More on collusion and misdirection

Returning to a theme that continues to be a source of confusion and contention.

The British version is of a turning point during the early 1980s when the Republican leadership accepts that a military victory was no longer possible, and peace talks could begin.

Subsequent elaboration is that the republican movement was defeat militarily from within by the use of informers and politically by British political manipulation to force the peace process.

 Let’s break it down to three components, and set aside interesting consideration of state collusion activities and intercollegiate security conflicts which remain out of the public realm, and look at some inconvenient truths to factor into this scenario:

  • the back channel
  • military defeat
  • achievement

Early on in “The Troubles discreet channels were kept intact: the British state, far from ‘never negotiating with terrorists’, was privately talking with the Irish insurgent forces from  at least 1972. [i] While publicly claiming to be on the perpetual cusp of a victory over the insurgency, a policy option of negotiated peace was privately pursued by successive governments in London from the 1970s onwards.

Now clearly known, such “back-channel” communications were activate throughout the long war as talks punctuated the on-going military campaign, coming to the fore again in 1974-76 and 1980-83 and  the British sought a new round of secret discussions in the summer of 1990.

The communications between the Republican Movement and the authorities in Britain, both in person and via third-parties, continued throughout the 1990s, including the return to war in February 1996 and the final ceasefire in July 1997 (still negotiating the actual cessation terms until a formal announcement by the Irish Republican Army in September 2005).

After the initial military engagement, the failure of colonial-tested repression to extinguish the insurgency, the sustained armed resistance was a fact of life, contained within the abnormal Direct Rule from London backed by an army of occupation. In transmitting the idea it was a ‘law and order’ issue the political causes were side-lined. There were few public admissions along the way: in December of 1989 by the then secretary of state for “Northern Ireland”, Peter Brooke, in which he accepted that it was “…difficult to envision a military defeat” of the IRA. More often was the posturing associated with Roy Mason (1924-2015) the Labour Party’s  secretary of state for Defence and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the 1970s.In 1979 he confidently predicted in the media that the IRA was “weeks away from defeat”.

The struggle in the Six Countries as an insurgency reflected the domestic social conditions, and shaped by a patriotic element, as the guerrilla struggle was attuned to the issues specific characteristics where the existence of the state was at question.

Significant as that was, the character of the armed struggle did not take on those of a protracted people’s war and the stalemate attained in decades of struggle probably the limit of what the guerrilla mode of struggle could achieve. In the absence of the prospect of military victory (by either side of the conflict) an alternative approach and more nuanced strategy did emerge.

It was predicted on many occasions between 1969 and 1997 that the Irish Republican Army was on the precipice of defeat, only to be proven wrong: despite all evidence to the contrary, a British narrative emerged that the Long War (1966 – 2005) came to an end with the “defeat” of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

However the failure of the British state to impose a military solution only left the way for a negotiated resolution. This option became a possibility as prominent elements in the Republican leadership had come to a conclusion that Gerry Adams voiced in the autumn of 1984:

“Basically, I think there is a stalemate situation” [ii]

There is strong evidence that the peace process was emerging well before the early 1990s. This suggests that the negotiations grew from a situation of stalemate rather than defeat. It is likely that Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin leader, was crafting a “dual track” refinement of the armed struggle from the early to mid-1980s. The republican choreograph peace strategy occurred in real time, and open diplomacy through Sinn Fein publication and interviews: early on, Adams signal that

“We will have to come to an arrangement which won’t necessarily fulfil the republican objectives” meaning the end of partition.[iii]

Supporters of the Republican struggle observed at the time of the first ceasefire:

“Since the 1988 discussion document “A Scenario for Peace”, the architect of the peace process has been the Republican movement. The British government has embarked upon a process which they will be unable to control. The ceasefire represents the beginning of another phase of struggle, and not the end of “The Troubles”. It is clear that the impetus for peace will not stumble because of Republican action. The responsibility to fail to grasp the opportunity created by the republican movement will lay squarely with either Dublin or London. Dublin’s role may be undermined by the fragility of its own ruling coalition. London can reject the process and retreat to the failed practices of the past that could not extinguish the most sustained insurgency in the industrialised world.” [iv]

Throughout British governments pursuing behind-the-scenes talks with the insurgency or its representatives. Key political and military leaders in Britain had privately concluded that the Irish insurgency was too deeply embedded to be overcome by the United Kingdom’s counterinsurgency policies. The occasion admission did surface to signal the thinking that was shaping policy options:

”In no way, can or will the Provisional Irish Republican Army ever be defeated militarily.”

This judgement from Sir James M. Glover, the former Commander-in-Chief of the UK Land Forces, to TV journalist Peter Taylor in a documentary first shown on February the 21st 1988, repeated a secret assessment that he had made ten years earlier for the Defence Intelligence Staff called Northern Ireland: Future Terrorist Trends.

Far from being on the cusp of defeat in the Nineties, the IRA was operating on a sustainable level as widely understood by General Sir John Wilsey, the General Officer Commanding the UK Forces in the Six Counties, in a “depressingly realistic assessment” of the Irish Republican Army:

“…defeat of the IRA is not on the horizon while current security policies are maintained.

[it is] …better equipped, better resourced, better led, bolder and more secure against our penetration than at any time before. They are an absolutely formidable enemy. The essential attributes of their leaders are better than ever before. Some of their operations are brilliant. If we don’t intern its a long haul.

The government knows it is up against not a bunch of evil, psychopathic criminals, as its propaganda has tried to suggest, but a highly disciplined and political, motivated guerrilla army.”  [v]

And indeed the Irish Republican Army, despite dissident splits, emerge largely undefeated from decades of conflict with the British. The signing of the multi-stranded Belfast Agreement of 1998 by a Labour administration twenty years later gave lie to those knowingly false claim.

The armistice broke down on the 9th of February 1996 as the IRA launched a new military offensive in the occupied north-east of Ireland and in Britain. Despite the seventeen month duration of the truce the insurgents proved themselves to be more than capable of returning to war.

There were strikes against major economic targets in the UK , the achilles ’ heel of the British state, in April 1992 with a devastating attack on the City of London’s financial district (the Baltic Exchange bombing). Behind-the-scenes negotiations, accelerated by a new Labour Party government in Britain under Tony Blair, quickly resulted in a deal which led to the final IRA ceasefire of July 20th 1997, as the insurgency displayed its ability to turn on and off their operations at will.

The outcome of the peace process was the multiparty and inter-governmental Belfast or Good Friday Agreement reached on the 10th of April 1998.

Accounts from inside from George Mitchell, Jonathan Powell and Mary Daly, the numerous academic and journalist commentators are all testimony to the negotiation of a hard won agreement that set the framework for the establishment of “normal” bourgeois contested politics.

While neither of the main parties to the conflict achieved their primary aims, proponents of the defeat thesis try to defend their claim by arguing that a ”draw” or ”stalemate” in the conflict between the British state and the Irish Republican Army represents the ”effective defeat” of the insurgents because they did not achieve their objective: a 32 County Republic within a reunited Ireland. Arguably, all the parties to the Good Friday Agreement were ”defeated” because none of them achieved their stated or long-term objectives (for example unionists or the British hardly wanted ”terrorists in government”,). The defeat thesis tends to be advocated by those who believe that the only choice was between defeat and victory and, therefore, encourage the escalation of violence to achieve the latter.

     In reality the British military in 1969-1970 had the intention of crushing the Republican Movement. From the mid-1970s, the British state wanted to contain IRA activity and Sinn Féin support to such an extent that republicans would be unable to significantly impact normal political and socio-economic life. The British sought an “acceptable level of violence”, whereby the IRA would either give up or join a peace settlement over which they had little influence. Yet it emerged thirty-six years later with its formerly dismissed enemy acting on an equal footing with the government in London.

As argued by Niall Ó Dochartaigh, the persistence of the IRA’s campaign alongside Sinn Féin’s sizeable minority of the Northern nationalist electoral mandate meant that the British and Irish governments, unionists and the SDLP had to involve republicans in the peace process if they wanted political stability. The IRA and Sinn Féin leadership agreed to a peace settlement because whilst the IRA could continue causing a persistent and disruptive level of armed activity, they lacked the political support necessary to achieve all their objectives by 1998.  [vi]

The armed struggle in reaching a stalemate had stalled. In a pattern familiar in Irish history physical force had reached an impasse in that its resilience could not be extended from its level of defensive resistance and move on to offensive to achieve its aims. The limited political victories could now be consolidated and built upon. The time was to talk.

Looking at it the security forces certainly played their role in containing the Republican threat but it was the important role played by politicians and others involved in complex and morally difficult political negotiations and diplomacy that more convincingly explains the success of the peace process.

The post-justification that political ends could not be obtained by violent means was true of both sides; recognition of that led both sides to the path that led to the Good Friday Agreement.  This is why the peace process did not represent the IRA’s surrender but involved tortuous negotiations, morally difficult compromises and a high degree of uncertainty as to the intentions of the Republican leadership and its ability to deliver their movement.

Achievement ~ Yet the British are still there.

The dismantling of the original Orange northern state, for those republicans whose background and history was militaristic, was an insufficient reason to agree to the Good Friday Agreement and suspend, and eventually end, the armed struggle. Tactically, for strategic reasons, it had long been the position that armed struggle had no part in the republican struggle in the 26 counties, so its absence in the Six counties was also a political judgement.

Adams had stated the bottom line that there was “one simple demand of the British and that is that they should withdraw. Once the British have indicated that they are going to withdraw, representatives of the Irish people should get together, free of Britain to work out constitutional and financial arrangements…..This is going to be a long struggle.” [vii] 

A decade later, the 1994 GFA marked the start of a new phase of the process towards the completion of the national democratic stage achieving the basic demands of the Civil Rights movement that sparked “the Troubles”, the demand for one person one vote, the demand for the ending of the Special Powers Act and the effective dismantling of the sectarian Orange state. That achieved reset the political agenda that twenty-five years on seems a stalled process.

            “Ending the orange state was a significant achievement but something that fell short of a socialist republic” [viii]

The unfinished business thesis is essentially correct: the so-called “Peace-settlement” left the Six Counties and partition of the isle of Ireland intact. The Republican goal of a United Ireland still to be achieved.

Politically, it is hard to argue that Republicans achieved much except an end to military conflict and the means by which, sometime in the future, a unitary state could be peacefully achieved. Except, the Orange terror state has been totally and utterly destroyed.

The Northern Ireland insurgency originated in the anger of a disadvantaged people living in a discriminatory ”Orange State”. The political positions of “Brits Out” and “A democratic socialist republic” were in some strands of Republican thinking and demands that came to dominate the insurgency propaganda. The multiparty settlement of 1998 grew out of a military stalemate between the Irish Republican Army and the British state forces – military and Police.

The “Peace-settlement” zero-sum game settlement that everyone on both sides could live with. It has avoided returning to the bloodshed, it did bring some political reforms, a political space in which the Unionists were forced to behave with some basic decency, and shared power. But it was not a permanent solution. It was a staging post as built into the agreement was the option of the Treaty signatories to call a referendum on re-unification. Whereas a slow transition to reunification is probably not what the struggle was about for many, it did split asunder the Unionist veto that Partition was irreversible – and permanent. As a republican blogger argues:

     A stalemate by a small non-conventional force 500 strong against a conventional force 20,000 strong after twenty years of fighting is a victory of sorts. Yes, you make some good discussion points. A unitary 32 Co. Socialist Republic was not achieved. (P)RM compromised considerably on this. But so did the UK. If reunification takes place in the next decade or so then I suspect a 100 years hence popular culture will be talking in the same terms about the Long War as the War of Independence. Making the British triple losers in terms of the 1966-2005 conflict.[ix]

Where was the military victory over Irish republicanism?

The self-serving British Army assessment seen in the document, Operation Banner, An Analysis of Military Operations in Northern Ireland, an overview of the counterinsurgency war in Ireland, was intended for internal distribution among the military and government, but, after a request under the Freedom of Information Act made public in July 2007. It argued that the British Forces had defeated the IRA’s “insurgency” between 1971 and 1972 while accepting that it had failed to defeat the IRA’s “terrorism” between 1972 and 1997.The media soundbite was: Army concedes it did not win the battle against the IRA.

The BBC report was heading: Army paper says IRA not defeated [x]

     An internal British army document examining 37 years of deployment in Northern Ireland concedes it did not win the battle against the IRA.

It describes the IRA as “a professional, dedicated, highly skilled and resilient force”, while loyalist paramilitaries and other republican groups are described as “little more than a collection of gangsters”.

It concedes for the first time that it did not win the battle against the IRA – but claims to have “shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence”.

This recalibration of the mission had moved from defeat to containment as if, to use General Glover’s words

“The Army’s role has been now for some time… to help create the conditions whereby a full democratic, peaceful, political solution can be achieved”

What is missing from this suggested push ‘for politics replacing the gun’ argument is how the publically acknowledged co-option of pro-British terrorist gangs as part its counterinsurgency campaign, or indeed the use of death squads, torture-centres, interment, expulsion orders, media censorship and the whole paraphernalia of the “Dirty War”, chimes with the official military view of its political role in the Troubles in Ireland.

An alternative tack was employed to salvage the myth of the IRA’s Military Defeat as assertions emerged that the IRA was ”defeated” by the British Intelligence and Security Forces emerged in the early Nineties and that the peace process was a matter of negotiating their surrender.[xi]

COLLUSION

According to this view, the IRA surrendered because of the effectiveness of the British ”dirty war” against them. The dirty war consisted of a ”shoot to kill” policy against the IRA, collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries in the targeting of Republicans.

Far from the official narrative that the state/police etc were neutral, standing aloft  protecting all from civil war , the British state was actively helping unionist terror groups target Catholics and republicans while  condemning unionist terrorism .

At the same time as they were assisting unionist terror gangs, they claimed to have their own agents within republican groups. And inevitably these agents were often involved in ‘acts of terror’ by their own hand. In Derry city, self-confessed agent Raymond Gilmour set up weapons seizures and failed operations. He also gave evidence against over 30 people arrested by the mid-1980s during a supergrass trial, evidence which was later found by the judge to be unreliable.

The body of evidence both anecdotal and official disclosure is that various British military/ policing and intelligence agencies were actively assisting unionist terrorism (the extent of that assistance we may never know).

One example, UVF commander Trevor Wilson alias John Black’s story – confirms both Republican claims that the British ran Loyalist Death Squads, as well as Loyalist claims that their activities were fully supported by the British state.[xii]

As observed by Cheryl Lawther, lecturer in Criminology, Queen’s University Belfast:

“While the depth and extent of such collusion is unknown, the available evidence makes for uncomfortable reading. In 2003 Sir John Stevens reported that “informants and agents were allowed to operate without effective control and to participate in terrorist crimes”. Former Police Ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan, found that collusion between state security forces and informers was “systemic” and that due process was undermined to protect informers suspected of murder.”[xiii]

The claim that the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army was eventually defeated through the combined efforts of Britain’s military, paramilitary and intelligence services, suing for peace in the early 1990s relies on massaging the historical record, and over stressing the effectiveness of counter-insurgency to conclude that the IRA were crushed thanks to the Supergrass informer programme and the penetration of the IRA by informers at the highest levels. The frenzy around media speculation of two senior republicans as informers for British intelligence in 2005 led to a popular perception that the IRA had ‘lost’ the intelligence war and was pressurised into peace.

Reinforcement of this impression came from the Republican side, as there are also republican dissidents opposed to the peace process. These have attacked the Sinn Fein leadership for betraying the IRA volunteers who were killed during the conflict and the cause of Irish unity, accusing them deception and compromises with the British and Irish governments. Dissidents claim that the British so effectively penetrated the IRA and Sinn Féin leadership that the Republican movement effectively became controlled by the British state. Persistent high-profile IRA operations in England by the 1990s[xiv] , alongside the landing of most Libyan weapons shipments in the late 1980s, suggests the IRA leadership was not infiltrated to any significant extent. Although if so, what is the explanation for IRA operations such as attacks upon Downing St (1991), IRA bombings targeted Belfast city centre once again between 1991 to 1993, with attacks damaging the Europa Hotel, Crown Bar and Grand Opera House. There were high profile attacks on the Baltic Exchange (1992),Shankill Road (1993), Bishopsgate (1993), Heathrow (1994), the 1996 Manchester bombing and Canary Wharf (1996). Were the supposed legions of british agents inactive around these events?

The mischievous myth of a “defeated IRA” sought to replace the more accurate view of the peace process that the British government and the IRA fought each other to a stalemate and that a power sharing government resulted from negotiations with what was for decades were portrayed as the political wing of the ”terrorists”.

Professor Paul Dixon (Kingston University) explored the supposed “defeat” of the Irish Republican Army in a 2012 article, Did the British Intelligence and Security services defeat the IRA?. He argued

  • The integrity of the Republican Movement had been threatened by informers and spies since the earliest days of the war but it had successfully adopted countermeasures against this vulnerability in the 1970s and ’80s.More realistically the majority of the intelligence gathered by the UK Forces on the Irish Republican Army since the 1980s had come through electronic surveillance and not spies or informers. Agents and informers may have disrupt day-to-day IRA operations in certain areas at certain times, however alleged Belfast informers had little access to rural IRA units. Rural units were semi-autonomous and somewhat immune from outside interference. The risk of traitors had done little to curtail the insurgency from running highly effective operations right up to its final ceasefire in 1997. Indeed the IRA had marked up several remarkable intelligence successes of their own, including busting open the covert operations of the Security Service or MI5 in Europe. In the words of the 2012 report by Sir Desmond da Silva in 1989, the IRA was able to maintain a “…number of sources working for the security forces in some capacity” throughout the conflict.
  • The 1978 secret army report accepted the effectiveness of the IRA and was doubtful that it could be overcome. There was acceptance that the substantial rearmament programme undertaken by the Irish Republican Army in 1985-86, with several tonnes of imported munitions secreted in purpose-built arms dumps and bunkers across Ireland, was enough to sustain the “campaign of terrorism” for another two decades.

Thomas Leahy re-evaluates whether British intelligence force the IRA into peace in his study, The Intelligence War against the IRA. Expanding upon  Dr Thomas Leahy’s earlier thesis (click to read), he challenges the myth of a British intelligence victory and finds it wanting. In fact a host of other factors, primarily in Ireland and primarily political, along with a confluence of changes in London and Washington, outweighed any notions of British super-spies changing the course of the conflict. Despite the revelations of many IRA informers, evidence suggests political factors played a greater role in producing the peace process.

  • By the 1990s the resilience of the IRA was a crucial factor encouraging the British government to include Provisional Republicans in a political settlement. The cumulative economic, commercial and security costs of the attacks in England in the 1990s was certainly in the billions of pounds sterling, threatening London’s powerful position as a world financial centre. The counter-thesis would be that the propaganda losses were even higher giving the Republican movement leverage in subsequent talks. Irish republican leaders sought to combine armed and political pressure to bring the British government and other conflict participants back to the negotiating table. Thereafter, republicans would try to maximise concessions towards their objectives.
  • Leahy’s research provides three main considerations. First, the IRA’s small cell-structure in Belfast and Derry city provided additional security after 1975. Second, most rural IRA units remained elusive and difficult to infiltrate. Finally, the IRA leadership, like most General Staff was not hands-on operational and remained isolated from the rest of the movement, limiting infiltration opportunities.  

In the murky world of intelligence, claim and counter claim are battered out in public in newspapers, books and even court. But not all of it supports the conspiracy claims:

“I attach no weight to the evidence given by Ian Hurst to this Tribunal…. I simply did not find Mr Hurst to be a credible witness.”  [xv]

     The English-born soldier, Ian Hurst served as a lance corporal with the Intelligence Corps from late 1981 to 1983, working primarily as a clerical officer, then as a data “collator” for the Force Research Unit (FRU) providing him with limited access to information gathered by the UK forces in the territory, including the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s controversial Special Branch squad.

A second deployment to the Six Counties in 1987, serving as a sergeant in County Fermanagh. During his final years in Ireland he was seconded to a regional wing of the FRU, allegedly working as a “handler” for undercover agents. In 1991 he was assigned with a section of the Ministry of Defence in London, before applying for early retirement in the same year.

By 1999, writing under the pseudonym byline of “Martin Ingram” sensationalist press stories appeared, however it was not until 2006 that, contrary to his earlier stories, double-agents and informers in the ranks of the Irish insurgency were highlighted as crucial weapon in the British arsenal all along.  Along with journalist Greg Harkin, he published Stakeknife: Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland, although it equally covers the notorious FRU. Regarded by some as less a whistleblowing exercise than an act of distraction and disruption. Like much of this ‘confessional literature’ reliant on the judgement of the truthfulness of Hurst’s accounts. Critical commentators conclude that Hurst/Ingram had exaggerated the importance his role and his level of knowledge and access to intelligence.

His account had a shifting degree of supposed collusion with ludicrous claims that one in every four for lower ranks and one in every two senior activists working as British spies. Another revision in 2012 led to the claim that “half” of the IRA’s seven-strong ruling Army Council in the ’90s was made up of double-agents. This at a time when British estimated the IRA had 200-250 volunteers engaged in attacks in the Six Counties and overseas. And an equal number involved in auxiliary and support tasks. The IRA outnumbered and out gunned by British army deployment. How would you prosecute a war with those numbers, the membership riddled with spies and informers, every operation compromised? Hurst’s allegations still form the basis of much speculation, not least about the motive behind his profitable account, and what part may be accurate and what fanciful if not deceptive.

REFERENCES


[i] The ‘White Fox’ blog , AN SIONNACH FIONN , an independent media website featuring Irish republican commentary compiled an impressive summary of such contacts and largely shapes the analysis herein. 

[ii] Irish Press September 20th 1984

[iii] Irish Times November 14th 1991

[iv] https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/uk.hightide/rcl-leaflet.htm

[v] The Times January 11th 1992

[vi] Quoted by Dr Thomas Leahy Twentieth Century British History, Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2015, Pages 122–146, https://doi.org/10.1093/tcbh/hwu026  Published:11 June 2014

[vii] Irish Press September 20 1984

[viii] Tommy Mc Kearney, The Provisional IRA from Insurrection to Parliament. Pluto Press p256

[ix] An Sionnach Fionn , April 3, 2017

[x] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6276416.stm

[xi] see John Bew, Martin Frampton and Inigo Gurruchaga’s book Talking to Terrorists [Hurst & Co Publishers 2009]

[xii] See   John Black, Killing for Britain Frontline Noir (2008); the CAINS ‘Collusion – Details of Source Material’; individual research such as https://www.papertrail.pro/where-was-mrf-when-mcgurks-bar-was-bombed/ and other disclosures far  too numerous to list.

[xiii] How much did British intelligence know about the IRA during the troubles?   https://theconversation.com/how-much-did-british-intelligence-know-about-the-ira-during-the-troubles-54197  February 5, 2016

[xiv] See Chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions (1990–99) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Provisional_Irish_Republican_Army_actions_(1990%E2%80%9399)

[xv] From the report of the Smithwick Tribunal, a judicial inquiry led by Judge Peter Smithwick (June 2011 – December 2013).

Swept under the carpet

The Catholic church and sexual abuses was the subject of a previous post discussed in relation to the film Spotlight and activities of Father Geoghan. The focus here is on the inactivity of the church in England and Wales which was subject to a major report issued in November 2020.

The extent of institutional failings by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales to protect children from sexual abuse was the subject of an investigation report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. https://www.iicsa.org.uk/ [i]

It drew on the Inquiry’s three case studies on Ampleforth and Downside Abbeys and their respective schools, Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School, and the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Between 1970 and 2015, the Catholic Church in England received more than 900 complaints involving over 3,000 instances of child sexual abuse against more than 900 individuals connected to the Church, including priests, monks and volunteers. In the same period, there were 177 prosecutions resulting in 133 convictions.

It is not just a historical problem. Since 2016, there have been more than 100 reported allegations each year. Across the entire period of nearly 50 years covered by this Inquiry, the true scale of sexual abuse of children is likely to have been much higher.

Its moral purpose was betrayed over decades by those in the Church who perpetrated this abuse and those who turned a blind eye to it. The Church’s neglect of the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of children and young people in favour of protecting its reputation was in conflict with its mission of love and care for the innocent and vulnerable.

The sexual offending involved acts of masturbation, oral sex, vaginal rape and anal rape. On occasions, it was accompanied by sadistic beatings driven by sexual gratification, and often involved deeply manipulative behaviour by those in positions of trust, who were respected by parents and children alike.

The failure to act decisively when the allegations were first raised consigned other children to the same fate. It permeated the responses of the Catholic Church with little accountability and sometimes active cover-up, until the Nolan report in 2001.

However little progress has been made to ensure that victims and survivors have access to the pastoral and therapeutic support, as the Church’s contact with some victims was characterised by a lack of empathy and compassion. Common to the American experience (and elsewhere) victims were met with grudging and unsympathetic attitude, suspects were moved from one institution to another – from parish to parish, abbey to abbey – with the receiving body not informed of the dangers posed by the individual being sent to them. Child abusers like Father James Robinson, Father David Pearce and Father Samuel Penney – had repeated accusations of having sexually abused children disregarded.

Some institutions and individuals in the Church failed to report allegations and concerns to police and statutory authorities as required. There were failures to consider the risks posed to children by perpetrators who were seen as colleagues, brethren and friends and not as sexual abusers of children.

In May 2019, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “We humbly ask forgiveness … for our slowness and defensiveness and for our neglect of both preventative and restorative actions”. During the final public hearing in November 2018, he apologised for the Church’s failings, noting that this was a source of “great sorrow and shame for me and, indeed I know, for the Catholic Church”. But there was no acknowledgement of any personal responsibility to lead or influence change preferring to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church.

This attitude transcend national boundaries as the report noted commenting on the lack of support and information when requested of the Papacy in Rome:

“The Holy See’s limited response on this matter manifestly did not demonstrate a commitment to taking action. Their lack of cooperation passes understanding.”

In its final review of the church, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) 162-page report said “the church’s neglect of the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children and young people in favour of protecting its reputation was in conflict with its mission of love and care for the innocent and vulnerable.”[ii]

Of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales: “There was no acknowledgment of any personal responsibility to lead or influence change. Nor did he demonstrate compassion towards victims in the recent cases which we examined.”

Members of the survivors group White Flowers Alba in the wake of the publication of the report called upon Cardinal Nichols and the present papal nuncio, Archbishop Adams, to “resign immediately… he has lost all moral authority and must go … This report once again demonstrates that the Catholic church is not a safe place for children.”

Not  just abuse of authority, crimes were committed

The sexual abuse of children involved instances of “masturbation, oral sex, vaginal rape and anal rape”. On occasions, the inquiry says, it was accompanied by “sadistic beatings driven by sexual gratification” as well as “deeply manipulative behaviour by those in positions of trust”.

One child estimated that between the ages of 11 and 15 he had been abused hundreds of times by a priest. “After each incident he was required to make confession, and the priest concerned made it plain that his sister’s place at a local convent school depended on his compliance,” the report says.

When complaints were made, the church invariably failed to support victims and survivors but took action to protect alleged perpetrators by moving them to a different parish. “Child sexual abuse,” the report says, “was swept under the carpet.”

“The fact is Nichols is a serial protector of paedophiles and he is the person that you should least expect it from. The head of a church should have the greatest morals of all but instead they were sending paedophiles to other areas of the country – and America – in an attempt to cover the abuse up.”

Prof Alexis Jay, the chair of the inquiry, said: “For decades, the Catholic church’s failure to tackle child sexual abuse consigned many more children to the same fate. It is clear that the church’s reputation was valued above the welfare of victims, with allegations ignored and perpetrators protected. Even today, the responses of the Holy See appear at odds with the pope’s promise to take action on this hugely important problem.” [iii]

Responding to calls for Nichols’ departure, a church spokesperson said the cardinal would not be resigning following the inquiry’s criticisms because he was “determined to put it right”. In accordance with Vatican rules, Nichols wrote to the Holy See in the run-up to his 75th birthday, to offer his resignation. Pope Francis had asked him to continue as a cardinal, the spokesperson said.

Pope Francis has made a number of public statements condemning the scourge of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church worldwide. Given the supernatural moral claims and celibacy myths of the church, the main canonical crime in child sexual abuse cases should not be expressed as crime of adultery but as a crime against the child.

Independent of the report from Britain’s  Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Vatican took the extraordinary step of publishing its two-year investigation into the disgraced American ex-Cardinal McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019 after the Vatican determined that years of rumours that he was a sexual predator were true. He was the first cardinal to resign from the College of Cardinals because of claims of sexual abuse.

McCarrick had a “proclivity for young boys”

McCarrick, 90, was defrocked by Francis last year after decades of allegations that the Church’s envoy had sexually molested adults as well as children. McCarrick is said to have ‘shared a bed with young adult men in the Bishop’s residence in Metuchen and Newark’ and ‘shared a bed with adult seminarians at this beach house on the New Jersey shore’

  • One alleged victim describes how McCarrick ‘told me how everyone knows him and how powerful he was’. He said: ‘The archbishop kept saying ‘Pray for your poor uncle.” 
  • A former altar boy came forward in 2017 alleging that McCarrick groped him when he was a teenager during preparations for Christmas Mass in 1971 and 1972 in New York.

Pope John Paul II, who was named a saint in 2014, knew of the extensive sex abuse allegations against American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, but still promoted him to archbishop in Washington DC, a Vatican investigation has found. American bishops sanitized reports of what they knew and all but ensured that warnings would arrive at the Vatican unsubstantiated or dismissible.  Pope Benedict XVI was portrayed as trying to handle the cardinal quietly and out of the public spotlight, and Pope Francis as assuming that his successors had made the right judgments.

The Washington Post observed:

The Vatican’s report amounts to a stunning play-by-play of the kind of systemic failure that the Catholic Church normally keeps under wraps, describing how McCarrick amassed power and prestige in the face of rumors, and sometimes written evidence, about his sexual misconduct with seminarians, priests and teenage boys.”[iv]

With such news there are those who are shocked, saddened and angered, by the disclosures but it is harder to be scandalized by what has been an all too frequent revelation that in terms of organised religion, it is the organisation that retains the precedence. Worldwide responses to disclosures about sexual abuse have been characterised by a failure to support victims and survivors in stark contrast to the positive action taken to protect alleged perpetrators and the reputation of the Church.


[i]  An equally scathing report had been published , The Anglican Church ;Safeguarding in the Church of England and the Church in Wales in October 2020.

[ii] Owen Bowcott and Harriet Sherwood, Child sexual abuse in Catholic church ‘swept under the carpet’, inquiry finds Leader of church in England and Wales refusing to resign despite damning IICSA report. The Guardian Online 10 Nov 2020 

[iii] – Owen Bowcott and Harriet Sherwood 2020

[iv] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/vatican-mccarrick-sexual-abuse/2020/11/10/c92de382-2045-11eb-ad53-4c1fda49907d_story.html

Dirty War (2)

Remember people are always telling stories. In conversations we recount what has happened at work, to friends, something that was in the news, idle gossip, and the car that cut us up. In the details of the lives we speak of a wide arching narrative is created full of colour, incidents and values. It is a way of understanding what is going on around us, and in that narrative we can place ourselves. So telling stories is an important social and personal function in our lives. And we listen to others stories. Those multitudes of stories weave into creating a wider world, and influencing those narratives affects how individuals response to the world around them as we communicate ideas and values in the cumulative tales we tell. You can plant seeds or reinforce perceptions in the words you use and in the tales you choose to tell.

Murky allegations abound, and it is not unknown for British intelligence to use agents of influence to undermine the republican movement. The afterlife of this activity is seen in memoirs and accounts of the war in Ireland, especially those around the covert war as discussed in previous postings.

Bleedin’ obvious, you might say and still when you see it in action: the cynical manipulation attempted in a single story, it blares out at you and a tried, almost complacent response of “fake news” seems an inadequate response as the status quo propaganda rolls on.

Internet postings feed speculation of motives and cause, raising charges of little piece of history rewriting with  conspiracy theories thriving about individuals republican volunteers working for Special Branch and British military intelligence providing information targeting the organisation and its members.

Adding to this litany is the regurgitation of claims that Gerry Adams was an MI5 informer raised in Undercover War: Britain’s Special Forces and Their Battle Against the IRA, by Harry McCallion, (John Blake 2020) basing his astonishing claim on a letter from Irish State papers made public in 2017. The ex-SAS solider and RUC officer claims about three months after the Loughgall operation, a rumour about Mr Adams was passed on to the Department of Foreign Affairs by Fr Denis Faul. He learnt that a notion doing the rounds was that “the IRA team were set up by Gerry Adams himself”.

In May 1987 eight IRA volunteers died in an ambush at Loughgall – one estimate suggested 1200 rounds were fired – as they attempted to bomb an empty RUC barracks in the Co Armagh village. British Army special forces were lying in wait and killed them all, along with innocent bystander Anthony Hughes and his brother was badly wounded.

The eight-man IRA unit killed Clockwise from top left: Gerard O’Callaghan, Antony Gormley, James Lynagh, Eugene Kelly, Declan Arthurs, Patrick McKerney, Seamus Donnelly and Patrick Kelly. Photograph: PressAssociation

 The Irish Times reported that: “Fr Faul, a school teacher and chaplain in Long Kesh prison who died in 2006, said the rumour was that two of the gang – Jim Lynagh, a councillor in Monaghan, and McKearney – “had threatened to execute Adams shortly before the Loughgall event”. It was being claimed that Lynagh and McKearney “disliked Adams’ political policy” and that they were leaning towards Republican Sinn Féin.”

Fr Faul had fallen out badly with the republican leadership during the 1981 IRA hunger strikes when Faul persuaded families to seek medical intervention. He believed that Gerry Adams had connived at the death of comrades concluding, that a peaceful settlement of the protest had been sabotaged by Adams and his allies for political advantage. That he was not alone in believing so, does not make it true but demonstrates the persistence of rumour and speculation based on circumstances, coincident and suspicions rather than correlating evidence.[i]  So repeating some rumour he had heard, passing gossip as political information to the Irish government, is not surprising. So the theory put forward by Fauls was based on what other than groundless speculation?

The construction of this history in the shadows relies upon those small details and connections that are seized upon to bolster a predetermined conclusion. The peddling of third hand unverifiable accusations – rather like including a factious pig story in David Cameron’s biography – adds colour and talking point and leaves the reader to draw their own conclusion. Any narrative is constructed so that it makes sense, and pieces are made to fit the over-arching storyline, hence the contribution to the conspiracy theory of the peace process that the British intelligence services and successive governments might have helped remove those IRA men impeding Adams and used “agents of influence” to steer republicans towards politics. That a mutually beneficial collusion worked both ways.

================================================================

Mr McCallion, who did several tours of Northern Ireland with various specialist military units before spending six years in the RUC, admits he wanted Adams “dead”.

“This wasn’t a sudden urge. I was a veteran with seven tours of Northern Ireland under my belt and I’d given the matter some thought,” he confesses.
“One night in the mess bar, drinking with a serving officer from MI5, I was loudly voicing my opinion. Looking back, I must have sounded naïve and spectacularly ill-informed, but I truly believed the best way to stop the terrorists was to target the high command. Like I said, kill Gerry Adams.
“The somewhat inebriated MI5 officer’s response was surprising: ‘No. He’s one of ours.’ I cannot confirm whether this was true, or whether it had its origins in the kind of drunken bravado that leads to all sorts of tall tales in the mess.
“However, the look of shock on the officer’s face after the words came out, and his refusal to continue the conversation, were suggestive, as was the fact that he was unwilling ever to speak with me again outside a formal setting.
“I’ve never forgotten that night in the mess. Looking back from today’s perspective, many of the most secret and dangerous operations undertaken by British forces in the province, and their outcomes, make more sense to me if the British security services truly did have an informer right at the top of the Republican movement.”[ii]

Put away the highlighter – not one actionable fact or piece of evidence from a bar room chat.

More than one commentator offer equally credible explanations, including mistakes made by the IRA team as well as routine British surveillance or the activities of informers unconnected to the republican leadership. But in East Tyrone republican circles, the suspicion that the removal of the Loughgall unit was not a chance event and was somehow connected to subsequent political developments, has persisted. And it is in others interests to stoke such suspicions and maintain a continuing covert war on how the past is perceived.

============================================================

Fr. Dennis Faul, an Irish  Catholic priest doctrinally orthodox and socially conservative had spoken out and campaigned against the injustice against Catholics in Northern Ireland.

At our own expense we are reporting the crimes that go unreported, because they are committed by the British Army and the RUC. The crimes of the Provisionals and Officials and IRSP are well publicised; but I have noted over the last four years that the only occasions that my remarks are publicised by BBC UTV and papers like the Belfast Telegraph are when I condemn these republican groups for atrocities. I have done this very frequently; not all my condemnations are publicised by the same public media”[iii]

For over thirty years, from 1971, Father Raymond Murray and Fr Denis Faul produced approximately 150 books, leaflets, pamphlets and other material highlighting the abuse by the British state of emergency laws in the North of Ireland; harassment and intimidation of civilians; injuries and deaths caused by rubber and plastic bullets; collusion between British security forces, British intelligence and loyalists paramilitaries; unjust killings and murders by the security forces; excessive punishments and degrading strip searching in prison; the political, legal and medical systems that upheld these injustices; and the media that failed to investigate and report on them – abuses ignored by all but a handful of individuals and civil rights organisations.

Fr. Faul died in 2006. As befitting for a former Chaplain in Long Kesh for 20 years, former hunger strikers and prisoners, Republicans and senior members of Sinn Féin attended his funeral. Not all were as complimentary of the man as in his obituary in The Irish Independent [iv] called “sexist and offensively sectarian”, by former Irish president Mary McAleese, calling him “cantankerous and caustic”. [v]

The irony was that Fr Faul was himself smeared as a ‘Provo Priest,’ and following his death Gerry Adams said Irish Republicans had serious difficulties with him: Faul’s continued condemnation of violence from all sides provoked the anger of both loyalists and Republican paramilitaries.

 Faul had a role in the wider struggle as noted by Anne McHardy in The Guardian, “through the 1970s and 80s, he was pivotal as a conduit to the Provisional IRA. He was vital in providing information to both the Dublin government and the Catholic hierarchy during the tenure of Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich. After internment was introduced in Northern Ireland in 1971, Faul gave the early warnings of the inadequacies of British army intelligence. For the British, his role was crucial in ending the 1981 IRA hunger strike (though after he persuaded families to take prisoners off the hunger strike, some Maze inmates refused to take mass from him). “ [vi]

================================================================From released Irish state papers we know that opinions and judgements were voluntarily passed by many prominent Catholics in the north to inform the Department of Foreign Affairs of the situation in the north. The Irish Times reports gives a flavour of the quality of intelligence supplied.

Leader of the SDLP John Hume provided this colourful description of the Ulster Defence Regiment: “a group of Rangers supporters put in uniforms, supplied with weapons and given the job of policing the area where Celtic supporters live.” The description was contained in a September 1985 note prepared by Irish official Daithí Ó Ceallaigh, who Mr Hume had briefed on his meeting with then Northern Secretary Tom King. While Denis Faul and Raymond Murray are recorded as describing the INLA as ‘a bunch of lunatics’[vii]

Other accusations have arisen –

Former colleagues who accuse Adams of having ordered the death of Jean McConville are said to be driven by hostility to the peace process, by a conviction that he personally sold out the republican struggle as a minority split saw the Good Friday agreement as a betrayal of their intransigent ideology of republicanism.

There were claims by Martin Ingram, aka ex Int Corps SSgt Ian Hurst, that Martin McGuinness had been controlled by MI6 for at least two decades. The Sunday Times repeated the baseless accusation with a twist in that a retired RUC special branch officer believes McGuinness was the MI5 agent code-named “Fisherman”, though others maintain that this agent may have been a person close to McGuinness. By Hurst’s own account, the accusation was based on information provided to him by a serving PSNI Special Branch officer. There is little to suggest the information is authentic, and there are good reasons to question the motives of Special Branch officers, who have long been accused of an anti-agreement agenda, and wishing to cause dissention and mistrust within the republican community. The suggestion in McCallion’s latest addition to covert war memoirs repeats blogosphere postings that suggests: “those who opposed Adams and McGuinness often found themselves in the crosshairs of the British Army — so frequently, in fact, that the trend seems more than a coincidence.”  

Really? Both public leaders of the resistance against British rule working with the British securocrats? Implausible and unverifiable – this is the problem: what can be done to put a stake into the heart of such zombie accusations?

When McCallion adds: “It seems quite coincidental that so much of this intelligence happened to be directed against figures in the PIRA who had the potential to threaten Adams’ path towards a settlement”, he is reading from the counter insurgency playbook to disrupt and discredit.

His publicist state McCallion writes with the unique authority of a soldier who has served 7 tours in Northern Ireland with 2 Para, passed 14 Intelligence Company selection, served 6 years in the SAS (including 2 tours in the Anti-Terrorism Team) and 6 years in the RUC.

The commercial appeal of such self-publicised insider’s account is well-recognised in the publishing world however they are generally characterised by their story-telling, engagements, mobile gunfight and operational detail than reasoned referenced reconstruction. McCallion’s account received wider circulation when sensationally serialised in the Daily Mail in August 2020.

Was Gerry Adams an MI5 informer? In his dramatic new book, HARRY MCCALLION tells how senior IRA men died in Army ambushes… after mysterious tip-offs

  • The identity of the PIRA source who revealed ambush plans remains unknown
  • But a newly-published letter claims that Republicans believed it could be Adams 
  • Adams thought military victory against the British was impossible by the late 70s
  • Sinn Fein described the theory in Mccallion’s new book as being ‘utter nonsense’

His previous ‘SAS memoir’ Killing Zone (Bloomsbury Publishing 1996) was noted for its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the brutality of life in the Special Forces and its refusal to fetishise or glamourise the business of killing. The mystique about well-rehearsed killing units that comprise the special operation units has been a feature of the retelling of the war in Ireland. It has a counterpart in guerrilla and insurgency culture that elevates the tactic beyond its utilitarian function in revolutionary struggle.

While far from a comprehensive account of the military undercover operations in Ireland from the British perspective, Undercover War: Britain’s Special Forces and Their Battle Against The IRA covers the Military Reaction Force (MRF), “a unit that was so badly thought out, organised, and trained that it degenerated into what can only be called a death squad.”  The deployment of the SAS and the creation and training of 14 Intelligence Company follow in his narrative. There are familiar episodes and names like Captain Robert Nairac and assassination of Bernadette Devlin to anyone well-read in the genre. The political deception of the British government illustrated in his account of the ‘debadging’ of half an SAS Squadron so that the men can be deployed to Northern Ireland without breaking a government promise that no Special Forces soldiers would serve in the province. He includes an insider’s account of the mistakes that led to the embarrassing arrest of 8 SAS soldiers by the Irish Gardaí. And in a denial of all their training, McCallion refutation of the claim that the SAS operated a ‘shoot to kill’ policy treads a familiar line of justification.  He sticks to the British version of the turning point in during the early 1980s at which the greater emphasis on the mass political struggle following the 1981 Hunger strike, the Republican leadership accepts that a military victory was no longer possible.  And would you believe an insider’s account of the final SAS action of the covert war, the capture of an IRA sniper cell who are subdued in a traditional fist-fight when the SAS team tasked to neutralise them are ordered not to shoot anyone for fear of jeopardising the Peace Process?

——————————————————————————————————————–

The literature of deceit, such memoirs and accounts are a difficult genre to interpret, for instance, take Willie Carlin’s Thatcher’s Spy: My Life as an MI5 agent inside Sinn Féin (Merrion Press, 2019). How do you read this? Entertainment, a potential film script? Another over-blown partial account of the covert war?  Spies, after all, survive by deception, and their autobiographies are classic vehicles for propaganda. Normal fact checking is problematic when it is interpretations and perceptions offered as evidence. One can check the claims of such books against the other available corroboration, but are so often less reliable on the wider political agendas at work even when seemingly credible about their own experience as an agent, reproducing stories full of second hand opinion and suspicions without evidence.

 

Antidote Reading

Anne Cadwallader, Explainer: British collusion in Northern Ireland’s dirty war https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-01-15-explainer-british-collusion-in-northern-irelands-dirty-war/ 15 January 2020

Mark McGovern, Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland (Pluto Press 2019)

 

REFERENCES

[i]  Deal could have ended IRA hunger strike, says former press officer

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/dec/30/deal-ira-hunger-strike-press

Tom Griffin, The conspiracy theory of the peace process is a dangerous myth 27 June 2012

[ii] Quoted in John Lee, Gerry Adams set up Loughgall ambush, claims new book
Belfast Telegraph August 09 2020, and reproduced in the Daily Mail.

[iii] A Letter from 1975  https://frmurrayfrfaul.ie/library/

[iv] Maurice Hayes ,A man of God who feared none in defence of all,  Irish Independent 25 June 2006

[v] McAleese, Mary (2020) Here’s the Story, A Memoir. Penguin

[vi] June 22 2006, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2006/jun/22/guardianobituaries.mainsection1

[vii]  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/state-papers-inla-described-by-catholic-priests-as-bunch-of-lunatics-1.2480528

 


Unitary Road Update 2

Totally understandable given the ravages inflicted by the Covid global pandemic, the launch of a new global alliance, the Anti-Imperialist Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAFUF), or simply United Front, was suspended in an announcement from the ILPS in June 2020. The launch of the organisation “will probably take place in early 2021”. The initial registration period for the Front be extended and international formations have until January 31, 2021.

Join the – Llamado a construir el – Rejoignez la Anti-Imperialist Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAFUF)

Whereas other initiatives are directed to co-thinkers in the world communist movement, this an initiative of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) and the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and allies, incorporates a wide range of forces, drawing on non-party affiliated associations including individual membership for the party-less militant, in a united front political association.

Drawing upon their own experiences in their respective organisations, the structure in becoming envisaged is that the United Front shall be a movement of allied organizations without democratic centralism and a costly and expensive apparatus, so not a new Comintern-type arrangement.  However a serious engagement in the international project of communication, co-operation and co-ordination.

In her statement of the 10th anniversary of ICOR, the ICOR Main Coordinator Monika Gärtner-Engel attributes some of the sustainability and growth of the co-operation and co-ordination of some 60 ICOR member organisations worldwide to fundamental principles;

In the face of many remaining differences among the revolutionaries of the world, common organization on the basis of ideological-political core questions: revolutionary overcoming of the capitalist/imperialist system; perspective of socialism/communism; necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat; leading role of the working class; a clear dividing line to revisionism, anarchism and Trotskyism.”   ICOR, 6 October 2020

[Speaking at the unveiling of the first Lenin statue in West Germany in June, Gabi Fechtner nee Gärtner-Engel, leader of the MLPD since April 2017, stated, “To make it clear: I am neither a Stalinist nor a Maoist – the same goes for the entire MLPD. But we defend the achievements of socialism – and also the representatives of socialism, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.”

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Having posted before that the internet is awash with initiatives to rally to the red flag of revolutionary communism, it is no surprise that there are wide divergences within the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tendencies from analysis to political terminology that cleaves distinct approaches for those self-identified as Maoist.

The initiative of AIAFUF differs from the distinct if parallel ideological offensive by a handful of organizations make up of a very small fraction of self-identifying Maoists worldwide to try to impose a new idealistic definition of Maoism on all parties fighting for communism in the world. This camp led by the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction) [PCB) regards the AIF as an eclectic front with revisionism and opportunism. They see “the problem in the international communist movement is not primarily related to the fact that Maoism is not formally recognized, but rather to the way some conceive it”.

Simply put: Chairman Gonzalo has hoist higher the flag of Maoism and if that contribution – “the universal validity contributions of the Gonzalo Thought” – is not acknowledged, absolved and actioned, then you are not a Maoist. That definition excludes the Maoist organizations leading the most advanced revolutionary movements today, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Communist Party of the Philippines. Even political opponents will argue that:

“Currently there are four people’s wars that exist today, in Peru, in Turkey, in India and in the Philippines. They are the axis in the proletarian world revolution. In the international communist movement, the red banner for uniting the movement under Maoism and people’s war is being raised.”

40 Years of People’s War in Peru – Long Live the Armed Struggle!

Establishing, as demonstrated by the various historical attempts by international Trotskyism, a small network of international alliances with organizations and groups does not reproduce the influence or effect of the original Comintern. The failure to seriously address the only international Maoist movement that has existed to date, and explain the experience of the RIM, simply in terms of the revisionist positions developed by Avakian and betrayal of the Nepalese revolution, hampers the difficulties in restructuring a supportive internationalist structure through an ideological struggle over the definition of Maoism on the basis that it will give a new impetus to the global proletarian revolution.

The Maoist road grouping suggests, “CoRIM became arrogant and with its subjective evaluations and sectarian attitude created obstacles and harms to the International Maoist movement. It is important that a summation of its experiences will include a review of its ideological, political positions in its Declaration of foundation.” (emphasis added)

The paused attempt to achieve a large unified international conference of all the MLM Parties and Organization saw a joint proposal dated last April, signed by the Committee for Building the Maoist Communist Party, Galicia, Spanish State, Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan, Communist Worker Union (MLM) – Colombia and the Maoist Communist Party – Italy to act as the promotors to convene the Unified International Conference with bilateral and multilateral meetings. The Committee proposed is not a new International Organization neither the Organising Committee of the International Conference but an attempt to move the process forward amidst the pandemic.

So far engagement in a disembodied ideological struggle has strengthen the self-isolation of currents within “global Maoism” from each other, and brought out the sectarian rhetoric from the prominent to the marginal:

“Defend Marxism-Leninism-Maoism Against Gonzaloite Revisionism!” was the position advanced in April 2020 from the American Organizing Committee for a Maoist Communist Party (MCP-OC). It argued “the defeated people’s war in Peru represented the creative application of MLM to the Peruvian conditions; this alone does not constitute a new ‘Thought,’ any more than the petulant hooliganism of our comrades in Austin might be called ‘Com. Dallas Thought’!”

The consequences may well prove correct Canadian critics of all the “participant” in this internationalist architectural drive; they comment that,

“recent events have confirmed that not only are the idealistic and the true Maoists not part of the same movement, but that this scenario will never happen. Indeed, the political options defended on both sides are so divergent that they are unassimilable to each other.” [Maoism as in itself: against the idealism of the “mainly Maoist” current. Iskra  January 26, 2020]

However these critics are unlikely to be invited by any of the proposed international conferences as, by definition, they exclude themselves in their quirky argumentation that

“the Chinese cultural revolution, although a highly positive experience and one with fundamental lessons, has a lesser importance that the experience of more than twenty years of armed struggle and united front preceding the seizure of power in 1949. We say that it is mainly – if not almost entirely – in the experience of the prolonged people’s war in China that Maoism finds its material origin, and only in a secondary way in the cultural revolution.”

This, a marginal position, reverses the roots of Maoists for the last half century and predates (and negates) consideration of the cultural revolution as the greatest and most original contribution of Mao to the development of Marxism-Leninism in order to combat modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism. It is a position that dismisses the struggles over Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, Maoism and continuity and rupture that has drawn the contours of 21st Century Maoism.

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The first known use of Maoism was in 1950 according to Merriam-Webster.

Obituary to Ross Longhurst aka ‘Harry Powell’

 

Posted on October 11, 2020  http://www.revolutionarypraxis.org/?p=2909

Obituary: Ross Longhurst 1941-2020

It is with great regret that we heard our comrade Ross Longhurst (aka Harry Powell) had passed away on 28th September 2020. Ross was a dedicated Communist and upholding proletarian internationalism when many others discarded it in favour of tailing nationalism of all kinds. Ross remained politically active until the last weeks of his life.

Ross was born in Hastings, Sussex in 1941. In 1959 he moved to London, living in Streatham where he was a member of the Streatham Hill ward Labour Party and was also active in anti colonial and anti racism campaigns and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This was Ross’ first encounter with “Marxism” which was presented in the form of Gerry Healy who was the ward secretary of his Labour Party branch in Streatham and the Trotskyite Socialist Labour League (SLL) that he led. The antics of Healy and the SLL put Ross off this caricature of Marxism and left him with a firm opposition to Trotskyism. He would later have a proper introduction to genuine Marxism Leninism in his involvement in the movement against the imperialist war against Vietnam.

Ross worked at the time in a type face setting factory in Merton. Later he returned to Hastings and worked as a labourer on the building of Dungeness A atomic power station. By this time he was disillusioned with reformist Labourite politics and left the Party and would oppose reformism for the rest of his life. Ross got a place at the London School of Economics in the mid sixties and studied Sociology. He became involved in the student occupations and the campaigns against the Vietnam War. This experience led Ross to understand that Marxism Leninism and its further development by Mao Zedong was the only revolutionary science capable of transforming society towards Communism. This was the time of the Cultural Revolution in China one of the greatest revolutionary movements in history where the masses grasped communist ideology and attempted to take power away from the emerging capitalist class in Socialist China and move towards communist relations of production. This inspired progressives around the world but compared to France, Italy, Scandinavia and Germany had less impact on leftists in Britain which remained under the influence of Labourism, revisionism and Trotskyism. Ross therefore was among those who swam against the tide. He once wrote on the revolutionary nature of Maoism in comparison to the Trots and revisionists:

“…one important reason I became attracted to the Maoist stream of Marxism was the positive attitude it took towards oppressed and exploited people. This contrasted with the revisionist and Trotskyist variants of Marxism which viewed workers and peasants as deserving but essentially incapable by themselves of taking effective action to defend and advance their interests. According to these types of Marxists it is only the conscious Marxist revolutionaries who have the knowledge and insights necessary to guide the masses into doing what is good for them…Maoism was different because it conceived of the masses as potentially most revolutionary. ”

While being active in various campaigns and working with comrades of other anti revisionist Marxist Leninist groups, Ross did not join any of them until 1974 when he became a member of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist) led by trade union official Reg Birch which he described as “the best of a bad bunch”. Ross found many of the other groups suffering from idealism especially in the manifestation of a religious outlook and style. The CPB (M L) appeared the most materialist in outlook. At this time Ross was working in education as a lecturer in Sociology in Liverpool and then Nottingham.

In 1976 Ross spoke out at the CPB (M L) congress against the Parties political trajectory into nationalism and economism. The Nottingham branch left and formed the Nottingham Communist Group (NCG). This group developed theoretical defence of revolutionary communism against the new manifestations of revisionism such as the ‘Theory of the Three Worlds’ and upholding the Cultural Revolution and the necessity of violent revolution to bring about the proletarian state.

The NCG attended the founding conference of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) in 1984. The NCG and Stockport Communist Group would later merge into the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain, Ross would be a leading member and while others dropped out over the years Ross was consistent in political activity and upholding Maoism, carrying out solidarity work for the Peoples Wars in Peru and Nepal when many British leftists ignored them or simply didn’t want to know about real revolutions. He travelled to Nepal in 2009 to observe for himself the struggles in Nepal meeting members of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre).

Ross was a founder member of Revolutionary Praxis after the collapse of the RIC. He helped organise educational studies in Marxism and did much street activity including book sales to propagate communism. Although he was painfully aware that we are currently in very difficult times in regard to the dominance of bourgeois ideology in imperialist countries, he did not give up as many of his contemporaries did and remained a stalwart. He was also consistent in his refusal to capitulate to the tailing of nationalism and reformism as so many on the left have done especially when Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. He also believed that to articulate a political point or protest you had to be bold. During the Iraq War he and another comrade went to Wootten Bassett. Alone they protested against and called out the crimes of British imperialism against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan during one of the macabre imperialist publicity exercises of repatriating dead British soldiers by parading the coffins through the town. This protest put them in serious danger of attack by zealous right wing thugs and onlookers but he was not deterred.

Ross would often try to set an example hoping to encourage other leftists to undertake more direct actions, rarely did they follow though which earned them his rightful contempt. Ross’ last major act of defiance at the age of 72 was to withhold payment of council tax in protest at austerity cuts implemented by the local city council, again he was the only one in his local anti cuts campaign to take this stand which led him to court and a month long prison sentence. In prison he found much support his action and gave advice to other prisoners. He found many had taken up criminal activities such as drug dealing to support their families and pay mortgages as their wages were too low to survive on.

Eventually he left the local campaigns around nuclear disarmament, the health service and anti cuts because of the pacifism and timidity of the other campaigners. Throughout his life under the name Harry Powell he wrote prolifically on revolutionary theory of Marxism Leninism Maoism and current world events. He never stopped emphasising that communists must listen and rely on the masses and not to take an elitist attitude towards them. During elections he would campaign against voting and expose the false nature of capitalist democracy. He would hold Revolutionary Praxis campaign stalls in run down areas of Nottingham which other leftist groups avoided. He continued until August of this year to hold stalls with communist literature and propaganda from Revolutionary Praxis at local Black Lives Matter protests and anti fascist protests. As he would often say “on with the struggle”.

Red Salute to comrade Ross Longhurst

Another brick in the wall from the supporters of Gonzalo Thought

Another brick in the wall from the supporters of Gonzalo Thought in the battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement as the Communist Party of Ecuador-Red Sun published a polemical piece on September 16, 2020 entitled, SOME COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT “ON MAOISM ITSELF” FROM THE RCP OF CANADA.

It was reproduced on the Spanish language Marxist-Leninist-Maoist blog, RED DAZIBAO .


Some time ago the comrades of the RCP of Canada published a document “ON MAOISM ITSELF” launching a severe and subjective criticism of the Communist Party of Brazil Red Fraction  [PCB-FR] and other parties which it vaguely branded as its “satellites”.

In the first instance, we think that the document, due to its content, support and objective, did not deserve to be refuted because it contributes little or nothing in objective terms to the ideology; However, with the idea that the pronouncements do not “remain in the air” and generate confusion, with a certain imbalance in time we allowed ourselves to issue a response to try to clarify some errors and disagreements of the comrades.

It is important to point out (self-critically) that we know very little about the comrades of the RCP of Canada; therefore, we do not have the necessary elements and political arsenal to be able to analyze their future, work, struggle; but rather focus on his document and based on it, try to argue -without hasty and adventurous academic pretensions- some responses and observations from a unilateral position of the Communist Party of Ecuador Sol-Rojo.

The comrades of the RCP of Canada published a document entitled: MAOISM AS ITSELF: AGAINST THE IDEALISM OF THE “MAINLY MAOIST” CURRENT, and the virulent attack on the PCB-FR and other parties that uphold the Marxist thesis is still worrying. Leninism-Maoism, mainly Maoism, and that we recognize the universal contributions of Gonzalo Thought.

Something that draws the attention of this extensive, dispersed, subjective and eclectic document is the forcefulness with which they assert certain information:

“Currently a small group of organizations active in a few countries”; “Some satellite groups in Latin America”; “Handful of organizations constitute a very small, even insignificant fraction, whose actual practice is limited”; “The PCB (FR) and its supporters”, and thus a series of terms that in addition to showing a certain contempt for this group, falls into the dangerous error of underestimating us; expressions that are repeated repeatedly throughout the text and that account for the little or no seriousness of these comrades as a result of either the serious ignorance they have of the parties in the process of construction or reconstitution that make up an important current within the MCI, as well as the strange and equivocal handling of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat.

If the PCR starts from a quantitative analysis, it would be good to ask how much does the ideological rise of communist parties in Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland and the United States represent for Canadian comrades? others who are joining this red line with an important impact on the ICM ?, apparently little or nothing, without considering that Latin America has become a land of storms, of struggle, and that in Europe the awakening of the class and the masses is transcendental in the ultimate aims of the international proletariat: communism.

But let’s see, if to the quantitative aspect we add a qualitative assessment of the work and struggle of the PCB-FR “orbit” in the ICM, what does the fact that this group strengthens the international proletariat’s struggle to crush in a determined way to revisionism, opportunism and centrism?; What does it represent for the RCP of Canada that this group has had as a transversal axis supporting and defending the people’s wars carried out by the international proletariat in various countries of the world; support from the perspective of proletarian internationalism organizations, parties, whether constituted or in reconstitution processes; sustain and develop the two-line struggle, in addition to applying, developing and defending Gonzalo Thought as a dialectical leap of MLM, to the revolutionary theory and practice of the international proletariat? It is obvious that nothing, and what is more, he rants at a gallop, he does not apply a two-line struggle but rather loses his strange fixation on the comrades of Brazil and to some extent on the rest of the small, precarious and dysfunctional parties that support him.

The comrades are unaware of the conditions in which this red line was generated within the ICM. With their precipitations and infancies they threaten a process that has only been able to be lifted after a strong ideological struggle as corresponds to the historical tradition of those who believe that unity in ideology is forged in criticism-self-criticism-unity; endorsed in countless meetings held in various countries, even defying the threat of reaction; historical events in which delegations of parties and organizations have also participated, with which there have been serious disagreements within the framework of the necessary and unavoidable two-line struggle.

The ideological struggle with the comrades of the UOC or GCR of Colombia (spearhead of Avakianism in the region) has not been alien to us; at certain times with comrades from Italy, France, Spain, Panama or Afghanistan; In fact, within the collective we have also had many and deep disagreements where the criterion of unity has prevailed, without this referring to having avoided the ideological and political contradictions presented between us and we have ended up handling eclectic positions or becoming a shameless political and ideological submission .

It is important to point out that although it is true, the communists of Latin America recognize the achievements that the PCB (FR) has had at the levels of organization in order to assume the responsibility of undertaking the New Democracy revolution in Brazil at the service of the international proletariat ; the important impulse that has given him to fight to impose the red line within the ICM, we have never established a relationship with the comrades under the figure of the “father party”; In fact, throughout this journey it is important to remember that it was from the joint statement between the Revolutionary Front of the Bolivian People, MLM and the Communist Party of Ecuador-Red Sun issued on December 26, 2008, where it was alerted about the inexistence of a correct direction within the ICM before the bankruptcy of the RIM; Prachanda’s betrayal of the People’s War in Nepal or the need to combat the new scourge of the peoples, especially in Latin America of the so-called 21st century socialism; Declaration that established, -to some extent-, the starting point that coincided with the efforts that the PCB-FR was developing in the ideological struggle in the international arena, to generate the ideological and political discussion group on the problems that afflict the ICM , the World Proletarian Revolution and the struggle for a new and superior communist international.

Comrades, “there is no worse blind than the one who does not want to see”, in that sense we cannot refuse to recognize the efforts made by the PCB-FR, its correct leadership, leadership and militancy to sustain the ideological struggle and the unity of the international proletariat. ; the hard struggle made by the comrades of Peru to reorganize their leadership in the midst of the people’s war, confronting not only the armed enemy, but also the ROL and the winners of imperialism who permanently deny its development today. The very important leaps that the comrades of Chile have taken in the reconstitution of their Communist Party or those gigantic efforts of the comrades of Colombia that reconstitute their party in the midst of many difficulties, among others, a society plagued by armed revisionism. Impossible not to greet and approach the struggle that the communists are undertaking in Mexico where proposing the revolution is in itself an extremely courageous and stoic fact. Never underestimate the struggle of the comrades of Germany to sow a party where it did not exist in objective terms; not different in Austria, Ireland, in the bowels of Yankee imperialism, where US comrades, particularly in Austin, have put their levels of struggle and organization in tension; and thus, others who apparently do not want to be seen by you. 

 It is impossible not to recognize the constitution and reconstitution of communist parties of a new type that are emerging all over the world in the midst of the 2-line struggle, which is the only thing that at the end of the road will allow us to strengthen the ICM and create the conditions for a new international that inexorably It will be MARIST-LENINIST-MAOIST.

But not fed up with their myopia and ignorance, the comrades of Canada brand us as “insignificant” organizations. For them, our complex process of building the instruments for the revolution, which has had to confront and overcome many vicissitudes, represents nothing; in fact, even our errors of interpretation and application of the correct ideological line, a weakness that led us to experience a defeat that, without being definitive, cost us a high price in lives and, of course, political. Construction that also, faithful to our line and conception for applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought to the particularity of the country, has taken place by mobilizing the masses, and not necessarily in a peaceful way, but in a rebellious, belligerent, combative way, applying and developing revolutionary violence.

And it is that in Ecuador, the process of construction of the instruments for the revolution we have not undertaken “accumulating forces in cold”, as the PCR suggests; in silence, with its back to the requirements of the class and the people or the international proletariat. We have done it in the course of an active, combative militant practice, mobilizing masses and even carrying out acts of violence not only in the framework of treating the existing contradictions in the country, but also in support of the people’s wars that are being advanced in the world and other struggles of the international proletariat. We have done it not only by militarizing the Party but also by all its organizational instances at the level of generated organisms, penetrating each other and coming decisively closer to unleashing the people’s war. Obvious, The enemy’s response has been correlative to our armed proposal to demarcate all the camps with him and the old State: prisoners, kidnapped, tortured, dead, aspects that are not unrelated to what the comrades of Brazil have also had to live where they still the blood of Comrade Cleomar Rodríguez and many others shivers; or from Mexico, where the morning still awaits the return of Dr. Serna or the void left by the premature death of Luis Armando Fuentes by the enemy; the persecution to which comrades from Germany or Austin, USA are subjected. But no, for Canadian comrades we are insignificant and with limited practice, just like the rest of the parties that “orbit” in the PCB-FR and that have similar histories. In any case, it is important to point out that the Maoists of Ecuador and their Party are not followers of the PCB (FR) or any other organization; but they are followers of the correct ideological line, the one committed to sweeping away opportunism, revisionism and centrism in the ranks of the international proletariat.

Contrary to what the RCP has shown throughout its lengthy document, the PCE-SR’s style of work fully conforms to what Chairman Mao pointed out: “the communists have to ask the why of all things and make use of of his own judgment to carefully examine if they correspond to reality and if they are well founded; They must not blindly follow others or advocate slavish obedience at all ”. In fact, comrades, carrying out this practice, not only for us but for all those who have propped up this “orbit” has led organizations such as the FRP-MLM of Bolivia (co-managers of the creation of this group) years later to disdain of some aspects that consolidated this unity in ideology (MLMPG) and has taken a step aside to support theses that varied over time and that, Like you, they deny Gonzalo Thought and the existence of a people’s war in Peru, an aspect that reflects the political maturity and seriousness with which the ideological struggle has been handled. By the way, that decision of the comrades of Bolivia does not mean that we put them on the side of the enemy, of those who reject MLM, the people’s war, the New Democracy revolution in semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries, since of all ways for now the basis of unity in the ideology of the international proletariat is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!!

It must be remembered that at a certain moment we signed joint declarations with other organizations that have nothing to do with the “idealistic orbit” of the PCB-FR. Without having tried to endorse positions that by conception the UOC, from Colombia, a sector of comrades from France, Panama and others have; Perhaps sinning as pragmatic, we adhere to the one that called for THE INTERNATIONAL UNITY OF COMMUNISTS DEMANDS THE DEFEAT OF REVISIONISM AND CENTRISM!  and that by the way brought us serious contradictions with some organizations and parties in Europe, especially with the comrades of Italy and Spain, thus demonstrating our sovereign decision-making capacity. And we did it because we considered it appropriate, correct; because the document proposed by the comrades of Colombia expressed the need for the international proletariat to struggle against revisionism, opportunism, but also against another enemy of the international proletariat, centrism, which remains alive in the shadow of the contradictions existing in the Nepal. Suffice it to say that under no circumstances could we fold any document that comes loaded with the ink and content of any expression that approaches Prachandism, even less, Avakianism or that denies MLM and / or the people’s wars in Peru, Turkey, India and the Philippines.

(…) The comrades of Canada also refer to an alleged “shameless attack” carried out by the “followers” ​​of the PCB-FR against the most active and advanced Maoist organizations in the world: the Communist Party of India (Maoist) .

In this regard and for the exercise, in the very specific case of the Philippine comrades, we are going to present some arguments from our experience.

A few decades ago, the Maoists of Ecuador were ready to develop people’s war, and we did so under difficult conditions where an opportunist left line prevailed. It’s the truth, and those mistakes cost us a lot. We were weak, we were not well equipped with MLM, nor with Gonzalo Thought and therefore we gave the initiative to the reaction in very difficult circumstances.

In summary, we better understood how much the New Democracy revolution loses in the country and in the world (or socialist revolution where it belongs) when we communists give the enemy a small space to establish negotiations, conversations, agreements, truces, etc. .; and based on our meagre experience we hold with vehemence and determination; There is no reason or condition whatsoever to establish agreements, pacts or negotiations with the enemy except to define its final defeat or its capitulation.

If we offer a truce (bilateral or unilateral) to the enemy, the class and the people lose. In Colombia, armed revisionism is champion in this type of behaviour. Truce for Christmas, for Easter, for winter, for the national day of Colombia or because they are surrounded by the enemy troops. In fact, comrades, by the way, the Philippine comrades made a unilateral truce over the Covid-19 pandemic. The enemy took advantage of the truce to inflict heavy blows on the comrades.

It is in this context in which we have particularly dared to criticize the Philippine comrades and their recurrent calls to “negotiate” truces / cease-fire with the enemy, because even, saving the distances in favour of the Philippine comrades in the development of the war, we understood that this is atrocious for the interests of the class and the revolution, and not only that, but also for the international proletariat, therefore it is worth noting the danger they are incurring.

At this point it is difficult to know, but if the comrades of Nepal had considered and assumed the timely alert and criticism in this regard, Prachanda would probably be where it should be: underground, and the people’s war: close to victory.

But without going beyond that, there is another aspect that is important to highlight. The tremendous impact that certain erroneous behaviours of Philippine comrades have in their international line of work, especially in Ecuador.

One of the most recalcitrantly revisionist, opportunist and harmful parties that exists in the country is the PCMLE (Popular Unity); that from Hoxhaism, they have become Bolivarian; perhaps one of the main obstacles to be destroyed in order for the people’s war to develop in Ecuador.

Some years ago, in a joint action between armed elements of this Party (PCMLE) and the national police, they captured party militants who, basically armed with brushes and paint, were carrying out a campaign of paint in support of the people’s war in Peru, India, Turkey and the Philippines in a public university in the capital (Central University); In addition to the detained comrades, their torture and their subsequent imprisonment, we had to confront the loss of a very important arsenal and the repressive escalation of all the armed apparatuses of the state against the Party that had its climax with the siege of a populous neighbourhood from Guayaquil (48 and K) where with 1500 soldiers, tanks, boats and helicopters concentrated the population, they raided house to house until they shot 4 people in front of their relatives (literally), 3 of them members of the Party. Of course, our response against revisionism was bloody to make them understand that under no circumstances were we going to tolerate or allow this and other types of attacks.

This same organization participates in all electoral processes, including in alliance with the most recalcitrant sectors of national politics (they called to vote for the banker Guillermo Lasso- buyer bourgeoisie and today, facing the 2021 elections, they support indigenous reformism) and They repeatedly traffic in the struggle and pain of our people. Staunch enemies of Maoism.

Every year the PCMLE organizes the International Seminar on the Problems of the Revolution in Latin America, which on some occasions has been attended, in a curious and inexplicable way, by the Philippine comrades who, after that conciliation, end up defining “strategies” for the called revolution in Latin America with organizations such as: Círculo Jaques Roumcin de Montreal – Canada, an organization that you surely know; the PCR of Argentina, of Bolivia; Popular Unity for Socialism of Brazil, Revolutionary Communist Party of Brazil; American Party of Labor of the USA, George Grunental, Red Star Editions – United States; Revolutionary Socialist Party of Peru and obviously the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and other organizations. 

Those are the alliances of the Filipino comrades in Ecuador. Questionable, more to the extent that through different channels we have issued letters to comrades warning of their error.

From the above, it is obvious that this type of political decisions by the Philippine comrades contributes nothing to unity in the ideology of the international proletariat and to the need to reconstitute the Communist International; However, there are countless campaigns of support that our party has developed in favour of the people’s war in the Philippines, the historical value that we have given to its martyrs, including Comrade Ka Parago, because we do not let this correct criticism make us lose the perspective and ignore the fundamental aspect of the Filipino comrades. So, for the comrades of Canada, is it better to keep silent? In honour of the unity of the proletariat stuck with slobber and not in ideology, is it better to look aside every time the comrades make truces with the enemy of class, of the poor peasantry and other exploited masses of the Philippines putting at risk the vital effort for the revolution in their country ?; Should we, the communists of Ecuador, look complacently as the comrades of the Philippines sit at the table to draw up “revolutionary” strategies with the most revisionist sector of Ecuador and that on many occasions, openly, has destructively criticized the people’s war in the Peru, ridiculed Chairman Gonzalo and openly declaring itself anti-Maoists?

Comrades. As we pointed out initially, years ago we were wrong, we fell into the ravine, we were beaten by the enemy, and many Maoist organizations and parties were harsh in criticizing us, and we assumed it; We do not take it as poisonous darts that seek to annihilate us, nor (in the pure Modavef style) do we change our strategic course, on the contrary, along the way we have been reconstituting better equipped with ideology. We learned to criticize ourselves, because we use this method as a form of partisan catharsis and, given the historical trajectory of struggle that the Philippine comrades have, we believe that they will know how to accept criticism in that order, as a two-line struggle, as “medicine to save to the sick one”.

(…) In truth, comrades, you have lost all objectivity to assert that we “oppose the people’s wars” that are taking place in the world. The comrades go astray, launch any infamy at the gallop of a mule. Without detracting from the important campaigns carried out by the communists of the world in support of the people’s wars that break out in Filiadas, India, Turkey and Peru, it has been precisely the organizations that wield MLM, mainly Maoism and we recognize the universal contribution of thought Gonzalo, who have carried out the strongest and most decisive campaigns in favour of these wars. Just look at the fabulous and internationalist work done by Dem Volke Dienen’s comrades; the Red Flag Committee at Tjen Folket in Norway, New Peru from Germany;

Read comrades, investigate, absolutely all the pronouncements, statements and publications of these Parties, whether individually or collectively, we revive the people’s wars, the same ones that even in the framework of setbacks, twists and others have had the militant and internationalist support of our parties; Quite the contrary to you, who at the first blow of wind come out to deny the People’s War in Peru. Apparently their accusations are nothing more than a projection of what they feel, what they think about this and other topics addressed in their document and surely in their practice.

(…) Continuing with the document, the Canadian comrades return to what has become a true tirade: that we support an “imaginary war” in Peru. The comrades, like other organizations that proclaim the same fallacy, end up being subservient and functional for the counterrevolutionary strategy of the CIA. Likewise, they join the chorus of the Peruvian reaction; they grab onto Modavef’s tail and from that dump they shout, they maintain: there is no people’s war in Peru because it has already been defeated!

In this regard we must say, denying the existence of the people’s war in Peru has become a counterrevolutionary act. Canada’s comrades do not want to understand how just wars are played out today as opposed to unjust wars; how the reaction in Peru hand in hand with the imperialist strategy considered, according to its plans to neutralize and defeat the people’s war, that it was not enough to murder the prisoners of war, unleash the “white terror” massacring entire communities, support of the bases of support in the field; they were clear that they had to attack Chairman Gonzalo directly, cut his line of command; dynamite the leadership, but it was also peremptory to go for ideology, and there they used Movadef to distort the basic foundations of Gonzalo Thought and New Democracy; that is to say, to face the fact that the war was defeated, and not only that, but there is no longer semi-feudality, that the war resolved that contradiction; that in that journey or stage, Peru became from semi-feudal to dependent capitalist, consequently the revolution must be socialist. Of course, what is sought is to take away from the proletariat its strategic ally: the poor peasantry, in the course of the New Democracy, and in this way dismantle the people’s war. But no comrades, you, imperialism, reaction and the ROL have skinny dog ​​dreams if you believe that the people’s war was defeated; obviously, he lives a corner that is already being overcome; it is not easy in the course of the war to reconstitute the leadership, but in the same way, The People’s Liberation Army, despite combat difficulties, generates new Power; it recovers strategic spaces, keeps the enemy at bay, demonstrating the strength of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought.

Lacking in knowledge the comrades from Canada fire their shots into the air with wet gunpowder, they want to make waves by throwing a handful of lentils into the river. That is what they want, it cannot be otherwise, they get angry and from their most abject ignorance, or worse, from their demobilizing role they want to deny everything. In truth, the comrades should get closer to Latin America, get to know its people, the communist parties, above all try to better understand what is happening in Peru and under what conditions the people’s war is taking place.

(…) In their document, the Canadian comrades also point out that we have no respect for the people’s war in Nepal.

The comrades recreate shadows. They do not know the support that was given to this process in Latin America; what was not done is to support those like Kiran and others who were involved in contradictions with Prachanda for the sharing of power, who wanted to be shown to the world as the red line in Nepal and were timely fought not only by those whom the comrades of Canada brand as “idealistic line”, but by other organizations with which they now sign joint statements. In fact, comrades, there are countless campaigns of pints and mass mobilization that we have undertaken in support of the reorganization of the people’s war in Nepal.

By the way, In a letter sent to the comrades of Dazibao Rojo on September 8, 2012 we pointed out the importance of supporting the reestablishment of the people’s war in Nepal and why we openly opposed the support given to Kirán. And history, both to us and to other Maoist organizations, unfortunately proved us right; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal. Like other Maoist organizations, he unfortunately agreed with us; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal. Like other Maoist organizations, he unfortunately agreed with us; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal.

(…) And yes, the Canadian cameras are not only clinging to the tail of the ROL, they are also holding onto the revisionists and other opportunists who at the time criticized and branded the Chinese comrades revisionists and opportunists when you held the VII Congress of the CCP (1945) that the guiding thought of the party is Mao Tsetung Thought and that it was specifically – by then – the application of Marxism-Leninism to the reality of China. Today they reply, today it is the Khrushchev’s of the ICM who howl and oppose Gonzalo Thought. And like it or not, Mao Tsetung thought despite having several detractors who clung to the hands of the dog Deng Xiaoping, Khrushchev, Hoxha and others, there were also some parties and organizations that began to value Chairman Mao’s contributions for consider them to have worldwide validity. In Colombia, the PLA ML Thought Mao Tsetung; in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Spain and other parties and organizations in the world they were renamed ML Mao Tsetung Thought and to propose New Democracy and others. Of course, the historical evidence tells us that none of these organizations and / or parties came up with defining Mao Tsetung Thought as Maoism, why? Because that definition had to be subject to certain historical conditions that allowed deepening its study and application.

The comrades of the RCP, consider that even before the People’s War in Peru there was already a universal recognition of Maoism without being Maoism (¿), however, the comrades refuse to recognize that Maoism, as such, was defined, recognized, wielded and defended as such, as the third and superior stage of Marxism-Leninism with the beginning and development of the people’s war in Peru.

The comrades, in a clear idealistic manifestation, refuse to understand how and under what conditions Mao Tsetung Thought was generated and how it came to be defined as Maoism; initially within the framework of the revolution in a country like China with different characteristics from those that existed in Russia before the Bolshevik revolution; on the basis of inter-imperialist contradictions (USA_URSS); world wars, cultural revolution; international proletarian movement, national liberation movement, struggle between Marxism and revisionism and later the development of the GP in Peru.

The RCP points out that: Before the people’s war in Peru, did Mao Tsetung Thought already have the same weight and meaning as what we now know as Maoism? No comrades; after the Cultural Revolution the Chinese Khrushchev, Deng Xiaoping and his clique took pains to distort it, besides attacking it, they always tried to show it as unfeasible; Nor was it put in tension in Vietnam or in any other place on the planet, as indeed it was done in Peru in the process of reconstitution of the Party and other instruments for the revolution; where Chairman Gonzalo, Gonzalo Thought and the Party had a deeper understanding of Mao Tsetung Thought initiating and developing people’s war, otherwise it would have been impossible for this to happen and with it the recognition of what today we communists of the world,

And no comrades, when the PCP and particularly Chairman Gonzalo systematizes Mao Tsetung thought, it does not do so “in a vacuum” regardless of the practice – as you point out – it certainly does so by analyzing the experience of the Chinese revolution and Furthermore, in the course of preparing, initiating and developing the people’s war in Peru, that is, validating the theory in practice, in fact, of course, without underestimating the important two-line struggle that was generated at the time. MRI.

As a means of arguing its presentation, the RCP points out that Stalin “did not systematize Leninism. He defended Leninism”. Yes, it is true, Stalin defended it, but they ignore a fundamental fact, which before that defined it as such, as Leninism and applied it in a new context, in that of the Cold War, in the counter-offensive of Yankee Imperialism with the support of the imperialist and capitalist powers of Europe in and after World War II, and do not forget comrades that it was precisely Stalin in 1924 who affirmed that “you could not be a Marxist if you were not a Marxist-Leninist”, just like us, In particular, the communists of Ecuador say it with force, determination and without ambiguity, at present you cannot be a Marxist-Leninist without being a Maoist and in a particular way, To be a Maoist today is to recognize the contributions of universal validity of Gonzalo Thought, in such a way that we consider Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought! considering that this is the correct ideological line to develop the people’s war in our country and put it at the service of the World Proletarian Revolution.

(…) The comrades of Canada have an inexplicable disagreement with the most elementary Marxist, historical materialist, dialectical analysis; in fact, it easily reminds us of Avakian’s vain pretensions. No comrades, you cannot compare the contributions Lenin made to Marxism, or Chairman Mao to Marxism-Leninism; We are not there for that, although it is true it is a whole, as you well point out, they are also a dialectical sequence that becomes a synthesis, although it is true that it begins with Marx and Engels, we cannot think that it will end with Chairman Mao and Maoism. That is idealism, comrades, mechanism of the grossest;

We even find it rude, comrades when they point out that “how is it possible that the Communist Party of China, several decades before the emergence of “Gonzalo Thought”, managed not only to lead a people’s war but to lead it to victory? How is it that the Vietnamese communists, several years before the so-called “synthesis” of Maoism, managed to do the same? “in relation to what was sustained in one of the statements in which we pointed out the impossibility of a people’s war without having assimilated the contributions with universal validity of Gonzalo Thought.

They want to compare and oppose the People’s War in Peru with other historical processes. They again throw a handful of lentils into the river, this time pretending a tsunami: “even the Vietnamese resistance wars against French and American imperialism (…) had a much greater influence than the People’s War in Peru in the world and that unlike the latter resulted in victory.” What an analysis!  What a comparison! Comrades, analyze the context; the characteristics of the war in Vietnam were of national liberation, they did not consider the possibility of developing a New Democracy revolution; Furthermore, in 1967 they chose to follow the Soviet social-imperialism led by Khrushchev and implement in Vietnam a bureaucratic dictatorship over its people, alien to the leadership of the proletariat. However, and undeterred, the comrades countless times accuse the comrades of the PCB-FR and “their satellites” of being idealistic, petty-bourgeois, of ignoring historical materialism. (?)

(…) People’s War until communism

The comrades of Canada also give each other ways to point their rifles on the slogan: People’s War until Communism!

Likewise, they qualify it as wrong; as a “reduction of what means people’s war”, they consider that the people’s war is a “form of revolutionary action and a strategy to dismantle the military forces of the class enemy and take power” (…) “that once the power is conquered throughout the country and the enemy armed forces have been crushed, the military confrontation ends for the simple reason that there is no longer a militarily organized adversary to confront”.

Comrades. The seizure of power alone does not represent anything; nor does the destruction of the military apparatus guarantee that the enemy has been totally liquidated. In fact, to some extent he regains his strength because imperialism is going to support him more and better. Power is expressed not only in the arrest of the means of production; Power is no longer only expressed in the military apparatus, it is also shown solidly in the field of consciousness and in another aspect that has become very strong today: the militarization of societies.

Today’s imperialism is obviously not the imperialism of the last century; deploys new strategies, they have been recreating them for decades in Colombia to combat armed revisionism using alternative apparatuses, paramilitary groups or opposing masses against masses. They have done it in Peru, where imperialism put its greatest effort. Let’s see what happens in Syria, they continue with that line of balkanization; they instrumentalize the masses of the same countries to weaken or overthrow governments or states. Comrades, it is not enough to defeat the old military apparatus, it is important to develop people’s war to defend the new power. It is fundamental, and that defense has long since ceased to be the responsibility basically of the new apparatus, the new army, it is up to the armed sea of ​​masses to do so; As Marx and Engels said, without that “armed sea” of masses, there is no possibility of defending Power and bringing it to communism. We insist on the need to recognize and rescue the experience of the international proletariat in the Paris Commune, or of the USSR, where the lack of militarization of the party and of arming the masses contributed to the leadership apparatuses of the party and the professional army being easily assaulted by restorative revisionism.

Comrades, the People’s War is much more than an army made up of guerrillas organized into local forces, main forces, and armed militias destroying the enemy’s living forces until they take power, and having achieved this purpose, going to lock up in the barracks. The war that the proletariat and the poor peasantry raises is an integral, systemic, dialectical war, where every vestige of the old Power is destroyed, that is, its old armed apparatus, its old productive structure, its old relations of production, its old culture. and the masses, under proletarian leadership, have that task, but on the same premise and with the same vehemence, they must defend the new Power that will try to be undermined and destroyed by the bourgeois and landlord remnants with the support of imperialism in the same spheres. .

Chairman Mao points out the importance of arming the masses even after victory has been achieved: “As the imperialists commit so many outrages against us, we have to treat them seriously. We must not only have a powerful regular army, but also organize contingents of popular militia everywhere, so that the imperialists, if they attack us, can hardly move to a single point in the country ”, “If imperialism dares to unleash a war of aggression against our country; the people’s militia will operate in coordination with the People’s Liberation Army and will reinforce it at all times to defeat the oppressors”. And not only that, comrades, but Chairman Mao considered the militias and the armed forces as an instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Today, in the absence of the socialist camp (since 1976), the Yankee imperialist superpower is much more daring, violent, it feels itself owner of the world despite the counterweight that Chinese and Russian imperialism tries to apply. It shows it in Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. Precisely in recent times it has not ceased in its threat to invade Venezuela, to position itself more solidly with its armed contingent in Colombia and other countries where it has puppets, lackeys, all armed, just as violent, because imperialism and reaction in general know that Power defends itself with violence. Should we communists invent another way to defend Power outside of violence that must necessarily be expressed as people’s war?

It is that surely the comrades of the RCP think that we communists, with Power in our hands, become humanitarian souls, that we must treat the bourgeois remnants with white gloves, with cowardice (¿). No, we are not going to make that mistake again! The problem with Power also lies in how to defend it. We well know that it is accessed by war and is defended by war, the limits of which can only be established by the capacity it has to decisively and definitively annihilate or neutralize its enemy, that the problem is ultimately defined by who “uses force without regard, without economy of blood”. Clausewitz maintained this and also warned of what you draw regarding how to handle the bourgeois remnants in socialism; “The mistakes made out of benignity are precisely the most damaging”; And if to wield the defense of the New Power with people’s war is to want to show a radicalized vision of it, well, that’s why.

No comrades, they can’t, in fact, they don’t have the right and make mistakes that way; In the current circumstances in the world there is a certain tendency towards a greater fascism and reaction of the old states; waging war to destroy the old power becomes a much more bloody, harsh, complex strategic exercise that does not necessarily conform to dogmas or formulas that must be replicated mechanically, not comrades, the conditions are different; today it is necessary to militarize the communist parties, militarize the masses to defend the new power with people’s war, understand that people’s war is “a strategic perspective to guarantee the dictatorship of the proletariat” as Chairman Gonzalo points out.

Chairman Mao says well: “the proletariat aspires to transform the universe according to its conception of the world, and the bourgeoisie according to its own.” Although it is true that the proletariat and its allies destroy the old bourgeois-landlord power (in the semi-colonial), are not the old bourgeoisie and the big landowners going to organize the recovery of power by armed or violent means ?; Is their military apparatus defeated, will they resort to “democratic” means to destroy the new power? In both New Democracy and socialism, antagonistic classes survive and as long as societies are made up of antagonistic classes, war is to the death!

The maintenance of the people’s war until communism establishes, as a basis, the absolute predominance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-mainly Maoism until a new thought emerges and is consolidated worldwide as the development of MLM.

One of the brilliant contributions that Chairman Mao made to Marxism, and which would establish itself as one of the starting points that would mark the emergence of Mao Tsetung thought, was the study of the correct treatment of contradictions within the people. In fact, within the people there will be contradictions that must be resolved in this order, of the two-line struggle, such as the one we propose will develop with you to the extent that they do not become antagonistic; However, with revisionism raised directly to a restorative strategy or that prevents the revolution from unleashing, it must be a fight to the death; against the bourgeois-feudal remnants it must be driven to death, and not because one wants to show a version of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a new “radical” version, as you point out, but because the history of the class struggle has taught us that it must be that way. If the enemy does everything it considers doing to be able to hold the old Power, why shouldn’t the proletariat do that, and more so to hold its dictatorship?

Comrades, basically the criers of a bourgeois military line can think that way, focus on the idea that the popular army as a vertical, unique, bureaucratic, professional armed structure, divorced from the masses; it is thinking like Khrushchev, Peng De-juai and Luo Rui-ching who promoted the idea of ​​a professional army, separated from the people, from the masses. Why did they think and act in this way? Because in this way the leadership of the army could easily be assaulted and turned into an instrument to usurp the leadership of the party. History let us see that this line is opportunistic, rabidly anti-dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, to some extent it also happened in Peru,

Lenin alerted him by pointing out “that the bourgeoisie remained stronger than the proletariat even after the latter had seized power, and that it will always try to make a return to power.” Stalin was weak in that regard; This is one of their mistakes, not to fully recognize and in its true dimension the existence of antagonistic classes in socialism and how to resolve these irreconcilable contradictions.

Comrades, the class struggle is a struggle for Power and the fundamentals of Maoism is that, Power, Power for the proletariat. The fundamental thing in Gonzalo Thought is Power, but also how to sustain Power in the framework of new contradictions where an imperialist superpower such as the US survives; imperialist powers that enter into the division of the world, but also, in a scenario where the petty bourgeois reformism puts us new scenarios and where a neo-revisionism has clearly emerged that has given ways of raising a battle to the correct ideological line of the international proletariat .

(…) The comrades of Canada also consider that those of us who uphold the Marxism-Leninism-Maoism thesis, mainly Maoism, give it an equivocal assessment of what the Cultural Revolution represented.

No comrades. We start from a fundamental premise that our comrades do not seem to understand correctly. The cultural revolution is above all CLASS STRUGGLE.

In Chairman Mao’s China, after the seizure of power, the structural transformation did not occur mechanically and in the midst of a sacrosanct peace. That is, the productive forces were developed, private property over the means of production was suppressed, and exploitative relations of production were eliminated. Not comrades, an ideological revolution was also necessary because it was necessary to root out the conceptions that tied the masses to feudalism, to the old structure, to the bourgeois conceptions that survive and of which the restorers take advantage to undermine the new power. These leaps occurred in the midst of confrontations, some, antagonistic, to the death; others, within the people, one, red line, Chairman Mao, the other, the other, the Chinese Khrushchev, Deng Xiaoping and his clique,

The cultural revolution did not respond to operating basically in the field of consciousness, as you suggest; Through that revolution, the consolidation of proletarian power had a notable impact. It is important to recreate what Chairman Mao pointed out in this regard: “the social being of man determines his thinking. The correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class, once dominated by the masses, become a material force that transforms society, the world”. Without the Cultural Revolution, the teachings of Marx and Engels that the emancipation of the workers is the work of the workers themselves would not have been evident; consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, strengthen its class consciousness and advance production.

We must not forget comrades that Chairman Mao did not see the revolution isolated from the central problem that appeared in the structure, but rather saw it in a systemic, related way, making the cultural revolution was a problem of the class struggle that was linked to the tasks of also fighting for scientific production and experimentation. In fact, Chairman Mao considered that “we often find incomprehensible leap phenomena in everyday life in which matter can become consciousness and consciousness into matter”, so we cannot be banal and not consider this dialectical relationship that is expressed as a contradiction.

Comrades, if in some way we, the communists of Ecuador, the nobodies, the little ones, the tiny satellites of the PCB-FR could define the cultural revolution, we would do so by arguing that this was, above all, class struggle; weapon for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but above all the way in which the absolute predominance of Mao Tsetung thought was established in China.

(…) Comrades; We believe that today to be a communist is to be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, mainly a Maoist, because we are living a turning point determined by the conditions in which the inter-imperialist contradictions develop in which there is no longer a socialist camp; where the new division of the world is between the Yankee imperialist superpower and the other imperialist powers that seek to establish a certain counterweight to the Yankee empire; where the development of Chinese imperialism, which, apart from the dictatorship of the proletariat, disputes markets with the United States; where the MCI is dispersed by the presence of neo-revisionism exposed by currents such as Avakian; the crumbs that Prachanda has left scattered in some places;

We are mainly Maoists because we consider that we are entering a stage of inflection and leap, where in countries, particularly in the third world, the weight of Gonzalo Thought is ceasing to be incidental to becoming decisive in politics and ideology.

Let us remember what happened in China, which became the centre of the world proletariat after the October revolution; that Mao-Tsetung thought was a touchstone for Khrushchev’s revisionism, Deng Xiaoping; against reformism and even against those parties and organizations that hand over the responsibility of undertaking national liberation struggles to the national bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie. It was constituted in the centre of Marxism-Leninism until before the People’s War in Peru and that from there, becoming Maoism, opened gaps for the deed of a new impulse, a new leap, Gonzalo Thought, today constituted the most effective touchstone for distinguishing revolutionaries from counterrevolutionaries;

(…) And yes, comrades, without pretending to be pragmatic and eclectic, we can also agree with you on the need to fight against the communist parties and organizations that have distorted the class struggle, that have changed the course to follow in relation to create subjective conditions for people’s war and revolution by getting bogged down in “postmodernist” struggles that contribute nothing to the revolution and that on the contrary distract the proletariat from its fundamental struggles. In any case, it must be understood that postmodernism not only becomes the subjective management of the struggles of the masses and the distortion of the class struggle, it is also revealed in the new forms of struggle that they intend to print within the masses.

In Ecuador it has been enough that a dynamic group that, hiding behind a Maoist claim “The rebellion is justified” and sustaining an eclectic discourse, has developed and to some extent contaminated the forms of struggle of the class and the masses. Drums, mimes, clowns, whistles, dancers, are the actors and methods of struggle that seek to replace the determined and combative action of the proletariat, peasantry and other exploited masses.

Comrades, with the above we do not refer to the fact that we agree with you in pointing out that this is the line of struggle applied by the comrades of the United States whom we respect and value in a way and that you attack with so much vehemence, but because evidently, many communist parties that define themselves as Maoists have fallen into this game of dispersion, becoming real obstacles to the revolution.

Comrades of the RCP of Canada, an internationalist call to get out of that small world to which they are shackled by a subjective vision of reality, of the contradictions that arise within the international proletariat. It is not for us, as communists, to lean on a materialism tainted with idealism or to merge dialectics with metaphysics to rant with those who, even with errors typical of those who tirelessly try again and again to unleash the people’s war for conquest and defence of Power for the class on that inevitable path to reach communism.

You have to get out of that platonic cave that only lets you see shadows and false realities. With ideology and its correct application, it is necessary to explore, interpret and transform objective reality; It is urgent to accept criticism in a constructive way, as “medicine for the patient” and avoid or discard those false academic claims that do not contribute to the two-line struggle and that end up being instrumentalized by imperialism and other enemies of the class and the people to conjure up the revolution.

Comrades, if we do not fight against revisionism, we will have done nothing.

LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM, MAINLY MAOISM!

LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM, GONZALO THOUGHT!

IF WE DON’T FIGHT AGAINST REVISIONISM, WE WILL HAVE DONE NOTHING!

FOR UNITY IN THE IDEOLOGY OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT!

LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR IN PERU, INDIA, THE PHILIPPINES AND TURKEY!

LONG LIVE THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF BRAZIL RED FRACTION AND OTHER COMMUNIST PARTIES COMMITTED TO THE WORLD PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION!

EXCEPT POWER, ALL IS ILLUSION!

TO CONQUER THE RED SUN OF LIBERATION: COMMUNISM!

October 1st 2020 https://dazibaorojo08.blogspot.com/

140. Research Note~ response to 1973 coup

Organisations big and small commented on the 1973 coup, pamphlet after pamphlet and article after article of in-depth analyses devoted to Chile came from all varieties of the political left, where the minutiae of Allende‘s brief tenure were forensically examined. Such analyses conclude with different emphasis that revisionism, reformism and nationalism can only lead the working class into a fascist blind alley. More than 3,000 people were killed in the first months following the coup. More than 200,000 were arrested. Subject to illegal detention, torture and other human rights abuses, their children stolen and 30,000 people disappeared before the dictatorship finally ended in 1990.

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In the battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement….

Drawing a line of demarcation in 21st Maoism, the veteran Philippine Marxist, Joma Ma. Sison, in an interview spoke on the theme of Mao Zedong Thought / Maoism and the contemporary world communist movement.

Published by the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES, 18 November 2019 https://ndfp.org/questions-on-mao-zedong-thought-maoism/

Interviewer: Prof. Regletto Aldrich D. Imbong (RADI)

1. RADI: In a recent publication of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) entitled “Anniversary Statements (1992-2017),” I found out that it was only during the 26th anniversary of the CPP in 1994 that the term Maoism appeared (not in 1992 and 1993, as far as the said publication is concerned). Previous statements, like the “Rectify Errors, Rebuild the Party,” in 1968 merely mentioned Mao Zedong Thought, despite the fact that Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru in 1983 supposedly affirmed the universality of Maoism. Can you please enlighten me with the CPP’s appreciation of Maoism and the seemingly delayed upholding of the CPP of Maoism’s universality?

JMS: The adoption of the word Maoism, instead of Mao Zedong Thought, by the Communist Party of the Philippines is a matter of transcription and symmetry alongside the terms Marxism and Leninism. It is a reaffirmation of the earlier CPP recognition of the great contributions of Mao (under the rubric of Mao Zedong Thought) to the development of Marxism-Leninism in philosophy, political economy, party building (especially the rectification movement), the people’s war and the proletarian cultural revolution in socialist society.

In the course of his leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese revolution, Mao together with his Chinese comrades had the modesty of being averse to glorifying himself by the term Maoism. In the literature of the Chinese CP, you will find summary references to his contributions in ideology and policy as “Mao’s thinking” and “Mao’s thought”. It was only in the course of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that “Mao Zedong thought” graduated to “Mao Zedong Thought (with a capital T).

By that time, the CPC had already acclaimed Mao Zedong Thought as representing the third stage in the development of the universal revolutionary theory of the proletariat. Thus, it is false to say that Gonzalo was the first to sum up or synthesize the teachings of Mao or his theory and practice as constituting the third stage in the development of Marxist theory and practice. The foundation for the Marxist theory and practice of people’s war was already established in the Leninist stage when the October revolution of 1917 shifted from the cities to the countryside in the civil war and war against foreign intervention.

Regarded as Mao’s most important achievement to constitute the third stage of the development of Marxist theory and practice was not his theory and practice of protracted people’s war but that of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through cultural revolution to combat revisionism, prevent capitalist restoration and consolidate socialism. (Considered as the first stage in the development of Marxism was the formulation of its fundamental principles and critique of free competition capitalism by Marx and Engels. And the second stage of Leninism was the further development of Marxism by Lenin in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution).

Before Mao died, he had achieved all theoretical and practical contributions that he was capable of in order to achieve the third stage in the development of Marxism. But the CPC called this the stage of Mao Zedong Thought. In the early years of the GPCR there was even an overenthusiastic notion within the CPC that after the solution of the problem of modern revisionism “imperialism was heading towards total collapse and socialism was marching towards world victory. But Mao himself cautioned in 1969 that it would take another 50 to 100 years to reach that desired goal.

Soon after Mao’s death in 1976, the Dengist counterrevolution overthrew the proletariat in China. The Chinese state and CPC changed their class character. But they have continued to refer to Mao Zedong Thought formally and ritualistically, despite the official condemnation of the GPCR as a total catastrophe and the full-blast capitalist restoration and teaming up of China with US imperialism in promoting neoliberal globalization.

It is to the credit of Gonzalo that he took the initiative in 1983 to use the term Maoism, instead of Mao Zedong Thought, by way of posthumously showing a higher appreciation of Mao at least for some of his great accomplishments and for acclaiming Mao’s theory and practice as third stage in the development of Marxist theory and practice. But it is absurd to assert that because of Gonzalo’s “synthesis” he is responsible for making Maoism “universal” or that the universality of Maoism is reduced to the “universality of protracted people’s war” and the prescription for a “militarized party.”

As I have earlier pointed out, Mao himself constituted in his own lifetime Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism by making great contributions to the development of Marxism-Leninism in philosophy, political economy, party building (especially the rectification movement), the people’s war and the proletarian cultural revolution in socialist society. Mao Zedong Thought has gained universal significance long before Gonzalo called it Maoism. The universal significance of Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism does not depend in any way on Gonzalo who has not really summed up all the great achievements of the great Mao.

The worshippers of Gonzalo use his coinage of the term Maoism to evaluate him as the greatest Maoist after Mao. They should take him to account for his own conduct of leadership in his own country, his “Left” opportunist line before his capture in 1992 and Right opportunist line soon after his capture. These conflicting opportunist lines have brought about the decline of the people’s war in Peru. And the mystique about him as being responsible for “synthesizing” Maoism should not be used as an ax against those who continue to wage people’s war. Kautsky did not prove himself any better than Lenin when he protested that Lenin’s ideas were not Marxism but Leninism. He was the first among all people to utter the term Leninism against Lenin himself.

2. RADI: In the same 1994 anniversary statement mentioned in the previous question, the latter equated Mao Zedong Thought with Maoism (as stated, Mao Zedong thought OR Maoism), a criticism which is likewise charged by Dem Volke Dienen in First Critical Remarks about the Role of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the International Communist Movement (see http://www.demvolkedienen.org/…/2726-first-critical-remarks…). You have given the explanation that “there is no difference in content between Mao Zedong Thought and Maoism” in an interview by the New Culture Magazine of the Communist Construction Union of Brazil. For the Dem Volke Dienen, however, if both Mao Zedong Thought and Maoism were terms having the same content, there would be no difference as well in either saying Marxism or Marx Thought, or Leninism or Lenin Thought. However, the “ism” in Maoism has to be distinguished as it means the systematization and closed development of all the three components of Marxism “to a higher level and to a higher truth” and not merely as an individual contribution of a Chinese communist. What is your response to this critique?

JMS: I had the good fortune of being in China in August 1966, when the GPCR was just beginning and Mao was being evaluated, appreciated and defended against his detractors and in relation to his great Marxist-Leninist predecessors. I had very enlightening conversations with members of the CPC Central Committee and the highest responsibles of the CPC Higher Party School. They summed up the great achievements of Mao under the term Mao Zedong Thought, such as the following:

a. In philosophy, Mao elaborated on and developed Lenin’s identification of the unity of opposites (divide into two) as the most fundamental law of materialist dialectics. He did so in such essays as On Contradiction, On Practice, Where Do Correct Ideas Come From? and On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. He applied materialist dialectics in gaining higher knowledge from the dialectics of theory and practice, in carrying out the new democratic revolution through people’s war and undertaking socialist revolution and construction.

b. In political economy, Mao had the advantage of learning positive and negative lessons from Stalin’s policy of socialist industrialization and agricultural cooperation, the revisionist reversal of socialist revolution and construction and leading self-reliant socialist revolution and construction by using the basic and heavy industries as the lead factor, agriculture as the base ofthe economy and light industry as the bridging factor under conditions of imperialist blockade, revisionist betrayal and other adversities.

c. In social science, Mao developed further the theory and practice of the new democratic and socialist stages of the Chinese revolution. But his most important achievement in social science was in recognizing the problem of modern revisionism and the continuing fact of classes and class struggle in socialist society and in adopting solutions. He put forward a series of campaigns to uphold, defend and advance socialism, such as the anti-Rightist campaign, the Great Leap Foward. the socialist education movement and ultimately the cultural revolution as he faced greater resistance of the revisionists and capitalist roaders.

d. In party building, Mao adopted and developed further Leninist teaching on building the proletarian vanguard party. He excelled at developing the rectification movement as the campaign for educating the Party cadres and members in Marxist-Leninist theory and practice, as the method for identifying the errors and weaknesses and for saving the patient from the disease and and as the way for the Party to better serve the masses, mobilize them, let them acquire power and come under their supervision.

e. In people’s war, Mao had already demonstrated how the toiling masses of workers and peasants could defeat an enemy that was superior in military equipment and trained personnel through the strategic line of protracted people’s war by encircing the cities from the countryside in semicolonial and semifeudal countries. By winning the new democratic revolution through people’s war, the revolutionary proletariat and the people gain the power to proceed to socialist revolution.

f. The theory and practice of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through the GPCR was regarded as the greatest epoch-making contribution of Mao. It was aimed at combatting modern revisionism, preventing capitalist restoration and consolidating socialism. Even as the GPCR would be defeated by the Dengist counterrevolution, it still confirms and explains how socialism can be subverted and destroyed from within. Such a lesson will guide the forthcoming socialist revolutions.

Before, during and after the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the foregoing six components of Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism were already acknowledged and propagated in CPP publications and grasped by CPP cadres and members. What the Gonzaloites are doing is to tear apart Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism and exaggerate protracted people’s war as prescription for all countries under all circumstances and require militarization of the party as the principal or essential elements of Maoism. This is not Maoism but a grotesque Gonzaloite distortion of Maoism.

In other articles, I have already pointed out that the Gonzaloites have well proven themselves as mere charlatans by claiming that protracted people’s war can be done in industrial capitalist countries and by not doing any single armed tactical offensive anywhere for decades to prove their point. The militarization of the party is an anti-Maoist notion which runs counter to the principle that the Party, as the ideological and political leading force, commands the gun. In its Second Great Rectification Movement, the CPP opposed and defeated the “Left” opportunists who wanted to subordinate the Party to the army.

3. RADI: Contemporary leftist philosophers like Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, and Jodi Dean affirm the communist idea (although they have various interpretations of this idea) but strikingly glaring among them is their divergences in terms of the question of political organization which can be commonly described as a clear surrender of the Leninist vanguard party. Badiou, for example, a self-proclaimed Maoist and an heir to the May of 1968 of France, argues for a “politics without a party.” Dean, on the other hand, argues for the necessity of a party but a party in an international level, not anymore the traditional state-bound communist party of the past that clearly claim as its aim the seizure of political and state power from the bourgeoisie. What is your insight in relation to the question of political organization in winning the struggle for communism and what was Mao’s or Maoism’s important contribution to this problem?

JMS: It is absurd for Badiou to argue for “politics without a party”. He is intellectually and practically a subjectivist and anarchist who seeks to disorganize the masses and lead them to the predominance of bourgeois parties and the bourgeois state. He is out of the world of class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Definitely, he is not a Maoist even if he proclaims himself to be a Maoist.

The first great socialist state would not have been established had there been no Bolshevik party to lead the toiling masses of workers and peasants in overthrowing the reactionaries and seizing political power. Without the CPC, the Chinese proletariat and people would not have succeeded in winning the new democratic and socialist stages of the Chinese revolution.

Jodi Dean is somewhat better than Badiou in recognizing the need for a revolutionary party. But while being internationalist, the proletarian revolutionary party has to win the revolution within national boundaries. For Lenin and the Bolsheviks to win the Great October Socialist Revolution, they had to oppose the social pacifism and social chauvinism of the Second International. 

It is relevant to recall that the Third International or Comintern tried to run a world party with local communist parties as national sections. But came 1943 the Comintern had to dissolve itself because it could not communicate and instruct or advice the CPs who were engaged in the bitter anti-fascist wars. Consequently, the principles of equality, independence and mutual support and cooperation were adopted in the comradely relations of communist and workers’ parties.

In the bitter struggles against the well-organized bourgeoisie and imperialist powers, the proletariat as the leading class in the revolution must have a political party. It must have an ideological, political and organizational line to defeat the enemy. It must grow in strength by being intimately linked to the toiling masses. It must arouse, organize and mobilize them in their own best interest. The mass base generates the mass activists and the best party cadres and masses. The party can defeat the enemy and win the revolution only with the participation and support of the masses.

We can learn from Mao and Maoism how to build the Party ideologically, politically and organizationally, how to do social investigation and mass work, how to arouse, organize and mobilize the toiling masses and how to avail of the people’s war and the united front to reach and mobilize the masses in their millions. Mao taught us how to use the rectification movement in order to correct errors and shortcomings and thereby further strengthen the Party. He insisted on the mass line of mobilizing the masses and gaining strength from them from one stage of the revolution to a new and higher stage.

Some petty bourgeois intellectuals have the high flown disdain for nation-states and political parties. But these are progressive products of history in relation to the backward conditions of colonial and feudal domination. And for the proletariat to defeat the bourgeois states and parties, it must create the socialist state under the leadership of the proletarian revolutionary party. Before the classless communist society can be achieved, socialist states and communist parties are needed to fight and defeat imperialism and the local reactionary classes

I need not comment on Slavoj Zizek because you do not raise any specific point about him. You do not have to. He is a chameleon and charlatan who poses as a philosopher, flip-flops from pro-Stalin to anti-Stalin statements and plays with phrases like a child playing with his toys. I suggest that you look into how Noam Chomsky describes him. 

4. RADI: Alain Badiou interprets the Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution (GPCR) as a novelty as it is the first revolution to happen in a socialist state in the same way that the Paris Commune was the first revolution to happen in a capitalist state. However, in his reading of the GPCR, Badiou reinforces his stand of the “politics without a party” as the Communist Party of China then (and now) became intertwined with state power, the machinery which he claims must be abolished rather than seized. In this way, his notion of emancipatory politics advances the claim of a politics “at a distance from the state,” claiming that restrain rather than seizure should now be the model of contemporary political procedures. What is the correct Maoist view concerning the relation between the party and the state? Can we say that the Mass Line constituted a significant contribution to this problem?

JMS: There would have been no GPCR as a “novelty” for Badiou had there been no CPC that established a socialist society that was being subverted by the capitalist roaders and that needed the GPCR to combat the capitalist roaders and consolidate socialism. The Dengist counterrevolution defeated the GPCR precisely because the revisionist or capitalist roaders were able to retain and eventually enlarge their power and authority within both the Party and state.

As shown in the examples of the Soviet Union and China, when the ruling party of the proletariat is undermined by modern revisionism and the capitalist roaders, the character of the state changes from socialist to capitalist. In the first place, no socialist state and society can ever arise and develop if there were no revolutionary party of the proletariat that leads the people’s army and the masses in overthrowing the bourgeois state.

During the GPCR, the most extensive kind of democracy arose, with Mao rallying the masses of Red Guards and the people to bombard the bourgeois headquarters in the Party and state and calling on the Party and the People’s Liberation Army to support the Left. Under the leadership of the CPC, revolutionary committees arose to lead the masses in communities, factories and farms. But in the course of the class struggle, the Rightists and the ultra-Leftists also generated an anarchy of factions behind which the capitalist roaders maneuvered to retain their positions in the CPC and state in collaboration with the Centrists in order to defeat the GPCR ultimately.

It is in accordance with Maoism or the teachings of Mao that the CPP has strengthened itself ideologically, politically and organizationally and has built the mass movement as its and at the same time the local organs of political power as the embryos of the future people’s democratic state. The sum of these local organs of political power may be considered the provisional revolutionary government of the workers and peasants. These organs of political power can be formed only because there are the Party, the people’s army, the mass organizations and the united front that support and enable them.

5. RADI: In my dissertation, I argue that contemporary communist hypothesis must consider three terms, each of which are dialectically related with each other: party, state, and mass movement. I argue further that the possibility of communism could only be if the nature of the party is “a party in scission,” that is, a party which, while utilizes state power to suppress reaction, also immerses itself with the mass movements. What is Maoism’s greatest lesson to the question of political organization (a question which Lenin brilliantly answered in What is to be Done)? Did Maoism modify, in one way or another, the question of vanguard leadership (especially if we take into account the lessons of the GPCR)?

JMS: You are on the correct track by considering the party, the state and mass movement, each of which are dialectically related to each other. Even if only one of these is lacking or is weak, it is impossible to achieve the full development of socialism, which is the precondition to communism. If there is no genuine communist party, there can be no socialist revolution and no socialist state to establish. 

If there is no socialist state, there is no way to promote the forces and factors of socialism and pave the way to the communism. Without the class dictatorship of the proletariat, there is no way to suppress reaction and to prevent the bourgeoisie from re-emerging and taking power. A ruling communist party or socialist state cannot survive and progress without relying on the mass movement.

Mao adhered to the Leninist concept of a vanguard party representative of the proletariat as the most advanced political and productive class that is most interested in socialism. In the course of the new democratic and socialist stages of the Chinese revolution, Mao and the CPC had ample time and opportunity to develop the CPC as the leading force and the various types of forces that brought about the Chinese socialist state. 

In an all-round way, the CPC benefited from the line of relying and trusting the masses and constantly arousing, organizing and mobilizing them in communities and work places in the course of fighting the enemy and building a socialist society. The Party was in the lead and at the same time at the core of mass formations. In both ways, it drew strength from the masses.

It is also pertinent to mention that, after the death of Lenin, Stalin and the CPSU carried forward Leninism in Party building, mass mobilization and in socialist revolution and construction. He built a powerful socialist state that could defeat fascism and subsequently challenge US imperialism and the world capitalist system. He carried out well the Leninist task of promoting the building of communist parties in many countries through the Comintern.

The Chinese revolution would not have won victory and would not have established the Chinese people’s democratic state (gliding into the socialist state) if not for the vanguard role of the Chinese Communist Party, the mobilization of the masses, the use of the people’s army to destroy the reactionary state and the readiness of the people to build further as the new democratic government the local organs of political power established in the course of people’s war.

The Polish service of Radio Tirana

Radio Tirana International no longer broadcast in Polish. Today the foreign language output is restricted to Turkish, Serbian, Greek, German, Italian, French and there are seven half hour livestream on the internet in English on a daily basis.[i]

It was different back then when you could tune into Radio Tirana broadcasting in Polish in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Polish section of Radio Tirana began broadcasting in September 1966 and in 1967 had daily broadcast of three half-hour programs. Later their number increased to four a day, and from July 1968 eight programs  in Polish for four hours a day on short and medium waves, when the Polish BBC section averaged just over three hours a day.

Monitored by the Polish Ministry of Interior in 1968, their analysis noted Radio Tirana broadcast 197 programs in Polish focused on 265 topics on socialist countries and 74 on different capitalist countries. By 1973, the radio broadcast 248 programs, of which only 43 concerned capitalist countries. Radio Tirana broadcasts were an interesting curiosity; the output of the Tirana-based service also served an anti-revisionist Polish domestic agenda rather than a simply international propagation of the viewpoint of Albanian authorities.

Virtually all broadcasts were readings of texts bristling with rhetorical language of the anti-revisionist movement and a vital source of information for supporters and opponents alike. Broadcasts of the Polish section of Radio Tirana, similar to KPP leaflets and pamphlets, focused on criticizing Polish party and government policy and accused Gomułka and later Gierek for the desire to restore capitalism. It is worth noting that problems and subjects raised on the airwaves by Radio Tirana were often picked up by Radio Free Europe, which also widely informed listeners about the activities of Mijal and the repression of authorities in Warsaw against the Polish Maoists.

Overall, the illegal oppositional Communist Party of Poland, headed by former CC member Mijail , concludes Margaret K. Gnoinska, was a  nuisance for the leadership of the ruling Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) domestically, and had a certain effect on international politics complicating  reformist First Secretary Gomułka’s delicate diplomacy with both Beijing and Moscow.[ii]

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Mijal had became the Polish embodiment of anti-revisionism within the international communist movement; he defended Stalin and his legacy and joined those communists who rejected a pro-Soviet orientation, thereby aligning himself with China and Albania. Maoist thought did resonate to some degree with the younger generation of Polish communists who also saw it as a means of challenging the Kremlin’s control of Eastern Europe.[iii]

The authorities propaganda attempts to discredit the KPP centre on Mijal himself: “ Only the sympathizers of communism in the Chinese edition, such as publishers of the La Voix du Peuple communist Belgian communist authority, treated the Mijalists with full seriousness”. [iv]

In April 1967, the Polish service of Radio Tirana broadcast the KPP’s “To fight in defense of socialism against the revisionist agent of imperialism.” Broadcasts often coincided with the physical distribution of pamphlets reported by radio Tirana , e.g. “KPP is fighting and calling for battle!” or “I lost the compass of Marxism, or Polish paths to socialism.” The latter was so extensive promoted that in May 1968 it was read daily for 10 consecutive days.  The co-ordination of the propaganda offensive between Albania and the communist resistance inside Poland was seen as part of the internationalist struggle against modern revisionism by the Albanians and others.

Polish journalist Micheal Przeperski noted the importance given to current political comments and the anti-Semitic prejudices in the KPP commentary in his article on theAlbanian adventure of comrade Mijal[v]

“ On the events at the University of Warsaw of March 8, 1968, Tirana said: “Students’ speeches in Warsaw cannot be detached from the general political situation in the country, which is difficult, nor can they be called hooligan, because these accidents are deeply social ( …) not the youth, and the party is responsible for this tragic spectacle. ” At first glance, it might seem that the KPP supported the victimized students. Nothing could be more wrong, because it was further stated: “Who are the students defending? Student manifestations (…) are organized from the outside in order to maintain the largest group of Jewish nationalists and their supporters in leadership. “

This was all the more surprising because a few months earlier, in October 1967, Radio Tirana talked about the agent’s role of “Zionist elements exercising power in Poland together with Gomułka.” Thus, the Jews were simultaneously with Gomułka and against Gomułka, and always against vital national interests. This confusing rhetoric brought the KPP closer to the anti-Semitic faction of the so-called partisans within the PZPR. The latter, however, have never allowed themselves to openly question Gomułka’s leadership.

And this was the comment on the entry of Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia in August 1968: “An armed assault carried out at night on CSR bears barbaric fascist aggression.” But this time, in no way meant any support for the ideals of the Prague Spring, whose leaders were described as “Dubček’s counterrevolutionary clique.”

Programs presenting letters from listeners from the country were important for every medium broadcasting from abroad, highlighted because they presented evidence that the station was listened to in the country. On the other hand, letters signed by “communists and honest Polish workers”, using exactly the same phraseology as the editors from Tirana, raised considerable suspicion. It should be noted that not all letters from readers were written by the editors.  If a letter containing a lot of details that made them credible, from “a certain comrade from Lodz”, read in December 1967, described the story of Zygmunt Kępa, “a pensioner and old revolutionary”, sentenced to three years in prison for distributing KPP brochures and appeals. The author pointed out not only a positive hero, but also villains. Judgment was issued by judge Halina Michalak and jury members Jan Minister and Leon Kamiński, and the prosecutor was prosecutor Kazimierz Masłowski, with whom he cooperated with SB provocateur Władysław Karbowiak.

Supporters of the KPP had indeed sent critical opinions to Albania about the situation in Poland. An example of operational elaboration may be used as an example codenamed “Radio”, founded in January 1976 by the SB in Sieradz.

The state response promoted by an anonymous letter addressed to Tirana and sent from Łódź became the reason initiating multi-track surveillance reaching hundreds of people. The letter’s writer described himself as a member of the CPP and “critically ascribed the People’s Republic of Poland” authorities for wanting to introduce capitalism in the country “using fascists methods of operation. “

The Ministry of Interior staff suspected that the sender of the letter could have been someone inhabiting the Sieradz province, and began a complicated operation to detect it. In its course to determine and identify the alleged KPP supporter, they designated 317 people who could be potential writers of the letter, They searched about 2,000 applications and complaints in terms of analysis of the convergence of the nature of the letter, and for the same purpose reviewed about 22,000 applications for permission to use a radio and television set. Despite SB officers’ efforts they were unable to identify the author of letter.  [vi]

Kazimierz Mijal, secretary general of the KPP, in February 1966, illegal left the Polish People’s Republic, with an Albanian diplomatic passport in the name of Servet Mehmetka. In exile in Tirana, Mijal was in contact with Poland. He controlled the underground KPP, published the paper “Czerwony Sztandar” that was smuggled back into Poland and most accounts state, he began to run the Polish program of Radio Tirana. However Robert Mazurek, talking with Kazimierz Mijal in May 1998, asked:

– Albanians were very interested in Poland at the time, and founded the Polish section of Radio Tirana.

They used my materials there sometimes. When I lived there, I gave them an interview once, but I had nothing to do with them.

An incredulous reply from Kazimierz Mijal when his name became synonymous with the broadcaster.

A harsh but not unfair judgement was that in practice Mijal did not manage to garner support among the workers in Poland and thus did not further Beijing’s ambitions of fomenting a radical revolution in the Soviet bloc. His efforts were eventually silenced by the Polish security services on instructions from the party.[vii]

In Poland, the state had more success in neutralising the banned KPP whose organized groups were active in Warsaw, Wrocław, Łódź, Katowice, Pabianice and Żyrardów . The state managed to introduce agents into the KPP. Several active members were arrested and sentenced to several years in prison. By the mid-1970s as a result of State security operations under the code name “Znak”, the KPP was shattered and its activists forced to cease operations.[viii] Although reports appeared announcing its dissolution in 1972, Mijal continued to issue pronouncements and commentaries in its name as did Radio Tirana.


ENDNOTES

[i] http://rti.rtsh.al/chi-siamo/

[ii] Margaret K. Gnoinska (2017): Promoting the ‘China Way’ of communism in Poland and beyond during the Sino-Soviet Split: the case of Kazimierz Mijal, Cold War History, DOI: 10.1080/14682745.2017.1362394

[iii] See: Which East is Red? – Andrew Smith

[iv] See: “We Present Kazimierz Mijal” published by FBIS, East Europe Report February 2nd 1985   JPRS-EPS-85-017   

[v] Taken from Michael Przepererski  “Albanian adventure of comrade Mijal” Polityka , October 2nd 2012

[vi] Taken from Przemysław Gasztold ,Maoism on the Vistula? Activities of the Communist Party Of Kazimierz Mijal , memory and justice 2 (32) 2018

[vii] . Gnoinska (2017)

[viii] Jakub Kryst: A hard – headed adventurer , ” Focus Historia “, No. 3 (38) from 2010

News from FLP

An accelerated publishing programme saw the first webinar from Foreign Language Press now available on Youtube and includes the web launch of two new titles: J. Moufawad-Paul offers an exacting analysis of the different trends that emerged out of the victory, development, and ultimate defeat of the Chinese revolution, exploring maoism after Mao in his Critique of Maoist Reason. Also discussed in the presentation is number 19 in the Colourful Classic series , a reprint of the 1975 A New Outlook on Health with an introduction that contextualise the issues in healthcare policy in the ongoing global COVID-19 pan­demic , including the addition of some detailed footnotes. The footnotes provide more current sta­tistics and some updates about how healthcare and the US economy has changed in the past forty plus years.

A brief history of the development of the publishing endeavour is also provided by Chris Kistler in the internationally organized Zoom webinar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQjZ6kq3_0g

The next webinar is on Sunday, August 30, North America: 9:00PM EST/6:00PM PST featuring two titles in the New Roads series.

Like Ho Chi Minh! Like Che Guevara! focuses on the Ethiopian communist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Ian Scott Horst’s – whose principle contribution made EROL’s national section on Ethiopia such a valuable online legacy to the struggle in the region – provides an historical treasure trove of first hand accounts and narratives from the actors themselves documenting the heady, complicated and ultimately tragic events of that revolution.

A collection of writing from the imprisoned K. Murali (Ajith) confronts and counters Brahmanism, an ideological linchpin of the Indian ruling class, is also featured

Other titles, including corrected reprints of the additional selected Works of Mao Zedong originally published in India  by Kranti Publications, are available from its webshop  http://flpress.storenvy.com/

https://foreignlanguages.press/

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ethiopia/index.htm