Doctrine versus Pragmatism
The search for rewarding methods of exploiting the opportunities offered by the rise of the Third World has occupied the Soviet leaders at least since the Nineteenth Communist Party of the Soviet Union Congress of 1952. At the time of the Twenty-second Congress, the corresponding category of present or potential “national democracies” included, in addition to Cuba, Indonesia, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali. In a “national democratic” state, it was not necessary for the proletariat to assume the leading role, for any “progressive” class could initiate the necessary reforms. Actually, the whole doctrine appears to be an attempt to pave the way for the gradual development of the prerequisites for a transition to socialism in countries in which the proletariat was extremely weak. Pravda proclaimed as early as March 1968 the direct Soviet interest in a commitment to the preservation of a “progressive” regime in the UAR.