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Главная » 2014 » Март » 15 » U.S. OBJECTIVES WITH RESPECT TO RUSSIA
Thomas H. Etzold and John Lewis Gaddis, eds.,
Containment: Documents on American Policy and Strategy,
1945-1950    NSC 20/1  (pages 173-203)
August 18, 1948
[Source; Records of the National Security Council on deposit in the Modern Military Records Branch, National Archives, Washington. D.C.]
NSC 20/1 originated in response to a request from Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal for a "comprehensive statement of national policy'" with regard to the Soviet Union, on the grounds that until such a statement was prepared, "no logical decisions can be reached as to the proportion of our resources which should be devoted to military purposes. . . ..'' (*1) Drafted by the Policy Planning Staff, this document represented the most complete exposition up to that time of the objectives the policy of containment was supposed to accomplish.
(*1). Forrestal to Sidney W. Souers, July 10, 1948, quoted in NSC 20, "Appraisal of the Degree and Character of Mllilary Preparedness Required by the World Situiilion," July 12, 1948, Foreign Relations of the United Stales: 1948, I (part 2) 589-592.
The document established two basic goals for U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union: (1) reduction of the power and influence of the U.S.S.R. to the point that they would no longer threaten international stability; and (2) accomplishment of a fundamental change in the theory and practice of international relations as applied by the Soviet govemment. Unlike NSC 7 (Document 20), NSC 20/1 stressed the distinction between the Soviet Union and the international communist movement, and, in line with the reasoning in PPS 35 (Document 21), held out the possibility of driving a wedge between the two of them as a means of implementing U.S. policy objectives.

NSC 20/1 emphasized the desirability of achieving containment's desired results by means short of war, although it recognized the possibility that war might come, whether by inadvertence or design. The final portion of the document dealt with the question of what U.S. policy should be in that eventuality. It is noteworthy for its stress on the neutralization, rather than the elimination, of Soviet power, and for its implied rejection of the World War II doctrine of unconditional surrender.

I. Introduction

It is plain that Russia, both as a force in its own right and as a center for the world communist movement, has become for the time being the outstanding problem of U.S. foreign policy, and that there is deep dissatisfaction and concern in this country over the aims and methods of the Soviet leaders. The policies of this Government are therefore determined in considerable measure by our desire to modify Soviet policies and to alter the international situation to which they have already led.

However, there has yet been no clear formulation of basic U.S. objectives with respect to Russia. And it is particularly important, in view of the preoccupation of this Government with Russian affairs, that .such objectives be formulated and accepted for working purposes by all branches of our Government dealing with the problems of Russia and communism. Otherwise, there is a possibility of serious dissipation of the national effort on a problem of outstanding international importance.

II. Background Considerations

There are two concepts of the relationship of national objectives to the factors of war and peace.

The first holds that national objectives be constant and should not be affected by changes in the country's situation as between war and peace; that they should be pursued constantly by means short of war or by war-like means, as the case may be. This concept was best expressed by Clausewitz, who wrote that, "War is a continuation of policy, intermingled with other means."

The opposite concept is that which sees national objectives in peace and national objectives in war as essentially unrelated. According to this concept, the existence of a state of war creates its own specific political objectives, which generally supersede the normal peacetime objectives. This is the concept which has generally prevailed in this country. Basically, it was the concept which prevailed in the last war, where the winning of the war itself, as a military operation, was made the supreme objective of U.S. policy, other considerations being subordinated to it.

In the case of American objectives with respect to Russia, it is clear that neither of these concepts can prevall entirely.

In the first place, this Government has been forced, for purposes of the political war now in progress, to consider more definite and militant objectives toward Russia even now, in time of peace, than it ever was called upon to formulate with respect either to Germany or Japan in advance of the actual hostilities with those countries.

Secondly, the experience of the past war has taught us the desirability of gearing our war effort to a clear and realistic concept of the long-term political objectives which we wish to achieve. This would be particularly important in the event of a war with the Soviet Union. We could hardly expect to conclude such a war with the same military and political finality as was the case in the recent war against Germany and Japan, Unless, therefore, it were clear to everyone that our objectives did not lie in military victory for its own sake, it might be hard for the U.S. public to recognize what would in reality be a favorable issue of the conflict. The public might expect much more in the way of military finality than would be necessary, or even desirable, from the standpoint of the actual achievement of our objectives. If people were to get the idea that our objectives were unconditional surrender, total occupation and military government, on the patterns of Germany and Japan, they would naturally feel that anything short of these achievements was no real victory at all, and might fail to appreciate a really genuine and constructive settlement,

Finally, we must recognize that Soviet objectives themselves are almost constant. They are very little affected by changes from war to peace. For example, Soviet territorial aims with respect to eastern Europe, as they became apparent during the war, bore a strong similarity to the program which the Soviet Government was endeavoring to realize by measures short of war in 1939 and 1940, and in fact to certain of the strategic-political concepts which underlay Czarist policy before World War I, To meet a policy of such constancy, so stubbornly pursued through both war and peace, it is necessary that we oppose it with purposes no less constant and enduring- Broadly speaking, this lies in the nature of the relationship between the Soviet Union and the outside world, which is one of permanent antagonism and conflict, taking place sometimes within a framework of formal peace and at other times within the legal framework of war. On the other hand, it is clear that a democracy cannot effect, as the totalitarian state sometimes does, a complete identification of its peacetime and wartime objectives. Its aversion to war as a method of foreign policy is so strong that it will inevitably be inclined to modify its objectives in peacetime, in the hope that they may be achieved without resort to arms. When this hope and this restraint are removed by the outbreak of war, as a result of the provocation of others, the irritation of democratic opinion generally demands either the formulation of further objectives, often of a punitive nature, which it would not have supported in time of peace, or the immediate realization of aims which it might otherwise have been prepared to pursue patiently, by gradual pressures, over the course of decades. It would therefore be unrealistic to suppose that the U.S. Government could hope to proceed in time of war on the basis of exactly the same set of objectives, or at least with the same time-table for realization of objectives, which it would have in time of peace.

At the same time, it must be recognized that the smaller the gap between peacetime and wartime purposes, the greater the likelihood that a successful military effort will be politically successful as well. If objectives are really sound from the standpoint of national interest, they are worth consciously formulating and pursuing in war as in peace. Objectives which cumc into being as a consequence of wartime emotionalism are not apt to reflect a balanced concept of long-term national interest. For this reason, every effort should be made in government planning now, in advance of any outbreak of hostilities, to define our present peacetime objectives and our hypothetical wartime objectives with relation to Russia, and to reduce as far as possible the gap between them.

III. Basic Objectives

Our basic objectives with respect to Russia are really only two:

a. To reduce The power and influence of Moscow to limits in which they will no longer constitute a threat to the peace and stability of international society; and

b. To bring about a basic change in the theory' and practice of international relations observed by the government in power in Russia. If these two objectives could be achieved, the problem which this country faces in its relations with Russia would be reduced to what might be considered normal dimensions.

Before discussing the manner in which these objectives could be pursued in peace and in war, respectively, let us first examine them in somewhat greater detail.


There are two spheres in which the power and the influence of Moscow have been projected beyond the borders of the Soviet Union in ways detrimental to the peace and stability of international society.

The first of these spheres is what may be defined as the satellite area: namely, the area in which decisive political influence is exercised by the Kremlin. It should be noted that in this area, which is, as a whole, geographically contiguous to the Soviet Union, the presence, or proximity, of Soviet armed power has been a decisive factor in the establishment and maintenance of Soviet hegemony.

The second of these spheres embraces the relation between, on the one hand, the power center which controls the Soviet Union and, on the other, groups or parties in countries abroad, beyond the limits of the satellite area, which look to Russia for their political inspiration and give to it, consciously or otherwise, their basic loyalty.

In both of these spheres the projection of Russian power beyond its legitimate limits must be broken up if the achievement of the first of the objectives listed above is to be effectively served. The countries in the satellite area must be given the opportunity to free themselves fundamentally from Russia domination and from undue Russian ideological inspiration. And the myth which causes millions of people in countries far from the Soviet borders to look to Moscow as the outstanding source of hope for human betterment must be thoroughly exploded and its workings destroyed.

It should be noted that in both cases the objective can conceivably be achieved for Ihe most part without raising issues in which the prestige of the Soviet state, as such, need necessarily be decisively engaged.

In the second of the two spheres, a complete retraction of undue Russian power should be possible without necessarily engaging the more vital interests of the Russian state; for in this sphere Moscow's power is exerted through carefully concealed channels, the existence of which Moscow itself denies. Therefore, a withering away of the structure of power which was formerly known as the Third International, and which has survived the disuse of that name, need involve no formal humiliation of the government in Moscow and no formal concessions on the part of the Soviet State.

The same is largely true of the first of these two spheres, but not entirely, In the satellite area, to be sure, Moscow likewise denies the formal fact of Soviet domination and attempts to conceal its mechanics. As has now been demonstrated in the Tito incidents, a breakdown of Moscow control is not necessarily regarded as an event affecting the respective states as such. In this instance, it is treated as a party affair by both sides; and particular care is taken everywhere to emphasize that no question of state prestige is involved. The same could presumably happen everywhere else throughout the satellite area without involving the formal dignity of the Soviet State.

We are confronted, however, with a more difficult problem in the actual extensions of the borders of the Soviet Union which have taken place since 1939. These extensions cannot in all cases be said to have been seriously detrimental to international peace and stability; and in certain instances it can probably be considered, from the standpoint of our objectives, that they can be entirely accepted for the sake of the maintenance of peace, In other cases, notably that of the Baltic countries, the question is more difficult. We cannot really profess indifference to the further fate of the Baltic, peoples.

This has been reflected in our recognition policy to date with respect to those countries. And we could hardly consider that international peace and stability will really have ceased to be threatened as long as Europe is faced with the fact that it has been possible for Moscow to crush these three small countries which have been guilty of no real provocation and which have given evidence of their ability to handle their own affairs in a progressive manner, without detriment to the interests of their neighbors. It should therefore logically be considered a part of U.S. objectives to see these countries restored to something at least approaching a decent state of freedom and independence.

It is clear, however, that their complete independence would involve an actual cession of territory by the Soviet Government. It would therefore raise an issue directly involving the dignity and the vital interests of the Soviet State as such. It is idle to imagine that this could be brought about by means short of war. If, therefore, we are to consider that the basic objective outlined above is one which would be valid for peace as well as for war, then we must logically state that under conditions of peace our objective would be merely to induce Moscow to permit the return to the respective Baltic countries of all of their nationals who have been forcibly removed therefrom and the establishment in those countries of autonomous regimes generally consistent with the cultural needs and national aspirations of the peoples in question. In the event of war, we might, if necessary, wish to go further. But the answer to this question would depend on the nature of the Russian regime which would be dominant in that area in the wake of another war; and we need not attempt to decide it in advance.

In saying, consequently, that we should reduce the power and influence of The Kremlin to limits in which they will no longer constitute a threat to the peace and stability of international society, we are entitled to consider that this is an objective which can be logically pursued not only in the event of a war but also in time of peace and by peaceful means, and that in the latter case it need not necessarily raise issues of prestige for the Soviet Government which would automatically make war inevitable.


Our difficulty with the present Soviet Government lies basically in the fact that its leaders are animated by concepts of the theory and practice of international relations which are not only radically opposed to our own but are clearly inconsistent with any peaceful and mutually profitable development of relations between that government and other members of the international community, individually and collectively.

Prominent among these concepts are the following:

(a) That the peaceful coexistence and mutual collaboration of sovereign and independent governments, regarding and respecting each other as equals, is an illusion and an impossibility;

(h) That conflict is the basis of international life wherever, as is the case between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries, one country does not recognize the supremacy of the other;

(c) That regimes which do not acknowledge Moscow's authority and ideological supremacy are wicked and harmful to human progress and that there is a duty on the part of right-thinking people everywhere to work for the overthrow or weakening of such regimes, by any and all methods which prove tactically desirable;

(d) That there can be, in the long run, no advancement of the interests of both the communist and non-communist world by mutual collaboration, these interests being basically conflicting and contradictory;


(e) That spontaneous association between individuals in the communist-dominated world and individuals outside that world is evil and cannot contribute to human progress.

Plainly, it is not enough that these concepts should cease to dominate Soviet, or Russian, theory and practice in international relations. It is also necessary that they should be replaced by something approximating their converses.

These would be:

(a) That it is possible for sovereign and equal countries to exist peaceably side by side and to collaborate with each other without any thought or attempt at domination of one by the other;

(b) That conflict is not necessarily the basis of international life and that it may be accepted that peoples can have common purposes without being in entire ideological agreement and without being subordinated to a single authority;

(c) That people in other countries do have a legitimate right to pursue national aims at variance with Communist ideology, and that it is the duty of right-thinking people to practice tolerance for the ideas of others, to observe scrupulous non-interference in the internal affairs of others on the basis of reciprocity, and to use only decent and honorable methods in international dealings;

(d) That international collaboration can, and should, advance the interests of both parties even though the ideological inspiration of thc two parties is not identical; and

(e) That the association of individuals across international borders is desirable and should be encouraged as a process contributing to general human progress.

Now the question at once arises as to whether the acceptance of such concepts in Moscow is an objective which we can seriously pursue and hope to achieve without resort to war and to the overthrow of the Soviet Government. We must face the fact that the Soviet Government, as we know it today, is, and will continue to be a constant threat to the peace of this nation and of the world.

It is quite clear that the present leaders of the Soviet Union can themselves never be brought to view concepts such as those indicated above as intrinsically sound and desirable. It is equally clear that for such concepts to become dominant throughout the Russian communist movement wou!d mean, in present circumstances, an intellectual revolution within that movement which would amount to a metamorphosis of its political personality and a denial of its basic claim to existence as a separate and vital force among the ideological currents of the world at large. Concepts such as these could become dominant in the Russian communist movement only if, through a long process of change and erosion, that movement had outlived in name the impulses which had originally given it birth and vitality and had acquired a completely different significance in the world than that which it possesses today.

It might be concluded, then (and the Moscow theologians would be quick to put this interpretation on it), that to say that we were seeking the adoption of these concepts in Moscow would be equivalent to saying that it was our objective to overthrow Soviet power. Proceeding from that point, it could be argued that this is in turn an objective unrealizable by means short of war, and that we are therefore admitting that our objective with respect to the Soviet Union is eventual war and the violent overthrow of Soviet power. ,

It would be a dangerous error to accept this line of thought.

In the first place, there is no time limit for the achievement of our objectives under conditions of peace. We are faced here with no rigid periodicity of war and peace which would enable us to conclude that we must achieve our peacetime objectives by a given date "or else". The objectives of national policy in times of peace should never be regarded in static terms. In so far as they arc basic objectives, and worthy ones, they are not apt to be ones capable of complete and finite achievement, like specific military objectives in war. The peacetime objectives of national policy should be thought of rather as lines of direction than as physical goals.

In the second place, we are entireiy within our own rights, and need feel no sense of guilt, in working for the destruction of concepts inconsistent with world peace and stability and for their replacement by ones of tolerance and international collaboration. It is not our business to calculate the internal developments to which the adoption of such concepts might lead in another country, nor need we feel that we have any responsibility for those developments. If the Soviet leaders find the growing prevalence of a more enlightened concept of international relations to be inconsistent with the maintenance of their internal power in Russia, that is their responsibility, not ours. That is a matter for their own consciences, and for the conscience of the peoples of the Soviet Union. We are not only within our moral rights but within our moral duty in working for the adoption everywhere of decent and hopeful concepts of international life. In doing so, we are entitled to let the chips tali where they may in terms of internal development.

We do not know for certain that the successful pursuit by us of the objectives in question would lead to the disintegration of Soviet power; for we do not know the time factor here involved. It is entirely possible that under the stress of lime and circumstance certain of the original concepts of the communist movement might be gradually modified in Russia as were certain of the original concepts of the American revolution in our own country.

We are entitled, therefore, to consider, and to state publicly, that it is our objective to bring to The Russian people and government, by every means at our disposal, a more enlightened concept of international relations, and that in so doing we are not taking any position, as a government, with respect to internal conditions in Russia.

In the case of war, there could clearly be no question of this nature. Once a state of war had arisen between this country and the Soviet Union, this Government would be at liberty to pursue the achievement of its basic objectives by whatever means it might choose and by whatever terms it might wish to impose upon a Russian authority or Russian authorities in the event of a successful issue of military operations. Whether these terms would embrace the overthrow of Soviet power would he only a question of expediency, which will be discussed below.

This second of the two basic objectives is therefore also one likewise susceptible of pursuit in lime of peace as in time of war. This objective, like the first, may accordingly be accepted as an underlying one, from which the formulation of our policy, in peace as in war, may proceed.

IV. The Pursuit of Our Basic. Objectives in Time of Peace

In discussing the interpretation which would be given to these basic objectives in time of peace or in time of war respectively, we arc confronted with a problem of terminology. If we continue to speak of the particular orientation lines of our policy in peace or in war as ''objectives", we may find ourselves falling into a semantic confusion. Solely for the purposes of clarity, therefore, we will make an arbitrary distinction. We will speak of objectives only in the sense of the basic objectives outlined above, which are common both to war and peace. When we refer to our guiding purposes as applied specifically in our wartime or peactime policy, respectively, we will speak of "aims" rather than of "objectives".

What then would be the aims of U.S. national policy with respect to Russia in time of peace?

These should flow logically from the two main objectives discussed above,


Let us first consider the retraction of undue Russian power and influence. We have .seen that. this divided into the problem of the satellite area and the problem of communist activities and Soviet propaganda activities in countries farther afield.

With respect to the satellite area, the aim of U.S. policy in time of" peace is to place the greatest possible strain on the structure of relationships by which Soviet domination of this area is maintained and gradually, with the aid of the natural and legitimate forces of Europe, to maneuver the Russians out of their position of primacy and to enable the respective governments to regain their independence of action. There are many ways in which this aim can be, and is being, pursued. The most striking step in this direction was the original proposal for the ERP, as stated in Secretary Marshall's Harvard speech on June 5, S947. By forcing the Russians either to permit the satellite countries to enter into a relationship of economic collaboration with the west of Europe which would inevitably have strengthened east-west bonds and weakened The exclusive orientation of these countries toward Russia or to force them to remain outside this structure of collaboration at heavy economic sacrifice to themselves, we placed a severe strain on the relations between Moscow and the satellite countries and undoubtedly made more awkward and difficult maintenance by Moscow of its exclusive authority in the satellite capitals. Everything, in fad, which operates to tear off the veil with which Moscow likes to screen its power, and which forces the Russians to reveal the crude and ugly outlines of their hold over the governments of the satellite countries, serves to discredit the satellite governments with their own peoples and to heighten the discontent of those peoples and their desire for free association with other nations.

The disaffection of Tito, to which the strain caused by the ERP problem undoubtedly contributed in some measure, has clearly demonstrated that it is possible for stresses in the Soviet-satellite relations to lead to a real weakening and disruption of the Russian domination,

It should therefore be our aim to continue to do all in our power to increase these stresses and at the same time to make it possible for the satel-lile governments gradually to extricate themselves from Russian control and to find, if they so wish, acceptable forms of collaboration with the governments of the west. This can be done by skillful use of our economic power, by direct or indirect informational activity, by placing the greatest possible strain on the maintenance of the iron curtain, and by building up the hope and vigor of western Europe to a point where it comes to exercise the maximum attraction to the peoples of the east, and by other means too numerous to mention.

We cannot say, of course, that the Russians will sit by and permit the satellites to extricate themselves from Russian control in this way. We cannot be sure that at some point in this process the Russians will not choose to resort to violence of some sort; i.e., to forms of military re-occupation or possibly even to a major war, to prevent such a process from being carried to completion.

It is not our desire that they should do this; and we, for our part, should do everything possible to keep the situation flexible and to make possible a liberation of the satellite countries in ways which do not create any unanswerable challenge to Soviet prestige. But even with the greatest of circumspection we cannot be sure that they will not choose to resort to arms. We cannot hope to influence their policy automatically or to produce any guaranteed results.

The fact that we embark on a policy which can lead to these results does not mean that we are setting our course toward war; and we should be extremely careful to make this plain on all occasions and to refute accusations of this character. The fact of the matter is that, granted the relationship of antagonism which is still basic to the entire relationships between the Soviet Government and non-communist countries at this time, war is an ever-present possibility and no course which this Government might adopt would appre- ciably diminish this danger. The converse of the policy set forth above, namely to accept Soviet domination of the satellite countries and to do nothing to oppose it, would not diminish in any way the danger of war. On the contrary, it can be argued with considerable logic that the long-term danger of war will inevitably be greater if Europe remains split along the present lines than it will be if Russian power i.s peacefully withdrawn in good time and a normal balance restored to the European community.

It may he stated, accordingly, that our first aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is to encourage and promote by means short of war the gradual retraction of undue Russian power and influence from the present satellite area and the emergence of the respective eastern European countries as independent factors on the international scene,

However, as we have seen above, our examination of this problem is not complete unless we have taken into consideration the question of areas now behind the Soviet border. Do we wish, or do we not, to make it our objective to achieve by means short of war any modification of the borders of the Soviet Union? We have already seen in Chapter III the answer to this question.

We should encourage by every means at our disposal tile development in the Soviet Union of institutions of federalism which would permit a revival of the national life of the Baltic peoples.

It may be asked: Why do we restrict this aim to the Baltic peoples? Why do we not include the other national minority groups of the Soviet Union? The answer is that the Baltic peoples happen to be the only peoples whose traditional territory and population are now entirely included in the Soviet Union and who have shown themselves capable of coping successfully with the responsibilities of statehood. Moreover, we still formally deny the legitimacy of their violent inclusion in the Soviet Union, and they therefore have a special status in our eyes.

Next we have the problem of the disruption of the myth by which the people in Moscow maintain their undue influence and actual disciplinary authority over millions of people in countries beyond the satellite area. First a word about the nature of this problem.

Before the revolution of 1918, Russian nationalism was solely Russian. Except for a few eccentric European intellectuals of the 19th Century, who even then professed to a mystical faith in Russia's power to solve the ills of civilization (*2) Russian nationalism had no appeal to people outside Russia. On the contrary, the relatively mild despotism of the 19th Century Russian rulers was perhaps better known and more universally deplored in the western countries than has since been the case with the far greater cruelties of the Soviet regime.

(*2) Karl Marx was not one of these people. He was not, as he himself put it, "one of those who believed that the old Europe could be revived by Russian blood," [Note in source text]

After the revolution, the Bolshevik leaders succeeded, through clever and systematic propaganda, in establishing throughout large sections of the world public certain concepts highly favorable to their Own purposes, including the following: that the October Revolution was a popular revolution; that the Soviet regime was the first real worker's government; that Soviet power was in some way connected with ideals of liberalism, freedom and economic security; and that it offered a promising alternative to the national regimes under which other peoples lived. A connection was thus established in the minds of many people between Russian communism and the general uneasiness arising in the outside world from the effects of urbanization and industrialization, or from colonial unrest.

In this way Moscow's doctrine became to some extent a domestic problem for every nation in the world. In Soviet power, western statesmen arc now facing something more than just another problem of foreign affairs. They are facing also an internal enemy in their own countries—an enemy committed to the undermining and eventual destruction of their respective national societies.

To destroy this myth of international communism is a dual task. It takes two parties to create an inter-action such as that which exists between the Kremlin, on the one hand, and the discontented intellectuals in other countries (for it is the intellectuals rather than the "workers" who make up the hard core of communism outside the USSR), on the other. It is not enough to tackle this problem by aiming to silence the propagator. It is even more important to arm the listener against this sort of attack. There is some reason why Moscow propaganda is listened to so avidly, and why this myth takes hold so readily, among many people far from the boundaries of Russia. If it were not Moscow these people listened to, it would be something else, equally extreme and equally erroneous, though possibly less dangerous. Thus the task of destroying the myth on which international communism rests is not just an undertaking relating to the leaders of the Soviet Union. It is also something relating to the non-Soviet world, and above all to the particular society of which each of us forms a part. To the extent to which we can dispel the confusion and misunderstandings on which these doctrines thrive—to the extent that we can remove the sources of bitterness which drive people to irrational and Utopian ideas of this sort—we will succeed in breaking down the ideological influence of Moscow in foreign countries. On the other hand- we must recognize that only a portion of international communism outside Russia is the result of environmental influence and subject to correction accordingly. Another portion represents something in the nature of a natural mutation of species. It derives from a congenital fifth-columnism with which a certain small percentage of people in every community appear to be affected, and which distinguishes itself by a negative attitude toward the native society and a readiness to follow any outside force which opposes it. This element will always be present in any society for unscrupulous outsiders to work on; and the only protection against its dangerous misuse will be the absence of the will on the part of great-power regimes to exploit this unhappy margin of human nature.

Fortunately, the Kremlin has thus far done more than we ourselves could ever have done to dispel the very myth by which it operates. The Yugoslav incident is perhaps the most striking case in point; but the history of the Communist International is replete with other instances of the difficulty non-Russian individuals and groups have encountered in trying to be the followers of Moscow doctrines. The Kremlin leaders are so inconsiderate, so relentless, so over-bearing and so cynical in the discipline they impose on their followers that few can stand their authority for very long.

The Leninist-Stalinist system is founded, basically, on the power which a desperate, conspiratorial minority can always wield, at least temporarily, over a passive and unorganized majority of human beings- For this reason, the Kremlin leaders have had little concern, in the past, about the tendency of their movement to leave in its train a steady backwash of disillusioned former followers. Their aim was not to have communism become a mass movement but rather to work through a small group of faultlessly disciplined and entirely expendable followers. They were always content to let those peoples go who could not stomach Their particular brand of discipline.

For a long time, this worked reasonably well. New recruits were easy to obtain; and the Party lived by a steady process of natural selection-out, which left within its ranks only the most fanatically devoted, the most unimaginative, and the most obtusely unscrupulous natures.

The Yugoslav case has now raised a great question mark as to how well this system will work in the future, Heretofore, heresy could safely be handled by police repression within The limits of Soviet power or by a tested process of excommunication and character-assassination outside those limits. Tito has demonstrated that in the case of the satellite leaders, neither of these methods is necessarily effective. Excommunication of communist leaders who are beyond the effective range of Soviet power and who themselves have territory, police power, military power, and disciplined fol- lowers, can split the whole communist movement, as nothing else was ever able to do, and cause the most grievous damage to the myth of Stalin's omniscience and omnipotence.

Conditions are therefore favorable to a concentrated effort on our part designed to take advantage of Soviet mistakes and of the rifts that have appeared, and to promote the steady deterioration of the structure of moral influence by which the authority of the Kremlin has been carried to peoples far beyond the reach of Soviet police power.

We may say, therefore, that our second aim with respect to Russia in time of peace is, by informational activity and by every other means at our disposal, to explode the myth by which people remote from Russian military influence are held in a position of subservience to Moscow and to cause the world at large to see and understand the Soviet Union for what it is and to adopt a logical and realistic attitude toward it.

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