Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

V. G. Wilxcox

New Zealand Party’s Firm Stand


We are insistent that full consideration be given to all aspects of the world wide national liberation struggle and the important part it is playing in the struggle against imperialism and for peace and in paving the way for a further socialist advance.

To us in New Zealand this is a vital question. National liberation victories, the defeat of imperialist attempts to get back in by the door of neo-colonialism and the development from national liberation to Socialism in South-East Asia open the door for advance here in New Zealand. It makes possible the throwing off in our country of the yoke of imperialist monopoly and in particular the octopus grip of American policy that keeps us in the forefront of S.E.A.T.O. with its ever-present dangers of involvement in war.

We have already indicated that we think insufficient attention has been paid to the vital part played by the national liberation movements, struggling against imperialism, as far as the fight for world peace is concerned. There are other aspects also which are deeply worrying us, particularly in relation to C.P.S.U. policy of late. No one can be happy at the success of imperialist policy with puppet Governments in South-East Asia and South America, at the growing return of imperialist influence in countries such as India, or at the more tragic events that have occurred during the past year in Irak.

The general approach of the C.C., C.P.S.U. seems to us to be outlined in the following quotation – fairly lengthy, but to the point: –

National liberation revolutions are not the result of outside influence or pressure. They are the direct result of a country’s development. But a favourable international situation is of immense importance for the success of any such revolution.

The vast sweep of the movement in the past 10 years should be seen in context with the new and more favourable world situation. The socialist world system, which had emerged by this time, was developing into the chief factor determining the pace and direction of world history.

The mounting strength of the socialist commonwealth and the support its members give to the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America is today the decisive international factor in the success of national liberation revolutions.

This in no way detracts from the importance of the popular struggle in colonies, ex-colonies and semi-colonies. For no revolution can be victorious without the people displaying courage, fortitude and a clear understanding of their ultimate goal.

But there is also this inescapable fact: most of the newly developing Asian, African and Latin American countries are small in population and lack the means and experience to wage modern war.

Their imperialist adversaries, on the other hand, have both the weapons and the experience. In particular, they have missiles; the developing nations have no comparable weapons.

Though courage and fortitude are of first-rate importance, they are not enough to defend a young country’s independence against imperialist attack. Support by the socialist lands, and primarily by the Soviet Union, is therefore a decisive guarantee of independence.

The Soviet Union is the only socialist country possessing the military capacity to stop any aggressor. Soviet action had a sobering effect on the imperialists every time they made aggressive moves against one or another young state – the imperialists know only too well that the U.S.S.R. will not hesitate to employ its military might to curb aggression. (Examples are then given regarding Egypt, Syria, Irak.)

Soviet military might is so manifest that at times it requires no more than a statement by the Soviet Government to induce the Western Powers to refrain from military action. For instance, when the Soviet Government stated it would support India in liberating Goa, Diu and Daman from the Portuguese fascists, all talk in the West about applying sanctions, including military sanctions, against India, stopped immediately. (Writer says the same happened over West Irian) . . .

Military strength derives from economic strength. This underlines the value for all nations fighting colonialism, of the Soviet Communist Party’s Programme adopted at its 22nd Congress. It is a programme for building the material and technical basis of Communism in the U.S.S.R. and its fulfilment will give the Soviet Union economic superiority over every capitalist country, the United States included.

The U.S.S.R. will thus be the world’s strongest power and this, in the final analysis, will nullify the imperialists’ ability to unleash aggression in any attempt to overthrow revolutionary governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Successful fulfilment of the Soviet Union’s programme of communist construction is, consequently, in the interests of every country seeking complete liberation from imperialist and colonial oppression and of every sincere champion of such liberation. – Yuri Bochkaryov, “The Soviet Union and the National Liberation Movement”, NEW TIMES, No. 16, 1963.

What this means is that, in reality, it is useless to raise a revolution against the imperialists because they have the weapons and the experience. As with the winning of the “hearts and minds” of the masses to desire socialism, quoted earlier, here again it is the Soviet Union, its growing successes and power that emerges as the decisive factor in the developing of the national liberation movement, not the activity of people, the masses in struggle.

In our opinion this is revisionism. It could quite easily lead unconsciously to a great nation chauvinism, new in form under Socialism, but still suspect in content.

How did Lenin see it? We will quote from his “Theses for Report on Tactics of the R.C.P. (B)” at the 3rd Congress of the Communist International: –

The toiling masses of the colonial and semi-colonial countries, representing the overwhelming majority of the population of the earth, were already aroused to political life in the beginning of the 20th century, particularly by the revolutions in Russia, Turkey and China.

The imperialist war in 1914-18 and the establishment of the Soviet Government in Russia completely transformed these masses into an active factor in world politics and in the revolutionary destruction of imperialism, although the educated philistines in Europe and America, including the leaders of the Second and Two and a half Internationals, stubbornly refuse to see this.

We know that the Soviet Union has made a tremendous leap forward as a result of the leadership by the C.P.S.U. and heroic efforts by the Soviet people in the building of a socialist society. We know that new weapons have been developed by the imperialists. But we are not convinced that anything has occurred which makes the struggle of the people of secondary importance. But that is, in fact, what they are saying and doing in their approach to the national liberation struggle.

We are not happy, either, about the situation where struggles are intense, such as in Laos and Vietnam. In South Vietnam, the possibility exists of carrying forward the struggle to a new victory for Socialism – to an extension of the socialist world. Does the policy of peaceful co-existence, as applied to such a situation, mean that Socialism must, for the time, be confined to its existing boundaries, because of state arrangements between imperialist and socialist states? We think it is getting very close to that in practice, having studied events and policy towards countries such as Laos.

Are not some Communist Parties tending to confuse national liberation with Socialism, as though liberation from the imperialist grip removes all the ills of Capitalism, as though basic laws of capitalist development do not operate in the newly liberated areas, as though the class struggle as we know it in the capitalist world does not now exist?

We think this is happening and the result is to open the door for neo-colonialism. The matter is not being approached in the way that Lenin outlined in his “Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions” when he said: –

11. In regard to more backward states and nations in which feudal or patriarchal and patriarchal-peasant relations predominate, the following must be particularly borne in mind:

. . . Fifth, the necessity to wage a determined struggle against the attempt to dye the bourgeois-democratic liberation tendencies in the backward countries in communist colours. The Communist International must support the bourgeois-democratic national movement in the colonies and in the backward countries only on the condition that the elements of the future proletarian parties in all the backward countries who are communist, not only in name, shall be grouped and trained to appreciate their special tasks of fighting the bourgeois-democratic movements in their respective countries. The Communist International should enter into a temporary alliance with the bourgeois-democratic movement in the colonies and backward countries, and must certainly preserve the independence of the proletarian movement even in its most embryonic form; Sixth, the necessity steadily to explain and expose to the widest possible masses of the toilers in all countries, and particularly in the backward countries, the deception that the imperialist powers systematically practise, when, on the pretext of setting up politically independent states, they set up states that are absolutely dependent upon them, economically, financially and militarily. In the present international situation there is no salvation for the dependent and weak states except in a union of soviet republics.

Has the Indian Party been encouraged to carry out Lenin’s line? The concept advanced by them recently around the slogan, “Defence of the Motherland”, does not make us think so.

Disregarding for the moment the basic Marxian concepts, we have noted it expressed quite frequently that it is necessary to build industry in the backward liberated countries so as to provide the proletarian base strong enough to take the struggle forward to a socialist one. Whichever way we look, it seems to us that some reason is being advanced as to why no further socialist gains in a new area can be contemplated at present. In the past, has Marxism ever developed theories that eliminate the advance to socialism in non-industrial countries? The advance is happening in the main in those very areas. The latest, and perhaps classic, example is North Vietnam.

Today, imperialism is competing in giving “aid” against the Soviet Union and other countries, quite successfully as far as the liberated areas are concerned. In India, for example, U.S. aid is rapidly growing. We know that socialist aid is real aid, that imperialist aid is but a cloak for future exploitation, giving rise to the development of neo-colonisation in India, in some African states such as Angola, Mozambique, and with growing attempts at such penetration elsewhere, in countries as important as Indonesia. But the solution is not reliance on a lot of new revisionist theories, but on the approach that Lenin suggested in the quotation following: –

If we do not want to betray Socialism, we MUST support EVERY rebellion against our main enemy, the bourgeoisie of the big states, provided it is not a rebellion of a reactionary class. By refusing to support rebellions of annexed territories we objectively become annexationists. Precisely ’in the era of imperialism’ which is the era of the incipient social revolution, the proletariat makes special efforts to support the rebellion of annexed territories today, in order that tomorrow, or simultaneously with the rebellion, it may attack the bourgeoisie of the ’Great’ Power which is weakened by that rebellion. – Lenin, “The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up”

It is only by such development that the possibilities for advance will arise in countries such as New Zealand, and that social democratic ideological influence will more rapidly recede.

Did our delegation get any effective reply that would calm our doubts on these issues and convince us that a correct Marxist approach was the basis of present policy? The answer is no. The representatives of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. had this to say to our delegation : –

First of all you oppose the national liberation movement to the world socialist system and to the workingclass movement and say that the national liberation movement has the vital role in the struggle for peace. But it is inconsistent with the reality. The national liberation movement, in spite of its enormous revolutionary importance, cannot play a decisive role in the world revolutionary process and in the struggle for preventing a new world war.

As far as your accusations that we have paid not enough attention to the national liberation movement in the struggle for peace, we have repeatedly rejected this which we have heard from the lips of the Chinese CP.

Our Party Programme makes this clear.

The Programme of our Party says the rallying of the forces of the peoples of newly liberated countries and the peoples of the socialist system in the struggle against the war threat is the greatest factor for world peace. This peaceful front which expresses the will and the power of millions upon millions of mankind can make imperialism retreat . . . and world liberation movement.

You discuss certain centres, South East Asia, South America and it is with bitterness that you note the growth of imperialism in India. We share your feeling.

The increase in chauvinism and reaction is in direct connection with China and India on the frontiers. Comrade Gosh said at the 1960 Conference ... ’It gives food to the anti-communist propaganda in the country against which this hysteria is carried on – in this case, India.’

We shall tell you frankly that the policy of the Chinese leadership in the Indo-Chinese conflict showed its retreat from the principles of peaceful co-existence, including the principles laid down in Bandung. It was a great blow to the CP. of India and the Party has had to face an extremely difficult situation. You allegedly say it was the line of the C.P.S.U. which did harm to the peoples in the struggle.

It was no other than the Soviet Union who rendered all-round support to the national liberation, anti-imperialist struggle. It was Soviet arms which were used in the struggle of the peoples of Algeria. It was with Soviet assistance and arms that many newly liberated countries defended themselves against imperialism. Without hesitation the Soviet Union threw all its power into the struggle when necessary and one of the most vivid examples is Cuba.

The possibilities of socialist advance in S.E. Asia are thus ignored and there is no objective study of just how long a government such as India remains a government of struggle for national liberation. The Soviet leaders categorically say that India is right and People’s China, a socialist country, is the aggressor. But no government of Asia or South-East Asia has said so and this includes the majority which are non-communist. In fact they have said the contrary, that they have found no sign of Chinese aggression.

We must be excused if we ask in spite of the fine words, where is proletarian internationalism as far as the policy to India is concerned? Incidentally, at no point at this or any other time was the growing menace of neo-colonialism mentioned by the C.P.S.U. representatives in discussion with our delegation. All revisionists are finding it hard to fit this development into their public statements of policy. It brings one face-to-face once again with imperialism.

Where does all this lead? Not only to a danger of a world split in our movement, but to a situation where no one can speak today of a monolithic socialist world and base a policy upon it. We find massive aid to India, which is receiving sufficient aid from the U.S. imperialists anyway (incidentally, as our delegation was coming back from our bilateral talks in Moscow, we landed in Delhi and there on the airfield we saw a U.S. Air Force plane alongside a Soviet-supplied troop transport and bomber), but all aid is rejected for socialist China. These people speak of preserving Socialism in Yugoslavia, but they reject aid to Albania.

Well, we must overcome this. And the only way is by remaining firm on a correct Marxist-Leninist basis.