Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 6. June 7, 1951
Is the Peace Movement Genuine? — An Instrument of Soviet Power — a Creation of the Cominform
Is the Peace Movement Genuine?
An Instrument of Soviet Power
a Creation of the Cominform
This article, to be printed in two parts, deals with the World Peace Movement which is best known by its Stockholm "Ban the Atom Bomb" Appeal.
It is presented as a Salient staff effort, although some of the material was first used in a talk to the Catholic Students Guild.
Don't want a Third World War,
Don't want to see civilisation blown up by the A-bomb,
But they don't believe endorsement of the Peace Movement is the way to avoid these two catastrophes, nor do they believe that the Peace Movement necessarily wants peace, except on the terms of Soviet Russia.
The Peace Movement has been prominent at Victoria for several years. The Students Association now has no official connection with it, but the Socialist Club and the N.Z. Student Labour Federation are still enthusiastic supporters. Hence we see periodic bursts of activity when outside speakers have addressed us, like Dean Chandler, or were merely invited, like the Dean of Canterbury.
In past years, when Victoria was affiliated to the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and NZUSA belonged to the International Union of Students, we acquired a considerable knowledge of the methods of organisations forming part of the Peace Movement. This article is an attempt to put the various groups of the Peace Movement into proper perspective.
The World Peace Council shows every sign of being used by the Soviet to compete with or supplant the United Nations. Hence it is well that we should understand its power, particularly in non-Soviet bloc countries like Italy and France.
Although it has failed to catch on in countries like New Zealand, where few besides the deregistered Waterside Workers' Union keep local Communists company, that is no reason to disregard it, or to minimise its importance.
Informed comment in the New Zealand press is rare; Salient aims to fill that gap.
The Peace Campaign originated in 1947, when the Soviet Government publicly announced the establishment of the Communist Information Bureau. It is true that this body had representatives from other countries, but its attitude on such events as the Yugoslavia break showed the lack of any distinction between the policies of the Kremlin and the Cominform.
"The Soviet Socialist State is profoundly alien to any aggressive exploiting motives and is interested in establishing the most favourable conditions for the accomplishment of a Communist society. External peace is one of such condition?. As the bearer of a new and [unclear: higher] social system, the Soviet Union in its foreign policy reflects the hopes of all progressive mankind which strives for a lasting peace and cannot be interested in a new war, which is a product of capitalism."
This Conference also issued a declaration which stated that the world was divided into two camps, one imperialistic and anti-democratic, and the other anti-imperialistic and democratic. The imperialists were aggressively wanting to unleash a war, but the people of the world did not want this, and could be rallied to prevent it.
People Want Peace
There are two lines of thought here; first that the Soviet is the guardian of peace against the warlike capitalist world, and secondly that the desires of the ordinary people for peace could be worked on and subverted to the detriment of any Western resistance (both moral and military) to Soviet plans. The finished plan of the campaign came out in August, 1948, at Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) in Poland.
The "World Congress of Intellectuals" called at the invitation of a group of French and Polish intellectuals met at Wroclaw in August, 1948, and those present included many who were not Communists or Communist sympathisers, but who had come from motives of idealism and humanity. Many British delegates spoke angrily against the Communist manipulation of pacific ideals for political ends, but the out come of the conference fitted in exactly with the Cominform project of the previous year.
The Congress agreed that "National Peace Committees of Intellectuals" should be set up. These include the British Cultural Committee for Peace (later shortened to the British Peace Committee) which was formed by a scientific journalist. J. G. Crowther, who recently visited New Zealand.
Calendar up to Stockholm
There followed a series of international conferences under a perplexing array of names. (Victoria played a part in some of these). For the record, they were:—
April, 1949. Paris: Peace Conference called by the International Liaison Committee of Intellectuals and the Women's International Democratic Federation. Visa trouble set in early, and an overflow conference was held simultaneously at Prague. (Victoria was represented by Messrs. Hollyman and Scoones).
A permanent World Committee of Partisans of Peace was set up, including representatives of all the chief Communist-controlled international organisations, including the World Federation of Democratic Youth, to which Victoria was then affiliated.
June-July, 1949, Milan: World Federation of Trade Unions urged its supporters to take active part in the work of the World Peace Committee.
October, 1949, Rome: World Peace Committee had its first plenary meeting when Yugoslavia was formally expelled and Communist China was welcomed to membership. The Soviet delegates to this meeting publicly showed their displeasure at slow progress.
November 6, 1949, Moscow: Malenkov, a member of the Politbureau, reported to the Moscow Soviet on the great importance of the International Communist bodies in the Peace Movement, especially WFTU, WFDY and IUS.
"The struggle for a stable and lasting peace, for the organisation and consolidation of the forces of peace against the forces of war should now become the pivot of the entire activity of the Communist Parties and democratic organisations."
(Note here that "democratic" has the special meaning as in WF Democratic Youth.)
|(a)||That they should end the armaments race by the reduction of their war budgets and their military effectives;|
|(b)||That atomic weapons should be banned;|
|(c)||That wars of "intervention" should be stopped, "specially those in Indonesia, Malaya and Viet Nam";|
|(d)||That repressive measures against the Partisans of Peace should cease; and|
|(e)||That the war of nerves should end by the conclusion of a pact between the Great Powers.|
This scheme was successful only to a very small extent.
March 15th-18th, 1950, Stockholm: The second plenary Committee of the World Peace Congress met and passed the resolution which we know as The Stockholm Appeal. Total affiliations at that time were 52 national Peace Committees.
This marks [unclear: the] end of the first phase of the Peace Campaign, and the beginning of a far more successful phase. An international organisation had been established with a permanent nucleus under Communist control. To this Committee national Committee with large numbers of non-Communists who gave their support either through sympathy with, or ignorance of, the Communist aims were affiliated.
A Permanent Bureau of Twelve headed the organisation which, with a Secretary-General, forms part of a Permanent Committee of 138. Some of the members of this controlling body (lately operating under a change of title): Joliet Curie (World Federation of Scientific Workers), Mme. Cotton (Women's International Democratic Federation), Louis Saillant (World Federation of Trade Unions), Alexander Fedeyev (Committee of Writers of the Soviet Union), Gabriel d'Arboussier (African Democratic Rally), Louis Aragon (International Bureau of Liaison of Intellectuals), Kuo Mo Jo, Vice Premier of China.
There are many others but this list gives some idea of the composition of the Bureau.
Of the 138 members of the Permanent Committee only 17 can he listed with political affiliations unknown—the rest are Communists or fellow travellers.
The next Peace Congress is planned for 1951 in Berlin (Soviet Zone) and is being sponsored by the IUS and WFDY.
What They Say
"Here we are fighting together for what is just as dear to Communists. Socialists, Liberals, and Catholics, to all sincere men: we are fighting for Peace."—Ilya Ehrenberg. Qoted in "Peace," Feb., 51. Stockholm.
* * *
"The contemporary situation confronts the Communist Parties with a number of vital and complicated tasks. The central task is the organisation of the worldwide struggle for peace. This task is closely linked with the defence of the vital interests of the working people in capitalist countries with the struggle for in dependence against aggressive American imperialism, with the struggle against Right Wing Socialist splitters, against the Titoite traitors and spies. With Stalin at their head the people will uphold world peace. With Stalin at their head and following the Leninist path, the working people will achieve their aim: Communism."—From "For a Lasting Peace and a People's Democracy." Front Page, Jan. 19, 51. (Organ of The Cominform).
* * *
"Real Peace can never be brought about except by Communism—peace means the struggle against capitalism and imperialism."—Czech Minister of Education. IUS Congress. Prague. Aug. 50.
* * *
"...the victory of peace can be achieved only by the consistent activity of all who believe in it. This activity must have direction and this direction can only be found in the 500,000,000 strong World Peace Movement."—Executive Report, N.Z. Student Labour Federation, Easter, 51.
The Technique of the Peace Movement
Anyone who has read that revealing book by Douglas Hyde "I Believed," will see how similar are the activities and aims of the Peace Movement and the Communist Parties. That book revealing as it is cannot be conclusive—at least, not for those who may think that Hyde has only clothed himself in a new straight-jacket.
(continued on page 7).
In 1943 the Cominform met in Hungary, and M. Suslov, Propaganda Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, set out the technique which is the Peace Movement. Committees were to be organised, Peace to be fought for on a broad front with all classes and interests drawn in, petitions were to be used and the fight for national independence supported.
Along with these campaigns went the propaganda methods perfected by the Nazis: repetition, smear campaigns, abuse, high sounding emotive prose, emotional irrelevances, big name window dressing, etc.
The main campaigns are: The Stockholm Ban, the Atom Bomb Appeal, The Congresses, the Support of Colonial Independence, the Aggression Definition, the Banning of War Propaganda, and the most recently emphasised Five Power Pact.
The language used in the Cominform speeches (1949), which have been published in pamphlet form, is similar.
A letter from Korean women in the February issue of "Ueace," which describes the horror of the Korean war, as an answer to the Truman statement that the war is just.
(i) The Ban the Bomb Appeal. The resolution on which this is based runs: "We demand the unconditional prohibition of the atomic weapon prohibition of the atomic bomb as a weapon of aggression and mass annihilation of people and that strict international control for the implementation of this decision be established. We shall consider a war criminal any Government which first employs the atomic weapon against any country. We call upon all people of goodwill throughout the world to sign this appeal."
[The word "first" has at last been deleted. Could it be that the U.S.S.R. is in a position to be first?]
This can be criticised in the first place because it begs the question—the first question is not who used the bomb—but who was the aggressor? In the second place, the atom bomb is only quantitatively different from other horrifying weapons. Recent propaganda has made good this omission. In the third place note the stress placed on numbers. Can you rely on a Petition said to have been signed by over half the population of North Korea just before South Korea is attacked? It is also interesting to note that the key weapons of the Finnish war, the war of 1939-45, and the Korea, the tank and the aeroplane are not mentioned. The USSR is strong in both.
(ii) The Definition of Aggression. "Aggression is a criminal act of that state which first employs armed force against another state under any pretext whatever."—Address to the United Nations Organisation by the 2nd World Congress of the Defenders of Peace.
This definition avoids altogether the method of aggression by internal subversion at which communism, directed by the Cominform, is well practised. There is evidence that the Communists or the Peace Movement are aware of this weakness, for they pose the question in the February issue of "Peace" whether it is aggression and answer it by saying that President Truman stole the idea from the Holy Alliance of 1815, and having branded this coalition as one of the most reactionary which ever existed, dismiss the question.
(iii) The Support of Colonial and National Independence: Stalin himself has stressed the importance of such movements—not, be it noted, in the cause of peace, but in the cause of Communism.
"Objective to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, using it as a base for the overthrow of imperialism in all countries. The revolution is spreading beyond the confines of one country; the period of world revolution has commenced.
"The main forces of revolution are the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all countries.
"Main reserves, the semi-proletarian and small peasant masses in the developed countries, the liberation movement in the colonies and developed countries."—J. V. Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, 1939, p9.
Before this cause is just one must ask are the people concerned fit to govern. The United Nations trusteeship Council exists for this very purpose, the safeguarding of the rights of backward peoples. Peace Movement support of the active insurrectionists must be looked at in this light.
When this matter is discussed, as it was at the Youth Peace Conference in Wellington last year, no mention was made of the independence of the peoples in those countries with which the USSR had nonaggression pacts: Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Lithuania—and which she now occupies.
All the other campaigns are open to similar and more searching criticism than it is possible to give them here.
Evidence Piling . . .
So far the history of the Movement has been traced and some of its campaigns analysed to show the more obvious alignments with, and advantages to Soviet policies.
The fact that this so-called broad front organisation has expelled one of the members, Jugoslavia, which has more in sympathy with the Cominform, from which it had previously been expelled for deviation, than the west directly contradicts the claim of a broad front.
Quotations from organisations which support the Peace Movement clearly show that "peace" has special meaning for the Movement. Further statements will support this contention.
The next article will show that Communists cannot support such an organisation unless it is working for a Communist World. Some comments will be made on the Movement in New Zealand.
The actual evidence, the actual quotations, the actual situations must be explained by those who wish to defend thi3 creation of the Cominform and instrument of Soviet power.
M. F. McIntyre.
A. W. Cook.
D. C. Hurley.