Nepal is headed once again for more civil strife after what seemed to be an end to a decade-long insurgency of that country’s Maoist fighters. The latest political crisis for the Maoists is that they demanded that Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resign, which he did on June 30, and that a new national government be formed, headed by them. Yet, a new government will likely confront more problems because the Nepali Congress Party, second largest party after the Maoists are aiming to take the former Prime Minister’s place so that they would head the new government. The rank and file Maoists must be asking themselves, “This is it. Slogging it out in the highlands and forests for ten years has produced a resounding defeat of the prime minister?” Yes, this is indeed all that has happened. This resignation will not alleviate the suffering of the majority of the population, nor will it allow any increased political participation by the majority of the Nepalese people.
These glaring political deficiencies are all due to the incorrect political perspectives mapped out by the Maoist leadership in Nepal. Prachanda, or Puspa Kamal Dahal, the former guerrilla leader and now chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has adopted the thoroughly discredited theory of the two-stage revolution wherein the task of the party is to fight for the bourgeois democratic revolution, which maintains the subordination of working peoples’ interests to those of the capitalists. Then, after 50 years or so, they will commence with the communist revolution. This two-stage theory was the theory of the Menshevik faction of the Russian social democratic party, leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917. First they would collaborate with the capitalist party to defeat czarist feudalism; then only much later would the socialist revolution come up for possible consideration. It turned out, though, that the capitalists feared the workers and peasants much more than they feared the czar, and they became an obstacle to pursuing a path of a successful revolution. The Bolshevik Party always organized workers independently of the capitalist parties because they had the perspective of overthrowing capitalism by having all political power reside in the hands of working people. Mao, on the other hand, led a peasant war in economically backward China with this same perspective of “two stages.” Yet even he was forced to advocate the expropriation of the capitalists, after much hesitation, so that the revolution could be successful.
All revolutions throughout the twentieth century have disproved the notion that there must be some form of capitalist political interval in less developed countries before the social revolution that brings workers to power. Yet, the Nepalese Maoists are sliding down the same slippery two-stage slope into a quagmire that could spell political disaster. They are busy wrangling with the other capitalist parties in an undemocratic “parliament” while their valiant guerrilla fighters are languishing in internment camps overseen by the United Nations. After years of armed struggle they’ve managed to convene a shabby assembly, which isn’t even pretending to enact any major reforms. The rank and file Nepalese workers and farmers deserve better. The ranks of the Maoists have to learn the lessons of history and adopt the political perspective for economically underdeveloped countries worked out by the Bolshevik revolutionary, Leon Trotsky. That is, if they wish to have any success at all, they will be compelled to adopt the theory of Permanent Revolution. The key point is that socialist revolution is the immediate point on the agenda because that is the only way to bring workers to power so as to settle any unresolved issues of land tenure as well as workers control of the economy and political democracy. Haggling and horse-trading with the decrepit capitalist parties in the parliament will simply not suffice. Workers themselves must take state power. After this is done they can link up their revolution with those struggling in other countries. The national revolution can then become connected with the international revolution.
As it is now, the worker and peasant fighters have been rendered harmless by being disarmed by the imperialist agency of the United Nations, which Lenin could have called a den of thieves, as they watch a galaxy of political nonentities change seats in the government.
The Maoist guerrilla army won’t even be allowed to merge with the national army, because the generals fear revolutionary contagion. They are to be disarmed and excluded. And Chairman Prachanda can write that sentence on his political epitaph: “disarmed and excluded.” That’s how the capitalists see the situation. It’s high time the masses who follow the Maoists learn the revolutionary lessons of history. In May, the Maoists shut the country down with an imposing general strike. With the correct perspective a general strike could work well to the advantage of the workers revolution. Stop the horse-trading. All power to the workers and peasants!åç