First Published: Challenge.
Reprinted: Progressive Labor, Vol 8, No 3, November 1971.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Back in the 1950’s, the “Great Thaw” set in between U.S. rulers and the bosses of the Soviet Union. This love tryst was capped by Khrushchev’s visit to Camp David, Maryland. At this lover’s lane, President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev initiated the plan for the Soviet and U.S. bosses to kiss and make up–but more important, to carve up the world into “spheres of interest.” This deal was refined further at Glassboro, New Jersey, a few years ago, between the then President Johnson and Soviet Premier Kosygin.
During the fifties and sixties any revolutionary worth his salt condemned collaboration between U.S. rulers and the Soviets. U.S.-Soviet collaboration had raised the art of “Quisling” to new heights. (Quisling was the name given to all those forces who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.) After W.W. II, the U.S. had become the main enemy of the people of the world. U.S. bosses established hundreds of military bases around the world to protect their investments. They attacked any revolutionary movement which threatened U.S. investments for profits. As we all know, U.S. bosses invaded many lands to protect their dollar flag. This happened in Korea, many African countries, the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.
It was particularly significant that the Soviet Union, which was then considered the center of the revolutionary camp, entered into collusion with the U.S. when the international class struggle was sharpest. So, when revolutionaries–workers and peasants–were fighting and dying, the fakes in Moscow were busy selling them out. The rationale they peddled to the world? “Peaceful co-existence” was possible with the U.S.; “normal” relations between states would allow the “socialist” Soviet economy to demonstrate its superiority to U.S. capitalism.
The clearest demonstration of the Soviet sellout came during the Vietnam war when the Soviets intensified their collaboration with the U.S. (The Glassboro agreement was signed at the height of the war.) Many efforts were made by the Soviet leaders to get the North Vietnamese and the NLF to quit fighting. (The current “Pentagon Papers” are full of proof showing how U.S. bosses used the Soviets to get the Vietnamese to cool it.) During this period the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) emerged as the center of world revolution. They called the U.S. the “number one enemy of the people of the U.S. and the world.” They called on all revolutionary forces to persist in fighting. They said that “People’s War” in Vietnam was the highest expression of revolutionary will. And, most important, they launched an attack on Soviet revisionism-opportunism. The CCP described how Khrushchev had embarked on a bender of class collaboration. The CCP derided the “spirit of Camp David” as “prettifying” U.S. imperialism. And the CCP correctly described the U.S.-Soviet “spheres-of-interest” agreement as counter-revolutionary.
The CCP’S seemingly implacable attitude to U.S. rulers and Soviet betrayers was hailed by revolutionaries around the world. Any revolutionary knew that U.S. imperialism’s drive for profits and world hegemony remained as its ONLY goal. The Korean and the Vietnam wars proved this. Millions upon millions of people realized this fact or came to recognize it. Millions of people in our country launched great attacks on the aggressive foreign policy of the U.S. bosses. GIs refused to fight for the profit flag of the bosses. Millions of Americans were no longer fooled by the cries of “patriotism” from the U.S. leaders. They knew that the bosses’ “patriotism” meant being loyal to the bosses making a buck off the backs of the workers in and out of the Army, and off the bodies of millions of dead in Vietnam and elsewhere. People all over the world were inspired to fight against U.S. bosses by the heroic efforts of the Vietnamese people. People saw that a united people could beat U.S. bosses.
Unfortunately, they were unable to clearly recognize the “Trojan Horse” of revisionism–opportunism–in their movements. This was the secret weapon of the imperialists. No movement can beat the bosses if it is saddled with a leadership which has the same ideas or interests as the enemy of the people. A strike, a demonstration, a revolutionary war can only go so far if it is led by fakes. In the latter part of the 1960’s the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) was launched to clear out those leaders in the CCP who were essentially following the Soviet line in China.
Subsequent events showed that the GPCR was used by the leaders in China as a cover-up for their opportunist policies. The CCP stepped up its alliances with every fake in the world. This included the worst in the “socialist” movement. Yugoslavia, Rumania and others, once condemned by Peking, were now honored. It was only a few years ago that the CCP scoffed at the UN as the bosses’ tool. They derided any intention of getting in. Now they are actively seeking admission to this bosses’ club. Nationalist sellout leaders who were scorned are now feted in Peking. All this was capped by ping-pong diplomacy.
This opportunism ad its logical consequence. The modern version of “Camp David” was Chou-En Lai’s invitation to President Nixon to visit China this spring. Why is this action, and all which preceded it, any different from the role Khrushchev and Co. played in the 1950’s? If it was wrong then, it is wrong now. If anything, U.S. bosses are more exposed than ever as the scum of the earth. This is true at home and abroad. Strike-breaking, racism, the ruination of all aspects of life are at new heights at home. Workers are being attacked harder than ever. The war goes on in Vietnam. And, if it is settled, it will be essentially on the imperialists’ terms.
The main aspect of the settlement is that the Vietnamese people will have been duped into abandoning their socialist outlook by the herd of fakes in Moscow, Hanoi and Peking. A “neutral” government in Saigon only means the continuation of the exploitation of the people through economic and political oppression, backed by the threat of force. Additionally, the U.S. is poised to strike into the Middle-East to protect its oil investments. And it is ready to attack anywhere in the world to save its profits. Naturally, to the extent there is opportunism in the ranks of the revolutionaries, it will save U.S. bosses the trouble.
BUT U.S. BOSSES ARE MORE RUTHLESS THAN EVER, BECAUSE THEIR ECONOMIC SYSTEM IS TOTTERING. REVOLUTIONARIES SHOULD PRESS AHEAD AT THIS POINT! WE MUST NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THE THREAT OF ATOMIC BOMBS OR WAR. U.S. IMPERIALISM HAS NOT CHANGED; IT HAS NEVER CHANGED; IT WILL NEVER CHANGE, EXCEPT TO BECOME MORE BARBARIC TO MAKE MORE MONEY.
One might say, “Well, the CCP is doing this because they are also threatened by the Soviets. They don’t want to be squeezed on two fronts.” Never in the history of the world have alliances with bosses led to anything but disaster. During W.W. II the Soviets allied with the U.S. to defeat Hitler. But, in the end, the Soviets became bosses themselves. Capitalism exists in Germany. And all of eastern Europe has become a bastion of capitalism.
Obviously, the “thaw” (this term was originally used by Harrison Salisbury, an editor of the N.Y. Times who wrote the original “Russia-ain’t-so-bad” stories) with the Soviet Union didn’t lead to peace. U.S. bosses, given the green light by their Soviet pals, became more aggressive. Their profit drive led them into one of the most blood-thirsty wars in history in Vietnam. At home the bosses have become more strident and aggressive in attacking workers.
Within the frame-work of the “spheres-of-interest” agreement, the Soviet lords have assisted the Indonesian fascists who had wiped out almost a million people, many who were communists. In this current period Soviet, Chinese and U.S. bosses have armed the Pakistani bosses, led by Yaha Khan, to suppress the workers and peasants in Pakistan. In the recent period, over two million people have died, and many millions more are expected to. Some died as a result of boss negligence prior to a hurricane; the others, from outright boss terror. The purpose, and therefore the unity of all three big powers to support the fascists, is to prevent the sweep of revolution in Asia.
So we see, in this brief article, that the logic of alliances with bosses is more attacks on the native working class, and stepped-up attacks on workers of other countries. That these big bosses fight among one another is secondary to their united fight against the working class. And the way to make use of their disarray is not to unite with this one or that one, but to unite with more workers, and to push ahead. This is how to take advantage of bosses’ weaknesses.
The Chinese people will reject the betrayals of the Mao Tse-tung leadership. They will return China on a revolutionary course. And the people in the U.S. are becoming more militant in the face of increased boss attacks. Most people in the world know that Nixon is the biggest mass murderer in history. They know Nixon is carrying forward the policies of the most repressive ruling class in history, the policies of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.
Friendship between the Chinese workers and U.S. workers can best be achieved by defeating their common oppressors. U.S. capitalism must be defeated. Revisionism must be overthrown in China. We hope the Chinese people turn out by the millions to show their outrage against the visit to China by the murderous Nixon. We are sure workers and oppressed people around the world will keep fighting for socialism. Only socialism can become the beginning of the end of capitalism. And no force can cover up or prettify capitalism.