The Soviets demand “unity”. The Moscow Meeting of 1957. Khrushchev’s negotiations to bring Tito to the meeting. Khrushchev’s shortlived “anger”. Debate over the formula: “Headed by the Soviet Union.” Gomulka: “We are not dependent on the Soviet Union.” Mao Zedong: “Our camp must have a head because even a snake has a head.” Togliatti: “We must open new roads”, “we are against a single leading centre”, “we do not want to use Lenin’s thesis ‘the party of the new type’”. Mao’s sophistry: 80 per cent, 70 per cent and 10 per cent “Marxists”. The Moscow Declaration and the Yugoslav reaction. Khrushchev disguises his betrayal under the name of Lenin.
The aim of the Khrushchevites, who were restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union, was to make it a great social-imperialist power, and hence, it had to be armed to the teeth, because the storm which they raised would not only destroy the unity of the socialist camp but would also make the contradictions with American imperialism acute. The Khrushchevites knew that the United States of America had greater strength than the Soviet Union, both in the economy and in armaments.
The demagogic policy of the Khrushchevites about the “new epoch of peace” and “disarmament” was a policy to mislead the gogos.1 The United States of America and world capitalism took advantage of it to deepen the crisis of communism, to avoid the rapid onset of the economic and political crisis which was threatening America itself, and to consolidate their markets and alliances, and especially NATO. For their part, the Khrushchevites struggled for the consolidation of the Warsaw Treaty, to turn it into a strong Soviet means to shackle our countries. Under the disguise of “defence against NATO”, they managed to turn the stationing of Soviet troops into a military occupation of many countries of the Warsaw Treaty.
In fact, the imperialist threat had been and still was real, but with the advent to power of the Khrushchevites, our countries were considered as battlefields outside the Soviet borders and our peoples as cannon-fodder for the Soviet revisionists. They tried to put the army, the economy, culture and everything under their control and direction. All the parties of the socialist countries fell into this Khrushchevite trap, with the exception of the Party of Labour of Albania.
However, friction, disagreements and quarrels would inevitably arise, even amongst those who followed and submitted to Khrushchev’s line, all of them proceeding from unprincipled aims and an unprincipled policy. The bourgeoisie and international reaction fanned up these disagreements in order to deepen the splits within the “communist bloc”.
Khrushchev and Co. saw this process and used all means and ways to restrict and isolate it.
To achieve their strategic aims, the Khrushchevites needed the “friendship” of all, especially of the parties and countries of the socialist camp, therefore, they used various tactics to “consolidate their relations”, to smooth over the disagreements, to subjugate the others and establish their leadership over them.
Their method of operation in the service of their aims included meetings and contacts, almost always in Moscow, in order to make Moscow, if not de jure, at least de facto, the centre of international communism, in this way, always having the advantage of their bugging devices and being able to work on, and keep one or the other under control through their men.
It was clear that things were not going smoothly for the Khrushchevites. The Soviet Union had many different contradictions with Albania, China and even other countries of people’s democracy. The line of “freedom” and “democracy” bombastically proclaimed at the 20th Congress, was now boomeranging back on the Soviet leadership itself. The ranks had begun to disintegrate. However, the Khrushchevites needed to preserve the political-ideological “unity” of the socialist camp and the international communist movement at all costs, at least in appearance. In this direction and for this aim, the 1957 Moscow Meeting was organized.
Khrushchev and Co. made feverish efforts not only to ensure that the League of Communists of Yugoslavia would take part in that meeting as a party of a “socialist country”, but if possible also, to ensure that Tito would reach agreement with Khrushchev over the platform, the method of procedure and the conclusions of the meeting. In this way, the “unity” dreamed of and urgently sought by the Khrushchevites, would have looked more complete than ever. However, Tito was not one to be easily rounded up with Khrushchev’s flock. Many letters were exchanged and several bilateral contacts were organized between the men of Khrushchev and Tito on the eve of the meeting, but just when it seemed that an understanding had been reached, everything was upset and the gulf became even deeper. Each side wanted to exploit the meeting for its own aims: Khrushchev, to declare “unity”, even with painful concessions to satisfy and draw in Tito, while the latter, to urge the others to openly and finally abandon Marxism-Leninism, the struggle against modern revisionism and any principled stand. Ponomaryov and Andropov went to Belgrade, engaged in free bargaining with Tito’s representatives, displayed their readiness to retreat from many of their apparently principled former positions, but Tito from afar ordered:
“We shall come to the meeting, but only on condition that no declaration is published, because the international atmosphere will become tense and the imperialists will be angered and accuse us of ‘communist menace’.
“We Yugoslavs cannot accept any kind of declaration, because our Western allies will think that we are linked with the socialist camp, and consequently might break off their close relations with Yugoslavia.
“We shall come to the meeting on condition that no mention will be made of the terms opportunism and revisionism there, because, otherwise, we are directly attacked.
“We shall come to the meeting on the condition that the policy of the imperialist powers is not attacked, because this would not serve the policy of reducing tension,” etc., etc.
In other words, Tito wanted the communists of the world to get together in Moscow to drink tea and swap stories.
However, it was precisely the declaration that Khrushchev needed, a declaration which would confirm “unity” and carry the maximum number of signatures. The discussions came to an end. Tito decided not to go to Moscow. Khrushchev’s anger erupted, the terms “were made strong”, the smiles and pats on the back for the “Marxist, Comrade Tito”, were replaced for a moment with the epithet of the “opportunist”, who “has nothing at all to do with Leninism”, etc., etc.
However, Khrushchev used these “strong terms” about the chief of Belgrade only in the corridors and chance contacts, whereas in meetings he did not say one word against “Comrade Tito”. On the contrary, when he had to speak “against” revisionists and all those who expressed opposition to the Soviet Union, he mentioned only two corpses thrown on the rubbish heap, Nagy and Djilas.
He still hoped that Tito might come to Moscow to confirm the “unity of the 13” as he had promised a little earlier, in Bucharest. But Tito was suddenly “ill”!
“A diplomatic illness!” said Khrushchev angrily, and asked us and the others what should be done in the situation when the Yugoslavs did not agree even to take part in the first meeting of the communist parties of socialist countries, let alone sign the declaration.
“We have told you our opinion of them long ago, and every day is proving that we were and are right,” we replied. “We should not retreat because the Yugoslavs do not want to come.”
“That is what we think, too,” Suslov told us. And the meeting was held without the 13th, the odd man out.
However, although the Yugoslav revisionists did not take part in the first meeting, the meeting of parties of the socialist countries, they were present at its proceedings, because they were represented by their ideological brothers, Gomulka and Co. They came out openly in favour of Tito’s theses and demanded advance from Khrushchev and others in the direction of further corruption and disorganization.
“We do not agree that we should speak of ‘the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union’,” declared Gomulka. “In practice we have given up the use of this term, in order to show that we are not dependent on the Soviet Union as in the time of Stalin.”
Soviet leaders themselves engaged in a cunning manoeuvre around this problem. In order to demonstrate their alleged adherence to principles in relations with the other sister parties, they had “proposed” that the term “headed by the Soviet Union” should not be used, because allegedly we are all “equal”. However, they made this proposal only tentatively, in order to sound out the others on this, because in essence they were not simply for the term “headed by . . .”, but if possible “under the direction of the Soviet Union” hence “dependent on the Soviet Union”. This was what they intended and fought for, and time fully proved what the aims of the Khrushchevites were.
When Gomulka made his proposal at the meeting, the Soviet representatives scowled angrily and without coming out openly themselves first, urged the others to attack Gomulka.
A lengthy debate broke out around this problem. Although the opinion was being crystallized amongst us more and more clearly each day that the leadership of the Soviet Union was deviating from the road of socialism, we continued to defend the thesis “headed by the Soviet Union” for reasons of principle and tactics. We were well aware that in coming out against this expression, Gomulka and his supporters, in fact, wanted to reject openly and without hesitation everything proven good and valuable from the decades of experience of the Soviet Union led by Lenin and Stalin, to reject the experience of the October Revolution and the socialist construction in the Soviet Union in the time of Stalin, and to deny the role which it was up to the Soviet Union to play for the triumph and progress of socialism in many countries.
In this way, the revisionists, Gomulka, Togliatti and others, added their voices to the furious attack which imperialism and reaction had unleashed in those years against the Soviet Union and the international communist movement.
To us, the defence of these important Marxist-Leninist achievements was an internationalist duty, therefore we strongly opposed Gomulka and the others. This was a matter of principle. On the other hand, the defence we made of the Soviet Union and the thesis “headed by the Soviet Union”, both in 1957 and for two or three years after this, was one of the tactics of our Party to attack Khrushchevite modern revisionism itself.
Although Khrushchev and the others knew our views and stands, at that time we had not yet come out openly before all the parties against the revisionist line which they were crystallizing, therefore, by strongly opposing the revisionist theses of Tito, Gomulka, Togliatti and others in the eyes of all, at the same time, indirectly, we found the opportunity to attack the theses, stands and actions of Khrushchev himself, which in essence were identical with those of Tito and Co.
For entirely different aims and reasons, alien to Marxism-Leninism, Ulbricht, Novotny, Zhivkov of course, Dej, etc., also attacked Gomulka. They were wooing the favour of the Soviet Union and Khrushchev and, to this end, they left their ideological brother in the minority.
From the place he sat Mao Zedong brought out his “arguments”.
“Our camp must have a head, because even the snake has a head, and imperialism has a head,” he said. “I would not agree that China should be called the head of the camp,” Mao went on, “because we do not merit this honour and cannot maintain this role, we are still poor. We haven’t even a quarter of a satellite, while the Soviet Union has two. Then, the Soviet Union deserves to be the head because it treats us well. See how freely we are speaking now. If Stalin were here, we would find it difficult to speak like this. When I met Stalin, before him I felt like a pupil in front of his teacher, while with Comrade Khrushchev we speak freely, like equal comrades.
And as if this were not enough, he continued in his own style:
“With the criticism against the cult of the individual, it seemed as if a heavy roof, which was pressing down on us and hindered us from understanding matters correctly, was lifted from us. Who lifted this roof from us, who made it easier for all of us to understand the cult of the individual correctly?!” asked the philosopher, who was silent for a moment, and there and then supplied the answer: “Comrade Khrushchev, and we thank him for this.”
This is how the “Marxist” man defended the thesis “headed by the Soviet Union” and he defended Khrushchev in the same way. However, at the same time, in order to avoid angering Gomulka, who was opposed to this thesis, Mao, as the equilibrist he was, added:
“Gomulka is a good comrade and must be supported and trusted!”
Very long debates were held, also, in connection with the stand towards modern revisionism.
Gomulka, in particular, supported by Ochab and Zambrowski, in the first meeting of the 12 parties of the socialist countries, and later Togliatti, in the second meeting of 68 parties, in which Tito’s envoys also took part, were strongly opposed to the attack on modern revisionism, against defining it as the main danger in the international communist and workers’ movement, because, as Ochab said, “with these formulations we alienated the wonderful and valiant Yugoslav comrades, and now you are alienating us Poles, too.”
Palmiro Togliatti got up in the meeting and proclaimed his ultra-revisionist theses:
“We must go further with the line of the 20th Congress to turn the communist parties into broad mass parties, must open new roads, and bring out new slogans,” he said in essence. “Now we need great independence in working out slogans and forms of collaboration,” he continued, “therefore we are opposed to a single leading centre. This centre would not be advantageous to the development of the individuality of each party and to bringing the broad masses of catholics and others closer around us.”
Jacques Duclos, who was sitting beside me, could not contain himself:
“I am going to get up and attack him openly,” he said to me. “Do you hear the things he is saying, Comrade Enver?!”
“Yes,” I said to Duclos. “He is expressing here what he has been thinking and doing for a long time.”
“In 1945,” continued Togliatti, “we declared that we wanted to create a new party. We say a ‘new party’ and do not want to use Lenin’s thesis, ‘the party of the new type’ because, if we were to put it in this way, this would mark a great theoretical and political error, would mean to create such a communist party, which would break with the traditions of social-democracy. If we had built a party of the new type,” continued Togliatti, “we would have alienated the party from the masses of the people and we would never have created the situation we have today, when our party has become a great mass party.”
After these and other theses of Togliatti, tempers flared up. Jacques Duclos rose to speak:
“We listened carefully to Togliatti’s speech,” he said among other things, “but we declare that we do not agree in the least with what Togliatti said. His views open the way to opportunism and revisionism.”
“Our parties have been and are hindered by sectarianism and dogmatism,” interjected Togliatti.
At one moment Mao Zedong got up to calm the tempers, speaking in his style of allegories and implications. He said:
“On every human issue one must go into battle, but also towards conciliation. I have in mind the relations between comrades: when we have differences let us invite each other to talks. In Panmunjon we had negotiations with the Americans, in Vietnam with the French.”
After several phrases of this type, he came to the point:
“There are people,” he said, “who are 100 per cent Marxists, and others who are 80 per cent against revisionism, he has us in mind and mentions us by name. But even when we are not mentioned by name, everybody understands that we are implied, and that is why we do not take part in the meeting or sign the declaration of parties of socialist countries.”
And they did not sign this declaration.
Mao Zedong expressed his deep regret:
“They are not going to sign the 12 parties declaration,” he said. “As a rule, there ought to be 13 countries, but the Yugoslav comrades stood aside. We cannot force them. They are not going to sign. I say that in ten years’ time they will sign the declaration.”2
The declaration which was worked out jointly and adopted at the meeting, summed up the experience of the international communist movement, defended the universal laws of the socialist revolution and socialist construction, and defined a series of common tasks for the communist and workers’ parties, as well as the norms of relations among them.
Thus the adoption of the declaration was a victory for the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist forces. Over all, it constituted a correct program of joint struggle for the coming battles against imperialism and revisionism.
Nevertheless, although the modern revisionists were checked, and temporarily drew in their horns, they did not cease their evil work and had no intention of doing so. Khrushchev was to exploit the Moscow Meeting of 1957 as a means to prepare the terrain for the implementation of the diabolical anti-communist plan which he was to carry further.
He did his utmost to disguise his betrayal under the name of Lenin and, therefore, he made use of pseudo-Leninist phraseology, mobilized all the liberal pseudo-philosophers, who were awaiting the moment to adapt to revisionist lines (which they drew from the old social-democratic arsenal) Leninist disguises appropriate to the modern situation of the economic development of “our epoch of the superiority of socialism” and “the attainment, especially in the Soviet Union, of the stage of the construction of communism.”
Khrushchevism distorted Marxism-Leninism, considered it outdated, therefore it was to consider the phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat outdated, too, and would announce its replacement with the “state of the entire people”. Consistent in his course of betrayal, Khrushchev, likewise, was to replace the party of the proletariat with the “party of the entire people”. Consequently, according to Khrushchev, the Soviet Union was going over to “a higher phase, communism”, at a time when, in reality, that country was still backward in industry and agriculture and its markets were empty. “The Soviet Union was going over to the phase of communism” only in the declarations of the Khrushchevites, because the reality testified to the opposite. Above all, that country especially needed a strong Marxist-Leninist party which would undertake the education of the Soviet man and the Soviet society which was degenerating.
This liberal bluff was trumpeted by Khrushchev and his theoreticians from daylight to dark. In the press, the radio and the whole of the Soviet propaganda, a great hullabaloo was made in this direction; in the streets, on the fašades of buildings and the industrial projects, they put placards written in big letters, “Dognat i peregnat S.SH.A.”3
From the tribunes of meetings, the traitor shouted: “We have overtaken America in this or that sector, we shall outstrip it in agriculture (and even set the dates), we are going to bury capitalism,” etc. The revisionist theories were developed, elaborated and spread by the traitorous leaderships of pseudo-Marxist parties and a motley crowd of pseudo-Marxist philosophers, Trotskyites like Serven, Garaudy, Krivin, Fischer, and others, in all the capitalist countries, who had been lurking in the ranks of the communist parties, and who sprang up as Khrushchevite revisionists like mushrooms after the rain.
The genuine communists were taken by surprise. In this direction, the unhealthy anti-Marxist sentimentality, which prevented them from raising their voices against their parties which were degenerating, against old leaders who were betraying, against the Soviet Union, which they loved so much, from realizing the catastrophe for which the homeland of Lenin and Stalin was heading, played a negative role.
The capitalist bourgeoisie helped to deepen this confusion as much as possible with all its forces and economic and propaganda means.
In this way, Khrushchev’s cunning plan was developed in detail through intrigues, pressure, demagogy, blackmail, false accusations and violation of the treaties, agreements and accords, which had existed between the Soviet Union and China, as well as between the Soviet Union and Albania, until the Khrushchevites arrived at the “famous” Bucharest Meeting.
1. “innocents” (French in the original).
2. Mao was wrong only in the time he set. In fact, not ten years, but twenty years later a “declaration” was signed with the Yugoslavs in Beijing. The Maoists signed their submission to Tito (Author’s note).
3. “Overtake and outstrip the USA.” (Russian in the original).
Next: 11. “The Carrot” and “The Stick”