Sri Lanka: Lessons of the defeat of the Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka: Lessons of the defeat of the Tamil Tigers

Tamil civilians held in concentration camps

[From A World To Win News Service]

The following article, originally entitled “The Liquidation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): Lessons Paid In Blood”, was written by Comrade Surendra of the Ceylon Communist Party – Maoist. It was slightly edited for this publication.

The killing of the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Pirapaharan, has brought an end to a stage in the development of the Tamil national liberation struggle. There are many crucial lessons to be learned from this experience, lessons paid in blood. It is imperative that we learn from them with a deep scientific perspective, if we are to charter the path of liberation for the people of Lanka.

Origins of the demand for a separate Tamil state

The demand for a separate state of Tamil Eelam arose in response to the Soulbury Constitution drafted by the British as a basis to transfer state power to its local lackey comprador capitalist ruling class before independence in 1948. This constitution was established upon the foundations of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, tried and tested in Britain for centuries as the most effective form of deceiving, dividing and ruling over the workers and oppressed masses and nationalities, while entrenching the state power of the capitalist ruling class. Parliamentary democracy functions as a way of deceiving the people to believe that they are sovereign in deciding their true political representatives, and thereby their life and future.

The truth is that this system deprives them of the political power to rule over their life and future. In effect, throughout the world, this system of government is designed to hide the dictatorship of the capitalist ruling classes. Under this system, the exploited and oppressed masses are compelled to choose between capitalist parties, who take turns in wielding state power in order to perpetuate the capitalist system and the exploitation and oppression upon which it is based.

Continue reading “Sri Lanka: Lessons of the defeat of the Tamil Tigers”

Letter of Resignation from Freedom Road Socialist Organization

by Patrick Ryan

[Note: Revolutionary Initiative does not have a position on Freedom Road Socialist Organization and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the author’s criticisms of that particular organization.    However, the letter raises many important issues for people and organizations committed to making revolution in imperialist countries, particularly regarding how engaging in mass work relates to building a revolutionary movement.]

[Edit: This letter has been responded to by a supporter of FRSO here.  That response was criticized by a supporter of the FIRE Collective here.]

“All resistance is a rupture with what is. And every rupture begins, for those engaged in it, through a rupture with oneself.”
— Alain Badiou.

This is a letter to all those who genuinely want to build a movement to overthrow oppression and establish a new society that aims for the transition to communism.

At present Freedom Road Socialist Organization is not on the path to accomplishing these goals, but rather finds itself focused tightly on partial demands, base building and Democratic Party politics that do not ultimately help organize and lead a movement to overthrow this capitalist and imperialist system. It leads us and the people deeper and deeper into the logic and rationalizations of bourgeois democracy.

After two years of being an active member, I have concluded that the current political trajectory of FRSO will only yield further from the goal of liberation and I now resign from that organization.

At the heart of this trajectory exists a bundle of assumptions about how fundamental radical social transformation can occur, and how we understand the role of the liberal-capitalist Democratic Party. This line promotes only structural reforms and defense of the capitalist welfare state, while obfuscating line differences within the organization. In practice this has meant concentration of cadres in NGOs, as board members in progressive nonprofits, and as union bureaucracies. This line is encapsulated in the statement:

“If the people don’t vote it [socialism] in or bring it about through mass national strikes and other popular forms, it will not happen!” 1

This political line cannot imagine rebellions, insurrections, and protracted conflicts that would make the old system ungovernable. Instead, stubbornly insists that voting or mass strikes will be the only possible methods for achieving state power. In a revisionist CP-style politics, we are told to “beat the far-right,” when in practice we know this always meant that we capitulate to liberals and surrender any radical or revolutionary aims. The enemy is defined as the far-right Republicans and Tea Party drones, and not the capitalist system and its empire. Continue reading “Letter of Resignation from Freedom Road Socialist Organization”

Four main issues to be debated in the International Communist Movement

Revolutionary Initiative is reposting this piece from the (new) Communist Party of Italy [(n)PCI] for the significant questions and debates it raises concerning the reconstitution of genuine communist parties in the imperialist countries. The translation is not perfect, but none of its essentials points are lost in translation.

The (n)PCI has made some rather original contributions, if not creative developments, of MLM in the area of: (1) conceptualizing the nature of the state in the imperialist countries, which they refer to as the Preventive Counter-Revolutionary Regime; and (2) their understanding of Protracted People’s War, namely, its universal significance and its particularities as a strategy for revolution in the imperialist countries, which they refer to as Protracted Revolutionary People’s War..

This posting does not express an endorsement of the lines in this document, but rather an intention to more deeply explore the question of revolutionary strategy in the imperialist countries at a time when revolutionary communists are regrouping in the imperialist countries. The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada / Parti Communiste Révolutionnaire (Canada) also upholds PPW as a strategy (click here and here for their documents on this debate) for the imperialist countries, but we believe that it is a rather distinct conception from the one upheld by the (n)PCI.

In unity and struggle, Revolutionary Initiative

Four main issues to be debated in the International Communist Movement
15 March 2010
(new) Communist Party of Italy

This document deals with:

1. The issues we think important for carrying out the struggle for getting a higher unity in the International Communist Movement,
2. Our positions about those issues,
3. The documents in common languages (English, French, Spanish) where our position are explained in a thorough way.

Issues about which to carry out the discussion

The issues about which we think it is necessary to carry out the discussion in the ICM are four:

1. The evaluation of the communist movement (first wave of proletarian revolution and first socialist countries, crisis of the communist movement and modern revisionism, new birth of the communist movement on the basis of Marxism Leninism Maoism);

2. The theory of the (first and second) general crisis of capitalism in imperialist epoch and the connected developing revolutionary situation;

3. The regime of preventive counter-revolution established by the bourgeoisie in the imperialist countries;

4. The strategy of the protracted revolutionary people’s war. Continue reading “Four main issues to be debated in the International Communist Movement”

Basanta: The Volcano of Revolution in South Asia Today

Basanta: The Volcano of Revolution in South Asia Today

The following talk was given on July 2, in Istanbul, during the European Social Forum’s seminar on South Asia’s revolutions.

By Basanta (Indra Mohan Sigdel)
member, Politburo of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Dear comrades and delegates, revolutionary greetings!

I would like to take this opportunity to extend our revolutionary salutation on behalf of our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), to the organiser, the European Social Forum, who invited our party to attend this august programme in Istanbul, Turkey.

In addition, I would like to extend our revolutionary greetings to the entire delegates participating in this seminar. I feel honoured to be here with all the delegates from around the world.

But, more than that I would like to utilise this opportunity to share experiences that the working class all across the world has gathered through their valiant struggles against imperialism and its anti-people and neo-colonial policies like privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation, and as well the ruling classes subservient to it.

Dear comrades,

Our party has assigned me to speak here on the revolution in South Asia as requested by the organisers. It is a vast course, a very difficult task to cover in a few minutes. However, I will try my best to be brief but certainly I will focus on the key points to help you reach to the basic understanding of the possibilities and challenges, the revolution in South Asia is confronting now.

South Asia consists of seven countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. More than one-fifth of the world’s population inhabit in this region. It is the most populous and densely populated geographical region in the world. Agriculture, which contributes to only 22% of the total GDP of the region, employs 60% of the labour force. Next to Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia is the poorest region on the earth. As per the information provided by the World Bank, in 2008, more than 40% of the people dwelling in this region earn less than 1.39 dollars per head per day. On the other, the total wealth of the 25 richest Indian capitalists is equivalent to 192.3 billions of dollars. [Source: http://www.forbes.com]. It is equal to the total yearly earnings of more than 379 millions of the lowest poor people from this region, which is about 31.6% of the total population of India alone. Around 2.1 million of children die of malnutrition every year in this region as per the report published by UNICEF in 2008. This gives a short glimpse of class composition in the South Asian countries. Continue reading “Basanta: The Volcano of Revolution in South Asia Today”

On Violence: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary

Street fighting in Paris, 1968

A statement of Revolutionary Initiative.

[Note: A Norwegian translation of this article by Serve The People is available here.]

Regardless of what people want, political violence is a factor in social and class struggle. Despite the fear mongering of the monopoly corporate media, almost all political violence is not carried out by black clad demonstrators, but by the state against the people. It is heaped upon proletarians on a daily basis, most especially the racialized, lower strata of the proletariat in the imperialist countries, and even more so upon the people of the colonial and neo-colonial nations living under the boot of imperialism. It should be no surprise then that the people forcefully defend their rights and sometimes engage in open fighting. Violence is a reality. The question is what form must revolutionary violence take?

Continue reading “On Violence: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary”

International situation: FAVOURABLE or UNFAVOURABLE?

by C. P. Gajurel ‘Gaurav’, Secretary of UCPN-Maoist

Communist Movement is an internationalist movement. Goal of all communists, provided they are truly communists, is communism. We should not be confused about vulgar distortions of communism whether it is ‘National communism’ or ‘Euro communism’. Internationalist nature of communists is characterized by the principle ‘either we all reach or none of us’. This is the basis of proletarian internationalism.

International situation is not same as proletarian internationalism.

Apart from the domestic situation, which is decisive, Communist movement is definitely influenced by international situation of the given time. Development of communist movement of a single country definitely depends upon the favourable or unfavourable international situation. Success or failure of revolution of individual country also largely depends on favourable or unfavourable international situation. In many cases, the question of ‘unfavourable international situation’ is being (mis)used by rightists or revisionists to justify their degeneration from a communist or revolutionary to a revisionist or a bourgeois politician. None of the revisionists of the world declare themselves as revisionists; rather they try to show that they are revolutionaries and are still communists. Capitalist class is an exploiter and oppressor class. So it is quite natural that the politicians openly representing the class interest of this class will not be able to garner support from the broad masses.
Continue reading “International situation: FAVOURABLE or UNFAVOURABLE?”

Communist Party of Iran (MLM): “Prepare to bury the Islamic Republic!”

8 February 2010. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from a leaflet by the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) of Iran. Dated 5 February, it was put out on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the people’s uprising that toppled the Shah in 1979.

As millions of Iranian people all over the country await 11 February their hearts are beating hard.. Brave women and men are planning to turn that date into a decisive day. The enemy is also planning to stay in the field and not lose its perilous balance. The chants of “Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran!” will come from the heart and find echo in other hearts.

Over the last eight months the Iranian people’s anti-regime movement has significantly inspired the people of the Middle East and other parts of the world. They too are enthusiastically looking forward to 11 February. The Western imperialists and Russia and China who are all as reactionary as the Islamic Republic are already speculating about “Iran after 11 February” and expressing their concern about the “future of the Middle East and Iran” – which means concern about their interests in Iran and the Middle East!

Continue reading “Communist Party of Iran (MLM): “Prepare to bury the Islamic Republic!””

Thoughts on the RCP Program

Statement of Revolutionary Initiative

Introduction

This document is a summation of our current assessment of the program of the Revolutionary Communist Party. It arises out of a series of discussions carried out within Revolutionary Initiative and with comrades from the RCP.

Our assessment must begin with the recognition that the purpose of Revolutionary Initiative is the formation of a single genuine Communist Party in Canada and that the RCP is currently the most advanced Party-building project in this country. It is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, is sincerely committed to the revolutionary transformation of Canadian society and has overall made a positive contribution to the movement for revolution in Canada. As Maoists, we must analyse their program carefully, clearly assess it’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, and identify where our understanding of Canadian society and the path to revolution differs. Only in this way may we develop a better understanding of our own line, potential barriers to unity that must be overcome, and areas of study that require greater investigation. We must do this in the spirit of comradeship and revolutionary humility, with the understanding that in the end it will be the masses who decide which line is correct.

This assessment will take the form of a section by section analysis of the RCP program.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the RCP Program”

As Crisis Advances, So Will Movement for Revolution

Statement of Revolutionary Initiative.

Global capitalism has entered a crisis of historical levels, the worst seen since the financial collapse that lead to the Great Depression. This crisis has already resulted in widespread production slowdowns, a freeze in capital investment, job losses, and an increase in the oppression and exploitation of the proletariat world-wide. What sets this recession apart from the usual cyclical crises produced by capitalism is not only its severity, but it’s origins. Unlike previous bubble collapses such as the dot-com crash of the 1990s this crisis is occurring in the very heart of the imperialist system, within monopoly finance capital. It has begun to spread outward to infect other areas of the economy and will result in widespread destruction of the means of production as plants in various industries scale back production or close shop entirely, as well as an acceleration of the process of capital concentration in the hands of the surviving monopolies.

These developments have proven the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding of the moribund nature of the capitalist system. Finance capital, the dominant faction of the imperialist ruling class, has used its monopoly position to heavily distort the overall economy, greatly increasing the anarchy of production in the system as a whole. They were able to heavily concentrate capital in their hands, using it to create a speculative bubble detached from the real economy or any legitimate measure of value and drawing capital away from productive sectors of the economy. This reliance on speculative bubbles arises out of the stagnancy of the imperialist system, with rates of profit from productive investment on a continuous decline.

Continue reading “As Crisis Advances, So Will Movement for Revolution”