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US Maoists call Jimmy Carter soft on Soviet aggression 1980

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Post 24 Feb 2012, 17:06
The Marxists Archive has done a great service by making all the documents of the anti-revisionist movement easily available online. Incredibly useful for understanding the New Communist movement of the 1960s-1980s. I had heard about many of these parties and their debates, but now I get to see it from the inside. One area of Western Maoism that interested me was how they adapted Maoist Three Worlds theory to their domestic line. So it was interesting to see a US Maoist party using populist rhetoric to claim that US elites and Jimmy Carter were soft on Soviet aggression, while on a true working-class leadership could combat Soviet imperialism. Very interesting document as a historical oddity. Cold Warrior Maoists.

Soviet Union – Central Problem of World Politics
Affects Struggle for Socialism in U.S.

Published: The New Voice, Vol. IX, No. 3, March 3, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Of all the exploiting forces in the world, the principal enemy of the world’s people is the Soviet Union – not United States imperialism. A whole series of events from Angola to Afghanistan has made this clear. The future is sure to drive this fact home insistently.

In the Third World, liberation is impossible when the Soviet Union marches in. Who but the most servile apologists for Soviet imperialism would say that Afghanistan is free? What achievements do Angola and Ethiopia have to show as Soviet clients except the murder of thousands of their people? Why have the rulers of the last big bastion of the phony parliamentary style of democracy, India, found it possible and profitable to cultivate close relations with the Soviet Union?? Why has the Vietnamese ruling clique lost the glory won by their people over 25 years of struggle?

People’s war against the Soviet Union – this banner will unfurl in country after country of the Third World. The people of Kampuchea, Afghanistan and Eritrea (held in bondage by Ethiopia) are the first three of many such liberation crusades to come. Each struggle forces pro-Soviet “leftists” to come out more openly. They shuffled around with the Eritrean movement for independence; they tried to blame Vietnam’s genocidal attack against Kampuchea on the after-effects of U.S. Aggression; what can they say about Afghanistan?

In Western Europe the Soviet Union is the principal enemy, too. This region is the big prize for the Soviet imperialists. It is a rich industrial zone, with a concentrated source of plunder and opportunities for exploitation. Two things are certain. One is that the Soviet Union will go for the grand prize. As surely as the use of Cuban proxies was followed by the massive, direct invasion of Afghanistan by 100,000 plus troops, this invasion will be followed in not very many years by a Soviet assault on western Europe.

When this happens, the people of Europe will certainly rise in a resistance surpassing their heroic deeds against Hitler in World War Two.

It is worth pondering the fact that 30 years of U.S. imperialist domination of Western Europe did not produce armed mass resistance to it. The new Hitlers of Moscow will not be able to rule with such relative peace. They export their leading home product, social-fascism. As Hitler’s fascists did not last long historically, neither will the Soviet brand of police state.

This active struggle by the victims of hegemonism shows that it is completely wrong to compare the two superpowers today (the Soviet Union and the United States) to the two camps of imperialists in World War One. That war was fought on European ground for the most part by two sets of conscript armies thrown into a battle for spoils for the victorious imperialists. These prizes were the Middle East, African colonies and other empires outside Europe. Today and tomorrow the people of Europe and the Third World will fight wars of national liberation against superpower domination.

How outdated are the views of people who still rank U.S. imperialism as the number one enemy! Yes, the United States is still an imperialist power, just as Britain was during the rise of Nazi Germany. But those self-styled revolutionaries who demand that the world’s people concentrate blows mainly against U.S. imperialism are wrong.

Look at the record:

Occupation of Czechoslovakia
Border incidents against China
Cuban mercenary invasion of Angola and Ethiopia
Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea (Cambodia)
Direct aggression against Afghanistan

Driven out of Vietnam
Defeated in Kampuchea (Cambodia)
Puppet shah toppled in Iranian revolution
Client dictator Somoza overthrown in Nicaragua

Certainly U.S. imperialism must be fought throughout its still large empire. But the central problem of world politics has become the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union is not a socialist country. Once it was, and then it did not commit aggression. On the contrary, the Soviet people took on the brunt of the anti-Nazi defense. The Soviet military machine was defensive then – based in its own territory, without a navy for the open seas, and equipped with weapons designed for resisting aggressors. Today, the Soviet military occupies Afghanistan, has a global navy and is armed with strategic weapons of aggression.

In 1956 political leaders who were committed to restoring capitalism managed to seize the helm of the Soviet Party and state. Khrushchev and then Brezhnev were clever enough to swear loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, but they spent the next decade tearing apart the socialist economy, culture and society. They gave free rein to capitalism, the lust for profit and individualism.

Now the imperialist Soviet Union has embarked on a drive to win a worldwide empire. This is the inevitable outcome in every large monopoly capitalist economy. Since the Soviet economy is still less powerful than that of the United States, the Kremlin rulers concentrate on a rapid military buildup, much as Hitler Germany did attempting to displace Britain and the United States in the 1930’s.

To enforce this regime the Soviet Union subjects people to social-fascism–rule by force without democratic rights for the people. This system is covered over with socialist-sounding rhetoric, which is why it is called social-fascism. It has nothing to do with socialism and freedom for the working class.

We must arrange the class struggle in the United States – the struggle between the monopoly capitalists and the working class – in its actual relation to the principal world contradiction, which has the Soviet Union at one end and the rest of the world at the other end. The working-class movement will advance not by ignoring the principal contradiction but by utilizing it as the road to revolution.

The U.S. working class can contribute to the fight against the Soviet imperialists without reservation once it is aroused, because workers have no fundamental interest standing in the way of this job. The situation with the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is more complicated. It can help the cause of the world against the Soviet Union, but it cannot pitch in wholeheartedly. The reason is that it, too, is an exploiting class like the new capitalists of Moscow.

For example, U.S. corporations, although they are uneasy about selling computer technology, truck factories and grain to the Soviet war machine, want the sales.

The capitalists further assume that the working class must accept hardship and carry the war burden while profits are made off the war drive.

And the capitalists will move circuitously against the Soviet Union, looking for opportunities to restore their own empire; this will undoubtedly undermine strategic concentration on defeating the Soviet aggressors.

The working class should struggle against these attempts at imperialist restoration and all this profiteering. Already, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter demanded draft registration, invited Iran back into the U.S. orbit and went looking for bases in the Middle East. What will we fight for? What are we doing for the Afghanistan rebels rather than for U.S. empire? It is up to the people to raise and debate these questions; the ruling class will avoid them as long as it can.

People fought two world wars for the “democracy” heralded by Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt, and it was not good enough. Capitalist democracy after World War One brought the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Nazism and another war. Capitalist democracy after World War Two led through Korea to the Vietnam war. This kind of democracy is really exploitation and imperialism; it goes from one bloodbath to the next!

Communists are frank and they declare that the ultimate goal in capitalist countries must be socialism, the rule of the working class with new forms of popular freedom. This goal will be won by striving to resolve the principal contradiction today – the pressing need to smash the Soviet imperialist system of aggression.

If communists are to be effective, they will have to combine leadership in response to the Soviet challenge with patient cultivation and gathering of revolutionary commitment among the people. This will enable the working class to go over to socialism during or after a war. On one hand, it is wrong to lose focus on the central task today. On the other hand, with a whole world crashing down around us, people will fight and not despair only if they can see a new world to build out of the wreckage.

In the fight against Soviet imperialism, working people will fill up with the last measure of disgust and anger at the collapsing, oppressive system of capitalism in all its forms. Armed with this anger they will organize and find their strength.
Post 24 Feb 2012, 19:28
I am not quite speechless, given that I've read and heard these kinds of arguments already from Maoists, Stalinists, and Trots, but as a historical piece this is a very interesting and 'shocking' article nonetheless. I cannot fathom the kinds of thought processes sloshing around inside the author's head for him to be able to write some of the things he did. The bit about Vietnam carrying out a genocidal invasion of Cambodia jumps out particularly sharply, given his choice of words. It's also odd how closely the critique seems to match Chinese critiques of the USSR at the time, given that by then the capitalist roaders were firmly in charge and more than ever virtually all of Chinese foreign policy initiatives were based on disrupting Soviet activities in countries undergoing class and national liberation struggle. In this light it's not even clear whom or what in particular the author is defending. It very much reminds me of some branches of left communism where those asked to name a successful socialist revolution cite some short-lived commune in Spain during the civil war, and nothing else.
Post 24 Feb 2012, 20:22
The New Voice was part of the trend of US Maoist groups who condemned the Gang of Four and continued to support the People's Republic of China under Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping. So this article was written by people who considered the PRC to be socialist at the time and were defending the PRC's anti-Soviet foreign policy guided by the Three Worlds Theory.

See this for more context: ... m#prochina
Post 25 Feb 2012, 01:48
This is the type of stuff that stopped me from ever taking Maoism seriously. Social-imperialism had no benefits whatsoever and only ever served as a intracommunist malignancy. A world where the PRC actually says this about the oldest existent worker's state in history.
Post 25 Feb 2012, 01:51
Anticommunist buffoonery from Peking's whores and useful idiots in the West. Mao too turned out to be an outright reactionary towards his end days.

All this has little to do with real antirevisionism though.
Post 25 Feb 2012, 02:03
Anti-revisionism (as a movement) is as much a part of the malignancy in intracommunist relations as the anti-soviet activities of Maoists and the PRC. Revisionism is a real problem but aligning on the premise of being truer communists is a serious mistake.
Post 27 Feb 2012, 00:27
Mao endorsed Pinochet, which proves that Maoism is a joke. I'm not surprised that Maoists would want the Soviet Union to defeated by the West because of their goofy sectarianism.
Post 22 Jun 2012, 03:13
Here is a similar work from Australia that includes this chapter:
"8. Soviet Social-Imperialism Menaces Australia. The “Socialist” Party Of Australia A Tool Of Soviet Social-Imperialism. The Whitlam-Kosygin Meeting" ... /index.htm
Post 22 Jun 2012, 03:31
Loz, what's the difference between this and Hoxha's anti-social-imperialist rhetoric?
Post 22 Jun 2012, 13:15
Loz, what's the difference between this and Hoxha's anti-social-imperialist rhetoric?

It's not different in the sense of condemning the Soviet aggression on Afghanistan, that's correct i guess, but it's very different because PLA "rhetoric" is anti-imperialist while the Chinese (and the US-imperialist) rhetoric is the rhetoric of, well, imperialism. China condemned "social-imperialism" not because it's against imperialism, and the US condemned the aggression not because the US is "for freedom".
For example, the article starts with :
Of all the exploiting forces in the world, the principal enemy of the world’s people is the Soviet Union – not United States imperialism. A whole series of events from Angola to Afghanistan has made this clear. The future is sure to drive this fact home insistently.
Of course this is absurd and Hoxha explicitly objected to such "lines".
In Angola the USSR supported progressive democratic forces against the most backwards and reactionary ones, with Apartheid South Africa, China, Israel and others behind them.
This Chinese article is a text-book example of what revisionism is : anti-Marxism hiding behind Marxist rhetorics.
Post 11 Jul 2012, 14:17
Taking a quick look at the writings of this organization reveals that it supported the post-1976 Dengist regime in China, opposed the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four -- three positions which are irreconcilable with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Trying to mash these types of organizations with Maoists ones is simply incorrect, and actually very slanderous, and reveals that maybe you should study Maoism a bit further.

During this time, the main Maoist organization in the USA was the RCP,USA. You're welcome to try and find statements by them urging Carter to be "more tough" on Soviet social-imperialism.

Here's a nice photo of a dog hanging from a lamppost in Lima, with a sign which says "Teng Hsiao-ping". Hopefully this should put some perspective into what actual Maoists think about the post-1976 regime and its rulers.

Post 29 Aug 2012, 13:39
Invasion of Cambodia compares Soviet Union to Nazi Germany:
Soviet aggression parallels Nazi Germany

Soviet imperialism’s moves parallel events of the 1930s. At that time, fascist Nazi Germany was the rising imperialist power. While Hitler prepared his thrust into Europe, Mussolini took Ethiopia while Japan seized Manchuria and other large parts of China. German fascists themselves devoured Czechoslovakia and Austria; Italian and German fascists combined to topple Republican Spain. They did all this in preparation for a full-scale war.

Thus we can see why the peace-loving peoples of the world must unite to block every despicable act of Soviet aggression and to give their full support to all peoples and countries resisting attacks. In this way we can not only help halt Soviet aggression but we can also contribute to putting off the outbreak of a new world war. ... vasion.htm
Post 29 Aug 2012, 13:51
People who wrote that must have been either batshit insane or serious traitors and agents of Peking.
Post 21 Nov 2012, 10:59
Mabool wrote:
Loz, what's the difference between this and Hoxha's anti-social-imperialist rhetoric?
Albania took the Marxist-Leninist view that the USA and USSR were rival imperialist superpowers and that one cannot oppose one imperialism by relying on another. The Chinese claimed that US imperialism was being "tamed" and was on the defensive due to Soviet social-imperialism. The Chinese furthermore proclaimed NATO to have been transformed into a "defensive alliance" by the international circumstances and for all communists to form united fronts with bourgeois regimes against "hegemonism" (i.e. the Soviet Union.) The pro-Chinese parties used terms like "appeasement" to describe Western politicians who sought to oppose the Soviets diplomatically rather than militarily, and encouraged the USA and Western Europe to develop their war industries to "meet the Soviet threat."

In December 1979 Hoxha denounced the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan while in January that same year he welcomed the Vietnamese liberation of Kampuchea. The Chinese by contrast defended Pol Pot's "government in exile" (as did the DPRK, Yugoslavia, and of course the USA, Britain, etc.) and coordinated their backing of the Khmer Rouge and Co. with the Western governments.

China's foreign policy reflected its goal of becoming an imperialist superpower. Albania's foreign policy reflected its goal of world proletarian revolution.

In Angola the USSR supported progressive democratic forces against the most backwards and reactionary ones, with Apartheid South Africa, China, Israel and others behind them.
It should be noted that the Cubans did enter Angola as a part of advancing the interests of Soviet social-imperialism, and that neither the MPLA nor UNITA had any revolutionary features.
Post 05 Jul 2013, 01:21
Another similar group was the Communist Unity Organization which followed Mao in claiming, the Brezhnev regime was a Fascist state of the Hitler type. Following this logic, they argue that the prime task of Marxist-Leninists in the USA was to build a United Front with US Imperialism against Soviet Fascism, and to support the Cold War arms buildup and draft, and combat the influence of Cuban imperialism in Latin America.

Robert Leiken, the author of this pamphlet, was initially a supporter of this trend, and later became a major figure among Cold War 'Liberals' who supported Reagan's aid to the Contras. Its quite clear how Maoist Cold Warrior anti-Sovietism could lead to NeoCon politics the same way Third Camp Trotskyism does. Chomsky mentions how Leiken's Maoist program of opposing Soviet and Cuban 'Hegemonism' morphed into Reaganism. ... /index.htm

It makes a very interesting read from a historical perspective of Maoist Cold Warriors!

Its called Sooner or Later, since sooner or later Anti-Revisionists are going to have to accept the United Front with America, so it might as well be sooner
Post 05 Jul 2013, 08:18
Loz wrote:
People who wrote that must have been either batshit insane or serious traitors and agents of Peking.

Can't offer you any insight--though have witnessed both--tended to steer well clear. One of the earliest salvos fired against that idiocy was this. 1977. ... in1977.htm
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