against himself with consequencesnunforeseen by the conspirators. VladimirnBukovsky has written: “Many in Moscownbelieve that Gorbachev was much morenactively involved in the so-called coup,nif not the mastermind behind it. Asnquite a few cynics would point out, henhad very good reasons to want his immediatensubordinates to stage a ‘coup.'”nTalk about another coup is still heard innMoscow.nRussian television now routinely runsndocumentaries about the execution of thenRomanovs, Stalin’s bloody collectivizationnprogram, the purge trials. Accordingnto David Remnick, Russian journalsnand newspapers detail historical damagenreports and how many people were shotnand imprisoned; how many churches,nmosques, and synagogues were destroyed.nCan this really be a KGB disinformationncampaign? When Mr. Navrozov writesnthat “all information originating withinna totalitarian state is deception,” the questionnthen arises: is there a Soviet state,nand if Mr. Navrozov says yes, then whatnis there about it today that is totalitarian?nOr is its seeming pluralism a deception?nYet doubts that all is on the upand-upnwith the new republics cannotneasily be suppressed. We shall have tonwait and see. During World War II,nthere was a great elation in the Westnwhen Stalin announced the dissolutionnof the Comintern. Yet he managed quitenwell from 1945 on without the Cominternnto pursue communist expansionnwestward.nMr. Navrozov is on surer ground whennhe criticizes “Sovietology.” This subdisciplihenin the social sciences was the postwarncreation of two hardheaded Americannacademics—Philip Moseley ofnColumbia and Merle Fainsod of Harvard—andnLeonard Schapiro of the LondonnSchool of Economics. The researchesnand writings of these three menninspired future Sovietologists like RobertnConquest, Walter Laqueur, and others.nThey were the best and the brightestnin their field, and it is precisely thesenacademics whom Mr. Navrozov singlesnout for derision. If Mr. Navrozov is correctnthat Messrs. Conquest and Laqueurnhave been taken in by a KGB conspiracy,nwhat can account for the fact thatnthese tough-minded historians who werennot taken in during the Stalinist andnpost-Stalinist decades seem now to havenlost their heads in the Gorbachevshchina?nHave men like Jean-Frangois Revel,nVladimir Bukovsky, Richard Pipes, andnAdam Ulam also been taken in by thenKGB? But there are Sovietologists andnSovietologists. Men like Jerry Hough,nStephen Cohen, Moshe Lewin, Arch Getty,nand Marshall Shulman, among othersn(as well as, lest we forget, the CIA analystsnwho woefully underestimated Sovietnarms expenditures) represent one of thengreat intellectual failures of the century.nIt is my hope that someday a study willnbe made of the tendentious research findingsnand monographic literature of thisnpro-Soviet school of Sovietology. But tonsneer that the current crop of “Sovietologistsnexpect the new Stalin to smokena pipe and sport a mustache” is downrightnsilly.nMr. Navrozov fails in one importantnregard, a failure that makes his pamphletnvalueless. He neglects to supply usnwith any criteria for judging what eventsnin Russia would confirm or disprove hisnthesis. In other words, what would havento happen in Russia to compel Mr.nNavrozov to say, “I’ve been wrong; Conquestnis right”? If everything—includingnGerman unification, the opening up ofnsecret archives, the decomposition ofnthe Soviet Union; indeed, all that hasnhappened since March 12, 1985, whennMr. Gorbachev came to office—is partnof a KGB conspiracy, what would benneeded to persuade Mr. Navrozov tonrethink his conclusions? Or is everythingnthat happens in the ex-U.S.S.R.nproof of the KGB conspiracy? In anyncase, opinions are not data. Metaphysicsnis not empirical proof. John Bunzel hasnput it neatly: “[A]ny proposition that isnnot capable of being refuted is not scientificallynacceptable.”nLet me end on a personal note, I wasna hard-line skeptic about events in Russianfor a very long time, as many of myncolumns in the Washington Times willnconfirm. As far as I was concerned, Mr.nGorbachev was guilty till proven innocent.nHe still hasn’t been proven innocent especially,ninter alia, in respect to the killingsnin Lithuania and Georgia before the civilnwar broke out. But with the failure ofnthe August coup I became convinced (ornwas I taken in?) that there was no goingnback to communism or to KGB conspiraciesnagainst the free world. I stillnthink a wait-and-see attitude about eventsnin the new Commonwealth is fully justified.nBut that is a far cry from sayingnthat fiilfillment of the KGB’s global totalitariannstrategy is still the aim of thosenwho are now the country’s political elite,nor that there is an invisible elite behindnnnthe visible one and an invisible elitenbehind that, and another behind it, andnanother. ..nArnold Beichman is a research fellow atnthe Hoover Institution, a WashingtonnTimes columnist, and author, mostnrecently, of Anti-Americanism: ItsnCauses, Consequences and Corruptions,nwhich will be published this fall.nSoli Deo Glorianby Kenneth R. CraycraftnFreedom and Its Discontents:nCatholicism Confronts Modernitynby George WeigelnWashington, D.C.: Ethics and PublicnPolicy Center; 179 pp., $19.95nThis book is a collection of largelynreprinted material (with revisions innsome cases) and a couple of originalnessays. Its nine chapters cover (accordingnto section titles) “the Catholic humannrights revolution,” “peace and economy,nagain,” and “the life of the mind.”nThe expected repetitions are sometimesndistracting if one reads the book straightnthrough, but since they are not numerous,nand since each essay stands by itself,nMr. Weigel has made a wise choice in notnexcising them.nCatholicism is not just the particularnChristian tradition to which Weigel isnincorrigibly devoted; after baseball, /GnericannCatholicism is also his favorite hobby.nAnd he is especially astute at (andnfond of) pointing out the foibles of then”Catholic left.” In this volume he repeatsnan assertion of Sir Michael Howard ofnOxford University that one of the greatnrevolutions of this century has been “thentransformation of the Roman CatholicnChurch from a bastion of the anciennregime into perhaps the world’s foremostninstitutional defender of human rights.”nIn the spirit of his understanding of JohnnCourtney Murray, S.J., and the VaticannII instmction on religious freedom {DignitatisnHumanae), Weigel attempts antheological defense of religious liberty asna fundamental human right and pointsnto the development of the Church innAmerica as an example of its institutionalnfulfillment.nBut skewing “progressives” within thenChurch while arguing for a theologicalnMAY 1992/33n