Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

What had become of the socialist camp by 1960?

by Charles Gagnon

First Published: Proletarian Unity No. 21 (vol 4 no 3), July-August-September 1980
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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At its last meeting, the Central Committee of IN STRUGGLE! reaffirmed its intention to pursue the struggle against revisionism, in conformity with the basic orientation decided upon by the Organization’s Third Congress. If this struggle is to help us answer the questions raised by the revolutionary struggle today, we must turn to history and see what lessons it holds for us.

Few will deny that the stands defended and actions taken at a given time in the communist movement can only be fully and properly understood in the light of history and the prevailing conditions of the time. In analysing things from this point of view, it is not enough to simply compare quotations from Mao or Stalin with, quotations from Marx or Lenin. We must also examine the conditions in which communists have struggled for socialism over the past fifty years and more. This is why articles aimed at making known and analysing the history of the international communist movement will be a major feature of the journal in the coming months.

The following article discusses an important event in the history of the communist movement: the November 1960 meeting in Moscow, attended by 81 communist parties. The statement that came out of this conference is of importance because it was the last document agreed upon by the communist movement as a whole. It was subsequently used as a basic reference point by all those who struggled against Soviet revisionism.

In November 1960, representatives of 18 communist and workers’ parties met in Moscow for another conference of the international communist movement, which was then composed of 87 parties with 36 million members (according to the documents produced by the conference). This meeting followed that of 1957, which had brought together representatives of 68 parties. Thirteen of these parties came from countries in the socialist camp: Albania, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. Except for the Yugoslav party, the parties of all these countries had signed the Declaration of Twelve Communist and Workers’ Parties of the Socialist Countries which was later endorsed by all the parties present.

The purpose of the 1960 meeting was the same as that of the previous meeting and the one held subsequently in 1969: to unify the communist movement. Important contradictions and differences were being openly displayed, especially since the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1956. The 20th Congress was when Khrushchev, who had already consolidated his hold on the Soviet Party, launched his campaign to denigrate Stalin, under the cover of the struggle against “personality cults”.

But 1956 was an important year for a number of reasons. In the fall of 1956, major unrest came to a head in both Poland and Hungary. Soviet troops played a hand in quelling the disturbances – most notably in Hungary – and in both cases new leaders took political power. 1956 was also the year the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Italy, Palmiro Togliatti, set out his theory of what was called “polycentrism”. This theory in practice denied the unity of the international communist movement as it had existed since the founding of the Comintern. Finally, 1956 saw new and heightened differences between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and the emergence of differences between the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and China and Albania, on the other.

In fact, however, the lack of unity in the communist movement dated back to long before 1956. This division went far beyond the line debates that had always characterized the history of communist forces. There were acute contradictions in the movement that reflected contradictory interests. As early as 1948, there was the split between the Yugoslav party and the Soviet Union. The Yugoslav party was condemned by the Cominform (Information Bureau) in June 1948, less than a year after the Cominform was created – in part for the express purpose of bringing the Soviet Union and the East European countries closer together. Indeed, the East European parties (with the exception of the Albanian party) were, along with the French and Italian parties, the only members of the Cominform. Later, after the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, it took nearly three months of discussion between Stalin and Mao Zedong (who went to Moscow) to work out agreements that satisfied both sides.

Before 1956, the contradictions in the socialist camp and the communist movement were perhaps satisfactorily resolved – and the condemnation of the Yugoslav party helped in part to preserve the unity of communist forces. But this was no longer the case after 1956. Meeting or conferences of the communist parties thus came to be seen as necessary means of rebuilding the unity which was under attack from all sides.

After lengthy preliminary discussions and sometimes stormy debates during the conference, the parties represented at Moscow in November 1960 finally managed to agree on a joint statement that was to constitute the “programme of the international communist movement” at that time.

This statement (which we will refer to as the 1960 Statement) is of considerable importance in the history of the communist movement. [1] It is the last document to which all the parties that came out of the Third International subscribed. It was also the document used by Marxist-Leninists, and notably the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA) and the Communist Party of China (CPC), as the basis for their struggle against revisionism in the 1960s. In its well-known Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, the CPC stated that the documents of the 1957 and 1960 Moscow Meetings “are the common programme of the international communist movement”. [2]

This was a somewhat surprising statement for the CPC to make, since the Proposal Concerning the General Line... was in many ways a criticism of the 1960 Statement. But the whole period of the 1960s in the history of the international communist movement needs to be examined more attentively at some point. This was the period when Marxist-Leninists undertook to demarcate from the revisionist positions of the CPSU and the majority of communist parties. As closer study will show, however, this demarcation was only partial on many points.

The 1960 Statement certainly helped preserve the illusion of the unity of the communist movement. In practice, it prolonged the agony for the communist forces which had originally been organized on Leninist principles when the Comintern was founded in 1918. The 1960 Statement was already profoundly marred by revisionist points of view.

But if this was the case, why couldn’t the political unity of the parties that participated in the 1960 Moscow Meeting be rebuilt? Why were the contents of the statement that came out of the meeting foreign to the ideology of the revolutionary proletariat on several basic issues? Basically, we think the reason the communist movement was unable to rebuild its unity in 1960 was that the parties belonging to it represented increasingly divergent interests. We also think that the deviations in the 1960 Statement reflect the fact that the Moscow Meeting was dominated by political forces that did not represent the interests of the revolutionary proletariat.

The programme contained in the 1960 Statement was not a communist programme

Essentially, the 1960 Statement said: the balance of power between the imperialist camp and the socialist camp is increasingly favourable to the socialist camp; consequently, it is both possible and necessary to envisage new kinds of transitions to socialism. To put it another way, the 1960 Statement affirmed that the trend towards socialism had progressed far enough in 1960 to permit and even justify a new outlook on socialist revolution. This was a key affirmation, because it assumed that the international situation in 1960 was qualitatively different from the pre-war situation, for example. This questionable analysis of the prevailing situation cleared the way for all kinds of deviations from the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the lessons previously accumulated in the struggle for socialism.

The 1960 Statement was divided into six major sections. The first section reiterated that we live in the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism. The world was characterized in 1960 by the opposition between the imperialist camp in decline and the steadily progressing socialist camp. Imperialism, dominated by the United States, threatened the world with another war. The socialist camp was the leading defender of world peace.

In the second section, the 1960 Statement reviewed the extraordinary progress made by the socialist camp since October 1917. It said that the U.S.S.R. had already arrived at the stage of building communism. The socialist camp as a whole was in the process of overtaking and surpassing the imperialist camp in terms of economic development, a phenomenon which aroused growing interest among the proletariat and peoples of the world. This new situation, brought about by a socialist camp getting stronger and stronger, meant that it was possible to use new methods and means to make socialism triumph on a world scale.

The third section of the Statement was entirely taken up with the problem of war and peace, described as “the most burning issue of our time”. Capitalism leads to war and the United States was trying to control the entire world. Imperialism wanted to destroy socialism. The peoples, however, wanted peace. The U.S.S.R., the socialist countries and the forces for peace around the world could win out against imperialism and prevent the outbreak of another world war. So it was very much in the interest of the peoples of the world, who wanted continued peace, to strengthen the socialist camp, inasmuch as this camp applied the principle of peaceful coexistence and fought for world disarmament.

The fourth section dealt with national liberation struggles. There were more and more of these struggles in the opressed regions of the world and colonialism was headed for total defeat. These struggles developed in the wake of the October 1917 Revolution. They were the doing of all the anti-colonial forces, including the bourgeoisies that were not tied to imperialism, and the main problem with which they were confronted was how to solve the land question correctly. The path chosen by the liberated peoples was their own internal affair. The masses in newly independent countries wanted “non-capitalist development”. The situation in these countries in 1960 encouraged the emergence of “independent States of national democracy”. The communist parties in these countries were struggling for “the successful conclusion of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and democratic revolution and the creation of States of national democracy”.

The fifth section set out the historic tasks of communist and workers’ parties, especially in the developed capitalist countries. These tasks were “the struggle for peace, national independence, democracy and socialism”. The tasks of the communists were determined by the prevailing historical and social conditions, and more particularly the situation in their respective countries. The Statement said that in the non-European capitalist countries dominated by the United States, the monopolies were the main target of the struggle. In these countries, “the working class and the popular masses must aim their main blow at the domination of U.S. imperialism and at monopoly capital and the other domestic forces of reaction that betray the interests of the nation”. Thus the struggle united the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie. To succeed, it was essential to unite trade-union forces and mass movements. Communists should condemn right-wing social-democratic leadership, but unite with the “masses of the social democrats”. They were opposed to “exporting revolution” and hoped to make revolution peacefully. Conditions had now made peaceful revolution possible.

The sixth and final section of the 1960 Statement expanded on the affirmation that “the world communist movement has become the most influential political force of our era”. The communist movement was engaged in a struggle against modern revisionism. It had already won some victories, including the condemnation of Yugoslav opportunism with its pretensions of remaining outside the “blocs”, of remaining aloof from the world-wide struggle between the two camps. In its struggle against opportunism and revisionism, the movement remained conscious of the danger of dogmatism and sectarianism, and strove to preserve its unity. Although the parties were all equals and co-operated and settled differences through discussions among their leaders, the CPSU was and would continue to be the vanguard of the struggle of the world proletariat. Marxism-Leninism was still the great and universal doctrine of revolution.

Quite apart from the fact that the 1960 Statement analysed the international balance of power in a way that later proved to be thoroughly wrong, the statement issued by the Moscow Meeting said a number of things that were deviations from Marxism-Leninism and any truly revolutionary strategy. Further on, we will try to explain why the Statement analysed the contemporary situation in the way it did. But first, let’s examine some aspects of this document that are utterly incompatible with any coherent strategy and tactics for the struggle for socialism.

From this point of view, the most striking aspect of the Statement is its emphasis on peace. This is a basic concern running throughout the entire Statement: the most important thing for the proletariat and peoples of the world is to prevent the imperialist powers, and notably the United States, from unleashing another major war. The danger is even greater, according to the Statement, because nuclear weapons can cause a degree of destruction unprecedented in human history.

It is true that the peoples of the world want peace; but from a revolutionary point of view, was it correct to put the fight for peace ahead of the proletariat’s struggles to improve its living conditions and, beyond that, to overthrow the rule of Capital? The Statement’s answer would have to be yes, if the arguments put forward in it are taken to their logical conclusion. Peace was to provide the necessary conditions for the development of the socialist camp, which was to be the main factor in causing the peoples of the world to put an end to capitalist exploitation.

This raises a second aspect of the Statement, namely the new possibilities of a peaceful path to socialism. It is rather astonishing to see this asserted when elsewhere the same text says that imperialism, and more especially U.S. imperialism, betrays a growing desire to dominate the world and establish its hegemony. How was it possible to think that the peoples of the world could achieve socialism peacefully when at the same time one said that the forces of the imperialist camp were seeking more and more aggressively to strengthen their hold on the non-socialist world, and indeed to destroy the socialist world that then accounted for one-third of humanity?

This point of view on the peaceful transition to socialism is certainly not unrelated to the Statement’s suggestion that the socialist camp will prove its superiority over capitalism through economic competition. This belittles and subordinates the fundamentally political nature of the revolutionary struggle. It is a clear expression of what has been called the “theory of productive forces”. The 1960 Statement makes socialist revolution seem to be little more than the near automatic result of the general development – and more especially the economic development – of the socialist camp. But this “theory” ignores one very important fact, namely that in and after 1960, economic development 𗾣 the development of the productive forces – in the capitalist countries remained wholly in the hands of the bourgeoisie. The transition to socialism is only possible if the proletariat takes political power, and this is precisely what the proletarian revolution is: the overthrow of bourgeois State power so as to establish a political system that uses the productive forces in the interests of the majority instead of for the benefit of monopolies and Capital in general.

Real confusion sets in when the 1960 Statement turns to the question of national liberation struggles. It is true that the movement of national liberation had made extraordinary progress since World War Two; but what in fact was this new kind of economic development that the Statement termed “non-capitalist development”? And what exactly was this new kind of political system that the Statement called the “State of national democracy”? These confused and ambiguous phrases are all the more astonishing since the same Statement once again condemned Yugoslavia for advocating the development of the newly-independent countries outside the framework of the two blocs, the two camps. The position of the Yugoslav communists could seem to have something in common with the stand taken in the Statement, inasmuch as they both called for a new kind of development that would be neither capitalist nor socialist.

There is a similar ambiguity in the Statement’s discussion of the struggle of the proletariat in the capitalist countries. Although it reaffirmed the fundamental contradiction between Capital and Labour, the Statement put more emphasis on another contradiction – the contradiction between non-monopoly forces and monopoly capitalists. The entire strategy and tactics of communists in the capitalist countries was to be oriented in terms of this second contradiction, instead of being shaped by what was still described as the fundamental contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

This all adds up to an over-all line. The 1960 Statement said that in both the oppressed and the advanced capitalist countries, the struggle was carried out between, on the one hand, a set of social classes and segments of classes embracing the peasantry and the proletariat as well as the non-monopoly bourgeoisie; and, on the other hand, the big monopolies, and in particular U.S. imperialism.

The big monopolies were to all intents and purposes presented as the main enemy of the proletariat and the peoples in the capitalist countries (and it was implicit in the Statement that they were also the main enemies of the peoples of the oppressed countries). Yet one of the demands of communists in the advanced countries was supposed to be the nationalization of “the leading sectors of the economy” – and such nationalizations can only result in the creation of State monopolies. And monopolies, whether privately-owned or nationalized, are still one of the pillars of the domination of the bourgeoisie.

As we have already mentioned, the 1960 Statement presented this programme as a correct application of Marxism-Leninism to new conditions that were largely a result of the strengthening of the socialist camp and the weakening and impending downfall of the imperialist camp. In the light of what has happened in the twenty years since the 1960 Statement, such an analysis seems incomprehensible. Did communists simply misjudge the balance of forces in 1960, and on the basis of this erroneous analysis develop a programme doomed to failure?

It is entirely possible, and even probable, that many communists were in fact misled by the line put forward at the 1960 Meeting. But the content of the 1960 Statement itself cannot be explained away as a mere mistake, for it corresponds to clearly identifiable class interests. Like all ideologies throughout history, the political line adopted at the 1960 Meeting must be taken as the expression of the interests of a given class at a given point in time. Basically, the 1960 Statement was an expression of the interests of the ruling class in the Soviet Union rather than the interests of the political forces that made up the communist movement at that time.

The political programme in the 1960 Statement was the political programme of the ruling class in the Soviet Union

The revisionism of the CPSU has been criticized on many occasions since the early 1950s. The Proposal Concerning the General Line... was undoubtedly the clearest statement of the major criticisms that were subsequently made of the basic positions the Soviet Union had begun to defend openly after the CPSU’s 20th Congress,. The Proposal Concerning the General Line... criticized the Soviet Union’s erroneous positions very rigorously on the questions of war, the struggle for proletarian power and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Nor have Marxist-Leninists contented themselves with criticizing the CPSU’s line errors. Since the beginning of the 1960s, they have also extensively condemned the fascist and imperialist behaviour of the Soviet Union.

Criticisms of the CPSU have often reproached that party with failing to respect the programme defined by the 1960 Moscow Meeting. In our opinion, however, the Soviet Union’s behaviour in the past twenty years is perfectly consistent with the 1960 Statement. This becomes clearer if we review some recent history and try to understand what the socialist camp had become in practice by the time of the 1960 Meeting. In looking at this historical situation, it should be kept in mind that from a Marxist point of view, all ideologies are an expression of the positions of social forces, of class interests, and a critical analysis of any ideology must try to identify these underlying social forces and class interests.

This leads us to criticize the way modern revisionism has usually been analysed in the past, as well as the explanation put forward for the capitalist degeneration of the Soviet Union and the East European countries, and more recently of China. Most of these analyses have been attempts to identify the stands taken by the parties in these countries that were distortions of or foreign to Marxism-Leninism. These stands were then presented as the decisive causes of revisionist degeneration and the restoration of capitalism. Needless to say, this kind of analysis is the very opposite of a Marxist analysis. One of Marx’s major contributions to the understanding of the history of society was precisely to show how the predominant ideas in history have been the ideas that best reflected the interests of the ruling classes in the various class societies in the past. There is no reason for abandoning the point of view of historical materialism when it comes to analysing the evolution of socialist societies. Saying this implies, of course, that socialist society is class society, and this is indeed what Marxism-Leninism says: socialism is the period of transition between capitalism and communism, and during this transitional period the class struggle continues. It continues for the very simple reason that the material conditions for the abolition of classes have not yet been satisfied; and until these conditions are satisfied, classes will not disappear.

One of the major obstacles to a scientific analysis and understanding of modern revisionism is that the study of the evolution of socialist societies has usually been limited to a study of the stands taken by the communist parties in socialist countries, classifying them as correct or incorrect solely on the basis of the general principles of Marxism-Leninism. But neither Marx nor Lenin nor any other communist leader ever claimed that Marxism-Leninism was a catalogue of rigid principles to be applied mechanically in any and all situations. On the contrary, Marxism-Leninism is a scientific doctrine that enables us to understand class contradictions and use this understanding to put forward a perspective for resolving these contradictions so as to advance the proletarian revolution.

So far, much effort has been put into denouncing theoretical errors – Tito’s, or Khrushchev’s, or even Stalin’s or Mao’s. But there has been very little study of the prevailing balance of forces on a world scale and in the various countries where there was an on-going struggle for socialism. It is almost as if Marx and Engels had analysed the 1848 and 1870 revolutions in Europe for the sole purpose of determining whether or not the parties involved in these bourgeois revolutions applied the slogans of “liberty, equality and fraternity” proclaimed by the bourgeois thinkers of the 18th century. As everyone knows, however, Marx and Engels never studied the social revolutions of their time in this way.

Going beyond the stands taken by the parties that led the socialist revolutions and studying the degeneration of the socialist countries in the light of the class relations that lay at the source of the development of these societies does not mean that one rejects the importance of the parties’ line and political decisions. It does mean putting them in a proper perspective. It means situating them in terms of the objective, concrete limits that determine the scope of the their real impact and significance.

In 1960, the socialist camp had in practice become the camp of a new, hegemonic power – the U.S.S.R.

The socialist camp emerged at the end of World War Two, when communist and workers’ parties took power in the countries of Eastern Europe. They did so in most cases with the help of the Soviet Red Army, although they had already been waging the struggle for many years. In the following ten years, this camp grew with the additions of China, Korea and Vietnam.

The socialist camp revolved around the Soviet Union, a socialist country since the October 1917 Revolution. It had made huge progress in its economic and social development, especially during the 1930s.

World War Two was extremely costly in social and economic terms for the Soviet Union, which in practice led the fight against fascism. The country nevertheless remained relatively powerful, thanks to the development of its industry and work force in the previous fifteen years.

In contrast, all the countries that were to join the Soviet Union in the socialist camp were relatively backward – i.e. non-industrialized – countries China, for example, was an overwhelmingly (90%) agricultural country, as were Korea and Vietnam. The East European countries were also fairly backward in 1945. In other words, at the outset, the socialist camp was composed of one industrialized and relatively powerful country with experience in building socialism, industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture, and a series of relatively backward countries that had barely gotten rid of very reactionary political regimes, countries that had never experienced democracy.

This meant that there were already the material bases of important contradictions between the two major components of the socialist camp – the industrialized part (the Soviet Union) and the backward, agricultural part (Eastern Europe and the Asian countries). As we saw earlier, these contradictions soon became evident. By the end of the 1940s, Yugoslavia was already very reticent about what it identified as the Soviet Union’s domination of the other countries in the socialist camp. Contradictions surfaced on several other occasions in the following years, and notably from 1956 on through to the end of the 1950s. These contradictions, which included military manoeuvres in Hungary and Poland in 1956, eventually led to the break in relations between the U.S.S.R., on the one hand, and China and Albania, on the other hand. This break put an end to all Soviet aid to these two countries, both of which were much less industrialized.

The internal situation in the socialist camp can hardly be explained solely by the political errors and deviations of Tito in Yugoslavia, Gomulka in Poland, Kadar in Hungary, Khrushchev in the Soviet Union, Liu Shaoqi in China, and so on. Reality is much more complicated. The socialist camp did not develop in a vacuum. Right after World War Two, the newly-created socialist camp was the target of concerted attacks by all the imperialist forces, which tried not only to prevent the proletariat from winning further victories but also to reverse the victories it had already won.

Imperialism’s multiple attacks on the socialist camp and revolutionary forces in general after World War Two are common knowledge, and we will not list them in detail here. There were, for instance, imperialism’s manoeuvres in the European countries to get rid of the communists in the governments of France, Belgium and other countries; the imperialist offensive against the Greek communists, who were on the verge of taking power in their country at the end of the 1940s; all U.S. imperialism’s incursions into Latin America and Asia in the 1950s...

The 1950s were the years of the Cold War, a determined and intensive struggle by imperialism to keep the influence of the socialist camp to a minimum and weaken it from within. The 1950s were also the years of McCarthyism – an unprecedented campaign of propaganda against progressive and revolutionary forces – in nearly all the imperialist countries.

The international situation was thus one of an all-out imperialist struggle against the camp of socialism and of communism. Linked to conditions within the socialist camp itself, this provides the material basis for understanding how and why the socialist camp degenerated and how the bourgeois forces were able to win out over the forces of revolution.

At a time when imperialism was doing its best to hinder the development of the socialist camp in every way imaginable, the socialist camp was experiencing considerable internal difficulties. As we have already mentioned, all the countries in the socialist camp with the exception of the Soviet Union were largely agricultural and relatively unindustrialized countries. And while the Soviet Union was industrialized, it still had a long way to go to catch up with the most advanced imperialist countries. The living conditions of the masses of the Soviet people were in many ways inferior to living conditions in the most advanced countries.

The situation was certainly ripe for serious clashes between the upholders of socialist development and the defenders of capitalist development.

What happened was that, as a result of the Soviet Union’s drive for a level of economic and military development comparable and indeed superior to that of the imperialist countries, it gradually came to define the interests of the socialist camp in terms of its own interests as a developing power.

Unequal development is generally the starting point for even greater inequalities. This rule of class society proved to hold true for the socialist camp as well. It was not long before the Soviet Union used the Warsaw Pact (concluded in 1955) and the COMECON (an economic agreement dating from 1949) more to serve its own interests than to harmonize the efforts of the various countries in the socialist camp in Eastern Europe. This was the main source of the contradictions that developed in the socialist camp during the 1950s.

This brief review of the concrete situation in the socialist camp and the international balance of forces at the time should help us better understand the programme contained in the 1960 Statement. It brings out the realities underlying the various superficially Marxist-Leninist phrases in this Statement.

The first aspect of the 1960 Statement that calls for such explanation is the assertion that the socialist camp was developing steadily and to such an extent that it would eventually be more powerful than the imperialist camp. This assertion was based on the fact that the Soviet Union was in fact rivalling and in some regards surpassing the development of the Western imperialist powers. But in its efforts to surpass the imperialist powers, the Soviet Union was in urgent need of the unity of the countries of the socialist camp to ensure that it enjoyed an adequate market, diverse natural resources and total control of a series of countries of strategic importance in case of conflict with the Western powers.

In this light, it is easier to understand why the 1960 Statement attached so much importance to economic competition and peaceful coexistence. It was necessary to convince the communist movement and progressive forces that the economic development of the socialist camp was henceforth the decisive factor in the victory of what was still called socialism, but which was rather the victory of the U.S.S.R. itself over the Western imperialist powers. The Soviet Union needed economic development, and to develop it needed a relatively long period of peace, free of the burden of military efforts like the Soviet war effort in World War Two.

Hence the 1960 Statement’s insistence on the struggle for peace, economic competition and peaceful coexistence. On the basis of these priorities, revolutionary struggles elsewhere in the world were reduced to struggles for reforms. In the former colonies, for instance, the 1960 Statement assigned the communist movement the objectives of “non-capitalist development” – a meaningless phrase, strictly speaking – and a State of national democracy, a State that is hard to distinguish from the old-style bourgeois States.

In the advanced capitalist countries, the struggle of the working class was confined to the struggle for peace, of course, and the struggle for democracy and against monopolies, especially U.S. monopolies. This tactic served quite evident purposes. The United States was the main enemy of the Soviet Union in its aspiration for hegemony, the result of its emphasis on unlimited economic development. If the international proletariat were to unite in a struggle against U.S. monopolies, if the proletariat everywhere were to demand the nationalization of foreign, and especially U.S., monopolies, it would most certainly be a blow for U.S. imperialism, even if imperialism as a whole was not weakened.

In other words, the fundamental positions put forward in the 1960 Statement were an expression of the interests of the Soviet Union in its struggle to become a great power and to weaken to union whose purpose is to serve the hegemonic position of U.S. imperialism. It sought to do so by directing the struggle of the proletariat and progressive forces in all countries against U.S. imperialism, presented as the chief instigator of war. It tried to pry away the former colonies from U.S. imperialism, which for its part was certainly striving relentlessly to gain and keep control of the colonies.

This is why it is correct to say that the 1960 Statement was the programme of a new, developing power, not the programme of the international proletarian forces. What remains to be seen is how the socialist Soviet Union turned into a capitalist and imperialist country.

C. Gagnon, May 10, 1980