Written by Vladimir Moss




     In 1973 the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, inventor of the Soviet H-bomb, hailed Allende’s overthrow in Chile, and called for democratization in the Soviet Union. He was then put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize in the West German press – to the fury of the Soviets. In 1975 Elena Bonner, Sakharov’s wife, received the Nobel Prize on behalf of her husband in Oslo (he had been refused a visa to travel abroad). 

     The other famous Soviet dissident was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was exiled to the West in 1974, settling in America. As a proven campaigner for human rights in the Soviet Union, he was expected to confirm the West's image of itself as the upholder and defender of human rights and democratic freedoms. And so he was given a hero's welcome.

     However, admiration quickly turned to disillusion when he proceeded, not only to attack the Soviet Union for its lack of freedom, but also to criticize the West for its feeble resistance to Communism and abuse of its freedom. Very soon he was being labelled, even by some of his compatriots, as an anti-democrat and Great Russian chauvinist, although both charges are demonstrably false; and by the 1980s his voice was hardly heard any more. Nevertheless, his ideas were valuable, timely and powerfully expressed…

     The first point that needs to be made is that, for all his criticisms of the West, Solzhenitsyn draws no sign of equality between the capitalist West and the communist East. The West is distinctly superior, in his view, because (a) it is free as opposed to the East's tyranny, and (b) it has a framework of law as opposed to the East's essential lawlessness. Censorship is condemned by Solzhenitsyn; he values the traditional freedoms guaranteed by a stable and enforced code of laws no less than any western liberal. Moreover, he is grateful to the West for the support it offered him and other dissidents. And if he criticizes the West, it is the criticism of a friend offered with a constructive aim - that of the strengthening of the West against its deadly rival in the East.

     At the same time, clear philosophical differences emerge between Solzhenitsyn and his western interlocutors, and first of all in relation to the supreme value of the West - freedom… For Solzhenitsyn, freedom was valuable and indeed necessary, but not as an end in itself. Rather, he saw it as a means to a higher end - moral perfection. And when he saw freedom being used to undermine rather than to support that higher end, he waxed eloquently scornful, as in his 1976 speech on receiving the "Freedom Fund" prize: "Freedom! - to forcibly defile postboxes and the eyes, ears and brains of people with commercial rubbish, and television programmes in which it is impossible to see any coherent sense. Freedom! - to impose information on people without taking into account their right not to receive it, their right to mental relaxation. Freedom! - to spit in the eyes and souls of those passing by advertisements. Freedom! - of publishers and cinema producers to poison the young generation with corrupt abominations. Freedom! - for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 to get drunk on leisure and pleasure instead of concentrated study and spiritual growth. Freedom! - for young adults to seek idleness and live at the expense of society. Freedom! - for strikers, to the extent of allowing them to deprive all the other citizens of a normal life, work, movement, water and food. Freedom! - for justifying speeches, when the lawyer himself knows that the accused is guilty. Freedom! - to raise the juridical right of insurance to such a degree that even charity could be reduced to extortion. Freedom! - for casual, trite pens to irresponsibly slide along the surface of any question in their haste to form public opinion. Freedom! - for the collection of gossip, when a journalist in his own interests spares neither his father nor his Fatherland. Freedom! - to publicize the defence secrets of one's country for personal political ends. Freedom! - for a businessman to make any deal, however many people it may reduce to misery or even if it would betray his own country. Freedom! - for political leaders to lightmindedly carry out what the voter wants today, and not what from a longer-term perspective will protect him from evil and danger. Freedom! - for terrorists to escape punishment, pity for them as a death sentence for the whole of the rest of society. Freedom! - for whole states to parasitically extort help from others, and not to work to build their own economy. Freedom! - as indifference to the trampling of the freedom of others far from us. Freedom! - even not to defend one's own freedom, as long as someone else risks his life."

     The only real defence of freedom against its own worst consequences - including, as in Russia in 1917 and Germany in 1933, a descent into a tyranny far worse than that of any hereditary monarch - is a good set of laws and an effective system for enforcing them. However, democracy guarantees neither the one nor the other. For a good set of laws depends on the wisdom and morality of the lawmakers - and democratic lawmakers are elected to follow the will of their constituents, not the objective good of the country. And effective enforcement presupposes a generally high respect for the law in the population as a whole - a condition that is notably lacking in most democratic societies today. 

     In any case, according to Solzhenitsyn, western democratic legalism has become, to a dangerous and debilitating degree, an end in itself. Every conflict is solved according to the letter of the law, and voluntary self-restraint is considered out of the question. It is not enough to have a wonderful system of laws and every democratic freedom. If the people are selfish, then life will still be hell.

     Pluralism, freedom of speech and the press and democratic elections are all fine, says Solzhenitsyn, but they only make the choice possible: they do not tell us what to choose. The decision of the majority is no guarantee against "misdirection"; fascists, communists, nationalists and unprincipled demagogues are frequently voted in by majorities. Even in an established democracy major decisions can be swung by the vote of a small but determined and extremely selfish minority which holds the balance of power and can therefore impose its will on the majority.

     In an article entitled "The Pluralists", Solzhenitsyn writes: "They [the pluralists] seem to regard pluralism as somehow the supreme attainment of history, the supreme intellectual good, the supreme value of modern Western life. This principle is often formulated as follows: 'the more different opinions, the better' - the important thing being that no one should seriously insist on the truth of his own.

    "But can pluralism claim to be a principle valuable in itself, and indeed one of the loftiest? It is strange that mere plurality should be elevated to such a high status... The Washington Post once published a letter from an American, responding to my Harvard speech. 'It is difficult to believe,' he wrote, 'that diversity for its own sake is the highest aim of mankind. Respect for diversity makes no sense unless diversity helps us attain some higher goal.'

     "Of course, variety adds colour to life. We yearn for it. We cannot imagine life without it. But if diversity becomes the highest principle, then there can be no universal human values, and making one's own values the yardstick of another person's opinions is ignorant and brutal. If there is no right and wrong, what restraints remain? If there is no universal basis for it there can be no morality. 'Pluralism' as a principle degenerates into indifference, superficiality, it spills over into relativism, into tolerance of the absurd, into a pluralism of errors and lies. You may show off your ideas, but must say nothing with conviction. To be too sure that you are right is indecent. So people wander like babes in the wood. That is why the Western world today is defenceless; paralysed by its inability any longer to distinguish between true and false positions, between manifest Good and manifest Evil, by the centrifugal chaos of ideas, by the entropy of thought. 'Let's have as many views as possible - just as long as they're all different!' But if a hundred mules all pull different ways the result is no movement at all.

     "In the whole universal flux there is one truth - God's truth, and, consciously or not, we all long to draw near to this truth and touch it. A great diversity of opinions has some sense if we make it our first concern to compare them so as to discover and renounce our mistakes. To discover the true way of looking at things, come as close as we can to God's truth, and not just collect as many 'different' views as we can.”

     Thus just as Western democratic pluralism would not save the West from Soviet totalitarianism, so Russia would not be delivered from the same totalitarianism by simply trying to make it more democratic. Solzhenitsyn did not believe that there was any realistic path of transition to a democratic republic in the Soviet Union without creating a number of nationalist wars - a judgement that we can now see to have been prophetically true. A multi-party democracy in Russia would be "merely be a melancholy repetition of 1917". For the failure of Russian democracy in 1917 was not the result simply of the immaturity of Russian democratic institutions, but rather of a fundamental flaw in the basic theory and spirit of democracy. Communism itself springs, not from traditional authoritarian systems, which, for all their faults, still recognized the authority of God above them, but from "the crisis of democracy, from the failure of irreligious humanism".

     There are, of course, defects and dangers in the traditional systems, but "authoritarian regimes as such are not frightening - only those which are answerable to no one and nothing. The autocrats of earlier, religious ages, though their power was ostensibly unlimited, felt themselves responsible before God and their own consciences. The autocrats of our own time are dangerous precisely because it is difficult to find higher values which would bind them."

     Solzhenitsyn saw communism, not as a specifically Russian phenomenon, but as a universal disease based on a universalist ideology. As Daniel Hannan writes: “Every communist regime, from Albania to Angola, from Benin to Bulgaria, from Cuba to Czechoslovakia, relied on labour camps, torture and execution. You didn’t have to be an opponent of the party to be liquidated. Your crime might be having the wrong parents, or attending church, or holding a university degree. In Cambodia, wearing glasses was enough to condemn you, being taken as evidence that you were not a manual worker.

     “What explains slaughter on such a scale?... Solzhenitsyn, himself a gulag survivor, knew the answer. There had been sadists before, he wrote, and tyrants and murderers, but their homicidal tendencies had eventually been exhausted ‘because they had no ideology. Ideology – that is what gives the evil-doer the necessary steadfastness and determination.’ Here is one way to quantify communism’s destructive power. In 1917 America and Russia had the same population. After a century of asymmetric longevity, abortion and migration, there are now twice as many Americans as Russians…” 

     All these ideas are developed with great power in Solzhenitsyn's vast novel about the revolution, The Red Wheel, which may be described as the War and Peace of the twentieth-century novel. In it all levels of pre-revolutionary Russian society, from the Tsar and his ministers to the politicians, the soldiers and the peasants are warmly but penetratingly described. And if no-one emerges without blame, it is clearly on the westernizing liberals and revolutionaries, who acted in the name of democracy, that the main guilt falls.

     In this way does Solzhenitsyn describe the defects of modern democracy - the licence to which its liberty leads, its cowardice in defence of its own values, its tendency to anarchy and hence, ultimately, to despotism. Democracy is in essence "a mechanism for the satisfaction of the demands of the consumer-voter". The problem is, that in the absence of a higher religious or national ideal - and very few democracies, whether ancient or modern, have had any such ideal - the demands of the consumer-voter are bound to be multiple, contradictory, changeable, fallen, materialistic and egoistical. Thus the tendency to atomization and self-destruction is built into the very base of democracy like a relentlessly ticking time-bomb. 


     Now Solzhenitsyn (in the West) and Sakharov (inside the Union) presented an untamed duo of Soviet dissident Nobel Prize winners whose influence, in spite of the best efforts of KGB disinformation and “active measures” against them, presented a real and growing threat to the prestige, and therefore ultimately the survival, of the Soviet Union. For in a democratic age, prestige and popularity are everything. And while the Soviet Union was not a democracy in any normal sense, since the death of Stalin it had chosen not to become a hermetically sealed kingdom on the model of North Korea and Albania – which laid it open to “ideological subversion” from the dominant western philosophy of human rights. 

     And so “on August 1 1975,” write Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin, “the Soviet leadership committed what turned out to be a strategic blunder in its war against the dissidents. As part of the Helsinki Accords on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United States, Canada and all European states save Albania and Andorra agreed to protect a series of basic human rights. Though Andropov [head of the KGB] warned against the consequences, a majority of the Politburo shared Gromyko’s confident view that ‘We are masters in our house’ – that the Soviet Union would be free to interpret the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Accords as it saw fit. In fact, as Zbigniew Brzezinski predicted, the accords ‘put the Soviet Union on the ideological defensive’. Henceforth its human rights critics both at home and abroad could justly claim that it was in breach of an international agreement it had freely entered into…”

     Helsinki was the climax of the process known as détente, a supposed relaxation of tension between East and West. Détente began in the early 1970s with German Ost-Politik initiated by the Social Democrat Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt.In exchange for more visas allowing East Germans to come to the West, Bonn laid itself dangerously open to espionage (Brandt’s secretary turned out to be a spy) and the possibility of being blackmailed in the economic and energy spheres by the Russians, who got much needed credits to import Western technology, develop their gas fields and build pipes to the West, which thereby became more dependent on Soviet energy. 

     Thus Schmidt “offered Russia favourable trade terms for a series of developments, including the provision by German firms of nine thousand ‘heavy-duty’ trucks, and the construction, by German firms, of a number of chemical plants throughout the Soviet Union. The Russians agreed to increase the existing supply of natural gas. Schmidt also offered the German construction of a nuclear reactor at Kaliningrad.”  

     The German example was continued by the Americans, though more cautiously. The West’s motivation was threefold: a desire to spend less money on armaments as the oil crisis began to bite into western pockets; a desire to get a deal to import Soviet gas; and, probably most important, a gradual loss of faith – caused particularly by the defeat in Vietnam – in the importance and righteousness of the struggle against Communism. Thus détente in the West began to resemble the West’s appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, especially after the last real “hawk” in the American administration, President Nixon, was forced to resign in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

     On the Soviet side, the “targets of détente” were also threefold. “First,” as Revel writes, “international recognition of Soviet territorial gains resulting from the Second World War and from the 1945-50 period in which the Sovietization of Central Europe was completed.

     “Second, through negotiations on arms limitation, to profit from American goodwill to increase the USSR’s military potential.

     “Third, to obtain financial, industrial, and trade contributions from the capitalist countries that would relieve or at least attenuate the shortcomings of socialist economics.

     “What concessions or promises did the Soviets have to make to the West in exchange for these benefits?

     “First, they promised to allow the Americans to conduct on-site inspections to verify that their military strength did not exceed the levels set by the agreements on strategic arms limitations.

     “Next, they vowed they would adopt a general policy of restraint throughout the world, or so they led the West, especially Nixon and Kissinger, to believe in 1972-73. This was the notion of ‘linkage’ or ‘attachment – the indissoluble nature of all aspects of détente’, as Sakharov put it. Washington and Moscow specifically agreed to use their influence to prevent their respective allies and the countries with which they enjoyed special relationships from undertaking offensive actions, especially military.

     “Finally, in the most sensational part of the Helsinki agreement, the Soviet Union had to sign a guarantee that it would respect human rights and basic freedoms in the USSR itself and throughout the Soviet sphere of influence. Concretely, the agreement was supposed to remove obstacles to the ‘free circulation of persons and ideas’ in both directions between East and West. Including these incredible promises in a treaty that was otherwise so advantageous for the Communists could reasonably be seen by the Soviets as a necessary concession. Their object was to reassure people who, in the West, needed a moral justification that would consecrate the philosophy of détente.

     “A quick glance at these two lists shows that, for the Soviets, the credit column in this balance sheet is incomparably more substantial than the debit column.

     “It was soon obvious that the ‘third basket’ as it was called in Helsinki, the one dealing with human rights, was riddled with holes. French President Giscard d’Estaing, who had functioned, at Brezhnev’s urging, as the catalyst for the Helsinki conference, persuaded the reluctant Americans to attend. He was poorly rewarded for his zeal. At his first dinner during an official visit to Moscow shortly after the conference ended, he naively proposed a toast to human rights and freedom and to the improvements his hosts had promised concerning them. Furious, the Soviet leadership froze Giscard out the next morning. By a deplorable coincidence, all the members of the Politburo were suddenly as indisposed as they were unavailable: one felt a chill, another had a headache, Brezhnev sneezed nonstop, and all of them vanished. The world watched the humiliating spectacle of a French head of state wandering alone through a deserted Moscow for two long days. Instead of returning at once to Paris, he waited until, at dawn on the third day, he was received by a resuscitated Brezhnev, jovial and patronizing and delighted to have taught a lesson to the insolent greenhorn whose lack of resistance he had correctly gauged. 

     “We know what happened next: the leaders of the ‘social groups for application of the Helsinki agreement’ in the Soviet Union and its satellites were arrested, imprisoned, sent to strict detention camps; permission to emigrate, to travel abroad, to marry someone outside the East bloc became harder than ever to obtain; the movement of ideas and information was as sharply curtailed as that of people, and, after a brief interlude, Western radio programs were jammed more intensively than ever, in defiance of all the promises Moscow had made. And as an edifying crown to this triumph of liberalization and open dialogue, the USSR huffily withdrew from the human rights commission at the 1978 Belgrade conference, the first of the periodice meeting scheduled for ‘verification of application of the Helsinki pact’. The subsequent assembly, in Madrid in 1980, was just as much of a success for the Soviets, who had stuck to their tactic of flatly refusing to discuss the subject of the conference.

     “Even after martial law was declared in Poland, Westerners broken to the saddle returned to Madrid in 1982 to go through their paces, chewing over the rotten hay of human rights under the mocking gaze of the Soviet delegation. Not only were the years following the signing of the Helsinki pact marked by tighter repression in the Communist countries, but the Soviet government was ingenious enough even to plead détente to demand – and win – agreement from Western governments and some Western newspapers to stop encouraging East-bloc dissidents. President Ford refused to see Andre Amalrik. Dissidents were simply people calling for respect of the Helsinki agreement, which the West had signed. In a paradox that will not surprise connoisseurs, the Soviet Union made fewer concessions in the field of human rights during the years of détente that it had during the previous period, when, for example, Nixon and Kissinger had negotiated a considerable increase in the number of exit visas and emigration permits granted by Moscow. In the most ironic switch in this struggle for human rights, President Carter, anxious to be as stern toward the right as toward the ‘left’, made it his duty to impose democracy or, failing this, sanctions on such non-Communist dictatorships as those in Iran, Afghanistan and Chile; since the Soviet Union remained inflexible, they became the only targets of this campaign for international morality…”


     Now let us turn to the longer-term results of the Helsinki agreements… Groups were formed in several countries to monitor the degree to which the Helsinki accords on human rights were being observed. A prominent dissident, Vladimir Maximov, established a journal, Kontinent, published in several languages, to record violations in the Soviet Union. “Doubtless to the intense irritation of the Centre [of the KGB], Kontinent was able to publicize the formation during 1976 and 1977 of ‘Helsinki Watch Groups’ in Moscow, Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia and Armenia to monitor Soviet compliance with the terms of the Helsinki Accords.”

     However, the importance of the Helsinki Watch Groups in the Soviet Union can be exaggerated. First, they were exploited by only a tiny percentage of the Soviet population, mainly Jewish dissidents in the big cities. As Gromyko had predicted, the Soviets remained the masters in their own house. For, as Revel pointed out, totalitarian regimes can snuff out such anti-systemic viruses much more effectively than democratic ones – or at any rate, keep them at bay for much longer periods. For “police repression is seamless, the compartmentalization of people and regions is effective in nipping organized protest in the bud, the great mass of the population, deprived of any basis of comparison, is largely unaware of other standards and styles of living. Because of these factors,” continued Revel, writing in 1985, “it is hard to see what could force the Soviet state in the short run to replace its military and imperialistic priorities with an intensive program of internal economic developments and social progress.” In fact, it was not any grass-roots movement that forced the Soviet leadership to change course in the later 1980s, but the wholly unexpected and unpredictable rise of Gorbachev to the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party.

     “In essence,” writes Revel, “the [Helsinki] agreement provided for a swap. The West presented the U.S.S.R. with two lavish gifts: we recognized the legitimacy of the Soviet empire over Central Europe, which it had illegally grabbed at the end of World War II, and we offered massive and almost interest-free economic and technological aid. In return, the Soviet Union promised a more moderate foreign policy and respect for human rights within its empire.

     “Only an unfathomable lack of comprehension of communism’s real nature could have made Western statesmen take that second proviso seriously; in any case, it quickly became clear that the promise was merely a joke designed to liven up dull Politburo meetings. But the topper was that Western governments, ever prompt to anticipate the KGB’s wishes, were the first to proclaim that insisting on enforcement of the article was a provocation of the Soviet Union. President Carter’s obstinacy in promoting a human-rights policy throughout the world was soon assailed as interference in other countries’ internal affairs and a threat to peace – except, of course, in Chile and Saudi Arabia.

     “Humiliation followed for the West at the 1978 Belgrade conference, which had theoretically been called to verify that the Helsinki agreement was being applied. Without any superfluous hesitation or temporizing, the Soviets simply refused to take part in the work of the human-rights commission. Nevertheless, in 1980 we rushed merrily to a follow-up conference in Madrid, to go once again through the same vain farce that, for the democracies, remained as pointless as ever. Doubly pointless, in fact: since the Belgrade conference, the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and colonized vast segments of Africa, thus shattering the credibility of the other Soviet promise at Helsinki, for moderation in foreign policy. So all that remained of that celebrated pact was the Western contribution: economic aid to the U.S.S.R. and recognition of its empire. By their concrete actions after the reestablishment of real and total socialism in Poland, the West Europeans staunchly affirmed their unshakable determination to live up unilaterally to their Helsinki commitments without as much as pretending to ask anything in return. Even the few concessions made by East Germany to ease restrictions on travel between the two Germanies were revoked at the end of 1980…”

     The main exception to the complete Soviet exploitation of the détente process was Jewish emigration. As Martin Gilbert writes, when American President Gerald Ford went to Vladivostok in November, 1974, he “insisted that the Russian search for closer trade relations with the United States would depend on a more liberal Soviet attitude to Jewish emigration, which had fallen from 34,000 to 20,000 in the two previous years. Pravda denounced this linkage as having been forced on the President by the ‘enemies of détente’. Ford’s insistence on this linkage arose as a result of a Congressional vote, the Jackson-Vanik amendment of the previous year. The content and success of this binding legislation was an example of the efforts of an effective American pressure group, the National Conference of Soviet Jewry, which urged that the United States Trade Reform Act of 1972 be amended to include the linkage of emigration with trade. A strong armoury of support had been enlisted. In an open letter to the United States Congress, sent on 14 September 1973 Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet Union’s best-known human rights activist – not a Jew, although married to one – had urged support for the amendment on behalf of ‘tens of thousands of citizens in the Soviet Union’. These citizens included Jews ‘who want to leave the country and who have been working to exercise that right for years and for decades at the cost of endless difficulty and humiliation’.

     “The Jackson-Vanik amendment had been passed on 11 December 1973. A year later it was an integral part of the Vladivostok negotiations. The Soviet authorities bowed to the pressure, and Jewish emigration grew annually, reaching a peak of 50,000 in 1979…”

     It was not only governments, but NGOs and a variety of other organizations and individuals, that the Soviets wrapped around in the cotton wool of disinformation, yielding the fruits of completely one-sided détente. Thus Revel mentions “the Nonaligned Countries Movement, the Socialist International, the ecologists, the pacifists, the UN (where the capitalist powers pay almost all the costs) and, above all, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Add to this the perversion of revolutions and nationalist movements in the Third World; of the Interparliamentary Union (where so-called deputies from the East sit on an equal basis with others elected by genuine popular vote); of the World Council of Churches, which, in opening its doors to Eastern Orthodox churches, was invaded by a heavy brigade of Orthodox popes from the KGB. For communism can also borrow the voice of God to preach unilateral Western disarmament.”

     All this infiltration and perversion was made easier and more effective by the atmosphere created by détente in the 1970s. Détente was a terrible failure, and terribly costly in terms of lives lost to Communist aggression around the globe. But its promoters displayed the psychological phenomena of cognitive dissonance and denial in refusing to face the facts and even justifying them. 

     As Revel writes, “Disclosures long after the fact are often more irritating than enlightening. The men responsible for détente in 1970-80 resented having to admit its failure afterward. So they did not alter their thinking, they clung to it even harder. The diplomats, politicians and political scientists who had made a heavy intellectual investment in détente over a period of ten or fifteen years and who remained in positions of power or influence after it failed were incapable of fostering a stern public reappraisal of their policy.”

     Perhaps the best example simultaneously of successful Soviet deception and of western appeasement in the modern era came in the Soviet campaign against the deployment of the neutron bomb by NATO in Western Europe. “The neutron bomb is the only weapon that would have made up for our inferiority in conventional forces. A tactical nuclear weapon, it is the only one that can stop an armoured invasion with pinpoint accuracy, killing tank crews without destroying cities and buildings, without harming the civilian population (which, in the circumstances, is by definition friendly) or contaminating the air over an area larger than the target. Propaganda by the Kremlin’s friends in the West, campaigning against adoption of the neutron bomb, represents it as a ‘capitalist’ weapon because it kills men without obliterating equipment and property, which can be salvaged when the holocaust is over. Salvaged by whom? By the multinationals, I suppose. Clearly a plan, say the partisans of Western unilateral disarmament, framed by the military-industrial complex to wipe out the populations of Italy, West Germany and Holland so that it can lay hands of those countries’ factories, homes, night-clubs, stadiums, sentry boxes, airports, churches, beehives, triumphal arches, tunnels, restaurants, and prisons, In other words, offering neutron bombs to NATO was part of a diabolical American plot to slaughter the Europeans and take over their property.

     “Everyone knows that the most intelligent creatures on earth live in the Western part of Eurasia. Surely they will not fall into so crude a capitalist trap. With laudable consistency, President Carter [in 1978] cancelled plans to arm NATO with neutron bombs…” 

     “President Ronald Reagan restarted production in 1981. The Soviet Union began a propaganda campaign against the US's neutron bomb in 1981 following Reagan's announcement. In 1983 Reagan then announced the Strategic Defense Initiative [“Star Wars”], which surpassed neutron bomb production in ambition and vision and with that the neutron bomb quickly faded from the center of the public's attention.”

     Soviet manipulation did not let up as other weapons were invented. “In 1982,” writes Norman Stone, “there was a great fight over the placing of intermediate-range ultra-modern missiles on European soil, and vital countries, Germany especially, saw enormous demonstrations against this, a matter in part of KGB manipulation, which Bukovsky, from Politburo documents, was able to demonstrate. In this atmosphere of the ‘Second Cold War’, as commentators called it, the transatlantic link [with Margaret Thatcher] became all-important…”

October 16/29, 2017.



[1] Andrei Sinyavsky, "Solzhenitsyn kak ustroitel' novogo edinomyslia" (“Solzhenitsyn as a Constructor of the New Unanimity”), Sintaksis, 1985, pp. 16-32.

[2] Dora Shturman, Gorodu i Miru (To the City and the World), New York: Tretia Vol'na, 1988.

[3]Solzhenitsyn, in Shturman, op. cit., p. 156.

[4]Solzhenitsyn, "Our Pluralists", Survey, vol. 29, no. 2 (125), 1985, pp. 1-2.

[5] Kelley, D.R., The Solzhenitsyn-Sakharov Dialogue, London: Greenwood Press, 1982, pp. 75-87.

[6] Hannan, “Despite History, People fall for Communism”, Sunday Telegraph, October 29, 2017, p. 18.

[7]Shturman, op. cit., p. 165.

[8] Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive. The KGB in Europe and the West, London: The Allen Press, 1999, p. 420.

[9] Martin Gilbert, Challenge to Civilization. A History of the 20th Century 1952-1999, London: HarperCollins, 1999,p. 477.

[10] Revel, How Democracies Perish, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 185, pp. 129-132.

[11] Andrew and Mitrokhin, op. cit., p. 423.

[12] Revel, op. cit., p. 17.

[13] Revel, op. cit., pp. 16-17.

[14] Gilbert, op. cit., p. 476.

[15] Revel, op. cit., pp. 188-189.

[16] Revel, op. cit., p. 169.

[17] Revel, op. cit., pp. 72-73.

[19] Stone, The Atlantic and its Enemies, London: Penguin, 2010, p. 486.

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