Strategy for Revolution in 21st Century
Soviet Union Disarmament Proposals, 1959-1989 Its relation to a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century


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During the 20th Century, the invention of nuclear weapons changed the nature of war and threatened all life on the planet. This was recognized clearly by the Soviet Union who worked diligently at the United Nations for nuclear disarmament. On May 10, 1955, they agreed to nuclear disarmament proposals put forward at the United Nations, whereupon the US withdrew the proposals. Over the years, Soviet diplomatic efforts were instrumental in convening three special sessions on disarmament as well as permanent commissions at the United Nations.

Although the Soviet proposals are contained in many books, unfortunately the documentation is not available at the present time (2004) on the Internet. The most dramatic proposal was actually signed in 1961 for the Soviet Union and United States by diplomats McCloy and Zorin which came about following the proposal to the United Nations by Khrushchev in 1959 of general and complete disarmament. Once again, the United States backed out of the agreement.

The McCoy-Zorin agreement provided a comprehensive framework for disarmament based on the following principles:

that disarmament is general and complete and war is no longer an instrument for settling international problems;

that such disarmament is accompanied by the establishment of reliable procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes and effective arrangements for the maintenance of peace in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

that States have at their disposal only such non-nuclear armaments, forces, facilities and establishments as are agreed to be necessary to maintain internal order and protect the personal security of citizens;

that States shall support and provide agreed manpower for a United Nations peace force;

the disbanding of armed forces;

the dismantling of military establishments including bases;

the cessation of arms production;

the liquidation of armaments, or their conversion for peaceful purposes;

the elimination of all stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, bacteriological and other weapons of mass destruction as well as their means of delivery;

the abolition of military institutions;

the cessation of military training and the discontinuance of military expenditures;

that the disarmament program should be implemented in stages within specified time limits until completion; and

that no State or group of States gain military advantage over another.

The statement also called for the creation of an international disarmament organisation within the framework of the United Nations. Its inspectors would have unrestricted access to all places, as necessary for verification of disarmament measures.

Throughout the years from 1961 on the Soviet Union pressed consistently at the United Nations for disarmament agreements, and disarmament became a constant theme at Soviet Party Congresses and in the speeches of Soviet Presidents. One of the few such speeches available on the Internet is that of Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev on October 22, 1985.

Gorbachev began his speech by recognizing that nuclear war could now destroy the entire planet and that it was only the socialist countries that were acting to save it: "Mankind is facing a historic transitional period, during which either the arms race and military threat will be stopped or the forces pushing humanity towards nuclear catastrophe will prevail ... Nowadays, only our community [of socialist states] can prevent a nuclear war. [...] Our community has done much to keep Europe peaceful, to prevent the nuclear catastrophe. But the complexity of today's situation suggests the necessity of finding new steps, new solutions which could lead to the end of the arms race. And the Soviet Union is making and proposing such steps. The Soviet Union has voluntarily taken the obligation not to be the first country to send arms into space. Unilaterally, we have declared a moratorium on nuclear explosions and on the deployment of medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Moreover, we have cut the number of our nuclear weapons.

And he pointed out that the capitalist countries were not taking disarmament seriously: "The first two rounds of the Soviet-American talks in Geneva ... have shown that the USA did not seriously consider preventing the arms race either in space or on Earth. The talks were used by the US to cover up their actions, aimed at gaining military superiority."

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world lost its major force for disarmament and has returned to dominance by the capitalist culture of war with its major profits from the production of armaments. If we are to achieve a culture of peace, it will require revolutionary change leading to genuine disarmament and realization of the human right to peace.

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Human rights vs exploitation

Women's equality vs patriarchy

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Disarmament vs armament

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Agent Provocateurs

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Psychology for revolutionaries

Capitalist culture of war

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Winning Conflict by Nonviolence

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