Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Statement on the March Moscow Meeting

Adopted by the Political Committee of the Communist Party of New Zealand


Published: Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1964.
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.

Publisher’s Note: The present pamphlet, Statement on the March Moscow Meeting, is a reprint of an article in the New Zealand Communist Review (June 1965), organ of the Communist Party, of New Zealand.

* * *


Once again the Marxist-Leninist line of the C.P.N.Z. has been verified by life itself. The moves of the leadership of the C.P.S.U. to compel the world parties to embrace a revisionist line have met with another setback.

A meeting of 19 Parties was convened in Moscow on March 1, 1965, by the leadership of the C.P.S.U. The Political Committee of the C.P.N.Z. has made a critical Marxist-Leninist analysis of this meeting and of its communique. It also studied the role of the meeting and its organisers in the conditions of the undeclared war which U.S. imperialism is waging against the socialist world.

The main conclusions which the Political Committee arrived at are briefly summed up as follows:

(1) By attempting to foist this improper meeting upon the World Communist Movement the organisers have continued to do harm to the cause of Communism and the world’s working class.
(2) The communique is an attempt, under cover of soft words and Marxist-Leninist phrases, to create further disunity in the world movement.
(3) It makes clear that the leaders of the C.P.S.U. (and their supporters in other places) persist in their revisionist ideas and are determined to impose them upon the world movement.
(4) The practical effect of the meeting is to encourage imperialism to continue its war of destruction in Vietnam, threaten China with attacks and intensify its ruthless suppression of national liberation struggle.
(5) That the World Communist Movement must stand firm on the ground that an attack on any one socialist country is an attack on all socialist countries, and must be met by their combined might. The vital task of the C.P.N.Z. is to strive to win the working class to lead the struggle to stop the U.S. war against Socialist Vietnam and to force the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Vietnam.
(6) That the struggle against revisionism (opportunism) within the world parties is the road to the revolutionary unity of the movement – the necessary condition for new victories for Socialism and the defeat of imperialism with its continuous threat of war.


From the time the leadership of the C.P.N.Z. first became aware of the world ideological dispute, it has always been in favour of the holding of an international meeting of the world parties – provided such a meeting was held with the object of reaching ideological unity and not with the object of forcing an organisational split. That is why it has always insisted that such a meeting be preceded by bilateral discussion between the parties involved in differences.

It considers this essential, first, because it complies with the procedure laid down by the 81 Parties’ Meeting in 1960. Secondly, because it is necessary for the parties involved to study problems from a critical and self-critical point of view in order to provide a real Marxist-Leninist foundation for such a world meeting.

Together with the Workers’ Party of Vietnam and the Communist Party of Indonesia, the C.P.N.Z. was among the first parties to call for discussions between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Albanian Party of Labour and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China. In February, 1962, it wrote to the three parties concerned asking them to hold such discussions. The letter arose from the concern of the C.P.N.Z. at the action of Khrushchov in publicly attacking the Albanian Party of Labour at the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. late in 1961.

Although the Communist Party of China had indicated its willingness, no talks were held. The situation deteriorated. Toward the end of 1962, a series of conferences of fraternal Parties in Eastern Europe and in Italy were used as forums from which to attack both the Albanian Party of Labour and the Communist Party of China. The 1963 National Conference of the C.P.N.Z. endorsed a confidential report which critically examined the dispute and characterised the line of the leadership of the C.P.S.U. as revisionist. For reasons stated later, the C.P.S.U. changed its line from opposition to one in favour of a world meeting. The C.P.N.Z. insisted that bilateral talks between the Parties concerned must first be held. Some such talks were arranged. It soon became apparent that the C.P.S.U. leadership had no intention of allowing the talks to become a down-to-earth search for the truth in a Marxist-Leninist manner. The Communist Party of China’s representatives met in Moscow on July 15, 1963. But on the day preceding, the leaders of the C.P.S.U. published to the world its infamous attack on the Chinese Party contained in the now notorious Open Letter. Despite this, the C.P.C. proceeded with the talks. It became clear that the leadership of the C.P.S.U. was quite unable to provide a Marxist-Leninist answer to the fundamental criticisms of its line which were made by the Chinese Party.

In subsequent talks held with other Parties, C.P.S.U. leaders showed only too clearly their total unwillingness to examine doubts and criticisms concerning their line in a thorough-going Marxist-Leninist manner.

The talks held by our own Party delegation in Moscow in 1963 makes this very clear. Our frank and free presentation of views was, as comrades know, met with the same tirade of abuse and subjectivism which had been inflicted upon other Party delegations seeking a similar down-to-earth critical and self-critical study of problems on the basis of Marxist-Leninist science.

The attitude of the C.P.S.U. leaders may be summed up: “There shall be no criticism of our line. You must submit to this line even though you consider it revisionist. This line is the line to which all world Parties must adhere without question. We shall see to it that any who do not do so are ostracised from the world movement.” Thus the line of “compulsory unity with revisionism” or open split emerged as the line of the C.P.S.U. leaders. The Albanian Party of Labour was arrogantly told by Khrushchov and his colleagues that they would be re-admitted to the family without difficulty only if they would accept without question the revisionist line of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. Consequently no talks have yet been held between the C.P.S.U. and the A.P.L. Khrushchov and his colleagues clearly felt powerful enough to enforce their line on the world movement. It underlay their switch in early 1963 from a policy of opposition to a world meeting to that of pressing for one. Relying on their followers in the leadership of a number of other Communist Parties, they pressed on with their intention of enforcing their revisionist line on all Communist Parties or openly splitting the movement. They insisted on convening a preparatory committee in contravention to the requirements of the World Parties’ Statement of 1960.


It is against this background that the C.P.N.Z. and other Marxist-Leninist Parties and groups throughout the world strongly opposed the unilateral and improper action of the revisionist leaders of the C.P.S.U. in their attempts to set up a committee to prepare and convene a meeting of world parties. The C.P.N.Z. opposed these moves because it had become firmly convinced that the aim was not to re-establish world unity of the Communist movement on the firm foundations of Marxism-Leninism, but, on the contrary, to attempt once again to impose upon it the revisionist line developed by Khrushchov and his colleagues and to bring about an open split.

Khrushchov had fixed the date for December 15, 1964. In the meantime Khrushchov fell.

It is clear from statements and criticisms made at the time and subsequently that Khrushchov was removed from all positions for the reason (among others) that bourgeois individualism (capitalist ideology) had become dominant in his world outlook. Marxist-Leninists know that this bourgeois outlook could not develop in a vacuum. The surrounding soil must be favourable. With such strong bourgeois characteristics no individual could conquer the foremost position in the C.P.S.U. unless this bourgeois ideology had also become prevalent in the outlook of his influential colleagues, at least on the Presidium. Neither could this bourgeois ideology amongst the top leaders be confined merely to crude and blatant mannerisms. Bourgeois ideology and methods will inevitably be reflected in policy that is anti-Marxist and counter-revolutionary, i.e., anti-working class. And this is precisely what happened in the top leadership of the C.P.S.U. The Marxist-Leninist scientific foundations of Communist policy were undermined and policies which served imperialism (but which were still garnished with Marxist-Leninist phraseology) were dished up to the Communist Parties and the world working class. Here are the roots of the present-day ideological struggle in the world Communist movement.

Consequently, it is not correct to conclude that Khrushchov’s dismissal from his positions was due to the admitted fact of his bourgeois individualism. It is necessary to see that the wrong policies developed by him and his colleagues were running into difficulties. They were not winning the desired allies in the world movement. The crude and blatant manifestations of bourgeois ideology in Khrushchev’s personal attitude were increasingly hampering his colleagues in putting them across. The tactics had to be changed. A smoother line was necessary. That is why Khrushchov had to go. This was proven by the fact that the meeting Khrushchov insisted upon calling was suspended but not cancelled. His successors persisted in forcing the meeting on the world movement. They set a new date, March 1, 1965, despite the opposition of an increasing number of world parties and groups, including some which had previously supported the Khrushchov tactics. Others, as for example, the Communist Party of Australia, continued to support the Khrushchov tactics to the full, as the following quote from the Tribune (February 10, 1965) proves:

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia last week-end endorsed the report of its delegation (Messrs. L. Aarons and J. Moss), which had held discussions with the leaderships of the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union, Italy and France.

The committee decided its views on the situation in the world Communist movement and gave directions to its delegation (Messrs. L. L. Sharkey and L. Aarons) to the proposed preparatory committee for a meeting of the world Communist movement.


Again, we should note the determination of the organisers to avoid the proper preparation as laid down in the 81 Parties’ Statement. The necessity for bilateral talks between Parties on a free and equal basis is once again spurned, and with it any serious attempt to establish a real Marxist-Leninist foundation for building world Communist unity.

Revolutionary unity of Communist Parties can only develop on the basis of their ideological unity on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Any other approach can be nothing else but a futile attempt to reconcile irreconcilable opposites – revisionism and Marxism-Leninism, i.e., capitalist-class ideology and working-class ideology. This cannot develop revolutionary unity. It can create only further disunity.

It is this kind of “unity” – “unity of the working-class with its enemy, imperialism” – which the leaders of the C.P.S.U. offered our Party and other Marxist-Leninist Parties. It is, as we shall see later, this kind of “unity” which the 19 Parties are trying to foist on the world Parties under the cover of Marxist-Leninist phrases.

Consequently, it is necessary to see that plan outlined in the communique to convene a meeting of the 81 Parties to consider whether an international conference should be held is merely a new revisionist trick to achieve their anti-Marxist-Leninist objectives under the pretence of “overcoming the differences and strengthening the solidarity of the world Communist movement.”


On the date of the meeting only 19 of the 26 invited Parties attended. Significant absentees included five of the Parties from the socialist world, namely, Albania, China, Korea, Rumania and Vietnam. Indonesia (the largest Communist Party outside of the socialist world) and Japan also refused to attend.

The pressures of the world Parties (including some like Italy and Britain, who attended) and the failure to get a representatives gathering forced a change in the character of the meeting – from one which was to organise and prepare a meeting of world Parties in 1965 to a down-graded “consultative meeting.” This was a setback for the revisionist leaders of the C.P.S.U., the organisers of the meeting.

A second blow was that the meeting itself was forced to recognise that it could not prepare and proceed to convene a conference of world Parties. But it is equally clear from the communique that the organisers have not given up their hopes of imposing their revisionist ideas on the world movement.

In furtherance of this, they have now decided that ALL Parties shall be consulted on the holding of a preliminary conference of the 81 Parties which would be held to consider the suitability of holding another international conference.

Such are the ridiculous antics which the revisionist leaders have to perform in an effort to save face and in the hope of prolonging their declining influence. It is a futile effort to avoid the real issue – a thorough-going critical and self-critical analysis of their false theories and practice by the scientific Marxist-Leninist method.


The third and most telling blow to the organisers of the Moscow Meeting was struck by world events.

American bombs were raining down on socialist soil as the representatives of the 19 Parties sat down in Moscow to solve the problems of the world Communist movement. Lives of men, women and children were being destroyed in socialist Vietnam. The property of the socialist toilers was being blown to smithereens. The delegates talked on. Yes, they mentioned Vietnam. In the communique of the meeting, it is dismissed in a single sentence. Here is the extract from the Tribune (March 10, 1965):

In their statement, the participants of the meeting expressed their solidarity with the heroic Vietnamese people and the Workers’ Party of Vietnam and called for international solidarity in the struggle against the aggressive actions of the American militarists.

True, they also issued what is described as a call for “world-wide public action to support the people of Vietnam.” But it cannot by any means be described as a clarion call. There were representatives of some eight socialist countries present at the meeting, but there was not a single reference to the fact that acts of war against one socialist country are acts of war against them all. The Statement failed to record what has been readily forthcoming on other occasions, i.e., that the might of the whole socialist camp will be used to defend the socialist soil – sacred to the world’s working class – wherever it may be.

It is not idle to ask: Would the communique have been so lacking in fighting spirit had the American bombs been falling on the soil of the Soviet Union?

To the imperialists, the 19 Parties’ communique would come as a welcome re-assurance that the Khrushchov line still prevailed in the Soviet leadership and among their supporters in the leadership of other Communist Parties.

The hollow ring of the communique, despite liberal use of Marxist-Leninist phraseology, would go far to convince the U.S. Government that, for the time being at least, an empty barrage of words was the only obstacle their bombers were likely to meet from the quarters that might otherwise have ended their missions of death.

Surely, a sorry contrast to the days of Stalin and Molotov. Then the statements of Soviet leaders were recognised to mean what was said. Then a healthy respect was engendered in the imperialists for the inviolability of the territories of the Soviet Union and other socialist lands. And this, too, prevailed even while the U.S. still held a complete monopoly of atomic weapons.

And so, once again, the line of the revisionists is exposed as the line of capitulation to imperialism. The working class of the world is learning from life. Deeds, not words, are rapidly becoming its test of Parties and leaders. From the Cuban crisis to Vietnam, the working class has been faced with the manoeuvring of the revisionists in the leadership of the C.P.S.U. Many were temporarily taken in. The capitulation involved in the Partial Test-Ban Treaty was believed by many to be a big step towards the elimination of the threat of nuclear war. Daily, too, the phoney theories on war and peace, peaceful transition and peaceful co-existence with the “reasonable imperialists” are being exploded by life.

The actions of Khrushchov and his colleagues towards Albania; the embracing of the revisionist Tito (whose role as a servant of imperialism has become more thoroughly exposed); the arming of India against socialist China; the disruption of the Trade Union, Peace, Youth and Women’s Congresses; the attempt to break up the Tokyo Conference on A- and H-Bombs; the interference through diplomatic channels in the internal affairs of Communist Parties; and the encouragement of local revisionists to split Parties adhering to Marxist-Leninist principles – the significance of all these things has become much more widely known and understood. More and more workers are becoming clear that revisionism does not serve their class but the enemies of the working class. As a consequence, the Marxist-Leninist Parties throughout the world are gaining in prestige and support. This is shown by the resounding defeat of the revisionist Communist Party in Kerala which was supported by the Soviet leadership.


The phoney theories referred to before and which have given rise to the disgraceful acts mentioned are manifested in the communique of the 19 Parties. One excerpt suffices to establish this (Tribune, March 10, 1965):

Even in the presence of differences concerning political line and many important problems of theory and tactics, it is quite possible and necessary to strive to achieve unity of action in the struggle against imperialism, in world support of the liberation movement of the peoples, in the struggle for universal peace and peaceful co-existence of states with different social systems, whether they are large countries or small, and in the struggle for the vital interests and historical tasks of the working class.

Here the revisionist line developed at the 20th Congress, C.P.S.U., under the leadership of Khrushchov and his colleagues, is clearly continued. The communique abounds in references to “unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism,” “proletarian internationalism,” “the line established by the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960,” “unite for the common struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism,” etc., etc. The meeting, it was claimed, was motivated by ”a spirit of active effort to consolidate the world Communist movement so that it may fulfil its great historic tasks.” “Unity, unity and still more unity,” is the cry! The Tribune quotation discloses the kind of “unity” they seek. It is “unity” on the basis of revisionism. Its purpose is to consolidate the phoney policies of revisionism. They as good as say to the vanguard parties of the proletariat: “We don’t care what your differences are on theory, politics or tactics. We must have ’unity’.”

Every class-conscious trade unionist is wide awake to this self-same trick so often put across by right-wing trade union leaders. From bitter experience he has learned how right-wing calls for “unity” in “the workers’ interests” can turn an imminent victory of a working-class struggle into a defeat.

What militant unionist has not heard this theme-song from the Labour Party leaders? Even Messrs. Holyoake and Nordmeyer “fight for peace.” Are not both “united” in backing the U.S. action to impose a “U.S. peace” on the Vietnamese people? So, too, is the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

So we see that the same words have totally opposite meanings to different people, depending upon the class they represent.

The prostitution of the words, “fight for peace,” by Holyoake, the open mouthpiece of imperialism in New Zealand, is readily recognised by the working class. There is a growing recognition that Nordmeyer, despite the Labour Party label, gives his allegiance to the same class enemy of the working class as does Holyoake. It is less widely recognised that the spokesmen for revisionism hidden behind the revolutionary phrases of Marxism-Leninism are also the servants of imperialism. They are even more dangerous enemies of the working class because they parade as its revolutionary leaders. At the same time they render invaluable aid to imperialism by disrupting the world Communist movement from within. For this reason, every Marxist-Leninist has a national and international responsibility to critically analyse the communique of the 19 Parties by the scientific method of Marxism-Leninism.

This revisionist communique implies that for Communist Parties it is words that are all important. Agreement on the words as such, like “fight for peace,” “fight against imperialism,” “unity,” etc., etc., is the all-important thing. This, it purports, is a firm basis for Communist unity. If you agree on these words, you may disagree on the politics, theory or tactics. In other words, the revisionists put forward the idea that there is no relation between the words and the “unity” founded on them, and the class stand, the class struggle, or the scientific method of Marxism-Leninism. The communique implies it is not necessary for Communist Parties to be united on the general lines of class action whereby such words and slogans are to be realised in practice. Consequently, in this revisionist context, the words bear no relationship to the practical activities of the Communist Parties in the fight against imperialism and for peace.

All this exposes the communique as a complete negation of Marxism-Leninism. It is not an expression of the world outlook of dialectical materialism. There is nothing dialectical or materialist about it. It is idealism pure and simple. There is no necessity to base oneself on facts or make a Marxist analysis of reality. Thus, there is no longer need for the Communist Party to be a vanguard party. Every militant can be in. That is where the line of the revisionists on “unity” lands us. And so this line gets us right back to the struggle of Lenin and the Mensheviks in 1903, on the membership rule of the Party. Lenin insisted that the membership rule must require members to belong to and work in one of the organisations of a revolutionary workers’ party. According to the line of the 19 Parties, Lenin was wrong and the Mensheviks were right.

The line of the revisionists on “unity” leads to the liquidation of the Communist Parties. It transforms them from revolutionary parties of the proletariat into Labour Parties, Social-Democratic Parties, reformist parties. How well this would serve imperialism.

Just as we have seen how imperialism in the early part of the century turned Labour leaders into “the Labour lieutenants of Capitalism in the ranks of the working class,” so it is necessary for us to understand how important it is for imperialism to-day, when the influence of the Labour Party is declining, to find its Communist lieutenants in the rising Communist movement. This is the role which is filled by the revisionists. Stripped of its facade of Marxist-Leninist phrases, we expose behind the communique naked, revisionist betrayers of the Communist movement and the world working class.

The “unity” the revisionists advocate is not the revolutionary unity of the working class which means death to imperialism and colonialism. It is not the unity of the world working class and progressive forces that leads to decisive action against imperialist aggression and war. It is a “unity” that enforces inaction or sabotages revolutionary action wherever it arises. It is a “unity” which disarms the working class, a “unity” in which Marxism-Leninism is to be submerged beneath revisionist ideas which aim at the adaptation of the working class and its Communist Parties to the ideology, economics and politics of Capitalism.

Revisionist “unity” is disunity. It stifles united action by the working class. It gives the green light to imperialism to extend its military attacks on Socialism and the national liberation movement and reduce the working-class movement in the capitalist countries to impotency. Revisionist “unity” is capitulation to imperialism. Again and again, life is demonstrating this truth.

But our Party cannot become complacent. The communique of the 19 Parties discloses the dangerous designs of the revisionist organisers of the Moscow Meeting to bring the world movement under their hegemony. Though they cannot succeed, it is necessary to recognise that even the extent to which it prevails in a number of Parties to-day intensifies the danger of new capitulations to imperialism. We have got to recognise that, so long as revisionism dominates the leadership of the C.P.S.U., the danger exists of its capitulation to U.S. imperialism on the question of Vietnam. Thus it becomes the foremost duty of our Party to intensify our efforts to bring the New Zealand working class and all progressive forces into continuous action for the cessation of American aggression on the socialist North and for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the South. At the same time, we must not hesitate to speak out fearlessly against the danger of further capitulation to U.S. imperialism, and which could be masked by phrases such as “in the interests of peace” or “avoiding a new world war.” This is the sacred duty of all Marxist-Leninist Parties.

We can confidently say that in the end the designs of the revisionist leaders are doomed to failure. The scientific laws of social development ensure this. The world-wide demonstrations and actions of the working class and progressive forces are providing abundant evidence. The false revisionist theories of peaceful transition to Socialism, peaceful co-existence by coming to agreement with “reasonable imperialists,” are being tested in practice and found wanting. The victory of Marxism-Leninism is inevitable. It will be assisted to the extent that our Party, basing itself on Marxism-Leninism, continues to raise higher the level of our own understanding of it and utilises it in unifying the New Zealand working class in delivering decisive blows against imperialism in New Zealand.

Communist Parties, the revolutionary parties of the working class, the vanguard parties of the class, do not arise by accident. Neither are they the creation of some outstanding individual. They come into being as a result of the operation of the universal laws of development of all things. They are based on and rely upon these scientific laws which are expressed in the laws of social change of human society to higher forms of social organisation. The class stand, method of work, leadership and organisation and the method of thinking of Communist Parties reflect these scientific laws. This outlook and method of the Communist Parties is known as Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is a science. Stalin, in “Marxism and Linguistics,” says:

Marxism-Leninism is the science of the laws governing the development of nature and society, the science of the revolution of the oppressed and exploited masses, the science of the victory of Socialism in all countries, the science of building Communist society.


Communist Parties are the outcome of the law of the unity and struggle of opposites within the working-class movement.

Communist Parties were born and grew strong in the struggle against opportunism.

Opportunism is the sacrifice of the fundamental interests of the working class for temporary gain.

Modern revisionism is opportunism within the Communist Parties and the world Communist movement – the sacrifice of the fundamental interests of the socialist revolution and of the socialist world for an illusory gain.

Opportunism and modern revisionism are the ideology of the capitalist class within the working-class movement and its Communist Parties. The ascendancy of bourgeois ideology within the working-class movement or its political parties ends in their adaptation (capitulation) to Capitalism and imperialism. The struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism is a class struggle.

Communists cannot and must not hide or gloss over these class contradictions. They must bring them out, recognise them and take an active part in overcoming them. Not to do so is to permit Marxism-Leninism to be overcome by revisionism, to permit the revolutionary party of the working class to be transformed into its opposite – a reformist party – a party of Capitalism.

It has not been easy for some comrades to understand this or to recognise that it is not impossible for a Communist Party or the top leaders of such a Party to be transformed into their opposite. Despite the experience of Tito and the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, there are still some comrades in our Party who are unable to conceive that such a thing could happen in the C.P.S.U. They conclude that the glorious Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin could not be transformed temporarily into its opposite under any conditions and irrespective of whether it was led by Marxist-Leninists or revisionists. They accept without question the belief that the leaders of such a party cannot but be unshake-able adherents of the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint and method. They adhere to this view, despite the exposure of the erstwhile “hero,” Khrushchov, an ideologist of the bourgeoisie, and who had, in fact, attained the foremost position as leader of that glorious party. They have been encouraged in this view by Khrushchov’s recent colleagues who also seek to hide their bourgeois characteristics under the honoured mantle of Lenin.

Some comrades have, unfortunately, fallen for the same trick with which the revisionists hope to trap the world Parties into a world meeting designed to split the world Communist movement. All genuine Communists will recognise that the Marxist-Leninist qualities of any Communist Party are not developed or strengthened by loud shouts or the parading of honoured banners, but by relying on and utilising the essential law of development – the struggle of opposites within the Communist Parties and the world movement.

Every Communist knows that the Marxist-Leninist method of giving effect to this law is the use of criticism and self-criticism, the concrete analysis of a party’s policies and practical activities and methods of work and leadership. Consequently, a real Marxist-Leninist Party cannot but welcome and seriously study the criticism of its members or of other fraternal Parties. Any other attitude could only amount to accepting the idea of “infallibility.”

The fifth conclusion from the summing-up of the historical experience of the Bolshevik Party (see “Short History of the C.P.S.U.”) is particularly rich in lessons on this question. We quote it in full:

5. The history of the Party further teaches us that a party cannot perform its role as leader of the working class if, carried away by success, it begins to grow conceited, ceases to observe the defects of its work, and fears to acknowledge its mistakes and, frankly and honestly, to correct them in good time.

A Party is invincible if it does not fear criticism and self-criticism, if it does not gloss over the mistakes and defects in its work, if it teaches and educates its cadres by drawing the lessons from the mistakes in Party work, and if it knows how to correct its mistakes in time. A Party perishes if it conceals its mistakes, if it glosses over sore problems, if it covers up its shortcomings by pretending that all is well, if it is intolerant of criticism and self-criticism, if it gives way to self-complacency and vainglory and if it rests on its laurels.

“The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes,” Lenin says, “is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it IN PRACTICE fulfils its obligations towards its CLASS and the toiling MASSES. Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analysing the conditions which led to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it – that is the earmark of a serious party; that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the CLASS, and then the MASSES.” – (Lenin, “Collected Works,” Russian Edition, Vol. XXV, page 200.)

And, further:

All revolutionary parties which have hitherto perished did so because they GREW CONCEITED, failed to see where their strength lay, AND FEARED TO SPEAK OF THEIR WEAKNESSES. But we shall not perish, for we do not fear to speak of our weaknesses and will learn to overcome them. – (Lenin, “Collected Works,” Russian Edition, Vol. XXVII, pages 260-61.)

Can anyone claim that the practice of Khrushchov and his colleagues reflected these vital lessons. We know, on the contrary, that the approach of the leadership of the C.P.S.U. has been a negation of these lessons. There has been a significant absence of self-criticism.

In the complete negation of Stalin at the 20th Congress, C.P.S.U., and subsequently, there has not been one word of self-criticism by Khrushchov and his recent colleagues, of their share of responsibility for the alleged state of affairs. It is as well to recall that in Stalin’s day Khrushchov himself occupied the important post of Chairman of the Central Control Commission. Likewise, neither has there been, since the removal of Khrushchov, a single word of self-criticism by his’ colleagues for the part they played and their lack of Marxist-Leninist vigilance in promoting and maintaining Khrushchov and his bourgeois ideology into the leading position.

What is the attitude of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. towards criticisms of its line and policy? Were they welcomed, studied, analysed, verified or, where necessary, corrected? Comrades know from the development of the ideological dispute that this was not the approach of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. On the contrary, it was an arrogant, conceited and commandist stand. Stand-over methods and economic and political pressures were exerted in an effort to enforce the Soviet leadership’s point of view. Under the cover of words like “proletarian internationalism,” its opposite, great-power chauvinism, was enforced. On the ideological front, the theoretical bankruptcy of the Soviet leaders became quickly exposed. Abuse of other parties and distortions of Lenin were used in an attempt to bolster an impossible case. Quotations from “Left-Wing Communism,” by Lenin, became favourite missiles to hurl at all who dared to criticise the policy of the Soviet leadership from a fundamental Marxist-Leninist viewpoint.

There is, of course, much which our Party has yet to learn of how to struggle more effectively against opportunism and revisionism. We have to work much harder to find the way to bring socialist consciousness to the industrial worker and explain that the opportunist character of the Labour Party cannot but undermine and defeat the struggles of the New Zealand working class for its basic demands. So, also, with the struggle against opportunism in the trade union movement which strives to divert the growing consciousness of the need for working-class leadership for political struggle against foreign monopoly into trade union struggles around economic demands.

In the struggle against revisionism in the C.P.N.Z., we have already rich experience. The lessons of the victory of Marxism-Leninism over the Scott faction have been of tremendous significance to our Party. For it has shown us in life itself that the Party is strengthened by purging itself of opportunists. It has heightened the vigilance of our membership. It has awakened a recognition that revisionism anywhere is a threat to Marxism-Leninism everywhere.

Thereby it has placed squarely before us the inescapable responsibility to contribute to the maximum of our ability to the struggle for the victory of Marxism-Leninism in the world Communist movement.

March 24, 1965