The ideological foundations of the Sino-Soviet dispute, 1956-1963

Date

1971

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Abstract

This thesis will analyze the Sino-Soviet ideological dispute over world strategy from its origins at the Twentieth Party Congress in February, 1956, until the open schism in the summer of 1963. The objectives of the analysis will be to determine the main issues and the underlying causes of the ideological dispute. The main issues in the dispute have been the abstract debate between the Soviets and Chinese on the relevance of Lenin's precepts of the inevitability of war and on the violent transition to socialism for the nuclear age and the concrete policy disputes on the correct strategy to be pursued toward the United States and the underdeveloped world. According to Khrushchev, the advent of the nuclear age has necessitated that these Leninist precepts be revised and that peaceful coexistence be adopted as the strategic line of world Communism. To the Chinese, Khrushchev's revisions of Leninism are a serious distortion of the Communist Ideology and an abdication of the ultimate goal of world revolution. The concrete policy disputes on world strategy have Involved such issues as Soviet-American detente, the correct attitude and policies toward the national bourgeoisie in the "Third World," the Soviet Union's support for India against China and its attempts to prevent China from acquiring nuclear weapons. These policy disputes have been translated into ideological polemics and have further exacerbated Sino-Soviet relations. The main conclusion of the thesis is that the underlying cause of the Sino-Soviet ideological dispute has been the conflict of national Interest between the two great powers. Because of the common Marxist-Leninist Ideology, the conflicts of state Interest between Communist states are inevitably transformed Into Ideological differences. Consequently, ideology has functioned as a manifestation for national Interest in the Sino-Sovlet dispute over world strategy. A secondary cause of the dispute has been the struggle between the Soviet Union and China for control of the international Communist movement. China desires to eventually create a new Chinese-led International with Its center in the underdeveloped world and has utilized the ideological dispute to further its "fractional" activities within world Communism. To maintain its leadership of the movement, the Soviet Union has been forced to condemn the Chinese Ideological position. The interaction between Ideology, national interest and the struggle for control of the International Communist movement therefore, has caused one of the most significant events of the postwar era-the Sino-Soviet split.

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Keywords

Soviet conflict, Chinese conflict

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