“If you meet with difficulties in your work, or suddenly doubt your abilities, think of him—of Stalin—and you will find the confidence you need. If you feel tired in an hour when you should not, think of him—of Stalin—and your work will go well. If you are seeking a correct decision, think of him—of Stalin—and you will find that decision” (Pravda, Feb. 17, 1950).
The previous issue of this magazine carried my lengthy report on a visit to Moscow by evangelical leaders. To an astonishing degree, we found that Marxism is dead and the Russian people are looking desperately to Christianity as a way to fill their spiritual vacuum. Since that trip, I have thought much about Soviet Marxism, an experiment Russians now call “74 years on the road to nowhere.” Why did it fail so badly?
Shaken To The Core
I remember vividly a meeting between our group of North American Christians and the editors of Pravda, formerly the official mouthpiece of the Communist party. Circulation figures at Pravda demonstrate the dramatic story of communism’s fall from grace: daily circulation has declined from 11 million to 700,000.
The editors of Pravda seemed earnest, sincere, searching—and shaken to the core. They were so shaken that they were now asking for help from emissaries of a religion their founder had scorned as “the opiate of the people.” The editors remarked wistfully that Christianity and communism have many of the same ideals: equality, sharing, justice, and racial harmony. Yet they had to admit the Marxist pursuit of that vision had produced the worst nightmares the world has ever seen. Why?
Sociologists, philosophers, and economists will no doubt perform their own postmortems on Marxism in the next few years, but what struck me in Russia is that ...1
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