[This document was originally published in the 11th Issue of People’s War (the theoretical organ of the Central Committee of the CPI(Maoist)) and deals with the campaign to bolshevize the party as a response to the serious setbacks experienced by the party in the wake of the military operations under Operation Green Hunt. This document is incredibly helpful to understanding the lessons of Bolshevism for the modern communist movement in the spheres of organization and discipline. As always, the following is being made available here for the purposes of study and struggle.]
Let us improve Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in our thoughts and practice and Strengthen our Party leadership!
We took up Bolshevization campaign in all the States/Special Zones in the Central Region in 2013 in the leadership of CRB. CRB reviews that this campaign that went on for three and a half years showed good results. One third of the Party and PLGA were steeled in this campaign to overcome the difficult situation and the setback of the movement. Cadres developed more confidence on the Revolutionary Movement and the surrenders are lesser. Class struggle has intensified. There is an improvement in retaliation. The relations with the people have strengthened. There are better opportunities due to the development of theoretical and political understanding of the cadres. A new enthusiasm is seen to an extent all over the Party.
We conducted the campaign concentrating on the universality of MLM, with the dialectical understanding that revolutionary movement travels through a lot of ebbs and flows and finally succeeds, and concentrating on the Three great styles of work. We took up education on theoretical, political and organizational understanding all over the Party to Bolshevize it. Through this method the Party was prepared to be bolshevized in high plane. CRB decided to utilize this situation and take up bolshevization with the aim to organize the Party leadership much more. Anyhow due to increased repression and the importance of other tasks of the Party, instead of a campaign-form, the bolshevization program should be conducted in a different manner thus – The Party leadership committees must plan it in their meetings so as to apply the essence of the lessons of the earlier campaign. Especially there must be discussions, deep practice, again discussions in a higher plane and criticism-self-criticism in the various levels. CRB requests that mainly the leadership committees must pay attention and study this circular deeply
The leadership cadres must have a deep theoretical understanding, command on the history of the Party and the dialectical method, study of the constant changes in the society, political organizational skill, do away with the alien class trends and other such things, in order to fulfill their revolutionary tasks in a capable manner.
Leadership cadres must mold their philosophical ideas in a dialectical manner
The question of philosophical understanding of the leadership cadres is an important issue. After the success of the Revolution in China, there were serious internal struggles in the CPC in the phase of Socialist construction of 1956. There were discussions on philosophical issues. The Liu Shaoqi clique brought forth many wrong theories in the guise of MLM. There were three main struggles in China in the philosophical arena. One of these was a discussion in opposition to the dialectical materialist theory with the name of ‘there would not be unity between existence and thoughts’. The revolutionary centre in the leadership of Mao fought firmly to defeat this discussion. Mao wrote ‘Where do correct ideas come from’ as an answer to the discussion the Liu Shaoqi clique raised. This article has a prestigious place in Marxist Philosophy.
‘Correct ideas come from three kinds of social practices – the struggle for production, class struggle and scientific experiment.
The existence or position decides one’s thought. If people realize the correct ideas about the characteristics of the developed classes these ideas would turn into a physical force. This physical force would transform the society and the world. Humans make many kinds of struggles in their social practice. During this period they also gain great experience from their successes and failures.
One’s knowledge develops in stages. The first stage would be the reflection of the material and outside world. But the ideas (theories, policies, plans and discussions) in this process would be tested in the second phase only. There is no other way to check the practice. Moreover the only aim of the proletarian class in knowing the world is to change it.
‘Correct ideas come in the process of change of material to consciousness, consciousness to material, meaning practice to knowledge and again from knowledge to practice in a repeated manner. Whether it is the Marxist theory of knowledge or dialectical materialist theory this is the process’, said Comrade Mao in developing the theory of knowledge.
Criticizing the Liu Shaoqi clique he says that though the transformation of material into consciousness and consciousness into material is a daily visible occurrence they cannot realize these leaps.
This theory of knowledge Mao taught was repeatedly ascertained in the revolutions based on Marxist Leninist theories. The main issue in this is to realize that the basic changes in the society would take place in the form of leaps.
Some of the leadership cadres in our Party could not achieve genuine unity applying the theory of knowledge of Comrade Mao, though they accepted the unity between existence and thoughts. So subjectivism became a trend in them. In some others there is a serious mechanical materialist outlook in realizing the constant dynamics of existence and thoughts. They feel that the difficult situation of the revolutionary movement to be permanent or else they feel desperate that the revolutionary movement cannot overcome this situation. So their practice too is not sharp. They act like ‘one among the crowd’. They forget the normal understanding that there are ebbs and flows in the revolutionary movement and act innocently. They don’t believe that the necessary favorable factors for the advancement of the revolution are inherent in the difficult situation of the revolutionary movement. So they are doubtful. They are caught in doubts on the Party line itself. So they would not be able to apply the Party line to the changing conditions. They are carried away with the influence of the ruling class ideology and the non-proletarian ideology. They do not consider the incidents of the masses with utmost courage and dare in the fascist repression. They do not understand they they have to be inspired even from a small incident. They do not study the basis of the new kind of struggles in the society. Ultimately they over assess the strength of the state and under assess that of the masses. They think this is a permanent situation. They do not understand that the balance of forces could be reversed through struggle. They would become like ‘the moody sailor can never reach destination’. The study of the essence of the theory of knowledge that we can change material into consciousness and consciousness into material would be a good medicine for such thoughts. We need to rectify our thoughts in the philosophical plane to bolshevize our self. As a part of applying theory to practice leadership must be in the forefront of the class struggle. We would develop proletarian character only by participating in class struggle and uniting with the masses and the cadres. We play leadership role in the revolutionary movement representing the advanced ideas. Otherwise we would be carried away with the bourgeois world outlook. Bourgeois class and proletariat class live side by side in the society. In the society where the bourgeois class is in power, the bourgeois class would dominate and spread its ideology in all the fields. It would indulge in many conspiracies to lure the proletariat class. The class composition of our Party mainly constitutes peasant, urban petty bourgeois classes. They are in the leadership positions too. Thus the bourgeois philosophical trends based on private property would enter the leadership. In order to control them we have to severely participate in class struggle and also always study Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Comrade Lenin repeatedly taught that constant concentration and strict discipline of the proletariat is an important precondition for the success of Bolshevization.
Bolshevism answers the question of how a revolutionary party achieves iron discipline in the following manner.
How is the discipline of a revolutionary party secured? It is through the class consciousness, dedication towards revolution, strong will, sacrificing self and courage of the proletarian vanguard.
How is this discipline tested? It is through linking with wide communities, primarily with the proletariat class. Anyhow it is also tested through the capability of the vanguard section in linking with the non-proletarian sections of the toiling masses, to maintain a close relation with them and to mix with them to an extent.
How would the revolutionary party gain additional strength – it is through the specificity of the political leadership of the revolutionary party, the specificity of its political strategy and tactics and if the masses could realize from their own experience that these are the specific issues. Com. Lenin explained that such conditions do not arise automatically, that it is not a dogmatic principle but specific revolutionary theory that helps these conditions to arise and that this theory would take shape only with close relation with practical activities of the movement that is genuinely collective and genuinely revolutionary. The history of the Bolshevik Party proved this.
Proletarian consciousness, dedication of a revolutionary party, the maximum relation with the masses, strategy, tactics, its specificity and realization of masses through their experience would make the revolution a success. We must apply this historic experience.
One important aspect in bolshevizing the Party is to establish the necessary discipline in building the three magic weapons. This is very important. Party without discipline would be unarmed to fight with a powerful state. So we must concentrate our efforts to strengthen proletarian discipline and to improve the above mentioned things, in the Mass Organisations, Janatha Sarkars and PLGA along with the Party.
Bureaucracy must not be practiced in the name of Party discipline. We must not confuse these things with each other. Discipline must be maintained in the method of Democratic Centralism in the Party. Many kinds of opinions come forth inside the Party and from the masses. We must not fear these ideas. We must make deep discussions about the scattered opinions and decide the proper ones. We must reject the wrong ones. We must not feel that the many kinds of opinions are itself against discipline. If so, the Party would not be lively and moreover there would be proper theoretical development. We must rectify all these shortcomings in our Party.
We reviewed that non-proletarian trends like Subjectivism, Spontaneity, Liberalism, Sectarianism, Bureaucracy and Patriarchy are coming in the way to establish iron discipline in our Party.
There are three main reasons for the alien class trends and the strong continuation of the same in our Party as mentioned in the rectification circular that was discussed and released by the Unity Congress-Ninth Congress of our Party. They are alien class composition, influence of the ruling class ideology and failure to mold the cadres theoretically. There is a strong influence of these things in the lower level and in the fractions of the Mass Organisations. Coming to the leadership cadres we need to analyse in a deeper manner. It would not be enough to show only the above reasons. How are we to understand these deeply ingrained trends despite revolutionary practice in the light of MLM of the leadership cadres in the Party? Our Party has a long history in the struggle against alien class trends. But we have been reviewing time to time that there are no expected results. So how do we justify this? The leadership cadres are lagging behind in studying class struggle and thus the struggle in the lives of the masses. They do not understand the essence and dynamics of the ebbs and flows of Protracted People’s War. They do not consciously transform themselves in philosophical, theoretical and political angles. So the influence of alien class tendencies continues in the leadership cadre. They distance from the dialectical materialist outlook which says that the Marxists not only realize the objective world but change it according to its principles and carry away unconsciously with the conditions.
The only way out of this is the leadership cadres transform themselves in the light of MLM. It means they have to first change their subjective world. For this they would have to apply theory to practice. They would have to always stay with the masses and the cadres and participate in class struggle. Otherwise they would not have any material basis to change themselves. Once we start to establish the material basis to bring change there would be proper results. We can control many kinds of petty bourgeois manifestations of self as the centre and avoid the bad in the Party.
The role of leadership was clearly written in the circular of the rectification movement of the erstwhile People’s War in 2001 –
‘We Communists must certainly adopt two methods in any work we do. One is to combine universality with specificity and the other is to combine leadership with the popular masses’.
‘The broad masses cannot come into practice if we do not give a general, wide call regarding any task. If the comrades in the leadership positions limit themselves to the general call, if they do not get down to implement it specifically in practice either personally or organizationally to achieve the specific objective of the call, if they do not gain such experiences and use them to guide other units, it would not be possible to test whether the general call is proper or not and to enrich the essence of the general call. So this call might not give results’. (Problems regarding methods of leadership’ – MSW, 3rd volume)
We decided the role of the leadership in the rectification movement according to the guidelines of Mao as said above.
- The leadership must personally participate in the rectification movement. It must guide the movement. In this process they must transform themselves. (the Central and the State Committees must review the mistakes in the process of movement starting from 1995). The leadership must assess the specific guidelines it gave to the lower committees.
- Five villages were selected in each area. Nine issues regarding the movement were selected by the leadership for specific study.
Through this method the depth and the character of the mistakes from the leadership were understood. Thus it gave good results in the movement to an extent. Anyhow we did not continue these policies all over the Party and so we did not achieve proper results to the expected mark. If we analyse the mistakes in the practice in a deep manner, if we self-criticise and examine the theoretical and political relation of these mistakes we would be able to overcome these mistakes and also develop a theoretical understanding.
The fundamental principle of the party is to have unity of thought, unity regarding practice and unity between the Party and the masses. We can confirm these only through building the Party on the basis of Democratic Centralism and following class line and mass line. The conscious implementation of Democratic Centralism to make the Party life lively by establishing Party Unity, by strengthening its Unified leadership, by enhancing its fighting capacity would be an important issue. The party could be strengthened through practicing Democratic Centralism to bring about the initiative of all the members.
‘The strengthening of collective leadership would be an important precondition to implement Democratic Centralism in the Party. We have to certainly strengthen the network of Party Committee to practice the combination of collective leadership and individual responsibilities’. (Strategy-Tactics)
This emphasizes the necessity of conscious implementation of Democratic Centralism by every comrade. Only then the unity between the Party and the people would develop and the Party would be lively.
If the leadership is active and the lower Party elements weak, the leadership must implement the principle of Democratic Centralism in a conscious manner with utmost alertness. If not implemented in this manner Bureaucracy would take the place of Centralism. Or else ultra-democratic trends that are nothing but bourgeois democracy would come forth in the name of struggle for Democracy. Presently our Party is facing both the problems. Centralism based on Democracy must be practiced in the party. Without such centralism party cannot make the revolution a success. Party must depend on such centralism whenever it is facing difficult conditions.
Democratic methods are being guaranteed in the Party through the discussions in the Plenums and Meetings taking place periodically. Policies, reviews, tasks and resolutions are being formulated through democratic discussions only. This is helping a lot to keep the Party united. Anyhow Party is facing certain problems in implementing Democratic Centralism in the functioning of the Committees. At times while importance is given to the method of Centralism in formulating and implementing the resolutions of the Party Committees, at times we are following the Democratic method. When the members of a committee divorce from the method of Democratic Centralism regarding the responsibilities and rights, it is leading to disunity. Study and discussion is much more necessary on the implementation of Democratic Centralism in our Party.
We take up the method of criticism – self-criticism to see that there are no mistakes in the party Committees. In a way this is the only method to solve the contradictions in the Party Committees and among the people. We do not have another method. However, if there is no democratic life in the party and if we do not implement Democratic Centralism in the proper sense it would not be possible to apply the method of criticism-self-criticism, says Com. Mao.
The work style of leadership cadres
‘We must definitely follow the one of the criterion to differentiate the proletarian party from the bourgeois, revisionist parties –‘Three great styles regarding work’. They are, combining theory with practice, having close relations with the masses, practicing criticism and self-criticism’. (Strategy-Tactics)
In the first circular of CRB on bolshevization we discussed in detail about these three styles of work.
As a part of rectifying our style of work we took up Field Training programs during Bolshevization. We have the experience of solving the problems in the field in the guidelines of our line. We have to view this as applying theory in practice.
There is one more angle we have to discuss about the style of work. CPC commented thus on the leadership style of work basing on the experiences of the GPCR.
‘We, Communists must not hide our view, commented Comrade Mao Tse Tung. So we have to be open and above board. We have to speak out our political opinions. We have to tell our opinions on important political issues. Everyone has to make clear their opinions as to what is correct and what is wrong. This would be the work style and spirit of the Party, said CPC. This is the great experience that party gained through internal struggle. CPC emphasized these things in the Tenth Congress.
The leadership cadres in our Party must receive the above mentioned guidelines to rectify their style of work and implement the same. Only thus our party leadership would be consolidated. Only thus it would be possible to identify vacillating persons and conduct internal struggle with those who doubt the Party line. Thus the unity in the Party Committees would develop. We would have a chance to rectify those who make mistakes, through the method of criticism and self-criticism. We saw traitors like Panda, GVK Prasad and Sriramula Srinivas in the recent time in the history of our Party. They are our negative teachers. So we have to embed the great experiences of the GPCR.
We must learn from the earlier mistakes and avoid them in future
The lessons we took in the history of our Party starting from Naxalbari and Srikakulam struggles to the setback of AP, NT and AOBare good experiences for us. The developments in the countrywide movement in the past ten years too are good experiences for us. We have to study these experiences, learn from the earlier mistakes and not repeat them in future. Then we can develop the revolutionary movement. Anyhow we did not put serious efforts on study until now. The experiences lay where they are. Many of these experiences are in writing. It is necessary to study them in a regular method. Enemy is synthesizing his experiences in suppressing the revolutionary movement and is applying them across the country. Though our Party leadership studied these experiences to an extent education about them all over the Party is not to the necessary extent. The Party leadership with direct experience too is repeating the mistakes. Bottem and Ramaguda are the recent examples. It is not enough to understand the tactics of the enemy to avoid mistakes. We have to rigorously train the Party and PLGA with the discipline and rules of the movement. We have to take up criticism and self-criticism to avoid alien class tendencies starting from the topmost level to the lower level. If the leadership does not pay attention to these issues and bring about a change there would be losses again. Devious tactics are the important ones in the many number of tactics the enemy unleashes. This is the important issue in LIC theory too. There are coverts, informers, ill propaganda in psychological warfare and other such deceitful tactics of the enemy. There are carrot and stick policies and tactics for the elimination of the movement. We have to understand and deal them properly. Only thus we can avoid losses. So our leadership must study the earlier lessons in a serious manner. The leadership in areas where we achieved successes should not be negligible in such things. The leadership must always have a foresight.
Social, economic investigation
‘The objective of social and economic investigation is to come to a proper assessment about the class forces and utilize it to adopt proper tactics for future struggle’.
‘If we do not investigate into the actual situation idealist assessment about classes and idealist guidance would definitely take place. These lead to opportunism and adventurism’.
Com. Mao warns that without actual investigations one would be carried away with mechanical ideas.
Our Party concentrated on social and economic (class) investigation right from the beginning. This investigation our Party took up with the aim to make the New Democratic Revolution a success with the axis of Agrarian Revolution put our Party in the vanguard of Agrarian Revolution Since we identified the various classes we could make out who were friends and who were enemies in the rural areas and helped to develop class struggles in the proper direction. Our Party cadres conducted almost the whole class investigation amidst severe enemy repression with great will. The Party Committees synthesized the reports of class investigation took up on various occasions and adopted tactics for the movement. Due to the influence of the movement, the reforms of the government to fight the movement and the New Economic Policies since the decade of 1990s, there are rapid changes in the rural areas. Many kinds of debates are going on about these changes in the country. Most of them aim at the line of our Party. It is the responsibility of our Party to answer these arguments. If we do not study the changing conditions we cannot guide the movement. So in 2014 we resolved to take up class investigation in all the states. According to this there is concentrated work on class investigation in all the states. This is a good thing. The Central and the State Committees must complete the class investigation, synthesise them and immediately adopt new tactics. We can obtain actual information only by conducting class investigation in a scientific manner. It would be possible to adopt proper tactics depending on this. Along with the strategic areas it is necessary to take up class investigation in the plain and the urban areas too. The leadership should be a necessary participant in the whole process. They must provide the guidelines to the cadres about the method of class investigation and also prepare personal notes where they participated. Only then the leadership would gain an understanding. The leadership should actively participate in the programs for synthesis. It must also participate in the process of implementing the tactics adopted. Only then the leadership would be educated in a better way. This is the application of Maoism. Only then we can build revolutionary people’s movements across the country including the plain and the urban areas, as an answer to those who attack the Party line.
Let us rectify the shortcomings in active participation in the Guerilla War-People’s War
We cannot separate our political line and military line. In order to overthrow the exploitive classes from power and establish the power of the oppressed classes we defined clearly that War would be the main form of struggle and Army the main form of organization. There is a wrong understanding in almost all the levels of the party in various scales that overcoming the difficult situation is the work and responsibility of PLGA alone. In addition to this there is lack of sacrificing nature. This is making a negative impact on our class struggle and people’s war in many forms. So the political-military effort to overcome the difficult situation is going on with many limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings. So we must enhance sacrificing nature in our leadership forces. We must understand the philosophical/dialectical relation between sacrifice and self-protection and see that the rules of Guerilla War be followed. Thus we can avoid unnecessary losses in People’s War, make necessary sacrifices and advance the People’s War with courage and dare. Then the strength of our Party and PLGA would increase many fold. This would be the basis to overcome the difficult situation. Along with this we must constantly study the strength and weaknesses of the enemy. As a part of it we have to study the weaknesses of the enemy in field operations. Basing on these we have to adopt tactics to give blows to the enemy. Thus the Guerilla War must be broadened and intensified.
Let us fight against the non-proletarian trends in the Party fractions of the Mass Organisations
Due to negligence towards the theory of MLM, subjectivism is seen in the fractions of the Mass Organisations of our Party. Many comrades pay attention to other theories and literature more than MLM. As a result they are developing petty bourgeois outlook in the place of Marxist outlook. They are not following dialectical perspective and method in understanding and solving problems. They are influenced towards idealist, metaphysical perspectives and methods. They are mainly carried away with theories like postmodernism imported from the imperialists. So their thoughts and practice are not towards the revolution. They are for reforms in the present system. Apart from lack of theoretical study they even lack a specific study. Going into the masses to know their problems is namesake. Due to this weakness they are unable to adopt proper forms of organization and struggle to mobilise the people into movements. In addition to the theoretical understanding practice would be vital to know or change anything. But the leadership of our fractions/mass organisations lack deep practice. Liberalism, Spontaneity, Bureaucracy, Sectarianism, Individualism and Patriarchy add to it. Because of these trends the leadership of Mass Organisations lack unity and there is a loss to the movement. The leadership mainly is from petty bourgeois class. The above deviations are a result of lack of serious efforts to change their class nature. So all of them must study MLM and adopt a revolutionary practice. They must learn from the people. They must change their basic outlook and mold themselves as good communists.
Internal debate in the Party
We must follow Maoist method and examine the differences of opinion in the party in a dialectical manner.
‘The process of blending our experiences too is a kind of analysis – a synthesis. Human beings gain rich experiences by becoming part of various kinds of struggles in their social practice. Some of them are successful while some are failures. While blending the experiences we have to see which are correct and which are wrong and highlight them. We must reject the mistakes. It means to rebuild the rich data perception gained from the practice of MLM. Through ‘removing the rubbish, selecting the necessary, eradicating the wrongs to sustain the fact, selecting one from the other, sending from the outside to the inside’ the cognition would develop into logical knowledge. We must thus realize the internal principles in a thing. The dynamics between opposite forces – through this process one divides into two. Through this method we have to blend our experiences and thus we would be able to rectify our mistakes along with highlighting truth’.
‘We would be able to make popular our successful experiences along with taking lessons from our mistakes’. (Peking Review, Vol. 16, August 3 – 1973)
Our movement is facing a difficult situation across the country. Anyhow there are inequalities in various zones. We gained a lot of experiences in revolutionary movement starting from the period of Naxalbari and Srikakulam struggles. We have been summarizing them timely and advancing the movement on that basis. We must take up this process in all places. But at present we are not applying or comparing the experiences of one area in other areas. So the experiences are limited to that areas and we do not get proper results. So we must take up the reviews of various states and regions of the countrywide movement as a part of our study and discuss the same. We must educate the cadres with the history of the movement of the respective states in political classes.
If we follow the above dialectical method that Mao taught about the internal debate of the Party we will be able to synthesise our positive experiences, take the movements to a higher level and enhance the theoretical and political level of the Party.
As this circular said we have to gain command on the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism; we must develop lively relations with the people in our areas of work and investigate the actual conditions. We have to apply theory to practice, blend the practice to raise our theoretical level. We must take up constant struggle against the alien class trends in the Party and in ourselves. Especially the leadership comrades must continue this struggle. On the whole we must have the aim to enhance the theoretical level of the Party. Bolshevization of the leadership would be a precondition in the whole process.
We mentioned the good results of the Bolshevization campaign. We adopted future tasks basing on them. In this we understood that it is important that the leadership develops its theoretical and political level and organizational skill. We took this task in the recent Party plenums too. This is the immediate necessity. The enemy openly challenges that leadership is the aim of their attacks in 2017. In Mission 2016 they could create losses to our Party in various levels in all the states in the Central Region. CC mentioned this point in the circular ‘Assessment on the situation of the movement’. We must understand that the coming time is a severe testing time for us. Securing the four and a half years of movement and advancing it depends on the Bolshevization of the present leadership forces. So the whole party must firmly stand on the experiences of the earlier campaign, take up the challenges in a firm and united manner and fight with Bolshevik will to defeat them.
Central Regional Bureau
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