Ideological Wilderness

Internationalism sans Communist International

Harsh Thakor

Today International Communist Movement is plagued by many trends like Trotskyism, Post-modernism, Revisionism, 'Avakianisim' as well as 'Gonzalo thought.'

In 1984, despite the subjecting factors not prevailing, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) was formed. RIM began to vacilitate between 'Avakianism' and 'Gonzalo thought' right from the beginning. It heeded no respect to the views of the CPC and Zhou En Lai 'on why it was futile to form a new International and what factors were necessary'. It also virtually re-defined the meaning of Maoism. The collapse of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement in the 1990's was proof of its ideological flaws to the core.

The CPC emphasised that other countries should not copy the Chinese Path but apply the Chinese experience in accordance with their own conditions. The CPC issued caution because Imperialism was devising through its local regimes new forms of neo-colonial rule and plunder. And only a native communist party could analyse and review such situations throughly. Thus the necessity of political independence of each country's communist party was paramount.

Chauvinistic tendencies may also develop under Communist Parties .The more developed and advanced parties may act chauvinistically and deliver big-brother treatment to the less developed parties.

The victory of a revolution in a country under the leadership of a Communist Party indicates that certain crucial contemporary problems of the revolutionary movement have been resolved by it, and thus the experience can be passed on to Communist Parties of other Countries. At present there is no such party in the World that can advise other parties on political and ideological issues.

A dialectical process involving unity of Communist Parties is required. Mutual exchange has to take place. Actual experience should be shared, which would pave the way for more advanced forms of collective positions on issues and rallying of more forces worldwide.

Today in India and in other Countries the reorganisation of Communist Party is still in the process of being realised. It is crucial to struggle to implement the correct line. In this process Communist revolutionaries have to strive to achieve unity on the basis of settling various line questions in connection with the revolutionary practice of the masses of the Indian people.

Quoting chairman Joma Sison, "The CPP has opposed the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) seeking to impose the principle of democratic centralism on communist parties in violation of the principle of equality and independence among them."

In truth RIM exaggerated the status and international leadership of the RCPUSA. Since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, communist and workers' parties have become equal to each other and independent from each other. There is no vanguard leadership role of any communist party, big or small, in the world today.

The world has undergone a 360 degree metamorphosis from 1920 and radical transformation has also occurred in the last 50 years . Globalisation has virtually enslaved or entrapped every sphere of Society forcing Communist parties to revise their strategy or outlook. In the last quarter century classical feudalism has virtually been eliminated and Imperialism has had a dramatic impact on agriculture. Communist parties have felt the need to combine urban insurrection as a component of the people's war.

In India a theory of 'Brahmanical Fascism' has been formulated by Ajith. In truth he is ideologically vitiated with post modernist trends. In his writings he has been critical of even Marx and Engels for Eurocentrism and is harshly critical of the Comintern. His thesis on Brahmanism ignores the Leninist class or proletarian point of view even if it raises the most valid points. It classically analysed caste but reduces Hinduism to principal enemy.

No doubt the existence of a party is a vital ingredient or organ for a revolution without which the Bolshevik revolution or Chinese Revolution would never have taken place. The pinnacle of democracy attained in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution would never have been achieved without the party leadership. Such experiences in history falsify those who reject concept of Communist party as a vanguard. Alan Badiou is not a genuine Maoist but has made significant criticisms of the functioning of Socialist states. "There is a thinking that the communist party or Marxism is the last word of everything, that anything and everything can be explained by it. Yes, it is true, one can understand everything in the light of Marxism, but it cannot replace them. For example, the laws of physics have to be understood in terms of the science of physics and established as such. It is not something we can answer with Marxism. Marxist dialectics can certainly play its role in analysing the laws of physics and explain its conceptual positions. It can give a direction to this. Many scientists have done this. This issue, that the communist party is not something that should be doing everything, emerges from the basic positions of the communist movement itself. How did Marx, for example, develop his ideas? He did it by studying the various theoretical positions that were existing then, critically examining and synthesising from them. He never said all of this was said by me for the first time. But he identified the contradictions in them, and in order to overcome that he supplied certain ideas."

The most balanced or dialectical viewpoint dominating the International Communist Movement today is that of Chairman Joma Sison. Most systematically he combats Trotskyism, post-modernism and Gonzaloism. He was sharply critical of attributing founding of 'Maoism' to Chairman Gonzalo in 1988. Sison analysed the error of Gonzalo in prematurely capping insurrectionary actions in the cities to link the war with the countryside, wrongly assessing situation of strategic equilibrium and underestimation of united front. Sison also strongly attacked Maoists ideologically who advocated strategy of protracted people's war in developed countries or Universality of People's War.

Sison was vociferously critical of parties and leaders who assessed CPP International line as rightist in establishing relations with revisionist or non-maoist parties on a tactical basis. The CPP has supported progressive and anti-imperialist non-Maoists like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Fidel Castro of Cuba and Kim Il Sung in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. In view of Sison politically such organisations are more worthy than infantile "communists" who cannot distinguish ideological from political issues and ideological relations from political relations.

Another balanced approach has been by Basanta of Nepal who feels that neither the Russian or Chinese path can be applied to the countries worldwide today and an independent strategy would have to be devised in each country.

Quoting Joma Sison, "I admire the Communist Party of India (Maoist). It adheres to the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as guide to revolutionary action. It practices the mass line and pursues protracted people's war with resilience and understanding. After being subjected to concentrated attack in North Telengana, it has reinvigorated itself in Dandkaranya to uphold the torch of Maoism. It has skilfully countered the attacks of the reactionary Indian paramilitary forces. Without mass support it could never have succeeded.

It is starting to overcome weaknesses and shortcomings in urban areas and in building urban-based mass organisations. Being the proletarian revolutionary party in such a big population, the CPI (Maoist) can play a major role in the world proletarian revolution, like the Bolsheviks in the former Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China under the leadership of Mao. The CPP stands to benefit greatly from the advances achieved by the CPI (Maoist)."

In the 1980s, Sendero Luminoso entrenched itself among the urban migrants, who often had direct ties to peasants in Ayacucho embroiled in the first stage of the people's war.

At the philosophical level there have been powerful trends to place Stalin in the museum and even question the dialectical materialism of Lenin.

In spite of Mao making great efforts to demarcate from Stalinist errors strong vanguardist tendencies were exhibited by the CPC not giving required independence to the people's committees or Organisations.

In order to treat communist theory as something one has to continually struggle with rather than as a closed system of declared beliefs. Dogmatism emanated from the GPCR itself, the negative aspect of the greatest revolutionary advance within the history of class society. As Robert Biel puts it in his book Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement, "the big weakness [in the GPCR] was a dogmatism that blocked precisely some of the creative developments which were required We need to critically examine the dogmatism embedded in the GPCR—the incessant repetition of the same slogans in propaganda and art, the (probably tactically necessary) use of Mao's authority to bolster the revolutionary camp, and the often factionalist and cultish conduct of some Red Guard factions (especially those consisting of the children of capitalist roaders within the CPC)—and we certainly don't need to emulate it".

A predominant trend of pro-Gonzalo supporters is to propagate concept of 'People' War till Communism.' This upholds people's war to even continue during Socialist Construction or Cultural Revolution period and underestimates the proletarian dictatorship. Quoting Chairman Sison, "It is quite nonsensical for any party that claims to be MLM to say that it will carry out people's war until communism".

Powerful tendencies have risen terming Maoism as a rupture from Leninism. The chief proponent of this is Joshua Moufawad Paul. A tendency that has to be refuted is calling for Communist parties to militarise like the Peruvian Communist party which does not distinguish between the function of a party and red army and virtually converts the party into a military organisation.

Certain currents are even critical of Lenin's dialectical materialism concept dubbing it as dogmatic for modern times. Such tendencies have to confronted at the very root, but in a principled manner.

With the decline of America the world capitalist crisis has reached a crescendo today. Communist revolutionaries must take advantage of it to channelise their solidarity with Yellow Vest or Black Lives Matter movements and try to radicalise them. One cannot mechanically copy experiences of yesteryears but cannot leave any stone unturned in upholding the teachings of Marx, Engels. Lenin, Stalin and Mao like a boulder resisting all counter revolutionary winds.


Vol. 53, No. 22-25, Nov 29 - Dec 26, 2020