Friday, January 20, 2017

War and Popular Culture: Resistance in Modern China, 1937-1945

Hung, Chang-tai, War and Popular Culture: Resistance in Modern China, 1937-1945. University of California Press, 1994.

While the Chinese struggle against Japan during World War II and the subsequent victory of the Communists over Jiang Jieshi’s Nationalists receives large amounts of scholarly attention, little attention is paid to propaganda and changes in popular culture during this period.  Many studies assert that Communist forces successfully portrayed themselves as the primary forces opposing Japan, but few discuss how these claims disseminated through China’s large and dispersed population.  Chang-tai Hung argues that both Nationalists and Communists relied on urban popular culture, which spread into rural areas to promote resistance to the invading Japanese, but that Communist propagandists were more adept at using popular media to promote their own agenda.

The new importance of popular culture is as important a change as the use made of it.  Chinese elites looked down on popular culture as unsophisticated, and in their urban form as crass commercialism.  However, popular culture became an important tool for spreading political messages simply because it was popular and entertaining.  The urban popular culture that spread into rural areas after Japan’s invasion was less commercial, focusing on patriotic and reform messages.  Although propagandists relied on media formats including song, cartoons, newspapers, and poetry, the first important export to the countryside was spoken drama, delivered by acting troupes that communicated rather than fought.  The core of Hung’s argument is that the war with Japan was more than a military crisis – it created an environment when traditional values were questions, roles of intellectuals changed, and social order altered.  These combined with the expansion of popular culture into rural areas to work to the Communists’ advantage in winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

The result of these epochal changes was the development of a new political culture in China focused on rural areas rather than cities, providing Communists with an advantage in the Civil War against the Guomingdang.  The war created a crisis for intellectuals, many of whom believed China at a dead end, and that the GMD’s leadership corrupt and ineffective.  The result was a belief that a new era was dawning for China.  The Communists successfully adapted these feelings to create a new “people’s culture” that minimized the rich and powerful and served their own ends.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Brook, Timothy, Bourgon, Jerome, and Blue, Gregory. Death by a Thousand Cuts. Harvard University Press, 2008.

The authors use the last Qing-era execution of Wang Weiqin using the ancient sentence of lingchi in 1905, known to Europeans as the “Death by a Thousand Cuts”, to examine the historical development, cultural meaning, and judicial basis of the most extreme legal form of execution available in China.  French soldiers documented Wang Weiqin’s fate using a newly popular portable camera, providing a lasting image of how lingchi worked, but also altering the study of this type of execution.  This also allows Brook, Bourgon, and Blue to examine European attitudes toward torture, imprisonment, and execution and their relationship with imperial China during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The first step in analyzing lingchi as punishment requires researchers to understand it as merely another form of execution, but also to understand the goals of punishment in imperial China. In contrast with nineteenth and twentieth century European efforts to use punishment as a means of reforming criminals, Qing and earlier Chinese imperial punishment regimes focused on physical and spiritual punishment of the criminal.  In this, Chinese practice was similar to that of all other governments through the eighteenth century.  Perpetrators of the most horrible crimes received horrible punishments, including what the authors term execution by torment.  This type of execution differs from both torture used to extract information and modern executions in which pain is minimized in its goals and symbolism.  The torment used in lingchi and other “brutal” executions was part deterrent and part punishment itself.  No information was sought, and easing the condemned’s death not a primary consideration.

Interestingly, Brook, Bourgon, and Blue indicate that lingchi executions could be less painful than a lesser sentence of strangulation.  During lingchi, the executioner dispatched the condemned early in the process, before inflicting extreme pain, while strangulation produced great pain for its victims.  Lingchi was more severe because it broke the body down, reducing its cohesion and extending the punishment into the afterlife.  For this reason, imperial policies restricted the use of lingchi to the most excessive crimes, and required a bureaucratic process before executions occurred.  Theological differences between Europe and China play a key role in the different reactions to lingchi between Europeans and Chinese.  Where European executions focused on the condemned’s chance to seek redemption to gain access to Heaven, Chinese executions offered no such role, focusing on the power of the state.  This difference altered the setting and actions of participants and witnesses to such extent that Europeans viewed Chinese executions as barbaric, and used them to further justify interventions in China during the two Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vietnamese Anticolonialism, 1885-1925

Marr, David G. Vietnamese Anticolonialism, 1885-1925. University of California Press, 1971.

Writing near the end of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam, David Marr traces the development of anticolonial sentiment and activities in Vietnam through 1925.  Primarily a work of political history, Marr also addresses intellectual history, tracing the use of quoc-ngu for scholarly and political tracts, the cultural foundation of ideological attacks against mandarins collaborating with French occupation, the deployment of popular literature to mobilize public opinion, and a move away from strictly Confucian guidelines for social norms.  These changes set the stage for the reformers and revolutionaries who successfully gained national independence.

Marr’s central assumption is that anticolonialism in Vietnam was based first on a group of foundational myths about Vietnam self-consciously created by activists such as Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh during the first decade of the twentieth century.  These two men were the intellectual leaders of the generation that laid the groundwork for later successful revolutionary movements.  Phan Boi Chau particularly attacked parts of the traditional Confucian base of Vietnamese culture, particularly the exam and degree system, which he felt was useless in training leaders in the modern world.  Attacks on the degree system led to a newer form of education focusing not on Confucian classics, but on quoc-ngu, French, Chinese, and other modernist subjects.

The traditional and new schools competed with each other for students, prestige, and funds. Traditional schools continued to have prestige as the key to financial success and advancement, leading even peasant families to sacrifice in order for a son to spend the long years of study necessary to pass the tests.  Traditional education also benefited from the examples of the scholar-gentry participating in the Can Vuong Movement at the end of the nineteenth century.  These Vietnamese patriots used traditional Confucian arguments to attack mandarins who collaborated with the French administration to line their own pockets.  While the collaborators might argue that they were merely accepting the inevitable, the patriots argued that their loyalty to the King required resistance, and that without it, the French would erase Vietnamese culture, not just their nation.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Call for Applications: Paris Institute for Advanced Study

Paris Institute for Advanced Study, Paris, 01.09.2018-30.06.2019
Bewerbungsschluss: 01.03.2017

The Paris Institute for Advanced Study welcomes applications from high
level international scholars and scientists in the fields of the
humanities, the social sciences and related fields for periods of five
or nine months, during the academic year 2018-2019.

The Paris IAS will host around twenty guest researchers, allowing them
to work freely on the project of their choice. The researchers will
benefit from the scientific environment of the Institute and have the
opportunity to create contacts with researchers in the academic
institutions of Greater Paris.

The non-thematic bottom-up program is entirely based on free individual

At least 3/4 of the IAS fellows (15 to 20) will be selected in the
framework of this blue-sky program, for which the excellence of the
researcher and his/her project is the essential criterion.

The Paris IAS provides its fellows with housing and a monthly
remuneration (or complement of remuneration). It also pays for their
round-trip ticket to Paris.


Researchers from all countries are eligible. Applicants who have spent
more than a total of 12 months in France during the 3 years prior to the
application are not eligible.

This call for applications is open to:

1) Senior university professors or researchers holding a position in a
university or research institution and having a minimum of 10 years of
full time research experience after their PhD (at the time of the

2) Junior scholars having the status of postdoctoral researcher or
holding a position in a university or research institution, and having a
minimum of 2 and maximum of 9 years of research experience after the PhD
(at the time of the application).

The institute is bilingual. Knowledge of English is required. The
applicants are also expected to understand French, as scientific and
social activities are held in French and English.

Applicants may request residencies for one of the following periods:
1) September 1st, 2018 to January 31st, 2019 (5 months)
2) October 1st, 2018 to June 30th, 2019 (9 months)
3) February 1st to June 30th, 2019 (5 months)

Caroline zum Kolk

IEA Paris, 17 quai d'Anjou, 75004 Paris, Frankreich


URL zur Zitation dieses Beitrages

Revisionist Approaches to the Vietnam War - Moyar and Sorley

Moyar, Mark. Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965.  Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Sorley, Lewis.  A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam.  Harcourt, 1999.

Of all American wars, only the cause of the Civil War approaches the radically divergent interpretations of America’s loss in Vietnam.  Almost as soon as the conflict ended in 1975 two schools of historical thought developed.  The “orthodox” school argued that the war was not winnable from the outset due to American misunderstanding of the nature of the conflict, and unjust in its prosecution and goals.  In contrast, the “revisionist” school contends that the war was “noble, but improperly executed” (Moyar, xi).  The conflict between these two competing interpretations of the Vietnam War extends beyond interpretation of the facts into arguments over which facts are valid and the political ideology of the adherents.  Mark Moyar and Lewis Sorley join the debate on the side of the revisionists.  Their works, Triumph Forsaken and A Better War examine different stages of the war, overlapping only when addressing President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s 1965 decision to introduce ground troops in South Vietnam.

Even the labels of the competing schools are open to debate.  Historian John Prados argues that the revisionists should be called “neo-orthodox” because they argue that the United States threw away victory in Vietnam, focusing on issues of pacification and Vietnamization while ignoring Saigon political intrigues.  Both Moyar and Sorley fall into this category of revisionist, with Sorley the more prominent of the two due to his position on recommended reading lists for Army and Marine Corps officers.  General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of American forces in Afghanistan regularly refered to Sorley’s analysis of Creighton Abrams’ strategy and tactics in post-Tet Vietnam, and the text also appears in the Army’s Field Manual describing counterinsurgency operations.

Taken together these two books illustrate key revisionist arguments that span the length of the war.  Focusing on the period 1954-1965, Moyar contends that despite the negative portrayal of American journalists Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem was a legitimate anticommunist leader.  Criticism of Diem came from Saigon’s intellectuals and political elites, French colonialists who preferred the leadership of Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, and John Paul Vann, the prominent American counterinsurgency expert.  Until deposed, Moyar argues, Diem successfully fought the nascent insurgency in South Vietnam.  Diem’s first anticommunist effort was as much political and propagandistic as military.  Moving into Viet Minh strongholds on Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, and Camau Peninsula with government troops, Diem made personal visits by Jeep, provided medical supplies, had roads and bridges constructed, and eventually opened rural facilities to train soldiers and administrators.  Moyar argues that Diem expanded these measures to an internal security regime that destroyed Communist organizations at the village and hamlet level, securing the most troublesome areas of South Vietnam.

Through 1960, Moyar believes, Diem continued to strengthen South Vietnam’s government and his military forces while taking the battle to the North.  By the end of 1956, Diem began sending saboteurs through Laos into North Vietnam to instigate revolts.  However, South Vietnamese efforts to create an anticommunist insurgency in the North failed in both 1957 and 1959.  Diem’s guerrillas were unsuccessful, but along with a Hoa Hao campaign in 1956, forced the Communist government to divert resources from the South.  These efforts coincided with Diem’s work to strengthen the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.  Along, with American Lt. General Samuel Williams, Diem worked to not only increase the number of regular troops available, but to make it into a legitimate fighting force.  Williams argued that ARVN needed to have light gear that enabled it to fight against guerrillas, but also to train to fight conventional forces in the same manner as the U.S. Army.  Militia, he contended should bear the primary responsibility for counterinsurgency work.  By 1959, Moyar argues, Diem eliminated the worst generals and officers, expanded, and improved the regular army.  Despite the presence of incompetent mid-grade officers remaining due to political ties, the force seemed ready to fight.  The same was not true of the militia expected to perform real counterinsurgency work – they were under trained, undermanned, and under equipped.

 Diem’s campaign to strengthen his government’s hold on the South included economic development and a propaganda campaign.  Starting in 1956, the “Denounce the Communists” campaign mobilized civilians and soldiers to repair roads and bridges.  Suspected communists were arrested and subjected to reeducation in the same manner that Communist cadres in the North used on non-Communists.  In addition to this campaign, Diem used American foreign aid to bolster South Vietnam’s economy.  Most of this money went into efforts to improve security, such as creating new settlements in the Central Highlands to act as a bulwark against Communist advances and building roads to facilitate the movement of troops.  Diem also embraced land reform, but in a more measured form than in the North.  Although his attempts to save the rural middle class reduced the number of landless peasants that gained new lands, it still left a plurality as renters, leaving them vulnerable to Communist propaganda.  Moyar asserts that the Diem government was able to significantly weaken the North’s cadres in the South using these techniques, leading to a Communist attempt to assassinate him.  Diem was unsuccessful in securing South Vietnam only because he lost the confidence of his American benefactors and due to the efforts of corrupt ARVN officers.  The corrupt and incompetent governments that followed Diem wasted ARVN’s strength by adopting ineffective tactics for fighting the Communists, forcing Lyndon Johnson to commit American troops to defend South Vietnam.

Sorley picks up where Moyar left off.  Briefly touching on the build-up of American forces after 1965, Sorley argues that when Creighton Abrams assumed command of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam in 1968 he achieved a military victory that Richard Nixon and his advisers squandered in order to appease the antiwar movement, the media, and diplomats with other foreign policy goals.  Abrams won his war by abandoning William Westmoreland’s unworkable strategy of attrition and instead focusing on pacification of the South Vietnamese countryside, interdiction of troops and supplies from the North, and by ensuring that South Vietnamese troops had the training and equipment to defend their nation.  He did this despite continuing troop withdrawals and reductions in the foreign aid Congress allocated to Southeast Asia.  Sorley contends that South Vietnam lost the war solely because Nixon, Ford, and Congress abandoned South Vietnam to its fate despite assurances of support if invaded.

Westmoreland’s strategy from 1965-1968 focused on conventional large-unit tactics and search-and-destroy missions that futilely sought Viet Cong Guerillas and North Vietnamese troop concentrations.  These missions, according to Sorley, conducted at the battalion level, were costly in money, equipment, and personnel, but gained little.  As soon as Americans left an area, their Communist foes returned.  Westmoreland’s boredom with pacification operations led him to neglect the very activities that might have won the war during his tenure in Vietnam.  Spreading dissent about the war and the apparent lack of progress illustrated by the Tet Offensive of 1968 led Lyndon Johnson to replace Westmoreland with Abrams, who implemented new strategies and tactics in an attempt to salvage the situation.

In contrast to Westmoreland’s focus on large operations and attrition of enemy numbers, Abrams used small units to secure South Vietnamese population and land.  Rather than sweeping through an area in an attempt to locate and kill the enemy, Abrams’ vision was for forces to enter a region, clear it, and then stay to provide security.  Part of the new strategy was to destroy the North Vietnamese support infrastructure in the South and to increase support for the Saigon government.  Key to this was the understanding of the North Vietnamese method of moving supplies and personnel into position before launching an operation.  By focusing American artillery and air assets on closing the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Abrams disrupted North Vietnam’s ability to conduct the war in South Vietnam.

Sorley believes that Abrams had won the war in 1972 by securing South Vietnam, repelling invasions, and destroying Communist safe havens in Cambodia and Laos.  South Vietnam eventually lost the war not because it was untenable or poorly led, but because the Nixon administration negotiated away all of the gains at the Paris Peace Conference.  By allowing large numbers of North Vietnamese Army troops to remain in place in South Vietnam when the United States withdrew, the United States gave an unearned advantage to the Communists.  This problem was exacerbated when the United States failed to assist South Vietnam when the North went on the offensive once more.  American withdrawal so demoralized South Vietnamese troops and leaders that they could not stand on their own against the onslaught.

Sorley’s work is a response to earlier works, which he contends focus almost exclusively on the early parts of the war.  Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: A History virtually ignores Abrams, and allocates only fifteen percent of its space to cover the last five years of the conflict.  Sorley contends that other academic works also ignore the main characters of A Better War; George Sorley’s work is a response to earlier works, which he contends focus almost exclusively on the early parts of the war.  Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: A History virtually ignores Abrams, and allocates only fifteen percent of its space to cover the last five years of the conflict.  Sorley contends that other academic works also ignore the main characters of A Better War; George Herring’s America’s Longest War and William Duiker’s Historical Dictionary of Vietnam also focus on the early stages of the war, giving short shrift to Creighton Abrams, Ellsworth Bunker, and William Colby.  The worst offender in Sorley’s estimation is Neil Sheehan’s A Bright and Shining Lie, which follows the career of John Paul Vann.  Only sixty-eight of volumes’ seven hundred twenty-five pages cover the post-1968 period, despite Vann’s continued work in Vietnam until his death in 1972 (Sorley, xiv).

Where Sorley contends that he is merely adding to our knowledge of the second part of the war, Moyar sets himself firmly into the debate over the history of the war.  Self-consciously in what he calls the “revisionist” camp, Moyar excoriates orthodox histories of the war for being both ideologically driven and unwilling to engage with facts that do not fit into their analysis.  His ire here may be fueled in part by his inability to gain employment in a traditional academic setting, as illustrated by his 2007 lawsuit against Texas Tech, in which he claimed discrimination based on his conservative political beliefs.

Moyar only specifically mentions one of the so-called “orthodox” histories of the war that he finds so problematic directly – Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie, which he argues overemphasizes the Saigon government’s problems, and illustrates David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan’s inaccurate reporting of military affairs.  Moyar contends that John Paul Vann used Sheehan and other reporters to promote his inaccurate and self-serving account of the Battle of Ap Bac that depicted South Vietnamese troops as cowardly and incompetent.  Moyar also argued A Bright Shining Lie demonstrated Sheehan’s ignorance of Vietnamese customs, overly relying on Buddhists and North Vietnamese agents for information. That Buddhists comprised approximately 90% of Vietnam’s population seems to have escaped Moyar’s notice.

Moyar treats his fellow revisionists more carefully, placing Triumph Forsaken in context with other works covering the same period.  He argues that H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty provides important insights into the policy process of the Johnson administration and the Joint Chiefs of Staff during 1964 and 1965, and that C. Dalton Walton’s work challenges the orthodox view of American strategy during the early stages of the war.  It is informative that Moyar does not engage Sorley, who many identify as a revisionist, but who appears to accept the orthodox view of the Westmoreland-era in Vietnam – that the strategy of attrition was both ineffective and morally bankrupt.

Despite engaging writing styles and provocative arguments, both books suffer from significant problems in evidence and analysis.  Both works focus on atrocities committed by Communists while minimizing those committed by the Saigon government (Moyar) or American troops (Sorley).  Moyar and Sorley both gloss over the Johnson administration’s lack of clear goals or strategy in Vietnam, which represent a major portion of H.R. McMaster’s argument in his 1997 work Dereliction of Duty.

These problems represent only the tip of the iceberg.  Nick Turse writing in The Nation contends that while focusing on Creighton Abrams’ efforts at reducing civilian casualties by reducing indirect artillery fire, Sorley ignores Gen. Julian Ewell’s use of heavy artillery and air strikes in Operation Speedy Express (Dece.ber 1968 – May 1969), which may have killed five thousand civilians.  The continued use of indirect artillery on unobserved targets as reported by Newsweek’s Kevin Buckley in 1970, continued during Abrams’ tenure as commander of MACV with disastrous results.  By ignoring Operation Speedy Express, Sorley weakens his argument.  Its inclusion would allow him to present it as an example of the challenge of changing the Army’s tactics in Vietnam after Westmoreland’s tenure ended in June 1968.

Moyar’s work also suffers because it ignores of minimizes evidence that argues against his interpretation.  In Moyar’s opinion, Diem was a strong leader in the Vietnamese style, one unfamiliar and unpalatable to many Americans.  For this reason, Diem could not abide protests against his policies or regime.  Sweeping aside Buddhist complaints that Diem installed Catholics in the government and bulldozed pagodas in order to replace them with churches, Moyar places South Vietnam’s Buddhist majority into the same category with Communist subversives - enemies of the regime.  Anyone that protested Diem policies was cynical and the Saigon government was right in sweeping them and their concerns brusquely aside.  Moyar ignores evidence that these actions turned Buddhists against Diem and had a role in the development of the coup against him.

Pre-war Vietnamese history also gets a revision in Triumph Forsaken.  Not only does Moyar contend that internal conflict characterized Vietnam’s past, not a long tradition of resistance to outside domination by China and France, but he rejects the notion of any historical enmity between China and Vietnam.  This is a key component for his argument that American leaders not only believed in the domino theory’s threat of systematic Communist take-over in Asia, but that due to Soviet, Chinese, and Vietnamese cooperation was a legitimate concern.  Moyar also contends that Ho Chi Minh was a Communist first, and a nationalist second – ignoring William Duiker’s 2000 biography of Ho.

Ho Chi Minh’s status is another of the divisions between the orthodox and revisionist schools.  While many orthodox historians accept Duiker’s assertion that Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist who turned to Communists because even French Socialists were uninterested in the colonial question, revisionists of Moyar’s ilk assert that since the Viet Minh drove out noncommunist nationalists after 1945 that Ho Chi Minh must have been solely a Communist. Moyar deploys Ho Chi Minh’s change of pseudonym from Nguyen Ai Quoc (“Nguyen the Patriot”) to Ho Chi Minh (“He Who Enlightens”) to show that Ho was trying to hide his Communist past from Americans.  However, Duiker’s massive biography demonstrates that Ho adopted his final pseudonym while traveling through China to avoid the Guomingdang as he tried to reach Vietnam to fight the Japanese occupation.  Duiker further traces Ho’s name changes over time, as he adopted various pseudonyms to hide his identity from French authorities, as was common for Vietnamese revolutionaries.

Flaws of evidence and argument notwithstanding, these works provide thought-provoking discussions of the conduct of both halves of the American involvement in the Vietnam War.  Of the two, Moyar’s Triumph Forsaken is perhaps the more controversial due its tone and contention that Diem had successfully managed to stabilize South Vietnam, and that only the turmoil following his assassination doomed the country.  Sorley and Moyar provide useful works to sustain a more nuanced conversation about the nature of the war and its course.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I celebration of the holiday, a collection of video, audio, and text speeches and letters from Martin Luther King's work in the Civil Rights Movement.

'A Time to Break the Silence'

Sermon delivered at Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967.

'Our God is Marching On!'

Speech delivered on March 25, 1965, in Montgomery, Alabama, at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery march.

Letter to Loretta, Written on July 18, 1952, to his future wife, Coretta Scott, in which King revealed some surprising thoughts on capitalism and communism.

I Have a Dream, 1963

"I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (aka I See the Promised Land)," Dr. Martin Luther King's Last Speech.

Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968

“The Drum Major Instinct," Dr. King's Final Sermon

April 4, 1967. New York, N.Y.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Print and Power: Confucianism, Communism, and Buddhism in the Making of Modern Vietnam

McHale, Shawn Frederick. Print and Power: Confucianism, Communism, and Buddhism in the Making of Modern Vietnam. University of Hawai’I Press, 2004.

McHale has multiple goals in Print and Power: to redefine the concept of the public sphere, to explore the development of the print culture of Vietnam through 1945, and to show how the three primary competing ideologies in Vietnam used the expansion of printing to further their own ends.  These three aspects of McHale’s argument combine to show Vietnam as having a much more complicated intellectual environment through the end of World War II than previously understood.  Rather than Communists having a coordinated, dominant role, McHale contends that the radicals and reformers created a diverse intellectual environment.

The key to this argument is McHale’s assertion that non-free societies can also develop a public sphere.  Earlier discussions of the development of the public sphere, defined as the place between the village and the state where the people come together to influence society using their reason, maintained that it was unique to democratizing societies awakened by the Enlightenment.  McHale believes that even states that are not yet “modernist” in orientation also develop this middle ground between village and state in which people interact to shape their futures. 

In Vietnam, a key to the twentieth century development of the public sphere was the development of print culture despite the censorship imposed by French and Japanese colonial domination.  Within the public sphere, Confucians, Buddhists, and Communists pursued divergent goals based on the needs of the group and its constituents.  These different approaches meant that each group produced different types and numbers of printed items.  The victory of Communists in Vietnam’s twentieth century wars has led to an assumption that the other two ideologies were not relevant to the modern world, an assumption deliberately enhanced by Communist historiography.