Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 2 | Summer 1983 (Seattle) /// Issue 4 of 24 /// Master# 4 of 24

of policing or intellectual control. In Stalin’s time this took the form of indiscriminate terror against “ counterrevolutionaries.” The measures of terror or of discipline have now been greatly modified. This is important and this is hopeful. But the function of this disciplinary ideology remains the same. What it does is to transform every social or intellectual conflict within the Soviet Union into a problem affecting the security of the state. Every critic of Soviet reality, every “ dissident,” is defined as an ally of the Other: as alien, unpatriotic, and perhaps as an agent of the West. Every impulse towards democracy or autonomy in Eastern Europe — the Prague Spring of 1968, the Polish renewal — is defined as a security threat to the Soviet frontiers and to the defensive unity of the Warsaw powers. Like the populist American denunciation of “ Commies,” the Soviet denunciation of “Western” penetration can be turned to every purpose imaginable in the attempt to impose internal discipline: but with the important difference that in the Soviet Union the attacks of the media and of political leaders are supplemented by more powerful and more intrusive security forces. Even juvenile delinquency, or the new wave of consumerism in the Soviet whitecollar and professional groups can be denounced as Western attempts to “ subvert” Soviet society. And General Semyon Tsvigun, first deputy chairman of the KGB, writing recently in Kommunist, has instanced the “ negative influence” of Western styles and pop music upon Soviet young people as examples of the “ subversive” activities of the external “ class enemy.” This is the double-bind which the Soviet people cannot break through. It is weary, but it works. And it works because the Cold Warriors of the West are eager to be in the same card-game, and to lead into the strong suits of their partners, the Cold Warriors of the East. The Western Warriors, by championing the cause of “ human rights," in the same moment define the dissidents of the East as allies of the West and as security risks. It is a hypocritical championship on several counts, but we will leave this aside. It is utterly counter-productive, and perhaps it is intended to be so. It does no-one, except the Cold Warriors of the other Only this pre existent need, for bonding-by- exclusion, can explain the ease by which one populist rascal after another has been able to float to power on nothing but a flood of sensational Cold War propaganda. side, any good. The boycott of the Moscow Olympics is a case in point. Initially this may have been welcomed by some dissident intellectuals in Eastern Europe and among some Soviet Jews. It was to do them no good. A Russian friend tells me that, as an operation promoting liberty, it was a disaster. The boycott bonded the Soviet people against the Other. In a state of siege and isolation for half-a-century, the Olympics offered to open international doors and to give them, for the first time, the role of host on the world stage. They were aggrieved, by the boycott, not as Communists, but in their latent patriotism. They had allocated resources to the Olympics, they had rehearsed their dancers and their choirs. They were curious to meet the world’s athletes and visitors. Critics of the Olympics were felt to be disloyal, not only by the security services, but also by their workmates and neighbors. They boycott hence made possible the greatest crackdown upon all centers of critical opinion in the Soviet Union in a decade. It was a gift, from the CIA to the KGB. Lord Killanan and the British Olympic team, who ignored President Carter and Mrs. Thatcher, did the right thing, not only in support of the Olympic tradition but also in support of the cause of peace. But "dissent” in the Soviet Union has not yet recovered from the Western Cold Warriors’ kind attentions. It can be seen now, also, why the most conservative elements in the Soviet leadership — the direct inheritors of Stalin — need the Cold War. This is not only because some part of this leadership has arisen from, or spent some years in the service of, the bureaucratic-military-security complex itself. And it is not only because the very heavy allocations to defense, running to perhaps 15 per cent of the gross national product, must be justified in the eyes of the deprived public. It is also because these leaders are beset on every side by difficulties, by pressures to modernize, to reform or to democratize. Yet these pressures threaten their own position and privileges — once commenced, they might pass beyond control. The Polish renewal will have been watched, in the Soviet Union and in other Eastern European states, as an awful example of such a process — a process bringing instability and, with th i^ a threat to the security of the Communist world. Hence Cold War ideology — the threat of the Other — is the strongest card left in the hand of the Soviet rulers. It is necessary for bonding. And the card is not a fake. For the Other — that is, the Cold Warriors of the West — is continually playing the same card back, whether in missiles or in arms agreements with China or in the suit of human rights. We could not have led up to a more pessimistic conclusion. I have argued that the Cold War is now about itself. It is an ongoing, self-reproducing condition, to which both adversaries are addicted. The military establishments of the adversaries are in a reciprocal relationship of mutual nurture: each fosters the growth of the other. Both adversaries need to maintain a hostile ideological posture, as a means of internal bonding or discipline. This would be dangerous at any time: but with today’s nuclear weaponry it is an immensely dangerous condition. For it contains a built-in logic which must always tend to the worse: the military establishments will grow, the adversary postures become more implacable and more irrational. That logic, if uncorrected, must prove terminal, and in the next two or three decades. I will not speculate on what accident or which contingency will bring us to that terminus. I am pointing out the logic and thrust of things, the current which is sweeping us towards Niagara Falls. As we go over those Falls we may comfort ourselves that it was really no-one’s fault: that human culture has always contained within itself a malfunction, a principle of bonding-by-exclusion which must (with our present techCentrum presents The 1983 P o r t Townsend P o e try Symposium & F ic tion Seminars with: Marvin Bell Kay Boyle Diane Di Prima Linda Gregg Jim Heynen Howard Nemerov Michael McClure Tree Swenson of Copper Canyon Press and many others. Limited enrollment workshops, lectures, readings, special-topic sessions, letterpress printing option. P o e t ry i J u ly 5*16 F ic t lom J u ly 11-16 Fees: Selective enrollment poetry: S200 Optional room & board: S195 poetry Other poetry & printing sections: S175 S 90 fiction Fiction: SI 50 j d k Contact: Carol Jane Bangs ■ H H m t CENTRUM, P.O. 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