Whatever disagreements among socialists and Marxists may have existed until recently, there was agreement that war between socialist states is inappropriate. This premise is no longer the case. This changes the conception of the international socialist movement from that of a single force moving in general harmony--although with different means--to that of a number of inimical forces competing for power. This transforms the perception of the conflict between socialist and capitalist states.
Conflicts between Marxist-socialist countries are the results of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy which advocates the resort to force to effect change or resolve issues. Border clashes between Russia and China (though diminishing) dramatized the haunting spectre of a third World War beginning in Asia, while the spectre haunting Europe, which had taken lives in Hungary, Czechoslavakia and Poland, is now transformed following the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Conflict between communist countries can appear anywhere, for example, between China and Vietnam, and indicates the belligerency of the communist system.