-By Fahad Zaki
I recently saw an email for a public meeting “to discuss developments in Nepal and the stakes for the communist movement, the exchange of letters between the RCPUSA and UCPN Maoist”. The content of the call shows that the RCPUSA has gone into a higher gear to attack the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in an organised way. My first question is why a communist party in one country is attacking a communist party in another country? Haven’t the RCPUSA heard of “Workers of all countries unite!” ?!
Like other supporters of revolution, I have observed the progress of the revolution in Nepal, which in a very short period of time has developed into a powerful revolution liberating millions of extremely poor, exploited and downtrodden men and women, young and old. But I have also observed the failure of the RCPUSA to develop the revolution in the USA over a very long period, more than just involving a small number of people in the USA.
I have read their letters (available at www.rwor.org) and some books and articles published by both Parties. I am very disappointed with the RCPUSA for the way that it is handling the dispute. I say to any person or organisation, especially the RCPUSA, that if you have something to prove, first of all prove it in your own struggle. Revolution is not just a battle of ideas, but mainly a battle of different class forces. The most recent example of this is intensification of the contradiction between the people (hundreds of thousands of whom under the leadership of the UCPNM filled the streets of Kathmandu on Mayday) and the US imperialists, Indian expansionists and reactionary parties in Nepal over the sacking of the country’s army chief, General Katawal.
For more than two and half years the RCPUSA did not say anything openly about the UCPNM and the revolution in Nepal before suddenly starting its attacks. During its silence, I realised that something must be seriously wrong. But I thought even if the RCPUSA thinks that the UCPNM is not doing what it should do, at least it could support this party and revolution against their common enemies, who are striving to destroy them. I thought, what is a friend for? What kind of a friend is this who withdraws support when you need it?
I thought, what kind of a friend turns his/her back to you, and leaves you to be torn apart by powerful enemies? Even if your friend thinks that you are going wrong, isn’t that the time that you mostly need your friend’s open support? Frankly, I thought with friends like this, who needs ‘friends’. I say to the RCPUSA to take responsibility for making something, which has not worked. And because yours has not worked, do not undermine other people’s revolutionary work. Know your friends, know your enemies, and treat them accordingly.
When I read the exchanges between the two Parties, I realised their major differences. Of course, like everything else, the UCPNM divides into two, but they are principally correct and also facing numerous huge problems to solve. The UCPNM is leading a revolution in a country with a population of nearly 29 million and GDP of $6.4 billion, which is less than the amount that the USA military spends to build and equip only one aircraft carrier with less than 5000 personnel on board. The discrepancy is mind blowing!
There are many complex problems for communists to solve in a country in which the manufacturing industry has not developed, and consequently the working class is very small in numbers. Nearly 90% of Nepal’s population are peasants, many people are deprived of drinking water, electricity, sanitation, medical care, education, roads and whatever is needed to sustain a minimum level of human life. Only through the shear conscious efforts and sacrifices have the Nepalese people been able to develop such a powerful revolution.
I curse the previous Nepali rulers, Indian expansionists and imperialists, but also I realise the scale of the problems that the UCPNM is facing. Facts such as that Nepal is a land-locked country, there is not enough land to feed the people, there are nearly sixty different nationalities and languages, the oppressive ways that these nationalities and especially women have been treated, as well as workings of the old culture and traditions, and many more. All this adds to my anger against the reactionaries and admiration for what the UCPNM is doing.
One thing that really struck me was that millions of young Nepali men and women, the most important asset of a country for development, were compelled to go to India to work, where more than two hundred thousand women ended up selling themselves, thousands returning home with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and most probably dying in extreme poverty and isolation. Months of Li Onesto’s investigations on the ground also showed how the UCPNM was leading the transformation of this miserable life to liberation.
I observe that Nepal is a very small country, where its area, population, economy, political influence, military strength, etc., is not comparable at all to India and China, which have surrounded it. Also, all big imperialist powers are united and actively planning to smash the people’s revolution and its leaders, especially the US, which started it global rampage in 2001. Last week the Obama administration in the US decided to keep the UCPNM at the top level of the list of terrorists, citing continued violence by the Young Communist League, showing the reactionary attitude of the big imperialists who will do anything they can to smash the revolution.
None of these reactionary forces would even tolerate advances of a resistance, let alone a thoroughgoing revolution under the leadership of a Communist Party heading towards taking power. Moreover, the whole international communist movement has suffered decades of stagnation and has not been able to advance revolutionary practice and theory properly. This also hampers its support for where the revolution is advanced the most: Nepal.
In this national and international situation, under the leadership of the UCPNM, the People’s War in Nepal established red base areas with tremendous speed, where the old power was defeated and people started to exercise their own power. The red base areas grew very fast, giving rise to the rapid transformations of people’s power from the strategic defensive, to equilibrium, to the offensive stage. In a matter of nearly eight years, the revolution in Nepal grew bit by bit from a few hundred communists leading a few thousand people to a few thousand communists leading millions of people. This fact clearly shows that the UCPNM has correctly understood the problems and prospects of revolution in Nepal, finding solutions, which conform to the peoples’ just demands all over the country.
In 2001, the UCPNM developed a political-military strategy. The new strategy regarded fusion of the strategy of surrounding cities from the countryside with some aspects of tactics of insurrection. During negotiations in 2001 and 2002, the UCPNM mobilised the masses much more broadly than before, and consequently, after the breakdown of both negotiations was able to push the enemy into a defensive position even in the capital. In fact, without these higher levels of preparations, the subsequent leaps in revolution could not have been achieved. However, parliamentary parties were still supporting the feudal monarchy and the UCPNM was isolated. Primarily, the development of the People’s War, as well as other factors, intensified the contradiction between the parliamentary parties and the monarchy. In 2005, the UCPNM through its tactics of negotiation initiated a seven party alliance and a 12-point agreement was reached to overthrow the king.
The nineteen days of mass uprising all over Nepal in April 2006 and other events, which followed, led to the republican forces defeating the monarchists and the downfall of the king. Consequently, under the leadership of communists, the old chapter of 239 years of monarchy was closed, and a new chapter in the history of the country was opened bringing tremendous popularity for the UCPNM among all classes within the people’s camp. With every tactic of negotiation, the UCPNM has shown that, not only is it not compromising its strategy, but also it has been able to further its mobilisation of the masses to raise the revolution to a qualitatively higher level.
Wining the elections to the constitution assembly, participation in the government and leading it, preserving and expanding the People’s Liberation Army, imposing reform on the Nepal army, sorting out the country’s utterly corrupt finance system to develop the ruined economy and better people’s lives, organising hundred of thousands of young men and women in the Young Communist League, etc., and also developing relationship with anti-imperialist forces and utilising contradictions to develop diplomatic relations with some governments, are indications of a preparation to seize the countrywide power and sustaining it for as long as possible.
As an observer from afar, one can only observe and analyse what an observer is able to do. Only one who is directly involved with a class struggle in a country, through class struggle, two-line struggle, and a thorough investigation of society can identify its particularities. An observer from afar, is not able to know enough about particularities of the major contradictions involved, to identify the principal one at each stage, and therefore, cannot find or assess correct methods (tactics) to resolve them. If the strategy of a communist party is correct, its tactics should serve the strategy, but tactics could only be assessed after they have been implemented. Therefore, observation, which is not based on facts, is not reliable, and the observer who bases his/her analysis on assumptions and not facts, cannot seek the truth.
Regarding the revolution in Nepal, the RCPUSA does not proceed from a position of an observer from afar, or from the concrete conditions in Nepal and practice of the UCPNM. It does not consider the fact that on the basis of the concrete analyses of concrete conditions in Nepal and internationally the UCPNM has developed a revolutionary strategy for the masses to seize power. The RCPUSA does not take into account that each revolution has its own particularities; therefore, it cannot be copied, but developed. It does not bear in mind that previous negotiations and the existing peace process are inseparable aspects of developing the People’s War in Nepal, when the UCPNM has been able to increase its huge influence among the masses and advance class struggle. In relation to the revolution in Nepal, the RCPUSA does not consider that its principal task is to support, and on this basis criticise. Constructive criticism is necessary, but destructive criticism is seriously wrong and damaging.
The RCPUSA has completely abandoned the principle of “One divides into two”. Not only does it not divide itself into two, but also on the basis of its one-sided way of thinking, it does not openly support any struggle, which does not absolutely conform to its thought and conduct. For example, it does not openly support revolutionary movements under the leadership of communist parties in India, Nepal, Philippine, and so on, and resistance to imperialism, such as is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, etc.
According to the RCPUSA, today the principal task of the party and all communist in the world is to appreciate, promote and propagate its chairman’s work, particularly his new synthesis. Whoever adopts the new synthesis is correct, and is with the RCPUSA and will be successful, and who does not, is incorrect and against the RCPUSA, will be doomed. Why doomed? Because according to this view, the fate of the whole international communist movement, peoples’ resistance to imperialism, the masses and the whole humanity is hanging by a thread, and that thread is Bob Avakian. The masses are not makers of history, but Bob Avakian!
In fact, the new synthesis is not based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and its application to the concrete conditions of the US, and consequently contains nothing new. In spite of several correct general points, it is methodologically based on undermining, and even to a certain level, liquidating many important principles of the international communist movement from Marx to Mao. This ideological leap backward compels the RCPUSA to adopt a hostile position against a wide spectrum of communists and radical intellectuals, from the UCPNM to Alain Badiou, pushing it further into isolation among the communists, radical intellectuals and the masses.
The RCPUSA has adopted an antagonistic method to handle contradictions among the people, where these contradictions are in essence and generally non-antagonistic. Instead of dividing others, who belong to the people’s camp into two, uniting with them on what is correct, and on this basis, struggling with what is incorrect, the RCPUSA aggressively liquidates others to promote and propagate Bob Avakian’s work and his new synthesis. This method is damaging the unity of the international communist movement and the masses, who are rising all over the world against the imperialist system and its deepening crisis. I say to the RCPUSA, stop undermining other people’s revolutionary and resistance movements, supporting them is essential. But principally, you need to sort yourselves out and get on with what you suppose to do in the US.