9 SEPTEMBER: REMEMBERING MAO - OBSERVER
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03 September 2020

Mao Tsetung passed away 44 years ago on 9th September, 1976. These 4 -5 decades were tumultuous and more event-full even compared to the period when he was with us, not only for China, but for the international communist movement (ICM) as well. When we remember him it is necessary to make a proper evaluation of his contributions in the context of China and the ICM. Probably even compared to the vicious campaign organized by the imperialists and lackeys through the media and by all other means under their command against Lenin and Stalin, the attacks by them on Mao was more ferocious. He is attacked not only for his revolutionary work during the 60 years of his active political life, but also for what the anarchist activities of the so-called “Maoists” after his death. The US imperialists were so furious with him that through their CIA propaganda from Hong Kong they almost convinced the world that he is dead at least a dozen times, before actual death!

After the formation of the CPC, in spite of the writings of Mao on Hunan Uprising and on Class Analysis of China, till 1927 when the Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-shek organized a massacre of the communists working in the urban areas, the general understanding was that the revolutionary line followed in Russia can be mechanically followed everywhere. It was after 1927, following the withdrawal to Chinkang mountain area with the section of the Kuomintang army under Chu Te which defected and joined the CPC, Mao developed his line of protracted people’s war in the semi-colonial, feudal, semi-feudal conditions of China as the path of revolution. Still, the struggle continued with a section following the Comintern positions mechanically criticizing Mao for deviating from the Russian Path. Most of the Western Marxist scholars are still attacking him as a ‘peasant revolutionary’. But, Mao has repeatedly explained that it was according to the class analysis based on the concrete conditions, he has defined the peasantry as the main force of revolution in Chinese conditions.

In his writings, he has always pointed out that the revolution shall take place under the guidance and concrete application of the proletarian ideology, Marxism-Leninism. Edgar Snow in his Red Star Over China has mentioned that when M N Roy had gone to China as part of a Comintern team and started taking class about the superiority of the Russian path, how Mao explained why they have to follow a Chinese path, and suggested if Roy goes to India and study the Indian conditions, he will also understand the importance of following an Indian path! But, Roy could not understand India after he settled in India and went astray is another story.  At the same time, however small was the number of working class in China as compared to that of countries like then India, CPC had started organizing the working class also. Similarly, contrary to what is repeated by some ‘Maoists’, CPC had given lot of importance to building the party and mass organizations in all parts of the country, even when the armed conflict between the Kuomintang army and Red Army was taking place in limited areas. Even though the Kuomintang army was resorting to criminal attacks and suppression of the people, instead of criticizing this, imperialists were propagating lies about the liberated areas under the control of Red Army.

Once the liberation struggle of mainland China became victorious and the constitution of the People’s Republic of China was declared on 1st October, 1949, using Hong Kong as the centre of espionage and counter revolutionary propaganda against China, the CIA like agencies of US as well as other imperialist powers resorted to distortion of facts, manufacture of lies and slander against the communist forces. In this large number of imperialist think tanks from Harvard, MIT like universities in US also actively participated. After the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956 by which time the capitalist roaders had succeeded to usurp power and later turned SU in to a social imperialist super power, its impact was severe. The Soviet revisionists had built up their line based on an erroneous evaluation that US led imperialist camp had weakened in the post-World War years and argued that in this situation the working class parties can peacefully compete and co-exist with imperialism, and through peaceful transition socialism can be achieved.

It went against the realities of the concrete situation. With the transformation of colonial forms of plunder to neo-colonial forms, US imperialism and its allies had only become more aggressive and pernicious. But, because of the great prestige Soviet Union had among the communist parties formed under the guidance of the Comintern, the Soviet revisionist deviation led to degeneration of all the people’s democracies formed in Eastern Europe as well as almost all the communist parties except that of China and Albania in to revisionist path. These developments not only severely weakened the ICM, it created serious ideological confusion among the left intellectuals also. Many interpretations of what happened to Soviet socialism appeared; many solutions also. The imperialist think tanks worked hard to deepen this confusion by supporting postmodernism like reformist theories. It was a very critical period for the ICM

Combating it,  the CPC under Mao’s leadership rejected the Krushchovite revisionist line and put forward the General Line of the ICM in the new situation along with nine articles explaining various aspects of the problems confronting the working class movement as part of the Great Debate against Soviet revisionist line, it led to new hopes before the communists internationally, and they started challenging the party leaderships pursuing the Soviet revisionist’s class collaborationist ideas, and to build Marxist-Leninist groups and parties in a number of countries. It was in this new situation, they recognized the importance of upholding the contributions of Mao to the ICM, in leading the Chinese revolution to victory, in guiding the socialist transition in China struggling against the capitalist roaders within the party and in fighting the Soviet revisionist line.

The life and death struggle taking place at the international level between revolutionary Marxism and revisionism had its grave impacts within the CPC also. In its 8th Congress in 1956 itself the right trend led by Liu Shaochi and Deng Tsiaoping had tried to assert that as the democratic revolution is completed, China should focus on promoting production in whichever way possible. Mao led a bitter struggle against this line and speeded up socialist transformation by introducing a self-reliant development plan and People’s Communes. As this struggle intensified, Mao led the Cultural Revolution calling on the people to come to the streets to defend socialism. In this period Mao had to struggle not only against the capitalist roaders inside who had powerful influence in the party and administration, but against the Soviet revisionists and their supporters, as well as against the imperialists and their lackeys of all hues. In spite of all these Mao succeeded to remove the capitalist roaders from positions of power.

But, by that time, in the name of speeding up Maoist revolution a new trend emerged within the CPC led by the defense minister Lin Biao, which came to dominance in the CPC with the support of the military. It claimed that, in spite of the setbacks in Soviet Union, socialism is advancing towards worldwide victory and imperialism to total collapse! Contrary to what Mao was telling all the time, it analyzedthat all the Asian, African, Latin American countries are like pre-revolutionary China, semi-colonial and semi-feudal, with protracted people’s war as their strategy. This left adventurist line called for taking armed struggle as the only form of struggle to advance revolution! As this line was coming out from Chinese media, and no refutation of Mao reached outside, all the newly emerging Marxist-Leninist parties adopted it mechanically, leading to their disintegration very fast.

But by 1970 this line was defeated. Then with the help of the Centrist/pragmatist line led by the prime minister Chou Enlai, from the beginning, the capitalist roaders started returning to power. The 10th Congress of the CPC in 1973 reflected the struggle between this alliance and those forces led by Mao. Following the 10th Congress, the rightists were further strengthened with Deng returning to deputy prime minister post. The struggle went on intensifying, and in 1976 beginning when Chou Enlai died, the rightists made their first coup attempt which the revolutionary trend under Mao’ leadership defeated. But, when Mao died soon in on 9th September, using the centrist Huao Kuofeng, who had become prime minister after Chou, and the military, the rightists led another coup in which all Mao’s followers in the leadership were thrown to jail and communist revolutionaries were brutally crushed by the military all over China. In 1978, with the return of Deng Tsiaoping as the supremo  the Chinese government started reversing all socialist policies of Mao, and under Four Modernizations drive, and launched the capitalist transformation in full swing.

The revisionist forces all over the world, including the CPI-CPI(M) parties in India, who were wildly attacking the socialist transition in China and the Cultural Revolution, hailed Deng’s return as a great victory; similar to their upholding of the Soviet social imperialists, till Soviet union’s disintegration in 1991. These revisionists defamed Marxism, and wherever they came to power faithfully implemented the neo-liberal/corporate policies, while upholding the social imperialists in power in China who are fighting for world hegemony with the US imperialist led forces, still under the banner of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’! The US led imperialists also do the same thing, in their bid to destroy the communist challenge for ever. By vulgarizing Mao’s contributions as Maoism in line with what Lin Biao advocated during 1966-70, creating havoc in China and among the communist revolutionary forces everywhere, the so-called Maoists are also doing the same damage to the revolutionary Marxism through left adventurist, anarchist acts.

Unlike all the writings of Lenin and Stalin are available, except the first four volumes and to a great extent the fifth volume, no authentic documents of the CPC and writings of Mao are available to the outside world still. What came out through Hong Kong, most of them were distorted, or censored. Many of the documents and Mao’s writings which were collected from Hongkong are spurious ones. As far as Albanian party (PLA) is concerned, in 1978 it made a 180 degree turn, threw away its hitherto writings of Mao, and denounced Mao; their followers are living in a make-believe world, with the ritualistic argument that history ended suddenly with Stalin!, like the Trotskyites around the world who believe that Trotsky’s is the last word on everything. Even after all that has happened in history, even after the severe setback to the ICM, even after the devastation of nature and humanity by the capitalist imperialist system which has taken its re-creation of the world in its own image to its peak, when the humanity is facing the grave challenge of either overthrow this barbarous system and create a socialist world, or perish under ecological catastrophe to extinction of human species, these petti-bourgeois reformist, anarchist trends continue their heinous task of confusing as many people as possible, making as many of their followers as non-partisans, ultimately serving the imperialist barbarians.

In this present grave situation, the task of the Marxist-Leninist forces is to uphold the teachings from the Marxist teachers, develop them according to the present situation, develop the theory and practice of World proletarian Socialist Revolution and Indian Revolution, by building a powerful Bolshevik style party according to present conditions by mobilizing all communist revolutionaries and advanced elements of the working class and all oppressed classes and sections, mobilizing the revolutionary masses in their tens of millions, develop class struggle in an all-embracing and comprehensive manner using all forms of organization and struggles, creating waves of struggles against the corporate fascist rule led by RSS parivar by inspiring the people with the vision of people’s democracy and socialism, and overthrow it as part of the WPSR. Let us uphold Mao’s contributions, Mao Tsetung Thought, for the role it played in inspiring and guiding the revolutionary long march the humanity has taken up, spearheaded by the revolutionary classes and sections as an urgent task in present situation. 

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.