The E. F. SchumacherrnSocietyrnDecentralistrnConferencernJune 28-30,1996rnWilliams CollegernWilUamstown, MassachusettsrnWe believe that it isrntime for many interestedrnindividuals and groups withrnwidely varying perspectives torncome together and discuss thernimplications and possibilitiesrnof decentralization —and atrnthe same time talk through therndetails of creating morernhuman-scale institutions.rnSince 1980 the E. F. SchumacherrnSociety has woricedrninternationally to promote thernideas of the rich decentralistrntradition—^Human-Scale,rnRespect for the Land, CommunityrnRenewal, and MutualrnAid—and worked locally tornimplement these ideas inrnpractical programs for localrneconomic self-reliance.rnPresentations andrnworking groups at thernConference will focus onrnlocal currencies, enterprisernloan funds, consumer andrnworker cooperatives, smallrntown revitalization, communityrnland tmsts, communityrninformation technology, andrncitizen initiated environmentalrnprojects.rnConference fees, room andrnboard, $200. To register contact:rnE. F. Schumacher Societyrn140 Jug End RoadrnGreat Harrington, MA 01230rn(413)528-1737rne-mail: [email protected] with even more millions of victimsrnand a much longer life span is the beneficiaryrnof this sustained effort of historicalrnrehabilitation in—of all places—rnAmerican colleges and universities.”rnSince the beginning, serious criticismrnof the Bolshevik Revolution has beenrnwidely dismissed as uninformed, anrnabysmal betrayal of all that was good inrnmankind. From day one of that revolution,rnLenin’s political system, to quoternRobert Conquest, “had as one of itsrnmain characteristics falsification on anrnenormous scale,” an attribute that was tornhave as its result what Vaclav Havel laterrncalled “the culture of the lie.” It was, forrnexample, impermissible “red baiting”rn(synonymous with anticommunism) tornsuggest that Stalin’s Moscow trials werernframeups of innocent people. Or to sayrnthat the American League Against Warrnand Fascism was a communist-sponsoredrnfront. Or to announce, as Americans forrnDemocratic Action did in the latern1940’s, that they would not allow communists,rnwho opposed democracy, to becomernADA members. The liberal mediarncould accuse President Reagan of riskingrnWorld War III when he called the SovietrnUnion an evil empire, but thought itrnhigh-minded statesmanship when formerrnSecretary of State Cyrus Vance said:rn”Leonid Brezhnev is a man who sharesrnour dreams and aspirations.” Could Mr.rnVance have said that about GeneralrnPinochet or Jonas Savimbi? The questionrnanswers itself.rnHad Alger Hiss spied for Hitler insteadrnof Stalin, could there be an Alger Hissrnchair of social studies as there is todayrnat Bard College? (The occupant of thatrnchair. Professor Joel Kovel, by the way,rnhas argued that anticommunism is anrnirrational illness.) Had Corliss Lamontrnworked for the global triumph of fascism,rnwould there be a Corliss Lamont chair ofrncivil liberties as there is today at the ColumbiarnUniversity Law School, honoringrnthis indomitable veteran defender ofrnStalinism and financial angel for communistrnfronts? If endowed chairs existrnat any American university for GeorgernOrwell, Arthur Koestler, Sidney Hook,rnRobert Conquest, James Burnham, orrnother renowned anticommunist intellectuals,rnI haven’t heard of them.rnIt has been said with justifiable hyperbolernthat Hitler told the truth aboutrnwhat he was doing and nobody believedrnhim, while Stalin lied about what he wasrndoing and everybody believed him. Withrnregard to the books and monographsrnabout the Cold War written by mainstreamrnhistorians, this gullibility is substantiallyrnthe case. How could so manyrnintellectuals have found Camelot inrnHell, future Utopias in existing gulags?rnIn her mordant essay on J. Robert Oppenheimer,rnDiana Trilling wrote thatrn”a staunch anti-Communism was therngreat moral-political imperative of ourrnepoch.” So commanding a precept laidrndown by an American intellectual at thernzenith of Soviet power would today bernviewed with contempt by mainstreamrnliberalism for being tastelessly “anticommunist.”rnAs Orwell once wrote: “Thernsin of nearly all left-wingers from 1933rnonwards is that they have wanted to bernanti-Fascist without being anti-totalitarian.”rnConnected with today’s lapidaryrnliberal ideology is the slogan, first heardrnduring the French Revolution, pas d’ennemisrna gauche. The Soviet Union longrnprofited from that slogan.rnEven today, the young historianrnMichael Kazin cannot bring himself tornspeak truthfully about communism. In arnreview of Powers’ book in the Nation, herntrots out that old baloney about how therncommunists “battled Jim Crow laws andrnracist prosecutions.” Of course they did;rnbut selectively, only when the Party linernpermitted such battles. With the invasionrnof the U.S.S.R. in June I94I, thererncould have been a dozen ScottsborornBoys or Sacco-Vanzetti cases thereafter,rnand the communists couldn’t haverncared less. They were under orders fromrnMoscow to discourage civil rights agitation;rnwinning the war came first, andrnnothing should be done that might,rnas the cant phrase went, “rock the boatrnof national unity.” Kazin talks ratherrnpatronizingly about “rational and irrational”rnfears about communism, but Irndoubt whether he would make such arndistinction of rational and irrational fearsrnwhere nazism is concerned. Kazin saysrnthat communists “did valuable politicalrnwork, despite dishonest habits and thickrnideological blinders.” Tut-tut. Wererncommunists doing “valuable politicalrnwork” when they bitterly opposed FDR’srnreelection in 1940 and then supportedrnhim in 1944, in keeping, as always, withrnStalin’s orders? Kazin says that Americanrncommunists “behaved quite differentlyrnthan did Communists who possessedrna secret police, an army and arnFive-year Plan.” Does Kazin really believernthat American communists werernfree spirits, that they ignored Krem-rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn