Foreign Relations of the United States, 1946, vol. VI: Eastern Europe, The Soviet Union. Department of State Publication 8470, (Washington, DC : Gov't Printing Office, 1969), pp. 686-687.
NOTE: As with most telegrams, superfluous words were omitted. This creates grammatical errors which are not part of the transcribing, but rather an inherent part of the telegram itself. At other times it appears words were mistakenly omitted from the original transmission. The parts enclosed in brackets [ ] were inserted by the State Dept. Text in red indicates a quote of Soviet government sources.
811.20200(D)/1-2946 : Telegram
The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State
First is complete Soviet confidence that US is faced with employment problem which it is basically incapable of solving and that it will attempt, albeit unsuccessfully, to solve this problem by exporting on credit, i.e. at immediate expense of US Govt, on large scale.
Second is conviction that economic struggle between US and Great Britain is bound to lead to acute political tension between those two countries.
This last conclusion, which will have far reaching and basic influence on Soviet policy, is a new note in contemporary party line, and has only recently come to the fore. Most striking evidence of it was given in recent public lecture by Professor Varga on Anglo-American economic relations. Varga is the leading party theorist on capitalist world, head of important Institute of World Economics and Politics and editor of magazine of that name, and must be regarded as a responsible mouthpiece of thought for influential Communist Party circles. In this lecture Varga referred specifically to speech made by Stalin in 1928 in which it was said that Anglo-American differences were the decisive differences on international imperialism. Admitting that these differences had "abated somewhat" during recent war, Varga said that it was "inevitable that economic differences would in future lead to more tense political relations, just as Stalin had said".
I doubt that Varga would have drawn attention to a Stalin speech from so long in the past unless this had been sanctioned and desired by high party circles. For this reason I think section referred to in Stalin's 1928 speech deserves careful attention as indication of current Soviet outlook. Summary of that section follows.
Of all differences in capitalist world, that between American and English capitalism had become the basic one. Wherever US tried to expand it found British vested positions thwarting its path. What this basic difference mean? It meant war. "When two giants meet with each other, when there is too little room for them on the world's surface, they try to measure their strength in order to decide by war the debatable question of hegemony."
Second great difference in capitalist world was that between imperialism and colonies. This in turn meant national colonial wars and imperialist intervention in colonial countries.
Third great difference was that between capitalist world and USSR. If at one time it had been possible to speak of a "certain equilibrium, a shaky equilibrium to be sure but of more or less long duration, between the two worlds, the two antipodes," it now had to be said that this balance was coming to an end. This meant USSR was faced with possibility of foreign intervention.
In these circumstances, capitalists were trying to lull working class into false sense of security by "the current pacifism, with its League of Nations, with its preaching about peace and about outlawing of war, with its chatter about disarmament, etc." Pacifism was a means of preparing war and screening such preparation. There were crazy fools who interpreted imperialist pacifism to mean that there would be no war. This was not correct. And most important of all was that Social Democrats were the principal surveyors [purveyors?] of imperialist pacifism in working class. Pacifism was preached by Social Democrats in order better to prepare for war and to oppress working class and Communist Parties in the rear by Fascist methods.
In consequence, following were duties of Communist Parties throughout world:
(1) Battle against Social Democracy right down the
line, politically and economically;
This is summary of passage to which Varga called attention on January 24, 1946. I believe it might be profitably borne in mind by others than those whom Varga's remarks were immediately addressed.
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