HARDLY had the The Fall of Spydom: the Venus Spy-trap, been published when the Soviet Union and Empire began to crack up in earnest. Changes avalanched. An incredible dissolution and diaspora of spydoms occurred. The deepest secrets of state, scorned in these pages, were dumped on the floors and streets. While most books about espionage and international affairs had to be retired promptly, this one withstood the challenges of reality, hence can be allowed to hold its ground with only this Introduction and a new title.
Fittingly, "The Venus Spy-Trap" has become "The Fall of Spydom." Its admonitions and ironies were appropriate to the march of events. No sooner had I concocted various schemes such as the Spy Park (FIPE), total knowledge giveaways by the West to the Redlands, and the "computer virus" as the ultimate weapon against nuclear bombs, and begun to promote a World Congress on Espionage, when the "espionage community" world-wide was convulsed and torn apart. Two prominent exemplaries of fundamentalist paranoia, the Ayatollah Khomeini and Monseigneur LeFèbvre, have transported their cudgels to heaven: I pity YHWH.
I am not so megalomaniac as to claim more credit than for riding the wave of the future. The CIA and other western agencies, who you would think would be in line for congratulations, were attacked, not by me this time, but by politicians and press, who felt deceived by their spies as to the weaknesses of communist countries and the dangers they were supposed to present to the West; intelligence failures in Iraq were also denounced.
I played upon numerous contradictions of our world; new ones have appeared that I could hardly have imagined: when as East Germany was suddenly joined to West Germany, West German law became the law of all Germany, and the spies of East Germany might be tried on grounds of treason. The Soviet Union spawned a dozen countries with national grudges against the KGB. Romanian secret police murderers were hunted down and murdered. And so it went as Eastern Europe proclaimed the Grand Restoration of a democracy that it had almost never enjoyed. From Kamchatka to Dresden, politics shifted westward.
The incompetency of the Soviet system that I had trouble convincing people of -- in education, technology, bureaucracy, espionage -- were cast into a glaring light. I can only hope that all the other principles that I set forth to explain the roots of espionage and other political diseases will not be forgotten, especially the workings of paranoia, patrimania, and militarism, and, then, further, the positive principles of world government, world-wide dissemination of total knowledge by computer networks, and, yes, "Peace and Bread," the original Bolshevik slogan of the Nineteen-twenties.
Whatever its nonchalance and jaunty airs, this book mounts a serious strike against the vicious greed and extravagances of contemporary society. No seeming victory of capitalism over communism can defer for long a reckoning of American capitalism with history. Underlying conditions have not bettered in the U.S.A. and its economic satellites. While the Soviet Empire exploded in fireworks, America continued its terrible decline.
Never mind the fifty other dreadful conditions of the realm. The dread diseases of paranoia and patrimania persist and are even flaring up. The American people still believe by a large majority that President Kennedy was killed by conspirators that reached into spydom and gangsterdom. A monster movie which they are flocking to see, J.F.K., madly espouses this notion. A once respectable TV network, CBS, portrays a reconstructed history in which the Kennedy brothers and gangster allies murder Marilyn Monroe to keep her from exposing them as her lovers.
In Central and Eastern Europe and Mid-Asia, crude leaps toward democracy have been made on thin ice over a sea of chaos. The way things are going now, within a few years, spydom will be resuscitated. Ethnic groups and races are in conflict at a hundred points; nations have been born crying out slogans that were thought to be long buried -- for the return of kings and queens, for the revival of fundamentalist religions, for the exaltation of a way of life whose repressiveness, barrenness, and poverty were not much better than the communist way.
For the time being, popular paranoia and patrimania are driving against espionage, while espionage is moving into the economic and trading spheres: company against company, country against country, and this may be at first sight considered a blessing. However, there are already many signs that the transference of espionage out of the war sphere into the economic sphere may exacerbate international economic relations, cause huge trade wars, and shut down free markets that have benefitted the world in recent years. Japan-busting can only bring USA-busting. And if the European Economic Community is drawn into the fight, the world's people and ecology will suffer worse.
The struggle to unify the world by computer networks continues. Efforts to break into computers out of vandalism, revenge, commercial gain, patrimania, and idealism, also continue. Like dread typhoons, computer plagues are given nice names. They must soon be assigned numbers, because from several a year and several a month they have been coming in lately at several a week. Many viruses are embedding themselves into networks everywhere. A New York Times columnist, Stephen Miller writes of "the sudden, pandemic presence of a threat to data." About two-thirds of all corporations that use computers heavily have suffered from computer viruses. There can be no easy end to this.
At present there is no need to exhort the virus to enter the nuclear missile attack computers with a stop-fire command. Mikhail Gorbachev unleashed a miracle. For the U.S.A. and Russia are disarming their nuclear missiles and disposing of them. So far, so good. Gorbachev was pushed offstage in the drama for Soviet succession, and many scorn him now that he has lost his formal powers. He came close to advocating world government before this happened, and he may still appear in this role, for he is not resigning politics and is writing for the world.
Spies are in panic, but it is unlikely that they will disappear. They will be in demand to help assure the fulfillment of commitments. They will be recruited to warn the world of illegal nuclear and even conventional weapons build-ups. They will be required, alas, to shadow unemployed nuclear scientists as these roam the world in search of work. They will be hired as agents provocateurs by makers of war materiel, desperate at the winding down of the Cold War. The spies and weapons-mongers have taken a page from my book, and are now hotly calling for a World Sky Defense Corps of nuclear missiles to be aimed at conceivable, but in the short term unlikely, cometary and asteroidal intruders from outer space.
Characters more central to the book are playing very much the same parts. Von Brentano is lecturing in Bolivia, just for the quarter, and otherwise on the brink of publishing his magnum opus that would push up Near East history by a thousand years. The Encyclopedia of Quantavolution and Catastrophe is taking form.
Readers have criticized me for publishing trivia (perhaps hoping that I would get rid of details concerning themselves.) To them I would quote Michelangelo's reply to an assistant who complained of labor upon details: "Details add up to perfection, and perfection is no detail." I acknowledge that much of the trivia concerns me and my memories and thoughts; but this book is the fifth volume of my autobiography, so was destined to be egocentric; I've been fair, even calling upon another man as the hero. To cut back on hurt, I have also changed nearly all names, including my own, believing that to change or conceal facts would be worse. I have placed a list of the correct and true names of all dramatis personae with the Executor of my Archive for ultimate revelation and research.
Christoph Marx is the shining exception who keeps his name. He continues faithful to his promises and credo that Nomen est omen. He is setting up a small dynamuseum in France for the explication of quantavolution. Mirroring the first scene of the book, my wife and I are waiting for Chris Marx to come visit us, at Princeton now, rather than at Saignon, Provence. I hope that he makes it this time.
Alfred de Grazia
31 March 1992