chapter  2
16 Pages

The Third World and the Conflict of Ideologies

WithMax Beloff

The "conflict of ideologies" is, of course, only a metaphor. Men or groups of men engage in conflict, and ideologies are systems of ideas that have no existence outside the minds of individuals. In seeking appropriate words in which to clothe their political aspirations, many Third World leaders have understandably found the concepts of Soviet communism easier to manipulate than the more subtle demands of Western political traditions such as liberalism. The Soviet Union can justify its military assistance and its armed intervention by proxy in the name of "anti-colonialism" and respect for the rights of nationalities. In Western Europe, inhibitions on acting to protect the West's own interests in the Third World, and to protect its peoples from both Soviet exploitation and the frightfulness that accompanies the imposition of totalitarian rule, are encouraged by political parties actively sympathetic to the Soviet cause and by other circles that respond readily and uncritically to fashionable talk of "neocolonialism."