up to? This stuff only made sense asnpropaganda if the intended themesnwere talking up capitalism and castingnthe Soviet Union as a backwater hasbeen.nThe only overt suasion I couldnidentify was a tendency to rattle onnabout “Our Common EuropeannHome,” in an obvious Soviet effort toncourt favor with Western Europe.nTo be honest, I was rather charmednby New Times’ modesty, and thisncaused me to wonder if the Sovietsnweren’t pioneering a new brand ofnpsy-war. Obviously Germany’s and Japan’sneconomic resurrection in thenwake of losing World War II was anninspiring model for winning by losing.nIf the Soviets declared the Cold Warnover and themselves the losers, perhapsnthey could prod us into rebuilding theirndecimated infrastructure, too.nThis theory also accounted for thendifficulty of finding New Times. Thenlocal communist faithful were hardlyngoing to knock themselves out to peddlenmaterial that undercut their ownnON REVOLUTIONnAnd the hungry are so hungry, and yetnthe revolution is right. But it is right notnLIBERAL ARTSnideologically, but as an impact, as will, asndespair. “I am not a saint and perhaps Inam even worse than you; but I amnhungry, I’m a wolf, hungry and agile,nand also my hunger has given mencourage; and you have been an ox for anthousand years; if once upon a time younhad horns and hooves to kill me, nownyou are old and feeble, and I’m going tondevour you.”nRevolution and the “old order” arensimply “old age” and as yet “undiminishednstrength.” But it is not an ideal,nnot by any means an ideal!nAll social-democratic theories are reducednto the thesis — “I must eat.”nWell, the thesis is correct. Against itneven the Lord Almighty has nothing tonsay. “He who gave me a stomach mustnalso provide me with food.” Cosmogony.n* * *nYes. But the dreamer walks away: for henloves his dream more than food. And innrevolution there is no room for thendream.nAnd perhaps just because revolutionn42/CHRONICLESnlongtime devotion to Marxism-Leninism.nThe same issue oi People’s DailynWorld that provided the address of thensickly Los Angeles clubhouse containednan alternately pitiful and hilariousnpiece by Michael Parenti bemoaningn”the anti-Marxist Soviets.” Parentinwhines that ” ‘Reform-minded’ Sovietnintellectuals heap praise on those mostncritical of Soviet society and disdain then’soft-minded’ ones who might be morenrestrained in their observations. Theyneven gently criticize hard-liners liken[Robert] Conquest for not being ferociousnenough.” Parenti sadly observes,n”The more retrograde and anti-communistnthe view, the more ‘reactionarynchic’ it is and the more appeal it seemsnto have.”nIs this, then, the death of Sovietnpropaganda, or is it a leap to a newnlevel of sophisticated manipulation?nAfter all, cautious observers likenEdward Jay Epstein have noted a numbernof earlier Soviet turns to the West,nsuch as the “New Economic Policy” ofnhas no room for the dream, it will notnsucceed. There will be a lot of brokenncrockery, but there will be no newnbuilding erected. For only he alonenbuilds who is capable of an overpoweringndream. Michael Angelo, Leonardonda Vinci—they did build, but the revolutionnwill “play them a most prosaicntrick” and will strangle them in theirnyouth, at the age of eleven or thirteen,nwhen they suddenly discover somethingn”of their own in their soul.”n”Oh, you are proud; you don’t wantnto mix with us, to share, to be chums.n. . . Oh, you have a soul of your own,nnot a communal soul. . . . The communitynthat gave life to your parentsnand to you — for both you and they,nwithout the community, would havendied from starvation — is now takingnback what you owe it. Die!”nAnd “the new building,” with thenfeatures of the ass, will crumble tonpieces in the third or in the fourthngeneration.n— from Solitaria,nby V.y. Rozanov, 1912nnnthe I920’s, which were abruptly reversednby dictatorial fiat. And even as Inwrite, Gorbachev keeps consolidatingnpower in the name of democratizingnand decentralizing control. Thennagain, perhaps we are truly in a new eranwhen studies such as Dezinformatsianno longer apply. In either case, if NewnTimes is still intended as propaganda toninfluence foreign elites — even if thenline being peddled is one of lulling usninto complacency and self-congratulation—nwfiy is New Times nearly impossiblento obtain? Conversely, if NewnTimes is no longer propaganda, why isnit still being published? With a budgetnof at least two hundred million dollars anyear. New Times must be justifying itsnexistence to some Soviet bean-counternamidst paper shortages and an economicntailspin.nIn an effort to keep a finger on thenfaltering Soviet pulse, I subscribed tonNew Times last fall. As 1990 came to anclose and the Soviet hard-linersnclamped down on the Baltic republics,nNew Times continued to be amazinglynself-critical of Soviet antidemocraticnactions. And then, at the turn of thenNew Year, New Times ceased to shownup in the mail altogether. After four ornfive weeks of missing issues had passednI called Imported Publications in Chicago,none of New Times’ primary U.S.nsubscription agencies, and inquirednabout the vanished magazine. Theynclaimed that a dispute over paymentnhad arisen between Aeroflot (whichnflies Soviet periodicals to America innbulk) and the Soviets’ periodical distributionnagency that handles all magazinesnfor exportation. As of last March,nNew Times was still missing in action.nCommon sense suggests that internalnideological struggles in the SovietnUnion have no doubt had more to donwith New Times’ disappearance thannpayment disputes between one Sovietnagency and another. Then again, Insuppose it is possible that perestroikangot as far as introducing cost accountingnto Aeroflot’s managers, who decidednthat they had given a free ride tonbulk propaganda shipments for longnenough. Perhaps this will be the ultimatenfruit oi perestroika: in the futurenall propaganda will have to pay its ownnway.nJay Kinney is an editor and writernliving in the Bay area.n