Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Red Eureka Movement

Discussion Bulletin No 1

First Issued: October 1, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Patrick Muldowney, Anita Hood and Paul Saba
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“DISCUSSION BULLETIN” is a forum for thrashing out controversies within the Red Eureka Movement. Tentative views and preliminary drafts of articles for “The Rebel!” will also be published for comment. Articles may also put matters more polemically than we are prepared to publish in “The Rebel!” at the moment. Material rejected from “The Rebel” on policy grounds will normally go into “Discussion Bulletin”.

It is an important tradition of Leninist parties to have such an internal publication in which all Communists have the right, to publish statements on policy and tactics. This can help develops a positive, party, life in a spirit of ease of mind and liveliness, consolidate democratic centralism, and discourage factionalism, (See Lenin, “Preliminary Draft Resolution of the Tenth Congress of the R.C.P. on Party Unity, section 4, Collected Works Vol 32, p243. Moscow, 1965). The previous lack of such a bulletin in the CPA (ML) has undoubtedly contributed, to the present situation.

Our internal discussions are open to all Marxist-Leninists. Contributions from Marxist-Leninists opposed to the Red Eureka Movement will be welcome. In the absence of any other, we hope this publication can fill the gap by serving as an internal Discussion Bulletin open to the whole party. If it can’t, that is not our fault.

Policy and tactics are the life of the Party; leading comrades at all levels must give them full attention and must never on any account be negligent. (Mao Tsetung, “A Circular on the Situation, Selected Works, Vol IV, p220)

All members and branches of Red Eureka are expected to carefully study this material, as well as other publications, and contribute their own comments and views.


This is an internal publication, not available to the general public. It will have a limited circulation to Marxist-Leninists outside Red Eureka, but much less than “The Rebel!” or “Study Notes”. Since we cannot distribute it through party channel’s to all party members we have to pass copies directly to people believed to be party members or else supporters. Red Eureka members should, show or discuss material in this bulletin to others only with discretion, and circulate copies only with very great discretion. Non-Red Eureka members who receive copies are not authorised to circulate them further without permission.

Copies are numbered. The party leadership will receive copies. We formally request once again, as party members including past and present Central Committee members, that proper internal discussions be held, and that this material (as well as “The Rebel!” and Study Notes) be circulated to all members through party channels, instead of outside. It is utterly incredible that even the Central Committee cannot hold proper discussions of these matters. We demand “freedom of criticism” not in the abstract, but precisely as Lenin said, to overthrow a wrong line and replace it with a better one.


Finagle’s Law states that “anything which, can go wrong, will.” A corollary is that any confidential document will fall into the wrong hands. Experience shows that anything put on paper eventually leaks no matter how tightly it is held. That is why we chose to publish. “The Rebel!” and Study Notes to a large audience openly, with restrictions on what they say, rather than circulate more explicit material to a substantial, number of people confidentially.

Accordingly, and especially in the present atmosphere this bulletin cannot be considered “secret”. It is simply “internal”. We hope to minimise and delay leaks, but cannot be sure of preventing them. Contributors should bear this in mind and exercise some restraint in what is said to avoid embarrassment. Also, organisational information and other matters helpful to the authorities will still be excluded.

Finally, possession of an “internal” publication is evidence of connection with this “subversive” organisation, so don’t let the authorities get hold of your copies.


A formal discussion has been opened within Red Eureka on the present controversy in the international communist movement concerning the “Theory of Three Worlds.”

The Albanian editorial of July 7, 1977 and other documents from fraternal parties in a similar direction are available in “Study Notes” No 3. This bulletin contains an individual view opposing that position and also opposing the position taken by the party leadership in Australia.

The Red Eureka Movement Executive’s view is as follows:

We oppose E.F. Hill’s Theory of Three Worlds and support Mao Tsetung’s theory of three worlds.

The principal contradiction in the world today is that between labour and capital, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between socialism and capitalism. We are living in the era of imperialism and the proletarian socialist revolution.

Mao Tsetung’s theory of three worlds is a guide to the proletariat and oppressed nations in waging class struggle in the international realm. No Marxist-Leninist can “deduce” the correct line for the Australian revolution merely from an analysis of international affairs and Australia’s relations with other countries. Mao Tsetung’s theory of three worlds was never intended to be used in this way.

E.F. Hill’s Theory of Three worlds is a guide to the liquidation of class struggle in Australia. It takes superpower contention as the key link, not class struggle.

The position outlined in the Zeri i Popullit editorial of July 7, 1977 confuses Mao Tsetung’s theory of three worlds with revisionist distortions of it by people who have betrayed Mao Tsetung’s line on this question as well as on the continuing revolution against the Party bourgeoisie. It represents a “Left-Wing” Communist error that negates the international united front.

The discussion will continue and a public position will be adopted only after resolution by delegates at a conference of the Red Eureka Movement. Branches should be preparing for that conference now. Other contributions for publication or suggestions for reprints in “Study Notes” should be submitted immediately.

* * *

“THREE WORLDS” by Alan Ward


* * *


3 August 1977

On July 7, 1977 Zeri i Popullit, the daily newspaper of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania published an important editorial “The Theory and Practice of the Revolution”.[1] The Albanian comrades speak openly and frankly, as is their right and duty. They are entitled to an open and frank reply. The following is a hastily written and incomplete attempt to answer some of the points raised.


The editorial opposes talk of the division of the world into three parts and quotes Lenin in 1921 and Stalin in 1919, as dividing the world into two camps – the old world of capitalism and imperialism and the new world of socialism. No Marxist can deny that we are living in the epoch of proletarian socialist revolution and the fundamental division of our times is between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between socialism and capitalism. Some people do forget this, and to that extent they are not Marxists. The Albanian comrades do well to combat them.

But what has this to do with the division of the world into three parts? The editorial quotes from Lenin’s report at the 2nd Congress of the Communist International, with no apparent relevance (p9-10).

Here is something else Lenin said then:[2]

First, what is the most important, the fundamental idea of our theses? The distinction between oppressed and oppressor nations. We emphasize this distinction – in diametric contrast to the Second International and bourgeois democracy. In the epoch of imperialism, it is particularly important for the proletariat and the Communist International to establish the concrete economic facts and in the solution of all colonial and national questions, to proceed not from abstract postulates but from concrete realities.

The characteristic feature of imperialism is that the whole world, as we see, is now divided into a large number of oppressed nations and an insignificant number of oppressor nations, which command colossal wealth and powerful armed forces. The overwhelming majority of the world’s population, more than a thousand million people, and very probably 1,250 million – if we take the world’s total population at 1,750 million – or about seventy per cent of the world’s population, belong to the oppressed nations, which are either in a state of direct colonial dependence or are semi-colonies such as Persia, Turkey and China, or else, having been defeated by the armies of a big imperialist power, have become greatly dependent on that power by virtue of peace treaties. This idea of distinction, of dividing the nations into oppressor and oppressed, runs through all the theses...

Likewise Stalin said:[3]

In solving the national question Leninism proceeds from the following theses:

a) the world is divided into two camps: the camp of a handful of civilised nations, which possess finance capital and exploit the vast majority of the population of the globe; and the camp of the oppressed and exploited peoples in the colonies and dependent countries, which constitute that majority;

Does this mean that Lenin and Stalin “cover up and do not bring out the class character of these political forces” (p4)? Hardly! They simply divide the nations of the world into oppressor and oppressed nations, in accordance with the “concrete economic facts” and “concrete realities” of their time.

What is this dreadful theory of the three worlds, against which the editorial complains? It has been explained very clearly by Chairman Mao’s Foreign Minister and delegate to the United Nations, Comrade (Chiao Kuan-hua in his speech of October 5, 1976:[3A]

Making a penetrating analysis of all the basic contradictions of our time and the division and realignment of all the political forces in the world, Chairman Mao Tsetung advanced his great strategic concept of the three worlds. He pointed out: The United States and the Soviet Union make up the First World; the developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere constitute the Third World; and in between the two is the Second World composed of Europe, Japan, Canada and other countries. Lenin once said: Imperialism is the progressing oppression of the nations of the world by a handful of great powers; it is an epoch of wars among these powers for the extension and consolidation of national oppression. At present, the Soviet Union and the United States the two superpowers constituting the First World, are the biggest international oppressors and exploiters of our time and they are the sources of a new world war. While the developed countries of the Second World oppress and exploit Third World countries, they themselves are at the same time subjected to superpower oppression, exploitation, control or threat. The numerous Third World countries are most heavily oppressed and exploited by colonialism and imperialism; they are the main force in the fight against imperialism, and particularly against superpower hegemonism.

Chairman Mao Tsetung pointed out: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.” Chairman Mao’s concept of the three worlds provides orientation for the workers and oppressed nations and oppressed peoples of the world in their fight in the realm of international class struggle.

That is all there is to it. Chairman Mao divides the world into oppressor and oppressed countries in the same way that Lenin and Stalin did. If that is a wrong thing to do in principle, then Lenin and Stalin were wrong to do it.

But the editorial says (p10):

In the scheme of the “three worlds”, the fundamental contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie does not exist. Apart from this another thing that strikes the eye, in this division of the world, is its non-class view of what is called the “third world” its ignoring of classes and the class struggle, its treatment of countries which this theory includes in this world, the regimes which dominate there and various political forces which operate within it as a single entity. It ignores the contradiction between the oppressed peoples and the reactionary and pro-imperialist forces of their own countries.

According to this logic, aren’t Lenin and Stalin guilty of exactly the same crime – they too refer to oppressed and oppressor nations, without mentioning in the same breath, the class divisions within those countries? Of course there are class contradictions, not only within the Third World, but also within the First and Second Worlds. That doesn’t make Lenin, Stalin and Mao wrong to “ignore” this when they are talking about something else – the relation between oppressed and oppressor nations.

Nor did it make Comrade Enver Hoxha wrong to say:[4]

The majority of the peoples of the world today are making great efforts and forcefully opposing colonial laws and neo-colonialist domination, the rules, practices, customs, the unequal agreements, old and new, established by the bourgeoisie to preserve its exploitation of the peoples, its odious distinctions and discriminations in international relations. The two superpowers are striving in every way to preserve and perpetuate these laws because they are trying to plunder the wealth of other countries, to ensure privileges for themselves and to enslave other peoples. The progressive peoples and the democratic states that are not reconciled to this situation and struggle to establish national sovereignty over their resources, that struggle to strengthen their political and economic independence and for equality and justice in international relations, enjoy solidarity and full support of the Albanian people and state.

Don’t these “democratic states” have classes and class struggle too?

Lenin gave the answer to this nonsense about a “non-class view” in 1916:[5]

Some curious opponents of “self-determination of nations” try to refute our views with the argument that “nations” are divided into classes. Our customary reply to these caricature Marxists is that the democratic part of our program speaks of “government by the people”.

We might add that even if one divides the world into only two camps – imperialist and socialist, there are still classes and class struggle within each camp. By the logic of the editorial, even its own division according to social system would be a “non-class view”.

What then is new in Chairman Mao’s concept of three worlds? First, countries are referred to and not only nations. One can hardly object to this. When Lenin and Stalin wrote most of the oppressed peoples existed under colonial or semi-colonial regimes and did not have their own independent national states, even formally. The “Third World” bloc of countries only came into existence after the post-world war II decolonization. In the case of Africa, as late as the 1960s. Second, a category of countries is introduced that are both oppressors and oppressed – the Second World.

In evaluating this we must “proceed not from abstract postulates but from concrete realities”. What do the facts show?

Facts show that there has been a change in the world since the second world war. Imperialism has developed in accord with its own inherent logic (not contrary to it), so that now only two imperialist countries stand out as “superpowers”.

Can anybody deny these facts? What then makes the superpowers “super”? It is the fact that they stand over all the other countries including the former “Great Powers” of the Second World.

It is a concrete economic fact that U.S. imperialism oppresses, exploits, controls and threatens the developed countries of Western Europe, Japan, Canada and so on, including Australia. Who can deny this fact? It is likewise a concrete economic fact that the Soviet imperialists do the same in Eastern Europe and seek by military conquest to threaten the West. Can anyone say that the superpowers oppress only Third World countries and not advanced industrial countries? Lenin long ago refuted Kautsky’s idea that imperialism threatens only agricultural regions, pointing out for example, the German appetite for Belgium (itself an imperialist country).[6]

It is likewise a concrete economic fact, explicitly referred to in the concept of three worlds, that the countries of the Second World do oppress and exploit Third World countries.

What then is wrong with publicly stating these facts? Let those who disagree refute these facts and explain how countries of the Second World, like Australia, are not oppressed as well as oppressors. But let us have no “abstract postulates” about a “non-class view”.

According to the editorial, the theory of three worlds “totally ignores the contradiction between the oppressed peoples and nations and the other imperialist powers” (p18). Far from ignoring it, Chiao’s speech quoted earlier explicitly points out that “the developed countries of the Second World oppress and exploit Third World countries.” What could be clearer?

Without ignoring this contradiction, we single out the principal contradiction and strive to unite all forces that can be united against our worst enemy. What’s wrong with that?


According to the editorial (pg 19-20):

The present day facts speak not of disintegration of the imperialist world, but of a single world imperialist system, which is characterized today by the existence of two big imperialist blocs; on the one hand, by the Western imperialist bloc, headed by US imperialism, the instruments of which are such inter-imperialist organizations as NATO, the European Common Market, etc., and on the other hand, by the bloc of the East, dominated by Soviet social imperialism, which has as the instruments of its expansionist, hegemonistic and warmongering policy the Warsaw treaty and COMECON.

In the scheme of “three worlds”, the so called “second world” includes capitalist and revisionist imperialist countries, which, from the point of view of their social order have no essential difference either from the two superpowers or from various countries included in the “third world”. It is true that the countries of this “world” have definite contradictions with the two superpowers, but they are contradictions of an inter-imperialist character, as are also the contradictions between the two superpowers themselves. In the first place, they are contradictions over markets, spheres of influence, zones for the export of capital and the exploitation of the riches of others, of such imperialisms as the West German, Japanese, British, French, Canadian ones, etc., with one or the other superpower, as well as with one another.

Let us look first at this “western imperialist bloc, headed by US imperialism”. When this bloc really did exist in 1952, Stalin pointed out the inevitable disintegration which is now going on before our very eyes (whether these eyes remain open or closed):[6A]

Outwardly, everything would seem to be “going well”: the U.S.A. has put Western Europe, Japan and other capitalist countries on rations; Germany (Western), Britain, France, Italy and Japan have fallen into the clutches of the U.S.A. and are meekly obeying its commands. But it would be mistaken to think that things can continue to “go well” for “all eternity”, that these countries will tolerate the domination and oppression of the United States endlessly, that they will not endeavour to tear loose from American bondage and take the path of independent development.

Take, first of all, Britain and France. Undoubtedly, they are imperialist countries. Undoubtedly, cheap raw materials and secure markets are of paramount importance to them. Can it be assumed that they will endlessly tolerate the present situation, in which, under the guise of “Marshall plan aid”, Americans are penetrating into the economies of Britain and France and trying to convert them into adjuncts of the United States economy, and American capital is seizing raw materials and markets in the British and French colonies and thereby plotting disaster for the high profits of the British and French capitalists? Would it not be truer to say that capitalist Britain, and after her, capitalist France, will be compelled in the end to break from the embrace of the U.S.A. and enter into conflict with it in order to secure an independent position and of course, high, profits?

Let us pass to the major vanquished countries, Germany (Western) and Japan. These countries are now languishing in misery under the jackboot of American imperialism. Their industry and agriculture, their trade, their foreign and home policies, and their whole life are fettered by the American occupation “regime”. Yet only yesterday these countries were great imperialist powers and were shaking the foundations of the domination of Britain, the U.S.A. and France in Europe and Asia. To think that these countries will not try to get on their feet again, will not try to smash the U.S. “regime”, and force their way to independent development, is to believe in miracles.

It is said that the contradictions between capitalism and socialism are stronger than the contradictions among the capitalist countries. Theoretically, of course, that is true. It is not only true now, today; it was true before the Second World War. And it was more or less realized by the leaders of the capitalist countries. Yet the Second World War began not as a war with the U.S.S.R., but as a war between capitalist countries...

If in 1952 it was a mistake, then today it is sheer nonsense to deny the acute conflict between the United States and the Western European countries and to see them as a single bloc. Pick up any newspaper and you will read of the struggle between them. How can the European Economic Community (EEC), or the “Common Market” be an “interimperialist organization” of this “bloc, headed by US imperialism”, when it excludes the U.S.A. and struggles against it?

Then let us look at these inter-imperialist contradictions. Do they only concern the “exploitation of the riches of others”? Does the contradiction between America and France concern only French influence in Africa? If so, what does the contradiction between the U.S. and Japan concern – only south Korea? What colonies does the U.S.A. dispute with Canada? With Australia? A little thought shows that the contradictions over markets,spheres of influence, zones for the export of capital mainly (but not exclusively) concerns the carving up of the Second World countries themselves. Certainly the contradiction between American and Australian capital concerns mainly who is to exploit Australia, not Niugini or any other place.

If Stalin could speak of Second World countries having “fallen into the clutches of the U.S.A.”, suffering its “domination and oppression” and “languishing in misery under the jackboot” may we not say they are “subjected to superpower oppression, exploitation, control or threat”?

Turning to Eastern Europe the matter becomes even clearer. The editorial does not even dare suggest that the contradictions between the Soviet Union and say Czechoslovakia concerns “the exploitation of the riches of others”. The capitalist countries of Eastern Europe are quite clearly subjected to Soviet oppression, exploitation, control and threat. Those of the West are subject to its bullying and threat.

What then is left of the editorial’s complaints about the Second World? Only that from the point of view of social order these countries ’have no essential difference either from the two superpowers or from various countries included in the “third world”’.

Of course it is quite true that the countries of the Second world have the same social system as the two superpowers (capitalist). But it does not follow that these countries are not oppressed by the two superpowers and neither does it follow that the countries of the Second World are not oppressed by the superpowers.


Then the editorial informs us (p20):

It can never happen that the so called countries of the “second world”, in other words the big monopoly bourgeoisie ruling there, become allies of the oppressed peoples and nations in the struggle against the two superpowers and world imperialism. History since the Second World War shows clearly that these countries have supported and still support the aggressive policy and acts of US imperialism such as in Korea and Vietnam, the Middle East, Africa, etc. They are ardent defenders of neocolonialism and of the old order of inequality in international economic relations.

But if we study history since the beginning of the second world war, we find that it did happen. The big monopoly bourgeoisie of Britain, France and even the US was allied with us against German and Japanese fascism. It is a fact. It happened.

Of course they had their own reasons for such an alliance, and there were rightist errors committed by Communists in the course of it, which should be remembered and learnt from. But it passes understanding how anyone could say “it can never happen”.

How can one deny that the countries of Western Europe can be allies against Soviet imperialism for example? They are its immediate target and they have substantial armed forces deployed against it. Of course they can be allies! As for their support for US aggression in the Third World, even that is not so clear cut. They have given some support, but not full support. Only Australia and New Zealand actually participated in the U.S. aggression against Vietnam. Western Europe, Canada and Japan did not participate, and some countries, like. Sweden expressed some opposition. Certainly the Second World countries defend neocolonialism and the old economic order, but they are not so “ardent” about it as the superpowers. By and large their empires have collapsed or been taken over by the superpowers. In negotiations with the Third World they have often favoured compromise rather than confrontation over such issues as oil and other commodity prices, fishing rights etc - leaving the superpowers rather isolated. The question is: do we emphasize their unity with the superpowers and line them all up in one solid bloc too big to cope with, or do we encourage them to oppose the superpowers and unite with the Third World against them? The answer should be obvious.

Continuing on the same theme, the editorial says:

The allies of Soviet social imperialism in the “second world” took part, jointly with it, in the occupation of Czechoslovakia and are zealous supporters of its predatory expansionist policy in various zones of the world. The countries of the so called “second world” are the main economic and military support of the aggressive and expansionist alliances of the two superpowers.

Surely the example of Czechoslovakia shows clearly that the “allies” of Soviet imperialism are in fact its victims. Wasn’t Czechoslovakia itself such an “ally”? If there are no centrifugal tendencies in the Soviet empire then why do they have to occupy their “allies” with troops? There must be burning resentment in the other East European countries against being used in this way. Certainly the use of Australian conscripts to help our “Great and Powerful Ally” in Vietnam has intensified contradictions between Australia and the US. Which is more useful to the world revolution; to denounce Australia for its “zealous” support of US imperialism and complicity in its crimes, or to point out to Australia (not just the workers), what disasters have resulted from subservience to US imperialism and the importance of shaking off this domination?

The conclusion should be that the countries of the Second World are the first victims, not “main economic and military support” of the aggressive and expansionist superpowers. That is certainly the way Australian revolutionaries see our country’s economic domination by the U.S., involvement in U.S. wars of aggression and military bases etc. It must also be the way revolutionaries in Eastern Europe see it. If revolutionaries in Western Europe do not see it so clearly, then that is a pity because Mao Tsetung pointed it out as early as 1946:[7]

The United States and the Soviet Union are separated by a vast zone which includes many capitalist, colonial and semicolonial countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Before the U.S. reactionaries have subjugated these countries, an attack on the Soviet Union is out of the question. In the Pacific the United States now controls areas larger than all the former British spheres of influence there put together; it controls Japan, that part of China under Kuomintang rule, half of Korea, and the South Pacific. It has long controlled Central and South America. It seeks also to control the whole of the British Empire and Western Europe. Using various pretexts, the United States is making large-scale military arrangements and setting up military bases in many countries. The U.S. reactionaries say that the military bases they have set up and are preparing to set up all over the world are aimed against the Soviet Union. True, these military bases are directed against the Soviet Union. At present, however, it is not the Soviet Union but the countries in which these military bases are located that are the first to suffer U.S. aggression....

...It turns out that under the cover of anti-soviet slogans they are frantically attacking the workers and democratic circles in the United States and turning all the countries which are targets or U.S. external expansion into U.S. dependencies. I think the American people and the people of all countries menaced by U.S. aggression should unite and struggle against the attacks of the U.S. reactionaries and their running dogs in these countries. Only by victory in this struggle can a third world war be avoided; otherwise it is unavoidable.

The position of the Soviet Union has changed since then, but these principles still apply in both Western and Eastern Europe.

Then the editorial says (p25):

Only the revolutionary, freedom loving and progressive forces, the revolutionary movement of the working class and the anti-imperialist movement of the oppressed peoples and nations can be true and reliable allies of the socialist countries. Therefore, to preach the division into “three worlds”, to ignore the fundamental contradictions of our times, to call on for alliance of the proletariat with the monopoly bourgeoisie and of the oppressed peoples with the imperialist powers of the so-called “second world”, is not to the advantage of the international proletariat, the peoples, or the socialist countries. It is anti-Leninist.

The assumption is very clear: the socialist countries (and presumably the International proletariat and oppressed peoples) should have only reliable allies. Unreliable, temporary, vacillating allies are of no use. “It is anti-Leninist”. There it is in black and white. Now let us see who is departing from Lenin. Here are his very well known views on this precise question:[8]

To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complicated than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to refuse beforehand to manoeuvre to utilize the conflict of interests (even though temporary) among one’s enemies, to refuse to temporize and compromise with possible (even though temporary, unstable, vacillating and conditional) allies – is not this ridiculous in the extreme? Is it not as though, when making a difficult ascent of an unexplored and heretofore inaccessible mountain, we were to refuse beforehand ever to move in zigzags, ever to retrace our steps, ever to abandon the course once selected and to try others? And yet we find that people so immature and inexperienced.( youth were the explanation, it would not be so bad; young people are ordained by god himself to talk such nonsense for a period) meet, with the support – whether direct or indirect, open or covert, whole or partial, does not matter – of some members of the Communist Party of Holland!

...The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and without fail, most thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skillfully using every, even the smallest, “rift” among the enemies, of every antagonism of interest among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism, or of scientific, modern Socialism in general. Those who have not proved by deeds over a fairly considerable period of time, and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to assist the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has conquered political power.

No doubt the editors of Zeri i Popullit are familiar with this passage from Lenin’s “’Left-Wing’ Communism, an Infantile Disorder”. It was probably hurled against them many times in the present controversy. Indeed, on page 22 of the editorial they cite a passage from a few pages on in the same chapter (VII. No Compromises?) of this work. But it is equally clear they do not agree with it or else have not understood it. (The passage cited on page 22 does not refer to “exploitation of contradictions in the ranks of the enemies”, as claimed, but to compromises with other sections of working people).

The whole of the chapter we have quoted from, indeed the whole of Lenin’s book, is a direct polemic against the “Left-Wing” Communist views advanced by the editorial. One would think the editorial would at least try to avoid directly contradicting Lenin, but here we have this talk of “only... true and reliable allies”. It is really quite strange.

Now let us look more concretely at this “anti-Leninist” alliance “of the proletariat with the monopoly bourgeoisie and of the oppressed peoples with the imperialist powers”. Is such a thing really unheard of?

It is well known that immediately before the outbreak of the second world war, the Soviet Union entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. We have already referred to the alliance with Britain, France and the USA etc after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. But this was a wartime alliance against a common military opponent, so it is worth rounding out the picture by referring to the diplomatic activities of the Soviet Union, under Stalin’s leadership, in the period when it was still a matter of preparations for an imperialist war and efforts by the Western imperialist powers to direct Hitler eastward.

Here is Stalin speaking in March 1939:[9]

How is it that the non-aggressive countries, which possess such vast opportunities, have so easily and without resistance abandoned their positions and their obligations to please the aggressors?

Is it to be attributed to the weakness of the non-aggressive states? Of course not! Combined, the non-aggressive, democratic states are unquestionably stronger than the fascist both economically and militarily.

To what then are we to attribute the systematic concessions made by these states to the aggressors?

It might be attributed, for example to the fear that a revolution might break out if the non-aggressive states were to go to war and the war were to assume world-wide proportions. The bourgeois politicians know, of course, that the first imperialist world war led to the victory of the revolution in one of the largest countries. They are afraid that a second imperialist world war may also lead to the victory of the revolution in one or several countries.

But at present this is not the sole or even the chief reason. The chief reason is that the majority of the non-aggressive countries, particularly Britain and France, have rejected the policy of collective security, the policy of collective resistance to aggressors, and have taken up a position of non-intervention, a position of ’neutrality’.

In the same speech, Stalin said:

At the end of 1934 our country joined the League of Nations, considering that despite its weakness the League might nevertheless serve as a place where aggressors could be j exposed, and as a certain instrument of peace, however feeble, that might hinder the outbreak of war. The Soviet Union considers that in alarming times like these even so weak an international organization as the League of Nations should not be ignored. In May 1935 a treaty of mutual assistance against possible attack by aggressors was signed between France and the Soviet Union. A similar treaty was simultaneously concluded with Czechoslovakia. In March 1936 the Soviet Union concluded a treaty of mutual assistance with the Mongolian People’s Republic. In August 1937 the Soviet Union concluded a pact of non aggression with the Chinese Republic...

...We stand for the support of nations which are the victims of aggression and are fighting for the independence of their country.

Thus Soviet policy was to divide the imperialist countries into aggressive, fascist states and non-aggressive democratic states and to work for collective security agreements (defensive military alliances) with the latter.

If anyone doubts that this means alliance with imperialist powers, here are some of the proposals for a military convention that the Soviet Union put to the British and French Military Missions in August 1939:[10]


In this case the Soviet Union will make available seventy per cent of the armed forces that France and Britain will direct against the ’main aggressor’, i.e. Germany. Thus if they use ninety divisions, the Soviet Union will use sixty-three infantry divisions and six cavalry divisions, with the appropriate number of guns, tanks and planes -altogether about two million men.

In this case Poland must participate with all her armed forces...


In this case, Poland and Rumania must make use of all their armed forces, and the Soviet Union will participate by as much as 100 per cent of the forces employed against Germany by Britain and France...


In this case France and Britain must not only declare war on the aggressor (or the bloc of aggressors) ’but must also start active and immediate military operations against the main aggressor’, putting into operation seventy per cent of the forces employed by the Soviet Union (the Soviet Union would put into operation 136 divisions)...


According to the editorial (p29):

The proletariat and the proletarian revolution are faced with the task of overthrowing every imperialism, and especially the two imperialist superpowers. Any imperialism, from its very nature, is always a savage enemy of the proletarian revolution. Therefore, to divide imperialisms into more or less dangerous, from the strategic viewpoint of the world revolution, is wrong.

Although very “left”, this statement actually does not go far enough. Not only every imperialism, but the whole bourgeoisie, and all exploitation of man by man must be overthrown. As Marx said in “The Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850:”

This socialism is the declaration of the permanence of the revolution, the class dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary transit point to the abolition of class distinctions generally, to the abolition of all relations of production on which they rest, to the abolition of all the social relations that correspond to these relations of production, to the revolutionizing of all the ideas that result from these social relations.

But it does not follow that because the revolution is continuing uninterrupted and permanent, therefore we must take on all our enemies at once, instead of one at a time, by stages.

Quite clearly Lenin and Stalin did “divide imperialisms into more or less dangerous”. It was not the Soviet Union, but Britain and France that rejected an alliance, against Germany. At the moment it is not yet a question of alliance, but such a division between more and less dangerous must always be made. Certainly for Mao Tsetung this principle is not some new result of the concept of “three worlds”. In December 1940 he explained very clearly what was involved:[11]

The Communist Party opposes all imperialism, but we make a distinction between Japanese imperialism which is now committing aggression against China and the imperialist powers which are not doing so now, between German and Italian imperialism which are allies of Japan and have recognized “Manchuko” and British and U.S. imperialism which are opposed to Japan, and between the Britain and the United States of yesterday which followed a Munich policy in the Far East and undermined China’s resistance to Japan, and the Britain and the United States of today which have abandoned this policy and are now in favour of China’s resistance. Our tactics are guided by one and the same principle: to make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one. Our foreign policy differs from that of the Kuomintang. The Kuomintang claims, “There is only one enemy and all the rest are friends”; it appears to treat all countries other than Japan alike, but in fact it is pro-British and pro-American. On our part we must draw certain ’distinctions, first, between the Soviet Union and the capitalist countries, second, between Britain and the United States on the one hand and Germany and Italy on the other, third, between the people of Britain and the United States and their imperialist governments, and fourth, between the policy of Britain and the United States during their Far Eastern Munich period and their policy today. We build our policy on these distinctions. In direct contrast to the Kuomintang our basic line is to use all possible foreign help, subject to the principle of independent prosecution of the war and reliance on our own efforts, and not, as the Kuomintang does, to abandon this principle by relying entirely on foreign help or hanging on to one imperialist bloc or another.

China has been brilliantly carrying out a foreign policy, “Chairman Mao’s revolutionary diplomatic line”, based on exactly these sort of distinctions, and with enormous success. Naturally it would be “impolite” for the Chinese Government to speak publicly about a policy to “crush our enemies one by one”, but the concept “win over the many, oppose the few”, is widely understood. If such “politeness” causes confusion among some people that is unfortunate, but China does publish the works of Mao Tsetung in large numbers and they are available for anyone to read.

If either now or in the future, there were mistakes or a wrong line in making the necessary distinctions between different imperialisms, that would be another matter. But the editorial is clearly asserting that as a matter of principle, no such distinctions should be made. On that principle it is clearly wrong, and would remain wrong even if mistakes or a wrong line in making distinctions developed, in future or existed now.

Indeed it is so wrong that even the editorial is forced to make a distinction between the “two superpowers” who are “the main and greatest enemies” on the one hand, and other reactionary forces who must presumably be lesser and smaller enemies, on the other hand.

Continuing on the same theme, the editorial says:

Practice has proved that the two superpowers, to the same degree and to the same extent, represent the main enemy for socialism and the freedom and independence of the nations, the greatest force defending exploiting systems, the direct danger that mankind will be hurled into a third world war. To ignore this great truth, to underestimate the danger of one or the other superpower, or even worse, to call for unity with one superpower against the other is fraught with catastrophic consequences and great dangers to the future of the revolution and the freedom of the peoples.

Here at least the editorial is not advancing some abstract postulate against the very idea of Leninist tactics towards different enemies, but a specific assertion that practice shows two particular enemies to be of the same degree. That is something we can at least discuss, or could have, if the editorial had bothered to cite exactly what “practice” has “proved” its assertion. Practice develops, while the editorial’s conception of it is static.

In the early 1940s, practice “proved” that German and Japanese imperialism were the main enemy of socialism and the freedom and independence of nations. Even though they were allies, they could not be the main enemy “to the same degree and to the same extent”. British, French, US and other imperialisms were also enemies of socialism and freedom, but since they were actively opposed to the main enemies, they certainly could not be enemies to the same degree and extent.

Later on practice developed and U.S. imperialism stepped into the fascists shoes and became the number one enemy. During the late 1940s and the 1950s there was no such thing as Soviet imperialism so practice did not prove it to be an enemy at all, let alone a main enemy. In the 1960s Soviet imperialism came to be an enemy, but nobody could say it was to the same degree or extent as US imperialism. Now, since the US defeat in Indo-China and the aggressive expansion of Soviet imperialism, the latter is considered to be a more dangerous enemy. Facts which prove that US imperialism is a declining, retreating superpower while Soviet imperialism is aggressively expanding have been cited many times. There is no need to repeat them here. If the editorial wishes to challenge these facts, or the conclusions drawn from them, it must do so by citing other facts or more convincing arguments. It is a practical question who is the main enemy and one cannot solve it by just speaking of some “great truth”. There is another aspect too. The main danger is the one that is not being guarded against. Revolutionary people are well aware of US imperialism and have learnt how to fight it. Soviet imperialism is not so familiar. It took a long time for Communists to even generally recognize its existence and many progressive people still have illusions about it. Once the Soviet Union has been exposed by something like Vietnam then it will be generally recognized as an enemy in the same way that the United States is. But Communists had to point out that US imperialism was the number one enemy of the world’s peoples for many years before the Vietnam war proved it to a much wider section of the people. To “underestimate the danger of one or the other superpower” is indeed “fraught with catastrophic consequences and great dangers”.

At present it ought to be obvious that people generally are far more likely to underestimate the danger of Soviet imperialism than to underestimate US imperialism. In Australia at any rate, only the Communists (including “Left-Wing” Communists) and the extreme right wing really recognize Soviet imperialism as a great danger at all. Most of the sort of people who have been awakened into opposition to US imperialism are also opposed to the Soviet Union. But they do not yet recognize it as even a “main enemy”, let alone “to the same degree and to the same extent”, as does the editorial. That is an additional reason for putting the main stress on opposition to Soviet imperialism.

According to the editorial (p28), advocates of the “three worlds” theory:

...claim that US imperialism is allegedly no longer warmongering, that allegedly it has been weakened, is in decline, that it has become a “timid mouse”, in a word, US imperialism is turning peaceful. Matters have reached the point that even the US military presence in various countries, such as Germany, Belgium or Italy, in Japan and other countries is being justified as a factor for defence.

There is an obvious difference between claiming that US imperialism has been weakened and is in decline, and claiming that it has become a “timid mouse” or “turning peaceful”. It is quite correct to warn that US imperialism is still a vicious enemy out to destroy us. But it is also a simple fact that for several years now no U.S. military forces anywhere in the world have been in direct combat with revolutionary forces. This is a change from the time when 500,000 troops were deployed against the revolution in Vietnam, and it is a welcome change (even if it does give us less to denounce them for!). How can our tactics towards them remain unchanged? At present things have not reached a point where there is actual unity with US imperialism against a common enemy, and the US is still using coup d’etats and other fascist attacks on the people. Nevertheless, the following remarks of Mao Tsetung in 1937 are at least relevant:[12]

They are bent on destroying us. Quite true, they are always trying to destroy us. I fully agree with the soundness of this appraisal, and indeed one would have to be fast asleep to overlook the point. But the question is whether there has been any change in the way they are trying to destroy us. I think there has been. The change is from war and massacre to reform and deceit, from a tough policy to a soft one, from a military to a political policy. Why has there been such a change? Confronted with Japanese imperialism, the bourgeoisie and the Kuomintang are temporarily forced to seek an ally in the proletariat, just as we are seeking an ally in the bourgeoisie. We should take this as our point of departure in considering the question. Internationally, for a similar reason, the French government has changed from hostility towards the Soviet Union to alliance with it. Our domestic task has changed from a military to a political one. We for our part have no use for plotting or scheming; our aim is to defeat Japanese imperialism in a common effort by uniting with all those members of the bourgeoisie and the Kuomintang who favour resistance.

In the event of the Soviet Union actually unleashing a third world war it is by no means inconceivable that Communists could find themselves in a united front with the big bourgeoisie and US imperialism (as well as struggle within that united front), depending of course on the specific, concrete character of the actual war. Even then, our “allies” would still be bent on destroying us and, without any “plotting or scheming”, we would have to take that into account. The Chinese war of resistance against Japan did not end with Chiang Kai-shek driving Mao Tsetung off the mainland to live in Taiwan!

But even though there is at present no such wartime alliance, there is nothing odd about considering US military forces in Germany, Belgium, Italy etc factor for defence. If we believe that the Soviet Union is preparing for a war of aggression then the armed forces deployed against it must be considered factors of defence.

In contemplating an invasion of Western Europe factors the Soviet Union must take into account include opposition from the people around the world, including revolution at home and in its satellites, and people’s war waged in the occupied countries. In the long run these factors will prove decisive. But in the short run the Soviet imperialists, like all other imperialists are contemptuous of the people and always underestimate their strength. The Soviet imperialists pay far more attention to the bourgeois armed forces deployed against them. If we consider the armed forces of the Western European countries as factors for the defence of those countries from Soviet invasion, then so are the US forces assigned to NATO. There is no great difference.

If those US forces are not a factor for defence, then what are they there for? According to the Soviet Union they are aggressive forces planning an attack on Eastern Europe and Russia. Perhaps they were once, but in today’s world it is very difficult to imagine that happening, and if it did happen neither the workers and working people in the US and Europe, nor a large part of the imperialist bourgeoisies, would tolerate it. If we look at the deployment, weapons, tactics, exercises and so forth of the Soviet and Warsaw pact troops it is clear that they are primarily oriented towards a “blitzkrieg” attack on the West. Similarly US and NATO troops are primarily oriented towards defence against such an attack.

Perhaps the US forces are there to encircle Albania? Nobody says so. Perhaps they are there to oppose the peoples’ revolution in the European countries? No doubt they would, but at present there is no civil war raging and nothing is happening that calls into question the capability of the local police forces, let alone the local armies, to cope with it.

When civil war does break out, the bourgeoisie will not consult us as to what armed forces they should deploy against us. Our efforts will be devoted to winning the war against them (including the struggle for peace), not to “demanding” that they reduce the armed forces they have deployed against us.

We have opposed US and NATO forces in Europe in the past, and will undoubtedly do so in the future. But that does not change the fact that they are, in relation to the Soviet Union, a factor of defence.


According to the editorial (p33):

Whoever “forgets” that both the Warsaw Treaty and NATO must be combatted, that both COMECON and the Common must be rejected, takes their side and becomes their slave.

Undoubtedly some “Communists” who take part in a united front against Soviet imperialism will become slaves to the Western imperialist bourgeoisie. This happened to some during the Second World War. But it is not inevitable. Mao Tsetung did not become a slave of Chiang Kai-shek during the war against Japan, nor to Britain and America. Nor did he avoid becoming a slave by simply avoiding a united front.

It is the duty of Communists to defend, even with NATO, the national independence of the European countries from the threat of Soviet imperialist domination – precisely because this is the road to the future amalgamation of nations while national oppression postpones that day.

Some supporters of the concept of “three worlds” go along with the EEC reluctantly, simply as a means of uniting against the Soviet Union. But there is nothing to be ashamed of in supporting the EEC as a good thing in itself, favourable to socialist revolution (unlike the “United States of Europe” slogan advocated in a quite different situation). Rejecting the EEC is quite commonly based on the narrowest kind of national chauvinism. Why should Communists tail, like those great “internationalists” the Trotskyites, behind the most chauvinistic sections of their own bourgeoisie, with slogans denouncing the inevitable trend for the capitalist countries of Western Europe to become more united?

We oppose Soviet COMECON hegemonism because it is not the assimilation or amalgamation of nations but the enforcement of national oppression and inequality by violence. The main aspect of the EEC is not such national oppression, but the voluntary coming together of nations on a basis of equality as a result of the internationalisation of capital. To the extent that there are unequal relations and national oppression within the EEC, this must be opposed. But it is clearly not the main aspect. To see this one may simply ask who is the oppressor nation. Is it France? Is it West Germany? Who is it?

Communists are not opposed to, but support the integration and amalgamation of the culture and traditions of peoples. Our support for self-determination is quite consistent with this. Just as we advocate freedom of divorce without opposing marriage or advocating divorce.

Lenin was crystal clear on all this in his 1913 fight against the “cultural nationalism” of the Bund:[13]

Is there anything real left in the concept of assimilation, after all violence and all inequality have been eliminated?

Yes, there undoubtedly is. What is left is capitalism’s world-historical tendency to break down national barriers, obliterate national distinctions, and to assimilate nations -a tendency which manifests itself more and more powerfully with every passing decade, and is one of the greatest driving forces transforming capitalism into socialism.

Whoever does not recognise and champion the equality of nations and languages, and does not fight against all national oppression or inequality, is not a Marxist; he is not even a democrat. That is beyond doubt. But it is also beyond doubt that the pseudo-Marxist who heaps abuse upon a Marxist of another nation for being an “assimilator” is simply a nationalist philistine...

No one unobsessed by nationalist prejudices can fail to perceive that this process of assimilation of nations by capitalism means the greatest historical progress, the breakdown of hidebound national conservatism in the various backwoods, especially in backward countries like Russia...

Combat all national oppression? Yes, of course! Fight for any kind of national development, for “national culture” in general? – of course not. The economic development of capitalist society presents us with examples of immature national movements all over the world, examples of the formation of big nations out of a number of small ones, or to the detriment of some of the small ones, and also examples of the assimilation of nations. The development of nationality in general is the principle of bourgeois nationalism; hence the exclusiveness of bourgeois nationalism, hence the endless national bickering. The proletariat, however, far from undertaking to uphold the national development of every nation, on the contrary, warns the masses against such illusions, stands for the fullest freedom of capitalist intercourse and welcomes every kind of assimilation of nations, except that which is founded on force or privilege.

Consolidating nationalism within a certain “justly” delimited sphere, “constitutionalising” nationalism, and securing the separation of all nations from one another by means of a special state institution – such is the ideological foundation and content of cultural-national autonomy. This idea is thoroughly bourgeois and thoroughly false. The proletariat cannot support any consecration of nationalism; on the contrary, it supports everything that helps to obliterate national distinctions and remove national barriers; it supports everything that makes the ties between nationalities closer and closer, or tends to merge nations. To act differently means siding with reactionary nationalist philistinism.

These remarks were written in reference to different nationalities within the one Russian state, but the principles clearly apply to questions like the EEC. It is extremely strange to see Communists siding with reactionary nationalist philistinism” and denouncing the EEC for precisely such progressive features as the free movement of capital and labour etc. The proper reply to the demagoguery of the cosmopolitan bourgeoisie and its pretence that they want an EEC in the interests of the workers, is not to oppose Free Trade and support Protectionism, but to expose their hypocrisy and support Free Trade (and the EEC) from a revolutionary standpoint.

Marx did this brilliantly in his 1848 “Speech on the Question of Free Trade”. After proving in detail that “To call cosmopolitan exploitation universal brotherhood is an idea that could only be engendered in the brain of the bourgeoisie” he nevertheless concludes;[14]

But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favour of free trade.

That kind of dialectical analysis of things is precisely what is missing from the whole editorial.


According to the editorial, by “ignoring socialism as a social system”, the concept of “three worlds” is “calling on the world proletariat not to fight, not to rise in socialist revolution” (p9). On the contrary, by highlighting Australia’s oppression and exploitation by US imperialism and the threat from Soviet imperialism, the concept of “three worlds” has assisted Australian revolution. There is an independence movement in Australia, and it has raised not lowered, the fighting strength of the working class.

As for the “socialist camp” in the sense spoken of after the Second World War (not quite the same as that referred to by Lenin and Stalin earlier), the plain fact is that it no longer exists, although there are still some socialist countries.

In analysing the world today and providing orientation in the international class struggle, of what practical significance is it to speak of a “camp” or “world” that has to be described as consisting of countries “such as the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania” (p9)? Before speaking of a “socialist world” or “camp” one should at least be able to name its members with some confidence. Otherwise why not just speak of “socialist countries” without implying that they are a “world”?

So much for the editorial’s views on the First and Second Worlds, now let us see what it has to say about the Third World.


According to the editorial (p10-11):

It is well-known that in the countries exploited by imperialism, in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the freedom-loving peoples are waging a stern struggle for freedom, independence and national sovereignty, against old and new colonialism. This is a just, revolutionary and liberation struggle, which enjoys the unreserved support of the Marxist-Leninists in the true socialist countries, of the world proletariat, of all progressive forces. This struggle is directed -and cannot fail to be directed, against a number of enemies; against the imperialist oppressors, and first and foremost against the two superpowers, as the biggest exploiters and international gendarmes, the most dangerous enemies of all peoples of the world; against the local reactionary bourgeoisie, linked by one thousand and one threads with the foreign imperialists, with this or that superpower, with the international monopolies, which is an enemy of the national freedom and independence; against the still pronounced remnants of feudalism, which rely on the foreign imperialists and are united with the reactionary bourgeoisie against the people’s revolution; against the reactionary and fascist regimes, representatives and defenders of the domination of these three enemies.

Therefore it is absurd to pretend that one must fight only against the external imperialist enemies without, at the same time, fighting and attacking the internal enemies, the allies and collaborators of imperialism, and all those factors which hinder this struggle. To this day there has never been any liberation struggle, no national-democratic and anti-imperialist revolution has taken place, without having internal enemies, reactionaries and traitors, sold-out anti-national elements. All strata of the bourgeoisie without exception, including the compradore bourgeoisie, cannot be identified as anti-imperialist forces, as a basis and factors which carry forward the struggle against imperialism, as the so-called theory of the “three worlds” does. To follow this “theory” means to divert the revolutionary movement from the right road, to abandon the revolution halfway, to separate it from the proletarian revolution in the other countries, to set the struggle of the peoples and the proletariat of those countries on an anti-Marxist and revisionist course.

All this sounds very “left”, but actually it is a non-class approach. Essentially the “freedom loving peoples” are counterposed to the “reactionaries”, which is how the petty-bourgeois nationalists view the revolution. Our class is not the “freedom loving peoples”, but the proletariat. In the Third World countries our closest allies are the peasants (not mentioned separately in the editorial), and especially the poor peasants. The national bourgeoisie is a vacillating class... and so on. That is a class approach. Moreover the struggle is not just “for freedom, independence and national sovereignty, against old and new colonialism”. That too is the viewpoint of the petty-bourgeois nationalists. It is a struggle for a new democratic revolution which is part of the world proletarian socialist revolution.

The “left” sound comes from listing together so many enemies. But if we want an even more impressive list, the continuing revolution must include not only the compradore bourgeoisie among its targets. After all, as the editorial did not fail to remind us, it is “the historic mission of the proletariat to liberate itself and all mankind from any exploitation of man by man, from the capitalist system” (p1).

But why, in listing the “number of enemies”, is it necessary to put them all together and stress their unity, the “thousand and one threads” that link them? Why can’t we instead stress their division and take them on one by one? That is what a class policy means. As Mao Tsetung explained in 1941:[15]

The education which our Party conducts among its own members and the people in general likewise embraces both these aspects, that is, it teaches the proletariat and the peasantry and other sections of the petty bourgeoisie how to unite, in different ways, with the different strata of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class for resistance to Japan, and at the same time how to conduct struggles against them in varying degrees according to the varying degrees in which they compromise, vacillate and are anti-Communist. United front policy is class policy and the two are inseparable; whoever is unclear on this will be unclear on many other problems.

Take the compradore big bourgeoisie for example. Can they never be “factors which carry forward the struggle against imperialism”? If this is an “anti-Marxist and revisionist course”, then it is not a new one associated with the concept of “three worlds”. Here is Mao Tsetung on the subject in 1939:[16]

The Chinese big bourgeoisie, which is compradore in character, is a class which directly serves imperialism and is fostered by it. Hence the compradore Chinese big bourgeoisie has always been a target of the revolution. However, different groups within this big bourgeoisie are backed by different imperialist powers, so that when contradictions among these powers become sharper and when the edge of the revolution is mainly directed against a particular power, the big bourgeois groups dependent upon the other powers may join the struggle against that particular imperialist power to a certain extent and for a certain time. At such times, in order to weaken the enemy and add to its own reserves, the Chinese proletariat may form a united front with these groups and should maintain it as far as possible, provided it is advantageous to the revolution.

Did this mean “to divert the revolutionary movement from the right road, to abandon the revolution halfway” and so forth? One could ask Chiang Kai-shek for his opinion on that. History is the judge.

Of course one must fight internal enemies, and there are people who do “forget” this. They may dress themselves up as great supporters of the theory of “three worlds”, but it is their own wrong line, not the “three worlds” that makes them do it. The foreign policy of a socialist country, and the orientation it gives in dividing the world into oppressed and oppressor countries, can be of great assistance to the internal struggle. But no socialist country can actually fight the internal enemies for us.

Even the most militant speeches in the United Nations cannot do that.


The editorial (p12) complains that:

Meanwhile the advocates of the thesis of the “third world” call liberation movement, moreover even “main force in the struggle against imperialism”, even the bargaining of the King of Saudi Arabia or the Shah of Iran with US oil monopolies, and their arms transactions with the Pentagon, involving billions upon billions of dollars. According to this logic, the oil sheiks, who deposit their oil money in the banks of Wall street and the City, are allegedly fighters against imperialism and supporters of the people’s struggle which is directed against imperialist domination, while the US imperialists, who sell weapons to the reactionary oppressive regimes of these sheiks, are allegedly supplying them to the “patriotic forces” which are fighting to oust the imperialists from the “golden sands” of Arabia and Persia!

If we say that the plundering of oil resources by the “Seven Sisters” oil monopolies is imperialism, then we cannot deny that defence against this by OPEC, including the King of Saudi Arabia and the Shah of Iran, is anti-imperialism. It is a simple fact that the “oil crisis” initiated by OPEC dealt one of the heaviest blows to imperialism (including Second World imperialism) in recent times. It also set an excellent example for other Third World producers of raw materials for imperialism. Would it have been better if they had not done this, so that we could denounce them for not doing it? If it is a good thing, why shouldn’t we praise them for doing it?

As for depositing their oil money in Western banks, that is not the whole story. In fact oil money is also used to develop the economies of the oil producing countries, thus bringing into being, or strengthening a proletariat and undermining the basis for the semi-feudal regimes. Some oil money is also used to assist other Third World countries and liberation movements.

Perhaps some special point is intended by singling out a King and a Shah, instead of some representatives of republican regimes in OPEC. If the suggestion is that “the reactionary and oppressive regimes of these, sheiks” can never do anything useful to the revolution, then that is quite wrong. As Stalin points outs:[17]

The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism...

Surely OPEC “weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism” and “these sheiks” are not so much worse than the Emir.


According to the editorial (p13-14):

Today two tendencies have developed in the world and are acting with a great force, tendencies to which Lenin has drawn our attentions: on the one hand, the tendency to the breaking of the national boundaries and the internationalisation of economic and political life on the part of the capitalist monopolies; on the other, the tendency to the strengthening of the struggle for national independence on the part of various countries. Thus in connection with the first tendency, in many countries liberated from colonialism, the ties of the local bourgeoisie with foreign imperialist capital have not only been preserved, but are being strengthened and extended in many neo-colonialist forms, such as the multinational companies, various economic and financial mergers, and so on and so forth. This bourgeoisie, which occupies key positions in the economic and social life of these countries, and which is growing, is a pro-imperialist force and enemy of the revolutionary and liberation movement.

As for the other tendency, that to the strengthening of the national independence against imperialism in the former colonial countries, it is linked, first of all and mainly, with the increase of the proletariat in those countries. Thus, ever more favourable conditions are being created for the broad and consistent development of the anti-imperialist and democratic revolutions, for the proletariat to lead them, and as a result, for their transition to a higher stage, to the struggle for socialism.

From this idea of “proletarian nationalism and bourgeois internationalism”, the editorial concludes that (p14):

...to speak in general terms about so called “third world” as the main force of the struggle against imperialism and the revolution, as the supporters of the theory of the “three worlds” are doing, without making any distinction between the genuine anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces and the pro-imperialist, reactionary and fascist forces in power in a number of the developing countries, means a flagrant departure from the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and to preach typically opportunist views, causing confusion and disorganisation among the revolutionary forces.

Here is what Lenin actually said on these two tendencies:[18]

Developing capitalism knows two historical tendencies in the national question. The first is the awakening of national life and national movements, the struggle against all national oppression, and the creation of national states. The second is the development and growing frequency of international intercourse in every form, the break-down of national barriers, the creation of the international unity of capital, of economic life in general, of politics, science, etc.

Both tendencies are a universal law of capitalism. The former predominates in the beginning of its development, the latter characterises a mature capitalism that is moving towards its transformation into socialist society.

Stalin quotes this passage and concludes:[20]

For imperialism these two tendencies represent irreconcilable contradictions; because imperialism cannot exist without exploiting colonies and forcibly retaining them within the framework of the “integral whole”; because imperialism can bring nations together only by means of annexations and colonial conquest, without which imperialism is, generally speaking, inconceivable.

For communism, on the contrary, these tendencies are but two sides of a single cause – the cause of the emancipation of the oppressed peoples from the yoke of imperialism; because communism knows that the union of peoples in a single world economic system is possible only on the basis of mutual confidence and voluntary agreement, and that the road to the formation of a voluntary union of peoples lies through the separation of the colonies from the “integral” imperialist “whole”, through the transformation of the colonies into independent states.

Quite clearly Lenin and Stalin (not to mention Marx and Engels) hold that capitalism “at the beginning of its development” strives for national independence, not just that the proletariat does so. Hence it is quite correct to speak of the developing countries, the Third World, ”in general terms” as the main force of the struggle against imperialism “without making any distinction” between the “revolutionary forces” and the “forces in power.”

Lenin quite clearly does not agree with the editorial’s claim that it is only the proletariat in the former colonial countries that strives for national independence. On the contrary he explicitly associates this striving with “developing capitalism”. No wonder the editorial only paraphrases Lenin (inaccurately) without quoting him or giving a reference.

It is countries that want independence, nations that want liberation and the people that want revolution. Of course in discussing the revolution we must distinguish between the revolutionary forces and the forces in power. In the epoch of imperialism, the proletariat must lead the bourgeois democratic national revolution “Countries want independence” is opposed to imperialism and therefore part of the proletarian-socialist world revolution. This does not mean that only the proletariat wants independence.

Precisely because, as Stalin says, “imperialism cannot exist without exploiting colonies”, Chiao Kuan-hua is right to say:[21]

The numerous Third World countries are most heavily oppressed and exploited by colonialism and imperialism; they are the main force in the fight against imperialism, and particularly against superpower hegemonism.

The editorial distorts Lenin by presenting the two tendencies as irreconcilable contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. ”For communism, on the contrary, these tendencies are but two sides of a single cause – the cause of the emancipation of the oppressed peoples from the yoke of imperialism. This error has a bearing on the problem of the EEC, discussed earlier.

If we look at the very example given by the editorial, the King of Saudi Arabia and the Shah of Iran clearly represent their respective countries. They represent the reactionary forces in power, not the revolutionary forces led by the proletariat. Yet it is a simple fact that their (capitalist) striving for national independence has struck a major blow against imperialism.


Continuing (p15), the editorial says:

In essence, according to the theory of the “three worlds”, the peoples of those countries must not fight, for instance, against the bloody fascist dictatorships of Geisel in Brazil and Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, the Shah of Iran or the King of Jordan, etc., because they, allegedly, are part of the “revolutionary motive force which is driving the wheel of world history forward”. On the contrary, according to this theory, the peoples and revolutionaries ought to unite with the reactionary forces and regimes of the “third world” and support them, in other words, give up the revolution.

Well...all that may be true “in essence”, but it must be a secret essence that has not been made public! We have quoted in full what China’s spokesman has said in the United Nations about the “three worlds”. Nowhere does he say that the people “must not fight” anybody. Nor can such a view be deduced from what he does say. On the contrary, in the same speech he says (quoting Chairman Mao’s statement of May 20, 1970):

People of the world, be courageous, dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed.

Perhaps the sin is one of omission. True, no call has been made for the people of Brazil to fight Geisel, for those of Chile, to fight Pinochet and so on. Nor for that matter has there been any call for the people of the. .. USA to fight Carter or for those of the USSR to fight Brezhnev. Nor indeed for the people of Australia to fight Fraser. So it is not a matter of the Third World as opposed to the First or Second Worlds.

Nevertheless, the people of all countries are fighting their internal as well as external enemies, and will continue to do so without any prompting. Their fight would not be assisted if it was made to appear the result of a “call” from China rather than what it really is, the product of class contradictions at home.

Chiao Kuan-hua does say:

The Chinese Government will continue unswervingly to implement Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and policies in foreign affairs, keep the people in mind, place hopes on them, uphold proletarian internationalism, and will never seek hegemony or be a superpower. We will strengthen our unity with the international proletariat and the oppressed nations and oppressed peoples the world over, our unity with the people of the Third World countries and our unity with all the countries subjected to aggression, subversion, interference, control or bullying by imperialism or social-imperialism so as to form the broadest possible united front against imperialism, and particularly against the hegemonism of the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States.

The starting point is clearly the people, the proletariat and oppressed nations. In addition there is a call for all countries oppressed by the superpowers to unite. This does give encouragement for the people’s of both Third and Second World countries to unite with their rulers against the superpowers. But it does not follow that the people should not fight their rulers as well. As Chiao says “Countries want independence, nations want liberation and the people want revolution – this has become an irresistible trend of history.”

The editorial’s real objection is not to any “omission” of the people, because no such omission is made. The objection is to the inclusion of a united front of countries as well.

Take Australia for example, where the reactionary Prime Minister Fraser has taken a relatively firm stand towards the Soviet Union Naturally we are united with him on this. But it doesn’t stop us fighting his fascist attacks on the people, as well as his subservience to the other superpower.

But an interesting question arises. Why does the editorial only mention “for instance” five “bloody fascist dictatorships”? The editorial is very insistent on viewing regimes according to class criteria based on their social order. Yet there is no difference in social order between the bloody fascist dictatorships and other Third World countries. Only a difference in the form of bourgeois dictatorship. Differences in foreign policy may be associated with differences in the form of rule (as indeed they may be associated with the outcome of parliamentary elections or coups d’etat). But the question of whether the people must fight does not depend on whether the regime is a “bloody fascist dictatorship” or not. The proletariat must fight the bourgeoisie whether its form of rule is fascist or parliamentary and whether there is a united front against external enemies or not. Only the form of the fight changes. By putting the question in the way it does, the editorial encourages a liberal or social democratic view. It creates the illusion that it is only the fascist regimes in the Third World that need revolution.


The editorial says (p15):

US imperialism, the other capitalist states and Soviet social imperialism have bound the classes which are ruling in the countries of the so called “third world” to them with a thousand threads. Being dependent on the foreign monopolies and wanting to prolong their domination over the broad masses of their own peoples, these classes are, of course, trying to give the impression as if they allegedly form a democratic bloc of independent states, which aims to exert pressure on US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism and to stop their interference in their internal affairs.

We may go further. In some countries the ruling classes may take an anti-American stand and pretend to be revolutionaries. They may say to the people: “Look we are friendly to China. China will not support you. Stop fighting us and we will work for progress together. We all oppose imperialism.”

Nobody can stop them from saying this, and if there are revisionists in the local Communist Party, nobody can stop them from listening. After the wartime alliance between the USA and the Soviet Union, Earl Browder was even able to use this kind of argument to dissolve the Communist Party, USA and turn it into a “Communist Political Association” (nevertheless, this did not make the wartime alliance itself an act of betrayal).

The ruling class may change from counter-revolutionaries to “revolutionaries” overnight (just as they may change back if the Americans ask them to, or join the “socialist camp” and attack China if the Russians make a sufficiently attractive offer). But if the people still have nothing, how can that abolish the class struggle? If the gap between rich and poor remains and increases, then the people will not put up with poverty and backwardness in exchange for sweet words. Far from strengthening illusions, any denunciation of imperialism at the United Nations will only provide ammunition helping to expose subservience to it at home.

Especially in those countries where the rulers have used anti-Communism and anti-Chinese sentiment (both against China and against local verses Chinese), the establishment of normal diplomatic relations, and even more so, the establishment of friendly relations with China, can only help the revolution. It proves to the people that their problems cannot be due, as the big landlords and big bourgeoisie had pretended, to Communism, China or the local Chinese, but must be due to imperialism and the reactionary ruling classes. Thus China uniting with Third World countries against the superpowers is an extremely effective way to help undermine the ideological props of reactionary anti-Communist regimes in the Third World.

Even in Australia some of this applies. Although there is no recent problem of class struggle being diverted into national or racial conflict with local Chinese, the ruling class was able to set China itself up as the “yellow peril” and the “threat from the north”. These terms are now a joke and almost forgotten, but absurd pretexts like these were once used to justify sending Australian troops to fight for the Americans in Vietnam.

After Nixon’s visit to China, all that collapsed completely, thus undermining the ideological foundations of the war effort and anti-Communism in general (both of which had of course already taken a severe beating). Instead there were widespread feelings of friendship for China (among all strata), including admiration for her socialist achievements which were favourably contrasted with capitalism and imperialist domination of Australia.

All this certainly helped the Australian revolution, since anti-Communism is a major obstacle to that revolution. Friendly relations with the Whitlam and later with the Fraser Governments, and a degree of unity between Australia and China on some international questions, have not reduced but have increased the general growth of anti-imperialist struggle in Australia. Of course there are no huge demonstrations against Australian participation in the Vietnam war at present, but then neither is there any such war or Australian participation in it. Opposition to the Fraser Government’s reactionary domestic and foreign policies has not been diminished in the least by his good relations with China, and it does not seem that Nixon was saved by it either!

Of course US psychological warfare experts dropped pictures of Mao Tsetung shaking hands with Nixon on anti-imperialist fighters in IndoChina, together with bombs. A similar job was done by Trotskyite publications here and in other countries. Naturally it caused some confusion among progressive people, but compared with the overall effect on the broad masses, and hence on the general political climate here, this was quite insignificant. Nor did it help them much in IndoChina.

Surely in countries where there is actual armed struggle going on against reactionary regimes all this would apply even more strongly. Especially since China has publicly reaffirmed its support for that armed struggle at the same time as uniting with the respective “Third World’1 governments against the superpowers.


There is another point too. Although there are puppet regimes in the Third World, not all the reactionary regimes are mere puppets. It is quite possible for countries of the Third World to shake off imperialist control and establish genuine political independence. Not necessarily economic independence of course since “Big finance capital of one country can always buy up competitors in another, politically independent country and constantly does so.”[22] By throwing off imperialist political control, economic plundering and cultural aggression, poor and backward countries are able to develop their own (capitalist) economies more rapidly. This does not mean peaceful transition to socialism, but rather the conditions for class polarization to occur and for the proletariat to step forward and lead a revolution.

Such states do form a bloc that does exert pressure on US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism to stop interference in internal affairs. This democratic bloc of independent states is referred to by Enver Hoxha in the speech we quoted earlier (also quoted in the editorial, p31). So why does the editorial make such a fuss against it? The term “Third World” was not invented but describes an actual bloc that has existed and been recognized for a long time and has caused great concern to the superpowers. One can loftily ridicule its weakness, or try to develop its strength.

Finally, according to the editorial (p17):

Efforts are being made to create even another grouping of the so called “developing countries”, in which both the countries of the “third world” and the “non-aligned” are all lumped together. The authors of this theory too, are covering up the class contradictions, advocating the existing status quo, that nothing must be done to annoy imperialism, social imperialism and the other imperialist powers, on the condition that they provide some “hand-outs” for building up the economies of the “developing countries”. According to the authors of this theory, the big powers ought to make some “sacrifices”, give something to the hungry, so that they will be able to pick up some sort of livelihood and not raise their heads. In this way, they say, a middle road will be found, “a new international order will be established”, in which all, rich and poor, exploiters and the exploited, will live “without wars”, “without armaments”, “in unity”, “in class peace”, in a Khrushchevite coexistence.

No “efforts” are required. There is in fact a division between developing and developed countries in the world. The developing countries are struggling for a “new economic order” and for the transfer of real resources from developed countries to developing ones. What is wrong with that? It is a form of class struggle. These demands are supported in Enver Hoxha’s speech mentioned before. If some leaders of developing countries have illusions about a “middle road”, that is unfortunate, but it does not change the justice of their demands. Support for these demands is not Khrushchevite coexistence but international class struggle. In fact opposition to these demands is Khrushchevite coexistence.


Summing up, the essence of the concept of “three worlds” is to apply Chairman Mao’s theory of the united front, a development of Leninist strategy and tactics, to the international class struggle. The essence of the editorial’s position is to reject Leninist strategy and tactics and reject the united front. Lenin called this. “Left Wing” Communism and Mao Tsetung called it “closed doorism”. The best refutation of it is given by Mao Tsetung himself, writing in 1935:[23]

The advocates of united front tactics say, if we are to make a proper estimate of the possibility of forming a broad revolutionary united front, a proper estimate must be made of the changes that may occur in the alignment of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces in China resulting from the attempt of Japanese imperialism to turn China into a colony. Without a proper estimate of the strong and weak points of the Japanese and Chinese counter-revolutionary forces and of the Chinese revolutionary forces, we shall be unable fully to understand the necessity of organizing a broad revolutionary national united front, or to take firm measures to break down closed doorism, or to use the united front as a means of organizing and rallying millions of people and all the armies that are potentially friendly to the revolution for the purpose of advancing to strike at our main target, namely, Japanese imperialism and its running dogs, the Chinese traitors, or to use this tactical weapon of ours to strike at the main target before us, but instead we shall aim at a variety of targets so that our bullets will hit not the principal enemy but our lesser enemies or even our allies. This would mean failure to single out the principal enemy and waste of ammunition. It would mean inability to close in and isolate him. It would mean inability to draw to our side all those in the enemy camp and on the enemy front who have joined them under compulsion, and those who were our enemies yesterday but may become our friends today. It would in fact mean helping the enemy, holding back, isolating and constricting the revolution, and bringing it to a low ebb and even to defeat.

The advocates of closed-door tactics say the above arguments are all wrong. The forces of the revolution must be pure, absolutely pure, and the road of the revolution must be straight, absolutely straight. Nothing is correct, except what is literally recorded in Holy Writ. The national Bourgeoisie is entirely and eternally counter-revolutionary. Not an inch must be conceded to the rich peasants. The yellow trade unions must be fought tooth and nail. If we shake hands with Tsai Ting-kai, we must call him a counterrevolutionary at the same moment. Was there ever a cat that did not love fish or a warlord that was not a counter-revolutionary? Intellectuals are three day revolutionaries whom it is dangerous to recruit. It follows therefore that closed-doorism is the sole wonder-working magic, while the united front is an opportunist tactic.

Comrades, which is right the united front or closed-doorism? Which indeed is approved by Marxism-Leninism? I answer without the slightest hesitation – the united front and not closed-doorism. Three year olds have many ideas which are right but they cannot be entrusted with serious national or world affairs because they do not understand them yet. Marxism-Leninism is opposed to the “infantile disorder” found in the revolutionary ranks. This infantile disorder is just what the confirmed exponents of closed-doorism advocate. Like every other activity in the world, revolution always follows a tortuous road and never a straight one. The alignment of forces in the revolutionary and counter revolutionary camps can change, just as everything else in the world changes. The Party’s new tactics of a broad united front start from the two fundamental facts that Japanese imperialism is bent on reducing all China to a colony and that China’s revolutionary forces still have serious weaknesses. In order to attack the forces of the counter-revolution, what the revolutionary forces need today is to organize millions upon millions of the masses and move a mighty revolutionary army into action. The plain truth is that only a force of such magnitude can crush the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators. Therefore, united front tactics are the only Marxist-Leninist tactics. The tactics of closed-doorism are, on the contrary, the tactics of the regal isolationist. Closed-doorism just “drives the fish into deep waters and the sparrows into “the thickets” and it will drive the millions upon millions of the masses, this mighty army, over to the enemy side, which will certainly win his acclaim. In practice, closed-doorism is the faithful servant of the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators. Its adherents’ talk of the “pure” and the “straight” will be condemned by Marxist-Leninists and commended by the Japanese imperialists. We definitely want no closed-doorism; what we want is the revolutionary national united front, which will spell death to the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators.

“If we shake hands with an enemy of our enemy, we must call him a counter-revolutionary at the same moment. Was there ever a cat that did not love fish or an imperialist that was not a counter-revolutionary?”... That is exactly the thinking behind the editorial, and it is quite wrong.

The editorial asserts, as indisputable truths, “Left-Wing” Communist propositions that have been explicitly repudiated in the classics of Marxism-Leninism. We have to disagree.


We must criticize all mistakes fearlessly and openly if we wish to be true to the spirit of Marx and help Australian Communists to be equal to the present day tasks of the workers’ movement. We should not conceal these mistakes, but should use them as an example to teach us how to avoid them and live up to the more rigorous requirements of revolutionary Marxism.

In disagreeing with the mistakes of the editorial, we agree with what Lenin said about the mistakes of Bebel and Rosa Luxemburg:

And let not the small fry, the liberals, crow over our criticism. We shall tell these gentlemen “Eagles may at times fly lower than hens, but hens can never rise to the height of eagles.”[24]

In spite of his mistakes, Enver Hoxha, like Rosa Luxemburg was and remains for us an eagle, “And of course, in the backyards of the working class movement, among the dung heaps, hens...will cackle over the mistakes committed by the great Communist. To every man his own.[25]

There are those, to borrow a phrase, who attend the 7th Congress of the Party of Labour and speak, publicly about “warm fraternal, relations which have grown stronger and stronger”[25A]. Then they return home and make public insinuations about “ulterior motives”[25B], send emissaries to suppress the distribution of the documents of that “fraternal” party, even by the friendship association, and privately spread rumours about “Trotskyism” and “going soft on the Soviet Union”, while denying that they are doing it. Such behaviour cannot be called Communist. It could be called something else, but suffice to say that it cannot be called Communist.

The position taken, in the editorial is not Trotskyist, nor is it “soft on the Soviet Union. Anyone who knows anything about the Party of labour of Albania can only laugh at such pathetic slanders, which of course is why those who spread them have to do so surreptitiously rather than openly and why they have to try desperately to suppress all knowledge about Albania.

In our opinion the editorial does err in failing to “soften” the attitude taken towards the U.S. and other imperialist powers, in the interests of unity against Soviet imperialism. That is not Trotskyism, nor “going soft on the Soviet Union”, but it can be characterized as “Left-Wing” Communism. No doubt the writers of the editorial would not agree with that characterization. Since they say the views we agree with are revisionist and opportunist, they will very likely come to say that we revisionists and opportunists and will continue to do so. That does not oblige us to reciprocate.

Lenin was quite clear cut on what attitude to take towards “Left-Wing” Communism. He fought it vigorously, as we are trying to do, with reasoned arguments, not slanders abuse and suppression. He never took it as the main danger, and neither will we.

In the 1920s many of those who had broken with Kautsky and the Second International were in fact “Left-Wing” Communists. In the current struggle against the newest revisionism it is hardly surprising that the same should be true. In his classic work, Lenin characterized this as an “infantile disorder” and pointed out that even, before then, just as now:[26]

Anarchism was not infrequently a sort of punishment for the opportunist sins of the working class movement. The two monstrosities were mutually complementary.

Lenin patiently explained how Bolshevism had always had to struggle against “Left” as well as right deviations, mentioning how:[27]

In 1908 the “Left” Bolsheviks were expelled from our Party for stubbornly refusing to understand the necessity of participating in a most reactionary “parliament”.

But he did not fail to add that among the “Lefts”:

there were many splendid revolutionaries who subsequently bore (and still bear) the title of member of the Communist Party with credit.

He said:[28]

There is therefore nothing surprising, nothing new, nothing terrible in the “infantile disorder” of “Left-wing Communism” among the Germans. The illness does not involve any danger, and after it the constitution becomes even stronger.

Quoting statements of the British “lefts”, Lenin said:[29]

This letter, in my opinion, excellently expresses the temper and point of view of the young Communists, or of rank and file workers who are only just coming to Communism. This temper is highly gratifying and valuable; we must learn to value it and to support it, for without it, it would be hopeless to expect the victory of the proletarian revolution in Great Britain, or in any other country for that matter. People who can give expression to this temper of the masses who can rouse such a temper (which is very often dormant, unrealized and unaroused) among the masses, must be valued and every assistance must be given them. And at the same time we must openly and frankly tell them that temper alone is not enough to lead the masses in a great revolutionary struggle, and that such mistakes that very loyal adherents of the cause of the revolution are about to commit, or are committing, may damage the cause of the revolution.

Now we are told that an ultra-“left” semi-Trotskyist, anarchist and certainly disruptive line...is the most dangerous form of ultra-rightism”[29A]

That is Khrushchev speaking. Same words, in an appendix to his book, what attitude to take to this:[30]

There is reason to fear that the split with the “Lefts”... will “become an international phenomenon, like the split with the “Centrists”...Be it so. At all events, a split better than confusion which impedes the ideological, theoretical and revolutionary growth and maturing of the party and its harmonious, really organized practical work which actually paves the way for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Let the “Lefts” put themselves to a practical test on a national and international scale; let them try to prepare for (and then realize) the dictatorship of the proletariat without a strictly centralized party with an iron, discipline, without the ability to master every sphere, every branch, every variety of political, and cultural work. Practical experience will soon, make them wiser.

But every effort must be made to prevent the split with the “lefts” from impeding, or to see that it impedes as little as possible, the necessary amalgamation into a single party –which is inevitable in the near future – of all those in the working-class movement who sincerely and conscientiously stand for Soviet government and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It was the exceptional fortune of the Bolsheviks in Russia to have fifteen years in which to wage a systematic and thorough struggle both against the Mensheviks (that is, the opportunists and “Centrists”) and against the “Lefts”, long before the direct mass struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat began. In Europe and America the same work has to be done now by “forced marches”. Certain individuals, especially among the unsuccessful claimants to leadership, may (if they lack proletarian discipline and are not “honest with themselves) persist in their mistakes for a long time; but when the time is ripe the masses of the workers will easily and quickly unite themselves and unite all sincere Communists to form a single party capable of establishing the Soviet system and the dictatorship of the proletariat.[31]

In a footnote to this, Lenin added:

As far as I have been able to familiarize myself with the newspapers of the “Left” Communists and with those of the Communists in general in Germany, I find that the former have the advantage of being better able to carry on agitation among the masses than the latter. I have repeatedly observed something similar to this in the history of the Bolshevik Party, though on a smaller scale and in individual local organizations and not on a national scale. For instance, in 1907-08 the “Left” Bolsheviks on certain occasions and in certain places carried on more successful agitation among the masses than we did. This may be partly due to the fact that at a revolutionary moment, or at a time when revolutionary recollections are still fresh, it is easier to approach the masses with tactics of “mere” negation. This, however, is not an argument proving the correctness of such tactics... [32]

Lenin worked hard to avoid a split with the “Left”. In his “Letter to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany Regarding the Split”, he wrote:[33]

The only thing that seems incredible is this radio report that with 25 votes against 18, you expelled the minority, which, they tell us, then set up a party of its own. I know very little about this breakaway opposition, for I have, seen only a few issues of the Berlin Rote Fahne. My impression is that they are very gifted propagandists, inexperienced and young, like our own Left Communists (“Left” due to lack of experience and youth) of 1918. Given agreement on the basic issue (for Soviet rule, against bourgeois parliamentarism), unity, in my opinion, is possible and necessary, just as a split is necessary with the Kautskyites. If the split was inevitable, efforts should be made not to deepen it, but to approach the Executive Committee of the Third International for mediation and to make the “Lefts” formulate their differences in theses and in a pamphlet. Restoration of unity in the Communist Party of Germany is both possible and necessary from the international standpoint.

In his “Theses on the fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International” (thesis 18), Lenin declared the views of various “Left” organizations to be erroneous:[34]

Nevertheless, the Second Congress of the Third International considers it possible and desirable that those of the above-mentioned organizations which have not yet officially affiliated to the Communist International, should do so immediately; for in the present instance, particularly as regards the Industrial Workers of the World in the U.S.A. and Australia, as well as the Shop Stewards’ Committees in Great Britain, we are dealing with a profoundly proletarian and mass movement, which in all essentials actually stands by the basic principles of the Communist International. The erroneous views held by these organisations regarding participation in bourgeois parliaments can be explained, not so much by the influence of elements coming from the bourgeoisie, who bring their essentially petty-bourgeois views into the movement – views such as anarchists often hold – as by the political inexperience of proletarians who are quite revolutionary and connected with the masses.

For this reason, the Second Congress of the Third International requests all Communist organisations and groups in the Anglo-Saxon countries, even if the Industrial Workers of the World and the Shop Stewards Committees do not immediately affiliate to the Third International, to pursue a very friendly policy towards these, organisations, to establish closer contacts with them and the masses that sympathise with them, and to explain to them in a friendly spirit on the basis of the experience of all revolutions, and particularly of the three Russian revolutions of the twentieth century – the erroneousness of their views as set forth above, and not to desist from further efforts to amalgamate with these organisations to form a single Communist party.

Our attitude towards “Left-Wing” Communism must be the same as Lenin’s – a principled fight against wrong ideas, principled striving for unity with fundamentally revolutionary forces, and absolute rejection of revisionism.

Some people cannot understand this position at all. It is a complete mystery to them. Because they are flunkeys themselves, they believe that everybody else must be flunkeys too. If they cannot be flunkeys of the Soviet Union, they become flunkeys of China. If we will not join them in performing backwards somersaults upon command, or in unprincipled attacks on fraternal parties, then we must be flunkeys of Albania. It does not matter if one’s views that contradict that are well known, or if one repeats them emphatically, flunkeys have an integral world outlook that will effectively prevent them hearing you – you are simply covering up your real position more skillfully. The world outlook of flunkeys is bourgeois metaphysics – everything has an external cause and everybody is somebody else’s flunky!

Of course if one “warmly hails” every internal and external development in a socialist, country, then as long as a Marxist-Leninist line is dominant there, one can sound like a very learned Marxist-Leninist indeed. If the leaders of that socialist country constantly warn you against subjectivism and slavishness etc, and you loudly repeat these warnings, then you can even sound like a firm opponent of subjectivism and slavishness and take quite a lot of people in.

But as soon as something happens so that independent thought is required, it quickly turns out that one is exposed as just a flunkey. Flunkeys don’t make mistakes very often, but that is just because they don’t make revolution much either.

Well we are nobody’s flunkeys. We don’t mind performing somersaults when it is necessary, but only forwards and not just on command. Backward, somersaults are dangerous because you cannot see where you are going and this can result in serious injury. We were followers of Mao Tsetung (not flunkeys) while he was alive, and we remain loyal to that after his death. We continue to defend both his line of continuing the revolution against the bourgeoisie right inside the Communist Party, and his revolutionary diplomatic line and policies based on the united front. Drifting with the tide, whether in one direction or another, is always easier than swimming against it, but the end result is to get swept out to sea.

An important positive characteristic of “Left-Wing” Communists is that they are not flunkeys either. As Mehmet Shehu said to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania:[35]

We air our viewpoint boldly, as we see it, irrespective of what others may think. That is what Marxism-Leninism teaches us. That is how life itself and the struggle have tempered us. Someone may wonder why Albania, which is such a small country, should pronounce itself so openly on these things! ’But Marxism-Leninism does not recognise ’big states’ and ’small states’, ’big parties’ and ’small parties’, ’big peoples’ and; ’small peoples’. According to Marxism-Leninism every nation has the right to have its say, every Marxist-Leninist party has the right to air its views. And the Party of Labour of Albania has exercised, and always will exercise this right, the Marxist-Leninist right to speak, for no-one has granted it this right, but it has won it itself, through consistent revolutionary struggle. This is at the same time, also a revolutionary duty for our party and it has honourably discharged this duty and always will.

Flunkeys cannot understand that, and if you quote it to them they assume you must also agree with the viewpoint to be aired, even if you explicitly deny it. The same applies to internal disagreements. Since the flunkeys experience of democratic centralism is confined to “agree with the report”, they cannot understand how Marxist-Leninists can have differences, on this or any other matter, can freely express their differences, can resolve them through struggle to reach a new unity at a higher level, or reserve them to be resolved later, and can thus strengthen themselves as a fighting vanguard organisation of the proletariat. To flunkeys all that is “turning the party into a debating society”, while drifting with the tide and performing backward somersaults on command are very “proletarian”.

Flunkeyism has a long history in the international, communist movement. Many parties took on themselves the role of spokesmen for the foreign policies of socialist countries, instead of making revolution in their own countries. Parties that have done this have subsequently degenerated and become completely revisionist. In the parade of breast-beating in alleged “support” of the theory of “three worlds”, we can see the same thing happening again. What the flunkeys support is not the “three worlds” but the subordination of revolution to foreign policy. The editorial does well to take up the cudgels against this thoroughly revisionist betrayal. But to fight it successfully we must identify it correctly and not confuse it with the question of “three worlds”. Naturally the flunkeys want to cover themselves up as adherents of Chairman Mao’s theory of “three worlds”, just as Khrushchev paraded himself as a supporter of Lenin’s “peaceful coexistence”, but why should Marxist-Leninists make it easier for them? It is like rejecting Leninist peaceful coexistence in order to oppose Khrushchev’s.

Having dealt at length with the mistakes of low flying eagles, let us turn briefly to the clucking and cackling of the puffed up hens. Extensive argument and detailed reference to the classics will not be required to refute them.


According to the hens, the concept of “three worlds” is “the starting point and main, weapon”, not just for providing, orientation in the realm of international class struggle but also internally. This “enrichment of Marxism-Leninism”[36] says that “to analyse the situation internally”, we start off by deciding which world our country is in. After only two guesses out of three, and a quick check through the Hsin hua files, we find that, Australia is and must be a country of the second world. That is, Australia is a developed capitalist country, which is plundered and controlled by one superpower, and threatened, with plunder and control by the other, more aggressive superpower. No mention of course that Australia, like other second world countries, also oppresses and exploits Third World countries (for example neo-co1onia1ism in Niugini and Fiji, air force units based in Malaysia and unequal trade relations with ASEAN countries). The party program, which calls “for united action of the Austra1ian pro1etariat with the oppressed people of New Guinea and Oceania”, is simply dropped.

Having decided what world we are in, and incorrectly and one-sidedly characterized our relations with the other worlds: “This knowledge allows us to correctly estimate the position of our own ruling class, and to define our tasks in relation to that class.” So you see it is not necessary to make a class analysis of Australian society, it can all be deduced from the fact that Australia is part of the second world.

The deduction proceeds something like this. “The best organised most reactionary and strongest section of our ruling class composed of out and out traitors has thrown in its lot with one or other group of the foreign-based multinationals. We call it the traitor class. The essence of the traitor class is national betrayal of capitulation to the strongest available imperialism. There is also a national bourgeoisie (which we will not go into here).

The traitor class, along with the two superpowers, and particularly the social-imperialist superpower, is the main target, of our struggle.

So we have a new class, not mentioned in our party program a “traitor class”, whose essence is not a certain relationship to other classes in social production, but whose essence is “national betrayal”. We also have a new “main target” which is “particularly” the social-imperialist superpower. Previously our struggle was directed against the imperialist and social-imperialist enemies of Australia. These enemies, notably US imperialism, British imperialism, Japanese imperialism, and Soviet social imperialism aim to dominate and exploit Australia and the Australian people. British imperialism tries to retain its hold on Australia. Japanese imperialism competes with U.S. imperialism. Soviet social-imperialism is beginning its imperialist expansion into Australia. At the present time US imperialism is the most aggressively entrenched, but the menace of Soviet social-imperialism grows. The Australian people’s enemies are, according to the party program “the imperialist bourgeoisie and their local collaborators who dominate Australia”. But now the enemies are not a class that actually rules Australia, but superpowers external to Australia (otherwise why not call them the “imperialist bourgeoisie”) and a “traitor class” that has “thrown in their lot” with these external enemies.

The hens continue: “But that is not the end of it.” (!) “Because we are a second, world country in the midst of superpower contention, and because of the greater danger of social-imperialism, the pro-U.S. diehard traitors (Fraser is one) have a certain progressive role to play, both externally and internally. It is one thing to treat Fraser as an enemy of our enemy, and unite with him in opposition to the Soviet Union. It is quite another, and sheer treachery to pretend that the pro-U.S. diehard traitors have “a certain progressive role to play, both externally and internally”. Nobody outside the hen coop regards Fraser as a progressive.

Continuing: “Thus we struggle against them where they attack the people and serve US imperialism, and we unite with them where they oppose Soviet social-imperialism although we keep in mind that this is done to strengthen the position of US imperialism, and we retain our independence and initiative for this reason).” Thus we don’t retain our independence and initiative in order to lead the united front and make revolution, but only because we don’t want to strengthen US imperialism! Whatever happened to the revolution? Is it just something “we keep in mind” (for whatever good that does)?

Continuing: “Also, we recognise that the pro-US diehards are bound to become increasingly weaker as the traitor class fulfils its role of attaching itself to the stronger imperialism. Already Soviet social imperialism has much more influence in the traitor class than some people recognize.”

These theories about “progressive” pro-US diehard traitors and, about the traitor class swinging over to the Soviet Union will also not be found in our party program. The program may not be a brilliant Marxist-Leninist document, and it is correctly described as “Draft” and “Provisional”, but in comparison, to this rubbish, we should hang on to it for dear life!

Next the hens apply their new found knowledge to deduce our immediate task:

Our knowledge that we are a second world country clarifies our immediate task, which is to win independence from superpower control. Having won that independence we consolidate, it and protect it in the course of struggle for socialism. But it would be wrong to demand immediate transition to socialism as this would strengthen the traitor class by driving into its arms the entire national bourgeoisie and sections of the petty-bourgeoisie and the working farmers. This would lead to the failure of the revolution. The proletariat needs these people as its allies against the immediate enemy, and will allow them to participate in the people’s democratic government of the People’s Republic of Australia. This government will be led by the proletariat and its Party, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist).

Involved here, whether those responsible admit it or not, is a fairly rigid division of the Australian revolution into two separate stages. The first stage is limited to a struggle to “win independence from superpower control”. Only having won that independence does the struggle for socialism begin (and even then, it is a struggle to “consolidate” independence).

This is a clearly Menshevik view, diametrically opposed to the Leninist theory of continuous (uninterrupted, permanent) revolution by stages. Even if it is called “true independence”, “real independence” or what have you, the term “independence” cannot possibly embrace the whole content of the immediate tasks of revolution in Australia. Even in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country carrying out a war of resistance against direct imperialist invasion, the struggle cannot just be for “independence”. Mao Tsetung’s concept of the new democratic revolution arose precisely in opposition to such ideas. He insisted that Communist leadership of the war against Japan was to make it a national revolutionary war, not just a fight for independence, and that the aim was a new China, not just a victory over Japan (“independence from superpower control”). Indeed victory over Japan could only be achieved by arousing the masses of the people, and hence by linking the war effort with the democratic revolution. All that was in conditions where direct invasion had made the contradiction with an imperialist power an internal contradiction, and the principal one, subordinating other class contradictions and making readjustments in class relations necessary. After the establishment of New China Mao Tsetung insisted on immediately launching the socialist revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie, and sharply opposed Liu Shao-chi’s line of “consolidating the new democratic order”.

It is really quite amazing that in an advanced capitalist country, we should be told that the revolution is an “independence revolution”,[36A] Still more amazing, this “independence revolution” is explicitly distinguished from the democratic revolution, (whether old or new) as well as from the socialist revolution, and claimed to be a new type of revolution, not known to the classics, but discovered recently by the sixth great genius of Marxism, while clucking over the “theory of three worlds”. The American, revolution was indeed a war of independence, but everybody knows this was an (old bourgeois) democratic revolution, because the task of establishing national independence is a part of the democratic revolution. But in Australia we are told the bourgeois democratic revolution has been completed (which if true, would, mean that an independent nation state had been consolidated), but the “independence revolution” remains. In fact, to the extent that national independence is incomplete, so is the democratic revolution incomplete (and will be completed only in the course of the socialist revolution).[36B]

If all this nonsense was really a product of the “theory of three worlds” then that theory would indeed, have a lot to answer for. But no matter what the hens say, there is simply no way you can deduce it from the “three worlds” and certainly the Chinese have not said anything in support of these deductions. Nor have others drawn similar conclusions. If it could be deduced from the theory of “three worlds” that therefore our immediate task is to “win independence from superpower control”, because we are a second world country, then presumably similar deductions could be made about other second world countries. Britain, France, Norway, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands must also be in the throes of an “independence revolution” because they are also in the second world. Everybody knows that there is a struggle for national independence against the superpowers in all the second world countries, but nobody outside the particular Australian hen coop has heard of the “independence revolution” (although no doubt there are deviations just as monstrous in other countries).

Then these countries must also be ruled by a “traitor class” whose “essence is national betrayal” and is preparing to go over to the Soviets. In opposition to Chairman Mao’s diplomatic line of uniting all forces that can be united against the Soviets, including the ruling classes of the second world countries, our hens insist on denying that these classes can really struggle against Soviet imperialism and present them, as its natural allies. It is not clear how the knowledge that the United States is a first world country determines the content of revolution there. Perhaps it is to “free other countries from US control”? Or perhaps in the US one should just “keep in mind the greater danger” from the Soviets?

The truth is that our hens clucking has nothing whatever to do with the theory of three worlds, any more than Khrushchev’s general line of peaceful coexistence has anything to do with Leninist peaceful coexistence. Mao Tsetung’s starting point is that the world is divided between two great classes and we are living in the era of imperialism and the world proletarian socialist revolution. Our hens obliterate this.

As a matter of fact the same people who claim that “Our knowledge that we are a second world country clarifies our immediate task, which is to win independence from superpower control” held exactly the same views when they believed that Australia was a third world country (or tolerated the belief and allowed articles to be published expounding it).[36C]

Since Australia is a third world country therefore...blah, blah, blah... exactly the same song. It could be argued that Australia, is so closely tied to the U.S. as to be a first world country. If our hens ever came to that conclusion they would undoubtedly still follow the same “independence” line. Our hens’ ideas, come not from living in the first, second or third worlds, but from right off the planet!

Our hens claim: “The theory of the three worlds has been a great encouragement to us in correctly deciding to uphold the line of continuous revolution by stages.”

In fact the line of continuous revolution by stages is not deduced from, nor even encouraged by the “theory of the three worlds”. It is a basic principle of Marxism-Leninism expounded by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and especially by Mao Tsetung in the Chinese New Democratic revolution, long before the post second world war division of the world into three parts was recognized. Application of this line in Australia is based on the concrete analysis of concrete conditions in Australia.

We are Marxists, and Marxism teaches that in our approach to a problem we should start from objective facts, not from abstract definitions, and that we should derive our guiding principles, policies and measures from an analysis of these facts.[37]

The “starting point and main weapon” for deciding, “who are our enemies and who are our friends” internally cannot be a correct analysis of international affairs, but can only be an analysis of the classes in Australian society, just as it was for Mao Tsetung in his analysis of the classes in Chinese society. It is precisely because such an analysis has not yet been made adequately that there, is still so much confusion (the present writer included), about the precise implications of continuing revolution by stages in Australia, the relationship between democracy, independence and socialism, etc.

To the extent that it is correct, the party program in Australia is not based on deductions from abstract definitions of Australia’s place in the three worlds, but from objective facts. Application of the line of continuing revolution by stages has nothing to do with the theory of three worlds. Neither the party program nor any documents relating to it make any reference to three worlds and the concept of three worlds was only publicised after the party program here had been drafted. These are facts. The “great encouragement to us in correctly deciding...” is not a fact.

There may be serious weaknesses in the party program, and in the way it was adopted. But attempts to surreptitiously distort it rather than openly change it cannot be tolerated.

According to the party program:[38]

The first stage and immediate objective is the complete independence of Australia from imperialism and the establishment of revolutionary anti-imperialist people’s democratic dictatorship. Winning independence from imperialism is an essential and first component of socialist revolution in Australia and that independence can only be won by determined revolutionary struggle....

The main political task of the Party is the organisation of the broadest united front of revolutionary classes to abolish the remnants of colonialism and to abolish imperialism to achieve national independence...

Thus the immediate task is not just to “win independence from superpower control”, but also to establish a “revolutionary anti-imperialist people’s democratic dictatorship” and to “abolish imperialism”. This dictatorship (which our hens do not like to mention) is of course a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is “based on the alliance of all strata of the working class and working farmers”, not based on an alliance with the national bourgeoisie (which may nevertheless participate in a united front).

The anti-imperialist character of this dictatorship consists of national independence from imperialist domination.

That is rather more than just “independence from superpower control.” But also: “The democratic character of this dictatorship consists of genuine democracy...the people’s ownership of the key sections of industry and the means of distribution; in the expropriation and redistribution of the land of the foreign monopolies and their collaborators in the strict supervision of the production and distribution of Australia’s natural resources and in adequate living standards for all useful people.”

Thus what is involved is a fundamental social revolution. To “abolish imperialism” in an advanced capitalist country is certainly a “component of socialist revolution” and cannot be reduced to just “independence”. Yet our hens flare up hysterically against any mention of revolution, socialism or working class leadership, outside the cosy confines of the Communist party.

Similar tendencies arose in the 1930s for example, when the imperialist world was divided between fascist aggressor countries and democratic non-aggressor countries. In China Wang Ming wanted to capitulate to Chiang Kai-shek in the anti-Japanese united front. Similar rightist views prevailed in Australia and other countries. Although this wrong line was encouraged by the Comintern and the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communists made a point of blaming Wang Ming and blaming themselves for following or being influenced by it. Under present circumstances there is no Comintern and neither has China done anything to suggest that the revolution is just about “independence”. Our hens have nobody to blame but themselves.

As a matter of fact, Mao Tsetung’s China also made very clear that their analysis of the international situation also involved far more than just a division into three worlds:

Countries want independence, nations want liberation, and the people want revolution – this has become, an irresistible trend of history.[38A]

It is clear enough. Anyone who tries to reduce this to just “countries want independence” is going against history. The people do want revolution.

The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” The destiny of mankind is definitely not to be decided by any superpower. “People of the world, be courageous, dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed.

That was also said in Chiao Kuan-hua’s speech to the United Nations. But it does not suit those, who believe that the destiny of mankind is decided by the contention between the two superpowers.

China’s foreign policy has been consistently revolutionary, as was Mao Tsetung’s domestic policy. The absurdity of taking China’s foreign policy, or that part of it dealing with the “three worlds”, as a basis for deciding the revolutionary line internally is shown by the fact that Mao did not do so.

As determined by the historic Tenth National Congress:

The basic programme of the Communist Party of China is the complete overthrow of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in place of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the triumph of socialism over capitalism. The ultimate aim of the Party is the realization of communism.[38B]

According to our hens there would be no need for the Chinese Communists to fight for the “complete overthrow” of the bourgeois or the “establishment” of the dictatorship of the proletariat since this has been finally achieved already. They need only “apply” the theory of “three worlds” to deduce that since China is a socialist country of the Third World it should fight to keep itself independent of superpower control and perhaps to achieve the four modernizations or some such revisionist rubbish, but not to continue the revolution against the bourgeois class right inside the Communist Party.

Mao Tsetung fought to his last breath against such hens in the Chinese Communist Party and won a series of important victories. His followers fight on and will ultimately win through. In China and all over the world there are Communists who fight on unflinchingly under the banner of Mao Tsetung’s line of continuing the revolution as well as his revolutionary international line. “If one’s line is correct, even if one has not a single soldier at first there will be soldiers, and even if there is no political power, political power will be gained. This is borne out by the historical experience of our Party and by that of the international communist movement since the time of Marx.”[39]


Since the hens cover up their revisionist internal line behind the “theory of three worlds”, there is nothing surprising in the fact that many genuine fighters against the newest revisionism are confused about, or opposed to, that theory.

But it would be surprising if those who have forgotten about revolution at home, and who “warmly hail” attacks on Mao Tsetung’s revolutionary line in China, were genuinely in support of Mao’s revolutionary diplomatic line and his concept of three worlds.

“Left-Wing Communism” has failed to recognize the full implications of Lenin’s slogan “Workers of All Countries and Oppressed Nations, Unite!” and his inclusion of even such countries as imperialist Germany after the Peace of Versailles as oppressed nations.[40] In denying that the Third World can be the main force against imperialism and especially the superpowers, they deny Lenin’s thesis that:[41]

...the socialist revolution will not be solely or chiefly a struggle of the revolutionary proletarians in each country against their bourgeoisie –no, it will be a struggle of all the imperialist-oppressed colonies and countries, of all dependent countries, against international imperialism...

We have seen how our hens oppose socialist revolution (except as something to be kept within the party, not waged against the bourgeoisie). Can it really be that they support Leninist tactics and the struggle against international imperialism?

It is one thing to endlessly talk about Leninist tactics, just as one can talk about shooting the arrow at the target, subjectivism, blind faith, ideological struggle and so forth. But has anybody ever seen a hen do anything other than lay eggs and cluck over them?

Lenin said that one must make use of any “rift” among the enemies and every opportunity to gain a mass ally. As we quoted earlier, he said:

Those who have not proved by deeds over a fairly considerable period of time, and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to assist the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters.

Our hens have proved by deeds that they are utterly incapable of leading a united front, exploiting contradictions among enemies and so forth, because they are not really concerned with actual concrete struggle for power against the enemy.

Our hens are far above all that. They live in a different world, a world of “ideologically building the party”, in which everything like everything else, is related to everything, but nothing actually happens. They are only capable of the narrowest, most sectarian kind of propaganda work, totally divorced from mass struggle. They have absolutely no idea what “tactics” are all about, since they do not participate in, let alone lead, any actual struggle.

One need only ask, between what enemies are “rifts” currently being exploited, what mass allies are currently being united with, in practice? Unless one counts the different tones of abuse or praise used towards different groups in a newspaper that none of them reads, then there are none. It is all words about attitudes to be taken towards different abstractions such as the superpowers, the national bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie etc. No wonder people react against these words when the practice appears so abysmal. Still, it would be better to react against the practice.

On the international united front and the theory of “three worlds” itself, our hens can do no more than reiterate their agreement. They can only restate, what the Chinese have already stated, without explanation, elaboration or any glimmer of understanding. They inform, us that “The works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung” and the writings of another gentleman whose name is “synonymous” with revolution in Australia (well known by his fame), are “an invaluable guide and a constant inspiration”. But they cannot refer us to a single “work”, or “writing” that sheds light on these questions, because they are too busy being “inspired” to actually study them.

In fact precisely because they do not really understand the concept of three worlds themselves, the only way our hens can think of refuting those who reject it, is by proclamations of loyalty, suppression of opposition material and general abuse. By distorting the concept of three worlds to cover their own peculiar domestic line, they lead others who reject the hens, to reject the three worlds as well. They are no more capable of refuting the “Left-Wing” Communism of today than Kautsky was capable of refuting that in his day.

Our hens conception of uniting all forces that can be united against Soviet imperialism is to proclaim that “Whitlam and Anthony daily make their position as puppets for Soviet social-imperialism clearer.”[42]

Their grasp of relations between second world countries and the superpowers is shown in assertions that “The Australian state apparatus functions for the giant U.S. multi-nationals and increasingly is coming under the influence of Soviet social-imperialism.”[43] Condominium is supposed to be the new form of contention.

Certainly if the present Deputy Prime Minister and the former Prime Minister and present leader of the Opposition in Australia are “puppets of Soviet social imperialism” then the Australian state must indeed be “coming under the influence of Soviet social-imperialism”. But nobody outside the hen coop believes it!

When the disintegration of US imperialism produces exposure of the CIA, our hens give credit to the KGB, not to the people’s struggle, and they actually have the audacity to claim it serves the common interests of both the Australian people and the Soviet imperialists.[44] According to the hens the overthrow of the Whitlam Government is not the product of domestic class struggle and imperialist interference, but simply a struggle between the two superpowers. In that struggle our hens line up with the Soviet superpower to denounce the semi-fascist coup. Their idea of turning the struggle against the Soviet Union is denounce them for having forced the Americans to resort to a coup![45] (Which if anybody believed it would be understood as a comment favourable to the Soviet Union).

Indeed our hens have gone so far as to present every progressive struggle in Australia, and especially the independence movement, as being “underwritten” by the Soviet imperialists.[46]

What is all this but outright pro-Soviet propaganda, prettifying the Soviet imperialists and presenting them as allies of the people? What is it but direct sabotage of people’s struggle?

Of course the Soviet imperialists seek to use the unpopularity of US imperialism to their own advantage. Our hens assist that by sabotaging our opposition to both superpowers. They hopelessly discredit and disparage it and turn it into a caricature”.[47] If the hens version of “three worlds” and the importance of fighting Soviet imperialism were allowed to spread unchecked it would discredit it from within, from its own ranks, would make it a vehicle of caricatured Marxism.”

The clucking of our hens, far from being based on the “three worlds”, runs directly against it. They cannot fly at all! All hens can do is squawk, cluck and scratch around.

(Completed September 25, 1977)


[1] English translation published as a pamphlet by the “8 NENTORI” Publishing House, Tirana, 1977. Page numbers in text refer to this edition. Also translated in Albanian Telegraphic Agency News Bulletin, No 188 – 11th year, Thursday July 7, 1977.

[2] “The Report of the Commission on the National and Colonial Questions” in ’’LENIN ON THE NATIONAL AND COLONIAL QUESTIONS Three Articles”, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1967, p30-1.

[3] “Foundations of Leninism”, FLP, Peking, 1970, p76. Ch VI.

[3A] “The Chinese Government Will Continue to Carry Out Resolutely Chairman Mao’s Revolutionary Line and Policies in Foreign Affairs”, Peking Review No 42, 1976, ppl2-15.

[4] “A Constitution that Embodies the True Features of Scientific Socialism”, Albania Today No 1 (32)/l977 p23.

[5] “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism”, Collected Works, Vol 23, footnote p64, Moscow 1964

[6] “Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Chapter VII, Peking, FLP, 1965, p109.

[6A] “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”, Remark 6, FLP, Peking, 1972, p33-34.

[7] “Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong”, Selected Works, Vol IV, p 99-100. FLP, Peking, 1969.

[8] ’“Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder’, Chapter VII p66—68. FLP, Peking, 1965.

[9] “Report to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) on the Work of the Central Committee” in “Problems of Leninism”. Part I, section 2, p883. FLP, Peking 1976.

[10] Istoriya velikoi otechestvennoi voiny Sovietskogo Soyuza (History, of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union) vol I, pp 169-70, Moscow 1960, quoting AVP SSR (Soviet Foreign Policy Archives) Anglo-Franco—Soviet Negotiations in 1939, vol III. Quoted and translated by Alexander Werth, “Russia at War 1941-1945”, Pan Books Ltd. London 1965. p56-7.

[11] “On Policy”, Selected Works, Vol II, p443-4. Peking, 1967

[12] “Win the Masses in their Millions for the Anti-Japanese National United Front”, Selected Works, Vol I, p287-8. FLP, 1967.

[13] “Critical Remarks on the National Question”, section 3, pp28,30, s. 4, p35-6, Collected Works, Vol 20, Moscow 1964.

[14] In “The Poverty of Philosophy”, p195, Progress Publishers, 1973. Also in Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works, Vol 6, p465, Lawrence and Wishart, London 1976.

[15] “Conclusions on the Repulse of the Second Anti-Communist Onslaught”, Selected Works, Vol II, p467.

[16] “Introducing The Communist”, Selected Works, Vol II, p289.

[17] “Foundations of Leninism”, Ch. VI, p75, FLP, Peking 1970.

[18] “Critical Remarks on the National Question”, s.3, p27, op cit.

[20] “Foundations of Leninism”, Ch. VI, p78-9, FLP, Peking, 1970.

[21] See note 4.

[22] “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economics op cit p44.

[23] “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism”, The National United, Front, Selected Works, Vol 1. d164-5.

[24] “Preface to the Pamphlet by Voinov (A. V. Lunacharsky) on the Attitude of the Party Towards the Trade Unions”, Collected Works, Vol 13 , p165, Moscow, 1962. [Correction]: "The original reference was to a different occasion when Lenin mentioned the flights of eagles and hens – unrelated to Rosa Luxemburg. Correct reference should have been to: “Notes of a Publicist“, Collected Works 33, pp204-211.

[25] “Notes of a Publicist”, February 1922, III Catching Foxes; Levi and Serrati, Collected Works, Vol 33, p210-11, Moscow, 1966.

[25A] “E.F. Hill’s Speech of Greetings to the Congress”, Albanian Telegraphic Agency News Bulletin, November 5, 1976. Reprinted in “Australia-Albania Friendship, Seventh Congress Special” (Inserts: “Australian Delegation at 7th Party Congress”), Australia-Albania Friendship Association, Box 34 Chadstone 3138.

[25B] E.F. Hill, “Communist Party of China Indestructible”, Vanguard, Vol 14, No 1, 20th January 1977, p8.

[26] ’“Left-Wing” Communism...’ op cit, Chapter 4, p17,

[27] ibid, Chapter 4, p20.

[28] ibid, Chapter 5, p33.

[29] ibid, Chapter 9, p79-80.

[29A] “Communist Parties are not Debating Societies”, Australian Communist No 84, July 1977, p45.

[30] ’“Left-Wing Communism”, op cit, Chapter 10, p109-10.

[31] ibid, Chapter 10, p111.

[32] ibid, Appendix I, p113-4.

[33] October 28, 1919, Collected Works, Vol 30, p87-8, Moscow, 1965

[34] July 4, 1920, Collected Works, Vol 31, p200, Moscow, 1966.

[35] “Report on the 6th Five-Year Plan”, “8 NENTORI” Publishing House, Tirana, 1976, p116. Quoted by AAFA. See reference 25A

[36] “Theory of Three Worlds Enriches Marxism-Leninism” Australian Communist No 83, June 1977, pp 19-27.

[36A] See E.F. Hill, “Chairman Mao Tsetung Stands on the Pinnacle of History”, Vanguard July 28, 1977 (excerpts in Peking Review No 34, 1977 do not mention the “independence revolution”). See also “Australia is Embraced by Law of Continuing Revolution by Stages”, Vanguard, August 4, 1977.

[36B] “We solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in passing, as a “by-product of our main and genuinely proletarian-revolutionary, socialist activities. We have always said that reforms are a by-product of the proletarian, i.e., of the socialist revolution. Incidentally, the Kautskys,... and other heroes of “Two-and-a-Half” Marxism were incapable of understanding this relation between the bourgeois-democratic and the proletarian-socialist revolutions. The first develops into the second. The second, in passing, solves the problems of the first. The second consolidates the work of the first. Struggle and struggle alone, decides how far the second succeeds in outgrowing the first.” Lenin, “Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution”, Collected Works, Vol 33, p54, Moscow, 1966.

[36C] See “Australia is Part of the Third World”, Australian Communist No 72, pp15-21. See also corrections in “Correct Orientation for Independence Movement is a Vital Question” and “Australia and the Third World?”, ibid No 74, pp9-15,16-17.

[37] Mao Tsetung “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art”, Selected Works, Vol III, p74.

[38] “Draft Provisional General Programme of Communist Party of Australia M-L”, Australian Communist No 71, pp1-6. Reprinted The Rebel!, No 2, August 1977.

[38A] See reference 3A.

[38B] “Constitution of the Communist Party of China” in “the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents)” Foreign languages Press, Peking, 1973, p61.

[39] Chou En-lai, “Report to the Tenth National Congress of the: Communist Party of China”, ibid p17.

[40] “Speech Delivered at a Meeting of Activists of the Moscow Organization of the R.C.P. (B.) December 6, 1920.”, Collected Works, Vol; 31, p453, Moscow 1966.

[41] “Address to the Second All Russia Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East November 22, 1919 Collected Works Vol 30 p159, Moscow, 1965.

[42] “Building the United Front for Independence and Socialism” Australian Communist, No 84, July 1977, p28.

[43] “Identify the Enemies of Australian Independence”, Vanguard, June 30, 1977? p5.

[44] “Superpower Contention is Real, Growing and Leading to World War III”, Vanguard, July 7, 1977 p4. Also “Superpower Bullying For Supremacy In Australia Now Out in the Open”, Vanguard, June 23, 1977, p3. An interesting further refinement to the theory that exposure of the CIA is in the common interest of the Australian people and the KGB, holds that it also provides a “screen” (an exposure screen?) for the CIA. According to this theory, the exposure is being promoted by Philip Agee (author of “CIA Diary”), and it “is obvious that at the present time he is assisting the KGB and on the side, the CIA.” This “moonlighting” for both agencies is of course an example of ferocious contention (for Agee’s services perhaps?). See “Ferocity of Superpower Contention Here Exposed, by Revelations About CIA”, Vanguard, June 2nd, 1977, p3. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

[45] “Soviet Penetration of Australia Growing” Vanguard, January 20, 1977, p3.

[46] “Expose Russian KGB, US CIA Secret Agents and Their Collaborators” (contributed), Vanguard, September 8, 1977, p1l. “Combat Soviet Imperialisms Political Offensive”, Vanguard, October7, 1976,pI “Mass Demand For Independence Growing Australian Communist No82, p 11,March,1977.

[47] “No one can discredit revolutionary Social-Democracy (read Communism) as long as it does not discredit itself”. See “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economics”, op cit reference 5, pp28-9.

NOTE: The references quoted from above are also intended to provide a sort of bibliography of works (both positive and negative) that ought to be consulted directly (quite apart from any quotations given) by anyone interested in a proper understanding of these questions.