Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal’s Crossroads: Without a people’s army, the people have nothing.

Posted by celticfire84 on July 1, 2011

This statement emerges from within the Kasama Project — in internationalist communist solidarity with the revolutionary movement of Nepal’s people

By Eric Ribellarsi and Mike Ely

Co-signers: Firewolf Bizahaloni-Wong, Jed Brandt, Luis Chavez, J.B. Connors, Gregory E, Red Fox, Gary, chegitz guevara, Rosa Harris, Lee James, Eddy Laing, Bill Martin, Stephanie McMillan, Giovanni Navarrete, Stiofan Obuadhaigh, Radical Eyes, Redpines, Enzo Rhyner, Harry Sims, John Steele, Kathie Strom, Tell No Lies, Adolfo V., Nat W., Fanshen Wong, Liam Wright

For over twenty years, the impoverished and isolated peoples in the southern Himalayan foothills have risen up to remake themselves and their world. Now, after the sacrifices of a whole generation, the future of their movement and society hangs in the balance:

Will the revolutionary sections of the people be able to carry through the struggle to create the radically new Nepal they have dreamed of? Or will the accomplishments of their struggle so far be consolidated into something that falls short of liberation?

Two roads sharply posed

Different futures confront each other. Those opposing roads have become concentrated in a very stark set of opposing choices:

  • Should the leading Maoist forces and their broad allies break the current political stalemate?
  • Should they prepare the people for an insurrectionary uprising in a focused way and move to break the current ceasefire and seize countrywide political power?
  • Should they carry out a program of radical social changes and take historic steps against foreign domination?
  • Should they break out of the deadlocked framework of the current parliamentary system, and create a “people’s democratic” system together with other forces dedicated to fundamental change?
  • Should they expand and mobilize armed forces based among their Peoples Liberation Army to carry through these tasks?

Or, by contrast:

  • Should they take an approach that confines Nepal’s people within the world’s capitalist order for yet another generation?

These choices don’t face each other as just a debate – but as a power struggle over two roads. That power struggle is now focused on the question of preserving or dissolving the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – which is one of the major accomplishments of the revolution so far. That power struggle will be decided (one way or another) by what the militants and supporters of Nepal’s revolution now do – in the period ahead.

Consolidate without revolutionary victory?

The armed struggle initiated by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPNM) combined with broad upsurges of the people in 2006 to overthrow the dictatorship by Nepal’s theocratic king.

This was an historic change. It did not itself resolve the people’s problems. However, the fall of Nepal’s king opened the door to restructuring Nepal. That abolition of the feudal monarchy established the radical idea that the people themselves (long silent, ignored and suppressed) should decide how a future society would be organized. Nepal experienced a great flood of political hopes and ideas – while the resulting political process was gripped by a long, frustrating stalemate. Consensus between the communist revolutionaries and the parliamentary parties was impossible.

The parliamentary spectrum of non-monarchical parties and forces wanted to move Nepal toward a society modeled loosely on India’s corrupt parliamentarism and oppressive capitalist modernization. Such capitalist modernization programs rest on familiar assumptions:

  • That development can only happen by creating creating high-profit conditions for western investment.
  • That the people and their national resources should be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
  • That the expansion of infrastructure (electrification, roads, schools), exploitation of modern technologies, rapid growth of productive forces – all require subservience to world capitalism.

This is, in short, the classic promise of progress-through-capitalism – and these are the programs of those strata who expect to be the administrators and main beneficiaries of this road. Though the various parties bicker over policy details and government posts, the non-revolutionary parliamentary forces share outlines of a common vision: where some of the worst symbols of feudal oppression (including the monarchy itself) get targeted for reforms, but where many central institutions of the old society will not be uprooted through mass political struggle.

In Nepal, after ten years of people’s war and six years of post-war political turmoil, core relations and institutions of the old society have not yet been uprooted. These include feudal property relations in land, de facto foreign domination by India, patriarchal male domination over girls and women, and (significantly) the armed power of the formerly-Royal army and the hated paramilitary police.

Imagine what it would mean if Nepal’s changes stopped short of ending these things. The people have sacrificed so much to accept so little.

For a federated people’s democratic republic

Broad ranks within Nepal’s Maoist party have been opposed to proposals and compromises that would consolidate a parliamentary political order without basic revolutionary change. They have popularized their plan for a New Nepal: a federated people’s democratic republic.

This envisions a determined and thorough uprooting of the oppressive old feudal culture and an agrarian revolution to end the exploitation of rural people by land-owners and usurers. It would bring a historic end to the domination of Nepal by India and foreign corporations. And it would overthrow survivals of the previous political-military system that served elites alone.

Having a federated republic means an end to theocratic Hindu hegemony and the dominance in Nepal of one ethnicity and language. It would involve forms of autonomy in local areas, establishing equality of many minority religions, languages, and ethnic groups for the first time.

The term “people’s democratic” means that the future republic and constitution would involve radical new forms of social decision-making that will empower the oppressed – both at the grassroots and at the national level. This is a proposal that rejects a traditional parliamentary system dominated by corrupt parties, urban elites and property-owning ruling classes – and envisions a “new mainstream” of different revolutionary parties competing in elections and exercising governmental power.

A people’s democratic system would protect the country and the revolution by arming the people at the grassroots – to enable New Nepal to withstand the threats of both invasion and counterrevolution.

Strategically, these revolutionary plans saw the anti-feudal and independence struggle as a first stage that opens doors to further explicitly socialist economic transformation (meaning economic planning, socially administered investment funds, collective forms of work and ownership, suitable forms of development, abolition of extremes of wealth, and more).

In short: The terms are posed as capitalist-parliamentary modernization or a new revolutionary leap to a federated people’s democracy. These represent two sharply opposed directions.

Stalemate and power: One eats up the other

Conflict over these opposing roads has defined the protracted political stalemate in Nepal for the last five years. Attempts to write a new constitution were deadlocked in the Constituent Assembly. Two opposed armies remained warily in their bases and where endless negotiations made zero progress.

There have been periods where the Maoists led the national government, without having actually captured control over the state or Nepal army – and that stalemate then led to their resignation from those top posts.

Through all of that, middle ground has been falling away. There is no framework of consensus or mutual compromise between increasingly opposed roads.

The earlier people’s war led by the Maoists initiated the overthrow of the monarchy and a period of sharp social debate. The stalemate of the last years has now made a new leap in revolution necessary.

Among the Maoists: A struggle for and against revolution

At the same time, the struggle over road extends deep into the Maoist party (UCPNM) itself.

One influential minority wing of that party has aggressively (and rather articulately) advocated a road of capitalist modernization. They advocate protecting rights to private property (including apparently feudal ownership of land). And they claim that opening the country further to IMF/corporate investment is crucial for development of Nepal’s resources. In short, these forces argue for abandoning further revolution and seek to occupy top government posts within the currently-existing institutional framework.

While the core of their argument is to promote great illusions about the path of capitalist modernization, they also mobilize every form of possible pessimism for the cause: International conditions are too adverse, they say, for Nepal to take a radical course alone. Socialist revolution, they say, would simply mean an impoverished Burma-like isolation. Nepal’s people, they say, are too poor, illiterate, scattered and backward to advance under their own efforts, and the country needs to place itself in hock to foreign technology and expertise. The people’s armed forces are too weak, they say, and the reactionary professional army is too strong for a new attempt at power to succeed. And so on.

Firm on strategy, flexible in tactics

The proposals and arguments of the Maoists’ rightwing have been sharply opposed by revolutionary forces within the Maoist party. These revolutionaries within the Maoist party have tried to articulate a different path, and are fighting to win their party over to adopting it.

Meanwhile, in their public work, the revolutionaries offered constitutional proposals embodying the people’s demands – that the reactionaries then rejected. They proposed forms of civilian control of the military that the reactionaries then spurned. They proposed peaceful ways of making extensive social changes that the reactionaries have blocked. All of this has helped prepare large numbers of people to see the need to sweep away the reactionary parties and their allied armed force – to make a new leap in the revolution. An important goal of these tactics has been to put the onus of breaking the current peace onto those reactionaries.

And the revolutionaries within the UCPN(M) have mobilized the people for revolution – by strengthening the militant Young Communist League, by promoting important socialist models like the peoples commune in Rolpa and Rukum, and by preparing the embryos of new peoples militias for future armed struggle.

In short, the revolutionaries viewed the extended ceasefire since 2006 as a time to conduct a political offensive that would expose (to the people broadly) that the various reactionary forces (both pro and anti monarchy) remain an ongoing and determined obstacle to the needs and desires of the people.

A struggle within the party: Now over the PLA itself

No other party in Nepal has the influence, apparatus or popular support of the Maoist party. As a result the debate within the Maoist party has emerged as a key arena for the country as a whole.

This means that the leading representatives of these two roads within the Maoist party have become, in many ways, the leading representatives of those roads within the society as a whole. The future of Nepal may well be determined by which wing of the Maoist party is the one that now emerges with countrywide power.

The capitalist modernization program of the Maoists’ rightwing would be implemented through a non-revolutionary and capitalist consensus formed both with corrupt and pro-Indian parliamentary parties and with the Nepal Army. And therefore it requires first the demonization and then defeat of the more radical currents within the Maoist party.

This is why sections of the Maoist leadership have proposed (more and more openly) the acceptance of a particularly central demand of Nepal’s conservative forces: the disarming and dissolution of the Peoples Liberation Army. This would mean granting an ominous monopoly of violence to the high commands of the formerly-Royalist Nepal Army and Armed Police Force.

The very existence of this People’s Liberation Army (even while currently concentrated in “cantonment” base camps) has been a crucial obstacle to many disastrous outcomes – including a possible military coup, anti-people bloodbaths, assassination of leading revolutionaries, wholesale removal of farmers from lands they have seized and more.

To put it sharply: Nepal’s old reactionary forces have not been able to accomplish the disbanding of the heroic PLA. But now some within the Maoist party think they might be able to order it.

A long struggle over two roads now gets concentrated in a tightening knot of controversies – all of which inevitably involve political power and the question of who controls the gun.

Three clarifying moments

Last May Day 2010, the revolutionary forces gathered half a million people in Kathmandu for the dress rehearsal of revolution. This unprecedented event confirmed (yet again) the tremendous popular support for the Maoists and revolutionary change.

The massive and disciplined May First rallies then gave rise to a general strike that shut down the capital. Many people believed that the moment had come for ending the stalemate, overthrowing the reactionary parties and seizing countrywide power.

Apparently amid great internal conflict inside the Maoist party, this general strike was called off. The revolution’s supporters were dispersed back into their villages and neighborhoods.

There was great controvery over the decision to back away from seizing countrywide power (by seizing the capital). Out of that controversy over these May 2010 events, a second defining moment emerged: the UCPNM convened a party plenum with thousands of representatives in October 2010 at Palungtar. Again after sharp struggle, an agreement was reached that seemed (at long last) to establish a clear, common plan for revolution and isolate the party’s rightwing: An overwhelming party majority called for actively preparing a new uprising that would break the country’s political stalemate.

Empowered by this decision, some sections of the Maoist party started to prepare an uprising – including by organizing and training militants at the party’s base. But it is now widely claimed that such preparations were not, in fact, taken up by the party as a whole. Palungtar was an important agreement, but in some ways remained a paper agreement. The struggle within the party and its leadership remained and sharpened. Meanwhile, the party’s revolutionary preparations were paralyzed and thwarted.

That forms the background for a third moment: In April and May of 2011, two of the top leaders of the UCPN(M), Chairman Prachanda and Vice Chairman Bhattarai, announced their acceptance of the Nepal Army’s proposal to “integrate” the Peoples Liberation Army into the Nepal Army on very specific terms – terms that would, in effect, dissolve the PLA as a liberation force. This potentially includes the final disarming of the PLA and the deployment of their troops in minor roles (as unarmed police in forests, for example). The so-called “final modalities” have not yet have been worked out – but clearly, a powerful alliance within the UCPN(M)’s top leadership has departed from the revolutionary orientation of Palungtar.

Different kinds of compromise

In revolutions there are always compromises of different kinds. Some are minor or represent accommodations (to various opponents or allies) in the pursuit of the larger revolutionary victory. But some compromises represent the potential abandonment of revolutionary and socialist goals – and a reckless endangerment of the revolutionary people and their precious core networks.

Those who have studied the 1990s military “integration” in South Africa and the 1973 military coup in Chile feel a deeply disturbing chill when hearing about moves to disband the PLA.

As we write this, it is not clear that the plan for dissolution and disarming will succeed, that the PLA will comply, that the cadre will accept this, or that the plan will not be reversed by larger party processes.

The disarming and dissolution of the Peoples Liberation Army would represent a grave danger to the revolution and to all who have thrown their lives and hopes into that cause. It would mean that Nepal’s oppressed classes and the Maoist revolutionaries would lack the most basic means of preventing a non-revolutionary consolidation of power. They would no longer even have the ability to defend themselves and their leaders from determined and vicious enemies.

This is seen and understood by many people.

For just that reason, the Maoists of Nepal have refused to disband the PLA in the past. And for that reason, this current “modality” for army integration is being vigorously opposed by revolutionaries within both the UCPNM and the PLA. It is said, by some of them, that they will simply not agree to such a direction – that they will repudiate and replace the current party leadership, shoulder for themselves the responsibility of leading the revolution, and actively pursue the revolutionary plan adopted at Palungtar.

Any attempt to consolidate Nepal’s changes at this point – without the clear subordination of the Nepal Army, without a revolutionary army representing the people’s interests, without carrying out revolutionary land reform, without Nepal taking a historic turn toward real independence from India, without adopting a socialist approach to production, without freeing the country from dependence on world capitalism – would represent a resolution of Nepal’s revolution far short of the liberation the people need. It would inevitably involve consolidating forms of oppression and exploitation that are extreme and intolerable. It would mean the replacement of great hope with feelings of betrayal and disappointment.

The continued existence and active resistance of powerful revolutionary forces – within the UCPNM, the Peoples Liberation Army and deep among the people – mean that preparations may well go forward for the creation of a people’s democratic republic and for the defeat of organized reactionary forces.

Support the revolution in Nepal

It is rare that an impoverished, isolated, and relatively small country should have the potential to influence world events. But, in fact, a radical communist revolution on the very northern edge of India could encourage waves of new revolutionary hope and activity in many places.

This was always part of the motivation among Nepal’s Maoist revolutionaries – to take tremendous risks do their part to advance communist revolution in a world where such revolution had been declared impossible. They proudly said that they had viewed their peoples war as an internationalist responsibility. And it stands out just as much that the arguments for capitalist modernization in Nepal do not have a global internationalist perspective, and start from a much more narrow, local and pragmatic framework, marked by disbelief and indifference towards world revolution.

Nepal’s revolutionaries created a possibility of socialist revolution in a world that so desperately needs such things. Many more revolutionaries could learn from their sophisticated novelty of thinking and their deep grasp of their country’s unique conditions.

Over decades now, this revolution has earned the active political support of everyone who shares their goals of real liberation. However, to extend that kind of support and to learn from that rich experience, it remains necessary for all of us, around the world, to struggle for a clear sense of what road would represent liberation and what road would not.

Across our planet there are many examples of attempts to advance and develop through models of capitalist modernization. But in all the examples of that road – in South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, Turkey, India, and China – the occasional enclaves of industry and high technology rest on an ocean of extreme poverty and human suffering.

Why fantasize about becoming a privileged Switzerland, when world capitalism really offers the searing exploitation of Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic?

Capitalist modernization means that whole peoples and regions remain enslaved to the heartless demands of world capitalist finance and markets. Capitalist modernization is inseparable from the suffering caused by cavernous sweatshops, pervasive sexual trafficking, constant harsh repression of the people, cultural and military domination by foreign powers, and the deep corruption of fattened local elites.

Our eyes have turned to Nepal over these past years precisely because its revolution sought to mobilize the oppressed in an inspiring alternative to that capitalist road – and because a core of revolutionaries in Nepal were creatively pursuing that socialist road under their very specific and difficult conditions. This is still the case.

No one believes victory is inevitable for revolution. Most revolutions fail in one way or another. We will learn (all over the world) from the attempt and outcome of this great effort in Nepal.

The fact is that there is an ongoing revolution process in Nepal. It has not been decisively stalemated or defeated, but is struggling for a path to victory.

There is a revolutionary people in Nepal – that has matured through the complex ebbs and flows of a real revolutionary situation. There are bases of the Peoples Liberation Army where determined commanders remain focused on seizing state power. There are cores of communist revolutionaries at all levels of the Maoist party who are seeking to carve a way forward. There are the embryos of popular militias and peoples power. And there are millions and millions of Nepali people caught between hope and frustration – wanting a new Nepal and a new world.

Together they constitute a real and living revolution. They face intrigues and possible betrayals. They face the heavy weight of tradition and illiteracy, deep poverty, and the dangers of Indian intervention and blockade. They are targeted by little-known U.S. military conspiracies and political threats (including the outrageous and unjustified inclusion of Nepal’s Maoists on the State Department’s Terrorist list).

It is this determined, ongoing, revolutionary movement in Nepal that deserves our attention and political support. They must get such attention and support – so that their enemies are exposed and weakened, so that they can’t be strangled in silence, so that diverse positive factors can be mobilized on their behalf, and so that the lessons of this precious communist attempt serve as sparks around the world.

14 Responses to “Nepal’s Crossroads: Without a people’s army, the people have nothing.”

  1. Jaljala said

    Dear Comrades,
    Lalsalam !
    Reading this article, I’m going to say that UCPN(Maoist) is not going to betray the Nepalese people and the working class people around the world. We know that we have lost huge cost in Revolution. So, we can’t leave the revolution. No one has the right to betray the people and the revolution. Difinetely, Some questions and doubts have been risen regarding the UCPN(Maoist) and the Nepalese Revolution. But We will give the answer of these all questions soon by our practices. Our well-wishers and supporters have right to do doubts about us. And I urged them to understand the objective situation of Nepal. I found that some of our well-wishers and supporters are blaming us as rivisionist, rightist, reformist making concept reading bourgeoisie Medias like and etc. I say that that is harmful for us.
    Moreover, We are very serious about how to forward the uncompleted Revolution. Ineeded, There are many obstacles to complete and save the revolution. But we have many experiences and skills to play with obstacles and dangers. we are dare to struggle and dare to win. We are not going to disarm the People’s Liberation Army, we are going to integrate it with respectful way. We wil only integrate it if we see the profits for our class. Even after integration, It has the right to rebel. Noone can stop PLA for revolt. It depends on ideology, thoughts and scientific plans. Now, we haven’t left the revolution. We are in one of the stage of revolution. We are discussing to make the good plans to complete the Revolution. I think we will remain like this only about 5/6 months, then if we don’t get the good result from this way, we will surely change our tactics to forward the Revolution. In the context of Nepal, I think now we are moving ahead doing concrete analysis of concrete condition.
    we are ready to die but not ready to bow down our heads and surrender with reactionary forces. Our well-wishers, supporters’ creative and positive suggestions are very precious for us. we will surely accept that type of suggestions.

  2. siva said

    There can be no doubt that the betrayal of the people has to be stopped in its tracks.
    Debates can only concern tactics.

    It is true that forcing a premature split in the party will only help the enemy.
    So, caution is necessary until the vast majority of the party cadres are won over to the revolutionary line. That means that debate should take place at every level.

    The youth and PLA fronts should firmly resist the capitulationist tendencies. Also the mass organisations and people’s governments should be rebuilt without the blessings of the leadership, if necessary.

    Anyone who loves the people of Nepal should fully defend the revolutionary line and denounce the opportunists.

  3. maitri said

    i agree with what you say Siva, only that it is not clear that Kiran has a revolutionary line, nor that he has much of a plan. much of what is going on with the pla has been clear for years, for god’s sake the pla were even paid by the world bank for a while, and Kiran did not say anything. also, for instance, if he split the party and took a chunk of the pla with him, then that would be a declaration of war between the state and the maoists, with many but not all of the PLA commanders with prachanda and bhattarai on the side of the state against their former comrades, and general confusion in the ranks of the revolutionaries. the pla would be fighting against the very man under whose name they fought under for ten years- Prachanda. you say ‘debate must take place at every level’; but will it? do you think the party leaders will allow this debate to take place? Do you really think communist parties are that democratic? i doubt that there will be any kind of real debate, they will delay and postpone, and buy off and threaten etc to not allow a debate. they are masters at it. i hear for instance, the kiran line dominated janadisha has closed down; the paper of the maoists during the peoples war, the paper of krishna sen, has been closed down. if the party wanted debate they would not have done this.

  4. mar-wey said

    “It is true that forcing a premature split in the party will only help the enemy.
    So, caution is necessary until the vast majority of the party cadres are won over to the revolutionary line. That means that debate should take place at every level.”

    For how long? . . . . I have not yet read a “Maoist” line yet from UCPN that really satisfies as revolutionary line except the counter rev. line from Prachanda , Battarai’s camp and the oppositionist Kiran camp. The party is surreptitiously eaten by the system.
    Am I asking too much in a “very open line” for a tactical informations?

  5. Divash Sharma said

    I had written the following text sometime ago. The text has already been posted on Howeer, after reading one of the most thought provoking article her, I felel tempeted to post the text, once again, here. – Divash Sharma

    commentsNepal Revolution: The Downward Journey

    The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) had lunched the People’s War in 1996 aiming to free the productive forces, establish new democratic governance, strengthen social harmony and support people’s culture. The endeavor created momentum immediately after its initiation and galloped in no time to cover the entire territory of the country.
    Surprised and bewildered, the western forces together with India took initiatives to quell the rebellion by enhancing the military strengths of the government of Nepal. They got befitting reply from a far inferior military force of the Maoists. Realizing this fact quite early, they devised a soft package too. The ingredient of this package included but not limited to utilizing United Nations and its agencies, international and national human rights agencies, international and national non-government service delivery mechanisms, , media companies , ‘civil society’ barons and baronesses and council of ambassadors of the western countries stationed in Kathmandu and Delhi. Notwithstanding all their collective acts and actions, the war continued to progress, both in its expansion and intensity. The major arms from the imperialist weaponry did not work that effectively.
    The intelligence networks from Washington and New Delhi started to work over time. Besides their regulars, they mobilized a large number of part timers and casual contractors. Academicians and researchers from non-suspecting countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and other smaller European nations were enrolled. Some of them came as research scholars; some came as ‘true friends’ of the revolutionaries and some came as professionals such as journalists, photographers, etc. Infiltration was their ultimate goal and some of them successfully attained their goal.
    Now, one-in-three approach – military strength, soft-package and multi-tunnel intelligence endeavors created a platform and generated synergy to penetrate deep, influence the course from within and harmonize acts to help swallow the slow poison.
    From Chunbang onwards, the leadership, otherwise seen determined and resolute, started to show weaknesses, softy-softy attitudes, self-interest drives and hurry to reach to the seat of state power. Their moves from that particular meeting could be termed as unpredictable and opportunistic. The march to Delhi and signing 12 points agreement with the alliance of seven parliamentary parties by utilizing the ‘good office’ of the Indian government finalized the turn around.
    The tactical slogan of the “election of the Constituent Assembly” became a goal in itself. After the election of the assembly, the’ Maoists’ not only became the largest party, but also graduated as another parliamentary party, particularly after its ideological merger with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Center-Masal). Although, organizationally Unity Center merged with ‘Maoist’, however, the opposite was true ideologically, which was amply clear by the analysis of the course it charted out as Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). From the date of merger, the Unified Maoist had entered into more complex two line struggle and has still been continuing. The core leadership has splinted into three platforms – parliamentary, anti-parliamentary and floater between the two.
    The parliamentary platform led is neither secretive nor unethical. They are clear on their goal, role and endeavors. They have committed on their radical reformist agenda and represent the middle class interests. In conventional Marxist terminology, they are national bourgeoisie forces and may be branded as revisionists. However, it may not be true in 21st century context to condemn them out right. They are still friendly forces and could contribute meaningfully provided they are rightly branded. They love to call themselves as communists and represent the interests of the upper classes. The Euro-Communists, Nepal’s Madan Bhandari’s “Janatako Bahudaliya Janabad” (people’s multi-party democracy, India’s ‘Marxists’ (CPIM) also fall under this category. Their ideological foundation is not fundamentally different that the ideology of the Euro-Communists. So, it would be better to name them – the Nepalese Euro-Communists.
    The anti-parliamentary platform is a mechanical mixture of revolution and non-revolution. This platform has been passing through transition. However, the direction of the transition is still not clear. Therefore, it is too early to decide its political philosophy and political line. They could evolve as Maoists or may turn to revisionism. Only available option for any analyst is to wait and see.
    The floating platform has power in its center – power within the party, power within the state, power outside the party and power outside the state. This platform has nothing to do with working class interests other than occasionally utilizing their good name as a blanket to cover it when the political weather is too cold.
    The above brief analysis leads to the conclusion that the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is no more a Maoist party, nor it is revolutionary. Yes, inside the party there is a strong under -current of Maoism. The revolution in Nepal is in its downward journey and reversal is possible only by applying surgical procedures.

  6. maitri said

    check out this vid on youtube, an animated nepali song featuring prachanda and sarah palin dancing. a good commentary on nepal maoist leaders i think.

  7. […] Web Blog , Revolution in South Asia has posted an article By Eric Ribellarsi and Mike Ely: entitled Nepal’s Crossroads : Without a people’s army, the people have nothing. Regular readers have expressed their opinions upon this article. The regular viewer Maitri’s […]

  8. […] Web blog, Revolution in South Asia has posted an article By Eric Ribellarsi and Mike Ely: entitled Nepal’s Crossroads : Without a people’s army, the people have nothing. Regular readers have expressed their opinions upon this article. The regular viewer Maitri’s […]

  9. From The Next Front, july 5
    Hey !visit the dance of Prachand and Saraha Palin.
    On July 1, Web blog, Revolution in South Asia has posted an article By Eric Ribellarsi and Mike Ely: entitled Nepal’s Crossroads : Without a people’s army, the people have nothing. Regular readers have expressed their opinions upon this article. The regular viewer Maitri’s comment is symbolic and interesting. He has posted the singing and dancing video of UCPN chairman Prachand and American political activist Saraha Palin. We know Saraha Palin is related to Republican party of America. She has also provided political commentary for Fox News, and hosted a television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Prachanda and Saraha Palin are dancing in a Nepalese typical folk song, Lok Dohori . We had already a video of Prachand’s dancing with Nepalese heroin Rekha Thapa–known as a ‘vulgar heroin’. Bhat was a live video of dancing, during the mass movement launched by UCPN, last year. Now we have another one. It will gain a lot of viewers.

  10. Once the revolutionary base areas were dissolved (2006-7) the revolution was over. You cannot go forward with revolution if you have dissolved your revolutionary ‘counter-power’ in order to participate in bourgeois parliamentary politics. Once you do this you can repeat the word ‘revolution’ as much as you like but its just an empty slogan. We all should have known in 2006 that the game was up. It wasn’t as if the CPN(M) was exactly trying to hide the fact when they signed the peace agreement. If there are some revolutionary forces that remain in Nepal, well and good. But I don’t think they are about to lead a revolution. I see nothing in Kiran’s statements that opposes what happened in 2006 in terms of dissolving the revolutionary governments, putting the PLA in cantonments etc. His big objection now (according to the article published in ‘Maoist Road’) is that the PLA should not be integrated until the constitution is finalised. This is hardly a revolutionary line. All this talk of ‘two line struggle’ in the UCPN(M) bewilders me. A two-line struggle is a struggle against the capitalist line in a communist party. It’s not just some jargon term for any internal debate on any matter. The Kiran-Prachanda split just looks like a dispute between two bourgeois factions. Arguing that there is a fight in the party between those that can and will carry on the revolution and the others just looks like wishful thinking to me.

  11. ‘A two-line struggle is a struggle against the capitalist line in a communist party. It’s not just some jargon term for any internal debate on any matter. The Kiran-Prachanda split just looks like a dispute between two bourgeois factions. Arguing that there is a fight in the party between those that can and will carry on the revolution and the others just looks like wishful thinking to me.’—Joseph Ball

    Friend, I am fully agree with you. I had already written an article, Without breaking the relation with the revisionists, there will be no revolution. ‘Let us raise the flag of Revolution High’, which was posted in the ‘The Next Front’. Not only this I fully agree with the following article.

    Revolution #200, April 22, 2010

    ‘On the Critical Crossroads in the Nepal Revolution, and the Urgent Need for a Real Rupture with Revisionism’
    Observations by a Supporter of that Revolution
From a Communist Internationalist Perspective

  12. Paolo Babini said

    Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC) – Italy
    Via Tanaro, 7 – 20128 Milano – Tel/Fax 02.26306454
    e-mail: – website:

    National Direction – International Relations Department
    Tel. +39 0226306454 – e-mail:

    To Mike Ely and the others signers of the call Support The Revolution In Nepal!
    To all concerned people

    Dear comrades,
    I read carefully your call, and I send you some comments about it, about the situation and the tasks of communists as regards Nepal and the International Communist Movement.

    You write that in the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (maoist) “one influential minority wing of that party has aggressively (and rather articulately) advocated a road of capitalist modernization”. Amongst other things “international conditions are too adverse, they say, for Nepal to take a radical course alone.”

    Is the international situation adverse?
    As a matter of fact, neither the comrades who declared themselves in favor of continuing or starting again the war nor those who declared themselves in favor of a definitive stop of the war, gave a concrete and let alone complete characterization of the international situation.
    Surely, one year ago comrade Guarav talked about whether the international situation was favorable or not (see
    He told that “in many cases, the question of “unfavorable 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”, adding that “What MLM teaches us that if situation is not favorable we should not sit idle, we should be active in changing the situation to make it favorable.”
    Comrade Guarav is right: they are the communists who make the situation favorable or not. Anyway, communists’ action must be based on the concrete analysis of the concrete situation, and the concrete international situation today is determined by the general crisis of capitalism.
    In his article, comrade Gaurav gives not so much space to the matter of the crisis, and does not says something new and different or more detailed than what is commonly known. The same attitude I find in the “Political resolution adopted by the 5th Conference of CCOMPOSA”. The resolution says that “the specific causes underlying this crisis and its particular dynamics need to be further probed”, and just describes the effects of the crisis.
    I say that we first of all need to understand the structural causes and the structural effects, that is to say we need to have a scientific understanding of the crisis just now and first of all. It is not enough to describe the present effects of the crisis: the peoples and the popular masses in the imperialist and in the oppressed countries are already experiencing them. They need to know why we are in this situation and how we can get out of it. They wait for the communist forces to tell them why.
    So, the communist forces start their action understanding “the specific causes underlying this crisis and its particular dynamics”, and they do it with the scientific debate and the scientific research.
    Without knowing “the specific causes underlying this crisis and its particular dynamics” the leftists wings will hardly be able to fulfil their tasks, to face the rightists, to demolish their statements about “adverse international conditions”. So it is in general (in the ICM), and in particular (in Italy and in Nepal). That is why the (new)Italian Communist Party has paid and pays so much attention to the matter of the crisis. That is why I proposed to comrades of UCPN-M (Basanta, Gaurav and others) to analyze the conclusions about the crisis of the (new) Italian Communist Party, as a weapon for their struggle ((see The Interpretation Of The Nature Of Current Crisis Decides Communist Parties’ Activity in
    The general crisis of capitalism is going on, and there are no ways out of it but revolutions and war. What decides which way we shall turn into, or revolution or war, is communists’ action.
    It is obvious that the rightist wings of parties and organizations in the International Communist Movement, and in UCPN-M too, portray the imperialist system stronger than it is without talking about its crisis. On the contrary, the leftist wings of parties and organizations in the ICM need to know nature and course of the crisis. It is not enough to do as many of them do, to say that “this crisis is bigger than ever” and something like this and to describe its effects more or less in detail.
    The left wings of parties and organizations in the ICM need to know the nature and the course of the crisis, and its possible ways out, because according to dialectical materialism the communists need to know the objective situation in order to fulfill their tasks. If the leftist wing does not know this enough well, then it not only is not able to advance, but it withdraws. On the other side, the rightist wing advances: it has no need to have a scientific knowledge because such a knowledge is a need for building revolution, and the right wing is not doing it (it opposes it).
    This is what happened in the ’50 of the last century, when modern revisionists took the upper hand in the International Communist Movement. The leftist wings of the ICM were not able to fight and win the right wing because they had not an enough right conception, an enough right line, an enough right strategy. They were defeated not because the revisionists were traitors. The struggle within the communist movement is not a matter of ethics, between honest people and traitors. It is a matter of science, of developing the dialectical materialism as a weapon to fight the imperialist bourgeoisie and its influence within the communist parties, that is to say to fight against the rightists who bring imperialist bourgeoisie’s influence within the parties.

    In conclusion, you signers of the Call can help the Nepali revolution defining precisely the characters of the international situation: the ongoing crisis of capitalism, the contradictions the imperialist groups and powers are facing, how they are facing them and how many resources they have for doing this.
    So doing , you shall be able to deal with a particular aspect of the international situation concerning Nepal, that is the intervention by India and USA and how to face it.

    “Dangers of Indian intervention and blockade” and “little-known U.S. military conspiracies and political threats”

    You signers of the Call can help the Nepali revolution denouncing all the forms and extensions of past and present interventions of the Federal State and of the rest of the ruling class of the Indian Federation and of the USA.
    You are talking of “dangers of Indian intervention and blockade”, but Indian intervention is already going on. It is a matter of serious activity of information to denounce its present forms and dimensions, and to write its history. So we could also understand its form and dimensions in the future.
    You talk about “little-known U.S. military conspiracies and political threats”. Why do you express such a poor knowledge about something that must be and is enough well known? US intervention has been going on for a long time, and it has been openly carried out, as in the case of the activity of International Crisis Group, presided by J. Carter, who supervised peace speeches and agreements in 2006 and supervises the relations derived from this, managing millions of dollars. It is surely supported by documentary evidence, available to a specialists’ research that some of you can surely carry out, as US Government has to document its allocations to the Congressmen. It has been documented recently by Peter Tobin’s report (see Besides, after 2006 UCPN(Maoist) has been head of the government for months and has participated to State and government activity for years at maximum levels, and therefore it has been able to know a lot about th ematterso why to tell that what the US are doing in Nepal is little known?
    On November 7-9, 2011 it will be held the Third International Anti-imperialist Conference of the International Anti-imperialist and People’s Solidarity Coordinating Committee (IAPSCC) jointly with the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN (M)), in Kathmandu. Maybe you know that the President of IAPSCC is Ramsey Clark, Former Attorney General of USA, and the General Secretary is Manik Mukherjee, Vice-President of the All India Anti-imperialist Forum. So on this occasion there will be the leaders of the Nepali revolutionary movement, and leaders of the anti-imperialist movement from USA and India. Certainly, US and India intervention in Nepal, what consists of and how to face it must be a most topic of the Conference. Surely, the Nepali, Indian and US promoters and organizers of the Conference know everything about the matter and can answer, if requested, to you, to us and to anybody else.

    Can Nepal to take a radical course alone?
    Yes, it can. Revolution can be built in single countries, it has already been built in single countries in the past, it advances internationally as revolutions built in single countries.
    Surely, we have to take into account a negative factor for building the revolution in the single countries: the ICM is weak, and it is particularly weak in the imperialist countries. Let us try to understand which are weaknesses and shortcomings in the ICM, and how the ICM can make the Nepali revolutionary movement less “alone”.
    The communist forces in a country help the communist forces and the popular masses of the other countries in two ways:
    1. Making the revolution in their countries;
    2. Contributing to develop the right conception, strategy and line for building the revolution that is to say, today, developing Maoism.
    According to this, it is a duty of all the communist forces all over the world 1. to help the Nepali revolution making the revolution in their countries, and 2. To carry out an open and frank debate in order to develop Maoism. They are absolutely wrong all the forces that say they are revolutionary and that think that to make the revolution in their countries is impossible, and they wait for the revolution to come from elsewhere.
    Unfortunately, great revolutionary movements in the oppressed and neocolonial countries are somehow victims of this prejudice. Many parties and people within them believe that the principal contradiction is that between the world imperialist system and the oppressed countries, that revolution in imperialist countries could come after the victory in the oppressed countries, or even could not come, has it happened in the first wave of proletarian revolution.
    Maybe they think so because the revolutionary movement in their country is visible. But are we or are we not bearer of a new science, and is not science an instrument to see what is not immediately visible? Was the oak visible when it was a seed underground? Are the data running in the web visible as they run from one side to the other in the world?
    Maybe they think so because nobody ever has made the revolution in an imperialist country. So I ask them, but I mainly ask the communists of the imperialist countries, firstly: “Aren’t we communists the ones who are opening new ways?”, and secondly: “Why no communist party has been able to seize the power in any imperialist country?”
    And I ask you, after all, if the international situation is favorable to revolution in Nepal, why is the same situation not favorable to the revolution in USA, in Great Britain, in Australia, in New Zealand? Why are USA not able to succeed in Iraq, In Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Palestine?
    After all we shall win the game in the imperialist countries. Let’s do it, and we shall give the best help to Nepali revolution and any other revolution. Let’s understand it, and we shall make advance the revolutionary theory, that is today Maoism.

    In solidiarity,

    Paolo Babini
    CARC Party – International Deparment

  13. […] It is unclear what this will mean for the revolution in Nepal however we remind our readers to read this statement from the Kasama Project outlining the line struggle within the revolutionary […]

  14. Kumar Sarkar said

    IF there are :
    (a)an effectively parallel revolutionary organisation
    (b)contingents of a PLA within or outside the Nepal Army
    (c)insurrectionist preparations in the urban areas.

    election of Baburam Bhattarai as the Prime Minister is a very positive achievment.

    In the absence of (a), (b) and (c), the mirage of an ‘independent nationalist capitalist Nepal’ (Hisila Yami in Monthly Review)would prevail.

    Kumar Sarkar

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