Myths of the Cold War

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First published
in Rampart
Journal of Individualist Thought, Summer 1966, pp. 65–76.

Original
editor's note: "An observer for the past decade and more of
the embattled ‘left and right,’ and of official actions touted as
mighty blows in the struggle to ‘defeat communism,’ Dr. Murray N.
Rothbard originally wrote the following article before overt military
involvement of the United States in Viet Nam. Thus, it offers a
vantage point of unheated analysis of the War-Hawk mentality which
has led to political violence and war-induced emotions. Dr. Rothbard
will teach economics this year at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn,
New York."

I. The Arguments
of the War Hawks Refuted

The Cold and
Hot Warriors use a stock of arguments to support their position:
some plausible, most of them hypocritical, all specious. Here is
a refutation of the main points in their bellicose sophistry.

  1. Peace
    or war? The Communists declared war upon us fifty years ago. Therefore,
    we are at war already; therefore, let us drop the bomb, etc.
  2. This argument
    centers upon a deceptive and disastrous equivocation on the word
    "war." It uses the term "war" to mean ideological
    conflict, and then cunningly switches the meaning to try to justify
    U.S. military action. The libertarian should, more than anyone
    else, be able to grasp the vital distinction. For the whole political
    philosophy of the libertarian rests upon it: upon the particular
    evil of physical violence used for aggression against others.
    The libertarian believes in ideological persuasion and is opposed
    to physical violence; he, above all, should stop using "war"
    as a loose and deceptive coverall.

    But the Communists
    might stoop to violent revolution in America? Perhaps. But does
    anyone in his right mind believe that America faces the clear
    and present danger of overt, violent destruction by our tiny handful
    of domestic Communists?

    But the Communists
    have behind them a military base in the Soviet Union? Right, and
    that is why we should be happy that the Soviet Communists realize
    the futility of nuclear war, and call for peace. Khrushchev and
    his successors have, frankly and honestly, been making their position
    unmistakably clear: they hope for internal adoption of communism
    in the U.S. and other countries, but they renounce any international,
    inter-state, war. This is what they mean by "peace,"
    and this is what "peace" has always meant: absence of
    inter-state conflict. Why, then, must we simply assume that the
    men in the Kremlin are lying and that they don't want peace? Any
    rational person should prefer peace in the nuclear age. Let the
    ideological "war" with communism proceed, but let us
    also conclude military peace. Why, then, should we fear and hate
    the concept of "peaceful coexistence"? There is no basis
    on which to oppose it unless we think that freedom and free enterprise
    are ideologically inferior and could not survive an ideological
    debate with communism.

    Let us, then,
    abandon this and all other similar equivocations, such as the
    concept of "indirect aggression." There is no such
    thing. If, for example, the Cairo Radio beams broadcasts to
    Jordan calling upon the Jordanese to revolt, this is not aggression
    in any sense; it is an attempt at ideological persuasion. Anyone
    who doesn't like it should broadcast his own messages to the Jordanese,
    and not try to suppress Cairo messages by force. Ditto for any
    other messages or propaganda that any group or ideology may make.
    There is another, better term for "indirect aggression,"
    and that is "exercise of freedom of speech." There is
    no point to a "freedom of speech" that only permits
    people to say what you or I would like them to say. The only freedom
    of speech worth talking about is one that permits the speech of
    groups and ideologies that we hate.

    There is
    one at least respectable argument by those who would lock
    up, or kill, domestic Communists: namely, that, in advocating
    communism, they are advocating crime (against persons, property,
    etc.), and therefore it is legitimate to take preventive action
    against them. The trouble with this argument is that it proves
    far, far too much. For, if one takes this position, what do we
    do with the other groups that are engaging in similar crimes:
    Socialists, New Dealers, Modern Republicans, Conservatives, etc.,
    all of whom advocate crimes similar to those of Communists? And
    what do we do with our sturdy Rightists who advocate the crime
    of enslavement known as "conscription"? I am afraid
    that we could not stop at locking up only Communists: we would
    have to place in jail about 95–99 per cent of the American
    population — to say nothing about the rest of the world! — a program
    which, at the very least, would be rather impractical.

    Furthermore,
    I think that we would all have to agree that actually committing
    a crime is far worse than simply advocating one; and if we
    are to lock up Communists for advocating crime at some vaguely
    distant date in the future, what in the world are we going to
    do with all those government officials who have actually been
    committing these crimes? What are we going to do with all
    the old New Deal rulers, and Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson,
    and all the Congressmen voting for "criminal" legislation?
    And what in the world are we going to do about General Hershey?
    And Harry S. Truman, the mass Butcher of Hiroshima? In short,
    if we are to incarcerate for a decade or more a handful of agitators
    for a crime at some vague date in the future, we must do something
    far worse, and much more immediately, to those who have already
    committed similar political crimes. As long as we let our Trumans
    and our George Marshalls remain scot free, and indeed lionize
    them as heroes, it is indeed grotesque to incarcerate our Eugene
    Dennises.

    Returning
    to the problem of the Communist "war," it is odd, indeed,
    that our War Hawks are willing to place the credence of Revelation
    (albeit a diabolic one) on any inflammatory statements made by
    Soviet Communists in 1917 or 1919 or 1921, yet place no credence
    whatever on any pro-peace statements made by the Communists now.
    Surely, here is a grave contradiction: to place absolute reliance
    on an old pronouncement of the Communists, and none whatever on
    a pronouncement made amidst the realities of our nuclear age.
    If, in short, the Communists have "already declared war on
    us," what evidence will the War Hawks accept to prove
    that the Communists are ready to call this war off? Any evidence,
    short of immolating themselves on a Kremlin funeral pyre?

    In fact,
    taking "war" in the ideological sense, "they"
    have been "at war with us," not since 1917, but
    since 1848 as Marxism. But our War Hawks never mention this, for
    to do this would mean an embarrassing opening of the dike: it
    would mean that we would have to include all Marxists as our "enemy,"
    and then all Socialists, New Dealers, etc. And then we would realize
    that, to uncover enemies of freedom and free enterprise, we need
    not traipse off thousands of miles to launch a Holy Crusade against
    Moscow or Peking. We have plenty of such enemies here at home
    — enough to keep us busy for many years to come. Instead of hailing,
    for example, Senator Paul Douglas as a champion of the "Committee
    for the Freedom of All Peoples," we had better devote more
    attention to Senator Paul Douglas as a destroyer of American
    freedom.

  3. Peace
    would mean betrayal of the lovers of freedom in the "captive
    nations," such as Hungary (or even Russia?), who long for
    us to liberate them. There follows a half-hour of weeping
    over our "cowardly" failure to come to the aid of the
    Hungarian Revolution.
  4. First, as
    to the hypocritical weeping over Hungary.1
    When the Hungarians revolted, and for a few glorious days had
    overthrown the Communist regime, the great desideratum was to
    keep Russian troops out of Hungary. How was this to be accomplished?
    By American planes bombing the Kremlin and precipitating a nuclear
    World War III? By ultimatums to Russia that would have provoked
    World War III? Would this have benefited the Hungarians? Or us?
    By H-bombing Budapest, perhaps, as the Russian troops were entering?
    No, the Hungarians, along with the rest of the bleeding European
    continent, have already suffered two great American "liberations";
    they could not possibly have survived a third.

    There was
    one possible way, and one alone, to keep Hungary free of Russian
    troops in that tempestuous week: and that was to make an immediate
    deal with the Russians, that we would pull all our troops out
    of Europe if they would keep theirs out of Hungary. Would the
    Russians have accepted? At least we should have made the offer,
    and by the hysteria of the War Hawks at the very thought, one
    suspects that the Russians would have agreed. And, from this hysteria,
    we can gauge how sincere the militant mourners for Hungary really
    are.

    There is,
    of course, the argument that pulling troops out would leave a
    "power vacuum" in Europe which someone, presumably the
    Russians, would have to rush to fill. This is an example of the
    mischief caused by using natural-science metaphors in the affairs
    of human action, and then taking them too seriously. There is
    no "power vacuum," requiring something to fill it.

    There is,
    indeed, something exceedingly odd about the argument that Americans
    should be cremated in a nuclear holocaust, because this is necessary
    to "preserve their Honor" by trying to liberate the
    slaves of communism. There are, let us say, 800 million people
    living behind the Iron Curtain. The very fact that all these people
    are still alive testifies to the fact that they, every one, prefer
    life under communism to death, with or without Honor. But if all
    the 800 millions prefer life under communism to death, prefer
    "slavery" to death, who are we to have the unmitigated
    gall to advocate murdering millions of Americans and Russians
    in order to free these slaves? If the Russian muzhik prefers
    his slavery to death, this is a choice which he has the right
    to make, and an anti-Communist who sends missiles to murder him
    to make sure that he dies Honorably is, simply… committing murder.
    And this — murder — mass murder — is what all the fancy and high
    moral slogans about Death With Honor boil down to.

    Many Americans
    may each, individually, prefer death to life under communism.
    And that is their privilege. But they have no right, and
    as professed libertarians they have certainly no right, to murder
    countless millions of people because of this choice. In short,
    they have no right to cremate other people: Americans, Russians,
    or what have you, who would make the opposite choice, who
    would opt for survival. The War Hawks like to talk of their
    noble disregard for human life, on behalf of the spiritual
    ideals of honor, etc., and of their opponents' miserable atheistic
    regard for life as a supreme value. But what is there noble, what
    is there spiritual, what in fact is there Christian, about mass
    murder of those innocents who do not share these values? Surely,
    it would be both more libertarian, more courageous, and more Christian
    for such conservatives quietly to commit suicide and insure their
    martyrdom that way, rather than drag millions upon millions of
    innocents to their death along with them.

    If, then,
    the new crusaders are itching to liberate the slaves who look
    askance at liberation, their only truly honorable course would
    be to outfit themselves individually and corporately, without
    involving the rest of us Americans, or Americans officially as
    a nation, and go winging their way to fight the Russians on their
    own. With this kind of war, Americans can only be the gainer,
    whoever wins: if by some quirk the crusaders win, then those Russians
    left alive will be free (if they don't die of radiation poisoning
    before they can enjoy their freedom), and if the crusaders lose,
    then they will have had their coveted Death With Honor, and the
    rest of us will be left alone to conclude peaceful agreements
    with the Russians.

    By their
    failure to commit suicide, we know that the 800 millions are not
    nearly as anti-Communist as their would-be saviors. And by their
    utter failure to revolt against Communist rule, which has now
    lasted for fifty years, we can well wonder just how anti-Communist
    the Russian slaves — and now the Chinese slaves — really may be.
    Mr. Eugene Lyons, for two decades now, has been trumpeting imminent
    revolution in Russia; I think it is about time that Mr. Lyons
    be asked to put up or shut up.

  5. Don't
    Shake the Hands of the Bloody Butcher.
  6. This introduces
    into international diplomacy all the irrelevant High Seriousness
    of the code duello, or "Whom Should We Snub at Mrs.
    Astorbilt's Tea Party?" Yes, yes, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev
    is a Bloody Butcher. On the Day of Judgment he will answer for
    his crimes, and roast a thousand years in hellfire. But there
    are a lot of Bloody Butchers around; the world reeks with them,
    is universally run by them, has been run by them, more or less,
    for many centuries. Lord Acton, the great British libertarian
    historian, once said that the Muse of the historian is not Clio,
    but Rhadamanthus, the avenger of innocent blood. I agree. But,
    in the meanwhile before the millennium arrives, what do we do
    with these Bloody Butchers? Khrushchev is a Bloody Butcher,
    but so is Churchill, and DeGaulle, and Franco, and Chiang, and
    Ky, and countless other "bastions of the free world."
    Why did these hypocritical moralists, who not only do not blanch
    at these people but rush to Shake Their Hand, suddenly balk at
    Nikita? Certainly, Winston Churchill slaughtered far more men
    in his lifetime than had Nikita. So did F.D.R. Harry S. Truman,
    Butcher of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is not far behind. Our task
    should be: to reduce the annual quantity of butchery as much as
    possible. How do we do this, we anti-Butchers? By reviling Khrushchev
    or Kosygin as much as possible, and thereby making a peaceful
    detente impossible, and nuclear extermination ever closer?
    Or by seeing to it that peace prevails, and that therefore there
    is no mass international butchery to worry about? The chief instrument
    of butchery by state rulers over innocent civilians is war;
    refrain from war, work for peace, and we shall have done our
    part in reducing butchery in the world. But, on the other hand,
    if we send H-bombs and missiles to Moscow as pique for past Muscovite
    butchery, we thereby add immeasurably to the total amount
    of butchery in the world.

    It is, indeed,
    surprising that the very same people who blanch so quickly at
    a few selected Foreign Butchers, never protest against the continued
    good repute of various Domestic Butchers, who are much more under
    our jurisdiction. Why hurl anathema at the Butcher of the Ukraine,
    while continuing to hail as Elder Statesmen the Butcher of Hiroshima
    and countless others?

    The Buckleyesque
    horror at the Butcher of the Ukraine, coupled with the warm praise
    showered on the Butchers of China, Korea, Dresden, etc., leads
    one to believe that the whole argument reeks with hypocrisy. Trujillo
    was a Good Butcher, because he was Our Butcher, i.e., a good "anti-Communist."
    Castro is a Bad Butcher, because he gives every indication of
    being one of Theirs. Despite the high moral tone of the War Hawks,
    it turns out that the high crime of Butchery is strictly relative,
    depending on who's doing it.

    In fact,
    the whole argument is pure hypocrisy, designed to fool the "mass
    base" of the Right, and whip them into war hysteria. To demonstrate
    this, let us take Brezhnev and Kosygin, younger men who have not
    been implicated in any of the major butcheries of Stalin or Khrushchev.
    And let us suppose that they come over here for a visit. Does
    anyone believe for a single instant that they would not be equally
    denounced, that their visit would not be just as staunchly opposed
    as Khrushchev's was by the rightist War-Hawk organs? Let us face
    it: the Butchery argument is a pure red herring, a demagogic device
    to whip up opposition to peace.

  7. We should
    not negotiate with the Russians, or Chinese, until they show by
    deeds, not words, that they favor peace.
  8. This is a
    typical State Department-type argument, rather than a War Hawk
    one. It doesn't make any more sense, nevertheless. What deeds
    are the Russians supposed to undertake, to "prove" their
    peaceful intentions? A deed like disarmament? Who is for
    complete and general disarmament, the Russians or us? A deed like
    ending foreign bases? Who has bases, encircling the other
    side, the Russians or us? A deed like finally liquidating World
    War II, concluding a peace treaty with one or two Germanies, and
    getting foreign troops out of Germany? Who advocates this, the
    Russians or us? A deed like expanding trade and cultural interchange
    between the nations? Who advocates this, the Russians or us? Who
    has called for abandonment of underground nuclear tests, for outlawry
    of nuclear war, etc.? Aren't these suggestions "deeds"?

    What else
    can the Russians do — except voluntarily abandon communism? Is
    this the only deed that we will consider as satisfactory
    before agreeing on peace? Is such a demand on our part peaceful,
    or is it an ultimatum? The fact is that it has consistently,
    for many years now, been the Russians who have taken the
    lead in moves for peace: in calling for disarmament, for withdrawing
    troops, for concluding peace treaties with our former enemies,
    for Summit talks to reduce tensions and make agreements, etc.
    And in every case it has been the Americans who have held back
    and shown the utmost reluctance. What would we be saying
    now, I wonder, if the positions were reversed, if the Russians
    adamantly refused to negotiate unless we voluntarily gave up free
    enterprise? (Of course, we seem to be doing this anyhow, but that's
    another story.) If the Russians are willing to negotiate fully
    with us without asking for "deeds," why shouldn't we
    be?

    As for the
    Chinese, we can have nothing to say about them. How can we, when
    officially they do not exist? In old-style international relations,
    the only sensible kind, "recognition" means simply that:
    the recognition of reality, of the existence of a government.
    Just because Woodrow Wilson and Henry Stimson launched the absurd
    policy of using recognition — or non-recognition — as a moral
    weapon, is no reason for us to pursue it.

  9. The Russians
    have fixed a timetable for our destruction. Nothing we can do
    can alter that timetable; therefore, we should be tough with the
    Russians, not worry about provoking them, etc.

    This is
    the great myth of the Russian "timetable," used to
    the hilt some years ago by Willi Schlamn in his Germany,
    East or West. All we need to do to puncture this nonsense
    is to consider what would happen if we delivered an ultimatum
    to Kosygin to resign and dissolve the government within twenty-four
    hours, else we drop H-bombs upon Russia. Does anyone believe
    that the Russians would not regard this as a war ultimatum and
    act accordingly? But if we have to admit that the Russians would
    be provoked into fighting after such an action, then the whole
    myth of a fixed timetable comes tumbling down. For then we would
    have to admit that some acts of ours would be so provocative
    as to induce the Russians to make war, which means that there
    is no fixed timetable, and that we had better watch where we
    warmonger.

    It is understandable
    how youngish men who perhaps cannot remember the nonsense of
    F.D.R.'s fantasy about Hitler's timetable to invade Iowa by
    way of Dakar, Brazil, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico, can swallow
    this timetable myth, but it is hard to understand how elderly
    conservatives, many members of America First and heated critics
    of the Roosevelt mendacity, can now credit and support an even
    more incredible and dangerous "timetable" swindle.

    The whole
    idea that the Communists have some Master Timetable where all
    future history is writ, is sheer irrationality and diabolism.
    It is based on the view that the Communists are omniscient supermen,
    infallible, all-seeing, who know that on July 1, 1973,
    they will take over the earth. No shred of evidence has ever
    been brought forward to prove the existence of such a timetable,
    our warmongers having to fall back on flagrant, and apparently
    deliberate, misinterpretations of such phrases as "we will
    bury you." But, of course, something as mundane and earthbound
    as evidence has very little to do with the rhetoric of our War
    Hawks, whose attitude can best be explained as a literal
    belief that Communists are agents of the Devil.

    In this
    connection, it is interesting that Willi Schlamn, after assuring
    us that, because of the Master Timetable, nothing warlike that
    we could do can provoke the Russians to premature attack, ends
    by saying that if the Russians should perchance attack, it would
    not be a refutation of his theory. For it would simply mean
    that the Russians had, absolutely independently, decided to
    change their timetable! This, of course, is a very convenient
    way of having your theory without having to submit it to any
    test of evidence whatever. It is also the kind of reasoning
    engaged in by primitive savages to justify their superstitions.

    It is curious,
    by the way, how the pro-war Right, on this as on many other
    occasions, who never tire of preening themselves as the lonely
    carriers of Western Civilization, are ready to revert to the
    most uncivilized modes of thought and action. It is also curious
    that the very people who devote much of their energies to attacking
    modern technology as being somehow demeaning to their aristocratic
    tastes, should enthusiastically embrace every advanced technological
    weapon of mass destruction. The air-conditioner or television
    set is crass materialism; the H-bomb and the guided missile
    are the arms of spiritual Righteousness.

Such, I believe,
are the main War-Hawk arguments. We come now to Part II, where we
consider the interesting question: Why be anti-Communist? What are
the reasons that the American officialdom, press, etc., are so vehemently
anti-Communist? Let us go down the list of these common reasons,
one by one.

II. Why
Be Anti-Communist?

  1. Communism
    permits no free elections (the favorite Social-Democrat argument).
  2. True and
    deplorable. But: what of Chiang, and Franco, and Ky, and Trujillo,
    and Rhee (who permitted elections only after jailing opponents)?
    When did they ever permit free elections? Why, then, are they
    our "heroic allies" while Soviet Russia and China must
    be fought to the death? Obviously, this is no reason to
    be for war against communism, any more than it would be to declare
    war on Chiang. And, by the way, the one place in Southeast Asia
    where there were partial free elections was in Laos, where
    the Communists won, and where our puppets stepped in to dissolve
    the legislature and jail the Communist leaders in breach of national
    and international agreements. This was done at American urging
    — this sabotaging of free elections, which apparently are only
    good when Our Side wins.

  3. Communism
    permits no freedom of speech.
  4. True, and
    still more deplorable. But: what of Chiang, and Franco, and Ky,
    and Castillo Branco, and Rhee? Since when did these Bastions of
    the Free World ever permit freedom of speech? There are surely
    countless other examples. But we don't whoop it up for war crusades
    against these nations; why against Russia and China? Again, a
    better reason will have to be found.

  5. Communism
    is a conspiracy.
  6. Social Democrats,
    the argument runs, are nice guys who are open and above-board;
    Communists, on the other hand, lurk in dark corners, as conspirators.
    It is about time that this nonsense be speared. How does one define
    the word "conspiracy"? A conspiracy is an agreement
    — any agreement — between two or more people made in private.
    If Jones and Smith and Robinson meet in Jones' home to decide
    to support Robinson at the next meeting for president of the local
    lodge, and they do not publicize their agreement, this is "conspiracy."
    And so all of us, in one way or another, are "conspirators"
    about something. So what? The whole conspiracy bogy was introduced
    into the common law by kings who feared opposition to their rule,
    and wanted to crush all dissent. It's about time we abandon this
    bogy concept, or else logically widen it until its use against
    only Communists becomes nonsensical.

  7. Communists
    believe in lying for their cause.
  8. Again highly
    deplorable. But which government officials don't do the same?
    What government doesn't employ propaganda bureaus in highly organized
    lying for what they think is the dumb public's benefit? What government
    official doesn't lie in his teeth for the supposed national welfare,
    and pride himself upon his deeds? Did not Professor Thomas A.
    Bailey, a leading partisan of F.D.R., admit that Clare Boothe
    Luce was correct in holding that F.D.R. lied the United States
    into war? And did not Bailey praise F.D.R. as a great democratic
    statesman for his political mendacity? Does any sane and informed
    person believe that General Marshall told the truth when he said
    he could not remember where he was on the night before Pearl Harbor?

  9. Communists
    do things like preventing Pasternak from accepting a Nobel Prize.
  10. Again deplorable.
    And what of the United States, bastion of the free world? We prevent
    an American Leftist from getting the Lenin Peace Prize, and prevent
    a Russian from traveling here to give it to him. We prevent Paul
    Robeson from getting a passport to visit abroad. We revile the
    editor of the National Guardian, and jail those whose crime
    is only to advocate communism. This is to say nothing of the similar
    actions of Chiang, Franco, and… So why go to war with Russia?

  11. Communists
    want to impose socialism on the economy.
  12. Correct,
    and here is the main reason why I am anti-Communist. But, here
    again: who doesn't? Doesn't Chiang, or Franco, or Ky, or Trujillo,
    or Rhee? America's foremost advocate of Chiang — an ardent free
    enterpriser — once admitted to me that Chiang and his associates
    are thoroughly socialist, and don't even have the slightest conception
    of free enterprise. So, what do we do? Fight Chiang as well? And,
    again, what about our home-grown Socialists, who don't belong
    to the Communist sect of socialists? They are far more popular
    and influential in the U.S. than are the Communist sect. What
    do we do to the Walter Reuthers and Mrs. Roosevelts, Norman Thomases,
    David Dubinskys, and editors of the New Leader? Do we
    slaughter them? And if not, why travel thousands of miles to slaughter
    Russians?

  13. Communism
    is Godless.

    Ah, here
    we come to what I suspect is the main reason why the "mass
    base" of the Right is anti-Communist. Yes, Communists are
    atheists. (The only adjective that the man-on-the-street seems
    to be able to apply to communism is "atheistic.")
    May I be so bold as to say: so what? Are we then really back
    in the early Seventeenth Century, and must we really slaughter
    every heretic we can find? (A pro-Right War Hawk has used a
    phrase that is quite revealing. He called pacifism a "Christian
    heresy." Torquemada rides again!) Bertrand Russell is an
    atheist; must we drop an H-bomb on London in order to rid ourselves
    of his presence? There are lots of atheists, furthermore, who
    are thoroughly anti-Communist. Some of my best ardently libertarian
    friends are atheists. It should not be forgotten that the most
    glamorous and conservative Republican leader of his generation,
    Robert G. Ingersoll, was an agnostic, which would be regarded
    by many of the pious Cold Warriors as even worse than atheism.

    If this
    whole affair is to be turned into a mighty theological (instead
    of a political-economic) struggle, how do the War Hawks account
    for the plethora of Protestant bishops and ministers who are
    "fellow travelers" of the Communists, or who are even
    so wicked as to be for peace? How do they account for the Red
    Dean of Canterbury? Or, even further, what do they do about
    Metropolitan Alexei, head of the flourishing, pro-Communist
    Holy Orthodox Church of Russia?

    I suspect
    that some Cold Warriors may have at least an answer to the latter
    questions: i.e., by suggesting that Protestants and the Russian
    Orthodox Catholics are not really Christian.

In its early
years, the Soviets tried to exterminate religion in Russia. They
soon gave it up as a bad job — as they gave up egalitarianism —
and turned, instead, to sponsoring religion. Khrushchev himself
admitted the popularity of the churches in Russia today. Is the
Orthodox Church of Russia then bad because it is a state church,
run by state rulers? Of course, but let us not forget that the Russian
Church has always been a state church under the czars. And,
we might note, in passing, the state church of that mighty bastion
of the Free World, Great Britain.

And so we have
it. The purpose of this paper has not been to advocate dictatorship,
suppression of free speech, conspiracy, mendacity, socialism, or
atheism. The purpose has been to show that, in every one of the
common indictments of communism, there is nothing uniquely applicable
to Soviet Russia or China, or to communism. All of these bad qualities
adhere to a great many other social systems, including those of
our most Heroic of Allies, and including the United States itself.
There is, therefore, no reason for singling out communism or Russia
upon which to launch a Holy War.

Note

  1. Let us not
    forget the role of the British-French-Israeli aggression at Suez,
    which the National Review supported, in making the suppression
    of Hungary seem respectable.

Murray
N. Rothbard
(1926–1995) was the author of Man,
Economy, and State
, Conceived
in Liberty
, What
Has Government Done to Our Money
, For
a New Liberty
, The
Case Against the Fed
, and many
other books and articles
. He
was also the editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The
Rothbard-Rockwell Report
.

Murray
Rothbard Archives

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