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Observe Naxalbari Day Organise and Intensify Agrarian Revolutionary Struggle
MAY 25TH MARKS the 42nd anniversary of the great Naxalbari Uprising. In continuation to Telengana, Naxalbari was the cumulative result of the intensifying struggle against revisionism of CPI and the neo-revisionism of the CPI(M) leaderships. Naxalbari brought the clarion call for advancing the People’s Democratic Revolution to the forefront. It brought the cardinal importance of organising and intensifying the agrarian revolutionary movement with land to the tiller slogan under the leadership of the working class according to concrete conditions militantly forward by occupying the land illegally held by the landlords and the plantation owners. In this way Naxalbari highlighted the politics of People’s Democracy fighting uncompromisingly against revisionism and neo-revisionism, combined with the agrarian revolutionary movement paving the way for forging and consolidating worker-peasant alliance. It became a turning point inspiring the revolutionary movement all over the country.
After four decades the vast masses of the people are facing a greater crisis today. Due to imperialist globalisation, the global financial crisis is intensifying the pauperisation of the masses in the country. The old feudal relations are by and large replaced with a new landlord system of kulaks, with more than 60% of agricultural land in the hands of 10% of landlords. Unemployment, price rise and cutting down of all welfare measures have intensified people’s misery. The comprador ruling system serving imperialism is ruthlessly exploiting and oppressing them. This situation demands mobilisation of the agricultural workers and landless-poor peasants wherever possible and launching agrarian revolutionary movements with land to the tiller slogan with all our might. It also demands mobilising and politicising working class all over the country so that they can give leadership to the democratic revolution and advance towards socialist revolution. Let these tasks be taken up by all Party committees. Let us intensify agrarian struggles where ever possible. New Delhi 01-05-2009 Secretary Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Organise Anti-Price Rise Movement Urgently
THE PRICES of all essential commodities, mainly food items, are continuously increasing making life miserable for vast majority of people. As the whole attention is centred on Lok Sabha elections, not even the media is prepared to highlight it. That the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas were not cut in proportion to the fall in prices of crude petroleum from 147 dollar per barrel to nearly one third is one of the major reasons for price rise. Side by side the UPA government has further liberalised all the restrictions on the MNCs and corporate houses to enter retail trade. Fabulous mals and various other outlets are built up. Thus even retail trade is being monopolised. As a result of these monopoly control of wholesale and retail trade prices are sky rocketing. In the present situation whichever party or combination succeeds to form the next government the condition is not going to change. There are all possibilities for it to worsen. The immediaste necessity is to organise anti-price rise movement everywhere with the following slogans: Bring down prices of food items and all essential commodities. Cut down prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas.
Bring procurement of cereals under government control, banning futures trading in all agricultural commodities. Drive out corporate houses and MNCs from retail trade. Re-introduce statutory rationing system, take stringend action against hoarding, black marketing. All Party committees are called upon to organise a continuous agitation against price rise immediately. New Delhi 01-05-2009 Secretary Central Committee, CPI(ML)
May Day Call
This 1st May: Seize the Day, Seize the Hour
THE MAY DAY is observed this year at a time when the world is still reeling from the effects of a “never-before” recession. Factories are closing everyswhere and jobs are being lost at the rate of tens of thousands per day in our country. The economic con-games that have been played by companies like Satyam and others have led to a further surge in the rate of job-losses. The outsourcing scheme of Western countries to employ “cyber-coolies” from India is also coming to an end as they withdraw jobs in their endeavour to shore up their own employment rates. At this juncture, though the rise in the prices of essential goods and food articles is evident, the wholesale price index is hardly rising, leading to an anomalous situation where the cost of living is rising without any commensurate rise in the earnings of workers and peasants. In this situation, the bourgeois and comprador governments all over the world have been cutting down on the earlier welfare measures. The thrust of the measures adopted by these Governments is that the country will prosper, if the industrialist is allowed to prosper. The managements’ contributions to social security measures like PF and ESI are being eroded. The level of neutralisation in minimum wage is being brought down all over the country. Social security schemes like schemes for family insurance and accident insurance etc. are increasingly changing to “contributory” ones which are being run by private players from the workers own contributions. Apart from denying the workers their due economic rights and benefits, the ruling classes and their Governments all over the world are engaged in systematically cutting down the democratic and trade union rights of the workers; They do so either by direct legislations or by using the Judiciary which unabashedly rules against the rights of the workers. The most dangerous trend of course is the attempt of the ruling classes to convert the class contradictions into communal or racial or ethnic contradictions and thereby divert the class struggle into communal conflicts. This May Day, we must recognise this dirty trick of the ruling class and respond resolutely by declaring our unity cutting across all caste and communal barriers. This situation is therefore one of grave hardship for the working class. At the same time it is also a situation of great opportunity for the revolutionary movement in the working class. The Government has thrown off the mask of “caring for the workers” and is openly showing “care” only for the MNCs and the large corporate houses. Special schemes like SEZs and CMZs will be revived with renewed vigour once the formality of elections have been dispensed with. This holds true of the Governments of every state, be they run by the Congress, BJP, BSP, SP, Left front or other smaller regional parties. All these Govts are openly and unabashedly removing the last shreds of protection for the workers in their struggle against the capitalists for a better life. This desperation of the bourgeois political parties is also an outcome of the present economic crisis. It is this very desperation that gives the revolutionary movement in the working class an opportunity to clearly expose the subterfuges of the bourgeois and comprador governments and to build up a sustained movement against imperialism and imperialist globalisation and the untold misery that it is causing to the working class. The working class is fast losing faith in the ruling class parties. They are seeing that the policies of imperialism and globalisation have not
produced the promised plenty. On the contrary, globalisation, along with the accompanying liberalisation and privatisation are responsible for further price rise, further unemployment, further homelessness and further disease and death. They are seeing the effects of the policies of globalisation leading to the denuding of the environment through policies like corporate farming and contract farming, SEZs and CMZs. We, as revolutionaries in the working class movement, have to seize the opportunity that the times have presented. Thus, though the present depression is a tragedy, it is our duty to channel the rage of the working class against misery and hardship, into which they are being plunged, against the system of imperialism and globalisation and for the establishment of democracy and socialism. Today all the established trade union centres, stand as exposed as their associated parties. People have lost faith in the trade unions led by the bourgeoisie - the reformists and the revisionists - and are fast losing faith in the trade union movement as a whole. It is in this scenario that TUCI has to take the lead to form a revolutionary trade union movement, a politicised trade union movement, which will fight not only for wages and bonus but also for democracy and socialism. We have taken the first step in this direction with our 6th All India Conference in Kanpur. The great success of that conference reflects the thirst of the working class all over the country for a revolutionary leadership. We have to go further in the direction pointed out by the resolutions of the 5th and 6th Conferences. TUCI has now clearly taken on the form of a truly All-India organisation. We have to expand and consolidate our organisation. For this we have to systematise and regularise our work in various sections of workers in the informal sector — construction workers, hawkers, fish workers, etc. We have to lead the struggle to enforce the laws for the protection of construction workers and for genuine social security for workers in the unorganised sector and we have to fight to get laws enacted to provide comprehensive protection to agricultural workers. With mills being closed all over the country, in the absence of any organised force to fight for them, power loom workers all over the country are being subjected to inhuman exploitation. Motor transport workers — rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, car and truck drivers and mechanics — is another sector in urgent need of having an all India organisation. Closed mills and factories, while affording a bonanza of real estate to builders, have left in their wake millions of unemployed workers and their families, many of whom have not even got the benefits of their legal dues. It is only by fighting for the rights of all these sections that we can build up a trade union movement which is different from the one which is being led by the established trade unions. If we can build up such a movement, even the workers of the organised sector, who also are being severely exploited and are eager for struggle and change, will join us. The credentials of the recent conference in Kanpur have shown that we are on the right track. Over 70% of our delegates were below 50 years of age and over 50% were below 35. More than 67% worked in the unorganised sector. We have to go further from here. The recent Kanpur Conference also shown that we are in a position to bring together the likeminded forces all over the country. Many organisations attended and many sent their greetings. This is part of the task set before us by the Unity Resolution of the 5th Conference, which was reaffirmed in the 6th Conference. We have to also carry forward this task of uniting the revolutionary trade union forces all over the country. Such then are the challenges of this coming year. Through the gloom and despondency of closures and retrenchments shines the opportunity to unite the working class in a genuinely revolutionary trade Union movement. Let us seize this opportunity with both hands and move forward. Mukul Sinha President Sanjay Singhvi General Secretary Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI)
G-20 London Summit: Putting Brakes on Laissez Faire
G-20 IS A COMBINATION of imperialist countries including imperialist China and countries like India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa who represent almost 90% of the wealth and foreign trade. They met at London in the beginning of April in the context of the unprecedented imperialist meltdown spreading fast globally. And they have decided to reform the imperialist system to save it from the crisis. Their first decision is to put a brake on Lassies Faire and the Thatcher-Reagan approach of 1970s based on the Misas-Hayek-Friedman thinking which had replaced the hitherto Neo-Keynisian approach. Further the Summit also decided to put an end to the 1990 Washington Consensus, also termed neo-liberalism or market fundamentalism, launched by US imperialism in collaboration with IMF and World Bank, spreading the globalisation-liberalisation-privatisa-tion regime allover the world. Thus the thinking that the markets are efficient and it could work things out by themselves is now reformed to state that both the governments and markets have got to be underpinned by values to work better. The Washington Consensus was imposed by US through IMF not even waiting for a consensus among the imperialist countries or a consultation with the ‘developing countries’. Its ‘ten commandments’ included: fiscal discipline; redirection of public expenditure priorities in order to get high returns; tax reform to lower the marginal rates and broaden the tax base; liberalisation of interest rates; competitive exchange rate; liberalisa-tion of trade; encouragement to free inflow of foreign direct investment; privatisation of public assets, under-takings, facilities, etc.; deregulation in order to abolish barriers to entry and exit of firms whether indigenous or foreign; and guaranteeing secure property rights. Subsidies, poverty alleviation schemes and welfare programmes were regarded as wasteful expenditures and they were to be done away with as early as possible. The role of the state in the economy was to be kept as small as possible and the economy was left to be driven by the “magic of the marketplace”. In America, the GlassSteagall Act of 1933, separating investment and commercial banking, was abrogated. Similarly other regulatory mechanisms were discarded. Consequently, the ground was gradually prepared for the present crisis. Now Washington Consensus is replaced by the new G-20 London Consensus which states that: “We will conduct all our economic policies cooperatively and responsibly with regard to the impact on other countries and will refrain from competitive devaluation of our currencies and promote a stable and well-functioning international monetary system. We will support, now and in the future, to candid, even-handed, and independent IMF surveillance of our economies and financial sectors, of the impact of our policies on others, and of risks facing the global economy”. Accordingly the G-20 leaders have pledged “to build a stronger, more globally consistent, supervisory and regulatory framework for the future financial sector, which will support sustainable global growth and serve the needs of business and citizens’. Further, ‘We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong. But we also agree to establish the much greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries, and the framework of internationally agreed high standards that a global financial system requires. Strengthened regulation and supervision must promote propriety, integrity and transparency; guard against risk across the financial system; dampen rather than amplify the financial and economic cycle; reduce reliance on inappropriately risky sources of financing; and discourage excessive risktaking. Regulators and supervisors must protect consumers and investors, support market discipline, avoid adverse impacts on other countries, reduce the scope for regulatory arbitrage, support competition and dynamism, and keep pace with innovation in the marketplace”. So the magic of market place will be replaced by innovation in the market place, the world is told. It is also resolved to set up a new Financial Stability Board with G-20 representatives to stop arbitrary functioning of the IMF. The financial resources at the disposal of the IMF shall be augmented by $ 500 billion and the SDR will be made more effective diminishing the role of the dollar as the only international currency.
But these grandiose proclama-tions just remains promises. In spite of so many WTO decisions the major imperialist countries have not stopped protectionist measures. Only three months back the G-20 leaders had pledged not to take protectionist measures during the global financial crisis. But almost all the imperialist countries imposed some form of trade restrictions within two months. Imperialists, especially US imperialists, will continue to dictate terms, will resort to protectionist measures, and try to export as much of the crisis as possible to the neocolonial countries. Any amount of reforms are not going to change the basic character of imperialist system. It cannot be reformed, it has to be thrown out and smashed. India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh is one of those IMF products who was sent out to their countries in 1990s as part of the Washington Consensus to impose market funda-mentalism through the globalisation regime which he did under Narasimha Rao government froms 1991. Later all consecutive governments, their finance ministers, planning commission heads, Reserve Bank of India governors and the central and state governments as a whole became addicts of Washington Consensus. Even the social democrats were no exception. Manmohan Singh had attended the G-20 London Summit and signed its proclamation. But cunningly he has not uttered a word how the US and IMF through him and his likes have enslaved this country to market funda-mentalism which has led to present global crisis going to create havoc in this country. The Election Manifesto of all the parties from Congress, BJP to CPI(M) which were released after the G-20 meeting proclamation came out do not state that they will throw out imperialist globalisation. While the consistent position taken by the CPI(ML) right from 1991 stands vindicated, all these parties are exposed as agents of imperialism implementing the dictates of it, with their own opportunist interpretations. In spite of the reforms proposed in G-20 London proclamation, the comprador ruling classes and their political representatives in the country are not going to reverse the disastrous neoliberal policies, irrespective of whichever government is coming to power after the elections. CPI(ML) calls on the patriotic democratic forces to launch a vigorous campaign immediately with the following slogans. Scrap Imperialist Globalisation-Liberalisation-Privatisation Policies! Kick Out IMF-World Bank-WTO and MNCs! Struggle for People Oriented, National, Democratic, Self-reliant Development Policy!
Historic Significance of Naxalbari Uprising
NAXALBARI UPRISING, the Spring Thunder Over Indian Horizon was a revolutionary effort to continue the Telengana struggle’s experience in the new situation of 1967. Immediately after the 1947 transfer of power, the Congress government which took over had intensified the onslaught on the Telengana agrarian struggle, while the Tebhaga movement in Bengal had weakened due to the division of Bengal and major struggle areas becoming part of then East Pakistan. The Indian military which was send to crush Nizam’s resistance to the integration of the Hyderabad kingdom to Indian union, was unleashed for a reign of terror against the agrarian movement against feudal oppression led by the Communist Party with land to the tiller slogan. The movement had liberated more than three thousand villages of Telengana region, driving out the feudal lords and their goonda forces, capturing their land and distributing to the landless-poor peasant and agricultural workers. Peasant committees with people’s militia were running administration in these areas. In spite of brutal suppression leading to setbacks in some areas, the movement continued refusing to surrender.
In order to hoodwink the masses and to prevent outbreak of Telengana like movements Nehru government, along with police-military suppression launched the Bhoodan movement under Vinoba Bhave’s leadership. But even this could not stop the continuation of the movement. Only when the Nehru government succeeded to force the then Party leadership to withdraw the movement on the eve of 1952 parliament elections with promises which were later betrayed, the movement came to a halt. Then under Ford Foundation suggestions the “land reforms from
above with ceiling laws” were imposed for transforming the land holding from old feudal lords to new landlords so that the green revolution could be launched. It was an attempt to put down the anti-feudal struggles on the one hand, and to prepare rural areas for the entry of imperialist capital, inputs and MNCs. Under reformist influence the Communist Party leadership also started abandoning the land to the tiller slogan. The demands of Kisan Sabha was reduced to reformist slogans like the distribution of above ceiling surplus land etc. Even no effort was made in most of these areas to carry it forward vigorously. Though the Dangeist CPI leadership was thrown out and the party was reorganised as CPI(M) in 1964 adopting the Party Programme of People’s Democratic Revolution with agrarian revolution as its axis, by the time of the 1967 elections the CPI(M) leadership compromised with reactionary, communal parties and succeeded in forming coalition governments in West Bengal and Kerala. These governments abandoned agrarian programme with land to the tiller slogan. Besides the West Bengal government did not take any steps to take over the surplus lands from the landlords and plantation owners. It was in this situation tens of thousands of landless-poor peasants were mobilised under All India Kisan Sabha led by communist revolution-aries in the CPI(M) who launched a militant movement in May 1967 occupying the lands of landlords and plantation owners in Naxalbari region. It was not just a struggle for land alone. If it was so it would have become just another economic struggle. After the split in CPI in 1964 and formation of CPI(M), in its Seventh Congress documents, in analysing the character of the big bourgeoisie, in developing the line of PDR according to Indian conditions, in continuing to implement the Telengana lessons and developing the agrarian struggles based on land to the tiller slogan, in politicising the working class and establishing their leadership in the PDR etc. it vacillated. On the question of Krushchovite line of three peacefuls and on upholding Great Debate positions of the CPC led by Mao Tsetung also CPI(M) leadership had no clarity. As a result, the Communist Revolutionaries inside the Party from various states, especially West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, etc. had started launching ideological struggle against the Party line. The eight documents published by CM for inner party discussion during 1965-67 period tried to deal with these issues and to give answers, waging uncompromising struggle against the revisionist line of CPI and the neorevisionist line of CPI(M). The importance of Naxalbari uprising lies in the fact that it was the product of this inner-party struggle, it brought forward the significance of continuing the agrarian revolutionary movement according to then concrete conditions and that it brought forward the question of capture of political power. Thus Naxalbari transcended the economic struggle and included the orientation of the political struggle. Against revisionism and neo-revisionism, it became a spring thunder inspiring the continuation of the People’s Democratic Revolution (PDR) with more vigour. It was a powerful onslaught against the reformist deviation of the CPI(M) leadership. That is why the CPI(M) leadership became mortally afraid of it and launched brutal suppression against it. The W. Bengal government with Jyoti Basu as deputy chief minister sent a big police force and sought the help of central forces to drown the movement in blood, killing nine women comrades and two children in the police firing on 25th May. When this did not wipe out the movement, the CR forces were attacked and hounded out of the party. When the communist revolutionaries regrouped and formed AICCCR and later the CPI(ML), utilising the ‘left’ sectarian deviation influencing it, the political and organisational attack on it was intensified. When the fascistic Congress government of West Bengal unleashed a reign of state terror against it in early 1970s, the CPI(M) leaders colluded in the encirclement and large scale murder of the CPI(ML) cadres. They were overjoyed when the movement splintered. NEW SITUATION Today, four decades after Naxalbari, what was pointed out by the communist revolutionaries then has become an established fact. After 32 years of continuous rule in West Bengal and many terms in power in Kerala and Tripura the CPI(M) and the Left Front led by it have totally degenerated to social democracy and parliamentary cretinism, implementing the neo-liberal policies pursued by the ruling class faithfully. After propping up the reactionary UPA government for more than four years, along with other ruling class parties they are engaged in a frantic salvage operation to save the fragmented ruling class polity from the wrath of the people. The
state governments led by CPI(M) are competing with other state governments to rob the workers of their rights, to suppress the agrarian revolutionary movements and to serve the neo-liberal raj of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-big landlord classes. They have become as corrupt and anti-people as the other ruling class parties creating Singur, Nandigram, Chengara, adding misery of the people. The neo-revisionists of Naxalbari days have become part of the archreactionary ruling system today. From apologists of neo-colonialism, they have become executioners of the neo-colonial policies imposed by the imperialists, especially US imperialists, while continuing to mouth anti-imperialist slogans like the social democrats in other countries also do. But, in spite of claiming to uphold Naxalbari and even Charu Majumdar, many sections of the Marxist-Leninist forces are refusing to see this degeneration of the CPI(M) and its LF partners. Instead one of them, the CPI(ML) Liberation in continuation to its ‘Left Confederation’ policy has forged an electoral alliance with CPI(M) and CPI in Bihar and Jharkhand. Certain other fringe sections in Kerala, West Bengal have degenerated as apologists and propagandists of the social democratic CPI(M). They are continuously diluting their ideological-political positions to suit it. Today upholding Naxalbari means continuing along the path of the uncompromising struggle against the revisionists and neo-revisionists of those days who have degenerated to social democratic positions now. It means continuing Naxalbari’s mass revolutionary character rejecting the ‘left’ sectarian deviation and the line of annihilation influencing it later causing immense damage to it. It means continuing uncompromising struggle against both right opportunism and ‘left’ sectarian, anarchist tendencies of all hues, and developing the ideological political positions to combat the ever-intensifying neo-colonial offensive of the imperialists, especially US imperialists. It means uniting all genuine Marxist-Leninists and winning over the new generation of the revolutionaries to build a powerful communist party with all India influence, in Bolshevik style, surrounded by class/mass organisations, and capable of intensifying class struggle utilising all forms of struggle without compromising basic Marxist-Leninist strategic orientation to complete the tasks of the PDR and advance towards socialist transformation. Once again let us pledge to march forward along the Telengana-Naxalbari path intensifying the agrarian revolution under working class leadership with land to the tiller slogan according to the concrete conditions of today.
It is the People’s Interest That is the Party’s Interest
Charu Majumdar [PROBABLY this was the last important article written by com. Charu Majumdar, which was published in the last issue of Liberation under his leadership. By June 1972 when this article was written the revolutionary upsurge had suffered a serious setback. Thousands of revolutionary cadres were killed under the bloody suppression of central and state forces. Most of the leading cadres had also become martyrs. All the struggle areas had faced setback. It is by taking stock of this situation, in the spirit of launching a rectification drive, CM had called that “it our task now to preserve the Party”. And he also stated that “in order to preserve it we have to build the Party among the broad masses of workers and peasants”. But after suffering such a severe setback because of the left sectarian line of annihilation, it was not easy to fulfill the task. After the arrest and martyrdom of CM on 28th July, any immediate recovery became almost impossible. Because of this, as CM evaluated, though within a short time, by 1973-74, a spontaneous outburst took place in our country, the splintered Party groups could not come up to a unified stand and come to its leadership. CM has written this article evaluating then international and national situation. The upsurge he predicted did take place followed by the fascistic emergency rule of 1975-77. During the last three decades following the emergency days the neo-colonisation has further intensified. The Indian state led by the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlord classes serving imperialism, especially US imperialism, has become more ruthless. Under neo-liberalism the
class antagonism have further intensified, with attack on the workers and the revolutionary sections of the peasantry increasing manifold. As a result, once again an upsurge is coming, a country-wide upsurge, hundred times stronger than that of the 1970s. In this excellent objective situation, as CM called for in 1972, “it is our duty today to forward the work of building the Party among the basic masses and set up a joint front with the broadest sections of the people on the basis of struggle.” We are republishing this article on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Naxalbari uprising so that it shall help to overcome all sectarian weaknesses, to defeat anarchist tendencies, uncompromisingly fighting against all right opportunist tendencies, and dedicate ourselves to build the Party uniting all genuine communists, winning over millions of the basic worker-peasant masses and inspiring the tens of millions of the new generation so that the Party shall become capable of leading the coming mighty upsurge ideologically, politically and organisationally - Red Star] WE HAVE suffered a setback after the armed struggle in our country reached a stage. It is our task now to preserve the Party. In order to preserve it we have to build the Party among the broad masses of workers and peasants. We shall be able to get over the setback and raise the struggle to a stage higher than before, if we can build a party politically united. I hope we shall be able to do this within a short time. Chairman has said that there is still the possibility of a world war. Imperialism and socialimperialism are today enmeshed in various crises at home and abroad. Because of the political and economic crises, they are at their wit’s end. To capture each other’s market and expand their own they now resort to different underhand means and, as a result, the contradiction among them are becoming sharp. They seek to shift the burden of their own crises on the underdeveloped and undeveloped countries. That is why those countries too are today assuming a role of opposition to the two superpowers — US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism. In their vain effort to escape from the crises they may start a world war. In the beginning we shall, indeed, have to face difficulty, if a world war begins. But that difficulty will not be there for long. A vast, widespread revolutionary upsurge will bring our victory near. Within a short time there will be a spontaneous outburst in our country and this will take the form of a national uprising. Our India is a vast country. The people of this country are groaning under exploitation and oppression. Gradually these two camps — the exploiters and the exploited — are moving towards a confrontation. Discontent is smouldering among the exploited people. They will refuse to submit to oppression for a long time. There will be spontaneous outburst of the people’s resentment in different places. When the resentment of the people of this vast country will explode, no reactionary government will be powerful enough to put it down. That is why the fall of the reactionary government is inevitable. So the reactionary Indira government has been trying to build up a strong Centre, for they can anticipate the future awaiting them. This vast country has many problems. Moreover, they have created another problem — ‘Bangladesh’. Tamil Nadu has already raised the demand for autonomy. The vast land between Bihar and Gujarat is inhabited by adivasis. There is no limit to the exploitation of the adivasi masses. The workers in the industrial areas of Maharashtra are victims of severe exploitation. Terrible is the exploitation of the peasantry of Mysore; the same is true of the other regions in the south. One cannot calculate and predict beforehand when the unrest among the oppressed people of our country will find its expression and in what form. Chairman has said that in the next 50 to 100 years there will occur many events which were inconceivable before. In our country, too, such events as cannot be conceived of beforehand will take place. On the other hand, the heroic people of Vietnam are providing courage and inspiration to the people of the entire world. They are waging a struggle that has no parallel. If Vietnam is liberated, fire will blaze up throughout South-east Asia. With Vietnam as central issue, the governments of Asian, African and Latin American countries, together with those of other countries, are clamouring against US imperialism. Besides, they have established relations with socialist China, the great citadel of world revolution. In our country the Nagas and the Mizos were waging entirely national struggles to realise their demand for separate states, but they forged relations with China when they observed the struggle of the heroic people of Vietnam.
An upsurge is coming- country-wide upsurge. We must keep this upsurge in view. Only then shall we have confidence in ourselves. In days before, we witnessed upsurge in one or two districts. The upsurge that is coming will spread over a far wider area and will attain a still higher stage than in the past. One should bear in mind that the advance of struggle is not evolutionary but revolutionary. Our country will not be liberated even by the year 2001, what to speak of 1975, if we take into consideration only the pace in which the struggle led by our Party is advancing. It is because the progress and development of struggle is revolutionary that the upsurge which occurred in a small area yesterday will not remain confined within that area and that the struggle will attain greater intensity and reach a higher stage in the coming days than before. Is it possible for us to lead everywhere the coming upsurge? Certainly not. The struggle in those areas where it will be led by our Party’s conscious leadership will set an example to the struggles in other areas where there will be no such leadership. If, today, we can implement agrarian reforms in some areas, these may take place spontaneously in many other areas during the revolutionary upsurge. Our conscious leadership will bring about an armed revolutionary upsurge and through this armed revolutionary upsurge our leadership will gradually be established everywhere. It is our duty today to forward the work of building the Party among the basic masses and set up a joint front with the broadest sections of the people on the basis of struggle. It is possible to build the broadest joint front against Congress rule. Today the ‘leftist’ parties refuse to provide leadership to the common people in the struggle against the oppression the Congress perpetrates on them. The workers-peasant masses who are within the folds of those parties feel resentment against their leadership. We have to carry on efforts to unite with them on the basis of united struggle. Even those who once acted as our enemies will come forward in special circumstances to unite with us. We must have the largeness of mind to unite with such forces. Largeness of mind is a quality of the Communists. Today, it is the people’s interest that demands united struggle. It is the people’s interest that is the Party’s interest.
On the Stiglitz Commission Report
P.J. James UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, more popularly known as the Stiglitz Commission has submitted its preliminary report just before the G-20 Summit held in the first week of April, 2009. The Commission of experts was appointed by the UN General Assembly in the context of the unprecedented global economic and financial crisis that still continues unabatedly. Representing several distinguished economists, the Commission was headed by Nobel Laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz.
At the outset, it must be stated that the prescriptions put forward by the Commission are neoKeynesian in character. Unlike other official imperialist reports, it certainly tries to trace the trajectory of the present world economic recession to the economic and financial policies of capitalist countries such as USA and European Union. Though it identifies the policies of financial deregulation pursued by countries like America as the immediate cause for the current turmoil on the one hand, and the pitiable situation of poor countries on the other, for obvious reasons, the commission fails to unravel contemporary capitalist production and exchange relations which are the basis or root cause of the turmoil. Its criticism of the infallibility of self-correcting free market system is only superficial and reformist in nature, as it is reluctant to admit that crises such as the present one are inherent and inalienable in capitalism on account of the specific character of capital today. Since the era of industrial capitalism has already been taken over by decadent and parasitic finance capitalism, if left free, capital freely moves into the sphere of speculation. After the collapse of Keynesianism in the seventies and the ascendancy of neo-liberalism and monetarism in the eighties, imperialist world economy is increasingly led by ever-strengthening speculative finance whose grotesque and most degenerated features are manifested through the present global meltdown. Any report
which overlooks this crucial issue will be superficial in character and therefore can suggest only partial solutions. The Stiglitz Commission is no exception to this general rule. Of course, a prelude to the Stiglitz Commission Report was the Meeting composed of the finance ministers and central bank governors of the important countries of the world during the second week of March in London. Without going in to the historical and economic factors that led to the global recession, this meeting tried to sort out a consensus among countries by avoiding “beggar thy neighbor policies” and protectionist measures among them. It also led to opinions of reforming the Bretton Woods institutions especially the IMF so as to transform it in conformity with the changing world situation. Drawing inspiration from this and other sources, the Stiglitz Commission in its preliminary report has recommended wide ranging international financial reforms including an immediate new special allocation of Special Drawing Rights (money created by IMF) together with funding for developmental purposes in poor countries, building up regional economic initiatives as a precaution to future shocks, provision of one percent of stimulus packages of developed countries as Official Development Assistance to the poor countries. In a nutshell, the Stiglitz Commission had its focus on three major aspects. Firstly, it was expected to make an examination of the cause of the current crisis which is considered to be the worst since the Great Economic Depression of the thirties. Secondly, it was supposed to assess the extent of the global impact and consequences of the crisis. Finally, the Commission was expected to suggest recommendations for reforming the system. Regarding these, the Commission’s findings are definitely noteworthy. Credit –financed consumption and investment led by loose monetary policy in developed countries was pointed out as the cause for current crisis. Liberal policy situation coupled with financial deregulation aggravated the meltdown. Globalisation enabled the quick spread of these adverse effects to poor countries. But when coming to the measures for correcting these trends emanating from unfettered financial globalization, even the partial objectivity displayed in its analysis by the Commission melts into thin air. In spite of its passive recognition that globalization is the root cause of the crisis, the Commission is reluctant to have a reconsideration of the whole process of imperialist globalization led by speculative finance. Rather, its recommendation is for a restoration in the relative roles of the market and state and a greater reliance on state financed developmental efforts. Internationally, its suggestion is a strong coordination among the ongoing “stimulus packages” in various countries without, of course, going into the economic content of these stimulus packages in both imperialist and neocolonial countries. For obvious reasons, the Stiglitz Commission cannot go in to the class essence of the State which is supposed to take the initiative for the recovery steps as suggested by it. In this context, the Commission’s recommendation for the installation of a Global Economic Council as a more inclusive institution than the Bretton Woods along the lines of the UN General Assembly is particularly noteworthy. On the other hand, its proposal for a Global Reserve System with IMF’s SDR as its anchor is equally confusing. According to some experts, if implemented, this will deny American control over world monetary system with the dollar losing its position of World currency. The basic question relates to who will manage such an emerging system regarding which Stiglitz Commission is silent. No doubt, concrete proposals for reshaping the global economic order are always welcome. The June Meeting called by the President of the UN General Assembly is expected to discuss these proposals. Meanwhile, the G-20 meeting held during the first week of April, in fact witnessed an indirect negation of these proposals. Several well meaning people were even expecting that the G-20 drawing inspiration from the Stiglitz Commission would take urgent steps to reshape the international financial order led by the Bretton Woods. But what happened was other wise. To be precise, the immediate outcome of the G-20 Summit among other things has been the elevation of the already discredited Bretton Woods, especially the IMF, to a higher position. Most deplorably, without even mentioning anything on the neo-liberal monetary management, financial deregulation and anti-people loan conditions imposed on neocolonial countries by US-led IMF, and in complete disregard of the “radical” neo-Keynesian Stiglitz Report for an international monetary reform, the G-20 has taken the imperialist approach of further strengthening the IMF by increasing its quota and global operations to higher levels.
Quoting from the communiqué issued by the G-20 Summit, Dominique Strauss-Khan, the IMF chief, has recently confirmed in Washington that “the IMF was now at the centre of policy coordination on the crisis.” He said that the IMF will issue loans to the needy countries to the tune of $ 500 billion in the short run, as agreed at the G-20 Summit on April 2. He also proposed the possibility of strengthening IMF through raising extra funds by selling bonds to member states. Interestingly, comprador rulers from countries such as India are openly supporting these neo-liberal efforts aimed at sustaining the rotting imperialist system led by USA. For instance, quoting India’s Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Wall Street Journal reports that India is ready to buy about $10 billion (around Rs. 50000 crore) IMF bonds. Reliable sources also report that the IMF has already finalized plans of its first bond offering by lining up the so called BRIC countries including Brazil, Russia, China and India as purchasers. This implies that the Stiglitz Commission including its recommendation for “a new Bretton Woods” is only of academic interest while the neocolonial economic and financial set up is continuing unabated. This once again underscores the fact that only through a concerted and systematic political alternative led by the working class and democratic forces at a global level can effectively challenge the imperialist world system. The widely held view was that the G-20 Summit would take urgent steps for rescuing the global economy based on the proposals in the Stiglitz report submitted on the eve of the meeting. Widespread euphoria was created that since important neocolonial countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa Argentina, etc. are invited to the Summit, the outcome would have been positive. However, rather than fighting for a reshaping of the global monetary and economic structure( which also requires fundamental changes in the domestic economies of poor countries) to the needs of vast majority of poor people inhabiting these countries, the comprador rulers were in fact colluding with their imperialist masters so that the final resolution released by the Summit totally ignored the neo-Keynesian prescriptions put forward by the Stiglitz Commission to restructure the international monetary system. Nobody even volunteered to mention on the reformist proposals drafted by the UN Committee. That means proposals such as that of the Stiglitz Commission are only of academic interest and are mainly used for diverting world people’s attention from a revolutionary transformation of the entire international economy and polity. The decaying global finance capital has already reached its moribund stage that even reformist schemes are incompatible with it. While the Stiglitz Committee’s report for international monetary reform is discussed with much enthusiasm in academic circles, it is reported that both imperialist masters and their compradors in neo-colonial countries are engaged in an unholy alliance for carrying forward the unfulfilled tasks in the World Trade Organisation to their logical conclusion. Such basic issues concerning international trade, domestic production, employment, consumption and so on are outside the purview of Stiglitz Commission which seeks only one aspect of the problem, i.e., financial issues. To conclude once again, the problem is systemic and therefore partial or reformist solutions are incapable of addressing it.
G20 summit: Another Imperialist Crisis
THE G20 SUMMIT
concluded on 2nd April has failed to adopt the principal demands of either the US and Britain, or a European bloc led by Germany and France, which called for international regulation of major financial institutions. Instead, the two sides papered over their differences with a nine-page communique, much of which consisted of high-flown phrases such as the affirmation that all the assembled heads of state “agreed on the desirability of a new global consensus on the key values and principles that will promote sustainable economic activity.” There was also the claim—echoed by virtually all of the media—that the summit had agreed to “an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy.” The Financial Times of London wrote, “The failure of the G20 summit was too painful for world leaders to contemplate and Brown ended the meeting with a blizzard of large numbers to disguise the fact that leaders had not agreed to a further additional fiscal stimulus as Mr. Obama and Mr. Brown had wanted.” The newspaper also noted, “Much of the $1,100 billion
pledged to help the world recover from recession represented existing commitments or pledges of future funds that had not been pinned down.” The communique claimed that the assembled governments would boost the International Monetary Fund’s existing resources by $500 billion to aid so-called “emerging market” countries. According to initial reports, where this money is to come from is by no means clear. From bitter experience, the oppressed countries know that such pledges often fail to materialize. In one of the few substantive points in the agreement, the G20 decided to allow the IMF to create $250 billion in Special Drawing Rights, its own synthetic currency based on the dollar, the euro, the yen and the British pound sterling. The aim is to boost countries’ foreign reserves, with the lion’s share going to the wealthiest nations. In summing up the agreement though British Prime Minister Brown said that the governments agreed on the IMF spending another $250 billion over two years in an effort to counter the collapse in global trade, as the Financial Times noted, “up-front contributions from G20 countries were only $3bn to $4bn, an annex to the communique said.” Even if the muchtouted $1.1 trillion package were genuine—which it is not—it would be the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a gaping chest wound. Over the past year, the meltdown of international stock markets, the fall in commodity prices and the collapse in real estate values have wiped out an estimated $50 trillion in wealth. Moreover, the US government and the Federal Reserve alone have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion to bail out the US banks, with no discernible effect in terms of stemming the rising tide of job losses. One measure, which only underscored the failure of the French and German governments to achieve their goal of international regulation of financial institutions, consisted of turning the existing Financial Security Forum into the Financial Stability Board. The main change, outside of the name alteration, would be the addition of members of the G20 not currently represented, including China, India and Brazil. However, it remains a toothless watchdog, with no power to impose sanctions on private banks and finance houses whose practices are deemed to be endangering the world economy. In reality, the US rejected any international regulation of its banking system. The G20 leaders’ statement instead declared, “We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong.” The G20 leaders also renewed a solemn pledge not to engage in protectionism. But according to the World Bank, since they last took this oath in November 2008. Though Obama called the summit “a turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery” and Brown claimed that the G20 meeting signified that “a new world order is emerging with the foundation of a new progressive era of international cooperation”, this is all nonsense. Even as the summit took place, the reality of spiralling levels of unemployment made itself felt. In the US, it was reported that another 742,000 jobs were wiped out last month. In Spain, the Labour Ministry announced that the unemployment rate had hit 15.5 percent, the worst in Europe, with 3.6 million Spanish workers jobless. In Britain itself, the site of the summit, new rounds of mass layoffs were announced, with two companies, insurance giant Norwich Union and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, slashing 2,500 more jobs. This global destruction of jobs will continue and intensify, threatening hundreds of millions of people with poverty and hunger. The World Bank has issued a new forecast predicting a global economic contraction of 1.7 percent. World Bank President Robert Zoellick told the BBC, “We haven’t seen numbers like that since World War II—that really means the Great Depression.” He warned, “We believe that the lower growth will lead to some 200,000 to 400,000 babies dying this year. So the overall effects are dramatic.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was more explicit, “We have seen the frightening velocity of change. What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis. I fear worse to come: a full-blown political crisis defined by growing social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost all faith in their leaders and their own future.” “In good times, economic and social development comes slowly. In bad times, things fall apart alarmingly fast. It is a short step from hunger to starvation, from disease to death, from peace and stability to conflict and wars that spill across borders and affect us all, near and far. Unless we can build a worldwide recovery we face a looming catastrophe in human development.” As for the claim that the summit signalled the emergence of a “new world order” based on international cooperation, the reality is that the summit only confirmed the collapse of the old world order,
established in the aftermath of World War II and based on the unchallenged economic and financial supremacy of the US imperialism and a dollar-based world monetary system. The US, once the engine of world growth, is now the world’s leading debtor nation, and its financial crisis, the product of decades of deterioration of its productive forces and the turn towards ever more parasitical and criminal forms of speculation, has become the engine of a deepening worldwide depression. Obama was saved from greater humiliation by imperialist China showing the extraordinary economic and political decline of US imperialism. Talk of an emerging G-2 (Group of US and China) does reflect the reality that on a growing range of international issues, little can happen without agreement between the US and China. China has also launched a series of initiatives “which demonstrates a desire to move centre-stage,” including the demand last week by the Chinese central bank president, Zhou Xiaochuan, “for the eventual replacement of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.” China has mooted that the replacement for the dollar should be the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights. Such an open challenge to the global supremacy of the dollar and its role as the reserve currency threatens the economic viability of the US, which is entirely dependent on other nations purchasing dollars to service its debts. But China’s demand has also been taken up by Russia urging the ruble’s adoption as a regional reserve currency and the creation of a new global reserve currency to be issued by international institutions. In reality, inter-imperialist antagonisms were manifest throughout the summit and will inevitably sharpen as the economic crisis worsens. Far from having laid down a globally coordinated program to rescue world capitalism, the London summit has only demonstrated the irreconcilable contradiction between the globally integrated economy and the capitalist nation state system, and the impossibility of the rival national states adopting a genuinely international approach to the crisis. In the end, the G-20 summit at London and its various palliative will be seen in much the same light as that of the London summit of 1933, another milestone in this worldwide breakdown of imperialism.
Global Imperialist Meltdown: Disappearing Jobs, Intensifying Unemployment
all over the world are in a denial mood to cover up the serious crisis unfolding as a result of the global financial melt-down. But however hard they deny and however much they spend to bail out those responsible for the meltdown, the severe impact of it starting from the alarming rate of vanishing jobs every where cannot be concealed. Within India itself already millions have lost jobs, waged are cut or they are reduced to part time employment. Besides migrants have started returning from the overseas countries. To expose the severity of the problem we are publishing an assortment of news items collected from various publications. The message from reports on the ground is clear. Unemployment in India’s industrial and services sectors is on the rise. If earlier growth was being described as “jobless”, the problem now is that growth that is lower comes with job losses. The recessionary impact that the global financial and economic crisis has had is resulting in huge job losses in various segments of the labour market. But the UPA government refused to see it. Pranab Mukherjee’s Budget speech referred to the effect of the crisis as follows: “A crisis of such magnitude in developed countries is bound to have an impact around the world. Most emerging market economies have slowed down significantly. India too has been affected. For the first nine months of the current year, the growth rate of exports has come down to 17.1 per cent. According to the latest figures available, the industrial production has fallen by 2 per cent year-on-year basis in December 2008. In these difficult times, when most economies are struggling to stay afloat, a healthy 7.1 per cent rate of GDP growth still makes India the second fastest growing economy in the world.” Of the 3,070 large textile mills in the country, Tamil Nadu accounts for 1,912, with 813 of them in Coimbatore district. Besides, the State has 30,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), organised and unorganised, engineering and non-engineering, of which 12,000 are
located in Coimbatore district. These 12,000 SMEs employ about five lakh people and have an annual turnover of Rs. 6,000 crore. “These units have reported a 40 to 50 per cent drop in business as also a 25 per cent loss of jobs because of the present crisis,” Over the past year, companies such as IBM, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), American Express, Goldman Sachs and Sun Microsystems are reported to have laid off several employees. Some companies have increased the working hours without increasing salaries, while others are forcing employees to work outside their area of specialisation. Teamlease Services, a staffing company, said that there was a net decrease of 44 per cent in recruitment in IT and 34 per cent in ITeS in the current quarter, compared with the previous quarter of the current financial year. The net business of the IT sector is set to drop by 61 per cent and that of the ITeS sector by 22 per cent. Infosys slashed its recruitment plans from 35,000 in 2007-08 to 25,000 in the current fiscal. During the IT boom, developers focused mainly on high-end buyers in both the residential and commercial sectors. Most of the 40,000 apartments planned by prominent developers were to be located in the IT corridor. These apartments were priced above Rs.40 lakh, targeting IT professionals and investors, who until recently were keen to have houses of their own. Enquiries with realtors reveal that this clientele has withdrawn or is adopting a wait-and-watch approach. As of now, apartments in the Rs. 20-25 lakh price band are widely received. In front of the concrete jungles of unfinished skyscrapers, it is impossible to miss the rows of shanties put up to house the migrant workers lured to Delhi with the promise of jobs at construction sites and a steady daily income. However, work at these sites has either stopped or is going on at such a slow pace that not all of them would be needed to complete a day’s job. Since there is not enough work, the contractors rotate workers depending on the amount of work a day. The country’s largest real estate developer by market value, DLF Ltd., has fired some of its employees and put on hold some of its residential, commercial and hotel projects because of the slump in real estate demand and the liquidity crunch. “We must have laid off some employees somewhere,” One common link between the Great Depression of 1929, the East-Asian crisis of 1997 leading to the term crony capitalism and the current financial meltdown is that the sector precipitating the crisis in all the cases has been real estate. If the opinions of experts are to be believed, it is unlikely that the sector will turn around in the next 18 to 24 months, at least in the housing sector. Most vehicle manufacturing and auto component units had curtailed working days to three a week while some others had reduced the number of shifts from three to two. Among the figures that are in the public domain, banking juggernaut Citibank has laid off 37 top-level executives in India. It plans to axe 50,000 jobs worldwide, including 1,000 in this country. A leading investment bank in India, DSP Merrill Lynch, has let go of 40 executives from its private banking division, causing much angst in the financial community. Financial services major Barclays plans to layoff 2,100 people in investment banking and money management across the world. It has a presence in India. So the axe may fall here too. Shrinking jobs, pay cuts and loss of perks owing to the recession have taken a heavy toll on the mental health of a large section of India’s high-profile workforce. “Since August-September there has been a fourfold increase in the number people seeking help to handle their emotional and psychological problems. Typically, the majority of those seeking psychiatric help are in the 25-30 age group, people who are comparatively fresh in their careers and have been used to a fluid, vibrant, dynamic lifestyle,” says psychiatrist Dr Jitendra Nagpal, a consultant psychiatrist with the Delhibased Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (VIMHANS). “Ours is a familybased society and in times of crises, the family acts like the shock absorber. The extended family becomes the cushion to absorb anxiety. The sense of emptiness or the low self-esteem noticed at such times gets reduced if one has strong family bonds,” says Nagpal. A gloom has enveloped the ambitious construction sites on the information technology (IT) corridors in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The real estate boom in Kerala, sustained mainly by remittances from the United Arab Emirates (and to an extent from the IT and tourism sectors), had been but a poor imitation of Dubai’s construction boom which, in the past six years, rode spectacularly on a bubble of debt and speculative investment rather than oil wealth.
When the bubble does burst – the large-scale unemployment and the tighter laws favouring natives are perhaps the first pointers to this happening – the Gulf-non-resident Indian (NRI) remittances that buoyed the Kerala economy from the mid-1970s and contributed to 80 per cent of the ongoing constructions are under the threat of drying up. The Reserve Bank of India released one lakh crore rupees to industry, allowing it easy credit. At the other end, the working class is losing jobs, their working conditions are getting affected, but yet there is no government support forthcoming for these sections. Three bailout packages have been given by the government to stimulate the economy, but the major cause of the crisis has to do with demand. In one Tata automobile factory, workers would now work only for three days a week and get no salary for the rest of the week. The Air India management has put up a notice that workers can go on leave for five years without wages. The job losses have been mainly in three sectors, textiles, leather and metal production. In Gujarat, three lakh workers have lost their jobs in the diamond cutting and polishing industry. The steel market is down, both in the private and in the public sector. So is the case with cement. There is hardly any demand, so what we see is a reduction in construction-related activities too. The IT sector may get affected further after the U.S.’ decision to reduce outsourcing. We have learnt that many IT companies have already announced cancellation of job interviews. Voluntary retirement is being pursued vigorously by companies. If workers have to be protected, industry has to be protected first. Advanced countries have stopped exporting from us but we continue to import from them. Despite giving all kinds of concessions to special economic zones, exports have declined and we know that retrenchment has taken place on a large scale. Interest rates have been cut down only to benefit industry. What does the common man have to do with lower interest rates? The number of people going for home loans or buying homes has not gone up. Neither has the cost of flats come down. The Minister for Agriculture stated that 17,000 people had committed suicide in the past one year. In the tenure of the UPA government alone, nearly two and a half lakh farmers and peasants committed suicide. The bad news has come rippling across Europe like an icy, evil wind. Each day brings tidings of fresh closures, losses, job freezes and redundancies. As the recession bites harder and deeper into Europe’s economies, the population has become increasingly desperate, clutching at straws, looking for scapegoats for their falling fortunes and cloudy futures. Sarkozy’s € 26 billion stimulus package has failed to make even the smallest dent in his country’s economic fortunes. In Spain, the unemployment rate has gone up by 75 per cent in one year to touch 14.3 per cent of the population. The fall in GDP has been the steepest in Germany where the gross national product (GNP) fell by 2.1 per cent, the sharpest dip since the country was re-unified in 1990. Italy, which has had zero growth for over five years, has seen its worst slump since 1980 with a dip in GDP of 1.8 per cent. Portugal’s 2 per cent GDP drop will probably sound the death knell for the country’s socialist government. In January 2009, the U.S. economy lost almost 600,000 jobs (the highest figure in 34 years). The official unemployment rate rose from 7.2% to 7.6%. They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread? (Yip Harburg, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime”, 1931).
CPI(M): Right Opportunism in its Worst Forms
ELECTION MANIFESTO of CPI(M) for 15th Lok Sabha elections is an excellent example of its outright opportunism and double speaking. It has taken pains to justify its role in propping up a government led by the oldest and biggest political party, Congress, representing the big bourgeois-big landlord ruling system (as the CPI(M) itself calls it) for more than four years. It justifies its long support to the Manmohan Singh government by claiming the credit for ‘two major legistaltions’ — the NREGA and the Forest Rights Act, the fate of which in spite of excellent graffiti in village walls are known to all. Then it claims that the Left protected the banking sector, defended the insurance sector, protected pensions of lakhs of government employees, protected the integrity of Navaratna PSUs, protected the retail sector from full fledged entry of MNCs etc. Once again it is known to all that compared to the consistent resistance from numerous people’s struggles in which the mass movement of the ‘left’ also played a role, the role of Left Front Members of Parliament’s support to UPA government played very little role in it. Even if all these claims are accepted, compared to the crimes the UPA government has committed against the national and people’s interests, these are nothing but pea-nuts. See what the CPI(M)’s Election Manifesto speaks about the ‘achievements’ of the five years of the UPA rule: “The Congress-led government did not adhere to the understanding of the CMP. It persisted in pushing through neo-liberal, anti-people policies and violating the commitment for an independent foreign policy. “The results are there for all to see: Five years of the Congress-led UPA government have widened further the divide in society. The rich have become super-rich while the poor have been further impoverished. “Neo-liberal economic policies have resulted in distorted growth accompanied by agrarian crisis, rising prices, unemployment and depleting wages. “The forces of communalism have continued their divisive and violent activities. Parallel to this is the terrorist violence which continues to stalk the land. “The Manmohan Singh government betrayed its own Common Minimum Programme to forge a strategic alliance with the United States to sign the unequal Indo-US nuclear deal, thus undermining our independent foreign policy. “A minority government determined to push through neo-liberal policies and a strategic alliance with the United States denigrated parliament and displayed contempt for democratic procedures. “Tolerance of bribery and corruption and misuse of public institutions became the hallmark of a regime hell bent on survival. “For all its supposed concern for the aam admi, the UPA government worked overtime to pamper the super rich. The government flaunts a 8.6 per cent growth in GDP for four consecutive years till 2008. What does this growth mean? Till 2007, India recorded the fastest growth rate of billionaires in the world. Four out of the ten richest people in the world are Indians. “We are a country with rich natural resources, skilled manpower and scientific and technological prowess. Yet, predatory crony capitalism has condemned us to be a society with some of the worst human development indicators in the world: • 230 million people are undernourished • More than half of India’s women are anaemic • 40 per cent of children under three years are underweight • 2,19,000 habitations have no access to clean drinking water • 39 per cent of adult population is illiterate • 77 per cent of the population spends less than Rs. 20 a day • The share of wages in the organised industrial sector is among the lowest in the world. • The agrarian crisis continues. Suicides by farmers have not abated.
• The public distribution system has been further enfeebled. The BPL category excludes large sections of the poor. 52 per cent of the agricultural labour households are excluded from the PDS. Allocations for the APL category have been drastically cut. “The food policy is callous and inhuman. Three crore tonnes of foodgrains lie in the godowns but the government refuses to undo the cut in the allocations to the states. “The people have suffered from continuous price rise of all essential commodities. Even though the government claims the rate of inflation has come down below 4 per cent, the prices of food items continue to rise at above 10 per cent. When the international prices of oil dipped to $40 a barrel, the government reduced the prices of aviation turbine fuel 11 times between September 2008 and February 2009 to help out the private airlines. But the prices of petrol and diesel was reduced only twice during this period and cooking gas only once. The inability to curb price rise and protect the people from the ravages of inflation has been one of the biggest failures of the Congress-led government. “The Manmohan Singh government promoted policies favouring big business and big corporates, both Indian and foreign. SEZs were designed to help these interests grab large tracts of land and they were given a bonanza of tax sops. The refusal to restore capital gains tax in the stock market and stop the massive tax evasion through the Mauritius route is meant to help Indian and foreign speculators to reap huge profits. The backdoor entry of FDI in retail trade is jeopardising the livelihood of lakhs of small shopkeepers and traders. “There has been rampant privatisation of health and education systems, thus depriving the common people of health and education facilities. Allowing FDI in real estate and encouragement of real estate speculation has led to land grabbing and a massive increase in land prices in and around urban areas. It has become impossible for the poor and the middle classes to own a decent home. “The Congress-led government has promoted public-private partnerships in various infrastructure projects whereby the public sector bears all the costs and the private party reaps all the profits. The Hyderabad Metro, now mired in the Satyam-Maytas scandal, is one such glaring instance. “The rights of workers and employees have been curtailed. The EPF rate of interest was reduced to 8.5 per cent. The government has promoted contractualisation and casualisation of labour. Ignoring the recommendations of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector and the Standing Committee on Labour, the government passed an Act in parliament which makes a mockery of the rights and protection for workers of the unorganised sector. “The UPA government went back on its commitment to implement one-third reservations for women in the legislatures and Parliament, as promised in the CMP. The dependence on the Samajwadi Party after the Left’s withdrawal of support sealed the fate of the women’s reservation bill. “The UPA government failed to implement the main recommendations of the Justice Sachar Committee on the status of minorities. The key suggestion, of working out a sub-plan for the Muslim minority, was rejected by the Government. “During the last six months of the Congress-led government, the country has experienced the adverse impact of the global economic crisis. The government’s response has been both inadequate and wrong. The fiscal stimulus packages announced by the government have been grossly inadequate and mainly aimed at providing tax concessions to bail out big corporates. Even such concessions have not been linked to any conditionalities to protect the workers from lay-offs and retrenchment. No measures have been undertaken so far to protect the peasantry from price crashes and import competition. The Centre has ignored the plight of the overseas migrant workers and not included them in the stimulus package. The only way to come out of the crisis is by creating demand and new jobs. This requires massive public investment in employment generation, rural development, agriculture, social sectors and infrastructure. This is exactly what the government has refused to undertake.
“The neoliberal policy framework is today discredited worldwide. The Congress-led government, however, stubbornly clings to neoliberal dogma. “Even after the crisis unfolded, it liberalised financial flow even further by lifting some restrictions on participatory notes and revising FDI guidelines to facilitate backdoor entry of FDI in all sectors.” Along with these, the CPI(M) ‘charge sheet’ extends to UPA government’s failure to curb communalism and terrorism, violation of federalism, presiding over the massive telecom scam etc. also. How can the CPI(M) leadership justify its support to such a heinous and anti-people government for more than four years? After all these service to UPA government for such a long period, why did it withdraw the support? According to it, for going ahead to sign the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. But when the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this deal was signed by Manmohan Singh with Bush in June 2005, did not the nuclear scientists, democrats and CPI(ML) like forces point out that once the MoU is signed for this deal, which is nothing but part of the Ten Year Defence Framework Agreement which was signed earlier in June 2005 itself, there is no going back on it by the government and if the CPI(M) wants to block it, support to the government should be immediately withdrawn? It did not do so. On the contrary, it allowed the government to go ahead with all formalities including going to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) etc. to complete the procedures for signing the formal Deal. After all these steps were completed, and after the UPA government was given time even to purchase necessary support from SP and some MPs of BJP, was not the withdrawing of the support a well rehearsed drama to hoodwink its potential voters in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where Congress is its main opponent in the Lok Sabha elections, which looked round the corner then? One again, the Indo-Us Nuclear Deal is nothing but one of the components of the Ten Year Defence Framework Agreement, and nothing but a pea-nut compared to this monster of Strategic alliance with the United States, about which the Election Manifesto of CPI(M) speaks as follows: “The biggest betrayal by the Manmohan Singh government was to forge a strategic alliance with the United States of America and to resile from the commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy. “The Congress-led government signed a 10-year Defence Framework Agreement with the US for military collaboration. This was done secretly without any discussion or information given to the country. “The Manmohan Singh government shamelessly lined up with the United States to vote against Iran in the IAEA in order to get the nuclear deal through the US Congress. “In place of the CMP, the agenda of the Indo-US CEO Forum, which recommended FDI in retail trade, insurance, banking, education, etc., became the guiding light of the Manmohan Singh government. “The Manmohan Singh government has pursued the US-Israel-India axis, an idea mooted by the BJP-led government. It has entered into deep security and military collaboration with Israel. Israel has become the biggest supplier of weapons to India and the billions of dollars spent by India helps Israel suppress the Palestinian people.” Still the CPI(M) did not withdraw support for the criminal acts of UPA government as explained in the above portion quoted from its Manifesto, even though the whole gamut of the new economic policy of globalisation-liberalisation-privatisation is responsible for it. Besides, in the whole manifesto CPI(M) do not say that it is for throwing out the New Economic Policy (NEP), the neo-liberal policies. That is why even when the manifesto is eloquent about the consequences of the neo-liberal policies, CPI(M) has not withdrawn support on this question. How can a party which had stated ‘there is no alternative to globalisation’, talked about giving ‘human face to globalisation’ attack the UPA government for implementing it? So CPI(M) only attack the consequences, not the criminal policy of neo-liberalism or NEP or imperialist globalisation.
Same opportunism is exhibited in the case of the Ten Year Defence Framework Agreement also. CPI(M) now accuses that it was done secretly. It is a false statement. Then foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee signed the agreement with Rumsfeld openly. Even when many of the contents were kept secret because of the inability of the ‘Left front’ to force the government to come out with it, it had come out in the media that it is going to make India strategically subservient to US imperialism, that Manmohan Singh government is continuing the policy of Vajpayee government to make US-Israel-India axis. Why only CPI(M) leadership did not know about it even after twice a week dinner sessions with Sonia Gandhi to rule the country? If CPI(M)’s claims about its positions are correct it should have withdrawn support when this Defence Framework Agreement was signed in June 2005 itself. If it claims it is a communist party, it should have acted as a revolutionary opposition within the Lok Sabha. Its claims about supporting UPA to prevent further communalisation by a NDA government is false on two counts: one, there was no possibility for an NDA government even if the LF did not support UPA, two, even after the LF’s support to UPA, during last five years communalism has become more rampant as accepted by the ‘manifesto’ of CPI(M). Even as a social democratic party if it had any desire to serve people’s interests, it should have withdrawn support when the Defence Framework Agreement was signed. It is a crime that it propped up a government which signed treaties to enslave the country to the interests of US imperialism for three more years. ROLE OF ITS STATE GOVERNMENTS The Manifesto says that the three state governments have shown that alternative policies can be implemented? It is nothing but bull shit. On implementation of all basic policies of NDA and UPA governments these three state governments were competing with other state governments. That is why Singur and Nandigram happened. Even the record of police suppression or corruption is not different in these states. Though the Manifesto calls for speedy and comprehensive steps for implementing land reforms, these governments have not dared to take over the surplus land from the landlords, illegally held land from the plantation owners and to distribute it to the landless. Even the 1975 Adivasi Land Protection Act is not implemented. Like other states these governments also have commercialised education, health-care etc. The Election Manifesto of CPI(M) talks of amending the globalisation policies and SEZs Act. That is, it is upholding these neo-colonial policies. Nowhere the manifesto talks about rejecting the neo-liberal policies. It does not make self-criticism for propping up such a reactionary government for such a long time. Even after allowing the UPA government to go ahead pursuing all anti-national, anti-people policies for so long, it has withdrawn support at the fag end not because of any differences with the basic policies including the strategic defence framework agreement, but on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal which is nothing but a part of the strategic agreement with the US. The Election Manifesto of CPI(M) shows that after propping up the government for more than four years, through a pack of lies and distortions it is only trying to hoodwink the masses. It fully exposes its social democratic character of socialism in words, but capitalist path in action. Besides though the manifesto talks about ‘an alternative secular government’, or in election speeches in the states ruled by it, it speaks about a non-BJP, non-Congress ‘Third Front’ government, its leaders like Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb, Yechuri and even Karat have agreed when they were questioned by reporters that if need arises they will support Congress-led government again. They have also expressed readiness to join the next government and to take over even the prime minister’s mantle. So like the manifesto of Congress and BJP and other ruling class parties, the manifesto of CPI(M) is nothing but a meaningless document to be forgotten once the elections are over. CPI(M) will continue to raise red flag and talk about socialism while obediently serving the arch-reactionary ruling system.
A Critique on the Theory and Practice of CPI (Maoist)
of the concrete situation and applying Marxist-Leninist theory according to concrete conditions are basic criteria for developing the strategic line and evolving necessary tactics or path of revolution in each country. Deviation from this basic principle degenerates the movement to either right opportunist or ‘left’ sectarian, anarchist trends. It is also the experience of the communist movement in India. In the pre-1947 period, in spite of the growth of the movement at all India level due to vacillation to both right and ‘left’ influence, the CPI leadership failed to establish the working class leadership in the national liberation movement and often reduced itself to tailing behind the Congress. Again during the post-1947 years, once again failing to correctly analyse the international and national situation, developing the path of revolution according to concrete conditions here, it withdrew the Telangana struggle and went under the influence of Soviet revisionism when it emerged. Though rebelling against the Dangeist leadership, the CPI(M) was born, the failure to concretely analyse the conditions in India and the class character of the big bourgeoisie, to take lessons from the struggle of the CPC under Mao’s leadership against the revisionist leadership of CPSU soon led it to abandoning the agrarian revolution and the line of the People’s Democratic Revolution in practice. When CPI(ML) was born fighting against the revisionism of CPI and neo-revisionism of the CPI(M) though it upheld the path of agrarian revolution as part of the ‘New’ or People’s Democratic Revolution, coming under the sway of the ‘left’ sectarian line then dominating the CPC and failing to apply Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the concrete conditions of India, it deviated soon to a sectarian line upholding the individual annihilation as a short cut to launch guerilla struggle, got isolated from the revolutionary masses and suffered severe setbacks, splintering to many groups. The practice indulged in by the CPI (Maoist) shows that it has not bothered to study the experience of the movement at all and the consequences of its own practice. What it did before and during this Lok Sabha elections in the name of ‘boycott’ of election alone is sufficient to prove how much damaging it is becoming to the revolutionary movement in this country. In the columns of this journal itself numerous instances of anarchist actions indulged by it creating loss of life and severe damages to ordinary people were pointed out. How its own counter productive squad actions and annihilations in AP where it was boasting about base areas and then guerilla zones once ultimately have led to surrender of large number of its squad members and followers, elimination of its top leaders and decimation of its influence is accepted by its own leadership. In spite of all these it is continuing individual annihilations and sporadic squad actions which are ultimately helping the enemy to use them as a pretext to intensify fascistic suppression preventing mass mobilisations and mass struggles. CONTRADICTION IN ITS PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH
The Comintern (Communist International), the 1957 Moscow declaration, 1960 Moscow Statement and Proposal Concerning the General Line of ICM of 1963 point out that there are four major contradictions at international level. It was after the Theory of Three Worlds was put forward by the capitalist roaders in China the contradiction between socialism and imperialism started disappearing from the documents of the parties under Dengist influence. It took long seven years for the erstwhile CPI(ML) People’s War group to denounce the capitalist roaders who usurped power in China. But still the CPI(Maoist) has not restored this major contradiction showing the continuation of the influence of the Theory of Three World in its thinking. Its analysis of India as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country under neo-colonial form of imperialist indirect rule, exploitation and control is self-contradictory and exposes its ignorance about both the terms, semi-colonial and neo-colonial. Lenin has explained that under colonial system there are three type of countries — colonial, semi-colonial and dependent. As Lenin and following him Mao had pointed out semi-colonial is a country in a transition where the colonisation is not yet completed. As far as India is concerned, colonisation started here from the time of Plassy war and it continued under semi-colonial transition stage till the First War of Independence of 1857-58, after the defeat of which India became a colony under British crown. In China the colonisation continued, but it remained in the transition stage, and so it was called semi-colonial. The neo-colonial forms of imperialist domination was initiated after the World War II, with US imperialism replacing British imperialism as the leading power and introduced IMF-World Bank-
MNCs and other neo-colonial tools of exploitation along with ‘de-colonisation’ to remove all restrictions for the entry of finance capital of all imperialist countries. Following many articles published in Cominform journals and in the 1950s, the CPC has explained neo-colonialism well in the Fourth Comment of the Great Debate in 1963: Apologists of Neo colonialism. As the innerparty struggle intensified within the CPC with the overthrow of Liu-Deng forces followed by Lin Biaosit ‘left’ deviation coming into ascendance, the theoretical discussion on neo-colonialism did not advance, and for a time both semi-colonial and neo-colonial were used synonymously in an erratic form. Later many of the ML groups abandoned neo-colonial concept and reverted to calling India semi-colonial in spite of the 1970 Party Programme of CPI(ML) analysing India as a “neo-colony of US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism”. That CPI(Maoist) is using these words ecclectically without understanding them is clear from their analysis of Indian situation. In para 10 of CPI(Maoist) Programme it is stated: “after the end of direct colonial rule imperialism adopted new forms of indirect rule, exploitation and control of the nations and countries subordinated to them. That is called neo-colonialism”. If so why stick to semi-colonial religiously, to a category Lenin used to explain countries where colonisation was started, but not completed? Then its programme further explains that “the domination and control of the imperialist finance capital in every sphere of our life — economic, political, military and cultural — continue to increase further and further”. But the consequences of it and imposition of neo-liberal policies, it refuses to admit. Instead it religiously talks about feudalism still remaining as social prop of imperialism, as a fundamental contradiction, repeatedly call India semi-feudal and talks about continuation of share cropping. In short it refuses to see the vast changes that have taken place in all walks of life including the agrarian sector where old feudal landlords are overwhelmingly replaced by agricultural bourgeoisie and rich peasants under neo-colonisation. Marxism is understood as a dogma, not as a science. Instead of “seeking truth from facts”, refusing to make a concrete analysis of present situation, it has cooked up Indian condition to suit the mechanical adoption of the strategy of “protracted people’s war” which was developed and applied in the then concrete conditions of China. Then Mao’s quotations are utilised mechanically refusing to see the basic differences of pre-revolutionary China with present day India. As Mao has explained, in China after the split with the Kuomintang, the CPC was also leading an army, and thereafter the conflict was a military one in the course of which guerilla tactics were utilised. That is why Mao’s writings of this period are called military writings dealing with the theory and practice of the military conflict between red army and the Kuomintang army. It is yet another grievous mistake like misinterpreting the war of annihilation explained in Mao’s writings as the line of individual annihilation which caused severe setback to the movement, and which is still religiously pursued by the CPI(Maoist). In the programme and in the Strategy and Tactics of revolution is has accepted communist party as the vanguard of the proletariat, that the NDR and agrarian revolution should be led by the proletariat, and that working class is more than seven crores in strength. But its entire practice shows that this cardinal question is not at all given any importance when in reality the strength of the working class is about 15-20 crores and without politicalising them and establishing their practical leadership in the field neither the NDR can be led to victory nor the setbacks like the ones suffered in former socialist countries can be prevented. The question of working class is mentioned just as a theoretical cliche de-linked from practice. A study of its documents reveal that the Indian situation is understood without any concrete analysis, cutting the leg according to the size of the shoes. It is this mechanical approach and ecclectical thinking which has led it to outright anarchist practice harming the revolutionary movement. It was Lenin who taught that both Mensheviks and Narodniks ultimately serve the ruling system. CONSEQUENCES OF ANARCHIST PRACTICE In the last decade, as the neo-liberal policies have started intensifying the miseries of the vast masses, numerous mass upsurges, even spontaneous movements have broken out challenging the ruling system. There are reports of such big and small struggles from different states involving millions of people. Singur, Nandigram, Chilka, Kalinganagar, Posco, Kashipur are some among them. In Chattisgarh itself against the privatisation of Sivnath river there was a long drawn struggle as a result of which the then Congress government had to withdraw some of its disastrous clauses. Then when the BJP government decided to sanction three SEZs in the
state and issued notification to procure about 7000 acres of agricultural land belonging to 25-30 villages the farmers were mobilised and after a militant movement the government was forced to suspend all SEZs. Both these movements were led by CPI(ML). But what is the case in Bastar districts where CPI(Maoist) claims to have base areas sometimes and guerilla zone at other times. Tata-Essar has launched a project there to carry the rich iron ore from Bailadila through pipe line to Visakhapattnam. ‘Maoists’ have declared that such projects for looting the natural resources damaging environment and uprooting tens of thousands of adivasi families will not be allowed. But according to available reports Tata-Essar has built 375 kms of pipe line already. On the one hand, neither the ‘Maoists’ nor the government though black laws enforced and forces deployed in the name of Salwa Judum to fight ‘Maoists’ allow any mass movements in the area. On the other hand, both of them in effect serve the corporates to build the project while in nearby Rajanandgaon district a mass movement could prevent the SEZ. These facts are revealing. And what is the result of the election boycott of ‘Maoists’ in this area? Both in 2003 and 2008 assembly elections, the voting was almost 60% and BJP considered the number one enemy by the ‘Maoists’ won 11 out of the 12 seats. There are not reports of any organised democratic mass movement of the adivasis and of agrarian struggle with land to the tiller slogan led by them from this area. In the current Lok Sabha elections also the media gave lots of publicity to their boycott call. When the CPI(Maoist) programme calls for “raising the slogan ‘Boycott election is a democratic right’ on a mass scale”, even when there is a provision now in the ballot to express dissent, so far there are no instances of such a campaign by them even from their ‘base areas’ or ‘guerilla zones’. What they do is mining election booths or killing polling staff, terrorising the people to prevent voting. If polling is disturbed in some booths as a result, re-polling is done in the same area after a couple of days. Are they going nearer to their capture of political power by indulging in these terror tactics in a negligible number of booths? If the government decides to close down the parliamentary system and go for a vote-less dictatorship, will they consider it more democratic? Their approach to election boycott is proved absurd similar to their claims about stopping Tata-Essar and allowing them to go ahead with the project comfortably after paying ransom. ARE THEY READY TO RECTIFY THE ANARCHIST PATH? The communist parties are trying to learn from the past mistakes which led to the severe setbacks to the ICM and rebuild the movement in all countries. No organisation worth the name of a communist party can address the people today by repeating that everything was fine except for some individuals like Krushchov, Deng, and the CPI-CPI(M) leadership. How could revisionism emerge and destroy all the former socialist countries? How could Vietnam after such a heroic struggle and historic victory degenerate so fast? What happened to the much acclaimed Philippines and Peru movements? Why did the Maoists in Nepal had to change their path? How can CPI(Maoist) explain their setback in AP and their influence almost disappearing in a number of states? How the theory and practice of proletarian revolution can be developed when “the domination and control of the imperialist finance capital in every sphere of our life — economic, political, military and cultural — continue to increase further and further”? How can the party be built up with “centralism based on democracy” after most or even almost all of the parties built up under Communist International have degenerated as bureaucratic organisations? How the bureaucratisation evident even in ‘Maoist’ parties can be overcome? Similarly, can we close our eyes to the sea-change that has happened in India compared to the conditions of prerevolutionary China? All these and many more question are raised by not the enemies but the friends of revolution and even common masses nowadays. The provocation for writing this observation is the drama of the election boycott organised by the CPI(Maoist) in the first two phase of the Lok Sabha elections, even by hijacking a passenger train terrorising almost seven hundred common people travelling in that. Marxist teachers down to Mao teaches that it is the people who create history, revolution is the festival of the masses. The role of the communist party is to politicise the masses, organise them and lead them towards revolution. History teaches that the experience of the revolutionary struggle in any country cannot be copied and repeated in any other country mechanically. If it is tried, first time it will be a tragedy, then a farce. So let the CPI(Maoist) stop acting like contractors of revolution. Let us try to study how to build the Party in this vast country with almost 120 crores of people, out of them almost 20 crores of workers in organised and unorganised sectors, as the real vanguard of the
proletariat in the true Marxist-Leninist sense, rectifying past mistakes, making concrete analysis of the international and national situation, and ready to develop our theoretical understanding and practice based on it.
A New Entrant to the Club of Social Democracy
FOR A COMMUNIST PARTY and even for the present CPI(ML) Liberation, which is claiming itself as a communist party, the parliamentary election is a significant step, since utilisation of elections is an important part of its political tactics. That the CPI(ML) Liberation from the time of eulogising Gorbachov’s glassnost-perestroika, beginning to uphold former Soviet Union after its degeneration to social imperialist positions as a distorted socialist country, upholding the capitalist roaders who usurped power in China under Deng Tsiaoping’s leadership and their class collaborationist Theory of Three Worlds was beginning to deviate towards the rightist positions and with its adoption of the line of peaceful completion of democratic revolution in its December 2007 Congress has joined the company of the CPI(M)-led social democrats is proved by its numerous united front tactics, including the present alliance with CPI, CPI(M) and MCC (AK Roy) in Bihar and Jharkhand. As a result, large sections of cadres have left it from the time the draft documents for its 2007 Congress were published in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Even its weak Gujarat unit lost few of its party members due to it. While large number of these comrades joined the CPI(ML), a major section of its members in Uttar Pradesh led by its former state secretary, taking off from the rightist deviation landed in a liquidationist line. The formation of the electoral alliance with parties like CPI(M) now which it was continuously criticising as a social democratic party responsible for Singur and Nandigram has caused further discontentment within its ranks even in Bihar and Jharkhand which are its main centres of activities.
In the present situation the opportunism of the CPI(M)-led Left Front is exposed more than ever. It has propped up the reactionary Congress-led UPA government which was indulging in the signing of the strategic alliance treaty with the US imperialism, signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Indo-US Nuke Deal in June 2005, enactment of numerous antilabour policies, adopting the SEZ bill etc. for more than four years. The support was withdrawn just when the 15th Lok Sabha elections were going to be announced in the name of opposing the Nuke Deal after allowing the UPA government to go through with all the procedures for enacting it, or when the adoption had just become a formality, only to hoodwink its followers in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where Congress is its main electoral opponent. As CPI(ML) Liberation itself was repeatedly writing in its organ, in these states where LF or LDF is in power, the very same ruling class policies based on neo-liberal approach are followed. After 32 years of continuous rule in West Bengal the Left Front parties, especially CPI(M) leadership has become as corrupt and anti-people in practice as any of the ruling class parties. The CPI(M) state secretary in Kerala himself is caught in the notorious Rs. 375 crore Lavalin Deal. In Kerala the LDF is in overt or covert understanding with Muslim fundamentalist PDP, Jamait-e-Islami like sections like Congress which is in open alliance with Muslim League and understanding with NDF. Like Congress leaders, the CPI(M) leaders also visit Bishop houses, NSS headquarters and SNDP leaders to canvass for Christian and caste vote banks. In the way it is ruling and in its approach to communal-caste forces the CPI(M) is following the Congress model. In other states in the name of a Third Front, the CPI(M) has gone for alliance with such reactionary parties as AIADMK in TN, Telugu Desham and Telengana Rashtra Samiti in AP, with BJD led by Navin Patnaik who is notorious for bloody suppression of Kalinganagar, Chilka, Posco like struggles, with JD(S) in Karnataka which had shared power with BJP till recently, etc. Exposing its total degeneration to social democratic positions, the CPI(M) leaders have started dialogues to form a non-Congress and non-BJP government with all these forces to pursue the anti-people neo-liberal policies. After joining the alliance with such a party like CPI(M), as the cadres in Bihar and Jharkhand have started questioning it, the Liberation leaders are trying to justify it by saying that it is confined to Bihar and Jharkhand and it will not be followed after the elections. When it is clear as day light that CPI, CPI(M) went for an alliance with Liberation only because RJD-LJP combine was not ready to accommodate them, and they are not interested to form an alliance with the insignificant Liberation in any other states, the claims of its leaders are self-exposing and
shameless. Everyone knows that the concept of the Left Confederation put forward for long time by Liberation is a federation of CPI-CPI(M)-CPI(ML) Liberation. It is this opportunistic alliance which is now put in to practice in Bihar and Jharkhand. It is the highway to social democracy. That the Liberation leadership is terrified by the flight of members from its ranks became clear when almost all of its party members in Sangrur district of Punjab held a general body meeting led by the district secretary decided to join the CPI(ML). Its central and state leaders camped at Sangrur for days and resorted to high-handed methods to prevent it. Though they have succeeded to force some of the members to return or become inactive, the whole organisation in the state is shaken. Liberation leaders are going to face a worse situation in Bihar and Jharkhand after the Lok Sabha elections. The cadres have started questioning that how can the Liberation leaders claim the heritage of the “thousands upon thousands of the best daughters and sons of India who have laid down their precious lives for revolution” after entering in to electoral alliance with the CPI(M), whose government gunned down the revolutionary comrades in Naxalbari on 25 May 1967 and whose leaders conspired with the fascist Congress regime for the bloody suppression of the CPI(ML) movement in early 1970s.
CPI(ML) Turns Election Campaign to Political Struggle
AS ALREADY reported in the pages of Red Star, in all the states where the Party has fielded candidates a vigorous campaign involving all party cadres, activists of class/mass organisations and party sympathisers is launched turning the election campaign in to a political struggle focusing on the Election Manifesto published in all languages. In the course of this struggle the policies of the NDA and UPA governments pursuing neo-liberal policies, the consequences of the global economic crisis and how communalism and religious fundamentalism are used as tools by the imperialists, especially US imperialists, to confuse and disarm the people for imposing their hegemony are seriously discussed in hundreds of street corner and village meetings and occasional public meetings. While the whole election process is being made apolitical, avoiding or even preventing any serious discussion on what the UPA government did during last five years and what should be the orientation of a pro-people government, while money power and liquor are extensively utilised to engage large number of activists and to buy votes, the political campaign by CPI(ML) has created an impact, however limited it may be, in all the areas its candidates are contesting. CONGRESS-BJP CAMPAIGN While Congress and BJP leaders after bringing out nonsensical election manifestos in which there are no basic differences are engaged in a bitter fight for supremacy through mud slinging and one up-manships, there is a collusion between them to establish that they are the only alternatives. In their thirst for power they are united in preventing any third force emerging to contend for power, even while knowing well that in the present scenario even such a force will not have any basic difference on economic policies. After LK Advani stating that BJP does not oppose Indo-US Nuclear Treaty any longer, and that it will be implemented if voted to power, even that difference is settled. They both are united in vigorously pursuing the neo-liberal policies even after it is proved obsolete after present imperialist meltdown. Both are united about Ten Year Strategic Defence Framework Agreement signed by the UPA government with US, and in establishing a US-Israel-India axis. Both are for SEZs and corporate-MNCs entry in to agricultural sector and retail trade. Both want to go ahead with further liberalisation-privatisation in spite of the G-20 London Summit decided to throw out the Washington Consensus on that. Both are for more cut in welfare measures. For few days they mainly debated about the price with which rice can be allotted to BPL card holders, at Rs. 2 or Re. 1 at the same time ignoring the sorry plight of Public Distribution System and the fact that not even 25% of the BPL families are provided BPL cards or how many of these families can find money to purchase rice even at this price.
As a result their election speeches and media discussions centred round who should be the prime minister, how strong he should be and other trivial matters. As both are united on basic economic, political orientation, both are colluding to prevent any discussion on them. Spending thousands of crores of rupees, engaging cinema stars and cornering most of the media space they are focused on competing to become the number one party. Though Congress talks about secularism superficially and criticise BJP’s communal card, the discussion against communalism and religious fundamentalism, their role in fomenting terrorism and the link between communalism and imperialism are never discussed. Similarly neglected is the case of the caste card which is wantonly used in the elections. Even the mega corruption cases are also kept aside. Thus both are united in making the election apolitical, an imitation of what is happening in US, Britain and other capitalist countries. The call of the CPI(ML) to defeat both BJP and Congress and the alliances led by them is vindicated by their reactionary ideological, economic, political stand. OTHER RULING CLASS PARTIES/REGIONAL PARTIES There is a large number of parties in this group from descendents of old socialists and Janata Dal of 1989, assortment of caste-based parties with BSP led by Mayawati in the forefront, playing various caste-minority combinations, a plethora of regional parties etc. Big or small, presently in power or not, all of then are united as far as adherence to the neo-liberal policies implemented by central and state level are concerned. None of them express any anti-imperialist sentiments. All of them support the MNCs and corporates. They are ardent followers of IMFWorld Bank-WTO trio. Land to the tiller slogan or revolutionary land reforms are not in their agenda even while all of them talk about the plight of adivasis, dalits and other oppressed castes/sections. As they themselves are masters of corruption, no discussion about it at all. These assortment of parties which are part of BJP-led NDA, Congress-led UPA and the so-called Third Front have no basic principles except sharing power somehow or other, while some of their leaders dream about the prime ministership. All of them are united in polluting the political scene by engaging in increasing apolitical campaign full of mud slinging, of allegations and counter allegations. CPI(M)-LED LEFT FRONT The critique of the election manifesto of the CPI(M) published in this issue sums up their extreme right opportunist positions while mouthing democratic and even socialist slogans. In West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where they are in power because of the ruling class policies they pursue, they are in the defensive position and do not campaign for even their manifesto. In other states where they are in alliance with AIADMK, Telugu Desham, BJD like parties, their campaign is tied to the apron-stings of these parties. In Kerala the LDF is in open collaboration with a section of the Islamic fundamentalist parties and go behind Christian Bishops and caste leaders shamelessly for support. CPI(M) is also haunted by Lavalin like corruption charges. The parties who keep company with CPI(M) like CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI(ML) Liberation are not basically different. They have also degenerated to parliamentary cretinism and corruption. They are left in form only, but right in essence. They should be exposed and opposed. THE BOYCOTTISTS As proved repeatedly, the boycott campaign or what is done in the name of boycott by the CPI(Maoist) is a totally negative approach. Neither it has any impact among the masses at all India level, or in the areas where they claim to have base areas or guerilla zones. Even though they talk about achieving boycott through mass campaign in their programme, they have not practiced it even once. They resort to terror tactics to enforce boycott in which they have totally failed so far. At the same time there are well founded criticism against them that even after calling for boycott, they force people to vote for some of the parties, like their campaign to vote for parties supporting separate Telengana in that region this time. These anarchists who defame the revolutionary movement should be thoroughly exposed so that the masses do not get alienated from the revolutionary movement. CPI(ML) CAMPAIGN CPI(ML) waged a political campaign exposing all these forces and propagating the election manifesto which calls for an Anti-imperialist People’s Democratic Alternative. It puts forward the
people-oriented, national, democratic and self-reliant development perspective against the imperialist dictated neo-liberal development policies imposed in the country pauperising the masses and devastating the environment. As it has no financial sources other than people, everywhere it raised the slogan of “give votes, give notes” and conducted the campaign entirely based on the funds collected from the people. So in all the seats the campaign is conducted with a fund ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000, when the other parties are spending crores in a constituency. Still through hard working the party cadres and activists of class/mass organisations have succeeded to carry the message of its Manifesto to millions of people. With the nomination for the fifth phase of elections are also filed, the final list of CPI(ML) candidates are: Kerala 9, Tamilnadu 4, Karnataka 4, Maharashtra 2, Chhattisgarh 3, Madhya Pradesh 1, Orissa 2, Jharkhand 1, Uttar Pradesh 1 and Rajasthan 1, from ten states 28 seats. In Punjab the nomination paper of com. Gurjant Singh from Sangrur seat was rejected and com. Rajagopal’s nomination from Dharmapuri of TN could not be filed for technical reasons. Compared to 2004, when party had fielded 14 candidates, it is a major advance. In Kerala a month long effective campaign was launched for the nine candidates putting forward the basic approach of the Election Manifesto positively. Besides the four candidates of the Co-ordination Committee of the CPI(M) Dissidents were supported. In TN where the polling is on 13th May a good campaign is going on for all the four seats forming election committees at various levels. In Karnataka at Raichur and Koppal where elections were on 23rd April and at Uduppi and Chamrajnagar where elections are on 30th April a good campaign was organised. Based on its slogan against imperialist globalisation and for land to the tiller new forces could be attracted during the campaign. In Maharashtra the campaign for Mumbai North Central and Kalyan constituencies is progressing well. Party is supporting the candidate of Thane Vikas Manch from the Thane rural constituency. In MP the campaign could be waged with the support of the contract workers and landless peasants mobilised by the Party and TUCI. In Chhattisgarh in all the three constituencies the campaign attracted lot of interest. In Bastar while opposing BJP and Congress, the anarchic actions of the ‘Maoists’ were also exposed. In Orissa in spite of meagre resources and extremely hot climate the campaign for the two Lok Sabha seats and five Vidhan Sabha seats were conducted well for a month attracting new forces. In Ranchi (Jharkhand) dividing the comrades in to three teams a vigorous campaign was organised in all assembly segments. In UP for com. Ashok Kumar a good campaign was organised in Unnao seat. Similarly, the Rajasthan SOC is organising an effective campaign for com. Om Prakash in Ganganagar district. The call given by the party to wage intensive political campaign based on the election manifesto and win over new forces during the campaign was well received and being implemented by the state committees. This political campaign will provide a new fillip to party building and development of various people’s struggles in coming days.
THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN in Maharashtra has been going strong. Besides the two candidates of the party contesting from Mumbai North Central and Kalyan, Coms. Devchand Ranadive and Baban Kamble, the party has also supported Vishwanath Patil from the Bhiwandi constituency. Vishwanath Patil has been put up by the Thane Zilla Vikas Aghadi and has agreed to contest on the basis of the party’s manifesto. He has consistently fought against schemes like the Pepsi factory in the area and has supported the movement against construction of the dam on the Shai river which is spearheaded by the Shai Dharan Virodhi Samiti, in which the party has a leading role. Till recently Vishwanath Patil was close to the CPI(M) and had supported their candidate in the last Lok Sabha elections. His approaching the party for its support is a testament to the slow collapse of the CPI(M) in Thane district.
The campaign has been going strong with processions taking place in various places in these constituencies almost every day. The reception being accorded to the processions of the party, which are interspersed by street corners meetings, is overwhelming. It is clear that people
are looking for an alternative. The few public meetings held by the party have also been well attended. A massive public meeting was held in Dombivli on 23rd April following a rally in which almost 500 persons participated. The campaign, being concentrated in urban centres, has been focusing on the problems of city-dwellers. The main problem being put forward is the massive land-grab being indulged in by big builders in Mumbai and its surroundings, following the abolition of the Urban Land Ceiling Act last year. The threat to privatise the water supply, the privatisation of the educational system, the privatisation of the health system, the closures of mills and factories and the demolition of slums have all become important issues in the campaign. DISTRICT COMMITTEE FORMED IN NANDED: A new district committee has been formed in Nanded district. Com. Laxman Sontakke, who was originally with the CPI (ML) (Unity Initiative) was elected the District Secretary of the party in a meeting held on 17th April 2009. A taluka committee was also set up for Dharmabad Taluka while Taluka Committees will be set up for Mudkhed and Kinwat Talukas soon. A program to commemorate the 118th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was held at Borivli, in Mumbai on 14th April 2009. The meeting, organised by the Mazdoor Sangharsh Union was addressed by Com. Sanjay Singhvi, General Secretary, TUCI, Com. Anil Suryavanshi, President, Mazdoor Sangharsh Union and others. Three different programs have been planned under the leadership of the State Committee for this 1st May. One in Malvani, in Mumbai, under the aegis of the Mazdoor Sangharsh Union, a union of the construction workers; one at Silvassa in the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli under the aegis of the Krantikari Kamgar Union (both of which are affiliated to TUCI) and one in Nanded under the leadership of the newly formed party District Committee.
Sri Lanka: TN Parties Quarrel to turn Misery of Tamil People into Vote Banks
SRI LANKAN ARMY is advancing to the last few square kilometres of the hitherto LTTE held marshy island now called No Fire Zone (NFZ) where an unspecified number of civilian families are still trapped, and as the Lok Sabha election dates in Tamilnadu is drawing nearer, the plight of the Tamil people is reduced to more of a subject of wrangle between rival electoral fronts in the state than an urgent issue of human misery. Constituents of DMK front including DMK and Congress are running the UPA government now. PMK which left UPA and joined AIADMK front was in UPA till yesterday. Even MDMK of Vaiko who claims to be the most ardent advocate of LTTE was also part of the UPA government. The CPI(M) and CPI who have shifted from DMK front to AIADMK front few months back were propping up the UPA government for four and half years. AIADMK itself was supporting earlier Vajpayee government. But none of these parties who were part of the earlier BJP-led government or present UPA government have ever demanded that Indian government should stop supplying arms and training to Sri Lankan army when they were in these governments or supporting it. They have never asked that Indian government should move UN and approach the governments supplying arms to Sri Lanka to stop it, and leave its people to solve the Tamil question politically without foreign intervention. While Congress, BJP, CPI(M), CPI like parties are not for the right of self-determination for the nationalities, others who call for this right to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have never called for or struggled for this right to the Jammu & Kashmir peoples and Northeast peoples in India. So the hue and cry raised by all these parties, whether they belong to rival DMK and AIADMK fronts or BJP about the plight of Tamil people in Sri Lanka is nothing but another effort to hoodwink the people. The latest Sri Lankan offensive has started from January 2008. During last one and half years neither Congress, nor DMK, nor PMK and MDMK, nor CPI(M) and CPI have demanded an immediate end to supply of Indian arms and training to Sri Lankan army. They have never asked
for Indian government approaching UN and other governments to stop the arms supply to Sri Lanka. They have, except for recent months or days, never pressed the government to demand on immediate ceasefire. They did not asked the government to put pressure on international agencies like IMF to stop financial aid to Sri Lanka which is diverted to procure arms. They have never asked full citizenship rights to the Tamil refugees in India. Similarly, AIADMK and BJP, the only opposition parties to UPA, have never demanded these in the parliament. So their show of sympathy and emotions to Tamil people now are nothing but crocodile tears to cheat the people. Like earlier Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi governments, both the Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh governments, all of whom who have neither stood for the unity of India based on the right of self-determination of all nationalities, are responsible for the present plight of Tamil people in Sri Lanka which is taking lessons of national oppression from its big brother, the Indian government. All of them should be thoroughly exposed. On the other extreme, the fringe of anarchist forces including the adherents of CPI(Maoist) through their blind adoration and support to LTTE have not helped the Tamil people in Sri Lanka either. After the ‘Black July’ pogrom of 1983 the entire Tamil people had joined the upsurge against the Sinhala chauvinist acts of Sri Lankan government. This had led to emergence of TELO, PLOTE, EPRLF and LTTE like militant groups fighting against Sinhala majoritarian oppression. Among them except LTTE all others had left leanings, linking the Tamil people’s struggle to a class outlook. Their struggles along with the activities of TULF had led to the possibility of power sharing by 1985 with the Sri Lankan government forced to accept many of the rights of the minority people. But LTTE had other plans. It annihilated all other groups and established its stranglehold, ready to accept nothing short of a separate Tamil Eezham. The people’s upsurge was turned in to a military conflict bringing escalating miseries to the people for two decades. In the course of this military conflict the peace and democratic rights aspired by the people were pushed aside. The Sri Lanka government went on utilising this situation creating the present condition. Indian government as well as Pakistan, China and the imperialist countries went on intensifying their interference for their own interests. In this era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, when imperialism is intensifying its neocolonial domination through heinous methods, it is being proved repeatedly that even national liberation struggles de-linked from democratic revolution under proletarian class leadership will only lead to either further national oppression or emergence of another comprador state under imperialist hegemony. LTTE’s military conflict has only strengthened the oppressive comprador Sri Lankan state. Only by overthrowing it both Sinhala and Tamil people can enjoy the fruits of national liberation and democratic revolution. For this class unity of Sinhala and Tamil people should be cultivated in the course of a protracted struggle. What is immediately needed is putting pressure on the Indian government to stop all arms aid and training to Sri Lankan army. India government should be asked to put pressure in UN and on other countries to stop all arms aid and interference in Sri Lanka. India government should put all round pressure on Sri Lankan government for an immediate ceasefire and all round assistance to civilian people. All military aid and economic assistance to Sri Lanka including all assistance from IMF and other international agencies which may be diverted for military purposes should be stopped. India government should give full citizenship rights to the Tamil refugees. A vigorous campaign should be launched based on these demands uniting all democratic forces.
The AfPak Cauldron and India
THREE DECADES AGO
US president Lyndon Johnson inherited the Vietnam war from his predecessor Nixon and it consumed him. Now Obama has got in to a similar quagmire by trying to handle the Afghan occupation inherited from Bush administration. Pushing out those who counselled that the US should roll back its agenda for so-called stabilisation of Afghanistan, Obama has decided to escalate the occupation. Though Bush’s ‘war on terror’ is replace now by ‘campaign against extremism’, both means the same. According to Obama “a terror syndicate is
actively planning attacks on the US homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan”. So, according to him, “we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in future”. So 65,000 more US troops are despatched to Afghanistan and rocket attacks on alleged Al-Qaeda and Taliban centres in Pakistan are intensified. The US war is fiercely continued to intensify its hegemony in the whole region. It is creating havoc both for Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is going to cause great damages to India also as the UPA government has led the country to strategic alliance with US, which means serving US interests to solve its AfPak quagmires. But what is happening in Pakistan is threatening to topple all plans of Obama to ‘stabilise’ the AfPak regimes. On 13th April Pakistan president Asaf Ali Zardari has signed an agreement with the Pak Taliban permitting it to add Malakand district in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) to the areas under their version of the Sharia. They already have control over adjoining Swat district. Thus Pak Taliban has emerged from the shadows to judicial authority in increasing areas. Even the once secular Awami National Party (ANP) voted for this Talibanisation in the National Assembly. This agreement clears way for Taliban expansion throughout NWFP. It is also reported that on March 10 truckloads of Taliban carrying guns openly marched even in areas of Punjab. It is reported that Buner, Swabi and Mardan districts also shall follow Malakand. They are also eying Chilas, Gilgit and Baltistan. Buner is just 100 kilometres from Pak capital Islamabad. As The New York Times reports: “As American drone attacks disrupt Taliban and Queda strongholds in the tribal areas, the insurgents are striking deeper in to Pakistan - both in retaliation and in search for safe havens”. Slowly the Pakistan state is getting paralysed as the armed forces and large sections of the population are distancing themselves from this American war. As prominent Pak columnist Ahmed Rashid noted: “We have an elite, frankly, a ruling elite that is virtually in the state of collapse, and is not willing to take the leadership role and the kind of risks involved in standing up to the Taliban. And that puts the country in a very poor position”. The cauldron of ‘anti-Americanism’ is over flowing. The military too is lacking the capacity or will to provide leadership as within the military itself the pro-Taliban sentiment is strong.” US REACTION US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned Pakistani authorities that US-Pakistan relations will be imperilled unless Islamabad heeds Washington’s admonitions and bloodily suppresses a growing Islamacist insurgency that has been fuelled by the US occupation of Afghanistan. He declared, “It is important that they not only recognize it [the threat], but take appropriate actions to deal with it.” Action against the Islamacist militia, said Gates, is “central to our future partnership with the government in Islamabad.” Gates’s remarks were part of a flurry of statements from Obama administration officials, Pentagon generals, and US Congressional leaders accusing Pakistan’s government and military of appeasing the Taliban. The US officials, beginning with President Obama himself, have for months been pressing Pakistani authorities to do more to support the pacification of Afghanistan, claiming that Pakistan’s border regions constitute a “safe-haven” for the Taliban and that if the US is to prevail in the Afghan war, it must be extended into Pakistan. A key concern for the Pentagon is the mounting number of attacks on the Pakistani supply routes that carry 80 percent of the food, fuel and arms consumed by the US occupation force in Afghanistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rebuked Pakistan’s government for “abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists.” “(We) cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by the continuing advances now within hours of Islamabad that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state”. Continuing a strategy of illegal, unilateral aggression begun under the Bush administration, Washington is regularly mounting drone missile strikes within Pakistan. Earlier this month, Holbrooke and the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, unsuccessfully pressed Islamabad to agree to joint operations with US forces inside Pakistan. According to Holbrooke, Pakistan and not Afghanistan will now be at the top of the agenda when Obama hosts a trilateral summit of the presidents of the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan on May 6-7. The summit “was conceived in an atmosphere that has now changed significantly, and the focus is
increasingly on Pakistan. In recent weeks Obama administration insiders, Pentagon generals, and longtime strategists of US imperialism like Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski have been making increasingly apocalyptic statements about Pakistan’s future. It has been repeatedly suggested that the nuclear-armed state of 170 million could soon break up along national-ethnic lines or fall in large part, if not wholly, under the control of anti-US Islamic fundamentalists. Born of the reactionary, British imperialist-instigated communal partition of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan is indeed beset by multiple, interconnected crises—crises that the rapacious policies of US imperialism are enormously exacerbating. Determined to prevail in the Afghan war, so as to assert US dominance in oil-rich Central Asia, Washington is demanding that Islamabad subordinate its interests ever-more completely to those of the US. To the Pakistani elite this represents a double threat: the policies the US has imposed on Pakistan are highly unpopular, further discrediting a corrupt and fundamentally undemocratic political system and fuelling social unrest; they also are at odds with important elements of Pakistan’s strategy for contending with arch-rival India. The occupation of Afghanistan is rightly opposed by the majority of the Pakistani people as a predatory war—they only have to remember the Bush administration’s enthusiastic support for the dictator General Prevez Musharraf. Yet Washington is insisting that the Pakistani military place the country’s border regions under an ever-tighter military occupation. The brutal, colonial-style pacification methods the Pakistani military has employed in repeated offensives in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have only inflamed the local populace, stoked Pashtun nationalism, and caused serious rifts within the ranks of the army, many of whose soldiers are drawn from the Pashtun peasantry. Washington is also fully supporting IMF-dictated measures to “stabilize” the Pakistani economy, including the elimination of energy subsidies, social spending cuts, and privatization, which will only increase the suffering of the country’s toilers. The US media is forced to concede that Washington is reviled by the Pakistani people, but of course they cannot and will not explain why: the US’s sponsorship of a succession of right-wing military dictatorships; its use of Pakistan as a pawn in its geo-political strategy, stretching back to the early days of the Cold War; its cynical manipulation of aid dollars, bullying and threats; and its relentless pressure for a large-scale counter-insurgency war in wide swathes of Pakistan. Pakistani authorities initially played down the “Talibanization” of Buner. Only on 13 April, the Pakistani National Assembly voted unanimously in favour of a “peace deal” with Islamacist militia, which for two years had fought intermittently with Pakistani security forces in the adjacent Swat Valley. Under this agreement, in six districts of the Malkand Division of the North-West Frontier Province, including Buner, a strict, Islamic fundamentalist form of sharia law is to be enforced. The agreement calls for the Islamacist militiamen in the Swat Valley to hand their weapons over to authorities. Instead many moved into Buner forcing local policemen to seek refuge in police stations, and taking control of an important shrine. In response, the Pakistani government dispatched less than 150 Frontier Constabulary. The first contingent was forced to retreat after coming under fire in an ambush that killed two constables. But in response to the US pressure, the government and military were vowing that they would not allow the writ of the Pakistani government to be challenged. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that Swat Valley agreement would be reviewed if the challenges to the government’s authority continued. “We reserve the right to go for other options if Talibanization continues” . INDIA GETTING ENMESHED IN AMERICA’S DIRTY WAR Tensions between the US and Pakistani elite is, however, continuing to boil. The Obama administration’s “Afghan surge”—the near doubling to 65,000 of the US military in Afghanistan— will result in a massive escalation of the blood-letting in Afghanistan that will inevitably spill over into Pakistan and incite further opposition among the Pakistani people. The Pakistani elite, meanwhile, bitterly resents the burgeoning strategic partnership between the US and India. This partnership has involved increasing sales of advanced military equipment to India and Washington’s lifting of an international embargo on international civilian nuclear trade with India, which will allow India to concentrate the resources of its indigenous nuclear program on weapons development. Obama administration officials have repeatedly demanded that Islamabad shift troops from its eastern border with India to its Afghan border regions. To Islamabad’s chagrin, India, with Washington’s full support, has emerged as a key provider of economic aid and military training to the US-imposed Afghan government. In a statement that could only have enraged the
Pakistani elite, Clinton asserted Wednesday that India has a pivotal role to play in assisting the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The US is advancing its relationship with India as part of a wide-ranging diplomatic agenda to meet today’s daunting challenges topped by the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” While the media was consciously pretending not to have noticed, while the CPI(M)-led Left Front was focusing discussion mostly on the Indo-US Nuke Deal, the strategic alliance papers signed by then foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee with his US counterpart Rumsfeld dragging India in to active involvement in the dirty war the US was conducting in Afghanistan-Pak region went on mostly unnoticed. India’s involvement in America’s AfPak was is increasing day by day along with India’s logistic and infrastructural support to US war in Iraq. Very little details of these acts based on many secret deals are reported or made available to public. US policy so far was to use Pakistan as its main collaborator for planning sabotage and waging wars in West Asia and Central Asia. To facilitate it Pak was brought under military rule repeatedly and the bureaucracy was made ever more obedient and corrupt. If Islamic fundamentalists were promoted to launch Al-Queda and Taliban to throw out Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s, in that process communal, fundamentalist forces were allowed to flourish in Pakistan. Six decades of US interference and control have reduced Pakistan in to a country in extreme crisis. As repeatedly reported, it may break in to many pieces on ethnic lines creating serious consequences in the whole region. But the comprador rulers in India refuse to learn from history true to their class character. They are repeatedly exposing their pathetic dependence upon US imperialists. The strategic treaty with US drafted by the NDA government and signed by the UPA government has dragged the country in to active involvement in US plans to de-stabilise the region in the name of stabilisation. But they are remaining oblivious to the fact that the next target of destabilisation for US is India, so that the whole South Asia can be brought under US hegemony totally. All patriotic democratic forces should take up this important question affecting the future of Indian polity with the seriousness it demands before the next government is going to further surrender Indian people’s interests to the Yankees.
From Marxist-Leninist Classics
APOLOGISTS OF NEO-COLONIALISM
Fourth Comment on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU By the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag), October 22, 1963
[As part of publishing important articles and extracts from the Marxist-Leninist classics, we have concluded the publication of “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement” in January to April issues of the RED STAR. In continuation to the Moscow Declaration of 1957 and the Moscow Statement of 1960 of the Communist Parties, The Proposal was a significant ideological and political effort by the CPC led by Mao Tsetung in 1963 to put forward the General Line of the ICM based on Marxist-Leninist understanding to expose and defeat the Soviet revisionist line peddled by the Khrushchovite leadership. It was also an effort to help the Soviet leadership to see through the folly of the stand taken by them and rectify it. In continuation to this effort the CPC published Nine Comments starting with The Origin and Development of the Differences Between the Leadership of the CPSU and Ourselves on September 6, 1963 to On Khrushchov’s Phoney Communism and its Historic Lessons for the World on July 14, 1964 to expose the various positions put forward by the Soviet party leadership on cardinal issues. Apologists of Neo Colonialism is the Fourth Comment of the CPC to explain how imperialism led by US imperialism transformed its exploitation and plunder from colonial to neo-colonial forms in the post-World War II period, exposing the Soviet revisionist stand. We are reproducing this comment to strengthen the ongoing discussion going on to establish the understanding on neo-colonialism - Red Star]
A GREAT REVOLUTIONARY STORM
has spread through Asia, Africa and Latin America since World War II. Independence has been proclaimed in more than fifty Asian and African countries. China, Vietnam, Korea and Cuba have taken the road of socialism. The face of Asia, Africa and Latin America has undergone a tremendous change. While revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies suffered serious setbacks after World War I owing to suppression by the imperialists and their lackeys, the situation after World War II is fundamentally different. The imperialists are no longer able to extinguish the prairie fire of national liberation. Their old colonial system is fast disintegrating. Their rear has become a front of raging anti-imperialist struggles. Imperialist rule has been overthrown in some colonial and dependent countries, and in others it has suffered heavy blows and is tottering. This inevitably weakens and shakes the rule of imperialism in the metropolitan countries. The victories of the people’s revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, together with the rise of the socialist camp, sound a triumphant paean to our day and age. The storm of the people’s revolution in Asia, Africa and Latin America requires every political force in the world to take a stand. This mighty revolutionary storm makes the imperialists and colonialists tremble and the revolutionary people of the world rejoice. The imperialists and colonialists say, “Terrible, terrible!” The revolutionary people say, “Fine, fine!” The imperialists and colonialists say, “It is rebellion, which is forbidden.” The revolutionary people say, “It is revolution, which is the people’s right and an inexorable current of history.” An important line of demarcation between the Marxist-Leninists and the modern revisionists is the attitude taken towards this extremely sharp issue of contemporary world politics. The Marxist-Leninists firmly side with the oppressed nations and actively support the national liberation movement. The modern revisionists in fact side with the imperialists and colonialists and repudiate and oppose the national liberation movement in every possible way. In their words, the leaders of the CPSU dare not completely discard the slogans of support for the national liberation movement, and at times, for the sake of their own interests, they even take certain measures which create the appearance of support. But if we probe into the essence and consider their views and policies over a number of years, we see clearly that their attitude towards the liberation struggles of the oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America is a passive or scornful or negative one, and that they serve as apologists for neo-colonialism. In the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU of July 14, 1963 and in a number of articles and statements, the comrades of the CPSU have worked hard at defending their wrong views and attacking the Chinese Communist Party on the question of the national liberation movement. But the sole outcome is to confirm the anti-Marxist-Leninist and antirevolutionary stand of the leaders of the CPSU on the subject. Let us now look at the theory and practice of the leaders of the CPSU on the question of the national liberation movement. ABOLITION OF THE TASK OF COMBATING IMPERIALISM AND COLONIALISM Victories of great historic significance have already been won by the national liberation movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This no one can deny. But can anyone assert that the task of combating imperialism and colonialism and their agents has been completed by the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America? Our answer is, no. This fighting task is far from completed.
However, the leaders of the CPSU frequently spread the view that colonialism has disappeared or is disappearing from the present-day world. They emphasize that “there are fifty million people on earth still groaning under colonial rule”, that the remnants of colonialism are to be found only in such places as Portuguese Angola and Mozambique in Africa, and that the abolition of colonial rule has already entered the “final phase”. What are the facts? Consider, first, the situation in Asia and Africa. There a whole group of countries have declared their independence. But many of these countries have not completely shaken off imperialist and colonial control and enslavement and remain objects of imperialist plunder and
aggression as well as arenas of contention between the old and new colonialists. In some, the old colonialists have changed into neo-colonialists and retain their colonial rule through their trained agents. In others, the wolf has left by the front door, but the tiger has entered through the back door, the old colonialism being replaced by the new, more powerful and more dangerous U.S. colonialism. The peoples of Asia and Africa are seriously menaced by the tentacles of neocolonialism, represented by U.S. imperialism. Next, listen to the voice of the people of Latin America. The Second Havana Declaration says, “Latin America today is under a more ferocious imperialism, more powerful and ruthless than the Spanish colonial empire.” It adds: Since the end of the Second World War, ..... North American investments exceed 10 billion dollars. Latin America moreover supplies cheap raw materials and pays high prices for manufactured articles. It says further: ..... there flows from Latin America to the United States a constant torrent of money: some $4,000 per minute, $5 million per day, $2 billion per year, $10 billion each five years. For each thousand dollars which leaves us, one dead body remains. $1,000 per death, that is the price of what is called imperialism. The facts are clear. After World War II the imperialists have certainly not given up colonialism, but have merely adopted a new form, neo-colonialism. An important characteristic of such neo-colonialism is that the imperialists have been forced to change their old style of direct colonial rule in some areas and to adopt a new style of colonial rule and exploitation by relying on the agents they have selected and trained. The imperialists headed by the United States enslave or control the colonial countries and countries which have already declared their independence by organizing military blocs, setting up military bases, establishing “federations” or “communities”, and fostering puppet regimes. By means of economic “aid” or other forms, they retain these countries as markets for their goods, sources of raw material and outlets for their export of capital, plunder the riches and suck the blood of the people of these countries. Moreover, they use the United Nations as an important tool for interfering in the internal affairs of such countries and for subjecting them to military, economic and cultural aggression. When they are unable to continue their rule over these countries by “peaceful” means, they engineer military coups d’etat, carry out subversion or even resort to direct armed intervention and aggression. The United States is most energetic and cunning in promoting neo-colonialism. With this weapon, the U.S. imperialists are trying hard to grab the colonies and spheres of influence of other imperialists and to establish world domination. This neo-colonialism is a more pernicious and sinister form of colonialism. We would like to ask the leaders of the CPSU, under such circumstances how can it be said that the abolition of colonial rule has already entered the “final phase”? In trying to bolster up such falsehoods, the leaders of the CPSU have the temerity to seek help from the 1960 Statement. They say, does not the 1960 Statement mention the vigorous process of disintegration of the colonial system? But this thesis about the rapid disintegration of old colonialism cannot possibly help their argument about the disappearance of colonialism. The Statement clearly points out that “the United States is the mainstay of colonialism today”, that “the imperialists, headed by the U.S.A., make desperate efforts to preserve colonial exploitation of the peoples of the former colonies by new methods and in new forms” and that they “try to retain their hold on the levers of economic control and political influence in Asian, African and Latin American countries”. In these phrases the Statement exposes just what the leadership of the CPSU is trying so hard to cover up. The leaders of the CPSU have also created the theory that the national liberation movement has entered upon a “new stage” having economic tasks as its core. Their argument is that, whereas “formerly, the struggle was carried on mainly in the political sphere”, today the economic question has become the “central task” and “the basic link in the further development of the revolution”. The national liberation movement has entered a new stage. But this is by no means the kind of “new stage” described by the leadership of the CPSU. In the new stage, the level of political
consciousness of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples has risen higher than ever and the revolutionary movement is surging forward with unprecedented intensity. They urgently demand the thorough elimination of the forces of imperialism and its lackeys in their own countries and strive for complete political and economic independence. The primary and most urgent task facing these countries is still the further development of the struggle against imperialism, old and new colonialism, and their lackeys. This struggle is still being waged fiercely in the political, economic, military, cultural, ideological and other spheres. And the struggles in all these spheres still find their most concentrated expression in political struggle, which often unavoidably develops into armed struggle when the imperialists resort to direct or indirect armed suppression. It is important for the newly independent countries to develop their independent economy. But this task must never be separated from the struggle against imperialism, old and new colonialism, and their lackeys. Like “the disappearance of colonialism”, this theory of a “new stage” advocated by the leaders of the CPSU is clearly intended to whitewash the aggression against and plunder of Asia, Africa and Latin America by neo-colonialism, as represented by the United States, to cover up the sharp contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and to paralyse the revolutionary struggle of the people of these continents. According to this theory of theirs, the fight against imperialism, old and new colonialism, and their lackeys is, of course, no longer necessary, for colonialism is disappearing and economic development has become the central task of the national liberation movement. Does it not follow that the national liberation movement can be done away with altogether? Therefore, the kind of “new stage” described by the leaders of the CPSU, in which economic tasks are in the centre of the picture, is clearly nothing but one of no opposition to imperialism, old and new colonialism, and their lackeys, a stage in which the national liberation movement is no longer desired. PRESCRIPTIONS FOR ABOLISHING THE REVOLUTION OF THE OPPRESSED NATIONS In line with their erroneous theories the leaders of the CPSU have sedulously worked out a number of nostrums for all the ills of the oppressed nations. Let us examine them. The first prescription is labelled peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition. The leaders of the CPSU constantly attribute the great postwar victories of the national liberation movement won by the Asian, African and Latin American peoples to what they call “peaceful coexistence” and “peaceful competition”. The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU says: In conditions of peaceful co-existence, new important victories have been scored in recent years in the class struggle of the proletariat and in the struggle of the peoples for national freedom. The world revolutionary process is developing successfully. They also say that the national liberation movement is developing under conditions of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems, and of economic competition between the two opposing social systems and that peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition “assist the unfolding of a process of liberation on the part of peoples fighting to free themselves from the domination of foreign monopolies”, and can deliver “a crushing blow” to “the entire system of capitalist relationships”. All socialist countries should practise the Leninist policy of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems. But peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition cannot replace the revolutionary struggles of the people. The victory of the national revolution of all colonies and dependent countries must be won primarily through the revolutionary struggle of their own masses, which can never be replaced by that of any other countries. The leaders of the CPSU hold that the victories of the national liberation revolution are not due primarily to the revolutionary struggles of the masses, and that the people cannot emancipate themselves, but must wait for the natural collapse of imperialism through peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition. In fact, this is equivalent to telling the oppressed nations to put up with imperialist plunder and enslavement for ever, and not to rise up in resistance and revolution. The second prescription is labelled aid to backward countries.
The leaders of the CPSU boast of the role played by their economic aid to the newly independent countries. Comrade Khrushchov has said that such aid can enable these countries “to avoid the danger of a new enslavement”, and that “it stimulates their progress and contributes to the normal development and even acceleration of those internal processes which may take these countries onto the highway leading to socialism”. It is necessary and important for the socialist countries to give the newly independent countries economic aid on the basis of internationalism. But in no case can it be said that their national independence and social progress are due solely to the economic aid they receive from the socialist countries and not mainly to the revolutionary struggles of their own people. To speak plainly, the policy and the purpose of the leaders of the CPSU in their aid to newly independent countries in recent years are open to suspicion. They often take an attitude of greatpower chauvinism and national egoism in matters concerning aid to newly independent countries, harm the economic and political interests of the receiving countries, and as a result discredit the socialist countries. As for their aid to India, here their ulterior motives are especially clear. India tops the list of newly independent countries to which the Soviet Union gives economic aid. This aid is obviously intended to encourage the Nehru government in its policies directed against communism, against the people and against socialist countries. Even the U.S. imperialists have stated that such Soviet aid “is very much to our [U.S.] interest”. In addition, the leaders of the CPSU openly propose co-operation with U.S. imperialism in “giving aid to the backward countries”. Khrushchov said in a speech in the United States in September 1959: Your and our economic successes will be hailed by the whole world, which expects our two Great Powers to help the peoples who are centuries behind in their economic development to get on their feet more quickly. Look! The mainstay of modern colonialism [namely, U.S. imperialism] will help the oppressed nations “to get on their feet more quickly”! It is indeed astonishing that the leaders of the CPSU are not only willing but even proud to be the partners of the neo-colonialists. The third prescription is labelled disarmament. Khrushchov has said: Disarmament means disarming the war forces, abolishing militarism, ruling out armed interference in the internal affairs of any country, and doing away completely and finally with all forms of colonialism. He has also said: Disarmament would create proper conditions for a tremendous increase in the scale of assistance to the newly established national states. If a mere 8-10 per cent of the 120,000 million dollars spent for military purposes throughout the world were turned to the purpose, it would be possible to end hunger, disease and illiteracy in the distressed areas of the globe within twenty years. We have always maintained that the struggle for general disarmament should be carried on in order to expose and oppose imperialist arms expansion and war preparations. But one cannot possibly say that colonialism will be eliminated through disarmament. Khrushchov here sounds like a preacher. Downtrodden people of the world, you are blessed! If only you are patient, if only you wait until the imperialists lay down their arms, freedom will descend upon you. Wait until the imperialists show mercy, and the poverty-stricken areas of the world will become an earthly paradise flowing with milk and honey! This is not just the fostering of illusions, it is opium for the people. The fourth prescription is labelled elimination of colonialism through the United Nations. Khrushchov maintains that if the United Nations takes measures to uproot the colonial system, “the peoples who are now suffering the humiliation arising out of foreign domination, would acquire a clear and immediate prospect of peaceful liberation from foreign oppression”. In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960, Khrushchov asked, “Who, if not the United Nations Organization, should champion the abolition of the colonial system of government?”
This is a strange question to ask. According to Khrushchov, the revolutionary people of Asia, Africa and Latin America should not and cannot themselves eliminate colonialism, but must look to the United Nations for help. At the United Nations General Assembly, Khrushchov also said: This is why we appeal to the reason and far-sightedness of the peoples of the Western countries, to their governments and their representatives at this high assembly of the United Nations. Let us agree on measures for the abolition of the colonial system of government and thereby accelerate that natural historical process. It is apparent that what he really means by looking to the United Nations for help is looking to the imperialists for help. The facts show that the United Nations, which is still under the control of the imperialists, can only defend and strengthen the rule of colonialism but can never abolish it. In a word, the nostrums of the leaders of the CPSU for the national liberation movement have been concocted to make people believe that the imperialists will give up colonialism and bestow freedom and liberation upon the oppressed nations and peoples and that therefore all revolutionary theories, demands and struggles are outmoded and unnecessary and should and must be abandoned. OPPOSITION TO WARS OF NATIONAL LIBERATION Although they talk about supporting the movements and wars of national liberation, the leaders of the CPSU have been trying by every means to make the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America abandon their revolutionary struggle, because they themselves are sorely afraid of the revolutionary storm. The leaders of the CPSU have the famous “theory” that “even a tiny spark can cause a world conflagration” and that a world war must necessarily be a thermonuclear war, which means the annihilation of mankind. Therefore, Khrushchov roars that “‘local wars’ in our time are very dangerous”, and that “we will work hard ..... to put out the sparks that may set off the flames of war”. Here Khrushchov makes no distinction between just and unjust wars and betrays the Communist stand of supporting just wars. The history of the eighteen years since World War II has shown that wars of national liberation are unavoidable so long as the imperialists and their lackeys try to maintain their brutal rule by bayonets and use force to suppress the revolution of oppressed nations. These largescale and small-scale revolutionary wars against the imperialists and their lackeys, which have never ceased, have hit hard at the imperialist forces of war, strengthened the forces defending world peace and effectively prevented the imperialists from realizing their plan of launching a world war. Frankly speaking, Khrushchov’s clamour about the need to “put out” the sparks of revolution for the sake of peace is an attempt to oppose revolution in the name of safeguarding peace. Proceeding from these wrong views and policies, the leaders of the CPSU not only demand that the oppressed nations should abandon their revolutionary struggle for liberation and “peacefully coexist” with the imperialists and colonialists, but even side with imperialism and use a variety of methods to extinguish the sparks of revolution in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Take the example of the Algerian people’s war of national liberation. The leadership of the CPSU not only withheld support for a long period but actually took the side of French imperialism. Khrushchov used to treat Algeria’s national independence as an “internal affair” of France. Speaking on the Algerian question on October 3, 1955, he said, “I had and have in view, first of all, that the USSR does not interfere in the internal affairs of other states.” Receiving a correspondent of Le Figaro on March 19, 1958, he said, “We do not want France to grow weaker, we want her to become still greater.” To curry favour with the French imperialists, the leaders of the CPSU did not dare to recognize the provisional government of the Republic of Algeria for a long time; not until the victory of the Algerian people’s war of resistance against French aggression was a foregone conclusion and France was compelled to agree to Algerian independence did they hurriedly recognize Algeria. This unseemly attitude brought shame on the socialist countries. Yet the
leaders of the CPSU glory in their shame and assert that the victory the Algerian people paid for with their blood should also be credited to the policy of “peaceful coexistence”. Again, let us examine the part played by the leaders of the CPSU in the Congo question. Not only did they refuse to give active support to the Congolese people’s armed struggle against colonialism, but they were anxious to “co-operate” with U.S. imperialism in putting out the spark in the Congo. On July 13, 1960 the Soviet Union joined with the United States in voting for the Security Council resolution on the dispatch of U.N. forces to the Congo; thus it helped the U.S. imperialists use the flag of the United Nations in their armed intervention in the Congo. The Soviet Union also provided the U.N. forces with means of transportation. In a cable to Kasavubu and Lumumba on July 15, Khrushchov said that “the United Nations Security Council has done a useful thing”. Thereafter, the Soviet press kept up a stream of praise for the United Nations for “helping the government of the Congolese Republic to defend the independence and sovereignty of the country”, and expressed the hope that the United Nations would adopt “resolute measures”. In its statements of August 21 and September 10, the Soviet Government continued to praise the United Nations, which was suppressing the Congolese people. In 1961 the leaders of the CPSU persuaded Gizenga to attend the Congolese parliament, which had been convened under the “protection” of U.N. troops, and to join the puppet government. The leadership of the CPSU falsely alleged that the convocation of the Congolese parliament was “an important event in the life of the young republic” and “a success of the national forces”. Clearly these wrong policies of the leadership of the CPSU rendered U.S. imperialism a great service in its aggression against the Congo. Lumumba was murdered, Gizenga was imprisoned, many other patriots were persecuted, and the Congolese struggle for national independence suffered a setback. Does the leadership of the CPSU feel no responsibility for all this? THE AREAS IN CONCENTRATED WHICH CONTEMPORARY WORLD CONTRADICTIONS ARE
It is only natural that the revolutionary people of Asia, Africa and Latin America have rejected the words and deeds of the leaders of the CPSU against the movements and wars of national liberation. But the leaders of the CPSU have failed to draw the appropriate lesson and change their wrong line and policies. Instead, angry at their humiliation, they have launched a series of slanderous attacks on the Chinese Communist Party and the other Marxist-Leninist Parties. The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU accuses the Chinese Communist Party of putting forward a “new theory”. It says: ..... according to which [the new theory] the chief contradiction of our time is not, we are told, between socialism and imperialism, but between the national-liberation movement and imperialism. In the Chinese comrades’ opinion, the decisive force in the battle against imperialism is not the socialist world system and not the international working-class struggle but, again we are told, the national-liberation movement. In the first place, this is a fabrication. In our letter of June 14, we pointed out that the fundamental contradictions in the contemporary world are the contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries, the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism, and the contradictions among imperialist countries and among monopoly capitalist groups. We also pointed out: The contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp is a contradiction between two fundamentally different social systems, socialism and capitalism. It is undoubtedly very sharp. But Marxist-Leninists must not regard the contradictions in the world as consisting solely and simply of the contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp. Our view is crystal clear. In our letter of June 14, we explained the revolutionary situation in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the significance and role of the national liberation movement. This is what we said:
1. ”The various types of contradictions in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; these are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centres of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism.” 2. ”The national democratic revolutionary movement in these areas and the international socialist revolutionary movement are the two great historical currents of our time.” 3. ”The national democratic revolution in these areas is an important component of the contemporary proletarian world revolution.” 4. ”The anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America are pounding and undermining the foundations of the rule of imperialism and colonialism, old and new, and are now a mighty force in defence of world peace.” 5. ”In a sense, therefore, the whole cause of the international proletarian revolution hinges on the outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the people of these areas, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.” 6. ”Therefore, the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America is definitely not merely a matter of regional significance but one of overall importance for the whole cause of proletarian world revolution.” These are Marxist-Leninist theses, conclusions drawn by scientific analysis from the realities of our time. No one can deny that an extremely favourable revolutionary situation now exists in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Today the national liberation revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America are the most important forces dealing imperialism direct blows. The contradictions of the world are concentrated in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The centre of world contradictions, of world political struggles, is not fixed but shifts with changes in the international struggles and the revolutionary situation. We believe that, with the development of the contradiction and struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in Western Europe and North America, the momentous day of battle will arrive in these homes of capitalism and heartlands of imperialism. When that day comes, Western Europe and North America will undoubtedly become the centre of world political struggles of world contradictions. Lenin said in 1913, “. . . a new source of great world storms opened up in Asia. . . . It is in this era of storms and their ‘repercussion’ on Europe that we are now living.” Stalin said in 1925: The colonial countries constitute the principal rear of imperialism. The revolutionisation of this rear is bound to undermine imperialism not only in the sense that imperialism will be deprived of its rear, but also in the sense that the revolutionisation of the East is bound to give a powerful impulse to the intensification of the revolutionary crisis in the West. Is it possible that these statements of Lenin and Stalin are wrong? The theses they enunciated have long been elementary Marxist-Leninist knowledge. Obviously, now that the leaders of the CPSU are bent on belittling the national liberation movement, they are completely ignoring elementary Marxism-Leninism and the plain facts under their noses. DISTORTION OF THE LENINIST VIEW OF LEADERSHIP IN THE REVOLUTION In its Open Letter of July 14, the Central Committee of the CPSU also attacks the standpoint of the Chinese Communist Party on the question of proletarian leadership in the national liberation movement. It says: . . . the Chinese comrades want to “correct” Lenin and prove that hegemony in the world struggle against imperialism should go not to the working class, but to the petty bourgeoisie or the national bourgeoisie, even to “certain patriotically-minded kings, princes and aristocrats.” This is a deliberate distortion of the views of the Chinese Communist Party. In discussing the need for the proletariat to insist on leading the national liberation movement, the letter of the Central Committee of the CPC of June 14 says: History has entrusted to the proletarian parties in these areas [Asia, Africa and Latin America] the glorious mission of holding high the banner of struggle against imperialism, against
old and new colonialism and for national independence and people’s democracy, of standing in the forefront of the national democratic revolutionary movement and striving for a socialist future. On the basis of the worker-peasant alliance the proletariat and its party must unite all the strata that can be united and organize a broad united front against imperialism and its lackeys. In order to consolidate and expand this united front it is necessary that the proletarian party should maintain its ideological, political and organizational independence and insist on the leadership of the revolution. In discussing the need for establishing a broad anti-imperialist united front in the national liberation movement, the letter of the Central Committee of the CPC says: The oppressed nations and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America are faced with the urgent task of fighting imperialism and its lackeys. In these areas, extremely broad sections of the population refuse to be slaves of imperialism. They include not only the workers, peasants, intellectuals and petty bourgeoisie, but also the patriotic national bourgeoisie and even certain kings, princes and aristocrats who are patriotic. Our views are perfectly clear. In the national liberation movement it is necessary both to insist on leadership by the proletariat and to establish a broad anti-imperialist united front. What is wrong with these views? Why should the leadership of the CPSU distort and attack these correct views? It is not we, but the leaders of the CPSU, who have abandoned Lenin’s views on proletarian leadership in the revolution. The wrong line of the leaders of the CPSU completely abandons the task of fighting imperialism and colonialism and opposes wars of national liberation; this means it wants the proletariat and the Communist Parties of the oppressed nations and countries to roll up their patriotic banner of opposing imperialism and struggling for national independence and surrender it to others. In that case, how could one even talk about an anti-imperialist united front or of proletarian leadership? Another idea often propagated by the leaders of the CPSU is that a country can build socialism under no matter what leadership, including even that of a reactionary nationalist like Nehru. This is still farther removed from the idea of proletarian leadership. The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU misinterprets the proper relationship of mutual support which should exist between the socialist camp and the working-class movement in the capitalist countries on the one hand and the national liberation movement on the other, asserting that the national liberation movement should be “led” by the socialist countries and the working-class movement in the metropolitan countries. It has the audacity to claim that this is “based” on Lenin’s views on proletarian leadership. Obviously this is a gross distortion and revision of Lenin’s thinking. It shows that the leaders of the CPSU want to impose their line of abolishing revolution on the revolutionary movement of the oppressed nations. Speech of Mirzo Tursun-Zade, Leader of the Soviet Delegation, at the Third Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Conference, February 5, 1963.
N. S. Khrushchov, “Report on the Programme of the CPSU”, delivered at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, October 1961. “To the Detriment of the Struggle of the Peoples”, Pravda, September 17, 1973. “The General Line of the International Communist Movement and the Schismatic Platform of the Chinese Leaders”, editorial board article in Kommunist, Moscow, No. 14, 1963. Ibid.
B. N. Ponomaryov, “Some Problems of the Revolutionary Movement”, World Marxist Review, No. 12, 1962. N. S. Khrushchov, “Vital Questions of the Development of the Socialist World System”, World Marxist Review, No. 9, 1962. W. A. Harriman, Radio and Television Interview, December 9, 1962.
N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, July 10, 1962. Ibid. N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the U.N. General Assembly, September 23, 1960. N. S. Khrushchov, Report to the Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, October 1959. N. S. Khrushchov, Speech at the Press Conference in Vienna, July 8, 1960.
    
N. S. Khrushchov, Replies to Questions by Newsmen at the U.S. National Press Club in Washington, September 16, 1959. Izvestia, July 21, 1960. Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 30, 1960. Pravda, July 18, 1961. V.I. Lenin, “The Historical Destiny of the Doctrine of Karl Marx”. J.V. Stalin, “The Revolutionary Movement in the East”.
    
[To be concluded in next issue]
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