Friday, May 30, 2008

Nepal: The April 2006 Uprising, the Constituent Assembly and the Abolition of the Monarchy

By Rajesh Tyagi in Delhi
Friday, 30 May 2008


The newly elected Constituent Assembly in Nepal, a fallout of the April uprising of 2006, is now in motion. It has made a formal declaration of an end to the monarchy, with a ‘graceful' exit for it.

As a system of governance, the monarchy had already lost all its steam since the great people's uprising of April 2006, while the forces of medieval reaction ‑ hitherto protected under the wings of the monarchy in Nepal ‑ were already adapting with Nepali bourgeois rule. Because of this, the abolition of the monarchy in Nepal as a state system, and the consequent emergence of a republic, has but a limited significance. This is in sharp contrast to the bourgeois overturns in 19th century Europe, where the emergence of bourgeois republics, represented a turn in world history. In 21st century Nepal, such a republic (although a step forward in bourgeois democratic terms) is of no real meaning and of no practical use for the people of Nepal, unless and until it puts power directly in the hands of the working class and through it the peasantry. Power would be meaningless until it is directed against the bourgeois.

Old school of Stalinism and Maoism

Unfortunately, in Nepal, the Communist leadership, miseducated in the old schools of Stalinism and Maoism, neither has any perspective nor is ready to lead the proletariat to take power. It instead, seeks the power in collaboration with bourgeois/landlords. Its failure to comprehend the true mechanics of revolution in Nepal has resulted in missing the great opportunities to accomplish the revolution, which had presented them again and again.

The great tide of revolutionary upsurge of April 2006 against the old bourgeois-monarchist regime in Nepal receded after the leadership failed to take that historic movement to its logical conclusion - the destruction of monarchy and seizure of power by the proletariat. Revolution was thus forced to pull back from the threshold of victory, with meagre concessions offered by the monarchy. Failing to lead the rebellious people to a successful revolution and consolidate the power of the proletariat (backed by the peasantry), the disoriented leadership, instead, presented the concessions as a big achievement for revolution. This passive and reformist policy of the Communist leadership resulted in a rapid receding of the revolutionary mood of the people in Nepal. Instead of realising its error and preparing for a new wave, the leadership has since taken an about urn, more and more, towards legalism and class collaboration, adapting itself to the ebb in the revolution that they themselves were responsible for.

However, the April 2006 upsurge has left its imprint on the history of Nepal. The importance of the upsurge lies not in the concessions it succeeded in wresting from the hands of the monarchy, as both the bourgeois and the Maoist leaders both perceive, but in the fact that it illuminated a new path through the action of the proletariat in key cities, once again endorsing the bankruptcy of Stalinism/Maoism. What could not be achieved in more than ten years of armed struggle was achieved as if by a magic wand in 10 days of a general strike of the proletariat. This uprising had virtually shaken the monarchist regime from its roots. There lies now a whole gulf between the new Nepal as it emerged after April 2006 and the old one as it existed before the uprising.

The high tide of revolution during upsurge of April 2006, forced a radical rupture between the old and new Nepal. The monarchy lost all its strength and legitimacy, after its armed forces tried their best to drown the uprising in blood, but were paralysed before the might of the rebellious people, leaving the monarchy in the lurch. During the uprising, for the first time, the urban proletariat marked its entry onto the political scene as a class, turning the seat of monarchist-bourgeois power ‑ the city of Kathmandu ‑ into the centre stage of revolutionary drama. This put various hypotheses of revolution in Nepal to the test, first among them the formulations of Maoism and its slogan of the "Chinese road", and refuted them through living revolutionary practice. It refuted the myth spread by the Maoist leaders about the weakness of the working class in the backward countries, where the peasantry constitutes a majority. It showed beyond all doubt that despite its small numerical strength, the proletariat is fully capable of taking the leadership of the revolution by organising itself into a vanguard detachment of the peasant mass, independent of the bourgeois and in opposition to it.

All the forces of old Nepal - the Monarchy, the forces of medievalism led by it and the bourgeois ‑ trembled before this upsurge. Although the upsurge was spontaneous, demonstrating the political immaturity of the working class, it brought forward the immense political energy latent within the proletariat, which on its own had embarked upon the threshold of a political overturn, and if it was forced to retreat, it was only due to the absence of a true leadership.

What prevented the Communists from Taking Power?

What stood between monarchy and the people? What prevented the Communists from taking power at the head of the working class, aided by the peasantry? Practically nothing! But the Communist leadership in Nepal, miseducated in the school of Maoism/Stalinism, refused to take the power through the working class and in opposition to the bourgeois, as it was prepared to take power only in alliance with the bourgeois and not against it. They had planned to execute a bourgeois-democratic revolution, through a "bloc of all classes", with the bourgeois as a partner. Neither were they willing, nor ready to lead the revolution against the bourgeois. The bourgeois, in its turn was not ready to wipe out the monarchy.

The false leadership of the Maoist/Stalinist parties, thus found itself in a dilemma and a virtual political crisis during the upsurge of 2006. All of these Communist Parties and groups in Nepal at that time were closely collaborating with bourgeois parties in one way or another. The upsurge suddenly confronted them with the question of taking power by wiping out the monarchy, for which the stage was all set by history. But firstly the bourgeois parties like the Nepali Congress, having one of their heads faced towards the monarchy, did not at all wish its destruction, especially at the height of revolution. Moreover, the destruction of the monarchy through a radical onslaught of the masses would have immediately posed the question of power, with hostile classes facing each other - bourgeois/landlords on one side and the proletariat/peasantry on the other.

The bourgeois would have had to be confronted in a direct and decisive struggle for power, if the upsurge was to culminate in a successful revolution. The Communist parties, who rubbing shoulders until the previous evening with the bourgeois parties, were not ready for this eventuality and thus found themselves in a dilemma. They could not have turned the tables overnight against the bourgeois, calling its destruction. They therefore voluntarily let the historical opportunity pass and missed the shot. The line of collaboration with the bourgeois in a "bloc of all classes", the "two stage theory of revolution" and the slogan of the "Chinese road" proved fatal for the revolution. The false perspective of the Maoist leaders thus resulted in political paralysis of the revolution. The proletariat had to return from threshold of power, which it could have taken in a revolutionary manner.

Due to their incorrect perspective, regarding the role and correlation of social classes and consequently the nature and dynamics of revolution in Nepal, the Maoist leaders neither could feel the pulse in April 2006 nor could catch it in their own electoral victory in April 2008.The election victory, only but a meek and belated echo of the revolutionary thunder of April 2006, came as a surprise to the Maoists themselves, in the same way as the upsurge of April 2006 had taken them by surprise. The irony is that the Maoists are still demonstrating their political bankruptcy, while failing to understand the true meaning and spirit of the electoral mandate of 2008.

The Nature and Meaning of the Mandate

The Maoists, as with their failure in estimating the nature and depth of the uprising of April 2006, have also failed to assess the nature and meaning of the mandate given to them by the workers and toilers of Nepal. The Maoists pose this verdict as a vindication of their incorrect politics, which in fact is a mandate to remove not only the monarchy and feudalism, but also to cross over to more real and fundamental tasks, which are socialist in nature, and thus they fall beyond the domain of democratic revolution. But the Maoists have taken it upon themselves to stand as guarantors against this "cross over", which is the real essence of Maoism at work in Nepal today.

The Maoists are translating the mandate in a spirit opposite to and abrogative of the mandate itself. They refuse to accept this mandate for a revolutionary stride forward and to consolidate the power in the hands of the proletariat with the support of the peasantry. Instead, they are interpreting this mandate, in the first place as a "fractured mandate", thereby proposing a broad front of all political forces in the country to carry out the mandate, i.e. to build and consolidate a bourgeois democratic Republic. Instead of taking the mandate for a complete overturn, not only of the monarchy, but the bourgeoisie as well, the Maoists are seeking to perfect their alliance with the bourgeois and are planning a peaceful capitalist development in Nepal, in conjunction with it, for at least a decade to come. Refusing to see the complete adaptation between capitalism and medievalism in present-day Nepal, the Maoists falsely attribute a role to the bourgeois in the struggle against the monarchy and propose an alliance with it. Instead of marching towards a proletarian overturn in a direct fight against the bourgeois, they are striving to forge a union with it, basing themselves upon the bogus doctrine of the "two stage" revolution - presently democratic (bourgeois!), and only at some point in the future socialist. Their limited programme does not go beyond the contours of a bourgeois republic, and they are preparing a roadmap which is essentially capitalist in nature. At a juncture in history when the forces of revolution have sufficiently matured to advance against both the monarchy and the bourgeois, the Maoists are capitulating, pinning their hopes upon the bourgeois, instead of directing the revolution against it.

With a bright hope for a radical change in their lives, the people in Nepal have hailed and celebrated the electoral defeat of the pro-establishment parties, both royalists and bourgeois. But the Maoist leadership has already set about drowning these hopes, by seeking an alliance with the bourgeois/landlords and their parties.

Reassuring the Bourgeoisie and Landlords

Immediately following the election result, Prachanda declared, "In this 21st Century we need the cooperation of everyone for development". He further added that the "CPN(M) is ready to work with all parties to write the Constitution".

In an interview to the Nepal Times, Baburam Bhattarai clearly added further clarification:

"When we say we want to end feudalism, we don't mean we want to end private ownership. Our revolution in our language is a bourgeois democratic revolution. In other words collectivisation, socialisation or nationalisation are not our current agenda. We like to assure everyone that once Maoists come to power, the investment climate will be even more favourable. There should not be any unnecessary misunderstanding about that".

Both Prachanda and Bhattarai met the Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry, for more than two hours, wherein they called upon the capitalists:

"Within 10 years let us work magic for economic revolution and mesmerise the whole world. We will allow private investment and promote foreign investment".

Doubly reassuring the capitalists they told the gathering:

"Do not lose confidence. We are not going to capture industries. We need your cooperation to gain economic prosperity."

Amidst applause from the elite gathering, Prachanda declared: "We are Maoists of [the] 21st century", and repelling all apprehensions of those present, he added further: "A strong hand is needed to build a strong nation".

Both Prachanda and Bhattarai in their speeches cited South Korea and Malaysia as models of how the investment would be encouraged in Nepal. When asked about China, Prachanda praised it for elimination of the feudal system "that established a solid foundation for economic growth". He claimed that, "once we restructure the state and involve the private sector, it will be possible to achieve that economic growth".

On 30th April Baburam Bhattarai asserted that Nepal would see an economic revolution in the next 10 years. The Maoist leaders then deliberated with top World Bank officials about the future development plans in Nepal, pledging that bourgeois interests would be protected under their rule. They have offered immunity to the King along with his properties, if he abdicates voluntarily, which after the revolt of 2006, is a big concession to the King.

Dousing the Flames of Revolution

The false Stalinist/Maoist leadership is engaged now in dousing the flames of revolution that may have survived after the debacle of April 2006. While hobnobbing with the local and foreign capitalists, the Maoist leadership is openly calling for a change in the role of the Communist Youth, i.e. the Young Communist League (YCL). Prachanda has assured the capitalists that the YCL would disengage from its past to assume "constructive" activities. The YCL, representing the younger generation of revolutionaries in Nepal, would become the first casualty of political manoeuvre of this false leadership, which has already taken a turn towards reformism. To facilitate the smooth and peaceful participation in bourgeois power, the Maoist leadership has shown its readiness to return the properties confiscated during the last decade. It has agreed even to the dissolution of the armed militias under its control.

Instead of taking power through the direct action of workers and peasants, the Maoists are all set to assume the power through a "bloc of all classes", including the capitalists, both local and foreign. The blueprint they have for development of Nepal in the next decade to come is essentially based upon a nationalist perspective, to be executed in conjunction with the bourgeois, in sharp contrast to the dictatorship of the proletariat and its internationalist perspective. For the present, bourgeois property will remain sacrosanct and it will be protected, and capitalism will be developed. These Maoist leaders, these petit bourgeois revolutionaries, are practically surrendering all power to the bourgeois, converting themselves into a "bureaucratic crust" representing this power. This they do in the name of "democratic revolution", which they strictly counterpose against the "Socialist revolution" leaving the latter to take place only in some distant unspecified future.

However, paradoxically, there exists a peculiar overlapping of democratic and socialist tasks in the revolution in Nepal. The monarchy and bourgeois are integrated here with each other in a very close and inseparable manner, as the big bourgeois property and industry in Nepal belongs to members of the royal family, either the Shahs or Ranas, alongside with the feudal estates that they possess. The Nepali bourgeois, of which the royal family constitutes an upper crust, is amalgamated on the one hand with medievalism in Nepal, while on the other it is directly subjugated to world capitalism. Thus, any alliance with the bourgeois in Nepal would retard the struggle on both fronts. The revolution in Nepal cannot advance even an inch in alliance with the bourgeois. Revolution can advance only as a two-pronged sword one of whose edges is always directed against the bourgeois. Political alliances with the bourgeois as a partner would only more and more deepen the political crisis. The bourgeois republic in Nepal is a fiction in which neither the bourgeois nor the proletariat has any faith or interest.

Any sort of arrangement with the monarchy or the bourgeois would thus be outright reactionary and an open betrayal of the revolution. Merely a formal abolition of feudal titles, instead of the destruction of feudalism and above all the monarchy, would not bring any change in social relations in Nepal. Not able to conceive this ABC of Marxism, the Maoists are treading the path of class conciliation, instead of class struggle. While insulating the capitalist property against its invasion by the revolution, the Maoists are deceitfully paying lip service to the cause of the destruction of feudalism in Nepal, ignoring the fact that the two are inseparably amalgamated with each other.

Symbolic Abolition of the Monarchy

The fact is that while the bourgeois preferred the ceremonial survival of the monarchy, the Maoists want its symbolic abolition. They seem to be two sides of the same coin. The past of the Stalinist/Maoist parties in Nepal is tainted in this aspect. Their long association with the monarchy under King Birendra, is not a secret in Nepal. This opportunist striving for political leadership, both bourgeois and communist, in competing with each other for a place in the lap of the King, is sarcastically termed in political circles in Nepal as the "princely trend". They collaborated with the monarchy even against bourgeois democracy, when they should have taken the lead in the fight against the monarchy, and now that it is the moment to fight against bourgeois, they collaborate with it. If the Maoists have been able move against the monarchy in Nepal, it has only been under the immense pressure of the people and their own rank and file cadres.

The formal abolition of the monarchy is meaningless if it merely limited to the abolition of a few titles and privileges. The immediate programme of the revolution in Nepal is to remove the monarchy with all its political and social institutions, confiscate the properties of the Royals and destroy all feudal relations in the country. While executing this immediate programme, which of course would meet with fierce resistance from the forces of reaction in Nepal, above all from the bourgeois itself, the revolution must cross over to the destruction of bourgeois property as well, in an uninterrupted wave. This is the clear verdict of the recent elections.

The Maoist leaders refuse to understand and execute the revolutionary verdict. They are zealously striving to establish a bourgeois democracy and thereby arresting the revolution at the bourgeois democratic stage. Maoists fail to recognise that at the advent of the 21st century, bourgeois democracy, being devoid of all political energy, is incapable of presenting any viable alternative to the feudal regimes and it is only the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. genuine workers' democracy, which may successfully execute the programme of the revolution.

The Nepali Bourgeois Exhausted its Role Long Ago

The Nepali bourgeois had in fact already exhausted all its energies by 1958, i.e. within a decade of the armed struggle started by itself with the demands of a bourgeois parliamentary democracy in place of the monarchy, but which it openly betrayed by accepting and confiding in the constitution handed over by the monarch. It bargained away parliamentary democracy for a constitutional monarchy. The weak bourgeois miserably failed in taking the revolution even an inch further or to resolve any of the tasks of a democratic nature. The "revolution" of the bourgeois thus came to a halt over half a century ago. Neither can it be repeated, nor can there be a second bourgeois revolution now. Only a proletarian revolution can accomplish these leftover democratic tasks, as part of its uninterrupted revolution and not as a bourgeois-democratic revolution as our Maoists think. It is not parliamentary democracy, but the dictatorship of proletariat, supported by the peasantry, which is on the agenda.

The people have voted for the Maoists hoping that they would do away with the apparatus of exploitation and repression, but they seem to be betraying this faith, as they now propose to take power through an alliance with the bourgeois. One can see ‑ with no special effort ‑ that the plan of the Maoist leaders for the whole of the next decade includes everything for a bourgeois development of Nepal, but nothing for furthering and expanding the revolution, nothing for the workers and peasants of Nepal. What they failed to achieve at the height of the mass upheaval during the April 2006 upsurge, cannot be achieved through legal means under a constitutional bourgeois democracy.

The workers and the youth in Nepal, who had raised the banner of revolt against the monarchy in April 2006, with the slogans "We want the head of the King" and "It is we not the King who are the real power", and who supported the Maoists in gaining electoral victory, in the bright hope of radical changes, now wonder if this is what they had fought for. Enormous contradictions have erupted between the revolutionary potential that the situation offers and the very narrow programme with limited demands presented by the Maoists. The programme of the Maoists is based upon a nationalist perspective of national "progress" and national "unity", that is a "progress" essentially along capitalist lines and a "unity" between the workers/peasants on the one hand and the capitalists/landlords on the other.

Critical Juncture in History

At this critical juncture in history, when enormous revolutionary opportunities are presenting themselves in Nepal, the Maoists are singing the song of the "bloc of all classes" to appease the bourgeois/landlords of Nepal and the world capitalists. Instead of directing the revolution further against the landlord/capitalist bloc, and expropriating the expropriators of the toiling people ‑ something for which they got a clear mandate in the elections ‑ the Maoists are making lucrative offers of collaboration to local and foreign reactionaries, even inviting them to share power. It is not without reason that the strategists in the US have already started discussing if and how the Maoist-led coalition government can be utilised for furthering US designs in the region!

The Maoists received this unprecedented vote, not because of their present political perspective ‑ as is the general perception, but which history will very soon prove out and out incorrect ‑ but because as an accident of history they happened to occupy the whole spectrum of the "extreme left" in Nepal, in the absence of a genuine proletarian party. This explains how and why the Maoists in the recent unfolding of events failed to foresee or comprehend this victory in advance, a victory which appeared to them only as a bolt from the blue, and why they fail even now to understand the meaning of the mandate.

As far as the stealing of the march by the CPN(M) over the other Stalinist/Maoist factions is concerned, the same has to be understood by the fact that while all the other factions had remained inside the old parliament, thus having their opportunism exposed very soon in their day to day activities, the CPN(M) although in essence it relied on the very same politics, escaped this fate, as it had boycotted parliament for a long time. With this advantage over the other factions, the CPN(M) could secure an advantage over them, and consolidate a big electoral victory in its favour. It is however clear that this vote is not an endorsement for the opportunist politics of the Maoists, with all its zig-zags, but is a radical vote for extreme left policies, with a clear mandate to carry forward the revolution. This pattern of voting clearly demonstrates the severity and depth of the social and political crisis in Nepal, to which the programme of the Maoists of revolution by stages - now democratic and later socialist ‑ is no match. The Maoists, at the very threshold, refuse to understand and execute the mandate in this spirit. Instead of carrying forward the revolution, they have started to apply brakes to the revolution, depriving it of its class essence. The Maoists conceive the question of the abolition of the monarchy as if it affects all the classes in Nepal in the same way and as if all the classes are equally interested in it, thereby depriving it of its class essence.

Workers and peasants are not going to achieve anything by proclamations of a "Republic". Such proclamations become meaningless without power being firmly in the hands of the workers, followed and supported by the peasantry. People have not given a mandate for a bourgeois republic to be realised through the bogus formula of the "bloc of all classes". The mandate cannot be understood in simplistic arithmetical terms of proportionate votes to parties representing different social interests. To understand the mandate one must have a correct assessment of the nature of revolution and the role of different classes within it, which presents itself in algebraic fashion. The perception of the Maoists that the "people have voted for different parties to work together for the development of Nepal" is not only incorrect but outright bogus. There is a historic and unprecedented swing of the political pendulum in favour of the forces of the revolutionary left, which means a forcible overthrow of all the exploiters, one after the other. The mandate is for the abandonment of the bogus idea of a bourgeois republic. The mandate is against the perspective of "stage-ism", against compartmentalisation of democratic and socialist stages of the revolution and essentially in favour of a dictatorship of the proletariat supported by the peasantry. But the Maoists, in the absence of a revolutionary mindset, fail to understand this mandate, and take it as a mandate for peaceful bourgeois development in Nepal, with the cooperation of all.

The course of political development in Nepal is pushing the Communists to take power through the proletariat and as a proletarian dictatorship, but the Maoists are not prepared to take it and are willingly wasting the opportunity, surrendering power to the bourgeois, clearing the road for capitalist development. Misinterpreting the mandate, the Maoists refuse to carry it out against the enemies of the people. Instead of taking it as a mandate to accomplish the revolution, the Maoists have taken it as one for a peaceful collaboration of the classes. They are out to invite everybody, from the bourgeois Nepali Congress to the CPN-UML, to form a bloc with them to run the country peacefully and on the path of bourgeois development. They are clearly heading towards open class collaboration with the bourgeois, instead of its outright expropriation.

Inventing a Revolutionary Bourgeois in Nepal

The Maoists wish to execute the revolution according to their blueprint of a "two stage revolution" and for this they invent a revolutionary bourgeois in Nepal - the Nepali Congress etc. etc. ‑ as a collaborator and as a pledge for a capitalist growth of Nepal for at least one decade to come!

The Stalinist/Maoist parties in Nepal, whether it be the CPN-Maoist or the UML or other small parties, all share politically this common perspective of "stage-ism", i.e. the bogus Menshevik "two stage theory", which was discarded long ago by the February and October revolutions in Russia in 1917 and that since then has repeatedly been refuted by revolutionary experience in different countries. Based upon the compartmentalisation between the "democratic" and "socialist" tasks of the revolution, and adopted later by the Comintern under Stalin, this line has proved a virtual trap to arrest the revolution at the bourgeois democratic stage for an indefinite period. It serves to disorient and demoralise the proletariat, pushing the revolution to ebb, reinforcing and strengthening the bourgeois and ultimately losing power to it. This is exactly what happened in China, Spain, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Chile, Nicaragua and other parts of the world, wherever this theory of revolution in stages was applied. Everywhere it proved disastrous for revolution, and resulted in defeat for the masses. With this common perspective, shared among all of them, all the Stalinist/Maoist communist parties in Nepal aspire to a bourgeois-democratic revolution, which according to their dreams would establish "a democratic power shared by all classes, for a period. Staring out from this common political platform, on which they do not have any dispute among them, these parties take to different routes to execute this Menshevik programme. While all the others took the parliamentary road, the Maoists took to the armed struggle, but only to establish the selfsame bourgeois democratic regime in Nepal, cherished by all of them.

Shocked and moved by the immense revolutionary energy generated by the upsurge of April 2006, of which the cities and the urban proletariat were the epicentres, and which successfully demonstrated the limitations of partisan warfare in rural Nepal, without the leadership of the city proletariat, the Maoists reverted back to the cities, but only to reinforce their alliance with the bourgeois/landlords and their parties such as the Nepali Congress. This backtracking of the Maoists to the cities in the wake of the April uprising, abandoning the partisan struggle in the rural areas, deflates all the boasting about the April upsurge coming about as the result of ten years of partisan war. The upsurge came, in fact, as a refutation of the Maoist strategy, which they termed as "Chinese road".

This common perspective of "stage-ism" and the common goal of "bourgeois democracy" is the real political platform of the Stalinist/Maoist parties of the old type, who dominate the political scene in Nepal for the time being. None of these parties attempts to answer the discourse on real and fundamental issues of politics and instead raise issues of secondary and tactical importance only, to draw the political lines. The Maoists focus their disputes around tactical issue such as the forms of struggle, falsely counterposing them to each other ‑ armed action vs. parliamentary action ‑ while in essence they all carry out the same political line of class collaboration, whether through parliament or through partisan struggle.

No Fundamental Difference Between Different Maoist Trends

The Maoists had parted their ways from the unified CPN, criticising its leadership as renegade and revisionist, mainly for its participation in parliamentary politics. They immediately proposed armed struggle of the peasantry as an alternative strategy. This strategy was, however, changed after April 2006 uprising, but the political perspective of Maoism - the "two stage theory" and the "bloc of various classes", was retained. The Maoists did not differ with the then CPN on any of the political positions or fundamental standpoints, but raised disputes on the tactical aspects, subsidiary to the main strategic issues.

The 2006 upsurge, however, compelled the Maoists to change their tactics, to shift the focus of their work from the rural areas to the cities, even contrary to the preaching of Maoism. Prachanda said in an interview in 2006, that in any event they would not return to the villages to restart the armed struggle. Similarly, in 2007, CP Gajurel told a press conference that a city-based revolution was in the offing in Nepal. Yet the Maoists failed to change their fundamental political perspectives and retained it in all fundamental particulars. Still they continue to refuse to open their eyes to the futility of their old Stalinist/Maoist perspective of "revolution in stages" and "bloc of various classes", thereby diminishing the role of the proletariat and instead artificially carving out a role for the bourgeois in the revolution. They grasped the importance of action in the cities and the futility of rural based warfare, in wilful and clear deviation from the conventional "path" of Maoism, but their failure to understand the nature of the revolution in backward countries, and the role and attitude of the bourgeois and proletariat within it, made them cling to their prejudices about the bourgeois and its parliamentarism, instead of making preparations for a proletarian overturn in Nepal.

Now the question arises as to how this bogus recipe of "two stage theory" and of "bloc of all classes", laced with the gloomy dreams of the growth of capitalism, will be swallowed by the workers and poor peasantry in Nepal and why they should wait for another 10 years to come. Here comes into play the Prachanda doctrine, "a strong hand to build a strong nation". This strong hand would punch the proletariat and the peasantry, if they refuse to swallow the recipe of capitalist development prepared by the Maoists. Workers and peasants in Nepal will soon find that the Maoists will be playing the role of a policemen standing as a guarantee for the protection of bourgeois property in Nepal, as they have pledged time and again.

As apologists of the Menshevik theory of "stage-ism", the Maoists are revealing themselves as red lieutenants of the bourgeois/landlords. The power in their hands, sooner rather than later, will turn into a bureaucratic apparatus for crushing the revolutionary proletariat and peasantry, which in any case would not confine itself to the "democratic" stage of revolution even for months, not to say of a decade, and would strive to carry forward the revolution by crossing over the narrow limits of the bogus programme of the Maoists' democratic revolution. The state power, if not directed against the bourgeois, would certainly be directed against the workers and peasants!

History is Presenting the Question of Power Starkly

While the Maoists are busy in forging the unwarranted collaboration between hostile classes, under the slogan of a Republic, history is presenting the question of power starkly - who will rule Nepal, the bourgeois or the proletariat? The simplistic Maoist slogan of a democratic republic does not present any answer to this. The dispute is over the role and character of this democratic republic. Would it be realised in opposition to, or in conjunction with, the bourgeois? A republic under proletarian dictatorship or the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie? The fate of the revolution is bound to this issue. The Maoists show their utter incapacity to resolve this issue in a revolutionary way. The bourgeois, however, is unable to come to power unless and until the revolution itself is betrayed, its flames are put down and power is surrendered voluntarily by those at the head of the revolution.

The present turn in the politics of Nepal, presents only a caricature of the February revolution in Russia in 1917, with no October overturn in the offing, in the absence of a Bolshevik opposition. We will soon witness the same surrender of power by its Menshevik leadership, before the local reaction and imperialist bourgeoisie. We will find this leadership zealously defending the bourgeois state, law and property against the people. Unable to advance the revolution even an inch further, with every passing day, the Maoists would find themselves more and more trapped inside their false web of bourgeois democracy. Either the Maoists abandon the working people becoming open apologists of bourgeois democracy or the working people becoming more and more disillusioned, will eventually be forced to look for an alternative to the Maoists.

From the point of view of the proletariat, the abolition of the monarchy is only a means to an end and not an end in itself. The Maoists/Stalinists, the epigones of Leninism, are seeking collaboration with the bourgeois in Nepal, as they head towards a bourgeois republic in complete betrayal of the mandate both of the 2006 uprising and the recent elections. The proletariat must organise itself to take power in Nepal with the aid of the poor peasantry and thus execute the mandate by overturning both the monarchy and bourgeois. To be able do this, it needs first to detach itself from the influence of the Stalinist/Maoist leadership and its false perspective. What is needed is a genuine Marxist opposition within the Nepalese Communist movement capable of gaining the ear of the rank and file with the aim of establishing a genuine Leninist policy, armed with the perspective of permanent revolution, instead of the old Stalinist/Maoist outlook that seeks class-conciliation instead of class struggle.

Delhi, May 28, 2008
RENEGADE EYE

14 comments:

Graeme said...

What prevented the Communists from taking power at the head of the working class, aided by the peasantry?

Let's face it, if the communists would have taken power, they would have been the reactionary force in Nepal. The proletariat would be better off organizing themselves and fighting the communist party. History shows us, once state communists take power, they don't give it back. I am not completely against political parties, there are some that are actually responsive to the issues pushed by the working class, but the cynic in me makes me suspicious. And more often than not, my suspicions are warranted.

Seán said...

Hey, these third world peasants are really showing the Brits how to shake off centuries of feudal oppression.

Maoist marauding around Buckingham palace would be quite a sight!

celticfire said...

What a tremendously disappointing article. If anything, it reflects only the theoretical impoverishment of the Ted Grant tendency to fail to recognize the tremendous victory for the working class of Nepal that the abolition of the monarchy led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Instead of analyzing concrete conditions, Rajesh Tyagi decides to throw around –rather aimlessly – empty criticisms of semantics rather then any substantial argument contributing to a better understanding of the class struggle in Nepal. I have to be blunt about this because underlying Rajesh Tyagi’s point is that Nepal is not developing like Europe did – in a stark ethnocentric analysis. My problem goes deeper: to Trotsky’s flawed methodology, which poses idealist goals to practical achievements. In leads us in to objectively a very arrogant view point that only the white, educated working class in imperialist countries can build socialism. This is why most Trot groups spew with anger at the developments in Nepal – they are proving Trotsky seriously wrong. “Nepal, presents only a caricature of the February revolution in Russia in 1917, with no October overturn in the offing, in the absence of a Bolshevik opposition.” – When did Nepal claim to be Russia in the 1917? Again, a ridiculous argument with incorrect assumptions. Solidarity, while still coming from the Trotskyist tradition, managed to develop a superior analysis of Nepal. But my point here isn’t to flame sectarian fighting between Marxists. On the contrary: the criticisms that Trotskyites heap at Stalinism is absolutely, fundamentally correct. My point is that if you get stuck in semantics or tired battles of the last century, well like Lenin said, you’re talking with a corpse in your mouth. Rajesh Tyagi is correct about half of one thing: Marxists need a thorough breaking with Stalinism, but also ethnocentrism. Trots can huff and puff with indignation while the Maoists in Nepal construct the foundations for socialism, but I would say they would be wiser defending that revolution, learning from its lessons and applying them critically to conditions here.


Support the revolution Nepal – welcome the destruction of the monarchy!

sonia said...

in Nepal, the Communist leadership, miseducated in the old schools of Stalinism and Maoism, neither has any perspective nor is ready to lead the proletariat to take power. It instead, seeks the power in collaboration with bourgeois/landlords. Its failure to comprehend the true mechanics of revolution in Nepal has resulted in missing the great opportunities to accomplish the revolution, which had presented them again and again.

Add "FORTUNATELY" at the begining of this sentence, and I will agree with it. Rajesh Tyagi is an ass. But I hope he is right.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Glad to see you're still offering excellent, dense posts.

Have you blogged owt on South Africa?

Graeme said...

hey Ren, off topic but I watched that video of Jorge Martin of HOV in Minneapolis. good stuff!

Renegade Eye said...

Graeme: Jorge (pronounced Jordi) was real on top of his subject.

I don't think that Maoists wee voted for because of their reassurances to landlords.

Sean: In the 1960s, communist parties that declared themselves to be Maoist, received $$ from Mao.

celticfire: There is a concrete relationship to 1917 events. Mao's theory of "New Democracy," is a sophisticated rethread of Menshevism.

The Nepal Maoist leadership vowed not only not to expropriate capitalists, they promised to return everything won in the guerilla war.

I've been reading Maoist blogs, attacking the Nepal leadership, for selling out Maoism. I disagree with that assessment. It's in line with Maoism.

Do you believe in the block of four classes?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill: Great that you are blogging. See this

Sonia: It shows that Stalinism is a form of conservatism.

The Pseudo-Independent said...

will need to digest this and comment soon enough!

noni said...

(Same content and similar reverberation as the article link you have sent on reply on my article "Nepal: lesson learned". I post same reply here ...nothing more to say on Rajesh Tyagi's view point.)

It’s a just another story of heart broken. Last decade all leftist camp around the world closely monitored Maoist activities of Nepal with great hope. And all seems to be in process of finding a way or understanding of a new path and desperate to come out of after impact of falling USSR. After Cuba, Vietnam very recently only in Nepal a major social transformation is going on. So it brings lot hope and new light, but now when Nepal Maoist declared about their strategy (proceed with mix economy) after recent election, of course it breaks heart of lot of many leftist camps. Those leftist of some camp still dreaming of imposed socialism and when Maoist of Nepal does not willing to fulfill it, hope of socialism as they thought is fading. But field theory and field practice is very different then imposed table talk. Through ten/twenty years Maoist of Nepal they observed, analyze and practice Marxist Leninist Maoist revolutionary movement on mountain terrain of Nepal. They denied leadership cultism for holding a socialist state in the name of socialism. At the same time understanding of situation of new world order, globalization, neo liberal economic aggression, Maoist Nepal confirms they want to proceed with world Marxist Leninist Maoist revolutionary movement and tactically now let allowed to place an advanced platform in Nepal as it required to fulfill some condition for proletariat revolution.

Of course a socialist world is awaiting with less lope holes (not like so called socialist (!!) pocket countries as now). From where that world never revert back to capitalist and imperialist order again.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

interesting blog. I have never been here before. I am going to search your archives to see if you have done any posts on Nigeria and/or African issues.

Take care!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Thanks for heads-up to that piece, spent some time in South Africa, did some reading and plenty of meeting and gonna blog some stuff so thanks.

Renegade Eye said...

Noni: Thank you for your remarks. Atleast Nepal should be a base for socialist activity in India, Pakistan etc.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill: Everyone should check out your blog, particularly for africa coverage.

SOLOMONSYDELLE: Thank you for visiting.

Tula 49 said...

This is definitely a great article, and sheds a fair deal of light on the situation.

Prachanda is a thinly veiled pro-capitalist. The Maoists have no intention of going beyond capitalism, and like in areas of India, they will prove themselves to be some of the most loyal defenders of the capitalist system.

The bankruptcy of the "theory" of two stages is yet again richly exposed.

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