The New Meaning of Treason Author:Rebecca West From the New York Times 11/29/64: — "New" is the significant word in the title of this revised and expanded edition of Rebecca West's now-classic study of the English wartime Fascist traitors, first published here in 1947. The "new" meaning of treason refers mainly to Communist postwar betrayals of trust whose roots go back to the prewar period. ... more »It differs from the treason of the William Joyces and the John Amerys in its more pronounced ideological character, the form its apostasy takes - espionage and conspiracy on an organized scale beyond the capacities of most Fascist groups - and by the superior types of personality and intelligence involved.
With rare courage and independence of judgment, Miss West gives us a complex, nuanced and highly knowledgeable account of a dreadful phenomenon that inspire, in many minds, an aversion so deep as to prevent understanding. She believes that the new forms of treason in a thermonuclear age constitute a vastly greater danger to the peace and survival of the open society than previous varieties. This is not only because of their grave menace to security at a time when the sudden death of cultures is possible. To some degree, danger also lurks in the measures a free society may be goaded into accepting when, in frenzied reaction to laxness in its security season, it hunts for scapegoats and paralyzes its own defense of an impossible quest for total security.« less