Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive







Source: Long Live Leninism.  3rd ed. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1960; pp. 1-55.  The article originally appeared in Hongqi, issue no. 8 (April 16, 1960).
Transcription:, 2010.
HTML Markup:  Juan Fajardo, for, April 2010.


In Commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the Birth of Lenin



April 22 of this year is the 90th anniversary of the birth of Lenin.

1871, the year after Lenin's birth, saw the heroic uprising of the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune was a great, epoch-making revolution, the first dress rehearsal of worldwide significance in the proletariat's attempt to overthrow the capitalist system. When the Commune was on the verge of defeat as a result of the counter-revolutionary attack from Versailles, Marx said:

If the Commune should be destroyed, the struggle would only be postponed. The principles of the Commune are eternal and indestructible; they will present themselves again and again until the working class is liberated.[2]

What is the most important principle of the Commune? According to Marx, it is that the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and use it for its own purposes. In other words, the proletariat should use revolutionary means to seize state power, smash the military bureaucratic machine of the bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat to replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Anyone familiar with the history of the struggle of the proletariat knows that it is precisely this fundamental question which forms the dividing line between Marxists on the one hand and opportunists and revisionists on the other, and that after the death of Marx and Engels it was none other than Lenin who waged a thoroughly uncomomising struggle against the opportunists and revisionists in order to safeguard the principles of the Commune.

The cause in which the Paris Commune did not succeed finally triumphed 46 years later in the Great October Revolution under Lenin's direct leadership. The experience of the Russian Soviets was a continuation and development of the experience of the Paris Commune. The principles of the Commune continually expounded by Marx and Engels and enriched by Lenin in the light of the new experience of the Russian revolution, first became a living reality on one-sixth of the earth. Marx was perfectly correct in saying that the principles of the Commune are eternal and indestructible.

In their attempt to strangle the new-born Soviet state, the imperialist jackals, acting in league with the counter-revolutionary forces in Russia at the time, carried out armed intervention against it. But the heroic Russian working class and the people of the various nationalities of the Soviet Union drove off the foreign bandits, put down the counter-revolutionary rebellion at home and thus consolidated the world's first great socialist republic.

Under the banner of Lenin, under the banner of the October Revolution, a new world revolution began, with the prole tarian revolution playing the leading role, and a new era dawned in human history.

Throughout the October Revolution, the voice of Lenin quickly resounded throughout the world. The Chinese people's anti-imperialist, anti-feudal May 4 Movement in 1919, as Comrade Mao Tse-tung put it, "came into being at the call of the world revolution of that time, of the Russian revolution and of Lenin."[3]

Lenin's call is powerful because it is correct. Under the historical conditions of the epoch of imperialism, Lenin revealed a series of irrefutable truths concerning the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lenin pointed out that the oligarchy of finance capital in a small number of capitalist powers, that is, the imperialists, not only exploit the masses of people in their own countries, but oppress and plunder the whole world, turning most countries into their colonies and dependencies. Imperialist war is a continuation of imperialist politics. World wars are started by the imperialists because of their insatiable greed in scrambling for world markets, sources of raw materials and fields for investment, and because of their struggle to re-divide the world. So long as capitalist-imperialism exists in the world, the source and possibility of war will remain. The proletariat should guide the masses of people to understand the source of war and to struggle for peace and against imperialism.

Lenin asserted that imperialism is monopolistic, parasitic or decaying, moribund capitalism, that it is the final stage in the development of capitalism and therefore is the eve of the proletarian revolution. The emancipation of the proletariat can be arrived at only by way of revolution, and certainly not by way of reformism. The liberation movements of the proletariat in the capitalist countries should ally themselves with the national liberation movements in the colonies and dependent countries; this alliance can smash the alliance of the imperialists with the feudal and comprador reactionary forces in the colonies all dependent countries, and will therefore inevitably put a final end to the imperialist system throughout the world.

In the light of the law of the uneven economic and political development of capitalism, Lenin came to the conclusion that, because capitalism developed extremely unevenly in different countries, socialism would achieve victory first in one or several countries but could not achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. Therefore, in spite of the victory of socialism in one or several countries, other capitalist countries still exist, and this gives rise not only to friction but also to imperialist subversive activities against the socialist states. Hence the struggle will be protracted. The struggle between socialism and capitalism will embrace a whole historical epoch. The socialist countries should maintain constant vigilance against the danger of imperialist attack and do their best to avert this danger.

The fundamental question of all revolutions is the question of state power. Lenin discussed in a comprehensive and penetrating way the fundamental question of the proletarian revolution, that is, the question of thc dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat, established by smashing the state machine of the bourgeois dictatorship by revolutionary means, is an alliance of a special type between the proletariat on the one hand and the peasantry and all other working people on the other; it is a continuation of the class struggle in another form under new conditions; it involves a persistent struggle, both sanguinary and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative, against the resistance of the exploiting classes, against foreign aggression and against the forces and traditions of the old society. Without the dictatorship of the proletariat, without its full mobilizalion of the working people on these fronts to wage these unavoidable struggles stubbornly and persistently, there can be no socialism, nor can there be any victory for socialism.

Lenin considered it of prime importance for the proletariat to establish its own genuinely revolutionary political party which completely breaks with opportunism, that is, a Communist Party, if the proletarian revolution is to be carried through and the dictatorship of the proletariat established and consolidated. This political party is armed with the Marxist theory of dialectical materialism and historical materialism. Its programme is to organize the proletariat and all oppressed working people to carry on class struggle, to set up proletarian rule and passing through socialism to reach the final goal of communism. This political party must identify itself with the masses and attach great importance to their creative initiative in the making of history; it must closely rely on the masses in revolution as well as in socialist and communist construction.

These truths were constantly set forth by Lenin before and after the October Revolution. The world reactionaries and philistines of the time thought these truths revealed by Lenin terrifying. But we see these truths winning victory after victory in the actual life of the world.



In the forty years and more since the October Revolution, tremendous new changes have taken place in the world.

Through its great achievements in socialist and communist construction, the Soviet Union has transformed itself from an economically and technically very backward country in the days of tsarist Russia into a country with the best and most advanced technology in the world. By its economic and technological leaps the Soviet Union has left the European capitalist countries far behind and left the United States behind, too, in technology.

The great victory of the anti-fascist war, in which the Soviet Union was the main force, broke the chain of imperialism inCentral and Eastern Europe. The great victory of the Chinese people's revolution broke the chain of impelialism on the Chinese mainland. A group of new socialist countries was born. The whole socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union has one quarter of the earth's land space and over one-third of the world's population. The socialist camp has now become an independent world economic system, standing opposed to the capitalist world economic system. The gross industrial output value of the socialist countries now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the world's total, and it will not be long before it surpasses the gross industrial output value of all the capitalist countries put together.

The imperialist colonial system has been and is disintegrating. The struggle naturally has its twists and turns, but on the whole the storm of the national liberation movement is sweeping over Asia, Africa and Latin America on a daily broadening scale. Things are developing towards their opposites: there the imperialists are going step by step from strength to weakness, while the people are going step by step from weakness to strength.

The relalive stability of capitalism, which existed for a time after World War I, ended long ago. With the formation of the socialist world economic system after World War II, the capitalist world market has greatly shrunk. The contradiction between the productive forces and relations of production in capitalist society has sharpened. The periodic economic crises of capitalism no longer occur as before once every ten years or so, but come almost every three or four years. Recently, some representatives of the U.S. bourgeoisie have admitted that the United States has suffered three "economic recessions" in ten years, and they now have premonitions of a new "economic recession" just after it has pulled through the one in 1957-58. The shortening of the interval between capitalist economic crises is a new phenomenon. It is a further sign that the world capitalist system is drawing nearer and nearer to its inevitable doom.

The unevenness in the development of the capitalist countries is worse than ever before. With the imperialists squeezed into their ever-shrinking domain, U.S. imperialism is constantly grabbing markets and spheres of influence away from the British, French and other imperialists. The imperialist countries headed by the United States have been expanding armaments and making war preparations for more than ten years, while West German and Japanese militarism, defeated in World War II, have risen again with the help of their former enemy -- the U.S. imperialists. Imperialist West Germany and Japan have come out to join in the scramble for the capitalist world market, are now blabbing once again about their "traditional friendship" and are engaging in new activities for a so-called "Bonn-Tokyo axis with Washington as the starting point." West German imperialism is looking brazenly around for military bases abroad. This aggravates the bitter conflicts within imperialism and at the same time heightens the threat to the socialist camp and all peace-loving countries. The present situation is very much like that after World War I when the U.S. and British imperialists fostered the resurgence of German militarism, and the outcome will again be their "picking up a rock only to drop it on their own feet." The U.S. imperialists' creation of world tension after World War II is a sign not of their strength but of their weakness and precisely reflects the unprecedented instability of the capitalist system.

The U.S. imperialists, in order to realize their ambition for world domination, not only avidly resort to all kinds of sabotage and subversion against the socialist countries, but also, under the pretext of opposing "the communist menace," in their self-appointed role of world gendarme for suppressing the revolution in various countries, set up their military bases all around the world, seize the intermediate areas and carry out military provocations. Like a rat running across the street while everyone shouts "Throw something at it!" the U.S. imperialists run into bumps and bruises everywhere and, contrary to their intentions, everywhere arouse a new upsurge of the people's revolutionary struggle. Now, even they themselves are becoming aware that, in contrast with the growing prosperity of the socialist world headed by the Soviet Union, "the influence of the United States as a world power is declining." In their country, one "can only see the decline and fall of ancient Rome."

The changes that have taken place in the world in the past forty years and more indicate that imperialism is rotting with each passing day while with socialism things are getting better and better. It is a great, new epoch that we are facing, and its main characteristic is that the forces of socialism have surpassed those of imperialism, and that the forces of the awakening peoples of the world have surpassed those of reaction.

The present world situation has obviously undergone tremendous changes since Lenin's lifetime; but all these changes, far from proving that Leninism is obsolete, have more and more clearly confirmed the truths revealed by Lenin and all the theories he advanced during the struggle to defend revolutionary Marxism and develop Marxism.

In the historical conditions of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Lenin carried Marxism forward to a new stage and showed all the oppressed classes and peoples the path along which they could really shake off capitalist imperialist enslavement and poverty.

These forty years have been forty years of victory for Leninism in the world, forty years in which Leninism has found its way ever deeper into the hearts of the world's people. Leninism not only has won and will continue to win great victories in countries where the socialist system has been established, but is also constantly achieving new victories in the struggles of all oppressed peoples.

The victory of Leninism is acclaimed by the people of the whole world, and at the same time cannot but incur the enmity of the imperialists and all reactionaries. The imperialists, to weaken the influence of Leninism and paralyse the revolutionary will of the masses, have launched the most barbarous and despicable attacks and slanders against Leninism, and, moreover, bought up and utilized the vacillators and renegades within the workers' movement, directing them to distort and emasculate the teachings of Lenin. At the end of the nineteenth century when Marxism was putting various anti-Marxist trends to rout, spreading widely throughout the workers' movement and gaining a predominant position, the revisionists represented by Bernstein advanced their revisions of the teachings of Marx to meet the needs of the bourgeoisie. Now, when Leninism has won great victories in guiding the working class and all oppressed classes and nations of the world in onslaughts against imperialism and all kinds of reactionaries, the modern revisionists represented by Tito have advanced their revisions of the teachings of Lenin (that is, modern Marxist teachings), to meet the needs of the imperialists. As pointed out in the Declaration of the meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the socialist countries held in Moscow in November 1957, "The existence of bourgeois influence is an internal source of revisionism, while surrender to imperialist pressure is its external source." While the old revisionism attempted to prove that Marxism was outmoded, modern revisionism attempts to prove that Leninism is outmoded. The Moscow Declaration said:

Modern revisionism seeks to smear the great teaching of Marxism-Leninism, declares that it is "outmoded" and alleges that it has lost its significance for social progress. The revisionists try to kill the revolutionary spirit of Marxism, to undermine faith in socialism among the working class and the working people in general.

This passage of the Declaration has put it correctly; such is exactly the situation.

Are the teachings of Marxism-Leninism now "outmoded"? Does the integrated whole of Lenin's teachings on imperialism, on proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, on war and peace, and on the building of socialism and communism still retain its full vitality? If it is still valid and does retain its full vitality, does this refer only to a certain portion of it or to the whole? We usually say that Leninism is Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Marxism of the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism. Does this statement remain correct? Can it be said that Lenin's original conclusions and our usual conception of Leninism have lost their validity and correctness, and that therefore we should turn back and accept those revisionist and opportunist conclusions which Lenin long ago smashed to smithereens and which have long since gone disgracefully bankrupt in actual life? These questions now confront us and must be answered. Marxist-Leninists must thoroughly expose the absurdities of the imperialists and modern revisionists on these questions, eradicate their influence among the masses, awaken those they have temporarily hoodwinked and further arouse the revolutionary will of the masses.



The U.S. imperialists, the open representatives of the bourgeoisie in many countries, the modern revisionists represented by the Tito clique, and the right-wing social-democrats, in order to mislead the people of the world, do all they can to paint an utterly distorted picture of the contemporary world situation in an attempt to confirm their ravings that "Marxism is outmoded," and that "Leninism is outmoded too."

A speech by Tito at the end of last year referred repeatedly to what the modern revisionists call the "new epoch." He said, "Today the world has entered an epoch in which nations can relax and tranquilly devote themselves to their internal construction tasks." Then he added, "We have entered an epoch when new questions are on the ugenda, not questions of war and peace but questions of co-operation, economic and otherwise, and when economic co-operation is concerned, there is also the question of economic competition."[4]  

This renegade completely writes off the question of class contradictions and the class struggle in the world, in an attempt to negate the consislent interpretation of Marxist-Leninists that our epoch is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism.

But how do things really stand in the world?

Can the exploited and oppressed people in the imperialist countries "relax"? Can the peoples of all the colonies and semi-colonies still under imperialist oppression "relax"?

Has the armed intervention led by the U.S. imperialists in Asia, Africa and Latin America become "tranquil"? Is there "tranquility" in our Taiwan Straits when the U.S. imperialists are still occupying our country's Taiwan? Is there "tranquility" on the African continent when the people of Algeria and many other parts of Africa are subjected to armed repressions by the French, British and other imperialists? Is there "tranquility" in Latin America when the U.S. imperialists are trying to wreck the people's revolution in Cuba by means of bombing, assassination and subversion?

What kind of "construction" is meant by saying "(nations) devote themselves to their internal construction tasks"? Everyone knows that there are different types of countries in the world today, and principally two types of countries with social systems fundamentally different in nature. One type belongs to the socialist world system, the other to the capitalist world system. Is Tito referring to the "internal construction" of armament expansion which the imperialists are carrying out in order to oppress the peoples of their own countries and oppress the whole world, or to the "internal construction" carried out by socialism for the promotion of the people's happiness and in the pursuit of lasting world peace?

Is the question of war and peace no longer an issue? Is it that imperialism no longer exists, the system of exploitation no longer exists, and therefore the question of war no longer exists? Or is it that there can be no question of war even if imperialism and the system of exploitation are allowed to survive for ever? The fact is that since World Was II there has been continuous and unbroken warfare. Do not the imperialist wars to suppress national liberation movements and the imperialist wars of armed intervention against revolutions in various countries count as wars? Even though these local wars do not develop into world wars, do they not still count as wars? Even though they are not fought with nuclear weapons, do wars using what are called conventional weapons not still count as wars? Does not the U.S. imperialists' allocation of nearly 60 per cent of their 1960 budget outlay to arms expansion and war preparations count as a bellicose policy on the part of U.S. imperialism? Will the revival of West German and Japanese militarism not confront mankind with the danger of a new world war?

What kind of "co-operation" is meant? Is it "co-operation" of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie to protect capitalism? Is it "co-operation" of the peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies with the imperialists to protect colonialism? Is it "co-operation" of socialist countries with capitalist countries to protect the imperialist system in its oppression of the peoples in the capitalist countries and its suppression of national liberation wars?

In a word, the assertions of the modern revisionists about the so-called "epoch" challenge Leninism on the foregoing issues. It is their aim to obliterate the contradiction between the masses of people and the monopoly capitalist class in the imperialist countries, the contradiction between the peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies and the imperialist aggressors, the contradiction between the socialist system and the imperialist system, and the contradiction between the peace-loving people of the world and the warlike imperialist bloc.

There have been various ways of defining the distinctions between different "epochs." Generally speaking there is one way which is merely drivel, concocting and playing around with vague, ambiguous phrases to cover up the essence of the epoch. This is the old trick of the imperialists, the bourgeoisie and the revisionists in the workers' movement. Then there is another way, which is to make a concrete analysis of the specific circumstances with regard to the overall situation of class contradictions and class struggle, put forward strict scientific definitions, and thus bring the essence of each epoch into full light. This is what every serious-minded Marxist does.

On the features that distinguish an epoch, Lenin said:

. . . We are speaking here of big historical epochs; in every epoch there are, and there will be, separate, partial movements sometimes forward, at other times backwards, there are, and there will be, various deviations from the average type and average tempo of the movements.

We cannot know how fast and how successfully certain historical movements of the given epoch will develop. But we can and do know which class occupies a central position in this or that epoch and determines its main content, the main direction of its development, the main characteristics of the historical situation in the given epoch, etc.

Only on this basis, i.e., by taking into consideration first and foremost the fundamental distinctive features of different "epochs" (and not of individual episodes in the history of different countries) can we correctly work out our tactics. . . .[5]

An epoch, as referred to here by Lenin, presents the question of which class holds the central position in it and determines its main content and the main direction of its development.

Faithful to Marx's dialectics, Lenin never for a single moment departed from the standpoint of analysing class relations. He held that: "Marxism judges 'interests' by the class antagonisms and the class struggles which manifest themselves in millions of facts of everyday life."[6] He stated:

The method of Marx consists first or all, in taking into consideration the objective content of the historical process at the given concrete moment, in the given concrete situation, in order to understand first of all which class it is whose movement constitutes the mainspring of possible progress in this concrete situation. . . .[7]

Lenin always demanded that we examine the concrete process of historical development on the basis of class analysis, instead of talking vaguely about "society in general" or "progress in general." We Marxists must not base proletarian policy merely on certain passing events or minute political changes, but on the overall situation of the class contradictions and class struggle of a whole historical epoch. This is a basic theoretical position of Marxists. It was by taking a firm stand on this position that Lenin, in the new period of class changes, in the new historical period, came to the conclusion that the hope of humanity lies entirely in the victory of the proletariat and that the proletariat must prepare itself to win victory in this great revolutionary battle and thus establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the October Revolution, at the Seventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in 1918, Lenin stated: 

We must begin with the general basis of the development of commodity production, the transition to capitalism and the transformation of capitalism into imperialism. Thereby we shall be theoretically taking up and consolidating a position from which nobody who has not betrayed socialism will dislodge us. From this follows an equally inevitable conclusion: the era of social revolution is beginning.

This is Lenin's conclusion, a conclusion which up to the present still requires deep consideration by all Marxists.

The formulation of revolutionary Marxists that ours is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism is irrefutable, because it grasps with complete correctness the basic features of our present great epoch. The formulation that Leninism is the continuation and development of revolutionary Marxism in this great epoch and that it is the theory and policy of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is also irrefutable, because it is precisely Leninism that exposes the contradictions in our great epoch -- the contradiction between the working class and monopoly capital, the contradiction among the imperialist countries, the contradiction between peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies and imperialism, and the contradiction between the socialist countries, where the proletariat has triumphed, and the imperialist countries. Leninism has, therefore, become our banner of victory. Contrary, however, to this series of revolutionary Marxist formulations, in what the Titoists call the "new epoch," there is actually no imperialism, no proletarian revolution and, needless to say, no theory and policy of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In short, with them, the fundamental focal points of the class contradictions and class struggles of our epoch are nowhere to be seen, the fundamental questions of Leninism are missing and Leninism is missing.

The modern revisionists claim that in what they call the "new epoch,' because of the progress of science and technology, the "old conceptions" advanced by Marx and Lenin no longer apply. Tito said: "We are not dogmatists, for Marx and Lenin did not predict the rocket on the moon, atomic bombs and the great technical progress."[8] Not dogmatists, that's fine. Who want them to be dogmatists? But one may oppose dogmatism in the interests of Marxism-Leninism or one may actually oppose Marxism-Leninism in the name of opposing dogmatism. The Titos belong to the latter category. On the question of what effect scientific and technological progress has on social development, there are people who hold incorrect views because they are not able to approach the question from the viewpoint of the materialist conception of history. This is understandable. But the modern revisionists, on the other hand, are deliberately creating confusion on this question in a vain attempt to make use of the progress in science and technology to throw Marxism-Leninism to the winds.

In the past few years, the achievements of the Soviet Union in science and technology have been foremost in the world. These Soviet achievements are products of the Great October Revolution. These outstanding achievements mark a new era in man's conquest of nature; and at the same time they have played a very important role in defending world peace. But, in the new conditions brought about by the development of modern technology, has the ideological system of Marxism-Leninism been shaken, as Tito says, by the "rocket on the moon, atomic bombs and the great technical progress" which Marx and Lenin "did not predict"? Can it be said that the Marxist-Leninist world outlook, social-historical outlook, moral outlook and other basic conceptions have therefore become so-called stale "dogmas" and that the law of class struggle henceforth no longer holds good? 

Marx and Lenin did not live to the present day, and of course could not see the specific details of technological progress in the present-day world. But what, after all, does the development of natural science and the advance of technology augur for the capitalist system? Marx and Lenin held that this could only augur a new social revolution, and certainly not the fading away of social revolution.

We know that both Marx and Lenin rejoiced in the new discoveries and progress of natural science and technology in the conquest of nature. Engels said in his "Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx":

Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force. However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general.

Engels added: "For Marx was before all else a revolutionist." Well said! Marx always regarded all new discoveries in the conquest of nature from the viewpoint of a proletarian revolutionist, not from the viewpoint of one who holds that the proletarian revolution will fade away.

Wilhelm Liebknecht wrote in Reminiscences of Marx:

Marx made fun of the victorious European reaction which imagined that it had stifled the revolution and did not suspect that natural science was preparing a new revolution. King Steam, who had revolutionized the world in the previous century, was coming to the end of his reign and another incomparably greater revolutionary would take his place, the electric spark.

. . . The consequences are unpredictable. The economic revolution must be followed by a political one, for the latter is only the expression of the former.

In the manner in which Marx discussed this progress of science and mechanics, his conception of the world, and especially what has been termed the materialist conception of history, was so clearly expressed that certain doubts which I had hitherto still maintained melted away like snow in the sunshine of spring.

This is how Marx felt the breath of revolution in the progress of science and technology. He held that the new progress of science and technology would lead to a social revolution to overthrow the capitalist system. In Marx's opinion, the progress of natural science and technology further strengthens the position of the entire Marxist conception of the world and the materialist conception of history, and certainly does not shake it. The progress of natural science and technology further strengthens the position of the proletarian revolution and of the oppressed nations in their fight against imperialism, and certainly does not weaken it.

Like Marx, Lenin also viewed technological progress in connection with the question of revolution in the social system. Thus Lenin held that "the age of steam is the age of the bourgeoisie, the age of electricity is the age of socialism."[9]

Please note the contrast between the revolutionary spirit of Marx and Lenin and the modern revisionists' shameful attitude of betraying the revolution!

In class society, in the epoch of imperialism, Marxist-Leninists can only approach the question of the development and use of technology from the viewpoint of class analysis.

Inasmuch as the socialist system is progressive and represents the interests of the people, the socialist countries seek to utilize such new techniques as atomic energy and rocketry to serve peaceful domestic construction and the conquest of nature. The more the socialist countries master such new techniques and the more rapidly they develop them, the better will they attain the aim of high-speed development of the social productive forces to meet the needs of the people, and the more will they strengthen the forces for checking imperialist war and increase the possibility of defending world peace. Therefore, for the welfare of their peoples and in the interest of peace for people the world over, the socialist countries should, wherever possible, master more and more of such new techniques serving the well-being of the people.

At the present time, the socialist Soviet Union clearly holds the upper hand in the development of new techniques. Everybody knows that the rocket that hit the moon was launched by the Soviet Union and not by the United States, the country where capitalism is most developed. This shows that only in the socialist countries can there be unlimited prospects for the large-scale development of new techniques.

On the contrary, inasmuch as the imperialist system is reactionary and against the people, the imperialist countries seek to use such new techniques for military purposes of aggression against foreign countries and intimidation against their own people, for making lethal weapons. To the imperialist countries, the emergence of such new techniques only means pushing to a new stage the contradiction between the development of the social productive forces and the capitalist relations of production. What this will bring about is not by any means the perpetuation of capitalism but the further rousing of the revolution of the people in those countries and the destruction of the old, criminal, cannibalistic system of capitalism.

The U.S. imperialists and their partners use weapons like atom bombs to threaten war and blackmail the whole world. They declare that anyone who does not submit to the domination of U.S. imperialism will be destroyed. The Tito clique echoes this line; it takes up the U.S. imperialist refrain to spread terror of atomic warfare among the masses. U.S. imperialist blackmail and the chiming in of the Tito clique can only temporarily dupe those who do not understand the real situation, but cannot cow the people who have awakened. Even those who for the time being do not understand the real situation will gradually come to understand it with the help of the advanced elements.

Marxist-Leninists have always maintained that in world history it is not technique but man, the masses of people, that determine the fate of mankind. There was a theory current for a time among some people in China before and during the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression, which was known as the theory of "weapons decide everything"; from this theory they concluded that since Japan's weapons were new and its techniques advanced while China's weapons were old and its techniques backward, "China would inevitably be subjugated." Comrade Mao Tse-tung in his work On the Protracted War published at that time refuted such nonsense. He made the following analysis: The Japanese imperialists' war of aggression against China was bound to fail because it was reactionary, unjust, and being unjust lacked popular support; the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japan would certainly win because it was progressive, just, and being just enjoyed abundant support. Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out that the most abundant source of strength in war lay in the masses, and that a people's army organized by awakened and united masses of people would be invincible throughout the world. This is a Marxist-Leninist thesis. And what was the outcome? The outcome was that the Marxist-Leninist thesis triumphed and the "theory of national subjugation" ended in defeat. After World War II, the triumph of the Korean and Chinese peoples in the Korean war over the U.S. aggressors far superior in weapons and equipment once again bore out this Marxist-Leninist thesis.

An awakened people will always find new ways to counteract the reactionaries' superiority in arms and win victory for themselves. This was so in past history, it is so at present, and it will remain so in the future. As a result of the supremacy gained by the socialist Soviet Union in military techniques, and the loss of their monopoly of atomic and nuclear weapons by the U.S. imperialists, and as a result of the awakening of the people the world over and of the people in the United States itself, there is now in the world the possibility of concluding an agreement on the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons. We are striving for the conclusion of such an agreement. In contrast to the bellicose imperialists, the socialist countries and peace-loving people the world over actively and firmly stand for the banning and destruction of atomic and nuclear weapons. We are always struggling against imperialist war, for the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons and for the defence of world peace. The more broadly and intensively this struggle is waged and the more fully and thoroughly the brutish faces of the bellicose U.S. and other imperialists are exposed the more will we be able to isolate these imperialists before the people of the world, the greater will be the possibility of tying their hands and the more will it benefit the cause of world peace. If, on the contrary, we lose our vigilance against the danger of the imperialists launching a war, do not strive to arouse the people of all countries to oppose imperialism but tie the hands of the people, then imperialism can prepare for war just as it pleases and the inevitable result will be an increase in the danger of the imperialists launching a war and, once war breaks out, the people may not be able quickly to adopt a correct attitude towards it because of complete lack of preparation or inadequate preparation, thus being unable to effectively check the war. Of course, whether or not the imperialists will unleash a war is not determined by us; we are, after all, not their chief-of-staff. As long as the people of all countries enhance their awareness and are fully prepared, with the socialist camp also possessing modern weapons, it is certain that if the U.S. or other imperialists refuse to reach an agreement on the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons and should dare to fly in the face of the will of all the peoples by launching a war using atomic and nuclear weapons, the result will only be the very speedy destruction of these monsters themselves encircled by the peoples of the world, and certainly not the so-called annihilation of mankind. We consistently oppose the launching of criminal wars by imperialism, because imperialist war would impose enormous sacrifices upon the peoples of various countries (including the peoples of the United States and other imperialist countries). But should the imperialists impose such sacrifices on the peoples of various countries, we believe that, just as the experience of the Russian revolution and the Chinese revolution shows, those sacrifices would be rewarded. On the debris of imperialism, the victorious people would create very swiftly a civilization thousands of times higher than the capitalist system and a truly beautiful future for themselves.

The conclusion can only be this: whichever way you look at it, none of the new techniques like atomic energy, rocketry and so on has changed, as alleged by the modern revisionists, the basic characteristics of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution pointed out by Lenin. The capitalist-imperialist system definitely will not crumble of itself. It will be overthrown by the proletarian revolution within the imperialist country concerned, and the national revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies. Contemporary technological progress cannot save the capitalist-imperialist system from its doom but only rings a new death knell for it.



The modern revisionists, proceeding from their absurd arguments on the current world situation and from their absurd argument that the Marxist-Leninist theory of class analysis and class struggle is obsolete, attempt to totally overthrow the fundamental theories of Marxism-Leninism on a series of questions like violence, war, peaceful co-existence, etc.

There are also some people who are not revisionists, but well-intentioned persons who sincerely want to be Marxists, but get confused in the face of certain new historical phenomena and thus have some incorrect ideas. For example, some of them say that the failure of the U.S. imperialists' policy of atomic blackmail marks the end of violence. While thoroughly refuting the absurdities of the modern revisionists, we should also help these well-intentioned people to correct their erroneous ideas.

What is violence? Lenin said a great deal on this question in his book The State and Revolution. The emergence and existence of the state is in itself a kind of violence. Lenin introduced the following elucidation by Engels:

. . . It (this public power) consists not merely of armed men, but of material appendages, prisons and coercive institutions of all kinds. . . .

Lenin tells us that we must draw a distinction between two types of states different in nature, the state of bourgeois dictatorship and the state of proletarian dictatorship, and between two types of violence different in nature, counter-revolutionary violence and revolutionary violence; as long as there is counter-revolutionary violence, there is bound to be revolutionary violence to oppose it. It would be impossible to wipe out counter-revolutionary violence without revolutionary violence. The state in which the exploiting classes are in power is counter-revolutionary violence, a special force for suppressing the exploited classes in the interest of the exploiting classes. Both before the imperialists had atomic bombs and rocket weapons, and since they have had these new weapons, the imperialist state has always been a special force for suppressing the proletariat at home and the people of its colonies and semi-colonies abroad, has always been such an institution of violence; even if the imperialists are compelled not to use these new weapons, the imperialist state will of course still remain an imperialist institution of violence until it is overthrown and replaced by the people's state, the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat of that country.

Never since the dawn of history have there been such large-scale, such utterly brutal forces of violence as those created by the present-day capitalist-imperialists. Throughout the past ten years and more, the U.S. imperialists have, without any scruples, adopted means of persecution a hundred times more savage than before, trampling upon the outstanding sons of the country's working class, upon the Negro people, upon all progressives; and moreover, they have all along been declaring brazenly that they intend to put the whole world under their rule of violence. They are continuously expanding their forces of violence, and at the same time the other imperialists are also taking part in the race to strengthen their forces of violence.

The bloated military build-up of the imperialist countries headed by the United States has appeared during the unprecedentedly grave general crisis of capitalism. The more frantically the imperialists carry the expansion of their military strength to a peak, the more it signifies that they are drawing near to their own doom. Now even some representatives of the U.S. imperialists have premonitions of the inevitable extinction of the capitalist system. But will the imperialists themselves put an end to their violence and will those in power in the imperialist countries abandon of their own accord the violence they have set up, just because imperialism is drawing near to its doom?

Can it be said that, compared with the past, the imperialists are no longer addicted to violence, or that there has been a lessening in the degree of their addiction?

Lenin answered such questions on many occasions long ago. He pointed out in his book Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism: ". . . For politically imperialism is always a striving towards violence and reaction." After the October Revolution, in his book The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky he made a special point of recounting history, comparing the differences between pre-monopoly capitalism and monopoly capitalism, i.e., imperialism. He said:

. . . Pre-monopoly capitalism, which reached its zenith in the seventies of the nineteenth century, was, by virtue of its fundamental economic traits (which were most typical in England and America) distinguished by its relative attachment to peace and freedom. Imperialism, i.e., monopoly capitalism, which finally matured only in the twentieth century, is, by virtue of its fundamental economic traits, distinguished by the least attachment to peace and freedom, and by the greatest and universal development of militarism everywhere.

Of course, these words of Lenin were said in the early period of the October Revolution, when the proletarian state was newly born, and its economic forces still young and weak, while with the lapse of forty years and more, the face of the Soviet state itself, and of the whole world has undergone a tremendous change, as we have already described. Then, can it be said that the nature of imperialism has changed because of the might of the Soviet Union, the might of the forces of socialism and the might of the forces of peace, and that, as a result, the foregoing theses of Lenin have become obsolete? Or, can it be said that imperialism will no longer resort to violence although its nature has not changed? Do these views conform to the real situation?

The socialist world system has obviously gained the upper hand in its struggle with the capitalist world system. This great historic fact has weakened the position of imperialist violence in the world. But will this fact cause the imperialists never again to oppress the people of their own countries, never again engage in external expansion and aggressive activities? Can it make the warlike circles of the imperialists from now on "lay down the butcher's cleaver" and "sell swords to buy oxen"? Can it make the groups of munitions makers and dealers in the imperialist countries henceforth change over to peaceful pursuits?

All these questions confront every serious Marxist-Leninist, and require deep consideration. It is obvious that whether these questions are viewed and handled correctly or not has a close bearing on the success or failure of the proletarian cause and the destiny of humanity.

War is the most acute form of expression of violence. One type is civil war, another is foreign war. Violence is not always expressed by war, its most acute form. In capitalist countries, bourgeois war is the continuation of the bourgeois politics of ordinary times, while bourgeois peace is the continuation of bourgeois wartime politics. The bourgeoisie always alternately adopt the two forms, war and peace, to carry on their rule over the people and their external struggles. In what is called peace time, the imperialists rely on armed force to deal with the oppressed classes and nations by such forms of violence as arrest, imprisonment, hard labour, massacre and so forth, while at the same time, they are also prepared to use the most acute form of violence -- war -- to suppress the revolution of the people at home, to carry out plunder abroad, to overwhelm foreign competitors and to stamp out revolutions in other countries. Or, peace at home may exist side by side with war abroad.

In the initial period of the October Revolution, the imperialists resorted to violence in the form of war against the Soviet Union, which was a continuation of their imperialist politics; in World War II, the German imperialists used violence in the form of large-scale war to attack the Soviet Union, which was a continuation of their imperialist politics. But on the other hand, the imperialists also established diplomatic relations of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union in different periods, which was also, of course, a continuation of imperialist politics in another form under specific conditions.

True, some new questions have now arisen concerning peaceful coexistence. Confronted with the powerful Soviet Union and the powerful socialist camp, the imperialists must at any rate carefully consider whether, contrary to their wishes, they would hasten their own extinction, as Hitler did, or bring about the most serious consequences for the capitalist system itself, if they should attack the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries.

"Peaceful co-existence" -- this is a new concept which arose only after the emergence of the socialist state in the world following the October Revolution. It is a new concept formed under the circumstances Lenin had predicted before the October Revolution, when he said:

Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.[10]

This new concept is one advanced by Lenin after the great Soviet people defeated the imperialist armed intervention. As was pointed out above, at the outset the imperialists were not willing to co-exist peacefully with the Soviet Union. The imperialists were compelled to "co-exist" with the Soviet Union only after the war of intervention against the Soviet Union had failed, after there had been several years of actual trial of strength, after the Soviet state had planted its feet firmly on the ground, and after a certain balance of power had taken shape between the Soviet state and the imperialist countries. Lenin said in 1920:

We have won conditions for ourselves under which we can exist alongside the capitalist powers, which are now forced to enter into trade relations with us.[11]

It can be seen that the peaceful co-existence for a certain period between the world's first socialist state and imperialism was achieved entirely through struggle. Before World War II, the 1920-1940 period prior to Germany's attack on the Soviet Union was a period of peaceful coexistence between imperialism and the Soviet Union. During all those twenty years, the Soviet Union kept faith with peaceful co-existence. However, by 1941, Hitler no longer wanted to maintain peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union; the German imperialists perfidiously launched a savage attack on the Soviet Union. Owing to the victory of the anti-fascist war in which the great Soviet Union was the main force, the world saw once again a situation of peaceful co-existence between the socialist and capitalist countries. Nevertheless, the imperialists have not given up their designs. The U.S. imperialists have set up networks of military bases and guided missile bases everywhere around the Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp. They are still occupying our territory Taiwan and continually carrying out military provocations against us in the Taiwan Straits. They carried out armed intervention in Korea, conducting a large-scale war against the Korean and Chinese peoples on Korean soil, which resulted in an armistice agreement only after their defeat -- and up to now they are still interfering with the reunification of the Korean people. They gave aid in weapons to the French imperialist occupation forces in their war against the Vietnamese people, and up to now they are still interfering with the reunification of the Vietnamese people. They engineered the counter-revolutionary rebellion in Hungary, and up to now they are continually making all sorts of attempts at subversion in the socialist countries in East Europe and elsewhere. The facts are still just as Lenin presented them to a U.S. correspondent in February 1920: on the question of peace, "there is no obstacle on our side. The obstacle is the imperialism of American (and all other) capitalists."[12]

The foreign policy of socialist countries can only be a policy of peace. The socialist system determines that we do not need war, absolutely will not start a war, and absolutely must not, should not and cannot occupy one inch of a neighbouring country's territory. Ever since its founding, the People's Republic of China has consistently adhered to a foreign policy of peace. Our country together with two neighbouring countries, India and Burma, jointly initiated the well-known Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence; and at the Bandung Conference of 1955, our country together with various countries of Asia and Africa adopted the Ten Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. The Communist Party and Government of our country have in the past few years consistently supported the activities for peace carried out by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Government of the Soviet Union headed by Comrade N. S. Khrushchov, considering that these activities on the part of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Government of the Soviet Union have further demonstrated before the peoples of the world the firmness of the socialist countries' peaceful foreign policy as well as the need for the peoples to prevent the imperialists from launching a new world war and to strive for a lasting world peace.

The Declaration of the Moscow Meeting of 1957 states:

The cause of peace is upheld by the powerful forces of our era: the invincible camp of socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union; the peace-loving countries of Asia and Africa taking an anti-imperialist stand and forming, together with the socialist countries, a broad peace zone; the international working class and above all its vanguard -- the Communist Parties; the liberation movement of the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies; the mass peace movement of the peoples; the peoples of the European countries who have proclaimed neutrality, the peoples of Latin America and the masses in the imperialist countries themselves are firmly resisting plans for a new war. An alliance of these mighty forces could prevent war. . . .

So long as these mighty forces are continuously developed, it is possible to maintain the situation of peaceful co-existence, or even to formally reach some sort of agreement on peaceful co-existence, up to and including the conclusion of an agreement on the prohibition of atomic and nuclear weapons. That would be a fine thing in full accord with the aspirations of the peoples of the world. However, even in that case, as long as the imperialist system still exists, war, the most acute form of violence, will not disappear from the world. The fact is not as described by the Yugoslav revisionists, who declare[13] obsolete Lenin's definition that "war is the continuation of politics," a definition which he repeatedly explained and upheld in combating opportunism.

We believe in the absolute correctness of Lenin's thinking: War is an inevitable outcome of the systems of exploitation and the imperialist system is the source of modern wars. Until the imperialist system and the exploiting classes come to an end, wars of one kind or another will still occur. They may be wars among the imperialists for redivision of the world, or wars of aggression and anti-aggression between the imperialists and the oppressed nations, or civil wars of revolution and counter-revolution between the exploited and exploiting classes in the imperialist countries, or, of course, wars in which the imperialists attack the socialist countries and the socialist countries are forced to defend themselves. All kinds of war represent the continuation of the politics of definite classes. Marxist-Leninists absolutely must not sink into the mire of bourgeois pacifism, and can only adopt the method of concrete class analysis to appraise all kinds of war and accordingly draw conclusions on policies to be followed by the proletariat. As Lenin put it in his article The Military Program of the Proletarian Revolution : theoretically, it would be quite wrong to forget that every war is but the continuation of politics by other means."

To attain its aim of plunder and oppression, imperialism always has two tactics: the tactics of war and the tactics of "peace"; therefore, the proletariat and the people of all countries must also use two tactics to deal with imperialism: the tactics of exposing imperialism's peace fraud and striving energetically for a genuine world peace, and the tactics of being prepared to use a just war to end the imperialist unjust war if and when imperialism should unleash it.

In a word, in the interests of the peoples of the world, we must thoroughly shatter the falsehoods of the modem revisionists and uphold the Marxist-Leninist viewpoints on the questions of violence, war and peaceful co-existence.

The Yugoslav revisionists deny the inherent class character of violence and thereby obliterate the fundamental difference between revolutionary violence and counter-revolutionary violence; they deny the inherent class character of war and thereby obliterate the fundamental difference between just wars and unjust wars; they deny that imperialist war is a continuation of imperialist politics, deny the danger of imperialism unleashing another world war, deny that only after doing away with the exploiting classes will it be possible to do away with war, and even shamelessly call the chieftain of U.S. imperialism Eisenhower "the man who laid the cornerstone for eliminating the cold war and establishing lasting peace with peaceful competition between different political systems;"[14] they deny that under the conditions of peaceful co-existence there are still complicated, acute struggles in the political, economic and ideological fields, and so on. All these arguments of the Yugoslav revisionists are aimed at poisoning the minds of the proletariat and the people of all countries, and are helpful to the imperialist policy of war.




The modern revisionists seek to confuse the peaceful foreign policy of the socialist countries with the domestic policy of the proletariat in the capitalist countries. They thus hold that peaceful co-existence of countries with differing social systems means that capitalism can peacefully grow into socialism, that the proletariat in countries ruled by the bourgeoisie can renounce class struggle and enter into "peaceful co-operation" with the bourgeoisie and the imperialists, and that the proletariat and all the exploited classes should forget about the fact that they are living in a class society, and so on. All these arguments are also diametrically opposed to Marxism-Leninism. The aim of the modern revisionists is to protect imperialist rule, and they attempt to hold the proletariat and all the rest of the working people perpetually in capitalist enslavement.

Peaceful co-existence of different countries and people's revolutions in various countries are in themselves two different things, not one and the same thing; two different concepts, not one; two different kinds of question, and not one and the same kind of question.

Peaceful co-existence refers to relations between countries; revolution means the overthrow of the oppressing classes by the oppressed people within each country, while in the case of the colonies and semi-colonies, it is first and foremost a question of overthrowing alien oppressors, namely, the imperialists. Before the October Revolution the question of peaceful co-existence between socialist and capitalist countries simply did not exist in the world, as there were as yet no socialist countries at that time; but there did exist the questions of the proletarian revolution and the national revolution, as the peoples in various countries, in accordance with the specific conditions in their own countries, had long ago put revolutions of one kind or another on the order of the day to determine the destinies of their countries.

We are Marxist-Leninists. We have always held that revolution is each nation's own affair. We have always maintained that the working class can only depend upon itself for its emancipation, and that the emancipation of the people of any given country depends on their own awakening, and on the ripening of revolution in that country. Revolution can neither be exported nor imported. No one can forbid the people of a foreign country to carry out a revolution, nor can one make a revolution in a foreign country by using the method of "helping the rice shoots to grow by pulling them up."

Lenin put it well when he said in June 1918:

There are people who believe that the revolution can break out in a foreign country to order, by agreement. These people are either mad or they are provocateurs. We have experienced two revolutions during the past twelve years. We know that revolutions cannot be made to order, or by agreement; they break out when tens of millions of people come to the conclusion that it is impossible to live in the old way any longer.[15]

In addition to the experience of the Russian revolution, is not the experience of the Chinese revolution also one of the best proofs of this? We Chinese people, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, have also experienced several revolutions. The imperialists and all the reactionaries, like lunatics, have always asserted that our revolutions were made to order from abroad, or in accordance with agreements. But people all over the world know that our revolutions were not imported from abroad, but were brought about because our people found it impossible to continue to live in the old China and because they wanted to create a new life of their own.

When a socialist country, in the face of imperialist attack, is compelled to wage a defensive war and launch counter-attacks, is it justified in going beyond its own border to pursue and eliminate its enemies from abroad, as the Soviet Union did in the war against Hitler? Certainly it is completely justified, absolutely necessary and entirely just. In accordance with the strict principles of communists, such operations by the socialist countries must absolutely be limited to the time when imperialism launches a war of aggression against them. Socialist countries never permit themselves to send, never should and never will send their troops across their borders unless they are subjected to aggression from a foreign enemy. Since the armed forces of the socialist countries fight for justice, when these forces have to go beyond their borders to counter-attack a foreign enemy, it is only natural that they should exert an influence and have an effect wherever they go; but even then, the emergence of people's revolutions and the establishment of the socialist system in those places and countries where they go will still have to depend on the will of the masses of the people there.

The spread of revolutionary ideas knows no national boundaries. But it is only through the efforts of the masses of people under the specific circumstances in a given country that these ideas will yield revolutionary fruit. This is not only true in the epoch of proletarian revolution, but also invariably true in the epoch of bourgeois revolution. The bourgeoisie of various countries in the epoch of their revolution took Rousseau's Social Contract as their gospel, while the revolutionary proletariat in various countries take as their gospel Marx's Communist Manifesto and Capital and Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism and The State and Revolution, and so on. Times vary, the classes vary, the ideologies vary and the character of the revolutions varies. But no one can hold back a revolution in any country if there is a desire for that revolution and when the revolutionary crisis there has matured. In the end the socialist system will replace the capitalist system. This is an objective law independent of human will. No matter how hard the reactionaries may try to prevent the advance of the wheel of history, revolution will take place sooner or later and will surely triumph. This applies to the replacement of one society by another throughout human history. The slave system was replaced by the feudal system which, in its turn, was replaced by the capitalist system. These, too, follow laws independent of human will. And all these changes were carried out through revolution.

That notorious old revisionist Bernstein once said, "Remember ancient Rome, there was a ruling class that did no work, but lived well, and as a result, this class weakened. Such a class must gradually hand over its power."[16] That the slaveowners as a class "weakened" was a historical fact that Bernstein could not conceal, any more than the present U.S. imperialists can conceal the hard fact of their own steady decline. Yet Bernstein, shameless, self-styled "historian" that he was, chose to cover up the basic fact of ancient Roman history that the slave-owners never "handed over power" of their own accord and that their rule was overthrown by protracted, repeated, continuous slave revolutions.

Revolution means the use of revolutionary violence by the oppressed class, it means revolutionary war. This is true of the slave revolution as well as of the bourgeois revolution. Lenin has put it well:

History teaches us that no oppressed class ever achieved power, nor could achieve power, without going through a period of dictatorship, i.e., the conquest of political power and suppression by force of the most desperate, frenzied resistance always offered by the exploiters. . . . The bourgeoisie . . . came to power in the advanced countries through a series of insurrections, civil wars, the suppression by force of kings, feudalists, slave-owners and their attempts at restoration.[17]

Why do things happen this way?

In answering this question, again we have to quote Lenin. In the first place, as Lenin said: "No ruling class in the world ever gave way without a struggle."[18]

Secondly, as Lenin explained: "The reactionary classes themselves are usually the first to resort to violence, to civil war; they are the first to 'place the bayonet on the agenda. . . .'"[19]

In the light of this how shall we conceive of the proletarian socialist revolution?

In order to answer this question we must quote Lenin again. Let us read the following passage by him:

Not a single great revolution in history has ever been carried out without a civil war and no serious Marxist will believe it possible to make the transition from capitalism to socialism without a civil war.[20]

These words of Lenin here explain the question very clearly. And here is another quotation from Lenin:

If socialism had been born peacefully -- but the capitalist gentlemen did not wish to let it be born thus. It is not quite enough to put it this way. Even if there had been no war, the capitalist gentlemen would still have done all they could to prevent such a peaceful development. Great revolutions, even when they began peacefully, like the great French Revolution, have ended in desperate wars which have been started by the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.[21]

This is also very clearly put.

The Great October Revolution is the best material witness to the truth of these propositions of Lenin.

So is the Chinese revolution. No one will ever forget that it was only after going through twenty-two years of bitter civil war that the Chinese people and the Chinese proletariat won nationwide victory and captured state power under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

The history of the proletarian revolution in the West after World War I teaches us: even when the capitalist gentlemen do not exercise direct, open control of state power, but rule through their lackeys -- the treacherous social-democrats, these despicable renegades will surely be ready at any time, in accordance with the dictates of the bourgeoisie, to cover up the violence of the bourgeois White Guards and plunge the proletarian revolutionary fighters into a blood bath. This is just the way it was in Germany at that time. Vanquished, the big German bourgeoisie handed over state power to the social-democrats. The social-democratic government, on coming to power, immediately launched a bloody suppression of the German working class in January 1919. Let us recall how Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, whom Lenin called "outstanding representatives of the world proletarian International" and "the immortal leaders of the international socialist revolution," shed their blood as a result of the violence of the social-democrats of the day. Let us also recall, in Lenin's words, "the vileness and shamelessness of these murders"[22] perpetrated by these renegades -- these so-called "socialists" -- for the purpose of preserving the capitalist system and the interests of the bourgeoisie! Let us, in the light of all these bloody facts both of the past and of the present capitalist world, examine all the nonsense about the "peaceful growth of capitalism into socialism" mouthed by the old revisionists and their modern counterparts.

Does it follow, then, that we Marxist-Leninists will refuse to adopt the policy of peaceful transition even when there exists the possibility of peaceful development? No, decidedly not.

As we all know, Engels, one of the great founders of scientific communism, in the famous work Principles of Communism answered the question: "Can private property be eliminated by peaceful means?" He wrote:

One would wish that it could be thus, and communists, of course, would be the last to object to this. Communists know very well that all plots are not only futile, but even pernicious. They know very well that revolutions cannot be thought up and made arbitrarily as one wishes and that revolutions have always and everywhere been the necessary result of existing conditions, which have absolutely not depended on the will and leadership of separate parties and whole classes. But at the same time, they see that the development of the proletariat in nearly all civilized countries is being violently suppressed and that in this way the opponents of the communists are working as hard as they can for the revolution. . . .

This was written over a hundred years ago, yet how fresh it is as we read it again!

We also know that for a time following the Russian February Revolution, in view of the specific conditions of the time, Lenin did adopt the policy of peaceful development of the revolution. He considered it "an extraordinarily rare opportunity in the history of revolutions"[23] and grasped tight hold of it. The bourgeois Provisional Government and the White Guards, however, destroyed this possibility of peaceful development of the revolution and drenched the streets of Petrograd in the blood of the workers and soldiers marching in a peaceful mass demonstration in July. Lenin, therefore, pointed out:

The peaceful course of development has been rendered impossible. A non-peaceful and most painful course has begun.[24]

We know too that when there was a widespread and ardent desire for peace among the people throughout the country after the conclusion of the Chinese War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression, our Party conducted peace negotiations with the Kuomintang, seeking to institute social and political reforms in China by peaceful means, and in 1946 an agreement on achieving internal peace was reached with the Kuomintang. The Kuomintang reactionaries, however, defying the will of the whole people, tore up this agreement and, with the support of U.S. imperialism, launched a civil war on a nationwide scale. This left the Chinese people with no option but to wage a revolutionary war. As we never relaxed our vigilance or gave up the people's armed forces in our struggle for peaceful reform but were fully prepared, the people were not cowed by the war, but those who launched the war were made to-eat their own bitter fruit.

It would be in the best interests of the people if the proletariat could attain power and carry out the transition to socialism by peaceful means. It would be wrong not to make use of such a possibility when it occurs. Whenever an opportunity for "peaceful development of the revolution" presents itself, Communists must firmly seize it, as Lenin did, so as to realize the aim of socialist revolution. However, this sort of opportunity is always, in Lenin's words, "an extraordinarily rare opportunity in the history of revolutions." When in a given country a certain local political power is already encircled by revolutionary forces or when in the world a certain capitalist country is already encircled by socialism -- in such cases, there might be a greater possibility of opportunities for the peaceful development of the revolution. But even then, the peaceful development of the revolution should never be regarded as the only possibility and it is therefore necessary to be prepared at the same time for the other possibility, i.e., non-peaceful development of the revolution. For instance, after the liberation of the Chinese mainland, although certain areas ruled by slave-owners and serf-owners were already surrounded by the absolutely predominant people's revolutionary forces, yet, as an old Chinese saying goes, "Cornered beasts will still fight," a handful of the most reactionary slave-owners and serf-owners there still gave a last kick, rejecting peaceful reforms and launching armed rebellions. Only after these rebellions were quelled was it possible to carry out the reform of the social systems.

At a time when the imperialists in the imperialist countries are armed to the teeth as never before in order to protect their savage man-eating system, can it be said that imperialism has become very "peaceable" towards the proletariat and the people at home and the oppressed nations, as the modern revisionists claim, and that therefore, the "extraordinarily rare opportunity in the history of revolutions" that Lenin spoke about after the February Revolution, will henceforth become a normal state of affairs for the proletariat and all the oppressed people the world over, so that what Lenin referred to as a "rare opportunity" will hereafter be easily available to the proletariat in the capitalist countries? We hold that these views are completely groundless.

Marxist-Leninists should never forget this truth: the armed forces of all ruling classes are used in the first place to oppress their people at home. Only on the basis of oppression of the people at home can the imperialists oppress other countries, launch aggression and wage unjust wars. In order to oppress their own people they need to maintain and strengthen their reactionary armed forces. Lenin once wrote in the course of the Russian revolution of 1905: "A standing army is used not so much against the external enemy as against the internal enemy."[25] Is this proposition valid for all countries where the exploiting classes dominate, for all the capitalist countries? Can it be said that it was valid then but has become incorrect now? In our opinion, this truth remains irrefutable and the facts are confirming its correctness more and more. Strictly speaking, if the proletariat of any country fails to see this clearly it will not be able to find the way to its own liberation.

In The State and Revolution Lenin centred the problem of revolution on the smashing of the bourgeois state machine. Lenin quoted the most important passages from Marx's The Civil War in France, in which it is stated: "After the Revolution of 1848-49, the State power became 'the national war engine of capital against labour.'" The main machine of the bourgeois state power to wage an anti-labour war is its standing army. Therefore, ". . . The first decree of the Commune . . . was the suppression of the standing army, and the substitution for it of the armed people. . . ."

So in the last analysis, in tackling our question we have to go back to the principles of the Paris Commune which, as Marx put it, are eternal and indestructible.

In the seventies of the nineteenth century Marx took Britain and the United States to be exceptions, holding that as far as these two countries were concerned there existed the possibility of "peaceful" transition to socialism, because militarism and bureaucracy were not yet much developed in these two countries at that time. But in the epoch of imperialism, as Lenin put it, "this qualification made by Marx is no longer valid," for these two countries "have today completely sunk into the all-European filthy, bloody morass of bureaucratic-military institutions which subordinate everything to themselves and trample everything underfoot."[26] This was one of the focal points of the debate Lenin had with the opportunists of the day. The opportunists represented by Kautsky distorted this "no longer valid" proposition of Marx, in an attempt to oppose the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, to oppose the revolutionary armed forces and armed revolution which are indispensable to the liberation of the proletariat. The reply Lenin gave to Kautsky was as follows:

The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is violence against the bourgeoisie; and the necessity for such violence is particularly created, as Marx and Engels have repeatedly explained in detail, by the existence of militarism and bureaucracy. But it is precisely these institutions that were non-existent in England and America in the seventies of the nineteenth century, when Marx made his observations (they do exist in England and in America now).[27]

It can thus be seen that the proletariat is compelled to resort to the means of armed revolution. Marxists have always been willing to bring about the transition to socialism by the peaceful way. As long as the peaceful way is there to adopt, Marxist-Leninists will never give it up. But the aim of the bourgeoisie is precisely to block this way when it possesses a powerful, militarist-bureaucratic machine of suppression.

The above quotation was written by Lenin in November 1918. How do things stand now? Is it that Lenin's words were historically valid, but are no longer so under present conditions, as the modern revisionists allege? As everybody can see, the present situation is that the capitalist countries, particularly the few imperialist powers headed by the United States, with hardly an exception, are frantically strengthening their militarist-bureaucratic machines of suppression, and especially their military machines. 

The Declaration of the Moscow Meeting of the Representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the Socialist Countries of November 1957, states:

. . . Leninism teaches, and experience confirms, that the ruling classes never relinquish power voluntarily. In this case the degree of bitterness and the forms of the class struggle will depend not so much on the proletariat as on the resistance put up by the reactionary circles to the will of the overwhelming majority of the people, on these circles using force at one or another stage of the struggle for socialism.

This is a new summing up of the experience of the struggle of the international proletariat in the few decades since Lenin's death.

The question is not whether the proletariat is willing to carry out a peaceful transformation; it is rather whether the bourgeoisie will accept such a peaceful transformation. This is the only way in which followers of Lenin should approach this question.

So, contrary to the modern revisionists who seek to paralyse the revolutionary will of the people by empty talk about peaceful transition, Marxist-Leninists hold that the question of the possibility of peaceful transition to socialism can be raised only in the light of the specific conditions obtaining in each country at a given period. The proletariat must never allow itself to one-sidedly and groundlessly base its thinking, policy and its whole work on the assumption that the bourgeoisie is willing to accept peaceful transformation. It must, at the same time, prepare for alternatives: one for the peaceful development of the revolution and the other for the non-peaceful development of the revolution. Whether the transition will be carried out through armed uprising or by peaceful means is a question that is fundamentally different from that of peaceful co-existence between the socialist and capitalist countries; it is an internal affair of each country, one to be determined only by the relative strength of class forces in that country in a given period, a matter of policy to be decided only by the Communists of that country themselves.



After the October Revolution, in 1919, Lenin discussed the historical lessons to be drawn from the Second International. He said that the growth of the proletarian movement during the period of the Second International "was in breadth, at the cost of a temporary fall in the revolutionary level, a temporary increase in the strength of opportunism, which in the end led to the disgraceful collapse of this International."[28] What is opportunism? According to Lenin, "Opportunism consists in sacrificing fundamental interests in order to gain temporary, partial benefits."[29]

And what does a fall in the revolutionary level mean? It means that the opportunists try by all means to induce the masses to focus their attention on their day-to-day, temporary and partial interests, and forget their long-term, fundamental and overall interests.

Marxist-Leninists hold that the question of parliamentary struggle should be considered in the light of long-term, fundamental and overall interests.

Lenin told us about the limitations of parliamentary struggle, but he also warned communists against narrow-minded, sectarian errors. In his well-known work "Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder Lenin elucidated the experience of the Russian revolution, showing under what conditions a boycott of parliament is correct and under what other conditions it is incorrect. Lenin held that every proletarian party should make use of every possible opportunity to participate in necessary parliamentary struggles. It was fundamentally wrong and would only harm the cause of the revolutionary proletariat for a Communist Party member to engage only in empty talk about the revolution, while being unwilling to work perseveringly and painstakingly and shunning necessary parliamentary struggles. At that time Lenin criticized the mistakes of the Communists in some European countries in refusing to participate in parliament. He said:

The childishness of those who "repudiate" participation in parliament consists precisely in the fact that they think it possible to "solve" the difficult problem of combating bourgeois-democratic influences within the working-class movement by such "simple," "easy," supposedly revolutionary methods when in reality they are only running away from their own shadow, only closing their eyes to difficulties and only trying to brush them aside with mere words.

Why is it necessary to engage in parliamentary struggle? According to Lenin, it is for the purpose of combating bourgeois influences within the ranks of the working-class movement, or, as he pointed out elsewhere, "precisely for the purpose of educating the backward strata of its own class, precisely for the purpose of awakening and enlightening the undeveloped, downtrodden, ignorant rural masses."

In other words, it is to enhance the political and ideological level of the masses, to coordinate parliamentary struggle with revolutionary struggle, and not to lower our political and ideological standards and divorce parliamentary struggle from the revolutionary struggle.

Identity with the masses but no lowering of revolutionary standards -- this is a fundamental principle which Lenin taught us to firmly adhere to in our proletarian struggle.

It is necessary to take part in parliamentary struggles, but not place a blind faith in the bourgeois parliamentary system. Why? Because so long as the militarist-bureaucratic state machine of the bourgeoisie remains intact, parliament is nothing but an adornment for the bourgeois dictatorship even if the working-class party commands a majority in parliament or becomes the biggest party in it. Moreover, so long as such a state machine remains intact, the bourgeoisie is fully able at any time, in accordance with the needs of its own interests, either to dissolve parliament when necessary, or to use various open and underhand tricks to turn a working-class party which is the biggest party in parliament into a minority, or to reduce its seats in parliament, even when it has polled more votes than before in an election. It is, therefore, difficult to imagine that changes will take place in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie itself as a result of votes in parliament and it is just as difficult to imagine that the proletariat can adopt measures in parliament for a peaceful transition to socialism just because it has won a certain number of votes in parliament. The experience in a series of capitalist countries long ago proved this point fully and the experience in various European and Asian countries since World War II has provided fresh proof of it.

Lenin said:

The proletariat cannot be victorious unless it wins over to its side the majority of the population. But to limit or condition this to the gathering of a majority of votes at elections while the bourgeoisie remains dominant is the most utter stupidity or simply swindling the workers.[30]

The modern revisionists hold that these words of Lenin are out of date. But the living realities before our eyes bear witness to the fact that these words of Lenin are still the best medicine, though bitter tasting, for proletarian revolutionaries in any country.

Lowering revolutionary standards means lowering the theoretical standards of Marxism-Leninism. It means lowering political struggles to the level of economic ones and lowering revolutionary struggles to the level of restricting them entirely within the limits of parliamentary struggles. It means bartering away principles for temporary benefits.

At the beginning of the 20th century Lenin in What Is To Be Done? already drew attention to the question that "the spread of Marxism was accompanied by a certain lowering of theoretical standards." Lenin cited Marx's opinion contained in a letter on "The Gotha Programme" that we may enter into agreements to attain the practical aims of the movement, but we must never trade in principles and make "concessions" in theory. Then, Lenin added the following words which by now are well known to almost all Communists:

Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time when the fashionable preaching of opportunism is combined with absorption in the narrowest forms of practical activity.

What an important revelation this is to revolutionary Marxists! The entire revolutionary movement in Russia gained victory in October 1917 precisely under the guidance of this revolutionary Marxist thought which was firmly upheld by the Bolshevik Party headed by the great Lenin. The Chinese Communist Party also gained experience in regard to the above-mentioned question on two occasions. The first was during the 1927 revolutionary period. The policy adopted at that time by Chen Tu-hsiu's opportunism towards the Communist Party's united front with the Kuomintang was a departure from the principles and stand which a Communist Party should uphold. It advocated that the Communist Party should in principle be reduced to the level of the Kuomintang. The result was defeat for the revolution. The second occasion was during the period of the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party firmly upheld the Marxist-Leninist stand, exposed the differences in principle between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang in their attitudes towards the war against Japan, and held that the Communist Party must never make concessions in principle to the Kuomintang on such attitudes. But the right opportunism represented by Wang Ming repeated the mistakes made by Chen Tu-hsiu ten years earlier and wanted to reduce the Communist Party in principle to the level of the Kuomintang. Therefore, our entire Party carried out a great debate with the right opportunists. Comrade Mao Tse-tung said:

. . . If Communists forget this difference in principle, they will not be able to direct the Anti-Japanese War correctly, they will be powerless to correct the Kuomintang's one-sided approach to resistance, and they will debase themselves to the point of abandoning their principles and debase their Party to the level of the Kuomintang. That would be a crime against the sacred cause of the national revolutionary war and the defence of the homeland.[31]

It was precisely because the Central Committee of our Party refused to make the slightest concessions on questions of principle, and adopted a policy of both unity and struggle in our Party's united front with the Kuomintang, that our Party's positions in the political and ideological fields were consolidated and expanded, as was the national revolutionary united front. As a result, the forces of the people were strengthened and expanded in the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression, and we were thus enabled to smash the large-scale attacks launched by the Chiang Kai-shek reactionaries after the conclusion of the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression and win nationwide victory in the great people's revolution.

Judging by the experience of the Chinese revolution, mistakes of right deviation are likely to occur in our Party when the proletariat enters into political co-operation with the bourgeoisie, whereas mistakes of "left" deviation are likely to occur in our Party when these two classes break away from each other politically. In the course of leading the Chinese revolution, our Party also waged struggles on many occasions against "left" adventurism. The "left" adventurists were unable to correctly handle the complex class relations in China from the Marxist-Leninist standpoint; they failed to understand how to adopt different correct policies towards different classes at different historical periods, but simply followed the erroneous policy of struggle without unity. Had this mistake of "left" adventurism not been overcome, it would have been equally impossible for the Chinese revolution to achieve victory.

In line with the Leninist viewpoint, the proletariat in any country, if it is to gain victory in the revolution, must have a genuinely Marxist-Leninist party which is skilled at integrating the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution in its own country and which is able at different periods to correctly determine whom the revolution should be directed against and settle the question of organizing the main force and its allies and the question of whom it should rely on and unite with. The revolutionary proletarian party must rely closely on the masses of its own class and on the semi-proletariat in the rural areas, namely, the broad masses of poor peasants, and establish the worker-peasant alliance led by the proletariat. Only then is it possible, on the basis of this alliance, to unite with all the social forces that it is possible to unite with and to establish, in accordance with specific conditions in the different countries at different periods, the united front of the working people with all the non-working people that it is possible to unite with. If it fails to do so, the proletariat will not be able to achieve its purpose of gaining victory in the revolution at different stages.

The modern revisionists and certain representatives of the bourgeoisie try to make people believe that it is possible to achieve socialism without a revolutionary party of the proletariat and without the above-mentioned series of correct policies of such a party. This is sheer nonsense and pure deception. The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels pointed out that there were at that time different kinds of "socialism": petty-bourgeois "socialism," bourgeois "socialism," feudal "socialism," etc. Now, as a result of the victory of Marxism-Leninism and the decay of the capitalist system, more and more of the mass of the people in various countries are turning to socialism and a still more motley variety of "socialisms" have emerged from among the exploiting classes in certain countries. Just as Engels said, these so-called "socialists" also "wanted to eliminate social abuses through their various universal panaceas and all kinds of patchwork, without hurting capital and profit in the least," they "stood outside the labour movement" and "looked for support rather to the 'educated' classes."[32] They only put up the signboard of "socialism" but actually practice capitalism In these circumstances it is of extremely great significance to adhere firmly to the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism and to wage an irreconcilable struggle against any tendency to lower the revolutionary standards, especially against revisionism and right opportunism.

In regard to the question of safeguarding world peace at the present time there are also certain people who declare that ideological disputes are no longer necessary, or that there is no longer any difference in principle between Communists and social-democrats. This is tantamount to lowering the ideological and political standards of the Communists to those of the bourgeoisie and social-democrats. Those who make such statements have been influenced by modern revisionism and have thus departed from the position of Marxism-Leninism. 

 The struggle for peace and the struggle for socialism are two different kinds of struggle. It is a mistake not to make a proper distinction between these two kinds of struggle. The social composition of those taking part in the peace movement is, of course, much more complex; it also includes bourgeois pacifists. We Communists stand right in the forefront in defending world peace, right in the forefront in opposing imperialist wars, in advocating peaceful co-existence and opposing nuclear weapons. In this movement we shall work together with many complex social groups and enter into necessary agreements for the attainment of peace. But at the same time we must uphold the principles of the working-class party and not lower our political and ideological standards or reduce ourselves to the level of the bourgeois pacifists in our struggle for peace. It is here that the question of alliance and criticism arises.

"Peace" in the mouths of modern revisionists is intended to whitewash the war preparations of imperialism, to play again the tune of "ultra-imperialism" of the old opportunists, which was long since refuted by Lenin, and to distort the policy of us Communists concerning peaceful co-existence of countries with two different systems into elimination of the people's revolution in various countries. It was that old revisionist Bernstein who made this shameful and notorious statement: "The movement is everything, the final aim is nothing." The modern revisionists have a similar statement: The peace movement is everything, the aim is nothing. Therefore, the "peace" they talk about is entirely limited to the "peace" which may be acceptable to the imperialists under certain historical conditions and it is designed to lower the revolutionary standards of the peoples of various countries and destroy their revolutionary will.

We Communists fight in defence of world peace, for the realization of the policy of peaceful co-existence. At the same time we support the anti-imperialist revolutionary wars of the oppressed nations and the revolutionary wars of the oppressed peoples for their own liberation and social progress, because all these revolutionary wars are just wars. Naturally, we must continue to explain to the masses Lenin's thesis that the capitalist-imperialist system is the source of modern war; we must continue to explain to the masses the Marxist-Leninist thesis that the replacement of capitalist-imperialism by socialism and communism is the final goal of our struggle. We must not conceal our principles from the masses.



We are living in a great new epoch in which the collapse of the imperialist system is being further accelerated, while the victory of the people throughout the world and their awakening are constantly advancing.

The peoples of the various countries are now in a much more fortunate situation than ever before because of the fact that in the forty-odd years since the October Revolution, one-third of mankind have freed themselves from capitalist-imperialist oppression and founded a number of socialist states where a life of lasting internal peace has really been established. They are exerting their influence on the destiny of mankind and will greatly speed the day when universal, lasting peace will reign throughout the world.

Marching in the forefront of all the socialist countries and till the whole socialist camp is the great Soviet Union, the first socialist state created by the Soviet workers and peasants led by Lenin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lenin's ideals have been realized in the Soviet Union; socialism has long since been built and now, under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government headed by Comrade Khrushchov, a great period of the extensive building of communism is already beginning. The valiant and enormously talented Soviet workers, peasants and intellectuals have brought about a great, new labour upsurge in their struggle for the grand goal of building communism.

We, the Chinese Communists and the Chinese people, cheer every new achievement of the Soviet Union, the native land of Leninism.

The Chinese Communist Party, integrating the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, has led the people of the entire country in winning the victory of the great people's revolution, and carrying the socialist revolution to full completion along the broad common road of socialist revolution and socialist construction charted by Lenin, and they have already begun to win great victories on the various fronts of socialist construction. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party creatively set forth for the Chinese people, in accordance with Lenin's principles and in the light of conditions in China, the correct principles of the general line for building socialism, the big leap forward and the people's communes, which have inspired the initiative and revolutionary spirit of the masses throughout the country and are thus day after day bringing about new changes in the face of our country.

Under our common banner of Leninism, the socialist countries in Eastern Europe and the other socialist countries in Asia have also attained progress by leaps and bounds in socialist construction.

Leninism is an ever victorious banner. For the working people throughout the world, taking firm hold of this great banner means taking hold of truth and opening up for themselves a road of continuous victory.

Lenin will always live in our hearts. And when modern revisionists endeavour to smear Leninism, the great banner of the international proletariat, our task is to defend Leninism.

All of us remember what Lenin wrote in his famous work The State and Revolution about what happened to the teachings of revolutionary thinkers and leaders in the past struggles of various oppressed classes for liberation. Lenin wrote that after the death of these revolutionary thinkers and leaders distortions ensued, "emasculating the essence of the revolutionary teaching, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it." Lenin continued,

At the present time, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the working-class movement concur in this "doctoring" of Marxism. They omit, obliterate and distort the revolutionary side of this teaching, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie.

Just so, at the present time we are again confronted by certain representatives of U.S. imperialism who, once again assuming the pious mien of preachers, even declare that Marx was "a great thinker of the nineteenth century" and even acknowledge that what Marx predicted in the nineteenth century about the days of capitalism being numbered, was "well-grounded" and "correct"; but, these preachers continue, after the advent of the twentieth century, and especially in recent decades, Marxism has become incorrect, because capitalism has become a thing of the past and has ceased to exist, at least in the United States. After hearing such nonsense from these imperialist preachers, we cannot but feel that the modern revisionists are talking the same language as they do. But the modern revisionists do not stop at distorting the teachings of Marx, they go further to distort the teachings of Lenin, the great continuer of Marxism who carried Marxism forward.

The Declaration of the Moscow Meeting pointed out that ". . . the main danger at present is revisionism, or, in other words, Right-wing opportunism." Some say that this judgement of the Moscow Meeting no longer holds good under today's conditions. We hold this view to be wrong. It makes the people overlook the importance of the struggle against the main danger -- revisionism, and is very harmful to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat. Just as from the seventies of the nineteenth century there was a period of "peaceful" development of capitalism during which the old revisionism of Bernstein was born, so under the present circumstances when imperialism is compelled to accept peaceful co-existence and when there is still some sort of "internal peace" in many capitalist countries, it is most easy for revisionist ideas to grow and spread. Therefore, we must always maintain a high degree of vigilance against this main danger in the working-class movement.

As pupils of Lenin and as Leninists, we must utterly smash the attempts of the modern revisionists to distort and carve up the teachings of Lenin.

Leninism is the complete and integrated revolutionary teaching of the proletariat, it is a complete and integrated revolutionary world outlook which, following Marx and Engels, continues to express the thinking of the proletariat. This complete and integrated revolutionary teaching and revolutionary world outlook must not be distorted or carved up. We hold the view that the attempts of the modern revisionists to distort and carve up Leninism are nothing but a manifestation of the last-ditch struggle of imperialism facing its doom. In face of continuous victories in building communism in the Soviet Union, in face of continuous victories in building socialism in the socialist countries, in face of the growing consolidation of the unity of the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union and of the steadfast and valiant struggles being waged by the increasingly awakened peoples of the world to free themselves from the shackles of capitalist-imperialism, the revisionist endeavours of Tito and his ilk are completely futile.

Long live great Leninism!



[1] Hongqi (Red Flag ) is the fortnightly magazine published by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. This article appeared in its No. 8 issue, April 16, 1960 --Tr.

[2] Speech by K. Marx on The Paris Commune.

[3] On New Democracy.

[4] Tito's speech in Zagreb, December 12, 1959.

[5] Under a False Flag.

[6] The Collapse of the Second International.

[7] Under a False Flag.

[8] Tito's speech in Zagreb, December 12, 1959.

[9] Report on the Work of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars.

[10] The Military Program of the Proletarian Revolution.

[11] Our Internal and External Situation and the Party's Tasks.

[12] Answer to the questions of the Correspondent of the American Newspaper, "New York Evenings Journal."

[13] Cf. "Active Co-existence and Socialism," Narodna Armija of Yugoslavia, November 28, 1958.

[14] Cf. "Eisenhower Arrives in Rome," Borba of Yugoslavia, December 4, 1959.

[15] The Fourth Conference of Trade Unions and Factory Committees of Moscow.

[20] Cf. article by E. Bernstein: Different Forms of Economic Life.

[21] The First Congress of the Communist International.

[22] Speech at the Workers' Conference of Presnia District.

[23] Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.

[24] Prediction.

[25] The First All-Russian Conference on Social Education.

[26] A Letter to the Workers of Europe and America.

[27] The Tasks of the Revolution.

[28] On Slogans.

[29] The Army and the Revolution.

[30] The State and Revolution.

[31] The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky.

[32] The Third International and Its Place in History.

[33] Speech at the Conference of Activists of the Moscow Organization of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks).

[34] Elections to the Constituent Assembly and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

[35] The Situation of the Anti-Japanese War After the Fall of Shanghai and Taiyuan and Our Tasks.

[36] "Preface to the German Edition of 1890 of the Manifesto of the Communist Party."


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