What Russia Got Wrong
Can Moscow Learn From Its Failures in Ukraine?
GENOA REVISITED: RUSSIA AND COEXISTENCE
HALF a century ago, on April 10, 1922, Luigi Facta, Prime Minister of Italy, solemnly opened the International Economic Conference at Genoa. Lloyd George, the prime mover of the Conference, was among the first speakers. He called it "the greatest gathering of European nations which has ever assembled," aimed at seeking in common "the best methods of restoring the shattered prosperity of this continent."
Though this rather remote event has by now been forgotten by many, the evocation of it is justified. For a study of Soviet attitudes at that. Conference throws light on the origins and evolution of the notion of the peaceful coexistence between countries having different economic and social systems, a major concept of Soviet foreign policy which no serious student of international affairs can nowadays afford to ignore. Therefore, to look at Genoa afresh from this particular angle may perhaps add to the understanding of Soviet foreign policy and economic diplomacy, including their more recent manifestations.[i] The author was also anxious to assess the relevance of this first multilateral encounter between Soviet Russia and the Western world to current efforts, a half-century after Genoa, aimed at promoting coöperation across the dividing line. To undertake the task in these pages is not unfitting: the first issue of Foreign Affairs, published only a few months after the Conference, carried a then anonymous article by "K" entitled "Russian After Genoa and The Hague," written in masterly fashion by the review's first Editor, Professor Archibald Gary Coolidge. I am grateful for having the privilege, on the eve of the golden jubilee of Foreign Affairs, to revert to this early theme, even if from a different standpoint and at a more comfortable historic distance.[ii]
The Genoa Conference was convened as a result of a set of resolutions passed by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers meeting at Cannes in January 1922. The principal among these was Mr. Lloyd George's Resolution. In the form in which the draft was adopted on January 6, it provided for the summoning of an Economic and Financial Conference "as an urgent and essential step towards the economic reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe." All European states, including the former Central Powers, were asked to attend. Special decisions were adopted to invite Russia and the United States. Russia replied in the affirmative. Indeed, the young Soviet Republic accepted this call with eagerness and alacrity for reasons which will become apparent as we proceed. On the other hand, we are told that Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes informed the Italian Ambassador in Washington on March 8 that, since the Conference appeared to be mainly political rather than economic in character, the United States government would not be represented.[iii] However, the U.S. Ambassador in Rome, R. W. Child, was appointed observer. American oil and other business interests were represented by F. A. Vanderlip. In the opinion of Soviet historians, the U.S. refusal to take part was motivated mainly by hostility toward Soviet Russia and fear that Genoa might strengthen that country's international position. The United States at the time was adhering firmly to the policy of economic blockade and nonrecognition of the new Bolshevik régime. On May 7, 1922, Ambassador Child wrote to the State Department that he considered his main function as observer at Genoa would be to "keep in closest possible touch with delegations so as to prevent Soviet Russia from entering any agreements by which our rights would be impaired."
Author's Note: The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the U.N. Secretariat, of which he is a member.
Russia was to have been represented by Lenin himself in his capacity as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars. Lenin had closely supervised all the preparations and undoubtedly intended to go to Genoa. He stated publicly that he expected to discuss personally with Lloyd George the need for equitable trade relations between Russia and the capitalist countries. But in naming Lenin as its chief delegate, the Soviet government entered a proviso that "should circumstances exclude the possibility of Comrade Lenin himself attending the Conference," Georgy Vassilievich Chicherin, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, the deputy head of the delegation, would be vested with all requisite powers. In the end, public concern over Lenin's personal safety, pressing affairs of state requiring his attention, and the deterioration of his health, made it undesirable for him to leave Moscow, However, he retained the chairmanship of the Russian delegation and directed its activity through almost daily contact. (The New York Times entitled its leader on the opening of the Conference "Lenin in Genoa!") Chicherin serving as acting head of the delegation was aided by such outstanding Soviet diplomats and statesmen as Krassin, Litvinov, Yoffe, Vorovsky and Rudzutak, who together formed the "Bureau" of the delegation.
All eyes turned with curiosity on the People's Commissar when he took the floor, after star performers such as Lloyd George and Barthou had made their inaugural speeches. In keeping with the diplomatic etiquette of those days, he wore tails. Issue of the Russian nobility and for some years archivist in the Tsarist Foreign Ministry, Chicherin as a young man had broken with his past and espoused the cause of revolution, ultimately siding with Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Un homme génial and a diplomat of consummate professional skill, he combined wide knowledge of world affairs, sophisticated erudition and artistic sensitivity with burning faith in communism and a single-minded dedication to the defense of the interests of the Soviet state. Having spoken in excellent French for some twenty minutes, he proceeded, to the surprise and spontaneous applause of the meeting, to interpret his speech into English.
Though Chicherin had hardly looked at his notes during delivery, his statement had been most carefully prepared. Lenin himself had approved the text, had weighed each word, formulation and nuance. Chicherin's declaration was the first made by a Soviet representative at a major international conference on the agenda of which the "Russian question" loomed large and to which the Soviet Republic had been invited. It was truly a historic moment.
Chicherin told the Conference that "whilst themselves preserving the point of view of Communist principles, the Russian delegation recognizes that in the actual period of history which permits of the parallel existence of the ancient social order and of the new order now being born, economic collaboration between the States representing the two systems of property is imperatively necessary for the general economic reconstruction." He added that "the Russian delegation has come here . . . in order to engage in practical relations with Governments and commercial and industrial circles of all countries on the basis of reciprocity, equality of rights and full recognition. The problem of world-wide economic reconstruction is, under present conditions, so immense and colossal that it can only be solved if all countries, both European and non-European, have the sincere desire to coördinate their efforts. . . . The economic reconstruction of Russia appears as an indispensable condition of world-wide economic reconstruction."
A number of concrete offers (combined with proposals for a general limitation of armaments) accompanied this enunciation of policy, such as the readiness of the Russian government "to open its frontier consciously and voluntarily" for the creation of international traffic routes; to release for cultivation millions of acres of the most fertile land in the world; and to grant forest and mining concessions, particularly in Siberia. Chicherin urged that collaboration should be established between the industry of the West on the one hand and the agriculture and industry of Siberia on the other, so as to enlarge the raw materials, grain and fuel base of European industry. He declared, moreover, his government's willingness to adopt as a point of departure the old agreements with the Powers which regulated international relations, subject to some necessary modifications. Chicherin also suggested that the world economic crises could be combated by the redistribution of the existing gold reserves among all the countries in the same proportions as before the war, by means of long-term loans. Such a redistribution "should be combined with a rational redistribution of the products of industry and commercial activity, and with a distribution of fuel (naphtha, coal, etc.) according to a settled plan."
Such was, in essence, the first considered presentation by Soviet Russia of what came to be termed the policy of peaceful coexistence between the capitalist and socialist systems, linked with a specific program of practical action, made in an intergovernmental forum. But the genesis of the concept goes back much further. As long ago as 1915, Lenin, in the midst of the First World War, which to him was above all a clash of rival imperialist powers, in a celebrated article entitled "On the Slogan for a United States of Europe," had foreseen the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country. In so doing he proceeded from an "absolute law" of the uneven economic and political development of capitalism, especially during its imperialist phase. Lenin came to the related conclusion that the "imperialist chain" might first snap at its weakest link, e.g. in a relatively backward country like Tsarist Russia with a small but concentrated and rapidly expanding capitalist sector, a desperately poor peasantry and a compact and politically conscious working class pitted against a decaying ruling élite. Though the break in the chain would set in motion a process of revolution, that might take time, possibly decades to unfold, depending on the specific conditions obtaining in each country. The socialist state, meanwhile, would have to exist in a capitalist environment, to "cohabit" with it for a more or less prolonged period, peacefully or nonpeacefully. In another article dealing with the "Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution," published in the autumn of 1916, Lenin developed this theme further by concluding that socialism could not achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It would most probably first be established in one country, or in a few countries, "whilst the others will for some time remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois."
The weakest link did break, as Lenin had foreseen, in Russia, though the tide of revolution was also mounting in other parts of Europe, impelled by the desperate desire of the peoples to end the war. Indeed, at one time it looked as if a socialist upheaval was about to triumph in Germany. It is hardly surprising that Lenin, the revolutionary leader, openly hailed this prospect, though he was resolutely opposed to the manipulating and artificial pushing or "driving forward" of any revolution from the outside, since for him this was essentially an inexorable social phenomenon ultimately shaped by internal forces. As E. H. Carr has observed, "it was the action of the western Powers toward the end of the year 1918 which contributed quite as much as of the Soviet government which had forced the international situation into a revolutionary setting."[iv] Yet, being a realist, Lenin did not omit to stress from November 1917 onwards that it would be wrong and irresponsible for the young Soviet Republic to count on revolutions in other countries. They might or might not occur at the time one wished them to happen. There was no question either, as he said again and again, of trying to "export" the Russian Revolution.
While maintaining its belief in the ultimate victory of socialism in other countries, the young Soviet Republic had, meantime, to be prepared to stand on its own feet and to defend its own interests as a state. Not only had the forces of the White Guards and the interventionists to be defeated, but steps had to be taken to conclude peace with the capitalist countries and to prepare, under certain conditions and safeguards, for coöperation with them. Exploratory moves for the resumption of trade and economic relations with the Allied and Central Powers, as well as with neutral countries, had begun immediately after the conclusion of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. As early as May 1918, for instance, the Soviet government made, through the good offices of Colonel Raymond Robins (the representative of the American Red Cross in Petrograd) detailed and far-reaching offers to the United States of long-term economic relations, including the granting of concessions to private businessmen for the exploitation, subject to state control, of Russia's vast and untapped raw material resources. These offers were reiterated a year later through William Bullitt. There was no response.
Military intrusion and economic harassment from the outside (the latter going to such lengths as "the gold blockade," i.e. the refusal to accept gold for desperately needed imports) continued, forcing the Soviet government, as Lenin put it, to "go to greater lengths in our urgent Communist measures than would otherwise have been the case." But the option of "peaceful cohabitation" with the capitalist world, based on normal economic, trade and diplomatic relations, was kept open none the less throughout this entire phase. This emerges clearly from the writings and utterances of Lenin and the documents on Soviet foreign policy during the pre-NEP period. Indeed, one of the most incisive and farsighted definitions of the concept of peaceful coexistence dates back to the early summer of 1920 when, in a report on the foreign political situation of the Soviet Republic, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs proclaimed that "Our slogan was and remains the same: peaceful coexistence (mirnoye sosushchestvovaniye) with other Governments whoever they might be. Reality itself has led . . . to the need for establishing durable relations between the Government of the peasants and workers and capitalist Governments. . . . Economic reality calls for an exchange of goods, the entering into continuing and regulated relations with the whole world, and the same economic reality demands the same of the other Governments also."[v] Thus, the Soviet policy of peaceful coexistence has deep roots in the early history of the Russian Revolution and was most assuredly not something concocted on the spur of the moment for tactical use at Genoa.
Starting with the Decree on Peace, the first enactment of Soviet Russia, Lenin's pronouncements on the subject reflect the following basic policy considerations:
1. The October Revolution has shown that the victory of socialism on a world scale will not occur simultaneously. So long, therefore, as the other countries have not adopted the new system of socialist property relations established in Soviet Russia, different property systems will necessarily have to live side by side. Hence the concept of coexistence is not an antithesis to the notion of a revolutionary process of global scope aimed at a socialist transformation of society, but defines the setting and a policy framework therefor.
2. The Soviet Republic is ready and eager to live in peace with the outside world, including its immediate neighbors, the former enemy Powers and the newly independent nations. "Cohabitation" between the systems should, therefore, be peaceful.
3. The very existence of ties between Soviet Russia and the outside world, postulated above, ipso facto poses the question of what type of contacts should be developed in the trade, economic and technical fields.
4. The objective realities of world economic relations and the interdependence of nations imply mutual advantages to be reaped from commercial exchanges and an appropriate international division of labor. This situation is bound to lead the capitalist countries, willy-nilly, to engage in economic dealings, and especially in trade, with the world's first socialist state. The condition of peaceful coexistence is, therefore, not only desirable in itself, but objectively inevitable.
5. Because of Russia's temporary state of economic weakness and backwardness, the Soviet Republic is disposed to coöperate with foreign private capital on terms attractive to it, so long as the legitimacy and inviolability of the socialist system of property relations and of internal legislation (especially in matters of labor protection) are respected.
6. Peaceful coexistence will have to remain competitive, since the socialist state would constantly seek to demonstrate, by force of example, the superiority of its system in promoting the economic growth of society and the welfare of the working people.
7. Ideological contest and rivalry will, therefore, be an inescapable element of the interrelationship, whilst the inherent contradictions of capitalism will tend to generate revolutionary situations. However, these need not lead to war.
Not surprisingly, little was said at that juncture about the time-horizon of such cohabitation in any precise terms. Although Lenin (in a speech at the end of 1920) did conceive of peaceful coexistence not just as a means to gain a "breathing space" but as a "new period in which we have won the right to our fundamental existence in the network of capitalist States," he was too preoccupied with the very survival of the Soviet Republic to speculate unduly on this not unimportant aspect of the concept. It is understandable, therefore, that in March 1919 when he reported to the Eighth Party Congress against the background of stepped-up intervention from abroad, he could not but envisage, in the short run, a "general collision" between the systems. As long as Soviet Russia remained relatively weak, both militarily and economically, that danger was bound to be very real indeed. (In the end, the clash did occur in 1941.) However, there is ample evidence to the effect that Soviet Russia stood ready for a prolonged period of "peaceful cohabitation," for example, the directive that the average length of foreign concessions was to be about 20 years. It may, therefore, be concluded that from the very outset the state of coexistence was, indeed, conceived in "historic" terms (that is to say, as stretching over a period of decades), provided, of course, that the capitalist states were prepared to renounce the idea of dislodging Soviet power by external force or internal subversion. For his part, Lenin was ready (as he told a correspondent of the Chicago Daily News in October 1919) to guarantee noninterference in the internal affairs of the capitalist states.
By the beginning of 1921 the civil war was by and large ended and the armies of foreign interventionists expelled. The main justification for the policy of "war communism" had ceased to exist. NEP was introduced in March of that year. It was based on the readmission of private trade in agricultural products and of small-scale private enterprises, though the "commanding heights" of the economy remained in the control of the state. In order to ensure the country's economic revival, it was more than ever vital to normalize trade relations, especially with the industrial countries of the West.
Meanwhile, the revolutionary tide abroad had receded. At the end of 1920 Lenin observed that "neither side-the Russian Soviet Republic or the capitalist world-has gained victory or suffered defeat . . . while our forecasts did not materialize simply, rapidly and directly, they were fulfilled insofar as we achieved the main thing-the possibility has been maintained of the existence of proletarian rule and the Soviet Republic, even in the event of the world Socialist revolution being delayed."
A certain balance, an equilibrium of forces (however relative and precarious) had thus been established. The Soviet government resumed its efforts for an accommodation with the West. But now there would be much tougher bargaining. "Had the capitalist gentlemen accepted the proposals we made to them in October 1917," Lenin remarked somewhat sardonically in a famous speech, "On the International and Internal Situation of the Soviet Republic," delivered on March 6, 1922 (i.e. about a month before Genoa), "they would have received five times as much as they have now." Bilateral explorations and negotiations were intensified, with some partial results, such as the conclusion of several trade agreements, first of all with the United Kingdom in March 1921.
Although, as we have seen, the notion and policy of peaceful coexistence had been conceived long before the NEP, it was during this new phase that the thrust of that policy was carried forward with fresh determination. Chicherin's instructions to the Plenipotentiary Representative of the R.S.F.S.R. in Lithuania, dated April 28, 1921, reflected the new situation. The envoy was told that "the last efforts at armed attack against the Russian Republic have been liquidated and we have entered a period of peaceful cohabitation and economic coöperation with all nations, even if their system be capitalist." Henceforth "economic interests were to prevail in our foreign policy." The representative was enjoined strictly to abide by the principle of complete noninterference in Lithuania's internal affairs.
Three months later, Chicherin gave an extensive and most illuminating interview to l'Humanité, published August 15, 1921. He stressed the continuity of Soviet policy and provided a clear insight into the interrelations between Soviet Russia's internal and external policies. "It is untrue to say that we had changed and had reneged something. We are not Henri IV. It is not we who have changed, but our environment. . . . Only during the first months of our existence did we call for an immediate revolution in all countries." Chicherin reminded his readers that concessions to foreign capitalists to help restore Russia's economy had been offered from the spring of 1918 onwards. He then observed that the "bases of our present economic policy were laid down from the first year of our existence. Now we are again reverting to these principles of economic relations which we prefer." At the same time he stressed that "our paths coincided with that of Lloyd George. Both he and we want, as say the English, peace and trade. Only our views about the future differ. We expect the break-up of the capitalist system. Lloyd George expects that we shall be tamed. [Meanwhile] Let's trade together. The future will prove whether our hopes are well founded." Chicherin made it quite clear in his interview that, but for the need to counter attempts to destroy Soviet power by military means, the New Economic Policy might have started much earlier, since it was more appropriate to the backward state of the Soviet economy. Now the Soviet government could take up its original policy of coexistence and carry it forward in more systematic fashion. Bilateral diplomacy in this regard was to be combined with multilateral initiatives.
On October 28, 1921, i.e. more than two months before the adoption of Mr. Lloyd George's Resolution on Genoa by the Supreme Council at Cannes, the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs dispatched a note to the governments of Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the United States proposing that an international conference be summoned to discuss the possibilities for "opening an opportunity for private initiative and capital to coöperate with the power of the workers and peasants in the exploitation of Russia's natural resources." The Soviet government, on that occasion, declared its readiness to recognize the debts contracted by the Tsarist government with other governments and private individuals before 1914, on mutually acceptable terms, including the granting of credits which would enable Russia to fulfill its obligations.[vi] It was to this proposal and to Lloyd George's subsequent initiative at Cannes that the Genoa Conference and, more specifically, the decision to invite Lenin himself to attend, owes its origin.
It is typical of the British Premier's realism and shrewdness (qualities which Lenin readily acknowledged[vii]) that the resolution which he sponsored at Cannes contained a passage which appeared to endorse Lenin's thesis that the parallel existence of the two systems of property, the capitalist and the socialist, was feasible: "Nations can claim no right to dictate to each other regarding the principles on which they are to regulate their system of ownership, internal economy and government. It is for every nation to choose for itself the system which it prefers in this respect." This affirmation was, however, linked with the demand of guarantees by the Soviet Republic for the profits of foreign investors, the recognition of all prewar debts and obligations, compensation for losses incurred by foreign interests as a consequence of the revolution, etc. Nevertheless, Lenin was quick to seize on the political significance of what was tantamount to at least a partial acceptance of the notion of peaceful coexistence "by the other side."
On January 13, the Italian Premier, Bonomi, cabled Chicherin the text (in French) of the Cannes Resolution, but for some reason the key words of the above-quoted passage, i.e. "their system of ownership" (leur régime de proprieté), were omitted. Lenin immediately asked Chicherin for the original text and instructed the Soviet team at Genoa to quote this passage at every suitable occasion. Chicherin in his opening speech spoke of the great importance which his government attached to the first point of the Cannes Resolution "which deals with reciprocal recognition of different systems of ownership and different political and economic forms actually existing in different countries." Subsequently, Lenin considered that this part of the Cannes Resolution implied the acceptance by the capitalist countries of the inevitability of agreement between the two systems "on terms of equality."
Genoa was the first serious test of Soviet Russia's ability to perform in the complex arena of multilateral diplomacy. Preparations had started, therefore, without delay and continued with considerable intensity until the delegation's departure for Genoa on March 27. Early in January the Politburo asked the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs to set up a preparatory committee for Genoa under Chicherin's chairmanship. This Preparatory Committee's task was threefold: it was mandated to advise the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party on the formulation of the policy instructions to the Soviet delegation, including elements for Chicherin's opening statement at the Conference; it organized work on the drafting of literally scores of what would nowadays be termed background or position papers concerning the feasibility of specific proposals for international economic coöperation; lastly, it had to advise on a broad campaign of public discussion to explain the issues at stake and the attitude which the Soviet government intended to adopt. Chicherin's suggestions for this campaign (which he submitted to the Politburo on March 6) stressed, in particular, the need, first, to stigmatize the danger of fresh military intervention against Soviet Russia (not because it could not be repelled militarily but because it would endanger the country's efforts at economic reconstruction), and, second, to drive home the point that the capitalist countries would be unable to organize their economies without Russia's participation in international relations.
At the same time bilateral negotiations were initiated with a number of countries to strengthen the diplomatic posture of the Soviet Republic at the Conference and thus prevent its isolation. For instance, as early as January 9, the Preparatory Committee examined the instructions to be sent to Krestinsky, the Soviet envoy in Berlin, concerning a possible economic accord with Germany. On January 16, Lenin, in a secret note to Molotov for members of the Politburo, raised the question of starting "at once personal talks (without any papers) in Berlin and in Moscow with the Germans about contacts between us and them at Genoa" and suggesting at once secretly "to all the plenipotentiary representatives to put out feelers with the governments concerned to find out whether or not they are prepared to start unofficial secret talks with us on a preliminary marking out of the line at Genoa." The Soviet delegation's painfully slow railway journey to Genoa was interrupted by a four-day stopover in Berlin, where Chicherin met with Chancellor Wirth, Foreign Minister Rathenau, and Maltzan, Head of the Foreign Ministry's Russian Department. During these meetings the ground was prepared for what become known as the Treaty of Rapallo, concluded on April 16, which came as a bombshell to the Conference. In fact, there is evidence that the Treaty would have been signed in Berlin but for Rathenau's hesitations. Thus Genoa and the Treaty of Rapallo formed from the outset integral parts of Soviet diplomatic strategy.
The Preparatory Committee for the Genoa Conference was established on January 5 in anticipation of the Conference and started work two days later, i.e. before Soviet Russia had officially received the Italian invitation. Much of its energy was devoted to compiling detailed material for a memorandum (subsequently circulated by the Russian delegation at Genoa) on "Russia's Counterclaims to the Powers responsible for intervention and blockade."[viii] In the draft directives to the deputy head and all members of the delegation to Genoa, written February 1, Lenin specified, inter alia, that all members of the delegation "must be perfectly familiar with Keynes' book (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)." On February 6, Lenin proposed that the Soviet delegation be instructed to highlight such points as: the cancellation of all debts; the application of the "Irish" solution to all colonies and dependent countries and nations; the radical revision of the Treaty of Versailles; the granting of loans on favorable terms to the countries most ruined by the war; the establishment of a unified international gold unit for the currency system of a number of countries; the need for international agreement on combating inflation; and the fuel crisis and international measures for coping with it. Lenin also envisaged international measures for the most rational and economical use of power resources on the basis of unified planned electrification, and for the reorganization of international transport to handle deliveries of raw materials and food. Elaborating on the last point, the Chairman of the State Planning Commission (Gosplan) Krzhizhanovsky, an eminent engineer and an influential collaborator of Lenin, put forward the idea of constructing a gigantic integrated railway transport system connecting the European continent from the Pacific to the Atlantic and in this way linking "East" and "West."
In the light of these preliminary discussions and directives, Chicherin, in a letter to Lenin dated March 10, 1922, outlined the principal components of the policy to be pursued by the Russian delegation at Genoa. Lenin returned his letter with comments and a covering note four days later. Stressing that their general attitude to Genoa should be that of "merchants," Lenin felt that, as such, Soviet Russia should support all "pacificist" trends in the bourgeois camp. He endorsed Chicherin's basic approach, noting on the margin of the letter the following points from Chicherin's list (condensed and paraphrased here) as the basis of Russia's programs of multilateral coöperation, including its attitude to international organizations of various kinds:
(1) The "novelty" of the "international scheme" to be propounded by Soviet diplomacy should consist in the possibility for the African and other colonial peoples to participate, on an equal footing, with European peoples in conferences and commissions.
(2) Working-class organizations should be enabled to take part in international conferences, as a matter of course.
(3) While international conferences or congresses should abide by the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of individual countries, they should provide a forum for voluntary coöperation and aid given by the strong to the weak.
(4) A worldwide congress open to "all peoples of the world" should be convened. This congress should on no account permit the majority to dictate to the minority, but should work through consensus. Its technical commissions should be charged with the execution of "our extensive economic program of worldwide rehabilitation."
(5) The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague should be associated with the World Congress, but for purposes of arbitration between capitalist governments and the Soviet government it should be reconstructed so that "half the members will be imperialists and half will be Communists."
(6) The Soviet delegation would propose a general reduction of armaments.
(7) A related proposal would be to add a number of prohibitions to the rules of war of The Hague and Geneva Conventions.
(8) The "broad program of worldwide rehabilitation" should provide for assistance to the weak nations based on "economic geography and the planned distribution of resources."
(9) One way of implementing this would be to envisage integrated world rail way and navigation systems. Their internationalization should be gradual and be carried out by consent.
(10) In particular, a proposal would be made "that the capital of the advanced countries should build a supermain-line London-Moscow-Vladivostok (Peking)."
(11) Proposals should be made for a planned distribution of the gold reserves (kept in idleness in American banks). This measure should be combined with a planned distribution of commercial orders, trade and the supply of scarce materials.
(12) The aid should take the form of loans, the repayment of which, given the planned character of the proposals, should begin "in a few years."
(13) If central international barter and sales organizations in capitalist countries (conceived along the lines of Keynes' "Barter Institute" and Rathenau's "Zentralstelle") could be made to function as means of planned international distribution of commodities to needy countries, especially of oil and coal, they would become essential components of an extensive program of economic re habilitation. This task should be linked with the elaboration by technical com missions of a program for the distribution of fuel and energy resources.
To these points Lenin added two more: (14) The cancellation of all war debts; and (15) The revision (in the light of Chicherin's thirteen items) of the Versailles Treaty and all military treaties.
It is typical of Chicherin's rare combination of bold imagination and sober realism that he concluded his letter to Lenin by remarking that what he was visualizing was theoretically quite feasible under the "bourgeois system," though he was fully aware of the fact that "in historically conditioned reality his proposals would clash with national egoism and the rapaciousness of capitalist oligarchies." Lenin, in the postscript to his covering letter addressed to Chicherin, stressed the need for the Soviet delegation to explain that, having come to the Conference as "merchants," their objective was to persuade, and not "to have it all our way with the United State through a majority." In a lighter vein, he concluded the postscript in French: "Les rieurs seront avec nous." This did not, of course, mean that he failed to take Genoa seriously, but rather that, as a statesman and a good diplomat, he had to be prepared for the failure of the Conference; whatever the outcome, the Soviet delegation would use the Conference platform for an intelligent and persuasive enunciation of Russia's policy of peace and coexistence.
Having thus received Lenin's policy clearance, Chicherin some days later submitted to him his "Elements for the First Speech at the Conference." On March 23, Lenin, in an internal note transmitted by telephone to Molotov (at that time Secretary of the Party's Central Committee), suggested a number of changes to be made in Chicherin's draft, which were all taken into account when the text was put in form:
(1) One should not just talk about different "politico-economic systems" in general, but about "different systems of ownership."
(2) "Definitely to throw out" any reference to "inevitable forcible revolution and the use of sanguinary struggle." On the contrary, to stress that "we Communists do not share the views of the pacifists . . . but having come (to Genoa) as merchants we positively consider it our duty to give our fullest support to any attempt at a peaceful settlement of outstanding problems."
(3) "Definitely to delete" the words "our historic conception includes the use of forcible measures."
(4) "Definitely to delete" the words "our historic conception being definitely based on the inevitability of new world wars." To use such "frightening words" would be tantamount to playing into the hands of one's opponents.
The far-reaching significance of these comments cannot be gainsaid. They contain the following fundamental threefold proposition regarding Soviet relations with the capitalist world which has retained its validity after half a century:
1. It is the recognition of the difference in property systems in capitalist and socialist countries which lies at the heart of the coexistence question. Without the recognition of the legitimacy of the socialist system of property, and its essential equality of rights alongside the capitalist system, no peaceful coexistence is possible.
2. The principal objective of foreign policy and diplomacy in East-West relations is the settlement of all questions at issue without recourse to force, i.e. by negotiation.
3. War is not inevitable.[ix]
Chicherin's opening statement at Genoa thus provided the policy frame within which the specific proposals concerning "peaceful cohabitation" with the "bourgeois camp" were advanced. Indeed, it may be said without exaggeration that the Genoa dossier laid the foundations of Soviet foreign policy in relation to the potentialities of East-West coöperation in the years to come, particularly in situations of positive response by the other side. It exerted a profound doctrinal and practical influence on the subsequent evolution of Soviet thinking and attitudes toward such vital matters as the possibility of avoiding wars; the nature of international organizations and the Soviet Union's role in them; policies toward the underdeveloped countries; the link between economic coöperation and military security; East-West trade; and the extent to which joint ventures of the two groups of countries may be attempted.
The International Economic Conference at Genoa achieved but little. Apart from failing to reach agreement on German reparations, it also failed in its main purpose-to resolve "the Russian question." Russia was not prepared to accept the conditions posed by the Allied Powers for a normalization of their relations with the Soviet Republic, such as the return of the nationalized property to foreigners and the abolition of the foreign-trade monopoly. It also proved impossible to strike a bargain between the claims of the Allied Powers (especially those of the business circles most directly concerned) on the Soviet Republic, and the latter's counterclaims, and, more particularly, to match Russia's readiness to recognize the Tsarist prewar debts and to offer concessions (even, if need be, to the former owners) by the granting of adequate credits and loans on acceptable terms. (Negotiations on the matter were resumed at The Hague from June 15 to July 22, 1922, but, once again, without avail.) Yet, from Russia's viewpoint, the Genoa Conference was far from being a total failure (particularly since Lenin entertained but few illusions about the chances of its success). The gathering had provided, for the first time after the October Revolution, a unique opportunity to think through and thereafter to proclaim from an international rostrum Soviet Russia's views on its relations with the outside world. The very fact that the Soviet government became a party (albeit with some reservations) to a number of resolutions adopted by the Conference dealing with various aspects of economic reconstruction in Europe was characterized by Chicherin as "the first general act in which Russia has taken part during the last four years." Professor Coolidge was, therefore, undoubtedly right when he wrote in his article in the first issue of Foreign Affairs that "the Soviet republic had indeed won the de facto recognition of Europe."
In his concluding remarks at the last plenary on the closing day, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs observed that "the sole fact of convening all the European countries, without distinction of victor or vanquished, and without discrimination between opposing systems of ownership, was a memorable event." The Russian delegation had wished to make "a bold step forward towards new political and economic methods . . . the establishment of a new general system." It had been prevented from submitting to the Conference the question of disarmament which, in its view, constituted an inseparable element of such a unified system as it had outlined at the beginning of the Conference. The "Russian problem can only be satisfactorily solved if it is considered by all concerned in terms of the equality of rights of the countries having different systems of ownership." But though the Russian thesis had not been retained, the Soviet Republic would continue its efforts for conciliation.
The All-Russian Central Executive Committee, having discussed Yoffe's report on Genoa (Chicherin having been ordered by Lenin to go from Genoa to Germany for medical treatment), considered that its delegation had done all that was feasible under the circumstances. Besides, by skillful handling it had succeeded in bringing off "the coup" of Rapallo. This Treaty provided for de jure recognition of Soviet Russia by the Weimar Republic, for reciprocal renunciation of claims and for trade relations based on the Most Favored Nation principle. The Treaty thus strengthened the international prestige of the Soviet state and served as a model for subsequent accords with other capitalist countries.
Russia's efforts at conciliation with her capitalist environment continued after Genoa, as Chicherin had promised. It is a chequered story.
Trade expanded, but political enmity and suspicion inhibited its normal growth. Programs for extensive economic coöperation based on peaceful coexistence of the two systems were proposed by the U.S.S.R. at the International Economic Conference in Geneva in 1927, and at the London Economic Conference in 1933. On the political plane, the Soviet government urged disarmament and collective security, especially between 1927 and 1934 at the Disarmament Conference (and its Preparatory Committee). In 1934, the Soviet Union joined the League, where Litvinov proclaimed and insisted that peace was indivisible. However, it was never fully accepted as a member of the international community. The country had, therefore, to "coexist" under conditions of what it considered to be essentially hostile encirclement and enforced isolation. Fortunately, the war forged an effective alliance between the Four Great Powers, a dramatic proof that the policy of coexistence could work after all. But the high hopes for an era of postwar coöperation were dashed.
Has the experience of Genoa any relevance a half-century later? Lenin once half-jokingly remarked that the only alternative to Soviet Russia's living together and trading with the capitalist countries surrounding it was to fly away to the moon. Who would have thought that a mere 50 years after Genoa the General Assembly of the United Nations (a new world organization, this time counting both the United States and the Soviet Union among its founding members) would be discussing the preparation of an international law to govern the activities of states on that planet through a kind of "lunar coexistence"? It is not easy to think of a more telling illustration of the dramatic transformation in the condition of man, of the "acceleration of history," in so brief a span of time.
On earth, however, the problem of a lasting normalization of the East-West relationship remains one of the crucial issues of our epoch, much more so than it was at the time of Genoa, though major political initiatives of recent months in a situation of international fluidity might hopefully be harbingers of qualitative changes and forward movements.
Even a cursory glance at the present politico-economic map shows the emergence of the world socialist system as one of the salient elements of the contemporary scene. The erstwhile Soviet Russian Republic has evolved into the U.S.S.R., now an undisputed world power which, having been denied this status during the interwar period, not unnaturally insists on claiming and exercising its conventional attributes. The socialist order first ushered in by the Russian Revolution is now common to a number of countries, including, more particularly, those which together form a community of, by and large, institutionally homogeneous socialist states, grouped together for purposes of economic coöperation in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA). Comprising some 350 million people or around ten percent of the world's population (i.e. not counting the huge population of socialist countries in Asia), they are currently estimated to account for about 20 percent of global national income and somewhat more than one-third of world industrial production. Their overall average growth rates markedly exceed those of the developed capitalist countries-a far cry from the days of Genoa when Soviet Russia's industrial output, having reached an all-time low in 1920, had climbed to about a quarter of its prewar volume.
There has thus occurred a marked shift in politico-economic power relationships in the world which makes for a much more stable balance of forces than was conceivable a half-century ago. No longer has the Soviet Union to exist alone in a "network" of avowedly hostile capitalist states, as before the war; coexistence now manifests itself through relations between the two world systems of states. Essentially European in content and not much more than a vision at the time of Genoa (when the two sides were observing each other rather than anything else), coexistence has now clearly become an ineluctable reality and a global concept. This significant change has added a new dimension to its meaning since there is now a solid basis for lasting understanding from which both sides would clearly derive comparable advantages.
As late as the end of 1924, even so discerning and thoughtful a journalist as J. L. Garvin, the Editor of the London Observer, could assert that "the existing system (in the Soviet Union) cannot be maintained. Soviet Russia, whatever may be its nominal system of government a few years hence, is bound to become a capitalist State" (Observer, December 28, 1924). Today, despite stubbornly lingering illusions here and there that such a metamorphosis might somehow still materialize, the existence of a world system of socialist states has increasingly come to be accepted as an irreversible fact of political life. These countries are, at the same time, full-fledged members, on a footing of equality, of the international economic community, and (with the exception, so far, of the German Democratic Republic) contribute their full share to the deliberative, policy-setting and technical functions of the United Nations system, including, more particularly, most of its specialized bodies dealing with international coöperation in economic and social matters.
But the mutual pursuit of peaceful coexistence as a deliberate and systematic policy of optimizing East-West collaboration is quite another matter. The decision to follow such a course depends on the political will of both sides.
Reactions to the concept of peaceful coexistence in the capitalist countries vary. The number of those who are prepared to test it seems to be growing. Yet there continues to be a widely and deeply held belief that the Soviet policy of peaceful coexistence is nothing more than a tactical maneuver, resorted to as a temporary expedient (or, worse still, as an instrument of deliberate and clever deception) which is brought into action whenever deemed suitable by the Soviet side; and it is felt by many that the actual importance now ascribed to that policy during the early phases of Soviet political history is grossly exaggerated, if not conjured up by a deliberate ex post facto refocusing of events. This view is propounded not only by the avowed adversaries of the Soviet régime; the genuineness and continuity of that policy are also questioned by scholars such as George F. Kennan.[x]
Far be it from me to argue in favor of one-sided "total righteousness" which Kennan enjoins all of us to put aside, but the gravamen of the argument developed in this essay is precisely that the concept of peaceful coexistence represents a genuine and long-term policy objective, having deep roots in the thinking and the practice of Soviet foreign relations from the very inception of the Soviet state. It is, of course, true that principles of foreign policy have rarely the same meaning at two different periods separated by 50 years. But while one should eschew facile analogies, close study of Soviet foreign policy over the years does suggest the presence of a strong link with its original ideological anchorage. Even today, I believe, this continuity of basic ideas can be traced, however much both theory and policy have meanwhile evolved.
The continuity of the notion is borne out by Soviet efforts to activate coexistence policies after the war, especially in the economic and related fields, as soon as some measure of détente had set in. The CPSU, in major statements of long-term policy, including its program, has reaffirmed on many occasions its adherence to the idea of peaceful coexistence conceived along Leninist lines. Moreover, the Soviet government, implementing this general party line, has on repeated occasions come forward, more particularly in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)- since the European region is for obvious reasons the focal point of peaceful coexistence-with a number of far-reaching initiatives. Their close bonds of conceptual kinship with the program presented by Chicherin in 1922 are unmistakable: they are, in a sense, variations on the Genoa themes composed in a new setting. Thus, in 1956 and in 1957, the Soviet Union proposed the conclusion of a formal all-European agreement, to be valid for an indefinite period, on international economic coöperation within the framework of the Economic Commission for Europe "to facilitate the implementation of concerted measures to ensure the economic development of all European countries in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding."
In 1958, the Soviet delegation in ECE proposed the establishment of an all- European organization for the peaceful utilization of atomic energy, and the convening of a conference of ministers of trade to discuss such matters as long-term trade problems, including the exchange of patents and licenses on a commercial basis. In 1960, the Soviet Union suggested that the possibility of the joint planning and construction of industrial projects by European countries be examined within the ECE. In 1960, and then again in 1961, the Soviet Union expressed readiness to take part in the elaboration of the terms of reference of what was subsequently to become the Organization for Economic Coöperation and Development (OECD) and, after its establishment, to become a party to it. In 1962, the Soviet representative in ECE proposed the conclusion of an agreement within that body on a mutual reduction of customs tariffs of countries participating in the Commission.
None of these ideas met with any response by the other side, either because they were not taken seriously or else because they would have implied major policy changes which the Western countries were not then prepared even to contemplate. A similar fate befell the Soviet plan for an all-European security pact, proposed in the summer of 1958, linking peaceful settlement of disputes, reduction of foreign armed forces on German territories and related measures of politico-military security with economic, scientific and cultural coöperation. Nevertheless the U.S.S.R. continued to intensify its participation in economic activities of the United Nations, and especially in ECE with its special vocation for developing East-West coöperation. Parallel efforts were undertaken by the U.S.S.R. (and other socialist countries) to promote trade, economic, technical and industrial coöperation on the bilateral level.
This ongoing process of widening bilateral relations between East and West, though it does not as yet add up to a veritable system of planned and deliberate peaceful coexistence, augurs well for a breakthrough on a multilateral plane. It should greatly ease the task of mutual adjustment, concertation and even coördination of policies once the "green light" is given at the political level. For, as Chicherin once remarked, a trade agreement without a political understanding is impossible.
But can a convincing case for such a system be made, half a century after Lenin's and Chicherin's imaginative and yet down-to-earth offer at Genoa fell on deaf ears? Is it realistic and worthwhile trying to strive for it? Let us first look at the economic and social sides of the matter, in the light of the structural changes in the world economy which have meanwhile intervened.
Gunnar Myrdal, when he headed the ECE Secretariat, remarked some 15 years ago that "on an immense scale the cold war holds back economic progress on both sides of the dividing line." The negative effects of the absence of adequate East-West coöperation based on mutual trust are nowadays more widely and more clearly comprehended than was the case at the time of the Genoa Conference, if only because of the gigantic rise in worldwide expenditure on armaments, running at an annual rate of more than 200 billion dollars. Viewed positively, the need for such coöperation on a large scale has perhaps never been so convincing as it is today. Nowhere is this so strikingly evidenced as in matters of economics and trade. While the share of CMEA countries in world industrial output is (as we have seen) on the order of upwards of 30 percent, its share of world trade is barely ten percent, of which "East-West" trade accounts for a mere five percent or so. This trade flow can and does, of course, develop, but in the absence of positive measures its growth will be sub-optimal in pace and pattern of international specialization. This, surely, does not in the long run make sense.
Lenin's emphatic dictum at the time of Genoa that the international economy cannot develop satisfactorily without Russia's participation holds good a fortiori today also in relation to the socialist countries which together not only form an economic grouping of impressive size, but represent a big, dynamic and increasingly diversified market which needs to be more fully integrated into world trade. It offers as yet unutilized large-scale possibilities for mutually advantageous exchanges which on occasion may have an appreciable stabilizing effect on the fluctuating capitalist world economy (particularly at times of downturn).[xi]
What are the potentialities of peaceful coexistence? In the Soviet view this policy does not imply or lead to a "convergence" (toward a kind of global and largely homogeneous "industrial society" as some Western writers postulate) because of the fundamental qualitative differences in property and social relationships between the two groups of countries and the elements of economic competition and ideological rivalry involved. But Soviet writers consider that wide-ranging, stable and long-term coöperation founded on global interdependence as well as mutuality and community of interests is both feasible and highly desirable. United Nations' activities over the last quarter of a century have done much to articulate and heighten this awareness of the ultimate kinship of man, of an "international community" joining forces in the pursuit of societal goals, identified as commonly shared, such as full employment, stable economic growth, social well-being and cultural progress.
Contemporary Soviet political scientists, when discussing the coexistence problem, explicitly subscribe to this approach, although they stress that this does not imply the attenuation of either the class struggle within the framework of individual nations, especially in the highly mature capitalist countries, or of the trends toward socialism. They stress also that, particularly as a result of recent transformations of the world scene, due to the technological revolution, the process of what Lenin terms the "internationalization" of virtually all major activities of the human society has grown apace. Therefore, institutional and ideological differences between the capitalist and socialist countries notwithstanding, the range of common problems is constantly widening, thus providing solid ground on which peaceful coexistence could be built through concerted endeavors. Human society is much more closely interrelated than ever before. Entirely new societal phenomena, such as the threat to the human environment,[xii] imperatively demand matrix-type coördination of mutually consistent national endeavors, collectively conceived policies and joint measures. Programs for an adequate development of infrastructure must be suitably dovetailed. Certain technological policies, in particular, need to be placed in an international context to benefit from economies of scale, since their application within national boundaries, even of large national entities, has become prohibitive. It has been pointed out that an increasing number of decisions on the allocation of investment and research and development resources have to be taken by reference to the probable development of international demand for the resultant products over a span of several years. Because of the uncertainty of all such forecasts, there is growing danger of uneconomic decisions being taken by governments or by enterprises with respect to rational lines of specialization. This trend can be counteracted by East-West coöperation in the industrial field, whereby opportunities are exploited for combining, in different proportions depending on the particular case, production, technological, managerial, financial and marketing capacities of the parties.
Current Soviet writings on prospects for East-West coöperation in the economic and related fields, based on peaceful coexistence, show a keen awareness of such emerging factors and furnish evidence of careful analysis of the specifics of the evolving East-West relationship under present circumstances.[xiii]
But assuming that a convincing case has been made for the inherent advantages of peaceful coexistence in economic and social terms-and current developments in East-West trade bear witness to the gradual acceptance of this thesis-what are the political implications of the policies being proposed by the Soviet Union as well as the other socialist countries in this regard?
In the second part of this essay an attempt was made to distill from primary sources the initial attitudes of the Soviet state toward such fundamental issues as war, revolution and ideological rivalry, and to ascertain how, and to what extent, these basic viewpoints of doctrinal principle could be fitted into the Soviet concept of peaceful coexistence. A careful scrutiny of policy pronouncements during the postwar period leads one to conclude that these attitudes (while obviously adjusted and refined to reappraise events and to take account of such new phenomena as the common danger of thermonuclear war) have remained in essence the same as at the time of Genoa.
They amount to the following: War is not inevitable, particularly now that the socialist part of the world is immeasurably stronger than it was 50 years ago so that a much more stable balance has been attained than was possible half a century ago. The class struggle within the capitalist system and the system's contradictions will persist. The revolutionary process will mature in each country in its own time and in its own manner; this process should be as orderly as feasible and the socialization of the means of production should provide for suitable compensation to its former owners. In many countries socialization may take the form of national liberation movements which will receive the moral and political support of the socialist countries; while such movements need not (and hopefully will not) be violent, they may, however, assume such forms if essential structural transformations are resisted by force. Ideological contestation and economic competition between the systems will go on, though this should not lead to a polarization, since a system of peaceful coexistence implies the renunciation of force and an absolute commitment to seek solutions to differences through negotiations and to aim at a gradual dismantling of politico-military blocks. Agreed coexistence policies should not be motivated by the propagation of ideological goals. Effective noninterference and nonintervention should ensure that there be no export either of revolution or of counterrevolution. Finally, as Litvinov stressed in 1925, the policy of peaceful coexistence means not only peace between the two groups of countries, but-since in our era wars rarely remain localized-also between the nonsocialist countries.
There are, however, two basic considerations resulting from the changes of the political and economic map since Genoa which supplement the Genoa dossier. One of them is that interstate relations between socialist countries are governed by social laws, policies and criteria which are uniquely specific to the socialist system and which are subsumed in the principle of socialist internationalism. (This, it is held, is fully consistent with the observance by all countries, irrespective of differences in systems, of generally applicable principles of interstate relations founded on the Charter of the United Nations.) The coöperation of the participants within the CMEA is much more comprehensive than seems possible between institutionally heterogeneous actors. Yet, this special relationship is not one of exclusiveness. The Comprehensive Program for Socialist Economic Integration of CMEA Countries (published last fall) makes express provision for links with the capitalist countries through a policy of peaceful coexistence, for the fitting of CMEA patterns of specialization into the worldwide division of labor and for outward-looking contacts with the developing countries.
The other consideration is that the external policy of the socialist states has to take into account the possible economic, social and political consequences of their contacts with the capitalist countries; accordingly, intra-socialist contacts should always take priority. None the less, peaceful coexistence, it is argued, opens up vast areas of fruitful coöperation.
This updated case for peaceful coexistence certainly does not lack forthrightness inasmuch as it spells out both the scope and the constraints of a peaceful coexistence policy "without illusions." That policy can hardly be likened to a Trojan Horse to entice the capitalist world and lull its vigilance.
This being so, is-to put it bluntly-"the game worth the candle" from the vantage point of the capitalist countries? Should they take the political risks of a stepped-up coöperation with the East, implying long-term commitments, only to preside ultimately (as some would have it) over their own funeral? What is the point of giving "capitalist assistance for anti- capitalist purposes," as Garvin wrote in 1924? Would it not be wiser, on balance, to continue with the present piecemeal, limited dealings with the East, mainly in the field of trade, while relying on the nuclear deterrent and a superior economic potential?
To this not uncommon line of argument, one might reply as follows: The state of coexistence is an objective reality to which one has to adjust. Inter-systems trade cannot rise to its potential and optimal level if the political relationship is not normalized. Only by a comprehensive but realistic accommodation between East and West can the twin elements of politico-military security, on the one hand, and social progress and stable access to the world market, on the other, be guaranteed now and, more importantly, for the coming generations about whom Brezhnev and Brandt spoke at their Yalta meeting last fall.
There is no other rational option open to mankind; the alternative is recurring and possibly catastrophic deteriorations of world relations. Only through East-West coöperation can the world ever hope to achieve a significant reduction in the colossal armaments expenditure which even an economic giant like the United States has found that it cannot forever afford and which the developing countries increasingly resent. Solely a scheme of peaceful coexistence, based on firm reciprocal commitments for the maintenance of security and the respect of genuine noninterference, could ensure that internal conflicts due to social tension do not jeopardize the maintenance of world peace. The evolution of the world toward new societal forms could surely be left to the verdict of history. If the capitalist world is convinced of its own viability and its economic and moral superiority over the system which exists in the socialist countries, it should not have undue worries on this score, particularly since current Soviet writings on the subject refer to peaceful coexistence as a historic phase in the evolution of the human race toward higher societal forms. Soviet economists have long cast aside former ideas of an automatic collapse or shrinkage of capitalism. On the contrary, they appreciate its ability to develop productive forces and control, to some extent, its cyclical movements, though they remain convinced that ultimately the socialist system will prevail.
But one should not, of course, minimize the difficulties on the road from détente toward a more lasting entente, assuming once again that present doubts in the West on the political score can be dissipated. One specific difficulty has to do with the need, in any scheme of enlarged East-West cooperation, to arrive at some sort of arrangement for settling the relations between the participants of CMEA and the European Economic Community (EEC). Soviet economists recognize that the process of integration of the capitalist economies and its institutional embodiments are realities of life which one has to take into account. The Soviet Union considers, however, that, as distinct from CMEA, the EEC is a closed, inward-looking and protectionist entity, politically linked with NATO. It is regarded as a major source of uncertainty and discrimination in world trade, causing serious difficulties to other countries, including socialist nations, more particularly with respect to agricultural exports. EEC policies have forced CMEA countries to take certain protective countermeasures which they would not have otherwise envisaged. Admittedly, the evolution of EEC has, thus far, not prevented the Community from devising special measures for the conduct of East-West trade by its members, but the situation remains unsatisfactory. Direct informal contacts between the staffs of CMEA and EEC could be established, if desired, through such U.N. bodies as the ECE and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where both CMEA and EEC already enjoy consultative or participant status. At meetings of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board the impact of economic groupings of developed countries on world trade is discussed periodically, with the active participation of representatives of these two organizations.
All these and other procedures are, however, clearly of an interim character. Conceivably a scheme of widened East-West coöperation could give rise to a more satisfactory arrangement particularly if the EEC could find a way of divesting itself of the political connotation with which it was endowed at the time of its establishment. It would also be conducive to better understanding if the EEC could take measures to protect the legitimate trade and economic interests of nonmembers, make express provisions for its participation in region-wide coöperation, even if this meant the cessation or restructuring of certain activities of EEC that could more advantageously be carried out within an all-European framework, and ensure that its policies do not run counter to the process of wider economic specialization. Such steps might be supplemented by a consultative procedure on questions requiring settlement. But all this requires much further thought and clarification.
Another problem which has to be solved is that of confidence. It is nowadays a banality to say that there can be no international coöperation, no peace, without confidence. Schiller's Wallenstein cries: "For war's eternal 'midst cunning and suspicion; only with faith and confidence there's peace. Who poisons confidence, Oh he assassinates the coming generations in the mother's womb!" Chicherin, in a less poetic vein, remarks at the time of Genoa: "It is necessary to create confidence. Without it the capitalists will not open their purses." In fact, the Soviet offer at Genoa was spurned partly because of an almost total absence of credence and trust on the part of the Western Powers. In the harsh reality of world politics, it takes a long time to establish a feeling of trust even between nations with a common history, institutions and values, and very little-a petty incident or a fortuitous misunderstanding perhaps- suffices to weaken or destroy it altogether. When taking root, international confidence remains a delicate plant requiring careful and constant nurturing. The creation and maintenance of confidence between the East and the West, against the background of decades of enmity, fear and suspicion, are, therefore, a particularly formidable and yet absolutely essential part of a deliberate policy for utilizing the full potentialities of peaceful coexistence. This is likely to be a complex process, involving the initial thrust of solemnly proclaimed major political decisions, such as the recent treaty between the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany. Such statesmanlike acts ipso facto generate trust by postulating it as an essential element of the diplomatic instrument. In this way, a series of practical coöperative measures, by producing mutually beneficial results, reinforce the original impulse through "feedback" effects, and set in train, to use Myrdal's sociological terminology, an upward spiral of cumulative causation whereby confidence engenders coöperation and coöperation engenders confidence. In view of the particular difficulties of creating confidence between the two sides in question, the scope of commonly shared values being ideologically and politically limited, the process, in its initial phase, could be promoted by, first, a special mental and moral effort to turn a new page in East-West relations, and, second, by endowing it with a contractual basis, including a wide range of accords, from a multilateral legal instrument governing coöperation as a whole (such as frame-agreements) to specific arrangements in particular fields (such as protocols), with built-in machinery for verifying results and forestalling misunderstandings.
Even if everything possible were done to create an atmosphere of trust, a ramified and lasting system of peaceful coexistence, comprising a network of intermeshing bilateral arrangements and multilateral accords of the kind alluded to, could at best be fashioned in successive stages. But this process should be purposeful, moving forward methodically within an overall design. Therefore, while, faute de mieux, partial advances should continue to be sought, it may be argued that bold and comprehensive, though not necessarily grandiose, schemes of East-West coöperation of the kind which Chicherin adumbrated at Genoa a half-century ago are needed to make a real and badly needed impact on world politics. In such a system the day-to-day commercial operations which still supply the life-blood of coexistence (though they are increasingly becoming the end-result rather than the basis of economic coöperation in a broader sense) should be combined with wide- ranging schemes for human progress through a coördinated application of technology, and a concerted attack (by means of a jointly operated research capability wherever appropriate) on major common needs identified in the key areas of (1) production and trade (including money, finance, credit and investment); (2) transport and communications; (3) resource development and management (including energy generation and distribution); (4) the protection of health and environment; (5) the strengthening of common cultural values; and (6) East-West coöperation in overcoming the economic development gap. Provision would have to be made for promoting, on an increasing scale, related movements of persons, for in the last analysis human contacts represent an essential ingredient of the coexistence process. Specific coöperative schemes between certain key actors-such as, for instance, Soviet-Japanese and Soviet-U.S. coöperation in the utilization of the natural wealth of Siberia, based, in part, on the granting of credits and repayment in kind (a theme first broached, be it remembered, in Genoa)-could serve to reinforce the edifice and give the system the necessary politico-economic momentum.[xiv]
The overall design should be completed by an institutional mechanism providing on a continuing basis the means for specific undertakings for the maintenance of peace and security. A careful blending and integration of political, economic and related coöperation within the scheme seems desirable to ensure a diversified pattern of peaceful coexistence with a built-in mechanism of checks and balances. Individual participants in such a scheme would naturally develop their particular patterns of East-West relations, reflecting their special needs and requirements within the framework of coexistence, but the "multilateral roof" would help to keep an overall equilibrium and minimize friction. A general framework could be sought in appropriate regional arrangements (such as a Treaty Organization for European Security and Coöperation) related to the United Nations, the world body where the several coexistence efforts might ultimately coalesce. The United Nations could give the notion the status of a generally recognized norm of international law (a point made by several Soviet jurists) and undertake work of systematic codification. (A valuable beginning has already been made by the adoption by the General Assembly in 1970 of the Declaration on Friendly Relations between States.) The United Nations could also intensify its efforts at making the idea and the potentialities of East-West coöperation more generally known and appreciated, and thus offer an imaginative and yet realistic vision of what the world would be like if a state of peaceful coexistence in the full sense could be attained. And why not launch a United Nations Decade of Peaceful Coexistence to complement and reinforce its Development Decades?
Such, then, are the contours of a possible far-reaching accommodation between the East and the West which seem to emerge both from a historical study and from an assessment of current Soviet policies in this regard and of a possible approach toward its implementation. Clearly, many of the issues raised require further elucidation and detailed elaboration: the final shape of peaceful coexistence would obviously have to be worked out on the basis of a common understanding under which both sides stand to gain. The important thing is that the accommodation should be based on the recognition of the essential equality of the two sides rather than on "symmetry," as some peace-researchers suggest. Right from the beginning of the life of the Soviet state, Lenin was aware of the need for compromise for the sake of peaceful coexistence. The Soviet Union has always stressed its readiness to sit down with the other side and negotiate the various proposals. It has never demanded or expected the impossible. But at some point in time, it would seem, a major policy decision will have to be made by all concerned to explore the modalities of a lasting collaborative arrangement between the West and the East. Clearly, one is here faced by a "necessity of choice." The Soviet challenge, as we have seen, evoked no response when first presented in Genoa in 1922. If it had, the course of history might conceivably have been different. Fifty years later, when the case for peaceful coexistence is much more plausible, will the challenge remain unheeded? There has rarely been a more propitious time than now when inescapable economic and social imperatives call for a new political impetus.
[i] An added inducement has been the recent appearance of hitherto inaccessible writings by Lenin on questions related to coexistence and the Genoa Conference in the fifth edition of his "Complete Works" (issued during the period 1967 to 1970), as well as of further relevant material, some of it originally confidential, contained in the first, comprehensive collection of official papers on Soviet foreign policy, "Dokumenty Vneshnei Politiki SSSR." This fresh evidence has made it possible to trace from the "inside" a particular process of policy-making.
[ii] When working on this essay, I learned from the memoirs of Hamilton Fish Armstrong, "Peace and Counterpeace" (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), that Lenin carefully read and marked certain articles in the first number of Foreign Affairs, particularly Coolidge's essay.
[iii] In the opinion of Professor Coolidge, as stated In his article, this deprived the Conference "of half its value for Moscow .... We may well surmise, therefore, that the absence of American representatives seriously affected the conduct of the Russians both at Genoa and The Hague. They now felt they had less to gain by making concessions and accordingly less reason for making them."
[iv] E. H. Carr, "The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923." London: Macmillan, 1953, p. 91.
[v] "Dokumenty Vneshnei Politiki SSSR." Moscow: Gospolitzdat, 1958, v. 2, p. 639. For a useful chronological anthology of Lenin's statements on coexistence, see W. I. Lenin, "Über die friedliche Koexistenz" (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1965). However, this collection does not contain a number of statements of key importance which first appeared in the last edition of Lenin's "Complete Works." So far as I am aware, Lenin did not himself employ the term "mirnoye sosushchestvovaniye" (peaceful coexistence) used by Chicherin but spoke of "mirnoye sozhitelstvo" (peaceful cohabitation) of socialist and capitalist states, the "parallel existence" of different systems of property relations. This term also occurs not infrequently in diplomatic notes and communications of the Soviet government during that early period. It has recently been stressed in Soviet literature on the subject that there is no substantive difference between the earlier and later terms, as some foreign analysts would make it appear.
[vi] For an interesting account of the reactions to this overture, see Coolidge, op. cit.
[vii] The original manuscript of Lenin's "Left-wing Communism" (1920) contains a somewhat ironic dedication to "the highly respected Mr. Lloyd George as a token of my gratitude for his speech of March 18, 1920, which was almost Marxist and is in any event extremely useful to the Communists and Bolsheviks of the whole world."
[viii] This work was entrusted to Professor N. N. Liubimov, who was one of the principal experts of the Russian delegation at Genoa. I am indebted to him for giving me the benefit of his first-hand knowledge and recollections of the Conference.
[ix] When similar views to these were propounded at the Twentieth (1956) and subsequent Congresses of the CPSU, some foreign observers nevertheless spoke of major shifts in Soviet attitudes.
[x] See "Peaceful Coexistence: A Western View," Foreign Affairs, January 1960. For a recent Soviet criticism of Kennan's and other Western views on the subject, see "Peaceful Co-Existence and the Revolutionary Process" (in Russian), by V. N. Yegorov (Moscow: Mezhduharodniye Otnosheniya, 1971).
[xi] Soviet-American trade, for instance, "has recently averaged about 200 million dollars a year. Secretary of Commerce, Maurice H. Stans, believes there is a potential for 5 billion dollars in two-way trade by 1975. State Department experts . . . have expressed caution but nevertheless believe a five-fold rise of one billion dollars a year is quite conceivable." Paris: International Herald Tribune, November 18, 1971.
[xii] The policy reports by Brezhnev and Kosygin at the last Congress of the CPSU contain several references to the need for international coöperation in this area.
[xiii] See, for instance, A. Vetrov, "Problems of 'East-West' Economic Ties," Foreign Trade, Moscow, No. 2, 1971.
[xiv] "Probably the biggest project centers on the huge copper deposits in Udokan, Siberia. An estimated 4 billion dollars is required to bring these fields into full commercial use. . . . An estimated 400,000 tons of copper would be mined annually. About half of that would go to the Soviet Union; the other half to the United States. A second giant project involves exploitation of the extensive gas deposits all over the Soviet Union. The project under consideration calls for an investment of 3 billion to 4 billion dollars to augment Soviet production by 800 million dollars annually by the end of this decade. About half of the increment would go to meet Russian needs. . . . The rest liquified and carried in specially built ships, would come to the United States." Joseph Kraft, "Doing Business with Russia." Paris: International Herald Tribune, November 18, 1971. It appears from an interview by Mr. Eldridge Haynes, Chairman of Business International, published in Moscow News on December 25, 1971, that these and other similar schemes were, in fact, discussed in Moscow in the course of a round table of top executives of large U.S. corporations and enterprises organized at the end of last year.