reading it:n—Is Mr. Hammer a decent and wellintentionednAmerican, or is he anninfluential rat to whom the notionnof allegiance to moral principlenis meaningless?n—Whom does Mr. Hammer serve:nAmerica, the communists or justnhimself?nMany of Mr. Hammer’s supporters,nadmirers or analysts might conclude,nwith skeptical sagacity, that these questionsnare beside the point, that life isnruled by ambivalence, that a true citizennof the world must always deal withnnuances of reality and goodness whosenappearances are undefinable and unpredictable.nAt this point, an old Jewishnjoke comes to mind: two quarrellingnmen go to a rabbi to solve a bitter dispute.nThe rabbi listens to one and says:n”You’re right.” Then the adversary getsna hearing and the rabbi says: “You’renI’ight.” Upon which, the rabbi’s assistantnsays: “Rabbi, here you have two mennwhose arguments are at extreme odds;nit’s impossible that they both are right,nisn’t it?” The rabbi thinks for a whilenand says: “You know what? You’renright, too.”nWe have our own, perhaps third, answernto the Hammer enigma. He is notnan isolated phenomenon. Apparently,nat a certain juncture Lenin and his successorsnconceived of even a betternscheme than buying the good, reliable,ncapitalist rope. They decided to formntheir own capitalist ministratum withinnthe most formidable stronghold of capitalism.nThe NFT article mentions, butndoes not analyze in detail, the originsnof Mr. Hammer’s fortune, a family fortunenfounded by his father, a successfulnRussian immigrant who apparentlynnever abandoned his deep ideologicalnallegiance to Lenin’s communism. Hendidn’t need to be a Party member, henjust worshipped at the altar of Marxism,nwhile at the same time organizingncapitalist enterprises which wouldnserve the cause of revolution. The victoriousnrevolution in Russia did notnleave him to face the hazards of the capitalistneconomy alone—by extendingnunusual business rights and concessionsnin the import/export trade, the workers’nparadise provided him with solid investmentnopportunities and a capital-formingnbase. Having all possible opportunitiesnto profit from capitalism with thenassistance of Soviet capital infusion, hisnson, Mr. Armand Hammer, worked hisnway to the attention of Stalin, Khrushchev,nBrezhnev, Truman, Kennedy andnFord. Hammer’s strategy is certainlynnot unique. Mr. Samuel Rubin, thengiant of the American cosmetic industrynand founder of the Faberge conglomerate,nis said to have been an ardentndevotee of Stalin. We do not knownwhether he received any cash infusionnfrom Amitorg or other agencies of thenCommissariat for Foreign Trade tonbuild his capitalistic empire, but we donknow that a good portion of his millionsnwent into ventures like the Institute fornPolicy Studies—an institution notnexactly dedicated to the prosperity ofnAmerican capitalism, oriented insteadntoward the promulgation of capitalism’snThe Woes of Temler SoulsnThi- Colunihus Dispatch of Cohim-nInjs. Ohio quotes Pfter Criss, formerlyncruel suppression.nWe do not have unequivocal repliesnto the questions we ourselves have posednconcerning Mr. Hammer’s inner mysteries.nAll we can rely on is a segmentnfromMr. Epstein’s text in theN^eii* YorknTimes Magazine which seems to us particularlynilluminating:nLIBERAL CULTURE ^nnnThroughout this global odyssey, itnquickly became clear how in all hisndealings, commerce, diplomacy, politics,nphilanthropy, friendship and hisnown self-interest interweave in complexnpatterns. A vivid illustration is hisnrecent personal peace initiative in Afghanistan.nThe idea, which he claimsnhad been suggested to him by EdwardnGierek, then the head of the CommunistnParty in Poland, was for thenSoviet Union to begin a phased withdrawalnof its troops from Afghanistannin return for which Pakistan and thenUnited States would agree to stop aidingnthe anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan.nIn Moscow, Hammer arranged a privatenmeeting with Brezhnev. Brezhnevnexplained, according to Hammer’snrecollection, that it was ‘utternnonsense’ that the Soviet Union hadnof the rock group Kiss, on the mi.seriesnof rock musicians while on tour:nI used tu pull slums like llirovin)<nti’k’visiDiis into hotfl piiols. but notnjust for the fun nf it. Omv vou”venlici’u out on thi’ ronii tor .?00 stniightndays you riMlIy Icurn the limits of huni;innIrustratiuii, and vou fio licyondnthi: normal limits to )>(‘t rid of it . . .nThe Kiss rock group designed the lastntwo letters of its name to re.semble thennazi SS emblem. Ilitlerian henchmenncomplained, at one time, that murderingnpeople in concentration camps madenthem bored and lired. The difference, is that Kiss never indulged innsuch things—they just collected millionsnof dollars on the road. Dn^^^^•^47nMarch/April 198Sn