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December 16, 2016
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November 18, 2004
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May 13, 1958
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79S01057A000200070012-8.pdf171.75 KB
Approved For Release 2004/12/01 : CIA-RDP79SO1057A000200070012-8 13 May 1958 MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director/ Intelligence THROUGH: Chief, SRS/DDI 047K/ SUBJECT: The Role of Ideology in Communist Affairs 1. Ever since I have been in CIA, that is, since 1947, I have taken considerable pains to emphasize the vital role of Communist ideology. This ideology, which is developed in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and some minor lumin- aries, must be understood by all who are striving to analyze Communist actions and reactions and to predict Soviet intentions. 2. I have found very little sympathy for this point of view. The great majority of our crystal ball gazers and analysts, Western-minded as they are, refuse to recognize anything but a pragmatic approach to the problem. They maintain that if Com- munist ideology is not indeed mere window dressing, its impor- tance in determining course of action is minor and its effect has decreased to a vanishing point. When I was still in ONE I tried in vain to convince the Board that an estimative study concerned primarily with Communist doctrine was necessary; however, the difficulties of coordinating such a "controversial" paper with the other IAC agencies were considered to be forbidding. 3> Recent events have again brought this problem into focus. It should be easier, even for those who do not believe in the power of ideology, to recognize the conquests of this secular religion. In the first place, the new campaign against "revisionism" is clearly an attempt to scuttle deviations and "misinterpretations" of the theses of the 20th CPSU Congress in order to achieve, once again, a monolithic adherence to the doctrine as interpreted and applied by the USSR. The heat of this campaign has been intensi- fied by the increase of the power of the leading Party, the CPSU, since Stalin's death. Reducing the power of the governmental ^. NO. )~