Su, About one month previous to Roger Garaudy's liberal promulgations at Chiemsee (West talks to East. CA:mom HERALD, May 20) Mr. Yegorychev, the Moscow party secretary, speaking at the 23rd Congress of the C.P.S.U., deprecated the French Communist Party's criticism of certain illiberal aspects of Soviet policy. (Sec Victor Zorza's report in The Guardian', April 1). If the Soviet Union. therefore. disapproves of such attitudes is there any real value in Christian-Marxist dialogue? If so. to whom is it valuable'? Mr. Charles Fenyvesi's report in the same issue of the CATHOLIC HERALD suggests that an East-West, European summit may follow the next Warsaw Pact meeting, resulting in a non-aggression treaty which would effect the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Europe.
We in West Europe are inclined to be titillated by the idea of a Europe independent of the U.S.A. A Europe cooperating with the Soviet Union would be ostensibly selfsufficient. But why should Russia wish to co-operate with the capitalist West? Is not the raison d'etre of the C.P.S.U. the construction of communism in Russia and the eventual acceptance of this system by all countries? How could this be accomplished in the situation envisaged by Mr. Fenyvesi?
The huge expansion of Soviet industry is being frustrated by military commitments in Europe. Mr. Khrushchev, at the 22nd Congress. and Mr. Brezhnev, at the 23rd Congress, both propounded gigantic expansion. The Communist criterion for national prosperity is based on per head production, yet it realises that its position as a world power depends mainly upon its ability to match American production in the field of heavy industry and engineering.
Mass production of aircraft, arms and space vehicles, and heavy engineering plant, is being hindered by the demand for promised consumer items which the American economy takes in its stride. The 1965 production of cars was 201.2 thousand, the forecast for 1970 is 700/800 thousand—hence the Fiat factories with a production capability of 2,000 cars per day. A Europe supplying the "cottage industry" goods would relieve the Soviet Union
of this nagging appendage to its economy, at the same time depriving the U.S. of a major . market The Soviet Union could then concentrate its present European military potential along the Sino-Soviet frontier and "progress" towards Communism, secure in the knowledge of its own overwhelming superiority of raw material reserves.
One of the problems facing the C.P.S.U. is to define ideological change in MarxistLeninist terms. A change of the above magnitude would require a radical redefinition, and Marxists like Professor Garaudy could well be providing Moscow with the solution to this problem. After many years of religious persecution it would be necessary to convince the , masses that Professor Garaudy's thesis is acceptable. But would the U.S.S.R. be acting with altruistic motives? Why is the construction of Communism so important? The following quotation from a resolution passed at the 23rd Party Congress provides an answer. "The international significance of Communist construction in the U.S.S.R. is that it enhances the economic, political and defence might of the whole socialist system and helps to spread and consolidate the ideas of Socialism throughout the world."
Perhaps a united Europe would influence and temper the ambitions of the Soviet Union, but recent events in the U.S.S.R. do not suggest any significant decline in authoritarianism, so the man in the street may well find that "sham peace" would take him closer to Marxist Leninist control than the cold war.
Eamon Dwyer .nnclon, W.4.