entire Soviet Empire. In making death or imprisonment thernpenalty for incompetence and corruption, Stalin got rid of thernGorbachc’S before they could do much damage.rnHow much of Stalin’s persecution was policy, how much instinctrnor mere malice, remains a subject of debate amongrnpathologists who continue to study Soviet history. Khrushchevrnapparently thought Stalin knew what he was doing, and in hisrnsecret speech he observed that:rnStalin was convinced that it was necessary for the defensernof the interests of the working class against thernplotting of the enemies and against the attack of thernimperialist camp . . . . We cannot say that these werernthe deeds of a giddy despot. He considered that thisrnshould be done in the interests of the Party, of the workingrnmasses, in the name of defense of the revolution’srngains. In this lies the whole tragedy.rnEugenic Corti, in his great play The Trial and Death of Stalin,rnhas Stalin explain to his successors that the only way he had ofrnkeeping the revolution pure was to terrorize not just the nationrnbut the party, including its most loyal members. “What didrnyou want,” he asks Khrushchev and Molotov, “to be Antichristsrnto everyone else but Christians among ourselves?”rnThe logic of Stalin is only the anti-Christian counterpart tornthe reasoning that all Republicans since Machiavelli have employed.rnThomas Jefferson knew, from the very beginning,rnthat America needed a little revolution now and then, and insteadrnof panicking at Shays’ Rebellion, he was pleased that thernruling class was getting a gentle reminder of the source fromrnwhich their power derived. Jefferson was the least bloodthirstyrnof the American Flounders, but it was he who proclaimedrn—in a sentence I never tire of quoting—that “the treernof liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood ofrnpatriots and tyrants.”rnAmericans like to say that the events of 1776 did not lead tornanything like a rexolution, that our ancestors were merely secedingrnfrom the authority of the Crown. In one sense this isrnclearly the case. Despite the presence of crackpot foreignersrnlike Lafayette and Paine, ours was no Jacobin revolution aimedrnat destroying the old world and making all things new, (Admittedly,rnthe Novus Ordo Seclorum on the dollar bill is disquieting.)rnOn the other hand, our ancestors—or at least the bestrnof them—were equally determined not to reproduce the corruptrnpolitical system devised by Robert Wilpole for thernHanoverian boors the British were (and are) pleased to callrnkings. The British system, for all its many virtues, was corruptionrnthrough and through, and the king’s nrinisters were able torncontrol Parliament by the simple expedient of l:)uying membersrnand their votes. That this corruption allowed the emergencernof such statesmen as the Pitts, Charles Fox, and EdmundrnBurke in no way palliates its viciousness. England and Scotlandrn(even Ireland) had produced considerable statesmen in morernhonest times, and a less corrupt regime might have avoided thernexcesses of reform that ultimately destroyed the Britishrncharacter.rnThe American system of government was designed so as tornpreserve all the best qualities inherent in the English constitution,rnwhile purging it of the vices that polluted it. Unfortunately,rnas Jefferson knew all too well, republican governmentrnrequires an honorable and vigilant nation. While thernmany are content to go about their business and take little interestrnin the public affairs in which their stake can only be veryrnsmall, the few can concentrate all their efforts on constructingrnthe engines of exploitation and oppression: national banks, federalrncourts, transcontinental railroads, land giveaways, andrnwhat Eisenhower’s spcechwriters taught us to call the militaryindustrialrncomplex.rnThe process of consolidation began m the Washington administration.rnThe Eederalists, whose leaders were originallyrngood and honest men, were not slow to prove themselves thernworthy ancestors of the Republicans, bv cozying up to bankersrnand red-baiting their opponents, whom they described as rabble-rnrousing Jacobins. (Some of the mud they slung still clingsrnto Jefferson’s reputation.) Jefferson regarded the election ofrn1800 as a second revolution to restore the principles of the first.rn^^^ ^ e live under arnm M ^ revolutionaryrnf ^ f ^ regime that isrnowned lock, stock, and barrel by arnstupid and corrupt master class thatrncould be overthrown peacefully, if evenrna fourth of the men in this countryrnwould tear up their Social Securityrncards, boycott all the big corporations,rnand vote for anyone but a Democratrnor Republican.rnThe defeated Federalists, as Jefferson complained, soonrnjoined the victorious party, where “under the pseudo-republicanrnmask” they renewed their drive to power. The Jcffersoniansrnthemselves—and some would sa their leader—soon institutionalizedrntheir own revolution, and the corrupt bargainrnthat put John Quincy Adams—whose character is proof thatrngreatness is not hereditary—in power invited the Jacksonianrnoutliurst that poured into Washington, only to prepare the wa’rnfor that cunning rogue Martin Van Buren, who created the firstrnformal party in America, and so it has gone in the endlessrnsee-saw described by Bob Whitaker in his book A Plague onrnBoth Your Ihuseis. Generation after generation of institutionbustingrnand -rebuilding, until Franklin Roosevelt—the modernrnWalpole—created the un-American Empire, this time notrnwith the king’s money but with the people’s.rnAny hope that the Republican Party, conceived as it was inrnsin. might serve as a source of opposition ended with the nominationsrnof Wilkie, Dewey, and Eisenhower, and since thernI930’s America has been a two-party state in the same way thatrnItaly has been a five- or six-jiarty state and the Soviet Union arnone-party state. Small wonder that tlie New York ‘Times is sat-rnNOVEMBER 1994/15rnrnrn