This is not a formal meeting or a conference, but a workshop in which we discuss on how to carry forward the magazine and our work in general. We need to debate the question of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), including the position put forward by the document sent by Indian comrades. Canadian comrades propose to debate also the people’s war in the imperialist countries.
Finally, since there are organizations active in imperialist countries, we will have also brief reports on the various national situations.
On the RIM
Here we briefly review the history of the process of RIM, since it is clear that today we need to continue that thread in order to advance in our work.
We are one of the founding parties of RIM. The constitution of RIM was the result of the RCP US pulse. That party played a positive role in achieving this milestone in
the reconstruction of the international communist movement (ICM) after the death of Mao and the end of the GCPR. It was the result of an agreement between various
influential forces in ICM. It was not simply a grouping, but an agreement between those forces that could take on and carry out that task. The agreement included the parties of the US, India and Turkey.
The Conference proceeded with a protracted debate, an unprecedented 15 days-long discussion, with a perfect organization. The method used to realize the conference was very important, just and correct. Without that, it would not be possible to organize that event and get the result. It was required a strong practical commitment to participate, adecuate to the purpose. At that time ours was a local
group but we had a strong international outlook. Two other organizations were invited along with us from Italy, but they did not accept either that method or that commitment. Today we can see that, also thanks that outlook and as a
result of that success, we are still here, the others are gone.
It was a great conference, not only for the deep debate and no holds barred, but especially for the climate, that let us understand the nature of the task we had to perform. When there was a difference , we worked 24 per day, until resolution. During this discussion there was also expelled. Time has shown that forces that had been expelled neither were or have been Maoist anymore.
The conclusion of the conference was almost tragic for us. At the end there were two irreducible differences: on the national question in the imperialist countries and on the struggles of 70s in those countries. On these points we were not in agreement with the Declaration.
About the first point, we thought that in the imperialist countries we can never speak about a national question, even in case of invasion of the country within a world war,
which at that time existed as much stronger trend than today. As regards the assesment of the struggles in the 70s, we felt liquidationist the statement of the Declaration. So at the end of the Conference we did not sign the Declaration. All were pressing us to accept these positions: somebody called us Trotskyists, some other petty bourgeois revolutionaries who wanted to play at the revolution, they all looked at us as those who were trying to sabotage the unifying of ICM. Among the participants at the Conference, only two parties did not sign the Declaration: we, because of these differences, and the PCP, that participated as observers but actually contributed very effectively to the debate on all points. Well, two weeks later, a comrade pays visit to us, who tells that the wording on the national question had been amended but, on the other point, there could be no changes. Then we signed
the Declaration. While maintaining the divergence on the liquidation of groups of the 70s, we felt that it had been made an exceptional effort. Moreover, in the meantime, also the PCP had signed the Declaration.
We told this to make the climate, the sense of the foundation of RIM. Nothing could be further from a forum for mere coordination or permanent discussion, but rather sharp struggle to the end, for the unity. The impressive developments which followed the Conference, showed that such constitution was helping the construction. An excellent result, fruit of an excellent work of comrades who had traveled four continents to find and promote Maoist organizations.
It was decided to form a center, the Corim. Who was to be part of it? Of course, not all members could participate the centre nor it could be elected. It had to represent a synthesis of the agreement. Thus the parties that had most contributed to achieve the conference were chosen. But soon Indian comrades opposed the decision to form a center, fully upholding the position of Mao on the Comintern. In the Turkish party, the leadership who had made possible the Conference was outvoted by a Hoxhaist line, despising the Maoist organizations as petty bourgeois. Thus the Party withdrew from Corim and rejected the Declaration. At this point, the Americans found themselves alone. At the very beginning, Peruvians had been asked to be part of Corim, but, to be free do carry out within RIM the struggle to establish Maoism, they refused. A wrong decision, with serious consequences.
Since then things change. Americans are those who choose who was to be integrated into the Corim and they choose the faithful. They formed up the staff and, since then, the staff, not the leaders, are those who manage the relationships within the movement. The Corim becomes a filter of communications, what the Americans approve is widespread, what they do not accept, does not pass. This situation was changed by struggle of the PCP. On the one hand, the struggle of the PCP led the RIM to advance, adopting Maoism, as sanctioned by the document “Long live the MLM!”, on the other hand, the RIM made the People’s War in Peru a matter of global attention. It is the role of RIM, the hundreds of meetings all around the world,
that have made it a worldwide phenomenon.
Meanwhile, the Indian party – Mass Line – was dissolved in dozens of parties and organizations, saying they have to make dozens of new democratic revolution (a phenomenon similar to the dissolution of the Union de Lucha in Spain). The only heir of Mass Line existing today, is the CPI (ML) Naxalbari. At that time, the organizations that have formed up CPI (Maoist) were very weak. The struggle to adopt Maoism deeply affected the Turkish Party, bringing another change of leadership and the decision to join again the RIM. So, there were the conditions for which the document “Long live the MLM” could be the basis for a Corim made not only by Americans. A lost opportunity. The Corim did not change. This situation reaches the climax with the detention of Chairman Gonzalo. The RIM organized
the largest political campaign in recent history, after that for Mumia Abu Jamal. But, later, the emergence of rightist opportunist line (ROL) and the unfortunate position
of “investigation” taken by the Corim dealt a hard blow to the People’s War and the RIM itself.
The beginning and development of people’s war in Nepal was a new opportunity for developing the RIM. We can say that this people’s war is the result of three factors:
- People’s War in Peru;
- the leadership of Prachanda, and
- the role of RIM.
But then CoRim raised the people’s war in Nepal to take and use it against people’s war in Peru and chairman Gonzalo. This transformed the two-lines
struggle in the MRI into a struggle of factions.
In 2000 the Enlarged Neeting of Corim was realized almost with the same method as the Conference of ’84, the RIM method. Two external factors fostered the attention and the role payed by this meeting: the persistence of the people’s war in Peru and the new people’s war in Nepal. In this meeting RCP US is attacked. It had organized its forces, but the CPN(M) did not agree its methods of leadership. There was a sharp struggle between RCP US and its allied and the PCP, with the mediation of the CPN(M). We sided with the PCP. At the end, Americans had to accept the new statement: “For a century of people’s wars …”
It was the last good document of MRI, that rectified the position on President Gonzalo. Although it was not the same position of PCP. It was proposed that the CoRim was to be formed by the parties leading people’s wars. Americans and their allies opposed this decision. The struggle over this point lasted several days. Three weaknesses prevent the victory of this line:
- the unifying spirit of the CPN (M), which aims to keep the old members of Corim, and add the parties leading people’s war
- the Turks, who make unrealistic proposals, and
- the Peruvians, who still repeat the same position: the document is a step forward but it is not enough, then the struggle must continue and we can not be a part of Corim.
Finally we was the only ones who oppose the resolution on the Corim. This prevented a victory that could have changed things.
Right after that “For a century …” is issued, RCP US took position against the new document , and this opened the fight. Since then the activity od RCP US is an open
boycott. Then the liquidationist tendency of RIM begun.
In the meantime, the Corim had focused its activities in South Asia. The CCOMPOSA was born. Under its leadership, all the supporters of RIM in the region are brought together, including all parties. This allows the RIM to work in excellent way in Asia, while in Europe it disappears. We proposed the same kind of Regional RIM for Europe, but Americans were against.
In India, both CPI(ML) PW and MCCI were advancing and finally come to fight each other. The RIM of Asia played a decisive role for the unity. The parties agreed to halt hostilities, meet each other and “love broke out”. The result is the birth of the strongest communist party in the world since the CP of China. The MCCI was member of RIM, while PW was against the very idea of a center, and rejected most of the parties of MRI as a petty bourgeois opponents of armed struggle. So the CPI (M) decided not to join RIM. At the same time, in the Corim, the RCP US considered the unification a bad thing, an anti-RIM decision.
The development of people’s war in Nepal brought further changes. The CPN(M) were convinced that we need to unite the parties and that RCP US had become an obstacle to unification. Nepalese decide to sharpen the contradiction: they convene the Corim, open the confrontation and propose to call a RIM conference for the resolution of the contradiction. But this plan did not go on consistently. They opened the clash but the conclusion was different. The concern for the unity and the fear that a conference would become a war of all against all prevailed. But, without a conference, RIM exists no longer.
Today RCP US thinks that MRI should be cleared and rebuilt on the basis of Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis. The CPN(M) still speaks about unity of the international communist movement but, when they say international communist movement, they do not mean Maoists. That is why now they are very popular among the anti-Maoists all around the world, attracted by their electoral victory. Therefore, a Conference of the MRI is no longer possible. The RCP US do not want to call, they already decreed the death of RIM 3 years ago, and the CPN(M) have gone to another
The international seminar of 2006 was the last occasion on which it was possible to bring together almost all the parties. RCP US did not participate officially. During that seminar Nepalese comrades accepted the wording proposed by the Italian comrades, “a second step”. They said us: we need a second step and we will do. Six months later they said something different. An example: at the seminar we decided to publish the speeches, to stimulate a new conference. So far, the only speeches that have been published are our informal verbalization. The CPN(M) deviated from that line, at the same pace of the revisionist deviation of the leadership. The result is the dissolution of the RIM, that is an objective fact, not a decision made by someone.
We should now take a new path, this is our proposal, not because it is our will, but because it is an objective step indeed.
As organization outside of the MRI we have embarked on a path for the membership, we met the Corim in 2007 but the process has stopped. It was not our decision, Corim did not contact us anymore. The last communication was a message to our Congress. It was a criticism of our document, arguing that we runs on the same economistic line of the organizations of the ’30s. Why? To speak about economics does not mean to be economistic. However, our congress took stand for membership, but today it is difficult even to find out who is the RIM, to which we should address this request.
We was told to contact the RCP US, we tried but we could not. It was depressing for us, Corim behaved as an imperialist organization that imposes diktats.
We may talk about what the RIM could be. The two initial purpose for the existence of the RIM are to lead the world revolution with a center and to organize and promote organizations in each country.
The best action of the RIM was in India, when it helped the unity, but indeed the Asian members of the RIM realized that. But then it disappeared as a ideological center.
For us, the RIM must be a political and ideological centre but it also must unite theory and practice. If the RIM has acted primarily as ideological center, it depends on the RCP US. Everybody knows the RCP US ability to focus on the ideological struggle and not on the practical struggles.
Our view is that there are 4 types of propaganda: the class press, the militant propaganda, the practice of revolutionary mass action. For example in the demos we create “red points” with flags and banners highly visible and realize mass actions carried out by the Maoists themselves, also the style is an action of propaganda and the masses learn through this. The ultimate form of propaganda is the people’s war.
According the RCP U.S. there is only the extensive ideological struggle . We believe that this kind of ideological struggle is far backward compared to past experience, for instance that of the Black Panther Party, and it does not reach the masses.
We started from the definition of a base of unity with the RIM, I remember the main points: the first is the MLM, not only as an ideology but as the science of revolution, and the universality of protracted people’s war. It is important to specify protracted, because on this we had a discussion with the Corim, that recognized the universality of the people’s war but included in this concept also the line of the RCP US.
The only text of the RCP US that speaks about people’s war is “Can we really win?”, in which they imagine the revolution as a last minute mass uprising, otherwise, it is said, the repression would stop us immediately, therefore what we need is a concentred process, a ridiculous concept, because it is only by waging the war that you learn to make war, so you need a protracted process.
Another point is to recognize the continuation of class struggle under socialism, which includes the contributions of the GPCR. The exact wording is that the proletarian dictatorship must include the GPCR, the continuation of class struggle under socialism, to advance toward communism. It means that the Party must always pursue the class struggle, it must not settle. It is also a critical aspect regarding today’s Nepal.
Another point is the updated analysis of the international situation, we need to review all the classics, from the letter in 25 points on, of the international communist movement and we think that a document of this type would have an impact like the foundation of the RIM.
As regards the document of Naxalbari, I would stress particularly the issue of centralization. The comrades write that there was an excess of centralization by the RIM, but the most important is the line that has been developed. I think it is important, also as organizational principle, the respect for the other parties, without coercion. You can also criticize the mistakes of the parties but always respectfully.
As regards the main obstacle to the Maoists now, I do not think it is the CPN(maoist). This party has been leading a people’s war for 10 years, although the situation now requires further consideration, so far no one can say that it is a revisionist party. There are some disturbing elements in its path. These 10 years allowed to play a massive role in the cities, among young people who are now accused by the bourgeoisie to continue people’s war. We can debate on how they make the class struggle at this time, you may be concerned that by not making the right thing at the right time they would fall into revisionism, but so far it can not be said.
The RCP US criticism versus the tactics the CPN(M) is abstract, based on an abstract ideas of the revolutionary process that neglect the reality, it is a Trotskyist-style criticism.
We feel that at the base of the collapse of the RIM there are two questions: the democracy in the 21st century and the new synthesis of Bob Avakian In the last meeting with us, Corim raised these issues. We do not know exactly what is the new synthesis of Avakian Above all we do not understand how we can take the new synthesis as guide of the struggle when the RCP USA, beyond its merits in the
struggle against Hoxhite revisionism and the formation of RIM, has done nothing, thus you can not put the New Synthesis at the level of the classics. This is why the New Synthesis is unacceptable.
The path proposed by the Nepalese comrades is questionable but it comes from a party that made the revolution and therefore deserves to be considered. It should be
considered also the actual risk of military intervention, because this determines the context, it does not justify everything but helps to understand.
We see the RCP US and the attempts to impose the new synthesis as the main obstacle.
The position of the CPI (M) is currently the most in contradiction with the construction of an international organization. This position is clearly expressed in various texts and the speeches at the the international seminar of 2006 in Nepal.
The party leaders argue this position based on their inability to leave the country or give a direct contribution to an international organization. This question is a very
relevant part of the problem. As mentioned above, although the role played by the RCP US was crucial for the formation of RIM, without other influential and strong parties, Turkish and Indian, there would not be that result.
We Should now understand that the position of Indian comrades must be changed to solve the problem of an international organization.
It is true that the front of those who try to impose the New Synthesis as the basis is now the obstacle, if only for the simple fact that these forces are those that support the liquidation of the RIM.
As you know, in recent years several groups have come out with an offensive against the line of the CPN(M), pointing to the struggle to “Prachandism” as the basis for a new grouping in the international communist movement. They are gathered around to comrades of UOC of Colombia, proposing an international conference based on this dividing line.
As regards the other parties, they stand in this range of positions. Around the New Synthesis there are the CP of Iran MLM, the RCG of Colombia, a party of Bangla Desh, a part of MKP (former Maoist Party Center). This should make us understand, comrades, how difficult the situation. The solution is not simply to write a document, gather around it to parties, and establish a new organization. This is idealistic, it has nothing to do with the history of concrete construction of the RIM.
We need a thorough analysis of the global situation, of forces. The deep differences between the founders of the RIM did not prevent them from playing the important role that we recognize. We have to start from the advanced experiences of advanced detachments of the proletariat and the people of the world. We do not need to unite the parties on a document but to create an international center
that will be a material force. The question is how to run an international center. For that we need an agreement.
At the seminar of 2006 the CPI(M) said that seminars are useful, the embryonic centre is not. A very strange statement, as the organizing center is but a permanent seminar, that carries forward the debate in an agent, not abstract, way, serving and helping the parties and their struggles to advance.
Whatever your views on “revisionism” of Prachanda, now you can not create an international organization without the UCPN (M). The process of constructing a center is not a merely ideological fact. It is ideological, political, theoretical and practical. Ideology and practice are the main. On theory and policy, differences, important also, can continue existing.
As regards the ideology, we can not go back from the ideological base of the RIM. It is clear that the base must be Maoism, but it is pure idealism to think that this should mean the same application, same implementation!
Regarding politics, it is not true that the RIM had a general line. It is not the time of general lines. We need a revolution for that. What we need now is to establish a
method by which to draw a summing up. This means practice. It is not empiricism, but the taking up a materialist criterion of existence of a party. We have the example of RCP US, whose revolutionary practice does not exist. The factors that made RIM a real attempt for an international center are the MLM ideology and the practice of the PW, that is the mix we need.
The French comrades say that we should take as base the universality of the PW. This unity does not exist today. Indian comrades, Filipinos, Turks do not agree. Nepalese speak about “fusion”. Thus, how can you think that the assertion of the universality of PW can solve today the unity of ICM, while not even all Maoists agree?
In the general context of fragmentation of the RIM, we need to struggle against the liquidationism. Externally, it is mostly represented by the UOC of Colombia, but we have to focus on liquidationism from within the RIM. Of course our work for a second step forward can not be made with a liquidationist view of our movement.
First, the struggle against liquidationism is not only a political struggle but also practical, you can not rebuild without aggregation. The work of Maoist Road goes in
this direction. We do not call to make a clean sweep of the RIM and start over. On this point the position of the comrades from Galicia is still correct.
Our debate must advance not only in theory and politics but also in practical steps forward. This way we have already achieved to widen the signatures of the joint Declaration of May Day 2010 and the editorial staff of Maoist Road. In this it is very important for us the participation of the RCP Canada, because for us, struggling in the imperialist countries, the PW in the imperialist countries is not just a matter of abstract strategy to be applied.
All of us are far behind on the PW in the imperialist countries, not only in practice. But, without practical progress, those forces that still deny PW in imperialist country
will not change their positions. We can not convince them only with good arguments.
On the Maoist Road
Maoist Road has to become a mean to go ahead with this debate. We do not need another magazine to put forward the position of our party, we need a vehicle to spread the voice of united parties throughout the world.
50 million copies of our statement of 1 May 2010 were printed in India. That is the point: to make visible how this trend is advancing.
We have records of various discussions on the RIM. We would like to publish them on Maoist Road. Although it is unlikely that comrades agree the publishing, because they say it may give rise to repressive attacks. But we believe that the debate should be public. We believe that excessive secrecy has been one of the matters of degeneration of the RIM. Over time the debate on Maoism became a secret, the very life of the movement became a secret and this played a role in its collapse, because reflected the image of a monolithic organization, hegemonized by the line of RCP US, while indeed there was a hard inner struggle, with many positive points, which we should take today, but which have been kept secret to everyone except, perhaps, the enemy.
We also began writing a criticism to the UOC of Colombia. A lot of work has still to be done, because these comrades have written a lot and on everything. It is true that the Internet allows groups of few people to appear and have worldwide impact, it is true that those who are always engaged in class struggle, do not have time to respond to everyone, but we must also take into account that not all groups are equal and especially assess the influence that they have. We do not know exactly the size of this group, but it certainly has an influence on so many groups in Chile, Brazil, generally in Latin America and also in Spain. On the other hand, our organizations are not much larger. So to go ahead with our work we need to criticize these comrades. It is important also for the particular method they use. They defined Prachanda as the main enemy and do not bother to prove it. Then, based on struggle against Prachanda, they continued by dividing the ICM in right,
left and center. It would be easy to make the same, by giving primacy to the struggle against the New Synthesis, or the PW in the imperialist countries. On both the cases, the geography of the ICM would change completely.
It would be useful a brief pamphlet on the history of MRI. We propose also a concise document in points as a basis for unity. It could allow us to assess exactly the level of existing unity in the meetings with the various forces. At certain degree, in the same way we attract others at the meetings or campaigns we organize.
We would also begin a measured critical work, which gradually deepens the arguments, without launching attacks from the start.
On the Protracted People’s War in the Imperialist Countries
We believe it is very important to discuss the protracted people’s war. It is also important to specify protracted, otherwise we would talk about anything. It is long time that our organization reflects on this question. The theory of PPW is not only military but involves also new economy, new power, new politics. The experiences of armed struggle in the imperialist countries often included experiences of political
and economic struggle. The Revolutionary Army, as showed in Peru, has not only military tasks, but also of power, and as a means of educating the masses.
In the imperialist countries, there are no semi-feudal relationships. In the oppressed countries is easier than in the imperialist countries speak about liberated areas, new economy, new power. For us the question of people’s war is how to link the revolutionary struggle to the construction of a new economy and new power, on this there are many experiences in the imperialist countries.
In Italy in the 70s there were experiences of “new kind of economy”, the members were paid by the political-military organization and not by the masses. But the masses are those who must make the revolution, on the masses, within a revoluzionary project, the people’s war should rely also in an imperialist country. In this role of the masses is the possibility of carry forward a revolutionary project.
The development of the role of the masses allows to out fit a new power in which people feel themselves able to make a new society, to look farther. Historically, ICM has the concept of the one-day insurrection. This view lacks the understanding of learning how to make revolution by making revolution. You learn how to make war making war. But war can not be separated from political struggle. We see the people’s war as a process of this kind. Without the involvement of the masses it is not possible to develop a new economy nor a revolutionary struggle.
The RAF admitted that they ended to be isolated from the masses and focused only on the military. The CCC recognized that their problem was that they could not organize the participation of the people. That kind of actions have depressing effects because expose to repression. In Ireland, the fight was more related to the masses. Within the neighborhoods, the masses played an active role, not
In the case of Canada, the people’s war can begin only with the participation of the natives, who live partly in the reserves. The natives do not have access to property rights and are dependent on the State, it is a national issue that, in an imperialist country, has democratic implications. In Quebec the situation is different. According to the Lenin’s criteria, we can speak about an imperialist bourgeoisie. Here we already saw experiences of armed struggle by the natives. Our party proposes a kind of new democracy. Quebecers say that natives should be given the right of
self-determination. You can not equate the struggle of the natives with that of euro-Canadians. For us all the concrete conditions can be used to initiate the People’s War. Once it begun, the situation would be full of contradictions and
there is the possibility of an intervention of US. The possibility of U.S. intervention can not stop the people’s war, the aim is precisely to provoke reactions.
We do not know in details the situation in other countries, but we think that anywhere we have to work for the people’s war, it is an internationalist duty. The processes that we will begin will be unequal but each of those will have consequences on others, it is a necessary process. Necessarily, it is a process to be carried forward internationally, we can wage PW in our country, but it is to be carried out internationally.
The point is not only to have success immediately, the beginning is mainly training. In our documents all this is written with more details. It is useful to distinguish what is
militant propaganda and what is people’s war. Currently it is not possible to launch the people’s war immediately, but you can make some actions, more or less militant, of propaganda. We see every day that anarchist groups do, why can we not? We were told: if you begin, you have to be careful to repression. We think that there is no reason to call ourselves revolutionaries if we do not not make revolution,
who said so had opportunistic positions. Today you can begin making actions that give examples of new power and prepare the initiation. There are the political
conditions to begin that, after the start, will become political-military.
The link between communism and revolutionary action went lost. This makes bigger and bigger the need and impact of actions compared to the common propaganda. We need to know how to claim the actions to minimize the risk of repression, but giving up because of repression means giving up the revolutionary struggle.
There are risks, but also a worker who works 25 m high risks, also those who fought in the Resistance risked, why do not we risk today?
We start talking about people’s war. Unfortunately we do not have any kind of experience. In France during the Commune, the anti-Fascist Resistance and the French May, there have been experiences of armed struggle related to the masses, and then we see them as harbingers of people’s war. Today there are struggles of the masses that begin to take on forms of resistance, as in the banlieues. But the Maoists are few and many are opportunists, which are counter-revolutionaries.
Starting on their own would do as the BR or the CCC. The party must support the actions of the masses, develop them into revolutionary action, convey the idea that weapons are not enough , the question is also to building struggle committees and power committees based on the masses that get separated from reformism and organized in the party. This way a dynamic movement develops preparing the spark of people’s war. To begin immediately would take time away for organization. We have to proceed step by step, do not do as was done in Italy.
The experience of Gauche Proletarienne is that the masses had sympathy for their actions, but did not participate in, looked on. In 1905, Lenin said: yesterday the petty bourgeois groups were alone in the fight against the power, now that the masses are on the barricades, the Communists have to go to lead them.
Today we participate in the actions of the masses, in the struggle against the bourgeois state and its armed forces. In the mass demonstrations, among the masses, we are at the frontline, to indicate how the Maoists are able to lead them. Everywhere masses struggle, we should be at frontline to show the road and go farther. This should be done to show that it is possible. We need to unite the two aspects, masses and leadership; actions and propaganda, as support for the struggles of the masses. Otherwise the risk is the spontaneism of Proletarienne Gauche, which has failed. It was the best organization, but it failed, it made mistakes, we have to tell it.
A brief comment. The explanation of the comrade is very encouraging. We strongly welcome and support it, because we think that the Maoists in the imperialist countries have to realize a new beginning of the revolution, the beginning of PW in the imperialist countries.
The PW is revolutionary struggle. No confusion on this point. The Maoists in the imperialist countries begin existing when they start a process of mass revolutionary action led by the party along the strategy of the protracted PW. That is why in the imperialist countries Maoists need experiences of new beginning, and a Party forged for this purpose, otherwise the rest of our activity is useless.
When we signed the Declaration of the RIM, we was against the liquidation of the experience of groups of the ’70s. This position was a large majority. The PCP only opposed, beside us. Now it is true that the battle for the reconstruction passes through the assertion in the practice of the universality of the PW in the imperialist countries. In the Conference in Palermo in 2003, we positively assessed the position taken by RCP Canada. Since then, we think that the parties in the imperialist countries must find a connection point to share experiences on this field. But we are ourselves are a proof of how difficult this path is.
The first obstacle came from the CoRIM. In the EM in 2000, we explained our good wills, but all the participant were against us, except the PCP. The CPNM listened interested but at the end said they did not understand what we were going to do. Others said that the PW was not correct generally and, particularly, could not have begun at that time. The attitude of the Corim was the same described by the comrade. A painful fact, because for PW the good intentions are not enough, it needs support, encouragement and experience-sharing. For us, the constitution of the Party would be completed only with the new beginning.
In Genoa in 2000, at the first major national demonstration in wich our Party took part, we had a very correct position and a very bad practice. Our organizations had
generally an opportunist attitude. However, the newspapers of Berlusconi, pointed us, along with the TKP ml, among the possible inspirators of the battle. It was then
necessary to address the problem with an acute ideological struggle, send away a few comrades, change partially the leadership, build a new youth organization.
For 3-4 years we have had to continue the ideological struggle, study and deepen, for a sum up of that period, fairly rich in lessons. Particularly, the experiences of the
mass organizations in the South, which for a while we thought can be engaged in activities for the new beginning. It was something new in our approach. Until then we paid attention mainly to draw lessons from the Resistance and the experiences of the groups of the 70s. Not everyone knows that there were many groups – not just one – and many experiences in Italy in the 70s, and the very first experiences of those organizations are an example of how to link workers struggles, clandestinity etc. PW has to be a synthesis of all these aspects.
A fairly rich period but also full of problems and acute ideological struggle, partial replacement of cadres, organizational weakening. On the other hand the idea to integrate in the new beginning the vanguards of southern mass struggle proved to be not entirely correct. So, now, 10 years after the birth of the party, we are still to complete the process to affirm its existence.
In imperialist countries PW is actually tied to the party leadership of the mass struggles. If the Communists are preparing for the PW, then they lead mass struggles, otherwise they do not. In the imperialist countries those who do not prepare for the PW do not even take part in the mass struggle. A mass struggle as class war, as training to fight against the state, is essential for the benning of PW,
above all because PW is a war waged primarily by the masses.
We have prepared a document analyzing the concept of new beginning and puts it as a part of an overall strategic vision. Because, while you can not do long-term plans on this issue, you can not even begin without a strategic vision, that allows you to understand what to do at the first reaction, how to resist, and so on. A party that begins the PW mantains its features, does not change overnight. Hence the importance of having a clear vision. We can not predict exactly the results, but we need a vision of the development of the entire PW.
The new beginning in the imperialist countries is very difficult, almost impossible, but the crisis of imperialism and the bourgeoisie, give us reasons to be optimistic about development and victory of the PW, but it is difficult to start.
Committee of People’s Struggle, Galicia
A small contribution. According to the Union de lucha, the people’s war should have begun in Galicia because there in 1969 existed a guerrilla organization of anti-Franco resistance. Guerrilla in the classical sense, Peru style, to be clear. But now, seeing the operating of militant organizations, we believe that it is difficult to begin the PW without specific training. We must struggle among the masses but
also train them politically and practically. Considering that NATO today in two hours can intervene anywhere in Europe with great force and in coordination with all the European the armies, we must apply the slogan of Mao: the revolutionary violence is carried out for the advancement of the masses.
On the National Situations
In general the situation of the working class and people, as in all imperialist countries, is quite serious. There are relocations, sackings and the conciliatory attitude fosters a new form of fascism, embodied in the preparation of new repressions towards the masses and those who resist and rebel. There is a resurgence of attacks on young people, migrant workers, when they rebel. They use sophisticated means of control and repression. Not only the state apparatus but also non-state bodies, trade union committees, etc., seeking to channel the rebellion within the system.
There is a massive ideological campaign to accept as normal the implementation of repressive measures, control, restrictions of democracy, reduction of wages. An ideological propaganda to accept as normal the political, ideological measures adopted by the government and thereby gain a mass base among the population to make the modern fascism pass. This involves traditional fascist organizations like the National Front.
More or less accurate surveys are spread showing that security measures against young people are popular, that more than 60% approve these measures. The Government adopts the same view of Le Pen on the struggle against immigration and for “security”, looking at immigration as a threat to public order. We are witnessing the proposals by the Socialist Party and the revisionist Left requiring enforcement measures, there is active collaboration between revisionist and right-wing forces to implement these measures.
The situation becomes even worse when you consider that the reformist left, which had set up a movement on
pensions, finally accepted that law. The forces of revisionist and social democratic left in words do not agree the measures on pensions but they say that there is indeed a problem of age of population. This way their statements bring a revival of Malthusian theories, that see a link between productivity, environment and natural resources, theories of overpopulation, according to which we should curb the use of resources (pensions) and drive out immigrants . The corollary of these positions is that the State should not help the poor workers, the result is that more and more low-wage workers are at the margins of society.
In politics it means into a racist, segregationist, policy, for example the Roms hunting. This way they endorse racist ideological phenomena that converge with the positions of the National Front. The campaign against the Roms has also led to reactions from people, politicians and trade unions, the left and the right.
The danger is that if this fascistline is developed, on one hand it will strengthen the fascist front and, on the
other, the republican front, who unites right and left to “save the Republic”. These will be the slogans for the 2012 elections, namely the building of a modern fascism in attenuated forms to make it pass among the people. An attenuated form in words that in deeds applies repression, social control, security policies against the people who resist and rebel, thus creating a fascist social mix, although there are still some assistance measures, service social subsidies etc.
Another important factor is the persistence of a modern form colonialism, the interventions of French State to support loyal regimes in different countries of the world through political, military, economic support, in defense of French interests to compete with imperialistic interests of US, China, ecc. It is important for us Maoists to reach a common understanding of this process which is common in all the imperialist countries, albeit more or less advanced.
We have to build step by step a common path to oppose. As for us Europeans, since the measures are taken in coordination with Europe, it is important to reach an adequate level of coordination at the ideological, political and propaganda level. We know that there are problems, but it is desirable. Our commitment must be to build the Maoist parties, make them advance, develop contacts in all European countries with forces existing to coordinate at least at the level of propaganda.
Finally, consider that the objective situation has never been so favorable, because there is a growing proletarianization, growth of the attack, and the development of means, technology provides the conditions for a revolution. This puts the task of building parties in all countries and develop a revolutionary process everywhere.
In Italy the construction of a modern fascist regime proceeds forced in stages. We should not let the current contraddictions in the Berlusconi government mislead us. The government line is solid and also the internal opposition to it will soon be swept away. All those, primarily the left parties, which are under the illusion that the government is weakening, will not make much headway. This government remains the government needed today for the Italian imperialist bourgeoisie.
At the same time, bosses carry out first hand what we call “bosses fascism”. The story of Fiat and Marchionne, well known throughout the world, shows this clearly. The diktat imposed at the Fiat factory in Pomigliano (Neaples) is not only an attack on working conditions and wages of workers. It is much more. It is an “agreement” that has questioned the contracts, the existing laws, the Statute of Workers, even the constitutional requirements. Today both the Fiat and Confindustria, both the government and its ministers say the same thing: no more struggle between workers and bosses, no more class struggle! They want to establish a new Fascist corporatism, appearently a class collaboration, but in deeds a new form of slavery to serve the interests of the owners.
The modern fascist essence consists not only of the content of the agreement but also of the way they want to
impose. They want to hit on the one hand any form of opposition, coming both by the base unions or the Fiom,
and, secondly, they want a consensus forced, compulsory, dictatorial, prevails among the mass of workers. They do not want just to win but win big, not only impose slavery but expect that the workers say yes, we want to be slaves.
This attack is accompanied by that on pensions, first those of women. In addition to attacking the living conditions, they seek to promote an overall ideology that justifies it. The modern fascism is also revealed in the elimination of all forms of opposition, even just democratic, and this is seen in attempts to silence any critical voice in the media, with a system of absolute monopoly. Any little rebellion or opposition is treated as an enemy, the Communists and not only, even the young football fans, all that does not conform is being repressed.
Two aspects in particular should be mentioned as examples of degeneration: first episodes of killing young women and suicides in prisons, the other is the repression in Naples of the great struggles of the unemployed that the crisis can only grow. A form of total militarization, of attack and prohibition of what first was permitted, in the name of that “0 tolerance” already invoked against crime.
In addition to this modern fascist atmosphere, the open racism against immigrants. In recent months we witnessed immigrants hunts, French style, in the centres of identification and expulsion, and practice of annihilating people in the same centres. All this is aimed to create a reactionary, racist, humus which revives several reactionary ideologies, including sexism and not by chance we see a rise in killings of women in families and out of them.
But, at the same time, by doing all this, the bourgeoisie, the state, the government are digging the grave beneath their feet. The crisis increased the urgence for struggles and the reaction of the State and government, politicizes them. Our party, also through the generated and mass organization, particularly the cobas, operates and leads these struggles, and here we see today that among the workers, the youth, the unemployed, it is easier to talk about revolutionary politics.
There is a new awakening of the labor movement, in all factories where there are attacks on the job, there are struggles that put more distance between the workers opposition and the official trade unions, particularly from the regime trade unions, CISL and UIL, and and rightist ones, but even within the CGIL there is a grotesque situation, where the leadership of the CGIL union disavows his own metalworkers federation, forced to oppose.
What is the situation of the party and its work? In this situation, the party fights all forms of modern fascism, is a party that increasingly unites the propaganda and agitation to the actual practice of leading the masses and struggles, there where it operates. Particularly in the South, we lead large struggles that take form of uprising of unemployed and precarious workers. This year we had a qualitative leap in the unity of struggles and their organizations. In particular, we were able to unite the nationally most important movemetns of the unemployed, in Naples and Taranto. We intervene with avant-garde slogans and activity in the major factories of the country in the South as the North.
Even among young people this work is visible, in Palermo Red Block carries forward battles on the anti-fascist front and in students movement.
Among women our rich activity led the generated organization, the Revolutionary Proletarian Feninist Movement, to realize intense and nationally visible demonstrations against sexual violence and in defence of migrant women.
At the same time the work for the education of new struggle vanguards, workers and women, progresses. A
work that allows these comrades to be autonomous and become leaders of the struggles, a training for the political struggle. One of the texts we studied and used as the basis of training is the Manifesto of Marx and Engels, to take up autonomous tools of understanding and action in the crisis, to make marxist our struggle vanguards. Furthermore we grasped what Lenin pointed out about the party as vanguard detachment, the communists playing a political vanguard role on everything. We set up a blog, that is different from the many others that exist, since it daily operates as a communist political newspaper to form the vanguards organized with us or wich follow our leadership.
The blog is involved in the fight against modern fascism, talks about the concrete struggles, fights the opportunist tendencies among the masses, etc.. In the perspective of a newspaper of the PW and taking advantage of the crisis of forces and newspaper of the official “left”, that are falling apart.
Finally let’s talk about the important developments we achieved in the field of the unity of communists. One year ago began a process of unity with comrades splitted from CARC. This way we are responding to the growing demand of party coming from the bankrupt and crises of many communist organizations and groups, to show that the Maoist party is the only possibile and winning answer. It was primarily a process of struggle and had a positive result:along with this comrades, active in several cities where our party is weak, have been defined 10 points of unity for the party, but the end of the trail is the new beginning.
Speaking with comrades emerged a situation of relative wealth of Canada, but the crisis has changed this situation, the real average wage has declined significantly in recent years, a trend that has been going on for 25 years. There is a general impoverishment of the working class that can not but deepen, becasue of the ongoing crisis. A process in which also sectors of labor aristocracy lose their positions, particularly in interior districts, starting from car industry,
Over the years there have been attacks like those in France and Italy. Apparently in recent years Canada has
been quiet, but the reality is that most of these attacks have been suffered by the working class in the 90s. These were the years in which the central and local governments have imposed a balanced budget that led to a policy of accelerated restriction of the debt, an adjustment of the budget paid for by the loss of jobs among teachers and employees of public social services. Social security benefits, like the dole, were reduced and the cost of services increased.
This restructuring met the consent of trade unions, particularly in Quebec where the government has purposely
summoned the official trade unions, who gave the consent to all plans. We can say that one or two years before the large demonstrations in France in 1995, the unions had already made all the concessions they could. Against this background, the unions are weaker. Generally, they are present in the upper layers of workers. This weakening of trade unions is one of the most relevant elements of the current situation.
MLM movement was very active in the labor movement in the ’70s, when unions were more militant. A feature they lost and now the unions are very weak. The large concentrations of workers have disappeared, in Quebec there are at most three factories over 1000 workers, and thus the intervention leads more dispersion of energy than before, when five comrades were enough to get results. These are the concrete conditions in Canada.
Our work in recent years has been among the youth, in part among students, in part in society in general. Another work is the defense of the unemployed, while the work among immigrants is marginal. Our typical form of work is the intervention in the demonstrations with a contingent of 150/200 comrades with large banners, flags, covered and ready for confrontation. The intention is to use the most offensive forms is possible.
Beside theese intervention we promoted demos, eg. May 1. Our idea is to repeat situations like Kreuzberg in Berlin, but we have good relations with the anarchists. About 2000 people participated, with a leading role of our red contingent.
With the same style we participated in Toronto to protests against the G20 to disrupt the summit, together with the anarchists. There was a divergence with the anarchists. Someone said, since you can not attack directly, we hit everything we find around. We instead concentrated on the main entrance to the forbidden zone, while on the way they attacked places which were not the ultimate symbol of capitalism. Although the police had put enormous barriers, anyway we have tried to attack. Our goal had became to attack these barriers.
Toronto is not used to clashes with police, as Montreal, police in Montreal is more prepared. This played in our favor, because we faced a less trained police. The fact that we have decided to attack it is still a political result. The police were deployed in strength, with dogs, etc.. Then he unleashed repression. In the afternoon, the police has taken revenge by attacking and arresting 1100 people.
Committee of People’s Struggle, Galicia
Galicia is one of the poorest region of the Spanish State, but also the richest people in Europe live there, beside millions of layoffs and poor pensioners. In this context, our work as committee of struggle is in part as a trade union but we carry out also the ideological and political work in solidarity with the PW.
For several months we have been discussing the construction of the Maoist party. From September we will start contacts and a training communist school to advance in the construction. On the other hand, we are organizing the first meeting of unemployed people after years, that will have much resonance, given the general situation. In the Spanish State, unemployment is 20%, in Andalusia it reaches 40% .
In Spain, our idea is to have a meeting with several Spanish groups, both to to promote the campaign for PW in India and for analysis of the national situation.
An interesting debate is ongoing in the Basque nationalist movement, where ETA will give up arms by October but the Maoists are opposed to this decision, since it means seeing only the independence and negotiation with the bourgeois state. It can be a good time for the comrades, who can take advantage of the situation.
In Catalonia is happening another interesting process, though not revolutionary. In Galicia we keep the debate on this critical issue, the revolutionary struggle and class struggle, with the national question which may be a goal but not an end.
It is usefull to see again briefly the general framework We need a Maoist work to reconstruct ICM, since internationally it suffers from serious difficulties after the collapse of the MRI. A summinh up of this collapse is important to proceed in this direction. It takes a lot of work, discussions, writings. Our responsibility is to give our contribution in terms of both analysis and writing, as well as a practical work of reconstruction. For us it is a work to do in the fire of class struggle and in close connection with the mass movement.
It is clear that it should not be a ideologistic summing up, we have to re-enact the process, assessing also the
practical steps of the struggles that brought this collapse. The plan of international reconstruction and the advancement of the class struggle must march together.
I think our meeting was positive because the debate has been conducted according to this approach. Also the latest reports encourage this path, it is evident that Maoists, at different levels in their respective countries, go forward. It is the same work that led us to send our young comrades in Paris and then to organize to meetings and help to make the formation of mCP in France a real and known fact within the Maoist movement.
This work was not affected by the condition of the RIM, it was not the RIM that could solve the problem of building the parties, but the opposite.
The embryonic sentre was supposed to help the formation of political parties, but this has been done just for a
period, through a very contradictory process, often proposing process an unprincipled unity, without two-line
struggle, based on the mere fact of recognizing the leadership of Corim, regardless of the ideological and political line, the theory and practice of the organizations.
We saw it up close in our country. In the other phase Corim supported groups not to help the construction of
the party in every country but to bring the RIM in each country. In this sense, the collapse of the RIM is not only
a bad thing. The Corim is not responsible for the emergence of problems in the PW in Peru (although the question of the chairman Gonzalo is not resolved) or the “Prachanda Path”, but in the imperialist countries the permanence of the RIM had become an obstacle.
So the watchword today is not just rebuilding, reconstruction, but also destruction, we need to destroy, combining to this a construction.
So I think our meeting was good, a good work. We talked about what we do, but we have still a lot to be
done. For this we I thank you for your participation.
Long live the Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!