As indicated above, the national question in the present-day world is essentially a question of the exploitation and oppression, or attempted exploitation and oppression, of the nations the world over by American imperialism as well as the struggles of all nations in the world against the oppression and exploitation by American imperialism in order to achieve national liberation or to defend national independence.
Even during the Second World War, the American imperialists had made their plans for plundering and oppressing all the nations of the world. After the war, they put the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan into operation, thus step by step bringing many countries and nations of the world under their own control and rule, preparing a network of military bases throughout the world, setting their foot in all countries and intervening in the domestic affairs of other countries. All these activities stemmed from their ambitious and aggressive plans. And their aggressive plans, just like those of Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese warlords, are being carried out under the slogan of “defence against the Soviet Union, defence against Communism.”
In order to put their plans for the enslavement of the whole world into operation, the American imperialists have no alternative but to do all they can to mobilize the people of their own country in support of their plans and to suppress all forces among the people of their own country who oppose their plans. Thus, they have to carry out propaganda among the American people about the “theory” of the so-called “American Century” and the “theory” of the “superiority of the white race”, declaring that the United States should “lead the world” and that all the nations of the world should be brought under its rule. Therefore, the American imperialists are persecuting the Communist Party of the United States, the progressive American trade unions and the progressive movement of the American people. They are establishing a fascist-like rule in the United States, for otherwise they would not be able to put their plans into effect.
In order to put their plans for world domination into operation, the American imperialists have no alternative but to do all they can to oppose all the world forces that are fighting against the realisation of such plans. Thus, they are opposing the U.S.S.R., the New Democracies of Eastern Europe, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people’s liberation movement, the national liberation movements in Greece, Viet-Nam, Indonesia, Malaya, Burma and the Philippines; they are opposing the Communist parties and the people’s democratic forces of all countries. This is because all these countries and forces have formed an anti-imperialist camp, headed by the Soviet Union, in determined opposition to the plans of the American imperialists for the enslavement of the world. Therefore, when the Tito clique made known its anti-Soviet position, deserted the Communist Information Bureau and destroyed the vital forces of real progress within its own country, the American imperialists displayed uncontrolled glee. They are making preparations to start a third world war some time in the future, in an attempt to subdue all the forces of the world in opposition to them.
In order to put their plans for the enslavement of the world into operation, the American imperialists have no alternative but to search for lackeys and agents in the various countries who will carry out and support their plans. They seek out national renegades and traitors and give them their backing in suppressing the resistance movements of these countries and in opposing the Soviet Union. American imperialists help the reactionaries or all countries and support the revival of fascism in Germany, Japan, Italy, and other countries. The reactionary parties and groups of the bourgeoisie and the remnants of fascism in these countries have become the lackeys and agents of American imperialism and are suppressing, with American aid, the resistance movements of their own countries and of the colonial countries and are opposing the Soviet Union and the democratic forces of the peoples of all countries.
However, precisely because of the plans of the American imperialists for the enslavement of the world, and because of the betrayal of their nations by the reactionaries of the various European countries, the national question has become a vital issue for even a greater part of the population than after World War I. The anti-imperialist camp of the national liberation movement has become even broader, while the number of imperialist countries has dwindled and these have become more isolated. The foundations of imperialism are growing ever more unstable and its strength has been getting weaker and weaker; the oppressed people are rising on an ever-broadening scale to fight against the imperialists, bringing ever nearer the end of their domination.
The class enemies of the proletariat of the capitalist suzerain countries in Europe are at the same time national traitors and, consequently the national enemy of these countries. To win socialism, the proletariat of the various European countries must oppose both enslavement by American imperialism and the national traitors of their own countries. The class question and the national question are thus clearly linked together. This is to the advantage of the proletariat of the various European countries. On the one hand, by uniting with still broader masses of people within their countries. they can link up the defence of their national independence with the cause of achieving socialism; and on the other hand, by uniting with broader masses of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, they can link up the national liberation movements of the colonies and semi-colonies with their own cause of achieving socialism.
The plans of the American imperialists for the enslavement of the world, and the betrayal of their own nations by the reactionaries of the various European countries reflect the development of the general crisis of world capitalism as well as the extreme accentuation of the various contradictions of capitalism. They reflect the fact that the American and other imperialists who plan an insane and desperate struggle are sitting on a volcano of new severe crisis. The American imperialists’ plans for enslavement, at the same time, further accelerate the development of the general crisis of capitalism while accentuating the basic contradictions of world capitalism — the contradictions between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, between the various imperialist countries fighting for colonies and markets, and between the imperialists and the oppressed peoples. As a result, the vast majority of the peoples of the world have no alternative but to develop their unity on a world scale in the struggle for their liberation and in this way, hasten the downfall of imperialism.
At present, the American imperialists are intensifying thier activities for the enslavement of the peoples of the world, and the imperialists of Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and other countries, with American aid, are intensifying their oppression of the colonial peoples. There is an upsurge of the people’s democratic movement against American and other imperialism in the various countries; and an upsurge of the national liberation movements on the part of the colonial peoples. As a result, the national question in the world today has become unprecedentedly acute.
The world today has been divided into two mutually antagonistic camps: On the one hand, the world imperialist camp, composed of the American imperialists and their accomplices — the reactionaries of all countries of the world; on the other hand, the world anti-imperialist camp composed of the Soviet Union and the New Democracies of Eastern Europe and the national liberation movements in China, South-east Asia, and Greece plus the people’s democratic forces of all the countries of the world. American imperialism has become the bastion of all the reactionary forces of the world; while the Soviet Union has become the bastion of all the progressive forces.
These two camps include all the peoples of the world — of all countries, classes, sections of the population, parties and groups. When these two camps are in sharp conflict, people line up with one side of the other. That is, if one is not in the imperialist camp, if one is not assisting American imperialism and its accomplices to enslave the world ore one’s own people, then one must be in the anti-imperialist camp, assisting all oppressed peoples of the world fighting to achieve liberation, or fighting for the liberation of one’s own nation against American imperialism and its accomplices — the reactionaries in all countries. This means one is assisting the Soviet Union, the New Democracies of Eastern Europe, the people’s democratic forces in the United States and other countries, the proletariat and the communist Parties of all countries. To remain neutral or sitting on the fence is impossible. In the critical situation of the present-day world, so-called neutrality, as was pointed out long ago by Comrade Mao Tse-tung in his New Democracy, [A] is nothing but deception, intentional or otherwise.
It can thus be seen that in the present world situation, in order to win its liberation, every oppressed nation has no alternative but to oppose American imperialism and its accomplices within its country, to oppose the reactionaries of all countries, to unite with the Soviet Union and the New Democracies of Eastern Europe, to unite with the national liberation movements and the people’s democratic forces of other countries, to unite with the proletariat and the Communist Parties of all countries — that is to say, it must line up with the anti-imperialist camp and wage a stubborn struggle against American imperialism and its accomplices in other countries. No nation can win real liberation any other way.
It can thus be seen that if the Communist Parties, the proletariat, the people’s democratic forces in the United States, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and other countries, especially those in the United States, can rise up and overthrow the rule of their monopoly capitalists, abolish the imperialist domestic and foreign policies of their countries and carry out proletarian socialist domestic and national policies, then they will have completely liberated not only the peoples of their countries, but also the all the oppressed nations of the world as well. It follows that the complete victory of the proletariat and the peoples of these countries, as well as every blow they deliver to the rule of the monopoly capitalists of their countries, constitutes the best and most direct help to the oppressed nations of the world. Therefore, the national liberation movements of the oppressed nations of the world must endeavour to obtain help from the proletariat and the people in the imperialist countries, and to form with them a united front in opposition to the rule of imperialism. This is because both are facing a common enemy, the victory of one helps the other to win victory.
It can thus be seen that the victories of the national independence movements of the oppressed nations of the world over the imperialists of the United States, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and other countries, will deprive these countries of their colonies, undermine the foundation on which they dominate the world, greatly weaken the rule of imperialists in their home countries, and will therefore lead to liberation of the proletariat and the peoples of these counties from the rule of imperialism. Thus the victories gained by the national independence and liberation movements of the oppressed nations in in the colonies and semi-colonies, and every blow delivered to imperialism, constitute the best and most direct help to the proletariat and the peoples in imperialist countries. The proletariat, the Communist Parties and the people’s democratic forces in all counties, especially those in imperialist countries, must still give more support to the national independence and liberation movements in colonial and semi-colonial countries., and take further steps in building up a united front with them in opposition to the rule of imperialism. This is both are facing a common enemy, and the victory of one helps the other to win victory.
It can thus be seen that the existence and prosperity of the anti-imperialist, socialist Soviet Union, and the existence and development of the New Democracies of Eastern Europe, constitute a heavy blow to American imperialism and its lackeys — the reactionaries of other countries — and to the rule of world imperialism. All this signifies and accentuates the general crisis of world capitalism, brings ever nearer the final collapse of world capitalism, strengthens the socialist revolution of the proletariat in all counties and the camp of the national liberation movement of all oppressed nations, and brings the socialists and the New Democratic revolutions in all countries ever nearer to victory.In his letter to the Soviet Union just before his death in the spring of 1925, the great Chinese patriot, Dr. Sun Yat-sen wrote: “This great union of free republics, bequeathed by the immortal Lenin to the oppressed nations of the world, is a real inheritance with which sufferers under imperialism will protect their freedom and free themselves from the international system based on ancient slavery, war and selfishness.” The truth is as fresh as ever. This truth was borne out once again in the future struggle for the liberation of mankind. Comrade Mao Tse-tung gave a similar expression in his New Democracy:
“The choice is between uniting with the Soviet Union and uniting with imperialism. It must be one or the other. That is the line of demarcation between patriotism and betrayal of one’s own country, between revolution and counter-revolution, between progress and retrogression for any nation. Opposing the Soviet Union will surly be serving the interest of imperialism and betraying the interests of one’s own nation.”
All that which was said above explains one fundamental question; that is: the oppressed nations, the proletariat and the people’s democratic forces in all countries must unite with each other, unite with the New Democracies of Eastern Europe before they can defeat the plans of American imperialism for the enslavement of the world, and the rule of other imperialists over their colonies before they can solve the national question of the world today, i.e., to liberate all oppressed nations and consequently to abolish the rule of the monopoly capitalists in their home counties, which is the cause of imperialist aggression.
That is to say: the Communists and the peoples of all countries must base themselves on proletarian internationalism, on the proletarian-internationalist concept of the nation and the proletarian-internationalist programmes and policies with regard to the question of the nation, unite with the labouring people and the ant-imperialist revolutionary forces in all countries of the world and unite with the Soviet Union and the New Democracies of Eastern Europe, in a common struggle through mutual assistance and mutual support in order to liberate all oppressed nations and solve the national question of the world today.
That is to say; if one follows the bourgeois-nationalist concept of the nation and adopts its programmes and policies with regard to the national question, opposes the Soviet Union instead of uniting with it, opposes the New Democracies of Eastern Europe instead of uniting with them, opposes the Communists, the proletariat and the people’s democratic forces in all countries instead of uniting with them opposes the national liberation movements in colonial and semi-colonial countries instead of uniting with them, does the same as the Tito clique is doing in Yugoslavia, then one will of course unite with the American and other imperialists, will of course line up with the imperialist camp, will of course unite with the reactionary forces in all countries, will of course fail to achieve national liberation, will never accomplish anything in the cause of socialism, will of course make one’s own nation prey to the deception and aggression of American and other imperialism, with the result that one’s own nation will loose its independence and turn into a colony of the imperialists. Therefore, just as the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party has said: The resolution of the Information Bureau of the Communist Party is pointing out this dangerous future to the whole world and the people of Yugoslavia so that the people of Yugoslavia may become vigilant and correct the mistakes of the Tito clique,“is fulfilling its obligations to the cause of preserving world peace and democracy, and of defending the people of Yugoslavia from the deception and aggression of American imperialism.”
That is to say: in directing the national liberation movements and proletarian socialist movements of the world today, the Communists and the peoples of all countries must base themselves on proletarian internationalism, must discard bourgeois nationalism, and must closely link together the national democratic revolution of the oppressed nations and the socialist revolution of the proletariat, before these two kinds of revolution can both win victory, before we can liberate every nation of the world, and before we can solve all national questions of the world today. Otherwise, not only will we be unable to win any socialist victory, we will also not be able to win real victory in any national liberation movement.
That is to say: The national question of the present-day world must be viewed in connection with history as a whole and the world as a whole; it should not be viewed in isolation and from a narrow viewpoint, or from any unrealistic and abstract viewpoint. Just as Lenin and Stalin ahve said: the national question must not be appraised in isolation, but must be appraised on a world-wide scale.
After World War I and the success of the Russian October Revolution, in accordance with the new historical conditions of the whole world, the national question had to be appraised from the viewpoint of proletarian socialist revolution in opposition to international imperialism. It could no longer be appraised from the viewpoint of the bourgeois revolutions of the old war prior to the inception of the new era. Before World War I and the Russian October Revolution, the national question constituted a part of the world bourgeois democratic. Since then, the national question has become part of the world proletarian socialist revolution.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s comprehensive elaboration, in his New Democracy, on Stalin’s theories concerning this question, and his own theories set forth this book analysing in detail the transition of the Chinese revolution from the period of old democracy to New Democracy, are absolutely correct. Only by directing the national liberation movements on the basis or these correct theories can we liberate all oppressed nations in the world and solve the world’s national question today. In China the Communists stand at the forefront of all those struggling against American imperialist aggression; against Kuomintang reactionary rule, and against the oppression of feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. Not only the Communists, but also all democratic parties, people’s organizations, and non-party democratic elements — so long as they are really opposing imperialism, the reactionary Kuomintang reactionary rule, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, and are not merely paying lip service to revolution while actually attempting to sabotage revolution — should bear in mind and work for the realisation, and should neither think nor act otherwise. If they think or act otherwise, they are heading up a blind alley and will be left behind by the revolutionary army.
There is not the slightest doubt that to regard the national question as separate from the class question, or to regard the national struggle as separate from the class struggle, is absolutely wrong and harmful and constitutes a form of deception adopted by landlord and bourgeois reactionaries. Inasmuch as reactionary bourgeois nationalism and modern imperialist aggression brought about by the development of the capitalist system of exploitation, which has as its final outcome the fanatical attempts of American imperialism to achieve world domination, the counter revolutionary policies of American imperialism for the enslavement of the world have, with unprecedented clarity, joined together the socialist revolutionary movements of the proletariat in the capitalist suzerain countries and the national liberation movements of the oppressed nations. These policies also point out with unprecedented clarity that to uproot imperialist aggression, the rule of monopoly capitalists in capitalist suzerain countries must be over thrown.
The ultimate goal of the struggle of mankind for the liberation will be socialism and Communism. According to the famous saying of Molotov: “In the age we live in, all roads lead to Communism.” The peoples of all nations will reach this destination along their own paths of concrete struggle. For oppressed nations, the struggle for national liberation is the path which must be travelled. Only when the system of exploitation of man by man has been replaced by socialism, an in the Soviet Union, can aggression be completely eliminated. In the socialist Soviet Union, there are unlimited prospects for the development of her social productive forces. She ford not allow others to wage aggression against her. Nor does she want to wage aggression against others, since there is absolutely no necessity for her to do so.
Thus she has become a bulwark in the fight against the imperialist aggression, she has become the most reliable and best friend of the oppressed nations of the world. After socialism has been gradually carried out in all countries, the word “aggression” will be a strange archaic word existing only in man’s mind.
This is the only road leading to the ultimate liberation of the whole of mankind as well as the ultimate liberation of all the nations of the world.
A. Errata.For Comrade Mao Tse-tung gave a similar expalnation in his New Democracy: "The choice is......one's own nation." read Just as Comrade Mao Tse-tung has pointed out in his New Democracy. The choice is between uniting with the Soviet Union and uniting with imperialism. It must be one or the other. That is the line of demarcation between patriotism and betrayal of one's own country, between revolution and counter-revolution, between progress and retrogression for any nation. Opposing the Soviet Union will surely be serving the interest of imperialism and betraying the interest of one's own nation.
Next: V: The Progressive Character of Bourgeois Nationalism in Given Historical Conditions and the Marxist-Leninist Attitude Toward Such Nationalism