Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jacques Grippa

“Theory” and Practice of the Modern Revisionists

A speech delivered at the Higher Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, June 10, 1964


The theory and practice of revisionism have become familiar to us during the course of our struggle in Belgium.

Let us recall briefly that during the past few years a revisionist leading group has been operating as an organized faction within the Belgian Communist Party. This group seeks to make the Party degenerate, and has carried out systematic revisionist activities.

This group has manoeuvred cunningly to expand its positions in the leading organs, and has violated and renounced the decisions of the Party Congresses.

The disgraceful attitude of this group during the counter-revolutionary attempt in Hungary was the signal announcing their later betrayals.

The Drapeau Rouge of November 2, 1956, carried this on its front page: “Nagy proclaims the neutrality of Hungary and denounces the Warsaw Treaty. He appeals to the United Nations.”

In this article, Drapeau Rouge reported without comment “retreat of the Soviet troops, the massacre of 130 militant Communists hung by their feet from trees and brutally beaten to death”.

In this same issue of the paper, the Political Bureau, dominated by the revisionists, expressed its

“appreciation for the moderate attitude of the Soviet Union”. (This was at the time when Khrushchov was withdrawing the troops from Hungary.) The Political Bureau regarded this attitude as “a manifestation of a great force in the service of an international detente”.

Speaking of the government of the traitor Nagy, the Political Bureau asserted that it embodied “the first successes won by the efforts of the Hungarian Workers’ Party and the organizations representing the working class and Hungarian socialist democracy grouped around their government”.

The Political Bureau also hoped that “the Hungarian tragedy was approaching its denouement”, an ending that in those circumstances would have been the victory of the counter-revolution.

The “Belgian Peace Committee”, at the head of which one finds the same revisionist leaders who now defend the Moscow tripartite treaty, published a communique, also carried by Drapeau Rouge without any comment, which “deplores the bloodshed and regrets the intervention of Soviet troops in the internal affairs of the Republic of Hungary”.

This communique, which was given the approval of the revisionist leaders, added: “These incidents prove that military treaties authorizing the stationing of foreign troops in any country are a danger to peace.”

Since these events, there has not been any self-criticism by the revisionist Political Bureau.

In 1957, the Political Bureau showed its interest in the programme of the Yugoslav revisionists.

But later, these chameleons pretended to approve the 1957 Declaration of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the socialist countries, just as later they pretended to approve the 1960 Statement of the 81 Parties. But in each case this was done only in order that they could continue their undermining activities.

The 13th Party Congress held in Liege in 1960 ended its session in ambiguity. However, the Political Bureau was obliged to give way on some of the assessments and formulations originally put forward in its theses. Notably the proposition about “advancing to socialism along the parliamentary road” was deleted from the theses by the congress.

But from that time on, the true colours of the revisionist Political Bureau have been completely exposed. There has not been a single event which does not reflect the struggle between the two lines.

The revisionist leading group has betrayed all and renounced all. It has betrayed the struggle for immediate demands. During the great strike of December 1960-January 1961, the revisionist Political Bureau was opposed to advancing the struggle to a higher stage. It claimed that the proposal to march on Brussels and lay down tools, agreed upon by hundreds of thousands of workers, was ultra-Left.

But on the contrary, it advocated the ”holding of consultations and talks with the representatives of the majority”. It disassociated itself from the strikers who fell victims to provocation by the gendarmes at the Guillemins Railway Station in Liege. It even held a press conference for this purpose!

It wanted to split the strikers’ front, especially in Brussels.

In the face of a new upsurge of workers’ demands in 1961, the revisionist Political Bureau, instead of calling for action, appealed for a “national labour conference”, a meeting organized by the government with representatives of the capitalists and the leaders of the reformist and Christian trade unions.

A member of the revisionist Political Bureau wrote at the time:

It is clear, in fact, that none of these urgent problems with which we are concerned, can be properly solved except in the course of negotiations in as calm an atmosphere as possible. . . . All these problems are so complicated that no answer can be found through a simple collision between the capitalists and the workers. This is exactly why the reactionaries hope for such a collision.

The revisionists also want to take the road of social planning. In giving free rein to their dreams of class collaboration, they cherish the illusion of being able to plan and programme the relations between the antagonistic classes in capitalist society and bring about harmony between them.

One revisionist lyrically declared, “Nearly everyone (including a good number of anti-Communists) could be said to be creating communism unwittingly.”

In the past few months, during the struggle for wage increases and so on, the main concern of the revisionists has been to restrain the workers’ struggle, to formulate objectives which divert the people’s attention, and oppose the general programme of demands which our Party is successfully popularizing.

The revisionists have betrayed the struggle against the anti-strike laws.

On September 1, 1962, Ministers Gilson and Vermeylen put forward several repressive, anti-labour bills. However, all that the main ringleaders of the revisionists could find to say about this in January 1963 was that it was “a manoeuvre aimed at heading off the formulation of workers’ new demands”.

The revisionists go so far as to consider the demand for the “resignation of Gilson” as an anti-Party slogan!

The revisionists support the Lefevre-Spaak government, instrument of the most reactionary stratum of finance capital and lackey of U.S. imperialism, instead of criticizing it.

The Belgian revisionists have betrayed the struggle to prevent world war.

Together with their like in other countries, they frantically support the Moscow tripartite treaty. Now they condemn the demand for a reduction of 10,000 million in military expenditure. They have presented Kennedy as “the king piece in the struggle for peace” and called for the “strengthening of Kennedy’s position”.

The Belgian revisionist group is of the opinion that it is not a question at present of withdrawing from NATO but of assuring U.S. leadership of this organization.

In international policy the Political Bureau’s stand is to give active support to Spaak who has become a confidant of Khrushchov.

But in mass demonstrations, especially the “Youth’s Anti-Atomic March” on March 15 and the “Day for Peace” activities of May 8, the revisionist and reformist leaders working in collusion were unable to prevent the majority of demonstrators from accepting our slogans for a consistent struggle to prevent world war:

”For the total banning and destruction of nuclear arms!” and “Quit NATO!”

The Belgian revisionists have betrayed proletarian internationalism.

They have betrayed the revolutionary national-liberation struggle of the Congolese people.

After tolerating Belgium’s military intervention, they advocated U.N. intervention in the Congo.

This intervention resulted in the deaths of Lumumba and his comrades-in-arms. It opened the doors of the Congo to U.S. imperialism, and subjected the Congolese people to greater sufferings, massacres and misery.

The revisionists spread criminal illusions in Belgium and in the Congo. They proposed that Gizenga should abandon the liberated areas in the northeastern part of the Congo so as to play the parliamentary game in Leopoldville. Since then, Gizenga has been confined to an unhealthy island, and no one knows whether he is still alive today!

Here let me hail the new development in the Congolese liberation struggle!

Gone are the days when capitalism and imperialism could pin their hopes on throttling the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples by bloody suppression.

The Congolese people and their revolutionary leaders have drawn the lessons from their earlier setbacks. The Congolese people have taken up arms to drive out the U.S. neo-colonialists, who directly intervened under the cover of the U.N., and the Belgian colonialists, and the Kasavubu-Adoula-Mobutu clique, which is in the service of imperialism.

The successes already won in this struggle herald new victories!

* * *

During the Caribbean events, in October-November 1962, the Belgian revisionists were scared stiff by the nuclear blackmail and completely opposed giving active support to socialist Cuba.

They have surpassed the worst reactionaries in their campaign of calumny against the People’s Republic of China.

They ranged themselves unconditionally on the side of the reactionary Indian bourgeoisie, accomplice of U.S. imperialism, when it launched its aggression against socialist China.

They even went so far as to declare that the resolutions of solidarity with Cuba and socialist China passed by the Federal Bureau of Brussels on November 6, 1962, were anti-Party.

The Belgian revisionists have violated and betrayed every revolutionary principle in the 1960 Statement of the 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties.

They have rejected the revolutionary essence of the Party. They have even done this in the new “Party Constitution” they have adopted. Their congress theses are a systematic self-exposure of modern revisionism.

Today their greatest concern is to be admitted to “Socialist Common Action”, an organization completely under the control of the right-wing leaders of the Belgian Socialist Party and which progressive workers call “Common Inaction”.

The revisionists recommend that the left-wing workers in the Socialist Party should “remain in the ranks of their [Socialist Party] organizations” so as to demand the ”faithful carrying out of the decisions of the Belgian Socialist Party’s congresses”. They launch the accusation of “anarchist Leftism” against those left-wing workers in the Socialist Party who do not wish to listen to them.

The revisionists desired and engineered a split.

Since December 1961 the revisionists in Belgium launched public attacks against the Albanian Party of Labour and the Chinese Communist Party.

Encouraged by the revisionist adverse current of which Khrushchov is the self-appointed head, the Belgian revisionists have stepped up their divisive measures; at the end of 1962 these took an organizational form; they have taken increasingly arbitrary measures, in violation of the Party Constitution, against those Party militants who uphold the Marxist-Leninist stand and the revolutionary principles of the Statement of the 81 Parties.