Many leftists saw the Cold War as a genuine clash between Soviet 'Socialism' and Western capitalism. Michael Cox, however, shows how Soviet Stalinism and the Cold War helped stabilise global capitalism for 40 years.
Introduction: Stalinism and the New Left
Until the fifties, the influence of Stalinism upon the left was clear and unambiguous. Destalinization, followed by the process of youth radicalization in the sixties however, began to reduce the political hold of Stalinism upon the left, and it seemed that a new marxism was going to emerge. However, things were never quite that simple. For although the new left challenged Stalinism, it never fully broke with it theoretically. Indeed, often without thinking, it frequently took up positions which were, to all intents and purposes, supportive of Stalinism. For instance, the majority of the new left gave almost total support to Ho Chi Minh and the NLF in Vietnam, while many were nearly religious in their adoration of Mao and China during the cultural revolution. Moreover, the new left, again almost without thinking, uncritically endorsed nationalist movements in the Third World, little realizing that they were simply repeating Soviet and Chinese anti-imperialist rhetoric.
Furthermore, much of the economic theory of the new left, notably on development, bore a distinct Stalinist imprint as well.1 Finally, even those influenced by Trotsky, accepted the argument that the left had a 'duty' to defend the Soviet Union from its enemies. In spite of its greater radicalism therefore, it was evident that the new left never really came to terms with Stalinism intellectually, nor broke completely with its assumptions.
Inevitably, as the seventies wore on, this failure was bound to be exposed. In the heady days of the sixties nothing mattered except action. Now, in more pessimistic years, the refusal to settle theoretically with Stalinism was to prove extremely damaging. Gradually, many on the left, became less critical of the Soviet Union. Significantly, many intellectuals were even attracted to the theoretical anti-humanism of Althusser.2 This general drift was in turn reinforced by a number of developments. First, by the failure of the left itself to establish a credible basis in their own societies. Inevitably, this tended to push them into the secure and reassuring arms of the Soviet elite - a process which was then accelerated by the capitalist crisis in the West. Second, because a large part of the left had been politicized by Third World nationalism in the first place, they were bound to be drawn even more closely to the USSR, simply because of the latters' continued support for radical nationalism in the underdeveloped countries. Finally, and most important, the general movement towards the USSR, was accelerated by the breakdown of détente, and the election of an American president determined to rebuild American power in the world. Suddenly it seemed as if the Soviet Union was under attack. The left responded quickly to the situation by launching a campaign against the United States that identified America as the possible instigator of nuclear war, and the USSR as a bulwark of peace.3
Logically the peace movement which arose in the eighties reflected many, if not all, of the political attitudes and ideas of its left-wing leadership, and from the very beginning directed most of its attacks against NATO and the USA, and away from the USSR. Of course there were some, like Thompson, who resisted this and held both 'superpowers' to be responsible for the arms race.4 However, in spite of this, it was clear that the majority within the peace movement were far more critical of the United States than the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly, America opposed the movement and the USSR - in the main - supported it. Ironically therefore, instead of challenging the Cold War in its totality, many have taken political sides and in doing so have only managed to reproduce the Cold War within the movement.5
The shift in US foreign policy since 1980 and the rise of the peace movement, has not only generated large demonstrations on the streets of Western Europe, but also a vast literature which has dealt with the arms race and the nuclear balance.6 Its main concern was to educate the public about the nature of nuclear war, and to dispel some of the standard conservative myths about Soviet military power and the Russian menace.7
One or two studies even re-examined the relationship between military spending and capital accumulation, pointing out that high military expenditure was detrimental rather than functional to modern capitalism.8 Basically, all this work was directed towards one objective: to convince people in Western Europe that a return to a new cold war was dangerous, unnecessary, and economically damaging. As propaganda this was all extremely useful. What was missing however was a serious analysis of how the new cold war had begun and its broader meaning.
The existence of this vacuum at the heart of the discussion was at least one reason why Fred Halliday's study, "The Making of The Second Cold War", was to be so successful.9 His was the first, and as it turned out, the most influential work to discuss the meaning of Reaganism in the broader sense.10 This alone was bound to guarantee it a wide readership. The book was also well written and clearly organized which further increased its general popularity. But of equal importance in guaranteeing Halliday a sympathetic hearing, was the fact that his work reinforced and reflected many of the political biases of the modern left, in particular its generally apologetic if not uncritical attitude towards the Soviet Union (something that Halliday had already revealed in his support for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and in his endorsement of the Dergue regime in Ethiopia).11 In this respect Halliday's book was very much a product of the modern new left and its failure to break from Stalinism. Theoretically and politically therefore an encounter with Halliday, is not simply an encounter with the most important work on the new cold war, but with the political prejudices of the left which have led it into a particular relationship with the Soviet Union and to misunderstand the present situation.
However, rather than simply trying to write a critical review, what I have tried to do is to advance an alternative theory of the Cold War, tracing its history from after the end of the war to the present. Inevitably, this has made the article rather long, but the effort is justified, not simply because of the importance of the subject, but because the left has failed to develop a theory about the Cold War and the Cold War system which emerged after 1947. In reality, although there is a large left-wing literature on the origins of the Cold War, much of it is inadequate, either because it does not put the Cold War into a proper historic perspective, or because it fails to analyse the Soviet contribution. Specifically this has led to the production of an historiography that has made no attempt to relate the Cold War to capitalist decline in the 20th century,12 and which has constantly sought to deny a Soviet relationship to and a role in the making of the Cold War.13 In my view it is impossible to understand the Cold War without analysis of both these areas.14 But equally, to comprehend the post-war period, it is not enough just to analyse the origins of the Cold War: one must also understand its structure. As I shall try to demonstrate, the Cold War relationship between America and the USSR was highly contradictory in so far as Stalinism both negated and supported the dominant world market economy led by the United States, while in the same way, Western capitalism supported and negated Stalinism. It is only by grasping this that we can fully understand the Cold War relationship after 1947.
Having analysed the historical origins and the contradictory character of the Cold War system, I will then go on to examine its attempted reform in the sixties and seventies by that greatest of all modern bourgeois heroes - Henry Kissinger. It might be said of Kissinger's detente, that never before in the field of human endeavour had one man constructed so much in theory, which had absolutely no chance of working in practice.15 Halliday provides one particular interpretation of why Kissinger failed; I try to provide another. This then leads us to the present situation, or what Halliday calls the 'second' Cold War. While I agree that there is an apparent identity between what happened after 1947, and what has been taking place since 1980,1 try to show that it is the fundamental differences, and not the superficial similarities, that we should be analysing. To talk of the two (as does Halliday), as if they were more or less the same phenomenon, implies a misunderstanding of the past, and an incomprehension about the present.16
Finally, I look at the possible political solutions to the problem posed by the Cold War system. Here, no doubt, I will tread on a number of political toes, but argue nevertheless that there can be no alternative to the Cold War system except socialism, but that this will never come about while Stalinism is ascendant in the Soviet block. In short, until there is meaningful working class control in the East, the Cold War system will remain secure in the West. However, the Western left will only begin to advance this argument, when it finally breaks from a latter day version of intellectual Stalinism which has not only hampered it in its analysis of the Cold War in the past, but prevents it from advocating a way forward today.
Halliday and the Cold War
The purpose of Halliday's study, as he points out, "is to describe the causes and development of the Second Cold War" (p.x). To achieve this he sets himself a number of goals which includes a comparison of the two Cold Wars, an analysis of its different theories, a discussion of the causes of the Second Cold War, and in the last part, an examination of "those factors which may inhibit the continuation of Cold War II" (p.234). However, Halliday's book has a specific political purpose as well. It is to show that it is America, as the stronger of the two powers, which bears the greatest responsibility for the present crisis.17 It is therefore America which is analysed with greatest detail, and America that Halliday confronts politically. An impression is thus created that although the USSR may have contributed to the Cold War, compared to America, it is a virtual innocent abroad.18 The USSR is not exactly whitewashed by Halliday, but it is dealt with kindly compared to the treatment handed out to the USA.
In the first chapter Halliday states his main thesis, namely that "from the middle 1970's, the world witnessed the onset of a Second Cold War ... comparable in its essentials to the first Cold War of 1946-1953" (p.l). Cold War II he believes is the most recent of four major phases into which post-1945 history can be divided. The first, that of Cold War I, lasted from 1946 to 1953. In this period when "war" was regarded "as being, more, not less likely, than in the preceding period" (p.7), relations between East and West were frozen, but did not reach the point of hot war.19 The Cold War, he argues came to an end in 1953, and was followed by a period of 'oscillatory antagonism', which in turn gave way to detente between 1969 and 1979. Detente did not dissolve the social conflict between the two rival systems, but it did lead to a retreat from the all out arms race, greater tolerance of the other's social order, a series of agreements, less intervention by both sides, and by a loosening of controls in the two camps. Detente was also marked by an attempt to "separate or disentangle the different international tensions which are in the periods of Cold War bound together by the conflict of East and West" (pp 10-11).
Finally, Halliday arrives at Cold War II, and a return to the type of relationship which had existed between 1947 and 1953. He agrees that there are certain differences between the two Cold Wars. Cold War I was basically anti-communist, whereas Cold War II is primarily anti-Soviet. The former was fought out in Europe, whereas the latter began and is being fought in the Third World. Finally, by the time of Cold War II, there was much greater nuclear capacity on both sides, thus making Cold War II far more dangerous.20 However - and this is crucial - the author insists that these differences should not "mask the fact that identifiable historic forces were at the origin of both Cold Wars" (p.23). Cold War II - like its predecessor - reflected the continued force of long-range goals "that were irreconcilable with each other, and which determined the strategic plans of both camps" (p23).
Having provided the reader with a brief description of the four phases in East-West relations since 1947, in his next (more analytical) chapter, he seeks to explain the underlying causes of the Cold War conflict. He isolates at least eight major schools of thought "each of which purports to offer an explanation of contemporary world politics and hence of why Cold War II began (p.24).
He first deals with what he calls the 'Soviet threat' and 'US imperialism' theories. The former explains the Cold War in terms of Soviet expansion; the second in terms of America's aggressiveness and belligerence. He then identifies a 'superpower' school of thought which argues, according to Halliday, that the USA and the USSR have conjointly subordinated the world to their common interests and collude together, rather than oppose one another. The fourth theory, associated with the name of E.P. Thompson, Halliday calls the arms race theory: this maintains that the arms race is virtually autonomous, and that the stockpiling of nuclear weapons is now the central factor in world politics. The fifth and sixth schools Halliday terms 'north-south' and 'west-west' theories. These argue that the central contradiction in the world system is either between the advanced and the underdeveloped countries, or between the major capitalist states. Invariably the supporters of these schools insist that America's conflict with the USSR is secondary and is, if anything, merely a device used by the USA to justify intervention into the Third World, or West European subordination to America's continued hegemony. The seventh theory of the Cold War Halliday calls the 'internalist'. This suggests that the ruling groups in Washington and Moscow manipulate international events to resolve internal tensions, and that their respective foreign policies are simply a by-product of domestic pressures. Finally, he identifies a class conflict theory of the Cold War as advanced by Mike Davis of the New Left Review.21 This maintains that the Cold War between the USSR and the United States is ultimately the lightning-rod conductor of all historic tensions between opposing international class forces. In other words the conflict between the two powers, represents the antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the working class projected on to an international stage.
Halliday then examines and criticizes each of these theories in turn. He agrees that they "all identify factors which must be taken into account" (p.28), but each is limited in its different way. The first two, because they are one-sided; the third because it "overstates the degree to which the USA and the USSR actually share common interests" (p.29). He then attacks the arms race thesis arguing that it ignores the underlying causes of the East-West conflict. The north-south and west-west theories on the other hand are weak in his view because they dispense "with the need to account for Soviet behaviour at all" (p.29). The internalist argument on the other hand reduces international relations "to the domestic alone", while the class conflict theory "downplays the importance of the conflict between rival states and neglects the degree to which the introduction of nuclear weapons has altered the nature of world politics in the post-war epoch" (p.31).
Logically, this leads Halliday to his own thesis about the Cold War which is, in many ways, similar to the orthodox Soviet view. The main cause of the Cold War he argues - and the dominant contradiction in the world system - is the conflict which exists between the USA and the USSR as "two rival social systems, capitalist and communist" (p.30).
It is this dimension which all other theories ignore. The fundamental nature of the conflict between the two social systems arises for three reasons according to Halliday.22 First, these societies are organized on the basis of contrasting social principles, with private ownership in one, and collective or state ownership in the other. Second, both systems stake an ideological claim to be world systems and "ideal societies which others should aspire to follow" (p.33). Third, because of this basic systemic conflict, both support opposing forces in the world which must inevitably "override attempts at state-to-state accommodation" (p.33).
Having thus defined the nature and the main structural cause of the Cold War, Halliday procedes to discuss the conjunctural situation in the 1970's which led the USA away from experimenting with detente, and back towards Cold War II.
Detente, as he points out, was a multi-dimensional attempt to resolve four major problems for the USA after 1969: the Vietnam war; the Soviet advance in strategic nuclear and conventional military capabilities; the weakened US economy; and domestic dissent. To tackle these a set of policy goals was established which sought to reach agreement with the USSR on limiting strategic nuclear weapons, although they did not seek to prevent the USA attempting to extend its advantage in "areas not covered by agreements" (p.205).
The USA also sought to use such agreements "to disengage the Soviet Union from assisting allies in the third world" (p.205). Equally, the USA aimed to exploit the Sino-Soviet split in order "to pressure the USSR to assist an acceptable Indochina settlement" (p.205). Finally, negotiations with the USSR, were seen by the West "as a way of increasing pressure on the political fabric of Soviet and East European society" (p.205).
Clearly Halliday has no great illusions about detente. Detente, he argues, was simply a strategy to preserve American hegemony in a time of change, freeze the USSR's military inferiority, and force the Soviet Union to abstain in the Third World. Finally, it was turned into a 'misconceived' political offensive (especially under Carter), against the Soviet block. For all these reasons it was bound to fail. However, Halliday insists that because of the basic opposition between the two social systems, detente was (and is) impossible anyway. As critical as he is of the Cold War, he clearly holds out little hope for a genuine detente between the two major powers.
After this general analysis of detente and its problems, Halliday then spends most of the book detailing the specific reasons why it had to fail and how the new Cold War came into being. The first and most important cause of the new Cold War was America's refusal to accept military parity with the USSR.23 "One can say" he writes, "that of all the causes of Cold War II, none is more important than (the) determination in the USA to reach for a new margin over the USSR, and to foster a climate in which such a policy appears legitimate and even defensive" (p.47). Nuclear superiority had (and has) at least four major appeals for the USA according to Halliday: it would give it more military capability; greater bargaining power; renewed ideological self-confidence; and an economic weapon with which to increase the defence burden of the smaller Soviet economy.
However, the drive for new superiority, has to be understood in a broader context, for although the most obvious feature of the new cold war may be the escalation in the arms race led by America, this alone cannot explain the end of detente and the emergence of Reaganism. Other forces were at work to bring about the demise of Kissinger's grand strategy. One was the wave of Third World revolutions in the seventies and the 'ambivalent support' given to these by the USSR. This frightened America into a new assertiveness, and made detente seem irrelevant as a strategy for managing global conflict.24 Another factor was the shift to the right in America caused, according to Halliday, by the increased influence of the more conservative South and West in America,25 the recession of the late seventies, and the growing strength of the new militant right and the military who worked successfully to undermine the limited consensus supporting detente domestically.
Halliday then turns to an examination of the Soviet role and the crisis of inter-capitalist relations in bringing about Cold War II. Although his discussion of the USSR is almost uncritical compared to his analysis of the USA, he does admit that the USSR made the cold war possible in at least three ways. First, by failing to move towards socialist democracy; second, by accepting the logic of the arms race; and finally, by its ambivalent support for Third World struggles. All these things gave Russia's opponents "their justification for mounting the Second Cold War" (p. 151). Having admitted this, however, Halliday immediately goes on to attack those within the peace movement who would place equal blame upon the USSR for the present impasse. The Soviet contribution may be "considerable" he admits, but it must be "differentiated from that of the capitalist world" (p.134).26 Soviet actions may have justified the new Cold War: America however caused it.
Finally, in his grand overview, Halliday concludes with an examination of the part played by inter-capitalist rivalries in the making of Cold War II. Here Halliday displays extreme caution and warns against seeing any simple connection between the new Cold War and American relations with its main capitalist rivals. However, the second Cold War, he insists, was 'related to developments in the capitalist world. First, America's relative economic decline in the seventies created a sense of vulnerability which stimulated right-wing calls for a general renewal of US power. Second, the partial loss of US economic supremacy led to demands that its main economic rivals spend more on defence - something which was more easily justified in a Cold War situation. Third, because of the growing power of some Third World capitalist countries in the seventies, America saw a need for a reassertion of its position, using the Soviet threat as a means of legitimizing this drive.27
In the concluding chapter Halliday discusses the obstacles to Cold War II and how Cold War II might be unmade. He agrees that there are many problems facing Reagan and that the "Cold War II strategy is beset with serious difficulties" (p.242). He points to five problems: the growth of the US deficit; Reagan's narrow political base at home; opposition from Western Europe and the Third World; and finally, the thaw in Sino-Soviet relations.
He also has some positive things to say about the role of the European peace movement. Yet in spite of of all this, he remains pessimistic. "A rapid end to the Cold War is almost impossible to imagine for the simple reason that the deep causes of this development still persist" (p.261). Given this it is important for the critics of the Cold War to advance a broader long term strategy for the unmaking of the Cold War. He argues that this must begin with the destruction of NATO and the creation of a neutral "independent Western Europe" (263). This he believes would reduce the ability of the USA "to wage a world-wide Cold War against the Soviet Union"; weaken "the rationale by which the Soviet Union justifies its grip on Eastern Europe"; and lead to a loosening of the bipolar dynamic "that grips the third world" (p.263)
Finally, Halliday argues, that in a neutral Western Europe, there is at least the possibility that an alternative socialist model of society might emerge. This would "undermine the legitimacy of both America and the USSR, and so do more than anything to challenge the underlying political logic of the 'Great Contest' as it has been fought out since 1945' (p.264). Halliday thus poses a two-stage solution to the Cold War. First, the creation of an independent Europe that would be "disruptive of the Cold War itself, and then, second, the projection of "a social alternative that will make the recurrence of Cold Wars less likely" (p.265). In spite of the obstacles in the way, these basic changes are essential and would be Western Europe's historic contribution to peace and the ending of the Cold War and the arms race.28 The Origins of the Cold War: Defining the Problems
Halliday's main objective of course is to study and analyse the deeper cause of, and the conjunctural situation which led to the Second Cold War. He does not concern himself in any detail with examining the origins of the Cold War after 1945. However, it is extremely difficult to explain the nature of what Halliday (amongst others) has called the Second Cold War, without first having looked at the Cold War system which emerged between the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and the Nixon Presidency of 1969. Inevitably to fully comprehend the present, one is logically led back to the past: the present, to paraphrase Sweezy, must be understood historically if it is to be understood at all.29 Moreover, even though Halliday says little in detail about the origins of the Cold War, he does in fact advance a general theory to explain its underlying cause: namely that it was the historic product of a socio-economic antagonism between American capitalism and Soviet communism. Finally, he argues quite forcefully, that although there are many differences between the two Cold Wars, in essence they were caused by the same irreconcilable social antagonism between the USA and the USSR, and led to similar, if not absolutely identical, results. In other words it is clearly suggested that by analysing and understanding the present crisis, we can in fact gain real insight into what occurred after WWII when the USA and the USSR moved from a war-time alliance to a situation of conflict.30
I want to suggest that Halliday's theory of the Cold War is in fact quite inadequate when it comes to explaining its origins. At the most basic level, it simply cannot account for some rather obvious facts about the postwar situation. For instance, if the USSR was as irreconcilably antagonistic to capitalism as he suggests, then why did it oppose revolution in Western Europe after 1945?31 Equally, if the West as a whole was opposed to the Soviet social system, why were some of its leading statesmen such as Churchill, prepared to accept some form of Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe?32 These two facts alone undermine the credibility of Halliday's general theory.
However, the argument cannot rest there - an alternative explanation must be advanced. I want to suggest that the Cold War was not primarily the expression of some deep irreconcilable socio-economic conflict between the USA and the USSR, but a strategy developed by the American bourgeoisie to rescue a declining capitalism after more than three decades of crisis. The ultimate clue to the Cold War therefore lies in understanding this decline and America's response to it.
This in turn raises a second major question: was the conflict between the two sides as irreconcilable as Halliday suggests? If it was, then why did it never lead to a direct clash between the two powers? The answer to both these questions is I think clear: that in spite of the opposition - and in some ways because of it - the relationship between the two proved to be extremely functional especially, but not only for the United States, which actually came to depend upon Stalinism to legitimize its general postwar strategy, and to support the new structure of peace which emerged as a result of the Cold War.
Finally, we have to ask why was there an opposition at all between the USSR and the USA after 1945? The question is not an easy one to answer. For if we reject Halliday's theory, (and the standard Western view that the USSR was a dangerous military threat),33 then we have to find some serious objective reasons to explain why a powerful America felt threatened by a weak Soviet rival that did not even have the atomic bomb, and which had been devastated by four years of war. If we cannot find a reason, then we would have to agree with the liberal viewpoint that the Cold War was simply a tragic, pointless, and avoidable mistake.34 Let us therefore begin by examining this problem before going on to analyse the relationship of capitalist decline to the Cold War; then examine how the West and America actually came to rely upon Soviet power in the postwar period; and finally, see whether the USSR itself actually benefitted from the Cold War antagonism with its American adversary.
Closed Economies and the Soviet 'Threat'
Halliday, it must be admitted, has identified a real problem: that too many so-called theories of the Cold War do not explain the real basis of the US-Soviet conflict. He is also correct to point to the obvious fact that there were socio-economic differences between the USA and the USSR which can hardly be ignored when one is seeking to explain the Cold War.
It requires little knowledge of the American ruling class in 1947 for instance, to know that they did not like nationalization or planning. From this point of view the USSR clearly symbolized something which the United States openly opposed, and did not want to see reproduced in other parts of the world. However, this does not explain the essential cause of the conflict or its intensity. After all, even though the United States favoured free enterprise, it was forced to accept a major modification to that system in Western Europe after the war. This, however, did not lead to a Cold War between the USA and Western Europe, or a vicious conflict between the American bourgeoisie and social democracy.35 The USA was clearly opposed to nationalization, but this cannot explain the real reason for the Cold War after WWII.36
The first and main cause of the conflict was not U.S. opposition to nationalization as such, but the total separation of the Soviet economy from the world market.37 This meant that Western capital was denied any access to the region and that the Soviet elite was not directly dependent upon the West. Because the USSR stood outside of the international division of labour, it made no contribution to the reproduction and expansion of capitalism as a world system.38 This opposition in turn was made all the more intense because of the Second World War, which not only led to the expansion of the USSR into Eastern Europe - and the closing off of an even greater area from Western control - but also to the emergence of the United States to dominance within the Western capitalist world.
The rise of the United States altered and intensified the situation in two ways. First, because of its enormous strength and great self-confidence,39 it was quite unable as a power to accept any rival within the world system, whether it was the British Empire - whose imperial preference system it was about to dismantle - 40 or the USSR. Second, the United States, unlike the traditional European imperialist powers, believed fervently in the idea of an open world economy, assuming that such an arrangement would not only advance its own position, but also create an economic basis for an internationally harmonious system without wars and depressions. Blocks of all forms were anathema to America. It had resisted their creation in the thirties, and opposed them even more fervently after the war when it had the opportunity to create a functioning international free trade system,41 Moreover this opposition to Soviet power seemed all the more rational to US policy makers after 1945 because of their perception of Soviet weakness.
This led them to conclude that the USSR was highly vulnerable, and that America could deploy its economic power to effectively force a Soviet retreat, either by making the USSR directly dependent upon American aid, which was Roosevelt's strategy, or by placing pressure on the Soviet system. For a short period they tried the first approach which failed because Stalin was aware that Roosevelt's 'new deal' incorporationist policy would have led to the dismantling of Soviet power in Eastern Europe.42 This then left America with only one option: to isolate the Soviet block and 'squeeze' it politically, economically and militarily.
The Cold War thus grew out of an American opposition to the existence of areas outside of its control. This in part helps us to explain the second main reason for the Cold War. Faced with American pressure designed to break down Soviet block autarchy, the USSR had little option but to place pressure upon the West. Because the USA Was not prepared to accept the status quo in the East,43 the Soviet elite was unwilling and unable to accept the status quo in the West. So was born the Soviet 'threat' - a form of offensive defence or defensive offence deployed by the USSR to counter American pressure after 1947.
Soviet opposition to the status quo in the West however was not simply a response to America's pursuit of an open world economy after 1945. After all, the USSR had been exploiting the Soviet block and 'squeeze' it politically, economically and militarily.
The Cold War thus grew out of an American opposition to the existence of areas outside of its control. This in part helps us to explain the second main reason for the Cold War. Faced with American pressure designed to break down Soviet block autarchy, the USSR had little option but to place pressure upon the West. Because the USA was not prepared to accept the status quo in the East,43 the Soviet elite was unwilling and unable to accept the status quo in the West. So was born the Soviet 'threat' - a form of offensive defence or defensive offence deployed by the USSR to counter American pressure after 1947.
Soviet opposition to the status quo in the West however was not simply a response to America's pursuit of an open world economy after 1945. After all, the USSR had been exploiting the contradictions within and between the capitalist countries since its foundation in 1917.44 Some deeper cause has to be sought therefore to explain Soviet opposition to stability in the capitalist world.
This cause I would suggest, is not to be found in the ideology of the regime, as the right has argued,45 or in its planned economic structure, as Halliday suggests, but in the great weakness of the Soviet economic system and the extraordinary insecurity which this created for the Soviet elite.46
In part this weakness was the result of the absolute backwardness of the Soviet Union made worse by a war that had devastated the USSR, but which had led to a great expansion in the economic and military power of the USA.47 But more fundamentally, the insecurity of the system was the necessary and inevitable result of its isolated position within a sea of advanced capitalism.48 Surrounded on all sides by market economies with better living standards, more advanced technique, and, above all, infinitely higher levels of labour productivity, the USSR was bound to be in an extremely tenuous position. Theoretically the Soviet Union should not have existed,49 and the main reason that it was able to persist in practice, was by taking a series of extraordinary measures internally, while pursuing a rather complex foreign policy whose main purpose was to neutralize Western pressure upon the frail Soviet system. The latter strategy even involved the USSR trying to come to some longer term historical deal with the two dominant Western powers of the 20th century: Germany before the war, and America immediately after it.50 Inevitably, this failed, leaving the USSR with only one real political option: to seek external support and use it to limit Western pressure upon itself (this would explain why it could not withdraw from Eastern Europe after the war)51 while bringing more direct pressure to bear upon the Western bourgeoisie by exploiting its weaknesses and problems.
This insecure need to oppose the West was made even more urgent in 1947 however, because the United States was seeking to rebuild stable political and economic relations in Western Europe. Suddenly, the USSR confronted a situation which had not existed since 1917 - a viable capitalism and a unified West. Thus for the first time since the October revolution, some form of equilibrium was going to be introduced into the Western capitalist world. From the viewpoint of the USSR this would have been disastrous as this would have shifted the balance of forces against the Soviet Union - a system whose very survival had hitherto depended upon the weaknesses and divisions within the Western camp. Now this was going to change. The USSR therefore had little choice: it had to attempt to block the successful fulfilment of the American plan that would have united the West and strengthened capitalist democracy.52
If America were successful the position of the USSR would have been severely weakened in a number of ways. First, if Western Europe were reconstructed, this would have made Soviet control over Eastern Europe even more difficult.53 Second, an economically attractive West Germany, would have made any East German state-to-be unstable and probably unviable.54 Third, European recovery would have diminished the influence of the communist movement. A rearmed West would have also forced the USSR into a highly costly arms race. Finally, if the West were united by the USA, it would have made it difficult for the USSR to have exploited inter-capitalist rivalries as it had done so successfully in the past. Therefore, although the Soviet Union did not want its communist allies in Europe to take power in 1947 (for this would have made them independent of Moscow), it did want them to exploit the situation and prevent the successful rehabilitation of Western capitalism. It is true (as the left has argued) that Stalin opposed revolution in the West: however, it is equally clear, that Stalin opposed stable capitalist democracy as well.55
The USSR moved in three directions to counter the threat posed by the USA in and after 1947. At home it tightened up considerably, escalated the level of anti-Western propaganda and reduced all contact with the West to an absolute minimum. In Eastern Europe it eliminated all opposition and closed the area off. And, through the vehicle of the Cominform (established in autumn 1947), it increased its control over the Western European communist parties and shifted them towards a new militant position. Using anti-American, pacifist, and even nationalist slogans (but never socialist ones), the communist parties launched what amounted to a non-revolutionary offensive to thwart American goals.56 This campaign began with attacks on Marshall Aid and culminated with the great 'peace' offensive designed to prevent Western rearmament and the formation of NATO. The USSR even encouraged armed insurrection in Asia. Ironically although the offensive may have helped the USSR to impose discipline at home and over its own allies, in terms of thwarting the United States the strategy was not only a failure, but counterproductive.
By attacking Marshall Aid for instance it appeared as if there was a serious Soviet threat, which not only made the West act with greater urgency and determination, but actually legitimized the very measure which the Soviet Union was attempting to counter.57 The result was to shift the balance of forces even more decisively against the USSR by 1948. The Soviet Union then attempted to expel the West from Berlin, but the Americans only used this to justify the creation of NATO.58 The Soviet Union then gave its allies what amounted to a green light in North Korea in 1950.
The results of this however were even more disastrous than its earlier attempts to prevent European recovery and the formation of NATO, for America quickly responded by manipulating the crisis caused by Korea to justify an already planned rearmament programme, and to strengthen West European unity.59
By 1950 in effect a certain pattern had been established which was to persist for the whole of the Cold War in which moves by a weak Soviet elite to offset the pressure of the superior world capitalist system only led to a new set of Western measures, further Soviet countermeasures - which in turn only provoked yet another Western response to secure its position.
A logic was thereby created after 1947 from which neither side could break out: America, because it wanted to keep the capitalist West strong and united; the USSR, because a strong West could only expose its weaknesses.60 In a limited and very specific sense therefore, there was a Soviet 'threat' after 1947, produced not by a profound antagonism between social systems in some abstract sense, but by Soviet insecurity in the face of an American determination to rebuild world market relations. It was not Soviet 'planning' which made the USSR a problem in 1947, but the historic vulnerability of the Soviet system and the fear that this would be exposed by a successful American policy of Western reconstruction. As one observer has remarked in general, the 'threat' resulted - and results - not from the Soviet communism as such, but from Soviet fear of democratic capitalism.61
Weakness may have made the USSR cautious, but this did not mean that it presented no problem to the West as many on the left have argued.
As we have seen it was this very weakness which made it oppose the West.62 We might argue that the same vulnerability which produced repression and censorship at home, and the need for total isolation through the creation of a highly costly cordon sanitaire in Eastern Europe, also led to Soviet opposition to a stable equilibrium in the capitalist countries after WWII and throughout the post-war period.
Capitalist Decline and the Cold War
The immediate causes of the Cold War were, as we have shown, American hostility to areas outside of the world market, (a fact which conservative historiography on the Cold War chooses to ignore), and Soviet fear of a stable world capitalism (a fear which most of the left appear to deny when they look at the origins of the conflict).63 However, it requires little knowledge of the events leading up to the Truman Doctrine to realize that American statesmen were conscious that something more historic was involved in 1947 than a conflict between America and the USSR. Part of this 'something' of course was the transfer of world leadership from a declining British Empire to the United States.64 This alone was bound to lend great historical importance to the events which took place in 1947. However, what the United States was involved in was not just the final consolidation of its own position in the capitalist world. More fundamentally it faced the broader task of rebuilding the West after decades of disintegration.65 As Toynbee observed at the time, the real problem in 1947 was not Soviet military power, but the near collapse of the West European bourgeoisie following fifty years of slow decay.66 The crisis facing Europe and America was in fact a profound "one, and stretched back not just five or even ten years, but to before the First World War, when the stability of the 19th century international system had been severely weakened by irreversible and corrosive changes inherent in capitalist development.67 The first and most important of these was the rapid growth of industrial labour within Europe and the increasing pressure which this placed upon bourgeois society and on capital's ability to accumulate successfully. Imperialism may have been a partial solution to this, but it could not solve the underlying problem created by the proletarianization of European society before and after 1914. The second main change was the erosion of the stability of the world system as new industrial powers emerged to challenge British supremacy. The first change undermined the internal cohesion of the market economies; the second destroyed the international foundations of the world economy. Together both developments eliminated the conditions which had guaranteed stable capitalist growth in the 19th century.68
The immediate result of World War I was to contain the growing threat within the capitalist countries. However, ultimately, it only intensified the crisis by shattering the old international division of labour, reducing Europe economically, and by creating the general conditions which led to the overthrow of capital in Russia and the intensification of class conflicts throughout the West.69 Even before 1929 in fact, commentators were aware that a major alteration had taken place in bourgeois society, creating, what Lippmann later described, as a "morbid derangement" in the relations between the ruling class and the masses.70 Significantly theories analysing the causes and the irreversible character of Western decline became intellectually popular in this period.71 The thirties only deepened the crisis as the world depression destroyed the basis of a functioning world economy, and prepared the ground for yet another war. In many countries the only way that capitalism was able to persist was by turning to Fascism. Even Stalinism in the Soviet Union became attractive to large numbers in the West, reflecting the fact that old market truths were no longer readily accepted. By the end of the decade the European bourgeoisie had, in effect, lost control over a world it had once ruled with such arrogant confidence.72
The Second World War only accelerated the process of bourgeois decline in Europe. In part this was because of the extraordinary impact the war had upon the productive forces.73 But, equally, the war had a shattering effect on all traditional assumptions. War-time planning for instance demonstrated that economies could be organized without the market.74 Not surprisingly many became more attracted to the Soviet economic model during these years. Family life was also weakened by the war, while the position of women changed enormously. Furthermore, the war was fought on the basis that in the new post-war age, there would be no return to the old discredited system which had produced mass unemployment.
Moreover, during the war, because there was full employment, the position of labour was enormously enhanced. Clearly the war threatened to be a harbinger of major change, as Hayek feared in his diatribe against planning written in 1944.75 A year later his fears seemed confirmed as the left was swept to power and implemented a number of major structural reforms throughout Western Europe that further weakened the operation of the law of value.
Finally, in 1947 three events coincided whose implications were obvious. First, there was the virtual collapse of the limited West European recovery which had taken place since the end of the war. Second, Germany moved one stage closer to absolute penury. Third, Britain - severely weakened by the war as well as by the costs of reform - made it clear to the United States that it could no longer play a world role and that America would have to take over.76
By 1947 therefore the situation was truly desperate. And, although there was no immediate revolutionary threat, (because there was no revolutionary left), there was a real possibility that without decisive action, the situation could rapidly have got out of control, with the left literally being forced to adopt a more radical stance. The danger was clear. Unless there was a dramatic turn, the West European economies would have been taken under more state control, and then, would have had to protect themselves while they were being reconstructed.77 Without doubt this could have only led to the gradual withering away of the market in Western Europe, and the area's withdrawal from the world division of labour - with consequences which would have been as disastrous for the American bourgeoisie as it would have been for their European counterparts.78 It was this which was the main threat to the United States in 1947, and not the Soviet Union.
The USSR and its allies clearly wished to exploit the situation. However, they were not the main problem, something which the State Department understood then, even if Halliday cannot recognize the point now.79 The Cold War which followed was in effect a mobilization conducted with great skill by the United States (against Soviet opposition it is true), to establish the general conditions necessary for bourgeois rule and capital accumulation on a world scale. Ironically, the USA was only able to achieve these goals however by presenting them in terms of a defence of democracy against an aggressive Soviet totalitarian menace. Indeed, because the Soviet alternative to bourgeois rule denied freedom and individualism, the United States was able to argue that its programme was the only one which could save Western civilization from the dark encroaching despotism spreading from the East.80 In this way Soviet opposition - and what that opposition embodied - was not simply useful to the United States, it actually became a precondition for the success of their whole strategy.
Of course what took place was not thought out from the very beginning of the Cold War and no doubt there was an element of chance, accident and personality involved. The mobilization also developed a certain momentum of its own, especially within America where Cold War anti-communism finally struck back at the Democratic Party and the State Department in the fifties. What is striking however, is how far the United States planned its strategy in a conscious way, intellectually equipped with a theory of why world capitalism had broken down between the two wars, and a practical solution about what needed to be done if a functioning world market was to be restored.81 The decline of European capitalism had produced pessimism in the thirties and panic in the immediate post-war years. Yet, decline - and more obviously the response to it by the United States - made the American bourgeoisie remarkably conscious about what had to be done if bourgeois rule were to be restored: first, it was clear that America itself would have to be mobilized and changed; second, that Western Europe would have to be restructured; and finally that an ideological attack was necessary if discipline were to be restored. Let us examine each of these in turn.
Decline and Response82
When the gravity of the crisis became clear, the American state moved with remarkable speed and ruthlessness to sweep away all internal barriers to America's new world role. In 1947 this task was by no means easily accomplished: the amount of aid required to rebuild Europe was huge; isolationist sentiment in the forties was still a potent force; many businessmen were also worried about rebuilding competitors. Moreover, at the political level, the Republican party was concerned that a successful foreign policy would guarantee the Democrats the White House in the 1948 Presidential elections. Finally, in late 1946, many Americans simply wanted to return to normal after the longest war in American history. The State Department may have realized that America had a world role to fulfil. However, many in America were either unconvinced of this, or were worried that the new globalism would be extremely costly, politically as well as economically.83
There were three groups in particular within America which. Cold War anti-communism was designed to neutralize and integrate. First, there were those sectors of nationally based capital who feared that the Cold War would inevitably lead to high inflation, increased taxation, and the establishment of a free trade policy. Although they were not dominant, they did have an influence on the right wing of the Republican party.84
Second, there was the intellectually influential liberal wing of the Democratic Party, who still believed in the principles of a New Deal global strategy. It was strongly opposed to an anti-communist foreign policy which it believed, could only strengthen conservative forces at home and abroad.85 Finally, there was organized labour, which emerged from the war stronger than it had ever been in its history.
What the Cold War in America achieved was quite remarkable.86 It rapidly mobilized consent, and established a general consensus which supported American policies abroad for nearly twenty years. All opposition to US imperialism was either destroyed, marginalized or incorporated.
Basically, the Cold War altered the very character of the American system as it gathered momentum. Loyalty programmes swept the country destroying all critical thought. Radicals and communists were purged from the universities, schools, and the media. The FBI quickly established a network of surveillance to guarantee order. Perhaps most significant of all, the working class was totally traumatized by the Cold War. The Taft-Hartley Act passed in 1947, and then the successful drive to push the communists and all radicals out of the unions, destroyed the working class as a serious force in US society. By 1950 labour was in total disarray, and its left wing virtually eliminated. What emerged was a much weakened corrupt pale imitation of what had existed before the onset of the Cold War.87 A working class was created, willing to support US imperialism abroad, and unable (and afraid), to limit the power of capital at home. This perhaps was the most important long term consequence of anti-communism in America.88
At the same time as American society was being reshaped by the Cold War, the United States moved carefully and purposively to restructure Western Europe. The restructuring process involved an attack on the two forces regarded as inimicable to stable capitalist growth: national economic barriers, and the communist parties especially - but not only - in France and Italy.
The first impediment, it was correctly argued, had led to two wars and one major economic depression in the 20th century.89 Until it was removed it was assumed that there could be no stable economic development in Europe, and little possibility of successfully integrating the new West Germany into the European economy.90 The second obstacle posed a particularly serious problem however, for although the communist parties did not have the strength (or the intention) to overthrow capitalism, in France and Italy at least, they did have the power to prevent economic reconstruction. First, because of their position within the state, they had the capacity to make stable government impossible. Second, and more obviously, because of their strength in the unions, they had the ability to launch offensive strikes against the Marshall Plan and to resist those demands for austerity and higher productivity that were regarded as essential to the success of the Plan .
Thus, it was not just that the CPs were working for the Soviet Union which made them a problem; more importantly they had a real weight within "the working class, a weight which could be used to oppose capital's goal of economic rehabilitation. This is why they had to be removed from government and confronted. Their political defeat - and thus the defeat of the more conscious sector of the working class - was economically essential.
In a historic sense the drive against the communists was the necessary precondition for successful capital accumulation after 1947. What followed was a short, and at times, violent struggle between the United States and its various supporters in Europe (including social democracy), and the communist parties. The result was a foregone conclusion. Between 1947 and 1948 the influence of the two largest CPs was severely weakened, although by no means destroyed, as they were expelled from government. Parallel unions were also established to weaken their control over the labour movement. By 1948 (following the crucial general election in Italy), the real battle was over.91 The organised left had been pushed back. Ironically having helped the United States through the war and the immediate postwar years, the communists were now rewarded with political vilification.92
Finally, as the struggle against the USSR and the communists gathered pace, the right went on to a broader ideological offensive against the left in general, and anything which seemed seriously opposed to the market. Critical thought of any form now became a security matter as the conservative reaction deepened after years of turmoil and disturbance. In a crucial respect history was only repeating itself. After the French revolutionary wars the old order, it should be recalled - consolidated their position at the Congress of Vienna in 1820. Following 1848 the bourgeoisie lost its nerve and deliberately revived traditional forms such as religion, and the family - the very things that capitalist rationality had up until then been undermining.93
After the Commune there was a twenty year period of reaction and repression throughout Europe. Now in 1947, after three decades of turmoil and challenge to the status quo, the time had come to rebuild the ideological props of bourgeois society, a task made that more difficult and urgent, because traditional forms of control, such as unemployment, fascism, and war, were no longer feasible in the post-war era. In this sense the Cold War was not simply the right's political and ideological revenge for past humiliations, but also the form that bourgeois discipline had to take when little else was left.
Using the cover provided by the Cold War, a neo-conservative attack was mounted to restore order and control at all levels. This took several forms. Family life and motherhood for example were idealized,94 while religious belief was encouraged. National service was also introduced in some countries like America, and kept in being in others. Former communists, and emigres from communism, were now saluted as new heroes as they revealed the terrible secrets of their past lives.95 Amongst intellectuals there was a decisive shift to the right, as Stalinist fellow travellers proclaimed that the God had failed. Commitment was declared to be pass and naive.
Collective goals were ridiculed as pessimism and the cult of the self became fashionable once again. Intellectual life was refashioned and remoulded to support the new conservatism.96 Orwell, Huxley and Golding were even wheeled into the classroom to show the young that the brave new world of the future was monstrous, and that all human beings - even schoolboys - were competitive and selfish.97 In the universities the Cold War made a powerful impression as well, especially in America where it effectively destroyed all real debate. Everywhere in the West however the right went on to the intellectual attack. The social sciences were simply converted into mere exercises of proving why Marx was wrong, while all serious theorists of change were attacked.98 It was even 'proved' that the ideas of Rousseau had led to the guillotine, Hegel's to Auschwitz, and Marx's to the purges.
Inevitably in the new age too, piecemeal reformers were applauded, while those who advocated radical solutions were criticized as being precursors of 20th century totalitarianism. In political science, apathy was even celebrated and mass participation was attacked.99 Sociology fell under the theoretically conservative influence of Talcott Parsons, while philosophy was overwhelmed by idealism and an empiricist scepticism celebrated in the hugely influential work of Popper.100 Of course this onslaught was uneven in its application and could not last forever - as the sixties was to prove. Yet it too played a crucial role in bringing order to the West after decades of decline: it too made a decisive political contribution to the new Cold War status quo.101 Stalinism and Bourgeois Reconstruction
The Cold War took the outward form of an irreconcilable conflict between two different social systems: the USA and the Soviet Union. Its main result however was to save Western Europe for the market and to arrest a more general Western decline. In the process a number of major reforms were implemented which laid the basis for a reorganization of world capitalism supported by a stable and exceedingly powerful America - rather than a disintegrating British Empire. Yet as we have seen the Cold War system involved more than just the replacement of one dominant power by another.
It also led to a fundamental restructuring of American society, of America's relations with Europe, of Europe itself, and finally of the bourgeoisie's general relationship with society. The paradox of the new world system which was to emerge however, was that it was created in struggle by America against a power which stood separate from, and, in a limited sense, in opposition to the world market.102 Without the Soviet Union, the rehabilitation of bourgeois rule on a world scale would have been impossible in the postwar period - something which Soviet apologists and Halliday's two camps theory of the Cold War simply cannot explain.
Nor was it just a case of the USSR 'betraying' the revolution in a subjective sense. Objectively in fact, the Soviet Union became an indispensable prop of America's position in the world, and Stalinism a necessary condition for bourgeois hegemony in the post-war period.103 In theory the USA may not have accepted the legitimacy of Soviet power, but in practice its position within the world came to depend upon it. And, while the Western bourgeoisie could never recognize an area outside of its control, in reality the existence of such an area strengthened its position. Paradoxically the West discovered that while it could not coexist with Stalinism, neither could it survive without it. This was the dilemma it faced in the post-war years. This however was the price it had to pay if it wanted to continue in being after thirty years of decline. There were at least four ways in which the USSR contributed to Western stability in the post-war period.104
First, by opposing the West, the USSR appeared to be a major 'threat' to it, something which was then seized upon by the United States and successfully incorporated into its foreign policy planning. Very rapidly America soon came to regard this 'threat' as central to the maintenance of its own position within the Western capitalist world.105 Most obviously, the Soviet threat mobilized consent for and neutralized domestic criticism of US policies abroad.106 The threat thus legitimized American imperial expansion in the post-war period as well as its numerous military interventions into the Third World. Furthermore America's 'defence of the West' against 'Soviet imperialism' also strengthened its position in the 'free world' by reinforcing the dependency of its weaker allies upon the USA.107 For, if there was a powerful Soviet threat - as Cold War rhetoric claimed - those So threatened would have to seek protection from the United States.
Equally, the existence of an external menace strengthened internal discipline within the capitalist countries, not only in Western Europe - the area assumed to be most at risk - but also in the relatively safe haven of the United States itself, where the threat was used as the principle means of reinforcing loyalty to the State. Moreover, by repeatedly emphasizing the threat posed by the USSR, the West was able to legitimize policies, such as rearmament and economic blockade, which were designed to keep the Soviet Union weak and unattractive. Hence, by suggesting that the USSR was an expansionary threat (similar to if not worse than Nazi Germany),108 it became possible to justify what would otherwise have been an indefensible offensive against the Soviet block. Finally, in the broader historic sense, the struggle against the Soviet Union created a fixed point of opposition around which to unite the West after decades of intense conflict. In this way the Soviet Union's ineffectual but highly advertised opposition to the West brought harmony and unity to intercapitalist relations, where before there had been rivalry and antagonism.109
If the Soviet threat unified and disciplined the West around American leadership, the Soviet Union's continued occupation of part of Europe brought a peculiar, but nevertheless real form of stability to an area where before there had been none. Herein was one of the real contradictions of the Cold War system. For the subtraction of part of the capitalist market in Europe, indirectly brought order to the area which still remained within it. As a result, one of the most disorderly parts of the world in the interwar period, was converted into a region of relative tranquility. The Cold War system thus transformed Western, and indeed the whole of Europe, into a relatively stable entity, untroubled by the apparently insoluble contradictions which had upset the area since 1914. There were at least three reasons why.
First, the system of tightly controlled blocks, each dominated by one hegemonic power, effectively contained (even if it could not completely eliminate) the myriad forms of intense European nationalism which had been one of the principal causes of the interwar crisis.110 Secondly, Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe, not only helped control nationalism in that area, but also helped contain the USSR as well. For the costs of maintaining an unstable empire not only limited Soviet actions elsewhere in the world, but also prevented direct Soviet expansion into Western Europe itself.111 Third - and most important of all - by virtue of its military victories during WWII, and of its continued occupation of Central Europe and part of Germany, the USSR finally eliminated the threat posed by German expansion in Europe in the 20th century. Not surprisingly, most Europeans, as well as the United States in practice, preferred the new situation to the one which had existed before. Historically Soviet hegemony over the less important part of Europe, was seen as preferable to a united German domination over the whole of it.112
Finally, from America's viewpoint, the system of blocks in Europe was particularly functional, for it both reinforced West European and West German dependency upon America and, at the same time, weakened any serious European opposition to the United States. As long as Europe remained divided, its weight in the world system was never going to be great enough to oppose the United States. Thus, like Germany, Europe was held in a subordinate position to America, by virtue of the USSR's continued dominance in Eastern Europe.113
The third important way in which the USSR contributed to Western equilibrium was through its general relationship to, and its control over the communist left. This played an extremely important political role in the process of capitalist stabilization in the post-war period. Most obviously, without Soviet control over the communists, particularly in the three years after WWII, it is likely that a critical situation in France and Italy would have been transformed into a revolutionary insurrection. This is not to suggest that revolution would have succeeded, only to point out that as long as the USSR had control over the CPs, it was never even regarded as a serious option: revolution in Western Europe was not in the Soviet interest.114
Secondly, because of the close association of the communist parties with the Soviet Union, it became very easy for the United States not only to split the labour movement, but also to moblize social democracy behind Marshall Aid and NATO. Moreover, because the CPs were obviously directed by Moscow, there was little problem in portraying them as mere 'agents of a foreign power', acting not in the interests of workers in Europe, but of their bureaucratic paymasters in the USSR.115 In this way the CPs made themselves easy targets for attack and even repression in the Cold War, especially in the United States. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, was the communists' association and identification with repressive regimes in the Soviet block. This was to be their real political Achilles Heel. For by defending Stalinism in the East, and reproducing it within their own organizations, they lost political credibility in the capitalist democracies.
America was then able - and more than willing - to argue that the struggle it was involved in was a defensive one to save democracy, rather than a planned move to prop up and strengthen a decaying capitalism. In this way the USA not only legitimized and obscured its real intentions, but made it almost certain that it would succeed as well.116
Fourth and finally, if the communist parties association with the USSR led to their emasculation and marginalization in the Cold War, the very nature of the systems which they supported - and presumably would have introduced in the West - made the political argument for democratic capitalism almost irresistible after 1947. Previously when less was known about the USSR and the market system was visibly failing, it was at least possible for many in the West to regard the USSR as some 'new civilization'.117
After 1947 however when knowledge about the Soviet Union increased dramatically, and the market was revived, Soviet communism was turned into the great deterrent. By destroying the case for socialism therefore the USSR performed an historic service to capitalism as a system that was absolutely crucial after such a long period of market decline. Hence the type of socialism which existed in one country, and which was then imposed in Eastern Europe, acted as an ideological barrier to its spread to the West.
The historic alternative to capitalist democracy became, in reality, the best argument for it after the great traumas of the interwar period when private enterprise had been in headlong retreat. And, not surprisingly, the bourgeoisie grasped at this straw in desperation and gratitude, and used it with great effect as they rebuilt their ideological castle after the battering it had received in the previous era. Nor was the United States unaware of the political value and importance of the Soviet system in their bid to rebuild market relations in the post-war years. This is why it made such enormous efforts to highlight the various features of the 'workers states' in the West and was to do so in a quite deliberate and calculated fashion.118 Inevitably the idea of socialism soon lost its appeal, and millions either abandoned the left altogether, or gradually changed. The Soviet Union soon became in effect the main ideological prop of capitalist civilization: a warning to others, as even Brzezinski admitted, not to go down the path of revolution and Marxism.119
Given the importance of the Soviet block and Stalinism to Western rehabilitation after the war it is not surprising to discover that the United States always acted with great caution towards the Soviet block as a whole. Hence, in spite of its stated opposition to the the Soviet Union in theory, in practice it did little to dismantle Soviet power. As many commentators, like Kennan pointed out, by placing pressure upon the USSR, America in effect prevented change in the Soviet block.120 The evidence also conclusively shows that no real practical attempt to change the new situation was ever seriously contemplated. Rostow discovered this in 1946 for example when he suggested, from within the State Department, some general settlement with the USSR.121 Kennan's various proposals for disengagement were either ignored or denounced.122 Equally, when the Soviets proposed a united neutral Germany in 1952, America attacked the idea. Later, during the Hungarian events of 1956 and the Berlin wall crisis, America not only did nothing, but actually moved to stabilize the situation.123 Naturally, America did not formally acknowledge a Soviet sphere of influence, and nor could it. However, it acted as if there was one.124 The logic behind its ready acceptance of the status quo was fairly clear. Why, it reasoned, try and upset the new stable European balance of power by attempting to disturb the Soviet block; and why try to eliminate the Soviet threat, or the system which provides the most potent argument' for the market since Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations? Why not, in fact, keep things as they are? US acceptance of Soviet power did not of course preclude the United States and the West from exploiting Soviet vulnerabilities. In fact this was essential to keep the USSR off balance and to retard its economic development.
Also, by increasing its problems the West effectively decreased the attractiveness of the Soviet system in the rest of the world. Naturally there were many in America who held firmly to the idea of dismantling Soviet power altogether;125 in a formal sense, that was the United States official programme too. Moreover all Americans saw the need to combat the USSR globally. Yet, in spite of the USA's historic commitment to a stable international system and a truly open world economy, it was evident that Soviet opposition to the first and the Soviet block's denial of the second, was of central importance to America in its quest for a new equilibrium after a period when there had been none. America may have dreamt of one world, however, it soon came to accept the functional value of two.126
This is why American policy after 1947 sought to manage and contain the Soviet Union, rather than try and eliminate it altogether.127 The Cold War and Soviet Power
As we have shown, the existence of a system outside of and in partial opposition to the world market, was the major cause of the Cold War . conflict, yet, at the same time, played a crucial role in restoring bourgeois equilibrium in the post-war period. The relationship between Stalinism and capitalism after 1947 was thus profoundly contradictory. However, it is reasonable to ask whether the Soviet Union itself also benefitted from a Cold War relationship with the United States, and whether it too relied upon the conflict with Western capitalism to help facilitate its reproduction - in the same way that the West relied upon Stalinism. While some writers on the left like Chomsky and Thompson seem to have accepted this argument, most have not. The USSR, they argue, only wanted peace after WWII.128
Indeed, given its weakness, the Soviet Union had a material interest in maintaining good relations with the West. It was America which began the conflict, and only powerful America which benefitted from it: so runs the standard left-wing apologia about the Soviet Union in the Cold War.129
The first problem with this argument is that it assumes that because the USSR was relatively weak in relation to the West, this of necessity produced pacific and co-operative behaviour. However, as we have already seen, this did not follow at all. On the contrary, it was the very weakness of the Soviet Union which led it to create a cordon sanitaire in Eastern Europe and oppose West European recovery - the two measures which contributed directly to the Cold War after 1947. Secondly we must recall that long before the Cold War had actually begun, Stalin was already manipulating Western antagonism to the USSR as a way of creating discipline at home. By the thirties he was even justifying the growing power of the Soviet state purely in terms of capitalist encirclement.130 This is not to deny the existence of Western hostility; only to point out that the Soviet elite used and amplified this to strengthen its position. As Churchill noted, (and Acheson agreed), the Soviet system appeared to require Western hostility, and seemed to fear its friendship.131 The USSR had been born in conflict and not surprisingly therefore had come to define itself in these terms.
Apart from these very general considerations however, there are at least two concrete reasons to suggest why the USSR both used and gained from the Cold War: one is related to the crisis which it faced after 1945 at home; the other to its problematic external relations. Let us deal with each question in turn, beginning with the post-war internal situation.
The most obvious result of the Second World War was the enormous devastation which the USSR had experienced. Approximately 25% of its GNP or ten years economic development had been destroyed by 1945. Equally disastrous were the manpower losses in the age group 16-60.132
In addition there were the less tangible, but nevertheless important problems created by the war. First, the war, it should be recalled, had been fought in the hope, (and with the faint promise) that there would be some liberalization after it had ended. Second, as a result of Soviet military victories, the system had been opened up as the Red Army moved westwards: for the first time in many years millions of Soviet citizens had seen the more prosperous outside world. Finally, during the war, the regime had been forced to drop the traditional anti-Western propaganda which had been central for internal discipline.133 These problems were in turn accentuated by two catastrophic economic events: the 1946 famine, followed by the failure of the 1946 Five Year plan a year after it had been announced.
By early 1947 the regime was in fact facing one of the worst economic crises in its history, marked by a collapse of labour productivity and massive shortages at all levels. It was clear that if there was to be any revival, then there would have to be great austerity and sacrifice, combined with improved labour discipline.134
Equally problematic from the point of view of the USSR, was its control over its various wartime acquisitions and its political allies. Nowhere was this more evident than in Eastern Europe where there was little indigenous communist support - except in Czechoslovakia - and great antipathy towards Soviet Russia, notably in Romania, Poland, Hungary and the East German state-to-be. Perhaps even more worrying from the Soviet viewpoint, was the fact that many communists were clearly afraid of being totally subordinated to Moscow. This was clearly revealed in early 1947 when the Czech and Polish leadership showed a strong interest in accepting Marshall Aid from America.135 And, as Tito was to demonstrate a year later, national communist opposition to the USSR was possible even by the most orthodox of Stalinists.136 But this in turn reflected a deeper problem for the USSR after 1945. On the one hand the growth of the communist movement was advantageous to Moscow and could only increase its influence: on the other, the new found strength of the communist parties could only increase their independence from Moscow.
After the war therefore the Soviet Union, in spite of its military victories, faced an extremely critical situation. Theoretically of course it could have turned to the USA for economic aid. But, as we have seen, America would have demanded a very high price politically, which would have involved the opening up of Eastern Europe to the West, a Soviet acceptance of the status quo globally, and its effective subordination to the United States.
In other words it would have meant surrender. If the system wanted to remain in being it could only pursue one course - that which ultimately brought it into conflict with the West. To continue as an independent entity outside of the more developed world market system it had to isolate itself while attempting to bring pressure to bear upon the West. Such was the path the USSR had to pursue if it wished to preserve a 'backward socialism' in a backward country.
However, the Soviet Union was able to use the growing antagonism with the West for its own purposes. In fact, even before 1947, Stalin began to take what amounted to Cold War measures at home to re-establish the complete domination of the regime after the war. As early as 1945 for instance, Soviet propaganda started to warn its citizens about the decadence of the bourgeois world, and not to believe the gossip of soldiers returning from the West.137 A year later, anti-Western propaganda was to intensify,138 and in February 1947, even marriage between Soviet citizens and foreigners was legally forbidden. Everything was being done in other words, to reinforce the isolation of the USSR and to generate a hostile attitude towards the West. With the declaration of the Truman Doctrine, but more especially after the announcement of Marshall Aid, the campaign shifted gear radically.139
Contact with any foreigners was now regarded almost as a state crime. The crudest xenophobia was encouraged. Cosmopolitanism was declared to be a dangerous deviation. The regime also talked quite openly of the coming war with the West, a statement that had less to do with American military plans, than Soviet internal needs. The manipulation of war scares in fact became a crucial part of Soviet propaganda after 1947; its purpose being to terrorize and galvanize. It was not difficult under these circumstances to impose harsh controls. The regime also used such scares as a way of reinforcing labour discipline, particularly important at a time when economic incentives were almost non-existent. Equally, through the Cold War, it was possible to justify the terrible shortages and the enormous economic problems which the regime faced at the time. As in the thirties, Stalin utilized the Soviet-Western antagonism therefore, to explain away many of the difficulties that the USSR was confronting in the economic arena. It was, after all, far easier to blame the contradictions of the Soviet system on Western subversion, and after 1950 on a Western-led arms race, than on the system itself.140
Many might argue of course that what happened after 1947 was not new at all, as the regime had always exploited its conflict with the West for purposes of internal control. This is true. However, what was novel after 1947 was the sheer intensity of the campaign compared to anything which had gone before.141 This is why the Cold War often took such bizarre forms. Even during the purges the regime had not been so isolated as it was to be by 1948. Nor did the USSR use war scares with such regularity in the thirties. And, although nationalism was exploited before the war, xenophobia and the cultivation of hatred of all things Western was not. Nor did the regime then try to prove that all great inventions in the world came from Russia. Moreover, while intellectual expression was controlled in the thirties, the intelligentsia was not attacked for their lack of patriotism.
Some writers have tried to explain the post-war situation in terms of the war and the way in which it fostered a new nationalism which Stalin then exploited.142 An older Cold War generation in the West simply assumed that it was the result of the deadly influence of Marxism-Leninism.
However, both explanations miss the point, for they ignore the critical character of the post-war situation in the USSR. It was this which led to such extreme measures, not the continuation of wartime patriotism, or the inanities of Stalinist ideology.
The primary function of the Cold War therefore was to reinforce the isolation of the USSR and strengthen internal discipline at- a time of great crisis. However, it is also clear, that Stalin utilized the international conflict to impose a strong hold over Eastern Europe, and to re-impose very tight control over the communist movement.
In relation to Eastern Europe the Cold War was important in at least two respects. First, it both deepened and justified the isolation of Eastern Europe from the West. Moreover, Western hostility provided the USSR with a propaganda fig-leaf with which to legitimize its continued presence in the area. Second, and more subtly, because the Cold War led to the reconstruction and - ultimately the rearming - of West Germany, the USSR could claim (especially in relation to Poland), that a Soviet presence was necessary to protect Eastern Europe from German revanchism. Not surprisingly, the USSR was to use the idea of the German threat to great effect after 1947 and throughout the fifties. Inevitably, over time, this form of control was bound to produce resistance in an area where anti-Russian and anti-communist feeling was high. However, in the immediate period after the war, the Cold War proved indispensable to the process of consolidation in the Soviet block.143
Finally, the USSR utilized the Cold War antagonism to create even tighter central control over the international communist movement after a war in which, the CPs had grown in size and therefore in independence.144
However, the Cold War not only justified centralization, but also limited all discussion within the communist parties. For if, as it was argued, the USSR was under grave threat from imperialists and Western war-mongerors, how could one engage in criticism of Moscow?. In its hour of need communists had to rally to the defence of the USSR. Naturally, as the USSR moved to exert tighter control from the centre, there was some resistance - as the Yugoslavian example demonstrated. At first it was even uncertain whether China would fall into the Soviet orbit. However, in broad terms, the strategy worked extremely well as the Western parties were pulled into line. Perhaps most important of all, China was made secure (and was made even more dependent upon the USSR as a result of the Korean war).145 The challenge of national communism was thus confronted, and for the moment at least defeated. Yet, like its victory over Eastern Europe, the situation could not last for ever for the Soviet Union. Having planted the seeds of nationalism within the international communist movement, it would only be a matter of time before it would be forced to cope with the political consequences.146 Did the Cold War End in 1953?
Our argument so far has led us to suggest that the Cold War was not just a policy or - as Halliday argues - a phase in post-war history, but was in fact the actual form which the relationship between America and the Western bourgeoisie on the one hand, and the USSR on the other, was to take after 1947. Having been established it could not be changed like a set of clothes, for not only did it reflect a real opposition, but at the same time established a situation of dependency for both powers. The USA and the USSR were thus locked into a relationship which brought harmony, stability and ideological certainty to the West, and reinforced the separation of the Soviet block from the more advanced world market. The Cold War may have been irrational in terms of human needs, and undoubtedly strengthened conservatism in the West and Stalinism in the East. However, from the point of view of securing both systems after a period of enormous turmoil and uncertainty, it proved absolutely indispensable.
The main problem with the relationship was that it was fashioned out of two very asymmetrical parts. The Cold War was not a battle between two more or less equal 'superpowers' as most writers seem to imply.147 Because of this, the USSR was forced to seek some lowering of the costs of the Cold War before the United States. Throughout the fifties therefore the Soviet elite tried to reduce Western pressure. Indeed, as Shulman has shown, even before Stalin's death, this process was under way.148 In 1952 for instance, Soviet rhetoric began to abate. In the same year, the USSR proposed a settlement of the German problem and two years later withdrew from Austria. Following Stalin's death Moscow also made repeated calls for total disarmament,149 and in 1956, Khrushchev gave his famous speech on peaceful co-existence.150 During and after the Hungarian events, a section of the Soviet block elite even flirted with the idea of disengagement.151 At the same time the USSR began to look for a more 'equal' relationship with Eastern Europe, and also expanded its trade with Western Europe.152
Yet, in a way, these moves were really quite secondary and did not impinge upon or challenge the basic assumptions of the Cold War system. Thus, although the Soviet Union wanted to rationalize its hegemony in Eastern Europe, it had no intention of giving it up. Furthermore, although Khrushchev spoke of coexistence, the USSR still did not accept the status quo globally. In fact, after 1954, it began to build more serious links with 'anti-imperialist' movements in the Middle-East.153 Finally, at home, although there was a modification to Cold War rhetoric, the Soviet system continued to rely upon traditional Cold War methods (admittedly without the -war scares) to facilitate domestic discipline.154 Quite clearly, the USSR could not abandon the Cold War system. Its position of weakness may have forced it to seek some relief from the costs of the Cold War; however, the same weakness, meant that it could not abandon the system which secured its reproduction. Only when the contradictions and limits of Stalinism had become acute, would it be forced to do so.
The determination by the United States to remain fixed in a Cold War relationship with the USSR was even greater. For while the USSR, as the weaker party, had to try and reduce Western pressure and the costs of the Cold War, the USA - as the much stronger power - had no material reason for altering its strategy.155 It is true that Eisenhower sought (for economic reasons) to reduce arms spending156 and even met the 'enemy' at Geneva. He also made occasional noises about peace to keep his European allies in line. But, these were all minor adjustments, not real changes.157
The fact remains that the Cold War both expressed and gave to America great self-confidence. More concretely, it was evident that the Cold War had become integrated into the American political economy. Domestic factors may not have immediately caused the Cold War in 1947, but they certainly kept it alive thereafter.158 In reality, by the early fifties, America had become a Cold War society - much more so than Western Europe where Keynesianism was the norm.159
In America the Cold War thus became absolutely central to the definition of the system. It shaped the character of American nationalism, underwrote the new conservatism, and - in the form of the military sector - accounted for at least 10% of the American Gross National Product.160 However, it was not just the military-industrial complex who 'needed' the Cold War. Nearly all groups within the United States were in some way or another defined by anti-communism, including the working class, white segregationists in the South, the established churches,161 the extremely powerful internal security services, not to mention the millions who had had direct experience of, or who maintained contact with, life in the Soviet block.162 The latter in particular performed an extraordinarily important role in shaping the anti-communist consensus, and even played a small part in the making of US policy towards the USSR.163 The immigrant character of American society also strengthened the Cold War, in that anti-communism became a vehicle through which each ethnic group was able to prove its loyalty to the American state. For them anti-communism was to be a means of integration into a system where there was no 'natural' organic unity built either on a shared historical experience, or on one single national grouping.164
The Cold War also became inextricably linked with American party politics after the 1948 election. Having lost the Presidential race in that year, the Republicans in real desperation, began to concentrate on the foreign policy issue as a way of eroding support for the Democratic Party. The Democrats, they argued, had not only 'appeased' the Russians during the war - notably at Yalta - but were in fact continuing to do so.165 The Republicans went so far as to claim that there were many within the government and the State Department, like Alger Hiss, who were actually sympathetic to communism. This campaign escalated in 1949 and 1950 following the USSR's early detonation of the atomic bomb, the Chinese revolution, and the Korean war. The Republicans now went on to the offensive - using McCarthy as their ideological battering ram.166 However irrational it all seemed, there was in fact a rational strategy involved here: namely to break the New Deal coalition which, if it was not destroyed, would guarantee the Democrats the White House for ever. The Democrat's social base had to be fragmented, and anti-communism was seen as the only way of achieving this.167
The final cornerstone of this general political strategy was the Republican's attack on the 'cowardly idea' of containment. America, they declared, must go for victory and liberation. Influential works by W. Chamberlain, Eugene Lyons, and James Burnham, even provided a theoretical justification for the new militant programme advanced by the Republican party after 1950.168
When Eisenhower took office in 1953 therefore, he did so on an aggressive anti-communist platform which may have made no difference to the conduct of American global strategy - although it did introduce a greater rhetorical militancy in its policy towards the Soviet block - but made it impossible for him even to think of altering US foreign policy. Formally, the Republicans were now wedded to a verbally more aggressive policy that had secured them power, and which they would now find politically difficult to abandon.169
For the United States therefore, there was no easy escape from a Cold War relationship with the USSR. However, the United States did not want to escape. Why should it? For not only did the Cold War successfully mobilize consent and strengthen internal cohesion, it made sense in foreign policy terms in spite of what its liberal and realist critics said to the contrary.
America therefore had no reason to change a strategy which reinforced and legitimized America's hegemony in the world, introduced order to Europe, and brought about a headlong retreat of the left in the advanced capitalist countries.170 When its critics complained about the economic costs of the Cold War, its apologists simply pointed to American economic prosperity.171
When the former suggested that the Cold War was forcing America to support authoritarian regimes in the Third World, the State Department would reply that at least these regimes were in 'our' camp. But, when the more subtle suggested that the Cold War was reinforcing Stalinism in the Soviet block - it kept quiet. And for good reason. It knew, although it could never admit it in public, that this was the price the peoples beyond the iron curtain had to pay if there was to be an equilibrium in Europe, and a West safe for capitalism.172
Because America was a Cold War power therefore there could be no easy modification in its general strategy. It was going to take a very profound crisis indeed to shift American society, and the American foreign policy elite, away from its traditional anti-communist moorings. Equally, as we shall now see, any attempt to redefine the United States in anything other than Cold War terms was bound to be extremely difficult - as Kissinger was to discover when he tried to reform the Cold War system in the seventies.
The Crisis of the Cold War System
It is clear from our analysis so far that it was going to require a major crisis within both systems, before there could be any serious attempt to modify the relationship between them. Unfortunately, in spite of a few references to American problems caused by Vietnam and the changing nuclear balance, Halliday says little about these major changes which took place in the sixties. Indeed, his own theory cannot explain the attempt to move beyond the Cold War. After all, if the opposition was as fundamental as he maintains, how could there have ever been any form of rapprochement? More seriously though is his failure to explain the underlying causes which led both America and the USSR towards detente. Thus, while he alludes to, he does not really understand the significance, or explain the full implications of American decline and the crisis of American power in the late sixties.173 Second, and more seriously, he says absolutely nothing about the fundamental, difficulties which faced the Soviet Union and which forced it away from autarchy and towards some closer association with the Western capitalist world. Indeed in his one chapter on the USSR, he gives a very positive appraisal of the system and its strengths, with no hint of the problems which were pushing it towards a new type of relationship with the West.
Let us therefore examine both these dimensions - beginning with the crisis of American power.
The main premise of American strategy until the late sixties was its unchallenged hegemony - defined in foreign policy terms as 'positions of strength'.174 This idea meant three things in practice: American nuclear superiority viz a viz the USSR; a total American dominance within the capitalist world; and an ability to shape the political and economic systems of the Third World. By the sixties each of these props had been severely weakened. Hence by the time of the Nixon Presidency, although the United States was still ahead in the arms race, it no longer had a meaningful nuclear edge.175 Secondly, by the sixties, Western Europe was becoming more assertive and less willing to follow America uncritically in its Cold War with the USSR. In 1965 France even left NATO, and four years later the West Germans began to assert their independence by moving towards ostpolitik.176
Finally, within the Third World, new forces were emerging which began to challenge America's definition of a world order, most obviously in Latin America, the Middle East and South East Asia.
The implication of these changes for the conduct of American foreign policy was clear. If it could not contain the USSR by military means, then it would have to find other methods. If its main allies were already moving towards the Soviet block and China, then America would have to go along with the process unless it wanted to create a crisis in intercapitalist relations.
And, if the Third World was becoming less manageable, then it needed to discover new ways of controlling change on the periphery. Together all these developments were bound to push the USA towards a new foreign policy. The world of 1947 no longer existed and America - it was clear- needed to make some major adjustment in its relationship with the rest of the international system.177
This pressure to move beyond the Cold War was also increased by other important events, the most important of which was the Vietnam war which brought civil unrest to America, weakened America's competitive position in the world economy, and destroyed the consensus which had supported America's Cold War foreign policy since 1947.178 However, even before Vietnam, sections of the ruling class had become increasingly disenchanted with the Cold War.179 One reason was its high military cost, something which could be born when the American economy was the most productive in the world and social spending was low, but which became increasingly problematic in the sixties when productivity was falling and social spending was rising rapidly.180 In this context it is not surprising to discover growing bourgeois attacks upon arms spending in 1965 - the year after Johnson's 'Great Society' programme was announced.181 Secondly, many within the ruling class, were increasingly sensitive to the evolutionary developments which were taking place within the enemy camp. By the sixties in fact hardly anybody held to the classic Cold War view of communism as being a static unchangeable totalitarian monolith.182 Hence, it was reasoned, why continue with a hardline pressure strategy which held back change in the communist world?183 Indeed, if a transition was occurring, did this not open up possibilities for the West, not simply for expanding trade at a time when Western economic growth was slowing down, but also of increasing Western leverage over the USSR and China? Finally, many argued, that the Cold War had served and had now outlived its original purpose.
After all the West was now secure and united, the USSR had been forced on to the defensive, and - above all - the threat of the left had been destroyed in the advanced capitalist countries. It was argued therefore, that it was counterproductive and irrelevant to continue with a highly costly strategy which bore no relationship to the sort of problems that America was facing in the sixties.184
While the general erosion of America's position within the world system was pushing it towards a new post-Cold War foreign policy, very different, but equally difficult problems, were forcing the USSR towards the West and away from its separation from world capitalism. To understand why this was occurring we must briefly examine the nature of the Soviet crisis which was manifesting itself by the latter half of the sixties.
The basic problem facing the Soviet elite was the economic situation. Although they had succeeded, in historical terms, in developing the productive forces, this was no longer possible after Stalin's death when terror could not be employed. It was essential therefore to increase labour productivity, or more concretely, to move towards a system of exploitation, based not upon the extraction of the absolute surplus through compulsion, but of a more efficient use of labour time itself.185 Logically, the elite began to experiment with market reforms as the only way of imposing economic, as distinct to political and administrative controls over the worker. The problem with this strategy however was clear: the worker had little interest in reforms which would have led to the loss of job security, greater inequality, and increased labour discipline. The elite was thus faced with a major dilemma.
On the one hand it could not continue with traditional Stalinist economic methods: on the other it could not implement economic reform. The only solution therefore was to turn to the more advanced West and Western technology to improve productivity. In this sense moving towards world capitalism was deemed to be safer than upsetting the working class within the Soviet block.186
The pressure to move towards the West was reinforced by three other economic problems facing the Soviet Union after Stalin's death. The first, and most important of these, was the growing technological gap between the Western economies and the Soviet block. As this widened in the postwar period it became clear that unless the USSR and Eastern Europe turned to the world market, the whole region would fall even further behind its capitalist rivals.187 Secondly, with the ending of terror, it was imperative for the Soviet elite to improve living standards, by increasing investment in agriculture and the consumer goods sector. This was seen as essential, not only to maintain political stability after Stalin's death, but also to improve labour productivity. However, it was evident, that the contradictions of the Soviet block economies prevented an internal solution to either of these two problems. Not surprisingly the Soviet elite, once again, began to look towards the West to solve problems made acute by the economic limits of its own system.188 Finally, as every Soviet leader admitted after 1953, the USSR had a powerful material interest in reducing military expenditure, especially in the post-Stalin period when an attempt was being made to increase personal consumption. The only way that this could come about however, was through developed negotiations with the United States and NATO.189
The economic contradictions of the Soviet system were thus crucial in bringing about a reorientation of the Soviet block by the middle sixties. Yet, it was not economic problems alone which were forcing the USSR away from its traditional dependence upon the Cold War system. In reality the Soviet Union not only faced fundamental economic problems, but also a more general crisis of hegemony within the communist world. The outer defence system which Stalin had successfully pulled around the USSR was no longer viable twenty years later and this was bound to have an impact on its relations with the West.
The most important change which had occurred by the sixties was the decline of the communist movement internationally. This meant that the Soviet Union had not only lost its most valuable external asset, but also that the Western bourgeoisie could not be pressured from within by the USSR. The result of this was to open the way for more direct negotiations between the West and Moscow, for the former no longer felt threatened, and the latter could no longer attack.190 Equally important was the fact that by the sixties the political and economic costs of maintaining Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe had grown rapidly. The USSR faced the unenviable choice therefore of seeking some tacit Western help to keep the area stable. As neither Washington nor Moscow wanted an uncontrollable explosion in the area, it was important for them both to establish new East- West rules to manage the region differently.191 Finally, the split with China after 1960, confronted the USSR with possible pressure on two fronts, something which they had always managed to avoid. This development presented the USSR with major problems, not because of what China could do militarily (which was in fact very little), but because America could easily exploit the situation to its own advantage. As Nixon recognized in his famous article of 1967, the split between the two communist powers opened up major opportunities for the West. It was essential therefore for the USSR to pre-empt any move by America towards China. This again was bound to alter the old rules of the traditional bipolar Cold War game.192
Of course it might be argued that the picture which has been painted here of the Soviet position is far too bleak. After all by the late sixties they had acquired nuclear parity. Moreover, for the first time since 1947, there were signs of major exploitable differences developing between West Germany and America over the whole question of East-West relations. The United States was also mired down in Vietnam, and was facing a more general challenge in the Third World. Finally, by 1968, the Soviet Union had disciplined Castro following the collapse of his economic policies and Cuba's guerilla strategy in Latin America. In some respects therefore the USSR's relative position did appear to be stronger in the late sixties.193 However, this should not obscure the underlying crisis which the Soviet Union was facing, a crisis which was forcing it towards the United States and a world market whose touch and embrace it had good reason to fear.
Since the thirties the USSR had been able to maintain its separation from the world division of labour. By the sixties however, the Soviet Union's inability to develop its own productive forces and the gradual decay of its outer defences, was now making that separation both increasingly difficult and more costly to maintain. Historically, the USSR had been able to survive without and even against the West. Now it was becoming clear that it needed the West - in the same way that America needed the USSR.
Both powers in effect were in decline, and in their moment of need were turning towards each other for aid and support. Since 1947 the USSR and the USA had relied upon the other's antagonism to strengthen their respective positions. Twenty years later it was not the other's hostility it required, but its help. This was the real meaning of detente.194 Kissinger's New World Order
The turn away from the Cold War by the United States was not the result of choice, but of its own decline. This forced America to try and restructure its international relationships so as to reduce the costs of policing world capitalism, but without this leading either to a more rapid erosion of its own power, or of more instability in the world. The aim however was not, (as Halliday argues), to preserve US hegemony, but, as Kissinger"" pointed out, to get America to come to terms with its loss of power in the world.195 The strategy therefore was not to preserve a situation which was no longer sustainable, but to adjust America to change in the world system. This pushed America in two related directions: first towards its now more powerful 'friends', requesting from them that they take on more of the burden of ensuring stability in the world (this part of the strategy was usually referred to as the Nixon Doctrine); and second, towards its enemies in transition, demanding that they - in exchange for Western and American support, act with 'responsibility' in the world. The first part of the strategy aimed to shift the costs of 'containment' to America's allies; the second (termed detente) to reduce Soviet and Chinese support for disturbance in the international system. If the former were to work, especially in the Third World, this would allow for a partial American disengagement and the creation of powerful client states able to protect themselves from internal threats while acting as policemen in their own sub-regions. If the latter were successful, one of the major sources of instability in the Third World would have been eliminated. Together both measures would allow America to reduce the burden which the Cold War had imposed upon it by the latter half of the sixties.196
The turn towards China and the USSR was therefore part of a broader strategy designed to maintain order in the world when American hegemony in its original form was clearly a thing of the past. However, if US decline made detente necessary, then the crisis of traditional Stalinism made it feasible according to Kissinger. This crisis, he reasoned, opened up new opportunities for the USA and if it could seize the chances being made available, then there was the possibility at least of constructing an entirely new relationship between once antagonistic powers and in the process create a new equilibrium internationally.197
Kissinger's first objective quite clearly, was to make certain political and strategic concessions to both China and the USSR, but only on condition that they accept the rules of the international game as written by the United States. Specifically, in relation to the Soviet Union, this meant that if Moscow wanted greater access to Western technology and the credits needed to finance expanded trade, then it would have to behave itself globally. Equally, if they desired arms control, they could only get it on condition that they adhere to the status quo. And, if they did not want America to tilt towards China, then again they would have to act cautiously in any potentially unstable situation. As Sonnenfeldt put it, if the USSR wanted to benefit from a closer association with the West, it could not act against the interests of the West.198
However, the real key to detente was economic, insofar as its success depended upon the metamorphosis which was taking place in the communist world which was forcing it away from autarchy and towards a closer relationship with the world economy. Kissinger may not have been interested in economics as many commentators have argued, yet detente depended upon this basic economic assumption. The goal - quite simply - was to exploit the movement in Stalinism towards the world market and create a long term dependency relationship of the Soviet block upon the more advanced capitalist world. The Soviet Union and its allies would - it was hoped - become so enmeshed in their relations with the West, that they would not only find it too costly to break these, but would actually acquire a material stake in a stable capitalism. Hence, what Kissinger aimed for, was not simply a short term political or strategic deal between the USA and the Soviet Union, but a longer term economic relationship which would solve the problem posed by the USSR in the world system. This is why lie referred to detente as creating a new 'structure of peace' and opposed all those in America - like Henry Jackson and the Jewish lobby in 1972 - who wanted to force the Soviet Union to make quick concessions. This, he insisted, was quite counterproductive and indeed unnecessary. The real goal was to restructure the relationship between the West and the Soviet block, so that the drop-out from world capitalism would develop such profound economic relations with its former antagonist, that it would find it impossible to break with the world market, or to challenge it in any way.199
This in turn raises a wider question about Kissinger's historic goal. For most analysts he remains the balance of power theorist par excellence, implying that his primary objective was simply to manage the Soviet Union in a different way than before, but still within the framework of a bipolar world system. Many have even insisted that what Kissinger was trying to do was to prevent the breakdown of bipolarity. His goal, according to one school of thought therefore, was basically conservative, in that he wanted to preserve the two block system and all of its advantages from the point of view of the United States.200
However, it is manifestly obvious that detente implied much more than just a new form of containment - as both Kissinger and Nixon at times hinted. For, when Kissinger spoke of associating the Soviet block with the world economy, and Nixon of 'victory without war' through a hard-headed detente, then it was evident that they both had some longer term view of where their strategy might possibly lead.201 For logically, if the Soviet block was to become closely associated with world capitalism, this could hardly help preserve bipolarity in its original form. Moreover, if their economies were to move away from autarchy, it was obvious that they were bound to undergo a profound change. If they then had to compete on the world market, and adjust themselves to buying from and selling to the West, again it is difficult to see how this would have helped preserve the economic and political status quo in Eastern Europe. Finally, if the West no longer appeared to be a political enemy, but an economic associate of the USSR, this was inevitably going to have an impact on the cohesion and integrity of the Soviet block as a whole. Clearly, if the region were to move away from isolation and become more open to the more advanced world market, it would have to change for the simple reason that political isolation and economic autarchy were the indispensable conditions for the stable reproduction of the area.202
Nor, of course, were the various Western advocates of bridge building and detente unaware of its subversive implications. Brzezinski for instance, who was one of the first to argue for a constructive engagement with the Soviet system in the early sixties, made it clear that the object of the strategy was to recapture the Soviet block for Western civilization.203 The German theorists of ostpolitik stated quite openly that rapprochement with the East was designed to bring about change there.204 Even Nixon, in his later books, admitted that detente did not imply an American acceptance of Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe.205 The much criticized and misunderstood Sonnenfeldt, made very much the same point in defence of the doctrine which bore his name.206 Perhaps most interesting of all are the arguments contained in the influential work of Samuel Pisar, one of the earliest advocates of American trade with the Soviet block.207 The Cold War, as he pointed out, had only reinforced Stalinism in the region. More obviously, by the sixties, America's European allies were beginning to trade with the communist block, so there was little point continuing with an economic embargo which was no longer enforceable. Expanded East-West trade was therefore economically inevitable. However, according to Pisar, a massive increase in commerce would be more than just economically useful for not only would it strengthen international stability, but would also stimulate renewed pressure for serious economic reform in the Soviet block, and thus - in the longer term - help recreate a single world market. As another important analyst has pointed out, the 'spirit of Helsinki' could move the international order away from Stalin's world of two markets, into a new era when there was only one.208 The Rise and Fall of Detente
Theoretically, Kissinger's strategy opened up major new opportunities for the USA. First, by moving towards the USSR and China, at the same time as its European and Japanese allies, detente, it was hoped, would guarantee Western cohesion, and ensure that it was America - and not its satellites - which continued to determine Western policy towards the communist world. Second, there were obvious economic advantages in expanded trade especially when the Western economies were moving into a new recessionary phase. Third, detente would permit America to reduce the heavy burden imposed upon it by the Cold War by eliminating Soviet and Chinese support for forces hostile to Western interests. And finally, over the longer term, detente created the possibility of a gradual reintegration of closed economies back into the world division of labour. Intellectually at least, there was much to recommend the new strategy.
In practice however, the attempt to reform the Cold War system encountered major obstacles from the very beginning. Thus, although Kissinger signed the main agreements covering arms control and trade in 1972, within two years the second part of these was in tatters after Congress had refused to grant the USSR credits and open access to the American market.209 The departure of Nixon following the Watergate crisis, then removed one of the main architects of detente. In 1975 the Helsinki agreements were signed it is true, but were almost universally condemned in America for what appeared to be (but in fact was not), their recognition of the division of Europe. By 1976 the situation had become so acute that President Ford even dropped the term 'detente' from his political platform following the fall of Saigon and the success of Soviet supported nationalist revolutions in Africa. Thereafter the situation went from bad to worse. In 1976, the Committee on the Present Danger was established, and waged an extremely successful propaganda campaign which set out to prove that not only was detente unworkable, but that the USSR had actually become militarily superior to the United States as a direct result of detente.210 Second, following the Watergate crisis, the Democratic Party skillfully exploited the argument, that America had to return to basic liberal values, and jettison the cynical realism which had led to corruption at home and the pursuit of a foreign policy - including detente - which paid no attention to morality or human rights abroad.211 Finally, in the late seventies, came the three great crises of Iran, Afghanistan and Poland, all of which convinced American opinion that American power had to be rebuilt and that detente had been a cul-de-sac - themes that Reagan was to tap successfully in his Presidential campaign.212
Inevitably there has been an extended and at times very heated debate about the failure of detente. Writers have focused on a number of problems, the most obvious being the impact of the Soviet Union in the Third World in the latter half of the seventies following the collapse of Vietnam.213 Also, because rearmament has been the most visible aspect of Reagan's foreign policy since 1980, many have assumed that, the arms race was the most divisive issue, with some arguing that detente was destroyed by what Thompson has called 'the logic of exterminism', and others - like Halliday - insisting that it collapsed simply because America could not accept nuclear parity.214 Thirdly, several writers have concentrated their attention upon the internal pressures within America which led to the new Cold War, with great emphasis being paid to the rise of the New Right in America in the late seventies. This grouping, in alliance with traditional Cold War strategists coalesced together (or so it is suggested), to undermine the intellectual credibility of detente by generating scares about the new Soviet threat, not because this was believed, but because it was assumed that such a message was functional for the rebuilding of American power in the post-Vietnam world.215 Finally, some analysts, notably Halliday, have argued that detente could never succeed anyway because of the fundamental opposition thus bound between the two social systems. What had caused the first Cold War in 1947 was thus bound to destroy detente and lead to a second Cold War over thirty years later.216
Perhaps one of the more obvious similarities between interpretations of the first and second Cold Wars, is the way in which the left and the right have rushed to take sides in the debate. Not surprisingly the right has blamed the USSR for undermining detente, insisting that Moscow used it as a mere cover for its continued aggression against the West. Also, instead of detente improving human rights in the Soviet block, it actually made the situation worse. Finally, according to the right, the USSR exploited detente economically and - possibly most dangerous of all - utilized it to weaken the unity of NATO. The whole strategy, they conclude, was based on false premises and the fact that it failed should surprise nobody.217
The left, on the other hand, have interpreted events somewhat differently. According to them, the USSR had every interest in maintaining good relations with the West. It was America they argue which bears the main responsibility for the collapse of detente. After all, they point out, it was the American Congress that refused to grant the USSR credits in 1974. It was in America too that constant talk of a growing Soviet threat did so much to weaken the case for detente. And it is America today that has escalated the arms race. Jonathan Steele has put the left-wing case very succinctly: "When detente eventually broke down," he argues, "the pressure against it came from forces in the United States" and not from the USSR, who always wanted detente, and still wish to "preserve the remnants of it".218
When set in this context, it is clear that in most respects Halliday's is a fairly orthodox left-wing account of US-Soviet relations in the seventies and eighties. Like most of the left, he blames the USA rather than the USSR for the present situation. He is also sceptical of conservative claims about a rising Soviet threat, and places great emphasis upon the American refusal to accept nuclear parity. Like many on the left he is concerned too, to demonstrate a connection between the rise of a New Right in America, and the collapse of detente in the late seventies. Finally, as with most socialist writers in the West, he spends a lot of time discussing the Third World and the impact of events in that area upon American-Soviet relations.
However, in some respects his analysis differs from that of other writers on the Left. For instance unlike the more obvious Soviet apologists, he is at least prepared to admit, albeit in a highly qualified way, that the USSR played some role (however minor), in justifying the new Cold War policies of the United States. Also, unlike writers and activists like Thompson who dislike both 'superpowers', Halliday clearly has a marked preference for one of them, namely the Soviet Union. Finally, in opposition to Chomsky, who plays down the rivalry between America and the USSR, Halliday insists that this conflict is central to an understanding of world politics in general and the present Cold War in particular.
Of course, it would not be difficult to pick holes in many of Halliday's specific arguments. Most obviously, he does not specify clearly enough whether the American quest for nuclear superiority was the main cause of the collapse of detente, or merely a consequence of its collapse. Nor does he indicate whether he thinks superiority is now even attainable. This is important, for if superiority is impossible, then it not only makes Reagan's strategy seem absurd, it also suggests that the new Cold War is completely unlike the old one.219 Furthermore, while he makes some relevant comments about the Third World, he says nothing at all about Western Europe, a strange omission indeed given the conflict between America and West Germany about the meaning of detente, and the conflicts between them since its final collapse in 1980.220 And, although Halliday makes some good points about the New Right in America in the late seventies, he forgets that detente was more or less buried before the New Right even came on to the political scene. If anything, it was Carter's brand of evangelical liberalism which led to the final collapse of detente in America, rather than the neo-conservative revival of the late seventies and early eighties.221
Finally, his observations about the USSR lack any critical edge. For although Halliday admits that the USSR 'shares' some responsibility for the new Cold War because of its acceptance of the logic of the arms race, its failure to implement democratic reform, and its "ambivalent" actions in the Third World - he does not try to explain the reasons for these things. That 'logic', 'failure' and 'ambivalence' are never once examined in a serious marxist way. Halliday simply avoids discussing the contradictions of the Soviet system and its foreign policy. This not only leads to superficiality and a begging of the main questions, but - inevitably - to apologetics.
In this respect his underlying pro-Sovietism makes it difficult for him (as it does for most of the Left) to discuss seriously the nature of the Soviet system and its relations with the capitalist world.222 The Contradictions of Henry Kissinger
As we have implied in our brief overview of the discussion relating to the rise and fall of detente, it is evident that neither the right, nor the left, have provided a comprehensive or credible analysis of US - Soviet relations after 1969. The former because of an apologetic attitude towards the United States; the latter because of a generally uncritical relationship to the USSR. As with the discussion concerning the origins of the Cold War, the debate about detente - with some minor exceptions - has either been shaped by the ideological needs of Western conservatism, which finds criticism of the United States extremely difficult, or of the Western left, whose defensive attitude towards the USSR has precluded it from seriously examining the Soviet Union's policies at home and abroad. However, rather than simply engaging in polemic against other writers and viewpoints, it would perhaps be more useful to provide an alternative explanation as to why detente failed.223
First, I want to suggest that the underlying cause of Kissinger's failure was structural: detente, in effect, was bound to fail because it attempted to reform a basically unreformable Cold War system. As we have already shown, the Cold War was not just a period in US - Soviet relations, but defined the relationship itself. Hence, it was quite impossible for either power to engage in any serious rapprochement, not just because there was a basic opposition between America and the USSR - as Halliday argues - but because both powers had constructed their world position and internal equilibrium upon the assumption of hostility between, and a continued separation of, the two systems. The two powers were thus locked into a particular type of relationship from which there was no real escape - and when they tried to do so, they encountered problems.
Most obviously, both America and the USSR,-quickly discovered that in an era of relaxation, it was far more difficult to control their respective European satellites. Alliances created and justified by the Cold War soon began to weaken in a period of detente.224 Furthermore, having defined its world position around the Soviet threat for over twenty five years, it became very difficult for the United States in particular to establish a stable point of reference for its foreign policy in an era when the threat - in its classic form - was no longer supposed to exist.225 Finally, both powers found internal discipline more difficult to maintain in an era of international relaxation. In the West this was reflected in pessimistic prognoses about the breakdown of traditional values. In the East the same fear was expressed in repeated references to ideological indifference and a lack of vigilance.226
Secondly, there were clearly powerful constituencies within the two systems who feared or were antagonistic to rapprochement. There were first the entrenched military apparatuses in NATO and the Warsaw Pact who always expressed great scepticism about serious coexistence.227 Moreover, there were very influential conservative elements in the two blocks who opposed any ending of a Cold War relationship which they regarded as essential for the maintenance of order and discipline. Within the United States in particular, there were many powerful forces which were hostile to detente. In effect so many groups within America - indeed the society as a whole - had been moulded by the Cold War and Cold War images, that it was impossible for Kissinger ever to legitimize his strategy.228 Lastly, there were few within America who had a specific interest in detente, or who could resist the political pressure which built up against it. Apart from the Mid-West farmers and some multinationals, capital in general had no great material stake in detente, while the left was so small that it could do nothing to resist the mobilization which developed against Kissinger almost from the very beginning. In this respect the New Right did not destroy detente: it never really had a chance given the Cold War character of the American system.
Thirdly, detente failed, because the balance of forces which had deterred the Soviet Union in the fifties and sixties, had so changed by the seventies, that it was inevitable that Moscow would attempt to take advantage of this situation - especially following America's defeat in Vietnam.229 Having been constrained by its own weakness and American power for so long, this was hardly surprising. First, because it had acquired greater conventional military capability by the seventies, Moscow now had the means at least to project its position in the world more forcefully - as was illustrated when they transported Cuban troops to Angola in 1976.230 Secondly, and possibly most important of all, because America had lost its nuclear edge by the seventies, the Soviet Union could no longer be blackmailed into international quiescence.231 This is not to suggest that Soviet 'gains' in the seventies were globally important. Indeed at the same time as they were trying to increase their influence in some parts of the world, they were losing it in others. Nor could the USSR really establish stable long term relations with its clients in the Third World. However, the fact remains - and the left can hardly deny the point - that during the era of detente, the USSR assumed and behaved as if there was a favourable correlation of forces which allowed it to act more purposively.232
The fourth problem with detente was that unlike the Cold War strategy of pressure and embargo, it involved a far more serious attempt by the West to intervene into the internal affairs of the Soviet block. Hence, far from increasing the security of the Soviet elite, detente achieved the opposite - unlike the Cold War which was relatively stable because it pushed the two blocks apart and not together. Detente therefore may have appeared to be safer, but in fact was far more destabilizing for its objective was not simply to contain the Soviet Union, but to alter its character. By changing the rules of the game therefore, the West actually made the game far more difficult for the Soviet Union to play, for it gave the West an opportunity to operate openly within the Soviet's sphere of influence. This, in the last analysis, was the real meaning of the Helsinki agreements.233 Not surprisingly the Soviet elite resisted this by tightening up politically, and by arresting those who sought to build bridges to the West. The result was to undermine domestic support for detente in the West, especially in the USA, while rendering the general argument for detente redundant. For if one of the main purposes of the policy was to increase Western influence in the Soviet (block and prise open the iron curtain, then, by any measure, the strategy had failed.
Fifthly, detente clearly failed as an economic strategy. Far from leading to Soviet block integration into the Western capitalist world as a whole, detente only led to debt. And, instead of renovating the Soviet block economies, it soon became apparent that imported technology could not solve the basic Soviet block problem of low labour productivity.234 Briefly we can identify a number of specific political - economic obstacles which undermined Kissinger's integrationist strategy.
Of fairly minor importance first, was Kissinger's original failure to get Congressional backing to grant the USSR Most Favoured Nation status and credits to facilitate expanded trade. This immediately placed a limit upon US-Soviet economic exchanges, and was also taken as a sign by the Soviets that Nixon could not get support for his strategy at home.235 Of greater importance was the Western recession and the general world debt crisis of the late seventies. The first reduced demand for Soviet block products, while the second limited Western credit to the East.236 A more profound problem was the difficulty the Soviet block had in incorporating Western technology into their own economies. For reasons which have been discussed elsewhere, the imported technique either proved to be too advanced, or was soon adapted to the slow rhythm of work found in the Comecon countries. In essence Western technology confronted the problem which the introduction of any new technology faces in the command economies where innovation is penalized.237
Furthermore, having imported large amounts of Western goods, the Soviet block economies then found it extremely difficult to sell their own noncompetitive low quality manufactured goods back on to the world market.238
The Soviet Union managed to get round this problem by selling primary products and gold.239 The situation for the East Europeans however was far more difficult, for not only had they become more dependent than the USSR upon trade with the West, they also had few of the valuable natural resources possessed by the Soviet Union. The result was to leave them highly indebted and vulnerable to Western economic pressure.240
Finally, because Kissinger was hardly able to overcome the basic competitive character of the capitalist world, it proved extremely difficult for him to establish a co-ordinated Western policy towards the Soviet block in the seventies, especially when the economic recession began to deepen. Also by the latter part of the seventies, it was evident that certain West European countries (notably West Germany), had become economically dependent upon their trade with Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. In this way the strategy of detente was turned on its head; instead of the West exploiting contradiction in the Soviet block, the USSR was able, as it showed during the great embargo debates of 1978 and 1981, to exploit divisions and contradictions within the West.241
Sixth, and finally, if detente was born of a crisis in US and Soviet power, it was in the end destroyed by it as well. Problems facing America and the USSR in the sixties had pushed the two powers together - or so it seemed; by the time of the late seventies however, the continuation and deepening of these same problems was to force the two apart again.
Almost instinctively both countries turned back towards traditional Cold War forms of defence to secure their position in a threatening world. Detente, a symbol of weakness for America, and in many respects a dangerous experiment for the USSR, was jettisoned. The USSR retreated into isolation, while in America many began to look back to a golden age when the United States had been able to shape the international system. Confronted with an erosion in their world positions, both powers sought security in traditional Cold War controls and policies.
America this trend back towards an anti-communist foreign policy was also reinforced by the general ideological shift to the right in the West as a whole symbolized by the death of Keynesianism in the mid-seventies.242 This led to a broad reaffirmation in the West of traditional market values, which in turn produced a strong and powerful reaction against what appeared to be Kissinger's compromising approach towards communism. The call went out therefore not just to rebuild America, but to launch a worldwide 'democratic revolution' against all those forces - including the USSR - which opposed the operation of the free enterprise system.243 This ideological clarion call was in turn give intellectual credibility in relation to the Soviet Union, by the ongoing crisis of the Soviet system as analysed by the American intelligence community.244 By the late seventies they were convinced that the problems facing the USSR were so acute that this opened up a new 'window of opportunity' for the West. The political conclusions that the right was to draw from the CIA's analysis of the Soviet crisis were clear. If the Soviet economy was stagnating, they reasoned, why support it through trade? If its military burden was growing, why not increase it? And, if it was facing more political and economic problems in Eastern Europe, why not tilt increasingly towards China and create a greater two front problem for the USSR? In effect a view was to emerge which maintained that if detente had not worked, then perhaps an economic and military squeeze might. As Caldwell and Dallin have argued, the "policy inference to be drawn from the perception of a vulnerable Soviet Union was to lead the United States away from detente and towards a new (form of) brinkmanship".245 The Myth of the Second Cold War
By 1980 therefore Soviet-American detente was, to all intents and purposes, dead. Of course this did not mean the end of the detente process completely. Western Europe in general had an important objective interest in not returning to a Cold War relationship with the USSR. Such a move, they feared, would have led to the loss of valuable trade - at a time when the world economy was in recession, to an escalation of arms spending - when their own economies were in decline, and, finally, to an increased dependence upon the United States.246 West Germany in particular feared the results of a new cold war, not only because of its economic consequences, but also because a period of renewed tension would have made the ultimate reunification of the country quite impossible.247 There was also ruling class resistance to Reaganism in America from those who accepted that detente had failed, but who feared a return to a Cold War which they believed was Utopian, dangerous and counterproductive: Utopian, because America could not turn the clock back; dangerous, because Reagan's strategy could easily destabilize the nuclear balance; and counterproductive, because it would be economically damaging, corrosive of the NATO alliance, and was likely to lead the United States into dangerous involvement in the Third World.248
However, in spite of this powerful opposition, Reagan came to power with a reasonably coherent and logical strategy. This assumed that there could be no stability in the world system while America was in decline.249 The goal therefore was to reverse this situation, and to reacquire for America its lost position in the world. It was, in other words, a conscious attempt to regain American hegemony internationally. The argument supporting the new line was in many respects quite rational. For' twenty five years the United States - from its defined position of strength - had kept the USSR on the defensive, its allies in line, and its own people patriotic and loyal.250
Since then however, according to the right, there had been drift and disintegration. The time had come in effect to overcome the 'Vietnam syndrome', and to halt the general erosion of American power symbolized and to some extent caused by Soviet pressure and adventurism in the world.
Tough measures would have to be taken therefore and the costs would have to be accepted if the situation was to be changed. For example, lucrative trade with the enemy would have to be reduced to a minimum,251 and more would have to be spent on arms. Hallowed liberal shibboleths such as arms control would also have to be jettisoned as America rebuilt its defences and regained a nuclear edge over the USSR.252 Finally, ethical objections to the use of military power in the world would have to be resisted in a situation that was becoming more dangerous and less favourable to American interests. Detente had failed, and the only alternative was to return to policies which had succeeded before and could - it was insisted - work again.
The new administration quickly translated its theory of American decline into practical measures designed to rebuild US power in the world by immediately announcing the largest peacetime military budget in America's history. This aimed to increase the share of military spending from 5.5 to over 7% of the GNP.253 At the same time it made clear its intention to contest the USSR and its allies wherever and whoever they were. Peaceful engagement was out: pressure and 'squeeze play' was in as America went on to the attack. The goal was clear: to push the enemy on to the defensive world wide and, where possible, destroy it altogether. This was the meaning of the new democratic revolution. Not surprisingly talk of roll-back was revived, given voice by Richard Pipes, Reagan's NSC adviser on Soviet affairs until 1983.254 The immediate Reagan goal therefore may have been to 'revitalize containment,'255 but in the longer term it was clear that some sections of the administration saw the American aim as being the political destruction of the Soviet system itself; to consign it, in Reagan's words, into the 'dustbin of history'.256
In every sense therefore Reaganism appeared to represent a renunciation of detente and the Nixon Doctrine. Whereas Kissinger had aimed to domesticate the USSR, Reagan sought to discipline it. Kissinger had believed that the Soviet Union might be pulled back into the international 'club': Reagan insisted that they must suffer the costs of standing outside and opposing it. Kissinger saw the key to containment as lying in economic integration supported by arms control: Reagan placed his faith in economic denial and' military pressure. Kissinger had hoped that the West could exploit Soviet economic difficulties, but believed this was possible only by opening up the Soviet block: Reagan on the other hand, assumed that if the USSR was in economic crisis, the task of the West must be to increase those difficulties.
Yet, in spite of these differences, both shared the same longer term American goal not only of containing Soviet power, but of finally settling with it once and for all by exploiting its underlying weaknesses as a system. In that sense they both had as their historic objective not just the defence of world capitalism, but the ultimate recreation of a single world economy - difficult though that may have been to achieve in practice, and contradictory though its results were bound to be for the United States.257
It is hardly surprising, given the openly stated objective of the Reagan administration to return to a position of strength, that many writers - like Halliday - have talked of the current situation as representing a 'new Cold War'.258 The more observant might have also recognised similarities between Soviet actions after 1947 and after 1980 for in both periods the USSR tightened up at home and in Eastern Europe, while shifting its foreign policy 'leftwards' in order to thwart American plans. Facing a renewed American offensive at a time when its own position was vulnerable, it was inevitable that Moscow after 1980 would try (as it tried after 1947,) to reduce US pressure and to increase Washington's difficulties.
Superficially therefore the present looks like the past. However, appearances can be highly deceptive, and those like Halliday who interpret the contemporary situation almost as if it were a re-run of the 'old' Cold War, simply misunderstand what happened then - and what is occurring now. In essence they forget that what might have been feasible for America after 1947 may be impossible today.259 The fact remains that whereas the first Cold War was a major success for the United. States, the so-called 'second' Cold War has been fairly disastrous. Truman was able to achieve what he set out to do. Reagan, on the other hand, has failed and had to fail. Nor is this at all surprising. In 1947 after all America had a monopoly of nuclear weapons, confronted a devastated Western Europe, possessed the most productive economy in the world, and controlled over 50% of the world's GNP. What the USA could do then seemed, and in some respects was, unlimited. What it has been able to do since 1980 has only demonstrated the limits of its power. America's attempt to regain a golden past, not surprisingly, has been marked by one setback after another.
For instance, whereas the Cold War mobilization after 1947 succeeded in generating support for America's new world role, Reagan, in spite of his personal appeal, has not been able to build a solid domestic foundation for his more assertive foreign policy. As polls have shown, many Americans remain worried about the economic and military implications of the arms build-up, are opposed to any new interventions abroad, and are concerned about Reagan's failure to engage seriously in arms control.260 Furthermore, whereas the first Cold War produced a unity of the West around a perceived communist threat, Reagan's strategy has generated deep division within the West. Indeed most Europeans even question America's view that there is a growing Soviet threat.261 The attempt to place pressure upon the USSR has also failed, for not only has Western Europe refused to follow the United States along the new tough road, the Soviet elite has actually managed to use his brandishing of nuclear weapons to reinforce discipline at home.262 Moreover, because of his nuclear policies, the USSR has been able to exploit the issue of peace and thus increase its political influence in Western Europe.263
Finally, Reagan's policies have been disastrous for the world economy, even though his particular brand of military Keynesianism may have produced a regionally-biased growth in parts of the United States. Inevitably, because the military build-up was not financed through increased taxation, it has produced large fiscal deficits which, when combined with Reagan's other economic policies, have only generated high interest rates and a strong dollar.
The first has fuelled the debt crisis in the Third World while sucking in funds from Europe; the second has further undermined American trade competitiveness. The result has been to push the world economy into a deeper recession, and weaken America's competitive position internationally - quite the opposite effect to the one which followed the American rearmament programme in the 1950's.264
However, the difference between the two Cold Wars can be measured not just in terms of its results, but also in terms of its specified historic function. The first Cold War's main goal we should recall, was not simply to contest the USSR, but to arrest the decline of capitalism in general, while preventing Western Europe from drifting outside of the world market.
The crisis which produced Reaganism was really quite different. His main purpose was not to save capitalism as a system, but simply to shore up America's position in the world. Thus whereas America was acting in the interests of the whole bourgeoisie in 1947, after 1980 it was only acting on behalf of itself. Truman could also argue that there was a real threat to the market in 1947 and that if America had not acted, then planning would have taken over in Western Europe. Reagan could argue no such thing. His main fear was not planning, but the growing independence of his bourgeois allies in Europe - especially in West Germany.265 Finally, the main historic consequence of American actions after 1947 was to lay the foundations for a new accumulation process by removing those obstacles (including indirectly the USSR), which stood in the way of that goal. The main result of America's somewhat desperate actions since 1980 has been to deepen the world economic crisis. Hence, whereas the first Cold War produced the conditions which led to the creation of a free trade open world economy, the present strategy is laying the seeds for its disintegration. The first Cold War may have been a socialist tragedy, but the second one could easily turn into a bourgeois farce.
Indeed when viewed in the wider historic context, what we may now be witnessing is not a re-run of the first Cold War with certain differences - as Halliday seems to argue - but the beginning of the end of the Cold War as a system. This is not to predict collapse, yet fundamental changes are taking place which are making the Cold War system of two blocks each tightly controlled by one major power less viable. This, in the last analysis, is the meaning of the current crisis in NATO, and of the USSR's deepening problems with Eastern Europe. But, this in turn reflects a more fundamental change in the world system. In 1947, the USA and the USSR were - in their different ways - powerful forces of attraction. In that period (even in spite of Soviet weakness), both powers had a capacity for determining events within their different orbits, and could be sure of fierce loyalty from allies. In other words, both the United States and the USSR could represent themselves as legitimate historical points of reference after the war, something which is no longer true. The United States today no longer inspires admiration or embodies a hope; the Soviet Union, on the other hand, repels the bulk of humanity and frightens nobody - not even Ronald Reagan.266 This perhaps is the clearest proof that the second Cold War is not only a pale imitation of its predecessor, but almost certainly an imposter as well.
Conclusion: Political Options
The ongoing crisis of the Cold War system raises the obvious question - what should be put in its place? There have been several different answers to this question.
First, there are many who insist that nothing should change; that it is necessary to maintain the status quo, a view common amongst many foreign policy experts in the United States, Britain and France. They point out that the system of blocks, in spite of its problems, has at least produced 'peace'. It is absurd therefore to alter the Cold War system which satisfies Soviet security needs, helps keep Germany and German expansion under control, and, in general, contains the disintegrative potential of nationalism throughout Europe. Historically too, it is argued that compared to what existed between the wars, this present arrangement is altogether more acceptable. The best one can hope for is simply to manage the system of blocks, avoid unnecessary conflict, and hope that in time, things begin to improve on the military front as well as inside Eastern Europe.267
Now while this is not an argument acceptable to the left, this pragmatic defence of the status quo does raise a problem for those in the peace movement who insist that only by the complete deconstruction of the Cold War system of blocks can real 'peace' ever come to Europe. However, if by 'peace' we mean the absence of war, then the Cold War system has been remarkably successful. The fact that it has bolstered conservatism in Western Europe, and Stalinism in the Soviet block, is neither here nor there. This is the great tragedy and paradox of the Cold War system of blocks in Europe which, far from creating conflict, has actually established the conditions for an equilibrium. This is the great dilemma which the pan-European opponents of the Cold War system have not been able to resolve.268
The more popular line on the left however has not been pan-European so much as anti-NATO.269 NATO, it is argued, is not a defensive organization to protect Europe from the mythical Soviet threat, but a politico-military alliance whose main function has been to reinforce American hegemony over Western Europe while waging an aggressive Cold War against the Soviet block.270 The goal therefore must be to see its dismantling and an American withdrawal from the continent, leading to the creation of an independent neutral Western Europe. The advantages of this would be enormous - or so it is asserted. As Halliday points out, this new Europe would not only be able to play a more independent role in the world, but because of its non-aggressive character, would encourage the USSR to withdraw from Eastern Europe. Finally, the end of NATO would strengthen the cause of peace in the world and socialism in Europe.271
Although there is a certain superficial appeal in this argument its weaknesses are self-evident. Most obviously, it has nothing specific to say about the cause of socialism in either part of Europe. The main beneficiaries of a neutral non-aligned Western Europe without the Americans, might not be the European working class at all, but the German bourgeoisie, who in this new situation, would easily become the dominant force and the Soviet elite, who would be in a better position to exploit inter-capitalist rivalries.
Equally, there is no reason to believe that an American withdrawal from Western Europe would lead to a Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe. As we have seen, the USSR was exercising its hegemony over the region long before the formation of NATO in 1949, and, if it remains there, does so, not because of NATO, but because it requires a buffer between its own insecure system and democratic capitalism. Thirdly, it is simply not true that a neutral Western Europe would lead, to greater international stability: the arms race would continue even without NATO or a US presence; nationalist rivalries long contained by the system of blocks could break out; Germany might even acquire nuclear weapons!
But perhaps most important of all, even if many on the left and in the peace movement want a neutral independent Western Europe outside of NATO, the vast majority of West Europeans do not. Of course by itself this is not an argument against neutralism: the majority don't want socialism either at this stage in history! However, the problem with neutralism (unlike socialism) is that it fails to address the main problem, which is that if West Europeans support NATO, it is not because they love America, but because they fear and are repelled by Stalinism. This is the inescapable truth from which the left cannot hide. Therefore, as long as the USSR remains in Eastern Europe, and the systems in the East continue to be repressive and inefficient, most people will support an American presence.272 It is therefore justified suspicion of the Soviet elite - rather than an admiration for the American way of life - which validates NATO in Western Europe, and this will never change, in spite of Reagan's counterproductive moves, or detailed discourses by the left about the limits of the Russian threat.273
The political implications of this are obvious for it means that there can be no change in the West until there are first real changes in the East. The Western alliance is safe in other words as long as Stalinism remains -secure in the Soviet block. Politically there can be no movement forward in the West while the alternative in the East looks worse. Stalinism is the main problem - not NATO.
The question remains however - why is most of the European left not prepared to draw this conclusion? By now the answer must be clear.
First, at the intellectual level, few of them accept, or understand, that there is a form of interdependence between bourgeois rule in the West and the Soviet Union. Like Halliday, they really do believe there is a fundamental conflict between the two systems which overrides everything else.274 Second, and more obviously, even though the left today would not defend the USSR in the way in which they once did, as we have shown throughout this article, most of them are still under the influence of Stalinism. Indeed, this has been one of the more obvious consequences of the Cold War which has forced the left to defend the Soviet Union against the main American enemy. Moreover, because many still argue that the USSR is better than capitalism because it attacks imperialism, favours peace, and supports revolutionary movements in the Third World, then it is not at all surprising that many socialists get drawn close to the Soviet camp, even though they may not be completely uncritical of the USSR itself.
The result however, has been disastrous. For as we have argued, it has both prevented the emergence of a genuine new left, and has made it extremely easy for the right to argue that the left is only an extension of the USSR, a charge which appears credible given the fact that many on the left - like Halliday - end up advocating Soviet positions including, amongst other things, unilateral demands to get rid of NATO.
There is in fact only one theoretically consistent position that can be advanced, that is to call for a serious socialist renewal in the Soviet block and a Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe, while opposing capitalism and NATO in the West. However, because Western capitalism and its Cold War institutions are actually dependent upon the maintenance of Stalinism in the USSR and the Soviet block, we must recognize that any real movement this side of the European divide, is almost certain to follow, and not precede, major radical change on the other side. In short it is only when the Soviet block alters as a result of working class action, that we can expect any unlocking of the historical process in Western Europe.
No doubt the demand for such a radical transformation will appear to be naive and Utopian to the 'realists' on both the left and the right. But one has to pose the question - what is the alternative? If one accepts the arguments of the latter, then one simply has to accept the Cold War status quo, or even support the reintroduction of the same failing market system into the Soviet block which exists in the capitalist world. Clearly, this is unacceptable. On the other hand, if we advance the one dimensional anti-NATO position now held by Halliday and most of the left, we do not address the problem of Stalinism and how its existence legitimizes Cold War structures and the market in Western Europe. The tragic irony of the modern left is that because of its continued ambivalence about the USSR it not only helps to preserve Stalinism, but also the very structures and institution in the West to which it is more unambiguously opposed. The only way out of this dilemma therefore is for the left to first recognize the degree to which it is still under the influence of Stalinist ideas, and then secondly, do something about it theoretically and politically. Until it does so, it will not only continue to provide a flawed analysis of the Cold War, it will also fail to advance any real historic solution to the problems posed by it. In short, until the left accepts that what it has become as a result of the Cold War makes it part of the problem - rather than part of the solution - then there is little possibility of change, either in the Western capitalist countries, or in the Soviet block. (From Critique no.17)
1. In particular see the highly influential work by Paul Baran, The Political Economy of Growth (London, Penguin, 1973). According to Deutscher, "Baran had few, if any illusions about Stalinism; but he thought that a Marxist in America had more urgent and difficult tasks to perform than to expose Stalinist myths". Monthly Review, March 1965, p.94.
2. Significantly Althusser's most influential studies were published in English by New Left Books. E.P. Thompson's characterization of Althusserianism as "resurgent Stalinism" presenting itself as "anti-Stalinism" is absolutely correct. See Thompson's The Poverty of Theory (London, Merlin, 1979) p.320.
3. Ernest Mandel for instance argues that unlike the USA, the USSR "is not propelled down the road to a nuclear holocaust by its own deadly logic". Moreover, he continues, "the fact that the Soviet Union has built and stockpiled weapons, has saved humanity up till now from a nuclear holocaust". The first statement about the dynamic of US nuclear policies seems dubious; the second is logically and historically absurd. See his 'The Threat of War and the Struggle for Socialism', New Left Review, September-October, 1983, p.28.
4. Thompson argues: "The movement for peace, West and East, can no longer be content with contesting missiles. We must strive to loosen Europe from the military hegemony of both superpowers..." Beyond The Cold War (London, Merlin, 1982).
5. One of the more interesting recent developments within the British peace movement has been the conflict between those who regard America and NATO as the main enemies and others - clearly influenced by the European Nuclear Disarmament movement - who see the system of blocks as being the central problem.
6. For one of the most reliable short guides to the history of the arms race see Carl Jacobsen, The Nuclear Era, Its History, Its Implications (Nottingham, Spokesman, 1983).
7. See for instance J. Garrison and P. Shivpuri, The Russian Threat: Its Myths and Realities (London, Gateway Books, 1983).
8. This view has been advanced by M. Kaldor, The Baroque Arsenal (London, Andre Deutsch, 1982) and D. Smith and R. Smith, The Economics of Militarism (London, Pluto, 1983).
9. Published in 1983 by Verso, (New Left Books). In his introduction, Halliday admits of a great intellectual debt to his former associates on the New Left Review .
10. For two other, but rather slight contributions to the new Cold War debate, see Noam Chomsky et al, Superpowers in Collision: the New Cold War (London, Penguin 1982) and Jeff McMahan, Reagan and the World Imperial Policy in the New Cold War (London, Pluto, 1984).
11. See F. Halliday, 'The War and Revolution in Afghanistan', New Left Review 119, Jan- Feb 1980, pp 20-41, and with M. Molyneux, The Ethiopian Revolution (London, Verso, 1981).
12. For a theoretical defence of the idea of capitalist decline see H.H. Ticktin, 'The Transitional Epoch, Finance Capital and Britain' in Critique 16, 1983, pp 23-42.
13. As one conservative critic of the left has correctly observed, the radical revisionists' interpretation of the Cold War has "tended to exonerate the Soviet Union by default. Relentlessly dissecting and censuring American policies, they were conspicuously less adept at progressing beyond mere assumptions about the Soviet ones". V. Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War (New York, Columbia University Press, 1979) p.xiv. Significantly, there has not been one serious left wing analysis of Soviet policies during and after World War II.
14. Even the two best Marxist studies of the period fail to look at the Cold War in relation to capitalist decline, and say relatively little of interest about the Soviet Union. See G. Kolko, The Politics of War: Allied Diplomacy and the World Crisis of 1943-1945 (London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1968) and with J. Kolko, The Limits of Power: the World and United States Foreign Policy 1945-1954 (New York, Harper and Row, 1972).
15. For an earlier attempt to analyse the rise and fall of detente see M. Cox, 'From Detente to the "New Cold War": the Crisis of the Cold War System', Millenium vol. 13, no.3, Winter 1984, pp 265-291.
16. Historical analogies, as Trotsky once pointed out, may be useful, but they can also mislead by being "superficial and inconsistent". The New Course, 1923 (London, New Park, 1972) p.29.
17. According to Halliday, the "unequal character" of the contest between the USA and the USSR means that less 'blame' must be apportioned to the weaker Soviet power for having started the Cold War. op. cit. pp 44-45. However, if we applied this logic to the events of the thirties for example, we could easily conclude that it was America and Britain - who together were stronger than Germany - who bear the main responsibility for what happened after 1939!
18. Indeed Halliday suggests that the USSR should be doing more and not less in the Third World, ibid. pp 157-158.
19. In fact, one could argue, that because of the economic weakness and nuclear inferiority of the USSR between 1947 and 1953, war was less - and not more - likely to take place. After all, if the USSR was not a major threat at that time, then how could there have been a conflict between it and an all-powerful United States?
20. Again, it is possible to deduce the opposite: for if there is so much overkill capacity on both sides today, it is reasonable to suggest that this makes both the USA and the USSR even more cautious - and therefore makes the present situation safer and not more dangerous than before.
21. See M. Davis, 'Nuclear Imperialism and Extended Deterrence' in E.P. Thompson et al, Exterminism and Cold War (London, Verso, 1982) pp 35-64.
22. According to Halliday, the antagonism between Western capitalism and Soviet 'communism' is not only irreconcilable, but remains the "focal point of world politics, the globalized conflict around which other constitutive elements, for all their independence and unpredictability, must develop", op. cit. p.44.
23. The Soviet writer Georgi Arbatov says very much the same in his inevitable apologia, Cold War or Detente? (London, Zed Press, 1983) pp 6, 104-5.
24. For a recent and reasonably balanced analysis of the Soviet Union in the Third World, see Bruce D. Porter, The USSR in Third World Conflicts, (London, Cambridge University Press, 1984). For an earlier, official view, see The Soviet Union and the Third World: a Watershed in Great Power Policy? (Washington, USGPO, 1977). Both studies point to the obvious limitations on Soviet influence in the Third World.
25. For one of the first attempts to analyse the shift of power from the 'liberal' East to the 'conservative' Sun-belt, see Kirkpatrick Sale, Power Shift, the Rise of the Southern Rim and its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment (New York, Vintage, 1976).
26. Halliday's use of the word 'involution' to describe what has happened in the 'Post- Revolutionary States' including the USSR, appears to be his way of avoiding the more critical term - degeneration. His gentle handling of the USSR however is not reserved for the Eurocommunists; in his opinion, they "encouraged ill-informed' critiques of the Soviet Union which were scarcely distinguishable from those of the conservative right". His 'balanced' approach to the Soviet Union (whose economic problems he insists are less acute than those of the West), is typified by the following Newspeak statement on Afghanistan: "The Soviet Union did not seek to intervene in Afghanistan but faced with the prospect of its Afghan ally being overthrown completely, it decided, in late 1979, to send combat troops to Afghanistan", op. cit., pp 141, 155, 168.
27. However, Halliday clearly does not believe that American decline has been that great in the seventies and eighties. As he argues, "the decline of US power should not be overstated." Indeed he asserts that "there are some respects in which US hegemony has not declined and may indeed have strengthened during the seventies", ibid., p.176. This underestimation of US decline inevitably flaws his whole discussion of detente and Reaganism.
28. In a more recent article, Halliday says nothing at all about socialism and only advances the case for neutralism. See his piece in The Bulletin of the Socialist Society, London Autumn 1984 and my reply 'Neutralism or Socialism' in the December issue of the same publication.
29. P. Sweezy, The Present as History (New York, Monthly Review, 1953).
30. As Halliday argues: "Overall, the flow of meetings and talks during Cold War II served to mask the similarity with Cold War I, (whereas) the underlying reality of bilateral impasse served to confirm it", op. cit. p. 15. Later he insists that the "distinctive features of Second Cold War should not occlude those respects in which it bore similarity to its predecessor", p.23.
31. Even the State Department experts on the USSR understood that Moscow had little interest in the overthrow of western capitalism after the war. See C. Bohlen, The Transformation of American Foreign Policy (New York, Norton, 1969) pp 104-106, and G.F. Kennan, The Realities of American Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 1954), pp 74-75. Stalin's opposition and indifference to Tito and Mao after 1945 is also well known. For the diplomatic deal he struck in their name, but against their interests at Yalta in 1945, see Foreign Relations of United States, 1945 (Washington, USGPO, 1955) pp 250-265, 346-358.
32. For the meaning of the percentages agreement see W. Churchill, The Tide of Victory (London, Cassell, 1965) pp 200-208. Even the Americans were ambiguous about Eastern Europe. As one State Department Briefing Paper in 1945 argued: "It now seems clear that the Soviet Union will exert predominant political influence (over Poland and the Balkans). While this Government probably would not want to oppose itself to such a political configuration, neither would it desire to see American influence in this part of the world completely nullified" Foreign Relations of The United States ibid, p.235.
33. For a refutation of the argument that the USSR was a serious military threat after 1945 - by the intellectual author of the containment doctrine no less - see G.F. Kennan, Memoirs 1950-1963 (London, Hutchinson, 1973) pp 327-351. In a recent analysis, Matthew Evangelista shows the degree to which Soviet conventional forces were not only weaker than has been assumed, but that their strength was deliberately exaggerated by American planners after 1947. "The evidence now available" he concludes, "shows that in the late 1940's the 'Red Juggernaut' was anything but". See his 'Stalin's Postwar Army Reappraised', International Security, Winter 1982/83, vol. 7. no. 3, pp 110-138. For two other sceptical views of the Soviet military threat after 1945, see V. Davis, Postwar Defense Policy and the U.S. Navy 1943-1946. (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press 1966) and P. McCoy Smith, Air Force Plans for Peace 1943-1945 (Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1970).
34. The subjective interpretation insists that at the heart of the Cold War there was not really an objective clash of interests at all, but a basic misperception of the other's intentions. While E.P. Thompson avoids this sort of argument, his view that the outcome of 1947 was the unintended "consequence" of other (non-defined) "consequences", seems to suggest that he too sees little rationality in the Cold War. As he argues, the Cold War was, and is, "an odd condition", op. cit. p. 10.
35. The future head of the C.I.A., W.B. Smith, in fact admitted that British social democracy was extremely important in America's struggle against the USSR and the communist movement: "Large segments of Western and central European workers look to [the] British [Labour Party] rather than to [the] USSR for guidance, and [this] threatens major setback to Kremlin plans". Foreign Relations of the United States 1947 vol IV. p.536.
36. Interestingly, in one of the original drafts of Truman's historic speech of March 1947, a sentence was included which stated that American policy aimed to counter the "worldwide trend away from the system of free enterprise towards state-controlled economies". Dean Acheson however opposed the inclusion of this argument, "because a Labour government was in power in Britain, and was asserting greater state control over the economy and narrowing the area of free enterprise". The "important thing", Acheson concluded, "was not the form of economic organization, but whether the country was independent and wanted to remain so". The problem for America according to Acheson, was not nationalization per se - although he clearly did not want this to go too far in Western Europe - but the degree to which any country remained open to the rest of the world economy. Acheson's revealing comments can be found in the indispensable J.M. Jones, The Fifteen Weeks (New York, Harcourt Brace, 1955) pp 156-157.
37. In NSC-68 it was argued that the precondition for 'Western victory' over the USSR was to overcome its isolation from the West by the "projection" of the "moral and material strength of the free world into the Soviet world". See Foreign Relations of the United States 1950. vol. 1 (Washington, USGPO 1977) pp 245, 291.
38. The Soviet Union, according to one official study, was a problem because amongst other things, its economy did not "complement the rest of the world economy"; it thus seriously reduced "the potential resource base and market" of the West. See W.Y. Elliot ed., The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy (New York, Henry Holt, 1955) p.42. Interestingly, Elliot was one of Kissinger's patrons at Harvard in the early fifties. This was before Kissinger sold himself to Rockefeller in 1957.
39. For an assessment of the economic balance of power in the world after the war, and American pre-eminence see, Economic Report. Salient Features of the World Economic Situation 1945-1947 (New York, United Nations, January 1948).
40. On UK-US conflicts over imperial preference see R. Gardner, Sterling Dollar Diplomacy (New York McGraw-Hill, 1969) and W.M. Roger Louis, Imperialism At Bay. The United States and the Decolonization of the British Empire 1941-1945 (Oxford University Press 1978).
41. For a brief, contemporary, examination of American economic planning for peace, see the influential study by Alvin Hansen, America's Role In The World Economy (London, George Allen & Unwin, 1945). The main economic goal of America in Europe, Hansen argued, was to devise policies that would prevent the "tragedy" of European "segregation" from the United States, p.25.
42. Harriman argued that one of the aims of American economic assistance to the USSR after the war, was not only "to influence European political events in the direction we desire", but also "to avoid the development of a sphere of influence of the Soviet Union over Eastern Europe and the Balkans". Foreign Relations of the United States, 1944, IV, (Washington USGPO, 1954) pp 951.
43. The official American position towards the Soviet block after 1947 was "to encourage and promote by means short of war the gradual retraction of undue Russian power and influence from the present satellite area ...". Cited in PPS/38, August 18, 1948, The State Department Policy Planning Papers 1948 (New York, Garland, 1983).
44. As Max Beloff correctly pointed out, after the defeat of Trotsky, Soviet foreign policy was basically defensive, but this did not preclude it from, indeed assumed the necessity of it exploiting contradictions within the capitalist world. See his remarkably balanced account, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia 1929-1941, vol. 1. (Oxford University Press, 1947) pp 3-4.
45. For a classic Cold War view of the ideological roots of Soviet expansion see James Burnham, The Struggle for The World (London, Jonathan Cape, 1947) "In communist doctrine" Burnham asserted "there is not the slightest ambiguity about the goal of world conquest" ibid. p.98.
46. In fact, in NSC/68, it was assumed that it was the insecurity of the 'totalitarian' Soviet system which forced it to expand and challenge the 'democracies' (op. cit. especially pp 241-248) although this was explained in political rather than material terms.
47. For an early American assessment of the economic impact of WWII upon the USSR see, Foreign Relations of the United States 1945. op. cit. p.322.
48. Peter Calvocorressi at least understands, even if he does not explain the reasons for, Soviet insecurity: "(Russia) was widely believed to be assertive because it was communist. It was more clearly impelled to be assertive because it was, and remained, the second power in the world, trying to become the first and never succeeding". World Politics Since 1945 (London, Longman 1977) p.44.
49. It was Lenin in 1919 who argued that "in the final analysis the most important thing is labour productivity; it is the principal factor in the victory of the new social system". On June 24th 1919, the Council of People's Commissars passed a decree on the increase of labour productivity. So far it has not been implemented!
50. On the Nazi - Soviet Pact see the revealing, Documents On German Foreign Policy. Series D. vol. VI. March-August 1939, and Series D. vol. XII February-June 1941 (US Department of State).
51. Western leaders may have opposed Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe, but were well aware that Soviet control over the area not only presented Moscow with major problems, but almost certainly limited its further expansion westwards. See Truman's comments in A Crock. Memoirs, (New York, Funk & Wagnalls, 1968) p.261.
52. Marxist critics of the USSR point to the conservative role of the USSR in Western Europe before 1947, but never explain why the USSR then lurched leftwards in the middle of the same year. Deutscher for instance argues, quite incorrectly, that "up to the formation of NATO" in 1949, Stalin was "still very cautious", with no mention of Soviet opposition to the Marshall Plan in 1947 and 1948 or the Berlin blockade. In D. Horowitz ed., Containment and Revolution (London, Anthony Blond, 1967) pp 13-25.
53. "Stalin's [offensive] policy [in 1947 and 1948] was essentially defensive. His main aim was to strengthen the position he had won in Central and Eastern Europe". F. Claudin, The Communist Movement (London, Penguin, 1975) p.474.
54. One measure of the non-viability of the East German state was the exodus by 3.6 million people to the more attractive West Germany between 1947 and the building of the Berlin Wall. See D. Childs and J. Johnson, West Germany: Politics and Society (London, Croom Helm, 1981) p.25.
55. Stalin remained cautious however. As Jimmy Carter's adviser on Soviet affairs pointed out in his influential study: "There are many indications that Stalin fully appreciated the disastrous consequences of an overt move against Western Europe; he was (also) not prepared to encourage the French and Italian Communist Parties to seize power". Marshall Shulman, Beyond The Cold War (Yale University Press, 1966) pp 9-10.
56. However, the Americans were clear in their own minds, that the Cominform was not a new revolutionary Comintern, but was, simply, an instrument of the Soviet state, whose primary function was to "defend the Soviet Union" by attacking the Marshall Plan. See Foreign Relations of the United States 1947. vol. IV. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union (Washington, USGPO, 1972) pp 599-600.
57. See Dennis Healey's comments in his 'Cominform and World Communism', International Affairs, 24, July 1948, pp 339-349.
58. "Russia's toughness and truculence in the Berlin matter led many Europeans to realize the need for closer military assistance ties among the Western nations, and this led to discussions which eventually resulted in the establishment of N.A.T.O. Berlin had been a lesson to us all" Harry S. Truman, Years of Trial and Hope 1946-1953 (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1956) pp 137-138.
59. See Dean Acheson, Present At The Creation (New York, W.W. Norton, 1969) pp 403- 477, on the impact of Korea on American policy.
60. In reality by 1952, the USSR was in a weaker position in relation to the West than it had been in 1947. See Marshall Shulman's excellent, and recently reprinted, Stalin's Foreign Policy Reappraised (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1963).
61. Michael Howard, The Causes of War (London, Unwin, 1984) pp 73-84, 132.
62. The theoretical faux pas committed by all revisionists is that although they correctly stress the fraility of the USSR after the war, they go on to draw incorrect conclusions about its foreign policy. See Isaac Deutscher's comments for example on why a weak Russia could 'threaten' nobody after WWII. op. cit. pp 13-14.
63. See my 'The Cold War As History', Cambridge, March 1983 for a fuller examination of the historiography on the Cold War.
64. The precise moment at which Britain finally handed over world leadership to the USA was 21st February 1947. On that day they informed the State Department that it was no longer possible for them to prop up Turkey and Greece. On March 12th Truman went to Congress, proclaiming the 'Truman Doctrine'. See Joseph M. Jones, The Fifteen Weeks op. cit. for a discussion of the events of this period.
65. For an official analysis of the deep historical weaknesses of the European economies, see the O.E.E.C. discussion in the Interim Report on the European Recovery Programme, vol. 1. (Paris, 30th December 1948) esp. pp 15-22.
66. 'The Present Point In History', in Foreign Affairs, 24, 1947, p. 197.
67. For an excellent analysis of the disintegration of the world capitalist economy after 1870 see W.Y. Elliot ed. op. cit. 30-39.
68. For a brief discussion of the imbalances in the world economy between 1870 and 1947 see Barbara Ward, The West At Bay, (London, Allen & Unwin, 1948) pp 13-39.
69. G. Hardach, The First World War 1914-1918 (London, Allen Lane 1977) provides a useful marxist discussion of the world system before, during and after WWI.
70. Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy (New York, Mentor, 1956) p. 19.
71. Arnold Toynbee began his monumental investigation into the rise and fall of civilizations in the 1920's. As one commentator later pointed out: "[The] Study of History could have appeared only at this particular point in time, when events made the collapse of societies more real". Ashley Montague, in his edited study, Toynbee and History (Boston, Porter Sargent 1956).
72. Writing in 1940 James Burnham, could argue that even "the bourgeoisie itself [had] in large measure lost confidence in its own ideologies". The Managerial Revolution (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1962) p.43.
73. See A.S. Milward, War. Economy and Society 1939-1945. (London, Allen Lane 1977).
74. The appeal of planning during the war also became linked with the political demand for full employment in the post-war period. As Fred Block has argued: "The end of World War II...and the possible need for strong anti-deflationary measures to maintain high levels of employment, threatened to bring the triumph of national economic planning. The business community was almost unanimous in its opposition to such an outcome". The Origins of International Economic Disorder. (University of California Press, 1977) p.34.
75. The Road To Serfdom (London, Routledge, and Kegan Paul, 1976).
76. It should be recalled however that as early as 1939 and 1940, the United States had already begun to plan for a post-war world order in which it would be the dominant actor. See H. Notter, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparations 1939-1945 (Greenwood Press, 1975).
77. Block op. cit. pp 76-79.
78. The loss of Western Europe would have precipitated an enormous crisis for America. If this had occurred, then according to Dean Acheson, "the problems of the remainder of the non-communist world would [have] become unmanageable". Cited in R.A. Goldwin ed., Readings in Russian Foreign Policy (New York, Oxford University Press, 1959) pp 466-467.
79. The Policy Planning Staff within the State Department did "not see communist activities as the root of the difficulties of Western Europe;" the American goal they argued should therefore not be to "combat communism, but economic maladjustment". The State Department Policy Planning Staff Papers 1947 (New York, Garland 1983) pp 4-5.
80. On this foreboding image of Stalinism see Louis J. Halle, The Cold War As History (New York, Harper & Row, 1967) p.138, fn 3.
81. For a marxist discussion of American planning and thinking about the world order after 1940 see L.H. Shoup & W. Minter, Imperial Brain Trust (New York, Monthly Review, 1977) pp 117-187.
82. Interestingly, Arnold Toynbee's thesis about the decline of civilization - and the need for the ruling elite to respond to decline if their civilization was to survive - made an impact on the thinking of John Foster Dulles. See J.L. Gaddis, Strategies Of Containment. A Critical Appraisal Of Post-war American National Security Policy (New York, Oxford, 1982) p. 132.
83. Realists, like Walter Lippmann, feared US overextension after 1947, although liberals, like Henry Wallace, believed that the Truman Doctrine would lead to politically counterproductive support for international reaction. A majority of the Republican right however worried that the high costs of the Cold War would weaken the American economy. See T.G. Paterson ed. Cold War Critics (Chicago, Quadrangle, 1971) for a discussion of these and other critical establishment viewpoints.
84. See F. Block op. cit. pp 71-73.
85. On Henry Wallace's opposition to NATO see L.S. Kaplan ed., NATO and the Policy of Containment (Baton Rouge, 1968) pp 23-27.
86. For a useful examination of the internal consequences of the Cold War in America see L.S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1978) and the C. Solberg's excellent, Riding High In The Cold War (New York, Mason & Lipscomb, 1973).
87. On the decline of US labour as both a political and economic force in the Cold War see B. Cochran, Labour and Communism: The Conflict that Shaped American Unions (Princeton University Press 1977).
88. David Caute's, The Great Fear: the anti-communist purge under Truman & Eisenhower (London: Secker & Warburg 1978) is particularly useful insofar as it shifts the discussion about anti-communism in America away from Holywood, and towards the working class and the trade unions.
89. For a pre-war critique of economic nationalism and its consequences see E. Stanley, World Economy In Transition (New York, Council on Foreign Relations, 1939). Allen Dulles, brother of John Foster, and head of the C.I.A. under Eisenhower, was secretary of the Council on Foreign Relations when Stanley's influential book was published.
90. For an official American statement on the need for intercapitalist co-operation and West German integration into the broader European economy see the Final Report On Foreign Aid. May 1, 1948 (U.S.G.P.O: 1948).
91. The significance of the Italian election of 1948 and the victory of Christian Democracy over the P.C.I. was clearly recognized by the State Department. Robert Lovett noted: "As a result of the Communist defeat in the Italian elections, the Kremlin is now confronted with the necessity of making a very fundamental decision which will perhaps set the course of future events in Europe". Foreign Relations of The United States, 1948, vol. IV (Washington, 1974) p.834.
92. Interestingly, the head of the C.I.A. in 1947 noted that the link the CPs had with the USSR had been "more of a help than [a] hindrance" to the West ... "because [it made them] appear [to be] puppets of the Kremlin". Cited in T. Barnes, 'The Secret Cold War. The C.I.A. and American Foreign Policy in Europe 1946-1956', II, The Historical Journal, 25,3, 1982. p.407.
93. See volumes 7,8,9,10 and 38 of the Lawrence and Wishart Marx and Engels' volumes on the period 1848-1851 for their extraordinary insights into the dynamics of revolution and counter-revolution in Europe.
94. See John Bowlby's plea for motherhood in his influential, Maternal Care and Mental Health (Geneva: W.H.O. 1951).
95. Ex-communist memoirs were especially influential in the USA in shaping the public's perception of the 'enemy within'. See L. Budenz, This Is My Story (1947); A. Calomiris, Red Masquerade (1950); E. Bentley, Out Of Bondage (1951); W. Chambers, Witness (1952), and H. Philbrick, I Led Three Lives (1952).
96. Two contemporary sources which are useful for examining the increasingly conservative intellectual mood of the 50s, are Partisan Review in America, and Encounter in Britain.
97. As Aronson has argued, the pessimism which became dominant in the Cold War, did not mean that people uncritically approved of the status quo; rather "they [had] no alternative" - because the alternative seemed worse. 'Socialism: The Sustaining Menace' in K. Fannard, D. Hodges, ed., Readings In US Imperialism (Boston, Peter Sargent, 1971) pp 327-343.
98. See for instance J.L. Talmon's study of the French revolution, The Origins Of Totalitarian Democracy, published in 1952. Talmon concludes that in general there is a basic "incompatibility" between "an all-embracing and all-solving creed" and "liberty": the "curse" of these "creeds" he continues, is that although they are "born out of the noblest impulses of man" they "degenerate into weapons of tyranny" (London, Sphere edition, 1970) p.253.
99. Not only was apathy seen as good because it reinforced stability, (see for instance S.M. Lipset's Political Man) but participation was regarded as dangerous, because it might lead to chaos and disorder - and thus totalitarianism. See Carole Pateman's, Participation and Democratic Theory (Cambridge University Press 1970) for a critical discussion of these questions.
100. Karl Popper's, The Open Society and Its Enemies was published between 1945 and 1947.
101. Perry Anderson analysed the strength of intellectual conservatism in post-war Britain, but never once mentioned the fact that Stalinism made their arguments theoretically credible. See his celebrated 'Components of The National Culture' in R. Blackburn and A. Cockburn ed., Student Power (Penguin 1970) pp 214-284.
102. As Acheson put it, by 1947 "the whole world structure and order we had inherited from the 19th century was gone. The struggle to replace it would be directed from two bitterly opposed and ideologically opposed power centers" op. cit. p.726.
103. David Horowitz in Imperialism and Revolution (London, Penguin, 1969) pp 84-106 briefly goes beyond theories of betrayal to examine the objective role played by Stalinism in contributing to Western equilibrium in the post-war period.
104. See my 'Western Capitalism and The Cold War System' in M. Shaw ed., War, State and Society (London, Macmillan, 1984) pp 136-194 for a longer analysis of the Soviet contribution to capitalist rule in the post-war period.
105. Soviet actions, argued Acheson, were a "major factor in uniting and strengthening the West" after 1947. The danger, he maintained, was not just the USSR, but Western "relaxation". See his American Vista (Hamish Hamilton, 1956) esp. pp 12-16. Also look at his comments on the functional purposes of the Soviet threat in Present At The Creation op. cit, pp 217-219.
106. Without Stalin's "crazy actions" argued Truman, "we never would have had our foreign policy - we never could have got a thing from Congress". Cited in R. Neustadt, Presidential Power: The Politics Of Leadership (New York, Mentor, 1964) p.57.
107. See A. Wolfers ed., Changing East- West Relations and The Unity Of The West (Baltimore, John Hopkins Press 1964) esp. pp 1-16, 17-54, 95-124.
108. L.N. Adler and T.G. Paterson, "Red Fascism" The Merger of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in the American Image of Totalitarianism 1930s-1950s', in American Historical Review LXXV, April 1970, 1046-64.
109. See L.J. Mensonides and J.A. Kuhlmann ed., American and European Security (London, A.J. Sitjhoff, 1976) p.46.
110. This, I suspect, is one reason why even Sir John Hackett has argued that where there are two blocks "in abrasive but more or less stable equilibrium", the world is likely to be safer "than if one of them collapses". Observer, 4 July 1982.
111. Truman confided in 1951 that Soviet expansion was unlikely for, amongst other things, the USSR had too much "trouble with the satellites". Cited in A. Crock, Memoirs op. cit. p.261.
112. Sir William Strang of the Foreign Office argued during WWII, that "it is better that Russia should dominate Eastern Europe than that Germany should dominate Western Europe". Cited in L. Kattenacker 'The Anglo-Soviet Alliance and the Problem of Germany, 1941 -1945' in Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 17, 1982, p.449. The general opposition to German unity after WWII is clearly revealed in E. Hinterhoffs exhaustive discussion, Disengagement (Atlantic Books 1959).
113. See the analysis presented by State Department official, A.W. Deporte, Europe Between The Superpowers (Yale University Press. 1978), which consistently argues for maintaining the division of Europe.
114. At no point did the Americans regard the CPs as a serious revolutionary threat after 1944. Indeed, according to H.S. Hughes, (a State Department official immediately after WWII), the "disciplined and...the bureaucratized" nature of the communist movement was one reason - amongst others - why there was little "revolutionary effervescence" after the war. Contemporary Europe (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1981, 5th ed.) p.382.
115. The communists were, in the official jargon, "unAmerican, a potential fifth column with foreign allegiance". See, Foreign Relations Of The United Slates. The Conference of Berlin 1945. vol. I. (Washington 1960) p.280.
116. See NSC-68, which portrays the struggle between America and the USSR entirely in terms of freedom versus totalitarianism. Foreign Relations of The United States 1950 National Security Affairs, vol. 1 (Washington, 1977) esp. pp 237-248.
117. The best study on intellectuals and Stalinism in the thirties remains David Caute's, The Fellow Travellers (New York, Macmillan, 1973).
118. The enormous propaganda potential in simply exposing the truth about conditions in the USSR to a Western audience was seen at an early stage by American intelligence. See, Foreign Relations of The United States 1947 vol. IV. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union. (Washington 1972) pp 568-569, 612, 619-622.
119. Z. Brzezinski, Between Two Ages (Harmondsworth, Penguin 1977) p. 138.
120. Walter Lippmann also pointed out that an American hardline towards the Soviet block would furnish "the Soviet Union with reasons for an iron rule behind an iron curtain". Cited in R. Steele, Walter Lippmann and The American Century (London, Bodley Head, 1981) pp 437, 446.
121. W.W. Rostow. The Division of Europe After World War II: 1946 (University of Texas Press, 1982).
122. See Dean Acheson's attack on Kennan 'The Illusion of Disengagement' in Foreign Affairs, April 1958, pp 371-382.
123. On the careful response by the USA to Hungary see B. Kovrig 'The United States and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956' Unpublished PhD, London 1967. On the reasons for Kennedy's extremely cautious reaction to the building of the Berlin Wall see Greville Wynne's, Man From Odessa (London, Robert Hale 1980) pp 208-209.
124. P Real, 'Contemporary understanding about spheres of influence' in Review Of International Studies, vol. 9, no 3, July 1983, pp 155-172.
125. For instance E. Lyons, Our Secret Allies (London, Arco, 1954) and James Burnham, Containment or Liberation? (New York, Viking, 1953).
126. See C.O. Lerche, The Cold War and After (New York, Prentice Hall, 1965) p.31, and G. Liska, Imperial America: The International Politics of Primacy (Baltimore, John Hopkins Press 1967) p.48.
127. Although Kennan's earlier argument for containment assumed that a successful defence of the Western world would ultimately lead to evolutionary change within the Soviet system. See his 'Sources of Soviet Conduct' in Foreign Affairs, July 1947, pp 566-582.
128. A national movement 'against war' was initiated in Britain when the Daily Worker of the C.P.G.B. sponsored two peace conferences in London and Glasgow during July 1948. The same campaign was launched by the communist parties throughout Europe at the same time. For a typical left wing defence of the USSR see Edgar Snow's, Stalin Must Have Peace (New York, Random House, 1947).
129. See for example the early issues of Paul Sweezy's Monthly Review (published from 1949 onwards), to see how far the supposedly non-Stalinist left accepted the Soviet view of the Cold War.
130. On Stalin's 'theory' of the Soviet state see R.V. Daniel, 'The State and Revolution: A Case Study in the Genesis and Transformation of Communist Ideology', in American Slavic & East European Review, 12, 1953, pp 22-43.
131. See Churchill's famous comment on Soviet fear of 'Western friendship' in House of Commons Debate, vol. 473, 28 March 1950, vol. 199.
132. On Soviet population deficits see W. Eason, 'The Soviet Population Today' Foreign Affairs, vol. 37, July 1959, pp 598-606.
133. See F.C. Barghorn, The Soviet Image Of The United Stales (New York, Harcourt Brace, 1950) for a useful description of the USSR after the war.
134. On the Soviet economic crisis of 1947 see, for instance, the London Economist of 15, 22 and 29 March 1947. The US embassy in Moscow was clearly aware of the scale of Soviet economic problems in 1947. See Foreign Relations Of The United States: Eastern Europe; Soviet Union. 1947. vol. IV. op. cit. esp. pp 515-517, 535, 544 fn 2.
135. Ironically, the Americans hoped - and assumed - that the USSR would not allow the East Europeans to accept Marshall Aid. See H. Feis, From Trust To Terror (London, Blond, 1970) pp 227-247 and J. Jones op. cit. p.253.
136. Tito's loyalty to the USSR was rarely questioned before 1948. See for example Churchill's comments in 1945 cited in Foreign Relations of The United States, Conference of Berlin, 1945, (Washington, 1960) p.66.
137. One sign of the regime's fear and suspicion of those who had spent a long time outside of the USSR was its callous treatment of those soldiers who had been captured during the war. Even the sympathetic A. Werth calculates that about 500,000 were sent to the camps. See Russia: The Post-war Years (London, Robert Hale, 1971) p.25.
138. The Zhdanovite campaign began in autumn 1946 with the attack on Zoshchenko and Akhmatova. F.R.U.S, 1947, IV, p.598.
139. See F.R.U.S. ibid. pp 559-653.
140. It is worth recalling that in all of the political and show trials of the thirties, the regime invariably linked the 'accused' with the 'enemy without', insisting that both were engaged in different forms of sabotage.
141. The situation in 1948 was so bad in terms of Soviet isolationism and xenophobia that the American Embassy in the Soviet Union concluded that "in retrospect, the restrictions on foreigners of the 1937 period looked like the golden age of freedom". Foreign Relations of The United States: Eastern Europe; Soviet Union 1948 voL IV (Washington, 1974) p.890.
142. This seems to be the line in David Pownall's recent play on Zhdanovism, Master Class.
143. On Soviet hesitation and ambiguity over Eastern Europe before 1947 and 1948 however, see R.A. Rosa, 'Soviet Theory of "Peoples Democracy"' in World Politics, vol. 1, 1948- 1949, pp 489-510.
144. On international communism in the Cold War see J. Starobin, 'Origins of The Cold War', Foreign Affairs, July 1969, pp 681-696 and H. Timmermann, 'The Cominform Effects On Soviet Foreign Policy', XVIII, no. 1 Spring 1985, in Studies In Comparative Communism.
145. On Khrushchev's particular view of Chinese-Soviet relations see Strobe Talbot ed., Khrushchev Remembers, vol. I (Penguin, 1977) pp 493-510.
146. Z. Brzezinski op. cit. pp 125-138 on the necessary conflict between Stalinism and communist internationalism.
147. Even during the NSC-68 discussions of 1950 there was clear agreement that the Soviet Union was by far the weaker party. See F.R.U.S. 1950. vol. 1 op. cit., pp 256-257, 301.
148. Stalin's Foreign Policy Reappraised op. cit.
149. Soviet calls for 'total disarmament' in the fifties were yet one more indication of its weakness at this time. When it acquired a serious nuclear capability however, it stopped making such calls. On Soviet nuclear policies before the age of parity see, A. Horelick & M. Rush, Strategic Power and Soviet Foreign Policy (Chicago, 1965) and L. Bloomfield, W. Clemens, F. Griffiths, Khrushchev and the Arms Race (M.I.T. Press, 1966).
150. James Schlesinger, The Political Economy of National Security (New York, Praeger, 1960) provides interesting insights on how the USA sought to maximize the "strains on the Soviet economy" in the fifties by engaging the USSR in the arms race. esp. pp 36- \ 48.
151. This was the real meaning of the Rapacki plan.
152. See New Directions In The Soviet Economy (Washington, 1966) pp 919-946.
153. On the history of Soviet initiatives in the Third World in the fifties see, The Soviet Union And The Third World: A Watershed In Great Power Policy (Washington, 1977) esp. pp 18-30.
154. In spite of destalinization there was very little opening up of the USSR to the West in the fifties or the early sixties.
155. Schlesinger op. cit. p.48.
156. The Eisenhower nuclear doctrine of 'massive retaliation' was the strategic result of the Republican attempt to cut military spending in the 'New Look' approach after 1953. See G.H. Snyder, 'The "New Look" of 1953' in W.R. Schilling, P.Y. Hammond, G. Snyder, Strategy, Politics, and Defense Budgets (Columbia U.P., 1962) pp 379-524.
157. Eisenhower now gets a good academic press in America, but his new intellectual apologists can hardly show that he was a great innovator in foreign policy. For example, see R. Divine, Eisenhower and the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 1981).
158. For an extreme internalist interpretation of the Cold War see A. Wolfe, The Rise And Fall of the 'Soviet Threat': Domestic Sources of the Cold War Consensus (Washington, 1979).
159. As G.A.E. Smith has pointed out, it was only with the onset of the American crisis in the sixties that the USA finally adopted non-military Keynsianism. See his 'The Bourgeois Economic Theory of The Crisis' Critique 16, 1983, pp 52-53.
160. See J.L. Clayton, The Economic Impact of the Cold War (New York, Harcourt Brace 1970) for figures on military spending.
161. As part of the propaganda drive against the Soviet system included regular attacks on its 'godless' and 'atheist' character, it was hardly surprising that the churches - especially the Roman Catholic - became mobilized in the Cold War. Significantly, church attendance rose dramatically during the fifties in America.
162. Even Roosevelt referred to the influence of Polish-Americans on the making of US policy towards the USSR, F.R.U.S. 1945. The Malta and Yalta Conferences, op. cit.p.677.
163. G.F. Kennan often complained about the fact. Memoirs 1950-1963 (London, Hutchinson, 1973) pp 97-102.
164. "The unpleasant truth is that for many immigrants, joining the Cold War consensus was the surest way of affirming their patriotism" R. Polenberg, One Nation Divisible. (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1980) p.126.
165. See A. Theoharis, The Yalta Myths: An Issue In US Politics 1945-1950 (Columbia U.P. 1970).
166. On the 1952 Presidential election see R. Divine, Foreign Policy And US Presidential Elections (New York, New Viewpoints 1974) pp 3-85.
167. L.J. Halle op. cit. p.271.
168. On liberation rhetoric in 1952 and 1953 see Divine op. cit. pp 34-36, 51-55.
169. In fact when Kennedy won the 1960 election he promised to fight the Cold War even more effectively than the Republicans - by closing the (mythical) military gap which had opened up between the USA and the USSR in the 1950's. See E. Bottome, The Missile Gap (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1967)
170. Except in Scandinavia, Europe in the fifties was politically dominated by either Christian democratic or conservative parties, or, in four countries (Portugal, Spain, Greece & Turkey) by the military.
171. Although in America it was the Democrats, rather than the Republicans, who consciously used 'military Keynsianism' to regulate the business cycle. On rearmament after 1960, see D. Ball. Politics And Force Levels: The Strategic Missile Program of The Kennedy Administration (California, U.P. 1981).
172. See my Western Capitalism and The Cold War System' op. cit. pp 151-154.
173. Kissinger, on the other hand, was well aware of the erosion in America's position which was forcing it to abandon its traditional Cold War strategy. See his argument in, For The Record (London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1981) p.73.
174. See Coral Bell, Negotiation From Strength (London, Chatto and Windus, 1962).
175. See R.S. Litwak, Detente And The Nixon Doctrine: American Foreign Policy and The Pursuit of Stability, 1969-1976 (Cambridge U.P. 1984) pp 112-116.
176. See Kissinger's anguished analysis of American-West European relations in the sixties, The Troubled Partnership (New York, McGraw-Hill 1965).
177. See S. Hoffman, Gulliver's Troubles: The Setting of American Foreign Policy (New York, McGraw-Hill 1968) for one of the wordiest, yet one of the most influential 'beyond the Cold War' studies of the late sixties.
178. On the impact of Vietnam see A. Lake ed., The Legacy Of Vietnam (New York U.P.1976).
179. See, for instance, the influential works by E.J. Hughes, America The Vincible (Harmondsworth, Penguin 1967), J.W. Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power (Harmondsworth, Penguin 1966) and Marshall Shulman, Beyond The Cold War (Yale U.P. 1966).
180. On the US economy in the sixties see Economic Report Of The President (Washington 1968).
181. See the popular and important study by Seymour Melman, Our Depleted Society (New York, Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1965) on the relationship between productivity, social Welfare and military spending.
182. Z. Brzezinski, 'The Challenge of Change in the Soviet Bloc' Foreign Affairs, April 1961, pp 430-443.
183. Z. Brzezinski and W.E. Griffith, 'Peaceful Engagement In Eastern Europe' Foreign Affairs, July 1961, pp 642-654.
184. See H.J. Morgenthau, A New Foreign Policy for The United States (London, Pall Mall 1969).
185. See R. Arnot 'Soviet Labour Productivity and The Failure of the Schekino Experiment', Critique 15, 1981, pp 31-56.
186. Significantly, Soviet interest in a serious detente with the USA grew after working class disturbances in Poland in 1970-1971. See M. and B. Kalb, Kissinger (London, Hutchinson 1974) p.213.
187. Soviet economists gave at least eleven reasons why the expansion of East-West technology exchange was central for the development of the Soviet economy in the seventies. See E.P. Hoffmann & R.F. Laird, The Scientific-Technological Revolution and Soviet Foreign Policy (New York, Pergamon, 1982) pp 88-93.
188. On the insoluble contradictions of Soviet agriculture see G.A.E. Smith, 'The Industrial Problems of Soviet Agriculture', Critique, 14, 1981, pp 41-66.
189. Economic Performance and The Military Burden in the Soviet Union (Washington, U.S.G.P.O., 1970).
190. On the decline of communism in the sixties see George Lichteim, 'What is Left of Communism?' in Foreign Affairs, 46, October 1967, pp 78-94.
191. The policy of 'bridge-building' to the Soviet block had already been accepted by the Johnson administration in 1964.
192. Nixon's article 'Asia After Vietnam' appeared in Foreign Affairs, 46, October 1967, pp 111-125.
193. In their official pronouncements, the USSR always argued that detente was proof that the balance of forces had moved in their direction, and away from the USA. See for instance L. Vidyasova, 'Crisis of Imperialism's Foreign Policy', International Affairs, (Moscow), no. I, 1973, pp 56-63.
194. See my 'From Detente to the "New Cold War": The Crisis of The Cold War System' in Millenium, vol. 13, no. 3, Winter 1984, esp. pp 265-268.
195. H.A. Kissinger, White House Years (Boston, Little Brown 1979), p.57.
196. See R.S. Litwak op. cit. p.54.
197. H.A. Kissinger, American Foreign Policy (New York, Norton, 1977) pp 56-57.
198. H. Sonnenfeldt, 'Russia, America, and Detente', Foreign Affairs, January 1978, p.291.
199. Kissinger, American Foreign Policy op. cit. pp 156-158.
200. A. Rapoport, 'US-USSR: Prospects for a Detente', in J.H. Gilbert ed., The New Era in American Foreign Policy (New York, St Martin's Press 1973) p. 139.
201. For Nixon's very revealing comment on detente see R.M. Nixon, The Real War (London 1980) p.281.
202. On Soviet fears about detente see V. Knyazhinsky 'Detente and the Problems of Ideological Struggle', International Affairs (Moscow) no. 4, 1973, pp 17-18.
203. See Z. Brzezinski, Alternative To Partition (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1965) pp ix.
204. On Egon Bahr's more recent arguments about ostpolitik see R. Steinke, M. Vale ed., Germany Debates Defense (New York, M. Sharpe 1983) pp 69-82, 141-154.
205. See Nixon's arguments in, The Real Peace (London, 1984).
206. "It is in our long term interest...to break down the autarchic nature of the USSR". H. Sonnenfeldt, 12 April 1976, quoted in Coral Bell's excellent, The Diplomacy of Detente (London, Martin Robertson, 1977) p.l15.
207. See S. Pisar, Co-existence and Commerce (London, Allen Lane 1970) and his autobiography, Of Blood and Hope (London, Cassell 1980) esp. pp 184, 193, 270.
208. John Hardt in G. Kirk and N.H. Wessell eds., The Soviet Threat, Myths and Realities (New York, Praeger, 1978) pp 122, 134.
209. For a very full discussion on the early struggles around detente see the Brookings Institution study written by Raymond Garthoff, Detente and Confrontation (Washington, Brookings, 1985).'
210. J. Saunders, Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee on the Present Danger and the Politics of Containment (London, Pluto Press 1983).
211. K. Birnbaum, 'Human Rights and East-West Relations', Foreign Affairs, July 1977, pp 795-796.
212. See the works published by the Institute of Contemporary Studies, San Francisco, for a sustained intellectual critique of detente, especially J.R. Schlesinger et al., Defending America (New York, Basic 1977), W.S. Thompson ed., National-Security in the 1980s (New Brunswick, Transaction 1980) and more recently, A. Wildavsky, Beyond Containment (San Francisco, ICS Press 1983).
213. See H. Gelman, 'Rise and Fall of Detente', Problems of Communism, 34, 2, March- April 1985, pp 54-56.
214. E.P. Thompson, 'Notes On Exterminism, The Last Stage of Civilisation' New Left Review, 27, May-June 1980.
215. See Noam Chomsky, Towards a New Cold War (London, Sinclair Browne 1982).
216. Halliday speaks of the irreconcilable "long range goals" of the two powers op. cit. p.23.
217. For a robust conservative attack on detente see G.L. Steibel, Detente: Promises and Pitfalls (New York, Crane Russak, 1975).
218. J. Steele, Limits Of Soviet Power (London, Penguin 1985) p.58.
219. On the impossibility of superiority see S.M. Keeny and W.K.H. Panofsky, 'MAD vs NUTS: The Mutual Hostage Relationship of The Superpowers', Foreign Affairs, Winter 1981-1982, 60, pp 287-304.
220. The official West German viewpoint is advanced by H.D. Genscher, 'Towards an Overall Western Strategy for Peace, Freedom and Progress'. Foreign Affairs, 67, Autumn 1982, pp 42-46.
221. See F.W. Neal ed., Detente or Debacle: Common Sense in US-Soviet Relations (New York, Norton 1979).
222. For one critical left-wing attempt to discuss Soviet relations with the West see E. Jahn ed., Soviet Foreign Policy (London, Allison & Busby 1978).
223. See also my 'From Detente to the New Cold War' op. cit. pp 271-278.
224. There has been an enormous literature on the 'crisis of NATO' in the seventies. One of the better studies is J. Chace and E. Ravenal eds., Atlantis Lost: US-European Relations After The Cold War (New York, Council On Foreign Relations, 1976).
225. See my 'Rise and Fall of the "Soviet Threat'", Political Studies, 1983, vol. 33, pp 484- 498.
226. Soviet fear of ideological contamination arising because of Helsinki is expressed in P.
Naumov, 'Imperialism's Ideological Warfare', International Affairs, (Moscow), 1977, no. 7, pp 90-97.
227. E.P. Thompson and D. Smith eds., Protest and Survive (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1980).
228. See D. Caldwell, American-Soviet Relations: From 1947 to the Nixon-Kissinger Grand Design (New York, Greenwood Press 1981).
229. Indeed, the Soviets always argued that they would never give up their support for 'antiimperialist' movements in The Third World. See the statements made at the 24th Congress of the CPSU, Moscow, 1971.
230. See Bruce Porter, The USSR In Third World Conflicts op. cit. esp. pp 36-59.
231. On Soviet recognition of the political implications of nuclear parity see Porter, ibid. p.59.
232. For a general discussion of Soviet geo-political thinking see V. Aspaturian, 'Soviet Global Power and the Correlation of Forces', Problems Of Communism, May-June 1980, pp 1-18. However, on the failure of the USSR to successfully exploit American decline and expand its own power, see P. Dibb, The Soviet Union: The Incomplete Superpower (London, Macmillan, 1986).
233. The Soviets were well aware of this fact. What they wanted through Helsinki was a recognition of the status quo in Eastern Europe; the West however wanted to use Helsinki to change it. See A. Yefimov, 'European Conference and Detente In Europe', International Affairs, (Moscow) 1975, p.27. In the same issue, A. Akhtamzyan praised the Rappallo treaty signed by the USSR and Germany in 1922 because it attempted "to establish and maintain normal and mutually beneficial relations between a socialist and a capitalist state on the basis of mutual recognition of the equal rights of the different socio-economic systems..." p.24.
234. P. Hanson 'International Technology Transfer from the West to the USSR' in Soviet Economy In a New Perspective (Washington, 1976) pp 786-812.
235. Gelman op. cit. p.58.
236. See Economic Bulletin For Europe vol. 33 (United Nations 1981).
237. See J. Berliner, 'Prospects For Technological Progress' in Soviet Economy In a New Perspective, op. cit. pp 431-446.
238. This problem had been foreseen by the right from the early seventies. See L. Labedz, 'The Soviet Union and Western Europe', Survey, 19, no. 3, Summer 1973, pp 26-27.
239. Manufactured products constituted less than 5% of Soviet exports in 1974. See P. Ericson 'Soviet Efforts To Increase Exports of Manufactured Products To The West', in Soviet Economy In A New Perspective op. cit. pp 709-726.
240. See G.A.E. Smith, 'The Soviet Debt Problem' Critique, 7, 1976-1977, pp 82-87 for an earlier discussion of the problem. According to Wharton Econometric Associates, if the situation had gone unchecked after 1980-1981, the debt could have risen to £140 bn by 1985. See The London Times, 14 January, 1982.
241. The danger of the USSR exploiting detente to increase divisions in NATO had been predicted by Kissinger's critics since the early 70's. See George Ball, 'America and Europe: The Logic of Unilateralism' and Richard Pipes, 'America, Russia and Europe in the Light of the Nixon Doctrine', both in Survey, op. cit, pp 5-11, 30-40.
242. Hayek's Road To Serfdom, first published in 1944, was twice reprinted in 1976.
243. See Reagan's address to the British Parliament, June 8th 1982 for a clear statement on the new democratic revolution. See, Realism, Strength, Negotiation: Key Foreign Policy Statements of The Reagan Administration (Washington 1984) pp 77-81.
244. See the C.I.A.'s important study, Soviet Economic Problems And Prospects (Washington, 1977). In his later British speech Reagan talked of the "decay of the Soviet experiment" ... "where the productive forces are hampered by the political ones".
245. L.T. Caldwell & A. Dallin, in K. Oye et al. Eagle Entangled: US Foreign Policy In A Complex World (New York, Longman, 1974) p.217.
246. See for instance H. Macdonald 'The Western Alliance and the Polish Crisis' and S. Woolcock, 'East-West Trade: US Policy And European Interests', in World Today, February 1982, pp 42-50, 51-59.
247. For a fairly unambiguous presentation of the 'German' position, see E. Schulz 'Unfinished business: the German national question and the future of Europe', International Affairs, 60, 3, Summer 1984, pp 391-402.
248. American establishment opposition to many aspects of Reagan's foreign policy can be found in two of the most prestigious international affairs journals, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.
249. As Jeane Kirkpatrick argued: "The 1980 elections constituted a turning-point in American political life in that they represented the rejection of the view that the decline of the West was inevitable, or that the decline of America was inevitable. There is now a widespread and wholesome conviction in the US that the retreat of American influence has made the world more dangerous, and that acquiescence in the decline of US power is neither desirable nor acceptable". 'American Foreign Policy in a Cold Climate', Encounter, November 1983, p. 19.
250. "The years of the Cold War were a relatively happy respite, during which free societies and democratic institutions were secure". Jeane Kirkpatrick, The Reagan Phenomenon (Washington, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1983) p.28.
251. Except, of course, American grain exports to the USSR.
252. On the views of Paul Nitze and Eugene Rostow on the value of nuclear superiority, see A. Tonelson, 'Nitze's World', Foreign Policy, 35, 1979, pp 77, 81, and E. Rostow, 'Is Arms Control An Unrealistic Fiction?', Encounter, April 1983, p.79.
253. For an excellent discussion of the Reagan rearmament programme, see B.R. Posen and S. Van Evera, 'Defense Policy and the Reagan Administration: Departure from Containment', International Security, Summer 1983, vol. 8, no. 1, pp 3-45.
254. On Pipes' views see his, Survival Is Not Enough (Simon and Schuster, 1984) and 'Can The Soviet Union Reform?', Foreign Affairs, 63, 1, Fall 1984. pp 47-61. For an implicit critique of Pipes, see S. Bialer and J. Afferica, 'Reagan and Russia', Foreign Affairs, vol. 61, no. 2, 1982.
255. See R.E. Osgood, 'The Revitalization of Containment' Foreign Affairs, 60, 1982 pp 465- 502. To gain a real insight into the Reagan world view, see, Alerting America: The Papers of The Committee On The Present Danger, ed., Charles Tyroler II (Washington, Pergamon 1985).
256. According to Alexander Haig, the "Perle-Weinberger line" was that "anything Marxist is evil and must be destroyed". Cited in L.I. Barrett, Gambling with History: Ronald Reagan In The White House (New York, Doubleday 1983) p.225.
257. As one of the more interesting writers on the Cold War once observed: "For both sides a sudden victory would be scarcely less embarrassing than a strategic defeat; either outcome would demand unpleasant rearrangements of complex and institutional patterns". C.O. Lerche, The Cold War And After op. cit. p.31. As the eccentric but often original George Liska once argued: "Neither of the superpowers can confidently expect to deal effectively with the vacuum of ordering authority which the disintegration of the other would create, or to profit from its elimination from global and regional balances". Imperial America: The International Politics of Primacy (Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1967) p.48.
258. See for instance, D. Smith and R. Smith, 'The New Cold War', Capital and Class, 12, Winter 1980-1981, pp 37-42 and the excellent 'The New Cold War: Reagan's Policy Towards Europe and the Third World' by J.F. Petras and M.H. Morley in END Papers Four, Winter 1983, pp 85-120.
259. A point made by Stanley Hoffman in Dead Ends: American Foreign Policy in the New Cold War (Ballinger, 1983).
260. See D. Yankelovich & J. Doble, 'The Public Mood: Nuclear Weapons and the USSR'. Foreign Affairs, 63, 1, Fall 1984, pp 33-46.
261. "For the members of the NATO alliance now to disagree about the very nature and scope of the threat... suggests that the Alliance, to put it simply, is in trouble", P. Williams, 'Europe, America and the Soviet threat', in World Today, October 1982, p.371.
262. Kennan pointed out as early as 1946 that the Soviet elite had used and would continue to use the system's antagonistic relationship with capitalism to legitimize its otherwise illegitimate rule. See his comments in T. Etzold and J.L. Gaddis, Containment: Documents on American Policy And Strategy, 1945-1950 (New York, Columbia U.P. 1978) pp 52- 55, and his later, more celebrated, 'Sources Of Soviet Conduct', Foreign Affairs, July 1947, pp 570-571.
263. The atmosphere which Reagan's nuclear policies have engendered in Western Europe has clearly created a situation where the left now feels less disposed to engage in the 'Cold War' game of supporting the struggle for democratic rights in the Soviet block. See Agnes Heller, 'No More Mr Nice Guy', New Socialist, no. 33, December 1985, pp 25-26.
264. For the current Soviet line on arms spending - developed by a British devotee - see Laurence Harris. 'The Arms Race: A Burden on the Economy', Problems of Peace and Socialism, (Moscow), no. 9, September 1984. The Soviets today frequently advise the United States to cut back militarily in order to strengthen the US economy! See R.Faramazyn, 'The Arms Race Is Too Heavy A Burden', International Affairs, (Moscow) no. 7, 1980, pp 81-87.
265. One of the most frequent American criticisms of detente was that it was leading Western Europe into neutralism and towards 'Finlandization'. See G. Quester, 'The Superpowers and the Atlantic Alliance', in Daedalus, vol. 110, no. 4, Winter 1981, pp 23-40.
266. In his British speech of 1982, Reagan spoke unambiguously of the "crisis of totalitarianism" and "the decay of the Soviet experiment". Realism, Strength, Negotiation, op. cit. p.78.
267. Lord Carver, A Policy For Peace (London, Faber 1982).
268. For a powerful critique of pan-Europeanism, see Michael Howard's essay, 'War in the Making and Unmaking of Europe" in his Causes of War, op. cit. pp 171-188.
269. See John Cox, No, No, NATO (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1982).
270. The argument concerning the aggressive character of NATO now seems all the more credible given recent American emphasis on nuclear war-fighting rather than deterrence, and the emergence of proposals which would augment NATO's offensive conventional capabilities. See Mary Kaldor, "Beyond The Blocs: Defending Europe The Political Way', World Policy, vol. 1. no. 1, Fall 1983, pp 2-21.
271. Halliday op. cit. pp 261-265.
272. All polls since 1980 indicate high support for NATO in Western Europe - in spite of large-scale opposition to cruise and Pershing II on the one hand, and dislike of Reagan on the other.
273. See Fred M. Kaplan, Dubious Specter: A Second Look at the 'Soviet Threat'. (Washington, 1977).
274. Perry Anderson for instance, argues that in spite of its contradictory role, the Soviet Union has been and remains "persistently anti-capitalist beyond its own frontiers". See his 'Trotsky's Interpretation of Stalinism", New Left Review, 139, May-June 1983, pp 49-58.