The split in the international communist movement was hailed by the experts as an event of world historic importance. If so, official Washington was unprepared for it. For that matter, so were most specialists on communism in Washington, the universities, and the press. Since prediction is not one of the strong points of the social sciences, no value judgment is intended. Yet this was not merely a matter of the inadequacy of analytical tools. Prevailing ideology enforced a disbelief that quarrel was genuine, that it was lasting and not merely a temporary aberration, and that it might have some implications for American policy. This attitude, not to be confused with the understandable exercise of elementary caution and tentative analysis, was not confined to policy-makers but extended to the experts themselves. It was rooted primarily in the prevailing view of the nature of Soviet totalitarianism and the monolithism of international communism 134which had previously met dissent by coercion, force, manipulation, persuasion, and other sanctions, as the situation warranted. Prevailing opinion held that the Kremlin had always succeeded in restoring the situation ante (the implications of the Stalin-Tito affair were curiously neglected) and that therefore a new unity would be imposed on the communist movement. This attitude, serviceable for a long period, nevertheless neglected history and the dynamic nature of politics for ideological construct. It was also weighted with the legacy of McCarthyism which discouraged the espousal of any ideas on communism that might run against the prevailing ideology. Analysis was, moreover, inhibited by the nature of bureaucracy, which places the lowest premium on the individual’s ideas, subjecting them instead and deliberately to the “refinement” of clearance by section chiefs, editors, coordinators, and, not least, to the preconceptions of the officers for whom the analysis is being prepared. Responsibility is thus diffused and, in regard to communism, McCarthyism is internalized into the bureaucratic mode of operation. Nevertheless, the emergence of Sino-Soviet differences was cautiously noted, beginning in 1956, and the developing quarrel was recorded in detail by Washington analysts. Fragmentation of the communist movement at large was so amply documented that it became necessary to come to some conclusions about the meaning of the rift. Such discussion centered in the lower ranges of the bureaucracy until well after 1960 when the top echelons of the State Department seemed to become more than casually interested in the problem. Interpretations of the rift, of which some samples follow, once again reflected ideological preferences.