Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

A Brief History of The Great Polemic Between the Communist Parties of China & Soviet Union

First Published: Alive Magazine No. 163, December 8, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The differences between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) have been raging for several decades now. It is a debate of very great significance in the struggle of the people of the world to overthrow oppression and build a new society. Most people are aware of the debate but have little inkling of its content. The bourgeoisie has covered up and distorted the important facts and their significance in the hope that people will give up in confusion and wash their hands of the whole matter. What a futile dream! The world is knowable. People will learn the truth!

The bourgeoisie presents the struggle between China and the Soviet Union as a dogfight between two rival communist powers. In voluminous writings on this matter, they use such terms as “the Sino-Soviet rift”. The reactionary press like the Toronto Sun has great hopes that rival fighting will result in the Chinese and Soviets wiping each other out in the great expanses of Asia, and leave the world “free” for western imperialists to carry on business as usual!

In actual fact, the Great Polemic is a fierce contention between classes, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It is a two line struggle that has had widespread ramifications on the world communist movement. Grasping the nature of this struggle and the actual positions being put forward, can take one a long way in the process of sorting out the muddied waters and confusion on the Left today. By their practice the fake Leftists are exposed. The working class sorts out who are its true friends and its true enemies. A new unity and powerful drive is forged.


Although its roots reached back much earlier, the first visible signs of the Great Polemic broke upon the world in Moscow early in 1956. There the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) held its 20th Congress on February 24 and 25. The content of this congress astounded socialist and capitalist countries alike. The new Soviet leadership, which had taken over after Stalin’s death in 1953 and was led by Nikita Khrushchev, made a radical departure from the positions held by the previous leadership.

The first point of departure was a criticism and complete negation of the preceding leadership of Joseph Stalin. This criticism was not actually done in a regular session of the congress. Rather it was presented by Khrushchev in a speech at a secret session. Its full content was not known to many until it got into the hands of the imperialists and appeared in their newspapers. The New York Times published the speech in full on June 5, 1956.

Drawing on quotes from Marx and Lenin, and on examples from Lenin’s practice to contrast with Stalin’s, Khrushchev spoke against the “cult of the individual” which had been built up around Stalin. He accused Stalin of many atrocities and blamed him for all the mistakes that had been made during his leadership.

The second surprise at the congress was the position Khrushchev put forward on the means by which the transition from capitalism to socialism would take place. While acknowledging that the October Revolution of 1917 had required revolutionary violence, he claimed that conditions in the world had changed to such an extent that the peaceful road to socialism was now possible in capitalist countries, in newly independent countries, as well as in countries under the yoke of imperialism. The working class could achieve power by getting a clear majority in parliament and then make that parliament serve the people.

These positions were greeted with great enthusiasm by the imperialists, who hated Stalin with a vengeance and welcomed any lessening of the emphasis on violent revolutionary struggle. This was the post-war McCarthy era when an all out campaign was being launched against communism. When the “communists” themselves attacked Stalin, this was too good to be true. The offensives against communism were stepped up around the world.

The socialist countries and the communist and workers’ parties viewed the 20th Congress with some confusion and general caution. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held discussions shortly afterwards which were published on April 5, 1956. The title of this release, in itself, was an indication of the Chinese position – On The Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. In it the Chinese praised the CPSU for having the courage to do self-criticism regarding the “cult of the individual”. They acknowledged that Stalin had made mistakes which should be criticized, but they also listed his many achievements and upheld him as a great Marxist-Leninist. He had defended Lenin’s line and waged victorious struggles against Trotsky and other bourgeois enemies of the revolution, and against the fascists in World War II. The CPC cautioned that it would be a misconception to say that Stalin was wrong in everything. The inevitable imperialist slanders about the 20th Congress were also refuted.

On December 29, 1956, the Chinese followed up on their first statement with a further elaboration of their position. It was titled, More On The Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. In it the road of the October Revolution is defended as reflecting the general laws of revolution. It stresses the need for revolutionary struggle by the proletariat to seize power, the importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and opposition to imperialism and the upholding of proletarian internationalism. It pointed out that revisionists try to evade this road.

Careful criticism was made of the national chauvinism of large countries that try to thrust their experiences on smaller countries, and of the narrow nationalism of smaller countries that reject a larger country’s experience out of hand: “In the present anti-doctrinaire tide there are people both in our country and abroad who, on the pretext of opposing the mechanical copying of Soviet experience try to deny the international significance of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism.”

Warning was also given against opposing everything about Stalin. It was noted that, because of Stalin’s and others’ mistakes “some unstable people in the communist ranks, on the pretext of developing socialist democracy, attempt to weaken or renounce the dictatorship of the proletariat, the principles of democratic centralism of the socialist state, and the leading role of the party.”

In neither of these 1956 documents was there open criticism of the 20th Congress. The Chinese wholeheartedly praised those aspects which they could support. Where they had differences, they simply stated their position, in itself a tactful but unequivocal criticism. They carefully summed up developments in the world situation and noted with enthusiasm that following World War II a third of the world’s population was in the camp of socialism. Thus there were no grounds for pessimism. Mistakes would be overcome.


The first real test of the effect of the 20th Congress on the international communist movement came at the 1957 Moscow Meeting of Fraternal Parties. Here representatives of communist and workers’ parties met after having recently repulsed heavy attacks by the imperialists. Would the great prestige of the CPSU win the support of these parties for its 20th Congress positions?

The result can be seen in the Declaration of 1957 which was adopted by the meeting. Summing up the experience of the movement, it set out the common fighting tasks of the communist parties and affirmed the universal significance of the October Revolution. It outlined the common laws of socialist revolution and socialist construction, as well as setting principles to guide relations among fraternal parties. The revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism were upheld, in opposition to the deviations of the 20th Congress.

Agreement on this Declaration was only achieved through great struggle, many consultations and some compromising. Mao Zedong headed the Chinese delegation. It held full consultations with the Soviet leadership, as well as working with other fraternal parties to produce a document acceptable to all.

The main struggle between the Chinese and Soviet delegations concerned the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism. The Soviets had put forward a draft which not only left out references to non-peaceful transition; it also advocated the same “parliamentary road” as the opportunists in the Second International. This line which the Soviet leaders had concluded at the 20th Congress was a rejection of basic Marxist-Leninist theory, though Khrushchev termed it a “creative development” of Marxism.

The Chinese delegation opposed the Soviet position and instead put forward two drafts that made a number of changes. After further struggle and consultation amongst the parties, a final version of the Declaration was adopted. Although it acknowledged the possibility of a peaceful transition, it stressed the non-peaceful road, since “Leninism teaches, and experience confirms, that the ruling classes never relinquish power voluntarily”. Though it spoke of securing a “firm majority in parliament”, it emphasized the need for mass struggle to smash the reactionary forces prior to any peaceful socialist revolution.

The Chinese were not entirely satisfied with this but they conceded the point, since the Soviets were insistent on the Declaration having some connection with the 20th Congress. However the Chinese clarified their actual position to the Soviets in a short document. It said that while it is tactically useful to refer to the desire for peaceful transition, preparations should be made for armed struggle. Also any parliamentary majority for the proletariat would have to be backed up by the smashing of the old state machinery (mainly the armed forces).

The 1957 Declaration also contained important points on war and peace, and on methods of revolutionary work. It firmly opposed U.S. imperialism. It also included the thesis that the seizure of political power by the working class is the beginning of the revolution and not the end (the theory of the continuing revolution developed by Mao Zedong, and taken up in practice in China). This joint Declaration also opposed revisionism, pointing out that the revising of the fundamental Marxist theories, and the deletion of their revolutionary spirit, is caused by bourgeois influence internally and by surrender to imperialist pressure externally.

The Declaration made some specific references to the 20th Congress. The Chinese had not agreed and had suggested changes, but they did not insist on them in deference to the potentially embarrassing position the Soviet leaders were in. Despite minor concessions this Declaration of the international communist movement firmly upheld the path of revolutionary struggle for the world’s people.

This opening period of the Great Polemic, in 1956 and 1957, revealed sharp differences in political line, but it was characterized by a hard struggle for unity, at least on the part of the Chinese and other fraternal parties. Splits in the communist movement would only play into the hands of the imperialists. However, in the next few years, the practice of the Soviet leadership under Khrushchev indicated that they had little interest in solid unity with their fellow communists.


In 1958 the Soviet leaders made demands of the Chinese that were designed to bring China under Soviet military control. When they were rejected, the Soviet government went back on its agreement to supply China with the technology for the atomic bomb.

Then the Soviet leaders, disregarding the Declaration position of opposition to U.S. imperialism, turned and sought collaboration with U.S. imperialists. They had the plan that the heads of the Soviet Union and the U.S. should settle the world’s problems. To this end, they attended Camp David talks in the U.S. in September 1959. Khrushchev heaped great praise on Eisenhower, his “worries about ensuring the peace”, and the significance of their meeting

Just prior to these talks the Soviets took an open stand against China, thus making their differences known to the world. In a public statement the Soviets condemned China for open fighting which had broken out on the India-China border, even though it was India who had claimed Chinese territory and sent in troops China, despite provocations, had pressed for peaceful negotiations Blind to all facts in the situation, despite careful Chinese explanations, Khrushchev had retorted, “I know what war is. Since Indians were killed, this meant that China attacked India.” The Soviet backed up their anti-China statement by increasing their aid to India, military shipments included.

Adding insult to injury, Khrushchev criticised Chinese actions in the Straits of Taiwan while at a banquet in Beijing, enroute home from Camp David. All the while Soviet statements, books, and articles churned out the revisionist line of “peaceful transition”, the “goodwill” of the imperialists, and the possibility of “a world without weapons, without armed forces and without wars” (in world largely ruled by imperialism!).

To clear up the ideological confusion that the Soviets were sowing in the international communist movement, the Chinese published an article Long Live Leninism! in April 1960. The concentration was on the revolutionary theses of the 1957 Declaration. No public criticism was made of the Soviet leaders, though the views expressed were totally different from those of the Soviets. This article infuriated the Soviets, as they openly admitted a few years later. In the meantime their actions expressed their anger loud and clear.

In June 1960, Soviet delegates at the Beijing meetings of World Federation of Trade Unions took to attacking China in pushing their own views. Early that same month, the Soviet leaders had proposed that the parties of socialist countries hold a meeting while attending the Romanian Party Congress later in June. The Chinese opposed such a hasty meeting that would only include socialist countries and not all fraternal parties. Instead they agreed to discuss arrangements for a larger meeting while at Bucharest.

People were caught by surprise at the turn of events in Bucharest. This Romanian Congress was used as a stage by the Soviets for vicious attacks on China which they tried to pass off as “comradely assistance”. Just before it started Khrushchev’s delegation distributed copies of a slander-filled “Letter of Information”, addressed to the CPC. During the meeting Khrushchev organized attacks against China and in his speeches, called the CPC “madmen” who were “wanting to unleash war.” Responding to Chinese attempts to give an accurate assessment of Stalin, Khrushchev lashed out with “You are catching onto a horse” and “Come and get his bones if you wish!”

Many fraternal parties, including the Albanian delegation, took exception to these sectarian activities of the Soviet leaders and opposed them. For the sake of unity the Chinese signed the Communique coming out of the meeting, but they also distributed their own statement which criticized Khrushchev’s behavior as a bad precedent.

Immediately after the congress, in July, the Soviets unilaterally recalled all Soviet experts from China within one month, thereby tearing up hundreds of agreements and contracts. The Soviets also stirred up troubles on the Sino-Soviet border and sent a number of Chinese embassy staff home. All this was done in the hope of getting China to back down from its principled opposition to there revisionist line of the Soviet leaders.

The date for a meeting of all fraternal parties was set for months later in November 1960. In preparation for this, the CPC tried to build unity, responding in detail to the Soviet “Letter of Information.” It went to Moscow for talks, patiently, but in vain, trying to make the Soviet leaders see the errors of their ways, particularly with respect to U.S. imperialism. Meanwhile, the Soviets were busy trying to win the Albanians over to their side.

When unsuccessful, they covertly tried to turn (Albanian party members against their own leaders.

The struggle continued in the Drafting Committee which met prior to the November meetings. Representatives of 26 parties gathered in Moscow. The Soviets tried to force through their own draft, containing a whole slate of revisionist views. In principled struggle, and after heated debates, the Chinese and other parties made significant changes to the Soviet draft. The Soviets bitterly held out on a number of points.

The Meeting of 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties began in November in Moscow. Just before it got underway, the Soviets distributed a 127 page letter that fiercely attacked the CPC, thus setting a very tense atmosphere for the meeting. During the course of events, the Soviets managed to get a number of parties to attack the Chinese. However, the attempt to impose this revisionist line failed. Many wrong theses in the Soviet draft were rejected and correct views were written in, opposing U.S. imperialism and supporting national liberation struggles. The Chinese and other parties conceded, though as they made it clear, for the last time, to include references to the 20th CPSU Congress.


The joint Statement of November 1960 was a very significant document. Even though the leadership of the CPSU, a party highly esteemed for its great contributions to socialism had stuck to its revisionist line and tried to lead other parties its way, the Marxist-Leninist line was upheld. Parties which held to Marxism-Leninism but had previously hesitated to criticize the CPSU, began openly criticizing the Soviet deviations, thus forcing the Kremlin bosses to accept many of their views. In contrast to the Soviet backbiting, slandering and attempts to create splits, the Chinese noted: “The meeting demonstrated once again that in resolving differences among fraternal Parties it is highly necessary for Marxist-Leninist Parties to stick to principle, persevere in struggle and uphold unity.”

The Soviet leaders had agreed to the Statement of 1960 in words only, as their practice soon demonstrated. They soon took up all their old policies and continued to advocate “U.S.-Soviet cooperation”, now seeking favour with U.S. President Kennedy.

At the 22nd Congress of the CPSU in 1961, the revisionist attack on the revolutionary line became more open and direct. This time it began with an open attack on the Albanian Party of Labour, which, at the I960 Moscow meetings, had criticized both the 1956 Soviet attack on Stalin and the method by which it had been done. The Soviet leaders now openly urged the Albanian Party members to overthrow their leaders.

The Congress, led by Khrushchev, went on to advocate the “peaceful road to socialism” and deleted references to the dictatorship of the proletariat. Humanism was substituted for the Marxist-Leninist theory of class struggle, and the bourgeois slogan of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” replaced the ideals of communism. Revolution was opposed. These revisionists were trying to turn back the hands of time. All they maintained was a superficial resemblance of progressive politics. To try to justify their positions they developed the theoretical fallacy of “the state of the whole people” and the “party of the whole people”. These statements are a match for those of any bourgeois politician who claims that classes no longer exist in his society, and all have equal opportunity. The revisionism of the Soviet leadership, of which the first telltale signs came at the 20th Congress, had, by the 22nd Congress, become systematic.

The Chinese delegation soundly opposed the many errors of the Soviets at the 22nd Congress, but all their advice was ignored.

Differences came to the fore again at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. The Soviets got themselves in hot water and then took offence at the stand that China took. The Chinese held that the Soviet action of shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba and thus precipitating the crisis of October 1962, was an adventuristic action that was of no value in defending the recently won Cuban revolution. However, once the missiles were there, the Chinese also maintained that the Soviets were wrong to capitulate to U.S. nuclear blackmail by quickly withdrawing them under humiliating terms. Soviet ships were searched by the U.S. on the high seas, and Cuban territory was opened to “international inspection”. The Chinese stressed that such capitulation fed the arrogance of the imperialists and threatened the world proletariat.

Throughout these early years of the polemic, many letters were exchanged between the Central Committees of the CPC and the CPSU. The Soviets were anxious to drop the political discussions, though in practice they only wanted unity on the basis of their line. The Chinese, on the other hand, pressed for principled discussion of political differences and continued to put forward the arguments for their line.

The whole polemic broke right out into the open in 1963. On June 14, 1963, the Chinese had written a letter, A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, in response to a Soviet letter professing a desire for unity. This proposal upheld the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism, the common road of the October Revolution and the revolutionary principles of the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement. It analyzed the world situation, and systematically criticized the revisionist line and its betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. It proposed unity amongst workers and oppressed peoples, opposition to imperialism, support for world peace and national liberation, and carrying the proletarian world revolution through until victory.

In July 1963, the CPC sent a delegation to Moscow for talks on the basis of this proposal. The Soviets set the stage for an unsuccessful meeting by first publicly criticizing the CPC by name and then expelling a number of Chinese embassy staff and students from the Soviet Union. Then, on July 14, while the talks were still in progress, the Soviets published an “Open Letter” to all Party organizations and all communists in the Soviet Union, publicly laying out their version of the whole polemic. This “Open Letter” claimed that the polemic had started with the Chinese publication of Long Live Leninism! in 1960, and that the Chinese had done a complete about face on the question of Stalin and the 20th Congress, from complete approval to opposition. It equated the resolution of the 20th Congress with the Declaration of 1957, and claimed that the Chinese were “completely isolated” at the 1960 Moscow meeting. It also claimed that the resolutions of the 22nd Congress were in line with the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement. Many vicious attacks and charges were laid against China.

Of course, during the Moscow talks, the Soviets completely rejected the Chinese proposal on the general line of the communist movement. As a follow-up in spite of many Chinese protestations to the contrary, the Soviet revisionists joined U.S. and British imperialists in signing the Test-Ban Treaty on July 25, 1963. This treaty, limiting nuclear testing, wore the cloak of a peace attempt, but the Chinese knew that in fact it was a direct attack on themselves and the international proletariat. Those countries with nuclear weapons could continue to stockpile. They would only limit their testing and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of other nations. The Chinese supported the complete destruction of all nuclear weapons, and not their restriction to the hands of a select few. If the imperialists insisted on the latter, the Chinese held that the world proletariat should never agree to restrict itself in terms of these weapons.

In deference to the great history of the Soviet people, and in the hope that the Soviet leaders would turn from their betrayal of the revolution, the Chinese had been holding back from making the whole polemic public. However, the Soviet “Open Letter”, which pushed relations to a breaking point, now forced their hand.

On September 6, 1963, the CPC responded to the Soviet revisionists by publishing The Origin and Development of the Differences Between the Leadership of the CPSU and Ourselves. Quoting Lenin who said, “Honesty in politics is the result of strength; hypocrisy is the result of weakness”, this document began a lengthy outlining of the many facts in the polemic. It traced the beginning back to the* 20th Congress. It said that Chinese criticisms of this congress had been made clear to the Soviets right from the start. In internal discussions between the two parties, Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders had criticized the total condemnation of Stalin, saying that his “merits outweighed his faults”. They also criticized the method by which the Soviet condemnation of Stalin was made, with no prior consultation with fraternal parties. They had made their disagreements known on the question of peaceful transition to socialism. In fact the very content of the two main 1956 articles on the dictatorship of the proletariat were tactful criticisms of the 20th Congress, as was the Chinese practice of continuing to display Stalin’s portrait along with the other great Marxist leaders.

This CPC document on the polemic went on to recount the many exchanges and meetings between the two parties, to systematically refute the points in the Soviet “Open Letter”, and to list the many actions of the Soviet leaders which exposed their love for imperialism and their betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. It detailed the discord which the Soviets had stirred up in the international communist movement, and upheld the principled stands of the CPC in its struggle for unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. In summing up, it noted the great significance of this debate to the future of the proletarian world revolution and the destiny of mankind. It looked forward to still greater victories ahead.


Now the debate raged in the open. The Chinese continued to detail their positions in eight further documents (the last of which was dated July 14, 1964), refuting the “Open Letter” of the CPSU. From fall 1963 to the summer of 1964, Chinese statistics noted that the Soviet press published “more than 3,000 anti-Chinese articles and other items.” The Soviet Union also got a number of the fraternal parties to attack China, to which the Chinese responded with a number of open, formal replies.

When Khrushchev fell from power in 1964 and Brezhnev and Kosygin took over, the Chinese took the stand that this could reflect an actual change in the positions of the Soviet leadership, or it might not. They sent a delegation headed by Zhou Enlai to Moscow to find out. After official talks, Zhou Enlai reported back to China that there had been no change. The new Kremlin leaders simply followed Khrushchev’s policies without using his name. They were revisionist through and through.

In the next few years the distinction between Soviet and Chinese policies and actions grew sharper. On the question of Viet Nam, the Soviets put out a loud call for “united action” among communists. However, the Chinese exposed the actual practice of the Soviets in uniting with the U.S. against the Vietnamese, and refused to have anything to do with such “united action”. The Soviet leaders, having long taken a firm stand against national liberation struggles, had held back from giving any assistance to the Vietnamese until further refusal was impossible. Khrushchev was hauled from limbo to make statements like “trouble starts with small things like Viet Nam”. Then when the Soviets began giving limited aid to the Vietnamese, even the U.S. imperialists heaved a sigh of relief and talked of the “moderating influence” that this would have. Now the compatible U.S. and Soviet heads of state could negotiate the future of the Vietnamese people. But when the Soviets tried to manoeuvre peace negotiations to extricate the U.S. from its tough situation (while still suppressing the revolution), the Vietnamese chose their own path and fought on to liberate their country. The Chinese, in contrast to the Soviets, gave thorough and consistent support to the Vietnamese fighters.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, which began in 1966, was a great threat to the Soviet bosses who denounced it thoroughly. The Chinese, learning from the mistakes in the Soviet Union, were ensuring that their revolution would continue and a new elite of revisionists would not seize power in China. Such bold action would of course shake up the Soviet revisionists!

The open invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, exposed the true nature of the Soviet leaders who, under the cloak of “peaceful coexistence”, in fact sought to compete with the U.S. for world power. The Soviets moved in tanks and a massive force, to bring into line the upstart Czechoslovakian revisionist Dubcek, who had tried for more “independence” from Soviet control by turning to the western imperialists. The Czechoslovakian people militantly, but in vain, resisted this invasion (paralleling Hitler’s invasion of 1938) with strikes, demonstrations, and armed struggle. The Chinese condemned the Soviets as Outright “social-imperialists”, a phrase defined by Lenin as “socialist in words, imperialist in deeds.”

Another sign of the expansionist aims of the Soviet leaders was the trouble they were stirring up along the border between China and the Soviet Union. Then in March 1969, they launched a blatant attack, which they of course blamed on China. After laying “claim” to the Chinese island of Chenpao, the revisionists sent armed soldiers to attack Chinese frontier guards, killing and wounding a number of them. The Chinese defended their territory and condemned this aggression and the ensuing hypocritical “note of protest” sent to China. This action was contrary to the actual friendship long existing between the two peoples of that area. In fact, the attack was so unpopular within the Soviet Union that the Kremlin leaders had to organize a “mob” to demonstrate “spontaneously” against the Chinese embassy in Moscow!

Since the Great Polemic began, and as the facts have unfolded, every communist party in the world has had to take a position on the two line struggle. Those like the Canadian and U.S. Communist Parties, that were already heavily influenced by revisionism, quickly swung over to the Soviet side. Those parties that vacillated, like that of Viet Nam, left the stage open for the pro-Soviet elements to take over and land them squarely in the Soviet camp, as has now conclusively happened in Viet Nam. Other parties, like the Communist Parties of Peru, Sweden and Burma, firmly sided with the Communist Party of China on the path of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism.


As the struggle has deepened, the Soviet revisionists have more and more clearly exposed their aspirations to world power and their opposition to proletarian revolution. In Bangladesh, the Congo, in Cuba, Africa, the Middle East, in Viet Nam and literally, in every corner of the globe, they have supported reactionaries, opposed genuine revolutionary struggles, have engineered coup d’etats, have floated sham “Marxist-Leninist” groups and have pushed their revisionist, “peaceful”, “parliamentary” version of Marxism, while trailing in behind with the tanks.

These Soviet revisionists, who still dare to call themselves “communists”, are enemies of the people of the world. They are a new bourgeois class who have destroyed the socialist system in the Soviet Union and restored capitalism. The Soviet economy is now based on profit seeking. Managers of enterprises grow wealthy and powerful by oppressing the workers, while the people in fact grow poorer as inflation increases. The expansion of Soviet capital abroad, backed by political and military intrigue has brought many developing countries under the yoke of Soviet social-imperialism.

At home the revisionist clique promotes bourgeois culture, pacifism, and the “soft life”. Their schools promote the pursuit of fame and fortune, teach revisionism, and distort the revolutionary history of the people. They exercise a bourgeois dictatorship which is enforced by fascism. Bourgeois intellectuals who control the party have purged true Marxist-Leninists, workers and peasants, and replaced them with their own flunkeys, including reactionary landlords from the old regime. Between 1956 and 1961, 70% of the Central Committee members had been purged, and there have been more purges since. Any disagreement with the party can result in persecution, arrest, or even confinement in a mental hospital. The police force brutally represses any open resistance. For example, in one city taxi drivers demonstrated after a coworker had been brutally beaten to death by the police. Tanks were sent in and dozens of demonstrators were killed and many more wounded or arrested.

The most damning evidence, to attest that the revisionist scoundrels in no way represent the majority of the people, is found in the means by which Khrushchev and his gang usurped power after Stalin’s death. Khrushchev had worked his way into a high position and used his authority, long before Stalin’s death, to purge his opponents. In fact he was responsible for many of the excesses during the purges, which he later blamed on Stalin. In direct contradiction to his 20th Congress stand, it was Khrushchev in his earlier speeches, like one in 1938, who was singing Stalin’s praises to the skies while promoting brutal elimination of opponents.

When Stalin died in March 1953, Georgi Malenkov succeeded him as Premier. Unfortunately, the revolutionary leadership in the party at this critical juncture relied on negotiations with the power hungry Khrushchev clique rather than on the party and the masses. Khrushchev moved fast. He rallied the army behind him, and executed a “palace coup”, surrounding the place where a meeting of the Central Committee was being held with tanks and thereby seizing state power. Then, amidst a plethora of words about “newly established democracy”, this usurper plotted the attack on Stalin, whom he had formerly heaped with praise, and whose death was mourned by the millions of Soviet people. In the years that followed, the traitorous betrayal of this renegade clique, which also included Brezhnev and Kosygin, became complete.

As the Chinese have consistently pointed out, it is the Soviet leadership that is anti-Soviet, and not the Chinese. The Soviet people themselves condemn the ruling clique. One old worker said, “During Stalin’s time, nobody dared to bully the workers. But now the workers are oppressed in every way.” The people have also spoken out, despite risks, in opposition to collaboration with the U.S., in support of Viet Nam, and other revolutionary wars, and in support of China. The Soviet people respect Mao Zedong as a genuine Marxist-Leninist and have a long-standing friendship with the Chinese people. One Soviet officer told some Chinese comrades, “The great friendship between the Soviet and Chinese peoples forged by Comrade Stalin and Comrade Mao Zedong is unbreakable.” While the Soviet ruling clique greatly feared the Red Guards of China who opposed revisionism and the restoration of capitalism, the Soviet people were greatly inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China. Repression breeds resistance. There will be a second October Revolution in the Soviet Union!


The Communist Party of China has continued to lead a principled struggle against the Soviet revisionists. They have carefully drawn the conclusion that in the contention (and collusion) between the Soviet and U.S. imperialists, the belligerent Soviet Union is now the greatest threat for another world war. They back up this conclusion with fact after fact, and the actions of the Soviet Union reinforce it daily.

The Communist Party of China is now popularizing the Three Worlds Theory which was developed by Mao Zedong. It calls for a broad united front against imperialism and fascism, and support for the revolutionary struggles of all oppressed peoples, as the necessary and only path to world peace and the liberation of mankind. This great theory is now the basis of the present polemic on the general line of the international communist movement. It is a valuable weapon in the hands of the world proletariat, and it will contribute to great victories in the struggles ahead. The bourgeoisie, whether in “socialist” or capitalist garb, will be thoroughly defeated. The people will win!