We are passing through the third post-war year since the final close of the Second Imperialist World War in 1945. The international developments that have taken place during the course of these three years need to be reviewed and analysed carefully from the Marxist-Leninist standpoint in order to arrive at a correct definition on the international revolutionary tasks confronting the Indian proletariat today and its party, the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
Politically, the defeat of Hitlerite Germany, Japan and Italy, and the elimination of France from the rank of great powers and the enfeeblement of British imperialism, have completely altered the old balance between imperialist powers. The U.S.A. with its tremendous financial and productive resources definitely has emerged after the war as the leading imperialist power practically dominating and overriding other capitalist countries. On the world arena it confronts its chief antagonist in the Soviet Union; which holds, despite considerable internal weakening as a. result of the war, unchallenged sway over the entire Eastern half of Europe and vast parts of Asia up to Manchuria and North Korea.
The open hostility between the Soviet Union and world imperialism led by the U.S.A., the determination of the U.S.A for complete world domination and the frantic efforts of Britain, France and other old-world imperialist powers to regain some measure of their former imperialist glory even .after readjusting themselves to a position of subservience to the U.S.A.—these are the main features of the new political and International diplomatic set up brought about by the war.
The Second Imperialist World War has solved none of the fundamental contradictions of world capitalism which made war inevitable. On the basis of the general crisis of capitalism in the imperialist epoch it has rather opened up a new and prolonged period of crisis and decline, a period of unstable equilibrium and disintegration for the capitalist system all over the world. The experience of the three post war years has already made it clear that it is hopelessly beyond the powers of world-capitalism to rehabilitate or stabilise itself for any considerable length of time unless propped up by the influx of financial and capital help from the U.S.A. Even American aid can, under prevailing circumstances, only provide for stop-gap palliatives and at best, seek to lay the basis for a temporary stabilisation of European capitalism, as in the period 1924-29 after the First World War. But indications on the economic horizon have already shown that this time the U.SA. itself is threatened with the on-set of an overwhelming over- production crisis and depression much earlier than the crises after World War I.
The terrible destruction and dislocation wrought by the war in Europe and Eastern Asia have practically thrown the economic machinery of major capitalist countries out of gear. Production, both in industry and in agriculture, has been thoroughly disorganised and brought down to their lowest levels. Inflation has gone on unchecked, and all control measures have hitherto failed to achieve any-sort of workable balance between demand and supply.
All these symptoms make the conclusion irresistible that despite the end of the war, the world is inexorably entering into a period of economic and political difficulties, of intensified national rivalry for markets, of new wars, mass upheavals, convulsions and crises in one country after another.
These crises and convulsions are ultimately sure to release forces for the final revolutionary struggle of the proletarian and exploited colonial masses against the world imperialist capitalist system as a whole. All political and economic developments that have taken place on the international plane, since the end of the war, have only served to underline the fact of insuperable crisis of world capitalism and the revolutionary perspectives opened up by the possibilities of war which are far from closed by the end of the war. The end of the war has rather brought us face to face with a new and more intensified form of capitalist crisis which can only find its solution in socialist world revolution and seizure of power by the proletariat.
The basic world-historic division and alignment of forces which will determine the shape of things to come in the post-war epoch is, therefore, on the one hand those of reaction and counter- revolution represented by imperialist capitalist state-powers: and, on the other those of world socialist revolution—the revolutionary proletarians and exploited colonial masses ranged against imperialism and capitalism. All economic and political developments of the post-war period, the varying diplomatic alignments and correlationship of national power-blocs, alliances, treaties, recovery plans, trade-pacts, etc., which so much dominate our view today, unfold themselves within the frame-work of the foregoing world-historic alignment of forces, have to be judged in the light thereof. The principal task of the Revolutionary Socialists in this period shall consist in trying to assess clearly the forces of revolution on the international plane and actively co-operating with these forces in every country, in order to lead the proletarian and the exploited masses through their daily struggles towards the objective of final conquest of power.
It needs hardly to be pointed out that the forces of world imperialism and reaction are represented today by the U.S.A. and Britain, and other capitalist powers ranged round—the U.S.A. holding now unchallenged leadership in the imperialist camp. The main drive of U.S. imperialism in its attempt to dominate the world has naturally been directed against the Soviet Union, the only state-power still capable of resisting the U.S. domination,and the state-form, still representing tangibly the traditions and aspirations of Russian Socialist Revolution of October 1917 in the minds of the common people and exploited masses of the world.
The U.S.A. has succeeded with the help of Britain, France and other lesser capitalist powers in completing the encirclement of the U.S.S.R. and Soviet-allied zone of East Europe. The United Nations Organisation set up after the war, its Security Council and other paraphernalia, have simply degenerated into instruments of United States diplomacy for upholding and consolidating its world-hegemony and fighting the Soviet Union. The Marshall Plan and the European Recovery programme are frankly designed as the economic counterpart of the overall U.S. scheme for bringing the countries of Western Europe under exclusive American political control and preventing all genuinely progressive or pro- Soviet parties and influences from having any voice in the government of these countries. The proposed reconstruction of Western Germany under Anglo-U.S. aegis is similarly aimed at the formation of a defence barrier against penetration of Soviet influence into Western Europe, and seeks to create in the very heart of the European continent the most powerful lever for the economic and political disintegration of Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Japan in the Far-East, nationalist China and the entire Pacific are today already under exclusive U.S. control. In Greece, Turkey, Iran, China, Korea and other places U.S. imperialism has not even hesitated to supplement its diplomatic, economic and political pressure by measures amounting to direct military intervention. U.S. money and U.S. arms have been freely employed to put subservient parties and reactionary forces into governmental power in these countries in order to guard these exposed points of U.S. Soviet world front.
The recent formation of the so-called Western Bloc in Europe under the leadership of Great Britain and France needs also to be watched carefully. Although initially inspired by U.S., through Marshall-aid inducement, it is a significant move in the rehabilitation of old-world imperialism on a new basis. The Western Bloc countries are as yet economically in too weak and dilapidated a condition to rid themselves of the dependence on American financial and economic help. The common hostility to Soviet also brings them closer to the U.S.A.
But between the pressure of the U.S.A. on the one hand, and the Soviets on the other, there is discernible among the Western Bloc countries an increasing desire to follow their own independent line of policy as far as that is possible under the circumstances. So far as Great Britain is concerned, it definitely wants to bring the British Commonwealth into close diplomatic and political relation with the Western Bloc. Thus coalesced, the Western Bloc might at no distant date provide an alternative point of crystalisation for European capitalism comparatively independent of the U.S.A. The Palestine issue has brought the internal contradiction between British and American imperialist policy in the Middle East sharply to the fore. America and the Soviet Union are queerly on the same side in the Palestine tangle as against Great Britain—both of the former two powers being vitally concerned in seeing Britain dislodged from the traditional position of unchallenged hegemony over Arab Middle-East maintained through the Arab League. The weakened world position of Britain in the post-war period has no doubt imposed upon British imperialism the inexorable necessity of a series of retreats in India, Burma and elsewhere. But it would be a profound mistake to regard British imperialism as undergoing any process of voluntary self-liquidation. It is rather trying frantically to regroup its forces with a view to saving as much as possible of its former position and imperialist might.
The present set up of U.S.-Soviet antagonism and the diplomatic alignment of powers following from this must not, therefore, be regarded too absolutely. The polarisation of U.S.- Soviet relationship, and the practical hegemony of the U.S. in the imperialist camp, do not preclude the possibility of sharp interimperial rivalries between U.S., Britain and other powers. Nor does it preclude the possibility of any future understanding between the Soviet Union and any group of imperialist powers including the U.S. itself.
The policy of United States is inevitably becoming more aggressive as the expansionist demands of American imperialism on the world market grow and as the production of armaments and war-equipments assume increasing importance for American economy. Its hostility against the Soviet Union directly follows from this expansionist drive. The basic social contradiction between the U.S.A. as the leading imperialist power in the post- war period, and the Socialist Soviet Union, also certainly plays a part in the present hostility of the U.S. against the U.S.S.R. But as the experience of the last world-war has proved, diplomatic and military exigencies arising out of inter-imperialist contradictions may at times impel one imperialist Bloc to forge temporary alliance with Soviet Union against the other, in spite of their basic social contradiction with the Socialist Soviet system. Soviet Union or no Soviet Union, America is today out for complete world- domination, impelled by her inherent imperialist-capitalist urge for expansion.
The exerting by the U.S.A. of increased pressure in every sphere against the U.S.S.R. is aimed at changing the relationship of forces established between itself and the latter at the end of the war, and forcing the latter to negotiate as favourable a compromise as possible. The aim of Soviet diplomacy on its part, and its international strategy, is also directed towards a similar objective towards U.S.A. from its own point of view. If the Soviet Union agrees to adjust its own interests to the demands of U.S. expansionism in some form or other—a possibility not to be ruled out altogether as the recent U.S.-Soviet diplomatic exchanges (Smith-Molotov and Stalin-Wallace correspondences) have shown—the sharpness and intensity of the antagonism between the two powers would also lessen to that extent. But even then the historic necessity of mobilising the mass forces of revolution outside the Soviet Union against the forces of world imperialism and of the need for assessing world forces by the criterion of that revolutionary mobilisation would remain as fundamentally important from the Marxist-Leninist stand- point as ever in spite of some such U.S.-Soviet compromise.
In the face of American imperialist offensive and the regrouping of other imperialist-capitalist powers and their drive against the U.S.S.R. in the face of the threat of a new world war with which the imperialist reactionaries threaten the peoples of all countries and in the face of the misery and insuperable crisis in which world-imperialism has already landed the common people every where, the supreme historic necessity of organising and mobilising the exploited and toiling masses of all countries in a revolutionary counter-offensive against the very system of imperialism-capitalism has presented itself in the present post- war period with an urgency as never before.
The polarisation in world relations between the Soviet Union and the Soviet allied countries of Eastern-Europe on the one hand, and the imperialist-capitalist countries of the world under the leadership and aegis of American imperialism on the other, is developing in parallel with a sharpening of class-antagonisms and an increased polarisation of classes in all countries. The disillusioning experiences of the war and the increasing realisation of the masses that capitalism is again preparing to launch a new imperialist world war with a new catastrophe at their expense, are rapidly preparing the ground for revolutionary mass upheavals in every country. No where, not even in the U.S. itself-are the masses prepared to be deceived any longer by high-sounding promise of the ruling classes and their lackeys.
Thus, we find that U.S. imperialism was challenged at the end of the war by a tremendous strike-wave that showed the entire world the latent revolutionary power of the American working class. The 'Labour' Government of Attlee and Bevin in Great Britain could not similarly prevent the strike of London and Clydeside dockers or the Welsh miners. In France and Italy we have just witnessed militant forms of general strike shaking the very foundations of governmental authority and of the ruling classes at the beginning of this year. The strike offensive of the French and Italian workers, failed mainly because of the fact that workers' leaders were more actuated by reformist parliamentary objectives designed to secure seats in the government for themselves than by clear-cut and conscious revolutionary aims.
Inside the traditional workers' parties everywhere, therefore, a conflict between the left-wing representatives of the revolutionary socialist aspirations of the workers and the reformist class collaborationist right wing leaders is developing sharply and the objective situation is driving the entire working class towards more militant programmes of action. Nowhere in the continent of Europe have the bourgeoisie been able to inflict a decisive defeat on the proletariat or to form a stable government up till now. The working class has brilliantly retained its fighting strength and revolutionary zeal. It needs only to be freed from the reformist constitutional inhibitions set on their programmes by their traditional leaders masquerading as protagonist of socialism or communism.
In China and South East Asia-Indonesia, Indo-China, Burma, India and other countries—the masses have been already on the march. Almost all colonial and semi-colonial countries have been swept by a tremendous revolutionary upsurge of the masses in the post-war period. But no where in these countries have the tasks of national democratic revolution been successfully accomplished or carried to their logical conclusion. In most countries—in India and Burma for example—a compromisist settlement with imperialism has been arrived at by the native bourgeoisie and other vested interests on the basis of the recognition of formal right to political independence. But even the elementary democratic demands of the masses have nowhere been fulfilled in the new set-up and the people are again taking the path of struggle—this time—against the native bourgeoisie and their allies as well and they are moving forward to the realisation of complete democratic and social freedom on their own account.
The common masses throughout the whole world are on the march. It is the duty of the Revolutionary Socialists to ally themselves unhesitatingly with the revolutionary masses fighting against imperialist-capitalist thraldom, to render all possible help to revolutionary mass-forces in other countries to uphold their cause: and to strive to make the masses fully conscious about the revolutionary tasks which history has posed before the mankind, so that they may not be side-tracked or made to deviate from the path of revolution.
In the face of the gathering offensive of the imperialist- capitalist world against Soviet Union, the sympathy and solidarity of the Revolutionary Socialists must be—as it has always been, unhesitatingly on the side of the Soviet Union and the Soviet people. The Revolutionary Socialists recognise the supreme fact that, despite significant limitations, the Soviet Union still represents the revolutionary socialist tradition of the October days and has preserved in its basically socialist property relations, in the rising standard of living secured for the masses, in the system of planned economy, the comparatively successful socialist construction and those higher socialist values that October Revolution won for all progressive mankind. It is the sacred task of the Revolutionary Socialists to render full help to Soviet Union against all forms of external and internal counter-revolutionary attacks.
But at the same time we must be alive to the historic limitations to which' socialist construction in a single country, surrounded by imperialist-capitalist states on all sides, must be subjected. The Soviet Union must not be regarded, from the scientific Marxist-Leninist sociological point of view, uncritically as the socialist millennium where everything is best in the best possible way of all worlds. In spite of the higher socialist organisation of productive forces, socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. is still necessarily based on the economic resources and productive efforts of one country alone. The higher socialist organisation of production has enabled the Soviets to register wonders of gigantic industrial advances and a far more accelerated industrial and economic development than what would be possible on a capitalist basis. But having to commence the task of Socialist economic reconstruction in a backward semi-feudal semi-capitalist country, it has not been possible for the S.U. to reach the technical industrial efficiency or the standard of living of the western countries of Europe or U.S.A. Bourgeois forms of distribution have also in some cases been retained within the framework of a socialist economy to a greater extent, than would be the case if it had been possible to attain greater amplitude of production on an international socialist basis, comprising more than one country.
Consistent with the fundamental teachings of Marxism- Leninism, the Revolutionary Socialists firmly believe that the final and irrevocable victory of socialism and the higher organisation of productive forces for the satisfaction of social needs and for the maximum extension of human freedom and opportunities, in short, for the full realisation of all values, for which communism stands, is possible only on an international scale and on the basis of international revolution covering major capitalist countries of the world.
While defending Soviet Union by all means at their disposal the main efforts of the Revolutionary Socialists shall therefore be directed towards developing, marshalling and mobilising the forces of international revolution in different countries, and leading them to the overthrow of the imperialist system and to conquest of power, as opportunity presents itself according to varying circumstances obtaining in different countries. Infighting all forms of imperialist aggression against the Soviet Union the Revolutionary Socialists must also be awake to the basic distinction between the line of reformist defence of the Soviets and the Leninist line of revolutionary defence. Building up of the anti-imperialist and revolutionary socialist movement of the proletarian masses in one's own country and rendering all possible help to such movements in other countries will be the best defence of the Soviet Union that we can render today. Defence of the Soviet Union must never be interpreted to mean only the blind toeing of the Soviet diplomatic line and by-passing or side-tracking the revolutionary working-class struggle against the imperialist capitalist exploiters of one's own country. Any possible alliance of the Soviet Union with the U.S. or with British imperialism must not, therefore, prompt one to give up the struggle against American or British imperialism-capitalism. We must remember that international revolution is the best defence of the S.U. and the Soviet peoples.
The attention of all genuine Marxist-Leninists must be drawn in this connection to the need for fighting against the specious petty-bourgeois reformist deviation that is being propounded by certain section of the leaders of the official Communist movement in different countries and by prominent spokesmen of the recently formed "Cominform" in the name of "new-democracy" and "democratic transition to socialism". "New- democracy" which is admittedly based on the system of private ownership of the means of production, on a predominantly peasant- proprietor economy in agriculture and on the preservation of small scale capitalist establishments in industrial production and trades is now being upheld as an inevitable intermediate stage in the transition to socialism. "New-democracy" also advocates nationalisation of 'big' industries and the taking over of factories and other establishments of big capitalists after payment of due compensation to their capitalist owners. The gradual extension of this nationalised or socialist sector of economy would, it is argued, eventually lead to complete realisation of socialism, without the necessity of passing through the phase of revolutionary transformation or without establishing a full scale dictatorship of the proletariat as in Russia in October 1917.
"New-democracy" is the state form of the Soviet-allied countries of Eastern Europe organised and held under the leadership of the Communist Parties of these countries. In foreign politics these countries are now closely linked to the Soviets. But the mixed-form economy of these countries, the existence of a potentially conservative and reactionary land owning peasantry, and a middle class equally hostile to large-scale monopoly capitalism as well as to the working class and Soviet Socialism, and the hesitation about total elimination of the bourgeoisie from positions of control and influence in all spheres of economic life, naturally tend to make these countries hot-beds for Anglo-U.S. imperialist conspiracy. The only guarantee of these countries, being on the side of the Soviet Union, lies in the continuation of imposed supremacy of the Communist Parties in their governments, as at present, and in the political, diplomatic and military hegemony of the U.S.S.R. over them. Whether these countries can ultimately act as stable outer defence bastions for the U.S.S.R. will depend in the last instance upon the international balance of U.S.-Soviet relationship. The S.U. has already had the occasion to set its face decidedly against the proposed Federation of the 'new-democratic' states in the Balkans. So far as the social system of these countries are concerned, it provides no lasting guarantee against their ranging themselves against the Socialist Soviet Union.
The idea of "new-democracy" providing an alternative, before the mankind, to socialist revolution and dictatorship of the proletariat and opening the way to the gradual and peaceful transition to socialism, or the idea of moving forward to socialism by democratic parliamentary means, by the weight of organised mass pressure, propaganda, persuation and agitation, on the same lines as those of French or Italian Communists, must be combated unrelentingly from the stand point of Leninism. Apart from spreading reformist illusions among the fighting proletarian masses and toiling people in general, these deviations from Leninism serve to generate the dangerous complacence that it is sufficient for the working class merely to strive to keep the foreign policy of their countries tacked to that of Soviet Union without undertaking or striving for internal revolutionary social transformation.
Not only do these theories detract the attention of the masses away from the goal of social revolution and serve to defend the outworn capitalist system thereby. It also weakens the social and historic bases of international defence of the S.U.
Whether from the point of view of the objective of anti- imperialist and anti-capitalist social revolution or from that of revolutionary defence of S.U., the theories of "new-democracy" or the variety of "parliamentary and evolutionary socialism" and class collaboration preached by the West European Communists, are no less harmful than the discredited and out worn theories of "social-democracy" or "democratic-socialism". The seeming left- turn of the official Communist movement since the formation of the "Cominform" last year seeks to camouflage this basic reformist and anti-revolutionary content of their international strategy. It needs hardly to be pointed out that this so-called left-turn is more a function of the present strained state of Anglo-U.S.-Soviet relationship than a turn towards a genuinely revolutionary socialist position.
In spite of these reformist deviations however, the workers' movement throughout the world continues to be characterised by a militant mass up-swing far outstripping anything of its kind before the war. This is the major and all important historical fact which will determine the course of the revolutionary movement throughout the world in the coming period. The entire strategy of revolutionary socialism must, therefore, be based on the preparation for international socialist revolution and on the efforts to direct the militant working-class movement in every country towards the conscious goal of socialist revolution.
Only a socialist revolution can prevent the outbreak of a third world war and the relapse of humanity into fascist barbarity. Whether the third world war can actually be prevented from breaking out will depend on the extent that the present struggles of the proletarian and exploited masses gather the necessary strength of organisation and determination to overthrow the imperialist-capitalist system. The outcome of the struggles that are being waged now in different national sectors will decide whether world capitalism will find time to stabilise itself temporarily or the masses will move forward steadily to an accelerated revolutionary development.
It has to be always borne in mind that no crisis of capitalism is absolutely insuperable from the standpoint of the capitalists.
As Lenin pointed out, the major factor in the revolutionary solution of the capitalist crisis and capitalist contradictions is the conscious preparation and maturity of the revolutionary class itself.
History has already put the task of socialist world revolution on the order of the day. This is final struggle. The consciousness, organisation and resources of the proletarian masses of different countries are yet far from properly co-ordinated and oriented towards the gigantic task of socialist revolution. But there is hardly any doubt about the fact that as the present militant mass-struggles in different national sectors develop and sharpen, they are sure to join forces and merge with one another reaching beyond their national boundaries, and finally overwhelm the entire world capitalist system.
The duty of the Revolutionary Socialists at this juncture is clear beyond any scope for misunderstanding. They must unite themselves and move forward with the fighting masses in every country. They must actively participate in all forms of mass struggle for the defence of the living standards and the liberties of the masses of the people against onslaughts by capitalists and vested interests. They must lead these day-to- day struggles step by step to a broad-based and united mass onslaught against capitalist slavery and then to the goal— revolution and socialism. They have to win the whole world for the toiling people and win them socialist freedom and win they must.