equations are made there is a quality of understandingnreserved for the Soviet side and a respectful appreciation ofnthe Soviet concern with security.nOn closer inspection the equation of the Superpowersnreveals peculiar double standards. Peace activists and leftwingnintellectuals who are extremely judgmental aboutnAmerican policy claim that they expect more of the U.S.nBut, one may ask, if they expect more why are they sonhostile to begin with? Why should one be predisposed toncriticism and disapproval toward a country or politicalnsystem more highly regarded? There are two possiblenanswers. One is that these critics don’t really expect more ofnthe U.S. but it is a convenient rationalization of theirndouble standards. Secondly, it is possible that what theynmean by “expecting more” translates into ambivalence.nThat the equation of the Superpowers conceals a profoundnasymmetry of standards and sentiments is also shownnin the nature of political protest emanating from the PeacenMovements of Western Europe. When pressed on thenone-sidedness of their protest, which rarely is addressed tonthe Soviet Union (although it long ago deployed thenintermediate missiles NATO is seeking to deploy in thenyears ahead), peace activists usually admit that it is no usendirecting any protest at the U.S.S.R. Yet the U.S. gets noncredit for being a political power which even its criticsnperceive as more responsive, more reasonable, and tolerantnof protest. When I inquired about the apparent unconcernnwith the SS-20, I was repeatedly told that little was knownnabout them and littie informahon was provided by thenmedia. Dutch critics of the peace movement brought to mynattention a recent opinion poll which revealed that 25npercent of those polled expressed doubts about the existencenof the Soviet intermediate missiles.nIt does not take a lengthy investigation to reach thenconclusion that animosity toward the U.S. and professednconcerns with nuclear war are hard to separate in WesternnEurope. A similar relationship between critiques of Americannsociety and antinuclear protest can also be observed innthe United States. As a matter of fact, critics of the U.S.ntend to oppose all forms of military spending on the part ofnthe U.S. and NATO. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmamentnin England, in particular, is more than a movementnorganized for the purpose of averting nuclear war. ThenCND is a classic protest movement—not unlike the Vietnamnantiwar movement of earlier times—which bringsntogether a variety of causes and grievances and a wide rangenof groups and individuals held together by a diffuse sense ofndiscontent with their society. According to a Dutch academic,nwhat members of the peace movements, andnespecially the activists, have in common is “a sense of thensinfulness of the West.” Such a generalized social criticismnwhich sees Western nuclear arms and military policies asnthe culmination of the evil or folly of Western societies lednby the U.S.—echoes the critiques of the 1960’s and earlyn70’s. Consumerism, materialism, impersonality, excessivenindividualism (or, the stunting of genuine individualism)n—the old themes are all there, at any rate, in a residualnform. Under the broad umbrella of the antinuclear or peacenmovement one finds assembled, first, the radical-left-wingncritics of capitalism and bourgeois democracy (providing thenleadership and activist core), radical feminists, homosexu­nals, crusaders for the physical environment, contingents ofnteachers and social workers and, in ever-increasing numbers,nclerics. They are especially important as they bestownupon these movements spiritual purpose and respectability.nAnother asymmetry in the Superpower equation is thatnmany who subscribe to it claim to feel far more threatenednby the U.S. than the U.S.S.R. They claim that the SovietnUnion is self-evidently less bellicose and more of a statusnquo power, because of the losses it suffered in World WarnII. The personality of President Reagan is also frequentlyninvoked to explain the sense of threat the U.S. todaynrepresents. A mild-mannered, generally reasonable andnthoughtful English sociologist said to me that “the U.S.nunder Reagan is the most dangerous country in the world, ||nthat “every escalation in the arms race came from the U.S.”nand unlike the U.S. “the Soviet Union is encircled.” Sovietnbases in Cuba are totally different from American bases innTurkey.nThe perceived attributes of Reagan are significant factorsnin the recent upsurge of hostility toward the U.S. In theneyes of actual or potential critics of the U.S., Reagan hasncome to stand for most of the things generations of criticsndisliked about America, including his background as annactor. Such objections go well with a more traditional elitistncultural anti-Americanism which sees incompetence andninexperience in high places. Reagan is also seen as thensymbol of everything inauthenhc about American culturenand society: Hollywood, public relations, the manipulationnnnMARCH 1985/21n