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Communist Party of the Soviet Union CPSU

and Fellow Travelers.

Cold War.

Communist Party of the Soviet Union CPSU and Fellow Travelers

Cold War

Excerpts from

my 15 years at iki by mike gruntman

My Fifteen Years at IKI, the Space Research Institute:

Position-Sensitive Detectors and Energetic Neutral Atoms Behind the Iron Curtain

Interstellar Trail Press, 2022. ISBN 979-8985668704

detailed book content    paperback    Kindle    book preview

Chapter 6. Boundary conditions of Life and Work

Communist Party of the Soviet Union CPSU and Fellow Travelers Fight Back (pp. 137-142)

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union did not remain idle in the existential ideological struggle. Every night, the main and only Soviet national television channel beamed the evening newscast, Vremya (Time). The program began with appearances and speeches of the Politburo members followed by reports on decisive successes in battles for harvesting crops and producing ever more steel and coal. Main international news stories were next. Then each day, a few fellow travelers from foreign countries and assorted Marxist-leaning rulers and activists from the Third World.

IKI 15 pages 129-148

Some of these supporters visited the Soviet Union at that time while others opined from the comfort of their home countries. They all enthusiastically praised the socialist system in the USSR and highlighted the descpicable "ulcers of capitalism" [37] permeating the free world. Notably, leaders of the American anti-communist AFL-CIO trade unions practically never appeared in the broadcasts.

The Soviet Union has been nurturing anti-capitalist and anti-American elements in the West for decades. Communist intelligence services planted numerous false stories in the receptive left-wing media, using disinformation as an effective propaganda tool against the free world. [38] These operations were part of "active measures" in their trade parlance.

Even in the closed society of the Soviet Union, there were ways of obtaining some banned information despite all restrictions, censorship, unending deceit, and brainwashing. Thinking rationally, testing hypotheses, and relying on experimental facts and observations, which is the basis of the practice of physics, supported the development of independent points of view. Common sense contributed mightily as well. The Western radio helped the cause of freedom in an important way, despite relentless attempts to block transmissions.

A senior Soviet intelligence officer described that,

[u]nder [KGB Chairman, 1967-1982] Andropov the disinformation branch of KGB flourished. For both domestic and external consumption, it concocted stories to deceive, confuse, and influence targeted audiences. It conducted operations to weaken Soviet adversaries and to undermine internal stability and foreign policies of the Western world to facilitate favorable conditions for the eventual triumph of Communism. [39]

That some leftist intellectuals were gullible dupes [40] did not diminish their responsibility for the horrendous human cost of their complicity. An intellectual cannot claim ignorance as an excuse.

There were also professional pro-Soviet stooges. Anatoly Chernyaev, a life-long high-level CPSU official and senior advisor (from 1986) to Mikhail Gorbachev, wrote with disdain about the Soviet-controlled "peace movement” in an entry in his private diary. Senior representatives of the communist parties of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, and USSR discussed

financing the [World] Peace Council [WPC], WFTU [World Federation of Trade Unions], and others, as they have budget deficits each year, [with expenses] exceeding the allocated budgets each year. They have been spending on mistresses, various "events," travel, and luxurious life—professional fighters for peace. [41]

The cheerful participation of the international left in the propaganda war against Soviet people and their brainwashing directly contributed, wittingly or not, to oppression and massive repressions in the communist world throughout decades.

As early as 1939, a former top Soviet intelligence officer, Walter Krivitsky, brought this fact to the attention of U.S. Congress. Krivitsky had defected in 1937 rather than, in the words of Allen Dulles, "return to Russia to be swallowed up in the purge." Then in 1941, he "was found dead in a Washington hotel ... shot presumably by agents of the Soviets who were never apprehended." [42]

Krivitsky testified to Congress that

if it were not for the work of the Communist Party [of the Soviet Union] abroad, and of the sympathizers [in the West] during 1936 and 1937, the purge [in the Soviet Union] could have never been carried out successively. This demonstrates very clearly why Stalin needs them... It is evident that he [Stalin] required some support from abroad for all these measures [purges]. [43]

Krivitsky also emphasized that "[f]oreigners little realize how vital it was" for Stalin and CPSU to declare unanimous support of the physical liquidation of the opposition and how important hailing the Soviet constitution was "by many foreign liberals as, if not a great achievement, at least a 'significant aspiration.'" He also specifically singled out, as an example, that the help that renowned French author and Nobel Prize winner in literature Romain Rolland "gave to totalitarianism by covering the horrors of Stalin's dictatorship with the mantle of his great prestige, is incalculable." [44]

The complicity of the radical left and intellectuals in the West did not begin with the support of the purges of the late 1930s in the Soviet Union. It went back to the earlier days of the Marxist paradise. [45] Covering up the communist-caused great famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine (known today as the Holodomor), Kazakhstan (still disregarded by many), and other parts of the country is a prime example of the consequences of the ideologically-driven bias of the Western media. Honest reporting could have saved millions of lives. The same actors provided later support and comfort to the actions of the Communist Party of China with an even greater human cost.

A prominent U.S. diplomat, George Kennan, observed that the Kremlin realized early that for "the groups of bourgeois-liberal enthusiasts ... the Soviet Union soon came to have so powerful an attraction. Soviet policy thus began with time ... to concentrate on using all foreign sympathizers, Communist or otherwise, as vehicles for a purely nationalistic Soviet foreign policy." [46]

Suppression of dissent and repressions in totalitarian countries such as the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and Cuba always relied and continue to depend to this day on the help of sympathizers and front organizations abroad. The U.S. Senate succinctly summarized that

Communism has claimed the lives of more than 100,000,000 people in less than 100 years. [47]

In the 20th century, the Marxist regimes lasted longer because of the passionate support by a significant part of the international left. In addition, many liberals rejected muscular anti-Communism and remained equivocal about bloody repressions. Millions of lives would have been spared if it were not for the fellow travelers.

The brutal carnage was not the only "achievement" of the international left that also contributed to the calamity of World War II. A keen British observer noted that "the intellectual sabotage [of the national morale and preparedness in Great Britain] from the Left was partly responsible" that "the Fascist nations judged that ... it was safe to plunge into [world] war." [48] Not surprisingly, supposedly intelligent scientists praised and celebrated the Munich agreement. [49]

At the same time, as noted by a high-ranking U.S. diplomat Robert Murphy, in another country, France, Marxists followed the Moscow lead and mightily contributed to breaking "down the morale of the French fighting forces," leading to the military defeat in 1940 and the tragedy of occupation. Murphy added that "American Communists also were doing everything possible then [in 1940] to discourage our [U.S.] own preparedness and to oppose assistance to France and Britain." [50]

Today, many pieces of art and memorials remind us of the countless victims of Marxism. They dot the post-Communist space of the former Soviet republics and eastern European countries (Fig. 6.14). The sculptures of the communist leaders, so much celebrated by their radical Western friends and tolerated by sympathetic socialists and "balanced" liberals, moved to the museums after the decades of the dominating presence in public space (Fig. 6.15). No surprise that the lands and people liberated from the tyranny appreciate freedom and celebrate those in the free world who had the moral clarity and courage to call the Marxist regimes evil (Fig. 6.16).

IKI 15 pages 134, 135 foreign radio

Fig. 6.14. Top: monument, Victims of the Totalitarian Regime, in an arts park in Moscow. Bottom: Memorial for the Victims of Political Repression during the 1930–1940s and Early 1950s at the location of the Gulag ALZhIR prison camp near Nur-Sultan (former Astana), the capital of Kazakhstan. The acronym ALZhIR stands for the Akmolinsk Camp of Wives of Traitors to the Motherland. Akmolinsk is the old Soviet name of the city Nur-Sultan (Astana). Photographs (2018 and 2016, respectively) courtesy of Mike Gruntman.

Fig. 6.15. Large sculptures, left-to-right, of "banished" Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and bigger Stalin with the outstretched right hand in Tirana, Albania. Photograph (2019) courtesy of Mike Gruntman.

Fig. 6.16. Ronald Reagan in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photograph (2014) courtesy of Mike Gruntman.


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