When we speak of fighting opportunism, we must never forget a feature that is characteristic of present-day opportunism in every sphere, namely, its vagueness, diffuseness, elusiveness. An opportunist, by his very nature, will always evade formulating an issue clearly and decisively ... (Lenin, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back).
We have endeavoured to follow Dutt through the various stages of his report and to look at his arguments to discover their true meaning as well as to reveal their real implications.
What does Dutt’s report amount to? He begins by more or less conjuring away the national liberation movement from the world struggle. The heart and centre of imperialism, the U.S.A., is hardly mentioned. Any reference to Tito and the League of Yugoslav Communists and their pro-imperialist policies is cunningly omitted. The United Nations is lauded as a major factor in the struggle for national liberation. Economic independence is stressed, ignoring the fact that unless the fight for political independence is pressed successfully, economic independence is a nonstarter. There is not a single word about South Vietnam where at this moment the fight against imperialism is at its fiercest.
All Dutt’s arguments point in the same direction – to take the heat off the imperialists in order to give viability to Krushchev’s special brand of peaceful coexistence; to seek the way of “peaceful transition” and to find reasons, however contrived and artificial, to divert the oppressed peoples from armed struggle and revolutionary action. If Dutt had his way the tempo of the national liberation movement would be decided by the present leaders of the C.P.S.U., not by the people themselves.
All along the line, Dutt’s arguments are paraphrases, when they are not direct copies, from the statements and policies of the leaders of the C.P.S.U.
Dutt forsakes analysis and puts in its place assertion and falsification of Marxist theory. He serves this up in a way calculated to confuse the reader, and garnishes it with distortions of the statements of other Parties. What he omits is as significant as what he includes.
Dutt would lead us to abandon the fight against imperialism and to forsake the principles of proletarian internationalism which lie at the heart of the working class movement. His policy would increase the dangers of war, not reduce them.
Dutt’s report is an engineered attack on the Chinese Party which, together with a number of other parties, is striving to apply Marxist principles internationally, to give unstinted support to the liberation struggle and bring about the overthrow of imperialism.
In his endeavour to make the case against the Chinese at all costs, Dutt has to avoid any reference to the experience of the liberation movements in Cuba, Algeria and Iraq; he must turn his eyes from the events in South Vietnam and Latin America; he has to create the impression that China alone is adopting an “un-Marxist” position; he must avoid reference to the criticisms of the C.P.S.U. voiced by the other parties, such as the North Korean, Indonesian and Vietnamese parties, from whose statements we have drawn a number of quotations; and he must devise theories, by innuendo and distortion, which he tries to pass off as Chinese points of view in order to win the reader to his revisionist position.
It is tragic indeed that, in a period when the aims for which he has been working most of his life come into sight, Dutt should be led aside to betray the cause of Marxism and place his talents at the service of the perverters of Lenin.