Nehru’s Fatal Friendship
Society for Defence of Freedom in Asia-1970
The Sources of Communist Power In India
According to a widespread opinion, in this country as well as abroad, the sources of communist power in India lie in our poverty, hunger, disease, social injustice, economic exploitation and political oppression. This opinion implies a belief that communism is an ideology which attracts the poor and the down-trodden masses. But we have no data to support this belief; in fact, all available data knocks the bottom out of it. Communist influence in India has never been so strong in the poorer country-side as in the more prosperous towns and cities. Again, in the towns and cities also the CPI has always derived its strength mainly, if not entirely, from the educated, propertied and professional sections of what the communists call “bourgeoisie”. Sri Ajoy Ghosh(1909–1962), the General Secretary of the CPI, confesses in the Comin-form Journal : “Despite the big headway we have made in the recent period, our position among the working class, among the agricultural workers and poor peasants the classes which constitute the granite foundation of the proletarian party is still extremely weak.”
Looking at the main political parties vis-a-vis the Communist Party of India we come to the same conclusion. While the poor parties in opposition, the PSP and the Jana Sangh, oppose communism as an ideology and seldom tolerate fellow-travellers in their ranks, the ruling Congress Party continuously hobnobs with communism and is riddled with fellow-travellers. Again, inside the Congress Party itself, while the rank and file is anti-communist the dominant section led by Prime Minister Nehru has always been tender towards the Communist Party of India and is increasingly gravitating towards the Soviet Union.
Vyshinsky and Stalin Define Communism
Our first problem, therefore, is to find a definition of communism. Any attempt at identifying the sources of communist power, without an adequate definition of communism, is foredoomed to failure.
There are popular notions that communism is an ideology of certain economic, political, social and cultural ends, namely, equality, liberty, fraternity, and so on. But there are so many people who fervently believe in these ends and yet denounce and are denounced by the Communist Party. In fact, communist scriptures repudiate equality as a “bourgeois prejudice”, ridicule liberty as a “bourgeois illusion” and look down upon fraternity as “bourgeois sentimentalism.”
Some scholastically inclined people try to define communism in terms of Marxism-Leninism, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, Scientific Socialism and so on. But there are many persons, groups and parties who subscribe to these dogmas and yet are excluded from the communist camp. It is true that we find these dogmas liberally sprinkled throughout communist literature and communist parlance. But their sum-total is not equivalent to communism. Some essential element is still absent.
What is that essential element? The Soviet theoretician P. Vyshinsky writes in Voprosy Filosofi : “At present the only determining criterion of revolutionary proletarian internationalism is : are you for or against the U.S.S.R.?
An internationalist is not one who verbally recognises international solidarity or sympathises with it. A real internationalist is one who brings his sympathy and recognition up to the point of practical and maximum help to the U.S.S.R., in support and defence of the U.S.S.R. by every means and in every possible form.”
Stalin also confirms this definition. He writes : “A revolutionary is a man who, without any reservation, unconditionally, frankly and honestly, with no secret military consultations, is prepared to defend and fight for U.S.S.R…………. An internationalist is he who without reservation, with no vacillation, with no conditions is prepared to defend the U.S.S.R. He who intends to defend the revolutionary movement in the world apart from, or against, the U.S.S.R. goes against the revolution and must inevitably slide into the camp of the enemies of the revolution !” (Stalin, Works, Moscow 1954, p.54).
Stalin does not permit even neutrality in this matter. He continues : “Neutrality in this matter, waverings, reservations, the search for a third position, are attempts to avoid responsibility, to wriggle out of the unqualified struggle to defend the U.S.S.R…………….It means imperceptibly slipping into the camp of the enemies of the U.S.S.R.” (Ibid). It need not be explained that the terms “communist”, “internationalist”, “revolutionary”, “proletarian” etc, are interchangeable in communist vocabulary.
Thus communism, in the final analysis, is Soviet patriotism and can attract only those who believe in the Soviet Union as a radically superior country. Communist ideology has no use for Marxism-Leninism or Dialectical and Historical Materialism or Scientific Socialism except in so far as these dogmas provide them a technical jargon and a philosophical scaffolding of the Soviet case. Those portions of the dogmas which go against the Soviet Union in their logical sweep are brushed aside as unessential and the Masters are constantly edited and re-edited to make them up-to-date from the point of view of the Soviet Union. This is the most important criterion in locating the sources of communist power in India or, for that matter, in any non-communist country.
There is No “Communist Party of India”
Another important consideration in identifying the sources of communist power is the fact that communism is not merely an ideology but also an organisation. We must be very clear about the nature of the communist party and never forget that it is an organisation created, financed, maintained and directed by the Soviet Union. Thus, there is no such organisation as the Communist Party of India. What we have is the Soviet Communist Party working in India. Uptil 1943 this Soviet Party styled itself as the Communist International. In fact the Communist Party of India used to describe itself as a “Section of the Communist International” right up to 1943. The first para in the Preamble to the 1934 Constitution of the CPI reads : “The Communist Party of India, being a Section of the Communist International, is the most advanced organised section of the proletariat of India, the highest form of its class organisation.” This overt description was dropped in the 1943 Constitution when the Comintern went underground to please America and Britain who became allies of the Soviet Union under the impact of Hitler’s War. But the reality remains the same till today.
The Soviet Communist Party makes use of local conditions in India, but it does not thereby become an Indian organisation. The mainstay of the party in India has been students who went to various British and Continental universities and got recruited into the Comintern network. Comintern agents regularly come to India, particularly at Communist Party Congresses, to guide and instruct the “Communist Party of India”. What confuses many people is that the party sometimes enters an apparently “patriotic” phase because of a shift in the policy of the Soviet Union. A recent instance is “nationalistic” hysteria raised by the “Communist Party of India” against the U.S. Military Aid to Pakistan. In the words of A. Rossi, the French specialist on communism: “Whatever pose its tactics may cause it to adopt, it will remain a foreign growth within the body of the national cancer, whose natural function is to destroy healthy tissue and undermine vitality. Those who think it can one day be assimilated are the victims of the most dangerous political illusion of our time.”
So communism is an ideology as well as an organisation. While the ideology perverts and subverts men’s minds, the organisation infiltrates and disintegrates all institutionalised life within a given community. In fact, there is a dynamic integration between the ideology and the organisation. The prevalence of communist ideology in any sector of social life facilitates the task of communist organizational infiltration ; and communist infiltration, overt or secret, always helps the spread of communist ideology. This interdependence of communist ideology and organization should never be lost sight of in any correct estimation of communist power and the location of the sources of that power.
With this background, we can proceed to identify the sources of communist power in India. For the sake of evidence, we shall trace the sources of their ideological and organisational power separately, though, in the final effect, they are inseparable.
The Soviet Myth
If ideologically communism means Soviet-worship, the greatest source of its ideological power is the Soviet myth. And the Soviet myth still finds a widespread acceptance amongst our politically conscious intelligentsia. We have been led to believe that the Soviet Union is a new type of society where economic inequality and exploitation have been abolished ; where there is no ruling class with a monopoly of economic and political power ; where the necessities of life have been ensured to every individual ; where class and party strife has been transcended by a new type of economy and polity ; where literature, art and science have unlimited scope for development ; where the Government and the people are entirely engaged in peaceful, socialist construction ; and where the desire for world peace and amity amongst nations is deep and heart-felt.
So long as this Soviet myth remains unexploded, the “Communist Party of India” will continue to enjoy a very favourable atmosphere for building its organisation and spreading its network of spies, saboteurs and professional agitators in every strategic sector of national life. If the Soviet Union is all that we are told, there should be no harm in the “Communist Party of India” coming to power and building a similar paradise in this country as well.
The Soviet myth has been carefully and systematically fostered by the “Communist Party of India” through heaps of cheap Moscow literature and a network of newspapers, periodicals, publishing houses, bookstalls, front organisations and paid propagandists very frequently let loose on our people after brief visits to the Soviet Union and other communist countries. The Party has been helped in this task by many liberals and leftists who otherwise assume a posture of doubt towards theoretical communism.
Recently some serious attempts have been made in India to explode the Soviet myth. The greatest credit in this respect must go to the Praja Socialist Party. But, on the whole, responsible sections of Indian opinion have been rather half-hearted about the job.
Nehru and Others Strengthen the Myth
The Congress has mainly accepted Pandit Nehru’s lead who maintains that the Soviet achievements are colossal though made by paying an equally colossal cost. Pandit Nehru has never specified the nature of those achievements or the nature of the costs involved. He only asserts that the Soviet Union had to pay those costs because of certain historical circumstances, and recommends that similar achievements are possible in India without paying the same costs. It is very difficult to make any sense out of this algebra which refuses to specify the value of any quantity involved in the equation. But there is little doubt that this sort of approach to the Soviet myth leaves it essentially intact.
The Gandhians have accepted the same approach as Sri Nehru, though they add an ethical colour, to the controversy. They believe and say that the Soviet Union has used questionable means such as violence to achieve ends which are undoubtedly desirable. Thus the impression they leave about Soviet achievements tends to fortify the central core of the Soviet myth. They make it more readily saleable by putting the Gandhian stamp on it.
The leftists (I do not include the Praja Socialists in this category) contribute their mite to the Soviet myth in their own manner. Firstly, they raise a smoke-screen of technical Marxist-Leninist jargon and cloud up a common-sense understanding of the Soviet Union. Secondly, they accuse the Soviet Union of betraying international socialism, of refusing to impose “revolution” on the rest of the world, and thus leave the impression that the Soviet “revolution” is a desirable thing.
The liberals add their weight to the chorus by stating, in soft and measured terms, that though the Soveit Union has sacrificed political democracy to a certain extent, it has to be admitted by all honest persons that a great measure of economic democracy has been achieved there. Their pose of scepticism against any firm handling of the Soviet myth works itself out towards the same disastrous end.
The American Spectre
The Soviet myth is negatively supported by a spectre the spectre of “American Impression”. This spectre serves a manifold purpose. Firstly, every independent effort to explode the Soviet myth can be denounced as inspired by “American Imperialism” and, therefore, rejected as essentially partisan, if not totally false, Secondly, the Soviet Union can be made to look ever more bright against the background of an America which is painted ever more black. Thirdly, in cases where the Soviet sins become too obvious, we can be told that they are not essential to the Soviet system and that they have been forced upon the Soviet Union by America’s “imperialist encirclement and interference”. And in the last resort, the glaring ugliness of Soviet life can be apologised for and abolished in terms of such ugliness as can be discovered in or invented about the American way of life.
The “Communist Party of India” divides its tremendous propaganda power almost equally between maintaining the Soviet myth and sustaining the spectre of American Imperialism”. And most of the responsible sections of Indian opinion have joined this communist campaign against America for one reason or the other. In fact, America has already become a closed question in this country. America can no more be discussed freely and frankly. She has to be abused according to an agreed ritual. I do not think I exaggerate when I assert that communism in India is advancing as much on the wings of the Soviet myth as behind the smoke-screen of anti-Americanism.
Our foreign policy, especially after the grant of American military aid to Pakistan, has become a powerful motive which simultaneously props up the Soviet myth and the American spectre. The Government of India now frowns upon efforts to explode the Soviet myth in the name of goodwill towards a “friendly nation”. The outstanding newspapers in this country are increasingly employing communists and fellow-travellers in responsible positions to please the Prime Minister. Even a paper like the Statesman has been forced to accept an inveterate fellow traveller like Prem Bhatia (who writes under various guises) as its reporter and columnist. Quite a few editors and journalists have changed their tone, if not their opinion, to suit the Prime Minister’s taste.
The Soviet myth and the spectre of “American Imperialism” are sanctioned, in the final analysis, by something more than mere propaganda by the communists and their allies. The ultimate basis of their acceptance is provided by Marxist thought-categories which are accepted as “scientific” truth even in avowedly anti-communist circles. Firstly, as the system of capitalism or free enterprise is more or less universally regarded as the source of all ills from which mankind suffers, and the abolition of that system is praised as a virtue in itself, the Soviet Union stands justified axiomatically while America stands self condemned. Secondly, America as a capitalist country is supposed to be constantly threatened with want of raw materials and markets for her finished goods and thus always on the look-out for colonies by imperialist penetration of other economies. It is asserted that so long as America cannot find suitable and sufficient outlet for her industrial surplus, she must pile up armaments to use her surplus productive capacities and, in the last resort, wage a world war to dominate the whole world. The Soviet Union, as a non-capitalist country, faces no such problems and as such is neither in need of colonies nor in search of war. There are many more such categories which I cannot discuss here for want of space. Their final upshot is a white-washed Soviet Union and a blackened America. There are very few people amidst our politically conscious intelligentsia who have been through these categories and realised that they do not interpret the real situation. Our universities are totally dominated by professors and lecturers who regard these categories of thought as incontrovertible and holy truth and who continue to poison generation after generation of our young men and women.
Now I pass on to communist organisation which sustains and employs the Soviet myth and the spectre of “American imperialism” ; penetrates all institutionalised life ; inhibits, assails and chokes out all endeavours at exposing the Soviet myth and communist infiltration. Today this organisation enjoys all constitutional and legal rights which democratic India can afford and has become highly respectable in the public eye due to the Prime Minister’s patronage in pursuit of his foreign policy.
The organisation is three-pronged, camouflaged and secret. The open organisation consists of what is commonly known as the “Communist Party of India” which has a constitution, publishes party manifestos, maintains party organs, publishing houses, a network of party offices, members and paid whole-timers, participates in all sorts of elections and sends its representatives in our Parliament, the State Assemblies and all sorts of local bodies. The camouflaged organisation consists of what are called ‘front’ organisations, such as the All-India Trade Union Congress, All-India Kisan Sabha, All-India Students’ Federation, All-India Peace Council, the Progressive Writers’ Association, the Indian People’s Theatre Association, the National Federation of Women, the Indian Association of Democratic Lawyers, the India-China Friendship Association, the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society, the Congress of Scientific Workers, etc. The fronts build specialised platforms in every walk of our social life, politicalise every non-political issue, create fellow-travellers, use non-political reputations for political purposes, infiltrate, control and influence the government, the press, the universities, political parties and every type of club and association, and organise exchange of delegations with communist countries and communist organisations abroad. The secret organisation consists of what is popularly known as the “underground” but which the communists call the “Tech”. No member of the “Tech” can be recognised as a communist or a fellow-traveller. Their special job is to infiltrate the Armed Forces, the Police, the policy-making organs of the Government, to carry on espionage for the Soviet Government, to carry arms and ammunition and prepare for insurrection, civil war, or coup d’etat, whichever method suits the Party in its final bid for power.
Rs. 20 Crores For CPI From Russia
The primary source of this organisational strength is the Soviet money (amounting to twenty crores of rupees or so every year) which flows into this country specifically for maintaining this organisation. Ample finances enable the Communist Party of India to maintain : I) sixty to seventy thousand wholetimers with monthly wages ranging from fifty to hundred rupees for ordinary whole-timers, to several thousand rupees for important party functionaries, communist Members of Parliament and State Assemblies etc. ; 2) scores of daily, weekly and monthly newspapers ; 3) hundreds of publishing houses and bookstalls ; 4) hundreds of party offices with clerical staff, office machines and vehicles, and 5) several hundred professional fellow-travellers clustered around the front organisations. Enormous amount of money is spent in subsidizing papers like the Blitz, arranging conferences, festivals, dramas and frequent delegations and missions abroad. The communists buy off and allure intellectuals, writers, poets, artists, sports men, publicists, journalists, etc. with the help of money in cases where the ideological pull fails or proves inadequate.
And this tremendous organisational power is used by the communists not only for spreading their ideology, politics and organisational network, but also for denying opportunities to, and character assassination of, all those who are opposed to communism. While persons, groups and parties amenable to communist ideological influence are attracted into the communist network, persons, groups and parties opposed to communism are set against each other by sheer organisational manoeuvres and whispering campaigns. Today this organisational domination by the communists has assumed serious proportions in India.
Infiltration on Three Fronts
First of all, our universities are deeply infiltrated by communist professors and student whole-timers. I know many university teachers who openly ëteach’ communism in their classes. Anyone who tries to oppose them or to carry on some amount of anti-communist work is hounded out and blackened in no time. Thus the nation gets a large number of communised young men and women to run her administration, economy and education, in times to come.
Secondly, the press has, to a very large extent, passed into the hands of the Communist Party. One has only to look a little more closely into the headlines, news items, feature articles and editorials of leading dailies and weeklies in the country to see the obvious communist slant. In the course of my research I have come across numerous instances of reports and news-items in which everything said against the Soviet Union, world-communism or the communist organisation in this country is deliberately left out and everything favourable to the communist cause flaunted very prominently. Thus an iron-curtain is being sprung up round this country, all unknown to people who run the government or the political parties.
Thirdly, the ruling Congress Party has been considerably penetrated. Though the Congress Party still swears by Gandhism, its slogans have already become communist slogans for all practical purposes. Many communists and fellow-travellers, such as the Marxist Forward Bloc, are entering the Congress under the pretext of supporting Nehru’s foreign policy and Avadi resolution on “socialistic pattern”. The anti-communists inside the Congress are being increasingly silenced by the spectre of “American imperialism”. The communist task has been further facilitated by the destruction of inner-party democracy inside the Congress, mainly by Nehru. If the present trend continues, it is absolutely sure that the communists will, in near future, make a bid to capture the Congress organisation and, through it, the country.
And, No Opposition!
Negatively, the communist organisational offensive is aided because the field is devoid of all competition. The Congress party which has the resources and the personnel to accept and meet the communist challenge organisationally, has neither the competence nor the will to do the job. Lacking all ideology except what Nehru may say from time to time on concrete issues, the Congress organisation spends all its time in faction fighting on the local as well as the ministerial level. And the other two parties, the P.S.P. and the Jana Sangh, suffer from extreme paucity of resources and personnel to meet communist organisational challenge, even though they have the knowledge and the will to meet it. The unfortunate crisis inside the P.S.P., whose base on the population is the same as that of the communists, has given further organisational advantage to the communists.
I do not want to elaborate here on the failures of opposition parties to fill the gap left by disappearance of communist opposition. That is a wider question ; though its implications have a relevance to the estimation of communist strength. In my opinion, the refusal of the opposition parties at this juncture to attack Nehru’s foreign policy and the increasing influence of communism in the country will prove ultimately the most disastrous event in the history of India. Whether the refusal is an outcome of confusion, cowardice, or calculation is immaterial.
Nehru’s Fatal Friendship
“I want with my vote to support Henderson in the same way as the rope supports a hanged man,” wrote Lenin in what is considered to be his maturest work, namely, Left-wing Communism : An Infantile Disorder, first published in June 1920. And this has been the guiding principle not only of the communist parties in their “united front” tactics, but also of the Soviet State in its “friendly” relations with other states.
The Excuse For This Friendship
Ever since the signing of the U.S.-Pakistan Military Aid Agreement, our Government has, to all intents and purposes, abandoned its policy of neutrality and entered on a phase of enthusiastic friendship with the Soviet Union and its satellite, Red China. Whether there was a predisposition for this change, and the U.S.-Pak Agreement provided merely a handy excuse, is a larger question which I do not want to discuss here. But this much is clear, that our government has recently started making earnest endeavours to popularise Soviet Russia and its satellite, as a first step to inhibiting all efforts, howsoever small, at an objective estimate of these countries and their professed religion of communism. Scores of official delegations and missions have been recently swarming towards the Soviet Union and Red China, and one can discover a note of unity in their praise for the communist countries such as can only be master-minded by a deliberate propaganda effort. That effort is very much obvious in the news bulletins over the All India Radio and the documentaries released by the Ministry for Information for display in thousands of our cinema houses.
Those who have made a close study of communism, the Soviet Union and the history of the International Communist movement can see in this new policy nothing but disaster and ruination for independent, democratic India. I know that these people are scoffed at as “Indian Mac’Carthies” “reactionaries obssessed with the spector of social revolutionî, “American Agents”and “enemies”of India. I also remember that the very same scoffers used the very same technique when they denounced people opposed to the Muslim League and its slogan of Pakistan as “communalists”, “agents of British imperialism”, “distruptors of national unity”and so on. The Muslim League triumphed and Pakistan became a fact because the nation allowed the scoffers to triumph. It is an irony of history that the same people who created Pakistan are today leading the country into another disaster, this time in the name of opposition to Pakistan !
How Communists Captured China
In this article I wish to present the concrete cases of those countries for which friendship with the Soviet Union has proved fatal. The first and a classical example is our great neighbour, Republic of China. The Father of the Republic, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, signed an agreement with Soviet Russia on June 20, 1923, as a result of which the Chinese communists entered the Koumintang Party and Moscow sent a team of “advisers” to implement the “alliance”. The communists immediately started Trojan-horsing the Koumintang Party, its mass organisations and the Chinese Army. Towards the end of March, 1927, Moscow sent the following message to its agents in China : “The work of the communist cells in the army must be intensified ; they must be organised wherever they do not now exist and wherever their organisation is possible ; where the organisation of the Communists cells is impossible, intense work must be carried on with the help of concealed communists”, (Stalin on China, pp. 89-90, People’s Publishing House Ltd, 1951). And on April 5, 1927 Stalin said openly before the Communist Academy in Moscow : “The peasant needs an old worn-out jade as long as she is necessary…..So they have to be utilised to the end, squeezed out like a lemon and then flung away.”
Accordingly, the communists made a bid to capture Shanghai and the Republican Government in Hankow. China was saved only because Chiang Kai-shek who had received his training in Moscow understood the communist tactics and was sufficiently vigilant. Nevertheless, the country had to pass through a terrible blood-bath in April 1927. Moreover, communist infiltration in the Army enabled Chu Teh and Chou En-Lai to escape with a number of well trained troops, and the country had to suffer a civil war from 1927 to 1934 when Chiang Kai-shek at last succeeded in driving the communists out of the heart of China. The Soviet Government helped the communist rebels with money, arms and advice and threw to winds its “alliance” with the Republic of China.
But Chiang Kai-shek himself repeated the mistake of Dr. Sun Yat Sen when in August 1937 he signed a Non- Aggression pact with the Soviet Union. Moscow was shaking under the impact of the Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan. Nanking needed an ally against Japan but could not pursuade the Western Powers to give up their “neutrality”. The Chiense Communists announced another “united front” with Kuomintang on September 22, 1937, abandoned their land-confiscation programme, “abolished” their Soviet form of Government and “renamed”the Red Army as the National Revolutionary Army. But Maoís directive in October 1937 to the Eighth Route Army was : “The Sino-Japanese war affords our Party an excellent opportunity for expansion. Our fixed policy should be seventy percent expansion, twenty percent dealing with the Kuomintang and ten percent resisting Japan. Our forces should penetrate deeply into Central China, sever the communications of the Central Government troops in various sectors, isolate and disperse them until we are ready for the counter-offensive and wrest the leadership from the Kuomintang.”As a result of the communist sabotage and civil war against Nationalist armies, aided and abetted by the Soviet Union to please Japan, China had to suffer speedy defeats and was saved only because Western Powers overcame Japan in 1945. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Japan in 1943.
The coup de grace to the Chinese Republic was delivered when Chiang Kai-shek was forced by his American “allies” to sign a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance with the Soviet Union on August 14, 1945. In terms of the Treaty, the Soviet Government promised “to give moral support and aid in the form of military equipment and other material resources, it being understood that such support and aid would, in their entirety, be extended to the National Government as the Central Government of China.”But the Soviet occupation Army in Manchuria blocked the entry of Nationalist troops to accept Japanese surrender, gave the Chinese Communists a free hand to equip themselves with colossal quantities of armaments, stock-piled by Japan in anticipation of a last ditch fight against Americans, permitted them to set-up civil administration in all Japanese occupied territories, and supplied them with Lend-Lease stores piled up by America in Siberia for a Soviet war against Japan, besides other military equipments manufactured in the Soviet Union. And when the communists, after their victory in the civil war, established the Peopleís Republic of China on October 2, 1949 the Soviet Union was the first country to recognise it and open diplomatic relations with it on October 2, 1949. The Communist Party of India summed up the matter in the following words : “We cannot fail to note the fact that the Chinese Red Army was surrounded and threatened with annihilation again and again until it reached Manchuria. There, with the industrial base in hand, and the great friendly Soviet Union in the rear, Chinese Liberation Army rebuilt itself and launched the final offensive which led it to victory.”(Statement of the Policy of the Communist Party of India, November 1951).
Communist Contribution to the Fall of France
France was the next country to try friendship with Soviet Russia. The French-Soviet Alliance was finally negotiated in May, 1935. The draft agreement, however, had been formally signed early in 1934. Ever since then the French Communist Party had entered a “patriotic” phase. On July 27, 1934 a “pact of unity” had been signed between the French Socialist Party and the Communist Party of France. On October 9, 1934, communist leader, Thorez, gave the call to broaden the “United Front” into a “Popular Front”to include the French Radicals in the Bloc. When this had been achieved, the Communists raised the slogans of “French reconciliation”and a “National Front” against Fascism, aiming to rope in the Catholic and capitalist parties also. This effort, however, was a failure because the Catholics refused to co-operate with the communists. But the elections held in April 1936 gave a majority to the “Popular Front” parties, the communists being a decisive segment of that majority. The new Government was headed by the socialist leader, Leon Blum. At this point the communists took a turn, refused to join the Government, fomented industrial trouble and captured the organised working class. To their indispensability inside the Government majority they thus added a hold over the most strategic sector of French life.
At the outbreak of the war in 1939 the communists were in complete control of engineering, building, textile, electrical, leather and agricultural workers. Their infiltration in the unions controlling aeroplanes and ammunition factories was considerable. But, meanwhile, the “Popular Front” had disintegrated and disappeared ; in its place, the French nation was faced with the Stalin-Hitler Pact. Moscow had used its “friendship” for France as a lever for reaching a more favourable agreement with Berlin, and the communist Trojan-horse had been firmly planted in Paris. And while Poland was being partitioned between Germany and Russia, and Scandinavian countries, overrun by Hitler’s Wehrmacht, the French Communist Party, was hectically propagating against the “imperialist war started by the French ruling classes against the German workers’, advocating mass desertions from the French Army, organising widespread sabotage of industrial production, especially of aeroplanes and ammunition. The Party leader, Thorez, deserted from the Army, escaped to Moscow and carried on the same traitorous propaganda over the Soviet Radio. A large proportion of the arms issuing from factories whose workers were under communist control, were either duds or sabotaged to produce mortal accidents. Thus the communists made a major contribution to the downfall of France in June 1940. The German Armies could easily tear through a French Army whose rear had been paralysed by sabotage and whose morale shaken by desertions and defeatist propaganda on a mass scale.
This is not the place to re-call how the French Communist Party actively co-operated with the German armies in occupied France till Hitler attacked their Soviet Fatherland ; how, while the patriotic resistance groups fought against Germans, the French Communists killed thousands of French people after accusing them of “collaboration with the Nazis” when in actual fact their only guilt was that they did not like the communists and were determined to thwart a communist bid for power after the withdrawal of German forces ; and how the Party created large-scale disorders and strikes while France was undergoing throes of post-war recovery. The conclusion which emerges from this story is that friendship with the Soviet Union cost France a military defeat, thousands of innocent French lives, and almost her independence. Today, France is a house divided against itself ; the powerful French communists are dedicated to sabotage every French action till they themselves seize power. That the communists will fight for Russia in any future war has been declared in very clear words by the Party boss, Thorez, who still presides over the Party from his palace on the French Riviera.
The Betrayal of the Spanish Republic
Another country which tasted Soviet “friendship”and paid the inevitable price at the same time as France was Republican Spain. The Communist Party of Spain was negligible when the Spanish workers sprang to action in defence of the Republic against Franco’s revolt in July 1936. The resistance was entirely led by the Socialists, the Anarcho-Syndicalists and the P.O.U.M. The Communists became influential only when Soviet arms started arriving in Spain towards the end of 1936 and the Comintern organised the International Brigade. Very soon they obtained entry into the Republican Government at Madrid, presented the army and the police, and took possession of all other strategic positions in the Republican apparatus. The Soviet supplies were refused to all army units except those fighting under communist control. The Socialist Party was split from within on the question of supporting communist policies, the Anarcho-Syndicalists were disarmed and disbanded, and the P.O.U.M., including their leader, Nin, were massacred in cold blood. The Spanish Republic had become a puppet in the hands of Moscow when Stalin started fishing for an understanding with Hitler towards the end of 1938. By December 1938 the Soviet supplies dwindled into insignificance so that in the beginning of 1939 Franco had a walk-over. The Hitler-Stalin Pact was announced a few months later. Soviet Russia had not only sacrificed the Republic of Spain but also the Spanish Communist Party and the thousands of believing communists and fellow-travellers from all over the world.
The Rape of Czechoslovakia
The last and a very recent instance of Soviet “friendship” is provided by Czechoslovakia. Dr. Benes signed the Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Assistance and Post-war Collaboration with the Soviet Union on September 12, 1943. Immediately the Czech communists who had taken refuge in Moscow became influential and obtained important places in the post-war Czech Government organised at Kosice on April 4, 1945. The communists obtained the Ministries of Interior, Information, Education and Agriculture. The popular parties such as the Slovak Catholics and the Czech and Slovak Agrarians were excluded from the Government under communist pressure. As the first fruit of “friendship”, Czechoslovakia had to surrender Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia, an area of 4,921 square miles, to the Soviet Union on June 29, 1945. The second fruit was that the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia obtained 114 seats out of 300 in the National Assembly elected in 1946, after excluding from the election all popular parties who were manifestly opposed to communism.
The end came quickly thereafter. The communist ministers started talking of an “anti-communist bloc” within the Government which was, in fact, completely dominated by them, and of “reactionary forces” outside. They discovered a “plot” in October 1947 and destroyed the Slovak Democratic Party which had entered into a coalition with them at the beginning of the new regime.
Next they started moving towards the Socialists; the next powerful party represented in the Government. A “deadlock” was manufactured in the Government over the appointment of certain police officers and the Socialists, were forced to resign in protest. Dr. Benes, the President of the Republic, decided to resist this communist game, when Prague was suddenly visited by the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister on February 19, 1948. What happened after that is well known. While the Russian Army massed on the border the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia staged a coup díetat on February 27, 1948, and established its dictatorship. On March 10, 1948, Jan Masaryk, the Foreign Minister was thrown out of a window and died on the pavement below. On September 3, Dr. Benes was murdered in his retirement. Their names are never mentioned in Communist literature without being preceded by the epithet “traitor”.
The question now arises: why should “friendship” with the Soviet Union be so fatal? The answer is provided by the specific nature of the Soviet State. It is an extra-ordinary state in the sense that it is ideologically committed to world conquest in the name of “proletarian world revolution”, and maintains the international communist conspiracy as an instrument of that commitment. Consequently, as soon as a country becomes friendly to the Soviet Union it has to provide full opportunities to the communist party working within its own borders. All criticism of communism or the communist party has to be inhibited in the name of “friendship” with the Soviet Union. In fact, the Soviet Union has to be popularised, leading to a direct increase in communist strength inside the country. And the Communist Party can always be depended upon to play the Leninist-Stalinist game of biting the hand which feeds it, of kicking the ladder which raises it, of “squeezing the lemon and throwing it away.” In case the Soviet Union enters into another alliance which runs counter to its previous alliance, the fattened communist party organises sabotage in the interests of the new alliance.