Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists

Flimsy Fraud, Desperate Gamble

First Published:The Workers’ Advocate, Vol. 7, No. 6, November 7, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba and Malcolm
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The OL social-chauvinists are not content to themselves degenerate into an open alliance with U.S. imperialism under the guise of fighting Soviet social-imperialism. Lacking any sense of shame, they are brazenly dragging Chairman Mao’s name through the mud to justify their own chauvinism. In the September 12th issue of The Call, the OL social-chauvinists make another attempt to convert Chairman Mao into a social-chauvinist. They print a centrefold article which purports to “prove” that Chairman Mao supported the “three worlds” theory. It is a flimsy fraud indeed, since as we will show, the quotation from Comrade Mao Tsetung gives the opposite line from OL’s Titoite theory of “three worlds”. It is even more flimsy, because if Chairman Mao had supported the anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds”, then why does the OL have to play around with odd quotations from here and there, which even they are forced to call “early version” of the three worlds theory. How about the “full” theory? Why isn’t this theory, this alleged “great strategic concept” for world revolution, emblazoned in every one of Chairman Mao’s major articles? All OL’s noise about this being Chairman Mao’s theory is just a desperate gamble to shore up the sagging fortunes of their revisionism. They had already boasted in advance in the editorial to the May 9, 1977 issue of The Call that “Most significantly, they (the articles in Volume Five of the “Selected Works of Mao Tsetung” – Ed.) include Chairman Mao’s teachings on ... (a list follows – Ed.) . . . and the concept of ’three worlds’, which is being used today to guide the world-wide struggle against the two superpowers”. Unfortunately for the OL, however, this volume is now available in English and the OL has to make good on its flimsy fraud. The OL is hoping that everyone will be so intimidated by social-chauvinist bluster that no one will actually read and study Chairman Mao’s great works themselves, works like On New Democracy, On Coalition Government and many, many others. But today the world proletariat has Marxism-Leninism. All around the world, revolutionaries are studying and restudying the classic works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tsetung and Enver Hoxha. The OL is bogged down deep in the quicksand of revisionism and social-chauvinism, and the more it flails around and stakes everything on desperate gambles, the deeper it sinks and the more it is universally condemned.

The social-chauvinists are trying to cover themselves with the prestige of Chairman Mao – now that they think he is “safely” dead – in order to negate the revolutionary essence and spirit of great Mao Tsetung Thought. This is a big farce, as the OL has never supported Mao Tsetung Thought. It is a typical trick of revisionists and even the capitalists themselves to give mock respect to the dead leaders of the International Communist Movement in order to discredit the current leaders. The Mensheviks and opportunists used to “quote” Marx and Engels against the Bolsheviks and great Lenin, tearing isolated odds and ends from Marxism out of context and obliterating the revolutionary spirit of Marxism in order to discredit great Leninism. The Trotskyites made a pretense of “supporting” Lenin in order to attack great Stalin. The revisionists of various sorts “upheld” Marxism-Leninism against Mao Tsetung Thought and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. And now the social-chauvinists are trying to use the name of Mao Tsetung to negate his revolutionary teachings and to attack his close comrade-in-arms Enver Hoxha, who is gloriously leading the International Communist Movement against both imperialism and opportunism and revisionism of all kinds. Lenin himself pointed to this phenomenon in his classic book, The State and Revolution, Lenin said:

What is now happening to Marx’s teaching has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the teachings of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes struggling for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their teachings with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to surround their names with a certain halo for the ’consolation’ of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time emasculating the essence of their revolutionary teaching, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it. ... All the social-chauvinists are now ’Marxists’ (don’t laugh!). And more and more frequently, German bourgeois scholars, but yesterday specialists in the annihilation of Marxism, are speaking of the ’national-German’ Marx, who, they aver, educated the workers’ unions which are so splendidly organized for the purpose of conducting a predatory war!

In this article we will refute the feeble attempts of the OL social-chauvinists to tar Mao Tsetung’s name with Titoism and other mud. Anyone who examines these efforts, which are part of a campaign by international opportunism, will be struck by a significant fact. Some of these opportunists say that Chairman Mao first elaborated the theory of “three worlds” in 1974, some say he has been giving it ever since World War II (thus criminally confusing Mao Tsetung with the renegade and imperialist agent Tito), some even try to go back and claim that Lenin advocated or foreshadowed the theory of “three worlds”. All these different and contradictory assertions exist side by side, and are even given by the same sources. This shows that the theoreticians of the “three worlds” are die-hard opportunists without principles of any sort. The “three worlds” theory is a counter-revolutionary mood, an attitude of negating socialism, negating revolution, prettifying U.S. imperialism and justifying neo-colonialism. Even the simplest points of this “theory” are shrouded in contradictions and vagueness. Does the “third world” include oppressed nations in Europe, such as the Irish people? In which world does the theory of “three worlds” place the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the radiant beacon of socialism in Europe and the rallying centre of the world revolution? How can the people in an oppressed “three worlds” place the fight against reactionary regimes like those of Marcos in the Philippines and the Shah in Iran, while at the same time strengthening and supporting these same regimes as alleged bastions of struggle against social-imperialism? The opportunists are total mystifiers. It is almost a concession to them to even call the “three worlds” concept a “theory”, rather than simply counterrevolutionary demagogy and sophistry in the direct service of U.S. imperialism.

Now let us examine OL’s latest feeble effort. In their centrefold article “From Mao’s Fifth Volume: Early Version of Three Worlds-Theory” they give a quotation. Their comment on the quotation includes:

The article shows the early development of the great strategic concept of the three worlds on which Chairman Mao would later elaborate. In this talk, he speaks about the ’three forces’, which correspond generally to the first, second and third worlds today.”

First of all, Chairman Mao never talks of “three forces”. It is amazing how OL can lie about such a simple matter, which can be checked by simply reading the quotation given’ by themselves. In the quotation, Chairman Mao, in explaining the aggressive Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956 and the U.S.’s mock support for Egypt, says: “In the Middle East, two kinds of contradictions and three kinds of forces are in conflict.” Here we have “three kinds of forces”, not “three forces”; in the Middle East, not in the world; and in conflict in the Suez Incident, not in the Middle East in general. Furthermore, as we shall discuss later on in this article, Chairman Mao in discussing the world situation in this quotation refers to still other kinds of forces, besides the “three kinds of forces”, such other kinds of forces as the socialist countries, the people’s revolution in the imperialist countries and the imperialist subversive forces in the socialist countries. No matter, the OL social-chauvinists have become real numerologists. Since Chairman Mao mentions the magic number “three”, this must indeed, according to them, be the theory of “three worlds” or, perhaps, “three kinds of worlds”. And the OL will parade around their Titoite formulation and negate Chairman Mao’s actual analysis, which he shares in common with Comrades Stalin and Enver Hoxha and with all Marxist-Leninists, of four main contradictions in the world and two camps. That is how the social-chauvinists “study” Marxism-Leninism.

But now let us continue by examining the “three kinds of forces” and see if there is any relation between them and the “three worlds”.

The first kind of force is “the United States, the biggest imperialist power”. In the “three worlds”, however, the “first world” consists of both superpowers, allegedly “declining U.S. imperialism and allegedly “rising Soviet social-imperialism and in practice it is regarded as sufficient to struggle against Soviet social-imperialism while propping up U.S. imperialism. Thus the OL social-chauvinists equate a situation where there was only one superpower, U.S. imperialism, which was leading the world system of imperialism, to the present situation where there are two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, which together are leading world imperialism. Whether the Soviet Union is a socialist country or an imperialist superpower, this is a minor matter according to the OL and “generally” doesn’t affect much in analyzing the world situation. In this way the OL negates the importance of the role of the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin as the bastion of world revolution and the leader of the socialist camp. In discussing the world situation, the OL is “forgetting” a mere “trifle”, the world of socialism and the International Communist Movement. This stands in direct contradiction to the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao and his discussion, in the very quotation cited by The Call, of the role of the socialist countries. By wiping out the world of socialism in discussing the situation of 1956-57, the OL is shamefacedly supporting not Marxism-Leninism but Titoism, which at that time was busy subverting the socialist camp, talking of “red imperialism” and trying to rig up its “non-aligned movement” or “non-bloc”, which was allegedly independent both of imperialism and also of socialism.

The OL has no better luck with the “second world”. Chairman Mao refers to ”... two, Britain and France, second-rate imperialist powers. Chairman Mao clearly identifies these imperialist powers as part of imperialism, in antagonistic contradiction with the oppressed nations, and contending with the United States for the control of the Middle East. But the theory of “three worlds”, while recognizing in a distorted way the existence of a contradiction between Britain and France on the one hand and the U.S. imperialists on the other (and at the same time negating the existence of inter-imperialist rivalries between the West European imperialist powers), negates the imperialist character of these countries. According to the “three worlds” scheme, imperialism is only a policy of these countries which can be replaced, and is being replaced, with a different policy... namely liquidating imperialist and colonialist remnants and helping the “third world” to develop and to oppose imperialist domination. The OL is giving the Kautskyite theory that the “second world” can peacefully unite in ultra-imperialist wedded bliss, at least as far as the European Common Market and the Western imperialist bloc goes, and give up their naughty “policies” of inter-imperialist rivalry among themselves and of exploitation and oppression of the “third world”. There is nothing whatsoever in common between this vulgar Kautskyite and anti-Leninist fantasy world and Chairman Mao’s description of Britain and France as imperialist powers engaged in aggression against Egypt.

Now for the “third world” Chairman Mao refers to “... three, the oppressed nations.” Thus Chairman Mao is referring to the nations, comprising the oppressed masses, first and foremost the proletariat and peasantry but also including other classes and strata. But the “third world” is not the oppressed nations, but the formally independent countries, the ruling regimes. The theoreticians of the “third world” are talking about the governments and, first and foremost, the OL includes in the “third world” such imperialist puppets and murderers as the Shah of Iran, Mobutu of the Congo-Kinshasa (“Zaire”) and Idi Amin of Uganda. Among the formally independent countries, various countries play different roles. The neo-colonial forces are not part of the oppressed nations, but are internal enemies allied to imperialism and fighting against the national liberation movement of the oppressed nations. Thus OL’s “third world” does not correspond to the oppressed nations, but first and foremost includes the vast U.S. neo-colonial empire and other traitors and sold-out elements fighting against the oppressed nations. A .further illustration of this is seen by considering the subject of the quotation: Egypt, the nationalization-of the Suez Canal, and the imperialist invasion of Egypt. Who nationalized the Suez Canal? President Nasser. How did President Nasser come to power? As part of a movement that overthrew the corrupt King Farouk in 1952, thus committing the alleged crime (according to the social-chauvinists) of “overthrowing a third world government”. Yet Chairman Mao does not devote a single word of criticism of Nasser on this account. Instead, Chairman Mao calls for support for the anti-imperialist struggles of the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Finally it should be noted that Chairman Mao never said that only “three kinds of forces” were acting in the world or even in general in the Middle East. There are no socialist countries in the Middle East, either now or at the time of Chairman Mao’s article. But there was a whole camp of socialist countries in Europe and Asia at the time Chairman Mao was writing. Chairman Mao explicitly refers to these socialist countries and includes China among them, saying “We, the socialist countries,...” and laying down the policy for these countries, their tasks towards the anti-imperialist struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America arid the revolutionary struggles all around the world. Thus we have a fourth kind of force in the world. Furthermore Chairman Mao also referred to the fact that the socialist revolutionary forces existed inside the imperialist, countries and identified these movements as linked to the , socialist countries. Thus there is even a fifth kind of force referred to in the article. And Chairman Mao also refers to the subversive forces of imperialism acting inside the socialist countries. Once we add the socialist countries to the “three kinds of forces”, to say nothing of adding the proletarian revolutionary forces around the world or the imperialist subversive forces, what happens to the magic number “three”? It is gone and so is OL’s flimsy “proof” of the “three worlds” theory.

Now it is quite clear why the OL social-chauvinists generally restrict themselves to simply asserting without proof, over and over again like a broken record, that the theory of “three worlds” is Chairman Mao’s. Whenever they try to back up this flimsy fraud and despicable political blackmail, the social-chauvinists put their smelly feet in their mouths. For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that twice before OL has tried to give some “proof” to their fraud that “three worlds” is Marxism-Leninism, and both times they flopped miserably.

In his article “The World Is Being Turned Upside Down”, and this article does indeed turn the world upside down and not at all in the sense Chairman Mao had in mind, Dan Burstein, editor of The Call, tried to give some “proof” that the theory of “three worlds” was due to Chairman Mao. He ended up being reduced to the level of a blabbering idiot, who in one paragraph says that “Chairman Mao’s views on the third world” were “not publicly articulated outside of China until the 1970’s” and in the next paragraph cited Chairman Mao’s famous 1946 interview with Anna Louise Strong, an interview which was definitely “publicly articulated outside of China” long ago in, for instance, Vol. 4 of the Selected Works of Mao Tsetung) For the complete destruction of Burnstein’s forgeries, we refer the reader to the article “OL’s Theory of ’Three Worlds’ Denies Revolution and Apologizes for U.S. Neo-Colonialism” in the March 10, 1977 issue of The Workers’ Advocate and in particular to section 2 “OL’s Evidence that Chairman Mao Originated and Supported the ’Three Worlds’ Thesis Is a Fraud” and section 6 “How the OL Leaders Attempt to Turn Chairman Mao into a Titoite Revisionist and Fail Miserably”.

The OL social-chauvinists must themselves have realized that something was wrong in their “proofs” that Chairman Mao originated the “three worlds” concept and so, in their one other attempt to attribute this anti-Leninist Titoite theory to Marxism-Leninism, they slapped themselves in the face and attributed the theory to Lenin, not Chairman Mao. This farce occurs in a major article in the centerfold of the May 2,1977 issue of The Call, entitled “Programme Upholds and Defends ’Three Worlds’ Concept”. There is no better way to refute OL’s argument than by quoting the relevant passage in full:

As early as 1916, in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin clearly distinguished three forces in the world which had resulted from the division of the world among the great powers. One of these forces was the wealthiest monopoly capitalist countries, which included young capitalist states such as America and older capitalist countries such as France. The other two forces were the less developed capitalist. countries, such as Russia, and the colonies and semi-colonies. Adapted to today’s concrete conditions, which are different from those during Lenin’s time (Here the OL confesses that Lenin in fact does not give any support to the “three worlds” concept after all and that all the rest of the paragraph previous to this was just window-dressing, since according, to the OL, Leninism no longer applies to “today’s concrete conditions” – ed.), the theory of three worlds is solidly based on a dialectical materialist analysis.

What a pity that Lenin himself didn’t realize this. Instead of overthrowing Russian Tsarism and the bourgeois Kerensky government, instead of blazing the path of the great October Socialist Revolution, he should have supported this “second world” force, Russian Tsarism and the military feudal imperialism, in the struggle against the hegemonism of such states as America and France! It is not for nothing that the OL does not dare to quote directly from Lenin. However, since The Call is having such difficulty finding any forerunners of the “three worlds” prior to Tito, we would like to help them out of their misery and suggest that they look as early as classical antiquity in Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. There you can find “three forces distinguished”: 1) the superpower, Rome; 2) the lesser empires; and 3) the barbarians. Who knows what the OL can make of such rich material, when “adapted to today’s concrete conditions”?