Current Support Brief
THE CPSU LETTER OF 30 MARCH TO THE CHINESE EAFFIRMATION OF SOVIET STRATEGY IN UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports
THE CPSU LETTER OF 30 MARCH TO THE CH1NESE COMMUNLSTS: A REAFFIRMATION OF SOVIET STRATEGY IN UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES
Tho Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) look another step toward bilateral discussions with the Chinese by proposing in its letter ofarch to Peiping that high-level talks begin in Moscow aboutay. The USSR took the occasion to reaffirm its basic positions on doctrinal issues, particularly with reference to its strategy incountries. Because such questions undoubtedly willajor issue in any forthcoming meeting and because Moscow shows little inclination to modify its basic approach to the "national liberation" movement, it may be useful to review briefly the Soviet position asin the letter ofarch.
1- Some Underlying Assumptions
The underlying strategic concept which motivates current Soviet policies in underdeveloped areas has its doctrinal roots deep in aperspective that envisages the growth of the world revolutionentripetal historical process inrowingof industrialised Soviet republics draws "liberated" colonies into their orbit largely by force of "economic attraction. " Tactically, Soviet theoreticians visualize the transformation of underdeveloped countries lo socialism aswo-stage process: in tho first stage, socialist countries support bourgeois national liberation movements in which indigenous Communistsubordinate role; in the second stage, socialist countries activelyrogressive polarization of class forces within the country inroletarian, peasant-based Communist alliance would assume dominant control and further the "social" (Communist) revolution.
Predicated on the assumption that with Western morale and will to resist vitiated by this growing "encirclement" of Soviet-dominated nations,
current Communist doctrine concludes that "the remaining bourgeois complexes will in all probability surrender with all their organizations intact. " Whether, in fact, this nonviolentnd on theolution would be realized depends primarily on capitalism's own efforts to avert its impending collapse. It was previously conceded, however, that the West would seek to resist this transformation through resort to force and hence the "series of frightful collisions" that both Lenin and Stalin envisaged for the period of transition to world
Ihe working class and its vanguard, the Marxist-Leninist parties, are striving to carry out socialist revolution by peaceful scans, without civil war. of this possibility would correspond to the interests of the working class and of all people, the nationwide Interests of the country. Besides this, the choice of the road to the development of revolution does not depend only on the working class. If the exploiting classes report to violence toward the people, the working class will be obliged to use nonpeaceful means to gain power."
What is significant in more contemporary Soviet attitudes toward East-West relations in general, and the national liberation movement in particular, is the present Soviet leadership's assessment of the existing "correlation" (that is, balance) of world forcesan appraisal that takes account of the nuclear stalemate and the growing economic power of the socialist countries and lhat effectively denies to the West its traditional alternative of reliance on military force to resolve the East-West Strug-gla:
* All quotations are from the text of the CPSU letter ofarch.
The antlpopular and predatory nature ofhas not altered, but with the establishment of the world socialist system, with the growth of Its economic and military might, the possibilities of imperialism'sthe course of the historic process are being markedly . Fear of the answering blow and the terror of retribution restrain them from unleashing world war. The socialist comity has becooe so strong that laiperlslisa can no longer thrust Its conditions and dictate Its will on the peoples as before.
Hence the terms ol Khrushchev's coexistence may be "imposed" on the West, thusrowing possibility for the USSR to select both the forms of struggle and the field of battle.
Z. Neutralism and the National Bourgeoisie
Whereas Stalin refused to recognize in principle or in factthirdn "uncommittedneutral" in the East-West conflict, Khrushchev not only accepts the fact that between the two poles of imperialism and antL-ijriperialism thereneutralist cone" but stoutly endorses the policy of nonalignmentractical and advantageous one for the uncommitted nations. the current Soviet interpretation of neutralism is markedlyin emphasis from that commonly accepted by the West or, indeed) by Stalin. The ideathird force" playing an essentially passive and peripheral role in world affairs is thoroughly rejected by the present Soviet leadership. olicy of neutralism is in no way synonymousenunciation of active participation in world politics or, morein the struggle against imperialism. On the contrary, neutralisn and nonalignment not only offer an opportunity for independent political development but create favorable conditions for economic development and large-scale material support from the Bloc:
The Cosounist Party of the Soviet Union regardsalliance with the peoples who have cast away the colonial yoke and the peoples in semi-colonies as one of tbe cornerstones of its international policy. Our Party regards it as its international duty to help the peoples advancing along the path of gaining and strengthening national independence, all peoples striving for thedestruction of the colonial system. The Soviet Union has been and isll-round moral, economic, military, and political support to theliberation movement.
Moreover, ihe nonalignmcnt policies of many newly emergent nations aro regarded by the USSReculiar form of split in the worldsystemenial to imperialism of its hitherto trusted rear or reserve. The extension of Bloc economic tics with newly emergentis designed effectively to preempt traditional Western economic domination and to deny to capitalism unrestricted access to the markets and sources of cheap labor and strategic raw materials on which apart of its strength is presumed to rest:
The peoples struggling for their own nationaland those who have already won political lndepend-
ence have ceased or are ceasing to serveeserve of. Now, when political independence has been gained, the struggle of the young sovereign states against imperialism end for final national regeneration and economic independence is cooing to the fore. Thecountries' achievement of completewouldew, serious weakening of imperialism, since ln that case the entire system or the proaontand unequal international distribution of labor would unavoidably be destroyed. The basis of economic exploitation of the world's rural areas by capitalist monopolies would be undermined. The development of the independent national economy of the underdevelopedusingasis the effective aid of the socialist system, willew, heavy blow to Imperialism.
Reminiscent of the Communist tactics toward national liberation movements before Chiang Kai-shek's "betrayal"7 and againtho "popular front" movements in the mid-thirties. Khrushchev haa reinvested bourgeois-nationalist leaders with an "historically useful role" in the struggle for national liberation, thus esUblishing the basis for "lengthy cooperation" between them and the countries of socialism. For what seems of major significance in current Soviet attitudes toward non-Communist governments of underdeveloped countries is not the ideological commitments and ultimate ambitions of one or another of the contemporary national bourgeois leaders but the more immediate goals toward which they strive and the "objective" consequences (such as Nasser's anti-Western bent) of their actions. Regardless of whether thcy'themselves realize the full meaning of the revolution in which they have taken part, their avowed policies ofhen reflectedoincidence of attitudes with the Bloc on many international issues, enable them to play, in the eyes of Soviet strategic planners, anrole in the anti-imperialist struggle and make them unwitting allies in the development of the world socialist revolution.
Thus differences in outlook and social systems need not impede the development of friendly state-to-state relations wilh such governments, and even overt anti-Communism may be tolerated, within the context of Khrushchev's more "creative" approach to the national liberation
In the struggle to gain and consolidate independence, the all-round cohesion of all the forces of the nation which are ready to struggle against imperialism ls The right wing of the national bourgeoisie,to consolidate its dominating position after the achievement of independence, can establish reactionary political regimes and persecute communists and otherfor some time. Such regimes are not, however, longlasting, if for no other reason than that they hinder progresschievement of economichis is why, despite active support by the Imperialists, these regimes will be swept away by the struggle of the popular nasscs.
Within this Communist perspective. Soviet Bloc economicto prospective national democracies is viewed as helping to build up an economic system that ultimately will become the legacy o( aregime. Khrushchev may well insist that his policy Is one of aid lo peoples rather than to governments: Nassers may come and go, he once remarked, but the Aswan Damymbol of Communist aid would stand forever.
3. "National Democracy"
In what appeared toactical effort to forestall "doctrinarians andho seek to "jump over certain historicalaguely worded and ill-defined concept of the "national democratic state" was inserted at Soviet suggestion in the Declaration of the Moscow Conference ofommunist Parties in Designed,to formalize the transitional stage of development in countries where "capitalism has lived out its day. but the conditions for socialism have not yethe "national democratic" government isuling coalition embracing elements of the working class, the peasantry, the democratic intelligentsia, and the anti-imperialist strata of the national bourgeoisie. "National democracy" docs not pose as its immediate goal the liquidation of all exploiting classes or theof Soviet-style socialism but rather the completion of the "bourgeois-democratic, national-liberation, anti-imperialist, and feudal revolution."
The calculated vagueness with whichParty Declaration dealt with the concept of national democracy, and Peiping's subsequent silence on the thesis suggests that Moscow's more gradualist formula for the period of transition between national liberation and socialist revolution in underdeveloped countries has not met with Chinese acceptance.
The Soviet letter ofarch refrains from employing the term "national democracy" in deference lo apparent Chinese sensitivities on the subject but reaffirms its belief in the formulationarticularly relevant definition of the sort of environmenton-Communist state that will lead itommunist course of development:
The eaanclpated peoples are coning face to face with the problem of consolidating political independence,economic and cultural backwardness, andall forms of dependence on imperialism. The vital tasks of national regeneration in the countries which have cast off the colonial yoke are successfully realized only on the conditionesolute struggle being waged against imperialism and the remnants of feudalism,ingle national front of all patriotic forces of the nation: the working class, the peasantry, thebourgeoisie, and the democratic intelligentsia.
To date, no "national democratic" states have as yet beenas such, although Soviet spokesmen have consistently pointed to Indonesia, Guinea, Ghana, and Mali as examples of "prospectivedemocracies.riginally hailed by Bloc spokesmennationalpparently has been unwilling to accept the formula, perhaps in anticipationigher state of historicalthan the "national democratic state" formula implies. the recently announced Soviet slogans for Mayuba as in the process of "building socialism."
, The tenor of the Soviet note seems to provide for little or noin the Soviet position. While ostensibly welcoming "an exchange of opinions" at the projected meeting, it nevertheless asserts, "Thecourse of world development in recent years has fully confirmed the correctness of the line of the Communistnd adds, "We are deeply convinced that there are no groundseexamination of this line."
Furthermore, that the Kremlin continues to be reluctant to sanction any immediate overt moves for power by Communist Parties incountries is made patently clear in its warning that "precise analysis of the concrete situation and correct assessment of theof forces are among the most important conditions of the revolution":
One must not hold back the impulse of revolutionary masses in the struggle for the victory of socialistwhen objective and subjective conditions haveripe for this; this would be like death. Butmust not be pushed artificially if conditions are not ripe. remature rising, the experience of the class revolutionary struggle Shows, is doomed to failure.
Sources: The text of the Soviet letter ofarch lo ihe Chinesemay be found in FBIS, Daily Report (USSR and East Europe), U.
" 7Original document.