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Revisionism in Nepal: Letter from the CP of India

Soviet cogitations: 8187
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 02:51
Post 07 Jul 2009, 01:35
CP of India (Maoist) falls short of breaking with revisionism in Nepal.. Our response: Put politics in command.



An open letter has been written from the Communist Party of India (Maoist) to the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Like previous documents from the CPI(M) to the U/CPN(M), the new document lists several textbook revisionist lines adopted by Prachanda’s clique, but the CPI(M) falls just short of breaking their ties with revisionism in Nepal. The document by the CPI(M) is mostly correct in its criticisms even if it makes an opportunist error by failing to put politics fully in command. We are glad to see that we are not alone in pointing out the revisionism of the Prachanda clique.

On the ABCs of Marxism

The Indian document restates the ABCs of Marxism against Prachanda’s textbook revisionism:

“[I]n the name of struggle against dogmatism, there have been serious deviations in the International Communist Movement (ICM), often going into an even greater, or at least equally dangerous, abyss of right deviation and revisionism. In the name of creative application of Marxism, communist parties have fallen into the trap of right opportunism, bourgeois pluralist Euro-Communism, rabid anti-Stalinism, anarchist post-modernism and outright revisionism.” (1)

“After witnessing the full flowering of the concept of prachanda path one thing has now become clear to the Maoist revolutionaries everywhere: Lenin and Mao had indeed become an obstacle to Prachanda and the CPN(M) for carrying out their reformist, right opportunist formulations. They needed to discard the Leninist concept of state and revolution, and imperialism and proletarian revolution. They needed to throw overboard Mao’s theory of new democracy and two stages of revolution in semi-colonial semi-feudal countries, and to replace the path of PPW with an eclectic combination or fusion of people’s war and insurrection, and finally pursue the same old revisionist line put forth by the CPSU under Khrushchov against which comrade Mao had fought relentlessly. Prachanda path had finally turned out to be a theory that negates the fundamental teachings of Lenin and Mao and the essence of prachanda path is seen to be no different from the Khrushchovite thesis of peaceful transition.” (2)

“This peaceful path of com Prachanda has already led the Party and the PLA into a dark tunnel.” (3)

Thus the Indian document echoes the criticisms that we’ve made for years. We wrote:

“Prachanda’s organization flaunted their tossing of the ABCs of Marxism for years. It would be one thing had Prachanda developed the ABCs of Marxism in a revolutionary way. However, this is not the case. Prachanda’s revisionists tossed Lenin’s teaching on the state, dual power and the dictatorship of the proletariat. They embraced the theory of productive forces. They tossed the Maoist teaching on people’s war. They rejected Lin Biao’s global people’s war line; instead, they sought a settlement with the imperialists. They tossed cultural revolution for multi-party democracy. Prachanda’s organization put forward run-of-the-mill revisionisms of almost every variety. Prachanda advanced well known reactionary lines that are associated with revisionists like Kautsky, Liu Shaoqi, and even Trotsky. For years, Prachanda cozied up with the imperialists and their institutions such as the World Bank. ” (4)

“Either Prachanda has found a new way to socialism or he hasn’t. If Prachanda’s fans had any courage,or brains, they would openly admit that Prachanda’s course contradicts what has heretofore been regarded as core, universal lessons of the 20th Century revolutionary experience. Rather than obfuscating in eclectics, the fans should admit that Lenin’s teachings on the state are not universal. They should admit to Prachanda’s novel contribution of extending the label ‘New Democracy’ to cover everything under the sun. They should admit that they have abandoned the legacy of the Cultural Revolution in all but its ’spirit.’ They should admit that they have abandoned people’s war as the principal means to ascend to power. And, in practice, to abandon people’s war as a principal means is to abandon it as a means at all. Such is the logic of mobilization, of a war footing. People’s war must be carried through to the end, or it isn’t carried through at all..” (5)

Although many in our movement held that all member organizations of the RIM were revisionist for over a decade. We officially repudiated the entire Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) as revisionists around 2005 or 2006. Our repudiation of the RIM and all its member organizations as revisionist was mostly based on the RIM’s First Worldism and crypto-Trotskyism. We went on to further identify textbook revisionisms within Prachanda’s party after the Seven Party Agreement (SPA) became available. Prior to the SPA, we had maintained that even though Prachanda’s group was revisionist, they were still landing blows against imperialism, comprador capitalism and feudalism. Thus they fell within the broad united front against imperialism, even though they were revisionists. However, the SPA agreement and the actions of Prachanda’s party at that time showed not only that they were textbook revisionists who deviated from the ABCs of Marxism, but Prachanda’s clique had ceased to be a member of the united front. We concluded this because when the Prachanda clique began imprisoning and decomissioning the PLA, dismanteling the dual power of the people’s state, and returning land, Prachanda’s group had crossed over from landing blows against imperialism, compradorism and feudalism to aiding imperialism, compradorism and feudalism. In other words, they shifted from being agents of New Democracy and proletarian power to being agents reversing New Democracy and proletarian power. Prachanda’s group tried to justify their course of actions by saying that they were still fighting the monarchy and that this justified their reversals. However, as we pointed out at the time, fighting the monarchy and fighting feudalism as a mode of production are two different things. This last point was one that the CPI(M) also made around the same time. What it really came down to was that the U/CPN(M) was embarking on a counter-revolutionary path that placed them far outside the united front, and they and their supporters threw up a bunch of smoke and mirrors to try to justify this turn. Even now, they and their supporters justify every revisionism under the sun in the name of “fighting dogmatism.” This is ridiculous because they and their supporters are the biggest dogmatists around, uncritically supporting First Worldism as they do even after First Worldism has been thoroughly exposed for over a quarter century now.

On crypto-Trotskyism

What is especially interesting is that the Indian document critiques Prachanda’s crypto-Trotskyism:

“[The U/CPN(M)] had made the formation of SASF [South Asia Soviet Federation] as a pre-condition for the victory of revolution in Nepal. This concept is similar to the Trotskyite concept of permanent revolution that denies the establishment of socialism in one country. Your Party document specifically mentioned that it is almost impossible to sustain the revolution in Nepal without a revolution in the entire sub-continent. The success of revolutions in India and other countries of South Asia has been made into a pre-condition for sustaining the revolution in Nepal. We think this too is a reason for the loss of conviction in advancing the revolution in Nepal to its final victory and, instead, taking the path of reconciliation and class compromise.” (6)

Prachanda’s argument that socialism cannot be sustained in a single country is similar to ideas developed in Bob Avakian’s Conquer The World. Bob Avakian’s claim is that “colonial and dependent” countries of the Third World cannot sustain socialist revolution without socialist revolution spreading outward, especially to the First World. In this view, the reason for this is that the productive forces of Third World countries are not advanced enough for socialist construction and, therefore, Third World countries need the help of First World countries to sustain socialist progress. The entire idea behind the RIM, as a fourth international, is to coordinate revolution on a global scale, between the First and Third Worlds. As the Indian document correctly points out, this kind of argument is orthodox Trotskyism. It is Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution, the basis of which is the Theory of Productive Forces. Maoist-Third Worldists, our predecessors, and similar groups have struggled against crypto-Trotskyism for decades. In the US, people are so unaware of what real Maoism is that they think that groups like RCP(USA) are Maoist even though their whole outlook is orthodox Trotskyism. RCP(USA) first articulated its crypto-Trotskyism in a set of polemics against “Lin Biaoism” in the early 1980s. In these polemics, not only did RCP(USA) reject the Lin Biao’s righteous global people’s war, they also rejected the idea that people’s war is the mark of Marxism over revisionism as “Lin Biaoist.” (7) Very few stood up to repudiate Bob Avakian’s revisionist attacks on people’s war as “Lin Biaoism.” This was a major failing of the “Maoist” movement globally. A thorough critique of crypto-Trotskyism requires not only repuitating Prachanda, but also Bob Avakian. After all, Bob Avakian’s crypto-Trotskyism, by declaring Third World socialism dependent on the First World, is much worse than Prachanda’s crypto-Trotskyism. Bob Avakian’s crypto-Trotskyism is outright social imperialism. Also, it is no accident that alongside crypto-Trotskyism, both Prachanda and Bob Avakian tolerate the rejection of Stalin.

On proletarian internationalism

The document also criticizes Prachanda’s lack of proletarian internationalism:

“Another serious deviation in the leadership of CPN(M) lies in its abandoning the principle of proletarian internationalism, shelving the CCOMPOSA and the fight against Indian expansionism and US imperialism, adopting a totally nationalistic approach and sheer pragmatism in dealing with other countries and Parties. We can describe this trend as Left nationalism or radical nationalism displayed by the bourgeois class during its incipient stage of development. That is, nationalism of the national bourgeois class. Comrade Prachanda obliterates class content and class perspective, mixes up bourgeois democracy with people’s democracy and justifies all opportunist alliances as being in the interests of Nepal. When any tactic is divorced from our strategic goal of New Democratic Revolution it ends in opportunism.” (8)

“It is a great paradox that a Maoist-led government has not even ventured to severe its ties with the Zionist Israeli terrorist state particularly after its brutal blatant aggression of Gaza and the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians when governments such as those in Venezuela and Bolivia had dared to do so. Even more disgustful is the manner in which the CPN(M) leadership has been trying to get into the good books of the American imperialists. To curry favour with the American imperialists, a section of the CPN(M) leadership had even assured that it would remove the Maoist ‘tail’ from its Party name. It is high time the CPN(M) take a consistently anti-imperialist, anti-Indian expansionist approach and work to forge close, working relations with other forces worldwide to weaken imperialism and the reactionary forces.” (9)

While the critique of Prachanda regarding proletarian internationalism is correct, the Indian document overestimates the possible unity between true communists and so-called Marxist-Leninist and Maoist parties worldwide:

“This stand will not promote, but rather harm, the interests of Nepalese masses, undermine Nepal’s sovereignty in the long run, creates illusions on the reactionary parties in Nepal, and Indian expansionists outside. It undermines the need for a united struggle by ML parties world-wide against imperialism, particularly US imperialism.” (10)

The fact is that nearly every party today calling itself “Marxist-Leninist” and, even, “Maoist,” is revisionist. Many of them are socialist imperialist parties. There can be no strategic unity between the real revolutionary movement and the social imperialists posing as Marxists. Nearly every party calling itself “Marxist-Leninist” or “Maoist” upholds the false belief that the First World working class is an ally of the Third World. Again and again, our movement has proven that not only that there is no reasonable sense in which the First World working classes are exploited, but they are also arch-reactionary classes. They are enemies of the Third World and they are the social base of fascism in the First World. Those who uphold First Worldist revisionism will eventually end up lackeys of imperialism. Those who seek unity between the popular classes of the Third World and the reactionary classes of the First World are not Marxists, they collaborate with the enemy. They sell out the Third World to the First World. Those organizations that refuse to adopt Third Worldism (by this we DO NOT mean the reactionary Three Worlds Theory of the 1970s) are incapable of scientific analysis and cannot be consider Marxist.

On Empire

The document correctly repudiates Prachanda’s concept of a globalized state as a new stage of imperialism:

“The conclusion regarding globalised state goes against dialectics as it relegates inter-imperialist contradictions to the background and attempts to make imperialism as a whole into a homogeneous mass. This formulation was put forth for the first time by your Party towards the end of December 2006 after striking an alliance with the SPA. In fact, we can say that your 12-point agreement with the SPA, your decision to become part of the interim government sharing power with the comprador-feudal reactionary parties in Nepal, your participation in the elections to the Constituent Assembly and forming a government under your leadership once again with the reactionary forces, and theorizing on peaceful competition with these parties—all these had arisen from the above assessment of your Party regarding imperialism and the conclusion that it has assumed the form of a globalised state. It is only natural that such an assessment, similar to the thesis of ultra-imperialism proposed by Karl Kautsky in 1912 and which was laid bare by comrade Lenin, cannot but lead to the conclusion of a peaceful path and peaceful transition to people’s democracy and socialism. The fusion theory had ultimately led to the theory of peaceful transition! Now there is neither people’s war nor insurrection but peaceful competition with other Parliamentary parties for achieving power through elections!!” (11)

The idea of a globalized state resembles the theory of Empire developed by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt. Their view is that a global empire made up of transnational structures has come to replace the nation-based imperialism. There are parallels between this type of view and Kautsky’s theory of ultra-imperialism. While these views are incorrect, it is true that imperialism has changed.

The idea that imperialism is stagnant and must be the same today as it was in 1917 is a metaphysical one. The imperialists have learned from their mistakes. The imperialist world wars of the past nearly wiped capitalism off the map. The first world war saw the birth of the Soviet Union. The second world war was followed by the creation of proletarian dictatorship over a fourth of humanity in China, the birth of people’s democracies across Europe, and a wave of wars of national liberation throughout the Third World. Imperialists are not likely to engage in world wars that threaten the capitalist system itself anytime soon. Instead, inter-imperialilst conflict has been de-escalated since the fall of the Soviet Union. Revolutionary movements should not bet on significant inter-imperialist conflict in the current period. More and more, the world is one where the imperialist countries as a whole are set against the imperialized countries as whole; the First World is set against the Third World. The world situation should be seen as a global people’s war where the global city is pitted against the global countryside.

The way forward

The Indian document states:

“[The UCPN(M)] should pull out the PLA from the UN-supervised barracks which are virtually like prisons for the fighters, reconstruct the organs of people’s revolutionary power at various levels, retake and consolidate the base areas, and expand the guerrilla war, and class and mass struggles throughout the country. “ (12)

We agree with the sentiment expressed in the Indian document that Prachanda ought return to the revolutionary path. However, asking Prachanda to return to the revolutionary path is as naive as expecting revisionists to stop being revisionists or capitalists to stop being capitalists. The CPI(M) falsely believes that there is a two-line struggle still being waged with the revisionists in Nepal. Prachanda and his followers are not merely right opportunists, their behavior is textbook revisionism. There is no question about this. Just because Prachanda’s party uses Mao as an icon and plays lip service to Maoism should not shield them from repudiation as revisionists. In fact, that they wrap their revisionism in Mao’s banner makes it all the more insidious. The CPI(M) should admit that they made a serious error in maintaining fraternal relations with a revisionist party for so long. Real Maoists are not afraid to admit when they have made errors.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) correctly points out that in this time of economic crisis, there needs to be a genuine communist pole in the world. (13) This is not a time to fudge revolutionary science. If there is to be a new wave of people’s wars, then communists must lead by example. If the Communist Party of India (Maoist) or another people’s war group in the Third World embraces Maoism-Third Worldism, shock waves will be sent throughout the proletarian struggle worldwide. A new, revolutionary pole and people’s wars will emerge. Communists must repudiate all forms of revisionism, especially First Worldism. Revisionism is revisionism. Politics must be put in command otherwise “Maoism” means nothing.

Monkey Smashes Heaven

June 29, 2009

1. Open Letter to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ... ommunists/

2. ibid.

3. ibid.

4. On Recent Revisionist Yapping on Nepal, ... -on-nepal/

5. Prairie Fire. Prachanda wins. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is dead, Maoism-Third Worldism lives ... m-is-dead/

6. Open Letter to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

7. Bob Avakian. For a Harvest of Dragons. RCP Publications. USA:1983. p 150-151. “ ….to cling to at least aspects of Lin Biao-ism. Lin Biao was a top leader of the communist Party of China in the 1960s and he is associated with the line of singling out U.S. imperialism for a common onslaught from the “third world,” with simultaneous national liberation wars defeating U.S. imperialism throughout the “third world,” and even possibly destroying it altogether. His line (as expressed in a 1965 pamphlet [written by Lin Biao], Long Live The Victory of People’s War) represented the absolutizing of what was then the principal contradiction in the world (between oppressed nations and imperialism) — raising it out of context of world relations and contradictions in which it actually exists and treating it as a thing unto itself and virtually the only significant contradiction in the world. While recognizing the existence of revolutionary situations and favorable revolutionary prospects in many countries in the “third world” it exaggerated this into a tendency to treat the “third world” as an undifferentiated whole, ripe everywhere for revolution. Related to this, in upholding the importance of armed struggle as a necessary means for replacing the old order with the new and insisting on the fact that in many places in the “third world” it was possible and necessary to make armed struggle the main and immediate form of struggle — in opposition to the Soviet revisionist line that attempted to make economic development the main task in the “third world” neo-colonies — Lin Biao’s line exaggerated this to a point of virtually insisting that everywhere in the “third world” revolutionary warfare could and must be launched right away (in Long Live the victory, whether one dares to wage a people’s war is made the touchstone of distinguishing Marxism-Leninism from revisionism). As part of this whole line, the objective fact that the proletarian revolution had been delayed in the imperialist countries and that there was as yet no proletarian revolutionary movement there was absolutized, so that the prospect of such revolution in the imperialist countries was all but dismissed…
…But to attempt to cling to Lin Biaoism in the world situation of today, with all its profound changes since the 1960s, including the principal contradiction, can only have very serious and disastrous consequences…”

8. Open Letter to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

9. ibid.

10. ibid.

11. ibid.

12. ibid

13. ibid.


I'm curious as to what people think of this argument. I was sympathetic the electoral work of the Communist Party of Nepal at first, although I was suspicious of what shutting down their mass organizations and giving up their weapons meant. Events since then seem to be confirming the worst.

Edit: By the way, if anyone is interested in the actual letter, it's listed in under the "Notes" section, available through Kasama apparently.
Last edited by Cata on 07 Jul 2009, 04:20, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4032
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Oct 2006, 23:10
Post 07 Jul 2009, 03:48
I guess I agee with most or maybe part of it.
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