A Marxist Glossary for the Study of Anti-imperialism

From left to right: “A Small Poli­ti­cal Diction­ary”, “Diction­ary of Marxist-Leni­nist Socio­logy”, “Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism”, “Diction­ary of Foreign Policy and Inter­na­tio­nal Law”, and “Basic ques­ti­ons of the anti-impe­ria­list struggle of the peop­les of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the present day”.

The follo­wing glos­sary is a coll­ec­tion of concepts and terms rela­ted to inter­na­tio­na­lism and anti-impe­ria­lism. They reflect the leading Marxist-Leni­nist analy­ses of the Socia­list Unity Party of Germany (SED) during the latter half of the 20th century. We have selec­ted and quoted them here without criti­cal commen­tary in order to provide an important resource for those study­ing anti-impe­ria­lism of the past and present. Analy­ses of the stra­te­gies and prac­tice of the socia­list states can be found on the “Friend­ship!” rese­arch platform.


The follo­wing defi­ni­ti­ons are largely quoted from the poli­ti­cal diction­ary series of the Dietz Verlag, a publi­shing house linked to the SED. These dictio­n­a­ries were autho­red by coll­ec­ti­ves of socia­list scho­lars who have been named in the biblio­gra­phy below. Where neces­sary, the glos­sary also draws on poli­ti­cal text­books or the work of indi­vi­dual scho­lars published by the Academy of Scien­ces of the German Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic (DDR). All sources are noted accor­din­gly and cited in the biblio­gra­phy in full.


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The Funda­men­tals of Marxism-Leni­nism (1963):

“Not patrio­tism, but cosmo­po­li­ta­nism is the ideo­logy of the impe­ria­list bour­geoi­sie. […] This is not refer­ring to the old notion of cosmo­po­li­ta­nism, which was wide­spread in the 19th century and was often unders­tood as a compre­hen­sive concep­tion of the world, freed from natio­nal narrow­ness. What is meant here is the ideo­logy promo­ted by the impe­ria­lists, which asserts that the prin­ci­ple of sove­reig­nty is ‘obso­lete’. This ideo­logy claims that the rest­ric­tion of state inde­pen­dence is a law-gover­ned process (gesetz­mä­ßig), propa­ga­tes indif­fe­rence to natio­nal tradi­ti­ons and disre­gard for natio­nal culture, and asserts that in today’s condi­ti­ons the concept of the home­land [see father­land] no longer has any meaning. […]

Modern cosmo­po­li­ta­nism mani­fests itself in various ways. The intense propa­ganda, for instance, which is carried out to glorify the exis­ting Euro­pean mono­poly agree­ments and to call for the conclu­sion of further such agree­ments, is a mani­fes­ta­tion of cosmo­po­li­ta­nism. The mono­poly asso­cia­ti­ons are presen­ted as the embo­di­ment of the idea of the “unity of the Euro­pean peop­les”, as the way to over­come “natio­nal narrow­ness.” It is ther­e­fore not surpri­sing that such propa­ganda is openly supported by the big mono­po­lies. A popu­lar thesis of the ideo­lo­gists of cosmo­po­li­ta­nism, espe­ci­ally from the camp of right-wing socia­lists, is that the prin­ci­ple of sove­reig­nty has become an obsta­cle to the deve­lo­p­ment of the produc­tive forces.

But how can favoura­ble condi­ti­ons for the deve­lo­p­ment of the produc­tive forces be crea­ted on a broad inter­na­tio­nal basis? This, of course, cannot be done by curtail­ing the sove­reign rights and inte­rests of one or another state, but only in mutual coor­di­na­tion of these inte­rests on the basis of equal and bene­fi­cial coope­ra­tion for all part­ners. In this context, an important role could be played by the grea­test possi­ble deve­lo­p­ment and expan­sion of inter­na­tio­nal trade. The deve­lo­p­ment of coope­ra­tion in the field of science and tech­no­logy (the exch­ange of specia­lists and scien­ti­fic and tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion, the imple­men­ta­tion of joint produc­tion projects, etc.) is also very important in this regard.

Of course, all this does not guaran­tee free and unhin­de­red deve­lo­p­ment of produc­tive forces on an inter­na­tio­nal scale. For this, various basic measu­res of an inter­go­vern­men­tal charac­ter are needed: the coor­di­na­tion of econo­mic plans, indus­trial coope­ra­tion between the various count­ries, the coor­di­na­tion of the trai­ning of skil­led workers, etc. But such measu­res can be reali­zed only in a plan­ned economy in which there is no anar­chy of produc­tion and no compe­ti­tion, in an econo­mic system built on trust between the various peop­les and states. Such a system is socialism.

The enemies of Marxism claim that the commu­nists, in advo­ca­ting the prin­ci­ples of inde­pen­dence and sove­reig­nty of states, oppose the tenden­cies of social deve­lo­p­ment and wish to preserve the dismem­ber­ment of states and the isola­tion of nati­ons on an inter­na­tio­nal scale. But alre­ady Lenin refu­ted such fanta­sies in his time. He wrote: “We demand the right of self-deter­mi­na­tion, i.e., inde­pen­dence, i.e., free­dom of sepa­ra­tion of the oppres­sed nati­ons, not because we dream of econo­mic dismem­ber­ment or of the ideal of small states, but, on the contrary, because we desire large states and the rappro­che­ment, indeed the fusion, of nati­ons, but on a truly demo­cra­tic, truly inter­na­tio­na­list basis, which is unthinkable without free­dom of sepa­ra­tion.” (Lenin Works, Vol. 21, p.420)

The commu­nists also today consis­t­ently advo­cate the econo­mic and poli­ti­cal coope­ra­tion and the all-round rappro­che­ment of the Euro­pean and the other peop­les. But they are decisi­vely against such “inte­gra­tion”, which is enforced by the capi­ta­list mono­po­lies to achieve their profit-seeking inte­rests. A “Europe of trusts” is not a confe­de­ra­tion of equal peop­les. And if the commu­nists reject such a “Euro­pean unity”, they do not oppose the idea of the rappro­che­ment of peop­les at all, but the explo­ita­tion of the “Common Market” for the deepe­ning of the divi­sion of Europe, for the forma­tion of closed econo­mic blocs and their trans­for­ma­tion into bases of aggression. […]”

Epoch of the transition from capitalism to socialism

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“A longer period in human history, the main content of which is the repla­ce­ment of the capi­ta­list social forma­tion by the commu­nist social forma­tion on a world scale. During the meeting of the commu­nist and workers’ parties in Moscow in 1960, the scien­ti­fic defi­ni­tion of the epoch was worked out collectively:

‘Our epoch, whose main content is the tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism as initia­ted by the 1917 Octo­ber Revo­lu­tion, is the epoch of the struggle of the two oppo­sing social systems, the epoch of the socia­list revo­lu­tion and the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­ti­ons, the epoch of the collapse of impe­ria­lism and the liqui­da­tion of the colo­nial system, the epoch of the tran­si­tion of more and more peop­les to the path of socia­lism, the epoch of the triumph of socia­lism and commu­nism on a world scale. The defi­ning feature of our time is that the world socia­list system beco­mes the decisive factor of human society.

The charac­ter of our epoch is shaped to an ever-incre­asing degree by the main social force of the present epoch, the working class. … The working class and the world socia­list system it has crea­ted, with its inte­rests and its struggle for peace, demo­cracy. and socia­lism, most consis­t­ently express all the progres­sive aspi­ra­ti­ons of our time.

The tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism is taking place inter­na­tio­nally and is being led by the three main revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents, through which essen­tial chan­ges have alre­ady been achie­ved. […] The basic contra­dic­tion between capi­ta­lism and socia­lism forms the funda­men­tal antago­nism of our epoch. […] The all-round streng­thening of socia­lism, the unity of action of the three main revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents and the alli­ance of all forces fight­ing for the most elemen­tary condi­ti­ons of humanity’s exis­tence, all this is decisive for the further progres­sive change of the inter­na­tio­nal balance of forces, for the outcome of the struggle between war and peace, which for a long time stands in the centre of humanity’s inte­rests in our epoch. The present epoch is charac­te­ri­zed by a fierce inter­na­tio­nal class struggle, in the course of which the class rela­tion will conti­nue to shift in favour of socia­lism and the policy of peaceful coexis­tence, as the only alter­na­tive to the policy of impe­ria­list confron­ta­tion and arms race, can be impo­sed more and more compre­hen­si­vely with a tremen­dous effort against impe­ria­lism. The falsi­fi­ca­tion of the charac­ter of the present epoch by bour­geois and anti-commu­nist ideo­lo­gists is part of their ideo­lo­gi­cal struggle against the revo­lu­tio­nary workers’ movement.”


Small poli­ti­cal diction­ary (1988):

“The given poli­ti­cal, cultu­ral, and social milieu, the tota­lity of social condi­ti­ons and insti­tu­ti­ons on a given terri­tory within which a people live. The term father­land has a class character.

In antago­ni­stic class society, the posi­tion of the ruling class toward the father­land is funda­men­tally diffe­rent from the posi­tion of the exploi­ted and oppres­sed clas­ses toward the father­land. The ruling class iden­ti­fies with the father­land its exis­ting order of explo­ita­tion, which seeks to exclude the oppres­sed clas­ses from the enjoy­ment of the riches of the father­land and the shaping of social rela­ti­ons. In this sense, K. Marx and F. Engels coined the well-known thesis in the “Mani­festo of the Commu­nist Party”: “The workers have no father­land. One cannot take from them what they do not have.” (Marx-Engels-Werke, vol. 4, p. 479.) Under the demago­gic slogan ‘defend the father­land’, the impe­ria­list bour­geoi­sie wages its wars of aggres­sion to expand its poli­ti­cal and econo­mic sphere of power, to conquer foreign territories.

The working class is not indif­fe­rent to the poli­ti­cal, social, and cultu­ral condi­ti­ons under which it strug­gles to fulfil its histo­ri­cal mission. It strug­gles toge­ther with the other working people for demo­cra­tic rights and free­doms, for such condi­ti­ons that make it possi­ble to trans­form the father­land of the bour­geoi­sie into a father­land of the entire people. It is natio­nal, but not natio­na­list. Its patrio­tism is oppo­sed to bour­geois natio­na­lism.

By elimi­na­ting its own explo­ita­tion and oppres­sion by the bour­geoi­sie, the working class, in alli­ance with the toiling peas­an­try and the other labou­ring masses, elimi­na­tes the explo­ita­tion and oppres­sion of man by man in gene­ral. In doing so, it destroys the root of impe­ria­list wars in its own coun­try and fights for a secure peaceful future for the nation. The fulfilm­ent of this task means the trans­for­ma­tion of the bour­geois father­land into a socia­list father­land of the entire people. Only now can the natio­nal cultu­ral and natu­ral riches, beau­ties, and tradi­ti­ons become fully acces­si­ble to all working people.

The struggle of the working class, howe­ver, is not only natio­nal but at the same time inter­na­tio­nal; the prole­ta­riat leads its struggle in soli­da­rity with the inter­na­tio­nal working class, with which it is inse­pa­ra­bly bound by the same inte­rests and aims (prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism). […]”

The Hallstein Doctrine

Inter­na­tio­nale Forschungs­stelle DDR:

A foreign policy prin­ci­ple of the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Germany (FRG, “West Germany”) inten­ded to prevent the diplo­ma­tic reco­gni­tion of the German Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic (DDR, “East Germany”) by third count­ries. The doctrine – named after Walter Hall­stein, then State Secre­tary at the FRG’s Foreign Office – threa­tened any coun­try that reco­gni­zed the DDR’s sove­reig­nty with compre­hen­sive diplo­ma­tic and econo­mic sanc­tions. It thus led to the diplo­ma­tic isola­tion of the DDR until the early 1970s.

The doctrine was rela­ted to the West German claim to sole repre­sen­ta­tion, with which the FRG clai­med to be the only German state exis­ting under inter­na­tio­nal law and solely entit­led to repre­sent “all German people”. It consti­tu­ted a direct and open invi­ta­tion to disre­gard and violate the terri­to­rial inte­grity of the DDR, since the FRG clai­med legal sove­reig­nty over the terri­tory of the former German Reich. All East Germany, parts of Poland as well as parts of the Soviet Union were, accor­ding to the claim of sole repre­sen­ta­tion, “ille­gally with­held terri­tory” where “foreign despo­tism” reig­ned. The West German govern­ment deman­ded the resto­ra­tion of the 1937 borders of the Third Reich and refu­sed to accept the post-war trans­fer of terri­tory to Poland. Another aspect of this policy was the refu­sal to reco­gnize DDR citi­zen­ship, which meant that emigrants from the DDR could imme­dia­tely obtain a West German pass­port and claim pension rights for years worked in the DDR. It was a further tool to encou­rage the brain drain from the East.

The Hall­stein Doctrine was deve­lo­ped prima­rily as a deter­rent, but it was imple­men­ted rigo­rously against Yugo­sla­via (1957) and Cuba (1963) and at times against other states such as Guinea, Ghana, Iraq, and Egypt. Brea­king this diplo­ma­tic isola­tion and West Germany’s claim to sole repre­sen­ta­tion became a central foreign policy goal for the DDR, since it not only posed a direct threat to natio­nal secu­rity but also massi­vely impe­ded the DDR’s inter­na­tio­nal coope­ra­tion in the econo­mic, diplo­ma­tic, medi­cal, and cultu­ral fields.

The DDR was able to under­mine the Hall­stein Doctrine by initi­ally estab­li­shing trade missi­ons in seve­ral count­ries, such as Egypt, India, Syria, and Finland, begin­ning in the mid-1950s. The DDR’s Soli­da­rity Commit­tee also succee­ded in buil­ding rela­ti­onships with natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ments and govern­ments to support their strug­gles and coun­ter Western influence on the tricon­ti­nent. Toward the end of the 1960s, nume­rous newly libe­ra­ted states began to defy West Germany and offi­ci­ally reco­gnize the DDR (e.g., Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the PR Congo, and Alge­ria). The FRG finally aban­do­ned the Hall­stein Doctrine in 1972 in favour of a “Wandel durch Annä­he­rung” (English: change through rappro­che­ment) approach toward the DDR.

Hegemony of the working class (within broader alliances)

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“(or the ‘leading role of the working class’) is an objec­tive law of the socia­list revo­lu­tion and socia­list cons­truc­tion and results from the objec­tive posi­tion of the working class in the system of social produc­tion, from its histo­ri­cal mission as the grave­dig­ger of capi­ta­lism and as the crea­tor of the new, socia­list society. […] The hegem­ony of the working class was formu­la­ted for the first time by Marx and Engels in the “Mani­festo of the Commu­nist Party”. Under the histo­ri­cal condi­ti­ons of impe­ria­lism, Lenin deve­lo­ped the theory further in accordance with the struggle for peace, demo­cracy, and natio­nal libe­ra­tion, in the struggle for the estab­lish­ment of the dicta­tor­ship of the prole­ta­riat and the cons­truc­tion of socia­list society.

Lenin, in combat­ting oppor­tu­nism, proved that under the condi­ti­ons of impe­ria­lism the hegem­ony of the working class is the only guaran­tee that the bour­geois-demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion can be carried through to the end and that it is the neces­sary condi­tion for its tran­si­tion into the socia­list revolution. […]

The hegem­ony of the working class includes the firm alli­ance of the working class with the toiling peasants as well as with all other anti-impe­ria­list, demo­cra­tic forces. Although the hegem­ony of the working class is an objec­tive law, it does not realize itself auto­ma­ti­cally and must be constantly won anew in the class struggle against impe­ria­lism and in the buil­ding of socia­list society. “It is not enough to merely label ones­elf as the ‘vanguard’ – one must also act in such a way that all the other groups reco­gnize and are forced to reco­gnize that we are leading the march.” (Lenin) The hegem­ony of the working class is reali­zed by the revo­lu­tio­nary party working out a scien­ti­fic program consis­tent with the laws of social deve­lo­p­ment, and at the same time it deve­lops the ability to mobi­lize and unite all social forces for its realiza­tion and to place itself at the head of the revo­lu­tio­nary struggle. […]

In the capi­ta­list count­ries, the hegem­ony of the working class is beco­ming one of the most important condi­ti­ons for the success of the anti-impe­ria­list struggle, the struggle to main­tain and secure peace, and the struggle to secure and expand demo­cra­tic rights and free­doms. An essen­tial condi­tion for this is the united action of the working class under the leader­ship of a revo­lu­tio­nary party and its ability to rally working people around it and win their confi­dence through the reso­lute defence of their inte­rests. The hete­ro­gen­eity of the working class, its growing diffe­ren­tia­tion, the incre­asing breadth of the alli­ance and imperialism’s sophisti­ca­ted stra­tegy of respon­ding to the chan­ged condi­ti­ons of struggle compli­cate these tasks and place grea­ter demands on the hegem­ony of the working class and its revo­lu­tio­nary party. […]

The hegem­ony of the working class is reali­zed under socia­lism under quali­ta­tively new condi­ti­ons. The working class reali­zes its leading role prima­rily in the form of state and poli­ti­cal leader­ship of society. ‘When shaping the deve­lo­ped socia­list society, the leading role of the working class and its Marxist-Leni­nist party conti­nues to grow … The more far-reaching and compli­ca­ted the tasks of manage­ment and plan­ning become, the more the role of the poli­ti­cal leader­ship of society by the Marxist-Leni­nist party increa­ses. It is the most important factor in the successful shaping of the society built by the revo­lu­tio­nary working class.’ (Program of the SED)

In the count­ries of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment, too, the working class, despite its current nume­ri­cal weak­ness, is the most progres­sive and revo­lu­tio­nary force because of its objec­tive posi­tion in the produc­tion process and its quali­ta­tive charac­te­ristics. The working class in these states must realize its leading role in the struggle for natio­nal inde­pen­dence and for demo­cracy, peace, and social progress. As it conti­nues to grow quan­ti­ta­tively and quali­ta­tively, as it beco­mes more orga­ni­zed and ideo­lo­gi­cally mature, as it forms and deve­lops a revo­lu­tio­nary vanguard party that assu­mes the leading role, the hegem­ony of the working class will become incre­asingly clear. ‘Ulti­m­ately, it is precis­ely the workers’ move­ment that will play a deter­mi­ning role in this area of the world as well.’ (Moscow Consul­ta­tion 1969)”

National-democratic revolution

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“A demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion growing out of the struggle against natio­nal oppres­sion. It is charac­te­ri­zed by the deepe­ning of the social content of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion. Its tasks are the elimi­na­tion of econo­mic depen­dence on impe­ria­lism, the conso­li­da­tion of state-poli­ti­cal sove­reig­nty, and the solu­tion to social deve­lo­p­ment issues in the inte­rests of the working clas­ses. The solu­tion of these tasks, due to a variety of exter­nal and inter­nal factors, is taking place in a compli­ca­ted, contra­dic­tory, and uneven histo­ri­cal process of prolon­ged dura­tion, which bears the charac­ter of class struggle. In the course of profound econo­mic, social, poli­ti­cal, and intellec­tual-cultu­ral trans­for­ma­ti­ons of an anti-impe­ria­list, demo­cra­tic, and incre­asingly anti-capi­ta­list charac­ter, the objec­tive and subjec­tive condi­ti­ons for approa­ching the socia­list revo­lu­tion are created.

The driving force of the natio­nal-demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion are those clas­ses inte­res­ted in the conso­li­da­tion of natio­nal inde­pen­dence and in profound social trans­for­ma­ti­ons: the working class, the toiling peas­an­try, the progres­sive sections of the petty-bour­geois middle clas­ses inclu­ding the patrio­tic intel­li­gent­sia. Leader­ship within this alli­ance is in the hands of non-prole­ta­rian class forces in the form of revo­lu­tio­nary demo­cracy. Their progres­si­ve­ness is decisi­vely deter­mi­ned by the extent to which they turn to a demo­cra­tic alli­ance with the toiling masses, deve­lop friendly rela­ti­ons with socia­list states, and orient them­sel­ves toward scien­ti­fic socia­lism. If the influence of pro-impe­ria­list forces inten­si­fies, a tempo­rary stagna­tion or setback of the natio­nal-demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion can occur, which finds its expres­sion in the forma­tion of a capi­ta­lism depen­dent on the impe­ria­list world system. For the consis­tent deve­lo­p­ment of the natio­nal-demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion in the sense of histo­ri­cal progress, it is neces­sary for the working class to take over hegem­ony in alli­ance with the other toiling clas­ses and strata.”

The National and the International (the dialectical relation in strategy and tactics)

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“The Natio­nal and the Inter­na­tio­nal in scien­ti­fic commu­nism reflect objec­tively condi­tio­ned sides of the realiza­tion of the histo­ri­cal mission of the working class, socia­list and commu­nist cons­truc­tion, which are in a dialec­ti­cal inter­re­la­tion. In this process, the Inter­na­tio­nal embo­dies the univer­sal essence of the working class – its funda­men­tal and common tasks and main goals in all count­ries and on a world scale, which are also expres­sed in the univer­sal laws of the class struggle of the working class and of socia­list and commu­nist cons­truc­tion. The Natio­nal pres­ents itself as the concrete condi­ti­ons of struggle – the tasks, forms, methods, and expe­ri­en­ces that arise during the imple­men­ta­tion of the univer­sal prin­ci­ples in each country.

Scien­ti­fic commu­nism, like Marxism-Leni­nism as a whole, is an inter­na­tio­nal doctrine. This is objec­tively condi­tio­ned and results from the charac­ter of the histo­ri­cal mission of the working class. The main content of scien­ti­fic commu­nism is – on the basis of the gene­ra­liza­tion of the expe­ri­en­ces of the entire inter­na­tio­nal workers’ and anti-impe­ria­list libe­ra­tion move­ment – the univer­sal laws of the revo­lu­tio­nary process, of socia­list and commu­nist cons­truc­tion. This rela­tes to the basis and essence, the univer­sally appli­ca­ble prin­ci­ples, neces­sary for the reali­sa­tion of the histo­ri­cal mission of the working class of all countries.

At the same time, scien­ti­fic commu­nism takes into account the dialec­ti­cal inter­re­la­tion of the Natio­nal and the Inter­na­tio­nal expres­sed in the dialec­ti­cal rela­ti­onship of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism and socia­list patrio­tism. It considers the speci­fic condi­ti­ons and expe­ri­en­ces of each coun­try and teaches the need to crea­tively apply the prin­ci­ples of scien­ti­fic commu­nism to the concrete condi­ti­ons and tasks of the working class’s struggle.

Scien­ti­fic commu­nism is incom­pa­ti­ble with any form of natio­nal nihi­lism. The falsi­fi­ca­tion of the inter­na­tio­nal charac­ter of scien­ti­fic commu­nism and the dialec­tics of the Natio­nal and the Inter­na­tio­nal is one of the main methods of bour­geois and revi­sio­nist attacks on the theory and policy of the Marxist-Leni­nist parties. Any attempt to arti­fi­ci­ally divide the theory of scien­ti­fic commu­nism into natio­nal or regio­nal “vari­ants” or “models” leads to the revi­sion of the basic prin­ci­ples of this theory and harms the prac­ti­cal struggle of the workers’ move­ment for peace, demo­cracy, and social progress.”

National liberation movement

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“All-natio­nal, anti-impe­ria­list and demo­cra­tic move­ment of colo­ni­ally oppres­sed and depen­dent (and newly libe­ra­ted) peop­les and states of Asia, Africa and Latin America for natio­nal inde­pen­dence from impe­ria­lism and social progress. In our current epoch, the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment is one of the main curr­ents of the revo­lu­tio­nary world process. In the long run, it can be successful only in alli­ance with the other two revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents (the socia­list world system and the workers’ move­ment in the capi­ta­list countries).

The advance of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment is closely linked to the succes­ses of socia­lism in the struggle for peace and détente, for econo­mic upswing and social secu­rity, which limit the scope of impe­ria­list policy on a world scale and create ever more favorable condi­ti­ons for the struggle of the newly libe­ra­ted states for poli­ti­cal and econo­mic inde­pen­dence from impe­ria­lism. Posi­tion and role of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment in the revo­lu­tio­nary world process result from the charac­ter of our epoch as an epoch of tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism. Its histo­ri­cal task consists in the natio­nal libe­ra­tion from impe­ria­list domi­na­tion and in the crea­tion of condi­ti­ons for the social libe­ra­tion of the working masses.

Bearers of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment are the popu­lar masses: The working class, the peas­an­try, parts of the middle clas­ses and the natio­nal bour­geoi­sie. This broad alli­ance of progres­sive natio­nal forces is oppo­sed by impe­ria­lism and inter­nal reac­tion­ary class forces (feudal aris­to­cracy, compra­dor bour­geoi­sie, etc.) which are in alli­ance with it. […]”

National liberation revolution and its two stages

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Anti-impe­ria­list, demo­cra­tic revo­lu­tion, whose essence is deter­mi­ned by the charac­ter of our epoch of world­wide tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism. Its univer­sal demo­cra­tic and anti-impe­ria­list charac­ter results from the main contra­dic­tion that exists between impe­ria­lism and the peop­les of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion movement.

The inte­rests of the various clas­ses and strata within the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion are diffe­ren­tia­ted, but their inter­nal contra­dic­tions are covered for a long time by the main antago­nism with imperialism.

The natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion is a compo­nent of the revo­lu­tio­nary world process. Under the condi­ti­ons of our epoch, the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­ti­ons are charac­te­ri­zed by the fact that, like the bour­geois revo­lu­ti­ons in Europe and America, they have the task of achie­ving natio­nal inde­pen­dence and elimi­na­ting feudal condi­ti­ons, and at the same time a revo­lu­tio­nary-demo­cra­tic, anti-impe­ria­list and partly anti-capi­ta­list tendency emer­ges in them, which goes beyond the frame­work of bour­geois revo­lu­ti­ons. The main content of these revo­lu­ti­ons is to achieve natio­nal inde­pen­dence from impe­ria­lism and to create the funda­men­tal condi­ti­ons for the social libe­ra­tion of the working clas­ses and strata. The concrete course of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion and its forms as well as its speed and depth in the respec­tive coun­try are deter­mi­ned by the tota­lity of mani­fold factors – the concrete-histo­ri­cally exis­ting condi­ti­ons, the balance of power of the clas­ses at home and on a world scale.

The natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion consists of two stages, which are funda­men­tally diffe­rent in terms of their dura­tion and tasks. The first stage is anti-colo­nial: it entails the struggle for the realiza­tion of the right of self-deter­mi­na­tion of colo­ni­ally oppres­sed peop­les through the elimi­na­tion of impe­ria­list foreign rule. The anti-colo­nial stage is comple­ted with the achie­ve­ment of state inde­pen­dence. The revo­lu­tion enters its second, quali­ta­tively new stage. The natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment is faced with tasks of an anti-impe­ria­list and gene­ral demo­cra­tic charac­ter: secu­ring and conso­li­da­ting inde­pen­dence through funda­men­tal social trans­for­ma­ti­ons in the base and super­s­truc­ture; achie­ving econo­mic inde­pen­dence from impe­ria­lism; natio­na­liza­tion of the mono­po­lies; agra­rian reform; over­co­ming the back­ward­ness inhe­ri­ted from colo­nia­lism; anti-impe­ria­list foreign policy orien­ted toward an alli­ance with the socia­list world system and other demo­cra­tic forces.

The struggle to solve these tasks is extre­mely protra­c­ted, compli­ca­ted, and at the same time contra­dic­tory. There is a pola­riza­tion and diffe­ren­tia­tion of class forces. When the main contra­dic­tion to impe­ria­lism domi­na­tes, the inner class contra­dic­tions – depen­ding on the state and matu­rity of the rela­ti­onship of class forces – become more promi­nent. The class struggle between the progres­sive natio­nal forces (the working class, the peas­an­try, the urban middle clas­ses and parts of the natio­nal bour­geoi­sie) on the one hand, and impe­ria­lism and the inter­nal reac­tion (the feudal aris­to­cracy, the compra­dor bour­geoi­sie) on the other hand, intensifies.

The solu­tion of the basic tasks of the second stage of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion is closely linked with the ques­tion of the country’s further perspec­tive. The choice of the path of deve­lo­p­ment – capi­ta­list or socia­list orien­ted – is deter­mi­ned by the rela­ti­onship of class forces within the coun­try. In the count­ries where the bour­geoi­sie is strong enough to main­tain hegem­ony even in this stage, the solu­tion of the tasks of the revo­lu­tion is tack­led within the frame­work of a capi­ta­list orien­ta­tion. Histo­ri­cal expe­ri­ence proves that this path cannot lead to a solu­tion of basic tasks of this stage, and the inter­nal class contra­dic­tions inevi­ta­bly intensify.

Within the socia­list orien­ta­tion (setbacks are not excluded) – initi­ally under the hegem­ony of petty-bour­geois revo­lu­tio­nary class forces – gene­ral demo­cra­tic and anti-capi­ta­list trans­for­ma­ti­ons are carried out. This process is indis­pens­ably linked to the working class gaining hegem­ony in the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion in order to drive it further into a socia­list revolution.”


Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Bour­geois ideo­logy, poli­tics, and psycho­logy in the field of natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal rela­ti­ons, which includes the natio­nal class inte­rests of the bour­geoi­sie, its aspi­ra­tion for a natio­nal market, its own nation-state, and for oppres­sion of its own as well as other nati­ons. […] Natio­na­lism serves the mono­poly bour­geoi­sie to keep the masses of the people away from the struggle for revo­lu­tio­nary chan­ges and to support the aggres­sive aspi­ra­ti­ons against other peop­les. In the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment, natio­na­lism can tempo­r­a­rily play a progres­sive role as an expres­sion of anti-impe­ria­list and anti-colo­nia­list aspi­ra­ti­ons, parti­cu­larly of bour­geois and petty-bour­geois forces.

The socio-econo­mic roots of natio­na­lism are the capi­ta­list private owner­ship of the means of produc­tion and the explo­ita­tion of weaker by stron­ger capi­ta­list nati­ons; the social bearer of natio­na­lism is the bour­geoi­sie and the petty bour­geoi­sie. Today’s natio­na­lism differs essen­ti­ally from the natio­nal conscious­ness of the rising bour­geoi­sie in the struggle against feuda­li­stic frag­men­ta­tion and for a capi­ta­list nation-state.

Charac­te­ristic of reac­tion­ary bour­geois natio­na­lism is the one-sided over­em­pha­sis on natio­nal charac­te­ristics, the glori­fi­ca­tion of one’s own capi­ta­list nation over others, the kind­ling of natio­nal strife and racial hatred, and the igno­ring of social, class contra­dic­tions. Natio­na­lism places the inte­rests of the ruling class of the capi­ta­list nation above both the inte­rests of its own nation and the requi­re­ments of inter­na­tio­nal coope­ra­tion among nati­ons, states, and peoples. […]

As an element of the poli­tics and ideo­logy of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion struggle of oppres­sed and depen­dent peop­les, natio­na­lism can tempo­r­a­rily play a posi­tive role in awake­ning natio­nal conscious­ness and mobi­li­zing the masses to fight against impe­ria­list oppres­sion and explo­ita­tion. “The bour­geois natio­na­lism of any oppres­sed nation has a gene­ral demo­cra­tic content that is direc­ted against oppres­sion, and it is this content that we uncon­di­tio­nally support, At the same time we strictly distin­gu­ish it from the tendency towards natio­nal exclu­si­ve­ness.” (Lenin, The Right of Nati­ons to Self-Deter­mi­na­tion, 1914)

The socia­list revo­lu­tion elimi­na­tes the social roots of natio­na­lism and chau­vi­nism between the socia­list count­ries, which are charac­te­ri­zed by friend­ship, equa­lity, mutual respect, and frater­nal coope­ra­tion. The commu­nist and workers’ parties educate the working people in the spirit of socia­list patrio­tism and prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism, uncom­pro­mi­sin­gly fight­ing all attempts by the class enemy to revive nationalism.”


Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Inter­na­tio­nal impe­ria­list system of colo­nial explo­ita­tion and poli­ti­cal domi­na­tion over the deve­lo­ping count­ries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Stem­ming from the colo­nia­lism of the mono­po­li­stic stage of capi­ta­lism, neoco­lo­nia­lism is histo­ri­cally linked to the second and third stages of the gene­ral crisis of capi­ta­lism, in which it fully deve­lops. With modi­fied econo­mic, poli­ti­cal, ideo­lo­gi­cal, and mili­tary methods, it serves to uphold colo­nial explo­ita­tion under the condi­ti­ons of a shift in the inter­na­tio­nal balance of power in favour of socia­lism. It is an expres­sion of the impe­ria­list enda­vour to adapt to these new condi­ti­ons of class struggle (those condi­ti­ons being: the advance of socia­lism; the disin­te­gra­tion of the impe­ria­list colo­nial system, the upsurge of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment, and the narro­wing of the scope of impe­ria­list policy on a wide scale).

The main stra­te­gic goal of neoco­lo­nia­list policy is to recap­ture the lost sphe­res of influence, to push back the influence of socia­lism (which is most promi­nent in deve­lo­ping count­ries with a socia­list orien­ta­tion), and to ensure the reten­tion of the newly inde­pen­dent states in the capi­ta­list world econo­mic system in order to obstruct the deepe­ning of the revo­lu­tio­nary world process. Impe­ria­lism tries to prevent the newly libe­ra­ted states strugg­ling for conso­li­da­tion, state sove­reig­nty, and econo­mic libe­ra­tion from embra­cing a socia­list-orien­ted path of deve­lo­p­ment. It seeks to deve­lop rela­ti­ons of depen­dency in the capi­ta­list world econo­mic system.

Neoco­lo­nia­lism is part of the impe­ria­list global stra­tegy, but it is also influen­ced by the contra­dic­tions among the impe­ria­list powers them­sel­ves (e.g., compe­ti­tion, stri­ving for hegem­ony). It is a constant source of danger both for the sove­reig­nty and social progress in the newly inde­pen­dent states and for the preser­va­tion of world peace.

Under the guise of ‘deve­lo­p­ment aid’, impe­ria­lism uses a variety of inter­re­la­ted methods and forms to achieve its goals. In the econo­mic sphere, it uses the supre­macy of impe­ria­list mono­po­lies on the world market, various forms of capi­tal export, tech­no­logy trans­fer, neoco­lo­nia­list indus­trial deve­lo­p­ment, and infla­tion. In the poli­ti­cal sphere, it influen­ces inter­nal proces­ses by propa­ga­ting refor­mism, support­ing pro-impe­ria­list regimes compre­hen­si­vely, coope­ra­ting with reac­tion­ary dome­stic forces, and even conspi­ring and carry­ing out mili­tary inter­ven­ti­ons. It also assists sepa­ra­tist move­ments and divi­des anti-impe­ria­list forces with the help of anti-commu­nism and reac­tion­ary natio­na­lism. Impe­ria­list mili­tary pacts and bases are a central instru­ment of neoco­lo­nial rule. In the ideo­lo­gi­cal field, neoco­lo­nia­lism uses anti-commu­nism, Maoism, left-wing radi­cal­ism, refor­mist and revi­sio­nist theo­ries, and foments reac­tion­ary natio­na­lism as well as ethnic and reli­gious conflicts. Through ‘educa­tio­nal aid’, it is also able to culti­vate impe­ria­list ideologies […]”

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Coll­ec­tive of about one hundred states that follow the prin­ci­ple of non-alignment and make the same or simi­lar demands as socia­list states for the conduct of inter­na­tio­nal relations.”

D. Weide­mann in Basic Ques­ti­ons of the Anti-Impe­ria­list Struggle of the Peop­les of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the Present Day (1974):

“In its basic concep­tion, non-alignment cannot be equa­ted with passi­vity, with tradi­tio­nal civic mili­tary neutra­lity [e.g., Switzerland’s approach], but was formu­la­ted as a natio­nally and inter­na­tio­nally active policy. This claim is most clearly expres­sed in the term ‘posi­tive neutra­lity’. If one analy­ses the crite­ria, it beco­mes clear that, on the one hand, a basic anti-colo­nial and anti-impe­ria­list tendency is inevi­ta­bly inher­ent in non-alignment. … On the other hand, the policy of non-alignment in some funda­men­tal ques­ti­ons – e.g., the atti­tude toward the socia­list states, reco­gni­tion of the funda­men­tal diffe­ren­ces between socia­lism and impe­ria­lism […] – visi­bly and in the foreign policy prac­tice of seve­ral states falls short of what is histo­ri­cally and poli­ti­cally necessary. […]

First of all, it must be empha­si­zed that non-alignment is a foreign policy concep­tion that is based on the class inte­rests of the bour­geois forces and whose ideo­lo­gi­cal basis is natio­na­lism. A non-alignment that stands above the clas­ses does not exist. […] Non-alignment is ther­e­fore a charac­te­risti­cally bour­geois or petty-bour­geois, often super­fi­ci­ally natio­na­list approach to the basic ques­ti­ons of inter­na­tio­nal poli­tics and to the foreign policy requi­re­ments of the natio­nal libe­ra­tion revo­lu­tion. The fluc­tua­tions and incon­sis­ten­cies in the foreign policy of the non-aligned states result from this bour­geois character. […]

Despite its great inter­na­tio­nal importance and its domi­nant role in Asia and Africa, non-alignment can thus by no means be descri­bed as a consis­t­ently anti-impe­ria­list foreign policy, nor can it be equa­ted with the foreign policy of the states of Asia and Africa regard­less of time and space. The inevi­ta­ble socio-econo­mic and poli­ti­cal-ideo­lo­gi­cal diffe­ren­tia­tion of these states will lead just as inevi­ta­bly to a diffe­ren­tia­tion of their foreign policy. […]

Yet the basic foreign policy stance of the non-aligned states – despite their many fluc­tua­tions and incon­sis­ten­cies, and regard­less of the will of the bour­geois leaders of some count­ries – has produ­ced objec­tive anti-impe­ria­list effects. The policy has impe­ded impe­ria­list stra­te­gies and weak­ened the posi­tion of impe­ria­lism in inter­na­tio­nal relations.”

Non-capitalist development (or socialist orientation)

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Social tran­si­tion process of form­erly colo­ni­ally oppres­sed, econo­mic­ally back­ward count­ries to socia­lism, bypas­sing capi­ta­lism or brea­king off a capi­ta­list deve­lo­p­ment that has alre­ady begun. It is one of the possi­ble ways for newly libe­ra­ted states to approach the socia­list revo­lu­tion. Its main histo­ri­cal task is to create the objec­tive and subjec­tive precon­di­ti­ons for the tran­si­tion to socia­lism in the course of anti-impe­ria­list and gene­ral demo­cra­tic transformations.

The clas­sics of Marxism-Leni­nism deve­lo­ped the concept of the non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment for count­ries in which capi­ta­list rela­ti­ons of produc­tion had not yet fully deve­lo­ped – where pre-capi­ta­list rela­ti­ons predo­mi­nate, and the produc­tive forces are at a low level. They tied the possi­bi­lity of bypas­sing the capi­ta­list social forma­tion to the exis­tence of one or more socia­list count­ries. Lenin, in confron­ta­tion with right-wing and left-wing oppor­tu­nist concep­ti­ons (at the 2nd Congress of the Commu­nist Inter­na­tio­nal in 1920), concre­ti­zed this concep­tion and substan­tia­ted the possi­bi­lity of the non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment under the condi­tion of a close alli­ance between the inter­na­tio­nal working class and the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment, which today finds its confir­ma­tion in the growing unity of the three main revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents of our epoch. For the first time this concep­tion was prac­ti­cally reali­zed in the Central Asian terri­to­ries of the Soviet Union as well as in the Mongo­lian People’s Repu­blic, and in the years after the Second World War it was enri­ched by other examp­les, espe­ci­ally on the Afri­can continent.

The socia­list-orien­ted deve­lo­p­ment path is a trans­for­ma­tion process of longer dura­tion, a histo­ri­cal period of seve­ral tran­si­tio­nal stages in social deve­lo­p­ment. Its form, pace, and concrete course are deter­mi­ned by the econo­mic, poli­ti­cal, and social condi­ti­ons of each coun­try and by the inter­na­tio­nal balance of power. The content of the revo­lu­tio­nary trans­for­ma­ti­ons results from the main contra­dic­tion between impe­ria­lism and the peop­les strugg­ling for natio­nal inde­pen­dence and social progress, as well as the inten­si­fy­ing inter­nal class contra­dic­tions that are initi­ally overs­ha­dowed by this main contra­dic­tion. Their solu­tion requi­res anti-impe­ria­list, anti-feudal, and anti-capi­ta­list trans­for­ma­ti­ons of all areas of society as part of a socia­list perspective.

The follo­wing basic features charac­te­rize the non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment: gradual elimi­na­tion of the econo­mic domi­na­tion of impe­ria­lism through natio­na­liza­tion of the mono­po­lies; cons­truc­tion of a natio­nal economy with a strong state sector as the econo­mic basis of revo­lu­tio­nary-demo­cra­tic power; rest­ric­tion and control of the private capi­ta­list sector; intro­duc­tion of methods of manage­ment and plan­ning of the natio­nal economy; consis­tent imple­men­ta­tion of agra­rian reform in the inte­rests of the working peas­an­try and deve­lo­p­ment of the coope­ra­tive system; ousting of conser­va­tive and reac­tion­ary forces from poli­ti­cal power and cons­truc­tion of revo­lu­tio­nary-demo­cra­tic organs of power; forma­tion of a firm anti-impe­ria­list alli­ance with the count­ries of socia­lism and with the inter­na­tio­nal workers’ move­ment; deve­lo­p­ment and conso­li­da­tion of the alli­ance of all progres­sive and patrio­tic forces (the working class, the toiling peas­an­try, the middle clas­ses) by uniting them in an anti-impe­ria­list united front; mobi­liza­tion and invol­vement of the working clas­ses and strata in social trans­for­ma­tion as an expres­sion of broad demo­cra­tism; crea­tion of revo­lu­tio­nary vanguard parties orien­ted toward scien­ti­fic socia­lism; raising the stan­dard of living, inclu­ding buil­ding a natio­nal health and educa­tion system; deve­lo­p­ment of natio­nal culture.

At the centre of the struggle for the imple­men­ta­tion of anti-impe­ria­list and gene­ral demo­cra­tic trans­for­ma­ti­ons is the ques­tion of poli­ti­cal power. The speci­fi­city of this ques­tion is expres­sed under the condi­ti­ons of a socia­list-orien­ted deve­lo­p­ment in the fact that the bour­geoi­sie proves inca­pa­ble of leading the natio­nal libe­ra­tion struggle in this stage, and the working class is not yet able to take the leading role at first. Hege­mon of the anti-impe­ria­list and anti-capi­ta­list trans­for­ma­ti­ons are often revo­lu­tio­nary-demo­cra­tic forces from the ranks of the middle clas­ses (e.g., the patrio­tic intel­li­gent­sia). The histo­ri­cal possi­bi­lity of the hegem­ony of non-prole­ta­rian class forces results from the fact that within the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment the laws of our epoch prevail and the working class in these count­ries is initi­ally not yet capa­ble of defen­ding its poli­ti­cal inte­rests as a class in struggle. On a histo­ri­cal scale, the hegem­ony of petty-bour­geois class forces is a tran­si­tio­nal pheno­me­non. The reso­lute realiza­tion of the non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment depends on the extent to which the working class succeeds in achie­ving hegem­ony.”

E. Dummer, and E. Lange in The Inter­na­tio­nal Workers’ Move­ment and the Revo­lu­tio­nary Struggle (1973):

In 1973, the DDR scho­lars E. Dummer and E. Langer named as a basic poli­ti­cal precon­di­tion for the non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment: “A decisive criter­ion for these count­ries, where the power rela­ti­ons are not yet clearly defi­ned in class terms, where not only social but also poli­ti­cal rela­ti­ons are in tran­si­tion, is that the dome­stic bour­geoi­sie has lost [or never gained in the first place] the mono­poly of poli­ti­cal power.”

Non-proletarian (and national) conceptions of socialism

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Tota­lity of ideas about socia­list society produ­ced by the bour­geoi­sie and non-prole­ta­rian strata. They are curr­ently emer­ging in great diver­sity in response to the growing influence of Marxism-Leni­nism and real socia­lism, due to the deepe­ning of the gene­ral crisis of capi­ta­lism, and as a result of the popu­lar masses’ search for alter­na­tive concep­ti­ons of society to capi­ta­lism. […] The major sources of the non-Marxist concep­tion of socia­lism in our time, even in the non-socia­list world, are the invol­vement of new poli­ti­cal and social forces in the anti-impe­ria­list struggle, the effect of the uneven­ness and contra­dic­to­ri­ness of capi­ta­list deve­lo­p­ment, and chan­ges in the stra­tegy and tactics of the mono­poly bourgeoisie.

A basic feature of non-prole­ta­rian views of socia­lism is their hete­ro­gen­eity. The diffe­ren­ces and distinc­tions, the contra­dic­tory tenden­cies, and the curr­ents of non-prole­ta­rian socia­list concep­ti­ons result from their diffe­rent sources, social bearers, and poli­ti­cal repre­sen­ta­ti­ves. Essen­ti­ally, a distinc­tion must be made as to whether the repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of such concep­ti­ons are poten­tial allies of the working class or enemies of socia­lism and the inter­na­tio­nal working-class move­ment. When analy­sing non-prole­ta­rian concep­ti­ons of socia­lism, it is impe­ra­tive to iden­tify the orig­ins, bearers, and social func­tions are inher­ent to them. Signi­fi­cant non-prole­ta­rian concep­ti­ons of socia­lism are “demo­cra­tic socia­lism,” Trots­ky­ism, reli­gious socia­lism, and petty-bour­geois socialism.

Concep­ti­ons of socia­lism within natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ments in Asia, Africa and Latin America play a distinc­tive role. Where the working class is still unde­ve­lo­ped, these concep­ti­ons of society can contri­bute to the forma­tion of libe­ra­tion move­ments, to the orien­ta­tion towards an alli­ance with the count­ries of the socia­list world system, and to the pola­riza­tion of class forces. At times they play a progres­sive role. Social bearers of these theo­ries are mostly peasant clas­ses, artisans, small commo­dity produ­cers, and parts of the intel­li­gent­sia. The commu­nist and workers’ parties deve­lop a cons­truc­tive rela­ti­onship with these non-prole­ta­rian concep­ti­ons of socia­lism and their repre­sen­ta­ti­ves. [Commu­nists] combine, first, the offen­sive propa­ga­tion of scien­ti­fic socia­lism and the support and utili­sa­tion of the progres­sive aspects of non-prole­ta­rian concep­ti­ons of socia­lism in the unifi­ca­tion of all anti-impe­ria­list, demo­cra­tic forces with, second,  the consis­tent struggle against all pro-impe­ria­list, anti-commu­nist ‘concep­ti­ons of socia­lism’ and for the prin­ci­pled confron­ta­tion with unsci­en­ti­fic concep­ti­ons of society.”

S.I. Tyul­pa­nov in Poli­ti­cal Economy and its Appli­ca­tion in Deve­lo­ping Count­ries (1969):

“These theo­ries (of ’natio­nal socia­lism’) do not reflect the ideo­lo­gi­cal posi­tion of the prole­ta­riat of the deve­lo­ping count­ries. But they express the views and econo­mic concep­ti­ons of the clas­ses or social groups in power (petty-bour­geois revo­lu­tio­nary intel­li­gent­sia, revo­lu­tio­nary demo­cracy, progres­sive layers of the young natio­nal bour­geoi­sie, etc.). These strata are eager and able to use their poli­ti­cal and, to a certain extent, econo­mic power to influence the course of social repro­duc­tion and the direc­tion of econo­mic and social deve­lo­p­ment. Many of these concep­ti­ons are stron­gly anti-impe­ria­list, have a natio­nal patrio­tic content and bear clear traits of the ’natio­na­lism of oppres­sed nations’.

With regard to the condi­ti­ons for the emer­gence of the new mode of produc­tion, the rejec­tion of impe­ria­lism, of the Western Euro­pean and Ameri­can path of capi­ta­list deve­lo­p­ment, is the main point of these concep­ti­ons. The search for a special path in ideo­logy and theory is merely the reflec­tion of the social contra­dic­tions in which the deve­lo­ping count­ries find them­sel­ves, the path along which the petty bour­geoi­sie of the deve­lo­ping count­ries is objec­tively advan­cing towards socia­lism, although it rejects its scien­ti­fic Marxist interpretation.

Of course, this path is by no means consis­tent, but is fraught with fluc­tua­tions and contra­dic­tions. But it would be utopian and wrong to expect a ‘prole­ta­rian path’ from these peop­les imme­dia­tely, as the social precon­di­ti­ons for this are lack­ing. Conse­quently, it is neces­sary to work out the posi­tive aspects deve­lo­ping in these theo­ries and not to condemn them and their prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­tion out of hand. It is neces­sary to learn to conduct a calm and convin­cing debate in which the weak­ness, the scien­ti­fic and class limi­ta­ti­ons of these theo­ries are exposed.”

Peaceful coexistence

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Peaceful coexis­tence and coope­ra­tion between states of diffe­rent social order in the epoch of the tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism. […] It requi­res the use of peaceful means in poli­ti­cal, econo­mic, and cultu­ral rela­ti­ons. On the basis of the equa­lity and respect of state sove­reig­nty, it provi­des mutual bene­fit and excludes the use of mili­tary means of power. Lenin deve­lo­ped the policy of peaceful coexis­tence as a basic prin­ci­ple of socia­list foreign policy, deri­ved from the law of the uneven econo­mic and poli­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment of capi­ta­lism and the conse­quent possi­bi­lity of the exis­tence of states of diffe­rent social systems. […]

The policy of peaceful coexis­tence corre­sponds to the nature of socia­lism and its inte­rest in peace. By chan­ging the inter­na­tio­nal balance of forces in favour of socia­lism and the other anti-impe­ria­list forces, it is possi­ble to force peaceful coexis­tence upon impe­ria­lism, even though, in accordance with its aggres­sive nature, it always pushes for expan­sion and war and tries to prevent or reverse the law-gover­ned deve­lo­p­ment toward socia­lism and the libe­ra­tion of the peop­les, even by mili­tary force. Peaceful coexis­tence is, in accordance with the exis­ting contrasts between the two social systems socia­lism and capi­ta­lism, a form of inter­na­tio­nal class struggle and the asso­cia­ted compe­ti­tion between states of diffe­rent social order, which, howe­ver, excludes the struggle by mili­tary means. It crea­tes favoura­ble condi­ti­ons for the class struggle of the working people against capi­tal, for their social libe­ra­tion, for the natio­nal libe­ra­tion struggle of the peop­les oppres­sed by impe­ria­lism, and thus also the struggle socialism.

It is not possi­ble to apply the prin­ci­ples of peaceful coexis­tence to the class struggle within the capi­ta­list states or to the anti-colo­nial struggle or to the ideo­lo­gi­cal class struggle because these sphe­res consti­tute wholly diffe­rent forms of social rela­ti­ons. Peaceful coexis­tence thus does not equate to sett­ling for the social status quo.

Bour­geois ideo­lo­gists discredit the policy peaceful coexis­tence by clai­ming that the coexis­tence of these states in a peaceful form is depen­dent on the ideo­lo­gi­cal rela­ti­ons between them. The policy of peaceful coexis­tence includes the ideo­lo­gi­cal confron­ta­tion, because in the field of ideo­logy there can be no compro­mise, no half measu­res (Lenin). At present it can be noted that, with the enforce­ment of the peaceful coexis­tence, the ideo­lo­gi­cal class struggle is in fact inten­si­fy­ing, because the role of the consciously acting popu­lar masses has grown and impe­ria­lism is using more diverse and sophisti­ca­ted ideo­lo­gi­cal means for its more limi­ted possi­bi­li­ties of influen­cing world politics.”

Pioneering role of the CPSU and the Soviet state

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“The prac­ti­cal and theo­re­ti­cal acti­vity of the Commu­nist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Soviet state as the vanguard in the world revo­lu­tio­nary process, the most advan­ced socia­list state power, and the pioneer of social progress. The pionee­ring role encom­pas­ses a complex of objec­tive poli­ti­cal, econo­mic, scien­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal, ideo­lo­gi­cal, intellec­tual-cultu­ral, and mili­tary factors arising from the stage of deve­lo­p­ment of Soviet society, in which the histo­ri­cal mission of the working class is most advan­ced. In realiza­tion of the univer­sal laws of socia­list revo­lu­tion and socia­list cons­truc­tion, the Soviet working class, in alli­ance with all other working people, led by the CPSU, crea­ted the foun­da­ti­ons of socia­lism, was the first to estab­lish the deve­lo­ped socia­list society, and is thus working to create the foun­da­ti­ons of commu­nism. There emer­ged a histo­ri­cally new commu­nity of people: the Soviet people. […]

The follo­wing features charac­te­rize the pionee­ring role: 1. the Soviet Union led by the CPSU provi­des all socia­list count­ries with rich, univer­sally valid expe­ri­ence in buil­ding socia­lism and commu­nism; 2. the CPSU, as the leading party in socia­list and commu­nist cons­truc­tion and as the vanguard of the inter­na­tio­nal commu­nist move­ment, has made a great, crea­tive contri­bu­tion to the appli­ca­tion, enrich­ment, and defense of Marxism-Leni­nism, thus working out solu­ti­ons to important basic theo­re­ti­cal problems of the struggle of the inter­na­tio­nal revo­lu­tio­nary working-class move­ment; 3. On the basis of the inter­na­tio­na­list policy of the CPSU, the Soviet Union makes the most decisive contri­bu­tion to streng­thening the world socia­list system, protec­ting the achie­ve­ments of the peop­les of the socia­list commu­nity and secu­ring peace throug­hout the world; 4. The Soviet Union, in the spirit of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism, supports the other socia­list count­ries in all fields of social deve­lo­p­ment and at the same time provi­des the anti-impe­ria­list forces in the world with compre­hen­sive poli­ti­cal, econo­mic and, if neces­sary, mili­tary assis­tance against impe­ria­lism; 5. The Soviet Union poss­es­ses the grea­test poli­ti­cal, econo­mic, scien­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal, and mili­tary poten­tia­li­ties both for the deve­lo­p­ment of the socia­list world system and for the inter­na­tio­nal class struggle against impe­ria­lism. The unifi­ca­tion of the socia­list states around the Soviet Union is an objec­tive requi­re­ment and expres­sion of the inter­na­tio­na­lism of the ruling working class in the realiza­tion of its histo­ric mission. Frater­nal soli­da­rity with the Soviet Union is the pledge for the deve­lo­p­ment of socia­lism in every coun­try as well as for further victo­ries in the inter­na­tio­nal class struggle between socia­lism and imperialism. […]

Impe­ria­lism reacts to the objec­tive role of the USSR in the world revo­lu­tio­nary process by direc­ting the main thrust of its aggres­sive policy against it. Histo­ri­cal expe­ri­ence proves that all attempts to dilute the alli­ance with the USSR can endan­ger the socia­list achie­ve­ments of the coun­try concer­ned and at the same time affect the inter­na­tio­nal posi­ti­ons of the world socia­list system. In the world­wide class struggle, the reco­gni­tion of this pionee­ring role is the most important criter­ion for the poli­ti­cal-ideo­lo­gi­cal matu­rity of a Marxist-Leni­nist party or a revo­lu­tio­nary move­ment. It is an expres­sion of prole­ta­rian internationalism.”

Proletarian Internationalism

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“A basic prin­ci­ple of the ideo­logy and policy of the working class and its Marxist-Leni­nist party, which perme­a­tes all sides of the struggle of the working class for the realiza­tion of its histo­ri­cal mission, which is inter­na­tio­nal in its nature. Prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism is expres­sed through the active soli­da­rity of each natio­nal section of the working class in the struggle against impe­ria­lism and for the estab­lish­ment of the socia­list and commu­nist society. […]

The slogan “Workers of all count­ries, unite!” charac­te­ri­zes the essence of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism. On the objec­tive basis of the unified condi­ti­ons of repro­duc­tion and struggle of the prole­ta­riat crea­ted by capi­ta­lism and the inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion of econo­mic rela­ti­ons, prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism grew out of the conver­gence of the social inte­rests and poli­ti­cal aims of the working class in the struggle against the common enemy: inter­na­tio­nal capital. […]

The role of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism is further increased by the unfol­ding of the world revo­lu­tio­nary process and the breadth of the forces invol­ved in it in the struggle for peace, demo­cracy, social progress, and socia­lism. With the victory of the Great Octo­ber Socia­list Revo­lu­tion began a quali­ta­tively new stage of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism. It became a basic prin­ci­ple of the poli­tics of the first socia­list state. Since that time, real socia­lism has played an essen­tial role in support­ing the struggle of the natio­nal sections of the working class and the progres­sive forces in the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ment. Another stage in the deve­lo­p­ment of prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism began with the emer­gence of the socia­list world system as a decisive anti-impe­ria­list force and the unfol­ding of the alli­ance of the three main revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents in the epoch of tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism. This expan­ded the social base, sphere of influence, and class content of prole­ta­rian internationalism.

With the deve­lo­p­ment of the socia­list world system, prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism became a core prin­ci­ple of inter­state rela­ti­ons between the socia­list count­ries. It func­tions as socia­list inter­na­tio­na­lism and is an expres­sion of the united efforts for the streng­thening of the socia­list commu­nity. Prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism is incre­asingly appro­pria­ted not only by the working class, but also by non-prole­ta­rian forces in capi­ta­list count­ries and in the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ments. This process finds expres­sion in the slogan “Peop­les of socia­list count­ries, prole­ta­ri­ans, demo­cra­tic forces in the count­ries of capi­tal, libe­ra­ted as well as oppres­sed peop­les — unite in common struggle against impe­ria­lism, for peace, natio­nal inde­pen­dence, social progress, demo­cracy, and socia­lism!” (Moscow Meeting 1969) […]

The class duty of every commu­nist and workers’ party is the conquest of poli­ti­cal power and the buil­ding of socia­lism and commu­nism in its own coun­try, as well as the defence of the achie­ve­ments of world socia­lism. The 10th Party Congress of the SED has empha­si­zed: “The supreme law of our actions is and remains prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism, inter­na­tio­nal soli­da­rity with all peop­les fight­ing for their free­dom. All peop­les fight­ing for natio­nal and social libe­ra­tion, for inde­pen­dence, demo­cracy, and progress can always count on the soli­da­rity of the German Demo­cra­tic Republic.”

Prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism is irre­con­cil­ably oppo­sed to natio­na­lism. Commu­nists fight all attempts to strip prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism of its revo­lu­tio­nary class essence and turn it into an abstract huma­nist phrase of ‘univer­sal soli­da­rity’, to deny the over­all inte­rests of the inter­na­tio­nal commu­nist and workers’ move­ment, and to portray it as a betra­yal of natio­nal inte­rests.” [See socia­list patrio­tism and father­land]

Revolutionary world process (and its three main currents)

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Tota­lity of the revo­lu­tio­nary move­ments in the epoch of tran­si­tion from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism, inau­gu­ra­ted by the Octo­ber Socia­list Revo­lu­tion and led by the three main revo­lu­tio­nary curr­ents. These curr­ents are 1) the socia­list world system, 2) the working class of the capi­ta­list count­ries, and 3) the natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ments (i.e., the elimi­na­tion of natio­nal and colo­nial oppres­sion and explo­ita­tion). The revo­lu­tio­nary world process is compo­sed of various kinds of revo­lu­ti­ons and move­ments (e.g., natio­nal; natio­nal-demo­cra­tic; anti-colo­nial; anti-feudal; anti-fascist revo­lu­ti­ons; anti-mono­po­li­stic trans­for­ma­ti­ons), of which the socia­list revo­lu­tion is the most consis­tent and profound social uphe­aval. It leads to the forma­tion of socia­list states and the growing influence of socialism.

The revo­lu­tio­nary world process appears in mani­fold forms of the inter­na­tio­nal class struggle: As a struggle to over­come impe­ria­list oppres­sion and plun­der of econo­mic­ally weaker peop­les, and for the enforce­ment of demo­cra­tic rela­ti­ons of equal coope­ra­tion among peop­les; as a struggle against the impe­ria­list-driven tendency toward Cold War and for the enforce­ment of the policy of peaceful coexis­tence between states of diffe­rent social order; as a struggle against impe­ria­list-driven inter­ven­ti­ons and for the safe­guar­ding of peace, which emana­tes from socia­lism and corre­sponds to the inte­rests of the majo­rity of all people.

The advan­ces in the revo­lu­tio­nary world process have far-reaching impli­ca­ti­ons for inter­na­tio­nal power and the new possi­bi­li­ties for poli­ti­cal stra­tegy and tactics in the struggle of the working class that derive from it. The start­ing point for the fact that the tran­si­tion of mankind from capi­ta­lism to socia­lism must take place in such a multi­face­ted class struggle encom­pas­sing an entire epoch is to be found: 1) in the uneven econo­mic and poli­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment of capi­ta­lism, which has inten­si­fied by leaps and bounds with the tran­si­tion to impe­ria­lism (the so-called law of the uneven econo­mic and poli­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment of capi­ta­lism), and 2. in the rela­ted uneven forma­tion of the econo­mic and poli­ti­cal condi­ti­ons for anti-impe­ria­list uphe­avals and the tran­si­tion in the indi­vi­dual count­ries to socialism.

Irre­spec­tive of the uneven­ness of the deve­lo­p­ment of capi­ta­lism and the uneven­ness with which the objec­tive and subjec­tive condi­ti­ons of the socia­list revo­lu­tion are matu­ring in the indi­vi­dual count­ries, the capi­ta­list world system as a whole is ripe for its repla­ce­ment by socia­lism. All actions with which the most diverse circles of the popu­la­tion appear in defence of their inte­rests in an anti-impe­ria­list direc­tion objec­tively bring huma­nity closer to the victory of the socia­list form of social life, regard­less of whether the parti­ci­pants in such actions are aware of this fact.

The unfol­ding of such actions in the struggle for anti-impe­ria­list trans­for­ma­ti­ons ulti­m­ately lends them a revo­lu­tio­nary charac­ter with which they become part of this world process. The diver­sity of inte­rests working towards anti-impe­ria­lism, their hete­ro­gen­eity, increa­ses the importance of unify­ing anti-impe­ria­list move­ments, prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism, and anti-impe­ria­list soli­da­rity in the struggle for peace, demo­cracy, and socialism”.

Socialist economic integration

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):

“Process of inter­na­tio­nal socia­list divi­sion of labour and coope­ra­tion consciously and in a plan­ned manner desi­gned by the Marxist-Leni­nist parties and govern­ments of the member count­ries of the Coun­cil for Mutual Econo­mic Assis­tance (CMEA). It perta­ins to the rappro­che­ment of natio­nal econo­mies with the forma­tion of modern, effec­tive econo­mic struc­tures, the deve­lo­p­ment and conso­li­da­tion of the inter­na­tio­nal market of these count­ries, as well as the perfec­tion of commo­dity-money rela­ti­ons, the gradual equa­liza­tion of the level of econo­mic deve­lo­p­ment and the forma­tion of stable links in the main bran­ches of the economy, science, and technology.

With the achie­ve­ment of a certain degree of matu­rity of the socia­list mode of produc­tion and poli­ti­cal-econo­mic and scien­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal coope­ra­tion of the socia­list count­ries, socia­list econo­mic inte­gra­tion beco­mes a law of the deve­lo­p­ment of socia­lism. It crea­tes the mate­rial basis for the constant perfec­tion of the coope­ra­tion of the socia­list states. The deepe­ning of econo­mic inte­gra­tion is based on socia­list inter­na­tio­na­lism, which includes respect for state sove­reig­nty and natio­nal inte­rests and ensu­res full equa­lity, mutual bene­fit, and comra­dely assistance.

Socia­list econo­mic inte­gra­tion arises from the objec­tive condi­ti­ons of the socia­liza­tion of labour and produc­tion, which is curr­ently mani­fes­ted above all in the incre­asing inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion of the deve­lo­p­ment of produc­tive forces. The foun­da­ti­ons are the shared socia­list rela­ti­ons of produc­tion and power and the unified Marxist-Leni­nist ideo­logy as well as the conver­gence of funda­men­tal inte­rests in maste­ring the task of combi­ning the advan­ta­ges of socia­list society with the achie­ve­ments of the scien­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal revo­lu­tion. This task includes incre­asingly reali­zing the inte­gra­tion of natio­nal econo­mies in line with the inter­na­tio­nal deve­lo­p­ment of the produc­tive forces.

The constant class confron­ta­tion with impe­ria­lism and the support for natio­nal libe­ra­tion move­ments are other essen­tial factors that require the socia­list econo­mic inte­gra­tion. It is part of the matu­ra­tion of the deve­lo­ped socia­list society and corre­sponds to the inter­na­tio­na­list nature of the commu­nist social forma­tion. Lenin empha­si­zed: “… the entire econo­mic, poli­ti­cal, and intellec­tual life of mankind is alre­ady incre­asingly inter­na­tio­na­li­zed under capi­ta­lism. Socia­lism inter­na­tio­na­li­zes it fully.” (Lenin, vol. 19, p. 237)

CMEA repres­ents a histo­ri­cally new quality of econo­mic coope­ra­tion compared to capi­ta­list inte­gra­tion efforts. CMEA is a long-term, multi-stage process which contri­bu­tes to the forma­tion of a unified econo­mic orga­nism to be gover­ned by the prole­ta­riat of all count­ries as a whole and which incre­asingly brings to bear the advan­ta­ges of socia­lism for raising the mate­rial and intellec­tual-cultu­ral stan­dard of living of the working people. The econo­mic, scien­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal, and socio-poli­ti­cal tasks of shaping and perfec­ting the deve­lo­ped socia­list society, which are essen­ti­ally the same, can ulti­m­ately be solved with the highest effec­ti­ve­ness only through the socia­list economy. In accordance with its charac­ter as a process guided by plan­ning, the coope­ra­tion of the CMEA count­ries in the field of plan­ning, espe­ci­ally the coor­di­na­tion of five-year plans, is the main method for the further deve­lo­p­ment and deepe­ning of the inter­na­tio­nal socia­list divi­sion of labour.”

Socialist nation

Diction­ary of Scien­ti­fic Commu­nism (1982):


“A stable commu­nity of clas­ses and strata, free from antago­ni­stic contra­dic­tions and bound toge­ther in friend­ship, led by the working class and its Marxist-Leni­nist party. Its poli­ti­cal basis is the socia­list state, Marxism-Leni­nism is its ruling ideo­logy. The econo­mic basis is the socia­list rela­ti­ons of produc­tion, espe­ci­ally the social owner­ship of the means of produc­tion. The uphe­aval and rene­wal of the condi­ti­ons of human exis­tence and life, which takes place through the socia­list revo­lu­tion and encom­pas­ses all areas of socie­tal life, inevi­ta­bly also encom­pas­ses the nation as a law-gover­ned struc­tu­ral and deve­lo­p­men­tal form of society.

The socia­list nation gene­rally emer­ges from the capi­ta­list nation, but it can also deve­lop in count­ries that have not yet reached this stage (see non-capi­ta­list path of deve­lo­p­ment). In the revo­lu­tio­nary trans­for­ma­tion of the capi­ta­list nation, the natio­na­lity remains as a rela­tively constant total complex of ethnic factors, while the social essence chan­ges funda­men­tally and thus the nation acqui­res a quali­ta­tively new content. The socia­list nation is formed; new rela­ti­ons are crea­ted between nati­ons and peop­les. “In propor­tion as the explo­ita­tion of one indi­vi­dual by another will also be put an end to, the explo­ita­tion of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In propor­tion as the antago­nism between clas­ses within the nation vanis­hes, the hosti­lity of one nation to another will come to an end.” (Mani­fest of the Commu­nist Party)

On the basis of the incre­asing socia­liza­tion of labour and produc­tion and the further inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion of the produc­tive forces, the Marxist-Leni­nist party and the socia­list state are consciously and in a plan­ned manner direc­ting the objec­tive process of the prospe­rity and conver­gence of nati­ons under socia­lism. […] [see socia­list patrio­tism and father­land]

Socialist patriotism

Small Poli­ti­cal Diction­ary (1988)

“Love for the home­land, love for the father­land; social-histo­ri­cal pheno­me­non that deve­lops in depen­dence on the deve­lo­p­ment of the father­land as the given poli­ti­cal, cultu­ral, and social milieu of the life and struggle of a people. “Patrio­tism is one of the deepest feelings ingrai­ned by centu­ries and millen­nia of sepa­rate exis­tence of diffe­rent father­lands.” (Lenin, vol. 28, p. 182)

The bearers of patrio­tism in all epochs are the popu­lar masses. They are most inte­res­ted in the fate of the father­land. In its revo­lu­tio­nary period, the bour­geoi­sie is also patrio­tic. Howe­ver, as soon as it subju­ga­tes the father­land to its profit inte­rests, it reve­als its natio­na­list atti­tude. The working class, as the only consis­t­ently revo­lu­tio­nary class, is also the most patrio­tic class in society. Its atti­tude towards the father­land is deter­mi­ned by the funda­men­tal inte­rests of its libe­ra­tion struggle for the elimi­na­tion of all explo­ita­tion. The patrio­tism of the working class forms an inse­pa­ra­ble unity with prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism; this prevents patrio­tism from slip­ping into natio­na­lism.

Under the condi­ti­ons of the socia­list nation, patrio­tism is an expres­sion of socia­list natio­nal conscious­ness. For the working class and its revo­lu­tio­nary party, the respec­tive father­land is the fight­ing ground for the fulfilm­ent of their histo­ri­cal mission. With its struggle to secure peace, elimi­nate the rule of impe­ria­lism, and estab­lish socia­list society, it proves at the same time to be the best cham­pion of the nation’s true interests.

Socia­list patrio­tism is the highest form of patrio­tism. Like prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism, it always springs from the over­all inte­rests of the working class and is subor­di­na­ted to the realiza­tion of the histo­ri­cal mission of the working class. Socia­list patrio­tism embraces the entire people of the socia­list father­land, preser­ves within itself the revo­lu­tio­nary patrio­tic tradi­ti­ons of the country’s past, and raises them to a higher level. […] It is orga­ni­cally connec­ted with the unbre­aka­ble friend­ship and inter­na­tio­nal soli­da­rity with the working people of all count­ries in the struggle for peace, demo­cracy, and social progress, espe­ci­ally with the mutual frater­nal help of the Marxist-Leni­nist parties and the peop­les in the socia­list count­ries. In the GDR, ‘a socia­list natio­nal conscious­ness is growing in which socia­list patrio­tism and prole­ta­rian inter­na­tio­na­lism are orga­ni­cally combi­ned’ (Program of the SED, p. 78).”

The Funda­men­tals of Marxism-Leni­nism (1963):

“The patrio­tism of the working class expres­ses itself in defen­ding the free­dom of nati­ons, their inde­pen­dence, and natio­nal auto­nomy. It is diame­tri­cally oppo­sed to both the chau­vi­nist and the cosmo­po­li­tan ideo­logy of the bour­geoi­sie. The patrio­tism of the working class arises above all from the feeling of pride in the contri­bu­tion of one’s own people, one’s own nation, in the struggle of the oppres­sed and exploi­ted masses for their libe­ra­tion from explo­ita­tion and oppres­sion. The patrio­tism of the working class is ther­e­fore deeply progres­sive and revolutionary.

The workers are not indif­fe­rent to the fate of the father­land.

Bour­geois propa­ganda seeks to portray the capi­ta­list class as the bearer of patrio­tic feelings. It wants to cover up the truth that the patrio­tism of the bour­geoi­sie is always subor­di­na­ted to its selfish, narrow class inte­rests, and thus wants to belittle the patrio­tism of the working class and the commu­nists. The bour­geois propa­gan­dists some­ti­mes refer to the passage in the “Mani­festo of the Commu­nist Party” in which it states: “The workers have no father­land”. But it is clear that the father­land in itself is not being denied here; it is simply that in a society where the capi­ta­lists wield power, the father­land is in fact usur­ped by the exploi­ters. It is, so to speak, not a good father for the workers, but a vicious stepf­a­ther. With the over­throw of the ruling exploi­ting clas­ses, the working class crea­tes the neces­sary precon­di­ti­ons for patrio­tism to deve­lop. In our time, the working class is the real bearer of patriotism.

We know that Marx and Engels always supported the struggle of the workers to defend the inde­pen­dence of their coun­try, their struggle against foreign oppres­sion. They never clai­med that in the capi­ta­list order the working class could be indif­fe­rent to the fate of its fatherland.

Lenin deve­lo­ped this Marxist concep­tion of the father­land further, writing in 1908: “The father­land, i.e. the given poli­ti­cal, cultu­ral, and social milieu, is the stron­gest factor in the class struggle of the prole­ta­riat … The prole­ta­riat cannot be indif­fe­rent to the poli­ti­cal, social, and cultu­ral condi­ti­ons of its struggle, conse­quently it cannot be indif­fe­rent to the fate of its coun­try.” Lenin’s well-known remark against the dogma­tic atti­tude to Marxism is also appli­ca­ble to the rela­ti­onship of the working class with the father­land: ‘The whole spirit of Marxism, its whole system, demands that every thesis be conside­red only a) histo­ri­cally; b) only in connec­tion with others; c) only in connec­tion with the concrete expe­ri­en­ces of history.” With regard to patrio­tism, this means that the prole­ta­riat cannot settle for an abstract posi­tion on the ques­tion of the defence of the father­land. It is neces­sary to account for the speci­fic histo­ri­cal situa­tion in which the slogan ‘defend the father­land’ is proclai­med – by which class and with which aims. […]

The ideo­lo­gists of the bour­geoi­sie claim that the Marxists, in their struggle against cosmo­po­li­ta­nism, aban­don the inter­na­tio­nal charac­ter of their doctrine and become natio­na­lists. The authors of such sland­ers, howe­ver, commit a double falsi­fi­ca­tion: firstly, they iden­tify the cosmo­po­li­ta­nism of the bour­geoi­sie with the inter­na­tio­na­lism of the working class; secondly, they ascribe to the Marxists natio­na­list views which are in reality charac­te­ristic precis­ely of the bour­geois ideologues.”


Dummer, E. und Lange, E. Inter­na­tio­nale Arbei­ter­be­we­gung und revo­lu­tio­nä­rer Kampf (The Inter­na­tio­nal Workers’ Move­ment and the Revo­lu­tio­nary Struggle). Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1973.


Grund­la­gen des Marxis­mus-Leni­nis­mus, Lehr­buch (The Funda­men­tals of Marxism-Leni­nism, A text­book). Nach der zwei­ten, über­ar­bei­te­ten und ergänz­ten russi­schen Ausgabe. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1963.


Klei­nes poli­ti­sches Wörter­buch, siebte, voll­stän­dig über­ar­bei­tete Auflage (Small Poli­ti­cal Diction­ary, Seventh, Comple­tely Revi­sed Edition). Ed.: Böhme, W.; Domi­nik, S.; Fischer, A.; Klotsch, F.; Polit, R.; von Tres­kow, H.; Schacht­schnei­der, K.; Scolz, I.; Schütz, G.; Weigt, M. Berlin: Dietz-Verlag, 1988.


Tyul­pa­nov S.I. Politi­cal Economy and its Appli­ca­tion in Deve­lo­ping Count­ries (Poli­ti­sche Ökono­mie und ihre Anwen­dung in den Entwick­lungs­län­dern). Frankfurt/Main: Verlag Marxis­ti­sche Blät­ter, 1972. (Origi­nally published in Russian by “Mysl”, Moscow, 1969.)


Weide­mann, D. Zur Evolu­tion der Non-alignment-Poli­tik afro-asia­ti­scher Staa­ten mit kapi­ta­lis­ti­scher Entwick­lungs­rich­tun­gen (On the Evolu­tion of the Non-alignment Policy of Afro-Asian States with Capi­ta­list Deve­lo­p­ment Direc­tions). In: Grund­fra­gen des anti­im­pe­ria­lis­ti­schen Kamp­fes der Völker Asiens, Afri­kas und Latein­ame­rika in der Gegen­wart (Basic ques­ti­ons of the anti-impe­ria­list struggle of the peop­les of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the present day). Part II. Edited by the Central Coun­cil for Asian, Afri­can and Latin Ameri­can Studies in the German Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic under the leader­ship of Rath­mann, L. Berlin: Akade­mie-Verlag, 1974.