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Monday, August 02, 2021

Wichita, KS group wants to change the Criminal Justice System- discussion held

From The Idiot Factor:

Last Thursday about 50 people showed up for a discussion on fines and the criminal justice system. The event was put on by Progeny.

The audience was more than half Afro-Americans. That is probably because there seem to be a consensus that the US Criminal Justice System is very racist and holds Afro-Americans back.

On the ideas being discussed:

People of color, and poor people in general, get trapped in the system. The use of heavy fines causes many people to end up in jail, often do to a lack of having a decent income for them to pay off the heavy fines. Those heavy fines where a major concern of the people at this discussion.

“We don’t know what they do with this money,” a young boy said. “It doesn’t go back to our communities.”

It was also pointed out that the US Criminal System became more repressive after slavery ended. Some of the intent of our laws are to create cheap labor for those who  used to be slaves and it is a method of control.

Some people suggested this state and country needs to up the age of the juvenile classification[1] from 18 or 21 to 25. The idea is that young people in their early 20s do things that older people would not do. They act more like juveniles than adults.

DUI divergence is as racket. The person has to pay thousand in fines to keep their record clean. This is another part of the fines that keep poor people poor.

There was some in attendance who pointed out that incarceration just doesn’t work. Those long sentences keep people from any normal life for years at a time. And they don’t really prevent a person from committing more crimes. They may even encourage further crimes since it makes it hard for a person who has been in the system to get a legitimate jobs.



[1] "juvenile" is a person who has not attained his eighteenth birthday, and "juvenile delinquency" is the violation of a law of the United States committed by a person prior to his eighteenth birthday which would have been a crime if committed by an adult. A person over eighteen but under twenty-one years of age is also accorded juvenile treatment if the act of juvenile delinquency occurred prior to his eighteenth birthday. See 18 U.S.C. § 5031.

 


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Attempts to overthrow the Marxist-Leninist government in Cuba should be opposed

By Steve Otto

I try not to send a lot of letters to The Wichita Eagle. Most writers I know consider the letters to be armature writing. And I think it is. However there are a few times when I think it is important to respond to opinions that are dangerous to us. A recent article our local paper ran is just such a danger. As with other comments I have seen, this article, “KC, Wichita, US must stand up, step up for Cuban Friends,” seems to me, to imply that we Americans must actively take part in overthrowing the Cuban Marxist-Leninist government. I even got the impression this writer believes the US should go to war, although he doesn’t actually say that. I take the prospect of our country going to one more unnecessary war very seriously.  So I wrote a lengthy letter to the editor only to be told that it was way too long. That letter/ article/ etc., is featured below.  So I wrote a much shorter letter. It is also posted below:

CUBA

This letter in response to “KC, Wichita, US must stand up, step up for Cuban Friends,” (July 18 Eagle)

Three years ago I spent two weeks traveling across Cuba to see for myself what the island and its government were really like. I was stunned at all the things I have heard or read about Cuba which are simply untrue. They have internet service, some of them have cell phones, some people have old cars that are kept up really well. I have read that everyone there is miserable. That is not true at all. I rarely saw a cop or a soldier the entire time I was there The biggest lie is from those who claim those sanctions aren’t causing problems. They are. And if they aren’t affecting anything, lets lift them and stop punishing the common people of Cuba.

And for those who want this country to invade Cuba — get a gun and do your own dirty work. Leave the rest of us out of it.

Steve Otto, Maize

 

And here is what I originally wrote:

 

For years I have worked with the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas to try and stop what we believe are unnecessary wars. We, as a country, are just now leaving Afghanistan. Now I see Cuban Americans and their allies calling for war with Cuba. I have seen at least two comments, on Facebook, of Cuban Americans calling for the US to send troops into Cuba. I find that very alarming.

It is for that reason that I am writing this letter in response to “KC, Wichita, US must stand up, step up for Cuban Friends.” On top of that, these people are either supporting Cuba’s suffocating sanctions or they want heavier sanctions.

Three years ago, I went to Cuba. I went all over the island, including a lot of working class neighborhoods. I went by myself to some working class bars. I was stunned at all the lies that I have read of and heard politicians repeat here in this country, over the years. One of the biggest lies is that the US sanctions aren’t affecting Cubans. Only socialism is doing that, pundits keep saying. People everywhere in that country told me they hate those sanctions. I didn’t meet a single person who wanted those sanctions. I have seen comments from nurses on Facebook complaining that they can’t get medicines they need because of the blockade.

I had read just a month before that no one in Cuba has a cell phone—wrong.

I saw a woman in the park with a cell phone. She had pink hair. It seems that people here have the same rights to different hair cuts and styles as we have here in the US. That debunks another image I got from all the anti-communist propaganda—everyone is supposed to dress and look alike. I saw a few people with cell phones. At least some people own them. I had read were almost none of the people here had cell phones.

I keep reading over and over that no one in Cuba can access the internet—wrong again.

I was also informed that there is an internet café where ANYONE can buy time on a computer and access the internet. There is also a Wi-Fi park where people can access the internet. A few people own their own computers. I was surprised that the government does not seem worried about its people accessing the internet and viewing foreign opinions.

Another statement I’ve heard is that people who live under socialism are miserable. Again I had two weeks to test that theory out and I found it totally wrong. The people I saw and met did not seem to me to be miserable. I saw many people doing all the things I expect people to do in a country, they go to work in the morning, some sit outside their homes after work and I saw people enjoying themselves at their favorite bars in the evening.

One thing I didn’t see very often was cops or soldiers. If that government is so repressive why did I see so few cops.

One line that stands out in that article, “People who have freedom love it, and no one clutches freedom like an American.” The irony for me is that Facebook, on the day I read this, took out a comment I made, posting a link to an article, because it violated their community standards. The bottom line here is that they claim I posted something misleader, but in reality the censored my opinion. So I wish that statement is true, but I’m not convinced.

Also a few years ago, some Cuban Americans physically attacked some protesters who wanted then President Ronald Reagan to stop attacking Nicaragua and the Sandinista government back in the 1980s. That’s not what I call respecting free speech.

We have allowed some Cuban Americans to dictate our treatment of Cuba, since 1959. Most of these people lost property after the Fidel Castro government there came to power. If they win what they want they will go back to Cuba and take back all their property, adding to homelessness and unemployment.


We don’t need to be at war with Cuba. Let the people who live there decide what they want. And we need to stop strangling their economy with those sanctions. Socialism could work if this country stops sabotaging it. If that is not the case, lift the sanctions and there will be no doubt as to what has kept them poor. Let’s find out. Socialism is no longer a dirty word.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

COMRADE ARVIND WAS A MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT OF A PERFECT MARXIST REVOLUTIONARY

COMRADE ARVIND WAS A MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT OF A PERFECT MARXIST REVOLUTIONARY AND ONE OF THE MOST CREATIVE COMRADES OF ALL

 

By Harsh Thakor

On July 24th, 2008 Comrade Arvind left us, after a sudden illness. Today we commemorate Arvind’s 13th death anniversary. It is a travesty that the movement was robbed of one of its most creative exponents. His life was reminiscent of Lotus blooming in full, radiating the spirit of revolution. Although he left us so early the revered comrade crystallised the flame of Marxism-Leninism -Maoism to depths rarely traversed by comrades. He was one of the best comrades ever of the Communist movement. traversing every obstacle with consummate skill. Few comrades’ lives better illustrated the spiritual evolution of a Communist revolutionary, Reminiscent of Che Guevera. Arvind exuded the element of humanism, which is such a vital component of a Marxist revolutionary. Few Comrades could steer a ship on correct path or even revive it from sinking in the most turbulent of waters as Comrade Arvind. Few comrades were better models than Arvind, who literally planted the seeds for new roses to bloom. It is a great tribute that his own brother Anand Singh left a lucrative career in WIPRO to join the revolutionary ranks.  


Comrade Arvind today is the architect of the trend in the revolutionary movement sowing the seeds of 'Revolutionary Renaissance,' creating revolutionary bookhouse ‘Jan Chetana’. He also founded a trend that has broke away from conventional norms, by organising workers in their bastis and not in the factories. Arvind paved the way for giving revisionism and opportunism a knockout punch in the Indian Communist Movement. His only weak point was his inability to comprehend the semi-feudal nature of Indian Society and path of New Democratic Revolution. Arvind simply could not extricate himself from the clutches of classical Marxism and categorised India as a capitalist country. He completely negated agrarian revolution, so much needed in India.

His memorial functions in Lucknow and Delhi sparkled the spirit of revolutionary fervour at magnitude rarely witnessed in India. Contingents from every section of the Communist revolutionary camp participated. In no uncertain terms they praised Arvind's contribution to enriching the working class movement. The homage speech spoke volumes of Arvind's remarkable consistency. Most unforgettable was the tributes paid by the Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha, formed by late Shankar Guha Nyugi.

Arvind taught one how to apply Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology in the most challenging of situations to enable comrades to resurrect from the depths of despair. He was such a powerhouse of talent that even in no man's land he could be effective and fervour revolutionary fire. Few comrades were more adept in putting a house in order or churning new cadres. Throughout his career he was instrumental in creating a huge spectrum of forums and magazines. He deployed his huge creative skills to combat dogmatism at it’s very roots. He educated or trained many a student or youth in how to become an organizer and a revolutionary writer. Few comrades revealed greater mastery in evolving appropriate forms of work amongst the working class or penetrating their ranks. Most dialectically he differentiated between a mass organization and a party. Arvind could give classic lesson to pupils in the correct methodology of welding a scattered bunch of cadre into a cohesive group. Above all he was not mechanical and understood the broad masses above anything. He was a great student of the language of the masses. Had he lived on he would have become a truly great revolutionary leader with his outstanding organizational skills. Arvind wedged the gap between political theory and practice like very few leaders. Few comrades placed so much emphasis on the understanding and study of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Mao thought or Maoism. With the inattentiveness of a sculptor he innovated new methods of organizational work, when globalization broke the very backbone of the working class, dividing it at it's very workplace itself. Outside the Nagi Reddy-DV Rao camp very few comrades so astutely defended the contribution of comrades like late Harbhajan Sohi or T. Nagi Reddy. With the methodology of a surgeon or architect. most illustratively he portrayed how revolutionary movement was not only about heroic actions of armed squads, but about building mass movements. Irrespective of revolutionary cadres ideological differences with Arvind we must all defend him as a staunch defender of the Communist revolutionary camp as a whole. Arvind sponsored spirit of debate in Marxism Leninism at a magnitude few leaders ever did and in the most dialectical manner. Even the ranks of the Maoist or other major revolutionary groups did not have leader with such astute organizational skills as Arvind. I can’t express how much we miss a leader with the organisational prowess of Conrad Arvind today, within the ranks of the working class movement. I recommend every cadre to read the Hindi booklet narrating the life story of Arvind, published by Jan Chetana publications.

 

LIFE STORY AND CONTRIBUTION OF COMRADE ARVIND

 

Com Arvind was born in a middle class family from Sultanpur district in Bhela village. In 1965 his family migrated to Varanasi. He matriculated from Kating memorial Inter college and did his intermediate from Central Hindu school, Banaras. Then he joined Banaras University where he procured honours in B.S.C. 

Arvind received his baptism in the revolutionary ideology from experience in Banaras Hindu University with engineering students. He formed a radical group S.S.W. With great humility he led this group to work amongst the poor in the slums, Inspite of lacking ideology this group evolved into a stronger force on the campus. Several youth fell out in pursuit of careers but Arvind remained weeded to class struggle.

In 1986 in Varanasi he organized a 5 day seminar from 28th April to 2May 1986 on the 'line of student movement.' Arvind organized student youth teams in Bengal and Bihar to propagate the message of revolution.

In 1986-87 on the new education policy he led a student protest in Banaras, Gazipur, Baliya, Mau, Aazamgarh. A major campaign was organized exposing the anti-students designs of the New education policy. In July-August 1987 a major agitation was led against fee rise from Banaras to Gorakhpur, Gazipur and Baliya which is remembered till today. The 'Gatiwadhi Vichar Mancgh and Disha student front was inspired by Arvind. In 1988 all over U.P. a month long cycle rally was held and 'Purvachil Naujwan Sabha was formed. Arvind played a major role in influencing youth during the cycle rally covering Azamgarh, Mu, Devariya Gorakhpu, Baliya and Maharajganj.

In 1989 he formed the student front 'Disha' and the youth front'gatiwadh' .These organizations influenced students and youth in Delhi, Rodki, Bahalganj, Allahabad.It also spread in Punjab in Patiala, Jalandhar as well as Ahmedabad and Lucknow. A bridge was made between students and intellectuals. In I.I.T Delhi and Agra Medical college a student’s fronts were formed. In many villages of Uttar Pradesh now the red flag was fluttering amongst the youth which set the base for forming the Naujwan Bharat Sabha.

In 1989 Itihasbodh front was formed which was formed to inculcate Socialist ideology amongst youth Glasnost and Perestroika of revisionist U.S.S.R. was condemned and real Socialism defended. 

In 1990 'the 'Front to defend Marxism' was formed which had great significance when revisionist Communist regimes collapsed in Eastern Europe and phony communism was used by the bourgeois to slander the ideology of Socialism. From 6-10th June a 5 day seminar was held defending the Socialist Societies of China from 1949-76 and U.S.S.R. from 1917-56. Arvind explained polemics with great incisive analysis, particularly the achievements and mistakes of the Cultural Revolution period. I recommend every comrade to read the booklets on 'Maoism' and Problems of Socialist transition 'which reflect most incisive and dialectical analysis.

In 1991-92 the journal 'Davityaboth 'was born which defended the Marxist Leninist theory and polemics. In that period work started amongst students and youth in Gorakhpur, Badalgaharj,and Mayardpur. Work began to organize the women and village workers of Mayradpur. A paper for the youth 'Aahwan' was launched 

In 1992 work was stated amongst the students and youth of Lucknow under the banner of 'Disha Chatra Manch' and 'Koshish Chatra Manch' and in August 1992 a 100 km march was held exposing the economic policies and corruption. A struggle was also led of village workers in Sultanpur

In 1993 the Rahul foundation was founded on April 10th.. This was a landmark day in the launching of a movement to publish revolutionary literature and books. It was named after Rahul Sanskriteyan.  The work of Rahul foundation started in Lucknow. This foundation has consistently printed the revolutionary literature of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao and books giving Leninism the cutting edge, more than any publishing group ever. In 1996' Parikalpana' publication was introduced. In the same year 'Anuragh Bal Kendra' was formed for children.Arvind played the leading role in all these foundations. It is most praiseworthy how they have republished classics of Edgar Snow, William Hinton and even writers like Bob Avakian or Grover Furr. 

In 1994 the 'Lok Swaraj Abhiyan' was formed which was led in Sultanpur, Lucknow and Nikatvarti. In November 1994 in Siwan, Hazzafarpur and Muzzafarpur a 28 member strong rally was held while on 27th February 1995 to 22nd March 1995 in Gorahpura Shahid Mela was held which Arvind led.

In April 1996 the workers paper 'Bigul;' was inaugurated to build revolutionary ideology for advanced workers. It was a major Marxist Leninist innovation in creating cores of revolutionary political workers. Arvind developed a style of writing to influence the working class.

In 1997 Arvind worked in the student front to organize Railroad workers and inaugurated the ;the railroad workers democratic front ‘He also formed the technical and artisan union' He deployed the newspaper 'Bigul' to educate the workers of these unions.

In 1998-2000 in Mayardpur he started work amongst village workers and youth work in Gorakhpur.

In 2000 in Delhi Arvind began work in forming a student commune and started a student -youth propaganda and cultural team. In Noida work was started. Painstaking work was done amongst the students and youth through cultural work. This spread to Haryana and Punjab.

In the 2000 decade Arvind played a major role in exposing the Ghodra riots of 2002 and after the riots in Gujarat in 2000 he led a campaign through the 'Jujharu Jang Virodhi Abhiyan.;'.He also exposed the P.O.T.A act through the 'Pota Virodhi Front.' An anti imperialist front was also formed. In 2004 during Mumbai resistance Arvind introduced his original ideas in opposition to W.S.F. Arvind opposed the understanding of the Mumbai resistance and published a major polemic debate of his own creation which was reproduced in journal Dayitvabodh.

In May 2005 Arvind worked amongst workers in Khatima of Easter Factory. In Terai he did significant work in exposing revisionism and introduced 'Bigul'

One of his greatest creations was the staging of the 3 year campaign in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh's 100th birthday from 23rd March 2005 to September 27th 2008 It was led bu Disha, Naujwan Bharat Sabha,' Bigul Mazdoor Dasta' It spread to Varanasi, Allahabad.    Lucknow etc. Various cultural programmes were staged and mass postering, rallies and leafleting was initiated. Many contacts were made in the bastis and colleges. Significant cycle rallies wee launched in Lucknow and Allahabad in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Similar programmes were stage in Punjab and Delhi. This campaign had a major impact on the youth and inculcated new cadres to the revolutionary movement 2007 Arvind led the Dehati Mazdoor Union in Myardpur on the issue of ration and widows pensioning May 2008 Arvind started work amongst the sweepers in Noda-Baliya.A broad front was formed in Baliya, Banaras, Mirzapur. Allahabad and Noida for staging united struggle.

Ironically at his very peak this great comrade's energies took their toll and he fell victim of very high fever. After some days he perished. The Revolutionary movement lost one of it's most valiant comrad


PERIOD AFTER DEATH OF ARVIND AND WORK OF ORGANIZATIONS

 

Arvind generated many a most disciplined and committed cadre to sprout after his death and in mass programmes one witnesses their relentless spirit. I am most impressed with the disciplined and dedicated manner the Jan Chetana undertakes its book sale programmes of Marxist literature annually and the depth in which they have penetrated the literary field. It is also praiseworthy the emphasis the organization built by Comrade Arvind place on political education of Leninism through study circles of youth and workers. Political education is a feature neglected amongst the working class., with several groups placing one sided emphasis on partial demands. In November 2019 it undertook a nine day study course on ‘Capital.’

It is positive that the organisation has expanded at an All India levels spreading to regions like Kerala, Harayana, Bihar,Maharashtra etc. Some of the most disciplined political cadre have been developed in Maharashtra who defend Leninism ,arguably better than any other political group in this state. Few Organizations today have cadre that better defend the Chinese Cultural Revolution or Stalin.

I was most impressed with campaigns which their Youth unit or Naujwan Bharat Sabha undertook in Allahabad and Gorakhpur on issue of opposing Saffron communalism and uploading teachings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekar Azad. With such work units of Youth front were built in adjoining villages. Even in other parts like Delhi I was impressed in the manner they knitted a disciplined cadre into cohesive force.

A very progressive development was the formation of an All India Youth Organization. in Delhi in 2014 in September with constituents from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar. In states of work they have regularized student units and work in colleges or university campuses, built workers libraries and reading rooms and built cultural forums. 

Another progressive development has been consolidation of student organisation ‘Disha’ in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It has flashed its banner waging many a struggle on issues of opposing fee hike, for facilities for scheduled caste students, proper; libraries for students and against the menace of saffron Hindu fascism.

I admire this group not projecting the party banner which is so predominant in India today and stressing on building mass organizations.

Today the cadre of this group are like a virtual offspring of Comrade Arvind. testify how Arvind’s work touched the very core of the soul of younger comrades. Emergence of comrades like late Shalini who was a victim of Cancer .Whatever ideological aberrations, leading Comrade  Abhinav Sinha obtained such profound theoretical mastery only through tutoring of Comrade Arvind.

After his death an Arvind memorial was founded and seminars at All-India level were conducted first bi-annually and then annually. They covered a huge range of issues like on labour movement, on Democratic Rights Movement, On ideology of Socialism, On Caste, On Imperialism etc. I personally attended 2 of the seminars. I was most impressed with the seminar on polemics of Socialism in 2014   which in detail stressed the importance of upholding contribution of Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and legacy of Stalin and Lenin. At the very root it exposed the reactionary nature of post-modernist or New Left trends, covering the Bolivarian Revolution, Paris Students Movement etc. Most remarkable seminars were also launched on the Issue of Israel-Palestine. In the seminar on Imperialism there was most illustrative presentation of significance of Leninism and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution even today. A most symmetrical analysis was portrayed by Eric Schmidt on; The World Situation and World Revolution’ making a most dialectical dissection of all the different eras of imperialism. Other most analytical papers were those by Abhinav Sinha of ‘The Present Imperialist Crisis: A New Great Depression’ as well as by Shivani on ‘Post Marxist theories of empire and Leninist theory of Imperialism.’

Arguably the best work in this organization was amongst the Textile and Hosiery workers in Ludhiana, where the union won a victory on issues of minimum wages and permanency. I was most impressed with the organizational methods of the Textile workers union in instilling political consciousness, particularly in confronting black laws. Impressive work was also done amongst steel roller workers in Delhi.

One characteristic feature or development of their work in the working class is off organising workers in their very homes or bastis and not in the factories. They attribute this die to the alienation created in the modern age.

We must credit this organization today of publishing 'Anvil' which is a quarterly journal on Marxist Leninist theory or polemics. It has covered in detail aspects like Naxalbari.  Cultural Revolution in China. Nature of fascism in India, Caste system etc. No Organisation has perhaps staged as may seminars on topics concurrent to Marxism-Leninism, or made such attempts to foster political education in cadre. We must also pay them a tribute that even on its 25th anniversary this year amidst conditions of the pandemic, workers paper ‘Bigul’ still flashes like a beacon. Arguably no workers paper so consistently projects the cutting edge of the Marxism- Leninism as ‘Bigul’,in the country.

 

FLAWS IN THE ORGANISATION

 

Still there are major flaws in Arvind's organization namely the ‘Rahul foundation’. It refuses to recognize India as a semi-feudal or semi-colonial society  .They  are die hard adherents that India has turned capitalist and path revolution is of New Socialist character. In my view pursuing path of Socialist Revolution is a suicidal path. It completely rejected the General line of CPC of 1963, classifying the Chinese path as erroneous for India. and rejecting agrarian revolution. They have completely placed path of protracted peoples War in the Museum. There are also powerful trends exhibiting one sided emphasis on political propaganda and neglecting mass organisational work.

It also takes a most ecclectic stand towards farmer’s movement and agrarian revolution, labelling the landed peasantry as a reactionary class.

 Even in their annual memorial seminars they have been subjected to strong resentment and criticism from other comrades and groups. for adhering to a dogmatic viewpoint, and rebuking comrades from other streams to the last straw. Comrades are critical of the fact that they do not do political work in the organized working class. In one seminar in 2013 on caste they literally humiliated an intellectual like Anand Teltumbde. In some ways the last seminar in November 2017 revealed a greater sense in the organization to invite spirit open debate, with a strong participation of a representative of the Communist Party India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Star. 

A very sad or negative development in recent times has been the moral separation of the stream from Punjab, on grounds of Punjabi nationality.

There is strong eroticism from quarters that the organization is promoting NGOisation. To me if it does not rectify its line of New Socialist Revolution, it may well even leave the Communist revolutionary camp. 

Nevertheless I can't forget even how comrades from other streams like G.N. Saibaba, Arjun Prasad Singh, Varavara Rao or intellectuals like late Dipankar Chakraborty, Dhruv Jain  or Shirish Medhi held Arvind in such high esteem.

Let us all bow down in Arvind's memory.

 



Thursday, July 22, 2021

Will the Taliban fight; or will they join the process of reconciliation with the occupiers and the puppet regime?



From Shola Jawid, site of the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan:

Note: The following article [Will the Taliban fight; or will they join the process of reconciliation with the occupiers and the puppet regime?] was penned by comrade Zia and published in Sholajawid # 25, round 3, 2011, when the above question was first posed after the US imperialists announced its plan to withdraw by 2014 and the puppet regime increased its efforts to reconcile with the Taliban. Now that the US imperialists are set to complete their withdrawal before 11 September 2021 and have pinned all their hopes on the United Nations-led diplomatic efforts to establish peace between the puppet regime and the Taliban insurgency, this article is useful in understanding the situation as it is explaining the historical context of Taliban’s emergence and the nature of the movement.  

After twenty years of military engagement, the US has finally withdrawing all its combat forces from Afghanistan. However, a military withdrawal does not mean an end to American imperial engagement in Afghanistan. Both the US imperialists and their puppet regime in Kabul have called the withdrawal, “the start of a new chapter in their relationship.”

Now an UN-led conference is planned to take place in Istanbul, Turkey to seal an agreement between the two by reorganizing the regime in Kabul to include the Taliban. So far, due to the Taliban’s refusal to particpate, the Istanbul conference has been postponed twice. Taliban are unhappy with the US decision to break a term of the US and Taliban agreement, signed in February 2020, according to which, all the US forces should have been withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 1st, 2021.

In return for a US promise to withdraw by May 1, the Taliban has promised to cut ties with al Qaida, begin negotiations with the puppet regime to end the two decades-long conflict, and guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a place to target American interests. In September 2020 direct negotiations started between the puppet regime and the Taliban in Doha. These talks have only led to intensified military efforts on both sides. However, since the February agreement between the US and the Taliban, no occupying forces have died in Afghanistan; Taliban not only ceased attacking the US targets, but there are media report that the Taliban have even protected the US led imperialist occupying forces from other insurgents groups during this time.

However, the war has intensified between the Taliban and the puppet regime across the country. So far, years of the diplomatic efforts have produced little. Instead, it has intensified the viciousness of war between the Taliban and the puppet regime. With every progress in diplomacy, both sides have increased violence to gain the upper hand on the battlefield in order to turn it into gains at the negotiating table.

Even now that serious efforts are underway to persuade the Taliban to attend the Istanbul conference and seek a political settlement, war is raging across the country. Both sides are inflicting huge casualties, including thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of families are being displaced as a result.

In the Moscow conference, on March 18, 2021, the US, China, and Russia issued a joint statement, declaring their opposition to the return of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, calling on the Taliban to end the war through negotiations. This shows a consensus between major powers who want the Taliban to enter a power-sharing arrangement with the regime in Kabul.

The US state department devised a political road map for peace which involves a transitional peace government that includes both sides. Although, the president of the puppet regime had initially opposed the idea of a transitional government, it seems the US has managed to bring him on board with their plan. The puppet regime, the US imperialists, and all its allies are emphasizing that the Taliban has no justification for continuing its war after the US and its allies have withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The situation is uncertain. The US imperialists, its allies and regional powers are seeking to end the Taliban insurgency through diplomatic efforts, which so far, proven to be effective in intensifying the violence.

Sholajwid # 20, round 4, (April 2019) stated:

[T]his is a proven historical truth in all wars, that the victory and defeat of different sides of the war are decided on the battlefield and not on the negotiating table…Therefore, first, the victor of the current war in Afghanistan must be determined on the battlefield. Then, this victory in war must be confirmed at the negotiating table where one side surrenders or is smashed by the victorious side, and peace is achieved.

So far, the war in Afghanistan does not have a clear victor. The loss of the US aerial support for the puppet regime would benefit the Taliban on the battlefield. The US and NATO withdrawal emboldens the Taliban to push ahead with war until a total victory. The US imperialists have pledged to continue to provide financial and military support to its puppet regime in Kabul. The regime is showing boldface and asserting that they would sustain dominance in the war. However, now their principal strategy is to persuade the Taliban to end their war through negotiation and enter a power-sharing arrangement with the puppet regime.

Although, this piece written ten years ago, its analysis remain relevant to understand the current situation.

Sholajawid, 10 May 2021


For more on this click here.

 

Friday, July 16, 2021

JOMA SISON'S WORK "ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM" IS A MASTERPIECE IN SYNTHESIZING THE SYMMETRY OF THE GREAT TEACHERS

By Harsh Thakor

Arguably No Marxist thinker or leader today in the World or in the last few decades has had such a profound grasp of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism[1] as Professor Joma Sison. Formally he was the Chairman of the Communist party of Philippines who laid the base for the re-organisation of the party and the launching of the 2 line struggle against the revisionist line from 1968. Sison resurrected the People's War In Philippines and later even in exile guided the Communist Party of Philippines. Some years ago I even had a personal interview of his in Utrecht. In the last 2 decades he was leader of the National Democratic Front of Philippines.


Professor Joma Sison’s work on ‘Philosophy of Marxism Leninism Maoism’ which is part of the Joma Sison reader series is a classic in its own right. Few writings on ideology of Marxism-Leninism -Maoism have ever been as symmetrical, dialectical, incisive or in the total package exhibited more mastery of Leninist ideology. At the very heart Sison touches on how Marxism-Leninism and Maoism have continuity and at no point is there a rupture. Joma reflects the superficiality of Post-Modernism and Post-Modernists and defends the concept of the vanguard party tooth and nail. This book at the very backbone or root summarises why Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is a path to liberation and an anti-thesis to all reactionary ideologies. It could be used as a major weapon to confront revisionism and neo-fascism which is entangling our globe at its helm. To cap it all he rekindles the flame of Marxism, in an era when counter revolutionaries project that Socialism has met its doom and imperialism and globalisation has reached an unprecedented magnitude.

Overall, I recommend every cadre to painstakingly read this book, which I maintain is a stepping stone in shimmering the spark of Marxism-Leninism-Mao thought to turn it into a prairie Fire. It gives a reader a firm grasp of the essence of the teachings of Marx Lenin and Mao and the very symmetry of their teachings. A cadre guages how economics and politics is inseparable from each other in Marxism and how historical and dialectic materialism are not just abstract concepts. A reader gets a clear picture of how Trotskyism,[2] revisionism and post-modernism are counterposed to Marxism-Leninism Maoism and why Maoism is an integral part of Leninism or Marxism. Joma illustrates that Marxism-Leninism -Maoism is not all about people’s war or armed struggle but also about mass movements and building of people’s organisations. Notable that Sison makes no distinction between what was known as Mao Tse Tung Thought of Communist Party China in 1966 and Maoism today, claiming it is only change in terminology.

All his book reviewers have praised Sison's great insight into class struggle and Leninist ideology and his deep penetration of the concrete world situation. They firmly feel his writings make the contribution of an architect towards enriching Marxism-Leninism Maoism. Irena Malenko narrates how cadres in Eastern Europe and Russia were oblivious of Maoism in it’s time and what service the book rendered in enlivening developments of Marxism to cadres. In her view it was an invaluable work in instilling consciousness in cadres who were told horrifying lies about the Cultural Revolution. In no uncertain terms she praised Sison’s firm grasp of polemics and his summary of the rectification movement n the Communist Party. Professor Ramon Guillermo praised Sison’s emphasis on Socialist morality and Marxist-Leninist methods of resolving contradictions. He feels Sison makes major contribution in giving proletarian ethics it’s place in Marxist-Leninist ideology or people’ revolution, bridging the gap between Science of political economy and proletarian ethics.

Sison summarizes the critical stages of Marxism developing from its embryo into Leninism, summing up experience of Paris Commune and how earthlier Marxism crystallized into a concrete shape, from Hegelian ideology. Sison covered how Lenin dialectically developed Marxism in every aspect and sphere and how the concept of the Leninist party and imperialism emerged from the very womb of Marxism. He described how in different junctures the Bolshevik party had to vary its tactics, but at no point did they compromise with the Mensheviks. Sison explained the counter revolutionary essence of Trotskyism with light to internal and external situation. Later he made an appraisal of Achievements of Socialist Russia under Stalin,[3] but not without highlighting the gross errors of Stalin. Sison applying Leninist criteria praised the great achievements of Stalin like collectivization, literacy medicine etc. Sison rebuked intellectuals who accused Stalin and Mao of fostering personality cult, narrating instances of how they took major steps to combat or eradicate it. In a most lucid manner he explains how both Lenin and Moa enriched Marx’s philosophy of Dialectical and Historical materialism.

However he was critical of how Stalin undertook the purges, forgetting to apply Marxist-Leninist method or democratic methods. Sison felt Stalin replaced mass mobilizations against class enemies by mere execution. Nevertheless he justified Stalin's stand against Bukharin and Trotsky, who plotted against the Socialist state. Sison makes one understand how Maoism is not just about armed struggle but about developing forms of mass mobilisation and creating subjective forces or people's organisations. Above all he painstakingly dwells upon how Marx, Lenin and Mao penetrated mass line or how mass line was an integral part of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

In most balanced appraisal he evaluated the achievements of the Chinese Communist Party led by Chairman Mao in the New Democratic Revolution, the Socialist Revolution, the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Sison illustrated the essence of the 2 line struggle chairman Mao undertook challenging capitalist roaders like Liu Shao Chi. Most methodically Sison illustrated the symmetry and continuity of all the stages from 1949-76. In China. At its very root Sison explained the necessity of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and why it was the third stage of Marxism-Leninism. He had great praise for the mass movements undertaken in the first revolutionary movement of its kind. The great complexities or twists and turns of this revolution were touched upon, as well as the sincerity of the CCP in depending on the will of the broad masses. Sison firmly upheld the view that from 1966-76 a major 2 line struggle was waged against the revisionists and capitalist roaders and Socialist Society had traversed unparalleled regions. The revolutionary democratic mass political natures of the rallies were highlighted and the revolutionary transformation within the army. Sison explained the aspect of the contradiction of approach towards productive forces. He brilliantly embarked upon how the vanguard role of a Communist party as propounded by Lenin was imperative of the survival and development of a Socialist society or state and without the leadership of a party its very backbone would be broken.

Sison described in detail how Lenin was the architect of the 1st ever proletarian party and his tactics to take Marxism to a new stage, after discovering the era of Imperialism. Vividly the history was covered whereby so many groups or a variety of forces worked together, in the earlier stages.Sison illustrates how Leninism took Marxism to another stage in every sphere, discussing Lenin's writings on dialectical materialism and historical materialism. as well as writings on State and Revolution.

Sison also highlighted the factors that nullified or reverted the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and led to the victory of the capitalist roaders. Sison narrated how establishing relations with America and becoming part of the United Nations China weakened its Socialist base and paved the way for imperialist economic infiltration. He highlighted how the united front was not properly established by the Maoist forces and how splittism was dominant. Sison was critical of Zhou En Lai [4] re -instating capitalist-roader Deng Xiapoing in 1974, who in his view was a centrist. Sison still was not too harsh on criticism of Lin Biao who revolted against Mao and died in an air crash in 1971. Unlike many Maoists Sison did not condemn Lin Biao[5] openly and felt the facts still had to be properly proven.

Sison in many spheres highlights how Chairman Mao developed Leninism whether in philosophy, whether in military line, whether in mass line or even on the economic front. Mao’s formulation of a military line based on Leninist strategy and for the people of the third world was described in detail. Sison credited Mao for developing a new military strategy but firmly defended it as a part of the Leninist doctrine. Chairman Mao's writing s 'On Contradiction' were also discussed in detail as well as on 'dialectics.' Sison explained how in the people’s war Chairman Mao developed revolutionary democracy concept even further.

Sison speaks very positively about the armed struggles and mass movements worldwide be it in Philippines, Turkey, India or Latin America. It is noticeable that he even held Cuba in great esteem, but still outright condemns Chin as an imperialist country today. Most methodically Sison sums up why China today is a capitalist country. Sison at the very root probes into how from 1978 itself every policy initiated was contrary to that of Marx, Lenin or Mao. Sison is critical of the Gonzaloites who propagate that protracted peoples war is universal and applicable even to developed countries and in 'Gonzalo Thought'[6] being classified as a higher stage of Maoism. Sison praised the Peruvian movement but felt that after 1988 it prematurely resorted to urban insurrections after making wrong assessment of movement being in stage of strategic equilibrium. Nevertheless he vehemently praised the armed struggle led by the Communist Party India(Maoist) in India, claiming that it leads the strongest revolutionary army and armed movement in the world. Sison also had positive words for Hugo Chavez if Venezuela. He also devoted a chapter on how the Church was and can become a future ally of the revolution. He narrates how so many priests have become supporters of the struggle in Philippines. In detail Sison discusses the nature of fascism in third world countries and the mode of production. Tooth and nail he defends the thesis of semi-feudalism still being prevalent. Sison hits out at the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, who win his view very prematurely called for a communist International.

A most important subject analyzed is the 2 line struggle within the Communist Party of Philippines from 1987-92 which resembled a major surgical operation. It critically undertook self -criticism adopting the methodology of a scientist, to confront the urban , putchsist insurrectionist line.

Most analytically Sison summarised how China since 1978 has transformed itself into capitalist and imperialist power. To illustrate this he narrates transformation in all spheres, be it in agriculture, education .health, banks or the army. He sums up China’s global expansionist policies and its imperialist trade with third world nations and the emergence of billionare,taking us back to the days when American capital infiltrated China.

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No Leninist writer in the world has defended the centenary of the Russian Revolution, fifty years of the Cultural revolution,150th birthday of Lenin and bi-centenary of Karl Marx as astutely or with as outstanding Marxist Leninist dialectical clarity as Sison. I recommend his writings to be read and preserved in a treasure hose for cadres more than the Maoist groups that formulate 'Gonzalo Thought. 'I praise Joma for classifying Maoism as the very ideology the CPC upheld in 1966 and no new idea formulated by the Peruvian Communist Party or Gonzalo. Sison's writings are like lashing a whip on all counter revolutionary trends be it of the Revisionists, Trotskyites or postmodernists. No Marxist writer today so sharply or dialectically refutes post modernists like Alan Badiou and defends the concept of the Leninist vanguard party.

With striking Leninist understanding Sison analyses the crisis of world capitalism and how it is germinating turbulent storms worldwide. On Lenin's 150th anniversary he illustrated how Leninist analysis was as relevant as ever .in taking imperialism at its gravest point. He stressed on how the proletariat of the capitalist counties were allies of people of the 3rd world. Sison dissected all the important aspects of Leninism like The importance of building a strong working class movement ‘, ‘The importance of Revolutionary theory in a Revolutionary movement. ‘The value and strategy of tactics appropriate to current condition s in each country’. Sison highlighted significance of Lenin’s ‘What is to be Done ‘ to clarify role of the vanguard party and discussed how Martov challenged the line of Lenin advocating that trade unions should comprise the proletarian party. He touched upon how Lenin how the working class movement would spontaneously move towards the direction of Socialism. Sison also discussed the importance of Lenin’s ‘State and Revolution’ which exposed the class character of a bourgeois state and ‘Imperialism, the highest Stage of Capitalism highlighting decadent and moribund character of monopoly finance capitalism and the struggle for a redivision of the world among the imperialist powers. Sison elaborated how ‘State and Revolution’ was a masterpiece for future generations to master the essence of class struggle to seize revolutionary political power and build Socialism.

Most illustratively when paying tribute to Lenin on 150th anniversary Sison exposed the farce of the pandemic “The pandemic is regrettable but serves us well as a subject for study in connection with Lenin’s teachings on imperialism and the proletarian revolution. It coincides with, exposes further and aggravates the rapidly worsening crisis of the ruling system. It underscores the total bankruptcy of unbridled private greed under neoliberalism against the public good.’

Even before the pandemic occurred, the world capitalist system was already on the verge of a big financial and economic crash. The pandemic has considerably contributed to the worsening of the crisis of the world capitalist system. And it has exposed how the neoliberal economic policy has escalated the exploitation of the working people, how it has deprived them of sufficient public health systems by eroding these with privatization and how it has led to repressive measures and further loss of income and social services during a severe health crisis.

The forces of fascism are also using the pandemic, general lockdowns and business disruptions as pretext to take center stage, push for and impose emergency powers and military takeovers of civilian functions, heighten repressive measures and jostle for diminishing resources, thus creating a more explosive mix that could lead to more violent inter-imperialist rivalries and internal political wrangling among ruling class factions.

But the increasingly intolerable conditions of oppression and exploitation drive the proletariat and the broad masses of the people to wage the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and all reaction. In most countries affected by the pandemic, daily difficulties of the people in coping with the fast-developing health crisis, socio-economic crisis,

Sison also in intrinsic detail describes the specific nature of the People’s War in Philippines. Most illustratively he summarised how the Philippines Communist Party underwent 2 line struggle in 1968 and later 1988 and the creativity or originality with which t applied the Chinese path of Peoples War. He portrayed how the CCP worked in urban and rural areas .The strategy of the New People’s army in terms of launching the required tactical offensives was highlighted and how mobile guerrilla warfare conditions would finally be crystallized or the path paved to undertake it...Sison touched upon the dialectical relationship between the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of Philippines. He dwelled on the stress on building the people’s mass organisations and how the New People’s army comprised of people from the very heart of the masses. Sison wrote about how similar to the Chinese red army the New People’s Army integrated into the agricultural production of the rural poor. He summed up how both the CPP and NPA had deep roots in the workers and peasants. Sison explained the evolution of the strategic stages from one to the other. He explained how today subjective forces permuted the CPP to remain in the zone of a strategic defensive .Sison summed up how over decades the NPA survived like a fish in water confronting every possible hurdle. Most lucidly Sison contrasted the stages of strategic stalemate, strategic offensive and strategic equilibrium in the people’s war and its distinctive aspects from that of China and Vietnam when fighting revolutionary wars. In detail Sison reflected how the CPP initiated self criticism and sharpened practice of mass line.

Quoting Joma Sison ‘In general, as it has already done, the NPA has to wage extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare for a long period of time because of the elongated archipelagic character of the Philippines and the narrow fighting fronts. The Filipinos do not have the advantage of the Chinese such as having a large expanse of land and common borders with the Soviet Union; and the Indochinese such as having common borders with China.’

‘The NPA has already achieved a great victory in self-reliantly building its nationwide strength without any significant military assistance from abroad even under conditions when the revisionist betrayal of socialism in the Soviet Union and then in China resulted in strategic setbacks for the world proletarian revolution. Deng Xiao ping[7] also liquidated the armed struggles in Thailand, Burma and other Southeast Asian countries and withdrew support from that in the Philippines.’

‘Remember that the New People’s Army started with only nine automatic rifles and 26 inferior firearms for 60 fighters. Over a protracted period of time, the NPA has grown to thousands of Red fighters with high-powered weapons, with reserve and auxiliary forces such as the people’s militia with tens of thousands of members and self-defense units of the revolutionary mass organizations with hundreds of thousands of members.’

WEAKNESSES OF WRITINGS OF SISON

To me arguably where Sison could have been more self -critical was on the aspect of the vanguard concept party and concept of dictatorship of the proletariat. He did not highlight the need to create greater need or scope for debate or dissent within a socialist state itself and develop the concept of revolutionary democracy within a party further. I wish he could have discussed the aspect of whether 2 line struggle within a Communist party was sufficient within a Communist party itself, and referred to the classical Marxist model of Socialism.

Perhaps I feel he also did not touch upon why stage of strategic equilibrium or offensive has not been still reached in Philippines and why the Socialist struggles have received such a setback worldwide. No doubt his analysis of non feasibility of people’s war in capitalist countries is praiseworthy and his staunch defense of armed revolutions. With resolute courage he calls for confronting the fascist regime of dictator Duterte,

I would also have liked Sison to touch upon how characteristics of people’s wars in countries differed to that of pre 1949 China, and how that form of strategy should be developed to incorporate other types of struggle in era of globalisation.

Personally I would have liked Joma to dwell into why Socialism was overturned in the erstwhile USSR in 1956 and why the Socialist lost power in China in 1976. To me he has not sufficiently probed into the weakness in establishing sufficient revolutionary democracy to check the administration or excesses of the party and why the army was infiltrated by rightist forces in China. In fact I would have liked Sison to even touch upon weaknesses of the very Boshevik or Leninist party itself, in relation to the Soviets or the CPC with the revolutionary Committees.

Sison does not have a clear cut analysis of Lin Biao or the struggle waged by the CPC to combat his ideas.He does not give sufficient space to the contribution of Comrade Chang Chun Chiao or even Chiang Ching, who were members of the group of 4 in the Cultural Revolution who spearheaded the final struggle against the capitalist roaders.

I also wish Sison could have reviewed more comprehensively why the Communist Party of Philippines could not launch a strategic offensive and was compelled to make tactical negotiations with President Duterte.

Sison also to me did not delve into the spiritual aspect of Marxism like Che Guevera or into psychology like Frantz Fanon. In my view Sison’s classing Cuba as a Socialist country is ecclectical.

Surprisingly in stages Sison saw no defect in forging alliance with Social Imperialist Russia of Brezhnev era or East European pseudo socialist states before the 1990's.



[1] Karl Marx, VI Lenin/ Владимир Ильич Ленин, Mao Zedong/毛泽东

[2]Leon Trotsky/Лев Дави́дович Тро́цкий

[3] Joseph Stalin/ Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин/ იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი

[4] 周恩来

[5] 林彪

[6] Chairman Gonzalo/ Abimael Guzmán

[7] 邓小