Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Forum for Marxist-Leninist Struggle

The National Liberation Movement Today as Seen by Dutt, Krushchev and Others


Communists have always recognised the progressive, revolutionary significance of national liberation wars; they are the most active champions of national independence. The existence of the world socialist system and the weakening of the positions of imperialism have provided the oppressed peoples with new opportunities of winning independence . . .

The Communist Parties are working for a consistent completion of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, democratic revolution, for the establishment of national democracies, for a radical improvement in the living standard of the people. (Statement of the 81 Parties, November 1962, pp. 21, 24)

In the present period the class composition of the various national liberation movements is bound to differ widely from country to country. In these conditions, the question of the Marxist leadership of the movement assumes the greatest importance. Dutt endeavours to show that the Chinese attitude to the colonial liberation movement is contrary to a class understanding of the world situation. To prove his point Dutt states:

To regard the principal role in the world revolution as being played by the national revolution movement is to place the primary role in the world revolution in the hands of the bourgeoisie instead of in the hands of the international working class and its outcome the world socialist system. (p. 14).

Dutt is here in fact repeating what the leaders of the C.P.S.U. wrote in their letter of 14th July 1963:

Whether the Chinese theoreticians want it or not, this then in essence means isolating the national liberation movement from the international working class and its creation – the world system of socialism.

No Marxist will deny that the principal role in the world revolution is played by the international working class. The national liberation movement, since it is striking direct blows against imperialism, is obviously giving powerful support to the world revolutionary movement: The speed at which imperialism is beaten back depends upon the help and encouragement which one gives to the other. Lenin saw clearly the importance of the national liberation movement for world revolution:

Millions and hundreds of millions – actually the overwhelming majority of the world’s population – are now coming out as an independent and active revolutionary factor. And it should be perfectly clear that in the coming decisive battles of world revolution, this movement of the majority of the world’s population, originally aimed at national liberation, will turn against capitalism and imperialism and will, perhaps, play a much more revolutionary role than we have been led to expect. (Lenin, Collected Works, Vo!. 32, p. 629)

Why should both Dutt and Krushchev pose the national liberation movement against the international working class? There can be only one motive for introducing the notion of a conflict between the two to impose restraints on the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples in order to impress the imperialists with their “reasonableness”, as part of a policy of so-called “peaceful co-existence.”

That some people do not recognise the enormous revolutionary significance of the national liberation struggle shows precisely that they are disinclined to make revolution. (Hold High the Revolutionary Banner of National Liberation, Korean Workers’ Party, January 1964 p. 46)

Dutt reveals the true purpose of his argument in the final words of the passage quoted: “the primary role in the world revolution” should be “in the hands of the international working class and its outcome the world socialist system.”

“The world socialist system” – what is it? It is the 1,000 million people in the Soviet Union, China, the Eastern European socialist countries, North Korea and North Vietnam. Three-quarters of the population of this world socialist system live in China, North Korea and North Vietnam; and, in these countries, the Communist Parties – the leadership of the working class – oppose Dutt’s and Krushchev’s national liberation policy root and branch.

Of course Dutt is not suggesting that this larger part of the world socialist system should provide the leadership nor, obviously, does he expect it to come from one or all of the Eastern European countries.

No, what Dutt is really arguing for here – as other revisionists are suggesting in other places – is that the primary direction of the colonial liberation movement should be in the hands of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. – to wit, Krushchev – but he does not wish to state this in so many words. Hence the obfuscation.

Thus the revisionist policy becomes clear – the main struggle is not the revolutionary struggles of the peoples in their own countries. It is the control, primarily from the leadership of the C.P.S.U., coupled with resolutions in the United Nations and negotiations with the “New Frontiersmen” in the United States. The national liberation movement will be used as a pawn in the surreptitious negotiations with Johnson or the next president. Any revolutionary rising not to the liking of Krushchev and which does not fit into his assessment of the current needs of “peaceful coexistence” is ruled out of place. Krushchev, and not the oppressed peoples in the countries themselves, will decide, as Krushchev decided that it would be a good thing to put U.N. inspection teams into Cuba.

But this policy which Dutt shares with Krushchev has been condemned by many Communist Parties: “The revolution in this or that country is prepared and performed by the people of the given country themselves; never by some other people.” (Workers’ Party of Korea, Let Us Defend Defend the Socialist Camp, October 1963)

The task of the revolutionary forces of the various countries is to go ahead with the struggle as soon as the conditions in their own country are ripe, regardless of the situation in other countries. (Ernesto Che Guevara, Cuba Socialista, September 1963)

In his report to the Indonesian Party on 23rd December 1963, Comrade Aidit refuted the idea that the struggle for national independence will not succeed without help of the socialist countries. He suggested that this idea was being deliberately disseminated in order that the Communists struggling for national liberation would not dare to express opinions different from those of a certain socialist country, because that would lead to the denial of assistance to their own country.

The internal factor is decisive, whereas the external factor is only supplementary, Comrade Aidit continues, that is why the Communist Party of Indonesia always urges its members to stand on their own feet.