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Whatever mass base the Communist Party has in this country is to be found among the professionals and so-called "intellectuals." This influence is reflected in the newspaper columns, the radio commentaries, the periodicals and publishing houses and other agencies of communication and education. When it goes into action, it can mold public opinion on many vital issues. Some brilliant feats have been pulled off—for example, the campaign for a second front, and the campaigns against Mihailovich and Chiang Kaishek. . . .

The incurable muddleheads who every time Stalinism is criticized cry out that American reaction is equally bad —that a situation in which evils are remediable by courageous democratic action is just as bad as one in which there is not the slightest possibility of such action—must in effect be regarded as unconscious allies of the Stalinists. . . . They are always willing to join with the Stalinists in attacking the evils of Western democracy, they refuse to associate themselves with liberal criticism of dictatorial political practices in Russia. In effect, they believe that capitalist democracy at its best is less desirable than Russian totalitarianism at its worst. . . .

The day-by-day struggle for human decency and a better social order seems to me to be more important than the "ultimate" victory of a total program. ... It seems to me unwise to jeopardize the chances for immediate piecemeal gains by staking everything on one effort for fundamental revolutionary change. . . . Te be resigned to the contingency of defeat, but to fight like hell for the best possible chance in every alternative, is what the good life in action means. To triumph in a struggle at the cost of one's fundamental values is the height of vulgarity—and futility.

* A useful term invented by Professor Hook in 1938.

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