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By Christoph Bertram (eds.)

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One article condemns a 'War against Dissidents' in the United States; another compares the strengthening (by 4,000 men) of the much-reduced British Army in 1978 with the Nazi military build-up in the 1930s; a third cavils sarcastically at the misuse of psychiatry in capitalist countries, and so forth. Day after day, country after country and personality after personality, from Chile to Israel, from Santiago Carillo to Zbigniew Brzezinski, become the targets of Soviet obloquy. These unrelenting castigations make the black list longer and longer.

And, it must be recognized, the reality of American life and behaviour often validates and reinforces such uncertainties: however distorted the Soviet image, both American intervention after the Russian Revolution and Allied partnership against Nazi Germany did indeed occur; there is a basis for the images of both abundance and squalor; there are the Pentagon and populism, optimism and opportunity, as well as racism and the shallowness of a mass culture symbolized by such figures as Mickey Mouse and Elvis Presley.

But such high-minded sentiments, expressed in the Soviet press shortly after the trials of Orlov, Ginzburg and Shcharansky are not only directed against what Pravda (27 August 1978) called 'reprisals from above' in China. Similarly indignant denunciations are also made regularly of the abuse of human rights in Britain and the United States - hardly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Yet it continues. One article condemns a 'War against Dissidents' in the United States; another compares the strengthening (by 4,000 men) of the much-reduced British Army in 1978 with the Nazi military build-up in the 1930s; a third cavils sarcastically at the misuse of psychiatry in capitalist countries, and so forth.

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