Q: Since Mr. Andropov came to power, there has been quite considerable exchange of rhetoric on the arms race, and throughout Western Europe during the past year or two there has been an upsurge in popular nuclear disarmament movements. What do you have to say to the young people, the women of Britain's peace camps, and so on, about the issue of nuclear disarmament?
A: This problem is extremely complex and has a number of separate aspects. A feeling of disgust toward nuclear weapons is quite a normal one for every person, and I would not dare condemn any person on Earth for their disgust for nuclear weapons.
But we must also remember the origins of nuclear weaponry. We must remember that it was first invented in the West and first deployed in the West. It was used first by a very prosperous country which was winning even without those weapons. So as not to lose a hundred thousand of its own soldiers to complete the war with Japan, some 150,000 civilians were killed.
This choice is horrible in itself. I think that a disgust for nuclear weapons, and an even more forceful one than we see today, should have appeared among young people in the West--I say the West because they have the right of free speech--this disgust generally should have appeared in public opinion 40 years ago. But public opinion grabbed hold of the concept of the nuclear umbrella, and the public opinion of that time considered itself to be quite safe and comfortable under this nuclear umbrella. And this is the concept of the '40s--that the use of nuclear weapons is a moral one. And it was shortsighted and foolish to assume that the West would always be the only possessor of nuclear arms. In the '40s nobody would have believed that there would come a time when the Soviet Union would be even better armed in this respect. Admittedly, there was a very rational Baruch Plan at the time, and if, at that time, it had been possible to inaugurate a real control of nuclear arms, then, really, humanity would have escaped this threat. But the Baruch Plan was not realizable with the presence of Stalin and the communist camp to reckon with. It was naive and unrealistic to assume that the Soviet Union would not enter into competition in the arms race. This is the first aspect I wish to stress.
The second aspect: the contemporary Western movements for unilateral nuclear disarmament is only one manifestation of the general confusion of minds in the West. And I find this surprising when you take into account the full freedom of information, full freedom of expression. There is, nevertheless, such a veil of lies --and not in the East, where it is understandable and real--but a veil of lies here in the West, which results in the fact that the majority of the Western population, catastrophically, does not understand the situation of things in the world. And this is manifested not only in the nuclear movements. One sees it at every step.
Therefore, we in the East live with our eyes bound, and it's understandable that the East does not see what is going on. But the West, which has access to everything, also lives with its eyes closed. And this blindness, of course, is manifested most among young people, who tend to substitute real experience of life with ideas which they've simply encountered, who have not had the time to acquire experience of their own.
And yet they have been brought up in your free schools. They read your free press. Why, then, do they know so little? Whose generation is this? It's not a generation of communism. They do not have the criteria of distinguishing absolute Good from absolute Evil. They've been brought up even to regard these words as unacceptable-- that one doesn't speak of good or speak of evil.
For instance, I know of one occasion when a student in an American university started arguing that one author had very wrong ideas, to which her professor responded by laughing merrily and said, "Do you really believe that there are such things as correct and wrong ideas?"
Western youth has absolutely no conception of what communism is. Its consciousness was confused, and this results in a low level of thinking capability. They don't even pause to ask themselves, "Why is it that in the Soviet Union they have protests against Western nuclear arms but not against their own?" I don't know . . . do your people photograph their own demonstrations? If they do, I think they will look back on those photos soon and weep.
These young people are protesting against nuclear arms. But are they prepared to defend their homeland with non-nuclear weapons? No, they're not. They are against any kind of struggle at all. They just want to give up altogether. They feel their carefree existence will go on forever. They believe Bertrand Russell, that it's better to be Red than dead. But I must say that here, even Bertrand Russell was mentally lacking. He saw an alternative, where there is none in fact. There is no such alternative--because to be Red means to become dead, gradually. So there is no alternative. This is the second aspect of the question.
And now the third: Also the means and the Soviet money involved in the organizationnof these demonstrations. Having devoted my life to the study of Soviet communism, I really don't need any proof of this anymore. I didn't even need to hear about this Danish journalist who was passing on Soviet money for the demonstrations. When Lenin appeared in Russia in April 1917 and immediately became the recipient of German money by various underhand means, the entire transition from the February to the October Revolution was carried out with the aid of money, foreign money, because no other socialist party would have been able to publish to the extent that the communists did. And I have definite personal proof how Lenin and Trotsky organized payments in Petrograd for participation in demonstrations. And such a movement for "peace" was promulgated by Stalin in the late '40s while he did not have nuclear arms.
And the same money exchanged hands. All excellent conditions were created for those who would travel to congresses. I don't want to say that all these people have been bought, bribed, or are without conscience. They just see an excellent opportunity, as it were, to express their opinions. And the situation is the same, Soviet participation in today's European demonstrations is the same, and the degree of the participants' unawareness is the same.
Thus, to summarize the answer to your question: today's anti-nuclear demonstrations in Europe are a combination of 1) healthy feeling of human nature; 2) disinformation in Western society, especially among the youth; and 3) excellent Soviet organization.