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