November 1, 2016

Revisionism Against Revisionism - Moni Guha


Modern revisionism began with Titoite betrayal. In our first pamphlet we have given the history of its origin and some facts of history more or less chronologically. In this pamphlet, the second of our series, we have traced the historical and theoretical background of modern revisionism, which, while upholding the dictatorship of the proletariat, forcible overthrow and revolutionary violence, consolidated and strengthened bourgeois nationalism in an extremely cunning way. As the Communist Party of China was the leader, in fighting against both Titoite revisionism and Khrushchevite revisionism, the present pamphlet has dealt mainly with how the CPC propagated and consolidated its "self reliance" theory and "principle" as opposed to unified efforts at building socialism in course of "fighting" Khrushchevite revisionism. Almost all the Marxist-Leninists of the world were befooled by the CPC leadership because their main attention was centred against Khrushchevite revisionism not on "self reliance", building of socialism "singly and independently" etc. This was how the revisionism of the CPC fought against the revisionism of the C.P.S.U. headed by Khrushchev.

In this pamphlet we have shown how the Leninist principle of democratic centralism and international discipline, the principle of national self-determination with the right of secession, the idea of a world federation of the Socialist Republics and international dictatorship of the proletariat have been betrayed by the CPC while posing as a "genuine" Marxist-Leninist and champion and upholder of the purity of Marxism-Leninism.

The warm response we have got from the Marxist-Leninists of India and abroad is really encouraging. From the Central prison, Cannanore, Kerala, a communist revolutionary prisoner M.N. Rauvnni writes: "you may know our limitation to comment from here. Nevertheless I can not but say that it is an excellent work and timely, useful." From the Central prison, Trivandrum, on behalf of the communist revolutionary prisoners there N. Surendran writes: "A commendable task on this complex and complicated situation wonders heavens." A communist revolutionary group of Andhra writes: "You have opened our eyes. We did not know anything of the vacillations of the Chinese Party and its failure to be self-critical in regard to the struggle against Titoism. A number of facts new to us appeared in the pamphlet.... Now we understand why so many abuses are heaped on you...." Similar letters have come from Maharashtra, Assam, Delhi and Punjab. From America one of the Marxist-Leninist groups writes: "Based on the first pamphlet, we anxiously look forward to the entire series. We hereby order 25 (twenty five) copies of the entire series and enclose a money order for $200.00 to help move things forward.... We have always been troubled by the ‘self-reliance’ theory that emerged in the anti-revisionist movement in 1960's. As principled Marxist-Leninist followers of Comrade Stalin it is not surprising that you would come up with this important political point." One British group of Marxist-Leninists writes: "A timely and outstanding contribution."

The Communist Information Service, being encouraged by the letters of appreciation, pledges that it shall fight, come what may, undauntedly, for a Communist International, for proletarian internationalism, for socialist revolution against all kinds of revisionism and opportunism together with all Marxist-Leninists.

Moni Guha Editor in-chief Communist Information Service May Day, 1979


Demand from Marxist-Leninist parties of U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia, New Zeeland and Latin American countries made this second edition indispensable. Though officially this edition is a second one, we met the demand of this booklet several times after first publication by supplying photocopies only. This booklet (Revisionism Against Revisionism, Origin of Modern Revisionism series: No. 2) along with Yugoslav Revisionism and the role of C.P.S.U. and CPC Origin of Modern Revisionism, series No. 1 selected as text book for compulsory reading for members of Ray-O-Light, an American Marxist-Leninist organization of the black workers.

The question of Mao Tse Tung thought is a crucial question for the anti-revisionist movement even today. This booklet analyses the relation of Mao Tse Tung and the CPC leadership with documentary proof of the rise and dominance of Khrushchevism in league with Mao Tse Tung. The international demand of this booklet proves that it retains its political and ideological significance even today, though it was first published in 1978.

In 1978, it was published by Communist Information Service, 25/1, Jyotish Roy Road, Calcutta = 700053, but this time it is being published by the PROLETARIAN PATH (171/10, Roy Bahadur Road, Kolkata = 700034, West Bengal, INDIA). This edition remains as it was in 1978.

MONI GUHA (Editor, Proletarian Path) November, 2004

1. Revisionism and Modern Revisionism

Is there any difference between revisionism in general and modern revisionism? Of course, there is a difference. Revisionism is Marxism-Leninism in appearance but bourgeois ideology – opportunism, reformism, anarchism etc. – which attempts to revise the basic scientific postulates of Marxism-Leninism. The characteristic feature of opportunism and revisionism is its vagueness, amorphousness, elusiveness. Insert one incorrect word between two correct words, insert one wrong idea between two correct ideas – that is the technique of revisionism of all brands. In the name of changed or changing situation revisionism revises the very essence of Marxism-Leninism so as to serve the interests and needs of the exploiting classes. Calling itself "Creative Marxism" revisionism abandons the Marxist-Leninist position. It is the Trojan horse in the communist movement.

Historically, revisionism came to acquire certain general features which are known as the revisionism of the Second International. These aspects are: negation of class struggle, negation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, negation of the forcible overthrow of the exploiting and ruling classes, pragmatism, that is propagation of the theory that immediate movement is everything which will reach the aim i.e., economism and negation of the role of advanced ideology, the absolutisation of the role of the productive forces, negation of proletarian internationalism and international discipline of the organization of the proletariat etc. Even these general aspects of revisionism of the Second International are presented in different forms in different historical periods. Peaceful transition to socialism today is different from the theory of peaceful development of socialism of the Second International. Additionally, each particular historical period manifests a particular aspect of revisionism.

As every change of situation demands constant progress and enrichment of Marxist-Leninist thought and practice as this constitutes inseparable components of the struggle for socialism and as in every historical period Marxism-Leninism presents itself concretely basing on its universal and fundamental tenets, so also revisionism presents itself concretely in each historical period to serve the interests and needs of the bourgeoisie. Otherwise, revisionism would be a sterile and blunt weapon.

That revisionism is modern revisionism which distorts or deflects the dominating central issue of the contemporary historical period upon which depends all other issues of the struggle of the world proletariat as a whole. One may fight against certain general aspects of revisionism skilfully bypassing and ignoring the central issue of the concerned historical period with much fanfare and that fight may appear as struggle against real revisionism but, in fact, that struggle deflects and distorts the real central issue and consequently it misguides the struggle of the world proletariat. The criterion by which Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism are determined and distinguished is the attitude towards the dominating central issue of the period concerned.

Let us take one instance. After the immediate prospect of European revolution died down in 1919-20, the dominating central issue of that period was the building of socialism in one country, that is in Soviet Russia, with its own resources and with the ideological, political and moral (indirect) support of the world proletariat on the one hand and building and strengthening of the subjective forces through the Communist International on the other. The other alternative was to relinquish power voluntarily, waiting for the subjective maturity of the condition of world revolution or to invite ignominious defeat through the 'export of revolution' following the 'theory' for direct state support of the European proletariat. In that period, opposition to the building of socialism in one country was the revisionism from the 'left' position. It may be noted, in this connection, that Trotsky did not come out against the class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat or proletarian internationalism. On the contrary he most robustly and emphatically, upheld all those points of the Marxism-Leninism – though in 'left' phrase-mongering, -- yet Trotskyism opposed the dominating central issue of that period – that is 'socialism in one country', which determined all other issues of the world proletariat and as such, Trotskyism was, at that period, the central issue of the fight against revisionism. The struggle of the world proletariat centred against Trotskyism. The fate of the world proletariat was linked with the fate of the fight against Trotskyism and in defence of 'socialism in one country'.

What, then, is the revisionism of our period – modern revisionism? Did modern revisionism appear, as we are told, in 1956, from the rostrum of the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union? What, then, was Yugoslav revisionism of 1948, branded as 'modern revisionism' by the Cominform? Was Yugoslav revisionism a figment of imagination of Stalin? We have seen in our last pamphlet [Yugoslav Revisionism and the Role of the CPSU] that after the death of Stalin the C.P.S.U. and CPC jointly and unitedly made rapprochement with the Tito-Clique and rehabilitated Yugoslav revisionism declaring it Marxism-Leninism, denouncing the Cominform resolutions of 1948 and 1949 and Stalin. We have also seen that in May 1958, the C.P.S.U. and CPC turned around and again denounced the Tito-Clique as modern revisionist. It can be quite justifiably concluded that there was a Fundamental difference between what the Cominform characterized in 1948 as modern revisionism and what the C.P.S.U. headed by Khrushchev and the CPC headed by Mao-Tse Tung, meant by modern revisionism in May 1958 and subsequently.

The CPC says, "The 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. was the first step along the road of revisionism taken by the leadership of the C.P.S.U....

"...From the very outset we held that a number of views advanced at the 20th Congress concerning the contemporary international struggle and the international Communist movement were wrong, were violations of Marxism-Leninism...." (The Origin and Development of the Difference between the Leadership of the C.P.S.U. and Ourselves). It means revisionism of the Soviet Union began in 1956. What was, then, the difference between the revisionism of Khrushchev of 1956, when Khrushchev also fought against Titoite revisionism together with the CPC? There must be some important difference between the two. Otherwise how could the revisionist Khrushchev fight Yugoslav revisionism and how could the CPC fight Yugoslav revisionism in alliance with Khrushchev revisionism? Khrushchev revisionism was not fought by the CPC "openly" at that time, but Titoite revisionism was not only fought openly, but also together with Khrushchev revisionism.

It is also to be noted that the Tito clique did not advocate peaceful co-existence, peaceful revolution, and peaceful competition with capitalism in 1948 as Khrushchev proposed in 1956, yet the Cominform branded Yugoslav revisionism as modern revisionism.

What, then, is modern revisionism concretely and precisely? What revisionism was fought by Khrushchev together with CPC against the Tito-clique? Again, what revisionism was fought by the CPC against Khrushchev? What issues are at stake in our period?

In order to understand all these questions let us begin from the beginning.

On the Question of Nations and Nationalities