Targeted Missiles, Guided Democracyrnby Paul Gottfriedrn”Democracy is more cruel than wars or tyrants.”rn—SenecarnGeorge F. Kennan and the Originsrnof Containment, 1944-1946rnby George F. Kennan and John LukacsrnColumbia: Vniversitv of Missouri Press;rn85 pp., $19.95rnThe correspondence on the origins ofrnthe Cold War between John Lukacsrnand George Kennan, who have beenrnfriends for more than four decades, is notrnentirely unknown to fans of either.rnMuch of it was printed last vear in AmericanrnHeritage, and Lukacs’s stately introductionrnto this expanded version of thernexchange reprises themes that come uprnin I’he End of the Twentieth Centuryrn(1995) and in his earlier works on contemporaryrnhistory. As 1 haye elsewhererncommented extensiycly on the work ofrnboth men, it may be redundant for me tornrepeat tributes to these acknowledgedrnmentors. Instead, it may be more usefulrnto focus on vyhat I find problematicrnPaul Gottfried is a professor of humanitiesrnat Elizabethtomi College inrnElizabethtown, Pennsylvania.rnabout their yision of recent history: bothrnmen see this century’s two world wars asrn”the two mountains” (Lukacs’s words)rndommating the historic topographx- ofrnthe modern era; and both see the RussianrnReyolution as an event of only secondar-rnimportance, born of Wbdd War Irnbut greatly overestimated by conser’ativesrnand neoconseryatives as the turningrnpoint of the 20th century.rnThese notions are troubling for twornreasons. First, it is not at all clear thatrnneoconseryatives hold the Russian Reolutionrnto be as earth-shaking as Lukacsrnsuggests. A year’s subscription to Commentaryrnor a reading of the historiographyrnof Donald Kaben and Paul Johnsonrnshould make clear that neoeonscrvati’esrnare far more obsessive in their dislike ofrnthe Germans than of the Soviets, andrnthat they arc nearly as hostile to thernKaiser’s Reich as they are to Hitler’s.rnThe neoconseratiyes and some BritishrnTories ma be the last proponents ofrnthe dubious thesis of Fritz Fischer, whichrnblames Wodd War I on the implementationrnof a supposed German plan forrnworld conquest. The point is notrnwhether this thesis can be sufficientlyrndocumented to make it worthy of respectrn(from what I can determine, it cannot).rnMore relevant is that the neoconseryatives’rnpreoccupation with the Germanrnproblem would never allow most ofrnthem—Richard Pipes being a signal exceptionrn—to identif}’ Bolshevism as thernmother of all 20th-eentury disasters.rnFrom the neoeonservative perspective,rnthe Soiet problem was a secondary one,rncompared to a German menace extendingrnfrom Bismarck to Hitler.rnA fixation with communism, from thernSoviet Reyolution on, was rather characteristicrnof certain postwar eonservativesrn—most particularly Frank Meyer,rnRobert Strausz-Hupc, Stefan Possony,rnand, for a while, James Burnham.rnNonetheless, what critics call “apocalypticrnanticommunism” has been less anrnidee fixe for the American right than antifascismrnhas been for the American leftrnand center-left. Despite the militantlyrnintercntionist anticommunism prevalentrnamong those who read and wrote forrnNational Review, isolationism continuedrnto be found on the Old Right into thern1950’s and 6()’s. Such right-wing libertariansrnas Frank Chodorov and MurrayrnOCTOBER 1997/39rnrnrn