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Marx and Engels said in their time that in the course of the socialist revolution the proletariat might have to wage liberation wars against bourgeois or pre-bourgeois states, if they unleash aggression. But the problem of the defence of one or several socialist countries, existing side by side with the powerful capitalist states, did not face them then. They proceeded from the assumption that the proletarian revolution would triumph simultaneously in all civilised countries, that is, at least in Britain, the USA, France and Germany.

In the new historical conditions that shaped in the 20th century Lenin formulated, together with the new theory of 144socialist revolution, the principles of the defence of the socialist motherland. He wrote that the victory of socialism initially in one or several countries “is bound to create not only friction but a direct attempt on the part of the bourgeoisie of other countries to crush the socialist state’s victorious proletariat. In such cases a war on our part would be a legitimate and just war. It would be a war for socialism, for the liberation of other nations from the bourgeoisie". [144•1

Soon after the October Revolution Lenin developed his teaching on the defence of the socialist motherland. The imperialists carried their threat of a military attack into effect and the Soviet people were compelled to take up arms in defence of their freedom and independence. Lenin therefore wrote: “Since October 25, 1917, we have been defencists. We are for ’defence of the fatherland’; but that patriotic war towards which we are moving is a war for a socialist fatherland, for socialism as a fatherland, for the Soviet republic as a contingent of the world army of socialism." [144•2

The teaching about the defence of the socialist motherland was further developed in the decisions of CPSU congresses, in the documents of the International Meetings of the Representatives of Communist and Workers’ Parties.

The Socialist Motherland and Its Distinctive Features

A correct understanding of the specifics involved in the defence of the socialist motherland hinges on a clear idea of the concept “motherland” in general and “socialist motherland" in particular.

The concept “motherland” embodies the whole history of the peoples of a given country, their age-long struggle for freedom and independence, and their struggle against the forces of nature for the improvement of their living conditions, a struggle that made the motherland what it is. The motherland is a historically-conditioned community of the population of a given country (one or several peoples, nations), including the given social, political and cultural environment, language, and territory, on which the people (or peoples) have been living for ages.

The socialist motherland (the Soviet Union or other 145socialist countries) differs fundamentally from the bourgeois motherland. The essential feature of the socialist motherland is the new socialist system, which forms the bedrock of its social environment.

The following are the characteristic features of the social environment under socialism: public ownership of the means of production, relations of co-operation and fraternal assistance between all members of society, the absence of exploiter classes and of exploitation of man by man. In socialist society all the means of production, all the material and spiritual wealth in the country belong to the people who have overthrown the power of the bourgeoisie. The steady growth of the people’s welfare is a law governing the development of socialist society.

As distinct from the bourgeois motherland, the socialist motherland knows no antagonistic contradictions and class conflicts. The community of the vital interests of the workers, peasants and the intelligentsia has shaped the socio-political and ideological unity of the Soviet people—the source of the socialist system’s indestructible strength.

The socialist motherland differs radically from the bourgeois motherland as regards political environment. In socialist society, power is held by the working people and the worker-peasant alliance is its cornerstone.

Emerging as a state of the proletarian dictatorship, the socialist state incorporated features of socialist democracy from its very inception. With the triumph of socialism it becomes the political organisation of the people as a whole under the leadership of the working class. The people’s state is the further development of socialist statehood towards public communist self-government. The extending social basis of the socialist state constitutes its enormous historical strength.

The socialist motherland is also characterised by the indestructible friendship of the nations incorporated in it, by relations of co-operation and mutual assistance between them. As a result the formerly backward nations approach the level of the advanced, and all socialist nations develop quickly and comprehensively. Many formerly backward nations in the Soviet Union, mainly with the help of the Russian people, have arrived at socialism, by-passing the capitalist stage of development.

A distinctive feature of the spiritual make-up of the socialist nations is that they have been educated in the spirit of socialist internationalism and patriotism, of the idea of equality and fraternal friendship between all the peoples in the country, and throughout the world.

Two interrelated progressive tendencies operate in socialist countries inhabited by several nations and nationalities. First, every nation develops rapidly and comprehensively and all forms of socialist federation and autonomy improve steadily. Second, the fraternal mutual assistance in economic and cultural development under the banner of internationalism leads to a steady rapprochement between the socialist nations, to an increase in the influence they exert on each other and to their growing mutual enrichment. The dialectical interaction of these two tendencies in the socialist motherland makes for the emergence and development of a new form of social community of people—an international community. The Soviet people is such a new historical community of people of different nationalities.

Socialist construction and the cultural revolution work a fundamental change in the cultural environment. The socialist system opens up unlimited prospects for the development of a true people’s culture, national in form and socialist in content. In the socialist motherland all the achievements of science, technology and culture become the property of the working masses, of the whole people.

The building of socialism and communism is based on a deep understanding and use in the social interest of the laws of social development and the laws of nature. This helps the people living under socialism to harness the forces of nature, to change the country’s face consciously and according to plan.

The masses closely link the concept “socialist motherland" with the leading role of the Marxist-Leninist Party, without which the outstanding material and cultural advance, and the victories in the wars against imperialist aggressors would have been impossible.

The distinctive features of the socialist motherland are reflected in socialist patriotism, which is a patriotism of a new, higher type. To the best traditions inherited by it from the past it has added a feeling of pride for the people’s revolutionary gains and the unprecedented flourishing of 147the country, and the awareness of the superiority of socialism over capitalism.

Socialist patriotism organically combines three interlinked aspects: 1) a deep feeling of love for one’s country and people, for the best national traditions and the heroic past of the motherland, hatred for its enemies, a feeling of national pride; 2) the idea of serving the motherland, an understanding of one’s patriotic duty; 3) patriotic action, that is, practical services to the motherland—in heroic exploits on the field of battle, in the revolutionary struggle against oppressors and in honest labour.

Socialist patriotism is indissolubly linked ’with proletarian internationalism. With the emergence of the world socialist system the patriotism of the members of socialist society is embodied in their devotion and loyalty to their own country and to the entire community of socialist countries. Socialist patriotism and socialist internationalism organically incorporate proletarian solidarity with the working class and the working people of all countries.

Communist construction in the USSR is part of the building of communist society by the peoples of the entire world socialist system. The development of countries in the single socialist system makes it possible to accelerate the building of socialism and communism.

The fraternal unity and co-operation of the socialist countries, based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, falls in with the supreme national interests of every one of them and at the same time with the interests of all the countries in the socialist community. The International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in June 1969 noted that the development and consolidation of every single socialist country are an important condition for the advance of the entire world socialist system, that the comprehensive cooperation between them falls in both with the national interests of the people of each country and the common interests of the socialist cause, that it promotes the further successes in the decisive fields of the economic competition between the two systems.

Isolation from the socialist camp fetters the development of a country towards socialism, deprives it of the possibility to avail itself of the advantages offered by the world 148socialist system, encourages the attempts of the imperialist powers to use nationalistic trends to their ends. The Communist and Workers’ parties, therefore, wage an irreconcilable struggle against nationalism and all vestiges of national narrow-mindedness. They consider it their prime duty to educate the working people in the spirit of socialist internationalism and patriotism, to instil in them a deep understanding of the fact that the national and international interests of the socialist countries are inseparable and identical.

Socialist patriotism and internationalism gain an ever stronger hold on the minds and hearts of the people. In their unity they have become the standard of behaviour of the builders of the new society, inspiring them for heroic exploits in labour and in the armed defence of their socialist motherland.

The Threat of Military Attacks by Imperialists and Necessity for the Armed Defence of the Socialist Motherland

The building of socialism and communism in the USSR and other countries has acquired an international character. The successes in the building of socialism and communism in spire the working class, the working masses in the capitalist countries to revolutionary struggle, and the peoples of the colonies and dependent countries to the national liberation struggle. But this raises fears with the imperialist bourgeoisie for the fate of capitalism, for their economic and political privileges, fans up their hatred for the working people of the socialist countries and feeds their desire to unleash wars against them. “More than any other, our revolution,” Lenin said, “has proved the rule that the strength of a revolution, the vigour of its assault, its energy, determination, its victory and its triumph intensify the resistance of the bourgeoisie. The more victorious we are the more the capitalist exploiters learn to unite and the more determined their onslaught." [148•1

This law operates in countries that have embarked on socialist development till the power of the bourgeoisie is broken, till the exploiter classes are done away with, and disappears with the triumph of socialism.

In the international arena the law of class struggle will 149cease to operate when the imperialist camp stops to exist. The sphere of its operation contracts as a result of the expansion and consolidation of the world socialist system.

The ideologists of anti-communism often express their fear and desperation in the face of the enormous successes of the socialist countries in the building of the new society. Thus, W. J. Schlamm, the former editor of Fortune magazine, in his book ’The Limits of the Wonder, saw the “ monstrous essence of the conflict" in the fact that communism wants peace and to flourish in conditions of peace. In this connection Schlamm wants the ruling circles of the USA and other countries of the imperialist camp to confront the Soviet Union with the alternative: atomic war or a rejection of the gains of socialism. [149•1

The main aim the imperialists pursue in unleashing aggressive wars against the socialist countries is their striving to overthrow the most progressive social system in the world by force of arms, to restore the power of the capitalists and landowners. At the same time they also pursue other aims, such as depriving the peoples of the socialist countries of their national independence and state sovereignty, looting their national wealth, dismembering the territory that is historically theirs, and transforming large parts of it into colonial possessions or “spheres of influence" of the imperialist powers, destroying the populations of those countries, and suppressing the revolutionary working-class movements in their own countries. The imperialists do not restrain their aggressive aspirations towards non-socialist countries, do not give up their colonial and neo-colonial policies towards the newly-independent states.

The predatory and counter-revolutionary aims pursued by the imperialists in their wars against the socialist countries found the most cynical expression in the plans of the Hitlerites for the attack against the Soviet Union, the statements made by the nazi leaders, and the manner in which the German fascist aggressors waged the annexationist war against the Soviet Union.

The German imperialists sought to destroy the Soviet state, to abolish the gains of socialism, the national 150 independence and culture of the Soviet peoples, to make them slaves of German capitalists and landowners. They wanted to dismember the Soviet Union, to tear from it and incorporate into Germany or transform into their colonies the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Crimea, the Caucasus, and the Volga region. The plan for the attack on the USSR, the notorious “Barbarossa” plan, and the supplementary directives and instructions to the plan (Göring’s “Green Folder”, and others) contained a monstrous programme for the destruction of the Soviet Union’s wealth. They planned to lay waste a large part of Soviet industry, to cart away all machinery and equipment to Germany, to drive millions of people to Germany for forced labour, and physically to destroy many millions of people.

At one of his conferences with the commanders of his armies Hitler said: “It is not enough for us simply to smash the Russian army and to seize Leningrad, Moscow and the Caucasus. We must wipe the country from the face of the earth and destroy its people.”

Before the offensive against Moscow the troops of the Army Group Centre received the following order from Hitler: “The city must be surrounded so that not a single Russian soldier, not a single Russian inhabitant, man, woman or child, should be able to leave it. Any attempt at departure should be suppressed by force. Requisite measures should be taken to provide huge structures that will submerge Moscow and its environs. An enormous sea shall form where Moscow stands today and hide the capital of the Russian people from the civilised world forever." [150•1

The nazi savages destroyed millions of Soviet people, drove hundreds of thousands of young men and women to their empire and enslaved them. The nazi monsters treated government and Party workers, Communists and non-party activists with special cruelty. They attempted to fulfil the task the nazi ringleaders had set them—to destroy all traces of the Soviet socialist system and of communist ideology.

As regards the basic aims of such war, and the means and methods for their achievement, the nazis were no exception among the imperialist aggressors. This is clearly revealed 151by the many facts and documents showing the true intentions of the imperialists towards the German Democratic Republic, the Korean People’s Democratic Republic, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and also by their plans for military attacks on other socialist countries.

Imperialists are still hatching crazy plans of “liberating” the European socialist countries. The misanthropic character of these plans was revealed by the would-be “liberators” themselves. Some US military leaders advocate the “scorched earth”, “dead desert" strategy. They openly discuss the question of the most effective ways of destroying the population of the socialist countries, whether this should be done by annihilating cities with nuclear weapons or whether bacteriological and chemical weapons should be used. Some US generals and senators consider the latter more profitable because it will help to preserve and seize the material values belonging to the peoples, whom these modern vandals intend to exterminate. At present the imperialists of the USA and other countries mask their aggressive aims with phrases about the “free world”, struggle for “democracy”, etc. The political and military leaders of the imperialist states energetically spread their inventions about the “communist danger”, “Red imperialism”, “export of the revolution”, and so on. In an attempt to justify such lies they misinterpret the Marxist-Leninist teaching and distort the policies of the Soviet Union and other socialist states.

The foreign policy of the socialist countries, which is aimed at ensuring peaceful conditions for the building of the new society, gives the lie to these malicious inventions of the imperialist ideologists. Frederick Engels said in his time: “...the victorious proletariat can force no blessings of any kind upon any foreign nation without undermining its own victory by so doing. Which of course by no means excludes defensive wars of various kinds...." [151•1

Capitalism established its domination by the sword, but socialism does not need wars to spread its ideals. Its most powerful weapon is its supremacy over the old system in social organisation, in the economy, in raising the people’s living standard, and in ensuring the flourishing of culture.

The economic might and growing international influence of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries serves the cause of peace and co-operation between the peoples and has a growing impact on international relations. Socialism has outstripped capitalism in a number of key branches of science and technology and has given the peace-loving peoples powerful material means for checking imperialist aggression. The further strengthening of the economic might and defence potential of the socialist system is an important means of ensuring the armed defence and security of the socialist countries.

Even though the imperialist schemes to weaken the socialist camp and to destroy it in a nuclear war are unrealisable, this does not remove the danger of war, of a sudden attack by the aggressors on the socialist countries. At times this danger grows very acute.

Thus, the need to defend the socialist gains against all attacks by international imperialist reaction, the armed defence of the socialist countries, is one of the general laws of the transition from capitalism to socialism and communism, one applying to all countries making this transition while ihc world imperialist system and the constant threat of military attacks by the imperialists against the socialist countries continue to exist.
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[144•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 23, p. 79.

[144•2] Ibid., Vol. 27, pp. 162–63.

[148•1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 30, p. 450.

[149•1] W. J. Schlamm, Die Grenzen des Wunders. Ein Bericht iiber Deutschland, Zurich, 1959, S. 185.

[150•1] Offiziere gegen Hitler, nach einem Erlebnisbericht von Fabian v. Schlabrendorf, Zurich, 1946, S. 48.

[151•1] K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1965, p. 351.
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