Copyright © 1956 Lithuanian Student Association, Inc.
No. 2(7) - June 1956
Editor of this issue: L. SabaliŻnas
PEACEFUL COEXISTANCE . . . A SNARE AND A DELUSION
WILLIAM LOVETT is a senior of Wabash College at Crawfordsville, Indiana, majoring in history; he also serves as Associate Editor of the Wabash "Bachelor."
Can there be peaceful coexistence between the United States and its allies and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its allies?
Before we can discuss this question we must define peaceful coexistence. Peaceful coexistence here means that the U. S. and its allies and the U.S.S.R. and its allies can live on together without important conflict. This implies the absence of aggressive policy.
There is general agreement that the policy of the U.S.S.R. from its inception thru Stalin's leadership was aggressive. The announced aim of the ruling Communist Party and its doctrine was to conquer the world. And Lenin wrote this about the possibility of peaceful coexistence:
"It is inconceivable that Communism and Democracy can exist side by side in this world. Inevitably, one must perish."
But since Stalin's death, and even more since the "Spirit of Geneva" arose last summer, some have contended that there has been a change >n Soviet policy — that the goal of Soviet policy is no longer world conquest and that their policy is n<5 longer aggressive.
Is there indication in recent Soviet action of such a change in policy?
That there have been some changes in the Soviet stand on some issues is obvious. The major of these were:
The lifting of a Soviet veto on the admission of thirteen nations into
the UN in return for admission of five Communist nations.
(2) Agreement to an Austrian peace treaty.
(3) Agreement to a conference at Geneva involving the chiefs of state of the U.S.S.R.
But the Soviets lost nothing real in
each instance and probably gained stature in the eyes of neutrals. The
real effect in each was:
The Soviets did not change their stand at all on the three big issues on the Geneva Conference agenda. On 'European Security and Germany' they insisted that the end of NATO must be the price of German unification and that they would not accept a unification which would involve the de-Communization of East Germany. On 'Disarmament' they would not accept the inspection necessary to make disarmament effective. On 'Developing Contacts Between East and West,' though subsequently sending and receiving well-guarded official delegations, there has been no change in the "Iron Curtain."
Nor has there been a change in the Soviet tactic of sending out and supporting spies, sabou-teurs, agitators of revolution, and guerillas, i.e., subversion. In recent months, news has filtered out from Czechoslovakia of a Soviet school in subversion located near Prague for native African Communists. Nor has there been any weakening in the Soviet military forces relative to the forces of the U.S. and its allies. The claimed reduction in Soviet military manpower followed a similar proportioned reduction in U.S. and British military manpower. The Soviets now claim parity in nuclear weapons with the U.S.
Post-Stalin Soviet policy is exemplified by what happened in Burma this fall. Khruschev and Bulganin visited Burma on their tour into South East Asia. They said to the Burmese:
"All men are brothers." and that "...world tensions have been reduced by your efforts." Yet on the day of their arrival, two WHO doctors were killed in a Communist guerilla attack and, on the day of their departure, six cases of sabotage were reported just north of Rangoon.
The essence of the recent changes in Soviet policy is an apparent increased amiability. But — this surface amiability has not been accompanied by actions which would indicate the abandonment of the previous policy of aggression. We are left only with the conclusion that Khruschev meant what he said on the occasion of the final banquet celebrating the negotiation of a peace treaty between the East German Democratic Republic and the U.S.S.R. In Moscow, September 17, 1955:
anyone believes that our smiles Involve the abandonment of the
teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, he deceives himself poorly. Those
who wait for that must wait until a shrimp learns to whistle."
(note — shrimp cannot whistle.)
Thus the policy of the U.S.S.R. is
still aggressive, and therefore peaceful coexistence between the camps
of the U.S.S.R. and U.S. would be impossible.
But there is a further argument for pencs-ful coexistence which claims that the U.S.S.R. can no longer engage in effective aggression because of the horror of modern warfare, especially nuclear weapons, and that the necessity for peaceful coexistence has been imposed on the U.S.S.R. It may be true that men will find nuclear weapons too horrible to use. This argument, however, presupposes that all the horror of modern warfare, including nuclear weapons, must be used to carry on effective aggression. This assumption Is not correct. The U.S.S.R. has carried on extremely effective aggression since August, 1945, when nuclear weapons were introduced. About 700 million people have thus fallen under the sway of the Soviets — China, North Korea, North Vietnam, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Albania. Yet they have never had to use nuclear weapons in combat, although their chief opponent, the U.S., has been in possession of nuclear weapons thruout. The U.S.S.R. has not even had to put a single Russian soldier into combat. The Soviets have not had to exercise the full weight of their might to carry on aggression. Instead, the Soviets have utilized the apparatus of the world-wide Communist party, sending out and supporting spies, saboteurs, agitators of revolution, and guerillas, i.e., subversion, to communize these areas. The military forces of the U.S.S.R. itself have been used only as a deterrent to keep the U.S. and its allies from intervening too much in areas the Communists are subverting and from retaliating directly on the heart of the Communist strength in the U.S.S.R.
We must then conclude that the policy of the U.S.S.R. is still one of aggression, that the U.S.S.R. still has the capacity to carry on aggression, and therefore that peaceful coexistence between the U.S.S.R. and its allies and the U. S. and its allies is a delusion.
However, the Soviets do not openly admit they are carrying on aggression and that coexistence is therefore a delusion. Instead, they claim to be in favor of peaceful coexistence between Communism and Capitalism. Eut by coexistence they mean merely the continued existence of the two systems for the time being, not necessarily the absence of aggression. This special meaning for the phrase can be seen in the following quotation taken from the third volume cf the Soviet History of Diplomacy, 1919—1939:
"The end of the world war and the victory in Russia of the October Socialist Revolution meant the beginning of a new period in the history of diplomacy. The essential contents of this period are characterized by two factors: in the first place, the coexistence, the interrelationship and the conflict of the two opposed systems — capitalism and socialism; in the second place, the extreme exacerbation of all the capitalist contradictions which led humanity into the second world war."
There is danger that the U.S. and/or its allies may be fooled into believing that the policy of the U.S.S.R. is working only for the coexistence of the two camps, and into believing that the U.S.S.R. has abondoned its aggressive policy. Then the U.S. and/or its allies might relax their defenses and find later that the Soviets did not mean to cease being aggressive. In this way, by trying to fool the U.S. and/or its allies into relaxing their defenses, the world-wide Communist party uses the promise of peaceful coexistence as a snare.
If coexistence is a delusion and a
snare, what is
the implication then for the U.S. and its allies? The policy of this,
the free world, must work for a change in the leadership of the
U.S.S.R. and its allies — a change which must substitute men
are willing to coexist peacefully with the rest of the world without
being aggressive. Mere passive opposition to present Soviet policy may
not be enough to bring about this change and preserve the freedom of
the U.S. and its allies. The free world must work as hard as possible
to bring about this change. This means that the free world must also
send and support spies, saboteurs, agitators of revolution, and
guerillas into the areas now controlled by the Soviets. The free world
should fight subversion with countersubversion. And since we have faith
in our free system's strength and in the frailty of despotism, the
inevitable result of this conflict can only be the victory of the free
world, assuming that both sides make the maximum effort consistent with
the avoidance of nuclear holocaust.