Logo for 12th Party Congress released by Party General Secretary Comrade K N Ramachandran online today, on 52nd Martyrdom Day of Com A Varghese.
The released Logo, finalised by the Central Committee for the 12th Party Congress of CPI (ML) Red Star, which will be held from 24th to 29th September 2022 at Kozhikkode, Kerala.
In the Logo releasing speech, Com KNR commemorated valiant struggle and martyrdom of Varghese as well as pointed out the dangerous Saffron-Corporate Fascist rule in the country. These issues also will be addressed, discussed and chalk out by the party in its updated program by the Party Congress. Com KN called all party carders and party friends to come forward for the intensive campaign for the grand success of the 12th Party Congress.
Dear comrades and friends.
The draft Party Program is given below, which is to be discussed and finalized in the 12th Party Congress of the CPI(ML) Red Star to be held from 24th to 29th September 2022. We are publishing this draft for comments and suggestions to further develop it. We are making this draft available to maximum number of revolutionary masses also for their opinions. All these suggestions and amendments sent by the well-wishers of the Communist movement shall be presented to the Party Congress and explained. Our effort is to make it a program of all who wants a system change in our country.
With revolutionary greetings to all of you and expecting your response,
K N Ramachandran, General Secretary, CPI(ML) Red Star, New Delhi, 24th December, 2021.
(Draft Party Program of the CPI(ML) Red Star put forward by the Central Committee of the Party for discussion at all levels in the party, and among party sympathisers and friends, and to be finalized by the 12th Party Congress from 24th to 29th September, 2022.)
Party Program (Draft)
1.1 The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Star is the advanced detachment of the working class of the country. It upholds Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as its ideology and guide to action according to the concrete conditions of India. Upholding proletarian internationalism, and struggling against both revisionist and left adventurist tendencies in the communist movement, CPI (ML) Red Star strives to build up the Communist Party uniting the Communist Revolutionaries (CRs). It devotes itself to lead the working class, the peasantry and oppressed peoples of India in their struggle for liberation from the stranglehold of both imperialism and the Indian ruling classes allied with the former. The Party is committed to complete the People’s Democratic Revolution and advance towards Socialist Revolution for establishment of a society where there is no exploitation or oppression.
1.2 Communist movement in India has a century-old glorious history of leading many struggles of the workers, the peasantry and the oppressed and toiling people, during the colonial and post-war neocolonial periods. However, barring isolated cases, the communist movement in general failed to establish its leadership over these struggles. During the colonial days, though the Party took the initiative for putting forward the slogan of full independence, since its early years in the 1920s, it could not come to the leadership of the anti-imperialist freedom movement on account of many strategic and tactical mistakes. Most important among them was the mechanical approach towards the concrete evaluation of the Indian society, which led to the failure to establish the leadership of the working class in the national liberation movement as called by the Communist International. More specifically, it failed to recognize the historically determined integral link of India’s unique caste system with the class formation in Indian sub-continent. Hence the Communist Party could not carry forward class struggle and struggle for abolition of caste as interrelated processes.
1.3 Following many inner-party struggles, though the Communist Party of India could adopt its first Party Program, Tactical Line and Policy Statement in 1951 for advancing the People’s Democratic Revolution (PDR), due to the right-opportunist line that began to dominate within the party by then, the CPI soon deviated from it. The degeneration of Soviet leadership to revisionist path by the time of its 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 and its influence over the CPI leadership aggravated this deviation. In this situation, the inner-party struggle intensified, leading to the 1964 split in CPI, and formation of CPI (M). But the latter, unable to make a break from the revisionist positions, and due to mechanical approach on international and Indian issues, also started pursuing the ruling class politics as manifested through the policies that it pursued in the state governments in Kerala and West Bengal since early 1967, under its leading role .
1.4 This was the context when, in continuation of the fierce ideological struggle against the neo-revisionism of CPI(M), that the CRs launched Agrarian Revolution based on land to the tiller culminating in the Naxalbari Uprising in May 1967. It led to the formation All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) and of the CPI (ML) with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as guiding ideology in April 1969. But on account of the influence of left adventurist and sectarian positions that dominated the Communist Party of China (CPC) at that time, the Program of CPI (ML) as adopted in 1970 Congress failed to make an objective evaluation of the postwar neocolonial transformation under imperialism, as well as the concrete Indian situation. This led to erroneously equating Indian situation to that of pre-revolutionary China, and to dogmatically upholding the ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal, protracted people’s war line’. In spite of many sacrifices, due to the erroneous understanding of the international and national situation and influence of left adventurism together with intensification of state repression, the movement could not advance along the path of PDR/NDR; and by 1971 the CPI (ML) started disintegrating in to many groups.
1.5 Following these setbacks, there were many efforts to reorganize the Party from the perspective of rejecting the left adventurist line and adopting mass line. Especially after the revocation of the Emergency in 1977, there were many efforts by the different streams of the CR forces for unity, at a time when the international and national situation was undergoing fast changes, including China’s degeneration to capitalist path after Mao’s death. It was in the midst of the ideological-political struggle going on among the CRs, that the Central Reorganization Committee (CRC) was formed in 1979. Recognizing the very fast neo-colonial transformation taking place in India, especially the vast changes in agriculture on account of Green Revolution (GR)-induced capitalist penetration, it resolved to make a concrete study of it in its First All India Conference of 1982. This study presented in a plenum in 1985 led to ideological, political, organizational divisions and to the formation of CPI (ML) Red Flag in 1987. In the ensuing decade, the process of achieving more ideological clarity on initiating international unity of the ML forces, caste and ecological questions, building up class/mass organizations, utilizing all forms of struggle including parliamentary struggle as part of class struggle, etc., led to expansion of the organization and merger with a section of DSS in Karnataka by 1990 and with many groups and individuals from other states. Though repeated discussions were held with almost all major CR organizations for unity during this period, as some sort of ideological stagnation had set in among them, no breakthrough could be achieved. It was in this situation that, in continuation of a series of discussions held with CPI (ML) (Kanu Sanyal), the Sixth All India Conference in 2003 decided to merge with it based on a Unity Resolution as adopted in the 2005 Unity Conference, in spite of major differences on questions of Program and Path of Revolution. It resolved to settle the differences through another Unity Conference to be held in a time-bound manner. But as there was no progress in resolving the differences and for holding the Unity Conference in a mutually agreed manner, this experiment failed and ended in January 2009.
1.6 In this situation, the All India Special Conference was held in 2009 November. The Conference adopted four documents, viz., International Situation and Our Tasks, On Character of Indian State, On Principal Contradiction, and Path of Revolution. On the basis of analysis of international and national developments, these documents characterized Indian state as neo-colonial, and adopted the Path of PDR/NDR for India. The adoption of these documents led to further developments in the ideological, political, and organizational line. This was reflected in the merger with CCR (ML) from Bengal, a delegation of which had attended the 2009 Conference as observers, and with whom unity discussions were initiated soon.
1.7 The Ninth Congress of the Party convened in 2011 adopted a Party Program that basically altered the 1970 Party Program of CPI (ML). It enabled the Party to consolidate itself as CPI (ML) Red Star. Adoption of the contradiction between capital and nature as the fifth major contradiction at both international and national levels, formation of Caste Annihilation Movement based on the understanding regarding the integral link between class struggle and struggle against caste system, and further theoretical understanding on neo-colonialism were the advancements in the 2011 Party Program. It contributed to the development of the organization and paved the way for unity with the CPI (ML) Red Flag in Bengal, which was formerly part of the CPI (ML) New Democracy, and with the MLC, AP, which has consistently fought against the neo-revisionist line of the CPI (M) and upheld the Naxalbari Uprising under the leadership of Comrade Kolla Venkaiah. Many comrades and sections from different streams also joined this process. The Tenth and Eleventh Congresses of CPI (ML) Red Star held in the context of mounting corporatization and advent of neo-fascism added more clarity to the Party’s ideological-political orientation.
2.1 After Second World War, the hitherto colonial forms of plunder pursued by imperialism were transformed into neo-colonialism led by US imperialism. Neocolonial forms of plunder and domination have been qualitatively different from those under colonialism. In the absence of direct territorial control over erstwhile colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries, necessary political, economic, military and cultural arrangements for the uninterrupted global expansion and hegemony of finance capital came into being. The UN and Bretton Woods Systems, MNCs, and Funding Agencies, NATO-like military agreements, and establishment of military bases controlled by US imperialism, the supreme arbiter of the neocolonial world, ensured strengthening of imperialism’s uninterrupted interests at a global level. Unlike the colonial phase when finance capital made use of feudal-pre-capitalist relations, capital expansion under neo-colonialism was mainly made possible through the superimposition of capitalist relations in countries under neo-colonial dependence.
2.2 US imperialism had started preparations for this neocolonial initiative since the beginning of the 1940s even when the Second World War was going on. But the International Communist Movement (ICM) at that time could not grasp the gravity of this transformation. The dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 and the absence of any initiative to form an alternative to it, were its manifestations. Though the Cominform formed in 1947 could identify the neocolonial strategy of imperialism, Khrushchev dissolved it in 1956. Together with his revisionist interpretation of the peaceful transition to socialism, Khruschev characterised neo-colonialism as a weakening of imperialism. However, putting forward the strategic line of the ICM through the Great Debate, the CPC led by Mao Zedong came forward exposing this whitewashing of neo-colonialism by Soviet leadership that started traversing the capitalist path by then.
2.3 Characterizing Soviet revisionists as “apologists of neo-colonialism”, and analysing the intensified post-war penetration of finance capital into Afro-Asian Latin American countries, CPC interpreted neo-colonialism as a “more pernicious and sinister form of colonialism”. However, in spite of concretely situating postwar transformation of colonialism into neo-colonialism, as far as the available documents reveal, there had been little efforts on the part of CPC to unravel the strategy and tactics of imperialism in the neocolonial phase. On the other hand, as part of the ascendancy of left sectarianism in the CPC during the Cultural Revolution, along with the idea of a weakened imperialism, the erroneous conceptualization of ‘Soviet social imperialism’ as the bigger evil than US imperialism was also put forward, imparting immense harm to the ideological-political line of the ICM.
2.4 At the same time, even as US-led imperialism launched its multidimensional neocolonial offensive, in spite of all its weaknesses, there was the presence of a powerful progressive stream of socialism led by Soviet Union and national liberation movements in the immediate postwar years. The consequent ideological-political offensive on the part of the ICM compelled US-led imperialism to envisage a policy of welfare state as an ideological weapon against socialism during this period. But when the imperialist crisis on account of the accentuation of the contradictions of capital accumulation resurfaced in the 1970s in the form of stagflation, taking advantage of the ideological-political setbacks of the ICM, imperialism abandoned the welfare state policies and embraced neoliberalism.
2.5. Under neoliberalism, application of the latest developments in technology enabled imperialism to have an unprecedented expansion in money-spinning corporate-speculation on the one hand, and an internationalisation of production including a new global division of labour leading to a super-exploitation of the international working class. Along with the intensified plunder of labour, neoliberalism also witnessed a mad rush for the plunder of nature leading to ecological crisis of horrific proportions, whose manifestations including massive displacement of people from their habitat and consequent refugee crisis are already self-evident. The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic which is a turning point in human history, is also recognised as the latest outcome of corporate intrusion in to nature giving rise to newer zoonotic viruses.
2.6. Even though the imperialist crisis has intensified further leading to a shift in neocolonial policy towards neoliberalism, the international situation is still that of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Neoliberal globalisation of the past decades has intensified all the major contradictions of imperialist world system such as: the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples, the contradiction between capital and labour, the contradiction among imperialist countries and monopoly groups, the contradiction between imperialist system and socialist forces, and contradiction between capital and nature, the last one being adopted at the Ninth Congress of CPI (ML) Red Star in 2011. Among these five major contradictions, the contradiction between imperialism on the one hand, and oppressed peoples and nations on the other continues as the principal contradiction at the international level.
2.7. During the first two decades of the 21st century, using the latest advancements in frontier technologies including digitisation, imperialism has resorted to further reorganisation of the accumulation process and a restructuring of both productive and speculative spheres. Consequently, finance capital has subjected every sphere of social activity including corporatisation of agriculture resulting in unprecedented global inequality and wealth concentration, poverty, unemployment and ecological destruction. More particularly, even as labour productivity is fast growing, real wages are going down leading to super-exploitation of workers everywhere. Meanwhile, the 2008 imperialist crisis has given rise to concomitant changes in the political superstructure as manifested in the emergence of neo-fascism in many countries targeted against workers, peasants, women, ethnic, racial and religious minorities, immigrants, refugees and other oppressed, together with the elimination of all hard-earned democratic rights and unleashing of corporate capital on all aspects of social life.
2.8. One of the most striking international developments in the 21st century is the emergence of China as a leading imperialist power, second only to the US. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, China was also subjected to capitalist restoration. The consequent replacement of the People's Republic with bureaucratic state monopoly capitalism, and its integration with imperialist finance capital eventually transformed China into an imperialist power effectively contending with US imperialism with specific geopolitical interests. China's advantage as a low-wage manufacturing hub of the world and its relative mastery over many frontier technologies have enabled it to carve out neocolonial spheres of influence competing with western imperialist powers, especially the US. And its efforts to encroach into global markets for goods, for capital export, and cut-throat competition for sources of raw materials have brought China into sharp contradiction with the other imperialist powers, especially US imperialism.
India from Past to the Present
3.1 Our country India, inhabited by around 1.4 billion people, is one of the biggest countries in the world. It is a multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious country with vast diversities and complexities. It has a great past with an ancient civilization called Indus Valley Civilisation on the banks of Sindhu dating back to around 6000 years. At the same time, Neolithic civilizations were predominant across the vast landmass of southern India. The Indus Valley Civilization, the discontinuity of which has led to many hypotheses, was followed by another civilization called the Vedic Civilization which reshaped the entire socio-political history of the North and Central India. In spite of many ruptures, the legacy and continuation of the Vedic Civilization have been decisive in determining the course of Indian class struggle.
3.2 Initially, the Vedic Civilization was a classless one. However, with the development of productive forces and consequent surplus production, class division also began to emerge. Based on the unique feature of Indian society, classes appeared as Varnas, and class division took a specific form called varna division. Thus, varna struggle emerged as the form of class struggle in ancient India. In the later Vedic period, the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas emerged as the ruling classes in the vast land mass of the country. As opposed to this ruling section, another combination made up of Vaisyas and Shudras also emerged. The people belonged to this latter combination were the real producers and the toiling masses of the country. The State system firmly founded in this class division that emerged during the later Vedic period replacing the Shabha and Samiti, erstwhile political organizations of the Aryans, continued for around five hundred years.
3.3 The end of this period that coincided with the fall the Mauryan rule was marked by the advent of Manuvadi or Manu-ist State. This new ruling system paved the way for institutionalization of the varna-division and its transformation into Caste system. The Manu-ist law rooted in the Manu-ist ideology of the Manuvadi State considered all women as Shudras. This fierce patriarchal ruling system that emerged in ancient India continues even today without any change in its essence. As a result, caste struggle and gender struggle have been developing as two integral aspects of Indian class struggle from the very beginning.
3.4 The arrival of Sultanate followed by the Mughals since the middle-ages brought many changes; but they never touched the caste-based social fabric of the country and in no way altered the basic course of Indian class struggle. However, towards the latter half of the Mughal rule in India, the coming of the guild system and robust mercantile capital that laid down the base for indigenous capitalist development led to the emergence of widespread money economy and a centralized state power.
3.5 Meanwhile, colonial domination over India started since the mercantile days. Though the colonialists as represented by the East India Company tried to alter the specific political-economic system as suited to its plunder of India; it was very particular from the beginning not to interfere with the millennium-old caste system here. The Zamindari system was superimposed with the Permanent Settlement Act of 1793 entrusting perpetual ownership right of land to landlords, and denying even occupancy rights to the real tillers of the soil. Along with the Mahalwari and Ryotwari systems in which land revenue was collected from farmers by government agents, the Zamindari system, first introduced in Bengal, became the dominant feudal form of land relations that formed the social basis of colonialism over India.
3.6 The First War of Indian Independence in 1857 was the culmination of a series of uprisings and revolts by Indian people against colonialism that started with the Portuguese; which ultimately led to British East Company’s domination over India. These innumerable struggles that spread across the length and breadth of Indian subcontinent starting with the Battle of Plassey were led not only by native rulers but also by peasants, tribal people, and by artisans against destruction of agriculture, by domestic industries and livelihood, against forcible revenue and tax collection and oppression by colonialists.
3.7 After the brutal suppression of the First War of Indian Independence, Britain pursued a policy of consolidation of the caste-feudal agrarian relations by transforming the local kings and feudal lords as their faithful allies. Learning lessons from the anti-British unity in the First War of Independence, the post-1857 British policy was one of ‘divide and rule’, mainly based on Hindu-Muslim communal polarisation. During the flourishing years of British industrial capitalism, all efforts were made to transform India as a source of raw materials and a market for finished British goods by destroying traditional and infantile native Indian industries through trade and tariff policies. Consolidation of British colonial administration including military and police over India together with building up of railways, posts and telegraph, monetary system, banks and credit institutions and infrastructures led to the subordination of everything to British colonial interests. The merchant class which was promoted as the intermediaries and middlemen later got transformed in to the comprador bourgeois class who served to integrate Indian economy with the British colonial system. Through the introduction of English education system, a comprador bureaucratic class capable of serving the colonial state apparatus also was developed. A minor section of the lower castes, who were so far denied education, also got limited access to modern education.
3.8 The suppression of the First War of Indian Independence and shift from Company rule to direct rule by British government witnessed a surge in people’s upsurges including revolts of adivasis from various parts of India. Influence of modern education and bourgeois democratic ideas led to the emergence of renaissance and social reform movements and spread of political consciousness against colonialism throughout the country. It was in this context that Indian National Congress was formed with the involvement of colonialists as a safety valve to contain and divert people’s fury against colonial administration. Even the emerging comprador bourgeoisie, big landlord class and bureaucratic sections had their sway over the Congress. In spite of all these, it gradually became an arena for the national movement against the colonial rule. And, the Congress started spreading its influence all over the country. But its class character prevented Congress from unleashing the revolutionary zeal of the masses against the colonial rulers. It was satisfied with ‘dominion status’ within the British Common Wealth.
3.9 Amidst the ruin of indigenous and traditional industries, the emergence of modern industries and growth of service sectors had led to the growth of the working class and the trade union movement by the last decade of 19th century. The 1907 Indian textile workers’ strike got international attention, even applauded by Lenin. The October Revolution gave new impetus to working class and national liberation movements all over the world. It had its repercussions in India too. Formation of Communist Party and emergence of Khilafat movement enthused the anti-colonial movement and the demand for full independence became the rallying point, compelling even the Congress to adopt it. First half of the 1920s also witnessed the advent of reactionary RSS with its servitude to Britain and close proximity to Fascism and Nazism from the very beginning. The 1920s also saw emergence of different revolutionary streams like the one led by Bhagat Singh. Ambedkar as the leader of the untouchables came to the political arena and publicly burned the Manusmriti which the RSS later suggested as India’s Constitution.
3.10 The decades that followed saw a surge in working class and anti-feudal struggles. Many of these struggles led by the Communists were influenced by Comintern’s guiding principles of PDR in the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries. The document “Draft Platform for Action” prepared by CPI in 1930 which put forward a clear perspective on the anti-imperialist and people’s democratic tasks including concrete approach towards abolition of caste, should be seen in relation to this. During the 1930s, there remained a cordial relation between the Communists and Ambedkar and both jointly participated in many workers struggles till the late 1930s.
3.11 However, the CPI leadership failed to develop a concrete understanding of the comprador character of the emerging big bourgeoisie, who under the fostering care and economic protection of the colonial rulers made fabulous wealth accumulation by that time. The mechanical approach of evaluating India’s caste system as a super-structural phenomenon and failure to grasp how it was interwoven with India’s social formation made the Communist Party incapable to lead the struggles of both the working class and the oppressed, and thus to establish its leadership in the independence struggle. It was like surrendering theleadership of the Indian people’s struggle for liberation from colonial oppression to Congress and Muslim league. Its mechanical approach to Quit India Movement also did immense harm. Though the CPI led the militant Telengana-Tebhaga-Punnapra-Wayalar struggles and played an active role in Naval Revolt against British colonialism, no effort was there to rectify the past mistakes.
3.12 In the context of the postwar situation when qualitative transformations were taking place at global level based on the US-led imperialist strategy of ‘de-colonisation’, British imperialists succeeded to communally divide the Indian sub-continent into two countries with formal political independence. But the CPI again failed to grasp this transitional nature of power transfer under the transformation of imperialism’s colonial phase to neocolonial phase. Its June 1947 Resolution hastily characterized the Mountbatten Plan as an opening up of “new opportunities for national advance”. However, in December, in continuation of the Cominform Resolution of September 1947, it interpreted the situation as transfer of political power to “imperialist feudal-bourgeois combine”. The Party Documents formulated in 1951 reflected this class position. Later, the 1956 Fourth Congress of CPI that accepted the Khruschevian prognosis of “weakening of the camp of imperialism”, made a turn around and adopted the formulation of “political independence of India”.
3.13 After the 1947 transfer of power, the Congress government representing the interests of comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-big landlord classes serving imperialism opened the country for the penetration of foreign capital from all imperialist countries on a larger scale. While refusing to implement the land reforms based on "land to the tiller" as promised during the independence struggle, it went for top-down land reforms including abolition of Zamindari system and went for cosmetic land ceiling laws leading to a change in old feudal land relations. In effect, in the main, the land reforms implemented did not make land available to the peasantry, the tillers of the soil, but it enabled erstwhile zamindars and feudal landlords to transform themselves into capitalist farmers and a new agricultural bourgeois class who acted as the basis for implementing GR in the ensuing period. It paved the way for opening up of agriculture for the entry of finance capital, new agricultural technologies and inputs and agribusiness market forces. As a result, the erstwhile colonial policy of utilising feudalism as the social base lost its relevance in the neocolonial phase of imperialism.
3.14 In conformity with the postwar Keynesian welfare state policies practiced by imperialism at the global level, under Nehruvian policies the Indian regime also pursued a policy of state-led development, public sector and welfare measures. However, following the re-appearance of imperialist crisis in the form of stagflation in the 1970s, and consequent abandonment of Keynesian welfare state and embrace of neoliberalism, the Indian state also started moving towards neoliberal policies especially after the Emergency. During the post-Cold War phase since 1990s, when neoliberalism spread to the whole world through liberalisation-privatisation-globalisation, the Indian state too formally abandoned Nehruvian policies and started pursuing IMF-World Bank-WTO diktats in all spheres. State’s role as an initiator of development and welfare-provider gave way to its neoliberal role as a corporate-facilitator. MNCs and Indian big bourgeoisie, the former’s junior partners are offered extremely liberal labour and tax regulations together with full freedom to plunder the environment and loot natural resources.
3.15 The three decades of neoliberalism in India since1990s, in conformity with its inherent logic of maximum corporate wealth accumulation within the shortest possible time, has led to a ballooning of the speculative financial sphere and a relative stagnation of the productive economy including de-industrialisation. Vast majority of the working poor and partially employed are forced to depend on the expanding informal and unorganised sectors devoid of all erstwhile hard-earned rights by working class. Almost half of the people still subsist on agriculture and allied sectors. All imperialist-controlled frontier technologies including digitisation are used to subject workers to super-exploitation and pushing down real wages by depriving their collective bargaining power. Its outcome has been horrific levels of wealth concentration, inequality, unemployment, poverty and corruption with its cultural ramifications including all round criminalisation of society. While the country’s wealth and income are increasingly concentrated among the growing number of billionaires along with unprecedented wealth repatriation outside by MNCs and stashing away of national wealth in foreign tax havens, India remains home to the biggest chunk of the poorest and most deprived people in the world.
3.16 Since the ascendance of the RSS-led neo-fascist Modi government in 2014, neoliberal-corporatisation pursued since the 1990s took a more far-right turn. Modi regime abolished the more than six-and-a-half decade-old Planning Commission, India’s last remnant of state-led development. To whiten the huge unaccounted money holdings with the most corrupt corporate billionaires, Demonetisation was superimposed in the guise of a surgical strike against corruption. It sucked out whatever left in the arteries of common people. By denying cash, the life-blood of the informal sectors and daily transactions, it led the economy to a paralysed state. This was followed by the GST that deprived the State governments of their Federal right of resource mobilisation and shifted the tax burden on to the shoulders of common people, even as Indian corporate tax rates were brought down to the lowest level in the world. To cap it all, the Modi regime carried out one of the biggest disinvestment programs, a euphemism for sell-out of the whole public sector to both foreign and Indian corporates at throw-away prices. And corruption, as an inalienable component of neoliberal corporatization, has permeated to all layers of the ruling system.
3.17 To eliminate the remaining hurdles in the way of unfettered penetration of corporate capital, the corporate saffron-fascist regime replaced the 44 labour laws that existed in India with four Labour Codes taking away all democratic rights of workers including lengthening of the labour-time from 8 hours. An outcome of strengthening neoliberal policies over the years has been rapid growth of the unorganised/informal workers who now constitute around 95 percent of the 52 crore Indian working class. All erstwhile environmental regulations that stood in the way of corporate plunder of nature were taken away. New Educational Policy -2020 (NEP-2020) was promulgated to facilitate corporatisation and saffronisation of education. And through the three draconian laws in relation to agriculture, that led to world’s historic and most prolonged Farmers’ Struggle, everything connected with agriculture ranging from farming, land ownership, agriculture marketing and even the country’s food security are brought under the stranglehold of corporate agribusiness companies displacing peasants from land and agriculture. The advent of COVID-19 pandemic and the most stringent and coercive lockdown that followed in the context of the complete transformation of the Indian state as a facilitator of corporatisation had led India to a historic deindustrialization, unemployment and economic contraction even as the speculative spheres are ballooning. Even amidst this crisis, the Indian State enjoys the support of major section of the upper middle class and corporate media.
3.18 Meanwhile, internationalisation of production and global integration of finance capital have enabled many of the emerging Indian corporate billionaires to become junior partners of MNCs even while retaining their comprador dependence on imperialism in relation to technology and market. The Indian State’s policy decisions, both domestic and foreign, are still subject to the diktats of neocolonial-neoliberal institutions. This has its political ramifications. In the context of changes in inter-imperialist contradictions and shifting global balance of power at the international level together with cut-throat competition among various imperialist powers for market, raw materials and avenues of investment, the Indian state has also acquired substantial capacity to bargain with imperialists. With the dissolution of the Soviet bloc followed by post-Cold War neoliberalism, as junior partner of US imperialism and as its strategic ally, Indian state has also displayed its expansionist designs in South Asia, that too within the broader framework of its neocolonial dependence on imperialism.
3.19 All round corporatisation and superimposed capitalist relations, instead of eliminating feudal remnants and values, have merged with the latter, have led to a strengthening of reaction in more barbaric forms. The corporate-saffron fascist regime is propping up all obscurantist, feudal, casteist and patriarchal offensives in new and intensified manner. Consequently, Dalits, adivasis, women and minorities are subjected to still more oppression. In particular, integrating with corporatisation, casteism and untouchability reinforced by Brahminical ideology and culture have become omnipresent including even in institutions of higher education and scientific research. It calls for an uncompromising struggle for the annihilation of caste as one of the most crucial tasks of democratic revolution. Abolition of all the patriarchal institutions and structures that are flourishing under the patronage of Indian state and society is another decisive task of democratisation.
3.20 Meanwhile, the abandoning of Nehruvian State-led development and transformation of the State as corporate-facilitator have led to an accentuation in the inherent contradictions and tensions in caste-ridden Indian society. The Mandal Commission Report that came in the 1980s had recommended land reforms, reservation and ensuring of social justice to improve the pathetic situation of oppressed lower-castes. However, instead of implementing them, the ruling class parties were trying to utilise it in accordance with their caste-based vote-bank politics. And the saffron forces that always upheld the Brahmanical Manuvad line and hence being vehemently opposed to Mandal recommendations, counterpoised the Mandir issue against it, resulting in acute caste polarisation and caste-hatred in society. It was by taking advantage of the consequent socio-political turmoil that conceptualisations like “economic reservation” "creamy layer" were brought forward diluting the very concept of caste-based reservation. Together with this, downsizing of the public sector and growth of private corporate sector have further curtailed the scope of reservation as a democratic right of the oppressed castes.
3.21 The advent of neofascism in India led by RSS, the longest running and biggest fascist organisation in the world, is also coterminous with the emergence of neoliberalism. Taking advantage of the Emergency of mid-1970s in the context of the political-economic instability and aggravation of contradictions in the country, RSS came to the limelight and replaced Jan Sangh with BJP which became India’s biggest political party within a short span of time. Effectively utilising the facilitating role of the soft-Hindutva approach of the Congress and the neoliberal situation, through a long drawn-out process beginning with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, BJP rule during 1998-2004, Gujarat Pogrom in 2002, and the ascendance of Modi regime in 2014 and followed by the thumbing victory Modi.2 in 2019 election, the RSS succeeded in establishing its full-fledged fascist regime in India.
3.22 As its manifestation, all the constitutional, institutional and administrative structures are being saffronised to suit this fascist transformation. Forcible integration of Kashmir into Indian Union through abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, construction of Ram Temple at the very site of Babri Masjid, making Muslims as second class citizens by amending the Citizenship Act and through a series of steps directed at saffronisation of education and culture, and undermining all Federal provisions of the Indian Constitution, RSS is now moving towards its ultimate goal of establishing a majoritarian Hindurashtra. Superimposing a pan-Indian homogenizing drive over multinational, multilingual, multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious essence of India and rejecting all values of modernity including rational-scientific thinking, fostering the cult of tradition and obscurantism, treating dissent and disagreement as treason, and targeting communists and progressive-democratic forces, and above all uncompromisingly integrating itself with corporate finance capital, the RSS-led BJP regime has become a typical neo-fascist one.
3.23 In conformity with the conspicuous international trend towards intensified plunder of nature by corporate-speculative capital under neoliberalism, India also has been witnessing unprecedented ecological devastation during this neoliberal phase. At the instance of global corporates and their Indian junior partners, all laws and regulations in India pertaining to environmental protection are being taken way one by one. The latest EIA amendment, that legalizes the corporate violation of hitherto restrictions on ecologically sensitive and fragile areas and massive displacement of people from their habitat, is the most notorious among them. An essential component of the so called “ease of doing business” and “investor-friendly” measures taken to attract foreign capital is the import of ecologically harmful and toxic industries and dumping of obsolete nuclear plants in the country. At this critical juncture, when the whole issue of ecology and environment is inseparably linked up with the operation of corporate capital, the initiative for a development paradigm in harmony with nature has become the indispensable component of people’s democracy and socialism.
Stage and Path of Indian Revolution
4.1 Under the camouflage of ‘de-colonisation’ when the colonial phase of imperialism was transformed into a qualitatively new phase of neocolonialism, as explained in Chapter 2, this shift was conditioned upon the unabated multidimensional expansion and hegemony of global finance capital. It resulted in a shift from Indian comprador bourgeoisie’s unilateral dependence on Britain to its multilateral dependence on world imperialist system led by US. The transformation from colonial mode of production in accordance with logic of imperialist capital also necessitated the abolition of zamindari system paving the way for penetration of capitalist relations in agriculture through such policies as GR, along with continuation of many pre-capitalist relations.
4.2 Together with this, the adoption of Nehruvian state-led development paradigm enabled the Indian state to have a whole set of infrastructures and service sectors coupled with research and development in the public sector while in the main depending on imperialism for capital and technology. When socialist Soviet Union degenerated to a social imperialist superpower and the inter-imperialist contradictions between US and Soviet Union intensified through Cold War, this contradiction was reflected in the Indian ruling classes too. Often, this inter-imperialist contradiction was utilized by the Indian State for maneuvering and bargaining between the two super-power blocs till the 1970s. With the onset of neoliberalism, this background enabled Indian big bourgeoisie to transform as junior partner of US imperialism and as its strategic ally and regional power in South Asia. It also facilitated the Indian big corporates who could make fabulous wealth appropriation through neoliberal accumulation to expand its overseas activities collaborating with MNCs.
4.3 The political ramifications of the Indian State’s transition from an initiator of development during welfare capitalism to a corporate facilitator under neoliberalism and its further intensification with the advent of corporate-Saffron fascism have made the entire constitutional and parliamentary framework a mere edifice devoid of its bourgeois-democratic content. Parliament has become a spectator as the pro-corporate-neo-fascist laws and strategic decisions are passed in haste without debates or subjecting to consultation and the scrutiny by appropriate parliamentary committees. Policy decisions pertaining to strategic issues are taken in corporate-bureaucratic board-rooms while the executive and corporate-nominated bureaucrats bypass elected bodies from central to local levels. All instruments of administration including military, security forces and police backed by draconian laws and special powers and supported by corporate media are unleashed on protestors, political dissenters, striking workers, nationalities, minorities and all oppressed including dalits and adivasis. All democratic rights are being snatched away. Though outward manifestations of bourgeois parliamentary democracy are there, in essence, entire mechanism of state power is under the firm grip of corporate-fascist regime collaborating with imperialist capital.
4.4 In this context, the corporate big bourgeoisie and bureaucratic class collaborating with imperialism and as perpetrators of neoliberal policies in India are the biggest enemies of Indian people. Together with the huge wealth accumulation and in the process creating horrific levels of inequality and poverty in India, the super-rich among the Indian corporates as junior partners of imperialism also make financial gains in other countries too. They are the biggest obstacle for an independent, sustainable and people-oriented development of India.
4.5 Linked up with the big bourgeois-bureaucratic class is the corporate agribusiness landlord class, who has become a deadly force on account of corporatisation of agriculture. Closely integrating with the imperialist economy, and as junior partners of global agribusiness MNCs, this emerging section facilitates subjugation of the entire agriculture ranging from land, agriculture inputs, procurement and marketing encompassing both wholesale and retail trade to the diktats of international capital.
4.6 The fast penetration of corporate capital into agriculture and allied sectors is making the survival of Indian farmers difficult. Not only the middle peasants and those below, but even the rich peasants who cannot compete with agribusiness MNCs, and their Indian counterparts are forced to oppose the latter. Even though the rich farmers have many contradictions, in varying degrees, with the middle, lower and landless peasants and agricultural workers who form the vast majority in the agriculture, corporate forces have become the principal enemy for Indian agriculture today, as is evident from the historic farmers’ struggle.
4.7 Neoliberal corporatisation and growing integration of India with global capital and superimposition of imperialist-dictated policies in agriculture, industry, trade and services have brought forward the contradiction between the national bourgeois sections and corporate capital in manifold ways. In spite of their existence being intertwined with the dominant corporate-bureaucratic bourgeois class in general, their contradiction with the latter has become an increasing trend under intensifying corporatisation. With the development of the struggles of the working class, peasantry and the oppressed, the possibility of those sections with a national bourgeois character joining the revolutionary movement will increase.
4.8 The petty bourgeoisie, including the middle peasants, because of its size and class character is a significant class with the possibility of being a dependable ally of the revolution. The lower middle class which constitutes a major part of it, which may be called its left wing, is facing ever-intensifying pauperisation and misery under corporatisation. Consequent on far-right polices, large sections of this class have pauperised and fallen to the level of poor workers. This class can be won over to the cause of revolution through politicisation and appropriate organisational interventions.
4.9 The landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers including the dalits, adivasis, and oppressed sections, who are also the real tillers of the soil and confined mainly to agriculture and related activities, and having a life of subsistence, constitute almost half of the population. Due to agricultural corporatization and corporate land grab, those displaced from agriculture and the countryside are forced to migrate to urban centers and joining the ranks of slum dwellers and informal workers, and hence a large component of the Indian work force. Concrete political-organisations interventions are needed to organise them.
4.10 The Indian working class forms one of the largest contingents of international proletariat, vast majority of them in unorganised/informal sectors. The new division of labour that is superimposed using advancements in technology including digitisation has accentuated this informalisation, as more and more sections of the workers in the organised sector are pushed in to the unorganised sector and to the stature of bonded labourers through contract labour and casualization. India’s caste system, vast diversities and unevenness are effectively used by the ruling regime to break the unity of the working class.
4.11 Politicisation and mobilisation of Indian working class and transforming it as leader of revolution is the primary task of the Communist Party in its march towards capturing of political power. It begins with the building up of the People’s Democratic Front based on the worker-peasant alliance uniting with the middle classes and the national bourgeoisie which is a vacillating ally. This will replace the existing reactionary State with the People’s Democratic State paving the way forward completing the tasks of people’s democracy and move towards socialism which in essence comprise both the stage and path of Indian revolution.
4.12 The present main contradictions in India are to be analysed from this perspective. Today the major contradictions are:
The contradiction between neoliberal imperialism and the people;
The contradiction between capital and labour;
The contradiction between capital and nature;
The contradiction between the corporate-big landlord classes and the broad masses of the peasantry; and,
The contradiction among the ruling classes.
And the principal contradiction has transformed into:
The contradiction between the alliance of imperialist-corporate bureaucratic bourgeois-landlord classes on the one hand and the broad masses of people on the other.
4.13 The resolution of the principal contradiction is inseparably linked up with the resolution of the other antagonistic contradictions. In the neo-fascist context, the anti-fascist people’s front led by the Communist Party composed of the working class, the peasantry, and all exploited and oppressed should be capable of tactically utilizing the contradictions among various sections of the ruling classes in its march towards capture of political power. It means combining the countrywide struggles of the working class with the revolutionary agrarian struggles and fulfilling the task of agrarian revolution according to concrete conditions, combining all other forms of struggles with it. Upholding the path of revolutionary mass line, and utilizing all forms of struggle and organizations,the party should take initiative to mobilize the working class and all revolutionary classes and sections for a massive countrywide people's uprising to overthrow the Indian state and to seize political power.
Program of People's Democracy
5.1 The People's Democratic State will be a Union of States representing different nationalities. It shall be distinguished by a Constitution based on Federal Principles upholding their linguistic, ethnic and cultural rights and aspirations. Such a Constitution will be drafted by a Constituent Assembly to be elected on the basis of universal suffrage, representing the workers, peasants, oppressed peoples and democratic sections from the people’s committees at all levels. It shall guarantee democratic rights of people and that of all democratic organisations, including their right to express their views, to get organized for their rights and to participate in the democratic political process.
5.2 Such a Constitution will be based on the principle of all powers to the people, with the power being transferred to the various committees of the workers, peasants and oppressed people that emerge from the revolutionary struggle at all levels from the local to the national level. It shall provide for the right to recall the elected representatives at all levels to ensure their accountability and shall do away with the separation between the executive and legislative powers. Officials at all levels including judiciary and administration shall be elected, and subject to the control and supervision of the people.
5.3 The President of the Union shall be elected by the People's Congress at the level of Union and States and shall function according to the rules and policies framed by the People's Congress. The People’s Democratic State will have a People’s Army linked with production and serving people’s interests. Police and security forces of the present ruling system shall be replaced by the people's militia under local administration with people’s empowerment as its orientation.
5.4 The People’s Constitution shall provide for the confiscation of all imperialist-corporate capital, land and assets held by MNCs and corporate forces. It shall ensure the development of cooperative and public sectors at all levels and the social ownership of all means of production so as to facilitate the transformation towards socialism.
5.5 The People’s Democratic State shall liquidate country’s debts owed to imperialists and scrap all unequal treaties or agreements with imperialist countries and agencies which are against people's interests. It shall withdraw from neo-colonial institutions such as IMF, WB and WTO and will put an end to all speculative and imperialist funded activities in the country. It will strive for equal, fraternal and friendly economic and international relations and shall free the country from all forms of imperialist exploitation, interference and bullying.
- 6 It shall confiscate all enterprises and properties of Indian junior partners of imperialism and that of bureaucratic bourgeois class, and the corporate crony capitalist so as to bring them under social control. In view of the multidimensional impact of the spectacular growth in speculation over production which is inseparably linked up with the decay of corporate capital today, the People’s Democratic State shall take appropriate measures to wipe it out. It shall root-out all avenues for corruption and mafia activities from top to bottom. It shall get back the money stashed away in foreign tax havens by the corrupt. It shall confiscate the unaccounted wealth holdings in mutts and religious institutions. Economic offenders shall be dealt with according law.
5.7 All forms of corporatisation of agriculture shall be ended forthwith. Implement revolutionary land reforms based on "land to the tiller". Abolish all pre-capitalist relations in agriculture. Plantations and farms owned by foreign and Indian corporates shall be taken over and brought under public or cooperative ownership and farming according to the concrete situation. Abolish all forms of bonded labour and usury and intermediaries in agriculture. Agriculture shall be developed to ensure national food security and self-reliance with appropriate linkage with other sectors and with the perspective of biological and ecological conservation.
5.8 Implement six hour working day and five day week progressively in all sectors. Redefine need-based minimum wage and implement it. Ensure employment for all and assure minimum wage for all involuntarily unemployed. End contract and bonded labour in all forms. Ensure right to organize, collective bargaining and hold strike as the democratic rights of the working class.
5.9 Implement comprehensive national industrial policy. Develop healthy and balanced relation among heavy, medium and small industries, and between urban and rural regions and avoid unevenness in development across the country. Encourage indigenous scientific research and development to move away from dependence on foreign technology. Develop the service sector including banking, insurance and credit institutions with its proper linkage with agriculture and industry and prevent all types of speculative businesses. Develop infrastructural projects taking the overall interests of the people and country in to consideration.
5.10 Ensure universal public distribution system, free and compulsory education, healthcare for all, housing and employment for all. Develop a comprehensive sports policy and implement it with people's participation. Develop a people's cultural policy. Hitherto experience of the socialist countries’ degeneration to capitalist path teaches that, the struggle to revolutionize the culture, the mode of thinking and uphold revolutionary social values should be taken up from the pre-revolutionary period itself and developed under the proletarian democracy.
5.11 Abolish all draconian laws. Ensure democratization of the administration and society at all levels. Ensure people’s privacy subject to collective common good. Abolish death penalty from the statutes.
5.12 The People’s Democratic State shall take concrete steps for the abolition of the inhuman caste system. Eradicate all forms of untouchability, caste-oppression and caste-discrimination from all spheres of life. All caste-practices and reactionary institutions should be suppressed and the perpetrators of such crimes shall be punished. Ensuring caste-based reservation till the wiping out of all caste-discriminations along with required affirmative actions for uplifting the Dalits and oppressed castes and priority to them in land-distribution based on the principle ‘land to the tiller’, along with appropriate administrative and cultural interventions.
5.13 Stop all forms of gender discrimination. Abolish patriarchy in all its manifestations and stop religion and caste-based oppression on women. Stop all forms of discrimination and attacks on women at work places. Stop female infanticide. Ensure women's equality in all fields, property right to women and equal pay for equal work. All women shall be employed in socially productive labor. In the place of the patriarchal, religious-caste-based family system, the People’s State shall ensure conjugal life of partners irrespective of gender, based on mutual love, respect and consent.
5.14 Guarantee protection of all children. Ensure children’s education and healthcare, both mental and physical, and abolish all forms of exploitation of children including child labour. Ensure the protection of senior citizens in all respects.
5.15 Ensure right of self-determination for all nationalities. The People's Republic shall strive for unity of peoples of various nationalities not by force but by their voluntary consent and based on federal principles. Settle the Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast questions based on the right of self-determination to all nationalities. Ensure education in mother tongue as a fundamental right of people together with equal treatment for all languages and cultures by the Union of States.
5.16 Abolish all forms of exploitation and oppression of adivasis. Protect their right over the natural resources. End their displacement in the name of development projects. Establish adivasi autonomous councils wherever required with full powers and democratic rights.
5.17 Ensure genuine secular character of the state structure. Abolish all discriminations based on religion and protect the religious minorities. End all efforts by religious fundamentalist forces for communalization of the society. Prevent mixing of religion with state affairs and political life of the country. Stop religious institutions from entering public domain like education, healthcare and such other fields. Evolve secular, democratic and progressive common civil code as part of democratization of the society. Religion should be dealt as a private affair of the individual. The People's Democratic state shall strictly implement the secular principle of separation between state and religion.
5.18 The People’s Democratic State shall ensure a development paradigm that is in harmony with nature. In view of the immense harm already inflicted on the ecology of earth by corporate capital, concrete plans should be worked out to protect environment and to avoid an ecological catastrophe. It shall strive for a pro-people, pro-nature and sustainable development paradigm.
5.19 Implement secular, gender-friendly, democratic and scientific education accessible to all. All hitherto corporate-saffron moves in the direction of corporatization and saffronisation of education should be reversed forthwith. It is duty of the People’s Democratic State to provide universal, free, uniform and compulsory education for all children in their mother tongue, and ensure facilities for higher education to all. Abolish all elitist schools and those controlled by religious-casteist forces and stop discrimination in the field of education.
5.20 Develop people's democratic and gender-friendly culture fighting against the influence of feudal and imperialist cultural values. Promote scientific outlook in all fields. As imperialism and its lackeys are utilizing their influences in the superstructure to subjugate people to their plunder and hegemony, the relevance of a Cultural Revolution based on hitherto experience of the former socialist countries as a continuous process should be given great significance, especially in the context of many existing pre-capitalist values, and capitalist restoration in all these socialist countries.
5.21 Based on equality and peaceful co-existence, establish friendly relations in all fields with the neighboring countries. Resolve all boundary disputes through friendly negotiations.
5.22 Uphold proletarian internationalism. Strive for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist parties at international level. Unite with all progressive and anti- imperialist forces all over the world and strive to establish fraternal relations with the revolutionary forces against imperialism, especially US imperialism, and its lackeys. Actively struggle against US led aggressions and barbaric hegemonic moves creating havoc everywhere.
5.23 Stand in solidarity with people all over the world in the struggle for democracy and socialism. As several institutions and agencies built up during the post-Second World War period including the UNO are serving as the tools for intensification of neo-colonial plunder and hegemony, the People's Democratic Republic should initiate moves to progressively build up alternative international centres of People's Democratic and Socialist countries based on the principles of proletarian internationalism.
Conclusion: Complete the Tasks of PDR, and Advance Toward Socialist Revolution!
6.1 CPI (ML) Red Star puts forward its updated Party Program for completion of PDR and advancing towards Socialist Revolution in India at a time when neoliberal imperialism confronted with severest crisis is shifting its whole burden to the shoulders of world people. As its manifestation, on the one hand the contradiction between capital and labour has further intensified, while on the other, the contradiction between capital and nature is reaching the level of an environmental catastrophe, even as all inherent contradictions of imperialism are accentuating. However, though the objective conditions are thus most favourable for revolution, the subjective forces of revolution, the International Communist Movement in general, and the revolutionary parties in all the countries are facing serious ideological-political setbacks and reverses.
6.2 In India too, in spite of leading many great struggles, during the colonial period and in the postwar neocolonial phase, due to its failure to make a concrete analysis of Indian situation, the Communist Movement could not put forward a correct program and a path of revolution. Though the ideological struggle during 1964-67 leading to the Naxalbari Movement could settle account with revisionism, due to the influence of left adventurism, the CPI (ML) failed to develop the Program and Path of Revolution based on a concrete analysis of the Indian situation. Even at this critical juncture when far-reaching changes including the ascension to power of the neo-fascist saffron regime has taken place in India, the ideological-political weakness and confusion among the Left forces continues to be a hindering factor to develop the appropriate revolutionary line and organizational consolidation. However, as the situation worsens, many communist revolutionary sections are coming closer towards a concrete understanding of the Indian situation and develop PDR accordingly.
6.3 In this context, the draft Party Program put forward by CPI (ML) Red Star based on concrete analysis of the Indian situation integrally linking the struggles at the realm of class, caste and gender will enable the polarization of all Communist Revolutionaries and the building up of a powerful Communist Party at the all India level. It shall help to speed up the historic task of reorganization of the Communist movement at all India level, providing a new fillip to advance towards the completion of the People's Democratic Revolution and march forward to Socialist Revolution, for the realization of the socialist transition to communism.
(Draft Party Program of the CPI(ML) Red Star put forward by the Central Committee of the Party for discussion at all levels in the party, and among party sympathisers and friends, and to be finalized by the 12th Party Congress from 24th to 29th September, 2022.)
An Appeal to all Opposition Parties of UP from CPI(ML) Red Star
Central Office: C-141,Sainik Nagar (Near Nawada metro stn), New Delhi-110059.
Uttar Pradesh Office: 304, Triveni Apartments, Manas Nagar, Jiamau, Lucknow.
An Appeal to all Opposition Parties of UP from the General Secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star.
To the Presidents/General secretaries of the opposition parties/ organizations.
We hope all of us agree that the UP assembly elections are taking place shortly, at a very critical time in the history of our country. During last seven years, fascist Modi rule has saffronized every walks of life, every institution, including Constitutional ones, and the Yogi government during the last five years has turned UP in to the worst prayogsala of RSS/BJP. While Modi rule at center is intensifying fascist measures destroying all democratic space, spreading Islamophobia and hate politics, leading the economy to its worst ever crisis, handing over remaining public sector units also to corporates leading to all round impoverishment of the masses through sky rocketing unemployment, price rise and corruption, under Yogi rule UP is dragged down to a horrific condition with the lynching of Muslims, increasing gang rapes and killing of dalits , creating conditions for another communal riot around Varanasi or Mathura.
In spite of all these, Modi had to retreat from its fascist arrogance, and revoke the 3 farm laws and sign formal agreement to implement other demands of the farmers, as their movement around Delhi was gaining strength and spreading to all India level even after one year of only when it it was found that it was continuing even after one year confronting all heinous attacks by his government. Now, Modi and Yogi are trying to overcome this setback by winning the UP elections at any cost so that they can go ahead with the RSS agenda. So, our appeal is that all opposition parties and organizations and individuals is to strive hard for defeating BJP in this election. It is a great challenge before all of us.
Recognizing this danger, joining hands with the left and struggling forces, CPI(ML) Red Star has formed the Defeat BJP, Save Democracy Manch and is continuing the campaign for defeating the BJP, supporting the Mission UP of the Samyuktha Kisan Manch (SKM), which is spearheading the farmer’ movement . We appeal to all political parties in UP to rise up to the occasion, so that BJP can be defeated. We appeal to the people to oppose the political parties and forces who directly or indirectly help the BJP.
We appeal to all political parties, organizations to send their representatives to a joint meeting on 10th January, 2022 in our office at Lucknow, from 10 am.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
Dated 22nd December, 2022.
The most significant component of Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) Centenary Celebration held on July 1 2021 was the hour-long speech of Xi Jinping, the “core leader”, delivered to the crowd of thousands assembled in Tiananmen Square in a celebratory atmosphere. In his address Xi, as General Secretary of CPC standing ahead of its 25-member Politburo, President of China (the term-limit of which was removed through the 2018 Constitutional Amendment by NPC) and supreme leader of the Armed Forces, called on the members of the CPC to draw strength from the party's history and strive for “China's modernisation and national rejuvenation”. Among other things, the crucial highlights of Xi’s speech were an unequivocal praise of the model of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” (so assiduously brought up by CPC since the time of Deng Xiaoping in the post-Mao period) which according to him enabled “China to transform itself from a highly centralised planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board”, “national rejuvenation” (a theme consistently upheld by Xi since his ascension in 2012) based on a “strong military” to “guarantee the security of the nation” as a “historical inevitability”, accomplishment of “the first centenary goal in 2021” of eliminating poverty, a task undertaken since the 2012 Congress (an already achieved goal during his tenure), a firm resolve to mobilise towards “the second centenary goal in 2049” (centenary of People’s Republic of China) by transforming it “into a great modern socialist country in all respects” based on a further “acceleration of the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces so as to achieve the target of “complete military modernisation” by 2035, and above all a warning to the rival powers that “no one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Exactly one week before (i.e., on June 25) when rehearsals of the upcoming formal celebration were taking place in Beijing’s central Tiananmen Square which was barricaded and closed to the public, China's State Council Information Office had issued a white paper entitled "China's Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation," elaborating on the distinctive characteristics and strengths of the country's political system, including a highlight on the advantages of the CPC's path in terms of confidence and governance ability. The white paper claimed the political system as the product of a combination of Marxist political party theory and China's reality, which is able to realize the universality of interest representation and guarantee the effectiveness of national governance. On the same day, at a press briefing on the white paper, vice minister of the United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee Xu Yousheng said that China's achievements prove that China's political party system is the "best cat to catch mice" (revealingly echoing the famous quote from Deng Xiaoping when he initiated the process of “four modernisations”: "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." Further, while mentioning China's party system as a "great contribution of political civilization of mankind"), i.e., the most effective tool capable of accomplishing neoliberal development. Xu also stressed that “the world's political party system is diverse, and there is not and cannot be a universal model”. Meanwhile, global corporate media continue with their hate-campaigns on what they call the “disastrous political campaigns” in the early years of Communist rule on the one hand and, showering eulogy on China’s rise to “market reforms” during the neoliberal period that have created the world’s second-largest economy, with a superpower status rivalled only by the United States, on the other. At the same time, many self-professed communist parties which still uphold China as their role model, have extended their wholehearted greetings to CPC on this auspicious occasion. A typical example is that of the CPI (M), which has fully appreciated China’s success in dealing with the current political-economic issues counterpoising it to “International finance capital-led imperialist neoliberal globalisation showing its total bankruptcy in providing any solution”, as if China is resisting neoliberal-corporatisation.
A Brief History
The Communist Party of China (CPC) founded mainly by the initiatives of two revolutionaries, Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, with the help of the Far Eastern Bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Far Eastern Secretariat of the Communist International in July 1921 has turned 100 during the month of July 2021. Mao Zedong was among the 12 delegates who attended the founding meet held in Shanghai. During both the first phase of CPC from the 1920s to 1949 when Chinese Revolution was successfully completed liberating the country from feudalism and imperialism, and the second phase from 1949 to the 1970s during which the fulfilment of revolutionary and democratic tasks was proceeding, Mao Zedong was at the helm ideologically and politically guiding the Communist Party. Thus, during this long period spanning 1920s to 1970s, in spite of shifting trends of rightist obstruction and leftist deviation, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought remained as the guiding ideology of CPC.
Chinese Revolution of 1949 that broke the imperialist hierarchy inherited from the colonial world order on the one hand, and demolished internal feudal bastion on the other, was an exceptional world historic event having no parallels. After 1949, China traversed a unique path of social, economic and cultural transformation that brought about unparalleled changes in people’s lives. Collectivisation of agriculture, ensuring people’s needs, raising production through appropriate scientific and technological intervention, overcoming malnutrition and illiteracy, integration of manual and mental work, construction of factories and workplaces near farms and schools, comprehensive expansion of health and education, etc., all under proper integration with the commune system, state-led advances in scientific research and higher-professional education, development of heavy industry and provision of a whole set of social and economic services, and in similar other fields, Chinese experience was unparalleled during the quarter century of socialist transformation that abruptly ended in the seventies. Committees of peasants and workers controlled their workplaces while peoples’ movements together with intellectuals undertook social and cultural requirements. One of the major roles of the army was aiding the people in their dwelling and workplaces. To be precise, the self-reliant commune system, ‘the iron rice bowl of socialism’ that China built up during the quarter century of socialist transformation ensured food, housing, health education and employment to all.
During this period of socialist construction, the CPC undertook many political interventions through social and cultural revolutions with a view to transform the relations of production, revolutionise the superstructure and expand democracy for the people exposing and dealing with bureaucratic tendencies in the Party. Revolutionary committees of party cadres at appropriate levels, technical experts and peoples’ communes were involved in this process. For instance, taking in to account the glaring issues involved in the accepted ‘mainstream development paradigm’ that came to be as conceptualised in the idea of “catching up with the West” that got recognition in Soviet Union, Mao brought out his revealing proposal on “On The Ten Major Relationships” in the 1950s such as: 1. The Relationship between heavy industry on the one hand and light industry and agriculture on the other; 2. The relationship between industry in the coastal regions and industry in the interior; 3. The relationship between economic construction and defence construction; 4. The relationship between the state, the units of production and the producers; 5. The relationship between central and local authorities; 6. The relationship between the Han nationality and the minority nationalities; 7. The relationship between party and non-party; 8. The relationship between revolution and counter-revolution; 9. The relationship between right and wrong; and 10. The relationship between China and other countries. Though rudimentary, the conceptualisation on “The Ten Major Relationships” put forward by Mao was capable of challenging the mainstream capitalist development paradigm and to deduce effective strategies for advancing along the road of transition to socialism.
And much before this, in 1950, to avoid a repetition of the mistakes in Soviet Union, Mao had raised the question of streamlining state apparatus and reducing military and administrative expenditures as fundamental prerequisites for achieving a “better financial and economic situation”. Mao was very critical of the manner in which peasants were “squeezed” in Soviet Union in the guise of industrialisation and development. At a time when peasant agriculture at a global level is confronting the biggest existential threat today as a result of the onslaught from corporate capital, the observation made by Mao 70 years ago on sustaining agriculture is relevant even now. And regarding the building up of people’s political power at the local level, Mao said: “ We must not follow the example of the Soviet Union in concentrating everything in the hands of the central authorities shackling the local authorities and denying them the right to independent action.” While appealing to the people to firmly reject the decadent bourgeois systems and ideologies of foreign countries, Mao pursued a dialectical approach of “learning the advanced sciences and technologies” and adopting whatever scientific from foreign countries. He opined: “Neither the indiscriminate rejection of everything foreign, whether scientific, technological or cultural, nor the indiscriminate imitation of everything foreign...has anything in common with the Marxist attitude…” – a perspective that Mao upheld even in CPC’s relation with the Comintern from the very beginning. However, though aware of the deviations in Soviet Union, the CPC led by Mao was always in the forefront of acknowledging the great achievements made by the first socialist country under Lenin and Stalin and was quick to defend Soviet Union against anti-communist propaganda by imperialist centres.
But with the ascendancy of Khrushchevian revisionism that, along with a vicious campaign against Stalin, put forward many prognoses such as “weakened imperialism”, “civilized imperialism”, “disappearance of colonialism” and theorised on “peaceful transition” from capitalism to socialism along with the apolitical prognosis of economic development as the principal task of national liberation movements abandoning class struggle against imperialism, etc., the socialist camp faced a grave setback. In this context, through its polemics against the Soviet leadership called Great Debate of the 1960s that laid down the General Line of the International Communist Movement, the CPC led by Mao Tsetung systematically exposed capitalist restoration in Soviet Union and put forward the general approach towards the neocolonial phase of imperialism. Situating neocolonialism as the new phase of imperialism which is a “more pernicious and sinister form of colonialism” led by US imperialism in the postwar period, the CPC went on characterising the revisionist Soviet leadership as “apologists of neocolonialism”, and explained how social imperialism (socialism in words and imperialism in deeds) converges with bourgeois ideology and practice. Meanwhile from 1956 onward, led by Liu Shao Chi, rightist trends with unilateral emphasis on “productive forces” came to the fore within CPC too, and in the inner-party struggle that followed often saw Mao holding a position of a minority within the Party even as he continued his effort for “an integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution”.
It was in this context, and in view of the emerging internal and external threats, that Mao upholding mass line launched the Cultural Revolution to unleash the revolutionary democratic power of the politicised masses for carrying forward socialist advancement and thus to ward off a repetition of the capitalist restoration in China. Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, in brief, was a vigorous political struggle against the capitalist tendencies and bureaucratic corruption by raising the class consciousness of the people and revolutionalise the superstructure along with increase in production through transforming production relations. However, as already noted by Marxist-Leninists, struggle against rightist deviation led to the emergence of left sectarian tendencies including even intolerances committed on scholars and cultural activists. Taking advantage of the fierce inner-party struggle, rightist forces even penetrated into the armed forces curtailing people’s initiatives and mass movements. Meanwhile, Lin Biao, who was keeping a low profile after his military initiatives in the 1940s, came forward and took on a leading role in the late 1960s with his adventurist positions.
These domestic repercussions had their international ramifications too. The CPC’s formulation on neocolonialism and analysis of the the postwar phase of imperialism that unravelled the neocolonial strategy and tactics employed by both US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism which were inspiring to proletariat and oppressed peoples of the world, could not be carried forward in the proper perspective. The ascendancy of left sectarian line led by Lin Biao that interpreted “imperialism heading for total collapse and socialism advancing towards world-wide victory,” was a camouflaged acknowledgement of the prognosis of “weakened imperialism” already put forward by Khrushchevian revisionism in the 1950s. And the erroneous conceptualization of “Soviet social imperialism” as a bigger evil than American imperialism also got acceptance among the left adventurists at a global level. This approach including a host of retrograde moves had its concrete manifestation in July 1971 when Henry Kissinger made his secret visit to Beijing to prepare Richard Nixon’s head-of-state visit to China in February 1972. The “theory of three worlds” which Deng Xiaoping put forward at his UN General Assembly Speech on April 10, 1974 that suggested “Soviet social imperialism” as more dangerous than US imperialism that altogether disoriented both the task of the international proletariat and national liberation movements was the logical corollary of this rightist deviation garbed in sectarianism. With this, the whole understanding on neocolonialism evolved by CPC as part of its erstwhile critique of Soviet revisionism was also thrown into the dustbin. It was also helpful to US-led imperialism that was facing one of the biggest postwar crises during the early seventies to reorient the neocolonial accumulation process altogether throwing away the welfare mask and resorting to naked global plunder through embracing neoliberalism.
In the meanwhile, with the 10th Congress of CPC in 1973, the sectarian trend led by Lin Biao who “waved the red flag to defeat the red flag” being already fallen in 1971, the stage was set for the rehabilitation of the rightist Deng and his cohorts who had to face severe setbacks during the Cultural Revolution and against whom (the Liu-Deng team) Mao had been consistently carrying his ideological struggle since the 1940s. Taking advantage of the weaknesses of Cultural Revolution, Deng emerged powerful, and colluding with the centrist forces many of whom were elected to the 1973 Central Committee, it was relatively easy for him to mount a counterrevolutionary coup following the death of Mao in 1976, leading to the rehabilitation of all revisionist guards and ushering capitalist restoration in China. After consolidating the reins of power in his hands, from 1978 onward, “socialism with Chinese characteristics” was added to the core ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought fundamentally altering the political-ideological line that CPC was pursuing since 1949.
China’s Capitalist Road
Much has already been written on China’s capitalist transformation during the post-Mao period and hence a detailed analysis is not intended here. Restoration of capitalism meant transformation of the People’s Republic into a state capitalist one led by a Party which transformed itself as bureaucratic bourgeois in character. Revolutionary literature of yester years including writings on Cultural Revolution as well as ideological thinking with a revolutionary orientation were censored and suppressed and many supporters of Mao were persecuted. Workers’ strike and critique of economic policies were dealt with based on the official diktat of “development as an absolute principle”. People’s communes that worked in harmony with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) across China were dismantled and all erstwhile guarantees to food, shelter, health, education and other basic needs were systematically taken away. Along with the catchword “it is glorious to get rich”, Deng’s, already noted oft-quoted dictum, "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice," was widely popularised on accounted of its implicit depoliticising mission. As a corollary of this, at the international level, since the 1980s, China altogether abandoned the support and solidarity that PRC had been extending to revolutionary movements and national liberation struggles.
The Chinese political-economic developments since the adoption of the slogan “it is glorious to get rich” and announcement of the so called “four modernisations” have been dramatic. Throughout the 1980s the major focus of CPC and the Chinese regime was to lay the badly needed essential foundations for sustained expansion of capitalism. An effective initial move was the merger/integration of the bureaucratic state with private businesses and orienting state-owned banks toward liberally supporting private businesses. Along with this, from the very beginning, unlike neocolonially dependent countries like India, with its own capability to take independent political-economic decisions, the bureaucratic state of China could enter into various joint ventures between state-owned enterprises and foreign corporate capital and adapt itself to the most modern and state-of-the-art technologies on its own terms. Efforts were also initiated to transform the country as a low-cost export platform making use of China’s inexhaustible source of cheap labour and a number of special economic zones came in to being in many coastal regions of the country. The privatisation strategy got a relative shift since the 1990s, with more focus on FDI inflows. Taking advantage of the cheapest labour, liberal tax and environmental regulations, corporate MNCs and global consultancies quickly made China their favourite destination. This enabled China to become one of the major partners in the neoliberal international division of labour and integrate itself with global finance capital. In conformity with the inherent speculative character of corporate accumulation, real estate, financial markets and other money spinning businesses also flourished in China. To put in brief, thus, from the 1980s, Party-led bureaucratic state of China was transformed into an apparatus committed to safeguard the interests of corporate capital at the expense of workers, peasants and toiling people.
Thus by the turn of the 21st century, China’s bureaucratic state monopoly capitalists had succeeded in building up a number of Chinese monopolies exporting capital to almost a hundred countries (and to more than 125 countries as of 2021). As world’s low-cost production base, China has become successful in capturing proportionately greater share of commodity markets not only in Afro-Asian-Latin American dependent countries, but even in the US itself. At the same time, this Chinese integration with global market has coincided with the emergence of fast moving ‘frontier’ or new generation technologies including digitisation that were practically insignificant in the 20th century. And closely integrated with the bureaucratic state, many MNCs from China have become pioneers in economic innovation and technological application of these technologies to production at a maddening speed. Many Chinese conglomerations like “BAT” (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) have reportedly eclipsed or are at par with their US-based counterparts called “Silicon Six” (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft) both at economic and technological levels. In close integration with these digital giants China has become the leading country in pioneering digital currency initiatives that is capable of challenging the hegemony of US dollar as the international currency.
As a manifestation of the capitalist transformation and growth in the share of private sector in country’s GDP which now hovers around 70 percent, wealth concentration and inequality (and the concomitant corruption too) in China have risen to horrific levels often greater than that of the US. According to 2021 Hurun Global Rich List, during the last five years, China has added 490 billionaires (compared to 160 in the US) to be the first country in the world to have 1058 billionaires, more than the combined total of US, India and Germany. In view of this emerging trend, to achieve close integration of the bureaucratic state and corporate capital or the merger between political power and economy, the 16th Party Congress of CPC held in 2002 had resolved to formally extend party membership to corporate CEOs too (the process of inducting wealthy people into the party was initiated by Deng in 1978 itself). Consequently, within two decades, around half of the Chinese billionaires have become members of the higher committees and the proportion of millionaires and billionaires holding membership in the 92 million-member party today is very high compared to the general population.
No doubt, the socio-economic repercussions of the more than four decades of capitalist development are of unparalleled dimensions. One of its conspicuous outcomes has been the prevalence of what is called ‘uneven development’ on account of the abandonment of the principle of ‘walking on two legs’, an aspect highlighted by Mao in his speech on The Ten Major Relationships. Amidst the spectacular GDP over the last four decades, as is obvious, the self-sufficient and self-reliant communes were almost destroyed leading to horrific displacement of the people from agriculture and country-side and being forced to migrate to urban centres and special economic zones to be subjected to extreme forms of slave labour and super-exploitation. Despite the spectacular economic growth, unlike the western imperialist countries where only 2 percent of the working people is employed in agriculture, around 35 percent of the Chinese working people is still subsisting on agriculture whose contribution to GDP has dwindled to around 10 percent. On the other hand, in spite of the lowest wage rate which is the major attraction on the part of both foreign and domestic capital, the Chinese labour absorption rate in industry, similar to other countries, is relatively low. And the tertiary sector, though growing, is not capable enough to absorb the vast ‘reserve army’ of the unemployed. At the same time, speculation, real estate, financial swindles, etc. are flourishing in China and it is also not immune to the intensifying neoliberal crises as its economy is also interwoven with the global commodity and financial markets. All these are accentuating the contradiction between Chinese state monopoly capitalism on the one hand, and working class and broad masses of people on the other.
Imperialism with Chinese Characteristics
Obviously, “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is a convenient camouflage used by the “capitalist roaders” to cover-up the capitalist trajectory of China since the 1980s and its eventual transformation as a leading imperialist power, thereby claiming political legitimacy for hoodwinking not only the people of China but the working class and oppressed peoples of the world too. The same rhetoric of ‘socialism’ was effectively used to deal with the Tiananmen flare-up of the late eighties mainly led by liberal intellectuals, students and dissenting sections within the party who aspired political freedom commensurate with ‘market reforms’ and encouragement given to private capital. And for the western imperialists as well as for imperialist think-tanks and neoliberal ideologues the world over, China’s claim on socialism has become an ideological weapon in their anti-communist propaganda. Meanwhile, based on the laws of motion of capital in the imperialist era as elucidated by Lenin, bureaucratic state monopoly capitalism of Chinas strengthening itself from its growing integration with global market was transforming itself into imperialism. During the late 1990s, the reunification of Hong Kong (1997) and Macao (1999), both being nerve centres of global finance capital, gave further impetus to this process. China’s formal entry in 2001 into WTO, often characterised as the third neo-colonial pillar together with IMF and World Bank, extended it more manoeuvrability in imperialist market and finance capital. By the time of the world economic crisis of 2008, China had become the biggest commodity exporter and was on its way to become the largest capital exporter at par with the US. Along with its active participation in US-led neocolonial political-economic institutions, today, imperialist China is leading several institutions, groupings and initiatives such as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), BRICS including New Development Bank (NDB), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), etc., Despite its rhetoric on “socialism”, completely repudiating Marx’s perspective on military spending as “non-productive waste of part of the social product”, in tandem with its growing imperialist status, during 2000 and 2020 Chinese military spending galloped by 20 times reaching around $260 billion second to US. In the fields of war and space technologies including missiles, bombers, aircraft carriers, etc., Chinese advancement is at par with that of US.
Today, China’s capital export, transforming many countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, etc., as heavily dependent on Chinese capital investment, crossing the borders of Asia, has penetrated to the entire African continent and parts of Europe, is now spreading even to Latin America. While Italy has become part of BRI, disregarding US diktats in NATO, both Germany and France have come forward for broad-based EU-China economic and trade relations. Relegating both US and EU imperialists to the background, Chinese imperialism with its advanced technologies have already become the biggest capital exporter to Africa including the establishment of military bases in countries like Djibouti. The decade since the 2008 World Economic and Financial Crisis followed by the Pandemic saw massive Chinese corporate capital penetration under the camouflage of “development aid” to ports, railroads, roads, pipelines and telecommunications. Quite logically, together with intense plunder of Africa’s precious natural resources and raw materials and super-exploitation of labour, this Chinese neocolonial penetration is also resulting in ruination of the peasantry, unemployment and mass poverty. CPC‘s “Made in China 2025” initiative that envisages a relative alteration from China’s role as a cheap-labour economy to a technology intensive producer and capital exporter also aims at grabbing a greater share in global capital market from its imperialist rivals, especially the US.
Western Notions of Capitalist/Imperialism versus China
A striking aspect to be noted here is that mechanical/western notions of class/property relations and corporate governance do not fit in with the privatisation/corporatisation process in China. The most crucial point is that China being an erstwhile socialist country was delinked from the postwar laws of motion or logic of finance capital during the quarter century from 1949 to mid-1970s. Hence it had the opportunity to evolve a fundamentally different and independent political-economic trajectory till its capitalist restoration in the post-Mao period. As such, rather than a stereo-typed or mechanical analysis that is incapable of unravelling China’s capitalist path and eventual transformation to imperialism, what requires is an analysis of Chinese capitalism/imperialism according to concrete conditions. Moreover, Chinese capitalist roaders and bureaucratic bourgeoisie have learned lessons from the altogether disintegration of the Party itself in Soviet Union. Therefore, since the beginning of its capitalist transformation effectively utilising the industrial and technological base already laid down during the socialist period, the party bureaucracy’s strict supervision was strictly enforced for unleashing the privatisation process, at all levels. Its handling of the Tiananmen unrest was also possible due to this. As such, to ensure constant and strict surveillance, party units or party cells are functioning in almost all business enterprises irrespective of domestic or foreign. Presence of appropriate party representative in the board meetings of companies is the accepted norm, and the decision to give party membership to corporate CEOs is connected with this. Even Walmart, world’s biggest US-based MNC which a few years back was having more than 70 percent of its procurement from China, and which never allowed even unions in its US stores, had to allow party cells in its Chinese stores. Thus there is no compromise on enforcing the bureaucratic-bourgeois state dictatorship on the unhindered corporatisation flourishing in China.
Under Xi Jinping this trend of bureaucratic streamlining of private corporate sector has strengthened further. For instance the high profile Jack Ma of Alibaba (whose e-commerce empire at one time was estimated as bigger than that of the US and EU combined) who until recently was the acclaimed “global face” of corporate China, has suddenly fallen from grace, and being dropped from public view, for the last eight months there is no information on him. Meanwhile, according to reports, the Chinese “regulators” have embarked on “rectification” on account of his outspokenness and public criticism of the bureaucratic financial regulations and reluctance to follow them. This has resulted in a sudden downturn in the fortunes of Ma and as reported shares of Alibaba have slumped around 30 percent since November 2020. Reports also mention on the warnings issued to more than a dozen technology companies to comply with financial regulations now supervised by the People's Bank of China.
However, this does not in any way construe to mean any reversal of the corporate wealth accumulation process in China that is proceeding at a fast pace. What took place has been a removal of the hurdles that stand in the way of an appropriate blending of China’s powerful bureaucratic state regime and private corporate capital that is successfully fulfilling the “success story” of Chinese imperialism. The latest addition of Xi Jinping Thought to the core ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought is intended to accomplish this task. In fact, this new formulation is the antithesis of the ideological-political line pursued under Mao during 1949-76. In the meanwhile, presidential term-limit and so called ‘collective leadership’ that have been there were being taken away by Xi, which liberal analysts are interpreting as a move away from “Deng era” to “Mao era”. This makes little sense in the socialist direction since its aim is to promote an image of ‘socialism’ by appeasing the degenerated and depoliticised ‘left’ even as an all-out agenda of bureaucratisation, corporatisation and militarisation and, above all, an assertive role of Chinese imperialism at the global level are in store, which is evident from Xi’s speech, as noted in the Introduction of this article.
On the significance of Mao Tsetung Thought in developing theory and practice of revolution today: How Alien trends go against Mao’s Teachings!
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’
- 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.
- 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..
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.