"We should get our comrades to understand that the twofold basic task of the leading bodies of the Communist Party is to know conditions and to master policy; the former means knowing the world and the latter changing the world." -Mao Zedong, 1941, Reform our Study
On 14th of April 2012, the “Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award” was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, G.N.Saibaba.
Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012
Indiensolidaritet: Can you say something about the political work you do in India?
Saibaba: I work for an organization called Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working among different oppressed classes and sections of Indian society. Revolutionary students and youth organisations, revolutionary peasants’ organisations, revolutionary workers’ organisations, revolutionary cultural organisations as well revolutionary womens’ organisations from different regions across India are constituents of RDF. Thus RDF is a large network of revolutionary organisations reaching out to all sections and strata of the society.
From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.
Perhaps it is true that history moves in spirals, because it seems our present looks down on the era preceding the Paris Commune. The great revolutionary arch of the late 19th and 20th centuries has ended in objective and subjective conditions somewhat similar to its beginning. Nowhere does a revolutionary Communist movement hold state power. We have no International. The working classes and oppressed around the world are restive, but the number of genuine revolutionary Parties is dwarfed by the number of opportunists. The bourgeoisie are firmly entrenched in state power, yet nervous, haunted by specters, and adopting new forms of repression. On the other hand, we are at a higher level. We have the benefit of the experience of revolutionary movements that smashed bourgeois and semi-colonial semi-feudal state powers, built socialism, and fought the restoration of capitalism and the profound revolutionary theories that emerged from those experiences. The absolute and relative size of the proletariat is much larger and their consciousness higher: almost nowhere is open colonialism or dictatorships (even so-called nationalist ones) acceptable to the people. It is a time of rebellions and Peoples’ Wars. Both nightmares and optimism are justified.
Let’s state it plainly: if we are going to make a revolution in Canada then we need a qualitative leap in our revolutionary theory and practice. We need to build a conscious revolutionary vanguard capable of functioning as the militant representative of all oppressed peoples, establish a project of universal liberation that sinks deep roots into our society, and develop the strategy and tactics necessary to shatter the existing social order.
For that it happen, we need the insights found in Maoism. It’s not that Mao was a prophet or an individual of such super human intellect that he created a perfect theory for all places and all times that we just need to take up and apply to our local conditions. It would make our jobs much easier if that were the case (“here’s the Red Book, memorize it!”) but that would be a departure from the reality of history and materialist dialectics. Rather, it’s that Maoism represents a radical development of Marxism, a vital contribution to a living science of revolution, that we need to engage with if we are to understand where we are in relation to our monumental tasks and how to move forward.