Rules of the road


On the Shelf

« IntifadaNYC: Racist campaign claims Khalil Gibran principal | Main | Akil Bomani's Authoring a Culture »

August 19, 2007



This report and interview with Prachanda are very interesting, and could very well determine the success or defeat of the revolution in Nepal. It is particularly significant that Prachanda is calling for a "people's revolt" and speaks openly of the possibility of renewed civil war, with the PLA leaving the cantonments. (They would be highly vulnerable to attack by the Nepalese Army if they did so.)

The question I still have is whether the CPN(M) leadership is making this threat in order to force the parliamentary parties to hold the constituent assembly elections in November, or whether it is the beginning of a new strategy, or return to the previous strategy of fighting to overthrow the old state and to bring to power a revolutionary government that can thoroughly uproot feudalism and imperialism and put Nepalese society on the road to socialism.

As for the "why now" question, Prachanda and the party leadership encountered strong opposition at the plenum. Though Prachanda downplays it in his interview, there were reports that many PLA commanders oppose to the current strategy of working within the interim government and constitutional bounds.


So what's everyone's take on the current events going down in Nepal?

It's heating up.

r. john

several thoughts:

1) I think that it is quite important to think through what we can do to spread information about the revolution in Nepal. there is an internationalist responsibility here, and quite clearly it is one that is not being addressed.

2) I think that a rather toxic dogmatism has had some real influence (and I mean among rev-minded people). And it needs to be challenged more: I.e. there has been a sequence of mechanical logic that said:

* the Nepali party seems to be considering negotiations and compromises, that involve whether to continue their PW.

* This raises questions about whether they are about to depart from the "path" that I (or we) think they should follow.

* Therefore we should take a "wait and see" attitude -- and IF they at some point prove (to us!) that they are not selling out, we will kick back in with more enthusiasm.

This logic (which I am presenting in obviously crude form) is wrong on many levels:

It is in the nature of a genuine revolution that it carves new paths, and even flouts what are considered principles drawn from previous revolutions. (This was said, correctly, in Avakian's Mao's Immortal Contributions, but apparently has been forgotten by some.)

It is in the nature of an "approach to power" that many different kinds of maneuvers (zigs and zags) need to be carried out -- in order to get into position, in order to consolidate ties with vacillating and temporary allies, in order to more fully expose and isolate the main enemy. This has historically involved all kinds of "tactful speech" -- by its nature. No deception, but exactly as Prachanda points out -- not speaking as one once did (and once could) in Rolpa.

And it is in the nature of a genuine revolution that there is a "drawing and quartering" -- i.e. that the rev and its party get pulled harshly in different directions and threatens to come apart at the seams. It is not (as Avakian suggests) something that comes as a result of a particular approach of the revolutionaries -- it is inherent in the process of trying to pull together a new state power and trying to hold mass support while pushing forward radical plans. Are there different currents among Nepali Maoists? Yes. Would the dominance by some of them mean a non-revolutionary path? Yes. Are things said in that party that suggest this struggle and those pulls, and attempts to both resolve and mitigate them? Of course.

Is any of this a reason to hold back, lie back in the cut, wait for some definitive "sign" that they have not lost their way? No.

And in fact to be confused on this point is, imho, a sign of a dogmatic and idealist approach to politics that would lead nowhere fast.

to put it another way:

Zack asked: "So what's everyone's take on the current events going down in Nepal?"

My take is that there is much about this I do not know, and do not yet understand. Which (epistemologically speaking) is not surprising -- since rarely does particularity rise up with such power as in the close-combat of an emerging rev situation. And rarely is it more difficult to artfully and correctly carve out a path toward communism (in the midst of the fierce chops of immediate pressures).

So my main take is twofold:

I'm acting as a student and taking notes.

And I'm looking around for ways to act politically as an internationalist -- and find ways to prepare progressiveminded people to see the significance of what is taking place far away.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Hot Shots