Here, the phrase "the stake" means: at risk (or, more precisely, "the risk").
Another example: People's liberty could be at stake if we do not act to insure that the 4th amendment to the constitution is enforced.
"Unhappily the danger it (communism) poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle--with (the loss of) liberty the risk (we cannot take).
- For Teachers