Rules of the road

Kasama

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September 18, 2005

Comments

Sage Radachowsky

Very interesting commentary.

Here is an interesting interview with Gagan Thapa, who is a well known democracy activist, in Boston on 3 October 2005. He comments on the ceasefire and his beliefs about the Maoists and whether they will ally with the political parties.

Link: http://insn.org/?p=2032

Also available at: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php?op=program-info&program_id=14385&nav=&

the burningman

Sage links to his interview with a member of the Congress Party, a centrist grouping that is one of the two largest parliamentary parties.

While he promises that their capitalist, semi-feudal democracy will be "different" than the 12 years that constitutional monarchy was the system, there is no reason to believe this.

Further,Thapa's claims to "non-violence" are bullshit. He, nor his Congress Party, have ever demanded that the feudal state unilaterally disarm. Their pacifism only extends to the people.

They claim to support "democracy," but in that they insist that that feudal privileges not be dismantled and that the people have no right to arm themselves of dismantle the oppressive and despotic state ROOT AND BRANCH.

The arrogance and disembling of his position is remarkable. Frankly, Sage's softball questions don't dig into Congress's history of collaborating with the forces of repression, snitching on militants in the People's Army and the LOSS of their support throughout the country as the People's War has put fundamentally new facts on the ground.

No one is waiting for their leadership anymore. Their "recognition" that the monarchy must go is a positive first step to joining the REAL poltiical "mainstream" that is, in fact, under the leadership of the CPN(M).

Sage

I agree that my questions were somewhat "softball". I wanted to press Gagan further about how a new republican period would be different, but he kept evading that question with cliches and platitudes and I gave up that track.

However, I don't think he can so much be expected to speak for the Nepali Congress Party's past. He speaks strongly and consistently his own anti-monarchy position, which is not new for him though it is new for the NC party in the last couple of months.

I think that Gagan has made it clear that he's against the violence of the state, the existing feudal state or any future possible Maoist state if it rules with violence and threat of violence. Several times he speaks bitterly against the repressive structures of the state, and he also mentions the raising of arms of the democratic movements in 1950 and 1990. So he's not strictly nonviolent, but shows some exceptions. He does state that he's against the Maoists' use of violence and wishes that they would join the 'mainstream'.

I'm not voicing my own opinions here. I doubt whether the democracy movement would have the position of precarious strength without the raising of arms by the CPN(M) as another party to the conflict. I doubt whether the conflict would have come to a head as it has. I'm remaining agnostic on the raising of arms. I don't think I have the right to make that judgment upon anyone, but I do know the pain it has caused to many. Then again I know the pain many have experienced before the insurgency started.

I'll also link to an article by an observer with Crisis Group, just published in the Indian Express. I find it an astute observation of the current situation. Whether or not you come from the same perspective as Rhoderick, he's a good weatherman: he knows which way the wind is blowing.

Sage

Here's that link:
http://insn.org/?p=2044

Christopher Day

Hello.

I like Sage, but I find the agnosticism on the question of arms unconvincing. There are no neutrals on a moving train and we are all on a moving train. The revolutionaries in Nepal launched their Peoples War based on a judgement of their situation that events seem to have borne out. Refusing to "take sides" is justifiable only when you don't have the information you need and you are in the process of getting it. A principle of not taking sides, however, amounts to nothing more than siding with the status quo.

All of this is an aside however. The real reason I'm writing is to tell Burningman to get some new content up on this site. September 18? Sheesh!

the burningman

You pay my rent, kid.

Friendly Maoist, not RCP

Burningman,

Is the real reason you haven't updated this blog because you are trying to pay the rent, or because you are spending all your time talking to the RCP in their awip forum?

Really, man, it would be nice if you would clarify your position on the RCP. You launch some very righteous criticisms of them, from a materialist and Maoist standpoint, especially in your recent interchange with them about their action at Hunter College. But on the other hand, whenever me (and maybe some others) start to be inspired by you, you quickly flip and seem determined to tail their idealist asses all over the place. Do you have a worked out opinion of the RCP? Or do you just wake up on a different side of the bed each morning and decide what you think of them on that basis? I guess I would like to ask you to take a more consistent line in regard to them, one way or the other, and to act on that basis.

You have said that they are the best thing out there in the United States. Well, ok, that may be, for the time being. But, you also regularly bring up substantial and serious criticisms of them. Do you think their shortcomings are such that they should not be followed, but that a new Maoist path should be forged in this country? If you don't think they are worth joining, then why don't you try and unite with other Maoist forces to forge that path? Or, if the RCP is really the best that can be done, why don't you just join it, and raise your criticisms internally? (Heh, I'm sure you realize what a joke that is...)

Anyways, it would be nice to get some clarity from you on these points, as someone who coincides with many of your criticisms of the RCP, and in particular feels many of your recent statements on AWIP are right on the money.

historio

the debate refered to above is at:

http://www.awip.proboards23.com/index.cgi?board=politix&action=display&thread=1129590965

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