THE declaration issued by 81 Communist parties in Moscow last December 6 marks a seminal date in the history of international Communism. For the first time in the history of the Soviet bloc a conference of Communist leaders ended not merely with the usual "unanimous agreement" but also with a silent agreement to disagree. For the first time in about 35 years the general strategy of the Communist parties scattered around the globe is no longer to be set purely in terms of Soviet estimates of what will most benefit the interests of the Soviet Union. Cast aside is Stalin's categorical dictum that "a revolutionary is he who, without arguments, unconditionally, openly and honestly . . . is ready to defend and strengthen the U.S.S.R . . . . " What is good for the Soviet Union is no longer automatically also good for the Soviet bloc and for International Communism.

The Moscow conference thus highlights a process of transformation of the Soviet bloc into a Communist one. This process was inherent in the shift of Soviet power beyond the Soviet frontiers. However, Stalinism, with its insistence on absolute centralization of power in Moscow and on Soviet ideological infallibility, involved a conscious effort to prevent such a transformation. In fact, Stalin did not fear only national Communism--he even rejected its much more subdued variant, "domesticism," i.e. the effort to make some domestic adjustments while accepting the principle of bloc unity and absolute Soviet leadership.

The Jugoslav break in 1948 was the first signal that an international Communist system could not work effectively merely by applying Stalinist domestic practices to the new Soviet bloc. The change became more rapid after Stalin's death. Several factors prompted it. The new ruling Communist élites in East Europe gradually--and not everywhere at first--became somewhat more confident of their ability to build "socialism," especially if given sufficient leeway to make some domestic adjustments. The presence of an indigenous and independent Communist régime in China "objectively" (as the Marxists would put it) strengthened the case of those within the ruling élites who felt that perhaps Stalinism should be viewed as a transitional phase leading to a more genuine Communist internationalism rather than as an enduring prescription. Another factor prompting change was the accumulated tension of popular, national reaction against Soviet domination--a sentiment which local Communist leaders could not afford wholly to ignore.

In response to these pressures, the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, particularly from the time of Khrushchev's ascendancy, began to search for a new formula for unity of the Soviet bloc. The years 1954-1960 can be said to have been dominated by this search. Khrushchev and Bulganin were the first Soviet leaders to visit China, where they sought to warm the frigid relationship created by Stalin's reserve. Later, the Soviet leaders attempted to repair the break with Jugoslavia. They talked of "many ways to socialism." However, the search for unity clearly did not mean that the Soviet leaders were prepared to preside over the dissolution of the bloc. It is evident in retrospect that Khrushchev hoped the bloc could be transformed into a comity of states led by the U.S.S.R. but not terrorized by it. Marxist-Leninist ideology would be the common bond and the source of unanimity.

These efforts were opposed at home and abroad. Some of Khrushchev's colleagues felt that Soviet leadership would be undermined. Others warned that too rapid reform could lead to crises. The vacillations in Soviet policy during this period reflected these conflicting assessments and the sudden pressures of unexpected events. The change in Poland, the eruptions in Hungary, Khrushchev's realization that Tito was not interested in shoring up the Soviet bloc but in sharing in its leadership, all resulted in hesitations and often in retrogressive steps. The secret circular letter in August 1956 warned the other parties not to follow the Jugoslav path, and after the Polish and Hungarian outbreaks the Soviet leadership began to seek some organizational device to substitute for the Cominform, which had been abolished in 1956 because it was thought to be outmoded.

From 1957 on, the focus of the problem increasingly shifted eastward. The Chinese leaders shared Khrushchev's desire to create a healthier camp. Just a year earlier they had encouraged the Soviets to improve their relations with the Poles, even while recommending the suppression of the Hungarian revolution. Subsequently the Chinese joined Khrushchev in containing Polish diversity and in November 1957 they helped Khrushchev obtain Polish recognition of Soviet leadership of the camp. Mao Tse-tung personally insisted that Communist unity required an affirmation of Soviet leadership. Yet helping to consolidate the bloc did not mean to the Chinese that they should remain silent on the various issues facing it. On the contrary, in the course of helping Khrushchev, they appear to have become convinced that the post-Stalin leadership needed further advice from experienced revolutionaries like themselves. Liu Shao-chi alluded to this last year when he is reported to have stated that Peking had been concerned for some years with the indecisiveness and vacillations of the Soviet régime since Stalin.

In the fall of 1957 an event occurred which quickly assumed overwhelming importance in the Chinese perspective on world affairs and which colored subsequent Sino-Soviet relations. The successful Soviet firing of the I.C.B.M., followed by the launching of a sputnik, was interpreted by the Chinese as signalling a decisive shift in the balance of military power between East and West. The east wind was prevailing, Mao Tse-tung proclaimed. In his view the Soviet Union now had the means to effect further revolutionary changes in the world, in spite of the militarization of imperialism. But if the means were available in Moscow, the will seemed strangely lacking. The Chinese, therefore, felt duty-bound to infuse international Communism with the will to prevail. Bloc unity was the essential point of departure but still a means and not an end. Nothing could be done without unity, but unity should not become a substitute for action. Indeed, vigorous action against the common enemy could forge even greater unity than reliance on increased Soviet economic aid to the various Communist régimes or the elimination of the more obtrusive signs of Soviet domination. The almost simultaneous shift in intra-party politics in China in favor of a more radical wing and the great leap forward provided the domestic underpinning for these views of the international scene.

The Chinese did not desire war per se, but they were convinced that increased pressure on the West, including that of local wars, was justified and that the West would yield step by step. Furthermore, the Chinese feared that fear of war would inevitably lead to the fear of revolution and hence to the extinction of revolutionary zeal in the international movement itself. As a result, they did not hesitate in 1960 to characterize the conception of "a peaceful transition to socialism," propounded by Khrushchev in 1956, as "stupid." They felt that continuous pressure by the militarily superior Soviet bloc would encourage revolutionary upheavals, particularly in the colonial areas. The disintegration of imperialism would soon follow.

The Soviets welcomed the Chinese aid in reconsolidating the bloc. However, in assessing the nature of the present phase of world history, the Soviets tended to see their opportunities in a somewhat different light. Their acquisition of nuclear weapons, and particularly of a delivery capability, forced them to rethink their earlier military assumptions and gave them a greater appreciation of the dangers of mutual annihilation. As a result, the Soviet leaders very carefully abstained from repeating Mao's claim that they had reached a turning point; they have merely reiterated that there is a definite shift in favor of "socialism." In their view, the military balance of destructive capabilities is in itself a new and important step forward. It makes possible the encouragement of revolutionary trends in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the deterrence of Western counter-actions in these areas. At the same time the I.C.B.M.s could be exploited politically: in recent years the Soviet Union has threatened nuclear destruction against its neighbors on at least 40 different occasions. In addition, under the protective shield of military power, the Soviet bloc could now bring to bear a new and vitally important factor--its economic strength and technical skill. The combination of mutual military paralysis, political revolutions and Communist economic power would prevail, without the risk of provoking a desperate reaction from the West.

These basic disagreements were reflected in a host of specific issues. In 1958 China urged a more aggressive attitude in the Middle East crisis and later ignited a new campaign for Taiwan; in 1959-60 there were agitated ideological debates on the significance of the Chinese pattern of revolution as a model for other nations; in 1960 China showed a distinct lack of enthusiasm for Soviet participation in disarmament talks; during 1958-60 there were growing divergencies concerning "revisionism" and its implications. Many of these conflicts were veiled in euphemistic terms, but it required no exegesis to recognize their meaning. They were accompanied by a marked decline in Chinese-Soviet cultural exchanges, and there were even hints of some uncertainties on the subject of the Sino-Soviet frontier.

It is obvious that different degrees of alienation and involvement in international affairs, the disparity in stages of economic, social and revolutionary development, as well as such specific matters as unsatisfied territorial ambitions (e.g. Taiwan) provided the environmental background for such differences. Furthermore, it is very important to realize that the conscious commitments of the two régimes to a jointly shared Weltanschaung makes any disagreement between them even more intense. The purposeful effort to define reality and stages of historical change makes consensus more difficult, especially in the absence of a powerful arbiter such as Stalin. In the Communist outlook, general questions of interpretation are usually the points of departure for more specific strategies and tactics. For that reason it is more difficult in some respects for Communist parties to reach consensus, once they are able to assert their independence, than for Anglo-Saxon nations whose approach is pragmatic and not so concerned with conceptualization or long-range goals.

At the same time these disagreements over appropriate strategy and tactics operate within the framework of a larger agreement--namely a mutual method for assessing reality and a common objective. In effect, the common ideology, which defines mutual ends and selects common enemies, and which can be a source of intense friction, also serves to limit the dispute and prevents it from erupting into an open split. In the case of the Sino-Soviet divergencies of the last three years, it would appear that the dispute was confined by three limits, consciously observed by the parties involved: 1) Both sides have recognized that both would lose by an open split, hence that unity must be preserved; 2) each realized that the other's leadership is firmly entrenched and that, for better or for worse, Khrushchev would have to deal with Mao Tse-tung and vice versa, a situation quite unlike the one which prevailed in 1948 when Stalin calculated that Tito would fall from power after an open split; 3) the Chinese, for the time being at least, have striven to reassure the Soviets that they are not trying to displace them as leaders of the bloc but are merely anxious to persuade them to adopt a different strategy. The Chinese presumably realized that they could not, at this stage, replace the Soviets as leader since they do not possess the means to enforce such leadership.

The foregoing limits, however, have tended to make the weaker party stronger and the stronger weaker in as much as the partner who is better able to demonstrate overtly his disregard for unity has the advantage of initiative. The burden of responding in kind, thereby further straining unity, or of compromising, rested on the more passive of the two. Furthermore, it can be argued that subjectively the Soviet Union stands to lose more by an open split than China since so much of the international prestige of the Soviet Union and the internal strength of the régime rest on its role as leader of a united bloc of one billion people marching together toward Communism. Indeed, with two partners desiring unity, the one who can appear to be less cautious about preserving it might well gain the upper hand. Thus in the internal bargaining that has recently gone on between the two parties, the immense military and economic preponderance of the Soviet Union has probably not been decisive. China has been able to persist in her views and even to voice them openly. At the Moscow conference of November-December 1960 and also at the earlier July session in Bucharest, the Chinese delegation openly assaulted Khrushchev's policies, despite obvious Soviet displeasure.

The Moscow conference, however, was not a Chinese victory. If, in terms of the crucial issues, the statement issued by the 81 parties is carefully compared with earlier Soviet and Chinese pronouncements,[i] one finds that by and large the Soviet formulations have prevailed, with some adjustments to meet Chinese objections. It may be surmised that the somewhat greater emphasis on the dangers of war and on the aggressiveness of American imperialism, on the relevance of China to the revolutions in Asia, Latin America and Africa, on the militant character of national liberation struggles, and the direct condemnation of Jugoslav revisionism, all involved adjustment to the Chinese point of view. But on a larger number of issues the statement bears greater resemblance to earlier Soviet positions. This is so with respect to such matters as: the decisive character of economic development and the role of the "socialist world system" in shaping our age; the destructiveness of war (its horrors were explicitly reiterated); the significance of peaceful coexistence and the possibility of the prevention of war; the importance of the 20th and 21st C.P.S.U. Congresses, and the universal relevance of Soviet experience; the peaceful transition to socialism, the character of "national democracy" and the evils of dogmatism. This impression is corroborated by the unusually frank account of the conference provided by Walter Ulbricht's speech printed in Neues Deutschland of December 18. In it he indicates clearly what the controversial issues were and how the various points were resolved.

There appears to be a twofold reason for the relative Soviet success. The first is rooted in the nature of the Chinese position; the second involves the bargaining process in the meeting itself. Because China is more radically hostile to the outside world, her freedom of action is more limited, even if initially the Chinese succeeded in putting the Soviet leadership on the defensive. Given their impatience in dealing with the West, the Chinese leaders would probably shrink from actually splitting the Communist bloc, since in their minds the chief beneficiaries of such a split would be the United States and "imperialism" in general. Thus the range of their bluffing is limited. Furthermore, since their overt support consisted only of the Albanians and a few of the non-ruling parties, a split, or even the threat of a split, could not bring about the desired Chinese objective: a change in the line pursued by International Communism.

The Moscow conference thus had the important effect of articulating a common line for the various parties, and of narrowing somewhat the cleavage between the Soviets and the Chinese. Explicit limits to unilateral action by any one party were adopted and the principle of interference in the internal affairs of member parties for the first time was formally established. Unlike the November 1957 statement of the 12 ruling parties, which stressed "non-interference in one another's affairs," the 1960 declaration states: "When this or that party raises questions about the activity of another fraternal party, its leadership turns to the leadership of the party in question and, when necessary, meetings and consultations are held." It goes without saying that the principle of interference is likely to benefit the stronger rather than the weaker parties. In his report on the conference, Ulbricht apparently alluded to the Chinese when he stated that "there were objections to the formulation 'general line.' However, if we abandon this principle of 'general line,' vacillations may occur in complicated situations, such as in border problems."

At the same time, the length of the conference and the apparently calculated ambiguity of some parts of the statement suggest clearly that while the Sino-Soviet relationship remains based on common, conscious emphasis on unity, an element of divergence is inherent in the fact that both parties are independent and organizationally distinct. While it is likely that henceforth disagreements between them will be more muted and harder to detect, the relationship of divergent unity between them is likely to persist and could easily erupt anew into an open dialogue. The different emphases put on the Moscow statement by subsequent commentaries in Pravda, Trybuna Ludu or Neues Deutschland, on the one hand, and in Hsinhua or Zeri I Popullit, on the other, portend continuing dissension.


The changes that have taken place, and are continuing to take place, within the Communist world have important policy implications for the West. In analyzing these changes, we should abandon the tendency to operate in simple and extreme terms. The bloc is not splitting and is not likely to split. Talk of a Sino-Soviet conflict, of even a war between them, merely illustrates a profound misconception of the essence of the historical phenomenon of Communism, which, while affected by traditional national considerations, has from its very beginning reflected a conscious emphasis on supra-national perspectives. Similarly, a change within the Soviet bloc should not be viewed as presaging its distintegration or, conversely, its soon becoming one Communist state. The tendency to see the bloc in terms of such extremes simply obscures the important, if less dramatic, changes within it.

For years the Soviet bloc was in effect an international system run by one national Communist party. Today, it is becoming a Communist camp, with the various member régimes participating more actively in the important process of defining the camp's "general line." The events of 1956 served to reassure the Communist chiefs that the West was either unable or unwilling to challenge their domestic power, while the Sino-Soviet "divergent unity" achieved within the bloc meant that opportunities have now been created for more manœuvre, without running the risk of expulsion or condemnation as a deviationist.

The last Moscow conference, as well as subsequent events, bear this out. The leaders of the smaller parties, as for instance, Gomulka, played a more active role than ever before and have been reliably credited with strongly influencing the Soviet course. Some leaders, like Togliatti, could afford to show their misgivings about the conference by staying away from it. Some of the Latin American representatives offered amendments to the draft of the conference. Others, like the Albanians, could choose to defy the Soviets, even at the risk of incurring the wrath of pro-Soviet parties. It is symptomatic of the new conditions that Ulbricht broke all precedents to accuse the Albanian party leadership in public and in print, of "sectarianism" and "dogmatism." Yet both Albania and East Germany remained bona fide members of the bloc. Similarly, on the occasion of the Chinese anniversary, the Chinese sent the Albanians greetings that were both warm and personal--qualities missing from similar messages to Moscow and elsewhere, and notably lacking in Moscow's New Year's message to the Albanians. Similarly, in the course of the recent Albanian Party Congress, the C.P.S.U. refrained from greeting Enver Hoxha, while the Chinese heaped praise on the Albanian leader. Still, the Soviet boycott of the Albanian party chief took place within the framework of the camp. The prolonged and successful defiance of the most powerful party by one of the smallest could have infectious consequences, irrespective of the specific issues involved in this case.

Apart from the more overt sympathies of some parties for Moscow or Peking, there are now pro-Soviet or pro-Chinese factions within most parties. Also, for the first time in the history of the bloc, the various national leaders can quietly exercise options within the bloc itself, rather than having either to choose unity, ergo subordination, or a split. In effect, the smaller parties can take advantage of the implicit agreement of the two major ones to disagree.

As a result, relations between the Soviet Union and the Communist states and parties vary greatly. In the past one pattern generally prevailed: close subordination or open hostility (e.g. Jugoslavia). Now, there is far greater diversity. In the Soviet-Polish relationship, state and party ties are good, while the Poles enjoy some domestic autonomy. On the other hand, East Germany and Czechoslovakia are completely subordinate to the Soviet Union, while state and party relations are also excellent. State and party ties with North Viet Nam are good despite its earlier dependence on China. With China itself there are good state relations but disagreements between the ruling parties. Finally, with Albania, there are correct state relations but apparent frigidity in party relations.

Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of a further change was the reversal of the Soviet attitude toward some organizational expression of unity, like the Comintern or the Cominform. Previously the Soviet leadership desired such an institution as a means of strengthening its hand. At the conference Khrushchev is reliably reported to have opposed the very thing he earlier promoted--precisely in order to protect Soviet leadership! In the days when Soviet freedom of initiative was almost unlimited--particularly in the international arena--a Cominform type of organization was useful in ensuring that the other parties followed loyally. The protracted discussions in Moscow made the Soviet leaders sensitive to the possibility that today such an organization could limit their freedom of manœuvre. They thus preferred to rely on ad hoc multilateral meetings of party chiefs, meetings which need not be called regularly and which would be less likely to interfere with Soviet international activity.

Furthermore, if Khrushchev's version of the conference can be trusted, it was the Soviet delegation which suggested that the conference no longer refer to the Soviet party as the leader of the camp. In 1957, the Soviets, supported by the Chinese, had insisted on this designation since the status of leadership helped to ensure automatic support for any Soviet initiatives. But today, as Khrushchev put it, "the fact that we are called the leader gives no advantages either to our party or to other parties. On the contrary, it only creates difficulties." One may surmise that the elimination of such a reference could forestall any Chinese claim to co-leadership of the camp. In fact, the Soviets might be arguing that if the Chinese want a united, militant bloc, they should respect in practice the Soviet line. Another difficulty which Khrushchev might have had in mind was the danger that the other parties could claim that the formal status of leader puts the C.P.S.U. under special responsibility to its followers, and perhaps Soviet freedom of action would be greater without such a formal designation. Finally, the status of leader implied responsibility for actions which the Soviets could not control (e.g. China towards India). In any event, the Kremlin could be certain that parties fully loyal to it would continue to do its bidding. The East Germans, for instance, have continued to make references to Soviet leadership even though the conference used the vaguer term "vanguard" to describe the role of the C.P.S.U.

This role should not be minimized. As Khrushchev put it in his January address: " . . . the Communist parties must synchronize their watches. When someone's clock is fast or slow, it is regulated so that it shows the correct time. Similarly, it is necessary to check the time of the Communist movement . . . " The emphasis in the statement of the conference on the fundamental importance of the C.P.S.U.'s experience left no doubt that its clock was to be the Greenwich Mean Time of international Communism. None the less, the absence of a formally designated leader, capable of acting as arbiter, is bound to complicate further the internal situation in the Communist world, even if abroad it makes the camp look more "democratic." While bringing to bear on any issue its own power, the Soviet leadership must now, to a far greater extent, anticipate the reactions of its followers, especially in view of some of the available options.

The Moscow conference may thus be the end of Khrushchev's search for a new relationship with the bloc. But he did not find what he sought. Indeed, there appears to be a curious and striking parallel between the Eisenhower and Khrushchev records. Both men strove to bolster the power of their countries by making more stable alliances. Yet, in spite of their efforts, or perhaps because of them, they each appear to have presided over a decline in the independent power of their respective nations. Nor did the conference fulfill Chinese hopes. Instead of achieving united militancy, they have contributed to greater heterogeneity within the bloc.

This heterogeneity involves both advantages and liabilities. By appearing less autocratic and more flexible, the Communist camp can now support more effectively the pseudo-Marxist régimes in Cuba or Guinea and encourage others in a similar direction. Thus a new type of expansion--indirect--may replace the old, direct type. Many of the new nations throughout the world are not only nationalistic in the nineteenth century sense; they are ideologically oriented and think in social and economic terms similar to those of Marxists. They use words like "imperialism" and "capitalism" much as the Soviets do. And modernization, which they seek, does not mean to them political democracy. The relationship of the Soviet Union and of the other camp members to these new states is already one of courtship and not of Stalin-like domination. In this relationship, the Poles, the Czechs, the East Germans, can be of great help to the Communist cause. They civilize Soviet Communism, their social and cultural level makes it more appealing, while the greater internal diversity within the camp makes Communism seem less threatening to the newly independent states.

At the same time, the new external strategy is likely to further the internal processes of change within the camp. One may increasingly expect Soviet allies helping to court a Cuba or a Guinea to seek a "most-favored-nation clause" from the Soviet Union, much the way the East Germans did when the U.S.S.R. was courting Gomulka's Poland in 1956, or the way that Latin American states have recently done with the United States, after watching our Marshall Plan aid going to Europe. This is all the more likely because of the new opportunities created for internal manœuvring by the various parties. And these opportunities will probably increase when China acquires a nuclear capability.

From a Western point of view, a prolonged situation of formal Sino-Soviet unity with some degree of divergence is distinctly preferable to an open rupture. A thoroughgoing split would bode ill for the world. The Soviet Union can afford to tolerate within the camp a dissident but lonely China. Thus a break involving expulsion from the bloc could occur only if China were sufficiently strong to threaten Soviet leadership and to carry with it a significant number of Communist parties. A China capable of unilateral action could be very dangerous. The danger is no less if China should feel strong enough to leave the bloc on its own initiative. Presumably it would do so only if its leaders felt confident of their ability to go it alone and to influence the course of events more effectively outside the bloc.

In either case, the Chinese would be in control of a significant portion of the international Communist movement. They could thus effectively develop a more actively militant line and presumably back it with their own resources. The Western reaction would necessarily involve a more militant posture also, perhaps the use of force, certainly higher military budgets. Under those circumstances, the Soviet Union would have to follow suit, lest the West gain an over-all military preponderance. Furthermore, the C.P.S.U. would inescapably be forced to condemn Western countermoves to Chinese initiatives, for not to do so would involve an insupportable loss in Soviet revolutionary prestige and probably precipitate further defections to the Chinese side. Hence, a break in the partnership would gradually push the Soviet Union toward more radical attitudes in an effort to regain leadership of the Communist camp. In a world polarized in open hostility between the United States and China, the Soviet Union could not afford therefore to be neutral, and certainly could not side with the United States.

The most advantageous situation from the Western standpoint is one which involves a gradual adjustment of the common Marxist-Leninist ideology to the divergent perspectives of its various subscribers. The existence of the Sino-Soviet dialogue has already forced the Soviet leaders to think through what was formerly only a generalized statement that a war would be disastrous; it has contributed a great deal to increased Soviet sophistication on the subject of nuclear weapons. Unanimity is often a shield for ignorance and, if for no other reason than to argue with Liu Shao-chi, Khrushchev probably had to read some RAND studies! In his emphasis on the destructiveness of a nuclear war he has come close to admitting that a purely subjective factor, such as someone's decision to start a war, can possibly interfere with an immutable historical process. This necessarily involves a gradual relativization of the formerly absolutist ideology.

Furthermore, divorced from a single power center, this ideology is more and more stretched to embrace the diverse experiences and perspectives of élites, whether on the banks of the Elbe or the 38th Parallel. Increasingly each party becomes confident that its interpretation of the common doctrine is the correct one. Ulbricht highlighted this dilemma when he stated in his account of the Moscow conference that "somebody has raised the question as to who is the one who determines what is truth, and what complies with the principles of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine." There is no easy answer. Stalin was once the ideological arbiter and he possessed the power to enforce his interpretations. Today, the alternative to splits between the parties is some form of adjustment. Yet such adjustments mean that the formerly absolutist ideology is becoming increasingly a relative one.

The Communist leaders are aware that relativization could lead to dangerous erosion. To counteract it they are promoting closer economic ties and integration of the various members of their camp. In his speech of January 6, Khrushchev gave special attention to the problem of unity, insisting that all parties must continuously strive for it and asserting that the C.P.S.U. has made "every effort" to maintain unity with the Chinese. The Communist leaders are seeking rapid external victories to keep afire the sense of an inevitable and worldwide triumph. But the changes that have taken place within the Communist world were inherent in its expansion and can be viewed as part of the process of differentiation which all large-scale social organizations experience. The West had little directly to do with the emergence of these changes and precipitous moves overtly designed to promote splits will only push the Communist régimes together.

The West can, however, strive to create favorable conditions for the further growth of the diversity which has developed within the Communist camp. We should, for instance, explore the possibility of recognizing Mongolia, thereby encouraging the growth of a sense of independent statehood which almost certainly would lead to more assertive nationalism. We should reexamine critically our policy of non-recognition of the Oder-Neisse line, since this policy helps to inhibit any Polish régime from "playing the game" of using the Sino-Soviet divergence for the consolidation of its domestic autonomy, and instead forces it to bolster its patron and only source of security, the Soviet Union. We should encourage some of our allies to exploit more the traditional bonds of friendship which have existed between them and some of the nations presently within the Communist camp. We should continue to address ourselves directly to the Communist-controlled peoples, thereby encouraging domestic pressures for change which each régime must now consider, given the greater flexibility of the camp. Finally, we should not make concessions to Khrushchev on such issues as Berlin, in the mistaken hope of bolstering him, but in effect depriving him of the argument which he has used against the Chinese--namely, that excessive pressure on the West might lead to a dangerous war. We should consider all these measures, and more. But perhaps it would suffice to note that the Soviet bloc is not immune to the flow of history in the name of which the Communists claim to act. The prophets of history may be gradually becoming its prisoners--and the time has now come for the West to prod history along.

[i] For instance, O. V. Kuusinen's important work, "Foundations of Marxism-Leninism," published early in 1960, and Soviet and Chinese statements on the occasion of Lenin's anniversary last year. The Moscow statement itself was apparently prepared originally by the C.P.S.U. This preliminary draft was then reviewed in October by an editorial commission representing 26 parties (including all 12 from the bloc) before submission to the conference as a whole.

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  • ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, Associate Professor of Public Law and Government, the Russian Institute, Columbia University; former Associate of the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; author of "The Permanent Purge," "The Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict" and other works
  • More By Zbigniew Brzezinski