Nepal’s Red Star: Is International Situation Favorable to Revolution?
Posted by onehundredflowers on May 13, 2010
The following is from the new issue of Nepal’s Maoist English language journal Red Star. At various stages in the Nepal revolution, the argument has been made that the international situation was too hostile to successfully embark on socialist revolution in a small, poor, landlocked country — requiring a long “transition” sub-period that did not cross the threshhold toward socialism or even New Democracy. In other words, the question of “is the international situation favorable?” is connected with a debate among Nepali revolutionaries about whether to press forward the Nepal revolution to victory. (Thanks to Alastar and ST for making these essay of Red Star available for posting).
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FAVOURABLE or UNFAVOURABLE?
by C. P. Gajurel ‘Gaurav’
Secretary of UCPN-Maoist
Communist Movement is an internationalist movement. Goal of all communists, provided they are truly communists, is communism. We should not be confused about vulgar distortions of communism whether it is ‘National communism’ or ‘Euro communism’. Internationalist nature of communists is characterized by the principle ‘either we all reach or none of us’. This is the basis of proletarian internationalism.
International situation is not same as proletarian internationalism.
Apart from the domestic situation, which is decisive, Communist movement is definitely influenced by international situation of the given time. Development of communist movement of a single country definitely depends upon the favourable or unfavourable international situation. Success or failure of revolution of individual country also largely depends on favourable or unfavourable international situation. In many cases, the question of ‘unfavourable international situation’ is being (mis)used by rightists or revisionists to justify their degeneration from a communist or revolutionary to a revisionist or a bourgeois politician. None of the revisionists of the world declare themselves as revisionists; rather they try to show that they are revolutionaries and are still communists. Capitalist class is an exploiter and oppressor class. So it is quite natural that the politicians openly representing the class interest of this class will not be able to garner support from the broad masses.
So in order to garner support of the broad masses, the revisionists, who represent the class interest of the bourgeoisie, disguise themselves as “communists”. They always distort the revolutionary line and situation in service of the bourgeoisie. They are the people who sabotage the revolution from within. Words like “Communism”, “revolution” are the masks of revisionists under which they cover their ugly bourgeois face. Revisionists of this era always prolong or delay or stop the revolution in the pretext of “unfavourable” international situation. They have regular and long time idea which states that no revolution can take place when there is “unfavourable international situation” and for them “unfavourable international situation” is permanent.
Thus the conclusion of this statement is that revolution cannot take place at this era. Therefore, while making assessment of the international situation, we should not be the victim of permanently “no favourable situation therefore no revolution”.
We should be realistic in making assessment of the international situation. We should adopt Maoist approach while making assessment of the international situation. Definitely there are some serious unfavourable factors which we cannot ignore. Side by side there are some favourable factors which we have to take into account. Let us try to make a brief summation of bright side as well as the dark side of the present international situation in making revolution.
Absence of international organization
We have no strong international organization or strong international centre of communist parties at this moment. The Third International which was initiated and led by Lenin himself was disbanded during the time of 2nd world war at the behest of capitalist and imperialist countries in order to pave the way for ‘Anti-fascist united front’ against fascist imperialist Germany.
It seems that the intention of Stalin, who was the main leader of the Third International after the demise of Lenin, was not to dissolve the Communist International permanently. Stalin formed COMINFORM (Communist Information Centre) under his leadership after the end of the 2nd WW. But it was far from being developed to an international centre like COMINTERN. Gradually, the Cominform became passive and virtually it became defunct.
Now, we have international embryonic centre of communist parties and organisations, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). But its strength is limited.
Absence of socialist block
It is true that there was no international centre like Comintern during the time the Chinese revolution that became victorious in the year 1949. But there was socialist Russia and international socialist block which pro-vided very significant support to the Chinese revolution. We have no such international socialist block to day. This is darkest part of the present international situation. It seems that had there been international socialist base, the New Democratic Revolution would have been succeeded long before and the Nepalese society would have been grappling for socialism by now.
Dearth of international working class movement
It is also true that there was neither Communist International nor Socialist block during the time of Socialist revolution in Russia in 1919. But there was very strong working class movement in Europe and socialist revolution in Germany was very close to success. The strength of the working class movement was a very strong support to the Russian revolution. But we have no such strong working class movement in any continent at present.
Hostility among imperialist countries not in climax
There is one common international factor in Russian and Chinese revolution that the Russian revolution succeeded during the time of 1st WW and the Chinese revolution succeeded during the 2nd WW. It does not mean that WW is essential part of the success of every revolution. It is worth to be considered that during the time of WW, the imperialist powers were cutting each others’ throat. One imperialist country was enemy for another imperialist country. The hostility among the imperialist countries was so ferocious that one’s existence depended on elimination of the other. They had little time to fight against communist forces during the time of WW. There is no doubt that contradiction among various imperialist forces exists today, but it has not reached to the level of hostility of eliminating each other.
Situation—provided or can be created?
When we talk about the favourable international situation, there are some aspects to be considered. Firstly, the international situation is favourable in the given time and the revolutionaries can have the opportunity to utilize the favourable situation as outside support of the revolution. If this situation exists it is well and good. All the revolutionary parties will wish such a situation to prevail. Such situation is always welcomed. But our wish does not determine everything including the favourable international situation.
Secondly, the duty of the revolutionaries is to create such a situation which helps the revolution to grow and to succeed. Revolutionaries do not wait for a good fortune to arrive. Such a situation may or may not be completely favourable. If we cannot create completely favourable situation, we should try to create relatively favourable situation. If we cannot even achieve relatively favourable situation, we should try to create such a situation which is not harmful to the revolution. What often happens is that at the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution it is difficult for the communist revolutionaries to get a readymade favourable international situation.
Third, favourable or unfavourable situation is not a static phenomenon. It goes on changing depending on the changed situation. In many cases the revolution itself causes the international situation to be changed and the situation goes the other way round. The revolution is itself a force which brings change in the international situation and unfavourable situation turns to be relatively favourable or at least not harmful to the revolution. It is evident from the event of Nepalese revolution. When we initiated the historic People’s War (in February 13, 1996), the international situation was not at all favourable for the revolution. Eleven long years of PW has caused change in the national as well as the international situation. It is obvious that the international situation is less unfavourable for the revolution today than it was during the initiation of the PW. We will mention about some of the emerging relatively favourable factors at the international level.
Emergence of anti-imperialist forces
Mao while making assessment of the international situation arrived at a conclusion that Asia, Africa and Latin America are the ‘storm centers’ of the world revolution. Still it holds good to some extent. There was revolutionary wave in the Latin American countries during the time of Cuban revolution and consequently during the 60s and 70s. After the bloody coup in Chile in 1972, communist movement in Latin America had to face a big setback. Nevertheless, anti-imperialist struggle continued in most of the Latin American countries at different level. Since last six or seven years, there is a kind of anti- US imperialist wave in most of the countries in Latin America. Parties upholding the principle of ‘Bolivarian socialism’ are winning the presidential and parliamentary elections. Some of the governments like that in Venezuela have infuriated the U S administration by nationalizing the big oil companies owned by the US big capitalists. The other ‘socialist governments’ also follow the same line. The Hugo Chavez government further infuriated the US government when it (Chavez government) signed a large arm deal quite recently with Russia. The recent developments in Latin America should be considered as favourable factor at the international level. These developments in Latin America should be considered very significant especially in a situation when there is no socialist block to support the revolution.
Severe economic crisis
Severe crisis that engulfed the imperialist world has shaken the imperialist system itself. It is one of the severest economic crises shaking the imperialist system that has recurred after 70 years. The crisis has not been overcome. The economists assume that the counter shock of this economic quake is more dangerous which is yet to come. The imperialist system has been so weakened that it is struggling for its survival. The revolutionary movements in Europe and US appeared to be in hibernation since long years. The ruling class is afraid of revolutionary upsurge in its citadel. It seems that the imperialist system will not be able to withstand another crisis, which it is assumed may recur within some years, because there is no substantial recovery. Such crisis will definitely be overcome by revolution.
Attraction to Socialism
History of communist movement has proven that socialism or communist movement cannot be destroyed by outside intervention of the imperialist power; rather it is destroyed from within. Capitalist roaders within communist parties are real destroyers of communist movement and socialism that has been achieved through hard revolution. We know that during the middle of the 20th century more than half of the globe and the people inhabited in it were liberated from capitalism and were enjoying socialism.
The world was divided into two competing blocks—imperialism and socialism and there was balance of power. Socialism was rising power where as imperialism was declining power. Socialism was heading towards global victory and Marx’s dream of communism looked like to be fulfilled. But destruction of socialism started right from within. Restoration of capitalism started from the first socialist country of the world, Russia in 1956 under the leadership of Khruschev, then leader of the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU). It spread like wild fire.
Later Russia degenerated to a social imperialist country. So the real socialism was destroyed. During ’90s, “anti-socialism” wave backed by US imperialism washed away the pro-Soviet Union block which they used to call “socialism”.
It seems that the anti-socialism wind has taken rest in western countries and socialism is being remembered. The reason is—the capitalist and imperialist countries provided some basic facilities to the masses to persuade them in order to prevent socialist revolution to take place in their country. When socialism has been destroyed capitalists have no compulsion to compete with socialism. So they are with-drawing step by step all the basic facilities they were providing in the name of “social security”. The poor do not get unemployment allowance, if they get at all, it is quite meager. The poor are unable to get treatment. So attraction to socialism is increasing, at least the trend of hate socialism seems to have stopped even in the western countries where “socialism” was destroyed by big mass actions. We should take it as a positive trend.
Inter imperialist contradictions still exist
At present there is no WW. But there are still wars going on as regional war and proxy war. These wars are producing new anti-imperialist forces and huge number of masses fighting against the aggressors. Inter imperialist rivalry for the loot of oppressed countries still exists and will continue to be so till there is imperialism. Lenin said “imperialism is war” which is always true. There is good opportunity for the communists to take advantage of these contradictions.
Growing strength of Maoist forces
After demise of Mao there was serious setback at the ICM. The initiation of PW in the ’80s in Peru and its subsequent development from strategic defence to strategic equilibrium created great enthusiasm among the communist revolutionaries at the global level. But unfortunately the Peruvian revolution suffered a big set back after the capture of its supreme leader Gonzalo and hosts of the senior leaders of the party during 1992-94.
Before this event could have caused big damage to the ICM, the PW initiated in Nepal under the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) developed in leaps and bonds. Within a span of 10 years the Nepalese revolution reached to the level of strategic offence which created tremendous enthusiasm throughout the world. In the last few years the PW in India is developing at the fast pace.
The central government of India very often states that ‘the Naxal movement (which is often said about Maoists in India) is major threat to the Indian state’. According to the information, the Maoist party of India has established proposed base area in Dandakaranya, whose total area is almost equal to Nepal. The growing strength of the Indian Maoist is positive development for the revolution in Nepal.
Nepal shares about 1800 km border with southern neighbor India and about 1000 km that with the northern neighbor China. Nepal lies in between these two giant states. In the past there was hostile relation in between China and India associated with Indo- China war in 1962. But such a hostile situation does not exist now. Similarly, USA and China had also hostile relation in the past. Apparently we do not see such hostility in between these two powers of the world. Presently China has good economic ties and has good trade relation with USA and India. But USA by virtue of being most powerful imperialist country and sole super power does not like “socialist” China as a prosperous and powerful country. Though US is a sole super power till the date, but it is a declining state. It has not come out of the economic crisis that it faced during couple of years. It is becoming increasingly difficult for US to compete with China economically. So far the relation between China and India is concerned, it is not so healthy. Even the old border issue between the two states has not been resolved amicably, especially in Arunanchal Pradesh state. Chinas good relation with Pakistan is also a factor causing unfriendly relation between the two neighbors. In short, there is under current contention going between China and US; China and India.
Under the given circumstances, US likes to control China in different ways. Tibet and Dalai Lama is one of the factors that US and also India are using to control China. Apparently, there is good trade relation between India and China. But still India boards Dalai Lama’s “Government in Exile” in Dharmasala, a town in Himachal Pradesh state of India. Dalai Lama is still fighting for “free Tibet” with the support of USA, India and many imperialist countries. Taking advantage of bordering state with Tibet and unstable and economically poor country, which has dependency with India and US, they are trying to use Nepal as a base to conduct “free Tibet movement”. Using Buddhist religion as a cover they are concentrating their anti- China forces in Himalayan region and also in Kathmandu. There is growing risk that Nepal may be used as battle ground for the “free Tibet movement”.
Present Chinese leadership has more than enough knowledge about the situation stated above. They know that most of the political parties are loyal to the foreign powers and these parties in power will be instrumental in facilitating the anti-China movement from Nepal. They also have sufficient knowledge that only the Maoist party in power can curb the “free Tibet movement” from Nepal. This is very significant factor which can be used as a favourable factor for Nepalese revolution and New Nepal.
What we have explained above clearly shows that present day international situation in not clearly favourable for any revolution led by genuine communist party in the world today.
To get readymade favourable international situation is well and good and definitely we all will be happy to get it. But to find such a situation is very difficult. Our responsibility is not fulfilled only by making such analysis and statement that the international situation is not favourable so there cannot be a revolution in Nepal and any part of the world. Now we can see that this unfavourable international situation has become a pretext for the reformist and degenerated “communist” parties to justify their degeneration into reformism and revisionism. What MLM teaches us that if situation is not favourable we should not sit idle, we should be active in changing the situation to make it favourable. Another important point is that the force of revolution can change the situation from unfavourable to favourable.
In our case when we initiated the great PW in Nepal, the international situation for us was unfavourable. It is favourable many times as compared to the situation during 1996. The development of the PW has created the situation more favourable or less unfavourable. We can conclude that present international situation is not very much favourable for the revolution, but it is not so unfavourable as well. If the initiative of the Maoist party increases tremendously this situation will further become less unfavourable and favourable to some extent.
Therefore for the genuine communist revolutionaries present international situation is not such a big obstacle and revolutionary movement can grow and revolution can succeed. Let us hope the Nepalese revolution may be victorious in near future!