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Present International Developments and Tasks of Revolutionary Parties

06 February 2017
Paper presented by com. KNR at International Seminar at Hyderabad on 30th January

THE 2017 has dawned with heavy bomb blasts and aerial bombings in Turkey, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere in the midst of intensification of acts of terrorism, arms race, inter-imperialist contradictions and realignments, and oppression and aggressive assaults against peoples of all countries by the ruling hegemonic system which is becoming increasingly reactionary. The victory of Donald Trump in US presidential elections in spite of all round media and establishment hostility has surprised large sections inside and outside US. While only below 60% voted, he was elected with just 25% of the electoral votes as the 45th US president. When the workers and oppressed sections were facing increasing hardships under 8 years of Obama’s Democrat rule, it is a fact that Trump presented himself as an advocate of the unemployed and impoverished workers and middle strata as well as an opponent of the corrupt Wall Street establishment. So, in further confirmation of the ongoing crisis in the world economy, Donald Trump, in spite of making the most atrocious statements against Muslims, Mexicans, blacks and women still got elected. The backbone of his vote was from the white blue collar working class. The attraction of Trump for this section was obviously that he promised to stop jobs from going abroad. In other words, he has pledged to bring in a sort of protectionism into the US economy. No doubt this is also a vote against the existing state of affairs in the economy. Though, due to social security, the average working class US male may not have to worry of putting food on the table, one cannot doubt that there is high level of unemployment. It is in the hope of changing this that Trump has been voted into power.

Trump’s victory, combined with Brexit, makes a clear case of how the leading economic powers of the world are now moving towards protecting themselves from “globalization”. Both the US and the UK, till recently the largest economic powers in the world and the leaders of the imperialist camp, are now trying to insulate themselves from the economic crisis that is engulfing the world. They are building walls, both physical and economical to insulate their economies.

The working class is still struggling all over the world. The number of strikes in 2016 world- wide became the largest ever in history. In spite of this, nowhere do we see any political alternative emerging which satisfies the aspirations of the working class. This is the situation in the world which is reinforced with the Trump victory. At the same time, on the one hand the political and social practice of the right reformist trends, the former communist parties including those of former socialist countries like China and Vietnam, degenerating to social democratic positions, have defamed the communist movement seriously. On the other hand, immediately following the degeneration of the ‘Maoists’ in Nepal to opportunist positions, the Colombian peace treaty preceded by the collapse of ‘Maoists’ and other anarchist forces in a number of countries have increased the dissatisfaction of the common people with the left sectarian alternatives. Similarly, the thousands of anti-government protestors who gathered in Venezuela protesting against inflation which has reached triple digits with no food and medicine available, have also showed the weakness of the models of resistance against US imperialists like the ones witnessed in the Latin American countries.

The rightist trend visible in Brexit in Europe, in Brazil, Venezuela etc in Latin America, and in India like countries in Asia has further strengthened with Trump’s victory, such that it will encourage neo-fascist forces everywhere. It may be repeated with intensified vigor in the forthcoming elections in France, Germany, etc. This calls for increasing vigilance on the part of the world people. They have to become vigilant about this impending danger. They have to be ready to confront it. In order to carry forward this confrontation against these unprecedented challenges, the alternative against the imperialist system should be built up by assimilating and developing the positive lessons of the international communist movement and based on the rectification of its hitherto ideological-political mistakes, while developing its ability to evaluate the concrete situation including the discontent of the people which is not reflected in mainstream media analysis. Why the ruling class is successful in deviating people’s fury to the advantage of far right has to be correctly analyzed. It calls for ideologically, politically equipping the workers and oppressed peoples. In a situation when the people are voting for Trump like forces as representatives of anti-establishmentarian, anti-institutional element, it has to be recognized that it is in the absence of genuine and powerful left alternatives to the imperialist system and lackeys.

Presently when the world proletariat and socialist forces are observing the centenary of the October Revolution, learning lessons from it and developing the theory and practice of revolution according to present concrete conditions, they have to get prepared to build powerful Marxist-Leninist parties for throwing up genuine alternative to the forces of reaction with the perspective of advancing towards people’s democracy and socialism. This calls for putting the ideological struggle against both right opportunist and left sectarian tendencies in the forefront and developing the theory and practice of revolution according the resent conditions, based on an in-depth analysis of imperialism today.

The history of the ICM teaches that it had many up and downs and was very complex. As the capitalist system had intensified its onslaughts against the working class, it was by fighting first against the utopian trend and then against reformist and anarchist tendencies Marx and Engels put forward the theory and practice of scientific socialism. Upholding the spirit of proletarian internationalism, taking the lessons of Paris Commune the First International was reconstructed as the Second International. But when capitalism transformed to monopoly capitalism, imperialism, it failed to address the challenges it raised. The ICM as a whole confronted a great challenge of getting liquidated. It was then Lenin succeeded in scientifically evaluating imperialism and in putting forward the theory and practice of revolution in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. He analyzed that the centre of revolution has shifted to the weak links of imperialism and to the large number of countries colonially oppressed by the imperialist system. Thus, developing Marxism to a higher stage, he successfully led October Revolution to victory, founded Soviet Union, and launched socialist construction there to develop it as the base area of world revolution. Summing up the experience of the First and Second Internationals, and according to then concrete conditions, he reorganized the international as the Third or Communist International (Comintern) and laid the foundation for the expansion of the World Proletarian Socialist Revolution. All these contributed greatly to the historic advance of the ICM.

The path pursued by the SU in advancing the socialist construction, supporting the national liberation movements of the oppressed peoples, in strengthening the communist movement and in defeating the fascist forces during the Second World War gave immense prestige to the ICM. By the 1950s the socialist camp had made great advances. One third of the people were living in socialist countries. The ICM threw up great challenges to the imperialist camp. In spite of all these, why it suffered such great reverses, and got reduced to its present weak condition?

From the time of Marx, it is repeatedly pointed out that the seizure of political power by the working class should lead to the phase of socialist transition in a country, to the building of an alternative to the capitalist imperialist system in all sense. It should not be copying the capitalist system in any sense. It should lead to transferring all powers to the people, developing democracy transcending the bourgeois democracy by many strides. Though the October Revolution led to a great beginning in all these respects, due to challenging objective and subjective reasons many weaknesses started surfacing soon, which led to the growth of bureaucratic, state capitalist tendencies. As a result, during the post- SWW years when the US led imperialist forces transformed its colonial policies to neocolonial ones, it failed to analyze these changes taking place in the imperialist policies. When the US led forces built up financial, trade, political and military establishments to advance neo-colonization, the Soviet led communist forces failed to challenge them; on the contrary, the SU also took membership in IMF, World Bank and in the UN like agencies. By the time of the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956, the Soviet leadership came to the understanding that imperialism has weakened, colonialism had ended and it advocated peaceful competition and peaceful co-existence with imperialism and peaceful transition to socialism. Starting with the failure to make a concrete analysis of the changes taking place in the imperialist system, the Soviet led forces abandoned the path of class struggle, advocated class collaboration and turned in to apologist of neocolonialism. They degenerated to revisionist positions, and the serious setbacks to the socialist advance started intensifying..

In 1963, in the course of the Great Debate, the CPC led by Mao put forward the General Line of the ICM challenging this basic deviation of Soviet revisionists from the Marxist-Leninist path. It stated: Workers of all countries unite; Workers of the world unite with the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations; Oppose imperialism and reaction in all countries; Strive for world peace, national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism; Consolidate and expand the socialist camp; Bring the proletarian world revolution step by step to complete victory; and Establish a new world without imperialism, without capitalism and without exploitation of man by man; This, in our view is the general line of the international communist movement in the present stage. The CPC challenged the Soviet theorization of the disappearance of colonialism and characterized neocolonialism as “more pernicious and sinister form of colonialism”. The class struggle in all fields developing in socialist China and the Great Debate documents enthused the revolutionary forces around the world. Challenging the Soviet revisionist line, the Marxist-Leninist parties and groups emerged in most of the countries. But the CPC failed to mobilize these forces and to reorganize the Communist International. Soon the left adventurist forces came to dominate the CPC by the time of its Ninth Congress in 1969 advocating the new era of total collapse of imperialism and worldwide victory of socialist forces. It encouraged all the emerging ML forces to copy the Chinese path. This deviation not only led to degeneration of socialist China to capitalist path, but also to all the newly emerging ML forces around the world to left adventurist positions and to disintegration. In spite of the great victory of the national liberation struggle in Vietnam, by the second half of 1970s the ICM faced another round of severe setbacks. According to our understanding, almost all the revolutionary parties and organizations united in the ICOR also have similar understanding on these developments, though they may differ on certain details.

After the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, the imperialist forces once again intensified their attack on the communist forces raising slogans like “end of socialism”, “end of history” etc. In order to confront these challenges, the ML forces had to make a concrete analysis of the emerging world situation, especially the changes adopted by the imperialist system for its survival, overcoming the series of severe crises faced by it. If the world during the colonial phase of imperialism was divided in to imperialist countries on the one side and countries under colonial domination (colonies, semi-colonies and dependent countries as Lenin explained in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism), presently the world is divided in the imperialist countries on the one hand and neo-colonially dependent countries on the other.

The Comintern had analyzed that in the then conditions the World Proletarian Socialist Revolution consists of socialist revolution in the imperialist countries and People’s democratic Revolution (PDR) in the countries under colonial domination. During almost one century after that, presently the world has undergone many changes which the ML forces are evaluating in all countries while observing the centenary of the October Revolution. One of the most important of these changes was the transformation of imperialist oppression from colonial to neocolonial phase, along with the further speeding up of the efforts of capitalism to recreate the world in its own image. Under neo-colonization, that is, under plunder mainly through the capital, market and advanced technology, the feudal, semi-feudal relations are fast changing to capitalist relations. In most of the countries, capitalist relations have come to dominant positions.

As Comintern had analyzed, the two principal targets of the PDR are imperialism and feudalism. Under the neo-colonization since the feudal relations are reduced to its remnants in most of the countries, as some forces claim, can we say that these neo-colonially dependent countries have transformed in to capitalist countries and the stage of revolution has changed to socialist revolution? Or, can the ‘export of capital’ identified by Lenin as one of the essential characteristics of imperialism, which is taking place even from the neo-colonially dependent countries in accordance with the complex dimensions of both accumulation and circulation of capital in the present epoch of internationalization of finance capital and production, be used to mechanically interpret that several neo-colonially dependent countries have transformed in to “new-imperialist countries” as some sections of the Left camp do? These are erroneous interpretations of the present world situation without taking in to consideration the ‘qualitative’ changes taking place around us after the severe setbacks suffered by the ICM and under the vast transformations in the imperialist system in the course of striving for adapting to the continuous crises confronted by it.

Present international developments as explained above shows that today the imperialist system is more barbarous, oppressive, parasitic, decadent and militaristic, subordinating every realm of social life to the dictates of finance capital. Though the productive forces in a number of neo-colonially dependent countries have increased sizably and they are also engaged in ‘export of capital’, the fact that these are countries are increasingly subservient to technology, finance and market forces of the MNCs based in the imperialist countries cannot be ignored. Though the pre-capitalist relations have undergone vast changes and capitalist relations have become dominant in these countries, the fact that these are taking place under imperialist domination cannot be ignored. Such theorizations will only lead to further stagnation of the ML forces and should be exposed and defeated.

Presently, the international contradictions are intensifying under hectic imposition of the neoliberal policies everywhere. In addition to the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and nations, the contradiction between capital and labor, the contradiction between imperialism and the socialist forces and the inter imperialist and inter monopoly contradictions, the contradiction between capital and nature also has intensified threatening the very existence of humankind. In this situation, any understanding that imperialism is weakening or rejection of the imperialist threat in the neo-colonially dependent countries shall further weaken the ICM. So, correctly situating the imperialist system and evaluating the consequences of the intensification of neocolonial plunder through neoliberal policies, the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries and the PDR in the neo-colonially dependent countries should be advanced. This demand strengthening of the revolutionary parties in each country ideologically, politically and organizationally, making them capable of developing the program and path of revolution and leading the revolutionary classes and sections under the leadership of the working class, fighting against the right opportunist and left adventurist deviations. This also demand strengthening of the ICOR based on proletarian internationalism.

Long Live Marxism-Leninism- Mao Tsetung Thought!

Advance Towards World Proletarian Socialist Revolution!

Observe Centenary of October Revolution; Let its Lessons Serve Present Day Revolutions!

Long Live ICOR! 

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.