Revolution in South Asia

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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Ely’

A sketch of four controversies: Communist strategy in the Third World

Posted by redpines on February 5, 2012

This theoretical essay originally appeared on our sister site, Kasama. It addresses a number of important issues, including: How has revolution occurred in the Third World? Can it occur in the same way under current global conditions? Can we apply the strategies for revolution in the third world in the advanced capitalist countries? 

by Mike Ely

A great many of us attracted to revolutionary politics in the U.S. (and similar “developed” countries) often see radical change through the prism of our surrounding society — where feudalism has been largely absorbed into capitalist agriculture, and where only a small-and-declining proportion of the working classes are on the land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: And Now the Question of Armies….

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 16, 2008

by Mike Ely

Two of Mao’s most famous sayings come to mind, over and over, while studying events in Nepal:

“Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”

“The people and the people alone are the motive force in history.”

The first one should be a reminder: Leading a government is not the same as seizing state power. Winning an election is a sign of who has won the hearts of the people, but state power ultimately rests on the question of who controls military forces within the country.

That was the heart of the political dilemma, and the tragedy, in Chile (over the early 1970s): The socialist forces of Salvadore Allende won the hearts of the votes, and won the presidency, but did not have the organized military force to face (or defeat) the reactionary Chilean army. The CIA and Chilean high command plotted a military coup, that unleashed a vicious counterrevolution. Allende was killed in the coup, and many thousands of radical activists and supporters were rounded up, tortured and murdered.

Read the rest of this entry »

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On Nepal: What Should We Do and Say?

Posted by Rosa Harris on January 15, 2008

un_betweentwostones.jpgby Mike Ely

Recently reading Richard Dawkin’s atheist manifesto (“The God Delusion”) I came across a simple statement:

“There is nothing wrong with being agnostic in cases where we lack evidence one way or another.”

Dawkins then quotes Carl Sagan,

“I try not to think with my gut. Really, it’s okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in.”

I think there is a lot to learn from these simple statements of scientific methodology (from these two controversial and deeply respected scientists).

A brief digression: The word agnosticism was coined by Prof. Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. He took it from the Greek agnostos, a = without, gnostos = knowledge – and he used this term in scientific warfare against notions of spiritual or mystical insight (i.e., hunches from the gut). This did not mean that Huxley was wishy-washy: on the contrary, he is famous as “Darwin’s bulldog” because on matters where there was sufficient emergent knowledge he fought so fiercely for the most advanced understanding.

We need to be like Huxley in ferociously fighting for what is scientifically known, and cautiously identifying what is not. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal Maoists: On Criticism by RCP

Posted by Rosa Harris on January 3, 2008

Street demonstrations in Nepal’s capital in September 2007 when the Maoists pulled out of the government coalition in protest over the refusal of other forces to overthrow the ancient and hated monarchy.

The second edition of RED STAR has just appeared. This is the new online English language newspaper reporting on the Maoist revolution in Nepal. I am printing it all out for a close read.

However I do want to call to attention a brief-but-significant passage in an interview with Netrabikram “Biplab” Chand, who is described as a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

This passage acknowledges that the Nepali Maoists are facing criticisms from some forces internationally. Everyone has seen the criticisms of the Maoist of India (so that part is not a surprise). But Biplab also specifically mentions Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA as one of those doing the criticizing.

This too is not surprising — because almost anyone watching the RCP realizes that they simply stopped writing their own commentary on the Nepali revolution in the Spring of 2006. Such an abrupt end to their previous enthusiastic reporting was an obvious sign that they had differences with the CPN(Maoist) that amounted to a cessation of support.

I say “almost anyone” because one group of people may be surprised: Many supporters of the RCP seem unaware of such differences. This is because they have been on a rather strict information diet — in which many details of their own movement (including major parts of the RCP’s own political and ideological line, and major setbacks in the RCP’s work) are simply kept from them. Read the rest of this entry »

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