Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Path of Revolution for the Colonies and Semi-Colonies - The New Democratic Revolution

Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this text prepared by Indian comrades on the Path to Revolution for Colonies and Semi Colonies for a discussion on the New Democratic Revolution in view of current Global developments especially the upsurge of peoples struggle in the Arab World..

Immediately after the establishment of the Chinese Peoples’ Republic the international communist movement gave open recognition to the significance of the Chinese path of revolution, for the colonies and semi-colonies. In the 27 January, 1950, editorial of For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, the organ of the Cominform, it was stated, “The path taken by the Chinese people… is the path that should be taken by the people of many colonial and dependent countries in their struggle for national independence and people’s democracy.

“The experience of the victorious national-liberation struggle of the Chinese people teaches that the working class must unite with all classes, parties, groups and organisations willing to fight the imperialists and their hirelings and to form a broad, nation-wide united front, headed by the working class and its vanguard—the communist party…

“A decisive condition for the victorious outcome of the national-liberation struggle is the formation, when the necessary internal conditions allow for it, of people’s liberation armies under the leadership of the communist party.”

Thus, the universal applicability of Marxist-Leninist theory developed by Mao—i.e. Mao Tse-tung Thought—was recognised, and began to become the guideline for genuine revolutionaries throughout the world, particularly in the colonies and semi-colonies.

Mao’s formulation of the Chinese Path of Revolution had been developed in his numerous writings during the advance of the Revolution. Lenin had already pointed out that in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution it was the proletariat and not the bourgeoisie that would lead the bourgeois democratic revolution. Mao in his work On New Democracy, carrying this understanding ahead, further pointed out that in this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, no longer comes within the old category of the bourgeois-democratic world revolution, but within a new category; it is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist, world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian-socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary front of world capitalism; they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism. Thus, in order to differentiate from the old bourgeois democratic revolution, he called the revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies a New Democratic Revolution. On this basis he elaborated the politics, economy and culture of New Democracy.

Mao also developed on the understanding of the united front that Lenin and Stalin had given. He showed that the bourgeoisie in the colonies and semi-colonies was divided into two parts – the comprador bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The comprador bourgeoisie, who depended on imperialism for its existence and growth, was always an enemy of the revolution. The national bourgeoisie was a vacillating ally who would sometimes help the revolution and sometimes join the enemies. Thus the united front under the leadership of the proletariat would consist of a four class alliance – the proletariat, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The enemies of the revolution were imperialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and the landlords.

According to Mao the revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies would not follow the path of insurrection followed by the Russian Revolution where the main cities were captured first and then control taken over the countryside. He showed the Chinese path of protracted people’s war which involved the areawise seizure of power in the countryside, the building of guerrilla zones and base areas and the final encircling and capturing of the cities. To achieve this Mao laid down the military principles of revolutionary war. He taught how to build up the Red Army, which was an absolutely necessary weapon of the revolution. Starting from guerrilla warfare and then moving to mobile warfare and finally to positional warfare, Mao showed the way how a small force can rely on the vast masses to build up the forces needed to defeat a formidable enemy.

Finally, basing himself on the Marxist-Leninist understanding of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat, Mao elaborated the theory regarding the form of the state in the revolutions in the colonial countries. On the basis of the theory of New Democracy, he formulated the understanding of the new- democratic republic.

This new-democratic republic he said would be different from the old European-American form of capitalist republic under bourgeois dictatorship which is the old democratic form and already out of date. On the other hand, it would also be different from the socialist republic of the Soviet type under the dictatorship of the proletariat. For a certain historical period, this form too was not suitable for the revolutions in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. During this period, therefore, a third form of state was necessary to be adopted in the revolutions of all colonial and semi-colonial countries, namely, the new-democratic republic under the joint dictatorship of several anti-imperialist classes. Since this form suits a certain historical period it is therefore transitional. Nevertheless, according to Mao, it is a form that is necessary and cannot be dispensed with.

This state was established after the victory of the Chinese Revolution in the form of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship. Mao explained the essence of the people’s democratic dictatorship as the combination of two aspects – democracy for the people and dictatorship over the reactionaries. The people are the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. These classes, led by the working class and the Communist Party, unite to form their own state and elect their own government; they enforce their dictatorship over the running dogs of imperialism—the landlord class and bureaucrat-bourgeoisie, as well as the representatives of those classes.

Mao further pointed out that the Communist Party had to lead the process of transformation of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship into a Socialist State. The people’s democratic dictatorship, led by the proletariat and based on the worker-peasant alliance, required that the Communist Party should unite the entire working class, the entire peasantry and the broad masses of revolutionary intellectuals; these are the leading and basic forces of the dictatorship. Without this unity, the dictatorship cannot be consolidated. It is also required that the Party unite with as many as possible of the representatives of the urban petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie who were ready to co-operate and with their intellectuals and political groups. This was necessary to isolate the counter-revolutionary forces. If this were done it would be possible, after the victory of the revolution, to speedily restore and develop production, cope with foreign imperialism, steadily transform a backward semi-colonial agricultural economy into an industrial country and build up a socialist state.


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