Monthly Review: What is Maoism? by Bernard D’Mello

… (A) Marxism stripped of its revolutionary essence is a contradiction in terms with no reason for being and no power to survive.

— Paul M Sweezy (1983: 7)

Anuradha Ghandy (Anu as we knew her) was a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)]. Early on, she developed a sense of obligation to the poor; she joined them in their struggle for bread and roses, the fight for a richer and a fuller life for all. Tragically, cerebral malaria took her away in April last year. What is this spirit that made her selflessly adopt the cause of the damned of the Indian earth — the exploited, the oppressed, and the dominated — as her own? The risks of joining the Maoist long march seem far too dangerous to most people, but not for her — bold, courageous and decisive, yet kind, gentle and considerate. Perhaps her days were numbered, marked as she was on the dossiers of the Indian state’s repressive apparatus as one of the most wanted “left-wing extremists”. That oppressive, brutal structure has been executing a barbaric counter-insurgency strategy — designed to maintain the status quo — against the Maoist movement in India. What is it that is driving the Indian state, hell bent as it is to cripple and maim the spirit that inspires persons like Anu? Practically the whole Indian polity — from the semi-fascist Bharatiya Janata Party to the main affiliate of the parliamentary left, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) — have pitched in against the Maoists, backing a massive planned escalation of the deployment of paramilitary-cum-armed-police, this time with logistical support from the military, to crush the rebels. It seems that sections of monopoly capital — including ArcelorMittal, the Essar Group, Vedanta Resources, Tata Steel, POSCO, and the Sajjan Jindal Group — have given an ultimatum to the state governments concerned and the union government that they will dump their proposed mining/industrial/SEZ projects if the local resistance to their business plans are not crippled once-and-for-all.

Righteous indignation against “left-wing extremism” has reached a crescendo, buttressed as it is by sections of the commercial media, with images and profiles (dished out to the fourth estate by anti-terrorist squad officers) of apprehended revolutionists a source of excitement for TV audiences. A year and a half ago, my son — lanky, unkempt, his hair dishevelled — came home from school one day to tell us that his teacher called him a Naxalite (what the Maoists are popularly called). I asked him, “How did you react?” He queried, “Daddy, who are these guys, these Naxalites?” I answered, “Well, they are rebels who resent the deep injustice meted out to the poor.” He responded, “Well then, I feel proud to be called a Naxalite”. The boy is still very young, but he will soon approach that wonderful time of his life when his urge to understand what is going on in the country and the world will be unquenchable. More recently, a malicious and vengeful advertisement by the home ministry in the newspapers painted the Maoists as “cold-blooded criminals”. May be it is time for me to consider how I will answer his question: What is Maoism?

…read the full article here.

One thought on “Monthly Review: What is Maoism? by Bernard D’Mello

  1. On 26th December today is Mao’s 117th birthday.The contribution of Com MaoTse Tung was outstanding to the development of Marxism Leninism.He was the first person to develop a military line for the masses of the third world countries developing the concept of peasant based revolution and later is the first one to develop the concept of ‘continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the Proletrait in the G.P.C.R. Com Mao was alos a great International leader who always offered hsi party’s support to Interantional Liberation struggles.It wasMao who led the Great Debate and defended the revolutionary Legacy by refuting Khruschevian revisionist.

    However Mao’s works and achievements cannot be isolated from those of Lenin and Stalin.Lenin’s creating the Bolshevik Revolution and winning the civil war,Lenin’s development of the concept of the proletarian party and thesis of Imperialism,Stalin’s historic role in winning the World War,saving the Leninist state , leading Socialist production nad economic achievements and above all supporting the Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist party can never be overlooked or disjointed.Mao’s works’ were developments of Lenin’s writings .

    In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Communist China made the most phenomenal achievements ever seen in athird wirld country and mankind never witnessed such a democratically finctioning society.In the fields ofagriculture,industry heath,medicine,education and literacy unprecedented achievements were made.The most innovative and craetive production concepts were discovered,and the Peoples Liberation Army represnted the brad masses like no army berfore.True there was great personality cult of Mao Tse Tung ,graet excesses by red guards,intellectuals and artists unfairly attacked ,tendencies left sectarianism but remember it was the first movement of it’s kind.It was historiaclly one of the graetset ever movements for mass democracy.The most innovative revolutionary democratic powers were created for the workers and peasants.

    Redaers should read the books and writings of writers like William Hinton(Fanshen),Felix Greene (The Wall has 2 sides),Edgar Snow(The Long Revolution)Rewi Alley(Walking on 2 legs) and the book ‘Daily Life in Revolutionary China.’

    Today in India although there maybe a great mass movement led by the organisation in many aspects the C.P.I(Maoist) distorts the mass military line of Com Mao and implements Che Guevera’s focoism.Infact Comrades Like Tarimala Nagi Reddy ,Devullapalli VenkateshwarRao and later Com Harbhajan Sohi were theoretically closer to Mao’s line although deferring armed struggle,which is particualrly illustrated in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.This trend uphed the Telengana Armed Struggle as the true mass line.

    Com MaoTse Tung was genius in his military and political writings and his ideolgy is like ared fame blazing all over the World.As shown in Phillipines,India his ideology has not been defeated,while in Peru and Nepal reverses were created beacause of distorting the Maoist mass line.Infact the Sendero Luminoso had launched one of the most spectacularmass -line military movements when correctly applying Comrade Mao’s writings.Some of the best polemical writings on the Maoist mass line have been by the late Com Harbhajan Singh Sohi of India and earlier By Tarimala Nagi Reddy and D.V .Rao.Maoism cannot be isoalted from Leninism and is not anti-Stalinst.Infact Mao strongly defended Stalin’s achievements and alwatys respected the fcat that it was only he existence of Socilaist U.S.S.R that won the Chinese Revolution of 1949 nad the Socialist Revolution of 1956.

    This is a good effort by an intellectual who shows his sympathies with revolutionary causes and ideas but there is looseness towards the stands of Lenin,Stalin and Mao.The theory of 3 Worlds was a concept innovated by Deng Xiaoping which Comrdae Mao refuted.It is also wrong that Mao gave greater importance to fighting the then Soviet Social Imperialism over U.S.A..Mao established relations with U.S. A in 1971 just as a tactical ploy to recognize the American State and not to oppose the liberation Struggles.Recognizing bourgeois states is not the same thing as supporting their opression or their ideology.It was only becaues of the Maoist led C.C.P’S support that the Vietcong defeated America in the mid 1970′s.Infact the C.C.P.under Mao never imposed itself on other Communist Parties and always opposed the formation of a Communist International prematurely.It was the correct International line of Comradae Mao to defer the formation of a Communist International prematurely.

    Long Live MaoZedong thought!

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