Reflections on Anti-Communism


  • Marcel Liebman
  • Ralph Miliband



History, Marxism


Ever since the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, anticommunism has been a dominant theme in the political warfare waged by conservative forces against the entire left, Communist and non-Communist; and since 1915 and the onset of the Cold War in particular, anti-communism has been ceaselessly disseminated by a multitude of different sources and means—newspapers, radio, television, films, articles, pamphlets, books, speeches, sermons, official documents—in a massive enterprise of propaganda and indoctrination. No subject other than "communism" has received anything like the same volume of criticism and denunciation. The intensity and forms of this propaganda have varied from country to country and from period to period, with the United States well in the lead among capitalist democracies in the intensity and pervasiveness of its anti-communism; but at no time since 1917 has anti-communism failed to occupy a major, even a central, place in the politics and policies of the capitalist world. Different Communist countries have at various times been the main target of attack—China at the time of the Korean war, Vietnam at the time of the Vietnam war. But it is the Soviet Union which has always been taken to be the principal and most dangerous enemy; and it is with anti-communism as it refers to the Soviet Union that we shall be mainly concerned here.

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