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Congress in Wroclaw: Battle for Peace and Culture.

The international democratic press carried many articles,

commentaries and reports on the work of the World Congress

of Culture in Defence of Peace, convened in Worclaw (Poland)

on August 25-28 (1948.mn)

It would have been simple for delegates to succumb to the

temptation of reaching formal unanimity, avoiding differences

and making general declarations about peace and culture,

which all of them could have signed readily, even those who

are preparing for a new war.

As a matter of fact, one of the speakers, the British delegate

Olaf Stapledon, fell into this temptation. In an endeavour to

formulate a common united programme of intellectuals in

defence of peace, Stapledon proposed in his report an

impracticable plan of reconciling the different ideologies

instead of a plan for definite action against the warmongers.

Had the Congress taken this path, it inevitably would have

become entangled in abstract pacifist phraseology which would

have been very much to the taste of the warmongers, those

experts in the art of camouflage.

It was clear from the reports of Fadeyev (Soviet Union) and

Prenant (France), and later from Amado (Brazil) and Donini

(Italy) when they took part in discussion, that the Congress

intended primarily to define clearly who were the warmongers,

the enemies of peace and culture. The cardinal task of the

Congress was not to elaborate general resolutions about “inter-

penetration of Western and Eastern cultures” but to show what

popular and national forces were in fact opposing the forces of

imperialism in the battle for peace or war.

It was important not only to make speeches against imperialism

in general but to name the imperialist circles which today, as

Hitler did yesterday, brazenly declare their aim of world

domination, come forward as the instigators of a new war and

threaten the peace and independence of the peoples. To have

concealed from the Congress this main problem of determining

who are the warmongers, to have lulled it with eloquent

speeches, slurring over or avoiding all sharp issues, would have

meant that the Congress had attained not real results.

In his report, Fadeyev, with great force and conviction, posed

the problem of exposing the warmongers as the central issue in

the discussion. Certain delegates, such as professor Taylor

(Great Britain) tried to make light of the responsibility of the

United States imperialists and their stooges, but the concrete

proof offered by speakers from Italy, France, Latin America,

Africa, Asia and even from the United States itself

convincingly corroborated the indictment against the

instigators of war, against Franco’s accomplices, against the

executioners of the Greek people, all of whom are threatening

the national culture and independence of Brazil, France, Italy

and many other countries harnessed to the yoke of the dollar.

The most substantial result of the Wroclaw Congress is that this

Congress, in the name of the representatives of world culture,

clearly defined the enemies of peace and culture in the person

of the Wall Street war instigators and their accomplices in the

other capitalist countries. This was the finest contribution of

the progressive intelligentsia to the struggle for peace.

The Congress Manifesto leaves no possibility of

misinterpretation. It lays bare also the responsibility of those

reactionary forces in the different countries of Europe, which

have become the accomplices of U.S. imperialist circles in

their policy of war and enslavement of peoples.

However, in the struggle for a united front of the intelligentsia

in defence of peace and progressive culture it is not enough

merely to expose the war-makers. The progressive

intelligentsia must clearly recognise that today the struggle for

peace in each country takes on the concrete form of consistent

defence of national culture and independence against the threat

of new imperialist domination.

They declared that a world culture could only be built through its own free development and mutual enrichment—not on the ruins of a suppressed national cultural.

Here, too, some delegates tried to divert the congress

along channels of a colourless cosmopolitanism, with the aid of

which certain groups servilely camouflage American

imperialism’s fantastic plans for world domination.

In the course of discussion this cosmopolitanism, which is a

negation of the sovereignty and national independence of

peoples, was denounced as one of the main weapons used by

the ruling imperialist clique to lull the vigilance of the peoples,

and to win over to their side a large section of the intelligentsia

who in this way become accomplices of the imperialists in their

schemes for world domination.

The Congress counterposed to the imperialist plans for a

“world government”, “super-national sovereignty” and the

“negation of national sovereignty”, a concrete policy of peace

and defence of the national independence, sovereignty and

culture of all peoples. And once again the Soviet delegation

demonstrated by its speeches, and by its multi-national

composition that the free development of culture, the

strengthening of national independence and sovereignty are

today the best guarantee of the peaceful co-existence of

nations.

The unbreakable ties between the struggle for peace and the

struggle for national independence and culture became even

more evident after many speakers—among them Ehrenburg

and Cesaire and the delegates from Poland and Latin-America

—pointed out that there is a new content in the struggle for

national independence and culture now that the working people

are taking over the leadership of the struggle.

Lenin wrote that every national culture has its latent elements of democratic and socialist culture, for in every nation there are working and exploited masses whose living conditions inevitably give birth to a democratic and socialist ideology.

Since Lenin wrote this, we have seen the victory of Socialism

in the Soviet Union, the beginning of a new culture in the new

democracies, the workers and the mass of the people taking the

decisive role in the struggle against fascism in all countries at a

time when the bourgeoisie and its ideologists have betrayed the

national independence in their countries. These factors have

enabled the democratic and socialist principles in the national

culture of all countries to develop rapidly. The Soviet Union—

where flourishes cultures, national in form and socialist in

content—is showing the way to peace and culture for all

peoples, thus helping the struggle of the masses in different

countries for their progressive culture.

The discussion showed that the new relations between the

intelligentsia and the people and the new tasks of the

intelligentsia in the struggle for peace, correspond to this new

content in the struggle for peace, for national independence and

for culture.

Certain delegates tried to maintain that intellectuals should

remain aloof from the struggle. But the Congress expressed

itself uncompromisingly in favour of a culture connected with

the people and in the service of the people, for a culture which

takes part with all its forces to play its part in the day-to-day

struggle of the people. The delegates saw in the Soviet Union

an example of the invincibility of this culture and that is why,

at the congress, they realised the leading role of the Soviet

people and of their culture in the struggle for peace.

The Wroclaw Congress also demonstrated that among men of

culture also the forces of peace, democracy and socialism are

growing, organising and coming out against the forces of war,

imperialism and oppression. The ice has been broken, the path

charted and the first battle in defence of peace and culture won.

In our day, when all roads lead to Communism, the Communist intellectuals have proved, and demonstrate by new deeds, that they are at their posts in the front ranks of the battle for peace.