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!
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — 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.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)