First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 6, June 7, 1976.
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.
This is the concluding part of the interview with OL chairman Mike Klonsky on the present international situation.
Call: How do you view the role of the countries of the third world in the present international situation?
MK: The term “third world” refers to those countries which have long suffered oppression at the hands of the imperialists, particularly the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is important to note that the third world includes the great majority of the world’s people, the overwhelming number of whom are workers and peasants. This is why the question of the liberation of the third world is of special significance to communists.
Today we are witnessing a tremendous upsurge in the struggles of these third world countries. They have become the main force in fighting imperialism and colonialism. Along with the second world countries (the lesser imperialists of Europe and Japan), they constitute a significant bloc of forces against both U.S. and Soviet social-imperialism.
Of course, the situation in the third world is complicated. Many of the third world governments represent bourgeois or semi-feudal classes of the various countries. Also there are different contradictions among the third world countries, many of which are leftovers from the days of colonialism. There are national and, of course, class contradictions to be resolved by the peoples of these countries.
Generally speaking, however, the tendency to unite against the superpowers is growing. The countries and movements within the third world are drawing closer together and advancing steadily in the struggle for independence, defense of their sovereignty, their national economies and resources. It is a special duty of communists in the U.S. to render their fullest support to this movement.
Call: What about those third world countries or movements which are directly tied to one or the other of the superpowers?
MK: Within every positive trend there is a counter-current or negative force. While the general trend in the third world is unity against imperialism, this trend develops unevenly. Every country in the third world has been influenced by this trend, and yet there are a few countries and movements which continue to be used and manipulated in the extreme by one superpower or the other.
For example, the U.S. exerts its authority in south Korea through a huge occupation army and a puppet government headed by Pak Jung Hi. The U.S. was thus able to force south Korean troops to fight in Vietnam. Similarly, the Castro government in Cuba sent its troops to fight the Soviet war in Angola. Cuba has become a satellite of the USSR, as a result of the social-imperialist stranglehold on its economy. There are a few other countries in this category. But even among regimes of this type, contradictions with the superpowers are sharpening.
Many of the old contradictions among the third world countries are being resolved peacefully. This is contributing greatly to the cause of anti-imperialism. For example, the signing of the agreement between Iran and Iraq last year, ending their long conflict, was in many ways an example for the whole third world.
Call: What is the relationship between giving support to the positive moves made by second and third world countries and supporting the workers’ struggles within those countries?
MK: The cornerstone of our international work must always be proletarian internationalism based upon support for the working class movement in each and every country. Right now within the third world countries, the class struggle is mainly taking on the form of a national struggle against colonialism and imperialism. That is why we try to build support for the struggle of the oppressed nations and countries against imperialism. In the final analysis, it will be the task of the majority of people in those countries, that is the working people, to carry the struggle through to socialism.
In the second world countries, we must give resolute support to the working class in its struggle, not only to defend the national interests of their country, but also to overthrow their capitalist governments and build socialism.
On this complex question, we should always keep in mind who the principal enemies of the world’s people are – the two superpowers – and not raise the contradictions with lesser enemies to the level of the principal contradiction.
Call: Does this apply to the fight against revisionism as well?
MK: Yes, it does. The main revisionist center is in Moscow. That is where the main fire of Marxist-Leninists must be directed today. At the 25th Congress of the CPSU, Brezhnev paraded the revisionist leaders from Cuba, Portugal and other countries before the podium to attack the Chinese and the Marxist-Leninists of every country. His objective was to divert the fire off himself onto these smaller revisionist parties. While attacking revisionism everywhere, our main fire should be directed at the biggest traitors, the Soviet revisionists.
Call: Could you elaborate more on Cuba’s role?
MK: Yes. The present Cuban occupation of Angola shows the depths to which the Castro revisionists have dragged the heroic Cuban revolution. After driving the U.S. imperialists out the front door, Castro allowed the Soviet social-imperialists in the back door.
The Soviet social-imperialists use their “fraternal aid” to dig their claws into the countries and independence movements all over the world and promote their own interests. Many countries, such as Egypt, are beginning to see through such “aid.”
Cuba, as much as any country in the Soviet sphere of influence, has been victimized by the “fraternal” behavior of the Soviet Union. Their economy has remained lopsided. They are in enormous debt. They are totally reliant on the Soviet Union for all their necessities. This is why Castro must parade before the other third world countries saying that Brezhnev is the “best friend” of the third world. This is why he launches vicious denunciations of Mao Tsetung and the Chinese people. This is why he must in fact repay Cuba’s enormous debt with the blood of the Cuban people themselves in Angola today, and elsewhere in the world tomorrow.
Finally, Brezhnev uses the Cubans to peddle revisionist influence in the movement in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and throughout Latin America. The Cuban revisionists do the bidding of the Soviet revisionists in places where they themselves cannot operate.
Call: Some say it is only China’s responsibility to unite with the third world movement because, in China, the working class holds state power. They claim that this is not the job of communists out of power. What is your view?
MK: The socialist governments have their own special tasks, such as carrying on diplomatic relations with every country possible on the basis of peaceful coexistence. They are also forced to make compromises at times that communist parties and organizations don’t have to make them. But diplomatic work is always subservient to the interests of socialist revolution, and China stands as a great example of aid and self-sacrifice for the cause of the world revolution.
Forging the common front with all the anti-imperialist forces in the world is the task of all communists and anti-imperialist fighters. We all have the task of uniting with the main force in the struggle against the two superpowers. We must also work to win over the wavering and vacillating elements and make use of the contradictions in the enemies’ camp. We can never leave the task of supporting the third world struggles solely on the shoulders of the socialist countries.
Call: How important is the international situation in terms of developing a line for the new party?
MK:The new communist party must be a party built squarely upon the principles of proletarian internationalism. Today, the international situation is a touchstone for demarcating real communists from opportunists, revisionists and Trotskyists.
It is essential for U.S. Marxist-Leninists to have a common line on the most important questions. The recent events in Angola laid the basis for Marxist-Leninists to heighten their unity in the struggle against the two superpowers and against modern revisionism. The growing factors of war and revolution should serve as a catalyst for communists to deepen their unity efforts and forge a single unified party on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.