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From the Vaults: National Review, March 23, 1957

Frank S. Meyer had been active in Communist parties for some fifteen years in both England and the United States. He broke with them after World War II and eventually became deeply anti-Communist. His 1961 book, The Moulding of Communists: The Training of Communist Cadre (Harcourt, Brace and Company) is one I would recommend to anyone who was seriously considering joining a communist party. It should have the desired effect of immediately changing their mind.

Meyer was a co-founding editor of National Review, a magazine once described by the libertarian thinker Murray Rothbard as the sort of place where an editor might ponder whether or not we should “drop the H-bomb on Moscow and destroy the Soviet Union immediately, or should we give the Soviet regime twenty-four hours with which to comply with an ultimatum to resign.” (Cited by Justin Raimondo, An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000], pp.99-100).

Below is an extract from a 1957 article by Meyer published in National Review. Perhaps Rothbard was not exaggerating.

Nature of the Enemy

Frank S. Meyer

National Review, March 23, 1957, p.283.

If the Soviet threat is primarily a Russian threat, then it can be handled by civilized men as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries handled their disputes—by diplomacy, by pressures, by limited warfare conducted by enemies who nevertheless share a universe of moral discourse. Then it is possible to fight, and live at peace, and fight again, if need be, for limited objectives. That is, then it is possible to coexist with the enemy. Then it is, indeed, deeply immoral to think in any other terms than those of coexistence.

But if the essential dynamic of the enemy is an ideology directed towards the destruction of religion, of freedom, of the very kind of moral being we regard man to be; and if those who hold that ideology are pledged by its very nature to a crusade to make the world over in its image—then it is immoral to base long-term policy on anything less than the destruction of that ideology by all means in our power.