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Oxted and District History Society
Tuesday 22nd January 2008.

 ‘ The Cold War Revisited – Part 1: A War of Religion ‘.

The ‘ War of Religion ‘ was rather a war of rival philosophies. Capitalism was clarified by the writings of Adam Smith and David Ricardo while Communism was spelt out in Marx’s ‘ Communist Manifesto ‘. The First World War helped destabilise the status quo and enabled the Communists to take over in Russia. The Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s also helped those who challenged Capitalism. Despite Stalin’s atrocities there were many Communist sympathisers and spies in the West and significant Communist Parties in Italy and France.

After World War II, Western Europe was economically exhausted but America was little affected. Power had shifted to America and Russia. Although Russia was militarily strong, it was technologically patchy, with poor organisation of its agriculture and consumer goods production. Western Europe recovered with the Marshall Plan. Khruschev denounced Stalin but Russia’s economic progress was very slow. The Korean War was a major confrontation between Communism and Capitalism. Millions of lives were lost but neither side gained territory. However South Korea and Japan made huge economic advances subsequently with American help while North Korea has remained in the doldrums.

Lecture given by Keith Addis at
Oxted United Reformed Church,
Bluehouse Lane, Oxte