Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The New Voice

Soviet Union – Central Problem of World Politics
Affects Struggle for Socialism in U.S.


Published: The New Voice, Vol. IX, No. 3, March 3, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Of all the exploiting forces in the world, the principal enemy of the world’s people is the Soviet Union – not United States imperialism. A whole series of events from Angola to Afghanistan has made this clear. The future is sure to drive this fact home insistently.

In the Third World, liberation is impossible when the Soviet Union marches in. Who but the most servile apologists for Soviet imperialism would say that Afghanistan is free? What achievements do Angola and Ethiopia have to show as Soviet clients except the murder of thousands of their people? Why have the rulers of the last big bastion of the phony parliamentary style of democracy, India, found it possible and profitable to cultivate close relations with the Soviet Union?? Why has the Vietnamese ruling clique lost the glory won by their people over 25 years of struggle?

People’s war against the Soviet Union – this banner will unfurl in country after country of the Third World. The people of Kampuchea, Afghanistan and Eritrea (held in bondage by Ethiopia) are the first three of many such liberation crusades to come. Each struggle forces pro-Soviet “leftists” to come out more openly. They shuffled around with the Eritrean movement for independence; they tried to blame Vietnam’s genocidal attack against Kampuchea on the after-effects of U.S. Aggression; what can they say about Afghanistan?


In Western Europe the Soviet Union is the principal enemy, too. This region is the big prize for the Soviet imperialists. It is a rich industrial zone, with a concentrated source of plunder and opportunities for exploitation. Two things are certain. One is that the Soviet Union will go for the grand prize. As surely as the use of Cuban proxies was followed by the massive, direct invasion of Afghanistan by 100,000 plus troops, this invasion will be followed in not very many years by a Soviet assault on western Europe.

When this happens, the people of Europe will certainly rise in a resistance surpassing their heroic deeds against Hitler in World War Two.

It is worth pondering the fact that 30 years of U.S. imperialist domination of Western Europe did not produce armed mass resistance to it. The new Hitlers of Moscow will not be able to rule with such relative peace. They export their leading home product, social-fascism. As Hitler’s fascists did not last long historically, neither will the Soviet brand of police state.

This active struggle by the victims of hegemonism shows that it is completely wrong to compare the two superpowers today (the Soviet Union and the United States) to the two camps of imperialists in World War One. That war was fought on European ground for the most part by two sets of conscript armies thrown into a battle for spoils for the victorious imperialists. These prizes were the Middle East, African colonies and other empires outside Europe. Today and tomorrow the people of Europe and the Third World will fight wars of national liberation against superpower domination.

How outdated are the views of people who still rank U.S. imperialism as the number one enemy! Yes, the United States is still an imperialist power, just as Britain was during the rise of Nazi Germany. But those self-styled revolutionaries who demand that the world’s people concentrate blows mainly against U.S. imperialism are wrong.

Look at the record:


Occupation of Czechoslovakia
Border incidents against China
Cuban mercenary invasion of Angola and Ethiopia
Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea (Cambodia)
Direct aggression against Afghanistan


Driven out of Vietnam
Defeated in Kampuchea (Cambodia)
Puppet shah toppled in Iranian revolution
Client dictator Somoza overthrown in Nicaragua

Certainly U.S. imperialism must be fought throughout its still large empire. But the central problem of world politics has become the Soviet Union.


The Soviet Union is not a socialist country. Once it was, and then it did not commit aggression. On the contrary, the Soviet people took on the brunt of the anti-Nazi defense. The Soviet military machine was defensive then – based in its own territory, without a navy for the open seas, and equipped with weapons designed for resisting aggressors. Today, the Soviet military occupies Afghanistan, has a global navy and is armed with strategic weapons of aggression.

In 1956 political leaders who were committed to restoring capitalism managed to seize the helm of the Soviet Party and state. Khrushchev and then Brezhnev were clever enough to swear loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, but they spent the next decade tearing apart the socialist economy, culture and society. They gave free rein to capitalism, the lust for profit and individualism.

Now the imperialist Soviet Union has embarked on a drive to win a worldwide empire. This is the inevitable outcome in every large monopoly capitalist economy. Since the Soviet economy is still less powerful than that of the United States, the Kremlin rulers concentrate on a rapid military buildup, much as Hitler Germany did attempting to displace Britain and the United States in the 1930’s.

To enforce this regime the Soviet Union subjects people to social-fascism–rule by force without democratic rights for the people. This system is covered over with socialist-sounding rhetoric, which is why it is called social-fascism. It has nothing to do with socialism and freedom for the working class.


We must arrange the class struggle in the United States – the struggle between the monopoly capitalists and the working class – in its actual relation to the principal world contradiction, which has the Soviet Union at one end and the rest of the world at the other end. The working-class movement will advance not by ignoring the principal contradiction but by utilizing it as the road to revolution.

The U.S. working class can contribute to the fight against the Soviet imperialists without reservation once it is aroused, because workers have no fundamental interest standing in the way of this job. The situation with the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is more complicated. It can help the cause of the world against the Soviet Union, but it cannot pitch in wholeheartedly. The reason is that it, too, is an exploiting class like the new capitalists of Moscow.

For example, U.S. corporations, although they are uneasy about selling computer technology, truck factories and grain to the Soviet war machine, want the sales.

The capitalists further assume that the working class must accept hardship and carry the war burden while profits are made off the war drive.

And the capitalists will move circuitously against the Soviet Union, looking for opportunities to restore their own empire; this will undoubtedly undermine strategic concentration on defeating the Soviet aggressors.

The working class should struggle against these attempts at imperialist restoration and all this profiteering. Already, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter demanded draft registration, invited Iran back into the U.S. orbit and went looking for bases in the Middle East. What will we fight for? What are we doing for the Afghanistan rebels rather than for U.S. empire? It is up to the people to raise and debate these questions; the ruling class will avoid them as long as it can.


People fought two world wars for the “democracy” heralded by Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt, and it was not good enough. Capitalist democracy after World War One brought the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Nazism and another war. Capitalist democracy after World War Two led through Korea to the Vietnam war. This kind of democracy is really exploitation and imperialism; it goes from one bloodbath to the next!

Communists are frank and they declare that the ultimate goal in capitalist countries must be socialism, the rule of the working class with new forms of popular freedom. This goal will be won by striving to resolve the principal contradiction today – the pressing need to smash the Soviet imperialist system of aggression.

If communists are to be effective, they will have to combine leadership in response to the Soviet challenge with patient cultivation and gathering of revolutionary commitment among the people. This will enable the working class to go over to socialism during or after a war. On one hand, it is wrong to lose focus on the central task today. On the other hand, with a whole world crashing down around us, people will fight and not despair only if they can see a new world to build out of the wreckage.

In the fight against Soviet imperialism, working people will fill up with the last measure of disgust and anger at the collapsing, oppressive system of capitalism in all its forms. Armed with this anger they will organize and find their strength.