Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
December 12, 1963
[SOURCE: by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag), Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1963.]
SINCE the 20th Congress of the CPSU Khrushchov and other comrades have talked more about the question of peaceful coexistence than about anything else.
Again and again the leaders of the CPSU claim that they have been faithful to Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence and have creatively developed it. They ascribe to their policy of “peaceful coexistence” all the credit for the victories won by the peoples of the world in prolonged revolutionary struggles.
They advertise the notion that imperialism, and U.S. imperialism in particular, supports peaceful coexistence, and they wantonly malign the Chinese Communist Party and all Marxist-Leninist parties as being opponents of peaceful coexistence. The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU even slanders China as favouring “competition in unleashing war” with the imperialists.
They describe the words and deeds by which they have betrayed Marxism-Leninism, the proletarian world revolution and the revolutionary cause of the oppressed peoples and nations as being in conformity with Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence.
But can the words “peaceful coexistence” really serve as a talisman for the leaders of the CPSU in their betrayal of Marxism-Leninism? No, absolutely not.
We are now confronted with two diametrically opposed policies of peaceful coexistence.
One is Lenin and Stalin’s policy of peaceful coexistence, which all Marxist-Leninists, including the Chinese Communists, stand for.
The other is the anti-Leninist policy of peaceful coexistence, the so-called general line of peaceful coexistence advocated by Khrushchov and others.
Let us now examine Lenin and Stalin’s policy of peaceful coexistence and the stuff Khrushchov and others call the general line of peaceful coexistence.
It was Lenin who advanced the idea that the socialist state should pursue a policy of peaceful coexistence towards countries with different social systems. This correct policy was long followed by the Communist Party and the Government of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin.
The question of peaceful coexistence between socialist and capitalist countries could not possibly have arisen prior to the October Revolution, since there was no socialist country in existence. Nevertheless, on the basis of his scientific analysis of imperialism, Lenin foresaw in 1915-16 that “socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time”. (“The War Program of the Proletarian Revolution”, Selected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1950, Vol. 1, Part 2, p. 571.) In other words, within a certain period of time, socialist countries would exist side by side with capitalist or pre-capitalist countries. The very nature of the socialist system determines that socialist countries must pursue a foreign policy of peace. Lenin said, “Only the working class, when it wins power, can pursue a policy of peace not in words . . . but in deeds.” ( “Draft Resolution on the Current Moment in Politics”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Gospolitizdat, Moscow, Vol. 25, pp. 291-92.) These views of Lenin’s can be said to constitute the theoretical basis of the policy of peaceful coexistence.
After the victory of the October Revolution, Lenin proclaimed to the world on many occasions that the foreign policy of the Soviet state was one of peace. But the imperialists were bent on strangling the new-born socialist republic in its cradle. They launched armed intervention against the Soviet state. Lenin rightly pointed out that confronted with this situation “unless we defended the socialist republic by force of arms, we could not exist”. (“Report of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) at the Eighth Party Congress”, Selected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1943, Vol. 8, p. 33.)
By 1920 the great Soviet people had defeated the imperialist armed intervention. A relative equilibrium of forces had come into being between the Soviet state and the imperialist countries. After trials of strength over several years, the Soviet state had stood its ground. It began to turn from war to peaceful construction. It was in these circumstances that Lenin advanced the idea of a policy of peaceful coexistence. In fact, from that time onwards the imperialists had no choice but to “coexist” with the Soviet state.
During Lenin’s lifetime, this equilibrium was always highly unstable and the socialist Soviet Republic was subject to stringent capitalist encirclement. Time and again Lenin pointed out that owing to the aggressive nature of imperialism there was no guarantee that socialism and capitalism would live in peace for long.
In the prevailing conditions, it was not yet possible for him to define at length the content of the policy of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems. But the great Lenin laid down the correct foreign policy for the first state of the dictatorship of the proletariat and advanced the basic ideas of the policy of peaceful coexistence.
What were Lenin’s basic ideas on this policy?
First, Lenin pointed out that the socialist state existed in defiance of the imperialists’ will. Although it adhered to the foreign policy of peace, the imperialists had no desire to live in peace with it and would do everything possible and seize every opportunity to oppose or even destroy the socialist state.
International imperialism . . . could not . . . live side by side with the Soviet Republic, both because of its objective position and because of the economic interests of the capitalist class which are embodied in it. . .( “Report on War and Peace, delivered to the Seventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952. Vol. 2 Part 1, p. 422)
. . . the existence of the Soviet Republic side by side with imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. One or the other must triumph in the end. And before that end supervenes, a series of frightful collisions between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois states will be inevitable. (“Report of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) at the Eighth Party Congress”, Selected Works, New York, Vol. 8, p. 33.)
He therefore stressed time and again that the socialist state should maintain constant vigilance against imperialism.
. . . the lesson all workers and peasants must master is that we must be on our guard and remember that we are surrounded by men, classes and governments openly expressing their extreme hatred for us. We must remember that we are always at a hair’s breadth from all kinds of invasions. (“On the Domestic and Foreign Policies of the Republic, Report Delivered at the Ninth All-Russian Congress of Soviets”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Moscow, Vol. 33, p. 122.)
Secondly, Lenin pointed out that it was only through struggle that the Soviet state was able to live in peace with the imperialist countries. This was the result of repeated trials of strength between the imperialist countries and the Soviet state, which adopted a correct policy, relied on the support of the proletariat and oppressed nations of the world and utilized the contradictions among the imperialists.
Lenin said in November 1919:
That is the way it always is — when the enemy is beaten, he begins talking peace. We have told these gentlemen, the imperialists of Europe, time and again that we agree to make peace, but they continued to dream of enslaving Russia. Now they have realized that their dreams are not fated to come true. (“Speech Delivered at the First All-Russian Conference on Party Work in the Countryside”. Alliance of the Working Class and the Peasantry, FLPH, Moscow 1959, p. 326.)
He pointed out in 1921:
... the imperialist powers, with all their hatred of Soviet Russia and desire to throw themselves upon her, have had lo reject this thought, because the decay of the capitalist world is increasingly advancing, its unity is becoming less and less, and the pressure of the forces of the oppressed colonial peoples, with a population of over 1000 million, is becoming stronger with each year, each month and even each week. (“Speech at the Conclusion of the Tenth National Conference of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Vol. 32, pp. 412-13.)
Thirdly, in carrying out the policy of peaceful coexistence, Lenin adopted different principles with regard to the different types of countries in the capitalist world. He attached particular importance to establishing friendly relations with countries which the imperialists were bullying and oppressing. He pointed out that “the fundamental interests of all peoples suffering from the yoke of imperialism coincide’, and that the “world policy of imperialism is leading to the establishment of closer relations, alliance and friendship among all the oppressed nations”. He said that the peace policy of the Soviet state “will increasingly compel the establishment of closer ties between the R.S.F.S.R. [Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic] and a growing number of neighbouring states”. (“The Work of the Council of People’s Commissars, Report Delivered at the Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets”, Selected Works, New York, Vol. 8, pp. 251 and 252.)
Lenin also said:
We now set as the main task for ourselves: to defeat the exploiters and win the waverers to our side — this task is a world-wide one. The waverers include a whole series of bourgeois states, which as bourgeois states hate us, but on the he other hand, as oppressed states, prefer peace with us. (“Report on the Work of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Vol. 30, p. 299.)
As for the basis for peace with the imperialist countries, such as the United States, he said: “Let the U.S. capitalists refrain from touching us.” “‘The obstacle to such a peace?’ From our side, there is none. From the side of the American (and all the other) capitalists, it is imperialism.” (“Reply to Questions by the Correspondent of the American Newspaper, New York Evening Journal”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Vol. 30, p. 340.)
Fourthly, Lenin advanced the policy of peaceful coexistence as a policy to be pursued by the proletariat in power towards countries with different social systems. He never made it the sum total of a socialist country’s foreign policy. Time and again Lenin made it clear that the fundamental principle of this foreign policy was proletarian internationalism.
Soviet Russia considers it her greatest pride to help the workers of the whole world in their difficult struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. (“To the Fourth World Congress of the Comintern and the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Red Army Deputies”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Vol. 33, p 379.)
In the Decree on Peace issued after the October Revolution, while proposing an immediate peace without annexation or indemnities to all the belligerent countries, Lenin called upon the class-conscious workers in the capitalist countries to help, by comprehensive, determined, and supremely vigorous action, “to bring to a successful conclusion the cause of peace, and at the same time the cause of the emancipation of the toiling and exploited masses of the population from all forms of slavery and ail forms of exploitation”. (“Report on Peace”, delivered at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 331.)
The Draft Programme of the Party which Lenin drew up for the Seventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party laid down explicitly that “support of the revolutionary movement of the socialist proletariat in the advanced countries” and “support of the democratic and revolutionary movement in all countries in general, and particularly in the colonies and dependent countries” constituted the important aspects of the Party’s international policy. (Selected Works, New York, Vol. 8, p 334.)
Fifthly, Lenin consistently held that it was impossible for the oppressed classes and nations to coexist peacefully with the oppressor classes and nations.
In the Theses on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International, he pointed out:
. . . the bourgeoisie, even the most educated and democratic, now no longer hesitates to resort to any fraud or crime, to massacre millions of workers and peasants in order to save the private ownership of the means of production. (Selected Works, New York, Vol. 10, p. 164.)
Lenin’s conclusions were:
. . . the very thought of peacefully subordinating the capitalists to the will of the majority of the exploited, of the peaceful, reformist transition to Socialism is not only extreme philistine stupidity, but also downright deception of the workers, the embellishment of capitalist wage slavery, concealment of the truth. (Ibid.)
He repeatedly pointed to the hypocrisy of what the imperialists called the equality of nations. He said:
The League of Nations and the whole postwar policy of the Entente reveal this truth more clearly and distinctly than ever, they are everywhere intensifying the revolutionary struggle both of the proletariat in the advanced countries and of the masses of the working people in the colonial and dependent countries, and are hastening the collapse of the petty-bourgeois national illusion that nations can live together in peace and equality under capitalism. (“Preliminary Draft of Theses on the National and Colonial Questions”, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 464.)
The above constitute Lenin s basic ideas on the policy of peaceful coexistence.
Stalin upheld Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence. In the thirty years during which he was the leader of the Soviet Union, he consistently pursued this policy.
It was only when the imperialists and reactionaries made armed provocations or launched aggressive wars against the Soviet Union that she had to wage the Great Patriotic War and to fight back in self-defence.
Stalin pointed out that “our relations with the capitalist countries are based on the assumption that the coexistence of two opposite systems is possible” and that “the maintenance of peaceful relations with the capitalist countries is an obligatory task for us”. (“Political Report of the Central Committee” delivered at the Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U. (B.), Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1954, Vol. 10, p. 296.)
He also pointed out:
The peaceful coexistence of capitalism and communism is quite possible provided there is a mutual desire to co-operate, readiness to carry out undertaken commitments, and observance of the principle of equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. (Stalin, “Replies to Questions of American Editors”, Pravda, April 2, 1952.)
While upholding Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence, Stalin firmly opposed withholding support from other people’s revolutions in order to curry favour with imperialism. He forcefully pointed out two opposite lines in foreign policy, “either one or the other” of which must be followed.
One line was that “we continue to pursue a revolutionary policy, rallying the proletarians and the oppressed of all countries around the working class of the U.S.S R. — in which case international capital will do everything it can to hinder our advance”.
The other was that “we renounce our revolutionary policy and agree to make a number of fundamental concessions to international capital — in which case international capital no doubt, will not be averse to ‘assisting’ us in converting our socialist country into a ‘good’ bourgeois republic”.
Stalin cited an example. “America demands that we renounce in principle the policy of supporting the emancipation movement of the working class in other countries, and says that if we made this concession everything would go smoothly. ... perhaps we should make this concession?”
And he answered in the negative, “. . . we cannot agree to these or similar concessions without being false to ourselves. . .” (“The Work of the April Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission”, Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 11, pp. 58-60.)
These remarks of Stalin’s are still of great practical significance. There are indeed two diametrically opposed foreign policies, two diametrically opposed policies of peaceful coexistence. It is an important task for all Marxist-Leninists to distinguish between them, uphold Lenin and Stalin’s policy and firmly oppose the policy of betrayal, capitulation and withholding support from revolution as well as the policy which converts a socialist country into a “good” bourgeois republic — policies which Stalin denounced.
The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU alleges that the Chinese Communist Party “lacks faith in the possibility of peaceful coexistence” and slanderously accuses it of opposing Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence.
Is this true? No. Of course not.
Anyone who respects facts can see clearly that the Chinese Communist Party and the Government of the People’s Republic of China have unswervingly pursued Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence with great success.
Since World War II, a fundamental change has taken place in the international balance of class forces. Socialism has triumphed in a number of countries and the socialist camp has come into being. The national liberation movement is growing apace and there have emerged many nationalist states which have newly acquired political independence. The imperialist camp has been greatly weakened and the contradictions among the imperialist countries are becoming increasingly acute. This situation provides more favourable conditions for the socialist countries to carry out the policy of peaceful coexistence towards countries with different social systems.
In these new historical conditions, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government have enriched Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence in the course of applying it.
On the eve of the birth of the People’s Republic of China, Comrade Mao Tse-tung said:
. . . we proclaim to the whole world that what we oppose is exclusively the imperialist system and its plots against the Chinese people. We are willing to discuss with any foreign government the establishment of diplomatic relations on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, provided it is willing to sever relations with the Chinese reactionaries, stops conspiring with them or helping them and adopts an attitude of genuine, and not hypocritical, friendship towards People’s China. The Chinese people wish to have friendly co-operation with the people of all countries and to resume and expand international trade in order to develop production and promote economic prosperity. (“Address to the Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference”, Selected Works, Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1961, Vol. IV, p. 408.)
In accordance with these principles set forth by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, we laid down our foreign policy of peace in explicit terms first in the Common Programme adopted by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference m September 1949 and subsequently in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China adopted by the National People’s Congress in September 1954.
In 1954 the Chinese Government initiated the celebrated Five Principles of peaceful coexistence. They are mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. Together with other Asian and African countries, we formulated the Ten Principles on the basis of the Five Principles at the Bandung Conference of 1955.
In 1956 Comrade Mao Tse-tung summed up our country’s practical experience in international affairs and further explained the general principles of our foreign policy.
To achieve a lasting world peace, we must further develop our friendship and co-operation with the fraternal countries in the camp of socialism and strengthen our solidarity with all peace-loving countries. We must endeavour to establish normal diplomatic relations on the basis of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and of equality and mutual benefit with all countries willing to live together with us in peace. We must give active support to the national independence and liberation movement in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as to the peace movement and to just struggles in all countries throughout the world. (“Opening Address to the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China.”)
In 1957 he said:
To strengthen our unity with the Soviet Union, to strengthen our unity with all socialist countries — this is our fundamental policy, herein lies our basic interest.
Then, there are the Asian and African countries, and all the peace-loving countries and peoples — we must strengthen and develop our unity with them.
As for the imperialist countries, we should also unite with their peoples and strive to coexist in peace with these countries, do business with them and prevent any possible war, but under no circumstances should we harbour any unrealistic notions about them. (On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.)
In our foreign affairs over the past fourteen years, we have adopted different policies towards different types of countries and varied our policies according to the different conditions in countries of the same type.
l. We differentiate between socialist and capitalist countries. We persevere in the proletarian internationalist principle of mutual assistance with regard to socialist countries. We take the upholding and strengthening of the unity of all the countries in the socialist camp as the fundamental policy in our foreign relations.
2. We differentiate between the nationalist countries which have newly attained political independence and the imperialist countries.
Although fundamentally different from the socialist countries in their social and political systems, the nationalist countries stand in profound contradiction to imperialism. They have common interests with the socialist countries — opposition to imperialism, the safeguarding of national independence and the defence of world peace. Therefore, it is quite possible and feasible for the socialist countries to establish relations of peaceful coexistence and friendly co-operation with these countries. The establishment of such relations is of great significance for the strengthening of the unity of the anti-imperialist forces and for the advancement of the common struggle of the peoples against imperialism.
We have consistently adhered to the policy of consolidating and further developing peaceful coexistence and friendly co-operation with countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. At the same time, we have waged appropriate and necessary struggles against countries such as India which have violated or wrecked the Five Principles.
3. We differentiate between the ordinary capitalist countries and the imperialist countries and also between different imperialist countries.
As the international balance of class forces grows increasingly favourable to socialism and as the imperialist forces become daily weaker and the contradictions among them daily sharper, it is possible for the socialist countries to compel one imperialist country or another to establish some sort of peaceful coexistence with them by relying on their own growing strength, the expansion of the revolutionary forces of the peoples, the unity with the nationalist countries and the struggle of all the peace-loving people, and by utilizing the internal contradictions of imperialism.
While persevering in peaceful coexistence with countries having different social systems, we unswervingly perform our proletarian internationalist duty. We actively support the national liberation movements of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the working-class movements of Western Europe, North America and Australasia, the peoples revolutionary struggles, and the people’s struggles against the imperialist policies of aggression and war and for world peace.
In all this we have but one objective in view, that is, with the socialist camp and the international proletariat as the nucleus, to unite all the forces that can be united in order to form a broad united front against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.
On the basis of the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence, the Chinese Government over the past ten years and more has established friendly relations with many countries having different social systems and promoted economic and cultural exchanges with them. China has concluded treaties of friendship, of peace and friendship or of friendship, mutual assistance and mutual non-aggression with the Yemen, Burma, Nepal, Afghanistan, Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia and Ghana. She has successfully settled her boundary questions with Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., questions which were left over by history.
No one can obliterate the great achievements of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government in upholding Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence.
In manufacturing the lie that China opposes peaceful coexistence, the leaders of the CPSU are prompted by ulterior motives. To put it bluntly, their aim is to draw a veil over their own ugliness in betraying proletarian internationalism and colluding with imperialism.
It is not we, but the leaders of the CPSU, who in fact violate Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence.
The leaders of the CPSU have lauded their concept of peaceful coexistence in superlative terms. What are their main views on the question of peaceful coexistence?
(1) The leaders of the CPSU maintain that peaceful coexistence is the overriding and supreme principle for solving contemporary social problems. They assert that it is “the categorical imperative of modern times” and “the imperious demand of the epoch”. They say that “peaceful coexistence alone is the best and the sole acceptable way to solve the vitally important problems confronting society” and that the principle of peaceful coexistence should be made the “basic law of life of the whole of modern society ”.
(2) They hold that imperialism has become willing to accept peaceful coexistence and is no longer the obstacle to it. They say that “not a few government and state leaders of Western countries are now also coming out for peace and peaceful coexistence”, and that they “understand more and more clearly the necessity of peaceful coexistence”. In particular they have loudly announced a U.S. President’s “admission of the reasonableness and practicability of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems”.
(3) They advocate “all-round co-operation” with imperialist countries, and especially with the United States. They say that the Soviet Union and the United States “will be able to find a basis for concerted actions and efforts for the good of all humanity” and can “march hand in hand for the sake of consolidating peace and establishing real international co-operation between all states”.
(4) They assert that peaceful coexistence is “the general line of foreign policy of the Soviet Union and the countries of the socialist camp”.
(5) They also assert that “the principle of peaceful coexistence determines the general line of foreign policy of the CPSU and other Marxist-Leninist parties”, that it is “the basis of the strategy of communism” in the world today, and that all Communists “have made the struggle for peaceful coexistence the general principle of their policy”.
(6) They regard peaceful coexistence as the prerequisite for victory in the peoples’ revolutionary struggles. They hold that the victories won by the people of different countries have been achieved under “conditions of peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems”. They assert that “it was precisely in conditions of peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems that the socialist revolution triumphed in Cuba, that the Algerian people gained national independence, that more than forty countries won national independence, that the fraternal Parties grew in number and strength. and that the influence of the world communist movement increased”.
(7) They hold that peaceful coexistence is “the best way of helping the international revolutionary labour movement achieve its basic class aims”. They declare that under peaceful coexistence the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism in capitalist countries has grown They believe, moreover, that the victory of socialism in economic competition “will mean delivering a crushing blow to the entire system of capitalist relationships”. They state that “when the Soviet people will enjoy the blessings of communism, new hundreds of millions of people on earth will say: ‘We are for communism!’” and that by then even capitalists may “go over to the Communist Party”.
Just consider. What do these views have in common with Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence?
Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence is one followed by a socialist country in its relations with countries having different social systems, whereas Khrushchov describes peaceful coexistence as the supreme principle governing the life of modern society.
Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence constitutes one aspect of the international policy of the proletariat in power, whereas Khrushchov stretches peaceful coexistence into the general line of foreign policy for the socialist countries and even further into the general line for all Communist Parties.
Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence was directed against the imperialist policies of aggression and war, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence caters to imperialism and abets the imperialist policies of aggression and war.
Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence is based on the standpoint of international class struggle, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence strives to replace international class struggle with international class collaboration.
Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence proceeds from the historical mission of the international proletariat and therefore requires the socialist countries to give firm support to the revolutionary struggles of all the oppressed peoples and nations while pursuing this policy, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence seeks to replace the proletarian world revolution with pacifism and thus renounces proletarian internationalism.
Khrushchov has changed the policy of peaceful coexistence into one of class capitulation. In the name of peaceful coexistence, he has renounced the revolutionary principles of the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960, robbed Marxism-Leninism of its revolutionary soul, and distorted and mutilated it beyond recognition.
This is a brazen betrayal of Marxism-Leninism!
On the question of peaceful coexistence the difference between the leaders of the CPSU, on the one hand, and ourselves and all Marxist-Leninist parties and indeed all Marxist-Leninists, on the other, is not whether socialist countries should pursue the policy of peaceful coexistence. It is an issue of principle concerning the correct attitude towards Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence. It manifests itself mainly in three questions.
The first question is: In order to attain peaceful coexistence, is it necessary to wage struggles against imperialism and bourgeois reaction? Is it possible through peaceful coexistence to abolish the antagonism and struggle between socialism and imperialism?
Marxist-Leninists consistently maintain that as far as the socialist countries are concerned, there is no obstacle to the practice of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems. The obstacles always come from the imperialists and the bourgeois reactionaries.
The Five Principles of peaceful coexistence were advanced to combat the imperialist policies of aggression and war. Under these principles, it is impermissible in international relations to encroach upon the territory and sovereignty of other countries, interfere in their internal affairs, impair their interests and equal status or wage aggressive wars against them. But it is in the very nature of imperialism to commit aggression against other countries and nations and to desire to enslave them. As long as imperialism exists, its nature will never change. That is why intrinsically the imperialists are unwilling to accept the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence. Whenever possible, they try to disrupt and destroy the socialist countries and they commit aggression against other countries and nations and try to enslave them.
History shows that it is only owing to unfavourable objective causes that the imperialists dare not risk starting a war against the socialist countries, or are forced to agree to an armistice and to accept some sort of peaceful coexistence.
History also shows that there have always been sharp and complex struggles between the imperialist and socialist countries, which have sometimes culminated in direct military conflicts or wars. When hot wars are not in progress, the imperialists wage cold wars, which they have been ceaselessly waging ever since the end of World War II. In fact, the imperialist and the socialist countries have been in a state of cold-war coexistence. At the same time as they actively expand their armaments and prepare for war, the imperialist countries use every means to oppose the socialist countries politically, economically and ideologically, and even make military provocations and war threats against them. The imperialists’ cold war against the socialist countries and the latter’s resistance to it are manifestations of the international class struggle.
The imperialists push on with their plans of aggression and war not only against the socialist countries but throughout the world. They try to suppress the revolutionary movements of the oppressed peoples and nations.
In these circumstances, the socialist countries, together with the people of all other countries, must resolutely combat the imperialist policies of aggression and war and wage a tit-for-tat struggle against imperialism. This class struggle inevitably goes on, now in an acute and now in a relaxed form.
But Khrushchov is impervious to these inexorable facts. He proclaims far and wide that imperialism has already admitted the necessity of peaceful coexistence, and he regards the anti-imperialist struggles of the socialist countries and of the people of the world as incompatible with the policy of peaceful coexistence.
In Khrushchov’s opinion, a socialist country has to make one concession after another and keep on yielding to the imperialists and the bourgeois reactionaries even when they subject it to military threats and armed attack or make humiliating demands which violate its sovereignty and dignity.
By this logic, Khrushchov describes his incessant retreats, his bartering away of principles and docile acceptance of the U.S. imperialists’ humiliating demands during the Caribbean crisis as “a victory of peaceful coexistence”.
By the same logic, Khrushchov describes China’s adherence to correct principles on the Sino-Indian boundary question and her counter-attack against the military onslaught of the Indian reactionaries, an act of self-defence by China when the situation became intolerable, as “a violation of peaceful coexistence”.
At times, Khrushchov also talks about struggle between the two different social systems. But how does he see this struggle?
He has said, “The inevitable struggle between the two systems must be made to take the form exclusively of a struggle of ideas....”
Here the political struggle has disappeared!
He has also said:
The Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence of states with differing socio-economic and political systems does not mean just an absence of war, a temporary state of unstable ceasefire. It presupposes the maintenance between these states of friendly economic and political relations, it envisages the establishment and development of various forms of peaceful international co-operation.
Here, struggle has disappeared altogether!
Like a conjurer, Khrushchov plays one trick after another, first reducing major issues to minor ones, and then minor issues to naught. He denies the basic antagonism between the socialist and capitalist systems, he denies the fundamental contradiction between the socialist and the imperialist camps, and he denies the existence of international class struggle. And so he transforms peaceful coexistence between the two systems and the two camps into “all-round co-operation”.
The second question is: Can peaceful coexistence be made the general line of foreign policy for socialist countries?
We hold that the general line of foreign policy for socialist countries must embody the fundamental principle of their foreign policy and comprise the fundamental content of this policy.
What is this fundamental principle? It is proletarian internationalism.
Lenin said, “Alliance with the revolutionaries of the advanced countries and with all the oppressed peoples against any and all the imperialists — such is the external policy of the proletariat.” (“The External Policy of the Russian Revolution”, Collected Works, fourth Russian ed., Vol. 25, p. 69.) This principle of proletarian internationalism advanced by Lenin should be the guide for the foreign policy of socialist countries.
Since the formation of the socialist camp, every socialist country has had to deal with three kinds of relations in its foreign policy, namely, its relations with other socialist countries, with countries having different social systems, and with the oppressed peoples and nations.
In our view, the following should therefore be the content of the general line of foreign policy for socialist countries: to develop relations of friendship, mutual assistance and co-operation among the countries of the socialist camp in accordance with the principle of proletarian internationalism; to strive for peaceful coexistence on the basis of the Five Principles with countries having different social systems and oppose the imperialist policies of aggression and war; and to support and assist the revolutionary struggles of all the oppressed peoples and nations. These three aspects are interrelated and not a single one can be omitted.
The leaders of the CPSU have one-sidedly reduced the general line of the foreign policy of the socialist countries to peaceful coexistence. We would like to ask: How should a socialist country handle its relations with other socialist countries? Should it merely maintain relations of peaceful coexistence with them?
Of course, socialist countries, too, must abide by the Five Principles in their mutual relations. It is absolutely impermissible for any one of them to undermine the territorial integrity of another fraternal country, to impair its independence and sovereignty, interfere in its internal affairs, carry on subversive activities inside it, or violate the principle of equality and mutual benefit in its relations with another fraternal country. But merely to carry out these principles is far from enough. The 1957 Declaration states:
These are vital principles... However, they do not exhaust the essence of relations between them. Fraternal mutual aid is part and parcel of these relations. This aid is a striking expression of socialist internationalism.
In making peaceful coexistence the general line of foreign policy, the leaders of the CPSU have in fact liquidated the proletarian internationalist relations of mutual assistance and co-operation among socialist countries and put the fraternal socialist countries on a par with the capitalist countries. This amounts to liquidating the socialist camp.
The leaders of the CPSU have one-sidedly reduced the general line of the foreign policy of the socialist countries to peaceful coexistence. We would like to ask: How should a socialist country handle its relations with the oppressed peoples and nations? Should the relationship between the proletariat in power and its class brothers who have not yet emancipated themselves or between it and all oppressed peoples and nations be one of peaceful coexistence alone and not of mutual help?
After the October Revolution, Lenin repeatedly stressed that the land of socialism, which had established the dictatorship of the proletariat, was a base for promoting the proletarian world revolution. Stalin, too, said, “The revolution which has been victorious in one country must regard itself not as a self-sufficient entity, but as an aid, as a means for hastening the victory of the proletariat in all countries.” (“The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists”, Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1953, Vol. 6, p. 415.) He added that “it constitutes . . . a mighty base for its further development [i.e. of the world revolution]”. (Ibid, p. 419.)
In their foreign policy, therefore, socialist countries can in no circumstances confine themselves to handling relations with countries having different social systems, but must also correctly handle the relations among themselves and their relations with the oppressed peoples and nations. They must make support of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations their internationalist duty and an important component of their foreign policy.
In contrast with Lenin and Stalin, Khrushchov makes peaceful coexistence the general line of foreign policy for socialist countries and, in so doing, excludes from this policy the proletarian internationalist task of helping the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations. So far from being a “creative development” of the policy of peaceful coexistence, this is a betrayal of proletarian internationalism on the pretext of peaceful coexistence.
The third question is: Can the policy of peaceful coexistence of the socialist countries be the general line for all Communist Parties and for the international communist movement? Can it be substituted for the people’s revolution?
We maintain that peaceful coexistence connotes a relationship between countries with different social systems, between independent sovereign states. Only after victory in the revolution is it possible and necessary for the proletariat to pursue the policy of peaceful coexistence. As for oppressed peoples and nations, their task is to strive for their own liberation and overthrow the rule of imperialism and its lackeys. They should not practise peaceful coexistence with the imperialists and their lackeys, nor is it possible for them to do so.
It is therefore wrong to apply peaceful coexistence to the relations between oppressed and oppressor classes and between oppressed and oppressor nations, or to stretch the socialist countries’ policy of peaceful coexistence so as to make it the policy of the Communist Parties and the revolutionary people in the capitalist world, or to subordinate the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations to it.
We have always held that the correct application of Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence by the socialist countries helps to develop their power, to expose the imperialist policies of aggression and war and to unite all the anti-imperialist peoples and countries, and it therefore helps the people’s struggles against imperialism and its lackeys. At the same time, by directly hitting and weakening the forces of aggression, war and reaction, the people’s revolutionary struggles against imperialism and its lackeys help the cause of world peace and human progress, and therefore help the socialist countries’ struggle for peaceful coexistence with countries having different social systems. Thus, the correct application of Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence by the socialist countries is in harmony with the interests of the people’s revolutionary struggles in all countries.
However, the socialist countries’ struggle for peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems and the people’s revolution in various countries are two totally different things.
In its letter of June 14 replying to the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Central Committee of the CPC states:
. . . it is one thing to practice peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems. It is absolutely impermissible and impossible for countries practicing peaceful coexistence to touch even a hair of each other’s social system. The class struggle, the struggle for national liberation and the transition from capitalism to socialism in various countries are quite another thing. They are all bitter, life-and-death revolutionary struggles which aim at changing the social system. Peaceful coexistence cannot replace the revolutionary struggles of the people. The transition from capitalism to socialism in any country can only be brought about through the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat in that country.
In a class society it is completely wrong to regard peaceful coexistence as “the best and the sole acceptable way to solve the vitally important problems confronting society” and as the “basic law of life for the whole of modern society”. This is social pacifism which repudiates class struggle. It is an outrageous betrayal of Marxism-Leninism.
Back in 1946, Comrade Mao Tse-tung differentiated between the two problems and explicitly stated that compromise between the Soviet Union and the United States, Britain and France on certain issues “does not require the people in the countries of the capitalist world to follow suit and make compromises at home. The people in those countries will continue to wage different struggles in accordance with their different conditions.” (“Some Points in Appraisal of the Present International Situation”, Selected Works, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1961, Vol. IV, p. 87.)
This is a correct Marxist-Leninist policy. Guided by this correct policy of Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s, the Chinese people firmly and determinedly carried the revolution through to the end and won the great victory of their revolution.
Acting against this Marxist-Leninist policy, the leaders of the CPSU equate one aspect of the policy to be pursued by the proletariat in power in its state relations with countries having different social systems with the general line of all the Communist Parties, and they try to substitute the former for the latter, demanding that Communist Parties and revolutionary peoples should all follow what they call the general line of peaceful coexistence. Not desiring revolution themselves, they forbid others to make it. Not opposing imperialism themselves, they forbid others to oppose it.
This the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU and Khrushchov’s recent remarks have strenuously denied. It has been asserted that it is “a monstrous slander to accuse the leaders of the CPSU of extending peaceful coexistence to relations between the oppressed and oppressor classes and between the oppressed and oppressor nations. They have even hypocritically stated that peaceful coexistence “cannot be extended to the class struggle against capital within the capitalist countries and to national liberation movement”.
But such prevarication is futile.
We should like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: Since the policy of peaceful coexistence constitutes only one aspect of the foreign policy of socialist countries, why have you asserted until recently that it represents “the strategic line for the whole period of transition from capitalism to socialism on a world scale”? In requiring the Communist Parties of all the capitalist countries and of the oppressed nations to make peaceful coexistence their general line, are you not aiming at replacing the revolutionary line of the Communist Parties with your policy of “peaceful coexistence” and wilfully applying that policy to the relations between oppressed and oppressor classes and between oppressed and oppressor nations?
We should also like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: Since the peoples win victory in their revolutions by relying primarily on their own struggles, how can such victory be attributed to peaceful coexistence or described as its outcome? Do not such allegations of yours mean the subordination of the revolutionary struggles of the peoples to your policy of peaceful coexistence?
We should further like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: Economic successes in socialist countries and the victories they score in economic competition with capitalist countries undoubtedly play an exemplary role and are an inspiration to oppressed peoples and nations. But how can it be said that socialism will triumph on a worldwide scale through peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition instead of through the revolutionary struggles of the peoples?
The leaders of the CPSU advertise reliance on peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition as being enough to “deliver a crushing blow to the entire system of capitalist relationships” and bring about world-wide peaceful transition to socialism. This is equivalent to saying that the oppressed peoples and nations have no need to wage struggles, make revolution and overthrow the reactionary rule of imperialism and colonialism and their lackeys, and that they should just wait quietly — until the production levels and living standards of the Soviet Union outstrip those of the most developed capitalist countries, when the oppressed and exploited slaves throughout the world would be able to enter communism together with their oppressors and exploiters. Is this not an attempt on the part of the leaders of the CPSU to substitute what they call peaceful coexistence for the revolutionary struggles of the peoples and to liquidate such struggles?
An analysis of these three questions makes it clear that our difference with the leaders of the CPSU is a major difference of principle. In essence it boils down to this. Our policy of peaceful coexistence is Leninist and is based on the principle of proletarian internationalism. It contributes to the cause or opposing imperialism and defending world peace and accords with the interests of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations the world over: whereas the so-called general line of peaceful coexistence pursued by the leaders of the CPSU is anti-Leninist, it abandons the principle of proletarian internationalism, damages the cause of opposing imperialism and defending world peace, and runs counter to the interests of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations.
The general line of peaceful coexistence pursued by the leaders of the CPSU is firmly rejected by all Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary people but is warmly praised by the imperialists.
The spokesmen of Western monopoly capital make no secret of their appreciation of this general line of the leaders of the CPSU. They see in Khrushchov “the West’s best friend in Moscow” and say that “Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchov acts like an American politician”. They say, “Comrade Khrushchov is considered, as far as the free world is concerned, the best Prime Minister the Russians have. He genuinely believes in peaceful coexistence.” They declare that “this possibility of better Soviet-American relations has led to the feeling in U.S. State Department circles that, within certain limits, the U.S. should facilitate Khrushchov’s task”.
The imperialists have always been hostile to the socialist countries’ policy of peaceful coexistence, exclaiming “the very phrase ‘coexistence’ is both weird and pre-sumptuous” and “let us relegate to the scrap heap the concept of a transitory and uneasy coexistence”. Why do they now show so much interest in Khrushchov’s general line of peaceful coexistence? Because the imperialists are clear on its usefulness to them.
The U.S. imperialists have invariably adopted the dual tactics of war and peace in order to attain their strategic objectives of liquidating the people’s revolutions, eliminating the socialist camp and dominating the world. When they find the international situation growing unfavourable to them, they need to resort increasingly to peace tricks while continuing their arms expansion and war preparations.
In 1958 John Foster Dulles proposed that the United States should dedicate itself to “a noble strategy” of “peaceful triumph”.
After assuming office, Kennedy continued and developed Dulles’ “strategy of peace” and talked a great deal about “peaceful coexistence”. He said, “. . . we need a much better weapon than the H-bomb . . . and that better weapon is peaceful co-operation.”
Does this mean that the U.S. imperialists genuinely accept peaceful coexistence, or, in the words of the leaders of the CPSU, admit “the reasonableness and practicabilily of peaceful coexistence”? Of course not.
A little serious study makes it easy to see the real meaning and purpose of “peaceful coexistence” as advocated by the U.S. imperialists.
What is its real meaning and purpose?
1. In the name of peaceful coexistence, the U.S. imperialists try to tie the hands of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries and forbid them to support the revolutionary struggles of the people in the capitalist world.
The Soviet Government could end the “cold war”, so far as it is concerned if it would free itself from the guiding direction of international communism and seek primarily the welfare of the Russian nation and people. Also the “cold war” would come to an end if international communism abandoned its global goals. . .
Kennedy stated that if U.S.-Soviet relations were to be improved, the Soviet Union would have to abandon the plan of “communizing the entire world” and “look only to its national interest and to providing a better life for its people under conditions of peace”.
Dean Rusk has put the point even more bluntly. “There can be no assured and lasting peace until the communist leaders abandon their goal of a world revolution.” He has also said that there are “signs of restiveness among the Soviet leaders “about the burdens and risks of their commitments to the world communist movement”. And he has even asked the Soviet leaders to “go on from there, by putting aside the illusion of a world communist triumph”.
The meaning of these words is only too clear. The U.S. imperialists describe the revolutionary struggles by the oppressed peoples and nations in the capitalist world for their own emancipation as being the outcome of attempts by the socialist countries to “communize the entire world”. They say to the Soviet leaders: Do you wish to live in peace with the United States? Very well! But on condition that you must not support the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations in the capitalist world and must see to it that they will not rise in revolution. According to the wishful thinking of the U.S. imperialists, this will leave them free to stamp out the revolutionary movements in the capitalist world and to dominate and enslave its inhabitants, who comprise two-thirds of the world’s population.
2. In the name of peaceful coexistence, the U.S. imperialists try to push ahead with their policy of “peaceful evolution” vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and other socialist countries and to restore capitalism there.
Dulles said, “The renunciation of force . . . implies, not the maintenance of the status quo, but peaceful change.” “It is not sufficient to be defensive. Freedom must be a positive force that will penetrate.” “We hope to encourage an evolution within the Soviet world.”
Eisenhower asserted that whatever the United States could do by peaceful means would be done, “in order that those people who are held in bondage by a tyrannical dictatorship might finally have the right to determine their own fates by their own free votes”.
Kennedy said that the “task is to do all in our power to see that the changes taking place . . . in the Soviet empire on all continents . . . lead to more freedom for more men and to world peace”. He declared that he would “pursue a policy of patiently encouraging freedom and carefully pressuring tyranny” towards the socialist countries in Eastern Europe, so as to provide “free choice” for the people of those countries.
The meaning of these words, too, is very clear. The U.S. imperialists malign the socialist system as “dictatorial” and “tyrannical” and describe the restoration of capitalism as “free choice”. They say to the Soviet leaders: Do you wish to live in peace with the United States? Very well! But this does not mean we recognize the status quo in the socialist countries; on the contrary, capitalism must be restored there. In other words, the U.S. imperialists will never reconcile themselves to the fact that one-third of the world’s population has taken the socialist road, and they will always attempt to destroy all the socialist countries.
Briefly, what the U.S. imperialists call peaceful coexistence amounts to this: no people living under imperialist domination and enslavement may strive for liberation, all who have already emancipated themselves must again come under imperialist domination and enslavement, and the whole world must be incorporated into the American “world community of free nations”.
It is easy to see why the general line of peaceful coexistence of the leaders of the CPSU is exactly to the taste of U.S. imperialism.
On the pretext of peaceful coexistence, the leaders of the CPSU do their best to curry favour with U.S. imperialism and serve its fraudulent peace policy by constantly proclaiming that the representatives of U.S. imperialism “are concerned about peace”.
On the pretext of peaceful coexistence, the leaders of the CPSU apply the policy of peaceful coexistence to the relations between oppressed and oppressor classes and between oppressed and oppressor nations, and they oppose revolution and try to liquidate it; this exactly suits the U.S. imperialists’ requirement that the socialist countries should not support people’s revolutions in the capitalist world.
On the pretext of peaceful coexistence, the leaders of the CPSU try to substitute international class collaboration for international class struggle and advocate “all-round co-operation” between socialism and imperialism, thus opening the door to imperialist penetration of the socialist countries; this exactly suits the needs of the U.S. imperialist policy of “peaceful evolution”.
The imperialists have always been our best teachers by negative example. Let us here cite extracts from two speeches by Dulles after the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
. . . I had said . . . that there was evidence within the Soviet Union of forces toward greater liberalism. . . .
. . . if these forces go on and continue to gather momentum within the Soviet Union, then we can think, and reasonably hope, I said within a decade or perhaps a generation, that we would have what is the great goal of our policy, that is, a Russia which is governed by people who are responsive to the wishes of the Russian people, who had given up their predatory world-wide ambitions to rule and who conform to the principles of civilized nations and such principles as are embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
He also stated:
. . . the long-range prospect — indeed, I would say the long-range certainty — is that there will be an evolution of’ the present policies of the Soviet rulers so that they will become more nationalist and less internationalist.
Apparently, Dulles’ ghost has been haunting the betrayers of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, and they have become so obsessed with the so-called general line of peaceful coexistence that they do not pause to consider how well their actions accord will, the desires of U.S. imperialism.
While harping on peaceful coexistence in recent years, the leaders of the CPSU have in fact not only violated the principle of proletarian internationalism but even failed to conform to the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence in their attitude towards China and a number of other socialist countries. To put it plainly, their ceaseless advocacy of peaceful coexistence as the general line of their foreign policy amounts to a demand that all the socialist countries and the Communist Parties must submit to their long-cherished dream of Soviet-U.S. collaboration.
The heart and soul of the general line of peaceful coexistence pursued by the leaders of the CPSU is Soviet-U.S. collaboration for the domination of the world.
Just look at the extraordinary statements they have made:
“The two greatest modern powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, have left far behind any other country in the world.”
“Each of these two powers is leading a large group of nations — the Soviet Union leading the world socialist system and the United States the capitalist camp.”
“We [the Soviet Union and the United States] are the strongest countries in the world and if we unite for peace there can be no war. Then if any madman wanted war, we would but have to shake our fingers to warn him off.”
“. . . if there is agreement between N. S. Khrushchov, the head of the Soviet Government, and John Kennedy, the President of the United States, there will be a solution of international problems on which mankind’s destinies depend.”
We would like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: Since the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement say clearly that U.S. imperialism is the sworn enemy of the people of the world and the main force making for aggression and war, how can you “unite” with the main enemy of world peace to “safeguard peace”?
We would like to ask them: Can it be that more than a hundred countries and over three thousand million people have no right to decide their own destiny? Must they submit to the manipulations of the two “giants”, the two “greatest powers”, the Soviet Union and the United States? Isn’t this arrogant nonsense of yours an expression of great-power chauvinism and power politics pure and simple?
We would also like to ask them: Do you really imagine that if only the Soviet Union and the United States reached agreement, if only the two “great men” reached agreement, the destiny of mankind would be decided and all international issues settled? You are wrong, hopelessly wrong. From time immemorial, things have never happened in this way. and they are much less likely to do so in the nineteen sixties. The world today is full of complex contradictions, the contradiction between the socialist and the imperialist camps, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries, the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism, and the contradictions among the imperialist countries and among the monopoly capitalist groups in the imperialist countries. Would these contradictions disappear once the Soviet Union and the United States reached agreement?
The only country the leaders of the CPSU look up to is the United States. In their pursuit of Soviet-U.S. collaboration, they do not scruple to betray the Soviet people’s true allies, including their class brothers and all the oppressed peoples and nations still living under the imperialist-capitalist system.
The leaders of the CPSU are trying hard to wreck the socialist camp. They use every kind of lie and slander against the Chinese Communist Party and exert political and economic pressure on China. As for socialist Albania, nothing short of its destruction would satisfy them. Hand in hand with U.S. imperialism, they brought pressure to bear upon revolutionary Cuba, making demands on it at the expense of its sovereignty and dignity.
The leaders of the CPSU are trying hard to sabotage the revolutionary struggles of the peoples against imperialism and its lackeys. They are acting as preachers of social reformism and are sapping the revolutionary fighting will of the proletariat and its political party in various countries. To cater to the needs of imperialism, they are undermining the national liberation movement and becoming more and more shameless apologists of U.S. neo-colonialism.
What do the leaders of the CPSU get from U.S. imperialism in return for all their strenuous efforts and for the high price they pay in pursuit of Soviet-U.S. collaboration?
Since 1959, Khrushchov has become obsessed with summit meetings between the Soviet Union and the United States. He has had many fond dreams and spread many illusions about them. He has extolled Eisenhower as “a big man” who “understands big politics”. He has enthusiastically praised Kennedy as one who “understands the great responsibility that lies with the governments of two such powerful states”. The leaders of the CPSU made a big fuss about the so-called spirit of Camp David and proclaimed the Vienna meeting to be “an event of historic significance”. The Soviet press claimed that once the heads of the Soviet Union and the United States sat at the same table, history would arrive at a “new turning point” and that a handshake between the two “greats men”’ would usher in a “new era” in international relations.
But how does U.S. imperialism treat the leaders of the CPSU? A little over a month after the Camp David talk, Eisenhower declared, “I wasn’t aware of any spirit of Camp David.” And seven months after the talks he sent a U-2 spy plane to intrude into the Soviet Union, thus wrecking the four-power summit conference. Not long after the Vienna meeting, Kennedy put forward the following insolent conditions for twenty years of peace between the Soviet Union and the United States: no support by the Soviet Union for any peoples revolutionary struggles, and the restoration of capitalism in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. A year or more after the Vienna meeting Kennedy ordered the piratical military blockade of Cuba and created the Caribbean crisis.
Searching high and low among the quick and the dead, where can one find the much vaunted “spirit of Camp David”, “turning point in the history of mankind and “new era in international relations”?
After the signing of the tripartite treaty on the partial nuclear test ban, the leaders of the CPSU gave great publicity to the so-called spirit of Moscow. They spoke of the need to “strike while the iron is hot”, asserted that “all the favourable conditions are there” for the Soviet Union and the United States to reach further agreements, and declared that it was bad to take the attitude that “time can wait” or “there is no hurry”.
What is the “spirit of Moscow”? Let us look at recent events.
To create more of an atmosphere of Soviet-U.S. co-operation, the leaders of the CPSU held a rally in Moscow in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. At the same time, they sent a cultural delegation to the United States for celebrations there. But what came of the enthusiasm of the leader of the CPSU? The entire staff of the U.S. Embassy in the Soviet Union refused to attend the Moscow rally, and the U.S. State Department issued a special memorandum asking the American public to boycott the Soviet cultural delegation, whom they denounced as “extremely dangerous and suspicious people ”.
While the leaders of the CPSU were advocating “Soviet-U.S. co-operation”, the United States sent the agent Barghoorn to carry on activities in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government very properly arrested this agent. But, after Kennedy made the threat that the success of the wheat deal between the United States and the Soviet Union “depends upon a reasonable atmosphere in both countries”, which he said had been “badly damaged by the Barghoorn arrest”, the Soviet Government hurriedly released this U.S. agent without any trial, on the grounds of “the concern of the U.S. high officials over F. C. Barghoorn’s fate”, over the fate of an agent who “the investigation confirmed . . . had been engaged in intelligence activities against the U.S.S.R.”.
Are all these manifestations of the “spirit of Moscow”? If so, it is indeed very sad.
Moscow! Bright capital of the first socialist country and glorious name cherished by so many millions of people throughout the world since the Great October Revolution! Now this name is being used by the leaders of the CPSU to cover up their foul practice of collaboration with the U.S. imperialists. What an unprecedented shame!
All too often have the leaders of the CPSU said fine things about the U.S. imperialists and begged favours from them; all too often have they lost their temper with fraternal countries and Parties and put pressure on them; all too many are the tricks and deceptions they have practiced on the revolutionary people in various countries — solely in order to beg for “friendship” and “trust” from U.S. imperialism. But “while the drooping flowers pine for love, the heartless brook babbles on”. All that the leaders of the CPSU have received from the U.S. Imperialists is humiliation, again humiliation, always humiliation!
During the bitter days of resistance to armed imperialist intervention and amidst the raging fires of the Patriotic War, was there ever an occasion when the great Soviet people under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin bowed to difficulties? Did they ever kneel before the enemy? Today, the world situation is most favourable to revolution and socialism is stronger than ever, while imperialism has never been in such difficulties; yet how ignominiously has the first socialist country, the state founded by Lenin, been bullied by U.S. imperialism and how grossly has the socialist camp been disgraced by the leaders of the CPSU! How is it possible for us, for any Marxist-Leninists or revolutionary people, not to feel distress?
Here we should like to offer sincere advice to the leaders of the CPSU.
The United States, the most ferocious imperialist country, has the mad strategic aim of conquering the world. It is frantically suppressing the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations and has openly declared its intention of bringing Eastern Europe back into the so-called world community of free nations. How can you imagine that the heaviest blows of the U.S. imperialists in pursuit of their aggressive plans for conquering the whole world will fall on others and not on the Soviet Union?
The United States is an imperialist country and the Soviet Union a socialist country. How can you expect “all-round co-operation” between two countries with entirely different social systems?
There is mutual deception and rivalry even between the United States and the other imperialist powers, and the United States will not be satisfied until it has trampled them underfoot. How then can you imagine that the imperialist United States will live in harmony with the socialist Soviet Union?
Leading comrades of the CPSU! Just think the matter over soberly. Can U.S. imperialism be depended upon when a storm breaks in the world? No! The U.S. imperialists are undependable, as are all imperialists and reactionaries. The only dependable allies of the Soviet Union are the fraternal countries of the socialist camp, the fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties and all oppressed peoples and nations.
The laws of historical development operate independently of any individual’s will. No one can possibly prevent the growth of the socialist camp and the revolutionary movement of the oppressed peoples and nations, let alone destroy them. He who betrays the people of the socialist camp and the world and dreams of dominating the globe by colluding with U.S. imperialism is bound to end up badly. It is very mistaken and dangerous for the leaders of the CPSU to do so.
It is not yet too late for the leaders of the CPSU to rein in at the brink. It is high time for them to discard their general line of peaceful coexistence and return to Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence, to the road of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism.
[1.] B. N. Ponomaryov, “Victorious Banner of the Communists of the World”, Pravda, Nov. 18, 1962.
[2.] A. Rumyantsev, “Our Common Ideological Weapon”, Problems of Peace and Socialism, No. 1, 1962.
[3.] N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the U. N. General Assembly, Sept 23, 1960.
[4.] N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the Gadjah Mada University, Djokjakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 21, 1960.
[5.] N. S. Khrushchov, Report to the Session of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., Jan. 14, 1960.
[6.] Editorial article in Izvestia, Dec. 4, 1961.
[7.] Telegram of greetings from N. S. Khrushchov and L. Brezhnev to John F. Kennedy, Dec. 30, 1961.
[8.] See p. 18, note 2.
[9.] N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the Reception given by the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the Soviet Union, July 5, 1961.
[10.] B. N. Ponomaryov, “Some Problems of the Revolutionary Movement”, Problems of Peace and Socialism, No. 12, 1962.
[11.] Kommunist (Moscow), No. 2, 1962, p. 89.
[12.] B. N. Ponomaryov, “A New Stage in the General Crisis of Capitalism”, Pravda, Feb. 8, 1981.
[13.] Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mar. 30, 1963.
[14.] Open Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to Party Organizations and All Communists in the Soviet Union, July 14, 1963.
[15.] See p. 19. note 3.
[16.] Programme of the CPSU, adopted by the 22nd Congress of the CPSU.
[17.] See p. 18, note 4.
[18.] N. S. Khrushchov, “Answers to the Questions of the Austrian Professor Hans Thirring”, Pravda, Jan. 3, 1962.
[19.] “For the Unity and Solidarity of the International Communist Movement”, editorial article in Pravda, Dec. 6, 1963.
[20.] “How Nice Must We Be to Nikita?” in the U.S. magazine Time, Mar. 9, 1962.
[21.] U.S. Under-Secretary of State Harriman’s television interview, Aug. 18, 1963.
[22.] “Kennedy Helps Khrushchov”, in the British magazine Time and Tide, Apr. 18-24, 1963.
[23.] Agence France Presse dispatch from Washington, July 14 1963, on U.S. government officials’ comment on the Open Letter of the CPSU.
[24.] Formerly U.S. Under-Secretary of State Douglas Dillon’s address on U.S. foreign policy, Apr. 20, 1960.
[25.] Dulles’ speech before the California State Chamber of Commerce, Dec. 4, 1958.
[26.] Kennedy’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 20, 1963.
[27.] Dulles’ speech before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Jan. 28, 1959.
[28.] Kennedy’s interview with Adzhubei, Editor-in-Chief of Izvestia, Nov. 25, 1961.
[29.] Rusk’s address at the National Convention of the American Legion, Sept. 10, 1963.
[30.] Dulles’ address to the Award Dinner of the New York State Bar Association, Jan. 31, 1959.
[31.] See p. 35, note 2.
[32.] Dulles’ testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Feb. 8, 1959.
[33.] Eisenhower’s speech at the Polish-American Congress at Chicago, Sept. 30, 1960.
[34.] Kennedy, The Strategy of Peace, p. 199.
[35.] Kennedy’s speech at the Polish-American Congress at Chicago, Oct. 1, 1960.
[36.] Dulles’ press conference of May 15, 1956.
[37.] Dulles’ press conference of Oct. 28, 1958.
[38.] N. N. Yakovlev, “After 30 Years . . .”, a pamphlet written for the 30th anniversary of Soviet-American diplomatic relations.
[40.] Khrushchov’s interview with the U.S. correspondent C. L Sulzberger. Sept. 5, 1961.
[41.] A. A. Gromyko, Speech at the Session of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., Dec. 13, 1962.
[42.] Speech by N. S. Khrushchov at the luncheon in his honour given by the Mayor of New York on Sept. 17, 1959.
[43.] N. S. Khrushchov, Radio and Television Speech, June 15, 1981.
[44.] Article by observer in Izvestia, Aug. 21, 1963.
Document List | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung