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


For Marxist-Leninists, the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism is one of the fundamental contradictions of the world today. For us, the national-democratic revolutions of Asia, Africa and Latin America, which are an integral part of the world proletarian revolution, strike direct blows at imperialism and show where the principal zone of revolutionary tempests is situated today.

For us, Marxist-Leninists, a nation which oppresses another cannot itself be free.

This is why for the working class and the labouring masses in the imperialist countries, an active proletarian internationalism towards the revolutionary movements of national liberation is an incontrovertible duty, inseparable from the struggle for their own liberation.

In pretending that colonialism is practically liquidated and in wilfully feigning ignorance of the role of neocolonialism, the modern revisionists hope to negate the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism.

The revisionists wish to drain this contradiction of all revolutionary content and reduce it to a gap in level of development between “advanced” and “underdeveloped” countries, a gap which can be filled by so-called material “aid” within the framework of all-round co-operation with imperialism.

The facts, however, show that underdevelopment has become worse in countries under the yoke of old and new colonialism.

The revisionists admit, at the most, the perspective of a bourgeois dictatorship for these countries, and condemn with abhorrence the necessary armed revolutionary struggles.

They try to make the working class of the highly industrialized countries an auxiliary of imperialism, shamelessly falsifying the Leninist theory on the necessity of the working class taking the lead in the national-democratic revolution so as to pursue it to the end and guide it to the path of socialism.

On the one hand, they pretend that this leading role must be filled exclusively by the working class of the highly industrialized countries.

On the other hand, as did the classical reformists, they unjustifiably affirm that they represent this proletariat – although modern revisionism and reformism are really an agency of the bourgeoisie within the ranks of the working class.

This is why they oppose any mutual support between the revolutionary movement of the working class of the highly industrialized countries and the revolutionary movement of national liberation.

What they wish to impose is, in fact, the stifling of the whole revolutionary movement by modern revisionism and reformism.

It is not surprising under these conditions that the revisionists have cultivated colonial chauvinism, and declared that the Algerian war was an internal affair for the French. They make themselves protagonists of the “French Union” and have said, in Belgium, that “Belgium and the Congo share the same interests”!

Suslov, in his recent report, quoted Lenin to support his own revisionist theses:

. . . the mutual relations between the nations, the whole world system of states, are determined by the struggle waged by a small group of imperialist nations against the Soviet movement and the Soviet states, at the head of which stands Soviet Russia. If we lose sight of this we shall not be able to present correctly a single national or colonial question, even if it concerns the most remote corner of the earth. Only by adopting this point of view can the Communist Parties correctly present any political question concerning civilised or backward countries and give a reply to this question.[1]

But why does Suslov hide the first part of the sentence in this report of Lenin’s to the Second Congress of the Communist International (July 26, 1920):

The second leading idea in our theses is that in the present world situation, after the imperialist war, the mutual relations between the nations. . . .[2]

Precisely because there is this idea, which is most important and fundamental, and which Suslov wants to hide as it is a scathing denial of his revisionism.

Such behaviour is enough for us to judge of the man and the theses he defends. But let us cite Lenin:

Firstly, what is the most important, the fundamental idea contained in our theses? The distinction between oppressed nations and oppressing nations. Unlike the Second International and bourgeois democracy, we emphasise this distinction. It is particularly important in the epoch of imperialism for the proletariat and the Communist International to establish concrete economic facts and, in solving all colonial and national problems, to take as our starting point, not abstract postulates, but the phenomena of concrete reality.

The characteristic feature of imperialism is that the whole world, as we see, is at present divided into a large number of oppressed nations and an insignificant number of oppressing nations possessing colossal wealth and powerful military forces. The overwhelming majority of the population of the world, numbering more than a billion, in all probability a billion and a quarter, if we take the total population of the world at one and three-quarter billion, i.e., about 70 per cent of the population of the world, belongs to the oppressed nations, which are either in a state of direct colonial dependence or belong to the outlying colonial states such as Persia, Turkey and China, or else, after being conquered by the armies of a big imperialist power, have been forced into dependence upon it by treaties. This distinction, the idea of dividing the nations into oppressing and oppressed nations, runs like a thread through all the theses, not only the first theses which appeared over my name and which were published earlier, but also through Comrade Roy’s theses. The latter were written mainly from the point of view of the situation in India and among other large nationalities which are oppressed by Great Britain, and this is what makes them very important for us.[3]

Lenin returned immediately after this, in his third point, to the question of the national revolutionary movement.

It is precisely the second leading idea spoken of by Lenin which shows that the revolutionary movements of national liberation are part of our epoch of world proletarian revolution.


[1] V. I. Lenin, “The Report of the Commission on the National and Colonial Questions at the Second Congress of the Communist International”, Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1946, Vol. 10, p. 240.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, pp. 239-40.