People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 19

May 09, 2010

Identity of Interests between Soviet Union and All Mankind

Below we reproduce excerpts from an article which Comrade Mao Ze-Dong wrote on September 28, 1939 on the Second World War that broke out on September 3 that year.

ON the basis of my own observations, I should like to elucidate a few problems concerning the Soviet Union and China.

Some people say the Soviet Union does not want the world to remain at peace because the outbreak of a world war is to its advantage, and that the present war was precipitated by the Soviet Union's conclusion of a non-aggression treaty with Germany instead of a treaty of mutual assistance with Britain and France. I consider this view incorrect. The foreign policy of the Soviet Union over a very long period of time has consistently been one of peace, a policy based on close links between its own interests and those of the overwhelming majority of mankind. For its own socialist construction the Soviet Union has always needed peace, has always needed to strengthen its peaceful relations with other countries and prevent an anti-Soviet war; for the sake of peace on a world scale, it has also needed to check the aggression of the fascist countries, curb the warmongering of the so-called democratic countries and delay the outbreak of an imperialist world war for as long as possible....

After Germany and Italy jointly invaded Spain and when Britain, the United States and France adopted a policy of so-called "non-intervention" but of actual connivance at their aggression, the Soviet Union opposed the "non-intervention" policy and gave the Spanish republican forces active help in their resistance to Germany and Italy. After Japan invaded China and when the same three powers adopted the same kind of "non-intervention" policy, the Soviet Union not only concluded a non-aggression treaty with China but gave China active help in her resistance. When Britain and France connived at Hitler's aggression and sacrificed Austria and Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union spared no effort in exposing the sinister aims behind the Munich policy and made proposals to Britain and France for checking further aggression. When Poland became the burning question in the spring and summer of this year and it was touch-and-go whether world war would break out, the Soviet Union negotiated with Britain and France for over four months, despite Chamberlain's and Daladier's complete lack of sincerity, in an endeavour to conclude a treaty of mutual assistance to prevent the outbreak of war. But all these efforts were blocked by the imperialist policy of British and French governments, a policy of conniving at, instigating and spreading war, so that eventually the cause of world peace was thwarted and the imperialist world war broke out. The governments of Britain, the United States and France had no genuine desire to prevent this war; on the contrary, they helped to bring it about�.

It was in these circumstances, and when Germany agreed to stop her anti-Soviet activities, abandon the Agreement against the Communist International and recognise the inviolability of the Soviet frontiers, that the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty was concluded. The plan of Britain, the United States and France was to egg Germany on to attack the Soviet Union, so that they themselves, "sitting on top of the mountain to watch the tigers fight," could come down and take over after the Soviet Union and Germany had worn each other out. The Soviet-German non-aggression treaty smashed this plot.

In overlooking this plot and the schemes of the Anglo-French imperialists who connived at and instigated war and precipitated a world war, some of our fellow countrymen have actually been taken in by the sugary propaganda of these schemers�. It is time for these people to wake up. The fact that the Soviet Union worked hard to preserve world peace to the very last minute proves that the interests of the Soviet Union are identical with those of the overwhelming majority of mankind. This is the first question I wanted to talk about.

Some people say that now that the second imperialist world war has broken out, the Soviet Union will probably take sides --- in other words, the Soviet Red Army seems to be on the point of joining the German imperialist front. I consider this view incorrect. On whichever side, the Anglo-French or the German, the war that has just broken out is an unjust, predatory and imperialist war�. The Soviet Union is a socialist country�. and it necessarily maintains a clear-cut twofold attitude towards wars: (1) It firmly refuses to take part in any unjust, predatory and imperialist war and maintains strict neutrality towards the belligerents. Hence the Soviet Red Army will never disregard principles and join either of the imperialist war fronts. (2) It actively supports just and non-predatory wars of liberation. For instance, it helped the Chinese people in their war of the Northern Expedition thirteen years ago and the Spanish people in their war against Germany and Italy up to this last year; it has been helping the Chinese people in their War of Resistance against Japan for the last two years and the Mongolian people in resisting Japan for the last few months; and it will certainly give help to any war for the liberation of the masses or of a nation which may break out in other countries in the future, and will certainly give help to any wars that contribute to the defence of peace�. This is the second question I wanted to talk about.

Many people in China are bewildered by the fact that Soviet troops have entered Poland. The Polish question should be viewed from various angles.� Germany started the war in order to plunder the Polish people and smash one flank of the Anglo-French imperialist front. By its nature, Germany's war is imperialist and should be opposed, not approved. As for Britain and France, they have regarded Poland as an object of plunder for their finance capital, exploited her to thwart the German imperialist attempt at a world re-division of the spoils, and made her a flank of their own imperialist front. Thus their war is an imperialist war, their so-called aid to Poland being merely for the purpose of contending with Germany for the domination of Poland, and this war, too, should be opposed, not approved�. In the war, this reactionary Polish government willingly drove the Polish people to serve as cannon-fodder for British and French finance capital, and it willingly served as a sector of the reactionary front of international finance capital�. As for the Polish people, they are victims; they should rise up against the oppression of the German fascists and against their own reactionary landlord and bourgeois classes, and establish an independent, free and democratic Polish state. Without the slightest doubt, our sympathy must go out to the Polish people.

As for the Soviet Union, its actions have been perfectly just. It was confronted by two problems. The first problem was whether to let the whole of Poland fall under the rule of German imperialism or to help the minority nationalities of eastern Poland win their liberation. It chose the second course. A vast stretch of territory inhabited by Byelorussians and Ukrainians had been snatched from the new-born Soviet state by the German imperialists as far back as 1918 when the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, and it was later arbitrarily put under the rule of the reactionary Polish government by the Treaty of Versailles. What the Soviet Union has now done is merely to recover its lost territory, liberate the oppressed Byelorussians and Ukrainians and save them from German oppression. The news dispatches of the last few days show how warmly these minority nationalities are welcoming the Red Army with food and drink as their liberator, while not a single report of this kind has come in from western Poland which has been occupied by German troops or from the places in western Germany which have been occupied by French troops�. Chamberlain resorted to all kinds of intimidation and bribery to get Germany to renounce the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty and turn her guns on the Soviet Union. This intrigue has been going on for some time and will continue. The powerful Soviet army's entry into eastern Poland�. was at the same time a practical move to prevent the forces of German aggression from expanding eastward and to frustrate Chamberlain's intrigue�. This is the third question I wanted to talk about.

The whole situation since the conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty constitutes a great blow to Japan and a great help to China; it strengthens the position of those resisting Japan and weakens the capitulators. The Chinese people have rightly welcomed this treaty�. As for the talk about a Japanese-Soviet non-aggression treaty, the Soviet Union has been proposing it for many years but Japan has invariably rejected it�. Even if such a treaty were to be concluded, the Soviet Union would certainly not agree to anything that would restrict its freedom of action in helping China. The interests of the Soviet Union will always conform and never conflict with the interests of China's national liberation. I hold this as absolutely beyond doubt�.

Now that the imperialist world war has broken out, foreign help is coming chiefly from three sources: (1) the socialist Soviet Union, (2) the people of the capitalist countries, and (3) the oppressed nations in the colonies and semi-colonies. These are our only reliable sources of help�. China should maintain strict neutrality towards the belligerents in the imperialist war and not join either side. To maintain that China should join the Anglo-French imperialist war front is a capitulator's view, which is harmful to the War of Resistance as well as to the independence and liberation of the Chinese nation, and it should be flatly rejected. This is the fourth question I wanted to talk about.

These four questions are being widely discussed by our fellow countrymen�. Here I have given some of my basic views on these questions, and I hope that readers will not spare their comments.