Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reform or Revolution by Pavan Patel & Vishnu Sharma

(The Writers are associated with Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum, New Delhi)

Those who recognise only the class struggle are not yet Marxist….Only he is Marxist who extends recognition of the class struggle to recognition of the dictatorship of the Proletariat. This is what constitute the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested.

Thus, a great revolutionary of the history defined a Marxist. No matter what people claim or what they suggest to uphold the only defining character of their words would be this very definition of a Marxist. There can be no alternative but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the proletariat, says Lenin.

We must use this definition as a touchstone to distinguish between a correct proletariat political line and incorrect revisionist line. In case we fail to understand the importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat then no matter how much we cry for socialism, class struggle, PLA integration or tag there would always be a chance of reactionary betrayal of the masses.

Those who argue in favour of PLA’s integration or to keep the tag i.e. Maoist intact should also come forward with the question of dictatorship. The socialism and class struggle rhetoric will not suffice to criticize but a concrete solution regarding the question of the dictatorship should be voiced. Our real goal should be dictatorship of the proletariat and nothing less than this.

This question cannot be ignored or sidelined just for the sake of ‘creativity’. In the name of a ‘new’ betrayal takes root. Every tactic should be in this direction only. There can be different ways out but the aim should be intact i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat. As Lenin defined and Mao upheld, “The Dictatorship of the Proletariat means a persistent struggle- bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative- against the forces and traditions of the old society”.

To be a communist it is not only important but necessary to judge every step under the context of this definition. An ordinary person or petty bourgeois party or leadership can portray him/herself as a true revolutionary in any given period of time but his/her real test comes when the question of dictatorship of the proletariat surfaces on the ground.

In Mao’s words “The decisive question in a revolution is of political line. If the line is correct the lost thing can be gained and if the political line is incorrect the gained things would be lost”.

In this polemic we will try to put our argument under this premises and seek answer to the question that every genuine communist of the world is looking for.

As Nepal’s communist movement is a part of world proletariat revolution hence there is no doubt that genuine communists of the world are carefully watching every step of the proletariat party there. The gain in Nepal is undoubtedly the gain of world’s working class and loss (if it occurs) will surely be all. It was a collective effort of people of the world hence it will be, if lost, collective loss. All over the world communists are trying to solve this political deadlock and come with a proper solution. No matter what it takes but a correct synthesis of the ongoing political crisis is necessary.

Nepal’s revolution has come a long way. From a small initiation to a big political intervention to winning the CA poll, it has done unprecedented and achieved things which were unknown hitherto. Now again it is trying to advance in an appropriate direction. As far as the direction is concerned two voices are clearly heard: One asking to defend the present achievement and suggesting to cement it before going ahead, other calling for immediate transformation to new democratic revolution by force, and thus achieving the goal set while initiating the decade long people’s war.

Defenders of both the ideas have their own arguments for the support of their aspirations. The formers argue that situation has not ripen to go for the total dictatorship of the proletariat because of the prevailing ‘world order’ and globalised system which is now ‘a fact’ to serious to ignore and carry on day today state affair.

They also claim that the revolution ‘can not be imitated but developed’; hence it would be a disaster to go with the Russian or Chinese way!In politics it is necessary to take stand. We in this debate take a stand and our stand would be with the later. We are for the total dictatorship of the proletariat.

We believe as Nepal’s revolution is a part of the world proletariat revolution, so to consolidate it through compromise (the word capitulation would be more appropriate) would be a deception of a universal as well as Nepalese proletariat aspiration. It is a complete revisionist rhetoric to emphasize on world order which itself is ‘too busy’ with its internal as well as external problems to get involved into Nepal. Moreover the situation in Nepal is very well known and understood among the people of the world and in case there is any armed intervention the genuine people of the world will come forward in solidarity against it.

The reason to cement the achievement is a revisionist cry. Nepal situation is all together a different phenomena then that of Russia and China. While Russian proletariat survived the armed intervention of the major imperialist powers during their state’s infancy, china on the other hand did not only refute the imperialist threat but also fought the threat coming from the ‘Communist USSR’.

We should also remember that while initiating the people’s war CPN (Maoist) never set a deadline for the struggle but it up roared the continuous till- the- last-breath- struggle. Then, suddenly for few Comrades, why the world order became so very important. Is it really difficult to survive or the subjective analysis of the Comrades wrong? We marched on the revolutionary path at the time the world proletariat movement was witnessing the ‘end of the ideology and History’ and the Maoist movement of Peru got a major setback.

‘In war (revolutionary) people are decisive, not weapons’, said Mao. The unshakable trust on the masses of the people is important than trusting bourgeoisie’s superiority over weapon. We should not turn off from the masses rather become one with them. Masses will provide us with the spirit and confidence to overcome our subjective fear. No matter how long will it be but we will overcome. We will win.

The Taliban is an example for us to understand the real ‘power’ of the imperialism. The Taliban is regressively fighting the US imperialism. In this long war it is not the US but the Taliban is winning. Imperialism now wants to negotiate as they negotiated in Vietnam, Korea and other countries.

Mao famously described that imperialism is a paper tiger. Till we fear it, it tries to eat us. The time we stand against it, it back steps. Let’s try to see imperialism in this way. Let’s not succumb to its pressure just for the sake of political power. Let’s not surrender.

Communists of the world can easily see what exactly is going on in Nepal. Some comrades have clearly, might be innocently, taken a wrong turn. They have started to speak more often about the uselessness of advancing the struggle for the sake of their ‘personal achievement’ as they claim the joint dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

In the debate two questions have become prominent. The question of PLA integration and the question of removal of ‘tag’.

First come first. We believe that the question of PLA’s integration is not only important but necessary. The PLA is not a bunch of beggars begging for the livelihood but they are a group of high- spirited comrades who till recently not only frightened the ‘mighty king’ but the ‘all powerful’ imperialism. They fought and shed their blood for people. Now, under the pressure from the losers, ‘comrades’ are compromising with our PLA. Why not PLA or Maoists demand Nepal army to disarm! People of Nepal do not need army who lost to save them but winners. But never Comrades raised this question. Secondly in case or any how the opposition agrees to integrate the PLA completely then again what purpose it will serve if the political line is incorrect. To integrate is also to dissolve it, to auction it. Then what is the solution? The real solution would be to keep the PLA intact under the party leadership and if there is any need of one army the old army should be dissolved at once.

The second question is of ‘tag’. In this question the party seems to be divided again. We believe that Maoist is not just a tag. It’s an ideology and till the time dictatorship of the proletariat is not achieved tag is essential. The removal of the tag for the sake of unity with some party is a complete surrender. The question also leads when we say that we practice M-L-M science to resolve the contradiction between the world proletariat and imperialism. And when it is an established proletariat philosophy that Maoism is the Marxism of this age then the question of tag becomes more prominent.

Criticism of Criticism: There are two types of criticism. A positive criticism to point out errors and giving a person or a party a chance to correct itself. The other form of criticism is to negate the person or the party. This is a negative and bourgeois criticism. In bourgeois kind of criticism people or parties are criticized to negate them, destroy them and to make hegemony over them. Hence in the debate there are few critique of this kind participating. Some ‘comrades’ did not criticize on time.

They knew that the things were going into wrong direction but believing it to be profitable for their personal gains never spoke out. Now after seeing that they did not get their share they have become ‘revolutionaries’ . This types of critiques are more dangerous. To get the essence of their words we should always apply Lenin’s definition of a real Marxist. The people who are talking about class struggle, integration of the PLA, strengthen of the Communes, Socialism or importance of the tag are not real Communist. Only those are true who defend the line of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Pragmatism- Revisionism in disguise: To talk about ‘practical reality’ and to forget the dictatorship is dangerous. In the name of pragmatic approach the dictatorship of the proletariat can not be compromised. Although in this two and half years of peace process politics, which is defined as a preparation for the people’s revolt to seize the power, some important things have been achieved. Nevertheless the important task is yet to be accomplished. And in this very time a correct line is not taken then these achievements will also be lost. It is an established Philosophy that becoming too pragmatic is harmful. It is a betrayal.

We should understand that revolution does not just depend on practical situation instead on the basis of necessity. It is human beings who consciously participate in revolution. They are not completely slave of the situation, they control and change it. Why it is not practical to seize power through force? Is India that bigger threat or the US an almighty god? No they are not. Not even China. They all are paper tigers.

India is unable to solve its internal conflicts and the US is entrapped in the vicious cycle of wars with Iraq and Afghanistan which it itself has created. They are too busy to intervene for a long war. Our basic aim should be to capture the power and then engage, if necessary, these powers in a long war as to weaken their economy and paving way for their proletariats to revolt. This is a real Internationalism.

In lieu of conclusion we would like to speak that the line that suggests ‘cementing’ of the present achievements is betraying the proletariat spirit. It is deliberately ignoring the fact that no where in the world communists got victory after developing or helping to develop capitalism. Same was the rhetoric of Mensheviks who said Russia was not mature enough for the proletariat dictatorship and thus bourgeois was to take power. Russian Mensheviks ended taking power in conjunction with bourgeoisie in the provisional government and this stream of Nepal’s Maoist party wants to exercise power with bourgeois as they claim the ‘joint dictatorship of feudal comprador bourgeoisie (under the disguise of nationalist) and the proletariat’. The important task today is not to cement but to weaken the capitalist system from the very beginning.

To believe in any kind of reform under the capitalist system is betraying us. To quote Lenin:

It is the greatest delusion, the greatest self deception, and a deception of the people, to attempt by means of this (bourgeoisie) state apparatus to carry out such reform as the abolition of landed estates without compensation, of the grain monopoly etc. This apparatus… is absolutely incapable of carrying out reform which would even seriously curtail or limit the rights of ‘sacred private property’, much less abolish those rights.

If necessary steps are not consider towards the dictatorship of the proletariat then CPN (M)’s few comrades’ experiments in Nepal will more or less have a disastrous faith.

Let us end this polemic with the beautiful words of great Mao:

The roc wings fanwise,
Soaring ninety thousand li
And rousing a raging cyclone,
The blue sky on his back, he looks down
To survey men’s world with its towns and cities.
Gunfire licks the heavens,
Shells pit the earth.
A sparrow in his bush is scared stiff.
“This is one hell of a mess!
O, I want to flit and fly away.”
“Where, may I ask?”
The sparrow replies,
“To a jewelled palace in elfland’s hills.
Don’t you know a triple pact was signed
Under the bright autumn moon two years ago?
There’ll be plenty to eat,
Potatoes piping hot
With beef thrown in.”
“Stop your windy nonsense!
Look you, the world is being turned upside down

Source Maoist List


Anonymous said...

Nepal CA election results reflect the aspiration of general people.They want revolutionary changes.And CPN(M) must fulfil their expectations. Their sustainability in power also depends on that.

The Maoist party is leading a coalition government. So, some tactical copromises may be necessary. But compromises alone can not accomplish a revolution. Hence radical steps must be taken firmly. They should move forward towards People's Republic. And ultimate goal must be set-socialist democracy.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing new in this polemic. It is very similar to what has been claimed by the Maoist-Third Worldist comrades have several times since the SP agreement. It has similarities with the statement that the CP of India (Maoist) made. In the case of the CP India (Maoist), they did not come forward to say that the road of the CPN (Maoist) was decidedly revisionist. I do not think there is anything new here.