The Soviet Cultural Offensive: The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Soviet Foreign Policy

The Soviet Cultural Offensive: The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Soviet Foreign Policy

The Soviet Cultural Offensive: The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Soviet Foreign Policy

The Soviet Cultural Offensive: The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Soviet Foreign Policy

Excerpt

Important techniques of Soviet foreign policy still remain almost unexamined. One of these is the complex amalgam of propaganda, deception, and sometimes mutually profitable transactions with non-Soviet states that is herein described as Cultural Diplomacy. Soviet Cultural Diplomacy represents what from a non-communist point of view usually seems to be a perversion of cultural exchange and intercultural communication.

This is an effort to project to all men an image of the Soviet way of life calculated to facilitate Soviet foreign policy objectives. It is accompanied by an equally massive effort to shield the Kremlin's subjects from harmful "alien" influences. It has almost nothing in common with democratic ideals of free intellectual communion. However, we live in an age when increased freedom of international communication, contacts, and travel is necessary for world welfare. Premier Khrushchev's cancellation of his invitation to President Eisenhower for a visit to Russia underscored Soviet determination to prevent even previously agreed upon contacts if they appeared to threaten, however indirectly, the Kremlin's absolute control over the thinking of the Soviet people. Nevertheless, there is every reason to believe that over the long run communists will make increasing use of the international propaganda procedures described in this study. While guarding against the perils inherent in communist duplicity, we should welcome the opportunities offered by exchanges of persons with Soviet Bloc countries to dissolve prejudices and facilitate whatever limited cooperation is possible between representatives of rival ways of life.

The encouragement, counsel, and assistance of many persons are reflected, however inadequately, in this book. Its defects belong only to the author. David C. Munford, while an official of the Ford Foundation, helped to arrange for a research grant to which Yale University also contributed. Yale also rendered indispensable aid through continued assistance from the Stimson Fund, and the author is grateful to all concerned with the administration of that Fund and to the Department of Political Science for granting him research leave.

Among those who generously offered advice, criticism, and in-

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