The following is the second in a series of articles under the title “Hold High the Bright Red Banner of Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism”. The first appeared in PCDN, Volume 7 Number 221. September 15, 1977. The third will appear in tomorrows paper.
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The theoreticians of the “three worlds” revise Marxism-Leninism, and one of the methods they use in carrying this out is straight-forward falisification of the entire historical development, the main content of our epoch and the tasks of the international proletariat. By presenting the humbug that “Marx and Engels founded the doctrine of scientific socialism and the principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but they had no experience of the victory of the proletarian revolution”, they mystify the fact that Marx and Engels worked during the pre-revolutionary (pre-revolutionary in the sense of proletarian revolution) period and that even during this period, the first proletarian revolution took place and the dictatorship of the proletariat was established, even though for a short period, in the form of the Paris Commune in 1871. Both Marx and Engels held this event in high esteem and wrote about it extensively. The theoreticians of the “three worlds” mystify this period and do not characterize the main content of the period, for the purposes of mystifying the main content of the contemporary period. This becomes absolutely clear when they speak of the “contributions” of Lenin.
The theoreticians of the “three worlds” make this assertion: “Lenin’s outstanding contributions to the theory of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat are that he revealed the law of development of imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, and created the great theory that victory in the proletarian revolution could be won and socialism built in the country forming the weakest link in the imperialist front”. This is a concoction presented in order to hide the main content of our epoch, that is, the transition from capitalism to socialism on the world scale, and to mystify the nature of our epoch which Lenin analyzed as the “epoch of imperialism and social revolution of the proletariat”. By obscuring the main feature of our era and the main task of the proletariat, the theoreticians of the “three worlds” are trying to revise Leninism and turn it into a useless theory.
The pre-revolutionary period in which Marx and Engels worked was followed by the revolutionary period when capitalism reached the stage of imperialism, the final stage in which capitalism is moribund and in decay with all the contradictions inherent to the capitalist system becoming acute, and the new class, the proletariat comes onto the scene of history with its own mission, enlightened by Marxism. Comrade Stalin describes Leninism in this way:
Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution.To be more exact, Leninism is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular. Marx and Engels pursued their activities in the pre-revolutionary period (we have the proletarian revolution in mind), when developed imperialism did not yet exist, in the period of the proletarians’ preparation for revolution, in the period when the proletarian revolution was not yet an immediate practical inevitability. But Lenin, the disciple of Marx and Engels, pursued his activities in the period of developed imperialism, in the period of the unfolding proletarian revolution, when the proletarianrevolution had already triumphed in one country, had smashed bourgeois democracy and had ushered in the era of proletarian democracy, the era of the Soviets.
Stalin elucidates this point further in another work:
Is this definition correct? I think it is correct. It is correct, firstly, because it correctly indicates the historical roots of Leninism, characterizing it as Marxism of the era of imperialism, as against certain critics of Lenin who wrongly think that Leninism originated after the imperialist war. It is correct, secondly, because it correctly notes the international character of Leninism, as against Social Democracy, which considers that Leninism is applicable only to Russian national conditions. It is correct, thirdly, because it correctly notes the organic connection between Leninism and the teachings of Marx, characterising Leninism as Marxism of the era of imperialism, as against certain criticis of Leninism who consider it not a further development of Marxism, but merely the restoration of Marxism and its application to Russian conditions.
... it appears that there are people in our Party who consider it necessary to define Leninism somewhat differently. Zinoviev, for example, thinks that ’Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialist wars and of world revolution which began directly in a country where the peasantry predominates.’
What can be the meaning of the words underlined by Zinoviev? What does introducing the backwardness of Russia, its peasant character, into the definition of Leninism mean?
It means transforming Leninism from an international proletarian doctrine into a product of specifically Russian conditions.
It means playing into the hands of Bauer and Kautsky, who deny that Leninism is suitable for other countries, for countries in which capitalism is more developed.
Now, we have the theoreticians of the “three worlds” who are talking about the contributions of Lenin by asserting that he “revealed the law of development of imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, and created the great theory that victory in the proletarian revolution could be won and socialism built in the country forming the weakest links in the imperialist front”, and thus, the theoreticians of the “three worlds”; as Stalin says, are “playing into the hands of Bauer and Kautsky, who deny that Leninism is suitable for other countries, for countries in which capitalism is more developed.” The theoreticians of the “three worlds” who advocate the building of an “international united front against the hegemonism of the two superpowers”, and who consider the hegemonism of the two superpowers as the most important feature of our times, had to concoct the spurious “theory that victory in the proletarian revolution could be won and socialism built in the country forming the weakest link in the imperialist front”. Thus, the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, which they call the “third world” are the “weakest link” in the “imperialist front” where the “victory in the proletarian revolution could be won and socialism built”. The theoreticians of the “three worlds” are going to scream that this is not what they mean by this, but if they do, then their absurd statement makes no sense at all. It merely reveals that these “three worlds” theoreticians, faced with the contemporary world problems, that is, the problems of proletarian revolution and the national liberation movement, have succumbed to the pressure of the imperialists and social-imperialists and have joined hands with them in order to oppose both the proletarian revolution and the national liberation movement. The revision of Marxism-Leninism is very crucial for them in order to justify their capitulation to and collaboration with imperialism, social-imperialism and all reaction.