The Country of the Blind: The Soviet System of Mind Control

By George S. Counts; Nucia Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
THE SOVIET APOCALYPSE

THE MEN who shape the policies of the Soviet Union are able, fanatical, ruthless, and realistic. Offspring of a strange union of historic conditions and forces, including Russian absolutism, Russian nationalism, Russian Messianism, Russian revolutionary traditions, and Marxian ideas and doctrines, they were badly misunderstood before the war, during the war, and after the war by American statesmen and even by the more sophisticated political leaders of the countries of Western Europe. If the free world is to survive, its representatives must understand these men, not only their traits of character, but also their controlling ideas, fundamental allegiances, and ultimate purposes. At present, owing in part to sheer ignorance and in part to Communist manipulation, the American mind is confused on the "Russian question." A retrospective glance may prove instructive.

From 1917 to 1941 the common American attitude toward the Russian Revolution and the Soviet system embraced conflicting elements of fear, suspicion, and hostility, wonder, condescension, and contempt. During the war years this attitude was swiftly transformed. Organizations for sending relief to the Russian people and for promoting friendship between the two countries were launched under most benign auspices. Ardent defenders of the Soviets appeared in the most unexpected places and good will flourished. Joseph Stalin became "good old Uncle Joe," the Soviet Union "our great Russian ally," and even the American Communist Party a "dependable fighter against fascism." After

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