Of late, the divergencies in the international communist and working-class movement have deepened, and the public polemic has assumed particular sharpness. Instead of a debate imbued with the cndcavour to bring standpoints closer to each other and to find solutions based on Marxist-Leninist ideology, forms and methods have been adopted in the course of the public polemic which considerably envenom relations between parties, and offensive judgements, as well as accusations and the ascribing of certain intentions are being resorted to.
Particularly serious is the fact that almost all fraternal parties are drawn into the polemic, and that the key is set by parties that owing to their merits and revolutionary experience have a great influence in the communist movenient.
The elaboration of a common general line and of the norms to ensure the unity of action of the communist and workers' parties can only be a result of their collective wisdom. Considering the great variety of conditions in which the Marxist-Leninist parties carry on their activity, the cohesion of the communist movement has to be conceived in the light of the historical necessities to ensure, while paying heed to this variety, unity on the issues of common interest, on the fundamental problems of social development. This unity does not, of course, preclude different opinions in one problem or another of domestic or international life.
When differences of opinion appear with regard to the general problems of the communist and working-class movement, it is essential that they should not lead to tension in the relations between parties, to irreconcilable contradictions, to reciprocal accusations and excommunications from the family of Marxist-Leninist parties. . . .
Tliere does not and cannot exist a "parent" party and a "son-party," parties that are "superior" and parties that are "subordinate," but there exists the great family of communist and workers' parties, which have equal rights. No party has or can have a privileged place, or can impose its line and opinions on other parties. Each party makes its own contribution to the development of the common treasure store of Marxist-Leninist teaching, to enriching the forms and practical methods of revolutionary struggle for winning power and building the socialist society.
In discussing and confronting different points of view on problems concerning the revolutionary struggle or socialist construction, no party must label as anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist the fraternal party whose opinions it does not share.
We consider as unjust the practice of using in Party documents, in the press and over the radio, at meetings of international organizations, etc., offensive assessments, accusations and epithets against fraternal parties and their leadership, of expounding in an unfriendly and distorted manner within the ranks of the Party or among the mass of the people the stand of other parties, of condemning at congresses or in the resolutions of a Party the point of view of other communist parties and the stand taken by them.
No Party is allowed to bypass the Party leadership in one country or another, and so much the less, to launch appeals for the removal, or the change of the leadership of a party. Appraisals and nianifestations which lack respect for a communist party and its leadership, may justly be interpreted as a lack of respect for the working class, for the people who trust the party and the leadership of the communist party of their country; and this further worsens the relations between parties, between socialist states, and affects the friendship of the respective peoples.
Unfortunately, in the heat of the polemic, reciprocal accusations have gone so far as to take the place of a scientific analysis of the differences of opinion, to overshadow the fundamental issues, overstepping all bounds.
It is inconceivable that in relations between communist parties reciprocal and deeply offensive accusations be levelled against the leaders of a fraternal party as being "the biggest revisionists of our tinic," who are in "collusion with U.S. imperialism," and "throw wide open the gates for the restoration of capitalism," or that they are "trotzkyites" who "furiously attack world socialism ... .. partners on the right-flank of the American 'wild men,' " etc.
Such grave invectives cannot but lead to tension in interparty relations, to rendering difficult the contacts between leaderships of the respective parties and drive things towards a break, towards a split of the communist movement. . . .
Particularly serious is the fact that in such a situation the central press organs of one of the largest fraternal parties, the Communist Party of China, assert that in the conditions now prevailing in the communist movement a split, both on the international plane and within various parties, becomes necessary and unavoidable and that the dialectics of the development of the international working-class movement is "unity, struggle and even splits, as well as unity on a new basis."
In our opinion, this means to give a theoretical foundation for a split, it means a call for a split.
Taking advantage of the present state of affairs in the communist movement, all kinds of dissatisfied, anti-party and dissolving elements of a series of parties are rising against the party leaderships, set up splitter groups, call themselves "true Marxist-Leninist parties" and struggle to split the workingclass movement of the respective country.
It is regrettable that these groups meet with favourable appraisals and support on the part of the Chinese comrades.
The conferences, sessions and congresses held in the last years by various international democratic organizations, and especially the recent ones, go to show that open polemic leads to undermining the influence and prestige enjoyed by the Communists, by the socialist countries in these organizations, leads to weakening the unity and the fighting power of the international working-class and democratic organizations.
We note with regret that in the materials of some communist and workers' parties the fraternal parties are advised to sharpen the public polemic -which causes tension in relations, intensifying the danger of a split.
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China have, owing to their prestige, a particular responsibility and role in re-establishing the unity of the communist movement. We address an appeal to all the fraternal parties and above all to the two big parties, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China: let all of us unite to bar the road of a split, to safeguard the unity and cohesion of the countries of the socialist camp, of the world communist and working-class movement!
The first and most important step, at the present moment, is the immediate termination, under all forms, of the public polemic between the communist and workers' parties. . . .
If a complete cessation of the open polemic cannot be achieved, differences of opinion should be discussed in a principled, objective manner. Invectives and offensive appraisals, reciprocal charges, the ascribing of certain intentions, the distortion and mystification of the stands taken by other parties, cannot be taken for convincing arguments, helping to solve the issues.
The Rumanian Workers' Party deems it necessary that immediate consultations should be started between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Communist Party of China and the other fraternal parties with a view to setting up a Commission consisting of representatives of a number of parties; this Commission should proceed to preparing a Conference of representatives of the communist and workers' parties.
Such a Conference should be organized only on the basis of the participation of all communist and workers' parties and should be convened only after having been thoroughly prepared.
The C.C. of the Rumanian Workers' Party considers that a Conference with the participation of only part of the communist and workers' parties would run counter to the cause of unity, and would lead to an aggravation of the situation, to the isolation of some of the fraternal parties, to the establishing of a split in the world communist and working-class movement. . . .
The C.C. of the Rumanian Workers' Party reiterates its conviction that above any divergencies stands what is common to all the communist and workers' parties; everything that is essential unites them and is infinitely stronger than any difference of opinion. We are united in the common goals of achieving working-class power, of the victory of socialism and communism throughout the world. We are united in the common struggle against imperialism, for the vital interests and democratic rights of the people at large, against colonialism in all its forms, for the national liberation of the peoples; we are united in the common goal of establishing a lasting world peace, as vital task of the whole of mankind. We are united by proletarian internationalism and internationalist class solidarity, by our historic responsibility before the international proletariat and the working people everywhere; we are united by our common ideology, the Marxist-Leninist teaching.
These bonds unite the communist and workers' parties in a great family of fraternal parties, they form the unshakable foundation of the cohesion of the world communist and working-class movement and furnish the objective factors for a comradely solution of any issues among our parties.
from Statement on the Stand of the Rumanian Workers' Party Concerning the Problems of the World Communist and Working-Class Movement Endorsed by the Enlarged Plenum of the C.C. of the R.W.P. Held in April 1964 (Rumanian News Agency, 1964), pp. 46-55.
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© Paul Halsall, November 1998