The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Déjà vu

The 2014 Winter Olympics, currently underway in Sochi, Russia, have been the focus of political controversy for months. This is not the first time the Olympics have been politicized, nor will it be the last. Carl von Clausewitz said that war is “the continuation of politics by other means” and if the Olympic Games, in which nations compete against one another in the arena of sports rather than on the battlefield, is a substitute of sorts for war, it must by its very nature, be political and we can expect its political essence to manifest itself from time to time. This is one of those times and the issue, over which the controversy has been raging, is homosexuality, or, to be more precise, the legislation passed by Russia last year which prohibits promoting homosexuality to children.

It is not the issue of homosexuality and Russia’s laws pertaining to it that I wish to address, however. What interests me the most in all of this is the way in which this controversy has caused the powers of the world to align themselves in a pattern that was once very familiar but which has been forgotten in the last twenty years or so. In this pattern, the United States and her allies which include Britain, Canada, and other Western countries form one side while Russia, and the countries in her sphere of influence, form the other.

This was the alignment of the world powers when I was growing up, before the Gulf War of early 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union later that year seemingly brought about a realignment that pitted the United States and her allies against Arab dictatorships and Islamic terrorists. It is a pattern that had been established by the two World Wars in which the great European powers that had dominated nineteenth century geopolitics had sought to destroy each only to find themselves all eclipsed by the rise of two new superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.

The First World War had seen the collapse of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and the fall of the Prussian House of Hohenzollern. More importantly the old Russia, the Russia of the Tsars and the Orthodox Church, the Russia whose successful resistance to the invasion of Napoleon’s armies was beautifully translated into music in the Festival Overture of the Year 1812 by her greatest composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, had been overthrown in a series of revolutions in 1917. While various revolutionary groups were involved in this, it was the Bolsheviks who ultimately seized power in Russia. The Bolsheviks were a gang of thugs, largely consisting of ethnic minorities, that was committed to the revolutionary ideology of nineteenth century German-Jewish philosopher Karl Marx. Their takeover of Russia received a great deal of outside financing, both from the German government which wanted one less enemy and one less front to fight on, and from German and American Jewish bankers who believed that they were alleviating the conditions of Jews suffering from persecution, a belief that might have been justified in the short term but proved to be mistaken in the long run. Securing their hold on power in the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, an officially atheistic police state, in which the Communist Party reigned supreme, in which despised classes like the kulak farmers were made into scapegoats and officially persecuted, in which despised ethnic groups like the Ukrainians were targeted with artificial famines, in which rivals of the Party leadership were given show trials and executed, while dissidents from all walks of life disappeared into the forced labour camps of the Gulag. It was an entirely repulsive regime ab initio and it proceeded to go downhill from there. The only people foolish enough to see anything redeeming in it were university professors, journalists, and other progressive intellectuals.

The Second World War began twenty one years after the first had ended when Nazi Germany invaded Poland and Great Britain, embarrassed over the way Hitler had made a fool out of them at Munich two years previously, declared war on Germany. Although Britain nominally won the war, Poland did not thereby become free. Before invading Poland Hitler had signed a treaty with the Soviet Union, which included a secret codicil in which Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland between themselves. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union two years later, the Soviets and the British found themselves fighting the same enemy. Later that year the United States also joined the war, ostensibly because of the Japanese attack on their Hawaiian naval base, but in reality as the result of two years of negotiations between the British and American governments in which the former essentially agreed to cede her leadership of the Western world to the latter in return for American help in defeating the Axis Powers. To better defeat their enemies, the British, Americans, and Soviets co-ordinated their efforts.

For Sir Winston Churchill the alliance with Soviet Russia was born out of wartime necessity. He had more sense than to trust either the Soviet government or its megalomaniacal leader. He had warned against Bolshevism back when it reared its ugly head during the First World War and had entered into the alliance with Stalin with his eyes open and his nostrils pinched tight. These sentiments were shared by such American generals as Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton but not by the American president. These were the days before American presidents were limited to two terms and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been president since 1933. In his first year in office he had granted American recognition to the Bolshevik government. In 1936 he recalled his first ambassador to the USSR, William C. Bullitt, who had gone to Russia with a friendly attitude but had reported honestly about the horrors of the Soviet system. In his place FDR sent Joseph E. Davies, who accepted every Potemkin village the Soviets showed him at face value and sent back reports to Washington that whitewashed Stalin’s purges, show trials, and other atrocities. It was about this time that FDR abolished the U.S. State Department’s Department of Eastern European Affairs and ordered its extensive library pertaining to Russia dissolved. (1) Davies told of his experiences in his 1941 book Mission to Moscow which was turned into a film at the request of the Roosevelt administration. Both the book and the film were Soviet propaganda.

This same naïve attitude towards Stalin and his government showed itself in the way the war was handled. FDR, who had successfully conned the American Republic into voting him in as President four times and who had hornswoggled Winston Churchill out of Britain’s naval bases in return for an armada of decrepit, leaky ships, (2) believed that his powers of persuasion were infallible and that he would be able to “handle Stalin.” (3) An example of his method of “handling” Stalin was the November 1943, Tehran Conference, the first conference between the “Big Three”. Roosevelt accepted Stalin’s invitation to stay at the Soviet Embassy after the Soviets spread disinformation about a German assassination plot. Consequently, he was under Soviet surveillance for the whole meeting. At the Tripartite Dinner Meeting, Stalin insisted that at the end of the war at least 50, 000 German officers be summarily executed. This outraged Churchill but FDR proposed as a “compromise” that they only execute 49, 000. This led Churchill to walk out on the other two in disgust – Stalin coaxed him back to the meeting by assuring him that they had only been joking. (4)

It was Stalin, of course, who was actually the one doing the “handling.” He handled Roosevelt like a puppet master and, since the price of the American entry into the war had been Britain’s ceding her leadership of the Western free world to the United States, Stalin’s ability to manipulate FDR ultimately meant that Allied war policy was bent towards the attaining of the Soviet Union’s goals. Thus, when the war was finally over, the Soviets were able to keep not only all of Poland, the Nazi invasion of which they had been complicit in at the start of the war, but eastern Germany, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania as well. In other words the war ended with the enslavement of Eastern Europe and the Red Army breathing down the necks of the newly liberated Western Europe. As Sir Winston Churchill put it in a speech to Westminster College on March 5, 1946 “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” It was appropriate that Churchill, no longer Prime Minister of Great Britain having been defeated in the 1945 election, gave these words in Fulton, Missouri from a platform shared by the new American President Harry S. Truman. For the only thing keeping the Red Army on the other side of that Iron Curtain was the military might of the United States of America. The alliance between the USA and the USSR had died with Franklin D. Roosevelt (5) although it lingered on in a kind of zombified state until just after the Japanese surrender, and now the two countries whose influence had been greatly expanded by the war were locked in what James Burnham aptly called a “struggle for the world”. (6)

This “struggle for the world” would continue until 1991 when the Soviet Union officially broke up. It was dubbed “The Cold War” to contrast it with a traditional “hot war” in which the two sides send their armies to kill each other until one side emerges victorious over the other. The struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union could not be fought directly as a hot war, although the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and various revolutions and civil wars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America saw the two superpowers duke it out by means of proxy. The reason the American-Soviet standoff could not be fought as a traditional war was that the advancement of the technology of war had made it impossible. As tanks and jeeps replaced horses, machine guns that could fire repeated rounds without having to be reloaded replaced traditional swords and rifles, and the newly invented airplanes were fitted with guns to fight each other and bombs to obliterate targets on the ground, warfare became less and less the trial of strength and courage that poets have sung about since the days of Homer and became more and more a matter of the killing of large numbers of people from safe distances. Then in 1945 the advancement of martial technology took a quantum leap forward with the development of the working atomic bomb. (7) The unconscionable dropping of this device on the civilian targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (8) killing approximately a quarter of a million people, brought a quick end to the Second World War and sent the world the message that the United States was now the supreme power. By 1949, however, the Soviet Union which had been working on an atomic bomb of its own for almost as long as the Americans had, succeeded in becoming a nuclear power with the help of secrets stolen by such spies as Klaus Fuchs, Morris Cohen, and the Rosenbergs. The mutual possession of nuclear weapons by the United States and the Soviet Union held each in check, preventing either from moving against the other in such a way as to initiate a hot war.

Neither side felt this stalemate to be tolerable and each worked to overcome it by developing its nuclear technology in the hope of attaining a first strike capability in which they could initiate an attack on the other side that would eliminate its ability to retaliate and thus get out from under the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. As a result each side developed a stockpile of nuclear weapons with sufficient firepower to blow up the planet. With so much at stake it was inevitable that the question of what exactly all this was about would be asked.

On one level, it could be said that it was simply the old story of the two biggest dogs on the block fighting to see who will be top dog and dominate the other. Russia and the United States had both come out of World War II with their power and influence greatly enhanced in contrast to most other participants in that conflict and so it was natural they would see each other as their primary rivals. Some would insist that this was the whole story, all that there every really was to it. While this view of the matter masquerades as realism I would say that it both underestimates the influence of ideas upon the actions of men and nations and fails to understand the difference and distinction between the real motivations of the leaders in a conflict and the significance of the conflict. It might be true and accurate to say that the governments in a conflict were motivated by a selfish desire for power, territory, and resources rather than the lofty ideals they put forward as justification of their actions. It does not follow from this that the conflict was “really” only about power, territory, and resources. The significance of a war is larger than the motivations of the leaders involved.

Many thought of the larger significance of the Cold War in terms of American capitalism versus Soviet communism. This is not entirely inaccurate and the difference between the two economic systems became particularly important towards the end of the conflict. The Soviet command economy proved incapable of providing the USSR with the resources necessary to beat or even keep up with the USA in the arms race. Therefore, when American president Ronald Reagan stepped up the arms race and announced that the United States would seek to break the deadlock of MAD through further technological advancement, by inventing a shield to correspond to the nuclear sword, the Soviet government, unable to maintain even the pretence of keeping up, began to talk “glasnost” (“openness”) and “perestroika” (“restructuring”) and Reagan and Gorbachev were able to negotiate a treaty in which each side agreed to reduce its nuclear arms.

Capitalism and communism, however, were only the economic aspects of the ideological forces opposed to each other in the Cold War. It would be more accurate to speak of these forces as liberalism, represented by the United States, and the ideology of Marxist-Leninism, represented by the Soviet Union. Liberalism is the ideology the primary beliefs of which are the need for democratic elections of legislative officials, the civil protection of the rights and liberties of the individual, and the maximum social, economic, and political freedom consistent with the rule of law. Marxist-Leninism is the ideology that teaches that private ownership is the cause of social conflict and strife, by dividing people into classes of “haves” and “have nots”, that history moves forward by the “have nots” revolting against and overthrowing the “haves” becoming the new “haves” in the process, and that history is moving towards a future utopian state to be brought about when the Communist Party, representing the last class of “have nots”, i.e., the proleteriat of industrial workers overthrows the last class of “haves”, i.e., the bourgeoisie of capitalist industrial owners, and establishes a classless society, in which property is collectively owned, all members of society are compelled to work according to their ability, and goods are distributed to each according to his need. George Grant remarked that what these two have in common, i.e., that they are both forms of the modern belief in progress and technology, is perhaps more significant than the differences that divide them. Perhaps that is the best way of looking at the Cold War – as a conflict between two different visions of technological progress.

There was also a spiritual element to the conflict that should not be ignored. American writer Whittaker Chambers, himself an ex-communist and former Soviet spy who defected, showed understanding of this element when, in the “Letter to My Children” that he prefixed to his autobiography Witness, said of Communism that:

It is not new. It is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “Ye shall be as gods.” It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God. (9)

Chambers was correct in his assessment of Communism, I believe. Marxist-Leninism presented to man an alternative diagnosis of his problem to the traditional Christian diagnosis of Original Sin. It told man that his problem was the social and economic inequality produced by private property and, having offered an alternative diagnosis of man’s problem, it offered an alternative salvation to that which Christianity proclaims to have been given to man in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the salvation of the workers’ paradise of communism future. This alternative, materialistic, salvation appealed to generation after generation of progressive intellectuals who were desperately looking for an alternative to the spiritual salvation offered in the traditional Christian religion.

This appeal only lasted until the reality of Marxist-Leninism broke through. Thus the history of progressive intellectual infatuation with Communism is also the history of disillusionment and disappointment, and of former true believers turning their backs on “The God that failed.” (10) Some, like Whittaker Chambers, found refuge from the destruction of their former materialistic faith, in traditional religions like Christianity. Others, became dedicated anti-communists, of both the Cold War liberal and the conservative variety. Some were lost in the darkness and despair of the nihilism that is the postmodern disillusionment with all metanarrative. There were always plenty, however, who were eager to close their eyes and their ears, and, when someone like Khrushchev assured them that Stalin’s atrocities were atypical of the Soviet regime and a result of the “personality cult”, to swallow these assurances whole and disassociate the horrors which were the reality of Communism in practice from the ideology of Marxist-Leninism, even as the evidence accumulated that Marxist-Leninism brought widespread physical and spiritual death, not just in the Soviet Union but wherever the Red flag was raised. (11)

A fuller assessment of the spiritual element of the Cold War, however, is that of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn had been imprisoned at the end of the Second World War for derogatory remarks he had made about Stalin. Sentenced to a labour camp for eight years and to an internal lifetime exile after that, his writings such as the novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and the three volume Gulag Archipelago brought an awareness of the reality of the Soviet prison camp system to light in the Western world. Having been deported to the West, Solzhenitsyn, who had become a devout and practicing Christian during his experiences spoke out not only against the evils of the Soviet system but against the liberalism of the Western world. Liberalism, the system which the Western world opposed to the Communism of the USSR, was itself spiritually bankrupt. This assessment, most famously offered by Solzhenitsyn in his 1978 commencement address at Harvard University, was a tough pill for progressive and liberal intellectuals to swallow and they resented it heavily, but it was the voice of the older, Orthodox, Russia speaking and more importantly it was the truth. While only a fool or a madman would have wished for the Cold War to end in the triumph of the Soviet Union rather than the United States, liberalism being preferable to Communism by any conceivable comparison, liberalism, to return to the observation of George Grant alluded to earlier, was also a version of the modern materialistic and technological faith in progress, and thus lacked the spiritual resources necessary for its stand against Marxist-Leninism.

Which brings us back to the present. When signs began to appear several years ago of a renewal of tension between Russia and the United States this did not come as much of a surprise. Having long ago read the writings of Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn (12) I had been half expecting a renewal of the conflict for over a decade, although perhaps not in so dramatic a fashion as was humorously depicted in one episode of The Simpsons. (13) There is a big difference, however, between the American/Russian conflict I remember from my youth and that of today. This time around, it is the United States that is promoting Marxism.

In the period between the World Wars, several Marxist intellectuals, brought to a crisis of faith by the failure of Marx’s prediction that when the general European war came the workers would unite across national boundaries against the bourgeoisie rather than fight one another, concluded that it was culture that prevented their revolution from materializing, that culture created the national loyalties that transcended those of class. These neo-Marxists decided upon a strategy in which they would infiltrate the institutions that generate culture – the schools and universities, the arts, the media, and churches. Having infiltrated these institutions, they would change the culture generated so that it no longer promoted traditional loyalties like loyalty to family, kin, and ancestors, to nation and to country, but instead promoted loyalty to groups defined by their victimization, real or supposed, by traditional society, while traditional loyalties were, through a blending of Marxism and psychology, pathologized, i.e., redefined as mental illnesses. This strategy proved very successful and Western institutions, weakened by liberalism as Solzhenitsyn described, proved unable to withstand it, the result being what is known as “political correctness” today. (14)

So now, when we see the United States, turning its vast political and private apparatus of propaganda against its old enemy Russia, in the name of one of the pet causes of political correctness, I am reminded of Tomislav Sunic’s fascinating remark that “Some European authors observed that communism died in the East because it had already been implemented in the West.” (15)

(1) John Lukacs, George Kennan: A Study of Character, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 39-40.

(2) Robert Shogun, Hard Bargain: How FDR Twisted Churchill's Arm, Evaded the Law, and Changed the Role of the American Presidency (New York: Scribner's. 1995)

(3) In a message sent to Winston Churchill on March 18, 1942 Roosevelt wrote: “I know you will not mind my being brutally frank when I tell you I think I can personally handle Stalin better than your Foreign Office or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so.” The consequences of this hybris were explored by Robert A. Nisbet in Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship (Washington, D. C.: Regnery Gateway, 1988)

(4) See Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War: F.D.R. and the War Within World War II (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 314-315. Fleming points out that Churchill was well aware that the man making this hideous proposal was more than capable of carrying it out, as he had proven in the Katyn Forest Massacre of 1940. When we consider what actually happened at the end of the war, do the words of Stalin and Roosevelt seem much of a joke? American Jewish journalist John Sack in his An Eye For an Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge Against the Germans in 1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1993) tells of a thousand concentration camps set up in Poland in 1945, administered largely by Jews, in which hundreds of thousands of Germans were imprisoned and tortured, thousands of whom were killed. These camps were set up in Soviet controlled territory by the NKVD. In an earlier book, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II (Toronto: Stoddart, 1989), Canadian writer James Bacque alleged that Eisenhower’s forces had starved about a million German POWs to death. As far back as 1948 Freda Utley had written about these atrocities and the ethnic cleansing of about twelve million Germans that had taken place in Soviet controlled Eastern Europe towards the end of and in the immediate aftermath of the war in The High Cost of Vengeance (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1948). The Nuremberg Trials, while not the summary executions that Stalin and Roosevelt had joked about, were not the justice they pretended to be either. They violated every principle of Anglo-American justice and resembled nothing so much as the Soviet show trials that Joseph Davies had praised and excused. About the only person willing to point this out at the time was US Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio. You can read about his stand and his reasons for it in the ninth chapter of Profiles in Courage (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956) by John F. Kennedy and his speechwriter Ted Sorenson. All of this should be kept in mind when we are tempted to think of World War II as “The Good War.” The war may have been necessary but, as Simone Weil pointed out, it is dangerous to confuse the necessary with the good.

(5) Just before the alliance ended the American government followed through on one of Roosevelt’s most gruesome promises to Stalin. Under Eisenhower’s direction, the Allies turned Soviet POWs that had been captured by the Nazis and ended up in the hands of the British and Americans over to the Red Army. FDR’s promise was interpreted very broadly and those from Soviet-controlled territory that had fled Soviet tyranny only to end up in Hitler’s camps were forcibly turned over to the Soviets. See Julius Epstein, Operation Keelhaul: The Story of Forced Repatriation from 1944 to the Present(Old Greenwich: Devin-Adair, 1973).

(6) James Burnham, The Struggle for the World(New York: John Day Company, 1947). This was the first of what would become a trilogy of works with The Coming Defeat of Communism (1949) and Containment or Liberation? An Inquiry into the aims of United States Foreign Policy (1953). In his earlier The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World? (1941) Burnham had written that contrary to the predictions of Marxists and liberals alike, a social, political, and economic transformation was underway that would lead to neither capitalism or socialism, but to the rise of a new elite class of technocratic managers, that this was simultaneously occurring in the liberal West, the Axis powers, and the Soviet Union, and that on the geopolitical scale this would be reflected in the reorganization of the world into three large spheres of influence, in North America, Europe, and Asia. In this later trilogy Burnham revised that number down to two, the USA and USSR, argued that the struggle between them was a winner-take-all, zero sum game, and urged that the United States adapt a strategy of liberating Soviet-controlled territory.

(7) I use the language of progress, “advancement” and “forward” quite deliberately here. If the invention of the technology that would eventually be able to obliterate all life on earth – with the possible exception of the cockroach – can be described as an “advancement”, and in the language of technological progress that is exactly what it was, then there is something seriously wrong with the concept of technological progress. Moving forward is not a self-justifying action. Whether it is the right and proper thing to do or utter and absolute folly is determined by the answer to the question of what we are moving forward towards.

(8) It would have been unconscionable under any circumstances but it was also completely unnecessary. The usual justification, that had the bomb not been dropped there would have been more deaths because the Japanese would have fought it out to the bitter end, is false. Japan had in fact been suing for peace for at least a year prior to the bombings. Their peace overtures were ignored because FDR had committed the Allies to the pursuit of “unconditional surrender” at Casablanca in 1943. This was an irrational policy, which Churchill, who heard about it for the first time when Roosevelt announced it to the press, publicly signed on to while privately fuming over its unreasonableness and stupidity. Since the only condition the Japanese had included in their proposals was that they be allowed to keep their emperor – a condition that the Americans agreed to in the end anyway – the dropping of the a-bombs was that much more unconscionable of an act.

(9) Whittaker Chambers, Witness, (Washington D. C.: Regnery Publishing Inc., 1952, 1980), p. 9.

(10) This was the title of a book, edited by British Labour MP Richard Crossman, containing anti-communist essays by several ex-communist intellectuals including Arthur Koestler and André Gide that was first published in 1949.

(11) A thorough collection of this evidence can be found in Le Livre noir du Communisme: Crimes, terreur, repression which was published in Paris by Editions Robert Laffont in 1997. Edited by Stéphane Courtois, it was translated into English by Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer and published by Harvard University Press in 1999 as The Black Book of Communism. Its contributors documents the enslavement, state murder, and other horrors of Marxist-Leninism in the Soviet Union from its earliest days under Lenin, as well as in Poland and the rest of central/Eastern Europe, in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and in Latin America, Africa and Afghanistan.

(12) Anatoliy Golitsyn is a former KGB agent who defected from the Soviet Union in 1961. His second book, The Perestroika Deception The world’s slide towards The ‘Second October Revolution’ (London & New York: Edward Harle,1995) consists of memoranda he had sent to the CIA warning that the thaw in Soviet relations with the West was all part of a long-term strategy to deceive the West and bring about a second Bolshevik Revolution on a global scale. Published four years after the breakup of the USSR this would seem like paranoid drivel were it not for his first book, New Lies For Old (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984). According to this book, the Soviets had adopted a long-term disinformation strategy back in the 1950s, before he defected from the KGB, that had several phases which included the disputes and splits within the Communist bloc between the USSR on the one hand, and Yugoslavia, Albania and China on the other, the Romanian independence movement, and the various reforms and political schisms in the Communist countries that Western strategists would attach great importance to and hope to exploit in the Cold War. Golitsyn claimed that all of this was a show put on to deceive the West. What makes this interpretation so disturbing is Part Three of the book, where he describes “The Final Phase” of the strategy. It predicts the rise of a young new leader, the liberalization of the Soviet Union including the return of the exiles and amnesty for dissidents, a restructuring of the Soviet government, the dissolution of the USSR, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of a powerful, socialist, European Union, and well over a hundred other things that began to come true about a year after the book was published.

(13) The episode, entitled “Simpson Tide”, is the nineteenth episode of the ninth season of the long-running primetime cartoon. In this episode Homer, having joined the US navy, ends up through a series of mishaps, getting an American submarine into Russian territorial waters. This leads to a conversation at the UN in which the Russian ambassador says “The Soviet Union will be pleased to offer amnesty to your wayward vessel” to which the American ambassador responds with “The Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up”. The Soviet ambassador, with a sinister smile, replies “Nyes, dats what we wanted you to think, bwah hah hah hah”.

(14) While this strategy is often associated with Italian Communist Party leader Antonio Gramsci it was most fully developed by the “Frankfurt School”, i.e., the thinkers associated with the Institute for Social Research, which was founded in the University of Frankfurt in the 1920s and temporarily relocated to Columbia University in the United States to escape the Third Reich. Among the intellectuals associated with this group were Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm who represented a wide range of disciplines, from philosophy, sociology and psychology, to literary and social criticm and even musicology (in Adorno’s case).

(15) Tomislav Sunic, Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age(Book Surge Publishing, 2007), p. 34.

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