By Editorial Staff
Published August 1, 1991
A Soviet View of American Academia
An article reprinted from the Moscow News
August 4, 1991
The following article “America Tries to Make Sense of Soviet Politics” is representative of the outlook of the Soviet people. Giving an accurate critique of the political views of a cross section of America, Konstantin Pleshakov emphasizes the failed attempt of the Soviet government to restructure the socialist system.
Americans love to hear of change, especially crumbling totalitarianism, a bogy even their grandfathers never saw. But if after six years of change the Soviet Union is ready to accept Christmas food relief, it’s a bizarre change. If you talk with academics at American universities about the Soviet Union you can see that they fall into several different categories:
Liberals of the 1960s
Their political views took shape on the crest of the leftwing movement in the U.S. They favor social experiment and leftwing views in general. They are sympathetic towards Marxism and distinguish it from Stalinism with a determination I can’t comprehend: a liberal of the 60s ferociously criticizes every step taken by the Bush administration.
They like many features of state socialism in the USSR such as the non-existent “collectivism,” “social security” and “egalitarianism.” They screw up their eyes maliciously on hearing of private businesses. Liberals of the 60s are well off, they aren’t like members of the US Communist Party, whom nobody likes. Among the academic community they are well known, people who live perhaps as comfortably as second secretaries of party central committees in the Soviet Republics.
They simply can’t understand why Soviets don’t want socialism any more. They say: “I hope your grandiose experiment will be carried through.” God forbid.
Liberals of the 60s are enthusiastic about all Soviet leaders ranging from the Center (Gorbachev), towards the left wing (Yeltsin, Popov, Sobchak). For them Gorbachev is outside all criticism. They support active aid for the Soviet Union, something on the scale of the Marshall Plan. They are not naive. Especially if they are Sovietologists, they well understand the games Soviet bureaucrats play – which is why they support the idea of a Marshall Plan and Western control over its implementation.
Liberals of the 60s are consistent friends: the political preferences that took root when they were still young are a firm link with an USSR undergoing change. Whatever takes place in the Soviet Union, the liberals of the 60s are with us till the end.
They have no affiliation with the leftists. They value human rights above social experiments in other lands. They like the Soviet Union for the current change rather than its socialist past (as do the liberals of the 60s). Traditional liberals don’t ignore those things liberals of the 60s like to forget (like bloodshed in Lithuania). They watch events in the Soviet Union with guarded optimism and regard its leaders with caution. They judge the situation with reference to traditional liberal ideas and most certainly see a considerable difference.
Traditional liberals are for aid to the USSR but they are stumped on seeing the gluttony of Soviet bureacracy, disarray in Soviet society, the uncertainty of the Republic’s position. Traditional liberals are sometimes amazed at Soviet endurance.
They appreciate our fear of a new mode of socialism – that’s part of their system of values. What’s happening today in the former “socialist camp” confirms their past predictions. For many years tolerant conservatives argued with liberals of the 60s about the USSR’s history and future. Today tolerant democrats in the USSR behave in almost the same way tolerant conservatives predicted. This gives them great moral satisfaction. They criticize most of the Soviet leaders and mainly for good reasons. They take a detached view of the Soviet Union.
Whereas liberals of the 60s would like to see the socialist experiment continue, conservatives are fascinated with the new anti-socialist experiment. They are in no hurry to help the Soviet Union, being very cautious and not wishing to send investment down the drain and provide aid in dubious circumstances – when reforms are contradictory.
They have insisted all along that the system should be destroyed. It has now finally collapsed. One Sovietologist caustically remarked: “They say Soviet perestroika has failed. It hasn’t: communism has collapsed.” Caustic conservatives should be happy, but they aren’t for some reason. Mostly because they no longer have an enemy to contend with. All along they were busy fighting communism in one way or another and still call for vigilance. They aren’t against helping the USSR on the whole, but do nothing to help.
What stumps tolerant conservatives is seen by caustic conservatives as an insurmountable obstacle. Whether historians or traders, they still want to make sure their enemy is dead. They are not intimidated by the prospect of a possible loss of geopolitical balance in Eurasia if the Soviet Union breaks apart, or if it becomes depleted, angry and abandoned by the world community. Caustic conservatives do not wish to consider these dangers. They want to see the noxious system razed to the ground.
The Soviet Union is in disarray. A country Americans thought they knew well – the winter of Stalinism, mummified leaders, fighters for human rights – has all at once been turned into a formidable crossword puzzle. Today’s Soviet Union does not fit any pattern. America is accustomed to the logic of categories of good and evil, black and white. In the USSR it is hard to find logic.
But the seventy-year-long winter has been followed by spring, hasn’t it? Yes, it’s spring, but a strange spring which history has never before known.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Visit The Forerunner's Discussion Forum!
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)