But today, taking advantage of the political weakness of the Left and progressive forces in general, almost everywhere fascist state apparatuses rooted in ultra-rightist, neo-fascist, racist, reactionary and religious fundamentalist forces are propped up by neoliberal capitalism to shift the burden of the imperialist crisis to the backs of workers and oppressed peoples such that workers and people’s upsurges against the reactionary ruling regimes are developing the world over. World unemployment, poverty and inequality have reached record levels and international environmental situation is worsening even as wealth concentration and the number of billionaires are rising. Collapse of the purchasing power of the broad masses and the consequent shrinking of the global market have prompted imperialists to intensify their struggle for domination of world market and spheres of influence giving rise to a growing multi-polarity and sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions.
Thus, a corollary of this crisis-ridden world imperialist economy has been the mounting global political instability in manifold ways. US imperialism, still the leading superpower and chief war monger, sponsor of terrorism and main threat to world peace led by its arch-reactionary president Trump followed by economic blockade is continuing its threat of destruction on North Korea with a nuclear strike characterizing the latter as a “sponsor of terrorism”. Trump administration’s unilateral termination on October 13, 2017 of the 2015 Nuclear Agreement with Iran is an aggressive action directed against Iran. Trump’s provocations and characterization of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba as “rogue states” which in US diplomacy means those states who do not submit to the will of US imperialism have become open threats to world peace. Along with the tendency to fascistization as manifested in the domestic strengthening of the repressive state apparatus in both imperialist and dependent countries, bourgeois diplomatic deception is giving way to open external reaction and violence in international affairs. Everywhere revolutionary and democratic forces are increasingly intimidated and even arrested and incarcerated. In Europe, in continuation of the ascendancy of rightist and neo-Nazi forces in French and German elections, similar trends are recurring in Austria and Spain.
On November 13, an epoch-making event that points to an extreme crisis of the postwar geopolitical order has unfolded in Europe. While Trump was engaged in his Asia-Pacific tour, in Brussels foreign and defense ministers from 23 of the 27 EU member states (with the exception of smaller states of Denmark, Ireland, Malta and Portugal) has signed a framework document (“agreement on permanent structured cooperation” —PESCO) on a common defense policy, thereby committing themselves for close cooperation in the development and accumulation of weapons, and in making available troops and equipment for joint military interventions, all leading to a “military Schengen” zone. The driving forces behind PESCO that signifies an escalation of European militarism are Germany and France. This initiative that aims at the creation of a European army independent of the transatlantic NATO alliance is reportedly inspired by recent events especially that of the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. Until now, Britain, closest ally of Yankee imperialism, which was successful in preventing the emergence of an alternative to NATO has lost its clout due to Brexit. Further, Trump’s “America First” policy has sharpened the tensions between the United States and Europe. Trump’s sanctions on Russian North Sea gas pipeline to Germany have eliminated a cheap source of fuel to EU as a whole. All these developments have already lost the erstwhile coherence in NATO between the US and EU.In general, European imperialism led by Berlin and Paris has begun openly resisting the US policy particularly in West Asia as exemplified by its open defiance of US approach during the “Qatar crisis.” Today cooperation between EU and US is more or less confined to the tactical use of NATO against Russia, their common enemy. No doubt, in coming days, the increased military outlays in EU in connection with PESCO while on the one hand will unleash all reactionary, chauvinistic and neo-fascist forces shall also sharpen the class contradictions there on the other. Large scale trade wars among various imperialist powers especially in view of Trump’s protectionist policies are imminent.
Meanwhile, the latest East Asia Summit (EAS) in Manila is effectively utilized by the US to revamp the concept of the “Quadrilateral” (Quad) in alliance with its key regional partners, viz., Japan, Australia and India to further develop the so called “Indo-Pacific” bloc targeted against China whose influence is growing in Asia, Africa and globally. That Australia which was unwilling to form part of the Quad—the de-facto anti-China alliance among four states—a decade ago due to Chinese opposition has now joined it shows the growing contradictions between Australia and China but also between the latter and Japan which has started militarizing itself on a large scale. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region has become a hot spot of growing inter-imperialist rivalries especially between the US and China. Quad’s assertion to address the nuclear and missile programs of North Korea also displays US intention to isolate China in dealing with the former. At the same time, Quad’s main thrust will be on challenging Chinese territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea. While US is harping on war and regime change in North Korea in the pretext of the latter’s weapons program, it has intensified its “interventions” in Philippines, Indonesia and other countries of the region in the guise of “countering terrorism.”
Obviously, while China is emerging as a rival centre of global production and world market leader pertaining to trade and finance backed by such initiatives as Shanghai Cooperation Organization along with Russia, Belt and Road Initiative (which is characterized as the Chinese equivalent of America’s postwar Marshall Plan in Europe), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Shanghai based BRICS bank, etc., the US economic position is waning both at regional and global levels. To counter this, while Trump is pursuing extreme protectionist policies as manifested in his repudiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which had been the economic front of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy, his criticism of WTO and so on, China has become the ardent champion of “globalization” and open market policies today. US imperialism under Trump is trying to overcome the consequent relative deterioration in its economic position through military means and intimidations everywhere.
Thus, the irreversible imperialist crisis and developments thereof today are leading to disintegration and redrawing of the postwar international relations. These are resulting in new tensions and deep contradictions within imperialism which are moving toward further global instabilities as manifested in large-scale trade wars and regional military conflicts in different parts of the world as evidenced from the situation in West Asia, Syria and Afghanistan including the ongoing US sponsored Saudi slaughter and blockade in Yemen. Along with West Asia, the Asia Pacific is also transforming as dangerous “flash points”.
Imperialist intervention in West Asia and North Africa has led to the biggest-ever exodus of refugee whose number has already crossed 65 million. The Rohingyas in Asia have become one among the most persecuted refugees today.
When poverty, unemployment and inequality are on the rise and environmental catastrophes are recurring, the neoliberal states everywhere are resorting to pro-corporate development paradigm, domestic fascistization and unleashing of threat of war. Against the imperialist and ruling class offensives, workers and oppressed people’s struggles are developing in several Latin American, African and Asian countries. Workers and youth are rising up in the US and in many countries of Europe. Across Asia, workers, peasants, women, youth and students are leading struggles in many countries against neoliberal policies, fascism and reaction. Revolutionary situation is developing in many parts of the world.
However, when the objective situation for a revolutionary transformation is developing everywhere, the subjective factor essential for social change is still weak as is manifested in the relative absence or weak condition of Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary organizations deeply rooted among the working class and oppressed masses capable of leading such struggles within the country and at the same time supporting and coordinating them internationally.
As the reactionary essence of imperialism is more catastrophic today, a worldwide anti-imperialist movement based on a revolutionary ideological-political orientation that can effectively challenge the threat of aggression, resist corporatization and all forms of reaction and moving towards democracy and socialism has become an urgent necessity.
COMBAT THE CORPORATE-COMMUNAL FASCIST CHALLENGE; BUILD PEOPLE'S ALTERNATIVE!
IN SPITE of the severe reversals suffered by the economy and its impacts, and the growing resentment among the people against these, the Sangh Parivar led BJP is feverishly intensifying its communal fascist offensive and is in an advantageous position as there are no powerful political parties with countrywide influence or political alliances to challenge it. Due to its past deeds the Congress is still in decline and other parties have only regional influence. Congress and many of these parties may go for a ‘grand alliance’ before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But they have no alternate economic policies and anti-caste, secular, democratic political vision to challenge the communal fascist stranglehold of the BJP. Their only hope is to return to power utilizing the growing resentment among the people against the Modi rule and the democratic aspirations of the middle classes and intellectual sections.
Though the CPI(M) led Left Front is vocal against the communal fascism of BJP and against the corporate policies, wherever it is in power today, in Kerala and Tripura, it is implementing the very same corporate raj pushed forward by Modi. In spite of the severe setback suffered by it in W. Bengal after 34 years of continuous rule, it and its Left Front partners are not ready to take any lessons from it. On the contrary, a major section in the CPI(M) is campaigning for an open alliance with Congress. Even if such an alliance is not formed, in the post election scene, as in 2004, it shall eagerly opt for such an alliance again in the name of keeping BJP out. In spite of its last party congress’ calls to create an illusion before the ranks who were dissatisfied by the setbacks in Bengal and in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it has never tried to put forward any long term perspective for independent left assertion challenging the corporate-communal fascist raj and to unite the left parties and organizations based on a common minimum program. So long as it continues its social democratic line it can never do this. The present strife within it shows that in effect it has no vision beyond allying with Congress and other ruling class/regional parties for an anti-BJP electoral effort.
It is in this context, while discussing the question of building a people’s alternative in Bengal, the PB of CPI(ML) Red Star had called for building a mass political platform for defeating the TMC and BJP, without going for any political alliance with Congress and CPI(M) led front, and at the same time uniting all like-minded political organizations and people’s movements based on a Common Minimum Program. An evaluation of the present political forces among the broad spectrum of the “CR forces” and our own experience to build unity among them based on a CMP shows that still a number of them are following sectarian line, Liberation like forces have gone to CPI(M) front, or CPI(Maoist) is pursuing its suicidal anarchist line. At the same time, the experience of numerous people’s movements around the country, especially that of Bhangar like people’s resistance movement shows that any meaningful challenge against the corporate-communal fascist raj intensified by Sangh Parivar can be thrown up only by uniting these people’s movements and like-minded forces based on a People’s Manifesto.
In the present situation, no doubt, the challenge is to defeat BJP and the Sangh Parivar behind it. But can the fight against the communal fascist polices intensified by the BJP government can be delinked from the struggle against the neoliberal policies and intensifying corporatization initiated by the Congress and speeded up by BJP rule? As far as the Congress and other ruling class/regional parties are concerned, they delink these two tasks. They have no intention to reject the neoliberal policies. They want to limit the fight to electorally defeating BJP in coming elections. The problem with the reformist forces led by the CPI (M) led Left Front is that though they talk about the necessity for opposing the neo-liberal policies, they neither pursue such a policy wherever they come to power or mention it when the question of forging the anti-BJP alliance is discussed. In effect, they tail the line of Congress in this. This is the line of petti-bourgeois classes Though among the ranks of theirs, many may aspire for independent left assertion, both sections of leaders involved in the present internal strife in CPI(M) are responsible for the non-implementation of their own party’s 22nd Congress decisions for building a left initiative.
It is in this situation, the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star which met at Varanasi on 18-19 November, while stressing the need to defeat BJP and the communal fascist policies it intensifies, has called for building Mass Political Platforms according to concrete conditions in each state based on a People’s Manifesto uniting like-minded parties, organizations, groups and mass people’s movements with the perspective of pursuing independent left assertion with socialist objective. Such initiatives at state level shall help to build a countrywide Mass Political Alternative before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections
THE issue of building a political alternative has emphatically become a priority at present in West Bengal. The ten months old anti-Power Grid movement in Bhangar has presented this as a more urgent task. The ensuing elections to three-tier Panchayat system has added new dimension to it, although this political alternative will be built state wide and extra-parliamentary mass and class struggle will be its principal working field.
The overall evaluation of national and state situation directs that the main target of attack of this political alternative will be Trinamool Congress party and its government in the state, and the BJP and its government at the centre. The long lasting presence of Congress and CPIM in different governments and subsequent practices made by them confirm that this political alternative cannot go for any political alliance with Congress or CPIM led political front.
Our responsibility is to develop a common minimum programme (CMP) by upholding Bhangar movement as an example, and accepting the three mass movements as milestones, i.e., Bhangar, Singur and Nandigram in our slogan. On the basis of this CMP a mass political front or forum will be formed at state level. This front or forum will be formed with participation of like-minded parties, organizations, individuals, and groups. In addition, the representatives of ongoing mass movements in the state, Bhangar is one of those, will participate in this front or forum. The representatives of all other struggling forces will participate as well. This participation will take place at mass level.
We are developing a political alternative that completely rejects present development paradigm directed by imperialism and upholds a pro-people development model; so, this front or forum must be extended at district, block and area level as well. This front will conduct day-to-day activities. We will meet the like-minded parties, organizations, individuals, groups, mass movements and struggling forces in the course of finalizing the CMP of this political alternative through exchange of opinions.
We have already gone through different processes of forming political alternatives in the past. We will take forward present task of forming a political alternative to address the need of present political situation by keeping the positive and negative experiences of our past efforts. We are hopeful that our effort will bring enthusiasm in the struggling masses and ensure their participation and a mass based alternative will be formed. We will put our utmost effort to develop a mass political front with a wide mass character.
After lots of globe- trotting by Modi, his government’s performance in international relations is also proved lack-lustre. While serving US plans to encircle China, the economic realities call for extending relations with it, putting it in a dilemma. Its policies have worsened the country’s relations with Pakistan and all other neighbouring countries.
Its efforts to overcome this ever weakening performance in the economic field and foreign relations by intensifying saffronization of all fields are also facing growing resistance. Starting from the revolt in IIT, Chennai, the students’ resistance against imposition of Brahminical values, savarna fascist approaches in the centres of higher education like FTII, Pune, Hyderabad central University, JNU have led to outbreak of student movement at ever wider scale. The murders of known progressive intellectuals like Pansare, Dhabolkar and Kalburgi and spreading of an atmosphere of intolerance have led to intellectuals in large numbers coming out to combat the fascist atmosphere being created. Though the RSS parivar is utilizing every opportunity to continue saffronization utilizing the state power, to polarize the Hindutua vote bank frantically, the resistance against it is growing day by day. As a result, the popularity of Modi and his government have not improved. Reflecting this mood, the corporate media which had given overwhelming support to Modi during his Lok Sabha election campaign has started criticizing his non-performance in vital sectors. For example, the non-performance of the central and state governments led by BJP when the people are confronting unprecedented draught and lack of drinking water has led to increasing criticisms against it.
Contrary to its expectations, within a short time after coming to power Modi government started facing popular resistance to its policies of corporatization and saffronization. Though the institutionalized trade union centres did not take up any follow up actions, the participation in the all India strike in September, 2015 was massive. As the peasantry is getting more impoverished and more of them are committing suicide, sporadic resistance of the peasantry is coming out in various forms. The increasing student resistance in many universities is a sign of growing alienation of the youth and students from this government and RSS parivar. The latest revolt of half a million predominantly women garment workers of Bangalore demanding revoking of the PF law had paralyzed the city for two days. All these are showing the growing anger against the neoliberal policies speeded up by the Modi government which are impoverishing the masses and devastating nature.
In this situation, the elections to the five state assemblies in which the BJP in alliance with two regional parties could get majority in Assam became a shot in its arm. Along with it, the consolidation of its Hindutua presence in Bengal and Kerala also has gladdened it. After the debacles in the elections to Delhi and Bihar assemblies in 2015, BJP is showcasing this recent ‘victory’ in a high pitch campaign though compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, there is no growth in its 2016 vote share in these states. What is significant in these elections’ results is that the Congress is going down very fast and there is no national party to challenge the BJP.
Wavering Parliamentary Opposition
That the parliamentary opposition is facing difficulty to benefit from the general alienation of BJP from the masses is becoming clearer day by day. All these parties ranging from Congress to regional parties to CPI (M) led Left Front parties have no basic difference of opinion with BJP led NDA as far as the economic agenda is concerned including the neoliberal development perspective. In the elections to Delhi assembly followed by elections in Bihar and now in the election campaign in the five states this question had become all the more explicit. The attack of all these parties, who are fighting each other in many states, against BJP is focused on its saffronization policies alone. But while attacking BJP for resorting to all heinous methods to polarize the Hindutua votes, these parties still continue their own vote brands of communal and caste based bank politics. While calling on all non BJP forces to get together and oust it from power for its communal Hindutua agenda, they refuse to admit that it is their own communal –caste vote bank politics, lack of a genuine secular and anti-caste stand which helped an ultra rightist, fundamentalist force like RSS parivar to communalize the society and come to power.
Bihar assembly elections and present elections to five state assemblies have revealed that in spite of their attack on BJP for its Hindutua polarization, none of them are prepared to abandon their communal, caste appeasement policies. So directly or indirectly all of them are helping the growth of communal and caste based politics and parties based on this politics. Even if the question of opposition to neoliberal policies is kept out of the agenda, any meaningful platform against savarna fascist communalization promoted by RSS parivar is possible only by uniting those forces who are for genuine secular and anti-caste stand. But the front line advocates of anti-Hindutua fascist platform keep these basic questions out of discussion. Theirs is the call for an opportunist alliance of those who stick to communal-caste appeasement for the purpose of returning to power. As these anti-BJP advocates do not have any basically different economic and secular, anti-caste agenda, even if BJP is defeated in the next elections, these wavering, opportunist opposition parties are incapable of throwing up an alternative to it.
Many of those who are very vocal against the RSS parivar do not recognize the fact that while RSS was meticulously cultivating its reactionary concept of Hindu Rashtra and polarizing the society based it, , Congress and such other forces were pursuing communal appeasement policies. Not only these forces, even most of the present Ambedkarite forces, under the influence of identity politics like concepts have become advocates of preserving the caste system promoted by the Brahminical forces. Similarly, even CPI (M) like revisionist forces, or the so-called main stream left, reducing their total practice to realm of parliamentary politics, pursue communal-caste appeasement for vote banks in their own way and neoliberal policies under one pretext or other. It is in this situation, even though Modi government’s influence has started waning, these forces are not capable of intensifying a theoretical, political struggle based on an alternate politico-economic stand.
This situation once again emphasise the correctness of the stand taken by the Party that only by intensifying the efforts to build a powerful struggling left and democratic forum with people oriented alternative development perspective, along with secular, caste-annihilation stand can throw up the serious challenge needed to resist and defeat the growth of the RSS parivar like forces. This calls for waging a two pronged attack: firstly, rallying all forces who are prepared to resist the BJP regime based on issues, to resist the communal fascist attacks of the RSS parivar, against all communal and caste based attacks on the masses; secondly strengthen the Democratic People’s Forum, the broad left and democratic forum, at all India and state levels, with a common minimum program which include rejection of neoliberal policies and taking genuinely secular and caste annihilation stand, putting forward a people’s alternative against the ruling system. Let us intensify this two pronged offensive mobilizing all toiling and oppressed masses to defeat the corporate raj-saffronization of the RSS parivar, and to advance towards people’s democracy.
2. Observe 9th August to 15th August as Anti Imperialist Week : The Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star calls for observing the anniversary of 1942 Quit India Day with the slogan: Confiscate foreign companies and foreign capital , and to observe 9th August to 15th August as Anti Imperialist Week.
3. Build up Countrywide Struggles against Modi Regime: As the ultra rightist Modi government is entering the third year of its rule, the much publicized hype on Make in India, Skill India, Swatch Bharat, Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao etc is fast loosing its steam. On the one hand, while offering big-bang reforms to MNCs and Corporate tycoons throughout his swing across the world, on the other Modi is transferring their burden to the shoulders of the common people using both budgetary and executive steps. Even after the adoption of a new base year for calculating the various economic indices solely with view of inflating GDP, industrial and agricultural production, trade etc, the latest April 2016 official data on industry, agriculture and export still exhibit negative growth.
At the same time, the prices of all necessaries of life including food and essential services are galloping. Instead of transferring the benefits from the unprecedented plunge in international crude oil prices to the people of India Modi government has earned around Rs 3 lakh crores during the last two years alone and in the process Ambanis and Essars have enriched further
As exemplified in the presence of Amitabh Bachchan, who is charge sheeted by the Enforcement Agency in relation to Panama Papers as the chief guest at the Second Anniversary celebrations of the regime, the Mallya episode etc Modi’s anti-corruption stance has been exposed as mere eye wash. Meanwhile, the unprecedented draught directly rising from corporate plunder of nature has ravaged agriculture and people’s sustenance throughout the country. Unemployment and under employment have become rampant.
Consequently the life of the workers, peasants, vast sections of the oppressed and toiling masses is increasingly becoming horrific. While billions worth of tax exemptions are granted to corporate financiers and as corporate debts to banks are written off, even the dwindling subsidies and social spending are further pruned off. The Central Committee appeals to workers, peasants and all oppressed in the country to rise up in struggles against this anti-people, corrupt and communal regime and to strive for a people’s alternative to it.
4. Intensify struggles of the working class: The meeting of the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star held at Kolkata from 10th to 12th June notes with great concern the attacks of the Modi government on the working class. Old established laws like the Factories Act, Industrial Disputes Act and the Contract Labour Act are being amended by the various governments in the states ruled by BJP to remove the already meagre protections afforded by these Acts from the majority of the workers. In this situation, the workers are struggling against these attacks and against the effects of the neo-liberal policies of the government. The Central Committee calls upon all workers and oppressed masses to support and rally with these struggles. It also calls upon all workers to support and make successful the Protest Day program for 9th August as well as the General Strike called on 2nd September, 2016, against the changes in the labour laws and similar demands. It pledges to fight along with the working class during all these struggles.
5. Resist and Defeat Increasing Attacks on the Peasantry: The Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star expresses deep concern over the miserable plight of the vast masses of people as a whole and of the peasantry and the agricultural workers in particular. This miserable plight of the peasants manifests in many ways like peasants’ suicides, lack of remunerative prices for their products, heavy indebtedness, increasing landlessness etc. This situation emphatically contradicts the campaign of “Achche Din” of Modi government. It is the inevitable result of neo-liberal policies dictated by imperialism and implemented by the central and state governments. The Central Committee urges the peasants and other sections for a countrywide militant struggle which is the only course open before them.
A. Intensifying Draught Situation All Over the Country
Reports from different states show that the draught conditions are becoming increasingly serious. Not only agriculture and livelihood of the people are severely affected, even drinking water is becoming scarce. The neoliberal development policies have aggravated this man made draught situation. A campaign should be organized by all party committees against the neoliberal polices which devastate people’s life, and for immediate relief to affected people.
B. Oppose Action against JNUSU Leaders
The JNUSU leaders persecuted by JNU administration are continuing their indefinite hunger strike for revocation of the punishments imposed on them. The PB meeting has appealed to all student and youth organizations and progressive forces to extend support to the striking student leaders. It appeals for organizing solidarity campaigns wherever possible. [Though the struggle is now suspended following Delhi High Court staying the punitive measures announced by the JNU authorities, the mobilizations and campaigns against the saffronization of higher centres of education should be continued]
C. Significance of the Spontaneous Strike of Bangalore Garments Workers
More than half million garment workers in Bangalore city created history on 18-19 April by coming out on the streets in a spontaneous strike and paralyzing the city demanding the reversal of the orders of Modi government on PF rules. The strike not only forced the Modi government to reverse its orders, but also to highlight their living condition, earning paltry Rs. 6000 to 6500 per month for more than 10 hours of hard work. The PB meeting congratulated the garment workers for their significant struggle and extended all support to their future struggles.
D. Justice to Jisha
Jisha, a dalit girl, a student of Ernakulam Law College, was brutally assaulted and killed in her hut at Perumbavur, Kerala. Since she was staying with her mother in this small hut near a canal, the police and administration did not bother to give any serious attention to this rape and murder case. They and the corporate media gave any importance to the investigation only when through new social media people got organized and started protesting. While CPI (ML) Red Star activists joined the protest march to police station on 9th May, it fully supported and participated in the hartal call given by the dalit organizations on 10th May. The PB meeting condemned the atrocious attitude by the police of the state government n towards the murder of Jisha and has called for stringent action against the perpetrators of this crime.
E. Hands off Nepal
If last year for months the Indo-Nepal relations had faced severe crisis, with the Indian government blocking the movement of all essential commodities to this land locked Himalayan country, once again Modi government is interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal de-stabilizing consecutive governments there. The PB meeting severely condemns this big-brotherly and expansionist attitude of the Modi government towards Nepal, and calls on all party committees to organize campaigns against it.
F. World Peasants’ Conference
The PB meeting called on all Party committees to help the AIKKS committees to actively participate in the World Peasants’ Conference held at Kathmandu on 3rd, 4th and 5th June to exchange country report on the agricultural situation in different countries, to analyze the consequences of the neoliberal-corporatization policies in the agricultural sector and to develop the agrarian program to combat this.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE TENTH CONGRESS OF CPI(ML) RED STAR
PRESENTLY the situation in India has changed drastically. The rightist Congress led government has given way to the ultra-rightist BJP-led Government. But that is not the phenomenon only in India. The world today presents a mixed picture. On the one hand, in many Latin American countries the Left are being voted to power, and the recent success of the Syriza in Greece is quite as spectacular. On the other hand, in several countries across the globe the Right and the Ultra-Right are being returned to power with a vengeance. In Turkey, the Erdogan regime got a larger percentage of the vote after the struggle at Taksim square than before. In Nepal, the government of the UCPN (Maoist) has been replaced by the openly rightist Nepali Congress government. In Egypt, the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood was stopped, but only by the army taking over power once again. Still, the youth in general do not appear to be attracted by the ideas put forward by the revolutionary left. Rather, their opposition to rightist regimes and policies is reflected in their gravitation towards sundry alternatives like the Aam Aadmi Party in India or the Greens, NGOs, etc., which have no radical alternatives to put forward against the reactionary ruling system which is speeding up imposition of the neo-liberal policies.
2. The situation in around 1950s was exactly the opposite. The upsurge of the international communist movement was so powerful that half of the land of the world and a third of the population were living in socialist countries. Powerful national liberation movements were challenging the vestiges of colonial domination. Strong communist parties were leading the movements of the working class and oppressed peoples in a number of countries. Since then, however, there has been a decline. It was usual for us, earlier, to blame Khruschevite revisionism for this decline. However, even the Chinese Party, even though it led the opposition to Khruschevite revisionism, itself fell prey to left deviation and, subsequently, revisionism. Many of the Marxist-Leninist parties which emerged in a large number of countries all over the world finally accepted that both the USSR and China were not socialist any more but had degenerated as imperialist countries, colluding and contending for power with US and other imperialists. However, many of these Marxist-Leninist parties have simply vanished without a trace, while many have degenerated all over the world either into becoming neo-revisionists or left adventurists. The problem with the international and national communist movement therefore is clearly not only the problem of Khruschevite revisionism or neo-revisionism or the left sectarianism that the Chinese leadership succumbed to. The solutions must be sought even deeper than this.
3. In 2004, fighting against a section within the party which wanted to go closer to the CPI(M), the then CPI(ML) Red Flag had reached a conclusion that it was necessary to unite all sections of the ML forces who were opposed to both right revisionism and left sectarianism. It undertook an experiment in this regard of forging a unity “with differences”. It was guided by the understanding that the Communist party must have a mechanism for solving all problems of programme, strategy and tactics on the basis of a democratic procedure, once the basic ideas of class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat and democratic centralism are accepted. That our understanding and faith was misplaced is a testament of history. The section with whom the unity was forged based on the agreement that through a Conference the majority line shall be evolved and will be accepted by all as the general line for practice, rejected it, making this experiment a failure. There were gains from this experience, may not be so much in terms of membership and spread, but in terms of learning the problems that the movement faced.
4. In the subsequent All India Special Conferences in Bhopal in 2009 and in the Ninth Party Congress held at Bhubaneswar in 2011 we have succeeded to address many questions related to problems faced by the communist movement and put forward some new developments of thought. We were able to put forward our understanding of the neo-colonial phase of imperialist domination as distinguished from the colonial phase. We accepted that there has been a growth of capitalistic type of relations even in the agricultural sector while remnants of feudal relations still existed. We accepted the reality that new classes were developing in the rural areas. We were able to clearly show that Mao himself said that the foot must not be cut to fit the shoe, but rather the path of revolution in each country must follow the concrete conditions of that country. We were able to openly and without hesitation or apology reject the path of protracted people’s war for India. We have put forward the necessity to link the struggle for protection of nature with the class struggle.
5. With this new understanding also came glimpses of what was the problem with the communist movement in the world. It was no coincidence that the decline of the International Communist movement had started taking place since around 1950s, the same time as imperialism had changed from the colonial phase to the neo-colonial phase of plunder. When Marx was writing about capital, it was the stage of free competition and he naturally could not foresee that capitalism would develop into a new phase – imperialism. Around the turn of the 20th century, when capitalism was developing into imperialism and free competition was giving way to monopoly, Lenin who, having read all the literature on the subject, laid bare the machinations of the new capitalist cartels and exposed that imperialism was nothing but a higher stage of capitalism. In continuation to this the basic contradictions of this era were then put forward by the Communist International as: (1) between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples of the world; (2) between capital and labour; (3) between socialism and imperialism; and (4) among the various imperialist countries.
6. It was Lenin who extended the theory of the workers in the imperialist countries uniting to liberate themselves from their wage-slavery to the peoples of the exploited countries liberating themselves from imperialism. It was the Bolshevik party under the leadership of Lenin which put forward the thesis of turning the world war into civil war in Russia and of the essential link between the movement of the workers for socialism in the imperialist countries and the movement of the peoples of the oppressed nations for national liberation. It was on the basis of this understanding that the original slogan of the Communist Manifesto, ‘Workers of the World Unite’, was subsequently developed to ‘Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!’
7. We may well criticize this understanding of the world, in retrospect, as being inadequate. It did not say anything about the environment and ‘sustainable development’. It did not put forward a new paradigm of ‘development’. It did not give a clear enough understanding of the problem of women’s liberation. It did not even have a whiff of the need for fighting against caste, colour, ‘race’, etc. However, such a judgment would clearly smack of idealism. We would be trying to judge the leaderships and movements of those times on the anvil of today’s social structure and understanding.
8. Based on this General Line the international communist movement grew from strength to strength till the 1950s. The main thrust behind this growth was the basic line laid down by the understanding of imperialism put forward by Lenin. No doubt, this understanding had to develop – and it was developed to a very great extent. This understanding was also able to grip the masses and become a social force. Even, till after 1950s, when many countries of the world had come under neo-colonial domination, even the ruling classes in the countries under neo-colonial domination had agreed, at least in words, that colonialism and neo-colonialism must be opposed. The writings of Nkrumah on neo-colonialism, the acceptance of the Bandung Declaration and the starting of the Non-Aligned Movement were all testaments to this felt need. There was a profound change in the situation in the world around 1950s. Bretton Woods Conference had given rise to a new economic system of which the WB and the IMF were the pillars. There was a massive proliferation of MNCs. ‘Green revolutions’ started taking place in many countries all over the world. Connected to this was the political system put in place. Not only the formation of the United Nations Organization as a world body, but also the acceptance of the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 which then became the basis for most of the Constitutions written during that period (though each Constitution did have its own particularities). New blocs were formed like SEATO, CENTO, NATO, Warsaw Bloc, etc. Soon discussions started on the GATT and finally in 1995 the WTO was formed. On the philosophical front, post modernism took on an ever growing role and became the theoretical backbone for the proliferation of reactionary schools of thought and became the basis of formations like NGOs.
9. The International Communist Movement responded to these changes in two ways. Firstly, under Khruschev, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union took the line that with the disappearance of colonies, imperialism itself had become very weak and that there was now no more need of revolutionary change. The Socialist camp and the imperialist camp would now peacefully coexist, compete peacefully on the market and finally, seeing the innate superiority of the socialist system, the newly independent colonies would peacefully transform themselves to socialism. The Chinese Communist Party opposed this analysis and put forward that the disappearance of colonies did not herald the disappearance of imperialism. They put forward that the old colonial system had given way to a new neo-colonial system, which, they emphasized, was more pernicious than the earlier colonial system. However, beyond this short analysis made in Apologists of neo-colonialism, the CPC did not take this further forward. The General Line document made an attempt to put forward a strategy for the communist movement in the new situation. Though it was not developed further, its contents are relevant in today’s communist movement too.
10. This clearly outlines the need for a theoretical offensive. At the international level we are one of the few parties which are now willing to see the real concrete situation. We are willing to make a self-criticism of our past and are also willing to make an attempt to rectify these mistakes. We are therefore in a stronger and more advantageous situation for undertaking such a theoretical offensive. What does such an offensive entail? a) We have to undertake a thorough study and analysis to identify the causes of the collapse of the erstwhile socialist countries, especially Soviet Union and China; b) We have to launch a vigorous ideological struggle to establish across society the superiority of communism over the present ruling system as well as over various alien trends; c) We have to develop Marxism-Leninism on the basis of a concrete analysis of the concrete situation.
11. We have already made certain theoretical gains. We have a deeper understanding today of the neo-colonial system. We have found that in India and in many other countries under neo-colonial domination, there has been an ever more capitalistic system being introduced in agriculture. We have understood the importance of the environmental question and given it the importance it deserves. Many more questions still face us, such as further studies on the nature of imperialism today, the meaning of a new paradigm of development and the building of socialism with greater democracy. We have to face such questions fearlessly and study them.
12. We must take up a clear, unsparing and scientific analysis of our past! Without this we cannot make a correct objective analysis of the present. This will mean asking a lot of uncomfortable questions and shedding some of our dearly held conceptions. This is necessary even to begin a theoretical offensive. Even during such an offensive we may, many times, come to the conclusion that many of the positions put forward by us in the past were wrong. We must be able to boldly put forward a clear and pointed self-criticism including how and why we went wrong. This requires that we must build up an atmosphere of trust, openness and frankness within the party. We must not be scared of analyzing the situation of ours and of others around us and must go, in practice, to wherever such an analysis takes us.
13. We must develop a system of propagating our ideas to the masses. To do that requires not only a good development of our publications but also a more systematic use of the social media. We have to develop such a style of writing which will help the people to clearly understand what we stand for in the concrete situation of today.
14. A party does not consist of a few thinkers and a mass of doers. Today there is a great gap in the consciousness of a few leading cadres and of the rest of the cadres in the party. A systematic method of developing the party study schools etc. must be undertaken to build up the party as a whole.
15. Even with party study schools, etc. we will not be able to propagate the ideas for a theoretical offensive on our own. We have to take the help of mass organizations like cultural organizations, anti-caste organizations, trade unions, peasants’ organizations, etc. for this purpose. We must involve all such organizations into the debate on the real questions which are facing the people today and must use their resources to propagate radical solutions for such questions.
16 The task before us is to take up the building of the communist movement in India and to play an active role in doing so in the rest of the world. A major part of this task is to take such a theoretical offensive as we have outlined above. We must boldly seize the real questions of the people in today’s situation and must scientifically search out the solutions. We must unsparingly lay bare our own history, the history of the communists in India and all over the world. We must make a base for combining with all sections of the people who are fighting against the injustice caused by the present imperialist-capitalist system – whether in intensifying human exploitation, in all forms of environmental damage, gender injustice, caste and racial injustice, persecution of minorities, etc. We must fervently organize the workers and peasants to face the new situation. Students, youth etc. must be rallied on the basis of the new understanding. It is precisely if we develop the correct theory, that we will not have to go behind the workers, peasants, youth, women, etc. – they will be drawn forward to the correct theory. This true measure of the theoretical offensive has to be grasped and carried forward.
1. THE CC OF CPI (ML) RED STAR congratulates the people of Nepal for getting the Constitution promulgated in spite of all obstacles confronted during the last seven years. At the same time, it condemns the interference of the Indian government in the internal affairs of Nepal. By arm-twisting the Constituent assembly members and the Nepal government, the Indian government was trying to make Nepal a Hindu Rashtra. The involvement of the Indian Government was clearly exposed in a letter demanding seven changes in the Constitution which the Indian government later tried to play down as “suggestions”. As a result of blockade of all its land routes from India using Madhesh struggle as a cover, a crippling situation has been created in Nepal. Our party has already issued a statement condemning the interference of the Indian government in Nepal. We also initiated a joint statement signed by various parties, organizations and individuals. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star appeals to all left and democratic forces to bring pressure on the government to stay out of the internal affairs of Nepal.
2. The developments in Greece show that the Tsipras government has sold out. Still it could win in the latest elections as there is no alternative force committed to fight austerity measures, rejecting the neo-liberal raj. When more than 60% voted against austerity measures in the referendum, in the present elections people massively abstained from voting, showing their continuing opposition to neo-liberal policies. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Starextends full support to the people of Greece to take forward their struggle against the troika of IMF-European Central Bank-European Union, who are imposing the austerity measures.
3. On 5th October 2015, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) became a reality. This is a trade partnership between 12 countries on the Pacific Rim including the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Japan. The clauses of this pact have been shrouded in secrecy, and it seems it includes clauses on further extending patents and Intellectual Property Rights. It presents “grave risks” and “serves the interests of the wealthiest” according to progressive forces. In 2014, Noam Chomsky warned that the TPP is “designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to further lower wages to increase insecurity”. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star calls on all progressive forces to expose and resist this treaty.
4. The migration question in Europe is an ongoing crisis. The face of the young Aylan Kurdi has become the face of the migration problem. There were many attempts to trick the migrants in trains entering Europe by diverting whole trains. The surfacing of this problem shows the deteriorating state of affairs in the regions of North Africa, Central Asia and West and South Asia from where most of the migrants are coming. The problem is a creation of imperialist – mainly US imperialist – intervention and aggression in the region and still the imperialists refuse to take responsibility of even a small section of the millions of refugees. This exposes the barbaric nature of these forces. Instead of treating the migrants with humanitarian concern, they are being treated in a rude and ham-handed manner by the US and European authorities. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star severely condemns this inhuman attitude of imperialists and calls on all progressive forces to support the cause of the migrants and their right to get asylum as refugees from imperialist aggression.
5. The UN summit on sustainable development has turned out into a big tamasha. Following the 8-point millennium development goals (MDGs) set up in 2000, and after further deliberations at the Rio Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20), the UN has now adopted a charter of around 17 goals which are to be achieved over the next 15 years to bring forth sustainable development. Going from such platitudes as ending hunger and poverty and the right to water the goals are aimed, unlike the MDGs of 2000, not at governments alone but mainly at the private corporations. So now the saving of the environment (and removing poverty and hunger) has been left to the tender mercies of “corporates’ social responsibility”. Without a word of criticism about the non-achievement of the MDGs of 2000, the imperialists and their lackeys are conveniently stepping over to the new ‘17 commandments’ of the sustainable development goals. The Central Committee severely condemns these imperialist moves under the banner of sustainable development and calls on all progressive forces to oppose the present development perspective of the imperialist system which devastates nature and to campaign for a people-oriented development which only can protect nature and ecology.
6. The election of Jeremy Corbyn, a left wing leader, as the leader of the Labour Party in the UK shows the frustration of the working class there with leaders who compromise with the established imperialist policies. Corbyn is an advocate of the re-nationalisation of public utilities including the railways, abolishing university tuition fees and restoring student grants, a unilateral policy of nuclear disarmament, ‘People’s Quantitative Easing’ to fund infrastructure and renewable energy projects, and reversing cuts to public sector and welfare funding made since 2010; proposing combating tax evasion and avoidance by corporations and wealthy individuals, and reducing business subsidies, as an alternative to the government’s austerity programme. The cutting of social welfare and social spending in the UK has clearly had its effect on the labour voters. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star welcomes this as a sign of the left swing slowly taking place in many European countries.
7. The Malabar Exercise this year has seen the Japanese Navy also being involved in this in the Bay of Bengal for the first time. Earlier, India hosted this exercise when the US was the only other participant. The exercise, whenever it involved others, was off the coast of Japan. This shows the increasing closeness of the Indian government with the US imperialists’ alliance. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star condemns this exercise and subservience of Indian govt. to US imperialism and demands its dissolution