On the significance of Mao Tsetung Thought - K N Ramachandran
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15 July 2021

On the significance of Mao Tsetung Thought in  developing theory and practice of revolution today: How Alien trends go against Mao’s Teachings!

KN Ramachandran

  1. Mao Tsetung was a great Marxist-Leninist leader who guided the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal people’s democratic revolution in China to victory in 1949, and struggled for advancing the socialist construction for 27 years till his death on 9th September, 1976. The fierce inner party struggle he waged against all alien trends, engaged in diverting China from socialist path to state capitalist, bureaucratic dictatorship, was supreme. The world has undergone vast changes during the last 45 years, with the East wind of socialism which he expected will sweep away the West wind of imperialism has suffered severe setbacks. But the great vision of revolutionary change he tried to develop in continuation to hitherto Marxist teachings, still inspires the toiling and oppressed masses around the world. During his life time and later, the imperialist think-tanks and lackeys on the one hand, and the Soviet social imperialists as well as CPI and CPI(M) like old and new revisionists on the other, competed with each other to spread false reports and to maliciously attack his contributions, vulgarizing them. After his death, various streams of Maoists are engaged in doing immense harm by reducing his teachings only to “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. So, while remembering him on this 45th death anniversary, it is the task of the Marxist-Leninists to explain and defend his revolutionary theoretical approach and practice.
  2. A proper evaluation of the theoretical line pursued by him is difficult, since unlike in the case of other Marxist teachers, many of his voluminous writings and speeches during the long period of his life are not available in English, outside China. The four volumes published as his selected writings up to 1949 and a collection of articles till early 1960s as 5th volume, by the CPC are the only reliable writings available. During the long period of imperialist encirclement, before and after Chinese revolution, what was published by CIA and other imperialist agencies from Hong Kong, Macao like centers were distorted versions. So, apart from these five volumes, we have to depend on the large number of journalists and scholars like Edgar Snow, William Hinton, Joan Robinson, to piece together his revolutionary practice. Many studies on the concrete conditions on China based on which Mao developed the line of People’s Democratic Revolution (PDR) according to the concrete conditions of China as explained in his “On New Democracy” and among other such articles are not available. Utilizing this, the anti-communist imperialist think-tanks, so-called Marxist critics, along with revisionist trends have attacked the Marxist-Leninist line Mao pursued applying it to concrete conditions of China as opposed to the line of the Comintern, or, as “oriental Marxism”. Later these were used to distort his line of socialist transition..
  3. China was one of the most ancient, backward feudal dynasties, where the different imperialist countries had started colonization of its vast coastal regions and islands from 18th The vast interior regions were divided in to provinces controlled by war-lords during Ming dynasty till it was overthrown by the Komintang under Sun Yatsen’s leadership, and turned in to the Republic of China. Sun had  progressive democratic line of thinking, whose regime was the first to recognize Soviet Union following Russian revolution. When the CPC was formed in 1920, Sun had already started organizing a centralized Komintang army to put down the war-lords and to unify China. He invited the foreign educated students who had returned to join the CPC, to educate the mostly illiterate army men, working as political commissars. So, the CPC started working in a unique situation, as Mao repeatedly pointed out. Following Sun’s death in 1925, when US-educated, Chiang Kaishak took over as president with imperialist support, by 1927 the communists came under murderous attacks, forcing them to withdraw to Chingkang mountains and other rural areas. But, a powerful section of the Komintang army, influenced by the communists, joined them. So, the national liberation war led by the CPC, took the form of a military confrontation by the Red Army with Chiang’s army.
  4. When the Communist International (Comintern) was formed in 1919 under Lenin’s leadership, it adopted the line of World Proletarian Socialist Revolution (WPSR), with the socialist revolutions in the capitalist countries, and anti-imperialist, anti-feudal democratic revolutions in the countries under various stages of colonization; colonial/ semi-colonial/ or dependent, as its two streams. Industries and modern working class had not developed in almost all these countries. So, Comintern had called for developing appropriate tactical line in each country, so that the national liberation movement against colonial powers can be developed as democratic revolutions under the leadership of the communist party, and to socialist revolution as part of the WPSR.
  5. From his early writings on Chinese revolution like analysis of the Honan Uprising, Mao called for a revolutionary path according to the concrete situation in China, a predominantly feudal society with various imperialist powers competing to extend their influence.. But a powerful section in the CPC stood for repetition of the Russian experience, But, in the course of implementing it, the CPC suffered serious setbacks. It was only after series of such reverses, in 1933 Mao’ line was adopted. As the Japanese imperialists had started attacking the Manchuria for total colonization of China in early 1920s, and as they were spreading to more areas by early1930s, Mao led the Red Army to break the encirclement of the Koumintang forces and advance to the Northeast. The line of people’s war combining with other forms of struggle, well explained by Mao in his writings, ultimately led to victory of the revolution in 1949 overthrowing the Komintang rule led by Chiang Kaishak, and to the formation of the People’s Republic of China.
  6. After 1949, when the struggle for overthrowing the feudal relations in the agrarian sector as well as to put an end to the plunder by the imperialist powers were taken up, the US imperialists who had come to leadership of the imperialist camp during the Second World War tried to sabotage it as it was opposed to their line of transforming the hitherto colonial forms of direct imperialist plunder to neo-colonial forms. The IMF, World Bank, were launched in 1943 to help this process. The United Nations was formed in 1945 as the political platform of the imperialist countries as well as the neo-colonially dependent countries through transfer of power to their junior partners. US adopted aggressive methods to intensify export of finance capital, technology, and to use market control in the former colonial/semi-colonial/dependent countries. Neo-colonial reforms of state intervention and control in production, land reforms from above and welfare policies were utilized to prevent any more communist led revolutions in the colonial countries and to prevent further expansion of the socialist camp.
  7. The differences in analyzing these vast changes taking place at global level in the post- Second World War years from Marxist-Leninist positions, had emerged among the Soviet leaders during the second half of 1940s itself. During the post-Stalin years, when the Krushchov-led revisionists captured power suppressing all opposition, it analyzed that these changes were reflecting the weakening of the imperialist camp and end of colonialism. This position was opposed by the CPC, which pointed out that in reality the US led imperialists were resorting to “more heinous and pernicious forms of plunder” under neo-colonization; what was happening was mere “replacement of colonial forms of plunder with more severe nep-colonial forms” US-led imperialist camp has become more ruthless.. But based on this erroneous evaluation, the Krushchov-led Soviet revisionist leadership rejected the path of class struggle and revolutionary transformation in the ‘newly independent countries’ with the line of class collaboration. They advocated that as the imperialist forces are weakening, the socialist forces can peacefully compete with, and coexist with it, and adopt the line of peaceful transition to socialism in the ‘newly independent countries’! This line was adopted by the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956,. Using the influence it had among the communist parties formed during the Comintern years this line was imposed internationally leading to serious crisis in the ICM.
  8. The contemporary developments showed that contrary to what Krushchov was explaining, the US led imperialist camp had only intensified military aggression on the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America who were still struggling for national liberation. Using the IMF, World Bank and other imperialist institutions and agencies it was waging fight against communism, and trying to create illusion about its reformist path. Creating NATO and other military alliances, it was making these so-called newly independent countries more dependent. Using its coercive policies, imperialist camp had already succeeded to force one of the people’s democratic governments formed in East Europe, Yugoslavia, to capitalist path. Along with the refusal to recognize these facts, the Soviet leaders, even violating the agreements arrived at in the 1957 and 1960 World Conference of the Communist parties at Moscow. They started open attacks on the CPC and CP of Albania. It forced the CPC to come out with its own version of the General Line of ICM in 1963. It led to open split in the ICM, with the Soviet revisionists going forward to transform SU to a social imperialist power, contending and colluding with its rival, the US imperialism for world hegemony. All the parties which pursued this line soon started transforming to social democratic parties, abandoning the path of revolutionary change.
  9. By the time of the 8th party Congress of CPC in 1956, the struggle for revolutionary land reforms putting an end to feudal exploitation and confiscation of the imperialist properties were, in the main, completed. But it was not an easy task. US led neocolonial offensive was taking more aggressive forms. While these tasks were being carried out at the international and national level many complex developments were taking place. US attack on North Korea called for extending full scale support to the Korean people. US imperialism led a stringent economic blockade against the PRC, recognizing Chiang’s rebel govt in Taiwan as ‘real China’ with Security Council seat. Internally, once power was captured, top leaders of the CPC itself had serious differences with the concept of completing the democratic task fast and advancing to socialist revolution. Chou Enlai, the powerful prime minister put forward the concept that as China is still very backward, it should ally with the newly independent countries who are not aligned with US or SU, and form a Non Aligned Movement, which was soon theorized as a Third World, and China as a Third World country. His centrist positions led him to align with those forces who wanted to project national aspirations of Chinese people over proletarian internationalism, in practice. While Mao was heralding the strengthening of the socialist camp led by Soviet Union, and encouraging the world people with his statement: East Wind od socialism shall prevail over the West wind of imperialism’, the centrists led by Chou, supported by those influenced by the rightist and nationalist ideas had different ideas. These differences took a serious turn as the advance to socialist revolution came up soon.
  10. There were powerful supporters of the Soviet revisionist line in CPC. A fierce two-line struggle took place in the 8th congress in 1956 on the path to be followed for advancing to the stage of socialist revolution. Those closed to Soviet revisionist line argued that, as the tasks of the democratic revolution are completed, first priority should be given to strengthening productive forces by all means ( Deng Tsiaoping’a famous ‘Black cat, white cat theory). They were for a phase of state capitalism, before taking up socialist transition But Mao opposed it, warning that such a path will lead to what is taking place already in Soviet Union. He called for “Grasp revolution, Promote production”, and “take class struggle as the key link in all fields”, calling for socialist transformation along with economic development. Mao’s position was attacked by the capitalist roaders who had considerable influence in the party, army and administration and, it was reduced to a minority one. But Mao did not surrender. He started putting in to practice his line with the immense mass support he had  So, an anti-Mao campaign was started. To put more pressure on Mao, the Soviet leaders withdrew all economic assistance given to China. Already US imperialist camp had clamped down economic blockade against China. As the Soviet teams involved in different construction projects started withdrawing with their blue-prints, the ideological-political struggle intensified, which soon reflected in state to state relations between SU and socialist China, also in all fields.
  11. It was a critical turning for China and the revolutionary communists everywhere. Against ‘the theory of productive forces’ of Deng and company, Mao launched his fight back, calling on the people to reject the imperialists and the capitalist roaders in China, calling for a Socialist Rectification Campaign to ideologically expose the capitalist roaders and to educate the people; a backyard furnace campaign to teach people to rely on indigenous technology, and trying to develop it through bold experiments and practice to create a great leap forward; and the call to build People's Communes as the centers of people’s political power at all levels starting from local counties (like panchayats in India). The US led imperialist camp, the Soviet leadership, the revisionist parties all over the world, the international media and their lackeys spread fantastic stories, distorting all facts, about crores of people  dying in China and the great devastation caused by Mao’s line. They concealed the severe natural disasters including heavy floods and droughts recorded during many years. It was all out propaganda blitzkrieg by all forces of reaction. But in spite of all anti-China tirade by the enemies of all shades, the Chinese people created history within this most difficult decade from 1957 to 67, transforming China in to a country where all infra-structural facilities had started developing very fast, and an “iron rice bowl policy” guaranteeing food, clothing, housing, healthcare, education and employment  to all. In this struggle Mao had to fight bitterly against ideas like socialist countries should go for American efficiency to achieve higher GDP growth than capitalist countries etc  Mao said becoming expert is good, but our effort should be to make all Red and Expert.  He called for socialist competition, and wanted capitalist competition among workers. Based on this line, the material development was matched with socio-cultural developments and with popularizing the vision of socialist future where everything shall be under social ownership, with series of Cultural Revolutions, to overthrow old super structure and to create new realm of revolutionary ideas. During this decade, through ‘away with pests’ like campaigns the picture of a stinking pre-revolutionary China changed fast. Mao called for fighting Confucian ideas and patriarchy. He announced, “Let hundred flowers blossom, Hundred thoughts contend”. Only by developing democratic space in this way, the initiative of all sections can be raised.
  12. From his first writing, explaining the suicide of a girl to save herself from an imposed’ marriage, to what he has explained in On New Democracy on the culture of new democracy, to the speech at the Yenan Forum on culture and to his repeated calls for waging class struggle against decadent ideas, habits, and imperialist culture, Mao has consistently pointed out that ideas can become a material force; so at times of social revolutions the struggle at the realm of ‘super structure’ becomes primary. He pointed out,  history has proved it many times that whenever the revolutionary ideas fail to assert, the counter revolutionary ideas easily come to dominance. To counter the people’s upsurge led by Mao, the capitalist roaders who controlled the media and publications used them, in such a way that most of the writings and speeches of Mao were made unavailable. The socialist roaders produced a number of Chinese operas for propaganda. When Peng Tehuai, the military chief, was dismissed for counter-revolutionary activities, capitalist roaders launched a Chinese opera, “Hai Jui dismissed from office” to attack Mao, depicting him as an emperor. The struggle intensified as the capitalist roaders started obstructing the programs launched by Mao using the control they still had in the bureaucracy and in party. So, in 1965 Mao called on the students and youth to come out on the streets, write big-character posters, use cultural propaganda and bombard the headquarters of the capitalist roaders. It was the beginning of the Cultural Revolution to expose Liu, Deng and other capitalist roaders and in 1966 they were removed from all positions of power. In essence this CR launched in 1965 was a great political movement to rectify the system from within. Like the capitalist roaders in China, the reactionaries everywhere shouted “wolf, wolf” and attacked the CR most ferociously. Mao declared : “to rebel is just, to overthrow wrong ideas and powers behind them”, and called for intensifying the movement. It brought out the pent up anger of the students and youth along with the workers and members enthused by the People’s Communes like socialist initiatives against the capitalist roaders, who were corrupt, bureaucratic and trying to deviate China from socialist path to state capitalism under bureaucratic dictatorship. They came out in millions everywhere with big character posters, banners and cultural performs, camping outside campuses. It was a great education for them. It was real mass democracy in action. Many creative contributions came out including how to question those in power. It is in this context Mao explained how the CR is in effect a political revolution, in which existing backward, reactionary ideas were challenged, and new meaning was sought for the path of development against capitalist system, and for expanding democracy, transcending bourgeois democracy, with the perspective of ‘all powers to the people’
  13. But, when the CR was developing in to a real people’s movement, giving a powerful blow to the capitalist roaders, the entrance of a new power center within the CPC, a faction led by Lin Biao, the new military chief and defense minister who replaced Peng, started changing everything. Claiming himself as closest to Mao, his faction started hijacking the CR using the military and a section of mis-guided forces! Claiming that the main objectives of the CR are achieved, and now ‘order’ has to be established, with the help of the centrist, powerful prime minister, Chou Enlai, who shifted his hitherto alliance with the capitalist roaders to supporting Lin, he increased his control over every sector. In 1965, a book, Long Live the Victory of People’s War was published in Lin’s name. Though its every page started glorifying Mao as our great helmsman, contrary to what the CPC explained during the Great Debate against the Soviet revisionists, Lin’s book claimed: We are in a new era when Mao Tsetung Thought is the Marxism-Leninism of this era, in which imperialism is weakening, and facing total collapse, while the world proletarian socialist revolution is going to make worldwide victory. It advised not to read too much, but confine your studies to quotations from Mao’s works, published as the Red Book, and the three articles. It analyzed that all countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are in similar condition to pre-revolutionary, semi-colonial, semi-feudal China, and so all of them should follow the path of people's war! The CR was reduced just to a banner for attacking the opposition, and all creative ideas of Mao were distorted and replaced with his anarchist ideas. By the time of the 9th Congress of the CPC in 1969, Lin Biao came to total control and so even the Party Constitution was amended to declare that Lin Biao is next in line after Mao. How such a line contrary to whatever Mao taught could come to domination in the party so soon after the CR was spreading revolutionary ideas, calls for serious study. According to documents produced by the CPC in 1971, Lin Biao tried to seize power, but was exposed, and during his bid to flee to SU, he died in an air crash.  These five years of Lin’s domination  calls for more analysis as everything published by the CPC broadcasts and Peking (Beijing) Daily during this period as Mao’s thought were only Lin’s thoughts, glaringly opposed to Mao’s teachings. These, almost dramatic developments during the 1965-71 period had started from 1963 when the CPC had denounced the CPSU line through its Great Debate documents, it was clear that, in spite of the setbacks suffered by the socialist camp, with the degeneration of the SU and the East European countries, pragmatism came to dominance, and the CPC leadership was not prepared to take up a deeper analysis of  the basic theoretical questions like proletarian internationalism.
  14. The Communist Manifesto calls for the “workers of the world to unite” to overthrow the capitalist system and usher in an alternate path of development, The short-lived Paris Commune was the first example of a workers’ state upholding proletarian internationalism. After the victory of the October revolution, though Lenin was active in the field only for five years, he addressed the question of all power to Soviets, declaration of right of self-determination of all nationalities which were in the Tsarist Russia to decide whether to join the Soviet Union or secede, creating practical examples of putting proletarian internationalism in to practice. But, following Chinese revolution such a practice was not seen, On the contrary, there was an over-dose of nationalism in Chinese practice.  From the beginning the pragmatist Chou Enlai with centrist positions, supported by the rightist trend, had pursued more of a nationalist, not a proletarian internationalist line. During the anti- imperialist struggle for national liberation, sometimes there may be a tactical necessity to arouse patriotic feelings to win over support of the people for the national liberation struggle. But this tactics should ne go against the strategic line of proletarian internationalism. In On New Democracy and other writings Mao has clearly asserted that Chinese revolution is integral part of world revolution. For example, during its democratic revolution that it shall strive to resolve all boundary questions with neighbouring countries, a baggage from the colonial past through bi-lateral discussions, What happened was different. If it had taken initiative to resolve the boundary problems with the newly independent neighbouring countries, with Soviet Union and later Vietnam based on a flexible ‘give and take’ policy, the US efforts to utilize them to enter the disputes could be defeated. On the contrary, the rights over areas under the Ming dynasty and bringing Taiwan back to its fold were given more importance. Such policies of socialist countries naturally weaken the claim of the communists that they are struggling for world revolution. It was a question raised in the international communist platforms often. But in practice, except for the Russian experience during Lenin’s time, very little such examples are there. Though Mao had to fight to establish his line during the fight against Comintern supported Li Lisan line, he maintained close relations with SU till its leaders left the revolutionary path. The General Line document of 1963 also asserts the importance of proletarian internationalism. But strangely, we come across a document drafted by Cou Enlai and adopted by the CPC in 1964, in which an un-Marxist approach is taken towards re-building the Communist International. Quoting it, a large number of ML organizations who came up during 1960s or later oppose any efforts towards forming a communist International. Even the concept of forming an international platform of the revolutionary parties is opposed. As this ‘nationalism first’ line had dominated, the CPC, it did not try to convene even a meeting of the ML organizations emerged in the 1960s to discuss the Great Debate draft documents and develop the General Line to be pursued! It did not increase the self-reliance of the newly emerging parties, but only increased their ‘loyalty’ to China as the centre of world revolution. So, it naturally helped Lin Biao to impose his line over all of them as Mao’s line or Chinese path, with grievous consequences..
  15. The impact created by the Lin Biaoist line which advocated an apparently “left” adventurist outlook to the CRs and diverting Mao’s struggle to lead China on socialist path were very disastrous. It confused the masses who played important part in the socialist construction and the CR. The CR itself became stagnant. It was using this opportunity, Chou arranged Nixon’s visit to China, when the US had intensified the attacks on North Vietnam up to Chinese borders to crush the national liberation movement there. Though it helped China’s entry in to UN replacing Taiwan, it did not help the ICM. The struggle against the capitalist roaders and for pursuing the socialist line continued, and Mao’s close comrades, who were called the “Gang of four” by the capitalist roaders played major role in the 10th Congress of the But due to the fierce inner party struggle taking place,  the Congress’ documents stopped short of making serious evaluation of what was happening. In this atmosphere, Deng got rehabilitated in the same year and became the deputy prime minister. Soon he led the Chinese team to the UN conference, where he presented the “Theory of Three Worlds”, a class collaborationist line, as the strategic concept of China. Next year, in an interview with William Hinton, Mao reacted to a question whether China will continue in the socialist path,  by saying “still there are possibilities for the capitalist roaders capturing power”, and hoped that in such a situation the Marxist-Leninists across the world shall oppose it. He gave him a short poem, ”I am a lonely monk, with a leaky umbrella”. The discussions that followed showed that, in spite of his health problems and intensifying inner-party struggle, Mao was prepared to continue the fight, even when his closest comrades for decades  are on the other side, not recognizing his socialist perspective. He was sad, but ready to fight till victory, even if he has to once again go back to Chinkang mountains!
  16. In early 1976, following the death of Chou, Deng tried to lead a rebellion against Mao. But, he was defeated and once again removed from all seats of power. But, Hua Kuofeng who replaced Chou, was also a centrist allied to the capitalist roaders. The military was also, in the main, with them. The rightists were waiting for the death of Mao to openly capture power. After Mao’s death on 9th September, they organized a military coup, Mao’s top followers including the gang of four and very large number of comrades were arrested, and Shanghai Commune like main centers, which stood with the CR, were attacked, killing many, unleashing suppression at all China level. The imperialist camp as well as the Soviet leaders, both, welcomed it with enthusiasm. Soon the capitalist roaders ended the CR and started dissolving the People’s Communes. The Theory of Three Worlds was put forward as the General Line. By 1978, Deng openly took over, declaring the policy of four modernizations as the future path, starting the transformation of socialist China to a state capitalist, bureaucratic dictatorship. The socialist initiatives carried forward by Mao were systematically dismantled. China became a social imperialist power, and following the disintegration of social imperialist Soviet Union, it has become a super power engaged in contention and collusion with US imperialism for world hegemony. Does it mean that the brilliant struggles led by Mao and the CPC have gone in vain? As Mao had wished, why the revolutionary forces did not rise up and prevent this coup? Are everything  lost? Definitely not. On the contrary, the present day Marxists-Leninists have to start from where the great vision of Mao has led them to, by advancing revolution in more countries according to concrete conditions there, and taking up socialist transition based on the creative contributions of Mao
  17. An over view of the developments in the ICM show that in spite of many brilliant contributions except for Paris Commune, the damage happened to the movement every time not because of any direct aggression by the imperialist forces, but more so because of the emergence of alien trends from within. Whatever may be the problems faced by socialist building in Soviet Union, and in pursuing the spirit of proletarian internationalism in Comintern’s functioning, by early 1950s the socialist forces were really challenging the imperialists and their jockeys everywhere.  This situation drastically changed after 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 with the Krushchov-led  revisionists putting forward the line of peaceful transition to socialism, abandoning the path of class struggle in SU, and their heinous acts of coercion to spread this virus to other parties. Again, by 1960s, just when the ICM was recovering from this great setback, and once again moving forward encouraged by the  momentous contributions to socialist revolution in China, and inspired by the national liberation movements advancing in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, along with new Marxist-Leninist forces coming up almost all over the world, the Lin Biaoist line which was presented  as Mao’s line, apparently ‘left’ adventurist,  but basically rightist in content, gave a bigger blow to it. Both Soviet revisionists and Lin Biaoists had reached very same analysis that imperialism has weakened in the post-SWW years, based on their wrong analysis of the neo-colonial transformation taking place under US imperialism. But both reached diametrically opposite conclusions; the right and ‘left’ deviations that followed, severely damaging the ICM one after another. If the ICM and the communist parties in different countries want to come out of this crisis, they have to reject these erroneous lines, and based on the concrete analysis of present grave situation, develop their theory and revolutionary practice. There is no other shortcut.
  18. But what is happening is just the opposite. In spite of past bitter reverses suffered the communist movement due to both right opportunism and ‘left’ adventurism, still they are allowed to raise their heads repeatedly and destroy the movement from within. Neither Stalin in his last work, Problems of Socialism in USSR, nor any other documents including that of Cominform of that period, there were any mention about imperialism getting weakened after the War. On the contrary, what was actually happening around the world right from dropping nuclear bombs on Japan, which was  already prepared to surrender, to numerous aggressions including the war on N. Korea had shown that US was not Budha, but becoming more dangerous for world people. Still, along with Soviet revisionists, almost all leaderships of the communist parties, except  of China and Albania, adopted the line of peaceful transition to socialism and degenerated to social democratic parties later, implementing the neo-liberal, corporate policies. As a result, we have seen what happened to powerful CPSU, or to CPI(M) led Left Front in India etc. If the former is fast getting weaker day by day, the LF is already decimated, and more than 75% of its cadres and supporters in Tripura and W. Bengal have shifted loyalty to fascist RSS/BJP. Still, in its last base, Kerala, it follows the very same neo-liberal policies speeded up by the Modi rule! It shows that, the social democratic have abandoned Marxism, and never learn from history.
  19. On the other side, what happened to the Marxist-Leninist parties like CPI(ML) which after a great beginning embraced the Lin Biaoist line in the name of Chinese path? Under neo-colonization, imperialist agencies were already active to promote the land ceiling from above, to prepare ground for the entry of finance capital, technology and to launch the Green Revolution in Punjab by the end of 1950s itself. Already prominent journals like The Economic and Political Weekly had started a debate on the changes in the mode of production expected to take place, how it should be related to Lenin’s analysis of develop of capitalism in Tsarist Russia etc. As the AIKS led by CPI(M) like organizations led by left organizations refused to recognize these changes and to take up issues like subsidies for the agricultural inputs, and Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural products etc. Some of these debates had their reflection in the fierce inner party struggle targeting the revisionist CPI, and neo-revisionist CPI(M). But, after Naxalbari Uprising, when the greetings came from People’s Daily, Spring Thunder over Indian Horizon, all the debates stopped. Quoting the experience of the CPC, Mao always advised the Marxist-Leninists that they should develop their own programs and paths of revolution according to concrete conditions in their countries. But, when the greetings came from Mao’s China, depicting conditions in India and other Asian, African and Latin American countries are like that of pre-revolutionary China, ie, semi-colonial and semi-feudal, and all of them should go for people’s war as their path, all the newly emerging ML organizations immediately accepted this as the last word; how could it happen? The very same weakness had happened a decade ago when CPI like parties blindly adopted the line of peaceful transition to socialism. So, all the CRs who rebelled against CPI(M) and formed the coordination committee adopted the slogan “Chinese path is our path” without even raising any doubt! When we look back, it should be self-critically admitted, that at this turning point, the CRs refused to look around and see not only what is happening around us under neo-colonization, but also the struggle Mao waged for many years to establish a line according to Chinese conditions even by opposing the Comintern delegations’ advice, which immensely helped in the victory of Chinese revolution. Though the CRs could not agree on tactical questions, including whether the CPI(ML) should be formed immediately, all of them remained loyal to “Chinese path”. The 1970 first (8th ) Congress documents explain what happened.  Quoting Lin, it was asserted that armed struggle shall be the main form of struggle. Only on how and when to start the armed struggle, they differed. When  Charu Majumdar called for ‘annihilation of class enemy’ for beginning the armed struggle, others called for ‘resistance struggle’ etc. What happened is part of history! In spite of terrific sacrifices by the leaders and cadres the movement was suppressed, and disintegrated to many groups.
  20. It is strange that even after all these bitter experiences, the ML movement did not go for seeking the real reasons for the setbacks. So, when the people’s upsurges took place in Gujarat followed by the Bihar movement, and then declaration of Emergency, by and large, while some of the ML organizations tried to react through some pro-active steps, others remained inactive. It was when leaders of most of the CR forces in India were either in jail, or underground, Mao died followed by usurpation of power by capitalist roaders in China. Emboldened with the almost disappearance of communist threat, the imperialist forces dropped even what was left in the hitherto policies of state intervention in production and welfare policies, started moving towards neoliberal-corporate phase of imperialism introducing LPG. This situation once again demanded that the CR forces should recognize these serious developments, take stock of the situation, and chalk out the blue-print for future. But what happened to these organizations? During the last four decades many of the CR organizations, in spite of many unity efforts, splits, formation of united fronts, etc, have not dared to come out of the old frame. Contrary to what Mao did, they refuse to seek an alternative path taking in to consideration the vast changes taking place very fast around us as promoted by the imperialist system. As a result, some of them are even going back from earlier positions, and started moving to the rightist line.
  21. On the other side, merger of CPI(ML) PWG and Party Unity, and then formation of the CPI(Maoist) in 2004 with the merger of MCC, declaring war against the state took place. Its program stated that after the end of direct colonial rule, imperialism adopted new forms of indirect rule, exploitation, and control of the nations and countries subordinated to them. That is called neo-colonialism. This is more deceptive and more sinister form of colonialism. It was a quotation from Apologists of Neo-colonialism; but, soon going against seeking truth from facts, without any macro studies, substantiated by micro studies, its evaluation ended with the statement that despite some changes in the areas of the ‘Green Revolution’, no significant change has occurred in the semi-feudal relations. It was like cutting the legs to suit the shoes! It did not dare to find out the real content of this change, even when in Punjab and nearby areas, they were compelled to become part of the new types of farmers’ organizations and their struggle against the Indian state and the imperialists behind it. Presently, the farmers’ movement against corporatization has developed in to a historic struggle, making itt clear what is the path of revolution. They reject the fact that the land reforms from above and Green Revolution have created a division in the agrarian movement, with the farmers’ movement for better prices for their products with necessary marketing system, and against corporatization of the agriculture on one side in which all sections of land owning sections participate, in the main, and the agrarian revolution with “land to the tiller” slogan and other immediate demands mobilizing landless, poor peasants and other rural workers, both linked to the revolutionary movement. Instead of seeing them as integral parts of agrarian revolution against imperialism and landlordism, Instead of recognizing the reality that capitalist relations have become the dominant, growing trend, they still stick to the Lin Biaoist prescription that India is still like pre-revolutionary China. Going against concrete reality, they want to justify their brand of armed struggle as the main, or only form of struggle. For this practice, any forms of opportunist tactics are used, which are proved wrong repeatedly. Mao said, neocolonialism means, the wolf going out through the front door, but the tiger entering through the backdoor. It can be fought only by mobilizing the masses and unleashing their initiative in all fields. The theoretical approach and practice of all those forces across the world who uphold Maoism go against it.
  22. During Chinese revolution, it was only after a decade of brilliant advances led by Mao after the Tsunyi Conference, applying Marxism-Leninism according to the concrete conditions of China, the 7th Congress of the CPC in 1943, decided to uphold Mao’s thought as the guideline of the CPC. As explained above, till his death, Mao waged uncompromising struggle against the Soviet revisionist line and advanced on the path of socialist transition. Inspired by it, inner party struggle broke out in the communist parties pursuing Soviet revisionist line. This led to the emergence of Marxist-Leninist parties in large number of countries. They upheld MLMT. But, as explained, in content they were upholding Lin Biao’s line as it was officially propagated by the CPC as the Chinese path, through Beijing Radio and People’s Daily. By 1970, though all of them started experiencing setbacks while following Lin Biaoism advocated under the cover of Mao’s thought, as explained in Lin’s Long Live the People’s War. After CPC denouncing Lin’s anarchist line in 1971, announcing his death while trying to flee from China, though these ML parties and organizations, except for a micro section, removed the name of Lin and his quotations from their documents, the formulations of Lin were retained, as they refused to take up study of the vast changes taking place under neo-colonization. Instead, they dogmatically continued to believe India is still like pre-revolutionary China, a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country with protracted people’s war as the path of revolution. Still, all of them, especially those who pursue armed struggle as the main form or only form of struggle are faithfully following Lin Biaoism as MT. They changed the formulation from MT to Maoism mechanically, when the chairman of the Communist party of Peru, or Shining Path, Gonzalos, put forward the concept, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and added Gonzalos Thought to it, as guiding ideology of his party, followed by the the constituents of  the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), as the ML of this new era.
  23. The significant matter is that all these organizations and RIM have abandoned the great vision of Mao, including the People’s Communes and Cultural Revolution etc and reduced Mao’s name under the banner of Maoism as a short cut to power. It was evident in the practice of armed struggle in Peru, or Nepal or anywhere else in the past, or today, it was just pragmatism of the worst sort. For example, after claiming control of 90% of Nepal through People’s War, upholding Maoism, when Prachanda leaving it  to join the countrywide people’s upsurge to topple the monarchy, what happened we are seeing. Not even a beginning to basic changes has taken place in the feudal economic base, and not at all in the super structure even after he became the prime minister. The influence of Brahmanical, Manuvadi RSS is increasing, with even top leaders wearing saffron thilaks like RSS men. In short, Maoism for them is just a pragmatic tool to capture power. They have abandoned the great philosophical teachings and concept of the CR led by Mao. So, like CPN (Maoist), they degenerated fast. Almost same is happening to them in all the countries where Maoists are present.  As Lenin pointed out, the ‘left’ adventurist line also ultimately leads to positions similar to that of right opportunists; both are two sides of the same coin.
  24. Only the people alone can create history, Mao repeatedly pointed out. As briefly explained above, Mao’s whole life was a brilliant example of searching for, experimenting for, and putting in to practice the alternative path to capitalism, the central task before the communist movement. After what happened in Soviet Union, without such a philosophical and practical leap forward the revolutionary momentum could not be maintained and intensified. Revolution is not a tea-party, it is a great struggle through which not only the economic base of the ruling capitalist system is overthrown, but its cultural baggage also. As Lu Shun wrote in a short poem, Do not stop with throwing the mad dog in to the river, you should finish it, Otherwise it will come out and finish you!  Up to the CR, Mao’s all efforts were on this line. Mao has led the Long March against Chiang’s Komintang during the revolutionary war, but what Mao led after the revolution was a more tedious Long March to finish the enemy once for all in all realms of struggle. It is a most complex and Himalayan task.  Most of the stalwarts of the CPC who fought with him till the capture of power in 1949 failed him, and the revolutionary line he fought for by refusing to go forward. Now it is the task of the Marxist-Leninists who dare to think, dare to struggle and dare to win to carry it forward defeating all alien trends through a mighty theoretical and practical offensive.

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.