Taimur Rahman Political Archive

Long Live Marxism-Leninism!

CMKP on th Question of Maoism III

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 7, 2006

“Actually, the Filipino party uses the “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism formulation now.”

Yes but, if I am not mistaken, it is still ideologically closer to the MLPD than to RIM.

Elections:
“I don’t think this is a dividing line with Maoism. The Nepalese party participated in the old state’s parliament before launching the people’s war. There’s no reason not to use this as a tribune under certain conditions.”

True, it is not longer the dividing line. Things have changed. However, one has merely to pick up the writings of Charu Mazamdar to realize that he considered it one of the essential dividing lines
between revisionism and Maoism. Please note:

“In the present era when imperialism is heading towards total collapse, revolutionary struggle in every country has taken the form of armed struggle; Soviet revisionism, unable to retain its mask of socialism, has been forced to adopt imperialist tactics; world revolution has entered a new higher phase; and socialism is marching irrepressibly forward to victory – in such an era, to take to the parliamentary road means stopping this onward march of world revolution. Today, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists cannot opt for the parliamentary road . This is true not only for the colonial and semi-colonial countries, but for the capitalist countries as well. In this new era of world revolution when victory has been achieved in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, it has become the main task of the Marxist-Leninists the world over to establish bases in rural areas and to build up, on a firm foundation, the unity of workers, peasants and all other toiling people through armed struggle. So, the slogans ‘boycott elections’ and ‘establish rural bases and create areas of armed struggle,’ which the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists have advanced, remain valid for the entire era.” “Boycott Elections!”
International Significance of the Slogan
http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mazumdar/1968/12/x01.html

Please note that the last line does not imply that that boycotting elections is valid for particular periods of political upsurge (which conformed to the Leninist position explicated in Left Wing Communism) but is considered valid “for the entire era” (i.e. the era “when imperialism is heading towards total collapse”).

Cities
Maoists never held this to be the case in the imperialist countries. But as far as the neo-colonial countries are concerned, the Nepalese party is advocating developing the Maoist conception of protratec people’s war by combining it with urban insurrection. The modern conditions necessitate combining “surrounding the cities” with insurrection.

Please note that Charu says:

“it has become the main task of the Marxist-Leninists the world over to establish bases in rural areas and to build up, on a firm foundation, the unity of workers, peasants and all other toiling
people through armed struggle.”
Clearly Charu is saying that the “main” task for MLs the “world over” is to work in the countryside. In other words, city work is not the main task. I don’t think we should make a generalization of this sort. I think it is better to leave it to individual communist parties to determine fr themselves their “main” task in accordance with a scientific study of their material conditions.

Soviet Social Imperialism:

“I don’t think that the 1991 events show that it was then that capitalism was restored. Even the Yanayev coup plotters advocated continuing Gorbachev’s “reforms.” Yevsei Lieberman was busy setting up the foundations for capitalist economy (under “public ownership” in the 1960’s). Capitalism wasn’t restored in the economic base in 1956 in one stroke, but the working class did lost state power at the center.”

But that was not the thesis upheld by Maoists in the 1970s. It was clearly stipulated that capitalism had been “fully” restored in the Soviet Union and that the latter had become “a social -imperialist power”. In fact, to uphold that the Soviet Union was “revisionist but not imperialist” was considered “centrism” in the 1970s and is today considered “neo-revisionism” by those who call themselves Maoists. Again I would like to quote Charu:

“The struggle between the two lines is there within the Party and will continue to be there. We must oppose and defeat the incorrect line. But we must be on our guard against centrism. Centrism is a brand of revisionism – its worst form. In the past, revisionism was defeated again and again by revolutionary elements but centrism always seized the victories of the struggle and led the Party along the revisionist path. We must hate centrism. On the question of boycotting elections, Naggi Reddy said : “Yes we accept it but it should be restricted to a certain area at a certain period. We will participate in elections where there is no struggle.” This is Naggy Reddy’s line. This is centrism. We have fought against it and have thrown the Naggy Reddy’s out of our organization. Regarding Soviet social – imperialism some say : ” The Soviet leaders are revisionists. But how can they be imperialists ? Where is that development of monopoly capital ?” These are centrists. We have fought them and thrown them out of our Party. So the centrists raised the questions of trade unions and “working class based party” when armed clash is to be developed by relying on the peasantry. We fought Asist Sen and company on these lines and threw them out of the Party.”
Hate, Stamp and Smash Centrism
http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mazumdar/1970/05/x01.htm

Clearly the view that the Soviet Union is not an imperialist country is incompatible with Maoism (and also it demonstrates that participation in elections is also incompatible with Maoism).

Solidarity in Poland:

“There are “Maoists” who did so, and that is mistaken. Clearly, Solidarity was a US-imperialist front, and nothing more.”

The problem is that support for Solidarity is mentioned in the founding document of RIM. I wouldn’t be surprised if the MLPD had roughly the same statement.

“I do not believe that the errors of Mao can be put on par with actions of renegades like Khrushchev or Gorbachev.”

The greatness of Mao lay not merely in the fact that he built up the largest socialist state in the world but also led the struggle against revisionism in the 1960s. Unfortunately the good work of his excellent critique presented in the seven open letters to the CPSU was undone by the later extremely one-sided interpretations of anti-revisionism under the influence of the theory of “soviet social imperialism” and the ultra-leftist tactics of those who called themselves “Maoists”.

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