Revolution #160, March 29, 2009
An Exchange With Historic Stakes
“Many people in the world today are wondering how to evaluate the recent developments with the revolution in Nepal—where, after 10 years of an inspiring People’s War led by the CPN(M), that war has come to an end, the CPN(M) is now the leading Party in the recently elected Constituent Assembly and the Party’s Chairman, Prachanda, is the Prime Minister of the government. Does the current trajectory in Nepal and the course taken by the CPN(M) represent an historic new thing, a victory and breakthrough in advancing the communist revolution in the 21st century, as some have claimed; or—as many others fear—does this represent a setback and betrayal of the goals of the revolution and of the heroic struggle waged to achieve them, and a serious departure from the communist cause that the CPN(M) claims to be fighting for?”
So begins the article which is featured in this issue of Revolution: ON DEVELOPMENTS IN NEPAL AND THE STAKES FOR THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT: LETTERS TO THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF NEPAL (MAOIST) FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY, USA, 2005-2008 (WITH A REPLY FROM THE CPN[M], 2006).
This article is an introduction to a sharp polemical exchange between the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP, USA) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN[M]) over a period of several years between October 2005 and November 2008. This represents one of the most important two-line struggles which has taken place in the international communist movement in many years. There are four letters from the RCP, USA to the CPN(M) and one reply which are now being made public.
These letters address vital differences of line and a struggle which has been unfolding for a number of years. These differences center on three questions: in brief, 1) the nature of the state, and specifically the need to establish a new state led by the proletariat and its communist vanguard; 2) more specifically, the need to establish, as the first step, upon the overthrow of the old order, a new democratic state which would undertake the development of new economic and social relations in the nation free from imperialist domination and feudal relations; and 3) the dynamic role of theory and two-line struggle vs. eclectics, pragmatism and realpolitik. The outlook and orientation, strategic conception and method which any Party takes up—that is, their line—guides its political activity in one direction or another. In two-line struggles like this, the stakes are very high: which line wins out can lead to advance, setback—or even betrayal.
Digging deeply into this article—and the letters from the RCP, USA and the CPN(M)—is serious, and necessary revolutionary work. This two-line struggle requires an approach which comprehends the life and death stakes of its outcome. The approach of our Party, the RCP, USA has been to proceed from communist goals and basic principles of the science of communism, to go into the questions in a thorough and all sided way. Not only does the future of the revolution in Nepal hang ever more precariously in the balance, but only by drawing the lessons from this ideological and political struggle and more deeply grasping what genuine communism is can the revolutionary forces go forward on a correct basis and advance the cause of emancipating all of humanity.
We urge all our readers to study the introductory article and dig into the letters posted on line—and to engage in deep, informed discussion with the Party and others concerning these vital questions of ideological and political line. Come to the presentations which will be sponsored by Revolution Books*—and organize discussions...with your comrades and friends.
This article and the letters need to find their way into the hands of many people– from revolutionaries in the U.S. and others who have been following the developments in Nepal, to immigrants and students from abroad, including from South Asia, to the international communist movement. It needs to get out into the areas of the cities—from the ghettos and barrios to the campuses and scenes of intellectual ferment—and among people of all strata where the revolutionary and communist movement is developing. It needs to reach all those who are searching for a way out of this horror—and the path to real liberation. And, it is an opening for those who are searching for such answers to find out what communism really is and how human society could be organized in a whole different way. This issue of Revolution needs to reach these people and more—and this article and the letters it introduces need to spread throughout society and the world on the Internet.
This line struggle further underscores the historic importance of the Manifesto from the Party, Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage. As that Manifesto says, the international communist movement is at a crossroads. It confronts the question of whether to be, as the Manifesto puts it, “a vanguard of the future or residue of the past?” The line struggle which is carried out in depth in these letters is both situated within this larger world context and is also a concentration of it. And it is vital for all to engage with this Manifesto...as they study and wrestle with the two-line struggle in relation to the revolution in Nepal. As this issue of the paper gets distributed among all kinds of people, this Manifesto needs to accompany it. With the defeat of the revolution in China and the restoration of capitalism in that country, the first stage of communist revolution in the world ended. And Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, has led in scientifically summing up that experience, building on the monumental achievements and critically summing up the shortcomings—and, on that basis, bringing forward a new theoretical framework for carrying forward communist revolution in the world. This synthesis, as concentrated in this Manifesto, urgently needs to be engaged by all who see the horror of the world the way it is and burn for a different future, free of exploitation and oppression. It represents a source of hope and daring, on a scientific foundation—for masses the world over.
* For events in New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, click here.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.