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To the revolutionary communists of the world and Afghanistan:
Our rupture from the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
Comrades, the world situation as well as the situation of the region and Afghanistan have given the communists a heavy task to shoulder. There is no crime that the imperialists and the other powers will not commit in the service of their interests. They have proven this with their interventions and wars, and their intensification of the oppression and exploitation of our people in the region and the world over the last decades.
But as the vanguard of the proletariat, the communists cannot content themselves with just bearing witness to the situation and continue to act in the same old way with the same old methods. The only way they can enable themselves to shoulder their crucial tasks is to liberate themselves from opportunist and revisionist tendencies that can destroy the communist movement from within. The communists have a duty to rupture from those who want to drag the communist movement into the games of nationalist and religious wars, and with dogmatist methods inflict irrecoverable blows on it.
Comrades! The situation of the region is critical. Its people are under tremendous pressure and being slaughtered. For more than three decades Afghanistan has been marked by the invasions and intervention of imperialists and reactionary powers in the region. Our people are not indifferent to the occupation. They have been fighting occupiers and invaders for centuries. But after driving one occupier out of the country, our people were imprisoned by another local reactionary force that sold out the country's independence and paved the way for another invader. We have seen the rise of Islamic fundamentalists, jihadists like Taliban and Daesh (ISIS), who have ruled or are aiming to rule our country. They are antagonistic towards the interests of the people and communism and the new world that the real communists seek to build. Our people, despite courageous struggles and resistance, are still in the grip of invasions and interventions of the imperialist and various reactionary forces. This must change and our people should smash and destroy the market stall of the imperialists and their local lackeys.
With the recent developments in the region and the Middle East, we can see how the imperialist powers and in particular the U.S. imperialists are trying to bring the region under their control with the excuse of fighting fundamentalism, Al Qaeda and Daesh. Yet the invasions, occupations and intervention they have carried out with false pretexts, such as liberating women or eliminating weapons of mass destruction, are what have driven the expansion of fundamentalism in the region.
The absence of communist leadership of the people’s struggle is deeply felt. The rise of the reactionary Islamic forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East cannot be unrelated to the situation of the world communist movement. This absence and the weakness of the world communist movement is a reason why communist parties in many regions avoid an ideological-political struggle against non-proletarian ideologies such as nationalism and, in particular, backward religious ideologies. Instead of trying to seize the leadership of the mass movement, they insist on tailing non-proletarian class and religious forces and turn the masses and communists into soldiers for these reactionaries.
The history of the communist movement in our country is an example of such an approach. The communist movement in our country was inspired by the revolutionary line of Mao Tsetung in China and his struggles against the dominant revisionist line in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. It grew and gained respect among the masses. However, after the Soviet social-imperialist invasion, the vast majority of the organisations related to the movement against it had no clear line of their own and as a result ignored the main national and international contradictions. Under the pretext of the invasion being the main contradiction and defending the country being the main task they liquidated their ideological identity and aligned with the jihadi forces to "defend the country". That approach was never about defending the country and the people; above all, it meant the liquidation of their own ideology and tailing the most reactionary fundamentalist forces. Willingly or unwillingly, they fell into the trap of the Western imperialists who were not supposed to be the “main” enemy at the time.
The Soviet social-imperialists were defeated and left our country in ignominy, but it is no secret that our people, despite their courage and self-sacrifice, were not the winners. The great winners of this war were the Western imperialists and our southern neighbour, and the jihadist and fundamentalist forces. What our people have gone through since then is also no secret. Years of cooperation with the jihadists did not make those "communists" who went along with them any stronger. On the contrary, they abandoned their ideology and lost their forces to the jihadists. Even those who remained communists and were determined to continue their struggle were affected by Islamic ideology and its methods and style. After the end of the Soviet invasion those forces could not get anywhere, despite their efforts. The situation of the communist movement in Afghanistan is a real example of what the communist movement in many other countries in the world have gone through.
The loss of political power by the Maoists in China following the death of comrade Mao, despite a quarter century of great advances along the path of socialism and great practical and theoretical achievements, had a massive negative effect on the world communist movement. Many parties followed the revisionist "three worlds" theory or openly retreated from their communist positions. On one side the imperialists launched a political and ideological campaign against communism. On the other, with the growing contradiction between two imperialist blocs, East and West, the Soviet revisionist line became stronger and in many places replaced the real communist movement. This situation put the real communists under pressure.
Some efforts were made by the world's communists to overcome the crisis by the revisionist coup following Chairman Mao’s death. These efforts, with both their positive effects and strengths and their weaknesses, hold very important lessons for us. The most important move in this direction was the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) in 1984.
Despite the struggles lead by RIM and its participating parties and the efforts to overcome the crisis, it faced obstacles and in the final analysis ran up against certain limitations. The RIM experience showed that the unity of the participating parties and organisations – based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and later Marxism-Leninism-Maoism – was not at a level that could produce a united effort. There was no united understanding of Maoism or the situation of the communist movement, and as a result there was no united understanding about the aims and goals of this movement. That contradiction and unevenness gave rise to important two-line struggles within RIM. In fact, RIM's history was marked by these two-line struggles. Though the unity of these parties and organisation was supposedly based on the revolutionary thought of Mao Tsetung, most of these struggles were about how to understand Maoism. For example, there was a line that rejected Mao Tsetung Thought from the very formation of the RIM. There were also lines that represented a nationalist or Lin Biaoist understanding of Maoism.
Now, more than three decades after RIM was formed and began its activities, we have accumulated much experience. The struggles with the class enemy and also the two-line struggles have provided us with valuable and precious experience and documents for a better and higher understanding of the communist movement.
The present situation of the Maoists and the communist movement as a whole and the internal development of RIM and its parties and organisations, in parallel with developments on the world scale and in the region, show that the damage caused by the proletariat's loss of political power in China was far greater than what many communists assumed. We still feel the weight of the loss of proletarian political power and the subsequent crisis of the international communist movement. The evidence is right before our eyes: the absence of communist leadership in many struggles and movements in the region and the world, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and backward thinking.
The necessities presented by this situation are clearer than ever. It is also clear that to respond to this situation and overcome the crisis, we cannot rely on the ready-made theories of the past, on dogmatism and lazy thinking. Yet some people are hanging onto that thinking and stubbornly opposing, as hard as they can, those who are trying to make a breakthrough and find a way out of the present situation. Our experience tells us that our science should be developed. It needs a development that can improve our understanding and take communism to a higher level, rupturing from its incorrect aspects and making a leap in understanding, and adopting a much more correct line relative to past thinking.
The necessity for this was emphasized by the setback of the Maoists in Peru and Nepal after great advances, and the contradictions that emerged in the RIM and came even more fully to light after the revisionist deviation of the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The lack of a communist alternative in the face of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism further highlights this necessity.
The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and its Chairman Bob Avakian have taken important steps in this regard. Bob Avakian and his party made tireless efforts to reconstruct the Maoist movement and take it to a higher level after the revisionist coup in China, holding high the banner of Maoism and the great achievements of the Cultural Revolution. They continued examining the reasons for the temporary defeat of socialism, and waged two-line struggle about this, particularly in RIM, to better understand how to achieve the emancipation of humanity. All this has led to a new synthesis of communism. This synthesis has put its finger on many political mistakes and incorrect views in the international communist movement in the past. It sets communism on a more scientific foundation in various aspects, and also introduces a more developed method and outlook.
Bob Avakian has made an important and precious effort to bring the revolutionary theories and thoughts of Mao out from under the rubble of revisionism and nationalism. He has opposed the tendency to conceive of Maoism as "communism for the third world countries" or reduce Mao to a nationalist and military leader. He also tried to expose those who misuse Mao’s theories to justify nationalism, revisionism and social democracy, and the reactionary unity and alliances so-called Maoists made with the pretext of applying Mao's united front.
The new synthesis of Bob Avakian is necessary for making revolution and continuing the struggle for communism. Revolutionaries and Maoist parties should take a responsible attitude in considering this synthesis.
The need to rupture from the dominant line in the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
Serious questions have been raised by the C(M)PA leadership's response to recent developments in the communist movement, and its hasty, explicitly hostile opposition to the idea that our science needed to further develop, and in particular, to the new synthesis of communism by Bob Avakian. In justifying that hostility, it exhibited an incorrect understanding of Maoism, despite its claim of defending it. Here we will briefly refer to some points regarding that understanding. We will examine them more thoroughly in the future.
Mao's understanding of the class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat in China represented a more developed conception of communism and the advance towards such a society. At the same time as he lead proletarian political power, he developed the science of communism regarding socialist construction and the path to the emancipation of humanity, i.e., communism. Mao's contributions and thinking during that period gave rise to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the conceptual leap to Maoism. In other words, Maoism was born as a result of the struggles of that period. Without understanding, absorbing and applying these teachings of Mao, we cannot talk about Maoism.
During that period Mao grappled with real contradictions and obstacles to achieving a communist society. It was not possible, he said, to leave the problems of communist society to the future. To get to that society, we have to start to deal with those contradictions now. He stood firm against lines within the Communist Party of China that sought to make stages absolute and argued that the democratic revolution had to be consolidated before dealing with the problems and contradictions of socialism and the path to communism. In sum, the lessons of the experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat, especially as regards the path to a communist society, have important application for us at this very moment. They are not something only for the future.
The C(M)PA's understanding of Maoism should be examined in this light. The first question in this regard is why such an important aspect of Maoism has been so absent from the line, politics and even literature of this party? As if there were no Mao or great struggles after the 1950s, or as if all that had nothing to do with this party. Is that an accident or does it represent a certain orientation – one that makes two sections out of Maoism and pays attention only to the part they think is related to them while ignoring other extremely important aspects. Or, finally, is it because they think we shouldn't concern ourselves with these issues since the stage of revolution at the moment is "national-democratic" – as if each stage had to be consolidated before considering other aspects of Maoism, which we are supposed to take up when they become "relevant" for us.
This is exactly the same kind of outlook that Mao waged struggle against. The launching and waging of a people’s war has everything to do with applying Mao’s achievements in the socialist period and cannot be separated from that. Mao’s struggles during the period of the dictatorship of proletariat are more relevant for us now than ever. We need them to understand the world we are fighting for and chart a more correct path to get there. That understanding of our goal will be decisive in determining the character of our struggle today. Without that understanding, we will become disoriented, as many others have already.
Along with some other parties and organisations who call themselves Maoists, particularly nationalists in the oppressed countries, the C(M)PA have presented a particular understanding of Maoism that reduces it to people’s war. They judge all political forces by whether they wage people's war or armed struggle – they see the relevance of Maoism only to the stage of new democratic revolution and people's war (National Democratic revolution and national people's and revolutionary war according to C[M]PA) in the oppressed countries. In their view, communism and the communist line do not play an important role in that stage of revolution.
For example, the C(M)PA argues that Bob Avakian's new synthesis is wrong and of no value because he has not led a people's war or armed struggle, and therefore he should stand behind those who have. Consequently, the C(M)PA considers the lines of Prachanda and Gonzalo better because they have led a people's war, and it is not that important that they presented compromising and revisionist theories. It was only when Prachanda and Bhattarai abandoned people's war that the C(M)PA acknowledged their deviations. The fact that the leaders of the Nepal party had already ignored communist principles did not raise any questions for the C(M)PA. They might say that abandoning people's war means abandoning communism but when its underlying theory is ignored, this will be reducing Maoism to people's war. In fact, Prachanda and Bhattarai resorted to a bourgeois-democratic line before abandoning people's war, but forces like the C(M)PA did not see things that way. As long as armed struggle was going on and the war was not officially ended, they were not alarmed. Why were they so wilfully ignorant, negligent and short-sighted about the Nepal party? Isn't it because the repudiation of communist principles in theory was not an important criteria for many such parties? And isn't that because communism and Maoism had been reduced to people's war? Didn't they completely ignore Mao's great struggle for a communist line under the dictatorship of the proletariat? Isn't it because the ideological struggle, the transformation of world outlook as part of the struggle for a world without classes that Mao fought so much and so hard for, was so neglected by some forces, including the C(M)PA? This is how some people have tried to limit Maoism to revolutionary struggles of the oppressed countries and present Mao as a revolutionary democrat and Maoism as the ideology of that line.
Their respect for Mao and his theories was based on Mao's theories for national liberation and military line in an oppressed country. But they never understood that his theories served the world revolution and the goal of communism and the emancipation of humanity from all exploitation and oppression. To separate Mao's struggle before seizing political power from his subsequent struggles when the proletariat held political power in China is a deviation from Maoism. It is a distortion of his ideas to present this great internationalist who fought for the goal of communism and the emancipation of humanity as a bourgeois democratic leader and an ideologue for a line whose goal was China's liberation country from foreign invaders in a harmonious alliance with reactionary forces.
The reduction of Mao's great contributions to dialectical materialism to little more than the application of the concept of "principle contradiction” and "alliance with non-principle enemies" is an underlying reason for that orientation. That's why C(M)PA has been attracted to armed revisionism and particularly to armed religious movements, in other words, jihadists and fundamentalists.
This is evident from the fact that Mao's most important battles for communism have no place in this party's literature and teachings.
The C(M)PA concludes that the Manifesto of the RCP is non-Maoist or "post-MLM" because the number of times the document uses the term Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is less than they think required. Maoism, for them, is reduced to how many time you say certain words. (See the resolution of the fourth plenum of the C(M)PA central committee, 23 August 2009. Subsquent citations are from the same source.)
When this party calls the mention of the final goal of emancipating humanity mere bourgeois humanism and confuses the means with the goals of emancipating humanity, that shows how little they understand the struggle for communism
When this party calls "the continuation of the revolution under socialism" as "the moderation of the dictatorship of proletariat", this shows their understanding of socialism.
When this party assesses the new synthesis of communism as a greater danger to the Maoist movement than Prachanda-Bhattarai revisionism, they show their lack of understanding of the difference between communism and revisionism, or deliberately distort it.
It is now timely and necessary to sum up the experience of the communist movement over more than a century, upholding valuable achievements and relying on the method of dialectical materialism to deepen our understanding and take the science of communist revolution to a higher level. This science will develop, just like any other branch of science dealing with the laws of nature and society. But some people react with stubborn dogmatism, turning a blind eye to a changing and developing world and ignore the need for an advance in our ideology and understanding. They refuse to see the importance of the new synthesis of communism by Bob Avakian and his contribution to such an approach. This hostile opposition to the new synthesis would mean imprisoning ourselves in a semi-religious ideology.
We are not surprised that those who have made a religion out of communism object to Avakian's approach. Turning communism and Maoism into a religion and insisting on the past mistakes means draining communism of its essence, i.e., dialectical materialism. Such forces will not and cannot lead a real revolution in our society because they do not understand its real goals, and, in the final analysis, will strengthen the reactionary fundamentalists. Because of this understanding and orientation, some so-called Maoists have been increasingly sunk into struggles and armed struggles without a communist leadership, including struggles under the leadership of reactionary forces. They have been increasingly influenced by nationalism or the dominant thinking in their own region, such as Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately the harm that such a line inflicts doesn't end there. We are well aware of the history of such a line in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, and we know what it has previously done to Maoism. Many of those who did not really understand Maoism and didn't sufficiently understand the importance of losing that bastion of socialism chose the wrong side after Mao died.
We have a duty to take a stand against those who want to turn the essence of the teachings of the great communist Mao Tsetung upside down and use that as a justification to spread the seeds of nationalism and unity and alliances with fundamentalists and reactionaries linked to the U.S. imperialists and their allies in the region.
The U.S. occupiers and their allies can be driven out by a revolutionary resistance war led by a real communist force. Radical changes in the country in accord with the interests of the people, in particular the toiling people, and ensuring the self-determination of oppressed nations and the march towards the liberation of women from age-old gender oppression and so on can be possible only with struggle led by a real communist force, a force that can unite the masses of people, women and men, of all nationalities and all classes of the people, and expose and isolate the reactionaries and their lackeys. This is extremely important for us. We have seen people in our country turn our communist fighters into soldiers for fundamentalists because they saw the armed struggle as a goal in itself and tailed the warlords and Islamist commanders. This inflicted serious blows to communism in our country. To overcome those mistakes, we have to work hard and sacrifice for a correct line and not reapply defeated experiences.
The world has undergone many changes since the revisionist coup in China following the death of Chairman Mao and the defeat of proletarian political power there, and the subsequent crisis of the international communist movement. The Maoist movement has gone through very important experiences over the last 40 years including the retreat in Peru and Nepal after important advances. There have also been changes in the international situation, with the collapse of the East bloc. Along with the anti-communist offensive by the Western imperialists and their allies, there has been the rise of non-proletarian movements and in particular religious fundamentalism in the region and Afghanistan, one of its birthplaces in modern times. Globalization has brought changes and developments in the economic relations between the imperialists and oppressed countries. All this makes the development of MLM to a higher level a necessity and a precondition for the advance of the communist movement.
In such a situation, the C(M)PA, with its stubborn insistence on dogmato-revisionism, has taken an approach against such a development, an approach that spreads an incorrect, bourgeois-democratic understanding of Maoism, an understanding that reduces Maoism to armed struggle and coalitions and forming a united front with reactionary and fundamentalist forces. This will also have a destructive effect on its approach to the woman question and patriarchy, national oppression and nationalism, and to bourgeois-feudal fundamentalists. It will influence organisational questions and methods of struggle as a whole. In fact, it has already had those effects.
Given the differences on this issues and their ideological-political roots, the continuation of our work with C(M)PA has become impossible. That would put us in contradiction with our basic principles and beliefs, i.e., dialectical materialism.
We have already made efforts to wage principled struggle with the incorrect line of this party. However, these efforts were stubbornly countered by the leadership, which have deepened their deviations.
Consequently, we are hereby announcing our split from the C(M)PA in order to continue our struggle against the world imperialist system and its rulers, for the total liberation from imperialism and the overthrow of the local reactionary rulers appointed by the imperialists, as well as the fundamentalist Taliban, who are part of the ruling class and represent the same production relations, even if they have not yet been allowed to fully participate in political power. We are doing so to continue the struggle for the goal of communism, a society free of oppression and exploitation. We will continue our revolutionary activities as a group of revolutionary communists of Afghanistan.
In the last 167 years the communist movement that started with the publication of the Communist Manifesto has achieved great things and reached great heights. Its liberating experiences and horizons have repeatedly found a place in the heart of the masses in all corners of the world. The communist ideology and methodology have the power and potential to unite the broad sections of toiling masses.
There is ground for communism's resurgence. This is the only ideology that can put an end to the long years of oppression and exploitation under imperialism. This is the only ideology that can guide us to put an end to religious wars, ethnic wars and the male chauvinist and patriarchal oppression of women in different forms, of which the oppression of women in our country is a horrendous example. Most importantly, only this ideology can guide us to put an end to class exploitation and class differences and build a new world free of exploitation and oppression. Communist ideology has that potential power because it has a scientific basis. Inspired by the communist spirit, we have been determined to struggle on this road and, for that end, we will fight with all that is in our power.
- A group of revolutionary communists of Afghanistan
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