The Dictators Discover Sport

Soviet postage stamp. 1967

THE dictators have discovered sport. This was inevitable. Middle-aged and older persons have their roots in the ground, have affiliations with former régimes. The hope of the dictators, therefore, was to win over youth to the new conception of life, the new system. They found that they could best succeed through sport. From being a simple source of amusement and recreation, it became a means to an end, a weapon in the hands of the All Highest. It became nationalistic. The ideal of sport for sport's sake became an object of ridicule. The real preoccupation of those who directed athletics became the mass production of cannon fodder.

Nobody would say that in most democracies, and especially in the United States, athletics has yet reached a utopian state of perfection. But the commercialization of sport which we know affects only a relatively small number of persons in a few publicized

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