p The higher phase of communism will develop continuously. It is important to stress this, because today many anticommunist ideologists pinpoint the “gaps” in communist doctrine, meaning primarily the outlook for world communism. The emergence and development of the world socialist system and analysis of the most important trends of development in the world revolutionary process, the integral parts of which are the building of socialism and communism by the peoples.of the socialist countries, the struggle of the working class in the capitalist countries and the national liberation movement, make it possible to examine a new theoretical problem, that of the main historical stages in the spread of the communist formation throughout the globe.

p On the basis of the victorious march of the October Revolution—the creation and development of a new system in the USSR and the other socialist countries—and the main trends of development in the world revolutionary process, it is possible, in our view, to speak of the following basic historical stages in the spread of the communist formation and of its full victory.

p The first historical stage was completed some time ago. It covers the period of the victory of the October Revolution and the building of socialism on the one-sixth of the earth’s surface. The most important criterion for the completion of the first stage was the full and final victory of socialism in the USSR.

p All the main and essential features of the new formation and its first phase, the universal laws of its growth, found concrete embodiment in the internationalist experience of the USSR.

p The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Leonid Brezhnev, said: “The working class of our country became the first contingent of the international army of labour to raze the old, capitalist world and to create a new, socialist world.” Further he stressed: “As we look back on the road which we have covered, we can say: indeed, our people and our Party have many things to take pride in. Many difficulties and adversities have fallen to the lot of the Soviet people. On their shoulders they have borne 361 a tremendous historic responsibility. They have overcome all trials bravely and steadfastly, and carried out its noble mission worthily... . For the first time in the history of world civilisation, socialism has scored a full and final victory, a developed socialist society has been built and the conditions have been created for the successful construction of communism."  [361•1 

p The second historical stage consists of the period of the formation of the world socialist system and its steady transformation into a decisive force in world development.

p This stage is characterised by a radical change in the social make-up of the planet. This may be seen from the following figures. By the beginning of 1970 the world population was 3,600 million, of which about 34 per cent were in the socialist countries, 19 per cent in the developed capitalist countries, 46 per cent in the developing countries and only 1 per cent in colonial territories which have not yet been liberated.  [361•2  The steady consolidation of the cooperation of the socialist states is taking place in the process of this global change in the socio-political face of the world.

p The socialist countries are now a union of states whose stability is above comparison with that of any other union or coalition of the past or present.

p The world socialist system, which plays a decisive role in the struggle for the full victory of communism, has a revolutionising influence not only on the political and spiritual life of modern society, but also demonstrates the steady increase in the role played by its economy in world social production. The share of the CMEA countries is almost one-third in world industrial production. In order to predict the further development of the world socialist system in the decisive economic sphere it is important to take industrial growth rates into account. In the CMEA countries industrial production has increased almost 6.8 times in the period between 1950 and 1970, whereas the corresponding figure for the developed capitalist countries is only 2.8 times.

p The world socialist system is turning into a decisive factor in the development of human society. Together with 362 other progressive forces fighting against imperialism, for the socialist re-organisation of society, it determines the main content, the main direction and the main features of the present historical development of all mankind.

p An important criterion for the completion of the second historical stage in the growth of the communist formation will be the attainment of the firm unity of the socialist community through the struggle against Right-wing and “Left”-wing revisionism and the overcoming of existing disagreements by creative Marxism-Leninism and socialist internationalism. Within the framework of this stage there occurs the continuous collapse in various forms—peaceful and non-peaceful—of new links in the chain of imperialism, and also the final transition of many countries in the “Third World" to the socialist path of development. This will depend not only on the growth of internal revolutionary prerequisites in each country, but also on consolidation of the unity of the world socialist system.

p Experience shows that consolidation of unity is possible by overcoming real contradictions, which is a law of development of the world socialist system. Certain general laws are inherent in the development of each socialist country and the world socialist system as a whole. These general laws include the constant strengthening of the new society by the timely, profound disclosing and collective solving of objectively existing and arising non-antagonistic contradictions. The whole spirit of the resolutions of the three international meetings of Communist and Workers’ parties held in 1957, 1960 and 1969 is infused with the ideas of the unity of the world communist movement and, above all, of its main offspring—the world socialist system.

p The internationalist nature of the communist movement, the superiority of socialism, the common nature of its economic, political and ideological foundations make it quite possible to achieve the stability and unity of the world socialist system.

p In order to raise the new social system, particularly the dialectics of its progressive development, a profound examination and knowledge are required of such an important law of communist formation as the steady consolidation of the unity of the world socialist system by overcoming the inner contradictions of its development. To our mind, the 363 discovery, correct understanding and gradual overcoming of the following basic groups of non-antagonistic contradictions are particularly important.

p The first group of contradictions is connected with the operation of two progressive trends in the development of the socialist countries: on the one hand, the internationalisation of productive forces and of economic and social life in general, and on the other, the development of national socialist states. The correct combination of these trends makes it possible, without grave errors, to gradually overcome the first group of contradictions and ensure the successful establishment of the communist formation.

p The second group of contradictions is produced by the transition to the path of socialism at different times of countries with different levels of economic, socio-political and cultural development. This group of contradictions gives rise to a number of special features in the methods and rates of the socialist transformation of society. This group of contradictions will also be overcome in the evening out of the level of social development in the socialist countries.

p The third group of contradictions is engendered by survivals of the past, in particular, elements of the mistrust among peoples which was implanted by the exploiter classes over the centuries. Lenin spoke of the need to remove with the greatest patience and care the mistrust left after centuries of oppression by the landowners and capitalists.

p The successful overcoming of objectively existing contradictions in the development of the socialist countries is connected with the operation of the subjective factor: a correct understanding of the contradictions and a skilful democratic method of solving them. The historic advantages of socialism, the consistent application of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the principles of proletarian internationalism, and their creative development, and the scientific approach to the complex processes of social life, make it possible to overcome existing and recurring contradictions and to strive for the steady consolidation of the community of socialist countries. The Communist and Workers’ parties have again shown an example of the Leninist approach at their international forum—the Moscow Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in 1969, which is an important stage 364 in the struggle for the unity of the forces of the world socialist community and the world communist movement.

p Having described the existing contradictions in the development of the world socialist system and basing itself on the main trend of the present stage of the world communist movement, the 24th Congress of the CPSU expressed its conviction that ultimately full unity would be achieved on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism.

p “We want the world socialist system to be a well-knit family of nations, building and defending the new society together, and mutually enriching each other with experience and knowledge, a family, strong and united, which the people of the world would regard as the prototype of the future world community of free nations,” said Leonid Brezhnev at the 24th Congress.  [364•1 

p The democratic and collective method of solving nonantagonistic contradictions, which is based on full equality of rights and free, creative discussion, will ensure further success in the world communist movement.

p All manner of revisionists attack this Leninist course. But in the struggle against them by the Marxist-Leninist parties the leading trend in the world communist movement today—the trend towards unity on the basis of proletarian internationalism—will undoubtedly be victorious, thereby ensuring a steady advance forward, to communism.

p The future, third stage of the growth of the communist formation will be marked by the victory of communism and socialism in many countries of the world socialist system, accelerating the transition of all other countries, including the highly developed capitalist countries, to the path of socialist transformation.

p A major criterion of the completion of this stage will be the creation of a single world socialist, and later communist economy. This stage in the growth of the communist formation will be characterised primarily by the existence, as Lenin predicted, “of a single world economy, regulated by the proletariat of all nations as an integral whole and according to a common plan".  [364•2  At certain levels of 365 development in this stage all countries will be socialist: some building socialism and others building communism.

p The possibility cannot be excluded that many peoples of the world will complete the transition to the communist formation at the third stage of its growth, when in some countries the higher phase of communism will already be reached, in others socialism, and in still other countries the transition period. One can assume that in the USSR and other socialist countries communism will already be built (fully in some, partially in others), socialism in still others, when many countries complete the transition to building the first phase of communism.

p These, to our mind, are the principal stages in the growth and spread of the communist formation.

p Today opportunists and revisionists of all kinds are attacking the fundamental tenets of scientific communism. To this end great play is made of the idea of “different national models of socialism”, earlier advanced by bourgeois sociologists and later taken up by the revisionists. This idea is based on making an absolute of existing features and diversity of form in the transition to socialism of different countries and on the contrasting these features with the main and decisive laws of the growth of the communist formation.

p Historical experience in the building of the new society has disproved the slander of the enemies of Leninism who insist that it denies the originality and special features introduced by each country into the creation of a communist formation. Lenin constantly returned to this problem.

p The theses of Lenin’s about the general laws of the emergence and development of socialism with full account taken of national features are of exceptional importance for the struggle with modern revisionism.

p A great deal of attention was devoted to this question at the 24th Congress of the CPSU. In the Report of the Central Committee of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev said: “Successes in socialist construction largely depend on the correct combination of the general and the nationally specific in social development. Not only are we now theoretically aware but also have been convinced in practice that the way to socialism and its main features are determined by the general regularities, which are inherent in the development of all the socialist countries. We are also aware that the effect of 366 the general regularities is manifested in different forms consistent with concrete historical conditions and national specifics. It is impossible to build socialism without basing oneself on general regularities or taking account of the concrete historical specifics of each country. Nor is it possible without a consideration of both these factors correctly to develop relations between the socialist states."  [366•1 

p The revisionist tendency, which rejects the laws of the building of socialism that have already been confirmed in the experience of the Soviet Union and other countries, and the turning of national features into an absolute, have produced the conceptions of different “models of socialism”. They are masked by the false slogans of “liberal”, “democratic”, and “humane” socialism, or “socialism with a human face”.

p In our day and age life is developing at such rapid pace that the truth or falseness of any theory can be checked in a short space of time. The emergence and development of the world socialist system has confirmed the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist theory of general laws and special features in the transition from the old system to the new in the various countries. For its part, the idea of different “models of socialism" has already turned into a weapon for weakening and undermining the unity of the world socialist system.

Whereas the characteristic feature of revisionism is rejection of the universal laws of the communist formation, that of dogmatism is the turning of separate formulas and theories into absolutes without taking account of radical changes in the historical situation. The dogmatists automatically extend formulas reflecting phenomena peculiar to antagonistic formations to socialist society which is free from antagonisms and social conflicts. With the help “of dichotomising the whole into mutually exclusive opposites and the implacable struggle between them" they attempt in all manner of ways to justify the policy of dividing the world socialist system and the whole communist movement. But the growth of the communist formation is proceeding through the creative development of Marxism-Leninism, which combines recognition of the universal objective laws 367 of the socialist revolution and building of socialism with the need to take into account national features, giving rise to the different forms of this building.

* * *


 [361•1]   L. I. Brezhnev, Lenin’s Cause Lives On and Triumphs, pp. 29–30.

 [361•2]   See Pravda, April 19, 1970.

 [364•1]   24th Congress of the CPSU, p. 19.

 [364•2]   V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 147.

 [366•1]   24th Congress of the CPSU, pp. 9-10.