How Not to Understand Lenin, A Reply to Apoorvanand’s Article

*A Ranjan and D Rashmi**

“Nicolai Lenin, the great, the genuine man, is dead. His death struck pain into the hearts of those who knew him. But the dark line of death only showed up more sharply his importance in the eyes of the world – his importance as the leader of working people. And if the cloud of hate surrounding his name, the cloud of lies and calumnies, sere still more dense than it is, no matter, there are no forces that could extinguish the torch lifted by Lenin in the darkness of the maddened world. And there has been no man who better deserved to be eternally remembered. Nicolai Lenin is dead. But the heirs of his wisdom and will are still alive. In the end honesty and truth created by man conquer. Everything must yield to those qualities which make a Man. ”

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संशोधनवाद के खिलाफ संघर्ष मार्क्सवादी लेनिनवादी का प्रमुख कार्य है

लेनिन अपने लेख ‘मार्क्सवाद और संशोधनवाद’ में लिखते हैं कि अगर जॉमेट्री के नियम का असर मानव हितों पर होता तो उनके खंडन का प्रयास भी निश्चित तौर पर होता। लेनिन की यह बात संशोधनवाद से संघर्ष में एक सूक्ति से कम नहीं है।

लेनिन तब बर्सटीनपंथियों और काउत्स्की के संशोधनवाद से टक्कर ले रहे थे, और आज हम इनके चेलों के अलावा भांति भांति के संशोधनवादियों की पैदा हुई तरह तरह के जमात देखने को मजबूर हैं। चाहे वो यूरो-कम्युनिस्ट धारा के घोषित अघोषित समर्थक हों, ख्रुसचेवपंथी हों या अन्य तरह के ‘मार्क्सवादी’ सभी बराबर पूंजीवाद की चाकरी में लगे हुए हैं। Continue reading

The Theory of Permanent Revolution: A Critique

by LOIZOS MICHAIL

Trotskyism Study Group CPGB

INTRODUCTION

The theory of “Permanent Revolution”, as elaborated by Leon Trotsky, constitutes a central doctrine of the various groups which internationally form the “trotskyist” tendency within the Marxist movement. For the Trotskyist groups, the theory of Permanent Revolution is not just an analysis of the dynamics of the Russian revolution, but, more importantly, a major “tool” by which they interpret contemporary social reality, and upon which they construct their strategies for revolutionary transformation. Continue reading

“No Lessons from the Assembly elections”: A Note on CPI(ML)Liberation’s Lessons of the Assembly elections

CPI (ML) Liberation, on 14th March, came up with a note titled “Lessons of the Assembly elections”. The note, which is supposed to be a post-poll analysis of the recently concluded assembly elections should have been ideally titled “No Lessons from the Assembly elections”. Since beginning till end, it is an analysis at best, to find place in some bourgeoisie newspaper with a bit of radical posturing and does not merit to be called as a serious post –poll analysis by a Communist Party that had contested these elections along with its other comrades of the revisionist-parliamentary camp parties like the CPI,CPI(M),RSP, Forward Bloc and the recent entrant to the camp SUCI(C) –who hitherto has been calling itself the only genuine Communist Party of the country but off-late had been seen either in the company of arc-rightist Mamata Banerjee and after being snubbed by her then sailing (or should we say sinking) with the CPI(M) led Left Front plus CPI(ML)Liberation.

So for Liberation, the poll came as surprise as, like the other pundits, who are found roaming from one TV studio to other, they also failed to sense the mood of the masses. Wow! and why not, hasn’t Liberation turned itself into a party of arm-chair revolutionaries whose leadership is seen only in the rallies that they organise and never in the struggle? Such, apathy towards mass movement and the chasm that has grown between the leadership, its cadres and the masses would certainly surprise the writer of this note. But, when we saw the votes polled in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh by Liberation and its other partners, it did not surprise us, in no constituency did they manage to poll votes exceeding even 10thousand and then they still claim to be surprised, in fact, the real surprise would have been to us if even in one constituency they could muster votes exceeding 10 thousand. But Liberation since long has been living in a mirage and have evolved into a group that has personified nihilism. They have reduced themselves into a party whom nobody knows or cares about in elections and in the mass movement they have cut themselves off, so sum total is they are today neither a party who can win elections nor lead mass movements.

The note further says: “It is therefore important for every defender of democracy to make a sober analysis of the UP outcome to understand the dynamic and confront the BJP game plan.”  Another chicanery. They ask the defenders of democracy to make a sober analysis, while they would continue to make non-sober analysis and who are these so-called defenders of democracy?  Are they Congress Party or are the regional bourgeoisie satraps the Samajwadi Party and BSP the new defenders of democracy?  We are sure that Liberation that has since long stopped doing serious analysis would ever answer.

 The note has attributed the success of BJP to new social-engineering that it undertook, gladly forgetting the inroads made by the RSS-sponsored communal polarisation that it had undertaken assiduously in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh. Let’s see what Liberation has to say: “It, therefore, tried to replicate the social engineering success of the BJP-JDU combination with a clear focus on ‘Mahadalits’ and EBCs (the non-Jatav Dalits and non-Yadav OBCs), both independently in its own party profile and projection and through its alliance with parties like the Apna Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.” As well as to what has now become known as the anti-incumbency factor in Indian electoral polity. Let’s again hear the manna from the note, “If the people in UP and Uttarakhand have voted for the BJP despite demonetization, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the compelling mood for a change of government in these two states prevailed over the discomfort and pain caused by demonetization.” So this is just another regime change, and has nothing to do with the ascendency of RSS and the Saffron brotherhood!

So, there was no Muzaffarnagar, Kairana neither Aqhlak was killed for possessing a meat that the RSS wing thought was beef, and hence no fascist offence is discernable to our friends in Liberation. The people at the helm of the party, have it seems forgotten entirely the visionary words of Dimitrov when he said in 1935 – ” We cannot avoid referring also to a number of mistakes committed by the Communist Parties, mistakes that hampered our struggle against fascism. In our ranks, there were people who intolerably underrated the fascist danger, a tendency which has not everywhere been overcome to this day. Of this nature was the opinion formerly to be met within our parties to the effect that “Germany is not Italy, meaning that fascism may have succeeded in Italy, but that its success in Germany was out of the question, because the latter was an industrially and culturally highly developed country, with forty years of traditions of the working class movement in which fascism was impossible. Or the kind of opinion which is to be met with nowadays, to the effect that in countries of “classical” bourgeois democracy the soil for fascism does not exist. Such opinions may serve and have served to weaken vigilance with regard to the fascist danger, and to render the mobilisation of the proletariat in the struggle against fascism more difficult.”. We would like to remind Liberation and its leaders to once again have a look at these words and compare it with their existing activities, are they anywhere able to understand fascism that is knocking the doors, nay has already made its entry into the country?

It just pays a lip service by stating. “The big gains made by the Modi regime in this round of Assembly elections will undoubtedly embolden the Sangh brigade to intensify its fascist offensive by all means at its disposal. For the forces of democracy, this clearly calls for greater mobilisation and preparedness to resist.” Has the country not already witnessed a growing intolerance and fascistic attacks on minorities, Dalits, the working class and peasantry? Is Liberation waiting for the rightwingers to formally announce the inauguration of concentration camps across the countries? Like, Prakash Karat, who is still not able to find Fascism in the country, Liberation too is still living in a mirage of the only intensification of fascist offensive. What can we say but good luck to you?

It further has made itself a laughing stock when in conclusion it mentioned, “We must now pay serious attention to the task of challenging the new-found pro-poor pretensions of the Modi regime with the effective mobilisation of the working people for the fulfilment of their rights and aspirations.”

Yes, when the Lalu supported Ranvir Sena was on rampage against your own cadres and when the entire Left movement in Bihar was being decimated by Laloo then also you were paying serious attention to the task of Laloo’s pro-poor pretensions, and we are very sure on the same lines you would be paying a very serious attention to the task of challenging the new-found pro-poor pretensions of the Modi.

The facebook link to the note is

Mao Apologised to Yugoslavian Delegates, told Stalin blocked our revolution.

Mao and Tito

It has always been our understanding on Mao, that he was a revisionist and an Anti-Marxist Leninist. With new documents and papers coming out of various Archives, our view has been solidified in light of such information. Mao, had always adopted a vacillating position when it came to matter of international import that concerned the International Communist Movement. At one hand he went to China and asked Stalin of every possible help, including to get his works reviewed by Soviet experts to asking for help on industrialisation.

On numerous occasion he did not fail to eulogies Stalin and writing to him that Soviet Party being the headquarters and Stalin the captain, and immediately after the 20th CPSU Party Congress like Khrushchev turned all guns again same Stalin whom he had called in 1939 as “…Stalin is the leader of the world revolution. This is of paramount importance. It is a great event that mankind is blessed with Stalin. Since we have him, things can go well. As you all know, Marx is dead and so are Engels and Lenin. Had there been no Stalin, who would there be to give directions?

The below document titled “MINUTES, MAO’S CONVERSATION WITH A YUGOSLAVIAN COMMUNIST UNION DELEGATION, BEIJING” further exposes the sheer un-Marxist attitude of Mao when he shamelessly puts blame on Stalin even stating that Stalin blocked our revolution.

But, it was not the end in 1958 Mao again did a U turn and in October 25, 1966 said “The revisionist leading clique of the Soviet Union, the Tito clique of Yugoslavia, and all the other cliques of renegades and scabs of various shades are mere dust heaps in comparison, while you, a lofty mountain, tower to the skies.”

We leave it to the discretion of our dear comrades who still harbour respect and faith in Mao, and to what is said as Mao-Tse-Tung thought or Maoism.

[All emphasis and underline are ours.]

Other Aspect

“MINUTES, MAO’S CONVERSATION WITH A YUGOSLAVIAN COMMUNIST UNION DELEGATION, BEIJING

We welcome you to China.  We are very pleased at your visit.  We have been supported by you, as well as by other brotherly [Communist] parties.  We are invariably supporting you as much as all the other brotherly parties.  In today’s world, the Marxist and Communist front remains united, whether in places where success [of Communist revolution] is achieved or not yet achieved.  However, there were times when we were not so united; there were times when we let you down.  We listened to the opinions of the Information Bureau [2] in the past.  Although we did not take part in the Bureau’s [business], we found it difficult not to support it.  In 1949 the Bureau condemned you as butchers and Hitler-style fascists, and we kept silent on the resolution [condemning you], although we published articles to criticize you in 1948.  In retrospect, we should not have done that; we should have discussed [this issue] with you: if some of your viewpoints were incorrect, [we should have let] you conduct self-criticism, and there was no need to hurry [into the controversy] as [we] did.  The same thing is true to us: should you disagree with us, you should do the same thing, that is, the adoption of a method of persuasion and consultation.  There have not been that many successful cases in which one criticizes foreign parties in newspapers.  [Your] case offers a profound historical lesson for the international communist movement.  Although you have suffered from it, the international communist movement has learned a lesson from this mistake.  [The international communist movement] must fully understand [the seriousness of] this mistake.

When you offered to recognize new China, we did not respond, nor did we decline it.  Undoubtedly, we should not have rejected it, because there was no reason for us to do so.  When Britain recognized us, we did not say no to it.  How could we find any excuse to reject the recognition of a socialist country?

There was, however, another factor which prevented us from responding to you: the Soviet friends did not want us to form diplomatic relations with you.  If so, was China an independent state?  Of course, yes.  If an independent state, why, then, did we follow their instructions?  [My] comrades, when the Soviet Union requested us to follow their suit at that time, it was difficult for us to oppose it.  It was because at that time some people claimed that there were two Titos in the world: one in Yugoslavia, the other in China, even if no one passed a resolution that Mao Zedong was Tito.  I have once pointed out to the Soviet comrades that [they] suspected that I was a half-hearted Tito, but they refuse to recognize it.  When did they remove the tag of half-hearted Tito from my head?  The tag was removed after [China] decided to resist America [in Korea] and came to [North] Korea’s aid and when [we] dealt the US imperialists a blow.

The Wang Ming line[3] was in fact Stalin’s line.  It ended up destroying ninety percent of our strength in our bases, and one hundred percent of [our strength] in the white areas.[4] Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi[5] pointed this out in his report to the Eighth [Party] Congress.[6]  Why, then, did he not openly attribute [the losses] to the [impact of] Stalin’s line?  There is an explanation.  The Soviet Party itself could criticize Stalin; but it would be inappropriate for us to criticize him.  We should maintain a good relationship with the Soviet Union.  Maybe [we] could make our criticism public sometime in the future.  It has to be that way in today’s world, because facts are facts.  The Comintern made numerous mistakes in the past.  Its early and late stages were not so bad, but its middle stage was not so good: it was all right when Lenin was alive and when [Georgii] Dimitrov was in charge.[7]  The first Wang Ming line dominated [our party] for four years, and the Chinese revolution suffered the biggest losses.[8]Wang Ming is now in Moscow taking a sick leave, but still we are going to elect him to be a member of the party’s Central Committee.  He indeed is an instructor for our party; he is a professor, an invaluable one who could not be purchased by money.  He has taught the whole party, so that it would not follow his line.

That was the first time when we got the worst of Stalin.

The second time was during the anti-Japanese war.  Speaking Russian and good at flattering Stalin, Wang Ming could directly communicate with Stalin.  Sent back to China by Stalin, he tried to set [us] toward right deviation this time, instead of following the leftist line he had previously advocated.  Advocating [CCP] collaboration with the Guomindang [the Nationalist Party or GMD], he can be described as “decking himself out and self-inviting [to the GMD];” he wanted [us] to obey the GMD whole-heartedly.  The Six-Principle Program he put forward was to overturn our Party’s Ten-Principle Policy.  [His program] opposed establishing anti-Japanese bases, advocated giving up our Party’s own armed force, and preached that as long as Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] was in power, there would be peace [in China].  We redressed this deviation.  [Ironically,] Jiang Jieshi helped us correct this mistake: while Wang Ming “decked himself out and fawned on [Jiang],” Jiang Jieshi “slapped his face and kicked him out.”  Hence, Jiang Jieshi was China’s best instructor: he had educated the people of the whole nation as well as all of our Party members.  Jiang lectured with his machine guns whereas Wang Ming educated us with his own words.

The third time was after Japan’s surrender and the end of the Second World War.  Stalin met with [Winston] Churchill and [Franklin D.] Roosevelt and decided to give the whole of China to America and Jiang Jieshi.  In terms of material and moral support, especially moral support, Stalin hardly gave any to us, the Communist Party, but supported Jiang Jieshi.  This decision was made at the Yalta conference.  Stalin later told Tito [this decision] who mentioned his conversation [with Stalin on this decision] in his autobiography.

Only after the dissolution of the Comintern did we start to enjoy more freedom.  We had already begun to criticize opportunism and the Wang Ming line, and unfolded the rectification movement.  The rectification, in fact, was aimed at denouncing the mistakes that Stalin and the Comintern had committed in directing the Chinese revolution; however, we did not openly mention a word about Stalin and the Comintern.  Sometime in the near future, [we] may openly do so.  There are two explanations of why we did not openly criticize [Stalin and the Comintern]: first, as we followed their instructions, we have to take some responsibility ourselves.  Nobody compelled us to follow their instructions!  Nobody forced us to be wrongfully deviated to right and left directions!  There are two kinds of Chinese: one kind is a dogmatist who completely accepts Stalin’s line; the other opposes dogmatism, thus refusing to obey [Stalin’s] instructions.  Second, we do not want to displease [the Soviets], to disrupt our relations with the Soviet Union.  The Comintern has never made self-criticism on these mistakes; nor has the Soviet Union ever mentioned these mistakes.  We would have fallen out with them had we raised our criticism.

The fourth time was when [Moscow] regarded me as a half-hearted Tito or semi-Titoist.  Not only in the Soviet Union but also in other socialist countries and some non-socialist countries were there some people who had suspected whether China’s was a real revolution.

You might wonder why [we] still pay a tribute to Stalin in China by hanging his portrait on the wall.  Comrades from Moscow have informed us that they no longer hang Stalin’s portraits and only display Lenin’s and current leaders’ portraits in public parade.  They, however, did not ask us to follow their suit.  We find it very difficult to cope.  The four mistakes committed by Stalin are yet to be made known to the Chinese people as well as to our whole party.  Our situation is quite different from yours: your [suffering inflicted by Stalin] is known to the people and to the whole world.  Within our party, the mistakes of the two Wang Ming lines are well known; but our people do not know that these mistakes originated in Stalin.  Only our Central Committee was aware that Stalin blocked our revolution and regarded me as a half-hearted Tito.

We had no objection that the Soviet Union functions as a center [of the world revolution] because it benefits the socialist movement.  You may disagree [with us] on this point.  You wholeheartedly support Khrushchev’s campaign to criticize Stalin, but we cannot do the same because our people would dislike it.  In the previous parades [in China], we held up portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, as well as those of a few Chinese [leaders]—Mao, Liu [Shaoqi], Zhou [Enlai], and Zhu [De][9] —and other brotherly parties’ leaders.  Now we adopt a measure of “overthrowing all”: no one’s portrait is handed out.  For this year’s “First of May” celebration, Ambassador Bobkoveshi[10] already saw in Beijing that no one’s portrait was held in parade.  However, the portraits of five dead persons—Marx, Engles, Lenin and Stalin and Sun [Yat-sen]—and a not yet dead person—Mao Zedong—are still hanging [on the wall].  Let them hang on the wall!  You Yugoslavians may comment that the Soviet Union no longer hangs Stalin’s portrait, but the Chinese still do.

As of this date some people remain suspicious of whether our socialism can be successfully constructed and stick to the assertion that our Communist Party is a phony one.  What can we do?  These people eat and sleep every day and then propagate that the Chinese Communist Party is not really a communist party, and that China’s socialist construction is bound to fail.  To them, it would be a bewildering thing if socialism could be built in China!  Look out, [they warn].  China might become an imperialist country—to follow America, Britain, and France to become the fourth imperialist country!  At present China has little industry, thus is in no position [to be an imperialist country]; but [China] will become formidable in one hundred years!  Chinggis Khan[11] might be brought to life; consequently Europe would suffer again, and Yugoslavia might be conquered!  The “Yellow Peril” must be prevented!

There is absolutely no ground for this to happen!  The CCP is a Marxist-Leninist Party.  The Chinese people are peace-loving people.  We believe that aggression is a crime, therefore, we will never seize an inch of territory or a piece of grass from others.  We love peace and we are Marxists.

We oppose great power politics in international relations.  Although our industry is small, all things considered, we can be regarded as a big power.  Hence some people [in China] begin to be cocky.  We then warn them: “Lower your heads and act with your tails tucked between your legs.”  When I was little, my mother often taught me to behave “with tails tucked between legs.”  This is a correct teaching and now I often mention it to my comrades.

Domestically, we oppose Pan-Hanism,[12] because this tendency is harmful to the unity of all ethnic groups.  Hegemonism and Pan-Hanism both are sectarianism.  Those who have hegemonious tendencies only care about their own interests but ignore others’, whereas those Pan-Hanists only care about the Han people and regard the Han people as superior to others, thus damaging [the interests of] all the minorities.

Some people have asserted in the past that China has no intention to be friends with other countries, but wants to split with the Soviet Union, thus becoming a troublemaker.  Now, however, this kind of people shrinks to only a handful in the socialist countries; their number has been reduced since the War to Resist America and Assist Korea.[13]  It is, however, a totally different thing for the imperialists:  the stronger China becomes, the more scared they will be.  They also understand that China is not that terrifying as long as China has no advanced industry, and as long as China continues to rely on human power.  The Soviet Union remains the most fearsome [for the imperialists] whereas China is merely the second.  What they are afraid of is our politics and that we may have an enormous impact in Asia.  That is why they keep spreading the words that China will be out of control and will invade others, so on and so forth.

We have been very cautious and modest, trying to overcome arrogance but adhering to the “Five Principles.”[14] We know we have been bullied in the past; we understand how it feels to be bullied.  You would have had the same feeling, wouldn’t you?

China’s future hinges upon socialism.  It will take fifty or even one hundred years to turn China into a wealthy and powerful country.  Now no [formidable] blocking force stands in China’s way.  China is a huge country with a population of one fourth of that of the world.  Nevertheless, her contribution to the world is yet to be compatible with her population size, and this situation will have to change, although my generation and even my son’s generation may not see the change taking place.  How it will change in the future depends on how [China] develops.  China may make mistakes or become corrupt; the current good situation may take a bad turn and, then, the bad situation may take a good turn.  There can be little doubt, though, that even if [China’s] situation takes a bad turn, it may not become as decadent a society as that of Jiang Jieshi’s.  This anticipation is based on dialectics.  Affirmation, negation, and, then, negation of negation.  The path in the future is bound to be tortuous.

Corruption, bureaucracy, hegemonism, and arrogance all may take effect in China.  However, the Chinese people are inclined to be modest and willing to learn from others.  One explanation is that we have little “capital” at our disposal: first, we did not invent Marxism which we learned from others; second, we did not experience the October Revolution and our revolution did not achieve victory until 1949, some thirty-two years after the October Revolution; third, we were only a branch army, not a main force, during the Second World War; fourth, with little modern industry, we merely have agriculture and some shabby, tattered handicrafts.  Although there are some people among us who appear to be cocky, they are in no position to be cocky; at most, [they can merely show] their tails one or two meters high.  But we must prevent this from happening in the future: it may become dangerous [for us] in ten to twenty years and even more dangerous in forty to fifty years.

My comrades, let me advise you that you should also watch out for this potential.  Your industry is much modernized and has experienced a more rapid growth; Stalin made you suffer and hence, justice is on your side.  All of this, though, may become your [mental] burden.

The above-mentioned four mistakes Stalin committed [concerning China] may also become our burden.  When China becomes industrialized in later years, it will be more likely that we get cocky.  Upon your return to your country, please tell your youngsters that, should China stick her tail up in the future, even if the tail becomes ten thousand meters high, still they must criticize China.  [You] must keep an eye on China, and the entire world must keep an eye on China.  At that time, I definitely will not be here: I will already be attending a conference together with Marx.

We are sorry that we hurt you before, thus owing you a good deal.  Killing must be compensated by life and debts must be paid in cash.  We have criticized you before, but why do we still keep quiet?  Before [Khrushchev’s] criticism of Stalin, we were not in a position to be as explicit about some issues as we are now.  In my previous conversations with [Ambassador] Bobkoveshi, I could only say that as long as the Soviet Union did not criticize Stalin, we would be in no position to do so; as long as the Soviet Union did not restore [diplomatic] relations with Yugoslavia, we could not establish relations with you.[15]  Now these issues can be openly discussed.  I have already talked to the Soviet comrades about the four mistakes that Stalin had committed [to China]; I talked to [Soviet Ambassador Pavel] Yudin[16] about it, and I shall talk to Khrushchev about it next time when we meet.  I talk to you about it because you are our comrades.  However, we still cannot publish this in the newspapers, because the imperialists should not be allowed to know about it.  We may openly talk about one or two mistakes of Stalin’s in the future.  Our situation is quite different from yours:  Tito’s autobiography mentions Stalin because you have already broken up with the Soviet Union.

Stalin advocated dialectical materialism, but sometimes he lacked materialism and, instead, practiced metaphysics; he wrote about historical materialism, but very often suffered from historical idealism.  Some of his behavior, such as going to extremes, fostering personal myth, and embarrassing others, are by no means [forms] of materialism.

Before I met with Stalin, I did not have much good feeling about him.  I disliked reading his works, and I have read only “On the Basis of Leninism,” a long article criticizing Trotsky, and “Be Carried Away by Success,” etc.  I disliked even more his articles on the Chinese revolution.  He was very different from Lenin: Lenin shared his heart with others and treated others as equals whereas Stalin liked to stand above every one else and order others around.  This style can be detected from his works.  After I met with him, I became even more disgusted:  I quarreled a lot with him in Moscow.  Stalin was excitable by temperament.  When he became agitated, he would spell out nasty things.

I have written altogether three pieces praising Stalin.  The first was written in Yanan to celebrate his sixtieth birthday [21 December 1939—ed.], the second was the congratulatory speech [I delivered] in Moscow [in December 1949—ed.], and the third was an article requested by Pravda after his death [March 1953—ed.].  I always dislike congratulating others as well as being congratulated by others.  When I was in Moscow to celebrate his birthday, what else could I have done if I had chosen not to congratulate him?  Could I have cursed him instead?  After his death the Soviet Union needed our support and we also wanted to support the Soviet Union.  Consequently, I wrote that piece to praise his virtues and achievements.  That piece was not for Stalin; it was for the Soviet Communist Party.  As for the piece I did in Yanan, I had to ignore my personal feelings and treat him as the leader of a socialist country.  Therefore, that piece was rather vigorous whereas the other two came out of [political] need, not my heart, nor at my will.  Human life is just as contradictory as this: your emotion tells you not to write these pieces, but your rationality compels you to do so.

Now that Moscow has criticized Stalin, we are free to talk about these issues.  Today I tell you about the four mistakes committed by Stalin, but, in order to maintain relations with the Soviet Union, [we] cannot publish them in our newspapers.  Since Khrushchev’s report only mentioned the conflict over the sugar plant while discussing Stalin’s mistakes concerning us, we feel it inappropriate to make them public.  There are other issues involving conflicts and controversies.

Generally speaking, the Soviet Union is good.  It is good because of four factors: Marxism-Leninism, the October Revolution, the main force [of the socialist camp], and industrialization.  They have their negative side, and have made some mistakes.  However, their achievements constitute the major part [of their past] while their shortcomings are of secondary significance.  Now that the enemy is taking advantage of the criticism of Stalin to take the offensive on a world-wide scale, we ought to support the Soviet Union.  They will certainly correct their mistakes.  Khrushchev already corrected the mistake concerning Yugoslavia.  They are already aware of Wang Ming’s mistakes, although in the past they were unhappy with our criticism of Wang Ming.  They have also removed the “half-hearted Tito” [label from me], thus, eliminating altogether [the labels on] one and a half Titos.  We are pleased to see that Tito’s tag was removed.

Some of our people are still unhappy with the criticism of Stalin.  However, such criticism has positive effects because it destroys mythologies, and opens [black] boxes.  This entails liberation, indeed, a “war of liberation.”  With it, people are becoming so courageous that they will speak their minds, as well as be able to think about issues.

Liberty, equality, and fraternity are slogans of the bourgeoisie, but now we have to fight for them.  Is [our relationship with Moscow] a father-and-son relationship or one between brothers?  It was between father and son in the past; now it more or less resembles a brotherly relationship, but the shadow of the father-and-son relationship is not completely removed.  This is understandable, because changes can never be completed in one day.  With certain openness, people are now able to think freely and independently.  Now there is, in a sense, the atmosphere of anti-feudalism: a father-and-son relationship is giving way to a brotherly relationship, and a patriarchal system is being toppled.  During [Stalin’s] time people’s minds were so tightly controlled that even the feudalist control had been surpassed.  While some enlightened feudal lords or emperors would accept criticism, [Stalin] would tolerate none.  Yugoslavia might also have such a ruler [in your history] who might take it well even when people cursed him right in his face.  The capitalist society has taken a step ahead of the feudalist society.  The Republican and Democratic Parties in the United States are allowed to quarrel with each other.

We socialist countries must find [better] solutions.  Certainly, we need concentration and unification; otherwise, uniformity cannot be maintained.  The uniformity of people’s minds is in our favor, enabling us to achieve industrialization in a short period and to deal with the imperialists.  It, however, embodies some shortcomings, that is, people are made afraid of speaking out.  Therefore, we must find some ways to encourage people to speak out.  Our Politburo’s comrades have recently been considering these issues.

Few people in China have ever openly criticized me.  The [Chinese] people are tolerant of my shortcomings and mistakes.  It is because we always want to serve the people and do good things for the people.  Although we sometimes also suffer from bossism and bureaucracy, the people believe that we have done more good things than bad ones and, as a result, they praise us more than criticize us.  Consequently, an idol is created: when some people criticize me, others would oppose them and accuse them of disrespecting the leader.  Everyday I and other comrades of the central leadership receive some three hundred letters, some of which are critical of us.  These letters, however, are either not signed or signed with a false name.  The authors are not afraid that we would suppress them, but they are afraid that others around them would make them suffer.

You mentioned “On Ten Relationships.”[17] This resulted from one-and-a-half-months of discussions between me and thirty-four ministers [of the government].  What opinions could I myself have put forward without them?  All I did was to put together their suggestions, and I did not create anything.  Any creation requires materials and factories.  However, I am no longer a good factory.  All my equipment is out-of-date, I need to be improved and re-equipped as much as do the factories in Britain.  I am getting old and can no longer play the major role but had to assume a minor part.  As you can see, I merely played a minor role during this Party’s National Congress whereas Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping[18] and others assumed the primary functions.

[1] The content of this conversation suggests that it occurred between 15 and 28 September 1956, when the CCP’s Eighth National Congress was in session.

[2] This refers to the Information Bureau of Communist and Workers’ Parties (Cominform), which was established in September 1947 by the parties of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Yugoslavia. The Bureau announced that it was ending its activities in April 1956.

[3] Wang Ming (1904-1974), also known as Chen Shaoyu, was a returnee from the Soviet Union and a leading member of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s. Official Chinese Communist view claims that Wang Ming committed “ultra-leftist” mistakes in the early 1930s and “ultra-rightist” mistakes in the late 1930s.

[4] The white areas were Guomindang-controlled areas.

[5] Liu Shaoqi was vice chairman of the CCP Central Committee and chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s National Congress. He was China’s second most important leader.

[6] The Chinese Communist party’s eighth national congress was held in Beijing on 15-27 September 1956.

[7] Georgii Dimitrov (1882-1949), a Bulgarian communist, was the Comintern’s secretary general from 1935 to 1943.

[8] Mao here pointed to the period from 1931 to 1935, during which the “international section,” of which Wang Ming was a leading member, controlled the central leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

[9] Zhu De was then vice chairman of the CCP Central Committee and vice chairman of the PRC.

[10] Bobkoveshi was Yugoslavia’s first ambassador to the PRC, with whom Mao Zedong met for the first time on 30 June 1955.

[11] Chinggis Khan, also spelled Genghis Jenghiz, was born about 1167, when the Mongolian-speaking tribes still lacked a common name.  He became their great organizer and unifier. Before his death in 1227, Chinggis established the basis for a far-flung Eurasian empire by conquering its inner zone across Central Asia. The Mongols are remembered for their wanton aggressiveness both in Europe and in Asia, and this trait was certainly present in Chinggis.

[12] The Han nationality is the majority nationality in China, which counts for over 95 percent of the Chinese population.

[13] The “War to Resist America and Assist Korea” describes China’s participation in the Korean War from October 1950 to July 1953.

[14] The five principles were first introduced by Zhou Enlai while meeting a delegation from India on 31 December 1953. These principles—(1) mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, (2) mutual non-aggression, (3) mutual non-interference in international affairs, (4) equality and mutual benefit, and (5) peaceful coexistence—were later repeatedly claimed by the Chinese government as the foundation of the PRC’s foreign policy.

[15] China did not establish diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia until January 1955, although the Yugoslavian government recognized the PRC as early as 5 October 1949, four days after the PRC’s establishment.

[16] P. F. Yudin (1899-1968), a prominent philosopher and a member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party from 1952 to 1961, was Soviet ambassador to China from 1953 to 1959.

[17] “On Ten Relationships” was one of Mao’s major works in the 1950s. He discussed the relationship between industry and agriculture and heavy industry and light industry, between coastal industry and industry in the interior, between economic construction and national defense, between the state, the unit of production, and individual producers, between the center and the regions, between the Han nationality and the minority nationalities, between party and non-party, between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary, between right and wrong, and between China and other countries. For an English translation of one version of the article, see Stuart Schram, ed., Chairman Mao Talks to the People (New York: Pantheon Books, 1974), 61-83.

[18] Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping were all leading members of the Chinese Communist Party. At the Party’s Eighth Congress in September 1956, Liu and Zhou were elected the Party’s vice chairmen, and Deng the Party’s general secretary.

SOURCE:

Mao Zedong waijiao wenxuan [Selected Diplomatic Papers of Mao Zedong] (Beijing: The Central Press of Historical Documents, 1993), 251-262. Translated and Annotated by Zhang Shu Guang and Chen Jian

This document taken from

http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117035#_ftn0

The Girondes of Working Class

Written by Damodar

front page ph B

The 21st party congress of CPI (M) recently concluded at Visakhapatnam with the usual ritualistic flavour that has become the hallmark of such events for the parties of Left Front particularly the CPI and the CPI (M). The party congress would be known for selecting or rather electing “unanimously” its new General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. Though the outgoing general secretary, Prakash Karat wanted the post to go to Ramachandran Pillai. The ongoing factional struggle between Karat and Yechury was somehow saved from being open in public when the Karat faction backtracked on the voting for new General Secretary. While Yechury was backed by West Bengal delegates, Pillai a Karat man enjoyed the support of the Pinarayi Vijayan faction from Kerala, but the Bengal lobby wanted a more pragmatic (read one who can hob nob with Congress and other parties) man at helm.

The party Congress of CPI (M), no longer evinces the same interest particularly among the Left movement as it did few years ago. No communist group/party or left journal devoted any analysis or criticism to the policy/issues raised in the congress. A major reason might have been that for CPI-M, like its counterpart bourgeoisie parties there has been a wide gap between its political-organisational reports and its politics on ground level. Further the dwindling base of the party and its almost moribund energy was enough to deter the bourgeoisie media. For the revolutionary Left, it has stopped taking cognizance of this party’s activities since long. Revisionist parties — as the CPI (M) has become–, adopts something in their party congresses while doing the opposite when it comes to the realm of day to day politics. This is an important characteristic of revisionism that differentiates it from a genuine revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Party.

Yet, nationally and internationally there are several comrades who still consider CPI and CPI (M) a still Marxist-Leninist formation, hence we would like to take this opportunity to analyse the resolutions particularly the new Political Tactical Line (PTL) adopted in the congress. At the same time it is our duty as a Marxist Leninist to wage a struggle to expose the real intention of reformist-revisionists so that their real intention comes to the fore.

21st Congress: The identity Crisis.

The Congress took place at a time when the party finds itself at the lowest. It has secured the lowest number of seat in Lok Sabha since its formation, its rule in the states is at lowest with only tiny Tripura saving the grace, the confidence of the leadership is at lowest so is the enthusiasm of the cadres. The set back of Bengal has still not gone so is the factional crisis in Kerala. In other parts of the country it was hardly any force to reckon with but there also it has lost its confidence to lead mass movement. The net result is the party is grappling with severe identity crisis. The spaces being vacated by it are being grabbed by new entities like Aam Admi Party (AAP) in Delhi and even by NGOs in several places. It has squarely failed to cash on the anti-establishment feeling of the common masses and in its once strong hold the party is seen as equally corrupt with rank opportunists, and self-seekers found it highly rewarding to join the party and to ditch it as well. So it is not a surprise when a senior party leader admitted that around 40,000 members have quit the CPM in West Bengal since 2011 and major section of it joining the BJP. The decimation and decline shows no sign of abetment, if the recently concluded bye-elections and the civic elections are any sign, where the Trinmool Congress resoundingly trampled the party and Left front’s candidates. Bengal unit is no longer able to mobilise masses on the scale as when it was in power.

Left front government in its eagerness to hug the capitalists nudged the peasant & proletariats, who in turn dumped him in the elections. The people have thoroughly rejected the conversion of CPI (M) from a social democratic party to that of agent of national and international finance capital. It’s policy of embracing industrialisation-at-any-cost by appeasing international and national capital and inviting predatory multinationals like Wal-Mart in the naïve belief of advancing the “productive forces”. It forcibly acquired land, deeply antagonising peasants and the working class as well. But only the revolutionary force and its organisation can help in advancement of productive force. After three decades of stagnant rule based on terror, intimidation and sycophancy CPM neither commanded a revolutionary force nor was it ever a revolutionary organisation.

The Singur-Nandigram occurrences weren’t causes but effects/symptoms of a deeper malaise: pursuit of neoliberalism, which the party’s central leadership assails. The CPM, with a strongly upper-caste sophisticated, westernised, middle and upper middle class leadership, failed to combat caste, gender and anti-Muslim discrimination not is it able to understand the changing dynamics of the Indian polity. It became a party of careerists bereft of imagination, yet complacent and arrogant first towards its smaller partners and then to the people at large. Tales of party leaders threatening masses and silencing every voice of dissent using most heinous ways that only a bourgeoisie party is capable of undertaking that too against fellow communist showed the rot that had engulfed it.

In name of industrialisation the CPM government was happy to give away with hundreds of acres of fertile land perhaps best quality agrarian land of the country at throw away price to Tata. When the people protested they even did not blink an eye to shoot the poor peasants and rural proletariats their support base for decades and terming them as reactionaries.

Prakash Karat has been lecturing and writing long articles on the exploitation in SEZs across the country but same Karat had no qualm in declaring SEZs in Bengal as ‘progressive’.

Similarly in Kerala it has suffered setbacks because of the CPM-instigated murder of political rivals like T.P. Chandrasekharan, neglect of social and gender issues, and outright opposition to Western Ghats conservation and support for encroachers. The party today is seen to be no different than Congress of RSS. Gone are the days of mass mobilisation today it relies on mob mobilisation to silence its critique. Several top leadership of Kerala have been implicated in various scams. In Lavalin scam the party’s State Secretary and the former Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan is directly involved.

The leadership both at national and state levels seems to have lost the capacity to lead independent mass actions. Years of tailism and being propped on the crutches of this or that bourgeoisie party has done away with the capability of agitation, a fact that has been accepted in the Congress as well.

 The Congress apart from adopting regular resolutions and reports adopted a new PTL. The previous PTL was adopted at the 13th congress held at Thiruvananthapuram from December 27 1988 to 1st January 1999.

The Political Tactical Line: Nothing new!

Suddenly a realisation has dawned in the party that there is something wrong with their strategy and the organisation. From where did this sudden fountain of realisation erupt? It did not emanate as a result of any genuine desire to resist the onslaught of capital but the new PTL itself answers it. It says:

 “The 2014 Lok Sabha election review conducted by the Central Committee in June 2014 had concluded that the Party has been unable to advance for sometime and this was reflected in the poor performance of the Party in the election.…The election review report adopted by the Central Committee stated that:

 “In successive Party Congresses we have been emphasizing the need for enhancing the independent strength of the Party. Some of the states have attributed the erosion of our independent strength to the tactics of aligning with the bourgeois parties. The failure to advance the independent strength of the Party necessitates a reexamination of the political-tactical line that we have been pursuing”.

So the necessity of reviewing the PTL came from the massive drubbing that it got in the elections. Since 1989-90 it may be remembered CPI (M) with its politics of alliance along with manipulations what may be termed as Harikishen Surjeet’s line was instrumental in playing a major role in power-play/ power broker role. Though the party never had any significant pan India presence, yet the Machiavellian politics of Surjeet kept CPI(M) at centre of Delhi’s power gallery.

Today things are very different, The party’s sudden deemphasizing of electoral politics and rhetorical calls for “mobilizing the masses” are due to its marginalization in bourgeois parliamentary politics. So to be relevant it has to raise the bogey of mass mobilization as recently we saw AAP doing in Delhi. In fact CPI (M) has been highly mesmerised with the polity and tactics of AAP. Its mouthpiece even eulogised the Kejriwal’s team and indirectly pleading for an alliance, but unfortunately it got no feeler from the later for having any kind of alliance.

The PTL further says:

“The P-TL is the tactics we adopt from time to time in a specific situation in order to advance towards our strategic goal which is the People’s Democratic Revolution. The tactical goal we have set out in the P-TL is the forging of a Left and democratic Front in order to present the Left and democratic alternative to the bourgeois-landlord order. The struggle to forge the Left and democratic alternative is part of our effort to change the correlation of class forces so that we can advance towards our strategic goal.”

So much for that coveted goal of Peoples’ Democratic Revolution, which this party wants to achieve by forging a Left and democratic Front. Interestingly the mention of revolution starts and ends here. The entire document then is about forging or not forging alliance with the other parties! It does not mention any substantial tactics to be adopted vis-à-vis the working class nor with the peasantry.

One is bound to ask, who are the “democratic” parties? While the PTL has left us to speculate, but those who have been following the Indian polity even cursorily would have no hesitation in answering the question. For the CPM leadership the democratic forces among others today are the siblings of the so-called Janata Parivar like the Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal, Rashtirya Janata Dal and similar parties. Now everyone knows the character of these parties and what harm they have done in stalling the progress of the working class and peasant movement. These rank casteist outfits are no better than the rightist or the Bourgeoisie outfits. In fact when there will a call for decisive struggle against the forces of fascism and capitalism, these outfits instead of being with the working class and toiling masses would ally with the capitalist and fascist forces.

The Political Resolution of the 10th Congress explained the Left and democratic Front as follows: “The struggle to build this front is part of our endeavour to bring about a change in the correlation of class forces, to end a situation in which the people can choose only between two bourgeois-landlord parties, and get imprisoned within the framework of the present system. By gathering all Left and democratic forces together for further advance, the Party makes a beginning to consolidate these forces which, in future, will participate in shaping the alliance for People’s Democracy under the leadership of the working class. The left and democratic Front is not to be understood as only an alliance for elections or Ministry, but a fighting alliance of the forces for immediate advance – economic and political – and for isolating the reactionary classes that hold the economy in their grip.”

This point needs to be elaborated. The Party has elucidated its intention of gathering the Left and democratic forces for future advance of the party, to shape the alliance for People’s Democracy (emphasis ours) so much so for the caricature of Peoples’ Democracy! Peoples’ Democracy as propounded by Stalin and further elaborated by Dimitrov is a special form of dictatorship of the proletariat, where there is a class alliance with other progressive forces under the general leadership of the Communist or workers’ party. This model of Peoples’ Democracy was implemented immediately after the Second World War in Eastern Europe and China.

The characteristic feature of Peoples’ Democracy is:

The rise and development of people’s democracy should be examined concretely and historically, since people’s democracy is passing through various stages and its class content changes, depending on the stage.

The first stage is the stage of agrarian, anti-feudal, anti-imperialist revolution, in the course of which people’s democracy arises as the organ of revolutionary power, representing in its content something in the nature of dictatorship of the working class and peasantry, the working class having the leading role. A characteristic feature of this power is that it directs its sharp edge against imperialism, against fascism.

The second stage is the establishment of the dictatorship of the working class in the form of people’s democracy and the building of Socialism. (A. Sobolev, Peoples’ Democracy as a Form of Political Organisation of Society)

So we leave it to the good sense of our comrade readers to decide which politics of CPM confirms to their working towards the course of achieving the Peoples’ Democratic Revolution. What has been the role of CPM in fight against imperialism or against Fascism? When they were in power, the policies adapted by them were no different from that of any other bourgeoisie party.

Before proceeding further we would like to state another related issue, which gets mentioned prominently. The PTL in point 14 further states about the adoption of Left Democratic Secular Front:

For this we have to look for the reasons within the P-TL itself. From the 13th Congress (1988) we started talking of the unity of the Left and secular forces. We made a distinction between the immediate  task of forging a non-Congress secular alternative to meet the current situation and the task of building the Left and democratic Front. By the 15th Congress we had set out the slogan of the unity of the Left, democratic and secular forces. By that time we had more or less concluded that the Left and democratic Front is a distant goal and is not a realizable slogan as reiterated in the 11th Congress of the Party. By and by we relegated the Left and democratic Front to a propaganda slogan. The Left, democratic and secular alliance became the new interim slogan. While this began as a slogan against the Rajiv Gandhi Congress government to rally the non-Congress secular bourgeois parties while demarcating from the BJP, later it became the slogan directed against the BJP. It is on that basis that we joined the United Front, without participating in the government in 1996.

Now in terms of secular, the most important secular formation for our “Marxist” friends apart from the so-called democratic parties are parties like AIADMK, DMK, TDP etc. who share the crumbs with our revolutionary “Marxists” thus helping them win a seat here a seat there. Though, it never has crossed the mind of our comrades to check about the secular credentials of these parties. The less said the better. All such “secular” and “democratic” parties have no qualm of hobnobbing with the BJP or Congress as the compulsion of the parliamentary polity demands.

The Entire PTL is full of such jingoism and pseudo revolutionary phrase mongering, but we will not go into the detail in interest of space and time of our dear comrade readers.

How different were CPM from the other bourgeoisie parties when in power? After the 2004 elections Ashok Mitra wrote an article commenting on the capitulation of the CPI M leaders to the camp of neo liberalism, he wrote:

The main poll issue in West Bengal was the state government’s policy of capitalist industrial growth; events in Singur and Nandigram were offshoots of that policy. Many sections, including staunch long-time supporters of the Left cause, had been shocked by the cynical nonchalance initially exhibited by the state government on police firing on women and children in Nandigram. A series of other faux pas was committed in its wake, including the messy affair of the Tata small car project. The electorate reached its conclusion on the government’s putting all its eggs in the Nano basket. Once the Tatas departed, the state administration was dubbed not only insensitive, but incompetent as well. Questions have continued to be raised one after another: was it really necessary to take over fertile land at Singur, why could not the Tatas be prevailed upon to choose an alternative site, why did not the state government apply adequate pressure on the United Progressive Alliance regime in New Delhi — which was assumed to depend upon Left support for survival — to pass the necessary legislation so that land belonging to closed factories could be taken over to locate new industries? And why the state government was reluctant to lobby earnestly in the national capital for adequate resources from centrally controlled public financial institutions to the state exchequer, which could have ensured industrial expansion in the public domain itself — whether this reluctance was merely due to lack of resources or because of a deeper ideological reason such as a loss of faith in socialistic precepts and practices.

A number of other unsavoury facts also need to be laid bare. A state government does not have too much of funds or other spoils to distribute. But in a milieu where feudal elements co-inhabit with the petit bourgeoisie, persons in a position to dispense only little favours can also attract fair-weather friends and gather sycophants around them. Concentric circles of favour-rendering develop fast. Merit necessarily takes a backseat in official decisions. Corruption, never mind how small-scale, creeps in. Nepotism, sprouting at the top, gradually infects descending rungs of administration, including the panchayats. Much of all this has taken place of late within the precincts of the Left regime. The net effect is a steep decline in the quality of governance. The fall in efficiency is illustrated by the inept handling of programmes like the rural employment guarantee scheme. To make things worse, all this has been accompanied by a kind of hauteur which goes ill with radical commitment.

As we have mentioned umpteen times revisionist parties use revolutionary phrase mongering to hide their revisionist character. Same goes with our great defenders of Socialism and Peoples’ Democracy, while degeneration and double-talks reach their nadir while lending credence to abject surrender to the lap of the World Bank, the IMF, the MNCs and the World Bank’s trusted men like Manmohan Singh or even the regional allies of capitalism like Mulaym Singh and Chandrababu Naidu. Did not Tito or Khruschev continued to hang the Communist, Marxist and other revolutionary sign boards, while doing the exact opposite of what the tenants of Marxism Leninism teaches.

 But we must commend the CPM leadership for they are always not dishonest. In point number 17, they have been ultra-honest (if there is any such word in English):

As the realization of a third alternative became more unattainable, in the 18th Congress Political Resolution another distinction was made between the electoral understanding for specific elections by drawing the non-Congress bourgeois parties and the building of a third alternative. Thus the Left and democratic Front was relegated to the third phase of our task. The first phase being the immediate current task of electoral understanding for a specific election by drawing in the non-Congress bourgeois secular parties. The second phase being the formation of a third alternative based on a common programme which would be forged by building joint movements and struggles. The third phase was the building of the Left and democratic Front.

Reading this point in conjunction with point 16 and above, clearly demonstrates the real intention and politics of the party. The aim of the party three layers down is elections and nothing but elections. First they want or wanted to build an electoral understanding of non -Congress (or now non BJP) parties followed by a common front like the discredited United Front and followed by the so called Left Democratic Front. So the party will work for elections and nothing but elections. We all know that the limitations of bourgeoisie elections, and neither are we for boycotting it like some of the adventurist groups claims, but basing the entire politics around parliament, did not Lenin sharply criticised this tendency terming it as parliamentary cretinism? What can one gain but few reforms for the working class even if one has a commanding position in such institution? A quote from Lenin will not be out of place here. Lenin in his article titled “Marxism and Reformism” wrote:

Unlike the anarchists, the Marxists recognise struggle for reforms, i.e., for measures that improve the conditions of the working people without destroying the power of the ruling class. At the same time, however, the Marxists wage a most resolute struggle against the reformists, who, directly or indirectly, restrict the aims and activities of the working class to the winning of reforms. Reformism is bourgeois deception of the workers, who, despite individual improvements, will always remain wage-slaves, as long as there is the domination of capital.

The liberal bourgeoisie grant reforms with one hand, and with the other always take them back, reduce them to nought, use them to enslave the workers, to divide them into separate groups and perpetuate wage-slavery. For that reason reformism, even when quite sincere, in practice becomes a weapon by means of which the bourgeoisie corrupt and weaken the workers. The experience of all countries shows that the workers who put their trust in the reformists are always fooled. (emphasis ours)

Now this is what CPM aims for, some reforms!

The PTL goes on to summarise the experience of various fronts and alliances that the party had undertook in the past and not so distant past in a tone that resembles a chronological reading of the government formation since the National Front days. While the party has accepted its mistakes there has been no self-criticism or mention of its wrongdoing in Bengal and Kerala. So much for honesty of a revolutionary communist party! It has though in passing mentioned,:

“What has to be recognised is that the processes underway during the globalisation-neo-liberal regime have posed new problems for the Left and has created adverse conditions for developing the movements of the working class, agrarian, students, youth and women. It is imperative that we understand the processes at work and work out new and suitable tactics and organisational methods.”

But as much CPM may gloss over its mistakes the proletariats have not. In Bengal the toiling class has not forgotten the tyranny and high handedness of the party nomenklatura who adopted all kinds of legitimate and illegitimate means to bring success to their rule and satisfy the mandarins or babus (from Jyoti babu to Buddhadeb babu) at the Muzaffar Ahmed Bhawan (the West Bengal state HQ) rather than the toiling masses and even to silence the enemies. The coal field of Bengal still reverberates from the atrocities and the terror of the CITUs leadership. The people have not forgotten the several bloody attacks perpetrated by the hooligans at the behest of the party. The cowardly assassination of the fire brand trade union and highly respected communist leader comrade Sunil Pal on 29-12-2009 by the hired goons and marauders of CPI (M) is still fresh in the minds of people of coalfields. His only fault being that he was a dedicated Marxist-Leninist whose sole aim being to bring justice and safeguard the workers interest against the capitals offensive.

The CPM de-radicalised the trade unions and lost its prime working class cadres, reducing Trade Union to being a dovetail of the government and a means for money collection and keeping in check the working class. At every juncture CITU was found capitulating to the whims of capital. Apart from one day ritualistic strike and dharna, whose outcome is known to all and sundry beforehand it has only compromised the interest of the working class at an all India level. During the Maruti struggle CITU instead of giving a militant leadership to the struggle was seen siding with the management and on the pretext of maintaining industrial peace was seen chiding the belligerent workers. When the workers were put in jail it did nothing to bring them out but at every crucial juncture sided with the management.

Similarly in the struggle against Coal ordinance in January 2015, the CITU leadership since beginning of the strike had adopted a defeatist position and was only seen praying and pleading to the government for some reforms. We are once again reminded of the words said by Lenin for the reformists, “Fight to improve your condition as a slave, but regard the thought of overthrowing slavery as a harmful utopia”! does it not fit CPM today?

Another glaring point that finds no mention in either the PTL of the Pol-Org Report is the  support the CPI-M extended to Pranab Mukherjee in the last presidential election. The CPI Congress document on the past developments noted this and informed its members of the division suffered by the Left on this issue when the CPI and other Left parties refused to follow the CPI-M and back Pranab due to his role in carrying out neoliberal reforms. The CPI-M’s backing of Pranab is not so simple as it may seem—for behind it was the largesse by a Big Business house (with which Pranab is deeply associated) to the CPI-M.

 With all the tall promises and phrase of mass mobilization the PTL amply gives the direction that party will take on ground. Consider point 30, it says:

There can be swift changes in the political situation. New contradictions may merge amongst the bourgeois parties and within them. Political parties may undergo changes through splits or coming together to form a new party. Flexible tactics should be evolved to deal with the situation. In our pursuit of united actions, joint platforms may have to be formed with various social movements, people’s mobilizations and issue-based movements.

So, in event of an alliance this clause will be invoked to hoodwink the cadres, in guise of “contradiction” opportunist alliance will be forged, neo-liberalism will be supported and the bourgeoisie will be given free hand to rule. Same intention is reflected in point 46.

Given the danger posed by the communal forces reinforced by the BJP in power with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, we should strive for the broader unity of the secular and democratic forces. Such joint platforms are necessary for a wider mobilization against communalism. Such platforms, however, should not be seen as the basis for electoral alliances.

Given the nature and ambition of these democratic and secular parties whom our friends had just termed as agent of capitalist and supporter of capital, there is again a yearning for an alliance. Old love never dies! By the time the PTL came for conclusion, the authors of this document could not suppress their desire for alliance.

So after all the epithets and brickbats the point 61 mentions:

Electoral tactics should be dovetailed to the primacy of building the Left and democratic front. In the present stage, given the role of the regional parties, there is no basis for forging an alliance with them at the national level. Instead, we can have electoral adjustments with non-Left secular parties in states wherever required in the Party’s interests and which can help rally the Left and democratic forces in the state. (Emphasis ours)

Voila here we are back to square one, the party will continue to do what it has done, and it will just not change. Years of tailism cannot be shed in one day or rather one congress. So, the party will enter in alliance with the non-Left secular parties in states and not at national level, but then comrades of CPM you yourself do not contest elections on national level if we compare your seats with the national parties! Since its formation CPM has failed to develop even the trade union consciousness, not to speak of revolutionary consciousness. Rather it has developed mafia consciousness and factional fights. Politics and ideology were never in command because they lost their credibility, as communist, the line pursued by it under the banner of Marxism-Leninism stands exposed through its ideological line and practice at all levels. Then how is it possible for the CPM to practise anything for the oppressed classes?

Conclusion

As Lenin wrote, “Reformism is bourgeois deception of the workers, who, despite individual improvements, will always remain wage-slaves, as long as there is the domination of capital.” The CPM is no different.

Sitaram Yechury is known to follow the Surjeet line and there is already a campaign that the party is preparing to cosy up its relationship with Congress. As mentioned in a news magazine known to be close to both CPI and CPM “Yechury is eager to join hands with the Congress in combating the Sangh Parivar. It betrays a pathological antipathy for the Congress and a flawed understanding of the present situation. the Congress does not mean only Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh. The Congress means the hundreds of thousands of Congress-supporting masses spread all over the country whose participation is essential in any move-ment against communalism and in defence of secularism. The Left can deny this reality and cling to the old slogan of ‘Left-Democratic Unity’ only at its own peril and at the cost of weakening the movement.”

The party today has not learnt from its past mistakes nor is it in its agenda to counter and challenge the onslaught of neo-liberalism and imperialism. At best it will continue to give the knee jerked reaction in form of out dated token strikes and rallies to LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation). Today the task of the revolutionary communist has to be to expose this farce and unleash an in-depth political and theoretical offensive against it to expose its opportunist line and practice.

 ****


Gironde: One of the two political groups of the bourgeoisie during the French bourgeois revolution at the close of the eighteenth century. The Girondists, as distinct from Jacobins, vacillated between revolution and counter-revolution, and their policy was one of compromise with the monarchy. Lenin frequently stressed that the Mensheviks represented the Girondist trend in the working-class movement.

Readers may also like to read our analysis on Left Front 

https://otheraspect.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/left-out-of-the-great-indian-tamasha/

Paid Service or Resistance: NGO and Left politics

This article was written in light of recent development where various communist parties and groups have been openly trying to forge an alliance with Medha Patkar led National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement, which is today India’s largest conglomeration of NGOs.

We hope that this article will generate greater debate amongst the left forces of the country.

–Other Aspect Continue reading

Looter’s feast : The pillage of the USSR

gorby-regan

In 1987 the external debt of the U.S. rose to $246 billion. On the 19 of October 1987, Wall Street crashed! Only a miracle could save the U.S. in dire straits. And the miracle took place, and the its saviour was Gorbachev.

Gorbachev, by saved the U.S. economy, by ruining that of the USSR.

Would you like to know how?

In January 1987 the restrictions on foreign trade were repealed. These restrictions protected the domestic market of the USSR from collapse. Without them the domestic market of the USSR – with its ridiculously low prices for food and essential consumer goods, in comparison with the foreign markets – could not maintain itself for a single day.

And all of a sudden, companies and individuals were authorised to export overseas foodstuffs, raw materials, electronics equipment, energy, chemical products, just about … everything!

It was as if a powerful hurricane had swept over the vast territory of the USSR. In a moment it sucked outside the country all products of value. Groceries and manufactured objects disappeared from store shelves.

The pillage of the gold reserves

On 21 July 1989 new customs regulations repealed all restrictions on the export of gold and precious stones.

The work of the Soviet customs for the last 70 years was instantly wiped out.

Gold, in quantities up to then unheard of, was thrown onto the internal market, to be bought at an internal price, and then exported overseas.

At the time the newspaper “The Moscow Komsomol” described the jewellery trade thus: “A glittering picture of unrestrained speculation, the sales quota of the State Treasury (Gokhran) for jewellery was allocated over and over … The counters were under assault, the State Treasury was bombed with mail requesting new supplies of gold and precious stones … “.

The newspaper “Izvestia” requested that as a control measure against queues for gold and diamonds: “Be put on the market a formidable quantity of gold such as the State’s gold reserves.”

The newspaper “Soviet culture” called outright for the removal customs barriers for the export of gold.

After some time G. Yavlinsky (responsible for the economy in the government at the time) alarmed the press with a statement about the disappearance of the gold reserves. But it all calmed down rather quickly.

 

It got worse and worse

That same year individuals exported 500,000 colour televisions and 200,000 washing machines. In 1988 just one single family exported: 392 refrigerators, 72 washing machines, 142 air-conditioning machines… The personnel of one of the thousands of foreign organisations exported: 1,400 irons, 174 fans, 3,500 pieces of soap and 242 kg of washing powder, products that were specifically bought by the State – at the insistence of MPS – with foreign currency supposedly for the use of Soviet citizens.

These data appeared inadvertently in the press at the time. In 1989 alone, at just one of the many customs controls points, individuals exported more than 2 million tons of products that were in short supply in the USSR.

The entire production of the Krasnoyarsk cotton combine was exported. At the time a good bed-sheet cost 5 roubles, a double sheet 8 roubles. The exports of cloth tripled, those of cotton nearly quadrupled, while those of linen multiplied by 7.

These are figures about State exports alone. Private exports surpassed those of the government. Moreover, determining the exact figures of exports was impossible. The same newspaper “Izvestia” wrote at the time: “Our State is one of the few in the world that does not compile customs statistics.”

 What is the Balcerowicz miracle about which so many media talk about?

American experts have suggested to Balcerowicz (the organiser and inspirer ideological economic reforms in Poland) to reduce production and normal trade and instead encourage unreservedly small business dealings from hand to hand.

That is to say debase the labouring population and transform it into a “nation of hucksters.” All these downgraded individuals, by the million, flocked into the USSR like grasshoppers and began to export everything they could lay their hands on, from imported furniture to toothpaste, and by the ton.

In the Congress of Deputies there was a terrible scandal and shouting about the lack of toothpaste for the Soviet population. It never occurred to the Representatives of the people to question themselves as to the causes that brought about that glaring penury of toothpaste. They simply decided to buy abroad $60 million worth of toothpaste.

 Who got rich with these $60 million?

In France, from where it was imported, the toothpaste tube cost 15 Francs, while in the USSR it sold for a rouble. Of course, in no time, the toothpaste found once again its way abroad. It was sent to Poland in packs of 500 tubes (the original package of the French factory) and again without any restrictions.

It was transported in car boots, entire train compartments, or containers on decks of boats. Just like ants who only leave the skeleton of the body of a dead lion, the “Balcerowicz piranhas” took everything and left the Soviet people with empty store shelves. There was not an article of consumption, from foodstuffs to household appliances that was not exported.

We were left to wonder about how these goods had disappeared, because industry over the years continued to produce at full capacity.

 “The Leningrad Pravda» 1992

“In the USSR until 1990-1991, we produced 38 meters of cloth per capita. This represented 75% of the world production of linen cloth, 16% of wool and 13% silk. According to official State figures, only 50% of linen products and 42% of wool products were exported.”

But these figures did not take into account exports by private individuals. Because, like locusts, they exported everything they could buy.

The USSR produced 21.4% of the world production of butter (the Soviet population was 4.88% of the world population). Butter production continued to increase, but because of exports, rationing tickets had to be introduced. In the Soviet Union the production of butter per capita was 26% more than that in Great Britain. This being so, there was no butter in Soviet stores but one could buy it in Britain without any problem. Strange, is it not?

Official statistics regarded as consumed in the USSR all the butter and the meat that were sent to storage warehouses that supplied the grocery stores. For the purchase of butter and meat, passports were not required, consequently products purchased in the USSR, yet exported beyond its borders, were considered as contributing to the well-being of the Soviet people. In fact tons of meat and butter, bypassed the retail stores, and went directly to warehouses abroad by sea in containers, by land (road and rail) and by air.

All the while statistics demonstrated that the insatiable Soviet people had devoured it all.

In the late-80s and early 90s, everything had disappeared. Socks and refrigerators, televisions and plates, sheets and washing machines! The flying grasshopper had devoured it all, the sausages and the fish, the semolina and the sugar. Aluminium pots, soup-bowls and spoons were exported as cheap very valuable material that had gone through the stages that require a lot of energy and polluting treatment. The wood boring insects and exporters eroded the once powerful ship that was the Soviet economy and reduced to dust.

In 1991 it collapsed.

Tatiana Yakovleva 6-07-2012

(French translation YB)

http://south-worker.com/?p=556

Thanks to George

Workers Party of Belgium’s new revisionism – Peter Mertens attacks the CPSU (b) under Lenin and Stalin

The following is an interview of Peter Mertens who is the leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium, The Partij van de Arbeid van België, PVDA, French: Parti du Travail de Belgique, PTB) hosts the International Communist Seminar.

Peter Mertens in this interview attacks the CPSU (b) under Lenin and Stalin, where he said  “I remain looking with nuances into this area. I know that I am starting to against the grain here, I know it’s not the sexiest opinion, but I reject not everything that happened under Communism. Should we, if we had to start again, to install again such regimes? No. Were there essential things that went wrong, in terms of hunger for power, in terms of concentration of power, in terms of lack of democracy and participation? Yes. “Picture1

 

 

‘Europe is slowly becoming a dictatorship”: PETER MERTENS (pvda)  

Interview by Joël De Ceulaer,  

(interview on De Stanraard website is available only for subscribers, but thanks to the website of the WPB itself we have the access to the full text (see link below)

http://www.pvda.be/nieuws/artikel/interview-peter-mertens-tegen-brutale-ik-cultuur-van-het-neoliberalisme.html

“Of course, the comparison makes me angry,” says Peter Mertens (further PM) -. “If my party is being put into the same pocket as Vlaams Belang, as some people from Open VLD and the N-VA enjoy doing, this trivializes racism and demonstrates their intellectual baseness. I come from the tradition of anti-fascism, after the Black Sunday I was one of those who formed the basis of Students Against Racism. The WPB is a rebellious gueuze party. Apparently, the rightwingers are concerned about our advance. And they want necessarily to find a stick to beat us with. “

– Last year a member of your party still sang the praise of North Korea in the TV show ‘In respect’.

Peter Mertens. “That man was back then a comrade of mine. But not anymore. ”

– Have you threw him out?

Peter Mertens. “He has put himself out of the party. I sat in amazement watching that interview. He knew very well that his position is not that of the party, and that whoever makes their position public, proclaims himself outside the organization. I have nothing to do with dictatorships and dynasties. Nothing. I have written two books, of which more than 20,000 copies were sold. Probably some pundits and politicians did not read those books, or they would know that I do not write about foreign regimes, but redistribution of today. ”

– Let’s come back later on those foreign regimes. In our own country today you stand far outside the mainstream.

Peter Mertens. “That is so. The liberal students often ask me for debates. And when I ask them why they are not asking one of the Greens or from the SP.A instead of me, they always say that they would rather have a real debate. And therein I can follow them. Today all parties are running in the neoliberal track. There are only two phenomena that are standing up to it, only two ideologies that are cropping up in Europe as a response to the brutal “me” culture of neoliberalism: nationalism and Marxism. ”

– Explain once again about Marxism, what does it mean?

Peter Mertens. “An important concept in Marxism is that of wealth creation. The question that we ask, ‘Who are the wealth creators, how does wealth actually actually comes tp existance? For Marxists it is the working people. The baker who gets up at three o’clock in the morning for the bread baking, makes the wealth, not the man who happens to have the ownership of the oven lying in his safe. ”

– The owner of the furnace does take the risk.

Peter Mertens. “I’m not saying that the owner of the furnace plays no role in the process. I’m just saying that the working population effectively creates welfare . It is the workers who make a ship out of steel plates. The second source of wealth is nature, from which we derive commodities. These two sources of wealth must be protected and not exploited. ”

Does that happen?

Peter Mertens. “The nature is being plundered, that is clear. I’m not a hippie, but we must respect the carrying capacity of the Earth. And there is in Europe an increasing plundering of labor today. Social protection is systematically reduced. An hourly pay rate of four euros in Germany is already no longer the exception, making that country to count four million of working poor today – people who do have a job and still are poor. ”

Does your party not underestimate the importance of entrepreneurship?

Peter Mertens. “Creativity and innovation are still mainly stimulated by state funded research. Very often, it is the renewal of a spin-off from universities. For a Marxist, entrepreneurship is in itself a public thing. We find it important that the government itself can control the key sectors. Certainly the sectors that are too big to fail.

– Which sectors are these?

Peter Mertens. “The banks, for starters. We now have a system where the benefits go to the private sector, and the costs are borne by the society. That is not a coherent system. IT would have been consistent if you would earn a lot if it was going well, but to into the abyss, if it goes wrong. If a bank is so important that we do not let it fail, then it it must be owned by the government, not by poker players. ”

You want to nationalize them?

Peter Mertens. “To make them more socialized, I find a better term.”

That sounds innocent.

Peter Mertens. (Laughs) That sounds more modern. “To nationalize” sounds twentieth century and it is. What we want is not only that the share structure changes, so that the banks come into the hands of the government. Socialization means that common objectives should be formulated. That risk investments should be avoided. ”

There are no private banks anymore in your ideal society?

Peter Mertens. “There certainly can be. But they get no state guarantee anymore. Everyone is allowed under the free market to use the bank that takes part in “casino capitalism”, but if it goes wrong, they should no longer ask the government for help. ”

Which sectors do you want to make socialized?

Peter Mertens. “The energy sector, for example. That is a vital artery of the society which is now held hostage by a number of monopolies, resulting in unacceptable prices. Mind you, we do not want to create a huge bureaucracy. Thanks to digital media, it is perfectly possible to extensively question the population and to involve them in the policy making. ”

Is Marxism evolved?

Peter Mertens. “Marxism is alive. I do not like people who are literally parroting Marx, without taking into account the context. In this sense Marxism for me is like Darwinism. Darwin in the mid nineteenth century also had made a qualitative leap forward, and his ideas are essentially valid even today. But the theory of evolution is evolved. ”

Was Marx a scientist?

Peter Mertens. “A human science is of a different order than the positive sciences. In the human sciences there has always been a struggle of ideas. That was how the debate between capitalism and Marxism began, after all. They tried to take the economic discussions out of the emotional atmosphere, to retrieve it into a rational debate: who creates prosperity, where does the profit come from, and so on. The great ideologies of today are still attributable to those debates. This is logical, as long as we keep updating itwas. ”

How did you become a Marxist?

Peter Mertens. “That was a sum of coincidences. My ancestry is part of the explanation. My mother was a farmer, my father was a worker’s son. They have always worked hard to make me study. And they have instilled me: do something with your knowledge and never forget where you come from. I remember that. A second important factor was my training at the university. During my studies, sociology, I came into contact with Marxist ideas. ”

Why did you go after your studies to work as a laborer?

Peter Mertens. “Because I just had enough of the academic world, because I wanted to work with my hands, because I wanted to earn money. I have worked for a half year as a cleaner, but I was kicked out. A colleague had burned his arm with a dangerous cleaning product and I had told the boss that we did not want to work with it anymore. I was dismissed at once. ”

Why did you insist on doing that dirty work?

Peter Mertens. “I would certainly not romanticize it, though. I have worked for only eighteen months as a laborer. Some academics have a rather idealized image of the worker. I do not. I know what it is like to get up in the morning against your will and to make your sandwiches. In that respect, it was an important experience. ”

In 1993, when you joined, the WPB was still very dogmatic.ptb

Peter Mertens. “The party already had two sides. The group practice of Medicine for the People existed already, and in the campaign Objective 479917, where we wanted to gather as many signatures as the Vlaams Blok had received in votes, also many people of the Workers Party were involved. The actions to to give the facilities to the refugees during the winter also impressed me. ”

In those activities you probably came across many Christians regularly?

Peter Mertens. “Oh, but I do think that religion can be a tremendous source of civic engagement. I’ve always found that very impressive that during Kerkasiel churches opened up for the outcasts of the world. We have always argued that the unions should do the same. Socialism has lost a lot of this humanitarian side by choosing for the middle class. The WPB still always had that reflex. ”

– But that dogmatic reflex was there too.

Peter Mertens. “Absolutely. When I became a member, the Berlin Wall has just fallen, and everyone was wondering what exactly did go wrong in all those so-called socialist countries. I never agreed with the statement by Francis Fukuyama that history was over, that capitalism had triumphed. And in WPB I found the defense of real existing socialism. For instance, I have always defended Cuba against overly simplistic attacks. ”

– And the Soviet Union? In the 1990s your party still defended Lenin and Stalin.

Peter Mertens. “I remain looking with nuances into this area. I know that I am starting to against the grain here, I know it’s not the sexiest opinion, but I reject not everything that happened under Communism. Should we, if we had to start again, to install again such regimes? No. Were there essential things that went wrong, in terms of hunger for power, in terms of concentration of power, in terms of lack of democracy and participation? Yes. ”

– You express it very gently.

Peter Mertens. “Because in other areas things were achieved that we may call an achievement.”

– Hitler also successfully contested unemployment.

Peter Mertens. (Annoyed) “Really, the barbarism of fascism is the largest bloodstain on the twentieth century.”

– Communism has made more victims.

Peter Mertens. “But it is thanks to the Soviet Union that Europe today is not German. Thanks to those 27 million people in Russia who have given their lives. The Communists were in Antwerp helping many Jews to hide. The Communist Party was the party of the executed. How many cities were not liberated by partisan armies? That all we can not deny. I think that is a handsome legacy of history that I am not going to throw overboard. ”

– It remains a difficult question, apparently.

Peter Mertens. “Not at all. I do not defend the crimes and executions under the Soviet regime. That would be an absurd thing to do. And why you do not question the neoliberals about the crimes in Pinochet’s Chile? There were 80,000 people thrown into prison, in order to give the capitalism free rein. Is there anyone who makes supercritical interviews about it? ”

– The neoliberal thinkers were no dictators.

Peter Mertens. “Neoliberalism cannot without dictatorship. Europe is becoming a dictatorship today. Not in the same way, but still. We live under the rule of wealth. Nobody will reduce the whole liberal tradition to Pinochet, no one will reduce the entire nationalist history to the collaboration. But socialism can be reduced to the crimes of the twentieth century? That is too simplistic. ”

– Both Bart De Wever and Noël Hoses accuse you that you are taking the side of the Syrian regime.

Peter Mertens. “Let them prove it.”

Are you not taking part in meetings with supporters of Iran and Syria?

Peter Mertens. “We participate in many meetings, including the World Social Forum. The only thing we do is questioning the so-called opposition in Syria. It is supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia. And we do not just believe in everything the U.S. says. And we do not believe that the U.S. can solve major world problems, look at Iraq. Today the U.S. in Syria is massively arming the Salafists. And we’ve already experienced something similar: the Taliban in Afghanistan that they have made so big. ”

– You are adamant not to give a complete condemnation of communism?

Peter Mertens. “No, I do not throw away the achievements. Put me against a pole in Breendonk and I will still say the same thing. Our social security, universal suffrage, the rights of man – wd would have not achieved them without the influence of socialism. But now I want a new socialism. I want to be judged by what we do here. On our proposals today. ”

– A SP Chairman Bruno Tobback find your millionaire’s tax nonsense.

Peter Mertens. “Then he completely ignores the finding that the disparity is growing by the dayr. Half a percent of the world has 38 percent of all property. ”

– Agreed, but in Belgium it is still not too bad with inequality, is it not?

Peter Mertens. “No, but in Scandinavia it is still much better. And the point is that the gap is increasing, even here. There is a small club of rich people who are become richer. If we do nothing, we will get explosive situations. Our millionaire tax is also a way to activate dormant riches. And it will affect only half a percent of the population, not the regular saver. ”

– Is it a realistic plan?

Peter Mertens. “Very realistic. More realistic than separatism, because there is no support for it, says the N-VA itself. For a millionaire’s tax there is a support, which different surveys have shown. Eighty percent of the population is behind it. And for the people affected, it will be no problem. Take the families Spoelberch, the Mevius and Vandamme, who are behind AB InBev. With their five billion personal fortune they would not even feel the effect of millionaire tax. Unfortunately, much of the political world today is in the pocket of the financial world. The millionaire’s tax is unrealistic, they say. To abolish the bus roure 23 in Antwerp so that ordinary people can not go to the hospital anymore, that’s realistic. ”

– But if even the SP.A against is that tax, it will never come.

Peter Mertens. “We will continue fighting. Caroline Ven of the enterpreneurs organisation VKW recently announced that I am suffering from a morbid obsession about redistribution. (Laughs) I replied to her that I hope it is contagious. Oxfam has recently calculated that the wealth of the hundred richest people of the world can solve all poverty in the world four times over . If this is a populist remark, then I am proud to be a populist. ”

-With that populism you have put your party on the map again. Ten years ago it seemed to be doomed.

Peter Mertens. “When we attempted in 2003 along with Dyab Abou Jahjah to go to the voters under the name Resist, we indeed ran hard with the nose against the wall. That was really completely wrong. We did not have too many voters already and tyhen have lost a half of those who were left. ”

– Did Abou Jahjah not have a story of deprivation that corresponded perfectly with your program?

Peter Mertens. “Yes, as far as the deprivation of the immigrant community went, it was the right picture. The problem is that the campaign was more focused on the war in Iraq and the Middle East than on problems here at home. In that respect we were deviated from our core business, and you should never do that as a party. For that I do not blame Dyab, but I blame ourselves. ”

– Did you make that analysis then already?

Peter Mertens. “Then I for the first time did the stocktaking for the party after the elections. And for that I wasgreatly resented by the then party leadership . For six months we have been debating the future of the party. The people who came up to sway with doctrinal texts of Lenin, have left the party. The people who felt that we had to rejuvenate, have remained. It was then that we have lost our dogmatic wing. ”

– What became your mission?

Peter Mertens. “We then decided to conquer the neighborhoods which the social democrats have left in the lurch, with a modern socialism. We have also made it tangible, including the kiwi model of Dirk Van Duppen. And we have restored our relationships with the unions . The right want to limit the power of the unions, we unreservedly are on the side of the unions. That is today one of the key battles. ”

-Are you electorally speaking on schedule that you as the party chairman had in mind in 2008?

Peter Mertens. “Not all of our plans came true, but we have made an electoral breakthrough at the municipal elections in Liege and Antwerp, and we have a strong students movevement now. Only the bar is now higher than we had anticipated in 2008. Because of the crisis the need for a party like ours has only grown. The question is how we can sharpen our ambition. It will not be easy. We are faced today with two drawbacks. Until we are in parliament, we will continue to be a volunteer party. We have no funds to finance our operations. And until that threshold in the elections will exist, it is not easy to get into parliament. ”

– Just say, impossible.

Peter Mertens. “In Antwerp it is difficult. In the city we get the threshold, but in the Kempen and the rest of the province we might not. But in Liege, we will undoubtedly have a member elected. And Raoul Hedebouw speaks perfect Dutch too, so he will also be visible in the Flemish parliament. But to really break through within half a year in Flanders, we need the media. ”

– But you have easy access to the media?

Peter Mertens. “Compared to three years ago? Absolutely. In comparison with the other parties? Marginal. Even though I was recently in Dag Allemaal (show). When I will be there 10 times, we can really play equal. ”

– Then you will have to show your wife and children.

Peter Mertens. (Laughs) “Never.”

– What should elections be about next year?

Peter Mertens. “The N-VA controls media completely, so the debate will be hijacked by the confederation. That’s a pity, because that attention is distracted from what really matters. And I think that’s a big problem for our democracy. We will talk endlessly during the election campaign about institutional problems of Belgium, while the European train is hurtling towards abyss. ”

– Europe is the real debate?

Peter Mertens. “One of the most important debates. Europe is destroying itself by spending cuts. And so the crisis will soon get worse. We go to a recession, the closure of Ford Genk was the overture of a second crisis wave, including the closure of ArcelorMittal. This second crisis wave is much harder, because the social security everywhere is being phased out. There is mass unemployment, in Europe today are 27 million people without a job. In some countries, half of the young people have no future. I think most politicians underestimate what that means. That increasing division of society is a threat to democracy. ”

– That unemployment is additionally the largest in the immigrant community.

Peter Mertens. “That’s a tragedy. If people get to know each other on the factory floor know, they are less likely to seclude themselves within their own community. A job leads to integration. That is another reason why we can no longer accept the idea of mass unemployment. ”

-Should the government create jobs?

Peter Mertens. “We must have a major social debate about it. We also want people to look for work actively, like the other parties do, but then there must be jobs. Antwerp currently has 36,000 unemployed for 6,000 vacancies. We urgently need an industrial policy. Multinational companies such as Ford and Arcelor have to come under democratic control. ”

– How are you going to succeed?

Peter Mertens. “Today, politicians look at those big companies like a cow to a train. While outrageous things happen. We have given ArcelorMittal eleven billion euros as a gift made through the notional interest deduction. That money should be returned to us. And for any subsidy or allowance that a company will want in the future, there must be guarantees in terms of employment. We are gliding down to social relations as we have known them in the nineteenth century. And we must take a stand against it. ”
_________________________________________________________________________

Source:

http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=DMF20130130_00451431

  Translated from the Dutch.

Enver Hoxha :: TOGLIATTI’S «TESTAMENT», THE CRISIS OF MODERN REVISIONISM AND THE STRUGGLE OF THE MARXIST-LENINISTS

hoxha Palmiro_TogliattiThe theoretical journal of the CC of the Italian Communist Party «Rinascita» in issue No. 35, dated September 5, 1964, has published Togliatti’s last writing, which the Western press has dubbed his «testament». The question is about a memorandum «about the problems of the international workers’ movement and its unity», written by Togliatti in Yalta (USSR), in August 1964, which was to have served as a basis in his talks with Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders about the problems which have arisen in connection with the calling of an international meeting of communist and workers’ parties by the Khrushchev group.

The leadership of the ICP headed by L. Longo, who was elected General Secretary after Togliatti’s death, hastened to publish it and to proclaim it as its own platform. «The leadership of our Party,» wrote Longo in a brief foreword to Togliatti’s «testament», «learned with great excitement about the document prepared by Comrade Togliatti, agreed that in it the positions of our Party in regard to the present situation of the international communist movement are presented with great clarity, and adopted it as its own. Therefore we are publishing Comrade Togliatti’s memorandum as a precise exposition of the position of the Party about the problems of the international communist and workers’ movement and its unity».

The publication of this document met with a lively response both among the revisionist circles and in the bourgeois press. While the Khrushchev group maintained a reserved stand towards this document and was satisfied simply to publish it without comment, the imperialists and the Titoite clique hailed it and welcomed it with glee. And this because of the fact that in this document Togliatti not only reaffirmed the hostile anti-Marxist position of the Italian revisionists, but also disclosed the differences which the Italian revisionists have with other revisionists, and with the Khrushchev group in the first place. Togliatti’s whole «testament» is pervaded from end to end by distortion of Marxism-Leninism, by efforts to replace it in theory and practice with modern revisionism. It reflects and boosts the line of «Italian socialism» and the theory of «Italian polycentrism».
As such, Togliatti’s «testament» has great importance for us Marxist-Leninists because the revisionists exposed themselves in it. Through this document the genuine revolutionaries can see the results of their resolute struggle up till now, which has not only seriously hindered the realization
of the hostile aims of the revisionists, but has also caused them great difficulties and has made the contradictions between them even deeper and more acute. At the same time, through Togliatti’s «testament», the Marxist- Leninists can also see more clearly the plans and methods of struggle which the modern revisionists will try to use now and in the future against Marxist-Leninist parties, against genuine revolutionaries, against communism. These cunning revisionist plans must be resolutely and unhesitatingly unmasked. The illusions which the various revisionist groups try to create about their positions must be exposed and destroyed. The genuine revolutionaries must be clear about the present and future danger from those enemies of communism. For this reason it is necessary to carefully analyze the «testament» of Togliatti.

 THE MAIN AIM OF REVISIONISTS IS TO FIGHT
MARXIST-LENINISTS

 In reading the «testament» of Togliatti it becomes clearly apparent that the main aim of this document is not at all to achieve unity in the international communist movement and the socialist camp, but to show the methods, forms, and means which, in the opinion of Togliatti and the whole revisionist leadership of the Italian Communist Party, will make possible a more effective struggle against the Marxist-Leninist parties and their positions, against their ever-increasing influence. Togliatti makes no attempt to conceal this, indeed in his memorandum there is a special chapter entitled precisely, «How the Chinese Positions Can Be Attacked more Effectively». And this is because the revisionists see that their positions are becoming weaker, that nobody is fooled by their demagogy any longer, that revolutionary Marxist-Leninist parties and groups, around which the revolutionary masses of the working class and the people are uniting, are being formed everywhere.
In fact, as is expressed in his «testament», Togliatti is greatly concerned about the fact that things in the revisionist herd, in its struggle against Marxism-Leninism, are not going well, and he sees the main cause of this situation in the «wrong», «dogmatic» and brutal tactics of Khrushchev and his group. He writes:

«The plan which we proposed for a powerful struggle against the incorrect political positions and disruptive activity of the Chinese communists was different from that which was followed in fact… A
different line was followed and I do not consider the results completely satisfactory.»

The Togliatti revisionists are among the most cowardly, but at the same time, the most consistent revisionists.
Therefore they demand, as their dead leader clearly states, that the open polemics against the «dogmatists» must be carried on unceasingly.

With this the Italian revisionists show themselves to be, as they are in fact, sworn enemies of Marxism-Leninism.
They express themselves as firmly opposed to any cessation of the open, public struggle against Marxist-Leninists, even temporarily and for the sake of appearances, because otherwise they cannot carry out their treacherous mission.

At the same time, with this they are telling Khrushchev that his demagogic manoeuvres intended «to stop polemics» are completely in vain and deceive no one, that the polemics cannot be stopped either by the revisionists or the «dogmatists».On the other hand, however, Togliatti demands that
the main direction of the polemics must be shifted. Faced with the bitter experience of the deplorable results of the propaganda of the Khrushchev group, allegedly in defence of principles of creative Marxism-Leninism, he demands that they refrain from theoretical polemics with Marxist- Leninist parties that touch on the vital problems of principleof the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist doctrine and the activity of the communist movement, and that the discussion should be orientated completely towards the confused, unprincipled, and uncontrollable petty day-to-day struggle around the current internal problems of the country, in which, according to Togliatti, the propaganda of the «dogmatists» is «completely disarmed and powerless» and has «no effect at all».

With this proposal Togliatti is launching a very dangerous idea. In the polemics with the Marxist-Leninists over major questions of principle, as Togliatti himself is forced to admit, the modern revisionists have suffered utter defeat, their demagogy has failed and they are not in a position to denigrate the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism. The polemics over principle is certain disaster for the revisionists, because it is demonstrating openly to the masses of communists and working people the revisionists’ flagrant deviation from the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism, and bringing to light their real features as renegades.

Consequently, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists everywhere are organizing, creating new groups and parties, which are fighting with determination against revisionism, in defence of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Togliatti is afraid of this situation and perspective. Therefore, to avoid the complete exposure of revisionism, he demands that the polemics must be shifted from questions of principle and concentrated on discussion of second-rate matters, on day-to-day problems. What Togliatti means by this is: let everybody stick to his own ideological views and let there be no polemics over these matters of principle; the communists should not concern themselves about the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism; the process of the creation of new revolutionary groups and parties should be hindered in every way; the revisionist renegades should be left in peace in their activity so that they will have fewer problems and headaches in putting into practice their opportunist line, the line of giving up revolutionary struggle, the line of the liquidation of revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, the line of alliances with the bourgeoisie and imperialism. But for all the efforts of Togliatti and company to divert and quell it, the great polemic which is going on today between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism can never be stopped. This polemics will cease only when modern revisionism has been totally destroyed. The Marxist-Leninists consider it their lofty internationalist duty to carry this
ideological struggle, which has vital importance for the fate of the communist and revolutionary movement, through to the end. Togliatti is dissatisfied, not only with the way in which the Khrushchev group has conducted the polemic against the Marxist-Leninist parties, but also with the practical steps which it has undertaken to put its treacherous revisionist policy into practice. As «positive» but «inadequate» steps in this direction, Togliatti mentions the signing of the notorious Moscow Treaty on the partial prohibition of nuclear tests and the visit of Khrushchev to Egypt. He demands that similar «practical» steps be taken more often, both by the Khrushchevite revisionists and by those of other countries. Thus, Togliatti and his Italian revisionist comrades,
who have capitulated completely to the atomic blackmail of imperialism, are appealing to the Khrushchev group to reject any «senseless hesitation» and to proceed more quickly down the road of rapprochement with and capitulationist concessions to the imperialists, as they did on the
occasion of the signing of the tripartite pact over nuclear tests. But the policy of capitulation to imperialist blackmail, of unprincipled concessions to the imperialists and deals with them has not led to the lowering of international tension and has not averted the danger of war as the revisionists, who are scared stiff, think, but on then contrary, has whetted the appetite of the imperialists and
increased their aggressiveness, as is shown by the aggressive actions of the US imperialists in South-east Asia, their ceaseless provocations in West Berlin, the increase in their piratical acts against Cuba, and so on, during these recent months. Indeed even Togliatti himself is obliged to admit
in his memorandum that the international situation is worse now than it was two or three years ago.
In his «testament» Togliatti urges the revisionists, wherever they happen to be, to step up their efforts against the Marxist-Leninist parties and their authority and influence in the world. He is especially worried about the ever-greater influence of Marxist-Leninists in the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, or the «third world», as Togliatti calls these zones. Therefore he recommends
that the revisionist groups must intervene more actively in these zones, with the aim of combating the positions of Marxist-Leninist parties there and liquidating their influence. He proposes «…an international meeting called by a number of Western communist parties, with a widerange
of representatives of democratic countries of the ’third world’ and their progressive movements, for the purpose of working out a concrete line of collaboration with and aid for these movements.»
Why are Togliatti and his henchmen so worried about the situation in the so-called third world? Is there not a powerful, anti-imperialist national liberation movement developing in these countries? Or perhaps this is just what is worrying them? Now the whole world knows that the Marxist-Leninist parties are the true and most resolute supporters of the national liberation struggles of the peoples
of Asia, Africa and Latin America, dauntless fighters against imperialism for the peoples’ freedom and independence.
Therefore, to rise in opposition to the line which these parties follow, to try to eliminate their influence among the peoples who have risen in struggle against imperialism, as Togliatti demands, means, in fact, to rise in opposition to the peoples’ anti-imperialist liberation struggle. And the facts prove that the aim of the line of all modern revisionists, from Tito to Khrushchev and Togliatti, has always been to use various pretexts and manoeuvres to hold back and paralyze the liberation struggle of the enslaved peoples against imperialism. It is precisely Togliatti who has declared more than once that «the colonial regime has almost completely collapsed» and that «spheres of influence of imperialism no longer exist in the world». It is precisely the Italian revisionists headed by Togliatti who have preached collaboration between socialist countries and the «leading classes of capitalist countries» for the creation of an order «in which all the aspirations of mankind and the peoples for freedom, well-being and independence can be satisfied». It is precisely they who have sought «common initiatives» between states with differing systems, especially in Europe, «to carry out joint intervention to help the less developed regions progress». That is how Togliatti understands assistance for the peoples who are fighting imperialism!

Continuing his idea on how the Marxist-Leninist parties can be combated more successfully, in his «testament», Togliatti expresses reservations about whether a meeting of communist parties, which would have the aim of condemning and excommunicating the CP of China, the PLA, and other parties and the definitive splitting of the communist movement, is useful and opportune. The Togliattists consider such a tactic of the renegade group of Khrushchev wrong and very harmful to the revisionist cause.
Togliatti considers the calling of a meeting to carry through and sanction the splitting of the communist movement very dangerous, because it would enhance the struggle of the Marxist-Leninists against the revisionists throughout the world, would accelerate the process of differentiation in the ranks of the world communist movement and the unification of the Marxist-Leninist forces, and would thus bring the inevitable end of the revisionists closer. «The danger would become especially serious,» writes Togliatti, «if it came to the point of the splitting of the movement, with the formation of a Chinese international centre which would create its ’sections’ in all countries. All the parties,
and especially the weakest ones, would tend to devote the greater part of their activity to the polemics and struggle against these so-called ’sections’ of a new ’International’… It is true that even today the factional efforts of the Chinese are taking place on a wide-scale and in almost all countries. We should avoid turning the quantity of these efforts into quality, that is, into a true, general, and sanctioned split.»
As a veteran of the Comintern, Palmiro Togliatti well knows the strength of the organization of the Marxist- Leninists of the world and he is very much afraid of it. Although he tries to belittle the new Marxist Leninist parties and groups that are emerging, moulding themselves, and becoming stronger everywhere in the world, he is very much afraid of them, foreseeing the grave danger looming for modern revisionism. With this he wants to tell the Khrushchevites, who rely on their arrogance, who are intoxicated and blinded by their «economic and military potential», who rely blindly on the prestige of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, not to forget the lessons of history, the lessons of the experience of the international communist movement, not to forget the ignominious defeat
which the 3rd International inflicted on the opportunists and revisionists of the 2nd International. Hence, Togliatti is telling Khrushchev and his supporters: give up this «meeting», refrain from a definitive split, because we are hastening our own catastrophe, and we can avoid this catastrophe by acting differently!

These two different tactics of the revisionists are dictated by the different conditions in which they are acting.
Khrushchev and his group, who have seized state power in the Soviet Union, think that they can cope with the crisis, which a complete split in the communist movement would cause, by using harsh police methods, persecution and oppression against the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists who are rising and will rise against the revisionists’ treacherous line. While the Togliattists, who operate in a capitalist country and do not have state power in their hands, and consequently cannot prevent the activity of Marxist- Leninists with such methods, oppose the extremist methods of Khrushchev for a complete split in the communist movement, hoping thus to avert the catastrophe, and with other, more flexible and «democratic» methods and manoeuvres to paralyze the organization and struggle of revolutionary communists. But neither the brutal methods used by Khrushchev and his group nor the «refined» tactics which Togliatti proposes can stop the inevitable process of the gathering and organization of revolutionary Marxist-Leninist forces, cannot avert the complete and final defeat of modern revisionism.

The Togliattists come out against the aims of Khrushchev and his group for a final break and cutting off of all relations with the PR of China and other fraternal socialist countries for another reason, too. They are frightened by the ultrareactionary tendencies which are becoming more pronounced every day, both in the USA (Goldwater) and in Western Europe. «We think that we ought to bear this situation in mind in our whole attitude,» writes Togliatti in his «testament». «The unity of all the socialist forces in joint action, overriding the ideological differences, against
the most reactionary groups of imperialism, is an absolute necessity. The exclusion of China and the Chinese communists from this unity is unthinkable.» From what Togliatti says, it emerges that what he is concerned about is not in the least the fact that the communist movement and the socialist camp have been disrupted, nor the finding of ways to overcome the profound differences of principle which have emerged in their ranks.

No, he demands that the polemics against the Marxist- Leninist parties must be carried on ceaselessly, indeed, as we have shown above, he even recommends more effective ways and means to struggle against them. But he is afraid of the «madmen», proposes that a more flexible, more cautious course should be followed, that in view of the difficult days that may come in the future they should not burn all their bridges with 700-million strong People’s China. This is an opportunist stand typical of the Italian bourgeoisie, which has a tradition of swapping its alliances and its «shirts» at decisive moments as readily as a sultan would change his wives. Togliatti’s assertions that he is allegedly concerned about the struggle against the common enemy — imperialism, as well as his proposal to coordinate joint actions together with the PH of China in this struggle, are demagogy from start to finish, calculated to deceive people. What unity and collaboration on the basis of the struggle against imperialism can there be with the modern revisionists, whether Togliattist, Khrushchevite, or Titoite, who have not only rejected the struggle against imperialism, especially against the main citadel of world reaction — US imperialism, but have even tried, and still try in every way, to prettify imperialism and its chiefs, to spread pacifist illusions about it, to turn the peoples from resolute struggle against it, and indeed, have gone so far as to conclude scandalous agreements with the imperialists and various reactionaries, contrary to the vital interests of the socialist countries and peace? There can be unity and collaboration in the struggle against imperialism only with the Marxist-
Leninists and with all the forces that genuinely take an anti-imperialist position, who demonstrate this with deeds and not just with words, but never with the revisionists who are the offspring of imperialism and in its service.

TOGLIATTI SEEKS FURTHER DEGENERATION OF THE
SOCIALIST COUNTRIES AND COMMUNIST PARTIES

The final notes of Togliatti are a clear expression of the differences which exist between various revisionist groupings in connection with the courses and rates of development of modern revisionism in theory and practice. Togliatti heaps criticism on the Khrushchev group
and its followers because they are proceeding at a very slow pace on the course of the «democratic and liberal transformation» of life in the socialist countries. He demands that they should proceed more rapidly, more openly, with greater determination on the course of the degeneration
of the socialist order. Togliatti again raises the old question which he, together with the renegade Tito, had raised in 1956, at the time of the counter-revolution in Hungary, about the «origin of the cult of the individual of Stalin». He writes, «… generally speaking, the problem of the origin of the cult
of Stalin and how it was made possible is considered unsolved. People in the West, and many communist sympathizers among them,» says Togliatti, «do not accept that it can all be explained ’simply with the grave personal vices of Stalin’. Efforts are made to track down what might have been the political mistakes which contributed to the birth of this cult». It is obvious that in raising the issue of the sources of Stalin’s «cult of the individual» in this way, Togliatti is demanding fundamental changes in the very foundations of the socialist order, in the main principles of the organization of this order and the policy of the socialist construction that was followed in the Soviet Union in the time of Stalin’s leadership.

But what does Togliatti want concretely?

This comes out very clearly in an interview which he gave to the correspondent of the American magazine «Time» immediately after the elections of April 28, 1963 in Italy, which was published for the first time after the death of Togliatti* as a document which includes many of the theses developed later in the Yalta memorandum of Togliatti. In this interview Togliatti quite openly criticizes the policy of the nationalization of capitalist industry, the collectivization of agriculture, and the leadership of a single party, etc., in other words, the fundamental line of socialist organization and construction which was followed during the period of Stalin’s leadership in the Soviet Union. He demands that such a line must be rejected and that «Stalin’s mistakes must not be repeated». It is not in the least fortuitous that in his memorandum Togliatti demands the organization of «public discussions » from time to time in the socialist countries, in which «leading figures who have varying viewpoints» about the problems of socialist construction should take part and express their «original» opinions in regard to the ways and methods of development of the socialist economy. It is not hard to see what Togliatti is driving at. It is known that such «discussions» are being held now in the Soviet Union in connection with the ways to introduce the principle of «profit» into the Soviet enterprises, a thing which constitutes a step towards the application in the Soviet economy of the experience of the Tito clique about the so-called workers’ self-administration. This is the road to the capitalist degeneration of the socialist economy. And Togliatti issues the call for more rapid and bolder advance precisely down this road.
But in the first place and above all, for Togliatti, for all the Italian revisionists and those who, openly or secretly, tag along after them, the «process of de-Stalinization» in the countries where the revisionists rule is not satisfactory and is not being carried out as rapidly as it should.

* «Unità», September 18, 1964.

«The problem which commands the greatest attention today, in regard to both the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries,» he says in his «testament», «is especially that of overcoming the regime of restriction and suppression of democratic and personal rights which was established by Stalin… The general impression is that there is a slowness and resistance to returning to the Leninist norms which ensure extensive freedom of expression and discussion inside the party and outside it, in the field of culture and art, as well as in the political field.» Thus, with the process of «de-Stalinization», Togliatti means the radical transformation at accelerated rates, in theory and practice, of the regime, of the system, of the internal and foreign policies of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries of Europe, with the aim that these countries should be turned from the right road of the construction of socialism on a scientific Marxist-Leninist basis, to countries with a liberal, social-democratic, state capitalist order. In other words, Togliatti demands that the road, which Khrushchev and the 20th Congress of the CPSU opened towards the degeneration of the Soviet Union from a socialist country to a bourgeois liberal country, must not be interrupted, the process must not be slowed down, but on the contrary, must be accelerated. According to the Italian revisionists, for this process
to advance, the Soviet system which allegedly gave birth to «Stalin’s cult of the individual» must be discredited completely, both politically and ideologically, Stalin, who allegedly perverted Marxism-Leninism, «created the most savage dictatorship known to mankind», caused «great
harm» with the «unnecessary» and «barbarous» class struggle, and «made the Soviet Union a fearsome spectre to the world bourgeoisie, to social-democracy,» etc., must be discredited.
In reality, the Khrushchev group and its followers are completely at one in principle with Togliatti, and are proceeding precisely on the anti-Soviet road he preaches. The fact is that in the Soviet Union, in the context of «liberalization» and «democratization» of the social order, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the proletarian party are being liquidated, It is known, also, that in the Soviet Union and in some former countries of people’s democracy, the doors have been opened wide to the spread of all sorts of anti-socialist and decadent bourgeois trends in the field of culture and art. These things are no longer a secret to anyone. But to advance on this course with rapid steps is something very delicate and accompanied with a number of negative consequences for the revisionists themselves, and this is what forces Khrushchev and his group to show more restraint and caution than Togliatti would like. They are obliged to show more caution and restraint because to go at the gallop down the road of liberal-bourgeois degeneration of the socialist order would quickly expose them to the masses as the renegades from socialism who are restoring capitalism, which they are in fact. Apart from this, it seems that the Khrushchev group is afraid to allow the extremist revisionist elements much rope by giving them complete freedom of speech and action, because they will bring troubles upon its own head, as has occurred in fact with a number of writers in the Soviet Union who began to demand an accounting even from Khrushchev himself over the so-called «crimes» of the Stalin era. In the final analysis, the Khrushchev group and its revisionist followers in other countries cannot be for unrestricted «liberalization», because such a thing would face them with the problem of freedom of speech and action also for the sound revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist elements who oppose their revisionist line. But it is known that the Khrushchev group and its supporters have established the
most severe censorship and the harshest police regime against Marxist-Leninists.
Naturally Togliatti and the Togliattists hail the steps undertaken in the Soviet Union and a number of other socialist countries for the degeneration of the socialist order and the widespread introduction of bourgeois ideological influences as «very positive». However, according to them, this process is being carried out very slowly, with zigzags, and stops and starts, and is encountering the resistance of «the old»; they need matters to go more quickly on the road of the complete liquidation of the «harmful consequences of the dictatorship of the proletariat», on the road of the capitalist degeneration in the socialist economy, in the field of culture and art, and all other fields. They
want the process of degeneration in the CPSU, which has now become a «party of the entire people», to advance more rapidly, and demand that it should become completely a party of the type of the ICP, without rules, without discipline, «free», «democratic», with factions and tendencies of every kind included in it. In a word, Togliatti recommends to the Khrushchevite revisionists that the reforms undertaken for the liberalization of the party should be taken further, that the CPSU and the parties of the republics which form it should have great freedom (even the present «dogmatic» forms which the Khrushchevite revisionists use must be rejected) and the best of all possible
blessings would be if they went even from the old «dogmatic» system of one party to the multi-party system.
According to the Togliattists, this would be the culmination of «socialist democracy» (they don’t quite say that «Lenin had long dreamed of this,» but Stalin had hindered the realization of this «dream of Lenin’s» for dozens of years on end! But they may get around to saying it one day).

Togliatti and all the Italian revisionists, who operate in a capitalist country, don’t want to take account of the special conditions and difficulties which the Khrushchevites and the other revisionists run into, which stop them going full tilt down the road of degeneration. The Togliattists want the process of degeneration in the Soviet Union, and consequently also in the other socialist countries of Europe to be speeded up, because only in this way will the capitalist world no longer be afraid of the Soviet Union, of socialism, of communism, because only in this way will the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intellectuals be convinced that the «devil is not as ugly as they say,» that socialism is: not so unacceptable to them (and even if up till now there have been things in the socialist countries unacceptable to the bourgeoisie, these have been the «distortions» of Stalin!).
Hence it is possible to talk about building a «new system of world socialism» with «Marxists», with «socialists», with social-democrats, with Christian Democrats, with capitalists, on the «peaceful» road, without class struggle, without the dictatorship of the proletariat, without destroying the old state power of the bourgeoisie, but by means of «structural reforms», on the parliamentary road, acting according to the laws of bourgeois Constitutions, etc., etc. But, since the principles of transition to «socialism» in such «democratic» and «peaceful» ways were accepted at the 20th Congress, the Italian revisionists argue, then they should be applied in a consistent manner, not only in words but in deeds, and it devolves on the Khrushchevite and other revisionists to set the example for the whole world, to remove the «democrats’» fears by proving that they are wiping out the «spectre of Stalinism» in deeds and have changed the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries into social-democratic paradises, into countries of «popular socialism», acceptable to all the democrats of the world!
Togliatti also expresses dissatisfaction and pretensions regarding the problems of the development of revisionism in the Western countries. «We have always been of the opinion,
» he writes, «that it is not correct to present the workers’ and communist movement of the Western countries always in optimistic colours. In this world, even although there has been some progress here and there, our development and our strength, to this very day, are inappropriate to the tasks before us.»
This is a truly interesting admission. It is known that in the overwhelming majority of these countries, the leadership of the communist parties is in the hands of revisionist elements who proceed on the same opportunist and anti-Marxist course advocated by Togliatti, Tito, and Khrushchev and company. Togliatti’s admission shows to what a pretty pass the trend of modern revisionism has brought the communist movement. And what does Togliatti want? What does he recommend to pull the communist movement of the Western world out of this unpleasant situation? The most elementary logic demands that the first decisive step in this direction should be the rejection of the revisionist anti-revolutionary line which has dragged the prestige and authority
of the communist and workers’ parties in the West down to ground level and has led to the alienation and isolation of the communists from the masses. However, Togliatti recommends precisely the opposite: he demands that they go even further down the revisionist road of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. «In general,» he writes, «in compiling our policy, we set out, and we are convinced that we should set out, from the positions of the 20th Congress. But today, even these positions require deepening and development. »Concretely he demands that all the forces and efforts of the communist and workers’ parties in the Western countries should be directed towards the «peaceful» and «legal» forms of struggle, following the example of the socalled «Italian road» to socialism (the demand for the working out and putting into practice of an «overall plan of economic development» in the interests of workers «to be counterposed to the capitalist program» which is in the interests of big monopolies, for the «democratization» of the management of economic life in the capitalist countries, etc., etc.). «For example,» writes Togliatti, «a more profound judgement on the theme of the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism impels us to define more precisely what we mean by democracy in a bourgeois state, how can the limits of freedom and democratic institutions be expanded, and what will be the most effective forms of the participation of the masses of workers and working people in economic and political life. The question arises of the possibility of the working class winning positions of power within the framework of a state which has not changed its nature as a bourgeois state, and consequently, whether the struggle from within for a progressive transformation of this nature would be possible. In countries where the communist movement has become strong, as in our country (and in France), this is emerging as the fundamental question in political life today.»
We have had occasion previously, especially in the article «About the Theses for the 10th Congress of the ICP» published in «Zëri i popullit» on 17 and 18 November, 1962, to dwell in detail on the analysis of the so-called Italian road to socialism, and to prove that it is characterized by flagrant departure from the fundamental teachings of Marxism-Leninism about the class struggle, the socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, that it is an utterly opportunist and revisionist «road» identical with the preachings of Bernstein, Kautsky, and other opportunists of the past, of the right-wing socialists, the Tito clique, and other renegades of the present time. And it is precisely
the further deepening of this treacherous line of negation of the revolution, of weaning the communist parties and masses of working people away from revolutionary struggle, that Togliatti recommends as the way out of the crisis into which modern revisionism has led the communist movement in the West!
Togliatti also wants them to renounce anything that might hinder the alliances of the revisionists with the liberal bourgeoisie, the bourgeois intellectuals, the Christian Democrats, the social-democrats, and all their other «allies» on the «democratic Italian road to socialism». He mentions as an example the absolute need to renounce the «ancient atheist formula», in other words, the principled struggle against religion and the reactionary policy of the Vatican, as well as the struggle for the principles of Marxism in the fields of culture, art, science and philosophy. In fact, this is the line of the political and ideological degeneration of the communist and workers’ parties in the Western countries, of turning them into parties of the social-democratic type. To complete the picture, we shall add here that at the same time the leadership of the ICP headed by Togliatti has long been following the policy of the organizational degeneration of the proletarian party, changing it gradually from a militant, organized and disciplined revolutionary vanguard of the working class into an amorphous organization, with no clear-cut limits, without a sound party discipline, which anyone can enter or
leave as it pleases him, and where the supreme duty of a party member is considered to be that he gives his vote to the Communist Party in the parliamentary or other elections which are held in the capitalist countries. Thus, willy-nilly, the Italian revisionists regretfully admit that their road of betrayal has brought them no gains. On the contrary, not only are the revisionist parties in the capitalist countries far from taking power through the «parliamentary» road, but they are even losing those seats which they had in the past in the bourgeois parliaments; not only are they quite unable to consolidate their old alliances and create new ones with the Socialists, the Christian Democrats, the social-democrats, etc., but those they have had have fallen apart, by means of their «structural» reforms and covering under bourgeois constitutions, they have not only «failed to marry the priest’s daughter but they are not even accepted in the village». And above all, they see that the resistance of opponents within the party is increasing from day to day, and that outside the
party, Marxist-Leninist groups are being formed which are growing and becoming stronger and will turn into new Marxist-Leninist parties. For the revisionists the outlook is disastrous because they can see their utter defeat as a not distant prospect. With this situation in mind, the cry of alarm which
Togliatti sends out to the other revisionists, especially to the Soviet revisionists headed by Khrushchev, is quite understandable. He demands that the tactics of the struggle against the «dogmatists» must be changed, and at the same time, demands the speeding up of the degeneration of the socialist countries and further rapprochement with the bourgeoisie and imperialism; according to Togliatti, the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries ought to provide the «good example» of the complete liquidation of the «Stalinist anomaly» and the creation of a «democratic» and «liberal» socialism of the type that the right-wing social-democratic chiefs advocate, which they even claim they have achieved in a number of European capitalist countries! Thus, for the sake of the triumph of the «Italian road to socialism», for the sake of their alliances with the bourgeoisie, the social-democrats, the Christian Democrats, etc.; Togliatti and all the Italian revisionists demand that the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries must be sacrificed, that the triumph of the Great October Socialist
Revolution and the people’s revolutions in the other countries, achieved through the struggle and bloodshed of the peoples, must be liquidated. This is a great anti-Soviet and anti-socialist plot, which reveals the real, traitorous features of the Togliatti revisionists. However, as was inevitable, these demands of Togliatti have run into opposition from the Khrushchev group, which now finds itself in a difficult situation. It has gone a very long way down the road of betrayal and is neither willing nor able to turn back, because such a thing would mean utter defeat and complete liquidation for it. But neither can it advance at the accelerated rates that Togliatti demands, because this would speed up its complete exposure and defeat. Faced with this difficult situation, the Khrushchev group opposes the line of Togliatti and tries to impose its own line on the Togliattists, by relying on the power of the
«ruble» and on the military power and authority of the USSR and the CPSU.
All this shows that, although they are all treading the one path of betrayal, between the revisionists there is not and cannot be unity, that the differences among them are incapable of solution, but will become steadily deeper and deeper, disrupting and fragmenting the revisionist front.

POLYCENTRISM AND MONOCENTRISM— TWO ANTI-MARXIST TENDENCIES IN THE RANKS OF MODERN REVISIONISM

 The other important question which Togliatti raises in his «testament» is the so-called theory of polycentrism, which is counterposed to the monocentrist line of Khrushchev and his group.

The line of the Khrushchev group is the line of banging the fist on the table, not only towards the Marxist-Leninist parties, but also towards other revisionists, the line of stern dictate to force all to obey the Khrushchev group unconditionally and humbly approve its policy of great-state chauvinism
and the «mother party». Whereas the polycentrist line of Togliatti is a typical expression of a liberal, opportunist, social-democratic policy, which wants to get rid of any imposition from the Khrushchev group, and not only for the ICP but also for all the other revisionists, both in the capitalist world and in the socialist countries. As far as Togliatti is concerned, «Moscow» is no longer, and must not be able to run the international communist movement. The authority of the CPSU should be eliminated, according to Togliatti, because this is an «anachronism», a «dangerous hang-over from the cult of Stalin». The Khrushchev group must give up its leadership and domination of the international communist movement, must give up its monopoly of keeping all the other parties tied to the CPSU, give up the privilege that it, alone, is authorized to maintain links with the small communist and workers’ parties, to have meetings and contacts with them, and to give them orders and advice. Indeed he does not want to allow the CPSU and the Soviet government even the privilege that they alone should have contacts and develop policies with non-communist, nationalist, progressive government
elements from the backward countries. Togliatti demands the existence of a number of centres of political and ideological leadership and activity, especially in the capitalist world. And concretely, in his opinion, these centres should be the Italian, French Communist parties and the Communist Party of Spain. These two lines were expressed with special clarity in the differing attitudes towards the meeting of communist and workers’ parties proposed by the Khrushchev group.

This group has decided to call the international meeting of communist and workers’ parties as soon as possible, and thus sanction the complete and open splitting of the communist movement, and to establish its hegemony, to lay down the law, and dictate its line to the revisionist parties, to subject all the revisionists to its dictate, and impose its own «charter» on them. Whereas the Italian revisionists oppose the meeting proposed by Khrushchev for the above purposes, and are doing everything they can to have their polycentrist thesis accepted, because they do not want to be subject to any dictate, do not want to tie their own hands with any sort of joint decisions, but have the tendency to proceed without any sort of «common charter», even though it may be completely revisionist.
In his «testament» Togliatti clearly expresses these hesitations and tendencies. He says, «in our party we still have doubts and reservations about whether the international conference is opportune…», or «indeed we might even fear that the adoption of rigid general formulae may be a hindrance», «thus we would be opposed to any proposal to create another centralized international organization». Therefore Togliatti suggests that instead of the international meeting «we should proceed with a series of meetings with groups of parties… in the various sectors of our movement (West Europe, the countries of Latin America, countries of the ’third world’ and their contacts
with the communist movement of the capitalist countries, the countries of people’s democracy, etc.).» According to Togliatti, this would be a better way to fight the Marxist- Leninist parties. «Finally,» continues Togliatti, «once our tasks and political line have been thoroughly defined, sector by sector, the international conference might be called off, if this is considered necessary to avoid a formal split,» which, as we pointed out above, the Togliattists fear as the devil fears holy water.

But while expressing his opposition to a general meeting, in his «testament» Togliatti stresses: «Unquestionably, we shall take part, and an active part, in the preparatory meeting.» This apparently contradictory stand of the Togliatti revisionists is in complete conformity with their line and aims. The preliminary, preparatory meeting does not tie the leadership of the ICP to any sort of pledge or obligation, while on the other hand, it gives it the possibility to put forward its own platform, differing from that of the Khrushchev group, in the hope that it might find support, and even convince the Khrushchev group on a series of questions. But such a stand by Togliatti and the leaders of the
ICP to take part in the preparatory meeting is also in the interests of the Khrushchev group and suits their purposes. As the Western press commented, such an «original» stand creates a precedent for those communist and workers’ parties which, up to now, are wavering about whether or not to take part in the meeting of December 15, by «arguing» that you may quite well take part in a meeting with the mission of which you are not in agreement! While they express their opposition to the splittist meeting that Khrushchev is trying to organize, the Italian revisionists are not in the least concerned about the problem of the unity of the communist movement and the socialist camp. On the contrary, like the Khrushchev group, they, too, are for the disruption, indeed for the complete break-up of the communist movement. With their completely opportunist and social-democratic views, the Italian
revisionists have long since sown the seeds of disruption and are cultivating them with increasing care. They have waged, and are continuing to wage a stern struggle against the Marxist-Leninist parties and insist that this struggle must not be relinquished for one moment. The so-called «autonomy» which the Togliattists advocate for the socialist countries and communist parties means, as the writings of Togliatti and various documents of the leadership of the ICP bring out, that the socialist countries and communist parties should be «independent» of any Marxist- Leninist principle, of any general law, that each of them must be «free» to adopt its own «specific» road to follow «different policies», to enter into alliances and collaborate with whoever they like and as they like. The polycentrist line of the Italian revisionists, the line of the creation of different leading centres in the communist movement, is just as blatantly opposed to the ideas of unity as the Khrushchevite line of the «single command». The whole line of the Italian revisionists, who want
to get rid of any domination from the Khrushchev group, not only over the ICP, but also over all the other revisionists, who want to break up the communist movement into separate «spheres of influence», from the one angle, shows their distrust of the Khrushchev renegade group and their fear of the imminent danger of the utter defeat to which this group is leading them, whereas, from the other angle, it is an effort to avert this total catastrophe by creating groupings of revisionist parties, which, by means of various alliances and under various disguises, will save the face and extend the life of modern revisionism. To the «clumsy» tactics of Khrushchev who is endangering the existence of the whole of modern revisionism tied to the Khrushchevite chariot, the Togliattists counterpose the «’refined» tactics of many revisionist centres, so that if one is defeated the others will survive. The polycentrist position of the Italian revisionists greatly interests the imperialists, too, who, although they support the revisionist course of Khrushchev against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, want to weaken this group even more by assisting the revisionist groupings with the «cavalry of St. George» and the «dollar», so that they go further in the race to win independence from the «ruble» and become dependent on the «dollar», with the aim of forcing the Khrushchevite leadership, in this way, to make new concessions to the imperialists on the road of the degeneration of socialism and the international communist movement.
It is natural that the Khrushchev revisionist group which stands one hundred per cent on the positions of greatstate chauvinism and paternalism in its relations with its revisionist partners, which understands very well that the Togliattists are trying to destroy its «absolute rule» and to strengthen their own positions at the expense of its interests, is fiercely opposed to and rejects the polycentrist line of Togliatti and his followers. Indeed the polemic between them, with allusions sometimes more open and sometimes disguised, has even raised its head in public. Speaking about the question of calling the international meeting of communist and: workers’ parties, Ponomaryov,1 in a speech on September 28, devoted to the centenary of the 1st International, took a stab at
the position of the Togliattists and their supporters and stressed that the independence of communist parties did not mean in the least that they should act according to the proverb, «Each frog croaks in its own pond». «The tendency to interpret the independence of parties as a retreat from the carrying out of common internationalist task’s,» continues Ponomaryov, «as a sort of ’neutrality’ when it comes to the solution of common problems, can never be considered as a sign of independence or a sign of maturity.»*

* «Pravda», September 29, 1964: At that time, secretary of the CC of the CPSU.

The facts prove that the nearer the time of the meeting proposed by the Khrushchev group approaches, the more tempers are lost and the differences among the revisionists sharpen, so much more the two opposing lines in the revisionist front come to light. But both of them are fatal to
revisionism itself. The dogmatic and dictatorial revisionist line of the Khrushchev group contains within itself the seeds of the disruption of the revisionist front because it arouses the protest of the other revisionist groupings and increases their efforts to escape from the brutal dictate of Khrushchev and his group. This line has led and is leading to the isolation of this group from its revisionist partners. The polycentrist, revisionist and liberal line of Togliatti, which advocates the
dispersal of the «single command» of the Khrushchev group in the struggle against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, also contains the seed of the disruption of the revisionist groupings,
hence of their inevitable defeat and break-up also.

RESOLUTE AND PRINCIPLED STRUGGLE AGAINST ALL
REVISIONIST TRENDS — A SACRED DUTY OF REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNISTS

Togliatti’s «testament» and many other facts testify clearly that the revisionists’ front has been split and that this split is becoming deeper and will become deeper still in the future. The contradictions in the ranks of the revisionists are not something unusual, but entirely natural
phenomena, because the revisionists are people without principle, because whether Khrushchevite, Togliattist, Titoite, or of any other brand, they are lackeys of the bourgeoisie and their theories are variants of bourgeois ideology, hence they contain the seed of contradictions, of nationalism, separatism, and splits. There can be genuine unity of thought and action only on the basis of the Marxist- Leninist ideology and proletarian internationalism, which the revisionists have betrayed and abandoned. Consequently, amongst the modern revisionists, in their overall struggle against Marxism-Leninism, which they will always continue obstinately, there will be forms, nuances, alliances, prompted and inspired by all sorts of general factors, temporary and chance, co-ordinated and disconnected, and there will be various contradictions and differing tactics.
Togliatti’s «testament» brings out that there are now at least two different tactical lines in regard to the struggle against Marxism-Leninism crystallizing in the revisionist camp: the monocentrist line of the Khrushchev group and the polycentrist line of Togliatti. These differences between the Khrushchevites and their associates and the Togliattists and their associates are not new; they came out in the open immediately after the 20th Congress of the CPSU. All the revisionists unanimouslym endorsed the 20th Congress. But while some of them described it as «complete» and «adequate» for that time, the Togliattists showed that they were the «most radical revisionists and wanted and demanded that the «analysis» should go «deeper». For propaganda effect and demagogy, and from fear of a deep and immediate split in the international communist movement, the Khrushchevite revisionists acted in a more cautious manner, tried to quieten things down, but without managing to convince the Togliattists, who, without making this a matter of «conflict», developed their own rightist views, of course, while at the same time supporting and endorsing the 20th Congress and later the 22nd Congress of the CPSU. This relative «silence» of the Italian revisionists, or, so to say, their inclusion in the general «euphoria» among the revisionists, was due to their aim of first consolidating these revisionist positions in the ranks of the international communist movement, to ensure that the «poison pill» was swallowed, and then to take further steps, in theory and practice, on the road of revisionism and degeneration. It can be said that in the method of starting their work of betrayal the Khrushchevite renegades were more restrained, more cautious, more wily, more demagogic, while the Togliattists, in their equally treacherous work, were less cautious and more adventurous. To «quieten down» Togliatti and company, the Khrushchev group used the French «communists» to put pressure on them, which they did in fact, and several times the «fire» of their polemic reached the ears of the public.
Although the traitor group of Khrushchev, who had been working secretly in the ranks of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, were aware that the revisionists’ betrayal would not remain for long without being detected, unmasked and combated, still they showed themselves very naive. The Khrushchevite revisionists believed, especially in the beginning, that everything would go on smoothly, without any great opposition. They had great faith in their demagogy, thought that the prestige of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union would cover their betrayal and they relied on the great economic potential of the Soviet Union, on the others’ dependence on Soviet economic credits and their military alliances. The Soviet leaders, headed by Khrushchev, also believed that their «partners» — the various imperialists, and the US imperialists in the first place, would readily agree to their «peace proposals» to «put the world in order». But the modern revisionists were quite unable to realize any of these aims and others like them as they wished. The principled struggle of the PLA, as well as of all the Marxist-Leninists of the world and of all progressive people seriously hindered them. And the obstacles are increasing from day to day and will go on doing so. The modern revisionists, with the Khrushchevite revisionists at the head, have gone far down the road of betrayal and they will go further. But now they have been exposed in the eyes of the whole world, in the eyes of the international communist movement. The struggle of our Marxist-Leninist parties has become a great and mortal danger to them. Therefore, now they have to take serious account of our struggle which is mounting and becoming very threatening to the revisionists. The great, just and principled struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties not only tore the mask from the revisionists and ruined their plans, but it also created insurmountable difficulties for them, and also led to the sharpening of latent contradictions and the birth of new ones amongst them. Seeing that their cunning tactics have all failed, including their lies, demagogy, blandishments and threats, their economic blockades, their breaking off of diplomatic relations and their slanderous accusations of being «nationalists», «splitters», «renegades», «agents of imperialism», etc., the Khrushchevite revisionists and their supporters see no other way than to link themselves more closely with imperialism and carry the splitting of the international communist movement to its conclusion. In these conditions, the Khrushchev group wants to call the meeting of all the revisionist groupings in Moscow and there to dictate to them their will as renegade splitters and to incorporate them afresh in the continuation of a «more organized» struggle against revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, using all their means (including the «new weapon of extermination» which Khrushchev mentioned recently against the PR of China and the fraternal socialist countries). This is the desperate and hopeless struggle of a
traitor clique. The acolytes of Khrushchev are in a great dilemma. They do not want to be eliminated and quickly driven from the scene, do not want to stake everything on one card, but want to extend their lives and serve the international bourgeoisie longer. Therefore, differences between the revisionists are emerging and, at these moments of a great and unavoidable crisis for them, these contradictions are becoming markedly more abrasive.  The contradictions between the Khrushchevites and the polycentrist Italian revisionists are showing up as the most acute. These two tendencies are confronting and attacking each other over the Khrushchevite plan of calling the international meeting of communist and workers’ parties. The revisionists of various countries are grouping themselves around these two main tactical lines. In fact, the line of Togliatti has caused quite a disturbance in the revisionist frog pond. Some are openly supporting this line of Togliatti, some approve it in a low voice since they have rubles sticking in their throats, some others criticize parts
of it, while supporting it in other directions. On their part, the Italian revisionists have sent delegations to many countries to explain their position, to win the maximum number of allies for their tactics.
It is more than clear that, regardless of what tactics are used by the revisionists of all shades, from Khrushchev to Togliatti, Tito and the rest of them, they all have one aim and concern in common: to intensify the struggle against Marxism-Leninism, against the revolution and socialism, to consolidate the positions of revisionism and extend its life. They are trying to put out the flames of the struggle of the Marxist-Leninists against them, to bring about the cessation of the great polemic over principles which is going on today, to hinder the creation of genuinely revolutionary groups and parties. In this struggle and for these aims they are united, act on the one front. The differences between them are not over questions of strategy, but over questions of tactics, over how to make their struggle against Marxism- Leninism more effective and how to achieve their objectives more easily.
Having no illusions about the tactical manoeuvres of the revisionists, the Marxist-Leninists and all the revolutionaries consider the resolute and consistent struggle against all trends of modern revisionism, the struggle for the unmasking of their counter-revolutionary plans and aims to be their sacred duty. This struggle is guided by the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, which constitute the compass
and the tested weapon for every true revolutionary. In sowing all sorts of illusions about the possibility of resolving the differences, even assuming the pose of enemies of imperialism and opponents of Khrushchev, the pose of fighters for unity, the modern revisionists’ objective is to deceive the communists, to hide their real faces and aims. But these deceptive manoeuvres will not succeed.
Only the communist parties and all revolutionaries who stand firmly on the positions of the ideology of the working class are and can be genuine fighters against Khrushchevite revisionism, for genuine Marxist-Leninist unity. Revisionism cannot be fought from revisionist positions, just as genuine unity cannot be established on a revisionist basis. In this struggle the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries also have allies, with whom they are united on a number of issues. But while uniting with them in struggle, the Marxist-Leninists do not make concessions over principles, do not hide their revolutionary line, and have the duty of making this line and these principles clear to all.
It is a different matter with those like the Togliattists and their ilk, who, although they have contradictions with Khrushchev and his associates, remain consistent revisionists whose main aim is the struggle against Marxism-Leninism. Regardless of the contradictions among them, all these revisionists are enemies of the revolution and communism. Undoubtedly, the contradictions amongst the revisionists are in our favour and should be exploited, because they weaken the revisionist front. The continuous, consistent, and principled struggle against modern revisionism will make these contradictions ever deeper and more acute, but the Marxist-Leninists have no illusions about the revisionists, are not deceived by their demagogy and do not fall into the  traps they try to set for them.

Modern revisionism is the main enemy in the international communist and workers’ movement. The group around Khrushchev is the head of modern revisionism, and its most powerful detachment. From this group, which has seized the leadership of the party founded by Lenin and of the first socialist state in the world — the Soviet Union, comes the greatest and most serious danger today.
Therefore the struggle against this group, for its exposure and defeat, is the fundamental task of all Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary communists throughout the world. Apart from the Khrushchev group, the other revisionist groups, and especially the Togliattists and Titoites also represent a great danger. Titoism is an important part of modern revisionism in power, which has behind it an imperialist great power, which directs and assists it — US imperialism. The voice of the Titoites is the voice of US imperialism, which sings in the ranks of international communism through the mouth of Titoism. By means of the direct activities of its agency, Titoism, which it has bought with dollars, US imperialism tries to sabotage and undermine the camp of socialism, to bring about the degeneration of the whole international communist and workers’ movement. Khrushchev rehabilitated the Tito clique, strengthened it, and somewhat reluctantly, made it a powerful
ideological and political partner which is causing him headaches, because now it is not only the Krushchevites but also the Titoites who lay down the law in the revisionists’ ranks. The Tito clique tries to incite and deepen the contradictions that have emerged in the revisionists’ ranks and to weaken the domination of the Khrushchev group over its partners, in the interests of its own egocentric line. The Tito clique also tries to bring about that the contradictions between the Khrushchev group on the one hand, and the other revisionist groups on the other hand, do not impel
these latter to return to the positions of Marxism-Leninism, but that the dissatisfied should cry on the bosom of Titoism. Tito urges the revisionists within Comecon to gain the maximum possible economic independence from the Khrushchev group. And since he, himself, is not in a position to give the «aid» and credits, he urges them to turn for «aid» to the West, to make approaches to and link up with imperialism and, on the example of Yugoslavia, «to build socialism» with the aid of US dollars!
For the Marxist-Leninists there can be no doubt that the «struggle» of the Titoites, like the «struggle» of the Togliattists against Khrushchev is a struggle amongst traitors for domination, for leadership, a struggle of different groups of revisionists against the peoples of the Soviet Union, against Marxist-Leninists and all revolutionaries, of whom they are afraid. The revisionists of different groups are all part and parcel and representatives of one retrogressive trend — modern revisionism. Whether they are large or small, powerful or weak, disguised or exposed, those who march in the vanguard or those that tag along behind, they all fight against Marxism-Leninism, some openly and with all their batteries, while others throw the stone and hide their hand, according to the situation and circumstances. Sometimes they act separately, sometimes they stick together, sometimes they divide to regroup themselves in factions, depending on the interests of the struggle against socialism or the contradictions between them. Togliatti’s «testament» shows clearly that the modern revisionists are determined to carry the struggle against Marxism-Leninism and all the revolutionary forces of the world through to the end. There is no other road for them. The consistent principled struggle of Marxist-Leninists has exposed their revisionist features, now they can no longer act under the rose but are obliged to come out in the open to defend their revisionist positions and fight the Marxist- Leninists actively. This is a great victory achieved, a victory which must be carried deeper by means of the constant strengthening of our struggle against modern revisionism, under whatever disguise or in whatever form it may present itself. As a result of the struggle of the Marxist-Leninist
parties and the revolutionary communists in the different countries, and as a result of the efforts of the revisionist leaders to preserve their positions at all costs by expelling sound communists from party ranks, the process of differentiation has taken place in the communist movement, new revolutionary Marxist-Leninist parties and groups have been created. This process is still going on and will go on unceasingly. This is another great victory which has been achieved, which should be carried deeper, by defending, assisting and supporting these new revolutionary forces unreservedly in their struggle against revisionism, against all the wily manoeuvres and cunning tactics of the revisionists to smother and paralyse the revolutionary current in the communist movement. The resolute struggle of the Marxist-Leninists, the exposure of the modern revisionists, the defeats they have suffered and are suffering every day in all fields of their national and international activity, have brought about the
outburst and deepening of fierce contradictions in the ranks of modern revisionism. And this is another great victory for revolutionary Marxism-Leninism in action, which must drive forward, deepening the contradictions in the revisionist camp. For this it is essential that the resolute struggle of all Marxist-Leninists against modern revisionism of all trends must be intensified more and more.

These historic victories of Marxism-Leninism will increase and become more thorough-going from day to day.The decisive condition and guarantee of this is the principled, uncompromising struggle of all Marxist-Leninist parties and forces against the treacherous aims and activities of the modern revisionists, to bring about their complete and final defeat. Victory in this struggle inevitably belongs to Marxism-Leninism.

Works, vol. 28

(excerpt from Volume III, Selected Works)

Article published in the newspaper «Zëri i Popullit» November 13, 1964

Enver Hoxha

A Comment on “A Pathetic Defence of Stalinist Repressions”

Anil Rajimwale, the leader of Communist Party of India and one of the party’s leading theoretician has published a review of Grover Furr’s Book Khrushchev Lied, in the pro CPI and pro Congress magazine Mainstream Weekly, titled A Pathetic Defence of Stalinist Repressions, the link to Rajimwale’s review is http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article3616.html

Below we are publishing a short comment on the review made by Anil Rajimwale, written by comrade Manbhanjan (member editorial committee of Other Aspect)

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One can understand the pain in the heart of die-hard Khrushchevite, Anil Rajimwale, while reviewing the book Khrushchev Lied. The pain is very genuine and inevitable because for some people it is extremely difficult to digest the truth. Since 20th Party Congress they have been deceived by anti-Marxist leadership of CPSU and their blood brother CPI regarding the truth in Soviet Union.

This time the truth was revealed by American Marxist scholar comrade Grover Furr. He has done exemplary research and attempted to publish facts hitherto unknown to the world. He discovered all the lies perpetuated by Khrushchev during the so called Secret speech during the 20th Party congress of CPSU.

This congress is regarded as the “Black Congress” in the history of International Communist Movement, as Khrushchev and his clique were successful in launching coup-d’état and overthrew socialism in the land of the first successful proletariat revolution. Khrushchev distorted the Marxist-Leninist teachings and presented to the world number of so-called “new theses”, i.e. “the peaceful co-existence between two systems”, “peaceful competitions between two system”, “peaceful transition identified with the parliamentary road”. After all in the “secret report “On the Cult of the Individual and its consequences”, that blackened the glorious road pursued by the Bolshevik Party since the death of Lenin. During the period Socialism was consolidated in Soviet Union under Dictatorship of Proletariat that defeated and eradicated the menace called fascism from the face of earth and liberated vast majority of human kind from capitalistic tyranny with the creation of the socialist camp after Second world war.

Comrade Anil Rajimwale in his whole political life has stuck to the lies propagated by Khrushchev and later Gorbachev regarding Stalin and has never moved beyond that. He has not only closed his eyes and seems oblivious about the criticism of Party of Labour of Albania under Comrade Enver Hoxha and later by the Chinese Party on the 20th Party Congress but also about the recent acknowledgement made by the Communist Party of Russian Federation on the achievement of Stalin. This is the high time for all communists to once again do a serious discussion by referring to the documents republished from the Archives by Revolutionary Democracy (India), Direct Democracy (Communist) Party and even by the overtly Trotskyite site Marxist Internet Archive, and then make correct assessment of the work and life of J.V.Stalin and the fundamental changes that occurred in the Soviet Union and the nternational communist movement, after the disastrous 20th CPSU congress.

 

 

 

The Restoration of Capitalism in Yugoslavia

By comrade MM

In this paper, an attempt has been made to understand the process of capitalist restoration in Yugoslavia in late 1940’s and early 1950s. Indian Communist comrade Moni Guha in his booklet “Yugoslav Revisionism and the role of the CPSU and CPC’ analysed the modern revisionism which emerged in 1948 under the leadership of Marshal Tito. The Cominform Resolution of June 1948 on Yugoslavia was supported by all the Communist and Workers’ Parties including the communist Party of China. Stalin led the Cominform in this struggle against  Titoite revisionism and the 1949 November resolution of Cominform urged the communists of all countries to heighten the struggle. But, after Stalin’s death, instead of fighting against Yugoslav revisionism both CPSU and CPC retreat from their positions and tried their best to contradict the Cominform Resolutions of June 28, 1948 and November 1949[1]

The people of Yugoslavia fought self-sacrificingly against the Nazi-fascist occupiers for freedom, democracy and socialism. They succeeded in liberating their country, both Partisan and Red Army forces fought together and liberated Belgrade on October 20, 1944[2]. The system of people’s democracy, which was established in Yugoslavia, was temporary because they were not allowed to continue the revolution on the road to socialism. The Titoites were not for construction of socialism because Tito was for the capitalist system and for an essentially bourgeois-democratic state. This was the source of conflict that broke out between the Cominform and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.[3] The bourgeois academicians present the ideological conflict between Marxism and revisionism as a conflict between Stalin and Tito for dominance over International Communist Movement. Stalin struggled against the class-collaboration and Liquidationism preached by Marshal Tito reduced Yugoslavia to the status of semi-colony or a dependency.

 

Comrade Stalin and Yugoslav Revisionism

 

The resolution of the information Bureau concerning the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia condemned the anti-Marxist views of the leaders of that Party who had been pursuing an incorrect line on various matters of home and foreign policy, the line which represented the complete departure from Marxism-Leninism. After breaking with the Marxism-Leninism, the leaders of Yugoslavia adopted an unfriendly attitude towards the Soviet Union, for instance that ‘the CPSU is degenerated’, ‘great chauvinism is rampant in the USSR’, ‘ the USSR is trying to dominate Yugoslavia economically’ and ‘the Cominform is a means of controlling the other Parties by the CPSU’, etc.[4] Comrade Stalin exposed the mistakes and deviations of the leaders of Communist Party of Yugoslavia. A meeting of Party members in Budapest congratulated the Cominform and CPSU (B) led by comrade Stalin for their revolutionary vigilance and consistency in discovering and exposing the mistakes of Titoites. The grave mistakes of the leaders of Communist Party of Yugoslavia were unanimously condemned not only by Parties belonging to Cominform but also by the Parties of Albania, Great Britain, United States, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Finland and the Labour Progressive Party in Canada.

Departure from Marxism Leninism

It is well known that the question of revolutionary role played by the working class as leader of working people in their struggle for socialism is one of the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism. Is this principle applicable for Yugoslavia because it was predominantly peasant country and the revisionist leadership claimed that Communist should rely on peasant not on the working class? On this question Lenin criticized the Mensheviks for their position on peasantry and their alliance with working class. Throughout Europe and in the countries of People’s democracies including Yugoslavia, it was working class and not the peasantry which was sole and consistently revolutionary force capable of leading working class people, and above all the main  mass of peasantry to the victory of Socialism[5]. Marxism-Leninism is based on recognition of the leading role of the working class in abolishing capitalism and building socialist society. Comrade Tito thus not only denied the leading role of the working class but declared that the peasantry as a whole including the kulaks represent the most stable foundation of New Yugoslavia. By refusing to acknowledge the working class as leading element in the people’s democratic state, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia slipped Marxist-Leninist position to that of a Narodnik, kulak Party. They regarded the peasantry as a single entity and failed to see its class structure of poor peasants, medium peasants and kulaks[6]. Comrade Tito failed to understand the basic fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, that is why they consider peasantry as a whole to the chief bulwark in the country-side and had forgotten the struggle against kulaks. It was the denial of growth of capitalist elements in the countryside and denial of sharpening class struggle which is of course negates the Marxism-Leninism and followed the theory of “peaceful growing over” of capitalist elements into socialism propagated by Bukharin.

Communist Party of Yugoslavia adopted an adventurist principle regarding the nationalisation of industry which includes the both medium and small scale, which hampered the supply of goods to population.

According to Marx & Engels, the working class must have its own independent party to achieve political power and transform the society from capitalism to socialism. This concept was developed by Lenin and Stalin regarding its ideological, organisational, tactical principles in course of the struggle but in Yugoslavia, the People’s Front was regarded as the main guiding force not the communist Party. The people’s Front played prominent role during the struggle against Fascism and consolidating all democratic forces of the country.[7] Apart from the Communist Party, the People’s Front was joined by Croat Republican Peasant Party, the bourgeois Republican Party of Serbia, the bourgeois Democratic and Independent Parties and Agrarian Union. The People’s Front was regarded the main guiding force in transition to Socialism, which had its own programme but not the Communist Party. The revisionists  leadership of Communist Party of Yugoslavia  had  forced Party into semi-legal position.[8] The primary Party organisation did not reveal itself openly. The organisational structure of the communist Party is based on the principle of democratic centralism but in Yugoslavia where the Party meetings were not held or at very rare intervals. Its policy were not discussed by members but the decision were taken at the top. Besides that all party organs were not elected but appointed from above.[9]

Capitalism in Yugoslavia

 

Tito had in fact developed and applied his own theories of socialism in Yugoslavia which reflected the complete departure from Marxism-Leninism. Isolated from her true friends, the titoites started bargaining with British, American and other imperialist at the cost of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty and independence. The government of the United States, Britain and other imperialist countries boycotted trade relations with Soviet Union and New Democracies but it did not include Yugoslavia because Titoites correspondence to the interests of Anglo-American imperialists.[10] The Meeting of Cominform in November 1949 proved the penetration of foreign capital in Yugoslav economy. The American imperialism not only controlled the economic life of Yugoslavia but also established strategic position for an aggressive war against the countries of New Democracies and Soviet Union.[11]  On July 19, 1948 the U.S. Government signed a financial agreement with Yugoslavia to free Yugoslav property frozen by U.S and settled the compensation for American property nationalised in Yugoslavia. The Tito government also recognised and promised to pay the old debts of the pre-war Yugoslav Government which totalled 38,500,000 dollars. The Anglo-Yugoslav trade agreement promised to supply Britain with timer and food to sum of 15,000,000GBP.[12] All these agreements were never mentioned by Yugoslav Press but by foreign bourgeois Press. Tito in his speech to Yugoslav Parliament said that the U.S. granted loans without any political conditions but in reality American imperialist grants loan on condition of complete control over her economies and armed forces. It was based on two conditions: firstly, the transfer of Kaminka Mines in the area of the Zinc and lead ore deposits, in the form of concessions to the American trust, Anaconda Copper Mining co.. Secondly the U.S. Government had rights to send “expert advisers” to most important Yugoslav enterprises. The American imperialist used the Titoite Yugoslavia for the raw materials for their economy and markets for manufactured goods.[13]

Comrade Tito had restored the economic and political status of both big national bourgeoisie and foreign capitalist who had been driven from the country as a result of revolutionary struggle of working class of Yugoslavia. The Titoites reversed the revolutionary gains of working people that they returned the nationalised enterprise to their former owners and lands to the kulaks. The housing funds which was under city people’s committee had returned to private owners. All of the most important post in the state apparatus were occupied by the representative of big bourgeoisie and the leaders of numerous bourgeois parties.[14]

Peaceful road to Socialism

 

The communist Party of Yugoslavia formulated its own concept of people’s democracy which was not identical with the one expounded in the rest of the countries of people’s democracies and the Soviet Union. Titoties rejected Lenin’s concept of imperialism and claimed that the capitalism had entered a new phase of ‘state capitalism’ and consequently the state’s new role was an improvement in the economic position of working class. In late 1949 the communist Party of Yugoslavia maintained the possibilities of non-revolutionary roads to socialism i.e peaceful growing of capitalism into socialism.[15]  In a polemic with a leading Swedish social Democrats, one of the spokesman of Communist Party of Yugoslavia mentioned about the possibility of parliamentary methods for peaceful transition to socialism.[16] This doctrine was later formulated by Khrushchev in 20th Party Congress of CPSU.

The Break with Internationalism

 

The revisionist leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had taken a hostile attitude towards the Soviet Union and the countries of People’s Democracies. The Yugoslav Communist led by Djilas formulated the critique of Soviet Union which accommodated the formulation made by Trotsky. They turned into bourgeois nationalist and the enemies of working class.

Behind Tito followed Rankovic, who had murdered and tortured to death hundreds of Yugoslav Communists whose only “crime” was that they wanted to march on the  path of Marxism-Leninism along with the Soviet Union and countries of People’s Democracy. They arrested the Central Committee members Djuiovic and Hebrang because they opposed anti-Marxist line of Tito.[17] After betraying the cause of Marxism-Leninism, the Titoites had resorted to sheer terror against Yugoslav patriots. They were responsible for murdering Arso Jovanovic, hero of the national liberation movement of Yugoslav people. As a result of the Tito-Fascist coup, the vanguard of the working class was smashed and instead a purely fascist organisation with typically police function was created. The Titoites beheaded the working people, deprived them of leadership, of the right to meetings, of the right to form their own association and of freedom of press.[18] The Tito-Djilas fascist press in Yugoslavia devoted more space regarding the cultural life of America.

Tito and his clique played the special role in the war preparation assigned to them by imperialists. They provoked and disturbed the People’s Democracies by making territorial claims.[19] The counter-revolutionary clique of Rajk, Koci Xoxe and Kostov in the countires of People’s Democracies were backed by Titoite to establish puppet regime but thanks to the Marxist-Leninist leadership of the Hungary, Albania and Bulgaria which exposed these conspiracies by Titoite. The Tito clique also voted in the UNO in favour of U.S. during Korean War and on July 10, 1949 they closed the borders between Yugoslavia and Greece against the Marxist guerrilla.

Conclusion

The restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia in early 1950s could have been a lesson for other socialist countries to fight the modern revisionism  but unfortunately the struggle could not be carried forward due to triumph of Titoism in Soviet Union under Khrushchev. The  disintergration of U.S.S.R. and collapse of so-called socialist system is nothing but the collapse of Titoism  not Marxism-Leninism, which emerged in these countries in late 1950s. The only exception was the Socialist Albania under the leadership of Comrade Enver Hoxha who fought ruthlessly against Titoism but after his death in 1985 the  revisionist Ramiz Alia surrender to Titoism.

Reference:


[1]               Guha,  Moni (1978), Yugoslav revisionism and the role of the CPSU and CPC, Calcutta: The Communist   Information Service, pp. 25

[2]               Hoffman, G.W. &  Neal, F.W, (1962), Yugoslavia and the New Communism, New York : Twentieth Century  Fund, pp 79

[3]               Hoxha,  Enver (1979), imperialism and the Revolution, Toronto: Norman Bethune Institute, pp. 52

[4]               Clissold, Stephen (ed.) (1975), Yugoslavia and the soviet Union 1939-1973: A Documentary survey, London: Oxford, pp. 172

[5]               Lautu, I (1948), “ Leadership of Communist Party of Yugoslavia Renounces Marxist-Leninist theory of Class and Class struggle”, For Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy (FLPFPD), 14 (17).

[6]               Ibid, Lautu

[7]               Charpentier, D (1948), “Leaders of Yugoslav Communist Party Revise Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the Party”, FLPFPD, 13(16)

[8]               Ibid, Charpentier

[9]               Pauker, Ana (1948), “The Sectarian, Bureaucratic Regime in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia” FLPFPD 14(17))

[10]             Bulatovic, L. (1948), “Tito Clique-Rabid Enemy of USSR and People’s Democracies, FLPFPD, 5(32)

[11]             Gero. E. (1950), “Penetration of American Capital in Yugoslav Economy, FLPFPD, 7(67)

[12]             Ibid, Bulatovi

[13]             Ibid, Gero

[14]             Popivoda, P. (1952), “Yugoslav Patriots will Crown Struggle Against Tito Gang with Victory”, FLPFPD, 6(170)

[15]             Johnson, A.R. (1972), the Transformation of Communist Ideology:the Yugoslav Case, 1945-1953, Cambridge:The MIT Press, pp. 129

[16]             Ibid, Johnson, pp. 131

[17]             Barnov, L (1948), “ How the Tito Clique Fight Against its Own People”, FLPFPD, 20(23)

[18]             Ibid, Popivoda

[19]             Revai, Joseph (1949), “Tito Clique – Unofficial Supporters of the Atlantic Pact”, FLPFPD, 8(35)

                —–

Left out of the great Indian ‘Tamasha’

 

—-  Pratyush

The illiterate Indian population when it comes to making political choice are prone to prove the high and might intellectuals with their know all attitude and who view entire Indian polity through the prism of coalition politics, caste equations and regional diversities wrong not once but umpteen times. The same happened with the results of the recently concluded elections for 15th Lok Sabha (India’s lower house of parliament).

The ‘mainstream’ corporate media that till all the time was jeering towards a hung parliament with the Indian National Congress led UPA loosing seats while the rightist Bhartiya Janata Party led NDA gaining some, and on the whole predicting a hung parliament are now cheering for the almost absolute majority that the UPA got. They are touting this as a victory for the neo-liberal reforms seen as one taking India closer to the glamour of capitalist world. The bourgeoisie hireling media during the entire course of previous Lok Sabha were sulking on the lack of reforms due to Left’s obstruction. Even today when the world over people are seeing the after effects of the brazen free market reform the media truly subservient to their bourgeoisie masters are still harping for a free market reforms.

Parliamentary Left’s Bourgeoisie Politics

It is beyond doubt that the results have come as big surprise to the parliamentary Left (led by the revisionist CPI-M and the much older and largely redundant CPI). What is surprising is that this drubbing came at a time when the global capitalist order is going through its worst phase and world over there is a perceptible rise in Left wing politics.

From their all time high of 61 seats that they bagged in the general election in 2004 their tally has come to record low of 24. The Left’s 2004 electoral tally was a mere coincidence and not an outcome of any political struggle. Yet the Narcissist leadership of official left far removed from the ground reality concluded the result as something permanent and started dreaming of coming to power by cobbling together a potpourri of disparate power hungry politicians no better than their partners in the two ‘national’ alliance. This attempt of popping a Third Front proved to be a ‘Third Farce’ meeting the same fate like its previous two avatars in the mid nineties. The shameless electoral manoeuvre of co-opting with the reactionary bourgeoisie leaders like Mayawati (BSP) Jayalaitha (AIADMK) and providing secular credential to Naveen Patnaik (BJD of Orissa) who till few months ago was happily cohabitating with BJP and other Hindutva groups further alienated the masses from the hypocritical polity of the Left. This entire exercise to form the Third front since beginning was nothing but an insane anti-Congress and anti-BJP rhetoric, having no agenda to further the cause of working class or peasantry.

In the left stronghold states of Kerala, west Bengal and Tripura, barring Tripura Left have lost in both Kerala and West Bengal. In other parts of country the Left has been perceptibly weak and has done nothing to remove its historical weakness, the mandarins of CPI and CPM have magical solution for the entire ills of the world they have till date not been able to solve the class-caste dichotomy of the large tracts of Indian heartland. Though the area has witnessed several people’s movement but there has hardly been any leading role taken up by the two parliamentary ‘communist’ parties[1]. On the other hand they have been seen leaving the working class and peasantry in lurch as happened in Gurgaon where the CPI’s trade union wing left the workers in the hands of goons hired by the management of Japanese multinational Honda and the state police, while the national union Leadership eloped — lock stock and barrel.

Both the ‘communist’ parties today have degenerated into another bourgeoisie vote catching outfit and have lost their historic role of being an advance guard of proletariats and its allies the peasantry. CPI and CPM are looked by the average people as another political party and same has been the case with the urban and rural proletariats also. The leadership of the party have also been doing nothing else but politics of winning parliamentary and assembly seats, aligning with this or that bourgeoisie political outfits.

The only sensible alliance that the Left parties entered into was in Bihar and to some extent in Jharkhand. In Bihar which has been a hot bed of revolutionary left politics CPI, CPI (M) and CPI (ML) Liberation formed a United Left Block (ULB). Though, by far more logical activity than that of Third Front; the ULB since start was not supposed to make any significant headway. Years of tailism has reduced, the CPI and CPI (M) to shadow parties of the RJD in Bihar while the Liberation by not joining hands with the RJD, was just able to maintain its separate identity in the political field. Though Liberation; has lost its major support base that it had gained during its armed struggle days. In fact party in its recently held congress openly admitted that liquidationist tendencies are gaining ground. The new generation of the party cadres are coming not from grassroots but from premiere universities like JNU are more inclined towards post-modernist ideology. They carry all sorts of anti-Marxist notion with themselves which at the end harming the movement and making it rudderless and directionless. More or less same is happening with party also. Liberation the latest entrant into the parliamentary club may also become the first major Trotskyite political formation having any significant though dwindling ground support.

Though Left parties have been decimated in both their stronghold of West Bengal and Kerala, the reason for the defeat are quite different.

Where as in Kerala the government is still popular and have not been seen openly chartering a neo liberalist path and the Chief Minister V S Ach is seen as an upright principled man. But the internal squabbling and factionalism has not only badly affected the functioning of the party, but also the central leadership chose to side with the corrupt and neo liberal-leaning faction of P. Vijayan. The pro-capital activities of this group, such as the SNS Lavlin scandal where Vijayan is an accused, acceptance of huge monetary contributions from S. Martin, the “lottery king” of Kerala and the blocking of the land requisition drive against the Tatas in Munnar, have only reinforced the pro-capital image of the party in the eyes of the people. Also CPI M’s hobnobbing with Islamic communal PDP did not augur well with the secular mass base of the party. During the seat sharing CPI M displeased some of its smaller allies like the CPI and Janata Dal (Secular) that also caused rupture in the hitherto monolithic Left Democratic Front. The ruckus over seat sharing and the way it was projected in the media made the front look like a replica of Congress led United Democratic Front, alienating a large chunk of the undecided neutral votes. The state of Left Front in Kerala would be dealt with in another article.

The CPI (M) in West Bengal: Leftist when in opposition Rightist when in power

The real debacle for the CPI(M) came in West Bengal, it got its worst drubbing in three decades with its own tally getting reduced to only nine. Bhuddhadev Bhattacharya’s Left front government in its eagerness to hug the capitalists nudged the peasant & proletariats, who in turn dumped him in the elections. The people have thoroughly rejected the conversion of CPI (M) from a social democratic party to that of agent of national and international finance capital.

If nationally the CPM and its allies have been resisting neo liberal reforms, yet the same CPI (M) and its other punitive partners had no qualms in implementing the same neo liberal reforms in West Bengal. Their CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had no issues in hugging Tata’s and Salem. Latter being involved in; execution of hundreds of communists in Indonesia.

In name of industrialisation the CPM government was happy to give away with hundreds of acres of fertile land perhaps best quality agrarian land of the country at throw away price to Tata. When the people protested they even did not blink an eye to shoot the poor peasants and rural proletariats their support base for decades and terming them as reactionaries.

The CPM boss Prakash Karat has been lecturing and writing long articles on the exploitation in SEZs across the country but same Karat has no qualm in declaring SEZs in Bengal as ‘progressive’. Isn’t it Indian version of Khrushchev?

Commenting on the capitulation of the CPI M leaders to the camp of neo liberalism Ashok Mitra the well known left analyst and Finance minister in the First Left Front government in W.B observed[2]:

The main poll issue in West Bengal was the state government’s policy of capitalist industrial growth; events in Singur and Nandigram were offshoots of that policy. Many sections, including staunch long-time supporters of the Left cause, had been shocked by the cynical nonchalance initially exhibited by the state government on police firing on women and children in Nandigram. A series of other faux pas was committed in its wake, including the messy affair of the Tata small car project. The electorate reached its conclusion on the government’s putting all its eggs in the Nano basket. Once the Tatas departed, the state administration was dubbed not only insensitive, but incompetent as well. Questions have continued to be raised one after another: was it really necessary to take over fertile land at Singur, why could not the Tatas be prevailed upon to choose an alternative site, why did not the state government apply adequate pressure on the United Progressive Alliance regime in New Delhi — which was assumed to depend upon Left support for survival — to pass the necessary legislation so that land belonging to closed factories could be taken over to locate new industries? And why the state government was reluctant to lobby earnestly in the national capital for adequate resources from centrally controlled public financial institutions to the state exchequer, which could have ensured industrial expansion in the public domain itself — whether this reluctance was merely due to lack of resources or because of a deeper ideological reason such as a loss of faith in socialistic precepts and practices.

A number of other unsavoury facts also need to be laid bare. A state government does not have too much of funds or other spoils to distribute. But in a milieu where feudal elements co-inhabit with the petit bourgeoisie, persons in a position to dispense only little favours can also attract fair-weather friends and gather sycophants around them. Concentric circles of favour-rendering develop fast. Merit necessarily takes a backseat in official decisions. Corruption, never mind how small-scale, creeps in. Nepotism, sprouting at the top, gradually infects descending rungs of administration, including the panchayats. Much of all this has taken place of late within the precincts of the Left regime. The net effect is a steep decline in the quality of governance. The fall in efficiency is illustrated by the inept handling of programmes like the rural employment guarantee scheme. To make things worse, all this has been accompanied by a kind of hauteur which goes ill with radical commitment.

Unfortunately some of the Trotskyite in India (for instance see the blog New Wave  new-wave-nw.blogspot.com[3]), in their all encompassing rage towards Stalinist principle and to ascribe everything wrong to Stalin, have been calling these and several such measures taken by the CPI(M) as ‘Stalinist policies’ and have termed CPI(M) a Stalinist party. Does the step taken up by the party in West Bengal constitute Stalinism or revisionism?

Would our learned friends—the firm defender of Bolshevism, care us to show from the collected works of Stalin or of people whom they call as Stalinists where they have endorsed such practice? If they can show this, only then they would have the right to indulge in such misleading phrase mongering.

The process of restoration of capitalism and undermining the philosophy of Marxism Leninism was initiated during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev era, when they had undertaken effort to undermine the gains from the Stalin period and move away from the Leninist principle– that is why they constitute revisionism.

The signs of impending disaster were very much evident. In the Panchayat elections held in 2008, CPI M and allies had got similar drubbing, but the valid point is why CPI M that boasts of cadre in every village was not able to gauge the impending debacle? This point has been summed up in following word by a CPM sympathiser

“But the whole point in case here is how come we were not aware about this very strong anti-incumbency wave blowing all over the place in the state. That leaves the whole organization high and dry, and clearly shows either our comrades have lost touch with the grass root, or people have deserted the party cadres in such a way that they even didn’t open up in front of our cadres about their anguish and anger. They preferred to show their wrath against the party through ballot, and this phenomenon, if true, is quite chilly. Whereas a communist party is supposed to be with the people like a fish in water [sic]. Probably if our party could have anticipated a rout in the elections, we would have been much happier today; at least it would have showed we haven’t lost touch with the reality.” (http://www.pragoti.org/node/3435#comment-2312 )

Three Decades of ‘communist’ rule in West Bengal

Here it would not be out of context to check the score card of the three decades of Left Front rule in West Bengal.

In 1977, CPI(M) came to power riding the anti congress wave, immediately on ascending to power the party declared that it would try to implement the socialist model despite the odds it faces in bourgeoisie democratic setup. It loudly had then proclaimed that its government would implement alternative path of economic development based on Marxist ideology. Bengal model was to be the show piece that CPI-M wanted to replicate nation wide. But these three decades of ‘communist’ rule excepting some limited land reforms that it achieved during the initial days of its power the next two decades has been a lost era for Bengal that has lead to the cul-de-sac of economic stagnation.

The land reform also is also not without its own problems. The reform has resulted in fragmented land holding that today has become largely uneconomical. Then here is the problem of agrarian landless workers and the share croppers or the Bhagidars

In West Bengal, the landless exceed the landowners by about one and half times in numbers [for every ten landowners there are fifteen landless]. For the rest of the country, the average distribution is roughly ten (landowner) to eight (landless). In states like Punjab, Haryana, Tamilnadu, Gujrat etc., where rapid industrialisation is taking place on agricultural land, the ratios are ten (landowners) to six, four or three (landless). Therefore, there is less hassle in acquiring agricultural land.[4]

CPI (M) all these years has colligated the struggle of landless agrarian labourer under the larger peasant struggle. In Bengal there is still no organisation on agrarian labourer associated with CPI (M), but they are part of the Kisan Sabha (Farmer’s Union). As a result today there is no voice of the landless when it comes to land acquisition. These rural proletariats have no say in any compensation that is disbursed when land is acquired for industrial use. It was these landless workers and Bagidars whose economic interest were hurt the most when land was acquired in Nandigram and Singur and they overwhelmingly this time opposed the CPI M’s brand of ‘socialism’ for Mamata’s brand of ‘democracy’

CPI (M)’s obsession with the Land reforms and Panchayat has led to complete neglect of other vital social sector like education, health, public transport and even minority welfare.

A distinctive characteristic of every government professing the principle of socialism has been eradication of illiteracy and promoting health care programme. Even in backward country like Albania under the rule of Enver Hoxha, the state had initiated several measures to alleviate literacy level and enhance health care. Illiteracy from 90-95% in rural areas in 1939 went down to 30% by 1950 and by 1985 it was equal to that of the United States of America. In health care Malaria was completely eradicated.

To promote literacy and health care the state government does not have to be dependent on the Central government, hence the favourite nag line of the ‘communist’ government of step-motherly treatment from the Central government.

Health

According to West Bengal government’s own Human Development  Report, married women in West Bengal, on average, have a lower body-mass index than the average Indian woman, suggesting greater undernourishment. Married women in West Bengal also have a greater likelihood of suffering from anemia than the average Indian woman. This data is from the. The Governemnt has failed to utilise funds earmarked for helath sector, the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, Audit Report (Civil), West  Bengal for the Year 2006-2007 stated that “During 2002-2007, the (West Bengal government’s) department could  not spend the budgeted funds of Rs 357.13 crore for urban health  services. Further, unutilised funds of Rs 1.50 crore remained parked  in the personal ledger accounts of the Superintendents of two  hospitals for over seven years.”

Similar is the case with Education sector, West Bengal has the second highest school dropout rate among major states of India.

In recent report prepared by the Pratichi Trust founded by Amartya Sen brings out the sad but trustworthy picture of this apathy. In the census of 1991, West Bengal occupied the 19th position in the order of literacy; at snails’ pace, the position improved to 18th in 2001. According to the census of 2001, three-fourths of the 31.5% of illiterates of the state resided in the villages. It is difficult to comprehend that, in the 21st century; over two and a half crore illiterates reside in a state under continuous ‘communist’ rule for over three decades? It is important to note that literacy is not the only criterion for industrial employment; some language and arithmetic skills are also needed. The record of West Bengal on this score is pathetic. With respect to at least nine years of school-education for young people in the age group of 20-24, the state lags behind the national average. Out of 40,782 villages in the state, there is a middle school only in 5541 villages. There are 18,624 middle schools within a radius of 5 kilometers of a village. As a result, over 40% of the villages do not have a middle school within a radius of 5 kilometers. Yet, the rulers of this state frequently boast of ‘excellence’.[5]

When it came to implementing schemes that the party laid claims for getting them passed in Parliament its result in its own ruled state shows an abject failure

In 2006-07, the person-days of NREGA(National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: The NREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage, the Left parties along with many NGOs were in forefront to get the act passed.) employment generated per rural household was 6 in West Bengal and 3 in Kerala, with both states figuring in the list of the 3 worst performers. Compared to this, the all-India average was 17 person-days, and Chhattisgarh generated 34, Madhya  Pradesh 56, Assam 70 and Rajasthan 77 person-days . A similar picture emerges for the next year too: in 2007-08, West Bengal generated 8 person-days and Kerala 6 person-days, much below the all-India average of 16 person-days.

Voices of Revisionism to the fore

The drubbing has given a fillip to party’s liberal (read the openly pro capitalist pro Congress neo liberal social democratic) section to again raise its voice against party’s ‘hard’line leadership that had taken at least some stance against open liberalisation a

“People are just fed up with the CPI-M Politburo’s anti-people stance of formulating policies in air-conditioned rooms. A party can’t be run on the basis of policies alone. Politics is to be understood through the public pulse,” –CPI-M leader Subhas Chakraborty.

The coming days may witness a sharp contradiction arising in the party between the neo liberal group near to the former CM Jyoti Basu and the ‘hardliner’ group led by Karat and other central leadership. People like Subhas Chakraborty and even Buddhdhadev Bhattacharya seems still to have turned Nelson’s eye to the real cause of party’s mauling and have been blaming the stance of central leadership regarding withdrawal of support to the congress government and opposing of reforms. They seem to be endorsing the view that the results have been a victory for the forces of neo-liberalism and stable government.

In coming days several such voices are expected to emanate from various quarters of the party the revisionist have history of liquidation and decimation of communist parties from giants like the CPSU to the smaller yet powerful entities like CPGB. So if we see voices clamouring for complete change of the party on patterns of European leftist outfits then it should not come as a big surprise.

Conclusion

It is certain that as and when the new government unleashes the next round of neo liberal economic agenda and draconian laws, the lives of large sections of the Indian population will be tremendously affected.

The Left deserves an applause that because of their persistent opposition to reforms is core financial sectors like Banking, Finance and Pension that Indian economy remained insulated from the recession sweeping the entire capitalist world. Even after the global financial meltdown and crumpling of the financial giants like AIG and Lehman Brothers, Indian banks and financial market were able to with stand the shock.

Now the new government has made its stand amply clear that it would speed up the process of neo-liberal reforms that it could not achieve due to Left’s reluctance. This means submitting the large amount of fund in Pension deposit to the whimsical nature of stock and capital market, privatising the profit making Public sector industries, giving virtual infinite power to the international and comprador bourgeoisies in exploiting working class. The capitalists and their lackeys in media are all in a joyous mood about the impending capitalism that is coming to India shore, largely oblivious to the current state of capitalism world wide. The working class is in for severe repression and exploitation.

Today those at the helm of CPI (M) both at the central and state level have jettisoned the idea of socialism accepting capitalist path as the ultimate truth. Communism for CPI (M) has become just a word in its nomenclature and revolution has been limited to the slogan of inqilab jindabad (Long Live Revolution) that is to be just parroted in rallies and strikes. It has the same significance in CPI (M) today as the poem/anthem Red Flag had in the British Labour Party before being finally discarded by the openly pro capitalist Blaire and company.

The severe mauling of CPI (M) has also given the revolutionary left a chance to consolidate itself to fill the space created by the degeneration of CPM into open party of capitalist class. If the revolutionary communist groups adapt correct tactics then there is a major scope of reinvigorating the revolutionary left movement in India once again. The need of the hour is to unite the Revolutionary and progressive forces and initiate a country wide mass peoples struggle in order to halt and reverse the onslaught of neo liberalism. Neo liberalism has to be substituted by a programme of pro-people industrial development founded on adequate compensation for the potentially displaced and the consent of the working people that would put people’s interest before corporate interest. This is the immediate task of the genuine left and democratic forces in the country.

June, 2009

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Further Reading:

1.In the Aftermath of Nandigram Prabhat Patnaik Economic and Political Weekly, May 26, 2007

2.On the Events in Nandigram, Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. XIII, No. 2, September 2007

3.CPM’s Grazing Land, Sumit Mitra Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. XIII, No. 2, September 2007

4.Stalemate in Bengal, Economic and Political Weekly, March 21-27,200

Notes and Reference:
[1] A detail analysis of CPI(M)’s revisionism, see the article Chameleon has revealed its true colours, at http://www.geocities.com/marxistfront

[2]  Ashok Mitra, Why Fool yourself?/ Introspection may help the CPI(M) recognize a harsh truth, Fri, 2009-05-22 21:28,   http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090522/jsp/opinion/story_10994551.jsp, accessed (4/06/2009)

[3] One of the few Trotskyite sites from India ‘The New Wave’

[4] CPM’s Grazing Land, Sumit Mitra Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. XIII, No. 2, September 2007

[5] op. cite