The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
International Marxist-Leninist Movement
The October Revolution vs. The “Cultural Revolution”
By Youth for Stalin
Table of Contents
Why We Are Youth For Stalin
Legacy of the October Revolution
Solidarity with Soviet Revolutionary Communists (Bolsheviks)
Socialism vs. Capitalism
I. The October Revolution and Consolidation
Leading up to October
The October Revolution
Consolidation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
The Economic and Political Base for Socialism
(struggle against Trotsky)
II. The United Front in World War II
The Anti-Fascist United Front Policy
Two Opposing Lines within the Proletarian Movement
Opportunism Until 1945 – Browder
Correct Implementation of the Anti-Fascist United Front Policy – China, 1935-1945
China Until 1956
III. The New United Front
Change in the Main Contradiction
Composition of the New United Front
The Rise of Modern Revisionism
Soviet Revisionism: 20th Congress CPSU
The 81 Party Statement
The CPC’s Role
IV. The Chinese “Cultural Revolution”
Why the Temporary Triumph of Chinese Revisionism?
National Bourgeois Initiative in the “Cultural Revolution”
The 81 Party Statement
Tactics and Strategy of the “Cultural Revolution”
A. Attack on Proletarian Internationalism
B. “Cultural Revolution” Betrayal of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in China
C. “Cultural Revolution” Betrayal of the Oppressed Nations
1. Favorable Situation
2. Master “Mao’s Thought”
3. Protracted Struggle
The Arab Nation – Indonesia – Hongkong – Vietnam
Chairman Mao Tse-tung – An Evaluation
Differences between Khrushchev Revisionism and the “Cultural Revolution
Why We Are Youth For Stalin
J.V. Stalin represents the invaluable and heroic leadership of Marxism-Leninism in the struggle to smash world capitalism.
Under Stalin’s leadership internationally, the dictatorship of the proletariat of the first socialist country was consolidated, the Fascist imperialist axis was smashed and the Chinese Revolution of 1949 was accomplished. Stalin’s heroic leadership of the Soviet Union, the CPSU (Bolshevik), the Third International and the peoples’ forces in World War II brought the imperialist system that much closer to its final total destruction.
Comrade Stalin led the peoples’ forces and the Marxists-Leninists of the world from the strategic period in which the main contradiction facing world capitalism was the contradiction between the imperialists themselves to the present strategic period in which the main contradiction is between the oppressed nations and imperialism.
Because of the massive victories which the peoples of the world accomplished over imperialism and the irreparable damage done to world capitalism under his leadership, Stalin, fifteen years after his death, is still the man most feared, hated and slandered by U.S. imperialism.
Since the death of Stalin, the two main characteristics of the international situation have been (1) the intensification of the contradiction between the oppressed nations and U.S. imperialism; and (2) the development of a policy in most socialist countries of betrayal of the oppressed nations based on the ascendancy of the national bourgeois class in the socialist countries.
In recent years the result of these developments has been the overthrow of leftist governments in Brazil, Ghana, Algeria and elsewhere, the bloody overthrow of the anti-imperialist regime in Indonesia, and the terrible defeat suffered by the Arab people at the hands of U.S. imperialism and its Zionist lackey, Israel. These victories for U.S. imperialism were made possible by the active collusion of Soviet revisionism.
It is no accident that Khrushchev revisionism gained ascendancy in the Soviet Union on the basis of attacks on the great Marxist-Leninist, J. V. Stalin.
For Stalin’s theoretical and practical leadership of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union is unparalleled in world history. In order to lead in the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the first socialist country, a country surrounded by the powerful, hostile capitalist world, Stalin and the CPSU(B) had to be expert (1) on the question of the Party’s leading role in the dictatorship of the proletariat – on the questions of party building, inner-Party struggle, on criticism and self-criticism; (2) on the question of developing a socialist economy by stages; and, most importantly, (3) on the question of the significance of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, not as an end in itself, but as a red base area for world revolution.
The main world significance of the rise of Khrushchev revisionism has been the betrayal of the oppressed nations by the socialist countries. And it is no accident that the betrayal of the oppressed nations is carried out on the basis of an attack on J.V. Stalin:
For Stalin wrote the classics of Marxist-Leninist science on the national question, the essence of national liberation. It was Stalin who wrote the “Declaration of Rights of the Peoples of Russia,” key to the success of the October Revolution. And it was Stalin who, on the eve of the October Revolution, indicated the potential importance of the oppressed nations to the world proletarian revolution. It was based on his theoretical understanding that Stalin was able, in opposition to Trotsky and other opportunists, to illuminate the path of the Chinese Revolution – the revolution which today stands as the outstanding model for carrying out new democratic revolution in opposition to U.S. imperialism, and as the great red area around which the oppressed nations can be mobilized and vitalized.
Summing up the Party of Labor of Albania’s analysis of Stalin’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism, Comrade Enver Hoxha, in his Report to the Fifth Congress of the P.L.A. on November 1, 1966, stated:
“Our Party has stressed and stresses it again that especially the question of Stalin is a basic question, for the revisionists concretized their attack on Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian dictatorship with their attack on J.V. Stalin. Our Party is of the opinion that the Marxist-Leninists and all the revolutionaries should defend Stalin from all the slanders and attacks of the revisionists and by their struggle make Stalin’s name and deed regain the place of honor they deserve. For Stalin was and remains a great revolutionary and a great Marxist-Leninist. He pursued a just and revolutionary general line, both in the internal and foreign policy. He has consistently adhered to the class struggle line and to that of the proletarian dictatorship, to the line of building socialism and communism and to the struggle against bureaucracy and the degenerated bourgeois elements. He led the Soviet people from one victory to another in bitter battle with all the enemies of the Soviet Union and socialism. J.V. Stalin has made great contributions to the formation and consolidation of the socialist camp and to the growth and strengthening of the international communist movement. Throughout his life of a revolutionary militant, Stalin waged a resolute struggle against imperialism, in defense of peace and people’s security; he faithfully pursued a proletarian internationalist policy of helping and supporting the oppressed peoples and the revolutionary national-liberation movements.”
This is why we are the Youth for Stalin.
Legacy of the October Revolution
Marxist-Leninists commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution because millions of Russian people were liberated from Tsarist exploitation and from French, German and British imperialist oppression. We commemorate this anniversary also because the people of the Ukraine, Finland, Georgia, and the other nations oppressed by tsarist Russian imperialism were liberated.
But the primary reason that we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution is the world-shaking importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union for mankind, in bringing mighty deathblows against the world capitalist system, in leading the struggle of the world’s peoples a long way down the path of eliminating the system of exploitation of man by man from the face of the earth.
The tremendous victories achieved under the banner of the October Revolution were made possible by the scientific Marxist-Leninist analysis by the CPSU(B) under Lenin and Stalin, based on proletarian internationalism.
Comrade Stalin summed up the Marxist-Leninist approach to individual socialist countries when he said:
“…proceeding from the law of uneven development under imperialism, Lenin… drew the conclusion that the victory of socialism in individual capitalist countries is possible… by the victory of socialism in individual countries, Lenin means the seizure of power by the proletariat, the expropriation of the capitalists and the organization of socialist production; moreover, all these tasks are not an end in themselves, but a means of standing up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, and helping the proletarians of all countries in their struggle against capitalism.” [our emphasis, Stalin’s Selected Works, Vo1.9, page 120]
Because the CPSU(B) under Lenin and Stalin understood that the USSR was primarily the property of the peoples of the world, because they recognized that the Soviet Union was important mainly as a giant step forward in the struggle to smash world capitalism and to build world socialism, they were able to implement a policy based on proletarian internationalism which served the peoples of the world and which also best served the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union and thus truly served the best interests of the Soviet peoples.
It was based on this policy of proletarian internationalism that the greatest victories over world capitalism were achieved. This is the legacy of the October Revolution.
Solidarity with Soviet Revolutionary Communists (Bolsheviks)
On the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution, it is a great encouragement to the Marxist-Leninists and to the oppressed peoples throughout the world to know that the Revolution lives on in the land of Lenin and Stalin in the underground Soviet Bolshevik Communists.
We are inspired by the comprehensive document on the present world situation based on the teachings of Lenin and Stalin which the Bolsheviks have already issued. They have exposed the treacherous deal of the Russian national bourgeoisie and their revisionist representatives with the main enemy of mankind, U.S. imperialism. We wholeheartedly support their just and determined struggle to overthrow the revisionist traitors to the cause of the October Revolution, the cause of world revolution.
Provided that the Bolsheviks receive effective support from the international Marxist-Leninist movement and from the oppressed peoples, we are confident that they will re-establish the dictatorship of the proletariat in the first socialist country. By smashing the Russian national bourgeoisie and the revisionist leadership of the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks will do a great service not only to the Soviet people, but they will also make a great contribution to the struggle of the oppressed peoples by smashing the US-Russian alliance for imperialist world domination.
Socialism vs. Capitalism
Lenin taught that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, that it is characterized by the export of finance capital, by a desperate search by the imperialists for new areas to conquer with their armies, to control and exploit with their capital.
Lenin also taught that imperialism is the last dying stage of capitalism; that as the capitalist system continues to develop in its imperialist stage, it produces more and more obstacles to its own continued existence – these are contradictions.
Before the October Revolution, Lenin observed that imperialism was plagued by three fundamental contradictions: (1) the contradiction among the imperialists themselves, (2) the contradiction between the workers and the capitalists in the capitalist countries, and (3) the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism.
By the turn of the century, imperialism had saturated the world’s areas for exploitation and domination and the contradiction among the world’s cartels, the international monopoly and finance groups, was greatly intensified. World War I was a most important result of this contradiction.
Based primarily on the contradiction among the imperialist countries in World War I, the Great October Revolution was accomplished. A new important contradiction was born – the contradiction between the socialist world and the capitalist world.
The contradiction between socialist countries and the capitalist world is manifested in two main ways. One is that the socialist system, wherever it exists, shrinks the areas of the world in which the imperialists can exploit the peoples and their land. The second is that socialist countries serve as revolutionary base areas of the peoples’ struggles against world capitalism. As long as socialist countries are guided by policy based first and foremost on these two considerations, then the dictatorship of the proletariat can be consolidated there.
The Great October Revolution was produced at a time when the main contradiction facing world capitalism was the contradiction among the imperialist countries and groupings themselves. In that strategic period, the first aspect of the contradiction between the socialist and the capitalist world, namely that of shrinking the areas of the world vulnerable to imperialist penetration, was of great importance. In that period then, an extremely important task of the new USSR was to consolidate itself, to establish a new socialist homeland, to develop socialist construction.
The N .E.P. under Lenin allowed the new socialist state to get initial control of the economy and to mobilize the vast majority of the peasantry behind the Soviet government. The two tremendous five year plans, under Stalin’s leadership, brought the Soviet Union from an economically backward to an economically advanced socialist country in less than ten years. These were the principal economic programs in the construction and consolidation of the revolutionary USSR.
Even though the USSR was surrounded by the hostile capitalist world, the CPSU(B) under Lenin and Stalin did not become preoccupied with national self-preservation. Lenin and Stalin never forgot the importance of the second aspect of the contradiction between the socialist USSR and the capitalist countries – they always carried out the policy of making the Soviet Union a revolutionary base area for the peoples of the world in their struggles against imperialism. At the very moment of great victories in socialist construction with the Five Year Plans, the CPSU(B) heeded Stalin’s leadership on their international duty. He said:
“…the danger of nationalism must be regarded as springing from the growth of bourgeois influence on the Party in the sphere of foreign policy, in the sphere of the struggle that the capitalist states are waging against the state of the proletarian dictatorship. There can scarcely be any doubt that the pressure of the capitalist states on our state is enormous, that the people who are handling our foreign policy do not always succeed in resisting this pressure, that the danger of complications often gives rise to the temptation to take the path of least resistance, the path of nationalism.
“On the other hand, it is obvious that the first country to be victorious can retain the role of standard-bearer of the world revolutionary movement only on the basis of consistent internationalism, only on the basis of the foreign policy of the October Revolution, and that the path of least resistance and of nationalism in foreign policy is the path of the isolation and decay of the first country to be victorious.” [Stalin, Selected Works, Vol. 7, pages 170-171]
Armed with the proletarian internationalist outlook, the CPSU(B) was able to mobilize the Soviet people and the world’s peoples to achieve the historic victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The defeat of the most aggressive imperialists, the Axis powers, in World War II seriously weakened the entire imperialist system.
The general weakening of the imperialist world in the aftermath of World War II and the participation of guerrilla fighters in the struggle against fascism combined to spark the oppressed nations to tremendous revolutionary activity. Largely on the shoulders of the revolutionary USSR, the peoples of the world victoriously advanced from the period in which the main contradiction was among the imperialist countries themselves to the post World War II period in which the main contradiction facing imperialism is now the oppressed nations in their struggle for liberation.
Thus the first socialist country has provided an outstanding example of how socialist countries contribute to the world struggle to smash imperialism.
As the main contradiction changed, so did the main task of the socialist countries. The main task of the socialist countries after World War II was to give the most effective ideological, material, organizational and military assistance to the oppressed peoples in their struggle against world capitalism.
When the oppressed nations are in the forefront of the struggle to smash U.S. imperialism, the main aspect of the contradiction between the socialist camp and the capitalist camp is for the socialist camp to serve as the revolutionary base area for the world united front to smash imperialism and to serve as the red base for an international Marxist-Leninist movement to lead the united front.
For many reasons the CPSU(B) could not assume leading responsibility in making the necessary changes in the post-War period. The main reason for this was that the main contradiction had changed.
The USSR was the most vivid, most advanced expression of the contradiction among the imperialist countries themselves. The CPSU(B) fulfilled its leading responsibility by leading the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples to a new and higher stage. In the new period, the new leading Party had to be one steeled in the struggle for national liberation, for new democratic revolution leading to socialism.
Because of the size of China, its population and location, and most importantly because of its rich experience in brilliantly implementing the united front policy in the achievement of national liberation, the CPC is today the leading Party and China is the main red base area.
In the present strategic period correct Marxist-Leninist leadership for a new anti-imperialist United Front is needed to smash imperialism and bring victory to the oppressed peoples in their struggles for national liberation. In order for the world’s revolutionary fighters to win great victories, an international Marxist-Leninist revolutionary line must be established.
The duty of socialist countries today is clear – they must serve as a source of ideological, material, organizational and military support to the oppressed peoples – as revolutionary base areas. All the activities of the socialist states, including socialist construction, must be geared to service as a revolutionary base area of world revolution.
In this 50th Anniversary year of the Great October Revolution, Marxist-Leninists throughout the world must rekindle the revolutionary flame of the October Revolution on the soil of People’s China.
The October Revolution vs. the “Cultural Revolution”
Proletarian Internationalism vs. Bourgeois Nationalism
The October Revolution and Consolidation
Leading Up To October
At the turn of the century, capitalism was entering its last dying stage – imperialism. The Second International under Kautsky’s leadership betrayed Marxism-Leninism, for in the period of the development of imperialism, these representatives of the proletariat failed to recognize that the main contradiction was no longer between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie of the capitalist countries (as it had been in the time of Marx and Engels in the 19th Century), but was now the contradiction among the imperialists themselves, with the contradiction between the oppressed nations against imperialism now also of great importance.
The main class base of the Second International became the labor aristocracy of the imperialist countries – that group which was leaving the proletariat and becoming petty-bourgeois, that portion of the proletariat which was being bribed and bought off by the imperialists.
The failure of the Second International to recognize the changed situation and thus their new tasks rendered them incapable of politically destroying Bernstein and the other open traitors to the cause of socialism – traitors who were carrying out the orders of “their own” imperialists (in Germany, France, Britain, the U.S., etc.) in the brutal imperialist suppression of the oppressed nations and of the workers in the weaker imperialist countries. Because its class base had become the labor aristocracy, the Second International adopted this revisionist line with very little struggle.
At the same time, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party under his leadership were developing a scientific analysis of imperialism in opposition to the revisionist line of the Second International.
Lenin observed that there were three universal contradictions that plague imperialism – (1) the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie of the capitalist countries, (2) the contradiction among the various imperialist countries, various imperialist groups, cartels, etc. and (3) the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism. With the new dominance of imperialism, the main contradiction (by 1902) had become the contradiction among the imperialist countries and groupings instead of that between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat of the capitalist countries. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party grasped this essential fact.
The October Revolution
In October 1917, the Bolshevik Party of Russia led an alliance of the proletariat and the peasantry and seized power in the Great October Socialist Revolution. The success of the Bolsheviks led by Lenin was based on their correct understanding and handling of the international situation and of the forces inside Russia – on their correct understanding and handling of the contradictions of the World War I period.
First – the question of peace: The main contradiction at the time was among the imperialist countries which were engaged in World War I. World War I pitted the proletarians of imperialist Germany and Austria-Hungary against the proletarians of imperialist France, England and Russia. The revisionist Second International violated the international solidarity of the working class by leading the workers of their individual countries into a war on behalf of “their own” imperialists. This great betrayal by the revisionist Second International was based on its negation of the new main contradiction – that among imperialist countries themselves.
Lenin and the Bolshevik Party fought this betrayal – they called for international solidarity and peace. The Kerensky government set up in February 1917 on the overthrow of the tsarist regime was tied up with British and French imperialism and could not get Russia out of the war. British and French imperialism continued to use the proletarian and peasant army of their weaker partner, Russia, to fight their war for imperialist territory and profits.
When Lenin and the Bolshevik Party seized power, they immediately withdrew the disintegrating Russian army from the war and organized the Red Army. Thus, on the basis of the main contradiction – that among the imperialist countries themselves – the CPSU(B) transformed the tsarist imperialist army from the counter-revolutionary army of the weakest of the imperialist countries – Russia – into the powerful anti-imperialist, revolutionary Red Army of the Soviet Union.
Second – the question of self-determination: Tsarist Russia was an imperialist country – an oppressor of nations. Russia’s grip on the oppressed nations had been weakened by World War I, aggravating this contradiction between the various oppressed nations and national minorities and the Russian imperialists. During the Civil War of 1918-1922, the white Russians and the imperialists tried to utilize the bourgeois nationalist enmity for Russia of the formerly oppressed nations to make them counter-revolutionary base areas from which Kolchak and Denikin could launch their attacks on the new Soviet state.
Immediately after the Bolsheviks seized power the “Declaration of Rights of the Peoples of Russia,” written by Stalin, provided for “free self-determination even to the point of separation and the formation of an independent state.” Thus, the nations formerly oppressed by Russia became a strong base for resistance to the white Russian Army instead of a base of support for them.
Third – the question of land: Though primarily an oppressor nation, tsarist Russia was also an oppressed nation. The peasants were led by the proletariat in a national democratic revolution in tsarist Russia, a country oppressed by French, British and German imperialism. In order to protect and expand their investments, the imperialists needed to have agriculture under firm control of the feudal landlords. The Bolshevik Party, the party of the proletariat, had shown that it was prepared to smash the feudal landlord system. Immediately after the seizure of power, the Bolsheviks abolished landlord ownership of land and released the peasants from any further debt to the landlords. This was key to the alliance between the proletariat on the one hand and the peasants and soldiers (most of whom were peasants) on the other. Without this alliance, the October Revolution would have been crushed.
Thus, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party led the October Revolution by putting into practice the Marxist-Leninist line based on the contradictions of the period: (1) the main one – among the imperialists themselves: imperialist Russia was fatally weakened in World War I; (2) between the oppressed nations and imperialism: those nations oppressed by imperialist Russia were liberated and national democratic revolution was carried out in oppressed Russia; (3) between the proletariat (allied with the peasantry) and the bourgeoisie: the Kerensky government was overthrown and the dictatorship of the proletariat was established.
Immediately after the success of the October Revolution, the USSR was attacked by the combined forces of the imperialists and the Russian bourgeois-landlord-whiteguard forces. Not only did the newly established dictatorship of the proletariat win the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the Soviet people who fought heroically and made great sacrifices to defeat the invaders and the Russian counter-revolutionaries, but the USSR also received invaluable aid from the workers of the imperialist countries who waged strikes, refused to load ships with war supplies and in many cases refused to fight in the imperialist armies.
The USSR was established with strong international proletarian ties. It was only through a consistent policy of proletarian internationalism that the dictatorship of the proletariat in the USSR could be consolidated.
Consolidation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
With the success of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the contradiction between the socialist system and the capitalist system was born. Lenin and Stalin both realized that an important function of a socialist country is that it must serve as a revolutionary base area for world revolution. One of the first acts of the besieged USSR in March 1919 was the establishment of the Third International (the Communist International, the Comintern).Guided by a policy of proletarian internationalism, the Soviet Union aided revolutionary forces in northern Asia and the Balkans. It was through this proletarian internationalist policy, carried out under the most difficult circumstances (during a war against imperialist invaders and Russian counter-revolutionaries), that the Soviet Union won the support of the world’s proletariat and the peoples of the oppressed nations.
Under Lenin’s leadership, the Comintern was formed in 1919 to lead the international struggle in the tradition of the Bolshevik Party against imperialism and its lackey revisionism.
“Lenin never regarded the Republic of Soviets as an end in itself. He always looked on it as an essential link for strengthening the revolutionary movement in the countries of the West and the East, an essential link for facilitating the victory of the working people of the whole world over capitalism. Lenin knew that this was the only right conception, both from the international standpoint and from the standpoint of preserving the Republic of Soviets itself. Lenin knew that this alone could fire the hearts of the working people of the whole world with determination to fight the decisive battles for their emancipation. This is why, on the very morrow of the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, he, the greatest of the geniuses who have led the proletariat, laid the foundation of the workers’ International. That is why he never tired of extending and strengthening the union of the working people of the whole world – the Communist International.” [Stalin, Selected Works, Vol. 6, page 52]
The basic task of the Comintern was to unite the struggles of the oppressed peoples and of the proletariat of the imperialist countries, under the leadership of the USSR, the first and only socialist country, the base area of world revolution.
The main resolution at the second Congress of the Comintern was on the national and colonial questions.* This resolution, together with Stalin’s guiding theoretical work on the national question, established the basic line of the Comintern in complete support of national liberation and the right of self-determination of nations in the years to come.
[* fn. In contradiction to the erroneous line on the Afro-American question dominant in the international Marxist-Leninist movement today, Lenin said in this resolution that the Afro-American people constitute an oppressed nation and that their right of self-determination must be supported by all the Marxist-Leninists of the world.]
Lenin pointed out in this resolution that there are two kinds of nations – oppressed and oppressor [a third is socialist – Y.F .S.] – and that most of the world is in the first category – oppressed; that the super profits gained from the enslavement and exploitation of millions of people are the main source of strength for imperialism and the basis on which it can, with a combination of bribery and force, maintain control over the proletariat of the imperialist countries.
In the period before Lenin’s death, the Turkish Revolution was carried out with the active leadership and support of Soviet forces. The revolutionary upheavals in E. Europe and in Korea, Mongolia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt were also largely inspired by the Russian Revolution. Also in the early Twenties, most of the Communist Parties of the world were founded and the Comintern was firmly established as a world organization.
After Lenin’s death, Stalin led the Comintern for 20 years until its dissolution in 1943, and he led the world Marxist-Leninist movement for almost 30 years. During that time he led the fight to establish socialism in one country against the onslaught of imperialism and the vicious opposition within the Soviet Union led by Trotsky. He led the international United Front against Fascism to defeat the Axis alliance led by Nazi Germany in World War II. He gave theoretical leadership to and organized international support for the national liberation struggles of the oppressed nations, particularly to the CPC and the Chinese revolution.
The Economic and Political Base for Socialism:
In 1925, faced with the fact that revolution in Europe was not imminent, Stalin declared that Soviet Russia was nonetheless prepared to build socialism in one country. The solid foundation for this task was the Marxist-Leninist line of proletarian internationalism. Lenin and Stalin both saw that only by placing primary emphasis on serving the world revolution could the Soviet Union build socialism at home.
And in order to serve the international proletariat, it was necessary to establish the political and economic basis for socialism within the Soviet Union. This meant overcoming the bourgeoisie of the USSR (1) politically and (2) economically. By 1926, the political base already existed – the dictatorship of the proletariat. As Stalin described it:
“The dictatorship of the proletariat is: 1) violence, unrestricted by law, in relation to the capitalists and landlords,… [“the instrument of this violence is the Red Army”] … 2) leadership by the proletariat in relation to the peasantry, 3) the building of socialism in relation to the whole of society. Not one of these three aspects of the dictatorship can be excluded without running the risk of distorting the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Only by taking all these three aspects together do we get a complete and finished concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat.” [Stalin’s emphasis, Selected Works, Vol. 7, page 189]
The economic basis was yet to be established: Stalin described it as follows:
“To create the economic basis of socialism means welding agriculture and socialist industry into one integral economy, subordinating agriculture to the leadership of socialist industry, regulating relations between town and country on the basis of an exchange of the products of agriculture and industry, closing and eliminating all the channels which facilitate the birth of classes and, above all, of capital, and, in the long run, establishing such conditions of production and distribution as will lead directly and immediately to the abolition of classes.” [Stalin, Selected Works, Vol. 9, page 23-4]
In the period leading up to World War II, in contrast to the capitalist world which was in a financial crisis, the dictatorship of the proletariat developed the Soviet economic system at a tremendous pace. In this period, the revolutionary Soviet Union was not only a powerful force within its national boundaries, but also provided powerful support and leadership to the struggles of the oppressed nations against imperialism.
Stalin and the CPSU(B) met with fierce opposition from the “left” and right. The most dangerous of these opponents was Trotsky, the supreme opportunist who shifted easily from right opposition to “left” and back again. Before the October Revolution, Trotsky claimed there could be no alliance with the peasantry who were “unreliable” and “reactionary.” But by 1926, after the successful Revolution based on just such an alliance, he needed a new line with which to attack the USSR; so he now claimed that it was impossible to build socialism while there was only one socialist country because “the Soviet Union will always be under the control of world economy” i.e. capitalist economy. Stalin pointed out that the Soviet economy was linked to world economy but not under its control.
Trotsky advocated that the Soviet Union place primary emphasis on agriculture and light industry. Trotsky’s plan would have made the USSR dependent on capitalist countries for heavy machinery and therefore subordinate to the capitalist countries. In opposition to Trotsky, Stalin emphasized heavy industry, building the means of production, so that the Soviet economy would be an independent unit rather than an appendage of the world capitalist economy.
Trotsky’s internal anti-socialist line of encouraging the growth of exploiting classes – his line of opposing the building of socialism – was directly related to his capitulationist line on foreign policy. His line on China is an important example. Stalin thoroughly exposed his line:
“Thus we have two basic lines:
“a) the line of the Comintern, which takes into account the existence of feudal survivals in China, as the predominant form of oppression, the decisive importance of the powerful agrarian movement, the connection of the feudal survivals with imperialism, and the bourgeois democratic character of the Chinese Revolution with its struggle spearheaded against imperialism;
“b) the line of Trotsky, which denies the predominant importance of feudal-militarist oppression, fails to appreciate the decisive importance of the agrarian revolutionary movement in China, and attributes the anti-imperialist character of the Chinese Revolution solely to the interests of Chinese capitalism, which is demanding customs independence for China.
“The basic error of Trotsky (and hence of the opposition) is that he underestimates the agrarian revolution in China, does not understand the bourgeois democratic character of that revolution, denies the existence of the preconditions for an agrarian movement in China, embracing many millions, and underestimates the role of the peasantry in the Chinese Revolution.” [Stalin, Selected Works, Vol. 9, pages 296-297]
Trotsky’s line was in support of Chiang Kai-shek and his reactionary Kuomintang government at Nanking. Chiang Kai-shek, representing the comprador class and the national bourgeoisie of China, also opposed the agrarian revolution. The national bourgeoisie wanted to destroy the communists and the revolutionary Wuhan government (center at that time of the national democratic revolutionary movement) which they (the communists) supported. Chiang, like Trotsky, wanted only to end the unfair trade agreements which hindered the growth of the national bourgeoisie of China. Thus, both Trotsky and Chiang had a line of struggle against the Wuhan government, against the peasantry, and against the communists and a line of reconciliation with and capitulation to imperialism.
Trotsky’s counter-revolutionary line on China went hand in hand with his opposition to socialism within the USSR. The fierce struggle led by Stalin against Trotsky’s line of betrayal within the Soviet Union would not have been effective if Stalin had not also led the international struggle for proletarian internationalism. Struggle against internal betrayal is only successful when it goes hand in hand with international struggle against revisionism.
Trotsky was the outstanding representative of the national bourgeoisie of the socialist countries at work within the international Marxist-Leninist movement in service of imperialism. Since the Soviet Union was the first socialist country, and since the bourgeoisie becomes ten times more dangerous after the revolution, it is not surprising that Trotsky was produced there.
The line of modern revisionism is the line of the national bourgeoisie of the socialist countries. Thus, Trotsky was the forerunner of modern revisionism.
Stalin and the CPSU(B) waged a fierce struggle against Trotsky who continued to plot and scheme against the Soviet Union even after his expulsion in 1927. Stalin brought the question to the Comintern and the Sixth Congress of the Comintern condemned the opposition groups and specifically rejected Trotsky. The struggle against Trotsky at the Sixth Congress was a sound basis for the development of the Marxist-Leninist policy of fighting fascism put forth at the Seventh Congress of the Comintern.
The United Front in World War II
The victory over fascism of World War II was a tremendous victory over world imperialism for the peoples.
It was the Marxist-Leninist United Front policy established by the Comintern under the leadership of J.V. Stalin that made this victory possible. The line of the United Front to smash Fascism was put forth by Dimitroff in 1935 at the historic 7th Congress of the Comintern.
The Anti-Fascist United Front Policy
The united front policy was a proletarian policy based on the contradictions which plagued world imperialist capitalism at that time. In the leadership of the world anti-fascist United Front Stalin and the Comintern applied their understanding of the contradictions: (1) among the imperialist countries themselves – to split the U.S., Great Britain and France away from an alliance with Germany, Japan and Italy against the Soviet Union; (2) between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie of the advanced capitalist countries – to encourage the workers and their Communist Parties to bring “their” governments and armies against the fascists; (3) between the oppressed nations and imperialism – to give valuable support to the Chinese peoples’ struggle against Japanese imperialism and to encourage and greatly stimulate the development of anti-fascist guerrilla partisans in the oppressed nations (which later developed into national liberation front organizations) and (4) between the socialist system and the capitalist system based on the achievements of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union – to mobilize the Soviet masses to wage one of the most heroic and titanic struggles of world history, including the battle of Stalingrad, the turning point of the War.
The international ties of the proletariat through the Communist Parties and the Comintern with the Soviet Union as its base, guaranteed that the proletariat would lead the United Front internationally. Without the guiding force of the proletariat following the Marxist-Leninist line of Stalin, Dimitroff and the C.I., there would have been no United Front and there would have been no victory over fascism for the peoples.
(1) Contradiction among the imperialists themselves: This was the main contradiction facing world capitalism on the eve of World War II. The main task of the international Marxist-Leninist movement and of the United Front policy was to take advantage of this contradiction, the main weakness of the capitalist world at the time, to smash fascism.
Based on the contradiction among the imperialists themselves, it was possible to win over to the anti-fascist side sections of French, British and U.S. imperialist capital which were threatened by German, Japanese and Italian imperialist expansion.
It was imperative for the survival of the Soviet Union and victory over fascism to keep the imperialist countries at odds. The possibility of a temporary unity of the imperialist world to smash the Soviet Union, the only socialist country, was very great. Such a defeat would have been a tremendous setback for the world’s peoples because the USSR was a strong revolutionary base area for the international Marxist-Leninist movement and because the millions of Soviet people and their enormous territory would have been re-opened to imperialist exploitation.
In each period, all work of the Communists and their Parties must be oriented toward the main task of the period. Under Stalin’s leadership the CPSU(B) and the Comintern mobilized the Soviet people and the peoples of the world to utilize the secondary contradictions facing world capitalism to take full advantage of the primary contradiction to strengthen the struggle to smash fascist imperialism. In this way the proletariat of the capitalist countries, the proletariat and peasantry of the oppressed nations, and the Soviet people, who were each confronted with very different situations, were united under the leadership of Stalin and the Comintern to contribute to their common objective – the defeat of fascism.
(2) Contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie: Even in the fascist countries, efforts were made by proletarian elements at anti-fascist resistance. In the non-fascist capitalist countries, the proletariat struggled to bring “their” governments and armies into the anti-fascist struggle. Before the War broke out, this struggle centered around efforts to aid the Spanish Republic in its Civil War against. Franco and his German and Italian fascist masters. The proletariat of the capitalist countries volunteered and fought in the international brigades in Spain, but they were unsuccessful in their struggle at home – British, French and US imperialism aided the fascists and prevented arms from reaching the Spanish Republic which was then isolated and defeated.
However, the proletariat of France, Britain and the US did play a role in the entrance of “their” governments into World War II on the anti-fascist side. During the War they struggled against the bourgeoisie to make “their” governments fight the most effective war possible and they volunteered to fight fascism. US military efforts in the Pacific and British participation in North Africa as well as the (delayed) opening of the Second Front in Europe by Britain and the US were a significant help to the anti-fascist cause.
In the occupied countries of Europe the proletariat fought as partisans in guerrilla warfare led by Communist Parties.
(3) The contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism: This contradiction was utilized most effectively to contribute to the struggle against fascism in China. When Japan invaded in 1931, the character of the anti-imperialist struggle of the Chinese people changed from one against all the imperialist countries which participated in the exploitation of the Chinese people to a war to drive out Japanese imperialism in particular.
The changed situation meant that a new united front within China, comprised of all anti-Japanese forces, had to be formed. Guided by the Comintern’s United Front policy, the CPC and Mao Tse-tung mobilized the Chinese proletariat and peasantry, the backbone of the anti-fascist struggle. The CPC mobilized the petty-bourgeoisie and large sections of the national bourgeoisie to fight the Japanese imperialist invaders. The CPC neutralized those sections of the Chinese comprador class representing the non-fascist imperialist countries and isolated the pro-fascist elements of this class.
The Chinese people carried the brunt of the fighting against Japanese imperialism. In most of the Asian nations occupied by Japan, strong guerrilla forces rose up to halt the Japanese imperialist advance. The combined efforts of the Chinese and other Asian liberation forces was a component part of the United Front against fascism.
(4) Contradiction between the socialist camp and the capitalist camp: The backbone of the anti-fascist United Front was the heroic Soviet people who bore the brunt of the fighting against the main body of the Nazi armies. The tremendous courage of the Soviet people and their Red Army brought the fascist army to its knees at Stalingrad. The CPSU(B), Party of the proletariat, mobilized the Soviet people and the peoples of the world to make this victory possible.
The 20 years of socialist construction in the Soviet Union before the War were oriented toward making the USSR a strong revolutionary base area for the world’s people. The Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin’s leadership did not claim that the contradiction between socialism and capitalism was primary and that the Soviet Union should try to outdo the capitalist world in production of consumer goods. Rather, the USSR had prepared for war against fascist imperialism and gave all possible support to the international forces fighting fascism, as in Spain and China. Stalin, the Comintern and the CPSU(B) provided strong leadership for the international Marxist-Leninist movement, leadership which was responsible for the anti-fascist United Front policy and for the peoples victory over fascism.
As always, a vital part of the struggle against fascism was the struggle against its servants within the working class movement.
While the Communists called for a united front to fight fascism, the Social Democrats united with the fascists in an effort to defeat communism. Notably in France, Germany, Austria and Spain, the treachery of the Social-Democrats and “Socialist” Parties – their outright collaboration with the fascists – prevented the Communists from halting fascism’s rise to power.
The Trotskyites were valuable servants of the fascists. In the US, for example, they labeled the War an “imperialist War” and tried to prevent the US from entering on the side of the Soviet Union and the oppressed peoples. Within the USSR, they served their fascist masters as spies and saboteurs. Since Trotsky’s line had been thoroughly discredited by Stalin prior to the War, Stalin and the CPSU(B) were able to carry out an effective campaign to rid the Soviet Party and Government of Trotskyites.
Without Marxist-Leninist leadership, the proletariat of the capitalist countries would have followed the Social-Democratic line of complete unprincipled unity with “their” imperialist bourgeoisie. Without Marxist-Leninist leadership, the proletariat of the oppressed nations such as China would have been unable to mobilize the masses in a new united front to wage successful war on fascism. Without Marxist-Leninist leadership, the Soviet Union would have fallen prey to the Trotskyites and other opportunist; and would not have implemented a policy of proletarian internationalism. Without the Marxist-Leninist leadership of Stalin, the Comintern and the CPSU(B), the imperialist countries could have taken united action against the Soviet Union and fascist imperialism would have been victorious in World War II.
Instead the Marxist-Leninist line of Stalin, the Comintern and the CPSU(B) prepared the Soviet people for the heroic and great sacrifices that they made in driving the Nazi armies back to Berlin and final defeat. The Marxist-Leninist United Front policy made it possible for the world’s peoples to achieve victory over fascism.
The Marxist-Leninist United Front policy of World War II brought such a decisive defeat to the imperialist world that a new, higher stage in the struggle to smash world capitalism was ushered in – the era of the world-wide victory for national liberation over imperialism.
Two Opposing Lines Within the Proletarian Movement
The great experience of the Soviet people and particularly the proletariat and its Party – the CPSU(B) – in the struggle to consolidate the proletarian dictatorship, and the overwhelmingly correct leadership of J.V. Stalin, were a source of great strength for the international communist movement. During the World War II period, the dominant line within the international Marxist-Leninist movement was the correct line of Stalin, Dimitroff and the Comintern. Their United Front policy was brilliantly carried out by most of the international movement. In China particularly, Mao Tse-tung and the CPC led the oppressed masses of China in great victories over Japanese imperialism.
World War II marked the defeat of German, Japanese and Italian imperialism and the serious weakening of British, French and Belgian imperialism. During the War, US imperialism was preparing to replace its weakened imperialist colleagues in all the oppressed nations of the world. Therefore US imperialism was the source of a second line within the United Front and the world Communist movement.
This second line was a revisionist line, a line of capitulation to US imperialism. Within the US, it was an effort to prepare the proletariat to fight US imperialism’s wars against the oppressed peoples and to pacify the proletariat so that their labor could be safely exploited to produce the weapons necessary to occupy the oppressed nations. Browder, head of the CPUSA, was an early advocate of this line. Following World War II opportunists could easily adopt Browder’s line to conditions in any country because the new main enemy was US imperialism and the main victims of opportunism were now the oppressed nations.
Browder was a forerunner of the line of modern revisionism now dominant in the Soviet Union and the world Marxist-Leninist movement. But whereas the Marxist-Leninist line of Stalin and the CPSU(B) in World War II seriously restricted the growth of opportunism, the world Marxist-Leninist movement is today dominated by the current advocates of this line – Tito, Khrushchev and the “Cultural Revolution.” Whereas the peoples won unprecedented victory over world imperialism in World War II based on the Marxist-Leninist line of Stalin and the CPSU(B), today – despite a more favorable objective situation – the peoples of the world are experiencing greater defeats and fewer victories.
In order to understand how the ideological level of the international Marxist-Leninist movement degenerated so rapidly following the victory of the Chinese revolution in 1949 in the face of a more favorable international situation, it is necessary to analyze the two opposing lines which were put forth during World War II in the name of the United Front policy of the Comintern.
Opportunism Until 1945 – Browder:
During World War II, the United Front policy of proletarian-led coalitions was successfully implemented in much of the world. However, in most of the imperialist countries which fought against Hitler, the United Front policy was distorted. In place of a United Front led by a communist party, certain Communist Party leaders proposed that the communist parties be dissolved and organizations set up which would tail the bourgeoisie. In these countries, the anti-imperialist struggle was played down and class collaboration was emphasized.
Following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II, US imperialism became the main enemy of mankind. Throughout the War, US imperialism was trying to prepare the US people to become the US “Wehrmacht” so that US imperialism could spread out into all the oppressed nations of the world. US imperialism had already shown its willingness to make a deal with the upper strata of the white working class. The labor aristocracy was to be bribed with a small part of the imperialist super-profits stolen from the oppressed peoples.
It is therefore no accident that the first Communist Party to be taken over by modern revisionism was the CPUSA. Earl Browder was the CPUSA leader who accepted the bribe and became the first spokesman for modern revisionism, showing the way for opportunists in other communist parties to capitulate to US imperialism and sell out the oppressed peoples.
Browder’s revisionism had deep roots in the class composition of the CPUSA. Because US imperialism had been mobilized to fight fascism in alliance with the revolutionary Soviet Union, the CPUSA was flooded during the War with new members – especially from among the middle class. The CPUSA was not vigilant to the dangers of this .influx. Browder allied himself with and developed the right-wing trends among the newcomers.
Browder’s open revisionism was being accepted by almost the entire leadership of the CPUSA (with the notable exception of William Z. Foster) when it was thoroughly exposed by the Duclos article from the French Party in 1945. Browder’s open line of service to US imperialism was then rejected by the CPUSA leadership, at least formally.
What was Browder’s line? American exceptionalism. According to Browder, US monopoly capital was not imperialist but was a new “progressive” breed of capitalism. “Capitalism and socialism,” said Browder, “have begun to find the way to peaceful coexistence and collaboration in the same world.” [“Teheran, Our Path in War and Peace,” 1944] He claimed that US capitalists would use their $80 billion surplus of goods created when war industries changed over to civilian production to double the real wages of US workers and support national liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples.
Browder’s analysis of the Afro-American liberation struggle was that the Afro-American people chose to remain a part of the US at the time of the Civil War, ending their exercise of the right of self-determination. This gross distortion of history was the theoretical basis for Browder’s policy of making the Afro-American struggle “solely a question of class” and thus totally dependent on the white working class for leadership and initiative.
All this double talk was an imperialist smokescreen designed to prepare the workers of the US to abandon the oppressed nations and follow the leadership of the imperialists.
Correct Implementation of the Anti-Fascist United Front Policy, China, 1935-1945:
After 1935 the task of the Marxist-Leninist forces all over the world was to contribute to the anti-fascist struggle by applying the Stalin, Dimitroff, Comintern United Front policy to their concrete situations. In China, the CPC under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung brilliantly fulfilled this task and made great contributions to the defeat of fascism.
The invasion of China by Japanese imperialism in 1931 drastically altered the political situation in China and the tasks of the CPC. The invasion changed the main enemy of the Chinese people from imperialism in general to Japanese imperialism in particular, and it changed the main task of the CPC from victory over all imperialist powers which participated in the exploitation of the Chinese people to victory over Japanese fascism – the most rabid imperialist power in China, set on immediate conquest of the peoples of Asia.
In spite of the changed situation, the CPC did not change its battle program until four years later in 1935 when Dimitroff and the Comintern set forth the anti-fascist United Front policy.
The basic strategy of the CPC from 1927-1935 was the establishment of workers and peasants soviets (in opposition to Trotsky’s line of negating the mighty revolutionary character of the Chinese peasantry). Their program for this was: “Rely on the poor peasants and farm laborers; unite with the middle peasants; restrict the rich peasants; protect the middle and small businessmen and industrialists; abolish only the landlord class.” But with the invasion of Japanese imperialism, this program no longer conformed to the needs of the peoples of China or of the world.
“At this juncture , there was urgent need for the Party to make a correct analysis of the internal situation resulting from the Japanese invasion, to decide the policy of the Party and to correct the ‘Left’ sectarian tendency which prevailed within it. This work could not be accomplished by the Central Committee of the Party between 1931-1934, nor by Comrade Mao Tse-tung in 1935 during the Long March. This need was met only when, aided by the correct policy of the antifascist front adopted by the Communist International, the Party issued a declaration on Aug. 1, 1935, calling for a united front…” [Hu Chiao-mu, “Thirty Years of the CPC,” Peking, 1951]
The task of the CPC was now to support the world-wide struggle against fascism by mobilizing and leading the Chinese people in a powerful United Front to smash Japanese imperialism. The formation of a broad anti-Japanese United Front meant putting forward the new slogan: “Stop the Civil War – Unite to resist Japan!”
The CPC utilized the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism to mobilize the workers and poor peasants, the backbone of the anti-Japanese United Front. The proletariat and poor peasantry had suffered the most of all classes in China from imperialist exploitation and were the strongest and most determined fighters against Japanese fascist imperialism. Because of its relation to capitalist production, the proletariat had to be the leading force in the battle against imperialism if this struggle were to lead to socialism – to a decisive victory over imperialism.
The poor peasantry, the class in the countryside which most acutely felt feudal-imperialist oppression and which could be a reliable ally of the proletariat through both the bourgeois democratic and the socialist revolution was the proletariat’s most reliable ally.
The CPC also utilized the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism to win the support of the middle and rich peasants, and of the petty bourgeoisie. Chairman Mao pointed out that as small producers, the interests of all these classes were irreconcilable with those of Japanese imperialism. The urban petty bourgeoisie was especially active in the mobilization of the Chinese people to resist Japan because:
“Imperialism and the Chinese counter-revolutionary forces have done them [the petty bourgeoisie] great harm, driving many into unemployment, bankruptcy, or semi-bankruptcy. Now, faced with the immediate danger of becoming slaves to a foreign nation, they have no alternative but to resist.” [Mao Tse-tung, “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” 1935]
The CPC utilized the contradiction among the imperialists themselves (the basis upon which J.V. Stalin and the CPSU(B) had split the imperialist countries into two warring groups) to split the comprador and landlord classes – forcing some to support, though weakly and temporarily, the struggle against Japanese imperialism, neutralizing others and isolating the pro-Japanese elements of these classes. In 1935-36, the CPC skillfully utilized its forces to compel Chiang Kai-shek to give up his war against the CPC and to form an alliance with the CPC to fight Japanese imperialism. The CPC united with Chiang to the extent necessary to compel his troops to stop fighting the CPC and start fighting Japan. But the CPC always struggled against Chiang’s reactionary policies.
The national bourgeois class has a dual character in relation to the working class and its party.
“On the one hand they dislike imperialism, and on the other, they fear thorough revolution, and they vacillate between the two. This explains why they took part in the revolution of 1924-27 and why, in the end, they went over to Chiang Kai-shek’s side. In what respect does the present period differ from 1927 when Chiang Kai-shek betrayed the revolution? China was then still a semi-colony, but now she is on the way to becoming a colony. Over the past nine years, the national bourgeoisie has deserted its ally, the working class, and made friends with the landlord and comprador classes, but has it gained anything? Nothing, except the bankruptcy or semi-bankruptcy of its industrial and commercial enterprises. Hence we believe that in the present situation the attitude of the national bourgeoisie can change.” [Mao Tse-tung, op. cit.]
The CPC mobilized the national bourgeoisie to the side of revolution by correctly implementing the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism (the national bourgeoisie feared a complete Japanese imperialist take-over of China) and because the CPC and the Comintern correctly utilized the contradiction among the imperialists themselves (the split among the imperialists and the resulting split in the Chinese comprador and landlord classes left the national bourgeoisie without a powerful alternative ally). The national bourgeois class remained a fairly reliable ally of the CPC and the Chinese people throughout the struggle against Japanese fascism.
Using the tactics of people’s war developed by Mao, the CPC continued to create base areas in the countryside, where the enemy was weakest, and to surround the cities, where the enemy was the strongest. In conformity with the new United Front policy, the CPC changed its program for the areas liberated from Japanese imperialism. Land rents were reduced, but the expropriation of the land of the landlord class was discontinued. National bourgeois forces which did not resist the United Front or aid the enemy were protected and encouraged. The CPC no longer worked for the formation of workers and peasants soviets, but led the United Front to the formation of Peoples Republics, representing all forces opposed to Japanese imperialism. The government in these areas consisted of equal representation of (1) communists, representing the working class and peasantry, (2) progressives, representing the petty bourgeoisie and (3) middle-of-the-roaders representing the national bourgeoisie and anti-Japanese gentry. This was the organizational form of the new alliance.
By thus correctly implementing the United Front policy formulated by the Comintern, the CPC under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung led the heroic Chinese people to great victories over Japanese imperialism. The CPC gave great support and encouragement to the proletarians of the West and to the peoples of the Soviet Union by stopping Japanese imperialism’s westward expansion and carrying the brunt of the struggle against this powerful fascist state.
On August 8, 1945, after thoroughly defeating the German Nazis, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.
“The Soviet Army quickly annihilated the Japanese Kwantung Army and liberated Northeast China. The Peoples Liberation Army fighting in co-ordination with the Soviet Army energetically wiped out the Japanese and puppet troops, freeing a large number of medium sized and small cities from the enemy’s occupation. On August 14, Japan announced its unconditional surrender.”* [Hu Chiao-mu, op. cit.]
* [fn. On August 13, 1945, Mao said: “…The decisive factor for Japan’s surrender is the entry of the Soviet Union into the war. A million Red Army troops are entering China’s Northeast; this force is irresistible…” [Selected Works, Volume IV] US imperialism dropped the atomic bomb on two Japanese cities largely to prevent the Red Army from liberating much of Asia as it had Eastern Europe.]
The victory of the peoples of the world over the fascist Axis, to which the Chinese people made great contributions, brought the peoples of the world including the Chinese people a giant step closer to liberation from all imperialist exploitation. This victory ushered in a new higher stage for world revolution – the era of the world-wide victory for national liberation over imperialism.
China Until 1956 – Change In The Main Contradiction
After World War II, Chiang Kai-shek, with the backing of US and British imperialism, launched a powerful attack on the CPC, putting the CPC on the defensive. The national bourgeoisie, unsure of how its class interests could best be served, now withdrew from its alliance with the CPC. The national bourgeoisie searched hopelessly for a “third path” and waited to see the outcome of the struggle between imperialism and the Chinese proletariat.
The general weakening of world imperialism and the general strengthening of the people’s forces due to the great victory of World War II made it impossible for US imperialism to concentrate its forces for an all-out campaign to crush the CPC. US imperialism was compelled to disperse its forces from France to the Philippines to prevent the guerrilla partisans from achieving power. In China, US imperialism had to rely on its comprador representative, Chiang Kai-shek. US imperialism supplied him with substantial arms and money, but could supply only a limited number of troops.
In 1947, the CPC moved from the strategic defensive to the strategic offensive in the battle against Chiang and US imperialism. Nationwide victory for the communists was imminent. Victory for the Communists means the establishment of the political and economic base for socialism. It means the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat over the other classes, with the perspective of eliminating classes hostile to the proletariat and socialism.
For the national bourgeoisie in oppressed nations, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat means the beginning of the end for its existence as a class. In the face of the imminent victory for the Chinese proletariat, the national bourgeoisie of China was forced to re-establish an alliance with the CPC. It did so to ensure that the revolution in China would not mean the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat but would be an “all China” anti-imperialist revolution which would allow the national bourgeoisie to continue as a class and grow into a more powerful class. The national bourgeoisie joined with the proletariat in 1947 to lay the basis for its objective of becoming the ruling class of China in the future.
The CPC was vulnerable to attack by the national bourgeoisie because it did not fully recognize the changes that were taking place in the world situation based on the defeat of German, Japanese and Italian fascism. It did not recognize that new alliances were needed to defeat the new main enemy – US imperialism. It did not recognize that, while the national bourgeoisie had been a fairly reliable ally of the anti-Japanese struggle and could be an ally of the national democratic revolution, it could never be an ally of socialism. After 1949, the CPC did not deal with the national bourgeoisie as a powerful class, as a powerful enemy of socialism.
Before World War II, the main task of the CPC was victory over all the imperialist powers in China through the establishment of workers and peasants soviets in the countryside, leading to the victory of socialism throughout China. During World War II, in the anti-fascist United Front, the main task of the CPC was victory over Japanese imperialism through the establishment of Peoples Republics in the countryside which gave equal governmental powers to (1) the proletariat and peasantry, (2) the petty bourgeoisie and (3) the national bourgeoisie. With the defeat of Japanese imperialism, the main task of the CPC was once again victory over all imperialist powers in China – especially over US imperialism. But the CPC did not substantially change its form of struggle against imperialism after the War. Instead of once again calling for the establishment of workers and peasants soviets, the CPC retained its strategic objective of World War II – the establishment of Peoples Republics in the countryside, an alliance which gave the national bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie a great deal of power. The People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 without armed struggle in five of China’s provinces or in her capital, Peking.
The policy of alliance with the national bourgeoisie in this period should have been seen largely as a policy of neutralizing the national bourgeoisie and hence weakening its reactionary influence on the proletariat. For this alliance to serve the long-range interests of the working class, it was necessary that the CPC have the perspective of establishing the economic base of socialism and the elimination of the national bourgeoisie as a class. For this, it would have been necessary that the CPC warn the people and be ever-vigilant against the reactionary, anti-socialist side of the national bourgeois class. This was not done.
Just before the 1949 revolution, Chairman Mao said:
“The people have a powerful state apparatus in their hands – there is no need to fear rebellion by the national bourgeoisie.” [Our emphasis, Mao Tse-tung, “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship,” 1949]
Chairman Mao described the state of the People’s Republic of China not as the state of the proletariat but as the state of the people under the leadership of the proletariat. The “people” were defined as all those who opposed imperialist exploitation in China – which includes the national bourgeois class. The Chinese people were prepared not for struggle against the national bourgeoisie and for the establishment of socialism in China but for co-existence with the national bourgeoisie, a powerful, anti-socialist class.
“…the policy of uniting with the national bourgeoisie and struggling with it, which we adopted to resolve this contradiction, is a very firm proletarian class policy which has nothing in common with the policy of ‘class collaboration’…
“…our policy of socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce has enabled us to reduce the opposition to the transformation, and in the course of the gradual transformation, to use capitalism conditionally to serve socialism, so as to facilitate the progress of socialist construction. As a result, we have been able to eliminate capitalism completely in the ownership of the means of production, and we shall transform the bourgeois elements gradually into working people earning their own living…
“Today the capitalists in our country are still receiving a fixed rate of interest… the bourgeoisie as a class has disappeared economically…” [Liu Shao-chi, “The Victory of Marxism-Leninism in China,” Peking, 1959]
With the victory of the revolution in 1949, the People’s Republic of China became the main revolutionary base area of the world anti-imperialist struggle and the CPC objectively became the leading Party in the world Marxist-Leninist movement. The main responsibility of the CPC was to correctly lead the oppressed peoples in their struggle against imperialism.
If the national bourgeoisie is powerful in the leading Party, it will impede correct leadership of the oppressed peoples. If the national bourgeoisie gains control of this Party, it will utilize the leading role of the Party to misleadthe oppressed peoples. The CPC thus had a responsibility to the peoples of the world, especially to the oppressed peoples, to exercise proletarian dictatorship over the national bourgeoisie, and eventually eliminate it as a class, to ensure that the proletariat maintains power in the CPC and leads the oppressed peoples to victory.
Unfortunately, the CPC’s leading responsibility to the oppressed peoples was not recognized by the international Communist movement, or the CPC. The line of the CPC was that its main responsibility was to the Chinese people – to eliminate imperialist exploitation within China and build China’s productive capacity. This incorrect orientation led to a policy of peaceful co-existence with the national bourgeois class, a class which stood for negotiation with and appeasement of US imperialism.
The 1949 Chinese revolution was a great victory for the peoples of the world. The weaknesses in the line of the CPC from 1945 remained quantitative until after the revolution. But these weaknesses were not correctedand the national bourgeoisie became a more and more powerful class within China and within the CPC.
The victory of the Chinese people led by the heroic CPC over US imperialism in 1949 was a great victory for all of the peoples of the world. It marked the beginning of a new era – an era in which the vast majority of the peoples of the world have a common enemy – US imperialism, and the peoples of the oppressed nations are the main and leading force in the struggle to destroy the common foe. The victory of the Chinese revolution marked the beginning of an era in which the vast majority of the peoples of the world – the oppressed peoples – could be mobilized to smash imperialism. The victories in theory and practice achieved in China under the international leadership of Stalin and the CPSU(B) illuminate the path to victory in the oppressed nations. The CPC replaced the CPSU(B) as the leading Party in the world.
Victory over imperialism in China meant that the main contradiction in the world had shifted from that between the imperialists themselves to that between the oppressed nations and imperialism. It meant that there were new tasks for Communists and Communist Parties all over the world. In the present period, the peoples of the world are closer than ever to final victory over imperialism. However, a new Communist International under the leadership of the CPC is needed to utilize the tremendous potential of this period to eliminate imperialist exploitation of the oppressed nations and ultimately to establish socialism throughout the world.
The New United Front
Change in the Main Contradiction
Led by the Comintern, the CPSU(B) and J.V. Stalin, the anti-imperialist peoples were victorious over the most aggressive imperialists – the Axis powers – in World War II. The defeat of fascism brought about a very favorable situation for world revolution. The world capitalist system had been seriously weakened by the peoples’ victory in World War II and the anti-imperialist forces were stronger than ever before.
The oppressed peoples in many nations of Asia had been mobilized into powerful anti-fascist (anti-imperialist) United Fronts, leading mighty guerrilla movements. With the aid of the Red Army, revolutions had taken place in many Eastern European nations and in East Germany. Coalition governments, based on the anti-fascist united fronts and led by the working class, were established in these nations. In Europe, powerful anti-fascist organizations under communist leadership existed and the peoples were looking for a revolutionary alternative to capitalism. The Soviet Union, which had broken the backs of the German Nazis and demonstrated the tremendous strength of peoples under Marxist-Leninist leadership, stood as a steadfast friend to all revolutionary peoples.
US imperialism, which had produced the overwhelming number of industrial military machines for the War and which had been relatively unscathed by the War, became the dominant imperialist country following World War II. Because of the tremendous devastation of the European nations and Japan, US imperialism was virtually unrivalled by other imperialist countries.
Isolated from support from other imperialist countries and faced with a mounting revolutionary tide, US imperialism desperately worked to prevent the revolutionary peoples from taking advantage of the favorable revolutionary situation following World War II.
Imperialism must continually increase its profits or cease to be imperialism – it must expand or die. The imperialist powers had saturated the potentials for profits and exploitation of their own proletariat before World War I. They had begun to export large amounts of finance capital to the oppressed nations where there was the greatest potential for even more ruthless exploitation and super-profits. The main aim of US imperialism following World War II was to achieve complete control over the oppressed nations to ensure for itself ever-increasing profits from the oppressed peoples.
However, before US imperialism could concentrate its financial and military forces against the oppressed peoples, it had to hold back the revolutionary tide in Europe and consolidate its dominance over the rest of the capitalist world. With a combination of treachery (through their willing agents, the right Social-Democrats) and armed force, US imperialism was able to temporarily destroy the revolutionary movements in the Western European nations whose peoples had resisted Nazi invasion, and in occupied West Germany, Italy and Japan. US imperialism met with defeats in its attempts to destroy the newly-founded East European Peoples Democracies which had military and ideological support from the mighty Soviet Union. Only Yugoslavia was diverted from its revolutionary anti-imperialist path when Tito, representing the Yugoslav national bourgeoisie, took US imperialism’s bribe.
US imperialism then consolidated its dominance over the capitalist world through massive “aid” grants under the Marshall Plan designed to make the devastated capitalist world dependent upon US monopoly capital.
Throughout this period, when US imperialism’s main forces were concentrated in Europe, US imperialism was replacing the other imperialist powers throughout the world, frantically increasing its export of finance capital to the oppressed nations. A shift was occurring in the main area of imperialist profits – the main area of imperialist exploitation – from the proletariat of the capitalist countries to the growing proletariat of the oppressed nations.
Thus, based on the smashing of the Axis imperialist beasts, the contradiction among the imperialists themselves became less important for the world’s people and a new contradiction was developing as the main contradiction facing world imperialism. Following the World War II victory for the peoples, the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism replaced the contradiction among the imperialists themselves as the weakest link in the imperialist chain – the oppressed peoples became the most important force fighting against imperialism. The success of the Chinese revolution in 1949 marked the beginning of this new stage and established the CPC as the new leading Party in the international Marxist-Leninist movement and China as the main revolutionary base area of the world’s peoples.
The change in the main contradiction marked the beginning of an international situation which was far more favorable to the peoples of the world than ever before. Now the great majority of the peoples of the world could be mobilized under the leadership of the mighty CPC to bring imperialism to its knees. Now US imperialism was isolated and, with international solidarity, the oppressed nations could force US imperialism to so widely disperse its forces that it could not effectively resist any liberation struggle.
Today, US imperialism, which has one third of its investments in the oppressed nations, receives two-thirds of its profits from these areas [Baran and Sweezy, “Monopoly Capital”]. This means that US imperialism extracts four times more profit for every dollar invested in the oppressed nations than for those invested in the capitalist countries. US imperialism can no longer tolerate the peoples of any oppressed nation winning liberation from its exploitation and control. US imperialism is faced with an irreconcilable contradiction. On the one hand, it must continually increase its exploitation of the oppressed peoples or die. But on the other hand, US imperialism cannot bribe the oppressed peoples into submission and it cannot defeat them militarily if the struggles of the oppressed nations for liberation are internationally coordinated – if national liberation struggles have proletarian leadership.
The change in the main contradiction facing imperialism following World War II marked the beginning of a new and higher stage in the struggle for socialism. It marked the beginning of a stage in which imperialism headed by US imperialism could now be crippled and smashed by the revolutionary peoples headed by the oppressed peoples.
Composition of the New United Front
A new United Front must be formed which consists of all forces which can be brought against US imperialism: The leading and unifying force in the new United Front must be a new Communist International headed by a proletarian CPC. The main revolutionary base area for the new United Front must be China, the most advanced expression of the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism; the proletariat of the imperialist countries must be mobilized to provide important support to the oppressed nations. The core of the new United Front is the oppressed peoples.
Task of the Marxist-Leninists of the Socialist Countries:
The main task of the Marxist-Leninists of the Socialist countries within the new United Front is to give maximum ideological, organizational, military and economic support to the oppressed nations.
(The oppressed nations can be victorious in their struggle for liberation only when their struggles are coordinated and when they receive the support of the world-wide anti-imperialist United Front. Only a Marxist-Leninist Communist International (C.I.) can lead this coalition.) It is a vital task of the Marxist-Leninist Parties of the Socialist countries, particularly the CPC, to lead in the establishment of such a C.I.
Task of the Marxist-Leninists of the Imperialist Countries:
Within the new United Front the main task of the Marxist-Leninists of the imperialist countries is to support the struggles of the oppressed peoples against imperialism. The Marxist-Leninist Parties of the imperialist countries must do so by demonstrating that the oppressed peoples and the proletariat of the imperialist countries have a common enemy – imperialism headed by US imperialism.
The proletariat of the imperialist countries must be mobilized to support the nations oppressed by “their own” imperialists. They must be mobilized to support the Vietnamese and other nations oppressed by US imperialism by boycotting US goods and struggling against attempts by US imperialism to use their countries as bases for aggression against the oppressed peoples. In this way the proletariat of the imperialist countries other than the US can, at least temporarily, bring sections of “their” imperialist bourgeoisie up against US imperialism. At times, these sections of the imperialist bourgeoisie can play a real anti-US imperialist role such as De Gaulle, chief representative of French imperialism, played on behalf of the Quebec liberation movement.
In the US, support for the oppressed peoples means support for the struggles of the Vietnamese and Afro-American nations for liberation in particular. At the present time, poor whites and some members of the white working class could be mobilized by an Afro-American dominated Marxist-Leninist Party to support the oppressed peoples (e.g., in the armed forces, white soldiers’ support for Afro-American soldiers as they turn their guns around). Providing that a Marxist-Leninist Party is established in the US, numbers of white workers will begin to join forces with the oppressed peoples as US imperialism is battered and weakened by powerful and coordinated national liberation struggles. Many white workers will be mobilized by a Marxist-Leninist Party to join forces with the oppressed peoples as more and more of their sons die fighting imperialist wars, as the right to strike is no longer tolerated by US imperialism, as the imperialists freeze wages and raise taxes and as it becomes increasingly clear that imperialism is doomed. If significant sections of the white working class are not mobilized to the cause of the oppressed nations, the fate of the white working class in the US will be far worse than that which the German people met at the hands of the revolutionary peoples of the world in World War II.
Task of the Marxist-Leninists of the Oppressed Nations:
The main task of the Marxist-Leninists of the oppressed nations is to establish a powerful anti-imperialist coalition based on the worker-peasant alliance, under the hegemony of the working class. The working class does, however, make more or less temporary alliances with other peasant classes, with the petty bourgeoisie, and with the national bourgeoisie. The Party of the proletariat must lead the national United Front, for the working class is the only class in the oppressed nations which understands that it is the very nature of imperialism to occupy, suppress and exploit, and only the working class understands the necessity of smashing imperialism world-wide in order to achieve real national liberation.
National bourgeois leadership of national liberation struggles means that these struggles will be primarily of a national character rather than an international character. It means that the oppressed peoples of each nation will be denied support from their international allies in the struggle against the common foe. While US imperialism cannot defeat the international struggle of the oppressed nations to achieve liberation, it can do tremendous damage to a single national liberation movement if this movement is isolated from the struggles of other oppressed nations. National bourgeois leadership of national liberation struggles means that the objective of this struggle is not to destroy the imperialist army and the imperialist system, and ensure freedom for all mankind, but merely to rid “its” nation from imperialist interference. National bourgeois leadership of national liberation struggles means compromise and negotiation with imperialism – it means “appeasement” of the profit-hungry imperialist beast. National bourgeois leadership of national liberation struggles means defeat for the oppressed peoples and victories for imperialism.
Large sections of the national bourgeois class of the oppressed nations are anti-imperialist in the period of national democratic revolution and should be mobilized by the proletariat to contribute to the struggle against imperialism. However, since the struggles of the oppressed peoples are for national liberation from imperialism and the proletariat of the oppressed nations is relatively small, the national bourgeois class poses a serious threat to leadership of the anti-imperialist coalition.
In order to maintain proletarian leadership of the coalition with the national bourgeoisie and ensure victory for the oppressed peoples, the proletariat of the oppressed nations must be guided by a correct Marxist-Leninist line on how to struggle against imperialism in this period. The anti-feudal struggles of the peasantry of the oppressed nations are anti-imperialist in this period. The peasant classes, which make up about 80% of the population of most of the oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America, suffer increasingly brutal oppression from the surviving feudal system, fostered and maintained by imperialism in the countryside. The peasant classes provide the base of the national struggle against imperialism, for the peasants make up the vast majority of the population of the oppressed nations, and they attack imperialism in the countryside where its control is the weakest. By forming a steadfast alliance with the poor peasantry, the only class which can remain a reliable ally of the working class through the Socialist as well as the bourgeois democratic revolution, the Party of the working class can maintain leadership of the national united front.
Within the oppressed nations, a Marxist-Leninist C.I. will give the proletarian Parties invaluable ideological support in their efforts to mobilize and lead their peoples in the struggle for liberation. It will give great leverage to the proletarian forces in their struggle for leadership of the national united front. It will facilitate the establishment of powerful Marxist-Leninist Parties in oppressed nations where they do not yet exist.
The key to the unbeatable strength of the proletariat of the oppressed nations is the international ties with the proletariat of all nations. Only with a Marxist-Leninist C.I. can national liberation struggles be coordinated. Faced with coordinated assaults from many oppressed nations at once, US imperialism will be unable to concentrate its armed forces against a single oppressed nation and US imperialism will be tremendously weakened and can soon be defeated.
These are the essential new tasks of the international proletariat brought about by the change following World War II of the main contradiction facing imperialism. The Marxist-Leninist movement, which had achieved great success while allied with the US and other imperialist countries, did not immediately grasp the nature of the great changes which their victory had brought about. This left the Marxist-Leninist movement temporarily disoriented and the opportunists penetrated deeply into the movement. The fact that the Comintern was disbanded in 1943 and never replaced by a new International made for tremendous difficulties in combating theinternational menace – modern revisionism.
The CPC as the leading Party was in the best position to understand the nature of the changing international situation and had responsibility to initiate moves for a new International to ensure victory for the oppressed peoples. But unfortunately, the fact that the main contradiction facing imperialism after the Chinese revolution was national liberation and the fact that the CPC was the leading Party was not grasped by the international Marxist-Leninist forces at this time. This strengthened opportunist, revisionist forces in parties throughout the world.
The Rise of Modern Revisionism
The Communist Party of Yugoslavia, headed by Tito, was the first Party in power to be taken over by revisionism following World War II. The national bourgeoisie of Yugoslavia captured power from the Party before a solid economic basis for socialism had been established. The Yugoslav national bourgeoisie went to work to establish capitalism in Yugoslavia by making a deal with US imperialism.
For its part of the deal, US imperialism supported the establishment of capitalism in Yugoslavia with massive “aid” in the first place. US imperialism soon made the Yugoslav revisionists completely dependent upon this “aid” and then began exporting large amounts of finance capital to Yugoslavia to directly exploit the people of Yugoslavia.
For its part of the deal, the national bourgeoisie of Yugoslavia encouraged the bourgeois nationalist forces within the rest of the Parties of the world – an effort to cause the Parties to abandon proletarian internationalism and betray the oppressed peoples who were rising in revolution. The revisionist, bourgeois nationalist line of the Tito renegades rallied the national bourgeois classes in the socialist countries and the opportunist elements in the Parties of the capitalist countries (including the Browderites, those who advocate tailing “their own” imperialists). Tito revisionism was a grave threat to the unity of the international communist movement based on proletarian internationalism – based on increasing support to the oppressed peoples.
For this reason, it was of great importance that the international communist movement struggle against Titoite revisionism on every front and thoroughly expose the class basis for this reactionary, capitulationist line within the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Stalin led the Cominform in the struggle against Titoite revisionism. In 1948 Liu Shao-chi, member of the Central Committee of the CPC, made an outstanding contribution to this struggle with his pamphlet, Internationalism and Nationalism.
In this pamphlet, Liu thoroughly exposed the class basis for Tito revisionism. Liu exposed the essence of this reactionary line as a betrayal of the oppressed peoples. He saw that:
“The aid of the Soviet Union, of the world proletariat and of the Communists is the most important condition for the victory of all nations in fighting for liberation from imperialist oppression, for national independence.”
He saw support to the oppressed peoples as essential to socialist countries and to Communist Parties in the capitalist countries if they are to continue to represent the interests of the proletariat and socialism. In this pamphlet, Liu exposed the danger of bourgeois nationalism within the socialist countries:
“…[a] if, after their own nation has rid itself of imperialist oppression, the Communists descend to a position of bourgeois nationalism, carrying out a policy of national self-interest and sacrificing the common international interests of the working people of all the nations of the world and of the proletariat to the interests of the upper strata of their own nation; [b] if they not only fail to oppose imperialism but on the contrary rely on imperialist aid to carry out aggression against other nations, and oppressing them or opposing proletarian internationalism with national conservatism, reject the international solidarity of the proletariat and the working people and oppose the Socialist Soviet Union – then all this is also a betrayal of the proletariat and of Communism, which helps the international imperialists and makes these traitors themselves a pawn of the imperialists. The Tito group in Yugoslavia is now taking this path.” [Liu Shao-chi, “Internationalism and Nationalism,” 1948]
Based on his polemic against Titoite revisionism, Liu had in this pamphlet a clear understanding of the danger which the national bourgeois class in socialist countries poses to the dictatorship of the proletariat. The process of development that Liu describes in this quote casts a good deal of light on the present role of socialist countries in the world anti-imperialist struggle. The policy [in point b] of “rely[ing] on imperialist aid to carry out aggression against other nations and [to] oppress them” is the policy of Soviet Revisionism today. In point [a]: “carrying out a policy of national self-interest and sacrificing the common international interests of the working people of all nations of the world and of the proletariat to the interests of the upper strata of their own nation” – this is the policy of the “Cultural Revolution” and a long way down the path to outright betrayal.
Due to the growing strength of bourgeois nationalist forces within the world’s Communist Parties following World War II, the dangers of revisionism were not clearly recognized and insufficient attention was paid to Stalin’s polemics against Titoite revisionism and to documents such as Liu’s “Internationalism and Nationalism.” This left the international Communist movement unprepared for the revisionist takeover of the CPSU by the Russian national bourgeoisie and the establishment of what is today the most dangerous enemy of the peoples of the world, the US-Soviet Alliance.
Soviet Revisionism: 20th Congress CPSU:
By 1956 the Russian national bourgeoisie had gained a strong foothold in the Soviet Party and government, having taken advantage of the confusion within the international movement and the Soviet Party following the tremendous victory over fascism in World War II. Under Stalin’s leadership before his death in 1953, the Communist Parties recognized US imperialism as the main enemy of the world’s peoples and the need to fight revisionism. Stalin led the fight against Tito’s collaboration with US imperialism. But it was never made entirely clear that the new main contradiction was between imperialism and the oppressed nations. The Russian national bourgeoisie struggled to gain the upper hand with the line that the main contradiction was between the socialist countries and the US and that the main task was therefore to establish peaceful co-existence and build up the socialist countries.
By 1956 the national bourgeoisie had gained enough strength to seize control of the Soviet Party and government at the 20th Congress CPSU. They immediately set about consolidating their power.
To put their line over on the world’s peoples and the international Communist movement, Khrushchev and his gang had to destroy the memory of Stalin, his internationalist leadership and his work on the national question.
In 1956 at the 20th Congress CPSU, Khrushchev slandered Stalin. In so doing, he attacked Marx, Engels, Lenin, Marxism-Leninism, the Bolshevik Party, the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union, the heroic Soviet people, the world’s peoples, and their successful struggles against world capitalism. In slandering Stalin, the great Marxist-Leninist theoretician on the national question, Khrushchev negated the national liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples (which had become the main contradiction) and thus negated proletarian internationalism. He denied the responsibility of the Marxist-Leninists of the world to support in every way the struggles of the oppressed nations against US imperialism. He denied the necessity of proletarian leadership of united front (national liberation front) movements in the oppressed nations – the only leadership capable of achieving a thorough national democratic revolution, that leads to socialism. In slandering Stalin, Khrushchev negated the significance of individual socialist countries as revolutionary base areas for the world revolution.
In its place, Khrushchev proposed sacrifice of the oppressed peoples – that is, bourgeois nationalism in the name of socialism – and national construction (capitalist restoration). *
[fn. * Recently self-critical documents by Indonesian comrades have correctly pointed to the 20th Congress CPSU as the turning point in the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) toward an opportunist line of peaceful transition in Indonesia. The effect of this line was the liquidation of an independent political role for the PKI and total reliance on Sukarno, the representative of the national bourgeoisie, to carry through the democratic revolution. This revisionist line led to the terrible defeat for the Indonesian people and Marxism-Leninism which culminated in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Indonesian people.]
On the basis of his slander of Stalin, Khrushchev put forth his line of “peaceful co-existence” with imperialism and welcomed the notorious collaborator, Tito, back into the ranks of the international movement.
What is the essence of the Khrushchev line put forward at the 20th Congress CPSU?
Khrushchev’s line was in essence a deal which he, as the representative of the privileged intelligentsia, the government bureaucrats – the Russian national bourgeoisie – was making with US imperialism at the expense of the Soviet people and the oppressed peoples of the world. For their part, Khrushchev and his ilk would abandon the struggle against world capitalism headed by US imperialism. They would lead the Soviet Party down the revisionist path and they would use the great influence of the CPSU(B) plus military and economic pressures to mislead the world Marxist-Leninist movement into capitulation to US imperialism.
For its part of the deal, US imperialism would allow the Russian national bourgeoisie and its Khrushchevite representatives to carry out peaceful national construction (capitalist restoration). In other words, US imperialism would allow Khrushchev and the Russian capitalists to expand and develop exploitation of the Soviet workers with temporary immunity from US imperialist efforts to capture the Soviet market.
Today the Soviet Union is not merely a partner in the crimes against the oppressed peoples by US imperialism; it is becoming a rival imperialist country. An important reason for the Soviet revisionists’ sham support to the Arab people is their desire to gain a foothold in the area for exploitation of the Arab people and of their oil and other resources.
Khrushchev’s slanders of Stalin at the 20th Congress CPSU were the signal to US imperialism that the Russian national bourgeoisie had accepted its terms. The spirit of Camp David, the Eisenhower-Khrushchev, the Kennedy-Khrushchev and the Johnson-Kosygin meetings have brought the US-Soviet Alliance more and more into joint action in Vietnam, Cuba, the Middle East, Indonesia, Latin America and, through the revisionist CPUSA, in the Afro-American nation.
Thus today, the US-Soviet Alliance is the most dangerous enemy of the world’s peoples.
In order to fulfill their part of the deal with US imperialism, the Soviet revisionists set about to mislead the international Marxist-Leninist movement into betraying the oppressed nations.
After receiving support for the 20th Congress CPSU slanders of J.V. Stalin from several Communist Parties, including the CPC at its 8th Congress, the CPSU called for a meeting of the 12 Communist Parties of the socialist countries in 1957. The Declaration issued at this meeting endorsed the 20th Congress CPSU and again set forth the line of Khrushchev revisionism.
The 12 Party Declaration of 1957 was an endorsement by all the socialist countries, by the Communist Parties in power, of the US-Soviet Alliance for world domination. Because of the leading role played by the Parties of Socialist countries in the international Marxist-Leninist movement, the 12 Party Declaration paved the way for the endorsement of the US-Soviet Alliance by the entire international Marxist-Leninist movement.
The Statement issued by the 81 Communist Parties in 1960 was the ratification by all the Communist Parties of the world of the deal reached between Soviet revisionism and US imperialism.
The 81 Party Statement identifies the main contradiction in today’s world as the contradiction between the socialist camp and the capitalist camp. In the capitalist countries, it identifies the main contradiction as that between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The 81 Party Statement holds that in the socialist countries there are no longer any contradictions – that the danger of capitalist restoration there is non-existent. In essence, this political line denies that there is a common enemy, a need for a common line of struggle; it denies proletarian internationalism.
In this period the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations is the weakest link in the imperialist chain of exploitation and oppression. By negating the primary importance of this contradiction and leading the international Marxist-Leninist movement away from support for the oppressed peoples, the Soviet revisionists betray the proletariat of all nations and the vast majority of the peoples of the world.
The main task for all revolutionaries in this period is to support the struggle of the oppressed nations against imperialism. The task for socialist countries is to serve as revolutionary base areas offering ideological, organizational, economic and military support to the oppressed peoples. The 81 Party Statement, the line of Soviet revisionism, denies this most important task by claiming that the main contradiction is between socialism and capitalism and that therefore the main task of all revolutionary forces is to support the construction of the socialist countries.
According to the 81 Party Statement, US imperialism is not the main threat to the world’s peoples; rather the main danger is “war.” Wars of national liberation are thus to be prevented lest they interfere with the national construction of the socialist countries. The 81 Party Statement calls for “peaceful co-existence” with US imperialism – in reality – capitulation to US imperialist expansion and exploitation.
The essence of the 81 Party Statement is to take the heat off of the main enemy of the world’s peoples, US imperialism and its chief ally, Soviet revisionism; to isolate the Marxist-Leninist movements in socialist countries and in imperialist countries from their main source of strength in this period, the national liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples, and to isolate the oppressed nations in their heroic liberation struggles from the leadership of an international Marxist-Leninist movement and especially from the leadership potential of People’s China.
Chairman Mao has said that:
“Ever since the monster of imperialism came into being, the affairs of the world have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to separate them. We Chinese have the spirit to fight the enemy to the last drop of our blood…. But this does not mean that we can dispense with international support; no, today international support is necessary for the revolutionary struggle of any nation or country.” [“On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” 1935]
In the epoch of imperialism, the revolutionary struggle of any nation requires international support.
To follow the line of the 81 Party Statement is to prevent effective international unity. This revisionist line leads only to defeats for the revolutionary forces of the world. The 81 Party Statement means isolation and serious setbacks for oppressed nations, defeats for the proletariat of the capitalist countries, and capitalist restoration in the socialist countries.
Task of the proletariat of the imperialist countries:
The task of the proletariat of the capitalist and imperialist countries is, according to the 81 Party Statement, to wage a peaceful “struggle” against the “handful” of monopolists for an extension of imperialist “democracy.” According to the Statement, the job of the proletariat of the imperialist countries is not to mobilize support for the oppressed nations super-exploited by imperialism, but to convince the great majority of the people of the capitalist countries, many of whom are living off the crumbs from the imperialist table, that they would enjoy greater luxury under socialism.
“All sections of the population, with the exception of a handful of exploiters, stand to gain from the victory of the new social system, and this must be brought home to millions of people in the capitalist countries.” [81 Party Statement]
Evidently, even the imperialists would soon be persuaded of the superiority of socialism, for the 81 Party Statement pictures them peacefully giving up their profits and ceasing to be imperialists when the “majority” of the capitalist countries demands this:
“Today in a number of capitalist countries, the working class, headed by its vanguard, has the opportunity, given a united working class, and popular front or other workable forms of agreement and political cooperation between the different parties and public organizations to unite a majority of the people, win state power without civil war and ensure the transfer of the basic means of production to the hands of the people.”
This program for the proletariat of the capitalist countries is support for the labor aristocracy within the working class movements of the imperialist countries, a class which is at the present thoroughly bought off by imperialism. Today the labor aristocracy in the imperialist countries works to keep things “quiet on the home front” so that imperialism can continue to expand its super-exploitation of the oppressed nations. The line of the 81 Party Statement on the proletariat in the imperialist countries is designed to rally the proletariat of those countries behind imperialism and against the oppressed peoples; it is designed to provide cannon fodder for the imperialist armies of occupation.
Task of the proletariat of the oppressed nations:
The fate of imperialism is sealed – the oppressed nations will win their struggle for national liberation. But under the influence of modern revisionism, individual oppressed nations will continue to suffer terrible defeats as have already been experienced in Indonesia and the Arab nation.
The line of the 81 Party Statement is one of handing over leadership of the national liberation struggles to the national bourgeoisie of these countries. And, according to the 81 Party Statement, the main method of achieving liberation is through “negotiation” with US imperialism.
“The working class, which has played an outstanding role in the fight for national liberation, demands the complete and consistent accomplishment of the tasks of the national, anti-imperialist democratic revolution, and resists reactionary attempts to check social progress.
“The solution of the peasant problem, which directly affects the interests of the vast majority of the population, is of the utmost importance to these countries. Without radical agrarian reforms, it is impossible to solve the food problem and sweep away the remnants of medievalism which fetter the development of the productive forces in agriculture and industry. The creation and extension on a democratic basis of the state sector independent from foreign monopolies and gradually becoming a determining factor in the country’s economy is of great importance in these countries.” [81 Party Statement]
According to the 81 Party Statement, after “liberation” is achieved, the task of the proletariat of the oppressed nations is to concentrate all its efforts on expanding the national bourgeoisie’s sector of the economy, to urge agrarian reform and to protect the “democratic” aspects of the national bourgeois regime. If the national bourgeoisie runs into conflict with imperialism, it is to call on the Russian national bourgeoisie to work out a “peace.”
The 81 Party Statement makes it very clear that the national liberation movements should not be led by the Party of the proletariat and that the Marxist-Leninists of the oppressed nations can expect no support from the international Marxist-Leninist movement headed by the CPSU.
Task of the proletariat of the socialist countries:
The task of the socialist countries as put forth in the 81 Party Statement is to hand over power to the national bourgeoisie of these countries, betray the oppressed peoples and establish an alliance with US imperialism.
According to the 81 Party Statement there are no longer any class contradictions in the socialist countries and therefore the main task of the proletariat of the socialist countries is to concentrate all its efforts on national construction to outdo the imperialist world:
“…the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the socialist countries consider it their internationalist duty… to carry out… the historic task of surpassing the world capitalist system in overall industrial and agricultural production and then outstrip the economically most developed capitalist countries in per capita output and in the standard of living.” [81 Party Statement]
As a smokescreen for capitalist restoration and as a bribe to the Soviet people, Khrushchev promised that the Soviet Union would achieve “communism in twenty years.”
Carrying out this policy inevitably means a take-over by the national bourgeoisie and capitalist restoration for the socialist countries. It is precisely because they have abandoned the Lenin-Stalin line of proletarian internationalism that seven socialist countries have gone back to capitalism.
No socialist country can consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and build a socialist economy if it betrays those in the vanguard of the struggle against the main enemy of mankind. It is precisely because they have applied the line of the 81 Party Statement which claims that they can carry out their internationalist responsibilities by abandoning the struggles of the oppressed peoples against imperialism that these countries have rapidly gone back down the capitalist path.
The 81 Party Statement is a call for unity of the international Communist movement in support of the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the establishment of the US-Soviet Alliance for world domination. It is an attack on proletarian internationalism, an effort to separate the struggles of the proletariat of the socialist and capitalist countries from the struggles of the oppressed peoples. Because the most important contradiction of today’s world is negated, the program that follows can only be one of defeat for the proletariat of all nations. The line of the 81 Party Statement, the line of Soviet revisionism in collusion with US imperialism, is one of defeat for the international proletariat and oppressed peoples and victories for imperialism.
In 1960, all 81 Communist Parties of the world capitulated to the bribery and coercion of the Soviet revisionists. The 81 Party Statement still stands as the written program of the international Marxist-Leninist movement.
The CPC’s Role
As the oppressed peoples moved to the forefront of the struggle against imperialism following World War II, the CPC was replacing the CPSU as the leading Party in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. This meant that the line and actions of the CPC had an increasingly great influence upon the anti-imperialist peoples of the world, especially the oppressed peoples.
The CPC’s approach to the US-Soviet Alliance, the greatest danger facing the world’s peoples today, has not been a consistent one; it has reflected the class struggle going on within China. The CPC endorsed the 20th Congress CPSU of 1956, the 12 Party Declaration of 1957 and the 81 Party Statement of 1960: then in the early 1960’s the CPC led a struggle against modern revisionism, a struggle severely limited by the fact that the CPC did not self-critically repudiate the line of the 81 Party Statement. In these events can be found the roots of the present “Cultural Revolution” which represents the dominance of the line of the Chinese national bourgeoisie within the CPC.
The success of the Chinese revolution in 1949 was a great victory for the peoples of the world. It was a great step toward total victory over imperialism. The weaknesses in the line of the CPC toward the national bourgeoisie did not become important until the changes in the international situation following World War II projected the CPC into the position of the leading Party and China into the position of the main revolutionary base area for the world’s peoples in their battles against imperialism.
Because of the weaknesses of the CPC’s line toward the national bourgeoisie following the revolution, (1) the national bourgeoisie occupied a powerful position within the Chinese state and exerted a significant influence upon the CPC and (2) the CPC was not prepared for bitter struggle against the national bourgeoisie and its line. As the CPC replaced the CPSU as the leading Party, the national bourgeoisie of China fought against the recognition of this fact by the CPC.
The Chinese national bourgeoisie fought to further consolidate its influence in the Chinese economy, State and Party, and struggled for concentration on national construction at the expense of the oppressed peoples. The Chinese national bourgeoisie played down the struggle led by the Cominform and J.V. Stalin against Titoite revisionism and tried to bury Liu Shao-chi’s great contribution to this struggle, “Internationalism and Nationalism” (1948). The result was that the CPC did not sufficiently carry on the struggle against Yugoslav revisionism, pathfinder for modern revisionism, after Stalin’s death in 1953.
The Chinese national bourgeoisie welcomed Khrushchev’s 20th Congress slanders of Stalin, the Marxist-Leninist leader who had made the greatest contributions to Marxism-Leninism on the national question and who led in the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union. The capitulation of the CPC to the Russian national bourgeoisie on the question of Stalin greatly strengthened the influence of the Chinese national bourgeoisie and its line on the CPC. In 1956 the CPC endorsed reconciliation with the Yugoslav national bourgeoisie and its revisionist line:
“The attitude taken by Comrade Tito and other leading comrades of the Yugoslav League of Communists towards Stalin’s mistakes and other related questions cannot be regarded by us as well-balanced and objective. It is understandable that the Yugoslav comrades bear a particular resentment against Stalin’s mistakes. In the past, they made worthy efforts to stick to socialism under difficult conditions. Their experiments in the democratic management of economic enterprises and other socialist organizations have also attracted attention. The Chinese people welcome the reconciliation between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries on the one hand, and Yugoslavia on the other, as well as the establishment and development of friendly relations between China and Yugoslavia. Like the Yugoslav people, the Chinese people hope that Yugoslavia will become ever more prosperous and powerful on the way to socialism.” [“The Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat,” Peking, 1956]
After receiving significant international support for de-Stalinization, particularly from the CPC, the CPSU called for a meeting of the 12 Parties of socialist countries. At this meeting, the CPC had to either self-critically repudiate its endorsement of the 20th Congress CPSU and recognize its leading responsibility to the international proletariat or further capitulate to Soviet revisionism.
The CPC put up some struggle against Soviet revisionism but because of its capitulation to de-Stalinization and reconciliation with Titoite revisionism, the CPC was unprepared to take a principled Marxist-Leninist position in opposition to the line of Soviet revisionism. As the leading Party, the CPC has a special responsibility for the capitulation of the socialist camp to Soviet Revisionism in 1957.
The Russian national bourgeoisie then called for a meeting of the entire Marxist-Leninist movement – 81 Parties – for 1960. At this meeting the CPC also put up some struggle against the line of Soviet revisionism, and the CPSU made some compromises on certain formulations. Sentences were included in the 81 Party Statement which identified US imperialism as the main enemy and national liberation as a significant contradiction facing imperialism, but these only served as a smokescreen for the line of Soviet revisionism – the line of betrayal of the oppressed peoples and capitulation to US imperialism. Again, the CPC as the objectively leading Party in the international Marxist-Leninist movement holds special responsibility for the capitulation of the international Marxist-Leninist movement in 1960 to the line of Soviet revisionism.
Throughout this period an intense struggle was taking place within the CPC – a struggle between those forces representing the Chinese proletariat which wanted the CPC to acknowledge its leading responsibility to the international Marxist-Leninist movement and lead the oppressed peoples to decisive victory over imperialism on the one hand; and those forces representing the Chinese national bourgeoisie which wanted the CPC to abandon the oppressed peoples and the international proletariat and leave the way open for capitalist restoration at home on the other. Every capitulation by the CPC to Soviet revisionism strengthened the hand of the Chinese national bourgeoisie within the CPC and Chinese state. The CPC’s endorsement of the 81 Party Statement was the Chinese national bourgeoisie’s greatest weapon against the proletarian forces in the CPC.
As events made the vicious, pro-imperialist nature of Soviet revisionism more clear to those in the CPC who identified with the oppressed peoples and the international proletariat, struggle against the line of the 81 Party Statement increased within the CPC. From 1960-1965, the CPC made serious efforts to break with Soviet revisionism:
The CPC initiated the “Sino-Soviet Split” in 1961 (though diplomatic and cultural relations are still maintained). The CPC denounced the US-Soviet Alliance for world domination and began to forge a line of struggle against imperialism in this epoch – a line of support for the oppressed peoples based on proletarian internationalism.
The CPC exposed the Soviet line of “peaceful co-existence” as a policy which “caters to imperialism and abets the imperialist policies of aggression and war… seeks to replace the proletarian revolution with pacifism and thus renounces proletarian internationalism.” [“Peaceful Co-existence: Two Diametrically Opposed Policies,” Peking, 1963]
On the basis of struggle against Soviet revisionism, the.CPC began to recognize that the main contradiction is now between imperialism and the oppressed nations and that the oppressed nations must have proletarian leadership:
“The various types of contradiction in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; These are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centers of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism. In a sense, therefore, the whole cause of the international proletariat hinges on the outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the people of these areas.” [Letter of the Central Committee, CPC, 1963]
In 1964, the CPC asked the CPSU:
“You brazenly cover up the bloody realities of the cruel suppression of the national liberation and popular revolutionary movements by imperialism and reaction and spread the illusion that the oppressed nations and peoples can achieve victory by peaceful means. Isn’t it obvious that you are trying to lull the vigilance of the people, pacify the angry masses with empty promises about the bright future and oppose their revolution, thus in fact acting as accomplices of imperialism and the reactionaries of all countries?” [“The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchev’s Revisionism,” Peking, 1964]
In the same document, the CPC began to recognize the need for an ideological break with the line of the 81 Party Statement:
“We hold that in the interest of the revolutionary cause and of the international proletariat and in order to prevent the revisionists from misusing these programmatic documents of the fraternal Parties, it is necessary to amend the formulation of the question [of peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism – YFS] in the Declaration and Statement through joint consultation of Communist and Workers’ Parties so as to conform to the revolutionary principle of Marxism-Leninism.”
Unfortunately, the CPC did not self-critically repudiate the line of the 81 Party Statement so it could not thoroughly break from or expose the line of modern revisionism – the line of the Chinese national bourgeoisie and of the national bourgeoisie of all socialist countries.
The Chinese “Cultural Revolution”
Why the Temporary Triumph of Chinese Revisionism?
After the victory of the Chinese Revolution in 1949, proletarian dictatorship was not exercised over the national bourgeoisie and serious steps were not taken to pave the way for the elimination of the national bourgeoisie as a class. Lenin’s warning that the struggle of the national bourgeoisie increases tenfold after the success of the revolution was not heeded.
The fact that the CPC from 1956 on led the international Marxist-Leninist movement in its capitulation to the Soviet revisionist line of collaboration with US imperialism was integrally connected with the CPC’s internal policy of co-existing with the Chinese national bourgeoisie. Each capitulation to Soviet revisionism by the CPC strengthened the role of the Chinese national bourgeoisie within the Chinese Party and State.
Between 1960-1965, efforts were made by proletarian elements in the CPC to break with Soviet revisionism ideologically. But the economic, i.e. the class, basis of the line of Soviet revisionism was not thoroughly exposed: De-Stalinization and the deal of the Russian national bourgeoisie with US imperialism were not thoroughly exposed. A new CPC Congress was never called and today the 8th Congress of the CPC, held in 1957, which uncritically supported Khrushchev’s 20th Congress CPSU line, is still the ideological and organizational program for the CPC.
“The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchev’s Revisionism”  and “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement”  made great strides toward self-criticism on the 81 Party Statement. In August 1965, Lin Piao’s “On People’s War” was published, which stressed the international ties of the oppressed peoples in the struggle against US imperialism. These documents were a step toward re-establishing a proletarian internationalist outlook within the CPC. On the basis of the proletarian internationalist line, the CPC would have established a solid foundation for its own self-criticism and would have been able to smash ideologically the bourgeois nationalist essence of Soviet revisionism.
However, the massacre of over half a million Indonesian people, the destruction of the PKI and the establishment of a military fascist regime in Indonesia, the means by which US and Russian imperialism have conquered this vast area for the exploitation of the 105 million Indonesian people and their land, was a momentous setback for the world anti-imperialist struggle.
As the Central Committee of the PKI has self-critically pointed out in recent documents, the PKI had taken ideological leadership from the 20th Congress CPSU in developing into a “tail” of the Indonesian bourgeoisie in Nasacom, in relying on Sukarno to bring Indonesia to socialism through “peaceful transition.” The CPC, which has never broken with the 20th Congress CPSU ideologically, was incapable of leading the PKI in effective struggle against the Khrushchev revisionist line.
The setback in Indonesia aroused two main classes in China to action:
(1) The proletarian forces demanded that the CPC recognize its international responsibilities. A letter to Chairman Mao by students of Peking No. 1 Girls’ Middle School [“Peking Review” No. 26, 1966] on smashing the examination system is an important example of this struggle for internationalism. This document ties together the struggle for proletarian internationalism with the struggle for a proletarian policy on education and in solving Chinese cultural and domestic problems generally.
The Marxist-Leninists in the CPC recognized that the defeat for Indonesia was a great defeat for the Chinese people and for the cause of world socialism. They recognized that the interest of the Chinese masses lies in resolutely supporting all struggle against US imperialism and that the anti-imperialist peoples share a common future. Chinese Marxist-Leninists recognize that only as long as proletarian internationalism dominates the CPC and Chinese government policy will proletarian dictatorship be consolidated. They realize that when a socialist country turns its back on the oppressed peoples and the struggle for world socialism it is only a matter of time before capitalist restoration occurs and the masses are returned to their former misery.
(2) The Chinese national bourgeoisie has no concern for the interests of the Chinese masses. The Chinese national bourgeoisie lives only in the hopes of seizing power from the CPC; only in the hopes of conquering the Chinese people and their land in order to exploit them for their own private profit.
The Chinese national bourgeoisie, heartened by the massive defeat for the people’s forces, demanded that the CPC turn its back on international problems, abandon its leading responsibility in initiating criticism and self-criticism in relation to the PKI, and focus all its energies on national construction.
National Bourgeois Initiative in the “Cultural Revolution”
In the struggle that developed within China around the so-called “Cultural Revolution,” the representatives of the Chinese national bourgeoisie had several initial advantages over the Chinese proletariat. In addition to the existence of old habits and customs among the people (which will continue to exist to some extent for several generations after world capitalism is completely defeated), the Chinese national bourgeoisie had substantial independent power because of the co-existence policy taken toward them by the CPC. The short-run power of US imperialism and Soviet revisionism based especially on their triumph in Indonesia, together with these other factors, made the national bourgeois class an extremely powerful and even an organized base for an effort to seize power from the CPC.
In addition, the fact that the 81 Party Statement of 1960 was still considered the international program for Marxist-Leninist Parties meant that the line of the national bourgeoisie would meet no effective resistance at least initially. The aim of the Chinese national bourgeoisie is to establish a deal with US imperialism whereby they will be guaranteed the opportunity to “promote production” and “quickly establish leadership” in agriculture and industry, be able to seize power from the CPC with the “Revolutionary Three-in-One Combination” to exploit the 700,000,000 Chinese people for their own profit!! This aim is identical with the international program of the 81 Party Statement.
The 81 Party Statement
The 81 Party Statement of 1960 which remains the international “Marxist-Leninist” program (for the CPC as well as for the CPSU) presents the basic framework for the line of the national bourgeoisie in socialist countries, the line of modern revisionism.
The 81 Party Statement evaluation of the international situation is that the main contradiction facing world capitalism is the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. In this situation, the main form of “struggle” is “peaceful co-existence.” The main task of the international proletariat is to support the national construction of the socialist countries, particularly of the Soviet Union. Lip service was paid to the struggles of the oppressed peoples for national liberation in order to compromise the genuine Marxist-Leninists led by Albanian and Chinese comrades, who called for support to these important struggles and in order to compromise the proletarians of the oppressed nations.
Denying the need for a Marxist-Leninist leading program and relying on spontaneity (which means relying on the national bourgeoisie for leadership of the oppressed nations) is the guiding principle for proletarians of the oppressed nations set forth in the 81 Party Statement. In order to facilitate the national construction of the socialist countries, “peaceful co-existence” is essential, and national-liberation movements dominated by the national bourgeoisie do not disrupt the status quo “peace.”
According to the 81 Party Statement, contradictions no longer exist within socialist countries. The “culture of the whole people,” the “Party of the whole people” and the “state of the whole people” can be substituted for proletarian culture, the Party of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and for the unifying Marxist-Leninist outlook – proletarian internationalism.
The 81 Party Statement of 1960 is the ideological program for the international Communist movement patterned on and in support of the modern revisionist domestic and foreign policy of the Russian national bourgeoisie and their spokesman, Khrushchev. It is the line of the deal consummated at the 20th Congress CPSU between US imperialism and the Russian national bourgeoisie.
The Revisionist “Cultural Revolution” line is the line of the Chinese national bourgeoisie:
Because China is the red base area of world revolution, US imperialism urgently seeks to make a deal with the national bourgeoisie of China. At present, the Chinese national bourgeoisie is, through the “Cultural Revolution,” achieving and consolidating power in the Chinese Party and state. If this is accomplished, a deal between US imperialism and the Chinese national bourgeoisie will be established and US imperialism will be able for a long time to come to continue its high living at the expense of the oppressed peoples.
To pave the way for this deal, the Chinese national bourgeoisie will mislead the oppressed peoples and all the anti-imperialist peoples by carrying out the essence of Soviet revisionist policies for betrayal of national liberation struggles and for appeasement of the US imperialist beast. In order to achieve the economic domination of their class, to carry out wide-spread exploitation of the Chinese working class and poor peasantry, the Chinese national bourgeoisie will lull their own people into a false sense of security concerning the danger of US imperialism and concerning the importance of their international solidarity with the oppressed peoples and all anti-imperialist peoples.
Tactics and Strategy of the “Cultural Revolution”
A. Attack on Proletarian Internationalism:
On August 12, 1966 the foreign policy statement of the “Cultural Revolution” was delivered: in this statement the “Cultural Revolution” leaders made it clear that China could and would build national “communism” regardless of what happened to the rest of the world. The “Cultural Revolution” leaders added that they would give aid that they deemed appropriate to struggling peoples but that this aid would be disinterested and unilateral.
The “Cultural Revolution’s” August 12 Statement denies the common cause of all peoples struggling against imperialism and for socialism, the necessity for international solidarity which was so stressed by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Bourgeois nationalism was adopted as the main content of Chinese foreign and domestic policy.
The Chinese national bourgeoisie’s analysis of the relationship of forces in this period is the theoretical basis of the “Cultural Revolution” line. According to the “Cultural Revolution” as well as Khrushchev, the main contradiction facing world capitalism in this period is between the socialist camp and the capitalist camp. The difference here is that the “Cultural Revolution” substitutes China as the leader of the socialist countries in place of the Soviet Union.
B. “Cultural Revolution” Betrayal of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in China:
The Chinese national bourgeoisie’s domestic policy is designed to facilitate the destruction of the proletarian CPC and the establishment of the national bourgeoisie as the ruling class of China. If this is accomplished, the Chinese people will experience the capitalist exploitation that the Soviet people now experience. If this is accomplished, the Chinese national bourgeoisie will establish an alliance with US imperialism, concretizing its betrayal of the oppressed peoples.
The “Cultural Revolution” domestic policy is based on the concept that the main contradiction in the world is between the socialist camp and the capitalist camp and that the main task of the Chinese people is therefore to “promote production” – any kind of production! This “classless” formulation is designed to screen the fact that the “Cultural Revolution” is not talking about socialist production geared to the needs of the Vietnamese and other national liberation fighters but about capitalist restoration based on capitulation to US imperialism and betrayal of the oppressed peoples.
“‘The Chinese people have lofty aspirations and ability. They will certainly catch up with and surpass the advanced world levels in the not too distant future.’ [Apparently from Mao] There is no doubt that we will leave all imperialist and revisionist countries far behind!” [editorial department of Wenhui Bao, Jiefang Ribao and Life of the Party Branch, “Peking Review” No. 37, 1967, p. 14]
On to Communism at the expense of the oppressed peoples! – such was the domestic policy of the Soviet Union as put forth in the 81 Party Statement and such is the domestic policy of the “Cultural Revolution.”
Once it is established by the “Cultural Revolution” that the main task of the Chinese people is to “promote production” of any kind, then class analysis of society is no longer necessary to distinguish friends and enemies:
“The 23-article document and the 16-point document drawn up under the personal guidance of Chairman Mao both clearly pointed out that the great majority of cadres are good or comparatively good; unity with more than 95 percent of the cadres should be gradually achieved; the policy of ‘learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones, curing the sickness to save the patient’ should be adopted towards cadres who have committed mistakes; and the main target of attack is the handful of Party people in authority taking the capitalist road.” [“Hold High the Proletarian Revolutionary Banner of Criticism and Repudiation” by Renmin Ribao, “Peking Review” No. 16, 1967, p. 5]
“To rely on the Left is even more at one with arousing the masses on an extensive scale. Only by being good at discovering the Left, developing and expanding its ranks and firmly relying on the revolutionary Left can the most reactionary Rightists be thoroughly isolated, the middle elements won over and the majority united during the movement and the unity of more than 95 percent of the cadres and more than 95 percent of the masses be finally achieved by the end of the movement.” [Hongqi, “Peking Review” No. 34, 1966, p. 20]
The “classless” terms such as “good,” “comparatively good,” “Left” and the like are a smokescreen behind which the national bourgeois class is consolidating its power.
The “Cultural Revolution” is following the Khrushchev and 81 Party Statement line that class contradictions have ceased to exist in socialist countries. One aspect of this line is that not imperialism, not the remnants of hostile classes within China, but the “classless” “handful of capitalist roaders” is the main enemy. Another important aspect of the Khrushchev, 81 Party Statement and “Cultural Revolution” line on socialist countries is the “classless” formulation of the “Three-in-One Combination” to replace the Party and seize control of the State in China.
1. Handful: On August 8, 1966 the “Cultural Revolution’s” 16-Point Program was issued. This program did not even mention the existence of imperialism. The main enemy of the Chinese people is supposed to be a “handful” of capitalist roaders. To say that a “handful” of people constitute the main enemy is to deny that the peoples of the world have a common enemy, to deny that they have a common struggle and to deny the international obligations of People’s China to the oppressed peoples.
Furthermore, if a “handful” is the main enemy, then there is no need for the dictatorship of the proletariat and no need for the Party of the proletariat.
2. “Three-in-One Combination:” The “Cultural Revolution’s” “Revolutionary Three-in-One Combination” is the main organ of the national bourgeoisie’s plan for dissolution of the proletarian Party and of the dictatorship of the proletariat in China. The “Three-in-One provisional organ of power” is made up of “leaders of revolutionary mass organizations that truly represent the broad masses, the representatives of the People’s Liberation Army units stationed in the area and revolutionary leading cadres.”
The “Cultural Revolution” maintains that proletarian leadership is no longer necessary for the “dictatorship of the proletariat” – the masses can lead themselves:
“It is necessary to boldly arouse the masses and to let the masses themselves rise up in revolution, educate themselves, run their own affairs and liberate themselves.” [Renmin Ribao editorial, “Peking Review” No. 35, 1966, p. 14]
Thus the necessity of a proletarian Party, the mainstay of the dictatorship of the proletariat, is denied by the “Cultural Revolution.” It is replaced by the “Three-in-One Combination” which has destroyed the CPC apparatus throughout China. Thus the “Cultural Revolution” has effectively “seized power under the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
The “Three-in-One Combination” is the rough equivalent of the “Party of the whole people” and the “state of the whole people” concepts put forth by Khrushchev as part of the “On to Communism” (on to capitalism at the expense of the oppressed peoples) line at the 20th Congress CPSU in 1956.
China’s role as leading Party and state in the world revolution at the present time is based on its objective position as a formerly oppressed nation, liberated in a new democratic revolution led by the CPC in a large and populous nation. These objective factors make it difficult for the Chinese national bourgeoisie to achieve and hold power there.
For many months the “Peking Review” printed almost nothing about events in other parts of the world. Only after the “Three-in-One Combination” replaced the Party apparatus in most areas did the “Cultural Revolution” even mention the international situation. It does so now in order to carry out its much more important objective of capitulation to US imperialism and betrayal of the oppressed nations.
C. “Cultural Revolution” Betrayal of the Oppressed Nations:
Whereas the actual relation of forces in the world demands that the socialist camp provide all-out support for the struggle of the oppressed peoples, the “Cultural Revolution” line actually demands that the oppressed nations subordinate their struggles to the interests of People’s China.
In the period since China has become the red base area of world revolution, the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe (except for Albania) have degenerated into capitalist countries. The Soviet Union has become a Fifth Column in the international Marxist-Leninist movement, allying itself with US imperialism for world domination. The “Cultural Revolution” itself was initiated in the aftermath of the horrible massacre suffered in Indonesia. Since the “Cultural Revolution” began, the Arab peoples have suffered a terrible defeat in the Middle East. Yet the “Cultural Revolution” line is that the present international situation is overwhelmingly favorable for the revolutionary peoples.
“Working in collusion, the US imperialists and Soviet Revisionists have recently instigated the Burmese, Indonesian, Indian and other reactionaries and whipped up a fierce anti-China campaign.
“But this is merely a tiny adverse current in the excellent revolutionary situation in the world today…” [“It’s a Good Thing for Us That the Enemy Attacks China” by Renmin Ribao, “Peking Review” No. 35, 1967, p. 19]
“Even in places where anti-China activities are rampant, the reactionaries’ bayonets and prisons cannot prevent wide sections of the people from expressing their love for the great leader Chairman Mao and their admiration for China by various means.” [“We Have Friends All Over the World” by Renmin Ribao Commentator, “Peking Review” No. 35, 1967, p. 19]
According to the “Cultural Revolution,” no matter what class is in power, no matter how terrorized and exploited the oppressed peoples are, as long as they express their love for Chairman Mao and their “admiration for China,” the situation is excellent. No matter how difficult the situation of the oppressed peoples, as long as national construction is carried out in China, the international situation is excellent.
“In this excellent situation of an all-round increase in agricultural and industrial production, a new boom in the market has emerged, and the state of things in regard to state revenue and expenditure and foreign trade is also fine. All these are great victories for Mao Tse-tung’s thought, great victories for the proletarian revolutionary line represented by Chairman Mao, and brilliant achievements in the implementation of the Chinese Communist Party’s general line of going all out, aiming high and getting greater, quicker, better and more economical results in building socialism.” [“Great Achievements in China’s Socialist Construction” by Ti Kang, “Peking Review” No. 40, 1967, p. 15 – our emphasis]
“Mao Tse-tung’s Thought is the banner of our era.” – Lin Piao [“Peking Review” No. 46, 1967, p. 7]
“In particular, Mao Tse-tung’s thought has solved the question of continuing to make revolution and preventing the restoration of capitalism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It has ushered in a completely new era in the history of the development of Marxism-Leninism – the era of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought.” [“Peking Review” No. 46, 1967, p. 20]
This means that great victories for “Mao’s Thought” are those which come from national construction. Lin Piao counsels us that the banner of our era is Chinese national construction.
“We are convinced that all the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations of the world will take their own paths in light of their own countries’ conditions and seize final victory as the Chinese people did.” [Lin Piao’s speech, “Peking Review” No. 41, 1966]
Here Lin presents the old opportunist concept, exceptionalism. According to Lin, the proletarians and poor peasants of the oppressed nations have little or nothing to learn from the monumental revolutionary wars which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin or Mao or other liberation heroes participated in and wrote about.
The line of exceptionalism serves to isolate the national liberation struggles from each other precisely in the period in which co-ordination is prerequisite to victory and precisely in that period when the primary responsibility for initiating co-ordination of these struggles rests with the Chinese Party.
According to the “Cultural Revolution,” the proletarians in the oppressed nations should take leadership from the national bourgeoisie. Indeed, the “Cultural Revolution” has never even mentioned the importance of a steeled, tested Marxist-Leninist Party to the success of national liberation struggles. The “Three Banners” formulated by Mao which include a people’s army and a united front both led by the Marxist-Leninist Party has been completely negated.
“Once Mao Tse-tung’s thought – Marxism-Leninism at its highest in the present era – is grasped, the oppressed nations and peoples will, through their own struggles, be able to win liberation.” [“Peking Review” No. 46, 1967, p. 7]
Here Lin Piao tells the oppressed peoples that all that is necessary for them to achieve liberation is to grasp “Mao’s Thought” which is (according to Lin) mainly concerned with national construction.
What kind of struggle is the “Cultural Revolution” preparing the oppressed peoples for?
The “Cultural Revolution” approach to national liberation war is that these struggles should take place over a long period of time.
The “Cultural Revolution” hides this gradualist approach to national liberation behind the Marxist-Leninist concept developed by Comrade Mao and the CPC in the struggle against Japanese imperialism the concept ofprotracted war.
The use-of this concept by the “Cultural Revolution” is an obvious subterfuge because, as Mao teaches us, it is impossible to wage a protracted war when the situation is “overwhelmingly favorable” for one side or the other.
Thus the “Cultural Revolution” advises the oppressed nations to fight against the US-Soviet Alliance while isolated from other oppressed nations, to fight in a gradual fashion and to use their energies to admire Chinese national construction (symbolized by “Mao’s Thought”) which will some day overtake the construction in the imperialist and revisionist countries and presumably convince the imperialists and revisionists to change systems peacefully!!
According to the “Cultural Revolution,” Chinese national construction will bring world-wide victory provided the oppressed peoples keep US imperialism and Soviet revisionism engaged in “protracted” wars while China goes “On to Communism.”
“China’s great proletarian cultural revolution has opened the way for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the prevention of capitalist restoration and for the advance to communism. The fundamental experience of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ expresses the universal law of class struggle in the historical stage of the transition to communism following the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.” [Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao Editorial, “Peking Review” No. 46, 1967, p. 15]
Is this not Khrushchev’s “Communism in 20 years” in a new dress!!
Today the oppressed nations can achieve liberation only with a perspective of establishing co-ordination of the national liberation movements all over the world against the common enemy, US imperialism, and of achieving military victory over imperialism.
Whether the “Cultural Revolution” is discussing the situation in Vietnam, Thailand, India, Laos, the Congo(L), the Middle East, Brazil or in any other oppressed nation, the revisionist formula is always present; Victory is “inevitable” if Chinese national construction is supported by keeping the US-Soviet Alliance engaged in a “protracted struggle.”
During the course of the “Cultural Revolution,” a tremendous setback was suffered by the world anti-imperialist movement in the Israeli-imperialist war against the Arab people. The response of the “Cultural Revolution” to imperialist aggression in the Arab world has been to tail the line of the national bourgeois leaders of the Arab states.
The “Cultural Revolution” does not advocate the right of self-determination for the Arab peoples of Palestine and of other Arab territory now in the hands of the Israeli “white settlers” (as in South Africa) and US imperialism. The “Cultural Revolution” does not call for the destruction of the state of Israel as a necessary part of Arab liberation.
The “Cultural Revolution” does not call for the arming of the Arab masses with small arms to carry out people’s war which the present leadership of several Arab countries would not do because they would be immediately overthrown. The “Cultural Revolution” does not call for the release of the Communists and other revolutionaries from the prisons of the United Arab Republic, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab states. The “Cultural Revolution” of course does not even mention that Communist Parties should exist in Arab countries let alone lead the Arab liberation movement.
Instead, the “Cultural Revolution” tells the Arab peoples to “unite” behind the present leaders who cannot rely on the Arab peoples and have to instead rely on technical assistance and military weapons from the Soviet revisionists and thus led the Arab people to the terrible defeat in June.
The terrible setback suffered by the Indonesian people, the PKI and the world liberation movement in the bloody massacre that placed the Suharto-Nasution military junta in power in Indonesia changed the government of the 105 million Indonesian people from an anti-imperialist, though bourgeois-democratic, state which had struggled against the imperialist creation, Malaysia, had walked out of the United Nations and exposed it as an imperialist tool, had taken steps toward strengthening Afro-Asian anti-imperialist solidarity and which was an ally of People’s China; into a country hostile to the oppressed peoples, welcome to imperialist plunder and completely dominated by US imperialism and Soviet revisionism.
The Indonesian debacle was such a setback for the cause of world liberation and socialism that the Chinese national bourgeoisie began their massive offensive on the Chinese Party and State by launching the “Cultural Revolution.”
The PKI, which was decimated in the massacre, has been revitalized through a self-critical examination of their ideological errors in “tailing” Sukarno and Nasacom, believing that reliance on the national bourgeoisie would bring socialism to Indonesia “peacefully” and “gradually.” The PKI points out that the key to the peaceful transition line adopted by the PKI was their acceptance in 1956 of the 20th Congress CPSU line of Khrushchev revisionism.
The Chinese proletarian forces have to self-critically analyze the errors made by the CPC as the leading Party on the question of Indonesia. However, the “Cultural Revolution” makes no such self-criticism and minimizes the setback in Indonesia:
“As is well known, after usurping political power the Right-wing generals’ clique in Indonesia has carried out sanguinary massacres and mass arrests in this country of a thousand islands, and has perpetrated unbridled atrocities against China, against the Indonesian Communist Party and people. But even amid this fascist white terror, when we were in Indonesia we still felt the ardent love of the Indonesian people for the Chinese Communist Party and our respected and beloved leader Chairman Mao. Last October our correspondent in Indonesia returned to Djakarta from Peking. He carried a plaster statue of Chairman Mao, and when this was noticed by some Indonesians at the Djakarta airport, they shouted the name of Mao Tse-tung with deep emotion. Once when our comrade driver was studying the ‘Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung’ in the automobile, an Indonesian soldier saw the photo of Chairman Mao on the book cover; he raised his thumb and said repeatedly, ‘Mao Tse-tung, very good!’ These incidents took place in Indonesia, a country suffering under a reign of terror. They show how far-reaching is the influence of the Chinese revolution and Mao Tse-tung’s thought among the Indonesian people. It is an influence which the Indonesian reactionaries can never obliterate.” [by Hsinhua Correspondents, “Peking Review” No. 27, 1966, p. 14]
The new line of the PKI has been greatly influenced by Mao Tse-tung’s “Three Banners:” “A well-disciplined Party armed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism, using the method of self-criticism and linked with the masses of the people; an army under the leadership of such a Party; a united front of all revolutionary classes and all revolutionary groups under the leadership of such a Party.” The “Three Banners” policy combined with the self-critical approach particularly as it has appeared in the “Indonesian Tribune” published in Tirana, Albania is an excellent basis for forging ahead to victory.
Just as Soviet revisionism gives “aid” to the Arab peoples to maintain their influence and ability to mislead the Arab people, so too has the “Cultural Revolution” paid lip service to Mao’s Three Banners in order not to expose themselves to the PKI. A year after the “Cultural Revolution” began, People’s Albania and the “Indonesian Tribune” both stated their support for the “Cultural Revolution.” Since then, the programmatic documents of the PKI, while still mentioning the Three Banners policy, have used most of the space in praise of the “Cultural Revolution” instead of an analysis of the internal and international problems that the Indonesian revolution faces in implementing the “Three Banners” line.
This development is a step backwards and represents the tendency to succumb to pressures of the Chinese national bourgeoisie to subordinate the liberation struggles to the struggle for Chinese “national construction.” If this tendency is not corrected then the disastrous consequences of the peaceful transition line adopted in the aftermath of the 20th Congress CPSU which subordinated the Indonesian revolution to the interests of the US-Soviet Alliance will be repeated in Indonesia and throughout the world anti-imperialist movement.
Hong Kong is a city of China which is in the hands of British imperialism. The Chinese masses of Hong Kong, especially in the past few years, have staged many uprisings against British imperialism.
The influence of the “Cultural Revolution” on the Hong Kong uprisings is of course very great. Thus the question of how the struggle in Hong Kong is being waged truly reflects the line of the “Cultural Revolution” on liberation struggles throughout the world.
“Armed with Mao Tse-tung’s thought, the Hongkong workers, patriotic students and teachers and other compatriots from all circles displayed the dauntless, heroic mettle of the great Chinese people, unbending and fearless before the enemy’s brutal attack. When the killers were firing wooden projectiles at the patriotic students and teachers from about ten feet away, dozens of young people linked arms and recited the following quotation from Chairman Mao: ‘Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory.’ Shouting ‘Long Live Chairman Mao!’ they indignantly condemned the fascist brutalities of the British authorities…. One worker who had been hit and was bleeding, still managed to stick his head out when he was thrown into a police van, so that reporters could take pictures as evidence of the atrocities committed.” [“Patriotic Compatriots in Hongkong-Kowloon Valiantly Fight Against Persecution,” “Peking Review” No. 21, 1967, p. 16-17]
Is this not the most vulgar kind of pacifism and defeatism! Does this approach to liberation struggles not echo the Khrushchev betrayal of the oppressed peoples on the altar of Russian and US imperialist profits!!
Within the main contradiction today, the focal struggle is being waged by the heroic Vietnamese people against US imperialism.
The Vietnamese people and particularly the National Liberation Front in the south have been an inspiration to all the oppressed peoples. They have been a tremendous support, objectively, as a result of their destruction and devastation of so much of the US imperialist army and war machines to the Congolese(L) liberation forces, the Brazilian forces and etc. The accomplishments of the Vietnamese people and the NLF particularly are all the more remarkable because the Soviet Union, which supplies “aid,” is a liability acting as a Fifth Column of US imperialism while posing as an ally.
These accomplishments of the Vietnamese people reflect the tremendous strength of the oppressed nations and the strategic weakness of US imperialism.
How then has US imperialism been able to stay this long in Vietnam? Because the oppressed nations elsewhere have not waged liberation wars in co-ordination with the Vietnamese people. The main reason is that the international Marxist-Leninist movement, which must lead the new United Front against imperialism, with the oppressed nations as its core, is presently taking leadership from the “Cultural Revolution.”
The “Cultural Revolution” line on the Vietnamese liberation war is that the Vietnamese people should continue to fight indefinitely without support from the other oppressed nations, without active and all-out support fromPeople’s China and without an ideological and organizational break with Soviet Revisionism.
How can the “Cultural Revolution” take “joint action” with Soviet revisionism in Vietnam? How can the “Cultural Revolution” support the same line of the North Vietnam Workers Party as Soviet revisionism supports? – Because the line of the “Cultural Revolution” and Soviet revisionism are basically the same.
Soviet revisionism tells the Vietnam Workers Party to fight with the perspective of achieving negotiation, “peace talks” with “reasonable” US imperialism. The “Cultural Revolution” tells the Vietnamese people to fight on and on while waiting for the “great American people” to overthrow the Johnson government.
Contrary to the “Cultural Revolution” line, it is economic necessity which drives US imperialism to invade Vietnam and expand its war into all of Southeast Asia. It is the tin, rubber and other resources and more importantly the opportunity to gain control of the labor of 31 million Vietnamese people and ultimately the labor of the two-thirds of the world’s population located in Asia, which compels US imperialism to perpetrate its barbarous wars. US imperialism does not negotiate its super-profits. It is necessary to smash the US imperialist army of occupation in order to compel US imperialism to get out of Asia.
The Soviet revisionists want the Vietnamese people to negotiate with Johnson, their partner in the US-Soviet Alliance. The Chinese national bourgeoisie wants the Vietnamese to wait until the “great American people” vote Johnson out of office and vote in Kennedy or McCarthy with whom they might establish a US-China Alliance. Then the “Cultural Revolution” would openly advise the Vietnamese people to negotiate with the US imperialist beasts.
Contrary to the “Cultural Revolution” line, it is neither the “class contradictions” nor the “quarrels within the US ruling clique” that is the main force within the US on the side of Vietnamese liberation – the main force on the side of the Vietnamese people is the Afro-American national liberation movement. The present “US peace movement” is led by revisionists and Trotskyites, and petty-bourgeois students and professionals – a class which, in the chief imperialist country in the world, works on behalf of pacifism, of the “peace talks” fraud, of negotiating with predatory US imperialism. As has been observed, Johnson and US imperialism turn this “movement” off and on like a water faucet.
Failure of the “Cultural Revolution” to establish the oppressed nations struggles for liberation as the main contradiction facing imperialism means that the Afro-American liberation movement within the US is completely negated and the Afro-American people are advised to “tail” the white “aristocrats of labor.”
A genuine, effective anti-imperialist movement within the US capable of giving aid to the Vietnamese liberation movement can only be built on the basis of the Afro-American liberation movement; with predominantly Afro-American leadership. Such an anti-imperialist coalition would include the oppressed Puerto Rican nation and the oppressed Mexican American and American Indian populations as well as many poor whites. In the long run, working class whites and some middle class whites will be won over to this movement but they will not exercise leadership of the movement.
In Vietnam, Soviet revisionism and the “Cultural Revolution” do their best to prevent the Vietnam Workers Party and the NLF from making special direct appeals to the tremendous numbers of Afro-American soldiers now serving in the US imperialist army. Such an appeal is the key to a tremendous weakening of the US imperialist army of occupation and a great step toward the establishment of international solidarity among all the oppressed peoples and genuine victory for the Vietnamese people.
The line of the “Cultural Revolution” internationally is a line of lulling the oppressed peoples and the Marxist-Leninists on the real situation, the real tasks that the international proletariat and especially the oppressed nations face today.
Like the line of Khrushchev and the 81 Party Statement, the “Cultural Revolution” line gives lip service to support of the oppressed peoples, but fails to make support for the oppressed peoples the central, primary task and the orientation for all other work of the Chinese people and of the world Marxist-Leninist movement.
Instead, the “Cultural Revolution” tells the oppressed peoples and the Marxist-Leninists to jump on the “China first” bandwagon – that the road to victory based on Chinese national construction will be smooth and easy, that no united front policy is needed, that no Communist Parties are needed and that all that is needed is the little Red Book.
This policy for the oppressed nations is not an isolated error – an exception – for the “Cultural Revolution.” It is an integral part of the strategic policy of seizing and consolidating the dictatorship of the Chinese national bourgeoisie in People’s China and of establishing a rapprochement with US imperialism.
Chairman Mao Tse-tung – An Evaluation
The leaders of the “Cultural Revolution” have quite cleverly used the tremendous deserved prestige of Chairman Mao among the Chinese people and among all the oppressed peoples of the world to silence criticism of the line of the “Cultural Revolution.” The “Cultural Revolution” concept of “Mao’s thought” is the main vehicle for their negation of proletarian internationalism and the establishment of the China first policy.
The revisionist “Cultural Revolution” leaders have established the main internationalist duty of the Chinese people, Party and government to be the dissemination of “Mao’s Thought” throughout the world. The internationalist duty of Marxist-Leninists throughout the rest of the world is to follow Mao by supporting the domestic policy of the “Cultural Revolution,” to “promote [Chinese] production.”
Thus it has become necessary, in order to expose the revisionist essence of the “Cultural Revolution” line, to deal with the question of Mao Tse-tung the individual, Mao’s thought, i.e. his body of speeches and writings, and also with the use of the “Mao’s Thought” concept by the national bourgeoisie of China in their “Cultural Revolution.”
Mao Tse-tung and his Thinking:
Mao was of middle peasant background and was an early leading member of the CPC. He was an early advocate of concentrating Party energies in building rural base areas. However Mao did not become top leader of the CPC until 1935 during the Long March. It was in 1935 that Dimitroff put forth the United Front policy of Stalin and the Comintern. Based on this international Marxist Leninist line and policy, Mao led the CPC in the anti-Japanese struggle and on to victory against the US imperialist stooges, the Kuomintang.
It was in this period from 1935-1949 that the world-wide struggle against imperialism and for national liberation and socialism achieved the greatest victories that have so far been achieved over world capitalism. It was in this same period, as an important part of this world-wide struggle, that the Chinese Party and people achieved their greatest victories.
In 1935 Chairman Mao pointed out, summing up the new united front position adopted by the CPC, that:
“Ever since the monster of imperialism came into being, the affairs of the world have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to separate them…. Now, in the mounting tide of nation-wide struggle against Japan and of world-wide struggle against fascism, just wars will spread all over China and the globe. All just wars support each other…. Our war against Japan needs the support of the people of the whole world and, above all, the support of the people of the Soviet Union, which they will certainly give us because they and we are bound together in a common cause…. This provides a necessary condition for China’s victory in the war against Japan and for victory in the Chinese revolution.” [“On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” 1935]
It follows then that Mao’s classic contributions to Marxism-Leninism, among them “On Contradiction” and “On Practice,” “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” “The Three Constantly Read Articles,” “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art,” his writings on the tactics and strategy of people’s war and over 3½ of the 4-volume set of his “Selected Works” were written during this period of unprecedented victory for the Chinese Revolution and unprecedented victory for the world revolution under the international leadership of Stalin and the CPSU(B).
In the period since the victory of revolution in China, the writings of Mao (those published in English) do not meet the problems confronting People’s China in a consistent Marxist-Leninist fashion.
On the question of Stalin: in 1953 Mao called Stalin the “great friend of the Chinese people” but then in 1956 he endorsed the 20th Congress CPSU slanders of Stalin and the establishment of Khrushchev’s revisionist peaceful co-existence, peaceful transition line.
There is also Mao’s participation in the Moscow 12 Party Declaration of 1957 and the 81 Party Statement of 1960. These documents for which Mao, as the leader of the CPC, bears great responsibility are not contributions to Marxism-Leninism but are a negation of the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
Mao Tse-tung’s Statement in support of the Afro-American people in the US was of inspiration to the Afro-American liberation movement. However, this Statement (reprinted in the little Red Book) puts forth the concept that all national struggle is “in the final analysis class struggle.” Does this mean that the policy formulated in 1935 by Mao on uniting with the Chinese national bourgeoisie was wrong? This statement negates not only the teachings of Stalin on the national question and of Lenin, specifically on the Afro-American question, but it negates Mao’s own teachings on the nation-wide united front policy for fighting Japanese imperialism formulated in 1935 which led to victory in 1949.
Mao’s thought (roughly) up until the victory of the Chinese revolution in 1949 is based in the first place on the generally correct international Marxist-Leninist line and policy formulated by Stalin, the Comintern and the CPSU(B).
It is precisely in the period following the 1949 Chinese revolution and then the death of Stalin that the CPC became the leading Party and Mao became the leading Marxist-Leninist in the world. Yet it is precisely in this period that “Mao’s Thought” became a support for Khrushchev’s thought, for the “thought of modern revisionism” based on the negation of Stalin and proletarian internationalism.
The most fundamental error made by Mao and the CPC was their endorsement of the 20th Congress CPSU and the line of de-Stalinization and peaceful co-existence in 1956. Yet, twelve years later, no self-criticism has been forthcoming from Mao or the CPC.
When an error of such importance committed by the leading Party is not quickly corrected, the result is extremely damaging to the cause of national liberation and world socialism.
Under Mao Tse-tung and Liu Shao-chi’s leadership, efforts were made in 1960 to break with Khrushchev revisionism. However, the failure of the CPC and Mao to be self-critical concerning their role in supporting the Russian “peaceful co-existence” deal with US imperialism at the 20th Congress CPSU in 1956, the 12 Party Declaration of 1957 and the 81 Party Statement of 1960 meant that the line of Khrushchev and the Russian national bourgeoisie could not be fully exposed.
Mao Tse-tung is one of the greatest Marxist-Leninist theoreticians and one of the most outstanding Marxist-Leninist leaders that the peoples’ struggles have yet produced. However it is our view that Mao Tse-tung cannot be evaluated as a Marxist-Leninist leader on the same level as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin because, unlike his predecessors, Mao has not led the international Marxist-Leninist movement in sharp struggle against modern revisionism and has thus been unable to mobilize the peoples of the world (particularly the oppressed peoples) in the struggle against US imperialism. [We do believe that Mao or other Chinese leaders will carry out such outstanding international leadership on the basis of overcoming the line of the “Cultural Revolution.”]
The “Cultural Revolution” Approach to Mao Tse-tung:
The horrible massacre of half a million Indonesian people forced the genuine Marxist-Leninist forces in the PKI to self-critically reveal the 20th Congress CPSU as the operating base from which revisionism in the PKI gained its initiative. The setback in Indonesia forced genuine Marxist-Leninists in China to re-examine the CPC’s special responsibility in this debacle. However, the “Cultural Revolution” leaders put forth the concept of “Mao’s Thought” as the criteria for whether or not one is a revolutionary. This eliminates any need for self-criticism based on a recognition of the backward international situation in which the world Marxist-Leninist movement now finds itself.
Making one’s attitude toward “Mao’s Thought” the criteria for distinguishing Marxist-Leninists from counter-revolutionaries disarmed the Marxist-Leninists within the CPC, for it negates the crucial issues of the day – imperialism, revisionism, the oppressed nations and China’s relationship to these – which are the real questions distinguishing Chinese Marxist-Leninists from Chinese revisionists. The “Mao’s Thought” slogan created an ideological smokescreen for the ascendancy of the national bourgeoisie within the CPC.
The line of the “Cultural Revolution” is that Mao’s greatest contributions to the science of Marxism-Leninism have been his thoughts on “seizing power under the dictatorship of the proletariat,” and his greatest practical accomplishment, according to the “Cultural Revolution,” is to have initiated the “Cultural Revolution.” By stressing Mao’s contributions since the victory of the Chinese revolution, the “Cultural Revolution” emphasizes a period of capitulation to the US-Soviet Alliance.
In this way, the “Cultural Revolution” approach to Mao has been to negate Mao’s contributions to the Chinese revolution and world revolution while under the leadership of Stalin and the CPSU(B), so as to facilitate their takeover of the CPC, their betrayal of the oppressed peoples and their deal with US imperialism.
Differences Between Khrushchev Revisionism and the “Cultural Revolution”
Under the “Mao’s Thought” slogan, the revisionist “Cultural Revolution” is now applying the line of the 81 Party Statement to Chinese conditions; this is the line of a deal between US imperialism and Chinese revisionism.
This deal is in form the same as that which the Russian national bourgeoisie consummated with US imperialism at the 20th Congress CPSU in 1956. But there are two essential differences between the “Cultural Revolution” and Khrushchev revisionism.
1. The deal between US imperialism and Khrushchev revisionism consummated in 1956 has become the most dangerous Alliance that the peoples now face. While the deal between US imperialism and Chinese revisionism has not yet been consummated.
The US-Soviet Alliance has enabled US imperialism to achieve tremendous victories over the Indonesian people and the Arab people in the past few years. In spite of the great valor, ingenuity and heroism of the Vietnamese people, the active collusion of Khrushchev revisionism with US imperialism has allowed the imperialist army to remain in Vietnam this long; the influence of modern revisionism on the Vietnam Worker’s Party has encouraged the continued slaughter of Afro-Americans by their Vietnamese brothers and of the Vietnamese people by their Afro-American brothers, and helped to quell the Afro-American revolt within the US imperialist army of occupation which would be a tremendous support to all the oppressed nations.
However, US imperialism, especially beginning with Johnson’s State of the Union message in early January 1968, has been probing for ways to increase exchanges with China of cultural and diplomatic representatives. In the US press, many articles have already appeared discussing the inclusion of China as a third partner in the US-Soviet scheme for world domination. The whole line and policy of the “Cultural Revolution” invites these imperialist schemes.
The longer the “Cultural Revolution” is dominant in the CPC and in the Chinese government, the greater is the danger of such a deal being consummated and the more real is the possibility of a tremendous bloodbath perpetrated by US imperialism on the Vietnamese people, the Afro-American people and on other oppressed peoples in the very near future.
2. The second essential difference between the US-Soviet deal and a possible US-China deal is that a deal between US imperialism and the Chinese national bourgeoisie would be a far more terrible blow to the oppressed peoples and to the world anti-imperialist struggle than the US-Soviet Alliance.
The CPC is objectively the leading Marxist-Leninist Party in the world, and the Chinese government and people are the main red base area for world revolution in the present period. China has had this leading responsibility since before 1956 and the acceptance and endorsement of the 20th Congress CPSU, the 12 Party Declaration and the 81 Party Statement by the CPC was misleadership of the international Marxist-Leninist movement and of the world anti-imperialist movement.
The failure of the CPC to expose the essence of Khrushchev revisionism and its failure to lead in the establishment of a new Communist International capable of striking blows at US imperialism has facilitated the victories of the US-Soviet Alliance.
In the past we believed that China would “inevitably” lead correctly, based on its leading responsibility in this period. We now recognize that China has led in the past 15 years and will continue to lead in the immediate future – correctly or incorrectly!! We now realize that it is our proletarian internationalist duty to support the interests of the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples as well as of the Chinese proletariat and poor peasantry by opposing the line of the Chinese national bourgeoisie, the so-called “Cultural Revolution.”
Liu Shao-chi said in “How to be a Good Communist” that some disputes arise which are unprincipled, i.e. in which neither side has taken a principled position. Liu instructs us that in such a situation, Marxist-Leninists must take a principled position independent of the protagonists already engaged in the struggle. We have striven in this document to take a principled Marxist-Leninist stand which is the strongest support to the Chinese proletariat in their struggle to overcome the domination in the Chinese Party and state of the revisionist “Cultural Revolution” line.
We are confident that there are significant proletarian forces struggling against the “Cultural Revolution” line within China. We hope that the documentation of the revisionist essence of the “Cultural Revolution” line will aid the Chinese proletariat in its struggle and that it will aid all Marxist-Leninists the world over (especially comrades in Albania, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea) to recognize the necessity of supporting the Chinese proletarian position in opposition to the “Cultural Revolution.” This is the standpoint of consistent internationalism.
“‘A policy based on principle is the only correct policy’ – this was the formula by means of which Lenin took new ‘impregnable’ positions by assault and won over the best elements of the proletariat to revolutionary Marxism.”
[Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 61]
Suggested Reading List
Marx and Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” (1848)
Lenin, “Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism” (1916)
“The State and Revolution” (1917)
Stalin, “The Foundations of Leninism” (1924)
“Marxism and the National Question” (1913)
“The October Revolution and the National Question” (1918) (“Works” Vol. 4)
“The Policy of the Soviet Government on the National Question in Russia” (1920) (“Works” Vol. 4)
“The Revolution in China and the Tasks of the Comintern” (1927) (“Works” Vol. 9)
Mao Tse-tung, “On Contradiction” (1936)
“On Practice” (1936)
“On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism” (1935)
Liu Shao-chi, “Internationalism and Nationalism” (1948)
“The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchev’s Revisionism” (1964) by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi
Enver Hoxha, “Report to the Fifth Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania” (1966)
[Youth for Stalin document concluded here.]