Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Unity (Stockport Communist Group)

Resolution: The Present International Situation and the Tasks of the Proletariat. The Contribution of the British Proletariat to the World Proletarian Revolution

Adopted: June 3, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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The struggle for the socialist revolution in Britain takes place in a world where there is an international struggle for world-wide proletarian revolution by the international proletariat and its allies against imperialism. The socialist revolution in Britain is a link in the chain of the world-wide struggle and it is impossible to reach clarity on the road to socialist revolution without first having clarity on the fundamental features of imperialism as a world system. Communist Unity has therefore drafted this resolution in order to uphold Leninism as Marxism of the era of imperialism, to apply the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism to an analysis of the present international situation and to propose to the British communists how they should struggle to lead the British proletariat in carrying out their share of the world proletarian revolution.

The international communist movement is presently fighting for clarity against deviations both to the right and to the ’left.’ This resolution draws clear lines of demarcation with both right and ’left’ revisionism. To the ’left ’it rejects the dogmatism and Kautskyism of Enver Hoxha and his friends who pour scorn on the struggle of the third world and deny the necessity of support for all struggles directed against imperialism and who deny the inevitability of war whilst the system of imperialism remains. To the right, whilst upholding Mao Tsetung’s great strategic concept of the differentiation of the world into three and the revolutionary line which this concept represents, the resolution rejects various opportunist distortions of this concept and line.

Our greatest weapon in fighting for a correct line is dialectical and historical materialism. Dialectical and historical materialism states clearly that the motive force in the development of world history is the development of the productive forces. When Engels analyses what is motivating these movement of classes he writes “it was a question, first and foremost, of economic interests, to the furtherance of which political power had to serve as a mere means” and later: “all political struggles are class struggles, and all class struggles for emancipation, despite their necessarily political form...turn ultimately on the question of economic emancipation. Therefore, here at least, the state – the political order – is the subordinate element and civil society – the realm of economic relations – the decisive element.”[5]. Does this mean that the proletariat has no interest in politics and should regard political questions as subordinate? It would be a caricature of Marxism to say, because the proletariat’s political struggle are determined by its economic position that it should not struggle politically. No, as Engels stated, politics is a necessary means to achieve an economic end.

The concrete relationship between economics and politics must be analysed concretely. The bourgeois French revolution – a political act – was necessary to maintain, stabilize and assert a process of social revolution which had been transforming the relations of production in France to liberate the productive forces. The proletarian revolution on the other hand is the political act necessary to start the social revolution. Theoretically in this question both right and ’left’ revisionist deviations have thrown aside dialectical and historical materialism. In the rest of this introduction we shall address ourselves only to the right deviation as this is by far the greater danger at present.

Revisionist deviations on the nature of imperialism and the state have gained considerable influence in the international communist movement in recent years and in the western imperialist countries are threatening to seriously divert the communists from their task of leading the proletariat in the overthrow of imperialism and instead to lead them into the mire of social-chauvinism. In metaphysical denial of the fact that capitalism cannot yield anything progressive in the imperialist countries, opportunist attempts are being made to resurrect national tasks in these countries, and, in consequence of this, to forge social-chauvinist alliances with the imperialists. The proletariat of the imperialist countries can no more advance to socialism and thereby liberate the productive forces through wars of ’national independence’ than can stones become chickens. The common task of the proletariat of the whole world to liberate the productive forces is carried out in different ways by the proletariat in the oppressed countries on the one hand and in the imperialist countries on the other. In the former case the task of the proletariat and the people is to defeat imperialism and feudalism in revolutions which are democratic and national; in the latter case the productive forces can be liberated only by revolutions which are socialist. When Kievsky denounced Lenin’s distinction between the different roads the oppressed nations and the proletariat in the imperialist countries must take as ’dualism’, Lenin, quoting Engels statement that “If I include a shoe brush in the unity mammals, this does not help it to get mammary glands,” wrote: “this means that only such things, qualities, phenomena and actions that are a unity in objective reality can be declared a unity.”[6]. Arbitrarily proclaiming the contradiction between, for example, British imperialism and the Soviet Union, to be the same type of contradiction as that between, say, Zimbabwe and British imperialism, namely that between oppressed and oppressor nation, our latter-day Duhringians lump imperialist and oppressed countries together to blur the distinction between the types of revolution in oppressed and oppressor countries and try to justify their revisionism in resurrecting national tasks in imperialist countries. The more subtle of them try to plaster the gaping hole in this theory by use of the sophism ’’dual nature’ to explain the presence of imperialist countries in the list of oppressed nations. If some ’crackpot thinks that his shoe brush is a mammal then· the consequences will be severe only for him, but if the communists consider that the imperialist bourgeoisie of some imperialist countries can uphold the interests of the international proletariat by fighting other imperialists for a ’fair’ share of the booty, then the consequences are potentially dire indeed.

The forms that this revisionist deviation takes are diverse, but in essence they all deny that the task of the proletariat in the imperialist countries is to liberate the productive forces through socialist revolution and the construction of socialism. They deny that imperialism is moribund, decaying, parasitic capitalism and idealistically try to resurrect national tasks in the imperialist countries. They preach ’defence of the fatherland’ –a task which can be applicable to nationally oppressed or annexed countries only. Those communists in the western imperialist countries (and, for all we know, in the Soviet Union too)who preach ’defence of the fatherland,’ support for NATO, etc., etc. ,are taking the same path as the opportunists of the second international and, instead of upholding the world front of revolution against imperialist reaction by overthrowing the imperialists, are advocating that the proletariat of the second world imperialist countries (and indeed of the USA) should fight for the imperialists against the proletariat of another imperialist country, the Soviet Union. The communist who does this “...betrays socialism and internationalism, because such a man sees only his own ’country, he puts his own’ bourgeoisie above everything else.”[7]. The threat of war is increasing daily and unless forestalled by revolution is inevitable. If a new imperialist war does breakout, then the interests of the proletariat of each and every country are upheld only by those communists who expose imperialist war, explain the real interests of the proletariat, prepare the proletariat for revolution and in general struggle to turn the imperialist war into civil war. By way of qualification of the above remarks, we would add that should an imperialist country become annexed by another such country, then any war of liberation waged by the people of that country against the annexing power, as in the case of the struggle of the French people against German imperialism from 1940 to 1945, would be entirely just, as the state power which the proletariat had to overthrow in order to liberate the productive forces had changed hands from the French to the German imperialists. But at present we are discussing the question of inter­imperialist war, not of struggles against annexation.

The communists who support the military strengthening of the bourgeois state on the grounds that the aims of the state in question are ’defensive’ argue from the point of view of the philistine who sees not what the aims and policies of the war are, but only who fires the first shot.

Like Kautsky, they detach the politics of imperialism from its economics and refuse to admit that monopolies in economics inevitably means domination, war and annexation in politics, and they betray not only the interests of the proletariat they are supposed to be leading to revolution, not only the interests of the international proletariat struggling against international capital, but also the interests of the peoples, countries and nations exploited and oppressed by imperialism. It cannot be otherwise, for, as Lenin said social-chauvinism is “...actually defence of the privileges, advantages, robbery and violence of one’s ’own’ (or every) imperialist bourgeoisie...”[8]. ’Defence of the fatherland’ is merely the most concentrated form of a social-chauvinism which may take many forms: One of the most pernicious of these present forms is the line that the second world countries should ’unite’ with the third world. Thus the imperialists are called upon to form relations of ’mutual benefit’ with the third world, thus the Lome convention is hailed as progressive, not exposed as an attempt to ensnare the third world in the clutches of the EEC, and thus, most outrageously of all French, Belgian, US and British military aggression is supported as an example of third world and second world ’unity.’

The imperialists of the second world, no less than those of the first world, are motivated in their relationships with the third world by the quest for maximum profits, a quest which is inevitably translated into attempts at economic, political and military domination of other nations. In Lenin’s words, “The capitalists divide the world, not out of any particular malice, but because the degree of concentration which has been reached forces them to adopt this method in order to obtain profits. And they divide it in proportion to capital, in proportion to strength,’ because there cannot be any other method of division under commodity production and capitalism.”[9]. To argue for second world and third world unity is to argue for the leopard to change his spots, for the imperialists to be nice to the people of the world. The communists who argue for third world and second world unity are asking for what is economically unachievable under capitalism, that the capitalists should stop seeking maximum profits. To quote Lenin for the last time, “As long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilised not for the purpose of raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalists, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries.”[10]. Those communists are sinking to the level of the petty-bourgeois critic of imperialism who wants to reform imperialism out of existence, they are in fact calling upon the oppressed peoples and nations to give up the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and pursue instead a policy of peaceful co-existence; they are therefore supporting the hegemonial strivings of the second world imperialists.

Finally, a few words about the nature of this resolution. It is not a programmatic document because it is mainly concerned with the international situation, not with the particular tasks of the British proletariat; as such the demands at the end of the resolution concern the international responsibilities of the British proletariat and touch upon national tasks only insofar as these aspects of the revolutionary struggle overlap. Nevertheless, the resolution has many similarities, both in form and content, to a programmatic document and is therefore a contribution to the struggle for the programme of the British communists. In form the resolution is concise, stating only principles and policies and eschewing explanation; it is also strategic, concerned only with long-term aims and objectives, and thus does not discuss the tactical methods of achieving those aims and objectives. In content, the first five paragraphs, several other paragraphs and in particular all the demands at the end of the resolution are of a programmatic nature.

There is another sense in which the whole of this resolution is a contribution to the struggle for the programme of the British communists. If the communists are to put forward a programme to the British working class and to the people of Britain which will really serve them, then the nature of the class enemy and therefore of the tasks must be analysed correctly. An understanding of the role of British imperialism in the word is part of the analysis on which the programme must be based. Any false analysis must be swept aside as part of the programmatic struggle.

The communists must put the struggle for the correct ideological and political line as crystallised in the struggle for the programme to the forefront of the struggle to build the party and reject the sterile cries of ’unity,’ ’oppose small-group mentality,’ etc.; cries whose purpose is to divert attention away from line. The programmatic struggle is the key in the struggle to build the party generally and to unite the communists in particular. We urge all communist organizations to publically criticise what they think is incorrect in this resolution and to support what they think is correct.


We live today in the era of imperialism, of capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun. The inherent contradiction within the self­movement of capital, which manifests itself in the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, has intensified in the imperialist phase of capitalism so that the capitalist relations of production are increasingly unable to develop the productive forces. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations, have turned into their fetters. That is why an era of social revolution has begun. Imperialism is moribund, decaying, parasitic capitalism. It is the eve of the world-wide collapse of capitalism and the era of world-wide proletarian revolution.

On entering its final phase, despite the immense progress in the socialization of production, capitalism has not freed itself from its inherent, essential contradictions. Capitalism is commodity production in a society where the means of production are the private property of the capitalist class, so that the workers are forced to sell their labour power as a commodity. Wage labour creates the capital which exploits wage labour. The contradiction between wage labour and capital is the irreconcilable class contradiction between proletariat and bourgeoisie in capitalist society. Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. In order to free itself as the exploited class it must lead social revolution to free social labour from the fetters of the private ownership of the means of production. Although with the development of capitalism to its imperialist phase the number of people with an interest in overthrowing imperialism becomes enormous, it is still the working class which must lead all forms of this struggle, because it is the only thoroughgoing revolutionary class.

Concerning the sale of the commodity wage labour Marx wrote: “The result of this competition between buyers and sellers will depend upon whether the competition is stronger in the army of buyers or in the army of sellers.”[1] These two armies of capitalists and workers are now international. International capital must be confronted by an international united working class. Marx’s statement that “wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers”[2] is now true of the international working class, who must overcome the competition imposed upon them by uniting internationally against capital.

With the development of capitalism to its imperialist phase the proletariat has won new allies. The division of the world into oppressed and oppress­ or nations is a characteristic feature of imperialism. In this era any revolution in a colony, semi-colony or a neo-colony directed against imperialism is no longer part of the old bourgeois or capitalist world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian socialist World revolution. Such revolutionary colonies, semi-colonies and nee-colonies now fighting against imperialism can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary front of world capitalism: they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism. The alliance of the proletariat in the imperialist countries with the oppressed peoples and nations is of strategic importance in the struggle to overthrow imperialism and construct socialism.

As a result of the process of the internationalization of capital carried out by imperialism, it is now no longer sufficient to consider each national revolution as a self-sufficient entity; now we must consider each national revolution as a link in the single chain of the revolutionary movement opposing the world front of imperialism. The proletarian revolution in each country now occurs as the result of the breaking of the chain of the world imperialist front in one country or another; and each such revolution necessarily has a profound effect on the revolutionary struggle in all other countries.

The movement of capital on an international scale has given rise to four fundamental, epochal contradictions. These contradictions are: the contradiction-between the oppressed peoples and nations and imperialism; the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the advanced capitalist countries; the contradiction between the socialist countries and the imperialist countries; and the contradictions between and among the imperialist countries and groupings. In sum, these contradictions are manifestations of the world-wide transition from capitalism to socialism.

The revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and the people of the various countries go through different stages and they all have their own characteristics, but they will not transcend the general law of development of world history. To defeat the world front of imperialism and march forward in the world-wide transition to socialism, the international proletariat must have a common programme. The general line of the international communist movement, basing itself on the development of the four fundamental contradictions, is this common programme and it points out the basic direction for the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and people of all countries.

The contradiction between the oppressed peoples and nations and imperialism. The development of all four of the fundamental contradictions has led to the principal contradiction in the world changing from being that between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp to being that between the oppressed peoples and nations and imperialism. The struggle of the oppressed peoples has intensified since the second world war and many of them have achieved independence; the socialist camp has ceased to exist as such due to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries; the communist Parties in the imperialist countries are being rebuilt as a result of their degeneration and the imperialist camp is rent on the one hand by the contradiction between the United States and the Soviet Union, but also by the emergence of the European Economic Community (EEC). The result is that a third world of oppressed peoples, countries and nations has emerged whose struggle against imperialism is presently the main force propelling world history forwards.

Certain of the oppressed peoples, in southern Africa and elsewhere, still have the task of overthrowing colonialism, and the struggle of these peoples still takes the form of armed national liberation wars against foreign colonial occupation.

The vast majority of the oppressed countries have however achieved political independence in the years after 1945 and are now confronted with the tasks of freeing the productive forces in these countries from the shackles of imperialism, now in neo-colonial form (this is the national task), and of wiping out the remnants of feudalism by solving the national question and the land question (this is the democratic task). These tasks can only be accomplished by resolute political struggle against imperialism and against domestic reaction. These tasks can only be completed successfully under the leadership of the proletariat. In many independent countries oppressed by imperialism armed struggle under proletarian leadership is being led against domestic reaction in order to complete the new-democratic revolution and fulfil the tasks named above. In several oppressed countries over the past few decades this struggle has led to the successful overthrow of imperialism and feudalism, the establishment of peoples’ republics and the continuation of the revolution into the socialist stage.

In the oppressed countries, the main force holding back the development of the productive forces is imperialism allied with feudalism and whatever reactionary section of the bourgeoisie it can win to its side. The revolution in these countries is therefore new-democratic, not socialist. The view which maintains that the socialist revolution is ripe in these countries on the grounds that the bourgeoisie hold state power is a Trotskyite view which will split the revolutionary forces and strengthen the imperialists. In imperialist countries, it is a social-chauvinist view which denies the necessity of supporting movements against imperialism.

The direct enemy which the people of these countries must overthrow, and therefore also the principal contradiction will change according to the tactics which the imperialists use to try to maintain their rule, whether – they attempt to use colonial rule, military intervention or local puppets. The proletariat of these countries, basing itself on the worker-peasant alliance, must struggle to win the leadership of the fight against imperialism from the nationalist bourgeoisie.

Many of the oppressed countries have taken a stand against imperialism, and the ruling classes in these countries have, by exercising the state power in their hands, wrested a certain degree of control from the imperialists by such means as nationalization of foreign-owned enterprises and industries and expulsions of foreign troops. Through such bodies as the United Nations, the non-aligned movement, OPEC, UNCTAD, etc., these countries have also united on an international level and dealt major blows at imperialism. Irrespective of the class which holds state power in a particular country, and despite some backsliders, the essence and main aspect of the struggle of the oppressed countries is a revolutionary struggle against imperialism.

The proletariat of the imperialist countries must support, without exception, all genuine anti-imperialist struggles of the oppressed countries. As part of this struggle they must struggle to force the imperialist bourgeoisie to accede to the just demands of the oppressed countries.

At the same time that people and countries of the third world have struck hard at the imperialists, the imperialists themselves have been able to retaliate by military adventures, political coups, economic subversion and many other forms of aggression. The main factor enabling them to do this with relative impunity has been the absence of firm support for the struggle of the third world by the proletariat of the imperialist countries: in such circumstances, this struggle has been necessarily cramped and limited and it is becoming increasingly necessary for such support to be mobilised in order to take the pressure of the oppressed people and nations.

The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the advanced capitalist countries. In its imperialist phase capitalism pays for its periods of prosperity with prolonged crises and wars. Imperialism is reaction all along the line. Capitalism has long since established a national market, forged nation-states and has exhausted its progressive features in the imperialist countries, which are countries on the eve of the collapse of capitalism. The national movement of these countries is a thing of the past. The productive forces in the imperialist countries can only be liberated by the expropriation of the capitalists and the construction of socialism, so history’s next step here is not a politically free fatherland but the socialist revolution through the armed seizure of power and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In the imperialist countries, due to the strength of opportunism in the workers’ movement generally, and particularly to the capture by revisionism of the old communist parties, the proletariat cannot but remain at the stage of accumulating strength for some time, particularly while-the communists are still at the stage of rebuilding the communist parties. It is therefore incorrect to portray the class struggle in the imperialist countries as the principal struggle in the world at present.

This objective fact must not be perverted to mean that the majority or even the whole of the working class is corrupted by imperialism, nor to mean that the proletariat cannot be prepared for revolution and must instead practice class collaboration and social-chauvinism. In fact the objective conditions for revolution in the imperialist countries have long been present; and revolutions in one or more of the imperialist countries are urgently necessary in the current state of international class struggle. What is lacking is overwhelmingly the subjective factor. The proletariat of the imperialist countries has fought increasingly against the bourgeoisie in recent years, especially on the economic level. The communists of these countries must fight for the leadership of the struggle of the working class and people. They must expose all the contradictions between the working class and people on the one hand and the imperialist state apparatus on the other and put forward demands designed to unite the people under working class leadership against the state. The struggles for the realization of these demands will develop the capacities of the working class and people needed to smash the imperialist state apparatus, seize power, establish the soviet state; expropriate the capitalists and to take state administration into their own hands. The communists must lead the struggle of the working class and people to the point where it is transformed into revolutionary measures to smash the bourgeois state and seize political power.

The inevitable tendency of the rate of profit to fall, the development and success of the class struggle internationally and the contradictions between the imperialists lead to increasingly desperate attempts by the imperialists to cling to the positions they have gained in the imperialist world economy against the victories of the anti-imperialist struggle and against encroachments by other imperialists. It is vital that the proletariat of the imperialist countries fight against the attempts of the imperialists and their agents to lead them into social-chauvinist support for import controls, military adventures, military alliances, all attempts at domination of other nations and ’defence of the fatherland.’ The proletariat must oppose this line and uphold the unity of the world proletariat against world capital.

The inevitable tendency of the rate of profit to fall, the class struggle on a world scale, particularly the struggle of the third world against imperialism, and the intensified contradictions between the imperialists are inexorably heightening the acuteness of the class contradictions in the imperialist countries. It is essential therefore that the proletariat of these countries develops and increases its unity with the peoples and countries of the third world, particularly those exploited: and. oppressed by its ’own’ bourgeoisie. The support of the proletariat of the imperialist countries for the struggle of the third world must be unconditional.

Whilst the struggle of the third world is driving imperialism into a corner, it is only the proletariat of the imperialist countries who can deal the death-blow to imperialism. As the contradictions between the imperialists, particularly those between the two imperialist superpowers, become sharper, so the focus of contradiction in the contemporary world shifts gradually to Europe. The proletariat in the imperialist countries must combat the imperialists’ war preparations and prevent the outbreak of war by making revolution. In the event of war in Europe the proletariat of the imperialist countries will be presented for the third time with the opportunity to transform the general conflagration into the final battle for the overthrew of imperialism, i.e., to turn the imperialist war into a civil war.

As part of their preparations and as part of their general preparations for revolution, the proletariat of the imperialist countries must fight against the political and military alliances of ’their’ bourgeoisie with other imperialist powers. It is particularly important to fight against the military alliances of the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States.

The contradiction between the socialist countries and the imperialist countries. Due to the triumph of revisionism in most of the countries of Eastern Europe and later elsewhere, the socialist camp which was the outcome of the struggles of the international proletariat and working peoples after the second world war has disintegrated, although the individual socialist countries of Albania, China and north Korea remain.

It is seriously misleading to the international proletariat and revolutionary people to present the contradiction between imperialism and socialism as the principal contradiction in the world today; it is a view which splits off the international proletariat from their firm allies of the countries oppressed by imperialism and consigns to the enemy camp good fighters against imperialism.

It is also incorrect to blur the distinction between socialism and capitalism.

The international proletariat must defend the socialist countries against imperialist aggression and subversion and support also the proletariat in the continuing class struggle within the socialist countries.

The foreign policy of socialist countries must be firmly based on proletarian internationalism. It is necessary also to fight for a policy of peaceful co-existence with the imperialist countries and to skilfully exploit the contradictions among them in such a way as to advance the revolutionary cause. The correct and necessary compromises of these two latter aspects of a socialist country’s foreign policy in no way require the international proletariat or oppressed peoples and nations to follow suit.

The contradictions between and among the imperialist countries and groupings. Imperialism is a world system in which all the imperialist countries are tied to one another by a thousand-and-one threads economically, politically and militarily.

The motive force propelling forward capital and the imperialist state is maximum profits. In search for maximum profits, capital is exported. The capitalist combines are actually forced temporarily to agree on a particular division of the world in proportion to capital, in proportion to strength. This is the ’peaceful’ form of the struggle for the division of the world. But the uneven development of capitalism inevitably leads to certain imperialist powers being bent on achieving a re-division. And the struggle for the same substance – the division of the world – takes on a ’warlike’ form. War is inevitable so long as the system of imperialism remains.

The period of relative tranquillity between the imperialists which existed for some years after the United States imperialists forcibly established their hegemony during and after the war of 1941-45 has now definitely ended and the world has entered a new period of acute inter-imperialist rivalry which will lead to a new imperialist world war which can be prevented only by revolution in one or several of the imperialist countries, and not by disarmament, ’detente,’ or other petty-bourgeois dreams.

The attempts of the US to achieve world hegemony have been foiled. This has been brought about in the main by the struggles of the third world but also by the challenge of other western imperialist powers and Japan and particularly by the emergence of the Soviet Union as an imperialist superpower, which country alone can effectively challenge the United States for world hegemony. The remaining imperialist powers will inevitably identify their independent imperialist interests and fight for these interests in alliance with one or the other superpower.

The development of the inter-imperialist contradictions has led to the situation where there are now two imperialist superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. These two superpowers are the two chief enemies of the people of the world and the main bastions of imperialism and reaction; it is the contention between them which is the main source of war in the world today. This contention is absolute and will inevitably lead to war in the absence of revolution, whilst collision between the two superpowers is relative. The Soviet Union is the most dangerous source of war as it is the imperialist power which is challenging the already existing division of the world between the other imperialist powers. Europe is strategically the focus of contention between the two superpowers as it is western Europe which the Soviet Union must seize in order to effectively challenge the United States.

To some extent the unity of the European imperialists in the European Economic Community is an obstacle to the ambitions of the two superpowers for world hegemony. But an even greater obstacle to these schemes would be the victorious socialist revolution in one or several of the European countries. It is also a fact that the EEC exists in order to further the independent interests of the European bourgeoisie. It attempts to suppress the struggle of the European proletariat for revolution and to act as a united European imperialist front against the third world. The proletarians of Europe have the task of fighting these independent hegemonial strivings of the European bourgeoisie and their reactionary alliance against the European proletariat and the oppressed peoples and nations.

The present acute inter-imperialist rivalries present the international proletariat and particularly the peoples and countries of the third world with excellent opportunities for exploiting inter-imperialist contradictions. It is particularly important that the contradiction between the two imperialist superpowers and the minor imperialist countries is exploited in such a way as to isolate and weaken the two chief enemies. These contradictions must be exploited in such a way as to advance the revolutionary struggle and not the cause of the imperialists.

The difference between the two imperialist superpowers and the minor imperialist powers is one of degree, not of quality. Our strategy on a world scale is to defeat all imperialism, not to strengthen the minor imperialist countries at the expense of the superpowers, or one superpower at the expense of the other. Therefore, whilst it is essential to tactically exploit all inter­ imperialist contradictions, especially that between the two superpowers and the other imperialist powers, and for the people of all countries to fight against the superpowers, the proletariat of the minor imperialist countries must fight against all attempts to forge social-chauvinist alliances with the bourgeoisies of these countries under the pretext that these countries have a “dual nature”, that they are “middle forces”, that the “imperialist camp has broken up” and so on. They must combat schemes for fostering neo-colonialism on the pretext that these countries should “line-up” or “unite” with the third world.

Likewise, there can be no question of alliance with US imperialism under the pretext that the “primary target” in the struggle against hegemonism should be Soviet social-imperialism, that the United States is “defensive” whilst the Soviet Union is “aggressive”, that the Soviet Union is the ”more dangerous superpower” and so on. In those imperialist countries allied with US imperialism, in the struggle against superpower hegemonism the proletariat must fight first and foremost against the bourgeois policy of alliance with the United States. The people of those countries oppressed by US imperialism must deal their main blow at US imperialism, just as the people of the countries oppressed by Soviet social-imperialism must strike their main blow at the Soviet Union.

These four fundamental contradictions, which are inter-related and which have a profound influence on each other, inevitably give rise to popular revolutions, either socialist or new-democratic, in each country. Only these revolutions can resolve the four fundamental contradictions. An analysis of the concrete development of these four fundamental contradictions shows that revolution is the main tendency in the world today.

It is evident that in the present international situation the world can be divided into three; the first world of the two imperialist superpowers, the second world of the minor imperialist countries and the third world of oppressed peoples, countries and nations. The socialist countries are part of the third world. This strategic concept of the differentiation of the world into three indicates to the international proletariat, and to the oppressed people and nations, the two chief enemies on a world scale, subordinate enemies and firm friends.

Although revolution takes place nationally, it is essential for the proletariat and revolutionary people of all countries to co-ordinate their forces in the class struggle internationally, to uphold the general interest of the proletariat irrespective of nationality, and thereby create the best possible conditions for national revolutions. At present, the international proletariat must struggle to build the broadest possible international united front of all revolutionary and progressive forces against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism, headed by the two superpowers.

This international united front defines the strategic enemy as imperialism headed by the two superpowers. The main force in this united front are the people and countries of the third world, whilst the proletariat is the leading force.

At present the danger of war is growing. If the Soviet Union is still in a position at innumerable points to reap the fruits of the peoples’ independence struggle and to inherit from the USA, if the workers’ movement in the imperialist countries and its support for the struggle of the oppressed peoples, countries and nations only continues to develop haltingly and if the working class movement does not itself become a conscious factor for revolution and for the struggle against imperialist war, then the conquests of the Soviet social imperialists will be transformed and take on a new quality, and the rivalry of the two superpowers will become the principal contradiction in the world so that the imperialist war cannot be deferred and the danger of imperialist war becomes acute. The international situation is nearing this point to a threatening extent. The turning point in the inter­national situation can be avoided if the peoples make further progress in throwing out US imperialism and in decreasing its sphere of influence and if they simultaneously avoid social-imperialism pushing in afterwards and foil its preparations for launching a new imperialist war.

At present the main factor preventing war is the struggle of the third world against imperialism. For as long as the imperialists, headed by the two superpowers, do not succeed in splitting the struggle of the third world – for as long as this the conditions exist to forestall war by revolution and to use the time to accumulate strength of the working class in imperialist countries for the onslaught against the rule of the bourgeoisie. Everything which serves the struggle of the third world against imperialism is good for the struggle against imperialist war and good for proletarian revolution. Everything which harms their struggle weakens the struggle against the imperialist war and is bad for the proletarian revolution.

The contribution of the British proletariat to the world proletarian revolution.

The internationalization of capital and its development to world imperialism has put world proletarian revolution on the agenda. The uneven development of capitalism means nonetheless that Marx and Engels statement is still true: “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.”[3]

It is also essential that the proletariat of each country also uphold the general interest of the entire proletariat in the course of its revolutionary struggle .In order to combine these two aspects of the revolutionary struggle it is necessary to avoid the error of ’subordinating’ the revolutionary struggle in one country to that world-wide and the error of ignoring the general interest. Both errors deny the real relationship between the revolution in one country and the world revolution and both errors will lead to the betrayal of the revolution in the one country and to betrayal of the world revolution.

Based on this method of analysis, and guided by Lenin’s thesis that “There is only one kind of internationalism in deed: working wholeheartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one’s own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy and material aid)such, and only such, a struggle and such a line in every country without exception[4] emphases in the original), the contribution of the British proletariat to the world revolution can be outlined as follows:

Britain is the oldest imperialist country and the British imperialist bourgeoisie is extremely decadent and reactionary. Britain has lost the pre-eminence among the imperialists which it once had but remains a powerful imperialist country. It still has thousands of millions of pounds of capital invested around the world in various colonies and neo-colonies; it still possesses colonies in various parts of the world; it has military bases and troops in many parts of the world.

Politically and militarily British imperialism is allied With US imperialism in NATO and despite contradictions with the United States remains largely subservient to it, The British proletariat have a particular duty to fight against the alliance of British imperialism with US imperialism. This is necessary in order to combat the ability of US imperialism to intervene to suppress the British revolution, to combat the hegemonial strivings of British and US imperialism, and also as a major contribution to the world­wide task of isolating and defeating the two superpowers.

In recent years Britain has identified itself more closely with the other western European powers. The interests of the British proletariat are not served by struggling for the reactionary utopia represented by that section of the bourgeoisie who wish to withdraw from the EEC. But the proletariat of Britain and the other EEC countries must fight the attempts of the European bourgeoisie to carve out an independent position for themselves, particularly their attempts to dominate the third world and other European countries, and they must fight the threat to the socialist revolution in Europe represented by the Treaty of Rome.

British imperialism is engaged in a bitter struggle for survival against the blows which are continually inflicted on it by the struggle of the third world and by the encroachments of other imperialist powers. Although British imperialism has lost a great deal to US imperialism it has nevertheless at present identified its interests in general with those of the United States, and is actively preparing to take part in a new world war in which it will take part in the divisions of spoils as a junior partner of US imperialism.

It is not the task of the communists to come forward to the rescue of the British imperialists in their final decline, with renegade formulations and recipes such as supporting the EEC and NATO, ’defence of the fatherland,’ etc., but to arouse and led the masses to deal the death blow to the imperialists.

The main enemy of the British proletariat and people is the British bourgeoisie. British imperialism is objectively ripe for overthrow by socialist revolution – this is the task of the British proletariat and its main contribution to the world proletarian revolution.

Allies of the British proletariat internationally are the international working class and the oppressed peoples and nations, especially those exploited and oppressed by British imperialism. It is essential to educate and lead the working class in the spirit of solidarity with the international proletariat, including solidarity with the socialist countries. Without educating the working class and people on this question and without leading them in practical struggles in solidarity with the oppressed peoples and nations, the victory of the socialist revolution in Britain is impossible.

We put forward the following demands, which uphold the general interest of the international proletariat and oppressed peoples and nations, on the British government as part of the struggle for socialist revolution in Britain:
1. Independence for all the colonies of British imperialism, including northern Ireland.
2. Withdrawal of all British troops overseas and the closing of all British bases and military installations overseas.
3. Withdrawal from the N.A.T.O. and all other military alliances and the expulsion and exclusion of all US and other foreign troops, bases and military installations from Britain.
4. Conclusion of just peace treaties with the German Federal and German Democratic Republics and the withdrawal of British occupation troops from the German Federal Republic and west Berlin.
5. The right of self-determination for the Scottish and Welsh nations.
6. Abrogation of the Treaty of Rome.
7. Unconditional British nuclear disarmament.
8. Repudiation of all rights of the British state (at present residing in the Monarch and the Privy Council) over the sovereignty of other nations.
9. Replacement of the police and standing army by the universally armed people; election of officers; abolition of all restrictions on the democratic rights of policemen and soldiers, including the prohibition on joining unions; workers and other employees to receive payment from the capitalists at the level of their previous wages for the time served in the peoples’ militia.
10. Repudiation of the veto and permanent membership of the United Nations security council.
11. Recognition of the Peoples Socialist Republic of Albania and admission of guilt in the Corfu Channel incident.

Adopted 3.6.79.


[1] Marx “Wage, Labour and Capital”. Moscow ed., p22.

[2] Marx and Engels “Manifesto of the Communist Party” Peking ed., p48.

[3] Ibid, p45.

[4] Lenin “The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution.”

[5] Engels “Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy.” Peking ed., pp49-51.

[6] Lenin “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism,” Moscow ed., p 34.

[7] Lenin “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky.” Peking ed., p79.

[8] Lenin “Socialism and War.” contained in “Lenin on War and Peace.” FLPH Peking, p14.

[9] Lenin “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.” Peking ed., pp88-89.

[10] Ibid, p73.