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by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao {People's Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag) 

Peking, Foreign Languages Press, 1963 

November 19, 1963 

The whole world is discussing the question of war and peace. 

The criminal system of imperialism has brought upon the people of the world numerous 
wars, including two disastrous world wars. Wars launched by imperialism have caused 
the people heavy suffering, but have also educated them. 

Since World War II, people everywhere have been vigorously demanding world peace. 
More and more people have come to understand that to defend world peace it imperative 
to wage struggles against the imperialist policies of aggression and war. 

Marxist-Leninists throughout the world are duty bound to treasure the peace sentiments 
of the people and to stand in the forefront of the struggle for world peace. They are duty 
bound to struggle against the imperialists' policies of aggression and war, to expose their 
deceptions and defeat their plans for war. They are duty bound to educate the people, 
raise their political consciousness and guide the struggle for world peace in the proper 

In contrast to the Marxist-Leninists, the modern revisionists help the imperialists to 
deceive the people, divert the people's attention, weaken and undermine their struggle 
against imperialism and cover up the imperialists' plans for a new world war, thus 
meeting the needs of imperialist policy. 

The Marxist-Leninist line on the question of war and peace is diametrically opposed to 
the revisionist line. 

The Marxist-Leninist line is the correct line conducive to the winning of world peace. It 
is the line consistently upheld by all Marxist-Leninist parties, including the Communist 
Party of China, and by all Marxist-Leninists. 

The revisionist line is a wrong line which serves to increase the danger of a new war. It is 
the line gradually developed by the leaders of the CPSU since its 20th Congress. 

On the question of war and peace many lies slandering the Chinese Communists have 
been fabricated in the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU and in 
numerous statements by the leaders of the CPSU, but these cannot conceal the essence of 
the differences. 

In what follows we shall analyse the main differences between the Marxist-Leninist and 
the modern revisionist lines on the question of war and peace. 


Ever since capitalism evolved into imperialism, the question of war and peace has been a 
vital one in the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism. 

Imperialism is the source of wars in modern times. The imperialists alternately use a 
deceptive policy of peace and a policy of war. They often cover their crimes of 
aggression and their preparations for a new war with lies about peace. 

Lenin and Stalin tirelessly called upon the people of all countries to combat the peace 
frauds of the imperialists. 

Lenin said that the imperialist governments "pay lip service to peace and justice, but in 
fact wage annexationist and predatory wars". (Lenin, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 
1952, Vol. II, Part 1, p. 332.) 

Stalin said that the imperialists "have only one aim in resorting to pacifism: to dupe the 
masses with high sounding phrases about peace in order to prepare for a new war". 
(Stalin, Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1953, Vol. VL p. 297.) He also said: 

Many think that imperialist pacifism is an instrument of peace. That is absolutely wrong. 
Imperialist pacifism is an instrument for the preparation of war and for disguising this 
preparation by hypocritical talk of peace. Without this pacifism and its instrument, the 
League of Nations, preparation for war in the conditions of today would be impossible. 
(Ibid., Vol. XL p. 209) 

In contrast to Lenin and Stalin, the revisionists of the Second International, who were 
renegades from the working class, helped the imperialists to deceive the people and 
became their accomplices in unleashing the two World Wars. 

Before World War I, the revisionists represented by Bernstein and Kautsky endeavoured 
by hypocritical talk about peace to paralyse the revolutionary fighting will of people and 
cover up the imperialist plans for a world war. 

As World War I was breaking out, the old revisionists speedily shed their peace masks, 
sided with their respective imperialist governments, supported the imperialist war for the 
redivision of the world, voted for military appropriations in parliament, and incited the 
working class of their own countries to plunge into the war and slaughter their class 
brothers in other countries the hypocritical slogan of "defending the motherland". 

When the imperialists needed an armistice in their own interests, the revisionists typified 
by Kautsky tried to poison people's minds and to oppose revolution by such glib talk as 
"nothing would make me happier than a conciliatory peace based on the principle, 'Live 
and let live'". [i] 

After World War I, the renegade Kautsky and his successors became still more brazen 
trumpeters of the imperialists' peace frauds. 

The revisionists of the Second International spread a pack of lies on the question of war 
and peace. 

1 . They prettified imperialism and turned the minds of the people away from their 
struggles. Kautsky said, "... the danger to world peace from imperialism is only slight. 
The greater danger appears to come from the national strivings in the East and from the 
various dictatorships." [2] Thus people were asked to believe that the source of war was 
not imperialism but the oppressed nations of the East and the Soviet state, the great 
bulwark of peace. 

2. They helped the imperialists cover up the danger of a new war and blunted the fighting 
will of the people. Kautsky said in 1928, "If today you keep on talking loudly about the 
dangers of imperialist war, you are relying on a traditional formula and not on present- 
day considerations." [3] Old revisionists of his brand described those believing in the 
inevitability of imperialist wars as "committed to a fatalistic conception of history". [4] 

3. They intimidated the people with the notion that war would destroy mankind. Kautsky 
said, "... the next war will not only bring want and misery, but will basically put an end to 
civilization and, at least in Europe, will leave behind nothing but smoking ruins and 
putrefying corpses." [5] These old revisionists said, "The last war brought the entire 
world to the brink of the precipice; the next one would destroy it completely. The mere 
preparation for a new war would ruin the world." [6] 4. They made no distinction 
between just and unjust wars and forbade revolution. Kautsky said in 1914: 

... in present-day conditions, there is no such thing as a war which is not a 
misfortune for nations in general and for the proletariat in particular. What 
we discussed was the means by which we could prevent a threatening war, 
and not which wars are useful and which harmful. [7] 

He also said: 

The yearning for perpetual peace increasingly inspires the majority of 
cultured nations. It temporarily pushes the essentially great problem of our 
times into the background.... [8] 

5. They propagated the theory that weapons decide everything and they opposed 
revolutionary armed struggle. Kautsky said: 

As has been often stated, one of the reasons why the coming revolutionary 
struggles will more rarely be fought out by military means lies in the 
colossal superiority in armaments of the armies of modern states over the 
arms which are at the disposal of "civilians" and which usually render any 
resistance on the part of the latter hopeless from the very outset. [9] 

6. They spread the absurd theory that world peace can be safeguarded and equality of 
nations achieved through disarmament. Bernstein said: 

Peace on earth and good will to all men! We should not pause or rest and 
must attend to the unhindered advance of society towards prosperity in the 
interests of all, towards equality of rights among nations through 
international agreement and disarmament. [ 101 

7. They spread the fallacy that the money saved from disarmament can be used to assist 
backward countries. Kautsky said: 

... the lighter the burden of military expenditures in Western Europe, the 
greater the means available for building railways in China, Persia, Turkey, 
South America etc., and these public works are a far more effective means 
of promoting industrial development than the building of dreadnoughts. 


8. They submitted schemes for the "peace strategy" of the imperialists. Kautsky said: 

The nations of civilised Europe (and likewise the Americans) can maintain 
peace in the Near and Far East more effectively through their economic 
and intellectual resources than through ironclads and planes. [ 121 

9. They extolled the League of Nations which was controlled by the imperialists. Kautsky 

The mere existence of the League of Nations is itself already a great 
achievement for the cause of peace. It represents a lever for the 
preservation of peace such as no other institution can offer. [ 131 

10. They spread the illusion that reliance could be placed on U.S. imperialism to defend 
world peace. Kautsky said: 

Today the United States is the strongest power in the world and will make 
the League of Nations irresistible as soon as it works inside it or with it to 
prevent war. [ 141 

Lenin ruthlessly exposed the ugly features of Kautsky and his ilk. He pointed out that the 
pacifist phrases of the revisionists of the Second International were only "a solace to the 
people, a means which makes it easier for the governments to bring about the docility of 
the people in further imperialist slaughter!" (Lenin, Collected Works, 4th Russian ed., 
Moscow, Vol. XXIII, p. 224.) Stalin pointed out: 

And the most important thing in all this is that Social-Democracy is the 
main channel of imperialist pacifism within the working class — 

consequently, it is capitalism's main support among the working class in 
preparing for new wars and intervention. (Stalin op. cit., Vol. XI, p. 210.) 

Even a cursory comparison of Comrade Khrushchov's statements on the question of war 
and peace with those of Bernstein, Kautsky and others shows that there is nothing new in 
his views, which are a mere reproduction of the revisionism of the Second International. 
On the question of war and peace, which has a bearing on the destiny of mankind, 
Khrushchov is following in the footsteps of Bernstein and Kautsky. As history shows, 
this is a road extremely dangerous to world peace. In order effectively to defend world 
peace and prevent a new world war, Marxist-Leninists and peace-loving people all over 
the world must reject and oppose Khrushchov's erroneous line. 


There is no bigger lie than the designation of the arch enemy of world peace as a peace- 
loving angel. 

Since World War II, U.S. imperialism, stepping into the shoes of the German, Italian and 
Japanese fascists, has been endeavouring to set up a vast world empire such as has never 
been known before. The "global strategy" of U.S. imperialism has been to grab and 
dominate the intermediate zone lying between the United States and the socialist camp, 
put down the revolutions of the oppressed peoples and nations, proceed to destroy the 
socialist countries, and thus to dominate the whole world. 

In the eighteen years since the end of World War II, in order to realize its ambition of 
world domination, U.S. imperialism has been carrying on aggressive wars or counter- 
revolutionary armed interventions in various parts of the world and has been actively 
preparing for a new world war. 

It is obvious that imperialism remains the source of modern wars and that U.S. 
imperialism is the main force of aggression and war in the contemporary world. This has 
been clearly affirmed in both the 1957 Declaration the 1960 Statement. 

Yet the leaders of the CPSU hold that the chief representatives of U.S. imperialism love 
peace. They say that a "reasonable" group has emerged capable of soberly assessing the 
situation. And Eisenhower and Kennedy are representatives of this "reasonable" group. 

Khrushchev praised Eisenhower as one who "enjoys the absolute confidence of his 
people", who "has a sincere desire for peace" and who "also worries about ensuring peace 
just as we do". 

Now Khrushchov praises Kennedy as even better qualified to shoulder the responsibility 
of preserving world peace than was Eisenhower. He showed "solicitude for the 
preservation of peace", and it is reasonable to expect him to "create reliable conditions for 
a peaceful life and creative labour on earth". 

Khrushchov works as hard as the revisionists of the Second International at telling lies 
about imperialism and prettifying it. 

The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU asks those who do not believe in 
these lies: "Do they really think that all bourgeois governments lack reason in everything 
they do?" Obviously, the leaders of the CPSU ignore the ABC of Marxism-Leninism. In 
a class society there is no reason that can transcend class. The proletariat has proletarian 
reason and the bourgeoisie bourgeois reason. Reason connotes that one must be good at 
formulating policies in the fundamental interests of one's own class and at taking actions 
according to one's basic class stand. The reason of Kennedy and his like lies in acting 
according to the fundamental interests of U.S. monopoly capital, and it is imperialist 

At a time when the international balance of class forces is becoming increasingly 
unfavourable to imperialism and the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war are 
meeting with constant setbacks, the U.S. imperialists have to disguise themselves more 
frequently under the cloak of peace. 

It is true that Kennedy is rather clever at spinning words about peace and employing 
peace tactics. But as with his war policy, Kennedy's deceptive peace policy serves the 
"global strategy" of U.S. imperialism. 

Kennedy's "strategy of peace" aims at unifying the whole world into the "world 
community of free nations" rooted in U.S. S. imperialist "law and justice". 

The main points of Kennedy's "strategy of peace" are: 

To promote U.S. neo-colonialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America by peaceful means; 

To penetrate and dominate other imperialist and capitalist countries by peaceful means; 

To encourage by peaceful means the socialist countries to take the Yugoslav road of 
"peaceful evolution"; 

To weaken and undermine by peaceful means the struggle of the people of the world 
against imperialism. 

In his recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Kennedy arrogantly 
announced the following conditions for peace between the United States and the Soviet 

(1) The German Democratic Republic must be incorporated into West 

(2) Socialist Cuba must not be allowed to exist. 

(3) The socialist countries in Eastern Europe must be given "free choice", 
by which he means that capitalism must be restored in these countries. 

(4) The socialist countries must not support the revolutionary struggles of 
the oppressed peoples and nations. To attain their aims by "peaceful 
means" wherever possible has been a customary tactic of imperialists and 

Reactionary classes always rely on two tactics to maintain their rule and to carry out 
foreign aggrandizement. One is the tactic of priest-like deception, the other that of 
butcher-like suppression. Imperialism always employs its deceptive policy of peace and 
its policy of war to reinforce each other, and they are complementary. The reason of 
Kennedy, who is the representative of U.S. monopoly capital, can express itself only in a 
more cunning use of these two tactics. 

Violence is always the main tactic of reactionary ruling classes. Priest-like deception 
plays only a supplementary role. Imperialists always rely on positions of strength to carve 
out their spheres of influence. Kennedy has made this point very clear. He said, "In the 
end, the only way to maintain the peace is to be prepared in the final extreme to fight for 
our country— and to mean it." Since Kennedy took office, he has followed the "strategy of 
flexible response", which requires the speedy building of "versatile military forces" and 
the strengthening of "all-round power" so that the United States will be able to fight any 
kind of war it pleases, whether a general war or a limited war, whether a nuclear war or a 
conventional war, and whether a large war or a small war. This mad plan of Kennedy's 
has pushed U.S. arms expansion and war preparations to an unprecedented peak. Let us 
look at the following facts published by official U.S. sources: 

1. The military expenditures of the U.S. Government have increased from 46,700 million 
dollars in the fiscal year 1960 to an estimated 60,000 million dollars in the fiscal year 
1964, the highest total ever in peace time and greater than during the Korean war. 

2. Kennedy recently declared that in the past two years and more there has been a 100 per 
cent increase in the number of nuclear weapons of the U.S. strategic alert forces and a 45 
per cent increase in the number of of combat-ready army divisions, the procurement of 
airlift aircraft has been increased by 175 per cent and there has been an increase by nearly 
five times in the "special guerrilla and counter-insurgency forces". 

3. The U.S. Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff has mapped out plans for nuclear war 
against the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Robert S. McNamara, the U.S. 
Secretary of Defence, declared at the beginning of this year: 

... we have provided, throughout the period under consideration, a 
capability to destroy virtually all of the "soft" [above-ground] and '"semi- 
hard" [semi-protected] military targets in the Soviet Union and a large 
number of their fully hardened missile sites, with an additional capability 
in the form of a protected force to be employed or held in reserve for use 
against urban and industrial areas. 

The United States has strengthened its network of nuclear missile bases directed against 
the socialist camp and has greatly strengthened the disposition of its missile-equipped 
nuclear submarines abroad. 

At the same time, the troops of the NATO bloc under U.S. command have pushed 
eastward this year and approached the borders of the German Democratic Republic and 

4. The Kennedy Administration has reinforced its Military dispositions in Asia, Latin 
America and Africa and made great efforts to expand the "special forces" of its land, sea 
and air services in order to cope with the people's revolutionary movement in those areas. 
The United States has turned southern Viet Nam into a proving ground for "special 
warfare" and increased its troops there to more than 16,000. 

5. It has strengthened its war commands. It has set up a "U.S. Strike Command" which 
controls a combined land and air force maintaining high combat readiness in peace time, 
so that it can be readily sent to any place in the world to provoke wars. It has also set up 
national military command centres both above and below ground, and organized an 
Emergency Airborne Command Post operating from aircraft and an Emergency Sea 
Command Post operating from warships. 

These facts demonstrate that the U.S. imperialists are the wildest militarists of modern 
times, the wildest plotters of a new world war, and the most ferocious enemy of world 

It is thus clear that the U. S. imperialists have not become beautiful angels in spite of 
Khrushchov's bible reading and psalm-singing; they have not turned into compassionate 
Buddhas in spite of Khrushchov's prayers and incense-burning. However hard 
Khrushchov tries to serve the U.S. imperialists, they show not the slightest appreciation. 
They continue to expose their own peace camouflage by fresh and numerous activities of 
aggression and war, and thus they continue to slap Khrushchov in the face and reveal the 
bankruptcy of his ridiculous theories prettifying imperialism. The lot of the willing 
apologists of U.S. imperialism is indeed a sorry one. 



It is a fact that the imperialists headed by the United States are actively preparing a new 
world war and that the danger of such a war does exist. We should make this fact clear to 
the people. 

But can a new world war be prevented? 

The views of the Chinese Communists on this question have always been quite explicit. 

After the conclusion of World War II, Comrade Mao Tse-tung scientifically analysed the 
post-war international situation and advanced the view that a new world war can be 

Back in 1946, in his well-known talk with the American correspondent Anna Louise 
Strong, he said: 

But the fact that the U.S. reactionaries are now trumpeting so loudly about 
a U.S. -Soviet war and creating a foul atmosphere, so soon after the end of 
World War II, compels us to take a look at their real aims. It turns out that 
under the cover of anti-Soviet slogans they are frantically attacking the 
workers and democratic circles in the United States and turning all the 
countries which are the targets of U.S. external expansion into U.S. 
dependencies. I think the American people and the peoples of all countries 
menaced by U.S. aggression should unite and struggle against the attacks 
of the U.S. reactionaries and their running dogs in these countries. Only by 
victory in this struggle can a third world war be avoided; otherwise it is 
unavoidable. (Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works, Foreign Languages Press, 
Peking, 1961, p. 100.) 

Comrade Mao Tse-tung's remarks were directed against a pessimistic appraisal of the 
international situation at the time. The imperialists headed by the United States, together 
with the reactionaries in various countries, were daily intensifying their anti-Soviet, anti- 
Communist and anti-popular activities and trumpeting that "war between the United 
States and the Soviet Union is inevitable" and that "the outbreak of a third world war is 
inevitable". The Chiang Kai-shek reactionaries gave this great publicity in order to 
intimidate the Chinese people. Frightened by such blackmail, some comrades became 
faint-hearted in the face of the armed attack launched by the Chiang Kai-shek 
reactionaries with U.S. imperialist support and dared not firmly oppose the counter- 
revolutionary war with a revolutionary war. Comrade Mao Tse-tung held different views. 
He pointed out that a new world war could be prevented provided resolute and effective 
struggles were waged against world reaction. His scientific proposition was confirmed by 
the great victory of the Chinese Revolution. The victory of the Chinese Revolution 
brought about a tremendous change in the international balance of class forces. Comrade 
Mao Tse-tung pointed out in June 1950: 

The menace of war by the imperialist camp still exists, the possibility of a 
third world war still exists. But the forces thwarting the danger of war and 
preventing a third world war are rapidly developing, and the political 
consciousness of the broad masses of the people of the world is rising. A 
new world war can be prevented provided the Communist Parties of the 
world keep on uniting and strengthening all the forces of peace and 
democracy that can be united. (Renmin Ribao, June 13, 1950.) 

In November 1957, at the meeting of fraternal Parties, Comrade Mao Tse-tung made a 
detailed analysis of the changes in International relations since the end of World War II 
and showed that the international situation had reached a new turning point. He vividly 
depicted the situation with a metaphor from a classical Chinese novel — "The east wind 
prevails over the west wind". He said, "It is characteristic of the situation today, I believe, 
that the East wind is prevailing over the West wind. That is to say, the forces of socialism 
are overwhelmingly superior to the forces of imperialism." {On Imperialism and all 
Reactionaries Are Paper Tigers.) 

He arrived at this conclusion by an analysis of international class relations. He explicitly 
placed on the side of "the East wind" the socialist camp, the international working class, 
the Communist Parties, the oppressed people and nations and the peace-loving people 
and countries, while confining "the West wind" to the war forces of imperialism and 
reaction. The political meaning of this metaphor is very lucid and definite. The fact that 
the leaders of the CPSU and their followers are twisting is metaphor into a geographical 
or ethnical or meteorological concept only shows that they want to squeeze themselves 
into the ranks of the "West" in order to please the imperialists and to stir up chauvinism 
in Europe and North America. 

Comrade Mao Tse-tung's main aim in stating that "the East wind prevails over the West 
wind" was to point to the growing possibility that a new world war could be prevented 
and that the socialist countries would be able to carry on their construction in a peaceful 
environment. These propositions of Comrade Mao Tse-tung have been and are the 
consistent views of the Communist Party of China. 

It is thus clear that the leaders of the CPSU are deliberately concocting a lie in alleging 
that the Chinese Communist Party does "not believe in the possibility of preventing a 
new world war". 

Again, it is clear that the thesis on the possibility of preventing a third world war was 
advanced by Marxist-Leninists long ago; it was not first put forward at the 20th Congress 
of the CPSU, nor is it Khrushchov's "creation". 

Is it then true that Khrushchov has created nothing at all? No. He has created something. 
Unfortunately, these "creations" are by no means Marxist-Leninist, but revisionist. 

First, Khrushchov has wilfully interpreted the possibility of preventing a new world war 
as the only possibility, holding that there is no danger of a new world war. 

Marxist-Leninists hold that while pointing to the possibility of preventing a new world 
war, we must also call attention to the possibility that imperialism may unleash a world 
war. Only by pointing to both possibilities, pursuing correct policies and preparing for 
both eventualities can we effectively mobilize the masses to wage struggles in defence of 
world peace. Only thus will the socialist countries and people and other peace-loving 
countries and people not be caught unawares and utterly unprepared should imperialism 
force a world war on the people of the world. 

However, Khrushchov and others are against exposing the danger of a new war which the 
imperialists are plotting. According to them, imperialism has actually become peace- 
loving. This is helping the imperialists to lull the masses and sap their fighting will so 
that they will lose their vigilance against the danger of the new war the imperialists are 

Second, Khrushchov has wilfully interpreted the possibility of preventing a new world 
war as the possibility of preventing all wars, holding that the Leninist axiom that war is 
inevitable so long as imperialism exists is outmoded. 

The possibility of preventing a new world war is one thing; the possibility of preventing 
all wars, including revolutionary wars, is another. And it is completely wrong to confuse 
the two. 

There is soil for wars so long as imperialism and the system of exploitation of man by 
man exist. This is an objective law discovered by Lenin after abundant scientific study. 

Stalin said in 1952 after indicating the possibility of preventing a new world war, "To 
eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism." (Stalin, 
Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., FLPH, Moscow, 1952, p. 41.) 

Lenin and Stalin are right and Khrushchov is wrong. History shows that while the 
imperialists have succeeded in launching two world wars, they have waged numerous 
wars of other kinds. Since World War II, by their policies of aggression and war the 
imperialists headed by the United States have brought about ceaseless local wars and 
armed conflicts of every description in many places, and especially in Asia, Africa and 
Latin America. 

It is clear that national liberation wars are inevitable when the imperialists, and the U.S. 
imperialists in particular, send their troops or use their lackeys to carry out sanguinary 
suppression of the oppressed nations and countries fighting for or upholding national 

Lenin said: 

To deny all possibility of national wars under imperialism is wrong in 
theory, obviously mistaken historically, and in practice is tantamount to 

European chauvinism. (Lenin, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1950, 
Vol.1, Part 2, p. 571.) 

It is equally clear that revolutionary civil wars are inevitable when the bourgeois 
reactionaries suppress the people in their own countries by force of arms. 

Lenin said: 

... civil wars are also wars. Whoever recognizes the class struggle cannot 
fail to recognize civil wars, which in every class society are the natural, 
and under certain conditions, inevitable continuation, development and 
intensification of the class struggle. All the great revolutions prove this. 
To repudiate civil war, or to forget about it, would mean sinking into 
extreme opportunism and renouncing the socialist revolution. (Lenin, 
Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. L Part 2, p. 571.) 

Nearly all the great revolutions in history were made through revolutionary wars. The 
American War of Independence and Civil War are cases in point. The French Revolution 
is another example. The Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution are of course 
examples too. The revolutions in Viet Nam, Cuba, Algeria, etc. are also well-known 

In summing up the lessons of the Paris Commune in his speech commemorating the 
seventh anniversary of the founding of the First International in 1871, Marx mentioned 
the conditions for the elimination of class domination and class oppression. He said, "... 
before such a change can be consummated, a dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary, 
and its first premise is an army of the proletariat. The working class must win the right to 
its emancipation on the battlefield." (Marx and Engels, Works, German ed., Verlag Dietz, 
Berlin, 1962, Vol. 17, p. 433.) 

In accordance with Marxist-Leninist theory. Comrade Mao Tse-tung advanced in 1938 
the famous thesis that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun", when discussing 
the lessons of the Russian and Chinese Revolutions. This thesis, too, has now become a 
target of attack by the leaders of the CPSU. They say it is evidence of China's being 

Respected friends, slanders like yours were refuted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung as far 
back as twenty-five years ago: 

According to the Marxist theory of the state, the army is the chief 
component of state power. Whoever wants to seize and retain state power 
must have a strong army. Some people ridicule us as advocates of the 
"omnipotence of war". Yes, we are advocates of the omnipotence of 
revolutionary war; that is good, not bad, it is Marxist. (Mao Tse-tung, 
Selected Military Writings, FLP, Peking, 1963, p. 273.) 

What is wrong with Comrade Mao Tse-tung's remark? Only those who reject all the 
historical experience gained in the bourgeois and proletarian revolutions over the last few 
hundred years would reject this view of his. 

With their guns, the Chinese people have created a socialist political power. All except 
imperialists and their lackeys can readily understand that this is a fine thing and that it is 
an important factor in safeguarding world peace and preventing a third world war. 

Marxist-Leninists never conceal their views. We whole-heartedly support every people's 
revolutionary war. As Lenin said of such revolutionary war, "Of all the wars known in 
history it is the only lawful, rightful, just, and truly great war." (Lenin, Collected Works, 
FLPH, Moscow, Vol. VIII, p. 107.) If we are accused of being warlike simply because of 
this, it only goes to prove that we genuinely side with the oppressed peoples and nations 
and are true Marxist-Leninists. 

The imperialists and revisionists always denounced the Bolsheviks and revolutionary 
leaders like Lenin and Stalin as being "warlike". The very fact that today we are likewise 
abused by imperialists and revisionists shows that we have been holding aloft the 
revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism. 

Khrushchov and others vigorously propagate the view that all wars can be prevented and 
"a world without weapons, without armed forces and without wars" can be brought into 
being while imperialism still exists. This is nothing but Kautsky's theory of "ultra- 
imperialism" which has long been bankrupt. Their purpose is all too clear, it is to make 
the people believe that permanent peace can be realized under imperialism and thereby to 
abolish revolution and national liberation wars and revolutionary civil wars against 
imperialism and its lackies, and in fact to help the imperialists in their preparations for a 
new war. 



The heart of the theory of the leaders of the CPSU on war and peace is their thesis that 
the emergence of nuclear weapons has changed everything and has changed the laws of 
class struggle. 

The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU says, "The nuclear rocket 
weapons that were created in the middle of our century changed the old notions about 
war." In what way were they changed? 

The leaders of the CPSU hold that with the appearance of nuclear weapons there is no 
longer any difference between just and unjust wars. They say, "the atomic bomb does not 
adhere to the class principle" and that "the atomic bomb does not distinguish between the 
imperialists and working people, it hits big areas and therefore millions of workers would 
be destroyed per one monopolist". 

They hold that with the appearance of nuclear weapons the oppressed peoples and nations 
must abandon revolution and refrain from waging just popular revolutionary wars and 
wars of national liberation, or else such wars would lead to the destruction of mankind. 
They say, "... any small 'local war' might spark off the conflagration of a world war" and 
"Today, any sort of war, though it may break out as an ordinary non-nuclear war, is likely 
to develop into a destructive nuclear-missile conflagration." Thus, "We will destroy our 
Noah's Ark -the globe". 

The leaders of the CPSU hold that the socialist countries must not resist but must yield to 
imperialist nuclear blackmail and war threats. Khrushchov said: 

There can be no doubt that a world nuclear war, if started by the imperialist maniacs, 
would inevitably result in the downfall of the capitalist system, a system breeding wars. 
But would the socialist countries and the cause of socialism all over the world benefit 
from a world nuclear disaster? Only people who deliberately shut their eyes to the facts 
can think so. As regards Marxist-Leninists, they cannot propose to establish a Communist 
civilisation on the ruins of centres of world culture, on land laid waste and contaminated 
by nuclear fall-out. We need hardly add that in the case of many peoples, the question of 
socialism would be eliminated altogether because they would have disappeared bodily 
from our planet. 

In short, according to the leaders of the CPSU, with the emergence of nuclear weapons, 
the contradiction between the socialist and the imperialist camps, the contradiction 
between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries, and the 
contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism have all disappeared. The 
world no longer has any class contradictions. They regard the contradictions in the 
contemporary world as boiling down to a single contradiction, that is, their fictitious 
contradiction between the so-called common survival of imperialism and the oppressed 
classes and nations on the one hand and their total destruction on the other. 

As far as they are concerned, Marxism-Leninism, the Declaration and the Statement, and 
socialism and communism have all been cast to the winds. 

How frankly Pravda puts it! "What is the use of principles if one's head is chopped off?" 

This is tantamount to saying that the revolutionaries who died under the sabres of the 
reactionaries for the victory of the Russian revolutions, the October Revolution, the 
warriors who bravely gave up their lives in the Anti-Fascist War, the heroes who shed 
their blood in the struggle against imperialism and for national independence and the 

martyrs to the revolutionary cause through the ages were all fools. Why should they have 
given up their heads for adherence to principle? 

This is the philosophy of out-and-out renegades. It is a shameless statement, to be found 
only in the confessions of renegades. 

Guided by this theory of nuclear fetishism and nuclear blackmail, the leaders of the 
CPSU maintain that the way to defend world peace is not for all existing peace forces to 
unite and form the broadest united front against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys but for 
the two nuclear powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, to co-operate in settling 
the world's problems. 

Khrushchov has said: 

We [the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.] are the strongest countries in the world 
and if we unite for peace there can be no war. Then if any madman wanted 
war, we would but have to shake our fingers to warn him off. 

It is thus apparent to everybody how far the leaders of the CPSU have gone in regarding 
the enemy as their friend. 

In order to cover up their error, the leaders of the CPSU have not hesitated to attack the 
correct line of the CPC by lies and slanders. They assert that by advocating support for 
the peoples' wars of national liberation and revolutionary civil wars the Communist Party 
of China wants to provoke a nuclear world war. 

This is a curious lie. 

The Communist Party of China has always held that the socialist countries should 
actively support the peoples' revolutionary struggles, including wars of national liberation 
and revolutionary civil wars. To fail to do so would be to renounce their proletarian 
internationalist duty. At the same time, we hold that the oppressed peoples and nations 
can achieve liberation only by their own resolute revolutionary struggle and that no one 
else can do it for them. 

We have always maintained that socialist countries must not use nuclear weapons to 
support the peoples' wars of national liberation and revolutionary civil wars and have no 
need to do so. 

We have always maintained that the socialist countries must achieve and maintain 
nuclear superiority. Only this can prevent the imperialists from launching a nuclear war 
and help bring about the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons. 

We consistently hold that in the hands of a socialist country, nuclear weapons must 
always be defensive weapons for resisting imperialist nuclear threats. A socialist country 

absolutely must not be the first to use nuclear weapons, nor should it in any 
circumstances play with them or engage in nuclear blackmail and nuclear gambling. 

We are opposed both to the wrong practice on the part of the leaders of the CPSU of 
withholding support from the revolutionary struggles of the peoples and to their wrong 
approach to nuclear weapons. Instead of examining their own errors, they accuse us of 
hoping for a "head-on clash" between the Soviet Union and the United States and trying 
to push them into a nuclear war. 

Our answer is: No, friends. You had better cut out your sensation-mongering calumny. 
The Chinese Communist Party is firmly opposed to a "head-on clash" between the Soviet 
Union and the United States, and not in words only. In deeds too it has worked hard to 
avert direct armed conflict between them. Examples of this are the Korean war against 
U.S. aggression in which we fought side by side with the Korean comrades and our 
struggle against the United States in the Taiwan Straits. We ourselves preferred to 
shoulder the heavy sacrifices necessary and stood in the first line of defence of the 
socialist camp so that the Soviet Union might stay in the second line. Have the leaders of 
the CPSU any sense of proletarian morality when they concoct such lies? 

In fact, it is not we but the leaders of the CPSU who have frequently boasted that they 
would use nuclear weapons to help the anti-imperialist struggle of one country or another. 

As everyone knows, the oppressed peoples and nations have no nuclear weapons and they 
cannot use them to make revolutions, nor is there any need for them to do so. The leaders 
of the CPSU admit that there is often no clear battle line between the two sides in 
national liberation wars and civil wars, and therefore the use of nuclear weapons is out of 
the question. We should then like to ask the leaders of the CPSU: What need is there for a 
socialist country to support the peoples' revolutionary struggles by nuclear weapons? 

We should also like to ask them: How would a socialist country use nuclear weapons to 
support the revolutionary struggle of an oppressed people or nation? Would it use nuclear 
weapons on an area where a war of national liberation or a revolutionary civil war was in 
progress, thereby subjecting both the revolutionary people and the imperialists to a 
nuclear strike? Or would it be the first to use nuclear weapons against an imperialist 
country which was waging a conventional war of aggression elsewhere? Obviously, in 
either case it is absolutely impermissible for a socialist country to use nuclear weapons. 

The fact is that when the leaders of the CPSU brandish their nuclear weapons, it is not 
really to support the people's anti-imperialist struggles. 

Sometimes, in order to gain cheap prestige, they just publish empty statements which 
they never intend to honour. 

At other times, during the Caribbean crisis for instance, they engage in speculative, 
opportunistic and irresponsible nuclear gambling for ulterior motives. 

As soon as their nuclear blackmail is seen through and is countered in kind, they retreat 
one step after another, switch from adventurism to capitulationism and lose all by their 
nuclear gambling. 

We wish to point out that the great Soviet people and Red Army have been and remain a 
great force safeguarding world peace. But Khrushchov's military ideas based on nuclear 
fetishism and nuclear blackmail are entirely wrong. 

Khrushchov sees only nuclear weapons. According to him, "The present level of military 
technique being what it is, the Air Force and the Navy have lost their former importance. 
These arms are being replaced and not reduced." 

Of course, those units and men having combat duties on the ground are even less 
significant. According to him, "In our time, a country's defensive capacity is not 
determined by the number of men under arms, of men in uniform. ... a country's defence 
potential depends in decisive measure on the fire-power and the means of delivery that 
country commands." 

As for the militia and the people, they are still more inconsequential. Khrushchov has 
made the well-known remark that for those now having modern weapons at their 
disposal, the militia is not an army but just human flesh. 

Khrushchov's whole set of military theories runs completely counter to Marxist-Leninist 
teachings on war and the army. To follow his wrong theories will necessarily involve 
disintegrating the army and disarming oneself morally. 

Obviously, if any socialist country should accept Khrushchov's erroneous military 
strategy, it would inevitably place itself in a most dangerous position. 

Khrushchov may confer on himself such titles as "a great peace champion", award 
himself a peace prize and pin heroes' medals on himself, but no matter how much he may 
praise himself, he will not be able to cover up his dangerous practice of recklessly 
playing with nuclear weapons or his fawning before imperialist nuclear blackmail. 


World peace can be won only through struggle by the people of all countries and not by 
begging the imperialists for it. Peace can be effectively safeguarded only by relying on 
the masses of the people and waging a tit-for-tat struggle against the imperialist policies 
of aggression and war. This is the correct policy. 

Tit-for-tat struggle is an important conclusion drawn by the Chinese people from their 
prolonged struggle against imperialism and its lackeys. 

Comrade Mao Tse-tung said: 

Chiang Kai-shek always tries to wrest every ounce of power and every 
ounce of gain from the people, And we? Our policy is to give him tit for 
tat and to fight for every inch of land. We act after his fashion, (Mao Tse- 
tung, Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 14.) 

He added: 

He always tries to impose war on the people, one sword in his left hand 
and another in his right. We take up swords, too, following his example. 

Analysing the domestic political situation in 1945, Comrade Mao Tse-tung said: 

How to give "tit for tat" depends on the situation. Sometimes, not going to 
negotiations is tit-for-tat; and sometimes, going to negotiations is also tit- 
for-tat... If they start fighting, we fight back, fight to win peace. Peace will 
not come unless we strike hard blows at the reactionaries who dare to 
attack the Liberated Areas. {Ibid., p. 56.) 

He drew the following historical lesson from the failure of China's Revolution of 1924- 


Confronted by counter-revolutionary attacks against the people, Chen Tu- 
hsiu did not adopt the policy of giving tit for tat and fighting for every 
inch of land; as a result, in 1927, within the space of a few months, the 
people lost all the rights they had won. {Ibid., p. 16.) 

The Chinese Communists understand and adhere to the policy of giving tit for tat. We 
oppose both capitulationism and adventurism. This correct policy ensured the victory of 
the Chinese revolution and the Chinese people's subsequent great successes in their 
struggle against imperialism. 

All revolutionary people approve and welcome this correct fighting policy put forward by 
the Chinese Communists. All imperialists and reactionaries fear and hate it. 

The policy of giving tit for tat as put forward by the CPC is virulently attacked by the 
leaders of the CPSU. This only goes to show that they do not in the least want to oppose 
imperialism. Their sole purpose in attacking and smearing the policy of tit for tat is to 
cover up their wrong line of catering to the needs of imperialism and surrendering to it. 

The leaders of the CPSU assert that a tit-for-tat struggle against imperialism will lead to 
international tension. How terrible! 

According to their logic, the imperialists are allowed to commit aggression and make 
threats against others but the victims of imperialist aggression are not allowed to fight, 
the imperialists are allowed to oppress others but the oppressed are not allowed to resist. 
This is a naked attempt to absolve the imperialists of their crimes of aggression. This is a 
philosophy of the jungle, pure and simple. 

International tension is the product of the imperialist policies of aggression and war. The 
peoples should of course wage a firm struggle against imperialist aggression and threats. 
Facts have shown that only through struggle can imperialism be compelled to retreat and 
a genuine relaxation of international tension be achieved. Constant retreat before the 
imperialists cannot lead to genuine relaxation but will only encourage their agression. 

We have always opposed the creation of international tension by imperialism and stood 
for the relaxation of such tension. But the imperialists are bent on committing aggression 
and creating tension everywhere, and that can only lead to the opposite of what they 

Comrade Mao Tse-tung said: 

The U.S. imperialists believe that they will always benefit from tense 
situations, but the fact is that tension created by the United States has led 
to the opposite of what they desire. It serves to mobilize the people of the 
whole world against the U.S. aggressors. (Renmin Ribao, Sept. 9, 1958.) 

Further, "If the U.S. monopoly groups persist in their policies of aggression and war, the 
day is bound to come when the people of the world will hang them by the neck." {Ibid.) 

The Declaration of 1957 rightly says, "By this policy these anti-popular, aggressive 
imperialist forces are courting their own ruin, creating their own gravediggers." 

This is the dialectic of history. Those who revere the imperialists can hardly understand 
this truth. 

The leaders of the CPSU assert that by advocating a tit-for-tat struggle the Chinese 
Communist Party has rejected negotiations. This again is nonsense. 

We consistently maintain that those who refuse negotiations under all circumstances are 
definitely not Marxist-Leninists. 

The Chinese Communists conducted negotiations with the Kuomintang many times 
during the revolutionary wars. They did not refuse to negotiate even on the eve of nation- 
wide liberation. Comrade Mao Tse-tung said in March 1949: 

Whether the peace negotiations are over-all or local, we should be 
prepared for such an eventuality. We should not refuse to enter into 
negotiations because we are afraid of trouble and want to avoid 
complications, nor should we enter into negotiations with our minds in a 
haze. We should be firm in principle; we should also have all the 
flexibility permissible and necessary for carrying out our principles. (Mao 
Tse-tung, Selected Works, FLP, Peking, Vol. IV, p. 372.) 

Internationally, in struggling against imperialism and reaction, the Chinese Communists 
take the same correct attitude towards negotiations. 

In October 1951, Comrade Mao Tse-tung had this to say about the Korean armistice 

We have long said that the Korean question should be settled by peaceful 
means. This still holds good now. So long as the U.S. government is 
willing to settle the question on a just and reasonable basis, and will stop 
using every shameless means possible to wreck and obstruct the progress 
of the negotiations, as it has done in the past, success in the Korean 
armistice negotiation is possible; otherwise it is impossible. (Renmin 
Ribao, Oct. 24, 1951.) 

Resolute struggle against the U.S. imperialists has compelled them to accept the Korean 
armistice agreement in the course of negotiations. We took an active part in the 1954 
Geneva Conference and contributed to the restoration of peace in Indo-China. 

We are in favour of negotiations even with the United States, which has occupied our 
territory of Taiwan. The Sino-U.S. ambassadorial talks have been going on for more than 
eight years now. 

We took an active part in the 1 96 1 Geneva Conference on the Laotian question and 
promoted the signing of the Geneva agreements respecting the independence and 
neutrality of Laos. 

Do the Chinese Communists allow themselves alone to negotiate with imperialist 
countries while opposing negotiations by the leaders of the CPSU with the leaders of of 
the imperialist countries? 

No, of course not. 

In fact, we have always actively supported all such negotiations by the Soviet 
Government with imperialist countries as are beneficial and not detrimental to the 
defence of world peace. 

Comrade Mao Tse-tung said on May 14, 1960: 

We support the holding of the summit conference whether or not this sort 
of conference yields achievements, or whether the achievements are big or 
small. But the winning of world peace should depend primarily on resolute 
struggle by the people of all countries. (Renmin Ribao, May 15, 1960.) 

We favour negotiations with imperialist countries. But it is absolutely impermissible to 
pin hopes for world peace on negotiations, spread illusions about them and thereby 
paralyse the fighting will of the peoples, as Khrushchov has done. Actually, 
Khrushchov's wrong approach to negotiations is itself harmful to negotiations. The more 
Khrushchov retreats before the imperialists and the more he begs, the more the appetite 
of the imperialists will grow. Khrushchov, who poses as the greatest devotee of 
negotiations in history, is always an unrequited lover and too often a laughing-stock. 
Countless historical facts have shown that the imperialists and reactionaries never care to 
save the face of the capitulationists. 



To sum up, our difference with the leaders of the CPSU on the question of war and peace 
is one between two different lines—whether or not to oppose imperialism, whether or not 
to support revolutionary struggles, whether or not to mobilize the people of the world 
against the imperialist war plots and whether or not to adhere to Marxism-Leninism. 

Like all other genuine revolutionary parties, the Communist Party of China has always 
been in the forefront of the struggle against imperialism and for world peace. 

We hold that to defend world peace it is necessary constantly to expose imperialism and 
to arouse and organize the people into struggle against the imperialists headed by the 
United States, and it is necessary to place reliance on the growth of the strength of the 
socialist camp, on the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and working people of all 
countries, on the liberation struggles of the oppressed nations, on the struggles of all 
peace-loving peoples and countries and on the broad united front against U.S. 
imperialism and its lackeys. 

This line of ours is in keeping with the common line for all Communist Parties laid down 
in the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement. 

With this line, it is possible ceaselessly to raise political consciousness of the people and 
to expand the struggle for world peace in the right direction. 

With this line, it is possible constantly to strengthen the forces for world peace with the 
socialist camp as their core and strike at and weaken the imperialist forces for war. 

With this line, it is possible constantly to expand the peoples' revolutions and manacle 

With this line, it is possible to turn to account all available factors, including the 
contradictions between U.S. imperialism and the other imperialist powers, and to isolate 
U.S. imperialism to the fullest extent. 

With this line, it is possible to smash the nuclear blackmail practiced by U.S. imperialism 
and defeat its plan for launching a new world war. 

This is the line for the people of all countries to win both victory in revolution and world 
peace. It is the sure and effective road in defence of world peace. 

But the line pursued by the leaders of the CPSU is diametrically opposed to our line, to 
the common line of all Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people. 

The leaders of the CPSU direct the edge of their struggle not at the enemy of world peace 
but at the socialist camp, thus weakening and undermining the core of strength which 
defends world peace. 

They use nuclear blackmail to intimidate the people of the socialist countries and forbid 
them to support the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations, thus 
helping U.S. imperialism to isolate the socialist camp and suppress peoples' revolutions. 

They use nuclear blackmail to intimidate the oppressed peoples and nations and to 
prohibit them from making revolution, and they collaborate with U.S. imperialism in 
stamping out the "sparks" of revolution, thus enabling it freely to carry on its policies of 
aggression and war in the intermediate zone lying between the United States and the 
socialist camp. 

They also intimidate the allies of the United States and forbid them to struggle against the 
control it has imposed on them, thus helping U.S. imperialism to enslave these countries 
and consolidate its position. 

By this line of action the leaders of the CPSU have altogether relinquished the struggle 
against the imperialist policies of aggression and war. 

This line of action denies the united front against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys and in 
defence of world peace. 

It tries to impose the greatest isolation not on the arch-enemy of world peace but on the 
peace forces. 

It means the liquidation of the fighting task of defending world peace. 

This is a line that serves the "global strategy" of U.S. imperialism. 

It is not the road to world peace but the road leading to greater danger of war and to war 

Today the world is no longer what it was on the eve of World War II. There is the 
powerful socialist camp. The national liberation movement in Asia, Africa and Latin 
America is surging forward. The political consciousness of the people of the world has 
been very much raised. The strength of the revolutionary peoples has been very much 
enhanced. The people of the Soviet Union, of the socialist countries and of the whole 
world will never allow their own destiny to be manipulated by the imperialist forces for 
war and their trumpeters. 

The aggression and war activities of the imperialists and reactionaries are teaching the 
people of the world gradually to raise their political consciousness. Social practice is the 
sole criterion of truth. We are confident that as a result of such teaching by the 
imperialists add reactionaries, many people now holding wrong views on the question of 
war and peace will change their minds: We have high hopes on this score. 

We firmly believe that the Communists and the people of the world will surely smash the 
imperialist plan for launching a new world war and safeguard world peace provided they 
expose the imperialist frauds, see through the revisionist lies and shoulder the task of 
defending world peace. 


1. Kautsky, National Problems, Russian ed. 

2. Kautsky, The Question of Defence and Social-Democracy, in German. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Haase's speech on the question of imperialism at the Congress of the German Social- 
Democratic Party in Chemnitz, 1912, published in the Handbook of the Congress of the 
Social-Democratic Party in 1910-1913, Vol. II, in German. 

5. Kautsky, "Preface to War and Democracy", in German. 

6. Resolution on the League of Nations, adopted by the Berne Conference of the Socialist 
International in 1919, Russian ed. 

7. Kautsky, Social-Democracy in War, in German. 

8. Kautsky "Preface to War and Democracy" in German. 

9. Kautsky, "A Catechism of Social-Democracy", in German. 

10. Bernstein's speech on the question of disarmament at the Congress of the German 
Social-Democratic Party in Chemnitz, 1912, published in the Handbook of the Congress 
of the Social Democratic Party in 1910-1913,No\.\\, in German. 

11. Kautsky, "Once More on Disarmament", in German. 

12. Kautsky, The Question of Defence and Social-Democracy, in German. 

14. Kautsky, Socialists and War, in German.