C(M)PA: Some Observations on the Joint International May Day Statement 2018
In point of fact, other than editors of the Maoist Road website, none of the signatories of the Statement were given the opportunity to comment on the content of the “Joint International May Day Statement 2018.” Due to the boycott of the joint international “statement” by the parties that are labelled “Gonzaloist”, Maoist Road had created doubts about the publication of this statement altogether. Therefore, this year, the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan [C(M)PA] decided to publish an independent May Day Statement unlike previous years.
Nevertheless, with very little time before May Day, the draft of the Joint Statement was composed by Maoist Road and distributed internally, not for the purposes to consult other parties and organizations about the content of it, but to know if they would sign it or not. Despite our belief that the internal publication of the draft of the joint statement in this manner was not correct, and possessing reservations with certain issues within the statement, we expressed our agreement in signing the statement in a short letter, in which we also flagged our reservations, which we would have elaborated later. However, unfortunately the letter that was published on the Maoist Road website does not belong to us, and we don’t know why.
In the short note sent to Maoist Road we wrote:
However there are some comments [reservations] from our side but we sign the document. The Persian translation is also included.
But the following note appeared in Maoist Road under our name:
Joint Statement—The Persian translation
The Persian translation is also included.
Communist (Maoist) Party Afghanistan
We can ask to Maoist road
Therefore, first of all we want this issue to be clarified to us.
Secondly, it should be underscored that we need at least one month time for all Maoist parties and organizations to discuss and provide suggestions on the draft of the statement. In this period all discussions and suggestions of different parties and organizations should be studied and analyzed and, if need be, should be responded to so that all parties and organizations––or a large majority of them––should view themselves in the mirror of the joint statement.
The slogan proposed in classic texts is thus: Workers of the world, unite!
On other occasions this slogan has been raised as: Proletarians of the world, unite! This phraseology has also been validated by Marx and Engels. However, in most statements the phrase “worker” is more common. Even on Karl Marx’s tombstone it is written: Workers of all lands, unite!
After the October revolution, in 1920, Lenin expanded this slogan to: Workers and oppressed peoples and nations of the world, unite!
Given this background, careful attention should have been paid to the correct reproduction of this famous slogan in the statement.
The joint international statement of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations must be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist statement and should emphasize Maoism as the third and highest stage of ideology and science of proletarian revolution; it should view the totality of this ideology and science of revolution from the high peak of Maoism.
But unfortunately the “statement” quoted excerpts from the Communist Manifesto without any explanations that would make it appropriate for a joint international Marxist-Leninist-Maoist statement. Let us take a look at a few matters and some quotes from the Communist Manifesto in the statement:
“The whole society splits into two great enemy camps, into two great classes directly opposed: bourgeoisie and proletariat”.
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan do not think that peasants are actually half of the world’s population and the principal force of world revolution in the way the joint statement of the eight South American Maoist parties and organizations asserts. However, we believe in the existence of colonial/semi-feudal societies or in semi-feudal/semi-colonial societies; therefore, the whole society has not split into “into two great classes directly opposed: bourgeoisie and proletariat.” Rather, the peasantry as a class remains the principal revolutionary force in the aforementioned countries, so, the stage of revolution in such societies is a New Democratic Revolution.
“Of all the classes that today are opposed to the bourgeoisie, only the proletariat constitutes a truly revolutionary class; the other classes are corrupted and perish and when they want to go back to the previous privileges they are conservative and reactionary; when they fall into the mass of the proletariat they are part of the proletarian class struggle”.
There is no doubt that the peasantry as class in countries oppressed by imperialism are in conflict with the feudal and bourgeois comprador classes; this conflict in the context of these countries is a revolutionary conflict. But the statement, reflecting the time of the writing of the Communist Manifesto, mentions the bourgeoisie in general terms. It should be highlighted that while imperialist capitalism on the one hand is weakening the feudal relations in countries oppressed by imperialism, on the other hand it is establishing and reproducing semi-feudal social relations of production.
“Capitalism, analyzed by Marx, which has become imperialism in Lenin’s development, continues to go through a profound economic crisis and unload it on the proletarians and peoples of the world.”
The statement says nothing of the fact that Mao Zedong has further developed Marx and Lenin’s analysis of capitalism in the age of imperialism and proletarian revolution. This means not representing Mao Zedong’s contribution in this arena, and specifically it is ignoring Mao Zedong’s contribution in theorizing bureaucratic capitalism in countries under imperialist domination––that kind of capitalism that imperialist powers are promoting in oppressed countries––and it also ignores Mao Zedong’s theorization of revisionist bureaucratic capitalism and social imperialism in countries where socialism has been overthrown and capitalism has been restored.
“Against this situation, proletarians and popular masses rebel in imperialist countries as in the countries oppressed by imperialism.”
It seems, here, that either deliberately or due negligence, peasants are not mentioned beside the proletariat. In the context of semi-feudal/semi-colonial countries or colonial/semi-feudal countries this amounts to ignoring the principal force of New Democratic Revolution.
“To the rebellions of the proletarians and the oppressed peoples, the imperialist bourgeoisie and the ruling classes enslaved to them in the countries oppressed by imperialism, oppose repression and massacres.”
Here again, either deliberately or due negligence, peasants are not specifically mentioned.
“Proletarians and peoples resist and develop their struggles and popular wars to affirm the revolution as the main trend.”
Revolution being or not being “the main trend” is an objective and, at the same time, a subjective condition. To say that revolution is the main trend in the world means that the counter-revolution is not the main trend in the world. But what is the trend against the trend of revolution in the world? Once Mao Zedong talked about two contradictory trends in the world: the trend of revolution and the trend of imperialist world war. However, now it has been proven that the trend of imperialist world war is only one of the probable forms of the counter-revolutionary trend in the world, not the entire and only counter-revolutionary trend.
Therefore, now it is not a question of whether revolution or the imperialist world war is the main trend, but of whether revolution orcounter-revolution is the main trend. In a situation when one of the major contradictions in the world, the contradiction between the socialist system and the imperialist system, has temporarily disappeared and has not re-emerged yet––and at a moment when there is no socialist country in the world––can we say that revolution is the main trend? More importantly, we believe that proclaiming revolution as the predominant global trend implies that it is in the stage of strategic offensive against the counter-revolutionary trend. At one time the Communist Party of Peru made this claim, which was also the time when the people’s war in Peru (according to their own claims) was at a stage of strategic equilibrium. But this claim was not true then and is not true now. What was and is true is that the revolutionary trend in the world is in a stage of strategic defensive. Therefore, currently the counter-revolution is the main trend and not the trend of revolution.
Thus, we should say: Proletarians and peoples resist and develop their struggles and popular wars for the purposes strengthening the trend of revolution in all countries and all over the world.
“Against the way of the revolution is opposed within the workers’ and popular movement, the path of reformism, the path pursued by revisionists and social democrats, to reconcile with governments and imperialist states and to favor the realization of their plans.
In front of the crisis of reformism, social democracy and revisionism, new populist electoral forces that use reactionary demagogy to divide the masses and take them to the chariot of the ruling classes are advanced in the interest of the bourgeoisie and the imperialist states. Populism fuels fascism and neo-Nazism.”
Revisionist and social-democratic reformism––along with populist electoral demagogy that fuels fascism and neo-Nazism in imperialist countries––within worker and popular movements, is an obstacle to revolution in imperialist countries as well as countries under imperialist domination. Yet in countries under imperialist domination, particularly in Muslim-majority countries, Pan-Islamist and Islamic fundamentalist movements (either at odds with imperialist occupying forces or benefitting from imperialist support and connected with reactionary powers), are also obstacles to revolution. This significant problem should not be forgotten, and it is necessary for the international communist Maoist movement to have a clear position on this issue.
“The people’s war in India, directly affecting one of the main bastions of imperialism and reaction in the world, is a powerful reference point, along with popular wars in the Philippines, Peru, Turkey.”
People’s wars exist in India and the Philippines. The international Maoist movement should support, learn from, and be proud of these revolutionary wars. But currently there are no people’s wars in Peru or Turkey. We did not agree in the way this claim about the existence of people’s war was made in the joint international May Day statement of 2017 nor do we agree with this claim in the statement this year. The presence of inactive remnants of the people’s war in Peru cannot be reason to claim that a people’s war still exists in that country. Likewise the presence of armed groups connected to Maoists in Turkey, who are not active in the battlefields of Turkey, cannot justify the claim of the persistence of people’s war there. We believe raising such unreal claims will be damaging to the credibility and reputation of a joint international statement and to parties and organizations endorsing such a statement.
“The mlm communists must unite and strengthen their unity, freeing the ranks of the international communist movement from revisionist and capitulationist tendencies, without at the same time falling into the sterility of petty bourgeois revolutionism, of dogmatism.”
It should be reiterated from the two dangers––one being revisionism and capitulationism and the other dogmatism––revisionism and capitulationism poses the principal danger but dogmatism also poses an important danger.
“The construction of the communist parties is only possible in the fire of the class struggle in close connection with the masses, as a function of the authentic revolutionary struggle for power.”
It should also be reiterated that not only “[t]he construction of the communist parties is only possible in the fire of the class struggle in close connection with the masses, as a function of the authentic revolutionary struggle for power,” but the construction of the revolutionary army and the revolutionary united front is also only possible in the aforementioned course of action.
Unfortunately, the May Day statement this year has only mentioned the following general point about the international front of struggle of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist forces: “the mlm communists must unite and strengthen their unity.” It has not mentioned the necessity of struggle for building a new international Maoist organization that would struggle towards building a new communist international. In comparison with previous joint international statements, this reductionism is seriously an unjustified and negative retreat.