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

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

CHAPTER THREE
LITERATURE AS A WEAPON

IN THE LATE SUMMER and early autumn of 1946 the American people began to receive brief dispatches from Moscow suggesting that certain writers, dramatists, and moving-picture directors were in trouble. It appeared that the Central Committee of the Party of Lenin and Stalin had pointed the finger of criticism at these people and had asked them to mend their ways. Since most Americans were wholly unfamiliar both with the names mentioned in the dispatches and with the rôle of the Party in the Russian state, they tended to dismiss the reports as beyond their comprehension or to regard the events involved as humorous episodes to be treated with levity. They failed utterly to sense the personal tragedies lying behind the news stories and the world tragedy implicit in these strange actions of the All-Union Communist Party.

As a matter of fact, the dispatches were reporting the first battles in a gigantic and carefully planned offensive against the West and the entire free world. The attack of the Party on the literary arts was the beginning of a campaign to bring the entire cultural apparatus to the vigorous and unqualified support of the new foreign policy which the Politburo was maturing as the war drew to its close and which is outlined frankly in Zhdanov's address in Poland. Apparently the first object of the attack was to erase completely from the mind of the Soviet people all favorable impressions of the West and particularly of America gained during the struggle. But the controlling purpose apparently was and is

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