Armando Liwanag

Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism


Written by: Armando Liwanag (Jose Maria Sison);
Published: January 15, 1992.
Source: Printed by Amianan a Raya, September 1998;
Markup: Simoun Magsalin;
Copyright: No specific copyrights.


  1. Introduction
  2. The Party’s Marxist-Leninist Stand Against Modern Revisionism
  3. The Legacy of Lenin and Stalin
  4. The Process of Capitalist Restoration
  5. Certain Lessons from the Collapse ofModern Revisionism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Armando Liwanag
Chairman, Central Committee
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 15, 1992


Revisionism is the systematic revision of and deviation from Marxism, the basic revolutionary principles of the proletariat laid down by Marx and Engels and further developed by the series of thinkers and leaders in socialist revolution and construction. The revisionists call themselves Marxists, even claim to make an updated and creative application of Marxism but they do so essentially to sugarcoat the bourgeois antiproletarian and anti-Marxist ideas that they propagate.

The classical revisionists who dominated the Second International in 1912 were in social-democratic parties that acted as tails to bourgeois regimes and supported the war budgets of the capitalist countries in Europe. They denied the revolutionary essence of Marxism and the necessity of proletarian dictatorship, engaged in bourgeois reformism and social pacifism and supported colonialism and modern imperialism. Lenin stood firmly against the classical revisionists, defended Marxism and led the Bolsheviks in establishing the first socialist state in 1917.

The modern revisionists were in the ruling communist parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They systematically revised the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism by denying the continuing existence of exploiting classes and class struggle and the proletarian character of the party and the state in socialist society. And they proceeded to destroy the proletarian party and the socialist state from within. They masqueraded as communists even as they gave up Marxist-Leninist principles. They

attacked Stalin in order to replace the principles of Lenin with the discredited fallacies of his social democratic opponents and claimed to make a “creative application” of Marxism-Leninism.

The total collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, has made it so much easier than before for Marxist-Leninists to sum up the emergence and development of socialism and the peaceful evolution of socialism into capitalism through modern revisionism. It is necessary to trace the entire historical trajectory and draw the correct lessons in the face of the ceaseless efforts of the detractors of Marxism-Leninism to sow ideological and political confusion within the ranks of the revolutionary movement.

Among the most common lines of attack are the following: “genuine” socialism never came into existence; if socialism ever existed, it was afflicted with or distorted by the “curse” of “Stalinism,” which could never be exorcized by his anti-Stalin successors and therefore Stalin was responsible even for the anti-Stalin regimes after his death; and socialism existed up to 1989 or 1991 and was never overpowered by modern revisionism before then or that modern revisionism never existed and it was an irremediably “flawed” socialism that fell in 1989–1991.

There are, of course, continuities as well as discontinuities from the Stalin to the post-Stalin periods. But social science demands that a leader be held responsible mainly for the period of his leadership. The main responsibility of Gorbachov for his own period of leadership should not be shifted to Stalin just as that of Marcos, for example, cannot be shifted to Quezon. It is necessary to trace the continuities between the Stalin and the post-Stalin regimes. And it is also necessary to recognize the discontinuities, especially because the post-Stalin regimes were anti-Stalin in character. In the face of the efforts of the imperialists, the revisionists and the unremoulded petty bourgeois to explain everything in anti-Stalin terms and to condemn the essential principles and the entire lot of Marxism-Leninism, there is a strong reason and necessity to recognize the sharp differences between the Stalin and post-Stalin regimes. The phenomenon of modern revisionism deserves attention, if we are to explain the blatant restoration of capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship in 1989–91.

After his death, the positive achievements of Stalin (such as the socialist construction, the defense of the Soviet Union, the high rate of growth of the Soviet economy, the social guarantees, etc.) continued for a considerable while. So were his errors continued and exaggerated by his successors up to the point of discontinuing socialism. We refer to the denial of the existence and the resurgence of the exploiting classes and class struggle in Soviet society; and the unhindered propagation of the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking and the growth of the bureaucratism of the monopoly bureaucrat bourgeoisie in command of the great mass of petty-bourgeois bureaucrats.

From the Khrushchov period through the long Brezhnev period to the Gorbachov period, the dominant revisionist idea was that the working class had achieved its historic tasks and that it was time for the Soviet leaders and experts in the state and ruling party to depart from the proletarian stand. The ghost of Stalin was blamed for bureaucratism and other ills. But in fact, the modern revisionists promoted these on their own account and in the interest of a growing bureaucratic bourgeoisie. The general run of new intelligentsia and bureaucrats was petty bourgeois-minded and provided the social base for the monopoly bureaucrat bourgeoisie. In the face of the collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes, there is in fact cause for the Party to celebrate the vindication of its Marxist-Leninist, antirevisionist line. The correctness of this line is confirmed by the total bankruptcy and collapse of the revisionist ruling parties, especially the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the chief disseminator of modern revisionism on a world scale since 1956. It is clearly proven that the modern revisionist line means the disguised restoration of capitalism over a long period of time and ultimately leads to the undisguised restoration of capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship. The supraclass sloganeering of the petty bourgeoisie has been the sugarcoating for the antiproletarian ideas of the big bourgeoisie in the Soviet state and party.

In the Philippines, the political group that is most embarrassed, discredited and orphaned by the collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes is that of the Lavas and their successors. It is certainly not the Communist Party of the Philippines, reestablished in 1968. But the imperialists, the bourgeois mass media and certain other quarters wish to confuse the situation and try to mock at and shame the Party for the disintegration of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes. They are barking at the wrong tree.

There are elements who have been hoodwinked by such catchphrases of Gorbachovite propaganda as “socialist renewal,” “perestroika,” “glasnost” and “new thinking” and who have refused to recognize the facts and the truth about the Gorbachovite swindle even after 1989, the year when modern revisionism started to give way to the open and blatant restoration of capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship. There are a handful of elements within the Party who continue to follow the already proven anticommunist, antisocialist and pseudodemocratic example of Gorbachov and who question and attack the vanguard role of the working class through the Party, democratic centralism, the essentials of the revolutionary movement, and the socialist future of the Philippine revolutionary movement. Their line is aimed at nothing less than the negation of the basic principles of the Party and therefore the liquidation of the Party.

I. The Party’s Marxist-Leninist Stand Against Modern Revisionism

The proletarian revolutionary cadres of the Party who have continuously adhered to the Marxist-Leninist stand against modern revisionism and have closely followed the developments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since the early 1960s are not surprised by the flagrant antisocialist and antidemocratic outcome of modern revisionism. The Party should never forget that its founding proletarian revolutionary cadres had been able to work with the remnants of the old merger Party of the Communist and Socialist parties since early 1963 only for so long as there was common agreement that the resumption of the anti-imperialist and antifeudal mass struggle meant the resumption of the new-democratic revolution through revolutionary armed struggle and that the old merger party would adhere to the revolutionary essence of Marxism-Leninism and reject the Khrushchovite revisionist line of bourgeois populism and pacifism and the subsequent Khrushchovism without Khrushchov of the Brezhnev regime.

So, in April 1967 when the Lava revisionist renegades violated the common agreement and ignored the Executive Committee that had been formed in 1963, it became necessary to lay the ground for the reestablishment of the Party as a proletarian revolutionary party. Everyone can refer to the diametrically opposed proclamations of the proletarian revolutionaries and the Lava revisionist renegades which were disseminated in the Philippines and published respectively in Peking (Beijing) Review and the Prague Information Bulletin within the first week of May 1967.

The reestablishment of the Party on the theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism on December 26, 1968 necessarily meant the criticism and repudiation of all the subjectivist and opportunist errors of the Lava revisionist group and the modern revisionism practised and propagated by this group domestically and by one Soviet ruling clique after another internationally.

The criticism and repudiation of modern revisionism are a fundamental component of the reestablishment and rebuilding of the Party and are inscribed in the basic document of rectification, “Rectify

Errors and Rebuild the Party” and the Program and Constitution of the Party. These documents have remained valid and effective. No leading organ of the CPP has ever had the power and the reason to reverse or reject the criticism and repudiation of modern revisionism by the Congress of Reestablishment in 1968.

In the late 1970s, the Party decided to expand the international relations of the revolutionary movement in addition to the Party’s relations with Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations abroad. The international representative of the National Democratic Front began to explore possibilities for the NDF to act like the Palestinian Liberation Organization, African National Congress and other national liberation movements in expanding friendly and diplomatic relations with all forces abroad that are willing to extend moral and material support to the Philippine revolutionary struggle on any major issue and to whatever extent. This line in external relations was in consonance with the Marxist-Leninist stand of the Party and the international united front against imperialism.

In 1983, a definite proposal to the Central Committee came up that the NDF or any of its member organizations vigorously seek friendly relations with the ruling parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as well as with parties and movements closely associated with the CPSU. However, this proposal was laid aside in favor of the counterproposal made by the international liaison department (ILD) of the Party Central Committee that the Party rather than the NDF explore and seek “fraternal” relations with the ruling parties of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and other related parties.

Veering Away from the Antirevisionist Line

This counterproposal disregarded the fact that the Lava revisionist group had already preempted our Party from the possibility of “fraternal” relations with the revisionist ruling parties. More significantly, the counterproposal did not take into serious consideration the MarxistLeninist stand of the Party against modern revisionism.

Notwithstanding the ill-informed and unprincipled basis for seeking “fraternal” relations with the revisionist ruling parties and the absence of any congress withdrawing the correct antirevisionist line, the staff organ in charge of international relations proceeded in 1984 to draft and circulate a policy paper, “The Present World Situation and the CPP’s General International Line and Policies” describing the CPSU as a Marxist-Leninist party, the Soviet Union as the most developed socialist country and as proletarian internationalist rather than social-imperialist, as having supported third world liberation movements and as having attained military parity with the United States. This policy paper was presented to the 1985 Central Committee Plenum and the latter decided to conduct further studies on it.

In 1986, the Executive Committee of the Central Committee commissioned a study of the Soviet Union and East European countries. The study was superficial. It was done to support the predetermined conclusion that these countries were socialist because their economies were still dominated by state-owned enterprises and these enterprises were still growing and because the state still provided social guarantees to the people. The study overlooked the fact that the ruling party in command of the economy was no longer genuinely proletarian and that state-owned enterprises since the time of Khrushchov had already become milking cows of corrupt bureaucrats and private entrepreneurs who colluded under various pretexts to redirect the products to the “free” (private) market.

By this time, the attempt to deviate from the antirevisionist line of the Party was clearly linked to the erroneous idea that total victory in the Philippine revolution could be hastened by “regularizing” the few thousands of NPA fighters with importations of heavy weapons and other logistical requisites from abroad, by skipping stages in the development of people’s war and in building the people’s army and by arousing the forces for armed urban insurrection in anticipation of some sudden “turn in the situation” to mount a general uprising.

There was the notion that the further development of the people’s army and the people’s war depended on the importation of heavy weapons and getting logistical support from abroad and that the failure to import these would mean the stagnation or retrogression of the revolutionary forces because there is no other way by which the NPA could overcome the enemy’s “blockhouse” warfare and control of the highways except through the use of sophisticated heavy weapons (antitank and laser-guided missiles) which necessarily have to be imported from abroad.

In the second half of 1986, with the approval of the Party’s central leadership, a drive was started to seek the establishment of “fraternal” relations with the CPSU and other revisionist ruling parties as well as nonruling ones close to the CPSU. A considerable amount of resources was allotted to and expended on the project.

In late 1986, some Brezhnevites within the CPSU and some other quarters made the suggestion that the Communist Party of the Philippines merge with the Lava revisionist group in order to gain “fraternal” relations with the CPSU. But such a suggestion was tactfully rejected with the countersuggestion that the CPSU and other revisionist ruling parties could keep their fraternal relations with the Lava group while the CPP could have friendly relations with them. We stood pat on the Leninist line of proletarian party-building.

Up to 1987 the failure to establish relations with the revisionist ruling parties was interpreted by some elements as the result of the refusal on the part of our Party to repudiate its antirevisionist line. These elements had to be reminded in easily understood practical terms that if the antirevisionist line of the Party had been withdrawn and the revisionist ruling parties would continue to rebuff our offer of “fraternal” or friendly relations with them, then the proposed opportunism would be utterly damaging to the Party.

By 1987, the Party became aware that the Gorbachov regime was already laying the ground for the emasculation of the revisionist ruling parties in favor of an openly bourgeois state machinery in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe by allowing his advisors, officials of the Academy of Social Sciences and the official as well as independent Soviet mass media to promote pro-imperialist, anticommunist and antisocialist ideas under the guise of social democracy and “liberal” communism. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution, Gorbachov himself delivered a speech abandoning the antiimperialist struggle and describing imperialism as having shed off its violent character in an integral world in which the Soviet Union and the United States and other countries can cooperate in the common interest of humanity’s survival.

In 1987, the chairman of the Party’s Central Committee made an extensive interview on the question of establishing relations with the ruling parties of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. This was made in response to the demand from some quarters within the Party that the Party repudiate its line against revisionism and apologize to the CPSU for having criticized the Soviet Union on the question of Cambodia and Afghanistan. The interview clarified that the Party can establish friendly relations with the ruling parties even while the latter maintained their “fraternal” relations with the Lava group.

Failed Efforts at Establishing Relations

In June 1988, the “World Situation and Our Line” was issued to replace “The Present World Situation and the CPP’s General International Line and Policies.” The correct and positive side of the new document reiterated the principles of national integrity, independence, equality noninterference and mutual support and mutual benefit to guide the Party’s international relations; and upheld the basic principles of socialism, anti-imperialism and proletarian internationalism and peaceful coexistence as a diplomatic policy. Furthermore, it noted and warned against the unhealthy trends of cynicism, anticommunism, nationalism, consumerism, superstition, criminality and the like already running rampant in the countries ruled by the revisionist parties.

The negative side included accepting at face value and endorsing the catchphrases of Gorbachov; describing the revisionist regimes as socialist under a “lowered” definition; and diplomatic avoidance of the antirevisionist terms of the Party.

In the course of trying to establish friendly relations with the revisionist ruling parties in 1987 and onward, Party representatives were able to discern that Gorbachov and his revisionist followers were reorganizing these parties towards their eventual weakening and dissolution. Despite Gorbachov’s avowed line of allowing the other East European ruling parties to decide matters for themselves, Soviet agents pushed these parties to reorganize themselves by replacing Brezhnevite holdovers at various levels with Gorbachovites and subsequently paralyzed the Party organizations. However, it would be in 1989 that it became clear without any doubt that all the revisionist ruling parties and regimes were on the path of self-disintegration, blatant restoration of capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship under the slogans of “multiparty democracy” and “economic reforms.”

It is correct for the Party to seek friendly relations with any foreign party or movement on the basis of anti-imperialism. But it is wrong to go into any “fraternal” relations involving the repudiation of the Party’s Marxist-Leninist stand against modern revisionism.

In this regard, we must be self-critical for wavering or temporarily veering away from the Party’s antirevisionist line and engaging in a futile expedition. The motivation was to seek greater material and moral support for the Filipino people’s revolutionary struggle. Although such motivation is good, it can only mitigate but cannot completely excuse the departure from the correct line. The error is a major one but it can be rectified through education far more easily than other errors unless ideological confusion over the developments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is allowed to continue. Most comrades assigned to do international work were merely following the wrong line from above.

The worst damage caused by the unconsummated and belated flirtation with the revisionist ruling parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is not so much the waste of effort and resources but in the circulation of incorrect ideas, such as that these parties were still socialist and that the availability or non-availability of material assistance from them, especially heavy weapons, would spell the advance or stagnation and retrogression of the Philippine revolutionary movement. It should be pointed out that the Lava group had the best of relations with these parties since the sixties but this domestic revisionist group never amounted to anything more than being an inconsequential toady of Soviet foreign policy and the Marcos regime.

At this point, the central leadership and entirety of the Party must renew their resolve to adhere to Marxism-Leninism and to the antirevisionist line. We are in a period which requires profound and farsighted conviction in the new democratic revolution as well as the socialist revolution. This is a period comparable to that when the classical revisionist parties disintegrated and it seemed as if socialism had become a futile dream and the world seemed to be merely a helpless object of imperialist oppression and exploitation. But that period was exactly the eve of socialist revolution.

II. The Legacy of Lenin and Stalin

The red flag of the Soviet Union has been brought down. The czarist flag of Russia now flies over the Kremlin. It may only be a matter of time that the body of the great Lenin is removed from its mausoleum in the Red Square, unless Russia’s new bourgeoisie continue to regard it as a lucrative tourist attraction for visitors with hard foreign currency.

The Soviet modern revisionists, from Khrushchov to Gorbachov, had invoked the name of Lenin to attack Stalin. But in fact, the total negation of Stalin was but the spearhead of the total negation of Lenin and Leninism, socialism, the Soviet Union and the entire course of Bolshevik and Soviet history. The bourgeoisie in the former Soviet Union was not satisfied with anything less than the open restoration of capitalism and the imposition of the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

It is necessary to refresh ourselves on the legacy of Lenin and Stalin in the face of concerted attempts by the imperialists, the modern revisionists, the barefaced restorationists of capitalism and the anticommunist bourgeois intelligentsia to slander and discredit it. The greatness of Lenin lies in having further developed the three components of the theory of Marxism: philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism. Lenin is the great master of Marxism in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution.

He delved further into dialectical materialism, pointed to the unity of opposites as the most fundamental law of material reality and transformation and contended most extensively and profoundly with the so-called “third force” subjectivist philosophy (empirio-criticism). He analyzed modern imperialism and put forward the theory of uneven development, which elucidated the possibility of socialist revolution at the weakest point of the world capitalist system. He elaborated on the Marxist theory of state and revolution. He stood firmly for proletarian class struggle and proletarian dictatorship against the classical revisionists and actually led the first successful socialist revolution.

The ideas of Lenin were tested in debates within the Second International and within the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP). The proletarian revolutionary line that he and his Bolshevik comrades espoused proved to be correct and victorious in contention with various bourgeois ideas and formations that competed for hegemony in the struggle against czarist autocracy.

We speak of the socialist revolution as beginning on November 7, 1917 because it was on that day that the people under the leadership of the proletariat through the Bolshevik party seized political power from the bourgeoisie. It was at that point that the proletarian dictatorship was established. For this, Lenin is considered the great founder of Soviet socialism. Proletarian dictatorship is the first requisite for building socialism. Without this power, socialist revolution cannot be undertaken. By this power, Lenin was able to decree the nationalization of the land and capital assets of the exploiting classes and take over the commanding heights of the economy.

Proletarian class dictatorship is but another expression for the state power necessary for smashing and replacing the state power or class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, for carrying out the all-rounded socialist revolution and for preventing the counter-evolutionaries from regaining control over society.

Proletarian dictatorship is at the same time proletarian democracy and democracy for the entire people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants. Without the exercise of proletarian dictatorship against their class enemies, the proletariat and the people cannot enjoy democracy among themselves. Proletarian dictatorship is the fruit of the highest form of democratic action-the revolutionary process that topples the bourgeois dictatorship. It is the guarantor of democracy among the people against domestic and external class enemies, the local exploiting classes and the imperialists.

The Bolsheviks were victorious because they resolutely established and defended the proletarian class dictatorship. They had learned their lessons well from the failure of the Paris Commune of 1871 and from the reformism and treason of the social democratic parties in the Second International.

Wielding proletarian dictatorship, the Bolsheviks disbanded in January 1918 the Constituent Assembly that had been elected after the October Revolution but was dominated by the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, because that assembly refused to ratify the Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling and Exploited People. The Bolsheviks subsequently banned the bourgeois parties because these parties engaged in counterrevolutionary violence and civil war against the proletariat and collaborated with the foreign interventionists. In his lifetime, Lenin led the Soviet proletariat and people and the soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers to victory in the civil war and the war against the interventionist powers from 1918 to 1921. He consolidated the Soviet Union as a federal union of socialist republics and built the congresses of soviets and the nationalities. As a proletarian internationalist, he established the Third International and set forth the anti-imperialist line for the world proletariat and all oppressed nations and peoples.

In 1922 he proclaimed the New Economic Policy as a transitory measure for reviving the economy from the devastation of war in the quickest possible way and remedying the problem of “war communism” which had involved requisitioning and rationing under conditions of war, devastation and scarcity. Under the new policy, the small entrepreneurs and rich peasants were allowed to engage freely in private production and to market their products.

The Record of Stalin

Lenin died in 1924. He did not live long enough to see the start of full-scale socialist economic construction. This was undertaken by his successor and faithful follower Stalin. He carried it out in accordance with the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin: proletarian dictatorship and mass mobilization, public ownership of the means of production, economic planning, industrialization, collectivization and mechanization of agriculture, full employment and social guarantees, free education at all levels, expanding social services and the rising standard of living.

But before the socialist economic construction could be started in 1929 with the first five-year economic plan, Stalin continued Lenin’s New Economic Policy and had to contend with and defeat the Left Opposition headed by Trotsky who espoused the wrong line that socialism in one country was impossible and that the workers in Western Europe (especially in Germany) had to succeed first in armed uprisings and that rapid industrialization had to be undertaken immediately at the expense of the peasantry.

Stalin won out with his line of socialism in one country and in defending the worker-peasant alliance. If Trotsky had his way, he would have destroyed the chances for Soviet socialism by provoking the capitalist powers, by breaking up the worker-peasant alliance and by spreading pessimism in the absence of any victorious armed uprisings in Western Europe.

When it was time to put socialist economic construction in full swing, the Right opposition headed by Bukharin emerged to argue for the continuation of the New Economic Policy and oppose Soviet industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture. If Bukharin had had his way, the Soviet Union would not have been able to build a socialist society with a comprehensive industrial base and a mechanized and collectivized agriculture and provide its people with a higher standard of living; and would have enlarged the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois nationalists in the various republics and become an easier prey to Nazi Germany whose leader Hitler made no secret of his plans against the Soviet Union.

The first five-year economic plan was indeed characterized by severe difficulties due to the following: the limited industrial base to start with in a sea of agrarian conditions, the continuing effects of the war, the economic and political sanctions of the capitalist powers, the constant threat of foreign military intervention, the burdensome role of the pioneer and the violent reaction of the rich peasants who refused to put their farms, tools and work animals under collectivization, slaughtered their work animals and organized resistance. But after the first five-year economic plan, there was popular jubilation over the establishment of heavy and basic industries. To the relief of the peasantry there was considerable mechanization of agriculture, especially in the form of tractor stations. There was marked improvement in the standard of living.

In 1936, a new constitution was promulgated. As a result of the successes of the economic construction and in the face of the actual confiscation of bourgeois and landlord property and the seeming disappearance of exploiting classes by economic definition, the constitution declared that there were no more exploiting classes and no more class struggle except that between the Soviet people and the external enemy. This declaration would constitute the biggest error of Stalin. It propelled the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking in the new intelligentsia and bureaucracy even as the proletarian dictatorship was exceedingly alert to the old forces and elements of counterrevolution.

The error had two ramifications.

One ramification abetted the failure to distinguish contradictions among the people from those between the people and the enemy and the propensity to apply administrative measures against those loosely construed as enemies of the people. There were indeed real British and

German spies and bourgeois nationalists engaged in counterrevolutionary violence. They had to be ferreted out. But this was done by relying heavily on a mass reporting system (based on patriotism) that fed information to the security services. And the principle of due process was not assiduously and scrupulously followed in order to narrow the target in the campaign against counterrevolutionaries and punish only the few who were criminally culpable on the basis of incontrovertible evidence. Thus, in the 1936–38 period, arbitrariness victimized a great number of people. Revolutionary class education through mass movement under Party leadership was not adequately undertaken for the purpose of ensuring the high political consciousness and vigilance of the people.

The other ramification was the promotion of the idea that building socialism was a matter of increasing production, improving administration and technique, letting the cadres decide everything (although Stalin never ceased to speak against bureaucratism) and providing the cadres and experts and the toiling masses with ever increasing material benefits. The new intelligentsia produced by the rapidly expanding Soviet educational system had a decreasing sense of the proletarian class stand and an increasing sense that it was sufficient to have the expertise and to become bureaucrats and technocrats in order to build socialism. The old and the new intelligentsia were presumed to be proletarian so long as they rendered bureaucratic and professional service. There was no recognition of the fact that bourgeois and other antiproletarian ideas can persist and grow even after the confiscation of bourgeois and landlord property.

To undertake socialist revolution and construction in a country with a large population of more than 100 nationalities and a huge land mass, with a low economic and technological level as a starting point, ravaged by civil war and ever threatened by local counterrevolutionary forces and foreign capitalist powers, it was necessary to have the centralization of political will as well as centralized planning in the use of limited resources. But such a necessity can be overdone by a bourgeoisie that is reemergent through the petty bourgeoisie and can become the basis of bureaucratism, decreasing democracy in the process of decision-making. The petty bourgeoisie promotes the bureaucratism that gives rise to and solidifies the higher levels of the bureaucrat bourgeoisie and that alienates the Party and the state from the people. Democratic centralism can be made to degenerate into bureaucratic centralism by the forces and elements that run counter to the interests of the proletariat and all working people.

In world affairs, Stalin encouraged and supported the communist parties and anti-imperialist movements in capitalist countries and the colonies and semicolonies through the Third International. And from 1935 onward, he promoted internationally the antifascist Popular Front policy. Only after Britain and France spurned his offer of antifascist alliance and continued to induce Germany to attack the Soviet Union did Stalin decide to forge a nonaggression pact with Germany in 1939. This was a diplomatic maneuver to forestall a probable earlier Nazi aggression and gain time for the Soviet Union to prepare against it.

Stalin made full use of the time before the German attack in 1941 to strengthen the Soviet Union economically and militarily as well as politically through patriotic calls to the entire Soviet people and through concessions to conservative institutions and organizations. For instance, the Russian Orthodox Church was given back its buildings and its privileges. There was marked relaxation in favor of a broad antifascist popular front.

In the preparations against fascist invasion and in the course of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the line of Soviet patriotism further subdued the line of class struggle among the old and new intelligentsia and the entire people. The Soviet people united. Even as they suffered a tremendous death casualty of 20 million and devastation of their country, including the destruction of 85 percent of industrial capacity, they played the pivotal role in defeating Nazi Germany and world fascism and paved the way for the rise of several socialist countries in Eastern Europe and Asia and the national liberation movements on an unprecedented scale. In the aftermath of World War II, Stalin led the economic reconstruction of the Soviet Union. Just as he succeeded in massive industrialization from 1929 to 1941 (only 12 years) before the war, so he did again from 1945 to 1953 (only eight years) but this time with apparently no significant resistance from counterrevolutionaries. In all these years of socialist construction, socialism proved superior to capitalism in all respects.

In 1952, Stalin realized that he had made a mistake in prematurely declaring that there were no more exploiting classes and no more class struggle in the Soviet Union, except the struggle between the people and the enemy. But it was too late, the Soviet party and state were already swamped by a large number of bureaucrats with waning proletarian revolutionary consciousness. These bureaucrats and their bureaucratism would become the base of modern revisionism.

When Stalin died in 1953, he left a Soviet Union that was a politically, economically, militarily and culturally powerful socialist country. He had successfully united the Soviet people of the various republics and nationalities and had defended the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. He had rebuilt an industrial economy, with high annual growth rates, with enough homegrown food for the people and the world’s largest production of oil, coal, steel, gold, grain, cotton and so on.

Under his leadership, the Soviet Union had created the biggest number of research scientists, engineers, doctors, artists, writers and so on. In the literary and artistic field, social realism flourished while at the same time the entire cultural heritage of the Soviet Union was cherished.

In foreign policy, Stalin held the U.S. forces of aggression at bay in Europe and Asia, supported the peoples fighting for national liberation and socialism, neutralized what was otherwise the nuclear monopoly of the United States and ceaselessly called for world peace even as the U.S.-led Western alliance waged the Cold War and engaged in provocations. It is absolutely necessary to correctly evaluate Stalin as a leader in order to avoid the pitfall of modern revisionism and to counter the most strident anti-communists who attack Marxism-Leninism under the guise of anti-Stalinism. We must know what are his merits and demerits. We must respect the historical facts and judge his leadership within its own time, 1924 to 1953.

It is unscientific to make a complete negation of Stalin as a leader in his own time and to heap the blame on him even for the modern revisionist line, policies and actions which have been adopted and undertaken explicitly against the name of Stalin and have — at first gradually and then rapidly — brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism. Leaders must be judged mainly for the period of their responsibility even as we seek to trace the continuities and discontinuities from one period to another.

Stalin’s merits within his own period of leadership are principal and his demerits are secondary. He stood on the correct side and won all the great struggles to defend socialism such as those against the Left opposition headed by Trotsky; the Right opposition headed by Bukharin, the rebellious rich peasants, the bourgeois nationalists, and the forces of fascism headed by Hitler. He was able to unite, consolidate and develop the Soviet state. After World War II, Soviet power was next only to the United States. Stalin was able to hold his ground against the threats of U.S. imperialism. As a leader, he represented and guided the Soviet proletariat and people from one great victory to another.

III. The Process of Capitalist Restoration

The regimes of Khrushchov, Brezhnev and Gorbachov mark the three stages in the process of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union, a process of undermining and destroying the great accomplishments of the Soviet proletariat and people under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin. This process has also encompassed Eastern Europe.

The Khrushchov regime laid the foundation of Soviet modern revisionism and overthrew the proletarian dictatorship. The Brezhnev regime fully developed modern revisionism for a far longer period of time and completely converted socialism into monopoly bureaucrat capitalism. And the Gorbachov regime brought the work of modern revisionism to the final goal of wiping out the vestiges of socialism and entirely dismantling the socialist facade of the revisionist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He destroyed the Soviet Union that Lenin and Stalin had built and defended.

To restore capitalism, the Soviet revisionist regimes had to revise the basic principles of socialist revolution and construction and to go through stages of camouflaged counterrevolution in a period of 38 years, 1953 to 1991. It is a measure of the greatness of Lenin and Stalin that their accomplishments in 36 years of socialist revolution and construction took another long period of close to four decades to dismantle. Stalin spent a total of 20 years in socialist construction. The revisionist renegades took a much longer period of time to restore capitalism in the Soviet Union.

In the same period of time, the revisionist regimes cleverly took the pretext of attacking Stalin in order to attack the foundations of MarxistLeninist theory and practice and eventually condemn Lenin himself and the entire course of Soviet history and finally destroy the Soviet Union. The revisionist renegades in their protracted “de-Stalinization” campaign blamed Stalin beyond his lifetime for their own culpabilities and failures. For instance, they aggravated bureaucratism in the service of capitalist restoration but they still blamed the long-dead Stalin for it.

Tito of Yugoslavia had the unique distinction of being the pioneer in modern revisionism. In opposing Stalin, he deviated from the basic principles of socialist revolution and construction in 1947 and received political and material support from the West. He refused to undertake land reform and collectivization. He preserved and promoted the bourgeoisie through the bureaucracy and private enterprise, especially in the form of private cooperatives.

He considered as key to socialism not the public ownership of the means of production, economic planning and further development of the productive forces but the immediate decentralization of enterprises; the so-called workers’ self-management that actually combined bureaucratism and anarchy of production; and the operation of the free market (including the goods imported from Western countries) upon the existent and stagnant level of production. In misrepresenting Lenin’s New Economic Policy as the very model for socialist economic development, he was the first chief of state to use the name of Lenin against both Lenin and Stalin.

First Stage: The Khrushchov Regime, 1953–64

To Khrushchov belongs the distinction of being the pioneer in modern revisionism in the Soviet Union, the first socialist country in the history of mankind, and of being the most influential in promoting modern revisionism on a world scale.

Khrushchov’s career as a revisionist in power started in 1953. He was a bureaucratic sycophant and an active player in repressive actions during the time of Stalin. To become the first secretary of the CPSU and accumulate power in his hands, he played off the followers of Stalin against each other and succeeded in having Beria executed after a summary trial. He depended on the new bourgeoisie that had arisen from the bureaucracy and the new intelligentsia.

In 1954, he had already reorganized the CPSU to serve his ideological and political position. In 1955, he upheld Tito against the memory of Stalin, especially on the issue of revisionism. In 1956, he delivered before the 20th Party Congress his “secret” speech against Stalin, completely negating him as no better than a bloodthirsty monster and denouncing the “personality cult.” The congress marked the overthrow of the proletarian dictatorship. In 1957, he used the armed forces to defeat the vote for his ouster by the Politburo and thereby made the coup to further consolidate his position.

In 1956, the anti-Stalin diatribe inspired the anticommunist forces in Poland and Hungary to carry out uprisings. The Hungarian uprising was stronger and more violent. Khrushchov ordered the Soviet army to suppress it, chiefly because the Hungarian party leadership sought to rescind its political and military ties with the Soviet Union.

But subsequently, all throughout Eastern Europe under Soviet influence, it became clear that it was alright to the Soviet ruling clique for the satellite regimes to adopt capitalist-oriented reforms (private enterprise in agriculture, handicraft and services, dissolution of collective farms even where land reform had been carried out on a narrow scale and, of course, the free market) like Yugoslavia along an anti-Stalin line. The revisionist regimes were, however, under strict orders to remain within the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Warsaw Pact.

The unremoulded social-democratic and petty-bourgeois sections of the revisionist ruling parties in Eastern Europe started to kick out genuine communists from positions of leadership in the state and party under the direction of Khrushchov and under the pressure of anticommunist forces in society. It must be recalled that the so- called proletarian ruling parties were actually mergers of communists and social-democrats put into power by the Soviet Red Army. At the most, there were only a few years of proletarian dictatorship and socialist economic construction before Khrushchov started in 1956 to enforce his revisionist line in the satellite parties and regimes.

The total negation of Stalin by Khrushchov was presented as a rectification of the personality cult, bureaucratism and terrorism; and as the prerequisite for the efflorescence of democracy and civility, rapid economic progress that builds the material and technological foundation of communism in twenty years, the peaceful form of social revolution from an exploitative system to a non-exploitative one, detente with the United States, nuclear disarmament step by step and world peace, a world without wars and arms.

Khrushchov paid lip service to proletarian dictatorship and the basic principles of socialist revolution and construction but at the same time introduced a set of ideas to undermine them. He used bourgeois populism, declaring that the CPSU was a party of the whole people and the Soviet state was a state of the whole people on the anti-Marxist premise that the tasks of proletarian dictatorship had been fulfilled. He used bourgeois pacifism, declaring that it was possible and preferable for mankind to opt for peaceful transition to socialism and peaceful economic competition with the capitalist powers in order to avert the nuclear annihilation of humanity; raising peaceful coexistence from the level of diplomatic policy to that of the general line governing all kinds of external relations of the Soviet Union and the CPSU; and denying the violent nature of imperialism.

In the economic field, he used the name of Lenin against Lenin and Stalin by misrepresenting Lenin’s New Economic Policy as the way to socialism rather than as a transitory measure towards socialist construction. He carried out decentralization to some degree, he autonomized state enterprises and promoted private agriculture and the free market. The autonomized state enterprises became responsible for their own cost and profit accounting and for raising the wages and bonuses on the basis of the profits of the individual enterprise. The private plots were enlarged and large areas of land (ranging from 50 to 100 hectares) were leased to groups, usually households. Many tractor stations for collective farms were dissolved and agricultural machines were turned over to private entrepreneurs. The free market in agricultural and industrial products and services was promoted.

In the same way that the revisionist rhetoric of Khrushchov overlapped with Marxist-Leninist terminology, socialism overlapped with capitalist restoration. The socialist system of production and distribution was still dominant for a while. Thus, the Soviet economy under Khrushchov still registered high rates of growth. But the regime took most pride in the higher rate of growth in the private sector which benefited from cheap energy, transport, tools and other supplies from the public sector and which was credited with producing the goods stolen from the public sector.

In the autonomization of state enterprises, managers acquired the power to hire and fire workers, transact business within the Soviet Union and abroad; increase their own salaries, bonuses and other perks at the expense of the workers; lessen the funds available for the development of other parts of the economy; and engage in bureaucratic corruption in dealing with the free market.

With regard to private agriculture, propaganda was loudest on the claim that it was more productive than the state and collective farms. The reemergent rich peasants were lauded. But in fact, the corrupt bureaucrats and private farmers and merchants were colluding in underpricing and stealing products (through pilferage and wholesale misdeclaration of goods as defective) from the collective and state farms in order to rechannel these to the free market. In the end, the Soviet Union would suffer sharp reductions in agricultural production and would be importing huge amounts of grain.

The educational system continued to expand, reproducing in great numbers the new intelligentsia now influenced by the ideas of modern revisionism and looking to the West for models of efficient management and for quality consumer goods. In the arts and in literature, social realism was derided and universal humanism, pacifism and mysticism came into fashion.

The Khrushchov regime drew prestige from the advances of Soviet science and technology, from the achievements in space technology and from the continuing economic construction. All of these were not possible without the prior work and the accumulated social capital under the leadership of Stalin. Khrushchov went into rapid housing and office construction which pleased the bureaucracy.

The CPSU and the Chinese Communist Party were the main protagonists in the great ideological debate. Despite Khrushchov’s brief reconciliation with Tito, the Moscow Declaration of 1957 and the Moscow Statement of 1960 maintained that modern revisionism was the main danger to the international communist movement as a result of the firm and vigorous stand of the Chinese and other communist parties.

Khrushchov extended the ideological debate into a disruption of state-to-state relations between the Soviet Union and China. In the Cuban missile crisis, he had a high profile confrontation with Kennedy. He first took an adventurist and then swung to a capitulationist position. With regard to Vietnam, he was opposed to the revolutionary armed struggle of the Vietnamese people and grudgingly gave limited support to them.

The deterioration of Soviet industry and the breakdown of agriculture and bungling in foreign relations led to the removal of Khrushchov in a coup by the Brezhnev clique. Brezhnev became the general secretary of the CPSU and Kosygin became the premier. The former would eventually assume the position of president.

Second Stage: The Brezhnev Regime, 1964–82

While Khrushchov was stridently anti-Stalin, Brezhnev made a limited and partial “rehabilitation” of Stalin. If we link this to the recentralization of the bureaucracy and the state enterprises previously decentralized and the repressive measures taken against the proimperialist and anticommunist opposition previously encouraged by Khrushchov, it would appear that Brezhnev was reviving Stalin’s policies.

In fact, the Brezhnev regime was on the whole anti-Stalin, with respect to the continuing line of promoting the Khrushchovite capitalistoriented reforms in the economy and the line of developing an offensive capability “to defend the Soviet Union outside of its borders.” It is therefore false to say that the 18-year Brezhnev regime was an interruption of the anti-Stalin line started by Khrushchov.

There is, however, an ideological error that puts both Khrushchov and Brezhnev on board with Stalin. This is the premature declaration of the end of the exploiting classes and class struggle, except that between the enemy and the people. This line served to obfuscate and deny the existence of an already considerable and growing bourgeoisie in Soviet society and to justify repressive measures against those considered as enemy of the Soviet people for being opposed to the ruling clique.

Under the Brezhnev leadership, the Khrushchovite capitalistoriented reforms were pushed hard by the Brezhnev-Kosygin tandem. Socialism was converted fully into state monopoly capitalism, with the prevalent corrupt bureaucrats not only increasing their official incomes and perks but taking their loot by colluding with private entrepreneurs and even criminal syndicates in milking the state enterprises. On an ever widening scale, tradeable goods produced by the state enterprises were either underpriced, pilfered or declared defective only to be channeled to the private entrepreneurs for the free market.

Sales and purchase contracts with capitalist firms abroad became a big source of kickbacks for state officials who deposited these in secret bank accounts abroad. There was also a thriving blackmarket in foreign exchange and goods smuggled from the West through Eastern Europe, the Baltic and southern republics.

The corruption of the bureaucrat and private capitalists discredited the revisionist ruling party and regime at various levels. At the end of the Brezhnev regime, there was already an estimated 30 million people engaged in private enterprise. Among them were members of the families of state and party officials. Members of the Brezhnev family themselves were closely collaborating with private firms and criminal syndicates in scandalous shady deals.

The state enterprises necessary for assuring funds for the ever expanding central Soviet bureaucracy and for the arms race were recentralized. A military-industrial complex grew rapidly and ate up yearly far more than the conservatively estimated 20 percent of the Soviet budget. The Brezhnev regime was obsessed with attaining military parity with its superpower rival, the United States.

The huge Soviet state that could have generated the surplus income for reinvestment in more efficient and expanded civil production of basic and nonbasic consumer goods, wasted the funds on the importation of the high grade consumer goods for the upper five per cent of the population (the new bourgeoisie), on increasing amounts of imported grain, on the military-industrial complex and the arms race, on the maintenance and equipment of half a million troops in Eastern Europe and on other foreign commitments in the third world. Among the commitments that arose due to superpower rivalry was the assistance to the Vietnamese people in the Vietnam war, Cuba, Angola and Nicaragua. Among the commitments that arose due to the sheer adventurism of Soviet social-imperialism was the dispatch of a huge number of Soviet troops and equipment to Afghanistan at the time that the Soviet Union was already clearly in dire economic and financial straits.

The hard currency for the importation of grain and high-grade consumer goods came from the sale of some 10 percent of Soviet oil production to Western countries and the income from military sales to the oil-producing countries in the Middle East.

The Brezhnev regime used “Marxist-Leninist” phrasemongering to disguise and legitimize the growth of capitalism within the Soviet Union. Repressive measures were used against opponents of the regime, including the pretext of psychiatric confinement. These measures served the growth of bureaucrat monopoly capitalism and constituted social fascism. The Brezhnev regime introduced to the world a perverse reinterpretation of proletarian dictatorship and proletarian internationalism, with the proclamation of the Brezhnev doctrine of “limited sovereignty” and Soviet-centered “international proletarian dictatorship” on the occasion of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. It was also on this occasion that the Soviet Union came to be called social-imperialist, socialism in words and imperialism in deed.

With the same arrogance, Brezhnev deployed hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet border.

The Soviet Union under Brezhnev tried to keep a tight rein on its satellites in Eastern Europe within the Warsaw Pact. Thus, it had to expend a lot of resources of its own and those of its satellites in maintaining and equipping half a million Soviet troops in Eastern Europe. Clearly, the revisionist ruling parties and regimes were not developing the lively participation and loyalty of the proletariat and people through socialist progress but were keeping them in bondage through bureaucratic and military means in the name of socialism.

The Soviet Union under Brezhnev promoted the principle of “international division of labor” within the CMEA. This meant the enforcement of neocolonial specialization in certain lines of production by particular member-countries other than the Soviet Union. The relationship between the Soviet Union and the other CMEA membercountries was no different from that between imperialism and the semicolonies. This stunted the comprehensive development of national economies of most of the member countries although some basic industries had been built and continued to be built.

Eventually, the Soviet Union started to feel aggrieved that it had to deliver oil at prices lower than those of the world market and receive off-quality goods in exchange. So, it continuously made upward adjustments on the price of oil supplies to the CMEA client states. At the same time, among the East European countries, there had been the longrunning resentment over the shoddy equipment and other goods that they were actually getting from the Soviet Union at a real overprice.

Before the 1970s, the Soviet Union encouraged capitalist-oriented reforms in its East European satellites but definitely discouraged any attempt by these satellites to leave the Warsaw Pact. In the early 1970s, the Soviet Union itself wanted to have a detente with the United States, clinch the “most favored nation” (MFN) treatment, gain access to new technology and foreign loans from the United States and the other capitalist countries. However, in 1972, the Brezhnev regime was rebuffed by the Jackson-Vannik amendment, which withheld MFN status from the Soviet Union for preventing Jewish emigration. The regime then further encouraged its East European satellites to enter into economic, financial and trade agreements with the capitalist countries.

During most of the 1970s, these revisionist-ruled countries got hooked to Western investments, loans and consumer goods. In the early 1980s, most of them fell into serious economic troubles as a result of the aggravation of domestic economic problems and the difficulties in handling their debt burden, which per capita in most cases was even worse than that of the Philippines. Being responsible for the economic policies and for their bureaucratic corruption, the revisionist ruling parties and regimes became discredited in the eyes of the broad masses of the people and the increasingly anti-Soviet and anticommunist intelligentsia. The pro-Soviet ruling parties in Eastern Europe had always been vulnerable to charges of political puppetry, especially from the direction of the anti-communist advocates of nationalism and religion. In the 1970s and 1980s these parties conspicuously degenerated from the inside in an all-round way through bourgeoisification and became increasingly the object of public contempt.

The United States kept on dangling the prospect of MFN status and other economic concessions to the Soviet Union. Each time the United States did so, it was able to get something from the Soviet Union, like its commitment to the Helsinki Accord (intended to provide legal protection to dissenters in the Soviet Union) and a draft strategic arms limitation treaty but it never gave the concessions that the Soviet Union wanted. The United States simply wanted the Cold War to go on in order to induce or compel the Soviet Union to waste its resources on the arms race. The only significant concession that the Soviet Union continued to get was the purchase of grain and the commercial credit related to it.

When the CPP leadership decided to explore and seek relations with the Soviet and East European ruling parties in the middle of the 1980s, there was the erroneous presumption that the successors of Brezhnev would follow an anti-imperialist line in the Cold War of the two superpowers. Thus, the policy paper on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe praised the Brezhnev line in hyperbolic terms.

Although the Gorbachov regime would pursue worse revisionist policies than those of its predecessor, it would become a good source of information regarding the principal and essential character of the Brezhnev regime on a comprehensive range of issues. By using this information from a critical Marxist-Leninist point of view, we can easily sum up the Brezhnev regime and at the same time know the antisocialist and anticommunist direction of the Gorbachov regime in 1985–88.

The Third and Final Stage: The Gorbachov Regime, 1985–91

The Gorbachov regime from 1985 to 1991 marked the third and final stage in the anti-Marxist and antisocialist revisionist counterrevolution to restore capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship.

It involved the prior dissolution of the ruling revisionist parties and regimes in Eastern Europe, the absorption of East Germany by West Germany and finally the banning and dispossession of the CPSU and the disintegration of the Soviet Union no less, after a dubious coup attempt by Gorbachov’s appointees in the highest state and party positions next only to his.

The counterrevolution was carried out in a relatively peaceful manner. After all, the degeneration from socialism to capitalism proceeded for 38 years. Within the last six years, the corrupt bureaucrats masquerading as communists were ready to peel off their masks, declare themselves as ex-communists and even anti-communists overnight and cooperate with the longstanding anti-communists among the intelligentsia and the aggrieved broad masses of the people in setting up regimes that were openly bourgeois and antisocialist.

Because they were manipulated and directed by the big bourgeoisie and the anticommunist intelligentsia, the mass uprisings in Eastern Europe in 1989 cannot be simply and totally described as democratic although it is also undeniable that the broad masses of the people, including the working class and the intelligentsia, were truly aggrieved and did rise up. The far bigger mass actions that put Mussolini and Hitler into power or the lynch mobs unleashed by the Indonesian fascists to massacre the communists in 1965 do not make a fascist movement democratic. In determining the character of a mass movement, we take into account not only the magnitude of mass participation but also the kind of class leadership involved. Otherwise, the periodic electoral rallies of the bourgeois reactionary parties which exclude the workers and peasants from power or even the Edsa mass uprising cum military mutiny in 1986 would be considered totally democratic, without the necessary qualifications regarding the class leadership involved.

It is possible for nonviolent mass uprisings to arise and succeed when their objective is not to really effect a fundamental change of the exploitative social system, when one set of bureaucrats is simply replaced by another set and when the incumbent set of bureaucrats does not mind the change of administration. It was only in Romania where there was bloodshed because it was not completely within the reorganizing that had been done by the Gorbachovites in 1987 to 1989 in Eastern Europe. Ceaucescu resisted change as did Honecker to a lesser extent. In the dissolution of the CPSU and the Soviet Union, the anticommunist combination of Gorbachov and Yeltsin simply issued the decrees and did not even bother to conjure any semblance of popular demand in the form of huge mass uprisings. As the last revisionist ruler of the Soviet Union, Gorbachov could accelerate the destruction of the CPSU and the Soviet Union because of the previous work of Khrushchov and Brezhnev. What he did in the main in his brief regime was to engage in a systematic campaign of deception. He described his regime as being engaged in socialist renewal and at the same time encouraged the forces of capitalist restoration to do their work under the slogans of democracy and economic reform.

From time to time, he paid lip service to Marxism-Leninism and socialism and made frequent protestations that he was a convinced communist. But in the end he came out openly as an anticommunist. In his final message as President of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, he used the language of the imperialists in the Cold War to describe his principal achievement, which is “giving freedom” to the people from “totalitarianism” and “civilizing” what he implied as the “uncivilized” Soviet state and people.

In laying the ideological premises of his regime, Gorbachov went back to the strident anti-Stalinism of Khrushchov and described the Brezhnev period as an interruption of the work initiated by Khrushchov. He rehabilitated Bukharin and put him up as a source of wisdom for “economic reforms.”

It became the fashion for Gorbachov and his colleagues at various levels of the CPSU and the state to describe themselves as “liberal communists” and to attack--under the guise of being completely antiStalin and depicting Stalin as being worse than Hitler — the entire course of Soviet history. They put forward propositions in abstract supraclass, universalistic, humanistic and ahistorical terms and drew from social democracy and bourgeois liberalism in order to denigrate, deviate from and attack Marxist-Leninist theory and the proletarian revolutionary standpoint.

Gorbachov and his colleagues systematically adopted barefaced anticommunist “advisers” and placed the anticommunists in the various branches of government, the Congress of People’s Deputies, the institutes and mass media in order to churn out a constant stream of anticommunist propaganda. Gorbachov himself took the lead in ridiculing the proletarian revolutionary stand as outdated and MarxismLeninism as having no monopoly of the truth and won the adulation of the officials, ideologues and publicists of the United States and other capitalist countries as he used the language of social democracy and bourgeois liberalism and ultimately U.S. Cold War terminology.


The main and essential feature of “glasnost” (openness) was the crescendo of anticommunist propaganda. The field of propaganda was monopolized by anticommunism. This was expressed in a variety of ways, modern revisionist, social-democratic, bourgeois-liberal, populist, nationalist, fascist, religious, racist and purely cynical terms. The pluralism of anticommunist ideas, including the most antidemocratic ones, was described as democracy. But the key idea in the welter of anticommunist propaganda was the advocacy of capitalism and bourgeois liberalism. Gorbachov attacked Stalin to be able by implication to attack Lenin, Marxist-Leninist theory and the entire course of Soviet history. But his subalterns explicitly attacked all these in the entire course of the Gorbachov period.

After eliminating the Brezhnevite holdovers in the Politburo in the most undemocratic manner, replacing them when they were on foreign trips or knocking them down at lower levels of the Party and state bureaucracy, Gorbachov played the middle between the “conservative” Ligachev who accepted “perestroika” but not “glasnost” and the “radical progressive” Yeltsin who went gung ho for both “glasnost” and “perestroika.” Then, he used Ligachev in 1987 to push out Yeltsin from the Politburo only to let the latter continue as his cooperator in attacking the CPSU from the outside.

In the years leading up to 1989, the anticommunist followers of Gorbachov invented all kinds of lies against the socialist course of Soviet history and its great proletarian leaders and clamored for the rehabilitation of counterrevolutionaries and the freedom of all kinds of monsters. The people were fed with all kinds of illusions about a better life under capitalism. In 1989, he had a new Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies dominated by an anticommunist intelligentsia most of whom were at first formally communists but would eventually declare themselves as ex-communists and even anticommunists. The congress included from the very start prominent anticommunists of longstanding.

In early 1990, Gorbachov used the congress to disempower the

CPSU and to give him autocratic presidential powers. In the autumn of 1990 he took the posture of siding with the “conservatives” in the CPSU and the state against the “radical progressives” Yakovlev and Schevernadze. But at the same time he agreed to putting the sovereignty of the Soviet Union under question through a referendum in early 1991.

The popular voting in the referendum was for the retention of the Soviet Union. But again he agreed with the nationalist forces in the various republics to make a new “union treaty” whose terms (like having separate armies and currencies, etc.) meant the break up of the Soviet Union. In this period before the alleged coup to save the Soviet Union, Gorbachov announced that it was wrong to stress the role of the proletariat and that he was going to dissolve the CPSU and establish a social-democratic party.

Although the alleged coup of Gorbachov appointees from August 19 to 22, 1991 involved only a few plotters by its very nature, Gorbachov and Yeltsin collaborated in using it as a pretext for dissolving the entire CPSU and the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies. Although the Soviet Constitution and the Soviet Union were still existing and Gorbachov himself had a presidential term extending to 1995, he decreed the dissolution of the Soviet Union and resigned in favor of a commonwealth of independent states (CIS) still on the planning board. Thus, mouthing the slogan of democracy, the anticommunist duo of Gorbachov and Yeltsin autocratically issued decrees, committed the most antidemocratic acts and carried out their own coup against the Soviet state.

In the first place and in the final analysis, “glasnost” was devised by the monopoly bureaucrat bourgeoisie to pave the way for openly installing the bourgeois class dictatorship. The din of the pettybourgeoisie about “democracy” is waning after all the drumbeating for the restoration of capitalism and the bourgeois class dictatorship. The monopoly bureaucrat bourgeoisie remains in control of the levers of political power and the economy while the petty bourgeoisie is being relegated to a worse life of massive unemployment, frustration and misery.


Perestroika in reality meant capitalist restructuring and the disorganization and breakdown of production, despite the avowals of renewing socialism and raising production through better management, a campaign against alcoholism and absenteeism, higher wages and availability of domestic and imported consumer goods, higher profits for the private entrepreneurs, the expansion and retooling of the means of production and the conversion of military enterprises to civilian uses.

The main line of perestroika is the privatization and marketization of the economy by domestic and foreign investors. One plan after another (the 500-day Shatalin Plan, the Grand Bargain, etc.) was considered and made dependent on foreign direct investments and loans as domestic savings disappeared and the real income of the people was cut down by inflation due to the wanton printing of money by Moscow and the price gouging in the free market. The free marketeers bought cheap or stole from the state enterprises and emptied the state stores. Thus, the people were compelled to buy from the free market.

The most favored among the private businesses were the joint ventures (joint stock companies) with foreign investors and the private cooperatives. Going into joint ventures with foreign investors mainly in the importation of consumer goods and in the repackaging or assembly of these, the high bureaucrats of the ruling party and the state and their family members appropriated for themselves state assets and drew from foreign loans in what may be considered as one of the biggest insider operation and management theft in the entire history of capitalism. These joint ventures were no different from the big comprador operations of high bureaucrats in the Philippines and many other countries in the third world. However, the most widespread form of business was the private cooperatives of varying scales in industry, agriculture and services. Their operations included the rechanneling of goods and services from the state to the private sector, small and medium private manufacturing and the private export of whatever Soviet goods, including oil and weapons, and the importation of high-grade consumer goods like cars, computers, video recorders, etc. At least 50 million people out of a population of 290 million were registered as members of small, medium and big private cooperatives. Many people joined these private cooperatives if only to gain access to basic commodities which disappeared from the much cheaper state stores.

The capitalist restructuring or economic reforms did not stimulate production and improve the quality of goods but aggravated the breakdown of production and brought about scarcity of the most essential goods. Yet, it was the long-dead Stalin who got blamed by revisionist and imperialist propaganda for the economic chaos brought about by perestroika. The corrupt bureaucrats who continued to call themselves communists connived with private businessmen more scandalously than ever before in plundering the economy.

From 1988 to 1990, Gorbachov increased the money supply by more than 50 percent even as from year to year production had fallen by 10 to 20 percent or worse and in 1991 alone he increased the money supply by more than 100 percent amidst a production fall of more than 20 percent. The Gorbachov regime had to keep on printing money to maintain the central bureaucracy and the military in view of inflation, corruption, the nationalist refusal of the republics to send up taxes and foreign exchange to the center, the ethnic conflicts and the justifiable workers’ strikes.

At the beginning of the Gorbachov regime, the Soviet foreign debt was only US$ 30 billion. The previous regimes had not been able to borrow more because of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry in the Cold War. But in the period of only six years, the Gorbachov regime was able to raise the foreign debt level to US$81 billion (according to the Soviet Central Bank report to the International Monetary Fund) or to US$ 100 billion (according to the Soviet Central Bank report to the Group of Seven). In the final year of 1991, the Soviet Union borrowed US$44 billion. In view of the production breakdown, the foreign funds were used mainly to finance the importation of consumer goods and the sheer bureaucratic thievery under the cover of the joint ventures. The Soviet Union practically became a neocolony of Germany which had become its main creditor and supplier. Germany accounted for the biggest bulk of foreign supplies and investments (at least 30 percent as of 1991) in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The ghost of Hitler can never be more happy with the success of the German big bourgeoisie. There was a chain reaction of closures of state enterprises due to the lack of fuel, spare parts and raw materials; the diversion of funds to import foreign products; the lack of purchase orders; and the private appropriation of state assets and funds through real or fake joint ventures. Agriculture also suffered from the lack of inputs and transport. Conversion of military to civilian enterprises was negligible. The military-industrial complex continued to suck up large amounts of resources. As in Eastern Europe, the economy fell apart in the Soviet Union, with each part throwing away past advantages of cooperation and trying to strike disadvantageous deals with the bourgeoisie abroad.

Massive unemployment surfaced. Hyperinflation started to run at more than 200 percent before the break up of the Soviet Union and was expected to run faster after the decontrol of prices scheduled by Yeltsin for January 2, 1992. Even then more than 100 million Soviet people were living below the poverty line. Most victimized were the pensioners, children, the youth, the women, the unemployed and the low-income people. The shortage or absence of basic necessities was widespread. As in 1990, the leaders of capitalist restoration shamelessly begged for food aid from abroad in 1991. On each occasion, the handling of food aid was attended by corruption as the food was diverted to the free market.

“New Thinking”

The key element in Gorbachov’s “new thinking” in international relations was “de-ideologization,” which actually meant doing away completely with the proletarian class stand and proletarian internationalism and capitulating to imperialism under the guise of cooperation. Gorbachov asserted that imperialism’s violent nature had changed to peaceful and that humanity has integral interests and a supraclass concern about weapons of mass destruction, ecology and other issues. Gorbachov’s “de-ideologization” actually meant the total rejection of the proletarian class stand and the adoption of the bourgeois class stand. All Marxists recognize the common interests of mankind and the march of human civilization; and at the same time the fact that the world and particular societies are dominated by imperialist and local reactionary classes and that the historic class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is still going on. What Gorbachov did was to use abstract, universalistic and supraclass terms in order to obscure that historic class struggle and find common cause with imperialism.

He considered “legitimate national interests” of states as the most important building material in international relations. After the 70th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, he scaled down the international activities of the Soviet Union related to cooperating with third world countries and anti-imperialist organizations and movements. Prominent advisers of his also proposed that the international people’s organizations financed by Soviet organizations could unite with their counterparts financed by the forces of capitalism to form bigger “nonideological” organizations. What they meant of course was outright capitulation to imperialist ideology.

Gorbachov touted the principle of peaceful coexistence among states, irrespective of ideology and social system. He repudiated the Brezhnev Doctrine and stressed that other countries as well as communist parties could decide for themselves. But he was being hypocritical because Gorbachovite agents busied themselves in reorganizing and then scuttling the ruling parties and regimes in Eastern Europe.

He called for an end to the Cold War, for accelerated nuclear disarmament and reduction of conventional forces and for the dissolution of the NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Arms reduction treaties were forged faster than at any previous period in the Cold War. The Gorbachov regime undertook all these in the vain hope of attracting foreign investments and new technology to shore up the Soviet economy. But the Group of Seven took the firm position that they would not throw good money after bad and shore up an increasingly decrepit and corrupt bureaucratic economy.

Under the Gorbachov leadership, the Soviet Union collaborated with the United States and other countries in the settlement of so-called regional armed conflicts such as those centered in Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan, Angola and Nicaragua. The Soviet Union committed itself to unilateral withdrawal of military forces in Eastern Europe and to German reunification in exchange for economic assistance from the West in the form of direct investments, loans, technology transfer and trade accommodations. Among the capitalist powers, Germany gave the most assistance in the form of loans, consumer supplies and housing aid for Soviet troops returning from Eastern Europe. But even the funds advanced for housing these troops became the object of Soviet mismanagement and theft.

As early as 1987, the revisionist ruling parties and regimes in Eastern Europe were already being pushed to reorganize themselves and to put Gorbachovites on top of the Brezhnevites. The word also went around within and outside the ruling parties and regimes that the Soviet Union was decided on withdrawing its forces from Eastern Europe and not interfere in what would happen in the region. Thus, the anticommunist forces had advance notice of what they could do under the new circumstances. They could play on the real grievances of the people and bring down the already much-discredited ruling parties and regimes.

The socioeconomic and political crisis of the various revisionist regimes and the wide open knowledge that the Soviet Union was no longer interested in the preservation of the Warsaw Pact and the roublecontrolled CMEA were sufficient ground for the anti-communist forces to activate themselves and grow. The increasingly clear message from 1987 to 1989 that the Soviet Union would not intervene in any popular action against the local regimes gave the anticommunist forces the confidence to aim for their toppling. Most important of all, the overwhelming majority of the revisionist bureaucrats in the ruling party and the state (with the exception of a few like Ceaucescu who was relatively independent of the CPSU and Honecker and Zhikhov who were longtime Brezhnevites) were just too willing to drop off their communist masks, retain their privileges, exploit the new opportunities and avoid the wrath of an already aggrieved people.

In the critical references of this discussion to the responsibilities of the Gorbachov regime and the East European satellite regimes in the collapse of the latter, there should be no misunderstanding that we wish a certain policy or a certain flow of events to have gone another way. We are merely describing at this point the final stage of the unmasking and self-destruction of the revisionist parties and regimes.

Next only to the destruction of the CPSU and the Soviet Union, the biggest service done by the Gorbachov regime to the capitalist powers was the rapid delivery of Eastern Europe to them and the destruction of the Warsaw Pact and the CMEA.

Within the final year of its existence, the Soviet Union under Gorbachov supported the United States in carrying out a war of aggression in the Gulf region and in asserting itself as the unrivaled policeman of the world.

Gorbachov fully revealed himself in 1991. The destructive consequences to the Soviet Union of his kind of leadership became very clear. It is untenable for any revolutionary to make an apologia for him and to try to make him out as a hero. Those who had been deceived into believing that Gorbachov was engaged in socialist renewal should take a long hard look at the incontrovertible fact that he completed the process of capitalist restoration started by Khrushchov and presided over the destruction of the Soviet Union.

The officials, ideologues and propagandists of imperialism and reaction continue to hail Gorbachov as one of the greatest men of the 20th century for bringing about “democracy” in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Indeed they have cause to rejoice. He has brought about the flagrant restoration of capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship. The peoples of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are now thrown open to further capitalist exploitation and oppression, suffer the pangs of hunger and greater loss of freedom and face increased political turmoil, widening civil war and military fascism.

The Commonwealth of Independent States

The commonwealth of independent states (CIS) that has replaced the Soviet Union is dominated by Russia, which is flaunting the old czarist flag of Great-Russian chauvinism, and is afflicted with serious contradictions between Russia and the other republics, among republics with common borders, between Russian enclaves and local nationalities in non-Russian republics and among different nationalities within each of the republics. The contradictions involve political, economic, financial, security, ethnic and border issues. There is political chaos all over the so-called commonwealth. Serious differences between Russia and Ukraine have already arisen regarding economic and financial issues and on the question of dividing the Soviet army, navy and air force, the handling of nuclear weapons and border issues on land and sea. There are independence movements among minority nationalities in Russia and civil wars in Georgia and between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The economic chaos has been aggravated by liberalizing prices on January 2. The prices of many basic commodities have multiplied up to more than twenty times. The state stores are being emptied by backdoor sales to the free market. Even food aid from abroad has flowed into the free market. More than half of the population have fallen below the poverty line and are in danger of starving. Ninety per cent of the population is expected to fall below the poverty line. Under these circumstances, street demonstrations and workers’ strikes are occurring against the openly capitalist regimes. The trade unions are agitated by the severely oppressive and exploitative conditions and have begun to conduct strikes on a wide scale. The Unity for Leninism and Communist Ideals, the United Front of the Working People, the Russian Workers’ Communist Party and the Communist Party of Bolsheviks in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) have been among the most militant in staging mass actions against the Russian bourgeois regime of Yeltsin.

In the Soviet Union, more than 90 percent of the major industries are still owned by the state. This is also true in the case of the East European countries, with the exception of Poland whose privatization has gone fastest and whose state-owned enterprises are still about 65 percent, according to one report. This continuing predominance of stateowned enterprises does not mean socialism. Since a long time ago, many of these enterprises have acquired a capitalist character. They have long come under the control and have become instruments of the bureaucrat capitalists and the private entrepreneurs although these are state-owned. The ongoing privatization of these state enterprises is slowed down by the dearth of genuine private venture capital, the disappearance of savings among the people and the lack of foreign interest in acquiring outmoded plants and investing in new ones.

The ex-communist bourgeoisie and the foreign investors are most interested in acquiring at scandalously low prices those state assets that yield quick and large profits. Inefficient and decrepit state enterprises are maintained only as they are still needed and continue being the milking cows of private entrepreneurs (e.g., steel and other metals, energy and other raw materials, transport, etc.) Closures and reduced production are continuing at an accelerated pace. In the process, millions of workers are laid off. There is a process of de-industrialization throwing back the former Soviet Union or the republics of the so-called CIS and Eastern Europe into the quagmire of third world capitalism.

A strong political and economic center is absent in the CIS. But in the meantime, there is a strong military center because the central command of the former Soviet armed forces is retained. Even the leaders of the capitalist countries who are worried about the nuclear and other strategic weapons insist that these be under a single military command. However, the political and economic chaos can induce the military officers to take matters into their hands as the military rank and file and the broad masses of the people are already gravely discontented.

It is still a matter of conjecture for outside observers whether there will be a social upheaval in the tradition of the Bolsheviks (the military rank and file linking up with the workers’ organizations) or a coup to install military fascism over the entire scope of the so-called commonwealth or in a series of republics (like now in Georgia). The prevalent view is that the new bourgeoisie inside and outside the armed forces is so powerful that for the time being the likelihood for military fascism to rise is greater than the return to the socialist road if there is going to be any new drastic development.

IV. Certain Lessons from the Collapse ofModern Revisionism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

It is of crucial importance to make a precise description of the ruling parties and regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the crisis that conspicuously beset them since the early 1980s and their collapse from 1989 to 1991. These ruling parties and regimes were revisionist. Their crisis and collapse are not those of socialism but of modern revisionism or capitalist restoration masquerading as socialism. The blatant restoration of capitalism and the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie are the indubitable proof. The unraveling of the revisionist systems and the unfolding of the truth in the few years before the collapse occurred right before our eyes.

There is ideological and political confusion if the crisis and collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes are described as those of socialism or Stalinism rather than of modern revisionism. Such a description would continue to pass off modern revisionism as socialism. All Marxist-Leninists must firmly recognize the fact that modern revisionism had undermined and prevailed over socialism long before the former itself plunged into a crisis and led to the collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes from 1989 to 1991.

One may speak of a crisis of socialism only in the thinking of some of those who presume modern revisionism to be socialism and observe the crisis and collapse of the ruling revisionist parties and regimes. The imperialists, the revisionists themselves and the bourgeois intelligentsia simplistically call the crisis and collapse of these anti-Stalin parties and regimes as the “crisis of Stalinism” or the “Stalinist model of socialism.” Stalin has been dead for 38 years and a process of “de-Stalinization” has been going on for the last 35 years. It is preposterous that long after his death Stalin is still being blamed for what his detractors have done or not done all these years in order to promote modern revisionism and restore capitalism. This is pure obscurantism and personality cult in reverse! The merits and demerits of any leader must be considered only within his period of responsibility, unless the objective is not to make a historical assessment but to demonize a leader and use psywar to attack Marxism-Leninism and socialism in a bourgeois personalistic manner. The modern revisionists should not be allowed to cover up their responsibility within their own period of rule. As a matter of fact, Stalin’s great achievements in socialist construction and defense of the Soviet Union are diametrically opposed to the restoration of capitalism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union by the modern revisionists.

We must draw the correct lessons from the betrayal and sabotage of socialism by the modern revisionists from Khrushchov through Brezhnev to Gorbachov. We must combat those forces and elements that wish to destroy the Party and the revolutionary movement from within by aping Gorbachov and the like and opposing the basic revolutionary principles of the Party.

The Anti-Revisionist Line

The reconsideration of the revisionist ruling parties as MarxistLeninist and the revisionist regimes as socialist since 1982 by certain elements within the Party has generated misunderstanding of scientific socialism and a deviation from the antirevisionist line of the Party. This must be rectified in view of the undeniable fact of the collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes and in connection with the correction of the exaggerated, incorrect and futile notion that these parties and regimes could extend assistance for accelerating the victory of the Philippine revolution.

As a result of the collapse of these parties and regimes, the CPP is ever more resolved to adhere to the theory and practice of MarxismLeninism and to pursue the antirevisionist line and persevere in armed revolution. The anticommunists who seek to use the collapse of modern revisionism as an invalidation and complete negation of the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism deserve nothing but contempt.

The CPP upholds the fact that Marxist-Leninist theory has correctly guided the proletarian revolutionaries and more than a billion people to victory in new-democratic revolution and in socialist revolution and construction. As far as the Philippines is concerned, the working class is the leading class in the new-democratic and socialist stages of the revolution. The advanced detachment of this class is the CPP. Without this party, the revolutionary mass movement of the people would not have resurged in Philippine history along the anti-imperialist and antifeudal line, with a socialist perspective. The petty bourgeois groups that seek to confuse, discredit, weaken and destroy the CPP can only continue being servitors of the oppressors and exploiters without the Party and the toiling masses of workers and peasants carrying out the revolution most determinedly.

What the CPP considers now as the greatest challenge in theoretical work among all proletarian revolutionaries, including Filipino communists, is learning lessons from the long-term and peaceful restoration of capitalism in socialist countries and understanding the way of continuing the revolution, combating modern revisionism and preventing the restoration of capitalism in socialist society as well as of fighting for socialism wherever it has been replaced by capitalism.

In countries where modern revisionism has had its way and restored capitalism, the challenge in theoretical and practical work among proletarian revolutionaries is to bring back socialism and bring it to a new and higher level. The forces of socialism can probably win again only after undergoing the violence of capitalist oppression and exploitation and defeating this through revolutionary violence. There is yet no historical example of a non-exploiting society replacing an exploiting class society without revolutionary violence although it has been demonstrated repeatedly in history that a higher form of society can degenerate into a lower form through peaceful evolution.

In the course of both the new-democratic and socialist stages of the Philippines, the basic factors of counterrevolution (big bourgeoisie and landlord class) are never obliterated completely (especially in the sphere of ideology and social psychology) by the main factors of revolution (working class and peasantry). And there are inter-mediate factors (urban petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie) that operate between the two poles of revolution and counter-revolution. The main factors of revolution can come on top of those of counterrevolution and in the process win over the intermediate factors, which in turn exert both positive and negative influences on the main factors of revolution.

In the complexity of waging the new-democratic and socialist stages of the revolution, the proletarian party must uphold its revolutionary integrity through adherence to Marxism-Leninist theory, from philosophy down to strategy and tactics, and must always conduct concrete analysis of concrete conditions in order to lead the broad masses of the people from victory to victory.

Marxism-Leninism is on the high road of human civilization, cherishing the heritage from the past, availing of all current factors that make for progress; and always aiming for a better future. But it is wrong to use such terms of idealism as universal humanism, classless populism, supraclass state, pacifism and such other abstract terms in order to obscure and negate the proletarian class stand and in fact give way to the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and other backward forces in the real world.

It is wrong to declare prematurely the end of exploiting classes and class struggle while in fact they continue to exist both domestically and internationally during the entire historical epoch of socialism. The seeming disappearance of the exploiting classes by socio-economic definition does not mean that the proletarian character of the ruling party and the state has become unnecessary and that the intelligentsia automatically becomes proletarian in socialist society. In fact, the bourgeoisie first reemerges through the bureaucracy and the intellectual sphere as petty bourgeois and then in the social economy as bureaucrat capitalists colluding with the private capitalists.

It is wrong to propagate, under the cover of idealist and metaphysical terms, mechanical materialism, specifically in the form of the theory of productive forces which posits that the development of the “productive forces” can onesidedly and automatically bring about socialist progress. Revolution in the relations of production as well as in the superstructure must take the lead over production. Otherwise the idea gains ground that socialism with a low technological and economic level can advance only through domestic capitalist-oriented economic reforms and submission to the industrial capitalist countries.

The Proletarian Dictatorship

Upon the basic completion of the new-democratic revolution through the seizure of political power in the Philippines, the people’s democratic government is established. This is the form that the proletarian dictatorship takes in consonance with the basic workerpeasant alliance under proletarian leadership. Thus, the socialist revolution can begin in every aspect of society. The building of a socialist society and not a “national democratic society” begins, even if there are still transitory bourgeois democratic measures to undertake.

The people’s democratic government or socialist state must of course serve the entire people. But it cannot be really classless or supraclass. There is a definite class hegemony, either proletarian or bourgeois. For communists to waiver about this is to concede to the initiative of the bourgeoisie and its intellectual and political agents. The socialist state is categorically a class dictatorship of the proletariat to preclude the counterrevolution of the exploiting classes and make instantly possible the substance and process of democracy for the entire people. The party must never relinquish its leadership over the entire state and the people’s army and must retain its Party organization therein until the time comes for the state to wither away, after a whole historical epoch of building socialism, defeating imperialism and neocolonialism and preparing the way for communism.

The modern revisionist bureaucrats systematically opposed the concept of proletarian dictatorship under the cover of populism and “no more exploiting classes and no more class struggle” or the “dying out of the class struggle” in order to resurrect the bourgeoisie within the bureaucracy as well as in society through capitalist-oriented reforms. Proletarian dictatorship should comprehensively guarantee national freedom of the people against imperialism; class freedom of the exploited against the exploiting classes; and individual freedom against the ever potential alienation and abuse of state power.

The socialist constitution and the proletarian dictatorship must guarantee the civil rights of individuals and organizations that adhere to socialism, promote public participation in the affairs of the state and put restraints on the possible abuse of power by the state and its officials. These restraints include the basic freedoms, electoral process, popular power of recall, definite terms of office, age limits and restrictions on personal incomes and privileges and against any kind of privilege or favor which is not based on merit.

No elective national leader may be elected for a period longer than two five-year terms and all officials may retire optionally at 65 and obligatorily at 70. Any individual or organization has the right to express anything in any legal way, be this criticism or constructive proposal without fear of reprisal. Due process is guaranteed. A person is presumed innocent, unless proven guilty in a court of law on the basis of evidence and through a fair trial. Thus, in the popular struggle against counterrevolution, the target is narrowed and the danger of abuse is averted.

But as already demonstrated in the collapse of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes, it is incorrect to promote individual freedom outside of the clear framework of anti-imperialism (national freedom) and socialism (freedom from the exploiting classes). Individual freedom should not become the license for the imperialists and the local bourgeoisie and other reactionaries to oppose socialism and regain control over society.

In the entire historical epoch of socialism, the proletariat must see to it that the leading role of the proletariat is upheld in the constitution. Subsequent to the democratic coalition government by consensus, there can be an upper house of congress as the house of the working people under proletarian leadership and a lower house of congress as the house of the district representatives of the people. Retired but still mentally able revolutionary leaders can be in advisory councils enjoying high moral authority, most useful in any moment of constitutional crisis that may threaten the revolution.

The proletarian revolutionary party should never be thought of as just any party, comparable to any party in the multiplicity of permitted parties in the bourgeois political system as in the current multiparty system of the Philippines which is actually monopolized by political factions of the exploiting classes. The Party is a revolutionary party that seeks and effects a radical rupture from private ownership of the means of production and all exploiting societies which have existed in various forms for millennia.

Notwithstanding the radical rupture sought and the mission of the working class to build socialism in a whole historical epoch, working class parties which come to power have limited their memberships to a small part of society (typically five to ten percent of the population), with the Party expanding its influence in society through mass organizations and state agencies. It is understandable that the Party is a small part of society in the course of the fierce struggle to seize power because of the coercive power of the reactionary state and the dangers to life, limb and liberty to Party members and that there is a limit to the expansion of Party membership soon after the seizure of political power to avert the avalanche of overnight communists and opportunists coming into the Party. But after the consolidation of political power and proletarian control of all aspects of society, especially the educational and cultural system, there is no reason why the Party should not increase its membership up to the point of including the majority of the people.

The Party has a cadre and mass character now. It should continue to be so after the seizure of political power. The cadres can ensure the high quality of the Party and the mass membership, the strong democratic foundation formed by workers and peasants. The Party cannot automatically ensure its high revolutionary quality by simply remaining small. On the other hand, it is liable to be swamped by an excessively high proportion of intelligentsia, including fictitious communists. Worse, the party will be increasingly regarded as a small and privileged part of society. If the Party remains small, it can be challenged any time by any political group or movement which has a comparatively large or even larger membership; or by the traditionally dominant church which registers most or much of the population as its members and claims the religious or moral allegiance of these people.

In accordance with the historic mission of the working class to build socialism, the representatives of the Party must be assured of at least one third of elective positions in the state alongside the representatives of the mass organizations of the working people and other sections of society. But within every slot allotted to the major components of society, the people inside and outside the Party must be able to choose candidates from a list in an electoral process.

With a large mass membership, the Party can confidently engage in multiparty cooperation along the united front line. The worst kind of model is a political system of only one party which includes only a small fraction of society. The socialist society must be able to allow the existence and cooperation of several parties which offer lists of candidates subject to the consensus in the socialist united front, the electoral will of the people and the constitutional framework of socialist revolution and construction.

Socialist Revolution and Construction

Upon the basic completion of the new-democratic revolution through the seizure of political power, the proletariat and the people under the leadership of the Party can begin socialist revolution and construction. The means of production and distribution owned by the imperialists, big compradors and landlords are put under public ownership. The strategic enterprises and the main lines of production and distribution are nationalized. These comprise the initial base for socialist construction. Then the socialist state sector of the productive system can be expanded with further investments from the available domestic capital, export income and productive foreign borrowing.

But there are bourgeois-democratic economic reforms that still need to be undertaken as transitory measures, such as land reform and concessions to peasants of all strata and petty and middle bourgeois nonmonopoly commodity producers. These reforms and concessions do not mean the building of a “national-democratic economy” in lieu of a socialist economy. The cooperativization of agriculture and nonagricultural enterprises as well as joint state-private ownership can be carried out from one stage to a higher one in conjunction with socialist construction and further industrialization.

In view of the fact that so far in history socialist economies have been established upon a low economic and technological level and worse after a ruinous war, the proletarian revolutionary party is obliged to adopt transitory measures. How long these measures should run depends on the concrete conditions. In the Soviet Union, Lenin had to adopt the New Economic Policy. And Stalin subsequently pioneered in drawing up and implementing the series of five-year plans of socialist construction. He succeeded in building a socialist industrial economy. But even after a socialist industrial economy had been established, the modern revisionists misrepresented Lenin’s New Economic Policy as the way to socialism rather than as a mere transitory measure. Thus, Khrushchov, Brezhnev and Gorbachov made this misrepresentation by using the name of Lenin against Lenin. They justified the retrogression to capitalist-oriented reforms by counterposing Lenin’s transitional policy to Stalin’s program to build publicly-owned heavy and basic industries and collectivize agriculture in a planned way. After the New Economic Policy served its purpose, Stalin carried out fullscale socialist construction. It was prompt and absolutely necessary to do so in the face of the growth of capitalism threatening the socialist revolution. Antisocialist critics decry overinvestment in heavy and basic industries, the suppression of the rebellious rich peasants and the exploitation of the peasantry. But they fail to mention that the hard work, the struggle against the counterrevolutionaries and the sacrifice resulted in the raising of production and standard of living, the mechanization of agriculture and the expansion of urban life in so short a period of time. If Bukharin had had his way and prolonged the NEP, the Soviet Union would have generated an uncontrollable bourgeoisie and a widespread rich peasantry to overpower the proletariat, would have had less economic well-being and less defense capability, would have been an easier prey to Hitler and would have been attacked earlier by Nazi Germany.

After World War II, China under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China was able to demonstrate that there could be a well-balanced growth of agriculture as the foundation of the economy, heavy industry as the leading factor and light industry as the bridging factor between the first two. The line of Mao was to provide as quickly as possible the producer and consumer goods for the people, especially the peasant masses. But even Mao was unfairly accused by modern revisionists of industrial overinvestment and premature cooperativization. At any rate, the Chinese example under the leadership of Mao bettered the Soviet example under the leadership of Stalin in well-balanced development in a poor country engaged in socialist construction. The theory and practice of scientific socialism, therefore, is ever developing.

All modern revisionists are carried away by the theory of “productive forces” and economism. They prate about the law of value but at the same time they obscure the critical Marxist theory of surplus value and the creative line of using what is otherwise private profit as social profit and of converting what is otherwise an anarchic yet monopolistic production for private profit into a system of planned production for use and for the benefit of the entire society.

Marxists have always agreed with Adam Smith and his followers that the value of a commodity is equivalent to the average socially necessary labor time and that the exchange value (price) is realized in the market. In the socialist system, there is a system of wage differentials paid according to quantity and quality of work done. Within the system of public ownership of the means of production and economic planning, the new value created is allocated for the wages fund for consumption, economic reinvestment not only to cover depreciation but also expansion of production, general welfare (education, health, infrastructure, etc.), administration and national defense.

Aside from the wage system with differentials which corresponds to the system of commodity values, the commodities produced incorporate inputs which are bought from other parts of the domestic or world market at certain prices and which are taken into account in the market price of the commodities. Price comparisons can also be made with similar commodities produced abroad.

The socialist system of production has proven to be effective in creating full employment, attaining high rates of economic growth, responding to the basic needs of the people and providing social services until a new bourgeoisie starts to appropriate an increasing part of the surplus product and develops a taste for highgrade consumer goods which it at first acquires through institutional buying from abroad.

In addition to the high consumption and excessive privileges of the new bourgeoisie, another big drain is the misallocation of resources towards military expenditures because of the imperialist threat. This in fact constituted the biggest drain on the resources of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe under the long reign of Brezhnev. But this is obscured by imperialist propaganda whenever it asserts that socialism is inherently flawed or that the so-called Stalinist model pursued by the modern revisionists has failed. In going for the arms race, the Brezhnev regime deviated from the concepts of people’s defense and all-round consolidation adhered to by Stalin when the Soviet Union was militarily weaker and faced bigger threats from the capitalist powers.

The fact is that the socialist economies progressed for a certain number of decades and it would take another number of decades for the modern revisionists to make these economies retrogress into capitalism, under such bourgeois notions as stimulating production and improving the quality of production through private enterprise and the free market.

The adoption of capitalist-oriented reforms to “supplement” and “assist” socialist economic development is thereby wrongly rationalized. But the bourgeoisie, the corrupt bureaucrats and rich peasants are recreated and generated to undermine and destroy socialism from within. After a certain period of liberalization of the economy, the bourgeois forces can demand further privatization and marketization more vigorously and ultimately claim political power as in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union.

But usually at the beginning of their effort to subvert the socialist economy, when there are yet no significant number of private entrepreneurs within the country, they wage a campaign for learning “efficient management” from capitalist countries (unmindful of the wasteful business cycles and wars and the centuries of exploiting the proletariat, the colonies and the spheres of influence), for expanded trade with the capitalist countries, foreign investments, loans and technology transfer and therefore for an investment law attractive to the multinational firms and banks as well as to the domestic bourgeoisie which must be promoted if even the foreign bourgeoisie is allowed to enjoy the freedom of investing and owning assets in the country and hiring local people.

Without having to breach or abandon basic socialist principles and without having to enlarge domestic and foreign private ownership of the means of production, it is possible to use wage differentials and bonuses as incentives for raising the quantity and quality of goods according to reliable and accurate information on productive capacity and consumer demand and according to the resultant economic plan, to satisfy the basic needs of the people first and then to proceed to produce nonbasic goods for improving the standard of living, to build one generation of better housing after another as a lifetime incentive and to decentralize economic activities with better results.

The production of both basic and nonbasic consumer goods are complementary and interactive. When basic needs are satisfied and private savings mount, the people start looking for things to spend on in order to improve or make their lives more interesting. Some highgrade consumer goods can be locally produced. Others can be imported without prejudicing the priority given to the development of the entire economy and the importation of essential producer and consumer goods.

In the case of the Soviet Union, before there could be a Gorbachov, there was the prolonged period of Brezhnev in which the new bourgeoisie developed domestically and resources were wasted in the arms race and in the costly commitments abroad under the theory of defending the Soviet Union by developing the strategic offense capability and by being able to wage wars abroad.

We have seen that the concept of people’s defense or people’s war against an aggressor, within the people’s self-reliant capabilities, within their own national borders and without undermining the growth of the socialist economy, still constitutes the correct policy. The Soviet corps of research scientists, engineers and technologists was the largest in the world. They made great advances in basic research, experiments and prototyping. But only those advances suitable to the high technology requirements of the arms race were used in a big way. And because of disorientation and some false sense of economy in civil production, old and outmoded equipment tended to be kept and reproduced so that this exceedingly important area of the economy was deprived of the benefits of high technology.

In a socialist economy, the planners must adopt a reasonable measure for depreciation of productive equipment, durable consumer goods and infrastructures so that there is room for innovation and enlivening of production. It is not true that there has to be competition among capitalists in order to generate new and better products. The Soviet Union was able to keep on raising its military and space technology in a planned way.

In carrying out socialist construction, after the transitory period of reviving the economy from the ravages of war and completing the bourgeois-democratic reforms, we shall uphold the principle of instituting the socialist relations of production to liberate the productive forces and promote their growth; and after having advanced along the socialist line and gone beyond certain transitory measures, we shall never retrogress to the revisionist line of using capitalist-oriented reforms to push socialism forward.

The Cultural Revolution

In continuing the revolution, combating revisionism and other counterrevolutionary forces and preventing the restoration of capitalism in socialist society, the cultural revolution must be carried out coextensively and interactively with the political and socioeconomic revolution. If we are to avoid the errors which caused the failure of the great proletarian cultural revolution in China, we must grasp that the cultural revolution is a persuasive democratic process with MarxistLeninist theory in the lead carried out along the general line of the people’s revolutionary struggle, that the process is a protracted one and so many times more protracted than either the people’s war or socialist economic construction and should not be rushed in order not to be persecutory; and that to preempt anarchy institutions like the Party, the state, the people’s organizations, the educational system, the mass media and so on should take on responsibility for leadership over the cultural mass movement, with due process rigorously followed and the rights of individuals and groups respected. The cultural revolution is an important process for keeping high the proletarian revolutionary consciousness and the spirit of selflessness and service to the people. As one generation after another draws away from the accomplished process of seizing political power from the reactionaries and the heroic efforts to establish a socialist society, those who are in the bureaucracy of the ruling party, the state and even in the mass organizations can degenerate into a new bourgeoisie and adopt modern revisionism and other retrograde ideas and policies. The youth and intelligentsia can adopt petty-bourgeois attitudes and grow cynical towards those in power and fall for anticommunist views and adulate the ideas and fashions of the domestic and international bourgeoisie.

Even while we are still engaged in the new-democratic revolution in the Philippines, we are already carrying out a cultural revolution among the people. We are promoting a cultural revolution with a national, democratic and scientific character. At the core of this revolutionary mass phenomenon are proletarian revolutionary cadres guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism.

Our cultural revolution of a new-democratic type is distinct from and yet continuous with the socialist cultural revolution. Like now, we shall continue to combine Party leadership, the mass movement and a strong sense of the rights of the individual within the anti-imperialist and socialist framework. We shall take all the necessary time, no matter how long, to raise the people’s revolutionary consciousness from one level to another through formal and informal educational and cultural activities and to isolate and defeat the ideas that run counter to socialism.

In socialist society, we shall carry out the cultural revolution to promote the proletarian revolutionary stand and the spirit of service to the people. The cultural revolution shall ceaselessly put revolutionary politics (patriotic and proletarian) and moral incentive in command of production and other social activities. The revolutionization of the superstructure shall complement and interact with the revolutionization of the mode of production. When the bourgeoisie is deprived of its economic and political power, it seeks to make a comeback at first in the ideological and cultural fields. When it succeeds at ideological revision and cultural pollution, then it can undertake the changes in political and economic policies which favor capitalist restoration. The bourgeoisie is most effective when it can work through unremoulded and degenerate elements within the state and the ruling party. The proletarian revolutionaries have therefore to be ever vigilant and resolute in maintaining the correct line and in militantly waging the socialist cultural revolution.

The main contradiction in socialist society is the one between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The old bourgeois class and the landlord class are easy to identify and the people are vigilant towards them. So the members of these defeated classes would rather encourage the intelligentsia and the bureaucracy to start adopting the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking and behavior. On the basis of this, the bourgeoisie can regain lost ground, especially in the ideological and cultural fields. When the proletariat loses the fight in these fields, the already pronounced bourgeois revisionists can push the anti-proletarian change of political and economic policies under the guise of transcending classes and class struggle.

By that time, the bourgeoisie shall have been well on the way of reimposing itself on the proletariat and the people and restoring capitalism. The restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe proves that the victory of socialism is not irreversible in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. All proletarian revolutionaries can learn important lessons from the way the bourgeoisie has come on top of the proletariat in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through peaceful evolution from within the state and the party and by using the state against the party, particularly the dwindling proletarian revolutionaries in the party.

In building socialism as the long-term preparation for communism, we shall strive to reduce the gap and solve the contradictions between the proletariat and peasantry, between mental and physical labor and between urban and rural life. We shall do so by mustering the capabilities of the proletariat and the rest of the people, utilizing science and technology and fostering a socialist civilization.

We owe to Mao the theory of continuing revolution, combating modern revisionism and preventing capitalist restoration in socialist society; and the application of this theory in the great proletarian cultural revolution, which succeeded for a number of years until the errors accumulated and resulted in a Rightist backlash. If the positive aspects are upheld and the negative aspects are corrected, then Mao’s theory and practice of the cultural revolution can be the treasury of knowledge on the basic principles and methods for continuing the revolution in socialist society. The theoretical work on the cultural revolution is a wide and open field for study.

The failure of a revolution is never the permanent end of it. The Paris Commune of 1871 succeeded briefly and failed. But the theory of class struggle and proletarian dictatorship was never invalidated. After 46 years, the Great October Socialist Revolution triumphed. Then, the forces of fascism wiped out the working class parties in many European countries and eventually invaded the Soviet Union. But soon after World War II, several socialist countries arose in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Modern revisionism would emerge to afflict a number of socialist countries. And finally from 1989 to 1991, we witnessed the collapse of revisionist parties and regimes. This confirms the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist criticism and repudiation of modern revisionism and eliminates a certain number of revisionist parties and regimes which have caused theoretical and political confusion in the socialist and antiimperialist movement.

Unfortunately, the capitalist powers have become more arrogant and cruel upon the disappearance of the Soviet Union as a superpower rival of the United States. But they are beset by the crisis of overproduction and contradictions are growing between them and their client states in the imperialist and neocolonial framework. In fact the continuing crisis of the countries in which capitalism and bourgeois dictatorship have been restored in a blatant manner, has all along been part of the global capitalist crisis. The former Soviet republics and the East European countries have become hotbeds of nationalism, ethnic conflicts, militarism and civil war and lay bare the rottenness of the capitalist system.

Upon the aggravation of capitalist oppression and exploitation, the anti-imperialist and socialist cause is bound to surge to a new and higher level. The high technology in the hands of the capitalist powers has already deepened and aggravated the crisis of overproduction. The trade war among the capitalist powers is developing in the wake of the end of the bipolar Cold War. The United States is disturbing the balance among the capitalist powers as it seeks to revive its productive capacity, expand its trade and solve its huge deficit and debt problems in an environment where the other capitalist powers are holding tightly on to their productive and trade advantages and all neocolonial client states (except a few earners of export surplus due to U.S. market accommodations) in the South and East are long depressed and find no relief from deficits, debt problem and austerity measures.

For sometime, notwithstanding the disappearance of the twosuperpower rivalry, the social turbulence and political violence will increase throughout the world. From these will reemerge the antiimperialist and socialist movement at a new and higher level. The increased oppression and exploitation of the peoples of the world can only serve to generate the revolutionary movement. What has come about as a hostile environment for this movement is a precondition and a challenge for its resurgence.

Proletarian Internationalism

The ever worsening crisis of the Philippine ruling system provides the fertile ground for the continuance and growth in strength of the revolutionary mass movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. But to gain total victory in the new-democratic revolution and proceed to the socialist revolution, the Party must take fully into account the international situation and draw further strength from the world proletariat and other positive forces abroad.

In international relations, we must be guided above all by the principle of proletarian internationalism. Especially in the current situation, we must unite and close ranks with the working class parties and organizations that adhere to Marxism-Leninism and are waging revolutionary struggles in their respective countries.

The ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the ever escalating oppression and exploitation are prodding the proletarian revolutionaries and peoples in countries to reaffirm the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism. Even now, it is clear that the current decade is one of social turmoil in the world capitalist system and popular resistance to neocolonialism. It is not going to be a decade of Pax Americana and capitulation by the forces of revolutionary change.

More than a billion people (a quarter of humanity) continue to live and work in societies that consider themselves socialist and are led by parties that consider themselves communist. The crisis of world capitalist system shall have become far worse than now before the degree or semblance of socialism that exists in the world can be erased.

The disintegration of the revisionist ruling parties and regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and their counterparts abroad is part of the crisis of the world capitalist system and is in fact a positive development in the sense that it provides alerting lessons to all proletarian revolutionaries, demonstrate the folly of straying from Marxism-Leninism and from the road of socialism and argues against the illusions that the modern revisionists have conjured for a long time on a world scale.

In accordance with the principle of proletarian internationalism, the Communist Party of the Philippines is more than ever determined to engage in all possible ways to develop mutual understanding, fraternal relations, and mutual support and cooperation with all working class parties and proletarian revolutionaries the world over.

The Party is grateful to all fraternal proletarian parties for the moral and concrete support that they extend to the resolute revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people and for recognizing the Party as one of the advanced detachments of the world proletariat which can contribute to the restrengthening of the world socialist and anti- imperialist movement in theory and practice. Like today when it sincerely follows the slogan, “Workers of all countries, unite!” and gives uppermost importance to the world unity of workers through party-to-party relations, the Party shall uphold proletarian internationalism as the highest principle and general line of international relations when it is in power and shall give the uppermost importance to the world unity of workers through party-to-party relations as well as through the relations of the socialist state with other socialist states.

Fidelity to proletarian internationalism is a necessary measure of whether a party is Marxist-Leninist or not and whether a state is socialist or not. It is aimed at creating the world conditions for socialism to prevail over capitalism, for the working class to defeat the bourgeoisie and all reaction, and paving the way for communism; and therefore at realizing the mutual support and cooperation of all proletarian revolutionary forces, without any party or state infringing on the independence and equality of others.

We have seen parties and states that start out as proletarian revolutionary but later degenerate and become revisionist and relate with other parties and states only as these become subservient and become their foreign policy tools. They subordinate the principle of proletarian internationalism to diplomatic and economic relations with bourgeois states. They stop mentioning proletarian internationalism as if it were a dirty phrase as cosmopolitan relations with transnational corporations and banks gain the uppermost importance.

Learning lessons from recent history, the Communist Party of the Philippines is resolved that in the future the foreign policy of the new Philippines shall encompass relations with other socialist states, with working class parties, with peoples and revolutionary movements and with states (irrespective of ideology or social system) in that order of importance, under the guidance of proletarian internationalism in basic correspondence to the socialist character of the state and the proletarian revolutionary character of the ruling party.

The Party is confident that the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the resurgence of the socialist and anti-imperialist movement will create the global conditions favorable for their winning total victory in the new-democratic revolution and for establishing a socialist society that requires the proletarian party and state to practice proletarian internationalism at a new and higher level.