Revolution in South Asia

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Maoist Debate over Nepal Revolution: The Sarbedaran Critique

Posted by Mike E on September 29, 2008

Fighters of the Peoples Liberation Army in Nepal

Fighters of the Peoples Liberation Army in Nepal

The following article is an explicit polemic by the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) — targeting the path taken by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

It has long been clear that there are sharp divisions between the Maoist political forces formerly gathered in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. It has been evidenced by the long sour silence of the Revolutionary Communist Party concerning the political developments in Nepal. A World to Win News Service published an article in February 2008 that embodied an elaborate set of criticisms and cautions concerning the Nepali revolution — but the critique was implicit, not open.

Now Kasama has received an English translation of this article from Haghighat , the central organ of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). The article share extensive passages from a previously unpublished letter of the CPI(MLM) Central Committee to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) sharply questioning their path.

This Iranian Maoist group CPI(MLM), known as the Sarbedaran, is one of the few organizations among Maoists internationally closely alligned with the RCP,USA.

This article expresses views that the CPNM have been criticizing as deeply dogmatic, rooted in schematic thinking, and opposed to analysis of specific concrete condition and the creative development of paths to revolutionary power.

The following is translated from the Farsi version, so some quotes from English language sources may have differences with their originals.

* * * * *

Nepal Revolution: Great Victory or Great Danger!

Haghighat #40 — May 30, 2008

Recent victory of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the Constituent Assembly election and announcement of the ending of the 240 year old Monarchy and the beginning of the “Federal Republic of Nepal”, in its first Constituent Assembly sitting (May 28th 2008), once again have turned eyes to developments in this country. Euphoria has taken over many revolutionaries and progressive forces of the world and many Left parties from around the world have sent messages of congratulations to the CPNM for this electoral victory.

At first glance, this euphoria is understandable. Many are happy that the name communism has been brought up once again in the new century as a power. They feel this victory of Maoists in Nepal, has once again, brought to minds Communism as an alternative. But the question is, how justified this euphoria is and what is its objective basis? And whether the future of the revolution in Nepal on this path, can be said to be bright?

Of course the fall of Monarchy in Nepal and its abolition as the seat of Hinduism through the struggle of the workers and peasants of Nepal under leadership of Maoists, is a victory and a happy event. But Nepal’s becoming a “Republic” does not resolve the fundamental class contradictions that the peoples war had aimed to resolve.

Our party has not declared joy over this electoral success. This approach has raised a lot of questions in the minds of people, given the fact that our party, along with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and all its participating parties and organisations, has been a strong supporter of the people’s war in Nepal. This is so especially because in the aftermath of the great April movement in Nepal (2006) and development in the strength of peoples war, going from the countryside to the cities, the editorial of Haghighat (No 30—Oct 2006) predicted eventual victory of Nepal’s revolution and prospect of establishment of a socialist state there. Although that issue of Haghighat correctly pointed to the objective problems that were in the way of this revolution and existence of some confusion in the strategic thinking of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) concerning features of the dictatorship of proletariat – considering the positive and negative lessons of two great experiences of the 20th century in China and Russia – the editorial (and its title in particular) promoted the illusion that Nepalese Maoists were going to seize country wide power soon. The course of events exposed this to be a premature and one-sided prediction. In practice, the Nepalese revolution faced very severe and complex problems and the process of seizure of state power came to a halt.

It has to be emphasized that the revolution in Nepal belongs to proletarians and peoples of the world. The International communist movement, particularly the Maoist Parties are obliged to, while learning from that revolution and taking joy in its victories, open their eyes and see dangerous political and ideological bends in its road and play their due role in this regard. Our party has done its share of this task up to now and will do more. Any sort of indifference and lack of getting into it under leftist cover (but with deep rightist nature) like calling for “another revolution” or by wishful thinking and naively emphasize the “Communist Party of Nepal’s tactical expertise in making concrete analysis of concrete conditions” is equal to deserting one’s internationalist tasks, taking an irresponsible attitude toward defending the achievements of the most important revolution at the beginning of 21st century, and an inability to face the real problems that the proletarian revolutions of our time are facing.

* * * * *

It is obvious that the victory of Maoists in the Constituent Assembly and their turning into the ruling party in the government is not equal to their seizing of political power. Entrance of the Nepalese Communists in the regime is not birth of a new revolutionary state. Their entrance into a feudal comprador state does not turn that state into a revolutionary state under the leadership of proletariat. The difference between state and government is one of the most basic elements of the theory of State and Revolution in revolutionary science of Marxism. State is an instrument of political, economical and social domination of one class over the other. Government is a form that any state can take in the context of different historical political conditions. For example, the governments of the bourgeois ruling class can take the forms such as bourgeois republic, monarchy, or fascistic theocratic regimes (like in Iran.) Proletarian states also can take the forms of People’s Democratic Republic or Soviet Socialist Republic or Federal forms. Changing the form of a regime from one to the other does not means change of the state system. Historically we have seen numerous times when regimes (or governments) have changed without the class character of the state changing at all. In Iran’s 1979 revolution the Shah’s regime fell without destruction of the rule of capitalist and big land owning classes. Shah’s regime was overthrown without a state of the working class in alliance with all other oppressed and toilers, being established. Only by having this kind of state was it possible to reorganize the society on a completely new economic, social and cultural foundation. The state system that the Shah’s regime had relied on (concretely the Army, Security system and its organs, prisons, justice, international relations, etc.) not only was not destroyed, but was only reorganized as part of the process of consolidating a reactionary theocracy regime. The new regime not only was not a New political power, but in fact, having its religious label, it became even more reactionary and was more efficient than before in suppressing the majority of the oppressed peoples of Iran and women in particular. Not only the economic-social foundation of the state was left untouched, but also due to people’s hopes about “revolution”, it was save from their angry attacks and in this way gained time to reconstruct and consolidate itself. Its deep dependency to imperialist capitalism that had shaped the Iranian state not only remained intact but was hidden from the eyes of the masses with a cover of “independence”. The reason of our emphasizing on that experience is to point out that changing of a government should not be mistaken with the change of nature and character of the states. That is why the communists have always defined victory of a revolution with “complete smashing of the state”. In Nepal, a new revolutionary state has not yet been born out of smashing the old state.

In 2006 the Communist Party of Nepal signed an agreement called “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” with parliamentarian parties of that country. The aim of this agreement was establishment of peace and beginning of a peaceful process of establishing the Constituent Assembly and forming a bourgeois republic based one multi party elections including among them the Maoist party. Maoists declared that people’s war had ended and People’s Liberation Army was put into camps under the observation of the United Nations.

At the time, the Central Committee of our party wrote a private letter to CPNM seriously criticizing and warning against this policy while pointing out the truths which has been born out of bitter and bloody experiences of the struggles of the proletariat and people’s of the world, including the experience of the 1979 revolution in Iran. (2) In opposition to the tactics of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) based on “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” our leadership warned about the danger that:

“… this tactic of your party can give a new life to the enemies of the revolution and help them to come up with a clever strategy for building a viable and efficient state. Don’t forget that one of the main reasons the people’s war was able to spread very quickly was due to this state’s instability and incoherence.”

“…the anti people and reactionary class alliances that had taken place in Nepal since 1990 in the form of parliamentarian democracy, could not consolidate the state due to inherent contradictions of those alliance and more so due to people’s war. Now, they are trying to carry out this consolidation process through, on the one hand, pushing out the King and pushing out the people’s war, on the other hand. And if they achieve this the result will be a feudal comprador republic state. his process could go through a lot of ups and downs, since they have to convince the king and; should satisfy trends such as the UML (the revisionist party that is in the regime) or, kick it out.etc. But, the main thing in making the whole deal successful is to pull the Maoists into this and enlist their help in implementing it.” (2)

That letter also warned about the aims that the ruling parties in Nepal and India are seeking through signing this Agreement:

“Their aim is to push out both the King and the revolutionary people’s power which has been formed through 10 years of people’s war in the base areas; and reorganize the old state as a comprador-feudal Republic around the axis of the Congress Party (pro-India ruling party) and the Maoists—of course if the Maoists transform from a party waging people’s war into a political party within the system.””(2)

The Central Committee’s letter asks the CPNM’s leadership:

“Is it impossible for them (for the ruling classes of Nepal and India and US imperialism) to achieve this? No! Of course it is possible that the king and a part of the feudal compradors who are the base of the King as well as the Nepali military generals might resist this plan. But, even in the example of Iran in 1979 we saw that the American generals convinced the Iranian Army generals to let the Shah go and take the side of Khomeini. In Nepal also it is possible that the Nepalese generals might let the King go and take the side of the Congress Party.” (2)

Then the letter brings out another question:

“Is it impossible for them to allow the Maoists into a new state structure which has a form of Republic but the content of dictatorship of the comprador bourgeois class?”

“We are aware that the Indian state and part of the feudal comprador class of Nepal represented by the Congress Party think that there is a good chance for this. We know that the ruling classes of India has done this before in India and are aware of magical force of co-opting the ex communists in the state structure and by doing so they can give a new life to the old state. Through the history of their rule, the ruling classes of India have been able to reorganize and renew their state through co-opting the ex communists and part of representatives of the movements of the oppressed into their existing state. And by doing so, they have managed to turn from an inefficient and unstable dictatorship into a more efficient reactionary dictatorship against the masses. The suffocating role of various “communist” parties in India in mitigating the rebellious impulse of the masses has been no less than destructive role of religion and other ideological elements of the reactionary classes. Reactionary classes of India are old hands in turning communists from old foes into present partners. And right now they are trying to do the same in Nepal.”

The Letter, after analyzing the strategic plan of enemy in signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Maoists, says:

“This strategic plan is dependent on the working of two tactical wings. First, turn this provisional feudal comprador regime into a permanent one after the Constituent Assembly elections. Second, detach the Maoists of Nepal from revolutionaries in India and around the world.”

The Letter clearly states that, “Use of such strategy by the reactionary ruling classes is nothing new. Lenin had named it ‘Constitutional Solution’ by the old state to solve its dead ends and crisis of legitimacy.” (2)

Participation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the interim government of Nepal does not change the feudal comprador class nature of that state. With legal abolition of the Royal regime and declaration of republic, the class nature of that state will not change. A change in the form of government is not same as smashing the state of the feudal comprador classes and breaking away from imperialist domination. This is a fact that normally the leadership of Maoist Party should know and it has to inform the rank and file of party and revolutionary and oppressed masses of Nepal of this fact.

Even if the Constituent Assembly passes some political, social and economical “rights” for the workers, peasants, women and oppressed nationalities and designated them as masters of society, up until the heart of the reactionary state – i.e. reactionary army – has remained intact, the real meaning of these laws will be to spread illusion among the masses and take away the real rights that they have gained through the people’s war. As long as the army is in the hands of the exploiting classes and the main means of production under their ownership and control, Constitutional promises about safeguarding people’s interest is unfounded. The role of Constitution in bourgeois republics is exactly to guarantee and serve the foundations of economic exploitation. Even in most democratic bourgeois republics the people’s rights are confined in this frame. If the rights which are promised to people come into contradiction with this basic aim they would easily be trampled upon.

Clearly, the communists of Nepal launched the people’s war with the task that is universal to all proletarian revolutions i.e. “smashing the machinery of the state” and seizing power. And they applied this line for 10 years. But today, considering the difficulties that have come up on the way, they think they can pursue the aim of establishing a revolutionary state through a peaceful road. But this is impossible! No class in history has seized political power peacefully. This much of power also have been gained in the course of 10 years of people’s war waged by the workers and peasants of Nepal under the leadership of Maoists. This much of power is not expressed through the seats gained in the Constituent Assembly but basically through the revolutionary political and economical transformations which was achieved in the course of ten years of armed struggle. But this power, without taking over the whole country, is unstable and in danger of being lost for ever. The central question is, whether participating in the state and trying to change it from within will strengthen the political and economical power of the workers and peasants of Nepal, or will it lead to its complete annihilation? Will ten years of people’s war be used to perfect the reactionary state or for its destruction? If the outcome is establishment of a bourgeois republic, then the sacrifices of the masses will serve the perfection and modernization of the means of oppressing the masses, not the establishment of a new society with new political power, new economy, new social relations and new culture.

If the comrades of Nepal continue on the path they have taken up, that much of political and economic power gained by the workers and peasants of Nepal will not only not be consolidated but will be lost. And instead there will be a feudal bourgeois republic dependent on India, China or both of them.

* * * * *

To prove this, it will suffice to Point to the dominant balance of forces. The Royal army has remained basically intact and enjoys the support of India, the US and big ruling parties. The people’s war came to a halt before smashing the backbone of the old state. If we look at the economic situation of the country, how this small country is in the fangs of Indian state and international economic centers, then the real dimensions of this unfavorable balance of forces will come to. Is it possible to cut off these fangs just by being in the government, and without a proletarian state?

What is political power and the state of dictatorship/democracy of the proletariat necessary for? It is necessary for destroying feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and dependence to imperialism, and transforming Nepal into a proletarian revolutionary red base area in the world. That’s why destruction of the existing state machinery can not be limited to and reduced to overthrowing the monarchy. The target of New Democratic Revolution is the whole bureaucrat– comprador and feudal classes and their foreign and imperialist supporters, not just the Monarchial part of it. The slogan of abolition of Monarch was and is correct but this has to be done as a part of a New Democratic Revolution and establishment of a New State.

One can not reduce feudalism in Nepal to the institution of Monarchy. Feudalism is the land ownership relations and the pre-capitalistic mode of exploitation. For the peasants to be emancipated, this ownership relations ought to be definitely destroyed. Simultaneously the politico-economic domination of the Indian state on Nepal which is in behalf of world capitalism must be ended. It is impossible to carry out this process without relying on the broad masses and their conscious and organized struggle.

In the imperialist era it is not possible to uproot feudalism without simultaneous expropriation of the bureaucrat capitalism. This capitalism also ought to be confiscated; its nature be altered and turned into the interest of development of a self sufficient economy that has the goal of meeting the needs of the masses.

Which class and with what economic plan will take hold of bank holdings and other wealth of the country? Will the World Bank and IMF, wielding strings of “financial aid” and “foreign investment” continue running the Nepal economy? If these financial institutions call the shots and India continue to keep hands on the throat of the country, then even feudalism cannot be abolished, because, in the era of imperialism, feudalism does not have a life independent and separate from workings of capitalism. The bureaucrat capitalism (dependent on the world capitalist system) and the capitalist system overall (be it through Indian or Chinese capitals or, through “aid” from the World Bank) have transformed and subsumed feudal mode of exploitation in its service. Whatever is left of feudal mode of exploitation (including its social relations) is turned to serve profitability of bureaucrat capitalism. Today, uprooting of feudalism in Nepal requires revolutionary distribution of land in Terai (the area which is a main source for Nepalese people’s nutrition.) People’s War has done whatever possible in the mountains and hills. But to prevent feudalism’s resurrection in reformed shapes or capitalist exploitation taking place of the pre capitalist exploitation, the power should be in the hands of the state of proletarian dictatorship/ democracy in order to carry out a movement of socialist ownership in areas where the land revolution has occurred.

No coalition government with participation of parts of the bourgeoisie (or participation of part of remnants of the previous regime) will implement such a plan, because private property plays a central role in capitalist system and the bourgeoisie of a country like Nepal has deep links with land ownership. Moreover, the exploiting classes, due to their general fear of the poor of the countryside, will never support a revolutionary land reform. It is true that revolutionary land reform program is still within limits of bourgeois democracy. But its implementation in a revolutionary manner is only possible by the proletariat. Only in this way can the small working class of Nepal lay the basis for independent and rapid development of the country. Only land revolution can become the basis for rapid development, voluntary cooperation and collectivization, which has a central role in uplifting the stage of revolution to that of socialist stage.

If there is to be a victory, one can not short circuit this program or invent a “transitional period” for implementing it. It is not possible to make “transition” to New Democratic Revolution by relying on bourgeois republic. As the letter of our leadership to CPNM puts it:

“What you will achieve by restructuring of the state through this “provisional” step will not even be a bourgeois republic. It will be a feudal comprador republic. This republic will weaken the new Nepal that has been born out of old Nepal by the force of revolutionary violence but has not yet been able to completely destroy the old one. The provisional government will open the way for the new Nepal being swallowed by the old Nepal.”(2)

Establishment of a “transitional” bourgeois republic is not a tactic that can serve to propel the strategy of New Democratic Revolution. But it is a tactic that serves the strategy of reforming feudal comprador state. This tactic is very fatal and destructive and could destroy all the hopes and achievements of the Nepalese people. Confining the People’s Army and calling for a single new army through integration of the two is the most damaging aspects of this tactic. (3).

* * * * * *

Congratulations and compliments sent by the communist parties, Left and progressive organizations and individuals to CPNM for this electoral victory only covers up the above mentioned fundamental issues. Without deep and all around understanding of the objective obstacles in the way of the revolution in Nepal, one can not help the comrades of Nepal.

Making revolution in a poor, small, and economically backward country such as Nepal which is sandwiched by two big powers such as China and India, and is in danger of invasion by India at any moment, has a lot of complexities. Moreover, the revolution in Nepal is alone in the world and the balance of the forces internationally is not favorable to it. The combination of these factors has placed numerous constraints on its advance and developments. (4) In any revolution, different lines raise their heads when revolutions faces difficulties and complexities and in response to those. What is most disturbing for communist forces internationally is the line that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has adopted regarding how to advance the revolution in that country. Historical experience has shown that revolutions can be defeated even if the revolutionaries did not make mistakes. In this case the cause of their failure would be unfavorable balance of forces. But when the party which is leading the revolution commits errors and errs in distinguishing the friends and foes, then the revolution will definitely fail. This is the main danger! Wrong political line and policy will enforce the unfavorable factors even more and will make the balance of forces even more unfavorable. Strategic orientation influences the balance of forces positively or negatively, because sooner or later it becomes a material force. When a strategic orientation and its corresponding tactics are wrong, not only it sets into motion the downward spiral of a revolutionary process but in the long run this regression influences the communists negatively—if sows seeds of confusion and enforces revisionism among them.

Revolution in Nepal is in great danger. It is internationalist duty of all communists of the world to pay attention to this. Struggling to face the dangers threatening the revolution in Nepal from inside and outside, undoubtedly will raise the understanding of all communists in the world of the complexities and difficulties of making revolution in today’s world.

But the end of the revolution in Nepal has not been written yet. This revolution has gone through many twists and turns and without wanting to predict its future, by looking at the bigger picture, i.e. changes in the world situation which provides the context for Nepal revolution– we can still see a storm building up. This revolution can, and must continue.

The bourgeois parties in Nepal have accepted to let Maoists to take over the helms of their regime at a time when scarcity and hunger due to workings of capitalist system is on the way. Nepalese reactionaries have organized fascist paramilitaries to carry out the plan of assassinating revolutionary Maoists. The Indian state has stopped export of rice to Nepal under the guise of preventing hunger in India. They, along with the Us Imperialists would like to shift the burden of social problems to the Maoists and channel the anger of the masses towards CPNM. Simultaneously, by ways of conspiracies they try to use existing divisions among the people (such as division among nationalities) in order to fan flames of discord among them and through different ways and means enforce insecurity and instability in the country. It is possible that such crises could change the “peaceful evolution of revolution” into a “non peaceful” one. Hard realities of class struggle may help the CPNM to rupture from the present path as soon as possible. To rectify a trajectory always requires waging a conscious and all around ideological and political struggle.

In Nepal and among the ranks of CPNM it is not a secret that there are differences and line struggles among the Maoists of the world over the trajectory that the CPNM have taken up. The leaders and spokespersons of CPNM have pointed to these differences in their open publications several times. For example Prachanda (the chairman of CPNM) made an interview in 2007 and talked about opposition of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and Communist Party of India (Maoist) with the current line of CPNM. Or another Maoist leader in Nepal, in an interview with Red Star said:

“For us criticisms by Bob Avakian (Chair of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA) and Ghanapaty (Chair of the Communist Party of India – Maoist) is more pleasant and productive than the compliments coming from George Bush and the Indian Government.”

It is noteworthy that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has usually revealed the line struggles within the international communist movement and among the party leaders, for the party supporters, and has been a good example in this regard. But informing and sharing matters with the masses is one thing and launching and spreading a serious theoretical debate and discussions among them around these line differences which have life and death importance for the ICM, is another thing.

Today, the main duty of the international communist movement regarding the revolution in Nepal is not praising partial and temporary victories. Even when the masses (and leaders of revolution) become fascinated by such “victories” and close their eyes to the long term interests, one must draw attention to fundamental truths and the laws governing class struggle. Especially because this “victor” is a poisonous honey that can have disastrous consequences for this revolution and naturally for the whole international proletariat. As it was said in the A World to Win News Service article titled: “On 12th Anniversary of the People’s War in Nepal and its Unknown Result” (February 11-2008):

“At any time, there is no guarantee for victory of revolution in Nepal or any other country. But it could be said that however difficult and horrible the road to complete victory of the revolution may be, still, that is the only real and possible way for changing Nepal. It is necessary for the communists persevere on this orientation and lead the masses in materializing it.”

Haghighat 40- CPIMLM- May 30th 2008

Notes:

1 – It is interesting to note that most of the congratulating parties had not supported the 10 years of people’s war under the leadership of the Maoists in Nepal as much. Some of them have happily praised this electoral victory so much that had never done a fraction of it for past victories of Maoists in Nepal! Are these kind of parties happy that one can be simultaneously a “communist” and join the typical bourgeois political games? That one can dream of bringing about a radically new society but at the same time put a limit on the long and arduous class struggle? One can see dangerous illusions in these congratulatory messages (especially in those issued by the Communist parties): the illusion that as though struggle for revolutionary change of the society can go through participation in mainstream bourgeois politicking. And even worse, as if the goal of revolutionary struggle is to get accepted into the circles of mainstream politics and get recognition from the system. But these roads have been tested many times before in history and have proved to be failure. This same road was taken by the Communist Party of Indonesia. As a result the Indonesian party experienced such a tremendous defeat that it could not raise its head again. Moreover, the impact of that disastrous defeat did not stay within the confines of Indonesia but was grave for the whole communist movement in the world and even was a big blow to socialist China. A victory in Indonesia could positively influence the balance of forces in favor of the communists but its defeat turn the situation around and made a plus for the imperialists.

2 – This letter was sent from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in November 2006. Its full text will be published when the time is right.

3 – One of the articles of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006 was to confine the People’s Liberation Army and have their weapons under the surveillance of the United Nations. This more than anything gave legitimacy to the army of enemy. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) also wanted to dissolve both armies and form a single one. But this was not do-able and did not happen. In January 2008 the chief of the reactionary Military Forces openly opposed this suggestion. This shows that reactionaries never get confused about what is their most pivotal means of exercising power.

4 – For further discussions on this question you can refer to previous articles in Haghighat:
– Different articles in Haghighat No. 30 – October-2006
– Nepal Revolution: complex problems; facile answers! Haghighat 31
– Complexities of a revolution becomes a justification to attack the Maoists. Haghighat 32
– 12th anniversary of the people’s war in Nepal and its unsettled outcome; 11 February 2008. A World to Win News Service.
– Nepal, the People’s Expectation Horizon Getting Wider. April 14th 2008, A World to Win News Service

These articles are available in the site of Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

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15 Responses to “Maoist Debate over Nepal Revolution: The Sarbedaran Critique”

  1. zerohour said

    “But informing and sharing matters with the masses is one thing and launching and spreading a serious theoretical debate and discussions among them around these line differences which have life and death importance for the ICM, is another thing.”

    So the masses can be “informed” about crucial line debates but should not be encouraged to take part? This vision of a passive proletariat is detrimental to the ICM and undermines internationalism and revolutionary politics. How can people feel a stake in a revolution in which they can’t contribute any critical insights, and their participation is limited to carrying out orders?

    Whose revolution is this anyway?

  2. […] in South Asia blog posts a translation of an article (from Farsi) titled “Nepal Revolution: Great Victory or Great Danger,” which is an […]

  3. NSPF said

    The way I understood it is the other way round.They are in fact requesting such involvement. They are in effect saying that one without the other becomes meaningless after a while. Now, this criticism becomes meaningless itself if it is ONLY applied to the CPNM.

  4. arthur said

    Confining the People’s Army and calling for a single new army through integration of the two is the most damaging aspects of this tactic. [3]

    3 – One of the articles of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006 was to confine the People’s Liberation Army and have their weapons under the surveillance of the United Nations. This more than anything gave legitimacy to the army of enemy. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) also wanted to dissolve both armies and form a single one. But this was not do-able and did not happen. In January 2008 the chief of the reactionary Military Forces openly opposed this suggestion. This shows that reactionaries never get confused about what is their most pivotal means of exercising power.

    The two armies are currently confined to barracks and cantonments under the agreement while the political parties are able to operate freely advocating the merits of continued misery under semi-feudal, comprador and bureaucrat capitalist social relations or advancing along the road of the new democratic revolution.

    So far the old parties have gone into sharp decline while the revolutionary party has retained its dominance in the Hills and West and East Terai greatly advanced in both the Kathmandu Valley and the Madheshi central Terai. This is terrible according to the article.

    Both the article and the chief of the reactionary Military Forces openly oppose the integration of the two armies. In the case of the chief of the reactionary Military forces, the article acknowledges that is because they are not confused about what the power of reactionaries grows out of and how “pivotal” it is for their armed forces not to cease to be their armed forces.

    Stripped of the left rhetoric that is also the theme of the rest of the lecturing about universal principles.

    It is an absolute principle of reactionaries to fight a bitter civil war rather than allow the people to exercise the power of government.

    It is routine, even in the most stable and “democratic” bourgeois regimes, that critical senior positions in the state apparatus are “vetted” to ensure that “subversives” cannot undermine the state from within.

    Elections are routinely cancelled by a counter-revolutionary coup d’etat when that is the only means to prevent revolutionary communists paralysing the bourgeois dictatorship from within the state apparatus itself.

    The article internalises all that counter-revolutionary principle and advocates that communists should strangle themselves when the counter-revolution is unable to strangle them through civil war.

    At all costs communists must be kept out of the key positions in the state apparatus. That is the central question around which all else is subordinate from the viewpoint of the article.

    In short the article opposes what the enemy enemy opposes and supports what the enemy supports.

  5. NSPF said

    Arthur says,
    “In the case of the chief of the reactionary Military forces, the article acknowledges that is because they are not confused about what the power of reactionaries grows out of and how ‘pivotal’ it is for their armed forces not to cease to be their armed forces.”

    I am a bit confused by the quotation marks around the word “pivotal”. Would it be fare to assume that you think the article is at least mainly correct on this point?

    You then go on to say:
    “Stripped of the left rhetoric that is also the theme of the rest of the lecturing about universal principles.”

    Would it also be correct to assume that you share those principles with the article if stripped of its “left rhetoric” and the “lecturing” tone, and that your objection is to a total lack of understanding of how these principles are in the process of being implemented?

    If that is the case, then we should proceed to examine things on that basis and refrain definitly from contorting and possibly from labelling.

    You say:
    “It is an absolute principle of reactionaries to fight a bitter civil war rather than allow the people to exercise the power of government.
    It is routine, even in the most stable and “democratic” bourgeois regimes, that critical senior positions in the state apparatus are “vetted” to ensure that “subversives” cannot undermine the state from within.
    Elections are routinely cancelled by a counter-revolutionary coup d’etat when that is the only means to prevent revolutionary communists paralysing the bourgeois dictatorship from within the state apparatus itself.”

    Arthur,
    You have so far managed to make a strong case that the enemy is united around the following understanding:
    “At all costs communists must be kept out of the key positions in the state apparatus.”

    Now lets examine some key pertaining facts:

    It is undeniable that nine CPNM leading members are in the government and some are holding key posts.
    If you follow your own logical construct, your next statement would be that “the CPNM leaders are no longer communist.” Or else the whole edifice of your arguments will crumble.

    I will get to other aspects of your post a bit later.

  6. zerohour said

    NSPF –

    When you say “they” I’m not sure who you’re referring to, but it seems obvious that the Communist Party of Iran [MLM] DO NOT want mass participation in line debates and are criticizing the CPN[M] for encouraging it.

    The CPI [MLM] are criticizing the CPN[M] for not taking power through an armed overthrow, yet they don’t even engage the CPN[M]’s rationale. Instead, they provide arguments from analogy without noting the specific features of the CPN[M] strategy that make their situation unique, and distinguish their electoral tactics from others in the past, such as having their own army and base areas. Here’s how they sum it up:

    “Clearly, the communists of Nepal launched the people’s war with the task that is universal to all proletarian revolutions i.e. “smashing the machinery of the state” and seizing power. And they applied this line for 10 years. But today, considering the difficulties that have come up on the way, they think they can pursue the aim of establishing a revolutionary state through a peaceful road. But this is impossible! No class in history has seized political power peacefully.”

    After acknowledging the people’s war, they still characterize the CPN[M] strategy as “a peaceful road”! At no point do they address the fact that the CPN[M]’s assessment that if they had continued to focus on armed struggle, the RNA’s strategic position would have made it an indefinite, drawn out, bloody affair with a murky chance that the revolutionaries would win. In the meantime, they would lose political support and probably not gain a crucial foothold in Kathmandu.

    Instead, the above document has plenty of historical examples from other countries, a few facts about Nepal that don’t address the strategy, and some snide dismissals: “The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) also wanted to dissolve both armies and form a single one. But this was not do-able and did not happen. In January 2008 the chief of the reactionary Military Forces openly opposed this suggestion. This shows that reactionaries never get confused about what is their most pivotal means of exercising power.” As if the CPN[M] would just crumble. Obviously that didn’t happen and the situation is still unfolding.

    This was published in May, have they put out a more current position?

  7. NSPF said

    “When you say “they” I’m not sure who you’re referring to, but it seems obvious that the Communist Party of Iran [MLM] DO NOT want mass participation in line debates and are criticizing the CPN[M] for encouraging it.”

    That “they” reffers to the CPIMLM. How is it so obvious to you that they do not want mass participation in line debates around these questions? Is it something you deduce from this article or from their history? I do not believe the article is advocating what you are accusing it of. Have you done any investigation on this that makes you so certain? I have done so and it makes me believe exactly what I said in post #2.

  8. NSPF said

    Zerohour,
    I just want to reiterate my overwhelming agreement with your post #1. I think you raised a very fundamental issue that is overlooked most of the time in our movement. For this reason I would like to refer you also to carefully consider why the Nepalese comrades have not engaged their party and the massess in those cruicial debates and have just informed them somewhat superficially. I raised this question before with regard to C. Basanta’s polemic.
    I think you have a point that is very cruicial; but as I said before it becomes meaningless unless….
    Are you willing to extend this to the Nepalese comrades too?

  9. zerohour said

    NSPF –

    I went back and re-read that sentence and you were right, I originally misread it. To answer your question I would apply such criticism to the CPN[M] if it’s warranted, but neither this post nor the last two Basanta articles posted on this site make that case. If you have evidence that the CPN[M] are shutting the masses out of the discussion can you provide links?

    Otherwise, I think the main problem I have with this article is how it poses some critical questions about the problems and potential pitfalls facing the CPN[M] without even suggesting concrete options they could exercise. Except for one disclaimer [“But the end of the revolution in Nepal has not been written yet. This revolution has gone through many twists and turns and without wanting to predict its future, by looking at the bigger picture, i.e. changes in the world situation which provides the context for Nepal revolution– we can still see a storm building up. This revolution can, and must continue.”] the article repeats strategic points the Nepalese comrades are well aware of and practically implies that failure is a foregone conclusion.

    One possibility is that this polemic is not aimed at the CPN[M] as a whole but an intervention in the two-line struggle that is aimed at the rightists within the Party.

    Either way, it focuses mainly on problems and advocates the dictatorship of the proletariat as the solution. No disagreement, but they’re trying to figure out how to get there. How does it help to offer historical analogies as negative examples without addressing the uniqueness of the present moment?

  10. NSPF said

    Khanal advises quick army integration

    The general secretary of a ruling coalition partner Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) Jhal Nath Khanal has advised the government to quickly proceed with the army integration process.

    Jhala Nath Khanal (File Photo)
    He told reporters in the capital, Friday, that the past agreements on army integrations must be fully abided by.

    He said that the government should quickly form special committee for the purpose.

    “This government has four major tasks – concluding the peace process, restructuring of state, socio-economic transformation and writing new constitution. The government must remain focused on these fundamental issues,” Khanal said.

    His comments have come at a time when political leaders have been saying that only the successful army integration will conclude the peace process. nepalnews.com sd Oct 10 08

    Related news
    – Army integration to begin soon

    Nepalnews.com
    *******************

    Apart from the question of army intigration and rehabilitation, there is a far more important consensus that goes back to the peace agreement negotiations more than two years ago. In fact intigration and rehabilitation of the Maoist Army is part and parcell of restructuring of the state.
    There has been lots of rushed criticism of the cpimlm article for being “dogmatic”, “not containing concrete analysis”, “confusing tactics with strategy” and so on.
    I think we have to review our understanding of what we mean by concrete analysis of the concrete conditions. I submit that there is a very wrong view of this is being promoted in the icm.

  11. NSPF said

    Khanal slams Maoist line, deeds

    POST REPORT
    ekantipur.com

    KATHMANDU, Oct 12 – CPN (UML) General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal, pointing a finger at ongoing activities of CPN (Maoist) leaders and cadres, urged his party men to strongly condemn the latter’s ultra-leftist ideology.
    In a political paper presented during the party’s central committee meeting that kicked off today, Khanal termed the CPN(Maoist) an advocate of ultra-leftist ideology.

    “Condemning Maoist ultra-leftist ideology is necessary to safeguard democracy and freedom,” a UML central leader quoted Khanal as saying during the meeting.

    The 20-page paper, however, stresses that the two parties (UML and Maoist) may opt for unity if the Maoists completely renounce ultra-leftist ideology.

    Khanal’s paper has also strongly criticized Maoist leaders’ recent remarks about people’s republic.

    “The Maoist leaders are making remarks against the spirit of the Constituent Assembly. The major task of the Constituent Assembly is not to work for a people’s republic but to draft a new constitution soon,” the UML central leader quoted Khanal as saying.

    Another UML central leader, Bhim Rawal, said Khanal’s paper has criticized Prime Minister and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s remark made immediately after the latter’s visit to China. The paper states that Prime Minister Dahal, during his visit to China, met the Chinese president and prime minister but later said it was not a political visit. “Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s remark was sharply against political honesty,” the paper says.

    Khanal has stressed the need to seek support from the Nepali Congress for drafting a new constitution. The paper, following suggestions by party central leaders, will be presented at a national conference of the party’s cadres nation-wide on October 16 and 17.

    UML central leaders will deliberate on Khanal’s paper tomorrow.

    Posted on: 2008-10-12 19:47:57 (Server Time)
    ******************************
    Carrot and Stick policy; Carrot for some, stick for others in this case.

  12. NSPF said

    Parties have already reached agreement on army integration: NA chief

    The chief of the Nepal Army (NA) General Rookmangud Katawal has said that the political parties have already reached agreement on army integration.

    Chief of Army Staff General Rookmangud Katawal (File photo)

    “The parties have already reached agreement. Debates and discussions are a part of democratic exercise,” he told reporters when asked about his comment on the army integration.

    As per the peace pact and other understandings among the parties, the army integration will be carried out through a special cabinet committee, which has not yet been formed.

    Different party leaders have differently interpreted the understandings. Parties other than the Maoists have ruled out the “wholesale” integration of Maoist combatants into the national army.

    They have said that only those combatants meeting the army standards should be integrated into NA.

    Meanwhile, General Katawal said that NA will abide by the law formulated by representatives elected by Nepalese people.
    nepalnews.com Oct 15 08

  13. NSPF said

    PM Dahal says his party is against Mao’s type of People’s Republic

    Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today repeated his party’s commitment to multi-party political system, saying that the ‘People’s Republic’ that the Maoist leaders are talking about is not similar to the system introduced by Chinese leader Mao about 70 years ago in China.

    Speaking to journalists at the tea reception organised by the CPN (UML) Wednesday, Dahal said his party is not against competitive politics, human rights and democracy.

    Our effort is to ensure more active involvement of people in the state activities and empowering them to have their say in national agendas, he added.

    Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal shakes hands with Nepali Congress president…
    He informed that a political committee would soon be formed to determine the future of Maoist combatants. Despite objections from other parties, including those within the coalition, Maoists have been insisting a group blanket merger between PLA and Nepal Army.

    Stating that completing peace process, writing a new constitution and starting economic revolution in the country are major duties for his cabinet, PM Dahal said efforts are being made to bring Nepali Congress into the government.
    nepalnews.com Oct 15 08
    **************************

    This piece of news is not of interest because of accurate reporting. Its value is in the fact that why suddenly everyone sounds conciliatory towards the party.

  14. NSPF said

    Dr. Bhattarai says Maoists discussing to drop their party name

    Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai (File Photo)

    In what appears to be desperate effort to embrace the international community, the finance minister and senior Maoist ideologue Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that his party is discussing to change their name from Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists.

    According to Kantipur daily, he said so when talking with an editor of Washington Times in Washington DC.

    When the editor asked if the time had come to change the name of CPN-M as Mao was becoming ‘old’ even in China, Dr. Bhattarai replied in affirmative, and, added, “We are discussing this within the party since past one year. The general convention will make a decision on that.”

    He also said that they coined the name CPN-M as it was quite revolutionary when fighting against monarchy.

    The Finance Minister is in America to attend the annual meeting of the board of governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
    nepalnews.com
    Oct 16 08

  15. nando said

    This change in name has long been discussed.

    I think that the convention of long add-ons to party names (Communist party MLM) is sometimes a sign of necessary demarcations after splits, but also a sign of a kind of dogmatic and formulaic way of thinking and talking.

    Lenin changed the name of his party as power was seized — and as all kinds of groupings entered his party, and as its previous name was seen as clunky and outdated (Russian social democratic labor party – bolshevik)

    Part of this has to do with the merger of other communists into the CPNM — the questions comes up what the name of the merged party should be.

    And with that there are, naturally, continuing (and even intensifying) struggles over what the line of that merged party should be.

    Beyond the question of name — There is also sharp struggle over whether to uphold Prachanda Path as the basis of unity of the party, or whether to set that aside.

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