The Downside of Imperial Collapse
When Empires or Great Powers Fall, Chaos and War Rise
Never before have we seen such an extraordinary display of disunity in the Communist world. Moscow's policy of rapprochement with Tito is regarded by Peking and its supporters as further proof of the fundamentally revisionist, anti-Marxian character of "the Khrushchev group." Peking views the indecisive Soviet policy regarding the Sino-Indian conflict-Moscow's precarious attempt to carry water on both shoulders-as a typical failure of Khrushchev to give full support to a "fraternal socialist ally." It brands the Soviet decision to withdraw missiles from Cuba as appeasement of American imperialism, a clear manifestation of the pacifism and fear that it now regularly describes as the trademarks of Russian diplomacy.
The Soviet Premier and his friends have answers to these charges. To them, the foremost enemies of Marx-Leninism at present are dogmatists who pursue a narrow nationalism, emulate Stalinism in its worst aspects and follow adventurist policies that risk global war. In Khrushchevian circles, the tendency is growing to divide the Communist world into its "advanced" and "backward" components, into categories of "friendly" and "unfriendly" socialist states or factions.
Clearly, the strenuous efforts of Communist intermediaries during recent months to bring about some understanding-or at least a modus vivendi- between Russia and China have borne little fruit. Thus the events that followed immediately after the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (C.P.S.U.) acquire additional significance. For five months after October 1961 the Communist bloc quarreled publicly among themselves before the world. The era of open struggle was inaugurated when Chou En-lai departed from Moscow in a huff at the height of the Congress, having earlier left a wreath on the tomb of that "great Marxist-Leninist," J. V. Stalin, and having upbraided Khrushchev in stinging fashion for his public criticism of Albania. There followed the steady development of the Sino-Al- banian alliance in the face of withering Soviet blasts against Albanian leaders and the severance of Russian-Albanian diplomatic relations. And throughout this period, although the Soviet Union and its allies repeatedly proclaimed that their position had the support of "the overwhelming majority" of the Communist parties of the world, most Asian Communist parties firmly refused to give Moscow their support on the crucial issues.
Even after Khrushchev had denounced Hoxha and Shehu as false Marxists and vicious tyrants, fraternal greetings flowed to Albania from the Communist parties of such countries as North Viet Nam, North Korea, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand and Malaya. Pictures and statues of Stalin could still be found from Pyongyang in North Korea to the Djakarta headquarters of the Indonesian Communist Party, even after Khrushchev had finished reciting the catalogue of Stalin's crimes.
History may well record that the truly significant aspect of this great crisis in the Communist world has been the attitudes and policies of Asian Communist leaders-not just those of Peking, but those of Djakarta, Pyongyang, Hanoi and Tokyo as well. If Khrushchev had hoped to isolate China on the issue of Albania, he failed. And nowhere did he fail more resoundingly than in Eastern Asia where only the parties of Outer Mongolia and Ceylon came quickly to his side. Elsewhere he called for full support in vain. A new phenomenon emerged-neutralism within the Communist bloc. The great bulk of the Asian Communist movement chose to remain non-aligned between Moscow and Peking, and this was in itself a defeat for Khrushchev, especially when, as in many cases, it was non-alignment that leaned toward Peking.
Khrushchev garnered two allies in the Far East at an early point, the parties of Outer Mongolia and Ceylon. On October 21, 1961, two days after Khrushchev's famous October 19 speech to the 22nd Congress, Premier Tsedenbal, head of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party delegation, spoke in firm support of the Soviet position. He congratulated the Congress for its "decisive struggle" against the harmful cult of personality and openly condemned the Albanian party leaders for their divisive "anti- Marxist" activities. These views were subsequently extended and sharpened in Ulan Bator. In late November, Chairman Tsend of the Great People's Hural (Mongolian People's Assembly) bitterly attacked Premier Hoxha of Albania and his stooges for sliding into the bog of nationalism. Nor did he ignore China, but bluntly commented that Chinese insistence upon handling the problems privately was a futile approach "deviating from the truth," since the cleavage was public knowledge. The party position was made official in January 1962 when Tsedenbal reported on the 22nd Congress to the Central Committee. He again rigorously censured Albania and, following the Khrushchev lead, called for a liquidation of the cult of personality that had formed around former Premier Choibalsan, dead since 1952. Clearly, the Outer Mongolian leaders had gone all the way.
The actions of the Ceylonese Communist Party must also have been gratifying to Khrushchev. On October 25, 1961, Mr. Pieter Keuneman, Secretary-General, addressed the Congress as a leader of the Ceylonese delegation. His remarks were brief, but included adverse comments on the personality cult and on Albanian party leaders who were accused of taking a position "incompatible with proletarian internationalism." A lengthy party statement, issued April 8, 1962, sustained and expanded these remarks. The Ceylonese Party regarded it as "inconceivable" that Hoxha could "basely accuse the C.P.S.U. and its leaders of revisionism and fawning upon imperialism; justify and extol some of the worst features of the personality cult; openly challenge the agreed conclusions of the international Communist movement on such basic questions as peaceful coexistence and the importance of the decisions and course of the 20th Congress; and try to split the international Communist movement by seeking to draw invidious distinctions between various fraternal parties." This was as full a recital of Hoxha's "crimes" as Khrushchev himself could have given.
On the Stalin issue, the Ceylonese Communists had in fact a particularly difficult problem, since their primary internal opponents of the left are self-styled Trotskyites who can claim an historic anti-Stalinist position. Taking courage in hand, however, the Ceylonese Communists managed to accept the new stage of de-Stalinization, including the revelation that "certain negative personal qualities of Stalin" had begun to assert themselves as early as 1934. This they did without conceding an inch to the Trotskyites whose theories, they insisted, "had been thrown into the rubbish-bin of history."
Nowhere else in Eastern Asia, however, did Khrushchev get this kind of support, setting aside the special case of India with which we shall deal later. The position of other Far Eastern Communist parties on these and related issues ranged from silence to open disapproval. Let us look briefly at the facts, starting with Indonesia.
The attitude of the Communist Party of Indonesia (P.K.I.) on such issues as Albania and de-Stalinization is of real significance in the Communist world. This party, with some two million members and additional millions in its front organizations, is the most important Communist Party currently existing in a non-Communist nation. When its position was clarified, Khrushchev had little reason to be happy. On the key issues it stood remarkably close to Peking, although the official stance can be described as one of non-alignment. Its views can be summarized as follows:
In the first place, Khrushchev's public criticism of Albanian leadership was a mistake and the P.K.I, has no intention of following suit. That act, taken without prior consultation and without any real attempts at private negotiations between the parties concerned, is a violation of the Moscow Statement of 1960.
Secondly, the question of Stalin and that of the anti-party group within the C.P.S.U. are internal matters to be decided by that party itself. However, Stalin was more than a mere national leader. He was also an important international leader, and in this capacity he remains the property of every Communist in the world. The cult of personality is to be criticized; but for their part, Indonesian Communists will never forget the major theoretical and practical contributions made by Stalin to the world Communist movement in the years between 1924 and 1953. (Note carefully the full sweep of those dates.)
Absolute freedom and equality, the Indonesian Communists say in addition, must be accorded each Communist party. The "socialist camp" is not a republic or a political entity of any type. It is rather a group of completely independent and equal parties, each free to develop entirely in line with its own indigenous conditions. To learn from the experiences of others is important; to be ordered by others is inadmissible. Hence, talk about "greater autonomy" or "polycentrism" is misleading. The only acceptable condition is total independence. Therefore, no state having a genuinely socialist system (Albania) can be read out of the socialist camp even if it has a conflict with another socialist state (the U.S.S.R.).
Fourthly, they indicate, the task of each party is to apply the universal principles of Marx-Leninism to the special circumstances of its own society. Thus for the P.K.I the task is that of "Indonesianizing" the Marx- Leninist ideology. Currently, this means marching forward under the three red banners of the National Front, Building the Party and Advancing the August 1945 Revolution. (The Chinese Communists, it is to be noted, have three red banners, too: the General Line, the Great Leap Forward and the People's Communes.) The P.K.I also talks of the confrontation between the "new, emerging forces" of the world comprising 90 percent of the world population and the "old, established forces" making up only 10 percent. (Mao, it will be recalled, has long preached unity with 90 percent of the people against that 10 percent who represent "enemies.")
The main danger to the Communist world is revisionism, they conclude, and they cite Jugoslavia as a prime example. Jugoslav support for the 22nd Congress is a trick to sow "the poison of division" within the Communist camp. Jugoslavia is completely outside the pale, "a tool of American imperialism." Albania, on the other hand, is a genuinely socialist society, not to be ousted from the fraternity by Soviet fiat.
Some of these positions are taken from the Moscow Statement of 1960, but the particular themes chosen for emphasis are most revealing, as are the various parallels in tactics and strategy between the Indonesian and the Chinese parties. In recent months, moreover, the P.K.I. has reinforced its pro-Peking orientation by strongly supporting the Chinese position on Jugoslavia, the Indian border issue and Cuba. Aidit called the dismantling of missiles "a regrettable sacrifice" forced upon the Cubans against their will. His statement left no doubt concerning his party's support for a "tough line," and it was widely circulated by the Chinese. For Moscow, non- alignment in any form is difficult to accept, but the Indonesian variety must seem especially grim.
Can Soviet leaders take greater solace from the forms of neutralism exhibited by North Korea and North Viet Nam?
North Korea today is under the iron rule of one man, Kim Il-song. After more than a decade of fierce intra-party struggle, Kim appears to have leveled all opposition. At the top, there is only one significant faction in North Korean politics, the Kim faction, composed mainly of the old partisan fighters who served with Kim in Manchuria; they have one characteristic in common: complete loyalty to the leader. Kim, now 50 years of age, holds the posts of Premier, Marshal of the Korean People's Army and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party (K.W.P.), which claims over 1,300,000 members. North Korea is in the midst of a Stalinist phase of development.
The initial North Korean stand on Albania was that relations between the Soviet Communist Party and Albania were "abnormal," and that if this situation continued it would cause "grave damage" to the Communist movement. The solution, according to Kim, lay in discussions and mutual understanding, using the formula provided by the Moscow conferences of 1957 and 1960.
The questions of Stalin and the anti-party faction were internal affairs of the C.P.S.U. and, as such, not proper subjects for discussion by the K.W.P. At the same time, however, Stalin was a leader whose activities had exercised a great influence upon the international Communist movement, a man well known (and respected) by the people of the world. No picture or statue of Stalin was removed in North Korea.
In the fall of 1962, the North Koreans further exposed their views in public. Following the Sino-Albanian lead, Kim blasted Jugoslavia shortly after Soviet President Brezhnev's visit there. He called Jugoslav leaders flunkies of American imperialism, disrupters of socialist camp unity. And he went on to attack all "revisionists" as guilty of "slandering" socialist countries or fomenting plots against them. Taking direct aim at Khrushchev, Kim asserted that no socialist country could possibly intervene against, or impose its will upon, a fraternal ally.
The North Koreans gave full support to China against India and to Cuba against the United States. Significantly, Kim proclaimed that peace could not be begged for, but had to be won through struggle-by dealing the imperialists blows everywhere. Thus North Korean "neutralism" must also have an ominous ring in Soviet ears.
The tactics of the North Korean Communists following the 22nd Congress are also revealing. Selecting two ceremonial occasions, spaced only one day apart, they sought to portray their non-alignment unmistakably. On November 7, 1961, an effusive message of congratulations and praise was sent to Soviet leaders on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the October Revolution. On November 8, a message of congratulations was sent to the Albanian Workers' Party on the 20th anniversary of the founding of the party. This praised the Albanian Party for having struggled successfully to construct a progressive socialist state and having opposed courageously the imperialists "and their lackeys, the Jugoslav revisionists." Eternal friendship between the Korean and Albanian people was pledged "within the great family of the socialist camp headed by the U.S.S.R."
Before seeking to generalize upon the tactics of Communist neutralism, let us look briefly at the policies of the Workers' Party of North Viet Nam (V.W.P.), which has perhaps achieved the most perfect neutral position in public that was possible. Once again, this is an important Communist party. It is in firm control in North Viet Nam, has extended its cadres deeply into the south, renders "fraternal assistance" to the Pathet Lao and probably has substantial contacts in Cambodia. With about 500,000 members, it is the most significant Communist party in continental Southeast Asia. In Ho Chi Minh, moreover, it has a national treasure. This Communist veteran, now more than 70, can claim to have known Lenin. He antedates both Khrushchev and Mao. And perhaps as much as any Communist leader, Ho has held a dual image as nationalist and internationalist, as Father of the Country and experienced Comintern agent. The Communist world does not possess a better mediator, and Ho's talents have been extensively used in recent months-seemingly in vain.
In its official statement on the 22nd Congress, the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Workers' Party did not even mention Albania or the campaign against Stalin in the Soviet Union. Instead, the Soviet Party was eulogized for its achievements, and a pledge was made to strive endlessly for complete unity among members of the Communist camp "of which the Soviet Union is the center." Like North Korea, North Viet Nam on November 7 and 8, 1961, embraced both Russia and Albania. Nhan Dan (The People), central party organ, first published a message and an editorial giving strongest support to the U.S.S.R., the C.P.S.U. and its leaders. One day later, a message and editorial-accompanied by a picture of Hoxha-gave enthusiastic blessing to the Albanian Workers' Party. On November 9, moreover, Nhan Dan reported that an important omission had occurred in reporting the telegram sent to Albania and added the following sentence: "Under the principles of Marx-Leninism, your party has always struggled to strengthen its ranks and fought indefatigably against Jugoslav revisionism. The influence and prestige of your party among the masses of the Albanian people have daily grown."
Recent events suggest that the "perfect neutrality" of North Viet Nam may be in jeopardy. In October 1962, amidst the many crises involving the Communist world, a delegation from the Chinese National People's Congress, headed by Peng Chen, visited North Viet Nam. The speeches that ensued were models of cordiality. Peng asserted pointedly that Chinese-Vietnamese friendship had withstood all tests, survived despite great storms. Vietnamese spokesmen reciprocated by giving unstinting praise to "the correct foreign policy of the Chinese government and people," which, they asserted, had contributed to the strengthening of the socialist camp, the promotion of national liberation movements and the defense of world peace. Subsequently, Hanoi fully supported "the correct stand" of China on the Sino-Indian border conflict and also indicated its complete agreement with a policy of all-out support for Cuba.
Up to date, the Communist "neutralists" of Asia have pursued the following tactics:
1. The Soviet Union and the C.P.S.U. are to be regarded as the vanguard or center of the international Communist movement. This has reference to an objective fact, namely that the Soviet Union was the first country to pioneer with Communism and represents today the most advanced "socialist" society in indus trial, scientific and military terms. (But it does not necessarily follow that Nikita Khrushchev is the proper leader for the Soviet Union, or that Russian policies are currently correct.)
2. Approximately equal space should be given to the Soviet Union and Communist China, and roughly parallel wording should be used in reference to them. It is perhaps permissible to show somewhat greater veneration for the Soviet Union, as a mark of respect for age, experience and accomplishments. In the issues at stake, however, there can be no retreat.
3. All Communist states and parties should be praised in public-except Jugoslavia, which is to be treated as a revisionist, anti-Marxist state.
4. The emphasis should be upon the supreme importance of the unity of the twelve "fraternal socialist states" (Albania included); the obligation of every Communist party to assist in promoting that unity; and the employment of the techniques of inter-party relations spelled out in the Moscow Statement of 1960, the new bible of the international Communist movement. Within a single party, decision-making must be based upon "democratic centralism," and the minority must follow the majority. But between parties, decision-making must be based upon consultation, consensus and unanimity-procedures derived from the independence and equality of each Communist party.
Which other Communist parties of Eastern Asia can be placed in the same general category with those of Indonesia, North Korea and North Viet Nam?
Let us first consider the Communist Party of Japan (J.C.P.). None of the parties of Asia has had more trouble than it, and in a relative sense few are weaker, suggesting once again that the Communist movement has its greatest opportunities in the early stages of the modernization process. Normally, the Japanese Party polls less than 3 percent of the total Japanese vote. Moreover, it has been badly factionalized in recent years. But if currently it is weak and divided, it still exists in a nation that is strategically important to the world balance of power.
The evidence suggests that the J.C.P. belongs to the neutralist group, with clear indications that a leaning toward Peking has now developed among a majority of the leaders. In the past, the J.C.P. has been reluctant to take a forthright public stand or has been unable to do so because of internal differences. Official statements have generally been marked by silence on the burning issues or by cloudiness. Sanzo Nosaka, veteran Secretary- General and leader of the delegation to Moscow, did not touch upon Albania or de-Stalinization in his speech before the Congress, and barely mentioned the subject upon his return when he insisted that Communist parties, "linked by the blood of Marx-Leninism," had an indestructible unity which "no imperialist machinations could destroy."
On December 29, 1961, the party organ, Red Flag, published an editorial which cautiously implied a disapproval of Khrushchev's public criticism of Albania. It spoke of the "possibility, necessity and propriety" of coördinating views on the basis of the procedures outlined by the Moscow Statement of 1960. It also proclaimed that party members should study all relevant materials, indicating that the party intended to follow the Peking lead in publishing the documents of all parties to the dispute. The ringing plea for unity was sounded throughout the editorial, and there was no mention of the de-Stalinization issue.
In mid-January 1962 a leading Japanese Communist spokesman privately amplified the J.C.P. position.
The Albanian crisis, he said, was unexpected in so far as the J.C.P. delegation to the 22nd Congress was concerned. There had been no consultation or prior notification regarding the public criticism of Albanian leaders. The party was still studying this matter and was planning to issue the views of all parties, including the Albanian Workers' Party. Albania was not in the same category as Jugoslavia because all Communist parties had agreed that Jugoslavia was an enemy, whereas some 30 parties had not expressed any view on the question of Albania.
Further, the Japanese Communist Party supported the criticism of the cult of personality and of Stalin's weaknesses in this respect. With regard to Stalin, it recognized two facts: first, his achievements, especially in the establishment of socialism and in the war against Fascism; second, the dark side, especially in later years. Khrushchev had been very severe upon Stalin in order to demonstrate to his people that the C.P.S.U. would never again make the same mistake. Recently, however, Khrushchev had placed more emphasis than was desirable upon Stalin's faults.
In mid-1961, a small group of Communists left the J.C.P. and formed a separatist movement that took an anti-Stalinist, anti-Peking line. This group has repeatedly charged that a majority of party leaders back Peking on the critical issues. Recent actions and statements of the party, while generally guarded, emphatically support that contention. On issues ranging from the general problems of disarmament and peaceful coexistence to the specific problems of India and Cuba, its pronouncements currently have a pro-Peking flavor. Clearly, Khrushchev is in serious trouble with many Japanese comrades.
The picture within the Burmese Communist movement is even more chaotic. This movement has been openly split for more than a decade. There are the Red Flag Communists, a small group led by Thakin Soe which has been fighting the government since 1946. Mistakenly called Trotskyites, this group in fact represents indigenous Burmese Communists molded ideologically by the purist, creative, egocentric mind of Soe. Soe's theoretical inclinations, however, have long been away from men like Khrushchev. Meanwhile a rival group has existed, the White Flag Communists, led by Than Tun. It is this group that is recognized internationally as the Burmese Communist Party (B.C.P.). Finally, there are certain separate Marxist, proto-Communist associations, notably the National Unity Front (N.U.F.).
In the aftermath of the 22nd Congress, Soe's Red Flag Communists have conducted an all-out campaign against Khrushchev and the current Soviet leaders. At the end of 1961, the Youth Front, a group affiliated with Soe, announced that it intended to burn Khrushchev's effigy on January 1, 1962, because he was an "arch-revisionist." Immediately, Thein Pe Myint, veteran Marxist and currently affiliated with the N.U.F., attacked the Youth Front for its plans. Charges and countercharges flew fast. The Youth Front accused Thein Pe Myint of "Browderism," of being a traitor to the Marx- Leninist cause and of becoming a mercenary in the pay of the Rangoon Soviet Embassy. It asserted that as editor of the Vanguard, Thein Pe Myint had been given 1,000 Kyat by the Russian Embassy to publish "a highly scandalous article on Stalin" previously rejected.
The Burmese Government prohibited the burning of Khrushchev's effigy, but at its January 1 meeting, the Youth Front submitted a lengthy statement condemning the Russian Premier as a revisionist and "international opportunist." A black paper coffin labeled "The Corpse of Marxist Revisionism" was burned, as was a large box representing "The History of the C.P.S.U." 1960 revised edition. The Front also released a publication, "Marxism and the Traitor, Khrushchev." It supports Lenin and Stalin, bitterly attacks the current Russian leaders, and is also strongly critical of Mao and his associates. The Red Flag Communists, like the main stream of the National Student Federation in Japan, seem determined to be mad at almost everyone.
Both the Burmese Communist Party and the National Unity Front resisted the violently anti-Khrushchev (and anti-Mao) position of the Youth Front, but Khrushchev cannot necessarily count on their full support. The B.C.P. representative in Peking sent a congratulatory message to the Albanians in connection with their November 1961 anniversary. It would appear that they wish to be associated with the neutralist group. The N.U.F., on the other hand, has shown markedly pro-Soviet tendencies. Seemingly, all elements possible within the international Communist spectrum are currently represented in Burma.
Information about the attitudes and actions of the Communist movement elsewhere in Southeast Asia is sparse and often unreliable. However, the evidence generally points to gains for Peking. In Thailand, where the Communist movement appears to be growing, primary support comes from two sources: the Pathet Lao-Vietnamese Communist forces in the immediate vicinity-and Peking. Captured Communist leaders have indicated that their tactics and strategy are modeled extensively after the historic Chinese Communist experience: an appeal to the peasantry; the attempt to build a homogenized national-Communist movement, United Front in type; and the eventual establishment of an "independent base" from which to conduct military operations. Similar tactics prevail in the Communist movement of Malaysia. Communist leaders of this area, overwhelmingly Chinese in racial origin, also draw primary support from two sources: the Indonesian Communist Party and Communist China. Both the Thai and Malayan Communist parties, as noted earlier, sent congratulatory telegrams to Albania in November 1961.
Soviet losses in Southeast Asia have perhaps been offset to some extent by a recent victory scored within the Communist Party of India (C.P.I.). This victory did not come quickly or easily, nor was it complete. After many months of delay, however, the party finally set forth its official position in such a fashion as to align itself primarily with Moscow. And this was important. Despite its many difficulties, it is a major political force in India. In the February 1962 elections, the party maintained its position as the leading opposition to the massive Congress Party.
Until mid-1962, the Indian Communists had not been able to take an official party position on the issues of Albania and de-Stalinization due to serious internal differences of opinion. It has been obvious for many months that a loose "Center-Right" coalition controlled the party at national levels and that this coalition leaned toward Moscow. Like other Indian parties, however, the C.P.I, has been undergoing a significant change: leadership at the all-India level is giving way to state-based leadership, and this transition represents a strong centrifugal pull upon the party. In some states, such as West Bengal for example, local Communist leadership has been openly and vigorously "pro-China."
Until his death in January 1962, Ajoy Ghosh served as general secretary and moderator between factions. His public speech at the 22nd Congress ignored the burning issues, and there were indications that heated debates were going on within the Indian delegation. In the following months the national party organs published many speeches by Soviet leaders attacking the cult of personality and the Albanian leaders. No coverage was given to the opposition. On December 10, 1961, Ghosh published a lengthy statement on the 22nd Congress which was generally favorable to Moscow. It was cautiously worded and did not purport to be an official party position, but it clearly indicated Ghosh's personal leanings.
Meanwhile, Ghosh had become involved in an open dispute with Peking over the border issue. When the Indian Government charged the Chinese Communists with new border incursions in late November 1961, Ghosh issued a sharp demand on behalf of the C.P.I, that the Chinese Government stop such acts and in subsequent statements asserted that the Indian Government should defend its territory against aggression from any quarter. From this point until his death on January 13, 1962, Ghosh was involved in a running battle with Peking in which both sides used sharp words. The Peking radio strongly criticized Ghosh in the course of a 45-minute broadcast on the Indian problem; and in his last party appearance, on January 3, Ghosh firmly held his ground. He asserted that India's seizure of Goa had proven that the Indian Party's assessment of Indian foreign policy was correct and that of the Chinese Party was incorrect. He also bluntly stated that the Chinese charges against the Indian Party constituted an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a fraternal party. Ten days later, Ghosh was dead. It is not surprising that the Chinese note of sympathy was extremely brief.
Though Ghosh undoubtedly spoke for a majority of the party leaders there was strong opposition from the "left," as was illustrated by a number of events. The organ of the Kerala State Communist Party protested angrily against the removal of Stalin's body from the mausoleum. In an effort to reduce tension, E. M. S. Namboodiripad, Left-Centrist Kerala leader and later to become party general secretary, asserted that Soviet criticism of Stalin was not relevant to the Indian scene because the Indian Communist movement had felt only the "positive aspects" of Stalinism. A section of the Gujarat Party also openly condemned the excessive denigration of Stalin. And in West Bengal, a party journal significantly republished the fiery Hoxha reply to Khrushchev's attack. "Left" strength, which represented possibly one-third of the party leadership, was especially pronounced in West Bengal and Andhra, with sizable representation also in Kerala, the United Provinces and the Punjab.
The long-awaited meeting of the C.P.I. National Council was finally held at the end of April 1962. After a week of bitter wrangling, a compromise slate of officers was agreed upon. S. A. Dange, "rightist" and critic of China, was given the new post of Chairman, while Namboodiripad was appointed general secretary. But it proved impossible to issue a statement either on the recent elections or on the 22nd Congress. In late June, however, the Central Executive opened a five-day meeting to consider the ideological questions that had arisen. A draft resolution generally supporting Khrushchev was approved after a lengthy and bitter fight. This resolution in turn was approved by the National Council which met in Hyderabad August 14-20.
The official position of the Indian Communist Party on Albania and de- Stalinization can be summarized as follows:
Differences within the international Communist movement as a result of the striking new trends inaugurated by the 20th Congress were inevitable, but the Albanian attack upon Soviet leaders was regrettable and "highly unjustified." Only the imperialists and reactionaries of the world can profit from the present state of affairs in the international Communist movement. Differences should be resolved in accordance with the methods outlined by the Moscow Statement of 1960.
On the second of the two main issues, the cult of personality, the Soviet leaders are said to have acted with exceptional courage. It is necessary, of course, to keep both aspects of Stalin's character and role in mind. He was a great Marx-Leninist who made valuable contributions toward the building of socialism in the Soviet Union and the growth of the world Communist movement. These facts cannot be erased from history. At the same time, toward the later part of his life, the negative side of his character developed and the cult of personality went from bad to worse. Various excesses and crimes took place which had to be exposed. Indeed, more objective and self-critical examinations of this problem than have yet been undertaken need to be made. It was not denied that the struggle against Stalin created "a measure of confusion within the ranks of our party." While not necessarily endorsing every statement or action of the Soviet leaders in this connection, such as the removal of Stalin's body from the mausoleum or the change in names of cities, the party could, however, welcome and seek to emulate the basic Soviet trend toward greater party democracy in leadership and organization.
Read carefully, the statement of the Indian Communist Party indicated a tendency to conciliate the "left" and gave evidence of the extraordinary caution used in choosing each word and phrase. For this reason, much of the Indian press referred to the statement as a "compromise." However, it represented a "compromise" clearly leaning toward Moscow, reflecting the general balance of power prevailing within the top party echelons.
Then came the enlarged border conflict. On November 1, 1962, after two days of bitter debate, the C.P.I. National Council passed a resolution appealing to all Indians to unite in defense of the motherland against Chinese aggression. The pro-China element in the party had urged a resolution demanding immediate negotiations. But the anti-China faction won, apparently by a two-to-one margin, after a most acrimonious struggle. The Communist Party of India has never been so deeply divided.
Perhaps we are now in a position to formulate some general propositions about the struggle between the Soviet and Chinese Communists for ideological and political leadership of the Communist movement in Asia. In this struggle, Nikita Khrushchev is not at this point doing well. At present, he has the upper hand in Outer Mongolia and Ceylon (though the Ceylonese Communists have been rocked by recent events and appear uncertain as to course). Perhaps he can gain a lasting advantage in India, although the situation there is explosive for all Communist factions, domestic and foreign. But everywhere else-in Indonesia, North Korea, North Viet Nam, Japan, Burma, Thailand and Malaya-he has not been able to get acceptance of his position on Albania, de-Stalinization or various other issues, large and small. In general, the stance of these parties is one of non-alignment, but often a non-alignment that favors Peking.
Many Asian Communist leaders were antagonized by Khrushchev's decision to attack the Albanian leaders publicly and to seek to purge them. This action was privately interpreted as unilateral action on his part, Soviet "big power chauvinism" and direct interference in the internal affairs of another party. Some Asian Communists view Albania as a case of "There, but for the grace of China, go I."
The tactical answer to Khrushchev on Albania was conspicuous non-alignment. Using ceremonial occasions and cultural-economic missions a number of Asian Communist parties have signified very forcefully that they intend not to line up with either the Soviet Union or Albania (China). Meanwhile, an ideological answer has also been advanced: a commonwealth theory of bloc relations. Relying heavily upon the 1960 Moscow Statement, the neutrals have asserted that each Communist party must be completely free and equal; decision-making within the commonwealth must be based upon consultation, consensus and unanimity; while it is important to learn from others, each party must determine its own tactics and policies, based upon the particular needs and nature of its society.
The C.P.S.U. and its allies do not challenge this commonwealth thesis frontally. They simply maintain that the Hoxha group are false Marx- Leninists who have shown themselves unfit as "fraternal socialist comrades." Moreover, they ignore all signs of support for Albania, insisting that "almost all" Communist parties agree on the iniquities of the Albanian leaders.
The intensified de-Stalinization campaign has also been unpalatable to many Communist spokesmen in Asia. Here again the view was taken that it was an example of unilateralism, crudely executed and harmful to the world Communist movement, whatever its merits and its strategic value in terms of Soviet domestic politics. The tactical answer to Khrushchev on de- Stalinization was to grant the Soviet Union the right to make its own determination about Stalin in his role as a national leader (thereby adhering to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another party), but reserving the right for every Communist party to pass judgment on Stalin as an international leader. In this latter capacity, praise is given to Stalin for having contributed mightily in both ideological and political ways to the Asian revolution.
The Soviet Communists and their allies have resolutely rejected this approach to the Stalin issue. Khrushchev and others agree that Stalin's "positive qualities" should not be ignored, but the campaign of attack upon him continues. Moreover, Soviet spokesmen make it clear that there can be no distinction made between Stalin as national and international leader. His shortcomings at home were transmitted abroad, and caused serious harm to the international Communist movement. Thus the formula advanced by Communist leaders like Aidit and Kim is not acceptable to Moscow.
When, against the background of these issues, the crises involving India and Cuba emerged, most Asian Communist leaders demanded a policy of firmness and resolution that respected both the "correctness" and the full sovereignty of fraternal allies. The C.P.S.U. has never been under such close scrutiny by its fellow parties.
Four facts in particular help to account for the problem the Soviet Union faces in Asia.
The first is the physical presence of Communist China-a huge, new state, struggling with gigantic problems but doing it with defiant pride and determination. Under any ideological banner, China would cast a shadow over the rest of Asia to the full extent of its physical power. It is natural, things being as they are, that this shadow should fall heavily upon the Communist parties of North Korea and North Viet Nam, countries that share a common border with China. No doubt the Chinese have heightened their influence by an extensive program of economic and technical assistance to nearby states and "fraternal parties." Despite the serious domestic crises of recent years, Communist China has rendered major service to many states. Its aid to North Korea and North Viet Nam may exceed that of the Soviet Union at present, and probably aid of a different sort flows to the Communist parties of Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Malaya. It is significant that Communist "neutralism" generally follows the contours of the historic sphere of Chinese influence in days when China was powerful.
The degree to which Communist China can be a model for aspiring Asian Communists provides another gravitational pull toward Peking. In their march toward victory, the Maoists developed a serviceable tactic and strategy of revolution for much of the non-Western world: cultivation of the peasantry in order to acquire a mass base; the attempt to combine with the nationalist movement, if possible to capture its charismatic leader, in any case to seek to control it, combining 90 percent-"the people"-against 10 percent-"their enemies"; and, finally, the perfection of guerrilla-war techniques, combining force with politics.
These concepts are not original with Mao, but it was his disciples who made them work, and now they are being followed by most of the Asian Communist parties. This combines with the extraordinary ignorance of the Soviet Union concerning things Asian to eat heavily into Soviet influence among the contemporary generation of Asian revolutionaries.
Connected with this second factor is a third-the Chinese world view, which is more closely attuned to the interests and attitudes of most Asian Communists than that of the Soviet Union. Three main issues between China and Russia stand out: decision-making within the bloc; tactics and policies toward the West and toward the emergent, non-aligned nations; and assistance to be given "fraternal socialist allies." Despite the verbal agreements reached in Moscow in 1957 and 1960, none of these basic issues has been resolved.
For the moment, at least, China is cast in the role of foremost challenger of Soviet monolithism. The themes of equality, independence and separate routes to revolutionary success for each Communist party were pioneered both in theory and in action by the Chinese Communists; now they are the common property of other Asian parties. Naturally, these parties are attracted by the concept of decision-making within a party by means of "democratic centralism"; but they favor decision-making between parties by consensus and unanimity because, if applied, it gives them maximum protection-from the Soviet Union and from Communist China, too! And just as naturally, the Soviet Union must resent having to bear global responsibilities for the bloc without having primacy of power or rights, at least under the new legal framework of the Communist Commonwealth.
It is also understandable why Asian Communists who are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and feel thwarted, directly or indirectly, by American power, would want the Soviet Union to adopt the strongest possible anti- Western policy and give special priority for the "national liberation movement." The Soviet Union can compete with the United States directly, as a nation-state, in economic, political and military terms. Indeed, it must. But the Communists of North Viet Nam, for instance, like those of China herself, can compete only indirectly-as the world revolution is forwarded or as the Soviets successfully challenge American strength in one form or another. In their eyes any Soviet accommodation with the United States-or lethargy toward the emerging world-represents a threat to their own interests.
The Soviet Union, like the United States, faces the basic question of how to allocate its resources. Internal consumer demands, military competition with the United States, technical assistance to the non-aligned world and demands from the bloc all vie for support. The objective of most Communists outside the Soviet Union, and especially those in Asia, is to get Moscow to spend more and take maximum risks on their behalf. Thus when China twits Russia over whether the Russians are sacrificing enough for their Communist brothers-as, for example, in Cuba-many Asian comrades applaud.
In short, the Communists of China, because of the timing of their revolution and the circumstances under which it has developed, have vastly more in common in terms of world outlook with the Communists of the emerging world than those of the second-generation revolutionary leadership of Moscow-a Moscow, it might be added, that must now assume all of the solemnity and caution that accrue to any global leader.
There is a final consideration, one involving personality or perhaps "national character": Khrushchevian diplomacy is considered crude and overbearing and Soviet knowledge regarding Asia is felt to be inadequate, with the result that the Communist cause is damaged. It is an interesting fact that global power today is held by continental-mass societies-the United States, the Soviet Union and potentially China (perhaps even a United Europe). In contrast to an earlier period, when small countries often had world-wide power because they were buttressed by far-flung empires, the empire of the continental-mass society is largely within itself. Each of the three has a history of isolation, is relatively self- sufficient and hence is powerfully ethnocentric.
In this context, China has one advantage over the Soviet Union in Asia. Despite their ethnocentrism and xenophobia, the Chinese leaders do know much about their neighbors. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, is basically ignorant about the non-Western world, and Khrushchev often seems to ignore Asian Communist needs and sensitivities. This problem is magnified by the differences between first-generation and second-generation Communist leadership. The Asian Communist leaders, who are first-generation and intellectuals, find Khrushchev, a second-generation bureaucrat of peasant stock, impetuous and vulgar. The suavity of a Chou En-lai or the classical intellectualism of a Mao Tse-tung is more in tune with the contemporary Communist élite of Asia. One must not rule out personal and "esthetic" considerations like these in appraising the roles of Moscow versus Peking in the Communist world. The East-West division within the Communist ranks is in part a division in timing and in culture.
It would be wrong, however, to assume that the Communist leaders of Asia want to establish their independence from Moscow only to fall under the control of Peking. Many of them no doubt hope to make a virtue out of a necessity; they hope to establish a non-aligned position which will give them greater man?uvrability than any small Communist state or party has ever been able to attain. In this, of course, they share hopes with a number of their European comrades. It seems very likely, for example, that Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il-song desire to keep Chinese control at a minimum and if possible to play the classical role of the small buffer state between two major powers.
There is the great danger for the Communist parties in Asia that if Moscow and Peking exert increased pressure-and perhaps even if they do not-the Sino-Soviet cleavage will result in new or widened splits in every Communist movement. The evidence suggests strongly that what has already happened in India and Burma, and is indicated in North Viet Nam and Japan, is occurring almost everywhere. This is the major reason, of course, why the Asian Communists have exerted the greatest pressure to ensure that the tactics of dispute will not create harmful explosions even if the issues themselves cannot be resolved.
Thus Sino-Soviet differences offer one major opportunity for the "small" Communists, and hold out one major threat. The opportunity is to secure greater independence through non-alignment; the threat is internal schism. Both are now apparent on the Asian Communist horizon.
What are the implications of these facts for American foreign policy? In some respects we face significant new dangers. Generally speaking, Communism has succeeded in Asia only where it has been able to capture and use the nationalist movement. It may find greater opportunities to do this under present circumstances. In earlier times when international Communism was monolithic and centered in Moscow it was difficult for a foreign Communist party to take on the image of nationalism and independence or to follow pragmatic and realistic policies suited to local conditions. Asia is strewn with the remains of Communist men and movements that fell in the service of the Soviet Union-only to be repudiated by Soviet leaders in the end because they had failed. Now we are in a new era. In many parts of the world Communism is developing a greater rapport with its own society and increased flexibility in tactics and strategy, while at the same time retaining its thorough commitment to internationalism.
There has been much talk about peaceful competition between the Communist and non-Communist worlds. In the political sphere, the competition that may be truly decisive may depend on which side combines most successfully the forces of nationalism, regionalism and internationalism. At times like these both we and the Communists must experiment with new political forms- commonwealths, leagues and unions. Nationalism is still strong; indeed, it is only now reaching its full strength in many parts of the world, and to minimize or ignore it as a continuing political force is to face defeat. Yet the wave of the future is not nationalism, but larger and more complex political and economic forms. Power will lie with those who succeed in unifying, adjusting and manipulating the largest combination of political forces with minimum friction and maximum efficiency. Monolithism will die hard, but die it will. Who will find the most appropriate method of organizing and legitimizing supranational authority in the years ahead? The Communists have not yet found the answers, but no one can doubt that they have identified the problem and are working on it. We must address ourselves to it at once.
A second fundamental issue is how we should respond to the schisms and "heresies" emerging in the Communist movement in this new, transitional era. A sophisticated policy should, it would seem, include two broad elements:
We should expand our communication with the Afro-Asian "left." Not since the Bolshevik Revolution have the elements that want rapid and drastic change in the world been so uncertain of old dogma and so willing to listen to new ideas. The conditions in the non-Western world today are conducive to radicalism, but we can play a major role in making this radicalism more independent, creative and realistic.
We should no longer base our policies upon a theory of the monolithic bloc or the monolithic Communist state, but adopt more complex foreign policies based on the fact that not only the Communist bloc but each individual Communist state contains many divisions that can be affected by American and other external policy decisions.