First Issued: 2010.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Only utopians can divorce themselves from the actual conditions confronting them. (Mao, On New Democracy)
On the eve of May Day, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP) published an article entitled “On the Critical Crossroads in the Nepal Revolution, and the Urgent Need for a Real Rupture with Revisionism” in its organ Revolution (www.revcom.us). This article aimed to refute a document published by the Central Committee of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), UCPN(M), found on (www.wprmbritain.org).
The RCP letter is subtitled, “Observations by a Supporter of that Revolution from a Communist Internationalist Perspective”. However, because Revolution has published it without any comment or criticism, it is fair to assume that it represents the RCP’s position on the revolution in Nepal.
The UCPN(M) Central Committee’s document is entitled “Present Situation and Historical Task of the Proletariat.” Its contents include:
In this article, we want to oppose the anti-revolutionary RCP line and show the importance of building support for the revolution in Nepal. We will look at the RCP’s thesis of ’revolutionary movement under revisionist leadership’ as well as looking at the realities of the development of the revolution in Nepal.
Revisionism is a complete system of bourgeois ideology that serves the development of the capitalist system. Revisionism mean the changes, or revisions, made to Marxism such as to render it devoid of its revolutionary content. Revisionists really seek to take the path of non-resistance or class-collaboration with political representatives of the capitalist class or other exploiting classes. Moreover, they draw up policies and programs guided by the bourgeois outlook even while utilising the language of Marxism in order to justify the revisions made. Indeed, revisionists are representatives of the bourgeoisie in a proletarian political party/organisation or movement, as they advocate, either openly or in subtle or hidden ways, the capitalist road of development.
An example of a revisionist party in Nepal is the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninists), UML. The ideology of this party is against Marxism and the party serves to maintain the old social order, the semi-feudal, semi-colonial system in Nepal. It has supported both the autocratic monarchy and parliamentarianism. It has opposed the People’s War and the mass movement. Today, the UML is an advocate of the dominance of the Nepalese society by the comprador, bureaucratic and feudal classes and forces, both fiercely opposed to fundamental social and economic change, as well as change in the class character of the state in Nepal.
The letter published by the RCP correctly acknowledges that there is a revolutionary process in Nepal today (as the title says, “Critical Crossroads in the Nepal Revolution,” for example). But, it also asserts that the UCPN(M) leading this revolutionary movement is “revisionist,” which is in need of a “Real Rupture with Revisionism.” Such a line of thinking runs through the whole article. Thus, the RCP concedes that there is a revolution taking place in Nepal today, but it claims that it is under the leadership of revisionists.
This is indeed one of the most astonishing discoveries since Marx’s time: that a proletarian revolution can be led by non-revolutionaries or even counter-revolutionary revisionists! A ’discovery’ in the theory of class struggle by the RCP Chairman Bob Avakian in addition to his fresh ’discoveries’ presented in his New Synthesis. And all these on the basis of failure to develop a correct ideological-political line by applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions of US society. No wonder that after 35 years of political activity and all these super ’discoveries’, the RCP is still a very insignificant material force in the class struggle in that country. However, his latest discovery deserves a special prize just as Barack Obama deserved his Nobel Prize for peace!
The RCP totally ignores all sacrifices, hardships, complexities, problems and difficulties involved in advancing the revolutionary movement in Nepal and treats it like a debate among arm-chair intellectuals.
Mao says, “Difficulties are facts; we must recognize as many difficulties as there are and should not adopt a “policy of non-recognition”. We must recognise difficulties, analyse them and combat them. There are no straight roads in the world... In a word, while the prospects are bright, the road has twists and turns … By uniting with the entire people in a common effort, we can certainly overcome all difficulties and win victory.” (On Chungking Negotiations)
The thesis of the ’Nepalese revolution under the leadership of revisionists’ not only shows that the RCP is divorced from reality, but also indicates that this party suffers deeply from poverty of revolutionary theory. The development of proletarian revolution in Nepal is not simply owing to developments unfolding spontaneously out of the concrete conditions, resulting in a revolutionary situation as occurred in Iran in 1979 and the Philippines in 1986, where the outcomes were the fall of the Shah and Ferdinand Marcos.
Nor was the development of proletarian revolution in Russia and China, and Nepal today, an example of ’two separate tracks’ as theorised in Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis, which concludes that communists, without developing a powerful revolutionary movement, have only to wait for the revolutionary situation to develop spontaneously. Indeed, this is the synthesis of the RCP’s theory and practice. For good measure he also says that revolutionaries must hasten such a situation.
According to the ’New Synthesis’, when the new conditions do emerge, creating a favourable situation for revolution, communists who “will even be oriented and able to recognize the potential,” (!) and also have developed the theory “to deal with the situation and be able to win when the two tracks can and should be merged,” can then leap from behind to head the movement to ’grab’ the power! If this is not spontaneous thinking, then what is?!
According to the Marxist political economy, the global domination of imperialism means that the monopoly capitalist relations of production are principally hindering the development of productive forces. In other words, the objective conditions to make revolution exist in all countries, which might develop to a spontaneous revolutionary situation. However, because the objective conditions to make revolution exists, the role of the proletarian vanguard is to mobilise the working class and the masses, and on the basis of the objective and subjective situations create a revolutionary situation to seize power.
Without a powerful revolutionary movement under the leadership of the proletariat, there is no proletarian revolution. This is where the RCP has grossly failed in both theory and practice, and it is one of the major reasons that has led to the theory that “Communism is not inevitable” in Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis, that the New Democratic and Socialist revolutions are not inevitable! And therefore, the imperialist system could dominate the world forever, if a huge asteroid does not strike our planet and wipe out humanity!
In fact, the development of proletarian revolution such as in Nepal is based on the dynamic interaction of the proletarian Party with the concrete conditions of that country. One can observe that particularly during the last 14 years, the subjective strength of the proletariat has immensely increased through changing the objective and subjective situations (principally the subjective situation) of the working class and the masses in the country. This step by step qualitative and quantitative development is now rapidly advancing to create a revolutionary situation under the leadership of the proletariat.
The proletarian revolution in Nepal is based on Mao’s theory of New Democratic Revolution, applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions in Nepal. The revolution in Nepal is a conscious development of a powerful revolutionary movement to determine the course of class struggle in the country, through People’s War and mass movements as well as constitutional politics, consensus-seeking as well as confrontational. This revolutionary process which is multi-faceted – ideological, political, cultural, organisational and military – is preparing the working class and the masses to seize and hold political power – state power.
The fundamental character and orientation of a revolution is determined by its leadership. The 1979 revolution in Iran was led by Islamic Fundamentalists and with the help of imperialists and reactionary classes. This led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. And with the help of imperialists it has sustained power for 31 years. The ideology and politics of the UCPN(M) on the other hand show that there is a proletarian-led revolution unfolding in Nepal. This is a New Democratic Revolution, because the peasantry, the intelligentsia and the petty bourgeoisie and even sections of the vacillating national bourgeoisie – all led by the proletariat – have become a mighty independent force in the class struggle of Nepal.
The UCPN(M) is a proletarian Party because it is the product of the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the revolutionary politics of Nepal.
The reactionary classes, the Indian expansionists and imperialists are all united to smash the Party and thereby the revolution. These are the main reasons why whoever cares about working class, the masses, revolution and communism would support the Nepalese revolution and its leadership, learn from its valuable lessons even while helping to overcome its shortcomings.
We communists would never reject anyone who criticises our theory and practice. We do, however, reject those who consciously strive to undermine and attack the revolution and its leadership. We listen and learn from well-meaning critics, divide the criticism into two, unite with what is correct and on this basis struggle with the incorrect to transform ourselves and the critics. However, it will not do if certain quarters seek to belittle or marginalise the UCPN(M) leadership, which represents (as in all political parties) the entire party.
This is a Party belonging to the international working class, as well as the proletariat in Nepal. The proletarian revolution in Nepal belongs to the working class and the masses the world over. It will certainly not do if some group wants to undermine or split our revolution by striving to denigrate and split the UCPN(M) leading it. The force at the core leading the revolution in Nepal is the UCPN(M). “Supporting” the revolution but denying or undermining the core leading it shows sheer ignorance and a new height of arrogance.
This ’supporter’ and the RCP, through their malicious propaganda under the pretext of ’supporting’ the revolution, deliberately attack the UCPN(M) to confuse people, advocating the so-called theory of revolution under the leadership of revisionists. Utilising this ’theory’ they mechanically separate the revolutionary movement and its leadership to frantically oppose the UCPN(M). The enemies of the Nepalese revolution, such as the reactionary ruling classes in Nepal, Indian expansionists and imperialists, are deliberately striving to split the leadership from the revolutionary movement, and any serious supporter of this revolution should do the opposite.
The RCP are brandishing their pens like swords and striking out in all directions, juggling facts and fictions in their heads. Instead of helping to gather support for the Nepalese people and expose the plots of the enemies of the revolution (such as foreign land grabbing and meddling in the country’s internal affairs), they are desperately trying to dishearten people, looking into their crystal ball to predict that “this prospect seems increasingly bleak,” meaning the victory of the people.
The RCP’s history shows that they have grossly failed to grasp that everything divides into two, and therefore, that the Party divides into two. And the UCPN(M) Central Committee’s document is the outcome of an intense two-line struggle and a synthesis of the opposing lines within the Party. Combining two into one, it certainly is not. The document is the outcome of correctly applying the principle of unity-struggle-unity which has opened the possibility of engaging the enemy with unity on different fronts anticipating different outcomes. Is the major two-line struggle over? Definitely not. And there are many more to come.
As Lenin said, “A revolutionary would not “agree” to a proletarian revolution only “on the condition” that it proceeds easily and smoothly, that there is, from the outset, combined action on the part of proletarians of different countries, that there are guarantees against defeats, that the road of the revolution is broad, free and straight, that it will not be necessary during the march to victory to sustain the heaviest casualties, to “bide one’s time in a besieged fortress”, or to make one’s way along extremely narrow, impassable, winding and dangerous mountain tracks. Such a person is no revolutionary, he has not freed himself from the pedantry of the bourgeois intellectuals; such a person will be found constantly slipping into the camp of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.” (Letter to American Workers)
This ’supporter’ refuses to even unearth the complexities and the underlying realities – and the many challenges the UCPN(M) leaders are facing today. Yet she/he blabbers, “Unfortunately, all its various factions, including even those which have been, in varying degrees, in opposition to the revisionist line of the Party’s leadership – appear to be trapped within, and obstinately determined to remain within, the circular revisionist logic which characterizes the thinking of the UCPN(M) leadership.”
Steeped in idealism and metaphysics, in all apparent seriousness, our quixotic revolutionaries totally ignore the comprehensive, conscious and massive preparations taking place for the decisive battle ahead. Nay, they go on to pontificate the outcome as a “devastating defeat” even before the battle has begun! They denounce the whole Party and attempt to seek out “genuine revolutionaries” in their virtual world and warn them about defeat.
Well, prepare to move your joystick again, because our Nepalese revolutionaries might very well win! These infantile ’communists’ who have miserably failed both in practice and theory, virulently spew forth their resentment on anyone with whom they are in the slightest disagreement. Can this be to cover up their many failures and gain some attention so as to overcome their isolation, both in the US and abroad? They claim to support revolution. Revolution, what revolution?! Your theory is simply a theory of no revolution at all, and that is the heart of the matter.
The Revolution article does not bother trying to understand that the revolution in Nepal develops through stages and now it is at its final stage. They don’t care to know that the final stage develops through sub-stages and the proletarian revolution cannot proceed to the next sub-stage before accomplishing the previous one. And in spite of growing clarity of the situation, they are ignorant of the fact that at this juncture, preparation for the decisive battle should be carried out in order to face grave dangers and great possibilities.
And as Lenin said, “The proletarian vanguard has been won over ideologically. That is the main thing. Without this, not even the first step towards victory can be made. But that is still quite a long way from victory. Victory cannot be won with a vanguard alone. To throw only the vanguard into the decisive battle, before the entire class, the broad masses, have taken up a position either of direct support for the vanguard, or at least of sympathetic neutrality towards it and of precluded support for the enemy, not be merely foolish but criminal.” (“Left-wing” communism: an infantile disorder)
The present global monopoly capitalist economic crisis is of several times deeper, broader and of far reaching significance than the economic depression that had emerged in 1929 and compelled the imperialist powers to wage the Second World War. Powerful waves of the current Tsunami of economic crisis have reached the shores of all countries, devastating people’s livelihood on their way, causing resistance against the austerity measures imposed by the ruling classes, who desperately strive to prevent collapse of their moribund system. Massive uprisings in Iran, Greece, Thailand and rural India show only the tip of an iceberg.
Once again the imperialist system dominating the world is showing its true nature, and that its inherent fundamental contradictions would inevitably lead to crisis creating further misery for the vast majority of the people, while a few continue to accumulate colossal wealth. In this situation, the anti-capitalist sentiment of working class, the masses and radical intellectuals is flourishing and many, particularly the youth, are increasingly looking for a way out. Some among these people are more susceptible to take up or even gravitate toward the theories of the New Democratic and Socialist Revolution. In this context, the proletarian-led revolution in Nepal, which has played a vital role in the country, can play a very important role in other countries.
Indeed, the objective situation is increasingly becoming more favourable. However, there are several serious subjective problems that we, communists, need to address in order to build proletarian-led revolutionary movements in as many countries as possible. The first and the most important problem is grasping the ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In this context, the UCPN(M)’s ideological development by adopting the method of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to involve working class and the masses in major two-line struggles within the Party, provides guidance to grasp the proletarian ideology. The most recent example of applying this method is precisely the Central Committee document, produced through intense two-line struggle involving not only the Party but also the masses. The document contains an analysis of the problems the Party has faced and a frank and open self-criticism of the shortcomings from its Chairman to its cadres in this period.
The central and the most important internationalist task of communists is to develop and lead a revolutionary movement in ’their’ country. However, today, the proletarian-led revolution in Nepal is rapidly reaching its climax. In this situation, building a powerful support for this revolution abroad is not only essential, showing a true internationalist spirit, but also highly favourable for developing a proletarian-led revolutionary movement wherever we are.
To conclude with Lenin, “The exploiters are still strong enough to murder the finest leaders of the world proletarian revolution, to increase the sacrifices and suffering of the workers in occupied or conquered countries and regions. But the exploiters all over the world are not strong enough to prevent the victory of the world proletarian revolution, which will free mankind from the yoke of capital and the internal menace of new imperialist wars, which are inevitable under capitalism.” (Letter to the workers of Europe and America).