ON THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

 

By  A.  ZHDANOV  

 SEPTEMBER 1947

 

 

 

I

The Post War Situation

 

The ending of the Second World War led to substantial changes in the entire international situation. The military rout of the bloc of fascist countries, the anti-fascist liberation character of the war, and the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the victory over the fascist aggressors, have sharply changed the relation of forces between the two systems - the Socialist and capitalist systems - in favor of Socialism.

            What is the essence of these changes? The main result of the Second World War was the military defeat of Germany and Japan, the two most militarist and aggressive countries of capitalism. The reactionary, imperialist elements throughout the world, especially in Britain, the United States and France, placed special hopes on Germany and Japan, and primarily on Hitler Germany, first as a force most capable of dealing a blow to the Soviet Union in order, if not to wipe her out, at any rate to weaken her and to undermine her influence, and secondly as a force capable of smashing the revolutionary working-class and democratic movement inside Germany and in the countries that became victims of Hitlerite aggression and thereby of strengthening the general position of capitalism.

            This was one of the main reasons for the prewar so-called Munich policy of appeasement and encouragement of fascist aggression, the policy which was consistently pursued by the ruling imperialist circles of Britain, France, and the USA. But the hopes placed by the Anglo-Franco-American imperialists on the Hitlerites proved unfounded. The Hitlerites proved to be weaker, and the Soviet Union and the freedom-loving peoples stronger, than the Munichites thought. As a result of the Second World War, the main forces of militant international fascist reaction were defeated and put out of action for a long time to come.

             Moreover, the world capitalist system as a whole suffered yet another serious loss. If the most important result of the First World War was the breach in the united imperialist front and the removal of Russia from the world system of capitalism, if as a result of the victory of the Socialist system in the USSR, capitalism ceased to be the only and all-embracing system of the world economy, the Second World War and the defeat of fascism, the weakening of the world positions of capitalism and the strengthening of the anti-fascist movement led to the removal from the imperialist system of a number of countries of Central and Southeastern Europe. In these countries new, popular democratic regimes arose.

             The great example of the patriotic war of the Soviet Union and the liberating role of the Soviet army merged with the ascendant struggle of the freedom-loving peoples for national liberation against the fascist invaders and their collaborators. This struggle exposed as traitors to the national interest the pro-fascist elements which cooperated with Hitler and the collaborationists - the most influential big capitalists and landowners, the top bureaucracy and the monarchist military officers. Liberation from the German fascist enslavement was accompanied in the Danube countries both by the removal from power of top circle bourgeoisie and landowners, who had been compromised through their collaboration with the German fascists and by the coming to power of new forces from the ranks of the people which had emerged in the struggle against the Hitlerite enslavers.

            In these countries, representatives of workers and peasants and representatives of the progressive intelligentsia have come to power. Since the working class everywhere displayed the greatest heroism, the greatest consistency and irreconcilability in the anti-fascist war, its authority and influence among the people grew immeasurably. The new democratic power in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Albania, supported by the popular masses, was able to carry through in the shortest possible time such progressive, democratic transformations as the bourgeois democracies are incapable of achieving.

  The agrarian reform has given land to the peasants and has brought about the liquidation of the class of the landed gentry. The nationalization of large-scale industry and of the banks, as well as confiscation of the property of traitors who collaborated with the Germans, have radically undermined the positions of monopoly capital in these countries and have freed the masses from imperialist enslavement.

            The basis was laid for State, national ownership, and a new type of State was created - the people's Republic - where power belongs to the people, where big industry, transport, and the banks belong to the State, and where the leading force is the bloc of laboring classes of the population headed by the working class. As a result, the peoples of these countries not only rid themselves of the grip of imperialism; they laid the basis for the transition to the road of Socialist development.

            As a result of the war, the international importance and authority of the USSR grew immeasurably. The USSR was the leading force and spirit in the military defeat of Germany and Japan. The democratic, progressive forces of the entire world rallied around the Soviet Union. The Socialist State withstood the direst trials of the war and emerged victorious out of the life-and-death struggle against its most powerful enemy. Instead of becoming weaker the USSR became stronger.

            Important changes have also occurred in the capitalist world. Of the six so-called great imperialist powers (Germany, Japan, Britain, the USA, France, and Italy), three were shattered by military defeat (Germany, Italy, and Japan). France was weakened and lost its former importance as a great power. Thus, only two "great" world imperialist powers remain, the United States and Britain. But the positions of one of them, Britain, have been undermined.

            During the war British imperialism proved to be weakened both in the military and political respects. In Europe, Britain was helpless in the face of German aggression. In Asia, Britain - although the largest imperialist power - was unable to hold on to its colonial possessions by its own efforts. Having temporarily lost its connection with the colonies, which supplied the home country with food products and raw materials and which absorbed a great part of her industrial production, Britain became dependent militarily and economically on supplies of American foodstuffs and industrial goods. Since the war, the financial and economic dependence of Britain on the USA has increased.

            Although after the war Britain managed to recover its colonies, it met there the increased influence of American imperialism, which during the war developed its activity in all those regions which before the war were considered spheres of influence of British capital - the Arabian East and South-east Asia. American influence has also grown in the Dominions of the British Empire and in South America, where Britain's former role to a considerable and increasing extent is passing to the USA. The sharpening of the crisis of the colonial system as a result of the Second World War is seen in the mighty surge of the national liberation movement in the colonies and dependent countries, which threatens the rear of the capitalist system. The colonial peoples refuse to live any longer in the old way, and the ruling classes of the metropolitan countries cannot rule any longer in the old way. Attempts to suppress the national liberation movement by military force now encounter ever increasing armed resistance from the colonial peoples and lead to prolonged colonial wars, such as that of Holland in Indonesia and of France in Vietnam.

            As a result of the uneven development of capitalism in various countries, the war led to a further sharpening of this unevenness. Only one of all the capitalist powers - the USA - emerged from the war, not weaker, but considerably stronger both in economic and military respects. American capitalists made great fortunes out of the war. The American people did not, as a result of the war, experience either privations or oppressive foreign occupation or air bombing, while the human losses of the USA which, in fact, entered the war at the last stage when the outcome had already been decided, were relatively small. In the USA, the war gave an impetus to extensive development of industrial production and a decisive increase in exports, mainly to Europe.

            The ending of the war faced the USA with a number of problems. The capitalist monopolies are aiming at preserving their profits at the former high level. With this aim in view, they are trying to maintain the wartime volume of contracts. But this requires the preservation by the USA of all the foreign markets which absorbed its products during the war and the conquest of new markets, since the purchasing capacity of most nations has fallen as a result of the war.

           The financial and economic dependence of these nations on the USA has also increased. The USA has invested abroad credits to the value of 19 billion dollars, without taking into account the investments in the International Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The main competitors of the USA - Germany and Japan - have disappeared from the world market and this has created new, very great possibilities for the USA.

            Before the Second World War, the most influential reactionary circles of American imperialism followed the policy of isolationism and refrained from active intervention in European and Asiatic affairs. Under the new post-war conditions, however, the masters of Wall Street have adopted a new policy. They put forward a program of using the whole of American military and economic might, not only to preserve and consolidate foreign positions won during the war, but also to enlarge them to the maximum, replacing Germany, Japan, and Italy on the world markets.

            The sharp decline in the economic might of other capitalist States gave rise to the possibility of a strategic exploitation of their post-war economic difficulties, which facilitate subordination of these countries to American control, and, in particular, the utilization of Great Britain's post-war economic difficulties. The USA has proclaimed a new, openly predatory, expansionist orientation.

            The new, openly expansionist orientation of the USA has as its aim the establishment of the world domination of US imperialism.

            In order to consolidate the US monopoly of markets, which arose from the elimination of the two largest competitors of the USA - Germany and Japan - and the weakening of the capitalist partners of the USA - Britain and France - the new orientation of US policy involves a broad program of a military, economic and political character. This program aims at the establishment, in all the countries that are the object of US expansion, of the political and economic domination of the USA, thus reducing these countries to the position of satellites of the USA, and establishing in these countries such regimes as would eliminate any resistance by the working class and democratic movements to the exploitation of these countries by American capital. The USA is attempting to impose this new political course, not only on its military enemies of yesterday, or on the neutral States, but to an even greater degree on its war allies.

            Special attention is being paid to exploiting the economic difficulties of Britain, the USA's ally and at the same time its age-old competitor. The American expansionist orientation is based on the assumption that it is desirable, not only to keep Britain in the grip of the economic dependence on the USA established during the war, but further to increase the pressure on Britain in order gradually to deprive it of control over its colonies, to displace it from its spheres of influence, and to reduce it to the status of a vassal power.

             Thus, the new US policy is directed toward the strengthening of its monopolistic position and envisages the placing of its capitalist partners in a subordinate, dependent position. But athwart the path of the US striving for world domination stands the USSR - this bulwark of anti-imperialist and anti-fascist policy, with its growing international influence - as well as the countries of new democracy, which have freed themselves from control by Anglo-American imperialism, and the workers of all countries - including those of the USA itself - who do not want new wars for establishing the domination of their oppressors. That is why the new expansionist and reactionary course of US policy is designed for struggle against the USSR, against the countries of new democracy, against the working class movement in every country, against the working class movement of the USA itself, and against the anti-imperialist liberation forces of all countries throughout the world.

            American reactionaries, perturbed by the successes of Socialism in the USSR, the successes of the countries of new democracy, and the growth of the working-class and democratic movement in all countries of the world in the post-war period, have modestly decided to assume the role of saviors of the capitalist system from Communism.

            Thus, the openly expansionist program of the USA is very reminiscent of the fascist aggressors' adventurist program which suffered such an inglorious fiasco. These aggressors also were but recently claiming world domination.

            Just as the Hitlerites masked their preparations for predatory aggression by their anti-Communism, in order to ensure the possibility of oppressing and enslaving all the people and, in the first place, their own people, so the present-day US ruling circles mask their expansionist policy and even their offensive against the vital interests of the USA's weaker imperialist competitor - Britain - by alleged defensive anti-Communist aims. The feverish arms race, construction of new military bases, the establishment of places d'armes for American armed forces in every part of the world, are false and hypocritically justified by the plea of defense against the imaginary military threat of the USSR.

             By means of threats, bribery, and blackmail, American diplomacy is snatching from other capitalist countries, and in the first place from Britain, consent to the legalization of the advantageous American positions in Europe and Asia - in the Western zones of Germany and Austria, in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Japan, etc.

            American imperialists, regarding themselves as the main force opposed to the USSR, the countries of the new democracy and the working-class and democratic movements in all countries, and as the bulwark of the reactionary, anti-democratic forces in the entire world, literally on the very day after the end of the Second World War started to restore a front hostile to the USSR and world democracy. They encouraged the anti-popular reactionary forces of collaborators and former capitalist stooges in the European countries liberated from the Hitlerite yoke, which had begun to organize their life according to their own choice.

            Following Churchill's lead, the most venomous imperialist politicians, who had lost all sense of proportion, began to advocate places for the speedy realization of a preventative war against the USSR, openly demanding that the temporary monopoly of the atom bomb should be used against the Soviet people.

            The instigators of a new war are attempting to frighten and blackmail not only the USSR, but other countries as well and, in particular, China and India. They represent the USSR as the aggressor and themselves as friends of China and India and as saviors from the Communist danger, called upon to help the weaker countries. Thus the aims of preserving China and India under imperialist domination, and preparing their further political and economic enslavement are being achieved.

II

The New Alignment of Political Forces

 

 

            The radical changes in the international situation and in the situation of various countries which took place as a result of the war have changed the political aspect of the world. A new alignment of political forces came into being. The further we become removed from the end of the war, the clearer become the two basic orientations in international politics, corresponding to the division of the political forces active in the world arena into two main camps - the imperialist and the anti-democratic on the one hand and the anti-imperialist and democratic on the other.

            The main, leading force of the imperialist camp is the USA. Britain and France are in alliance with the USA. The existence of the Attlee-Bevin Labor Government in Britain and the Socialist Government of Ramadier in France does not prevent either Britain or France, as US satellites, from steering a parallel course with the imperialist policy of the USA in all basic questions.

  The imperialist camp is also being supported by such colonial powers as Belgium and Holland, countries with reactionary, anti-democratic regimes, such as Turkey and Greece, and countries dependent both politically and economically on the USA, like those of the Near East, South America and China.

            The basic aim of the imperialist camp is the strengthening of imperialism, the preparation of a new imperialist war, the struggle against Socialism and democracy and all-round support for reactionary, pro-fascist regimes and movements. For the solution of these tasks, the imperialist camp is prepared to rely on reactionary and anti-democratic forces everywhere and to support former war enemies against its own war allies.

             The anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces constitute the other camp. The USSR and countries of the new democracy constitute the mainstay of that camp. It also includes countries which have broken with imperialism and which have firmly adopted the path of democratic development, such as Romania, Hungary, and Finland. Indonesia and Vietnam belong to the anti-imperialist camp; India, Egypt and Syria sympathize with it. The anti-imperialist camp relies on the support of the workers and democratic movement in all countries, on the fraternal Communist Parties of all countries, on the fighters of the national liberation movements of the colonial and dependent countries and on the support of all the democratic and progressive forces in every country of the world.

            The aim of this camp is the struggle against the threat of new wars and imperialist expansion, the consolidation of democracy and the elimination of the remnants of fascism.

            The ending of the Second World War confronted all the freedom-loving peoples with the most important tasks of ensuring a stable, democratic peace that would consolidate the victory over fascism. The leading part in the solution of this basic task of the post-war period belongs to the Soviet Union and its foreign policy. This follows from the very nature of the Soviet Socialist State, which is completely alien to any aggressive, exploiting aims and is interested in the establishment of the most favorable conditions for the construction of Communist society.

            One of these conditions is external peace. As the bearer of a new, higher social system, the Soviet Union reflects in its foreign policy the aspirations of all advanced mankind, which is striving for a durable peace and cannot be interested in a new war, the product of capitalism.

            The Soviet Union is the faithful champion of freedom and independence for all peoples, the enemy of national and racial oppression and of colonial exploitation of any kind. The general alignment of forces between the world of capitalism and that of Socialism, which has changes as the result of the Second World War, has increased still more the importance of Soviet foreign policy and increased the scale of its foreign political activity.

            All the forces of the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist camp have rallied around the task of ensuring a just and democratic peace. This was the ground on which the friendly collaboration of the USSR with the democratic countries in all questions of foreign policy has grown and strengthened. These countries - and in the first place the countries of new democracy, such as Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Albania, which played an important role in the war of liberation against fascism, as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and partly Finland, which have joined the anti-fascist front -have become, in the post-war period, staunch fighters for peace, democracy and their own freedom and independence against all attempts of the USA and Britain to reverse their development and drag them again under the imperialist yoke.

            The successes and the growth of the international prestige of the democratic camp were not to the liking of the imperialists. Even during the war the activity of reactionary forces in Britain and the USA grew constantly, calculated to disrupt the cooperation of the allied countries, drag out the war, bleed the USSR white and save the fascist aggressors from a complete rout. The sabotage of the Second Front by the Anglo-Saxon imperialists with Churchill at their head clearly reflected this tendency, which in essence was the continuation of the Munich policy under the new, changed conditions. But while the war was on, the reactionary circles of Britain and the USA dared not act openly against the Soviet Union and the democratic countries, understanding full well that the sympathies of the masses of the peoples throughout the world were unreservedly on the latter's side.

            In the last months before the end of the war, however, the situation began to change. During the negotiations at the Berlin Three-Power Conference in July 1945, the Anglo-American imperialists had already shown their unwillingness to take into account the legitimate interests of the Soviet Union and the democratic countries.

            The foreign policy of the Soviet Union and the democratic countries in the last two years has been a policy of struggle for the consistent implementation of the democratic principles in the post-war world. The States of the anti-imperialist camp became faithful and consistent champions of the application of these principles, without deviating from their stand by a single inch. This is why the main task of the democratic States' foreign policy since the war has been the struggle for a democratic peace, for the liquidation of the remnants of fascism and the prevention of the rebirth of fascist, imperialist aggression, for the consolidation of the principles of equality of rights among nations and respect for their sovereignty, for a universal reduction of armaments in general and the prohibition of the most destructive arms designed for the mass extermination of the civilian population.

            In solving all these tasks, Soviet diplomacy and the diplomacy of the democratic States came up against the resistance of Anglo-American diplomacy, which since the war has steadily and consistently pursued the course of rejecting the general principles for the building of the post-war world proclaimed by the allies during the war and of replacing this policy of peace and strengthening of democracy by a new policy of disrupting universal peace, of the defense of fascist elements, of the persecution of democracy in all countries.

             The joint action of the diplomacy of the USSR and the democratic countries has a tremendous significance. It aims at solving the problem of armament reduction and prohibition of that particularly destructive weapon - the atom bomb.

            On the initiative of the Soviet Union a proposal was made in the UN on the universal reduction of armaments and on recognition as a task of first priority the prohibition of production and use of atomic energy for military purposes. This proposal of the Soviet government encountered sharp resistance on the part of the USA and Great Britain. All the efforts of imperialist circles were directed toward sabotaging this proposal, which was expressed in the incessant and sterile raising of all sorts of obstacles and barriers in order to prevent any effective practical measures from being taken.

            The activity of the delegates of the USSR and the democratic countries in the bodies of the UN has the character of a systematic, persistent, day-to-day struggle for the democratic bases of international cooperation, for the exposure of the intrigues of the imperialist conspirators against the peace and security of the peoples. This, for instance, is shown particularly clearly in the discussion of the situation on the northern frontiers of Greece. The Soviet Union, together with Poland, came out resolutely against the utilization of the Security Council for discrediting Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, who were falsely accused of aggressive acts against Greece.

  Soviet foreign policy proceeds from the premise of the co-existence , over a lengthy period, of two systems - capitalist and Socialism. From this flows the possibility of cooperation between the USSR and countries of other systems, given the observation of the principle of reciprocity in the fulfillment of pledges made.

             It is well-known that the USSR has always been and is loyal to the pledges it has made. The Soviet Union has shown its will and desire for cooperation.

             An absolutely opposite policy is pursued in the UN by Britain and the USA, who do everything to break the pledges they entered into previously and to untie their hands for the pursuit of a new policy based, not on the cooperation of peoples, but on setting them against one another, on the violation of the rights and interests of the democratic peoples, on the isolation of the USSR.

  Soviet policy maintains the course of maintaining loyal, good-neighborly relations with all States which show a desire for cooperation. In its relations with countries which are genuine friends and allies of the Soviet Union, the latter has always conducted itself, and will continue conducting itself, as a loyal friend and ally. Soviet foreign policy is aimed at the further extension of the friendly assistance of the Soviet Union to these countries.

             Defending the cause of peace, Soviet foreign policy rejects the principle of revenge against defeated peoples. As is well known, the USSR favors the constitution of a unified, peaceable, demilitarized, democratic Germany. In outlining the Soviet policy toward Germany, Comrade Stalin pointed out that "stated briefly, the policy of the Soviet Union on the German question demands, in essence, the demilitarization and democratization of Germany...The demilitarization and democratization of Germany constitutes one of the most important conditions for the establishment of a secure, lasting peace."

            However, this policy of the Soviet State with regard to Germany is coming up against the resistance of the imperialist circles of the USA and Britain. The session of the Foreign Ministers' Council in Moscow in March-April 1947, showed that the USA, Britain and France were prepared, not only to work for disrupting the democratization of Germany, but even for the liquidation of Germany as a unified State, for its dismemberment and for a separate decision of the question of peace.

            The pursuit of this policy now takes place in a new situation, in which the United States has departed from the old course of Roosevelt and is going over to a new policy, the policy of preparing for new military adventures.

III

The US Plan For The Enslavement of Europe

 

 

            The transition of American imperialism since the end of the Second World War to an aggressive, openly expansionist course found expression both in the foreign and home policy of the USA. Active support for reactionary, anti-democratic forces throughout the world, the undermining of the Potsdam decisions to demilitarize and democratize Germany, the patronage of Japanese reactionaries, the extension of war preparation, the accumulation of stocks of atom bombs - all this is accompanied by an offensive against the elementary democratic rights of the working people inside the United States.

            Although the US was comparatively little affected by the war, the majority of Americans do not desire a repetition of the sacrifices and restrictions connected with it. This forces monopoly capital and its henchmen in the ruling circles in the United States to search for extraordinary means in order to overcome the opposition within the country to the aggressive expansionist line and to free its hands for the further carrying out this dangerous policy.

             The campaign against Communism enunciated by the American ruling circles which base themselves on the capitalist-monopolies, inevitably leads to an attack on the vital rights and interests of the American toilers, to internal fascization of the political life of the United States, to the propagation of the most vicious, hate-sowing "theories" and conceptions. Dreaming of preparing a new, third world war, American expansionist circles are vitally interested in suppressing within the country every possibility of resistance to external adventures, in poisoning with chauvinism and militarism the politically backward and undeveloped masses of the rank-and-file Americans, in "doping" the average American by means of every kind of anti-Soviet, anti-Communist propaganda in the movies, radio, press, and pulpit. The expansionist foreign policy inspired and carried out by American reactionaries involves simultaneous activity in all directions:

            1. Military strategic measures

            2. Economic expansion

            3. Ideological struggle

 

            The realization of the military-strategic plans for future aggression is connected with the desire to utilize to the fullest extent the military-industrial apparatus of the US, which expanded extraordinarily toward the end of the Second World War. American imperialism is carrying on a consistent policy of militarization of the country. The expenditures of the US for the Army and Navy exceed 11 billion dollars a year. For 1947-48, 35 per cent of the budget has been appropriated for the maintenance of the armed forces of the United States, i.e., eleven-fold as compared with 1937-38.

             Whereas at the beginning of the Second World War the army of the USA occupied the 17th place among the armies of the capitalist countries, it now occupies first place among them. While accumulating atom bombs, American strategists do not hesitate to speak of preparation for bacteriological warfare being made in the USA. The military-strategic plan of the USA provides for the creation, in peacetime, of numerous bases and places d'armes at a considerable distance from the American continent and destined for use for aggressive purposes against the USSR and the countries of the new democracy. American military air and naval bases have been, or are being, established in Alaska, Japan, Italy, Southern Korea, China, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Austria, and Western Germany. An American military mission is operating in Afghanistan and even in Nepal. Feverish preparations are taking place to utilize the Arctic for purposes of military aggression.

            Despite the fact that the war has long ended, the military alliance between Britain and the USA continues, and even the joint Anglo-American Staff of their armed forces continues to function. Under the cover of agreements on the standardization of arms, the United States has extended its control over the armed forces and military plans of other countries, in the first place of Britain and Canada. Under the cover of joint defense of the Western Hemisphere, the countries of Latin America are being drawn into the orbit of the military expansionist plans of the USA.

            The Government of the United States has declared it as its special task to assist in the modernization of the Turkish Army; the army of the reactionary Kuomintang is trained by American instructors and equipped with American materials. The military clique is becoming an active political force in the USA, providing on a large scale statesmen and diplomats who are following an aggressive militarist course in the entire policy of the country.

             The economic expansion of the USA is an important supplement to the realization of its strategic plan. American imperialism strives, like a usurer, to utilize the post-war difficulties of European countries - in particular the shortages of raw materials, fuels, and food in those allied countries that have suffered most form the war - in order to dictate to them enslaving conditions of assistance. Foreseeing the forthcoming economic crisis, the USA is anxious to find new monopoly spheres for capital investment and surplus goods. The economic aid of the USA pursues the broad aim of the enslavement of Europe by American capital. The more difficult the economic position of one country or another, the harsher the conditions which the American monopolies are trying to dictate to it. But economic control also leads to political subordination to American imperialism. Hence, the extension of the monopoly spheres for the sale of American surplus goods is combined by the USA with the acquisition of new places d'armes for the struggle against the new democratic forces in Europe. American monopolies, in "saving" a country from hunger and ruin, strive to deprive it of all independence. American "aid" almost automatically leads to a change of the political line of the country on which that "aid" is bestowed. Parties and persons come to power that are prepared to carry out a program of home and foreign policy to the liking of the USA and on the instructions from Washington.

             Finally, in striving for world domination, and an anti-democratic line, the USA is also conducting an ideological struggle. The basic task of the ideological part of the American strategic plan consists in blackmailing public opinion, spreading slanders about the imaginary aggressiveness of the Soviet Union and the countries of the new democracy, and in this way to represent the Anglo-American bloc in the role of countries defending themselves, thus absolving it from the responsibility for preparing a new war.

  During the years of the Second World War, the popularity abroad of the Soviet Union increased tremendously. By its self-sacrificing, heroic struggle against imperialism, the Soviet Union gained the love and respect of the working people of all countries. Before the eyes of the whole world, the military and economic might of the Socialist State, the invincible power of the moral-political unity of Soviet society, has been clearly demonstrated.

            The reactionary circles of the USA and Britain are anxious to expunge this indelible impression which the Socialist system is making on the workers and toilers of the whole world. The warmongers are well aware that in order to make it possible to send their soldiers to fight against the Soviet Union a long ideological preparation is necessary.

            In the ideological struggle against the USSR the American imperialists, lacking understanding of political questions and demonstrating their ignorance, are fostering above all the conception which represents the Soviet Union as an allegedly anti-democratic, totalitarian force, and the USA, Britain and the whole capitalist world as a democratic force. This platform of the ideological struggle, of the defense of bourgeois pseudo-democracy and of the charge of totalitarianism leveled against Communism, unites all enemies of the working class without exception, beginning with the capitalist magnates and ending with the leaders of the Right-wing Socialists, who with extreme readiness seize on any slander against the USSR which their imperialist masters suggest to them.

            The pivot of this fraudulent propaganda is the assertion that a system of many parties and the existence of an organized opposition of the minority are symptoms of genuine democracy. On this basis the British Laborites, who spare no efforts in the fight against Communism, would like to discover antagonistic classes and corresponding struggle of parties in the USSR. Ignoramuses in politics, they cannot understand that for a long time there have not been any landlords and capitalists in the USSR, no antagonistic classes and, therefore, no multiplicity of parties. They would like to find in the USSR bourgeois parties dear to their hearts, including pseudo-Socialist parties, acting as imperialist agencies; but to their regret history has doomed these exploiting bourgeois parties to disappearance.

             Not sparing words in uttering slanders against the Soviet regime, the Laborites and other advocates of bourgeois democracy at the same time regard as perfectly normal the bloody dictatorship of a fascist minority over the peoples of Greece and Turkey, close their eyes to many crying violations of the norms even of formal democracy in the bourgeois countries, and pass over in silence national and racial oppression, corruption, and unceremonious violation of democratic rights in the USA.

            One of the trends of the ideological "campaign" attendant upon the plans for the enslavement of Europe is the attack on the principle of national sovereignty, the call for the renunciation of the sovereign rights of nations, and the contraposition of the idea of a "world government." The significance of this campaign is to disguise the unrestrained expansion of American imperialism, which unceremoniously violates the sovereign rights of nations, to represent the US in the role of a champion of humanitarian laws, and those opposed to American penetration as supporters of an obsolete "egotistic" nationalism. The idea of a "world government." seized on by the bourgeois intellectuals from among the day-dreamers and pacifists, is taken advantage of not only as a means of pressure for the ideological disarmament of peoples who are defending their independence from attacks on the part of American imperialism, but also as a slogan especially directed against the Soviet Union, which is consistently and untiringly defending the principles of genuine equality and safeguarding the sovereign rights of all peoples, great and small.

            Under present conditions imperialist countries like the USA, Britain and the states close to them, are becoming dangerous enemies of the national independence and self-determination of peoples, and the Soviet Union and the countries of the new democracy, reliable bastions of the defense of the equality and national self-determination of peoples.

            It is highly symptomatic that in the realization of the ideological plan put forward by American imperialism, we find closely cooperating American military-political intelligence men of the type of Bullitt, yellow trade union leaders of the type of Green, French Socialists headed by the obdurate apologist of capitalism Blum, the German Social-Democrat Schumacher and Laborite leaders of Bevin's type.

            The "Truman Doctrine" and the "Marshall Plan" are a concrete expression of the expansionist aspiration of the USA in the present situation. In essence both these documents are an expression of a single policy, although they differ in the form of presentation. Both documents contain one and the same American claim to the enslavement of Europe.

            The essential features of the "Truman Doctrine" with relation to Europe are the following:

             1. The creation of American bases in the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, with the purpose consolidating American domination in this zone.

            2. Demonstrative support of reactionary regimes in Greece and Turkey, as bastions of American imperialism, against the new democracy in the Balkans (the rendering of military and technical assistance to Greece and Turkey, the granting of loans).

            3. Uninterrupted pressure upon the states of the new democracy, expressing itself in false charges of totalitarianism and expansionist aims; in attacks on the principles of the new democratic regimes; in constant interference in the internal affairs of these states; in the support of all anti-national, anti-democratic elements within these countries; in the demonstrative breaking off of economic ties with these countries, designed to create economic difficulties for them, to handicap their economic development, to disrupt their industrialization, etc.

 

            The "Truman Doctrine," which reckons on granting American aid to all reactionary regimes which are coming out actively against the democratic peoples, is frankly aggressive. Its publication caused a certain amount of indignation even among the circles of American capitalists which are used to anything.

            Progressive social elements in the USA and other countries have made resolute protests against the provocative, openly imperialist speech of Truman. The unfavorable reception accorded the "Truman Doctrine" made the "Marshall Plan" necessary as a more veiled attempt to carry out the self-same expansionist policy.

            The essence of the nebulous, deliberately veiled formulations of the "Marshall Plan" is to knock together a bloc of states bound by obligations to the United States and to grant American credits as payment for the renunciation by European states of their economic and, subsequently, also their political independence. At the same time the basis of the "Marshall Plan" consists in the restoration of the industrial areas of Western Germany under the control of American monopolies.

            The "Marshall Plan," as became clear from subsequent conferences and speeches of American public figures, consists in rendering help, in the first instance, not to the impoverished victorious countries, allies of the USA in the war against Germany, but to German capitalists, and, having gained control of the basic sources of coal and metal needed by France and Germany, to make the nations that need coal and metal dependent upon the restored economic might of Germany.

            Despite the fact that the "Marshal Plan" provides for the final reduction of Britain as well as France to the position of secondary Powers, the Labor Government of Attlee in Britain and the Socialist Government of Ramadier in France have seized hold of the "Marshall Plan" as an anchor of salvation. It is known that Britain has already spent, in the main, the American loan of 3,750 million dollars granted her in 1946. It is likewise known that the enslaving conditions of this loan have bound her hand and foot. Having already got caught in the noose of financial dependence on the USA, the Labor Government of Britain could see its only way out in another loan. Therefore it saw in the "Marshall Plan" a way out of an economic cul de sac, a chance to obtain new credits.

             British politicians, moreover, counted on taking advantage of the creation of a bloc of West European countries - debtors of the United States - in order to play within that bloc the role of chief American bailiff who might possibly succeed in enriching himself at the expense of weaker countries. The British bourgeoisie hoped, by taking advantage of the "Marshall Plan," by serving American monopolies, and by subjecting themselves to their control, to recover their lost positions in a number of countries and, in particular, to restore their positions in the Balkan-Danube region.

            In order to invest the American proposals with greater external objectivity it was decided to draw France into the number of initiators of preparations for the implementation of the "Marshall Plan" - France, which had already half-sacrificed her sovereignty in favor of the USA, inasmuch as the credit granted to her by the USA. In May 1947, was conditioned upon the elimination of the Communists from the French government.

            On instructions from Washington, the Governments of Britain and France invited the Soviet Union to take part in the discussion of the "Marshall Plan." This step was to mask the anti-Soviet character of the proposals. It was thought that, inasmuch as it was well known in advance that the USSR would decline to discuss the proposals of American aid on Marshall's conditions, it would be possible to lay at its door the blame for not wishing to promote the economic restoration of Europe and thereby to set against the USSR the countries which need real assistance. If, however, the Soviet Union did take part in the negotiations, then it would be easier to catch the countries of Eastern and South-eastern Europe in the trap of "European economic restoration with American aid." Whereas the Truman plan puts its stake on terroristic intimidation of these countries, the "Marshall Plan" was calculated to feel out their economic steadfastness, to try to tempt these countries, and then to shackle them, with dollar help.

  The "Marshall Plan" was calculated (in the given country) to assist in the realization of one of the most important tasks of the general American program: that of restoring the power of imperialism in the countries of the new democracy and to force them to renounce close economic and political cooperation with the Soviet Union.

            The representatives of the USSR in agreeing to discuss the Marshall proposals with the Governments of Britain and France in Paris, exposed at the Paris conference the unsound nature of the task of evolving an economic program for the whole of Europe and exposed the creation of a new European organization under the aegis of France and England as a danger of interference in the internal affairs of European countries and a threat to their sovereignty. The representatives of the USSR showed that the "Marshall Plan" contradicted normal principles of international cooperation and harbored in it the splitting of Europe and the threat of subordinating a number of European countries to the interests of American capitalism; that it was calculated to give help to the German monopoly concerns in preference to the allies, since the "Plan" clearly attributed a special role in Europe to the restoration of these concerns. This clear position of the Soviet Union tore the mask off the plan of the American imperialists and their Anglo-French bailiffs.

            The all-European conference failed scandalously. Nine European states refused to take part in it. And even among the countries which agreed to take part in the "Marshall Plan" discussions and the working out of concrete measures for its realization, this "Plan" was received without particular enthusiasm, the more so since it very soon became clear that the Soviet Union's suggestion that this plan was still remote for real, effective aid was fully confirmed.

  It turned out that the government of the USA was not at all in a hurry to realize Marshall's promises. American members of Congress admitted that Congress would examine the question of new appropriations for credits to individual European countries not earlier than 1948.

            Thus, it became evident that England, France, and the other Western European countries that had accepted the Paris "project of realization" of the "Marshall Plan" had themselves fallen victim to American blackmail.

            However, the attempts to knock together a Western Bloc under the aegis of America continue. It is necessary to note that the American variant of the Western Bloc cannot but encounter serious resistance even in countries already so dependent on the United States as Britain and France. The perspective of the restoration of German imperialism as a real force capable of opposing democracy and Communism in Europe cannot tempt either Britain or France. This is one of the main contradictions inside the Anglo-American-French bloc.

            The American monopolies, like the whole of international reaction, apparently do not count on France or the Greek fascists as any kind of reliable bulwark of the USA against the USSR and the new democracies in Europe. They therefore place particular hopes in the restoration of capitalist Germany, as a most important guarantee of success in the struggle against the democratic forces in Europe. They do not trust either the Laborites in Britain or the Socialists in France, deeming them, despite all their servility, to be insufficiently trustworthy "quasi-Communists."

            That is why the question of Germany, and in particular of the Ruhr basin, as a potential war industry base of the anti-Soviet bloc is a most important subject of international politics and a question of dispute between the USA, Britain and France.

            The appetites of the American imperialists cannot but arouse serious anxiety in Britain and France. The US unambiguously made it understood that it wants to take away the Ruhr from the British. The American monopolists likewise demand the merging of the three occupied zones and the open formulation of the political separation of Western Germany under American control. The USA insists on an increase in the level of production of steel in the Ruhr Basin on the basis of the preservation of capitalistic enterprises under the aegis of the USA. The credits promised by Marshall for European rehabilitation are understood in Washington as preferential aid to German capitalists.

            Thus the Western Bloc is knocked together by America not on the model of the Churchill plan of the United States of Europe, which was conceived as a guide for British policy, but as an American protectorate in which sovereign Europeans states, not excluding Britain herself, are assigned a role not very different form that of the notorious "49th State of America."

            American imperialism is treating Britain and France ever more insolently and unceremoniously. The bi and tri-partite conferences on the fixing of the level of industrial production for Western Germany (Britain-US, US and France) are a deliberate violation of the Potsdam decisions and at the same time demonstrate how completely the United States ignores the vital interests of its partners in negotiation.

            Britain and, particularly, France, are compelled to obey American dictate and to accept meekly. The conduct of American diplomacy in London and Paris recalls, in many ways, its conduct in Greece, where the American representatives no longer deem it at all necessary to observe any decencies, appointing and replacing Greek Ministers at will and behaving like conquerors.

            Thus, the new plan for the Dawesification of Europe is, in effect, directed against the vital interests of the peoples of Europe and represents a plan for the enslavement and subjugation of Europe to the United States. The "Marshall Plan" is directed against the industrialization of the democratic countries of Europe and, consequently, against the basis of their independence. And if the plan for the Dawesification of Europe was doomed to failure at a time when the forces of resistance to the Dawes plan were incomparably weaker than now, today there are quite sufficient forces in Europe, even without the Soviet Union, which, given the will and the resolution, can disrupt this plan of enslavement.

             It is a matter of the will and readiness for resistance on the part of peoples of Europe. As for the USSR, it will make every effort to prevent this plan from being realized.

            The estimate given of the "Marshall Plan" by the nations in the anti-imperialist camp has been fully confirmed by events. With respect to the "Marshall Plan," the camp of the democratic countries has shown itself to be a mighty force that stands on guard for the independence and sovereignty of all European nations that does not yield to blackmail and intimidation, just as it does not allow itself to be deceived by the intrigues and maneuvers of dollar diplomacy.

            The Soviet Government has never objected to taking advantage of foreign, even American credits, as a means of speeding up the process of economic restoration. However, the Soviet Union always insisted that the conditions of the credit should not be of an enslaving nature and should not lead to the economic and political subjugation of the debtor to the creditor states.

            Guided by this political conception, the Soviet Union has always adhered to the position that foreign credits should not become the main means of restoring the economy of a country. The basic and decisive condition of economic restoration should be the utilization of the internal forces and resources of any country and the creation of its own industry.

            Only on that bases can the independence of a country be safeguarded from the encroachments of foreign capital, which constantly displays a tendency to take advantage of credits as an instrument of political and economic enslavement. Precisely such a plan is the "Marshall Plan," which is directed against the industrialization of European countries and is, consequently, calculated to undermine their independence.

            The Soviet Union tirelessly defends the positions that the political and economic relations between various states must be built exclusively on the basis of the equality of the partners, on mutual respect for their sovereign rights. Soviet foreign policy, in particular Soviet economic relations with foreign states, is based on the principle of equality, the safeguarding of mutual advantages from the agreements to be concluded. The agreements with USSR are agreements to the mutual advantage of their partners and never contain any encroachment on the state independence or the national sovereignty of the contracting parties.

            This is a basic distinction in the agreements between the USSR and other states, which stands out particularly clearly now in the light of the unjust, unequal treaties concluded and in course of preparation by the United States.

            Soviet foreign trade policy does not know unequal agreements. Moreover, the development of the economic relations of the USSR with interested states shows on what bases the normal relations between states should be built. Suffice it to recall the recently concluded agreements of the USSR with Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary. Bulgaria and Finland. In this way the USSR shows clearly by what paths Europe can find a way out of its difficult economic situation. Britain could also have had such an agreement, if the Labor Government had not, under external pressure, destroyed the already formulated agreement with the USSR.

            The exposure of the American plan for the economic enslavement of the European countries is an undoubted merit of the foreign policy of the USSR and the countries of the new democracy. At the same time it is necessary to bear in mind that the US herself is threatened with an economic crisis. Marshall's official generosity has its solid reasons: if the European countries do not receive American credits, the demand of these countries for American goods will shrink, and that will hasten and intensify the approaching economic crisis in the USA.

            Therefore, if the European countries are sufficiently steadfast and prepared to resist the enslaving credit conditions, the US can be forced to retreat.

 

                                          IV

The Tasks of the Communist Parties

            The dissolution of the Comintern, in accordance with the requirements of the development of the labor movement under the conditions of the new historical situation, has played a positive role. The dissolution of the Comintern has forever put an end to the slanders of the enemies of Communism and the labor movement to the effect that Moscow allegedly interferes in the internal life of other states, that the Communist Parties of the various countries allegedly act not in the interests of their peoples but on orders from abroad.

             The Comintern was formed after the First World War, when the Communist Parties were still weak, when ties between the working classes of various countries were almost non-existent, and when the Communist Parties had no generally acknowledged leaders of the working-class movement. The merit of the Comintern lies in the fact that it restored and strengthened the ties between the toilers of different lands, worked out theoretical questions of the working-class movement in new, post-war conditions of development, established general norms of propaganda and agitation of the ideas of Communism, and facilitated the work of the leaders of the working-class movement. In this way conditions were created for the transformation of young Communist Parties into mass workers' parties. However, with the transformation of young Communist Parties into mass workers' parties, direction of these parties from one center became impossible and inexpedient. As a result, the Comintern, instead of being a factor contributing to the growth of Communist Parties, began to be transformed into a factor hindering this growth. The new stage of development of Communist Parties required new forms of liaison between parties. These circumstances determined the necessity of dissolving the Comintern and organizing new forms of liaison between parties.

            In the four years since the dissolution of the Comintern a considerable strengthening of the Communist Parties, a strengthening of their influence, has taken place in almost all the countries of Europe and Asia. The influence of the Communist Parties has increased not only in eastern Europe but also in almost all the countries of Europe where fascism ruled, as well as in those countries that were under German occupation - in France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and so on.

The influence of the Communists has particularly increased in the countries of the new democracy, where the Communist Parties are the most influential parties in the state.

However, the present situation of Communist Parties also has its shortcomings. Some comrades have come to believe that the dissolution of the Comintern meant the liquidation of all liaison, of all contact between fraternal Communist Parties. Yet experience has shown that such dissociation among parties is incorrect, harmful, and, in essence, unnatural. The Communist movement develops within a national framework but, at the same time, has general problems and interests for parties of various countries. A rather strange picture results: the Socialists, who outdid themselves in order to prove that the Comintern dictated directives from Moscow to Communists of all lands, re-established their International; whereas Communists refrain even from meeting among themselves, not to speak of consulting with each other on questions of mutual interest, fearful of the slander of enemies with respect to the "hand of Moscow." Representatives of the most varied kinds of activity - scientists, cooperators, trade-unionists, youth, students - consider it possible to maintain international contacts, to exchange experiences and to consult with each other on problems of their work, to arrange international conferences, but Communists even of allied countries hesitate to establish friendly contacts among themselves. There is no doubt that such a situation, if it were prolonged, would be pregnant with extremely harmful consequences for the development of the work of fraternal parties. This need of consultation and voluntary coordination of the activities of the separate parties is ripe, especially now when continued isolation may lead to the weakening of mutual understanding and, at times, even to serious errors.

            Since the majority of the leadership of the Socialist parties, especially the British Laborites and the French Socialists, are acting as an agency of the imperialist circles of the USA, the Communists are called upon to play a special historical role: to head the resistance to the American plan for the enslavement of Europe, ably to expose all internal accomplices of American imperialism.

            At the same time the Communists should support all truly patriotic elements who do not want to see their country dishonored, who want to fight against the enslavement of their country by foreign capital and for its national sovereignty. Communists should be the leading force in the cause of drawing all anti-fascist, freedom-loving elements into the struggle against the new American expansionist plans for the enslavement of Europe.

            It is necessary to bear in mind that between the desire of the imperialists to unleash a new war and the possibilities of organizing such a war there is an enormous gap. The peoples of the world do not want war. The forces that work for peace are so considerable, so large, that if these forces are steadfast and resolute in the defense of peace, if they display stamina and firmness, the plans of the aggressors will be completely defeated.

            One must not forget that the clamor of the imperialist elements about the war danger is intended to frighten the nervous and unstable and to bring about concessions to the aggressor through blackmail. The main danger now for the working class is the underestimation of its own forces and the overestimation of the forces of the enemy.

            Just as the Munich policy in the past gave a free hand to Hitlerite aggression, so concessions to the new course of policy of the USA and the imperialist camp can make its inspirers even more insolent and aggressive. Therefore the Communist Parties must head the resistance to the plans of imperialist expansion and aggression along all lines - state, economic and ideological; they must rally and unite their efforts on the basis of a common anti-imperialist and democratic platform and gather around themselves all the democratic and patriotic forces of the people.

            A special task devolves upon the fraternal Communist Parties of France, Italy, England, and other countries. They must take into their hands the banner of defense of national independence and sovereignty of their countries. If the Communist Parties will stand firmly on their positions, if they will not allow themselves to be intimidated and blackmailed, if they will stand courageously on guard for a stable peace and popular democracy, on guard for the national sovereignty, freedom, and independence of their countries; if they will succeed in their struggle against the economic and political enslavement of their countries, in heading all the forces ready to defend the cause of honor and national independence, then no plans for enslavement can be realized.