Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 8 June 27, 1945
If Britain and the USA can be genuinely friendly with Russia, and vice versa, a great deal can be accomplished—if not, then there is a distinct possibility of the destruction of civilisation. We must understand the Russian point of view, and they must understand ours. This is not particularly easy because there is still prejudice on both sides.
The anti-Russian propaganda circulating in pre-war days was inaccurate and willfully distorted, as were many of the books about the Russian system. Stalin is a man with a long memory and is a product of his earlier undercover days. He still remembers that Britain, USA and France sent forces against the Soviet Union in 1919-1920. proposals for collective security from 1935-1938 were turned down by reactionary countries and he cannot be sure that the old fears and prejudices had vanished. He is prepared to play power politics if we are; and if there was a division in Europe between East and West, he is strong enough to oppose us. Russian power in Europe is in the left-wing movements and she would be foolish not to play it against us if we give any backing to the right We have been seeing too much lately of Churchill the aristocrat, and not so much of the truly great national war leader he has proved himself to be. His action in Greece was his greatest blunder so far. Russia on the other hand, is too secretive and too suspicious, so it is difficult for foreign diplomats and correspondents to get access to the facts. This is a relic from the old days when secrecy may have been necessary.
The Marxian interpretation of the class struggle has great reality in Eastern Europe generally. The division between the rich and the poor is appalling and our type of democracy cannot be immediately introduced there. If we support the conservative interests (small wealthy minorities) we are asking Russia to interfere on behalf of the oppressed majorities of working people in these countries.