FROM THE COMING ISSUE #44 OF THE MAGAZINE RED SUN:
LONG LIVE MAOISM, DOWN WITH REVISIONISM!
1. Concerning the two line struggle in the International Communist Movement and the role of Chairman Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru
When we look at the present situation in the world today, and in particular the people's wars and armed struggles that advance under the banner of Maoism, we can verify that what Chairman Gonzalo established is being realized, that "Maoism, being embodied in the peoples of the world, is marching unstoppably to command the new great wave of the world proletarian revolution". In Peru, India, Philippines, Nepal and other countries, hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants have risen in arms under the red banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, heroically giving their lives to put an end to the old and rotten system of exploitation and oppression, while the imperialists desperately try to save their system with a new redivision of the world, with more genocidal war of plunder. It is confirmed, like Chairman Gonzalo says, that we are in the offensive of the world proletarian revolution, that revolution is the main historic and political tendency, and that what is needed to put an end to the imperialist war is the world people's war.
Does this mean, then, that the road is straight and simple? That as long as the Communist Parties adopt the name "Maoist" and initiate the armed struggle, our unity and the victories are guaranteed? Of course not. Within this offensive of the world revolution, a general counterrevolutionary offensive is still being developed, initiated and led by Yankee imperialism and contemporary revisionism, and its ideology and politics are also - inevitably - expressed within the International Communist Movement and within each Communist Party. The main problem is not the counterrevolutionary war, the military and political strength of imperialism and reaction; and furthermore, as Marxists we understand that it is inevitable that "to win, the revolution engenders and crushes a powerful counterrevolution" (Chairman Gonzalo). Therefore, to see what is necessary to guarantee the triumph of the people's war in each country and the sweeping away of imperialism on world level, we need to grasp that the internal is decisive, that the main danger is revisionism, and that the new revisionism of today - under the label of "maoism" - fundamentally is putting forward the same revisionist theses from the past; different variations of the "peaceful road", of the "party of the whole people", of questioning and denying the proletarian leadership of the revolution, of "agreements" or "peaceful coexistence" with imperialism, of replacing the new power with bourgeois democracy and, finally, of denying the need for, and attacking, the proletarian cultural revolution; all this to serve the interests of a handful of leaders, not those of the class and the peoples. To combat and crush revisionism within and outside our ranks - and see that the Central Committee is the vortex of the class struggle - is what is decisive to be able to confront and crush every offensive of the enemy. Each leap in the people's war - the initiation of the armed struggle, the building of the new power and principally the leap to conquer the power in the whole country - will without exception produce new opposing lines, its treacherous and capitulationist leaders, its revisionist opposition (always supported by the reaction) that must be crushed in order to be able to advance. "The correctness or otherwise of the ideological and political line decides everything" (Chairman Mao Tse-tung).
The inflexion and the current complex situation of the people's war in Peru, as well as the treason in Nepal are facts that confirm what we have stated above, and it is indispensable to draw lessons and learn from the negative examples as well as the positive ones. In the case of Peru, in spite of the arrest of Chairman Gonzalo, the treason and the counterrevolutionary work of the right opportunist line (ROL) and the "left" opportunist line (LOL) and the whole current complex situation, today we can count on a Party and a Central Committee that has analyzed, synthesized and denounced the dark path of these revisionist lines, a leadership that maintains the course of the revolution upholding, defending and applying Gonzalo Thought to solve the problems, take back what has been lost with people's war and continue to fulfill its role as red faction within the ICM, combating revisionism on world level.
For decades the PCP, basing itself on what is established in its International Line, has waged an implacable struggle within the ICM against revisionism: for the understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the third, new and higher stage of Marxism; for the concrete application of Maoism to the conditions of each country, against the hegemonist tendencies of the RCP (USA) in the RIM and its opposition to taking up Maoism; for the universal validity of the people's war, for the universal contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, principally the militarization of the Communist Parties, and other points. During the 80's, "the PCP was the only Party in the world that was at the vanguard in the defense of Maoism, and took on the struggle for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists of the world for this ideology to become the command and guide of the Peruvian and the world revolution" (International Line), and since around 2000 it was the PCP that led and insisted on the struggle against the "peace agreements" and the revisionism of Prachanda and other revisionist leaders in Nepal, when others in the RIM kept silent, took a wavering position or even defended the revisionist politics as "tactics" (for example, at the Conference in Hamburg in 2010, the Maoist Communist Party - Italy put forward the following about the "peace agreements" in Nepal: "the creative application of the people's war in Nepal brought other advances and useful lessons for our movement. No people's war can be the same as another: the principles are similar, but the application must be coherent with the reality of each country, it must be a dynamic application in theory, politics and action.").
This struggle, waged by the PCP through its generated organ the MPP, had forceful repercussions among communists and revolutionary masses all over the world, and consequently inevitably it also gave rise to a "counteroffensive" from the revisionist leaders of various Parties and organizations. Headed by the RCP (USA) and its revisionist head Bob Avakian, a handful of leaders in the ICM initiated a dark campaign to isolate and slander the PCP and its Great leadership, in convergence (and even in direct contact) with the treacherous rats of the ROL in Peru, and resorting to the same revisionist attacks and pretexts as Khrushchev, Teng Hsiao-Ping, Hoxha and others: of the so-called "personality cult", of a supposed struggle against "dogmatism" and "sectarianism" etc. Just like the Hoxhaists, the self-declared "Marxist-Leninists" and even "Mao Tse-tung Thought" reject Maoism and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution with the pretext that "Maoism failed" when the revisionists restored capitalism in China, in the same way some "Maoists" today reject the PCP and Gonzalo Thought taking the bend in the road and the inflexion in Peru as a pretext.
2. Learn from the Great Polemic Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement
Today, the majority of the Parties of the ICM - and even some of the ex-leaders of the CoRIM - have denounced Avakian's and Prachanda's revisionism in a series of declarations and documents. Some even recognize - at least in words - the contributions of Chairman Gonzalo and the role of the PCP. But when the PCP insists that an evaluation must be made of the struggles in the RIM and the application of Maoism, analyzing the problems of the past in two line struggle with an attitude of self-criticism to be able to identify and crush the revisionism of today, these leaders oppose it, and just like Avakian they take the complex situation of the people's war in Peru as a pretext to continue the campaign of isolation and slander against the PCP, and thus protect their own opportunism against the criticism from the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists. The same people who used to accuse the PCP of being "dogmatic" and "sectarian" now repeat the same thing in a veiled form: "we struggle against every tendency to raise the red banner of the PCP, the people's war and Chairman Gonzalo as a dogmatic icon […] No one must attribute to Chairman Gonzalo the simplifications of many of his followers in Peru and abroad" (Maoist Communist Party - Italy, September 2016). Who are these "followers" they refer to here? How does this "dogmatism" express itself? Why not make a clear and specific criticism? What is clear from declarations like this one - where they repeat almost literally what Avakian put forward when his RCP (USA) led the CoRIM - is that according to these comrades, the urgent problem of the ICM today is not in the politics of "peace agreements", in the parliamentary cretinism or in "Maoist" parties that promote the "peaceful road" and collaboration with imperialism, but in a supposed "dogmatism" about which they don't explain anything at all.
In this context, it is instructive to read the documents from the Great Polemic from the 60's, the struggle led by Chairman Mao and the CPC against contemporary revisionism. Study the following quotes from the document "More on the Differences between Comrade Togliatti and Us" (from the magazine Red Flag, China 1963):
Just like Togliatti, Khrushchev and other revisionists, Avakian and other leaders in the RIM tried to silence the criticism from the Marxists-Leninists-Maoists with the pretext of "not debating the differences between the parties in public". And just like the Communist Party of China, the PCP has maintained and still maintains today that faced with slanderous attacks - in convergence and direct contact with traitors and informers, as in Avakian's case - what one must do is wage the struggle publicly and openly, mobilizing the masses against revisionism and in defense of Marxism. This is still valid today, when the struggle against revisionism is an urgent necessity for the advance and triumph of the people's war in each country, to ward off capitulation, drawing lessons from the treason in Nepal and the dark perspective that can be glimpsed in some of the Parties of the ICM, and for us to be able to unite and forge ourselves for the world people's war against the imperialist world war.
As we see here, the accusations of "dogmatism" and "sectarianism" are part of an old revisionist method to avoid the open and honest struggle and reject the ideological and political criticism instead of "setting forth the facts and discussing them rationally" as is the method of the communists. And today we also see how some leading comrades from different Parties regularly refer to the supposed "unity" of the ICM, but avoid talking about the differences. They seek a "unity" not based on the principles of the universal ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, but on conciliation, on concessions, on seeking "rapid growth" and seeking the support of factions of the bourgeoisie and its intellectuals. This, as we already know, does not lead to the unity of the communists and the peoples of the world, but to their splitting and to opportunism.
For the communists to be able to unite on world level, we cannot see each revolution, each people's war, as something isolated and independent from the development of the world revolution. We are for the independence, self-determination and self-sufficiency of each Communist Party in order to not depend on anyone's command baton, but we do not take this principle as a pretext to reject criticism from other Parties or deny the need for unity on world level and the need to develop the struggle about the general line of the ICM. In fact, the struggle against revisionism is a struggle on international level, as the quoted document says:
Today we see that imperialism, in its dark and impossible dream of saving its system, tries to fulfill the reactionary task of avoiding that its wars of redivision, plunder and genocide generate more resistance and more revolution; and the imperialists are aware that this concretely implies trying to prevent that the proletariat through its Communist Parties assumes the leadership of the wars of national liberation, carrying out the democratic revolutions and continuing them as socialist and cultural revolutions until finally sweeping imperialism and all exploitation off the face of the earth. This reactionary task as always means concretely to combat the ideology of the proletariat, Marxism, i.e. today Maoism. Therefore imperialism inevitably, in a conscious and planned manner as well as spontaneously, continues to generate and promote revisionism within the ranks of the international proletariat, especially in those parts of the Third World that are most important for imperialism in its war of redivision, and in the imperialist countries where they need to strengthen the rear in order to serve the war. The forms that this revisionism takes will match the needs of imperialism in each moment. It is up to the communists in each country to identify and specify how this revisionism expresses itself in each moment, in their own country as well as in other countries, in order to be able to unmask it and crush it. We shall look at some of its main expressions in the present and how we must combat it.
3. The revisionism of today: parliamentary cretinism, capitulation, pawns
Parliamentary cretinism: One of the main forms that imperialism, reaction and revisionism apply to undermine and mislead the Communist Parties and the people's wars is to spread parliamentary illusions, of a "peaceful road" like we have seen in Nepal and in the electoral runt of the ROL in Peru, the "MOVADEF". The revisionists regularly try to uphold their parliamentary cretinism referring to quotes from Lenin or even Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China, taking policies that have been applied in specific conditions in the past and turning them into dogma that are supposedly universally and generally valid. Although these new revisionists assume the label "Maoism", in reality they oppose the third, new and higher stage of Marxism and the application of our ideology to the concrete conditions of today; they want to stay in the times of "Leninism" or "Mao Tsetung Thought" in order to justify their revisionist politics. Let us see what the Chinese communists said in 1963 (emphasis is ours):
So, the Marxist position concerning the character of the bourgeois parliaments is clear, but if we then follow what Lenin stated, what were the necessary conditions for being able to use this parliamentary struggle in the service of revolution?
So, what we communists need to determine today is: do these conditions, under which the bourgeoisie may admit true proletarian parties in their parliaments, exist today in any country in the world? Do the conditions exist in any country in the world for the proletariat to be able to maintain its "political independence" within the parliamentary system of the bourgeoisie? The conclusion of all the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists is that in the present era - of the offensive of the world revolution and the general and final crisis of imperialism - such conditions do not exist in any country; on the contrary, the whole experience of the ICM shows that in the decades that have passed since the quoted document, there is not a single example that indicates that participation in the bourgeois parliament can serve to develop the revolution. In fact, there are innumerable examples of "communist parties" that in these parliaments have sold themselves for a plate of beans, turning themselves into bourgeois parties, selling out the precious blood of the class to obtain positions for a handful of revisionist leaders within the old state. Such are the conditions under imperialism today. The method of "admitting parties of the working class" in their parliaments for them to abjure violence and hand over the weapons of the people, today is a part of imperialism's systematic counterrevolutionary politics all over the world; the elections within the reactionary system serve as part of the counterrevolutionary war, and the policy that the communists must apply in each country is to develop the boycott serving the people's war.
Therefore, today we define as parliamentary cretinism every politics that promotes the participation of the Communist Parties in the bourgeois elections and parliaments under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and/or the landlords, and it is a parliamentary cretinism directly linked to the politics of the "peace agreements", to the illusions about "progressive" or "antiimperialist" regimes like the Chavist regime in Venezuela or the Duterte regime in the Philippines, and to the revisionist tendency to sell out to one or another imperialist power, turning the revolutionary movements into pawns in the imperialist war of redivision.
On the United Front and the "antiimperialist" bourgeois regimes: In the light of this reality, we need to look at the current politics of the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP), that says: "Hundreds of thousands of peasants must also be mobilized so that peace talks may serve as a platform to assert genuine land reform…" (Bayan #10, May 21, 2016). That is to say, "land reform" within the old system instead of new democratic revolution; the phenomenon is not a new one, in Peru we have plenty of experience of Velasco's fascist and corporative "land reforms", that have their equivalents in other countries in Latin America and other parts of the world as well. The CPP says: "assert the necessary reforms to solve the questions at the root of the current civil war in the country." (Ibid.). What they are saying here, just like the ROL in Peru ("political solution to the problems derived from the war") or Prachanda in Nepal, is that the fundamental contradictions can be solved without the destruction of the old state, without conquering the power through the victory of the people's war. The supposed foundation of this politics of the CPP is that the new Duterte regime has "particularities" that "engender" an "advantageous situation" for the "promotion of the people's interest through advancing the people's democratic revolution" (Ibid.). In the same issue of the quoted magazine - the official mouthpiece of the CPP - we are informed that Duterte has offered the CPP four cabinet positions in the reactionary government. The CPP considers that "An alliance or coalition between the Duterte regime and the CPP and revolutionary forces can be realized on the basis of principles such as national sovereignty and social justice".
Apart from the hot air about "social justice" - in reality nothing more than reformism - we see here how these leaders distort the Maoist politics of the United Front against imperialism in order to present regimes such as Duterte's as "antiimperialist" and make the proletariat and the people tail behind the big bourgeoisie. In the document "A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement" from 1963, the Communist Party of China stated the following (emphasis is ours):
That is to say, that in the semicolonial and semifeudal countries, the proletariat must build a United Front, absolutely led by the proletariat through its Party, based primarily on the worker-peasant alliance, with the petty bourgeoisie as an ally and, under certain conditions, including the middle or national bourgeoisie. Do the regimes of Duterte, of Chavez/Maduro en Venezuela and other similar ones represent the middle or national bourgeoisie? Is it true that they have an "antiimperialist" aspect? No! In reality, these governments represent factions of the big bourgeoisie, bureaucratic and comprador; they represent bureaucrat capitalism, and accordingly they are completely submitted to imperialism. They are factions of the bourgeoisie that may swing between different imperialist superpowers or powers, but they can never become antiimperialists. While it is true that the proletariat can use the contradictions between the factions of the comprador big bourgeoisie and between the imperialist superpowers and powers, this does not mean entering into "alliances" or "coalitions" with them. First, imperialism cannot be the only target of the democratic revolution, because it is not a nationalist revolution of the old type, led by the bourgeoisie. Second, the factions of the big bourgeoisie of bureaucrat capitalism may oppose the domination of one or another imperialist superpower or power, but only to replace it with the domination of other imperialists - no matter how much they try to present themselves as "nationalists". Applying the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thesis of the democratic revolution, the PCP states:
What we see today is that some leaders in different countries, distorting the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoistm and denying their application to the concrete conditions of today, promote a so-called "Front" with one or another faction of the big bourgeoisie under the pretext of a supposed "antiimperialist front". The result of such politics is inevitable; it aims to ride on the back of the heroic struggle of the proletariat and the peoples, selling their precious spilled blood to obtain positions within the old order for a handful of so-called "maoist" leaders, like we have already seen in Nepal, turning the people's wars and revolutionary armed struggles into pawns of imperialism. While we communists put our faith in the masses and the revolution to sweep away imperialism in a world people's war, these leaders unite with the position of the ROL in Peru - that we are in a "retreat of the world revolution" - to justify capitulation. In their eagerness to integrate and obtain positions within the old system, they put their faith in other imperialist powers (Russian, Chinese and others) to submit to a new "multipolar" order that supposedly would allow the development of "social justice" in a "gradual" and "less violent" way, or as the CPP says:
Uphold, defend and apply Maoism and crush revisionism
Fundamentally, these ideological and political problems in the ICM have their origin in the negation of Maoism as third, new and higher stage of Marxism. Only Communist Parties built on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism can maintain the course of the revolution. This cannot mean taking up Maoism only as a label, or taking Chairman Mao's theses as mechanical formulas without applying them to the concrete conditions of today, and thus deny the essence of Maoism. Maoism is not imposed through conciliation, with "agreements" between leaders or with fusions or amalgams of Parties, but with constant ideological and political struggle within the Parties in order for the left to impose itself, nourished by the heroic masses of the people. Today we see that some of the leaders and organizations that were opposed to taking up Maoism, insisting in "Marxism-Leninism" or "Mao Tsetung Thought", have now joined the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Parties. Positions that have been criticized in the ICM apparently "disappear", but without self-criticism, without making the evaluation of the struggles in order to thus achieve true unity. In this way, the differences are not resolved and the right only hides itself; and so liberalism is allowed to replace Marxism, the door is opened to entryism and infiltration, leading to the degeneration of the Parties and to splitting the ICM.
Thus we see how in India, the comrades of the CPI(M), facing problems of disunity and "non-proletarian" positions, have launched a campaign of "bolshevisation", when what is needed is a rectification campaign to impose Maoism and identify, combat and crush the revisionist, opportunist or rightist positions; a rectification campaign in the midst of full military campaign of encirclement and annihilation, in the harvests carried out together with the peasants, in the factories and in the strikes, because the political follows the ideological, and the organizational follows the political. And we emphasize that the rectification campaign, and the whole struggle against revisionism, is done in the whole Party, and the Central Committee is the vortex of the class struggle. See the document "On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document 'Elections, No! People's War, Yes!'" (PCP 1991):
In this context, let us look at a current illustrative example from India. As the PCP says in the above quote "it is not possible to fight against imperialism without fighting against revisionism". As Maoists we understand that the politics of revisionism are directly linked to the needs of imperialism and its counterrevolutionary plans. The contradiction between the communists and the revisionist leaders and parties - that are part of the old system, of the old reactionary state - is not a contradiction among the people, but between us and the enemy. In August of 2016, "Bachcha Prasad Singh, a CPI(Maoist) politburo member, who was arrested from Kanpur in 2010 and released on bail recently, has expressed this willingness to form ‘a broader united front’ in an interview given after his release". So, a member of the politburo of the CPI(M), who was "released on bail" now expresses - apparently by his own initiative - his willingness to unite with the revisionist parties that are self-declared enemies of the people's war. He says: "In my opinion the way to confront the present scenario is to form a strong resistance and a broader united front against Hindutva forces. It does not matter if the front includes Leftist parties in Parliament. It is the time to stay united, to forget our dogmatic and ideological differences…" So, for this member of the politburo of the CPI(M), the differences between the Marxists-Leninists-Maoists and the revisionists are nothing more than "dogmatic and ideological differences" that we must "forget"? Was this then an isolated error, an individual leader who under the pressure from the reaction abandoned the ideology and the politics of the Maoist Party? No, according to the article, "responding to queries sent by HT, a senior Maoist leader said, 'It’s is not his personal opinion. He is conveying the stand of the party.'"
Whatever may be the character of the different revisionist parties in India or of the particularities of building the Front in the country, these declarations from the leaders of the CPI(M), and the circumstances and the way in which they were made, to us is a clear indication of the problems that we have pointed out above. Under the pretext of a supposed "unity" or "tactic" facing "fundamentalist terrorists" or against one or another faction of the ruling classes, these leaders propose "forgetting" our struggle against revisionism. If this is the message that these leaders spread to the revolutionary masses of India, how will they mobilize these masses against revisionism and forge them in our ideology for the conquest of power?
Against this politics the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, in India and in all the countries, should consider and apply what Chairman Gonzalo established: "We are absolutely opposed to the revisionist theory being applied in Central America, and that they want to spread elsewhere, that "everyone is revolutionary," "everyone is Marxist," "there's no need for the leadership of a Communist Party," "it's enough to simply unite everyone and base oneself on a front in order to lead a revolution." That is the negation of Marxism. It is the negation of Marx, of Lenin, and of Chairman Mao." (Interview with Chairman Gonzalo)
These are some examples to show why it is an urgent and indispensable necessity to develop the debate between the Parties of the ICM about the application of Maoism, and develop the struggle to the death against revisionism in each Party, forging the masses in defense of our ideology to be able to conquer the power, arm ourselves for the world people's war and sweep away imperialism, reaction and revisionism from the face of the Earth. We call the communists in each country and each Party to firmly reject the attempts of some leaders to avoid the two line struggle and discard criticism with accusations of "dogmatism" and "sectarianism", recurring to the old revisionist thesis of "struggle against the personality cult" in order to deny the concrete application of Maoism and "incanting 'Unity! Unity!', when what is actually meant is 'Split! Split!'".