A bad article and an incorrect critique : jofu

(We got this article very late. But we appreciate the view expressed in this article.  We know, these days, the peace talk is going on between the Communist Party of the Philippines and Duterte government and the Philippine peoples are in the street demanding the ”Free all Political Prisoners”. Not only this, just we have gone through a news from rappler.com that, ”The 5-month-old ceasefire between the Philippine military and the New People’s Army (NPA) is in danger of collapse as communist rebels protest delays in the release of over 400 political prisoners and alleged military advances in areas they claim to occupy.”

It is the matter to note.

We Nepalese people have already got the bitter experience of so called  peace talk-peace process. As Comrade Jofu has mentioned: ”The question of “Negotiation as a Tactic” worries us especially in the face of the experiences of the International Communist Movement with the revolution in Nepal and its temporary liquidation.”

 Yes, without hesitation, we accept this correct analysis of Nepalese Maoist Movement. But we would like to say that we have bright side also. These days, we are doing our best effort to move the Nepalese Maoist Movement a head. )


A bad article and an incorrect critique

This text is an answer to the statement “Whose mask slips?”1 by Dan Borjal, the political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, dated the 2nd of July 2016, regarding the article “Die Maske rutscht”2 on Dem Volke Dienen, dated the 29th of June 2016. This text is a joint text by the authors of Dem Volke Dienen, who because of the seriousness of this topic came together and discussed and came to a mutual stance.

Introductorily it is necessary and correct to write some words about what Dem Volke Dienen is. We began our work “to provide information about the ideological and political development of the international revolutionary movements in the German-speaking countries for a broad public”3 on the 4th of July in 2014 with a Blog and the publication of news on a weekly basis. We developed Dem Volke Dienen from small to big and since the 16th of November 2015 we operate the website with daily news. Between the different authors, there exists a general ideological-political unity, but every comrade is personally responsible for their respective articles. It is not a question of security, but corresponds with the reality, that we wrote “The contents of the articles correlate to the opinions of the respective authors, if not stated otherwise.”4

The article “Die Maske rutscht” does not represent the common view of the authors of this response. We have conflicts of opinion with the Philippine comrades and disagree with many positions of the Communist Party of the Philippines. That concerns include among others the relations between the New Power in the People’s War, the stance on negotiations, questions of the front, especially the concretisation of the front in the cities, the participation of candidates in elections, the law-conformal work, and the understanding of Maoism. But the Philippine comrades are comrades in the same movement and we are in solidarity with their struggle, our criticism is developing in that sense.

 

Dem Volke Dienen is since more than two years now the only German-language web site, that continuously reports, from the standpoint of supporting the People’s War, about the Philippine revolution. 47 articles on different topics prove the support (by means of propaganda, moral and material support) of the dedicated work towards the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle on the Philippines by Dem Volke Dienen. Furthermore, there were a variety of events, as well as lots of Agitation and Propaganda, in which some of us were involved and which actually made the People’s War on the Philippines known among parts of the revolutionary and antifascist youth who hadn’t heard of it before.

The Philippine comrades wrote: “In its international work, the NDFP forms alliances with progressive forces around the world to build a broad international united front to oppose imperialism, especially its wars of aggression and plunder of the world’s resources. It also gives moral and concrete support based on its capabilities to anti-imperialist and democratic movements in other countries.”5 Sadly the NDFP just now, after over two years, got into some kind of contact with Dem Volke Dienen through their criticism. Before that the Philippine comrades never said a word about the work of Dem Volke Dienen.

It is true, what is being developed in the criticism of the spokesperson of the NDFP, that the article specifically lacks historical knowledge. The comrade who wrote the article, did so with a very superficial understanding of the process of the revolution on the Philippines and took his personal disappointment as his starting point. Also the manner in which Jose Maria Sison is attacked in the article and the speculations about his intentions or non-intentions are merely subjectivism and do not represent the attitude between comrades.

The criticism, that was developed amongst us in regards to this articles was very sharp. In its main issue it is however not the fault of a single person, but an expression of a shortage on our hand, that the author hadn’t had the necessary knowledge, due to it being about young people in a development process. We as the authors of Dem Volke Dienen take the joint responsibility and practice self criticism for the points mentioned.

It is correct and we have respect towards the tradition and the heroic sacrifices of the Philippine people and the Communist Party of the Philippines that is leading them in a People’s War. We welcome the stance against capitulation, that is expressed in the statement: “To throw away these revolutionary gains would be the height of lunacy! Nay, surrender would be a desecration of the sacrifices of the thousands of our revolutionary heroes and martyrs. The revolutionary movement would rightfully incur the wrath of the masses who have given their best sons and daughters to the struggle …”6

Nevertheless it would be a pragmatical point of view to raise the greatness of a party, the greatness of its history, the greatness of its victories or the greatness of their sacrifices to the criteria of truth. If that would have been so, the communists of the world would have never been able to develop criticism on the CPSU or on the CPCH after the revisionist coups. Khrushchev and Deng and those who followed them argued exactly that way.

In the statement it is explained: “If you are engaged in a real revolution and not just in revolutionary phrase-mongering, a favourite past-time of armchair revolutionaries, you can have a realistic assessment of what is achievable at any given time based on the concrete objective and subjective conditions and the balance of forces between revolution and counter-revolution.”7 The People’s War on the Philippines is, according to statements of the Philippine comrades in a stadium of the strategic defence. Per definition, and we amuse, with our limited knowledge about the Philippine revolution, that it is the case there, that revolutionary forces are weaker in the strategic defence than the reactionary forces. At the negotiation table one can only gain though, what has already been won on the battle field. In this sense, the Philippine comrades are entering negotiations with the old state from a position of weakness.

Regarding this, we want to speak about the question of Allende. Allende had not been the leader of a New Democratic state and even less a consequent fighter of his people. He was the head of a bureaucratic big landowner state. Whatever the motives were that he followed, MAINLY that was his role. Duerte can’t be anything else, whatever the “tests” of the peace negotiation result in. Leading the since 47 years heroically fighting people under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines into the state as a junior partner, to allegedly change the character of the state, would be exactly what the Philippine comrades say that they don’t do.

You say it is “peace negotiations”, not “negotiations for surrender” with the old state. Peace nevertheless means, that one prevails. In correlation of the forces if the strategic defence of the people’s war, this means that the counter revolutionary forces will prevail. What does one think is to be gained at the negotiation table? How could a “just” peace concrete itself? Will the old state give away parts of his territory? And would the revolutionary movement accept the division of the country under the given circumstances? Or is the basis the view or hope that the old state would allow his character to be negotiated away?

The four Departments offered by Duerte, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department Of Labour and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)8 are – despite of the current disharmonies, that had been foreseen by Sison – victories to be expected by a coalition government. Coalition governments have their specifics and we reaffirm, what Chairman Mao defined in “About the coalition government”. The masterly stipulated theses by Chairman Mao in this document are correct, but when it comes to the actual constitution of a coalition government the CPCh did not join it, instead won the victory in the civil war later on. Coalition governments existed for example in France or Italy. The French government of Charles de Gaulle formed in June 1944 in Algier, the “Gouvernement provisoire de la République française”, consisting out of the Communist Party of France, the social democratic SFIO, the Christian MRP and the “Radical Party”, already came to an end in the beginning of 1946. In Italy the CLN, the committee for the national liberation, was founded in September 1943, consisting out of the liberals, the social democrats, the conservatives, the Partito d’Azione (Party of Action) and the Communist Party of Italy and constituted from June 1944 onwards the government. In 1947 the PCI was kicked out of the government. The experiences with both coalitions governments are similar, in the end they served the demobilisation of the working class, to direct the struggle into legal pathways and revisionism.

The question of “Negotiation as a Tactic” worries us especially in the face of the experiences of the International Communist Movement with the revolution in Nepal and its temporary liquidation. There the argument has been brought forth, that the negotiations are only a tactic, to harden the front. Three demands were raised: A conference, a provisional constitution and government, polls regarding the constituent meeting.9 The argument of Prachanda, to legitimize the negotiations as pure tactics, had been that the army would never accept the abolishment of the monarchy. In the moment where the People’s War was facing a leap and the ruling classes where really facing danger, there where ready to do everything to maintain the character of the old state. So, the “Maoists” became the most important maintainers of the old order. It must be remarked, that the Nepalese party indeed insisted that they hadn’t given away the weapons, since they had keys to the containers10 of the UNO in which the weapons were stored (on remote easily manageable places, guarded by UNO staff with military background and Gurkhas, former mercenaries of the Indian and British army), ultimately though not the weapons – which shouldn’t be given away under any circumstances – but the line of the party decide everything.

Regarding this, it is correct and necessary to get on a special form of imperialist intervention. As substitution for the “evil” Yankee imperialism, the hated deadly foe of the people of the world, “good” imperialists like the Norwegian stepped into the breach, with their so-called “Non Governmental Organizations” in order to liquidate the revolutionary movement with their “peace and reconciliation projects. The Norwegian imperialism had been and still is active in the so called “peace processes” all over the world: In Palestine, in Ski Lanka, in Mali, in Guatemala, on the Balkans, in South Africa, in Sudan, in Colombia, naturally also in Nepal and on the Philippines. They say about themselves: “there are many Norwegians, that take part in the UN-Delegations and NGOs. Also Norway is a country with the highest number of missionary per inhabitant. There is a lot of work, a policy of compromises and of humanitarian work”.

The People’s War is a protracted war, which depends on many things, from the inner as well as from the outer conditions, with the inner being the main ones. In the end, regarding the inner contradictions, the subjective factor, the stance of the revolutionaries themselves is deciding.

The comrades declared publicly at different occasions, that the strategic equilibrium will be archived in the near future. Should this last until the year 2019, the people’s war on the Philippines will have been in the strategic defence for 50 years. After half a century of People’s War we believe that it is neither inadequate nor arrogant to ask the Philippine comrades, if they have any kind of self critical reflection in regards to the strategy and tactics on the People’s War led by them.

In the statement the question of reforms is raised: “only infantile petty bourgeois revolutionists or Left ” philistines will reject any thought of reforms just because it does not fit into their narrow dogmatic understanding of Marxism as pure storm and thunder without any place for basic reforms before the revolutionary leap.”11 We think, that it is correct and necessary to make some general remarks to the relation People’s War – Reform. The armed struggle is not a struggle for the enforcement of reforms, but for the destruction of the old state. The struggle for the daily demands is to be developed in service of the struggle for the power. “… the purpose is to educate and organize the masses to raise their political consciousness … for the seizure of power …12 The fight for power is always the main issue. ”Everything is illusory except power”13 teaches us the great Lenin. That is not in any case a contradiction to the communist manifesto, that the spokesperson of the NDFP is referring to, “that the first step in the workers revolution is the raising of the proletariat to the ruling class, the struggle for democracy.14Relevant for that is the addition that Marx and Engels made in 1872: “One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that ”the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” 15 So, the armed struggle is the only means for the seizure of power, the only means to enforce the democratic revolution. For this one has to smash the old state and not change him through reforms. That would be “bourgeois reformism, or what they call “structural reform” as a substitute for proletarian revolution. .16 In our country the revisionist “German Communist Party” [“Deutsche Kommunistische Partei”] is the representative of such views such as the “anti-monopolistic transitions”17. In November 2006 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) published a declaration, in which those universal truths are being proven by one of the most massive revolutionary movements nowadays: “that there can be no genuine democracy in any country without the capture of state power by the proletariat and that the so-called multiparty democracy cannot bring any basic change in the lives of the people.”18 Such an alleged struggle for reforms doesn’t correspond in any way with Marxism, does not serve the revolution, but is a means to in fact liquidate the just struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In regards to the question of elections, we want to leave it at reaffirming the Marxist point of view, which is: Elections no! People’s War yes! Regarding this a citation from the document “Long live the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat!”: “In the past decades, many Communist Parties have participated in elections and parliaments, but none has set up a dictatorship of the proletariat by such means. Even if a Communist Party should win the majority in parliament or participate in the government, this would not mean any change in the character of bourgeois political power, still less the smashing of the old state machine. The reactionary ruling classes can proclaim the election null and void, dissolve the parliament or directly use violence to kick out the Communist Party. If a proletarian party does no mass work, rejects armed struggle and makes a fetish of parliamentary elections, it will only lull the masses and corrupt itself. The bourgeoisie buys over a Communist Party through parliamentary elections and turns it into a revisionist party, a party of the bourgeoisie – are such cases rare in history?19

Finally it is to be remarked, that peace negotiations, the alleged “struggle for reforms”, to change the character of the state, as well as the participation in elections divert from the real goal. It diverts the Masses away from the struggle. It diverts from the democratic revolution, the disposal of the three mountains – imperialism, semi-feudalism, bureaucratic capitalism -, from socialism and from communism, which is the golden goal for communists, for which they give their lives and all their strength. We are certain, that the people of the Philippines and the Philippine comrades will achieve that goal, no matter how many bends in the road there are and we will continue our efforts, considering our limited possibility, to support them.

Footnotes

1http://www.ndfp.org/whose-mask-slips/

2http://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/asien/884-die-maske-rutscht

3http://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/about-en

4ibid

5Liberation International, 30th October 2006

6http://www.ndfp.org/whose-mask-slips/

7ibid

8ABS-CBN News: „Duerte offers Cabinet posts to Communist Party“, 16.05.2016

9Negotiation Team of the CPN (Maoist): ”An Executive Summary of the Proposal Put Forward by CPN (Maoist) for the Negotiations”, 27th April 2003

10http://www.dw.com/de/maoisten-und-regierung-schlie%C3%9Fen-friedensabkommen-f%C3%BCr-nepal/a-2230436

11http://www.ndfp.org/whose-mask-slips/

12“The Differences between Comrade Togliatti and us”, Renmin Ribao, 31.12.1962

13Lenin: “Denouement is at Hand”

14Marx, Engels: “Manifesto of the Communist Party”

15Marx, Engels: Preface to the 1872 German Edition of the ”Manifesto of the Communist Party”

16“The Differences between Comrade Togliatti and us”, Renmin Ribao, 31.12.1962

17See Program of the DKP and various articles regarding it in their newspaper “Unsere Zeit”

18Communist Party of India (Maoist), Central Committee: “A New Nepal can emerge only by smashing the reactionary state! Depositing arms of the PLA under UN supervision would lead to the disarming of the masses!!”, 13.11.2006

19”Long live the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat!”

31 July 2016

 

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