THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COMRADE
TOGLIATTI AND US
"Renmin Ribao" Editorial, December 31, 1962
Foreign Languages Press, 1963
The Communist Party of Italy is a party with a glorious history of struggle in the ranks of
the international communist movement. In their valiant struggles both during the dark
years of Mussolini's rule and during the difficult years of World War II and after, the
Italian Communists and the Italian proletariat have had admirable achievements to their
credit. The Chinese Communists and the Chinese people have always held the comrades
of the Italian Communist Party and the Italian people in high esteem.
In accordance with its consistent stand of strengthening friendship with fraternal Parties,
the Communist Party of China sent its representative to attend the Tenth Congress of the
Communist Party of Italy, which was held in early December, at the latter's invitation.
We had hoped that this congress would help to strengthen not only the common struggle
against imperialism and in defence of world peace, but also the unity of the international
But, at this congress, to our regret and against our hopes, Comrade Togliatti and certain
other leaders of the C.P.I, rudely attacked the Communist Party of China and other
fraternal Parties on a series of important questions of principle. They did so in violation
of the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties as set forth in the Moscow
Declaration and the Moscow Statement, and in disregard of the interests of the united
struggle of the international communist movement against the enemy.
The representative of the Communist Party of China at the congress was thus compelled
to declare solemnly in his address that we disagreed with the attacks and slanders levelled
at the Communist Party of China by Togliatti and certain other leaders of the C.P.I.
Nevertheless, Togliatti and certain other leaders of the C.P.I, "very firmly rejected" the
views put forward by the. representative of the C.P.C., continued their attacks upon the
C.P.C. and other fraternal Parties, and persisted in conducting the "debate in public".
Thus, the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party of Italy became a salient part of the
recently emerged adverse current which runs counter to Marxism-Leninism, and which is
disrupting the unity of the International communist movement.
In such circumstances, we cannot remain silent but must publicly answer the attacks on
us by Comrade Togliatti and other comrades. Nor can we remain silent about the views
they expressed in contravention of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and
of the revolutionary principles of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement,
but we must publicly comment on these views. We wish to say frankly that on a number
of fundamental questions of Marxism-Leninism there exist differences of principle
between Comrade Togliatti and certain other C.P.I, leaders on the one hand and ourselves
on the other.
After reading Togliatti's general report and his concluding speech at the Tenth Congress
of the Communist Party of Italy and the theses of the congress, one cannot help feeling
that he and certain other C.P.I, leaders are departing further and further from Marxism-
Leninism. Although Comrade Togliatti and certain others have, as usual, covered up their
real views by using obscure, ambiguous and scarcely intelligible language, the essence of
their views becomes clear once this flimsy veil is removed.
They cherish the greatest illusions about imperialism, then deny the fundamental
antagonism between the two world systems of socialism and capitalism and the
fundamental antagonism between the oppressed nations and oppressor nations, and, in
place of international class struggle and anti-imperialist struggle, they advocate
international class collaboration and the establishment of a "new world order". They have
profound illusions about the monopoly capitalists at home, they confuse the two vastly
different kinds of class dictatorship, bourgeois dictatorship and proletarian dictatorship,
and preach bourgeois reformism, or what they call "structural reform" as a substitute for
proletarian revolution. They allege that the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism
have become "outmoded", and they tamper with the Marxist-Leninist theories of
imperialism, of war and peace, of the state and revolution, and of proletarian revolution
and proletarian dictatorship. They discard the revolutionary principles of the Moscow
Declaration and the Moscow Statement, they repudiate the common laws of proletarian
revolution or, in other words, the universal significance of the road of the October
Revolution, and they describe the "Italian road", which is the abandonment of revolution,
as a "line common to the whole international communist movement".
In the final analysis, the stand taken by Togliatti and certain other C.P.I, leaders boils
down to this— the people of the capitalist countries should not make revolutions, the
oppressed nations should not wage struggles to win liberation, and the people of the
world should not fight against imperialism. Actually, all this exactly suits the needs of
imperialists and the reactionaries.
In this article we do not propose to discuss all our differences with Comrade Togliatti and
certain other C.P.I, comrades. Here we shall set forth our views on only a few of the
important questions at issue.
Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades differ with us, first of all, on the question
of war and peace. In his general report to the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party of
Italy, Togliatti declared: "This problem was widely discussed at the Conference of the
Communist and Workers' Parties held in Moscow in the autumn of 1960. The Chinese
comrades put forward some views, which were rejected by the meeting." He spoke in
deliberately vague terms and did not mention what were the views put forward by the
Chinese comrades, but went on to speak of the inevitability of war as the source of the
disputes, which made it apparent that he was accusing the Chinese Communists of having
no faith in the possibility of averting a new world war, and accusing China of being
This accusation levelled against the Communist Party of China by Comrade Togliatti and
certain other comrades is completely groundless and trumped up.
The Communist Party of China has consistently taken the stand of opposing the
imperialist policies of aggression and war, of preventing imperialism from launching a
new world war, and of defending world peace. We have always held that as long as
imperialism exists there will be soil for wars of aggression. The danger of imperialism
starting a world war still exists. However, because of the new changes that have taken
place in the international balance of class forces, it is possible for the peace forces of the
world to prevent imperialism from launching a new world war, provided that they stand
together, form a united front against the policies of aggression and war pursued by the
imperialists headed by the United States, and wage resolute struggles. Should
imperialism dare to take the risk of imposing a new world war on the peoples of the
world, such a war would inevitably end in the destruction of imperialism and the victory
of socialism. We stated these views at the 1957 and 1960 Moscow meetings. The two
Moscow meetings included these views of ours in the joint documents, which were
adopted, and did not reject them as Togliatti alleged.
Since Togliatti and certain other comrades know perfectly well where the Communist
Party of China stands on the problem of war and peace, why do they keep on distorting
and attacking this stand? What are the real differences between them and us?
They are manifested mainly on the following three questions:
Firstly, the Communist Party of China holds that the source of modern war is
imperialism. The chief force for aggression and war is U.S. imperialism, the most vicious
enemy of all the peoples of the world. In order to defend world peace, it is necessary to
expose the imperialist policies of aggression and war unceasingly and thoroughly, so as
to make the people of the world to maintain a high degree of vigilance. The fact that the
forces of socialism, of national liberation, of people's revolution and of world peace have
surpassed the forces of imperialism and war has not changed the aggressive nature of
imperialism and cannot possibly change it. The imperialist bloc headed by the United
States is engaged in frenzied arms expansion and war preparations and is menacing world
Those who slanderously attack the C.P.C. allege that our unremitting exposures of
imperialism, and especially of the policies of aggression and war of U.S. imperialism,
show our disbelief in the possibility of averting a world war; actually what these people
oppose is the exposure of imperialism. On many occasions they have publicly opposed
the exposure of imperialism. Although they admit in words that the nature of imperialism
has not changed, in fact, they prettify imperialism in a hundred and one ways and spread
among the masses of the people illusions about imperialism, and especially about U.S.
It will be recalled that three years ago, following the "Camp David talks", some persons
in the international communist movement talked a great deal about Eisenhower's sincere
desire for peace, saying that this ringleader of U.S. imperialism was just as concerned
about peace as we were. It will also be recalled that when Eisenhower arrived in Italy on
his European tour in December 1959, certain comrades of the C.P.I, went so far as to put
up posters, distribute leaflets and organize a gala welcome, urging all Italian political
parties and people from all walks of life to "salute" him. One of the welcoming slogans
ran as follows: "We Communists of Rome salute Dwight Eisenhower and, in the name of
250,000 electors in the capital of the Italian Republic, express our confidence and our
determination that the great hopes for peace which were aroused in the hearts of all
peoples, hopes created by the meeting between the President of the United States of
America and the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, shall not end in disappointment."
(L'Unita, December 4, 1959.)
Now we again hear some people saying that Kennedy is even more concerned about
world peace than Eisenhower was and that Kennedy showed his concern for the
maintenance of peace during the Caribbean crisis.
One would like to ask: Is this way of embellishing U.S. imperialism the correct policy for
defending world peace? The intrusion into the Soviet Union of spy planes sent by the
Eisenhower Administration, the aggression against Cuba by the Kennedy Administration,
the hundred and one other acts of aggression around the world by U.S. imperialism, and
its threats to world peace—have these not repeatedly confirmed the truth that the
ringleaders of U.S. imperialism are no angels of peace but monsters of war? And are not
those people who try time and again to prettify imperialism deliberately deceiving the
people of the world?
It is crystal-clear that if one went by what these people say, U.S. imperialism would have
ceased to be the enemy of world peace, and therefore, there would be no need to fight
against its policies of aggression and war. This erroneous view, which openly runs
counter to the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement, can only make the peace-
loving people of the world lose their bearing, damage the fight for world peace and assist
U.S. imperialism in carrying out its policies of aggression and war.
Secondly, the Communist Party of China holds that world peace can only be securely
safeguarded in the resolute struggle against imperialism headed by the United States, by
constantly strengthening the socialist camp, by constantly strengthening the national and
democratic movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and by constantly
strengthening the people's revolutionary struggles in various countries and the movement
to defend world peace. In order to achieve world peace it is necessary to rely mainly on
the strength of the masses of the people of the world and on their struggles. In the course
of the struggle to defend world peace, it is necessary to enter into negotiations on one
issue or another with the governments of the imperialist countries, including the
government of the United States, for the purpose of easing international tension, reaching
some kind of compromise and arriving at certain agreements, subject to the principle that
such compromises and agreements must not damage the fundamental interests of the
people. However, world peace can never be achieved by negotiations alone, and in no
circumstances must we pin our hopes on imperialism and divorce ourselves from the
struggles of the masses.
Those who attack the Communist Party of China misrepresent this correct viewpoint of
ours as showing lack of faith in the possibility of averting a world war. As a matter of
fact, they themselves have no faith in the possibility of preventing a world war by
reliance on the strength of the masses and their struggles, and they are opposed to relying
on the masses and their struggles. They want the people of the world to believe in the
"sensibleness", the "assurances" and the "good intentions" of imperialism, and to place
their hopes for world peace on "mutual conciliation", "mutual concessions", "mutual
accommodation" and "sensible compromises" with imperialism. To beg imperialism for
peace, these persons do not scruple to impair the fundamental interests of the people of
various countries, throw overboard the revolutionary principles and even demand that
others also should sacrifice the revolutionary principles.
Innumerable historical facts prove that genuine peace can never be attained by begging
imperialism for peace at the expense of the fundamental interests of the people and at the
expense of revolutionary principles. On the contrary, this can only help to inflate the
arrogance of the imperialist aggressors. Comrade Fidel Castro has rightly said that "the
way to peace is not the way of sacrifice of, or infringement upon, the people's rights,
because that is precisely the way leading to war".
Thirdly, the Communist Party of China holds that the struggle for the defence of world
peace supports, is supported by, and indeed is inseparable from, the national-liberation
movements and the peoples' revolutionary struggles in various countries. The national-
liberation movements and the peoples' revolutionary struggles are a powerful force
weakening the imperialist forces of war and defending world peace. The more the
national-liberation movements and the peoples' revolutionary struggles develop, the
better for the defence of world peace. The socialist countries, the Communists of all
countries and all the peace-loving people of the world must resolutely support the
national-liberation movements and the revolutionary struggles of the peoples in various
countries, and must resolutely support wars of national-liberation and peoples'
In branding this correct view of ours as "warlike", those who attack the Communist Party
of China are, in fact, placing the struggle in defence of world peace in opposition to the
movements of national liberation and to the peoples' revolutionary struggles, and in
opposition to wars of national-liberation and peoples' revolutionary wars. According to
them, all that the oppressed nations and the oppressed peoples can do is to receive what is
"bestowed" by imperialism and the reactionaries, and they should not wage struggles
against imperialism and the reactionaries, or they would be disturbing world peace. These
persons assert that if oppressed nations and oppressed peoples were to oppose counter-
revolutionary war with revolutionary war when confronting armed suppression by
imperialism and the reactionaries, this would have "irreparable consequences". This
erroneous view of theirs can only mean that they are opposed to revolution by oppressed
nations and peoples, and demand that these nations and peoples abandon their
revolutionary struggles and revolutionary wars and for ever submit to the dark rule and
enslavement of imperialism and reaction.
Facts have shown that every victory for the national-liberation movement and for the
revolutionary struggle of the people hits and weakens the imperialist forces of war and
strengthens and augments the peace forces of the world. To take the stand of fearing
revolution, of opposing revolution, results in setbacks and defeats for the national-
liberation movements and the peoples' revolutionary cause, and this will only damage the
peace forces and heighten the danger of imperialists starting a world war.
To sum up, on the question of how to avert world war and safeguard world peace, the
Communist Party of China has consistently stood for the resolute exposure of
imperialism, for strengthening the socialist camp, for firm support of the national-
liberation movements and the peoples' revolutionary struggles, for the broadest alliance
of all the peace-loving countries and people of the world, and at the same time, for taking
full advantage of the contradictions among our enemies, and for utilizing the method of
negotiation as well as other forms of struggle. The aim of this stand is precisely the
effective prevention of world war and preservation of world peace. This stand fully
conforms with Marxism-Leninism and with the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow
Statement. It is the correct policy for preventing world war and defending world peace.
We persist in this correct policy precisely because we are deeply convinced that it is
possible to prevent world war by relying on the combined struggle of all the forces
mentioned above. How then can this stand be described as lacking faith in the possibility
of averting world war? How can it be called "warlike"? It would simply result in a
phoney peace or bring about an actual war for the people of the whole world if you
prettify imperialism, pin your hopes of peace on imperialism, take an attitude of passivity
or opposition towards the national-liberation movements and the peoples' revolutionary
struggles and bow down and surrender to imperialism, as advocated by those who attack
the Communist Party of China. This policy is wrong and all Marxist-Leninists, all
revolutionary people, all peace-loving people must resolutely oppose it.
On the question of war and peace, the differences which Togliatti and certain other
comrades have with us find striking expression in our respective attitudes to nuclear
weapons and nuclear war.
The Communist Party of China has consistently held that nuclear weapons have
unprecedented destructive power and that it would be an unprecedented calamity for
mankind if nuclear war should break out. It is precisely for this reason that we have
always called for a complete ban on nuclear weapons, that is, a total ban on the testing,
manufacture, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. Time and again the Chinese
Government has proposed the establishment of an area free from atomic weapons
embracing all the countries of the Asian and Pacific region, the United States included.
Besides, we have always actively supported all the just struggles waged by the peace-
loving countries and peoples of the world for the outlawing of nuclear weapons and the
prevention of a nuclear war. The allegations that the Communist Party of China
underestimates the destructiveness of nuclear weapons and wants to drag the world into a
nuclear war are absurd slanders.
On the question of nuclear weapons and nuclear war, the first difference between us and
those who attack the Communist Party of China is whether or not the fundamental
Marxist-Leninist principles on war and peace have become "out of date" since the
emergence of nuclear weapons.
Togliatti and certain others believe that the emergence of nuclear weapons "has changed
the nature of war" and that "one should add other considerations to the definition of the
just character of a war". Actually, they hold that war is no longer the continuation of
politics, and that there is no longer any distinction between just and unjust wars. Thus
they completely deny the fundamental Marxist-Leninist principles on war and peace. We
hold that the emergence of nuclear weapons has not changed and cannot change the
fundamental Marxist-Leninist principles with regard to war and peace. In reality, the
numerous wars that have broken out since the appearance of nuclear weapons have all
been the continuation of politics, and there still are just and unjust wars. In practice, those
who hold there is no longer any distinction between just and unjust wars either oppose
waging just wars or refuse to give them support, and they have lapsed into the position of
bourgeois pacifism which is opposed to all wars.
On the question of nuclear weapons and nuclear war the second difference between us
and those who attack the Communist Party of China is whether one should view the
future of mankind with pessimism or with revolutionary optimism.
Togliatti and certain others talk volubly about "the suicide of mankind" and the "total
destruction" of mankind. They believe that "it is idle even to discuss what might be the
outlook for such remnants of the human race with regard to the social order". We are
firmly opposed to such pessimistic and despairing tunes. We believe that it is possible to
attain a complete ban on nuclear weapons in the following circumstances: the socialist
camp has a great nuclear superiority, the peoples' struggles in various countries against
nuclear weapons and nuclear war become broader and deeper; having further forfeited
their nuclear superiority, the imperialists are compelled to realize that their policy of
nuclear blackmail is no longer effective and that their launching of a nuclear war would
only accelerate their own extinction. There are precedents for the outlawing of highly
destructive weapons. One such precedent is the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in
War of Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, concluded
by various nations in 1925 in Geneva.
If, after we have done everything possible to prevent a nuclear war, imperialism should
nevertheless unleash nuclear war, without regard to any of the consequences, it would
only result in the extinction of imperialism and definitely not in the extinction of
mankind. The Moscow Statement points out that "should the imperialist maniacs start
war, the peoples will sweep capitalism out of existence and bury it". All Marxist-
Leninists firmly believe that the course of history necessarily leads to the destruction of
nuclear weapons by mankind, and will definitely not lead to the destruction of mankind
by nuclear weapons. The advocates of the "total destruction" of mankind contradict the
theses contained in the joint documents of the international communist movement, and
this only serves to show that they have lost all faith in the future of mankind and in the
great ideal of communism and have fallen into the quagmire of defeatism.
On the question of nuclear weapons and nuclear war, the third difference between us and
those who attack the Communist Party of China concerns the policy to be adopted in
order successfully to reach the goal of outlawing nuclear weapons and preventing a
Togliatti and certain others zealously advertise the dreadful nature of nuclear weapons
and blatantly declare that "it is justified" to "shudder" with fear in the face of the nuclear
blackmail when U.S. imperialism parades it. Togliatti has also said that "war must be
avoided at any cost". According to what he and certain others say, should not the only
way of dealing with the U.S. imperialist policy of nuclear threats and blackmail be
unconditional surrender and the complete abandonment of all revolutionary ideals and all
revolutionary principles? Can this be the kind of stand a Communist should take? Can a
nuclear war really be prevented in this way?
It is unthinkable that "shudders of fear" will move U.S. imperialism to become so
benevolent that it will abandon its policies of aggression and war and its policy of nuclear
blackmail. Facts prove the opposite. The more one "shudders" with fear, the more
unbridled and the greedier U.S. imperialism becomes, and the more it persists in using
threats of nuclear warfare and raising ever greater demands. Have there not been enough
object-lessons of this kind?
We hold that in order to mobilize the masses of the people against nuclear war and
nuclear weapons it is necessary to inform them of the enormous destructiveness of these
weapons. It would be patently wrong to underestimate this destructiveness. However,
U.S. imperialism is doing its utmost to disseminate dread of nuclear weapons in pursuit
of its policy of nuclear blackmail. In these circumstances, while Communists should
point out the destructiveness of nuclear weapons, they should counter the U.S. imperialist
propaganda of nuclear terror by stressing the possibility of outlawing them and
preventing nuclear war; they should try and transmute the people's desire for peace into
righteous indignation at the imperialist policy of nuclear threats and lead the people to
struggle against the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war. In no circumstances
must Communists act as a voluntary propagandist for the U.S. imperialist policy of
nuclear blackmail. We hold that the U.S. imperialist policy of nuclear blackmail must be
thoroughly exposed and that all peace-loving countries and people must be mobilized on
the most extensive scale to wage an unrelenting fight against every move made by the
U.S. imperialists in their plans for aggression and war. We are deeply convinced that, by
relying on the united struggle of all forces defending peace, it is possible to frustrate the
U.S. imperialist policy of nuclear blackmail. This is the correct and effective policy for
achieving a ban on nuclear weapons and preventing a nuclear war.
We would like to advise those who attack the Communist Party of China to discard their
fallacious pessimistic arguments, to have confidence in the truth of Marxism-Leninism,
to pull themselves together and take an active part in the great struggle of the masses
against the imperialist policy of nuclear blackmail and for the defence of world peace.
Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades have strongly opposed the Marxist-
Leninist proposition of the Chinese Communist Party that "imperialism and all
reactionaries are paper tigers". In his report to the recent congress of the Italian
Communist Party Comrade Togliatti said that it "was wrong to state that imperialism is
simply a paper tiger which can be overthrown by a mere push of the shoulder". Then
there are other persons who assert that today imperialism has nuclear teeth, so how can it
be called a paper tiger?
Prejudice is further from the truth than ignorance. In the case of Comrade Togliatti and
certain other comrades, if they are not ignorant, then they are deliberately distorting this
proposition of the Chinese Communist Party. In comparing imperialism and all
reactionaries to paper tigers, Comrade Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Communists are
looking at the problem as a whole and from a long-term point of view and are looking at
the essence of the problem. What is meant is that, in the final analysis, it is the masses of
the people who are really powerful, not imperialism and the reactionaries. Comrade Mao
Tse-tung first put forward this proposition in August 1946, in his talk with the American
correspondent Anna Louise Strong. That was a difficult time for the Chinese people. The
Kuomintang reactionaries, backed to the hilt by U.S. imperialism and enjoying immense
superiority in men and equipment, had unleashed a nation-wide civil war. In the face of
the frenzied enemy attacks and the myth of the invincibility of U.S. imperialism, the most
important question for the Chinese revolution and the fate of the Chinese people was
whether we would dare to struggle, dare to make a revolution, and dare to seize victory. It
was at this crucial moment that Comrade Mao Tse-tung armed the Chinese Communists
and the Chinese people ideologically with the Marxist-Leninist proposition that
"imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers". With great lucidity he said:
All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are
terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point
of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.
Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters, the U.S. reactionaries, are all paper
tigers too. Speaking of U.S. imperialism, people seem to feel that it is
terrifically strong. Chinese reactionaries are using the "strength" of the
United States to frighten the Chinese people. But it will be proved that the
U.S. reactionaries, like all the reactionaries in history, do not have much
In his speech at the meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of
socialist countries in Moscow, November 1957, Comrade Mao Tse-tung expounded the
same proposition. He said:
All the reputedly powerful reactionaries were merely paper tigers... For
struggle against the enemy, we formed over a long period the concept that
strategically we should despise all our enemies, but that tactically we
should take them all seriously. This also means that in regard to the whole
we should despise the enemy but that in regard to each and every concrete
question we must take them seriously. If with regard to the whole we do
not despise the enemy we shall be committing the error of opportunism.
Marx and Engels were only two persons. Yet in those early days they
declared that capitalism would be overthrown all over the world. But in
dealing with concrete problems and particular enemies we shall be
committing the error of adventurism if we do not take them seriously.
This scientific proposition of Comrade Mao Tse-tung's was confirmed long ago by the
great victory of the Chinese people's revolution; and it has inspired all oppressed nations
and oppressed peoples engaged in revolutionary struggles. Let us ask Comrade Togliatti
and those who have attacked this proposition: On what particular point is Comrade Mao
Tse-tung's proposition wrong?
Comrade Mao Tse-tung's analysis of imperialism and all reactionaries is completely in
accord with Lenin's analysis. In 1919 Lenin compared the "all-powerful" Anglo-French
imperialism to a "colossus with feet of clay". He said:
It seemed at that time that world imperialism was such a tremendous and
invincible force that it was stupid of the workers of a backward country to
attempt an uprising against it. Now ... we see that imperialism, which
seemed such an insuperable colossus, has proved before the whole world
to be a colossus with feet of clay, ...
... that all these seemingly huge and invincible forces of international
imperialism are unreliable, and hold no terrors for us, that at the core they
are rotten,... 
Isn't the reasoning of Lenin in his description of the "colossus with feet of clay" the same
as that of Comrade Mao Tse-tung in his reference to the "paper tiger"? We ask, what is
wrong with Lenin's proposition? Is this proposition of Lenin's "outmoded"?
In history there have been countless instances proving that imperialism and reactionaries
are all paper tigers. In 1917, before the February and October Revolutions the
opportunists said that because the tsar and the bourgeois government were so formidable
it would be sheer madness for the people to take up arms. But Lenin and the other
Bolsheviks resolutely combated this opportunist view and firmly led the masses of the
workers, peasants and soldiers to overthrow the tsar and the bourgeois government.
History proved that the tsar and the bourgeois government were nothing but paper tigers.
On the eve of and during World War II, the adherents of the policy of appeasement and
capitulation said that Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese imperialists were invincible. But
the people of various countries resolutely combated appeasement and capitulation and in
the end they won the war against fascism. Again, history proved that Hitler, Mussolini
and the Japanese imperialists were nothing but paper tigers.
We hold that the question of whether one treats imperialism and all reactionaries
strategically as the paper tigers they really are is of great importance for the question of
how the forces of revolution and the forces of reaction are to be appraised, is of great
importance for the question of whether the revolutionary people will dare to wage
struggle, dare to make revolution, dare to seize victory, and is of great importance for the
question of the future outcome of the world-wide struggles of the people and for the
question of the future course of history. Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries should
never be afraid of imperialism and the reactionaries. The days are now gone for ever
when imperialism could ride roughshod over the world, and it is imperialism and the
reactionaries who should be afraid of the forces of revolution and not the other way
round. Every oppressed nation and every oppressed people should above all have the
revolutionary confidence, the revolutionary courage and the revolutionary spirit to defeat
imperialism and the reactionaries, otherwise there will be no hope for any revolution. The
only way to win victory in revolution is for the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries
resolutely to combat every trace of weakness and capitulation, and to educate the masses
of the people in the concept that "imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers",
thereby destroying the arrogance of the enemy and enhancing the spirit of the great
masses of the people so that they will have revolutionary determination and confidence,
revolutionary vision and staunchness.
The possession of nuclear weapons by imperialism has not changed by one iota the nature
of imperialism, which is rotten to the core and declining, inwardly weak though
outwardly strong; nor has it changed by one iota the basic Marxist-Leninist principle that
the masses of the people are the decisive factor in the development of history. When in
his talk with Anna Louise Strong Comrade Mao Tse-tung first put forward the
proposition that imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers, the imperialists already
had atomic weapons. In this talk Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out:
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the U.S. reactionaries use to scare
people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. Of course, the atom bomb is a
weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of a war is decided by the
people, not by one or two new types of weapon.
History has proved that even when imperialism is armed with nuclear weapons it cannot
frighten into submission a revolutionary people who dare to fight. The victory of the
Chinese revolution and the great victories of the peoples of Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba,
Algeria and other countries in their revolutionary struggles, were all won at a time when
U.S. imperialism possessed nuclear weapons. Imperialism has always been armed to the
teeth and has always been out for the blood of the people. No matter what kind of teeth
imperialism may have, whether guns, tanks, rocket teeth, nuclear teeth or any other kind
of teeth that modern science and technology may provide, its rotten, decadent and paper-
tiger nature cannot change. In the final analysis, neither nuclear teeth nor any other kind
of teeth can save imperialism from its fate of inevitable extinction. In the end the nuclear
teeth of imperialism, and whatever other teeth it may have, will be consigned by the
people of the world to the museum of history, together with imperialism itself.
Those who attack the proposition that "imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers"
have obviously lost every quality a revolutionary ought to have and instead have become
as short-sighted and timid as mice. Our advice to these people is, better not tie your fate
to that of the imperialists !
The differences Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades have with us are also
manifest on the question of peaceful coexistence.
The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government have always stood for
peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems. China was an
initiator of the well-known Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. On the basis of those
Five Principles, China has established friendly relations with many countries, concluded
treaties of friendship or treaties of friendship and mutual non-aggression with Yemen,
Burma, Nepal, Afghanistan, Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia and Ghana, and achieved a
satisfactory settlement of boundary questions with Burma, Nepal and other countries. No
one can deny these facts.
Yet there are persons in the international communist movement who vilify and attack
China as being opposed to peaceful coexistence. The reason they do this is to cover up
their own erroneous and anti-Marxist-Leninist views on this question.
On the question of peaceful coexistence, our differences with those who attack us are the
following. We believe that socialist countries should strive to establish normal
international relations with countries with different social systems on the basis of mutual
respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-
interference in domestic affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. So
far as the socialist countries are concerned, this presents no difficulties whatsoever. The
obstacles come from imperialism and from the reactionaries of various countries. It is
inconceivable that peaceful coexistence can be achieved without struggle. It is still less
conceivable that the establishment of peaceful coexistence can eliminate class struggles
in the world arena and can abolish the antagonism between the two systems, socialism
and capitalism, and the antagonism between oppressed nations and oppressor nations.
The Moscow Statement of 1960 points out: "Peaceful coexistence of states does not
imply renunciation of the class struggle as the revisionists claim. The coexistence of
states with different social systems is a form of class struggle between socialism and
But Comrade Togliatti and those who attack China hold that through "peaceful
coexistence" it is possible to "renovate the structure of the whole world" and to establish
"a new world order", to construct throughout the world "an economic and social order
capable of satisfying all the aspirations of men and peoples towards freedom, well-being,
independence and the full development of and respect for the human personality, and
towards peaceful co-operation of all states" and "a world without war". This means that it
is possible through "peaceful coexistence" to change a "world structure" in which there
exists antagonism between the systems of socialism and capitalism and between
oppressed and oppressor nations, and that it is possible to eliminate all wars and to realize
"a world without war" while imperialism and reactionaries still exist.
In taking this stand, Comrade Togliatti and other comrades have completely revised
Lenin's principles for peaceful coexistence and discarded the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of
class struggle; in reality they are substituting class collaboration for class struggle on a
world scale, advocating a fusion of the socialist and capitalist systems. U.S. imperialism
is now making a lot of noise about establishing a "world community of free nations", and
vainly hopes to absorb the socialist countries into the "free world" through "peaceful
evolution". The Tito group is helping U.S. imperialism by beating the drums for
"economic integration" and "political integration" of the world. Shouldn't those who
advocate "renovating the structure of the whole world" in peaceful coexistence draw a
line of demarcation between themselves and U.S. imperialism? Shouldn't they draw a line
of demarcation between themselves and the Tito group?
Even more absurd is the allegation that "a world without war" can be achieved through
peaceful coexistence. In the present situation, it is possible to prevent imperialism from
launching a new world war if all the peace-loving forces of the world unite into a broad
international anti-imperialist united front and fight together. But it is one thing to prevent
a world war and another to eliminate all wars. Imperialism and the reactionaries are the
source of war. In conditions where imperialism and reactionaries still exist, it is possible
that wars of one kind or another may occur. The history of the 17 postwar years shows
that local wars of one kind or another have never ceased. Oppressed nations and
oppressed people are bound to rise in revolution. When imperialism and the reactionaries
employ armed force to suppress revolution, it is inevitable that civil wars and national-
liberation wars will occur. Marxist-Leninists have always maintained that only after the
imperialist system has been overthrown and only after all systems of oppression of man
by man and of exploitation of man by man have been abolished, and not before, will it be
possible to eliminate all wars and to reach "a world without war".
On peaceful coexistence we have another difference with those who are attacking us. We
hold that the question of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social
systems and the question of revolution by oppressed nations and oppressed classes are
two different kinds of questions, and not questions of the same kind. The principle of
peaceful coexistence can apply only to relations between countries with different social
systems, not to relations between oppressed and oppressor nations nor to relations
between oppressed and oppressing classes. For an oppressed nation or people the
question is one of waging a revolutionary struggle to overthrow the rule of imperialism
and the reactionaries; it is not, and cannot be, a question of peaceful coexistence with
imperialism and the reactionaries.
But Togliatti and those attacking China extend their idea of "peaceful coexistence" to
cover relations between the colonial and semi-colonial people on the one hand and the
imperialists and colonialists on the other. They say, "the problem of starvation which still
afflicts a billion people", and "the problem of developing the productive forces and
democracy in the underdeveloped areas" "must be solved through negotiations, seeking
reasonable solutions and avoiding actions which might worsen the situation and cause
irreparable consequences". They do not like sparks of revolution among the oppressed
nations and peoples. They say that a tiny spark may lead to a world war.
Such a way of speaking is really asking the oppressed nations to "coexist peacefully"
with their colonial rulers, and asking them to tolerate colonial rule rather than to resist or
wage struggles for independence, much less to fight wars of national liberation. Doesn't
this kind of talk mean that the Chinese people, the Korean people, the Vietnamese
people, the Cuban people, the Algerian people and the people of other countries who rose
in revolution have all violated the principle of "peaceful coexistence" and done wrong? It
is very difficult for us to see any real difference between such talk and the preachings of
the imperialists and colonialists.
Even more astounding is the fact that Togliatti and certain other persons extend their idea
of class collaboration in the international arena to cover "joint intervention" in the
underdeveloped areas. They have said that "states of diverse social structure" can through
mutual co-operation "jointly intervene" to bring about progress in the underdeveloped
areas. To talk like this is obviously to spread illusions in the interest of neo-colonialism.
The policy of imperialism towards the underdeveloped areas, whatever its form or
pattern, is bound to be a policy which is of colonialist plunder, and can never be a policy
concerned for the progress of the underdeveloped areas. The socialist countries should of
course support the people of the underdeveloped areas; first of all, they should support
their struggles for national independence, and when independence has been won, they
should support them in developing their national economies. But the socialist countries
should never second the colonialist policy of the imperialists towards the underdeveloped
countries, much less "jointly intervene" with them in the underdeveloped areas. For
anyone to do so would be to betray proletarian internationalism and to serve the interests
of imperialism and colonialism.
Is it really possible to have "peaceful coexistence" between the oppressed nations and
peoples on the one hand and the imperialists and colonialists on the other? What does
"joint intervention" in the underdeveloped areas really mean? The Congo incident is the
best answer. When the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted its
resolution for international intervention in the Congo, there were some people in the
international communist movement who believed this to be a shining example of
international co-operation. They believed that colonialism could be wiped out through the
intervention of the U.N., which would enable the Congolese people to obtain their
freedom and independence. But what was the outcome? Lumumba, the national hero of
the Congo, was murdered; Gizenga, his successor, was imprisoned; many Congolese
patriots were murdered or thrown into jail; and the vigorous Congolese struggle for
national independence was seriously set back. The Congo not only continues to be
enslaved by the old colonialists, but has also become a colony of U.S. imperialism,
sinking into ever deeper suffering. We ask those who are clamouring for "peaceful
coexistence" between the oppressed nations and peoples on the one hand and the
imperialists and colonialists on the other, and for "joint intervention" in the
underdeveloped areas: Have you forgotten the tragic lesson of the Congo incident?
Those who slander China as being against peaceful coexistence attack her with the charge
that she has committed mistakes in her relations with India. Disregarding the true facts
and failing to discriminate between right and wrong, they invariably blame China for
having clashed with India. On this question, Togliatti said, "We know all that is
reasonable and right in the claims of the People's Republic of China. We also know that
the military actions began with an attack from the Indian side." This was a little fairer
than the attitude of some self-styled Marxist-Leninists who invariably make the false
charge that China started the clashes on the border. Nevertheless, Togliatti, making no
distinction between black and white, still asserts that the Sino-Indian armed clashes were
"unreasonable and absurd". We ask Comrade Togliatti, confronted with the preposterous
territorial claims and the large-scale armed attacks of the reactionary clique in India, what
should China have done in order to be called "reasonable" and not "absurd"? Is it possible
that the only way that China could prove herself "reasonable" and not "absurd" was to
submit to the unreasonable demands and the armed attacks of the Indian reactionary
clique? Is it possible that the only way socialist China could prove herself "reasonable"
and not "absurd" was to hand over with a bow large tracts of her own territory?
The position taken by Comrade Togliatti and certain Other comrades on the Sino-Indian
boundary question reflects their point of view on peaceful coexistence, which is that in
carrying out this policy the socialist countries should make one concession after another
to the capitalist countries, should not fight even in self-defence when subjected to armed
attacks, but should surrender their territorial sovereignty. May we ask, is there anything
in common between this point of view and the principle of Peaceful coexistence which a
socialist country ought to follow?
Those who accuse China of opposing peaceful coexistence also attack the Chinese people
for supporting the just stand of the Cuban people in their struggle against U.S.
imperialism. When the heroic Cuban people and their revolutionary leader, Premier Fidel
Castro, resolutely rejected international inspection as an infringement on Cuba's
sovereignty and advanced their five just demands, the Chinese people held gigantic mass
demonstrations and parades throughout the country in accordance with their consistent
stand for proletarian internationalism, and firmly supported the Cuban people's struggle
in defence of their independence, sovereignty and dignity. Was there anything wrong in
that? Yet some people have repeatedly charged China with creating difficulties in the
Caribbean situation and with wanting to plunge the world into a thermonuclear war. This
slander against China is most malicious and most despicable.
How can one possibly interpret the resolute support which the Chinese people gave to the
Cuban people in their struggle against international inspection and in defence of their
sovereignty as meaning that China was opposed to peaceful coexistence or wanted to
plunge others into a thermonuclear war? Does this mean that China, also, should have
applied pressure on Cuba to force her to accept international inspection, and that only by
so doing would China have conformed to this so-called "peaceful coexistence"? If there
are people who give verbal support to Cuba's five demands but are actually opposed to
the Chinese people's support for Cuba, are they not merely exposing the hypocrisy of
their own support for Cuba's five demands?
The C.P.C. and the Chinese people have always maintained that the course of history is
decided by the great strength of the masses of the people and not by any weapons. On
more than one occasion we have made it clear that we neither called for the establishment
of missile bases in Cuba nor obstructed the withdrawal of the so-called "offensive
weapons" from Cuba. We have never considered that it was a Marxist-Leninist attitude to
brandish nuclear weapons as a way of settling international disputes. Nor have we ever
considered that the avoidance of a thermonuclear war in the Caribbean crisis was a
"Munich". What we did strongly oppose, still strongly oppose and will strongly oppose in
the future is the sacrifice of another country's sovereignty as a means of reaching a
compromise with imperialism. A compromise of this sort can only be regarded as one
hundred per cent appeasement, a "Munich" pure and simple. A compromise of this sort
has nothing in common with the socialist countries' policy of peaceful coexistence.
In fact, not only do Comrade Togliatti and certain other C.P.I, comrades call for class
collaboration in place of class struggle in the international arena, they also extend their
concept of "peaceful coexistence" to relations between the oppressed and the oppressing
classes within the capitalist countries. Togliatti has said: "All our actions within the
sphere of the internal situation of our country are none other than the translation into
Italian terms of the great struggle for renovating the structure of the whole world." Here
the phrase "all our actions" means what they call the "advance towards socialism in
democracy and in peace", or the road to socialism through "structural reform", as they
Although the present line of the Italian Communist Party on the question of socialist
revolution is incorrect in our opinion, we have never attempted to interfere because, after
all, this is a matter for the Italian comrades alone to decide. But now since Comrade
Togliatti claims that his theory of "structural reform" is a "line common to the whole
international communist movement" and unilaterally declares that peaceful transition has
"become a principle of world strategy of the workers' movement and the communist
movement", and since this issue involves not only the fundamental Marxist-Leninist
theory of proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship, but also the fundamental
problem of the emancipation of the proletariat and the people in all the capitalist
countries, as members of the international communist movement and as Marxist-
Leninists, we cannot but express our opinions on the subject.
The fundamental problem in every revolution is that of state power. In the Communist
Manifesto Marx and Engels declared: "The first step in the revolution by the working
class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class." This idea runs through the
entire works of Lenin. In The State and Revolution, Lenin laid stress on the need to break
up and smash the bourgeois state machine and to establish the dictatorship of the
proletariat. He said, "The working class must break up, smash the 'ready-made state
machinery', and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it"; and that "only he is a
Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the
dictatorship of the proletariat". He further said, "All is illusion, except power."
In elucidating the common laws of socialist revolution the 1957 Moscow Declaration first
states that to embark on the road to socialism it is necessary for the working class, the
core of which is the Marxist-Leninist Party, to guide the working masses in effecting a
proletarian revolution in one form or another and establishing one form or another of the
dictatorship of the proletariat.
There is not the slightest doubt that the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism,
and the common laws of socialist revolution enunciated in the Moscow Declaration, are
universally applicable and, of course, applicable also to Italy.
However, Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades of the Italian Communist Party
maintain that Lenin's analysis in The State and Revolution is "no longer sufficient", and
that the content of proletarian dictatorship is now different. According to their theory of
"structural reform", there is no need for present-day Italy to have a proletarian revolution,
there is no need to smash the bourgeois state machine, and there is no need to establish
the dictatorship of the proletariat; they can arrive at socialism "progressively" and
"peacefully" merely through a "succession of reforms", through the nationalization of the
big enterprises, through economic planning and through the extension of democracy
within the framework of the Italian Constitution. In fact, they take the state to be an
instrument above class and believe that the bourgeois state, too, can carry out socialist
policies; they take bourgeois democracy to be democracy above class and believe that the
proletariat can rise to be the "leading class" in the state by relying on such democracy.
This theory of "structural reform" is a complete betrayal of the Marxist-Leninist theories
of proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship.
Present-day Italy is a capitalist country ruled by the monopoly capitalist class. Although
the Italian Constitution incorporates some of the gains achieved by the Italian working
class and the Italian people through their valiant struggles over the years, it is still a
bourgeois constitution with the protection of capitalist ownership as its core. Like the
democracy practiced in all other capitalist countries, democracy as practiced in Italy is
bourgeois democracy, i.e., bourgeois dictatorship. Nationalization as practiced in Italy is
not state capitalism under the socialist system, but a state capitalism which serves the
interests of the monopoly capitalist class. In order to maintain its exploitation and its rule,
the monopoly capitalist class may at times adopt certain measures of reform. It is entirely
necessary for the working class in capitalist countries to wage day-to-day economic
struggles and struggles for democracy. However, the purpose of waging these struggles is
to achieve partial improvements in the living conditions of the working class and working
people and, what is more important, to educate the masses and organize them, enhance
their political consciousness and accumulate revolutionary strength for the seizure of
state power when the time is ripe. Marxist-Leninists, while favouring struggle for
reforms, resolutely oppose reformism.
Facts have proved that whenever the political and economic demands of the working
class and working people have exceeded the limits permitted by the monopoly capitalists,
the Italian government, which represents the interests of monopoly capital, has resorted to
repression. Have not innumerable historical facts proved this to be an unalterable law of
class struggle? How is it conceivable that the monopoly capitalist class will abandon its
interests and its rule and step down from the stage of history of its own accord?
Togliatti himself is not completely unaware of this. Although he has energetically
advocated the possibility of "breaking the power of the big monopoly groups" within the
framework of the bourgeois constitution, his answer to the question, "How can this be
done?" is, "We don't know." It can thus be seen that the theory of "structural reform" held
by Togliatti and certain other leaders of the Italian Communist Party stems not from
historical materialism and the scientific study of objective reality, but from idealism and
illusion. Yet they have been energetically propagating views which they themselves
know are unreliable and describing them as a "line common to the whole international
communist movement". Such a practice on their part serves only to vitiate and attenuate
the proletarian revolutionary struggle, preserve capitalist rule and completely negate the
socialist revolution. Isn't this a new kind of social-democratic trend?
Recently in capitalist countries, some Communists who have degenerated politically and
some Right-wing social-democrats have successively advertised the theory of "structural
reform", using it to attack Communist Parties. This fact in itself is sufficient to show how
closely the theory of "structural reform" resembles social democracy and how remote it is
The Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement point out that socialist revolution
may be realized through peaceful or non-peaceful means. Some people have tried in vain
to use this thesis to justify the theory of "structural reform". It is also erroneous to quote
peaceful transition one-sidedly as "a principle of world strategy of the communist
From the Marxist-Leninist point of view, it would naturally be in the interests of the
proletariat and the entire people if peaceful transition could be realized. Whenever the
possibility for peaceful transition appears in a given country, the Communists should
strive for its realization. But, possibility and reality, the wish and its fulfillment, are two
different things. Hitherto, history has not witnessed a single example of peaceful
transition from capitalism to socialism. Communists should not pin all their hopes for the
victory of the revolution on peaceful transition. The bourgeoisie will never step down
from the stage of history of its own accord. This is a universal law of class struggle.
Communists must not in the slightest degree relax their preparedness for revolution. They
must be prepared to repel the assaults of counter-revolution and to overthrow the
bourgeoisie by armed force at the critical juncture of the revolution when the proletariat
is seizing state power and the bourgeoisie resorts to armed force to suppress the
That is to say, Communists should be prepared to employ dual tactics, namely, while
preparing for the peaceful development of the revolution, they should be fully prepared
for its non-peaceful development. Only in this way can they avoid being caught unawares
when a situation favourable to the revolution emerges, and when the bourgeoisie resorts
to violence in order to suppress the revolution. Even when it is possible to secure state
power through peaceful means, one must be prepared to deal immediately with armed
intervention by foreign imperialists and with counter-revolutionary armed rebellions
supported by the imperialists. Communists should concentrate their attention on the
accumulation of revolutionary strength through painstaking efforts and must be ready to
fight back against armed attacks by the bourgeoisie whenever necessary. They should not
lay one-sided stress on peaceful transition and concentrate their attention on this
possibility; otherwise they are bound to benumb the revolutionary will of the proletariat,
disarm themselves ideologically, be utterly passive and unprepared politically and
organizationally, and end up by burying the cause of the proletarian revolution.
The thesis of Comrade Togliatti and certain other leaders of the Italian Communist Party
concerning "the advance towards socialism in democracy and in peace" is reminiscent of
some of the statements of the old revisionist K. Kautsky. Kautsky said more than forty
years ago, "I anticipate . . . that it will be possible to carry it [the social revolution of the
proletariat] out by peaceful, economic, legal and moral means, instead of by physical
force, in all places where democracy has been established. " Should Communists not
draw a clear line of demarcation between themselves and such social-democrats as
The extent to which Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades have departed from
Marxism-Leninism and from the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement is
more clearly revealed by their recent ardent flirtation with the Yugoslav revisionist
A representative of the Tito group, who are renegades from Marxism-Leninism, was
invited to the recent Congress of the Italian Communist Party and was given a platform
from which to denounce China. At the same congress, Comrade Togliatti and certain
other comrades publicly defended the Tito group and lavishly praised them for "the value
of what they have done and are doing".
We wish to ask Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades: Do you still recognize the
Moscow Statement as binding on you? The 1960 Moscow Statement states
The Communist Parties have unanimously condemned the Yugoslav
variety of international opportunism, a variety of modern revisionist
"theories" in concentrated form. After betraying Marxism-Leninism,
which they termed obsolete, the leaders of the League of Communists of
Yugoslavia opposed their anti-Leninist revisionist programme to the
Declaration of 1957; they set the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
against the international communist movement as a whole.
Can it be that this condemnation of the Tito group is a mistake? Is the resolution which
was unanimously adopted by the Communist Parties of all countries to be thrown
overboard at the whim or will of any individual or individuals?
After all, facts are facts and renegades to communism remain renegades to communism.
The judgement arrived at in the Moscow Statement cannot be overturned by anyone,
whoever he may be.
Far from giving up their thoroughly revisionist programme, the Titoites have stuck to it in
the draft Yugoslav Constitution which they published not long ago.
The Tito group have not changed their "unique road" of building "socialism" through
selling themselves to imperialism. On the contrary, they are working harder and harder in
the service of the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war. Recently U.S.
imperialism has tipped the Tito group with extra "aid" amounting to more than 100
million dollars. Under the same old camouflage of "being outside blocs" and of "positive
coexistence", the Tito group are doing everything they can to sabotage the national and
democratic movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and to
undermine the unity of the socialist camp and of all the peace-loving countries.
With the development of the Tito group's revisionist line and their increasing dependence
upon U.S. imperialism, Yugoslavia has long ceased to be a socialist country, and the
gradual restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia began long ago.
The restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia has occurred not through any counter-
revolutionary coup d'etat by the bourgeoisie, nor through any invasion by imperialism,
but gradually, through the degeneration of the Tito group. In this connection, as Lenin
pointed out long ago, "the main question of every revolution is, undoubtedly, the question
of state power. In the hands of which class power is— this decides everything."  The
character of a state depends on what class wields state power and on what policy it carries
out. In Yugoslavia today state power is in the hands of the Tito group, a group who have
betrayed Marxism-Leninism and the cause of communism, betrayed the fundamental
interests of the Yugoslav working class and the Yugoslav people, and who are enforcing
a whole set of out-and-out revisionist policies. In the Yugoslav countryside, the rich
peasant and other capitalist forces are rapidly growing, and class differentiation is being
accelerated. The capitalist laws of free competition and of profit are playing the dominant
role in all spheres of Yugoslav economic life, and capitalist anarchy is rampant.
It may not be unprofitable to listen to what the imperialists have to say in their appraisal
of the Tito group. The U.S. imperialists have likened the Tito group to a "bellwether",
that is to say, they aim at inducing certain socialist countries to leave the socialist camp
and enter Kennedy's "world community of free nations" through the influence of the
Yugoslav revisionists. The Yugoslav example makes it clear that the struggle between the
socialist and capitalist roads is still going on and the danger of the restoration of
capitalism continues to exist even in a country which has embarked on the road of
The phenomena of political degeneration and of the emergence of new bourgeois
elements after the victory of a proletarian revolution are not difficult to understand. Lenin
once said that historically various kinds of degeneration had occurred and that in given
conditions it was possible for a handful of new bourgeois elements to emerge from
among Soviet functionaries. It is precisely the new bourgeois elements such as Lenin
referred to who have occupied the ruling positions in Yugoslavia.
In his concluding speech Comrade Togliatti said:
When you say that capitalism has been restored in Yugoslavia— and
everybody knows that this is not true— nobody believes the rest of what
you say, and everyone thinks that it is all simply an exaggeration.
He seemed to think this a complete refutation of the Marxist-Leninist theses of the
Chinese Communist Party. But sophistry does not alter the truth. The only reason
advanced in support of the arbitrary assertion that Yugoslavia is a socialist country was
that one could not find a single capitalist there. It is always hard for people to see the
truth when they wear coloured spectacles. Since there are many points of similarity
between Togliatti et al and the Tito group in their understanding of proletarian revolution,
proletarian dictatorship and socialism, it is small wonder that they fail to see the
restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia, and that they fail to see the new bourgeois
elements in Yugoslavia.
It is particularly surprising that certain people, while loudly boasting of their intimate
relations with the renegade Tito group, vigorously attack the Chinese Communist Party,
asserting that our unity with the Albanian Party of Labour, which is based on Marxism-
Leninism, is "impermissible". These people stop at nothing in their attempt to eject the
Albanian Party of Labour, a Marxist-Leninist Party, from the international communist
movement, and at the same time, they are seeking ways to inject the renegade Tito group,
which the Moscow Statement unequivocally condemns, into the international communist
movement. What are they really after? As the old Chinese saying has it, "Things of one
kind come together; different kinds of people fall into different groups." Should not those
who treat the Tito group like brothers and who cherish such bitter hatred for a fraternal
Marxist-Leninist Party stop and think for a moment where they now stand?
In the final analysis our differences on a whole series of problems with Comrade Togliatti
and certain other comrades who hold similar views involve the fundamental question of
whether the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism are outmoded, and whether the
Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement are out of date.
Using the pretext that the epoch has changed and that nations have special characteristics,
Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades hold that Marxism-Leninism is
"outmoded" and that the common laws governing socialist revolution, as set forth in the
Moscow Declaration, do not apply to Italy. Gian Carlo Pajetta, one of the leaders of the
Italian Communist Party, has gone even further. He has said, "How different is Marxism
from Leninism, and how different is the Marxism of Marx from the Leninism of Lenin."
It is on such pretexts that they have revised and discarded the basic principles of
Marxism-Leninism, and have put forward and are peddling what they call the "Italian
road", which is contrary to Marxism-Leninism.
Scientific socialism founded by Marx and Engels is a summing-up of the laws governing
the development of human society and it is a truth that is universally applicable. The
development of history, far from "out-moding" Marxism, has further proved its boundless
vitality. Marxism has continuously developed in the course of the struggle of the
international proletariat to know and to change the objective world. On the basis of the
characteristics of the epoch of imperialism, Lenin creatively developed Marxism in the
new historical conditions. In the years since his death, the proletarian Parties of various
countries have enriched the treasury of Marxism-Leninism by their own revolutionary
struggles. Nevertheless, all these new developments proceeded from-the basic principles
of Marxism, and definitely did not depart from these basic principles.
The path of the October Revolution charted by Lenin, and the common laws governing
socialist revolution and socialist construction as set forth in the Moscow Declaration of
1957, are the common path along which the peoples of the world are advancing towards
the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. In spite of the great
changes in the world since the October Revolution, the basic principles of Marxism-
Leninism, which are illustrated by the path of the October Revolution, shine forth today
with ever greater brilliance.
In defending his erroneous point of view Togliatti said that the line pursued by the
Chinese Communist Party "actually did not correspond to the strategical and tactical line
pursued, for example, by the Bolsheviks in the course of the revolution from March to
October (1917)". This definitely does not conform with the historical reality of the
Chinese revolution. In its long revolutionary struggle, in its struggle against dogmatism
and empiricism as well as against "Left" and Right opportunism, the Chinese Communist
Party under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung has creatively developed Marxism-
Leninism by integrating the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete
reality of the Chinese revolution. Despite the fact that the Chinese revolution, like the
revolutions of other countries, has many special characteristics, the Chinese Communists
have always regarded the Chinese revolution as a continuation of the Great October
Revolution. It was by following the path of the October Revolution that the Chinese
revolution was won. Togliatti's distortions about the Chinese revolution only show that he
is trying to find pretexts for his own peculiar line, which runs counter to the universal
truth of Marxism-Leninism and the common laws governing the socialist revolution.
It is necessary for a Marxist-Leninist Party to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-
Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution in its own country and for it to
apply the common laws of socialist revolution creatively in the light of the specific
conditions in its own country. Marxism-Leninism develops continuously with practice.
Certain propositions advanced by a Marxist-Leninist Party during a certain period and
under certain conditions have to be replaced by new propositions, because of changed
circumstances and times. Failure to do so will result in the error of dogmatism and losses
to the cause of communism. But under no circumstances is a Marxist-Leninist Party
allowed to use the pretext of certain new social phenomena to negate the fundamental
principles of Marxism-Leninism, to substitute revisionism for Marxism-Leninism and to
At a certain stage in the development of a Communist Party, dogmatism and sectarianism
may become the main danger. The Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement are
fully correct in pointing out the necessity of opposing dogmatism and sectarianism.
Nevertheless, under present conditions modern revisionism is the main danger to the
international communist movement as a whole, just as the Moscow Declaration and the
Moscow Statement point out. Modern revisionism "which mirrors the bourgeois ideology
in theory and practice, distorts Marxism-Leninism, emasculates its revolutionary essence,
and thereby paralyses the revolutionary will of the working class, disarms, and
demobilizes the workers, the masses of the working people, in their struggle against
oppression by imperialists and exploiters, for peace, democracy and national liberation,
for the triumph of socialism". At present, the modern revisionists are opposing Marxism-
Leninism under the pretext of opposing dogmatism, are renouncing revolution under the
pretext of opposing "Left" adventurism, and are advocating unprincipled compromise and
capitulationism under the pretext of flexibility in tactics. If a resolute struggle is not
waged against modern revisionism, the international communist movement will be
The recent appearance of an adverse current which is contrary to Marxism-Leninism and
which is disrupting the unity of the international communist movement furnishes
additional proof of the correctness of the theses in the Moscow Declaration and the
Moscow Statement. Concerning the major features of revisionism, Lenin once said, "To
determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the
chops and changes of petty politics, to forget the basic interests of the proletariat, the
main features of the capitalist system as a whole and of capitalist evolution as a whole; to
sacrifice these basic interests for the real or assumed advantages of the moment— such is
the policy of revisionism. "
The revolutionary proletariat and the revolutionary people are sure to march along the
correct road charted by Marxism-Leninism. Difficult and tortuous though it may be, it is
the only road to victory. The historical development of society will follow neither the
"theories" of imperialism nor the "theories" of revisionism. However much they may
have done for the workers' movement in the past, no person, no political party and no
group can avoid becoming the servant of the bourgeoisie and being cast aside by the
proletariat, once they depart from the road of Marxism-Leninism, step onto and slide
down the road of revisionism.
* * *
We have been forced into a public discussion of the major differences between ourselves
and Comrade Togliatti and certain other comrades in the Italian Communist Party. It has
occurred against our wishes and would not have occurred if they had not publicly
challenged us first and insisted on a public debate. But even though we are obliged to
enter into public debate, we still sincerely hope it will be possible to eliminate our
differences through comradely discussion. Although, to our regret, we find that Togliatti
and the comrades who share his views are increasingly departing from Marxism-
Leninism, we still earnestly hope they will not plunge further, but will recover their
bearings and return to the stand of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of
the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. We desire to look ahead. On several
occasions, we have suggested the holding of a representative conference of the
Communist and Workers' Parties of all countries to settle the current differences in the
international communist movement. We hold that Communists of all countries should
take to heart the common interests of the struggle against the enemy and the cause of
proletarian revolution, should abide by the principles guiding relations among fraternal
Parties as set forth in the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement, and should
eliminate their differences and strengthen their unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism
and proletarian internationalism. This is the hope of the working class and of people
throughout the world.
The history of the working-class movement in all countries during the past century and
more is replete with sharp struggles between Marxism and all kinds of opportunism.
From the very beginning, the international communist movement has steadily advanced
by struggling against and overcoming reformism, social democracy and revisionism.
Today, the revisionists of various brands may bluster for a time, but this indicates not
strength but weakness on their part. The revisionist and new social-democratic trends,
which have now appeared in the international communist movement and which suit the
needs of monopoly capitalism and U.S. imperialism, are substantially the product of the
policies of monopoly capital and U.S. imperialism. But the various kinds of revisionism
can neither block the victorious advance of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed
nations and peoples, nor save imperialism from its final doom.
In 1913, in the course of his struggle against opportunism, Lenin pointed out, in
expounding the historical destiny of the doctrines of Karl Marx, that although Marxism
had been subjected to distortions by the opportunists, the development of the
revolutionary struggles of the people in all countries had continuously brought it new
confirmation and new triumphs. Lenin correctly predicted, "... a still greater triumph
awaits Marxism, as the doctrine of the proletariat, in the period of history that is now
ensuing."  Now we feel that Marxism-Leninism is at a new and important historical
juncture. The struggle between the Marxist-Leninist trend and the anti-Marxist-Leninist
revisionist trend is once again being placed on the Communist agenda in all countries in
an acute form. We are profoundly convinced that however complicated the course of the
struggle, the Marxist-Leninist trend will eventually triumph.
More than a century ago, in the Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels made the
courageous and gallant call to the whole world— "Let the ruling classes tremble at a
Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They
have a world to win." This great call inspires all revolutionaries dedicated to the cause-of
communism and the proletariat the world over, and imbues them with full confidence
about the future, so that they will resolutely break through all obstacles and boldly
advance. At the present time, the ranks of the international proletariat are growing
stronger and stronger, the political consciousness of the people of all countries is
constantly rising, the struggles for world peace, national liberation, democracy and
socialism are gaining victory after victory, and the great ideas of socialism and
communism are attracting ever greater numbers among the oppressed nations and peoples
who find themselves in a difficult and bitter plight. Let imperialism and the reactionaries
tremble before the great revolutionary tide of the working class and of all oppressed
nations and peoples of the world! Marxism-Leninism will finally triumph! The
revolutionary cause of the working class and of the people the world over will finally
1. Lenin on War and Peace, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1960, pp. 22-23.
2. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat by K. Kautsky, published in 1918.
3. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1932, Vol. XXI,
Book 1, p. 164.
4. V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, in two volumes, Foreign Languages Publishing House,
Moscow, 1952, Vol. I, Part 1, P. 94.
5. V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, in two volumes, Moscow, Vol. I Part 1, p. 86.
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