So, the teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War has raised some eyebrows. Also, it has apparently infuriated some Communists. Which is all to the good. It’s essentially a series of clips from an interview with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov in the ’80s, discussing Soviet “Active Measures,” the subversion campaign used by the KGB against the Soviet Union’s adversaries, the chief one of which was the United States.
The trailer has also been censored in China, ostensibly because of Tiananmen Square footage (though one might wonder if the Chinese, who have also practiced subversion and propaganda to a greater extent than some might realize, might be censoring it for other reasons, as well).
I’ve been effectively tuned out of the Call of Duty franchise for a while. I’ve heard some good things about the Modern Warfare reboot (or whatever it is) from last year, but it hasn’t been in the budget (either looking at money or disk space). This surprised me, though. (Especially after Activision/Blizzard bent the knee to the PRC last year.) That a major media company might actually be calling out Communists, and in a much more real-world context, is fascinating.
The trailer provides a few clips of Bezmenov. Here’s the full interview:
Now, not everyone who isn’t a Communist accepts Bezmenov’s story. I’ve even seen it said that he was simply telling Americans what they wanted to hear. That there couldn’t really be such an extensive infiltration and subversion. It smacks of wild-eyed conspiracy theory, McCarthy, and the HUAC. Soviet Communists weren’t really that much of a threat. To say otherwise is to sound like General Ripper, ranting about “our precious bodily fluids.”
And yet, here we are. Leave aside for a moment, the fact that a movement led by self-professed “trained Marxists” has sparked open riots in multiple cities. Look at much of the political and academic rhetoric today. When it closely resembles an awful lot of Soviet propaganda, you’ve got to start to scratch your head.
Even the assertion that the shift to the Left has been organic, a nearly inevitable movement of society, is a surrender to Communist agitprop. For one, it assumes the Marxist model of “Historical Materialism.” For another, it ignores the simple historical fact that nothing happens in a vacuum. I’ve written about this before, regarding revolutions. Even Vladimir Lenin was funneled back to Russia by the Germans as a spoiler to try to knock Russia out of World War I.
This won’t be the last article on this subject; it’s a deep subject that deserves a deep dive. Some of it will, of necessity, be circumstantial. The Soviet Union might be no more, but Mitrokhin only got some of the KGB’s documents out, and the KGB now quietly rules Russia. What’s more, Red China has now taken the flagship role in international Communism. So, active intelligence efforts are still underway to keep these operations secret.
That doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, an invisible cause can be determined by observing its effects. The war isn’t over. In fact, it can be argued that the belief that the Cold War ended in 1991 was in itself a major defeat for the West.
Call of Duty might or might not truly explore this (probably not). But they’ve introduced some people, during a year of crisis, to the beginnings of an explanation of what has been going on.