The Clenched Fist—Revisiting Golitsyn’s Predictions

By: Brent Parrish


Many people have probably never heard of Anatoliy Golitsyn. I had never heard of him until several years ago after I started heavily researching the history of the Soviet Union, and the strategy and tactics Communists employ against their adversaries.

Golitsyn’s name was again brought up during a lengthy discussion I had with author Trevor Loudon back in 2014. I decided right then and there that I needed to look deeper into this intriguing character.

Rare photo of Anatoliy Golitsyn (Credit: Wikipedia)

Rare photo of Anatoliy Golitsyn (Credit: Wikipedia)

Anatoliy Golitsyn was an ex-KGB officer who spent 15 years in Soviet intelligence work, which put him in contact with high-ranking Soviet officials. He defected to the West in 1961. Golitsyn wrote two books that outline in painstaking detail the Soviet’s “grand strategy” against the West and the non-communist Third World: New Lies for Old (1984) and The Perestroika Deception (1995).

Both books contain some astonishing and disturbing predictions. In a nutshell, Golitsyn claimed that the alleged fall of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent end of the so-called “Cold War,” was nothing but a ruse designed to lull Western powers and non-communist nations into believing Communism had been defeated—when, in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Golitsyn wrote in New Lies for Old:

The feigned disunity of the communist world promotes real disunity in the noncommunist world…. False alignments, formed with third parties by each side against the other, make it easier to achieve specific communist goals, such as the acquisition of advanced technology or the negotiation of arms control agreements or communist penetration of Arab and African states. In Western eyes the military, political, economic, and ideological threat from world communism appears diminished. [1]

Communist strategy has long used the tactic of “controlled opposition” to deceive and lull their enemies into complacency. The purpose of “false opposition” is to further confuse and undermine any genuine opposition in the communist world. Vladimir I. Lenin best summed up the dialectical strategy of controlled opposition by stating, “The best way for us to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” 

The dialectic of this offensive consists of a calculated shift from the old, discredited Soviet practice to a new, “liberalized” model, with a social democratic facade, to realize the communist planners’ strategy for establishing a United Europe. At the beginning they introduced a variation of the 1968 Czechoslovakian “democratization.” At a later phase they will shift to a variation of the Czechoslovakian takeover of 1948. [2]

Granted, when one examines claims by former intelligence operatives who allege to have “seen the light” and are now trying to warn us for solely altruistic reasons, one should exercise a healthy amount of caution and skepticism. They may be acting as a double-agent; or they could be an outright fraud altogether. So it is wise to test their claims and allegations and ask oneself, “To whose benefit?” Does it stack up? How do their revelations compare to other defectors of a similar vein?

What makes Anatoliy Golitsyn stand out is the uncanny accuracy of his predictions.  Mark Riebling wrote in his spy book Wedge: The Secret War between the FBI and the CIA, “[O]f Golitsyn’s falsifiable predictions, 139 out of 148 were fulfilled by the end of 1993—an accuracy rate of 94 percent.” [3]

One of the goals behind the Soviet Union’s “false liberalization” facade was to put a “happy face” on Soviet-style communism. Golitsyn predicted the emergence of a “younger leader with a more liberal image, who will continue the liberalization more intensely.” [4] By falling for the Soviet “liberalization” ploy, the West begins to question its massive defense expenditures; since it seems wasteful and unnecessary now that the “Cold War” is allegedly a thing of the past.


Further warnings Golitsyn tried to impart to the West in the 1960s included his predictions that the Berlin Wall would come down, East and West Germany would be reunited, and the Warsaw Pact would be dissolved. The goal of all these tactics was to create a “neutral, socialized Europe.” All of these predictions have come to pass. We now see a “neutral, socialized Europe” in the form of the European Union (EU). Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky once referred to the EU as the “pale version of the Soviet Union.”

Concerning the six-percent of Golitsyn’s predictions that were left unfulfilled, a plausible explanation could be, that since Golitsyn had defected to the West in 1961, any changes in Soviet strategy following his defection would be unknown to him, since he was no longer privy to top-secret KGB intelligence. Plans change as circumstances dictate.

It is worth noting, too, that Golitsyn’s predictions were penned several years prior to his first manuscript for News Lies for Old being published in the West in 1984.

One of the most important revelations by Golitsyn had to do with the Sino-Soviet split. For many years there has been a widely accepted belief in the West that there was a serious rift between Red China and the Soviet Union. Billions of dollars in massive U.S. aid programs were poured into the USSR in an effort to exasperate and prolong the so-called Sino-Soviet split.

Golitsyn warned (emphasis added):

There are a number of strategic options at the disposal of the communist strategists that can be used in various combinations to achieve their ultimate objectives. It would be impossible to list them all but five likely interconnected options are as follows:

  • A closer alignment of an independent socialist Europe with the Soviet bloc and a parallel alignment of the United States with China. Japan, depending on whether it remains conservative or moves toward socialism, might join either combination.
  • A joint drive by the Soviet bloc and a socialist Europe to seek allies in the Third World against the United States and China.
  • In the military field, an intensive effort to achieve US nuclear disarmament.
  • In the ideological and political field, East-West convergence on communist terms.
  • The creation of a world federation of communist states.

In each of these the scissors strategy will play its part; probably, as the final stroke, the scissors blades will close. The element of apparent duality in Soviet and Chinese policies will disappear. The hitherto concealed coordination between them will become visible and predominant. The Soviets and the Chinese will be officially reconciled. Thus the scissors strategy will develop logically into the “strategy of one clenched fist” to provide the foundation and driving force of a world communist federation. [5]

The concept of the “swinging pendulum” applies here—well-understood by the devoted Communist. As the United States bounces back and forth between East and West in search of alliances with foreign powers that are, in fact, hostile to U.S. interests, America finds it self caught between the jaws of a dialectical, geopolitical bear trap—specifically, the convergence between Russia and China. Golytsin used the analogy of being caught between the blades of a pair of “scissors” in New Lies for Old.

[Emphasis added]

After successful use of the scissors strategy in the early stages of the final phase of policy to assist communist strategy in Europe and the Third World and over disarmament, a Sino-Soviet reconciliation could be expected. It is contemplated and implied by the long-range policy and by strategic disinformation on the split. The communist bloc, with its recent accretions in Africa and South- East Asia, is already strong. European-backed Soviet influence and American-backed Chinese influence could lead to new Third World acquisitions at an accelerating pace. Before long, the communist strategists might be persuaded that the balance had swung irreversibly in their favor. In that event they might well decide on a Sino-Soviet “reconciliation.” The scissors strategy would give way to the strategy of “one clenched fist.” At that point the shift in the political and military balance would be plain for all to see. Convergence would not be between two equal parties, but would be on terms dictated by the communist bloc. The argument for accommodation with the overwhelming strength of communism would be virtually unanswerable. Pressures would build up for changes in the American political and economic system on the lines indicated in Sakharov’s treatise. Traditional conservatives would be isolated and driven toward extremism. They might become the victims of a new McCarthyism of the left. The Soviet dissidents who are now extolled as heroes of the resistance to Soviet communism would play an active part in arguing for convergence. Their present supporters would be confronted with a choice of forsaking their idols or acknowledging the legitimacy of the new Soviet regime. [6]


Andropov’s proposals about improving relations with China are not aimed at undermining China’s relations with the United States, but at stimulating a revival of an American interest in closer relations with China, which are presently perceived as weakened after the departure of such strong proponents of United States-Chinese military cooperation as Brzezinski and others. Its main purpose is to facilitate the acquisition by China of American weaponry and military technology. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan also may be designed to create more favorable conditions for China’s penetration into Moslem countries, capitalizing on China’s success with Pakistan. The recent trip of China’s premier to Africa, which included visits to Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, confirms another point in the book about the existing division of labor between the Soviet Union and China. It seems that the influencing of Moslem countries has been left to China by the Soviet strategists. As for China’s role in the realization of communist strategy in Europe, the Sino-Soviet rivalry might be exploited by China’s intervening in European politics under the pretext of resisting “Soviet hegemony.” In this case, the Chinese strategists might try to gain a Rapallo [see Rapallo Treaty of 1922] type of arrangement with some conservative governments of Western Europe. [7]

Another oft-employed strategy by communists worldwide is exploiting what is known as a “Popular Front.” The concept behind a popular front is the creation of a temporary alliance with disparate elements of a populist rebellion or political movement that is often times local or regional in scope. The leaders of a popular front may believe they are in sole charge of it; when, in reality, it is being controlled and coordinated by outside forces (like the KGB/FSB, for example) working behind the scenes.

Popular fronts in their violent manifestation are sometimes referred to by radicals and revolutionaries as “wars of liberation.” Consider the war between Iraq and Iran during the 1980s:

… The Iraqi attack on Iran looks like a concerted effort by radical Arab states, each of which is in a united front relationship with the Soviet Union against “imperialism,” to use dual tactics (hostilities by Iraq, assistance by Syria and Libya) with the single overall objective of bringing Iran into an anti-Western alliance with them. The object of the alliance would be to gain control over a strategically vital area of the Middle East. Its success could but serve the strategic interests of the communist bloc. Despite Saddam Hussein’s alleged purges of communists in Iraq and the moderation in his attitude toward the United States, he is continuing to receive arms supplies from communist sources, as are his Iranian opponents. [8]

Such a scenario, as described above, may seem preposterous to the uninitiated. Many may not realize Iraq had the largest Communist Party presence in the Middle East at one time. Additionally, Iran also has its communist elements as well.

The victory of the 11th February 1979 [Iranian Revolution] resulted in the emergence of a political atmosphere in which for the first time, after 25 years political parties and organisations were allowed to organise freely. Tudeh [Communist] Party of Iran was among those too.


On the 1st of October 1991, the Tudeh Party of Iran celebrated its fiftieth birthday and in February 1992, the Party held its 3rd Congress after more than 43 years and reaffirmed its commitment to the principles of Marxism – Leninism. The Tudeh Party elected a new central committee and re-elected comrade Ali Khavari as the chair of the party. [9]

Some Kurdish groups, like the YPG and PKK, currently battling ISIS in Syria and Iraq are themselves Marxist-Leninist organizations, and are even on terrorist watch lists by both the United States and the EU. Granted, while many of us in the West are indeed rooting for the Kurds in their life and death struggle against the barbaric and ultra-violent Islamic State, and understandably so, it is worth remembering just who some of these Kurdish groups are in the grand scheme of things, particularly as it concerns the overall geopolitical goals of Russia and China.

One particularly chilling passage in New Lies for Old covers what Golytsin called the “Czechoslovak rehearsal,” in reference to the Prague Spring of 1968, implying it was a dress rehearsal of sorts for a much larger “grand strategy” set for the appropriate time in the future.

Also mentioned in the same passage is the so-called reforming of the KGB—which, by the way, did occur. The KGB is now known as the FSB or Russian Federal Security Service.

Political “liberalization” and “democratization” would follow the general lines of the Czechoslovak rehearsal in 1968. This rehearsal might well have been the kind of political experiment Mironov had in mind as early as 1960. The “liberalization” would be spectacular and impressive. Formal pronouncements might be made about a reduction in the communist party’s role; its monopoly would be apparently curtailed. An ostensible separation of powers between the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary might be introduced. The Supreme Soviet would be given greater apparent power and the president and deputies greater apparent independence. The posts of president of the Soviet Union and first secretary of the party might well be separated. The KGB would be “reformed.” Dissidents at home would be amnestied; those in exile abroad would be allowed to return, and some would take up positions of leadership in government. Sakharov might be included in some capacity in the government or allowed to teach abroad. The creative arts and cultural and scientific organizations, such as the writers’ unions and Academy of Sciences, would become apparently more independent, as would the trade unions. Political clubs would be opened to nonmembers of the communist party. Leading dissidents might form one or more alternative political parties. Censorship would be relaxed; controversial books, plays, films, and art would be published, performed, and exhibited. Many prominent Soviet performing artists now abroad would return to the Soviet Union and resume their professional careers. Constitutional amendments would be adopted to guarantee fulfillment of the provisions of the Helsinki agreements and a semblance of compliance would be maintained. There would be greater freedom for Soviet citizens to travel. Western and United Nations observers would be invited to the Soviet Union to witness the reforms in action. [10]

Naturally, if you are an American who believes in the unalienable rights of the individual and the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the eery accuracy of Anatoliy Golitsyn’s predictions should certainly give one great pause. Golitsyn was either a clairvoyant, or he knew the score.

Equally as ominous as Golitsyn’s predictions was the inexplicable and chilly reception he received in the West by the press and U.S. intelligence experts. The wall of opposition that Golitsyn crashed into when he attempted to warn the appropriate Western authorities is both infuriating and bone-chilling.

… So thoroughly was his information discounted and his credibility questioned that he began to fear for his life. Eventually, he was also repudiated by [William F. Buckley, Jr.]

Had it not been for the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence, James J. Angleton, the astonishing Golitsyn revelations might never have reached the public. Golitsyn sought to convince CIA officials that there would be a complete turnabout in Communist strategy. In 1963, almost everyone at the CIA scoffed at Golitsyn’s contentions, prompting Angleton to have Golitsyn transferred to his supervision.  [11]

Having read similar accounts by other defectors from socialist and communist nations, a disturbing pattern emerges: there is a regular and consistent pattern in the West to try and silence and disparage former intelligence operatives from communist regimes who have attempted to warn Western governments and intelligence services about the active communist conspiracy that is unceasingly plotting and working against the Western world, both in the past and at present. What is especially troubling is the historical resistance toward those with intimate knowledge of communist designs against the West.

Over the past 20 years or so, a lot of new and unsettling information has come out that reveals an incredible level of infiltration at the highest levels by Soviet “agents of influence,” communists and fellow travelers (sympathizers). Sources such as the Venona decrypts, Mitrokhin Archives and Vassiliev’s Notebooks, among many other sources, are chock full of references to high-ranking U.S. government officials and well-known Americans that were actively working with the Soviets and the KGB (I will have more details on some of these individuals in an upcoming article on Sen. Joseph McCarthy).

Several very well-researched books*, with plenty of footnotes, have also been published over the past few decades that further pull back the covers on just how bad the infiltration truly has been (and, I suspect, still is). Consider our current president, Barack Obama, and his troubling connections with leftist radicals … people like Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall Davis, just to name a few.

For Western intellectuals and Establishment types—whether they are of the Maoist or Marxist-Leninist or Trotskyite or similar schools—it would behoove them to consider just what sort of world it would be if the scourge of “pure socialism” were to take root in the form of a global federation of communist states (i.e. world government).

KGB defectors like Anatoliy Golitsyn and Yuri Bezmenov (a.k.a. Tomas Schuman) have warned that once the situation has been “normalized” (see “Prague Spring”)—meaning, the full implementation of the dictatorship of the proletariat—the Gramcsiist Communists (“useful idiots,” “Cultural Marxists,” etc.) and Anarchists (“useless idiots”) will be ruthlessly swept aside. They will have served their intended purpose—to prepare the populace to accept pure socialism; and they will have no place in a communistic world.


Because the despotic tyrants that would rule over the aforementioned individuals know full and well they would become their most ardent enemies once they discover just how repressive and oppressive pure socialism truly is in its undiluted and toxic form.

In the new worldwide communist federation the present different brands of communism would disappear, to be replaced by a uniform, rigorous brand of Leninism. The process would be painful…. [12]

One need look no further than Putin’s Russia or Red China to see how counter-revolutionaries, anarchists, minorities, religions, bourgeoisie, homosexuals, and the like, are dealt with—mercilessly and ruthlessly.

You’ve been warned.

But who’s listening?

* A few recommended books on the subject matter: M. Stanton Evans’ Blacklisted by History, Herbert Romerstein & M. Stanton Evans’ Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, Weinstein & Vassiliev’s The Haunted Wood, Haynes, Klehr & Vassiliev’s Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, Diana West’s American Betrayal, Herbert Romerstein’s The Venona Secrets, Christopher Andrew & Vasili Mitrokhin’s The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB.
  1. Anatoliy Golitsyn, New Lies for Old (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984), p. 182.
  2. Ibid., p. 349.
  3. Mark Riebling, Wedge: The Secret War between the FBI and the CIA (Simon & Schuster, 2002), pp. 407-8.
  4. Anatoliy Golitsyn, New Lies for Old (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984), p. 350.
  5. Ibid., pp. 337-8.
  6. Ibid., pp. 345-6.
  7. Ibid., p. 351.
  8. Ibid., p. 337.
  9. History of the Tudeh Party of Iran, Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved from
  10. Anatoliy Golitsyn, New Lies for Old (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984), p. 339.
  11. John McManus, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Pied Piper of the Establishment (The John Birch Society, 2002), p. 85.
  12. Anatoliy Golitsyn, New Lies for Old (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984), p. 346.

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About Brent Parrish

Author, blogger, editor, researcher, graphic artist, software engineer, carpenter, woodworker, guitar shredder and a strict constitutionalist. Member of the Watcher's Council and the Qatar Awareness Campaign. I believe in individual rights, limited government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. ONE WORD: FREEDOM!
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