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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Debate over Nepal

From Party of the  Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC) - Italy

To Red Star, national fortnightly review of UCPN-M

Dear Comrades,
I saw you published the article with the report I wrote when I were in Nepal in last December, in your issue of February 1-15, and I thank you very much. Anyway, my report contained some important wrong arguments, as I realized thanks to a letter sent me from a reader from Belgium. Now, I think that publishing the letter by that reader and my answer will help to advance in the just conception, line and strategy the International Communist Movement has to get. As you know, and as I read in the latest book of comrade Basanta Imperialism and proletarian revolution in the twenty first century, to overcome ideological limits is the key issue for the International Communist Movement to advance and strengthen.
So I enclose here the letter from Belgium and my answer, asking you to publish them both in the next issue of Red Star. Is it possible?
Thank you very much.
Lal Saalam

Paolo Babini

A letter from Belgium

Dear comrades,
I have received and read the statement you sent me titled Report from Nepal of January 4, 2011, in English, that your Party has published on its monthly Resistenza, and that was published in Red Star, the telematic fortnightly magazine of UCPN-M, (Vol. 4, No. 3, February 1-15 2001). It is important that you make the effort to release information on the revolutionary movement in Nepal, but you must do it better and in another way: the report has a number of serious ideological errors, which do not help at all to make advance the right conception of the world in the international communist movement, but on the contrary hamper it. I list them here. This is my contribution for your international work to be carried out at the level it deserves.
The author writes: “The great adhesion by young people to the revolution and to UCPN-M that guides it shows that the Party has so far followed the just line. The ability of a communist party to collect the adhesion by the young people of the popular masses is a sign of its vitality and of the rightness of its line.” This is nonsense. Where the author deduced from such a criterion? In your country, in the years 1945 - 1956, did the Italian Communist Party follow a just line? How many other social democratic parties (before 1914 and some even later) and communist parties led by revisionists or anyway with a wrong line (as it is clear to everyone now, a posteriori), have had for years a large following among the youth and a great capacity for mobilization of young people, particularly after a period of victorious armed struggle? Why the author needs to clutch at straws to convince that UCPN-M follows a just line?
Then he writes that “Facing criticism and doubts, top leaders of UCPN-M (Mahara, Basanta, Dharmentra Bastala of International Department, Ananta, of the Directing Committee, the vice president Prakesh) gave the same explanation of the ongoing tactics, proving that the party is not divided on key issues .... “ This is another silly defensive argument: about what are they divided on key issues, if not just the line to follow? What is the ongoing tactics, if not the line to follow?
It continues saying: “Given that even today a part of the popular masses are convinced that the change can be achieved through a peaceful process, the tactic is to bring exhausted all possibilities in this respect, practicing all the ways of peaceful mobilization that masses propose and  follow, show in practice that “political power comes from the barrel of a gun”, that only revolution can bring progress in the country, freeing it from the chains of feudalism and oppression. The argument that as long as there is a part of the population that believes that change can be achieved through a peaceful process, we do not have to grasp the weapons arms is a reactionary argument! In 1996 in Nepal when the Maoists began their armed struggle, there was not a part of the masses convinced that the change could be achieved through a peaceful process, wasn’t there? If there is such part still today, let alone in 1996! That to begin the armed struggle we need to expect that all the masses are convinced, is the key argument of those who oppose the armed struggle: they are not really stupid enough to expose it in these terms, they do not say “all” but “ most “of the masses. But even so it is not right, it is still a silly and a priori argument, a prejudice against the armed struggle. Never ever it is possible in a society divided into classes that oppress and oppressed classes to measure a priori the will and the thought of the oppressed masses. The communist party must assess whether this initiative (which of course starts with the forces it already has) will win the support and participation of the majority of the masses to an extent to be able to win. It does not matter what they think and want the masses before the communist party takes the initiative, but what they will want and think as the communist party will develop its own initiative, as a result of both the ongoing initiative of party and the response of the counter-revolutionary forces. Even after the victory, however, a part of the masses will not be convinced and still will not join the revolution.

That's it. A public response to the questions I ask will be useful to promote the debate for the assimilation of the correct conception of the world at international level.
With communist greetings,
Peter W., Maastricht, Belgium


Dear Comrade,
I am Paolo Babini, Head of International Relations of the Party of CARC. I reply to the letter which you sent us about the report on Nepal, that I have written.
In this letter, you put some criticisms, which I share.
I write:
1.        that the adhesion of the young people shows that the party has a just line,
2.        that a party divided over the line to follow, however, is united on key issues (that is to say, that for a communist party the line to follow is not a fundamental issue),
3.         that as long as there is a part of the masses who are convinced that you can change the situation through a peaceful process, the communist party should not resort to arms.
All these are statements that I do not share. Why did I write them, then? For a conception still far from the conception of the Communists, scientific and rigorous, and as yet not distinguished from “common sense”. The “common sense” lets you say things contradictory to each other.
Antonio Gramsci, in its Prison Notebooks, so describes the common sense: “Its fundamental and most characteristic trait is to be a conception (also in individual brains) broken up, incoherent, inconsistent ....”[1] It is a disordered aggregate of truth, prejudice, stereotypes, half-ideas. An individual who has such a conception of the world thinks “without being critical awareness, in a disjointed and occasional way”[2]

Clearly, the assimilation of my conception of the world is still superficial, has not yet become the lens by which, so to speak, spontaneously I look at the world, and in fact, faced with a problem or a situation, I often still react the usual views, according to common sense. This is what I understand, thanks to your criticism.
With communist greetings,
Paolo Babini

[1] A. Gramsci, Quaderni dal carcere, Torino, Einaudi, 2001, vol. II, p. 1396
[2] ib. (vol. II, pag.1375).

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