|Author: Pavel Venzera|
GEORGE F. KENNAN’S LONG TELEGRAM AND THE SOURCES OF SOVIET CONDUCT AS INSPIRATIONAL IMPULSES FOR REFLECTIONS ON THE ESSENCE OF THE FORM OF RUSSIAN SOCIETY
The famous Long Telegram by George F. Kennan from February 22, 1946 is understood and interpreted especially within its foreign affairs political context, i.e. as a document that considers how American foreign policy towards the Soviet Union should look like.
This approach is obviously valid, however, Long Telegram can also be read as an interesting observation of the domestic political situation in the USSR where one can find considerations reaching not only back to the period of tsarist Russia, but also to contemporary Russian reality.1 Through his understanding of the history and psychology of the Russians, the American diplomat was able to exactly characterize basic principles of the Soviet system that, in turn, allowed him to better understand the essence of Soviet foreign policies of that time. Based on this understanding, G. Kennan was then able to formulate qualified postulates that, according to his opinion, the Americans should use as basis for their diplomacy towards Moscow.
The Kremlin's neurotic view of world affairs
Several aspects of Kennan’s description of the foundations of the Soviet system have not lost anything from their validity even in the context of the newest research of the USSR history. It is also necessary to appreciate his attempt to grasp the style of Soviet foreign policy by using not only a historical analysis but also an explanation of the ideological conditionality of the behavior of Soviet politicians, which is characterized by their neurotic view of world affairs. 2 Incidentally, one can observe such behavior among their successors as well.
G. Kennan sees the basics of the neurotic view in the historically conditioned sense of insecurity that arose when the Russians lived next to nomadic nations, which had more or less ruled them for a long time.
„Originally, this was insecurity of a peaceful agricultural people trying to live on vast exposed plain in neighborhood of fierce nomadic peoples. 3
The Russian problem, with the often repeating invasions that influence Russia’s relationship with the surrounding world, was also pointed out by Henry A. Wallace, who had a different opinion than G. Kennan when it came to the question of how to deal with Russia. Wallace, in the same manner as G. Kennan, tried to explain the behavior of the Soviet leaders as a consequence of Russian history. Besides defense against frequent external threats, he believed that the position of Russia between Europe and Asia as well as the rich Russian soil and the strenuous Russian climate played also a role in the process of forming the Russian character of the tsarist government:
„To achieve lasting peace, we must study in detail just how the Russian character was formed-by invasions of Tartars, Mongols, Germans, Poles, Swedes, and French; by the tsarist rule based on ignorance, fear and force; by the intervention of the British, French and Americans in Russian affairs from 1919 to 1921; by the geography of the huge Russian land mass situated strategically between Europe and Asia; and by the vitality derived from the rich Russian soil and the strenuous Russian climate.“ 4
According to G. Kennan, Russians’ historical sense of insecurity had not been overcome by their liberation from the Tatar-Mongolian yoke. It has continued in the form of depression that Russia has experienced thanks to its contact with the developed western world, when it realized how far behind it lags:
To this was added, as Russia came into contact with economically advanced West, fear of more competent, more powerful, more highly organized societies in that area.“ 5
The sense of internal insecurity and distrust towards the surrounding world are features that neither the USSR, nor the tsarist or today’s Russia have been able to get rid of. 6 It was present even during times when it was possible to say that Russia had relatively good cards in its hands. Even then, it did not manage to use the offered historical chance and to get rid of this feeling by, for example, building permanent, good relations with other world powers, its neighbors or nations that were friendly to it.
It is questionable if this phenomenon is caused by a principal sense of insecurity and distrust or if it is necessary to look for some other explanation for the fact that Russia has not been historically able to build long-term relations with other countries on the principal of equality, respect and mutual convenience. For example, when it attempted to surround itself by a buffer of allies after World War II, the result was their subordination and devastation caused by forcing them to adopt systems based on the Soviet model. It is then understandable that the communist camp controlled by Moscow experienced attempts of its individual satellite states to get rid of the yoke at any suitable opportunity, which eventually culminated in the disintegration of the entire block in the end of the 1980‘s.
The infamous end of the Soviet block has not been understood by most Russians as a consequence of the USSR’s policies towards its satellites but rather as a display of ingratitude or even treason. Of course such a feeling helped solidify the mentioned sense of insecurity. It was consequently amplified by the trauma caused by the disintegration of the USSR and by the arrival of hostile environments near the Russian borders.
This is also the reason why contemporary Russia reacts negatively to various color revolutions taking place in the former Soviet republics; Moscow considers them to be not only a threat to its own dominance in the so called near abroad but also a possible inspiration for that part of the population that does not agree with the existing style of the Putin’s rule.
Two concepts of managing Russian society
During its history, Russia has basically dealt with its historical fear and the problem of lagging behind in two different ways. One of them is called the concept of an open window. Its significant representative was tsar Peter I, who attempted to open Russia to the world and undertake reforms that aimed to incorporate this world into the Russian reality. Peter’s attempt, often implemented using brutal means, did not succeed even though he at least managed to introduce Russia to the surrounding world and to implement some of its elements into Russia. However, Peter never grasped that to carry out reform in Russia, it was not enough to merely adopt western technique and technology. He did not understand that the root of Russian backwardness had much deeper roots – in the basic system of the society.
The last attempt to open Russia to the world came under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev and consequently Boris Yeltsin, and the result was approximately the same as it was under tsar Peter. While it is true that Russia partially overcame its isolation, it did not manage to integrate itself into the world of values characterized by democracy and the free market. The manner of introducing these values of the western world under Yeltsin led most Russians to believe that these things are harmful or even dangerous for the Russian society. The situation created favorable conditions for the strong-arm government of Vladimir Putin, which, without any significant resistance, quickly liquidated all democratic measures implemented by the former reformers.
The second variant of dealing with Russian problems with the surrounding world is the concept of the encircled fortress. In this variation, Russia should become an independent entity7 based on specific Russian values rather than a part of the European or consequently Euro-Atlantic civilization. These values were at first associated with Orthodoxy and absolute monarchy. Consequently, after the change of the system in 1917, Orthodoxy was replaced by communist ideology and absolute monarchy by the rule of the Soviets. Under the conditions in Russia today, a certain hodgepodge of various historical traditions is being implemented. These traditions are used to build democracy with various tags. All three variants have in common a strong nationalism among a substantial part of the population.
The concept of the encircled fortress has been far more common in Russian history than attempts to connect with the surrounding world. Isolationism represents a relatively comfortable even though quite harsh form of governing for the ruling elite, which blames most of its problems on the encirclement by enemies and which therefore justifies its various ways of eliminating all those who do not agree with it.
G. Kennan had something to do with this concept when he exactly determined that this variant of ruling Soviet society is historically based on the fact that:
“Russian rulers have invariably sensed that their rule was relatively archaic in form, fragile and artificial in its psychological foundation, unable to stand comparison or contact with political systems of Western countries. For this reason they have always feared foreign penetration, feared direct contact between Western world and their own, feared what would happen if Russians learned truth about world without or if foreigners learned truth about world within.“ 8
To the Soviet leaders after the war, the interpretation of the beginnings of the USSR history with its several external aggressions provided a support for indoctrinating Soviet citizens with the view that the world around them is hostile. At this time, when a struggle for survival of the Soviet state was taking place, Wallace grasped the reasons of the distrustful foreign policies of the USSR after World War II:
„The scant thirty years of the existence of the Soviet Government has in Russian eyes been a continuation of their historical struggle for national existence. The first four years of the new regime, from 1917 through 1921, were spent in resisting attempts at destruction by the Japanese, British and French, with some American assistance, and by the several White Russian armies encouraged and financed by the Western powers. Then, in 1941, the Soviet State was almost conquered by the Germans after a period during which the Western European powers had apparently acquiesced in the rearming of Germany in the belief that the Nazis would seek to expand eastward rather than westward. The Russians, therefore, obviously see themselves as fighting for their existence in a hostile world.“ 9
While G. Kennan sympathized with the sense of insecurity stemming from formidable Russian and Soviet history, he argued that Soviet leaders had no further reason to continue holding to the concept of the encircled fortress, and if they did so, they were doing it primarily due to their domestic policies:
„...there is ample evidence that the stress laid in Moscow on the menace confronting Soviet society from the world outside its borders is founded not in the realities of foreign antagonism but in the necessity of explaining away the maintenance of dictatorial authority at home.“ 10
There is no doubt that from the point of view of the Soviet leaders, the concept of the encircled fortress arising from domestic conditions found an interesting theoretical and ideological support in the Marxist conception of the world, which predicted the inevitable expiry of the capitalist system in which the “hostile“ encirclement of the Soviet Union found itself. Based on this theory, it was concluded that it is necessary to remain in isolation, although the thesis on world revolution had not been realized, and wait to see the destruction of capitalism that would fall either itself or would “receive” coup de grace in the form of a socialist revolution. G. Kennan unmistakably rendered this element in thinking of the Soviet leadership:
„Soviet leaders are driven [by] necessities of their own past and present position to put forward a dogma which [apparent omission] outside world as evil, hostile and menacing, but as bearing within itself germs of creeping disease and destined to be wracked with growing internal convulsions until it is given final coup de grace by rising power of socialism and yields to new and better world. This thesis provides justification for that increase of military and police power of Russian state, for that isolation of Russian population from outside world, and for that fluid and constant pressure to extend limits of Russian police power which are together the natural and instinctive urges of Russian rulers. Basically this is only the steady advance of uneasy Russian nationalism, a centuries old movement in which conceptions of offense and defense are inextricably confused. But in new guise of international Marxism, with its honeyed promises to a desperate and war-torn outside world, it is more dangerous and insidious than ever before.“ 11
Marxism and Russia: Not an accidental meeting
Theoretical work by Fridrich Engels but especially Karl Marx meant and without a doubt still means a historically interesting attempt to interpret functioning mechanisms of the human society. However, only in Russia a group of revolutionaries attempted to apply these ideas even though with some fundamental changes arising from the Russian reality and from their goals. Especially Lenin’s theory of a weak link, contradictory to Marx and Engels, stressing the possibility to build socialism in one – and on top of it in a backward - country was cataclysmic. Marxism-Leninism became a theoretical basis for the building of the Soviet state even though the theory had to be again and again adjusted to the needs of the gradually evolving Soviet reality. G. Kennan did not consider the historical meeting of Russia with Marxism to be accidental and he saw it as a result of the Russian attitude towards the surrounding world:
„It was no coincidence that Marxism, which had smoldered ineffectively for half a century in Western Europe, caught hold and blazed for first time in Russia. Only in this land which had never known a friendly neighbor or indeed any tolerant equilibrium of separate powers, either internal or international, could a doctrine thrive which viewed economic conflicts of society as insoluble by peaceful means.
After establishment of Bolshevist regime, Marxist dogma, rendered even more truculent and intolerant by Lenin's interpretation, became a perfect vehicle for sense of insecurity with which Bolsheviks, even more than previous Russian rulers, were afflicted. In this dogma, with its basic altruism of purpose, they found justification for their instinctive fear of outside world, for the dictatorship without which they did not know how to rule, for cruelties they did not dare not to inflict, for sacrifice they felt bound to demand. In the name of Marxism they sacrificed every single ethical value in their methods and tactics. Today they cannot dispense with it. It is fig leaf of their moral and intellectual respectability. Without it they would stand before history, at best, as only the last of that long succession of cruel and wasteful Russian rulers who have relentlessly forced country on to ever new heights of military power in order to guarantee external security of their internally weak regimes.
This is why Soviet purposes must always be solemnly clothed in trappings of Marxism, and why no one should underrate importance of dogma in Soviet affairs“12
Nevertheless, it would be appropriate to elaborate a little more on Kennan’s explanation why Marxism in its harsher Leninist-Stalinist version was eventually accepted by Russian society. Indeed, Marxism-Leninism not only well fitted the historical Russian reaction to the surrounding world but also, on the whole, organically linked to the conditions that were for its acceptance provided by absolute monarchy together with the Orthodox church from the point of view of ideological as well as material conditions at the moment when tsarist Russia met Marxism.
Regardless of all proclamations or theoretical explanations, the structure of Soviet society practically linked to the hierarchical system of pre-war Russia and the last representatives of absolute monarchy could certainly envy Stalin his sovereign power that he had gradually obtained as the outright winner of the inner party power-struggles. Stalin’s appreciation of one of the cruelest Russian tsars and his guard (i.e., Ivan IV the Terrible and oprichnina) bespeaks his inspiration in the absolute monarchy system in its harshest form.
Stalin’s relation to the mentioned tsar can be very well observed in connection with Sergei Eizenstein’s film Ivan the Terrible, which is reflected in a contemporary review of the first part of the Eizenstein’s film (1944) in the party daily Pravda. This review fully reflects Stalin’s opinion: “Using strong and expressive artistic instruments, S. Eizenstein shows the progressive role of historical achievements of Ivan the Terrible.” 13
In the second part (1946, the film was banned), the director diverted from the line embraced by Stalin. It immediately resulted in a Resolution of the Organizational Bureau of the Central Committee VKS(b) from September 4, 1946. The resolution states that “director S. Eizenstein in the second part of the movie Ivan the Terrible exhibited his ignorance when featuring historical facts, picturing the progressive army of oprichniks of Ivan the Terrible as a degenerate band, like the American Ku Klux Klan, and the person of Ivan the Terrible, a man of strong will and character, as a weakling with a weak character, like Hamlet.” 14
Besides the analogy tsar – the first secretary of the party, we can also see similar features of both regimes when it comes to governing the country when a key role is played by repressive structures, i.e. by the tsarist guard and Cheka in all of its historical mutations:
„The Soviet regime is a police regime par excellence, reared in the dim half world of Tsarist police intrigue, accustomed to think primarily in terms of police power. This should never be lost sight of in gauging Soviet motives.“ 15
In comparison with absolute monarchy, the Bolshevik regime, in addition, strengthens this system with an extensive network of party organizations, which conveniently complements the repressive elements even though the party structure in some periods becomes a victim of the these repressive elements, often as a result of internal party struggles.
The specific role of the Orthodox Church when creating conditions for accepting Marxism in Russia would be worth a separate and deeper analysis. We can generally say that Marxism-Leninism as an ideology of the ruling class merely developed to the tradition of incorporating an ideology, in our case Orthodoxy, into the system of state authority which was expressed in the institution of Most Holy Synod created by tsar Peter the Great (January 25, 1721). Before the onset of the Bolsheviks to power, the Orthodox Church had been for a long time a submissive and at the same time effective ideological instrument of the power at that time. The new power did not change this system in any fundamental way. It practically used the same scheme and just replaced one ideology with another. Moreover, the Orthodox Church itself was mostly very loyal to the Soviet regime regardless of the fact that it was firstly brutally attacked.
To a certain extent, Marxist-Leninist ideology in Russia was followed in the idea of the Third Rome preached by the Russian Orthodoxy. In the eyes of the Russian faithful, this idea represented an exceptional enclave where the final variant of Rome – the holy city - is being built. In the conditions of Bolshevik Russia, the mentioned idea had transformed into idea of egalitarian society that was being created, similarly to the Third Rome, exclusively on the territory of Russia, which was threatened by hostile forces.
Absolute monarchy, together with petrified Orthodoxy, also created social, economic and political conditions that were calling for a change and prepared Russia for even such a dramatic turnaround like the October Revolution, respectively what came after it. The Bolsheviks, regardless of their attractive slogans about peace, allotment of land, social justice, etc., met at first strong resistance. However, when they managed to suppress it in the course of a bloody civil war, they were able to begin to develop their ruling system in an environment that was more or less prepared for such a style of administration of public affairs, even including Stalin’s cruel dictatorship. G. Kennan considers the swing to such a form of government more or less logical, even inevitable:
„The circumstances of the immediate post-revolution period - the existence in Russia of civil war and foreign intervention, together with the obvious fact that the Communists represented only a tiny minority of the Russian people - made the establishment of dictatorial power a necessity. The experiment with "war Communism" and the abrupt attempt to eliminate private production and trade had unfortunate economic consequences and caused further bitterness against the new revolutionary regime. While the temporary relaxation of the effort to communize Russia, represented by the New Economic Policy, alleviated some of this economic distress and thereby served its purpose, it also made it evident that the "capitalistic sector of society" was still prepared to profit at once from any relaxation of governmental pressure, and would, if permitted to continue to exist, always constitute a powerful opposing element to the Soviet regime and a serious rival for influence in the country.“ 16
Marxist-Leninist ideology provided Soviet society, similarly like the Russian Orthodoxy before, with an explanation of the world that was officially considered the only possible and that was not disputed, respectively that was not allowed to be disputed. It is not an accident that the Marxist-Leninist interpretation of reality was called a teaching. This conserved ideology, which after a certain time was not able to keep up with the quickly developing world and which was not able to provide answers to challenges arising from the gradual building of the Soviet society, caused many troubles to its messengers but a canon was a canon. Practical consequences of this situation shortly followed.
Reality in the Procrustean bed of the Stalinist conception of the world
The application of Leninist and Stalinist theories in the field of foreign policy created a situation where the communist rulers were not able to exactly understand what was occuring outside of their borders. Processes taking place in western countries could not in any way fit into the Leninist and Stalinist schemes. Because of the arrangements of the communist system, it was necessary to keep closing eyes in front of the reality17 and to explain it within the frame of the schematic thesis about an imminent aggression of capitalistic countries against the USSR, about the impossibility of a peaceful coexistence of both political systems or about the ever greater disagreements among the most developed western countries. To be of a different opinion could have been quite dangerous.
After examining these and other Soviet clich's, G. Kennan concludes that:
„nevertheless, all these theses, however baseless and disproven, are being boldly put forward again today. What does this indicate? It indicates that Soviet party line is not based on any objective analysis of situation beyond Russia's borders; that it has, indeed, little to do with conditions outside of Russia; that it arises mainly from basic inner-Russian necessities which existed before recent war and exist today.“ 18
The American diplomat could not have anticipated that his claim that “it indicates that Soviet party line is not based on any objective analysis of situation beyond Russia's borders” 19 will soon find quite a representative materialization in a dispatch of the Soviet ambassador (1946-1947) to the United States Nikolai Novikov . 20
Comparison of Kennan’s list of some of the Soviet basis of its foreign policies, influenced by ideological prejudices and the need for propaganda, with its practical implementation in the dispatch of the above-mentioned Soviet diplomat is more than telling and, on top of it, it very accurately shows the almost fatal limits of the Soviet foreign policies tied by ideological dogma.
(a) USSR still lives in antagonistic "capitalist encirclement" with which in the long run there can be no permanent peaceful coexistence. 21
b) The present policy of the American government with regard to the USSR is also direct at limiting or dislodging the influence of the Soviet Union from neighboring countries. In implementing this policy in former enemy or Allied countries adjacent to the USSR, the United States attempts, at various international conferences or directly in these countries themselves, to support reactionary forces with the purpose of creating obstacles to the process of democratization of these countries. In so doing, it also attempts to secure positions for the penetration of American capital into their economies. 22 Such a policy is intended to weaken and overthrow the democratic governments in power there, which are friendly toward the USSR , and replace them in the future with new governments that would obediently carry out a policy dictated from the United States.
c) One of the most important elements in the general policy of the United States, which is directed toward limiting the international role of the USSR in the post war world, is the policy with regard to Germany… the United States is considering the possibility of terminating the Allied occupation of German territory before the main tasks of the occupation-the demilitarization and democratization of Germany-have been an imperialist Germany, which the United States plans to use in a future war on its side. One cannot help seeing that such a policy has a clearly outlined anti-Soviet edge and constitutes a serious danger to the cause of peace. 23
b) Capitalist world is beset with internal conflicts, inherent in nature of capitalist society. These conflicts are insoluble by means of peaceful compromise. Greatest of them is that between England and US. 24
Before we get to the appropriate passage in Novikov’s telegram, let us pause here and review a speech by Josif Stalin from February 9, 1946. His speech was one of the reasons why G. Kennan actually wrote his dispatch. The Soviet leader, referencing Marxist theorists, states the necessity of a conflict among capitalist countries and N. Novikov therefore had to, a few months later, confirm this argument regardless whether he wanted to or not.
It would be wrong to think that the Second World War broke out accidentally, or as a result of blunders committed by certain statesmen, although blunders were certainly committed. As a matter of fact, the war broke out as the inevitable result of the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism. Marxists have more than once stated that the capitalist system of world economy contains the elements of a general crisis and military conflicts, that, in view of that, the development of world capitalism in our times does not proceed smoothly and evenly, but through crises and catastrophic wars. The point is that the uneven development of capitalist countries usually leads, in the course of time, to a sharp disturbance of the equilibrium within the world system of capitalism, and that group of capitalist countries regards itself as being less securely provides with raw materials and markets usually attempts to change the situation and to redistribute "spheres of influence" in its own favour – by employing armed force. As a result of this, the capitalist world is split into two hostile camps, and war breaks out between them.
Perhaps catastrophic wars could be avoided if it were possible periodically to redistribute raw materials and markets among the respective countries in conformity with their economic weight by means of concerted and peaceful decisions. But this is impossible under the present capitalist conditions of world economic development. 25
e) The current relations between England and the United States, despite the temporary attainment of agreements on very important questions, are plagued with great internal contradictions and cannot be lasting.
The economic assistance from the United States conceals within itself a danger for England in many respects. First of all, in accepting the loan, England finds herself in a certain financial dependence on the United States from which it will not be easy to free herself. Second, it should be kept in mind that the conditions created by the loan for the penetration by American capital of the British Empire can entail serious political consequences. The countries included in the British Empire or dependent on it may - under economic pressure from powerful American capital - reorient themselves toward the United States, following in this respect the example of Canada, which more and more is moving away from the influence of England and orienting itself toward the United States. The strengthening of American position in the Far East could stimulate a similar process in Australia and New Zealand. In the Arabic countries of the Near East, which are striving to emancipate themselves from the British Empire, there are groups within the ruling circles that would not be averse to working out a deal with the United States. It is quite possible that the Near East will become a center of Anglo-American contradictions that will explode the agreements now reached between the United States and England. 26
However, American-British relations were not always harmonious immediately after World War II, the idea of the Soviet leadership into which N. Novikov had to fit, about an inevitable confrontation between the USA and Great Britain, was just wishful thinking. For example, it was not too long since the famous speech by Winston Churchill in Fulton where he, among others, said:
„I feel that we are in full agreement. Now, while still pursuing the method of realizing our overall strategic concept, I come to the crux of what I have traveled here to say. Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future.“ 27
(c) Internal conflicts of capitalism inevitably generate wars. Wars thus generated may be of two kinds: intra-capitalist wars between two capitalist states, and wars of intervention against socialist world. Smart capitalists, vainly seeking escape from inner conflicts of capitalism, incline toward latter. 28
e) Of course, all of these measures for maintaining a highly military potential are not goals in themselves. They are only intended to prepare the conditions for winning world supremacy in a new war, the date for which, to be sure, cannot be determined now by anyone, but which is contemplated by the most bellicose circles of American imperialism.
Careful note should be taken of the fact that the preparation by the United State for a future is being conducted with the prospect of war against the Soviet Union, which in the eyes of the American imperialists is the main obstacle in the path of the United States to world domination. This is indicated by facts such as the tactical training of the American army for war with the Soviet Union as the future opponent, the siting of American strategic bases in regions from which it is possible to launch strikes on Soviet territory, intensified training and strengthening of Arctic regions as close approaches to the USSR, and attempts to prepare Germany and Japan to use those countries in a war against the USSR. 29
(e) Conflicts between capitalist states, though likewise fraught with danger for USSR, nevertheless hold out great possibilities for advancement of socialist cause, particularly if USSR remains militarily powerful, ideologically monolithic and faithful to its present brilliant leadership. 30
N. Novikov in his telegram neither glorifies the leadership nor talks about an ideological monolith. He merely emphasizes the importance of economic independence of the USSR and he also mentions, although briefly, strengthening the USSR in the military sphere.
c) …we have seen a failure of calculations on the part of U.S. circles which assumed that the Soviet Union would be destroyed in the war or would come out of it so weakened that it would be forced to go begging to the United States for economic assistance. Had that happened, they would have been able to dictate conditions permitting the United States to carry out its expansion in Europe and Asia without hindrance from the USSR.
In actuality, despite all of the economic difficulties of the postwar period connected with the enormous losses inflicted by the war and the German fascist occupation, the Soviet Union continues to remain economically independent of the outside world and is rebuilding its national economy with its own forces.
At the same time the USSR's international position is currently stronger than it was in the prewar period. Thanks to the historical victories of Soviet weapons, the Soviet armed forces are located on the territory of Germany and other formerly hostile countries, thus guaranteeing that these countries will not be used again for an attack on the USSR. 31
(f) It must be borne in mind that capitalist world is not all bad. In addition to hopelessly reactionary and bourgeois elements, it includes (1) certain wholly enlightened and positive elements united in acceptable communistic parties and (2) certain other elements (now described for tactical reasons as progressive or democratic) whose reactions, aspirations and activities happen to be "objectively" favorable to interests of USSR These last must be encouraged and utilized for Soviet purposes. 32
In this case, Novikov’s dispatch does not go into an analogous classification concluded by G. Kennan, however, the principal is so apparent that N. Novikov does not have to repeat it even though we can find certain hints of a similar partition in the dispatch after all.
d) The numerous and extremely hostile statements by American government, political, and military figures with regard to the Soviet Union and its foreign policy are very characteristic of the current relationship between the ruling circles of the United States and the USSR. [emphasis by the author] These statements are echoed in an even more unrestrained tone by the overwhelming majority of the American press organs. Talk about a "third war," meaning a war against the Soviet Union, even a direct call for this war - with the threat of using the atomic bomb- such is the content of the statements on relations with the Soviet Union by reactionaries at public meetings and in the press. [emphasis by the author]
The basic goal of this anti-Soviet campaign of American "public opinion" [emphasis by the author] is to exert political pressure on the Soviet Union and compel it to make concessions. Another, no less important goal of the campaign is the attempt to create an atmosphere of war psychosis among the masses, who are weary of war, thus making it easier for the U.S. government to carry out measure for the maintenance of high military potential. 33
Novikov‘s telegram does not inform us only about the Marxist-Leninist “captivity” of the Soviet diplomacy along Kennan’s lines. We can also find here other sops to the required style of referring to the western world. As opposed to the freely writing G. Kennan, N. Novikov had to, voluntarily or not, twist the language of his dispatch in the following style: “The foreign policy of the United States, which reflects the imperialist tendencies of American monopolistic capital, is characterized in the postwar period by a striving for world supremacy” 34 or “Reality did not bear out the calculations of the American imperialists.” 35
Another interesting fact is that the Soviet diplomat, as opposed to his American colleague, did not even attempt to make any recommendations for USSR foreign policy towards the USA. That also says something about the conditions during the process of forming Soviet foreign policy at that time.
The sense of insecurity and internal enemy
Practically ever since it came to power in Russia, the Soviet government was characterized especially by reckless consolidating of its power in the entire society and by a continuous internal struggle among the ruling elite. Any opposition, even if just hypothetical, inside as well as outside of the party was brutally liquidated. Consolidating communist and especially Stalin’s power eventually grew into mass terror dramatically devastating party as well as non-party structures.
Individuals or groups who think differently are often marked as internal enemies or agents of imperialism. Of course, G. Kennan could not have missed these methods and within this context, he also states the “famous” Stalin’s quote on the capitalist encirclement:
„In 1924 Stalin specifically defended the retention of the "organs of suppression," meaning, among others, the army and the secret police, on the ground that "as long as there is a capitalist encirclement there will be danger of intervention with all the consequences that flow from that danger." In accordance with that theory, and from that time on, all internal opposition forces in Russia have consistently been portrayed as the agents of foreign forces of reaction antagonistic to Soviet power.“ 36
Looking, for and of course, finding internal enemies was a daily occurrence in the USSR. During the political processes, one of the most important charges against the accused was a criminal conspiracy with a foreign enemy (this enemy was always found based on the needs and contemporary situation in foreign relations of the USSR with this or that country). One of the first monster-processes with a fictitious enemy charged with conspiracy against Soviet Russia took place towards the end of the 1920‘s. This process is known in Soviet history as the trial with the Industrial Party. 37 The charged were engineers who were accused, among others, of preparing an intervention with Romania and France against the USSR. The accusation was completely false but that was not important. The public was fed with a group of people, which was blamed for ever more palpable problems of the Soviet economy wrapped together with the accusation of cooperating with an external enemy.
With German danger growing, consequent processes began to use a line about collaborating with the German Intelligence Service. Later, other “standard” hostile countries like the USA, Great Britain or Poland and even smaller countries like Czechoslovakia were used. These methods did not disappear with Stalin’s death and were used until the Gorbachev's coming to power, when this practice nearly disappeared. We can see its certain reoccurrence in some processes that are taking place in Putin’s Russia. G. Kennan puts the never-ending search for an internal enemy collaborating with a foreign enemy into direct connection with the conditions inside the Stalin regime:
„… to the present day this process of political consolidation has never been completed and the men in the Kremlin have continued to be predominantly absorbed with the struggle to secure and make absolute the power which they seized in November 1917. They have endeavored to secure it primarily against forces at home, within Soviet society itself. But they have also endeavored to secure it against the outside world. For ideology, as we have seen, taught them that the outside world was hostile and that it was their duty eventually to overthrow the political forces beyond their borders. The powerful hands of Russian history and tradition reached up to sustain them in this feeling.“ 38
The sense of insecurity and the Soviet citizen Practically all the characteristics stated by G. Kennan in connection with the internal situation in the USSR are contained in the already mentioned speech by Stalin on February 9, 1946. The Soviet leader reminded his people the victory over the internal enemies of the USSR, ironically described external enemies’ distrust of the USSR’s viability, explained the world situation using Marxist theories, emphasized the strength of the Red Army and communist party and promised improvement in the standard of living:
„apart from the fact that the rationing system is to be abolished in the very near future, special attention will be devoted to the expansion of the production of consumers' goods, to raising the standard of living of the working people by steadily reducing the prices of all commodities.” 39
„We must see to it that our industry shall be able to produce annually up to 50,000,000 tons of pig iron, up to 60,000,000 tons of steel, up to 500,000,000 tons of coal and up to 60,000,000 tons of oil. Only when we succeed in doing that can we be sure that our Motherland will be insured against all contingencies. This will need, perhaps, another three five-year plans, if, not more. But it can be done, and we must do it.” 40
While the ordinary Soviet citizen could have relied on the fact that everything possible would be done to fulfill or even exceed goals in the metallurgy and energy sphere, he could have quickly forgotten about an increase in the production of consumer goods. Heavy industry, closely linked to the armament industry, was the alpha and omega of all Soviet planners, whose plans for developing the society oscillated between worries about an intervention and contemplating about external aggression. Soviet citizens were regularly frightened by the mentioned worries and due to their fear from a possible aggression (after all, debates in Russia about the situation in the world and in Russia itself are very often concluded with the saying most importantly, let’s hope there is no war) , they did not object to the constantly empty store shelves as well as repeated political processes.
The sense of insecurity was not kept in Soviet citizens only by a historical instinct and Soviet propaganda, but would also creep in their souls in connection with the question what will happen when Stalin is not the head of the Soviet state any more.
When he is gone
During the time he was steering Russia, Stalin created a world superpower from a backward country. This superpower based its power on a strong army rather than on a strong economy, even though the results of the massively militarized heavy industry in some parameters commanded respect. The foreign policy can be at best characterized by the figurative expression the Iron Curtain, behind which ended not only the USSR but also its satellites, which it had managed to subordinate, together with some other states that had been independent before the war – they ended up even worse, becoming directly a part of the USSR. Foreign as well as domestic policies were fully subjugated to the goal of maintaining and strengthening the Soviet system. G. Kennan described the resulting conditions quite descriptively:
„Now the maintenance of this pattern of Soviet power, namely, the pursuit of unlimited authority domestically, accompanied by the cultivation of the semi-myth of implacable foreign hostility has gone far to shape the actual machinery of Soviet power as we know it today. Internal organs of administration which did not serve this purpose withered on the vine. Organs which did serve this purpose became vastly swollen. The security of Soviet power came to rest on the iron discipline of the Party, on the severity and ubiquity of the secret police, and on the uncompromising economic monopolism of the state. The "organs of suppression," in which the Soviet leaders had sought security from rival forces, became in large measure the masters of those whom they were designed to serve Today the major part of the structure of Soviet power is committed to the perfection of the dictatorship and to the maintenance of the concept of Russia as in a state of siege, with the enemy lowering beyond the walls. And the millions of human beings who form that part of the structure of power must defend at all costs this concept of Russia's position, for without it they are themselves superfluous.“ 41
It is one of the many paradoxes of Soviet history that regardless of the conditions under Stalin, an absolute majority of the Soviet citizens loved their leader and could not imagine life without him. 42 And when Stalin really died, most Russians feared the future:
“It was staggering situation. Everybody knew that something would change soon but nobody had any idea in which direction... People, and among them many who did not exactly love Stalin and his regime, were afraid of a breakdown, internal struggles, new mass repressions and even civil war.” 43
Because of the character of the Soviet regime, G. Kennan saw Stalin’s exit from the country’s leadership (probably just theoretically, he was also considering the variant of his retirement) as a fundamental problem, however, he considered it to be “only” another test of the strength of the USSR. Besides complications with transferring the actual power, which was still pretty far away in 1946, the American diplomat registered a deep abyss between the regular Soviet citizen and the key governing body, i.e. the communist party. He considered this situation to be yet another fundamental problem:
„Success of Soviet system, as form of internal power, is not yet finally proven. It has yet to be demonstrated that it can survive supreme test of successive transfer of power from one individual or group to another. Lenin's death was first such transfer, and its effects wracked Soviet state for 15 years. After Stalin's death or retirement will be second. But even this will not be final test. Soviet internal system will now be subjected, by virtue of recent territorial expansions, to series of additional strains which once proved severe tax on Tsardom. We here are convinced that never since termination of civil war have mass of Russian people been emotionally farther removed from doctrines of Communist Party than they are today. In Russia, party has now become a great and--for the moment--highly successful apparatus of dictatorial administration, but it has ceased to be a source of emotional inspiration. Thus, internal soundness and permanence of movement need not yet be regarded as assured.“ 44
G. Kennan returned to this problem in more detail one year later in the article written under the pseudonym Mr. X. Within the context of the future transfer of power, he noted the process of consolidating Stalin’s position after Lenin’s death, which had harsh consequences for the internal stability of the USSR and had also an impact abroad:
„Meanwhile, a great uncertainty hangs over the political life of the Soviet Union. That is the uncertainty involved in the transfer of power from one individual or group of individuals to others.
This is, of course, outstandingly the problem of the personal position of Stalin. We must remember that his succession to Lenin's pinnacle of preeminence in the Communist movement was the only such transfer of individual authority which the Soviet Union has experienced. That transfer took 12 years to consolidate. It cost the lives of millions of people and shook the state to its foundations. The attendant tremors were felt all through the international revolutionary movement, to the disadvantage of the Kremlin itself.“ 45
Mr. X did not rule out the possibility of a peaceful transfer of power, pointing out also a possible variant of dramatic developments:
„It is always possible that another transfer of preeminent power may take place quietly and inconspicuously, with no repercussions anywhere. But again, it is possible that the questions involved may unleash, to use some of Lenin's words, one of those "incredibly swift transitions" from "delicate deceit" to "wild violence" which characterize Russian history, and may shake Soviet power to its foundations.“ 46
The variant of a relatively peaceful transfer of power eventually prevailed although the first weeks and months after Stalin’s death were dramatic enough. However, the power-struggle was very fast and practically without the public being involved. Until then Nikita Krushchev, underestimated by other members of high party echelon, with a daring move managed to get rid of the feared Lavrentii Beria and took the leadership himself, which brought the country as well as the world a more positive environment for a certain time.
Mr. X returned also to the passage of the Long Telegram where he mentions a bad situation within the communist party. He noticed that it had been nine years since the last party congress took place47 and he pointed out internal changes that the party had passed through during the war and after it. He came to the conclusion that there ambiguous processes must be going on inside of this seemingly monolithic structure.
„But this is not only a question of Stalin himself. There has been, since 1938, a dangerous congealment of political life in the higher circles of Soviet power. The All-Union Congress of Soviets, in theory the supreme body of the Party, is supposed to meet not less often than once in three years. It will soon be eight full years since its last meeting. During this period membership in the Party has numerically doubled. Party mortality during the war was enormous; and today well over half of the Party members are persons who have entered since the last Party congress was held. Meanwhile, the same small group of men has carried on at the top through an amazing series of national vicissitudes. Surely there is some reason why the experiences of the war brought basic political changes to every one of the great governments of the west. Surely the causes of that phenomenon are basic enough to be present somewhere in the obscurity of Soviet political life, as well. And yet no recognition has been given to these causes in Russia.
It must be surmised from this that even within so highly disciplined an organization as the Communist Party there must be a growing divergence in age, outlook and interest between the great mass of Party members, only so recently recruited into the movement, and the little self-perpetuating clique of men at the top, whom most of these Party members have never met, with whom they have never conversed, and with whom they can have no political intimacy.“ 48
As usual, G. Kennan was right. Inside the party, various groups were forming and battling each other. The most significant struggle ended up with the so called Leningrad Case (1949-1950), when the old guard around Berija and Malenkov managed to literally liquidate a group of popular Leningrad party officials who had a chance to reach the highest positions. The old matadors consequently found themselves in a vital danger towards the end of Stalin’s life when the events accompanying the 19th Party Congress were relatively clearly suggesting that Stalin was preparing a changes of the highest party structures.
Furthermore, Mr. X pondered over a variant what could happen if, in the process of the power-struggle, individual factions turned to the masses for help. He clearly understood that such a development would mean not only the end of the monolithic party but would of course also have fundamental consequences for the entire USSR:
Who can say whether, in these circumstances, the eventual rejuvenation of the higher spheres of authority (which can only be a matter of time) can take place smoothly and peacefully, or whether rivals in the quest for higher power will not eventually reach down into these politically immature and inexperienced masses in order to find support for their respective claims? If this were ever to happen, strange consequences could flow for the Communist Party: for the membership at large has been exercised only in the practices of iron discipline and obedience and not in the arts of compromise and accommodation. And if disunity were ever to seize and paralyze the Party, the chaos and weakness of Russian society would be revealed in forms beyond description. For we have seen that Soviet power is only a crust concealing an amorphous mass of human beings among whom no independent organizational structure is tolerated. In Russia there is not even such a thing as local government. The present generation of Russians have never known spontaneity of collective action. If, consequently, anything were ever to occur to disrupt the unity and efficacy of the Party as a political instrument, Soviet Russia might be changed overnight from one of the strongest to one of the weakest and most pitiable of national societies.“ 49
Back then, such a scenario could look not only catastrophic but also surreal. Krushchev managed to liberalize the country and it seemed that he added attractiveness to the idea of building communism. However, it was only for a short period of time. While his successor Brezhnev created something, which the former citizens of the USSR remember until today as a “certainty for tomorrow”, he began the last phase of the destruction of the social experiment that the USSR had lived through since 1917. Consequently, the main points of the scenario outlined by G. Kennan were then materialized in the 1980’s and beginning of the 1990’s, when yediny, moguchy Sovetsky Soyuz disappeared from Earth's surface.
Timeless George Kennan
The importance of Kennan’s telegram and the consequent study by Mr. X lay not only in their success in outlining the basis of the Soviet regime and their conclusions for American foreign policy towards the Soviet Union. Another interesting layer of these two Kennan's documents can be seen in their methodological recommendations how to deal with Moscow. It would be beneficial to implement some of these suggestions into the contemporary policies of western countries towards Russia because G. Kennan is timeless when it comes to understanding the functioning principles of Russia as well as suggesting methods of how to deal with it.
Let us forget about the date of the telegram’s creation, abstract it to contemporary context, approach creatively geographical realities, think about current Russia and begin reading:
(1) Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventunstic [adventuristic]. It does not work by fixed plans. It does not take unnecessary risks. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force. For this reason it can easily withdraw-and usually does when strong resistance is encountered at any point. Thus, if the adversary has sufficient force and makes clear his readiness to use it, he rarely has to do so. If situations are properly handled there need be no prestige-engaging showdowns.
(2) Gauged against Western World as a whole, Soviets are still by far the weaker force. Thus, their success will really depend on degree of cohesion, firmness and vigor which Western World can muster. And this is a factor which it is within our power to influence.
(3) Success of Soviet system, as form of internal power, is not yet finally proven. It has yet to be demonstrated that it can survive supreme test of successive transfer of power from one individual or group to another...
(4) All Soviet propaganda beyond Soviet security sphere is basically negative and destructive. It should therefore be relatively easy to combat it by any intelligent and really constructive program.
For those reasons I think we may approach calmly and with good heart problem of how to deal with Russia. As to how this approach should be made, I only wish to advance, by way of conclusion, following comments:
(1) Our first step must be to apprehend, and recognize for what it is, the nature of the movement with which we are dealing. We must study it with same courage, detachment, objectivity, and same determination not to be emotionally provoked or unseated by it, with which doctor studies unruly and unreasonable individual.
(2) We must see that our public is educated to realities of Russian situation. I cannot over-emphasize importance of this. Press cannot do this alone. It must be done mainly by Government, which is necessarily more experienced and better informed on practical problems involved. In this we need not be deterred by [ugliness?] of picture. I am convinced that there would be far less hysterical anti-Sovietism in our country today if realities of this situation were better understood by our people. There is nothing as dangerous or as terrifying as the unknown. It may also be argued that to reveal more information on our difficulties with Russia would reflect unfavorably on Russian-American relations. I feel that if there is any real risk here involved, it is one which we should have courage to face, and sooner the better. But I cannot see what we would be risking. Our stake in this country, even coming on heels of tremendous demonstrations of our friendship for Russian people, is remarkably small. We have here no investments to guard, no actual trade to lose, virtually no citizens to protect, few cultural contacts to preserve. Our only stake lies in what we hope rather than what we have; and I am convinced we have better chance of realizing those hopes if our public is enlightened and if our dealings with Russians are placed entirely on realistic and matter-of-fact basis.
(3) Much depends on health and vigor of our own society. World communism is like malignant parasite which feeds only on diseased tissue. This is point at which domestic and foreign policies meets Every courageous and incisive measure to solve internal problems of our own society, to improve self-confidence, discipline, morale and community spirit of our own people, is a diplomatic victory over Moscow worth a thousand diplomatic notes and joint communiqu's. If we cannot abandon fatalism and indifference in face of deficiencies of our own society, Moscow will profit-Moscow cannot help profiting by them in its foreign policies.
(4) We must formulate and put forward for other nations a much more positive and constructive picture of sort of world we would like to see than we have put forward in past. It is not enough to urge people to develop political processes similar to our own. Many foreign peoples, in Europe at least, are tired and frightened by experiences of past, and are less interested in abstract freedom than in security. They are seeking guidance rather than responsibilities. We should be better able than Russians to give them this. And unless we do, Russians certainly will.
When reading Kennan’s recommendations, certainly more than one association arises. Nevertheless, in the sixty-one years since Kennan’s telegram and sixty years since publishing Mr. X’s article, solving the Russian question has not progressed far. Today‘s Russia causes headache by other means but the root of the problem remains the same.
Under this not too pleasing situation, when it is absolutely necessary to finally find some acceptable modus vivendi as well as modus operandi, rereading George F. Kennan’s documents would not be a bad beginning.
1 Remarks regarding the character of the Soviet system, which formed Kennan‘s starting point of his thoughts about Russian attitude towards the surrounding world, can be found especially in the two introductory parts of the telegram, which Kennan named (1) Basic features of post-war Soviet outlook and (2) Background of this outlook, and in its final passage called (5) Practical deductions from standpoint of US policy. The entire telegram is then completed by the following two parts: (3) Its projection in practical policy on official level, (4) Its projection on unofficial level. In the article, I am using the Internet version of Kennan‘s telegram; for an easier orientation in the text I will be hereinafter referencing the above mentioned parts of the telegram. www.ntanet.net
2 In The Sources of Soviet Conduct essay, which he published in Foreign Affairs (July 1947) under the pseudonym X, Kennan adds to these two factors a requirement for “few tasks of psychological analysis.”
3 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
4 Wallace, H.A., The Way To Peace. Division of World Between Russia and United States. A speech delivered before a meeting under the joint auspices of the National Citizens Political Action Committee and the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, New York, N.Y., September 12, 1946. Cited from http://newdeal.feri.org
5 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
6 This insecurity can be observed not only in the behavior of the Russian, respectively Soviet state, but also in the behavior of Russians abroad. During the Soviet era, they would overcome their insecurity in the famous clumps of tourists. Today, they (and especially the new Russians) are attempting to overcome their nervousness from the world which is not accepting them not because they are Russian but because they do not know how to behave in it, by showing off their wealth.
7 In an interview with Sergej Eizenstein, Stalin saw the separation of Russia from the surrounding world and its nationalism as one of the several positive contributions by the tyrant Ivan Grozny: „The wisdom of Ivan Grozny can be seen from the fact that he advocated national positions, did not allow foreigners into the country and prevented the country from a foreign influence... Petrucha [Peter the Great] opened the gate to Europe and let in too many foreigners.“ Recorded during a meeting with Stalin by S. Eizenstein and Nikolaj Cherkasov. Cited from Кобрин, В. Б.,Иван Грозный. Cпор, которому четыре века. http://vivovoco.rsl.ru
8 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
9 Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace to President Harry S. Truman, July 23, 1946, in Papers of Harry S. Truman, President’s Secretary’s Files, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri. Cited from http://historymatters.gmu.edu
10 The Sources of Soviet Conduct
11 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
12 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
In his essay The Sources of Soviet Conduct, Kennan elaborated on his thoughts a little further: „For 50 years prior to the outbreak of the Revolution, this pattern of thought had exercised great fascination for the members of the Russian revolutionary movement. Frustrated, discontented, hopeless of finding self-expression - or too impatient to seek it - in the confining limits of the Tsarist political system, yet lacking wide popular support for their choice of bloody revolution as a means of social betterment, these revolutionists found in Marxist theory a highly convenient rationalization for their own instinctive desires. It afforded pseudo-scientific justification for their impatience, for their categorical denial of all value in the Tsarist system, for their yearning for power and revenge and for their inclination to cut corners in the pursuit of it.“
13 Правдa, January 31 1945. Cited fromhttp://magazines.russ.ru
14 Постановление Оргбюро ЦК ВКП(б)О кинофильме "Большая жизнь", 4. zari 1946. Cited from http://www.hist.msu.ru
15 „Long Telegram“, Part 4
16 The Sources of Soviet Conduct.
17 Many times, the USSR has paid dearly for its adherence to dogmas and limitless trust in its leader. Let us just remember the refusal to believe any information that warned the Soviet Union about the German attack, the only reason of the refusal being that comrade Stalin ruled out such a possibility as impossible.
18 „Long Telegram“, Part 2.
20 The Novikov Telegram, Washington, September 27, 1946. The article uses the English translation of the telegram, which can be found, for example, at: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu
21 „Long Telegram“, Part 1 (a).
22 The text here as well as in consequent passages was underlined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR V. Molotov.
23 The Novikov Telegram, 7a), b).
24 „Long Telegram“, Part 1 (b).
25 Speech delivered by J. V. Stalin at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Moscow February 9, 1946. Cited from http://www.coldwarfiles.org
26 The Novikov Telegram, 6e).
27 Churchill, W., The Sinews of Peace Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1946.
28 „Long Telegram“, Part 1 (c).
29 The Novikov Telegram, 7e).
30 „Long Telegram“, Part 1 (e).
31 The Novikov Telegram, 1c).
32 „Long Telegram“, Part 1 (f).
33 The Novikov Telegram, 7d).
34 The Novikov Telegram, Introduction.
35 The Novikov Telegram, 1a).
36 The Sources of Soviet Conduct.
37 See more: Дела «Промпартии» и «Трудовой крестьянской партии (ТКП)» (1930-1932) http://www.ihst.ru
39 Speech delivered by J. V. Stalin at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Moscow February 9, 1946. Cited from http://www.coldwarfiles.org
41 The Sources of Soviet Conduct.
42 Stalin’s popularity is still high in contemporary Russia. This popularity is also being strengthened by the revision of his role in the history of the USSR, which is currently taking place in Russia. For current evaluation of Stalin – see, for example, the results of the sociological survey published in article: Klimov, I., The Memory of Fear or the Fear of Memory?, February 23, 2003. http://bd.english.fom.ru
43 Сахаров, А., Воспоминания. Знамя, 13/1990, с. 34.
44 „Long Telegram“, Part 5 (3).
45 The Sources of Soviet Conduct.
47 Kennan of course could not know at the moment of writing his article that it would be five more years before the 19th Congress took place, on October 5-14, 1952.