Boris Ziherl

Communism and Fatherland


The revolutionary transformations in the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe turned these countries from bourgeois "father lands" into socialist fatherlands of the working masses whose objective interests are indivisibly linked with the realisation of the social ideals of their most progressive part, the working class.

The territories upon which the working people have won their fatherlands have expanded substantially and they are continuing to do so in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Greece etc. As a fatherland of the working people, the Soviet Union is no longer alone and the only one. It is surrounded by new countries which are building socialism and which, with full right can term themselves socialist fatherlands just as the Soviet Union did, and which it actually was, in the first phase of its state development

The socialist countries constitute a community of states, a socialist world which consciously lays down socialist construction and communism as its unified goal.

All the working people of the capitalist world see in the socialist world a mighty pillar on which to rely, and in the relations among that socialist countries a model inspiring them in their struggle against the imperialist system of national oppression and inequality, against the domestic bourgeois reaction whose anti-popular policy — as correctly stressed by Vishinsky it his article — is today alienating it from the whole nation and opposing the nation, not considering its own native land as "its 'fatherland', but the United States which it serves."1

What, then, should relations among socialist countries be like, between the countries of people's democracy and the USSR?

The relations among these countries, in brief, must be, the absolute opposite of these between the United States and the countries under their hegemony; instead of political and economic dictation — the agreed solution of all important political and economic problems, of all problems which are of inter-socialist and international significance; instead of unilateral priority in trade — comprehensive priority among socialist countries; instead of racial emphasis on the separate "world mission" of one nation in relation to other nations — mutual respect of nations and recognition of their contribution to the general development of universal culture: instead of endeavours aimed at the spiritual effacement of the individuality of some, especially small. nations — the comprehensive development of all the creative forces of each nation in the struggle for socialist construction, with the fruitful exchange of national cultural achievements.

There is no doubt that in the community of socialist countries which came into being after the Second World War, the Soviet Union occupies the position of first among equals both by being the first country of victorious socialism and by its international role and significance as a big power.

The Soviet press has of late been publishing many articles about the attitude of communists in all countries towards the USSR as being the measure of genuine internationalism, in which of course, the Yugoslav Communists and the leadership are invariably presented as an example of incorrect "nationalist" relations. In these articles and in the latest Soviet geography textbooks, in which the countries of people democracy are simply put in among the capitalist ones, the USSR alone is denoted as the socialist homeland of working people. In his article "Communism and Fatherland", Vishinsky endeavours to launch the term "popular-democratic fatherland" which remains something rather vague. Just as vague was everything else written in the press of the USSR until recently about people's democracy. What perhaps held good for one or two countries, and that precisely for those that were the most backward in their revolutionary development, has been taken as typical of all countries of people's democracy, from which have followed the most monstrous "theoretical conclusions" about the People's Front in Yugoslavia and about other social phenomena which emerged from our Popular Revolution.

Of late the countries of people's democracy are being equalised, with unusual persistence as exclusive objects of liberation by the Soviet Army. Such equalization undoubtedly constitute a distortion of historical fact. And even when this or that country was indeed predominantly the object of liberation by the Soviet Army where the revolutionary parties either for objective or subjective reasons had not succeeded in mobilising the broad masses for active struggle against the German invaders and their domestic bourgeois hirelings before the arrival of the Soviet Army, the continual underlining of this fact must give rise to a certain feeling of immaturity among the people, to moral inferiority, to a lack of confidence in their own forces, which by no means contributes to the internal consolidation of the united socialist front and to the strengthening and development of the revolutionary forces of that country.

In determining mutual relations among the socialist countries, the writers of such articles do not take as a point of departure the unity of the socialist world which, by building a socialist order in different countries, should consolidate itself in all its parts, consolidate itself into a monolithic stronghold of peace and progress. In all their articles and dissertations nothing exists but the USSR and "what is on the other side of the Soviet frontier", The working people of every country outside the Soviet frontiers have only one single duty towards the Soviet Union: "to fight in all ways possible for its prosperity, to secure the conditions for its unhampered and victorious development towards communism,"2 "to unconditionally defend and support the CPSU(b) and the USSR".3

So long as all these lessons about the necessity for the working people of the world to offer maximum and unconditional support to the Soviet Union and the CPSU (b) are always and directly linked with attacks on the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and its leadership which are supposed to have betrayed the CPSU(b) and the USSR because they refused to accept unconditionally all that they were accused of in the letters of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) and in the Cominform resolution of some communist and worker's parties, then the matter should be given some consideration.

If "unconditionally to defend and support the CPSU (b) and USSR" means to support the Soviet Union and Bolshevik Party in its efforts to aid the consolidation of the socialist world as a whole with its own consolidation, to accelerate the victory of the democratic forces in the entire world, if this means to support the Soviet Union unconditionally in war and in peace, in deed and not only in word and with resolutions, then the Yugoslavs need no lessons on internationalism. But the Yugoslavs bear in mind the changes that have occurred since the Second World War. Owing to these changes the frontiers of the socialist world have advanced up to the Adriatic Sea, to the Socha (Isonzo) River, to the Leitha, to the Sudeten to the Oder. Just as the peoples in the countries of people's democracy must regard the Soviet Union as their fatherland and love it no less than their own fatherland in the narrower sense of the word, so the Soviet citizen must not see in these countries only an object of liberation, but rather his fatherland — socialist countries, and he should fight for their prosperity, to ensure the conditions for their unhampered and victorious advance towards socialism, not imposing upon thorn like a stereotype the specific features of the development in his own country but rather understanding their specific features and aiding them to take advantage of everything in these distinctive characteristics that makes for more rapid socialist construction. Every other attitude from whatever quarter tends to weaken the ties among the socialist countries and introduces among them elements of nationalism, coercion and disagreement, instead of internationalism, cooperation and goodwill.

The Yugoslav peoples and the Yugoslav Communists are aware that they have been fulfilling their international obligations towards the Soviet Union and towards other socialist countries unconditionally, that they are fulfilling them and that they are firmly resolved to fulfill them unconditionally in the future. But, if "unconditionally" means compulsory submission to Cominform procedure with all its shameless fabrications, slanders and Machiavellianism in stopping at nothing in its struggle against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav peoples, with all its measures which in practice mean the obstruction of socialist construction in Yugoslavia — then, instead of a reply, let as rather take up another subject.


1. "Voprossy Vilosofii", 1948, No. 2. p. 71.

2. "Voprossy Filosofii", 1948, No. 2, "Against Bourgeois Ideology of Cosmopolitanism", p. 26.

3. "Pravda", January 12, 1949, article by Abahn, Party of Lenin-Stalin — Leading Force in Struggle for Construction of Communism".

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