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2: Communism and Fascism: Offspring of the War - William Henry Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade 
America’s Second Crusade (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Amagi, 2008).
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Communism and Fascism: Offspring of the War
When World War I was at its height, it must have seemed probable that the victor would be either the Kaiser or the leaders of the western powers. But the true political winners from that terrific holocaust were three men who were little known, even in their own countries, when hostilities began.
There was a Russian revolutionary, living in obscure poverty in Zürich. There was an Italian radical socialist who turned ultranationalist during the war. There was a completely unknown German soldier, an Austrian by birth, who wept tears of bitter rage when he heard the news of defeat as he lay gassed in a hospital. The names of these men were Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler.
Wilson proclaimed democracy as the objective of the war. And his conception of democracy was derived from Anglo-Saxon liberalism. Its bases were freedom of speech and press, freedom of election and organization, and “the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments.”
The demons to be slain, in the view of the Wilsonian crusaders, were autocracy and militarism. These abstractions were personified in uniformed and bemedaled monarchs, in titled aristocrats (so long as they were not British), in the pomp and pageantry of old-fashioned empires.
Tsarist Russia was not an appropriate partner in a crusade for democracy. But Tsarism fell just before America entered the war. There was a Japanese Emperor, whose subjects revered him as a god, in the Allied camp. But no one said much about him.
The war dealt a mortal blow to the three great empires which had dominated Europe east of the Rhine. The Tsar and his family were slaughtered in a cellar in the Ural town of Ekaterinburg. The Austrian Empire disintegrated as its many peoples flew apart. The Kaiser took refuge in the Netherlands. All the new states on the European map (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) were republics.
But, although hereditary monarchy certainly lost as a result of the war, liberal democracy just as certainly did not win. On the contrary, the war begat a new type of plebeian dictatorship, which may most conveniently be called totalitarianism.
There were certain differences between the two main forms of the totalitarian state, communism and fascism. Both owed their existence to the despair, brutalization, and discarding of old economic forms and moral restraints which were associated with the war. Along with this common origin these twin offspring of the First World War possessed a more important bond. Starting from differing philosophic bases, they developed truly remarkable similarities in practice. There is infinitely more in common between communism and fascism than there is between either system and liberal democracy.
The connection between war and revolution was most direct and obvious in Russia. The downfall of the Tsar was at first greeted in the Allied capitals. It was hopefully regarded as a revolt against the pro-German influences at the Court, as an assurance that the war would be prosecuted with more vigor. But events soon disproved these hopes.
The weak Provisional Government, a combination of liberals and moderate socialists, which at first replaced the old regime, could neither direct nor restrain the vast disruptive forces which had been let loose. Respect for order and authority disappeared. Russian conditions became more and more anarchical.
The peasants swarmed over the estates of the large landowners, pillaging manor houses and dividing up the land among themselves. There was a gigantic mutiny in the huge Russian Army. The soldiers began by debating orders and refusing to attack. Then, refusing to fight at all, they deserted in hordes. Finns, Ukrainians, Caucasians, and other non-Russian peoples clamored for independence. The factory workers started with demands for less work and more pay. They advanced to the point of seizing factories and driving away owners and unpopular foremen.
A master of practical revolutionary tactics, V. I. Lenin, guided and took advantage of all these forces of upheaval. Years before, he had written: “Give us an organization of revolutionaries and we will turn Russia upside down.” And less than eight months after the overthrow of the Tsar’s rule, Lenin’s “organization,” the Bolshevik, later renamed the Communist party, was strong enough to lead a successful coup d’état against the crumbling Provisional Government. A republic of soviets was proclaimed, based on the principle of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or manual-working class, and dedicated to the ideal of world communist revolution.
The soviets were elected bodies of workers, soldiers, and, to a smaller extent, peasants, which sprang up in spontaneous, haphazard fashion all over the country after the Revolution. Delegates were elected in factories and military units and at first could be freely recalled.
After the Communists became entrenched in power, elections to the soviets became an empty formality. Supreme authority in every field was in the hands of the ruling Communist party. Lenin is said to have remarked, half jokingly, that there could be any number of parties in Russia—on one condition: the Communist party must be in power, and all the other parties must be in jail. This was an excellent description of Soviet political practice.
The world had witnessed the birth of a new kind of state, based on the unlimited power of a single political party. This party regarded itself as an elite, required a period of probation for applicants for membership, and deliberately kept this membership restricted.
Events followed a different course in Italy. Yet the political result was similar in many respects. There had been a good deal of ferment and unrest in Italy after the war, with strikes, riots, stoppages of essential services. The Italian Communists and some of the Socialists dreamed of setting up a revolutionary dictatorship on the Soviet model.
But they were anticipated and defeated by an ex-Socialist, Benito Mussolini, who had become the evangel of another armed doctrine. This was fascism.
Communism was based on the economic teachings of Karl Marx, as interpreted by Lenin and by Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin. Fascism was a much more personal and eclectic type of theory, worked out by Mussolini after he had broken with socialism. Contrary to a general impression, Mussolini was not a conservative or an upholder of the status quo.
The type of state which gradually evolved in Italy after the Fascist March on Rome of October 29, 1922, was a break with Italy’s political past. The Fascist order emphasized the supremacy of the state over the individual. It tried to solve the clash of interest between capital and labor by making the government supreme arbiter in economic disputes. Fascism organized, indoctrinated, and drilled the youth, praised the martial virtues, gave the workers an organized system of free entertainment, tried to dramatize every economic problem in terms of a struggle in which every citizen must be a soldier.
Had there been no war, it is very unlikely that fascism, a creed which was alien to the easy-going and skeptical Italian temperament, would have conquered Italy. Many of Mussolini’s closest associates were veterans who disliked socialism and communism, wanted some kind of social change, and were attracted by Mussolini’s energetic personality and nationalist ideas. The Italian Leftists played into Mussolini’s hands by plunging the country into a state of chronic disorder, not enough to make a revolution, but enough to reconcile many middle-class Italians to Mussolini’s strong-arm methods of restoring order.
The gap between war and revolution was longest in Germany. Hunger and inflation made for civil strife in the years immediately after the end of the war. There were left-wing uprisings in Berlin and Munich and the Ruhr. There were also right-wing extremist movements against the republic.
By 1924, however, physical conditions had improved, and it seemed that a period of political stability had set in. Germany was admitted to the League of Nations. The Pact of Locarno, under which Great Britain and Italy guaranteed the existing Franco-German frontier, seemed to offer a prospect of eliminating the historic Franco-German feud.
But the hurricane of the world economic crisis, following the lost war and the inflation, which had ruined the German middle class, paved the way for the third great European political upheaval. This was the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist, or Nazi, party.
Of the three revolutionary “success stories” Hitler’s was the most remarkable. Both Lenin and Mussolini were men of political training and experience. But Hitler had absolutely none. There seemed to be nothing to mark him out among the millions of soldiers who had worn the field-gray uniform and fought through the war.
It would have seemed improbable fantasy if anyone had predicted that this completely unknown soldier would become the absolute ruler of Germany, set out on a Napoleonic career of conquest, and immolate himself in Wagnerian fashion after leading his country to the heights of military power and to the depths of collapse and complete defeat. But in Hitler’s case the factual record eclipsed the wildest fictional imagination.
Germany in years of severe crisis and heavy unemployment was responsive to a man who gave himself out as a wonder-worker, a savior. Hitler was a passionate, rapt, almost hypnotic orator in a country where there was little impressive public speaking. The very obscurity of his origin lent a romantic appeal. Perhaps the secret of his attraction lay in his apparent sympathy and affection. Sentimental as it was, and combined also with less obvious mistrust and scorn, his deceptive sympathy for the plight of the unemployed and the suffering made an impression quite unlike that made by the normal type of sober, stolid German politician, especially in such a period of despair and bitterness. Consequently Hitler exerted a powerful attraction on the German masses, who ordinarily took little interest in politics.
Hitler knew how to appeal to German instincts and prejudices. The ideal of the powerful state had always been popular. Hitler promised a “Third Reich,” more glorious than the two which had existed earlier. Interpretations of history in terms of race have long possessed a wide appeal in Germany. Hitler vulgarized and popularized the teachings of Teutonic race theorists like the Germanized Englishman, Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
Anti-Semitism had been strengthened in Germany after the war by two developments. Many leaders of Communist and extreme leftist movements—Rosa Luxemburg, Leo Jogisches, Kurt Eisner, to name a few—were of Jewish origin. Many Jews of eastern Europe, fleeing from pogroms and unsettled conditions, had migrated into Germany. Some of these East-European Jews took an active part in the speculation which was rampant in Germany because of the unstable currency and the shortage of commodities.
Of course these two groups, the political extremists and the speculators, had nothing whatever to do with each other. But Hitler exploited both in building up for his audiences a picture of the Jew as simultaneously a conscienceless exploiter and profiteer and a force for the subversion of national institutions.
Like the other modern revolutionaries, Lenin and Mussolini, Hitler profited from the weakness and division of his opponents. The German republic was born in a time of misery, defeat, and humiliation. It never captured the imagination or the enthusiastic loyalty of the German people.
The German labor movement might have been a bulwark against the Nazi onslaught, but it was split between the Social Democrats and the Communists. The latter, on orders from Moscow, concentrated their fire on the Social Democrats, not on the Nazis. They were acting on the highly mistaken calculation that Hitler’s victory would be followed by a reaction in favor of communism.
Whether Hitler reflected the will of the German people or whether they were victims of his dictatorship is often debated. No sweeping, unqualified answer can be accurate.
That the Nazi movement appealed to a strong minority of the Germans is indisputable. Hitler got 37 per cent of the votes cast in the election of 1932, when the rule of law prevailed and all parties were free to state their case. The Nazis got a somewhat higher proportion, about 44 per cent, of the votes cast in the election of March 4, 1933. This made it possible for Hitler to come into power with a small parliamentary majority, since the German Nationalists, who were then in alliance with the Nazis, polled enough votes to insure this result.
This election, however, could not be considered free. Terror was already at work. The Communists had been made scapegoats for the burning of the Reichstag building. Nazi Brown Shirts were beating and intimidating political opponents. Once Hitler had clamped down his dictatorship, there is no means of determining how many Germans professed to support him out of enthusiasm, how many because it was distinctly safer not to be marked down as disaffected.
The idea that all, or a great majority of, Germans were lusting for war is not borne out by objective study of the facts. Up to the outbreak of World War II Hitler persisted in publicly professing his devotion to peace. His favorite pose was that of the veteran soldier who knew the horrors of war and never wished to experience another. This attitude was designed to deceive his own people, as well as the outside world.
Many Germans hoped to the end that there would be no war. Foreigners who were in Germany at critical periods before the outbreak of war and even at the time of Germany’s greatest military success, in 1940, were often impressed by the apathy, the absence of any signs of popular enthusiasm.
It is sometimes represented as a proof of deep, incorrigible depravity in the German character that the average German seems to feel little sense of war guilt. But it is doubtful whether the average Italian spends much time beating his breast in repentance for the misdeeds of Mussolini. Should the Soviet regime be overthrown, the average Soviet citizen would feel little sense of personal responsibility for the horrors of the Soviet slave-labor camps.
One of the most demoralizing effects of totalitarianism in any form is its tendency to paralyze the individual’s feeling of personal moral accountability. The state is so powerful, the individual so weak, that the typical, almost inescapable, reaction is one of helplessness.
Nazism, like communism and fascism, was an ironical product of the war that was fought in the name of democracy. The hard core of Hitler’s following was recruited among men who, in their hearts, had never been demobilized, who could never adjust themselves to civilian life. A great part of Hitler’s appeal was to feelings associated with the lost war, the inflation, the economic hardships of the postwar period.
Communists and Fascists may be inclined to dispute the essential kinship of these two systems. But it would be difficult to deny that the following ten characteristics are very important, politically, economically, and morally. They may be listed as follows.
(1) The all-powerful and supposedly infallible leader. These three plebeian dictators—Hitler, the unknown soldier; Stalin, the son of a drunken cobbler, a hunted political rebel in Tsarist times; Mussolini, whose father was a radical village blacksmith—have reveled in clouds of sycophantic incense which would have been too strong for the nostrils of Tsar or Kaiser. “Sun of the entire world” is one of the many epithets of oriental adulation which have been lavished upon Stalin. The personal power of these modern dictators has been far greater than that of any crowned ruler of modern times. They have been subject to no check or limit in law or public opinion.
(2) The single ruling party. Under communism, fascism, and nazism only the single ruling party has been permitted to exist legally. Parliaments in the Soviet Union, Germany, and Italy became mere rubber stamps for the registration of the party decisions. Voting under totalitarian regimes is virtually unanimous and altogether meaningless. No voice of independent criticism is ever heard.
(3) Government by a combination of propaganda, terrorism, and flattery of the masses. All three dictatorships developed very powerful methods for molding the minds of the peoples under their rule. The Soviet, Nazi, and Fascist citizen (“subject” would be a more accurate word) has been enveloped in a cloud of state-directed propaganda. From the cradle to the grave the idea is drummed into his head, through the newspapers, the schools, the radio, that he is living in the best of all possible worlds, that his highest glory and happiness are to be found in serving the existing regime, that the “toiler,” the “worker,” the “peasant,” by this very service becomes a peculiarly noble and exalted creature.
Open counterpropaganda and free discussion are impossible. And for those individuals who were not converted, there was always the grim threat of the secret political police. This body changed its name, but never its character, several times in Russia, where it has been known at various times as the Cheka, the OGPU, the NKVD, the MVD. The Gestapo in Germany and the Ovra in Italy fulfilled the same functions.
The citizen under totalitarianism enjoys not the slightest defense against the arbitrary violence of the state. He can be seized, held in prison indefinitely, sent to a concentration camp, tortured, killed—all without the publicity which would inspire in some resisters the spirit of martyrdom. More than that, his family is exposed to reprisals if he falls into disfavor.
A Soviet law, published in the spring of 1934, authorizes the banishment “to remote parts of Siberia” of the relatives of a Soviet citizen who leaves the country without permission. Totalitarian secret police organizations habitually employ threats against relatives as a means of extorting confessions.
(4) Exaltation of militarism. “Every Soviet family, school, or political organization is in duty bound to instill in the Soviet youth from the earliest age those qualities necessary to the Red soldier: military spirit, a love of war, endurance, self-reliance and boundless loyalty” (italics supplied). This statement appeared in Komsomolskaya Pravda, official organ of the Soviet Union of Communist Youth, on May 21, 1941. One of the reasons for abolishing coeducation in Soviet elementary schools was to give boys an earlier start on military training.
The names of Hitler and Mussolini will always be associated with glorification of war. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “What the German people owes to the army may be summed up in one word, namely, everything.” Drills, marches, and parades became second nature to the German and Italian youth.
(5) Full government control of labor power and of the national economy. In this field the original methods of the totalitarian regimes varied. But the end result was strikingly similar. Communism started out as a violent social revolution, expropriating all kinds of private property from which profit was derived and confiscating almost all private wealth.
After three decades it has evolved into a system under which a Communist managerial class, much better paid than the average Soviet citizen and with many perquisites of office, runs the state-owned factories, mines, railways, banks, and other enterprises, including the collective farms.
Under fascism and nazism, owners of property were usually not directly expropriated, except, in Germany, for racial reasons. But they were subjected to so many curbs and regulations, designed to combat unemployment, to increase military output, to make German and Italian industries self-sufficient, that the employer became little more than a managing director for the state or the ruling party. The scope of state ownership under nazism and fascism was extended, and state interference and regulation became almost unlimited.
Labor was organized, regimented, and propagandized in very similar fashion under all three regimes. All went in heavily for much publicized social benefits to workers, insurance schemes, vacations with pay, free sports and entertainments. All took away from the workers the right to form independent unions and to strike.
The labor movement in Russia was run by Communists, in Germany by Nazis, in Italy by Fascists. What this meant was that the interest of the individual worker always came second to the supposed interest of the state and the policy of the ruling party.
(6) Widespread use of slave labor. This is a natural and logical consequence of the Communist-Fascist belief that the individual has no rights which the state is bound to respect. Nazi-imposed forced labor came to an end with the military collapse of Germany in 1945. Some six or seven million workers, the majority recruited under some degree of compulsion and segregated in special barracks for wartime labor, were in German territory at that time. The majority of these uprooted human beings were sent back to their native countries. But over a million preferred the bleak and precarious life of the DP camp to the prospect of living in the Soviet Union or in the postwar Communist states of Eastern Europe.
Slave labor in Russia began on a large scale when about a million families of kulaks, or richer peasants, were dispossessed in the drive for collective farming in 1929 and 1930. A large number of these kulaks, men, women, and children indiscriminately, were thrown into freight cars and shipped off to timber camps and new construction enterprises.
Other groups swelled the numbers of this huge forced-labor system. Among these were dissatisfied nationalists in the Ukraine and other non-Russian regions, Communists who had been purged, persons suspected of foreign contacts and of too-active religious sympathies. Later, slave laborers were recruited from other sources.
There were mass roundups and deportations from Eastern Poland and the Baltic states and other regions occupied by the Red Army. There were considerable numbers of German and Japanese war prisoners. Some minor Soviet republics (the Volga German, Crimean Tartar, Kalmyk, and some administrative districts in the Caucasus) were dissolved during the war because the people were not considered loyal to the Soviet regime. Many of their inhabitants were sent to forced-labor concentration camps.
So a vast network of slave-labor reservations, which no independent foreign investigator has ever been allowed to visit, mostly located in northern Russia and Siberia, developed under the direction of the political police. Serious students of the subject estimate that there may be eight or ten million human beings in the Soviet labor camps.1
The conditions of the food, housing, and sanitation, and the excessive overwork are appallingly inhuman, according to the testimony of a number of individuals, Russians and foreigners, who have escaped or who have been released. Mortality is very high. The methods of punishment make Negro slavery in the United States before the Civil War seem almost humane.
(7) Hostility to religion. Dictatorships which set themselves above all restraints, which arrogate to themselves the privilege of trampling on all human rights, are inevitably hostile to any form of belief in a transcendent moral law with divine sanctions. The modern dictator’s first demand on his subjects is unconditional obedience. The totalitarian state recognizes no distinction between what is due to God and what is due to Caesar. It claims all as Caesar’s portion.
Communism is based on the dogmatic atheistic materialism of Karl Marx. The Soviet Government has persecuted all forms of religion, and considerable numbers of priests, mullahs, and rabbis have all been sent to concentration camps. A few were sentenced after show trials. Many more were disposed of by the simpler method of arrest and administrative banishment. And the price which the greatly weakened Orthodox Church pays for the greater tolerance which it has enjoyed since the war is complete subservience to the political demands of the state.
Many churchmen, both Catholics and Protestants, were thrown into Nazi concentration camps. Had Hitler won the war, the churches would probably have faced a still more difficult future, as is evident from the Diaries of Goebbels. A somewhat easier modus vivendi was worked out between church and state in Italy. But in Italy also there were repeated conflicts between the Fascist state and the Catholic Church over the question of education, and active members of Catholic social groups were often singled out for persecution.
(8) A primitive tribal form of chauvinist nationalism. Hitler and Mussolini made a national superiority complex the very basis of their creeds. The Nazi “master race” theory has repeatedly been denounced and parodied.
Soviet communism preached and still preaches a doctrine of international revolution, to be accompanied by an abolition of racial and national distinctions. But communist theory and Russian practice have become more and more divergent. Stalin, perhaps impressed by the successes of his rival dictators with their nationalist propaganda, has been cultivating a form of Russian “master race” delusion. This takes the form of announcing that some unknown or little-known Russian has anticipated almost every important discovery in natural science, exploration, and military development. Foreign literature, music, art, and science are systematically belittled merely because they are foreign and non-Communist in inspiration.
(9) The cultivation of fear, hatred, and suspicion of the outside world. These were the three stock themes of the Nazi propaganda master, Josef Goebbels, and of his counterparts in the Soviet Union and in Italy. Privations which are the natural and inevitable result of “guns instead of butter” economic policies and of bureaucratic blundering are attributed to the wicked designs and conspiracies of foreign powers. The propaganda machines are adept in conjuring up demons to serve as scapegoats—Jews in Germany, for instance; Trotskyites, saboteurs, “grovelers before the West” in Russia.
Normal free contacts with foreign countries are discouraged and forbidden. This policy has been carried to its greatest extreme in Russia. Few foreigners are admitted to that country, and they find themselves under constant police surveillance. Foreign non-Communist newspapers are not sold, and Russians may not receive them. A unique recent decree, which goes beyond anything in the Nazi and Fascist record in this field, flatly prohibits intermarriage between Russians and foreigners. Soviet wives of foreigners in most cases have not been allowed to leave Russia. It has become increasingly dangerous for Russians to associate with foreigners.
Because Germany and Italy are in a less isolated geographical position, Hitler and Mussolini never imposed such a complete blackout on foreign contacts. But there was a constant attempt by Nazi and Fascist propagandists to cultivate a spirit of bellicose suspicion of foreigners as spies. Under all three dictatorships it was stock procedure to represent independent foreign journalists as malicious slanderers.
(10) Perhaps the most ominous common trait of the totalitarian creeds is an almost paranoid conviction of world-conquering mission. Belief that the Russian Revolution is only the first step toward a Communist revolution that will encompass the entire globe is the very essence of Lenin’s and Stalin’s teachings. In his book, Problems of Leninism, which has in Russia all the authority which Hitler’s Mein Kampf possessed in Nazi Germany, Stalin quotes with approval the following statement by Lenin:
It is inconceivable that the Soviet Republic should continue to exist for a long period side by side with imperialist states. Ultimately one or the other must conquer. Meanwhile a number of terrible clashes between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois states are inevitable.
Hitler’s idea of Teutonic racial destiny is an equivalent of Stalin’s and Lenin’s faith in the messianic role of the proletariat and the international revolutionary Communist movement. Both communism and nazism created fifth columns (the Communist far more numerous and better organized) and thereby contributed one of the great divisive and subversive forces of modern times.
And Mussolini boasted that, “if every century has its peculiar doctrine, there are a thousand indications that fascism is that of the twentieth century.”
An additional common trait of the Soviet and Nazi brands of totalitarianism is the capacity and willingness to commit atrocities (in the full sense of that much abused word) on a scale that makes the most ruthless and oppressive governments of the nineteenth century seem positively humanitarian. The Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews during the war would stand on a lonely pinnacle of state-inspired criminality if it were not for the much less publicized horrors which must be laid to the account of the Soviet regime.
First of these was the “liquidation of the kulaks as a class,” officially decreed in March 1930. Under this procedure hundreds of thousands of peasant families whose only crime was that they were a little more prosperous than their neighbors were stripped of all their possessions and impressed into slave labor. There were no gas-chamber executions of kulaks, but many perished as a result of overwork, underfeeding, and maltreatment.
Second was the man-made famine in the Ukraine and the North Caucasus in 1932-33. This was not an unavoidable natural disaster. It was a deliberate reprisal inflicted by the government on the peasants because of their failure to work enthusiastically in the collective farms. Several million people perished in this famine. This is reflected in subsequent Soviet census reports for the Ukraine. I can testify from personal observation that a death rate of 10 per cent was normal in the very wide area affected by the famine. Death by starvation is slower and perhaps more painful than death by asphyxiation.
Third was the establishment of a vast system of slave labor as a normal feature of the Soviet economy. This system is far more cruel than was serfdom in Russia before its abolition in 1861 or slavery in the United States before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, just because it is completely dehumanized.
An individual master might be kind or capriciously indulgent, but a secret-police organization dealing with people who are assumed to be enemies of the state is certain to employ the methods of Simon Legree without stint or variation. This is confirmed by the unanimous testimony of the Poles who were sent to slave-labor camps, assembled in The Dark Side of the Moon (New York: Scribner, 1947) and by such records of personal experience as Jerzy Gliksman’s Tell the West (New York: Gresham Press, 1948), Vladimir Tchernavin’s I Speak for the Silent (Boston: Hale and Flint, 1935), and many others.
A good deal of nonsense has been written about the Soviet regime as a riddle, a mystery, an enigma, and what not. But there is no secret about the underlying philosophy of communism. The Communist International was surely the most open conspiracy to promote violent revolution ever organized.
It is true that Soviet propaganda and Soviet censorship created some confusion about the character and methods of Soviet rule—but only in the minds of people who really in their hearts wished to be fooled. The volume of evidence that Soviet communism shared with nazism the ten common traits which have been listed was overwhelming and was certainly available to any statesman who cared to give serious study to the problem.
Soviet behavior after the war is sometimes referred to in Western countries in accents of hurt disillusionment. But this behavior was completely in line with basic Communist philosophy. It could have been, doubtless was, predicted down to the smallest detail by anyone with a reasonable background of Soviet experience and study.
Before America’s Second Crusade was launched, two things were, or should have been, crystal clear. First, there was no moral or humanitarian reason to prefer Soviet conquest to Nazi or Japanese conquest. Second, from the cold-blooded standpoint of American political interest, one center of aggressive expansion in Moscow would not be more desirable than two centers in Berlin and Tokyo.
The organizers and eulogists of America’s Second Crusade completely overlooked both these points. They chose to wring their hands in easily predictable frustration after the inevitable consequences of helping the Soviet Union achieve vast territorial and political expansion unfolded in relentless sequence.
[1. ] The fullest and most informative treatment of this subject in English is Forced Labor in Soviet Russia, by David J. Dallin and Boris I. Nicolaevsky.