(the following article has been represented here from the new wave blog, www.new-wave-nw.blosgpost.com)
Maoist attack on Alpha Company of 62nd Battalion of the CRPF at Dantewara in Chhattisgarh on 6th April 2010, which wiped out around the whole company formation, leaving 76 dead, has shaken the Indian government, the government of capitalists and landlords, to the hilt. The attack, which took the unprecedented toll upon the armed forces of the state, has come amidst the boasting by the Minister of Interior, P.Chidambaram, that his government is determined to liquidate the ‘naxal terror’. The attack has not only demoralised the armed forces of the state, specially those engaged in ‘liquidation’ of naxals, but has triggered a fully blown up crisis among the ruling classes. The jolt was so powerful, that in the immediate aftermath of it, the Minister of Home had to offer his resignation, saying that “something has gone terribly very wrong”.
After the attack, many in the elite camp have already started to lose faith in the policy and prospects of the war unleashed by the government, leaving only the rabid right wing sections of the establishment, still screaming for more bloodbath. Remarkably, this scream finds its echo in the camp of Stalinists, where the leaders of CPI and CPI(M) not only declare their unconditional and all out support to the barbaric and genocidal policy of the Central Government, but themselves execute the same pro-investor and anti-working class policies through the government under them in West Bengal. Stalinist leaders have virtually joined hands with the government of capitalists, to create an ‘investor friendly’ environment through suppression of all ‘dissent’, with armed might.
The government run by the Indian elite, has recently escalated its war efforts to clear the ground of all sorts of resistance in peripheral regions, to ensure more conducive atmosphere for huge investments. During last year only, the Central Government has deployed 57 battalions of central security forces in the regions they describe as ‘troubled zones’ spread over the eastern part of the country in six states and covering more than one third of the whole country. This is in addition to, and despite the heavy presence of the police force under the respective state governments, already mobilised in this region on a huge scale. This heavy deployment of the state armed forces has virtually militarised the whole region and has created a war-like situation.
The war, unleashed by the Indian ruling elite in the tribal regions of the country, is an inseparable part of the overall military expedition of world capitalism, imposed by it against poorest of the poor, in backward peripheral territories of the world. From Afghanistan and Iraq to Waziristan in Pakistan and upto India, everywhere the same war is being imposed, the aim of which is nothing but to seek absolute domination for world capital and open up ‘all doors’ for investment and capitalist expropriations. From phosphorus bombs to killer Drones, ever new weapons are being added to its arsenal by the world bourgeois.
The old equilibrium achieved by Imperialism after World War-II, with active assistance of Stalinist regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe, is shattered after destruction of these regimes. With metro centres of capitalism becoming over saturated, the world capital, in order to stabilise the profits, is seeking ever new avenues for its investments in backward peripheries of the world, where the national governments, under the economic and political compulsions, are forced to assist the international capital in this hunt. They are lured to open and turn over their territories more and more, to the world capital, as platforms of cheaper labour and raw materials. Governments of all backward and ex-colonial countries are in rat-race against each other to provide more ‘investment friendly’ atmosphere and opportunities to world capital, in their respective countries. This they venture through offering human and natural resources at cheaper rates, subsidies, concessions, lowering of life standards of their working classes, and of course their readiness to crush the resistance of workers and toilers against the exploitation.
The pro-investment neo-liberal policies of the national governments in backward countries, coupled with sharp decline in costs of transportation and communication, the world over, have prepared very conducive environment for entry of world capital into remote backward regions on the globe. The most backward regions are thus being dragged by the forces of market into the great whirlpool of world capitalism.
Most backward regions on the globe are thus intruded through big investments of capital, with most advanced logistics produced by capitalism, at their disposal. Gigantic forces of modern capitalism which had outgrown the centres of world economy long ago in history and since have continued to decay in centres, suddenly come face to face, with the most primitive modes of life and patterns of production and consumption in most backward regions of the world.
Absolutely uncontrolled and merciless expropriation of human and natural resources thus starts at the hands of capitalist corporations, and with it starts the profound social conflagration. Capitalist corporations oust the native population from everything they can and force the poor habitants to pauperisation, starvation and suicides. Exclusion of indigenous toilers from the bare necessities, especially forced acquisitions of the lands by the corporations, and displacement of people, erodes the old patterns of life and forces the toilers to put resistance to intrusion of corporations. As the State enters the scene to crush this resistance to perpetrate the exploitation, the whole situation becomes extremely explosive.
Huge investments of capital in India, at least in six of its states, mostly backward tribal regions, have served virtual death warrants upon the poor habitants. Innumerable contracts of mining and forest, the acquisitions of communal lands, etc. have virtually deprived the natives of all their customary means of livelihood. Much trumpeted rehabilitation of the uprooted, remains elusive, and so the promises of ‘inclusive growth’.
Huge ventures and infrastructure of corporations is raised alongside or in place of the thatched huts of rural poors and tribals, where the whole social scenario presents itself into a social ladder, with extreme poverty and deprivation on one of its end, with extreme riches on the other. Profound social crisis is thus triggered with the chasm between the two distinct worlds existing side by side and is flared up by intervention of the state with its armed forces in favour of the rich and against the poor and exploited.
In the setting of extreme backwardness of region and its habitants, to their advantage, not only the capitalist corporations seek super profits through legal and illegal squeezing of the whole region, but the officials of the state, the supervisors of this exploitation, add to this every possible form and means of human degradation and crude exploitation-including sexual exploitation of women.
Pockets of resistance, thus emerge against the efforts of the bourgeois state to ravish these peripheries. The poor people are forced into a war of resistance, a war of bare survival, a war very genuine in essence, but equally unequal and consequentially desperate.
Needless to say, that given the leadership of working class, capable to integrate them around it, these zones of resistance have immense potential to get multiplied in thousands to become powerful lever for a proletarian revolution. However, in absence of such leadership, they remain isolated in their own shell, and consequently incapable to develop into an all national uprising against the power of capitalists and landlords. Worse, in absence of a working class party armed with a revolutionary program, the partisan uprisings fail to bring their revolutionary side as auxiliaries of proletarian struggle for power, and depict only their reactionary side, i.e. the defence of primitive forms of economy as against the most advanced modes of production at the helm of modern capitalism. Independently and on their own, incapable to bring an edge against the rule of the bourgeois, these movements confine themselves to the pitiable and desperate repulsion to the advance of capital to the peripheries, a cause which has no prospects of success and has to be lost, today or tomorrow.
Deprived of the leadership and program of urban proletariat, these local movements of very limited amplitude, in defence of pre-capitalist forms, can only resist and thereby slow down the process of capitalist development, prolong its life span and thus can only delay its extermination at the hands of working class.
The Maoist Bureaucracy having no political idea and program against the rule of bourgeois, simply adapts itself to these partisan struggles of peasantry and raises the banner of their limited and local demands. How much these struggles, armed or unarmed, may appear radical in their form, they fail to bring forth a real program of social revolution, directed against the rule of capital. This explains the root political cause of failure of peasant revolts from Telangana to Naxalbari.
Time and again sections of tribals and peasantry had risen in revolt against the rule of exploiters, but only in this partisan manner and with a very limited program of concessions and reforms. Given the historic inability of the peasantry, to rise as a class on all national scale, bourgeois succeeded in defeating these partisan struggles easily, one after the other. The more the peasant struggles move forward, the more they depict their historic inability to capture power against the might of capital and trigger a social revolution.
Without the leadership of the working class, the partisan struggles of tribals, peasants, dalits and other sections of poor toilers, can never develop into a nationwide uprising, sufficient to overturn capitalism!
It is in these struggles, that Maoists seek their political base, to constitute themselves into a political bureaucracy, erect a command structure, disorient the columns of revolutionary fighters and mislead the whole revolutionary process turning it away from the working class and its program of ‘permanent revolution’. Instead of taking up the struggle to overturn capitalism, Maoists search for routes to escape the ‘ills’ of capitalism, under false notions of ‘new democracy’ and amazingly in conjunction with sections of bourgeois and its parties.
Given the political void, created by the absence of a proletarian movement capable to consolidate the partisan struggles of poor and toiling masses around it, Maoists find it convenient to substitute themselves for the working class and build themselves upon the very shallow foundations and reactionary side of these struggles, which in any case, do not even touch upon the contours of capitalism. This includes chiefly their support for defence of the primitive modes of life, property and the existence as a whole. It is not of any political significance if this program is executed through armed or unarmed, violent or non-violent means. Sometimes these struggles may appear to be very radical, given their violent opposition to those in power, but the point is that in any case, even at their climax, these movements on their own cannot aim at deposing the capitalists from power.
Maoists-the protagonists of the ‘Chinese Path’, possess a misconceived notion of revolutionary process in China and elsewhere and thus deny the need for an independent and leading role for the working class in impending political revolution. Instead of turning to the working class for such leadership, they adapt themselves to myriad forms of struggles of the poor, in pursuit of their very limited and narrow aims and program.
In the name of ‘new democracy’, which is nothing but the road leading to the old bourgeois democracy in essence, Maoists dissociate themselves from the great historic mission of proletariat-the overturn of capitalism. Firmly entrenched in the bogus Stalinist ‘two stage theory’ of revolution, Maoists deny the need for a proletarian revolution, for advancing the struggle for a proletarian dictatorship. On the contrary they profess to take power in collaboration with ‘national bourgeois’, which in their opinion is an ally of revolution. They are not for overturning of capitalism and private property, rather they seek its preservation. Like Stalinists, they too zealously seek ‘progressive’ sections among the bourgeois, and always remain adherent to one or the other section of bourgeois. If yesterday Mayawati’s BSP qualified their criteria of progressive ally, today it is Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. Their ‘new democratic revolution’ does not go beyond the narrow Menshevik confines of bourgeois democracy.
The erstwhile People’s War Group (PWG), the predecessor to CPI(Maoist), helped Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy of the Congress party to win the assembly elections trouncing N.Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party. Having won the elections with thumping majority, YSR led congress government half-heartedly proposed ‘talks’ inviting the Maoists to abandon the struggle and within weeks of the “collapse” of talks, senior leaders of the Maoists were shot dead. YSR raised the ‘Greyhounds’ which drenched this friendship in blood. Maoists then spared Bahujan Samaj Party from attacks, during Parliamentary elections and permitted it to campaign while banning all others.
The erstwhile Maoist Communist Center (MCC), another constituent of the CPI(Maoist), with its base in Bihar and Jharkhand, has a history of remaining adherent to various caste and identity based political formations. Its role in the local elections, underlines the flawed politics of Maoists. This has recently come up in Jharkhand in their tacit understanding with and support to Shibu Soren, during the assembly elections.
Their open alliance and support to Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal is perhaps the starkest of all. They had worked hand in hand with this rabid agent of bourgeois, on the pretext to dislodge the CPM. This paved the way to victory for TMC candidates in recent Parliamentary elections. But when immediately after the elections, the central forces unleashed repression upon the Maoists, and Kishenji called for help, while TMC remained partner in Central Government, TMC leaders just looked away.
Maoists oppose the intrusion of capitalism to backward peripheries from its advanced centres, and in that they base themselves upon the popular notion that there can be good escape from the ‘ills’ of capitalism, while denying the need to take up the struggle for overturn of the power of capitalism at its core centres, as immediate agenda of the revolution. Instead of pushing capitalism forward to its graveyard, Maoists hold it back, block its march to gallows, and thus prolong its life, making the birth of new socialist society belated and thus more and more painful.
Destiny of toiling masses, exploited and ravaged under the rule of capitalists and landlords, remains inseparably bound with that of the working class and depends upon it, upon its victories and defeats, its ups and downs, in its life and death struggle against capitalist power. Liberation of toiling masses, from the clutches of capitalism, is not possible except through a successful struggle of working class at the centres of capitalism. Partisan struggles of poor toilers, the tribals, peasants, dalits, and women at peripheries, can only be elevated to a successful uprising for their liberation, which only can realize the aspirations of the poor, through their consolidation around the struggle of working class in the centres, for political power.
Maoists, pitiably deny this leading and conclusive role for the working class in theory. In practice, they turn their back upon the struggles of working class at the centres and orient themselves towards the backward peripheries. While denying an independent role for working class from bourgeois and petty bourgeois influences, Maoists seek independence of partisan struggles from the leadership of working class itself.
Maoists preclude the idea of working class leadership on the false pretext of ‘protracted war’, in which urban working class has no role to play except that of an appendage to the ‘peasant war’. Maoists bypass the working class and substitute their para-military command structure, for the leadership of working class. They make a fetish out of the tactics of protracted war- a war completely dissociated from the working class and its struggle for power.
City would lead the village, industry the agriculture and thus the city proletariat would lead the peasantry. But the Maoists, overlook this historic truth to build their castles in the air. Their program reveals an amalgam of Narodist and Menshevik program. Towards capitalism, their whole approach is based upon resisting its advance, in defence of petty producers and to save them from ruin. Demands in their program thus do not go beyond a softer hand and benevolent face for capitalism.
Insurgency under the leadership of Maoists offers no way forward for the working class, neither for the mass of toilers. They are politically retrograde Nationalist-Stalinist movement who consciously reject the struggle for political independence and hegemony of the working class. They rely upon partisan war based upon the rural mass, having no faith in the strength and no understanding of the role of working class.
The more these peasant struggles move ahead, the more would they reveal the political bankruptcy of the Maoists and the inability of the peasantry to liberate itself from the shackles of capitalism. The more peasantry would rise in revolt, the more there would be need for the proletariat to stand at the head of these scattered revolts, to consolidate them around its own political struggle against the bourgeois regime, and to imbue the partisan revolts with a real program of social revolution. The more the need for the working class leadership, the more Maoists would find themselves marginalised.
As the resistance of poor toilers against their exploiters would grow, it itself would reveal, with more and more clarity, the farce of petty bourgeois doctrines including Maoism alongside the inability of the toiling masses to liberate themselves from the stranglehold of capitalism, on their own, i.e. without the leadership of the working class. The more the struggles of toilers would advance against the capitalists, the more the need would be felt for this leadership of proletariat and above all, its party, armed with revolutionary Marxism. In inverse proportion to these struggles, the distorted and degenerated variants of Marxism, both Stalinism and Maoism, would get evaporated, vacating the political stage for revolutionary Marxism.
In saying this, we do not intend to draw a parallel between Stalinists and Maoists. While Stalinists, the CPI-CPM have consciously and conveniently adapted to parliamentary cretinism, we recognise that there are lot many sincere people among the Maoists who are ready to stake their lives for the great cause of liberation of the poor and for a social revolution, though with completely distorted notions of such revolutionary process and its historic trajectory. The two cannot be equated for that. But this does not prevent us from pointing out that both of them, claim their origin to the same political soil, arising out chiefly of the decomposition of the Third International under Stalin. Both of them owe their allegiance to the politics of Stalinist Comintern, Kremlin and Beijing bureaucracies, the united Communist Party of India, the ‘two stage theory’ of revolution, the alliance with sections of national bourgeois, the farce of ‘socialism in one country’ etc. etc. Thus it is the same politics which Stalinists toe inside the parliament, that the Maoists take to villages and forests. Both of them are rooted politically in the same soil. This politics, in its essence, is the politics of adherence to this or that sections of bourgeois and denial of a decisive struggle against their rule.
Centrist politics of Stalinists and Maoists, never remained in conformity with the destiny of the working class. It is not amazing that both of them have recorded historic successes, only upon the defeats of the working class. Stalinism had staged its entry on world political scene, right at the time when the revolutionary tide triggered by the Great October Revolution had gone into the ebb, after defeat of German Revolution. Echoing the aspirations of bureaucracy, which longed only to consume the fruits of October revolution and thus demanded abandonment of the program of world socialist revolution, Stalinism unfurled the banner of ‘socialism in one country’ as Nationalist retrograde antithesis to the great dream of world proletarian revolution. Maoism, the Chinese variant of Stalinism, in its turn emerged on the back of the defeat of heroic uprising of the proletariat in Chinese cities, and its complete annihilation at the hands of Kuomintang in 1925-27. Needless to say, that these defeats were sown and facilitated and perpetuated by the Stalinist Comintern itself, its capitulation to the national bourgeois, and its total inability to understand and estimate the alignment of class forces.
Extreme exploitation of working people at the hands of capitalists-landlords and the betrayals of Stalinist CPI and later CPI(M)paved the way for disillusionment of the masses and their turning away from political struggles. A Trojan horse for Stalinist policies, the united CPI had remained a dead shell incapable of leading the working and toiling masses to revolution, rather became an instrument to hold back the masses from political struggle against the rule of capitalists. Maoists, though abandoned Stalinist parties, but not the program of Stalinism itself. They never challenged bogus fundamentals of Stalinism and even after their organisational split in a separate party in 1969, they never attacked the foundations of Stalinism. They remained adherent to program of Stalinism. In fact, all these split away groups of Stalinist CPI, like other parties of Stalinist Comintern, competed with each other in appeasing the Kremlin or Beijing bureaucracies armed with narrow nationalist outlook, and failed to put up a revolutionary struggle for hegemony of International working class and a world proletarian revolution.
Repeated feelers being sent by Maoists to the government, before and after the attack of Dantewara, showing their extreme eagerness for talks and negotiations, are demonstrative of the unwillingness of Maoists to carry forward the revolution to the end, to turn the bourgeois power upside down. On the contrary, Maoists are zealously seeking ways and means for a midway settlement with bourgeois establishment. While paying lip service to the cause of a social revolution, the Maoists, in projection of their demands to the government, are proposing a petty program of social reforms, limited to the confines of capitalism.
In any case, false hopes in Maoism would be shattered either in case of its victory (1949 China) or in case of a debacle (2008 Nepal). This path is bound to lead to stabilisation and re-stabilisation of the power in the hands of bourgeois, either through a direct systemic failure due to its unrealizable program of ‘new democracy’ or ‘peoples democracy’(Nepal) or growing over of this ‘new democracy’ into the folds of old bourgeois democracy in no time (China). However, the historic tragedy of Maoism is that whatever limited role it could play as local agency of Stalinist bureaucracy in China, it could not play in Nepal. The role it played in Nepal, it would never be able to play in India.
The war of Capitalists and their government upon the poor in India, is the part of global war agenda of world capitalism, being imposed upon poorest of the poor on the globe on the false premises of countering ‘terrorism’. The war of bourgeois thus being global and permanent in its character, the limited nationalist program of Maoists is no match to it. ‘Permanent revolution’, the only genuine political program of the proletariat, is the only answer to the unlimited and permanent war unleashed by the world capital on the globe as a whole, and peripheries in particular.