Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchov's
Revisionism. Peking: Foreihn Languages Press, 1964.
Transcription: Maoist Documentation Project.
HTML: Adjusted by marxists.org, April 2010.
THE present article will discuss the familiar question of "peaceful transition". It has become familiar and has attracted everybody's attention because Khrushchov raised it at the 20th Congress of the CPSU and rounded it into a complete system in the form of a programme at the 22nd Congress, where he pitted his revisionist views against the Marxist-Leninist views. The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU of July 14, 1963 once again struck up this old tune.
In the history of the international communist movement the betrayal of Marxism and of the proletariat by the revisionists has always manifested itself most sharply in their opposition to violent revolution and to the dictatorship of the proletariat and in their advocacy of peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism. This is likewise the case with Khrushchov's revisionism. On this question, Khrushchev is a disciple of Browder and Tito as well as of Bernstein and Kautsky.
Since the days of World War II, we have witnessed the emergence of Browderite revisionism, Titoite revisionism and the theory of structural reform. These varieties of revisionism are local phenomena in the international communist movement. But Khrushchov's revisionism, which has emerged and gained ascendancy in the leadership of the CPSU, constitutes a major question of overall significance for the international communist movement with a vital bearing on the success or failure of the entire revolutionary cause of the international proletariat.
For this reason, in the present article we are replying to the revisionists in more explicit terms than before.
Beginning with the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchov put forward the road of "peaceful transition", i.e., "transition to socialism by the parliamentary road", which is diametrically opposed to the road of the October Revolution.
Let us examine the "parliamentary road" peddled by Khrushchov and his like.
Khrushchov holds that the proletariat can win a stable majority in parliament under the bourgeois dictatorship and under bourgeois electoral laws. He says that in the capitalist countries
. . . the working class, by rallying around itself the toiling peasantry, the intelligentsia, all patriotic forces, and resolutely repulsing the opportunist elements who are incapable of giving up the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, is in a position to defeat the reactionary forces opposed to the popular interest, to capture a stable majority in parliament... 
Khrushchov maintains that if the proletariat can win a majority in parliament, this in itself will amount to the seizure of state power and the smashing of the bourgeois state machinery. He says that, for the working class,
. . . to win a majority in parliament and transform it into an organ of the people's power, given a powerful revolutionary movement in the country, means smashing the military-bureaucratic machine of the bourgeoisie and setting up a new, proletarian people's state in parliamentary form.
Khrushchov holds that if the proletariat can win a stable majority in parliament, this in itself will enable it to realize the socialist transformation of society. He says that the winning of a stable parliamentary majority "could create for the working class of a number of capitalist and former colonial countries the conditions needed to secure fundamental social changes". Also,
. . . the present situation offers the working class in a number of capitalist countries a real opportunity to unite the overwhelming majority of the people under its leadership and to secure the transfer of the basic means of production into the hands of the people.
The Programme of the CPSU maintains that "the working class of many countries can, even before capitalism is overthrown, compel the bourgeoisie to carry out measures that transcend ordinary reforms". The Programme even states that under the bourgeois dictatorship it is possible for a situation to emerge in certain countries, in which "it will be preferable for the bourgeoisie . . . to agree to the basic means of production being purchased from it". 
The stuff Khrushchov is touting is nothing original but is simply a reproduction of the revisionism of the Second International, a revival of Bernsteinism and Kautskyism.
The main distinguishing marks of Bernstein's betrayal of Marxism were his advocacy of the legal parliamentary road and his opposition to violent revolution, the smashing of the old state machinery and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Bernstein held that capitalism could "grow into socialism" peacefully. He said that the political system of modern bourgeois society "should not be destroyed but should only be further developed", and that "we are now bringing about by voting, demonstrations and similar means of pressure reforms which would have required bloody revolution a hundred years ago."
He held that the legal parliamentary road was the only way to bring about socialism. He said that if the working class has "universal and equal suffrage, the social principle which is the basic condition for emancipation is attained".
He asserted that "the day will come when it [the working class] will have become numerically so strong and will be so important for the whole of society that so to speak the palace of the rulers will no longer be able to withstand its pressure and will collapse semi-spontaneously".
The Bernsteinians accepted and accept Marxism minus its directly revolutionary aspect. They do not regard the parliamentary struggle as one of the weapons particularly suitable for definite historical periods, but as the main and almost the sole form of struggle making "force", "seizure", "dictatorship", unnecessary. ("The Victory of the Cadets and the Tasks of the Workers' Party", Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1962, Vol. 10, p. 249.)
Herr Kautsky was a fitting successor to Bernstein. Like Bernstein, he actively publicized the parliamentary road and opposed violent revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. He said that under the bourgeois democratic system there is "no more room for armed struggle for the settlement of class conflicts" and that "it would be ridiculous . . . to preach a violent political overthrow". He attacked Lenin and the Bolshevik Party by comparing to "an impatient midwife who uses violence to make a pregnant woman give birth in the fifth month instead of the ninth."
Kautsky was hopelessly afflicted with parliamentary cretinism. He made the well-known statement, "The aim of our political struggle remains, as hitherto, the conquest of state power by winning a majority in parliament and by converting parliament into the master of the government."
He also said:
The parliamentary republic--with a monarchy at the top on the English model, or without--is to my mind the base out of which proletarian dictatorship and socialist society grow. This republic is the "state of the future" toward which we must strive.
Lenin severely criticized these absurd statements of Kautsky's.
In denouncing Kautsky, Lenin declared:
Only scoundrels or simpletons can think that the proletariat must win the majority in elections carried out under the yoke of the bourgeoisie, under the yoke of wage-slavery, and that it should win power afterwards. This is the height of folly or hypocrisy; it is substituting voting, under the old system and with the old power, for class struggle and revolution. ("Greetings to the Italian, French and German Communists", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed, Moscow, Vol. 30, p. 40.)
Lenin made the pointed comment that Kautsky's parliamentary road "is nothing, but the purest and the most vulgar opportunism: repudiating revolution in deeds, while accepting it in words". ("The State and Revolution", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 323.) He said:
By so "interpreting" the concept "revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat" as to expunge the revolutionary violence of the oppressed class against its oppressors, Kautsky beat the world record in the liberal distortion of Marx. ("The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 47-48.)
Here, we have quoted Khrushchov as well as Bernstein and Kautsky and Lenin's criticism of these two worthies at some length in order to show that Khrushchov's revisionism is modern Bernsteinism and Kautskyism, pure and simple. As with Bernstein and Kautsky, Khrushchov's betrayal of Marxism is most sharply manifested in his opposition to revolutionary violence, in what he does "to expunge revolutionary violence". In this respect, Kautsky and Bernstein have now clearly lost their title to Khrushchov who has set a new world record. Khrushchov, the worthy disciple of Bernstein and Kautsky, has excelled his masters.
The entire history of the working-class movement tells us that the acknowledgement or non-acknowledgement of violent revolution as a universal law of proletarian revolution, of the necessity of smashing the old state machine, and of the necessity of replacing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie by the dictatorship of the proletariat has always been the watershed between Marxism and all brands of opportunism and revisionism between proletarian revolutionaries and all renegades from the proletariat.
According to the basic teachings of Marxism-Leninism, the key question in every revolution is that of state power. And the key question in the proletarian revolution is that of the seizure of state power and the smashing of the bourgeois state machine by violence, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the replacement of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state.
Marxism has always proclaimed the inevitability of violent revolution. It points out that violent revolution is the midwife to socialist society, the only road to the replacement of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie by the dictatorship of the proletariat, and a universal law of proletarian revolution.
Marxism teaches us that the state itself is a form of violence. The main components of the state machine are the army and the police. History shows that all ruling classes depend upon violence to maintain their rule.
The proletariat would, of course, prefer to gain power by peaceful means. But abundant historical evidence indicates that the reactionary classes never give up power voluntarily and that they are always the first to use violence to repress the revolutionary mass movement and to provoke civil war, thus placing armed struggle on the agenda.
Lenin has spoken of "civil war, without which not a single great revolution in history has yet been able to get along, and without which not a single serious Marxist has conceived of the transition from capitalism to socialism". ("Prophetic Words", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 27, p. 457.)
The great revolutions in history referred to by Lenin include the bourgeois revolution. The bourgeois revolution is one in which one exploiting class overthrows another, and yet it cannot be made without a civil war. Still more is this the case with the proletarian revolution, which is a revolution to abolish all exploiting classes and systems.
Regarding the fact that violent revolution is a universal law of proletarian revolution, Lenin repeatedly pointed out that "between capitalism and socialism there lies a long period of 'birth pains'--that violence is always the midwife of the old society" ("Those Who Are Terrified by the Collapse of the Old and Those Who Fight for the New", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., Vol. 26, p 362), that the bourgeois state "cannot be superseded by the proletarian state (the dictatorship of the proletariat) through the process of 'withering away,' but, as a general rule, only through a violent revolution", and that "the necessity of systematically imbuing the masses with this and precisely this view of violent revolution lies at the root of all the teachings of Marx and Engels". ("The State and Revolution", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 1, pp. 219-20.)
Stalin, too, said that a violent revolution of the proletariat, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is "an inevitable and indispensable condition" for the advance towards socialism in all countries ruled by capital. ("Reply to the Discussion on the Report on 'The Social-Democratic Deviation in Our Party'", Works, FLPH, Moscow. 1954, Vol. 8, p. 323.)
Can a radical transformation of the bourgeois order be achieved without violent revolution, without the dictatorship of the proletariat? Stalin answered:
Obviously not. To think that such a revolution can be carried out peacefully, within the framework of bourgeois democracy, which is adapted to the rule of the bourgeoisie, means that one has either gone out of one's mind and lost normal human understanding, or has grossly and openly repudiated the proletarian revolution. ("Concerning Questions of Leninism", Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1954, Vol. 8, p. 25.)
Basing himself on the Marxist-Leninist theory of violent revolution and the new experience of the proletarian revolution and the people's democratic revolution led by the proletariat, Comrade Mao Tse-tung advanced the celebrated dictum that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun".
Comrade Mao Tse-tung said:
. . . revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in class society and . . . in their absence no leap in social development can be accomplished, the reactionary ruling classes cannot be overthrown and the people cannot win political power. ("On Contradiction", Selected Works, 2nd Chinese ed., Peking, Vol. 1, p. 322.)
The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries. ("Problems of War and Strategy", Selected Military Writings, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1963, p. 267.)
He stated further:
Experience in the class struggle in the era of imperialism teaches us that it is only by the power of the gun that the working class and the labouring masses can defeat the armed bourgeoisie and landlords; in this sense we may say that only with guns can the whole world be transformed. (Ibid., p. 273.)
To sum up, violent revolution is a universal law of proletarian revolution. This is a fundamental tenet of Marxism-Leninism. It is on this most important question that Khrushchov betrays Marxism-Leninism.
When Khrushchov first put forward the "parliamentary road" at the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the Chinese Communist Party considered it a gross error, a violation of the fundamental theories of Marxism-Leninism, and absolutely unacceptable.
As Khrushchov's revisionism was still in its incipient stage and the leaders of the CPSU had not as yet provoked open polemics, we refrained for a time from publicly exposing or criticizing Khrushchov's error of the "parliamentary road". But, as against his erroneous proposition, we stated the Marxist-Leninist view in a positive form in our documents and articles. At the same time we waged the appropriate and necessary struggle against it at inter-Party talks and meetings among the fraternal Parties.
Summing up the experience of the Chinese revolution, we clearly stated in the political report of our Central Committee to the Eighth National Congress of our Party in September 1956:
While our Party was working for peaceful change, it did not allow itself to be put off its guard or to give up the people's arms....
Unlike the reactionaries, the people are not warlike.... But when the people were compelled to take up arms, they were completely justified in doing so. To have opposed the people's taking up arms and to have asked them to submit to the attacking enemy would have been to follow an opportunist line. Here, the question of following a revolutionary line or an opportunist line became the major issue of whether our six hundred million people should or should not capture political power when conditions were ripe. Our Party followed the revolutionary line and today we have the People's Republic of China.
On this question, the Marxist-Leninist view of the Eighth National Congress of the CPC is opposed to the revisionist view of the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
In December 1956 we explained the road of the October Revolution in a positive way in the article "More on the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat", thus in fact criticizing the so-called parliamentary road which Khrushchov set against the road of the October Revolution.
In many private talks with the leaders of the CPSU, the leading comrades of the Central Committee of the CPC made serious criticisms of Khrushchov's erroneous views. We hoped in all sincerity that he would correct his mistakes.
At the time of the meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties in 1957, the delegation of the CPC engaged in a sharp debate with the delegation of the CPSU on the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism.
In the first draft for the Declaration which it proposed during the preparations for the Moscow meeting, the Central Committee of the CPSU referred only to the possibility of peaceful transition and said nothing about the possibility of non-peaceful transition; it referred only to the parliamentary road and said nothing about other means of struggle, and at the same time pinned hopes for the winning of state power through the parliamentary road on "the concerted actions of Communists and socialists". Naturally the Central Committee of the CPC could not agree to these wrong views, which depart from Marxism-Leninism, being written into the programmatic document of all the Communist and Workers' Parties.
After the delegation of the CPC made its criticisms, the Central Committee of the CPSU produced a second draft for the Declaration. Although phrases about the possibility of non-peaceful transition were added, the formulation of the question of peaceful transition in this draft still reflected the revisionist views put forward by Khrushchov at the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
The delegation of the CPC expressed its disagreement with these erroneous views in clear terms. On November 10, 1957 it systematically explained its own views on the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism to the Central Committee of the CPSU, to which it also presented a written outline.
The main points made in our written outline are summarized below.
It is advantageous from the point of view of tactics to refer to the desire for peaceful transition, but it would be inappropriate to over-emphasize the possibility of peaceful transition. It is necessary to be prepared at all times to repulse counter-revolutionary attacks and, at the critical juncture of the revolution when the working class is seizing state power, to overthrow the bourgeoisie by armed force if it uses armed force to suppress the people's revolution (generally speaking, it is inevitable that the bourgeoisie will do so).
The parliamentary form of struggle must be fully utilized, but its role is limited. What is most important is to proceed with the hard work of accumulating revolutionary strength; peaceful transition should not be interpreted in such a way as solely to mean transition through a parliamentary majority. The main question is that of the state machinery, namely, the smashing of the old state machinery (chiefly the armed forces) and the establishment of the new slate machinery (chiefly the armed forces).
The social democratic parties are not parties of socialism; with the exception of certain Left wings, they are a variant of bourgeois political parties. On the question of socialist revolution, our position is fundamentally different from that of the social democratic parties. This distinction must not be obscured.
These views of ours are in full accord with Marxism-Leninism.
The comrades of the delegation of the Central Committee of the CPSU were unable to argue against them, but they repeatedly asked us to make allowances for their internal needs, expressing the hope that the formulation of this question in the draft Declaration might show some connection with its formulation by the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
We had refuted the wrong views of the leadership of the CPSU and put forward a written outline of our own views. For this reason and for the sake of the common struggle against the enemy, the delegation of the CPC decided to meet the repeated wishes of the comrades of the CPSU and agreed to take the draft of the Central Committee of the CPSU on this question as the basis, while suggesting amendments in only a few places.
We hoped that through this debate the comrades of the CPSU would awaken to their errors and correct them. But contrary to our hopes, the leaders of the CPSU did not do so.
At the meeting of fraternal Parties in 1960, the delegation of the CPC again engaged in repeated sharp debates with the delegation of the CPSU on the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism, and thoroughly exposed and criticized Khrushchov's revisionist views. During the meeting, the Chinese and the Soviet sides each adhered to its own position, and no agreement could be reached. In view of the general wish of fraternal Parties that a common document should be hammered out at the meeting, the delegation of the CPC finally made a concession on this question again and agreed to the verbatim transcription of the relevant passages in the 1957 Declaration into the 1960 Statement, again out of consideration for the needs of the leaders of the CPSU.
At the same time, during this meeting we distributed the Outline of Views on the Question of Peaceful Transition put forward by the Chinese Communist Party on November 10, 1957, and made it clear that we were giving consideration to the leadership of the CPSU on this issue for the last time, and would not do so again.
If comrades now make the criticism that we were wrong in giving this consideration to the leaders of the CPSU, we are quite ready to accept this criticism.
As the formulation of the question of peaceful transition in the Declaration and the Statement was based on the drafts of the CPSU and in some places retained the formulation by its 20th Congress, there are serious weaknesses and errors in the overall presentation, even though a certain amount of patching up was done. While indicating that the ruling classes never relinquish power voluntarily, the formulation in the two documents also asserts that state power can be won in a number of capitalist countries without civil war; while stating that extra-parliamentary mass struggle should be waged to smash the resistance of the reactionary forces, it also asserts that a stable majority can be secured in parliament and that parliament can thus be transformed into an instrument serving the working people; and while referring to non-peaceful transition, it fails to stress violent revolution as a universal law. The leadership of the CPSU has taken advantage of these weaknesses and errors in the Declaration and the Statement and used them as an excuse for peddling Khrushchov's revisionism.
It must be solemnly declared that the Chinese Communist Party has all along maintained its differing views on the formulation of the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism in the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960. We have never concealed our views. We hold that in the interest of the revolutionary cause of the international proletariat and in order to prevent the revisionists from misusing these programmatic documents of the fraternal Parties, it is necessary to amend the formulation of the question in the Declaration and the Statement through joint consultation of Communist and Workers' Parties so as to conform to the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism.
In order to help readers acquaint themselves with the full views of the Chinese Communist Party on this question, we are re-publishing the complete text of the Outline of Views on the Question of Peaceful Transition put forward by the delegation of the CPC to the Central Committee of the CPSU on November 10, 1957, as an appendix to this article.
In the last eight years the struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties and of the world's Marxist-Leninists against Khrushchov's revisionism has made great progress. More and more people have come to recognize the true features of Khrushchov's revisionism. Nevertheless, the leaders of the CPSU are still resorting to subterfuge and quibbles, and trying in every possible way to peddle their nonsense.
Therefore, it is still necessary for us to refute the fallacy of "peaceful transition".
The leaders of the CPSU openly distort the works of Marx and Lenin and distort history too to cover up their betrayal of Marxism-Leninism and justify their revisionist line.
They argue: Did not Marx "admit such a possibility [peaceful transition] for England and America"? In fact, this argument is taken from the renegade Kautsky who used the self-same method to distort Marx's views and oppose the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
It is true that in the 1870's Marx said that in countries like the United States and Britain "the workers can reach their goal by peaceful means". But at the same time he stressed that this possibility was an exception. He said that "even if this be so, we must also recognize that in the majority of countries on the continent force must serve as the lever of our revolution". ("On the Hague Congress", Speech at a Mass Meeting in Amsterdam, Collected Works of Marx and Engels, 2nd Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 18, p. 154.) What is more, he pointed out,
The English bourgeoisie has always shown its readiness to accept the decision of the majority, so long as it has the monopoly of the suffrage. But believe me, at the moment when it finds itself in the minority on questions which it considers vitally important, we will have a new slave-holders' war here. ("Record of a Talk Between K. Marx and the Correspondent of The World", Collected Works of Marx and Engels, 2nd Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 17, p. 637.)
Lenin said in his criticism of the renegade Kautsky:
The argument that Marx in the 'seventies granted the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism in England and America is the argument of a sophist, or, to put it bluntly, of a swindler who juggles with quotations and references. First, Marx regarded this possibility as an exception even then. Secondly, in those days monopoly capitalism, i.e., imperialism, did not yet exist. Thirdly, in England and America there was no military then--as there is now--serving as the chief apparatus of the bourgeois state machine. ("The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1945, Vol. 23, pp. 233-34.)
Lenin said that, by virtue of its fundamental economic traits, imperialism is distinguished "by a minimum attachment for peace and freedom, and by a maximum and universal development of militarism". "To 'fail to notice' this" in the discussion of the question of peaceful or violent change is "to stoop to the position of a common or garden variety lackey of the bourgeoisie." (Ibid., p 357.)
Today, the leaders of the CPSU have struck up Kautsky's old tune. What is this if not stooping to the position of a common or garden lackey of the bourgeoisie?
Again, the leaders of the CPSU argue: Did not Lenin "admit in principle the possibility of a peaceful revolution "? This is even worse sophistry.
For a time after the February Revolution of 1917 Lenin envisaged a situation in which "in Russia, by way of an exception, this revolution can be a peaceful revolution". ("First All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 80 ) He called this "an exception" because of the special circumstances then obtaining: "The essence of the matter was that the arms were in the hands of the people, and that no coercion from without was exercised in regard to the people." ("On Slogans", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 88.) In July 1917 the counter-revolutionary bourgeois government suppressed the masses by force of arms, drenching the streets of Petrograd with the blood of workers and soldiers. After this incident Lenin declared that "all hopes for a peaceful development of the Russian Revolution have definitely vanished". ("The Political Situation", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1932, Vol. 21, Book 1, p. 37.) In October 1917 Lenin and the Bolshevik Party resolutely led the workers and soldiers in an armed uprising and seized state power. Lenin pointed out in January 1918 that "the class struggle ... has turned into a civil war". ("People from the Next World", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 26, p. 393.) The Soviet state had to wage another three and half years of revolutionary war and to make heavy sacrifices before it smashed both the domestic counter-revolutionary rebellion and the foreign armed intervention. Only then was the victory of the revolution consolidated. In 1919 Lenin said that "revolutionary violence gained brilliant successes in the October Revolution". ("The Successes and Difficulties of Soviet Power", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 29, p. 41.)
Now the leaders of the CPSU have the impudence to say that the October Revolution was "the most bloodless of all revolutions" and was "accomplished almost peacefully". Their assertions are totally contrary to the historical facts. How can they face the revolutionary martyrs who shed their blood and sacrificed their lives to create the world's first socialist state?
When we point out that world history has thus far produced no precedent for peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism, the leaders of the CPSU quibble, saying that "practical experience exists of the achievement of the socialist revolution in peaceful form". And shutting their eyes to all the facts, they state, "In Hungary in 1919, the dictatorship of the proletariat was established by peaceful means."
Is this true? No, it is not. Let us see what Bela Kun, the leader of the Hungarian revolution, had to say.
The Communist Party of Hungary was founded in November 1918. The new-born Party immediately plunged into revolutionary struggle and proclaimed as the slogans of socialist evolution: "Disarm the bourgeoisie, arm the proletariat, establish Soviet power." (Bela Kun, Lessons of the Proletarian Revolution in Hungary, Russian ed., Moscow, 1960, p. 46.) The Hungarian Communist Party worked actively in all fields for an armed uprising. It armed the workers, strove to win over the government troops and organize the demobilized soldiers, staged armed demonstrations, led the workers in expelling their bosses and occupying the factories, led the agricultural workers in seizing large estates, disarmed the reactionary army officers, troops and police, combined strikes with armed uprisings, and so forth.
In fact, the Hungarian revolution abounded in armed struggle of various forms and on various scales. Bela Kun wrote,
From the day of the founding of the Communist Party to the taking of power, armed clashes with the organs of bourgeois power occurred with increasing frequency. Starting with December 12, 1913 when the armed Budapest garrison came out into the streets in a demonstration against the War Minister of the Provisional Government, . . . there was probably not a single day on which the press failed to report sanguinary clashes between the revolutionary workers and soldiers and armed units of the government forces, and in particular of the police. The Communists organized numerous uprisings not only in Budapest but in the provinces as well. (Bela Kun, Lessons of the Proletarian Revolution in Hungary, Russian ed., Moscow, 1960, p. 57.)
The leaders of the CPSU are telling a glaring lie when they say that the Hungarian revolution was an example of peaceful transition.
It is alleged in the Soviet press that the Hungarian bourgeois government "voluntarily resigned", and this is probably the only ground the leaders of the CPSU base themselves on. But what were the facts?
Karolyi, the head of the Hungarian bourgeois government at the time, was quite explicit on this point. He declared:
I signed a proclamation concerning my own resignation and the transfer of power to the proletariat, which in reality had already taken over and proclaimed power earlier . . . I did not hand over power to the proletariat, as it had already won it earlier, thanks to its planned creation of a socialist army.
For this reason, Bela Kun pointed out that to say the bourgeoisie voluntarily handed political power over to the proletariat was a deceptive "legend". (Bela Kun, Lessons of the Proletarian Revolution in Hungary, Russian ed., Moscow, 1960, p. 49.)
The Hungarian Revolution of 1919 was defeated. In examining the chief lessons of its defeat, Lenin said that one fatal error committed by the young Hungarian Communist Party was that it was not firm enough in exercising dictatorship over the enemy but wavered at the critical moment. Moreover, the Hungarian Party failed to take correct measures to meet the peasants' demand for the solution of the land problem and therefore divorced itself from the peasantry. Another important reason for the defeat of the Revolution was the amalgamation of the Communist Party and the opportunist Social Democratic Party.
It is a sheer distortion of history when the leaders of the CPSU allege that the Hungarian Revolution of 1918-1919 is a model of "peaceful transition".
Furthermore, they allege that the working class of Czechoslovakia won "power by the peaceful road". This is another absurd distortion of history.
The people's democratic power in Czechoslovakia was established in the course of the anti-fascist war; it was not taken from the bourgeoisie "peacefully". During World War II, the Communist Party led the people in guerrilla warfare and armed uprisings against the fascists, it destroyed the German fascist troops and their servile regime in Czechoslovakia with the assistance of the Soviet Army and established a national front coalition government. This government was in essence a people's democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the proletariat, i e., a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In February 1948 the reactionaries inside Czechoslovakia, backed by U.S. imperialism, plotted a counter-revolutionary coup d'état to overthrow the people's government by an armed rebellion. But the government led by the Communist Party immediately deployed its armed forces and organized armed mass demonstrations, thus shattering the bourgeois plot for a counter-revolutionary come-back. These facts clearly testify that the February event was not a "peaceful" seizure of political power by the working class from the bourgeoisie but a suppression of a counter-revolutionary bourgeois coup d'état by the working class through its own state apparatus, and mainly through its own armed forces.
In summarizing the February event Gottwald said:
Even before the February event we said: one of the basic changes compared with what existed before the war is precisely that the state apparatus already serves new classes and not the previous ruling classes. The February event showed that the state apparatus, in this sense, played an outstanding role.... (Speech at the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Nov. 17, 1948.)
How can the above instances be regarded as precedents for peaceful transition?
Lenin said, "Kautsky had to resort to all these subterfuges, sophistries and fraudulent falsifications only in order to dissociate himself from violent revolution, and to conceal his renunciation of it, his desertion to the liberal labour policy, i.e., to the bourgeoisie." And he added, "That is where the trouble lies." ("The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 44.)
Why has Khrushchov so shamelessly distorted the works of Marx and Lenin, fabricated history and resorted to subterfuges? Again, that is where the trouble lies.
The principal argument used by the leaders of the CPSU to justify their anti-revolutionary line of "peaceful transition" is that historical conditions have changed.
With regard to the appraisal of the changes in historical conditions since World War II and the conclusions to be drawn from them, Marxist-Leninists hold entirely different views from those of Khrushchov.
Marxist-Leninists hold that historical conditions have changed fundamentally since the War. The change is mainly manifested in the great increase in the forces of proletarian socialism and the great weakening of the forces of imperialism. Since the War, the mighty socialist camp and a whole series of new and independent nationalist states have emerged, and there have occurred a continuous succession of armed revolutionary struggles, a new upsurge in the mass movements in capitalist countries and the great expansion of the ranks of the international communist movement. The international proletarian socialist revolutionary movement and the national democratic revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America have become the two major historical trends of our time.
In the early post-war period, Comrade Mao Tse-tung repeatedly pointed out that the world balance of forces was favourable to us and not to the enemy, and that this new situation "has opened up still wider possibilities for the emancipation of the working class and the oppressed peoples of the world and has opened up still more realistic paths towards it". ("Revolutionary Forces of the World Unite, Fight Against Imperialist Aggression!", Selected Works, FLP, Peking, 1961, Vol. IV. p. 284.)
He also indicated,
Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again . . . till their doom, that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries the world over in dealing with the people's cause, and they will never go against this logic. This is a Marxist law. When we say "imperialism is ferocious", we mean that its nature will never change, that the imperialists will never lay down their butcher knives, that they will never become Buddhas, till their doom. ("Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle", Selected Works, FLP, Peking, 1961, Vol. IV, p. 428.)
Marxist-Leninists base themselves on the fact that the changes in post-war conditions have become increasingly favourable for revolution and on the law that imperialism and reaction will never change their nature. Therefore they draw the conclusion that revolution must be promoted, and they hold that full use must be made of this very favourable situation and that in the light of the specific conditions in different countries the development of revolutionary struggles must be actively promoted and preparations must be made to seize victory in the revolution.
On the other hand, using the pretext of these very changes in post-war conditions, Khrushchov draws the conclusion that revolution must be opposed and repudiated, and he holds that as a result of the changes in the world balance of forces imperialism and reaction have changed their nature, the law of class struggle has changed, and the common road of the October Revolution and the Marxist-Leninist theory of proletarian revolution have become outmoded.
Khrushchov and his like are spreading an Arabian Nights tale. They maintain, "Now favourable international and internal conditions are taking shape for the working class of a number of capitalist countries to accomplish the socialist revolution in peaceful form."
In the period between the first and second world wars, the reactionary bourgeoisie in many European countries, incessantly developing and perfecting its police-bureaucratic machine, savagely repressed the mass movements of the working people and left no possibility for the achievement of the socialist revolution by the peaceful road.
But according to them the situation has now changed. They say that "basic shifts in favour of socialism in the relationship of forces in the international arena" now create the possibility of "paralyzing the intervention of international reaction in the affairs of countries carrying out revolution", and that "this lessens the possibilities for the unleashing of civil war by the bourgeoisie".
But the lies of Khrushchov and his like cannot cover up realities.
Two outstanding facts since World War II are that the imperialists and the reactionaries are everywhere reinforcing their apparatus of violence for cruelly suppressing the masses and that imperialism headed by the United States is conducting counter-revolutionary armed intervention in all parts of the world.
Today the United States of America has become more militarized than ever and has increased its troops to over 2,700,000 men, or eleven times the 1934 total and nine times the 1939 total. It has so many police and secret service organizations that even some of the big U.S. capitalists have had to admit that it tops the world in this respect, having far surpassed Hitlerite Germany.
Britain's standing army increased from over 250,000 men in 1934 to over 420,000 in 1963, and its police force from 67,000 in 1934 to 87,000 in 1963.
France's standing army increased from 650,000 in 1934 to over 740,000 in 1963, and its police and security forces from 80,000 in 1934 to 120,000 in 1963.
Other imperialist countries and even the ordinary run of capitalist countries are no exceptions to this large-scale strengthening of the armed forces and police.
Khrushchov is zealously using the slogan of general and complete disarmament to immobilize the people. He has been chanting it for many years now. But in actual fact there is not even a shadow of general and complete disarmament. Everywhere in the imperialist camp headed by the United States one finds a general and complete arms drive and an expansion and strengthening of the apparatus of violent suppression.
Why are the bourgeoisie so frenziedly reinforcing their armed forces and police in peace time? Can it be that their purpose is not to suppress the mass movements of the working people but rather to guarantee that they can win state power by peaceful means? Haven't the ruling bourgeoisie committed enough atrocities in the nineteen years since the War in employing soldiers and policemen to suppress striking workers and people struggling for their democratic rights?
In the past nineteen years, U.S. imperialism has organized military blocs and concluded military treaties with more than forty countries. It has set up over 2,200 military bases and installations in all parts of the capitalist world. Its armed forces stationed abroad exceed 1,000,000. Its "Strike Command" directs a mobile land and air force, ready at all times to be sent anywhere to suppress the people's revolution.
In the past nineteen years, the U.S. and other imperialists have not only given every support to the reactionaries of various countries and helped them to suppress the peoples' revolutionary movements; they have also directly planned and executed numerous counter-revolutionary armed aggressions and interventions, i.e., they have exported counter-revolution. U.S. imperialism, for instance, helped Chiang Kai-shek fight the civil war in China, sent its own troops to Greece and commanded the attack on the Greek people's liberated areas, unleashed the war of aggression in Korea, landed troops in Lebanon to threaten the revolution in Iraq, aided and abetted the Laotian reactionaries in extending civil war, organized and directed a so-called United Nations force to suppress the national independence movement in the Congo, and conducted counter-revolutionary invasions of Cuba. It is still fighting to suppress the liberation struggle of the people of South Viet Nam. Recently it has used armed force to suppress the just struggle of the Panamanian people in defence of their sovereignty and participated in the armed intervention in Cyprus.
Not only does U.S. imperialism take determined action to suppress and intervene in all people's revolutions and national liberation movements, but it also tries to get rid of bourgeois regimes which show some nationalist colouration. During these nineteen years, the U.S. Government has engineered numerous counter-revolutionary military coups d'état in a number of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It has even used violence to remove puppets of its own fostering, such as Ngo Dinh Diem, once they have ceased to suit its purposes--"kill the donkey as soon as you take it from the mill-stone", as the saying goes.
Facts have demonstrated that nowadays in order to make revolutions and achieve liberation all oppressed peoples and nations not only have to cope with violent suppression by the domestic reactionary ruling classes, but must prepare themselves fully against armed intervention by imperialism, and especially U.S. imperialism. Without such preparation and without steadfastly rebuffing counter-revolutionary violence by revolutionary violence whenever necessary, revolution, let alone victory, is out of the question.
Without strengthening their armed forces, without preparing to meet imperialist armed aggression and intervention and without adhering to the policy of waging struggles against imperialism, countries which have won independence will not be able to safeguard their national independence and still less to ensure the advance of the revolutionary cause.
We would like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: Since you talk so glibly about the new features of the postwar situation, why have you chosen to omit the most important and conspicuous one, namely, that the U.S. and other imperialists are suppressing revolution everywhere? You never weary of talking about peaceful transition, but why have you never had a single word to say about how to deal with the bloated apparatus of forcible suppression built up by the imperialists and reactionaries? You brazenly cover up the bloody realities of the cruel suppression of the national liberation and popular revolutionary movements by imperialism and reaction and spread the illusion that the oppressed nations and peoples can achieve victory by peaceful means. Isn't it obvious that you are trying to lull the vigilance of the people, pacify the angry masses with empty promises about the bright future and oppose their revolution, thus in fact acting as accomplices of imperialism and the reactionaries of all countries?
On this question, it is useful to let John Foster Dulles, the late U.S. Secretary of State, be our "teacher by negative example".
Dulles said in a speech on June 21, 1956 that all socialist countries had hitherto been established "through the use of violence". He then said that "the Soviet rulers now say that they will renounce the use of violence" and that "we welcome and shall encourage these developments".
As a faithful champion of the capitalist system, Dulles was of course perfectly aware of the essential role of force in class struggle. While welcoming Khrushchov's renunciation of violent revolution, he laid great stress on the bourgeoisie's need to strengthen its counter-revolutionary violence in order to maintain its rule. He said in another speech that "of all the tasks of government the most basic is to protect its citizens [read "reactionary ruling classes"] against violence.... So in every civilized community the members contribute toward the maintenance of a police force as an arm of law and order".
Here Dulles was telling the truth. The political foundation of the rule of imperialism and all reaction is nothing other than--"a police force". So long as this foundation is unimpaired, nothing else is of any importance and their rule will not be shaken. The more the leaders of the CPSU cover up the fact that the bourgeoisie relies on violence for its rule and spread the fairy tale of peaceful transition, which was so welcome to Dulles, the more they reveal their true colours as cronies of the imperialists in opposing revolution.
The idea of the "parliamentary road" which was publicized by the revisionists of the Second International was thoroughly refuted by Lenin and discredited long ago. But in Khrushchov's eyes, the parliamentary road seems suddenly to have acquired validity after World War II.
Is this true? Of course not.
Events since World War II have demonstrated yet again that the chief component of the bourgeois stale machine is armed force and not parliament. Parliament is only an ornament and a screen for bourgeois rule. To adopt or discard the parliamentary system, to grant parliament greater or less power, to adopt one kind of electoral law or another--the choice between these alternatives is always dictated by the needs and interests of bourgeois rule. So long as the bourgeoisie controls the military-bureaucratic apparatus, either the acquisition of a "stable majority in parliament" by the proletariat through elections is impossible, or this "stable majority" is undependable. To realize socialism through the "parliamentary road" is utterly impossible and is mere deceptive talk.
About half the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries are still illegal. Since these Parties have no legal status, the winning of a parliamentary majority is, of course, out of the question.
For example, the Communist Party of Spain lives under White terror and has no opportunity to run in elections. It is pathetic and tragic that Spanish Communist leaders like Ibarruri should follow Khrushchov in advocating "peaceful transition" in Spain.
With all the unfair restrictions imposed by bourgeois electoral laws in those capitalist countries where Communist Parties are legal and can take part in elections, it is very difficult for them to win a majority of the votes under bourgeois rule. And even if they get a majority of the votes, the bourgeoisie can prevent them from obtaining a majority of the seats in parliament by revising the electoral laws or by other means.
For example, since World War II, the French monopoly capitalists have twice revised the electoral law, in each case bringing about a sharp fall in the parliamentary seats held by the Communist Party of France. In the parliamentary election in 1946, the CPF gained 182 seats. But in the election of 1951, the revision of the electoral law by the monopoly capitalists resulted in a sharp reduction in the number of CPF seats to 103, that is, there was a loss of 79 seats. In the 1956 election, the CPF gained 150 seats. But before the parliamentary election in 1958, the monopoly capitalists again revised the electoral law with the result that the number of seats held by the CPF fell very drastically to 10, that is, it lost 140 seats.
Even if in certain circumstances a Communist Party should win a majority of the seats in parliament or participate in the government as a result of an electoral victory, it would not change the bourgeois nature of parliament or government, still less would it mean the smashing of the old and the establishment of a new state machine. It is absolutely impossible to bring about a fundamental social change by relying on bourgeois parliaments or governments. With the state machine under its control the reactionary bourgeoisie can nullify elections, dissolve parliament, expel Communists from the government, outlaw the Communist Party and resort to brute force to suppress the masses and the progressive forces.
For instance, in 1946 the Communist Party of Chile supported the bourgeois Radical Party in winning an electoral victory, and a coalition government was formed with the participation of Communists. At the time, the leaders of the Chilean Communist Party went so far as to describe this bourgeois-controlled government as a "people's democratic government". But in less than a year the bourgeoisie compelled them to quit the government, carried out mass arrests of Communists and in 1948 outlawed the Communist Party.
When a workers' party degenerates and becomes a hireling of the bourgeoisie, the latter may permit it to have a majority in parliament and to form a government. This is the case with the bourgeois social-democratic parties in certain countries. But this sort of thing only serves to safeguard and consolidate the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; it does not, and cannot, in the least alter the position of the proletariat as an oppressed and exploited class. Such facts only add testimony to the bankruptcy of the parliamentary road.
Events since World War II have also shown that if Communist leaders believe in the parliamentary road and fall victim to the incurable disease of "parliamentary cretinism", they will not only get nowhere but will inevitably sink into the quagmire of revisionism and ruin the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
There has always been a fundamental difference between Marxist-Leninists on the one hand and opportunists and revisionists on the other on the proper attitude to adopt towards bourgeois parliaments.
Marxist-Leninists have always held that under certain conditions the proletarian party should take part in parliamentary struggle and utilize the platform of parliament for exposing the reactionary nature of the bourgeoisie, educating the masses and helping to accumulate revolutionary strength. It is wrong to refuse to utilize this legal form of struggle when necessary. But the proletarian party must never substitute parliamentary struggle for proletarian revolution or entertain the illusion that the transition to socialism can be achieved through the parliamentary road. It must at all times concentrate on mass struggles.
The party of the revolutionary proletariat must take part in bourgeois parliamentarism in order to enlighten the masses, which can be done during elections and in the struggle between parties in parliament. But to limit the class struggle to the parliamentary struggle, or to regard the latter as the highest and decisive form, to which all the other forms of struggle are subordinate, means actually deserting to the side of the bourgeoisie and going against the proletariat. (The Constituent Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, FLPH, Moscow, 1954, p. 36.)
He denounced the revisionists of the Second International for chasing the shadow of parliamentarism and for abandoning the revolutionary task of seizing state power. They converted the proletarian party into an electoral party, a parliamentary party, an appendage of the bourgeoisie and an instrument for preserving the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. In advocating the parliamentary road, Khrushchov and his followers can only meet with the same fate as that of the revisionists of the Second International.
The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU fabricates a tissue of lies in its treatment of the question of proletarian revolution. It asserts that the Chinese Communist Party favours "advancing the slogan of immediate proletarian revolution" even in the absence of a revolutionary situation, that it stands for abandoning "the struggle for the democratic rights and vital interests of the working people in capitalist countries", that it makes armed struggle "absolute", and so on. They frequently pin such labels as "Left opportunism", "Left adventurism" and "Trotskyism" on the Chinese Communist Party.
The truth is that the leaders of the CPSU are making this hullabaloo in order to cover up their revisionist line which opposes and repudiates revolution. What they are attacking as "Left opportunism" is in fact nothing but the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary line.
We have always maintained that a revolution cannot be made at will and is impossible unless a revolutionary situation objectively exists. But the outbreak and the victory of revolution depend not only on the existence of a revolutionary situation but also on the preparations and efforts made by the subjective revolutionary forces.
It is "Left" adventurism if the party of the proletariat does not accurately appraise both the objective conditions and subjective forces making for revolution and if it rashly launches a revolution before the conditions are ripe. But it is Right opportunism, or revisionism, if the proletarian party makes no active preparations for revolution before the conditions are ripe, or dare not lead a revolution and seize state power when a revolutionary situation exists and the conditions are ripe.
Until the time arrives for seizing state power, the fundamental and most important task for the proletarian party is to concentrate on the painstaking work of accumulating revolutionary strength. The active leadership given in day-to-day struggle must have as its central aim the building up of revolutionary strength and the preparations for seizing victory in the revolution when the conditions are ripe. The proletarian party should use the various forms of day-to-day struggle to raise the political consciousness of the proletariat and the masses of the people, to train its own class forces, to temper its fighting capacity and to prepare for revolution ideologically, politically, organizationally and militarily. It is only in this way that it will not miss the opportunity of seizing victory when the conditions for revolution are ripe. Otherwise, the proletarian party will simply let the opportunity of making revolution slip by even when a revolutionary situation objectively exists.
While tirelessly stressing that no revolution should be made in the absence of a revolutionary situation, the leaders of the CPSU avoid the question of how the party of the proletariat should conduct day-to-day revolutionary struggle and accumulate revolutionary strength before there is a revolutionary situation. In reality, they are renouncing the task of building up revolutionary strength and preparing for revolution on the pretext of the absence of a revolutionary situation.
Lenin once gave an excellent description of the renegade Kautsky's attitude towards the question of a revolutionary situation. He said of Kautsky that if the revolutionary crisis has arrived, "then he too is prepared to become a revolutionary! But then, let us observe, every blackguard. . . would proclaim himself a revolutionary! If it has not, then Kautsky will turn his back on revolution!" As Lenin pointed out, Kautsky was like a typical philistine, and the difference between a revolutionary Marxist and a philistine is that the Marxist has the courage to "prepare the proletariat and all the toiling and exploited masses for it [revolution]". ("The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1945, Vol. 23, pp. 403-404.) People can judge for themselves whether or not Khrushchov and his followers resemble the Kautsky type of philistine denounced by Lenin.
We have always held that the proletarian parties in the capitalist countries must actively lead the working class and the working people in struggles to oppose monopoly capital, to defend democratic rights, to improve living conditions, to oppose imperialist arms expansion and war preparations, to defend world peace and to give vigorous support to the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations.
In the capitalist countries which are subject to bullying, control, intervention and aggression by U.S. imperialism, the proletarian parties should raise the national banner of opposition to U.S. imperialism and direct the edge of the mass struggle mainly against U.S. imperialism as well as against monopoly capital and other reactionary forces at home which are betraying the national interests. They should unite all the forces that can be united and form a united front against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.
In recent years the working class and the working people in many capitalist countries have been waging broad mass struggles which not only hit monopoly capital and other reactionary forces at home, but render powerful support to the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples and to the countries of the socialist camp. We have always fully appreciated this contribution.
While actively leading immediate struggles, Communists should link them with the struggle for long-range and general interests, educate the masses in a proletarian revolutionary spirit, ceaselessly raise their political consciousness and accumulate revolutionary strength in order to seize victory in revolution when the time is opportune. Our view is in full accord with Marxism-Leninism.
In opposition to the views of Marxist-Leninists, the leaders of the CPSU spread the notion that "in the highly-developed capitalist countries, democratic and socialist tasks are so closely intertwined that there, least of all, is it possible to draw any sort of lines of demarcation". This is to substitute immediate for long-range struggles and reformism for proletarian revolution.
Lenin said that "no reform can be durable, genuine and serious if it is not supported by the revolutionary methods of struggle of the masses". A workers' party that "does not combine this struggle for reforms with the revolutionary methods of the workers' movement may be transformed into a sect, and may become torn away from the masses, and . . . this is the most serious threat to the success of genuine revolutionary socialism". ("To the Secretary of the 'Socialist Propaganda League' ", Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 21, p 389.)
He said that "every democratic demand . . . is, for the class conscious workers, subordinated to the higher interests of socialism". ("A Caricature of Marxism and 'Imperialist Economism'", Selected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1943, Vol. 5, p. 292.) Further, in The State and Revolution Lenin quoted Engels as follows. The forgetfulness of the great main standpoint in the momentary interests of the day, the struggling and striving for the success of the moment without consideration for the later consequences, the sacrifice of the future of the movement for its present was opportunism, and dangerous opportunism at that.
It was precisely on this ground that Lenin criticized Kautsky for "praising reformism and submission to the imperialist bourgeoisie, and blaming and renouncing revolution". He said that "the proletariat fights for the revolutionary overthrow of the imperialist bourgeoisie", while Kautsky "fights for the reformist 'improvement' of imperialism, for adaptation to it, while submitting to it". ("The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Against Revisionism, FLPH, Moscow, 1959, p. 441 and p. 440.)
Lenin's criticism of Kautsky is an apt portrayal of the present leaders of the CPSU.
We have always held that in order to lead the working class and the masses of the people in revolution, the party of the proletariat must master all forms of struggle and be able to combine different forms, swiftly substituting one form for another as the conditions of struggle change. It will be invincible in all circumstances only if it masters all forms of struggle, such as peaceful and armed, open and secret, legal and illegal, parliamentary and mass struggle, as well as both domestic and international struggle.
The victory of the Chinese revolution was precisely the result of the skilful and thorough mastery of all forms of struggle--in keeping with the specific characteristics of the Chinese revolution--by the Communists of China who learned from the historical experience of international proletarian struggle. Armed struggle was the chief form in the Chinese revolution, but the revolution could not have been victorious without the use of other forms of struggle.
In the course of the Chinese revolution the Chinese Communist Party fought on two fronts. It fought both the Right deviation of legalism and the "Left" illegalist deviation, and properly combined legal with illegal struggle. In the country as a whole, it correctly combined struggle in the revolutionary base areas with struggle in the Kuomintang areas, while in the Kuomintang areas it correctly combined open and secret work, made full use of legal opportunities and kept strictly to Party rules governing secret work. The Chinese revolution has brought forth a complexity and variety of forms of struggle suited to its own specific conditions.
From its long practical experience, the Chinese Communist Party is fully aware that it is wrong to reject legal struggle, to restrict the Party's work within narrow confines and thereby to alienate itself from the masses. But one should never tolerate the legalism peddled by the revisionists. The revisionists reject armed struggle and all other illegal struggle, engage only in legal struggle and activity and confine the Party's activities and mass struggles within the framework allowed by the ruling classes.
They debase and even discard the Party's basic programme, renounce revolution and adapt themselves solely to reactionary systems of law.
As Lenin rightly pointed out in his criticism, revisionists such as Kautsky were degraded and dulled by bourgeois legality. "For a mess of pottage given to the organizations that are recognized by the present police law, the proletarian right of revolution was sold." ("The Collapse of the Second International", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. 18, p. 314.)
While the leaders of the CPSU and their followers talk about the use of all forms of struggle, in reality they stand for legalism and discard the objective of the proletarian revolution on the pretext of changing forms of struggle. This is again substituting Kautskyism for Leninism.
The leaders of the CPSU often make use of Lenin's great work, "'Left-Wing' Communism, an Infantile Disorder", to justify their erroneous line and have made it a "basis" for their attacks on the Chinese Communist Party.
This is of course futile. Like all his other works, this book of Lenin's can only serve as a weapon for Marxist-Leninists in the fight against various kinds of opportunism and can never serve as an instrument of revisionist apologetics.
When Lenin criticized the "Left-wing" infantile disorder and asked the party of the proletariat to be skilful in applying revolutionary tactics and to do better in preparing for revolutions, he had already broken with the revisionists of the Second International and had founded the Third International.
Indeed, in "'Left-Wing' Communism" he stated that the main enemy of the international working-class movement at the time was Kautsky's type of opportunism. He repeatedly stressed that unless a break was made with revisionism there could be no talk of how to master revolutionary tactics.
Those comrades whom Lenin criticized for their "Left-wing" infantile disorder all wanted revolution, while the latter-day revisionist Khrushchov is against it, has therefore to be included in the same category as Kautsky and has no right whatsoever to speak on the question of combating the "Left-wing" infantile disorder.
It is most absurd for the leadership of the CPSU to pin the label of "Trotskyism" on the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, it is Khrushchov himself who has succeeded to the mantle of Trotskyism and who stands with the Trotskyites of today.
Trotskyism manifests itself in different ways on different questions and often wears the mask of "ultra-Leftism", but its essence is opposition to revolution, repudiation of revolution.
As far as the fundamental fact of their opposition to the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is concerned, Trotskyism and the revisionism of the Second International are virtually the same. This is why Stalin repeatedly said that Trotskyism is a variety of Menshevism, is Kautskyism and social democracy, and is the advanced detachment of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.
In its essence, the present-day revisionism of Khrushchov also opposes and repudiates revolution. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that Khrushchov's revisionism is not only cut from the same cloth as Kautskyism, but also converges with Trotskyism to oppose revolution. Khrushchov had better pin the label of Trotskyism on himself.
History is the most telling witness. Rich experience has been gained since World War II both in the international communist movement and in the peoples' revolutionary struggles. There has been successful as well as unsuccessful experience. Communists and the revolutionary people of all countries need to draw the right conclusions from this historical experience.
The countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America which have succeeded in making a socialist revolution since the War have done so by following the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line and the road of the October Revolution. Now, in addition to the experience of the October Revolution, there is the experience of the revolutions of China, the socialist countries in Eastern Europe, Korea, Viet Nam and Cuba. The victorious revolutions in these countries have enriched and developed Marxism-Leninism and the experience of the October Revolution.
From China to Cuba, all these revolutions without exception were won by armed struggle and by fighting against armed imperialist aggression and intervention.
The Chinese people were victorious in their revolution after waging revolutionary wars for twenty-two years, including the three years of the People's Liberation War, in which they thoroughly defeated the Chiang Kai-shek reactionaries who were backed up to the hilt by U.S. imperialism.
The Korean people carried on fifteen years of revolutionary armed struggle against Japanese imperialism beginning in the 1930's, built up and expanded their revolutionary armed forces, and finally achieved victory with the help of the Soviet Army. After the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, it took another three years of war against U.S. imperialist armed aggression before the victory of their revolution could be consolidated.
The Vietnamese people seized state power by the armed uprising of August 1945. Immediately afterwards, they had to begin fighting a war of national liberation lasting eight years against French imperialism and to defeat the U.S. imperialist military intervention, and only then did they triumph in northern Viet Nam. The people of southern Viet Nam are still waging a heroic struggle against U.S. imperialist armed aggression.
The Cuban people started their armed uprising in 1953, and later it took more than two years of people's revolutionary war before they overthrew the rule of U.S. imperialism and its Cuban puppet, Batista. After their victorious revolution, the Cuban people smashed armed invasions by U.S. imperialist mercenaries and safeguarded the fruits of revolution.
The other socialist countries too were all established through armed struggle.
What are the main lessons of the successful proletarian revolutions in the countries extending from China to Cuba after World War II?
1. Violent revolution is a universal law of proletarian revolution. To realize the transition to socialism, the proletariat must wage armed struggle, smash the old state machine and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
2. The peasants are the most dependable allies of the proletariat. The proletariat must closely rely on the peasants, establish a broad united front based on the worker-peasant alliance, and insist upon proletarian leadership in the revolution.
3. U.S. imperialism is the arch enemy of people's revolution in all countries. The proletariat must hold high the national banner of opposition to U.S. imperialism and have the courage to fight with firm resolve against the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys in its own country.
4. The revolution of the oppressed nations is an indispensable ally of the proletarian revolution. The workers of all countries must unite, and they must unite with all the oppressed nations and all the forces opposed to imperialism and its lackeys to form a broad international united front.
5. To make a revolution, it is essential to have a revolutionary party. The triumph of the proletarian revolution and the triumph of the dictatorship of the proletariat are impossible without a revolutionary proletarian party established in accordance with the revolutionary theory and style of Marxism-Leninism, a party which is irreconcilable towards revisionism and opportunism and which takes a revolutionary attitude towards the reactionary ruling classes and their state power.
To insist on revolutionary armed struggle is of primary importance not only to the proletarian revolution but also to the national democratic revolution of the oppressed nations. The victory of the Algerian national liberation war has set a good example in this respect.
The whole history of the proletarian parties since the War has shown that those parties which have followed the line of revolution, adopted the correct strategy and tactics and actively led the masses in revolutionary struggle are able to lead the revolutionary cause forward step by step to victory and grow vigorously in strength.
Conversely, all those parties which have adopted a non-revolutionary opportunist line and accepted Khrushchov's line of "peaceful transition" are doing serious damage to the revolutionary cause and turning themselves into lifeless and reformist parties, or becoming completely degenerate and serving as tools of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. There is no lack of such instances.
The comrades of the Communist Party of Iraq were once full of revolutionary ardour. But acceptance of Khrushchov's revisionist line was forced on them by outside pressure, and they lost their vigilance against counter-revolution. In the armed counter-revolutionary coup d'état, leading comrades heroically sacrificed their lives, thousands of Iraqi Communists and revolutionaries were massacred in cold blood, the powerful Iraqi Communist Party was dispersed, and the revolutionary cause of Iraq suffered a grave setback. This is a tragic lesson in the annals of proletarian revolution, a lesson written in blood.
The leaders of the Algerian Communist Party danced to the baton of Khrushchov and of the leadership of the French Communist Party and completely accepted the revisionist line against armed struggle. But the Algerian people refused to listen to this rubbish. They courageously fought for national independence against imperialism, waged a war of national liberation for over seven years and finally compelled the French Government to recognize Algeria's independence. But the Algerian Communist Party, which followed the revisionist line of the leadership of the CPSU, forfeited the confidence of the Algerian people and its position in Algerian political life.
During the Cuban revolution, some leaders of the Popular Socialist Party refused to pursue the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line, the correct line of revolutionary armed struggle, but, following Khrushchov's revisionist line, advocated "peaceful transition" and opposed violent revolution. In these circumstances, Marxist-Leninists outside and inside the Cuban Party, represented by Comrade Fidel Castro, rightly bypassed those leaders who opposed violent revolution, joined hands and made revolution with the revolutionary Cuban people, and finally won a victory of great historic significance.
Certain leaders of the Communist Party of France of whom Thorez is representative have long been pursuing a revisionist line, have publicized the "parliamentary road" in response to Khrushchov's baton, and have actually reduced the Communist Party to the level of a social democratic party. They have ceased to give active support to the revolutionary aspirations of the people and rolled up the national banner of opposition to U.S. imperialism. The result of their pursuit of this revisionist line is that the Communist Party, which once had great influence among the people, has become increasingly isolated from the masses and has deteriorated more and more.
Certain leaders of the Indian Communist Party, typified by Dange, have long pursued a revisionist line, hauled down the banner of revolution and failed to lead the masses in national and democratic revolutionary struggles. The Dange clique has slid farther and farther down the path of revisionism and degenerated into national chauvinists, into tools of the reactionary policies of India's big landlords and big bourgeoisie, and into renegades from the proletariat.
The record shows that the two fundamentally different lines lead to two fundamentally different results. All these lessons merit close study.
Khrushchov's revisionism has deep historical and social roots and bears the imprint of the times. As Lenin said, "opportunism is no accident, no sin, no slip, no betrayal on the part of individual persons, but the social product of a whole historical epoch". ("The Collapse of the Second International", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. 18, p. 310.)
While making great progress since World War II, the international communist movement has produced its antithesis within its own ranks--an adverse current of revisionism which is opposed to socialism, Marxism-Leninism and proletarian revolution. This adverse current was chiefly represented first by Browder, later by Tito and now by Khrushchov. Khrushchov's revisionism is nothing but the continuation and development of Browderism and Titoism.
Browder began to reveal his revisionism around 1935. He worshipped bourgeois democracy, abandoned making the necessary criticisms of the bourgeois government and regarded the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie as a fine thing for Communists, his slogan being "Communism Is Twentieth Century Americanism".
With the formation of the international and domestic anti-fascist united fronts during World War II, he became obsessed with bourgeois "democracy", "progress" and "reason", prostrated himself before the bourgeoisie and degenerated into an out-and-out capitulationist.
Browder propagated a whole set of revisionist views which embellished the bourgeoisie and opposed and negated revolution.
He declared that the Teheran Declaration of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain ushered in an epoch of "long-term confidence and collaboration" between capitalism and socialism and was capable of guaranteeing "a stable peace for generations".
He spread the notion that the international agreements of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain represented "the most vital interests of every nation and every people in the world without exception" and that the perspective of inner chaos "is incompatible with the perspective of international order". Therefore, it was necessary to oppose "an explosion of class conflict" within the country and "to minimize, and to place definite limits upon" internal class struggle.
He spread the view that a new war would be "a real catastrophic smash-up of a large part of the world" and "may throw . . . most of the world back into barbarism for 50 or 100 years", and that the "emphasis upon agreement that transcends all class divisions" was necessary in order to wipe out the disaster of war.
He advocated relying "entirely upon democratic persuasion and conviction" to realize socialism, and declared that after World War II certain countries "have gained the conditions in which a peaceful transition to socialism has become possible".
He negated the independent role of the proletarian parties, saying that "the practical political aims they [the Communists] hold will for a long time be in agreement on all essential points with the aims of a much larger body of non-Communists".
Guided by these ideas, he dissolved the Communist Party of the U.S.A.
For a time, Browder's revisionism led the revolutionary cause of the American proletariat to the brink of the precipice, and it contaminated the proletarian parties of other countries with the poison of liquidationism.
Browder's revisionist line was opposed by many American Communists headed by Comrade William Z. Foster and was rejected and repudiated by many fraternal Parties. However, the revisionist trend represented by Browderism was not thoroughly criticized and liquidated by the international communist movement as a whole.
In the new circumstances after the War, the revisionist trend developed anew among the Communist ranks in certain countries.
In the capitalist countries, the growth of the revisionist trend first manifested itself in the fact that the leaders of certain Communist Parties abandoned the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line and embraced the line of "peaceful transition". This line is clearly typified in Togliatti's theory of structural reform, which advocates the proletariat's attainment of the leadership of the state through the legal channels of bourgeois democracy and the socialist transformation of the national economy through such nationalization and planning as serve monopoly capital. According to this line, it is possible to establish new socialist relations of production and make the transition to socialism without smashing the bourgeois state machine. In practice, this amounts to making communism degenerate into social-democracy.
In the socialist countries, the revisionist trend first appeared in Yugoslavia. Capitulation to U.S. imperialism is an important characteristic of Titoite revisionism. The Tito clique have sold themselves body and soul to U.S. imperialism; they have not only restored capitalism in Yugoslavia but have become an imperialist instrument for undermining the socialist camp and the international communist movement and are playing the role of a special detachment of U.S. imperialism for sabotaging world revolution.
In their efforts to serve U.S. imperialism and to oppose and abolish proletarian revolution, the Tito clique have outspokenly asserted that violent revolution has become "increasingly superfluous as a means of resolving social contradictions" and that the "evolutionary process of development toward socialism" through a bourgeois parliament "is not only possible but has already become a real fact". They virtually equate capitalism with socialism, asserting that the present-day world "as a whole has deeply 'plunged' into socialism, become socialist". They also say that "now the question--socialism or capitalism--is already solved on a world scale".
Browderite revisionism, the theory of structural reform and Titoite revisionism--these have been the chief manifestations of the revisionist trend since World War II.
Between the 20th and the 22nd Congresses of the CPSU, Khrushchov's revisionist line of "peaceful transition", "peaceful coexistence" and "peaceful competition" became a complete system. He has been hawking this stuff everywhere as his "new creation". Yet it is nothing new but is merely a rehashed and meretricious combination of Browderite revisionism, the theory of structural reform and Titoite revisionism. In international relations, Khrushchov's revisionism practices capitulation to U.S. imperialism; in the imperialist and capitalist countries it practices capitulation to the reactionary ruling classes; in the socialist countries it encourages the development of capitalist forces.
If Bernstein, Kautsky and the other revisionists of the Second International ran in a single line and belonged to the same family around the time of World War I, then the same is true of Browder, Tito and Khrushchov after World War II.
Browder has made this point clear. He wrote in 1960, "Khrushchov now adopted the 'heresy' for which I was kicked out of the Communist Party in 1945." And he added that Khrushchov's new policy "is almost word for word the same line I advocated fifteen years ago. So my crime has become--at least for the moment-- the new orthodoxy".
Khrushchov himself has admitted that he and the Tito clique "belong to one and the same idea and are guided by the same theory".
In the nature of the case, Khrushchov's revisionism is even more pernicious than the revisionism of Bernstein, Kautsky, Browder and Tito. Why? Because the USSR is the first socialist state, a large country in the socialist camp and the native land of Leninism. The CPSU is a large party created by Lenin and in the international communist movement it enjoys a prestige shaped by history. Khrushchov is exploiting his position as the leader of the CPSU and of the Soviet Union to push through his revisionist line.
He describes his revisionist line as a "Leninist" line and utilizes the prestige of the great Lenin and of the great Bolshevik Party to confuse and deceive people.
Exploiting the inherited prestige of the CPSU and the position of a large party and a large country, he has been waving his baton and employing all kinds of political, economic and diplomatic measures to force others to accept his revisionist line.
In line with the imperialist policy of buying over the labour aristocracy, he is buying over certain bourgeoisified Communists in the international communist movement who have betrayed Marxism-Leninism and inducing them to acclaim and serve the anti-revolutionary line of the leaders of the CPSU.
That is why all other revisionists, whether past or present, are dwarfed by Khrushchov.
As the Declaration of 1957 points out, the social source of modern revisionism is surrender to external imperialist pressure and acceptance of domestic bourgeois influence.
Like the old-line revisionists, the modern revisionists answer to the description given by Lenin: ". . . objectively, they are a political detachment of the bourgeoisie, . . . they are transmitters of its influence, its agents in the labour movement." ("The Collapse of the Second International", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. 18, p. 310.)
The economic basis of the emergence of modern revisionism, like that of old-line revisionism, is in the words of Lenin "an insignificant section of the 'top' of the labour movement". ("Opportunism and the Collapse of the Second International", Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. 18, p. 389.)
Modern revisionism is the product of the policies of imperialism and of international monopoly capital which are both headed by the United States. Terrified by the policy of nuclear blackmail and corrupted by the policy of buying over, the modern revisionists are serving as the pawns of U.S. imperialism and its servile followers in opposing revolution.
The revisionist Khrushchov is also scared out of his wits by the hysterical war cries of the U.S. imperialists, and he thinks that this "Noah's ark", the earth, is threatened with destruction at any moment and he has completely lost confidence in the future of mankind. Proceeding from national egoism, he fears that revolutions by the oppressed classes and nations might create trouble for him and implicate him. Therefore, he tries to oppose every revolution by all means and, as in the case of the Congo, does not scruple to take joint action with U.S. imperialism in stamping out a people's revolution. He thinks that by so doing he can avoid risks and at the same time conspire with U.S. imperialism to divide the world into spheres of influence, thus killing two birds with one stone. All this only goes to show that Khrushchov is the greatest capitulationist in history. The enforcement of Khrushchov's pernicious policy will inevitably result in inestimable damage to the great Soviet Union itself.
Why has Khrushchov's revisionism emerged in the Soviet Union, a socialist state with a history of several decades? Actually, this is not so strange. For in every socialist country the question of who wins over whom --socialism or capitalism--can only be gradually settled over a very long historical period. So long as there are capitalist forces and there are classes in society, there is soil for the growth of revisionism.
Khrushchov asserts that in the Soviet Union classes have been abolished, the danger of capitalist restoration is ruled out and the building of communism is under way. All these assertions are lies.
In fact, as a result of Khrushchov's revisionist rule, of the open declaration that the Soviet state has changed its nature and is no longer a dictatorship of the proletariat, and of the execution of a whole series of erroneous domestic and foreign policies, the capitalist forces in Soviet society have become a deluge sweeping over all fields of life in the USSR, including the political, economic, cultural and ideological fields. The social source of Khrushchov's revisionism lies precisely in the capitalist forces which are ceaselessly spreading in the Soviet Union.
Khrushchov's revisionism represents and serves these capitalist forces. Therefore, it will never bring communism to the Soviet people; on the contrary, it is seriously jeopardizing the fruits of socialism and is opening the floodgates for the restoration of capitalism. This is the very road of "peaceful evolution" craved by U.S. imperialism.
The whole history of the dictatorship of the proletariat tells us that peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism is impossible. However, there is already the Yugoslav precedent for the "peaceful evolution" of socialism back into capitalism. Now Khrushchov's revisionism is leading the Soviet Union along this road.
This is the gravest lesson in the history of the dictatorship of the proletariat. All Marxist-Leninists, all revolutionaries and the generations to come must under no circumstances forget this great lesson.
Only eight years have elapsed since the 20th Congress of the CPSU. In this extremely short period of history, Khrushchov's revisionism has inflicted very great and grave damage on the Soviet Union and the revolutionary cause of the international proletariat.
Now is the time--now it is high time--to repudiate and liquidate Khrushchov's revisionism!
Here, we would give the leading comrades of the CPSU a piece of advice: Since so many opportunists and revisionists have been thrown on to the rubbish heap of history, why must you obdurately follow their example?
Here, too, we express the hope that those leading comrades of other fraternal Parties who have committed revisionist errors will think this over: What have they gained by following the revisionist line of the leaders of the CPSU? We understand that, excepting those who have fallen deep into the revisionist quagmire, quite a number of comrades have been confused and deceived, or compelled to follow the wrong path. We believe that all those who are proletarian revolutionaries will eventually choose the revolutionary line and reject the anti-revolutionary line, will eventually choose Marxism-Leninism and reject revisionism. We entertain very great hopes in this regard.
Revisionism can never stop the wheel of history, the wheel of revolution. Revisionist leaders who do not make revolution themselves can never prevent the genuine Marxists and the revolutionary people from rising in revolution. In The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky Lenin wrote that when Kautsky became a renegade, the German Marxist Liebknecht could only express his appeal to the working class in this ways "to push aside such 'leaders,' to free themselves from their stultifying and debasing propaganda, to rise in revolt in spite of them, without them, and march over their heads towards revolution!" (Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 105.)
When the Second International's brand of revisionism prevailed in many Parties in Europe, Lenin attached great significance to the views of the French Communist Paul Golay.
Our adversaries talked loudly of the bankruptcy of Socialism. That is going a bit too fast. Still, who would dare to assert that they are entirely wrong? What is dying at present is not Socialism at all, but one variety of socialism, a sugary socialism without the spirit of idealism and without passion, with the ways of a paunchy official and of a substantial paterfamilias, a socialism without boldness or fierce enthusiasm, a devotee of statistics with its nose buried in friendly agreements with capitalism, a socialism which is preoccupied solely with reforms and which has sold its birthright for a mess of pottage, a socialism which in the eyes of the bourgeoisie is a throttle on the popular impatience and an automatic brake on proletarian audacity. (The Socialism Which Is Dying and the Socialism Which Must Be Reborn, Lausanne, 1915.)
What a superb description! Lenin called it the honest voice of a French Communist. People now ask: Is not modern revisionism precisely the "variety of socialism" which is dying? They will soon hear the resounding ring of the honest voices of innumerable Communists inside the Parties dominated by revisionism.
"A thousand sails pass by the shipwreck; ten thousand saplings shoot up beyond the withered tree." Bogus socialism is dying, whereas scientific socialism is bursting with youthful vigour and is advancing in bigger strides than ever. Revolutionary socialism with its vitality will overcome all difficulties and obstacles and advance step by step towards victory until it has won the whole world.
Let us wind up this article with the concluding words of the Communist Manifesto:
"The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
"WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!"
(A Written Outline Presented by the Delegation of the CPC to the Central
Committee of the CPSU on November 10, 1957)
I. On the question of the transition from capitalism to socialism, it would be more flexible to refer to the two possibilities, peaceful transition and non-peaceful transition, than to just one, and this would place us in a position where we can have the initiative politically at any time.
1. Referring to the possibility of peaceful transition indicates that for us the use of violence is primarily a matter of self-defence. It enables the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries to sidestep attacks on them on this issue, and it is politically advantageous--advantageous for winning the masses and also for depriving the bourgeoisie of its pretexts for such attacks and isolating it.
2. If practical possibilities for peaceful transition were to arise in individual countries in the future when the international or domestic situation changes drastically, we could then make timely use of the opportunity to win the support of the masses and solve the problem of state power by peaceful means.
3. Nevertheless, we should not tie our own hands because of this desire. The bourgeoisie will not step down from the stage of history voluntarily. This is a universal law of class struggle. In no country should the proletariat and the Communist Party slacken their preparations for the revolution in any way. They must be prepared at all times to repulse counter-revolutionary attacks and, at the critical juncture of the revolution when the working class is seizing state power, to overthrow the bourgeoisie by armed force if it uses armed force to suppress the people's revolution (generally speaking, it is inevitable that the bourgeoisie will do so)
II. In the present situation of the international communist movement, it is advantageous from the point of view of tactics to refer to the desire for peaceful transition. But it would be inappropriate to over-emphasize the possibility of peaceful transition. The reasons are:
1. Possibility and reality, the desire and whether or not it can be fulfilled, are two different matters. We should refer to the desire for peaceful transition, but we should not place our hopes mainly on it and therefore should not over-emphasize this aspect.
2. If too much stress is laid on the possibility of peaceful transition, and especially on the possibility of seizing state power by winning a majority in parliament it is liable to weaken the revolutionary will of the proletariat, the working people and the Communist Party and disarm them ideologically.
3. To the best of our knowledge, there is still not a single country where this possibility is of any practical significance. Even if it is slightly more apparent in a particular country, over-emphasizing this possibility is inappropriate because it does not conform with the realities in the overwhelming majority of countries. Should such a possibility actually occur in some country, the Communist Party there must on the one hand strive to realize it, and on the other hand always be prepared to repulse the armed attacks of the bourgeoisie.
4. The result of emphasizing this possibility will neither weaken the reactionary nature of the bourgeoisie nor lull them.
5. Nor will such emphasis make the social democratic parties any more revolutionary.
6. Nor will such emphasis make Communist Parties grow any stronger. On the contrary, if some Communist Parties should as a result obscure their revolutionary features and thus become confused with the social democratic parties in the eyes of the people, they would only be weakened.
7. It is very hard to accumulate strength and prepare for the revolution, and after all parliamentary struggle is easy in comparison. We must fully utilize the parliamentary form of struggle, but its role is limited. What is most important is to proceed with the hard work of accumulating revolutionary strength.
III. To obtain a majority in parliament is not the same as smashing the old state machinery (chiefly the armed forces) and establishing new state machinery (chiefly the armed forces). Unless the military-bureaucratic state machinery of the bourgeoisie is smashed, a parliamentary majority for the proletariat and their reliable allies will either be impossible (because the bourgeoisie will amend the constitution whenever necessary in order to facilitate the consolidation of their dictatorship) or undependable (for instance, elections may be declared null and void, the Communist Party may be outlawed, parliament may be dissolved, etc.).
IV. Peaceful transition to socialism should not be interpreted in such a way as solely to mean transition through a parliamentary majority. The main question is that of the state machinery. In the 1870's, Marx was of the opinion that there was a possibility of achieving socialism in Britain by peaceful means, because "at that time England was a country in which militarism and bureaucracy were less pronounced than in any other". For a period after the February Revolution, Lenin hoped that through "all power to the Soviets" the revolution would develop peacefully and triumph, because at that time "the arms were in the hands of the people". Neither Marx nor Lenin meant that peaceful transition could be realized by using the old state machinery. Lenin repeatedly elaborated on the famous saying of Marx and Engels, "The working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes."
V. The social democratic parties are not parties of socialism. With the exception of certain Left wings, they are parties serving the bourgeoisie and capitalism. They are a variant of bourgeois political parties. On the question of socialist revolution, our position is fundamentally different from that of the social democratic parties. This distinction must not be obscured. To obscure this distinction only helps the leaders of the social democratic parties to deceive the masses and hinders us from winning the masses away from the influence of the social democratic parties. However, it is unquestionably very important to strengthen our work with respect to the social democratic parties and strive to establish a united front with their left and middle groups.
VI. Such is our understanding of this question. We do hold differing views on this question, but out of various considerations we did not state our views after the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Since a joint Declaration is to be issued, we must now explain our views. However, this need not prevent us from attaining common language in the draft Declaration. In order to show a connection between the formulation of this question in the draft Declaration and the formulation of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, we agree to take the draft put forward today by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a basis, while proposing amendments in certain places.
1. N. S. Khrushchov, "Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress", The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Russian ed., Moscow. 1956, p. 39.
2. N. S. Khrushchov, Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress, FLPH, Moscow, 1956,. p. 45.
3. N. S. Khrushchov, "For New Victories for the World Communist Movement", World Marxist Review, Jan. 1961.
4. N. S. Khrushchov, Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress, FLPH, Moscow,1956,. p. 46.
5. Ibid., p. 45
6. "Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union", The Road to Communism, FLPH, Moscow, 1961, p. 482.
7. Ibid. p. 486.
8. E. Bernstein, The Prerequisites for Socialism and the Tasks of the Social-Democratic Party, German ed., Berlin 1923, p. 11.
9. Ibid., p. 197.
10. E. Bernstein, What Is Socialism? German ed., Berlin, 1922. p. 28.
11. E. Bernstein, The Political Mass Strike and the Political Situation of the Social-Democratic Party in Germany, German ed., Berlin, 1905, p. 37.
12. K. Kautsky, The Materialist Interpretation of History, German ed., Berlin, 1927, pp. 431-32.
13. K Kautsky, Social Democracy Versus Communism, Rand School Press, New York, 1946, p. 117.
14. K. Kautsky, The Proletarian Revolution and Its Programme, German ed., Berlin, 1922, p. 90.
15. K. Kautsky, "New Tactics", Neue Zeit, No. 46, 1912.
16. K. Kautsky's argument quoted by G. K. Soselia, Revisionism and the Marxist Theory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Russian ed., Moscow, 1960, p. 46.
17. O. V. Kuusinen and others. Foundations of Marxism-Leninism, Russian ed., Moscow, 1959, p. 526.
18. A. Beliakov and F. Burlatsky, "Lenin's Theory of Socialist Revolution and the Present Day", Kommunist, No. 13, Moscow, 1960.
19. F. Konstantinov, "Lenin and Our Own Times", Kommunist, No. 5, Moscow, 1960.
20. A. Mikoyan, Speech at the 20th Congress, The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Russian ed., Moscow, 1956, Vol. 1,. p. 313.
21. "Marxism-Leninism--the Basis of Unity of the Communist Movement", editorial article in Kommunist, No. 15, Moscow, 1963.
22. "How the World Revolutionary Process Is Developing", Sovietskaya Rossia, August 1, 1983.
23. L. I. Brezhnev, Speech at the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Pravda, Dec. 6, 1962.
24. A. Butenko, "War and Revolution", Kommunist, No. 4, Moscow, 1961.
25. O. V, Kuusinen and others, Foundations of Marxism-Leninism, Russian ed., Moscow, 1959, p. 528.
26. A. Beliakov and F. Burlatsky, "Lenin's Theory of Socialist Revolution and the Present Day", Kommunist, No. 13, Moscow, 1960.
27. A. Butenko, "War and Revolution", Kommunist, No. 4, Moscow, 1961.
28. J. F. Dulles' Address at the 41st Annual Convention of Kiwanis International, June 21, 1956.
29. J. F. Dulles Speech at the Annual Luncheon of the Associated Press on April 22, 1957, New York Times, April 23, 1957.
30. "Open Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to All Party Organizations, to All Communists of the Soviet Union", New Times, No. 29, 1963.
31. "Marxism-Leninism--the Basis of Unity of the Communist Movement", editorial article in Kommunist, No. 15, Moscow, 1963.
32. A. Beliakov and F. Burlatsky, "Lenin's Theory of Socialist Revolution and the Present Day", Kommunist, No. 13, Moscow, 1960.
33. Cited in William Z. Foster's History of the Communist Party of the United States, International Publishers, New York, 1952. p. 337.
34. E. Browder, Teheran, Our Path in War and Peace, International Publishers, New York, 1944, p. 23 and p. 27.
35. Ibid., p. 81.
36. E. Browder, Teheran and America, Workers Library Publishers New York, 1944, p. 17 and p. 28.
37. E. Browder, Communists and National Unity, Workers Library Publishers, New York, 1944, pp. 9-10.
38. E. Browder, The Road to Victory, Workers Library Publishers, New York, 1941, p. 22.
39. E. Browder, World Communism and U.S. Foreign Policy, published by The Author, New York City, 1948, p. 19.
40. E. Browder, Teheran, Our Path in War and Peace, International Publishers, New York, 1944, p. 117.
41. I. Kosanovi, Historical Materialism, 1958.
42. E. Kardelj, "Socialist Democracy in Yugoslav Practice", a lecture delivered before activists of the Norwegian Labour Party in Oslo on Oct. 8, 1954.
43. M. Todorovi, "On the Declaration Concerning Relations Between the LCY and the CPSU", Kommynuct (Belgrade), Nos. 7-8, 1956.
44. M. Perovi, Politika Ekonomija, Belgrade, 1958, 2nd ed., p. 466.
45. E. Browder, "How Stalin Ruined the American Communist Party", Harper's Magazine, New York, March 1960.
46. N. S. Khrushchov's Interview with Foreign Correspondents at Brioni in Yugoslavia, August 28, 1963.
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