PEOPLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM

All India Convention Jan’ 19, 20, 2004 at Mumbai

SESSION II:

STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM Direction and Deviations

Paper presented by Com. Veerachamy on behalf of

People’s Art & Literary Association New Democratic Labour Front Tamilnadu
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The Specter of Communism – Haunting Again!
Dear Comrades, We the communist revolutionaries are veterans of Anti-imperialist struggles. Though the international Communist movement is weak, Marxism as an ideology is strong and impenetrable, and we are not waiting to be enlightened by others, on the ways and means of conducting antiimperialist struggles. We have Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung thought as our ideological weapon to smash Imperialism and advance the Proletarian revolution. From the great October Revolution of Russia to Vietnam, we have a rich and glorious history of anti-imperialist struggles, with our heroes and martyrs shining like stars, who inspire us to surge ahead. Comrades, we are now facing a situation where the Imperialist superpowers are attempting to establish Global Hegemony through Globalisation of capital, production, division of labour and the market. The resultant anger of the people and their struggles are also being globalised and – shall I say- packed & branded and kept under the watchful eyes of the Imperialism. The product is called ‘dissent’ and its brand name – WSF. We are not surprised that the NGOs and Social democrats of various hues including the CPI and CPI (M), promoting WSF as the panacea for all imperialist afflicted injuries. But we are shocked when the Communist revolutionaries also flounder. What should be our approach towards WSF? Is it a vacillating ally to be won over to our side, or a fifth column of the enemy to be wiped out from the political arena? This is the question. There are many reasons that serve to compound the confusion while dealing with this question, resulting in a variety of deviations. The first and the foremost of them is related to our understanding of Imperialism.

Ours is still an era of Imperialism and Proletarian revolution. The uneven and spasmodic
development of Imperialism had caused the emergence of Superpowers in the seventies. The process of decay caused by the uneven development has intensified in the U.S., the most affluent of all superpowers. In turn, it triggered the intensification of decay in the entire imperialist camp. The Imperialist ideologues themselves describe the present day, as an aircraft that flies on a single engine. The imperialist camp is terrified at the probable collapse of that single engine, called the U.S. superpower. They aptly characterise this situation as synchronized sinking; it’s not just an economic crisis, as they want us to believe; it’s an all-round crisis encompassing all spheres of social life, including politics and culture. Hence, they frantically try to shift the burden of crisis onto the shoulders of

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oppressed nations and the people of the world, to retain their rapacious profits. The policy of LPG, the GATT agreement and the institutions like the WTO, the WB and the IMF are employed by imperialism to achieve their ends. In short, this process is defined by the imperialist ideologues as ‘Globalisation’. And this institutionalisation of imperialist plunder and hegemony is depicted by them as ‘progress and development’. But Communist revolutionaries consider this to be “Imperialist Globalisation”. This assessment is right; But it takes into account only the imperialist’s attempts to push the burden o crisis on to f the shoulders of oppressed nations, and fails to understand the development of capitalist productive forces and their role in facilitating the process of Globalisation. They presume that the development of productive forces at this stage is impossible, since imperialism signifies a decaying and moribund capitalism. “It would be a mistake to believe that this tendency of decay precludes the rapid growth of capitalism. It does not” said Com. Lenin. “On the whole capitalism is growing far more rapidly than before; but this growth is not only becoming more and more uneven in general, its unevenness also manifests itself, in particular, in the decay of the countries which are richest in capital”

- LCW, Vol: 22, P -300 The observations made by Com.Lenin are very much relevant now. We witness the development newer technologies and productive systems; and also the globalisation of capital and production. At the same time, we should also be aware of the fact that the characteristics of this development in our countries could only be the comprador – bureaucratic capitalist, meant to serve imperialism. Hence imperialism does not freeze the development of capitalism, before attempting to get over its crisis. On the contrary, it can throw the burden of crisis on the shoulders of oppressed nations and people, only by accelerating and deepening the growth of capitalism. These are the two essential facets of Imperialist Globalisation. Failure to understand the interrelation between these facets would lead us to commit mistakes. The changes coming about in the productive system, the steady transformation of physical labour towards mental labour, a rapid expansion of the contract labour system, increase in female workforce and other such factors should be taken into consideration, to build up our struggles against Imperialist Globalisation.

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The following observation by Com.Lenin helps us to understand Globalisation in the era of Imperialism: “ When a big enterprise assumes gigantic proportions, and on the basis of an exact computation of mass data, organizes according to plan the supply of primary raw materials to the extent of two-thirds, or three-fourths, of all that is necessary for tens of millions of people; when the raw materials are transported in systematic and organized manner to the most suitable places of production, sometimes situated hundreds or thousands of miles from each other; when a single centre directs all the consecutive stages of processing the material right up to the manufacture of numerous varieties of finished articles; when these products are distributed according to a single plan among tens and hundreds of millions of consumers (the marketing of oil in America and Germany by American oil trust)then it becomes evident that we have socialisation of production, and not mere “interlocking”; that private economic and private property relations constitute a shell which no longer fits its contents, a shell which must inevitably decay if its removal is artificially delayed, a shell which may remain in the state of decay for a fairly long period (if, at the worst, the cure of the opportunistic abscess is protracted.) But which will inevitably be removed. LCW, Vol:22, P-302 The widening and deepening of the process called Globalisation means, socialisation of production to gigantic proportions, i.e.- on a global scale; it means that the objective conditions for socialism develops further; it also means that this objective condition he lps stimulate the removal of the shell, called private economic and private property relations. That is why Lenin defined imperialism as “capitalism in transition or more precisely as moribund capitalism” – (LCW, Vol:22, P-302.) No doubt, imperialist globalisation plunders the people of backward countries like never before; But it also accelerates the winding up process of capitalism and shortens the period of transition to communism. This should kindle revolutionary zeal in us, the communists.

Times are changing. In the early 90’s the western imperialists celebrated the fall of Soviet Social
Imperialism. They proclaimed the death of Communism in the land of its genesis. Before settling down to do their business, they had to face the wrath of their own people. “Death to Capitalism” was the slogan that reverberated through the lengths and breadths of Europe and America, as millions of people marched down the streets. The demonstration in the west against the U.S. aggression of Iraq, the massive protest rallie s of Britain, forcing Bush to run for cover from the ire of people, the militant anti imperialist demonstrations of the Latin American people, forcing -

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four presidents to flee from their posts, the armed struggles of the Communist Revolutionaries in Peru, Columbia, Philippines, India and Nepal….. All these developments clearly indicate that the specter of Communism has once again started haunting the world, not just Europe. The Communist revolutionaries should rise to the occasion and declare Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung thought to be the only guiding ideology capable of taking the people to final victory. Communism now, is no dream, or a distant utopia or empty sloganeering of an ‘orthodox’ Marxist. This is an obligation imposed upon us by the most orthodox of the imperialist bourgeoisie of the world. All spaces that hitherto existed between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat, between imperialism and oppressed nations are gone. All the shock absorbers are removed and socialism is pulled into the arena to confront imperialism face to face. The strategy of neo-colonism is fast getting replaced by ‘Re-colonisation’. During the 1930’s the imperialism was forced into defense, by the international proletariat and the national liberation movements, compelling them to choose neo-colonial forms of exploitation and oppression. But the degeneration of Russia into (social) imperialism and the subsequent restoration of capitalism in China had caused a profound change in the balance of forces. The proletariat was forced into defense. Notwithstanding the contradictions, the imperialist camp was united in its offensive against oppressed nations and people. These turn of events apart, the significant development of the capitalist productive forces and the crisis in the imperialist camp, impelled them to change their strategy towards superpower hegemonism. Now, the forms of oppression and exploitation adopted by the imperialists today bear a direct resemblance to the colonial forms of the last quarter of the 19th century – albeit with certain changes. This can be aptly termed as Re-colonisation. Re-colonisation is blatant and unconcealed, not needing the camouflages of neo-colonism. Before the eyes of the whole world, international institutions are turned into puppets, and they endorse sanctions and wars of aggression. Erstwhile royalties and Generals are installed as presidents, and the imperialist army stands in guard to defend such puppet regimes. The wealth of the oppressed countries is raked off to satiate imperialist caprice. Re-colonisation also dismantles the fantasy called welfare state. Public sectors are ripped off and swindled by the MNCs; the comprador bourgeoisie pleads for a level playing field with the MNCs; The hard won rights and privileges of the working class and the system of collective bargaining are being scrapped to pave way for a no holds barred free market. The ideologues of imperialism declare that ‘independence and sovereignty’ are antiquated concepts; they prescribe the Nation states to perform the role of a cog, in the wheel called

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Globalisation; According to them, Nationalism and Patriotism are as archaic and outdated as socialism and communism. End of all ideologies, end of nations, and end of all meta-narratives except one meta-narrative called Global Empire. This is the theory and practice of Recolonisation. This is not just a quantitative increase in the neo-colonial plunder and hegemony; but a qualitatively new strategy devised by the imperialist superpowers. Failure to grasp the essence of this process would result in a failure to formulate appropriate strategy and tactics against imperialism.

It is obvious that the re-colonial offensive cannot be repulsed and smashed until the
destruction of imperialism. But the imperialists have sealed all the hitherto existing legal avenues, forcing people to take up arms. We must unequivocally declare that armed struggle is the inevitable course, and expose the hollow hankerings of the peaceniks and pacifists. We should not hesitate to emphasize the leading role of the Communist party, for, its not a subjective aspiration, but an exigency of the times. The spontaneous uprisings of the people against imperialism and capitalism cry out for the leadership of the Communist revolutionaries. The gravity of the polit ical situation is better understood by the enemies, and thus we witness WSF being projected as the anti-imperialist Global coalition and alternative to international proletarian movement. In a situation where the Communist Revolutionaries should categorically put forth Socialism and Communism as the alternative, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung thought as the ideology, Bolshevised party as the Organisation and Armed struggle as the path, we now witness the antithesis of Communism gaining popularity. The sloga n of Alternatives, the antipathy towards ideology, the anathema towards organisational structures, the rejection of violence ….et all, are categorically inscribed in the WSF Charter. In other words it’s a manifesto against Communism. But the Communist Revo lutionaries – the MR 2004 –, who look for an ally in the WSF, are hesitant to wage an ideological battle. Perhaps they are afraid of loosing friends and getting isolated. This apprehension is caused by the lack of conviction in the proletarian ideology. The massive propaganda unleashed by the imperialist media against Socialism, the gullibility of the petit-bourgeoisie in swallowing these lies, their contempt against party discipline, the fear of proletarian dictatorship prompted by their perception of individual freedom etc., serve as an impenetrable barricade, behind which the edifice called WSF is built. The MR-2004 wishes to win over the intelligentsia that has preferred to settle behind the barricade; It yearns to gain their recognition and chooses to tread softly. Hence their ideological

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offensive against WSF is subdued; and their defense of Marxism is muted. If this is a tactics, its suicidal; If the Communist Revolutionaries themselves have succumbed to the imperialist propaganda against dictatorship of the proletariat, it is pathetic; In any event, it’s a cowardice to feel apologetic about being a Marxist, that too in a situation where the hatred towards imperialism is crystalling into mass upsurge throughout the world.

The second important deviation is connected with the lack of confidence in building up an
independent mass movement against Re-colonisation, or abandoning this duty for fear of deviating from the agrarian revolution. Failure to understand the science of leadership i.e. the strategy and tactics, and their role in the political mobilization of the masses, naturally leads one to commit this mistake. The right deviationist CPI and CPI(M), attempt to mobilize the masses through trade unionism and Parlimentarism. The left deviation resorts to militant Economism and slides into adventurism and anarchism. Now, these two opposing trends have together walked into the trap laid by imperialism, on the pretext of mobilizing the masses, and serve as instruments in the imperialist game plan of projecting WSF as a Leftist organisation. Obsessed with nothing more than the militancy, MR-2004 lays claim to Seattle tradition, to project its anti-imperialist credentials, and calls upon the WSF to join hands in Militant anti-imperialist struggles. On the right side we have Sitaram Yetchuri celebrating the heterogeneity of the WSF and launching a ‘principled’ attack on programme based unity. The principle being post-modernism instead of Marxism. On the left we have MR-2004, “aiming to develop a perspective that will unite all struggling forces”. ‘A common minimum perspective’, in lieu of the proletarian ideology, so as to guarantee the unity of all struggling forces! Thus MR-2004 has brought a few hundred organisations under its umbrella. The anti-imperialist credentials of those organisations are not known; There are several Muslim organisations, a B.C. welfare organisation and finally the now infamous NGOs. In ILPS, AIPRF shares the platform with NGOs. In MR-2004, NGOs share the platform with AIPRF. We have to wait for this combination to hatch out its ‘common minimum perspective’ on smashing imperialism. Thus the parallel event turns out to be truly parallel, prompting us to call it a mini WSF.

History demonstrates that the Communists were always in the forefront of conducting antiimperialist and anti-fascist struggles, inspiring the non proletarian forces to join hands. But MR2004 is inspired by the WSF carnivals. Those who have failed to build up a mass movement against Imperialism, naturally get attracted to WSF, and start dreaming about winning over them.

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After lengthy discourses on the heinous motives of the NGOs and startling exposures to prove that the WSF is a brain child of imperialism, MR-2004 emphasizes that it is not against WSF. It is only worried about the structural imperfection of WSF that does not allow for the development of clear anti-imperialist perspective. No one ever dreams of winning over the fifth column of the enemy by depicting it as an ally! On this count Yetchuri moves a step further. Comparing WSF with the Hunan Peasants uprising, he pounces upon all those who dare to expose WSF, and stops short of branding us as imperialist stooges. The erstwhile imperialist stooges (please refer to Prakash Karat’s essay on NGOs published in 1988) are baptized and renamed as ‘civil society organisations’ in CPI(M)’s discourse, and they are now comrades in arms! ‘comrades’ who according to Yetchuri, always attempt to undermine Socialism inside WSF. Poor ill informed allies, to be enlightened in the course of anti-imperialist struggle! Thus the right deviation constituting Economism, Parlimentarism and careerism has transmuted CPI(M) into a spirited apologist of the imperialism. But the Left’s craving for the ‘bear hug’ is truly disheartening and could prove to be detrimental to the entire revolutionary movement.

The ambivalence on the question of NGOs is a disease that destroys the revolutionary camp.
This ambivalence justifies itself by projecting the laudable works of certain individuals, their contribution in certain fields, and their popularity etc. to defend its alliance with NGOs. For that matter even at the grass root level the NGOs have earned the goodwill of people through their reformist activities. This problem is neither unique nor is it unexpected. The modus operandi of the NGOs is designed in such a way, that they penetrate into the class base of the Communists and gain credibility among the masses. The complexity of the problem is far greater at the grass root level, as the NGOs could effort lessly mobilize the youth and women disillusioned with the electoral politics and infuse them with Apoliticism, careerism and reformism. In countries like ours, where the project of Re-colonisation is thrust through the back door, the NGOs are entrusted with the task of legitimizing the illegitimate. They are sub contractors of the World Bank, studded in the grass root to monitor and implement the project of Globalisation. They are also moles assigned to identify the forces of dissent and institutionalise them. Thus NGOs are developing into a proxy state at the grass root level. NGOs are strategic weapons of the imperialists against Communism. They are also tactical tools to implement the project of Globalisation from below. Hence the only alternative to wipe out the NGOs, is building up of a revolutionary anti-imperialist movement, by organising the people

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under our slogans of Political Tactics. No Communist Revolutionary should ever think of building up an alliance with the NGOs. So an anti-imperialist movement should spell out its position on NGOs in clear terms. MR-2004 is concerned essentially about their role as safety valves, designed to dissipate the people’s anger through legal and peaceful methods, along with the vexatious issue of foreign funding. NGOS are not considered as snakes in the grass to be wiped out; or as stooges of the enemy. Underplaying their anti communist mission, the MR-2004 portrays them as allies to be enlightened and won over through a process of militant joint anti-imperialist struggles! Militancy as a cure for post modernism and anti-communism!

B ut the militancy of Seattle to Genoa did not help those people from getting institutionalised
into WSF. The militant struggles of Latin American countries that succeeded in driving out four Presidents had to finally surrender before bourgeois democracy and elect a right reactionary, only to be stripped of their rights. The militant anti-capitalist demonstrations of Europe and anti-war demonstration of U.S. did not advance towards Socialism. We witness the Greens and Social democrats and even conservatives getting elected after such huge demonstrations. In South Asia, the communal Fascism is waiting to harvest the people’s anger against Imperialism through nationalist phrase mongering. The primary reason for the dissipation and disintegration of all the anti-imperialist and anticapitalist struggles is the lack of vision and loss of direction. The vision and direction to be provided by Marxism-Leninism and a Revolutionary Communist Party Organisation to lead those struggles to victory, is absent. Presence of the Revolutionaries is negligible. The ‘space’ being encroached by NGOs, Social democrats, Anarchists, Trotskyites and various hues of PostModernists. The space is now called WSF. These forces should be thrown out of this space, through fierce ideological struggles and independent mass movements of Communist Revolutionaries against Imperialism. There are no short cut methods for revolution – either left or right. “Fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism” said Com.Lenin. Let us not mince words. WSF is an encroachment. An encroachment of the enemy into the territory of the people fighting against imperialism. It will be thrown out by the people! Smash Imperialism! Expose WSF! Advance Proletarian Revolution!

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