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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1965

LECTURE NOTES FOR STUDYING THE MATERIALS OF A KOREAN WORKERS PARTY PLENUM

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    Lecture notes on a Korean Workers Party document “about our party’s policy of opposing rightist and leftist opportunism.”
    "Lecture Notes for Studying the Materials of a Korean Workers Party Plenum," 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mongolian Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained for NKIDP by Onon Perenlei and translated for NKIDP by Onon Perenlei and Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115930
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Having found lecture notes for studying the materials of a Korean Workers Party plenum by party members and university teachers, [we] have translated in brief some of the points mentioned there.

  1. “About our party’s policy of opposing rightist and leftist opportunism.” Under this topic, having selectively mentioned the origins of rightist and leftist opportunism, [the notes] said:

Tito’s revisionism emerged after the 2nd World War. Trotskyists appeared while Lenin was alive. Recently, leftist opportunism appeared. Modern revisionism is the continuation of, and the successor to the revisionism of old, and its essence is evidenced in the making of concessions in the face of the nuclear threats of American imperialism, of making of all sorts of peace treaties (Soviet-American treaty). On the other hand, it misleads the people regarding American imperialism, places obstacles in the way of the people’s struggle. Among modern revisionists, the egoistic thought has become currency that as long as they themselves eat well and live well, that is enough.

The fall of the modern revisionists started with Khrushchev. But now modern revisionists have not been completely destroyed. Therefore one must not underestimate modern revisionism. After the fall of Khrushchev the policy of the current Soviet leadership has been directed towards correcting mistakes. The foreign and domestic policy of the current leadership corrected Khrushchev’s mistakes with regard to the party and the state.

Khrushchev advanced the motto of all-people’s state and denied proletarian dictatorship. By advancing all-people’s party he lowered the party’s leading role, cut the numbers of party workers, hurt the leading cares of the party and placed non-party members in leading positions. By separating the party into two that looked after industry and the agriculture, Khrushchev weakened the party’s leadership over the economy. But the current leadership corrected this mistake and created a unified leadership of the party. Khrushchev also made the same mistakes in the economic policy. By dismantling the central leadership of ministries of heavy and light industries, he gave preference to the rural area and worsened the bureaucracy. The current Soviet leadership corrected these mistakes of Khrushchev during the September 1965 Plenum. In terms of defense of the country, Khrushchev only pursued nuclear weapons and weakened the production of other types of weapons. For example: he scraped tanks and ships. Also, showing the Soviet example to the imperialists, he cut down the number of forces by a large number. But the current leadership is strengthening the defense force. Having corrected the mistakes with respect to the assessment of Stalin, having said that historical phenomena cannot be assessed subjectively, they gave a correct appraisal of Stalin’s achievements. They are also correcting mistakes of ideological nature. They have put a stop to writing that show the Soviet people as having suffered unbearably during the 2nd World War. It was specially noted that one should emphasize the heroic struggle of the Soviet people during the war. The current leadership, by establishing socialist rules and strengthening the revolutionary tradition, is correcting Khrushchev’s mistakes. But even now they have not been able to completely depart from a revisionist position. Having put too great an emphasis on the material incentive, they are following a policy of running after profits. The current Soviet leadership has an offensive foreign policy. If under Khrushchev, the core of the Soviet foreign policy was peaceful coexistence, the current leadership view it as only a part of their foreign policy. They are helping the Vietnamese people who are struggling against the American imperialists. They talk about the unity of the socialist camp and the international communist movement. But there are many shortcomings. They are not conducting a strong struggle against American imperialism, and in this respect do not have a coherent policy. They cannot give a strong blow to the American imperialist aggression.

The current leadership has too close a relationship with America in economic and cultural terms. On the other hand, their help to the Vietnamese people has shortcomings. They are pursuing an incorrect policy with regard to Yugoslavia. It is incorrect to see Yugoslavia as a socialist state. They are also pursuing a wrong policy with regard to the Indian reactionaries. They are deceived by the Indian reaction, and provide aid to them. They are also deceived by the Japanese militarism. They are interfering to a certain extent in the internal affairs of fraternal parties. They are continuing to interfere in the internal affairs of the Japanese Communist Party. Khrushchev began to put pressure on the Japanese Communist Party in 1963, saying they did not support the 1963 nuclear test ban treaty. Khrushchev persuaded Shiga and others to support the test ban treaty and to introduce the issue to the parliament. Later the Japanese Communist Party expelled these elements. Even so, he urged the unsuccessful elements and pursued a policy of creating a split within the Japanese Communist Party.

Although the current Soviet leadership has said that they would not interfere in the internal affairs of the fraternal parties, the practice of interfering in the internal affairs of the Japanese Communist Party has not stopped. Until 1965 they kept giving money to Shiga and others, and the newspapers put out by these elements was sold in the Soviet Union. All of this shows that the practice of interfering in the internal affairs of the Japanese Communist Party has not stopped.

* * * *

Leftist opportunism. (China). The essence of leftist opportunism is to ignore the changing real conditions and to see issues dogmatically, and to bring people’s to one’s own side by ultimatum-like revolutionary slogans.

In ideological and theoretical terms, modern leftism opportunism is similar to Trotskyism. Modern leftism opportunism is trying to split the revolutionary movement, and to reorganize the communist and workers’ movement. The Chinese leadership claim that their policy is supported by 52 parties throughout the world but this is a fake number without any basis in fact. Currently there are leftist groups only in New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon and Belgium. To look at the history of rightist and leftist deviations within the Chinese Communist Party leadership, Chen Duxiu was a rightist, Li Lisan a leftist, Wang Guangming a leftist, and after the liberation the Chinese Communist Party pursued a rightist policy.