Totalitarian states use propaganda to crush spirits and minds, backed by
the iron fist of secret police, informants, “re-education” campaigns,
imprisonment, and torture. The United States, with legitimate traditions
of freedom and debate (however compromised), took a different route.
After World War II, a faction of wealthy, conservative leaders made a
concerted effort to keep the nation on a war-footing by presenting the
Soviet Union and “godless” Communism as the post-Nazi totalitarian
threat to American freedom. Anything could be justified for the sake of
the “free world”; this included relocating high-ranking Nazis to Latin
America and using the Nazi intelligence service as the basis of our
post-war European spy network, decisions with severe impact on U.S.
foreign policy. The Soviet world-view was never acknowledged or
explained. Yes, Stalin was a vicious brute, but he died in 1953 and his
foreign policy was not aimed at destroying the United States. Nor did
the U.S. differentiate between the socialism of small agricultural
countries and Soviet Bolshevism. Peace and compromise were never on the
table. The world was split into White and Red, Good and Evil, with god
on our side and der roter teufel on theirs.