The Poverty of Anti-Communism

American anti-Communists distorted and corrupted the domestic political scene with exaggerations of a threat that was never as strong--or worrisome--as they pretended it to be.

Issue: Spring 1999

The basic statement of American anti-Communism, as well as the basic
conception of the Cold War, is the one expressed by William Buckley,
Jr., who got it from James Burnham. I quote: "In 1917 history changed
gears." Apart from the weirdness of such a mechanical metaphor--as if
history were an automobile--the meaning of it is that the Russian
Communist revolution was the principal and decisive event of this
century, which thereafter was marked by the struggle between
International Communism and the Free World (whatever that is). There
are few statements about the history of the world of which one may
say that they are complete nonsense. This is one of them.

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