Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

CPUSA tries to Glorify Imperialism

First Published: The Call, Vol. 2, No. 11, August 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Communist Party USA (CP) has become one of the most active forces in this country campaigning to glorify the so-called “superpower detente,” and the bloody policies of imperialism and social-imperialism which lie behind it. At its recent Central Committee meeting in New York, general secretary Gus Hall urged the party to build a “united front in support of IJ.S.-Soviet detente.”

The CP’s views on detente reflect the essence of revisionism asserting that the basic problems of capitalism such as war and unemployment can be solved through inter-imperialist cooperation and reform, rather than through class struggle and revolution.

Outdoing Nixon and Brezhnev in describing the benefits of detente, the CP says in the July 3 issue of their newspaper. Daily World, “Hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. are expected as a result of the ... third summit.” This prediction is typical of the way the CP prettifies imperialism through its stand on detente. Can superpower negotiations solve unemployment? The CP, claiming to be descended ideologically from Marx and Lenin should know that unemployment is a basic characteristic of capitalism, and that only socialism can put an end to it. For proof of the fallacy in the CP’s logic, one need look no further than the fact that over the last two years since “detente” began at the first Moscow Summit, unemployment has risen in the U.S. by a full million.


Just as the CP says that detente will ease unemployment, they further assert that it will bring the world lasting peace. “Moscow Pact greeted for Peace Assurance,” headlined the July 5 Daily World. The view of the CPUSA, as well as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, is that world peace can be achieved only by negotiations among the superpowers. In this analysis they not only ignore the demands and interests of the people in the areas of conflict, but they also ignore the most basic aspect of imperialism–constant contention among the imperialists for spheres of influence and a redivision of the world.

Immediately following the Russian revolution, V.I. Lenin stated, “If socialism is not victorious, peace between the capitalist states will only be a truce, an interlude, a time of fresh preparation for a fresh slaughter of the people.” (For Peace and Bread, 1917). This statement applies directly to the situation in the world today: While the two giant imperialist countries talk peace, and sign a few treaties of cooperation, their plans are really for renewed war and aggression.

The CPUSA’s praise of detente is not just the dream of some people who are overly enthusiastic about the chances for world peace. The new campaign they have launched to win the American people to support of detente is aimed at poisoning the growing and healthy movement among the world’s countries and peoples who are denouncing the backroom deals of the two superpowers, as well as their aggression and preparations for war. The CPUSA does this in order to whitewash the social-imperialism of the Soviet Union (socialist in name, imperialist in actions), which has come under sharp attack as the countries of the Third World and Europe have experienced Soviet invasion and subversion. By saying that the Soviet leaders are pursuing a policy of peace, the CP covers over the bloody history all too familiar to the people of Czechoslovakia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan–countries where the USSR has played the leading role in toppling governments and propping up fascist puppets with arms and armies of occupation.

The dilemma of the CPUSA is that in tailing behind the USSR’s supposed policies of peace and detente, they are forced to prop up Nixon as well, since within the U.S. ruling class, he represents the section that is most in favor of the approach currently taken towards the USSR. To the CP, the “main enemy” is now Henry Jackson, and a few others, who oppose the “detente” approach to the USSR. In Gus Hall’s speech to the CP’s Central Committee, he announced that there is now a split in the U.S. ruling class over whether the “U.S. should continue along the cold-war path of frontal aggression ... (and) continue to gear the economy to a war orientation.” Hall asserts that Jackson stands on one side of this split, favoring “repression,” “aggression” and a “war-economy” while Nixon stands on the other. By the CP’s account then, Nixon must oppose “repression,” “aggression” and a “war economy.”

While there are certainly divisions within the ruling class over whether or not to dump Nixon; over which sections of international capital to ally with; over how best to contend with the USSR–there is no such thing as a split within the imperialist camp between some who want peace and some who want war. Imperialism is a system which inevitably leads to war and in fact, Richard Nixon represents the most reactionary, fascist and aggressive section of the ruling class–not one which is fighting for “peace.”

It is under the Nixon administration that defense and military spending has increased by $30 billion, carpet bombings of Indochina have been carried out, and U.S. forces around the globe have been placed on military alert to invade the Middle East.

To take the heat off Nixon in any way during this time when the masses of people in this country are struggling to dump him, is certainly a betrayal of the interests of the working class.

But to imply that he has now become the leader of a part of the ruling class that wants “peace,” is such a high plateau of revisionism that it merges completely with Nixon’s defense of himself. “There may have been errors and excesses made in our election campaign, but this administration has proved itself in its contributions to world peace,” said Nixon in a speech last year.

The CP is, in essence, putting forward the same outlook. In the March issue of Political Affairs, Gus Hall pondered the question of how to oppose Nixon, and still support Nixon’s stand on detente.

To us, there is no contradiction. Opposing superpower detente goes hand in hand with opposing all the oppressive policies of the Nixon administration. Detente is not the guarantee of world peace, but instead the liquidation of the just struggles of all the world’s people fighting for independence and liberation. At the same time, it is a mask for the policies of aggression which characterize all the imperialists and social-imperialists alike.