Revolution in South Asia

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Prachanda: We Must Pause and Ponder Our Next Move

Posted by n3wday on November 24, 2008

prachanda

This article was published by the Red Star.

We have the ability to bring about change for the better

by Puspha Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’

We Nepali people have made a great political change after a decade long People’s War (PW) and a historic popular movement of 2006. This change has become possible after forging alliance among the three political forces of CPN (Maoist), the Seven Party Alliance and the Civil Society. We need to continue this alliance until a new constitution is drafted and New Nepal is built.

Basically, the issue of development, democracy and peace, that is, the theme of this conference, are intricately linked. In the absence of one, the other two cannot be realized. Without democracy, we cannot dream of development and peace. Democracy must include participation, representation, accountability, transparency, responsiveness and unity of the people. In fact, these are the pillars for democracy to institutionalize and sustain. Likewise, development ensures prosperity and people’s progress, which eventually contribute to strengthening democracy as well as sustainable peace. We all know that a peaceful environment is a pre-requisite for democracy to flourish and development to occur.

Asia witnessed an unparalleled rise of democratic and nationalist governments through the 1940s to 60s. The European colonial regimes, which perpetuated systematic exploitation of human and natural resources in most of the countries in the region, were overthrown by the upsurge of national liberation movements across the region. The success of anti-colonial movements in the region generated high hopes among the working class and expectations for a rapid change in their social and economic lives. However, those newly established nationalist regimes failed to initiate development, consolidate democracy and provide socio-economic empowerment to their citizens which had eroded their popular support bases and credibility rapidly. As a consequence, many elected regimes in various countries of the Asia Pacific region were replaced by the authoritarian and military dictators. People in many Asian countries including Nepal are trapped in a vicious circle of injustice, underdevelopment and poverty. Due to the feudal system and an exploitative international financial and capitalist system, they could not achieve proper economic growth and productivity.

The ongoing market-led neo-liberal economic policies under the disguise of globalisation have further marginalized the poor and the helpless. The developed countries are now realising the drawbacks of complete deregulation of the financial sector and free market economy. Also the issues of financial, food, and energy crises and the natural devastation and catastrophe of global warming and climate changes are directly related to the market led capitalist globalisation system. The recent financial meltdown in the United States and the chain reactions causing market wreckage all over the world has had a tremendous negative effect on our countries in the south.

For the first time in decades the people of Nepal have reason to be hopeful about peace prevailing and rooting of a federal democratic system. The government, and political parties along with the UN’s facilitation, peace process is striving towards a logical conclusion by completing the integration of the People’s Liberation Army based on the prior accords and understandings amongst all the major stakeholders. Our next crucial task is to draft a new constitution with federal components, which represents the hopes of all the people. We are committed to accomplish this very important task within the stipulated time frame of two years. This will be the document that will guarantee all the fundamental rights of the people as enshrined in the UN charter. We are confident that this will lay a foundation for a democratic and peaceful Nepal.

Realizing the heightened expectations and aspirations of the people, an economic recovery package including the relief efforts has been planned to focus on those affected by the conflict. We believe that other nations and international financial institutions and our immediate neighbours will support us in our noble endeavour of nation building. We also plan to utilize the internal and external resources effectively in our history. Our efforts, we believe, will pave the way for a new socio-economic transformation in the country.

The newly elected government of Nepal is fully committed to protect and promote the human rights of its people under all circumstances with constitutional and legal guarantees and implementation of the international human rights instruments to which Nepal is a signatory party. The government is committed to end the culture of impunity. We are committed to go ahead with forming a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It is a well established fact that the lack of normative jurisprudence in any country makes the electoral based political governance a mockery and a sham in the name of democracy. A real and functioning democracy must have jurisprudence in place and implemented ruthlessly against any forces that try to thwart the gains in political and other arenas brought about by the sacrifices of the people. Therefore, the rule of law needs to be obeyed by the citizens without which democracy; development and peace become a distant dream. We are very much committed towards restoring law and order and maintaining peace. Hence, we have taken various initiatives in this direction.

A careful analysis of the genesis of our past struggles indicates that we, Nepali people have the ability to bring about change for the better. I strongly believe that the peace process exercised in Nepal has been a unique example and may be a reference model for the rest of the world. The UN, international community and other friendly countries have supported these home-grown processes, which we plan to base on multiparty democracy, inclusiveness, and equity based social system. It is thus, very imperative at this historical juncture that we must pause and ponder about our next move.

There are many threats and challenges against the realization of the opportunities and the potential created so far. The oligarchy, the remnants of the defeated feudalists, and the people who want to maintain status-quo will try to thwart the gains made possible by the heroic struggles of the people. The people have suffered a lot in the past and now they cannot afford to see the spoils of the achievements. Any deviation from fulfilling the reasonable aspirations of the people is sure to breed frustrations among the masses which will detriment democracy, development and peace in the country.

This is a speech Prime Minister Prachanda had delivered to the conference ‘Democracy, Development and Peace in Asia’ on 10th Nov. in Kathmandu.

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3 Responses to “Prachanda: We Must Pause and Ponder Our Next Move”

  1. Maiust1976 said

    Prachanda wants the Nepalese people and the CPN(M) to pin its hopes on the “new constitution…which represents the hopes of all the people…This will be the document that will guarantee all the fundamental rights of the people as enshrined in the UN charter. We are confident that this will lay a foundation for a democratic and peaceful Neptal.”

    First of all, the so-called fundamental rights of the people in the UN charter are so couched in glittering generalities that they have been stated and declared in constitutions of neocolonial countries and states without any real impact on their feudal underdevelopment on the ground.

    Second, Prachanda is inflating the false hopes of the people and Party on the constitution, prating that this new constitution will bring real development, in short antifeudal change, because it will be produced under a “democracy”. Prachanda in his article, “We Must Pause and Ponder Our Next Move” said, “For the first time in decades the people of Nepal have reason to be hopeful about peace prevailing and rooting of a federal democratic system”. “Democracy” in Prachanda’s minds = multiparty = elections = parliamentarism. This is no different from imperialism’s false ideology of narrowly equating democracy with elections of feudalist officials and puppets in neocolonial states.

    Prachanda is advertising as “democracy” the present parliamentarism, the Federal Republic, even when the CPN(M), representing the revolutionary people, are only 30 per cent of the Constitutional Assembly. Prachanda’s and the Party’s leadership is hollow because it is hinged on a reactionary coalition with a reactionary party, the Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist), which Prachanda himself described as a “shield of feudalism and imperialism”. Now the CPN(M) is in a political bind and parliamentarist trap because under its minority-vote leadership, it is forced to tail behind the feudal UML.
    And yet in an interview with Siddharth Varadarajan of The Hindu in February 2006, Prachanda said, “We are talking of multiparty democracy in a specific sense, within a specific constitutional framework. We are not talking about bourgeois parliamentary democracy. This multiparty democracy will be anti-imperialist and anti-feudal. In other words, only within an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist constitutional framework is multiparty democracy possible. That is why armed struggle is also necessary, and unity in action with the other political parties against the monarchy is also a necessity. The socio-economic change we are fighting for is against feudalism and imperialism and it is within the context of that struggle that we are talking of multiparty democracy.”
    And now Prachanda parades his Federal Republic and “democratic” coalition on an alliance with a feudal, pro-imperialist and revisionist party such as the UML. What happened to the anti-imperialist and antifeudal democracy and alliance with genuine anti-imperialist and antifeudal parties?
    Prachanda has buttressed his parliamentarist agenda with a direct attack on Marxism. Against the core socialist line of revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, Prachanda is peddling the bourgeois line of “political competition”. Here he is reducing the revolutionary, Marxist proletariat to the level of the bourgeois, whether comprador or monopoly. The bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie need many parties to represent itself, because it has many fractions, factions and particular interests that need particular competing representation and also which reflect its hierarchy and anarchy. In the case of the revolutionary, Marxist proletariat, there is no multiplicity of party representation that is needed or desirable. There is need for a singularity in the line of march, strategy and tactics of the revolutionary proletarian in its transition toward a communist society. And so, Marx’s principle of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
    Competition itself is a bourgeois concept and practice, as opposed to the proletarian principle of class solidarity and cooperation.
    This unadulterated revisionism and anti-Marxism of Prachanda is used to justify his current parliamentarism and his defeatism regarding the armed struggle (that “It’s just that according to today’s power balance, seeing the whole situation and the expectation of the masses, and that there [should] not be bloodshed, we also responsibly believe that to get there too we will do so through peaceful means.”).
    But it might be even better to describe Prachanda’s bourgeois, counter-revolutionary parliamentarism with his own words used against the long-time Nepalese revisionists and parliamentarists, before Prachanda became one himself. In his article, “The Problem of Ideological Deviation in the Nepalese People’s Revolution”: “Generally, there is no dispute in the Nepalese communist movement in considering the Nepalese society as semi-feudal and semi-colonial, and accepting political strategy of New Democratic revolution (though the UML has separated itself from this process now)…
    … In Nepal, the reformism of Mohan Bikram, Nirmal Lamas and the like falls under this category. They act as if they oppose reformism ideologically but always are opposed to the slogan of revolutionary state power in the name of immediate movement. …
    …The reformists very cunningly attempt to hide the fact that if one makes the political slogans of liberal bourgeois as his tactics, it serves the strategy of the reactionaries, not the New Democratic revolution….
    …”Even after 50 years, they talk of the same tactics and get drowned in the reactionary elections, and sometimes get involved in the peaceful people’s movement. In the name of tactics, they sometimes follow liberal reaction in contrast to hardcore reaction. They talk of tactics and get sunk into the struggle for reforms throughout life and raise the slogan of reactionary state-power against that of revolutionary state-power that is, Nepalese reformism…
    … Marxism-leninism-maoism thinks that the main form of struggle is war for new democratic revolution. But the nepalese reformism always keeps saying it is the peaceful people’s movement. Marxism-leninism-maoism considers the publicity of necessity of armed struggle among the people in an organized way as the essence of its teachings. But for reformism, talking about armed struggle and even the dissemination of its necessity among the people is ‘extremism’. For them, peaceful people’s movement and parliamentary struggle is the main form of struggle forever.
    The reformists rule out Mao’s view that all activities of the Party should be centred for the preparation of armed struggle for New Democratic revolution until it begins and in its service after it does begin….
    … They hide the fact that the people can be never trained with reformist and peaceful struggles for armed struggle. “today, cash, credit tomorrow” is their principle. This is what leading the people in parliamentary peaceful and reformist struggle and telling them to wage armed struggle tomorrow, means. In reference to the East European parties, Mao had said, “They did not wage revolutionary class struggle. Therefore, they shall harvest what they have sown”. In the same way, the Nepalese reformism regards the sowing of seeds of revolutionary struggle as ‘extremist’ act and does sow that of peaceful struggle. So it has been now taking its reactionary fruits. Are the reformists including UML not examples of it? …
    …Today the policy on the parliamentary elections has been an important tool to examine which party is revolutionary and which is reformist. Nepal is no exception to it. It is reformism, which has been drawing the Party in the dirty swamp of parliamentarism since 1955 and strangling the throat of Nepalese revolution. Understanding this fact deeply holds a great significance.”

    .

  2. Maoist1976 said

    Prachanda wants the Nepalese people and the CPN(M) to pin its hopes on the “new constitution…which represents the hopes of all the people…This will be the document that will guarantee all the fundamental rights of the people as enshrined in the UN charter. We are confident that this will lay a foundation for a democratic and peaceful Neptal.”

    First of all, the so-called fundamental rights of the people in the UN charter are so couched in glittering generalities that they have been stated and declared in constitutions of neocolonial countries and states without any real impact on their feudal underdevelopment on the ground.

    Second, Prachanda is inflating the false hopes of the people and Party on the constitution, prating that this new constitution will bring real development, in short antifeudal change, because it will be produced under a “democracy”. Prachanda in his article, “We Must Pause and Ponder Our Next Move” said, “For the first time in decades the people of Nepal have reason to be hopeful about peace prevailing and rooting of a federal democratic system”. “Democracy” in Prachanda’s minds = multiparty = elections = parliamentarism. This is no different from imperialism’s false ideology of narrowly equating democracy with elections of feudalist officials and puppets in neocolonial states.

    Prachanda is advertising as “democracy” the present parliamentarism, the Federal Republic, even when the CPN(M), representing the revolutionary people, are only 30 per cent of the Constitutional Assembly. Prachanda’s and the Party’s leadership is hollow because it is hinged on a reactionary coalition with a reactionary party, the Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist), which Prachanda himself described as a “shield of feudalism and imperialism”. Now the CPN(M) is in a political bind and parliamentarist trap because under its minority-vote leadership, it is forced to tail behind the feudal UML.
    And yet in an interview with Siddharth Varadarajan of The Hindu in February 2006, Prachanda said, “We are talking of multiparty democracy in a specific sense, within a specific constitutional framework. We are not talking about bourgeois parliamentary democracy. This multiparty democracy will be anti-imperialist and anti-feudal. In other words, only within an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist constitutional framework is multiparty democracy possible. That is why armed struggle is also necessary, and unity in action with the other political parties against the monarchy is also a necessity. The socio-economic change we are fighting for is against feudalism and imperialism and it is within the context of that struggle that we are talking of multiparty democracy.”
    And now Prachanda parades his Federal Republic and “democratic” coalition on an alliance with a feudal, pro-imperialist and revisionist party such as the UML. What happened to the anti-imperialist and antifeudal democracy and alliance with genuine anti-imperialist and antifeudal parties?
    Prachanda has buttressed his parliamentarist agenda with a direct attack on Marxism. Against the core socialist line of revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, Prachanda is peddling the bourgeois line of “political competition”. Here he is reducing the revolutionary, Marxist proletariat to the level of the bourgeois, whether comprador or monopoly. The bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie need many parties to represent itself, because it has many fractions, factions and particular interests that need particular competing representation and also which reflect its hierarchy and anarchy. In the case of the revolutionary, Marxist proletariat, there is no multiplicity of party representation that is needed or desirable. There is need for a singularity in the line of march, strategy and tactics of the revolutionary proletarian in its transition toward a communist society. And so, Marx’s principle of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
    Competition itself is a bourgeois concept and practice, as opposed to the proletarian principle of class solidarity and cooperation.
    This unadulterated revisionism and anti-Marxism of Prachanda is used to justify his current parliamentarism and his defeatism regarding the armed struggle (that “It’s just that according to today’s power balance, seeing the whole situation and the expectation of the masses, and that there [should] not be bloodshed, we also responsibly believe that to get there too we will do so through peaceful means.”).
    But it might be even better to describe Prachanda’s bourgeois, counter-revolutionary parliamentarism with his own words used against the long-time Nepalese revisionists and parliamentarists, before Prachanda became one himself. In his article, “The Problem of Ideological Deviation in the Nepalese People’s Revolution”: “Generally, there is no dispute in the Nepalese communist movement in considering the Nepalese society as semi-feudal and semi-colonial, and accepting political strategy of New Democratic revolution (though the UML has separated itself from this process now)…
    … In Nepal, the reformism of Mohan Bikram, Nirmal Lamas and the like falls under this category. They act as if they oppose reformism ideologically but always are opposed to the slogan of revolutionary state power in the name of immediate movement. …
    …The reformists very cunningly attempt to hide the fact that if one makes the political slogans of liberal bourgeois as his tactics, it serves the strategy of the reactionaries, not the New Democratic revolution….
    …”Even after 50 years, they talk of the same tactics and get drowned in the reactionary elections, and sometimes get involved in the peaceful people’s movement. In the name of tactics, they sometimes follow liberal reaction in contrast to hardcore reaction. They talk of tactics and get sunk into the struggle for reforms throughout life and raise the slogan of reactionary state-power against that of revolutionary state-power that is, Nepalese reformism…
    … Marxism-leninism-maoism thinks that the main form of struggle is war for new democratic revolution. But the nepalese reformism always keeps saying it is the peaceful people’s movement. Marxism-leninism-maoism considers the publicity of necessity of armed struggle among the people in an organized way as the essence of its teachings. But for reformism, talking about armed struggle and even the dissemination of its necessity among the people is ‘extremism’. For them, peaceful people’s movement and parliamentary struggle is the main form of struggle forever.
    The reformists rule out Mao’s view that all activities of the Party should be centred for the preparation of armed struggle for New Democratic revolution until it begins and in its service after it does begin….
    … They hide the fact that the people can be never trained with reformist and peaceful struggles for armed struggle. “today, cash, credit tomorrow” is their principle. This is what leading the people in parliamentary peaceful and reformist struggle and telling them to wage armed struggle tomorrow, means. In reference to the East European parties, Mao had said, “They did not wage revolutionary class struggle. Therefore, they shall harvest what they have sown”. In the same way, the Nepalese reformism regards the sowing of seeds of revolutionary struggle as ‘extremist’ act and does sow that of peaceful struggle. So it has been now taking its reactionary fruits. Are the reformists including UML not examples of it? …
    …Today the policy on the parliamentary elections has been an important tool to examine which party is revolutionary and which is reformist. Nepal is no exception to it. It is reformism, which has been drawing the Party in the dirty swamp of parliamentarism since 1955 and strangling the throat of Nepalese revolution. Understanding this fact deeply holds a great significance.”

  3. Jaroslav said

    Prachanda says: ‘Asia witnessed an unparalleled rise of democratic and nationalist governments through the 1940s to 60s. The European colonial regimes, which perpetuated systematic exploitation of human and natural resources in most of the countries in the region, were overthrown by the upsurge of national liberation movements across the region. The success of anti-colonial movements in the region generated high hopes among the working class and expectations for a rapid change in their social and economic lives. However, those newly established nationalist regimes failed to initiate development, consolidate democracy and provide socio-economic empowerment to their citizens which had eroded their popular support bases and credibility rapidly. As a consequence, many elected regimes in various countries of the Asia Pacific region were replaced by the authoritarian and military dictators.’

    Dude what the hell? What kind of crazy rewrite of history is this? This is like the line saying that because Obama supporters have genuine hope, Obama must really mean to deliver on it. Those regimes he refers to failed to make revolution with a goal of communism — y’know ’cause they never intended to do such a thing! Their stumbling blocks were that they weren’t even trying to carry out a program to lead people past capitalism, & that the limited progress they did want was met with opposition by the imperialists at every turn. Indonesian communists hooking up with Sukarno — who by the way was way cooler than any of these NC or UML guys — didn’t help one bit. Or how about the Malayan communists, who never dealt with issues of what to do with power since they refused to take it? In a scene hauntingly familiar to Nepal, they chose to up their ‘credibility’ by honouring an agreement with the British imperialists & hand the country to them on a silver platter at the end of WW2, even though it was under their control & the British hadn’t even delivered on their part of the bargain anyway.

    Anyway, Prachanda’s focus is way off. The nationalist regimes (which by the way weren’t like in every country of Asia as he implies, rather only a few) failed to deliver a better life to their countrymen because they couldn’t. Given their social position, ideology, & goals they were actually incapable of this regardless of the circumstances. The important lessons to learn are why the communists, who at least had the correct general goals, were unable to achieve their mission.

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