chapter  13
18 Pages

Civil Liberties in the United States: Changing Soviet Perspectives

Authors of Soviet publications during the Stalinist years of the late 1940s and early 1950s looked across the Atlantic at the United States in the spirit of absolute intolerance engendered by the cold war. Soviet jurists naturally followed the "wise" thoughts of Comrade Stalin in their assessments of human rights in the United States and the west: "Previously, the bourgeoisie permitted itself some liberality. It defended bourgeois democratic freedoms and thus won for itself popularity among the people. Now not a trace is left of liberalism. There is no longer any so-called 'freedom of the individual.' "2 The American bourgeoisie, imperialists, and monopolies had "trampled on individual rights and established for [themselves] a regime of police abuse and violence." All the state constitutions were "permeated with the spirit of racism and ignorance; they were all thoroughly reactionary."3 American justice was "sinking completely into the morass,'t4 along with the writ of habeas corpus, which "had also ceased to act "s

At that time, American society really was living through difficult times. The

"Pardon!" answered Fagot, "I beg your pardon, but there is nothing to expose here, it's all clear."