Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Red Dawn Committee (ML)

The International Situation: Concerning our Views


First Published: Red Dawn, No. 2, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

In our original plan for issue number 1 of Red Dawn we included an article on the international situation. More than just a statement of our views, it was to have provided also a study plan for all those interested in developing a Marxist-Leninist approach to the world situation. We got into it partly because part of the leadership of the Workers’ Congress (M-L) adopted a position on war in the name of the entire leadership and of the entire organization without collective study or consultation. (See Red Dawn #1) We disagreed with this method and with the position and wanted to study the question further.

The article was actually written. It was completed in the spring of 1977 and it contained sections on the developments and changes in the international situation since the beginning of the era of imperialism, on revolution preventing war and war giving rise to revolution, on the emergence of Soviet Social Imperialism, on proletarian internationalism, and on the theory of three worlds. This last-mentioned section was a defense of the theory of three worlds as we understood it.

Enver Hoxha’s report to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania sowed the seeds of doubt in our minds about the three-worlds theory, but we were able to reconcile his statements with our understanding of the theory. The article “The Theory and Practice of the Revolution” from Zeri i Popullit left us no room for such misunderstanding. We decided that we’d better restudy the question more carefully before publishing views on the subject, and so we shelved the article, because our immediate task was to complete and publish the material in this magazine.

The question sat on the shelf longer than we had hoped. The problems of getting out the first issue, of the split in our committee, of rewriting the material on the OL (originally to have been in the first issue) in the light of what emerged during the split – all went over our estimates. The ideological disparities in our committee before the split prevented us, not only from keeping within our planned times, but even from making adjustments when plans didn’t work out. Our organized collective study is only now beginning in earnest. Nevertheless, there are some things we can say now.

We can no longer uphold the theory of three worlds. It has become painfully apparent that it has nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism. This theory insists, not that we make some tactical alliance with certain neocolonial regimes in the oppressed countries, but that the main force for world revolution includes the Shah of Iran, the Chilean junta, Mobutu of Zaire, and the rest of U.S. imperialism’s puppets and handpicked butchers. This theory states that the imperialists of Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Japan, and all the rest of the “second world” countries are the main allies of the revolution. This theory demands that we unite with our “own” imperialism and one of the most vicious exploiters the world has ever known, presumably because the Soviet Social Imperialists call themselves “socialist”, and because they are arming themselves faster. This “strategy for proletarian revolution” sets no tasks for the proletariat. This “socialist” division of the countries of the world doesn’t take into account the socialist countries.

All of this has been said before. In fact, at this point it requires no great ability on our part to say it. While we were engaged in studying it, events caught up with us and have shown the implications of the theory of throe worlds in practice. But there are still some questions which trouble us. One big one is: How were we able to support this theory in the first place? It certainly casts some doubt on our methods of adopting positions and on our attitude toward the leading communist parties. In fact, most of our movement upheld the theory of three worlds, including those who now oppose it. It seems that the three-worlds theory was adopted without too much study or careful probing. The absence of self-criticism by the opponents of the theory of three worlds suggests that they broke with the theory in the same light way they adopted it. For that matter, even the supporters of the theory should be self-critical, because they originally adopted it in the same free-and-easy way. Their failure to respond to their critics, however, shows that they have not made a careful study of the theory of three worlds to this day. Having the correct position on this question is very important, but it is still more important that we learn a correct approach to new questions from our mistakes. We have to carefully analyze the conditions of our enemies, our allies, and ourselves. We have to use the scientific method, gathering facts, and evaluating them in the light of the historical experience of the working-class movement and of the classics of Marxism-Leninism. That is our only insurance that we will take a correct position on the next question that arises, and it is especially important in this period of party building. We intend to do a searching self-criticism as a first step in rectifying the errors that allowed us ever to uphold such a theory.

We also feel it is necessary to carry further the criticism of the theory of three worlds, and this brings up more questions. How has the political independence of most of the former colonies changed the international situation? Can the working class ever make a tactical alliance with one superpower against another? What does it mean to say one superpower is more dangerous than the other? When is the relative strength, or relative preparations for war, of the different imperialists the key point in our analysis, and when is it not? What was the difference between World War I and World War II? And finally, how was an experienced party like the Communist Party of China able to adopt the theory of three worlds?

Some of these are questions we began to answer in our original article on the international situation, but we see now that we have to restudy them. All these questions are the basis for our collective study right now. The next issue of Red Dawn will contain an article discussing these points.