Falsifiers of History; Historical Survey

"The Armored Train of Memory": The Politics of History in Post-Soviet Russia
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His invasion of Poland that September, days after Molotov-Ribbentrop was inked, began the major war. Russia itself then invaded Poland, but now insists that all of this could have been avoided if the West had listened. Molotov-Ribbentrop came to a halt in , when Hitler attacked Russia. Not because these politicians are historians. We do it to send a message to our contemporary society about what is right and what is wrong. Postmedia is pleased to bring you a new commenting experience.

We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit our community guidelines for more information. It contents a brief presentation of some prejudices regarding Pentecostals in the ecumenical movement and a historical survey of the relationships between the WCC and Pentecostals, as well as a more detailed analysis of the actual status of this relationship from the perspective of membership of Pentecostal churches in the WCC.

The last section assesses possible future scenarios in this regard. It is underlined that the Pentecostal movement is already represented in the WCC by a few small Pentecostal churches and that all the debate on whether to accept new Pentecostal member churches in this ecumenical organization should have as its starting point the reality that Pentecostalism is already part of the WCC. After presenting in detail the last debate in the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration PCCC on the issue of the WCC opening the doors to Pentecostal churches, this article concludes that the WCC should follow its previous policy of analyzing individually each application for membership according to its criteria for accepting new members.

While most Pentecostal churches would agree with the basis of the WCC and some might increase their ecumenical engagement at all levels, in the near future at least, Pentecostal churches may still have a long way to go to integrate themselves in a genuine ethos and desire for unity. Volume , Issue 1. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.

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Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Get access to the full version of this article. But we are very immediately concerned in all the problems of the Cold War or the arms race or the parallel existence of capitalism and socialism in the world, and we need to have accurate knowledge of the historical development of these problems in order to grapple with them effectively in their present phase.

This urgent practical purpose and significance of Marxist historical science is no contradiction to its scientific character. On the contrary, only its most ruthless scientific character can give it its practical value.

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Western academic critics of Marxist-Leninist historical theory often declare that Marxism-Leninism seeks to confine history within the strait-jacket of a partisan dogma or a ready-made scheme. We have already seen how Marx and Engels themselves were concerned to denounce any distortion of their theory into dogma or schematism. But when Western academic critics of Marxism venture to assert that the present-day Western academic tradition, by contrast with Marxism, is devoted to the pursuit of pure truth in the historical field, without the shackles of dogma or prior assumptions, it is necessary to challenge this unjustified claim and expose its falsity.

We need not spend time on the very obvious material shackles of dependence on the whims and orders of wealthy benefactors which in practice govern most of the work of Western universities in the capitalist world. But it may be useful to examine how this conception of the supposed non-Marxist pure pursuit of truth in the historical field works out in practice.

For we come here to the heart of the question of truth and history; the reason why we consider that Marxist historical theory provides the key — not the ready-made answer — but the key to the discovery of historical truth; while non-Marxist theory leads to the distortion of historical truth. For this purpose we may examine a practical example from one of the most famous Western universities, Oxford University.

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At this point I must apologise for including here an insignificant personal experience in this survey of a larger theme. But as the empiricists love to say, an ounce of practice is sometimes worth a pound of theory. Even an insignificant personal experience may have a bearing on the larger theme which we pursue: the theme of the service of historical truth in relation to the role of university historical studies in our day.

I was already active as a socialist, and had no illusions about capitalism in general. But I still in all innocence believed that in coming to Oxford I was coming to a high temple of learning and wisdom, where for over seven centuries, from long before the capitalist era, scholars and learned men devoted their lives to the pursuit of truth. I knew that Wyclif, the teacher and inspirer of Huss and the first beginnings of the Reformation or initial revolt of human reason against clerical dogma, had been the Master of the College to which I had come, and that his bones had been burned by papal decision for refusal to subordinate his opinions to authority.

Here were teaching some of the great names one had learned to revere. Knowing my own ignorance I came in all humility to learn from those wiser. Then the first imperialist world war broke out. What happened to the search for historical truth at Oxford in this hour of testing? At once all the most distinguished professors of the Oxford Faculty of History published a collectively-signed manifesto declaring that, having examined the evidence as trained historians accustomed to weighing impartially historical evidence, they had reached the unanimous conclusion that Britain was in the right in the war and Germany in the wrong.

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Immediately came a counter-manifesto from all the most famous names of German historical learning, names one had equally learned to revere and respect as masters of knowledge — German learning at that time stood very high in the academic world — proclaiming that, in the light of their no less authoritative and scrupulous weighing of historical evidence, they had reached the unanimous conclusion that Germany was in the right and Britain in the wrong.

In recounting this plain version of what happened in I have no wish to cast a slur on a noble and venerable fellow university, Oxford University, which has served mankind for over seven centuries and whose glory will assuredly survive the stain of the imperialist era. Even during this imperialist era a few rebels have arisen from Oxford and Cambridge and other Western universities, and some of them have made contributions to Marxism.

Nor would I wish to cast a slur on the zeal and devotion and ability of historical, philosophical and other scholars who have laboured and labour there. But truth is truth, and must be faced. This is what happened to Western supposedly impartial historical science when brought to the test of the imperialist war.

Just as the test of the imperialist war laid bare the rottenness of the old social-democracy, so the same test laid bare the rottenness of the claim of Western capitalist scholarship to represent objective historical science. In face of this conflict of the learned, what was the innocent searcher after truth to do? The conclusion was reluctantly forced upon me, that if the greatest and most honoured exponents of academic historical wisdom reached diametrically opposed conclusions according to whether they resided in this or that degree of longitude by a few degrees of difference, there must be something defective in this academic historical science, and that the humble searcher after truth could rely on no authority, however dazzling, but must endeavour, however ill-equipped, to reach his own judgement.

To this conclusion I have adhered. Whilst the most famous professors of history were thus enrolled in the uniform of their imperialist masters, I found that among the small groups of socialist workers with whom I was in contact, who had no such benefits of higher education, there was an entirely different type of discussion of the war as a war between rival masters and exploiters for the spoils of the world.

Let us ask the question in the light of contemporary knowledge: who was closer to the truth of history? The great and famous bourgeois professors of history?

Or the handful of socialist workers with limited advantages of education? At the present day the essential analysis of Great Power rivalry leading to the First World War is the commonplace theme of conventional history text-books even in schools. But the litter of Oxford War Pamphlets, as they were called, which poured out in a flood from the university professors of history at this time, today crumble in oblivion and contempt. How was this possible? Why were these workers, deprived of educational facilities, closer to what is today universally recognised as historical truth even by present-day Oxford historians who remain as wildly astray as their predecessors in relation to the modern contemporary world of the Cold War than all these professors of history?

Was it superior mental capacity? The professors had on the contrary been chosen by a rigorous selective process, even though from a narrow stratum of the population, for mental capacity. But their basically false theory rendered them incapable of reaching a correct historical judgement, although they were supposed to be trained historical experts. Socialist theory enabled these class-conscious workers to reach, however crudely, the essential kernel of historical truth.

There were many further experiences of this nature. Russell, who was soon after imprisoned and deprived of his fellowship at Trinity College Cambridge, and for this won the devotion of us students as the shining exception to the record of academic shame, presented the familiar indictment of the prewar Entente diplomacy, Agadir, Algeciras, the corrupt alliance with Tsarism, the partition of Persia, etc.

We waited with attention the reply of Lindsay, who presented himself arrayed in khaki uniform, not as a soldier, but to indicate his official status. And that was all the answer. Academic service to imperialism had collapsed completely when faced with open argument. It was indeed these and many similar experiences and deepening disillusionment with the hollowness of official bourgeois academic claims and theories during my apprenticeship at Oxford which led me, from the very generalised socialist outlook I had already drawn from earlier years, to the serious and systematic study of Marxism since Here I began to find the answers to the insistent questions which the world situation raised and which all the professors and tutors, when I in all innocence pressed them on these questions, avoided and refused to discuss.

Before I was twenty years of age I had some experience of various prisons. At twenty-one years, in the last week of October , that is, ten days before 7 November , I had the honour to be expelled from Oxford University for the offence of propagating Marxism. The circumstances of this expulsion also have their interest for this problem of truth and history. In the summer of , at a joint meeting of the Socialist Students Society and the Majlis or Asiatic Students Society, I had carried a resolution declaring the necessity of a second socialist revolution in Russia if the counter-revolution were not to prevail, and pledging support in advance to that impending second socialist revolution, that is, the Bolshevik Revolution.

There was the usual attempt of some hooligan jingo students to create a disturbance; but our stewards were well organised, and the rowdies did not succeed in entering or preventing the peaceful completion of the meeting; but only broke some windows and shouted jingo slogans outside. Next morning the wrath of the university authorities was visited, not on the rowdies who had created the disturbance, but on me for organising the meeting; and I was ordered to leave Oxford permanently within twenty-four hours.

When a year later I was allowed to take the final examination of Literae Humaniores, it was only under the explicit condition that I had to undertake to arrive only the night before the examination, to leave the day the examination ended, and to address no public meetings during the examination. It may be worth adding that AD Lindsay, later Lord Lindsay, who as my tutor held official responsibility with the other governing authorities for the decision to expel me for socialist propaganda, was himself a member of the Fabian Society and in this sense claimed to be socialist.

When he was subsequently appointed Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University, in his inaugural address he dwelt on the tradition of academic freedom of opinion, including political opinions, as the treasured characteristic of the university tradition in Britain. As an example of this freedom he called attention to the fact that he himself was a socialist and yet was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University — an example to which an enlightened footnote might possibly have been added from his own previous record, and illustrating once again the familiar truth that there are two kinds of socialists in this sense, those acceptable to the capitalist authorities and those not acceptable.

The next stage of education in the pursuit of pure truth at Oxford University followed. Having taken the first place among students of my year in whatever examinations and honours were open, I discovered that every avenue of employment appeared closed. No professor or tutor was prepared to give me the necessary testimonial, but all said that in place of a reference I could ask any prospective employer to write to them. The Oxford University Appointments Bureau, then newly established, with exquisite irony offered me as their sole suggestion to become a settler in Kenya.

The professors and tutors, when written to by prospective employers to whom I had applied for work, invariably replied that I had such and such academic qualifications, but that whether the extreme political views I held were suitable for any responsible position under them was a matter entirely for their governing authority to decide. This invariably finished the approach.

To Oxford I remain indebted, both for many friendships and for the opportunity to study the great classics of literature and thought, and especially the basic course on Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Hegel, which is an invaluable foundation for the study of Marxism. To Oxford I also remain indebted for a practical political education, which helped to teach me that social and political theory is no mere discussion of ideas in the air, but must be lived, and that in existing class society any person can serve freedom and truth on one condition only, that he is prepared to pay for this freedom at any time with whatever consequences may follow.

In that sense I chose freedom and have never regretted the choice. Let us now broaden the argument and consider the response of Western academic historical science and educated opinion to the titanic events of our epoch, of the general crisis of capitalism, world wars and the advance of the socialist revolution. Sir Winston Churchill relates how, on entering politics as a young man in , he took advice of the distinguished Liberal Elder Statesman Sir William Harcourt, to ask him what to expect in the coming years.

The war of came upon Western historians and enlightened opinion, according to their own subsequent account and memoirs, as a wholly unforeseen and unforeseeable bolt from the blue suddenly and violently disturbing the rational order of the universe. But what of Western historians and Liberal educated opinion? Listen to Professor Toynbee, who has been widely presented, on the basis of his ten-volume monumental Study of History , as the oracle. People of your age in the professional and middle class in England just before took it for granted that they were living in a world that was civilised — meaning reasonable, humane, orderly, predictable.

A hundred similar statements could be quoted from similar voices of the learned at Oxford and Cambridge and elsewhere, describing the world before as a kind of lost golden age of happiness and reason and peace before some strange demon of violence brought it to an end. How is it possible that they could have lived in such ignorance of the horrors of imperialism, on whose profits they were subsisting in luxury? Their lamentations today for the supposed lost golden age before , their nostalgia for a picture of a kind of eternal summer afternoon of smooth lawns and country mansions, only reveal the cloistered cotton-wool chloroformed existence of the social stratum to which they belonged in complete unawareness of the realities of the world in which they lived and whose history they professed to interpret.

But this was only the beginning of the demonstration which our epoch has given and is further giving of the collapse of bourgeois historical science in face of the changes of the modern world. What was the impact of the Russian Revolution on such a mental equipment? He returned and reported officially that all such rumours were without foundation; there would be no revolution in Russia. The Times wrote, on 28 December There is beauty in the simplicity of the moujik As a matter of fact, he would not complain if he had, for the spirit of revolt is not in him.

Following the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution, informed opinion in the West we are not here dealing with the deliberate propaganda lies of the general press endeavoured to use its historical equipment to reach a correct assessment. The Intelligence Bureau of the Foreign Office prepared a confidential memorandum reproduced in the recently published Intervention and the War by Richard Ullman, [12] based on the Milner Papers which explained the true character of Bolshevism in the following terms:.

Bolshevism is essentially a Russian disease; it is Tolstoyism distorted and carried to extreme limits. The Times , writing for the educated public and higher civil servants, explained that the Petrograd Soviet was:. A self-constituted organisation of idealists, theorists, anarchists, syndicalists who are largely of the international Jew type, who have hardly any working men or soldiers among them.

Subsequently the Times Official History in its Volume 4, published in , recorded of this period:. The social aspects of the second revolution do not seem to have been understood in the office at first. The subject was not one which interested Dawson [then Editor] Wickham Steed [subsequent Editor] What then of the ensuing period when it had become clear that the attempt to overthrow the Soviet regime by the wars of intervention had failed, and that the world had entered into an era of revolutionary change and unsettlement?

Prime Minister Baldwin, the ripe product this time of Cambridge historical training, delivered his judgement in Walking alone among these hills, I have come to the conclusion the world is stark mad. Nevertheless, the backward-looking illusion of the return to the old supposed pre stability as the aim and governing conception lingered long. The Times Official History records:. There is no sign in the office between and of a sense that the world of had gone forever It was then believed [in ] almost universally that the war to end war would have no sequel.

Similarly Keynes, the leading bourgeois economic theorist and innovator, writing in to describe his outlook in , wrote:. I was brought up, like most Englishmen, to respect Free Trade not only as an economic doctrine which a rational and instructed person could not doubt but almost as a part of the moral law It was against this deep dogmatism and historical unawareness of the character of the modern world that the world economic crisis of broke as a new and once again unexpected blow — although it had once again been predicted with tolerable precision by Marxism.

In this connection it may be worth recalling the unhappy fate of the Fourteenth Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , which came out in , and which once had high prestige as the foremost repository of Western learning. As we know, it is a familiar gibe of Western critics to laugh loudly with lofty superiority over the changes of estimation or space allotted with regard to particular personalities or events in successive editions of the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia.

Here, they consider, is exposed the unscientific partisan character of Marxism in contrast to the objective scientific Western academic approach. Certainly the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia is not perfect. If it were, the main work of Marxism would already have been completed in working over the whole field of human knowledge and history to reach final conclusions on every issue, in place of our still being at a relatively early stage in this vast work. It is also true that the political climate and experience of a given stage of development can affect and lead to changes of previous estimations, although in general the aim of historical science must be to endeavour to reach an analysis sufficiently soundly based to stand up to the test of subsequent developments and fuller knowledge.

But the claim to superiority of the Western critics is misplaced, as they would realise if they would only examine the record of their own most famous encyclopaedias. Of the best-known encyclopaedias of the West on the eve of , that is, in the era of still dominant bourgeois academic theory before the manifest collapse since , such as Larousse in France, Brockhaus in Germany, or the Britannica in England, it was possibly the Britannica which was internationally regarded as pre-eminent in its authoritative character and the distinction of its contributors. The old Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , published in under the auspices of Cambridge University, with the supplementary volumes under the same editorship published in to make the Twelfth Edition, constituted and still remains the most lasting summary of the highest general level of academic knowledge and theory before the collapse following But even here the contrasts between and are always interesting.

Consider for example the treatment of Zionism. Evidently the wind of change according to variations in the political situation is a familiar picture of the supposedly most austere and authoritative Western encyclopaedias and repositories of knowledge. Subsequently to — like a kind of parable of the changes affecting bourgeois academic learning along with the capitalist world in general — the Encyclopaedia Britannica fell into other hands, with increasing American control, was duly vulgarised, Americanised and turned into a journalistic venture with lavish sales publicity. In the old Encyclopaedia Britannica , which had still followed the old-fashioned practice of inviting those with some knowledge of a subject to write in it, I had been a contributor of the articles on Communism and on the International, but now found myself duly removed from the panel of contributors when it came to the preparation of the next edition.

In this article he set out to show that the booms and slumps of capitalism were now disappearing:. It is certain, however, that though there must always be some tidal movement of rise and fall, the former violence of these rhythms is now much abated in times of peace owing to longer experience and fuller knowledge; to swifter information in every part of the globe of what is happening in every other; to quicker transport, to better calculated control exercised by the great trusts and syndicates as indirectly by the great banking combinations and to the better adjustment altogether of supply and demand.

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Unfortunately for the fate of this article, written in the high tide of the boom of , its publication in the widely celebrated Fourteenth Edition took place in The sense of collapse of bourgeois theory from the previous dogmatic certainty, which such a thinker as Keynes had described himself as still holding in the early s, was vividly portrayed by the same writer, then Lord Keynes, in an article in the Economic Journal in June No one can be certain of anything in this age of flux and change.

Decaying standards of life at a time when our command over the production of material satisfaction is the greatest ever, and a diminishing scope for individual decision and choice at a time when more than before we should be able to afford these satisfactions are sufficient to indicate an underlying contradiction in every department of our economy.

No plans will work for certain in such an epoch. But if they palpably fail, then, of course, we and everyone else will try something different. For us in Britain, the nineteenth century ended amid the glories of the Victorian era, and we entered upon the dawn of the twentieth in high hope for our country, our Empire, and the world. Then follows the bitter sequel as he described it. We believed Little did we guess Man has proved impotent The last word of wisdom of the oracle of modern imperialism?

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The atom bomb. Sir Charles Snow, internationally known equally as a scientist and as a writer of progressive outlook, in his last book Science and Government [16] has described his concern over what he feels to be the loss of sense of direction of Western capitalist civilisation. He speaks of:. One of these dangers is that we are beginning to shrug off our sense of the future. This is true all over the West. True even in the United States, though to a lesser extent than in the older societies of Western Europe. We are becoming existential societies — and we are living in the same world with future-directed societies.

This existential flavour is obvious in our art And to change is what we have to do. The wisest man who had not the gift of foresight. The more I have seen of Western societies, the more it nags at me. It nags at me in the United States, just as in Western Europe. We are immensely competent, we know our own pattern of operations like the palm of our hands. It is not enough. That is why I want some scientists mixed up in our affairs. But the gift of foresight is only the counterpart of the understanding of history.

Does it mean that Marxist historians are infallible, are the sole possessors of historic truth? Of course not. The visible and demonstrable collapse of current non-Marxist historical judgements in face of the developments of the modern world is undoubtedly a heavy exposure, and often a highly ludicrous exposure, of the illusions of non-Marxist historical theory.

But it is no proof of the infallibility of Marxist historians. Their greater correctness can only be proved by practice. In the days of ascending capitalism it was still possible for bourgeois historians, although sharing the illusions of their class and age and looking on capitalism as the final apogee of human civilisation, nevertheless to write great works of history in relation to their own age, because they were still part of the advancing historical movement.

This is no longer possible for bourgeois historians today. They have all descended into varying forms of frivolity or scepticism or the search for consolation outside history in the realms of theology. This situation throws all the greater responsibility on those who are seeking to fulfil the task of serious historical study of the modern world to utilise the theory and technique of Marxism-Leninism in order to judge correctly the events and developments of our age. But the theory of Marxism-Leninism is the sword of Achilles. Whoever would wield it must be strong enough to wield it, or it will collapse in his hands and the outcome will only be failure, discrediting the theory in place of demonstrating its strength.

Gigantic tasks await us to fulfil in this field, all the more because there has been a period of partial interruption of the full range of fruitful Marxist-Leninist studies in the field of contemporary history. Consider the themes which still await treatment in great classic works comparable to the works of Marx or Carlyle or Taine or Mommsen in their day. I leave out of account the vast field of Soviet history, with which I am inadequately acquainted. Nor would I venture to judge the extent of the work already accomplished by Soviet historians in the field of general contemporary history.

But consider the themes which are crying aloud for full and definitive historical treatment. The Second World War in its full range and development, now in process of being covered in respect of its main phases by the monumental History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union , but still requiring a comprehensive survey from its origins and including the shifting role of the imperialist powers.

The Cold War as the special form of the development of international relations during the recent period. The record of the revolutions of our era. The great Chinese Revolution. The revolutions in Eastern Europe. National liberation in Asia. African national liberation.

The international Communist movement since the dissolution of the Communist International. Social-democracy since the Second World War. These general themes press for attention alongside all the special themes such as Anglo-American relations; modern German imperialism; France from Vichy to de Gaulle; United States imperialism and the world; the United Nations; or significant wars such as the Korean War and the Suez War; and a thousand other subjects with regard to which a new generation grows up without the necessary background knowledge from memory, and requiring, not only current articles and incidental memoirs or occasional documents, but the guidance of considered historical judgements representing the outcome of collective historical work.

No doubt it can be argued that these themes are too recent and current to admit yet of historical treatment, and are more appropriate for current political polemical discussion. Nevertheless, the example of Marx has shown how the most immediate events, like those of , or , permitted of treatment, not merely in current polemical controversy, but at the same time in permanent historical works which have continued to teach each succeeding generation.

However difficult the task, we must recognise how great is the need. Every incompleteness, every gap in our treatment is taken advantage of by the enemy to spread a vast array of falsification and mythology. Of course the million-fold lies of Western official propaganda cannot be immediately overtaken by historical truth. The official propagandists are even still capable of spreading on all sides the story that Lenin was a German agent, though they have had to abandon the nationalisation of women and the devouring of babies by Bolsheviks. But the availability of informative and authoritative historical works on the important developments of the modern era since can help to equip those who wish to learn the truth.

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At the present day it is only necessary to consider the way in which, no sooner was it shown by the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that perversions of justice had occurred in the preceding period, and that many had been wrongfully accused and sentenced who have since been rehabilitated, than at once all the Western enemies of communism seized on this to proclaim the justification of every calumny they have ever uttered against the Soviet regime. This unreasonable distortion and exaggeration of a serious correction is only able to flourish for the moment in the Western world, since the long process of legal review and verification in respect of the period in question is not yet complete, and until then we are not yet able to confront finally these distortions with precise and complete factual information concerning the period in question; that is, the final assessment of how many in fact were arrested; how many sentenced, executed, imprisoned or deported; how many were guilty, and how many were innocent.

Here inevitably historical research and presentation has to await the completion of the preceding legal work. This is a particular example of the special difficulties accompanying contemporary history. Nevertheless, even under these inevitable temporary limitations, the enemy campaign makes the need for the best possible consistent objective historical treatment on the basis of our available knowledge all the greater, not as a question of an idle search for information, but in order to defeat the enemy lies and equip and strengthen further our ranks.

When Lenin chose the title Pravda Truth for the organ of the great Russian Communist Party, the teacher of all Communist parties, his choice was a guide and a signpost.

Falsifiers of History; Historical Survey

Our weapon is the truth. The weapon of Marxism is the truth. The choice of the title Truth for the organ of Communism was equally the expression of confidence in the mass of the people — that they will always understand, once the facts are set clearly before them. The enemy seeks to win his temporary victories by mystification and lies. We alone in the modern world are never afraid of the truth.

There is no fact so terrible, so cruel or so bitter that we cannot face it as it is without concealment or embellishment. For we know that when all the facts of any given situation or a phase of our era are presented without distortion, in their interrelations and movement, in their historical relations, with historical understanding, then the outcome will always lead to the conclusion of communism and the justification of communism, because communism is the truth of our historical epoch.

In conclusion I would like to be permitted to pay tribute to all of the Historical Faculty of Moscow University who are carrying forward this great work. And to you who are students I would say this. You can be proud to be studying in the university which is now the centre of the modern world, of the world of socialism and Marxist-Leninist theory. You will be able to carry forward, with a far greater completeness and mastery than any of us can yet attain, the noble work of endeavouring to understand human progress and development, and thereby helping to guide the path forward, which is the task of Marxist history.

F Engels to C Schmidt, 5 August If things turn out as we would like it, and this is very probable, then it will be a war of positions on the French frontier, a war of attack leading to the capture of the Polish fortresses on the Russian frontier, and a revolution in Petersburg, which will at once make the gentlemen who are conducting the war see everything in an entirely different light.

One thing is certain: there will be no more quick decisions and triumphal marches either to Berlin or Paris. News-Chronicle , 5 January The Times , 22 February New Statesman and Nation , 8 July The Cold War has been the central question of international relations in the modern period. It is accordingly appropriate to consider this at the outset in any review of the problems of contemporary history. The innocent might imagine that the history of the Cold War, which has overshadowed the life of mankind for close on two decades, would abound on the bookshelves on every side and in every country.

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The book provides insight into Stalin's thinking and calculations in the autumn of As we know, it is a familiar gibe of Western critics to laugh loudly with lofty superiority over the changes of estimation or space allotted with regard to particular personalities or events in successive editions of the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia. A similar example is found in the South African Republic, which after the racial war of s has managed to create a new political system, adopt a liberal constitution, and drop its nuclear program. They claim that not only did the Soviet Union not liberate them from fascism, but that it replaced Nazi Germany as the occupying power. These general themes press for attention alongside all the special themes such as Anglo-American relations; modern German imperialism; France from Vichy to de Gaulle; United States imperialism and the world; the United Nations; or significant wars such as the Korean War and the Suez War; and a thousand other subjects with regard to which a new generation grows up without the necessary background knowledge from memory, and requiring, not only current articles and incidental memoirs or occasional documents, but the guidance of considered historical judgements representing the outcome of collective historical work.