This is a chapter from the book:
The Victory of Morality over Socialism
Chapter 1. Cultivating hopeful relations with the enemy
The CPSU has never been able to build up its socialist state except under conditions of war, and faced by threats of war, that had to be answered by enormous armament efforts. There was Hitler to resist and, after the world war was won, the hostility of the allied democracies, even going so far as space armament. This is one matter.
It is quite a different matter to adopt an attitude of political do-goodism toward the world of imperialist states, as the CPSU does. Instead of aiming to overthrow the states whose hostility it is confronted with, it has decided to embark on the never-ending task of trying to exert a “moderating” and “easing” influence on the leaders of the enemy states. This does not spare it any war efforts or armament efforts. Instead, it secures itself a role in the imperialists’ continuing struggle to divide up the world, which means new constraints in the areas of foreign policy and arms policy.
And instead of explaining without embellishment to the people who must pay for this policy why it is so damned necessary to be ready for war, the CP cultivates a political consciousness that unites military pride in the nation’s “invincible” defense with an equally lively, honest and empty love of peace. By adopting the imperialist ideal of “friendship among nations,” the Party kills any memory of the project of world revolution.
With its program of establishing a socialist state of workers and peasants, the CPSU has opposed the world of bourgeois states and their freedom to expand their imperialist power. By dedicating itself to peace as its state goal, it rejects all the “good reasons” that again and again lead other states to consider military threats and actions necessary.
However, this goal at the same time makes it clear that the CP by no means simply intends to have nothing more to do with the world of states whose leaders are always making extortionary demands of each other and are therefore never at a loss for reasons for sending their peoples to war. The goal of peace conflicts with any intention to keep out of “foreign affairs” except for trying to incite workers to revolution elsewhere. After all, peace is a state affair and relates, even as an ideal, to the dealings of political rulers who have armies to command, with each other. The CPSU does not turn its back on this sphere; it attends to it, with the firm intention of having an ennobling effect on it and blessing mankind.
Nowadays the Party finds itself compelled to pursue this peace policy for a reason it considers incontestable and absolutely necessary. It regards total nuclear war, today more than ever, as the end of all higher civilization, including the socialism it is interested in. As trivial as this sounds, this “diagnosis” is already a lie. It suppresses the fact that it takes two to create the “total insanity” of nuclear war, the second one being the Soviet power itself that the CP would like to devote completely to the service of preventing war. The contradiction inherent in the ideology that nuclear weapons exist to prevent nuclear war is not any better when Russians propagate it. If they did not have the firm will to wage nuclear war on their side as well — if necessary … — the danger to be banned would not even exist. Why does the CPSU not stand up to its calculation of answering its imperialist enemies’ nuclear weapons by nuclear weapons of its own — this would at least be a clear point won over the democratic swindlers.
Of course, if the CPSU abandoned its hypocritical assessment of the situation it would have to abandon the intended consequence as well. The CPSU would have to confess that the point of departure and ultimate purpose of its peace policy is not “peace,” but the defense of its state against an enemy bloc armed with nuclear weapons. This would reveal the contradiction that the CP wants to derive its special responsibility for the project of sparing the world all war from, of all things, its ability and willingness not to spare the world nuclear war, if necessary. And this would jeopardize something crucial for the Party.
The CPSU does not want to pursue merely a policy of self-assertion in a hostile world. From its own point of view, doing this would mean failing to make its contribution to pacifying the world of states, which it considers itself obliged to do as a socialist state, and able to do as a world power. It would no longer be able to state the difference between it and any bourgeois government, could not pass off its own more or less secure existence as a qualitative enrichment of international life, namely as a victory for the ultimate goal of a more peaceful world. Ironically enough, the CP is thereby actually embracing the basic imperialist ideology of the state. Every bourgeois government is familiar with the major paradox that it will exert its own force only to put a check on the use of force between states — which is why its force can never be great enough.
In reality the CP has made a logical transition of its own when it speaks of its worldwide peace mission. The first thing it has to say in the international arena is still No, a refusal to go along with the war-ridden business of extortion whose agents are called diplomats. It is thus the CP’s own special contradiction to then announce its presence as a constructive power within this sphere. When Soviet communists theorize about the “seriousness of the situation” which makes it necessary for their state to get involved, they betray the actual negative point of departure for their policy of world peace. The CPSU does not have a claim to regulating the world on the basis of imperialist interests (it clothes such dogmatism in phrases about the special responsibility of the greatest powers for peace); it has a wrong answer to the allied capitalist democracies’ armed program of regulating the world, which defines the Soviet state as an exception, troublemaker and security problem.
This state must stand up to a power struggle whose final purpose, means and reasons are not determined in the least by the CP but by imperialist interests in using and controlling other states. It must arm and be ready for war because this is the minimum condition under which a society can at all gain the status of being an independent political subject in the modern world. However, the CPSU does not take this necessity to assert itself in the competition of military powers to be practical proof that the dealings between states must obey imperialist criteria and no others — although it does hold the view that by permanently maintaining and building up war-readiness it is submitting to a pressure which is basically foreign and hostile to its project of establishing a socialist order. The CPSU sees it exactly the other way round: it takes its state’s self-assertion within the imperialist arena and in accordance with the dictated criteria to be proof of the fundamental possibility of breaking the laws of imperialist competition and introducing different criteria of its own for the relations between nations.
The Soviet communists refuse to notice what a contradiction this is, so that the imperialist hindrance of their world-improvement schemes leads them to warn hypocritically of a danger of nuclear war that supposedly exists quite independently of their own war-readiness. This line is barely distinguishable from the ideologies the imperialist powers use to spell out their world rule as one enormous responsibility. And the CPSU goes so far in its world-improvement mania as to interpret the bourgeois phrases of responsibility as signs of a sensible love for peace on the part of the imperialists and as a positive response to its warnings. It actually takes them as confirmation, not as refutation, of its notion that the imperialist world “order” is being corrected by, of all things, the self-assertion of its dissenting state within this order, with the necessary nuclear weapons!
In this spirit the CPSU has become a champion of arms diplomacy. It approaches its archenemy with the demand that both sides stop preparing for nuclear war because neither can expect to benefit. The deceitful reference to the qualitative equivalence and quantitative profusion of its own nuclear weapons is intended to talk the U.S. out of wanting to build up a strategically decisive superiority of its own. The CP offers the sham transaction of taking all Western security worries constructively into consideration in return for the U.S. giving up its plan to make outer space into a war bastion. This is a sham transaction in so far as the Soviet side does not, and cannot, offer any equivalent for the strategic progress the U.S. is striving for. The offered “price” of putting all classes of nuclear weapons up for serious discussion merely formulates, in terms of other objects, the Soviet desire for the U.S. to refrain from threatening nuclear war.
This request has met with a clear American “No”; and any other answer is unthinkable for the imperialists. Nevertheless, the CPSU keeps up its request for peace; so stubbornly, in fact, that it has dismantled its sham transaction into its component parts and “obliged” the West with an accord on intermediate-range missiles without even negotiating a slowdown in U.S. space armament plans in exchange. What’s in it for the CP? Nuclear weapons remain a topic of conversation on the diplomatic level; that is all. The Russians threatened to break off talks only so that they could go on. Conversely, their boundless will to stay in contact with the West on the issue of nuclear war has given their imperialist enemies the freedom to blame the decision on whether talks continue or not on Soviet diplomats and to dictate in the most sovereign manner the conditions for a “feasible” accord. The imperialists deign to agree to arms limitations, and even to scrapping by each side, in areas and in a way they consider of minor strategic importance or even relatively advantageous, without allowing any restriction on the plans they regard as crucial. This Russian policy does not spare the U.S.S.R. one bit of preparation for nuclear war; and the only security it creates is that the West knows its archenemy will confront it only with offers and not with attempts at blackmail.
With their intention to pacify the world the Russian communists have created other fields of activity for themselves. They hold the entire world of diplomacy in the highest esteem, especially since they have a rather eccentric view of it. Imperialist governments and those committed to the imperialist world are constantly pursuing some interests or other which demand the compliance of other potentates, even to their own disadvantage. They therefore need brisk relations and an “exchange of ideas” for confronting each other with their interests and the extortionate reference to the levers they are ready to employ against each other. They need diplomatic missions for making treaties out of the momentary state of “balance” of their interests and power. They have created various diplomatic exchange centers, all the way up to the United Nations, for trading in mainly one commodity: peace terms for some states to obey so that others do not lose their patience — that is, conditional declarations of war. This is necessarily so because states which conclude treaties know only one reliable authority for guaranteeing that the partner fulfils the terms, even against its own interest: themselves.
Nothing in this lovely business is prevented or altered in its nature by the Soviet Union entering the stage as a power that is basically against conditional causes for war as the basis for dealings between sovereign states. On the contrary, its contribution to international diplomacy turns out to be nothing but its power fit and ready for war, which all other states must and can include in their schemes. Only this military might makes it eligible to compete with other states in the first place. However, its rejection of imperialist calculations of war does play a part — in fact an important part. It results, in the world of diplomacy, in an additional universal threat of war which promises some states protection for their attempts to assert themselves and accordingly causes others problems in exerting extortionate pressure.
And the CPSU has by no means failed to notice what this means. Its boundless desire for “peaceful solutions to conflicts” all over the world is not merely a confession of the real nature of the wonderful “international relations” it would like to ennoble. This desire also commands only as much respect as there is a concrete threat of war behind it. The CP has reacted to this — by ordering its military to make a sizable supply of means of power available for every kind of constructive intervention in the sovereign U.N. members’ constant harassment of each other.
Thus, the CP itself does everything to fully develop its power for world peace into another standpoint within the imperialist competition of states and make its state indistinguishable from the venerable imperialist powers. And it does not even have the imperialist interests a bourgeois government takes for granted as the basis for its honorable functions. From the point of view of a socialist society, what business do Red Fleet ships have being in the Persian Gulf, weapons from socialist production in the arsenals of the Egyptian or Indian army, soldiers of the Soviet armed forces in Angola or Ethiopia? All this becomes very necessary and consistent only in the course of the insane undertaking of supporting the world’s rulers in their quarrels in order to force more peace to come about. And if you consider diplomats a beneficial breed of people, you must necessarily send arms exports, warships, and military greetings before or after them.
That the governing communists have a divergent political point of departure for the interventions they launch often becomes apparent only because these interventions are a mockery of the cost-benefit ratio of every real imperialist calculation. Because the Russians are reluctant to deal annihilating blows, as the U.S. did in Vietnam and Israel demonstrates so classically, they usually do not obtain a military gain, whereby the cost in means of violence as determined so very peace-mindedly only becomes all the steeper. The truth of imperialistic peace policy — clearly superior military terror — is never what the alternative power for world peace wants to contribute to pacifying the world of states. But this does not even reduce the moral costs of this brand of socialist world politics — on the contrary. By the standards of diplomacy, the CPSU’s desire for peace appears to the “world public” to be a mere ideological cliché that, unlike the bourgeois ones, is implausible precisely because it is not simply a calculating embellishment of amply brutal successes.
If the CPSU cannot enforce the standard of peaceful relations between states in the reality of imperialism, it has succeeded in entrenching it in the minds of its masses. For them it paints a picture of a world of basically peace-loving nations in which no one really wants war except for an evil power-hungry and money-grubbing minority who do not deserve any theoretical explanation but only contempt. For a follower of this conception of the world, it must in fact remain an utter mystery why these bad guys can assert themselves so comfortably; so much so that the Soviet power is spared no military effort. But the Party, with its clichés about “contradictions” prevailing everywhere, has evidently managed to cure its citizens of criticizing its contradictory interpretations of the world in any way and of demanding sound explanations. The Party prefers to nourish the nationalistic idiocy of ‘regarding the Soviet Union’s path through world events as a triumphant advance of peace that is welcomed, if not cheered, by peoples everywhere, and of being surprised or indignant when someone does not share this view, no matter what his or her reasons are.
This also takes care of everything the CPSU associates with “international class solidarity” and every thing it does to cultivate this noble attitude. International class solidarity stands for the idealism of peace, whose advocate, the communist government, does all it can to boost other governments’ desire for peace. This makes Soviet patriotism and proletarian internationalism coincide — almost as in real bourgeois-imperialist thinking!