Goin' Back to the U.S.S.R - with Mr. X

After 101 years, George Kennan has shuffled off this mortal coil. His "Long Telegram" and subsequent "Mr. X" article in Foreign Affairs helped define forty years of East-West relations, and were staples in my international relations courses. The NYT has a lengthy biography of the man. (r.r.)

And here's a quote from his Long Telegram to consider (not that it has any relevance today, nudge, nudge):

    "[The Communist] Party line only represents thesis which official propaganda machine puts forward with great skill and persistence to a public often remarkably resistant in the stronghold of its innermost thoughts. But party line is binding for outlook and conduct of people who make up apparatus of power -- party, secret police and Government -- and it is exclusively with these that we have to deal.

A note to my younger readers: sixty years ago, the only way to get a message from Moscow to Washington in anything less than a week was by telegram, and you paid by the word. As a result, definite articles, adverbs and other useless verbiage was excised.

Hey! Imagine if blogs had to operate under the same conditions?

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