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Historical Fragment: Flyer by Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that Initiated the People’s War

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On February 13th, 1996 the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) distributed the flyer reproduced below to announce the initiation of the people’s war in Nepal. In the subsequent 10 years the party would be able to capture over 80% of the countryside and win over the majority of the people. It had established dual power through the people’s courts and governments in the revolutionary base areas, and had undertaken projects to ameliorate the lives of the peasantry, including developing small hydro projects, building schools and hospitals, and breaking old feudal traditions and establishing new revolutionary ones. However, in the last 9 years since the beginning of the peace process and 19 years since the initiation of the people’s war, the peasantry has lost many of these gains. Furthermore, the “mother” party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has completely adopted a reformist parliamentary path. In the pamphlet reproduced below, the CPN(Maoist) stated,

Today the biggest traitors of the people have been those so-called communists, the revisionists, who have gone after crumbs of reactionary state power by licking the boots of feudalism and imperialism. The Nepalese people and Nepalese history will never forgive those traitors who have sat on the chairs of the reactionaries by betraying the people’s faith in radical change and the Communist Party and by stepping on the blood of thousands of martyrs. Again if one talks of limiting oneself to the reformist struggle within the reactionary state, that will be merely another process of treachery. This has now been a historically verified truth.

This has been once again verified when one looks at the actions of the current UCPN(Maoist) leadership. This ostensibly was one of the significant reasons for the split by the current CPN(Maoist) from the UCPN(Maoist), however, they too have become little more than an external opposition to the UCPN(Maoist). Indeed, the tactics of the CPN(Maoist) have been less than inspiring inasmuch that they have largely constituted of making infinite demands on the reformist state, and dangling the carrot of reunification with the UCPN(Maoist) to win members from the latter organisation. One does not get the sense that the organisation actually has a strategy to get from its current quagmire to a revolutionary situation. The newly formed CPN-Maoist, led by Netra Bikram Chand, a “left-wing” split from the CPN(Maoist) has emphasised the return to the people’s war, although it is not clear from what one can read about their line what their strategy is. However, I will reserve judgment until I can properly read their political document, which I believe some comrades are in the process of translating into English.

The situation in Nepal whilst different than it was 19 years ago, in part because of the positive outcomes of the people’s war, is not so different from the analysis put forward in the document below. Semi-feudalism continues to persist, especially in areas which came under Maoist control much later in the revolutionary process and thus were unable to sustain the gains that were made. Capitalist exploitation continues unabated in the urban centres with a growing proletariat and reserve army of labour. Semi-colonialism, similarly, is well-rooted. Indeed, it is more clear today, than ever before, that Nepal has been “Bhutanized” by Indian sub-imperialism. Does this all mean that the time has come for people’s war? I would argue no. Indeed, any return to the people’s war without a proper summation of the experience of the last 19 years and a proper strategy for the path forwards is simply being callous with the lives of the very oppressed classes that the Nepalese revolutionary movement seeks to mobilise. Indeed, it is difficult to know which way to march, when the path itself is not clear. However, the goal remains the same: smash the reactionary state and establish a new democratic state. In closing, I would like to draw a parallel to another famous exhortation to arms, Machiavelli’s The Prince, where he similarly identified the dismissal state of affairs in Italy and the need for a Prince. Today Nepal needs a new Prince who is able to bring with it a new mode of organisation and politics. The situation is excellent, the question is whether there is a Prince with the prudence to make the necessary intervention and to invent new modes and orders.

March Along the Path of People’s War to Smash the Reactionary State and Establish a New Democratic State!

Dear Masses of the People,
Today Nepalese society is in a state of grave crisis, whether economically, politically, culturally or otherwise. Where has the present state that has been harping about development and construction for the last fifty years landed Nepal economically? It has landed Nepal in the position of second poorest country in the world after Ethiopia. This state that does not manufacture even a needle in the name of a self-reliant and national economy has handed over the whole economy of the country to a dozen families of the foreign comprador and bureaucrat capitalists. Whereas this handful of plunderers have become billionaires, the real masters of this country and the national property, the toiling masses of Nepal, are forced to eke out a meager existence of deprivation and poverty. The sons and daughters of Nepalese peasants and workers reeling under unemployment and poverty are compelled to lead a miserable life of dishonour and neglect in India and different parts of the world to earn their daily bread. After piling a massive foreign debt burden even on the future generations of the Nepalese people, the feudal and comprador and bureaucrat capitalist rulers are making merry on it. In the name of privatization and liberalization under the guidance and for the benefit of the foreign capitalists, the process of mortgaging the whole country to the comprador and bureaucrat capitalists is now in full swing.

The burden of this economic degradation has to be basically borne by the peasantry, which constitute ninety percent of the population. That every new government formed under this state structure pushes and will push the country economically into a further state of bankruptcy has been historically verified.

To maintain hegemony of one religion (Hinduism), language (Nepalese) and nationality (Khas), this state has for centuries exercised discrimination, exploitation and oppression against other religions, languages and nationalities and has conspired to fragment the force of national unity that is vital for the proper development and security of the country. On the contrary, it has been prostrating itself before the foreign imperialists and expansionists and repeatedly mortgaging Nepal’s national honour and sovereignty to them. The present state has been shamelessly permitting the foreign plunderers to grab the natural water resources of Nepal and to trample upon our motherland. If this process is allowed to continue in the future, the patriotic, conscious and self-esteemed Nepalese have no doubt that the very existence of Nepal will be in jeopardy.

The present state has declared war against the development of the national culture of the Nepalese people by flooding the country with corrupt, licentious and distorted imperialist culture. The feudal and imperialist forces are doing their utmost to replace the democratic cultural values and ideals with Freudian, nihilist and anarchic values. This is a sequel to the conspiracy of the reactionary classes to corrupt the people culturally and preserve their own heaven of plunder. This corrupt cultural value is no less responsible for the burgeoning of drug-trafficking, smuggling, thievery, black marketeering, looting, murder and rape in the society today.

Within this moribund state structure, a coalition government of Panchas (royalists) and Nepali Congress, defamed in Nepalese history for their anti-national and genocidal deeds, is ruling right now. This government has forced not only the peasants and workers of Nepal but also the people of different categories and professions to live in a state of scarcity, injustice and terror. Whereas this state has been treating women as second-class citizens for a long time, now it has intensified rape, trafficking and the process of commoditization through advertisements against them. The whole educational system is tuned to produce slaves for this state and there is rampant anarchy in it. Thus, be they workers, peasants, women, teachers, students, small traders, lower-ranking civil servants, doctors, professors, or people of different classes including the national bourgeoisie, all are victims of this state of feudals and comprador and bureaucrat capitalists. Except for radical change in all spheres, any possibility of reform has now become a mere chimera.

Reactionary ruling classes, forever swearing by democracy, have been repeatedly using their guns against the political activists or the ordinary masses who hold political beliefs counter to the interests of the rulers. This state which regards itself as the custodian of “democracy” has been surviving on the blood of innumerable sons and daughters of mother Nepal, ranging from infants to the aged, whenever the people have professed and spoken in favour of nationalism, democracy and livelihood. Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese people fighting for justice have been subjected to inhuman physical torture, confinement in jails and mental torture. Not only during the partyless panchayat (absolute monarchy) period but even in the present monarchal parliamentary period, the fascist genocidal and repressive acts have been on the increase rather than decreasing. This is a bitter truth experienced by the Nepalese people in their real life. This process has now developed into an armed repression campaign against innocent people favouring truth and justice. The recent armed operation and state terror let loose in Western Nepal and different parts of the country has testified beyond doubt that the ruling classes have openly embarked upon an unjust war against the people. The heinous game of the reactionary state of enroling the sons and daughters of the poor peasants and workers into the police and the army as mercenaries and forcing them to use arms against their own parents, brothers and sisters, is now crystal clear. With the passage of time those in the police and the army will also come to know the realities. There is no alternative for the people other than to raise the banner of just war against this unjust war.

How did we reach this stage of the critical condition of nationalism, democracy and livelihood and a situation of open warfare of the state against the people? What is clear on the basis of historical and scientific materialism is that the seeds of this state of affairs were sown in Nepalese history a long time back. With the advent of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, as in almost all the oppressed nations, in Nepal too, a semi-feudal and semi-colonial socio-economic structure based on the alliance of feudalism and imperialism was established. This gave rise to a process of feudalism prostrating before imperialism and imperialism plundering the masses while protecting feudalism. In Nepal, this process was initiated in concrete form after the conclusion of the Sugauli Treaty of 1815-16 with British India. The inevitable consequence of this process was that it obstructed the development of national capitalism and instead opened the path to the development of bureaucrat capital in the interests of both landlords and imperialism. This long historical period has in fact been the period of the process of the birth, rise and demise of the same bureaucrat capital.

In Nepalese society, the 104 year period of Rana autocracy (between 1846-1950) existed under the same formation as the later partyless panchayat autocracy (between 1960-1990), and the current so-called monarchical multi-party system (since 1990) also continued and continues under the same dispensation. As a result of the struggle of the Nepalese people against this socio-economic structure, principally, and due to the changes in the international political situation, secondarily, the names of the system and the government have been changing, sometimes liberal and at other times conservative, to make a redistribution of the spoils of power. But the basic structure of the state has remained unchanged. The political developments of 1951, 1960, 1979 and 1990 can only be understood in this way. Looking at history just since 1951, it is amply evident that an ever greater crisis for the country and the people has been sprouting from within the womb of the petty reforms carried out within the reactionary state.

The Nepalese people have been constantly struggling against this state of affairs. In the process of such struggles, the Nepalese people have been a victim of not only the repeated repression and intrigues of the reactionaries but also of the betrayal and treachery of the reformists. Today the biggest traitors of the people have been those so-called communists, the revisionists, who have gone after crumbs of reactionary state power by licking the boots of feudalism and imperialism. The Nepalese people and Nepalese history will never forgive those traitors who have sat on the chairs of the reactionaries by betraying the people’s faith in radical change and the Communist Party and by stepping on the blood of thousands of martyrs. Again if one talks of limiting oneself to the reformist struggle within the reactionary state, that will be merely another process of treachery. This has now been a historically verified truth.

The other aspect which should not be forgotten at this point is that the negative recurrence of the reactionary repression and intrigue and reformist betrayal and treachery has given rise to the positive conditions of enhancing the political consciousness of the general masses of the people and of their attaining the sole revolutionary ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism for their liberation, amidst the people’s class struggle and a long and intense ideological struggle against such reformism. Today, the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Party guided by this all-powerful revolutionary ideology has developed like a beautiful and blossoming flower, through the long struggle of the labouring masses of Nepal, irrigated by the blood of thousands of martyrs. Whereas all kinds of reactionaries and revisionists are madly after it to nip it in the bud, the revolutionary masses are taking care of its preservation and development.

Dear Masses of the People,

What is clear from the above historical and current facts is that the present crisis-ridden condition of the country is the result of the development of contradictions between the exploitation and oppression of the people by the state power of the feudals and comprador and bureaucrat capitalist classes, on the one hand, and the relentless struggle carried out by the people against it, on the other. To defend their moribund and crisis-ridden reactionary state, feudalism and imperialism have openly imposed an unjust war on the Nepalese people. If the Nepalese people cannot raise the banner of a just people’s war against this unjust war and become victorious in it, the Nepalese people and the Nepalese nation will be doomed to a prolonged darkness.

Conscious of one’s duty towards this historical necessity, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the proletarian party of the sons and daughters of the masses of the people, has resolved to initiate the process of forcibly smashing this reactionary state and establishing a New Democratic state. This resolve of ours is based on the feeling of service and devotion toward the people, on the commitment to the lofty ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to free humanity forever from the yoke of class exploitation, and on the study of the history of Nepalese society in that light. We are fully conscious that this war to break the shackles of thousands of years of slavery and to establish a New Democratic state will be quite uphill, full of twists and turns and of a protracted nature. But this and this alone is the path of people’s liberation and a great and bright future. This path will unfold by making use of all forms of struggle in keeping with the historical stage of development of Nepal and principally, as we have been saying all along, according to the strategy of encircling the city from the countryside, with agrarian revolution as the axis and from the midst of and in conjunction with the rural class struggle. This process of people’s war in the context of the present balance of forces will move forward through the process of people’s guerilla war within the stage of strategic defence. We are confident that the masses of the people of all classes and categories will extend active support and help to this revolutionary process and that it will be victorious. Besides this, we are conscious and confident that this struggle will win support and help from the communist revolutionaries and struggling masses the world over, and that this will in turn assist all those revolutionaries. Because this struggle of ours will be part and parcel of the world proletarian revolution undertaken with a view to ending exploitation and oppression of man by man and to ending war itself forever. In this context we would like to make special mention of the ongoing people’s revolution in Peru based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) and revolutionary movements the world over based on the same.

Finally, we appeal to the workers, peasants, women, students, teachers, intellectuals and the masses of the people of all categories and trades to march along in the process of people’s war for establishing a people’s New Democratic state and to extend to it all forms of support and help.

It is Right to Rebel!

Long Live the People’s War!

Down With the Reactionary State!

Long Live the New Democratic Revolution!

Glory to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

13 February 1996

Written by theworkersdreadnought

13/02/2015 at 23:06

Historical Fragment: Notes on the Impossibilists

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Another interest I have, besides the rise of political Islam/Islamic fascism, has been to develop a better understanding of the history of Canada and the history of socialism and communism in Canada. I would like to note that by Canada I do not mean the history of the First Nations, whose history is deeply linked the history of Canada but also maintains its own autonomy, however does include the history of Quebec. What follows are notes that I took on the Impossibilists. Please, note that again this is not a developed position, but just some preliminary remarks. The focus is on DeLeon and the American experience, rather than the Canadian one. There is a long section on the Scottish Marxist, James Maclean, because these were notes were originally made when the Scottish referendum was going on last Fall.

Impossibilism – DeLeonism – Socialist Labour Party (USA), Socialist Labour Party (UK)

The Impossibilists (especially the Socialist Labour Parties in the USA, UK and Canada) argued that communism cannot be established through the winning of immediate political or economic demands. Instead they completely focused on political action, most notably propaganda, complemented by industrial syndicalism. Indeed, the SLP and Daniel DeLeon, its key theorist and leader, understood the existing trade unions as reactionary bureaucratic organisations, and argued that the working class needed to be organised on a completely different basis.This resulted in a split where the section, in favour of “boring within” the existing trade union structure and using simply the means of propaganda to radicalise workers, split from the SLP and formed the Socialist Party (the left-wing faction of this would go onto form the CPUSA). The SLP’s trade union activities in turn helped form the IWW in 1905, however, DeLeon was subsequently kicked out of the IWW for sectarianism and the debate on the role of the party. Where DeLeon was correct in the debate with the IWW was his argument for the the need of a disciplined socialist party that would complement the revolutionary syndicalism of the IWW. The SLP itself never joined the CPUSA and slowly withered away. The IWW on the other hand would produce a number of key militants of the CPUSA, including John Reed, who argued that the Comintern adopt the IWW as the official trade union in the USA rather, than the bureaucratically run AFL. Unfortunately, Reed lost the debate to Lenin, who attacked such ideas in “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder”. The three contributions that DeLeonism and Impossibilism made was: 1) an understanding that gradualism would not lead to communism; 2) a militant attitude against the economism of the IWW through an understanding of the need for a revolutionary party; and 3) a correct recognition that communism needed to be based in the formation of militant trade unions.

In Scotland, England and Ireland, the influence of DeLeon allowed for the Socialist Labour Party (they ran the Glasgow Socialist Press) to split from the reformist Socialist Democratic Federation (SDF). Indeed, this newly formed party included such luminaries as James Connolly (Ireland) and briefly James MacLean (Scotland). MacLean had earlier been a member of the British Socialist Party (which itself was a left split from the SDF after the formation of the SLP). Indeed, Connolly would recognise the importance of the IWW and revolutionary syndicalism and upon returning to Ireland connected with the revolutionary syndicalist James Larkin. Unlike DeLeon, Connolly abandoned the role of the party and became occupied with revolutionary syndicalism and the union-based Irish Citizen Army. Connolly’s influenced is marked for the Scottish communist James MacLean. MacLean is important because he recognised, in contradistinction to his former comrades in the BSP, that Lenin’s theses on the colonial question applied to the situation in Scotland and argued that Lenin had been misinformed about the situation in Scotland by Willie Gallacher (who subsequently led the CPGB) thus causing Lenin to argue that the Scottish socialists should join the Unionist CPGB (which had been formed by the majority of the SLP, a section of the Stewards Movement led by Jack Murphy, Sylvia Pankhursts’ WSF and the BSP). MacLean in turn helped for the Scottish Workers’ Republican Party which fought for communism and Scottish independence, but remained aloof of the CPGB because of their continued Unionist position. He also remained in touch with Sylvia Pankurst who had by then left the CPGB because of her principled anti-parliamentarian stance had formed the Communist Workers’ Party. From MacLean we of course recognise the need for self-determination and the choice of any nation to seek its self-determination unto and including secession (it ought to be noted that any given nation can opt for themselves for the kind of self-determination that they want and thus may choose not to opt for secession). It ought to be noted that there is no such thing as MacLeanism or Connollyism, however, both MacLean and Connolly put into effect, to varying degrees, Marxism-Leninist theories into practice.

Written by theworkersdreadnought

05/02/2015 at 16:34

Posted in Communist History

Bob Avakian’s “New Synthesis”: The Overlooked Importance of the Critique of Apriorism

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user18970_pic7852_1302745895One aspect of Bob Avakian’s “New Synthesis” that I briefly addressed in the first part of my critique was Lenny Wolff’s argument that Avakian’s “new synthesis” was a break from a form of apriorism that existed in the International Communist Movement (ICM). Wolff defined apriorism as, “imposing categories on the world, rather than drawing these concepts from the world itself, in a complex interplay between practice and theory”. Wolff then provided a historical example of this apriorism: Stalin’s agricultural policies. I argued at the time that Stalin’s agricultural policies, whilst incorrect, were being somewhat unfairly critiqued for apriorism because Stalin could not have any a posteriori knowledge of socialist agricultural policy, and thus necessary needed to rely on an a priori understanding of the problem. Indeed, it was only after the first 5-year plan that it was possible for Stalin to then have a posteriori knowledge about socialist agrarian policy. However, I was encouraged to reflect more Wolff’s discussion of apriorism in Wolff’s speech in the context of a book on the Lin Biao incident that I recently finished reading. Having read the book it became evident to me that Avakian’s critique of ‘apriorism’ was in fact referring to two more historical experiences: the Lin Biao incident and the experience of the Communist Party of Peru. The latter is particularly important inasmuch that one of the main categories that the PCP put forward was “Maoism”, in contradistinction to “Mao Zedong Thought”. Other categories suggested by the PCP proved more controversial, including the “militarised party”, “Gonzalo Thought” and the “universality of people’s war”. Indeed, it becomes clear that the RCP,USA in attacking apriorism seeks to distance the RCP,USA not only from the negative aspects embodied in the example of Peru, but from the entire Maoist process embodied in the historical experience of the RIM.

The book, “Lin Biao and the Gang of Four: Contra-Confucianism in Historical and Intellectual Perspective”, authored by Tien-wei Wu, chronicles the intellectual debates that broke out in the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident. The book is truly unique in the existing literature on Chinese Maoism inasmuch that it is probably the only monograph-length study of the ideological struggles in the social sciences during the Cultural Revolution period. Tien-wien Wu, when providing a general account of the contra-Confucian campaign and Com. Mao Zedong’s basic principles for the forthcoming campaign (the Three Musts and Three Must Nots), writes,

In the spirit of these three basic principles, efforts were made to transform the world outlook of the people – from bourgeois idealism and metaphysics to the dialectical and materialistic historical world outlook of the proletariat – by means of studying Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

The initial criticism of the bourgeois idealism centered around “apriorism,” which was opposed to materialistic “reflectionism.” This led to a total attack on the theory of genius, which Lin Biao supposedly had used as a counterrevolutionary platform. In a length article entitled, “The Reactionary Nature of the Theory of Genius Viewed from the History of Philosophy,” Zhe Jun pointed out that in China from Confucius and Mecius to Wang Yang-ming and in the West from Plato to Nietzsche, all reactionary classes promoted a theory of genius, which was nothing but apriorism, the foundation of the idealistic view that heroes created history and of the philosophy used by the exploiting classes to dupe the people. The significance of this article probably lies not so much in its criticism of Confucius as in its revelation, which will be discussed later, that Lin Biao was the staunch proponent of the theory of genius. (21)

It is first evident that the spirit of the anti-Confucius campaign animates the current “cultural revolution” that the RCP,USA internally has undergone and is trying to expand to the larger ICM. For the RCP,USA the study of Avakian’s “new synthesis”, in a manner akin to Mao Zedong Thought in the 1960’s and 70’s, has become vital for any proper communist understanding and serves effectively as a dividing line. However, more importantly, in the context of the Lin Biao incident, apriorism is connected not only to a philosophical tendency that imposes pre-conceived categories onto the world, but also one that is connected to a theory of genius and political authority. This connection between the two aspects of the critique of apriorism are necessary to understand to fully understand because this particular Maoist concept of the critique of apriorism is a vital step in understanding how Avakian wishes to apply it in our contemporary conjuncture. Effectively, heroes or geniuses could impose, using political or philosophical authority, categories onto the world which were not of the world itself and thus reflected a bourgeois idealist outlook. This in turn has to be opposed by the correct materialist outlook. To do so meant to not only critique the very concept of genius itself, but also the categories that the genius had deployed. Chairman Gonzalo is likely the contemporary target of the charge of apriorism, and perhaps to a lesser extent Prachanda in Nepal (although he is likely more a negative example of pragmatism), because of the PCP’s advocacy of the ‘jefatura’ line. But what is precisely important about the case of Peru and Chairman Gonzalo is that a number of categories are at stake, most importantly “Maoism” itself. It must be noted that this line of argument is not unique, K.N. Ramachandran of the CPI(ML)[Red Star]/[K.N. Ramachandran] has made this very argument. In the RCP,USA’s response to Mike Ely’s “9 Letters” they write:

Yes, in response to Mike Ely’s question, “Can anyone point out any real difference,” we can point to at
least two decisive differences: 1) The PCP actually argued that, although Gonzalo might be capable of
making minor mistakes, he had developed to the point where it was not possible that he could make a
major error that would touch on the course of the whole revolutionary struggle – and specifically that it was impossible that he could be calling for a peace accord to end the people’s war in Peru when that would amount to a defeat for the revolution. For the RCP’s part, not only have we never argued, or suggested, or believed, anything of the kind with regard to Bob Avakian – that he is incapable of making a major, strategic error, bearing on the whole course of the revolutionary struggle – but, as a matter of basic worldview and principle, we regard this kind of thinking, as applied to anyone, as fundamentally wrong and in fact reflective of a metaphysical and idealist, and in effect a religious, view of leadership. Indeed, one of the distinguishing features of the line of the RCP and the body of work and method and approach of Avakian in particular, is opposition to, and struggle against, this kind of religious tendency, including as this takes shape among communists …

And 2) The “jefatura” line of the PCP actually articulated as an organizational principle that someone who had reached the stature of Gonzalo occupied a position that was in fact above the collectivity of the rest of the Party and its organizational structure – something which, again, the RCP’s line not only does not agree with, and does not apply to Bob Avakian, but which once more Bob Avakian has argued and polemicized against.

In this regard, Avakian is correct. The “jefatura line” indeed is modelled upon Lin Biao’s theory of genius and ought to be rejected. Indeed, the incapacity of some very marginal sections of the PCP’s milieu (in particular the Peru People’s Movement (MPP), but also some fraternal organisations) to accept that Chairman Gonzalo was the author of the peace-accords was predicated on the notion that Chairman Gonzalo, as the embodiment of the party’s whole historical experience, could not have reneged on the people’s war because it was in direct contradiction to the entire line of the party. This is despite the fact that Chairman Gonzalo has helped serve as the titular head for the new PCP, or MOVADEF (which is accused of being the Right-Opportunist Line (ROL) by the MPP. Recently a website claiming to represent the PCP and upholds Chairman Gonzalo has been publishing about the PCP’s 4th stage). The rejection of the “jefatura line” is necessary for a thriving revolutionary movement and it is noteworthy that the CPI(Maoist) came to this conclusion in 1980. If it was sufficient to end here, all would be well. However, the accusation of apriorism has another element: it puts into question all of the categories that it had imposed upon the world. I will focus on the category of Maoism.

It is well-known that Avakian and the RCP,USA were never particularly keen on the term, “Maoism”, and that it was imposed upon them by the PCP. The PCP had adopted the line of “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism” in 1988 and demanded, as a precondition to their joining the RIM, that the RIM similarly accept the term. The RIM would formally do so in 1993, after a period of line-struggle within the RIM which dovetailed with the split in the CPN(Masal) and the TKP/ML. However, part of the difficulty in the debate has been that many, including the Communist Party of the Philippines and the CPI(Maoist) have both argued that there is little semantic difference between “Mao Zedong Thought” and “Maoism”, but had often adopted the latter as a means by which to demarcate an existing military practice. The Avakian and the RCP,USA had been wanting to go a different direction. The RCP,USA have often gestured towards this different direction when they trace a theoretical thread through the oeuvre of Avakian, starting particularly with the document “Conquer the World” and spanning till date, of that alternate line within the RIM. “Maoism”, in effect, becomes a preconceived category that is imposed upon the revolutionary movement by a false “genius”, Chariman Gonzalo, which in turn inhibits the revolutionary movement from realising the truly proletarian outlook.

The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan notes that the term “Maoism” has disappeared from the lexicon of the RCP,USA and that this is the sign of a “post-Maoism”, however, the RCP,USA had not become post-Maoist it has in fact gone alter-Maoist. They seek to serve as two things at once: 1) the unfortunately neglected cipher for the understandings the defeats of “Maoism” since 1968; and 2) the true charters of the unchartered course and the founders of a new stage of communism. I will admit that I think that the RCP,USA’s emphasis on decoupling “Maoism” from the PCP to be useful inasmuch that it allows us to have a discussion about the category and its content in a manner that is not straightjacketed by one narrow definition.

Written by theworkersdreadnought

30/12/2014 at 01:59

In Memoriam: Cheikh Ahmed Tidiane Gueye (26 Nov 1954 – 12 Sep 2009)

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I recently came to learn about Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye through Dr. Robert Biel, a comrade of his, because of a new edition of “Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement” which Kalikot Book Series is going to publish in this coming year along with Kersplebedeb. Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye was an important communist activist, thinker and poet who centrally participated in Black radical and anti-imperialist movements in Britain in the 1980s. For example, he helped found Black Action for the Liberation of Southern Africa (Balsa) which worked with the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania and the Pan-African Congress to break the stranglehold of Anti- Apartheid/SACP/USSR/white liberals. He was principally known as a poet and helped form the poetry and music collective African Dawn. They released a couple of LPs and were incredibly important in the development of a revolutionary culture.

His poems were extremely influential, although they have unfortunately been largely forgotten by subsequent generations. He usually employed the pen-name Ahmed Sheikh. His most famous poem was taken up as a kind of anthem by many in the PAC and BCMA. It is called, “Please do not call me South Africa”, and is available below with one other poem that I have been able to find online by him. In this second poem Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye draws for us a vivid picture of the revolutionary who is among the masses and notably includes the revolutionary Communist Party of Peru as such an example, alongside the Mau Mau and the Palestinians. However, his commitment was not to the radicalised and Black peoples resident in Britain. Rather, as is evidenced in video interview below, he continued to contribute back to people across the continent of Africa in true Pan-Africanist spirit.

For example, he was known to thousands of Eritreans for reciting poems in commemoration of Comrade Abdurrahman Babu (a leading African Maoist thinker and statesman from Tanzania who was also a strong advocate for the right of self determination of Eritrea) on Eritrean television. Apparently, when Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye was introduced, he stood there silently, looking at the audience. He broke his silence with the simple declaration, “I am happy to be in liberated Eritrea and among my people”. Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye would never compromise on the rights for people to self-determine their own lives.

For example, he was known to thousands of Eritreans for reciting poems in commemoration of Comrade Abdurrahman Babu (a leading African Maoist thinker and statesman from Tanzania who was also a strong advocate for the right of self determination of Eritrea) on Eritrean television. Apparently, when Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye was introduced, he stood there silently, looking at the audience. He broke his silence with the simple declaration, “I am happy to be in liberated Eritrea and among my people”. Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye would never compromise on the rights for people to self-determine their own lives.

We ought not forget him as he served as a shining example of the revolutionary tradition and culture that we are perilously in danger of forgetting. Com. Cheikh Ahmed Gueye’s death, definitely heavier than Mount Tai.

Please Do Not Call Me South Afrika

I am Azania land of black folks
Grain grown when stones were
still as soft as butter.
I am Azania land of Zenji
Truth made redudant
by the tyrant´s gang
I am Azania I ran wild and free –
I tamed iron long before the steel-ore
plunderer came.

I have seen kingdoms rise
I have seen kingdoms fall.
I once stretched my hands up to the coast of Somalia.
Deep deep by the great walls of Zimbabwe.
There my name is entombed.
I am Azania once land of hospitality.

I flung my arms to captain Diaz en Vasco da Gama
for I thought them lost.
We sang and ate, danced and laughed.
I had plenty to give for I knew nothing of their design.
Then one day, one infamous day in 1652,
the trecherous seas betched forth.
Three drunken ships at table bay
Dromedaris, Reiger, Goede Hoep.

As dusk was inching
We met
We clushed.
Their ribbs into our Assegais
my sons and daughters
fell too, in a hail of settlers´ bullets.
Battles of yesteryear are engraved in my memory.
I praise you sons en daughters of Thaba Bosio, Isandlawane,
Sandile´s Kap, Keiskamahoek, Bloodriver
I praise you all.

I am Azania – land of Black folk.
I bent but not break.
My name it self – a platform and programme
scattered the white mists over Kliptown.
I am Azania Mangaliso Sobukwe heard my call – then there was Sharpeville.
I am Azania the name reconcilled with itself in deeds of Bantu ka Biko

The name wrapt up a forest of black fists in Soweto.
I am Azania – battered flesh in the Bantustans,
Sturdy voices of Robben Island.
I am Azania – the mind vintilates
back its own breadth, sweat, tears en blood
trapped in gold particles.
I am Azania – mourn made murmuring
murmuring made cry, cry made shriek,
shriek drilling in the settlers´ears.

I am Azania – the feared black bull
in the tomentors dreams.
I am that black dot
on the boers white history books.
Black consciousness unbound only the pure I take for I have no time
I am Azania land of ZENJI – burning truth churns the tyrants- gang
truth made the dream and dream made the truth
Please do not call me South Africa.

When the elements sing

Hail the hurricane, hail the harmattan
Rejoice
Sing and dance with the whirlwind
I am one with nature
I sing of unrest
I sing of passion, of love
I sing of dawn
When the eye of the sky is crimson-red
The very colour of my dreams
I am one with nature
History, geography is on my side
My people too
Mountains, valleys, canyons
Where we ensnare and subdue
The enemy’s metal herd
I am one with nature
Don’t you know?
Ask the Palestinian
Ask the Eritrean
Ask the Mau Mao
Ask Sondero Luminoso in Peru
They will tell you that I am one with nature.
Listen and listen well
What does it say?
I am one with nature
I speak of crops and harvests
To feed the starving
Toiling multitudes
I grew up by the Nile
And spread across the globe
Do not ask me
What I have seen
What do you hear?
What do you see?
What do you feel?
Are you with me?
Are you with nature?
Are you with people?
Are you with people?
I am one with nature

Written by theworkersdreadnought

21/05/2014 at 23:02

Book Review: David Gilbert’s, “Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond”.

with 21 comments

I must admit that it is difficult for me to write an honest review about Com. David Gilbert’s “Love and Struggle” (you can purchase your personal copy here), especially because of the enormous respect that I have for him and the sacrifices that he has made for the revolutionary cause, and a fear that any criticism of his work will be regarded as unfair, un-comradely and disrespectful. However, simultaneously I believe that such a review is absolutely necessary because Com. David’s life and politics have often intersected at key points in my own development as an activist, although completely unbeknownst to him. The first time was when I became involved around the anti-war movement against the second Iraq war, and some of us watched and hotly debated Sam Green’s documentary about the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), and saw me reading a lot of the existing literature at the time; the second time was during a difficult three-month strike that I was deeply involved in at my home institution during which I devoured Dan Berger’s authoritative book, Outlaws of America (which interestingly was the result of a long relationship with Com. David himself); and the third was when I returned from Nepal and became increasingly interested in the question of the universality of protracted people’s war, and the parallel between the WUO and the Jhapa Uprising. I will not discuss these points of intersection further because I think that they distract from the task at hand, but needless to say, Com. David’s politics and life experiences have been something that I have consistently wrestled with throughout my own political development, and thus I do not take this book review lightly.

Thus in frank honesty, I must admit that I did not care for the first third of the book. The first hundred and twenty pages suffer from two major problems: 1) Com. David very little new information about the development of the revolutionary movement on the campuses across the USA, except for the fact that Com. David was not as central to the SDS leadership and Weather Underground leadership as I had previously thought (although I was interested to learn about his initial theoretical work in New Left Notes which resulted in an early fall from revolutionary grace); and 2) I found it to be too pedantic, and structured through a series of lesson-plans. Indeed, often the first-third of the book, due to the little new information – especially for a reader familiar with much of the existing literature on the topic, including Dan Berger’s aforementioned excellent book – often came across as a kind of an Anti-Oppression 101 class with Com. David’s life serving as scenarios which ought to be discussed to develop a form of best practices that should orient our organizing. Indeed, this structure is replete with every sub-chapter heading being followed with a small-italicized synopsis that read like an Anti-Oppression 101 scenario, which we are supposed to collectively figure out, but without having Com. David present to debate with, which is less than ideal for any kind of revolutionary pedagogy. Furthermore, we are forced to replace such debate with Com. David’s own resolution. I am not trying to suggest that there is anything particularly wrong with anti-oppression training, although I do think that often this has replaced a critical revolutionary framework, however, the result was that the narrative became disrupted and choppy. This disrupted narrative with little new information made evident the lesson-plan structure to the reader, which in turn blunted the effectiveness of the structure itself. This unfortunately resulted in Com. David coming across as too eager to provide solutions through which to demonstrate his continued belief in a form of revolutionary humanism. I must admit that I found this to be quite annoying, partially because of my own theoretical suspiciousness about revolutionary humanism (a debate for a different place), but also became I did not want to have Com. David to serve as a revolutionary ideal type, but rather, as an interlocutor in the revolutionary struggle. However, luckily both of these problems recede to the background as the narrative becomes stronger and very interesting information is provided to the reader about Com. David’s time underground, in Denver and during the Brinks trial in the latter 2/3rds of the book.

I know the exact moment at which I became excited about the content of the book and it is on page 124 when Com. David discusses criticism/self-criticism. It was fascinating to read about the WUO’s attempts to implement criticism/self-criticism in their practice as professional revolutionaries, and Com. David’s own self-criticism about how said practice was carried out (indeed, Com. David mentions that only a few times did he feel that the self-criticism sessions were actually aiding his development as a revolutionary). Indeed, an endearing aspect of this book is how humble and self-critical Comrade David is, although as I mentioned earlier, these aspects can also be quite irritating within the best practices format. This moment is important, as it is the point in which Com. David, unlike in first part of the book, does not demonstrate that there is in fact some easy best practice that young activists can follow. Rather, it actually shows the ambiguities and difficulties that come with putting any of these political methods in practice. And reminds us about the need for us to be consistently being critical about, and bettering, organzinational practices and individual work. Furthermore, the pedantic lesson-oriented teaching plan, whilst remaining partly in place, takes more and more a backseat to the narrative and allows the reader space in which to develop his/her own critical opinions about a given matter, which is what I consider to be an absolute necessity for any revolutionary.

Additionally, it was truly eye opening to read the rudimentary methods that the WUO developed to deal with security issues, especially in the context of being underground. Com. David, himself admits that these the methods are largely outdated in our contemporary context, but demonstrate the creativity and vigilance of the WUO during their underground years, and reaffirm the possibility of actually going underground and fighting in the heart of the beast. It was also interesting to learn a little about the debates within the WUO and how, once again, Com. David was not, besides a very brief time, a central figure in the WUO. However, I would have liked to learn more about the debates inside the organization, especially about their practice and conception of their conjuncture, but was interested to learn about the summer schools that they organized to improve the ideological quality of their cadre. It was interesting to learn about the debate in the organization around its relationship to the white working class, and its liquidation of the original line of the organization regarding the relationship to nationality struggles, and the role that Com. David played in it. It was impressive to learn that Prairie Fire (of which I own a copy) had originally been produced without any fingerprints on it. But, I do wish that there had been more information about the infamous Hard Times conference, which seems to remain a truly traumatic and pivotal event in the development of the WUO, and resulted in the building of the May 19th Communist Organization which became important in the context of the Brinks Robbery.

            Com. David’s life aboveground in Denver, after the dissolution of the WUO, and his involvement with Men Against Sexism and the subsequently painful experience of dealing with multiple movements that came into loggerheads with one another, was very informative and again reflective of the complexities that arise in the course of the struggle. At this point in the narrative the lesson-plan structure seems to have completely evaporated which results in the reader being left to grapple with the contradictions within the revolutionary movement, alongside Com. David. I am not sure whether this was something that Com. David intentionally wanted to do or was a byproduct of the difficulties in providing any best practices in such complicated and textured inter-group/political relationships. I found it be particularly informative to learn about this period of his life, and was surprised to learn that Comrade David too had gone aboveground with the collapse of the WUO.

In perhaps one of the shortest sections of the book, and one about which I was very eager to learn more about, Com. David discusses his second and last time underground, especially his involvement in what has come to be known as the Revolutionary Armed Task Force and the notorious Brinks robbery and trial. It was intriguing to learn more details about the actors and politics involved in the Brinks Robbery, and facts like the Black Liberation Army not having a central command thus allowing autonomous collectives in the BLA to organize actions on their own accord (something that Com. David himself only came to learn about during the Brinks Trial). However, I must admit that I hungered for more information about Com. David’s relationship with the BLA and members of the May 19th Communist Organization in this second period, but recognize that these and a number of other aspects of his second period underground is something that Com. David likely decided to omit for good reasons.

Finally, it is noteworthy that Com. David spends a good section of the last part of the book discussing his family life with his imprisoned partner and newborn son, because I too have a loving revolutionary partner and also would like to have children someday. Indeed, this aspect was particularly important as it demonstrated a ‘softness’ to which male revolutionaries are not allowed to admit to. This obviously speaks to the macho attitude in many revolutionary groups and organization about the role of the family in the struggle, especially the armed struggle. Indeed, unfortunately often the two are put into juxtaposition to one another and rendered incompatible, thus requiring the revolutionary to ‘sacrifice’ the former in favor of the latter. Indeed, I can think of several autobiographies and interviews well well-known revolutionaries in which the revolutionary figure fails to even mention that he has a partner and children! And if and when they are mentioned, it is only in passing, and always in the context of sacrificing a relationship with them in the name of the revolutionary struggles. Thus, it was particularly inspiring to read about how Com. David was able to forge a relationship with his partner and son during his time in prison, despite all of the obstacles, and how this relationship was something that was negotiated with a revolutionary politics playing a central role. The only thing that one can say that is neglected in this last section of the book is the role that Com. David has played in the prison movement, both in his correspondence with activists outside, and with prisoners and political prisoners inside the prison system.

            In closing, this is not a book to be simply read, enjoyed and tucked away on some bookshelf, forgotten, although it is an enjoyable read. It is a book that simply begs to be put into practice. What aspects a given reader wants to be put into practice is something that Com. David leaves the reader to decide, but he provides us with a wealth of life experience which we should all seriously consider. He gives us both the good and the bad. Comrade David is humble about his accomplishments and readily admits to his faults, he is an honest storyteller, and eager with his lessons for a new generation of activists.

Written by theworkersdreadnought

19/06/2012 at 00:00

Posted in Communist History

Some Notes on K.N. Ramachandran’s, “Our Differences with the Maoist Trend: Genesis and Present Contradictions”, Part 4

with 7 comments

In this fourth and final post in the series I intend to deal with the final two sections of K.N. Ramachandran’s polemical essay, “Our Differences with the Maoist Trend: Genesis and Present Conditions” (interested readers can also read post 1, 2 and 3), entitled, “Relation with the state and the ruling class parties” and “How the extremists ultimately help the state”. These sections are perhaps the most polemical part of K.N. Ramachandran’s essay where he in fact suggests that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is in fact an opportunist and mercenary force that is actually aiding the state. Indeed, K.N. Ramachandran, in what amounts to a perverse comedy, suggests that the CPI(Maoist) is in fact helping the state repress the revolutionary movement (which of course is defined by his own political position), when in fact it is the CPI(Maoist), which has been leading the revolutionary movement, that is being repressed by the state.

Also, I would also like to clarify that I am not affiliated to either the CPI(Maoist) or the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) as some mistakenly believe, but rather, am simply a sympathizer of the revolutionary movement in India. This post will not be as long as the earlier posts because I realize that I have perhaps spent too much time on this one essay, and would actually like to start writing about other issues as soon as possible.

Relation with the state and the ruling class parties


THE CPI(Maoist) claim that they boycott all forms of elections as a strategy. But during their three decades of existence they have not succeeded to mobilize the masses for boycotting elections in a single area so far. Even after threatening the voters, bombing the roads and polling booths and occasionally punishing the people brutally, it has not succeeded to enforce boycott anywhere. Even in Dantewada region more than 60% voting take place. Another notable feature is that though in Dantewada the Maoists have succeeded to reduce the strength of once predominant CPI in this region, BJP has emerged as the main force and winning the elections from there continuously.

I think that there are two issues at stake here, 1) whether or not the electoral boycott has actually been successfully applied to any areas and 2) what is the purpose of an electoral boycott. First of all, I think it is partly true when K.N. Ramachandran suggests that the boycott strategy has not succeeded in mobilizing the masses, although I doubt that he could say that this has been the case in a single area in the last 30 years, as there are no areas in which there has been a complete boycott. But there have been numerous areas in which there has been depressed voting and a partial boycott observed. Regarding the 60% number that K.N. Ramachandran tells his readers of is actually untrue as that was simply the first phase of polling which saw a 60% turnout. However, the final turnout for the areas was actually 54%. Furthermore, this is akin to saying that the CPI(ML)[K.N. Ramachandran] has not been able to truly mobilise the masses through their electoral campaigns as seen through the lack of any electoral victories. Secondly, the purpose of an electoral boycott needs to be explained especially since it is a tactic that has been applied in the context of the European and North American parties as well. The electoral boycott campaign should not be completely evaluated by the number of people that do not engage in the activity of voting as voting patterns often do not relate to real support for any given party, but to actually immediate gains that a voter hopes for which may have nothing to do with their support for the revolutionary movement (so if you immediately need a road outside of your house built and maintained it may make sense to vote for a party that has a party leader in that area who could actually deliver that, knowing that the revolutionary movement is slowly growing. Even K.N. Ramachandran’s party cannot say that they will win enough seats to deliver on said road). Rather, an electoral boycott, like participation of a revolutionary party in the electoral process, is intended to be a method by which to educate the masses about their revolutionary programme. It becomes incumbent then for both the CPI(Maoist) AND the CPI(ML)[K.N. Ramachandran] who are employing different tactics for the exact same result i.e. the education of the masses about their revolutionary programme, to deliberate whether their respective tactics have been successful. This is apparent if one reads the CPI(Maoist)’s own summation document regarding 2009 (available here):

Another important impact on the polity of the country was the wide-scale boycott by the Party during the recent Lok Sabha elections. Notwithstanding the presence of huge contingents of central and state police forces for over three weeks in the areas under Maoist influence, our Party, PLGA, revolutionary organs of people’s power and mass organizations carried out a mass political propaganda campaign, besides undertaking several tactical counter offensives against the gun-toting enemy forces who were desperately trying to coerce people to vote. Our propaganda campaign was so effective that there was hardly any electioneering by the political parties in Dandakaranya, many parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, West Midnapore, Bankura and Purlia districts and near-total boycott in Lalgarh area of West Bengal; in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and other districts of Orissa; and other places. Besides, significant educative campaigns were taken in many parts of the country exposing the fake nature of the democratic process which is merely an expensive exercise to give legitimacy to the ruling classes to loot the country and the people.

And it is an open secret that the CPI(ML) People’s War, after calling for boycott canvassed for Chenna Reddy led Congress in 1980s. Later it supported the TDP led by N.T. Rama Rao in the 1990s. In 2006 elections in AP, as the Congress leader Raja Sekhara Rao had promised talks with the Maoists, they supported him. In Bihar MCC used to follow the same path. Lalu Prasad had benefitted from it many times. In Jharkhand during last two state assembly elections Maoists supported The JMM led by Shibu Soren. While doing so they threaten other candidates and do not allow other candidates to campaign in areas where they have influence. It shows that they boycott elections calling the existing parliamentary system as pseudo democratic, but due to their actions they make it more pseudo. The latest instance was Maoists supporting the TMC led by Mamta Banerjee, a constituent of the central UPA government against the CPI(M) led Left Front. In all these cases they have supported the main ruling class parties, after calling for boycott. They never support any force from the left. It is a most opportunist and unprincipled mercenary policy followed by the CPI(Maoist) which has greatly tarnished the image of the communist movement all over the country.

As a reward for the support they give in the elections, the AP chief minister invited Maoists for talks in Hyderabad. As was evident from the beginning to everybody except the Maoists, nothing came out of the talks. But the state machinery used the opportunity to make aerial coverage of the emergence and return of the Maoist team. Within a short time, almost all the Maoist squads and most of the main cadres were wiped out by the Special Forces. Still they do not study anything from these debacles. Their polibureau member Shyam and now Kishen were killed by trapping them using the talks with government as a lollypop.

Firstly, as a force which talks only strategy, what is there to talk with the state at the present stage of their growth? Secondly, after the bitter experience of the AP incident why they refuse to take any lessons? What is coming out of the Kishen killing is that they have great illusions about the ruling class leaders even when they claim to have declared total war against the state. It will be useful if they once go through the military writings of Mao at least to avoid such infantile mistakes.

I have never read in any party summation about these accusations of canvassing for the Congress etc., however, I will give K.N. Ramachandran the benefit of the doubt, especially since it has become very clear that in the context of West Bengal [where the CPI(Maoist) played some role in the election of Mamata Bannerjee] that the CPI(Maoist), and likely its erstwhile component parties, used this very strategy before. However, I think that K.N. Ramachandran is actually confusing two different issues: 1) an electoral boycott that is meant to educate the working class and peasantry about the nature of the bourgeois system; and 2) the use of high politics for gains in the revolutionary movement. K.N. Ramachandran seems to careen from right to left deviations in this mess of a section that I quoted above, and demonstrates that he does not think about tactics and strategy in a properly dialectical manner. Indeed, K.N. Ramachandran suggests that refusing to any participation in the parliamentary process, means that the CPI(Maoist) should eschew any involvement in high politics. This is a logically inconsistent position. Rather, I believe that the CPI(Maoist) should use contradictions within the enemy camp to their benefit, including through precise interventions into the electoral process, and that peace talks could actually benefit the party. Indeed, this is one point in which I differ from some of the pro-Gonzaloist organisations that argue that there can be no pause in the protracted people’s war until socialism and see peace talks as being a right deviation. K.N. Ramachandran, ironically, seems to be close to President Gonzalo – whom he later attacks – insofar that he seems to believe that once a protracted people’s war has been started there can be no attempts for peace talks, and any attempt to do so is actually a tactical mistake. He misreads the problems that the movement faced in the AP peace talks and advocates an ultra-left lesson that could be drawn from that experience i.e. that the party should never engage in peace talks, rather than looking at the actual tactical problem in the AP case which was that they did not make the appropriate security conditions for the delegation’s movement and the movement of squads in the reorganization process. The results of said overture to Mamata Bannerjee needs to similarly be evaluated in the context of its capacity to make gains for the revolutionary movement. There could be at least two possibilities on which gains could have been made: 1) a winning over the low-level cadre and organisers of the Trinamool Congress, who at the village level often work with Maoist cadres, to the CPI(Maoist) and 2) an agreement to a ceasefire or peace talks could give the CPI(Maoist) time to recover and regroup, especially in light of losses that have been inflicted on the party, and demonstrate the CPI(Maoist) is not opposed to peace. This last aspect is something that the CPI(ML)[PWG] and other Naxalite organisations at the time emphasized during the AP peace talks was that the peace talks were meant to educate the masses about the true nature of the Indian State and the revolutionary programme of the party. A simple example of this concrete attempt to educate the masses is that the CPI(ML)[PWG] asked the AP government to sign a statement that they would carry out the land reforms and provisions of the already existing Indian constitution, and the AP government refused to do so thus exposing its nature to the public. It is true that top leaders of the CPI(Maoist) have recently said that perhaps the support for Mamata Bannerjee was a mistake, and if this is indeed find the case the party is responsible for self-criticizing itself and providing a proper summation of the experience so that they can learn from the incident.

How the extremists ultimately help the state


THE experience of the Tamil People’s struggle in Sri Lanka and how LTTE greatly damaged its cause should be an eye opener for all those who have soft-corner for them. Nearer home, in Assam during the two decades when ULFA leadership and cadres were collecting huge sums from the large number of plantation owners, they were getting huge profit as they could deny any wage rise or other benefits to the hundreds of thousands of workers. Wherever Maoists are having influence the MNCs and corporate houses and mining mafias can operate by paying the ‘levy’ to them. Similarly, the presence of the extremists is used by the state as a pretext to increase ‘security forces’ manifold and to deploy them anywhere dubbing even mass movements as extremist ones, to deploy them to all areas in the name of law and order, even to deploy army and impose AFSPA like draconian laws in the name of insurgency for decades and even dare to impose the latest draconian establishment like National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), intensifying the state terror. To facilitate this, if there are no extremists in an area they will create them as the insurgent groups are made by RAW in Manipur. Or they will propagate that the extremist influence is increasing as lot of publicity is given to the Maoists at the state level with the help of the corporate media. In this the Indian state is copying the US authorities, who are the greatest terrorists, but have declared a war against terror!

What a jumble! K.N. Ramachandran has simply picked two very different examples of failed guerrilla movements, and then compared them to what he perceives to be the failures of the CPI(Maoist). First of all, we can all agree that the LTTE, like ULFA, was an incredibly flawed organization and had been reduced to a military-political organization which did not have a clear political programme or mass line [I would like to make it clear that I do not wish to suggest that the demands of the Tamil or Assamese people for national liberation are diminished in any way by the failings of these organisations, but think we must differentiate these organisations from the CPI(Maoist)]. Furthermore, neither organization claimed to be involved in protracted people’s war, and both were using very different understandings of the tactics and strategy of guerrilla war than those of the Maoists (however, K.N. Ramachandran is unable to understand these differences, or chooses not to, because he assumes that his readership is actually incapable of grasping the differences between them). Additionally, both the ULFA and the LTTE, despite some profession of sympathy to socialism, actually did not have a clear revolutionary programme, and were much more narrow nationalist movements. I have already discussed the CPI(Maoist)’s levying of taxes in a previous post and will not repeat the points made there.

But I think the last section of this paragraph, in which K.N. Ramachandran argues that that the presence of a militant force results in state repression, is absolutely ridiculous and boggles the mind and thus needs to be refuted. K.N. Ramachandran is basically using an argument that could be made against any revolutionary movement, and in fact is by the social democratic movement (indeed, one could see K.N. Ramachandran perhaps taking the side of Kautsky against Lenin in the “ultra-Left” position of the Bolsheviks in 1917). Perhaps it gestures towards the peaceful non-militant electoral politics that he intends to take his party towards. Any movement, whether it be the CPI(Maoist) or the CPI(ML)[K.N. Ramachandran], if it poses a tangible threat to the state will result in state repression. The more important question is not whether the state will try to repress the movement and how to avoid it (which basically means becoming an organization that actually does not confront the state or capital), but rather, whether the revolutionary forces have created the necessary structures by which to not only survive the state repression, but to also makes gains through the state repression. The evaluation of the CPI(Maoist)’s actions and response to this onslaught is something that they will need to do when this period is over.

Some friends will definitely ask: how can you criticize the Maoists when they are shedding so much blood, when their leaders are also killed? How can you criticize them when they are waging a war against the state? Of course, we have respect for the sacrifice of the cadres of CPI(Maoist). That is why we condemned the killings of Shyam and Kishen, and many others like them in the past. Mao has repeatedly advised that we should not waste even a drop of blood, avoid unnecessary sacrifice. But even after more than three decades of their practice, the CPI(Maoist)leadership is not prepared to make an evaluation of their practice so far. In the first wave of left adventurism almost all the ML parties which emerged in 1960s suffered severe setbacks and disintegrated. Later, almost all the Maoist groups in different parts of the world like the Shining Path of Peru were wiped out. The Maoists in Philippines is almost stagnant. In Nepal they succeeded to play a leading role in overthrowing the monarchy only when they changed their line and took mass line.
In India, whatever may be the claims of the Maoist leaders and the propaganda of the state, they are a dwindling force. Not only that, all the former socialist countries have degenerated to capitalist path and the ICM is facing a severe setback. Without taking these aspects in to consideration, and the momentous changes that have taken place during the post-Second World War decades in to consideration, just by waging few squad actions in such a big country like India with more than 1.25 billion people and with such organized and centralized oppressive state machinery, how can the revolution be led forward? If the CPI(Maoist)leadership, impervious to all these factors, continue its suicidal path, can anyone justify them?

We are of the view that the leadership should be ruthlessly criticized and they should be asked to change their line if they want to contribute towards revolutionary advance. We are criticizing the CPI(M) leadership more fiercely, as revisionism is still the main danger in the communist movement. The task before the communist force is to take lessons from the past, reorganize the Party and lead the People’ Democratic Revolution forward mobilizing all the revolutionary classes and sections for it. We appeal to their cadres to come out of this anarchist politics and join the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist camp.

There are some things in this last and closing statement that I will not address: namely K.N. Ramachandran’s tired polemic about ‘squad actions’. K.N. Ramachandran has repeated this line like a mantra for decades and is not apt to change anytime soon. However, I do not think that it is fair to claim that the CPI(Maoist) has made no evaluation of its work in the last three decades, any close observer of the CPI(Maoist) knows that this is not true, and I am confident that a summation document will be produced when the time is appropriate. Whether or not such document will be circulated publicly I do not know. Furthermore, the fact that the party has not disintegrated and has grown, with more areas of work than it did three decades ago, demonstrates its successes. Indeed, failures and setbacks have occurred, and will occur again, but that does not mean to suggest that the party has not learned from its mistakes and this is in fact part of the revolutionary process. As Mao Zedong famously said, “Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again . . . until their victory; that is the logic of the people, and they too will never go against this logic. This is another Marxist law.” All revolutionary movements make mistakes; the question is whether they can learn the appropriate lessons. Indeed, if we were to be terrified of making mistakes than we would be unable to do anything, it would petrify the movement. But, we could ask K.N. Ramachandran who is so proud of his four decades in the ML movement where is his summation of his work and practice. Indeed, why does he feel that he remains a marginal politics both on a national level, and in most regional politics as well?

Finally, the failures of the Shining Path have to be understood in their own context as they have much to do with the situation in Peru, the personal authority invested into the figure of President Gonzalo, the urban strategy that was employed (indeed, if something can be said about the similarities between Peru and India is that leaders tend to be far more vulnerable in urban spaces, and often are arrested there – like the recent arrest in Kolkata of Rama Krishna and four other comrades), and their treatment of their support bases in light of state repression. Regarding the situation in the Philippines, K.N. Ramachandran is simply making stuff up. Indeed, the people’s war in the Philippines has grown steadily, albeit more slowly than some had hoped, with the development of new guerrilla fronts and the growth in the revolutionary mass movement. In the case of Nepal, K.N. Ramachandran demonstrates once again his own revisionist attitudes when he refers to the current politics of the UCPN(Maoist), which they earlier attacked, as being “mass line” when in fact it can be better described as a liquidation of the revolutionary movement.

Thus, in closing I would like to appeal the comrades of K.N. Ramachandran’s in India and if he has any sympathizers abroad to abandon the liquidationist, reformist and demagogic politics of K.N. Ramachandran and join the revolutionary Maoist movement around the world.

Written by theworkersdreadnought

14/03/2012 at 22:14

Some Notes on K.N. Ramachandran’s, “Our Differences with the Maoist Trend: Genesis and Present Contradictions”, Part 3

with 8 comments

This is the third part in a 4 part series on K.N. Ramachandran’s polemical essay, “Our Differences with the Maoist Trend: Genesis and Present Contradictions”. Readers can find part 1 and 2, here and here respectively. When I sat down to write this post I thought that I would not have much to say because I had not read the new book that K.N. Ramachandran’s faction has produced on neo-colonialism and Indian political economy. However, I was surprised to find that besides the title of the section that K.N. Ramachandran actually has little to say about either the ‘agrarian program’ or ‘neo-colonialism’ which are the two points in his ideological agenda that are supposed to demarcate his analysis from that of the CPI(Maoist). Thus, I apologise to my readers about the length of this post because what K.N. Ramachandran talks about needs discussion and comment, especially as he often attacks the international Maoist movement.

Agrarian program in neo-colonial phase

UNDER this concept, Marxism is reduced to a dogma. Marxist classics are reduced to idols. So the Maoists indulge in idol worshipping and do not find any need for analyzing the reasons for the degeneration of all the erstwhile socialist countries to capitalist path or the degeneration of most of the erstwhile communist parties to revisionism. Abandoning Bolshevik style of Party and class/mass organization building, relying only on the supremacy of the squads and their fire power, it has reduced revolution to a game of heroes. If Lenin taught “Revolution is the festival of the masses” and Mao declared “Masses, masses alone are the creators of history”, according to the Maoists it is the heroes who create history.

It refuses to look around and see the vast changes taking place around them internationally and in India. So, even when the proletariat and the masses are revolting in US or Greece or Italy or elsewhere, the Maoists in these countries are only interested in whiling away their time, speculating how to start guerilla warfare there. They fail to analyze how the people’s upsurges broke out in North Africa and in West Asia and what should be the approach of the Communist forces towards them. In spite of the further intensification of the corporatization of agriculture following the second generation green revolution, bringing vast changes in the agricultural field in India, they still call it semi-feudal and still uphold the principal contradiction as the one between feudalism and the masses of the people. They mechanically repeat that the resolution of this contradiction will resolve all contradictions and lead to capture of political power.

I completely agree with K.N. Ramachandran that Marxism should not be reduced to a dogma, nor Marxists classics reduced to idols. Furthermore, I completely agree that many, if not most, Marxists, whether they be Trotskyists (in relation to Lenin and Trotsky) or Maoists (in relation to Lenin, Stalin and Mao) engage in idol worship and hence do not see the need to understand the reasons for the degeneration of socialism in the former socialist countries to capitalism. Indeed, the works of Charles Bettelheim in regards to the USSR, especially “Class Struggles in the USSR” Volumes 1 and 2 (on the development of socialism and state capitalism in the USSR from 1917-1930), serve as an important starting point from which to reconsider the development of socialism in the USSR. Unfortunately, similar work does not exist for the USSR from 1930 onwards (unfortunately Bettelheim’s own work on this period was plagued by a form of Kautskyism and do not reflect the Maoist methodology he had employed earlier), and no such work exists for the Chinese experience. Perhaps some enterprising PhD student will write such a work for us, and we will all be most grateful. However, I find it ironic that K.N. Ramachandran of all people is the one making this claim inasmuch that his faction has never provided such an analysis of the USSR or China, and rather uncritically defends Stalin against “modern revisionism”. Indeed, the only reconsideration of the socialist experience that K.N. Ramachandran has made in this essay is that of the Cultural Revolution, and seems to suggest to me that K.N. Ramachandran is preparing and innoculating his cadre for a break from Mao Zedong himself. Furthermore, K.N. Ramachandran’s turn from this insight about the need for reconsideration of the socialist experience in former socialist countries to his polemicisation against those who abandon Bolshevik Party-organisation and mass organisations in favour of “squad actions” is odd, inasmuch that they do not seem logically connected. However, they are connected because K.N. Ramachandran is engaging in a two-step dance which is meant to confuse his reader and his cadre alike. Lets examine this two-step dance: first of all he is repeating his old canard that the CPI(Maoist) is actually not engaging people’s war, but rather in a form of “heroic” guerrilla struggle that can be attributed to armed struggles experiences like the RAF or Red Brigades and; second his compunction to advocate for the need to attack idol-worship of Marxist classics is meant to lay the ground for his own departure from people’s war strategy for India, in favour of “Bolshevik” insurrectionism (this will become more apparent with his idealization of the Arab Spring).

K.N. Ramachandran now turns to broaden his attack against not only the Maoist movement in India but internationally, because his attack is not simply against the Maoist movement at home but also abroad (indeed, it is in the context of the formation of the ICOR, and his close political ties to the MPLD). Indeed, K.N. Ramachandran turns his sights to the Maoist movement in North America (apparently K.N. Ramachandran is ignorant about actual ideological and political developments in the Maoist movement in North America because he opts to attack the Maoist organisations in the US and Greece which actually do not advocate a guerrilla strategy, rather, than for example the French, Canadians and the Italian organisations; perhaps, someone should tell K.N. Ramachandran that Canada is not a part of the USA, and Italy and France are different countries than Greece). Most devastatingly, K.N. Ramachandran seems ignorant of the fact that the Maoist or pro-Maoist forces like the KOE, ARAN and ARAS have actually been deeply involved in the uprisings in Greece, and are some of the largest organised groups in the Greek uprisings. Furthermore, K.N. Ramachandran himself does not actually examine the causes for the uprisings in those countries (which in the case of the Middle East include severe state repression of the mass movements in those countries for the last decade, dictatorial rule and economic hardships for the people with high unemployment and shortages in basic consumer goods in both Greece and the Middle East), but rather opts to attack the Maoist trend for having not done this analysis for him. Furthermore, K.N. Ramachandran overlooks the role of the Islamist movement in the Arab Spring, and the spontaneous nature of the the uprisings in the Middle East, North Africa and across Europe, and North America. However, it will soon become apparent that K.N. Ramachandran, for all of his comments in favour of Bolshevik organising, simply is engaging in a form of worship of spontaneity. Then K.N. Ramachandran simply once again turns his sights back, in his confused superficial and dizzying argumentation style, back to the Indian situation and suggests that there has been a second “Green Revolution”. I would be very interested to learn more about this idea. When did it occur? Who organised it? What were the class interests behind etc? But unfortunately K.N. Ramachandran does not provide any of these answers, and only raises the issue so that he can appear to the novice as being a deep-thinker of the Indian conjuncture, and can once again advance his claim that the basic contradiction between feudalism and the masses of people is simply outmoded and has been replaced. Perhaps, K.N. Ramachandran has come to believe, like the Trotskyists and Communist League of India (Marxist-Leninist), that Indian agricultural production has become a capitalist one and thus the basic contradiction today is between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. I just do not understand why he does not simply come out and say it. Indeed, it becomes apparent to all and sundry that K.N. Ramachandran believes that India is a neo-colonial capitalist country.

In CPI (Maoist) documents the word neo-colonialism is repeated many times. But, as they have not put forward any analysis of transformation that has taken place in the forms of imperialist exploitation during the post-Second World War period, the transformation of colonial forms to neo-colonial forms of plunder, it is evident that similar to what was done in the 1970 Program, they are using neo-colonial and semi-colonial words synonymously. Their analysis that India is a neo-colonially dependent semi-colonial country borders absurdity. They fail to evaluate the transformation that has taken place in the imperialist plunder and domination during the post- Second World War period from colonialism to neo-colonialism.

It is indeed true that the CPI(Maoist) uses the term neo-colonialism, K.N. Ramachandran’s hobby horse, many times interchangeably with semi-colonialism. However, the fault is not theirs alone, as Mao Zedong himself used the same terms as synonyms. Indeed, Mao clearly explains that semi-colonialism is the informal colonial influence that colonial powers had over China. However, besides calling the CPI(Maoist)’s position ridiculous he does not explain why this is the case. Indeed, is it not possible that despite the formal decolonisation of India by the British i.e. a relationship of colonialism (not semi-colonialism), and the informal assertion of colonialism (i.e. neocolonialism or semi-colonialism) by the Americans in India that the basic characteristic of Indian class relations remains structurally unchanged especially in relation to a colonial power? Indeed, K.N. Ramachandran is trying to assert that that there is a major gulf between the two terms, but does not provide an explanation of what these differences are and what implications they have on Indian agrarian relations. It is easy to polemicise against others and possible weak spots in their analyses, but far more difficult to actually explain one’s own position and it is clear that K.N. Ramachandran is unable to do so.

As a result, they like their counterparts in the imperialist countries, fail to analyze the reasons for the present recurrent meltdown of international finance capital, the speculative character of which is reaching its peak. They still repeat that like in the colonial days, now also imperialism is maintaining and using feudalism as its social base, when with the penetration of capital-market forces and technology imported by the MNCs, vast changes are taking place in the agrarian sector leading to its devastation in new forms, with hundreds of thousands of the poor and marginal peasants committing suicide, and millions displaced from their land and occupation for the sake of neo-liberal projects. Instead of utilizing feudalism, by and large, as its social basis during the colonial days, it is systematically transforming and integrating the agrarian sector to the international finance capital system. Still their whole strategy hinges on anti-feudal tasks, as proved in their Program and tactical line. But as they refuse to recognize the vast changes that have taken place in the agrarian sector under neo-colonization and have no agrarian program based on it and mass organization of the peasantry, practically nothing is done to advance the agrarian revolution with “land to the tiller” slogan. As a result, though it speaks about feudalism as the principal target, its activities are reduced to squad actions in the forest areas far away from the real peasantry.

K.N. Ramachandran once again shifts terrain in his confused argumentation style to the economic meltdown without any explanation of the connection between the preceding paragraph and the current one. He then again switches tack to discuss the Indian conjuncture and the question of the feudal base. Indeed, I cannot but feel that K.N. Ramachandran is simply engaging in a “throw the kitchen sink” strategy in hope that at least some of the points he superficially raises will actually get through and strike a blow. However, let us try and follow him through the myriad of confused paths, much like the urban planning of Delhi, that is his mind. It is clear that there is a logic here that is clear to K.N. Ramachandran, if no one else, and perhaps if nothing else these notes will help him edit his essay in a manner that makes his style of argument clearer to those who will hazard to read his essay. First of all, K.N. Ramachandran seems to be ignorant of what different Maoist groups have said about the current economic crisis, and I would suggest that look at for example the (n)PCI’s analysis of the crisis (also, I have heard that Jose Maria Sison is intending to do some work on the question as well). K.N. Ramachandran seems to want to argue that the economic meltdown and the crisis within imperialism has necessitated the integration of the agrarian sector into international financial system. This would appear to most as a very penetrating analysis and indeed possibly something novel, however, what actually is demonstrated is that he seems to not understand what “semi-feudalism” actually is. No Maoist would not suggest that the agrarian sector has not been effected by international financialisation; semi-feudalism does not meant that the agrarian sector remains absolutely outside of the international capitalist system, but rather, that the relationship between that international financial sector is mediated through a feudal landowning class (indeed, Jose Maria Sison in Philippine Society and Revolution repeatedly points out that the largest landlords actually are part of the comprador bourgeoisie who are directly in touch with the international financial system! Interested readers can read my review of this book here). Because K.N. Ramachandran seems incapable of making his argument clearly, he then decides to polemicise aganst the CPI(Maoist) for not having an agrarian program (which is not true) and having no mass organisations amongst the peasantry (which is also not true, and was actually negated earlier when he spoke about his own faction’s involvement in the campaign launched by the CPI(ML)[PWG] and CPI(ML)[PU]’s peasant organisations, see the first post in the series). It is true that the CPI(Maoists) people’s liberation guerrilla army does not engage in actions in the plains where much of the agricultural land is, but this is because of geography and the effect that it has on the armed struggle. This does not mean to suggest however, that the CPI(Maoist) is not engaged in the peasant struggle against feudalism, rather, it does it through other forms of struggle. But of course, K.N. Ramachandran cannot recognise this reality because it would once again undermine his earlier contradictory argument that the CPI(Maoist) only engaged in one form of struggle i.e. armed struggle. Indeed, K.N. Ramachandran’s argument is akin to Gandhi’s three monkeys: don’t see reality, don’t listen to reality, and do not speak about reality.

From the analysis of the present world and Indian situation put forward by CPI (Maoist) it is difficult for anyone to explain why the present mass upsurges are taking place. Same is the fate of the Maoist fringe groups in the imperialist countries in Europe and North America also. As a result, even when big mass movements emerge in different areas and when they get an opportunity to influence any of them as happened in the Lalgarh area of W. Bengal, they reduce it to an area for deploying their guerilla squads and to organize few actions like the derailing of Gyaneswari Express which killed many and inconvenienced millions for nearly two years, as the railway department stopped plying trains through that route in the night in the name of lack of security.

In Chhattisgarh, the Maoists are calling the forest areas of Dantewada district as their liberated area. After visiting it Jan Myrdal has written a book “Red Star Over India” actually ridiculing himself and the good intellectual work he had done earlier, a mechanical imitation of the great book “Red Star Over China” written by Edgar Snow. But contrary to what is reported by the petti-bourgeois intellectuals who blindly support the Maoists, what is happening there is a different story. When the earlies Congress government tried to privatize the Shivnath river and later when the BJP government declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rajnandgaon district a powerful mass movement was organized under the initiative of CPI(ML) due to which the latter’s implementation was truncated and the latter had to be abandoned. Similar mass movements are taking place against other neo-liberal projects also. But in Dantewada, a corporate group like Essar has constructed a more than 200 km long pipeline to loot the rich iron ore of that area. The same is the case of other so-called Maoist controlled areas in Jharkhand, Lalgarh in Bengal and Odisha-AP border areas also. Instead of mobilizing the masses and throwing out the MNCs, corporate houses and mining mafias, often Maoists are serving as their mercenaries after taking huge sums from them. The Communist Parties built under the guidance of the Communist International based on Bolshevik principles had a great tradition of building the Party surrounded by the class and mass organizations. They collected money from the people and the mass organizations besides the levy from the party members and sympathizers.

But the method of ‘levying’ adopted by the Maoists under coercion, especially when they are in the infantile stage of their growth has corrupted their own cadres. Combined with the sectarian practice of ‘money actions ‘ followed by many groups and splinter factions in many areas corruption has become rampant among these sections including the Maoists as there is no accounting of the money collected or no principles are followed in collection. In areas of AP and some other states, money is demanded to become cadres. The spirit of depending on the masses is alien to many of them. Maoists are justifying it in the name of huge amounts required to purchase sophisticated arms and to maintain hideouts. But whatever may be the justification this practice has led to a deterioration of communist values among the cadres.

Since this post is becoming incredibly long I will deal with only some of the things that K.N. Ramachandran brings up here. It is not clear how K.N. Ramachandran’s analysis better explains the present mass upsurges around the world either. Also, it is interesting to note that K.N. Ramachandran does not at any point mention either the spontaneous nature of these revolts, and the nascent forms of organisation that played differing revolts in the uprisings (of course here I am influenced by Antonio Gramsci’s idea in The Prison Notebooks that spontaneous worker’s revolts always has some nascent organisation which must merge with the communist party). Indeed, Maoists in Europe and North America do not believe that they either live in semi-feudal or semi-colonial situations, and thus I am not sure how any deficiencies in their analysis of the Indian situation effects their effectivity in their own conjuncture. Furthermore, I think that K.N. Ramachandran actually is completely unaware of what Maoist forces in North America and Europe are actually doing, and so I would advise him to keep in mind Mao Zedong’s famous directive, “No investigation, no right to speak”. The Maoist movements in Europe, especially in Italy, Norway, and Greece have been incredibly involved in the struggles of the people in their respective countries. Indeed, it is CPI(ML)[K.N. Ramachandran]’s partner in Europe, the MLPD, that have adopted an erroneous line that has resulted in their complete marginalization both electorally (as seen by their performance in the last elections) and politically (the fact that they have no active presence in the current German Left, and have largely become a nostalgic party) in the German conjuncture. Furthermore, K.N. Ramachandran seems to be ignorant of the fact that the RCP(Canada) in North America, the only Maoist party in North America, has been incredibly active in many struggles and has actually been growing from strength to strength! I will allow Jan Myrdal to respond to his slanderous attacks against him, but will suggest that if K.N. Ramachandran wishes to win people over to his side that he treat them with more respect. But I am glad to hear that the CPI(ML)[K.N. Ramachandran] has been building a mass movement against the privatization and SEZ’s.

I will finally address the last two points that K.N. Ramachandran raises. First of all, I think that K.N. Ramachandran is simply ignorant, as am I, about how much money is being collected from party members, sympathisers and mass organisations, and unless he has some special information does not know what portion of the CPI(Maoist)’s monies come from their own support base. He is simply using demagogic argumentation to make his polemic seem sharper than it is. Now regarding the taxing of MNC’s, corporate houses and mining mafias, I think that K.N. Ramachandran is unable to actually really think through his proposition that the Maoists should simply kick them out, which if done prematurely is actually an ultra-Left error. So lets think through this: 1) if they kick out these entities then the people living in these areas will simply not have any source of income by which to purchase basic commodities that they need, thus despite their exploitative presence they do provide much needed employment. Indeed, kicking out these economic entities without providing the necessary economic infrastructure to sustain the population would actually be harmful to the population (which K.N. Ramachandran is so worried about) and the capacity to do so would mean that those areas would no longer simply be guerrilla zones, but would be elevated to base areas which the Maoists are trying to build, but hitherto have been unable to and; 2) if the MNC’s etc cannot be kicked out of the areas at this stage because the necessary economic infrastructure does not exist to create a completely parallel economy in all areas then the question arises what is to be done with them? The Maoists have answered this through two methods: a) they have built mass organisations which allow the people in these areas to actually win better wages and working conditions, thus choosing a method of struggle that is appropriate to their areas and through which they can build a mass base of support and b) through taxation of these exploitative entities by which to fund the party and its activities.

Much more could be said about the points that have raised but, I think that I will leave others to say them. The next and final post in this series will deal with “Relation with the state and the ruling class parties” and “How the extremists ultimately help the state”.

Written by theworkersdreadnought

06/03/2012 at 12:10

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