From Moscow came another sign that the Soviet cycle from world revolution to nationalism had run its course. On the eve of Joseph Stalin's 64th birthday, the Soviet Union ditched the stirring, incendiary Internationale as the State anthem, substituted an awkward paean to Stalin and the New Russia.
Gone from Soviet hymnology was French Rebel Eugene Pottier's theme:
Arise, ye prisoners of starvation,
Arise, ye wretched of the earth!
The Russians kept the Internationale's music. But the Soviet Union's new anthem is for Russians only; it gives no challenge to the wretched, no chills to Wall or Threadneedle Streets. The Russian version has...