Costa Rica and Japan have greater civilnliberties than Greece (the cradle of democracy),nFrance (the motherland ofnMontesquieu), Italy (the country of thenRenaissance) and Germany (in many respects,nthe most Western of all Westernncountries). This alone wreaks havocnwith the West-East or North-South antithesis.nSimilarly, we learn that it is thenpoor in Turkey or India who are devotednto the Western heritage of freedom, andnthat “Sri Lanka and Upper Volta, amongnthe poorest of nations, have a free pressnand free political systems.”nIt must be noted, however, that thenreport lapses occasionally into the fashionablennationalistic mentality of today.nThus, the book refers to the rights ofnPalestine and Palestinians eroded by Israel.n”Our feeble complaints to Israel lednto a one step backward two steps forwardnmovement by the Israelis.”nIn New York I once spoke to an anti-nIsraeli, pro-Arab audience. “I am anRussian who emigrated to the UnitednStates,” I said. “My cultural allegiance isnto Russian culture, and in the UnitednStates I contribute my Russian prose tonemigre Russian-language magazinesnthough they cannot pay their authors.nWhy have I then emigrated.^ I hope younare not so naive as to need my answernto this question. By the same token, if Inwere a Palestinian Arab, I would emigratento Israel or support the rule ofnIsrael in Palestine, for I would knownthat the Palestinian Liberation Organization,nthe ‘sole representative of thenPalestinian people,’ offers no hope fornany society except a tyranny. As a humannbeing, I, a Palestinian Arab, would livenin a foreign free or even partly free countrynrather than in my own Palestinianntyranny.” When I finished, the audiencenapplauded, which would seem to indicatenthat nationalism in America is onlynskin-deep, and that under the skin therenis still a basic belief in human universalism.nYet on the “Palestinian issue” thenauthors of the annual slide into today’snnationalistic sentimentality, accordingnto which it’s fine for members of a nationnto be enslaved or killed by other membersnof the same nation, while the presencenof foreigners, especially (God forbid!)nwhite foreigners, automaticallynmeans colonialism, racism, fascism andngenocide. Here is another of what I believento be today’s shibboleths: the “communistnVietnamese cadres,” the booknassures us, “however misguided, werenmore willing to sacrifice themselves forntheir cause than the noncommunistsnthey faced.” This is what the New YorknTimes said, exhibiting its customarynignorance, supplemented with smugness,nscraps of totalitarian propagandanand the desire to fantasize whatever suitsnthe newspaper’s goals and views. In antotalitarian country, whether communistnor nazi, every soldier knows that tonshow any fear of the enemy is to run angraver danger than that which the nontotalitariannenemy can present. It isnalso useful to know that the North Vietnamesencommunist tankmen werenchained to their tanks lest they shouldnthink of fleeing.nJriowever, what is really worthy ofnserious discussion is the author’s estimationnof politico-civic freedom in all countriesnof the world. The entry on civil libertiesnin today’s Russia contains the sentence:n”Literacy is high, few starve, andnprivate oppression is no more.” Whatnhas literacy to do with civil liberties?nHow can the author know how manynstarve if foreigners see only designatedncities and highways? There is no privatenoppression in today’s Russia inasmuch asnprivate activity is banned, but is thisnnot the same as saying that in solitarynconfinement there are no unhappy humannrelationships?nThe annual properly defines Russia,nCuba, Hungary, and East Germany asnunfree countries. However, at the endnof the entry we learn that the freestncountry of these four is Hungary; thennnncomes Russia and Cuba (equally free ornunfree); and the least free is East Germany.nThe “U.S.S.R. is as free as Cuba,nfreer than East Germany, less free thannHungary.” The trouble is that in theirnranking of unfree and partly free countriesnthe authors seem to confuse thenconcept of physical freedom with that ofnpolitico-civic freedom. In terms of physicalnfreedom, the Soviet regime is “as freenas Cuba, freer than East Germany, lessnfree than Hungary.” Physical freedomnincludes the tyrant’s permission to hisnsubjects to do or not to do something.nThe Russian word for “tyranny” is “arbitrariness.”nA tyrant may ban or permitnanything. For some reason the tyrantsnof Russia permit their subjects—today—nto do more than do the tyrants of EastnGermany. Tomorrow it may be the othernway around. For moral, ethnographic,ntourist and other purposes all this is verynuseful and necessary to know. But whatnhas this to do with freedom?nPoland is defined by the annual asn”partly free”: ranked together in politicalnrights are Poland, Chile, mainland China,nCuba and Russia; and ranked togethernin civil liberties are Poland, Chinan(Taiwan), South Korea, Singapore andnYugoslavia. Again, the tyrants of Poland,nwho are the satraps of the tyrantsnof Russia, are permitting many Poles tontravel abroad, for example. This expandsnthe physical freedom of these Poles tremendously.nTomorrow, perhaps, not ansingle Pole will be permitted to gonabroad; either the tyrants of Poland maynchange their decrees, or they may obeynthe orders of Moscow, or they may be replacednby a military force before this reviewngoes to press. So far, freedom innPoland is only physical freejdom, i.e.nsome Poles are free only as long as theirntyrants, for reasons of their own, wishnthem to be.nWhy have the Soviet rulers been sonlenient in Eastern Europe? Why haven’tnthey annexed it officially as they did thenBaltic countries, for example? The explanationnis simple. In their world conquestnthey want the cooperation of thenFrench and Italians who vote for thenmmiSmmmk^^nMarch/April 1981n