Document created: 31 October 03
Air University Review, January-February 1973

Development of the Strategy of 
Peaceful Coexisting 
During the Khrushchev Era

Captain Richard J. Erickson 

Several years ago a book appeared entitled, The War Called Peace: Khrushchev’s Communism. The title of this work by Harry A. and Bonaro Overstreet aptly describes peaceful coexistence, a term fraught with implications of Orwellian newspeak that “war is peace” or, more to the point, “peace is war.” It is the belief of George F. Kennan, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, that no term) has been more loosely and at times more unscrupulously used than peaceful coexistence. It is the purpose of this article to examine this concept as it evolved during the premiership of Nikita S. Khrushchev.

Peaceful Coexistence 
as a Treaty Principle

Peaceful coexistence was first introduced as a principle of international relations in the Chinese-Indian treaty of April 29, 1954. The preamble of that treaty set forth as the basis for intercourse between the two countries five principles:

     respect for territorial sovereignty and integrity
     mutual nonaggression
     mutual nonintervention
     equality and mutual benefit
     peaceful coexistence.

At the time, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru referred to the “five principles” as Pancha Shila, a phrase he had acquired on his 1952 visit to Indonesia. Originally Pancho Shila referred to the five moral principles of the Buddhist religion relating to personal behavior, but the Prime Minister thought Pancha Shila apropos to state behavior.

The Soviets equated the five principles with peaceful coexistence, which was only one of the five. As Russell H. Fifield, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, noted: “At any rate it is obvious that four widely accepted approaches to international behavior were combined with a fifth, peaceful coexistence, to become the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.”1 If it is difficult to follow the reasoning of the Soviets (that, in effect, a part is equal to the whole), it is not difficult to understand the purpose behind their equation.

There is no evidence that either Nehru or Nu (of Burma) subscribed to the strict Communist interpretation. This did not, however, prevent Khrushchev from asserting at Bhakra-Nangal, India, on November 23, 1955: “The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence proclaimed by Prime Minister Nehru and our friend Chou En-lai suit us perfectly.”2 How perfectly may be gleaned from a comment made by Wladyslaw W. Kulski, Professor of Russian Studies at Duke University, concerning the Sino-Indian treaty: “It is both ironical and ominous that these principles were proclaimed for the first time in a treaty which recognized China’s conquest of her colonial protectorate in Tibet.”3 (Emphasis added.)

At the Bandung Conference (Indonesia) in April 1955, the five principles underwent modification and became the ten principles. Moscow was not pleased with the alteration inasmuch as a number of the new principles were directed against Soviet policy. Therefore the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the pro-Soviet world passed over and soon forgot the “ten principles of Bandung.” The Soviet Union continued to speak in terms of the five principles as if no revision had occurred.4 When Nehru visited Moscow almost immediately after the conference, he signed a joint statement with the Soviet Premier in which the reference was to Pancha Shila rather than to the ten principles of Bandung.

Shortly before the XXth Party Congress of the CPSU convened in 1956, International Affairs (Moscow) reiterated that “in their statement of October 12, 1954, the Soviet and Chinese Communist governments said that they would base their relations with the countries of Asia and the Pacific Area on Pancha Shila.”5 The article indicated that it was the intent of the Soviet Union to continue such relations with the emerging nations. This intent received formal acknowledgment at the XXth Party Congress where peaceful coexistence was considered at length.

The Concept of 
Peaceful Coexistence

Before the XXth Congress, party ideologue Mikhail M. Suslov said: “. . . the foreign policy of the Soviet State worked out by our Party, has been carried out with strict adherence to principles and, at the same time, with maximum elasticity.”6 The distinction which he was making was between strategy (the ideological analysis valid for a historical epoch, which is constant) and tactics (“which depends on a judicious choice of the main battlefield in each strategic stage,” which is, by its nature, flexible).7

Raymond L. Garthoff, a leading authority on Soviet military affairs, in Soviet Strategy in the Nuclear Age (1958) offers a discussion of the concepts of strategy and tactics.8 Strategy, he points out, is of a higher order of generality than tactics and also of broader scope and longer duration. Thus, writes Kulski, “Tactical flexibility meant the ability to adjust the current policy to the existing circumstances, to what was possible at a given time.”9 Tactics may best be described as “protracted conflict”—that is, “The enemy advances, we retreat; enemy halts, we harass; enemy tires, we attack; enemy retreats, we pursue.”—as defined by Chairman Mao Tsetung and quoted and adopted by the Soviet leadership.

But peaceful coexistence, as Khrushchev told the XXth Party Congress, is “not a tactical move, but a fundamental principle of Soviet foreign policy.”10 It is a strategy. In the Soviet view, peaceful coexistence is valid for “an historical epoch” more or less prolonged. It is on this point that the Communist Chinese disagree with the Soviet view. They view peaceful coexistence as a tactical maneuver. “To attain their aim of plunder and oppression, the imperialists always have two tactics: the tactic of war and the tactic of ‘peace;’ therefore the proletariat and the people of all countries must use two tactics to counter the imperialists.  . . .”11 Peaceful coexistence is viewed as representing “the present stage of historical development.” On occasion, peaceful coexistence has been referred to as “an historical inevitability.”12

Seeking to claim historical continuity, Khrushchev made reference to “the Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence of countries. . . .”13 Or again, “From its very inception,” wrote Khrushchev, “the Soviet State proclaimed peaceful coexistence as the basic principle of foreign policy. It was no accident that the very first act of the Soviet power was the decree on peace, the decree on the cessation of the bloody war.”14 But Lenin viewed peaceful coexistence as a “temporary equilibrium,” that is, as tactics. How did Khrushchev justify peaceful coexistence as a strategy? The answer is to be found in the concept of the creative application of Marxism-Leninism.15 It was said that “the XXth Party Congress, drawing on Lenin’s teachings and the experience of international relations . . .” expounded peaceful coexistence.16 In short, Khrushchev creatively applied Marxism-Leninism to the existing conditions of international relations and in so doing determined that peaceful coexistence should become a strategy. It is over the application of Marxism-Leninism to the present conditions of international relations that the Chinese Communists disagreed. They asserted that Khrushchev did not creatively apply Marxism-Leninism but rather he revised it.17

What are the conditions of peaceful coexistence? These were cited at both the XXth Party Congress of the CPSU and at the 40th Anniversary of the October Revolution in 1957 (at which time the Moscow Declaration of 1957 was proclaimed):

. . . in essence the repudiation of war as a means of solving controversial issues. It presupposes an obligation to refrain from every form of violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another state. It implies renunciation of interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It means that political and economic relations must be put on a basis of complete equality and mutual benefit.18

These conditions of peaceful coexistence are composed of the same components as the five principles found in the 1954 Sino-Indian treaty. It is important to note that the five principles were enunciated as the basis for relations between the “socialist camp” and Asia and Africa (the tiers monde or third world). At the XXth Party Congress they were asserted as the basis of relations for a historical epoch between the two camps—socialist and capitalist, East and West. Thus were the principles of peaceful coexistence broadened.

Why did the leadership of the CPSU opt for a policy of peaceful coexistence? In 1959 Khrushchev wrote of the growing concern over the implications of technology: “In our age of the H-bomb and atomic techniques, this is the main thing of interest to every man.”19 As Shepilov, member of the Communist Party of the Ukraine, noted in the spring of 1957, “The atomic bombs are a threat to the whole of mankind.20 (Emphasis added.) The “whole of mankind” includes socialism as well as capitalism. The Soviet leadership realized that a nuclear or general war would end in the destruction of both camps. This awesome fact had far-reaching implications on both Soviet strategy and tactics.

Technology not only made wars more destructive but also made the world smaller. As Khrushchev wrote in October 1959:

We, all of us, well know that tremendous changes have taken place in the world. Gone indeed are the days when it took weeks to cross the ocean from one continent to the other or when a trip from Europe to America, or from Asia to Africa, seemed a very complicated undertaking. The progress of modern technology has reduced our planet to a rather small place; it has become, in this sense, quite congested. And if in our daily life it is a matter of considerable importance to establish normal relations with our neighbors in a densely inhabited settlement, this is so much the more necessary in the relations between states, in particular states belonging to different social systems.21

The “normal relations” which Khrushchev envisaged were based on peaceful coexistence.

Although peaceful coexistence has a special meaning to the Soviets (as will become evident when the corollary to peaceful coexistence, the concept of peaceful competition, is examined), it is of course a sign of good judgment that the leadership of the U.S.S.R. recognizes the mutual suicidal character of a general war. Peaceful coexistence represents the stated intentions of the Soviet Union to contain the intercamp conflict.

First Corollary of Peaceful Coexistence: 
War Is Not Inevitable

Khrushchev proclaimed at the XXth Party Congress that “war is not fatalistically inevitable.”22 In the official History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the following reason is given for the nonapplicability of Lenin’s thesis of the inevitability of war:

The 20th Party Congress of the CPSU drew the conclusion that there was a real possibility of averting wars of aggression in the present day international conditions. Lenin formulated his thesis about the inevitability of such wars in the epoch of imperialism, at a time when, first, capitalism was the only, and all-embracing world system, and secondly, when the social and political forces that had no interest in, and were opposed to, war were weak, poorly organized and hence unable to compel the imperialists to renounce war.23

Conditions had changed. The balance of world forces had shifted more favorably toward the socialist camp. A modification of Lenin’s thesis was now in order. As Khrushchev told the XXth Party Congress:

There is, of course, a Marxist-Leninist precept that wars are inevitable as long as imperialism exists. In that period [before the Second World War and earlier] this precept was absolutely correct. At the present time, however, the situation has changed radically. Now there is a world camp of socialism which has become a mighty force. . . . Moreover, there is a large group of other countries with a population running into many hundreds of millions [the uncommitted third world], which are actively working to avert war. . . . As long as capitalism survives in the world, the reactionary forces representing the interests of the capitalist monopolies will continue their drive toward military gambles and aggression and may try to unleash war. But war is not fatalistically inevitable.24

Two factors caused the shifting balance of world forces that led Khrushchev to assert the noninevitability of war. First, there was the growing might of the socialist camp under the leadership of the Soviet Union. Second, there was the evolution of a “zone of peace,”25 the uncommitted nations of the third world. These factors represented a considerable restraining factor, as the Soviets saw it, upon the imperialists and made it possible to avert general war.

Ideologically, militarily, and economically the might of the Soviet Union was expanding in Soviet eyes. By the time of the XXIst Party Congress (1959) Khrushchev boasted, “Capitalist encirclement of our country no longer exists.”26 In fact, said Khrushchev, socialism would begin to encircle the encirclers.

Khrushchev frequently asserted the ideological strength of the Soviet Union and the “socialist camp.” To Tomoo Hirooka, a Japanese news correspondent, he said on June 18, 1957 (as he had many times before): “All the world will come to communism.”27 On April 9, 1958, to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Khrushchev proclaimed: “Capitalism is at its ebb, heading for collapse.”28

Militarily the U.S.S.R. was also strong. In this belief Khrushchev told the Kalinin constituency of Moscow on February 24, 1959: “Under present conditions, the use of threats and ultimatums, especially in relation to the Soviet Union, is obviously an unsuitable method, for it is not in accord with the real correlation of forces.”29 In Kiev on May 11 he said: “But our country is big, it is difficult to defeat in war.”30 Or again, in Leipzig, East Germany, in March: “We possess everything to restrain any aggressor.31

Economically, too, the Soviet Union was characterized as “on the move.” To the VIIth Communist Party Congress of Bulgaria, Khrushchev asserted on June 4, 1958: “We are firmly convinced that the time is approaching when socialist countries will outstrip the most developed capitalist countries not only in tempo but also in volume of industrial production.”32 In Hungary on April 7, 1958, Khrushchev, then First Secretary of the CPSC, spoke of the West’s attempts to catch up with the U.S.S.R.: “Who now intends to catch up with the Soviet Union in scientific development? The United States of America is now setting for itself the task of catching up with the Soviet Union.”33

Coupled with the growth in power of the Soviet Union and the “socialist camp,” Khrushchev saw the emergence of a “zone of peace” as contributing to the shifting balance of world forces in favor of the socialist world. He reported this development to the XXth Party Congress:

Comrades, between XIXth and the XXth Congresses of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union very important changes have taken place in international relations. . . . The forces of peace have been considerably augmented by the emergence in the world arena of a group of peace-loving European and Asian states which have proclaimed non-participation in blocs as the principle of their foreign policy. . . . As a result, a vast zone of peace, including peace loving states, both socialist and non-socialist, of Europe and Asia, has emerged in the world.34

With recognition of the emergence of a vast “zone of peace” (a zone of developing nations aligned with the “socialist camp” against war), Soviet foreign policy became increasingly directed toward closer relations with the developing third world countries in an attempt to seek a common understanding with them against the West.

Because of the shifting balance of world forces and the growth of world technology, there existed no third choice, as Khrushchev saw it, in foreign policy for any state: either it was peaceful coexistence or it was war. In Khrushchev’s words to the XXth Congress: “Indeed, there are only two ways: either peaceful coexistence or the most decisive destructive war in history.”35 In 1960 Major General Nikolai Talenskii, Chief Editor of Military Thought, journal of the Soviet military staff, stated: “War as an instrument of policy is becoming outdated [because] the process of development of techniques in the destruction of peoples makes it impossible now to use weapons for the solution of political tasks, as has been the case in the course of thousands of years.”36

This statement does not mean, of course, that the Soviet Union would forego the use of these weapons for self-defense. Nor does it mean the renunciation of the use of all force and violence. Only use of nuclear force in a general war was General Talenskii’s concern. The U.S.S.R. continues to support “just wars of national liberation.” As the XXth Party program reads: “It is their duty to support the sacred struggle of the oppressed peoples and their just anti-imperialist wars of liberation.”37 This reservation leaves a wide range of military activities open. Participation, directly or indirectly, in wars of national liberation (tempered with caution and concern about escalation of such limited wars to the level of general nuclear conflict) becomes possible.

Khrushchev gave attention to the problem of escalation, clearly qualifying Soviet involvement in the nonsocialist world by announcing that “socialism does not intend to overthrow capitalism in other countries by means of ‘exporting’ revolutions.”38 On the contrary, revolutions to be successful from the Soviet viewpoint must be indigenous. However, nonindigenous Communists might assist in bringing a revolution to fruition. Once a war of national liberation was under way, it was the duty of all Communists to support it. In this way the Soviet Union remains outside the conflict and consequently removed from actual military involvement while assisting nonetheless the “progressive forces” of the liberation movement. Becoming involved in this manner has as its purpose the prevention of escalation of “just wars of national liberation” into nuclear holocaust.

Peaceful coexistence is a struggle that differs from war not in objectives sought but in the means used. In the words of the late Marshal Boris M. Shaposhnikov of the Red Army, “If war is a continuation of politics only by other means, so also peace is a continuation of conflict by other means.” Peace is the absence of general nuclear war and nothing more. Khrushchev described to his comrades what peaceful coexistence will do:

Peaceful coexistence affords favorable opportunities for the struggle of the working class in the capitalist countries and facilitates the struggle of the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries for their liberation.39

“Friendship,” said the First Secretary, is true and strong if people share the same views on events, history and life.”40 Peaceful coexistence is not friendship. “We are guided by the principles of proletarian internationalism, friendship and brotherly co-operation between peoples in mutual relations between socialist states.” But, Khrushchev added, “When we talk about coexistence we have in mind socialist and capitalist states. Those forces opposed to each other: antagonistic conditions exist between them.”41 It is noteworthy that no third conceptualization seems to exist for neutrals.

What is peaceful coexistence, then, if not friendship? At Prague in 1957, Khrushchev explained: “Indeed it happens that people do not get married for love, but despite that they live their whole lives together. And that is what we want. We live on one planet and therefore we want peaceful competition.”42 Socialism has no love for capitalism but wishes to have peaceful competition. Peaceful coexistence provides the conditions necessary for peaceful competition.

Second Corollary of 
Peaceful Coexistence  
Peaceful Competition and 
Its Implications

What does peaceful competition entail? “For over forty years,” Khrushchev told a Soviet-Czechoslovakian Friendship Meeting, July 12, 1958, “a socialist and capitalist system have existed. Of course, irreconcilable political and ideological contradictions existed and will exist between these two systems, and there was and still will continue to be a certain struggle between them.”43 (Emphasis added.) That certain struggle is represented today by the concept of peaceful competition, a corollary to peaceful coexistence.

Peaceful competition makes peaceful coexistence a dynamic, rather than a static, relationship. Conditions between the socialist and capitalist camps are not frozen. On the contrary, as Khrushchev indicated in 1957: “But in peaceful competition we will work to win out. Here if I may say so, the Soviet people will be on the offensive.”44 Peaceful coexistence becomes a form of intense ideological, economic, political and cultural struggle between the “proletariat and the aggressive forces of imperialism.”

On the ideological front, Khrushchev has frequently referred to “peaceful coexistence in the field of ideology as treason.”45 In 1955 he told the East German Communist leaders:

People say our smiles are not honest. That is not true. Our smiles are real and not artificial. But if anyone believes that our smile means that we have given up the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin, they are badly mistaken.46

Later in the year he asserted, “If certain people regard as a violation of the ‘Geneva spirit’ our conviction that victory will be on the side of socialism, of Marxism-Leninism, these people obviously do not understand the ‘Geneva spirit’ correctly. They should remember that we have never renounced our ideas, the struggle for victory of communism.”47 In the 1960 Moscow Declaration we find:

Peaceful coexistence of countries with differing social systems does not mean conciliation of socialist and bourgeois ideology. On the contrary, it implies intensification of the struggle of the working class of all the Communist Parties, for the triumph of socialist ideas.48

In his report to the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1963, Khrushchev said: “Hatred of class enemies is necessary, because it is not possible to become a good fighter for your people or for Communism if one does not know how to hate enemies. Yes, comrades, a harsh class struggle is now in progress throughout the world.”49

Professor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., of Harvard University, reasoned that an absence of coexistence in the field of ideology would mean that there could not be coexistence at all. “The world would break up into self-contained parts, each sealed off from the rest by high walls against ideas.”50 The leadership of the CPSU did not agree; peaceful coexistence and continuation of the ideological struggle were compatible.

The economic front is, as Khrushchev explained at the XXIst Party Congress, January 27, 1959, “the main field in which the peaceful competition of socialism and capitalism is taking place. . . .”51 The Soviet challenge: “Let us prove to each other the advantages of one’s own system not with fists, not by war, but by peaceful economic competition in conditions of peaceful coexistence.”52

For this reason the Soviets labor to develop the resources of their own country. Khrushchev, speaking on the new Seven Year Plan in 1958, said: “The realization of the Seven Year Plan of the development of the national economy for 1959-1965 will be another important stage in peaceful economic competition of the two systems—socialism and capitalism.”53 Strengthening of the domestic economy is intended to give the Soviets “a decisive advantage in the international alignment of forces.”54 The purpose of the plan is to affect favorably the balance of world forces and make it all the more likely that general nuclear war can be avoided.

Moreover, it provides the Soviet Union with an economic base from which they can exert themselves internationally. The leaders of the CPSU have long recognized a close relationship between economics and politics, arising out of Communist ideology. It was not surprising, therefore, that shortly after Stalin’s death the Soviet Union began to engage in international economic competition through trade and aid. Commentators in the West called it an “economic offensive.”55 In 1955, for example, Khrushchev told a group of United States Congressmen visiting the U.S.S.R. that “we value trade least for economic reasons and most for political purposes.” Two years later the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Nikita S. Khrushchev, proclaimed: “We declare war upon you—excuse me for using such an expression—in the peaceful field of trade. We declare war. We will win over the United States. The threat of the United States is not the ICBM, but in the field of peaceful production.”56 A “war called peace” is what is meant by coexistence.

On the political front, Khrushchev discussed before the XXth Party Congress the technique of winning control in a country through parliamentary majority:

The winning of a stable parliamentary majority backed by a mass revolutionary movement of the proletariat and of all the working people could create for the working class in a number of capitalist and former colonial countries the conditions needed to secure fundamental social changes.

In the countries where capitalism is still strong and has a huge military and police apparatus at its disposal, the reactionary forces will of course inevitably offer serious resistance. There the transition to socialism will be attended by sharp class, revolutionary struggle.

But he added, “It is not true that we regard violence and civil war as the only way to remake society.”57

Anastas I. Mikoyan, member of the Presidium and Central Committee of the CPSU, offered the assembled Congress the following example: “Because of the favorable postwar situation in Czechoslovakia the socialist revolution was carried out by peaceful means.”58 Another delegate, I. G. Kebin, cited the Baltic states, in their transition to socialism, as having been “peacefully”‘ occupied and then annexed to the U.S.S.R.59

In other words, the Soviets are willing to use parliamentary means to achieve their objectives domestically within a country or to use diplomacy on the international plane. But the choice of whether peaceful political means are employed or not depends upon the particular circumstances involved.

On the cultural front: “The USSR proposes to the capitalist states that we should compete . . . not by expanding the Cold War but by exchanging our cultural values.”60 And peaceful coexistence aims at “creating conditions in which there may be normal . . . cultural and scientific relations [as well as] mutual exchange of tourists. . . .”61

The Soviet weltanschauung may be stated briefly: (1) the world is divided into two eternally antagonistic systems that are bound to try to dominate one another; (2) Communism will prevail in the end; and (3) in this struggle all methods are permissible except those that involve a risk of general nuclear war. Resting on these three pillars of belief is the lintel of peaceful coexistence.

In the author’s opinion, peaceful coexistence has been, in the past, the inversion of General von Clausewitz’s famous dictum, “War is the continuation of politics by other means. Peaceful coexistence has been merely a period of struggle waged by nonnuclear means. Up to this point, the Soviet strategy has appeared to be a transmogrification of the golden rule:

“Prevent others from doing unto you what you want to do unto them.” Peaceful coexistence has meant that the West was expected to remain passive while the “socialist camp” attempted to gain the upper band (or to use Khrushchev’s words, “to bury us”). In 1959 Khrushchev called for an “end of the Cold War,” by which he probably meant, stop resisting. Perhaps coexistence was originally devised as surrender on the installment plan.

In short, heretofore peaceful coexistence has proven to be neither peaceful nor coexistence. Apparently, an estrangement in vocabularies existed between West and East. “Peaceful coexistence” could have been ranked with those terms which lend themselves to being exploited for their strong positive connotation as universal values but which yet do not seem to motivate sufficiently meaningful discussion of the concepts they represent. However, American foreign policy is and must be governed by the future prospect of true peace and coexistence, not by the misunderstandings, fears, and legacies of the past.

Hq Air University


1. Russell H. Fifield, “The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” American Journal of International Law, vol. 52 (July 1958), p. 505.

2. Nikita S. Khrushchev as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, Department of State Publication no. 6836, July 1959, p. 182. (Hereafter cited as Soviet World Outlook.)

3. Wladystaw W. Kulski, Peaceful Coexistence: An Analysis of Soviet Foreign Policy (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1959), p. 137.

4. See V. Durdenevskii, “Five Principles,” International Affairs (Moscow), vol. 3 (March 1956), p. 45.

5. Ibid.

6. Pravada, February 17, 1957, as quoted in Kulski, p. 69.

7. Kulski, p. 81.

8. P. 3.

9. Kulski, pp. 69-70.

10. Nikita S. Khrushchev, “Speech to the XXth Party Congress” as quoted in G. F. Hudson, Richard Lowenthal, and Roderick MacFarquhar, The Sino-Soviet Dispute (New York: Praeger, 1961), p. 42. (Hereafter cited as “Hudson, Lowenthal, MacFarquhar”)

11. “Long Live Leninism,” editorial, People’s Daily, April 22, 1960, as reprinted in Hudson, Lowenthal, MacFarquhar, p. 98.

12. Nikita S. Khrushchev to the Jubilee Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, November 6, 1957, New Time, no. 46 (November 14, 1957), supplement, p. 6.

13. History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, [1964]), p 679. (Hereafter cited as History of the Communist Party.)

14. Nikita S. Khrushchev, “On Peaceful Coexistence,”  Foreign Affairs, vol. 38 (October 1959), p. 79. (Hereafter cited as “On Peaceful Coexistence.”)

15. Terms defined: Revisionism destroys Marxism-Leninism by declaring “that it is ‘outmoded’ and alleges that it has lost its significance for social progress.” Dogmatism destroys Marxism-Leninism by “replacing the study of concrete situations with merely quoting classics and sticking to books, and leads to the isolation of the Party from the masses.” Creative Marxism revitalizes Marxism-Leninism through its “creative application” to “changing conditions.”—Moscow Declaration of 1957 as reprinted in Hudson, Lowenthal, MacFarquhar, pp. 52-53.

16. Pravda, March 12, 1958, as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 98.

17. This applies not only to peaceful coexistence but to the Soviet leadership’s view of the inevitability of war, peaceful transition to socialism, and the like.

18. Khrushchev as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 98.

l9. “On Peaceful Coexistence,” p. 79.

20. Pravada, February 13, 1957.

21. “Or Peaceful Coexistence,” p. 78.

22. Hudson, Lowenthal, MacFarquhar, p. 44.

23. History of the Communist Party, pp. 644-45.

24. Pravda, February 15, 1956, as quoted in Kulski, p. 97.

25. At times a third factor is included, namely, the acceptability of a peace policy by the masses.

26. Khrushchev and the Shifting Balance of World Forces, Legislative Reference Service, Senate Document 86, September 1959, p. 4.

27. Ibid., p. 5.

28. Ibid., p. 6.

29. Ibid., p. 8.

30. Ibid., p. 10.

31. Ibid., p. 11.

32. Ibid., p. 7.

33. Ibid.

34. Pravda, February 15, 1956, as quoted in Kulski, p. 124.

35. Hudson, Lowenthal, MacFarquhar, p. 43.

36. New York Times, October 13, 1960.

37. As quoted in Philip E. Mosely, “The Meaning of Coexistence,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 41 (October 1962), p. 40.

38. “On Peaceful Coexistence,” p. 80.

39. Mosely, p. 42.

40. Khrushchev, Pravda, March 27, 1958, as quoted in Kulski, p. xxi.

41. Pravada, June 30, 1957, as quoted in Kulski, p. 134.

42. “Speech at Prague Castle,” Radio Prague, July 12, 1957, Soviet World Outlook, p. 98.

43. Soviet World Outlook, p. 97.

44. Interview with William Randolph Hearst, Jr., November 22, 1957, Pravda, November 29, 1957, as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 98.

45. As quoted in Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., “Coexistence v. Peace,” Survey, no. 50 (January 1964), p. 14.

46. As quoted in Dean Acheson, Power and Diplomacy (New York: Atheneum, 1963), pp. 10-11.

47. Khrushchev, “Speech about Trip to India, Burma and Afghanistan,” Pravda, December 30, 1955, as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 98.

48. As quoted in Sir William Hayter, “The Meaning of Coexistence,” Survey, no. 50 (January 1964), p. 24.

49. Schlesinger, p. 23.

50. Ibid., p. 15.

51. Soviet World Outlook, p. 99.

52. “On Peaceful Coexistence,” p. 86.

53. Soviet World Outlook, p. 99.

54. Khrushchev, “On Peaceful Coexistence,” reciting the “control figures for the economic development of the USSR,” report delivered at the XXIst Party Congress, p. 43.

55. There are several reasons why the Soviet Union did not engage in such actions earlier, not least of which was Stalin himself. See Robert Loring Allen, Soviet Economic Warfare (Washington, D.C.: Public Affair Press, 1960).

56. Interview with William Randolph Hearst, Jr., November 22, 1957, in Washington Post and Times Herald, November 24, 1957. This remark was omitted from the Soviet text published in Pravda.

57. As quoted in Leo Gruliow, Current Soviet Policies, II (New York: Praeger, 1957), p. 38.

58. Pravda, February 19, 1956, as quoted in Kulski, p. 29.

59. Pravda, February 19, 1956, as quoted in Kulski, p. 29.

60. Khrushchev, “Speech at the Budapest Opera House,” Budapest radio broadcast, April 3, 1958, as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 99.

61. Khrushchev, “Speech at the Celebration by Builders of Lenin Central Moscow Stadium,” Pravda, August 1, 1956, as quoted in Soviet World Outlook, p. 185.


Captain Richard J. Erickson (J. D., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Air University. He is a member of the Michigan bar and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Michigan and other courts. He is a member of several professional legal associations and was U.S. Delegate to the 1972 Geneva Conference on International Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict. He is author of International Law and the Revolutionary State (1972).


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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