India’s Naxalbari Group: New Polemic on Nepal and the RCPUSA
Posted by n3wday on April 18, 2009
This article was sent out on the Maoist Revolution e-list and was published in the Indian journal Munnaniporali, which is associated with the Communist Party of India (ML) (Naxalbari).
The Line Struggle in Nepal
Ideology guides a Maoist party. This must be concretised through politics. For example, in an oppressed country the Maoists must carry out the task of new democratic revolution, destroying imperialist domination and the comprador, feudal forces. This is an ideological stand. It is concretised in different countries through political practice carried out by taking into account the situation and changes in it. Within this, protracted peoples war is the most important. But war is not the only political practice. In the present world, where the political realm has widened to a great extent, political intervention carried out through diverse forms of struggle has great importance. The recognition of this factor and its utilisation stand to the credit of the Maoists in Nepal.
Through the political tactics of ceasefire, participation in the interim ministry, and demand of constitutional assembly they succeeded in isolating the monarchy and ending it. This has led to a new situation. If new tactics are not adopted the party will deviate from the task of new democracy. Yet the leadership is not prepared for taking up this task. This is what has led to the present ideological struggle in the CPN(M).
Overall, this criticism is correct. But since the recent tactics have been justified in relation to the specificities of Nepal and its national needs, they should also be examined from the angle of the opposites patriotism/internationalism.
Mao said that in an oppressed country patriotism is applied internationalism. Some Maoist parties reject this as a nationalist deviation. We could, quite roughly, summarise their argument as patriotism=nationalism, nationalism X internationalism. This view leads to a denial of the national tasks of the proletariat of an oppressed country, and must be rejected.
Mao’s position is not just a legitimising of patriotism. There is something else we should pay attention to. This patriotism must be guided by internationalism, not by nationalism. This is a contradiction. Can we have a patriotism separated from nationalism? This can be answered only by relating the issue to the transformative moment of the revolutionary process in an oppressed country.
The struggle to destroy the imperialist yoke is decisive in this process. This addresses the interests of the nation. This is the sense in which Mao said that the proletariat in these countries should uphold the banner of the nation. This can be done from a nationalist stand. The last century was witness to national liberation struggles carried out under the leadership of militant nationalism. It also saw how the independence gained through such struggle quite quickly became formal and trapped in neo-colonialism. We have also seen how former oppressed countries like China and Vietnam were caught up in dependency to the imperialist system once again as soon as capitalist restoration took place.
Both the national and democratic tasks of new democratic revolution are bourgeois in their class essence. But in the final analysis this revolution has to mainly confront another bourgeois force. Therefore a nationalism, bourgeois in content, cannot complete even the national tasks of this revolution. Among them the building of a self reliant economy free from foreign domination has the greatest importance. This cannot be achieved without breaking away from the imperialist system. This calls for proletarian leadership and outlook that has new democracy, advance from there to socialism without delay, and continuing the revolution up till communism, as content. Today the self reliant existence of an oppressed nation is possible only by becoming part of the motion of the world towards communist internationalism. Because the energy for this can only come from the intense aspiration of the people to end exploitation. An outlook capable of unleashing this must lead. This is the particularity of the transformative moment of the revolutionary process.
The opening shot of the capitalist roaders in newly liberated China was their demand that the new democratic revolution stage should be consolidated. The rightism being criticised in Nepal today is one that, even before liberation is achieved, is demanding that the present interim setup should be accepted as an inevitable stage before advancing to new democracy. This deviation in essence is a nationalist day dream; the illusion that the backwardness of the country can be quickly ended while abandoning internationalism and the socialist transition.
(translated from Munnaniporali, No:125, January 2009)
Nepal: A Counter-revolutionary Move by the Army
The Nepal Army (NA) has completed its recruitment drive to appoint 2300 soldiers, including technical hands. This was done while the present army chief once again clarified that there is no question of agreeing to the integration of the two armies. The recruitment drive was carried out without consultations with the government. And the NA ignored the Defence Minister’s order to stop it. Having thus failed in blocking this move through applying government power, recourse was taken to a Public Interest Litigation and a consequent stay granted by the Supreme Court. Since the two judges of the division bench could not come to an agreement the writ has now been referred to a full bench. Meanwhile, the CPN(Maoist) leader and PLA chief comrade Nand Kishore Pun has declared that it will be taking in 11,000 recruits since the Nepal Army has violated the Peace Agreement.
This issue is indicative of the present balance of strength in the distribution of power relations in Nepal. The army, the most decisive instrument of power, is not under the control of the government. The government apparatus is itself under the control of the old bureaucracy. The declaration that the PLA will be strengthened in opposition to the steps taken by the NA indicates that the revolutionary camp is willing to take on the counter-revolutionary camp. But, instead of using the fact that the government doesn’t even have the power to take disciplinary action against the NA chief who violated his constitutional obligations, to educate the masses, rally them and thus breakout from the limitations of the constitution, the party leadership is seen to be more interested in strength posturing vis a vis with the enemy. The pull of constitutionalism has reached this point. The CPN(M) leadership had repeatedly said that the party would be struggling from the government, parliament and streets. Yet, on each occasion when counter-revolution raised a challenge, it hasn’t been able to do anything other than manoeuvring at the level of government, while the masses are reduced to being spectators. Revisionism manifested as constitutionalism prepares the road for counter-revolution by undermining the initiative of the revolutionary camp.
(translated from Munnaniporali, no:126, February 2009)
Nepal: When Class Struggle Becomes a Matter of Governmental Power Play
While the selection of new recruits to both the armies (NA and PLA) continues to be a point of contention, the role apportioned to the masses is still that of passive spectators. Recruitment to the PLA was stayed by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, it legitimized the recruitment of 3000 new cadets to the old Royal Army (at present Nepal Army). The writ petition that brought the whole issue before the court had requested an annulment of that recruitment since it was against the Comprehensive Peace Treaty. The strange logic of the court was that it couldn’t do this since that process had been completed before the writ was filed! No exception of this sort was allowed to the PLA. Prime Minister Prachanda is reported to have said that the PLA must abide by the court’s verdict and the instruction of the concerned government committee demanding its implementation. By refusing to carry out the Defense Minister’s directive to stop recruitment the ‘government’ army clarified which authority it obeys. The court has clarified which power it protects. This being the case, who would gain from an elaboration on the compulsions of the Peace Treaty and the need to act according to law?
The issue is still alive. Assuming that it too can have the benefit of the concession given to the old army, a General Staff meeting of the PLA has decided to continue with the recruitment process initiated before the court’s verdict came. It has also informed the Prime Minister that it too will recruit if the old army repeats this. Prachanda’s explanation that the PLA is presently controlled by the government committee formed to carry out the integration of the two armies and not the CPN(M) may perhaps be a tactical evasion. Whatever the interpretation, the manner in which such turns in class struggle are dealt with, keeping the masses on the sidelines, evidently reduces the issue to a mere power play. The masses, the sole backup of the CPN(M), will be politically disarmed. During this whole controversy we haven’t seen any statement from the party, or the struggle from the streets promised when the two line struggle recently sharpened up. If there is a freeze-up here, at the other end the reactionaries are slowly pushing forward. Eight generals of the old army retired by the Defense Ministry were reinstated by the Supreme Court.
(translated from Munnaniporali no:127, March 2009)