Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Line Struggle in the International Communist Movement by Indra Mohan Sigdel "Basanta"

First published on Next Front

The world communist movement has until today passed by 162 years after the Communist Manifesto was published in 1848. Detailed account of 162 years’ long history of the communist parties all over the world will suffice to compiling a few big volumes. It is very difficult to condense such a huge subject in a two or three page article. So, centring mainly on the questions like, what does a two-line struggle mean in a communist party, where and how has been its central expression in the history of the world communist movement, a brief discussion will be carried out in this article. And, an effort will be made to uncover the content of the ongoing two-line struggle in our party and justify why it is not different in its content from the two-line struggles carried out in the international communist movement until today.

Two-line struggle is an ideological and political struggle, which takes place between a Marxist line and a non-Marxist i.e. a bourgeois line, in a communist party. In other words, the two-line struggle, in its essence, is a struggle between two paths in which one strives to grasp Marxism firmly aiming at going along the path of establishing communism, the world over, and other defines Marxism as to agree with immediate need for partial reform in the status quo. Class struggle exists till the classes exist in a society and it is reflected in the ideological struggle of the communist party. It is the life of a communist party. The philosophical base of a communist party is Marxism. And, Marxism is developmental, now it is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

There are a lot of communist parties in a country and all of them claim to be a genuine Marxist. In our country too, a huge number of communist parties exist today. One should be clear on whether one is a Marxist or not and what is its criterion to be a Marxist notwithstanding its claim to be so. Marxism is a comprehensive whole, and it has three component parts. First one is the philosophy; it is dialectical and historical materialism. The second one is the scientific socialism and third is the political economy. Marxist philosophy provides ideological leadership to the proletarian revolution. Scientific socialism is such a transitional political system that leads the entire process of transformation from capitalism into communism. Likewise, Marxist political economy urges to establish socialised mode of production in place of the capitalist one so that it makes every worker the owner of his labour. These are the fundamental questions of Marxism. To deviate from any one of these aspects is to follow the path of reformism. For a reformist, it is easy to attack on methodology but it is not equally easy to attack on principle. It does not mean that bourgeois representatives do not attack upon Marxist philosophy. Yet, the revisionists mainly attack upon the violent struggle, which plays a midwife role to establish socialist system, and the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is necessary to defend and develop it.

Lenin, in his important thesis on State and Revolution, writes, “It is often said and written that the main point in Marx’s theory is the class struggle. But this is wrong. And this wrong notion very often results in an opportunist distortion of Marxism and its falsification in a spirit acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the theory of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and, generally speaking, it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognize only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes 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.” Although the two-line struggle in the international communist movement has been manifested in different forms, but in the final analysis, it is centred on the question of whether to go forward along the path of continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat or follow the path of class reconciliation.

Apart from the revisionist attack upon the dictatorship of the proletariat, we find rigorous attacks upon two other components of Marxism too. On unity and struggle of opposites, Marxism regards that struggle is absolute and unity is relative. But, the revisionists have been attacking upon this notion. At the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a Chinese intellectual Yang Hsien Chen had brought forward an eclectic concept of ‘two combines into one’ as opposed to the dialectical concept of one divides into two. It stands against the dialectical materialist concept that the unity between two opposites is relative and the struggle between two opposites is absolute. The Communist Party of China led by Mao strongly opposed it. He argued that it was the path of class collaboration in place of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, the principle that regarded the unity between two opposites is absolute and the struggle is relative was the ideological root behind the counter-revolution in China.

When we see back, we find this very struggle to have taken place in the Nepalese communist movement too. In the Unity Congress held in 1992, Ruplal Viswakarma had advocated that the unity is absolute and struggle is relative. Where did that understanding make him reach today is clear to all. As his legacy, the very understanding of our leadership who envisages that the liberation of Nepal and Nepalese people lies in the fusion of materialism and idealism has now made him reach to disarming the PLA by handing over containers’ keys to the reaction. In addition to that the Maoist Prime Minister has now ordered the police administration to return land to the landlords by seizing back from the landless and poor peasants who had occupied it with the strength of PLA when people’s war was advancing. It will not be a surprise even if our leadership, who opines today to declare ‘martyrs’ to those people who were killed from both sides at the time of war, alleges ‘criminal’ tomorrow to those disciplined and revolutionary comrades to whom he had ordered to take action against class enemies yesterday. An idea that we should work friendly with Indian ruling classes to defend national sovereignty of Nepal is becoming dominant in our party. It is national capitulationism. All this is an expression of class collaboration and its ideological base is eclecticism. The two-line struggle, which is going on in our party, is at its climax today.

Use of force plays a midwife role to transfer the state power from one class to another. This is the first point that Marx has taught us in how to seize power. The second point is that a transitional system, which exists for a long time in between capitalism and communism, is socialism and it is expressed in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But the revisionists all over the world have been attacking upon this very essence of Marxism. The target of Kautsky to Bernstein and Khrushchev to Teng Hsiao Ping had been to attack on the theory of violent revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the revisionists today have been doing the same. Khrushchev had attacked upon the use of force in the name of peaceful transition and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the name of the state of the whole people. During the great debate in 70s, Mao not only struggled ideologically against Khrushchevite revisionism but also declared that class struggle exists all through the period of socialism. In this very context, Mao pointed out that, in order to stop the bourgeois agents from seizing power, the proletariat should continue revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat all through the period of socialism. It is known as the theory of continued revolution.

Like the revisionists of other countries, revisionists from Nepal too have been opposing the midwife role of violence to make revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat as well. In the history of the communist movement in Nepal, the revisionism had formally originated from the Manmohan’s appeal in 1957 to the King in which he said that he would propagate socialism peacefully. The revolutionary class struggle that started in the form of Jhapa Rebellion in 1972 has now landed at multiparty democracy after the erstwhile CPN (ML) formally adopted the Khrushchevite revisionist line of peaceful transition as their line. Nepalese people have witnessed that the great people’s war, initiated from 1 February 1996, has brought about far-reaching changes in the Nepalese society. But, the Nepalese people do not have now people’s power that the 10 years long people’s war had established. People’s governments have been dissolved. Weapons which were collected by the sacrifice of tens of thousands of valiant sons and daughters of Nepalese people have been stored in the containers and their keys have now reached into the hands of reactionaries. The PLA claimed to have built up to prevent counter-revolution and make the Nepalese people reach to communism is now at the verge of liquidation in the name of integration and rehabilitation. This has made the Nepalese people reach such a situation at which Mao said “without army people have nothing”. It is not merely a technical issue related with the container’s key but a theoretical one. It shows how the role of PLA, which is mandatory to seize power by the proletariat and continue revolution under its dictatorship, is being denied. It is outright class capitulationism.

The two-line struggle inside the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is now centred on whether to maintain PLA with arms and integrate them to form a national army or recruit in the forest guard by disarming them, fight to establish new democracy and socialism through people’s federal republic and fight for national independence or kneel down before Indian expansionism. Our leadership has surrendered before the enemy by disarming PLA and has stood against the Paris height CC meeting document. In that very document it is said, “Army integration and rehabilitation agenda should be taken up simultaneously. We must fully remain cautious towards the reactionary conspiracy that may be hatched to weaken and disarm our party by integrating and rehabilitating PLA before the constitution has been written.” In this light, though different in form, the content of two-line struggle which is going on in our party now is not different than the struggle between Marxism and revisionism that had taken place in the international communist movement in the past.

The economic programme of the communist revolutionaries is to bring to an end the private ownership upon the means of production and establish it its place the socialised relation of production. It resolves the contradiction between capital and labour in the capitalist society. However, the bourgeois agents, who penetrate into a communist party, attack upon the socialist mode of production and emphasise on the development of productive forces. The eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China had stressed on the need to develop productive force by saying that the contradiction between augmenting material necessity of the people and lagging productive force was the principal contradiction in the then China. Teng Hsiao Peng’s saying, “No matter the cat is white or back till it catches the rat”, elucidates that his emphasis was on the capitalist development. At the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the revolutionaries in China had taken up a policy of prioritising socialised production relation based on the slogan of “Grasp revolution, promote production.”

Under the leadership of the proletariat the Nepalese people have been participating in big mass movements and the ten year’s great people’s war from 1996 to 2006 with a glaring example of sacrifice. In this process, the centralised feudal monarchy, which had ruled Nepal for 240 years, has ended. Some of the leaders of our party, who consider it as the completion of political revolution, have talked of going forward to economic transformation. It is utterly wrong. Although the monarchy has been brought to an end, Nepal is still a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. The economic revolution, which is said to be carried out upon this type of socio-economic base, is the growth of comprador and bureaucratic capitalism not of national capitalism. This kind of economic development cannot do anything other than fattening a handful of comprador bourgeoisie and impoverish the country and the entire people. Therefore, the ongoing two-line struggle in our party is centred on whether to struggle for establishing people’s federal republic to pave the way forward to develop national capital and thereby lay a foundation of the socialist economy or bring into play the finance capital from the imperialist countries in the status quo and in so doing fatten the comprador bourgeoisie.

The aforesaid analysis clarifies that two-line struggle goes on continuously in a communist party on the contents of Marxist philosophy, scientific socialism and political economy. It is equally true for our party also. In order to strengthen the socialist economic base, the proletarian power continues revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat on the basis of Marxist outlook and this process paves the way forward to communism. The revisionists attack sometimes upon content of the Marxist philosophy, sometimes upon the dictatorship of the proletariat and sometimes upon the essence of socialist economy. Also the ongoing two-line struggle in our party is not far from this. In order to defeat the right revisionism and unite party on the ideological basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, a Maoist revolutionary must stand in favour of dialectical and historical materialism, continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist economy. This is the historical task of every revolutionary in Nepal to accomplish new democratic revolution and pave the way forward to socialism.

September 25, 2011

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