Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Kissoon: Negation of the Negation

Posted by Mike E on January 20, 2009

 

Never more than capitalism?!

Never more than capitalism?!

This essay has appeared in a number of places, and has provoked sharp controversy (for reasons that should be obvious).

 

And as we publish it here, we also (for reasons that are obvious) we note that Kasama does not thereby endorse or uphold the conclusions presented here. (Thanks to Countercurrents.org for this.)

* * * * *

“The simplest and best explanation is simply that the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and Vietnamese revolutions were bourgeois revolutions, and not proletarian revolutions. I think the Nepalese revolution can change the feudal relations of production and introduce capitalist relations through agrarian reform or revolution. If the Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese etc revolutions created modern capitalist states, then why should the Nepalese Communists, following their examples, go further?”

* * * * *

By Roshan Kissoon

16 January, 2009

The Nepali revolution has not won, but neither has it lost. There does not seem an imminent danger to the CPN Maoist led government, yet also the government does not seem completely safe. Some believe the Nepali revolution signals the first of a new cycle of revolutions inspired by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Others believe the Nepali revolution signals the last of the cycle of revolutions inspired by the Bolsheviks in Russia. We may think of this cycle as starting in Russia, then China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc, through to Peru and Nepal. I think the latter correct-future revolutions must take a different form, and move away from the Bolshevik or Marxist Leninist model of revolution. Thus far, Marxist Leninist revolutions in the various countries have ended the ‘feudal relations of production’, and replaced it with ‘capitalist relations of production’. Simply put, the Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban etc revolutions have created modern capitalist nation states, not communism. I think the leaders of the CPN-Maoist implicitly recognise this, hence Dr.Bhattarai’s statement in the US to ‘leave communism to our grandchildren’. The limitations of the Nepali revolution show the limitations of the Marxist-Leninist theory as well as practice.

Contradictions in Historical Materialism

The science of Marxism has, indeed, discovered the laws of society that can explain how one form of society changes into another form of society. Marxist historians have revolutionised the study of history in every area, from the early origins of humanity to the modern world. Historical materialism can explain and shed light on all periods of human history. Historical materialism does not seem able, however, to explain itself. In those periods of history when Marxism itself played a decisive and dominant role; historical materialism does not seem able to explain nor understand. This seems a contradiction inside the Marxist system, and the inability to resolve this contradiction prevents the Communist movement from advancing ahead. For example, Marxists constantly say that the ‘masses are the real creators of history’, as an explicit challenge to the ‘great man’ hypothesis of bourgeois history. However, in all the Marxist-Leninist revolutions we see again the ‘great man’; the great Lenin, the great Stalin, the Great Mao etc, without whom the revolution would not have succeeded. This seems a glaring contradiction. Again, consider the following questions about the USSR.

Did the revolution create a socialist state?

If so, when did the USSR turn into a capitalist state?

The Khrushchev line parties claim socialism ended when the USSR collapsed. Maoist and Hoxha line parties claim that Khrushchev ended socialism by turning away from the line of Stalin. Trotsky line parties claim that Stalin ended socialism, and Stalin himself represents the counter revolution by turning away from the line of Lenin. Nobody dares to criticise the great Lenin.

Marxists seem unable to analyse the USSR with any kind of objectivity, and instead of analysis we get a ‘party line’ that passes for analysis. If one reads or listens to an account of the Russian revolution by parties or historians that ‘uphold’ Stalin, the role of leaders such as Trotsky, Bukharin or Radek do not merit mention or study. They do not mention the Moscow trials of the 1930s. They tell a story of the ‘good guy’ Stalin saving the revolution from the ‘bad guys’ such as Trotsky, only for the evil Khrushchev to cunningly reverse all the gains made by Stalin.

Likewise, in Trotskyist accounts, they simply show us with the reverse picture; the ‘good guy’ Trotsky outwitted by the villainous Stalin. Just as the ‘Stalinists’ keep an ominous silence regarding the Moscow trials; likewise the Trotskyists keep an ominous silence regarding the Kronstadt rebellion against the Bolsheviks and Trotsky’s role in this tragedy. It seems to me that Trotsky’s criticisms against Stalin seem correct, but Stalin’s criticisms of Trotsky also seem correct. They both seem correct and both seem incorrect. International revolution was impossible and socialism in one country was impossible, as socialism in one country turns into its opposite, state capitalism and finally just capitalism. Marxism-Leninism has not gone further.

Marxism-Leninism has not properly addressed the following problems:

1) The Bolsheviks smashed the Tsarist feudal state, and created a new ‘workers state’. Why didn’t the revisionists or bourgeoisie smash this so-called ‘workers state’ in turn when they reintroduced capitalism?

2) In China, the Communists also smashed the old feudal state and created a new ‘workers state’. However, Deng Xiaoping and his successors seem quite able to use the ‘workers state’ for capitalism. How?

3) In the USSR, why did the masses seem unable to tell the difference between a revolutionary line and a counter revolutionary line, or the difference between the line of Lenin and that of Stalin, and the line of Stalin from that of Khrushchev?

4) Likewise in China, why did the masses seem unable to tell the difference between the revolutionary line of Mao Zedong and the gang of four, and the revisionist line of Deng Xiaoping?

The simplest and best explanation is simply that the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and Vietnamese revolutions were bourgeois revolutions, and not proletarian revolutions. I think the Nepalese revolution can change the feudal relations of production and introduce capitalist relations through agrarian reform or revolution. If the Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese etc revolutions created modern capitalist states, then why should the Nepalese Communists, following their examples, go further?

Party Vs Class

The bourgeois nature of all the forms of Marxism-Leninism seems clearest in the form of organisation. The Leninist idea of a centralised, authoritarian, hierarchal party led by professional revolutionaries, a party that seeks to centralise all power in one organisation, proves extremely effective for an underground struggle, such as an urban insurrection or a Peoples War. However, this form of party, a ‘democratic centralist’ party, does not belong exclusively to Marxist-Leninists. Any political ideology can use this form of organisation for any ends whatsoever. In Nepal, many of the Terai and Madhesi armed groups, some led by former Maoist commanders, use the ‘democratic centralist’ form of party. The LTTE in Sri Lanka and many other nationalist and even Islamic groups across the world also use the ‘democratic centralist’ form of organisation. Even some NGOs and multi-national companies use this form of organisation. Undoubtedly, this form of organisation proves extremely effective for struggle. Otto Ruhle, a German Marxist of the early 20th century, in a provocative essay entitled ‘ The struggle against Fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism’, argued that Hitler and Mussolini only copied the Bolshevik model for their Fascist ideology, because the party and state structure of Fascism bears remarkable similarities, in form, to the Bolshevik party and state. Mao Zedong seemed aware of this, as he often warned that if the political line of a Communist party changes, the party itself can turn into its opposite, a Social Fascist party, or Fascism presenting itself as Socialism. A Fascist party and a Communist party share the same form of organisation, but the ideological content appear as opposite. Mao seemed aware that the ‘democratic centralist’ party would centralise not just power in one place, but also wealth in one place, in the party itself. Thus, after a revolution, the new bourgeoisie would emerge from inside the party. Mao did not seem able, however, to condemn the ‘democratic centralist’ form of the party, probably because he himself led such a party! Simply put, ‘democratic centralism’ is not very democratic, but very centralised.

The Marxist-Leninist tendency to centralise all power in one place, in one person, has proved both effective and ineffective. This tendency seems effective in countries like Nepal, where many people can neither read nor write, and the political tradition demands a single strong leader. In the leader, the people find a reflection of themselves, a leader who can say what they wish to say, and lead them to where they cannot go themselves. However, this form of leadership causes many problems, as the leader becomes more than human, and the person of the leader becomes inseparable from the political line. The tendency of the leader to put their own families and friends in positions of power and to not know ‘when’ to leave power presents a big problem. The failure of Cuba, after the long reign of Fidel Castro, to find another leader apart from Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, represents a failure of this tendency. The examples of North Korea and Zimbabwe also testify to this failure.

This tendency, taken to its extreme, such as with Chairman Gonzalo and the Shining Path of Peru, has proved tragic. When the Peruvian state captured Chairman Gonzalo and other central committee leaders of the PCP (Communist Party of Peru), their entire struggle collapsed. Even now, the remnants of the Shining Path go on and on about the great leader Chairman Gonzalo, even thought Gonzalo now resides in a top security prison and cannot even lead himself to the toilet. From tragedy we move to farce, and the strange behaviour of Chairman Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA. Even though Chairman Avakian has not led any kind of Peoples War or any major revolutionary struggle, he has declared a ‘new synthesis’ that goes beyond Marx, Lenin and Mao. Chairman Avakian claims to have a made a ‘break in epistemology’, yet seems to have never studied the works of Russell, Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger and other philosophers of the 20th century, or even distinguished Marxist philosophers such as Lukacs, Gramsci, Ilyenkov etc. RCP USA comrades describe Chairman Avakian as ‘the American Lenin’ (which, I presume, would make Lenin the Russian Avakian…) and sometimes even praise god for Chairman Avakian. Needless to say, nobody outside of the RCP USA actually believes this nonsense, and the RCP USA resembles a strange cult rather than a real Communist party. Ground Control to Chairman Bob… Dr. Bhattarai, after the Maoist victory in the CA elections, compared Chairman Prachanda to Lenin and Napoleon. I think this seems correct, if we understand that both Lenin and Napoleon turned their countries into modern nation states. This is the limit of Marxism Leninism and this form of leadership. For a Proletarian revolution, I believe we need a new form of organisation.

I do not claim to know ‘what’ this new form of organisation take, but I can say what form it should take:

1) The culture and practice of Marxist-Leninists seems stale and completely lacking in creativity. Consider the number of labels Marxists use to criticise other Marxists: ‘opportunist’, ‘revisionist’, ultra-leftist’, ‘rightist’, ‘dogmatist’, ‘pragmatist’, ‘Stalinist’, ‘Trotskyist’ ‘petit bourgeois anarchist’ etc. If we do not like another’s ideas, we can dismiss them as ‘eclectic’, metaphysical’, ‘idealist’ etc. So many labels, so little thought. If we view the Marxist-Leninist system as a type of game, with certain rules, we observe the following: Comrade A says to Comrade B that X and Y must be done. Comrade B asks why. Comrade A then quotes from Lenin to justify his assertion. Comrade B says to Comrade A that he misunderstands Lenin, and accuses him of misquoting Lenin, taking Lenin out of context, and comes up with a counter quote from Lenin. Comrade A responds by giving the context in which Lenin said such and such thing. Comrade B accuses Comrade A of misunderstanding the context, and so on and so on and so on. Frankly, even though Marxists claim Marxism to be science, this kind of practice does not seem very scientific. Rather, it resembles the kind of theology practiced by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, the ‘peoples of the book’. An unquestioned assumption behind this kind of argumentation in the Communist movement is the belief that Marx and Lenin were unquestionably right, simply because Marx is Marx and Lenin is Lenin, and the Russian revolution ‘succeeded’. Frankly speaking, the longer and longer the Bolshevik revolution fades into the past, the less and less convincing the tales and legends of the great Lenin will seem.

2) I believe that this emphasis on the great names, on forming a party on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Trotskyism etc seems completely ridiculous. Consider the number of Communist parties in Nepal; 1) CPN-ML 2) CPN-UML 3) CPN-MLM 4) CPN-MLM Prachanda Path 5) CPN workers and peasants party 5) CPN-ML unified 6) CPN-unity centre Masal 7)CPN-Masal revolutionary left wing 8) CPN-Masal and no doubt many others. L & M, however, are a brand of cigarettes.

3) Marxists seem to already know, without studying, that Marx and Lenin defeated their opponents, and so do not revisit the old debates. The one-sidedness of this seems clear, as we have read what Marx said about the Gotha program, but few have actually read the Gotha program. We have read Marx’s criticisms of Feuerbach, but we have never read Feuerbach. We have read Marx’s criticisms of Bakunin and Proudhon, but have never read Bakunin or Proudhon. Let us take the last, Marx’s criticisms of Bakunin, the Anarchist leader of the First International.

Marx argued that the working class in the advanced capitalist countries of England, France, and Germany would lead the revolution. Bakunin disagreed and argued that workers in these advanced countries would not revolt, and considered them as forming a ‘labour aristocracy’. (Lenin took over Bakunin’s idea of ‘labour aristocracy’, and developed it.) Bakunin believed that the revolution would take place in Russia, and peasants would play a major role. This is what happened, and the revolutionary role of the peasantry seems clear in Nepal. Marx argued that the First International should have a single line and program, his own line and program, and all the chapters of the First International should follow this line. Bakunin rejected this, and argued that individual chapters should have their own program and line, and that the International should not seek uniformity. The demand for one and only one political line as the basis of unity does not allow for unity-this is clear. Marx argued that the proletariat needed a centralised party to represent their interests, while Bakunin argued that a centralised political party of the proletariat would simply turn into the new rulers over the proletariat. This happened in Russia, China and other places. Now, in the 21st century, we can see that Marx’s criticisms of Bakunin were correct, but Bakunin’s criticisms of Marx were also correct. Both are correct and both are incorrect.

Orthodoxy-Bulleh Shah did not follow the laws of Islam. He and his disciples did not fast during Ramadan, and were often seen drunk. One day, a great Ulema, or Muslim religious leader, came to meet Bulleh Shah. The Ulema stated that he was an orthodox Muslim, and had studied in the famous Al-Azhar University in Egypt, and was a follower of the Sunna of the Prophet Mohammed. Bulleh Shah replied to the Ulema; ‘You may be an orthodox Muslim, but I am an unorthodox Muslim, I am so unorthodox, I am not even a Muslim!

55 Responses to “Kissoon: Negation of the Negation”

  1. umlaut said

    This is heavy. I think it should be put on the main blog to be struggled over. It is not really about the revolutions in South Asia, but about communism and revolution itself.

  2. emil said

    at last you have put this article online. this is a great article. we need libertarian communism.

  3. This is a rubbish article!

    I wont go into why its completely useless piece of un-marxist nonsense here but as i saw this first in The Red Star i will go to say that to my knowledge this is not an official line of the Maoist party of Nepal, or even a real debate within that party.

    I have had some corrispondence with The Red Star and its staff, and to quote an email from Dipak Sapkota, “Red Star is an independant paper, not an organ of the Maoist Party.”. I would imagine this independance is the reason for the Red Star publishing sometimes controversial articles. (while this is the most controversial thing that the Red Star has published, they often publish some controverial stuff, for example an earlier article talked about a joint dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, which needless to say is a fantasy.)

    The Red Star is a FANTASTIC resource, but they do throw out some curve balls, which isnt nessisarily a bad thing, as it can stir debate.

  4. Mike E said

    Ben: I also sharply disagree with many of the points in this piece.

    You wrote:

    “I wont go into why its completely useless piece of un-marxist nonsense here…”

    I think it would be a great deal of benefit to our readers if you would “go into why.” The approach of our site is to make all posts useful by using them as a moment to dig into cardinal questions in a serious way.

  5. emil said

    whoah ben!! mike e is right. who defines what is marxist or unmarxist? you, me, avakian, stalin, marx???

  6. emil said

    at least the nepal maoists actually believe in some form of free speech to publish this article. there is too much of an ‘orthodox church’ approach on the left.

  7. emil said

    why didnt you guys publish the second part of the samir amin interview? Amin also talks about Bakunin and Proudhon…

  8. Rosa said

    I would not say as Ben completely nonsense but, he is inspired by the situation of Nepal’s Revolution. In justifying his views he has made a salad of correct and incorrect! It seems he wants to disgrade Bob Avakian,at this position I disagree… ..Did Marx led a people’s war? But why is Marxism established as a universal theory? Likewise Avakian has contributed a lot to safeguard the revolutionary line, for example who did declare it was a coup detat by Deng’s clique in China? who refuted Karl Venu in India? Who exposed Gonzalo thought is wrong? And why is Prachanda Path going into debate now, and CPN Maoist is self in confusion?
    Just an simple example to Kishoon, if you need a driving liscence you must go through theory and then practice, a person who has done theory but waiting for a practice,recommends a person doing practice not to drive through red ample and the person in practice avoids saying you have not yet practiced, what happens? An unavoidable accident do you agree?

  9. Mike E said

    Emil:
    We created the “Kasama Threads” board so that readers like you can post articles directly without waiting. You think the article is valuable? go for it.

  10. emil said

    mike
    yes. i dont understand why just part one was posted and not part two. i have some experience with communist parties in europe, and this was always part of our practice. to not publish something we do not agree with. the comments by Ben above are not so different from the Mcarthy period in america. different ideology, same attitude. the same with this article. ignore and condemn.

  11. Mike E said

    I understand your observation:

    ” this was always part of our practice. to not publish something we do not agree with. the comments by Ben above are not so different from the Mcarthy period in america. different ideology, same attitude”

    And I understand why you might assume that this is happening here.

    But if you look around, Emil, you will see that Kasama constantly posts things we don’t agree with.

    Here is our philosophy on this:

    a) People need to know what is being said — including by reactionaries, and by people we don’t agree with.
    b) People should hear articulate arguments made by the people who believe in them (not merely hear OUR characterizations).
    c) We see “the thread is the locus.” This means: For us, the points of view (including our points of view) emerge from the whole thread, not from the post. If you want to know what people actually think about the posts, or the articles, read the whole thread.
    d) People don’t always need to be told what “kasama thinks.” Ideas don’t need to come with our warning labels. Our readers are quite capable of critically thinking about the posts and reaching conclusions. And we are aware that many readers may reach conclusions DIFFERENT FROM OURS, and we are “ok with that.”

    This policy is very confusing for people. And it is mainly confusing because people assume that “if we post it, we must like it.”

    And (since we post things that take different points of view) some people assume that the Kasama project is merely confused and vague.

    No, we often post articulate explanations that we DON’T agree with — because we think it is valuable for revolutionaries. And we don’t think people need to be spoonfed “our” truths.

    It may be, as Emil says, against his “experience with communist parties” — but that’s kinda the point of Kasama’s “reconceive as we regroup.” We proclaim clearly we are communists, and we are proceeding to do some things that break with your experience with communists.

  12. emil said

    Mike,

    thanks for the clarification. i think that the debate in kasama is good, and a lot of these things are being questioned, which is why i use it. the thing that angers me in the communist movement can be typified by the comments above by ben. i have heard the same kinds of words being used by conservatives. perhaps Ben above can reply for himself??

  13. And Ben will reply for himself.

    Firstly i was intially just trying to put the article in context, because controversial articles have been picked up by various “leftists” who dont support Nepal and the revolution there and then take these articles as fact and use them to beat the revolution around and try and deny it.

    Firstly, Emil, to call me a Mcarthyist and try and say that I want to stifle debate is blatently incorrect. I SPECIFICALLY commented that articles like this will (and i think intended to) stir debate. I quote from my post:

    “The Red Star is a FANTASTIC resource, but they do throw out some curve balls, which isnt nessisarily a bad thing, as it can stir debate.”

    To imply that i am a “Mcarthyist” and “concervative” is offensive and simply false.

    I’ll go into why i think that this article is “unmarxist nonsense”. Firstly it has to be said that the whole basis of this essay is incorrect. To say that “the Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban etc revolutions have created modern capitalist nation states” is not true. These revolutions have all replaced capitalism and brought about a quantitively different society, that being post-capitalist workers states, with various levels of bureucratic degeneration.

    It is not true that revolutionary socialist parties (at least in dynamic revolutionary parties that have a potential to change the world) stick by a dogmatic orthodox “party line”. This has been dramatically shown by the Maoists in Nepal which are very open and democratic and foster debate, and on the back of these debates have been able to figure out and carry out a revolutionary strategy for the situation they faced. Parties that dont have this internal culture of debate are forever incabable with relating to the reality of the situation they face, and will never be able to practically relate to the class strugle in any meaningful way.

    Essentially this article boils down to an incorrect analysis of of history. Marxism, the most basic terms, is the lessons learned from the cumulative experiances of human history. As this artcle states all the great revolutions we have seen, “Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba through to… Nepal” all involved a Leninist party. This does not show the limits of leninism, rather that a revolutionary party that is democratic and made of professional and serious revolutionaries is essential to give direction, leadership, experiance and organisation to the struggle for it to succede.

    This is why i think that this is an un-marxist piece of nonsense. It has nothing to do with my supposed “conservative” and “mcarthyist” attitudes, but rather it doesnt do the standard scientific and marxist thing in learning from the experiances of human struggles.

    *(hope that was to your liking mike.)
    **(apologies for spelling mistakes, but i presume that we are all mature enough to read this for its arguments and not spelling and gramatical errors.)

  14. emil said

    ben,

    but what makes your analysis of history correct? because you believe it and your party or group uphold this particular theory? the article shows that there are many understandings of history inside the communist movement itself. if you find being called a ‘conservative’ and ‘mcarthyist’ offensive, that is not my problem. your language and attitude is the same.

  15. emil said

    Rosa,
    do you agree with the cult of personality around avakian?

  16. Emil,

    Its not “my theory”, its the only analysis that can be reached in relations to the historical facts. In all these post capitalist state private ownership of the means of production was abolished, community democracy and involvement. These new states and societies were qualitatively different to that of capitalism. This article fails to recognise that anyf undamental change occurred in *any* of the revoltuions in the last centuary, which is *NOT* the case.

    Now it is obviously apparent that by and large these states have not proved able to continue onto a higher level of socialism, but this is where the debate needs to be. There is allot of debate and differences in opinion in the international movements as to when and where these great revoltuions failed and what we can do as revoltuionaries so as not to make these same mistakes in the future. This debate will always be essential, and we must always be trying to find new roads onwards to socialism.

    But these new roads *MUST* always be based on the historical experiances of the struggle and the reality of the situation we face. And this is my issue with the article in question. It does not recognise or learn from the struggles of the last hundred years. Not just in Russia, Vietnam, Cuba, China and the like but also in Spain, or in May/June 1968 in France. On the question of the importance of a party organisation history has shown that for a revolt and rebellion to become a sustainable and widespread assault on the ruling classes, for a revolt to become a revolution and progress onto a new phase in human development, history has shown the nessisity for a democratic and professional oganisation of revolutionaries, who are clear on their tasks and committed to their cause.

    Finally Emil, while you have called me a “conservative” and a “mcarthyist” and stated that i am against debate, I have now left a couple of lengthy posts explaining my point of view and trying to back up what i am saying. Is it too much to expect the same from you? If you have any reasonable arguments as to how i am a conservative mcarthyist or in regards to this article i am trying to debate with you, then please lets hear them.

    If you have any serious points then lets hear them, dont just slander other people (a comrade in the struggle aswell) with ridiculous and obviously offensive bullshit.

    In solidarity,
    Ben Peterson

  17. emil said

    Ben,

    you say: “Its not “my theory”, its the only analysis that can be reached in relations to the historical facts.” but this is not true. there are many different analysis’s that are available, probably in a library in your town itself. my question is the same. what makes you so sure that your opinion is the one and only true correct opinion? what is a historical fact anyway? Ben, has anybody elected you as pope?

  18. emil said

    Rosa,

    who is greater, Marx or Avakian?

  19. jon said

    emil,
    ben is too young to be pope.

    ben,
    stop acting like the pope.

    seriously, the views put forward in the article are those of ultra leftism, as criticised by Lenin in left wing communist an infantile disorder. as Lenin said, anarchism is the sin for right opportunism.

  20. There are of course various bourgeois historians with all sorts of nonsense interpretations of history. But those are by definition, unmarxist, which is exactly what i said about this article in the first place.

    I have stated repeatedly the hostorical reasons why this is not a marxist piece, and i wont repeat them, see my earlier posts.

    You on the other hand havent tried in any way to argue differently, all you have said is that
    1) i am a mcarthyist and a conservative,
    2) that multiple “theories” need to be respected because i am no “pope” to declare one correct from the other.

    Of course i am in no posision to do so, and i am not. History does. And no we dont need to respect all interpretations of history, only the ones backed up by facts. We dont have to respect the “theory” of the bourgeois historian who denies the existance of classes, in the same way i dont think its smart to respect this article, because it

  21. *apologies that my reply got broken into multiple posts*

    We dont have to respect the “theory” of the bourgeois historian who denies the existance of classes, in the same way i dont think its smart to respect this article, because this analysis is not based on the collective history of the class struggle during the last hundred years. That (not basis an analysis on historical experiance) is an inherently unmarxist thing to do.

    Again, Emil, if you actually have any arguments, and not just baseless post-modern complaining, lets hear them, if not, take your name calling somewhere else.

  22. emil said

    but who are you to dismiss other interpretations? please answer. trotskyist analyses are different from official communist etc.

  23. I am *NOT* dismissing interpreations. I am simply stating that interpretations MUST be backed up by historical *FACT* which this peice *IS NOT*!

    Do you actually have any rational points Emil, or do you simply wish to dismiss my arguments because that is easier than trying to argue for a flawed analysis?

  24. emil said

    Ben,

    what is a historical fact? do you know what really happened under stalin, the moscow trials etc? your attitude of dismissal is very fascist. your account of history is a well known communist one, but it is not the only one. why do you want to shut up other voices apart from your own?

  25. emil said

    Ben,
    also, who the hell is ‘history’who judges? God?

  26. Facist!?!?!?!?!?!?
    that is outrageous!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have a trotskist background, so yes i am VERY familiar with what went on with the Stalinist trials ect. That has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

    And absolutely there are different analysis of the workers states. I would probably agree with trotsky in his analysis of bureaucratic degeneration. That being said i am not a stalin-ophobe or a mao-ophobe which have very different analysiss of what and where things went wrong in the former workers states.

    But they key point of unity is that all of these progressive forces recognise that a revolution took place and the resulting societies where fundamentally different to capitalism.

    To use the example of Cuba, industry was nationalised and democratised, community based Committees for the devense of the Revolution were set up for local administration and the masses were organised into a popular millitia with hundreds of thousands of members. This kind of state is qualitatively different to a capitistic society.

    I am very open to other interpretations and to other opinions, however those opinions MUST be based on the collective experiance of human history. If you cannot recognise a socialist revolution when it happens, like this article cannot, that opinion then cannot try and hide behind a mask of “marxism”.

    Learning from history is the CENTRAL ASPECT of marxism! This article does not do so, and is therefore unmarxist.

    Again Emil, if you have an argument lets hear it. By continuing to make riddiculous comments about me being a religous conservative facist mcarthyist you are just exposing for everyone to see how ridiculous you and your position on this article are.

  27. emil said

    Chairman ben,
    i have no argument, i just cannot believe that yours is the one and only true one, and that you are qualified to call others marxist or anti marxist. why are you unable to tolerate diverse opinions? but, you are actually incorrect. there are anarchist interpretations of the revolutions, as well as ultra leftist accounts that also say the russian revolution was a bourgeois revolution. Noam chomsky describes the bolshevik revolution as a military coup. as for learning from history, what have marxists learnt?

  28. emil said

    ben,
    check out this article, mentioned in by Kissoon. read first, then tell me if you think it is also anti marxist nonsense.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/ruhle/1939/ruhle01.htm

  29. emil said

    ben,

    also i am NOT calling you a fascist, but your ATTITUDE is fascist, or perhaps authoritarian would be a better word?

  30. Yes i would say that is un marxist.

    The opinion that the workers states and facism are inherently the same because they were both totalitarian isnt a marxist viewpoint, its a western bourgeois view. It is not based on the concrete situation in those countries, namely the relation of the masses to the means of production.

    Again marxist have learnt many things from history. The need for a socialist state, and the role of a party in that being two. We know this because were there are successful revolutions (Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam) we see both these phenomenons. Where we dont see them, the revolution is unsuccessful (france 1968 or the spanish civil war).

    I have allot of respect for Noam Chomsky, and allot of what he writes is fantastic, but his analysis of the Russian revolution is flawed. Revolutions are inherantly violent events with one class imposing its will on that of another.

    How is my attitude facist? i havent denounced you without reason, rather i have CONTINUOUSLY provided lengthy responses and tried to debate with you.

    You Emil have just resorted to name calling.

  31. Emil – “I have no argument”

    This is the point of the issue. You dont actually have an argument, but you just hting that there needs to be a plethora of interpretations which should all just be respected, simply because it is different.

    We shouldnt accept blindly any interpretation just because it is another interpretation. Of course everyone has the right to come up with a different analysis. And if you take an objective view of the facts and come up with an alternative analysis then you by all means should debate it with other people. However just because you say something different doesnt mean that you are right, and just because an individual sthinks something is right doesnt make it true. Theories are proven true or false by how they relate to the real world. Any theory must be tested not only in practical application but first by measuring it up with the historical record of human history. This analysis fails this test, and i have explained why.

    And due to it failing this test means that it shouldnt be given any more serious consideration. To say that there are multiple interpretations and they must all be respected is false.

    For example there are religions that think the world is flat, it doesnt mean that it is real.
    And if i say i dont belive in gravity i sure as hell would expect someone to try and stop me if i go to jump out the window.

  32. emil said

    but the otto ruhle essay is not a bourgeois veiw. it was written by a german communist. possibly it can be counted as anarchist. Ben, anyone who disagrees with you is either a postmodernist or a bourgeois,and you do not need to respect their opinion because it is wrong.this is your whole argument. as for the real world, is your group or party able to capture state power in your country? obviously not. so what makes your theory proven in reality??

  33. Rosarebellion said

    Emil you have asked me two question:
    1 Do you find personality cult around Avakian?
    2 Who is great Marx or Avakian?

    My answer would be no I don’t find any personality cult around Bob Avakian. He has his work, he encourages people around the world to make healthy critic and put on debate his new synthesis.
    But just the opposite is happening instead of grasping the essence of the synthesis, Comrades who are adopting neo revisionism line are attacking Avakian because he repudiates the wrong line.I have experienced this phenomenan also in the past for example untill and unless Mashal was in RIM they never spoke gainst RIM and Avakain but once they were expelled from RIM immediately they propogated that RIM is the agent of CIA Avakian’personality cult, RCP agent of CIA what so ever… and now too when Bob repudiates the wrong line comrades start makiing antipropoganda against Bob. Unfortunate!
    2 I would like to ask you again Marx is great or Lenin or Mao or what do you mean by great we are not bourgeois to make competition
    but one thing for your kind information there is no other revolutionary ideolog at this age rather than Avakian in my knowledge, but there could be in future.

  34. emil said

    but what has avakian and the rcp actually done?

  35. Rosa said

    Instead of asking me if you are a political person evaluate yourself. It is better to educate masses how they can liberate themselves and the whole humanity rather than to illuse people in the name of doing something.
    I would like to ask you did Marx lead strong movement or did he lead people’s War? Marx visited 10 years library rather than any factory and at the end grasped the theory which has become only the one that can change the form of society. History has proven great work of Marx so why not for Avaikan?

  36. Green Red rev said

    Hi Rosa,
    Comradely greetings and all due respect.

    So if there is not a cult of personality, couldn’t that party – eh – rcp act a bit as it used to be more respectful to other people’s revolutions?

    And will Mr. Robert Avakin’s recent writings with their spectacular points going to lead the revolution in the United Snakes of America? (sic!)

    What sort of struggles is he suggesting by the way?
    Subsidized agriculre doesn’t look exactly like China’s peasant condition so instead of surrounding the cities with country side protracted armed struggle should we be going to every village and town and sell them Anti God Bob’s book or his critique of Jefersonian….

    Please say it simple for under educated fellows like me.

    Thanks in advance

  37. Green Red rev said

    And by the way Kasama Benjamin Peterson,

    Meeting you is an honor. As ex Che minded, who at times cooperated with variety of Trotskist fellows of all different colours (in the US,) I truly appreciate to meet you in this common ground, that is Nepal specificaly. Your general evaluation of the article type and what it says is fair enough.

    In the meantime, I also hope that eventualy comrade Emil’s statement shall be more enhanced and clear.

    Emil, hi again. Tanx to Mike to provide your demanded article. Your quoting from Chomsky (who sometimes writes great stuff) is appreciated also as an Anarchist sincerety but, did you ever know what position this very Noam Chomsky had on Nandigram? Wouldn’t you feel hurt to know that sometimes anarchists rather side with reactionary forces such as Communist Party of India (Marxist) who are as corrupted as you could imagine in the West Bangal State of India in support of moving peoples’ villages around to make some darn Chemical plant in an Special Economic Zone proclaimed area and it was tidious, tragic struggles of people that finaly heroically cancelled the plan?

    Sad part of the matter was to see among pro state signers in the belly of the beast Chomsky wasn’t the only one, Howard Zinn was there too plus…. and finaly International Action Center did a visit there that was fair to an extent.

    I wish comrade Dave P could elaborate on this.

  38. Rosarebellion said

    Hi Green Red,
    In your analsis if you don’t respect the wrong line is the cult of personality I have nothing to say you. Just for recent example what do you think didn’t RCP wholeheartedly serve and supported the revolution in NEPAL untill 2005?? I hope you are aware with the specific changes in adopting line since 2005 in Nepal, so at this juncture Avakian clearly repudiates and alarmed the CPNM from deraiing, as he knows it is a wrong line why should he respect and upgrade just to illuse? I respect Avakian because he is always ready to tolorate the accusation and attact from different spectrum, but never capitulate before the wrong line. Just tell me Green Red how can he support the so called ongoing revolution in Nepal and share the masses of Nepal abstract dream of liberation which they can never realise with this line. Green Red could you please mention which people’s revolution he did not support?

  39. Green Red rev said

    Thanks for response.
    Hi Rosa,

    On Nepal, I personaly will give you a cleared answer in few years by comparing the born children’s living / dying statistic, Education status and number of students in the city And the countryside, and those sort of peoples’ status. An ongoing revolution’s evalatuion from outside and judging methodologies used are mere Cofee Shop observations.
    Please provide me with from the latest, to the earlier, link addresses of Mr. Avakian’s stands on CP India Maoist let’s say from the merge of People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre that were both CP ML Naxalite variasions.

    And back on Nepal, Philippines, etc. even if thinking critical, still silence is not the solution. It is about face game. Prove that I am wrong but, after definite wrong policies of RCP / RIM on Guzman arrest they are playing it safe and after years struggling to get over A Bend in the Road and regroupment of the glorious “shining path” I haven’t heard from party saying a thing on that.

    let’s get back to your first sentence:

    In your analsis if you don’t respect the wrong line is the cult of personality I have nothing to say you

    Really? Is that a form of ideological struggle?

    Friend, you are in Kasama, not in the World Can’t Wait where after some long time activists were recognized as Kasama associate they received “purge” sounding letters not to come to conference.

    That my way or the Highway might suit Nation of Islam and, about Cult of Personality that is as good as a party can get.

    You are debating or duelling? This is not a Cowboy – excuse me Cow Person gun fight.

    My understanding of Cult of Personality is extension of pragmatic, tactical and counter productive policies taken by more than one person.

    Do you praise what Lin Piao did for Mao Tse-tung to later allegedly take the stand for himself and have him killed?

    Are you saying if I do not respect Cult of Personality then you have nothing to say, that means you have a quota of whom to debate with and whom not to coming from the higher authorities or, in fact I am wrong, are you saying if I do respect it – that is to my experience and knowlege wrong – then you’ll be silence?

    And Explicityly explain. With anti God’s Chairman Avakian where should we go to do what? To projects where people reside? To stand in corders like Jehova Witnesses? To the factories? or only sell them on line and Starbucks?

    For anti Fascism, should we walk from Revolution Books/Liberes to nearest church with loudspeakers telling to people to buy this?

    How much is the price for the latest T Shirts with Avakian’s Photo? Should T Shirts always come from the party or the oppressed should improvise them at home with an Iron on the Shirt?

  40. For Emil,

    I have explained repeatedly my point, you have yet to do so. I wont go through the whole history of events on which i base my analysis, rather you should look at what ive said and find where i am mistaken. Then you can have a counter point. At the moment your pissing in the wind.

    For Rosa,
    I dont agree with the conclusion the the CPN(M)’s line changed in 2005, it didnt. The tactic of looking for allies in the cities goes back to at least the 2001 meetings, its just not until 2005 that the Maoists were able to start making those alliances and get into the cities.
    On top of that why would your support for Nepal wane after 2005? It wasnt until 2006 that the great Jana Andolan (which was the popular extension of the peoples war) erupted and wiped out it all that had stood before. I hope for hte RCP’s sake they reconsider their oppsition to Nepal, because it is far too exciting to be missing out on.

    Green Red Rev,
    Thanks allot! It is always great to meet and extend comradeship to other revolutionaries. I think Kasama is a great resource, and my hat is off to all of you. While I think we may have some ‘petty’ ideological differences, you guys have proven to be serious revolutionaries and hope to be able ot work with and learn from you guys in the future.

    I wont comment on Avakian/personality cults.

    In Solidarity,
    Ben Peterson

  41. Rosarebellion said

    Hi Green Red Rev,
    Thanks for your response,
    On Nepal you are going to answer in couple of years, with statics here it seems either you have no concrete idea now and you are also in the process of empericism. And do you think the reducing death rate of child and providing education to the majority and more people living in the cities means revolution? Or you are openly siding reformism? So according your defination of revolution, why do you curse Avakian for not doing anything, you can check out the statistics of USA they don’t need to do anything. To be honest I have never seen any Tshirt With avakian Photo if you possible can you please take picture and put it online? I have seen Mao’s it’s normal then I saw Guzman, and at latest I saw Prachanda’s. And your comment on talking about Nepal staying abroad is coffee shop, my friend so many comrades quote example of past were you in China during the revolution?

  42. Green Red rev said

    Hi Rosa,
    I am talking for self and not for Kasama on this matter Rosa.
    Yes. In a few years in the least.
    On Reformism or Revolution – or rather Revolution or Evolution(ary Socialism as said by Bernstein of 2nd international), with all due respect to Rosa’s great writing there, as an orthodox Marxist (that to me is not the same thing as Leninist, Mao’s thinking, etc.) considering the current balance of the forces, and Earth’s ecosystem in decline, of course, while favoring revolutions, I still value reforms as pretext for further struggle. Again, this is my position not many in Kasama.
    That is, in any condition in a class society, reforms should be taken and demanded for more. And while endorsed relatively, their limits or not being productive exposed and, taken as evidence to fight for more radical changes.
    My ideal party would be fighting in both grounds at once.

    Example. Many progressives are flat anti executions in the United States.

    I am too of course, but I am also in particular against using the current materials they inject to ends peoples’ lives, that according to researcheers in fact painful since, while making people helpless, but still they feel the pain and, Pottasium Chloride burns the hell out of the incarcerated to be killed fellow.

    In Katerina for example, when a humanist nurse had to choose between deliverable patience from the hospital away on flood and the ones wouldn’t survive, she administrated some Opitae and another sleeping injection I believe. I would stand for that.

    Why?

    Sinde it is less painful. Now you argue that I am for execution.

    While I am not for execution, but by taking that stand, I have the opportunity to expose the painful-ness of the current adminstrated method that is worst than a bullet or hanging from trees. And Saying that there are many other less painful medical ways that could be tried. By doing this, while anti executions cannot shut me off since I am talking about its inhumane nature, but they have to face the reality that it is not humane. That way a weapond is taken off their hands and they have to admit its nature. And maybe in the meantime, even some states may take better ways, that in the least of it all the death row individuals won’t feel lots of pains. But sake of the argument, will jeopordize the rationalizy of pro execution’s philosophy since some have to admit it is not humane at all and they have to switch position.

    That all said, at least selectively, I’ll particpate in most of anti execution struggles, especialy when it is about say Mumia Abu Jamal, Peltier etc.

    On Avakian’s shirt, no. I haven’t seen them yet. But it is the most rational extension of the current course of action taken by the party. And in defense of Cult of Personality, you have to add a Sunshine on the back of his head (so done in Peru and China in the least)

    It is the continuation of Cult of Personality. It is not much different from sellind DVD, CD MP3s instead of simple prints in clear less rhetorical language. Hence if Cult of Personality is justified, take it to the end. That means, if it was ever correct, why haven’t you done it yet. But if that in particular is a mistake within the Cult of Personality, then come on sister, let’s start re evaluating and exposing fallacious elements of the Cult of Personality is one step forward out of the shell for you my friend. Either on Some Matters Mao – or say Lin Biao was wrong – or if he was right, so what the hell, let’s do it. Many religions do it. one more for the road.

    No hard feelings, hey?

    Ben Paterson, Once again nice meeting you, you are welcom and, thank you mutualy.
    Please be more patient with Emile and someday I would love to see him in the street in a higher tuned up revolutionary horizon and distributing Kasama related, or something else productive to the people. He had been active in Europe. I am sure when there is energy, and confrontation with the power that be, he won’t be far from us.

  43. emil said

    i am still confused. ben, no hard feelings, but ALL i want to say is that we can not really be sure of things, such as what really happened in russia, china, or iraq for that matter, or even who shot Kennedy, or about the aborigines in australia etc
    rosa-i dont really know much about avakian, or gonzalo, but checked it out after reading Kissoon article. most of what you said does not make any sense to me, i did not say anything about cia. but i am only asking what avakian has actually done. in europe there are so many marxist intellectuals, who have written important stuff, like althusser. Marx is generally recognised by everybody to be a great economist and philosopher in universities. this is because he actually made real contributions to economics and philosophy. has avakian made a comparable contribution? i do not like stalin, but he crushed the nazi vermin and everybody respects this.( there is a place in paris called stalingrad). can we compare avakain with stalin or althusser or marx?

  44. Emil.

    While yes we cant be really sure about all things we are very sure about some things. We do not know for certain who shot Kennedy, but we do kow he is dead. You may or may not support the islamic based resisitance in Iraq, but you do know there are 150,000+ imperialist troops there.

    I will be the last person to say that unwavering loyalty to a very specific interpretation is productive, because it is not, and often there are different analysis of events. But any analysis has to fit the general and obvious outline of history.

    This article doesnt do so because the basis of it is that the revolutionary overturns of hte 20th centuary are sidelined as just creating “state capitalism”, which isnt the case.

  45. green red rev said

    Back on Kennedy comrade Emil, what was his stance against Cuba anyways? Look at Obama right now whose saving CIA atrocities intact and justified position has already shown his resume.

    But as the above guy says for example, while my … supposedly 30 years Sub Chairman Steel of IPFG takes (since Chairwoman Ashraf Dehghani’s the main person) says like put everything aside form your Palestinian communist line etc, unite with Israel workers sounding like Spartasist League… (I’m at work, explain later,) I still go along the Taxi driver in Gaza saying, Used to admire Che Guevara but then right now, this Islamic Hezbollah leader (name cannot recall nor want to learn) is whom I adore (LA Times quotation but inacurate.)

  46. emil said

    Ben,
    i understand you saying that a marxist is one who thinks that the revolutions in russia and china were not just state capitalist revolutions, but breakthroughs towards socialism. people who deny this are not marxists as they have not properly understood history. is this right?
    greenrev-i dont know about kennedy and it is not so important.

  47. Emil,
    That is my point, yes.

    Comradely,
    Ben

  48. emil said

    but the change is from feudalism to capitalism according to kison, and ruhle and i think chomsky also. this is a change. if it is not marxist, how would you classify it? also, what do you think on this cult of personality thing?

  49. A cult of personality, around anyone, is extremely dangerous and should always be struggled against. I do think there is a diffence between great revolutionaries, and cult of personalities and it is perfectly reasonable that key people in the revolutionary struggle would gather a certain amount of respect as a result of their actions and ideas.

    I wont comment on Avakian for two reasons. One i dont know enough about him and the ‘cult’ situation. I have heard some disturbing things, which if are true would be a worrying sign of any revolutionary organisation, but i dont know enough to comment any more then that.

    For two it doesnt really matter, at least as far as i am concerned. The bigger issue i would have with the RCP is their immature abandonment of the revolution in Nepal.

    As for the 20th centuary revolutions, the means of production was nationalised and democratic controls (to different extents and for different amounts of time) were extended to all aspects of the societies. That is not capitalism, that is a clear step towards socialism.

  50. emil said

    ok, thanks ben. we can disagree and still be comrades?? or not?

  51. Green Red rev said

    It’s already been said Comrade. To agree, disagree and struggle to find the more correct path to common goals of humanity on egalitarian basis. On 47 Ben says Comradely take it as a positive sign in this darkened falling capitalist world. Comrades unite and let’s find real things to do outdoor with flyers and…

  52. Green Red rev said

    That was to Comrade Emil of course…

  53. emil said

    i have checked out avakian. i think kissoon is right.

  54. EMil,

    Of course your a comrade, you still on the right side of teh barricadse, but i do hope you have a serious consideration of what i have said.

    Thanks allot mate.

  55. emil said

    Ben,
    you say ; ‘but i do hope you have a serious consideration of what i have said.’. ok i will, but this attitude in the communist movement is frankly evangelical. but let us leave it. at least tho, ben makes real arguments, unlike the rosa rebellion.

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