December 25, 2018

People’s Democracy, a New Form of Political Organization of Society

The Marxist-Leninist theory is a powerful instrument for the transformation of the world, a powerful ideological weapon for the destruction of the old, exploiting system and the creation of a new, socialist one. Marxism-Leninism gives a correct, scientifically substantiated answer to all basic problems raised by historical development, and indicates ways, forms and methods for their solution.

“Marxism,” J. V. Stalin said, “is the science of the laws governing the development of nature and society, the science of the revolution of the oppressed and exploited masses, the science of the victory of socialism in all countries, the science of building communist society.” (J. V. Stalin, Marxism and Problems of Linguistics, Moscow 1954, p. 71.)

Marxism-Leninism is basically a creative science. It develops and perfects itself as social relations develop, enriching itself with new experience, new formulas and conclusions.

V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin ruthlessly combated revisionists who called for the repudiation of Marxism, and they repeatedly stressed the need of applying Marxism creatively in resolving concrete problems of the labour movement. They vigorously opposed dogmatism and rote in theory, and trite methods in politics.

“We,” Lenin wrote, “do not by any means regard Marx’s theory as something final and inviolable; we are convinced that it has only laid the corner-stones of the science which socialists must advance in all directions if they do not want to be behind the times. We hold that an independent elaboration of Marx’s theory is especially necessary for Russian socialists, since this theory provides only general guidingprinciples which are applied, in particular, differently to Britain than to France, differently to France than to Germany, differently to Germany than to Russia.” (V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 4, pp. 191-92.)

Marxism-Leninism teaches that in defining the policy for the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, one must be guided by the general theoretical principles concerning the laws governing social development; base oneself on concrete historical conditions, take into account the alignment of class forces, and know exactly the real conditions of the struggle.

J. V. Stalin’s speech at the Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is a splendid example of the way scientific account was taken of a concrete situation. That speech was of great international significance. Stalin showed that in the present period, when the bourgeoisie has become even more reactionary, when it has ceased to play at liberalism, has thrown overboard the banner of the bourgeois-democratic liberties and the banner of national independence, Communists have the important task of picking up these banners, upholding democratic freedoms and national sovereignty and advancing the cause of the people’s emancipation.

These propositions testify to the continuous expansion of the duties of the working class in the solution of general-democratic tasks; this was already clearly manifested in the period of the anti-fascist struggle. At the same time these propositions are a further step in developing the Marxist-Leninist tenet concerning the richness and variety of the forms of transition from capitalism to socialism. “Marx,” Lenin wrote, “did not commit himself, or the future leaders of the socialist revolution – as regards the forms, methods and ways of bringing about the revolution; for he understood perfectly well what a multitude of new problems would then arise, how much the entire situation would change in the course of the revolution, and how often and considerably it would change in the course of the revolution.” (V. I. Lenin, Works, Vol. 27, 4th Russ. ed., p. 310.)

The change in the historical situation brought about by the setting up of a powerful socialist state, the victory of the Soviet Union over the Hitlerite invaders and the further intensification of the general crisis of capitalism have raised anew a number of problems in the policies and tactics of Communist Parties.

A creative application of Marxism and a consistent observance of the principle of a concrete historical approach to the solution of the revolutionary tasks of the working class enabled the Communist and Workers’ parties of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, China, Korea and others to find the most effective ways of achieving victory under given conditions, of employing new methods of uniting the popular masses, and of discovering new forms of political organization of society.

Under present conditions the people’s democratic regime is a new state form of revolutionary power.

The rise and development of People’s Democracy must be examined in concrete historical conditions, for the experience of the people’s democratic countries in Europe and Asia shows that People’s Democracy passes through different stages and, depending upon the stage, its class content changes.

The first stage is that of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution, in the course of which People’s Democracy arises as the organ of revolutionary power, representing in its class content something akin to the dictatorship of the working class and peasantry, with the working class in the leading role. The new popular power in this stage has its sharp edge directed against imperialist oppression, fascism, as well as against the prop of imperialism and fascism within the country – big, monopoly capital and landlordism.

The second stage is that of the socialist revolution, when the dictatorship of the working class is being established and begins to fulfil its tasks.

The people’s democratic system in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia has developed over a long period; at the present time it is a state form of the proletarian dictatorship. Yet in China, Korea and Viet-Nam the popular democratic regime is still not fulfilling the functions of a proletarian dictatorship.

The experience of the People’s Democracies in Europe and Asia once more confirms the tenets of Marxism-Leninism on the variety of the forms and pace of revolutionary development in different countries and on the richness of the forms of transition from capitalism to socialism. At the same time the example of the People’s Democracies confirms the correctness of the teaching of Lenin and Stalin regarding the international significance of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the essence and general basis for different political forms in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism.

Historical Prerequisites for the Rise of People’s Democracy

It is exceedingly important to know the origin of People’s Democracy in order to understand its problems. The ideologists and hirelings of the British and American imperialists persistently spread shameless fabrications about the rise of People’s Democracy. On the one hand, they allege that People’s Democracy triumphed as a result of foreign interference. At the same time the Yugoslavian bourgeois nationalists, at the behest of their masters, trumpet the “spontaneous” nature of People’s Democracy, claiming that the rise of People’s Democracy had nothing to do with the Soviet Union’s epoch-making victories over fascism.

These fabrications seem contradictory. Actually they have one and the same class essence. Both serve the interests of imperialism, both are manufactured by sworn enemies of socialism and are utterly false and reactionary.

A correct and scientifically substantiated answer to the question of the origin, development and specific features of People’s Democracy can be given only when guided by the Marxist-Leninist teaching.

The rise of People’s Democracy as a new form of political organization of society, and its triumph are an inevitable result of the development of world history in the epoch of flourishing socialism and collapsing capitalism. People’s Democracy could rise and triumph given definite objective conditions.

It rose and triumphed under conditions of the further accentuation of the general crisis of capitalism, the continuous intensification of the decay of the whole capitalist system of economy and the steady deterioration of the positions of capitalism, i.e., in circumstances of increasing unevenness of the economic and political development of capitalist countries, the maximum sharpening of all imperialist contradictions, the radical change in the relation of class forces on the international arena in favour of socialism and against capitalism, the steady consolidation of the socialist system, and the growth of the strength, prestige and might of the Soviet Union.

This historical situation is characterized by the rapid growth of the influence of Communist Parties in the struggle against fascism and reaction, the development of the revolutionary activity of the working class and the political maturity of the popular masses in capitalist countries, the unprecedented rise of the national-liberation movement in colonial and dependent countries with the working class in the leading role. People’s Democracy has become victorious in the course of the powerful anti-fascist movement of the labouring masses under the leadership of the working class and its revolutionary vanguard, the Communist Parties.

The decisive role in the rise and victory of People’s Democracy as a new form of revolutionary power was played by the Soviet Union. By emphasizing this decisive role of the Soviet Union, it is necessary in a categoric way to repudiate the slanderous allegations of reactionaries about the Soviet Union’s interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. The Soviet Government has pursued and is pursuing a consistent policy of preserving and consolidating peace and, therefore, did not, does not, and will not interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. The U.S.S.R. Government has never foisted on any country its political structure or its way of life. It does not export revolutions.

The decisive role played by the U.S.S.R. in the emergence of People’s Democracy is stipulated by the laws of social development at the present stage and by the disposition of forces on the international arena today as a result of logical inevitability.

Wherein lies the decisive significance of the Soviet Union in the rise of People’s Democracy?

Firstly, the Great October Socialist Revolution split the world into two systems, inflicting upon capitalism a mortal wound from which it already cannot recover. The October Revolution heralded the beginning of the world socialist revolution and ushered in the epoch of the downfall of capitalism and the triumph of socialism.

The October Revolution “... created a powerful and open centre of the world revolutionary movement, such as the world revolutionary movement never possessed before and around which it now can rally and organize a united revolutionary front of the proletarians and of the oppressed peoples of all countries against imperialism.” (J. V. Stalin, Problems of Leninism, Moscow 1953, p. 242.)

Secondly, the steady development and strengthening of the socialist system after the Great October Revolution further undermined the pillars of imperialism. This period has been a period of continuous sharpening of imperialist contradictions and intensification of the process of decay and degradation of the capitalist system. The victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R., which promoted the broadening of the world socialist revolution and the consolidation of the bulwark of the international revolutionary movement, caused a further accentuation of the general crisis of capitalism and struck a new blow at the whole capitalist system thereby weakening it to a greater degree.

Thirdly, the Soviet Union dealt another and more powerful blow at the whole system of imperialism in the course of the Second World War. As a result of the defeat of the aggressor states – Germany, Italy, and Japan – three big imperialist powers ceased to be Great Powers, and that weakened the whole system of imperialism. Such links of imperialism as France and Britain were also substantially weakened.

As a whole the world system of imperialism emerged from the Second World War immeasurably weaker than it had been before the war, while the system of socialism emerged much more powerful, notwithstanding the fact that the main burden of the struggle against fascism was carried by the Soviet Union.

In other words, thanks to the great victories of the Soviet Union, the relation of forces operating on the international arena shifted continuously in favour of socialism and against capitalism. That accelerated the maturing of objective and subjective prerequisites for a new revolutionary outbreak in several countries of Europe and Asia, for forcing another breach in the chain of imperialism.

By routing the German and Japanese aggressors the Soviet Union released huge revolutionary potentialities, that had been suppressed by the invaders, and cleared the path to a progressive solution of urgent socio-economic, political and other problems, to the victory of the working class and of all toilers over the black forces of reaction. This brought about a revolutionary situation in a number of European and Asiatic countries after the defeat of Hitlerite Germany and imperialist Japan. The political crisis reached its extreme degree of intensification. The popular masses in those countries, who had passed through the severe school of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist liberation struggle under the leadership of the working class, refused to entrust their destinies to the reactionaries: the masses did not wish to live in the old way. The positions of the reactionary classes had been undermined and weakened: the reactionaries were unable to rule those countries in the old way. A new round of revolutions and national-liberation movements began in colonial and dependent countries; the struggle developed for the establishment of People’s Democracy.

The rise of People’s Democracy as a new state form of revolutionary power and its triumph in some countries of Europe and Asia were thus prepared by the Great October Socialist Revolution, by the great achievements of the Soviet people at the front of socialist construction, and by the heroic feat of the Soviet people, who smashed the fascist invaders and liberated the peoples of Europe and Asia from Hitlerite and Japanese imperialist aggression.

As is known, People’s Democracy did not triumph in some countries, though internal conditions were favourable there. The internal situations in Greece, France, Italy, Belgium, and in other states permitted the labouring masses in those countries to throw off the domination of reaction and establish People’s Democracy, but the U.S.-British imperialist interference helped the native bourgeoisie to retain their dominant position.

The situation that arose in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe was totally different, and it was under different conditions that the peoples of China fought for freedom, independence and democracy.

By its epoch-making victories the Soviet Union created the possibility for establishing People’s Democracy in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, China and Korea and assisted the working people of those countries to realize this possibility.

This assistance was friendly, disinterested and many-sided. It lay in that:

Firstly, the Soviet Army was the direct liberator of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe from fascist enslavement. Pursuing and routing the retreating enemy, the Soviet armed forces entered the territories of those countries and brought them genuine freedom. But the Soviet Army not only liberated those countries from foreign yoke and ensured them their national freedom, but proved simultaneously to be a force representing an immeasurably higher, genuinely progressive social system – socialism. The Soviet Army did not interfere in the domestic affairs of those countries, but by its presence it exerted a mighty revolutionary influence on the march of events, strengthened the revolutionary energy of the popular masses and accelerated historical processes.

Secondly, the Soviet Union frustrated Anglo-American intervention in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe. The Anglo-American imperialists are known to have sought to land their troops in Albania, Bulgaria, to break through to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary, and to reach there before the Soviet Army. It is quite clear that had the British and American troops entered these countries, the ruling circles in the U.S. and Britain would have done their utmost to prevent the victory of People’s Democracy. The Soviet Union saved the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe from new intervention and from new imperialist oppression, thereby rendering the working people of Central and South Eastern Europe great assistance in establishing a new, revolutionary power – People’s Democracy.

Hence, far from interfering in the domestic affairs of the Central and South-Eastern European countries, the U.S.S.R. sheltered them from Anglo-American interference, from Anglo-American military intervention.

Thirdly, in the course of the war against Hitlerite Germany the Soviet Army smashed her allies – the armed forces of fascist reaction in Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The working class of those countries would have required immense strength and energy to annihilate the armed forces of native fascists, but that was done during the war by the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Army drove out the Hitlerite troops and smashed the Hitlerite violence machine in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Furthermore, the presence of the Soviet troops prevented reactionary circles in those countries from creating and developing armed forces of counter-revolution of any notable size, though such attempts, some extremely energetic, took place, for instance, in Poland.

The sworn enemies of the Polish nation, abetted and assisted by the Anglo-American imperialists, created in the rear of the Germans, with the latter’s consent, a fascist guard, Narodowe Sily Zbrojne (N.S.Z.), and formed the Armia Krajowa (A.K.), which held themselves in readiness for the struggle against the Soviet armed forces and Polish Democracy. But the Soviet Army’s entry onto Poland’s territory brought to naught the perfidious designs of Polish reactionaries. The A.K. and N.S.Z. gangs that tried to put up resistance to the Soviet Army were dispersed, while their remnants, engaged in political brigandage, were liquidated by the Polish democratic government.

In other words, a very favourable situation for the emergence of People’s Democracy arose in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe as a result of an extremely rare concurrence of circumstances and unusual, very specific historical developments. In routing the fascist invaders the heroic Soviet Army lent the peoples of these countries fraternal assistance in liberating themselves from the fascist yoke and prevented the native forces of reaction and the Anglo-American imperialists from unleashing a civil war. In the final analysis all this essentially facilitated the victory of People’s Democracy in Central and South-Eastern European countries.

Fourthly, the Soviet Union extended immense moral and political support and economic aid to the European countries of People’s Democracy.

Immediately following their establishment the young people’s democratic regimes were fiercely attacked by international imperialism. The ruling circles of the U.S.A. and Britain pursued a policy of blackmail, intimidation, and slander against the People’s Democracies, and exerted political and economic pressure upon them. They tried by various means to interfere in the domestic affairs of those countries, and desperately strove to restore anti-popular, reactionary regimes.

The U.S.S.R., always a champion of the peoples’ independence, made use of its high international prestige and helped the People’s Democracies to repel the attacks of the imperialist forces, paralyzed the attempts of the ruling circles in the U.S.A. and Britain to interfere in the domestic affairs of those countries, helped them to uphold their freedom and independence and to strengthen their international position. The economic aid given by the U.S.S.R. was of great importance for the consolidation and development of People’s Democracy. Despite the U.S.S.R.’s enormous war-inflicted economic difficulties, the Soviet Government helped those countries at the initial stage of development with raw materials for industry, with food supplies for the population, etc.

Finally, of greatest significance in the emergence of People’s Democracy and its successful development is the fact that the Soviet Union has assisted and is assisting on a vast scale the toilers of the People’s Democracies with its rich experience in social reformations, its experience in the struggle against landlords and capitalists, and its experience in the struggle for building socialism.

The Communist and Workers’ parties of the People’s Democracies are guided in all their practice by the experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and that allows them correctly to define their policies and to find the most effective and expedient forms of struggle and development. The experience of the C.P.S.U. is a lodestar for the Communist Parties throughout the world in their struggle for democracy and socialism.

All these facts reveal the decisive role played by the Soviet Union in the rise of People’s Democracy and shatter to pieces the reactionary, bourgeois-nationalist allegations about the “spontaneous” emergence and development of People’s Democracy. At the same time they categorically refute the false assertions of the Anglo-American slanderers about Soviet interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.

The Soviet Union created favourable conditions for the victory of People’s Democracy and helped to establish it. But the emergence of popular governments should be regarded as the result of the activity of internal forces, as the result of the revolutionary struggle of the popular masses under the leadership of the working class.


Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Feudal Revolutions in Central and South-Eastern Europe

The establishment of People’s Democracy is a result of natural development. It is the consummation of the heroic and self-sacrificing communist-led struggle of the working class and all toilers of a given country against fascist oppression by foreign imperialists and their accomplices inside the country in the person of financial and industrial magnates and landlords.

To grasp the essence and to evaluate the historic role of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist struggle of the popular masses in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe it is necessary to bear in mind the new and specific historical phenomena that arose as a result of the intensified decay of the capitalist mode of production as well as a further sharpening of the general crisis of capitalism.

V. I. Lenin defined imperialism as the last, decaying stage of capitalism. “Formerly progressive, capitalism has become reactionary; it has developed the forces of production to such a degree that mankind is faced with the alternative of going over to socialism or of suffering years and even decades of armed struggle between the ‘great’ powers for the artificial preservation of capitalism by means of colonies, monopolies, privileges and national oppression of every kind.” (V. I. Lenin, Socialism and War, Moscow 1952, p. 18.)

V. I. Lenin demonstrated that politically imperialism is a turn from democracy to political reaction. Democracy, he wrote, corresponded to the epoch of industrial capitalism, while political reaction corresponds to the epoch of monopoly capitalism.

Fascism, which is the extreme stage of political reaction in the epoch of imperialism, provides the most striking evidence of the decay and degradation of capitalism. As is known, fascism is an overt, bloody, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic elements of finance capital.

Fascism aims to save the decaying, moribund imperialist system, and prevent the liberation of the masses from economic and political oppression, and exploitation. The German fascists, in particular, attempted to secure this by achieving world hegemony for German imperialism. They dreamt of establishing their domination for millenniums. This, though monstrous in its design, was clearly a hopeless attempt to hinder human progress, to stop the inexorable march of history, its natural progress and continuous development. In the history of human society fascism has come forward as the bearer of social regress, as a force directed against the progressive development of society.

The domination of fascism in countries where it seized power and which it subjugated meant regression in all fields of public life, whether political, social or national.

Politically regression lay in the fact that fascism liquidated even those pitiful democratic rights and liberties which the popular masses had won under bourgeois democracy. The fascist regime is a regime of open arbitrariness and violence, a regime that deprives the people of all rights.

The essence of the fascist regime in Germany was characterized by J. V. Stalin when he said: “In point of fact the Hitler regime is a copy of the reactionary regime which existed in Russia under tsarism....

“The Hitler party is a party of enemies of democratic liberties, a party of medieval reaction and Black-Hundred pogroms.” (J. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, Moscow 1954, p. 37.)

Socially the domination of fascism meant the restoration of feudal-serfdom and even slave forms of exploitation. The nazis tried to introduce serfdom in many occupied countries, where they set up German landlords’ estates and placed the peasants of those countries at their disposal. At the same time the Hitlerites employed slave labour on a large scale, drawing their slaves from among the toilers of the countries they occupied. Different sources place the number of slaves who worked in Hitlerite Germany at 8 to 12 millions. Fascist Germany was thus the biggest slave market and the biggest slave-holding state in history.

The introduction of serfdom and the slave system cannot be regarded as an accidental phenomenon in the policy of Hitlerism. The Hitlerite ringleaders unreservedly stated that world domination cannot be established unless definite forms of modern feudal dependence or slavery are created. In other words, the introduction of serfdom and slavery was a component part of fascist social policy.

Fascist ideologists tried to find some “justification” for the reactionary policy of Hitlerism and falsely and cynically asserted that all this was done in the interests of the working people.

Fascist domination also meant regression in the national question. The Hitlerites enslaved the nations of the majority of European countries; in some cases enslavement bore the character of direct occupation (Poland, Czechoslovakia, and so on), and in others it was carried out under cover of a military “alliance” (Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, etc.). After the conquest of Europe the nazis dreamt of enslaving the peoples of the whole world. They proposed to exterminate every nation except the German nation, which was to be preserved as a race of masters. Finally, the Hitlerites proposed the physical annihilation of whole nations and began carrying out their man-hating plans. Therefore the peoples of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe were confronted with the alternatives of becoming free or being enslaved, of being alive or being burnt in the furnaces of Majdanek and Treblinka.

“The German invaders have enslaved the peoples of the European continent – from France to the Soviet Baltic countries, from Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Soviet Byelorussia to the Balkans and the Soviet Ukraine; they have robbed them of their elementary democratic liberties; they have deprived them of the right to order their own destiny; they have taken away their grain, meat, and raw materials; they have converted them into their slaves; they have crucified the Poles, Czechs, Serbs...” (J. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, Moscow 1954, pp. 40-41.)

The historical situation that arose as a result of the Hitlerite aggression is somewhat reminiscent of the situation described by Lenin as far back as 1916.

At that time V. I. Lenin wrote: “It is highly improbable that this imperialist war of 1914-16 will become a national war, because the proletariat, the class that represents progress, is objectively striving to transform this war into civil war against the bourgeoisie, and also because the strength of both coalitions is almost equally balanced, while international finance capital has everywhere created a reactionary bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that such a transformation is impossible: if the European proletariat were to remain impotent for another twenty years; if the present war were to end in victories similar to those achieved by Napoleon and in the subjugation of a number of virile national states; if non-European imperialism (primarily Japanese and American) were to remain in power for another twenty years without a transition to socialism, say, as a result of a Japanese-American War, then a great national war in Europe would be possible. This means that Europe would be thrown back for several decades. That is improbable. But it is not impossible, for to picture world history as advancing smoothly and steadily without sometimes taking gigantic strides backward is undialectical, unscientific and theoretically wrong.” (V. I. Lenin, Works, Vol. 22, Russ. ed., pp. 295-96.)

The working class of the fascist-enslaved nations was faced with completely new, specific tasks, which had not been on the order of the day several years ago and which appeared because the history of those countries had moved a step backward because of the victory of fascism.

In all countries conquered by the nazis or under threat of conquest, including even those where socialist transformation of society had been on the agenda, tasks of a general-democratic nature came to the fore. These were anti-imperialist, anti-fascist, and national-liberation tasks that had intertwined with still unsolved anti-feudal tasks. The reactionary nature of the bourgeoisie became clearly manifest in the period of fascist aggression. The bourgeoisie that was in power ceased to play at liberalism and make advances to the people; it threw overboard the banner of democratic liberties and national independence and went over to the service of the nazi invaders. The European working class had first of all to eject the German invaders, to defeat the native fascist forces and to restore democratic rights and liberties on a new basis, and to liquidate all the aftermaths of fascism.

Fascist Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union increased the menace to the progress of humanity, for at that time the issue concerned not only the destiny of the European nations, but also that of the socialist country, the bulwark of the world proletarian revolution, i.e., the destiny of human progress.

Fascism became the main obstacle in the path of historical development, and, unless it destroyed fascism, mankind could not move forward.

For that reason the defeat of fascism was at that time the primary and decisive task of the working class in all countries, and demanded immediate solution by the motive forces of history.

The struggle against fascism determined the direction of the main blow and the alignment of class forces both in the international arena and inside the capitalist countries; it determined the policy and tactics of the Communist Parties, and the forms and methods of their struggle.

All power for defeating fascism was the slogan of the working class in all countries.

“Our war for the freedom of our Motherland will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic liberties. It will be a united front of the peoples who stand for freedom and against enslavement and threats of enslavement by Hitler’s fascist armies.” (J. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, Moscow 1954, p. 21.)

Such was the content of the anti-fascist struggle.

In colonies and semi-colonies the struggle against fascism had its own specific character and special features. Even prior to the fascist aggression those countries were ruled by foreign imperialists, who found a social prop in the compradore bourgeoisie, the landlords, and other feudal gentry. Hence, long before this aggression, the labouring masses of those countries had been faced with acute anti-imperialist tasks that were closely intertwined with the anti-feudal ones. The aggression of Hitlerite Germany and, particularly, of imperialist Japan emphasized the anti-imperialist character of the struggle of the peoples in colonies and dependencies.

Consequently, during the Second World War the defeat of fascism was the principal strategic task of the whole international labour movement, particularly of the working class in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe.

These countries differed essentially from each other in levels of socio-economic and political development, in degrees of maturity and organization of the working class, etc.

Albania, for instance, was an enthralled backward agrarian country. Her industry was in an embryo state, the working class had just begun to form, feudal survivals and even survivals of the tribal way of life were still considerable. The peasants owned only 56 per cent of the land, the rest was in the hands of the beys (feudal lords), the landlord state, and the church. The landless peasants were forced to rent the land from the beys at a price of up to three-fourths of the harvest.

Czechoslovakia, meanwhile, numbered among the industrial-agrarian countries and had a large working class. Her economy, however, contained substantial feudal vestiges, and the agrarian problem in the country was acute. One per cent of the big landlords owned 43.4 per cent of the land, while 70.9 per cent of the peasants had only 15.5 per cent of the total. Prior to the fascist aggression the Czechoslovak bourgeoisie exercised its dictatorship in the shape of bourgeois democracy.

Poland, Hungary and Rumania were countries of middle capitalist development, with a greater volume of unsolved tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. Bulgaria stood somewhat by herself. Her industries were weakly developed, agrarian relationships prevailed in her economy, but there was virtually no landlord class, the survivals of feudalism were insignificant and, therefore, the volume of unsolved anti-feudal tasks was not big.

All these differences left their mark on the course of events in those countries and conditioned their specific character. But the nazi invasion in the Second World War confronted all those countries without exception with direct general-democratic, anti-imperialist, and national-liberation tasks that merged with their already existing anti-feudal tasks.

The struggle against the Hitlerite invaders and for national independence merged indissolubly with the struggle against the native fascists, traitors and collaborators in the person of the monopolistic bourgeoisie and the landlords.

In all the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe the German fascists found for themselves a social prop in the monopolistic bourgeoisie and the landlords who went over to the side of the Hitlerites and became a tool for suppressing and enslaving their own people. The German fascists came as the bearers of national oppression and social regression, and the native traitors proved to be their true servants. Therefore, the struggle against the foreign invaders was interwoven with the democratic struggle against the native fascists and their social basis. It was impossible to resolve the tasks of national liberation and to win democracy without striking a decisive blow at the monopolists and landlords within those countries.

The indisputable conclusion to be drawn from the above is that in the period of the anti-fascist struggle the working class in all countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe without exception did not directly put forward and decide socialist tasks, and that it did not work for the political defeat of the entire class of the bourgeoisie or for the immediate establishment of the proletarian dictatorship. In that period all the energy and strength of the labouring masses of these countries were aimed at the solution of general-democratic tasks: the defeat of fascism, the attainment of national independence and democratic liberties, the abolition of slavery and serfdom that the nazis had introduced, the liquidation of all the other consequences of the fascist rule, as well as of the survivals of feudalism.

From this it follows that anti-feudal tasks occupied an important place at that stage of the revolution. But the content and the character of the struggle, as well as the alignment of class forces were determined by the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal tasks taken together. The small size of the anti-feudal tasks did not and could not cancel the general-democratic character of the struggle during the rout of fascism. To this period application may be made with full justification of what Lenin said in 1905 about the revolutionary tactics of the proletariat of Russia during the bourgeois-democratic revolution:

“At the head of the whole of the people and particularly of the peasantry – for complete freedom, for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic!” (V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. I, Part 2, Moscow 1952, p. 121.)

In the final analysis, the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution should be classified as one of the bourgeois-democratic type. But at the same time, it is broader than the usual bourgeois-democratic revolution.

A common feature of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution and of the bourgeois-democratic revolution is that the former does not transcend the limits of the general-democratic revolution, does not set as its direct aim the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the working class, the abolition of capitalism and the transition to socialism. Like the bourgeois-democratic revolution it sets as one of its most important tasks the liquidation of survivals of feudalism.

But the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution has its own peculiarities and distinctive features.

While the usual bourgeois-democratic revolution is spearheaded only against the remnants of feudalism in economy and politics, the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution was directed first and foremost against fascism, and bore a pronounced anti-imperialist character. Only the solution of the anti-imperialist tasks permitted the uprooting of feudal vestiges.

The fundamental task of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution – the destruction of fascism – demanded a resolute struggle against one of the most reactionary detachments of the bourgeoisie, against the big financial and industrial magnates who strove to reverse the wheel of history, to destroy democracy and to institute serf and slave labour. Though the struggle against the monopolistic bourgeoisie in those historical conditions did not transcend the limit of the general-democratic revolution, it, naturally, left an imprint on the whole progress of the revolution, since in the course of general-democratic revolutionary transformations the foundations of capitalism were inevitably shattered.

In the present epoch, when imperialism, in its search for allies in the struggle against democracy and socialism, combined its forces with feudalism, using the latter as a social prop, it is impossible to do away with feudalism without destroying the imperialist yoke. The era of usual bourgeois-democratic revolutions spearheaded only against feudalism has passed away irrevocably. At present any general-democratic revolution is possible only if it is anti-feudal and anti-imperialist simultaneously.

The peculiarity of the above-mentioned tasks of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution called forth a specific alignment of class forces.

Firstly, the working class could and indeed led the anti-fascist struggle, since no other class was capable of rousing the masses of the people to defeat fascism.

Though the middle bourgeoisie of the fascist-enslaved countries was interested in driving out the foreign invaders, it, nevertheless, was unable to unite the masses of the people, to rouse them to the struggle. Only the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, could cope with the solution of the tasks of the anti-fascist struggle. Indeed, the working class alone was the initiator and the most consistent and staunch fighter in the struggle against fascism. At the head of the working class were the Communist Parties, which directed the whole anti-fascist movement. The Communists raised high the banners of democratic liberties and national independence, and courageously carried them forward. The heroic struggle of the Communists against fascism, their whole-hearted devotion to the people, and their selflessness raised still further the prestige of the Communist Parties, and strengthened and consolidated their leading role.

The leading role of the Communist and Workers’ parties came about historically, in the course of a long and intense struggle for national freedom and democracy, for a new, happy life. It was won in the battles with the German and native fascists, with the landlords and the reactionary bourgeoisie. It is the result of a test of the policies of various parties by the masses of the people.

The popular masses who had passed through the stern school of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist struggle for liberation did not wish to entrust their destiny to the reactionary parties, whose prestige among the people had been sharply undermined by their treason and collaboration with fascist enslavers. The masses of the people entrusted their destiny to the working class, the Communist Parties. That proved to be a law of historical development.

The Communist Parties were the only parties capable of arousing the popular masses to the struggle against nazism and of heading that struggle. In the course of the anti-fascist struggle the popular masses, by their own stern experience of life, became convinced that Communists are genuine, sincere, and disinterested champions of the people’s interests. That was one of the main factors that laid the ground for the victory of People’s Democracy.

“The growth of the influence of the Communists cannot be regarded as fortuitous. It is a perfectly natural phenomenon. The influence of the Communists has grown because in the hard years of fascist domination in Europe they proved reliable, courageous, and self-sacrificing fighters against the fascist regime, for the freedom of the peoples.” Millions of “simple folk” “isolated the reactionaries in Europe, the adherents of collaboration with fascism, and gave their preference to the left democratic parties. It is they, these millions of ‘simple folk’ who tested the Communists in the fire of struggle and resistance to fascism and decided that the Communists fully deserve the people’s trust. That is how the influence of the Communists grew in Europe. Such is the law of historical development.” (J. V. Stalin, Interview Given to a Pravda Correspondent on Churchill’s Speech on March 18. 1946, Gospolitizdat, Moscow 1946, p. 12.)

Secondly, the working class forged a powerful anti-fascist coalition and raised the broadest sections of the people to the struggle against nazism.

Under the leadership of the working class the struggle against fascism was shared by the peasantry, the intelligentsia, the urban petty bourgeoisie and anti-fascist circles among the middle bourgeoisie.

The unity of the anti-fascist democratic forces was organizationally expressed in the creation during the struggle of mass socio-political organizations such as the Fatherland Front in Bulgaria, the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks in Czechoslovakia, the Democratic Bloc in Poland, and so on.

In the period of the anti-fascist struggle the working class formed a firm fighting alliance with the peasantry, which steadily broadened and gained strength. The working class played a leading part in this alliance, and this is precisely the factor that determined the further unfolding of historical events.

Thirdly, the exploiting class was split in that period. One part, the landlords and the big financial and industrial magnates lined up with the invaders and became the fascists’ tool in suppressing their own people, and the other part, namely, anti-fascist-minded circles among the middle bourgeoisie, was interested in driving out the Hitlerites and winning national independence. For that reason they took a more or less active share in the struggle against the Hitlerite bandits. In all the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe the middle bourgeoisie joined the anti-fascist coalition and was represented in the bloc of democratic parties.

In defining their attitude towards the middle bourgeoisie, the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Parties, were guided by V. I. Lenin’s well-known precept on tactical questions.

V. I. Lenin wrote: “A more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and without fail, most thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skilfully using every, even the smallest, ‘rift’ among the enemies, every antagonism of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism, or of scientific, modern socialism in general.” (V. I. Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder, Moscow 1952, p. 90.)

Guided by these instructions the working class of those countries set out to draw the middle bourgeoisie into the struggle against fascism, to prevent it from going over to the camp of Hitlerism, though the working class was, of course, aware that the bourgeoisie was an unreliable, temporary and conditional ally. Nevertheless, the winning over of anti-fascist-minded circles among the bourgeoisie weakened the forces of the enemy and strengthened the forces of the anti-fascist camp.

Such was the internal alignment of class forces in the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal stage of the revolution, and such were its motive forces.

A powerful anti-fascist movement developed in all the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe under the leadership of the working class and its vanguard, the Communist and Workers’ parties.

Born in January 1942, the Polish Workers’ Party set the Polish people the task of actively fighting the Hitlerites, of putting up an armed resistance to the invaders, and headed that struggle. The armed forces of Polish democracy arose in Poland and on the territory of the U.S.S.R. The period of 1943-44 saw the rise of the Krajowa Rada Naradowa (K.R.N.) – the underground parliament of the Polish people, which aimed to take the leadership of the armed struggle and of all other forms of self-defence of the Polish people, to ensure them with democratic liberties and national independence, and to reconstruct the future Poland on democratic lines.

In September 1941 the Communist Party of Rumania called upon the people, all the patriots, to join in the struggle for national liberation against Hitlerite oppression, to overthrow Antonescu’s regime, to put an end to the war against the U.S.S.R. and to include Rumania into the struggle of all freedom-loving nations against nazism.

In July 1942 the illegal radio-station “Hristo Botjeff” broadcast a programme by the Fatherland Front, which called upon the Bulgarian people to break off the alliance with Hitlerite Germany, drive out the German troops, overthrow the fascist regime in the country and set up a people’s democratic government. With that programme as their banner the people, led by the Communist Party, started an active armed struggle against the nazis, that culminated in the victorious uprising of September 9, 1944.

The peoples of Czechoslovakia, who did not want to reconcile themselves to the Hitlerite oppression, selflessly fought the nazi invaders.

In Slovakia the climax of that struggle was the armed uprising in the autumn of 1944 and in Czechia – the May uprising of 1945.

The Albanian and Hungarian peoples struggled bravely and actively against the foreign enslavers.

The struggle of the working class and other toilers of Europe against nazism, for national independence and democratic liberties was an indissoluble component part of the international anti-fascist movement headed by the Soviet Union.

The working class and all the labouring masses of the fascist-enslaved countries waged a heroic struggle against nazism. But they could not cope with that task without the aid of the Soviet Union. It was solved by the concerted efforts of the Soviet Union, the working class and all the toiling people of the enslaved European countries, with the U.S.S.R. playing the decisive role. The Soviet Union was the main motive force in the anti-fascist struggle throughout the world, and the main motive force of the revolutionary process of transformation which followed the defeat of fascism.

The great successes achieved in the struggle against the German, Italian and Japanese aggressors by the Soviet Union and the powerful anti-fascist movement of the working people thus resulted in the rise of People’s Democracy. That was the outcome of the armed collision between the world democratic forces with the Soviet Union at their head and the international reactionary forces which at that time were led by Hitlerite Germany.

In the light of the aforementioned a definite answer may be given to the question how People’s Democracy came into being: peacefully or in the course of an armed struggle.

As it has been proved above, People’s Democracy triumphed as a result of the defeat of fascism, in the course of a bloody, fierce conflict between the forces of democracy and the forces of reaction. Hence, the thesis on the peaceful rise of People’s Democracy is wrong and by its content is bourgeois-nationalistic, as it bases itself on the analysis of only the internal events in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe and ignores the common front of the international anti-fascist struggle, ignores the greatest revolutionary significance of the Soviet Union’s struggle against fascist reaction.

The anti-fascist struggle was accompanied by a consolidation process of the democratic forces, a process in which the political army of the revolution was formed and hardened and in which the alliance of the working class and the peasantry was strengthened.

Turning into account the favourable situation that followed the defeat by the Soviet armed forces of Hitlerite Germany, the working class in those countries rallied the peasantry, intelligentsia and the urban petty bourgeoisie and brought about a revolutionary upheaval. It wrested power from the fascist forces, destroyed the reactionary regime and established a new democratic system – People’s Democracy.

People’s Democracy was established in Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Albania immediately following the defeat of fascism.

In Rumania and Hungary it was established somewhat later, as a result of the subsequent struggle of the working class. “The liberation of the country,” said Matias Rákosi, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party, “put an end to the power of the big landlords and capitalists. Under the leadership of the Communist Party, power passed into the hands of the working class, the peasantry and that part of the bourgeoisie which had opposed German imperialism and agreed to co-operate with us in abolishing the relics of feudalism.” (For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, June 15, 1948.)

The establishment of People’s Democracy marked a big revolutionary turning point, the passing of power from the hands of reaction into the hands of the people led by the working class. G. M. Dimitrov pointed out in reference to Bulgaria: “With the working class playing a most active and guiding role, power was wrested from the hands of the capitalist bourgeoisie, the exploiting monarcho-fascist minority and placed in the hands of the overwhelming majority of the people.” (For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, April 1, 1948.)

The establishment of People’s Democracy solved the question of power in the sense that the big bourgeoisie and landlords were overthrown, and the middle bourgeoisie ousted from leadership of society. That meant the setting up of people’s power headed by the working class, which has played the decisive and leading part within the framework of People’s Democracy since its establishment.

However, that was still not the complete solution of the question of power. In the initial period of People’s Democracy the middle bourgeoisie in all the European people’s democratic countries was not politically isolated and defeated, and the problem of winning over the majority of the population was not fully solved, the working people did not yet possess a secure majority in the government and the legislative bodies.

The middle bourgeoisie was allowed to participate in governing the country side by side with the working class and the peasantry. The bourgeoisie existed as an independent, politically organized force, with its own parties, press, representatives in the government, in the legislative bodies, and in the state apparatus.

How is that to be explained? Why were certain groups of the bourgeoisie allowed to participate in governing the country? Why was the whole bourgeoisie not at once dislodged completely from power?

The answer is that:

Firstly, after the defeat of fascism the working class of the European People’s Democracies had to decide to some degree the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution;

Secondly, in that period the bourgeoisie succeeded in preserving certain political positions and in leading by fraud more or less considerable sections of the population. It managed to preserve definite political positions because:

a) it adroitly used for class purposes its participation in the anti-fascist struggle, and everywhere demagogically advertised itself as a champion of the people’s interests;

b) it managed to retain its influence over a certain section of the populace because of the treacherous policy pursued by the Right Social-Democrats, who defended the interests of the bourgeoisie under the screen of socialist demagogy, and also by virtue of the absence of sufficient political consciousness among some strata of the people, who were taking part in politics for the first time;

c) it drew its support from the Anglo-American imperialists, who utilized all pretexts to interfere in the domestic affairs of the European People’s Democracies and thereby increased the vacillation of unsteady sections of the population;

d) it held important positions in the national economy.

In view of these factors the middle bourgeoisie was at that time a strong social force that could not be ignored or immediately exterminated without complicating the development of the revolution.

The most expedient policy towards the middle bourgeoisie directly after the defeat of fascism was the policy of its neutralization.

In order to neutralize the middle bourgeoisie the Communist Parties deemed it possible and necessary to protect by law the private ownership of the means of production within certain limits, to guarantee freedom of private enterprise, and to admit the bourgeoisie to government administration. That policy was essential in the period when various anti-feudal measures were being carried out, for it hindered the formation of a united bloc of reaction from the middle bourgeoisie to the landlords, and was an important transitional stage for the subsequent policy of isolating the bourgeoisie and its final defeat.

The class basis of People’s Democracy is composed of two classes, the proletariat and the peasantry. The alliance of these two classes, with the working class in the leading role, comprises the unshakable foundation of people’s state power.

The class content of the victorious People’s Democracy was determined by the stage of the revolutionary development, by the content of the tasks under solution, and by the alignment of class forces. The first stage was marked by the solution of general-democratic tasks. That was the stage of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution.

In a review of the question of the character of state power in countries with a weak capitalistic development, J. V. Stalin pointed out as far back as 1928:

“Besides capitalistically developed countries, where the victory of the revolution leads at once to the proletarian dictatorship, there are countries which are poorly developed capitalistically, where there are feudal survivals and a specific agrarian question of the anti-feudal type (Poland, Rumania, etc.), countries where the petty bourgeoisie, especially the peasantry, is bound to have a weighty word to say in the event of a revolutionary outbreak, and where the victory of the revolution, if it is to lead to a proletarian dictatorship, must and certainly will require certain intermediate stages, in the form, say, of a dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.” (J.V Stalin, Works, Russ. ed., Vol. 11, p. 155.)

Stalin’s instructions acquired special importance for the people’s democratic revolutions.

Taking into account that in its first stage the revolution in the Central and South-Eastern countries of Europe did not solve socialist tasks, but was directed against foreign and native fascists and landlords, bearing in mind the alignment of class forces, it may be definitely asserted, that in all those countries the regime of People’s Democracy in its initial period was something akin to a dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. The dictatorship of the working class and the peasantry in all the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe has its own specific, individual features as compared with the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry of which V. I. Lenin spoke in reference to the period of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia. The dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry in the people’s democratic republics appeared in the presence of the mighty Soviet Union, under conditions of a radical shift in the balance of forces in the international arena in favour of socialism and adverse to capitalism. That dictatorship was born in the course of the anti-fascist struggle, and its sharp edge was directed against imperialism. In the anti-fascist coalition the revolutionary power had a broad social and political prop within the country. The leading role of the working class in this anti-fascist bloc of different classes and social groups was decisive from the very beginning and enhanced continuously as the revolution developed.

By virtue of this People’s Democracy became from its birth a revolutionary power of the whole people with the working class at its head.

Such are the characteristic features of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, established in the European People’s Democracies in the first stage of the revolution.

During the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution the working class of those countries achieved first of all the solution of the anti-imperialist tasks. With Soviet aid the people expelled the German fascist invaders, obtained their national freedom, crushed the fascist forces within the country, and overthrew the monopolistic bourgeoisie. The broad democratic rights and liberties won by the people would have been unheard of and impossible under conditions of bourgeois democracy. The political activities of the masses grew steadily. Political parties and mass public organizations were set up in all those countries. People’s Democracy had at its outset gone far beyond the limits of bourgeois democracy in all spheres.

After the defeat of fascism and the establishment of People’s Democracy, the working class of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe shifted the centre of gravity of all their work to uprooting the survivals of feudalism in economics and politics, i.e., to the complete and final solution of properly bourgeois-democratic tasks.

In analyzing anti-feudal revolutionary measures account should be taken of the difference between agrarian countries with a large volume of anti-feudal tasks (Rumania, Albania, etc.) and countries with a relatively high industrial development (Czechoslovakia), where feudal survivals likewise existed. That laid its imprint on the development of historical events, but their essence was the same in all those countries. In Bulgaria there was actually no anti-feudal question, but there were survivals of feudalism in economics and politics, and the agrarian question existed. The volume of anti-feudal tasks had a direct bearing on the rate of development of the revolution and fixed the time for the transition to a new stage. Therefore, in Bulgaria, for instance, the process of the growth of the general-democratic revolution began somewhat earlier than in the other countries. But that did not change the general-democratic character of the first stage of the popular-democratic revolution.

The solution of the agrarian question under present-day conditions involves not only the liquidation of the landlord class, but also the defence of the peasants’ farms from ruin by the financial-capitalist monopolies. In all, this signifies the establishment of the peasant ownership of land.

The working class attached enormous importance to the carrying out of the land reform. The agrarian question was a very acute and vital political question, for on its solution depended the destiny of the revolution. The peasants were incredibly land-hungry and they were ruthlessly exploited by the landlords. The peasants demanded land; to receive it was their age-old dream.

In Poland, for instance, 87.1 per cent of the households owned 31.8 per cent of the land, while 0.9 per cent of the big estates owned 47.3 per cent of the total. In Rumania 97.5 per cent of the households owned 60 per cent of the land, while 0.8 per cent of the estates owned 32.2 per cent of the total. In Hungary 93.8 per cent of the households owned 34.2 per cent of the land, while 0.9 per cent of the estates owned 46.4 per cent of the total.

The working class, true to its role of champion of the people’s interests, called upon the peasants to start a decisive struggle against the landlords for the division of their land. The reactionaries furiously resisted the land reform. A tense class strife raged around the land reform. The landlords and their allies from the camp of the bourgeoisie, supported by the British and American imperialists, who did their utmost to disrupt the land reform and hindered the promulgation of the revolutionary decrees, fought against the division of the landlords’ land and its transfer to the tillers of the soil, spread counter-revolutionary rumours and threatened the peasants with revenge, and foully assaulted the activists, members of the land reform committees, and the peasants who received land. In the end the resistance of the landlords was broken and their land turned over to the peasants.

The process of carrying out the land reform in the European People’s Democracies had certain specific features. In their fight to carry out the land reform the Communist and Workers’ parties were guided by the propositions of Leninism on the necessity for a differentiated, concrete historical approach to the question of the principles along which the agrarian question was to be solved. They took into account the fact that in countries where capitalist relations had deep roots in agriculture and had imbued the peasantry with private-property instincts, the slogan of the nationalization of the whole land would not be immediately digested; that the higher the capitalistic development of the country, the stronger the traditions of private land ownership.

Allowing for the concrete specific character of agrarian relationships, the alignment of class forces and the tasks of the further progress of the revolution, the Communist and Workers’ parties advanced the slogan of “The land belongs to those who till it.” In accordance with that slogan the landlords’ land was confiscated and distributed among the peasants, who acquired it as their private property on very favourable terms.

A maximum, i.e., the limit of land each private farm could own, was established in all countries. In Poland this maximum was 123.5 acres of arable land, while in the western part of the country it was 247 acres; in Rumania and Czechoslovakia the limit was 123.5 acres, in Hungary about 74 acres, etc. Almost everywhere the landlords’ land was confiscated without compensation, but a money compensation was paid to rich peasants for any surplus over and above the maximum.

The land confiscated from the landlords and redeemed from the rich peasants was given to needy peasants at a small price to be paid in instalments over 15-20 years. The families of partisans and of those who fell in the war against the nazis received land gratis. The land was transferred to peasant ownership, but the charge of it was strictly regulated: its sale, mortgage, donation and renting were either forbidden or limited. A certain part of the land was nationalized and remained in state ownership for the organization of experimental-model state farms.

In all, the peasants of the European People’s Democracies received over 37 million acres of land.

The immense social and political significance of the agrarian reforms lay in the fact that they:

a) liquidated the landlord ownership of land and consolidated the peasant land ownership;

b) abolished the landlord class, which was one of the pillars of fascist reaction, and eradicated forever the survivals of feudalism and semi-feudal exploitation;

c) provided the peasants with land. This raised them to the status of middle peasants, placed the material well-being of the labouring peasantry on a higher level, and considerably limited kulak exploitation in the countryside;

d) opened the way for a new stage in the development of the forces of production in agriculture;

e) still further consolidated the alliance between the working class and the peasantry and enhanced the leading role of the working class in this alliance.

Simultaneously political life was democratized – the judicial and state institutions introduced by the nazis were destroyed, and the survivals of feudalism and the aftermaths of fascism in politics were liquidated.

The period required by the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe to implement general-democratic measures and to solve anti-feudal tasks after the defeat of fascism varied from less than a year to more than a year, although the survivals of feudalism were completely eradicated only in the stage of the socialist revolution.

The defeat of fascism and the elimination of the aftermaths of its domination, the replacement of bourgeois democracy by popular democracy, the completion of the main processes of the agrarian reform, and a series of other general-democratic measures culminated the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal stage of the revolution and opened the way for a new stage – the stage of the socialist revolution. Here the Communist and Workers’ parties were guided by the well-known theoretical propositions of Leninism on the socialist revolution and the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution.

Although, as stated above, the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution did not transcend directly the limits of a general-democratic revolution, it would be completely wrong to erect a wall between a general-democratic and socialist revolution.

In striking a blow at the monopolistic bourgeoisie (which under given concrete conditions was a general-democratic measure) the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution simultaneously weakened capitalism as a whole, thereby directly bringing nearer the stage of the socialist revolution. The process of the anti-imperialist struggle was accompanied by the formation of the forces of the future socialist revolution, by the consolidation of the alliance of the working class and the labouring peasantry, and by the enhancement of the leading role of the working class in this alliance. This leading role of the working class is the embryo of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a transitional step towards it.

That is why an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist revolution contained all the prerequisites for directly growing into a socialist revolution. That is why an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution is a component part of the world revolutionary process spearheaded against capitalism. Such is the dialectics of historical events at the present stage of social development.


Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Feudal Revolutions in the East

The peoples of China, Korea and Viet-Nam have travelled a long historical path of development in the struggle for national freedom and democracy. The experience accumulated by them in the process of historical development is rich and many-sided. Each possesses its own specific conditions and features.

Whereas the Korean People’s Democratic Republic and the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam are in the first stage of the development of People’s Democracy, the Chinese People’s Republic has already passed through its first stage, the stage of the democratic revolution, and now has entered a new stage, that of realizing the tasks of the socialist revolution. The popular democratic regime in these countries is a revolutionary power carrying out the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.

The victory of People’s Democracy in these countries was prepared by the whole course of historical development. It came as a result of a change in the balance of forces on a world scale in favour of socialism and against capitalism; as a result of the heroic struggle waged by the popular masses of these countries under the leadership of the working class against foreign and domestic imperialist reaction, against the feudalists, for national freedom and democracy. What has been said previously about the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the victory of People’s Democracy in a number of European countries applies directly to the victory of People’s Democracy in Asiatic countries, too.

The Great October Socialist Revolution, which marked a basic turn in world history and ushered in a new era of triumphant socialism and moribund capitalism, exerted a gigantic influence on the development of the national-liberation movement in colonial and dependent countries, undermined the positions held by imperialism in these countries, accelerated the historical development of colonies and dependencies, and awakened hundreds of millions of people held in the vices of imperialist oppression.

After the victory of the October Revolution the era of undisturbed exploitation and oppression of the colonies passed away irrevocably and was replaced by an era of colonial liberation revolutions under the leadership of the proletariat of the colonial and dependent countries.

The October Revolution played a highly important role in the destinies of the peoples of colonial and dependent countries, for it not only undermined the imperialist positions, but also pointed out to these peoples the correct path towards freedom and independence, progress and prosperity.

“The salvoes of the October Revolution,” Mao Tse-tung said, “brought us Marxism-Leninism. The October Revolution helped progressive elements in the world, and in China, too, to apply the proletarian world outlook in determining the destiny of their country and in reviewing their own problems. To follow the path of the Russians – such was the conclusion.” (Mao Tse-tung, On People’s Democratic Dictatorship, Gospolitizdat, Moscow 1949, pp. 5-6.)

The same conclusion was arrived at by advanced people in all colonial and dependent countries, who started an active struggle for national freedom and independence.

The continuous strengthening of the Soviet Union, the bulwark of the international forces of democracy and socialism, and the shaking of the pillars of imperialism meant a further weakening of its positions in the colonies. That brought nearer the time for the emancipation of the colonies and semi-colonies from imperialist oppression, and facilitated the establishment of the democratic system.

The experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the teachings of Leninism on the character and the motive forces of revolutions in colonial and dependent countries in the epoch of imperialism, on the leading role of the working class in these revolutions, and on the necessity of taking into account national peculiarities and national characteristics when solving the tasks of the revolution were of paramount importance for the working class in the colonies and semi-colonies and its vanguard, the Communist Parties, to theoretically elaborate the main political, strategic and tactical problems of the struggle for national liberation and for a genuinely progressive path of development.

The struggle for national liberation in the epoch of imperialism can triumph only under the leadership of the working class. This programmatic thesis of Leninism acquires special meaning for revolutions in colonies and semi-colonies under present-day conditions, i.e., under conditions of an acute sharpening of the crisis of the colonial system of imperialism.

Furthermore, the theory of Leninism proceeds from the position that it is necessary for the working class to win to its side broad sections of the people, as well as to employ all available forces within the country in the struggle against imperialism and feudal aristocracy. These forces should include the anti-imperialist-minded national bourgeoisie with which it is possible to enter into temporary blocs and agreements.

Utilizing the favourable circumstance of a weakening imperialism brought about by the great victories of the Soviet Union, the Communist Parties in the colonies and semi-colonies steered a course towards the realization of the tasks of a democratic revolution.

National-colonial oppression in the colonies and semi-colonies intensified during the Second World War when fascist Germany had enslaved almost all the European countries, and imperialist Japan had occupied a vast territory in Asia. The Japanese imperialist vultures strove to enslave China completely and to make her their colony. The seizure by Japan of Viet-Nam, Burma, Malaya, Indonesia and other countries marked an intensification of colonial slavery and a sharp deterioration of the conditions necessary for achieving national freedom. Therefore, participation in the struggle against the German fascist and Japanese imperialist invaders was the major task of the peoples in colonial and dependent countries in that period. The liquidation of the German and Japanese aggression was an indispensable factor for winning national freedom and democracy.

The liquidation by the Soviet Union of this aggression opened up for the colonial peoples fresh visions of achieving national freedom, independence and democracy, because the victory scored by the Soviet people over the German fascist and Japanese imperialist aggressors weakened imperialism still further and shook its positions in the colonies and semi-colonies.

A revolutionary situation came into being in many colonial and dependent countries, a situation that saw the beginning of a new round of colonial revolutions and a new wave of revolutionary liberation movements of the popular masses against imperialist, colonial oppression.

The national-liberation struggle in the colonies and dependencies after the Second World War has certain distinctions.

Firstly, these movements are growing at the time of consolidation of the camp of democracy and socialism and steady deterioration of the camp of imperialism.

Secondly, the leading role of the working class in these movements has been emphatically strengthened. The hegemony of the working class renders national-liberation movements consistently revolutionary, gives them a genuinely popular character, and makes them organized, purposeful and solid.

Thirdly, at its present stage the national-liberation struggle has attained a highly mass character. The participants in these movements include the most diverse social forces: the working class, which is their organizer and inspirer, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, and the national bourgeoisie. In countries where the people are fighting for national freedom coalitions have been formed of all democratic, anti-feudal, and anti-imperialist forces.

Fourthly, in a number of colonial and dependent countries, armed struggle is the basic form of the national fight for liberation at the present stage.

Fifthly, the national-liberation movements are being conducted under the banner of fighting for a People’s Democracy.




Considerable historical successes in the struggle for national independence and People’s Democracy have been scored by the great Chinese people, who are leaning upon the powerful support of the Soviet people.

The Communist Party of China, armed with the all-conquering theory of Marxism-Leninism, raised the Chinese people to a selfless struggle against imperialist oppression, against the compradore bourgeoisie and the feudal lords, who were the lackeys of American and British imperialists within the country. This heroic revolutionary war, that had lasted for a quarter of a century, ended in an epoch-making victory of the Chinese people.

As is known, the Chiang Kai-shek clique had systematically parcelled out the country to various imperialists – American, British and Japanese. After the defeat of Japanese imperialism by the Soviet Union, Chiang Kai-shek went over wholly to the service of American imperialism. U.S. ruling circles rendered the rotten Kuomintang regime the broadest political, economic and military assistance. They sent Chiang Kai-shek military advisers, huge quantities of military equipment, and kept up a constant supply of ammunition to the Kuomintang armies. But the existence of the powerful Soviet Union held down the activity of the American aggressors and prevented them from launching an open intervention against the Chinese people.

“Had there been no Soviet Union,” Mao Tse-tung wrote, “had there been no victory in the anti-fascist Second World War, had Japanese imperialism not been defeated (which is particularly important for us), had there been no People’s Democracies in Europe . . . then the pressure of the international reactionary forces would, of course, have been much stronger than it is today. Would we have been able to achieve victory in those circumstances? Of course not. So, too, it would have been impossible to consolidate victory after it had been achieved.” (Mao Tse-tung, On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship, p. 9.)

The Soviet Union rendered the Chinese People’s Republic colossal moral and political support and economic aid. The experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has been of invaluable importance for China. Using the experience of the C.P.S.U. and creatively applying the great teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, Mao Tse-tung gave a profound scientific and theoretical substantiation for the policy, strategy and tactics of the Communist Party of China.

By its character the Chinese revolution was anti-imperialist and anti-feudal. It was directed against foreign imperialist oppression, Chinese feudalism and the big bureaucratic compradore bourgeoisie, which was closely linked with the foreign imperialists.

The Chinese revolution was a bourgeois-democratic revolution, but at the same time it was a national-liberation and an anti-imperialist one, which merged with the world-wide revolutionary movement of the working class against imperialism. It transcended the limits of a usual bourgeois-democratic revolution thanks to its anti-imperialist direction and as a result of the enhanced leading role of the working class.

In the course of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution the working class built up a united front of the democratic forces, including the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, and the national bourgeoisie. The working class, headed by its vanguard, the Communist Party, is the organizing, leading and directing force of the united front. A firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry has given the united front its unshakable foundation.

Viewing the Chinese revolution as the confluence of two streams of the revolutionary movement – the movement against feudal survivals and the movement against imperialism, J. V. Stalin with genius predicted as far back as 1926 the character of the power which would be established as a result of the victory of this revolution.

“I believe,” J. V. Stalin said, “that the future revolutionary power in China will in its character resemble the power of which we spoke in our country in 1905, that is, something in the nature of a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, but with this difference that it will be predominantly an anti-imperialist power.

“It will be a power of transition to a non-capitalist, or, to be more exact, to a socialist development of China.” (J. V. Stalin, Works, Russ. ed., Vol. 8, pp. 365-66.)

The revolutionary power established in China as a result of the victory of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution is, by its content, a kind of dictatorship of the working class and the peasantry. In the first stage of the development of People’s Democracy in China socialist tasks were not projected as immediate tasks and were not solved therefore. That was a question of the future. Mao Tse-tung pointed out that only after a flourishing national economy and culture have been built up will China, in conformity with the will of her people, turn to the solution of the tasks of socialist construction.

The triumph of People’s Democracy meant the overthrow of the reactionary Kuomintang clique, which had championed the interests of bureaucratic capital and the landlords; it meant the passing of power into the hands of the majority of the population headed by the working class and the creation of a people’s democratic system. The Chinese people won the broadest democratic rights and liberties, set up their political parties, public, trade-union, youth, women’s and other democratic organizations. The Chinese reactionaries kept the people away from politics. Today millions upon millions of the Chinese citizens are turning to politics, are actively participating in governing the state and are confidently resolving important questions of the country’s political and economic life.

The people’s democratic state is energetically defending and expanding the democratic achievements of the people; it is strengthening people’s democratism, and enhancing the political activity of the people by drawing more and more fresh forces into the work of governing the country; it is strengthening the unity of all patriotic forces, first of all the forces of the working class and the peasantry; it is employing the national bourgeoisie in building a new China, at the same time resolutely thwarting the attempts of certain of its sections to prevent the solution of the tasks of the revolution. The people’s democratic state is mercilessly suppressing the resistance of the overthrown reactionary classes, and is carrying on an energetic struggle against counter-revolutionary bandit groups and against the spying and subversive activities of the American and Kuomintang agents.

The people’s democratic state of China, which was born in the struggle against the foreign imperialists and their accomplices inside the country, is vigilantly protecting its national freedom and democratic achievements from encroachments by the American and other imperialists. For this purpose the Chinese people’s government is strengthening the ties of friendship with the U.S.S.R. and all countries in the camp of democracy and socialism; it is waging a consistent struggle for peace, consolidating the defence capacity of the country, and resolutely rebuffing the attempts of the U.S. imperialists to interfere in the domestic affairs of China. Chinese volunteers, carrying out the will of their people, defended in Korea the approaches to Chinese territory and helped the fraternal Korean nation to uphold its freedom and independence against the U.S. aggressors.

The Chinese people’s democratic state inaugurated large-scale revolutionary socio-economic transformations, most important among which was the agrarian reform, directed at the liquidation of feudalism and the landlord class. The agrarian revolution in China abolished landlord ownership and consolidated peasant ownership of land.

The agrarian reform, which was carried through on the principle that the land should belong to the tillers, destroyed the economic basis for the existence of the landlord class. That class was abolished forever and the peasantry was freed from annual rents paid to the landlords and which amounted to the value of 50 million tons of grain. Over three hundred million peasants received 116 million acres of land.

The people’s democratic government confiscated the property of the foreign imperialists and of the Chinese compradore bureaucratic bourgeoisie, which had close ties with the foreign imperialists, and took over their factories, mills, banks and commercial enterprises. As a result, China’s economy now has a state sector. At the same time the people’s democratic government is drawing private capital extensively into the development of the national economy.

The economic policy of the people’s democratic power in China as outlined in Article 26 of the Common Programme of the People’s Political Consultative Conference, stipulates that “all sectors of the social economy should, under the leadership of the state-owned economy, carry out the division and co-ordination of labour and play their respective parts in promoting the development of the social economy as a whole.”

All these measures consolidated the socio-economic basis of People’s Democracy in China and created favourable conditions for accelerating the rapid upswing of China’s economy. The Chinese people had enthusiastically rehabilitated their industry, primarily the heavy industry, restored to life the old factories and mills and began to build new ones. Agriculture was also recovered and is being developed on a big scale.

Although the Chinese revolution in its first stage of development did not transcend the limits of a general-democratic revolution, but being primarily an anti-imperialist revolution it dealt a blow at the capitalist system and thereby weakened it still further.

The victory of the Chinese revolution meant that another mighty breach had been made in the chain of imperialism, a breach second only to the one made by the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. The result of this victory was that China broke away from the system of imperialism and went over to the camp of the countries of democracy and socialism. The successful solution of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal tasks ensured the direct growing over of the general-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution. At present the Chinese people under the leadership of the working class with the Communist Party at its head set to realize the tasks of the socialist revolution and of the socialist transformation of society.




The great victory of the Soviet people over Japanese imperialism enabled the Korean people to embark upon the path of democracy and progressive development. This victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War brought the Korean people liberation from the Japanese imperialist yoke. The Soviet Army freed North Korea and gave the Korean people an opportunity to break away from imperialism and achieve full independence and real democracy.

The situation that arose in North Korea differs fundamentally from the situation in South Korea, which is occupied by United States troops. US ruling circles made South Korea practically their colony and set up a reactionary regime headed by the puppet dictator Syngman Rhee.

In North Korea, which entered upon a new, free life, the popular masses, under the leadership of the working class and guided by the Party of Labour, set about effecting profound social and economic transformations directed at the solution of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal tasks.

The people, with the working class at their head, smashed the reactionary forces and established their own rule. People’s Committees which took over full state authority sprang up throughout the country. Theirs was a revolutionary power carrying out the tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. In establishing their own power the popular masses won broad democratic rights and liberties. A new epoch of people’s democratism began in Korea.

Parallel with the solution of the political tasks the country witnessed great changes in its social and economic structure. Mention must first be made of the agrarian reform, which led to the liquidation of feudal landownership, the eradication of feudal survivals, the abolition of the landlord class, and the consolidation of peasant landownership. At the same time measures were carried out to abolish monopoly capital. With this end in view the state power nationalized the major industries, banks, transport and means of communications.

An important landmark in the development of Korea was the proclamation in 1948 of the Korean People’s Democratic Republic.

The successful solution of the tasks of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution made possible the further progressive development of the Korean Republic. The attack by the American aggressors on the Korean People’s Democratic Republic interrupted its peaceful development. Today, after a successful defence of their own country against the interventionists, the Korean people are engaged in rehabilitating their national economy and are fighting for peace and national unity.




The Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, which arose in 1945, is included among the People’s Democracies. Under the leadership of the working class, the Viet-Namese people are insistently working on the solution of anti-imperialist, anti-feudal tasks. Up to now the main efforts have been made to fortify resistance to the French and American imperialists who are endeavouring by force of arms to impose a colonial regime upon the people of Viet-Nam. Therefore the centre of gravity of the revolution has been shifted primarily to the complete solution of anti-imperialist tasks. In the sphere of agrarian relations the people were carrying out such measures as reducing land rent, turning over land formerly owned by colonialists and traitors to the poor peasants and to the families of servicemen disabled or killed in the war, utilizing land belonging to absentee landlords and wastelands, redistributing communal lands, etc. All these agrarian measures were provisional and bore a transient character.

Such a policy allowed the working class to widen the anti-imperialist front.

“The people, i.e., primarily the workers, peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie, with whom the patriotic and progressive elements of the aristocracy and landlords are marching shoulder to shoulder, comprise at present the motive force of the Viet- Nam revolution,” says the Programme of the Viet-Nam Lao Dong Party (Party of Labour).

The problem of carrying out more profound anti-feudal reforms is now next on the list.

Included among them is the law on the agrarian reform ratified in December 1953 by the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. This reform, that is being carried out under the slogan of “land to the tillers,” is to multiply the strength of the Viet-Namese people in their struggle for independence and peace.

Thus, the correct policy of the Viet-Nam Party of Labour has ensured the solidarity of all patriotic forces of the country under the leadership of the working class, and has fortified the broad anti-imperialist front which is achieving great successes.

A considerable part of the country has been liberated from foreign imperialist oppression. The forces of the French colonialists are concentrated in a small territory, chiefly around towns situated near the sea.

A people’s democratic regime has been set up in the liberated territory; this is pointed out in the Programme of the Party of Labour. “In fighting for liberation,” the Programme says, “and in realizing democratic reforms in economic, political, social, and cultural spheres, Viet-Nam has taken the path of People’s Democracy. Consequently, Viet-Nam today has a people’s democratic system, while a certain part of the country (this refers to districts occupied by the imperialists – AS.) is living under a colonial and semi-feudal system.”

By its content the people’s democratic regime in Viet-Nam is carrying out the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry with the working class in the leading role; this ensures a further deepening of the revolution in its subsequent stages of development.

All these facts demonstrate that in Korea and Viet-Nam their peoples are solving the tasks of the first stage of the revolution.




Among the People’s Democracies of the East there is the Mongolian People’s Republic, which has travelled a long path of historical development.

The origin of People’s Democracy in the Mongolian Republic has its own features and specific character. It is known that pre-revolutionary Mongolia was an extremely backward feudal country. She had neither industry nor working class. The popular revolution of 1921 was a peasant revolution that drew its support from the proletariat of Soviet Russia. This revolution was levelled against imperialism and feudalism, but because of the country’s extreme backwardness the elimination of the feudal class required a considerable period of time.

With the many-sided assistance of the Soviet Union, the Mongolian people scored important successes: they liquidated the feudal system, laid the basis for industry which marked the rise of a young Mongolian working class, and furthered the development of national culture. The path traversed by the Mongolian People’s Republic reaffirms the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist teaching that, given the aid of a socialist state, it is possible for backward countries to pass from feudalism to socialism and avoid the path of capitalist development.

Article 1 of the Constitution of the Mongolian Republic points out that “The Mongolian People’s Republic is an independent country of the labouring mats (herdsmen), workers and intellectuals, who have rid themselves of imperialist and feudal oppression and ensured for their country a non-capitalist path of development in order to pass in the future to socialism.”


The Stage of Socialist Revolution in Central and South-Eastern Europe

The Leninist theory on the socialist revolution, an important component part of which is the tenet on the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution, teaches that the dictatorship of the working class and the peasantry is a state of revolution, a process of its development. In its essence it is a temporary revolutionary power, that has its own past and future. Its historic past, in the fight against which it originates, is a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and its future is the dictatorship of the working class. The same is true of the popular power established after the victory of the people’s democratic revolution. This power, whose class content made it a kind of dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, ushered in a stage of revolutionary development and a correlation of class forces in which the landlord class was already smashed, the big bourgeoisie overthrown, but with the bourgeoisie as a whole, as a class, still undefeated politically, and the question of power not yet finally solved.

For the final solution of the question of power it was necessary to ensure the transition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry to the dictatorship of the proletariat. This transition signified an intensification of the struggle of the working class to win over the labouring peasantry against the bourgeoisie, the further consolidation of the alliance between the working class and the labouring peasantry, and the enhancement of the leading role of the working class in this alliance. Only in that way was it possible to ensure the direct transition of the hegemony of the working class allied with the peasantry, which is the embryo of the proletarian dictatorship and a step towards it, to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The anti-feudal, anti-imperialist revolution began to grow directly into a socialist revolution in proportion to the growth of the strength, consciousness, and organization of the working class and the consolidation of its bond with the labouring peasantry. This growth was guaranteed by the hegemony of the working class, led and guided by the Communist Parties in the system of People’s Democracy, and by the correct policy pursued by these parties.

In defining the strategic line of revolutionary development, the Communist and Workers’ parties of the European People’s Democracies were guided by Lenin’s well-known thesis on the growing over of a democratic revolution into a socialist revolution:

Lenin wrote, that “. . . from the democratic revolution we shall at once, and just in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organized proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half-way.” (V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. I, Part 2, p. 160.)

The growing over of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution into a socialist one denoted the deepening of the revolution, a new rush to solve new tasks, and a new regrouping of class forces.

The people’s democratic regime established after the destruction of fascism was called upon to defend the conquests of the people and to ensure consistent democratization in all spheres of public life; this could be realized only on the path to socialism. As far back as 1917 Lenin said that nowadays it is impossible to go forward without moving to socialism. Under present historical conditions Lenin’s thesis is acquiring exceptional importance.

The bourgeoisie did not wish to reconcile themselves to the implementation of political, social and economic reforms. Assisted by American and British imperialists they launched subversive activities against the popular power, sabotaged all its economic measures, planned one counter-revolutionary conspiracy after another, and energetically organized espionage and wrecking groups. Not only had the bourgeoisie no desire to co-operate with the people in building a new life, but persistently sought to overthrow the people’s democratic regime. In order to safeguard the gains of the people, to consolidate and expand them, it was necessary finally to resolve the question of power. The final decision of this question signified the complete breakdown of the resistance of the bourgeoisie, its political defeat, the ousting of all its representatives from the government, parliament and other links of the state apparatus, and the concentration of all state power in the hands of the working class.

Consequently, the working class tactics in relation to the bourgeoisie underwent changes depending on the stage of the struggle. In the anti-fascist stage the working class opposed the big financial and industrial bourgeoisie as the social prop of fascism, and drew the middle bourgeoisie into the anti-fascist movement.

In the period of establishing People’s Democracy the working class dislodged the bourgeoisie from the leadership in the system of the popular power and pursued a policy of neutralizing the middle bourgeoisie, at the same time trying to utilize its participation in the bloc for a successful solution of anti-feudal tasks.

But as the experience of the struggle showed, the middle bourgeoisie strove to utilize its participation in the bloc in order to hinder the progress of the revolution and restore its own power.

As the revolution deepened and it became clear that it was winning to its side greater and greater masses of the people and that it could not be stopped, the bourgeois parties refused in one form or another to participate in the blocs and adopted an openly hostile attitude towards the people’s democratic system. At the same time the bourgeoisie resorted to the most diversified forms of demagogy in an effort to win the following of the masses.

In this period the Communist Parties in all People’s Democracies began a tense struggle to win the lead of the masses, as the solution of the tasks of the socialist revolution was possible provided the masses were won over and convinced of the correctness of the policy of the Communist Party. It was only on this basis that the bourgeoisie could be isolated and crushed.

In the course of a long struggle the working class of the People’s Democracies, headed by the Communist Parties, exposed the machinations of the bourgeoisie and showed it up as an enemy of the people’s power, an opponent of agrarian reform and the nationalization of industry, and that its political leaders were spies, traitors and direct agents of foreign imperialism. The exposure of the treacherous conduct of the bourgeoisie led to its political isolation and to a further rallying of the labouring peasantry around the working class.

By wresting the masses from the influence of the bourgeoisie which had cheated them, and by strengthening the alliance between the working class and the labouring peasantry and securing the political isolation of the bourgeoisie, the working class, led by the Communists, completed the political defeat of the bourgeoisie, concentrated in its hands the entire state power, and set up its own dictatorship, i.e., solved the main question of the socialist revolution.

The Communists, who once again displayed their unbounded devotion to the people and their disinterestedness in championing the people’s cause, were the leading and directing force in the struggle against the reactionary and anti-democratic policy of the bourgeoisie. The peoples rallied closely around the Communist Parties and, entrusting them with the government of their countries, confidently followed them.

The socialist revolution in the European People’s Democracies developed under very favourable conditions; it took place in a situation of a radical change in the correlation of forces in favour of socialism and against capitalism, rested on the Soviet Union, and bore certain specific features.

Firstly, the socialist revolution was not a coup d’état but the consummation of the started revolution; the matter at issue was not to overthrow the existing power but to employ this revolutionary power finally to crush the bourgeoisie, completely to oust it from government and to concentrate the entire power in the hands of the working class.

Secondly, the socialist revolution in the European People’s Democracies was not an instantaneous act.

The bourgeoisie was not politically defeated forthwith but by a series of consecutive blows; it was dislodged from power faction by faction in proportion to the growth of consciousness, solidarity and organization of the working class and other toilers. The socialist revolution in Central and South-Eastern Europe was thus a series of separate outbreaks which together made up the socialist revolutionary eruption.

Thirdly, an important feature of the socialist revolution was that it proceeded as a broad movement of the popular masses from below, supported from above by those links of the state apparatus which were in the hands of the working class.

And fourthly, by virtue of the above circumstances, the socialist revolution in the European People’s Democracies bore a peaceful character in that there was no armed uprising.

The bourgeoisie was defeated by the working class in the course of a tense class contest in which were used the most diverse forms and means of struggle: political demonstration, the forcible seizure of state institutions, the armed suppression of military detachments of the bourgeoisie, the denunciation and liquidation of subversive groups, and the undermining of the economic might of the bourgeoisie. Other methods included parliamentary forms of struggle as well, but they were of a subordinate nature and were more a reflection of the political changes than the means of their accomplishment. An exclusively important part in the revolutionary suppression of the bourgeoisie was played by those links of the state apparatus that were directly in the hands of the working class, primarily by the state security organs as well as by the lower organs of power.

Under the circumstances, especially in the face of the friendship between the People’s Democracies and the Soviet Union, the bourgeoisie did not risk unleashing a civil war, and for this reason the resistance of the bourgeoisie was broken by political measures, basically without an armed struggle.

In the process of the socialist revolution the survivals of bourgeois might were wiped out step by step, the old bourgeois state apparatus crushed and replaced by a new, popular democratic state apparatus.

A major measure of the socialist revolution was the nationalisation of industry, banks, and means of transport and communications. The targets set by this measure were, firstly, the liquidation of the economic basis of reaction and the creation of the material basis for the popular democratic system and, secondly, the securance for the national economy of complete independence from the American, British, French and other imperialists who had commanded considerable wealth in the countries where People’s Democracy triumphed.

The nationalization of the industry, banks and means of transport was of immense political importance: this dealt a shattering blow at the positions of capitalism, wiped out all the imperialist cartels, and annulled the domination of the bourgeoisie in the economic sphere. The entire large and medium industry passed into the hands of the state and became national, public-owned property. All the banks, means of communications, mechanized transport facilities, and all the sources of raw materials and power were also nationalized. Consequently, the key positions in the economy of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe were concentrated in the hands of the people, and that was a great victory of the working class and a decisive defeat of the bourgeoisie. This gain by the working class was legislatively fixed in the constitutions of the People’s Democracies.

A very important element in the struggle for a complete solution of the question of power was the routing of the bourgeois agents within the labour movement. The bourgeoisie had pinned high hopes on the Right Social-Democrats. It was perfectly clear that a split in the labour movement and the existence of bourgeois agents within it weakened the working class and minimized its leading role. The Communist Parties carried on a protracted and dogged struggle against the Right-wing Socialists and smashed their ideological positions. By winning over the rank-and-file members of the Social-Democratic parties and the Left-wing leaders, the Communists liquidated the split in the labour movement and created unitary parties of the working class on the granite foundation of Marxism-Leninism. The creation of unitary Marxist-Leninist parties in all the People’s Democracies enhanced the leading role of the working class and was an important stage in the struggle to broaden and strengthen the proletarian dictatorship.

The implementation of the above political and socio-economic measures constituted the content of the socialist revolution, and it was only as a result of the solution of these tasks that the people’s democratic regime began to fulfil the functions of the dictatorship of the working class.

In other words, the question of setting up a proletarian dictatorship may be brought up given the following conditions:

Firstly, when a majority of the populace in the country is rallied around the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, and when the influence of the Communist Party surpasses the influence of all other parties taken together;

Secondly, when the bourgeoisie has been routed as an independent political force and its representatives have been ousted from the state apparatus;

Thirdly, when the commanding positions in the state apparatus are directly concentrated in the hands of the working class;

Fourthly, when the key positions in economy are concentrated in the hands of the people’s democratic state;

Fifthly, when the split in the working class has been liquidated and a unitary workers’ party formed on a Marxist-Leninist foundation.

Such conditions were not brought about at once in the European People’s Democracies.

The establishment of proletarian dictatorships in the European people’s republics was thus not an instantaneous act. It was a historical process, started in 1945 and consummated by the end of 1947 or 1948 as a result of the growing over of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution into a socialist revolution.

The consummation of the socialist revolution, the completion of the struggle for a proletarian dictatorship allowed the European People’s Democracies to begin their transition from capitalism to socialism.


People’s Democracy, a New State Form of the Proletarian Dictatorship

The classics of Marxism-Leninism have proved that between capitalism and socialism there is a period of revolutionary transformation of the capitalist system of society into a socialist system and that the state in this transitional period can be nothing other than the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. It is only through this dictatorship that the capitalist system can be destroyed and a socialist society built.

The bitterest enemies of People’s Democracy – bourgeois nationalists of every hue and colour and Right opportunists who had wormed their way into the Communist Parties – distorted the Marxist-Leninist teaching on the socialist state, attempted to disrupt the building of socialism, clamoured about the so-called spontaneous development of the People’s Democracies, and negated the leading role of the working class, the Communist Parties and the necessity for a proletarian dictatorship.

Creatively applying Marxism-Leninism and resting on the theoretical assistance and experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Communist and Workers’ parties in the European People’s Democracies ideologically and organizationally defeated the bourgeois nationalists and Right opportunists and, in conformity with concrete circumstances, proved that the dictatorship of the proletariat was necessary for the People’s Democracies as well. It was necessary to overcome the resistance of the overthrown classes, to organize the country’s defence against external attack, to consolidate the ties between the proletarians of all countries and primarily the alliance with the U.S.S.R., to strengthen the bond of the working class and all other labouring sections of town and countryside with the purpose of drawing them into the work of building socialism, and to secure the victory of socialist forms of economy and the liquidation of capitalist elements.

Stressing the historical inevitability and necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the transitional period, the classics of Marxism-Leninism at the same time pointed to the possible variety in state forms of proletarian power.

“The transition from capitalism to communism certainly cannot but yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but with all that the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. II, Part 1, p. 234.)

History knows several state forms of proletarian dictatorship.

The revolutionary creativeness of the working class of the Soviet country brought into existence the Soviets as the highest, most perfect form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. By setting up the Soviet form of proletarian dictatorship the working class of the U.S.S.R. rendered the international labour movement a tremendous historical service, in as much as the Soviets ensured the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R., showed mankind the road to socialism, and considerably facilitated the movement of all peoples towards socialism.

For a long time the Soviets were the only possible form of proletarian dictatorship, because in the conditions when the chain of imperialism was broken for the first time and only one country was building socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat could exist and successfully function exclusively in its highest form – the form of Soviets.

At present when the dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of Soviets has achieved tremendous successes and a mighty socialist state has been created, the possibility has arisen for the existence of the dictatorship of the proletariat in other state forms, too. The functions of the proletarian dictatorship are being carried out by the people’s democratic state system. The people’s democratic regime in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe is successfully solving the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship and, in accordance with this, the people’s democratic state is fulfilling the functions of the socialist state in the first phase of its development.

The first function of the people’s democratic states is internal. This function consists in breaking the resistance of the overthrown exploiting classes that enjoy the active support of international imperialist reaction.

Clearly realizing that this regime has become stable, that it has the support of the over-whelming majority of the people, and that any open assault against the people’s democratic system is doomed to failure because of the decisive aid and support of the U.S.S.R., the American and British imperialists and the reactionary forces inside these countries have launched wide underground activity against People’s Democracy.

The enemies of the people’s power set themselves the task of working disguised imperialist agents into leading posts in the Communist Parties and government organs of the People’s Democracies in order to demolish the revolutionary power in these countries from within.

The People’s Democracies have had cases of imperialist agents and bourgeois-nationalist regenerates worming into leading positions with the aim of destroying People’s Democracy from within and restoring capitalist orders.

In Hungary subversive activity was conducted in the Workers’ Party and the Government by the traitor Rajk, who sneaked into an important government post and, on instructions from the intelligence services of the U.S.A. and Britain, prepared a counter-revolutionary coup d’état in the country. Similar plots were laid by traitors to the people like Traicho Kostov in Bulgaria, Kochi Xoxe in Albania, and Rudolf Slansky in Czechoslovakia. A disguised Trotskyite and an agent of the U.S. intelligence service, Slansky organized an antigovernment conspiracy centre, worked to undermine the popular democratic system and prepared a counter-revolutionary putsch with the object of restoring capitalism and drawing Czechoslovakia into the imperialist camp.

U.S. and British ruling circles set great hopes in their agents. The danger presented by these conspiracies was considerable, because the traitors camouflaged their subversive activities by blatantly and hypocritically urging the conciliation of class interests and declaring that the class struggle is dying away; they did their utmost to slacken the vigilance of the Communist Parties and the labouring masses.

But the people’s democratic states, armed with the experience of the class struggle in the U.S.S.R. and guided by the Leninist-Stalinist propositions on the inevitability of increased resistance by the overthrown exploiting classes in the period of building socialism and on the necessity of maintaining strict revolutionary vigilance towards the overthrown classes, thwarted the plans of international and internal reaction and exposed the criminal anti-popular activities of the agents of the Western imperialists. Conspiracies were unmasked one after another. The defeat of these counter-revolutionary anti-popular groups was a serious blow at the plans of international and internal reaction.

With the help of remnants of the defeated classes inside the People’s Democracies the Anglo-American imperialists set to work establishing subversive, sabotage and wrecking organizations. In Poland, for instance, a serious plot was uncovered and rendered harmless in 1951. It had been prepared on the orders of American and British imperialists by a group of spies who had sneaked into high posts in the army.

A U.S. espionage centre, screened behind the “Standard Electric Co.” signboard, was discovered in Czechoslovakia. Members of this organization had been engaged in spying and in wrecking in the Czechoslovak industry. It aimed to prepare the ground for the restoration of capitalism in the country. Several espionage organizations were uncovered and rendered harmless in Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria. In all people’s republics wrecking organizations were discovered and liquidated in various fields of the national economy. All of them were affiliated to the American and British imperialists and operated on their orders.

The Catholic Church hierarchy, incited and inspired by the American imperialists through the help of the Vatican, joined the active struggle against the popular democratic system.

The Polish ex-Cardinal Hlonda maintained clandestine relations with Polish traitors and was the link between espionage groups in Poland and the Vatican. Many Polish Catholic priests actively participated in Mikolajczyk’s gangs.

In Hungary Cardinal Mindszenty actively prepared for the overthrow of the popular democratic system. Archbishop Jozef Groesz, successor to Mindszenty, also plotted for the overthrow of the People’s Republic. But the plot was uncovered in time.

Defending and guarding the conquests of the people, the popular democratic state is resolutely negating the attempts of the overthrown classes to regain power, persistently exposing and destroying all plots and meting out stern punishment to criminals who raise their hand against the people’s achievements. All this testifies to the fact that the people’s democratic regime is actively carrying out the internal function of the socialist state in its first phase of development.

The task of breaking the resistance of the overthrown classes is being successfully solved by the people’s democratic regime because it rests on the U.S.S.R., uses the experience of the Soviet socialist state’s struggle against capitalist elements, the experience of liquidating the exploiting classes, and is guided by Stalin’s instructions concerning revolutionary vigilance and methods of fighting foes and masked double-dealers – the agents of the capitalist encirclement.

The second basic function of the socialist state carried out by the people’s democratic regime is the defence of the country from outside attack. This function consists in creating favourable external conditions for building socialism, for defending the country’s independence from encroachments by the international reactionary forces of imperialism. At present the main concern is to safeguard the gains of the people against the intrigues of the U.S.-British imperialists.

The people’s democratic regime in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe is carrying out the external function of the socialist state and is actively struggling for national freedom against the aggressive policy of the American and British imperialists. To create external conditions for building socialism the popular democratic regime is consolidating first of all its friendship with the Soviet Union, pursuing a peaceful democratic foreign policy, increasing the country’s economic might, and actively fighting to strengthen the positions of the camp of democracy and socialism throughout the world. The treaties of friendship and mutual assistance concluded between the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Democracies and similar treaties by these republics among themselves constitute an important factor in the struggle of the People’s Democracies for independence.

But under present conditions of the struggle for national independence the question of repelling the assault of the imperialists is different from what it was in the period when the Soviet Union was building socialism alone.

The existence of the mighty Soviet Union is the main, decisive condition ensuring the independence of the People’s Democracies. The U.S.S.R. is the power which, in the final analysis, paralyzes the economic pressure of the imperialists on the People’s Democracies, destroys the political and diplomatic intrigues of the ruling circles in the U.S.A. and Britain against these countries, and disrupts the military interventionist plans of international reaction.

The people’s republics have rallied closely around the great Soviet Union. The U.S.S.R. headed the formation of a mighty camp of democracy and socialism which is opposing the reactionary camp of imperialist aggression.

The popular democratic state is carrying out also a third function of the socialist state – an economic-organizational and cultural-educational function. The experience of the U.S.S.R. showed that this function does not reach its full volume in the first phase of development of the socialist state. This applies to the European People’s Democracies, too. However, due to the many-sided and continuous assistance by the powerful Soviet state the popular democratic regime is able to develop the economic-organizational and cultural-educational function to a greater degree than was possible for the Soviet state in its first phase of development.

In carrying out this function, the people’s democratic regime relies upon the most diverse economic, scientific-technological and other assistance from the Soviet Union and is drawing upon its extremely rich experience of socialist construction, and upon its culture, which is the most advanced in the world.

The popular democratic regime is thus successfully carrying out the functions of the socialist state in its first phase of development and is the basic instrument for the building of socialism.

The Soviet Union with the vast experience it accumulated in the struggle against its class enemies, the help it is rendering in the work of building socialism, and its defence of the People’s Democracies against the economic and political expansion of the imperialist vultures, is facilitating substantially the popular democratic regime’s work of carrying out all the functions of the proletarian dictatorship, i.e., the function of suppressing the overthrown exploiting classes, the economic-organizational and cultural-educational function as well as the function of defending the country from outside attack.

In essence Soviets and People’s Democracy are completely synonymous: their content is the dictatorship of the working class. The only difference is in the form of political organization of society.

What are the characteristic features of the popular democratic regime as a new state form of the proletarian dictatorship?

A very important characteristic feature of political life in the people’s republics is that in addition to a Communist Party there are other political parties and public organizations which express the interests of the labouring masses and participate in building socialism.

Apart from Communist and Workers’ parties the People’s Democracies have the following parties and political public organizations: in Poland – the United Peasant Party, Stronnictwo Demokratyczne; in Czechoslovakia – the Socialist Party, the People’s Party, etc.; in Bulgaria – the Agricultural Workers’ Alliance; in Rumania – the Ploughman’s Front, etc.

All the People’s Democracies have mass popular political organizations of the people’s front type; they are the Fatherland Front in Bulgaria, the Front of People’s Democracy in Rumania, the People’s Independence Front in Hungary, the National Front in Poland and Czechoslovakia, and the Democratic Front in Albania.

The people’s front organizations were formed at the initiative of the Communist and Workers’ parties, which guide the activities of these organizations. The formation of the people’s fronts was a vital necessity as these organizations made it possible to unite all the democratic forces and to use them effectively in the struggle against fascism, for national freedom and independence.

At present in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe these people’s-front type organizations unite all political parties and public organizations (trade unions, women’s and youth organizations, etc.), embrace the overwhelming majority of the population, and are the political and organizational expression of the alliance between the working class and other labouring classes and layers – the peasantry, artisans, intellectuals – who under the leadership of the working class stand for the solution of the tasks of socialist construction.

These tasks demand the further consolidation of the unity of the working people, the strengthening of the people’s fronts, and a still greater enhancement in them of the leading role of the Communist Parties.

The regime of People’s Democracy can also fulfil the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat when several parties or public organizations exist, but on the indispensable condition that the Communist Party is the only leading and guiding force of the state. The Communist Parties do not and cannot share their leadership. Convinced through long experience of struggle that only the Communist Parties are able consistently to implement the principles of democracy, other democratic parties and political organizations recognized their leading and guiding role and followed them. Therefore the Communist and Workers’ parties exercise undivided leadership even when there are other parties in the country.

The governments in the People’s Democracies bore or still bear a coalition character. They are formed of representatives of several parties and political public organizations. But the coalition character of the government does not mean that the working class is sharing its power. The working class does not and cannot share its power with anybody; it establishes and exercises undivided domination in political life.

However, as the spokesman and defender of national interests, the working class is drawing other labouring classes in the person of their political and public representatives into participation in governing the country and in deciding state affairs.

People’s Democracy is a real and unrestricted power of the people. It expresses and champions the interest of all the labouring masses who constitute the overwhelming majority of the population. This is a genuinely popular power and registered as such constitutionally through legislation. “The people are the sole source of state power,” says Article 1 of the Czechoslovak Republic’s Constitution. “All power comes from the people and belongs to the people,” says the Constitution of the Bulgarian Republic.

The state system of the European People’s Democracies varies depending on concrete historical conditions, but the principles of the state structure are basically the same.

The people’s democratic republic is a form of the state system of the European People’s Democracies. The parliament elected by all these people on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot is the highest organ of state power in the people’s republics. In Bulgaria and Albania this organ is called the National Assembly, in Hungary —the State Assembly, in Rumania —the Grand National Assembly, in Czechoslovakia —the National Assembly, and in Poland —the People’s Sejm.

The administrative authority in these countries is exercised by the government which is accountable to parliament.

The localities, such as regions, uyezds, districts, volosts, etc., and administered by the local organs of state power, elected by the people. In Bulgaria, Albania and Rumania they are called people’s councils, in Czechoslovakia – national committees, and in Poland – Rady Narodowe.

The social, class basis of People’s Democracy is the unshakable, firm alliance of the working class with the labouring peasantry, which was formed in the conflagration of the anti-fascist struggle and became strengthened in the battles against reaction in the subsequent stages of political development. People’s Democracy is implementing the proletarian dictatorship’s supreme principle – the preservation and strengthening of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, and the leadership of the working class in this alliance.

The Communist and Workers’ parties are the leading and directing force in the People’s Democracies, and this ensures the fulfilment by the popular democratic regime of the functions of the proletarian dictatorship and the development of these countries along the path to socialism.

As was shown above, the leading role of the Communist and Workers’ parties took shape historically and was won in long and bitter struggles for national freedom and democracy against the German and native fascists, against the landlords and reactionary bourgeoisie, against the U.S.-British imperialists and their agents, the Right Social-Democrats and bourgeois nationalists.

After the victory over fascism the question was raised about the further prospects of historical development, and it was only the Communists who pointed out to the peoples the path to a new life without exploiters and enslavers, the path of genuine democracy. For that reason the prestige of the Communists rose immeasurably among the working people, and the influence of the Communist and Workers’ parties increased in all spheres of political life.

These parties ensured the defeat of the reactionary forces and the establishment of people’s power. They were the initiators and organizers of the land reforms; the nationalization of industry, banks, transport facilities, etc., was carried out under their guidance. Various bourgeois parties that existed in all the people’s republics were reduced to bankruptcy. The people turned their backs on them because these parties strove to set up reactionary order and spared no effort to hinder revolutionary development. The leaders of these parties betrayed the people, went over to the service of the U.S.-British imperialists, and became spies and wreckers.

The Communist and Workers’ parties completely exposed the Right Social-Democrats; they showed them to be masked advocates of the interests of the bourgeoisie and agents of the American and British imperialists. Supported by the Communist Parties the Left-wing elements in the Social-Democratic parties broke away from opportunism and went over to the side of Marxism-Leninism. The Right Social-Democrats were expelled from party units.

The ideological, political and organizational defeat of Right Social- Democratism was an important victory of the Communist Parties; it was a victory of Marxism-Leninism over Social-Democratism. This resulted in the liquidation of the split in the labour movement and the formation of unitary working-class parties which based their activities on the ideological and organizational principles of Marxism-Leninism. This increased still further the authority and influence of the Communists, enhanced their leading role in all public life, and was an important step in reinforcing politically the popular democratic regime.

Under the leadership of the Communist and Workers’ parties the people solved the task of rehabilitating the national economy in an exceptionally brief space of time and started the building of socialist society.

The Communist and Workers’ parties are unswervingly pursuing the policy of proletarian internationalism, and persistently consolidating and developing their friendship with the U.S.S.R., the great socialist state.

These parties are thus a decisive factor that ensures the fulfilment by the popular democratic regime of the functions of the proletarian dictatorship and the successful solution of the tasks of socialist construction.

The idea of People’s Democracy has acquired great drawing power. It penetrates the minds of the popular masses in the capitalist and colonial countries, rouses and rallies them to the struggle against the imperialist enslavers and native reactionaries, for national freedom, for the development and consolidation of democracy, for world peace, for socialism.