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from La Voce del
(nuovo)Partito comunista italiano, n. 37 March 2011 - http://www.nuovopci.it
The strength of the imperialist world
the revolution in single countries
In the international communist movement the success of the democratic revolution in Nepal, the line that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN (m)] followed after the truce agreed in 2006 with the parties of the old regime, the idea that drives it and its prospects have been and are the subject of much attention and discussion. Divergent views have emerged and even opposite. In the same UCPN (m) heated discussions on the line to be followed to carry out the revolution are going on. The party must decide how to respond to the internal reactionary classes and forces and to the imperialist powers, particularly the Government of India who support them with advisers, weapons, money and maneuvering.
In addition to the discussion about current events in Nepal, in the international communist movement there are different views about the relationship between the revolution in single countries and the international revolution. Some parties exclude any possibility of establishing socialism in a country if the revolution does not takes place simultaneously in several countries: the strength of the imperialist world system and its unified control of the whole world would be such as to stifle the revolution that develops in an individual country.
Finally, in the international communist movement, many parties believe that the socialist revolution in imperialist countries is impossible before the anti-imperialist democratic revolution has triumphed in the oppressed countries (the question of the principal contradiction). On one side, many parties of the oppressed countries still react strongly to the view once widely believed that the oppressed countries would be able to free themselves only after the communist movement had established socialism in the imperialist countries. On the other side, many communist parties of the imperialist countries do not know how to make the revolution in their country and then rely on the international revolution or on the victory of the revolution in the oppressed countries.
On January 12, Mukti Nepal, head of Progressive Nepali Forum in America, by http://lalsalaamcanada.blogspot.com has launched an investigation at the international level on these issues. The debate is conducted in English and can be followed on the blog indicated and on Maoist Revolution
The following is the response of the investigation by the International Department of the CARC Party. It also fully reflects the position of the Central Committee of the (n) PCI.
The research Mukti Nepal proposes puts important questions to which all Communists and all revolutionaries must meet.
In each country, the communist party must solve the problem of making the revolution (to revolutionise the system of social relations, and to mobilize the oppressed classes to come to terms with the ruling classes that protect by all means at their disposal that system, that is base of their interests and privileges and that is in line with their mentality and their customs and traditions). Every communist party must cope with the interventionist and counter-revolutionary politics of imperialist powers and groups who support the ruling classes in each country or otherwise seek to impose their interests in each country, because every success of the revolution in a country strengthens the revolutionary movement in the others. Today no country is isolated from the international context. The revolution in each country affects the revolution in the others. Of course, the success and even the development of the socialist revolution in a country like the USA, as to another level, the elimination of the Vatican in Italy, would have a much more important international effect than the victory of the revolution in some of the smaller countries and in countries with a minor role in international relations. But the success of the revolution in a small country today would have a big impact internationally because the world is more united today than it was even just a few decades ago. Because of this reason, in addition to the direct interests they have in a single country, the imperialist powers and groups intervene in each country. Today no country is isolated from the international context. The revolution in each country affects the revolution in the others. Of course, the success and even the development of the socialist revolution in a country like the USA, as to another level, the elimination of the Vatican in Italy, would have a much more important international effect than the victory of the revolution in some of the smaller countries and in countries with a minor role in international relations. But the success of the revolution in a small country today would have a big impact internationally because the world is more united today than it was even just a few decades ago. Because of this reason, in addition to the direct interests they have in a single country, the imperialist powers and groups intervene in each country.
Nothing can stop this. Only if they do not have resources for it or else if they will be a priori convinced to come out of it reduced to a wreck, the imperialists groups will not try to stifle the revolution, whatever is the country where it grows. The revolution is indeed international, even if it is conducted and must be conducted in each country using methods and guidelines specific to that individual country (and by the revolutionary forces of that country, able to develop them and to make them work) and with the proper times in each country.
The world is unified in some respects: the imperialist world system binds each country in a unique trade, monetary and financial system which has its own political, military, police, trade, monetary, banking and financial agencies (like ONU, G8; G20, NATO, IMF, WB, Federal Reserve System, European Central Bank, OMC, etc), and in some sectors it has even productive agencies (hence embargoes, sanctions, etc.). The mode of mercantile and capitalist production mode is the mode of production leader in each country.
In other respects the world is still divided into nearly two hundred countries, each one with its own state, its history, its culture, its own system of social relations, an its own combination of ruling classes and oppressed classes, a specific position and relationship to the rest of the world.
So, every revolution is international on one side and local on the other. The communist party of each country must deal with both issues, in relation to its country. Every communist party has to use the universal patrimony of the communist movement and to take into account that is leading a worldwide movement, that is an actor of it and plays a part in a world event. On the other hand, every communist party must be able to play its particular part, understanding the special conditions of its country and rely on them. Every communist party is ultimately the only one capable of leading a revolution in its country. If it fails to find a way to do it, nobody else will do so. It is wrong and even foolish to pretend to teach a communist party in a country where we do not work, the moves in detail that it must do. What it must do today is tied to what it will do tomorrow and to what he did yesterday. What it does in a field is tied to what it does in the others. Every revolution is particular; it is a particular case of the world proletarian revolution. Every tactical move is concrete: it not only depends on characteristics that distinguish one country from the others, but also depends on the concrete conditions of the moment. The communist party must combine general and particular, it must combine the universal with the concrete. In order to resolve this problem every communist party has:
1. the scientific patrimony of the communist movement (the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism)
2. the experience of 160 years of history of the communist movement that offers teachings still not encoded in the scientific patrimony that the communist movement has,
3. the development of present experience, the analysis of the (present) concrete situation done by the light of the scientific patrimony of the communist movement and of the method of dialectical materialism.
They are wrong those who refuse to assimilate Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and to use it as a guide for their actions because 160 years have confirmed its validity.
They are wrong those who refuse to learn from the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution, taking the pretext that the former socialist countries have collapsed or have changed side and that anyway, today, none of them acts as a red base of the world proletarian revolution that the first socialist countries, particularly the Soviet Union and China, carried out for a certain period.
But they are wrong also those who refuse to analyze the present situation, to take into account the newness and the legacy the first wave of proletarian revolution left.
Today, the imperialist powers intervene in one way or another all over the world. There are contradictions between the imperialist powers and groups, but there is also an International Community, the aggregate of the imperialist powers headed by the USA with international agencies in various fields. Furthermore, for long the USA carry out also directly (and through their Zionist arm), with their armed forces (the regional US headquarters, the US military bases), with their own police, political and spy agencies, politics of power and intervention in most countries. Only the Republic of China and a few other countries that defend with different success and to different degrees their independence (North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, etc.) remain out of their direct action of interference.
Does this mean that the imperialist powers are now able to stifle the revolution in every country? Absolutely not. We do not mention the defeats suffered by the imperialist powers in Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, because then it could be argued to these examples that then there were the first socialist countries that acted as a red base of the world proletarian revolution. We mention instead of Afghanistan and Iraq that are the most resounding and current demonstrations of the limits of the imperialist powers (in spite of the reactionary feature of the groups leading the popular masses who struggle against the imperialists). Despite all their efforts, the USA and their International Community failed to impose their law. But we can add to them other countries where USA and their International Community cannot impose their order despite an open intervention: Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, many Saharan African countries, Colombia. Today every country whose authorities want to practice and get the means to pursue an independent politics, finds many other countries who need and are willing to escape the shackles of imperialist world system, then the interference of the International Community and the USA. The economic crisis weakens and will increasingly weaken the USA and their International Community. Every communist party must and can rely on this development. The USA are already bogged down in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, and to a lesser but significant extent in other countries. They have difficulty in mobilizing coalitions, and even to recruit troops in their own country. The crisis erodes the foundations of USA imperialist bourgeoisie’s power. Restlessness increases in the USA themselves. Sooner or later there will rise in the USA a communist party able to take the lead of the discontent of so many USA people and to turn them into a political force that will transform the country, with global consequences that is easy to imagine.
All Communists must support this event. So as they must encourage the renaissance of the communist movement worldwide, but particularly the renaissance of the communist movement in the imperialist countries.
During the first wave of proletarian revolution, in the first part of last century, the communist movement seized the power and created socialist countries covering one third of humanity. But it established socialism in neither one imperialist country. Why it did not do it? This is the most serious theoretical problem that Communists must resolve before they can be able to overcome it in practice. Some time ago Lenin told that in Russia it had been easier to start the revolution and that it would have been more difficult to continue it, and that in the imperialist countries would be more difficult to start it, but easier to continue it. To start it was so difficult that in no imperialist country the communist movement led by the first Communist International (Comintern) was able to establish socialism. Lenin then indicated as particular cause of the difficulties the communist movement met to establish socialism in the imperialist countries the greater strength (compared to the strength of the Russian ruling class and the countries oppressed by imperialism) of the ruling class in these countries, consisting mainly in the possibility to bestow privileges and concessions to the working class of their own country and in particular to the leaders of the labour movement (the labour aristocracy) thanks to the exploitation of colonial and semi-colonial peoples.
The lazy (dogmatic) comrades and the shallow ones are still satisfied with that explanation. They repeat that in the imperialist countries there will be no revolution (until it will not be accomplished in a large part of the oppressed countries) because the imperialist bourgeoisie can bestow privileges and concessions to the leaders of the worker movement and at least to a part of the working class itself, thanks to exploitation of neo-colonies. Yet it is enough to look at the history behind us to understand that that explanation does not explain the inability of the communist parties to establish socialism in the imperialist countries.
Lenin’s theory explained why the communist parties (then called Socialists or Social Democrats) came unprepared to the first World War and why they were unable, and the majority of most of them did not even want to take advantage of the revolutionary situation created by the World War. But after the preparatory period of the First World War, the working class and the masses of imperialist countries, especially of Europe, but in ways and at different levels also those of Japan and of USA have experienced the sufferings and hardships of the War itself, of the Great Depression, of fascism, of the Second World War. Millions and millions of proletarians and peasants have experienced the abject poverty and many have dealt with migration, unemployment, destruction and death. In almost all the imperialist countries the Communist International created communist parties that led large masses of men and women to perform heroic deeds and movements along the first part of last century. Italy is one of those countries. So we talk about things we know closely. Yet in no imperialist country the communist movement came to establish socialism. Dogmatic and shallow people repeat Lenin’s explanation. The experience we indicated teaches them nothing.
The (new)Italian Communist Party was not content to repeat Lenin’s words. It went to seek the truth in the experience, to draw the line to be followed to establish socialism in Italy, a country where socialism is particularly difficult to establish because it is the seat of the Papacy, the only still surviving European power among those Marx and Engels mentioned in the opening of the Manifesto, a power that indeed has expanded its activities beyond Europe, to most of the world. The science of the communist movement has helped us in this research, in particular Maoism did it.
The communist parties were not able to lead the working class and the masses to establish socialism in the imperialist countries because they did not develop enough the understanding of the conditions, forms and results of the class struggle in the countries where capitalism was more advanced, in the imperialist countries. Communists as Marx already taught (Manifesto of 1848), are distinguished among all the proletarian revolutionaries because they have a more advanced understanding of the conditions, forms and results of the class struggle and on this basis, they push it always ahead. No heroism either of the leaders or of the masses can compensate for the lack of an adequate level of understanding of reality that we want to transform, of its components and of the laws of its development.
Now we entered the terminal phase of a new general crisis of capitalism. It upsets the whole world, the imperialist countries as much as other countries. The imperialist bourgeoisie prepares weapons ever more sophisticated, with the same manic force by which it accumulates money in its banks. While his power is undermined every day just in each imperialist country by its crisis which it does not know how to remedy and by the masses increasingly intolerant of the course of things. We can make the socialist revolution and establish socialism in the imperialist countries.
The war that the masses heroically carry out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and other Arab and Muslim countries gives us a great help because it bogs down the imperialist powers and show off their military and political weakness. The ongoing revolution in the oppressed countries, from Nepal to Venezuela, from Philippines to India helps much the revolution in the imperialist countries and even more will help it when the parties that lead the revolution in Nepal, Philippines, India, etc will do what the reactionary forces that are leading the heroic wars of the Arab and Muslims countries cannot do: they will help the world communist movement to grasp Marxism Leninism Maoism and carry out in it the fight against dogmatism and economism that still prevent millions of communists in the imperialist countries from playing the vanguard role that they deserve.
Today in the imperialist countries discontent and suffering of the masses and particularly of the workers are great. The turmoil is great and it is bound to grow because this crisis is not a cyclical crisis. It is a general crisis of the system. It has either the revolution or war as its only possible way outs. But most of the communists in the imperialist countries lag behind to mourn the past defeats and try to get back on the top repeating the old mistakes, as if the failures of the past were due either to lack of heroic dedication to the cause or to the betrayal of some leaders. They do not draw lessons from the experience. The communist parties of the oppressed countries that have assimilated Maoism must help, with the strength of their prestige that comes from the success of their deeds, us Communists in the imperialist countries to defeat dogmatism and economism within us: the limits that we inherited from the old communist movement, which still prevent us from taking the task that is ours.
Today’s most advanced departments of world communist movement must carry the war into the enemy camp, that of the imperialist countries, supporting the renaissance of the communist movement in the imperialist countries. The imperialist powers, primarily the USA and their International Community, threaten all the oppressed countries and in particular the ongoing revolution in the oppressed countries. We have no doubt that the communist parties of every country will be able to develop their experience, and thanks to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, mobilize the masses of their country no less than the reactionary forces of Arab and Muslim countries do thanks to the force of the traditional relations of dependence of the popular masses on them. But they can greatly facilitate their work and that of all the oppressed classes and peoples of the world, supporting the renaissance of the communist movement in the imperialist countries. Concretely, supporting the struggle against dogmatism and economism that restrain it.
Sooner or later humanity will establish socialism and will march towards communism. It is the only way of progress and even of survival for it: the economic crisis and environmental crisis are highly dependent on the system of capitalist social relations, and lead humanity to the intellectual and moral degeneration and to the extinction. The human species is an intelligent species and it will find the way to end the imperialist world system and to get a system of relations tailored to the intellectual, moral and material conquests it has reached in its development. But the path will be more direct, much lesser destructive and lesser painful, as soon as the communist movement will overcome the old limits of dogmatism and economism that, during the first wave of proletarian revolution, slowed its work, despite the heroic dedication of many leaders and many activists.
We hope that the debate that you have launched could serve this goal. For this we submit to you and to all comrades who mobilize for your call the Four Main Issues document in which the (n)PCI exposes more in detail in a comprehensive manner the teachings for the new wave of proletarian revolution that we have drawn from the evaluation of the first wave.
The document on the Four Main Issues
As we told above, the main issue of the International Communist Movement as regards imperialism is to transform the resistance in attack, and this means to make the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries.
Taken together, the four issues answer to the question “why, during the first wave of world proletarian revolution, in the first part of latest century, the communist movement has not been able to establish socialism in any imperialist country”.
The first issue does a complete evaluation of the history of the first wave of proletarian revolution and of the first socialist countries to conclude by identifying MLM as a concept on the basis of which the second wave develops.
The second one describes the general crisis, which determines the objective situation in which the second wave develops.
The third one indicates the system of preventive counter-revolution as a tool that until now the bourgeoisie used to prevent revolution in the imperialist countries.
The fourth one indicates the Revolutionary Protracted People’s War as a strategy for the conquest of power that is universal, and consequently is valid also in the imperialist countries.
So, taken together, the four issues show how to make a revolution in the imperialist countries. To make the revolution in the imperialist countries, in general, marks the difference between the second and the first wave of proletarian revolution. In particular, it is a clear answer to the thesis cited in your research issues according to which the imperialist powers have to be target of the revolutionaries only when they intervene militarily or invade militarily. The position of the revolutionaries on this issue must be completely turned inside out. The imperialists must be attacked in their own countries, that is to say the International Communist Movement has to win in the imperialist countries. The fact that this has been never done before does not mean that it is impossible. The historical advancement of the communist movement consists exactly of doing things never done before.
It is possible to make the socialist revolution in an imperialist country and to do it today. For doing it we need to understand why it has not been done until today, which is the objective situation in which we are acting today, which is the particular situation in the imperialist countries, which strategy we need for making the revolution in the imperialist countries. These matters are exactly the ones the (n)PCI deals with in the Four Main Issues document above quoted, in its four points.
In particular, the document we propose answers to the issue proposed by Mukti Nepal regarding “the thought process and interactions”.
Our thought process is aimed to transform the world, and is founded on the right reflection of the reality. Right reflection of reality and effective thought process are synthesized in Marxism Leninism Maoism, the third and most advanced stage of communist thought. We explain how we reach this conclusion in the first issue of the document of the (n)PCI above quoted, that of the evaluation of the communist movement, that includes four sub issues:
1. The first wave of proletarian revolution and the first socialist countries, and questions to three answers:
1.1. Why, during the first wave of world proletarian revolution, in the first part of latest century, has the communist movement not been able to establish socialism in any imperialist country?
1.2. Why, after a first initial period of shining development and great victories, has the first wave of word proletarian revolution lost the momentum and the driving force of human progress it had all over the world?
1.3. Why did the first socialist countries, which had come to cover one third of humanity, after an initial period of great achievements, more and more slow down, decay until they collapsed or change side and anyway lose the role of red base of world proletarian revolution they initially carried out?
2. The crisis of the communist movement and modern revisionism.
3. The new birth of the communist movement on the basis of MLM.
4. The prospects of organization of the International Communist Movement.
As you see, the new thought process we have started has a concrete aim, which is the organization of the International Communist Movement, and the building of the new Communist International as highest realization of this.
In order to realize this, we have to start a struggle in the ICM for bring in it the just conception, line and strategy. You say that “syntheses are based more on subjective inputs (like opinions, etc.) than objective inputs (facts, cases, lessons learned, best practices for wide environments).” According to us, the most important form of subjectivism in the ICM is dogmatism. Dogmatism is the main obstacle for the development of a just analysis of reality, that is to say for a concrete analysis of the reality and for an effective thought process.
The main form of dogmatism we have to struggle against today is the one who does not recognizes that MLM raises Marxism Leninism at a higher level and overcomes the limits of the old communist movement.
Dogmatism is, particularly, the refusal to confront theory with practice in the form of repetition of principles, and that is why we believe that it represents the synthesis of the “subjective inputs” you are talking about.
Dogmatism in its various forms and economism are the main deviations in the ICM.
The struggle that we need to carry out in the ICM against dogmatism and economism does not prevent us from carrying out together with every communist organization and party common actions, common practice and mutual solidarity. On the contrary, we need to carry out common practice with a parties or organizations we are struggling against on the ideological plan, for testing which is the just line. The proof of the just line is the practice.
The Four Main Issues document also regards the issue about “the evaluation of imperialist power and the possibility of revolution in a single country” where you say that “Some comrades believe that the nature of imperialist powers has changed substantially enough to shift the power balance or to make them too strong in power in today’s globalized economy.”
The imperialist powers are not strong at all, and more divided than ever in latest fifty years, because of the development of the general crisis for absolute overproduction of capital, now in its terminal phase. It is true that times are changed, and that they are changing, but the change is the opposite of that “pessimists” are saying. It is a change that makes the situation more favourable to revolution all over the world. The fact that the revolutionary movement is still so weak compared to the opportunities and to the mass movements rising everywhere is completely due to revolutionaries’ weaknesses, shortcomings and backwardness, and not to any objective situation.
You may find the issue of the crisis dealt with among the four issues to be debated in the ICM in the Four Main Issues document here enclosed. It is the second issue, regarding the theory of the (first and second) general crisis of capitalism in imperialist epoch and the connected developing revolutionary situation.
As the objective situation is determined by the evolution of the crisis all over the world, in every field and in a capillary way, not understanding or misunderstanding the nature of the crisis prevents us from understanding the real movement of the society and its consequences.
We believe that a frank and open debate on the theses that the (n)PCI upholds in the Four Main Issues document will help all the Communists in the imperialist countries to take on the role that only they can play in the context of the ongoing general crisis of capitalism.