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Provisional Commission of the Central Committee
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10th July 2009
Open Letter to the Politbureau of Communist Party of India (maoist)
On 20th May 2009 you sent an open letter to the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (maoist), where you invited the Maoist revolutionaries on the international level to participate in the debate about the strategy and tactics they have to carry out today in the world.
Quite rightly, the CPI(m) has a high prestige in the international communist movement. Therefore, probably your invitation will be accepted by many parties, organizations and individuals, and this will produce a turning point in the communist movement.
Our Party wish it. That is why we accept your invitation and in our turn we send you this open letter.
Deliberately we will not go deeply as regards the particular and concrete lines the UCPN(m) follows for carrying out the revolution for new democracy in Nepal. The successes the CPN(m) got in the ten years (1996-2006) of the war it carried out in the countryside and in the three years after the agreement with the “Seven Parties Alliance” lead and must lead everybody to hold in high esteem the ability CPN has to carry out the revolution in its country.
Anyway, beyond this, only the party who concretely carries out the revolution in its country is able to apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the particular and concrete conditions of its country. As a matter of fact, it is not only nor mainly a theoretical task (about understanding and interpreting conditions, forms and outcomes of the class struggle ongoing in that country). It is a practical task, concerning the transformation of the relation of strength between the classes.
On the other side, the Communists of the whole world are interested and have the competence in dealing with the laws ruling the development of the world imperialist system and the universal teachings the experience of 160 years of the communist movement and particularly the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution and of the revolutionary struggles going on today all around the world, and in Nepal as well, give to us.
Today there are deep disagreements about these universal teachings also among the Maoist revolutionaries. So, a frank and open debate is necessary. It will contribute to the new birth of the communist movement in the world. It will give the Communists what they need for taking full advantage of the conditions in favour of the proletarian revolution created by the second general crisis of capitalism and, particularly, starting from the last year, by the terminal phase of this crisis.
Looking at the situation on the world level, it is a sure thing that for some decades (since about the Mid Seventies until now) the world imperialist system has gone in a new general crisis (economical, political, cultural) and that still today the communist forces and their direction over the popular masses are developing at a very much lower pace than the pace of development of capitalistic general crisis. In the imperialist countries and in many oppressed countries the resistance of the popular masses to the imperialist system and to its crisis is still with no direction or it is directed by no communist forces. The most resounding case is that of Arabian and Muslim countries (Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and others).
In this situation the communist parties that get victories in their country propose their particular lines as universal lines to the other communist parties. So the Communist Party of Peru did some years ago. So the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) does today. Some similar situations occurred in the past, when the Russian Communist Party carried out the October revolution and established the Soviet Union, when the Chinese Communist Party lead the revolution of new democracy to victory and constituted the People’s Republic of China, when revolution won in Cuba, in Vietnam, and elsewhere.
We have understood that it mainly regards the Communists of the countries where revolution still has not won, to learn from the more advanced parties. The ones who mainly try to copy, generally can hardly get anything. Lenin and Stalin many times admonished communist parties of the Communist International not to copy the Russians, but to learn from Russian revolution.
The more advanced communist parties do right trying to give the best of their experience to the other parties. But unavoidably they end up by more or less talking of themselves, talking in their country language. At the Fourth Congress of the Communist International (1922) Lenin acknowledged that the resolution about the organizational structure of the communist parties, on methods and contents of their work, voted the year before at the Third Congress, was completely right, even excellent, but not understandable and anyhow impracticable by the parties of the Communist International, as it was completely Russian, founded on Russian conditions and mentality. Not only it would remain a dead letter, but “with that resolution we did a serious mistake, we cut across our own path towards further successes” Lenin said. Only leaders with a great personal experience of the international communist movement succeeded in elaborating by themselves from the many particular experiences universal laws and principles useful to the entire communist movement. Surely, collective debate and research in which parties and comrades from many countries participate, make easier to elaborate universal laws and principles from the particular experiences of different countries, so that everybody could learn what universal quality that particularity has. Such a debate is the most favourable context for doing this.
Why the pace of the new birth of the communist movement, considering the entire world, is so slow compared to the pace of the second general crisis of capitalism?
Because the greatest part of the communist parties and organizations still have not a strategy openly declared, elaborated from the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution and consciously practiced for carrying out socialist revolution in their country. The greatest part of the parties of the imperialist countries are still largely acting blindly. Many of them apply lines and follow methods of work that the communist parties of their countries already followed during the first wave of proletarian revolution, without getting victory. The greatest part of the communist parties of the imperialist countries still have not taken stock of the struggles the communist party carried out in their country during the first wave of proletarian revolution. They do not even explain, firstly to themselves, why their forerunners did not succeed in establishing socialism in their country during the first wave of proletarian revolution.
It is a sure thing: which communist parties of the imperialist countries do openly declare a strategy for establishing socialism in their country and follow it consciously and systematically?
Guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, from the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution in the imperialist country and particularly in Italy, our Party has elaborated the strategy of protracted revolutionary people’s war, applied at the imperialist countries. We succeeded in doing it thanks to understanding some economical characteristics of imperialism, that is, mainly, the crises for absolute overproduction of capital and the Antithetic Forms of Social Unity, and some its political characteristics, mainly the regime of preventive counter revolution. These characteristics were not been rightly understood or valorised by the communist parties and by the Communist international during the first wave of proletarian revolution.
We explained our conception of the world, our outcome of the experience of the communist movement, our general line in the Manifesto Program of the Party, published in the spring of 2008 (you may find the English version of the work in the English section of the Eile (Edizioni in Lingue Estere) on the website http://www.nuovopci.it). Now we are systematically applying this strategy to the concrete conditions for making Italy a new socialist country and so contributing to the second wave of proletarian revolution. The victories the Communists get in other countries strengthen our struggle. They help us very much for even better understanding the situation and our tasks and also on the practical level. Sooner or later the victories we shall get will draw also the attention of the brother parties to the work we are carrying out. Then probably they will be able to learn something from us, so as we learn and learnt from others. The sooner this will happen, the sooner the new birth of the communist movement will speed up. That is why we are in favour of the open and frank debate on the international level. We support everybody who is trying to learn also from others’ experience. We participate in it with all the forces we have.
All the communist parties who call themselves Marxist-Leninist-Maoist or even only Marxist-Leninist share the thesis according to which in the last century the revisionists prevailed in the communist movement and took its direction. This is clear to everybody.
In consequence of this the first wave of proletarian revolution little by little lost its energy until it became exhausted. The first socialist countries decayed and finally or collapsed or changed in their contrary. Nearly all the communist parties formed during the first wave of the proletarian revolution degenerated and finally most of all disappeared or radically changed sides. All over the world the working class and the popular masses yielded to the counter offensive the bourgeoisie launched driven by the new general crisis of capitalism and lost most of the conquests they got during the first wave of proletarian revolution. These are facts that all the parties who call themselves Marxist-Leninist-Maoist or even only Marxist-Leninist acknowledge and declare.
But why did the revisionists prevail over the left wing of the communist movement?
The right answer to this question allows the Communists of the whole world to draw important lessons as regards the strategy and tactics they have to follow and strengthens the trust in the victory of proletarian revolution. On the contrary, many parties are content with ascertaining the facts: “they were the revisionists who temporarily won and got the direction of the international communist movement in the last decades”.
Revisionists’ victory is surely temporary, but it was not at all an expected and unavoidable event. Revisionists were carriers of bourgeoisie and other reactionary classes’ influence in the communist movement. They were the right wing of the communist movement. Why did the right wing prevail over the left one?
Mao taught us that it is not possible to prevent the bourgeoisie and the other reactionary classes, until they keep existing, from exercising some influence over the communist movement. On the other hand, during the first wave of proletarian revolution we have seen quite well that also the communist movement exercises some influence in bourgeoisie’s field.
Anyway, if it is not possible to eliminate the right wing, generally it is possible that the left wing prevents bourgeoisie and other reactionary classes’ influence from prevailing in the communist movement. It is possible that the left wing prevents the right wing from prevailing.
During the first wave of proletarian revolution, despite the great successes it got (the establishment of the first socialist countries that united a third of humanity, the destruction of the old colonial system, the great economical, political and cultural conquests of the working class and of the popular masses in the imperialist countries, the defeat of Nazi – Fascism) the left wing did not prevent the right wing from winning: after all the ruin of great part of the work built during the first wave of the proletarian revolution comes from this victory of the right wing. For the new birth of the communist movement and the victory of the second wave of proletarian revolution it is decisive to understand the reason why the left wing has not been able to prevent the victory of the right wing.
Today many of the communist parties who call themselves Marxist-Leninist and also those who call themselves Marxist-Leninist-Maoist did not give open and systematic answer to these questions. So they act prevalently blindly.
Many parties are content with imputing the degeneration and the following ruin of the first socialist countries to the infiltration and the subversion by the States and the agencies of the imperialist countries: “Western agencies infiltrated and subverted the countries of Eastern Europe and even the former Soviet Union”. Some add to this the degeneration of the members and particularly of the leaders of the communist parties in a bureaucratic, careerist and luxurious class.
In substance, the first ones attribute the prominence to the external over the internal causes. This means to consider the degeneration of the first socialist countries an exception to the law according to which the internal causes prevail over the external ones, so as it is in nature and in human history. Moreover, their conviction paralyzes the communist movement: what does grant us that imperialists’ infiltration and subversion not ruin our work as they would have ruined it in the past?
In substance, the second ones add some moralistic feature (careerism, luxury, pleasure, etc.) to the old semi-anarchist and anticommunist Trotsky's theory of Soviet Union bureaucratic degeneration. As a matter of fact the revisionists did not win because they would have been careerist, corrupted, addicted to pleasures and luxury. The right wing did not prevail over the left one in the communist movement, nearly all over the world, because men by nature, as soon as they can, would be careerist, corrupted, irresistibly attracted by pleasure and luxury. These are conceptions of priests. They are not conception worthy of Communists. Trotsky proposes again the anarchist conception according to which each leader is a despot, a profiteer, an exploiter. This is in contrast with the reality of the communist movement that highlighted (and highlights still today) thousands and hundred of thousands of leaders fully devoted to the cause of Communism.
With these anti-dialectical, semi clerical, and semi anarchist conception the Communists prevent themselves form understanding their own limits, because of which the left wing of the communist movement did not prevented the right wing from prevailing.
Firstly, they were limits of understanding conditions, forms and outcomes of class struggle. These limits of understanding on their turn generated limits in the practical struggle, prevented the left wing to carry on the class struggle effectively.
In order to carry out effectively the transformation of the present society in a communist society, in order to make the socialist revolution, after all it is necessary to understand enough rightly the world we are working in: in order to be the main promoter of the transformation of the present world, the communist party has to be its right interpreter.
If during the first wave of proletarian revolution, starting from a certain point on, the communist parties that were leading the first socialist countries did not give anymore solutions suited for the problems of growth of their countries and for the tasks related to their role of red bases of the proletarian revolution on the world level;
if during the first wave of proletarian revolution no communist party in the imperialist country elaborated a strategy suited for establishing socialism in its country;
if during the first wave of proletarian revolution many parties of the oppressed countries did not head the revolution of new democracy carrying out protracted revolutionary people’s wars;
all this shows the limits the world communist movement did not yet overcome and the limits it has to overcome. The limits of the cognitive process (and they regard also the left wing) come before the limits of dedication to the cause (characteristic of the right wing).
As regards the communist Party of our country (the old PCI), we see clearly that the main reason why Palmiro Togliatti (the main exponent of the right wing of old PCI) prevailed in the party was not its personal cleverness nor the mass inclination of PCI members. The main reason was that the exponents of the left wing (the main exponent of whom was Pietro Secchia) had not a strategy for establishing socialism in our country: they played by ear.
In order to advance every communist party has to single out and overcome the limits that prevented the victory of proletarian revolution in its country. The stock of the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution, the stock of the experience of the first socialist countries, shortly the stock of the historical experience of the communist movement is indispensable for the new birth of the communist movement. It is an indispensable aspect of the debate about the strategy and tactics the Maoist revolutionaries has to follow for leading the second wave of the proletarian revolution to victory.
We wish the glorious Communist Party of India (maoist) will develop on this way the debate it launched with the open letter of 20th May 2009 to CPN(m)U and to which it invited the Maoist revolutionaries worldwide. Such a debate would mark a turning point within the communist movement, particularly in these months when the entire world is shaken by the final phase of the second general crisis of capitalism and the popular masses have to turn into some road for facing the situation.
Already now we offer our Manifesto Program for such a debate. In fact, with it we make available to all Communists the answers we have found to the questions above expressed. We wish they could be useful to the Communists of the entire world and we also trust that they could share them, enriching, completing and correcting them, if it will be necessary.
We wish an open answer and send revolutionary greetings to CPI (Maoist) Politbureau.
The Provisional Commission of Central Committee of (new)Italian Communist Party