Superpower chess: two moves and a peacenik factor; Soviet peaceniks?
The Soviet Union, marketing ''peace initiatives'' worldwide, seems increasingly concerned that its own youth may be going ''pacifist.''
A series of high-level statements in recent months leaves little doubt that pacifism, while very nice when it surfaces in West Germany or Britain, is not welcome at home. Here it would amount to a perilous lowering of the Soviet socialist guard against the Western imperialist foe.
More important in the Soviet scheme of things, it would amount to a lapse in youngsters' officially nurtured, encouraged, and orchestrated sense of patriotism.
A survey published in a Soviet research journal last year found that only 58 percent of draft-age respondents felt positively about serving in the armed forces. That is not the kind of reading likely to comfort Soviet officials and propagandists.
Although there are no visible signs of anything approximating a ''peace movement'' here, the circular ''peace sign'' of the American 1960s has begun to make an occasional appearance on the walls of at least a few Moscow apartment blocks. And if patriotism surely survives, other forces seem to be drawing on at least some Soviet youth.
The uncommonly frequent warnings against pacifism, from uncommonly high-placed officials, have coincided with increasingly shrill attacks on the perceived Westernization of some Soviet youngsters.
The official line is that only a ''small number'' have so far been infected. But vigilance is needed. Western propagandists are tricky.
The wearing of Western T-shirts, for instance, may seem harmless. So might the humming of Western pop tunes, or the peppering of Russian-language conversation with ''Americanized'' phrases. Yet all this, various publications and Soviet officials suggest, runs counter to the need for ''patriotic upbringing'' of Soviet youth.
Such warnings are not new. But their frequency and intensity are. Also gathering force, in the view of foreign diplomats here, is the tendency to link official concern over Western influence with what the Kremlin lexicon calls ''issues of war and peace.''
Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, chief of the armed forces general staff, wrote last July in the Communist Party's official ideological journal that some youngsters were approaching ''questions of the struggle for peace . . . somewhat simplistically: Any kind of peace is good, any kind of war is bad.''
The marshal argued that, without overdramatizing things, ''It is essential to convey to Soviet people . . . the truth about the existing threat of the danger of war.'' And in a pamphlet recently published by the Soviet Defense Ministry, the marshal appears to pick up the theme anew.
The military chief calls on all organizations of the party, the state, the party youth wing, and the official trade unions to undertake ''active ideological . . . work to prevent the emergence of soft-heartedness, relaxation, elements of pacifism, and to resolutely combat these (tendencies) where they appear.'' This, he says, is the ''common duty, the most important task,'' of these groups.
''It is necessary to convey more deeply and argumentatively to the Soviet people the truth about the growing aggressiveness of imperialism,'' Marshal Ogarkov adds.
Others evidently agree. Pravda, in an editorial on ideological work late last year, wrote: ''Our propaganda must display firmness and consistency in upholding the positions of the Soviet Union . . . and resolutely get rid of all elements of pacifism that can sometimes be found in some information and propaganda materials.''
Boris Pastukhov, head of the Communist Party's youth organization, has also weighed in. In last December's issue of the journal Communist of the Armed Forces, he quoted an ''outstanding (Soviet) pedagogue'' as saying:
''In the modern world, love for the socialist motherland is impossible without the hatred and passion of heart. . . . Teaching . . . hatred for the enemy is the guardian of patriotic love.''
He then stressed the need for ''scientifically based preparation'' of Soviet youth for service in the armed forces. ''We must constantly be guided by the Leninist instruction that strengthened military preparation for serious war demands . . . prolonged, intensive, persistent, and disciplined work on a mass scale.''
In a more recent article in the Communist Party's ideological journal, Mr. Pastukhov warns against attempts by foreign ''class enemies'' to weaken young Soviets' ''heroic-patriotic roots.''
He bemoans the ''far from harmless'' fact that some Soviet youngsters ''are not squeamish about wearing shirts, T-shirts, and jackets (emblazoned) with the Stars and Stripes, and even with the emblems of capitalist armies.'' Other kids, he says, ''make idols of somewhat dubious foreign'' pop-music stars instead of tapping toes to Soviet songs.
Among the suggested countermoves: ''Undertaking with yet greater clarity of purpose the military-patriotic upbringing, the moral, political, psychological, and technical preparation of youth for service in the ranks of the armed forces, to instill in young people courage, the will and readiness to perform heroic deeds. . . .''