SPEECH AT THE 19th PARTY CONGRESS
(October 14, 1952)
Allow me, in the name of our Congress, to express our gratitude to all the fraternal parties and groups whose representatives have honored our Congress with their presence or who have sent greetings to the Congress, gratitude for their friendly greetings, for their wishes of success, for their confidence.
For us this confidence is especially valuable, as it signifies readiness to support our Party in its struggle for a brighter future for the peoples of the world, in its struggle against war, in its struggle for the preservation of peace.
It would be a mistake to think that our Party, being now a mighty force, is no longer in need of support. This is not true. Our Party and our country have always needed, and will need, the confidence, the sympathy, and the support of fraternal peoples abroad.
The distinguishing feature of this support is that whenever any fraternal party supports the peaceful aspirations of our Party, it is at the same time supporting its own people in their struggle for the preservation of peace. When, in 1918-19, at the time of the armed attack of the British bourgeoisie on the Soviet Union, the British workers organized a struggle against the war under the slogan "Hands off Russia!" this was support - support, first of all, of their own people's struggle for peace, and then, second, support of the Soviet Union. When Comrade Thorez and Comrade Togliatti declare that their people will not make war against the peoples of the Soviet Union, then that is support - support, first of all, for the workers and peasants of France and Italy in their struggle for peace, and then support for the peaceful aspirations of the Soviet Union. This special characteristic of mutual support is accounted for by the fact that the interests of our Party not only do not contradict, but, on the contrary, merge with the interests of all peace-loving peoples. The interests of the Soviet Union in general are inseparable from the cause of peace throughout the world.
Naturally, our Party cannot remain indebted to its fraternal parties, but rather must in turn render them support in their struggle for the liberation of their peoples and in their struggle for the preservation of peace. As is well known, that is exactly what our Party is doing. After our Party seized power in 1917 and began the actual liquidation of the oppression of the capitalist and landlord systems, representatives of fraternal parties, admiring the bravery and success of our Party, conferred upon it the title "shock brigade" of the world-wide revolutionary and workers' movement. By this, they expressed their hope that the victories of the "shock-brigade" would advance the cause of the peoples still languishing under the oppression of capitalism. I think that our Party has justified these hopes, especially so in the Second World War, when the Soviet Union, by smashing the German and Japanese fascist tyranny, delivered the peoples of Europe and Asia from the menace of fascist slavery.
Of course, it was quite hard to fulfill this esteemed role while the "shock brigade" was still the only one of its kind, carrying out its vanguard role almost alone. But that was in the past. Today the situation is quite different. Today, when from China and Korea to Czechoslovakia and Hungary new "shock brigades" have emerged in the form of people's democracies, now it has become easier for our Party to carry out its tasks - and the work is going more cheerfully.
Special attention must be given to those Communist, democratic, or worker-peasant parties that have not yet come to power and still labor beneath the harsh heel of Draconic bourgeois rule. It's harder for them to work, of course. But it's not as hard for them to work as it was for us Russian Communists during the czarist period, when the smallest movement forward was proclaimed a most serious crime. However, the Russian Communists stood firm, were not frightened by the difficulty, and attained victory. The same shall be with these parties.
Why will it not be as difficult for these parties to work as it was for the Russian Communists of the czarist period?
Firstly, because they have before their eyes the examples of struggle and success presented by the Soviet Union and the people's democracies. Consequently, they can learn from the mistakes and successes of these countries and thus lighten their labor.
Secondly, because the bourgeoisie itself - the major enemy of the liberation movement - has become different, has changed in a significant way, has become more reactionary, has lost contact with the people, and thus has weakened itself. Clearly this situation also must lighten the work of the revolutionary and democratic parties.
Formerly, the bourgeoisie presumed to play the liberal, defending bourgeois-democratic freedoms, and thereby gained some popularity for itself among the people. Now not a trace of this liberalism remains. There are no longer any so-called "personal freedoms" - the rights of individuality are recognized now only for those who have capital, and all the rest of the citizens are treated as human raw material, fit only for exploitation. The principle of equality of peoples and nations is trampled underfoot, replaced by the principle of equal rights for the exploiting minority and total absence of rights for the exploited majority of citizens. The banner of the bourgeois-democratic freedoms has been thrown overboard. In my opinion, it has fallen upon you, representatives of Communist and democratic parties, to pick up this banner and carry it forward if you wish to gather around yourselves the majority of the people. There is no one else to raise it.
Formerly, the bourgeoisie was considered the leader of nations; it upheld the rights and independence of nations, putting them "before all else." Now not a trace of this national principle remains. Now the bourgeoisie will sell the rights and independence of their nations for dollars. The banner of national independence and national sovereignty has been thrown overboard. There is no doubt that it has fallen upon you, representatives of Communist and democratic parties, to pick it up and carry it forward, if you wish to be patriots of your counties, if you wish to become the leaders of nations. There is no one else to raise it.
This is how matters stand today.
Certainly all these circumstances must lighten the work of Communist and democratic parties that have not yet come into power. It follows that these are all reasons to count on success and victory for our fraternal parties in countries still under the rule of capital.
Long live our fraternal parties!
Long live the leaders of our fraternal parties!
Long live peace among nations!
Down with the makers of war!