COMMUNISM AND THE SECOND
RUSSIA was closely involved in the origins of the Second World War as she was in those of the First, but the fact that she had in the meantime become a state dedicated to the Communist ideology made a difference to the character of the involvement. In the period from 1934 to 1939 the Soviet Union in its public official policy and in its propaganda directed to liberal democratic circles in Western countries had adopted the political line of "anti-Fascism" and support for "collective security" through the League of Nations. The movement of Soviet policy towards alignment with the Western democracies and the League, which had previously been the target of the fiercest Communist denunciation, had the effect of producing an ever-increasing sympathy and respect for the Soviet Union in quarters which had hitherto been deeply hostile or suspicious; the Communists internally as well as internationally became respectable, acquiring the reputation of being the purest of patriots and the most ardent of democrats. In France, as we have seen, this reputation was largely destroyed by the Communist involvement in the semi-revolutionary occupations of factories in France in May and June of 1936 and the revolutionary régime created by armed workers in Madrid and Barcelona in July of the same year after Franco's revolt had made the Popular Front Government of Spain dependent on proletarian para-military forces. But in Britain, where there was no threat of revolution, the adversaries of "appeasement"