Foreign News: Misunderstood Laughter

Three days before the big picnic, the well-fed technocrats of Communism filed into the Assembly Hall of the Great Palace of the Kremlin for another of their little practice sessions in the simulation of democracy. The 1,300-odd Communist Party Deputies were gathered in special session to hear goateed Premier Bulganin read a 10,000-word report on the summit conference at Geneva, to cheer at the right places, to follow it with a day's "debate" in which everyone would cheer or deplore what Bulganin cheered or deplored, after which everyone would vote yes.

The proceedings are so stylized that they are sterilized: in the...

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