HOW RUSSIA FIGHTS MARSHALL PLAN
TEXTS: Statements, Speeches
Communist Program to Combat U.S. Aid Abroad
U.S. News-World Report, 16 January 1948, pp 68-71
Section 3a: Cold War Launched
(The Russian Government has committed itself to defeating the Marshall Plan for aiding Western Europe. It intends to use communist parties everywhere to attain that goal. The strategy for developing and carrying out the Soviet campaign is made clear in a talk by Andrei Zhdanov, a member of the Politburo that rules Russia, and one of the five most influential officials in the U.S.S.R. Government. The following is from a speech Mr. Zhdanov delivered in Poland, in September, 1947, before a meeting of the Communist parties of nine European countries. [...]
AMERICAN IMPERIALISM seeks [...] to utilize the postwar difficulties of the European countries, in particular, the shortage of raw materials, fuel and food in the Allied countries which suffered most in the war, for the purpose of dictating to them slavish conditions of aid.
Anticipating an impending economic crisis, the U.S.A. is making haste to find new monopoly spheres for the investment of capital and for markets. U.S. economic “aid” pursues the broad purpose of enslaving Europe by American capital. The graver the economic condition of one country or another, the harsher the terms which the American monopolies seek to dictate.
But economic control involves also the political subordination to American imperialism. [...]
American monopolies, “rescuing” one country or another from famine and chaos, seek to deprive that country of any independence. American “aid” almost automatically involves a change in the political policy of the country to which this “aid is extended. [...]
Finally, the desire for world domination and an antidemocratic policy on the part of the U.S.A. includes ideological warfare. The fundamental task of the ideological part of the American strategic plan lies in blackmailing public opinion, disseminating slander regarding the imaginary aggressiveness of the Soviet Union and the countries of the new democracy, and thereby presenting the Anglo-Saxon bloc in the role of the defending side and removing from it responsibility for preparing a fresh war.
During the second World War, the popularity of the Soviet Union grew tremendously abroad. Through its self-sacrificing and heroic struggle against imperialism, the Soviet Union won the love and respect of working people in all countries. [...]
In the ideological struggle against the U.S.S.R., the American imperialists, demonstrating their ignorance, put forward first of all the idea of portraying the Soviet Union as a force alleged to be undemocratic and totalitarian, and the U.S.A., Britain and the entire capitalist world as democracy.
A specific expression of the expansionist aspirations of the U.S.A. under present conditions is to be found in the Truman Doctrine as well as the Marshall Plan. [...]
The Truman Doctrine, which seeks to offer American assistance to all reactionary regimes actively fighting against democratic peoples is of a frankly aggressive nature. Its publication elicited certain embarrassment even in circles of American capitalists who are used to anything. Progressive public elements in the U.S.A. and in other countries resolutely protested against the challenging, frankly imperialist nature of Truman’s act.
The unfavorable reception which greeted the Truman Doctrine elicited the need for the Marshall Plan, which is a more veiled attempt at carrying through one and the same expansionist policy.
The essence of the hazy, deliberately camouflaged formulae of the Marshall Plan lies in cementing a bloc of states connected by their obligations to the U.S.A. and in offering American credits in payment for repudiation by the European states of their economic and, subsequently, their political independence.
The basis of the Marshall Plan lies in the restoration of the industrial areas of Western Germany under the control of American monopolies.
The Soviet Government has never objected to the use of foreign and, particularly, American credits, as a means capable of accelerating the process of economic reconstruction. However, the Soviet Union has always proceeded from the fact that the credit terms should not be of an enslaving nature, and should not lead to the economic and political enslavement of the debtor state to the creditor state.
Proceeding from this same political principle, the Soviet Union has always defended the position that foreign credits should not be the principal means of the restoration of a country’s economy. The fundamental and decisive condition for economic reconstruction should be the use of internal forces and resources of any country and the creation of its own industry. [...]
The Soviet Union constantly defends the thesis that political and economic relations among various states should be founded exclusively on the principle of equality of the parties and mutual respect for their sovereign rights. [...]
The Communists must be the leading force in co-opting all anti-Fascist freedom-loving elements in the struggle against the new American expansionist plans for the enslaving of Europe.
It must be kept in mind that there is a tremendous difference between the desire of the imperialists to unleash a new war and the possibility of organizing such a war. The peoples of the world do not want a war. [...]