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.

Unitary Road Update

2020 began with reports from Maoist Road of a successful International preparatory meeting held in Italy in January before the lockdown.

Arguing for a method of unity-struggle-unity and against the spirit of faction and division, the PCm has striven through the Maoist Road sharing of information and campaigns and other avenues, for organizations “to arrive at the widest possible unity of the MLM movement”. [i]

There discussions were developed regarding the conditions, the need and possibility of holding a Conference grandly envisaged as a Unified International of Marxist Leninist Maoists of all countries.

The main organising sponsor the PCm Italy issued a message that spoke of

“The battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement, the struggle between the two lines within it, the definition of a common platform, the organized form with which to continue this work require, as we know, a prolonged work which demands preparatory meetings, new bilateral and multilateral meetings, as well as the exchange of documents, initiatives aimed at the masses, on the tortuous but luminous path of the realization of a Unified International Conference of the communist movement MLM that wins over the fragmentation, surpassing the effects of the collapse of the Rim and responds to the need to unify MLM on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, on the basis of a critical-self-critical assessment of the general experience of the RIM and other attempts to formation of an international organization.”

Previously the PCm had said “let’s work together for an International Conference of mlm parties and organisations in the world against revisionism, opportunism and pretty bourgeos leftism masked by ‘maoism’.” No names named this time.

Internet commentator, Harsh Thakor [ii] (coincidentally after interviewing exiled Philippine communist Jose Maria Sison) was not so circumspect arguing comrades must make a distinction between the positive practice of Communist Party of Peru (PCP) under Chairman Gonzalo and the most sectarian interpretation, naming Gonzaloists like RGA groups in America, some of which are now defunct , the German Committee Red Flag associated with Dem Volke Dienen website and those around Tjen Folket Media. He references Kenny Lake’s critical exploration of the debate around the universality of protracted people’s war (PPW) [iii], and the scathing criticism in Andy Belasario in PRISM blog, On the so-called University of Protracted People’s War and thethe dubious genius of a Gonzalo….his flip-flop from “Left” opportunism to Right opportunism, which has caused the people’s war to decline and nearly total defeat in Peru”. [iv]

Even before the enforced pause brought about by Covid 19, the conditions for convening the unified international conference have been absence with 2020 the year of alternative planning for separate developments on the unitary road in the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tendencies.

Sison is involved in a big call for the new decade in what was set to be a year of competing “internationals”. Issued jointly at the end of December 2019, after months of discussions and exchanges between the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), two international anti-imperialist formations, the organisations entered the fray inviting others to join them in part of a new global alliance: The Anti-Imperialist Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAFUF), or simply United Front. [v]

What is 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. A challenging timetable was set with the promise that “The Front will be launched before the end of June 2020.”

The problems of establishing and agreeing a general orientation involved in uniting on a common platform was illustrated in an article ‘Maoism as in itself: against the idealism of the “mainly Maoist” current’ from the Canadian PRC-RCP – the Quebec Continuator group – that lays into the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction), Struggle Sessions group, the Maoist Communist Party in France (despite its ambivalence), and domestically swipes at “intellectual revisionist Joshua Moufawad-Paul”. Factional fighting and name calling are milestones on the road to demarcation but can the direction of travel be to a unitary destination? The conclusion in the reassuringly-named ISKRA is hard to reject:

Currently, there is no, such a thing as an international Maoist movement per se. What exists are Maoist parties and organizations with more or less strong links between them, and in many cases without links at all. For a movement to exist, there must be unity, even if it is relative: common objectives, regular exchanges of experience, close collaboration and solid organizational links. If there is no unity at all, there is no movement. In history, the only time that an international Maoist movement actually existed was when the Internationalist Revolutionary Movement (RIM) was in place. Ironically, this experience, the partisans of the idealist tendency reject it under the pretext that the RIM defended a “disjointed and eclectic” conception of Maoism. The PCB (FR) declared last year that “in today’s world, unlike the founding or existence of the RIM, a revitalized international communist movement has flourished and developed”. This is a mind-blowing statement totally disconnected from the real world situation.” [vi]

Indeed dismissive of the whole engagement in the international project of communication, co-operation and co-ordination – they were never members of RIM – the Canadian group reflects a fundamentalist stance that

If we want Marxism to once again become a powerful weapon in the hands of the popular masses, we will have to put an end once and for all to literary leftism and petty-bourgeois pseudo-Maoism. That said, it is in the material world, and not in the world of ideas, that the idealist and postmodern currents will be swept away. It is through real practice, and not through an endless ideological struggle to reach the purest concepts, that the problem that these idealist currents represent will be resolved.

It is not likely they will be engaged in the debates and manoeuvres or overblown rhetoric on the road to establishing a durable structure for international relations with like-minded comrades. The advice from the Maoist era was clear: “the CPC, to its credit, refused a hegemonic role…and constantly drummed into overseas Maoists the need to think independently about their own conditions” [vii]


 

[i] https://maoistroad.blogspot.com/ January 2020

[ii] On the Theory of International Proletariat Military tactics of Mao and Chairman Gonzalo    http://ottoswarroom.blogspot.com/2020/02/on-theory-of-international-proletariat.html February 12, 2020

[iii] https://kites-journal.org/2019/12/11/on-infantile-internet-disorders-and-real-questions-of-revolutionary-strategy-a-response-to-the-debate-over-the-universality-of-protracted-peoples-war/

[iv] https://www.prismm.net/2019/09/02/universality-ppw/

[v] https://ilps.info/en/2019/12/30/call-for-building-the-international-anti-imperialist-and-antifascist-united-front/

[vi]   ISKRA   https://www.iskra-pcr-rcp.ca/2020/01/26/le-maoisme-tel-quen-lui-meme-contre-lidealisme-du-courant-principalement-maoiste/ January 26, 2020  

 [vii] Biel, Robert (2015) Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement. Montreal: Kersplebedeb p162.

 

Old disputes and a new internationalism

woodsmoke

Background

The struggle against the new course initiated by the Soviet Union led to ideological division and political splits from the late 1950s in the international communist movement that remained until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Whilst the CPSU saw its leadership increasing diminished by dissident and autonomous behaviour among those institutionally aligned to Moscow, from these disputes arose an anti-revisionist trend associated with the ruling parties of Albania and China that did not materialise on an organisational basis with a “Beijing Centre” to rebuild and lead component sections .

Components of this pro-China trend as the anti-revisionists were more commonly labelled, were never as formalized and homogeneous as the pro-Soviet tendency. At an early stage, the Albanian Party of Labour sided with the CPC. Only one Western classic communist party came out as anti-revisionist, the Communist Party of New Zealand. Many of the mainstream (non-splinter group) communist parties in South-East Asia, like the Burmese Communist Party and Communist Party of Thailand. The pro-CPC movements were, after the initial split from the Moscow-line Communist Parties, in many cases, based amongst the wave of student radicalism that engulfed the world in the 1960s and 1970s. The anti-revisionist struggle was inspiration for newly re-established parties like in the Philippines and elsewhere.

Whereas the various streams of Trotskyism had unsuccessfully attempted to construct their version of the 4th International from the 1940s to the present day, it was not until the pivotal year 1977 that Albania’s ruling communist party serious attempt was made to rally an alternative international movement. It was in the following decade that there were three substantive attempts to co-ordinate the international alignment of a fractious and diverse maoist constellation of organisations, one of which was self-consciously described itself as “the embryonic centre of the world’s Maoists” until its demise towards the end of the first decade of the new century.

A new communist movement had arisen in the 1960s in opposition to Soviet endorsed revisionism. In its formative years during the polemical exchanges on the general line of the international communist movement, regardless of Albania’s vocal and strident challenges against modern revisionism, the ideological leadership belonged to the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong. In the struggle against Khrushchev and his successors, the CPC were sensitive to the problem of the equality of parties. The Chinese leadership had suffered in the progress of the Chinese Revolutions the negative experiences of advice and pressure from the Soviet Party and Comintern, an intervention repeated by Wang Ming’s contributions during the 1960s.

This well-known history is offered as an argument against efforts to institutionalise the emerging anti-revisionists organisationally as well as ideological and politically. Despite fraternal aid and assistance, expression of solidarity and internationalism provided to friendly parties and funding via Albania, the mantra of self-reliance was over-riding. When the Albanian party was manoeuvring at its Fifth Congress in 1965 to consolidate the supporting Marxist-Leninists organisations into a more institutional arrangement, the CPC did not support the move regardless of the pending mass upheaval unleashed in the Cultural Revolution.

From the 9th Congress in 1969, the Communist party of China ceased its practice of inviting fraternal delegates from other parties to its congresses. Unlike the Albanian party who cultivated such visits. The practice of sending delegates to other fraternal parties’ gatherings was also discontinued. It could be argued that despite China supporting some revolutionary forces financially and through training in other countries in the 1960s and the early 1970s, the global impact was not ideological but largely through lower-key, cultural dissemination. As the intensity of the Cultural Revolution waned in China bi-lateral visits were resumed however in the 1970s these included an eclectic range of invitees and clearly no moves were from Beijing to revive a (Maoist-orientated) communist international.

There were a number of considerations that questioned the need for such an arrangement:

  • Such a centre would never be able to understand the concrete realities of revolution in each country
  • It would hinder the development of competent, self-reliant leadership in the different parties
  • On a practical level there was no capacity for the international coordination of the revolutionary movement, certainly neither Albania or China had the financial or personnel resources to sustain such an international
  • The unspoken objection was the experience of the Comintern itself whereby its policies became identified with the needs of the Soviet Union.

Obviously during the 1960s and 70s a great many organisations uncritically adopted the positions of both the Albanian and Chinese policies, not a bad thing if agitating around the issue of natural justice for Albania over its confiscated gold reserves held in Western nations, however the negative side could be (and was) the lack of independent examination of the vital questions of revolution, especially since there was an objective difference – and all too obvious – in the role of China as a developing socialist state and the tasks of pushing the revolution forward in specific countries. In terms of foreign policy this was starkly seen when the “three World theory” was taken up and championed by supportive-China organisation while others, in the light of Albanian opposition that further divided criticism of China’s foreign policy by the error of denouncing Mao Zedong Thought to follow the Albanian baton.

Late 1970s

Following Mao’s death in September 1976 , the arrest of leftist in the leadership was seen as a reactionary coup and betrayal of Mao Zedong Thought by some. The RCP, USA emerged as the leading element of these unreconstructed Maoist trend, although strong represented, if not widely known, in Latin America.

The following year proved decisive for the original anti-revisionist movement as there were further splits over China’s foreign policy, the international Maoist movement was divided into three camps. One group, composed of various ideologically nonaligned groups, gave weak support to the new Chinese leadership under Deng Xiaoping. Another camp denounced the new leadership as traitors to the cause of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. The third camp sided with the Albanians in denouncing the Three Worlds Theory of the CPC.

The Albanian intervention saw a consolidation of some forces around the Party of Labour of Albania with a series of regional rallies and joint statements supported by the PLA and delegations of the ML organisations participated in conferences in Albania as Radio Tirana informed the world about the strengthening threads of this new international constellation. (See Albania Builds An International)

Maoism, without Mao or China

The decade of the 1980s saw confusion, disorientation and collapse of seemingly strong parties in North America and Europe and the maoist stronghold of south East Asia. Many of the foreign parties that were fraternal parties aligned with the Chinese government before 1975 either disbanded, abandoned the new Chinese government entirely, or even renounced Marxism-Leninism and developed into non-communist, social democratic parties. There was also the most successful development to date of maoist origin, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement  [RIM]. It demonstrates that what is contemporary seen as the “international Maoist movement” evolved out of the organisations that opposed Deng and claimed to uphold the legacy of Mao Zedong.

In the autumn of 1980, a communique signed by 13 non-ruling maoist organisation was addressed “To the Marxist-Leninists, The workers and The Oppressed of All Countries” quickly followed by a position paper prepared jointly by the leaders of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA led by Bob Avakian. This laid out the basic principles for the unity of Marxist-Leninists and the line of the International communist movement.

It was in March 1984 that a second congress of seventeen organisations from fourteen different countries adopted the founding declaration of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement [RIM] which adhered to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

RIM presented itself as “the embryonic centre of the world’s maoist” although absent from its ranks were major parties engaged in armed revolution (like in the Philippines and India). It regrouped a core of parties who were initially characterised as pro-Gang of Four and against the revisionist betrayal in China, maintaining a Late Maoism focus on the value of the Cultural Revolution. Indeed, in December 1993, under Peruvian influence, RIM formally adopted Marxism-Leninism- Maoism and “advanced further still in the direction of a communist international of a new type” [AWTW #23 1998 p74]

How far they were sharply demarcated from other tendencies which had developed out of the previous maoist movement? On the Struggle to Unite the Genuine Communist Forces looked at the principles and forces that RIM was looking towards in its unity drive [AWTW #30 (2004)].

January 1985 saw, “on the same side of the barricade” but not an official publication of RIM (in all but name), the relaunch of “A World to Win”. Two previous editions had appeared, the first contained an article by Sri Lankan veteran Leader, Sanmugathasan, entitled “Enver Hoxha Refuted”.

RIM included such notable organizations as the Communist Party of Peru (PCP), also known as “Sendero Luminoso” or “Shining Path,” the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist, later known as the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN(M)), the Union of Iranian Communist (Sarbedaran), but not the Communist Party of the Philippines (nor the Communist Party of India (Maoist) founded in Sep 2004) .

Towards a renewed solidarity and many conference of Marxist-Leninist Organisations

The 1990s was a busy decade that saw a repolarization of the international communist movement with rekindled interest in the need to regroup and coordinated communist parties in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact alliance. There has been a number of projects aimed at providing some kind of vehicle for unity of different organisation which self-declare their Marxist-Leninist commitment.


* Different streams, different venues, different organisations, different multilateral attempts to coalesce forces around a common position. A partial listing

Brussels annual May Day seminars

Pyongyang Declaration April 1992

Stuttgart Conference of 9 Marxist-Leninist parties from Europe September 1992

Mao Centenary Essen 1993 – General Declaration on Mao Zedong Thought

International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán (IEC) September 1993

European multilateral meeting of ML parties November 1993

Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism! The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement declares that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism must be the commander and guide of the world revolution. December 1993

Moscow Stalin today seminars   1994

Quito ICMLPO founding    August1994

PTB Unity Proposals May 1995

Unity & Struggle No.1 July 1995

Sochi Statement at Anti-Imperialist Convention India, Socialist Unity Centre of India May 1995

Ischia Conference (journal “International Struggle / Marxist-Leninist”) March 1995

Leningrad Declaration November 1997

2nd Conference “International Struggle / Marxist-Leninist” London 1997

International seminar on Mao and People’s war December 1998

Nine party declaration on formation of Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) June 2001


 

From 1993 the annual May Day Communist Seminars organized in Brussels by the Party of Labour of Belgium proved successful in attracting a wide audience from many different political heritages as the PTB increasingly diverged from their origins as part of the Maoist anti-revisionist Marxist Leninist movement. (Although there are exceptions as reportedly the RCP, USA were disinvited from the 1997 seminar and while Bill Bland was invited to Brussels in 1995 he was denied speaking rights.) Such projects set aside the clear lines of distinction drawn in the historic line struggles waged by the CPC and PLA against revisionism. The argument is that revisionism in power collapsed, so “old disputes” should no longer be an obstacle to co-ordinating forces of organisations on the same side of the barricade:

“Whatever one’s opinion about the correctness or necessity of these splits at a certain point in history, it is nowadays possible to overcome these divisions and to unite the Marxist-Leninist parties which are divided into different currents.”

[Proposal from Parti Du Travail of Belgium and the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (AUCPB)]   See also:

1995 | Ludo Martens | On certain aspects of the struggle against revisionism – For the unity of all communists, in defence of proletarian internationalism

The ideological diversity attracted representatives of ruling parties from North Korea and Cuba to the Brussel meetings and while some parties became more vocal in support for the positions of Cuba and North Korea, neither ruling parties could construct a substantial international group recognising an authorative ideological leadership, while Vietnam was seldom mentioned.

Even the small pro-Albanian forces were regrouping after the demise of their state sponsor but failed to unite in a single international alignment. One can set aside the individual call of Wolfgang Eggers , in December 2000 for the foundation of the new Communist International (Marxist-Leninist) in the name of the KPD (ML) and accompanying “19 Theses” dismissed by Canada-based Hari Kumar because “Your approach lacks either common-sense or persuasive power or psychological insight, or, frankly, anything that can commend it”. The path towards a new communist Marxist-Leninist International by essentially old style Stalinist and Hoxha supporters was explored by Kumar (Alliance (ML) Issue No.19 1996)

The journals “International Struggle / Marxist-Leninist” and “Unity & Struggle” aimed to provide a common political platform for a new ML international that proved to have its strength in Latin America but still a divided tendency. There were 15 parties at the conference of Marxist-Leninist parties held in Quito in 1994, but only 12 approved the decision to continue the conferences and publication of an international review (Unity & Struggle). Two years earlier, one of the largest components of the Hoxhist trend, the CPdo B – Communist party of Brazil – had decided to abandon the idea of reorganising the pro-Albanian forces in order to maximise its relations with the broader defined Communist forces including the Communist Party of China. The International seminar on problems of Revolution in Latin America initiated by the Quito conference has drawn from Maoist and Guevarist tendencies to discuss revolutionary strategies.

Elsewhere on the political margins effort at regrouping the international communist movement was the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) in 1988, the first of a series of conferences attracting around two dozen organisation, as the Marxist Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) sought unity .It published the “International Newsletter”.. However, some of the parties and organizations within the ICMLPO identify as Mao Zedong Thought or Maoist.

This grouping metamorphosed into ICOR in October 2010 on an anti-imperialist, anti-revisionist and anti-Trotskyite platform as a union for practical cooperation and a form of organization of international cooperation and coordination for the activity of the revolutionaries of the world, and for mutual support in class struggle and party-building. It has about 51 Member in total.

The founder-leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines was involved in a non-party international broad front, the ILPS – International League of People’s Struggles, a broad international anti-imperialist and democratic mass formation emulated by the smaller World People’s Resistance Movement that seems to lasted as long as RIM did.

In December 1998 an international seminar on Mao and People’s War on the initiative of the CPI(ML) , Communist Party of the Philippines and, the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist , People’s War group saw 27 organizations represented in support of the practice of people’s war and the politics of new democracy. An invitation was extended to the Communist Party of Peru who did not attend. A short-lived website and international bulletin, Vanguard was established but no further international gatherings were sustained. The intention was to publicise the articles and news reports of Marxists-Leninist-Maoist parties, an ambition that found its expression in the present day Redspark website.

The Maoist-Third Worldist movement, a much smaller current of thought began to appear from 2007, but soon splintered and (as with the line of “new synthesis”) took on a messianic claim having supersede its Maoist origins.

These moves in the ML milieu were not in isolation as other leftist currents as seen in the Anti-Imperialist camp, a coalition of activists from different perspectives, initiated 2001, and in the period of retreat, steps taken towards the cooperation and coordination of the Moscow orientated Communist and Workers’ Parties saw the Greek party , KKE play a central role in organising international gatherings and the publication of “International Communist Review” started in 2014.

Beyond RIM

The latter half of the 21st century’s new decade saw RIM near defunct as many of the one-time RIM organizations have become increasingly critical of each other. The intensified tensions within RIM were not unrelated to the setback of the capture of the Peruvian revolutionary leader Guzman.

Disagreements has resulted in many public splits with the RCP USA condemning the UCPN(M) as revisionist after the Nepalese party abandoned its people’s war for parliamentary participation. Only in turn for the RCP USA to be criticized by many of RIM’s surviving members for attempt to foist a “new synthesis” and the undisputed leadership of Bob Avakian upon the international communist movement. Due to growing internal problems and differences RIM ceased functioning around 2007, though there was apparently never any public announcement that the organization was disbanding.

Starting around 2012 there have been efforts by some parties and organizations around the world, to try to resurrect a new internationalism, of re-establishing a RIM mark 2, or else some new international Maoist organization. This took the form of projects and networks advertised on the internet like the Maoist Road blog . The emergence of a Gonzaloist trend in the second decade of the century saw a minor constellation coalesce on the basis of a prescriptive exclusivity that had a sense of theatre without sustained impact.

Aftermath: “old Disputes” & internationalism

Different Leftist currents exist for a reason, and that heritage has a legacy in that each current offers contending analysis and perspectives. So when one speaks about Khrushchev’s revisionism and the restoration of capitalism under Gorbachev and avoids the Brezhnev period when analysis inspired by Mao suggests that the Soviet Union had been thoroughly converted into a “Social Imperialist” entity. Disputes about the class nature of the Soviet Union is passed over and differences retained in the interests of pragmatic unity. Taking an agnostic stance on the merits of previously secured historical clarity is not attributed to other Leftists currents that would argue for an earlier date for the degeneration of the revolutionary project; outside the big tent are Trotskyists, left communists and anarchist currents. The Proposals were that such divisions can be overcome because they were now mere historical disputes as if those past judgements made were immaterial and without consequences or legacy : so what Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, Three World Theory, The Cultural Revolution, military role in Poland, Hoxha’s denunciation of former ally, Mao.

The drive for internationalist solidarity that means the unity of views and actions may be for some a form of revolutionary nostalgia, sentimentally privileging the past at the expense of present concerns and the emotional reconstitution and preservation of revered histories. Against them is a past limiting progressive potential of a greater left unity, the idea of many forces on “our side” of the barricades facing a greater enemy. However these “old disputes” involved political positions that were and are important: if they were wrong, mistaken or right affects subsequent decisions and notions of solidarity that the new internationalism represents. Drawing a line under the past may seem an attractive proposition in the face of a “common enemy”; not so attractive if they are strategically regarded as accomplices of that enemy. It is a different matter of co-operating and co-ordinating with co-thinkers than that of tactically working in alliance with a diverse (and often temporary) coalition of forces. Reserving judgement can disguise the suppression of genuine revolutionary positions. It may well be that the drive for a new internationalism is based on the realistic foundation that the possibility of hegemonic leadership by one trend on the political left is no longer possible, and that the Pandora box of the broad movement, contrasting perceived sectarianism and ultra-leftism against the tolerance and pluralism of divergent views, is the authentic way forward. If that is the case such unity, without reference to Mao, means uniting without Maoism as it is understood by its most vocal proponents.

maoism will win