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Monday, October 12, 2009

More news from Nepal

Nepal: Comrade Gaurav:

speaks on Democracy and Cultural Revolution
Posted by Member-WPRM (Britain)

Comrade Gaurav has recently been made one of the secretaries in the new Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN[M]) leadership structure. WPRM (Britain and Ireland) activists met him at the party office in Paris Dand (Hill), Kathmandu, where we tried to get deeper into the issue of democracy, specifically the UCPN(M) concept of 21st century democracy, of holding elections under New Democracy, and how this relates to the theory and practice of Cultural Revolution. Following is the transcript of this interview:

“If they don’t change their ideological-political line, we don’t envision that they will be able to take part in those elections. The New Democratic system will not allow this if they don’t change their ideological-political line and behaviour.”

WPRM: In the current situation when the UCPN(M) has its sights set on New Democratic Revolution, it seems more important than ever to understand the party’s idea of 21st century democracy, competitive elections under New Democracy and socialism, can you explain this concept to us?
Comrade Gaurav: Yes we are now in the stage of completing the New Democratic Revolution. The New Democratic system is not a socialist system. It is a bourgeois democratic system. The difference is that the revolution is made under the leadership of the proletariat. The old type of bourgeois democratic revolution took place under the leadership of the bourgeoisie, but the New Democratic Revolution will take place under the leadership of the proletariat. When it is led by the proletariat it will lead towards socialism and communism. On the other hand, if the bourgeois democratic revolution is being led by the capitalist class, it will either consolidate capitalism or, if it develops at all, it will develop towards imperialism. That is the difference. So New Democratic Revolution in this sense is not a socialist revolution, it is a bourgeois democratic revolution but it is led by the proletariat. And, when the proletariat leads this revolution and the revolution is completed, then immediately it will move towards socialism. It will not consolidate bourgeois democracy, it will move towards socialism. This debate was seriously carried out during 1956 in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). People like Deng Xiaoping said that since it is a bourgeois democratic revolution, it is the time to consolidate capitalism. But, Mao said that it should not be consolidated, it should go forward to socialism. This is the basic division between New Democracy and socialism. And, the question of which class is leading is the fundamental question.

So far as elections are concerned, under a New Democratic system there will be a broad anti-feudal and anti-imperialist alliance. This will be the class character of New Democratic Revolution. It is certainly true that not all anti-feudal and anti-imperialist forces are communists. But there should be a broad alliance of the UCPN(M) with different political forces who are anti-feudal and anti-imperialist. We have to recognise the existence of these other political forces, because they are the ally of the proletariat during New Democratic Revolution. Therefore, we have to guarantee their political freedom, and the political freedom of those parties has already been carried out in China also. In China, except for the CCP there were nine other political parties, all of which were anti-feudal and anti-imperialist. They competed and participated in elections with the CCP and some of them became ministers in the government. In our case also we have to recognise those forces. They are not communists but they are the allies of anti-feudal and anti-imperialist forces, and they should be guaranteed political freedom.

When our party talks about multiparty competition or democracy, we are talking about our concept of ‘21st Century Democracy’. The difference here however is that in China there was a condition, all anti-feudal and anti-imperialist forces had to cooperate with the CCP. This was the precondition. But now our party is talking about allowing those political parties to compete even with the UCPN(M). In China there was a precondition, they were not allowed to compete but had to cooperate. In elections they made some sort of compromise or negotiation and they fixed candidates by consensus. In some constituencies the other parties put forward their candidate and the CCP did not. And in most other seats they did not have a candidate but supported the candidate of the CCP. But here in Nepal today we are talking about competition. All those political parties will be allowed to compete with the UCPN(M). We can have direct elections with those parties and the Maoists. That is the difference. We are formulating this kind of thing because the imperialists and the capitalists, who are the enemies of socialism and communism, accuse communist parties of not allowing other parties to compete. They say there is no competition, there is no democracy. And in fact, in the old way there was scope for those political parties to confuse the masses. For example, there is an election but there is only one candidate, and if everybody has to vote for the same candidate what is the meaning of this? It is something like selection. But we will make it clear that people can vote for their own candidates and that there will be more than two candidates for people to choose between.

Furthermore, we should give the people the right of recall. If the candidate elected by them is not competent, or is taking an anti-people road, the people’s right of recall will be assured. This is the type of thing we have to introduce in an electoral system. Only then can we assure the masses that they can vote for the candidate they like and it is a real election where there are many candidates. The election will have a definite meaning. If there is only one candidate then voting is meaningless. This is what we mean by ‘21st Century Democracy’.

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