The Worker 11: CPN (Maoist)
Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution in the 21st century
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the initiation of the great people’s war the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is organizing an international seminar on “Imperialism and proletarian revolution in the 21st century”. The topic, we think, will give ample scope to begin meaningful discussion on the issues related to it and focus specially on defence, application and development of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the science of revolution. This science, however, cannot be defended without developing it in accordance with the changes taken place in the objective situation and the development of other faculties of science as well. As the correctness of ideological and political line can be tested only when it is put into practice so the revolutionary practice, which is linked to revolutionary theory, must validate it at all times.
In the history of class struggle, the proletariat has won great victories and it has faced disgusting defeats as well. It is a bitter truth that our class, which had captured state power almost in one-fourth of the world in the 20th century, including Russia and China, and had practiced socialism for decades, has now lost them. Neither we have state power anywhere in the world nor has our movement gathered till date an adequate amount of strength from the positive and negative lessons of those past experiences to challenge imperialism and its world order. Although it has temporarily created a negative impact on the whole movement, but there is a treasury of revolutionary experience as precious heritage to enlighten and inspire the international proletariat along the path of revolution. We must not escape from this challenge rather make every effort to synthesize both of these positive and negative features to advance revolution in the days to come.
History has posed many important questions to deal with. Why the dictatorships of the proletariat turned into their opposite without any bloodshed no later than the main leadership died? How could revisionist forces so smoothly overturn dictatorship of the proletariat and restore capitalism without any resistance from the powerful red army, state apparatus and the revolutionary people? Why comrade Stalin failed to curb the counter-revolutionary renegades to emerge from and sustain in the party he had led in spite of forcefull suppression against them? Whether the counter-revolution in China was an overnight coup de’ etat or there was a long process of degeneration that culminated in 1976? Why those great socialist countries failed to produce proletarian successors to continue revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat?
Apart from these there are some other questions that did not go along as our pioneer leaders had predicted in their life time. Comrade Lenin had defined imperialism as a moribund stage of capitalism. But, why is imperialism not only sustaining but also developing? When the inter-imperialist contradiction, during the 70s, had reached at the brink of the third world war, Mao had said “Either revolution will prevent war, or war will give rise to revolution”. But, neither one has happened till date. Why? These and alike are some very important questions that our generation must answer correctly to advance proletarian revolution in the 21st century.
Along with aforesaid questions posed by history, we the Maoists of today have to deal with the challenges of the present situation in which, firstly, the imperialism, led by the US, is escalating its offensive in the pretext of war against terror against oppressed nations and people, secondly, people’s resistance of various kinds is on the rise all over the world and thirdly, the Maoist pole is becoming weaker day by day to lead the proletariat and oppressed masses against imperialism and its world order. What it means is that today’s proletariat is locked up in such a situation where both the opportunity and challenge prevail. The victory of our generation lies on, firstly, how correctly we grasp dialectical and historical materialism to find answers of these questions, secondly, how dialectically and artistically we apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the present concrete condition of the world, and thirdly how creatively we develop it through the practice of class and line struggle nationally and internationally. We are hopeful that this seminar can prove to be an important milestone in our step forward to grasping, applying and developing MLM and uniting MLM forces internationally to fight imperialism.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, the founders of Marxism, did not in their life time conceive of capitalism developing into imperialism. It was Lenin, who through a thorough study of functioning of capitalism in his lifetime, characterized imperialism as a monopolistic and moribund stage of capitalism. Analyzing dialectically the contradictions the imperialism had created and developing strategy and tactic to agree with them Lenin adeptly led the proletarian revolution in Russia to victory. The era following this revolution, popularly known as October Revolution, is termed as Lenin’s era or the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. We the Maoists of today generally hold this position.
Nevertheless, the imperialism, as an object, cannot remain static but must develop for its survival. Basic essence remaining the same, it had undergone various changes in form in the past so will be in the future unless it is entirely overthrown by world proletarian revolution. Imperialism in itself is a source of war. But, the form of imperialist wars and the role different imperialist powers had played to grab maximum economic benefit out of this in various junctures of the history did not remain the same. If we look at the history of imperialism, we will find various turns in its way of functioning. However, mainly three different phases are distinct till the date.
2.1 The period before the Second World War:
Ever since the emergence of imperialism, this long period had been basically marked by sharp contentions among rival imperialist powers. Their competition of establishing colonies to loot cheap labor and resources from the underdeveloped countries led naturally to intensification of the inter-imperialist contradictions. The specificity of that period was that no imperialist power was unusually superior to another, principally in terms of military strength, that would oblige the weaker one to seek other ways to dilute the existing antagonism. That was one of the important objective reasons for two World Wars to break during this period.
Right here, we the revolutionary communists of today must have deeper grasp of the fact that both of the earth-shaking proletarian revolutions, Russian and Chinese, were respectively accomplished right in the situation when the first and second world wars had considerably weakened imperialism. The key question to bear in mind here is that Lenin and Mao could successfully lead the socialist and new democratic revolutions to victory in their respective countries because they were able to creatively develop their independent strategy and tactic based on ‘concrete analysis of the concrete condition’. Today, Russian path of revolution, the insurrection and Chinese path of revolution, the protracted people’s war, are often known in the ICM as the Russian and the Chinese model of proletarian revolutions.
Another fact noteworthy to take into account here is that the end of the Second World War not only gave rise to a considerable shift in the imperialist power equation but their form of exploitation too. Firstly, the US imperialism, which was relatively a weaker strength before the Second World War, paved its way to rise up as a superpower of the world and the erstwhile major imperialist contenders like for example Germany, Italy and Japan got away from their previous dominant position significantly. And secondly, the national liberation movements forced the colonial occupiers to concede so-called independence to a number of countries.
However, this shift was not a step back on the part of imperialism but a forward one to cool down anti-colonial sentiment of the masses and thereby create easier ways for the deeper penetration of imperialist finance capital into the third world countries. The semi-colonial form of imperialist plunder in lieu of direct colonial one resulted in conversion of the anti-colonial national bourgeoisie into comprador ones. Consequently, there remained no class other than the proletariat to lead bourgeois democratic revolution and national liberation movement as well. Hence, following the emergence of semi or neocolonialism both of the national liberation movements and proletarian revolutions became inseparable from each other. This is the reason why no other class except the proletariat can lead national liberation movement in the era of imperialism.
2.2 The period of Cold War:
The counterrevolution in Russia, in 1956, and its manifestation in the form of social imperialism led to a new power equation in the world. It resulted in placing the US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism at the forefront of international politics as rival superpowers. Earlier contenders, like British, Germany, France, Italy and Japan got their role limited mainly to assist the US pole to reinforce. In this manner, the whole world basically polarized into two camps, the US and Russian, that at times created situations in which the inter-imperialist contradiction reached at the brink of devastating third world war. No world war occurred but what else did not, most dreadful arm race and untold loot, plunder and impoverishment of the entire third world countries were the normal phenomenon of this period.
In spite of such an intensification of inter-imperialist contradiction in this period why did not the third world war erupt? What did work to let it not happen? And also, there was a wave of mass upsurge under proletarian leadership all across the world in 70s. Also Mao had said, “Either revolution will prevent war, or war will give rise to revolution”. But why neither revolution nor the world war took place? These are questions on which we have to reach at depth and deduce a correct summation. Presence of China and the revolutionary wave all across the world could be one of the main factors to prevent the imperialists from jumping into war. But, why no revolution could succeed during 70s despite a socialist pole existed in China that could provide ideological and political boost for the revolutionary masses and the parties leading those upsurges? Although our party has not yet reached at a concrete summation, we roughly hold a position that the reason behind this lies in the erstwhile parties’ line of sticking into a specific model, the Chinese or Russian, instead of creatively developing strategy and tactic based on “concrete analysis of the concrete condition”.
Right here, two important events that took place in 80s and 90s in the international politics deserve special mention. First, the loss of proletarian power in China, in 1976, on the one hand spread negative impact on the entire Maoist movement and on the other provided an ideological respite temporarily for the imperialism as a whole. Second, the collapse of Soviet social imperialism, including its block in 1989 brought the US imperialism in an unrivalled position internationally.
As a result of the aforesaid events, the imperialism, particularly the US, didn’t have any restrain to prepare further in all the realms of ideology, politics, economy, culture and military as well to sustain and develop imperialism. Its rhetoric of “failure of Marxism” and “inevitability” of the so-called multiparty democracy was nothing other than a part of its ideological and political preparation. Globalization, privatization and liberalization were its tools to spread imperialist finance capital to the developing countries. Right here, none must loose sight from the fact that all of these were possible only by projecting military strength at the fore. Reinforcement of the US army with sophisticated nuclear weapons including those camping in the military bases of more than 100 countries, which were established mainly in the cold war period, does not justify other than this.
In consideration of the imbalance of military strength, other imperialist powers, despite of feeble opposition, had no choice left to act otherwise than agreeing with what the US imperialism was going to enforce to the world people. It must not be meant by this that the inter-imperialist contradiction had already ceased to exist. Given the nature of imperialism, it goes on intensifying and is so now too and will be so in future. But, what it only means is that they were unable to contend with the US, so they were forced to keep happy with and invigorate from the crumbs of exploitation of the third world under US domination. It holds true till today. Pushing other imperialist powers into defensive position and taking hold of the third world countries in its fist, the US imperialism had already started working, right from the advent of the 21st century, in the form of a global state.
2.3 The running period of ‘War against Terror’:
Ever since the implementation of imperialist economic policies like Globalization, Privatization and Liberalization and as a result of unrivalled US hegemony upon the masses all over the world, generally the basic contradictions, namely the contradiction between labor and capital and inter-imperialist contradiction, and particularly the contradiction between imperialism, mainly the US, and oppressed nations and people of the world were getting sharper. People’s spontaneous protests all over the world during the last decade of 20th century justify this. In that situation, the imperialism had no other option except imposing war against the world masses to resolve contradictions temporarily. The only thing it was short of was an operative pretext for war to confuse the masses. Right at this juncture, the September 11 episode came to play a midwife role for the US to put into action the design that it had been preparing against the oppressed nations and people since before. With this event, the US imperialism coined a word ‘war against terror’ other regimes echoed it, and triggered off war against the innocent people of Afghanistan and Iraq. And now, those in Iran and North Korea are in the pipeline to get slaughtered anytime in the pretext of ‘axis of evils’.
The US imperialism, terrorizing the regimes that stand against its interest and masses of the people the world over through its doctrine of ‘pre-emptive measures’ and ‘war against terror’, is enforcing its superpower ambition to control the entire world in the form of a globalised state. Bush’s dictum, ‘either you are with us or against’ reveals his imperialist design to impose war on whoever stands against the US interest. The US has been dictating third world regimes to follow their policy as the central federal government does with its state governments and diplomatic boundaries are no more working for it. In fact, the pre-emptive doctrine is a receipt to legitimatize military attack upon any nation which US thinks is going against it and thereby change the regime in its will in the pretext of ‘defending’ democracy.
Lenin had defined imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism with a monopolistic, parasitic and moribund character. Nevertheless, in spite of its moribund character it is sustaining and expanding because, among other things, the proletarian class while in power in its later period could not prove its supremacy over capitalism. After the fall of Soviet social imperialism, the US, the sole superpower of the world, is implementing its “Rule of Ruin” policy all over the world.
The US has been able to sustain its policies of globalization, liberalization and open market because the countries like China, India and oil kingdoms of the Middle East have brought sea changes in their previous policies and removed many barriers to foreign investment even majority ownership of the high growth industries, banks and energy sources. Almost 50% of the 500 biggest multinational corporations are US owned and headquartered. It is not difficult to understand that the so-called new phenomenon of globalization has grown out of the barrel of the gun wielded, pointed and fired by the US. Despite inter-imperialist rivalry in many fields the overseas expansion of the multinational corporations has been possible because of the collusion between the US and other imperialist countries. The fundamental character of imperialism hasn’t been changed in essence but as said in our party document the imperialism in its course of development has been acquiring new forms and shapes. The initial colonial form of imperialism changed its form into neocolonialism. Now the neo-colonial form is taking its shape in the form of a globalised state. Naturally this change in form of imperialism should be taken into account while developing path of revolution.
However, the argument made by some scholars that capitalism has been changed into a stateless, classless empire without imperialism is a dangerous notion based on superficial discussion intended to put a cover on the ruthless exploitative character of imperialism.
3. The world situation:
Since the fall of Soviet Social imperialism the US imperialism has emerged as the sole super power of the world and it has further intensified its offensive against oppressed nations and people. Under the guise of war against terror the US is leading a war of intervention against the oppressed nations and people of Afghanistan and Iraq and trying to flex its muscle in Asia particularly South Asia which is going to be an epicenter of revolutionary volcano. In one way, the war juggernaut that the US imperialism has been leading is bringing the world towards a global village and on the other it has brought itself under the ring of fire of the rebelling people all over the world.
The present world situation is marked by intensification of all of the contradictions existing in the world. On the part of reactionary camp, the formation of EU, growing competition of Euros with Dollars, revival of Russian economy, new alliance between Russia and China, Russian backing to Iranian nuclear program, Chinese economic growth and her backing to North Korea’s nuclear agenda, etc. is leading towards a new equation against the US imperialism internationally. In spite of all these, given the military and economic might of the aforesaid countries, they are not right now in a position to stand firmly against the US imperialist interest but are forced to collaborate with it to plunder the world. So, collusion remains the principal aspect among imperialist powers at present.
On the other hand, the challenge before the imperialism, mainly US, is growing from the masses of oppressed nations in various forms, including the people’s wars led by MLM forces. Above all, the victory achieved one after another by people’s war in Nepal, under the leadership of our party, one of the contingents of the international proletarian class, has become a considerable ideological and political troublemaker for imperialism, particularly the US. Its naked intervention in the internal affairs of Nepal, justifies this reality. The development of the people’s war in Nepal, India, Peru, Turkey and Philippines, under the leadership of proletarian vanguard parties, has further sharpened the international principal contradiction.
Not only has the globalization impoverished the underdeveloped countries but the working class of the developed countries too has been affected badly. The industries that cannot compete with multinational companies in the globalised market have been forced to shut down. This, on the one hand, has been augmenting unemployment in those countries and on the other their economy is in serious decline. As a result of this the contradiction between capital and labor is also intensifying. The resentment and anger of the workers that had poured in the streets of France a few months back is an example of this.
This shows that all of the basic contradictions in the world are intensifying. As a result of this, the objective situation for revolution is ripening more than ever. However, no revolutionary crisis has yet emerged. It is mainly our conscious effort that can transform this revolutionary situation into a worldwide revolutionary crisis.
Contrary to favorable objective condition for revolution the subjective strength has not been developed to that height from where the proletarian class can initiate and develop people’s war as to create threat for imperialism. It is a positive challenge ahead of the Maoist movement today. But, how much we can transform this challenge into opportunity will depend on and [be] decided by how firmly we grasp MLM, how artistically and dialectically we apply it in the practice of two-line struggle to develop proletarian unity nationally and internationally and how creatively we develop it from the practice of class and two-line struggles to meet new challenges in the concrete condition of present world situation. Business as usual cannot help us fulfill this task except making a spent force of history.
4. Defense, application and development of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism:
MLM, the philosophy of social practice, is a weapon in the hands of the oppressed to change the world. Lenin has taught us that “Concrete analysis of the concrete situation is the living soul of Marxism”. As the objective situation goes on changing this weapon too needs to be constantly overhauled and sharpened. Since capitalism could sustain and expand beyond the expectation of Marx, Lenin and Mao now we should turn our head towards the communist movement itself to find out shortcomings of the past and examine the new changes brought about by imperialist system. If we don’t look back and stubbornly refuse to learn from those shortcomings and mistakes and develop it to meet the new challenges we will reach nowhere.
Marxism can be defended only when it is developed. In other words, without development it cannot be defended. It can be developed only when it is grasped correctly and applied creatively to agree with the concrete objective condition. However, the question of development of Marxism has always been an issue of serious ideological struggle within the communist movement.
Mainly, we find three different trends on this question in the contemporary communist movement. First, it is a trend that in the name of concrete analysis of the concrete condition deviates from the basic tenet of Marxism. In fact what it argues to have developed is right revisionism. Second, it is a trend, which in the name of Marxism is a science of social practice, says that Marxism automatically develops in the course of its application. It represents pragmatism. Third, it is a trend, which argues that unless Marxism is developed no revolution can be made in the present situation. This trend in the name of defending and developing Marxism basically circles around eulogizing the past successful revolutions and does not engage oneself in revolutionary practice. As a result, it falls prey to dogmatism.
In the contemporary communist movement, right revisionism is the main danger. But, dogmatism and pragmatism also have been creating barriers in the development of revolution and revolutionary science from within the Maoist camp. In this situation, our generation of Maoists on the one hand must, as a whole, fight against right revisionism and on the other must pay serious attention to the dangers created by dogmatism and pragmatism from within.
Marxism, when applied in practice, generates new experiences, both positive and negative. Those experiences should be synthesized again and again. The process of synthesis develops new ideas, which of course enrich the philosophical arsenal of MLM. The sequence of practice and theory develops spirally up to infinity. This is how MLM develops. In our own context, synthesizing the experiences of five years of people’s war, we have developed Prachanda Path in 2001. It is in the constant process of development.
4.1 Party Building
Party of the proletariat is a means to propel revolution until worldwide communism. Like every entity, the communist party also exists and advances through an incessant process of unity and struggle of opposites in which unity is relative but struggle is absolute. However, it has often been a chronic disease in the communist movement that emergence of two-line struggle in the party of the proletariat means a split in it. None can build a party where there is no inner-party struggle and no line is 100% correct. Different lines that contend within the party of the proletariat have some wrong and some correct aspects. Neither compromise between different lines to ‘avoid’ split nor split to maintain ‘purity’, unless the lines represent diametrically opposite class interests, is a propeller of revolution, because both way of thinking represent metaphysics not dialectics.
On party building, the question of Stalin is an important aspect to deal with. Despite his great contribution to the ICM he upheld metaphysical outlook regarding some questions. He could not recognize the objective existence of classes throughout the whole period of socialism and drew many wrong conclusions which had and still have some impact on the entire communist movement. He could not apprehend the existence of contradiction in the process of development of all entities. As a consequence of this, he failed to recognize that so long as these contradictions remain in the form of divergence of opinions and do not harm the course of the revolution or the party’s existence they should be admitted. Stalin, instead of grasping and applying two-line struggle to propel the party forward, demanded monolithic unity.
It was comrade Mao who scrutinized the whole process of socialist construction in Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin and pointed out his negative and positive aspects. He categorically said 30% of Stalin’s position was wrong and 70% was correct. In the course of struggle to fight Stalin’s monolithic concept in the ICM he enriched dialectical materialism with a new category, ‘one divides into two’. In fact, it was a new dimension added in the Marxist philosophy to emphasize unity and struggle of opposites. However, the Maoist movement today does not have a unified understanding on this.
We should firmly grasp and creatively apply the law of unity and struggle of opposites in every two-line struggle. It must be conducted as to transform the negative aspects into positive ones whoever it might come from. Transformation only can develop higher level of unity among its own rank, which is inevitable for the success of revolution. Our party, the CPN (Maoist), has regarded intra-party struggles as unavoidable without which no transformation takes place. It believes the preservation of party unity is founded on the paradox of incessant struggle within the party. Struggles guarantee its dynamism; progress can only come through resolution of contradictions.
4.2 Building of a new type of international:
MLM is an international ideology of working people to emancipate from the yoke of capitalism. But, this ideology can liberate them only when it is transformed into a material force, the organization, to seize state power from the bourgeoisie. From the first to the third international, in the history of ICM, all were built to help the communist parties achieve this target internationally. However, all of them were dissolved when they were proved unable to accomplish their tasks at a certain juncture of history. All of us have to sum up the positive and negative experiences of those internationals and deduce a common understanding to develop a new type of international that can adress today’s objective necessity.
Till now the Maoist movement has diverging opinion on why Mao did not take any initiative to form the fourth international in his life time. It is necessary to sum up collectively. However, the opinion our party has put forward may help develop debate on this question internationally. In our opinion, it is not that Mao did not see any necessity of the fourth international but the diverging ideological and political positions of the then communist parties of Albania, Vietnam, North Korea etc. was the reason that caused him not to take any initiative. Mao neither could include them nor exclude in the given objective situation. Nevertheless, it does not reduce the gravity of struggle he waged against Khrushchevite revisionism internationally to defend socialism.
The counterrevolutionary coup in China was a very big setback on the part of the international proletariat. In that difficult situation, various communist parties that upheld Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung thought fought back revisionist attacks and defended it in their own. The initiation of people’s war in Peru, in 1980, served as a beacon to awaken and inspire the international proletariat in their struggle to defend Marxism. Even then, the necessity of an organization to unite parties under it and defend Marxism in the international level was yet to be fulfilled. Formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), in 1984, accomplished this task. Even though it could not organize all of the revolutionary parties upholding Mao Tsetung thought, but it was an important achievement on the part of our class. Above all, adoption of the document, Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, by RIM, in 1993, was a big victory on the part of the international proletariat in the realm of ideology. In fact, the role RIM played during that period of ideological crisis cannot at all be minimized.
The need to start shaping a new kind of international as to meet the objective necessity of
today is yet a pending task before the international proletariat. Our party, the CPN (Maoist), is very much optimistic that this seminar can prove to be a milestone to pave the way towards that direction. We request all of the comrades present in this seminar to take it seriously.
4.3 Politico-Military Line of proletarian revolution:
In the history of communist movement we have seen basically two kinds of politico-military strategies of revolution, the line of insurrection and that of protracted people’s war. Aptly analyzing and exposing the monopolistic character of imperialism, Lenin developed and established the line of insurrection to make revolution in the economically developed countries. While doing so, he definitely learnt from the experiences of Paris Commune, but he did not copy them, rather he creatively developed appropriate strategy ant tactic to agree with the objective situation of Russia. We, both in the developed and underdeveloped countries, should study deeply the universal validity of Lenin’s strategy and tactic of revolution and apply those tactics which fit to our objective condition.
On the other, analyzing the nature of contradictions in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country, China, Mao creatively developed politico-military strategy of protracted people’s war. He did it on the basis of “concrete analysis of the concrete situation”, the living soul of Marxism. Right here, everyone should keep in mind that he had declined to accept and apply in practice some of the advices that the third international and comrade Stalin had forwarded to CPC. Now, all of us can speculate what would happen if comrade Mao had agreed [with] them. It is true Mao learnt from Lenin but did not copy him rather developed from where he had left.
As said before, any system, capitalist or semi-feudal and semi-colonial, does not remain static but dynamic. This dynamism makes it survive and develop. It is true for both of the imperialist and oppressed countries. As a result of this dynamism, the society undergoes socioeconomic changes, which bring about changes in the contradictions it had before, be it an imperialist or semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. Our party believes that only the correct grasp of this dynamism and development of strategy and tactic in compliance with it can propel revolutionary struggles forward.
When our party was preparing to initiate armed struggle the question that we had focused on was the model, Russian or Chinese. We had serious ideological debate on how it can be initiated, sustained and developed in the particularity of Nepalese society. It is true; the third world counties in which there is semi-feudal and semi-colonial socio-economic relation did have and even now have similarities with the erstwhile China and so was ours. But, the development of bureaucratic capitalism, growth of cities, interdependence of urban and rural areas and expansion of transportation network, a general trend of the third world countries, were some new changes in the objective situation than those we found in the erstwhile China. In addition, the development of information technology for example computer, mobile and satellite phones had made the entire world a small village because of which no surprise factor could be used in guerilla war as easily as before. Possibilities to keep our political activities away from the reach of enemies have been
considerably lessened. All these new changes had motivated us to think in a creative manner.
Marxism is not a dogma, but a living science to transform the world. It demands creative application. Only the correct grasp and creative application can develop it. In this context, a quote from CPC may be relevant. The document, Long Live Leninism, Third Edition, August 1969, reads, “To cope with the different tactics adopted by imperialism against the people, the peoples of the world also have to use various tactics and methods of revolutionary struggle in fighting imperialism.” With this ideological grasp, we came to a conclusion that sticking to a particular model, and the tactic based on it, would not address the new contradictions created by the aforesaid changes in the society and confining the path of revolution within the framework of a certain modality would hold down our hand to resolve them.
Taking all these ideological and political factors into account, our party from the very beginning tried to take up mass mobilization in the cities and guerrilla warfare in the countryside, i.e. political and military offensives, simultaneously, while making later as principal. Everyone can notice ever since the initiation, which was in the form of a kind of rebellion, our party has been incorporating some of the insurrectionary tactics all through the course of protracted people’s war. That is why the course of revolution we are traversing resembles neither fully with what Mao did in China nor with what Lenin did in Russia. We believe one of the reasons behind the development of people’s war in such a short span of time in our country was our success to keep ourselves away from the constraint of any model. In short, our position is no revolution can be repeated but developed.
Almost after five years of the initiation of people’s war in Nepal summing up its experiences in the Second National conference, 2001, our party developed a politico-military strategy stressing the need to have fusion of some aspects of the insurrectionary tactics with those of protracted people’s war from the very beginning. Again, while coming at Kami Danda meeting, 2006, summing up entire experiences of the ten years of people’s war our party further developed it and synthesized that politico-military strategy with a balanced sequence of the people’s war, strong mass movement, negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering only can lead the new democratic revolution in Nepal to victory. [We] think, this synthesis of a revolutionary detachment of international proletarian army, the CPN (Maoist), could be usefull to others as well.
Along with this, despite the fact that all basic contradictions are intensifying, the present
world is mainly decided by, not others, but the struggle between imperialism, mainly the US, on one side, and the entire oppressed masses all over the world, on the other. In addition, the US imperialism, the main enemy of the world people now, has been developing in the form of a global state. Therefore, in order to address this contradiction the need to develop a global politico-military strategy to advance revolution in the 21st century has been a pressing question. Exactly for this reason, we have put forward a new concept of South Asian Soviet Federation and World Soviet Federation. We firmly believe that only by going through this process can the proletariat lead the national liberation movement, new democratic and socialist revolution as well to victory.
4.4 Democracy and dictatorship in the 21st century:
In a class society, state power is an inevitable means of one class to exercise dictatorship over the other. It was Karl Marx, who put forward this scientific principle first before the world humanity. In a letter, dated March 5, 1852, to Weydemeyer, Marx says, “What I did that was new was to prove: 1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with particular historical phases in the development of production; 2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat; 3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society….”. In the same way, in his famous work, ‘State and Revolution’ Lenin says, “Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat”.
It is unscientific and a sheer nonsense that both of the hostile classes in a society enjoy equal right under any state power. In fact, the class in power enjoys democracy and exercises dictatorship against the hostile class. Hence, the state power is a unity of two opposites, the dictatorship and democracy. Neither there can be absolute democracy nor absolute dictatorship in a class society no matter which class, the bourgeois or proletariat, is in the power. When both of the dictatorship and democracy wither away the state power ceases to exist and consequently the entire humanity reaches to a classless society. Hence the proletariat, when in power, must exercise democracy and dictatorship in such a way that it can wither away both of them and finally establish a classless society the world over.
Right here, our party is seriously concentrating on how the oppressed class can strengthen dictatorship over the enemy when reaches in power so that it can continue revolution until communism. What we believe is that more the democracy is provided for the oppressed class stronger will be the unity developed among them. This as a consequence, can strengthen dictatorship of the proletariat. It is our understanding that lack of comprehensive democratic competition among the various strata of working people in the past resulted in weakening of their collective fight against the bureaucratic tendencies emerging in power. This in fact made the relation between state power and the masses formal, which was an opportune situation for the revisionists to seize power.
On democracy, Marx and Engels, in Communist Manifesto (page 57), write, “…, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.” Lenin, in his famous work, ‘The socialist revolution and the right of nations to self-determination (Theses)’, writes, “It would be a fundamental mistake to suppose that the struggle for democracy can divert the proletariat from the socialist revolution, or obscure, or overshadow it, etc. On the contrary, just as socialism cannot be victorious unless it introduces complete democracy, so the proletariat will be unable to prepare for victory over the bourgeoisie unless it wages a many-sided, consistent and revolutionary struggle for democracy.” Likewise, Mao in his ‘Speech at the second plenary session of the eighth central committee of the Communist Party of China’ (Vol. 5, November 15, 1956) says, “We are not even afraid of imperialism, so why should we be afraid of great democracy? … Those bureaucrats who are afraid of great democracy must study Marxism hard and mend their ways.”
These sayings not only urge for democracy but also emphasize to introduce complete democracy to make socialism victorious. However, the democracy, our class practiced in the past, became a tool for the bureaucrats to flourish but not for the dictatorship of the proletariat to strengthen. Comrade Mao, by way of mobilising the broad masses under the banner of Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, tried to reverse this process. But he was already late. What we think is that the practice of democracy under proletarian dictatorship in the past failed to create such a situation in which the proletariat and oppressed class could make Cultural Revolution a regular process of mass action from within the society. Keeping this in mind, our party has developed a new concept of democracy in the 21st century so that it can connect the missing links of the past.
In the past, we have various kinds of experiences of democracy in socialist countries. The latest is the Chinese experience, where we see eight different political parties, not of enemy class, playing cooperative role in the people’s government. In our party opinion, the relation between the CPC and those parties was not vibrant but mechanical and formal. In order to make this relation lively, what we are proposing is to raise this cooperative relation up to the level of multiparty competition. One should be clear that this competition should be allowed only among those political forces that do not go against the dictatorship of the proletariat. In addition to multiparty competition, our party has proposed to introduce, in the constitution, people’s right to supervise, control and intervene upon the governmental institutions and recall their representatives from their posts if necessary. On the one hand, it can be one of the effective ways to attract masses towards active politics and on the other it can create a situation in which the proletarian leaders are responsible to them. In fact, it will play a role for the proletarian leaders to develop comradely relation with the masses, not that of ruler and ruled.
Questions may come up that multiparty competition is suicidal because it will allow room for the imperialists to sabotage revolution. Till now, most of the proletarian revolutions have been sabotaged by internal degeneration of the party itself not the direct intervention of the imperialists. Yet, this danger remains there. But we think it is less dangerous than the degeneration of the party into revisionism. This is a new proposition put forward to develop mechanism and methodology to continue revolution amidst various internal and external threat of counterrevolution.
In addition, our party thinks necessary to introduce a provision in the party constitution that it should provide right for the oppressed classes to rebel and form a new party to continue revolution if the party of the proletariat degenerates into revisionism, after or before the seizure of power.
The world is very much volatile and the situation is ripening for world proletarian revolution. But, our organizational strength is very much weak. Not only this, our ideological and political grasp is very much divergent, which has been a barricade to develop proletarian unity internationally. The enemy is enjoying in our weakness.
All of you know that the heroic Nepalese people have been waging great people’s war since the last 10 and half a year, under the leadership of our party, the CPN (Maoist). We are now at the threshold of seizing central power. At this moment, we are very much happy to find you here in a seminar on Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution in the 21st century.
In short, we have put forward our experience and the way of thinking that we have developed in the past tumultuous 10 years. It is our understanding that revolution cannot be repeated but developed. Yet, you may not agree with some of the practices we are carrying forward and some ideological and political positions placed in this paper. It is natural. This apparently requires a thorough debate among the international revolutionary fraternity. We are very much hopeful that comrades will take up this very seriously and heighten the debate so that all of us can develop a common understanding to meet the challenge our class is facing now.
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)