First Published: October No 2-3, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In 1974, during a conversation with a third world leader, Chairman Mao Tsetung put forward his analysis of the present division of the world’s forces.
The theory of three worlds, developed by Chairman Mao, is a strategic concept to guide the world proletariat’s struggle. It reflects the four great fundamental contradictions of imperialism at the present time.
This theory, which has been widely explained by the Chinese comrades since then, is not only a description of the world but a strategic concept, the class position that outlines the road to follow in order to advance the world proletarian revolution. It is a sharp weapon that enables the proletariat and the peoples of the world to attack their principal enemies, the two superpowers.
By identifying the principal class struggle going on today on a world scale as the struggle between the peoples of the world and the two superpowers, this theory strikes directly at these vultures and attacks Soviet social-imperialism head on.
This theory starts from the interests of the international proletariat and bases itself on Marxist-Leninist principles in order to synthesize the great upheavals which have taken place in the world during the last thirty years. It is an indispensable strategic guide in the march towards the victory of socialism and communism. It identifies the main enemies of the world revolution and the main force moving the world forward, and teaches us how to use all the contradictions in the enemy camp to our benefit. By combining this analysis with the principles of revolution in each of our respective countries, we will create excellent conditions for the accomplishment of our revolutionary tasks.
The theory of three worlds has always been an integral part of the League’s political line. In the Statement of Political Agreement for the Creation of the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), we explained the basic points of this theory and have since developed our understanding in articles in The Forge.
The League’s recently-held Second Congress strongly reaffirmed our support for the theory of three worlds. This resolute support becomes more important each day as these two vultures, the Soviet Union and the United States, intensify their attacks against the peoples of the world and step up their war preparations, their domination and their pillage throughout the world.
This support is becoming more and more crucial as revisionists and opportunists of all stripes multiply their virulent attacks on the theory of the three worlds.
That is why we are including this article in the present issue of October. It will help us firmly grasp this weapon of the world proletariat.
The most violent slanderer of the theory of three worlds is the Soviet Union of course. It’s not surprising. This theory delivers a hard blow to this superpower. It identifies the USSR as the main source of war and the most dangerous enemy of the peoples of the world, and it unmasks its leading clique as traitors to the working class exercising a fascist dictatorship over the Soviet people.
It’s not surprising either that all varieties of revisionists and opportunists are also slandering this theory. In our country, the “Communist” Party of Canada, faithful supporter of the USSR, and In Struggle, the most recent arrival in the Canadian revisionist family, speak with one voice when it comes to defending the USSR; and they are in perfect agreement to hurl abuse at the theory of three worlds and socialist China. The “CPCML” counter-revolutionaries and the various Trotskyist sects also chant the same refrain.
Faced with this chorus of lies and slander, the ever-growing danger of war, and the endless suffering inflicted on the peoples of the world by the two superpowers, we must vigorously and unflinchingly defend the theory of three worlds, this powerful weapon of Mao Tsetung Thought. We must take hold of it and use it to build a broad united front of all those forces capable of opposing the USA and the USSR, the pillars of imperialism.
All over the world the peoples are rising up to fight these two vultures. “Countries want independence, nations want liberation, peoples want revolution”: every day this irresistible tide pushes forward the wheel of history. Armed with their revolutionary science – and the theory of three worlds is an integral part of it – the peoples of the world will be able to fight the two superpowers, imperialism and all reaction and destroy them, and so move forward on the road of world proletarian revolution.
The division of the forces in the world was considerably modified after the great changes that followed the Second World War, particularly the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union.
It was in 1974 that Chairman Mao said:
In my view, the United States and the Soviet Union form the first world. Japan, Europe and Canada, the middle section, belong to the second world. We are the third world”. (...) The third world has a huge population. With the exception of Japan, Asia belongs to the third world. The whole of Africa belongs to the third world, and Latin America, too. (Peking Review No. 45, 1977, p. 11)
Important conclusions follow from this new classification of world forces. The first world is made up of the superpowers which are the main enemies of the people on a world scale. The Soviet Union is the most dangerous of the two superpowers and constitutes the principal source of war. The third world, which includes over 70% of the earth’s population, has become an enormous revolutionary force: it is the principal force in the struggle against colonialism, imperialism and superpower hegemonism. Between these two groups of countries, we find the second world. These countries have a dual nature: on the one hand, they oppress and exploit the third world, while on the other, they are victims to varying degrees of superpower domination. This is why it is in the interests of the second world to oppose the superpowers and to unite with the third world.
Chairman Mao took into account this new division of international forces when he clearly explained the necessity of the widest possible united front to isolate the superpowers.
The three-worlds theory identifies the superpowers as the principal enemies of the world’s people, as the biggest plunderers and exploiters on a world scale; and with good reason. With their enormous economic and military strength, they pillage numerous countries, subject others to political oppression and many to military control.
At the present time, the superpowers, which are economically and militarily far ahead of the other imperialist countries, are the only ones capable of rivaling for world hegemony, the only ones capable of becoming the masters of the world; they are the only countries in a position to unleash a new world war, and we can see them stepping up their feverish preparations.
Anyone can verify this by simply taking a look at the contemporary world situation. Not one corner of the globe has escaped the greed of the superpowers; they are the principal cause of the lack of peace in the world. They try to dig their murderous claws in everywhere, they subject countries to their domination and others to pressure, threats and blackmail.
Several East European countries are oppressed and economically exploited by Soviet social-imperialism, which has even sent its military forces to occupy Czechoslovakia and East Germany . By pointing its heavy artillery in the direction of Western Europe, and by amassing the major part of its troops on the borders of the western countries, social-imperialism is posing a serious threat to the security of Western Europe. What’s more, Soviet planes reglarly violate the airspace over other countries and its war ships, which cruise every sea, are holding Europe in its grip. It is ready to cut the supply and communication lines between Europe and America. The USSR is concentrating its troops and military activities in this region because Europe is the focus of the superpowers’ rivalry because of its fantastic human, material, and military potential.
But the USSR has also extended its tentacles into every other region of the world. At present it is on the offensive in Africa. The USSR provoked civil war in Angola by sending in arms.
It sent in Cuban troops, at a cost of thousands of lives to the Angolan people, and turned the country into a virtual neo-colony. Mercenaries paid by the USSR tried without success, to invade Zaire, a country neighbouring on Angola. At the present time the USSR is stirring up divisions between Ethiopia and Somalia, two countries situated in the strategic Horn of Africa, by supplying massive amounts of arms to the fascist Mengistu regime in Ethiopia. The USSR wants to squeeze maximum advantage out of these conflicts so it can spread its own influence and increase its pillaging of the region. 
The USSR, taking advantage of the crushing defeat of the US in the region, is trying to infiltrate Southeast Asia under cover of its famous “collective security pact”. In the last few months, it has furiously tried to sow divisions between the people of Kampuchea, who are struggling determinedly against the two superpowers, and the people of Vietnam, with the aim of forcing both to submit to its fascist dictatorship. It unleashed a campaign attacking the new socialist country, Democratic Kampuchea. In Latin America, it promises economic “aid” and sells arms to various countries, but mostly it uses the revisionist Cuban party to push its interests in the region and undermine American influence. And it supports fascist dictatorships like the Videla regime in Argentina which is strongly backed by US imperialism.
Even though American imperialism is on the decline, it remains a ferocious enemy of the peoples of the world. It is trying desperately to maintain its influence and domination in many regions like Latin America, Asia, Europe and Canada.
It controls a greater number of spheres of influence than does the USSR. It is the world’s largest exporter of capital, accounting for 50% of the total capital exported by western capitalist countries . It exercises a significant domination over several countries, including Canada, where it controls some vital sectors of the economy: 58% of oil and natural gas production, 43% of mines and refineries, 44% of the manufacturing sector in 1974.
The US has military bases throughout the world and its navy and airforce are stationed around the world. To maintain its hold, it supports fascist regimes like the Pinochet regime in Chile and props up the illegitimate state of Israel which it uses to preserve its influence in the Middle East. And only recently the American billionnaires had massive cargoes of bombs dropped on the valiant peoples of Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam in a vain attempt to bring them to their knees. And in how many countries has the US vainly tried to suppress people’s revolts using anything from ag-gression and murder to corruption?
The two superpowers have an overwhelming military and economic superiority over the other imperialist countries. This is why at the present time they are the only countries in a position to struggle for world hegemony.
Lenin said that:
Imperialism means the progressively mounting oppression of the nations of the world by a handful of Great Powers; it means a period of wars between the latter to extend and consolidate the oppression of nations.
Out of this handful of big imperialist powers, there are only two today that are capable of competing for world domination, the United States and the USSR. The other imperialist states have neither the strength nor the size for it.
In the past few years Soviet social-imperialism has been developing conventional weapons at a colossal rate and is making enormous strides in the nuclear domain as well. The tables on page 32 compare the military might of the superpowers and their development in this area during recent years. The military budgets are much higher than those of the countries of the second world.
Soviet industrial production is equal to the total of the major European countries together: East Germany, France, and Great Britain. That of the United States is even higher.
The difference between the superpowers and the second world countries can be seen in other ways. For example, in 1970 American capital exports were equal to 50% of the total world amount, while England exported 16% of the total and France 7%. It is also important to note that US capital controls 80% of West European computer production and 40% of its automobile production.
But the superpowers have another important advantage compared to almost all the second world countries. While the USSR and the United States are spilling over with natural resources, the European countries and Japan are practically dry.
We say that the superpowers are the principal enemies of the peoples of the world. But we also say that the USSR is more dangerous than the United States. Why?
1) The USSR is a rising superpower. It is on the offensive and is a newcomer to the struggle for the redivision of the world. That is why it is more adventurous and aggressive and less discredited than American imperialism.
2) It hides its ambitions of conquering the world behind the great red flag and deceives people with its beautiful “socialist” talk. This is one of its best ploys.
3) It is in the process of acquiring military supremacy, if it has not already done so.
4) Its highly centralized state apparatus and the social-fascism it exercises at home give it a much stricter control over the means of production and enable it to use them massively for its military ends.
5) It has at its disposal important forces inside many countries, namely its fifth columns, the revisionist parties, including the so-called “Communist” Party of Canada. These are important tools for Soviet penetration in the world. At the same time they constitute a precious support for the bourgeoisie of the countries where they are implanted, by spreading the illusion that it is possible to achieve socialism by peaceful means.
While the USSR is on the rise, US imperialism is on the decline. The US suffered bitter defeats at the hands of the Chinese people in 1949 and in Korea in 1953. More recently the people of Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea also struck it hard blows. In many other parts of the world, its position is being challenged. With the help of Cuba, the USSR has succeeded in penetrating the Caribbean. The Cuban ruling class has become the traveling salesman for the Soviet Union’s hegemonic designs in Latin America. For example, Castro is trying to convince Jamaica and Guyana to join the COMECON (an economic association including mainly the East European countries, controlled by the USSR).
American positions are also seriously menaced on the southern flank of NATO. In France and Italy the revisionist parties are gaining ground, while Turkey and Greece are revising the status of American military bases on their territories. In Africa, US imperialism is suffering major defeats. Several countries in the Horn of Africa, like Ethiopia, have moved out of the American sphere of influence. And the liberation of the old Portuguese colonies (Mozambique, Guinee-Bissau, etc), where US imperialism had important interests, has also contributed to weakening it. Everywhere in the world, from Panama to Southern Africa, US imperialism is forced to retreat and to make compromises.
At the same time, the American economy is not what it used to be. Every year the country accumulates immense trade deficits; the rate of growth of the US economy is less than that of Europe or Japan ; and because of two devaluations since 1970, the American dollar is no longer the cornerstone of the international monetary system. American imperialism is losing ground, it’s on the defensive. It is still a ferocious enemy of the peoples of the world, but it is weakening.
The theory of three worlds shows us how the contradictions between the imperialist countries, particularly between the superpowers, have developed. It is a correct reflection of reality and demonstrates a Marxist-Leninist principle which Lenin considered so important – the law of uneven development. It is the uneven development of countries that creates the preconditions for war. As Stalin wrote:
It is precisely because the lagging countries accelerate their development and tend to become level with the foremost countries that the struggle between countries to outstrip one another becomes more acute; it is precisely this that creates... the preconditions for military conflicts... (Stalin, On the Opposition, p. 614)
By identifying the superpowers as the principal enemies of the world’s peoples, the three worlds theory is an accurate description of reality. All over the world these imperialist giants are trying to keep the peoples enslaved and everywhere they are facing stiff resistance.
National liberation organizations like the ZANU in Zimbabwe and the PAC in Azania, waging armed struggle, are unmasking and combating the hegemonic ambitions of the US and the USSR. Countries are throwing out the numerous so-called “advisers” that the USSR tries to impose on them. Somalia has done this just recently. Everywhere the peoples are intensifying their struggles against the two greatest plunderers and exploiters in the world. This is the reality described by the theory of three worlds that calls on the peoples of the world to develop their struggle, unite all their forces, develop all positive factors in order to concentrate our blows in one powerful force that will smash these two bastions of imperialism, and shake the foundations of the whole rotten system of oppression and misery.
The theory of three worlds is a concrete application of principles developed by Mao Tsetung in On Contradiction. These principles show clearly that we must indentify our principal enemy and concentrate our attacks against it. If we scatter our attacks, if we fire at random, we will never get anywhere. But if we aim at the target we will help build up the revolutionary forces. Why? Becausr the two superpowers are the backbone of the world imperialist system. With their plundering and their counter-revolutionary activities they contribute the most to keeping this system alive. In other words, they are the two biggest obstacles to the development of the revolutionary forces. We must vigorously attack these obstacles, we must weaken the superpowers by attacking them hard. To do this, we must unite all the forces that oppose these giants, even the most vacillating ones. In this way we will help the revolution, we will serve the cause of the people and the world revolution, we will contribute to the development of the revolutionary forces.
In order to develop the strategy and tactics of the world proletarian revolution, the great proletarian leaders such as Lenin and Stalin always made concrete analyses of the forces present in the world, and of their development. Starting from these analyses, they could then identify the principal target of the world revolution, and all the forces, either direct reserves or indirect reserves, that could contribute to the revolution, indirect reserves being the contradictions within the enemy camp.
Lenin began to develop his analysis of world political forces immediately after the First World War. He divided these political forces into three groups of countries: the colonies and semi-colonies and vanquished countries; the countries that had benefited from the war like the United States and Great Britain; and finally, countries which were both politically and economically dependent on the U.S. He insisted on the great importance of this division of forces in the world. (LENIN, The Second Congress at the Communist International, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 218)
During the Second World War, after the fascist attack on the USSR, Stalin identified the fascist countries – Germany, Japan and Italy – as the principal target of the world revolution. The contradictions opposing the fascist countries to the other imperialist countries such as the U.S., France and England made these countries the objective allies of the USSR. These contradictions were part of the indirect reserves of the revolution. Stalin used them to develop the revolutionary forces. He called for the building of a united anti-fascist front which objectively included those imperialist powers which were fighting the same enemy. This united front was needed to defeat fascism, the mortal enemy of the people and the revolution.
After the Second World War, Chairman Mao also made an evaluation of the political forces in the world and drew important conclusions. On the one hand, was US imperialism, on the other, the socialist camp; between the two were the third world countries and the capitalist countries of Europe plus Japan. Basing himself on this analysis, he called for the building of a world united front against US imperialism and its lackeys.
But the world is not static, it is always changing. Since the end of the Second World War, many things have changed. The balance of forces in the world has been greatly transformed. Because it isfaithful to the principles of Marxism-Leninism Mio Tsetung Thought, the theory of three worlds presents a synthesis of these changes and draws important strategic and tactical conclusions for the world proletarian revolution.
The theory of the three worlds is an accurate reflection of the great upheavals that have come about in the world in the last thirty years. These changes are principally:
1) the restoration of capitalism in the USSR, which has transformed this country into a social-imperialist and social-fascist power; the disappearance of the socialist camp and the decline of American imperialism (which we discussed previously);
2) the rapid development of the struggles of the peoples and countries of the third world;
3) the sharpening of contradictions between the second world imperialist countries (France, Germany, etc) and American imperialism.
These changes reflect the development of the four fundamental contradictions of imperialism, as well as the new disposition of forces on the world scale.
Let’s recall the four fundamental contradictions:
– the contradiction between the oppressed nations on the one handand imperialism and social-imperialism on the other;
– the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist and revisionist countries;
– the contradiction between the imperialist countries and the social-imperialist country, and among the imperialist countries themselves;
– the contradiction between the socialist countries on the one hand and the imperialist countries and social-imperialism on the other.
The changes summarized by the analysis of the three worlds concretely show the evolution of these four fundamental contradictions.
Let’s take a closer look at the changes that have taken place in the last 30 years.
The restoration of capitalism in the USSR in 1956 is an important element to understand in order to understand the changes that have developed in the relations between the different forces active on the world scene.
First of all, the restoration of capitalism in the USSR brought about the disintegration of the powerful socialist camp that had been created after the Second World War. The Socialist camp was made up of about a dozen countries: China, Bulgaria, Albania, Poland, the USSR, etc. Since then, most of these countries, except the socialist strongholds of China and Albania, have sunk into revisionism.
The restoration of capitalism in the USSR thus also temporarily weakened the world proletariat. In effect, during the same period, several parties in the second world, like France and Italy, as well as in the third world, like Chile, betrayed the cause of the revolution. Sinking into revisionism, they abandoned large fractions of the international proletariat, who thus found themselves without the leadership of the revolutionary vanguard. The proletariat’s struggle against the bourgeoisie was, as a result, greatly weakened because the working class forces were disorganized. Today, these forces are, in general, at the stage of reorganization, under the leadership of authentic Marxist-Leninist organizations and parties. However, we cannot actually consider that the situation in the advanced capitalist countries is a pre-revolutionary situation where the working class is on the eve of seizing power.
The extraordinary upsurge in the struggles of the third world, which accounts for 70% of the world’s population, has profoundly changed the international balance of forces. The third world has become an immense force, changing the shape of the world. This force resulted from the convergence of the two great historical movements of our times: socialist revolution in countries like China, and the national liberation movement and new democratic revolutions. Added to these two currents is the struggle of third world countries for a new world economic order to preserve their independence and their sovereignty over their natural resources. This is why the third world has become the main force in the struggle against colonialism, imperialism and particularly hegemonism.
Comrade Mao stated:
China belongs to the third world. For China cannot compare with the rich or powerful countries politically, economically, etc. She can be grouped only with the relatively poor countries. (Peking Review, No. 45, 1977, p. 28)
Indeed, the socialist countries, that is, China, Albania, Kampuchea, Korea and Vietnam, have much in common with the other third world countries. Certainly we must never forget fundamental differences in social systems, but these differences must not hide the points they have in common. China, like all the third world countries, faces the reality of waging a long struggle against the superpowers. In the past, all these countries suffered from imperialist aggression and the third world peoples always struggled resolutely and they continue to do so today against imperialist oppression, and to preserve and consolidate their independence. In short, all these peoples and countries have the same history, they have developed an unparalled determination to struggle against imperialism and they have common interests to defend.
Placing China among the third world countries doesn’t mean forgetting that it is a socialist country. Quite the contrary, China considers itself a part of the third world precisely because it holds firmly to principle and follows the socialist road.
When Lenin put Russia and the oppressed nations in the colonies in the same category, could he possibly have forgotten that Russia was already a socialist country? Can it be said that Lenin had thus altered the socialist orientation of Russia’s development? Nothing of the kind. (Peking Review, No. 45, 1977, p. 28)
The third world has vigorously demonstrated its great revolutionary force since the Second World War. A great current of liberation emerged: the African continent threw off the colonialist yoke, and the peoples of Asia, such as the Chinese and Korean peoples, led great and victorious struggles against imperialism. The growth of the national liberation movement has continued to surge forward. Recall the magnificent victories of the Southeast Asian peoples; they were a determining factor in the decline of American imperialism, which vainly tried to maintain its domination of these peoples and lost billions of dollars in the attempt. In many countries, like Thailand, Burma, and Malaya, the new democratic revolution, under the leadership of authentic Marxist-Leninist parties, continues to advance the anti-imperialist struggle. Guided by the Communist Party of Thailand, the people of Thailand, for example, have already liberated half of the territory of their country. Just recently the former Portuguese colonies in Africa won their independence in a protracted armed struggle, and now the last bastions of colonialism in southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Azania, Namibia) are toppling under the mighty blows of the liberation movements.
In the last few year a strong trend of unity has grown among the third world countries, a unity aimed at ending the pillage they have suffered for centuries. At international conferences and at the UN, third world countries have united to resist imperialism, and the superpowers in particular. They help one another and promote the growth of the revolutionary forces, for example, in voting to admit the Palestine Liberation Organization to the UN.
As well, for ten years now, they have shown a great determination to regain control of their natural resources and to protect their sovereignty by uniting in associations of countries producing primary products. Several of these associations have been created: the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and similar organizations for coffee, mercury, bauxite, etc. At the same time they have developed their economic cooperation. Recently the Economic Community of West African States was created. Bilateral and multilateral aid agreements have multiplied: for instance, in 1974 OPEC promised to provide $10 billion to other third world countries. In their struggle to create a new world economic order they are coordinating their efforts; the Dakar Conference considered “a unified program for primary products.”
This tide of unity is positive, we support it with all our might because it cuts down imperialism’s room to manoeuver, especially limiting the superpowers. But we regimes like those of Pinochet in Chile, Marcos in the Philippines, and that of the Shah of Iran.
We resolutely support peoples struggling against these regimes. We give our unconditional support to the Marxist-Leninist parties in the third world such as the Communist Party of Thailand, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Revolutionary Organization of the Tudeh Party which are leading an unrelenting struggle against these regimes. The overthrowing of these regimes and the establishment of new democracy will open the path to socialism. This will be an incalculable contribution to the world proletarian revolution, and a great push forward for the united front against the superpowers.
There is no contradiction between supporting the current of unity of the countries of the third world which oppose imperialist plunder and the two superpowers’ manoeuvres, and denouncing the reactionary regimes in certain of these countries.
The struggles for national liberation and new democracy on the one hand, and the struggles of the countries of the world to free themselves from the domination of the superpowers on the other hand, are part of the same trend. They all, to varying degrees of course, contribute to strengthening the united front and, by weakening the superpowers, they jar the entire imperialist system.
When the Somalian government abolished the so-called Soviet-Somalia friendship pact and threw out the Soviet “experts”, this was a direct blow against the most dangerous superpower at the present time. When the former Bandaranaike government of Sri Lanka revised the status of the British military bases, expelled the American Peace Corps, recognized the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and refused to participate in any military bloc, it delivered a blow to the superpowers and to imperialism.
Of course not all the countries of the third world oppose imperialism and the superpowers with the same vigour. The positions they take depend on the nature of their political regimes and they may be consistent to varying degrees.
The socialist countries are the most resolute in this struggle and constitute a great leading force. For example at the UN and at international conferences, China is to be found side by side with the third world supporting its just demands. It firmly supports national liberation movements by providing them with free material and military aid. It also provides them with precious economic aid, for example in the building of the Tanzam railway in Tanzania. China denounces all the manoeuvres of the superpowers and pays particular attention to unmasking social-imperialism which masquarades as a “friend of the peoples”.
Countries where the national bourgeoisie is in power – Algeria, Tanzania – are struggling to defend their independence and protect their sovereignty.
On the other hand in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, where power is in feudal hands or in the hands of a feudal-comprador bourgeois alliance, linked to imperialism and the superpowers, opposition to the superpowers is circumstantial and generally inconsistent.
The overthrow of these reactionary regimes by the armed struggles of the people, and the establishment of new democracy, far from contradicting the construction of the world united front against the two superpowers, actually considerably strengthens this united front.
To claim there is a contradiction between the struggle against the two superpowers and the struggle against reactionary regimes in third world countries, as the revisionists and opportunists do, is absurd. The firmest fighters against these pillars of imperialism are also the most resolute fighters in the struggle against all reaction, against all forms of oppression and exploitation. The vast majority of Marxist-Leninist parties of third world countries – like the Communist Party of Thailand, the Communist Parts of the Philippines, and the Communist Party (ML) of Argentina – firmly support the theory of three worlds, resolutely attack the USA and the USSR, and heroically fight, most of them guns in hand, for the overthrow of bourgeois or feudal regimes at home.
We must never forget that all of the countries of the third world, whatever the class in power, are objectively in contradiction with imperialism, regardless of the wishes of their leaders. Their development collides with imperialists’ pillage and oppression, particularly American and Soviet imperialism, of which they are all victims. This is why the countries of the third world tend to unite to demand their rights and to resist this oppression. This is why they represent a great force in the struggle against the two superpowers. And this is why we must support this current of unity among the countries of the third world to oppose the superpowers and imperialism, a current that has only recently been born and that is developing and gaining strength each day.
The extraordinary rise of the third world, the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle on all fronts, is hitting hard at the superpowers and is relentlessly reducing international capital’s fields of exploitation. Each country that resists the domination of the superpowers delivers a mortal blow to imperialism which is beginning to totter on its foundations. These are, at the present time, positive factors of primary importance which are contributing the most to weakening and isolating the superpowers.
The theory of three worlds reflects the considerable sharpening of the contradictions between the peoples and oppressed nations on the one hand, and imperialism and social-imperialism on the other.
Following the Second World War, countries like France, Germany and Italy were devastated. The war had destroyed massive quantities of the means of production. Confronted with the possibility of a revolutionary explosion, the bourgeoisies capitulated to US imperialism and sold their national independence for a few dollars.
As a result, these countries faithfully followed orders coming from Washington for a long time. For instance several, including Canada, participated in the Korean war on the side of the United States. But things have changed since then. The economies of the European countries and Japan have gotten back or their feet. More and more they are competing with the United States. A few figures are enough to show this. American production of steel compared to that of the entire capitalist world (not including the USSR) has gone from 61.4% in 1948 to 32.3 % in 1968; for automobile production the figures have dropped from 81.6% to 40 % . In 1949 the United States held 73.4 % of the world’s gold reserves while in 1968 it held only 28% (Peking Review, no. 7, 1970).
All of this has led to the growth of contradictions between these second world countries and the United States. That’s why American imperialism found itself almost completely isolated in Vietnam, which was a good thing. These developments confirm the analysis Stalin made as long ago as 1952.
But it would be a mistake 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. (Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, Peking Edition, p. 33).
The superpowers are still trying to control second world countries. Every day they try to reinforce their domination or develop their penetration of these countries. At the same time the second world countries are more energetic, especially with the United States declining fast. That’s why they tend to resist superpower control, and contradictions between two groups of countries are growing.
Many second world countries have taken up the demand for a 200 mile offshore limit, originally put forward by the developing countries in order to oppose superpower pillaging. Many have taken measures to restrict “foreign investment” and limit superpower control over their economies. A few years ago, for example, Canada passed a law limiting foreign ownership of banks to 25% of their total capital.
Contradictions are also sharpening between the East European revisionist countries and social-imperialism. Since the Soviets occupied Czechoslovakia, popular resistance has never ceased. In Poland the people have protested against clauses in the new constitution concerning Soviet-Polish relations, with strikes and demonstrations occuring in many parts of the country. Certain governments are opposing Soviet domination more and more, and, in the, press, articles have shown that “In varying degreees the principle of mutual benefit has been partially violated.”
These contradictions are contradictions in the enemy camp. Their development is a good thing for the world revolution because they help to isolate the principal enemies of the world’s peoples.
It was Lenin, in Left-wing communism: an infantile disorder, who showed the importance of using contradictions in the enemy camp and taught us how to use them in order to build up our forces.
If we refuse to exploit these contradictions we will bring about our own defeat:
The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and most thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skilfully making use without fail of every, even the smallest, ’rift’ 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 of Marxism...
The three-worlds theory is the concrete application of Lenin’s teaching. It shows us that such rifts do exist among our enemies, notably between the first and second world countries.
When second world countries oppose the superpowers we know they are doing it to further their own imperialist interests. But their actions still have a positive aspect; they oppose and help weaken the greatest enemies of the worlds’ peoples.
To refuse to see this side of things is to refuse to make use of all positive factors in order to help the cause of world revolution. It’s a good thing that the superpowers be as isolated as possible, for this makes the factors for revolution even stronger.
Some, like the revisionist group In Struggle, refuse to make use of these contradictions, claiming thatthe imperialist countries themselves can’t contribute to the destruction of imperialism. Such people understand nothing of Marxism.
Those who cling to this reasoning do not see the difference between the intentions of imperialists, and the objective results that certain of their actions may have. Those who refuse to accept that the countries of the second world can be part of the united front because they are our enemies and are imperialists, deny all the principles of the united front.
We must use these positive factors in our favour, no matter how small they may be, and we must take these forces into account despite their vacillation.
The refusal to use contradictions among our enemies to help the revolutionary struggle, the refusal to distinguish between principal and secondary enemies, was always Trotsky’s attitude. And this was the same Trotsky that Lenin called “Judas” because his “revolutionary” language hid the worst counter-revolutionary the world had ever seen.
The theory of three worlds is a correct application of Marxism-Leninism to the present world situation. Those who attack this theory attack the very principles of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought.
1) They deny the fundamental alliance between the proletariat and the nations oppressed by imperialism, by rejecting the important role of the third world in the struggle against imperialism and hegemonism.
Lenin himself emphasized the importance of this alliance and the importance that socialist Russia support the oppressed nations when he said:
At the congress of the Third Communist International I said that the whole world is divided into oppressed and oppressor nations. The oppressed nations constitute not less than seventy per cent of the population of the earth. To these the Peace of Versailles has added another hundred or hundred and fifty million people.
We now stand, not only as representatives of the proletarians of all countries but as representatives of the oppressed peoples as well. A journal of the Communist International recently appeared under the title of Narody Vostoka. It carries the following slogan issued by the Communist International for the peoples of the East: “Workers of all countries and all oppressed peoples, unite!” “When did the Executive Committee give orders for slogans to be modified” one of the comrades asked. Indeed, I do not remember that it ever did. Of course, the modification is wrong from the standpoint of the Communist Manifesto, but then the Communist Manifesto was written under entirely different conditions. From the point of view of present-day politics, however, the change is correct. Relations have become tense. All Germany is seething; so is all of Asia. You have read how the revolutionary movement is developing in India. In China there is a fierce hatred of the Japanese, and also of the Americans. In Germany there is such seething hatred of the Entente as can only be understood by those who have seen the hatred of the German workers for their own capitalists. As a result, they have made Russia the immediate representative of the entire mass of the oppressed population of the earth; the events are teaching the peoples to regard Russia as the centre of attraction. (Speech delivered at a meeting of activists of the Moscow organizations of the R.C.P.(B.)December 6, 1920, Complete Works, Vol. 31, pp. 452-453).
The theory of three worlds is a faithful development of Lenin’s analysis of the division of the world into oppressed nations and oppressor nations.
2) They deny the necessity of building a united front against the principal enemies. The theory of three worlds is an application of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism on the question of the united front. As Mao Tse-tung said:
In war, battles can only be fought one by one and the enemy forces can only be destroyed one part at a time. (Mao Tsetung, Selected Works, Vol. 5, p. 518)
3) They reject using contradictions in the enemy camp in order to defeat it.
Trotsky always defended this line. He refused to use contradictions in the enemy camp, claiming that this would negate the class point of view. He opposed Lenin in 1918, for example, on the question of signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Kaiser’s Germany, claiming that such a compromise with the enemy was unacceptable. But in reality, this treaty was a necessary compromise that made use of the contradictions between Germany, France and Great Britain to gain time for the Soviet Union to consolidate socialism.
Lenin said of such people that they “fail to understand even a particle of Marxism...” (Left-wing communism)
4) They deny the law of uneven development of capitalism in the era of imperialism. Taking up the Kautskyist thesis that Lenin vigorously denounced, they put the two superpowers on the same footing, and represent the imperialist world as two homogeneous blocks, without divisions or cracks.
But what we see in reality is that of the two superpowers, it is precisely the USSR that is the most aggressive, the rising superpower, while the United States is in decline. And what we see is several contradictions between the imperialist second world countries which have grown stronger since Second World War, and the the superpowers, particularly American imperialism; these are contradictions between imperialist countries themselves.
5) They deny the struggle for national independence in the advanced capitalist countries, meaning, at the present time, second-world countries.
But while attacking opportunists who sought to support their own bourgeoisie in imperialist wars, Lenin said that in certain circumstances:
National wars against the imperialist powers are not only possible and probable; they are inevitable, progressive and revolutionary. (LENIN; The Junius Pamphlet, Vol. 22, p. 312)
Defending the independence of Canada is an important task for the proletariat of this country. The political line defended by groups like In Struggle amounts to leaving the people unprepared for war, and rejects the struggle against penetration or invasion by the two superpowers; this line betrays the cause of the proletariat and capitulates to the superpowers.
The theory of three worlds is a powerful weapon against idealism and a metaphysical world view. It opposes those who are content to dogmatically repeat quotations from Marx and Lenin, completely cut off from reality, instead of basing themselves on the principles of communist theory in order to make a concrete analysis of the concrete situation. It also opposes those who, like ostriches burying their heads in the sand, refuse to use dialectical materialism to analyze the changes and developments in the international situation since 1945.
The theory of three worlds is in perfect agreement with Marxism-Leninism. As Lenin said:
At this Congress, we see taking place a union between revolutioriary proletarians of the capitalist advanced countries, and the revolutionary masses of those countries where there is no or hardly any proletariat, i.e., the oppressed masses of colonial, Eastern countries. It is on ourselves that the consolidation of unity depends, and I am sure we shall achieve it. World imperialism shall fall when the revolutionary onslaught of the exploited and oppressed workers in each country, overcoming resistance from petty-bourgeois elements and the influence of the small upper crust of labour aristocrats, merges with the revolutionary onslaught of hundreds of millions of people who have been regarded merely as the object of history.(LENIN, The Second Congress of the Communist International, Report on the international situation and the fundamental tasks of the Communist International, July 19, 1920, Vol. 31, p. 232)
We are living in the era of imperialism, the era of proletarian revolution. Lenin showed that with the development of imperialism, the struggle of oppressed peoples and nations becomes part of the current of proletarian revolution. The oppressed peoples and nations are confronting the same enemy as the proletariat in the advanced countries. Every time an oppressed nation frees itself from the shackles of imperialism, the current of world socialist revolution is strengthened.
Lenin was first to grasp the strategic implication of the solidarity, the fundamental alliance, that exists between the struggle of the proletariat and that of oppressed nations against imperialism. As a result, he transformed the great slogan of Marx and Engels “Workers of all nations unite” into “Workers of all countries, oppressed peoples and nations, unite.” He recognized the very important role the oppressed nations play in the anti-imperialist struggle. Evoking the certainty of socialism’s final victory throughout the world. Lenin insisted, shortly before he died:
In the last analysis, the outcome of the struggle will be determined by the fact that Russia, India, China, etc., account for the overwhelming majority of the population of the globe. And during the past few years it is this majority that has been drawn into the struggle for emancipation with extraordinary rapidity, so that in this respect there cannot be the slightest doubt what the final outcome of the world struggle will be. In this sense, the complete victory of socialism is fully and absolutely assured. (LENIN, Better Fewer, But Better, Vol. 33, p. 500)
After Lenin’s death, Stalin always defended the principle that the proletariat must unite with the oppressed nations. He also indicated that the national liberation movement includes all forces that fight imperialism, no matter their class or political point of view. He gave the example of the Emir of Afghanistan, who, although he defended the monarchy, was nonetheless an anti-imperialist fighter. The struggle he waged for the national independence of his country was objectively revolutionary because it “weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism. (STALIN, The Foundations of Leninism)
Stalin firmly criticized those like the Trotskyists who rejected this point of view:
The sin of the opposition (Trotskyists-ed.) here is that it has completely abandoned this line of Lenin’s and has slipped into that of the Second International, which denies the expediency of supporting revolutionary wars waged by colonial countries against imperialism. (STALIN, The Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U. (B.), Political report of the Central Committee, Vol. 10)
By insisting on the primary importance of the third world in the struggle against imperialism and the two superpowers, the theory of three worlds rigorously applies Leninist principles. The theory defines the role of the immense force that is the third world, and reaffirms the fundamental principle of the necessary unity of the proletariat of the advanced countries and oppressed peoples and nations.
With great upheavals in the world today placing even greater emphasis on the need for the fundamental alliance, as the theory of three worlds stresses, does not in the least lead to rejecting the class principle.
When revisionists like In Struggle make these ridiculous attacks, they are directly attacking Mao Tsetung Thought. Did Chairman Mao reject the class principle when he wrote in On New Democracy in 1940?
No matter what classes, parties or individuals in an oppressed nation join the revolution, and no matter whether they themselves are conscious of the point or understand it, so long as they oppose imperialism, their revolution becomes part of the proletarian-socialist world revolution and they become its allies. (MAO, On New Democracy, Vol. 2, Selected Works)
No, comrade Mao Tsetung did not reject the class principle; he applied, safeguarded and developed the Leninist theory stating that the national liberation movement has become part of the world socialist revolution.
The theory of three worlds does not deny the class question nor the leading role of the proletariat. Was Lenin forgetting these principles when he placed socialist Russia alongside the oppressed nations and conquered countries like Germany after the First World War? Did Lenin deny the leading role of the Russian proletariat by saying that peasants were the main component of the Red Army? When Chairman Mao affirmed that poor peasants in China were “the natural and most reliable ally of the proletariat and the main contingent of China’s revolutionary forces,” was he denying the class principle? No, he was asserting the role of the Chinese proletariat in the revolutionary cause.
The theory of three worlds also reaffirms the leading role of the international proletariat and the socialist countries in the fight against imperialism and hegemony. The proletariat and the socialist countries, armed with Marxism-Leninism, play a vanguard role and set an example for all.
The proletariat is the most revolutionary class in modern society, it is the heart of society .
Its strength is unmatched because it has the power to paralyze the entire capitalist machine. It becomes invincible as the workers’ movement merges with Marxism-Leninism. Under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party, the proletariat will guide the entire people to their emancipation.
Socialist countries, where the proletariat is in power, play a front-line role as a leading force in the anti-imperialist struggle. Their example is a constant source of inspiration for the peoples of the world. Just recently, the great victory of the people of Kampuchea again showed that it is possible to win victories over such seemingly powerful enemies as American imperialism, when the working class and the people, counting on their own resources, are led by a real communist party like the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Great socialist China, under the just leadership of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng, because of its unflinching faithfulness to Marxism-Leninism, which it has always defended against attacks by modern revisionism, is a precious guide for the international proletariat and represents the future for millions of proletarians.
From its inception, the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) clearly defined the tasks of the Canadian proletariat. We indicated, without ambiguity, that the principal contradiction in Canada is that which opposes the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This attitude stands in sharp contrast to that of the revisionists of In Struggle, who for nearly two years opposed this just analysis of the principal contradiction in our country. And today, despite “changes in formulation”, In Struggle has not renounced its old erroneous position which identifies the Canadian bourgeoisie and American imperialism as the principal enemies of the proletariat.
The task of the Canadian proletariat is to overthrow the Canadian bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the greatest contribution we will make to the cause of the world revolution. But it is also our task to struggle to safeguard the national independence of our country. We must fight relentlessly against domination by the superpowers, particularly American imperialism, which is presently plundering our natural resources to the hilt.
The Canadian proletariat, as a detachment of the world proletariat, also has important internationalist duties to fulfill.
1) As communists, our most important task on the international level is to support the leading force of world revolution. That is why the League firmly supports socialist countries like China and Albania, the world proletariat and all authentic Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations around the world that are struggling to overthrow capitalism and the world imperialist system.
2) We must build the anti-imperialist movement. To achieve this we must support all anti-imperialist struggles in the world, national liberation movements, and develop a broad movement of solidarity with these struggles.
3) As Canadian communists, we have the particularly important task of waging a relentless struggle against all the activities of Canadian imperialism abroad, especially in the third world.
4) Practising proletarian internationalism at the present time also means that we must make our contribution to building and strengthening the world united front against the two superpowers. We must actively and vigorously support the struggles of the world’s peoples against the two superpowers. Every time the peoples stand up to and oppose the USSR and the USA they attack the worst enemies of all the world’s peoples; they block these bandits’ attempts to impose their pillage and oppression on the entire world. Support for these struggles must come from every corner of the globe, and we, Canadian revolutionaries, must contribute our greatest efforts.
Here in Canada we must link the struggle against the two superpowers with our struggle for socialist revolution. We must:
– Fight the interference and domination by the USA and the USSR. This is an essential task that corresponds to the vital interests of the Canadian proletariat and people and contributes to the struggle of all the world’s peoples against these two giants. That is why we must fight for the complete withdrawal of Canada from the NATO and Norad military pacts.
When, for example, the Soviet Union crashed its nuclear-powered satellite – part of its military spy arsenal – on Canadian territory, threatening especially the Native people living in the North, and when American imperialism took advantage of the situation to barge into our territory like it owned the place, they were directly attacking the Canadian people. To denounce these acts firmly, as the League did, is to consistently defend the interests of the Canadian people and to unmask the feverish war preparations of the USSR and the USA in the eyes of the world.
– Fight and unmask all collaborators and agents of the superpowers. American imperialism interferes in every domain in Canada: on the economic, military, political and cultural levels. Some sold-out bureaucrats who lead the big “international” unions in Canada are the direct agents of US imperialism and must be resolutely combated.
The other superpower, the USSR, has a 5th column in our country, the revisionist “C”PC, which spreads its hypocritical “Detente” propaganda everywhere. There are others, like In Struggle, that take it upon themselves to support Soviet social-imperialism , and jumped to its defense during the satellite affair; and finally there are those that support its interference in Africa and elsewhere.
– Prepare the Canadian people for war. We must relentlessly unmask and denounce the crimes of the two superpowers, here and around the world, show that they are ferocious enemies and that we must unite with all the world’s peoples to fight them. And this means first of all and above all else, continuing and intensifying our principal struggle, to which we devote all our energies: to build the vanguard party of the working class and advance towards socialist revolution in our country.
By firmly struggling against the two superpowers, we contribute to putting off the outbreak of war which will allow us to strengthen our position and be better prepared when war does break out. And by redoubling our ardour in the struggle for proletarian revolution, we will be better prepared to transform the war into a civil war for socialism, to turn our guns against the Canadian imperialist bourgeoisie.
But no matter what happens, our fundamental task is and will remain the overthrow of the bourgeoisie in our country and the construction of socialism. Should Canada be invaded by one or another of the superpowers (or both), we will firmly take up the struggle to kick out the invaders, reestablish the independence of our country and transform the struggle into a revolutionary struggle to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat in Canada. This relentless struggle that we will wage against the superpowers, and for the independence of our country, will be only one phase in the struggle for socialist revolution in Canada.
We are struggling to realize our internationalist tasks because, as part of the international proletariat and the international Marxist-Leninist movement it is our duty to contribute to the success of the world socialist revolution. The theory of three worlds is a powerful arm in this struggle. Our internationalist tasks are also essential for achieving the proletarian revolution in our own country as the two struggles are closely linked. It’s by educating the proletariat on the international situation that we will be able to rally the advanced elements to communism, and destroy the inlfuence of reaction, racism, chauvinism, nationalism and all forms of imperialist propaganda.
By accomplishing these tasks, we will be able to build a multinational communist party, made up of workers of all nations, national minorities and immigrant workers. By supporting those who are today taking up arms to smash Canadian imperialism, like the people of South Africa, we will strengthen our struggle here.
By waging the struggle as of now against the two superpowers and their war preparations, we will be prepared for the outbreak of a new world war. By supporting the struggles of the international proletariat around the world, we will succeed in showing the workers here that they are not alone in their struggle against capitalism. Through our active support for the socialist countries, we will be able to show Canadian workers that it is possible to advance towards the radiant future of proletarian revolution, and that we are building that future right now. To neglect our internationalist tasks is to sink into revisionism and betray the cause of the working class.
Mao Tsetung said: “The people of the world support each other in their just struggles.” The revolutionary movement and the struggles of workers and oppressed peoples around the world form a united whole. Every victory of the working class and the peoples around the world advances our struggle for socialism, while our victories in Canada contribute to the success of struggles in other countries.
At the Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of China, Chairman Hua Kuo-feng showed perfectly how the theory of three worlds is a precious guide in the struggle of the proletariat and oppressed peoples and nations on a world scale:
Chairman Mao’s thesis differentiating the three worlds gives a correct orientation to the present international struggle and clearly defines the main revolutionary forces, the chief enemies, and the middle forces that can be won over and united, enabling the international proletariat to unite with all the forces that can be united to form the broadest possible united front in class struggles against the chief enemies on the world arena. This strategic formulation conforms to the strategic requirements of the contemporary struggles of the international proletariat and the oppressed people and nations of the world and also of the struggle for the triumph of socialism and communism. (Peking Review, No. 35)
We are living in the epoch of imperialism. To reach socialism and then communism, the proletariat, allied to the oppressed peoples and nations, must wipe this poisonous system and all reaction off the face of the earth. To advance towards this goal the peoples of the world must, at the present time, take aim particularly at the superpowers and forge a broad united front against these main enemies of humanity.
The Political Report, unanimously adopted at the League’s Second Congress, emphasized:
This united front is a battle which is part of the longer and more widespread fight to abolish imperialism entirely, and to build socialism and then communism... There is no contradiction between the immediate struggle against the two superpowers, and the long term struggle to eliminate imperialism and all reaction. (Political Report)
The theory of three worlds clearly confirms that countries want independence, nations want liberation and peoples want revolution. This is an irresistible current, a current that will sweep away imperialism, social-imperialism, revisionism and all reaction.
Important articles published in Peking Review on the theory of three worlds.
No 45, 07-11-77 – Renmin Ribao editorial: “Chairman Mao’s Theory of the Differentation of The Three Worlds is a Major Contribution to Marxism-Leninism”.
No 46, 14-11-77 – Supplementary notes continued.
No 47, 21-11-77 – Supplementary notes continued.
48, 28-11-77 – Supplementary notes continued.
No 4, 30-01-78 – How did Marx and Engels Differentiate Europe’s Political Forces? (using the question and answer form, the article explains the division of the world in 1848).
No 5, 03-01-78 – Defence of National Independence and Second World Countries (translation of Renmin Ribao article, “The Justness of Second World Countries Defence of Naional Fatherland” – Independence as seen from Lenin’s on Defence of the Fatherland”).
No 6, 13-02-78 – Why did Lenin after World War I Divide Countries Into Three Groups? (An examination of the new division of world forces following the First World War)
No 7, 17-02-78 – Why Did Stalin Divide the Imperialist Countries Into Two Groups? (Why did Stalin call for an antifascist United Front? Why were Italy, Germany and Japan considered as aggressors and the United States, Great Britain and France as non-aggressors?).
 The Soviet Union has 700,000 troops stationed in foreign territory, as compared to the US’s 400,000. The superpowers are also the world’s biggest arms merchants, making enormous profits off this trade. From 1966 to 1976, the US sold $34.9 billion worth of weapons, the USSR $20.1 billion. In 1974, the USSR sold $5.5 billion worth of arms. It took the lead, selling 37.5% of the total worth of arms sold throughout the world.
 The USSR draws exhorbitant profits from the third world, under the guise of aid. They sell cast-iron and anthracite to Egypt at a price 80-150% higher than they charge West Germany, according to Soviet sources. These same sources admit that the price of goods sold to India is 20-30% higher than the world market price. The social-imperialists even have the gall to admit that their ’aid’ is only a means to rip-off the peoples of the third world. A Pravda editiorialist, Zhikov, appearing October 7, 1972 on Moscow television, said: “Those who think that foreign aid is a kind of charity, or a waste of money, are totally wrong. This aid is not free as some comrades think.“ (quoted by Chuang Yen in his speech at the UN)
 American direct investment abroad went from $11.8 billion in 1950 to $137.2 billion in 1976. In 1976 alone, these investments brought back $22.4 billion in profits, including patent rights.
 In 1976 The USSR spent $127 billion on armaments and the USA, $102 billion. These sums are much greater than the amounts spent by the second-world countries. For example Carter’s latest “defence” budget, $112 billion for 1977, is 1 1/2 times the total budget of France.
 The Soviet economy’s total production for 1976 was estimated at $856 billion about 42% of the $1707 billion produced by the United States (US News and World Report, Oct. 24, 1977)
 For example, in 1968 the USA was the world’s leading producer of oil, copper, molybdenum and natural gas; the USSR was first among producers of iron, lead, zinc, and manganese and was second for oil and natural gas.