First Published: Unite!, Vol. 1, No. 1, August 1975.
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.
(Delivered on May 27 at a public forum to hail the victories of national liberation struggles in Indochina, and in commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the May 20, 1970, statement of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, by the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee)
* * *
COMRADES AND FRIENDS,
WE HAIL THE GREAT AND TRIUMPHANT VICTORIES Or THE PEOPLE OF CAMBODIA, LAOS AND VIETNAM, VICTORIES OF HISTORIC, WORLWIDE SIGNIFICANCE!
THIS IS THE AGE IN WHICH IMPERIALISM IS HEADED FOR TOTAL AND COMPLETE DEFEAT, AND PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY!
The liberation of Vietnam and Cambodia from the yoke of U.S. imperialism, the step by step march taken by the peoples of Indochina against colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism over the last 400 years, is a history rich in lessons for the oppressed and exploited of the world.
The struggle by the Vietnamese people for freedom and independence the most fierce and protracted of a the great national liberation struggles of our times, since World War 2.
Together, the people of Indochina have demonstrated conclusively what Mao Tse-Tung pointed out on May 20, 1970, that
A WEAK NATION CAN DEFEAT A STRONG, A SMALL NATION CAN DEFEAT A BIG. THE PEOPLE OF A SMALL NATION CAN CERTAINLY DEFEAT AGGRESSION BY A BIG COUNTRY, IF ONLY THEY DARE TO RISE IN STRUGGLE, DARE TO TAKE UP ARMS AND GRASP IN THEIR OWN HANDS THE DESTINY OF THEIR COUNTRY. THIS IS THE LAW OF HISTORY.
Comrades and Friends, it is this objective law of history that we are gathered here tonight to celebrate, and to better understand. Our movement against U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social imperialism and in support of the national liberation struggles, has taken many tremendous steps in the last fifteen years; defeating all kinds of pessimism, moral ism and cynicism; the opportunist lines of the terrorists the Trotskyites, and the modern revisionists. We have steadily come to realize that there has been one, and only one, organizer for all the victories in Indochina, as well as our own victories, one source of unbreakable conviction that has led the freedom fighters in Indochina over the last thirty years against French colonialism and U.S. imperialism – and that amidst all the incomparable hardships and trials faced by national liberation struggles the world over; whether they be in Palestine, Dhofar, Mozambique or Zimbabwe, there is one light which has shed a brilliant clarity on the seeming chaos and disorder. That is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought, our only guide to action.
The events of the last few months have provided us with vivid examples of the correctness of the line of the Chinese Communist Party that the entire world is in a state of great disorder and great turbulence. “Great disorder under heaven”, as our Chinese comrades put it. Great trials and realignment of forces have taken place in the last few years. Look comrades to the map of Asia or Africa. Look to the dramatic changes in the role of the United Nations. The deterioration of the dollar and gold standard. The tremendous upsurge in the workers’ movement in the capitalist countries. And of great importance for us, the recognition today – here in the very heartland of imperialism – for the need to build a genuine communist party of a new type.
This is an earth-shaking era we live in, an era of global upheaval!
To some, this is a period of confusion and disarray. This reflects one class outlook. But to The large masses of exploited and oppressed people of the world, this great disorder on earth is a good thing. We are living in an age in which four hundred years of the rule of capitalism is decaying before our very eyes. This is the age in which COUNTRIES ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE, NATIONS ARE FIGHTING FOR LIBERATION, AND THE PEOPLE WANT REVOLUTION’. REVOLUTION IS THE MAIN TREND IN THE WORLD TODAY! Who but the most reactionary rulers of the U.S. or the Soviet Union denies this today?
The great disorder on earth reflects the sharpening of all the four basic contradictions in the world:
(1) the contradiction between the oppressed nations on the one hand and the imperialist and social imperialist nations on the other hand;
(2) the contradiction between the proletariat and bourgeoisie in the capitalist and revisionist countries;
(3) the contradiction between the imperialist and social imperialist countries and among the imperialist countries;
(4) the contradiction between the socialist countries on the one hand and the imperialist and social imperialist countries on the other hand.
But which of these contradictions is principal? Which one pushes all the others forward? Comrades and Friends, Indochina provides the clearest of all possible answers to this question. It is the contradiction between the oppressed nations of the world and imperialism and social imperialism which is the main contradiction in the world today - the contradiction which is pushing history forward. This contradiction, as Lenin said, “is the essence of imperialism”.
The revolutionary storms sweeping Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East signals confusion and division among the enemies oŁ the people, while, it is a great source oŁ inspiration and tempering for the people of the exploited and oppressed nations of the world.
The awakening of the Third World is an event of great historic importance. After World War 2, with the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the emergence of Soviet social imperialism, the socialist camp no longer existed by the early sixties. At the same time, we can see the disintegration of the capitalist camp, as revealed by the growing rivalry amongst the capitalist countries. Today, there are three worlds which are inter-connected, and in contradiction with each other.
First, we have the U.S. and U.S.S.R., the two superpowers. Second, we have the remaining developed capitalist countries. Third, the developing countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Cambodia and Vietnam are so important because they reveal dramatically that it is the Third World which is determining the course of world history. It is the Third World which is strong strategically, while it is imperialism and social-imperialism which are weak.
That is why we say that imperialism is a paper tiger. From the long term point of view, the view of protracted revolutionary struggle, from the point of view of the objective laws of history, imperialism is headed for total and complete defeat. This is the essence of the question.
In appearance, however, it is another case. On the surface U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism are living tigers, iron tigers, tigers of death and destruction; as we have seen in Indochina, Africa and other places. Tactically, this must not be underestimated. No one amongst us will ever forget the barbaric damage committed against the people, culture and land of Indochina, “to win the hearts and minds of the people”. We do not forget the Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, who said in 1964, “we’re going to bomb them back to the stone age”. Or Lyndon Johnson, who told U.S. soldiers at Cam Ranh Bay in 1964, “Come home with the coonskin on the wall”. Or the American officer after TET who explained matter-of-factly, “we had to destroy it in order to save it”.
And certainly, we will never forget the mil lions of our comrades in arms who have sacrificed their lives, the lives of countless families, the separation of families, in the heroic, protracted struggle against imperialism. The many millions wounded or maimed. This great courage, heroism and sacrifice, is an historic example to the people of the world. Their memory will always burn in our hearts. Theirs is the infinite example.
No road to revolution has been more tortuous, more protracted than in Vietnam. Not forced urbanization, Vietnamization, the Phoenix Campaign, defoliation, carpet bombing and much more, could deter our Vietnamese comrades in arms.
This determination comes from one source. This unswerving dedication in the face of untold hardships and suffering stems from one fountainhead. That is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought. As Lenin pointed out,
Marxism provides the clue which enables us to discover the laws governing this seeming labyrinth of chaos, namely, the theory of class struggle.
The history of all society is the history of class struggle. Only by using Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought as our guide and grasping class struggle as the key link, can we maintain, in the face of great chaos and turmoil all around us, clarity of vision and absolute confidence in the victory of our cause.
The people of Indochina, with the leadership of the Vietnam Workers Party, have provided the people of the world with a historic lesson as to the truth of this proposition. Ho Chi Minh, the great and beloved leaden, of the Vietnamese people, compared the Vietnamese Workers Party to a generator and the affairs of the resistance and national construction to electric lights; the more powerful the generator, the brighter the lights.
This is the most important lesson for Marxist-Leninists to learn from the victories in Indochina. That the source behind all the victories of the people of Indochina; the formation of the Viet Minh, the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the victory at Diem Bien Phu, the founding of the National Liberation Front, the TET offensive, the founding of the Royal Government of National Union of Cambodia, the Paris Peace Accords, the liberation of Cambodia on April 18, the liberation of Vietnam on April 30, the triumphs in Laos, as we Ii as the path ahead in establishing and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, all point to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought applied to the concrete conditions in Indochina, as the organizer of all our victories.
Returning to Ho Chi Minh again, we realize that he, clearer than anybody else in Indochina, understood this universal truth. And he did not hesitate to make this point very clear:
Step by step in the course of the struggle, combining theoretical Marxist-Leninist studies with practical activities, I gradually understood that only socialism, only communism, can liberate the oppressed peoples and toiling masses of the world.
This is the universal truth contained in the revolutionary experience in Vietnam, and all other national liberation struggles.
In order to celebrate and confirm this truth for Marxist-Leninists and progressive people here in the U.S., let us just briefly trace some of the most important steps in the struggle in Indochina.
The peoples of Indochina have a great and rich history. The nations of Annan (Vietnam), Laos and Cambodia have existed since the dawn of time. Great achievements have marked the history of these people, such as Angkor Wat, systems of irrigation and canals, and many other glorious accomplishments.
The development and growth of modern capitalism is the history of plunder on 3 worldwide basis. In 1662, the first French missionaries arrived in Indochina, accompanied by traders from Europe seeking the riches of ivory, spices, gold and silver from the East. As the European colonial expansion of the 17th and 18th centuries increased, the resistance of the people in Indochina, as elsewhere in the world, began to emerge. Under the guise of protecting French missionaries from “persecution”, the French sent military and naval forces in 1857. Outright French colonialization in Indochina began. First Vietnam was secured militarily, then Cambodia and Laos.
Sometimes organized, but mostly spontaneous resistance developed throughout Indochina to French colonial rule throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the mid 19th century the people of Asia began to awaken politically, and a revolutionary tide against colonialism and feudalism spread from the Middle East to China. Great storms opened up in Persia, India and China. Marx and Engels hailed these stirrings as the “opening day of a new era for all Asia.”
The revolutionary storms in Asia prior to World War I were democratic revolutions led by the bourgeoisie. These were old democratic revolutions, where the bourgeoisie still played the leading role, because the proletariat had not yet assumed leadership.
But since the October revolution, a new stage erupted on a worldwide scale. For the first time in history, the working class began to assume its rightful role, it entered history as a class conscious of itself and its historical destiny. From that point on in Asia, as world-wide the struggles of the oppressed people of the world have assumed a new character, they have become struggles for a new kind of democracy, not led by the bourgeoisie, but led by the proletariat. That is, new democratic revolutions became the order of the day. Under imperialism, the national, question becomes one of overall world wide importance, in which the entire fate of proletarian revolution hinges upon the struggle of the people of the oppressed nations for self-determination.
Lenin thus predicted that Asia would become a “new source of great world storms.” In 1913 Lenin even suggested, what might have seemed inconceivable to many at the time, that it was Europe which was backward, and Asia that was advanced. How prophetic have become these observations by Lenin.
In indochina, the triumph of the October Revolution had its influence, as it did worldwide. Even prior to the October Revolution, Ho Chi Minh, stirred by the deep desire to find a revolutionary road to liberate his country, journeyed to France, where he began to study Marxism. Stirred by his deep patriotic sentiments, Marxism-Leninism was taken up by Ho Chi Minh as the only path toward the emancipation of his people. Here, as elsewhere, impressed with Lenin’s doctrine on the national and colonial question, Ho Chi Minh began to formulate the necessity for a new democratic revolution in Vietnam, and the need for a genuine communist party to lead the people of Vietnam to victory against French colonialism, toward socialist revolution – but without passing through the stage of capitalist development. At a very early point, Ho Chi Minh grasped firmly that Vietnam was part of the worldwide revolutionary storm, and that Marxism-Leninism must be applied to the concrete conditions in his own country. This meant one thing, that a communist party must be formed.
In 1930, with the merging of the three existing parties into a single VIET NAM COMMUNIST PARTY, the struggles of the Indochinese people entered a qualitatively new stage. Based upon a concrete assessment of the conditions of French colonialism, the need for an alliance of the peasants and workers under the leadership of the working class, and the international experience of the proletariat, Ho Chi Minh successfully applied the “teachings of Lenin and Stalin on the nature of the communist party, and found them to be the only solution to advancing the struggle for national liberation.
The task then before the people of Indochina was how to rally the broad masses of peasants and workers to support the struggle for national liberation. Here again, based upon the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the Vietnam Communist Party formed the Viet Minh in 1941. Upholding the vanguard role of the Party, the Viet Minh was a broad democratic peoples front to win over all the revolutionary forces that could be united, and spearhead the assault against the French and Japanese fascists. Again, correctly analyzing the nature of the struggle as a new democratic revolution, the Viet Minh was organized by the Party to pursue national salvation. The establishment of the Viet Minh by the Vietnam Communist Party was a clear example of how the scientific teachings of Marxism-Leninism were applied to the practical problems of revolution, and a correct solution was found.
Through many trials and obstacles, Ho Chi Minh led the Vietnamese people painstakingly toward their first victory in the August revolution of 1945 against French, then Japanese, and again against French colonialism. On September 2, 1945, then President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, by which the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam was founded – the first peoples democratic state in all of Southeast Asia.
The founding of the DRV marked an historic, turn for the people of Indochina, and made a most important contribution to the struggle of all exploited and oppressed people – for the system of colonial oppression had been broken at its weakest link – contributing to the worldwide process of disintegration and decay of colonialism and imperialism. As Ho Chi Minh stated, “It was a great victory for the Vietnamese people, and also the first victory of Marxism-Leninism in a colonial country.”
Truly Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are the weakest link in the imperialist chain, and the great storm centers of world revolution. Vietnam was the first concrete indication of Lenin’s observation many years prior. Vietnam proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the working class, and only the working class, that can lead the colonial people of the world to victory, a victory which must be built upon the alliance of the peasants and workers, but led by the working class.
In 1949, the triumph of the Chinese Revolution and the founding of the People’s Republic of China tipped the world balance of power in favor of the revolutionary forces, and linked the Vietnamese revolution solidly with the socialist camp. The militant proletarian internationalism of the Chinese people led by the Chinese Communist Party provided an important stone in the foundation which led to the Indochinese people’s victory.
The road to socialist construction in the DRV has been hampered for thirty years by the unceasing efforts of the French and U.S. imperialists. Yet, from that point on, even though’ faced with great obstacles, through both the firs+ and second Indochinese wars, victories have resulted from the persistent struggle to apply the universal teachings of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought to the concrete conditions of Vietnam.
Even with the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, it was apparent that politics was to be put in command at every turn. The army was thought of first and foremost as a propaganda unit, not simply a military arm. Throughout the war, each military advance can be explained by putting politics in command. Early in the liberation struggle, Ho Chi Minh grasped the importance of self reliance, urging his people to “use guns and swords if we have them, and if these are lacking, let us use picks, hoes and sticks as weapons, let everyone do his utmost to fight the colonialists and save the country!”
While the French, and the Americans after them, had the powerful weapons of steel and iron, it was the Vietnamese who had the greater weapon, the power of the masses awakened to the struggle for national liberation.
Ho Chi Minh reaIized, based upon the teachings of Marx, Enqels, Lenin and Stalin before him, applied to the problems of people’s war in Indochina, that ”a revolution cannot be made by a single pennon, a large force is needed, the entire people must take part, only when the root is firm, can the tree live long, and victory is built with the people as a foundation.”
At Dien Bien Phu, for the first time in the history of the world, a small and weak colonized country defeated a large colonial power. As Engels had pointed out long ago, “men and not muskets, must win battles.”
On July 20, 1954, the Geneva Conference on Indochina ended, the French had been forced to surrender, and elections were scheduled soon in Vietnam. As we know, the U.S. Imperialists – who had paid 80% of the French bill in Indochina, never intended to keep this agreement, and the second war in Indochina began to take shape.
By the late I950’s it became obvious to all in Vietnam that U.S. imperialism was bent upon preventing at all costs the reunification of Vietnam.
Where there is oppression, there is resistance. The people of South Vietnam had no other choice but to take up arms. Beginning in I960, uprisings occurred throughout South Vietnam. In December 20, I960 the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation was formed.
The NLF, based upon the lessons learned from the Viet Minh, set out to unite the patriotic and democratic people of South Vietnam against their common enemy, U.S. imperialism and its comprador agents in South Vietnam. The united front that has been built in South Vietnam over the last 15 years is a direct application of Lenin’s and Mao Tse-Tung’s analysis of imperialism applied to the particular conditions in Vietnam.
Guided by the concrete analysis of concrete conditions at every turn, many victories for the revolution preceded liberation, including the TET offensive in 1968, and the formation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government on June 10, 1969. The PRG has administrated the liberated areas of South Vietnam for the last six years, and is a coalition of the NLF and the Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces. The PRG had begun to lay a foundation for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The signing of the Paris Peace Accords by the fascist Thieu regime and U.S. imperialism was another dramatic defeat for imperialism in Indochina, directly leading to the liberation of all of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, when the gold starred red and blue flag of the PRG was hoisted over the phony presidential palace in Saigon – now triumphantly known as Ho Chi Minh City.
As we pointed out earlier, the revolutionary road in Vietnam over the last 30 years has been extremely tortuous, requiring at every turn a scientific evaluation of the tasks at hand and the complete mobilization of all progressive and revolutionary forces in order to guarantee victory. In Vietnam, as in every other country, we can be sure that there have been many struggles over the correct path to follow at critical moments. Should the army put politics in command at every turn? Should a united front be formed? Should we attack Saigon in 1968? What is our attitude toward the American people? These and many other questions must have arisen. Looking back, we can now see that at every critical point, the correct road to take was pointed out guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought and thus victory was assured.
In Cambodia, as in Laos, the same basic history exists.
In Cambodia, after hundreds of years of anti-colonial struggle, the Cambodian people finally achieved independence – in 1953 after a prolonged period of armed struggle.
From that point on, Samdech Norodom Sihanouk summed up prophetically the course of his country:
What seemed to me the end of a long and painful tunnel turned out to be only the end of one phase of a struggle infinitely more complex than neither myself or my ancestors could have imagined when the first colonial power offered its protection over a century ago.
When I had the sad distinction of taking my place as an honor guard at the bier of the late President Ho Chi Minh, I thought how true is his phrase, ’Nothing is more precious than independence.’ He was a life long revolutionary of humble origins, I am an aristocrat from a long line of monarchs. He was of another generation, thirty years my senior. But we had one thing in common, unswerving devotion to our country’s independence. He chose the stern revolutionary road, a course which appalled me when I was young and thought of the blood that would be shed.
... In the end it was the Americans who drove home the bitter lesson that imperialists leave only one road to freedom, once they have marked a country down as their prey, that is the road of armed struggle as defined by Ho Chi Minh.
The road of armed struggle and the united front was charted for the Cambodian people by the Khmer Communist Party. It was the protracted guerrilla warfare combined with uniting all sections of the masses against the colonialists – under the leadership of the Party – that finally forced the French to grant independence on November 9, 1953.
In the following years, Sihanouk attempted to stir a course of independence and national sovereignty for Cambodia, but was undermined by the CIA at many points. By 1970, U.S. imperialism had begun to sink into the swamp of people’s war, and the U.S. CIA engineered a coup against Cambodia in March, installing its puppets Lon Nol and Sirik Matik. Immediately afterwards, recalling the previous lessons for national liberation against the French, a call was issued for the formation of the ROYAL GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNION OF CAMBODIA (RGNUC), to unite the entire Cambodian people; the NATIONAL UNITED FRONT OF CAMBODIA (NUFC), to unite all those that can be united against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys, Lon NoI and Sirik Matik; and the CAMBODIAN PEOPLE’S NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMED FORCES (CPNLAF) to lead the armed struggle. Soon afterwards, on April 30, 1970, the U.S. directly invaded the Parrots Beak area of Cambodia with the welcome of Lon NoI, under the pretext of going after the “North Vietnamese regular troops”. If comrades remember the news reports from that time, the North Vietnamese were not to be found. The real reason for the military adventure was to attack the patriotic Cambodian armed forces in order to shore up Lon Nol.
The intense people’s warfare of the Cambodian masses against the foreign invaders and their agents resulted in the liberation of 2/3 of the country in the first year of fighting. Waging both a political and a military campaign, uniting the proletariat with the peasants, steady advances were gained. By the end of 1973, Phnom Penh was a virtual island, culminating in the complete liberation of Phnom Penh on April 18th, just five years after the U.S. manufactured coup.
In the last few months, our Cambodian and Vietnamese comrades have delivered crushing blows both to U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism. In Laos, as well, victory surely cannot be far away. U.S. military and economic “aid” has sought to administer Laos as a puppet state for many years now. Faced with the secret war that has been conducted against Laos, the PATHET LAO and the LAOTIAN POPULAR FRONT (LPF) have advanced steadily on the military front in the countryside, liberating vast areas, and on the political front in the capital, Vientiane. Already, the U.S. agents are pulling out and the Pathet Lao has control over the government of Laos. As in Vietnam and Cambodia, Laos provides another example of the truth that A SMALL NATION CAN DEFEAT A BIG NATION, when guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought.
One of the most important aspects of the recent victories has been the strategic location of Indochina – a prime base for competition between both superpowers for hegemony in Asia and the Indian Ocean. As a result, Soviet social imperialism has colluded and contended with U.S. imperialism in Asia, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Because of the persistent self-reliance of the Cambodian liberation forces, and the principled application of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought in their own country, the Cambodian people earned the wrath of both great superpowers. While the U.S. did all that it could militarily to defeat the Cambodian liberation forces, colluding with the U.S., the Soviet social imperialists carried out a treacherous campaign to support the traitorous Lon NoI regime and thwart the RGNUC. During this period the U.S.S.R.:
–maintained diplomatic relations with Lon Nol;
–assisted the U.S. in keeping the RGNUC out of the U.N.;
–ordered their lackey parties in many countries, such as the CPUSA here, not to support demonstrations against the war in Cambodia, and to lie and distort the Cambodian struggle in their press;
–supported and pushed the U.S. plans for negotiations with Lon Nol.
While the history of the Soviet social imperialists’ treachery with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is less known, it must be recounted here.
In 1965, after the massive U.S. military involvement, Krushchov – right before his fall – put forward the line that to provide arms to the North Vietnamese would injure the Soviet plan for detente. It was only after the Chinese and others exposed this line for what it was – to objectively stand with the imperialists – that the Soviets were forced by the Soviet masses, together with opinion all over the world, to sell arms to the DRV.
Here we stress that this machinery, every weapon, has been sold to the DRV with interest charged on delayed payment.
Now that victory has been achieved in Indochina, we no doubt will begin to learn more of the actual role of the Soviet Union in the last few years. Though the complete story is not known, we know enough to be certain that the USSR, whether in Indochina, Africa or Latin America – and clearly in the Middle East, has no intention of supporting national liberation struggles because that is the principled thing to do – but only Insofar as this “support” serves the social imperialist interests of the new czars. The USSR, since the restoration of capitalism, joins the U.S. as one of the world’s two superpowers, “an imperialist country which everywhere subjects other countries to its aggression, interference, control, subversion or plunder and strives for world hegemony”.
Even though the two superpowers continue to contend worldwide, even though the threat of world war is great, revolution is the main trend in the world today.
Today VIETNAM IS ONE! CAMBODIA IS ONE! VICTORY IS CERTAIN IN LAOS. The peoples of these three countries, guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought, have set about the historic task of developing and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat, as has already been achieved in North Vietnam, China and Albania. We can now look forward to a period in which all “of Indochina will be rebuilt ten times more beautiful”, as Ho Chi Minh said of Vietnam.
For thirty years now imperialism has thought that they could use Indochina for their own global ambitions; to encircle the emerging socialist countries, to suppress the national liberation struggles of all of South East Asia, and as a base more recently to contend with Soviet social imperialism for hegemony in Asia. Imperialism believed that the defeat of the national liberation struggles in Indochina would serve as a stern warning to people in other parts of the world. Well, friends and comrades, just the opposite has come to be. Today all the people of the world look to Indochina as the example of how a small nation can defeat a big nation. In closing this presentation, we would take an opportunity and try to sum up some of the most important lessons to be drawn from our recent victories. For a true victory celebration must at the same time lay the basis for even greater struggles ahead and still greater victories.
FIRST, Indochina lays bare for all to see the basic laws of motion of imperialism at work.
IMPERIALISM IS CAPITALISM IN THAT STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT IN WHICH THE DOMINANCE OF MONOPOLIES AND FINANCE CAPITAL HAS ESTABLISHED ITSELF; IN WHICH THE EXPORT OF CAPITAL HAS ACQUIRED PRONOUNCED IMPORTANCE, IN WHICH THE DIVISION OF THE WORLD AMONG THE INTERNATIONAL TRUSTS HAS BEGUN, IN WHICH THE DIVISION OF ALL TERRITORIES OF THE GLOBE AMONG THE BIGGEST CAPITALIST POWERS HAS BEEN COMPLETED.
This is the age of imperialism that Lenin explained in IMPERIALISM, THE HIGHEST STAGE OF CAPITALISM. These are the basic laws of motion behind the continued and persistent efforts, first by the French and then the U.S., to capture Indochina for its ends of global domination.
However, at the same time, Lenin pointed out that imperialism is not only monopoly capitalism, it is parasitic, or decaying capitalism; and it is moribund capitalism. The decaying and parasitic nature of imperialism is today more fully exposed than any other time. Everywhere, comrades, politically, economically and culturally, imperialism is disintegrating, it is becoming more isolated, is becoming more vulnerable.
But moribund capitalism is not dead capitalism. Everywhere possible, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism contend for influence. Everywhere the contradictions sharpen.
As the contradictions sharpen, either war will give way to revolution, or revolution will give way to war. Comrades, make no mistake about it; with every passing day the possibility of war, of world war, becomes every bit more possible, as the two great superpowers intensify their struggle over the remaining crumbs. The historical victories in Indochina are a great stride forward for the world’s proletariat, even a turning point, but they are not the final strides – by any means. Be vigilant, get prepared for war. Get prepared.
As the great Lenin foresaw, the revolutionary storms in the East will have repercussions on Europe, and provide a great impetus to proletarian revolution in the monopoly capitalist countries. We have yet to feel many of these repercussions. The current economic crisis is just one aspect of an even greater crisis to come. That the days of imperialism are numbered, there can be no doubt, but the last days are most likely to be the most ferocious, the most tortuous, the most demanding. The old world is being torn asunder, a new world is being born. The pains of birth are likely to be sharp.
SECOND, we must realize firmly that, as Lenin pointed Out, “The fight against imperialism is sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.” If anything, the victories in Indochina are victories both against imperialism and opportunism – particularly the opportunism of the social imperialists, who preach revolution in words, but practice imperialism in deeds. As the crumbs remaining from imperialism’s superprofits begin to dry up – as the superprofits dry up – we must be vigilant, for imperialism will double its efforts to deceive and mislead the workers’ movement. Social imperialism is today, and will be tomorrow an even greater danger than in the past.
Here, friends and comrades, we are not only talking about the USSR, but about those within the U.S. who deny the historic role to the national liberator struggles – which in essence is to deny the nature of imperialism itself. Who denies the right of nations to self-determination, up to and including secession? Here we are talking about those who deny the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, who deny that the USSR is a social imperialist country. Here we are talking of those who deny that there are three worlds, and that it is the struggle of the Third World which is today determining the course o world history.
Comrades and friends, it is our duty it is a question of proletarian internationalism, to oppose ail national oppression, to take a firm stand for national equality, uphold the right of self-determination, of the oppressed nations of the colonial and dependent countries, and fully support the national liberation movement against imperialism.
In particular, now, we must give concrete support to, and demand the immediate recognition by the U.S. government of the democratic Republic of North Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of South Vietnam and the People’s Republic of Cambodia.
THIRD, and last, we must draw one basic conclusion from the struggle against both imperialism and opportunism. In this struggle, IT IS THE GENUINE COMMUNIST PARTY OF A NEW TYPE, GUIDED BY MARXISM- LENINISM-MAO TSE-TUNG THOUGHT WHICH IS THE ORGANIZER OF ALL OUR VICTORIES.
Whether it be in the rice paddies of Indochina, the mountains of Latin America, the deserts of Palestine, the factories of Detroit; whether we live in a colonially oppressed nation or in the heart of imperialism – here in the U.S.; whether we are young or old; no matter what nationality; there is only one organizer for victory:
one advanced detachment of the working class,
one organized detachment of the working class,
one instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat,
one general staff, which possesses the unity of will and unity of action, the correct revolutionary theory, together with the program, tactics and organization which can lead the exploited and oppressed people of the world forward, out of the darkness and decay of imperialism, into the bright red future of socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and communism. This is the Communist Party of a New Type.
This is the lesson of Vietnam and Cambodia. This is the road to independence and freedom.
HAIL THE VIETNAMESE WORKERS’ PARTY!
LONG LIVE THE SOLIDARITY BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S. AND THE OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD!
WORKERS AND OPPRESSED NATIONS OF THE WORLD UNITE!