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Hiss, Oswald, the KGB, and Us

- Abstract

ONE of the most durable and most damaging legacies of McCarthyism has been the besmirching of the good name of anti-Communism, and the attendant evisceration of American liberalism. From the McCarthy period on, anti-Communism has been labeled a reactionary ideology, and in its place there has come to be enshrined a crude anti-anti-Communism, according to which Communism does not now, and never did, pose any real threat to the United States. By the time of the Vietnam generation and Watergate, many had come to believe that Communist behavior, and in particular the behavior of the Soviet Union, could be explained primarily, if not entirely, in terms of the legitimate fears Communists had of the United States and its nefarious plans for world domination. In the field of strategic weapons, the fashionable position of the late 60′s and 70′s concluded that the entire arms race had been brought about by American initiatives, and that the Soviet Union, justifiably terrified by our nuclear arsenal, was merely struggling to keep pace. And even today, when the Russians have passed us in several vital areas, many liberal intellectuals still cannot bring themselves to face the possibility that the Soviet Union is determined to achieve strategic superiority and to use that superiority to increase its power over world affairs.

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