Rebellion Is Justified!: More on MIM and its Break with the Nepalese Revolution

Saturday, July 1

More on MIM and its Break with the Nepalese Revolution

Posters on the pro-Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) discussion forum It’s Right to Rebel have responded to my post concerning MIM’s document formally breaking with the Nepalese revolution. One poster, Rebel_One, injects the following: “I agree with comrades' remarks on the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party -K.), but given the suggestion some have made on these forums that criticism of the Nepalese people's struggles is likely to be based on a lack of information and understanding of concrete developments, is there any point in splitting with the Nepalese Maoist party? I wonder what exactly MIM has against the Nepalese Party other than its ties to the RCP? Is its ties to the revisionist RCP likely to adversely impact its capacity to carry forward revolutionary communism?” That is precisely the reason I criticize MIM for “over the top” sectarianism. Its document clearly laid out “reciprocity” in party-to-party relations as a criterion for supporting the revolutionary struggles led by other parties. It further made non-recognition (or as MIM puts it, non-“tolerance”) of the RCP as another such criterion. Whether I support or do not support the RCP is not relevant to my criticism of MIM’s adoption of such criteria for support of the struggles led by communist parties.

ServethePeople engages in sophistry by stating that “MIM does support the Maoist revolutionary movement in Nepal and every other country but does not necessarily endorse specific parties.” But the MIM central committee document clearly states that it will no longer promote struggles led by parties that “tolerate” the RCP, and MIM has even gone to the length of removing its web pages with articles relating to the Nepalese people’s revolutionary struggle, keeping only one Luis Arce Borja article obliquely criticizing the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [CPN (Maoist)]. This matter goes beyond party “non-recognition.” Furthermore, how is it possible to “support” the communist revolutionary struggle in Nepal without supporting the Party that initiated it and is leading it? There is no Nepalese “Maoist revolutionary movement” separate from the CPN (Maoist). The Nepalese people’s army is the People’s Liberation Army, and it is under the command of the CPN (Maoist). People’s war was initiated in 1996 by decision of the CPN (Maoist). By making “reciprocity” and the relations between the CPN (Maoist) and the RCP dividing line questions, MIM breaks with not only the CPN (Maoist), but also with the revolutionary struggle it is leading.

WV states that “Klement is wrong to suggest proletarian unity is not based on ideological unity and unity against opportunism and revisionism, as Lenin and Mao said they were.” I made no such suggestion. If RIM were a counterrevolutionary group and the CPN (Maoist) were a counterrevolutionary party, then struggle and not unity would be called for. But that is not the case. If MIM would state that it believes RIM and also the CPN (Maoist) are counterrevolutionary, then at least MIM would be principled, though incorrect. However, if MIM upholds the sort of sophistry demonstrated by ServethePeople, then MIM is unprincipled as well as incorrect. However, MIM could still in the future specifically identify the CPN (Maoist) as counterrevolutionary, and then it would be clearly articulating its principles. WV further states that “Klement is wrong to say breaking with particular leaders means rejecting the oppressed's struggles or even the previous practice of these leaders.” That is merely more sophistry of attempting to separate the Nepalese Party from the revolution it is leading. However, if MIM were to state that it previously supported, but no longer supports the CPN (Maoist) and its struggle, that would at least be principled.

Iran - Sarbedaran and the Question of the “Main Enemy”

There is another aspect to the MIM document worth discussing. The document, without naming names, strongly condemns the Iranian Sarbedaran, or Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). Sarbedaran, along with the RCP, recently gave support to International Women’s Day (IWD) activities that were aimed at opposing the misogynistic oppression in Iran. Earlier, I addressed the issues raised by the controversy surrounding this matter (Link). The RCP addressed the question by printing a note defending the IWD activities in Revolution newspaper (Link). This is an issue that has been raised by MIM - among others - that is worthy of consideration.

It was a wrongheaded course of action for the RCP to participate in these demonstrations, particularly at a time when U.S. imperialism is clearly gearing up for aggression against Iran. There is no doubt that the Islamic Republic is deeply reactionary, but it is simply not the main enemy of the people of Iran at present. And furthermore, it is a foremost duty of communists in the U.S. to oppose imperialist aggression. Imperialism is looking for every political tool it can grasp to whip up U.S. public opinion for aggression against Iran.

In light of these facts, promotion of the IWD events is mistaken, and may feed into the strategy of groups like the MEK, or “Mujehideen” organization which has become a willing handmaiden for U.S. imperialism and an accomplice in its plans for Iran. The MEK is on the friendliest of terms with leading U.S. neo-conservative political figures, who promote the MEK as a pro-US, secular political force for a “new Iran” to emerge after US-engineered “regime change.” Despite its “left” cover, the MEK, like the CIA’s “Iraqi National Congress” prior to 2003, is loudly banging the war drums and building political support for all manner of imperialist aggression. It uses “human rights” as one of its principle tools. Communists must not unwittingly attach themselves to such a political campaign.

How to Assess MIM

I have stated previously that it is incorrect to simply dismiss the MIM and its ideology and politics as “crazy,” or as somehow “irrelevant” because the MIM may have few supporters. Neither of these matters is relevant to assessing the MIM. Every self-proclaimed communist organization in the U.S. can fairly be described as miniscule. And there is no such thing as “crazy” divorced from class content. Something can be learned from a political line, whether right or wrong.

The MIM does have a coherent political line, regardless of its correctness or incorrectness. It is premised upon their class analysis that the overwhelming majority of all those within the U.S. - regardless of nationality - constitute varying strata of the international exploiting classes. While the pro-MIM internet discussion group It’s Right to Rebel is not an official MIM forum, a vision of a model North American post-revolutionary society developed there is congruent with MIM’s line. This hypothetical society was referred to as “One Big Gulag.” That is, the vast preponderance of current U.S. citizens are in need of reform through labor under criminal statute. The implication is that there is simply no social basis for revolution within the U.S.

The “One Big Gulag” vision of a post-revolutionary North America and its accompanying class analysis goes far beyond the correct understanding that there is a large, very influential Euro-American labor aristocracy in the U.S. It rules out a progressive role by any social stratum internal to the U.S., with the possible exception of some non-citizen immigrants. WV states that this analysis is not just “MIM Thought,” but there is no evidence to this effect.

The MIM condemns RIM or any other international organizational formation as “Trotskyite,” and at the same time demands “reciprocity,” non-recognition of the RCP, and support for its class analysis of the U.S. as preconditions for its support. In doing so, it is replicating the worst aspects of the old Comintern’s practices of maintaining international discipline. In the past, MIM has promoted the view of international party-to-party relations of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which gives support to many parties and struggles but also opposes international organization of parties, preferring individual party-to-party relations. Now it appears that MIM has gone to the extreme and repudiated relations with all other parties, because it views “MIM Thought” as a cardinal principle, and there are at this time no other parties that uphold “MIM Thought.” MIM can be described as an organization with an errant class analysis that lends itself to the inevitable conclusion that there are no internal factors or social basis for revolution in the U.S.

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