The allegation that the colonial system can be liquidated through peaceful co-existence, general and complete disarmament or the U.N. is, in the final analysis, aimed at disarming the people ideologically, at paralysing the anti-imperialist struggle, and at fettering the oppressed nations to the bonds of colonial slavery forever.” (Hold High the Revolutionary Banner of National Liberation, Workers’ Party of Korea, 27th January 1964)
While Dutt virtually ignores the role of U.S. imperialism, both he and Krushchev place much emphasis on the part the United Nations can play in assisting the liberation movements.
Thus Dutt sees in the United Nations a special protection for the “very small colonial territories” who by membership of the U.N. will “secure their full international rights against aggression” (p. 10). He conveniently erases from the pages of history the events in the Congo, Guatemala, Panama and Cuba.
“The new majority in the United Nations,” says Dutt, “is of profound international significance.” And “The United Nations resolution for immediate self-determination for all colonial peoples has sharpened the issue.”
Krushchev, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in October 1960 when this resolution was being debated, made a number of statements which have interesting and revealing implications:
If the colonialists do not meet halfway the lawful demands of the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries, these people will gain freedom by force.
I am convinced we shall find the courage and, what is the main thing, the right understanding and that we shall take a decision in keeping with our conscience.
This is, in essence, Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” policy dressed up for the occasion. We may ask Krushchev, “Do the oppressed peoples have ’lawful’ and’unlawful’ demands?” Their demand is to get rid of imperialism.
I should like to say once again that there are no hopeless people. Even such colonialists as Spaniards and the British – and they are colonialists of the first water – even they are not hopeless. And with proper ventilation of their brains they begin to understand correctly the question which is being discussed by the session of the General Assembly – even they have announced that they will vote in favour. So you see what a nice company we are . . . (13th October 1960).
On 27th December 1960 Krushchev issued in Moscow a statement on the U.N. resolution:
It is very important that the noble ideas contained in the United Nations resolution should really grip the minds of the people ...
The declaration of the United Nations General Assembly has in view the genuine and not fictitious liberation of all peoples from the colonial yoke . . .
The days of colonialism are over. ..
Resolutions passed by the United Nations for the granting of independence to the colonial peoples obviously are valuable and it is important to use the General Assembly as a forum for the exposure of imperialism and to stimulate the forces engaged in the liberation struggle. However, it is impermissible for a Marxist:
(a) to suggest that the imperialists are “reasonable” and “nice people” who are moved by “conscience” and “understanding,” needing only to be shown the logic and propriety of granting independence for them to change their oppressive policies;
(b) to encourage the illusion that a resolution passed by a majority of the United Nations can be any substitute for the struggle – usually armed struggle – of the people themselves;
(c) to suggest that the colonialists would be willing to “meet halfway the lawful demands of the people”;
(d) to imply that the United Nations internationally is “neutral” and above the class struggle.
The United Nations has, in its short lifetime passed many fine sounding and high-principled resolutions on important political and social, questions. There were, to recall a few: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the resolution on Genocide; the Declaration on Women’s Rights. Most of them have remained words on paper.
For example, the resolutions on Genocide and on Human Rights would, if applied to the United States, go a long way to granting the negroes the rights they claim. But the resolutions were passed nearly twenty years ago and the negroes are still struggling and it is their struggle – not U.N. resolutions – which will, in the end, secure for them their rightful place in American society.
The resolutions may read well on paper but the actual record of the United Nations is not likely to give comfort or assurance to the peoples in the national liberation movements nor to any true Marxist.
Early in its life the United Nations concerned itself with “Trust” territories such as Tanganyika, Togoland, the Cameroons, most of them areas taken over from the Germans or Japanese at the end of the war and placed under the control of one of the Allied powers – all of them imperialist countries – France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United States – or British Dominions – New Zealand and Australia.
Year after year the U.N. Trusteeship Council reports disclosed the backward, inhuman and shocking conditions under which these territories were being administered. The U.N. did virtually nothing to change the conditions until the peoples of these areas rose up and demanded their rights.
In 1950 the United Nations, by a resolution supported by Tito, put an armed force – mostly U.S. troops – into Korea on the pretext that the North had attacked the South. In the name of the United Nations, forces under General MacArthur laid waste the country and slaughtered the population with napalm, terror bombing and, in fact, every weapon short of the atom bomb.
The U.N. forces – or rather, U.S. forces masquerading as U.N. forces – are still in occupation. Perhaps, Mr. Dutt, it is they who will ensure for the 25 million people of South Korea “their full international rights against aggression”?
On 13th July 1960 the Security Council voted in favour of sending troops into the Congo – the Soviet Union’s representative voting with the rest. On 15th July 1960 Krushchev cabled to Kasavubu and Lumumba that “the United Nations Security Council has done a useful thing” and for some months Soviet statements continued to praise the U.N. operation.
As we know, Lumumba was tricked and murdered, the progressive forces crushed and American imperialism, under the guise of the United Nations, took over from Belgian imperialism.
History will find it hard to understand how the United Nations – called in, according to its July 1960 resolution, to assist the Central Government .of the Congo, headed by Lumumba, to secure the withdrawal of Belgian forces and to protect the Congo’s sovereignty and integrity – paved the way to the overthrow of that Government, the dissolution of the parliament which had elected it, the murder of its Prime Minister by a Belgian officer (one of those who the U.N. was to have expelled from the Congo), and the tearing apart of the living body of the Congo Republic. (Jack Woddis, Marxism Today, May 1961).
History may find it hard to understand but surely Marxists should not.
In 1962, his faith in the United Nations undiminished by the events in Korea and the Congo, Krushchev made the proposal, without consulting the Cubans, that Cuba should be open to U.N. inspection teams.
The British Communist Party, presumably with knowledge of the shameful conditions in the U.N. “Trust” territories, in 1947 passed a resolution calling on the British Government “to draw up draft proposals for trusteeship for Tanganyika, Togoland and the Cameroons.” Not independence but trusteeship!
Why should Dutt and Krushchev place so much trust in the United Nations? Is it because invoking the United Nations fits into the matrix of an international policy aimed at damping down the revolutionary fires and lulling the peoples of the national liberation areas?
Sir Alec Douglas Home, the British Prime Minister, although not one of the U.N.’s best friends, would be only too pleased to use it as an instrument for the suppression of the colonial peoples and to hold back revolutionary movements. He made this clear in his reply to Krushchev on 25th January 1964 when he suggested that “the value of the peace-keeping functions of the U.N. has been repeatedly demonstrated (shades of Korea and the Congo – Ed.). It is vital that these should be made still more effective.”
Need more be said?