Today In Struggle has reached the point where it denounces socialism, splits apart the united front against the superpowers, and defends Soviet social-imperialism and justifies its actions. This is where revisionism has taken IS.
IS’s daily activity concerning the world situation consists of repeated attacks against socialist China, and, more and more frequently, even against Chairman Mao; they refuse to support Democratic Kampuchea against Soviet-Vietnamese aggression, and pass in complete silence over the increasing deployment of Soviet armies around the world; and they have given unreserved support to the splittist trend in the international communist movement instigated by the leaders of the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA). In short, on all questions, their conduct runs directly counter to the practice of proletarian internationalism.
These counter-revolutionary actions arise immediately out of the great to-do with which IS rejected the three worlds theory. And from all indications they aren’t about to stop there.
IS was bound to end up attacking Mao Tsetung Thought. Mao Tsetung is the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our time, an educator without equal whose teachings enlighten the class consciousness and the practice of millions of workers all over the world. Revisionists have a particular hatred for him, since he was the first to unmask Soviet revisionism and the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. IS is no exception to the rule.
The three worlds theory is one of Chairman Mao’s major contributions. It is both an analysis of the class forces in motion on the world scale, and a strategic plan, a guide for the peoples’ struggles. It shows that the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, especially the USSR, are the two main enemies of all the peoples at this time. It shows that the Soviet Union is the major source of war, and it explains that we must build the broadest world-wide united front of all peoples and countries that are prepared to fight the two superpowers and hegemonism.
In March, 1978, IS began to attack the three worlds theory. In reality and in practice, IS had always been opposed to this theory, but in its usual opportunist fashion it had claimed for a short period to “firmly” support it. All this fine talk was mere hypocrisy. We stated as much from the beginning, and criticized IS’s position.
Facts have shown that we were right.
In July, 1977, at a meeting on the three worlds organized by CAPT (The Third World Peoples’ Anti-Imperialist Committee), IS got very huffy when we demonstrated that its whole political line ran counter to the three worlds theory.
But two months later, for its third conference, in September, 1977, IS published a text entitled Against Right Opportunism in International Questions, in which it rejected the three worlds theory “as a strategic concept,” but claimed to hold to it as a. “worthwhile analysis.” (?!)
Finally, on March 2, 1978, the truth was out: in its issue No.109, p.16, IS declared that “the three worlds theory must be firmly opposed.” It called the analysis a “rotten opportunist theory,” “the germs of a new revisionism,” “betrayal” and “a fundamental change in the general line of the international communist movement.” It repeated that the theory was “supposedly” inspired by Mao Tsetung himself (our emphasis), and boasted that IS had “consistently criticized those who used the ”three worlds theory” to revise the general line of the international communist movement.”
IS has reached this point because it rejects Marxist-Leninist principles on every vital question concerning the world socialist revolution. It has chosen the enemy side and has lined up with the revisionists.
The big hullabaloo with which IS has tossed out the three worlds theory was stirred up solely to prepare its members and readers for the total rejection of Mao Tsetung Thought. This is the same method the Albanian leaders used. At the VIIth Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, in November 1976, they launched their first public attacks against the three worlds theory. Just recently they have finally come out with what they really think. “So-called Mao Tsetung Thought is not and never has been Marxist-Leninist,” Enver Hoxha, chairman of the PLA, said in a speech on November 8, 1978 (see The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 24, p. 8).
IS is gearing up to go the same route. Even at its fourth and fifth conferences, held in February and June of 1978, IS explained that all reference whatsoever to Mao Tsetung was lacking from its “draft program for the proletarian party” because IS was “not sure” Mao’s contributions were “valuable” enough to warrant mentioning Mao Tsetung Thought specifically.
It is only a question of time before IS is “sure” that Mao Tsetung’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism are worthless.
The three worlds theory singles out social-imperialism as the most aggressive superpower. It is the superpower that invades countries and massacres peoples, threatens other countries and is trying to steal one stronghold after another from American imperialism. This is what IS hates most about the theory. If one thing is notable in IS’s degeneration, it is, in fact, its increasingly open conciliation with social-imperialism.
The Soviet Union today is a rabid and double-dealing enemy of the world’s peoples. Its ambition is to dominate the whole world,which brings it into fierce conflict with the US, the other superpower.
The USSR has sent foreign mercenaries into several countries. It has Cubans fighting on its behest in Angola and Eritrea, and Vietnamese in Kampuchea. Its armies massacre whole populations and attempt to set up fascist regimes, all in the name of “proletarian internationalism.” The Soviet Union tries not to show its involvement too openly, just so as to hide its own responsibility. This is further indication of the concealed danger it poses for the peoples of the world.
This is an enemy that disguises itself as a friend. To infiltrate everywhere today, the social-imperialists use the fact that the USSR in the past, under Lenin and Stalin, was the first socialist country and in reality a true friend of all peoples.
But in the eyes of IS, the USSR doesn’t pose any danger. As the recent Soviet world-wide offensive took shape, IS sat silent, as if nothing had happened. Through flaming acts of Soviet aggression in Zaire, in the Horn of Africa, in Yemen (both North and South), in Afghanistan and in Southeast Asia, IS never let slip a syllable.
Worse still, it spread the lies of TASS (the central Soviet news agency). When in March, 1977, and again in May, 1978, Zaire was invaded by mercenaries in the pay of the USSR, IS took up the social-imperialist thesis that the whole thing was a matter of an “internal revolt” in Zaire. Far from denouncing the USSR, IS in practice opposed support for Zaire’s struggle to defend its independence, instead concentrating its attack on the Mobutu government in Zaire.
But what makes IS’s conciliation even more deceptive and dangerous is the fact that it is concealed beneath a critical veneer.
Let us take one example. In one of its “pamphlets” (study documents, ed.), no. 12 on revisionism, published January 30, 1975, IS says that for the USSR, “Proletarian internationalism becomes a purely formal support to national liberation struggles.” (IS, No. 31, page 4 of pamphlet, our emphasis)
Under the pretense of criticism – “proletarian internationalism becomes” (in French, “is abandoned for”, ed.) – IS slips in a blatant and dangerous lie: that the USSR gives some sort of “formal support” to the peoples’ struggles.
But the USSR does not support the peoples, it attacks them. Their tens of thousands of Cuban mercenaries, their military advisors and the tons of arms they pour into Africa are there only to enslave and in no sense to help these peoples.
Experience shows us that Soviet “aid” aims only to divide and then control liberation organizations. In Angola the Soviet Union “supported” one organization, the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola). It called the MPLA “progressive” and “revolutionary” and the other two organizations “reactionary.” It then proceeded to turn the MPLA against the two others, rupturing the agreements which had united the three organizations. As a result, civil war raged in Angola. Today, the country is under Soviet control.
Closing its eyes to Soviet aggression is not enough for IS. It also advocates tactical alliances with the USSR. In a June 9, 1977 article on Palestine, IS says, “This dialectical analysis (sic) of the necessary unity of the entire Palestinian people and of the possibility of tactical alliances in order to defeat the principal enemy is an example that should inspire all Marxist-Leninists, especially some like those of the Communist League who tend to apply in a dogmatic and mechanical way their analysis of the two superpowers as the main enemies and to the same degree of all the peoples of the world, regardless of the concrete situation and the specific stage of the revolutionary struggle in one country or another.” (IS No. 90, p.14, our emphasis)
Advice like this IS can keep to itself! To hear them talk, we in Canada should envisage a tactical alliance with the USSR, since it is the American superpower which has the greatest presence here. This is exactly what the revisionists of the “Communist” Party of Canada say. The things you can’t do with IS’s “dialectical analysis”!
Well, no thank you. We aren’t interested in any such alliance. Facts show pretty clearly what the social-imperialists are out to do all over the world: they present themselves as “friends” who will help throw out US imperialism, only to then set themselves up as new masters. The peoples of Cuba, Vietnam and Angola have had the tragic experience of the “tactical alliances” their leaders have made with Moscow. Today they find themselves under its heel.
Conciliation and “tactical alliances” have led IS to open collaboration with another revisionist party – the “Communist” Party of Israel (CPI). In November 1976, it supported a cross-Canada tour by Tawfig Zayad, a member of the central committee of this party. Of course this was done under the pretext of “support” for the struggle of the Palestinian people.
But the CPI is a revisionist party totally in the service of social-imperialism. Everything it puts forward in its program goes completely against the objectives of the Palestinian people as formulated by the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). The CPI claims Israel is a legitimate state, and defends its existence. But this state was fabricated by means of theft of the land and massacre of the people of Palestine.
Surely, support for the Palestinian people must mean support for their objectives: the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel and the establishment of a democratic and lay Palestinian state.
Marxist-Leninists all over the world firmly support the cause of the Palestinian people led by the PLO. They support the just demands of the Palestinian people, unlike the traitors in the CPI. It is no accident that the CPI does not belong to the PLO!
But IS prefers to cozy up to revisionists who try to sabotage the struggle. And they are not alone in this. As one might expect, we also find that the “Communist” Party of Canada also supports the CPI and helps it organize meetings.
Mao Tsetung worked tirelessly and energetically to explain and to show the peoples of the world that not only had the USSR become a capitalist country once again, but that the revisionists in the Soviet Union have established a fascist dictatorship of the Hitler type.
Facts do not lie. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union has become a fascist party in the service of the new bourgeoisie in power. It has imposed an iron dictatorship on the working class, has suppressed proletarian democracy, controls the unions, and so on. The proletariat lives in increasing misery, while the bourgeoisie grows fat. The whole economy is on a war footing, and is unable to meet the vital needs of the people. The minority nationalities, which at one time were free, are again oppressed, and subject to forced russification.
But IS, shrieking continually about “rising fascism” all over the world and in Canada, never utters a single word about social-fascism in the USSR.
Just the opposite, it goes about declaring that the USSR is merely a bourgeois regime like any other, and even that it has a more “progressive” look than some.
In the IS of September 9, 1976, for example, we find an account of a trip to the USSR by two IS sympathizers. They tell us that in the USSR, “The social policies are well developed:... numerous daycare centers, and paid maternity leaves.” (IS No. 76, p. 8) Daycare or no daycare, maternity leave or no maternity leave, what characterizes the USSR is the cruel exploitation of the working class, the fascism imposed on the labouring people, the oppression of nations andnationalities, and the oppression of women. To claim that “the social policies are well developed” is to attempt to pass a rabid wolf off as a tame lamb.
The “democratic” varnish IS coats the Soviet regime with does equally well for the Soviets’ Canadian agents, the “Communist” Party of Canada. IS’s practice gives us another demonstration of this.
For example, in the C-24 committee set up in Montreal to fight the Canadian bourgeoisie’s repressive immigration law, IS did its best to have the denunciation of the two superpowers removed from the basis of agreement for the platform.
Why? Because denouncing the USSR would prevent “people” from joining the committee. Actually what IS wanted to do was to find a way to get its big brothers in the Canadian “C”P onto the committee.
In one of its pamphlets, No Revolutionary Party Without a Revolutionary Program, IS gives a rather frank explanation of its line on modern revisionists: “In fact, the reformists and social-democrats agree with militant workers’ struggles, they’re anti-imperialist and they’re for the liberation of the oppressed peoples, except that the revisionists don’t recognize the USSR as an imperialist power.” (p. 36)
So, IS tells us, all these people are “anti-imperialist”-it is just that the revisionists do not recognize the existence of Soviet social-imperialism.
But, in fact, this fine crew hasn’t got a shred of anti-imperialism about them. Their whole job consists of “denouncing” American imperialism, Canadian imperialism, French imperialism, German imperialism, and so on, so as to prepare the way for the USSR. The USSR then comes along in its “anti-imperialist,” “liberator” suit,with no aim in mind but to install itself as fascist oppressor in the place of others.
It was by playing on the people’s desire to get rid of American imperialism that revisionists in Cuba, in Vietnam and Ethiopia invited the social imperialists in to set themselves up as the new oppressors. By playing on the same desire on the part of the Chilean people, the revisionists in Chile got themselves into the government. From this vantage point they propagated a lovely theory of “peaceful transition to socialism” and paved the way for Pinochet’s coup d’etat.
This tactic favoured by the Soviet Union is exactly the same one used by the fascists in the ’30s and the ’40s. Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy presented themselves as socialists in order to take power. Later, when they attacked Europe, they justified their actions by claiming that they were attacking “British imperialism” and “French imperialism.” What they were doing, of course, was attempting to take over from them.
Instead of exposing the “Communist” Party of Canada revisionists as a group who are trying to sabotage the Canadian working class’s struggle by dragging them under social-imperialism’s yoke, IS presents them as a group “further to the left” of the reformists.
Talking about the “Communist” Party of Canada, IS tells us that, “You could almost call the “C”P the “left-wing” of social democracy, ... “NDPers in a hurry”.” (IS No. 99, p. 11)
While IS flirts with other revisionists, it puts every effort into denigrating the international communist movement. On numerous occasions in its newspaper and its journal it attacks by name the Communist Party (ML) of the US, the Marxist-Leninists in France, the Workers’ Communist Party in Norway (AKP(ML)), ORT (the Revolutionary Workers’ Organization) in Spain, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Belgium, and of course, at every turn, the Communist Party of China.
IS has even derided the international communist movement as a “red UN” because Marxist-Leninist organizations of several countries, including the League, publish joint communiqués to strengthen their fraternal links and mutual support (see IS’s pamphlet Against Right Opportunism in International Questions, September, 1977, p. 1)
IS finds itself alone in its hole, a harsh reality which drives it to a frenzy, so that it takes every chance it can to vent its spleen on Marxist-Leninist parties. Another nice way to express “proletarian internationalism.”
The three worlds theory lays strong emphasis on how the great current of the struggle of the oppressed peoples and nations, especially in the third world, is moving history forward. And it reaffirms the absolute necessity of a close alliance between these struggles and those of the world proletariat.
But IS, in the chauvinist fashion common to all revisionists, holds the peoples’ struggles in total contempt and sabotages this basic alliance.
In its declaration against the three worlds theory IS states, “There’s only one way of struggling against the superpowers’ attacks against the independence of the other capitalist countries, and that’s to make proletarian revolution in these countries...“ (IS No. 109, p. 17, our emphasis)
Zaire, for example, might as well have let itself be invaded by Soviet social-imperialism. Whether the people were left with the Zairian leader Mobutu, the American imperialists, or Brezhnev, it “wouldn’t change a thing” according to our super-revolutionaries. The only real change is a proletarian revolution.
Certainly Mobutu is a reactionary. And certainly the Zairian people are waging a struggle against his regime and for New Democracy. We stand with them in that struggle. But if the USSR attacks Zaire, the situation changes radically. The Zairian people must then face a new enemy, one that is in fact much more powerful. If social-imperialism were to take over Zaire, the fight for New Democracy would be held back. This is why we cannot put Mobutu and social-imperialism on the same footing and say, “it all comes down to the same thing.”
So when social-imperialism launched its aggression against Zaire, it became the main enemy. The new task for the people of Zaire was to unite all forces against Brezhnev, and those forces included Mobutu.
To go one step further, a success for the social-imperialists in Zaire would have had serious effects on the situation in Africa and on the world level. It would have marked a major step for Moscow in its plan to cut Africa in two and isolate the south. Had this happened, the Soviet Union would have constituted an even greater threat to the African peoples, as well as making significant headway in its war preparations. (See article on Soviet social-imperialism in October No. 4-5)
To say, as IS did, that “it wouldn’t change a thing,” is of great use to the social-imperialists’ plans. After all, revisionists have to stick together!
IS’s line on national liberation struggles is exactly the same.
In fact, IS declares: “(The three worlds theory) keep(s) quiet about the necessity that a communist party, the party of the proletariat, be at the head of the truly anti-imperialist forces if the national liberation struggle against imperialism is to be victorious...” (ibid., p. 17)
According to this logic, the struggle of the Azanian people, led by PAC, that of the people of Zimbabwe, guided by ZANU (the Zimbabwe African National Union), and that of the Palestinian people, led by the PLO, have no chance of winning; neither PAC, nor ZANU, nor the PLO are communist parties, and their peoples right now are fighting for national liberation, and not for socialist revolution!
The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism... (Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism, Works, Vol. 6, p. 148)
But this isn’t the way the IS traitors see it. They either turn up their noses at national liberation struggles, or attempt outright to sabotage them.
Their treachery is even more obvious when it concerns a struggle led by a Marxist-Leninist party. In the Philippines, in Malaya, in Thailand and Burma, Marxist-Leninist parties are at the head of the armed struggle to overthrow the reactionary classes in power, to unseat American imperialism and to establish New Democracy.
These parties support the three worlds theory. This shows once again that this theory in no sense denies the need for a Marxist-Leninist leadership to direct the struggle for national liberation through the stage of New Democracy to the stage of socialist revolution.
Why is it that IS never mentions these Marxist-Leninist parties? Simply because this would demolish all of its lies about the three worlds theory.
Nothing could be clearer than the case of Kampuchea.
In Kampuchea the people’s struggle is led by a communist party, and after national liberation the people set about building socialism. The Kampuchean people are a heroic people; they have fought against one of the most barbaric aggressions of recent history, routing American imperialism in 1975 by relying on their own forces. You would think Kampuchea would make the grade for IS! Well, it didn’t!
Between 1975 and the Vietnamese attack in December, 1978, IS never said a word about Kampuchea. But the attacks against this socialist country made it impossible not to take a stand. Either you were for it or you were against it. IS refused to take a stand for Kampuchea for such a long time because it was against it.
But it was the Soviet-Vietnamese aggression that traced a clear dividing line between revisionists, like IS, and Marxist-Leninists.
In January 1979, the League immediately launched a campaign to support Kampuchea’s resistance to the invasion. More than 3000 people participated in support activities throughout the country, and innumerable Canadians heard the truth via the League’s appearances on radio and TV and its statements in the newspapers.
But IS, on the other hand, was forced by events to play the only role we could expect of it: it constantly attempted to whitewash the aggressors of their crimes.
These are the main facts:
– For a long time annexationist Vietnam had been trying to swallow up Kampuchea and Laos in an “Indochinese Federation” under Vietnamese control. It did everything it could to reach this goal including attempted coups d’etat and invasions in 1977 and 1978. Evidently behind Vietnam was the criminal hand of the Soviet Union, who wished to profit from the regional hegemony of the Vietnamese leaders in order to solidly establish itself in Southeast Asia. But throughout this plotting against socialist Kampuchea, IS was invisible, hiding quietly in its corner, a tacit accomplice of the Soviet-Vietnamese manoeuvres.
– When the attack was launched in December, 1978, IS immediately gave credence to the Soviet claim of an “internal uprising” in order to hide the aggression. In No. 140 of its newspaper, IS stated on the front page: “On Sunday, January 7, the Khmer forces from the KNUFNS (...) took Phnom Penh.” In order to further please Brezhnev and Vietnam, IS made sure to add that “Vietnam, however, continues to deny the presence of any of its troops in Kampuchea.” Meanwhile, the whole world knows that the KNUFNS (Kampuchean National United Front for National Salvation) is nothing but a collection of marionettes with strings pulled by the aggressors.
Since then IS has consistantly denied that the Pol Pot government is still the legitimate government of Kampuchea, calling it the “overthrown government” and referring to Vice-Premier Ieng Sary as “a former leader of the Khmer Rouge.” (IS, No. 141, p. 1)
As far as the question of the Vietnamese invasion is concerned, no one has had any doubts about it from ,the very beginning – no one except IS that is, who picked up the “internal uprising” myth and is spreading it wherever it can.
– To top things off, IS wants the Kampuchean people to lay down their arms to the aggressors. According to IS (No. 140, p. 12), Kampuchea and Vietnam “must today negotiate border disputes.” This takes the cake! Vietnam invades Kampuchea and the Kampuchean people are supposed to negotiate borders!
– The anti-communist and sometimes openly racist propaganda against Kampuchea had reached hysterical proportions. For almost four years hacks working for Moscow, Washington, and Hanoi, and some here in Canada spread horror stories about supposed massacres, “genocide,” Kampuchea as, “one great concentration camp,” etc. The Soviets were the worst. While the Americans talked about a million killed, the KNUFNS, once installed in Phnom Penh, published the incredible figure of three million dead. Three million out of a total population of eight million! Half the population quietly kills off the other half... it’s a bit too much to swallow.
Of course none of these stories were based on any proof. But they do have one thing in common: they all come from former servants of the Lon Nol regime, which was put in power by the Americans in 1970 and supported by the Soviets till the very end.
What was IS, great fighter against all bourgeois propaganda, doing while all this was going on? As usual it didn’t say a word to defend Kampuchea. Thus it supported the stream of dirty anti-communist attacks.
– Canadian imperialism was on the front lines of the attack against Kampuchea, with External Affairs Minister Don Jamieson slandering Kampuchea every time he got the chance, including at the UN.
Canadian imperialism has interests to defend in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including interests in Vietnam itself, Indonesia and the Philippines. That’s why it was so furious at the birth of a new socialist country, and at one point played a foremost role in the attacks against Kampuchea.
And where were the IS super-revolutionaries hiding this time? They always maintain that the theory of three worlds pushes the League into the arms of Canadian imperialism, but what’s really going on? It’s IS that didn’t say a word, didn’t make the slightest move to support Kampuchea and made itself the accomplice of Canadian imperialism.
All along the line we can see that IS has been an ACCOMPLICE in the whole series of attacks against Kampuchea, at a crucial moment in this country’s history.
IS has made itself an accomplice of US imperialism, and above all of Soviet social-imperialism, whose hands are red with the blood of the Kampuchean people today.
The three worlds theory calls upon the world’s peoples to fight hegemonism and actively prepare to confront the third world war the US and the USSR will set off.
Why is it so important to understand that this war is inevitable? Because the ability to foreee the development of world events is vital for the proletariat and the people to deal with them under the best possible conditions.
As for IS, it is actively spreading the illusion that the war is not inevitable.
Caught in sterile dogma, it denies the changes that have occurred in the world situation since the last war.
The most important of these changes is the birth and growth of a new superpower, the USSR, which is now challenging the world supremacy of the USA.
IS also denies a certain tendency among secondary imperialist powers, the second world, to edge out of the superpowers’ orbit. Imperialism means reaction from one end to the other, and communists want to end it once and for all. But between the imperialist countries there objectively exist contradictions that we can use. Today the two superpowers have become the foundation stones of the imperialist system. If we can weaken and destroy them, the whole structure of imperialism will be shaken. That’s why we must concentrate our attacks against them, particularly the USSR, the most aggressive of the two.
But IS considers all imperialists to be on a par. It talks about “two imperialist blocs” (one led by the US, the other by the USSR), that include the second-world imperialist countries, as well as the two superpowers. And what is IS’s intention? Simply to disperse the blows and weaken their impact, rather than concentrate them on the two biggest international bandits.
Historical experience has shown the usefulness of differentiating between the imperialist countries. During the Second World War communists built a united front against the aggressive fascist countries. This united front included not only the USSR (then a socialist country) and the world’s peoples, but also imperialist countries like the United States and Great Britain. This united front was victorious: fascism was crushed in Germany, Italy and Japan, the invaded peoples were freed from its clutches, and several people’s democracies were born in Eastern Europe.
IS is opposed to anyone who attempts to prepare the people against war. It justifies its actions with various revolutionary-sounding phrases: “the next war will be an imperialist war,” “only proletarian revolution can prevent war,” and so on. Having said this, IS then goes on to conclude that we must not prepare to defend our country against eventual aggression by one or the other of the two superpowers, since it would be “social-chauvinist” to do so (see page 50).
But there is no contradiction whatsoever between preparing the Canadian people against war and fighting for proletarian revolution. In fact, this is an indispensable task. The party of the working class must be prepared for both possibilities: either revolution will prevent war, or war will give rise to revolution. If it admits only the possibilities of revolution and shuts its eyes to the danger of war, it will be unable to lead the working class when the war breaks out and the capitalists will have the upper hand.
So when IS refuses to prepare the Canadian people for war it simply acts in the interests of the bourgeoisie.
On this point once again IS takes up a Trotskyist line of reasoning. The Trotskyists attack the struggle for national independence because they see it only as a struggle between different bourgeoisies. It wouldn’t matter to them if Canada were invaded by a superpower; the working class should hand it over on a silver platter, never letting its attention wander from the preparation of the proletarian revolution.
In order to justify its refusal to support the peoples’ struggles, IS has elevated its positions to the level of chauvinist theory. In the brochure, No Revolutionary Party without a Revolutionary Program, IS states, “The question is not one of knowing if it’s correct or not for communists to support workers’ struggles, to support national liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples or to denounce the war preparations of the imperialists and particularly the superpowers. All that we must unhesitatingly affirm is absolutely correct and part of the Marxist-Leninist line. But that in no way constitutes a tactic in the struggle for socialism in Canada, because that puts aside the struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie, against its State power. That does not constitute the essential characteristic of a Marxist-Leninist line.” (p. 36, our emphasis)
What is IS telling us here? That support for the struggles of oppressed peoples, 1) is not a “tactic” in the struggle for socialism in Canada; 2) “puts aside” the struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie, 3) does not, essentially, characterize a Marxist-Leninist line.
Once again IS blatantly revises a fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism and openly opposes it.
For, contrary to what IS spouts, it is essential for the working class in imperialist countries to support the struggles of the world’s peoples. The imperialist bourgeoisies are the common enemies of the oppressed peoples and nations and of the world proletariat. The blows dealt by all of them form one current of struggle that will destroy the entire imperialist system.
The great communist leaders Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung showed clearly that the struggle of the oppressed peoples and nations and that of the working class are the two inseparable components of the world proletarian revolution.
We can defeat imperialism only if we support all the world’s peoples who are attacking it. We can defeat our own bourgeoisie only if we oppose all manifestations of its oppression, and only if we actively support the peoples fighting it.
This is how Stalin explained it:
The victory of the working class in the developed countries and the liberation of the oppressed peoples from the yoke of imperialism are impossible without the formation and the consolidation of a common revolutionary front.
The formation of a common revolutionary front is impossible unless the proletariat of the oppressor nations renders direct and determined support to the liberation movement of the oppressed peoples against the imperialism of its “own country,” for “no nation can be free if it oppresses other nations” (Engels). (The National Question in Marxism and the National-Colonial Question, Proletarian Publishers, p. 289)
Supporting the struggles of oppressed peoples is not a “tactic” in socialist revolution in Canada, as IS would have it. It is a principle and a vital necessity, without which victory is impossible.
Finally, despite what IS says, determined and active support for the peoples’ struggles against imperialism is, without any question, an essential characteristic of a Marxist-Leninist line. As a matter of fact, it constitutes a clear line of demarcation between communists and revisionists.
Revisionists have always denied the importance of the struggles of oppressed peoples and nations. From Kautsky to Khrushchev, it’s been the same story: deny the contributions of oppressed peoples and nations to the revolutionary struggles all over the world, and talk only about “advanced peoples.”
Kautsky, with his theory of “ultra-imperialism,” claimed that imperialism would put an end to war and lead to the development of a world at peace. This bourgeois traitor and coward justified the most savage brutality of colonialism, spread social-chauvinism, and preached the abandonment of the struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations.
Khrushchev had the same aim when he talked about “peaceful competition” and “peaceful transition,” and called on all oppressed peoples to give up their national liberation struggles so as not to provoke a new world war.
IS’s work against socialism and against national liberation \movements also resembles the activities of Trotskyists from every point of view.
Before the Second World War, in the name of their ultra-revolutionary “purity”, the Trotskyists put all their efforts on the side of the fascists and against the Soviet Union, then the only bastion of socialism in the world.
In 1937, Franco and his fascists engineered a reactionary coup d’etat against the Republican united front government of Spain. He was aided by Hitler and Mussolini. What did the Trotskyists do? They attacked the Republican government and the anti-fascist united front!
During the Second World War, the Trotskysts claimed that fascist Germany and Japan’s invasion of many countries didn’t “change anything” because, with or without the invaders, these countries were still capitalist. In the then-socialist USSR and in China and Albania, these people were seen for what they were, traitors to the cause of the people. These collaborators with fascists were treated accordingly and eliminated.
Once again, during the ’60s, at the time of the African countries’ great struggles for decolonization, the Trotskyists tried to sabotage the support for these struggles, claiming they weren’t worth the effort because they weren’t proletarian revolutions.
This is the dark path IS is following. It comes as no surprise that they collaborated so closely with the Trotskyists in their Operation Liberty campaign (see The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 24). And it is quite natural that snakes like IS should join forces with the Trotskyists and other revisionists against socialism and national liberation.
Since IS refuses to support the peoples’ struggles or to fight the superpowers, it must inevitably attack the peoples’ in these struggles... the united front.
Let’s take a look at what IS has to tell us about this weapon:
And so goes life, from one anti-imperialist front to another: yesterday, it was the anti-fascist united front, then it was the anti-American united front, soon it’ll be the anti-Soviet united front, and after that, the anti-Western European or maybe the anti-Japanese front...
And further on, they add, “(the revolution) does not consist of an indefinite series of world struggles against the most powerful imperialist country of the hour, the US and then the USSR and then afterwards who knows? Germany, Japan, and once again the US or the USSR, France...” (Against Right Opportunism in International Questions, p. 10)
IS tries to ridicule the principle of the world united front by presenting it as a series of struggles that never get anywhere.
On the international level, this principle implies analyzing the forces on the world scene, identifying the main enemy, and, to deal the death-blow to that enemy, building a broad united front of all the forces that can fight it.
The great leaders of the world proletariat have always applied this principle. It has made possible brilliant victories over imperialism.
In this manner, during the Second World War the USSR, then a socialist country with Stalin at its head, led the anti-fascist united front. This front included all the forces fighting Nazism, and turned the contradictions among the imperialist countries to the advantage of the world proletariat and peoples.
On June 23, 1941, the day after the German fascist leaders launched their attack on the socialist Soviet Union, Chairman Mao addressed these words to the whole Communist Party of China:
For Communists throughout the world the task now is to mobilize the people of all countries and organize an international united front to fight fascism and defend the Soviet Union, defend China, and defend the freedom and independence of all nations. In the present period, every effort must be concentrated on combating fascist enslavement. (On the International United Front Against Fascism, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 29)
This united front made it possible to smash fascism, and to liberate many peoples from its fierce oppression. It safeguarded and defended the USSR, the first country in the world where the proletariat had established its dictatorship over the exploiters.
Similarly, in the 1960s the Communist Party of China and Chairman Mao identified the American superpower as the most dangerous enemy of the peoples of the world and worked to unite all forces against it. The blows the peoples directed at the United States inflicted such serious damage to it that this imperialist power will never recover.
Today, the theory of the division of the world in three is an application of the same principle: unite all forces, use the contradictions among the imperialists themselves to concentrate our blows against the two hegemonist superpowers, our greatest enemies on the world scale, and aim the strongest blow against the most ferocious warmonger, the Soviet Union.
In essence, IS’s position is that not only is it impossible to win a definitive victory over imperialism, but it is impossible even to weaken it. Charles Gagnon, IS Secretary-General even declared to a rather sparse Toronto audience, November 26, 1978, that there were no socialist countries in the world.
IS also slipped up in one of its documents when it said outright, “...one need only keep in mind that since the beginning of the century every one of the big, important imperialist powers, with the exception of the USSR, has experienced military defeat; yet, it can’t be said that imperialism as a “world system” is less powerful.“ (Against Right Opportunism in International Questions, p. 6, our emphasis)
So IS “can’t say,” that is, won’t say, that imperialism today is weaker than it was at the beginning of the century. The October Revolution and the storms of liberation in the third world amount to nothing according to these disgusting little revisionists!
But in reality, since the beginning of the century the whole world has been turned upside down.
The October Revolution inflicted a mortal wound on world capitalism from which the latter will never recover.
...(Capitalism) will never recover the ”tranquility”, the “assurance”, the “equilibrium” and the “stability” that it flaunted before; for the crisis of world capitalism has reached the stage of development where the flames of revolution must inevitably break out, now in the centres of imperialism, now in the periphery, reducing to naught the capitalist patchwork and daily bringing nearer the fall of capitalism. (Stalin, The International Character of the October Revolution, in Marxism and the National-Colonial Question, Proletarian Publishers, p. 379)
And since that time, the world imperialist system has continually been violently shaken by the revolutionary struggles of the world’s peoples and proletariat. This is how the Communist Party of China explained it in 1963:
A great revolutionary storm has spread through Asia, Africa and Latin America since World War II. Independence has been proclaimed in more than fifty Asian and African countries. (Apologists of Neo-Colonialism, Fourth Comment on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU, in The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement.)
After the Second World War and the victory over fascism, the creation of the People’s Republic of China liberated one quarter of humanity, who are today engaged in the construction of a great socialist country.
And everywhere, every day, we see peoples, like the Palestinian people and the Azanian people fighting to win their freedom by force of arms. Since Khrushchev’s immense revisionist betrayal, the world communist movement has undertaken its reconstruction and is now taking great strides forward around the world.
Thus, despite what IS says, the world today is a vast battleground and the imperialist system is falling apart.
But IS is not interested in instilling in the masses revolutionary confidence in the future or the determination to struggle. Not at all. They are trying to spread the most reactionary petty-bourgeois pessimism, overestimating the enemy strategically, trembling in fear at the idea of class conflict and collapsing in the face of repression.
With the July 3, 1978 issue of its paper, No. 118, IS fell into step with the imperialists and revisionists. It undertook what it had been preparing for a long time, an open campaign against socialist China, against the Chinese Communist Party and against its Chairman, Hua Kuo-feng.
Since then it has put a great deal of effort into attacking socialism in China, it doesn’t restrain itself to just talking about the “restoration of capitalism” but now reviles the on-going socialist modernization, fights Chinese foreign policy, etc. It blackens endless pages of its newspaper and journal with attacks on China, organizes anti-China meetings, and tries to break up League meetings and even meetings of China friendship groups.
IS was bound to end up there.
China is a bastion of socialism. It is an example that lights the road for all the peoples and the proletariat of the world. The Communist Party of China is strong from over 50 years of struggle, it has been able to unmask and fight revisionism in all its disguises; and its leader for over half a century, Chairman Mao, made immense contributions to Marxism-Leninism.
For this reason, this country and this Party are intolerable for revisionists. All those who betray the working class, who reject its revolutionary struggle and try to sabotage it, eventually end up by attacking the socialist stronghold of China.
IS is no exception.
IS has no hesitations about defending the “gang of four.” In Proletarian Unity No. 12, it published an article written by one of the “gang,” entitled “On Exercising All-round Dictatorship over the Bourgeoisie.” IS gives this article its full blessings, saying “this article returns to the lessons of the Cultural Revolution and Marxist-Leninist principles on the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (our translation)
Elsewhere, they also write, “IS considers it of little importance whether or not Chiang Ching (member of the “gang” -ed) wore silk stockings imported from abroad...” And IS belittles Mao Tsetung; “...or whether Mao said this or that on his deathbed.” (IS editorial, No. 118)
For once IS is “quite frank.” The “gang of four’s” activities and treachery and Mao Tsetung’s teachings are of “little importance” to IS.
Who were the “gang of four”? They were a band of counter-revolutionaries who had infiltrated into the highest ranks of the Communist Party of China. They formed a clique to take over state power through a coup d’etat in order to then restore capitalism in China.
The “gang of four” used the Cultural Revolution to rise in the ranks of the Party. They presented themselves as “super-revolutionaries” and used the help of careerists like Lin Piao inside the Party.
But the leadership of the Party, the Central Committee with Hua Kuo-feng at its head, supported by the overwhelming majority of both Party members and the people, put a stop to the “gang’s” activities just as they were plotting to unleash a coup d’etat and civil war.
IS talks about Chiang Ching’s silk stockings to make us believe that the criticisms of the “gang” were on unimportant details. What stupidity! The crimes of the “gang of four” are very serious and have earned them the undying hatred of the entire Chinese people.
For example, they disorganized the economy to such an extent with their slogans and their activities, paralyzing enterprises, communications, etc., that they brought it to the brink of collapse.
They exercised a fascist dictatorship over the areas where they held power, imprisoning and tormenting thousands of people, even provoking armed conflicts in some regions. They were attempting to stifle all criticism of themselves.
But IS is still brash enough to invoke the name of Mao Tsetung and the Cultural Revolution to defend the “gang.”
But it was precisely with the aid of Mao Tsetung Thought that the Party and the Chinese people were able to see through and thwart the “gang’s” schemes. It was Mao Tsetung who developed the theory of the continuation of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. According to this theory, class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie continues under socialism, and is reflected inside the Party. Mao Tsetung explained, “The handful of Party persons in power taking the capitalist road are the representatives of the bourgeoisie within the Party.” (Quoted in Documents from The Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Peking, p. 37)
The Cultural Revolution, initiated by Mao Tsetung, aimed at just such people. The “gang” tried by every means to turn the Cultural Revolution to their own ends. They tried to widen the target of the revolution to include many sincere cadres who were devoted to the masses. They tried to use it to climb up Party ranks. Along with their accomplices they provoked all kinds of troubles, armed clashes, and the sabotage of many industrial and agricultural production units.
To organize their seizure of power, the “gang” set up a bourgeois headquarters, just like Lui Shiao-Chi and Lin Piao who had attempted a coup d’etat in 1971. Like Lin Piao, the “gang” represented a rightist line hidden behind a “left” mask.
This is why we can say that the smashing of the “gang of four” and similarly Liu Shiao-Chi and Lin Piao, is one of the victories of the Cultural Revolution.
IS agrees with the “gang” on a whole list of points.
For example, it attacks the orientation taken by the Chinese Party to build a modern and powerful socialist China within the next few decades.
As a means of fighting modernization and sabotaging the economy, the “gang” concocted slogans like, “Better a socialist train that is late than a revisionist train on time,” which means, better a backward socialist economy than a developed capitalist economy.
Obviously this is posing the question backwards. The point is to have socialist trains on time and a developed socialist economy.
But for the “gang,” any attempt to make a train arrive on time or to develop the economy was the same as following the “theory of productive forces.”
The “gang,” and IS in turn, develop the same train of logic as the imperialists, incessently repeating that only capitalism can lead to development, and socialism will always stagnate in poverty. The only logical conclusion of this line of reasoning is, conversely, that economic development can lead only to capitalism.
IS has brought out its slanders against China for everyone to see. and now openly supports the “gang of four” (something it has done since the death of Chairman Mao, but always in a back-handed and hypocritical way). IS has now fallen into step with the imperialists’ vicious world-wide anti-China campaign.
In particular, IS is faithfully following the USSR, the most vicious participant in this campaign, which is not only slandering China but also massing troops on China’s borders and aiming missiles at Chinese territory.
It is China, and the Communist Party of China, led first by Mao Tsetung and now by Hua Kuo-feng, that is at the head of the struggle of the world’s peoples against the US and the USSR.
And it is China that has used the three worlds theory to thoroughly expose the USSR. It is China that is giving the firmest support to the world’s peoples fighting the two superpowers. And, consequently, it is China that the USSR is attacking most viciously.
IS has followed the USSR in its attacks against the three worlds theory; it has echoed the Soviet Union’s campaign against third-world countries, precisely at a time when the USSR was militarily attacking these countries; and it joined forces with Soviet social-imperialism against socialist China, bastion of world revolution.
But IS knew it would be quickly exposed if it took up Soviet positions too obviously. So instead, IS grabbed onto the coattails of the Albanian leaders when they launched a full-scale attack on the three worlds theory in the summer of 1977 (in the July 7 Zeri i Popullit editorial) and created a splittist current in the international communist movement.
The Albanian leaders have set out to turn public attention away from the recent Soviet world-wide offensive, and of course, IS is slinking right along behind.
As well as parroting the PLA’s slanders, IS has also taken it upon itself to reproduce all the major anti-Chinese documents such as the July 7 editorial of Zeri i Popullit and the long speech made by Albanian leader Ramiz Alia (in issues 129 to 133 of IS).
Like any dyed-in-the-wool opportunist, IS figured that the past prestige of the PLA would serve as a good screen behind which they could go about their anti-socialist activities. But IS hadn’t calculated how far the opportunism of the Albanian leaders would go. The Albanian leaders are no longer satisfied with attacking the present leadership of the Communist Party of China or talking about the “restoration of capitalism in China,” or Chinese “social-imperialism” and “hegemonism.” In a recently published book, Enver Hoxha wrote that since 1935, that is, since Mao Tsetung became leader, the CPC has not been a Marxist-Leninist Party. In other words, the Albanian leaders are saying that China never was socialist, they are attacking the Cultural Revolution, etc. They completely contradict IS, which hypocritically continues to claim the mantle of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution, at least for the time being. But what embarrasses IS even more is the fact that the PLA maintains excellent relations with Hardial Bains’ fascist gang, the so-called “Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist).”
How can we sum up IS’s line and practice on international questions?
It is a revisionist line from beginning to end. IS attacks Mao Tsetung Thought.
It will stop at nothing to try to hide the crimes of the superpowers, especially of social-imperialism.
It belittles and rejects the struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples, and countries’ struggles to safeguard their independence.
It is putting all its efforts into fighting the world united front against the two superpowers.
It has become a spokesman for the anti-China campaign orchestrated by the imperialists.
If IS finds itself totally isolated from the international communist movement and from all revolutionary forces around the world fighting to break the chains of imperialism, it is because on all these questions, IS stands opposed to the line and the practice of Marxism-Leninism.