On Soviet Morality

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Ronald Reagan said of Soviet leaders two weeks ago: "The only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat." The Soviet leadership has been characterized in strong terms before, but was Reagan's statement too sweeping? Reagan did not think so. Said he last week: "They don't subscribe to our sense of morality; they don't believe in an afterlife; they don't believe in a God or a religion. And the only morality they recognize, therefore, is what will advance the cause of socialism." Harsh as Reagan's words may seem, they rather accurately reflect Soviet leaders' statements over the years. Examples:

>Lenin in 1920: "We repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. Everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat."

>"When are you going to stop killing people?" Lady Astor bluntly asked Joseph Stalin in 1931, when he was liquidating the kulaks (wealthy farmers) in his drive to collectivize the land. His reply: "When it is no longer necessary."

>Khrushchev in 1955: "We wish to live in peace, tranquillity. But if anyone believes that our smiles involve abandonment of the teaching of Marx, Engels and Lenin, he deceives himself poorly. Those who wait for that must wait until a shrimp learns to whistle."

>Brezhnev in 1968: "Our party has always warned that in the ideological field, there can be no peaceful coexistence, just as there can be no class peace between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie."