Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: New State Power to Facilitate Continuous Revolution (2004)

Posted by artemi0 on April 5, 2010

Below is an excerpt from the document “Present Situation And Our Historical Task”  first published in  The Worker 9 (full document here) in 2004.  It elucidates views on the communist party, the peoples liberation army, and the future revolutionary state.

On the Experiences of History & Development of Democracy in the 21st Century

“Marxism is not lifeless dogma, not a completed, readymade immutable doctrine, but a living guide to action” -Lenin

The main essence of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is to advance ahead through continuous revolution by scientifically synthesizing world proletarian movement enriched by the great experiences of revolution and counter-revolution. In giving leadership to the democratic revolution against feudalism and imperialism in Nepal, our Party has been from the very beginning laying emphasis on applying the teachings of MLM, not in the form of dogma but in the form of creative application and development as a “guide to action”. In this great process of applying and developing the teachings of MLM based on the concrete condition of the Nepalese revolution, we have been waging continuous struggle against rightist revisionists as well as the dogmato-revisionists. The process of ideological struggle that is invariably linked with the necessity of class struggle has brought the People’s War to this level of development within the period of 7 years through one leap to another. The Party has already synthesized the discovery at “Prachanda-Path” as a special chain of ideas in the Nepalese revolution based on this development process of class struggle and ideological struggle.

Here what is important to note is that the starting point of the Party’s ideological and practical struggle has been the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that has developed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the highest synthesis of the science of proletarian revolution. This means, to uphold continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat as a theoretical basis to prevent counter-revolution and to carry forward ideological struggle based on the principle of “Three Dos and Three Don’ts” for the continuous proletarization of the Party. Our Party has been firm that any deviations from this will mean deviation from the proletarian movement. But, if it is taken to mean readymade and complete answers for the requirement of revolution in the 21st Century then one should be clear that it is against the teachings of MLM and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The synthesis up to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution definitely equipped the world proletariat with the ideological weapon of MLM. But, after the demise of Com. Mao, capitalism got restored in China and there is now not a single socialist state in the world. It would be a subjective deviation to deny the fact that this has given a big setback to the world proletarian movement and that it has brought big negative change in the world situation. Objectively there is no change that this is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution and that revolution is the main trend of the world. This does not mean that we should underestimate the big loss proletarian class has faced through counter-revolution in China in the struggle for power and that we should not take seriously our effort to stop such counter-revolution in future by taking lessons from these defeats. In the present context of world revolution or in the context of revolution in any particular country, it has become very necessary for the political vanguard of the proletariat to give answer to this big question. .

In the same way, with the entry into 21st century, there has been unprecedented development in science and technology, particularly in electronic communication technology, in the world. Just as this intense development has been affecting the world in different ways, similarly this makes necessary demands for improvement and development in the political and military strategy of the proletarian revolution. Any positive or negative incidents in any corner of the world has so rapid, intense and direct repercussion in the world that such phenomena has never occurred earlier in humankind’s history.

This way, the experiences of counter-revolution give us inspiration to learn lessons from the limitations and weaknesses of past revolution, and the advancements made in science and technology inspire us to make creative development in the strategy and tactics of revolution. From the point of view of epochal development of human society it is still the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution; however, because of above important changes that have come in subjective and objective conditions it has necessitated today’s proletariat to develop and refine their ideology and strategy based on concrete analysis of concrete situation.

On the basis of experience of history, analysis of present world situation and five years’ enriched experiences of the Nepalese People’s war, the Party’s Second historic Conference has made many important political and military syntheses. The qualitative result brought in the development of People’s War due to the application of that synthesized idea in the past two years, has not only proved its scientific basis but also it has prepared a strong base for higher ideological, political and military synthesis. On the basis of these developments in the world situation, including the development of Nepalese class struggle from the Second National Conference up to today, and from the September 11 event up to the Iraq war, it is necessary to develop and refine the strategy of the democratic revolution. In this context it is specially worth considering following points on relationship between the Party, Army, State and the People.

The Party

The experiences of revolution and counter-revolution in the 20th Century have glaringly showed that the work of defending and developing the revolutionary proletarian character of the Party becomes all the more difficult in the period after the capture of the state power. Why is it that those victorious Parties in the world which have undergone intense ideological struggle against the rightist, leftist and centrist deviations inside and outside of the Party and which have created unprecedented example of earth-shaking bravery and sacrifice by fighting against the enemy in class war while identifying itself with the needs and interest of the people, after they capture state power become transformed into bureaucratic, revisionist, and counter-revolutionary Parties, alienated from the masses within a short period of time? Certainly, basic theoretical answers for this have been given by MLM by the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. But, these basic theories need to be developed into an organizational theory, methodology and system so that they can stop counter-revolution, and this is valid even today. This is the problem of application and development of the theory of two-line struggle within the Party and continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Experience has proved that after assuming state power, when various leaders and cadres of the Party are involved in running the state affairs, then there is strong chance that physical environment may swiftly reduce the Party into a bureaucratic, careerist and luxurious class. With intensification of this danger the Party will become more formal and alienated from the masses, in the same proportion. This process when it reaches to certain level of its own development, it is bound to be transformed into counter-revolution. In order to prevent such danger as counter-revolution to happen, it is important to develop further organizational mechanism and system so that Party is constantly under the vigilance, control and service of the proletariat and working masses according to the theory of two-line struggle and continuous revolution. For this it is very important that there should be a mechanism to guarantee overall people’s participation in two line struggle and that one section comprising of capable and established leaders and cadres should be constantly involved in mass work and another section should be involved in running the state machinery and that after certain interval of period there should be re-division of work thereby strengthening the relationship between the whole Party and the general masses. Right from the beginning it should be stressed that the Party and the state under its leadership should adopt a policy and methodology of keeping lively relations with the masses, working hard and living in privation and to be wholly devoted to the cause of communism. It should present Party, leaders and cadres as ideal and inspirational examples. It should emphasize to develop policy and structure which will help in waging intense ideological struggle and will expose before the masses those leaders and cadres who misuse their position, dictate over the masses and who are luxurious and careerists. In this context, it should be stressed to discourage the tendency of using coercive measure of state power in two-line struggle in the Party and to emphasize in establishing and encouraging scientific methodologies of judging between right and wrong through ideological struggle with the participation of the masses and the cadres. It is important to guarantee the system of reserving the right of judgment to the cadres and masses in deciding if certain rebellion inside or outside the Party is justified or not.

The Army

The experience of revolution and counter-revolution in the 20th Century has clearly shown that if the proletarian class advances ahead with correct revolutionary ideology, policy and programme then the people can develop from almost zero to the level of an invincible people’s army which can reduce to dust the ultramodern and powerful army of the enemy. But if wrong ideology prevails then the same army can become a weapon of counter-revolution. The experience has shown even in the context of the people’ army that before the revolution, it has been in unison with the masses, full of devotion, bravery, sacrifice and ideological commitment, thus being invincible before the enemy; but after the capture of state power the same starts staying in barracks under special management and the material condition for turning into a bourgeois modern regular army gets intensified. If one is not able to guarantee the development of methodology and structure which will keep the army under the supervision, control and service of the masses and proletarian ideology then such tendencies will go on multiplying till it reaches a specific point when it will automatically get transformed into a weapon for serving counter-revolution. In order to stop repetition of above condition it is necessary right from the beginning to pursue ideological and political work amongst the people’s army with great importance and to make conscious the whole people’s army and the masses to rebel against counter-revolution. Together with this, it should be guaranteed that the people’s army of the 21st century is not marked by modernization with special arms and training confined to a barrack after the capture of state power but remains a torch-bearer of revolution engaged in militarization of the masses and in the service of the masses. It is only by developing armed masses from both ideological and physical point of view that one can resist foreign intervention and counter-revolution; this fact must be made clear before the armed forces right from the beginning. The main thrust of work for the 21stcCentury people’s army should be to complete the historical responsibility of developing conscious armed masses so that they may learn to use their right to rebel.

On the State

The capture of state power through people’ war under the leadership of the Party of the proletariat has been the central and difficult question of revolution yesterday and today. But the experience of 20th century has clearly proved that the question of continuous democratization of the state power, so that it starts withering away, is thousand times more difficult and complex than capturing state power. The importance and rigor of the subject can be judged from the fact that at one point of time within a century successful revolutions in Russia, China and other countries had shaken the whole earth, while at the other end the events of big counter-revolutions in those powerful socialist countries lead to a situation of no socialist state.

It is a fact that while capitalist imperialists are successful in camouflaging their military fascist essence by covering it with the so-called democratic mask, at the other end, the proletarians despite having a democratic essence are not able to consolidate their hold on the state. There may be many historical and theoretical reasons behind this, but today the problem of developing democracy has become very complex before us. What are the main obstacles in maintaining the balance between the need of resorting to dictatorship over the defeated class enemy and the necessity of exercising democracy amongst the people? Why is it that people’s democracy or proletarian democracy under people’s democratic dictatorship or dictatorship of the proletariat have in essence become formal, mechanical and conservative? Here our question has nothing to do with those revisionist and capitulationist renegades of the world who have fallen back to bourgeois formal democracy by condemning people’s democratic dictatorship or dictatorship of the proletariat. Here our question is centred around the development of state power as an organisation to facilitate continuous revolution. In the end it is the broad and vigorous democratization process, which will in essence consolidate real people’s dictatorship or proletarian dictatorship. There can be no other meaning than this of the great scientific theory of democratic centralism. Why is that these parties that were able to exercise democratic centralism correctly before the capture of state power have now fallen pray to formal democracy and bureaucratic centralism after they have succeeded in capturing the state power? That the party is dominated by revisionism cannot provide full answer to this question. In the end the responsibility lies with this or that weakness committed by Marxists in the application of dialectical materialism.

A Party, which may be proletarian revolutionary, and a state, that may be democratic or socialist, at a particular time, place and condition, may turn counter-revolutionary at another time, place and condition. It is obvious that the synthesis of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, namely the masses and the revolutionaries should rebel in such a situation, is fully correct in its place. However, as if a particular Communist Party remains proletarian for ever once a New Democratic or Socialist state is established under the leadership of that Party, there is either no opportunity, or it is not prepared, or it is prohibited, for the masses to have a free democratic or socialist competition against it. As a result, since the ruling Party is not required to have a political competition with others amidst the masses, it gradually turns into a mechanistic bureaucratic Party with special privileges and the state under its leadership, too, turns into mechanistic and bureaucratic machinery. Similarly, the masses become a victim of formal democracy and gradually their limitless energy of creativity and dynamism gets sapped. This danger has been clearly observed in history. To solve this problem, the process of control, supervision and intervention of the masses over the state should be stressed to be organized in a lively and scientific manner, according to the principle of continuous revolution. Once again the question here is to dialectically organize scientific reality that the efficacy of dictatorship against the enemy is dependent upon the efficacy of exercising democracy among the people.

For this, a situation must be created to ensure continuous proletarization and revolutionization of the Communist Party by organizing political competition within the constitutional limits of the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist democratic state. Only by institutionalizing the rights of the masses to install an alternative revolutionary Party or leadership on the state if the Party fails to continuously revolutionize itself that counter-revolution can be effectively checked. Among different anti-feudal and anti-imperialist political parties, organizations and institutions, which accept the constitutional provisions, of the democratic state, their mutual relations should not be confined to that of a mechanistic relation of cooperation with the Communist Party but should be stressed to have dialectical relations of democratic political competition in the service of the people. It should be obvious that if anybody in this process transgresses the limits legally set by the democratic state, he would be subjected to democratic dictatorship. From the very beginning it should be stressed to end a situation of not having to prove the correctness of one’s ideas, the need to get united with the interests of the masses, and dedication, devotion and sacrifice and loyalty to the masses to establish the leadership capacity of the Party once the state power is captured. Special care should be taken to ensure that centralization of thought and leadership in the state would not lead to a situation of curtailing the rights of self-determination of the masses.

In the context of democratic revolution in Nepal, we have been talking about the liberation of the masses from class, national, regional, and gender oppression. We have also pledged national and regional autonomy along with the rights to self-determination. Similarly we have been talking about Party freedom for anti-feudal and anti-imperialist forces. In this situation it should be stressed on correctly organizing the masses’ right to self-determination for the continuous democratization of the state.

Thus, only through the appropriate development of the Party, Army and State as stated above that democracy in the twenty-first century would enhance the process of continuous revolution and counter-revolution. ·

2 Responses to “Nepal: New State Power to Facilitate Continuous Revolution (2004)”

  1. A rather different view of revolutionary strategy is given by:

    ‘Which Way Forward for the UCPN(Maoist) and the Nepali People’s Revolutionary Struggle?’ at http://www.mlmrsg.com/

    The article: ‘UCPN (Maoists): In Contradicting Speeches and Actions’by Bisham Nepali is also very interesting.

    I certainly don’t endorse all the views in either article. My sole interest in this debate is in the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, not in advocating one tactic over another. However, I’m surprised that neither of these articles have been referenced on this blog, given the emphasis on free speech and democracy here.

  2. […] The Worker: Nepal: New State Power to Facilitate Continuous Revolution […]

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