Leonard Schapiro


“Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret. Bureaucratic administration always tends to be an administration of ‘secret sessions’ in so far as it can, it hides its knowledge and action from criticism. The pure interest of the bureaucracy in power, however, is efficacious far beyond those areas where purely functional interests make for secrecy. The concept of the ‘official secret’ is the specific invention of bureaucracy, and nothing is so fanatically defended by the bureaucracy as this attitude, which cannot be substantially justified beyond these specifically qualified areas. In facing a parliament, the bureaucracy, out of a sure power instinct, fights every attempt of the parliament to gain knowledge by means of its own experts or from interest groups. The so-called right of parliamentary investigation is one of the means by which parliament seeks such knowledge. Bureaucracy naturally welcomes a poorly informed and hence a powerless parliament—at least in so far as ignorance somehow agrees with the bureaucracy’s interests.”

Max Weber, Essays in Sociology,

Leonard Bertram Schapiro (1908-1983) was Professor of Political Science and Russian Studies at the London School of Economics. He was closely associated with Brian Crozier, through the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) in the 1970s. After some disagreement with Crozier, Schapiro would become a founding member of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, which had been designed to carry on the propaganda work of ISC into the 1980s. The essay below explores these connections, particularly with Crozier, in the context of Schapiro’s work as an anti-communist and his relationship to the right-wing of the intelligence agencies and other anti-communist networks in the UK and USA, with some further exploration of the theoretical roots of anti-communist theorists such as James Burnham.

This essay is part of a larger study examining the emergence of these transnational think tanks and foundation networks in the 1950s and 1960s. They can be described as being formulated to engage in anti-communism which was extended into anti-socialism and then to anti-democratic orientations. Within this development we can also identify the continuation and proliferation of a nexus of secret, quasi-secret and façade groups, which in recent decades, demonstrates retained aspects of this orientation in more than residual terms as a ‘soft power’ elite at the service of the neo-Liberal elite. Academic study of the origins and effects of this nexus, where it appears, tends to be conducted in a manner that precludes covert aspects of policy making — Stone, Denham and Garnett, McGann and Weaver contain no or very limited discussion of the Heritage Foundation‘s impact on the UK in the 1980s and how this overlapped with US Public Diplomacy and attempts to interfere UK politics into the future by way of a favoured ‘successor generation’. It is argued here that this type of analysis can be developed by the inclusion of an understanding of the process of ‘secrecy’ involving ‘covert’ influences within, inclusive of and impacting upon state bureaucracies and their control of independent policy advice and attempts at mass persuasion.

As Weber’s observation above suggests, the concept of secrecy, as sublimated within official bureaucracy, is a fanaticism often connoted by ‘crackpot realism’— as defined by C. Wright Mills under the influence of Weber. The use of Mills’ approach to elite networks can develop a deeper theoretical understanding of their controlling influences on policy—which he extended to include academic research itself, how it is disseminated and what it permits—but also in historical terms of how influences such as James Burnham’s neo-Machiavellian and ‘Managerial’ orientation were combined to promote the universalisation of capitalism and advanced through the establishment of organisations such as the Congress for Cultural Freedom which extended into the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. The focus has shifted to themes such as knowledge as intelligence-led and inter-mediated informally through quasi-covert public diplomacy coalitions (mostly from the US and UK but including Europe), with roots in propagandizing liberal economics, the privatisation process to maintain a power elite. This form of enquiry also aims to add to the literature which describes the role of the secret state in the policy process, via think tanks and the social construction of propaganda aimed at specific targets and wider academic and media manipulation. What we can identify is a subversion, vitiation and obviation of the concept of democratic participation which relates to the governance of the contemporary security environment.


Although born in Glasgow, he spent his childhood in Russia during the revolution, but returned to Britain with his parents in 1920 and completed his education in London. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states:

His father, educated at the universities of Riga and Glasgow, was the son of a wealthy sawmill owner at Bolderaa near Riga, in Latvia, his mother the daughter of a rabbi and cantor of the Garnethill synagogue in Glasgow. His great-uncle, Jacob Shapiro, was a constitutional democratic deputy in the second Duma. From 1912 the family resided in Riga, moving in 1915 to Petrograd in wartime conditions and remaining there until 1921, when the father’s newly acquired citizenship of Latvia, which became independent of Russia in 1918, enabled them to leave and settle in London.

Schapiro initially practised as a barrister, but in 1940, with the war, became a supervisor at the BBC monitoring service at Evesham, where he made a study of German, and from 1941 of Soviet news and information—in 1942 he was recruited into MI5. After a commission in 1943, he moved to the general staff at the War Office, and in 1945–6 served in the intelligence division of the Allied Control Commission for Germany, as acting lieutenant-colonel. These activities and contacts were to establish the foundation of a future academic career. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography also adds (not without a little polemic):

The Origin of the Communist Autocracy (1955; 2nd edn, 1977), a study of the socialist opposition in the early years of Soviet government, in which Schapiro analysed the Bolsheviks’ abuse of their political monopoly, established him as a penetrating critic of the Soviet regime and he was offered a lectureship at the London School of Economics […] For Schapiro, as an undogmatic constitutionalist, the acid test of political credibility was respect for the law, a test the Soviet regime consistently failed, based as it was on the same principle of arbitrary rule as tsarism.

Schapiro was also chairman of the editorial board of Soviet Jewish Affairs (which later became East European Jewish Affairs) and a member of the Institute of Jewish Affairs. It was not until 1955 that he published his first book, ”The Origins of the Communist Autocracy” and took up his first academic appointment at the LSE. Throughout his life Schapiro’s literary focus would remain on the political history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and his (1979) The Government and Politics of the Soviet Union, for some writers, has not been surpassed to date.

The Anti-Communist Industry

Schapiro was also a council member of the Institute for Religion and Communism (known as Keston College and the Keston Institute); which states of itself that:

During the Communist period Keston was considered by the KGB to be one of the most dangerous anti-soviet organisations, from their point of view, in the West, although in fact Keston was a non-political organisation, which simply gathered the true facts about religion behind the Iron Curtain.

Founded originally by the Revd Canon Dr Michael Bourdeaux and Sir John Lawrence with the help of Schapiro and Peter Reddaway, Keston’s archive is a collection of samizdat, or self-published, literature. Reddaway is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and a board member at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University. From 1986 to 1989, he directed the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, which is part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was a distinguished fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1993–94. He is also associated with The Jamestown Foundation as are several members of Keston. According to Robin Ramsay in Lobster 11, Michael Bourdeaux wrote for the Institute for the Study of Conflict (he was also a research fellow at Chatham House 1971-73), and Keston has “all the indications of being another MI6-funded operation:”

It received some publicity during the events around the defection of the KGB officer Gordievsky in 1985. Among Gordievsky’s tasks was keeping an eye on Keston’s activities. See Sunday Times and Observer 15 September 1985 and Times 14 September 1985.

Keston ran a news service KNS (this ceased in 2003) which cost $300,000 a year, according to an estimate in Christianity Today, which added:

Former KNS staffers are finding other means to publish religious news in the former Soviet bloc. Uzzell now edits Chechnya Weekly, published by the Jamestown Foundation, a think tank that studies security issues. Former KNS staff members Igor Rotar, Geraldine Fagan, and Felix Corley launched the Forum 18 news service. Based in Oslo, Forum 18 will emphasize on-the-spot reporting on religious rights.

Rightweb trace Jamestown’s origins and formation to CIA Director William J. Casey, a leading figure in right-wing national security organizations, and other stalwarts of the CIA such as R. James Woolsey.

Schapiro was also chairman of the editorial board of Government and Opposition from 1965. Obituaries were written by Peter Reddaway, ‘Leonard Bertram Schapiro, 1908–1983’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 70 (1984), S. E. Finer, Government and Opposition, 19/1 (1984) and Hugh Seton-Watson, ‘Leonard Schapiro’s legacy’, Encounter, 62/4 (1984).

Reddaway’s essay notes that after the revolution the family flat was searched for weapons and that a cousin was involved in a terrorist act and was shot, his father was arrested. This also adds that his forst book although finished in 1951 met with “politically motivated opposition to its findings on the relevant committee of Chatham House, which had commissioned it’ (this was said to be E. H. Carr by David Pryce-Jones in the December 1, 1999 New Criterion) and it was subsequently published at the LSE thanks to Karl Popper and others, Reddaway also mentions that Schapiro was aquainted with Ralf Dahrendorf. It also states (p.537) that Schapiro was on the Research council of Georgetown University’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and his work with the Pall Mall series ‘Key Concepts in Political Science’, which was launched under his ‘inspiration and direction’. We will return to this below.

The archive of George Urban’s papers reveal contain an annotated copy of Margaret Thatcher’s speech delivered at Keston College, 25 April 1984, which was presented to Urban by Thatcher. Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, which had close propaganda ties to the IEDSS and was directed by Urban in the 1980s, state in their archive that:

We in Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty have a special reason to remember Leonard Schapiro fondly and with gratitude. Right from the creation of our services he has exercised an influence on the intellectual formation of our attitudes. He came to Munich often to give talks, lectures, and interviews. His series of discourses on the origins of Bolshevism, delivered in our stations with exemplary intellectual moderation in the 1960s, still constitutes a substantial backbone of our understanding of the communist system’s determinants. Leonard Schapiro completed the manuscript of another book not long before his death, which will be published in the United States and Britain next spring. It is entitled 1917: The Russian Revolutions and the Origins of Present-Day Communism. RFE-RL is privileged to be able to plan, with the consent of Leonard Schapiro given while the book was still being written, a serialization of excerpts from this book for the near future.

Schapiro worked for the Information Research Department, writing titles such as ‘Why Communism Must Fail,’ then with Brian Crozier with the Institute for the Study of Conflict (he was chairman of the Institute from 1970), which changed into the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies with another offshoot under Paul Wilkinson.

Schapiro wrote with several other intelligence-connected writers such as American Enterprise Institute published (1976) Detente and Defense: A Reader, which included Robert Conquest, Brian Crozier, John Erickson, Joseph Godson, Gregory Grossman, Leopold Labedz, Bernard Lewis, Richard Pipes, Edward Shils, and P. J. Vatikiotis. Others include:

*Lenin: The Man, the Theorist, the Leader a Reappraisal with Peter Reddaway and Paul Rosta
*Political Opposition in One Party States with Ellen De Kadt
*(1984) The Soviet Worker: From Lenin to Andropov with Joseph Godson,
*Turgenev’s ‘Spring Torrents’ (trans.)
*The Soviet Worker: Illusions and Realities with Roy Godson and Joseph Godson
*Authority, Power and Policy in the USSR: Essays Dedicated to Leonard Schapiro with T. H. Rigby, Archie Brown, Peter Reddaway

Schapiro’s work for the Information Research Department (IRD), ISC and IEDSS is rarely mentioned in biographical material and their work in planting anti-Communist propaganda at home and abroad, fostering stories of Soviet atrocities and anti-British plots in a process of exaggeration and falsehood seems off-limits for academic research. The IRD carried out its game through “private” channels, and aimed to ensure that none of its outlets should identify the Government as the source, also maintaining the fiction that the UK and USA, unlike the Soviet Union, did not engage in state propaganda. Paul Lashmar and James Oliver’s (1998) Britain’s Secret Propaganda War 1948-1977, a history of the IRD, notes that Schapiro was “one of the most prominent cold warriors” who contributed four of IRD’s Background Books as well as Ampersand’s Bellman Books series and wrote extensively for IRD and suggested several authors for publication. They also state that in the 1950s: “The LSE and especially Schapiro formed a centre for anti-Communist academics” which included Robert Conquest. By 1960 the IRD had an “inner circle” of “professional Cold Warriors” which included Brian Crozier, Schapiro, Hugh Seton-Watson, Maurice Cranston, Leo Labedz (a member of the IEDSS) and Michael Godwin. By the 1970s:

…a number of academics who specialized in areas of Cold War […] were nurtured by IRD, which provided them with all of the department’s latest research. As with the favoured journalists, IRD paid many of these academics to write articles and books as long as they took the correct anti-Communist line. These chosen few were able to build reputations assisted by material fed to them on a plate.

Lashmar and Oliver mention R. N. Carew Hunt and Robert Conquest as egregious examples of this tendency with Conquest later stating he merely provided “bridging passages really” to material supplied by IRD. They also note that the effects of the cold war on academia is “relatively unexplored” and couple this with the observation that the UK’s McCartyite witch hunt’s efficacy possessed an informality in finding out the background of an individual through subtle checks to obstruct people with the ‘wrong’ views while aiding the number of papers published by the chosen few. For Lashmar and Oliver (p. 124):

The effect of all these operations was staggering. If it was the American free marketeers who first realized that think tanks were an effective way of hothousing intellectual traditions, it was the British state that first realized that, by backing potential opinion formers, you could alter the political spectrum. According to historian Christopher Lasch, ‘The modern state is … an engine of propaganda, alternatively manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument which can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful, demands the co-operation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists … but as “free” intellectuals capable of policing there [sic] own jurisdictions and of enforcing acceptable standards of responsibility within various intellectual professions.

Lashmar and Oliver also add that the drastic cutbacks in expenditure which were enforced on IRD in the late 1960s forced this group towards other sources:

The creme de la creme of professional Cold Warriors and IRDers moved to support Crozier, Leonard Schapiro agreed to join as chairman of the new [Institute for the Study of Conflict] , while ex-IRD pioneer, Adam Watson, joined the Founding Council. Other members included IRD contacts Max Beloff and Hugh Seton-Watson; Maj Gen Richard Clutterbuck from the Royal College of Defence Studies; Geoffrey Fairbairn a historian at the Australian National University; Brig W.F.K. Thompson, military correspondent for the Daily Telegraph; and Sir robert Thompson, who had headed the british Advisory Mission to Vietnam in the early 1960s.

IRD were initially approached by Crozier, as were MI6 and the CIA who initially agreed and then declined, with IRD becoming a customer and source of information to the ISC which had stepped into its shoes:

Not only did a private propaganda organization have the advantages of apparent objectivity and disinterest, but it could also cover areas that state agencies were restrained from, or wary of, covering. One such area was domestic subversion and the activities of the British far left. This was a gap that the ISC was already in the process of filling.

In a literature review of IRD material, J. Ransom Clark’s , (2007) Intelligence and National Security: A Reference Handbook (published by Praeger Security) Hugh Wilford is quoted as being critical of Lashmar and Oliver’s work arguing that it is “a popular narrative history” of the Foreign Office’s IRD, and that its “high-calibre research work” is flawed by “patchy and unreliable” citing of sources, and some of their judgments show a “lack of subtlety or nuance.” Consequently, the book “needs to treated with some caution.”

Even when the work of the organsation emerges we are asked to believe that writers and organisers had either no or little knowledge of what took place, such as this (1995) Independent report by Scott Lucas:

“Speakers’ notes” were drafted by the IRD for government ministers, backbench MPs and public figures in business and other professions. Contacts with trade unions were developed through a young Labour Party official called Denis Healey. Another Labour official, Herbert Tracey, worked with Mayhew to run the anti-Communist organisation “Freedom First”, secretly subsidised by the IRD, to distribute newsletters to trade union organisers. There was even a “private” publishing company, Ampersand, which printed books, sometimes under its own name, sometimes under the imprint of the Bodley Head or Allen and Unwin , neither of which knew of Ampersand’s link with the IRD. The authors of IRD-subsidised books included Mayhew, Healey, Leonard Schapiro, the Soviet specialist, and Robert Conquest, the historian, who had been one of the first IRD staff. Healey, Schapiro, Conquest and Tracey may not have known their work’s source.

I would argue that it is very difficult to sustain this argumant in the light of a more in-depth analysis than Lucas (and others) choose to engage in. Schapiro’s involvement with three or more propaganda operations. Even simply using Independent obituaries, such as that of Nigel Clive, intelligence officer and Head of Information Research, Foreign Office 1966-69 we could note Schapiro enlisted for MI6 after the death of Stalin:

Clive got Leonard Shapiro at LSE and Hugh Seton-Watson to analyse, and in so doing expose, the enormities and dis-economies in the Soviet political system. But there were mutterings from the old guard. It was not the work of MI6, they said, to prognosticate about affairs in other countries: their job was simply to provide information. At a meeting the only support he obtained was from George Blake. As Clive used later to say, Blake knew how to provide convincing cover for his activities as a spy.

As David Teacher notes in Rogue Agents:

Besides its staff’s extensive links to MI6, IRD and FWF, the ISC also had on its Council senior figures from MI5 and the military intelligence community: Leonard Schapiro, ISC Chairman from 1970 on, had been a war-time member of MI5 and an adviser to MI6’s G. K. Young some time between 1953 and 1956, when Young as Director of Requirements was reorganizing MI6’s chaotic information collation and analysis methods. In the 1970s, Schapiro held the Chair of Soviet Studies at the London School of Economics; he would later be a foreign policy adviser to Thatcher. A top military intelligence officer was Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly, Director-General of Intelligence at the MoD from 1972 to 1975 and a member of MI5’s recruitment panel, who would later serve on the ISC Council, as would Sir Edward Peck, former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

And we could also broaden this out to include the other members of ISC, and of course the IEDSS and the history of the organisation and its funders. Either Schapiro and many of those who attempt to evaluate his career were being quiet about intelligence matters (which is to be expected) or he is remarkably inept, either way we arrive at a misaprehension.

Schapiro’s (1978) The Soviet Union and ‘Eurocommunism,’ published by the Institute for the Study of Conflict, must be viewed at some point as pointing at domestic counter-subversion, and here, with the denials of knowledge of the orientation of the organisations he participated. Schapiro was the first person Brian Crozier approached to start the Institute for the Study of Conflict and states in his memoir that he had been meeting with him previously, but Crozier does seem to regard the founding council as a ‘facade’ (p.88) and the nature of the organisation seems somewhat fraudulent with bulk buying of its products by the Ministry of Defence arranged by army insiders (such as Lieutenant-General Fergus Ling) somewhat reminiscent of Sgt. Bilko. Schapiro and Beloff are remembered for the zeal with which they pushed the ISC to academic colleagues according to Ramsay (cited above) and we must not loose sight of the fact that ‘anti-communism was a lucrative proffession rather than simply some sort of moral crusade.

Crozier may well argue that Schapiro was “unaware of these machinations”, but what were his interests in working with Crozier when, for instance, as Crozier states in his memoir, Jean Violet suggested a venture attacking ‘detente’ which Max Beloff denounced as unacceptable “far-right views,” any criticism of which Crozier attacks as “long-term Soviet propaganda”. Schapiro would have been aware of the opinion of others of Crozier, as is demonstrated by several affairs outlined in ‘Free Agent’ such as (p.109) when Crozier was charged with using the ‘experts’ for propaganda purposes by the Times’ Middle-east correspondent, Edward Mortimer, and he came to his defence — Crozier admits using Schapiro and the others but when found out at the time blames this, and other misfortune on the KGB. One reading of the events as described by Crozier is that he was phased out as a liability by people like Schapiro who had long-standing connections with the establishment and MI6.

When the members of the ISC Council finally voiced concern about Crozier in 1979 he mentions that Lou Le Bailly was Director-General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence: and yet unaware of what he was doing. Schapiro is described by Crozier as “my co-founder in the sense that he had gone along with my ideas in 1970,” and he also notes that Schapiro had “intelligence contacts” who Crozier believed were informing him of Crozier’s conspiracies. What Crozier took to be a “Great Smear Campaign” (orchestrated by the Soviets) was the disrepute the ISC had fallen into as its activities had become a focus for the mainstream press via the revelations and leaks of Time Out. The assertion that Schapiro was unaware of Crozier’s covert activities is contradicted when Crozier quotes Schapiro as saying:

“It would be a terrible scandal if your other activities came into the open […] Especially for our academic members. An awful scandal. Their careers might be ruined.”

This points to a more prosaic version of events whereby the ‘academics’ did not want to be seen (caught out) for what the above seems to acknowledge they were: hack cold warriors recycling propaganda for the money.

Crozier points out that the ISC had “already been through a real scandal” with the “Smear Campaign”, so Schapiro’s concerns are, on this account, in relation to hidden political activities, namely the far-right connections and the intelligence and propaganda function. Crozier later portrays Schapiro as the ‘mastermind’ working at the behest of the Foreign Office to bring the ISC under its wing after Crozier was removed. In the event the ISC would be reformed using Heritage Foundation money as the IEDSS with its other aspects hived off to The Research Institute for the Study of Terrorism under Paul Wilkinson.

In a article in The Times, September 13, 1999 Crozier stated

In 1977 I called a meeting of knowledgeable agents, present or past, and we set up a Private Sector Operational Intelligence agency, known as The 6I. Rumours of this enterprise reached Schapiro, who presented me with an ultimatum: stop running The 6I or resign as director of the ISC. I chose to step down.

Andy Weir and Jonathan Bloch’s profile of the ISC’s Robert Moss, for the magazine Covert Action, stated that it was started in 1970 while Crozier was still in charge of Forum World Features, mostly with funds from Shell and BP, some US corporations, the US National Strategy Information Centre and with Forum money. The NSIC is supported by the Mellon family, heirs of the Gulf Oil fortune, and continued their connections with the Institute. Richard Mellon Scaife took over ownership of Forum World Features from John Hay Whitney, who was once titular controller of the CIA‑run news service. This is backed up by Crozier, although Covert Action was denounced as Soviet propaganda at the time.

Weir and Bloch also add:

The ISC was set up to study urban terrorism, guerrilla warfare and related subjects. Its Council members include numerous people with intelligence connections, some more official than others. Vice‑Admiral Louis Le Bailly was Director‑General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence, 1972‑5. Richard Clutterbuck, lecturer in politics and a former Major‑General, is regarded as one of those principally responsible for the British Army’s counterinsurgency tactics in Northern Ireland. Sir Robert Thompson was once one of President Nixon’s favorite advisers and the author of the “strategic hamlets” concept of counter‑insurgency war which he implemented in Malaya on behalf of the British Army. Another Council member is Sir Edward Peck, once head of the Secret Intelligence Service (British intelligence) clandestine operations in Berlin. Further examples can easily be drawn from the ISC’s long list of contributors, all the way from cold-war academics to former SIS employees. […] So notorious is the ISC, not merely because of the persistent exposure of its activities by the left, but also because of caution over its intelligence connections by members of the respectable academic establishment, that its credibility is strained. The London Guardian reported that in just one year, 1973, according to Church Committee sources, ISC received three‑fourths of its funds from the CIA.

The authors also note the ISC cross-overs with the National Association For Freedom and their campaign against the “Sovietisation of Britain.”


For Arnold Beichman (a Hoover Institution research fellow) in The Washington Times, March 9, 2004, “Sovietology” was created by three academics, Philip Mosely (Columbia), Merle Fainsod (Harvard) and Leonard Schapiro (London School of Economics) and this “sought to breach the secrecy of the Soviet dictatorship through scholarship”. The Sovietologists would seem to have a somewhat right-wing viewpoint and be singularly incurious about the secrecy of thier patrons.

Sovietology reached its full flowering in the 1960s with the publication of Robert Conquest’s “The Great Terror,” which managed to pierce the Iron Curtain and describe Stalin’s genocidal rule in sanguinary detail. Mr. Fainsod’s “How Russia Is Ruled” and Mr. Schapiro’s “The Origin of the Communist Autocracy” were pioneering works of Sovietology as was Richard Pipes’ multivolumed history of the Russian Revolution.

The ISC charity prospectus stated: “the driving motivation behind ISC is the defence of free industrial societies against totalitarian encroachments.” Schapiro is within the ‘totalitarian school’, whose other key exponent was Hannah Arendt who classified the Nazi and Stalin regimes as being equally ‘totalitarian’, in that they (Stalin and Hitler) were as Ian Thatcher put it in History Review, March 1, 2003: “anti-democratic, violent, one-party systems employing a mixture of terror and propaganda to maintain themselves in power.” Yet as Thatcher observes:

In a sense the Hitler cult was Nazism. It is hard to imagine the Nazi Party without the Fuhrer whose personality impressed itselfupon the movement that supported him […] First of all if Hitler was Nazism, Stalin was most certainly not Soviet communism. If anyone created Soviet communism it was Lenin. Stalin came to power paying homage to Lenin, a man he had to recognise as greater than himself. No one stood above Hitler. Stalin worked within a system of rules governing state and party life that pre-dated his accession to power.

It is important to contextualise Schapiro and the other Soviet experts not just within their own, somewhat disguised allegiances, but as a response within an academic debates which they perceived as lacking and slanted. As Christopher Caldwell outlined in The Weekly Standard, December 6, 1999: “obscurantism permitted communism not just to survive but to enjoy a certain prestige well into the 1980s,” because of Communist propaganda (this is unspecified) and

The “soft” propaganda churned out by fellow travelers in academia and journalism was […] arguably more pernicious. Marxism was a protean doctrine, with all the advantages of both its simplicity and its complexity. It was simple enough to satisfy half-wits but complex enough to require an interpreter caste. The Sovietophile biographer and historian Isaac Deutscher and the English Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm emerge as the true goats of the narrative (much as George Orwell and the English historian of Russia, Leonard Schapiro, stand as its heroes). It was Deutscher who peddled the transparently non-factual line that the West “started” the Cold War, since “it was only after the Communists had been ejected from the French and Italian governments that Stalin began to eject the anti-Communists from the Eastern European governments.”

In contrast Michael Scammell in The New York Times, August 9, 1998, observes that Aileen M. Kelly, a historian of Russian political thought, in a (1998) collection of essays, “Toward Another Shore,” argues that just as the Soviets distorted the Russian past, leading Western political historians, like Robert Conquest, Adam Ulam, Martin Malia, Robert Daniels and Richard Pipes, were “blown off course by the ideological winds of the cold war”:

These commentators, she writes, portrayed the Russian intelligentsia of the 19th century as “an ideologically and psychologically monolithic group,” a bunch of “misfits . . . fanatically convinced of their own moral rectitude and theoretical correctness” and directly responsible for the monstrosities of Soviet totalitarianism. Only one analyst, according to Kelly, opposed this rigid and reductionist view of Russian intellectual history, and that was Isaiah Berlin, who consistently championed the “libertarian humanism” characteristic of Russia’s best thinkers and insisted on the pluralism of Russian thought.

Brutality would seem to be more universal than those authors covertly funded and working at the behest of propagandists were willing to imagine.

As mentioned above, Schapiro was an associate and friend of MI6’s George K. Young, some indication of their working relationship is provided by (1990) ‘The final testimony of George Kennedy Young,’ published in Lobster 19. This outlined the response to the Philby affair when Young was recalled in 1953 to take over the new post of Director of Requirements to redirect the Secret Intelligence Service effort more effectively on to priority targets:

A completely new approach was required, and after a a series of informal supper parties with the brightest SIS officers, a systematic study was started of the top Soviet power structure, its various personalities and cliques, and their associates in the armed forces and the KGB. This had so far never been carried out in Whitehall, where the Foreign Office practice was to take each intelligence report in a separate docket, comment on it and file away. In fact, from both overt and covert sources there was a mass of information which had never been properly assessed and collated. The pioneering work was carried out by the late Professor Leonard Schapiro who enlisted leading Soviet studies experts from universities, and by Malcolm Macintosh. The results changed the whole emphasis in tackling Russian targets, produced expert briefing for potential sources and for the interrogation of deserters and defectors. CIA eagerly followed the British example. The success of the enterprise was underlined by Mackintosh taking over the Soviet desk in the Cabinet Office, a post he held until his retirement in 1987.

This would also lead us to believe that no coherent analysis of the Soviet power structure had been carried out before Schapiro’s in 1953. According to Stephen Dorril’s (2001) MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations, MI6’s leading theorist on Marxism, Robert Carew Hunt, developed his theories based on discussions “with MI6 insiders” including Schapiro and Isaiah Berlin (who had a remarkably similar background to Schapiro’s) and A. J. Ayer. Dorril states (p.500) that the G. K. Young meeting of 1953 had come about through Churchill’s call for high level talks with the new Soviet leadership when an embarrassed MI6 (already looking inward at Philby et al) and the US government realised that they knew nothing of the new Politburo head, Georgi Malenkov and “had no high-grade intelligence on the Soviet power structure.” Ironically the only person who could, according to Dorril, was Harold Wilson, then a Labour MP, who through his links to East-West traders had unofficial contacts with the Soviet leaders and knew Malenkov. This is said to have “caused fury on the Tory right”, but we could assume (if a distinction is worthwhile) that MI6 would also have been irritated. Schapiro is credited with carrying out the pioneering work with Foreign Office Soviet specialist, Malcolm Mackintosh and Dorril draws from the above quote emphasising the change in emphasis.

Dorril also observes (p. 714) that Schapiro was “Another Angleton devotee”, meaning James Jesus Angleton, and that he, Schapiro, acted as an adviser to Dick White the head of MI6 (1956-68) and MI5 and was a friend of White’s from their days in Germany and that Schapiro “enjoyed unusual influence over White”.  Influence over such an influential person does not help in the defence that Shapiro knew nothing about Crozier’s connections.

Ramsay in (1987) Lobster 13 observes that Schapiro was also mentioned in Colin Wallace’s notes in 1974 in relation to the ‘Clockwork Orange’ operation he ran as a psychological warfare operation — “from the context obviously there as some kind of allies”. While working for the British Army’s Northern Ireland psy-ops unit, Information Policy, Wallace was told by an MI5 officer to work on a psy-ops project, ‘Clockwork Orange 2’. Ramsay suggests that this is as a probable conduits for MI5 misinformation or as a possible contributors to Clockwork Orange or as a possible recipient of its output. The theme of the operation was MI5’s claim, that the Labour Party of 1974 was under the influence of the Soviet Union: ‘It is estimated that between 20 and 30 Labour MPs are members of the Communist Party.” And there is a list of Labour politicians “who are belief to be communists and who hold positions of influence”. It also aimed to establish that “Civil unrest, political violence and industrial disputes in Britain engineered by the Soviet Union through Labour Party activists and left-wing organisations”.

Crozier and Schapiro purveyors of tailored truths

According to his (1994) biography Free Agent, Brian Crozier states that while working for IRD in the late 1960s he felt that existing institutes and research centres were “either too academic, or too neutral or too heavily concentrated on hardware strategy” to counter the “Soviet strategy of takeovers by non-military means, such as subversion and terrorism” (emphasis in the original). Despite having a close association with two of its directors, Alistair Buchan and Francois Duchene he also felt a dissatisfaction that the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) had become too ‘neutralist’. For Crozier the facts were not fitting: his idea was to form a research centre that would draw attention to his opinion that the Soviet Union were behind a strategy of an”ever-widening range of groups and forces bringing violence, chaos and disruption into our societies.” To do this he would re-use the material gathered from Forum World Features (FWF) Crozier’s propaganda and disinformation “news service”, press cuttings and his library and speak to his friend Jock Whitney, who had been present at a 1965 meeting concerning Crozier’s work for the Congress for Cultural Freedom in setting up FWF and had been US ambassadors to Great Britain from 1956-61.

Others present were Whitney’s financial adviser, Samuel C. Park, Melvin Lasky (the editor of Encounter for which Crozier frequently wrote) and two others of whom Crozier leaves their occupation unspecified, Gene Gately and Murray Mindlin. According to Robin Ramsay in (1986) Lobster 11, Robert Gene Gately was a full-time CIA official who served as corporate treasurer and vice president of FWF during the mid 1960s shift to commercial cover. Gately had come to London in 1965 to work for FWF’s London HQ. Minden was also company secretary of FWF and it was “Run with the knowledge and co-operation of British intelligence,” according to (1968) memo by CIA Director Richard Helms. Mindlin had been a shareholder of the original CCF-backed Forum Information Service.

In 1966-67 he was editor of the magazine Censorship sponsored by the CCF. Later he became secretary of the British ‘Pall Mall Publications’ which was then owned by Frederick Praeger in the U.S. (Praeger with extensive publishing links to CIA.) Publisher and front for a number of CIA books and publications, Pall Mall had originally started as a feature service connected to the British Liberals and the Liberal International. Pall Mall was started by Peter Calvocoressi, ex GCHQ […] the Royal Institute for International Affairs (1949-70) and the Institute for Strategic Studies (1961-71).

Praeger also published most of the productions of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. If, as Reddaway states the Pall Mall series ‘was launched under Schapiro’s ‘inspiration and direction’, and given that he worked at Abshire’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the notion of innocence in these matters begins to dissolve. It would be enough to convict if Schapiro was working for the left and Brian Crozier was the judge. Add to this his previous activity with the IRD, as observed in Scott Lucas’ A Bright Shining Mecca:

Academics such as the Soviet specialist Leonard Schapiro published books and articles, sometimes with publishers such as Bodley Head or Allen and Unwin, sometimes with the British intelligence services’ “private” publisher Ampersand, based on “information” passed to them by Government contacts.

So arguably this type of activity is a continuity in Schapiro’s career.  According to Ramsay the establishment of the ISC came at a critical juncture for IRD:

At this time major changes were occurring in the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD). […] The close links formed between ISC, right-wing journalists and IRD eventually led to IRD’s closure: ISC’s Crozier and Moss had been giving lectures on communism to new IRD personnel. Anthony Crosland (ironically, once a member of the Encounter group), was the first to attempt to close the department, insisting that the more notoriously right-wing journalists be removed from IRD’s distribution list. […] Practically all the key personnel at ISC were ex-IRD and most of the journalists involved had intelligence connections. As the Leveller noted: “IRD became the midwife of the ISC.”.

According to Crozier’s memoir, Ramsay and other sources other money came from Richard Mellon Scaife and the ISC developed working relationships with the Scaife-funded organisations such as the Ford Foundation, Heritage Foundation (Crozier also had contacts here with ‘The Pinay Circle’ and the Foundation drew on his work on Europe), the National Strategy Information Center (via Frank Barnett and William Casey), the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (associated with Tufts University and its Fletcher School) and Shell and BP. Ramsay also adds:

Seeking funding for ISC, Crozier wrote to the Foreign Office in January 1970. He actually wrote to a friend, Sir Peter Wilkinson, Chief of Administration of the Diplomatic Service. Wilkinson had been head of IRD and later became Co-ordinator of Security and Intelligence in the Cabinet Office. Wilkinson eventually found a retired Major General, F.A.H. Ling, to be ISC’s fundraiser. This official support of ISC was confirmed when ISC, only a month old, had its first registered offices at the Royal United Services Institute building in Whitehall. (ISC moved to Northumberland Avenue in 1973 and later to Golden Square.) ISC was set up as a company (witnessed at Kern House) in April 1970, and as a charity in June 1970. Its original subscribers were: Brian Crozier, W. F. K. Thompson (died 1980), Professors [Max] Beloff, [Leonard] Schapiro and Miller. Fergus Ling was secretary. All these were on ISC’s Council with John Hugh Adam-Watson (resigned March 1974) Geoffrey Fairburn (resigned 1975), Louis Le Bailley who joined October 1975), Sir Edward Peck (joined October 1975) and Richard Clutterbuck (resigned December 1977).

Ramsay in Lobster 11 (an overlooked or neglected publication) the ISC:

Although nominally an independent semi-academic body with a governing council, ISC was a British intelligence operation under ‘light cover’. If the backgrounds of its personnel don’t demonstrate this, the links ISC quickly established with the South African state, the British police establishment and the British Army should. In any case the connection was there for anyone who cared to look: for the first three years of its existence ISC’s address was that of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) offices in London. By 1974 ISC was delivering its line on ‘subversion’ at Bramshill, the police training centre, the National Defence College, the Royal Military College of Science, the Army Staff College, and to the 23 SAS (Territorials). Further indications of ISC’s integration into the British state was shown in the correspondence between ISC’s Peter Janke and a member of the Cabinet Office, part of the documents leaked to Time Out.

According to Ramsay ISC first came to the public’s attention when its ‘Sources of Conflict in British Industry’ was reprinted in The Observer just before the election of February 1974. The ISC report outlined a long catalogue of examples of ‘extremists’ in industry with the Communist Party of Great Britain well to the fore. A similar piece appeared contemporaneously in The Economist, although not attributed to ISC.

Burnham and the new Machiavellians

For David Rees in (1985) ‘Student of subversion’ for the National Review (of which Crozier was a frequent contributor) Crozier is a “disciple of James Burnham”, who “seeks political and strategic truth through a search for the “real” as distinct from the “formal” meaning of political utterances.” Crozier took over Burnham’s “Protracted Conflict” column in the National Review in 1978.

Again we are back to Pareto and the new Machiavellians. He quotes from a Crozier (1976) article in the Lugano Review, later reprinted in the National Review (April 15, 1983).

In this tribute to Burnham and his works, Crozier singles out The Machiavellians (1943) as Burnham’s most fundamental contribution to political thought (far more so than the much better known Managerial Revolution). It was in this book that Burnham made his famour distinction between real and formal meaning. In a bold comparison across six centuries, he drew a parallel between Dante Alighieri’s political treatise, De Monarchia, and the Democratic Party platform of 1932. When Dante called for a unified world state and universal peace, the real issue was whether the Florentine Republic was to be governed by its own citizens or taken over by a reactionary foreign monarch. When the Democrats in 1932 promised a balanced budget, what they really meant was that they saw themselves as the ones who were best fitted to control the federal money supply.

Rees asserts that for Crozier:

“it is the job of the political commentator or anlysts to discern the real behind the formal meaning… the truth behind the rhetoric, the facts behind the myth, the intentions behind the promises.” In Burnham’s view, Machiavelli and his modern successors, such as Michels and Pareto, were “defenders of freedom,” because, as Crozier summarized, “it is only when the people are told the truth that their interests are safeguarded.” It was not for his cynical advice to his Prince “but for his scientific observation of political realities” that Burnham praised Machiavelli and the tradition he had originated.

He also adds that Crozier accepts Burnham’s contention that “the Third World War” began with the Communist-sponsored mutiny in the Greek navy in Egypt in 1944.” A nuclear war would be World War 4 in this conception and all the Soviet’s “countless setbacks, as in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, and Chile,” are in fact successes “defeat is tactical, and the forward strategy continues.” Rees also traces Crozier’s influences back to to Walter Lippmann (“in his younger years”) and in an Atlanticist context.

It was Lippmann, for example, who pointed out during the First World War that President Wilson’s stated motives for entering the war, however idealistic, were in fact inseparable from the strategic necessity of preserving the “Atlantic system” linking American and British interests.

For Rees Crozier’s (1978) Strategy of Survival, a “partly polemical study of world politics since 1945”, is an analysis drawing on Burnham’s “Third World War.”

In Crozier’s view, the Third World War is a war of politics and subversion, terrorism and psychological warfare. Through such techniques, Crozier maintains, the USSR has partly paralyzed the will of the West to respond to “the war called peace.” This is a unilateral war of aggression waged by the USSR against the “target areas” of the West. Although Soviet forces have never directly clashed with those of the U.S. since 1945, the Soviets have made significant strategic advances. As Crozier convincingly demonstrates, Soviet gains have been facilitated by the policy of containment that has enfeebled the West since 1947.

The article (which of course makes no mention of Crozier’s intelligence connections) ends with a quotation from Crozier: “It is only when the people are told the truth that their interests are safeguarded,” a remarkable assertion for someone whose life was devoted to propaganda and disinformation. According to Herman and O’Sullivan’s (1989) The Teorrism Industry, the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) provides a well documented case study of the use of a purportedly “independent” institutes as a “front for propaganda operations of hidden intelligence agency and corporate sponsors.” They argue that in 1968, and again in the mid-1970s, Crozier, was revealed in the British press to have been an agent of British and U.S. intelligence, and to have served secretly as a propaganda conduit for the South African police, and to have colluded with British firms and trade associations in a campaign to smear British trade unions with the tar of subversion. Yet this did not in any way discredit Crozier as a Western expert or, we are asked to believe, come to the attention of former MI5 agent Shapiro. Of the ISC they say (p. 109):

Besides the CIA, the ISC was funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, who provided more than $1.1 million to the institute between 1973 and 1979, and by the Ford Foundation, Shell Oil, British Petroleum, and other firms. […] the Heritage Foundation sent some $140,000 to Crozier for distribution through a right-wing “clearinghouse” called the International Freedom Fund Establishment, based in England. According to Scaife associate R. Daniel McMichael, ISC “set up solid working relationships with the Heritage Foundation, the National Strategy Information Center, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and a number of other Scaife-supported organizations.” ISC also received financial support from the so-called Pinay Circle, established in 1969 and named for a former prime minister of France, Antoine Pinay. The circle’s chief fundraiser was Jean Violet, a member of the SDECE, France’s intelligence agency. Well connected to U.S., British, West German, and South African intelligence, Violet was also friendly with numerous rightwing millionaires and politicians in Europe and the United States. The circle included William Colby, former director of the CIA, Edwin Feulner of Heritage, retired General Stilwell of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and ASC, and Crozier himself.

They add (and this is corroborated in Crozier’s own autobiography) that ISC was established with secret CIA funding in 1970, to complement the work of Crozier’s previous project Forum World Features, which was a conduit for suitable “news” to the media; ISC provided anticommunist propaganda as independent research and the analyses of independent experts like Crozier and Shapiro. The focus was not just on Soviet Communism, Herman and O’Sullivan also add that in the early 1970s:

ISC played a significant role in politicizing industrial conflict in England. In co-operation with the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), it launched a campaign designed to establish that industrial conflict rested on “subversion;’ and it helped get important segments of the press to blame “left-wing militants” for labor unrest. Subsequently, it was found from ISC’s own correspondence that ISC was being funded by CBI and its member firms; that its study ‘Sources of Conflict in British Industry’ was written in part by writers from other institutes closely affiliated with industry; and that much of its “evidence” came from the files of well-known and discredited right-wing organizations whose materials only took on respectability when laundered through ISC.

ISC and its experts also established close working relationships with the British police and military. Herman and O’Sullivan detail this to a certain extent, and ISC’s influence, together with related organisations can be seen in the archive of the papers of Stewart W. B. Menaul Senior Air Staff Officer, HQ Bomber Command, (1961-65)and the Commandant of the Joint Services Staff College. Menaul, who worked closely with ISC had attended US nuclear tests in Nevada, in 1955 and commanded British Atomic Trials Task Forces. At the height of ISC’s propaganda he was also Director General of the Royal United Services Institute (1968-76).

The archive of his papers, which also provides information as to how ramified the groups around Crozier and ISC and the Heritage Foundation were and how they shared and disseminated the propaganda, includes a 1983 Mar 3, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder: ‘The nuclear freeze: myths and realities’; 1984 Aug 29, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder: ‘The new case for civil defense‘; a letter from Michael Ivens, of Aims of Industry, to Menaul, suggesting Menaul write a paper to challenge the GLC’s (Greater London Council) anti-nuclear paper (this seems related to a Times article of 1984: ‘Ex-US admiral to join GLC nuclear campaign’); a 1984 Apr 19 Committee on the Present Danger, press release; 1980 Conflict Studies No 125: ‘Changing concepts of nuclear war’ by Menaul; A 1973, National Strategy Information Center: ‘Nuclear weapons and the Atlantic alliance’ by Wynfred Joshua; a 1982, ‘The intelligence war: Peace Council’s military allies’ by Robert Moss (a close ally of Crozier’s at ISC); a Proof copy of article by Michael Howard for Encounter: ‘Surviving a protest: a reply to E P Thompson’s polemic’, with short note to Menaul; a 1982 Book published by Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies: Protest and perish: A critique of unilateralism, by Philip Towle, Ian Elliot and Gerald Frost with letter to Menaul from Frost; 1975 National Strategy Information Center Inc.: ‘Strategic weapons: an introduction’ by Norman Polmar; A 1980 ISC, Conflict Studies Security Special, No 125: ‘Changing concepts of nuclear war’ by Menaul; 1976, National Strategy Information Center Inc, Agenda paper No 5: ‘Toward a new defense for NATO: The case for tactical nuclear weapons’ (there are several Heritage background reports); 1982 Nov 10, Text of an address by Alan Gwynne Chalfont, Baron Chalfont: ‘Unilateralism,neutralism and pacifism’, distributed by the Committee for the Free World, London; Galley Proofs of 1982 Jul, United States Strategic Institute report: ‘The nuclear “balance” in Europe: status, prospects and implications’ by Donald R. Cotter, James Hansen, Kirk McConnell relating to NATO, Warsaw Pact, theatre nuclear forces comparative missile systems, forward based systems, arms control; 1985 Nov, Booklet published for Peace through NATO: It costs a bomb: the local government anti-nuclear campaign by David Regan (and a 1985 Nov, Memorandum, from Ken Aldred, Secretary General of Peace Through NATO, referring to the Peace Through NATO booklet); 1982 Dec 3, ‘Social Democrat’, distributed by Committee for the Free World, UK: ‘The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ by Douglas Eden;

Crozier and Burnham

According to Joseph D’Agostino’s (1999) Conservative spotlight: Brian Crozier, in Human Events, Crozier “is yet another ex-leftist who has dedicated his life to fighting communism […] and met devout Communists who had a profound influence on him”. In an interview Crozier stated “Before World War II, I had a left-wing phase, unfortunately […] So did Bob Conquest […] But I never joined any Communist Party.” What dissuaded him is said to be James Burnham’s (1943) The Machiavellians, Defenders of Freedom, and ironically Crozier succeeded Burnham in writing the National Review column, ‘The Protracted Conflict’ in 1978 (Crozier would write the column for the next 18 years). D’Agostino writes:

Crozier ascribes an enormous amount of the credit for the fall of the Soviet empire to Ronald Reagan. “One of the turning points was the invasion of Grenada. It was the first strategic and tactical retreat of the Soviet Union,” Crozier said. “The effect of it was very startling.” He told a surprising story about British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “I had an appointment with Margaret on the day of the invasion,” he recalled. “She was furious with Ronald Reagan. . . . ‘He didn’t even have the decency to ring me and tell me what he was doing.”‘

David Rees’ (1985) Student of subversion, for the National Review, states that Crozier was a “self-acknowledged disciple of James Burnham”, and explores his debt to Burnham, which it argues comes from ‘The Machiavellians’, which it describes as Burnham’s fundamental contribution to political thought more than the Managerial Revolution, but again we return to Mosca and Pareto.

It was in this book that Burnham made his famous distinction between real and formal meaning […] Thus, Crozier goes on, “it is the job of the political commentator or anlysts to discern the real behind the formal meaning . . . the truth behind the rhetoric, the facts behind the myth, the intentions behind the promises.” In Burnham’s view, Machiavelli and his modern successors, such as Michels and Pareto, were “defenders of freedom,” because, as Crozier summarized, “it is only when the people are told the truth that their interests are safeguarded.” It was not for his cynical advice to his Prince “but for his scientific observation of political realities” that Burnham praised Machiavelli and the tradition he had originated.

This argues that Crozier borrowed Burnham’s method of analysis and contention that “the Third World War” began with the Communist-sponsored mutiny in the Greek navy in Egypt in 1944, “waged by Moscow against the West in line with Leninist teaching.” Rees places Burnham’s and Crozier’s concern with the ‘politics of reality’ as part of a wider strand of modern political writing, common to both Britain and America, which he terms “conservative realism.” This may be traced back to:

Admiral A. T. Mahan, the famous analyst of sea power, to Henry and Brooks Adams, and to Walter Lippmann (in his younger years). It was Lippmann, for example, who pointed out during the First World War that President Wilson’s stated motives for entering the war, however idealistic, were in fact inseparable from the strategic necessity of preserving the “Atlantic system” linking American and British interests.

British counterparts, are given as “Milner or a Cromer […] Sir Charles Dilke, J. A. Froude, and Sir J. R. Seeley” in terms of their work’s relation to the British Empire: with Dilke, for instance, arguing that “British rule in India rested not on force but on self-confidence.” Crozier’s (1970) Since Stalin, is presented as his “most able synthesis, accurate in diagnosis and prophetic in analysis:”

It is an examination of the power realities inherent in Soviet strategy at the end of the 1960s. Brushing aside the fashionable view that the cold war was over, Crozier looked at the new reality of Soviet global power. By the end of the decade, the USSR, having achieved nuclear parity with the United States, was ready to take advantage of Chancellor Willy Brandt’s readiness to improve relations with Moscow, and of France’s withdrawal from the integrated military machinery of NATO (though not from the treaty). Flexing its newly developed naval power, the USSR was already preparing to fill the impending American power vacuum in Southeast Asia. In the Western Hemisphere, the Soviets were bringing Fidel Castro more fully under their control in the interests of a more effective strategy in Latin America. The Soviet Union was thus now in a position to challenge the West in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

It is also argued that Crozier’s biography of Franco, makes the judgment that the order Franco “created in Spain in the 1950s and 1960s made possible modern industrial—and democratic—Spain”; His biography of De Gaulle argues that he “endangered France’s allies” and Crozier’s (1978) Strategy of Survival explores the tension between East and West in terms of Burnham’s “Third World War,” although it also describes this as a polemical work. In Crozier’s view, Burnham’s ‘Third World War’ is a war of “politics and subversion, terrorism and psychological warfare” although it fails to mention Crozier’s connections to covert propaganda and the Secret Intelligence Service and the CIA.

In a review of Burnham’s “The Modern Machiavellians”, from a Marxist perspective when it appeared in the 1940s, Paul Mattick observed:

Mosca, like all Mechiavellians, Burnham says, rejects any monistic view of history because such theories do not accord with the facts. In his search for truth – which is the purpose of all Machiavellians – Mosca discovers as the primary and universal social fact the existence of two “political classes,” a ruling class – always a minority – and the ruled. And he believes that not only has this always been and is now the case, but that it always will be.

Mattick also observes that before dealing with Michels and Pareto, Burnham discusses Sorel and the function of myth and violence, arguing that Sorel thought that a socialist take-over of governmental power would lead to the substitution of a new elite as ruler over the masses, and is thus a Machiavellian. A ‘real’ revolutionary program “could be carried out with the help of an all-embracing myth, which would arouse the masses to uncompromising action.” A true Machiavellian, Burnham argues according to Mattick, separates scientific questions concerning the truth about society from moral disputes over what type of society is most desirable. This is related to the assertion that it can be scientifically demonstrated that organising a classless society is impossible and that a tendency toward oligarchy is inherent in organisation itself and is thus a necessary condition of life:

The autocratic tendencies are neither arbitrary nor accidental nor temporary, but inherent in the nature of organization. This iron law of oligarchy holds good for all social movements and all forms of society. It makes impossible the democratic ideal of self-government.

Pareto’s general analysis of society contains distinctions he makes between “logical” and “non-logical” conduct which relates to his concepts of ‘residues and derivations,’ with ‘Residue’ meaning classes of stable, common elements in social actions, permanent human impulses, instincts, or sentiments. Pareto, according to Burnham, is not concerned with the question of where residues come from as with the fact that social actions may be analyzed in terms of them, whatever their origin. The derivations, according to this formulation of Pareto (and the question arises to what extent Burnham’s formulation has become the accepted formulation) are the verbal “explanations, dogmas, doctrines and theories with which man clothes the non-logical bones of the residues.”

For a profile of James Burnham and his influence on Neoconservatism see the Neo Con site

*Back to the The Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies


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