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Listen to the worm of doubt, for it speaks truth. - Leftist Discussion

Nepal's Prachanda -- The "Great Maoist Hope" February 20, 2006 by RedStar2000

The appeal of Maoism continues to diminish in the "west"...and they desperately need a "winner" to restore their "prestige" (such as it was).

Thus we are beginning to see a spate of interviews with Nepal's aspiring "Great Leader", Comrade Prachanda.

As always, this bourgeois revolutionary is presented to us as a "theoretical giant" with a "new revelation" about the nature of "socialism".

Well, see if you find anything "new" in this stuff. *laughs*


quote (Prachanda):

We are not talking about bourgeois parliamentary democracy. This multiparty democracy will be anti-imperialist and anti-feudal...The socio-economic change we are fighting for is against feudalism and imperialism and it is within the context of that struggle that we are talking of multiparty democracy.

Well, that is the definition of a young bourgeois parliamentary democracy. It boots out the imperialists and abolishes feudalism.

There's nothing here that suggests even the Maoist version of "socialism".

quote (Prachanda):

Our decision on multiparty democracy is a strategically, theoretically developed position, that in a communist state, democracy is a necessity.

A demonstration of what I've argued many times. The use of the phrase "communist state" shows that even the "leaders" of Maoist parties in semi-feudal countries don't really understand Marxism at all.

They pick up the terminology...but they lack the cultural background to use it correctly.

quote (Prachanda):

The second way is also what we have been discussing, that the U.N. or some other credible body will supervise things.

Preposterous...but perhaps he really thinks the UN is "credible".

quote (Prachanda):

And if you feel the Naxalite movement in India is a problem for you, we feel we are trying to deal with the problems in Nepal in a new way, so if you release our comrades and we are successful in establishing multiparty democracy in Nepal, then this will be a very big message for the Naxalite movement in India. In other words, the ground will be readied for them to think in a new political way.

In other words, a bourgeois democracy in Nepal will (or might) convince the Maoist Naxalites in India to lay down their arms and choose the parliamentary road to "socialism".

There's only one small problem with that scenario...India already has the mechanisms of bourgeois democracy in place. The Naxalites are unlikely to find the "Prachanda path" very appealing. They've "been there" and "done that".

quote (Prachanda):

So we decided that when we are in power, the whole team of our leadership will not be part of day-to-day power. Not just me but our team. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Badal, Mohra, others, we have a leadership team which arose from the midst of the struggle. When we go to Kathmandu, we will not be involved in power struggles or day-to-day power. That will be for the new generation, and we will train that generation.

It's not clear exactly what this means. If Prachanda's circle remains in the leadership of the party, it will not matter who holds the leading governmental posts as they will be "junior" to the party leadership and under party discipline to "do what they're told".

Of course they might refuse...and that could lead to some interesting developments.

But they would have to "break the habit" of obedience...possible but unlikely.
First posted at RevLeft on February 11, 2006


Name one country where it has.

A "perfect laboratory specimen" does not readily come to mind...but the "bits and pieces" of historical experience suggest that is how such a specimen would actually behave.

The new-born French Republic of 1789 did effectively abolish feudalism. There were no imperialists to expel at that point, but it could hardly be denied that they certainly would have expelled them had they existed.

Had the German bourgeois revolution of 1848 been successful, it is likely, I think, that feudalism would have been abolished.

The 20th century anti-imperialist revolutions have also been accompanied by the abolition of domestic feudal institutions, have they not? It's true that the formal establishment of bourgeois democracy has been delayed somewhat...but that's been the trend.

Bourgeois "democracy", after all, is a rather subtle form of class dominion that takes some time to master. The goal is to give the appearance of popular sovereignty while preserving the reality of bourgeois rule. Very "new" capitalist classes are "not very good at that" and often prefer a period of open despotism before they are ready to "go on stage".


Right, because Marx lived in an advanced capitalist country in its final throes.

Yes, Marx did live in a period of "throes"...both the death of feudalism and aristocracy and the birth of modern capitalism. It is a remarkable testament to his genius that he was able to see as far ahead as he did.

The only historical parallel that I'm aware of is that of the ancient Greek Democritus...who derived the rudiments of atomic theory more than two thousand years before it was possible to empirically verify such propositions. The word "atom" was coined by him...and we still use it today.

I'm afraid Prachanda does not qualify for membership in "this club".
First posted at RevLeft on February 11, 2006


Prachanda is expanding on the dictatorship of the proletariat. He is talking about a multiparty dictatorship of the proletariat under a socialist constitution.

That's not what he says in the interview that you posted. Maybe he says it somewhere else...or maybe you're just reading your own hopes into his words.

What he says he wants to do is drive out the imperialists and abolish feudalism...and, Trotskyism to the contrary notwithstanding, that's a bourgeois revolution no matter what color flags you fly.


However, it is pretty elitist of someone living in an imperialist country who has never participated in a revolution to talk down on someone who is actually leading the most powerful revolution in the world at the moment.

No, it's not "elitist", it's egalitarian. I think I'm "just as good as" Prachanda...or anybody else!

Unlike you, I have no impulse to "flop on my belly" for anybody no matter what they have done or are doing.

You still think of revolution as "finding the right guy to follow" instead of using your own brain to figure stuff out.

That's typical of peasant revolutions...but why are you still doing it?


Right, because only white people in the first world know how to liberate the planet, and they should just listen to you, right?

Time for a little race-baiting, eh?

Reply to arguments...if you want to be taken seriously on this board.

For example, I will reply to your "point". We should listen to people who have something interesting and useful to say about the liberation of the matter what color their skin might be or what part of the world they come from.

Or any other consideration except the merits of what they've actually said.


First of all, Chairman Prachanda isn't talking about a bourgeois democracy, he's talking about a proletarian democracy.

Once again, that's not what he says.

The phrase "proletarian democracy" doesn't even appear in that interview.


This has nothing to do with the "parliamentary road."

What else could it be? The Naxalites are engaged in armed struggle to overthrow the existing Indian bourgeoisie, right?

Prachanda thinks the Naxalites should stop doing that, right?

And the alternative? Run candidates for the Indian parliament, right?

What's that other than parliamentary cretinism?


If I understand it correctly, what Chairman Prachanda is saying is that the party will be controlled by the central committee as a whole instead of a single leader, so as to increase the difficulty of a future capitalist coup as happened in the Soviet Union and China.

As I recall, Khrushchev made much of the principle of "collective leadership" after his famous "Stalin speech"...but his actions (collective or individual) actually speeded up the open restoration of monopoly capitalism.

I don't see this proposal as making any significant difference, one way or the other.


That was a fitting reply to our comrades who still think that proletarian revolution will take place in the first world countries. When that would take place, they do not have a bit of an idea. They believe it because it is written in the book, just like religious fundamentalists elsewhere believe that whatever is written in the books is true and beyond scrutiny. Nothing can be regarded as inappropriate, rude and boorish as the reactions of some of our own comrades for the people's war in Nepal.

Yes, I unashamedly assert that Marx was right and real communist revolutions will take place first in the "first world countries".

And I make this assertion inspite of the fact that I cannot see into the future and say "when" that will happen.

Nor do I think that "everything" that Marx wrote was "holy" and "beyond scrutiny".

What Did Marx "Get Wrong"?

And, of course, I am always delighted to be "inappropriate, rude, and boorish" whenever the opportunity arises to call things by their real names.

It's what communists do.


If the first world is the place where proletarian revolution will take place, why it is not taking place?

Because it takes longer than Marx or anyone else thought it would.


It is from these thousands of nameless people, who have joined the revolution and have given up their lives that the armchair revolutionaries of the first world draw their inspiration.

That used to be the case.

But it's really "no good". Cheer-leading bourgeois anti-imperialist revolutions in the "third world" is really no substitute for proletarian revolutionary activity in the "first world".

Those "third world" revolutions are "a good thing"...a needed progressive step in the development of those countries. We should support them for that reason.

But expecting those places to build "socialism" or "communism" is just plain ridiculous. It took China 30 years just to lay the foundations for modern capitalism...which is what they're now building with tremendous enthusiasm. The Chinese bourgeoisie remind me of the American bourgeoisie in 1875...full of expansive ambition and vigorous energy.

How different are things here.


Had there not been communist revolutions taking place in different parts of the world, our comrades in the first world countries would have become obsolete long ago.

Actually, the fact that people in pre-capitalist or semi-capitalist countries borrowed Marxist terminology to costume their bourgeois revolutions has actually made things rather more difficult for us.

The regimes that you call "communism" were actually state monopoly capitalist despotisms...and did much to retard the development of a revolutionary proletariat in the "first world".

The "western" ruling classes told us a lot of lies about those regimes...but the truth would have been more than sufficient. By "western" standards, they were just awful places to live.

And they're still pretty bad. Russian and Chinese workers live probably like American or British workers lived in 1900 or so.

What "western" worker wouldn't prefer capitalism to the economic misery of the workers in "communist" Russia or China?

In fact, backward "communism" in the "third world" has done so much damage to the actual word "communism" that we in the "west" may have to replace the term!

It would help us in the "west" a whole lot if "third world" revolutionaries would invent some new words of their own to label what they're doing. It's not really "socialism" or "communism" how about calling it something else?

Chavez calls what he's doing "Bolivarianism"...and I think that's a terrific idea. Call it "Maoism" or "Prachandaism" or whatever.

Quit calling it "Marxism" or "communism"...because it really has nothing to do with those ideas.

First posted at RevLeft on February 12, 2006


Before I dig into RedStar2000's post, I'm going to post an interview with Comrade Baburam (of the CPNM central committee) that refutes a lot of what he said.

If anything, it confirms what I said. *laughs*

quote (Bhattarai):

When the centre of revolution shifted towards the East, first to Russia and then to China & other Third World countries, where there was lesser industrial development, lesser class differentiation and [a] larger chunk of the peasantry, the role of peasants vis--vis the workers went on increasing in a proportionate manner.

This is a true statement except for the hidden assumption. What "shifted towards the East" was not proletarian revolution but bourgeois revolution.

What the "East" is going through has nothing to do with communism except in words. It's much more like 1789-1848 in Europe...with the predictable outcome.

Nepal, in fact, is so backward that even the so-called "socialism" of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao is "out of reach".

quote (Bhattarai):

As we are now in the phase of the democratic revolution, i.e. a bourgeois revolution with the right to private property, we are not aiming at any form of collectivization. Hence in this phase, we will definitely accept market economy. Our current slogan to the peasants is, 'land to the tiller', and nothing more.
-- emphasis added.

It would appear that Bhattarai has a somewhat better grasp of Marxism than Prachanda...he calls what is to take place in Nepal by its real name.

quote (Bhattarai):

Also [Stalin] taught metaphysics to a whole generation of proletarian revolutionaries rather than dialectical materialism...

Dialectical "materialism" is metaphysics!

quote (Bhattarai):

In fact it was Mao who defended and developed the theories expounded by Marx, Engels and Lenin, by freeing them from both the revisionist vulgarizations and distortions and Stalinist rigidity. It is quite unfair and unfortunate that quite a many western Marxists fail to understand the real Mao and tend to project or dismiss him as a rustic simpleton. It would be worthwhile to extricate revolutionary Marxism from this arrogant Euro-centrism.

Yes, I do "dismiss Mao"...not as a "rustic simpleton" but as a peasant insurrectionary and a reforming emperor in the Chinese tradition.

His efforts at "Marxism" are just ridiculous...except for grasping the necessary role of the peasantry in a country that was, after all, 95% peasants!

Give him credit for a "common sense class analysis" of his own country...but he's never said squat of any use to us.

If Bhattarai wants to think that western communists are "euro-centric", fine. Europe is where we live!

quote (Bhattarai):

In other words, leaders are a historical necessity, but who such leaders would be is just a question of chance. What should be kept in mind is that a leader must be seen as a centralized expression of collectivity and the leader should be subsumed under collectivity and not the other way round.

This is the sort of metaphysical verbal crap that comes from "dialectics". What the fuck is a phrase like "subsumed under collectivity" supposed to mean?

How the fuck would you ever determine when that "happy event" had taken place?

Lots of speeches about how it "was really happening"? *laughs*

quote (Bhattarai):

Also, the other tendency of completely negating the role of leaders leads to anarchism & nihilism and causes great damage to revolution.

Yeah...if it wasn't for all those damn anarchists, he'd be in Kathmandu "right now"! *laughs*

quote (Bhattarai):

Objectively, in a concrete world dominated by imperialism it is very challenging, if not impossible, to build socialism in one or several countries.

Too bad for all those Nepalese who believe in the "socialist promises" ain't gonna happen.

quote (Bhattarai):

It may also be clarified that there was never any dispute on the question of leadership in the Party and Com. Prachanda is our undisputed leader.

The "Bob Avakian" of Nepal. *laughs*

quote (Bhattarai):

Please don't mix up a 'democratic process' with 'parliamentary process', because they are not one and the same thing. Our cadres will definitely enter into a democratic process, but not necessarily the parliamentary process which is so fake and bankrupt.

What the hell is the difference???

Either you have a multi-party bourgeois "democracy" with "free elections" or you have an open single-party despotism.


Revolutionaries learn through actually participating in revolutions.

Well, neither you nor I have done that. So does that mean we have to uncritically swallow any crap that comes from someone who has participated in a revolution?

That seems to be what you mean...sometimes.

Tito "participated in a revolution"...but you don't seem to find his teachings to be acceptable.

Trotsky "participated in a revolution"...but you don't like him either.

Khrushchev "participated in a revolution"...and you can't stand him.

So you "pick and choose" which revolutionary participants you choose to "learn from".

I have the same right...and I choose Marx and Engels.

But, you say, they didn't "lead a revolution"...which may explain why you choose to ignore what they had to say.

I prefer to learn from them because what they had to say makes more sense to me than all your bourgeois "revolutionary" heroes put together.


You, as a person in the first world who has never led a revolution, do not know better than people who actually are successfully leading a revolution. Period.

Have it your way. I think I do...and on a question like this, my opinion counts more than yours.


But I do acknowledge that the conditions for socialist revolution exist nearly everywhere around the world today, but especially in the oppressed nations of the world.

The conditions in "the oppressed nations of the world" are favorable for bourgeois revolutions...which is why they all turn out that way.

Maoists (and all Leninists) babble endlessly about "subjective factors"...meaning that "if you pick the right leader then things will work out no matter where you are and you'll get socialism."

Metaphysical bullshit.


What you said was Euro-centric, racist, national chauvinistic, and straight up reactionary.

And this is what your "revolutionary commitment" boils down to in the end: servile ass-kissing!

So go to someplace in the "third world" and find an ass to kiss! People like you are nothing but reactionary obstacles to proletarian revolution in those countries where that could actually happen.
First posted at RevLeft on February 12, 2006


Nepal rebels expel senior leaders


Those who were expelled were traitors, and should have been shot.

Do you realize what you've just done?

You have criticized Great Leader Prachanda for failing to "shoot" those "traitors" instead of simply "expelling them".

Lucky for you, the writ of the Great Leader doesn't extend to Canada...otherwise, what would happen to you???

If you're really serious about training yourself to be a good Maoist, then you must learn first of all to always applaud anything said or done by the Great Leader. The only person ever allowed to criticize the Great Leader is Himself!

If you break "Rule No. 1", then you will get the boot. If you do it in a country where the Maoists hold state power, then at best you'll be exiled to the countryside and put to work shoveling pig turds.

This is called "Maoist re-education". *laughs*

I cannot help but wonder what the ultimate fate of Rabindra Shreshtha and Anukul will be. Will they start a new Maoist party? Will they just "drop out" of left politics and retire into private life? Or go into exile...probably the safest move. Or will they be so embittered by the whole experience that they'll sign up with one of the bourgeois or even reactionary political parties?

You see, that's what's really rotten about Leninist politics. It not only "drives people away" but, worse, it manufactures reactionaries.

You know in the U.S. that some of the leading "neo-conservatives" actually got their start in Leninist politics...and evidently found the experience so demoralizing that they practically turned to fascism!

Maoists (and other Leninists) comfort themselves with the myth that the people they drive away "were really rotten all along".

But they weren't.
First posted at RevLeft on March 14, 2006


Can we agree on a common perspective of revolution for the dictatorship of the proletariat?

Probably not for a while.

You see, the Leninist paradigm posits that...

->dictatorship of the proletariat = dictatorship of the Party and its Great Leader.<-

Many and possibly even most people on this board find that flatly unacceptable!

This thread simply illustrates in a rather dramatic form what is a common manifestation of the Leninist paradigm in practice.

The reason Leninist parties do this kind of shit is because the basic premise is shit.

It's not "just people in Nepal" or "just Maoists" or "just whatever"'s found wherever Leninist parties exist.


First posted at RevLeft on March 15, 2006
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