"[Fred Dupee said that] if [Sidney] Hook and [other "liberal" anti-Stalinists] relaxed their efforts for a moment, stalinism would reassert itself in government and education, culminating in appeasement abroad. I couldn't tell whether this was a genuine fear (it seems so fantastic) or a rationalization. I can't believe that these people seriously think that stalinism on a large scale is latent here, ready to revive at the slightest summons; but if they don't think this what _do_ they "really" think or are they simply the victims of momentum? My impression is that the fear is genuine, but so to speak localized. They live in terror of a revival of the situation that prevailed in the Thirties, when the fellow-travelers were powerful in teaching, publishing, the theatre, etc., when stalinism was the gravy- train and these people were off it and became the object of social slights, small economic deprivations, gossip and backbiting. These people, who are success-minded, think in terms of group-advancement and cultural monopoly and were really traumatized by the brief stalinist apogee of the Thirties, when they suspected that their book, say, was not being pushed by their publishers because of stalinist influences among the salesmen or even the office-workers. In their dreams, this period is always recurring, it is "realer" than today."
Last modified: Thursday, 31-May-2007 09:42:12 EDT