Latest Issue
Special Reports
Latest Special Report

How we got the Soviets wrong

Cold warriors like myself badly overestimated the attractiveness of Marxism

By Peregrine Worsthorne   164

How did I, along with so many other cold war warriors, get the Soviet threat so grotesquely wrong? Looking back, 20 years on from the fall of the Berlin wall, I think I can identify the moment when I stumbled. It came from reading in swift succession Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon and George Orwell’s 1984, which together convinced me that communism represented a uniquely terminal challenge to the future of freedom; far graver than the threat from Nazism. By terminal I mean a psychological method—personified by Orwell’s Big Brother—that could erase the desire for freedom from human consciousness. So…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

More From Prospect