Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal Maoist Newspaper: Critique of Sectarianism in ICM

Posted by Mike E on August 21, 2008

The Nepali Maoist newspaper Red Star ( Issue 13, August 18) has reprinted (as an “opinion” piece) the following article from a European communist newspaper. this article originally appeared in La Voce (29 July 2008), the review of the (new) Italian Communist Party. The piece was originally entitled, ‘Nepal – The First Great Victory of International Communist Movement in the XXI Century’, CARC Party – International Relations Department.

Several things are significant about this re-printing: The article includes some pointed appraisal of the various “coordinations or aggregation” that have organized communist movements into international networks. The Nepali Maoists CPN-M have been part of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), an international Maoist network that describes itself as “the embryonic center of the world’s Maoist forces.”

For that reason it is striking that the following article says that sectarianism marks “the attitude of the great coordinations of the International Communist Movement towards Nepali revolution.” The article pointedly says that “the existing coordinations and aggregations of the International Communist Movement do not yet express themselves on the meaning of Nepali revolution.” And it adds: “According to us, it shows their limit.”

As is well known to readers of this site, the RCP,USA and the closely-alligned Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement have maintained a stunning (even shocking) silence as Maoist comrades have dared to reach for power in Nepal.

And it is hard not to see the following passage as a criticism of the RIM and then of the RCP (with its escalating cult of personality around Bob Avakian:

“None of the various aggregations of Communist parties and organizations can set itself even as an embryo of a new International if it does not overcome this difficulty, if it just restricts itself to denounce revisionism and imperialism, if it does not propose a course that could lead Communists to victory, in the imperialist and the semi colonial and oppressed countries, according to the specific conditions of the ones and the others. Such proposals do not rise from some individual genius, nor from the particular qualities of a single party or organization.”

The full article follows here.

Opinion:The ICM and the Nepali revolution

Ongoing revolution in Nepal is raising many reactions within the international communist movement. Many are positive, others positive with reservations, and some negative. These many reactions demonstrate the importance of Nepali revolution, and it is best they will develop and relate each other, and that an open and frank debate will develop within the many forces of the International Communist Movement. The open and frank debate is a necessary means for overcoming sectarianism, that is, in this case, the attitude to ignore each other, each one shut in its ideological or national ambit.

Sectarianism is a weakness of the International Communist Movement, persisting in this beginning of the new wave of proletarian revolution. Concomitant expression of this weakness is the attitude of the great coordinations of the International Communist Movement towards Nepali revolution.

In fact, for decades, some great coordinations or aggregation have been existing, constituted in contrast with modern revisionism, that are collecting Communist parties and organizations all around the world. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) itself joins one of these coordinations, and our Party joins another. These coordinations or aggregations do not yet clearly express themselves on the meaning of Nepali revolution. The only one that did it was the International League of People’s Struggle, (ILPS) , that, however, is an aggregation of mass organizations, and not of political parties and organizations.

The fact that the existing coordinations and aggregations of the International Communist Movement do not yet express themselves on the meaning of Nepali revolution is important. According to us, it shows their limit.

All these coordinations, in fact, set themselves up and got importance as means of struggle against modern revisionism. They have been useful in fighting this enemy of the Communist movement that, however, in many countries has ended its days. It keeps up strength in the international ambit, and in many nations (i.e. in India, where it slaughters the people’s masses, as it did in Nandigram, or in China, where it rules the country). However, elsewhere, revisionists are no more or hardly existing. Some are vanished with the collapse of the first socialist countries. Some are vanished in the imperialist countries, as it happened in Italy with latest elections. Some keep on existing but they have been crushed, as it happened in the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Nepal. The more revisionists withdraw, the less anti revisionism is a sufficient means for uniting the various communist forces.

The many existing international aggregations are ideologically different among them (Marxist – Leninist, Marxist – Leninist with a positive attitude towards Mao Tse – tung’s thought, Marxist – Leninist – Maoist). Anyway, they have had anti revisionism as common character and strong point. The more this character looses importance, the more they lose it as a strong point and factor of aggregation.

Today, the various international aggregations of communist parties and organizations cannot say only who they are fighting (revisionism, imperialism, etc.), but they have to say what they are fighting for. They have to mark out a course for advancing. The fact that they are able to denounce revisionists’ lies and imperialists’ crimes, but they are not able to give their opinion, or stutter about the situation in Nepal, where Communists are advancing, is a sign of their difficulties.

None of the various aggregations of Communist parties and organizations can set itself even as an embryo of a new International if it does not overcome this difficulty, if it just restricts itself to denounce revisionism and imperialism, if it does not propose a course that could lead Communists to victory, in the imperialist and the semi colonial and oppressed countries, according to the specific conditions of the ones and the others.

Such proposals do not rise from some individual genius, nor from the particular qualities of a single party or organization. They rise from the open and frank debate among the various Communist parties and organizations on the international level. This debate, then, must be united to the practical organizations in all the struggle fronts (against imperialism, for defending the conquests of the working class and the people’s masses, the oppressed people and nations, women, young people, environment, etc.), and to mutual solidarity. So doing, the debate cannot be reduced to an empty and abstract talking: the common practice will confirm which positions are right and which are not.

Open and frank debate, common practice and solidarity are the pillars that support the main road of the unity of the International Communist Movement.

This article has been taken from the issue 29 of La Voce (29 July 2008), the review of the (new) Italian Communist Party entitled ‘Nepal – The First Great Victory of International Communist Movement in the XXI Century’, CARC Party – International Relations Department.

2 Responses to “Nepal Maoist Newspaper: Critique of Sectarianism in ICM”

  1. arthur said

    Ok, let’s be open and frank. Both hostility to and disinterest in the Nepalese revolution are not symptoms of “sectarianism”. They reflect an accurate assessment that the sects concerned have nothing to gain from it but are only likely to lose recruits to other sects that will trade on support for the Nepalese revolution.

    Likewise sects supporting the Nepalese revolution are not less sectarian because of that assessment just as the CPN(UML) is not less revisionist for being in a coalition government with the CPN(M).

    The CPN(Maoist) clearly had links at one time with sects such Bob Avakian’s cult and others including the “Shining Path” in Peru.

    They have proved that recovery is possible, so such links should not be considered conclusive proof of being too far off the planet to be worth arguing with, let alone learning from.

    Now others, such as Kasama and this Italian group are also stating the obvious. So perhaps they have something worth learning from too.

    Yet the fundamentally sectarian conceptions still remain.

    The aim is to lead a particular sect to “victory”. That has always been the essence of sectarianism, diametrically opposed to the class politics espoused by marxists since the first international.

    Moreover this article proposes declaring that revisionism is no longer a problem as the antidote to sectarianism. How “traditional”!

    In reality there is currently no “International Communist Movement” because nobody in an advanced developed country has been able to combine revolutionary politics with a mass base. Those tendencies with any mass base have become revisionist (and are now also losing their mass base as mentioned in the article). Those pretending to maintain revolutionary politics are purely “theoretical” with a great interest in the affairs of other countries and a propensity towards “aggregating” internationally as a substitute for having no role to play whatever at home.

    The fact that the Nepalese comrades are still so isolated is a big problem. Their continuing links to such sectarians (and likewise their rather more important connections with revisionists, including coalition government) are a fascinating phenomenon to be studied. But my inclination is to study it as a symptom of the problem of isolation and with a view to helping break that isolation rather than as something to emulate.

    People who do want to find their way out of the swamp will certainly want to study how New Nepal transforms Old Nepal – and to study it by assisting eg by helping them break out of international isolation.

    So far revisionists such as the CPI(M) and CPN(UML) have certainly provided greater assistance than the sectarians – and have probably learnt more too.

    If there are any Maoists out there we should learn more and help more (and “aggregate” less).

  2. nando said

    This article (promoted but not written by the Nepalis) is saying something profound:

    The world has a new significant communist revolutionary movement, which is replete with lessons and which need internationalist attention from the people of the world.

    And they are saying (in this article) that the way revolutionaries respond to this revolution is a marker of their relevance.

    I think this sentence is stunning:

    “The fact that they are able to denounce revisionists’ lies and imperialists’ crimes, but they are not able to give their opinion, or stutter about the situation in Nepal, where Communists are advancing, is a sign of their difficulties.”

    And the difficulty they stress is the inability to find footing in the actual political terrain of this world, today (and their particular conditions locally).

    This is an important standard — and warning — and piece of revolutionary advice

    And it is being explicitly posed in opposition to other approaches (where it is thought that the most comprehensive critique of various revisionisms is the key to advancing, or a fierce partisanship to proposals that “rise from some individual genius.”

    New events, new moments in history give rise to new dividing lines.

    It is revealing that the Nepalis (who have historically been in one international “aggregation” of communists) are using this analysis by a party (in a DIFFERENT “aggregation) — suggests that they expect to be shaking up the alignments of communists internationally, forging something new on a new basis.

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