Tuesday, June 18, 2019
FROM JAMES CORBETT IN JAPAN
Posted by nickglais on 6/18/2019 06:00:00 AM
Monday, June 17, 2019
THE WAR FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE IS A PEOPLE'S WAR
THE UK/USA EXTRADITION TREATY IS TREASON AGAINST THE PEOPLE
ANNIE MACHON COVERS NEW CONSOLIDATION OF ANTI WHISTLE BLOWER LAWS IN UK - FROM 2 YEARS TO 14 YEARS
Posted by nickglais on 6/17/2019 04:32:00 AM
Democracy and Class Struggle welcome this contribution from J Moufawad Paul on the Red Brigades in Italy - we would like to point out some historical continuity the New Italian Communist Party an advocate or PPW In Italy had some historical ideological roots in the Red Brigades.
June 14, 2019'
Having recently reread Strike One To Educate One Hundred, recently republished by Kersplebedeb, and now that I'm reading a draft of 1978: A New Stage in the Class War (a collection of Red Brigades documents) that will be published by the same press very soon, I'm again stricken by the fact that the Red Brigades (BR) were the primary revolutionary force in Italy in the 1970s-80s.
Unlike the Red Army Faction (RAF) and other similar urban guerrilla groups of that period, the BR was embedded in the proletariat and was able to launch something akin to a People's War in the metropoles that was not focoist.
What is striking about this fact––the acknowledgment of which is inescapable when the documentation of that period is studied––is that the contemporary left in North America has an obsession with a particular articulation of Marxism in that period of Italian history that is not the politics of the BR and is largely ignorant of this politics.
That is, for the past two or three decades the theory and practice of Italy's Autonomia Operaia (often called "autonomist Marxism") has been treated as more significant than it actually was in the space and time it emerged.
What is forgotten, or unknown to begin with, is that the Autonomia Operaia (AO) was the result of a split in a previous organization, Potere Operaio, and that it was the rightist line of this split led by the likes of Toni Negri.
The rest of Potere Operaio, when this split occurred, ended up joining the Red Brigades. Meanwhile AO went on to embrace economism while the vanguard of the proletarian movement pursued armed struggle and proved that AO were in fact a minoritarian trend, though more worker-centric than Lotta Continua––the spontaneist trend––in the workers movement of the time.
So why is it that AO and theory generated by them are more fascinating and exciting for the contemporary first world left than the theory and practice of the BR? Obviously it cannot be because the BR failed to win its People's War since the AO also failed in its objectives.
Moreover, the latter did nothing much beyond an immediate economism, critiqued by the BR, and was only perceived as a threat to the state because of the actions of the BR and other guerrilla groups active in Italy at the time.
The truth is that what we now call "autonomist Marxism" is a safer and easier Marxism than the revolutionary communism that Marxist theory requires of us.
Dressed up in fancy language about class war it only has to worry about the ways in which class war is articulated in immediate economic struggle, reducing the political and strategic question to this level. We don't have to learn any important lessons from the AO except that its theoretical perspective accomplishes nothing, which is not what those who have been recycling their theory since the late 1990s have been willing to learn.
Which is why it's not surprising that the AO's original worker-centric practice (so worker-centric that it earned the name Operaio––it was indeed "workerist") drifted away from its working-class roots and over the decades following the Years of Lead found a place in academia. Because it is quite convenient to rely on the autonomy of workers struggles, and not have to worry about building a party (assumed to deform these struggles), if you want to uphold class struggle as an academic Marxist without having to do anything about this class struggle beyond supporting the multiple initiatives of the exploited and oppressed masses, writing about them, and hoping that (maybe with some educational engagement) these autonomous struggles would blossom into a socialist process.
The fact that the progenitors of this theory came out of the rightist line of the split in Potere Operaio is either unknown or ignored. The fact that this workerist tendency was based on the rejection of building a cadre organization, of refusing to accept that armed struggle was––as the first generation of the BR put it before this split––the principle question of Italian politics at the time, is something contemporary fans of the Italian theorists associated with the "autonomist Marxist" trend don't seem to be aware of.
The reality was that the politics of the AO was conservative in practice but masqueraded, in theory, as being anti-conservative because of its eclectic rejection of party-centric "dogmatism". And this is precisely why it remains popular now in the imperialist metropoles: in form it seems to be an advanced theoretical perspective––a break from stodgy Leninism––but in practice it is tired and ineffective. The perfect Marxism for those who want to avoid the actual questions presented by the necessity of making revolution.
I say all this, of course, while being fully aware that the popularization of the theoretical perspective of the AO was my gateway drug from anarchism to revolutionary communism. I am happy to admit this and I won't deny that I have a soft spot for "autonomist Marxism" because it is what helped me break from my anarchist dogmatism.
At the same time, however, I recognize that the intermediate space it occupies between anarchism and communism is insufficient. Its more modern articulations, in the wake of the anti-globalization movement, were useful for pointing activists such as myself back to Marxism but, beyond that, would result in an arrested development of political consciousness if we refused to really think what Marxism implied. Which is Leninism and then Maoism.
And the BR, which was in fact more politically sophisticated and active than the AO in the 1970s and 1980s, points towards this rigorous thinking of Marxism's development as a revolutionary science.
It actually tried to make communism, understood the requirements of its conjuncture, and attempted a People's War upon "the heart of the state", when the workerist and spontaneist trends could do very little, the classical revisionist trends was absorbed by this state, and the Trostkyite trend was mimicking counter-insurgency propaganda by attacking the armed struggle.
The eventual failure of the BR, then, needs to be understood in this context rather than an indictment of revolutionary communism. After all, the workerist trend of Autonomia Operaia and the spontaneous trend of Lotta Continua, also failed because they never produced the same challenge to the state that the BR succeeded in making. (The revisionist PCI and the Trotskyites don't count because they both supported the state's hegemony at the time.)
But the BR went further than these other Italian "New Left" trends, forcing the entire state to deal with its People's War and calling the state's hegemony into question.
We need to learn from the successes and failures of these attempts to make revolution in the imperialist metropoles; they are more instructive than theoretical tendencies that did not attempt revolution which is why these non-revolutionary tendencies are popularized.
As for the BR's defeat, and what we can learn from it when it comes to the question of making revolution, this only makes sense if we understand that trends such as those represented by the AO were never in the running to be victorious in the first place. These non-revolutionary trends were defeated from the get-go because they never challenged the state.
The BR did challenge the state, though, while being simultaneously embedded in the proletariat and pursuing a People's War. So what went wrong? I think the Italian Maoist groups––the PCI(Maoist) and nPCI––probably have the best assessment of that period, and I'm interested in reading their analysis. But from what is available in English documentation, from those sources that aren't tainted by counter-insurgency propaganda, the problem seems to be the BR's approach to the party and People's War.
That is, they attempted to build the Fighting Communist Party through People's War rather than having a prior party formation already established to direct the People's War.
For those of those familiar with the Communist Party of Peru's notion of the "militarization of the party" this is even one step back from that notion since it seems to be a "militarizaton of the pre-party formation".
By the 1980s, perhaps due to this lack of a pre-established party that could control the gun––but instead a process of the gun seeking to discover the party––different columns of the BR would split, thus rendering them more vulnerable to the state's counter-revolution.
Drawing such lessons from their defeat, though, is because they possess a revolutionary legacy. And we should seek to learn more from those defeated movements that pursued revolution than those movements that were never defeated because they never tried.
Posted by nickglais on 6/17/2019 01:46:00 AM
Sunday, June 16, 2019
If the Editor of Democracy and Class Struggle can learn from these young comrades - then I am sure many of our readers can- our readers have now passed three million.
Posted by nickglais on 6/16/2019 12:36:00 PM
Contradictions in China and Hong Kong - do not fall for simplistic western narratives of events
Posted by nickglais on 6/16/2019 06:58:00 AM
Posted by nickglais on 6/16/2019 12:34:00 AM
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019
Posted by nickglais on 6/14/2019 11:19:00 PM
Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur, says the alarming rise of poverty in the UK is deliberate--and so too in the US
Posted by nickglais on 6/14/2019 09:05:00 AM
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Posted by nickglais on 6/13/2019 11:43:00 PM
Cruise Missle Strike on Saudi Airport - On June 12, the Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) launched a cruise missile at Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia. The movement said that the missile had successfully hit the airport, which has a large military part to it.
Posted by nickglais on 6/13/2019 10:30:00 AM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Monday, June 10, 2019
Friday, June 7, 2019
Follow-up Note: On the Question of Protracted People’s War in Industrial Capitalist Countries by Jose Maria Sison
Follow-up Note: On the Question of Protracted People’s War
in Industrial Capitalist Countries
By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Waging protracted people’s war in any industrial capitalist country is not a matter of dogmatically asserting it or putting every part of my article out of its clear context.
For many decades already, I have heard of the notion or threat to wage a protracted people’s war in imperialist countries but to this day I have not seen any Maoist party proclaiming and actually starting it in any imperialist country.
In fact, I am not aware of any Maoist party in an industrially developed capitalist country strong enough to lead any armed revolution with the participation of any sizable proletarian masses in the industrial and service sectors of the economy. Nowhere in the industrial capitalist countries is there any Maoist party as formidable as the Bolshevik party in the trade unions and workers’ cooperatives in the run up to the October revolution of 1917.
There is no protracted people’s war of any kind going on in any industrial capitalist country. What has been protracted is merely idle talk or hot air about the possibility of waging protracted people’s war. No serious preparations for it are being made. There can never be such a people’s war without preparations for a certain period of time, depending on the subjective factors and the objective conditions. It will take at least some years to prepare and to realize the start of such armed revolution of the people.
A people’s war of whatever duration and scale is possible in the industrial capitalist country country only after a period of preparations of ideological work, political education and mass work, party and mass organizing, clandestine accumulation of arms, politico-military training and Bolshevik style penetration of the reactionary armed forces. Such preparations or suggestions thereof should not be disdained or begrudged.
These preparations ought to take advantage of the imperialist crises and wars, splits among the imperialist powers, violent contradictions among reactionary factions in the imperialist countries, the revolutionary advances being made in the underdeveloped countries, the desire of the proletariat and the people for revolutionary change and the strength of the revolutionary party to lead the armed revolution of the people in their millions.
It is only a “Left” opportunist, a fake Maoist or even an agent provocateur who has disdain for the lasting admonition of the Communist Manifesto to win the battle for democracy against the bourgeois class dictatorship and who clamors for proclaiming and starting a people’s war in an industrial capitalist country without the necessary preparations of the subjective forces and the favorable objective conditions that I have mentioned.
Winning the battle for democracy does not mean merely competing with the bourgeoisie within the confines of its class dictatorship but fighting in every possible and necessary way the attempt of the monopoly bourgeoisie to misrepresent itself as the center of moderation and to use reformism or social democracy and fascism as its two arms to stave off the proletarian revolution by debilitating or destroying it.
In any kind of country, the serious Maoist party makes concrete plans and preparations for armed revolution. The Filipino proletarian revolutionaries had to study the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, put forward the general line of people’s democratic revolution and the strategic line of protracted people’s war, conduct social investigation and mass work in the effort to develop the party, the people’s army and the united front as the weapons of the people’s revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.
To prepare for the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968 and the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969, the Filipino proletarian revolutionaries used a full decade of ideological, political and organizational work and some five years of politico-military training and linking up with remnants of the old people’s army whose main force had been decimated from 1950 to 1952.
Communists proclaim their ideological position and political program and never conceal their ultimate goal of overthrowing the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and replacing it with that of the proletariat. But they are smart enough to use both the open and legal as well as the clandestine and nonlegal forms of struggle and methods of developing the revolutionary mass movement towards the proletarian-socialist revolution. And they are prudent enough not to go into the pitfalls of “Left” and Right opportunist, the fake Maoist or the Agent.
Posted by nickglais on 6/07/2019 05:48:00 AM
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Posted by nickglais on 6/06/2019 12:43:00 PM
Defend and apply the universality of Protracted People’s War!
June 6, 2019
By Ard Kinera, June 6th 2019
What is the path of revolution in imperialist countries? This is a burning question for every revolutionary in this part of the world, in Western fortresses of imperialism. It is a question that for a 100 years have been answered incorrectly by the overwhelming majority of self proclaimed revolutionaries in Europe.
Maoism puts forward the universality of People’s War strategy, puts this forward as the sole military strategy of the international proletariat, applicable in each and every country applied concretely in accordance to the different concrete conditions. But some people are stubbornly denying this, and cling to the old strategy of protracted legal struggle until conditions are “ripe for revolution” due to a cluster of crises and the revolutionaries accumulating overwhelming forces against the old capitalist state, making them able to sweep it away in some kind of blitz war.
This is a strategy that has failed in practice while People’s War has been victorious. The theory of accumulation of forces is more than ready for the dustbin of history. But still, some are still attracted to the old, like flies are attracted to garbage.
Sisons sinister attack on the strategy of People’s War
The founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines has again spoken out against the universality of Protracted People’s War (PPW) in a text dated 5th of June 2019:
On the Question of People’s War in Industrial Capitalist Countries by Jose Maria Sison
“I will deal with the notion of some people that Mao’s theory of protracted people’s war is universally valid and applicable.”
This is a sinister way of putting the question. Is this theory just a “notion”? Who are “some people”? For most Maoists, it is well known that when Maoism was synthesised for the very first time, it was done by Chairman Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru. This was finalized by the Party in 1982 in the midst of People’s War. In 1988 the Party adopted an updated document explaining the Ideology, “On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism”, where they state:
“People’s war is the military theory of the international proletariat; people’s war sums up for the first time, in a systematic and allencompassing way, the theoretical and practical experience of the struggles, military actions and wars waged by the proletariat as well as the people’s long experience in waging armed struggle, especially the war waged by the Chinese peasants. It is because of Chairman Mao that the class has a military theory; however, there is much confusion and misunderstanding around this issue. (…) A key and decisive question in understanding the universality of people’s war is understanding its universal validity and consequently applicability, taking into account the different types of revolutions and the specific conditions of each revolution. To understand this key question it is helpful to keep in mind the fact that since the Petrograd insurrection this model has not been repeated, and to consider the antifascist resistance and guerrilla wars in Europe during World War II, as well as the armed struggles being waged in Europe today, and to see that in the end, the October Revolution was not only an insurrection but a revolutionary war that lasted several years. Consequently, in the imperialist countries the revolution can only be conceived of as revolutionary war and today this can only mean people’s war.”
Why is the Communist Party of Peru, and other parties and organizations that take up the same view, chief and foremost among these the Maoist Parties and Organizations of Latin-America, referred to by Sison as “some people”? The names of the Parties and Organizations today, and the line they put forward, can be read in statement after statement. They should be well known by Sison. They are serious and dedicated Parties that have shed blood for the revolution. But Sison talks about the “notion” of “some people”. There cannot be any other explanation than Sison choosing the most cowardly way of struggle, not even recognizing his opponent as worthy of a name, and thus not having to answer what they actually have written. There is no references to documents, just to “notions”.
The whole of Sison’s text is written in a way as if the theory of the university of PPW was never even formulated. His text is written as if his objections against it have never even been answered, even though every single one was answered a long time ago, in the very act of synthesising Maoism. This method of Sison is quite shameful.
On the People’s War in urbanized versus mainly rural countries
His text begins with the following paragraph:
“I have been asked many times by avowed proletarian revolutionaries whether protracted people’s war as carried out by Mao in China can be successfully waged in capitalist countries where the industrial proletariat has become the majority class and the peasantry has become a minority class.”
We must ask ourselves, what countries is Sison speaking of? There is no country in Europe or North America at least, where the industrial proletariat is the majority. The proletariat is the largest class in the world, but there are large segments in it, especially in the so called “industrialized countries”, that are employed in public or private services. By far, they outnumber the industrial proletarians in most imperialist countries. This is not a key question of the text, but it shows its lack of quality and precision.
Also, we would claim that the most important defining characteristic of the countries he must be referring to is not “industrialized” but “imperialist”. Many third world countries, even with very large rural populations could be defined as more “industrialized” today, than many imperialist countries. Most industrial products in the world are produced in the oppressed countries.
“In industrial capitalist countries, the proletarian revolutionaries cannot begin the revolutionary war with a small and weak people’s army in the countryside and hope to use the wide space and indefinite time in the countryside to sustain the war.”
Who made this the defining factor of People’s War? Not the Communist Party of Peru at least. It is crystal clear from all Maoists that adhere to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, that the path of surrounding the cities is not a universal law of PPW. This is the path in mostly rural oppressed nations of the world. The Communist Party of Peru defined the People’s War in Peru as a Unified People’s War, where the urban areas played a greater role from the beginning of the People’s War, than in China. And others have been clear that the People’s War will not be a rural peasant war in imperialist countries. This must be well known to Sison, but he acts as if it is not.
Falsehood, prejudice and opportunism
Sison writes on waging war in industrialised countries:
“As soon as that army dares to launch the first tactical offensive, it will be overwhelmed by the huge armed army and the highly unified economic, communications and transport system of the monopoly bourgeoisie.”
This is a known objection against People’s War. And it has been dealt with before. It is simply not true that an armed group must be overwhelmed by “the huge army” (!) as soon as it acts. The Red Brigades of Italy was active from 1970 up to 1988. The Red Army Faction of Germany was active from 1970 up to 1998. Japanese Red Army was active from 1971 to 2001. The Weather Underground was active in the US from 1969 to 1977. The Black Liberation Army was active in the US from 1970 to 1981. The ETA of the Basque Country was active from 1959 to 2018. To this day, there are several active armed groups in Ireland. The list goes on, with guerillas active in urban areas all over the world.
What is important is that most of these groups were not armed with the omnipotent ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. They were not led by a militarized Maoist Communist Party. As a Maoist, one would identify this as a major weakness that would hamper them in the struggle. And still, these armed groups were almost never “overwhelmed” by the Army or the reactionary state. In most cases, the groups capitulated due to loss of morale or lack of Ideology and political leadership! That is true of many of these groups. Sison’s claim, hypothetical and theoretical, is completely false. It is not rooted in reality. It is just the rotten old opportunist stance, that the enemy is almighty, sees and knows everything, and thus we have no way of fighting him.
“However, the term “people’s war” may be flexibly used to mean the necessary armed revolution by the people to overthrow the bourgeois state in an industrial capitalist country. But definitely, what ought to be protracted is the preparation for the armed revolution with the overwhelming participation of the people.”
This is a classic opportunist way of “unifying” what cannot be unified. Sison knows very well that this is not what is understood and stated when Maoists define revolution just simply as People’s War, universally applicable also in the imperialist and mainly urbanized countries. We are all in favor of being flexible in tactics, but one should not be “flexible” in Ideology. One should be, as Lenin and Mao thought, be principled in this realm. Or else, it is not Marxism but Opportunism.
Sison here states his line, which is the only line opposed to People’s War but posing as revolutionary; the line of accumulation of forces through protracted legal struggle. This was what the Communist Party of Peru challenged from the beginning. This is the line of the whole heterogenic flora of “Marxist-Leninists”, hoxhaites, trotskyites and western adherents of Mao Zedong Thought today. Protracted, very protracted, preparation by all legal means and sometime in the future, an armed revolution. It must be said again and again, that this has never happened. Not in a 100 years has this happened, even though hundreds and thousands of groups and parties adhered to this strategy. And the practice of these groups and tendencies has always been more or less identical to the practice of the openly reformist forces.
There is no qualitative difference between the work and practice of the British Socialist Workers Party, Belgian PTB, German MLPD or German Die Linke. And this is the practice hailed by Sison and supported by many of his followers, who support the revolution in the Philippines, but partake in the reformism of such parties here in Europe. The theory differs, but the practice is the same. How is this possible? It is possible because they lag behind, they lag behind the wheel of time that is constantly turning and has long time ago proved the theory of protracted accumulation to be nothing but a sham. It is possible because there is no connection between their theory of revolution and their practice of reformism and legalism. They have a goal of revolution that is totally and fundamentally alien to their life and practice.
October road or really no road at all?
“In imperialist Russia, the Bolsheviks had the foresight to sow cadres as revolutionary seeds within the Tsarist army. When the masses of troops became discontented like the people in the course of World War I, they rose up to overthrow the Tsar and then the Kerensky bourgeois government. Subsequently, they waged a successful war against the reactionaries and the foreign interventionists in the countryside of the vast Russian empire.”
On the question of Russia, the Communist Party of Peru stated in the above mentioned document:
“In the final analysis, the October Revolution was not only an insurrection but a revolutionary war that lasted for several years. Consequently, in the imperialist countries the revolution can only be conceived as a revolutionary war which today is simply people’s war.”
The armed struggle of Russia in 1917 cannot be mentioned without also bringing forward the failed revolution of 1905. This was pretext to 1917. And the war lasted to 1921, over a span of 15 years, where there was a lot of armed activity not only in 1905 and 1917. But still, we have had to wait for more than a hundred years for any Western “acumulationists” to finally accumulate enough forces, and also experiencing what Sison explain as the necessary objective conditions: “the capitalist state (…) [in] grave debilitation by its internal crisis, the crisis of the world capitalist system, involvement in an inter-capitalist or inter-imperialist war“. No wonder we have waited for a long time, and by this method one could go on forever, was it not for the fact that imperialism is doomed. These people want to do revolution by doing everything but revolution! This is a charade and an expression of intellectual bankruptcy.
Even the question of accumulation was answered by Lenin a long time ago, stating that only when they see Socialism triumph will the majority of the People finally be convinced.
“Even if the material foundation for socialism exists in capitalism, the proletariat must first defeat fascism, thus winning the battle for democracy, before socialism can triumph.”
We know this strain of thought from our homely Moscow-revisionist “CP”. It is not far from the anti-monopoly theory developed in Soviet Party Schools to sell the idea of European revisionist parties working tirelessly to build a pro-Soviet position in the Western European states, in parliament, and in allying with parts of the Social Democratic parties. It was a formula to “first secure world peace” (!) or “first establish an anti-monopoly-capitalist government”, and then after this, the socialist revolution. It is nothing other than “peaceful transition”. Even if it is masked as first winning against fascism, then armed revolution. The armed revolution will not be unfolded in this way, it has never happened. The only way to smash fascism is People’s War. And the only way to wage People’s War is waging it as a protracted war of the masses led by a militarized Maoist Communist Party, and waged by a People’s Army and a United Front.
An utter lack of knowledge on laws and possibilities in imperialist countries
“By the current constitutional and legal standards of the industrial capitalist countries that pretend to be liberal-democratic, any individual can legally acquire firearms for the purpose of sport and self-defense against criminals as well as against the potential of the state to become tyrannical and oppressive.”
Again, what countries is Sison talking about? This is by no means the situation in Europe. In most European countries there are strict gun laws, and it is far from being an option for “any individual” to acquire firearms for self-defence! By all means, there are legal possibilities in many countries and revolutionaries can take use of them. But this statement again show a gaping lack of precision in Sison’s knowledge.
“It is therefore possible to organize proletarians with firearms as sporting gun clubs, as community self-defense organizations and as voluntary security for public events and structures.”
We must disappoint Sison, if he cares to read our short text, with the fact that this is considered a criminal offence in most of Europe. And was it not illegal, we might speculate that the “huge army” Sison spoke of earlier, could choose to act as if it was, if armed proletarian gun clubs where organized in large scale by a revolutionary movement!
The theory also remind us of Trotsky’s transitional program and his advocating of Workers Militias in the factories. Neither Trotsky nor Sison has ever tried to organize such gun clubs or militias in Europe, but this is a very poor and naïve alternative to the People’s Army we need for waging People’s War. Done in the open or semi-openly and in the framework of legalism, it will be almost defenceless against state prosecution and repression. The proletariat needs its army. Militias should be formed and integrated into the army, but this is not possible inside a legalist framework of protracted legal struggle.
Is it wise or opportunist to hide our intent?
“It is wise for the revolutionary party of the proletariat not to declare publicly the intent of building a people’s army before the conditions are ripe for armed revolution.”
Again, the typical opportunist is at work. This is also something we heard many times before. So called revolutionaries saying “we should not declare our intent publically”, but who are they fooling? If this is a real intent, stated internally, it is quite hard to keep the secret from the intelligence services. At least if the Party is as loosely and legally organized as Sisons friends in some European countries. Is the purpose to hide our intent from the masses? To hide the necessity of building a People’s Army from the People themselves?
Who are to be fooled by this hidden intent? By this “wiseness”? We dare to propose, that the only ones being fooled, are the honest revolutionaries that believe the opportunists have any intent of building a People’s Army. Fooled by Sisons concessions by advocating gun clubs and political and practical exchanges with the revolutionary wars in the oppressed countries. Fooled by prestige more than content, because the content is old and in the same tune as the one played in every opportunist reformist group in the west.
The plan to dogmatically repeat what they conceive as the October path of Lenin, more than 100 years later and against an enemy that has studied insurrection and how to beat it for just as long, as some kind of surprise attack, is extremely naïve. Criminally naïve, if applied as a real strategy by a self proclaimed Communist Party.
On the question of hiding our intent, the great first teachers of Marxism, Marx and Engels, has answered this in the only Communist way already in the Communist Manifesto:
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”
Compare this daring statement with the “wise” advice of Sison of waiting for ripe conditions to declare our intent…
Also, let us note that Sison talk about proletarian revolutionaries, not Communists, and about the party of the proletariat and not the Communist Party. This is in our point of way not the most correct and clear language for this matter.
Even the imperialists understand the universality of People’s War
Let us leave Sison and listen to Dr. Thomas A. Marks, a yankee political risk consultant working in the business of counter-insurgency:
“In any discussion of insurgency, the works of Mao Tse-tung are unavoidable. His innovations resulted in “people’s war,” a formulation that lifted the asymmetric challenge from the tactical and military to the strategic and political. Mao was to irregular war what Napoleon and Clausewitz were to regular warfare.”
“To the contrary, as Mao made clear time and again, violence is integral to all phases of insurgency. It is merely used at a level appropriate to the situation to eliminate resistance and government presence so that insurgent politics can produce mass and resource mobilization.”
“The FARC case illustrates that, whether Maoist or not, insurgencies must pursue the Maoist strategic essentials as realized in operational art.”
Bourgeois intellectuals specializing on guerilla warfare and insurrection often refer to Mao in this way. His theory of People’s War is not referred to, by them, as peasant war or “encircling the cities from the countryside”. It is referred to as lifting guerilla warfare to a strategic level and synthesising the laws of irregular or asymmetric or guerilla warfare. What bourgeois experts understand, many revolutionaries fail to grasp; People’s War as synthesised by Mao Zedong is universally applicable in all countries of the world. It is the only military strategy of the Proletariat, and thus of the oppressed masses of the World.
The People’s War is an essential and integral part of Maoism
Further on, the Communist Party of Peru wrote in its International Line:
“In the face of this situation, in 1979, at the PCP’s First National Conference, President Gonzalo called upon the whole party to defend and apply Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought against the revisionist triple assault. The Party’s principled positions remained firm and unalterable. In 1980, the PCP launched the People’s War based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought. And it is with the application and development of the People’s War that the PCP has advanced further in the comprehension of Maoism as the third stage of Marxism. Hence, at the Second National Conference held in May 1982 the Party agreed that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was the third stage of Marxism. The PCP was the only party in the world in the vanguard of the defense of Maoism, assuming the task of struggling for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists of the world so that this ideology be the command and guide of the world and Peruvian revolutions.”
This is the line put forward by chairman Gonzalo and the PCP, a red line in the International Communist Movement, to struggle for the unification under Maoism. Let us emphasize the statement that Maoism was comprehensed only through the People’s War in Peru and that the PCP was the only Maoist Party in the world in 1982. This is completely true. What is important is not the word, but the content, and the content of Maoism was not clearly stated before 1982 and then only by the PCP.People’s War is an integral part of this third and higher stage of the Ideology of the Proletariat; Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism.
It is good that Sison put forward his line, even in a cowardly and mediocre way. It makes for another good opportunity to put forward the correct line of Protracted People’s War in each and every country as the only path to communism. The counter-arguments are well known to us and has been answered many times, but they are not to every revolutionary. Now, they can see for themselves, what is put forward against People’s War, what is the “alternative”, and they can for themselves evaluate if this is a victorious path, or just the same old goose step down to the swamp of reformism, opportunism and parliamentary cretinism that so many of our forerunners have made only to drown in this bitter muddy water.
Let us also recommend the following three great texts which is very relevant to this topic, not only to highlight the strategy of People’s War, but on the question of how to view Chairman Gonzalo and how to evaluate the October Revolution of Russia from our higher viewpoint today, conquered due to Maoism.
Redaction of Klassenstandpunkt, German Federal Republic: People’s War – The sole path to liberation http://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/en/t-theorie-en/2259-klassenstandpunkt-people-s-war-the-sole-path-to-liberation
Maoist Communist Party, French state: To defend the life of Chairman Gonzalo is to defend Maoism! http://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/en/t-dokumente-en/1778-pcm-to-defend-the-life-of-chairman-gonzalo-is-to-defend-maoism
Revolutionary Front in Defence of the People’s Rights, Brazil: Long Live the Shining October Path! http://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/en/t-dokumente-en/1852-long-live-the-shining-october-path
This is expressions and examples of the great efforts of the red line to forward the line of Gonzalo, to promote and propagate the line of the PCP and to give a new impulse to the International Communist Movement. It is expressions of how the red line gives guidance and support to Maoists in the whole world, and why Maoism is advancing now also amongst revolutionaries in the Imperialist countries. The efforts must be saluted and studied by every Maoist.
The red line will unite the International Communist Movement under Maoism
This response to Sisons text is made in a hurry. The question of People’s War has been investigated and formulated a lot more thorough many a time, for example in the three texts above, and especially in the great documents of the Communist Party of Peru. It is written polemically, but it is not written with any disrespect of the Communists and Fighters of the Philippines.
For 50 years the Communist Party of the Philippines has waged a glorious People’s War. Communists and Masses have shed blood as a living and struggling part of the World Proletarian Revolution. It is not only a practical contribution to the International Communist Movement, but again proof of the invincibility of People’s War and the universality of the People’s War. The People’s War of the Philippines is one of four People’s Wars in the World today, and thus it is important and deeply cherished by every true Communist. We wish for it to develop further and to succeed in wiping away the old state, for New Democracy, socialist transition and cultural revolutions till Communism. As long as the fire of People’s War is burning, however meek the fire might become in periods, we salute the fire and celebrate it.
This hope and support is unwavering, whatever José Maria Sison might recommend as wise or flexible, but such support cannot and must not put a lid on the two-line struggle. Unprincipled unity is an expression of the black line, the bourgeois line, the line of liquidation and revisionism. Two-line struggle must be waged without fear of being out of order, because we know it to be a struggle of life and death for the World Proletarian Revolution.
The red line of the International Communist Movement upholds as true the fact that Maoism is the third and higher stage of the Ideology of the Proletariat and that People’s War is universally applicable in each and every country. This is the position of the left, this is the correct position proven true again and again, this is the position that will prevail and is already uniting the International Communist Movement under one glorious banner for the first time in ages.
Unite under Maoism!
Reconstitute and reconstruct Militarized Communist Parties!
People’s War until Communism!
Posted by nickglais on 6/06/2019 07:38:00 AM
Posted by nickglais on 6/06/2019 03:19:00 AM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
WE LOVE ANTI FASCIST ITALY
Posted by nickglais on 6/05/2019 02:09:00 PM
On the Question of People’s War
in Industrial Capitalist Countries
By Jose Maria Sison
June 5, 2019
I have been asked many times by avowed proletarian revolutionaries whether protracted people’s war as carried out by Mao in China can be successfully waged in capitalist countries where the industrial proletariat has become the majority class and the peasantry has become a minority class.
I will try to answer the question in a theoretical and hypothetical way on the basis of history and social conditions and within the existing constitutional and legal bounds of industrial capitalist countries. In the process, I will deal with the notion of some people that Mao’s theory of protracted people’s war is universally valid and applicable.
Protracted People’s War in China and the Philippines
Mao himself explained in his own time that protracted people’s war is not only possible but necessary for the revolutionary party of the proletariat to realize a successful people’s democratic revolution in a semicolonial and semifeudal country in chronic crisis.
By applying the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside, the proletarian revolutionaries can lead the people’s army to grow from small and weak to big and strong in stages by availing of the countryside as a wide area of maneuver and getting the support of the peasant masses as the main force of the revolution.
The Chinese Communist Party could successfully use the countryside for a protracted period of time in order to accumulate enough armed and political strength to ultimately seize the cities and thereby win the people’s struggle for democracy and socialism.
I adhere to Mao’s theory and practice of protracted people’s war in my writings on the specific conditions of the Philippines for armed revolution. And I have taken into account the archipelagic and mountainous character of the Philippines among other considerations.
The armed revolution led by the Communist Party of the Philippines has been able to preserve itself and gain strength for more than 50 years by carrying out the strategic line of protracted people’s war, despite all the strategic plans of US and puppet regimes to crush it and despite drastic changes in the world, such as the full restoration of capitalism in China and the collapse of the Soviet Union since 1991.
In industrial capitalist countries, the proletarian revolutionaries cannot begin the revolutionary war with a small and weak people’s army in the countryside and hope to use the wide space and indefinite time in the countryside to sustain the war.
As soon as that army dares to launch the first tactical offensive, it will be overwhelmed by the huge armed army and the highly unified economic, communications and transport system of the monopoly bourgeoisie.
However, the term “people’s war” may be flexibly used to mean the necessary armed revolution by the people to overthrow the bourgeois state in an industrial capitalist country. But definitely, what ought to be protracted is the preparation for the armed revolution with the overwhelming participation of the people.
As Lenin pointed out, the revolution cannot win unless the capitalist system has been so gravely stricken by crisis that the ruling class can no longer rule in the old way, the people are desirous of revolutionary change and the revolutionary party of the proletariat is strong enough to lead the revolution.
It is futile to ignite armed revolution in the city or in the countryside without due regard to the objective conditions and subjective factors of the revolution. An urban armed insurrection against the capitalist state can succeed only as a result of grave debilitation by its internal crisis, the crisis of the world capitalist system, involvement in an inter-capitalist or inter-imperialist war and the rise of the revolutionary mass movement with sufficient armed strength.
Historical Examples of Armed Proletarian Revolution
The Paris Commune of 1871 showed that the proletarian revolutionaries could wage a successful urban insurrection when France was preoccupied with the Franco-Prussian war and the armed city guards themselves carried out the insurrection, with the overwhelming support of the proletarian masses.
In imperialist Russia, the Bolsheviks had the foresight to sow cadres as revolutionary seeds within the Tsarist army. When the masses of troops became discontented like the people in the course of World War I, they rose up to overthrow the Tsar and then the Kerensky bourgeois government. Subsequently, they waged a successful war against the reactionaries and the foreign interventionists in the countryside of the vast Russian empire.
Even before they were favored by the monopoly bourgeoisie to govern Germany and directly use state terrorism to suppress the proletariat and its revolutionary party, the German fascists formed their armed groups or paramilitary organization and collaborated with the army and police of the capitalist state to break workers’ strikes and people’s protests.
During the severe crisis of the Weimar Republic, the German communists and social democrats had also their own armed groups but were surpassed by the fascists at the crucial point. But the lesson remains valid that proletarian revolutionaries and the people must always strive to excel and be successful at both preparations and actual conduct of the armed revolution.
During World War II, the partisans could arise in several European countries, such as in France, Italy and elsewhere, to wage partisan warfare against the fascists. Where fascism first rose to power in 1922, the communists and the people engaged in guerrilla warfare in both urban and rural areas until they could hang the fascist dictator and come to the verge of taking state power.
Based on the foregoing historical facts, it is always wise for the organized revolutionary proletariat and masses to assume and anticipate that the capitalist system is prone to crisis and that the monopoly bourgeoisie resorts to fascism in order to head off the proletarian revolution. Even if the material foundation for socialism exists in capitalism, the proletariat must first defeat fascism, thus winning the battle for democracy, before socialism can triumph.
It is logical and necessary for proletarian revolutionaries to arm themselves, be consciously disciplined and conduct politico-military training in preparation for future armed conflict. I presume that the armed capability of the proletarian revolutionaries is in the first place bound by ideological, political and organizational principles and rules.
As the Bolsheviks did, the proletarian revolutionaries can also deploy cadres for revolutionary work in the reactionary army, especially because most of the soldiers come from the working class. A capitalist state can in the future become so debilitated by crisis and war that its reactionary armed services tend to disintegrate, like the Tsarist army in World War I.
As regards to obtaining and keeping arms covertly for decades and launching small-formation offensives under the most limited and difficult conditions, the revolutionary armed organizations in Ireland and Palestine provide good examples of conscious discipline, skillfulness, resourcefulness and durability due to mass support of entire communities opposing an occupying force. However, they are in situations and processes of development which are not typical in capitalist countries today.
Considerations for Arming the Proletariat
By the current constitutional and legal standards of the industrial capitalist countries that pretend to be liberal-democratic, any individual can legally acquire firearms for the purpose of sport and self-defense against criminals as well as against the potential of the state to become tyrannical and oppressive.
In the United States of America no less, the arms manufacturers invoke the constitutional right of citizens to bear arms in order to keep wide the domestic market for the sale of weapons, despite the bourgeois liberal clamor for stricter gun licensing laws, disarming the white supremacists and the overblown jihadists and keeping the arms out of the reach of children who are in the first place heavily influenced by the US culture of imperialism and senseless violence.
In quite a number of industrial capitalist countries, citizens are allowed to keep the firearms that they acquire in military training under the auspices of the bourgeois state. And they have no problems like a few American crazies and a few children using firearms from the home armory to shoot and kill innocent people in schools and other public places.
It is therefore possible to organize proletarians with firearms as sporting gun clubs, as community self-defense organizations and as voluntary security for public events and structures. But of course it is unwise to make displays of armed groups of people and at the same time provocatively declare themselves in opposition to the capitalist state, its army and police.
Such imprudence would immediately prompt state measures of violent suppression, as in the historical case of the Black Panthers. In capitalist societies, it is the fascists and other reactionary armed groups that are privileged to publicly boast of their arms and their military training and exercises.
It is also unwise to bring arms to mass protests that are supposed to be legal and peaceful and where most of the people are unarmed and are far from ready to launch an armed insurrection. It is wise for the revolutionary party of the proletariat not to declare publicly the intent of building a people’s army before the conditions are ripe for armed revolution.
Whatever are gun licensing laws and no matter how strict they are, there are also among the people those who have the skills, materials and equipment to make firearms discreetly in their private garages and work sheds. In the long-term effort to prepare for people’s war against the fascists and the capitalist state, the people can acquire and make firearms.
While there are yet no conditions for fighting and using the arms in a particular capitalist country, proletarian revolutionaries ought to continue arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses in legal and persuasive ways with the confidence that they have the means of self-defense to fight back with certain success against the fascists and capitalist state when the necessity arises.
Far more important than acquiring or making the firearms is fulfilling the ideological, political and organizational tasks to make the proletariat and its party truly revolutionary. But, of course, it is more important to have firearms before the fascists come to power than not to have any when the fascists are already in the process of taking power.
To repeat the point, for the purpose of emphasis, even in the USA, the people have the constitutional right to have firearms to preclude the state from monopolizing arms and thus allow the citizenry to have the arms to oppose and overthrow a tyrannical or oppressive government when it arises. And there are many particular legal reasons for citizens to bear arms.
Worsening Global Conditions and Proletarian Internationalism
In the aftermath of the full restoration of capitalism and collapse of the Soviet Union, US imperialism enjoyed the status of the sole superpower in a unipolar world and proceeded to carry out in a reckless and aggressive way its neoliberal economic policy and neoconservative military policy, unwittingly undermining its own strength and accelerating its strategic decline. Now, under Trump, the US is acting protectionist and more bellicose than ever.
The strategic decline of the US has become obvious in economic and financial terms since the crisis of 2008, although the US has become more bellicose. The rise of China and Russia as new imperialist powers has aggravated the crisis of the world capitalist system and has intensified inter-imperialist contradictions in a conspicuously multipolar world.
The imperialist powers always try to shift the burden of crisis to the proletariat and people of the world, who consequently suffer the escalation of oppression and exploitation and who are ultimately driven to resist. The imperialists will someday force the issue of armed revolution to the proletarian revolutionaries and masses in some of the capitalist countries. Right now, the imperialist states are becoming more repressive and are also generating fascist movements.
While proletarian revolutionaries are not yet immediately faced with the need to launch an armed revolution in any capitalist country, they can also consider in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity to share their revolutionary ideas, experience and capabilities, including arms and their skills in making these, with the proletariat and people who are preparing for armed revolution or are already engaged in it in the underdeveloped countries.
The spread and development of people’s war in the underdeveloped countries or in the countryside of the world can be helpful to the rise of armed revolution in the capitalist countries. At present, the imperialist powers headed by the USA are carrying out military intervention and wars of aggression on a wide scale in the underdeveloped countries. Thus, all concrete acts of proletarian internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity are urgently needed.
Posted by nickglais on 6/05/2019 09:37:00 AM
Evocation - remembering the sound of IL Silenzio of Democracy and Class Struggle Editor's first visit to Italy and his discovery of Italian Communism
We heard Il Silencio where ever we went in Italy in 1965
This is short article I wrote on the death of Lucio Colletti in 2001 when I was studying the philosophic roots of revisionism. I wrote another article on Roger Garaudy here at the same time. I trust some comrades may find these articles useful.
Lucio Colletti was a bright young comrade in the Italian Communist Party and between 1956 and 1962 he was one of the editors of "Societa" the Italian Communist Party's Cultural journal and a follower of the views of Galvano Della Volpe.
Gallvano Della Volpe did not think much of dialectics and sought to replace it with his own scientific deductive method and was highly critical of Hegel.
This is an old story and this anti dialectical thinking of people like Della Volpe which was similar to Bogdanov's thinking which forced Lenin to defend the materialist dialectic in Materialism and Empiro-Criticism..
Gallvano Della Volpe's hostility to Hegel was to mark the card of Lucio Colleti who continued his anti Hegelian fight all his life.
There is a lot in Hegel to combat as well as to retain and Hegelianisers have done harm to the communist movement especially the early Luckacs in" History and Class Consciousness,"and the bourgeois left of the Frankfurt School.
However the fight Lucio Colletti fought was to replace the Marxist theory of knowledge with the Kantian one bypassing the advance that Hegel had made over Kant as far as the theory of knowledge was concerned.
What Marxism should retain from Hegel was his advances over Kant .. but it was precisely this that Colletti wanted to jettison.
Hegel contested Kant's absolute distinction between the thing in itself and the thing for us . Reality in Hegel is a unified whole in which the objective and subjective sides are not simply disjoined from each other but form a unity. The objective world of things can be truly known
Hegel also refused to acknowledge any irremovable opposition between reason and reality or provide any limit to the power or province of reason, he said what is real is rational and what is rational is real.
Whereas Kant held that the raw material of experience was unformed, while perfectly pure forms existed in sensibility and the mind.
Hegel maintained that there was no content without form and no form without some specific content. The truth is concrete.
For Kant, contradiction existed only between propositions, it was purely mental.
Hegel insisited on the univerality and objectivity of contradiction.
Hegel's objective idealism had the merit of overcoming the subjectivism, dualism and formalism of Kants theory of knowledge.
Hegel resolved the the contradiction between the objective and subjective elements of experience that Kant was unable to overcome. Marxism did and can derive more from his logic and epistemology than those of Kant.
In 1961 Illyenkov a soviet philosopher who understood the importance of Hegel's advances over Kant in the theory of knowledge was published in Italy for the first time and instead of studying him Colletti abused him saying he relied on "Hegelian Rests".
Colletti's road back to Kant is extremely well worn and will be traversed again and again if Marxists are too Hegelophobic. Marxists, Hegelians and Kantians have different theories of knowledge and understanding the advances and limitations of Hegel's thought is essential to understanding Marxism.
The road of Kant led Colletti out of the communist movement to the Italian Socialist Party and ultimately to be a senator for Silvio Berlesconi's Forza Italia until his death in 2001.
I write this as a warning to younger comrades not to build a Marxism based on Kant as it is a house of cards.
Posted by nickglais on 6/05/2019 09:05:00 AM
Julian Assange says Journalism is not a crime - ABC in Australia is NOW saying the same thing belatedly
Posted by nickglais on 6/05/2019 06:06:00 AM