators, through secret 
agreements not yet fully disclosed, ceded to the communists in the 
Far East the Kuriles, southern Sakhalin, control over the very im- 
portant warm water ports of Dairen and Port Arthur, the occupa- 


tion of Manchuria and the fuller occupation of northern Korea. 
What gave them the right to make these cessions is not entirely 
clear. Perhaps they reasoned it was the Atlantic Charter. That, how- 
ever, is, from the point of view of politics, a lesser question than: 
why did they make the cessions? and what results from them? 

We are told that they were made as part of the price for getting 
the Soviet Union to promise to come into the Japanese War after 
the end of fighting in Europe. The promise, as we know, was kept. 
The additional question arises: why did they want the Soviet Union 
to come into the Japanese war? 

By the time these agreements were entered into, it must have been 
clear to the United States General Staff that the war with Japan 
could be won without any help from the Soviet Union, which, after 
the Soviet losses in the West, was not going to amount to much in 
any case. It was clear by then to most of the Japanese leadership. 
The objective of United States policy should have been to keep the 
communists out of that war, not to ask them in. Once again, the 
United States was actively furthering the advance of the communist 
power out of the Heartland toward Eurasian domination. With 
these new Eastern positions, added to what it already had and what 
it is strengthening with their help, communism flanks China, the 
American outpost of Japan, and for that matter America itself. This 
was indeed a remarkable piece of political bargaining, to pay some- 
one a stiff price to hit you a stiff blow. 

In reality, Roosevelt was led to this deal not by objective military 
considerations, but by his policy. It was part of the process of col- 
laborating with Russia — politically, not merely militarily, which lat- 
ter was dictated by the immediate facts of war — and of easing her 
re-entry into the family of nations. Having all been through the 
same wars together, it will be that much easier to have peace to- 
gether. China is a country with a great future, so we want our friend 
Russia to co-operate with us and the Chinese themselves in develop- 
ing it. 

* * * 

It is known that the United States and Great Britain considered 
at length and with "care the advisability of directing the major in- 


vasion of Europe through the Balkans. It would be rash for a lay- 
man to pass judgment on the strictly military merits of that plan 
compared with those plans that were actually adopted. Nevertheless, 
it is reported, and nowhere denied, that many leading officers both 
of the British and American commands favored, or were ready to 
accept, the strategy of a Balkan invasion. If we take into account the 
preparation for European invasion by the grinding of the German 
army in the East, the bombing of the Continent, and the overwhelm- 
ing weight of the invasion forces that were assembled, there seems 
good reason to believe that the Balkan invasion would have been 
successful, though it is impossible to be sure whether it would have 
been more or less expensive. 

It is understood that the final decision against the Balkan plan 
was made by Roosevelt, as the United States political leader. All the 
evidence thus indicates that the primary motivation for the decision 
was once again not mihtary but political. The pattern is the same 
that appears so often. The Soviet Union did not want Anglo- 
American armies in the Balkans, because she had her own plans for 
the Balkans. She brought her pressure to bear, not only in the secret 
meetings, but through the world-wide propaganda drive for a "sec- 
ond front," by which, she made clear, she meant only a new front 
in France. Acting in consistent accord with the policy of getting 
along with Russia, of building a new world through Soviet- 
American friendship, the United States made the same political 
choice that she had made when she abandoned Mikhailovitch for 
Tito. The communist expansion into Europe was not merely per- 
mitted, not resisted, but it was actively promoted by United States 

Even without a major Balkan invasion, there is reason to believe 
that the Red Army could have been kept out. The German Balkan 
armies were, apparently, ready to surrender before they did, on the 
condition that the surrender would be to the Anglo-American, not 
the communist forces. Eighty milHon human beings, and the inter- 
ests of the world, were — with perfect consistency — tossed into the 
hungry mouth of the false policy. 

Let it be reflected that, if Anglo-American armies had taken over 
the Balkans, the iron curtain would now be drawn along the East, 


not along the West, of the Danube valley. The diflerence to the 
map is not unimpressive. 

If it is argued that the errors so far cited belong to the past and 
that what's done cannot be undone — an incorrect argument, since 
none of these four situations can yet be marked as finished business 
— let us turn to a brief examination of two crucial problems which 
are still far from crystallized. 

The recognized government of China is the Kuomintang regime, 
headed by Chiang Kai-shek. China is not, however, a unified nation. 
In particular, the authority of the Kuomintang regime is challenged 
by a communist regime (the so-called Yenan government), which 
asserts authority over considerable territory and population in north- 
ern, northwest, and parts of central China. This communist regime 
functions as an independent government, with its own armies, 
police, concentration camps, taxes, and officials. It has for many years 
waged civil war against the recognized government. It is, of course, 
the Chinese branch of the world communist power. 

The policy of the United States has been to try to force a unifica- 
tion of China by getting a "democratic coalition government" which 
would include both the Kuomintang and the Communists, as well 
as certain lesser groups. Applying this policy, the United States has 
compelled Chiang to sign various treaties, agreements, and promises 
envisaging such a governmental coalition. 

The motivation for this policy is threefold. In part it follows from 
certain abstract ideas about "democracy." Chiang Kai-shek's govern- 
ment is not, as communists and their spokesmen declare, totalitarian : 
China is insufficiently organized to have totalitarianism. But it is 
also not democratic, and is, besides, ridden with even more graft 
and corruption than is customary in governments. Equality of po- 
litical opportunities for all parties, instead of a virtual Kuomintang 
monopoly (or, as is often forgotten, a communist totalitarian monop- 
oly where the communists are in control), and an all-party gov- 
ernment, which means in practice a Kuomintang-Communist 
government, therefore seem to doctrinaires the road to democracy 
in China. 


A few Americans, fancying themselves shrewd manipulators, ap- 
proach the question differently. They imagine that the United States 
can play the Kuomintang and the communists off against each other, 
and can thereby harvest richer Chinese pickings. 

The primary motivation, however, is as usual the more funda- 
mental general policy of getting along with Russia, which, also as 
usual, means in the minds of the American leaders, getting along 
with communism. A Kuomintang-Communist coalition is the kind 
of Chinese regime that most exactly corresponds with the whole 
picture of a world running happily along through the friendly com- 
bination of the United States and the Soviet Union. 

In the case of China, life is proving quickly and openly enough 
the absurdity of the United States policy. There can never be a genu- 
ine coalition between the Kuomintang and the communists. The 
objective of the communists is not to make China a unified demo- 
cratic nation, but to turn it into a communist totalitarian province. 
They would, under circumstances to their liking, be glad to enter a 
nominally coalition government, as they enter into any united front: 
in order the better to destroy, from within, their political opponents. 
Meanwhile, they will never relinquish voluntarily the positions of 
real power — of control over people and money and territory and 
arms — that they have already won. They feel a good deal of confi- 
dence, with their rear in the West and North firmly under com- 
munist rule, and their world propaganda so brilliantly successful. 

United States representatives and commentators lament over civil 
war in China, and scold both Chinese houses. They do not realize 
that it is their policy which has not merely promoted Chinese civil 
war, but prolongs and deepens it. It does so because United States 
policy prevents the basic issue from being settled. So long as it is 
not settled there can never be, in China, better than a short, uneasy 

It is quite false to believe that, in politics, all issues can be com- 
promised. Many can; and, if they can, as a rule they no doubt should 
be. But basic issues, above all the basic issue of sovereignty — of who 
shall be master in the house — cannot be compromised. They must 
be settled. That means that on basic issues one side must win and 
the other must lose. Compromise in such cases can do no more than 


postpone the showdown, with the usual result of an increase in the 
cost of final settlement. The issue in China is of this kind. 

From an adequate world policy, it would have been easy for the 
United States to deduce a workable application in China. With the 
end of the Japanese war, the problem was to block communist domi- 
nation of China, which is the Eastern Coastland of Eurasia. The 
communists had taken advantage of the long Sino-Japanese war to 
set up an insurgent government, and to gain substantial power. It 
was necessary, therefore, to aid Chiang in extending the sovereignty 
of the Central Government over all of China, which could be done 
only by destroying the sovereignty of the rebel government and 
liquidating its attributes of independent power — armies, police, po- 
litical administration, finance system. This meant, for the United 
States, all material aid necessary to Chiang, and nothing whatsoever 
for the communists. With the tremendous weight of United States 
power in the Far East, a firm, open policy of this sort would, it 
seems probable, have settled the basic issue within a very short time 
and at a minimum cost. 

At the same time, this was, and is, the only road toward what 
democracy is possible in China. China will never become democratic 
by giving the communists a part in her life. They want a little 
democracy now only to be in a position, when their time comes, to 
destroy all Chinese democracy forever. Support of Chiang, as against 
the communists, does not involve support of Chiang in all things 
and against everybody. Quite the contrary. Such measures as are 
here outlined would put the United States in the best possible posi- 
tion to force reforms on the Kuomintang, to get freedom for non- 
totalitarian political parties and movements, and at the same time 
to guarantee an orientation of Chinese foreign policy favorable to 
United States world policy. 

The original United States policy was one more example where 
the United States, far from hindering the communist drive out of 
the Heartland base, used its influence, against its own potential 
friends, to help that drive penetrate into new territories. Months of 
weary failure have gradually brought half-hearted, confused re- 
visions in the original policy, but clarity is still not in sight. 


In the early Spring of 1945, the United States army on the conti- 
nent of Europe, with EngHsh, Canadian and French armies as in 
eflect auxiharies, was the most powerful functioning armed force 
that had ever operated in history. Its forward sweep was irresistible. 
From a military point of view, it was then in a position to occupy 
all of Austria, some of Yugoslavia, much of Czechoslovakia and of 
Eastern Germany, and in particular Berlin, in advance of the Red 
Army. It did not do so. The army was held back. In several sections 
it was withdrawn from the forward positions it had reached. 

Everyone knows that this reticence was "required" by the agree- 
ment that had been entered into with Moscow. It is a poor excuse, 
showing how drastically wrong that agreement was. But the agree- 
ment in any case should not have been honored. It was part of more 
general agreements which had already been violated a dozen times 
by the communist party to them. Therefore, even if it is considered 
proper to treat these agreements juridically, they should have been 
judged null and void. 

The communists were given Eastern Germany, the main German 
agricultural areas, the largest share of Berlin, and the very important 
symbolic triumph of the first entry into Berlin. From their German 
base, with Berlin as its apex, they now proceed with their plan for 
establishing control over all of Germany. How much more diffi- 
cult their present task would be if an American army had taken 
over Berlin, later admitting at most a token communist force, and 
if the American divisions had established and held their lines at the 
eastern limit of feasible advance! 

Having thus freely donated to the communists the most advan- 
tageous position they could have hoped for, the United States has 
ever since continued to make smooth the communist path in Ger- 
many. Western Germany is stripped of factories, machines, and 
tools for the benefit of the communist zone, but no food comes from 
there westward. Democratic parties in the East are suppressed or 
absorbed by the communists, but communists are permitted to func- 
tion freely in the West. Communist literature circulates in the West, 
but no democratic literature in the East. Anyone in the West of 
any nationality — Russian or Baltic or German or Pole — whom the 
communists do not like is obligingly shipped off East for death or 


concentration camp, while in the East the "Free German" divisions 
and the communist led Poles and Baits are trained for their place in 
the war against the West. Under the lingering, politically insane 
influence of the ideas of the Morgenthau Plan, no future hope or 
perspective is given by the United States to the German people, 
while from the East the Germans are offered the illusory but entic- 
ing prospect of a unified Vol\ admitted as a partner in the Soviet 

In Germany as elsewhere, experience is gradually forcing a partial 
revision of the earlier policy, but a revision so slow and confused and 
half-hearted that it has small chance of success. Even France, under 
the pressure of her huge communist Fifth Column, is permitted to 
sabotage a reorientation. France, freed from internal communists, 
could be a great friend and bulwark of the United States and 
Western Civilization in the struggle for the world. But a friend, too, 
must be corrected. The United States, supported by England, is 
easily able to compel France to fall into line, on the German ques- 
tion. The United States, by bold and firm action, would not weaken 
but solidify relations with France. 

Ideas of vengeance have no place in intelligent politics. Intelligent 
politics must learn from the past, but point always toward the fu- 
ture. The German people must be given a chance to Hve again, as 
honored members of a European order that is part of a workable 
world political system. This chance must be made to appear better to 
them if they accept United States rather than communist leadership. 
American liberals are attacked by paralysis of the conscience when 
they are told that there is now a race between the Soviet Union and 
the United States for the enlistment of the Germans as auxiliaries 
in the Third World War. There is much truth in this view of the 
German problem, though it is not the whole truth. Even if it were, 
where is the occasion for feelings of guilt? Will it make liberal con- 
sciences easier if the Germans turn up in the communist camp ? 

As I write, the communist pressure on Turkey, with intervals of 
deceptive relaxation,- gradually mounts. From Russia and from the 


Balkans it points at the Dardanelles. The call has gone out long 
since for Kars and Ardahan and other Turkish land to the east. A 
faked-up campaign for a new Armenian republic, carved mostly out 
of Turkey, is growing on a world scale. Agents, trained within the 
Soviet Union, are swarming into Turkey. Soviet professors and 
journalists are working overtime to prove that Turks are the root 
of all evil. 

Could anything be done? A correct policy would have litde diffi- 
culty providing answers more compelling than legalistic notes about 
the Montreux Convention. It might discover an appropriate mo- 
ment, for example, for Turkey to purchase from the United States, 
on easy credit, five hundred or a thousand first-class airplanes, 
completely equipped. Several thousand young United States officers 
might well go with the planes, to give instruction in their use to 
Turkish soldiers. The Turkish government might be induced to 
invite lengthy maneuvers of United States warships in the vicinity 
of the Straits. Perhaps a volunteer squadron of American aviators 
might wish training experience in the Near East; and might arrive 
with planes and equipment; perhaps, even, with planes fitted for 
atomic bombs and with a range at least as far as the Caucasus oil 
fields. The bargaining for prices on Turkish export products might 
be very generously conducted. 

But if Turkey feels from one side, and from within, the hot 
reality of communist power, and from the other only the faint 
moralistic breath of diplomatic speeches, who can doubt what will 
happen? With her resistance sapped, she will be sucked into the 
communist system of concentric circles. She will begin the fatal 
journey from orienting influence through domination to absorption. 

Iran, defended by the West only in irrelevant speeches on points 
of procedure at the Security Council, is already within the outer 
circle of orienting influence, its northern province indeed already a 
puppet state. The Tudeh, front for the Iranian communists, has 
penetrated the government. Only a still stronger counter-pole will 
negate the attraction of the magnetic core of the concentric circles. 

Greece is in the same position as Turkey, under the same com- 
munist pressures and the same lack of sufficient counter-pressure. 
Meanwhile United States public opinion is more disturbed over the 


minor problem o£ the Greek monarchy than over the communist 
drive for Macedonia, which is the immediate Greek expression of 
the main v^^orld problem. 

For Spain, perplexed by marvelously co-ordinated communist 
propaganda, the United States now does its share in the move to 
replace the trivial, powerless clerical-fascist. Franco, with a totaU- 
tarian communist regime planted well out in the Atlantic, and 
threatening non-communist Europe from the rear. 

Toward India, with the communists poised for full descent into 
the chaos that would result from an abrupt move for full and imme- 
diate independence, the United States washes its hands, and sits 
back listening piously to denunciations of British imperialism. 

The communists have begun major operations to subordinate the 
economies of the non-communist small nations of Europe to the 
Soviet economy. This is designed as a first stage in the process of 
dragging these nations within the concentric rings. A Soviet-Swiss 
company is formed, for example, to distribute Rumanian oil, with a 
potential monopoly of the Swiss market. The oil itself is the legal 
property of British and American corporations, but under commu- 
nist control, and used for communist ends. Could anything be 
done? Switzerland, too, is a potential friend; but in politics the small 
man must try to be the friend of the stronger. The strong must 
make plain in action their claim to strength. Perhaps, for the mo- 
ment, the Rumanian oil fields and refineries are inaccessible. Switz- 
erland, and the route to Switzerland, are not. The Anglo-American 
armies lie across that route, in Austria and Bavaria. Why should 
Switzerland be allowed to succumb to this maneuver engineered by 
the communists and certain of her own profiteers? Juridically, the 
United States and England can void the contracts, since the oil is 
British and American. Physically, they can simply block delivery. 

Sweden finds it necessary to yield to the communists, and to 
make contracts with the Soviet Union that will tend to throw 
Swedish economy into dependence on Soviet economy. She yields 
because she feels the communist pressure to be too great. Why 
should there not be a more than counter-balancing pressure from 
the West, a pressure which would make clear to Sweden both the 
positive advantages she would gain from choosing the West, the 


concessions that would be granted, but equally the danger, the very 
great danger, she runs if in the end she turns up on the wrong side. 
So too with Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and, very notably, with 
France. We may sympathize deeply with France at the same time 
that we believe she should not be permitted much longer the coy 
balancing o£ her present tight-rope course. A firm pull from the 
West must be hastened, or she will before long topple to the East. 

We are told by the anxious hberals in their sermons on relief that 
"you must not play politics with human lives," and by profit-blinded 
conservatives that "politics should not interfere with business." Un- 
fortunately for the liberals, human lives are just what politics always 
plays with; and to the confusion of the conservatives, politics and 
business are now part of an identical enterprise. Listening to them, 
the United States turns over millions of tons of food for distribution 
by communists, not to those who most need it, but as bribes and 
rewards for those who accept the communist domination. The 
staunchest friends of the West are the ones who do not get the 
food; the food of the United States is turned into a communist 
weapon. American industry makes American political friends suffer 
for the sake of a minor foreign market, or hurries the construction 
of turbines and machines that will supply the atomic bomb plants of 
the Soviet Union. Is there any reason, in the nature of things, if 
American food is to be distributed, why Arriericans should not do 
the distributing, in accordance with American interests and values 
instead of communist interests and values? or why, if American 
machinery is to be sent to other lands, there should not be sufficient 
real guarantee that it will not be used for the destruction of 
America ? 

This sketch of various situations from the recent past, the present, 
and the near future, has been introduced in order to develop the 
meaning of the supreme defensive policy formulated in the first sec- 
tion of this chapter. I do not wish to insist on the specific interpre- 
tation of any single incident or problem. Complete agreement on 
policy does not prevent occasional disagreement on how the policy 
is to be applied. Agreement assures in each application, however, a 


common standard o£ judgment. Because we know the goal, we have 
a chance to measure, and even to predict ahead of time, whether a 
given step puts us closer or pushes us further away. Enough exam- 
ples have been assembled, I think, to show what it would mean to 
adopt as the primary defensive policy the aim of blocking commu- 
nist domination of Eurasia. These same examples serve also to 
prove that this has not been the functioning policy of the United 

We have also been examining the question whether, granted the 
political desirability of the policy, there is anything that can be done 
about it, whether the policy is practically possible as well as desir- 
able. We have found, in every instance, that there is something, 
usually several things, that could be done. The policy is not, there- 
fore, uselessly abstract, but designed for action. It is true that for 
the United States to put such a policy into practice would mean the 
abandonment of many ideas and habits of the past. I shall conclude 
this chapter by summarizing certain rules of political outlook and 
behavior which would have to be accepted if the defensive policy 
were to be adopted and put into practice. 

1. It would have to be recognized that peace is not and cannot be 
the objective of foreign policy. 

2. What tag ends still remain of the doctrine of "the equality of 
nations" would have to be discarded. The United States would have 
to be prepared to make an open bid for world political leadership. 

3. Similarly, the doctrine of "non-intervention in the internal af- 
fairs of other nations" — already little more than a verbal shell — 
would have to be discarded altogether. So far as concerns matters 
affecting world poKtical relations, the procedure would have to be 
quick, firm, sufficient intervention, not non-intervention. The more 
clearly this is everywhere understood, the more eflective will the 
intervention be. 

4. The United States would have to accept the need for world- 
wide propaganda as an arm of policy that cannot be dispensed with 
in the modern world. In our time the peoples of the world have 
become the active political audience. Policy today must break 
through whatever barriers are erected, and find the ear of the 


masses. The meaning and goal of policy must become publicly intel- 
ligible and convincing. 

The United States, as against the communists, has a peculiar po- 
tential advantage in mass propaganda. It would be an experiment of 
unusual fascination if this advantage were utilized. The communist 
propaganda, as we have seen, is and must be false on all important 
points. United States propaganda could be, and v/ould benefit by 
being, for the most part true, or close to the truth. What is chiefly 
needed is merely to call things by their right names. It is time to 
stop calling the Soviet Union one of the "peace-loving democracies," 
to stop the pretense that a communist ruled Poland or Yugoslavia 
or Mongolia is "an independent state," or a communist led union an 
ordinary workers' organization, or a communist journalist "a noted 
liberal." It could be useful to end nonsensical arguments over "east- 
ern and western definitions of 'democracy' and 'freedom of the 
press' " and to explain that the real dispute is not over words but 
over totalitarian slavery. The secret intelligence reports on com- 
munist activities in Poland, East Germany, China, the Balkans, the 
United States, would do much better published than hidden in the 
archives. The past practices of the United States leaders have not a 
little to do with the fact that the peoples of the world have absorbed 
so much of the communist myth: the spokesmen of the United 
States, from a mistaken notion of expediency and from ignorance, 
have done their part in spreading the myth. 

The propaganda should aim very deliberately to penetrate the 
Soviet borders, to let the subjects of the communist dictatorship 
know that the United States is aware of their misery and is their 
ally against their tyrants. The present automatic identification of 
"Russia" with the communist regime permits the regime to solidify 
its hold on the Russian people and to persuade them that they must 
stand together against the "bourgeois world." The people must be 
allowed to know that it is not they but their oppressors whom the 
world condemns, and that the world is ready to rejoice with them 
when they break their chains. 

5. Friends would have to be distinguished from enemies. The rule 
would have to become: all aid and comfort — economic, political, 
food, machines, money, arms — for friends; no support, nothing and 


less than nothing, for enemies. The idea that because a loan or a 
tariff reduction or food or locomotives or scholarships or airplanes 
have been granted to one nation they must then be allotted to all, 
may be appropriate in a society of angels but will prove disastrous 
in the struggle for the v^^orld. The United States should let it be un- 
equivocally known that there is something to gain by being its 
friend, and much for enemies to lose. 

6. In particular application of Rule 5, it follows that no favors 
would be granted to communists or to the friends of communists, 
and that the grounds for the refusal would be openly stated : nothing 
for that person or organization or country because he, or it, is com- 
munist. It should be made clear to workers that a union led by 
communists will not be treated like a union led by non-communists; 
that anyone joining a communist front in the supposed interest of 
some political or social aim of his own is thereby injuring, not fur- 
thering that aim; that a nation admitting communists to its govern- 
ment is by that act, in the eyes of the United States, moving not 
toward democracy and friendship but toward totalitarianism and 
war. For the generous welcome given by the United States to every 
communist agent in the guise of journalist, engineer or diplomatic 
clerk, there would be substituted the same kind of welcome that a 
citizen of a democracy gets in communist territory. 

7. There would have to be a practical recognition of non-collabo- 
ration with the Soviet Union. The real meaning of the much 
debated "Soviet veto" is not to be discovered by parliamentary study 
of the provisions of the United Nations Charter or the regulations 
of the Council of Foreign Ministers. What the Soviet veto means, 
for the United States, is that the United States has been unwilling to 
make any political move which might risk the serious disapproval of 
the Soviet Union. As long as this attitude persists, the Soviet Union 
has a de facto veto over United States policy. In consequence. United 
States policy is subordinated to Soviet policy. Soviet policy retains 
the all-important political initiative. This we have observed in the 
examples cited in this chapter. The only way for the United States 
to avoid the Soviet veto and to seize the initiative is to make deci- 
sions independently, in the light only of the perspective of United 
States policy, without reference to the possible Soviet attitude; and 


then to carry these decisions through, whatever the Soviet Union 
may say or do. 

8. Finally, this policy could be put into practice only if the United 
States is, and is known to be, able and ready to use force. The force 
may not have to be used, or may have to be used only sparingly. 
But it must be there, as the final premise, or the pohtical syllogism 
is incomplete. 

 < go to Contents>

15.-The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Offensive  < go to Contents>

DEFENSIVE STRATEGY, because it is negative, is never enough. 
The defensive policy stated in the preceding chapter would be able 
to halt and even reverse, for a time, the communist Eurasian ad- 
vance. It would make more difficult the communists' path toward 
their final goal, and would delay their arrival. Communist victory 
would, however, still be the end result. 

The trouble with a merely defensive policy is that, however suc- 
cessfully pursued, it leaves unsolved the problems which generate 
the crisis in world politics. The intolerable unbalance of world po- 
litical forces would remain. There would be no framework within 
which the world polity could function without continuous irritation. 
The irrepressible issue between world communism, with its unalter- 
able aim of world conquest, and the non-communist world would 
not be settled. Civilization would continue to be under the ceaseless 
threat of destruction by atomic warfare. 

Under these circumstances, any retreat of the communists would 
prove temporary. Since they have a plan which, no matter how 
costly to human values, would at any rate sufficiently work, men 
would in desperation turn toward that plan as the only answer 
offered to an unendurable challenge. If there is no alternative, there 
can be no doubt about the choice. 

The communist plan for the solution of the world crisis is the 
World Federation of Socialist Soviet Republics: that is, the commu- 
nist World Empire. If the communists are not to win, there must 
be presented to the governments and the peoples of the world a posi- 
tive alternative to the communist plan, which will meet, at least as 
well as the communist plan, the demands of the crisis. Mankind 
will not accept, as a substitute for the communist Empire, nothing. 

This alternative can only be another, a non-communist World 



Federation — a federation at least of enough of the world to dominate 
effectively the major questions of world politics. No world federa- 
tion will, we have seen, be attained voluntarily in our time. Besides 
the communists, only the United States holds power enough to 
force a federation into being. It can be brought about only if the 
United States, retaining for itself monopoly control of atomic weap- 
ons, assumes responsibility for world leadership. 

A federation, however, in which the federated units are not 
equal, in which one of them leads all others, to however slight a 
degree, and holds the decisive instrument of material power, is in 
reality an empire. The word is unacceptable, as distasteful perhaps 
to citizens of the United States as to those of most of the rest of the 
world; and therefore the word would in practice doubtless never be 
employed. Whatever the words, it is well also to know the reality. 
The reality is that the only alternative to the communist World 
Empire is an American Empire which will be, if not literally world- 
wide in formal boundaries, capable of exercising decisive world con- 
trol. Nothing less than this can be the positive, or offensive, phase of 
a rational United States policy. 

In the creation of this Empire there would be necessarily involved 
the reduction of communism to impotence. The threat of a com- 
munist World Empire would therefore be eHminated. Once func- 
tioning, the primary political business of the American Empire 
would be the restriction of warfare within limits that would permit 
civilization to continue. To accomplish this, the crucial step would 
be to safeguard the monopoly of atomic weapons. There would 
have to be the continuous assurance against possession of atomic 
weapons * or their means of manufacture by two or more rival 
centers; there would have always to be one and only one control. 

This bare minimum is enough to solve the immediate world po- 
litical crisis. It is enough, that is, to permit civilization to continue at 
least through the next historical period. It is very far from enough 
to solve society's more enduring problems, or to guarantee a world 
at all in accord with our wishes. These larger problems are not part 
of the subject-matter of this book, which is confined to the political 

* As I have explained, I use the term "atomic weapons" to refer not only to these 
in the proper sense but to any other weapons comparable in destructive power. 


analysis of the present crisis. Beyond the minimum, the questions 
are left entirely open, and they are in fact open. To solve the prob- 
lem of the present crisis is no more than the pre-condition for the 
solution of the larger problems. But without the pre-condition, there 
will be no further problems, much less their solution. 

What does it mean to say that there must be an "American Em- 
pire," and by what possible means could it be brought about ? I wish 
to make sure that I am not interpreted to be saying much more than 
I intend. 

There is already an American Empire, greatly expanded during 
these past five years. From the point of view of political reality, the 
territories of this Empire, as of any empire, cannot be thought of as 
Hmited to those areas which are, like Puerto Rico or the Virgin 
Islands, legally and formally listed as some sort of colony or de- 
pendency. The Empire extends to wherever the imperial power is 
decisive, not for everything or nearly everything, but for the crucial 
issues upon which political survival depends. 

From this point of view, the American Empire reaches out to the 
West to include, at the present time and for the foreseeable future, 
Japan. The Philippines did not leave the Empire through a grant of 
juridical independence. Their status within the Empire has changed 
to one more honorable, but the fate of the new Philippine Republic 
is still altogether dependent upon United States power, which could 
snuff it out in a moment, and alone protect it from attack. 

The many islands of the Atlantic and the Pacific, implicidy domi- 
nated by United States military and naval installations, are also part 
of the already existing American Empire. For that matter, those 
parts of Africa and Europe where United States armed force is 
supreme are also, for now at least, in the Empire. 

The present Empire includes still more. All of the Americas al- 
ready lie within it. Is it conceivable that any one or any combina- 
tion of the American nations could make a war against the United 
States that would be more than an insane gesture ? Is it conceivable 
that the United States would permit the resources of any of these 


nations to fall into the hands of a major world enemy? The im- 
perial federation of the Americas is loose, and its members enjoy a 
great — perhaps, occasionally, a too great — autonomy. United States 
policy is vague and irresolute. It does not lead the Americas as well 
as it easily could — and if it led better, the rest of the Americas would 
be not more but much less given to complaints about "Yankee im- 
perialism." Nevertheless, for the issues that decide, the Empire is 
real. If the leadership of the United States were less hypocritical, 
more responsible, the nations would have no legitimate grounds for 
objection. Without the imperial relation, they could not survive a 
decade in the present world. Some time ago, several of the Latin 
American countries on the West Coast would have been colonies of 
Japan. Not a few would be near today to the far from agreeable role 
of satellites of the communist world power. 

Canada, juridically, is a Dominion in the British Commonwealth. 
But Canada, too, in terms of political reality, must be included 
within the American Empire. To prove this, it is only necessary to 
reflect on the following hypothetical test. Suppose that United States 
policy, continuing its present confusion and vacillation, ends by in- 
directly forcing England into the Communist Empire, and that war 
begins. On which side will Canada be ? There would no doubt be an 
Anglo-communist faction that would have to be suppressed. It is 
certain, however, that the resources, and much of the manpower, of 
Canada — whether or not the Canadians freely chose so — would be 
with the United States. For that matter, maps of United States war 
resources have for many years included those of Canada. 

An imperial policy is not, therefore, something new for the 
United States. It has been, rather, and continues to be forced upon 
the United States by the dynamic effects of power relationships. The 
relative strength of the United States is too great to permit passivity. 
The United States cannot help building an Empire. But United 
States opinion has never been willing to face consciously the signifi- 
cance of the United States political position and its political behavior. 
The realities of the struggle for power are overlaid with a crust of 
pseudo-moral platitudes, by which United States citizens and leaders 
try to convince themselves that they always act from the most 
altruistic of ideal motives. This habit may be a tribute to United 


States conscience, but it has a lamentable efifect outside the borders. 

The citizens o£ other nations, after their experiences in the late 
war and the demonstrations of the atomic bombs, are fully con- 
scious of the power of the United States. They regard this power 
with mingled fear and hope, fear from what it has already done 
when turned toward destruction, and hope that it may be redirected 
toward the positive solution of those problems which unaided they 
do not feel able to meet. Along with this fear and hope there is also 
a growing contempt. To others the moral platitudes appear only as 
a combination of hypocrisy and stupidity. Is a European, starving 
in a city crushed by American bombs, going to take seriously Ameri- 
can condemnations of "power politics"? Is a foreign observer at 
Bikini going to pay much attention to American piety about 
"peace"? Is the citizen of a small nation, noting American signa- 
tures on charters that guarantee control by great powers, going to 
listen to American speeches on the "equality of all nations"? Is a 
father, whose daughter has been raped and house looted by Ameri- 
can soldiers, going to believe that the United States is moral precep- 
tor to mankind? Is an Englishman going to relish American 
rhetoric against British imperialism in Palestine and India, while the 
United States takes no concrete step to help England meet the grave 
problems of those unhappy lands ? 

The United States has power, greater relative power in the world 
total than has ever been possessed by any single nation. The United 
States is complacent in the enjoyment of many of the immediate 
fruits of that power, in particular the highest living standard there 
has even been. The United States is,. however, irresponsible in the 
exercise of its power. A positive and adequate policy for the United 
States would presuppose first of all that the United States should 
face the fact and the responsibility of power. That done, there would 
follow at once the realization that the United States must itself, 
openly and boldly, bid for political leadership of the world. 

It will not be imagined by anyone that such a bid by the United 
States would meet with unanimous enthusiasm in the rest of the 
world. Nevertheless, there is no reason to suppose that, made in the 
proper form, it would meet universal rejection. A not inconsiderable 
portion of mankind is aware of the catastrophic depth of the world 


crisis. It is ready to accept a way out, even at much loss to lesser 
needs. This readiness, after all, is the principal source of commu- 
nism's attractive power. How much more persuasive would be a per- 
spective, as effective as the communists' in offering a solution of the 
crisis, yet without the price of totalitarian degradation. 

There is much to learn, in this connection, from Hitler's failure. 
In the end the Nazi military machine was smashed, but it is prob- 
able that the first cause of Hitler's defeat was political rather than 
military. I wish to cite one major item from the political record. 

Victory in the First World War made France the leading power 
in Europe. The Versailles Treaty, tailored in all of its European 
measurements to France's order, was designed to perpetuate her po- 
sition. Nevertheless, in 1940, France collapsed at the first hard blow. 
Every evidence from that period — ^no matter how this may now be 
covered up — proves that a large part of the French population had 
no stomach for the new war. It was not that they were cowards. 
They just didn't think they had anything worth fighting about. 
More than this. They did not feel that Europe could go on in the 
old way, divided into a score of jealous nations, economically stran- 
gling each other, and breaking out in general wars every few dec- 
ades. The French were ready for what the situation so pre-eminently 
demanded: European federation. They would not have proposed it 
— certainly not to Hitler; but they were ready to be pushed into it, 
and to accept it. If there was no other way, they were ready to 
accept what was for them the worst way : federation under German 

In 1940 Hitler had his great political chance to win. Instead of 
occupying France and handling her as a conquered nation, he could 
have made at once a generous treaty with France, and proposed that 
she join as a partner — a junior partner, to be sure, but more than 
puppet — in the administration of a united Europe. It is hard to 
believe that France, already prepared psychologically, could have 
refused such an offer, from which she had so much to gain. Agree- 
ment between Germany and France would have been enough, by it- 
self, to make European union an almost immediate reality. England 
would then have faced not a conquered Europe seething internally 
with England's friends, but an awakened Europe eager to go for- 


ward. Hitler could have demanded, with the voice o£ all Europe, 
an end to the war in the West. England's case for continuing the 
war would have collapsed. There were probably elements within 
Nazism that made it impossible for Hitler to grasp his political 
chance, but, looking back, we can see what kind of chance it was, 
and what it would have meant if it had been taken. 

It must be granted, of course, that the United States cannot, 
within the allotted time, win the leadership of a viable world pohti- 
cal order merely by appeals to rational conviction. To carry out its 
responsibility, the United States would have to proceed primarily 
through a combination of pressures and concessions. Both are indis- 
pensable. The United States does not have sufficient independent 
power to rely solely on pressures. The resistances are too strong for 
concessions alone to soften. 

The relevant concessions are of three kinds: economic, political, 
and what might be called sentimental or moral. The United States, 
with its colossal and indeed overbuilt productive machine, is in a 
position, if it is prepared for unorthodox methods, to grant enormous 
economic concessions in the interests of a supreme political objective. 
In some cases, these might require temporary economic self-sacrifice, 
but their effect would often be beneficial through the stimulus they 
would give to production. Loans, relief, mutually profitable trading 
agreements, machines, floods of wanted consumers' goods, easy 
financial terms, these all speak a language that is everywhere under- 
stood. They could all be made to repeat the lesson that it is a ma- 
terially profitable and pleasant thing to be associated with the United 

In politics, as in^ marriage, it is always wise to concede everything 
excepFwhat is essential. In the relations between a more powerful 
and a less powerful nation, constant political interference on small 
points is usually much more irritating to the lesser nation than a 
sharp, firm intervention confined to those very infrequent points 
that really decide. It would be fatally wrong for the United States 
to adopt officially the feeling of many of its citizens that all nations 
ought to model their political and social institutions after the United 


States pattern. Others may not like the pattern and may still be 
neither barbarians nor menaces to world security. 

The United States, in the conduct of its foreign aflFairs, is often 
guilty of playing what is sometimes called "prestige politics." This 
term refers to political actions which are motivated by the forms 
rather than by the substance of politics, which are overly concerned 
with political appearances. It is prestige politics when you always 
want to be first in the procession, chairman of conferences and com- 
mittees, addressed in a respectful tone, listed at the top of the page; 
when you hate someone else for making a suggestion first, even 
though you agree with it, when you want to sit Number i at a 
Peace Conference even though that violates the alphabetical order. 
Wise politics is occupied with the realities of power, and is content 
to give freely to others the prestige of appearances. Octavius, when 
he became emperor and Rome an empire, was careful to be ranked 
still just one senator among the others; he did not mind that he 
should not be called "king"; he wanted to be king. If the United 
States wants to be first among nations, it will not succeed most easily 
by insisting that all other nations humble themselves before the Bald 
Eagle. On the contrary, it will do best if it demonstrates that other 
nations, through friendship with the United States, increase and 
guard their political dignity and honor. 

The cheapest of all concessions in the relations between nations, 
and far from the least important, are those to tnoral sentiment, re- 
ligious belief, and social custom. Here too the provincialism and 
smugness of the United States do grave injury to its foreign policy. 
The American tourist, making crude jokes about "foreigners," is the 
counterpart of the American diplomat who doesn't know the lan- 
guage of the country to which he is accredited, the exported Ameri- 
can film which ridicules an unfamiliar religious sensibility, or 
American advertising which boasts at the world's expense. A policy 
concentrated on the supreme objective, on the key to the situation, 
will dictate the" utmost tact in the approach to the customs, feelings 
and beliefs of other peoples. 

Concessions alone would not, however, be enough. Concessions 
alone, in fact, give others the impression not of generosity but of 
weakness. Concessions must be understood as one side of a coin 


whose reverse is pressure, force. The reaHzation that it is good to be 
a trieiid of the United States must be inseparably tied to the further 
reaHzation that it is fearful to be its enemy. At all points bracing the 
concessions used for the construction of the world order, there must 
be the buttresses of power. Power must be there, with the known 
readiness to use it, whether in the indirect form of paralyzing eco- 
nomic sanctions, or in the direct explosion of bombs. As the ulti- 
mate reserve in the power series, there would be the monopoly 
control of atomic weapons. 

A non-communist world federation is the only rational objective 
for United States foreign policy. This federation can be built, at least 
to the necessary extent and level, by the bold use of generous con- 
cessions and superior power. These two necessary and sufficient 
means are today — though not for long — at the disposal of the United 
States, That is why the responsibility for the future of civilization 
falls unavoidably, today, upon the United States. 

Because I am concerned with the general statement of a supreme 
policy, and wish to prevent the diversion of attention from guiding 
objectives to side issues, I am anxious not to become too much occu- 
pied with details of the application of policy. In order to allow for 
unexpected changes in the historical situation, the correct application 
cannot in any case be exactly mapped in advance. However, the 
meaning of the policy will perhaps remain vague unless there is 
some indication of how it might be put into practice. 

No fundamental change would be required in United States rela- 
tions toward the Americas. What is needed is a more conscious 
clarification of the implicit objectives, and both more firmness and 
more tact in pursuing them. United States supreme policy, in its 
application to the Americas, would be successful if it guaranteed the 
following: first, that the major resources of the Americas will be 
utilized, during peace, to the mutual benefit of the Americas, the 
United States, and the world friends of the United States, and there- 
fore counter to the interests of world communism; second, that in 
war the use of these resources will be under the direction of the 


United States; third, that world communism will not secure any 
base in the Americas, but will on the contrary be progressively 

This minimum, if accepted as primary, is without question attain- 

The supreme policy formulated in this chapter would, I believe, 
dictate an immediate proposal by the United States to Great Britain 
and the British Dominions: common citizenship and full political 

This conclusion may seem surprising against the memory of an 
adverse popular response, both in the United States and in England, 
to Churchill's advocacy of no more than a firm Anglo-American 
alliance. The adverse jresponse, however, was more clamorous than 
widespread. In the United States, its surface was exaggerated by the 
professional England-haters of the Chicago Tribune and the Hearst 
press. Both here and in England, it was stoked by the communist 
front organizations, not a little of whose energies are now being allo- 
cated to the promotion of Anglo-American hate. The whole agita- 
tion has a somewhat absurd side, since a de facto Anglo-American 
alliance does in any case exist. 

Political experience, moreover, would seem to indicate that there 
would be more support for, and less opposition to, a proposal for 
outright union than for a mere alliance. A larger goal, especially if 
it is felt that this could really accomplish something great, has fre- 
quently a better chance of popular acceptance than a lesser, partial 
goal that would not be a real advance even if attained. The lesser 
goal excites the same resentments as the larger but is n~&t capable 
of enlisting the same enthusiasm. A formal alliance between Great 
Britain and the United States would accomplish nothing. Merely 
signing a document would not make more stable the present incom- 
plete de facto alliance. Documents can only record, not create, real 
political relations. Actual union between the United States and 
Great Britain and her Dominions would on the other hand be a 
catalyst which would instantaneously transform the whole of world 


We may grant that the union could not take place through an 
altogether spontaneous birth. The forceps would perhaps have to be 
used, or at least kept at hand. However, enough of the historical 
premises hold to make union possible. Historical origin, language, 
literature, legal principles, form of government are a single heritage. 
The circumstances of the world crisis bring the issue to a present 
head. The United States, Britain, and her Dominions confront a 
common fate. They will, whether they admit it in advance or not, 
survive together or be destroyed together. If the communist Empire 
captures England, the turn of the United States will not be long 
delayed. If England thinks she can go her own way, playing com- 
munism off against America, she will be soon and most grievously 

Union is possible, and is rationally demanded by the crisis. Sup- 
pose that, after a brief period of preparation at official and unofficial 
levels on both sides, union were openly offered, not by private indi- 
viduals or well-motivated but rather snobbishly organized private 
groups, but by the President of the United States ? Proposed not for 
a dim and abstract future, but for right now. Why should we be- 
lieve that the offer would be, could be, rejected? If the offer were 
generous, open — and if there were also in the background some 
hint of the black meaning of refusal — an imaginative fire could be 
kindled in which the jealous fears of special interests would be 

Today the only escape which men can see from the ever-tighten- 
ing net of isolating nationalism, with all its cords of passports, 
boundaries, tariffs, coinage, police, bureaucracy, is into the suffo- 
cating totalitarian unity of the communist Empire. The union of 
Britain and the United States would present men with the fact and 
the prospect of another road on which the barriers could be pulled 
down without the necessity for paying the totalitarian forfeit. 

Such a union would mean that Britain, her Dominions and the 
United States would become partners in the imperial federation. In 
the first stages, Britain would be necessarily the junior partner. This 
fact, which follows not merely from popular prejudices, but from 
the realities of power relations, is the greatest obstacle to the union. 
It is harsh to ask so great a nation, which for three hundred years 


led the world, to accept a lower place than the first, especially when 
the claim comes from an upstart whose only superior qualification — 
unfortunately, the deciding qualification — is the weight of material 
might. It would need a superb statesmanship to overcome this ob- 
stacle, and a realization among both peoples of the depth of the 

Foreshortened Europe is today pressed back against the Atlantic 
wall. The advanced units of the communist power are flung in every 
direction on the Continent, far beyond the iron curtain, piercing 
right through to the seas. Behind the curtain, the communist con- 
solidation of all power proceeds under the whip of the N.K.V.D. 
In front of the curtain, in the still non-communist sections of the 
Continent, the remaining nations, starved and weakened, squander 
their last reserves of energy in snarling at each other's heels, 
pouncing at meatless bones, and refighting the lost battles of yester- 
day. It is a dreary, self-defeating spectacle. There is so plainly only 
one possible solution. 

Under the protection and guidance of Anglo-America, there must 
be swiftly built a European Federation, joining all those Continental 
countries not now under communist domination, and, as its at- 
tractive power grows, drawing to itself the victims now behind the 
curtain. That few today dare even to talk of a plan so obvious and 
so imperative must be a source of many chuckles for the communist 
leaders. How scornfully they must hear the cowardly denials that 
answer their shout of "Western bloc"! How pleased they must be 
as they watch the nations of the West squabble among themselves 
for the sake of prestige and vengeance! 

Can anyone believe that Europe will endure even a decade longer 
under these conditions ? What answer other than European Federa- 
tion can there possibly be ? 

For England and the United States not merely to accept, but to 
compel the federation of Europe would mean a complete reverse of 
policies which have been followed by England for more than three 
centuries, and by the United States for two generations. Both nations 
have fought their greatest wars with the objective political aim of 


preventing the unification of Europe. No such reversal could be 
expected unless the situation had so changed that the traditional 
policies had become inadmissible. 

The situation has, however, so changed. The traditional poHcies 
vv^ere based upon the historical fact that until a generation ago the 
bulk of world power was located on the European Continent. If, 
therefore, that power were unified, it would dominate the entire 
world, including of course England and the United States. English 
policy, supplemented in this century by United States policy, had 
thus to aim to keep the European power divided, "balanced," in 
order to ensure their own independence and survival. 

Today the bulk of world power is divided between the United 
States and the communist controlled areas of Eurasia. The total 
power of what remains of Europe is not capable, during the next 
few decades, of entering the lists as an independent challenger to 
"the two main contenders. It does not follow that what happens to 
Europe is unimportant for the outcome of the struggle. What follows 
is that Europe's potential energy can now be harnessed only as 
auxiliary to the West, or to communism. The European supple- 
merif inay well control the equilibrium. 

The traditional Anglo-American policy, which in the past pro- 
tected Anglo-American security, has today under the new condi- 
tions exactly the opposite effect. Permitting Western Europe to 
reniain^ divided and quarreling means permitting communism to 
conquer Western Europe. Through every rift, the communist power 
pours in. Anglo-America can close the entrances only by superin- 
tending the consolidation of Europe. The combined tactics of con- 
cession and compulsion must bring unity through a process that 
simultaneously rids Europe of internal communism. 

France, since 1870, has feared European federation because she 
has felt that in a united Europe the Germans would be ascendant. 
Today there is no longer any reason for that fear. England and the 
United States, along with France, are in a position to control the 
conditions of federation. They can, if they wish, arrange these so 
that the Germans may live honorably and work again within a 
united Europe, and still be deprived of any chance to become a 
political or military threat. If France argues that in time any initial 


restriction would be loosened, that the Germans might in some 
future once more make a drive for dominance, the reply must be: 
yes, that might happen. But that chance belongs to the next volume 
of v^^orld history. Meanw^hile there is no independent "German prob- 
lem." The question today is not whether the Germans will make an- 
other try for European and world leadership, but whether there is 
any way of preventing the Germans from being drawn into the 
communist Empire. Let France, if jhe is v/orrj^dover_ the remote 
menace, two generations hence, of a resurgent Germanism, reflect 
more carefully on the very real prospect of a united communist Ger- 
many, two years hence, at her borders. 

The problem of American relations to China, India, Malaysia, 
the East Indies, the Arab and other Moslem territories, and the 
primitive regions of Africa, grave as it is, has this mitigating dis- 
tinction in the present crisis: the societies within these areas are not 
a direct part of Western Civilization and do not have large-scale 
advanced industry or technology. For this reason, they are not capa- 
ble during the next historical period of undertaking on their own 
the manufacture of atomic weapons. Since the existence of atomic 
weapons is the precipitating factor of the crisis, it follows that policy 
toward these parts of the world, though it should doubtless aspire 
to much more, can be content with a merely negative, or defensive 
success. That is, if policy is able to block communist domination of 
these areas and their addition thereby to the communist strategic 
base, it will have achieved, if not much, the necessary minimum. 

The application of the supreme policy to China has been made in 
the preceding chapter. Japan raises no special political problem, since 
it is obvious that rational American pohcy would retain Japan as an 
"advanced American base off the Eurasian coast, would elimipate 
communism from Japanese life, and would try to guide Japanese 
development in such a way as to integrate the Japanese people into 
the non-communist world political system. In general, the combined 
method of concessions and force would be the means for imple- 
menting the policy. 


Among the concessions, those of a poHtical order have now become 
most acute, especially in connection with India and the East Indies. 
Let me restrict a brief comment to India. 

The majority of articulate Indians (who comprise a very small 
proportion of the Indian population) want an independent India. 
India does not, however, have the social conditions which would 
enable her to operate as a fully independent, sovereign nation. If 
Western power (at present primarily British power) were at once 
or in the near future totally withdrawn from India, the general 
result may be predicted with assurance. India would immediately 
plunge into internal chaos. Within this chaos, the only consistent, 
positive force would be that of communism, continuously aug- 
mented from its base in the Heartland. As the other mixed forces 
wore themselves out by fighting each other and by internal disinte- 
gration, the relative power of communism would increase cumula- 
tively. India would be drawn into the communist Empire. 

No one today can advance a convincing argument against this 
palpable conclusion, or even tries to. Debate is always diverted into 
purely moral channels of "right" and "freedom." But the rights and 
freedom of the peoples of India would not be furthered by turn- 
ing them over to communism. Freedom and all rights would be 
wholly snuffed out. Subjection to the British Raj would seem a 
golden past compared to the slave gangs of the N.K.V.D. 

If there were no other variant, it would be politically just to con- 
clude: better that the Indians should be denied their wish a genera- 
tion longer, after so many hundreds, than that communism should 
conquer the world. There is, however, another variant which, if not 
altogether satisfactory to anyone, is at any rate the least of the avail- 
able evils. 

"Independence" and "freedom" are after all abstractions. In the 
world today, no nation, certainly no nation which is either small 
or industrially undeveloped, can be altogether independent and free. 
The cause of the most bitter humiliation to a people or a nation (or 
even an individual) is not so much the lack of an abstract freedom 
which no one, or few, possess, as the feeling that it is singled out for 
some special and peculiar discrimination, that it must wear a badge 
of unique dishonon India has been not only ruled and oppressed. 


which is the fate of almost all of us. Conscious of the greatness of 
her historical past, India has suffered from the moral degradation 
of her status as a mere possession of an alien people which has 
coupled to its power an intolerable racial arrogance. In material 
terms, in spite of exploitation, India has gained from British rule. 
Morally her loss has been unrelieved. 

The articulate Indians can reasonably demand a position in the 
world more nearly that of other men, granted the overriding impera- 
tives of the world order as a whole. Toward this, the first step is the 
recognition that India is no longer the special problem of Britain, 
but of Britain and her friends within the non-communist world po- 
litical system: that is, in particular, the United States. Such a recog- 
nition at once would change the entire issue for India. What she 
regards as an uncompromisable struggle against a foreign tyrant 
could be transformed into a mutual effort to create a world system 
within which India would find a just and respected place. 
• India must not be laid open to the communist advance. India can- 
not, for many decades, defend her own independence. Therefore, 
whatever the extremists of independence may say or do, the Western 
powers must have adequate guarantees for the defense of India, and 
for the orientation of her foreign policy. Within those limits, which 
should hold today for every nation, it would seem possible, though 
far from easy, to work out a status for India not unlike that which 
is presumably envisaged for the Philippines. It is not without rele- 
vance to point to the enormous objective advantages that would 
follow for all peoples from the expansion of a poHtical federation 
such as is here under discussion. The collapse of political barriers 
would so stimulate free social intercourse, trade and industry, as to 
make possible a general economic advance. India's share could be 
large enough to reconcile her people, perhaps, to some adjustment 
of their ideal hopes. 

It may be added that it will be expedient for the United States to 
contribute her maximum to the material improvement of the less 
developed sections of the world. For this she has motives more 
politically compelling than disinterested generosity. Her own pro- 
ductive plant has swelled much beyond the potentialities of the 
internal market, and can be kept from deflationary collapse only by 


increasing the percentage of output sent to the rest of the world. At 
the same time, it will be difficult for force alone to keep the Chinese, 
the Indians, the Moslems, the East Indians, the Malaysians and the 
others in line with United States world policy, unless experience 
demonstrates to these peoples the relative material benefits which 
accompany acceptance of United States political leadership. 

It is sometimes argued that by building up, say, China, industri- 
ally and poHtically, the United States would be creating a rival 
which in the future, with its vast resources of manpower, would 
crush its American sponsor. Here, too, we must reply: yes, this is 
quite possible. But this, too, belongs to another historical period, the 
problems of which must be met by another generation. Meanwhile 
the question is of survival through this present period. For my own 
part, I am inclined to doubt these prophecies about China (or 
India), in the form they are usually given. It is forgotten that China 
■and India belong to entirely different civilizations from that of the 
West. Though they may accept, or have forced on them, the me- 
chanical surface of the West, with its appliances and some of its 
material conveniences, the current of their independent cultural life 
is too deep, I think, to be absorbed by the Western tide. If China or 
India, in some future, conquers the world, it will not be because 
they, having become Western, turn to destroy the West. It will 
more probably be because Western Civilization has collapsed from 
within. China or India or Islam might then be called to act as 
receiver for the Western bankrupt. 

Success in all these policy applications which I have so far listed 
would not have solved the world crisis, though even a start at such 
applications would revolutionize world power relationships. The 
United States would gain the political initiative; world communism 
would be put on the defensive. The communist fortress would, how- 
ever, remain, and the ultimate division between the communists, 
with their fixed aim of an absolute monopoly of power, and the rest 
of mankind. The statement of positive policy is not, therefore, com- 
plete, unless it is understood to include the task of penetrating the 


communist fortress, and of winning back from communist control 
those areas and peoples — including pre-eminently the Russian people 
— now subject to the communist monopoly. To this problem, which 
I have already touched on, I shall return in another context. 


Even those who will not be frightened when the policy outlined 
in these two chapters is called "imperialist" — and no doubt "fascist" 
— may prefer to dismiss it as "unreaHstic." I should like to examine, 
for a moment, this adjective. 

There are two quite different reasons for which a policy may cor- 
rectly be judged "unrealistic." A policy is unrealistic if, in order that 
it should be carried out, we must expect men to act in ways utterly 
unlike those in which experience teaches us they do act. It is in this 
sense that the policy of peace through the renunciation of power, 
analyzed in Chapter 11, is unrealistic. So too is any policy, such as 
Utopian socialist policies, which assumes that groups of men in 
power will voluntarily relinquish their power, or use it only for the 
benefit of others. Unrealistic in this sense also, as we have seen, are 
the plans for the immediate voluntary establishment of a democratic 
World State. 

It is less often noticed that a policy is, in another sense, equally 
unrealistic if, even granted its full success, it totally fails to solve the 
problem with which it is concerned. A policy, in the cure of cancer, 
of having all those with the disease take large doses of sulfa-drugs 
does not exceed human capacity. But a successful application of this 
policy would not in the least cure cancer. A policy, with the aim of 
avoiding economic depression, of legalizing free coinage of silver 
could readily be put into practice. It would not, however, stop de- 

It is hardly possible to exaggerate the profundity of the present 
world political crisis. The trouble with many of the policies which 
are proposed, or even followed, in the attempt to meet the crisis is 
that even their most triumphant achievement would not at all lessen 
the crisis. Can anyone seriously believe that signing a few treaties 
will remove the threat of the atom bomb ? Does anyone continue to 


think that debates in the Security Council are going to eliminate 
the ^'misunderstandings" between communism and the West? Who, 
after what has happened in Eastern Europe, is going to expect com- 
munism to keep any pledges except those which it is compelled to 
keep ? Are American diplomats going to open up the Danube valley 
to freedom of trade by convincing the communist leaders that free 
trade is a "better" economic principle than totalitarian monopoly? 
How many more treaties on China must be broken before it is 
understood that the Chinese communists want not treaties but all 
power? UnitedMStatesJfo£eign_pqlicy, during the past several years, 
has beenJightiagioii-.Yictories: which are not worth winning. 

The policy which I have sketched is certainly grandiose. It is not 
unrealistic in either of these two senses. It presupposes that men, 
groups of men, jnd jiations, will continue to act politically as they 
have always acted: primarily (though not quite exclusively) from 
self-interest, with good will and intelligence a£fecting their conduct 
to a very slight, though nonetheless potentially important, degree. 
This policy, moreover, takes into account the realities of the existing 
distribution of world power, and calls for nothing that is not ma- 
terially possible in terms of this power distribution. Finally, this 
policy, if carried out with success or even a fair percentage of success, 
would really solve — in, let me repeat, the temporary and partial 
measure that is the most that is ever possible in social life — the chief 
present problems which account for the profundity of the present 
crisis. Nothing less than this can be "realistic." 

 < go to Contents>

 16. The Internal Implementation of Foreign Policy < go to Contents>

BECAUSE I WISH to limit my primary discussion in this book to 
a descriptive analysis of the world political crisis and the alternatives 
for its solution, I do not intend to take up questions of what Ameri- 
cans call "practical politics" : candidates, nominations, elections, party 
organization, platforms, and so on. I do not want to give the impres- 
sion that I minimize the importance of these questions. A poHcy 
cannot make its own way in the world. The best policy conceivable 
for the United States would mean nothing unless it were activized 
in the will of political leaders and a political party. I have no criti- 
cism of the American stress on "practical politics"; I criticize only 
the usual American belief that this is all there is to politics; and I 
wish, therefore, in counter-emphasis, to keep attention directed to- 
ward the problem of the integrating objective, the guiding program, 
toward what I have been calling "policy." 

Any policy along such lines as we have been tracing would, how- 
ever, have to face within the United States two special problems 
which would prove so fundamental as to be inseparable from the 
general question of the policy itself. In Chapter 13, as part of the 
discussion of the implementation of policy through the State Depart- 
ment and other government agencies, both of these special problems, 
in narrower form, have been provisionally dealt with. We shall 
find that both are linked to decisions about the nature of democratic 

The first can be posed as follows. Under a democratic form of 
government, what ought policy to be, and how ought it to be related 
to the opinions of the body of citizens? Should it be a resultant, 
average, or compromise of all the various beliefs held, on the ques- 



tion at issue, by the various citizens? Or should it try to reflect, as 
accurately as possible, the belief that at each given moment is held 
by the majority? Both o£ these views seem, at first glance, demo- 
cratic. Or is there, perhaps, some third possibility that is consistent 
with democratic government? 

Under the assumption that we wish, so far as this is possible, to 
retain a democratic form of government in the United States, the 
following considerations will show why this rather philosophic en- 
quiry is relevant. 

I tend to believe, though with admittedly inadequate evidence, 
that the policy which has been formulated in this part, if presented 
vigorously, in terms suitable for public debate, would be found to 
correspond to the sentiments of a majority of the adult citizens of 
the United States. I am certain, however, that at least a substantial 
minority would be, and would for a long time remain, most sharply 
opposed to every aspect of it. If, therefore, democratic policy must 
represent the average, or the least common denominator, of the be- 
Hefs of the citizens, this policy could not be United States policy so 
long as the United States remained a democracy. 

Whether or not my belief about the present sentiment of the 
majority is factually correct, it is at any rate conceivable that either 
now or in the future the majority might believe in this policy. But 
to carry out the policy is a long, difficult, and perhaps most terrible 
process. During that process, occasions would arise when the policy 
would seem to threaten total disaster; on others, a temporary let- 
down in world political tension would seem to make the policy un- 
necessary. Though a majority might, at one time and another, 
believe in the policy, we know from experience that mass opinion 
is variable, and can shift with great rapidity. We can be fairly sure 
that belief in the poHcy would not be continuously maintained at a 
majority level during all of the time necessary for carrying it out. 
If, then, democratic policy must reflect at every given moment the 
opinion of the majority, it would be impossible for the United States 
to remain democratic and at the same time to carry out this policy 
with the consistency and firmness which would be plainly indis- 

We seem, so far, to be led to the conclusion that the policy is ruled 


out for the United States, unless the United States abandons democ- 
racy. The United States may abandon democracy in any case, for 
other reasons, but it is not forced to do so by these premises and this 
poHcy. The truth is that these two ways of defining the proper rela- 
tionship between policy and citizens do not exhaust the democratic 
alternatives. Indeed, neither of these two is genuinely democratic. 
The first is merely a guarantee of having no policy at all, and re- 
duces government to the sole task of office-seeking. The second 
defines not democracy, but demagogy. It is the theory professed by 
the demagogue, who manipulates the crowd by giving it the im- 
pression that he is nothing more than the sensitive mouthpiece for 
the crowd's own changing thoughts and sentiments. 

If democracy, as a form of government, is not compatible with 
responsibility and leadership, then it neither will, nor deserves to, 
endure. Alexander Hamilton, who was more concerned with real 
liberties than with democratic rhetoric, which he left to his op- 
ponents, has in the Federalist understood the dilemma, and resolved 
it for us: 

There are some who would be inclined to regard the servile 
pliancy of the Executive to a prevailing current ... as its best 
recommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions, as 
well of the purposes for which governments are instituted, as of the 
true means by which the public happiness may be promoted. The 
republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the com- 
munity should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust 
the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unquali- 
fied complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every 
transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of 
men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests. 

In a democracy, leaders, and through them the policies which they 
hold, must give a periodic accounting to the enfranchised citizenry. 
Their submission to "the will of the people" means, in practice, that 
they must be judged at regular intervals by a secret ballot, on which 
the voters are free to oppose them. There is, however, nothing in the 
nature of democracy which forbids them from leading the nation, 
while it is their turn to lead, in accordance with their own best wis- 
dom, not in deference to every momentary prejudice and weakness 


of the common man. Nor is there anything to forbid democratic 
leaders, if their own behef differs Trom that of rnany ^DrTvenTa. great 
majority, from trying to convince even the great majority that it is 
wrong. This the demagogue never attempts. The demagogue is 
cynical, contemptuous of the masses — contemptuous above all be- 
cause they follow him; and he flatters "their prejudices to betray 
their interests." But a willingness to be opposed if necessary, openly 
opposed to the majority, and to try, openly, to convince the majority 
that it is wrong is a sign not of contempt but of deep respect for the 
masses. It is an essential part of democratic leadership. 

The policy which we here consider could be implemented inter- 
nally only with such a conception of democracy, only if a respon- 
sible leadership proved ready to pursue boldly and openly a single, 
unwavering course, and, through the education of public opinion, 
win for that course informed public consent. 

The second problem is posed by the fact that the United States 
could not carry out this world policy, or any policy remotely likf it, 
unless communism within the United States were reduced to im- 
potence. To accomplish this, communism would have to be illegal- 
ized and suppressed. There is no hope that communism could be 
sufficiently reduced, within the allotted time, by mere education and 
enlightenment. The implementation of the policy is impossible — the 
survival of the United States, I would in fact add, is impossible — 
unless the internal communist movement is got rid of. Here, again, 
thus, we must ask: is this compatible with the principles of demo- 
cratic government? 

The usual reply — spoken most loudly of all, we may be sure, by 
the communists themselves and their sympathizers — is that illegal- 
ization and suppression of the internal communist movement would 
be an obvious violation of the fundamental democratic rights of free 
speech and assembly, and therefore not consistent with democratic 
government. Democracy must grant everyone not only the right to 
his beliefs, but the right to express them, to win others to them, and 
to organize politically to try to make them the prevailing beliefs of 


the democratic community and the directing behefs of its govern- 
ment. The logic of the argument seems complete. It is hard for most 
people to see at what point it could be even challenged. There are 
those in this country who are ready to suppress internal commu- 
nism; but to most others, and even to themselves, it is felt that in 
doing so they would be abandoning democracy. 

It is never possible, however, to understand poHtical questions by 
the purely logical analysis of abstract principles. We must relate the 
principles to what they mean in terms of concrete historical experi- 
ence. If we do so in this case, we will discover the emptiness of the 
usual argument. Let us, for simplicity, approach the evidence from 
the point of view of the right of free speech. Similar considerations 
would apply in the case of the various related democratic rights. 

Democracy in practice has never, and could never, interpret the 
right of free speech in an absolute and unrestricted sense. No one, 
for example, is allowed to advocate, and organize for, mass murder, 
rape, and arson. No one feels that such prohibitions are anti- 
democratic. But why not? Why cannot some purist tell us that any 
restriction whatsoever is, logically, counter to the absolute demo- 
cratic principle of free speech? 

The explanation of the logical puzzle is this. The right of free 
speech, or any other single right, or all of them together, cannot be 
understood in isolation. It must be related to a context, not merely 
to the verbal context of a constitution or set of laws, but to a social 
and historical context. The right of free speech presupposes the ex- 
istence of a democratic government, which is something much more 
complex than just free speech; and the existence of a democratic 
government presupposes the existence of a functioning social com- 
munity. But mass murder, rape, and arson are incompatible not only 
with the existence of a democratic government but with the existence 
of any kind of functioning social community. Whatever the situa- 
tion in pure logic, it is factually impossible for. a,jiy organized society 
"HEo enforce rules of conduct which are incompatible with its own 
existence. No right guaranteed by any government can, in social 
' fact, be interpreted to permit citizens to advocate, and organize for, 
mass murder, rape and arson. 

We may generalize as follows. The principles of an organized 


society cannot be interpreted in practice in such a way as to make 
organized society impossible. The special principles of a special form 
of government, in this case democratic government, cannot be in- 
terpreted in practice in such a way as to make that form of govern- 
ment impossible. 

Let us approach the question along somewhat different lines, 
through an analogy. Suppose that a football team claimed to be the 
best in the' country, and announced that it was ready to prove it by 
playing against "any other team," Let us further suppose that an- 
other group, calling itself a football team, challenged; but that this 
second group did not in fact accept the rules which define the game 
of football to be what it is. The second group, let us say, scored 
differently, refused to accept penalties, shot runners with pistols in- 
stead of tackling them, and so on. If our first claimant to the cham- 
pionship refused to take up the challenge, would we then denounce 
it for not making good on its offer to play "any other team"? We 
would, of course, not. We would say, rather, that the second group 
was not really a football team at all. We would say that you can 
play football only with those who accept the fundamental rules 
which define football, without which there would be no such thing 
as football. 

Similarly, a' poker player willing to take on "any opponent" 
means in practice, and can only mean, a poker player ready to take 
on anyone who is going to abide by the rules of poker. Within the 
framework of those rules, there can be an infinite variety in players 
and their method of play; in a poker tournament all of this variety 
should properly be admitted; but without the rules there is simply 
no poker. 

These analogies will, perhaps, suggest what is the only intelligible 
and workable interpretation of the rights and freedoms of demo- 
cratic government. Any individual right or freedom is properly 
extended only to those who accept the fundamental rules of democ- 
racy, only to those whose political activities, however infinitely vari- 
ous, are conducted within the general framework of democratic 
government, the framework without which the government would 
not be democratic. If this is not the interpretation, then democratic 


government is necessarily self-defeating. It cannot defend itself. It 
welcomes and fosters, in e£Fect, its own murderer. 

We may further note that no sovereign government, democratic 
or of any other kind, can, or does, voluntarily permit within the 
jurisdiction of its sovereignty the organized activities of the agency 
of another and contrary sovereignty. This too could not be other- 
wise in practice, because such activities are a negation of the gov- 
ernment's sovereignty. 

Communism, in democratic nations, makes use of free speech in 
order to abolish free speech. More generally, it is an essential part 
of the goal of communism to destroy democratic government, and to 
replace democratic government by totalitarianism.* Communism, 
in other words, does not accept the basic rules of democracy, the 
rules which define the very possibility of democracy. This fact is 
incontrovertible, demonstrated alike by consistently held commu- 
nist doctrine and by communist practice. The rules of democracy 
cannot, therefore, be intelligibly interpreted as providing for the free 
operation and development of a force specifically designed for their 
own destruction. On the contrary, if democratic government is his- 
torically workable, its rules must not only permit but enjoin it to 
reject, combat, and eliminate any such force. How, once again, could 
any society survive which deliberately nursed its own avowed and 
irreconcilable assassin, and freely exposed its heart to his knife? 

But communism within the United States is no less outside the 
limits of democratic rights on the equally demonstrable ground that 
it is the agency of an alien sovereign. It rejects, in theory and prac- 
tice. United States sovereignty, and accepts that of world com- 
munism and its Soviet center. 

There is, therefore, nothing in democratic principle which would 
forbid the suppression of communism. The act of suppression would 
be in no way incompatible with the democratic form of government. 
The question, however, does not end with this demonstration. A 
principle is, we might say, timeless. The application of a principle 
occurs necessarily in time. In connection with the application, we 
must always ask when? how? under what circumstances? If, on 
principle, I have the right to carry a rifle, it does not follow that it 

* This analysis applies, of course, equally well to the fascist form of totalitarianism. 


is always under all circumstances correct for me actually to carry 
a rifle. The application is also a matter of expediency. 

Experience can show us that, though there is nothing anti- 
democratic in principle in suppressing such a movement as com- 
munism, there is always a practical danger to democracy from any 
and every act of suppression. The reason, as we know, is that those 
who have power, those who control the suppressive measures, often 
do not stop at what is justified in principle. They find it convenient 
to create an amalgam, to lump together with the group that ought 
legitimately to be suppressed other opponents of theirs whose activi- 
ties are not outside the boundaries and rules of democracy. The 
communists today are very skillfully playing up this danger. They 
are saying over and over : if communists are suppressed, then where 
will the line be drawn ? Will that not prove the first step in a series 
which will end with the suppression of all opposition? 

This might happen. It would be foolish to deny the reality of the 
danger. But in political life, and in all life, there is always danger. 
Every choice we make may lead to disaster. Nothing we can do will 
make certain our safety. If our object is to preserve democracy, we 
must, then, weigh possible dangers against each other. Along which 
course — that of permitting communism to continue freely, or that 
of suppressing it — does the greater danger to democracy lie ? 

To the principle which permits the suppression, we need to add 
a rule of expediency which can help us know when to apply the 
principle. Negatively, the reasonable rule would seem to be that it 
is never expedient to proceed against a group which is so small and 
weak as to be a negligible influence in the life of the country. Even 
if its program and activities are altogether beyond the permissible 
boundaries of democracy, the mere fact of its weakness means that 
there is little to gain from suppressing it, and that this little is not 
enough to counterbalance the indirect dangers from the act of sup- 
pression. Positively, the rule would call for suppression in the case 
of groups which constitute a clear, present, and powerful threat. In 
such cases, though it is no doubt hard to be sure just when the 
equilibrium shifts, the danger to democracy from the existence of 
the group outweighs the possible dangers from the suppression. 

The Hearst press does a great disservice through its mode of 


treating the "Red Menace." There is a Red Menace within the 
country, and only those who are liars or ignorant deny it. It is the 
menace of the official communist movement and its legions of 
auxiliaries and dupes. But the Hearst press applies the terms "red" 
and "Bolshevik" and "communist" indiscriminately to official com- 
munists, opposition communists, socialists, populists, anarchists, and 
several kinds of liberals. Only the official communists, together with 
those whose ideas and activities they control, come under the rule 
that the threat must be "clear, present, and powerful." It might be 
argued that socialism, through the political effects of collectivization, 
might in the long run bring about the destruction of democracy. 
This argument, however, is not "clear": that is, it is not yet proved 
by the historical evidence. Besides, the non-communist socialist 
groups are too weak to be either a "present" or "powerful" threat. 
The rule cannot justify suppression for what might happen fifty 
or a hundred years from now. The influence of the anarchists is 
negligible. As for the populist movements, and the individualist 
liberals (as distinguished from the pseudo-liberals of the New Re- 
public, Nation, PM type, who are professionally sympathetic to com- 
munist policies), their suppression naturally cannot be justified in 
principle or in practice: their program and activities are eminently 
within the boundaries of democracy, far more plainly than those of 
the Hearst press, which not infrequently steps beyond those 

The threat of the communist movement, of that movement specifi- 
cally, comes in all respects under the rule of expediency, which calls 
for actual suppression. Its threat to democratic government is abso- 
lutely clear, demonstrated. Its threat, above all in the context of the 
world political crisis, is very present. And the total internal influence 
of its combined forces, supplemented by the pressures from without 
of. its world apparatus, is already so powerful as to be a major chal- 
lenge to the sovereignty of the government. The danger to democ- 
racy in the United States from the continued existence of the 
communist movement is so much greater than the possible danger 
from the act of suppression, that there are no grounds for demo- 
cratic hesitation. The survival of democracy in this country requires 
the suppression of communism, now. 


The suppression of communism cannot be accomplished in a day 
or two. To begin with, the reasons for the suppression must be ex- 
plained clearly and frankly to the people. The communists and their 
allies, their activities and their program, must be named and ex- 
posed, stripped of all the disguises which they are so adept at wear- 
ing. From the point of view of the implementation of foreign policy, 
an immediate practical measure imperatively demanded is the oust- 
ing of all communists and all ingrained communist sympathizers 
from all departments and agencies of the government and the armed 
forces. How, possibly, can the world struggle against world com- 
munism be successfully conducted, when communists are planted 
in key spots throughout the primary instrumentalities of that 
struggle ? 

After having been motivated by the explanation and the exposure, 
the communist party, and all communist activities and propaganda 
conducted under whatever name or through whatever fronts, must 
then be flatly illegalized. And the prohibition must be rigorously and 
thoroughly enforced. 

We not infrequently hear that "you cannot suppress communism." 
Communism, it is said, arises naturally in our day out of the dis- 
content of the masses with bad social conditions. The only possi- 
bility of ending communism is by removing all the bad conditions, 
and creating a society with universal well-being and happiness. 

Those who use this argument are not aware that it has been sup- 
plied to them by the communists themselves. They are still less 
aware that the communists themselves do not believe it. For com- 
munists, the classic refutation of this "theory of spontaneity" is to 
be found in Lenin's What h to Be Done?, to which we have else- 
where referred. Lenin insists, correctly, that mere social "conditions" 
could not bring "Social-Democratic consciousness" to the masses (by 
"Social-Democratic" he means what is today called "communist"). 
"This consciousness," he writes, "could only be brought to them 
from without." 

The partial truth in the usual argument, which gives it its plausi- 
bility, is that bad social conditions are one of the factors that may 
produce moods of discontent and even revolt among the masses, and 
may lead to actual mass movements against the prevailing order. 


(They do not always do so; often they produce mass passivity.) 
They do not of themselves lead to communism. Communism is not 
just a loose wave of discontent. It is a specific movement of our 
time, highly and intricately organized both in its theories and in its 
activities. It does not "arise spontaneously." It is deliberately built, 
by trained and disciplined men, by what Lenin calls the professional 
revolutionists of the conscious vanguard. Bad social conditions are, 
it is true, a kind of manure which helps the professional com- 
munists to grow an easier and larger crop. It is thus worth while, 
as a defense against communism, if there were not so many better 
reasons, to work to improve social conditions. But the specific prob- 
lem of communism in our time is independent of the more perma- 
nent problem of social conditions. Communism, as a specific move- 
ment, is not like an Antaeus, who, crushed to his mother Earth, will 
rise again always stronger than before. Communism can be sup- 
pressed, to stay suppressed. If democracy is to be saved, it will have 
to be. 

  < go to Contents>

17. -World Empire and the Balance of Power   < go to Contents>  

A WORLD FEDERATION initiated and led by the United States 
would be, we have recognized, a World Empire. In this imperial 
federation, the United States, with a monopoly of atomic weapons, 
would hold a preponderance of decisive material power over all the 
rest of the world. In world politics, that is to say, there would not 
be a "balance of power." 

To those commentators who feel that they are displaying a badge 
of poHtical virtue when they denounce the "balance of power," the 
prospect of its elimination ought to seem a prime asset of the poHcy 
here under discussion. Those who are not impressed with the rhetor- 
ical surface of politics will be less pleased. 

At whatever level of social life, from a small community to the 
world at large, a balance of power is the only sure protection of 
individual or group liberties. Since we cannot get rid of power, the 
real pbliticar choice is between a balance of diverse powers and a 
monopoly of power. Either one power outweighs all the rest, or 
separately located powers check and countercheck each other. If one 
power outweighs all the rest, there is no effective guarantee against 
the abuse of that power by the group which wields it. It will seem 
desirable and necessary to buttress still further the power domi- 
nance, to take measures against any future threat to the power 
relations, to cut off at the source any trickle of potential opposition. 
It will seem right that those with the over-weening power should 
also receive material privilege commensurate with their power rank- 
ing. Only power can be counted on to check power and to hinder 
its abuse. Liberty, always precarious, arises out of the unstable 
equilibrium that results from the conflict of competing powers. 

As a solution for the present crisis, might it not therefore seem 
that there is little objective reason to prefer a world federation under 
United States leadership to a communist World Empire ? Of course, 
we might, not altogether cynically, reflect that even if our choice is 


only between jailers to preside over our common prison, that is still 
not an occasion for indifference. But is anything more at stake? 
Would not the United States also, if it became world leader, turn 
out in the end to be world tyrant? 

We must begin by replying, as we have so often: it might be so. 
There can be no certainty against it. We must say even more than 
this. There is in American life a strain of callow brutality. This be- 
trays itself no less in the lynching and gangsterism at home than in 
the arrogance and hooliganism of soldiers or tourists abroad. The 
provincialism of the American mind expresses itself in a lack of 
sensitivity toward other peoples and other cultures. There is in many 
Americans an ignorant contempt for ideas and tradition and history, 
a complacency with the trifles of merely material triumph. Who, 
listening a few hours to the American radio, could repress a shud- 
der if he thought that the price of survival would be the American- 
ization of the world? 

We have already observed that the idea of "empire" carries with 
it a confused set of associations that is only remotely related to his- 
torical experience. There have been many empires, of many kinds, 
differing in almost every imaginable way in their social and polit- 
ical content. The only constant, the factor that leads us to call the 
given political aggregate an "empire," is the predominance — perhaps 
only to a very small degree — of a part over the whole. 

It is by no means true that all empires are tyrannies. The Athe- 
nian Empire of the 5th century b.c. was for most of its history little 
more than a strengthened federation. Within the imperial state, 
Athens itself, there flourished the most vigorous political democracy 
of the ancient world, and in some respects of all time. Though 
Athens controlled the foreign policy of the federated cities and 
islands, in many instances she used her influence to promote demo- 
cratic changes of their internal regimes. 

The hand of England has been heavy on India, Malaysia, Ceylon, 
but she can hardly be accused of destroying there a liberty which 
never existed. And in what independent states has there been found 
more Hberty than in her loosely dependent Dominions? 


The imperial rule of Rome, especially if compared to the pre- 
existing regimes of the areas to which it was gradually extended, 
was far from an unmixed despotism. For hundreds of years it was 
centered in an imperial state which was itself a Republic. Many of 
the cities and states which were added by force or maneuver were, 
upon affiliation, cemented by the grant not of slavery but of Roman 
citizenship. It would be hard to prove that Roman power meant less 
liberty for the inhabitants of Egypt or Thrace or Parthia. 

Even the Ottoman Empire, which, entering from outside, took 
over the rule of the enfeebled Byzantine states in Asia Minor, the 
Balkans, and parts of Africa, is hardly responsible for the end of 
liberties which had never grown on Byzantine soil. Under the Otto- 
man Turks, the Christians, permitted the free practice of their 
religion, and eligible through the peculiar device of the slave house- 
hold of the capital to the highest military and administrative posi- 
tions, were more free than had been heathens or heterodox Chris- 
tian sects under the Byzantine power. 

I am not, certainly, trying to suggest that building an empire is 
the best way to protect freedom. The empires of the Mongols, of 
the Egyptians, the Incaic and Aztec and Babylonian and Hittite 
empires will scarcely be included among the friends of liberty. It 
does, however, seem to be the case that there is no very close causal 
relation between empire and liberty. The lack of liberty among the 
Andean or Mexican Indians, the Egyptians or Mongolians or Hit- 
tites, cannot be blamed on the imperial structures into which their 
societies were, at various periods, politically articulated. Within their 
cultures, social and political liberties, as we understand them, did 
not exist at any time, whether or not they were organized as em- 
pires. The degree of liberty which exists within an empire seems to 
be relatively independent of the mere fact of the imperial poHtical 

The extension of an empire does, by its very nature, mean at least 
some reduction in the independence, or sovereignty, of whatever 
nations or peoples become part of the empire. This is sometimes felt 
as a grievous loss by these nations or peoples, almost always so felt 
by the governing class which has previously been their unrestricted 
rulers — perhaps their tyrants. But this partial loss of independence 


need not at all mean a loss of concrete liberties for the population, 
may even mean their considerable development, and may bring also 
a great gain to civilization and world political order. Untrammeled 
national independence is a dubious blessing, consistent with com- 
plete despotism inside the given nation, and premise of an inter- 
national anarchy that derives precisely from separatist independence. 
I did not attempt to deduce the totalitarian tyranny of a com- 
munist World Empire from the mere fact that it would be an em- 
pire. This conclusion was based upon the analysis of the nature of 
communism, as revealed in ideology, organization, and historical 
practice. Though it must be granted that an imperial world feder- 
ation led by the United States might also develop into a tyranny, 
the fact of empire does not, in this case either, make the conclusion 

The development of an industrial economy world-wide in scope, 
the breakdown of the international political order, and the existence 
of atomic weapons are, we observed at the beginning of our discus- 
sion, the elements of the world .crisis as well as the occasion for the 
attempt to construct a world imperial federation. This world feder- 
ation is made possible by the material and social conditions, is de- 
manded by the catastrophic acuteness of the crisis, and at the same 
time is a means for solving the crisis. The nature of the federation 
cannot be deduced from definition, but must be understood in re- 
lation to the historical circumstances out of which it may arise. 

From the point of view of the United States, and of the non- 
communist world generally, the world federation is required in 
order to perform two inter-related tasks, which cannot be performed 
without the federation: to control atomic weapons, and to prevent 
mass, total, world war. With United States leadership, and only 
with its leadership, a federation able to perform these tasks could 
be built, and built in time. With the performance of these tasks, 
the federation would be accomplishing what might be called its 
"historical purpose"; it would be fulfilling the requirements which 
prompted its creation. The minimum content of the "American 
world empire" would thus be no more than that of a protective 


association of nations and peoples in which, for a restricted special 
purpose, a special power — the power of atomic weapons — ^would be 
guarded in the beginning by one member of the association. 

At first there would be, perhaps, little more to the federation than 
this minimum content — which, after all, would not be such an un- 
mitigated blow to the liberties of mankind. It is not, however, to 
be expected that the federation would remain long at this bare level. 
It would develop; the content would deepen. How it would develop 
is a question not decided in advance. If the direction might be to- 
ward a tyrannous despotism, on the part of the initially favored 
nation, there is no reason to rule out a development in a quite oppo- 
site direction, toward the fuller freedoms and humanity of a genu- 
ine world state and world society. 

The danger to liberties would be the power predominance of the 
United States in the beginning of the federation. Fortunately for 
•liberty, there are objective factors of very great weight that would 
operate against any attempt by the United States to institute a totali- 
tarian world tyranny. 

Not unimportant among these factors is the historical tradition 
which is the past of the United States social present. I have men- 
tioned the brutality, provincialism, and cultural insensitivity which 
are not infrequent in United States behavior. These are, however, 
characteristics to be expected in a young and "semi-barbarian super- 
state of the cultural periphery" (I use, again, Toynbee's phrase). 
There is nothing totalitarian about them. Their rather anarchic, 
somewhat lawless, disruptive manifestations are on the whole anti- 
totalitarian in effect. Americans do, most of them, have a contempt 
for ideas; but that very contempt gives them a certain immunity to 
mental capture by an integral ideology of the totalitarian kind. It is 
less easy for a nation to escape from its past than many optimists, 
and pessimists, imagine. The past can be a millstone around the 
neck, but it can also be an anchor bringing safety. The United States 
may become totalitarian. It seems to me unlikely, however, that this 
will come about through a natural internal evolution. Totalitarian- 
ism would have to be brought from without, as it would have been 
by a world-victorious Nazi Germany, as it will be by the commu- 
nists, if they are allowed to continue. 


A second factor on the side of liberty is the inadequate power of 
the United States. The United States has today very great power, 
greater than its own spokesmen reaHze, great enough to build a 
world federation, to defeat communism, and to ensure control of 
atomic weapons. It does not have enough power to impose a totali- 
tarian rule on the rest of the world. Even if the United States could 
concentrate enough in the form of purely military power, it lacks 
sufficient manpower and sufficient political experience. 

What this means is that the United States can lead only by accept- 
ing others as partners, only by combining the methods of concilia- 
tion and concession with the methods of power, only by guarding 
the rights of others as jealously as its own privileges. If the United 
States refuses this mode of leadership, if it should try instead to be 
world despot, it might still, for a short while, subdue the world 
beneath an atomic terror. But the end would be swift and certain. 
Mankind would be avenged, and the United States destroyed. The 
only question would be whether all civiUzation would be brought 
down in the process. 

Looked at somewhat differently, this indicates that in the pro- 
jected world federation the principle of the balance of power would 
not in reality be suspended. At the one, narrowly military level, a 
balance would be replaced by United States preponderance. But 
military force, especially in the technical sense which is alone at 
stake in the control of atomic weapons, is by no means the only 
form of social power. In terms of population, material resources, 
cultural skills and experience, the United States would not at all 
outweigh the other members of the federation. Within the frame- 
work of the federation, divided powers would continue to interact. 
Through their mutual checks and balancings, they would operate 
to prevent any totalitarian crystallization of all power. 

A third, ironic protection of liberty is the unwillingness of the 
United States to rule the world. No people, pushed by forces they 
cannot control, ever entered on the paths of world power with less 
taste for the journey, with more nostalgic backward glances. This 
distaste, indeed, is so profound that it is primarily significant not 
so much as a protection against the abuse of United States power, 


but rather as a tragic handicap to the sufficient utiUzation of that 

There is a fourth major factor which will challenge any despotic 
presumption on the part of the United States. In the world today 
there are many millions of men and women who know the meaning 
of totalitarian tyranny, often through the frightful lessons of direct 
experience, and who are resolved, if any chance is given them, to 
fight against it. They are within the United States itself, as within 
every other nation, not the least firm among them silent for the 
moment under the stranglehold of the communist power. The loss 
of liberty teaches best, perhaps, its meaning. Though they are now, 
after so many betrayals and vain hopes, close to despair, they are still 
ready to act again. 

They are ready, since there is no other way, to accept and follow 
the leadership of the United States, but only if they are given reason 
to believe that United States leadership will bring both power and 
justice: power so that there will be a chance to win, and justice so 
that the victory will be worth winning. They will follow not as 
subjects of the United States, but, in their own minds, as citizens of 
the world. For them, all governments and all power are suspect. 
They will be — they are — stern judges of the United States; they are 
acquainted with the symptoms of tyranny; they will observe and 
resist every invasion of liberty. If experience should prove to them 
that their hope in the United States is also empty, then they will 
abandon the United States. 

The United States cannot compete in tyranny with the commu- 
nists. The communists have cornered that political market. The 
peoples of the world will reason that if it is to be totalitarianism 
anyway, then it had might as well be the tried and tested brand. 
The United States will not win the peoples to her side — and the 
struggle in the end is for them, is not merely miHtary — unless her 
leadership is anti-totalitarian, unless she can make herself the in- 
strument of the hope, not the fear, of mankind. 


In Chapter 3 we reached the conclusion that a genuine world 
government was not a possible solution o£ the present world po- 
litical crisis. At the same time we found no reason for abandoning 
the ideal of a genuine world government or even the far nobler ideal 
of a world society in which the coercion and violence which are 
always part of any government would be replaced by the free, co- 
operative union of all mankind. 

Those men who are dedicated to these ideals, who have rid their 
hearts forever of the bitter nationalist shell that divides them from 
their brothers who are all men, cannot remain satisfied with any 
such perspective as we have been examining. With the best of 
chances, a world federation led, however generously and discreetly, 
by the United States would still retain its gross flaw of imperial in- 
equality. Must they, then, these dedicated men, reject and condemn 
this perspective? 

I think they need not, if their ideal is more than self-indulgence, 
if they know that their ideal must be realized within and through 
the harsh, real world of history. For them, this is the means; there 
is no other way. They cannot want for its own sake a federation of 
unequals, led by the United States. But they must want it as the 
necessary step toward their own goal of a world society of equals, 
in which they will continue to believe, and toward which their 
influence will try to direct the future of the federation. 

Let us assume that I am correct in maintaining that world or- 
ganization under communist leadership and world organization 
under United States leadership are the only two real alternatives in 
the present world political situation. 

Communism, consistent in itself, is not troubled by any seeming 
disparities between the various propaganda masks through which 
it faces the world. From one mouth, it will tell us that all is well 
within the Soviet Union and among communists everywhere, and 
that any story of communist villainy is a fascist slander and a 


counter-revolutionary lie. If we have learned too much to be in this 
way quite lulled, communism will change mouths, and say: of course 
communists are now and then guilty of excesses, and there has been 
some Soviet trouble, but is this not the way of the world ? How can 
the United States, with its own eye so full of beams, object to those 
Soviet motes ? If communists are rather bad, well, at any rate Amer- 
icans are no better. 

This adoit maneuver, playing as it does so skillfully on all the 
strings of our own guilt, has a paralyzing effect on the minds and 
wills of honest men. Is it not true that we oppress a subject race, 
that we grab military bases, that our soldiers rape and rob, that we 
have dismal slums, that our propaganda is often false and hypo- 
critical, that much of our press serves rich and wicked men, that 
we have grafters and absentee landlords and exploiters ? What right 
do we have, then, to criticize communism, to set up our own way 
against its way ? What choice is there between us ? And, above all, 
what right have we to ask the world to choose ? 

Because I have not tried to conceal either the present defects in 
our society or the threats of future danger, but rather to force these 
out into the open, I feel it necessary to comment on the subtle, 
pseudo-humility of this attitude. 

The truth is this. Our way is not the communist way. There is a 
difference, and there is a choice, as profound as any that men have 
in history confronted. We do not ever have, in history, a choice be- 
tween absolutes, between Good and Evil, God and Satan. Evil, along 
with good, pervades the fabric of the City of the World; Satan, if 
not enthroned, is always present at the world's assemblies. Our 
choice is always between gray mixtures of good and evil; our right 
choice can never gain more than the lesser evil. What is always 
relevant, therefore, is the exact composition of the mixture, the 
degree, the measure. 

It is true that we discriminate against the Negro race; but the 
most oppressed Negro in the United States has ten times more free- 
dom than nine-tenths of the persons subject to the communist power. 
It is true that there are some frauds in our elections; but the whole 
electoral system of the Soviet Union is nothing but a gigantic fraud 
and farce. It is true, and wrong, that our press sometimes distorts 


news for the sake of selfish owners; but the entire communist press 
is simply the voice of a total lie. Some of our workers and farmers 
live in poverty and slums; but all Soviet workers live, under com- 
munist rule, in poverty and slums; all are hounded by a secret police 
and tied to the state by labor passports, and fifteen or twenty mil- 
lion of them are herded into the slave-gangs of the N.K.V.D. Our 
soldiers, occupying a country, are, some of them, brutal; but the 
communists, occupying a country, suck it dry, destroy its inde- 
pendent life, ship hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants back to 
the slave-gangs, and torture and kill every even potential opponent. 
Our police occasionally knock a striker over the head, or beat up a 
harmless drunk; but the communist police torture and frame and 
exile and murder millions of innocent men and women, and by 
means of spies and provocateurs reach into every factory and farm 
and home. Our employers and authorities sometimes try to break a 
strike; under a communist regime the very mention of a strike is 
punishable by death. We sometimes punish a poor man who in 
desperation steals, say, a jewel from a rich waster; in the Soviet 
Union a starving peasant who takes, to feed his children, a bushel 
of wheat from the farm he works, can legally be sentenced to exile 
or death for what, in the pious cant, is called "the theft of socialist 
property." In communist law and practice, it is a crime not to be a 
stoolpigeon, and a duty to betray friends and wife and family. 
Among us, the poor and weak do not have an equal chance against 
the rich and powerful; under the communists the poor and weak 
must not only obey, but praise and fawn on their masters. 

It is far from my purpose to list these comparisons in order to 
suggest any complacency on our part. Our evils are still evil, even 
if there are worse. It is no less our duty to reject and overcome them. 
Every one of them, every added one, it may be noted, is a weapon 
contributed to communism. But it is necessary to guard against a 
false and in reality cynical indifference which escapes the responsi- 
bility for choice by the plea that all roads are alike, and alike lead 
to ruin. It is well to recall that there is something, after all, to 


It will be useful to give a name to the supreme policy which I 
have formulated. It is neither "imperial" nor "American" in any 
sense that would be ordinarily communicated by these words. The 
partial leadership which it allots to the United States follows not 
from any nationalist bias but from the nature and possibilities of 
existing world power relationships. Because this policy is the only 
answer to the communist plan for a universal totalitarianism, be- 
cause it is the only chance for preserving the measure of liberty that 
is possible for us in our Time of Troubles, and because it proposes 
the sole route now open toward a free world society, I shall hence- 
forth refer to it as the policy of demoa-atic world order. 

 < go to Contents>

18. Is War Inevitable?   < go to Contents>

IT IS, IN A WAY, rather absurd to ask whether there is going to 
be another general war, a Third World War. The Third World 
War began, we saw, in the Spring of 1944, and has thus already been 
going on for several years. Already, thousands, even tens of thou- 
sands, of men have been killed in this war — in China and Iran and 
Yugoslavia and Trieste and Germany and elsewhere. Among those 
killed have been armed soldiers of the United States. 

We know, however, that something different is usually meant by 
the question. When we speak of syphilis, we do not have in mind 
the passing annoyance of a small sore. When most people ask about 
the Third World War, they are thinking, of course, not of small 
skirmishes and incidents here and there, or even rather extensive 
battles in the less developed nations, but of fighting and destruction 
on a mass and general scale. We may note that there is a superficial- 
ity in this way of thinking. Between the small sore and the dread 
organic degeneration, though they may be widely separated in time 
and in idea, the lurking spirochetes provide a most intimate causal 
link. Nevertheless, let us re-state the problem, and ask whether there 
will be a new war in the more total sense. 

No future event is inevitable, and we therefore cannot say that a 
new full-scale war is certain to come. It is conceivable, possible, that 
it should not. We are compelled to recognize, however, if we wish 
to face the evidence, that a new war in the full sense, and in a com- 
paratively short time, is very probable. It is on the whole probable, 
though not in each case equally so, no matter what deliberate policies 
are followed by the United States or by the other nations. The living 
germs are present in the blood; and political science has not yet 
devised its miracle drugs. 

The evidence, a good deal of it, may be found distributed through 
the pages of this book. We know in general that civilized men have 
always fought many and frequent wars. We know of nothing to 


assure us that their habits o£ millennia can quickly change. In the 
past, the most that wise policy has ever achieved has been to lessen 
the frequency and devastation of wars, to decrease, by foresight and 
a steady navigation, the cost of either victory or defeat. We know 
that in today's world the division and unbalance, immeasurably 
aggravated by the mere existence of atomic weapons, are so pro- 
found that they cannot persist for long under the present tensions 
without some major resolution. We know that such a resolution is 
ordinarily brought about through war. 

It is not really necessary to examine causes to their roots in order 
to recognize that a new war is probable. The fact is written in bold- 
face on the daily surface of events. Indeed, there is hardly a prece- 
dent in history for the failure of a war to begin from political clashes 
and incidents much less grave than those of the past few years. 

We may say more than this. It is well understood that the im- 
mediate occasion which sets off a great war in our complex modern 
society is largely accidental. It need be nothing of any particular im- 
portance in itself: a mistranslated telegram, a personal assassination, 
a border incident among many border incidents. Difficulties much 
more serious in themselves will have preceded it, without starting 
the war. What happens is that the relations among the belligerents- 
to-be reach and maintain a state of explosive instability. In that state, 
even a small spark, which before could easily have been damped out, 
can begin the massive detonation. The spark is sometimes deliber- 
ately struck by one of the protagonists, hoping to gain an advantage 
from the choice of timing; sometimes it occurs, as it were, spon- 
taneously, the chance result of a clash which no political leader con- 
sciously planned. Once the explosive state has been reached, war can 
begin at any moment. Conceivably it may be delayed, even for some 
years; but, unless by rare luck the explosive combination is dena- 
tured, it is a never-absent, immediate threat. 

The world has now, in relation to the full and open stage of the 
Third World War, entered that explosive state. This means that the 
full war is not the possibility of a generation from now, to be 
debated on at leisure. It might be delayed four or five years, much 
more improbably ten; but it may begin at any moment, today, to- 
morrow; it may have begun before these sentences are published. 


An airplane shot down, a port shelled by a warship, an army's 
march into a neighboring country, an atom bomb dropped on a 
great city or an oil field, an arrest and detention, any of hundreds of 
events no more intrinsically important than hundreds which have 
already occurred, might be the immediate occasion. Or it could be- 
gin from a larger, slower fuse, building up through stages in the 
expansion of a civil war or a revolt or a border infiltration. 

Under these circumstances, the United States cannot carry out a 
serious foreign policy, certainly not the policy of democratic world 
order, unless it is at every moment ready for war. I do not refer 
so much to the details of military preparedness. Essential as these 
are, they are secondary, derivative from the more fundamental poUt- 
ical readiness, from the realization that policy must, if necessary, 
be backed by force, and backed all the way. 

Policy must come first, and I again repeat: peace cannot be the 
supreme practical objective of policy. In the present world political 
^crisis, there is no chance of bluffing so shrewd and informed an 
opponent as the communists. Conflicts involving the concrete aims 
of American policy are bound to occur, are daily occurring. Where 
these are of any consequence, it will mean that their settlement will 
be a definite advance or a definite setback for American world ob- 
jectives, and, conversely, a definite setback or advance for commu- 
nist objectives: one cannot go forward without the other's retreating. 
No tougn speeches, no rude notes, no shocked complaints to the 
Security Council will appreciably affect the results unless it is true, 
and known to be true, that directly back of the words is force, and 
that there is a complete readiness on the part of the American lead- 
ers to call on the force to implement the words. 

The United States is not going to stop the war by wishing for peace. 
It is unlikely that this war can be stopped in any case. The only 
chance of stopping it is by carrying through a policy the fulfillment 
of which would remove the causes of this war. This can be done 
only by a constant readiness for war; and readiness for war, therefore, 
far from making war more probable, is the indispensable means for 
decreasing its probability to the lowest figure that is, under the cir- 
cumstances, possible. If war nevertheless comes quickly, there is less 
reason for the United States to fear it in conjunction with a policy 


that is certain to improve the relative position of the United States, 
than there is to fear a later war which would begin with atomic 
weapons on the other side, and the United States' position sapped 
perhaps beyond repair by the results of a false policy. 

The communists are at the present time ready, but not anxious, 
for war. 

There are in their ranks no signs of defeatism or of any unwilling- 
ness to fight at once if it seems advisable. Indeed, they have been 
fighting right along, sometimes on a considerable scale, in many 
parts of the world. There is, however, some reason to believe that 
they would, on the whole, prefer a delay of ten or fifteen years in the 
outbreak of general warfare. 

This wish for delay, which is by no means an insurmountable 
preference, has an understandable motivation. The parts of the 
world which the communists now control are, relative to the United 
States and its potential associates, technically and economically back- 
ward. In spite of the communist concentration on war industry to 
the exclusion of almost everything else, the backwardness means 
deficiencies, both quantitative and qualitative, in the production of 
armaments. In particular, they still lack atomic weapons and the 
means of producing them.* ^y delay, these deficiencies might be at 

•During 1946, rumors began to circulate that the Soviet Union did have atomic 
weapons. These rumors may be expected to recur from nov/ on. In most cases they 
may be traced to communist sources. Though it is difficult to be sure, I am inclined to 
doubt them. Through the activities of their agents in the United States, England and 
Canada, combined with the work of their own and their captive German scientists, I 
take for granted that the communists possess all the important "secrets" of the 
manufacture of atomic weapons. Nevertheless, the history of Soviet industry suggests 
that it will have great difficulty in meeting, on the necessary large scale, the ex- 
tremely high precision standards which are required. If there is no interruption, it 
will be done, by way of the method of concentration which the Soviet scheme per- 
mits. But not, I think, for a few years more. The planted rumors seem to be, for 
the present, an instrument of psychological warfare, designed to induce doubt, fear, 
and demoralization. If war started tomorrow, runaors would be used to spread mass 
panic in New York, London, Chicago, Detroit and other great cities, and thereby 
to get the socially disintegrating effect of atomic weapons without having the weapons 



least in part overcome. With even five years, they would have atomic 
weapons ready for use. 

The war with Germany caused great material destruction in the 
Soviet Union, much o£ it in just those regions which had been 
most highly developed during the first three Five Year Plans. The 
stories about the many factories saved by being moved intact to the 
Urals are much exaggerated. Besides, you cannot move coal mines, 
dams, coke ovens, oil fields. The need to repair this damage also 
counsels delay. 

The war and its aftermath brought, besides the material destruc- 
tion, a considerable socio-political disintegration. The war gave the 
first big chance for the expression of the fierce accumulated resent- 
ment against the communist regime. This took many forms. The 
Russian divisions, for example, which fought powerfully for the 
Germans under General A. A. Vlasov were the only large "traitor 
army" that any of the belligerents succeeded in organizing. The 
regime has, since the war ended, taken note of mass anti-communist 
behavior by wiping out a number of so-called "autonomous repub- 
lics" (the Chechen-Ingush, Crimean, Kalmyk, Volga -German), 
whose existence was supposedly guaranteed by "the most democratic 
constitution in the world," and by liquidating the Karachev "au- 
tonomous region," As the Red Army spread beyond the Soviet 
borders, discipline among the ordinary soldiers often broke down, 
and desertions were frequent. Under the war conditions, moreover, 
it was hard to hold together the complexly woven threads of the 
centralized party apparatus. 

The leadership, therefore, needs a little time to reconsolidate its 
absolute control of the party ranks, the army, and the masses. This 
job is being carried out in the usual way, through the primary 
mechanism of the gigantic new purge which began in 1946. 

On the other hand, the communists believe, with no residue of 
doubt, that "capitalist-imperialism" — that is, the non-communist 
world — has entered the stage of its permanent decline, and that it is 
subject to irreversible internal disintegration. Within a few years, 
they believe, the non-communist world will descend into another 
economic depression more catastrophic than that of 1929-33. They 
believe also that the internal disintegration of capitalism can be 


speeded by the activitdes o£ their own organizations functioning 
within the capitahst nations. Delay thus seems to promise a double 
relative improvement in the communist position, both by positive 
communist advance, and by capitalist deterioration. 

A stress on these considerations is responsible for a current of 
opinion which exists among the communists, but which does not 
find official recognition in the slogans and conduct of the present, 
leftist "Seventh Period." * Those influenced by this current are in 
favor of a slower, more cautious policy, and a shift to a new Right 
period with the customary Right formulas of collaboration and 
united fronts. The puHic form of their views was given by Earl 
Browder, in the six articles which he wrote for The New Republic 
during the summer of 1946, after his journey for conference with his 
headquarters in Moscow.f These articles were a bait held out to 
the United States government. They said, in effect: just let us com- 
plete our present modest plans in Europe, China, and the Middle 
East, and we will promise to be good. The United States and the 
communists, in permanent "peaceful collaboration," will together 
run the world to their mutual happiness and prosperity. 

The difference between this view and that expressed in the current 
Seventh Period is, needless to repeat, merely tactical. The only ques- 
tion is how, in details and in timing, to prepare best for the war 
which all communists regard as inevitable. I have already suggested 
that a new turn to the Right is not at all inconceivable. In many 
ways it would seem a more intelligent tactic, especially toward the 
United States. The United States is almost pathetically anxious to 
be lulled to political sleep. 

However, a wish for a delay in the start of the war is not a symp- 
tom of any lack of communist confidence. This confidence, sustained 
by the belief in capitalist disintegration, is increased by the recent 
war's fresh demonstration of the strength of the geographical and 

* See Chapter 6. 

t The same position, stated by Browder from the communist side, was given its 
American expression by Henry Wallace. The difference between Browder and Wallace 
is that Browder knows what he is doing. 


strategic position which the communists now control. Ideologically, 
it has unassailable support in the dogma of the inevitability of com- 
munist world triumph. 

Of still more immediate bearing on present communist tactics 
is the communists' belief in their own political superiority. Nega- 
tively, they are convinced that "imperialism" is so degenerate and so 
torn with "internal contradictions" that the non-communist world, 
in its parts and as a whole, is incapable of projecting and following 
any serious policy at all. For this view they have, up to now, much 
evidence. Positively, they observe the fact that, during the war and 
following it, they have at all times, no matter what their material 
difficulties, kept the political initiative. Even when they have bluffed 
like a poker player raising the limit on a pair of threes, they have 
found that their bluff is never called. In Poland or Argentina or 
Iran or Italy or Germany, on Tito or Franco or Boris, they always 
move first. The non-communist nations either come trailing after, or 
shout feeble protests against the runner who jumps the gun. 

Thoughts on matters like these help account for the dynamic, 
"fast," Left communist policy which now prevails. Like a gambler 
in a winning streak, they reason : let's keep going while the going is 
good. Let's snatch every opening, fill every vacuum, pry wider every 
crack. Let's, in other words, get as much as possible of the next 
war's job done before the war begins in earnest. If we irritate the 
imperialists, they are, politically, too broken down to do anything 
much about us. Even if they should try to, even if our tactics pro- 
voke an earlier war, we will have gained more than enough to make 
the chance worth taking. 

The lock-bolt of the entire structure of communist plans is politi- 
cal. For them, everything depends on their continuing to have 
political superiority and to maintain the political initiative. If they 
do, they win either way, war or no war, war soon or war delayed. 
Whatever happens, their policy, with its fixed goal of world con- 
quest, will be steadily advancing. 

The structure collapses if the lock-bolt is loosened. If the non- 
communist world adopts a bold and adequate policy, and takes the 


initiative in carrying it out, the communists will be thrown back on 
the political defensive. Then many even of their apparent advantages 
would be turned into obstacles. Their morale, dependent on the 
sense of political superiority, would be undermined. The political 
vacuums into which they now pour would be filled from the oppo- 
site direction. The walls of their strategic Eurasian fortress, so ap- 
parently firm now as much because of the absence of pressure 
without as from strength within, would begin to crumble. The 
internal Soviet difficulties, economic and social, would be fed a 
rich medium in which to multiply. The communist sections within 
the non-communist nations would wilt; in short order they could 
be stunted, and rooted out. 

The policy of democratic world order promises rapid and maxi- 
mum results. It is designed not as a remote future possibility, but for 
immediate action. Its dividend payments would begin on the day 
of subscription. Within a week it is capable of transforming the 
world political situation. 

This policy, while providing firmly against attack, is positive and 
purposeful. It provides a solution, the only possible non-communist 
solution, for the world political crisis. There would be in it no 
element of bluff, because it would be based on material power suffi- 
cient for its aims; and it is thereby peculiarly suited to forcing the 
communists at once on to the defensive. For that very reason, its 
tendency would be not to provoke the communists to war, but to 
make them, with good reason, fear the beginning of war, and grant 
major concessions to forestall it. They would no longer call the 

If war nevertheless came soon, as it might, the communists, de- 
prived of political superiority, would be in very poor shape to fight 
it. Delay, however, would only weaken them further. Confronted by 
the active working of the policy of democratic world order, they 
could no longer count on time to improve their condition. They 
would find themselves driven on the horns of a most unpleasant 
dilemma. Either, facing the ever rising odds against them, they 
would become afraid to fight — in which case we would doubtless be 
treated to the ironic spectacle of a totalitarian attempt at the ap- 
peasement of democracy; or, in desperation, they would try a fling 


at a last ditch war which, perhaps without great cost in blood and 
destruction, they would be sure to lose. 

If it stopped short o£ the end, however, even the successful im- 
plementation of the policy of democratic world order would not 
remove the threat of a new war capable of destroying civilization. 
So long as the explosive ingredients remained assembled, the total 
war would still continuously impend. 

The danger of this war will not disappear until the present Soviet 
regime is overthrown, and world communism as a whole rendered 
impotent. It is the presence of a high relative concentration of com- 
munism alongside of a world society which is still itself non-com- 
munist that renders the world political mixture explosive. The 
mixture can be denatured by its becoming all-communist, or by 
reducing the communist percentage safely below the critical point. 
Besides these two, there is no other method. 

In the Soviet Union, and in all other countries, it is preferable, 
and we ought to prefer, that the smashing of communism should 
be accompHshed from within, rather than by a war from the outside. 
Communism, however, has grown beyond the powers of any single 
people acting alone and unsupported. The defeat of communism 
anywhere must be part of the mutual struggle of non-communists 
everywhere. It is, moreover, the peoples of the Soviet sphere who 
most need aid. When — and only when — they have rid themselves 
of their communist masters, we will find it easy enough to solve 
the now unanswerable riddle of "how to get along with Russia." 

 < go to Contents>

Part IV WHAT WILL BE DONE  < go to Contents>

19. The Policy of Vacillation  < go to Contents> 

FIGURE "Part III". — What Could Be Done
12. Political Aims and Social Facts
13. The Break with the Past
14. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Defensive
15. The Supreme Object of United States Policy: Offensive
16. The Internal Implementation of Foreign Policy
17. World Empire and the Balance of Power
18. Is War Inevitable? 

WE DID NOT, at any point in Part III (Chapter titles shown above), raise the question of what 
the United States will do, but only of what the United States could 
do, and would do, if it were to adopt and carry through a policy 
adequate to meet the demands of the present world political crisis. 

 GOOGLE > "world political crisis" "1947" 
 - https://www.jstor.org/stable/2704199  
 - https://scholarlycommons.law.cwsl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1853&context=cwilj
 - https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/declaration/
 - https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/present-at-the-re-creation/  

 What the United States will actually do is a problem of a different kind. 

In order to predict what probably will happen, we must [ GET A CRYSTAL BALL ]
 ... first determine what alternatives there are to the possible course which  Part III (figure above) has charted. 

Part III dealt with a line of action for the United States particularly, and for the non-communist world more generally, 
which would be directed by a deliberately adopted, consciously held "supreme policy". 

If our reference is merely to conscious policy, to ideas that men are capable of forming in mind and imagination, 
we may say at once that there is an infinite number of alternatives to the policy of democratic world order.

 GOOGLE >"democratic world order"
 (  https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/programs/scowcroft-center-for-strategy-and-security/global-strategy-initiative/democratic-order-initiative/shaping-a-new-democratic-world-order/  )

There are no limits, or almost none, to what men can imagine. [ And, the 1947 "sexist bastard" reveals himself! ]

 A lively fancy could, in a single afternoon, pull a hundred possible policies out of its mental hat. 

 The United States might adopt as its "leading policy" a plan for 
  the colonization of Antarctica, or the conversion of the world's population to Rosicrucianism. 

It [ The United States ] might decide that France was the  main enemy, 
  and direct all efforts toward the annihilation of France and Frenchmen. 

It [ The United States ] might hold that the "key problem" of the world 
was the political unification of the United States and the Soviet Union, 
and that to accomplish this end the United States should 
make immediate application for membership in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. 

It [ The United States ] might undertake the conquest of Tibet, 
  or simply say that it would never again have anything to do with 
    anything in the world beyond its own borders. 

In a similar way, a man confronted with a heavy invasion of his 
 rose garden by Japanese beetles might choose simply to ignore them. 

Or, he might set out bowls of rum for them, 
 so that they would become too drunk to be interested in the flowers; 
  or sing lullabies to make them sleepy. 

He might believe in the principle of putting a 
fierce watchdog on guard at the garden's gate, or he might write a 
letter of protest to the Department of Agriculture. 

Any of these, and any of a thousand more, are possible policies for the gardener. 

Meanwhile the historical process, through which the beetles continued eating up his roses until 
 there was not a whole petal left, 
  would develop according to its own laws, not at all deterred by any of these policies. 

If he wishes to protect his garden, those policies are not so much wrong as they are irrelevant. 
 [THAT IS]They have no significant effect on what is happening. 

We have seen that meaningful political choice is narrowly limited 
by the structure of social facts, by the concrete situation within which the choice must be made. 

A genuine political policy must be of such a kind that it has some real connection with the situation, 
and is capable of affecting, at least to some degree, what is to happen. 

Otherwise it is, like the various possible United States policies just 
listed, irrelevant, a fantasy of the imagination, not a plan for human action.


The facts in the case are that the world has entered a period of the severest possible political crisis, 
 and that the only two great power groupings, one led by the communists, 
the other by the United States as deputy for "Western Civilization", have begun a 
struggle for world leadership. [ "WESTERN" BLOC NATIONS - EASTERN BLOC NATIONS ]

The struggle grows out of the given situation. 
 It is forced on the "protagonists". (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protagonist )
 They cannot avoid it, no matter what they consciously decide. 
   The conditions of the struggle are such, moreover, that one or the other, or perhaps both, 
      of the contestants must in the end be defeated. 

 These are the facts. 

 Only those policies which are based upon an 
understanding of these facts, and which propose operation within 
the limits which these facts set, can be taken seriously. 

   The choice of policy, infinitely wide in imagination, is most strictly bounded in reality. 

To the basic perspective underlying the policy presented in 
Part III, there is in reality no alternative whatever. 

No matter what conscious policy is adopted by the United States, and even i£ it has 
no policy, the situation will be what it is, and the struggle will go on. 

 For the United States, as for the communists, there are significant alternatives. 

The alternatives, however, are not with respect to the basic issue. 
They are all tactical, about the choice of ways and means, 
about the degree of consciousness and firmness with which policy 
will be carried out. There are "alternative ways" of conducting the 
struggle. There is no alternative to the struggle itself. 
 And there is the not unimportant alternative of : who will win? 

The usual American conception of foreign policy is an uneasy 
combination of abstract moral sentiment with short-term selfish 
interests, both projected without any reference to world political 

How, under the circumstances of the present, could any policy 
so conceived be expected to influence events, to succeed, or to gain 
anything worth while if it did succeed? 

Debate over such conceptions is an exercise in rhetoric, not in politics. 

They (these debates) serve as a means 
for expressing feeling, not as an instrument for understanding history, or changing it. 

For political clarity, it is essential to distinguish between the ques- 
tion. What is the situation? - and the separate question. 
What shall 
we do about it? — with the understanding, of course, [that] what we 
do may - in turn -  change the situation. 

If the world political situation 
is, not in every detail (perhaps) but in the main, more or less as it is 
described in this book, then what is to be done ? 

All answers will be tactical variations of the three possible judgments. 

(1) Either nothing should be done, and the struggle allowed to take its own course. 

(2) Or the communist plan for world leadership should be actively fur- 

(3) Or the United States should accept the responsibility of the 
struggle, and should, consciously, try to win it. 

If the last judgment is accepted, there is still a wide enough scope for debate. 

There will still be the problems of means and methods, and there are better 
and worse ways of winning. 

If the situation is not as here described, then what is wrong with 
the description? 

What is the evidence that it is false? [HOW DO WE PROVE A NEGATIVE?]

It will not be  proved false by being found disagreeable. 

Nearly everyone knows by now [that] the whole question of United States foreign policy, 
 and of world politics, centers in the problem of the relation between the United States and the Soviet Union 
(though it is less widely understood that the Soviet Union is primarily significant
  -  not as an ordinary nation among nations, but as the chief base of world communism). [ LINK ]

The two most vehement and coherent positions taken on this problem by United States public 
opinion are those of Appeasement and of a new form of Isolationism. 

The unremitting source of the appeasement point of view is the 
communist propaganda machine. 

Its most publicly conspicuous adherents, however, have been such conspicuous men as Henry Wal- 
lace, Claude Pepper, Elliott Roosevelt, and Joseph E. Davies. 

Its ostensible thesis is simple. 
The Russians (whom the "appeasers" systematically confuse with the communists)    
 are friendly, co-operative, hard-working, unaggressive people, in fact just like Americans.

Contents  [ Russian History ]


Their leaders (the Russian leaders) have a few absurd ideas, but these are a hangover 
from the past, and nothing to worry about. 

"They" believe in the "common man", and in real economic and "social democracy". 

If they have an approach to "political democracy" not quite like ours, well, every- 
one is entitled to his tastes, and, besides, our views and theirs are steadily getting closer together. 

They want only peace and prosperity, and a chance to improve their lot for the sake of themselves 
and the world. 

If they are still a bit touchy and suspicious of us {"Americans"], 
that is because we have treated them so badly in the past, and because "war-mongers"-in our midst 
 - stir up distrust by spreading lies about them. 

All that we have to do, then, is to prove that we are fair and 
square by giving them what they feel they need for their political 
security, shipping to them food and commodities and machines to 
build up their country, turning over to them the secrets of atomic 
weapons, assuring democracy everywhere by having "communists" in 
all governments, stopping "warlike gestures" like building bases and 
sending warships on tours, and preventing fascist-minded Americans 
from provoking them by telling truths out of season. 

Traditional isolationism has evaporated under the hot sun of two world wars. 

No one can even dream any longer of a virginal United 
States, pure, serene and satisfied behind its ocean ramparts and its 
continental boundaries, guarded from the filth of the diseased Old Worlds of Europe and Asia. 

But the heart of isolationism was never geographical. 

The geographical expression was a temporary 
mode, correlated with those stages in United States development 
when the primary historical tasks were the conquest of its own 
internal frontier and the welding of its own national unity, and 
when armament was restricted in effective range. 

Below the "isolationist geography" there has always been a historical, a moral idea.
It is the notion, not without its grandeur for all its falsity, that the 
United States is not as other nations are. 

It is the vision of a New World of new hope and new promise, taken naively, literally. 

The "United States", as seen in the images of this vision, grew from fresh 
seed in new soil, without roots in the past, unmixed with the weeds 
that so choked the crops of other lands. 

It The "United States"] must draw its strength 
from its own rich, untainted earth; it must be shielded from those 
osmotic contacts through which the ancient infections might flow. 

Hence, America First and Unique, its own star - not part of any constellation, 
  its destiny unentangled with common human fate. 

The emotions out of which this vision grew remain, and express 
themselves through new forms, distorted and degraded by the in- 
exorable pressure of a historical reality in which they can have no 
natural outlet. 

These "new forms" are grossly manifest in the Chicago Tribune or the New York Daily News; 
 they show more honestly in the failing politics of the LaFollettes or Burton K. Wheeler; and 
they become dignified in the refined nostalgia of Charles A. Beard. 

The "new isolationism" has expanded its provincial geography to include, 
 within the boundaries of its idea of the United States, all of the Americas and much of the Pacific. 

But it retains intact the sense of the uniqueness of the United States, and the conviction that 
the United States must go its own unentangled way. 

All international organizations are to be mistrusted and preferably avoided. [ NATO history ]

There must be no alliances, certainly no unions, and no admission to "alien philosophies." 

In political effect and practice, the new isolationism is belligerently nationalist. 

The United States, it declares, seeks only to go its 
own way and to safeguard its own interests. 

Let other nations choose their own particular route to damnation — communist, socialist, im- 
perialist, fascist. 

It is no business of the United States', so long as 
they don't interfere with United States affairs. 

In the world as it exists, however, the affairs of the United States are everywhere, and 
there is always interference. 

The "new isolationism" is thus forced to be, 
not simply indifferent to the rest of the world, as it would like 
to be, but actively anti-foreign. 

It [the United States] refuses to admit the interdepend- 
ence of all the present world, and the impossibility of the United 
States' divorcing itself from the world's political destiny. 

It [the United States] refuses to intervene responsibly and positively in the grave international 
problems which determine the political health of a world that includes 
the United States — the problems of India or the Balkans or commu- 
nism or Iran or Western Europe or Palestine. . . . 

India "history" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India#History
or the "Balkans" "history" -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkans
or "communism" "history" --  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism :: history
or Iran "history" --  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran#History  
or Western Europe "history" -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Europe  
or Palestine "history" --  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Palestine  

But - what is done about the "problems", in spite of the refusal, most intimately affects the United States. 

The result is that "isolationism" succeeds in disentangling the United States from the rest of the world
 - only in the sense that it [ "isolationism" ]  tends to turn all the rest of the world against the United States. 

Since it is unwilling to seek or accept more fruitful connections, 
 it reduces international relations to their bare and sterile minimum, to force alone. 

Denouncing all other points of view as leading to war through entanglement, 
 it [the United States] makes war more probable than ever 
 - by refusing to admit any method, other than war, 
of mediating the "critical issues" which, in spite of isolationism, will continue to arise. 

Appeasement and isolationism seem, to American public opinion and to each other, 
the ultimate opposites in the debates over United States foreign policy.

-- United States foreign policy: SOURCE: https://www.state.gov/ > Policy Issues:

Policy Issues [ year 2022 ] 

Anti-Corruption and Transparency

Arms Control and Nonproliferation

Climate and Environment

Climate Crisis

Combating Drugs and Crime

Countering Terrorism

COVID-19 Recovery

Cyber Issues

Disarming Disinformation

Economic Prosperity and Trade Policy


Global Health

Global Women’s Issues

Holding Russia and Belarus to Account

Human Rights and Democracy

Human Trafficking

The Ocean and Polar Affairs

Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance

Science, Technology, and Innovation

Treaties and International Agreements

United with Ukraine

h h

 Certainly appeasers and isolationists reserve for each other their fiercest invective. 

The Chicago Tribune's contemptuous cartoons of Wallace are equaled only by Wallace's bitter 
jibes at the Tribune. 

Certainly, if we stick to the verbal surface, no two positions could seem more irreconcilable. 

Nevertheless, if we relate words to facts, and examine these apparent opposites in their 
historical frame, in terms of political consequences, we discover that the differences melt and blur. 

Though each gives a very different account of the political world we live in, both accounts are equally false. 

The proposals of both, based on the false descriptions, are equally incapable of fulfillment. 

In their political consequences, in their ??eilect?? upon the key problem 
of present world politics, they are identical. 

Both, in their different ways and from their different motivations, offer a free rein to the communists. 

Either, directing United States policy, would permit the "communists" — unhampered by the isolationists, positively aided 
by the appeasers — to carry forward their own "communist world policy" ... 
  [ https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1949v08/d473  ]

The specific present [ circa 1947]  communist policy is the strategic and political preparation 
 for the open stage of the Third World War, the war in which "communism" will be fighting against the United 
States and for control of the world. [ WHICH IS LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE: "communism" IS A BELIEF - AND THE us IS A "COUNTRY" ]

The practical meaning of both appeasement and isolationism is, therefore, simply: 
  no interference with the communists. 

A surer guarantee of war, and of war disastrous for the United States, is hard to imagine. 

On the other hand, neither appeasement nor isolationism, even if entirely successful, 
 offers any positive solution to the world political crisis (1947), or - to the problem of atomic weapons. 
 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1947_crises ]

For all their exchange of insults, they are identical in their sins of omission, 
as in their sins of commission. 

They fail to propose what is necessary. What they do propose is, and most fatally, wrong. 

Early in 1946 there was an apparent shift in United States diplomatic behavior, which was taken by many observers to be a turn 
to a policy of "getting tough with Russia." 

I have remarked that this turn was chiefly rhetorical. 
 -- By calling a policy "rhetorical," I mean that its words do not correspond with its actions. 

 In politics, it is the actions, not the words, that count; 
   or, rather, the words count only so far as they correctly express a line of action. 

The rhetorical nature of at least the earlier stage of the 1946 toughness was plainly shown by the Iranian episode which first 
prompted it. 

The Soviet Union had directly violated its treaties and agreements with Iran, the Teheran agreement, and the Charter of 
the United Nations. 

  [ SOURCE:  https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1943CairoTehran/d551 ]
"...  Home  Historical Documents  Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943  Document 551


"Roosevelt Papers"

Marshal Stalin to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill1
29 January 1944.


Personal and secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to Presiden[t] Fr[a]nklin D. Roosevelt and Prime-Minister Winston Churchill

On January 23 I have received your two joint messages, signed by you, Mr. President, and you, Mr. Prime-Minister, on the question of transference for the use of the Soviet Union of Italian vessels.2

I have to say, that after your joint affirmative reply in Teheran to my question regarding the transference to the Soviet Union of Italian vessels before the end of January, 1944, I considere[d] 
this question as settled and it did not occur to me that there was a possibility of revision of this accepted and agreed upon, among the three of us, decision. So much the more, as we came to an agreement, 
that in the course of December and January this question should have been settled with the Italians as well. Now I see that this is not so, and that the Italians have not been approached on that question at all.

In order not to delay, however, this matter, which is of vital importance for our common struggle against Germany, the Soviet Government is ready to accept your proposal …3

In your reply, however, is no mention made of the transference to the Soviet Union of eight Italian squadron destroyers and four submarines, regarding the transference of which to the Soviet Union 
still at the end of January, you Mr. President, and you Mr. Prime-Minister, gave your consent in Teheran. Undoubtedly 
for the Soviet Union primarily is this question, the question regarding destroyers and submarines, without which the transference of a battleship and [Page 874]a cruiser is of no value. 
You will understand yourself that cruisers and battleships are powerless without destroyers escorting them. Since you have at your disposal the whole Italian naval fleet, 
fulfillment of the decision agreed upon in Teheran pertaining to the transference for the use of the Soviet Union of eight destroyers and four submarines from this fleet should not be difficult. 
I agree, that instead of Italian destroyers and submarines the Soviet Union be given to use the same number of American or English destroyers and submarines. 
Besides, the question of transference of destroyers and submarines cannot be postponed, but must be solved simultaneously with the transference of the battleship and cruiser, 
as it was agreed upon, among the three of us, in Teheran.4

1. Roosevelt’s copy was presumably sent via the Soviet Embassy, Washington.↩
2. The joint message of January 23, 1944, printed in Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. ii, p. 115, conveyed to Stalin (1) the conclusions set forth in the memorandum of the Combined Chiefs of Staff mentioned in Churchill’s telegram of January 16 1944, ante, p. 871, and (2) a proposal, which Churchill had made to Roosevelt in the same telegram, for the temporary transfer to the Soviet Union of certain non-Italian ships instead of the surrendered Italian ships.↩
3. The omitted passage, which does not refer to the Tehran Conference, is printed in Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. ii, p. 117.↩
4. Churchill, in a telegram to Roosevelt dated February 1, 1944, repeated the text of this message which he had received from Stalin and added the comment: 
“What can you expect from a bear but a growl?” (Roosevelt Papers). 
Further passing references to the Tehran agreement on Italian ships, in correspondence of February 1944 with Stalin, will be found in Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. ii, pp. 118, 122.↩  ..."

"... Qajars

Main article: Qajar Iran

In 1795, following the disobedience of the Georgian subjects and their alliance with the Russians, the Qajars captured Tbilisi by the Battle of Krtsanisi, and drove the Russians out of the entire Caucasus, reestablishing the Iranian suzerainty over the region.

A map showing the 19th-century northwestern borders of Iran, comprising modern-day eastern GeorgiaDagestanArmenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan, before being ceded to the neighboring Russian Empire by the Russo-Iranian wars

The Russo-Iranian wars of 1804–1813 and 1826–1828 resulted in large irrevocable territorial losses for Iran in the Caucasus, comprising all of the South Caucasus and Dagestan, which made part of the very concept of Iran for centuries,[21] and thus substantial gains for the neighboring Russian Empire.

As a result of the 19th-century Russo-Iranian wars, the Russians took over the Caucasus, and Iran irrevocably lost control over its integral territories in the region (comprising modern-day Dagestan, GeorgiaArmenia, and Republic of Azerbaijan), which got confirmed per the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay.[22][132] The area to the north of Aras River, among which the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Armenia are located, were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.[22][133][134][135][136][137][138]

As Iran shrank, many South Caucasian and North Caucasian Muslims moved towards Iran,[139][140] especially until the aftermath of the Circassian Genocide,[140] and the decades afterwards, while Iran's Armenians were encouraged to settle in the newly incorporated Russian territories,[141][142][143] causing significant demographic shifts.

Around 1.5 million people—20 to 25% of the population of Iran—died as a result of the Great Famine of 1870–1872.[144]

The first national Iranian Parliament was established in 1906 during the Persian Constitutional Revolution

Between 1872 and 1905, a series of protests took place in response to the sale of concessions to foreigners by Qajar monarchs Naser-ed-Din and Mozaffar-ed-Din, and led to the Constitutional Revolution in 1905. The first Iranian constitution and the first national parliament of Iran were founded in 1906, through the ongoing revolution. The Constitution included the official recognition of Iran's three religious minorities, namely ChristiansJews, and Zoroastrians,[145] which has remained a basis in the legislation of Iran since then. The struggle related to the constitutional movement was followed by the Triumph of Tehran in 1909, when Mohammad Ali Shah was defeated and forced to abdicate. On the pretext of restoring order, the Russians occupied northern Iran in 1911 and maintained a military presence in the region for years to come. But this did not put an end to the civil uprisings and was soon followed by Mirza Kuchik Khan's Jungle Movement against both the Qajar monarchy and foreign invaders.

Reza Shah, the first Pahlavi king of Iran, in military uniform

Despite Iran's neutrality during World War I, the OttomanRussian and British empires occupied the territory of western Iran and fought the Persian Campaign before fully withdrawing their forces in 1921. At least 2 million Persian civilians died either directly in the fighting, the Ottoman perpetrated anti-Christian genocides or the war-induced famine of 1917-1919. A large number of Iranian Assyrian and Iranian Armenian Christians, as well as those Muslims who tried to protect them, were victims of mass murders committed by the invading Ottoman troops, notably in and around KhoyMakuSalmas, and Urmia.[146][147][148][149][150]

Apart from the rule of Agha Mohammad Khan, the Qajar rule is characterized as a century of misrule.[115] The inability of Qajar Iran's government to maintain the country's sovereignty during and immediately after World War I led to the British directed 1921 Persian coup d'état and Reza Shah's establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty. Reza Shah, became the new Prime Minister of Iran and was declared the new monarch in 1925.


Main article: Pahlavi Iran

See also: Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran

In the midst of World War II, in June 1941, Nazi Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the Soviet Union, Iran's northern neighbor. The Soviets quickly allied themselves with the Allied countries and in July and August, 1941 the British demanded that the Iranian government expel all Germans from Iran. Reza Shah refused to expel the Germans and on 25 August 1941, the British and Soviets launched a surprise invasion and Reza Shah's government quickly surrendered.[151] The invasion's strategic purpose was to secure a supply line to the USSR (later named the Persian Corridor), secure the oil fields and Abadan Refinery (of the UK-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company), prevent a German advance via Turkey or the USSR on Baku's oil fields, and limit German influence in Iran. Following the invasion, on 16 September 1941 Reza Shah abdicated and was replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, his 21-year-old son.[152][153][154]

The Allied "Big Three" at the 1943 Tehran Conference.

During the rest of World War II, Iran became a major conduit for British and American aid to the Soviet Union and an avenue through which over 120,000 Polish refugees and Polish Armed Forces fled the Axis advance.[155] At the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Allied "Big Three"—Joseph StalinFranklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill—issued the Tehran Declaration to guarantee the post-war independence and boundaries of Iran. However, at the end of the war, Soviet troops remained in Iran and established two puppet states in north-western Iran, namely the People's Government of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Mahabad. This led to the Iran crisis of 1946, one of the first confrontations of the Cold War, which ended after oil concessions were promised to the USSR and Soviet forces withdrew from Iran proper in May 1946. The two puppet states were soon overthrown and the oil concessions were later revoked.[156][157]

1951–1978: Mosaddegh, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ..."

It [ The Soviet Union ] had begun the process of drawing Iran into the concentric ring system, 
 by transforming northern Iran into a puppet dependency, and gaining an orienting influence in Iran as a whole. ( see above ) 

The spokesmen for the United States, at the Security Council and in public declarations, grew very indignant about the Soviet 

They ( spokesmen for the United States ) used "tough words" in place of the uniformly gracious phrasing 
 that had made up the appeasement rhetoric of the preceding four and a half years. 

However, the communists knew that the United States was not taking, and had no intention of taking, any 
action ... political, economic or military, in connection with the "Iranian affair". 

This was well known, also, to the Iranian government. 

There should have been no surprise, therefore, at the result. 

The "tough rhetoric" bounded off the resilient hide of Gromyko, and was disregarded. 

The communists went ahead according to plan — their 

They withdrew the formal units of the Red Army only after they had sufficiently secured their position within Iran. 

At the same time, the Iranians were given a lesson in how much help they could 
expect from the United States. 

The Iranian orbit began to be determined by the communist gravitational field. 

A much stronger counter-force than would have been enough in January, 1946, will now be required to break it away. 

The mere rhetoric of toughness does not constitute a special policy. 

The policy continues to be defined by the substance of action. 

The rhetorical toughness is only, in fact, a kind of seasoning added to the mush of appeasement. 

A doting mother, along with her fond plead- 
ing, occasionally shakes her finger and says, "Naughty," when her 
spoiled child continues to be rude before company. But her attitude 
and her objectives do not change — nor, for that matter, does the 

However, it is possible that the rhetorical toughness with Russia will develop into a real toughness. 

It is important to insist that a 
mere "tough with Russia" poHcy does not coincide with the policy 
of democratic world order. 

Indeed, just as the rhetorical toughness 
is a variant of the policy of appeasement, so might a real toughness 
amount to no more than a variant of isolationism. 

The policy of democratic world order does, it is true, include real 
toughness — though toughness with communism rather than with 
Russia. This toughness, however, is only part of a more complex 
orientation which is internationahst in the widest sense, not nation- 
alist. A leading function is assigned to the United States, not because 
of any supposed moral virtues which the United States possesses, but 
because of the existing power relationships which permit the ful- 
fillment of the internationalist purpose only through United States 
leadership. The policy aims not at the defeat of Russia, but at its 
liberation, at the victory of the Russian people over their totaUtarian 
rulers. It proposes the defeat of world communism, but only as a 
negative and lesser phase of a task whose positive objective is the 
construction of a world political order within which civilization can 
breathe again. The policy of democratic world order aims not to 
reinforce the divisions in the world but to bring the world together, 
and to bind the United States to the rest of the world. 

Mere toughness, in contrast, would be no more than the end- 
product of a national isolationism. It would be divisive, not inte- 
grating. It would mark off the United States from the rest of the 
world, and found the case of the United States on the sole plea of 
ungloved power. Its maximum success would prove negative and 
sterile. Conceivably the Red Army would be crushed in battle, but 
the conditions of the world political crisis would remain untouched, 
and therefore the crisis itself would be in no measure solved. The 
world would be no nearer a workable political order. 

Policy unsupported by power is empty; but power divorced from 
correct policy is sterile. This is a law of politics which recent experi- 
ence should be making well known to the United States. In Ger- 
many, Austria, Italy, France, there has been no lack of United 
States power. That power has led to nothing of benefit to the 
United States, to those nations themselves, or to the. world. It has 
not because the power has not been controlled by a policy which 
could put the power to fruitful use. 

If we are to judge by the evidence up to now at hand, we must 
believe it unlikely that the United States will adopt any sustained, 
consistent, long-term world policy. It is not merely unlikely that it 
will adopt and carry through an adequate policy — the policy, 
namely, of democratic world order; it seems unHkely that it will 
even adopt and stick to any single version of incorrect policy. 

The leaders of the government are under two sets of interacting 
pressures, one from the outside, from the international arena, the 
other from within. The habitual practice of American politicians is 
opportunistic in the most immediate sense: they try to worm their 
way through the maze of these pressures by yielding, responding, 
occasionally reacting to them as they arise and vary from day to day. 
They seldom lift their vision to a level from which they could get 
knowledge of the pressure system as a whole, in order, with the help 
of that knowledge, to try to create an independent force which 
might control and direct the resultant energy of the entire sytem. 
They are more likely to weigh a shift in foreign policy against a 
million votes in the next election than against the effect of the shift 
on the alignment of world political forces — though that effect, if 
adverse, may before long lose much more than an election. 

We may, then, expect to find, at any given moment in the govern- 
ment's conduct of world affairs, an admixture of several mutually 
incompatible policies — three parts appeasement with one part tough- 
ness; two parts isolationism with two parts World Government; and 
so on. Over a period of time, we may expect the successive predomi- 
nance of first one and then another of the various possible policies. 
Moods of toughness, appeasement, isolationism, internationalism, 
and chauvinism will (unless, of course, open war cuts the series) 
replace and overlap each other. 

In short, the evidence suggests that the United States in world 
aflairs will have a policy of vacillation. 

A policy of vacillation is perhaps the worst of all policies. Even a 
poor policy, resolutely carried through, will usually produce much 
better results than a policy of vacillation, as in science a false hy- 
pothesis is often more useful than no hypothesis at all. Under a 
policy of vacillation, everything adds up to nothing, because one 
action in one direction merely cancels out another in a different di- 
rection. Your own followers are disoriented and demoralized. Your 
friends, who cannot count on you from one week to the next, are 
disheartened. Because they know that, whatever your promises, a 
sudden change may leave them in the lurch, they drop away. Your 
enemies, if they keep their heads, can go merrily and scornfully 

A vacillating attitude toward the storm on the horizon — one mo- 
ment running up all sails to try to fly before it, the next trimming 
down to head into its teeth, then dropping anchor to ride it out — 
does not, unfortunately, ensure any vacillation on the storm's part. 

It will come on at its own rate, and break at its own time. Your 
^ indecjsipn wUl have rijeaftt only that, when the squall strikes, you 
v/iTl be least read|y,.tfi.m^^^^- 

 < go to Contents>

20. The Outcome  < go to Contents> 

I HAVE ALREADY STATED my belief that the policy of democratic world order would prove successful. 

From the point of view of the United States, success for this policy, or for any policy, would, 
in the first place, mean the assurance of survival. 

Negatively, success would mean the defeat of the communist plan for world conquest 
  and the reduction of communist power to insignificance. 

But, given the existing world political situation, success must mean much 

It must include a method for controlling atomic weapons, 
which, we have seen, can only be through an absolute monopoly in their production and possession. 

It must provide for the organization of a world political system which would be workable and 
through which a general, total war could be prevented. 

These two requirements, which are of no more special concern to the United 
States than to the world at large, can also be fulfilled by this policy. 

In addition, though here we look beyond the present historical 
period to which alone this policy is directly relevant, the achieve- 
ment of its specific aims could be used as a "bridge" toward the goal 
of a genuine world government. 

All this is not merely logically possible. With the available means, 
it could actually be done. With a determined leadership in, and by, 
the United States, it would be done. 

I do not wish to suggest that it could be done easily, or with small cost. 

The most optimistic account of the present state of the world will be very black. 

The most 
hopeful route out of the crisis will be hard and painful and, most 
probably, bloody. 

The determined leadership may arise, in response to the world 

What if it does not, what then will be the outcome ? 

 If it does not, the United States will follow what I have described 
as a policy of vacillation. 

This policy will in no way check the inten- 
sification of the crisis, or the progress of the world struggle. 

struggle will go, and the flood of war will break at a moment for 
which, because of the very nature o£ the policy, the United States 
cannot be prepared. 

The initiative, the timing will be under the control of the antagonist. 

We do not need access to secret files in order to know that the 
military leadership.Qf«tbf,,nilited States. i&;-a-ware of the possibility, 
even probability, of the war, and is, in a military sense, preparing 
for it. 

Military preparation, however, is the instrument of policy; 
and political unpreparedness condemns even the most perfect mili- 
tary measures to futility. 

Under the assumption of a policy of 
vacillation, let us consider briefly the prospects of the war. 

Since the enemy, under the assumption, will have at his disposal 
greater manpower and a better strategic position, the primary reli- 
ance of the military leadership must be on technical, and to a lesser 
extent on quantitative, superiority in armament. 

The strategic plan 
must be, it would seem, to strike an immediate, paralyzing blow 
with atomic weapons at the Caucasian oil fields, Moscow, and a 
dozen or more of the chief Soviet and Soviet-controlled cities and 
industrial concentrations. 

There is reason to believe that some among 
the military leaders think that with this blow the war would be 
virtually over, and that the Soviet Union, deprived of war potential, 
^vould have to quit within a few weeks. 

In 1946, it is doubtful that there exist the technical means for 
delivering a simultaneous, mass blow into the depths of the Heart- 

Let us assume, however, that this technical problem will have 
been solved, as it no doubt soon will be. 

In any case, even without 
its full solution, colossal material destruction could be brought 

But if, by then, the Soviet Union also has atomic weapons, the 
United States will receive as well as launch a mass attack in the 
first stage. 

 In fact, with a United States policy of "vacillation", and 
with the totalitarian freedom from public responsibility, it is almost 
certain that the communist attack will have come first. 

the United States will have prepared its atomic installations so that 
they at least will survive the attack, and retaliation will be possible 
(if not, the United States will have lost before beginning) , 

We have already noted that United States industry, more highly 
developed, more concentrated, more integrated, is also and because 
of those very characteristics more vulnerable to atomic attack than 
Soviet industry. 

At the same time, the American social structure is 
more intimately dependent on industry than the Soviet structure. 

We should therefore expect that the relative damage done by the 
initial communist atomic attack on the United States will be greater 
than the damage done by the United States attack on the Soviet 

However, the attacks would tend, more or less, to cancel each 
other out. 

They would not end a short war, but begin a war of 
incomparable length and magnitude. 

The huge material damage on 
both sides, so great that during the course of the war it will never 
be made up, will have the effect of lessening the importance of the 
technical factor in the conduct of the war. 

Manpower, morale, appeals to the peoples of the world, in general the political factors, will 
become more and more decisive. 

With the continued assumption of 
a United States policy of vacillation, this change in the nature of the 
struggle will throw the advantage more and more heavily to the 
side of the communists. 

Their greater direct manpower reserves will 
be supplemented by the mass populations of the colonies and undeveloped nations, 
which the lack of positive United States policy will 
have left open to communist influence. 

Western Europe will probably have been brought under communist domination before the 
start of the war. 

If not, if it is still somehow standing, divided nationally and socially, riddled with communist organizations, it will 
fall to pieces at the first big communist push. 

Within the United 
States itself, and inside all of her allies, the communist parties and 
agents, permitted by the policy of vacillation to thrive imbedded in 
all the vital national organs, will erupt into material and psychologi- 
cal sabotage, before which loyal citizens, politically unprepared, will 
be comparatively helpless. 

The end, the defeat of the United States, will be delayed, but almost certain. 

Let us suppose, on the other hand, that when the war begins the Soviet Union does not yet have atomic weapons. 

 [ SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_atomic_bomb_project ]
"...  On 29 August 1949, the Soviet Union secretly conducted its first successful weapon test 
(First Lightning, based on the American "Fat Man" design) at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan.[2]  ..."

Then, of course, there will be no immediate retaliation to the initial mass atomic 
attack by the United States. 

This means that the first stage of the 
war will be a gigantic victory for the United States. 

If this victory 
were part of an adequate positive policy, it would, in all probability, 
be the end of the war. 

In the eyes of all the peoples of the world, 
including those of the subjects of the Soviet regime, it would mean 
much more than a mere display of unprecedented material force. 
It would be seen in relation to a plan, already in operation, which 
promised a solution of the world crisis. 

Everyone, except the com- munist leadership itself, would know that he had something to gain 
by stopping the war. 

The pre-war functioning of the policy would 
have blocked the communists from completing their strategic and 
political preparations, would have reduced or rooted out the internal 
communists, and would have shown the people the meaning of the struggle. 

It would have acted to neutralize the communist penetration of China, India, Islam, the East Indies, Latin America.

 Instead of the slender human resources of the United States, joined 
with some others in a precarious ad hoc alliance for the war, the 
peoples of the non-communist world, and the non-communist 
peoples of the communist world, would be in the process of coming 
together not for a war but for the creative task of building a humane world political order. 

The communists could recover from the 
physical blow of the initial attack only if they had superior political 
reserves on which to draw. 

Deprived of these, they would have little chance, even for a delaying action. 

The prospect at once darkens -if we keep to the more likely 
assumption of a policy of vacillation. 

True enough, the communists 
could not avoid the terrible defeat in the initial stage. 

But, with their political arsenal immune to the atomic blast, they would not sur- 

They would abandon their vulnerable great cities and 
factories, as the Athenians, knowing that they could neither defend 
nor use it, abandoned their city to the Persian hordes. 

They would 
give up the idea of a war fought with all modern conveniences. 

They would transform the struggle into a political war, a "people's 
war," fought in every district of the world by irregulars, partisans, 
guerillas, Fifth Columns, spies, stool pigeons, assassins, fought by 
sabotage and strikes and lies and terror and diversion and panic and 

They would play on every fear and prejudice of the United 
States population, every feeling of guilt or nobility; 

they would 
exploit every racial and social division; they would widen every 
antagonism between tentative allies; and they would tirelessly wear 
down the United States will to endure. 

Though the result would be not quite so certain, perhaps, as if the 
communists also had atomic weapons, they would in the end, I 
think, succeed. 

Because of the lack of a positive United States policy, 
because it would not have presented to the world even the possibility 
of a political solution, its dreadful material strength would appear 
to the peoples as the unrelieved brutality of a murderer. 

Its failure 
to distinguish between the communist regime and that regime's 
subject-victims would weld together the victims and their rulers. 

Americans (themselves) would be sickened and conscience-ridden by 
what would seem to them a senseless slaughter, never-ending, lead- 
ing nowhere. 

The military leadership would be disoriented by the 
inability of their plans based on technical superiority to effect a 

The failure to conceive the struggle "politically" would have 
given the communists the choice of weapons. 

From the standpoint 
of the United States, the entire world would have been turned into 
an ambush and a desert. 

In the long night, nerves would finally 
crack, the sentries would fire their last shots wildly into the darkness, and it would all be over. 

There can be no illusion about the meaning of defeat in the next 
total war. 

We are long past those youthful wars of the springtime of 
a civilization, which are part of the exuberance of lusty growth. 

We have left behind the wars that are the professional business of a 
small social class that doesn't have much else to do, or the polite 
wars which, after much maneuvering and small fighting, adjust a 
dynasty or a kink in a border. 

We are fighting the Punic Wars and 
the civil wars of the climax of the Time of Troubles, the wars of 

Roosevelt, in the Second World War, impelled by a 
fatality which he doubtless did not understand, revealed by his 
ominous slogan the nature of our age. 

For the first time in the 
history of the wars of Western Civilization, the objective had 
become Unconditional Surrender — final defeat, utter, crushing, 

Under a continued policy of vacillation, the defeat and annihila- 
tion of the United States are probable. 

It is less certain, however, that 
the defeat of the United States will automatically mean the victory 
of the Soviet Union and world communism. 

In the prolonged 
struggle, especially if it is fought by both sides with atomic weapons, 
it may be that both contestants will be destroyed, that they will 
destroy each other. 

The exhaustion, the human and material de- 
struction, might well go beyond the point where social recuperation 
is possible. This has happened before. 

In the Peloponnesian Wars, 
victorious Sparta was destroyed no less than defeated Athens, as the 
battle of Leuctra soon showed; and all Greece was opened to easy 
conquest, first by Macedon and then by Rome. 

It happened in the case of Byzantine Civilization, 
whose internal blood-letting permitted the entry of the Ottoman Turks; 
 and it happened in other civilizations centered in the Near East, and in China.* 

All of Western Civilization, all, that is, of those parts of the 
world whose social structure is now dependent upon an advanced 
level of industry and technology, would be enmeshed in this total 
defeat. But what then? 

The intolerable world political crisis, which 
is fundamentally the crisis of Western Civilization in its necessarily 
world-wide repercussions, would still exist, in a still more aggravated 

In the premature travail of Napoleon, and by three world 
wars, the West would have proved that it could not solve its own 

In the attempt it would have used up its resources for possible solution. 

But Western Civilization, we have been careful to observe, is not 
all of human society. 

The exhaustion of the West would have affected only the imposed Western veneer of the other existing 

Into the vacuum of the West there might well then flow a tide from China or India or Islam. 

The political order of a Universal Empire would be imposed from without, and the Western 
peoples would enter the last stage of their history as the imperial proletariat. 

* C£. Arnold J. Toynb'ee, op. cit. 

The United States must choose. When the cry of the drowning 
man has once been heard, it does no good to stop our ears. 

There is 
no way of release from the awful responsibility of choice; 

Pilate's refusal to choose is also, we know, a choice. 

Individual men, through the mystery of what our theologians call 
"God's Grace", if they fail once, are always given another chance, a 
chance to repent and choose again. 

This does not seem to be the 
law of the history of societies. 

 History offers each of its great challenges only once. 

After only one failure, or one refusal, the offer is 

Babylon, Athens, Thebes, Alexandria, Madrid, Vienna  ??? ink back, and do not rise again. 

Nor is there any prior bargaining 
over the terms and the time of the challenge. 

It may be that the darkness of great tragedy will bring to a quick 
end the short, bright history of the United States — for there is 
enough truth in the dream of the New World to make the action 

The United States is called before the rehearsals are completed. 

Its strength and promise have not been matured by the wisdom of time and suffering. 

And the summons is for nothing less than the leadership of the world, for that or nothing. 

If it is reasonable to expect failure, 
 that is only a measure of how great the triumph could be. 

< The END >  < go to Contents>  


  "Guided democracy" "managed democracy" in  "Russia" > "Sovereign democracy" >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_democracy 

 WOULD a de facto "authoritarian government" - STINK so bad ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarianism )

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_rose_by_any_other_name_would_smell_as_sweet - "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"  


  SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_democracy ::  "...  Guided democracy, also called managed democracy, is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto authoritarian government or in some cases, as an autocratic government. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals.

In other words, the government controls elections so that the people can exercise all their rights without truly changing public policy. While they follow basic democratic principles, there can be major deviations towards authoritarianism.
 Under "managed democracy", the state's continuous use of propaganda techniques prevents the electorate from having a significant impact on policy.

After World War II, the term was used in Indonesia for the approach to government under the Sukarno administration from 1957 to 1966.
It is today widely employed in Russia, where it was introduced into common practice by Kremlin theorists, in particular Gleb Pavlovsky . [4] ..."

( 4 ) SOURCE: https://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1001/p07s02-woeu.html

 "...  TITLE > "Kremlin lobs another shot at marketplace of ideas"

The takeover of an independent polling firm is the latest move under 'managed democracy.'

October 1, 2003 -- By Fred Weir Special to The Christian Science Monitor


The proverbial canary in the mineshaft of Russia's ongoing democratic experiment may well be Yury Levada, a pioneering sociologist whose roller-coaster career has tracked the political vicissitudes of the past 50 years here.  [ "Levada Center"  ::   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levada_Center  ]

Fired from his academic job under Leonid Brezhnev, reinstated by reforming Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr. Levada has lately been showing signs of distress under the presidency of Vladimir Putin.

In early September, employing a Soviet-era technicality, the Russian government took control of the independent All-Russian Center for Public Opinion and Market Research (VTsIOM), founded and until last month headed by Levada, and replaced its governing board of professional sociologists with officials from the Kremlin and various state ministries.

After VTsIOM's management was forcibly changed, Levada and his entire staff of 100 abandoned the offices and equipment they had used for 15 years and set up a new private polling agency, which they named VTsIOM-A.

"I've always just tried to do my job," says Levada, a jovial, white-haired bear of a man. "Sometimes I notice that someone doesn't like it. Just now, I can see they don't like it."

Critics warn that the attempt to put Levada out of business is part of a larger Putin-era pattern, which Kremlin theorists call "managed democracy."

The idea is to maintain outward democratic forms, while ensuring that those in power are not actually challenged by serious opposition or trenchant criticism. Over the past three years all independent Russian TV networks have been taken over by Kremlin-friendly companies and the rest of the press straitjacketed by tough new laws and a pervasive culture of self-censorship.

"The security sweep that has already cleaned up the media is being extended into sociology," says Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the independent Center for Strategic Studies in Moscow. "It's obvious that the aim of the operation was to get rid of Levada."

Some of the data generated by Levada's VTsIOM may have incurred the wrath of authorities. While other polling agencies were indicating the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party on track to win parliamentary elections slated for December, Levada's surveys over the past summer showed the opposition Communist Party with a strong lead. On the hypersensitive issue of the four-year-old war in Chechnya, Levada's latest study found that only 27 percent of Russians want to continue military action, and 58 percent want to stop the conflict.

The government says that the seizure of VTsIOM, Russia's oldest and best-known public opinion agency, was a routine "reorganization" of a company that was created in 1988 - under Soviet law - as a state-owned body. Though nominally government property, VTsIOM had survived since the collapse of the USSR without public funding.

"We have always had our own contracts with clients, in Russia and abroad, and that was how we fed ourselves," says Levada.

The government appointed Valery Fyodorov, a young sociologist who once campaigned for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, to manage the new state-controlled VTsIOM in Levada's place. Mr. Fyodorov agrees that "Levada is an outstanding scientist; we have no claims against him on that score."

But he alleges that the "commercialization" of VTsIOM under Levada detracted from serious research. "Social issues stopped being the research priority, and that was wrong," Fyodorov says. Under his leadership, he adds, the agency will focus on social issues like poverty, railroad reorganization, and municipal reforms. "The state has decided to keep VTsIOM as its property, and that means we have to solve important tasks and not the private task of providing employment to the staff," Fyorodov says.

Levada says he can't understand why the Kremlin should fear scientific public opinion research. 

But, he agrees, the ups and downs of his own career suggest that it always has. When he graduated from university, in 1952, sociology was banned in the USSR as a "bourgeois science." Levada was allowed to carry out limited surveys during the political thaw initiated by Nikita Khrushchev in the 1960s, but his institute was closed down as the freeze returned under Mr. Brezhnev in 1972.

Three decades later he finds himself in a similar situation. "They are afraid of their own shadows," he says. "They really worry that someone might use these figures against them."

Kremlin methods, however, have changed since Communist times. Under Putin, overt censorship and direct secret police action are rare. In "managed democracy," the state exploits "commercial disputes" and acts through companies it controls - as it did to take over the independent NTV, TV-6 and TVS networks in recent years - or employs legal maneuvers of the sort used last month to dispossess Levada.

Gleb Pavlovsky, the head of the Effective Policy Foundation, a Kremlin-funded think tank, says that "a regime of managed democracy had to be established [after Putin came to power] in 2000, in order to counter real threats from shady groups who had seized power in Moscow and in the regions. That task has been accomplished now. Today, Putin's power is based on the moral authority of a leader of civil society and not upon an authoritarian dictatorship."

Levada sees danger in the Kremlin's approach.

"The real threat today," he says, "is the darkening of our future, this tendency to degrade the democratic freedoms that were gained under Gorbachev." 

  He adds, however, that he believes that "it's impossible to restore a full dictatorship in Russia today, because it is already a semi-open country."

Fyodorov says the state will continue to pursue Levada through the courts for "stealing" the name of VTsIOM. "They secretly registered a new parallel private organization, VTsIOM-A," he says, "and thereby usurped the brand of a state organization."

Levada says he'll do what he's always done: keep working.

"My entire team came over here with me, and they are all good professionals," he says. "We have good clients, and there is work to be done. These are critical days."   ..."




 Levada Analytical Center (Levada-Center) is a Russian non-governmental research organization. 


In May, Russians’ concern about Western sanctions against Russia decreased. The first shock of the sanctions has passed. Among the various restrictions, respondents are most concerned about the freezing of Russian assets abroad, although young people are more concerned about restrictions on Visa and Mastercard and the departure of Western brands. Respondents consider the price increase to be the main consequence of sanctions. At the same time, three-quarters of respondents believe that Russia should continue its policy despite the sanctions.

Most Russians have a negative attitude towards NATO. The prevailing opinion is that new countries joining NATO poses a threat to Russia. About half of the respondents admit that the conflict in Ukraine may escalate into a clash between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance. A third of respondents admit that in the event of a conflict with the West, Vladimir Putin may give the order to use nuclear weapons first.

In March 2022, the Levada Center and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs research organization conducted a joint study of the public opinion of Russians and Americans about Russian-American relations and the most pressing topics on the international agenda. The study showed an increase in negative attitudes towards the United States among Russians, a decrease in willingness to cooperate – and at the same time increased fears associated with a possible conflict.

Compared to 2020, the willingness to participate in surveys has not changed at the moment. Respondents are still more willing to take part in a personal interview (rather than a phone survey). The level of confidence in the survey results remained at the same level: about half of the respondents (54%) trust the data.

Television, social networks and online media are the main sources of information. In the wake of the “special operation”, trust in television has grown, while trust in internet sources has sunk. The banned social networks keep losing users. There is no unambiguous opinion on blocking and restrictions on the Internet in the society: Russians are rather against it, while more than half of respondents aren’t against Internet censorship as such.

Attention to the “special military operation” is gradually beginning to dull. At the same time, the majority of respondents demonstrate concern about what is happening. Support for the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine remains high, but compared to March it has slightly decreased. The majority of respondents hold NATO countries responsible for the destruction in Ukraine and the death of civilians.

The majority of respondents consider themselves to be Orthodox Christians, 15% do not consider themselves to be of any religion. More than half of Russians consider themselves religious. Respondents’ belief in the supernatural (life after death, religious miracles, the evil eye) remains a common phenomenon.