Courtesy Reuters

Khrushchev's Party Congress

During the Party Congress, which met in the new Kremlin theater from October 17 through October 31, the attention of the world was divided almost equally between the vivid and almost daily attacks on the "antiparty group" of Khrushchev's repentant and unrepentant rivals and the clear if somewhat muffled Sino-Soviet divergences over revolutionary strategy. The first of these "sensations" was obviously orchestrated in advance, and each spokesman for the central leadership was assigned a larger or smaller dose of "revelations" to pepper up the otherwise somewhat routine speeches. The second, which came to a head early on in a dispute over the future treatment of the recalcitrant Albanian Party, was clearly unplanned, and it has left a wide-open field for speculation about its implications for the future.

The questions that most concern people living beyond the writ of Communist power are somewhat different, and to them only indirect answers are suggested by the published reports of the Congress proceedings. One of them is: Has the struggle for leadership in the Soviet Party been ended, or is Khrushchev's power challenged from within? Another: Is his dominance of the Communist bloc stronger or weaker than it was in December 1960, at the issuance of the Declaration of Eighty-one Parties? And finally: Does the Congress offer any useful clues to Khrushchev's strategy and tactics of the next few months in the sphere of world politics?

The adoption of the new Party Program "for the building of Communism" in the next 20 years sets very high, popular and impressive goals for the Soviet economy. Thrusting to one side doctrinaire disputes over whether the collective farms should be merged into the system of state farms, and whether or not to prohibit the free market for the sale of surplus foodstuffs, the program promises to maintain strong incentives of differential wages for better work, but it also provides for a gradual expansion of "free" services to be provided out of the state budget. For example, textbooks and other school supplies, which

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