George Kennan 'X' Article Summary

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Kennan begins outlining the Soviet’s position after WWll. When the Bolsheviks came into authority, leadership of the Soviet Union (SU) adopted aspects of Marxism into their ideology. Kennan believed that the Soviets refused to foresee Capitalism and Communism co-existing together effectively sharing power. A dictatorial power was established to begin implementing policy in coherence Marxist belief, however, the communist community in Russia had only represented a small proportion of the population, so resentment arose due to unpleasant economic consequences the regime generated. With this regime came desire for complete power. Subsequently, all institutions and organisation in Russia was controlled by the Party, leaving it as the ultimate structure of force. The SU used the “menace” of Capitalism as justification for their attempts to overthrow the world’s political forces through dictatorial power.

The SU continue to believe that the intent of Capitalist forces is antagonistic to the SU. Kennan warns the United States (US) about the Kremlin’s unreliable foreign policy, that it is re-prioritised for tactical purposes. He argues that the US-SU relationship will remain a long-term struggle due to the contemporary Soviet outlook. The ideological corruption of the Kremlin has a resulted in indisputable approval of thesis that Soviet leadership find beneficial, resulting in a highly centralised power structure. Kennan believes the SU operate by placing consistent pressure towards achieving their desired goal (rather than specifying a time to have it completed). Therefore, Kennan recommends a policy of “containment” towards the SU. US should appear a successful and composed nation, as the Russian psyche is quick to abuse any sign of weakness.

Kennan delves into the influence of ideology on SU practical policy. Kennan disputes that if the SU is not “contained”, the population of the SU, (already exhausted and dispirited from WWll), will be neglected by its...
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