Published: The Vanguard, Vol. 13, No. 18, May 20, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Within the capitalist class throughout the world is a division of opinion as to whether to oppose the expansion of Soviet social-imperialism or to appease Soviet social-imperialism in the hope of diverting it against China.
Thus in the U.S.A. there is great debate as to whether to favour “detente” or reject it. It hangs over the present presidential campaigning. Kissinger, Sonnenfeldt and the sections of the imperialists they represent favour “detente”, appeasement of Soviet social-imperialism; Reagan and other critics of Ford, Kissinger and Co. oppose “detente”, appeasement.
Sonnenfeldt, U.S. Under Secretary of State, made a speech in which he frankly advocated recognition of Soviet spheres of influence in return for which the Soviet Union would not intrude on U.S. spheres of influence.
In Australia, Fraser and his government oppose detente and appeasement. Whitlam favoured detente and appeasement.
Neither in the U.S.A. nor Australia does this for or against detente and appeasement follow strictly party lines in the bourgeois parties. Within the Liberal National Country Party there is not unanimity nor is there in the Labor Party.
The debate gets deeper and deeper, more and more serious. This is because the contention and struggle between Soviet social-imperialism and U.S. imperialism gets deeper and deeper and more and more serious.
It is necessary soberly to analyse the position.
The starting point must be recognition of the fact that the Soviet Union is an expansionist aggressive imperialist power. There is every evidence of that in Australia. Now almost every day there emerges even in a comparatively insignificant (in a world sense) place like Australia evidence of Soviet penetration. This was never heard of and was quits unthinkable in the days of the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, its socialist days. Who then ever heard of Soviet “tourist” ships sailing in and out of Australian ports promoting tours of Australians, or the Moscow Narodny Bank investing millions in Australia or suing Australians, or talking about the Pilbara being a jewel in which the Soviet Union was interested or trying to get control of Australian building workers or Australian shipping? All this is pure imperialist expansion.
Far more important to the Soviet social-imperialists is the heart of capitalism, namely Europe. It is here that are concentrated the decisive military forces of the Soviet Union spearheaded by millions of ground troops ready to overrun Europe.
What to do? is the agonising dilemma of the U.S. imperialists and their followers.
There are those who say don’t annoy the beast (bear might be better), appease him, keep him quiet, don’t tease him, after all he hates China and has 1,000,000 troops on the Sino-Soviet border, let him have Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe as the price of his expansion against China. On the other hand, there are those who say let us stop him now, give him an inch and he will take a mile, appeasement is only strengthening him for further expansion.
It is the people of the world who really count and who really suffer in a world war and who really want revolution. It is they who are particularly concerned and affected by this question. The people of the world are awakening to the menace of the expansion of Soviet social-imperialism. That demands absolute opposition to the appeasement of Soviet social-imperialism and unconditional opposition to Soviet social-imperialism. It is the aroused and mobilised people who are decisive in this matter.
In the thirties Hitler was on the German imperialist expansionist rampage. The people of the world from the beginning stood up against Nazi expansion. This was certainly so in Australia. Australian patriots were batoned, fined and gaoled for opposing Hitler, Mussolini and Japanese imperialist expansion.
The sections of the ruling circles in office at the time were champions of appeasement. Menzies spoke in glowing terms of Hitler (we should “understand” him, said Menzies), he praised Mussolini and Japanese militarism (he was described by it as a “clear-eyed soul”). They urged Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo to go east against the socialist Soviet Union, against which Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo loudly declaimed.
The British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Daladier were the leading exponents of appeasement of Hitler. Austria, Czechoslovakia, were sacrificed to Hitler, Abyssinia to Mussolini, China to Japanese militarism as the price for Nazi expansion against the socialist Soviet Union.
All this was bitterly opposed by the people.
Within the ruling circles emerged people like Churchill and de Gaulle who warned and warned loudly of the danger to British, French and U.S. imperialism of Hitler’s expansion.
Hitler in fact attacked to the west. Europe was virtually overrun. Hitler knew the difficulties of attacking the socialist Soviet Union first.
Australia was menaced by Japanese militarism. Sydney, Darwin and other places were shelled.
Now today there is a striking parallel Stalin warned at that time that the big and dangerous game of appeasement being played by the imperialist powers would end in a fiasco for them. It did. Stalin said: “Far be it from me to moralize on the policy of non-intervention, to talk of treason, treachery and so on. It mould be naive to preach morals to people who recognize no human morality. Politics is politics, as the old, case-hardened bourgeois diplomats say. It must be remarked, however, that the big and dangerous political game started by the supporters of the policy of nonintervention may end in a serious fiasco for them.”
That is precisely the danger today. The Brezhnev new tsars know the virtual impossibility of successful attack upon socialist China. China would rise to a man just as did the socialist Soviet Union in World War II.
The people want no appeasement. They want the Soviet social-imperialists quarantined just as they wanted Hitler quarantined. The sections of the ruling class who want the Soviet social-imperialists quarantined have different motives, imperialist motives, from those of the people. The all-important thing, however, is to prevent Soviet social-imperialist expansion.
People’s struggle is the real answer. It must be directed chiefly against Soviet social-imperialism, certainly against any appeasement of Soviet social-imperialism at all. It may have temporary accommodation with sections of the ruling class but its overall aim is for Australian independence from both Soviet social-imperialism and U.S. imperialism.