19 JULY 1957, Page 40

Duckspeak Dictionary

A Guide to Communist Jargon. By R. N. Carew Hunt. (Bles, 15s.)

THE clarification of Marxism-Leninism for the reader who has not the time to bone up on such works as Critique of a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law calls for special gifts. There is so much complicated scholasticism and it has been developed, particularly in later years, with such multiple-think that practically nobody has succeeded in putting it over. For it is no use simply explaining the concepts (and heaven knows even that is not a light task) without show- ing the spirit in which they are manipulated, the whole animus of modern Communist theory. Mr. Carew Hunt has long since established his almost unique reputation in this line. And this new book will add to it.

It consists of what amount to very short essays, fifty of them, on expressions in common use among Communists. Almost all of these are from the field of politics or political theory. The only purely philosophical essay, on dialectic, while a small masterpiece in its way, is too short• to take us far. But this scarcely matters. For these temperate and illuminating pieces give, for their length and digestibility, the greatest insight into the Communist mind that has yet been pub- lished. To read, say : `Bureaucracy,' Cosmopoli- tanism,"Equalitarianism,"The Party Line' and `People's Democracy' alone—fewer than twenty pages—is an exercise which would at least double the education in the matter of most of our politicians and publicists. And how much light, for instance, is thrown on Soviet-mindedness by the brief remark in the piece on 'Aggression': 'As Socialist States are by their very nature in- capable of aggression no military action they take can be defined as such. This is a feature of Communist thinking that we shall repeatedly en- counter, the framing of definitions in such a way that the desired conclusion follows from them.'

No such criticism can be made of Mr. Carew Hunt's own method. His conclusions are based on a perfectly fair presentation of Soviet state- ments and actions. That the system of ideas held by a man like Khrushchev should be just a com- plicated piece of machinery for producing justifications of anything that suits hTs book, however unpleasant, will not come as a surprise to those who heard him on television. The work-

ings of the political ideology that produces such monstrous and dangerous self-satisfaction and (presumably) self-deception should be more

widely understood. Thanks to Mr. Carew 140111 a view of its workings is now readily available

to everyone. I. E. M. ARO