When Big Brother Writes

Last week's letter from the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee to its Polish counterpart was a graphic and forbidding message, couched in the distinct language of Communist doublespeak. To understand the Soviets' criticisms and quarrels with Poland's "socialist renewal," opposite words must, in the fashion of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, be substituted: for "free and independent," read subservient; for "counterrevolution" read reform and democratization; and for "protection of the socialist commonwealth" read intervention by Warsaw Pact forces. Excerpts from the letter, as translated by the New York Times:

Dear Comrades:

The Central Committee of the Communist Party addresses you out of a feeling...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!