1960 - Long Live Leninism
April 22 of this year is the 90th anniversary of the birth of Lenin
1871, the year after Lenin's birth, saw the heroic uprising of the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune was a great, epoch-making revolution, the first dress rehearsal of worldwide significance in the proletariat's attempt to overthrow the capitalist system. When the Commune was on the verge of defeat as a result of the counter-revolutionary attack from Versailles, Marx said:
- If the Commune should be destroyed, the struggle would only be postponed. The principles of the Commune are eternal and indestructible; they will present themselves again and again until the working class is liberated.
What is the most important principle of the Commune? According to Marx, it is that the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and use it for its own purposes. In other words, the proletariat should use revolutionary means to seize state power, smash the military bureaucratic machine of the bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat to replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Anyone familiar with the history of the struggle of the proletariat knows that it is precisely this fundamental question which forms the dividing line between Marxists on the one hand and opportunists and revisionists on the other, and that after the death of Marx and Engels it was none other than Lenin who waged a thoroughly uncompromising struggle against the opportunists and revisionists in order to safeguard the principles of the Commune.
The cause in which the Paris Commune did not succeed finally triumphed 46 years later in the Great October Revolution under Lenin's direct leadership. The experience of the Russian Soviets was a continuation and development of the experience of the Paris Commune. The principles of the Commune continually expounded by Marx and Engels and enriched by Lenin in the light of the new experience of the Russian revolution, first became a living reality on one-sixth of the earth. Marx was perfectly correct in saying that the principles of the Commune are eternal and indestructible.
In their attempt to strangle the new-born Soviet state, the imperialist jackals, acting in league with the counter-revolutionary forces in Russia at the time, carried out armed intervention against it. But the heroic Russian working class and the people of the various nationalities of the Soviet Union drove off the foreign bandits, put down the counter-revolutionary rebellion at home and thus consolidated the world's first great socialist republic.
Under the banner of Lenin, under the banner of the October Revolution, a new world revolution began, with the proletarian revolution playing the leading role, and a new era dawned in human history.
Throughout the October Revolution, the voice of Lenin quickly resounded throughout the world. The Chinese people's anti-imperialist, anti-feudal May 4 Movement in 1919, as Comrade Mao Tse-tung put it, "came into being at the call of the world revolution of that time, of the Russian revolution and of Lenin."
Lenin's call is powerful because it is correct. Under the historical conditions of the epoch of imperialism, Lenin revealed a series of irrefutable truths concerning the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Lenin pointed out that the oligarchy of finance capital in a small number of capitalist powers, that is, the imperialists, not only exploit the masses of people in their own countries, but oppress and plunder the whole world, turning most countries into their colonies and dependencies. Imperialist war is a continuation of imperialist politics. World wars are started by the imperialists because of their insatiable greed in scrambling for world markets, sources of raw materials and fields for investment, and because of their struggle to re-divide the world. So long as capitalist-imperialism exists in the world, the source and possibility of war will remain. The proletariat should guide the masses of people to understand the source of war and to struggle for peace and against imperialism.
Lenin asserted that imperialism is monopolistic, parasitic or decaying, moribund capitalism, that it is the final stage in the development of capitalism and therefore is the eve of the proletarian revolution. The emancipation of the proletariat can be arrived at only by way of revolution, and certainly not by way of reformism. The liberation movements of the proletariat in the capitalist countries should ally themselves with the national liberation movements in the colonies and dependent countries; this alliance can smash the alliance of the imperialists with the feudal and comprador reactionary forces in the colonies all dependent countries, and will therefore inevitably put a final end to the imperialist system throughout the world.
In the light of the law of the uneven economic and political development of capitalism, Lenin came to the conclusion that, because capitalism developed extremely unevenly in different countries, socialism would achieve victory first in one or several countries but could not achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. Therefore, in spite of the victory of socialism in one or several countries, other capitalist countries still exist, and this gives rise not only to friction but also to imperialist subversive activities against the socialist states. Hence the struggle will be protracted. The struggle between socialism and capitalism will embrace a whole historical epoch. The socialist countries should maintain constant vigilance against the danger of imperialist attack and do their best to avert this danger.
The fundamental question of all revolutions is the question of state power. Lenin discussed in a comprehensive and penetrating way the fundamental question of the proletarian revolution, that is, the question of thc dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat, established by smashing the state machine of the bourgeois dictatorship by revolutionary means, is an alliance of a special type between the proletariat on the one hand and the peasantry and all other working people on the other; it is a continuation of the class struggle in another form under new conditions; it involves a persistent struggle, both sanguinary and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative, against the resistance of the exploiting classes, against foreign aggression and against the forces and traditions of the old society. Without the dictatorship of the proletariat, without its full mobilization of the working people on these fronts to wage these unavoidable struggles stubbornly and persistently, there can be no socialism, nor can there be any victory for socialism.
Lenin considered it of prime importance for the proletariat to establish its own genuinely revolutionary political party which completely breaks with opportunism, that is, a Communist Party, if the proletarian revolution is to be carried through and the dictatorship of the proletariat established and consolidated. This political party is armed with the Marxist theory of dialectical materialism and historical materialism. Its programme is to organize the proletariat and all oppressed working people to carry on class struggle, to set up proletarian rule and passing through socialism to reach the final goal of communism. This political party must identify itself with the masses and attach great importance to their creative initiative in the making of history; it must closely rely on the masses in revolution as well as in socialist and communist construction.
These truths were constantly set forth by Lenin before and after the October Revolution. The world reactionaries and philistines of the time thought these truths revealed by Lenin terrifying. But we see these truths winning victory after victory in the actual life of the world.
In the forty years and more since the October Revolution, tremendous new changes have taken place in the world.
Through its great achievements in socialist and communist construction, the Soviet Union has transformed itself from an economically and technically very backward country in the days of tsarist Russia into a country with the best and most advanced technology in the world. By its economic and technological leaps the Soviet Union has left the European capitalist countries far behind and left the United States behind, too, in technology.
The great victory of the anti-fascist war, in which the Soviet Union was the main force, broke the chain of imperialism in Central and Eastern Europe. The great victory of the Chinese people's revolution broke the chain of imperialism on the Chinese mainland. A group of new socialist countries was born. The whole socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union has one quarter of the earth's land space and over one-third of the world's population. The socialist camp has now become an independent world economic system, standing opposed to the capitalist world economic system. The gross industrial output value of the socialist countries now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the world's total, and it will not be long before it surpasses the gross industrial output value of all the capitalist countries put together.
The imperialist colonial system has been and is disintegrating. The struggle naturally has its twists and turns, but on the whole the storm of the national liberation movement is sweeping over Asia, Africa and Latin America on a daily broadening scale. Things are developing towards their opposites: there the imperialists are going step by step from strength to weakness, while the people are going step by step from weakness to strength.
The relalive stability of capitalism, which existed for a time after World War I, ended long ago. With the formation of the socialist world economic system after World War II, the capitalist world market has greatly shrunk. The contradiction between the productive forces and relations of production in capitalist society has sharpened. The periodic economic crises of capitalism no longer occur as before once every ten years or so, but come almost every three or four years. Recently, some representatives of the U.S. bourgeoisie have admitted that the United States has suffered three "economic recessions" in ten years, and they now have premonitions of a new "economic recession" just after it has pulled through the one in 1957-58. The shortening of the interval between capitalist economic crises is a new phenomenon. It is a further sign that the world capitalist system is drawing nearer and nearer to its inevitable doom.
The unevenness in the development of the capitalist countries is worse than ever before. With the imperialists squeezed into their ever-shrinking domain, U.S. imperialism is constantly grabbing markets and spheres of influence away from the British, French and other imperialists. The imperialist countries headed by the United States have been expanding armaments and making war preparations for more than ten years, while West German and Japanese militarism, defeated in World War II, have risen again with the help of their former enemy -- the U.S. imperialists. Imperialist West Germany and Japan have come out to join in the scramble for the capitalist world market, are now blabbing once again about their "traditional friendship" and are engaging in new activities for a so-called "Bonn-Tokyo axis with Washington as the starting point." West German imperialism is looking brazenly around for military bases abroad. This aggravates the bitter conflicts within imperialism and at the same time heightens the threat to the socialist camp and all peace-loving countries. The present situation is very much like that after World War I when the U.S. and British imperialists fostered the resurgence of German militarism, and the outcome will again be their "picking up a rock only to drop it on their own feet." The U.S. imperialists' creation of world tension after World War II is a sign not of their strength but of their weakness and precisely reflects the unprecedented instability of the capitalist system.
The U.S. imperialists, in order to realize their ambition for world domination, not only avidly resort to all kinds of sabotage and subversion against the socialist countries, but also, under the pretext of opposing "the communist menace," in their self-appointed role of world gendarme for suppressing the revolution in various countries, set up their military bases all around the world, seize the intermediate areas and carry out military provocations. Like a rat running across the street while everyone shouts "Throw something at it!" the U.S. imperialists run into bumps and bruises everywhere and, contrary to their intentions, everywhere arouse a new upsurge of the people's revolutionary struggle. Now, even they themselves are becoming aware that, in contrast with the growing prosperity of the socialist world headed by the Soviet Union, "the influence of the United States as a world power is declining." In their country, one "can only see the decline and fall of ancient Rome."
The changes that have taken place in the world in the past forty years and more indicate that imperialism is rotting with each passing day while with socialism things are getting better and better. It is a great, new epoch that we are facing, and its main characteristic is that the forces of socialism have surpassed those of imperialism, and that the forces of the awakening peoples of the world have surpassed those of reaction.
The present world situation has obviously undergone tremendous changes since Lenin's lifetime; but all these changes, far from proving that Leninism is obsolete, have more and more clearly confirmed the truths revealed by Lenin and all the theories he advanced during the struggle to defend revolutionary Marxism and develop Marxism.
In the historical conditions of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Lenin carried Marxism forward to a new stage and showed all the oppressed classes and peoples the path along which they could really shake off capitalist imperialist enslavement and poverty.
These forty years have been forty years of victory for Leninism in the world, forty years in which Leninism has found its way ever deeper into the hearts of the world's people. Leninism not only has won and will continue to win great victories in countries where the socialist system has been established, but is also constantly achieving new victories in the struggles of all oppressed peoples.
The victory of Leninism is acclaimed by the people of the whole world, and at the same time cannot but incur the enmity of the imperialists and all reactionaries. The imperialists, to weaken the influence of Leninism and paralyse the revolutionary will of the masses, have launched the most barbarous and despicable attacks and slanders against Leninism, and, moreover, bought up and utilized the vacillators and renegades within the workers' movement, directing them to distort and emasculate the teachings of Lenin. At the end of the nineteenth century when Marxism was putting various anti-Marxist trends to rout, spreading widely throughout the workers' movement and gaining a predominant position, the revisionists represented by Bernstein advanced their revisions of the teachings of Marx to meet the needs of the bourgeoisie. Now, when Leninism has won great victories in guiding the working class and all oppressed classes and nations of the world in onslaughts against imperialism and all kinds of reactionaries, the modern revisionists represented by Tito have advanced their revisions of the teachings of Lenin (that is, modern Marxist teachings), to meet the needs of the imperialists. As pointed out in the Declaration of the meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the socialist countries held in Moscow in November 1957, "The existence of bourgeois influence is an internal source of revisionism, while surrender to imperialist pressure is its external source." While the old revisionism attempted to prove that Marxism was outmoded, modern revisionism attempts to prove that Leninism is outmoded. The Moscow Declaration said:
Modern revisionism seeks to smear the great teaching of Marxism-Leninism, declares that it is "outmoded" and alleges that it has lost its significance for social progress. The revisionists try to kill the revolutionary spirit of Marxism, to undermine faith in socialism among the working class and the working people in general.
This passage of the Declaration has put it correctly; such is exactly the situation.
Are the teachings of Marxism-Leninism now "outmoded"? Does the integrated whole of Lenin's teachings on imperialism, on proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, on war and peace, and on the building of socialism and communism still retain its full vitality? If it is still valid and does retain its full vitality, does this refer only to a certain portion of it or to the whole? We usually say that Leninism is Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Marxism of the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism. Does this statement remain correct? Can it be said that Lenin's original conclusions and our usual conception of Leninism have lost their validity and correctness, and that therefore we should turn back and accept those revisionist and opportunist conclusions which Lenin long ago smashed to smithereens and which have long since gone disgracefully bankrupt in actual life? These questions now confront us and must be answered. Marxist-Leninists must thoroughly expose the absurdities of the imperialists and modern revisionists on these questions, eradicate their influence among the masses, awaken those they have temporarily hoodwinked and further arouse the revolutionary will of the masses.
The U.S. imperialists, the open representatives of the bourgeoisie in many countries, the modern revisionists represented by the Tito clique, and the right-wing social-democrats, in order to mislead the people of the world, do all they can to paint an utterly distorted picture of the contemporary world situation in an attempt to confirm their ravings that "Marxism is outmoded," and that "Leninism is outmoded too."
A speech by Tito at the end of last year referred repeatedly to what the modern revisionists call the "new epoch." He said, "Today the world has entered an epoch in which nations can relax and tranquilly devote themselves to their internal construction tasks." Then he added, "We have entered an epoch when new questions are on the agenda, not questions of war and peace but questions of co-operation, economic and otherwise, and when economic co-operation is concerned, there is also the question of economic competition."
This renegade completely writes off the question of class contradictions and the class struggle in the world, in an attempt to negate the consislent interpretation of Marxist-Leninists that our epoch is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism.
But how do things really stand in the world?
Can the exploited and oppressed people in the imperialist countries "relax"? Can the peoples of all the colonies and semi-colonies still under imperialist oppression "relax"?
Has the armed intervention led by the U.S. imperialists in Asia, Africa and Latin America become "tranquil"? Is there "tranquility" in our Taiwan Straits when the U.S. imperialists are still occupying our country's Taiwan? Is there "tranquility" on the African continent when the people of Algeria and many other parts of Africa are subjected to armed repressions by the French, British and other imperialists? Is there "tranquility" in Latin America when the U.S. imperialists are trying to wreck the people's revolution in Cuba by means of bombing, assassination and subversion?
What kind of "construction" is meant by saying "(nations) devote themselves to their internal construction tasks"? Everyone knows that there are different types of countries in the world today, and principally two types of countries with social systems fundamentally different in nature. One type belongs to the socialist world system, the other to the capitalist world system. Is Tito referring to the "internal construction" of armament expansion which the imperialists are carrying out in order to oppress the peoples of their own countries and oppress the whole world, or to the "internal construction" carried out by socialism for the promotion of the people's happiness and in the pursuit of lasting world peace?
Is the question of war and peace no longer an issue? Is it that imperialism no longer exists, the system of exploitation no longer exists, and therefore the question of war no longer exists? Or is it that there can be no question of war even if imperialism and the system of exploitation are allowed to survive for ever? The fact is that since World Was II there has been continuous and unbroken warfare. Do not the imperialist wars to suppress national liberation movements and the imperialist wars of armed intervention against revolutions in various countries count as wars? Even though these local wars do not develop into world wars, do they not still count as wars? Even though they are not fought with nuclear weapons, do wars using what are called conventional weapons not still count as wars? Does not the U.S. imperialists' allocation of nearly 60 per cent of their 1960 budget outlay to arms expansion and war preparations count as a bellicose policy on the part of U.S. imperialism? Will the revival of West German and Japanese militarism not confront mankind with the danger of a new world war?
What kind of "co-operation" is meant? Is it "co-operation" of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie to protect capitalism? Is it "co-operation" of the peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies with the imperialists to protect colonialism? Is it "co-operation" of socialist countries with capitalist countries to protect the imperialist system in its oppression of the peoples in the capitalist countries and its suppression of national liberation wars?
In a word, the assertions of the modern revisionists about the so-called "epoch" challenge Leninism on the foregoing issues. It is their aim to obliterate the contradiction between the masses of people and the monopoly capitalist class in the imperialist countries, the contradiction between the peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies and the imperialist aggressors, the contradiction between the socialist system and the imperialist system, and the contradiction between the peace-loving people of the world and the warlike imperialist bloc.
There have been various ways of defining the distinctions between different "epochs." Generally speaking there is one way which is merely drivel, concocting and playing around with vague, ambiguous phrases to cover up the essence of the epoch. This is the old trick of the imperialists, the bourgeoisie and the revisionists in the workers' movement. Then there is another way, which is to make a concrete analysis of the specific circumstances with regard to the overall situation of class contradictions and class struggle, put forward strict scientific definitions, and thus bring the essence of each epoch into full light. This is what every serious-minded Marxist does.
On the features that distinguish an epoch, Lenin said:
- . . . We are speaking here of big historical epochs; in every epoch there are, and there will be, separate, partial movements sometimes forward, at other times backwards, there are, and there will be, various deviations from the average type and average tempo of the movements.
- We cannot know how fast and how successfully certain historical movements of the given epoch will develop. But we can and do know which class occupies a central position in this or that epoch and determines its main content, the main direction of its development, the main characteristics of the historical situation in the given epoch, etc.
- Only on this basis, i.e., by taking into consideration first and foremost the fundamental distinctive features of different "epochs" (and not of individual episodes in the history of different countries) can we correctly work out our tactics. . . .
n epoch, as referred to here by Lenin, presents the question of which class holds the central position in it and determines its main content and the main direction of its development.
Faithful to Marx's dialectics, Lenin never for a single moment departed from the standpoint of analyzing class relations. He held that: "Marxism judges 'interests' by the class antagonisms and the class struggles which manifest themselves in millions of facts of everyday life." He stated:
- The method of Marx consists first or all, in taking into consideration the objective content of the historical process at the given concrete moment, in the given concrete situation, in order to understand first of all which class it is whose movement constitutes the mainspring of possible progress in this concrete situation. . . .
Lenin always demanded that we examine the concrete process of historical development on the basis of class analysis, instead of talking vaguely about "society in general" or "progress in general." We Marxists must not base proletarian policy merely on certain passing events or minute political changes, but on the overall situation of the class contradictions and class struggle of a whole historical epoch. This is a basic theoretical position of Marxists. It was by taking a firm stand on this position that Lenin, in the new period of class changes, in the new historical period, came to the conclusion that the hope of humanity lies entirely in the victory of the proletariat and that the proletariat must prepare itself to win victory in this great revolutionary battle and thus establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the October Revolution, at the Seventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in 1918, Lenin stated:
We must begin with the general basis of the development of commodity production, the transition to capitalism and the transformation of capitalism into imperialism. Thereby we shall be theoretically taking up and consolidating a position from which nobody who has not betrayed socialism will dislodge us. From this follows an equally inevitable conclusion: the era of social revolution is beginning.
This is Lenin's conclusion, a conclusion which up to the present still requires deep consideration by all Marxists.
The formulation of revolutionary Marxists that ours is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the epoch of the victory of socialism and communism is irrefutable, because it grasps with complete correctness the basic features of our present great epoch. The formulation that Leninism is the continuation and development of revolutionary Marxism in this great epoch and that it is the theory and policy of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is also irrefutable, because it is precisely Leninism that exposes the contradictions in our great epoch -- the contradiction between the working class and monopoly capital, the contradiction among the imperialist countries, the contradiction between peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies and imperialism, and the contradiction between the socialist countries, where the proletariat has triumphed, and the imperialist countries. Leninism has, therefore, become our banner of victory. Contrary, however, to this series of revolutionary Marxist formulations, in what the Titoists call the "new epoch," there is actually no imperialism, no proletarian revolution and, needless to say, no theory and policy of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In short, with them, the fundamental focal points of the class contradictions and class struggles of our epoch are nowhere to be seen, the fundamental questions of Leninism are missing and Leninism is missing.
The modern revisionists claim that in what they call the "new epoch,' because of the progress of science and technology, the "old conceptions" advanced by Marx and Lenin no longer apply. Tito said: "We are not dogmatists, for Marx and Lenin did not predict the rocket on the moon, atomic bombs and the great technical progress." Not dogmatists, that's fine. Who want them to be dogmatists? But one may oppose dogmatism in the interests of Marxism-Leninism or one may actually oppose Marxism-Leninism in the name of opposing dogmatism. The Titos belong to the latter category. On the question of what effect scientific and technological progress has on social development, there are people who hold incorrect views because they are not able to approach the question from the viewpoint of the materialist conception of history. This is understandable. But the modern revisionists, on the other hand, are deliberately creating confusion on this question in a vain attempt to make use of the progress in science and technology to throw Marxism-Leninism to the winds.
In the past few years, the achievements of the Soviet Union in science and technology have been foremost in the world. These Soviet achievements are products of the Great October Revolution. These outstanding achievements mark a new era in man's conquest of nature; and at the same time they have played a very important role in defending world peace. But, in the new conditions brought about by the development of modern technology, has the ideological system of Marxism-Leninism been shaken, as Tito says, by the "rocket on the moon, atomic bombs and the great technical progress" which Marx and Lenin "did not predict"? Can it be said that the Marxist-Leninist world outlook, social-historical outlook, moral outlook and other basic conceptions have therefore become so-called stale "dogmas" and that the law of class struggle henceforth no longer holds good?
Marx and Lenin did not live to the present day, and of course could not see the specific details of technological progress in the present-day world. But what, after all, does the development of natural science and the advance of technology augur for the capitalist system? Marx and Lenin held that this could only augur a new social revolution, and certainly not the fading away of social revolution.
We know that both Marx and Lenin rejoiced in the new discoveries and progress of natural science and technology in the conquest of nature. Engels said in his "Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx":
- Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force. However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general.
Engels added: "For Marx was before all else a revolutionist." Well said! Marx always regarded all new discoveries in the conquest of nature from the viewpoint of a proletarian revolutionist, not from the viewpoint of one who holds that the proletarian revolution will fade away.
Wilhelm Liechtenstein wrote in Reminiscences of Marx:
- Marx made fun of the victorious European reaction which imagined that it had stifled the revolution and did not suspect that natural science was preparing a new revolution. King Steam, who had revolutionized the world in the previous century, was coming to the end of his reign and another incomparably greater revolutionary would take his place, the electric spark.
- . . . The consequences are unpredictable. The economic revolution must be followed by a political one, for the latter is only the expression of the former.
- In the manner in which Marx discussed this progress of science and mechanics, his conception of the world, and especially what has been termed the materialist conception of history, was so clearly expressed that certain doubts which I had hitherto still maintained melted away like snow in the sunshine of spring.
This is how Marx felt the breath of revolution in the progress of science and technology. He held that the new progress of science and technology would lead to a social revolution to overthrow the capitalist system. In Marx's opinion, the progress of natural science and technology further strengthens the position of the entire Marxist conception of the world and the materialist conception of history, and certainly does not shake it. The progress of natural science and technology further strengthens the position of the proletarian revolution and of the oppressed nations in their fight against imperialism, and certainly does not weaken it.
Like Marx, Lenin also viewed technological progress in connection with the question of revolution in the social system. Thus Lenin held that "the age of steam is the age of the bourgeoisie, the age of electricity is the age of socialism."
Please note the contrast between the revolutionary spirit of Marx and Lenin and the modern revisionists' shameful attitude of betraying the revolution!
In class society, in the epoch of imperialism, Marxist-Leninists can only approach the question of the development and use of technology from the viewpoint of class analysis.
Inasmuch as the socialist system is progressive and represents the interests of the people, the socialist countries seek to utilize such new techniques as atomic energy and rocketry to serve peaceful domestic construction and the conquest of nature. The more the socialist countries master such new techniques and the more rapidly they develop them, the better will they attain the aim of high-speed development of the social productive forces to meet the needs of the people, and the more will they strengthen the forces for checking imperialist war and increase the possibility of defending world peace. Therefore, for the welfare of their peoples and in the interest of peace for people the world over, the socialist countries should, wherever possible, master more and more of such new techniques serving the well-being of the people.
At the present time, the socialist Soviet Union clearly holds the upper hand in the development of new techniques. Everybody knows that the rocket that hit the moon was launched by the Soviet Union and not by the United States, the country where capitalism is most developed. This shows that only in the socialist countries can there be unlimited prospects for the large-scale development of new techniques.
On the contrary, inasmuch as the imperialist system is reactionary and against the people, the imperialist countries seek to use such new techniques for military purposes of aggression against foreign countries and intimidation against their own people, for making lethal weapons. To the imperialist countries, the emergence of such new techniques only means pushing to a new stage the contradiction between the development of the social productive forces and the capitalist relations of production. What this will bring about is not by any means the perpetuation of capitalism but the further rousing of the revolution of the people in those countries and the destruction of the old, criminal, cannibalistic system of capitalism.
The U.S. imperialists and their partners use weapons like atom bombs to threaten war and blackmail the whole world. They declare that anyone who does not submit to the domination of U.S. imperialism will be destroyed. The Tito clique echoes this line; it takes up the U.S. imperialist refrain to spread terror of atomic warfare among the masses. U.S. imperialist blackmail and the chiming in of the Tito clique can only temporarily dupe those who do not understand the real situation, but cannot cow the people who have awakened. Even those who for the time being do not understand the real situation will gradually come to understand it with the help of the advanced elements.
Marxist-Leninists have always maintained that in world history it is not technique but man, the masses of people, that determine the fate of mankind. There was a theory current for a time among some people in China before and during the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression, which was known as the theory of "weapons decide everything"; from this theory they concluded that since Japan's weapons were new and its techniques advanced while China's weapons were old and its techniques backward, "China would inevitably be subjugated." Comrade Mao Tse-tung in his work On the Protracted War published at that time refuted such nonsense. He made the following analysis: The Japanese imperialists' war of aggression against China was bound to fail because it was reactionary, unjust, and being unjust lacked popular support; the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japan would certainly win because it was progressive, just, and being just enjoyed abundant support. Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out that the most abundant source of strength in war lay in the masses, and that a people's army organized by awakened and united masses of people would be invincible throughout the world. This is a Marxist-Leninist thesis. And what was the outcome? The outcome was that the Marxist-Leninist thesis triumphed and the "theory of national subjugation" ended in defeat. After World War II, the triumph of the Korean and Chinese peoples in the Korean war over the U.S. aggressors far superior in weapons and equipment once again bore out this Marxist-Leninist thesis.
An awakened people will always find new ways to counteract the reactionaries' superiority in arms and win victory for themselves. This was so in past history, it is so at present, and it will remain so in the future. As a result of the supremacy gained by the socialist Soviet Union in military techniques, and the loss of their monopoly of atomic and nuclear weapons by the U.S. imperialists, and as a result of the awakening of the people the world over and of the people in the United States itself, there is now in the world the possibility of concluding an agreement on the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons. We are striving for the conclusion of such an agreement. In contrast to the bellicose imperialists, the socialist countries and peace-loving people the world over actively and firmly stand for the banning and destruction of atomic and nuclear weapons. We are always struggling against imperialist war, for the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons and for the defence of world peace. The more broadly and intensively this struggle is waged and the more fully and thoroughly the brutish faces of the bellicose U.S. and other imperialists are exposed the more will we be able to isolate these imperialists before the people of the world, the greater will be the possibility of tying their hands and the more will it benefit the cause of world peace. If, on the contrary, we lose our vigilance against the danger of the imperialists launching a war, do not strive to arouse the people of all countries to oppose imperialism but tie the hands of the people, then imperialism can prepare for war just as it pleases and the inevitable result will be an increase in the danger of the imperialists launching a war and, once war breaks out, the people may not be able quickly to adopt a correct attitude towards it because of complete lack of preparation or inadequate preparation, thus being unable to effectively check the war. Of course, whether or not the imperialists will unleash a war is not determined by us; we are, after all, not their chief-of-staff. As long as the people of all countries enhance their awareness and are fully prepared, with the socialist camp also possessing modern weapons, it is certain that if the U.S. or other imperialists refuse to reach an agreement on the banning of atomic and nuclear weapons and should dare to fly in the face of the will of all the peoples by launching a war using atomic and nuclear weapons, the result will only be the very speedy destruction of these monsters themselves encircled by the peoples of the world, and certainly not the so-called annihilation of mankind. We consistently oppose the launching of criminal wars by imperialism, because imperialist war would impose enormous sacrifices upon the peoples of various countries (including the peoples of the United States and other imperialist countries). But should the imperialists impose such sacrifices on the peoples of various countries, we believe that, just as the experience of the Russian revolution and the Chinese revolution shows, those sacrifices would be rewarded. On the debris of imperialism, the victorious people would create very swiftly a civilization thousands of times higher than the capitalist system and a truly beautiful future for themselves.The conclusion can only be this: whichever way you look at it, none of the new techniques like atomic energy, rocketry and so on has changed, as alleged by the modern revisionists, the basic characteristics of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution pointed out by Lenin. The capitalist-imperialist system definitely will not crumble of itself. It will be overthrown by the proletarian revolution within the imperialist country concerned, and the national revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies. Contemporary technological progress cannot save the capitalist-imperialist system from its doom but only rings a new death knell for it.
- Speech by K. Marx on The Paris Commune.
- On New Democracy.
- Tito's speech in Zagreb, December 12, 1959.
- Under a False Flag.
- The Collapse of the Second International.
- Under a False Flag
- Tito's speech in Zagreb, December 12, 1959.
- Report on the Work of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars.