5 MAY 1961, Page 23

t y 44 Conscience of the Revolution. By Robert y01,L E

who have formed what they take to be

' Aei intelligent . lgent views about international politics It d '°e.luetinfes accept a false impression of the ilocr,s, imLyiet rulers. I do not mean so much the Intel- ita P rtkla 1 sub-men who quite obviously deduce their chiol,t,:ers from their opinions—unilateralists who piattl ssume the basic peacefulness of the apparatchik beel t,irII,Ply because no other assumption would Bt ueir • ,, notions. Even people of comparative good beet rose and good-will are inclined to accept the In tt`r hacts, or supposed facts, about the regime which t Pre: i, PPeo to be most easily available to them. This 6Yhicf e' rather as if one should accept from a tobacco d a QMPany's advertisement a view of the health- y P''

Ai givi"

sp .46 properties of the cigarette. Given the Irani th vlet ability to keep a great many things secret, isiotl' poe selection of fact which enters the common 1p13" of°1 in the West contains a very high proportion whet? ,, material pumped in direct by the Russian e add4t4othorities, and constituting their brand-image. irosts Oks which get behind the image should there- Eol "re always be welcome.

ighV Nir 13 • ,b6 loci., • alley tells of two separate, though inter- : n ifr 414'418, sets of events. The first was the ruthless s,d nt, fantastic Soviet campaign against émigré 3F351 wi8tLanisations, which culminated in the Thirties tho le Paris the successful kidnapping in broad daylight :s Lao: dvraris of the heads of the White organisations. - r or ,e ',the even more astonishing success achieved 1 y„.111 blaming the whole thing on others, on the s " , ()ands that the Socialist, anti-Fascist Russians eny , . ,4 i be innocent. Naturally the fellow-travellers itfy• (I the ue day fell for it, but so did a good many less sed People.

Mr. B • ..

,, M ,. . alley s other theme is the great purge affected the Red Army—a brutal anli dis- tusti„ ,, %ten& story. Khrushchev has since told us that' , teve"..11 Purged the army. without any reasons and \ ' it„,ielY hurt the Soviet power to fight. In fact 1 teas Yet another illustration of the impossibility 1 11 amoral humanism. The theory that a good ef necessity, can put through extreme measures out 0 "eeessity, while still retaining his basic de- happens used to be very popular. In reality what , i;Peos is that the most ruthless men get to the ,e3d real. aoli their ruthlessness is not even the ilia gum IslW it is sometimes praised as—it becomes ruthlessness for ruthlessness's sake. 2iiiti if iolc. nt Stalin, out of his attachment to this sort s to plia„4ctivitY, really ruined the Soviet army, this • •'.'nt ' be regarded as the most brilliant achieve-

. ent j i his in. of Geran military intelligence. Mr. Bailey

law, Man hereasons for believing that the Ger- a01,.nten", managed to get into Stalin's hands docu- ,uslY0141,1 apparently incriminating the Soviet :a10'' ktr.snals. This version was recently given by 3 av,. 1, Surkov to a Yugoslav paper, so it seems to "v the .e official, though unpublished, rumour in nlalsla itself. But Mr. Bailey at the same time tie:tains that a real plot—to which the German , to Ments were quite irrelevant—had been Id' hi tinedamong the Marshals. He gives the various -1 the 1%,„.urs to this effect which were circulated at ,ear ![1,,t"rue• They may well be true; but I cannot see ,,col he has really substantiated them. 141/t1; 1,111\itir. Daniels's book has sixty-eight pages of —4/10,148:,graPhy and notes and so might seem a „:.,Oatl L` for gibes about Teutonic scholarship. l",:ly inlit u_e disarms me by the clarity, thoroughness `r the ,;eadability of his account of the history of vornmunist Party up to Stalin's defeat of the

Iasi overt opposition in 1929. He looks at tellingly, in terms of a struggle between those elements in the Party who thought free discus- sion essential to true Marxism and their opponents who favoured thought-control and blind discipline. The Revolution and Civil War were fought and won under conditions of ex- tremely free discussion within the Party. It was only in 1921 that Lenin put through what Mr. Daniels regards as the Russian Thermidor, by banning all unofficial policy groupings within the Party. The author distinguishes between the Party democrats-in-principle like the 'Workers' Opposition' of 1920 and the Bukharinite, Zinovievite and Trotskyite groups who were happy enough about discipline when they were not at the receiving end. But this is a little schematic. Opinions do change under stress and each opposition was bound at least to come out against the rule of the Party by the permanent apparatus—the factor which makes the CPSU, to this day, unamenable to arguments, ideas, popular feeling, or anything except the bureau- cracy's short-sighted and narrow-minded notion of its own interests. However, Mr. Daniels powerfully contributes to what is, after all, among the most essential and urgent knowledge we can have.