The October Road Is the Only Path of the Socialist Revolution in the Imperialist Countries

A polemic against the dogmato-revisionist strategy put forward in the document "A Proposal Concerning the Balance and General Line of the International Communist Movement".

THE OCTOBER ROAD IS THE ONLY PATH OF THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN THE IMPERIALIST COUNTRIES

By Antonio G.

«The road of the October Revolution is, fundamentally speaking, the bright road of progress for all humanity.»

Mao Zedong — Quoted in Advance Along the Road Opened Up by the October Socialist Revolution (06.11.1967)

This article is a polemic against certain incorrect positions about the nature of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries. It is therefore not vety easily accessible for the average reader. I will write a longer and more accessible text in the near future dealing more with the topic of the road of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries. For those who are new to questions of revolutionary strategy and tactics, I recommend waiting for that text and reading this one afterwards.

The present article deals with some questions put forward in a recently published «Proposal on the Balance and the General Political Line of the International Communist Movement». It discusses the topics of the revolutionary situation, the state of the world revolution, the electoral boycott, the strategy and tactics of the proletarian revolution, the relationship between dogmatism and empiricism as the sources of revisionism, and the recent history of revisionism in the international communist movement.

1. AN OPEN FALSIFICATION AND A MISTAKEN POSITION

The 1st Plenary Session of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction) recently concluded in a sitting held on January 1st, 2022. This was a historic and communist plenary session, which broke thoroughly with the new dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level. It was also a protracted plenary session, taking more than half a year to complete through the course of several sittings. This was necessary in order to carry out a sharp two-line struggle against the white, bourgeois line inside the Red Faction itself, which reflected the struggle against the dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level.

Among some of the most important was taken at the 1st Plenary Session, in which the Provisional Central Committee established the road of the socialist revolution in Switzerland. According to the decisions of the plenary session, the only possible path of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries is the one taken by the Communist Party of Russia under the Leadership of Lenin, Stalin, Sverdlov, Krupskaya and other leaders of the Russian revolution, that is to say, the October Road, which is the only possible «blueprint» for such a revolution. This road can today only be understood as a type of people‘s war, specified as the class war of the working class against the capitalist class.

Meanwhile, the new dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level, which has stepped into the shoes of the previous empiricist-revisionist trend of Miriam, Prachanda and Avakian once they and their parties were expelled from the international communist movement in the 1990s and 2000s, continues to deny the October Road. This new dogmato-revisionist trend is mainly represented by the remnants of the Peru People‘s Movement and the German sect calling itself the Committee Red Flag. As a dogmatist trend, this is primarily a «Left»-opportunist deviation, whereas the previous, empiricist trend was primarily a Right-opportunist deviation.

These traitors to the working class, in their efforts to fight the previous empiricist trend, in fact put forward positions of their own which revised the fundamental principles of marxism on the strategy and tactics of the proletarian revolution. Recently, they have published a manifesto of sorts — titled «For a Unified Maoist International Conference!», this document of theirs continues down the revisionist road of opposition to the socialist revolution under the guise of the most «Leftist» phrase-mongering.

The Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction) has not yet formally taken a position on this document. However, I have been tasked by the colleagues from the Editorial Board of The Red Flag, Organ of the Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction), to write this refutation of one of its most significant revisionist aspects — the negation of the October Road. This is a task which I happily take up, in the interest of the miserables still lurking in our midst being exposed even more in front of the international communist movement (or at least the parts of it where it enjoys some prestige) as what they truly are — a bunch of labor-aristocratic scabs.

I will now proceed to the dogmatist «Proposal». It was published on a website calling itself Communist International — a name which absolutely nobody except for the refounded Communist 4th International has the right to use — and has already received at least one public response. The revisionist negation of marxism in the document which I am criticizing begins with the following thesis:

«Since the beginning of this epoch [in 1962], the crisis of imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism sharpens in the whole world. Whenever its decomposition deepens, all the contradictions sharpen, which develops further the revolutionary situation in uneven development in the whole world. The situation is expressed by the great activity of the masses, their explosiveness makes all reactionaries and their revisionist lackeys tremble. It is expressed everywhere at great explosions never seen before. The objective situation meets at fast pace with the subjective factor, mainly the process of the Communist Parties, as marxist-leninist-maoist, mainly maoist parties of a new type to initiate new people‘s wars. Thus a new moment opens, a period of revolutions as part of this new great wave of the proletarian world revolution, within the period of the ‹50 or 100 years›, which includes the strategic offensive of the world revolution. This situation determines the tasks, the strategy and the tactics of the Communist Parties in the whole world.»i (My emphasis.)

This quotation contains three fundamental errors as well as an objective falsification. Let me start with the latter.

In the document, Mao Zedong‘s saying about the «next 50 or 100 years» is quoted. It is used to imply that the proletarian-socialist world revolution has entered into a new «epoch», «which includes the strategic offensive of the world revolution». Within this strategic offensive there is supposedly a «new great wave of the proletarian world revolution», which we are supposedly operating in right now and which «determines the tasks, the strategy and the tactics of the Communist Parties in the whole world».

Moreover, it is literally stated in a different part of the text that «the process of the proletarian world revolution in which we develop is within the framework of the ‹50 or 100 years›, in which imperialism and world reaction will be swept away from the face of the Earth, as foreseen by Chairman Mao».

What a strech! Let us read what Mao Zedong actually said in 1962 (which the authors of the document «conveniently» leave out of their screech):

«The next 50 or 100 years from now will be an epic period of fundamental change in the social system of the world, an earth-shaking period, with which no past era can be compared. Living in such a period, we must be prepared to carry out great struggles, differing in many respects from the forms of struggle of previous periods. In order to carry out this task, we must do our very best to combine the universal truth of marxism-leninism with the concrete reality of Chinese socialist construction and with the concrete reality of future world revolution and, through practice, gradually come to understand the objective laws of the struggle. We must be prepared to suffer many defeats and set-backs as a result of our blindness, thereby gaining experience and winning final victory. When we see things in this light, then there are many advantages in envisaging it as taking a long period; conversely, harm would result from envisaging a short periodii (My emphasis.)

Let’s not mince words here: the claim that Mao Zedong «foresaw» that «imperialism and world reaction will be swept away from the face of the Earth» within the period of the next «50 or 100 years» is nothing but a big, fat lie. More specifically, it’s a lie designed to cover up the the dogmato-revisionists’ empty, ultra-«Leftist» phrase-mongering about a supposed «strategic offensive of the world revolution», as well as a «revolutionary situation in uneven development in the whole world». Let’s examine what the dogmatists get wrong here:

Firstly, Mao does not predict the collapse of imperialism and world reaction before the 30th of January, 2062 at the very latest. He simply states, based on the objective situation of a strategic stalemate in the world revolution in 1962 and the prospect of new revolutions opening up, that it «will be an epic period of fundamental change in the social system of the world». This was a completely understandable prediction to make at the time, when the Great Polemic between the Chinese communists and the Russian revisionists had not even taken place yet. Mao does not, however, mention anything about «imperialism and world reaction [being] swept away from the face of the Earth».

Secondly, it is absolutely impossible for imperialism and world reaction to be swept away from the face of the Earth in the next 39 years and 11 months. It is simply a ridiculous assertion. There are no socialist countries in the world today. Not only would every single country have to go through a revolutionary war directed by a marxist-leninist-maoist Communist Party and win before that time; it would also be necessary to thoroughly transform the social system in every single one of those countries in order to get rid of the capitalist, feudal, slave and primitive-communal modes of production everywhere on the planet. If we consider that the supposed «ongoing people‘s war in Peru» (as claimed by the document) has supposedly lasted for almost 42 years at this point (57 years if you add the 15 years of struggle it took to refound the Communist Party of Peru), is it not ridiculous to imagine the founding or refounding of a Communist Party in every country, the initiation or reinitiation of the people‘s war in every country, the victory of the revolution in every country and the extremely rapid socialist transformation and construction in every country, all within a shorter time period than the «people‘s war in Peru» has supposedly lasted? All there is to do to counter this is to repeat what Mao already wrote in the document quoted above: «Harm would result from envisaging a short period.»

Thirdly, the objective situation at the world level, the relations of strength within the fundamental contradictions at the world level, have gone through a temporary reversal. In 1962, the proletariat was on the verge of becoming the dominant aspect of its contradiction to the bourgeoisie and the third world was on the verge of becoming the dominant aspect of its contradiction to imperialism. Moreover, the contradiction (capitalism ↔ socialism) existed as a material fact in the world, and not only on the level of ideas. Therefore, the world revolution was indeed on the verge of a strategic offensive, and as Mao Zedong pointed out, the East wind was prevailing over the West wind, the revolution had become the main political and historical trend in the world.iii Can the same be said today? Did the world revolution really enter a strategic offensive in 1980? There are no socialist countries. There are only two ongoing new-democratic revolutions, in India and on the Philippines — meaning that while the working class holds power in those countries‘ liberated areas, it shares that power with other classes. The imperialist States are militarized more than ever before in human history. A new imperialist 3rd World War is potentially about to break out. In military terms, the international proletariat and the oppressed nations are strategically in the defensive, not on the strategic offensive. Our only advantage is that our ideology has advanced through the defeats in Russia, China, Peru and other places, and these lessons may indeed become a material force, but only once applied. These dogmato-revisionists like to talk about marxism-leninism-maoism-Gonzalo thought as though it were already a material force, but it has not yet gripped the masses, as Karl Marx demanded that it must when he wrote:

«The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates relevance for humanity, and it demonstrates relevance for humanity as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp the root of the matter.»iv (My emphasis.)

Can it truly be said that marxism-leninism-maoism has «demonstrated relevance for humanity» in the world generally? It certainly has not in the imperialist countries, where the bourgeoisie still holds ideological and political hegemony due to the lack of any genuine Communist Parties here.

Indeed, the world revolution cannot possibly be on the offensive right now, because the imperialists and reactionaries control the basically the entire Earth. This is a military question, not a theoretical matter. Who materially holds power in the world — the proletariat or the bourgeoisie?

We have to conceive of the world revolution strategically as a world-wide people‘s war. In this world-wide people‘s war, because the main contradiction is (imperialism ↔ oppressed nations), the road to be followed is that of a «unified people‘s war» surrounding the «cities» from the «countryside». The first and second worlds represent the cities, whereas the third world represents the countryside. The main theater of the world revolution is thus in the third world, whereas it complementarily takes place in the imperialist countries, until the final, world-wide seizure of State power takes place as a result of this process. In this metaphor, the socialist countries constitute the base areas of the world-wide people‘s war. Without socialist countries, without base areas, how can the relation of forces be in favor of the revolution? It cannot. Is there any other way to conceive of the world revolution using the protracted people‘s war as a reference point? Not at all. Therefore, the thesis of the «strategic offensive of the world revolution» is mistaken.

Of course, this thesis was put forward by Comrade Gonzalo. This is clear and known to all communists. However, it is mistaken nonetheless. We who uphold Gonzalo thought must uphold its spirit and not its letter. In the spirit of Gonzalo thought, one must carry out a concrete analysis of concrete conditions. Doing so, we come to the conclusion that Comrade Gonzalo, basing himself on certain predictions of Mao Zedong‘s made under different circumstances from the ones in which Gonzalo found himself, concluded that these predictions had come true, even though they had indeed not. The world revolution regressed to the stage of the strategic defensive following the restoration of capitalism in China, Albania and Kampuchea in 1976-79 — it did not progress to the stage of strategic offensive, as Comrade Gonzalo mistakenly thought.

2. IS THERE A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION IN EVERY COUNTRY?

Having dealt with the falsified quotation and the mistaken thesis on the «strategic offensive of the world revolution», I now come to what the dogmato-revisionists consider the material basis for this supposed «strategic offensive» — the supposed «revolutionary situation in uneven development in the whole world».

This position is a complete revision of the principles of marxism. Moreover, it is a product not of Comrade Gonzalo or the Communist Party of Peru, but of the Peru People‘s Movement, the organization originally generated by this Party for its work abroad — and now only the miserable remnants of a parasitic sect, which serves only to deceive a small portion of the class-conscious workers in the countries in which it, Bund-like, operates.v The remnants of this sect represent the highest level of theoretical development of the new dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level. It was in their midst in the 2000s that the «Left»-liquidationist practice of many of the member organizations of this modern-day 2nd International was born and developed.

And indeed, this structure which has been built by these dogmato-revisionists is comparable to the historic 2nd International at the time of the 1st World War. These people, stuffed full of book-learned dogma, are so far removed from reality that they are incapable of «demonstrating relevance for humanity» in any significant way. Confronted with a situation such as a world war in which they would be forced to pick a side — for or against? — they would inevitably be unable to make the right choice, or to make it on the right basis, and their entire structure would collapse, unable to face a situation of real crisis, a real revolutionary situation in the world.

How did they become like this? On what ideological basis did this modern-day 2nd International come to be born and grow up? On the basis of the dogmato-revisionist trend nurtured in the womb of the Peru People‘s Movement.

The Peru People‘s Movement has a cult-like obsession with Comrade Gonzalo and Gonzalo thought. These people think that Gonzalo‘s words, by definition, are scientific truth, applicable everywhere. They do not concern themselves with creative application beyond the superficial — for instance, that the revolution in imperialist countries is socialist and not democratic as in Peru, and so on — and as a result, the more complex ideas of Comrade Gonzalo are lost on them, like throwing pearls before swine.

Firstly, this approach is nothing less than the idealist and metaphysical worship of an individual. This cult of the individual is objectively speaking a result of the patriarchalist mindset of the small producer, who looks up to their boss or landlord as a «benevolent god». Marx pointed out with great clarity:

«I ‹bear no ill-will› (as Heine says) and nor for that matter does Engels. Neither of us cares a straw for popularity. Let me cite one proof of this: such was my aversion to the personality cult that at the time of the International, when plagued by numerous moves — originating from various countries — to accord me public honour, I never allowed one of these to enter the domain of publicity, nor did I ever reply to them, save with an occasional snub. When Engels and I first joined the secret communist society, we did so only on condition that anything conducive to a superstitious belief in authority be eliminated from the Rules. (Lassalle subsequently operated in the reverse direction.)»vi (My emphasis.)

Secondly, the cult of the individual serves to undermine Comrade Gonzalo‘s Leadership and thought. This is the method of making someone seem to be infallible, in order to fell them with one hit once they commit a mistake or perceived mistake. This tactic was applied by Bakunin against Marx, by Khrushchev against Stalin, by Lin Biao against Mao and by Miriam against Gonzalo, in preparation for their respective open betrayals against these leaders. Mao Zedong himself pointed out:

«Our friend‘s [Lin Biao‘s] speech — the center is urging to publish it. And I plan to agree to publish it. He speaks specifically on the subject of coups. On this question, there has been no such talk in the past.

The way he brings certain things up makes me feel unsettled overall. I have never believed that those booklets of mine have that sort of spiritual power. Now if he praises to the sky, the whole party and country do so too. It is like Wang Po selling melons, selling them and praising them. I have been forced by them to ascend Liang Mountain, it seems it won‘t do to disagree with them.

[…]

Objects all must go towards the opposite side. The more the praise, the heavier the fall. I am preparing to fall and be broken to pieces. That is no worry. Matter cannot be destroyed. But beaten into pieces I will be. The whole world has over 100 Communist Parties. Most of the parties don‘t believe in marxism-leninism. These people have even beaten Marx and Lenin into pieces, so what about how we will be treated? I urge you to pay attention to this question. Do not become dizzy in your head from victory. Frequently think of your weaknesses, shortcomings, and mistakesvii (My emphasis.)

Thirdly, this approach has led the Peru People‘s Movement to develop the erroneous thesis of the «revolutionary situation in uneven development in the whole world». They did so as follows in a statement titled «On the Revolutionary Situation in Unequal Development in the World»:

«The existence of a revolutionary situation in unequal development in the world today is a decisive point, understanding this problem is of vital transcendency for the international proletariat and the peoples of the world. There is a revolutionary situation in unequal development in the world today, in the countries of the third world and also in the imperialist countries of the first and the second world. And further, dealing with the entire world politics of the present conjuncture is impossible if you do not do it within the framework of analyzing this situation. And you cannot pass a clear judgement on these problems if you do not do it in the light of marxism-leninism-maoism, mainly maoism, applying it to the current situation; you cannot deal with the struggle between revolution and counter-revolution outside of the framework of analyzing this situation.

[…] In Europe, Japan and North America, there is the worst crisis in the last 25 years (in some cases the worst crisis since the 2nd World War), and the weight of this is with particular brutality being unloaded on the immense majority, which goes hand in hand with the process of reactionarization and militarization of the States of these countries, as we have seen during all theses years and as is being pointed out by the very representatives of the Rightist theory of the ‹non-existence of a revolutionary situation in the imperialist countries›.

[…]

We sustain that we adhere to the fact that, in the present-day world, a revolutionary situation or objective situation for developing people‘s war always exists, but that, as Chairman Mao established, it exists in two forms: 1) static revolutionary situation and 2) revolutionary situation in unequal development. Even more so, a static revolutionary situation can be transformed into a revolutionary situation in unequal development through subjective forces acting upon the objective situation.»viii

The argument here is a dogmatic importation of Comrade Gonzalo‘s analysis of the revolutionary situation in Peru. The problem here is that the Peru People‘s Movement takes an analysis fitting to a third-world oppressed nation and applies it dogmatically to the first- and second-world imperialist nations. Indeed, in the third world, there exists a generalized revolutionary situation. This revolutionary situation may either be static or in development, as Mao Zedong pointed out.ix This was the analysis which Comrade Gonzalo applied to Peru in his important work, «Develop the Growing People‘s Protest!», from September 1979.

But when applied to the imperialist countries, we see that this thesis does not hold water. In imperialist countries, capitalism rules supreme. There exists a relative stability, in which spontaneous rebellions take place, but the conditions for a revolutionary situation are not generally present as in the third world. Lenin pointed out:

«Oppression alone, no matter how great, does not always give rise to a revolutionary situation in a country. In most cases it is not enough for revolution that the lower classes should not want to live in the old way. It is also necessary that the upper classes should be unable to rule and govern in the old way.»x

Revolutionary situations do emerge in imperialist countries. They are typically the result of imperialist wars and capitalist economic crises of overproduction. Examples of such revolutionary situations are 1905-07 in Russia, 1917-19 in Switzerland, 1943-45 in Italy, 1968 in France, the mid-1980s in Denmark and 2020 in the USA. However, these revolutionary situations come and go, and rarely lead to revolutionary crises in which State power can be taken by insurrection due to the lack of a genuine Communist Party which can impulse the development of the revolutionary situation. Lenin described the revolutionary crisis as follows:

«The fundamental law of revolution, which has been confirmed by all revolutions and especially by all three Russian revolutions in the 20th century, is as follows: for a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the ‹lower classes do not want to live in the old way and the ‹upper classes› cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph. This truth can be expressed in other words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). It follows that, for a revolution to take place, it is essential, first, that a majority of the workers (or at least a majority of the class-conscious, thinking, and politically active workers) should fully realise that revolution is necessary, and that they should be prepared to die for it; second, that the ruling classes should be going through a governmental crisis, which draws even the most backward masses into politics (symptomatic of any genuine revolution is a rapid, tenfold and even hundredfold increase in the size of the working and oppressed masses — hitherto apathetic — who are capable of waging the political struggle), weakens the government, and makes it possible for the revolutionaries to rapidly overthrow it.»xi

If there truly existed a generalized revolutionary situation in the imperialist countries, as the document I am criticizing claims, then how does one account for the enormous participation of the people in bourgeois democracy? In the 2021 German federal elections, there was a voter turnout of 76.6%. In the 2018 Swedish general elections, there was a voter turnout of 87.1%. Even in Switzerland, which has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any imperialist country, the 2019 federal elections saw a turnout of 45.1%. Of course, all of these numbers only count registered voters. It is clear that a significant portion of the population are not allowed to vote and that a significant portion of the voters don‘t go to vote. But is this a clear political act of boycott? If it were, then one would expect to regularly see demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people in these countries, since there are millions who are «actively boycotting» the bourgeois parliamentary elections. However, one rarely sees a demonstration of more than 10,000 people.

Moreover, if there truly existed a generalized revolutionary situation in the imperialist countries, then where is the «independent historical action of the masses»? Where are the strike waves and riots? In Switzerland as well as other countries, the tendency since the 1990s has been fewer strikes and riots each year, due to the successful application of a government counter-insurgency strategy. Where is the revolutionary situation? Isolated riots and strikes are brave and heroic acts of resistance, which are made even more brave, even more heroic by the fact that they are the exception, not the rule, in the imperialist countries.

Finally, if there truly existed a generalized revolutionary situation in the imperialist countries, then where is the inability of the bourgeoisie to govern in the old way? The referendums in Switzerland are held many times every year and voter turnout for these is increasing. Despite the open opportunity for a fascist State coup in the USA in January 2021, no such coup took place, due to the lack of desire of the bourgeoisie to rule using fascist means. There are many more examples of this. The bourgeois governments are gradually militarizing their State apparatuses, but it is expressed as a gradual trend and by no means as a «crisis of bourgeois democracy», as the dogmato-revisionists claim.

In summary, there is no revolutionary situation in the imperialist countries generally. Instead, what is necessary is to bring about such a revolutionary situation. There is much revolutionary sympathy, in particular among the youth in the imperialist countries. However, sympathy alone does not make for a revolutionary situation. What is needed is a long process of polarization of society directed by the Communist Parties. This period will inevitably be one of political struggle as well as armed struggle, which together will bring about a revolutionary situation.

In Comrade Gonzalo‘s interview with The Daily, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Peru, he pointed out:

«A fourth lesson we can sum up is the need to prepare the ground for the seizure of power. Just as the people‘s war is necessary to seize power, it is necessary to prepare the ground for the seizure of power. What do we mean by this? We must create organizational forms superior to those of the reactionaries. We believe that these are important lessons.»xii

This problem — of building the conquest of power militarily — is the method by which a Communist Party brings about a situation in which «the upper classes are unable to rule and govern in the old way», as Lenin said. It is the fundamental aspect of the process of polarization of society which gives rise to a revolutionary situation. However, it is not the only aspect. There is also a second aspect, which is more important in countries without a revolutionary situation — building the conquest of power politically. Comrade Gonzalo pointed out:

«A second concept is the placing of emphasis on a task we have agreed upon: To generate favorable public opinion and to launch deep ideological work among the masses. Let‘s implement this task with great speed and firm decision. Marxism has taught us how to make propaganda work. The words of Marx have borne powerful fruit in the whole world, read in nearly every language. Lenin taught us that the time that elapses between sowing and reaping in propaganda work is unimportant and that propaganda always gives magnificent fruit. Chairman Mao pointed out that both reaction and revolution need to generate favorable public opinion. The reactionaries need to generate public opinion against the revolution and in favor of their continued exploitation. We need to generate favorable public opinion in order to seize power and to defend it with revolutionary violence. Without the winning of public opinion for the revolution there can be no seizure of power.»xiii

The question of building the conquest of power politically — that is, winning and neutralizing the public opinion of the different strata and classes who participate, or could participate in the revolution — is the guiding aspect of the process of polarization of society and the method by which a Communist Party brings about a situation in which «the lower classes do not want to live in the old way». It is obviously a broader question than just one of propaganda, especially so in imperialist countries where we communists have to produce this necessary political polarization as part of producing not just a revolutionary crisis (as is the case in an oppressed country), but even to produce a revolutionary situation itself.

Taken together, building the conquest of power politically as well as militarily constitutes the essence of the strategy and tactics of the socialist revolution in an imperialist country. This is the only method by which a revolutionary situation can be impulsed «from without» by the political party of the working class.

Building the conquest of power militarily requires armed struggle. Building the conquest of power politically requires political struggle. Both are indispensable. This is the basic principle of the October Road, which is the only possible path of the socialist revolution in a first- or second-world imperialist country. It was the path followed by the Communist Party of Russia and it led to the successful completion of the socialist revolution. The Russian October Revolution is the hitherto only successful example of a socialist revolution in an imperialist country and for this reason it is our «blueprint» in this regard.

3. SHOULD WE ALWAYS BOYCOTT THE BOURGEOIS ELECTIONS?

This brings me to the final point to be made concerning the supposed «revolutionary situation in uneven development in the whole world» — that of participation in bourgeois elections, referendums and parliaments. This is another problem which has been confused by the dogmato-revisionists and in which they have negated the basic theses of marxism. The document I am criticizing does not state anything specific in regards to this question, but the dogmato-revisionist organizations themselves do. In a document written by the German magazine Class Position, titled «The Strategic Significance of the Electoral Boycott», the German dogmato-revisionists state:

«To understand the strategic significance and role of the electoral boycott, one must first consider the general international situation of the working-class movement. We are today in the strategic offensive of the proletarian world revolution, which means that imperialism will be swept off the face of the Earth within the next ‹50 or 100 years.

[…]

Today we can no longer assume the same situation as Lenin did at the beginning of the 20th century for the Russian Revolution, because we have moved from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate to the strategic offensive of the proletarian world revolution. This is a damn big difference!

[…]

Nevertheless, some people still consider that the question of boycotting the elections and revolutionary violence are tactical complements. In doing so, as always, they invoke Lenin and the tactics of the bolsheviks in the Russian revolution. It is often emphasized that the Russian communists under Lenin‘s directorship also participated in the Duma elections. Often ‹forgotten› — or better left aside — are several historical facts. The first obvious one is that if participation in the elections were a tactical issue, Lenin must also have called for boycotting the elections at certain moments. And he did. However, this is something the revisionists never say a word about. However, in assessing his tactics, Lenin always analyzed the class character of the elections. For what is also often pushed aside historically is: 1. The question of participation or boycott of the elections raised by the Russian communists (who at that time still bore the name social-democrats) took place mainly within the framework of the democratic revolution in Russia. So, bourgeois democracy was not even the stage of this question; and 2. The Duma at the historical moment when the bolsheviks used it was something completely new that the people had fought for at the time. Here, the proletariat no longer has to fight for bourgeois democracy (or better: the democratic revolution), the parliament or parliaments in the Federal Republic of Germany are already part of the ruling system, that is, imperialism, down to the last corner, and accordingly its representations of interests. Today the parliamentary cretins should first prove that the Federal Assembly, any federal state parliament or city senate has any proletarian or at all progressive character. Today, as it suits one, to vacillate between electoral farce and boycott serves no purpose for the revolution, since the class character of the elections no longer changes, there is nothing to be gained for the proletariat. It would only serve the counter-revolution by creating confusion among the masses. But above all, Lenin never lost sight of armed struggle as the highest form of class struggle in his reflections, and certainly never abandoned it; this must be emphasized again and again on this question.»xiv (My translation and emphasis.)

Here, the «Committee Red Flag» dogmato-revisionists are openly revising the principles of marxism concerning the participation in the bourgeois State apparatus. Comrade Gonzalo pointed out:

«And the so-called ‹new conditions› that lead to the revision of marxist principles is an old story that has been used since the days of the old-style revisionists, so it shouldn‘t serve as any type of comfort to this new revisionist standard-bearer […].»xv

This is precisely what these new revisionist standard-bearers are doing! By making their own arguments referring to supposed «new conditions», they act as though Lenin‘s theses on parliamentarism are no longer valid. Let me look at some of the claims made in this article:

Firstly, the claim that «we have moved from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate to the strategic offensive of the proletarian world revolution» is not valid whatsoever. Firstly, It is simply not true that we are in the strategic offensive of the world revolution — we have returned to the strategic defensive. Secondly, Lenin already pointed out that his position on participation in bourgeois parliamentarism has nothing whatsoever to do with the stage of development of the revolution. He wrote:

«The conclusion which follows from this is absolutely incontrovertible: it has been proved that, far from causing harm to the revolutionary proletariat, participation in a bourgeois-democratic parliament, even a few weeks before the victory of a Council Republic and even after such a victory, actually helps that proletariat to prove to the backward masses why such parliaments deserve to be done away with; it facilitates their successful dissolution, and helps to make bourgeois parliamentarianism ‹politically obsolete›. To ignore this experience, while at the same time claiming affiliation to the Communist International, which must work out its tactics internationally (not as narrow or exclusively national tactics, but as international tactics), means committing a gross error and actually abandoning internationalism in deed, while recognising it in word.»xvi

Secondly, the insinuations that the electoral boycott is not a tactical matter and that electoral participation and revolutionary violence are somehow in an antagonistic contradiction to one another are plain falsifications of the arguments of the opponents of «electoral boycott as strategy». Lenin pointed out:

«The same holds true for the working-class struggle against the bourgeoisie. Today there is no revolutionary situation, the conditions that cause ferment among the masses or heighten their activities do not exist; today you are given a ballot paper — take it. Learn how to organize in order to be able to use it as a weapon against your enemies and not as a means of getting soft parliamentary jobs for people who cling to their seats in fear of having to go to prison. Tomorrow, you are deprived of the ballot paper, you are given a rifle and a splendid quick-firing gun constructed according to the last word of engineering technique — take this weapon of death and destruction, do not listen to the sentimental whiners who are afraid of war. Much has been left in the world that must be destroyed by fire and iron in order that the emancipation of the working class may be achieved. And if anger and desperation grow among the masses, if a revolutionary situation arises, prepare to create new organizations and utilize these useful weapons of death and destruction against your government and your bourgeoisie.»xvii

He also said plainly:

«The main difference between revolutionary Social-Democracy and opportunist Social-Democracy on the question of boycott is as follows: the opportunists in all circumstances confine themselves to applying the stereotyped method copied from a specific period in the history of German socialism. […] The revolutionary social-democrats, on the contrary, lay chief emphasis on the necessity of carefully appraising the concrete political situationxviii (My emphasis.)

To «carefully appraise the concrete political situation» — is that not a question of tactics?

Furthermore, Lenin pointed out the main purpose of participating in bourgeois elections:

«The Party should demand of its parliamentary representatives […] that they utilise their particularly advantageous political position, not for idle reformist parliamentary talk, which naturally only bores the workers and rouses their suspicion, but for propaganda for the socialist revolution among the most backward strata of the proletariat and semi-proletariat in urban, and particularly rural, areas.»xix

And the method:

«Utilisation of the parliamentary tribune and the right of initiative and referendum, not in a reformist manner, in order to advocate reforms ‹acceptable› to the bourgeoisie, and therefore powerless to remove the main and fundamental evils suffered by the masses. The aim should be propaganda in favour of Switzerland‘s socialist transformation, which is quite feasible economically, and is becoming more and more urgently necessary because of the intolerably high cost of living and the oppression of finance capital, and also because the international relations created by the war are impelling the proletariat of the whole of Europe on to the path of revolution.»xx (My emphasis.)

Thus, the revisionists of the Committee Red Flag are outright lying so that they appear to be in agreement with Lenin, although in reality they are negating him.

Thirdly, the claim that «The question of participation or boycott of the elections raised by the Russian communists […] took place mainly within the framework of the democratic revolution in Russia» also contradicts Lenin. Lenin continued to advocate participation in bourgeois parliamentarism after the bourgeois-democratic February Revolution in Russia. He also sharply criticized Communist Parties in the imperialist countries for advocating electoral boycott — even the Communist Party of Switzerland was criticized for advocating this policy, although Switzerland has had bourgeois democracy since 1847. Lenin wrote the following in a letter to the Communist Party of Austria:

«The Communist Party of Austria has decided to boycott the elections to the bourgeois-democratic parliament. The 2nd Congress of the Communist International which ended recently recognised as the correct tactics Communist participation in elections to and the activities in bourgeois parliaments.

[…] As long as we are unable to disband the bourgeois parliament, we must work against it both from without and within. As long as a more or less appreciable number of working people (not only proletarians, but also semi-proletarians and small peasants) still have confidence in the bourgeois-democratic instruments employed by the bourgeoisie for duping the workers, we must expose that deception from the very platform which the backward sections of the workers, particularly of the non-proletarian working people, consider most important, and authoritative.

As long as we communists are unable to take over State power and hold elections, with working people alone voting for their councils against the bourgeoisie; as long as the bourgeoisie exercise State power and call upon the different classes of the population to take part in the elections, we are in duty bound to take part in the elections with the purpose of conducting agitation among all working people, not only among proletarians.»xxi

This final paragraph is of particular importance. As defined by Lenin, the Communist Parties in bourgeois-democratic countries must participate in bourgeois parliaments until the following two conditions are met:

1. The communists have taken State power and held elections in which the working masses generally voted for the councils of working people‘s deputies and did not boycott them in favor of the bourgeois parliament.

2. The bourgeoisie no longer holds State power and the elections to its parliament are being generally boycotted by the working masses.

Thus, whether or not to boycott the elections has nothing to do with the stage of development of the revolution, it has nothing to do with the application of revolutionary violence and it has nothing to do with whether or not the parliament in question is «new» or not. The German revisionists have simply put forward an erronous position cloaked in a bad argument, which only convinces people who either consider Lenin to have been a «revisionist» or who are too scared or stupid to read his works.

The policy of the communists toward parliamentarism has not changed since Lenin‘s time. It has only been revised by the revisionists. On the one hand, the Right-opportunists claim that power can be taken through elections. On the other hand, the «Left»-opportunists claim that elections should be rejected all together. But as Lenin firmly pointed out, both of these positions are bullshit:

«It is essential that the party of the revolutionary proletariat should participate in bourgeois parliamentarism for the purpose of educating the masses by means of elections and the struggle of parties within parliament. But to confine the class struggle to the parliamentary struggle, or to regard the latter as the supreme and decisive form of struggle, to which all other forms of struggle are subordinate, is in practice to desert the proletariat for the bourgeoisie.»xxii

This position was upheld by Mao Zedong:

«Internally, capitalist countries practice bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relations, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations. Because of these characteristics, [the] task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries […] is one of a long open struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers.

[…]

China is different however. The characteristics of China are that it is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally it has no democracy but is under feudal oppression and that in its external relations it has no national independence but is oppressed by imperialism. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike.»xxiii

It was also upheld by Comrade Gonzalo. He held: «[Mao Zedong solved problems] that neither Lenin nor Stalin could have resolved. For instance, how to carry out the revolution in a colonial or semi-colonial country, and how to continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. […] [Mao Zedong] allowed the international communist movement to establish its general political line.

[…]

[In capitalist countries] bourgeois democracy […] [can be used] only and exclusively for the purposes of agitation and propaganda; in contrast, it is incorrect to assert that the same should be done in colonial or semi-colonial countries, given that there, instead of bourgeois democracy, there exists feudal oppression, although varnished over in a thousand different ways.»xxiv

Indeed, as Lenin correctly pointed out, it is the semi-feudal, not the bourgeois-democratic, parliaments which one must boycott:

«Why do we refuse to take part in the elections?

Because by taking part in the elections we should involuntarily foster belief in the Duma among the people and thereby weaken the effectiveness of our struggle against this travesty of popular representation. The Duma is not a parliament, it is a ruse employed by the autocracy. We must expose this ruse by refusing to take any part in the elections.»xxv (My emphasis.)

The correct policy is as follows:

1. Whether or not to boycott the bourgeois elections is a tactical and not a strategic matter.

2. In oppressed countries, the correct tactic is to boycott the elections. In imperialist countries which are not fascist, the correct tactic is to participate in the elections.

3. If the Communist Party has not been founded or refounded yet, the correct tactic is to boycott the elections. When it has been founded or refounded, it should run for parliament.

4. Communist Parties are not permitted to enter bourgeois governments except in the case of an anti-fascist/anti-invasion coalition government.

5. Power cannot be won through elections. Parliament is to be used solely as a tribune to win over the backward masses who still believe in bourgeois parliamentarism.

6. Parliamentary work is only a complement to the real, revolutionary political and military work of the Communist Party.

7. Participation in the bourgeois parliament only ends once the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established as well as acknowledged by the workers, peasants and soldiers.

8. In countries where referendums are used (and can be proposed by the populace), they should at all times be used by the Communist Party to push reforms which show the limitations of bourgeois democracy and the necessity of socialism. Truly patriotic/democratic/progressive referendums will only be implemented through real pressure from below (on the street, not from the ballot box) — communists must participate in these struggles. This does not exclude boycotting certain referendums.

We are against both passive referendum participation and passive referendum boycott, and should always encourage active referendum participation (meaning fighting for an issue, not merely voting) or active boycott (either through spoiled ballots or not voting and instead participating in other activities).

Now that I‘ve refuted the dogmato-revisionists‘ incorrect positions on the problems of the world revolution, the revolutionary situation and the electoral boycott, I will proceed to their position on the road of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries.

4. IS THE ROAD OF THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN THE IMPERIALIST COUNTRIES SIMPLY A PEOPLE‘S WAR?

Many times in the document which I am criticizing, it is stated that the Communist Parties must direct people‘s wars in all countries in order to carry out the revolution and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is also stated that this must be specified to the countries in question. However, such a thesis is extremely lacking.

This is because Mao Zedong already established the general political line of the international communist movement in its basic form. And according to Mao, there are two roads which the revolution must follow, depending on the conditions. In the oppressed countries, it is the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside, while in the imperialist countries, it is the October Road from the cities to the countryside. He established this as follows:

«The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This marxist-leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries.

But while the principle remains the same, its application by the party of the proletariat finds expression in varying ways according to the varying conditions. Internally, capitalist countries practice bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relations, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations. Because of these characteristics, it is the task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of open struggle, and thus prepare for the final overthrow of capitalism. In these countries, the question is one of a long open struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is open and the form of struggle bloodless (non-military). On the issue of war, the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries oppose the imperialist wars waged by their own countries; if such wars occur, the policy of these Parties is to bring about the defeat of the reactionary governments of their own countries. The one war they want to fight is the civil war for which they are preparing. But this insurrection and war should not be launched until the bourgeoisie becomes really helpless, until the majority of the proletariat are determined to rise in arms and fight, and until the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat. And when the time comes to launch such an insurrection and war, the first step will be to seize the cities, and then advance into the countryside, and not the other way about. All this has been done by Communist Parties in capitalist countries, and it has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia.

China is different however. The characteristics of China are that it is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally it has no democracy but is under feudal oppression and that in its external relations it has no national independence but is oppressed by imperialism. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike. Basically, the task of the Communist Party here is not to go through a long period of open struggle before launching insurrection and war, and not to seize the big cities first and then occupy the countryside, but the reverse.

[…]

All this shows the difference between China and the capitalist countriesxxvi (My emphasis.)

Here, it should be understood that Comrade Mao Zedong was popularizing the differences between the two roads to comrades in China who were not engaged in making the socialist revolution in an imperialist country. Therefore, he oversimplified certain topics. «Open struggle» should thus be understood as political struggle, that is, class struggle not carried out by military means, and not as a legal struggle which does not break the confines of bourgeois law. Moreover, it should not be understood that only political struggle and not armed struggle is needed before the insurrections in an imperialist country; it is simply that the armed struggle is the secondary aspect of the revolution until the insurrection takes place, at which point it is transformed into the primary aspect.

In «Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement», drafted under Mao‘s leadership, we can read the following regarding the different forms of struggle and organization:

«In order to direct the proletariat and working people in revolution, marxist-leninist parties must master all forms of struggle and be able to substitute one form for another quickly as the conditions of struggle change. The vanguard of the proletariat will remain unconquerable in all circumstances only if it masters all forms of struggle — peaceful and armed, open and secret, legal and illegal, parliamentary struggle and mass struggle, and so on. It is wrong to refuse to use parliamentary and other legal forms of struggle when they can and should be used. However, if a marxist-leninist party falls into legalism or parliamentary cretinism, confining the struggle within the limits permitted by the bourgeoisie, this will inevitably lead to renouncing the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.»xxvii

In 1967, Mao reaffirmed his position on revolutionary strategy in imperialist countries:

«I think the opinion of [the Japanese comrades] is correct. My statement on the tasks of the proletarian party in capitalist countries in 1938 is still valid.»xxviii

The October Road from the cities to the countryside was the strategy developed by Lenin and defined and synthesized by Stalin. In order to better understand it, we should contrast it to the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside. In the latter, the new-democratic revolution is carried out by means of a protracted peasant war, which first captures large rural areas and small cities in the strategic defensive and stalemate, and later medium-sized and big cities following a series of insurrections at the end of the strategic offensive of the people‘s war. Such was the road of the revolutionary wars in China, Peru, Korea, Albania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaya, East Bengal, Nepal, Brazil, Bulgaria and Turkey/North Kurdistan, and it is the road of the people‘s wars in India and the Philippines today.

In the October Road, the socialist revolution is carried out by means of a protracted proletarian class war; however, during the strategic defensive, the armed struggle is the secondary aspect of the revolutionary process (putting special emphasis on mass action), the political struggle being the main one. During the strategic stalemate, a widespread state of dual power emerges in the country, at which point the insurrections are carried out in the big and medium-sized cities; the class war then breaks out in the actual sense of the term and the small cities and large rural areas are taken by the people. Such was the road of the Russian revolution, the Finnish revolution as well as the socialist revolutions in a number of third-world capitalist countries, such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland following the 2nd World War.

Putting the main emphasis on the political aspect of the struggle by no means implies that this struggle is not violent, nor that it is not fundamentally a military process. After all, Lenin, when speaking at the Zürich Congress of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland, pointed out the need for carrying out violent mass actions such as riots and armed strikes in order to prepare the people politically for the conquest of power — also outside of a revolutionary situation. He stated:

«At all events, we are convinced that the experience of revolution and counter-revolution in Russia has proved the correctness of our Party‘s more than 20-year struggle against terrorism as tactics. We must not forget, however, that this struggle was closely connected with a ruthless struggle against opportunism, which was inclined to repudiate the use of all violence by the oppressed classes against their oppressors. We have always stood for the use of violence in the mass struggle and in connection with it. Secondly, we linked the struggle against terrorism with many years of propaganda, started long before December 1905, for an armed uprising. We have regarded the armed uprising not only as the best means by which the proletariat can retaliate to the government‘s policy, but also as the inevitable result of the development of the class struggle for socialism and democracy. Thirdly, we have not confined ourselves to accepting violence in principle and to propaganda for armed uprising. For example, four years before the revolution we supported the use of violence by the masses against their oppressors, particularly in street demonstrations. We sought to bring to the whole country the lesson taught by every such demonstration. We began to devote more and more attention to organising sustained and systematic mass resistance against the police and the army, to winning over, through this resistance, as large as possible a part of the army to the side of the proletariat in its struggle against the government, to inducing the peasantry and the army to take a conscious part in this struggle. These are the tactics we have applied in the struggle against terrorism, and it is our firm conviction that they have proved successful.»xxix (My emphasis.)

During the strategic defensive of the Russian revolution, aside from the revolutionary situation of 1905-07, specialized guerrilla actions were often carried out. These served the specific purposes of undermining the old order and building the new one. For instance, the Tbilisi bank robbery of 1907. This bank robbery was commanded by Stalin personally and served to selectively expropriate bourgeois propert in order to fund the clandestine work of the Party. It was the largest-ever bank robbery in history at the time and involved the use of firearms and explosives.

A different example of guerrilla warfare from the strategic defensive of the Russian revolution is the struggle directed by the communists against pogroms. Osip Piatnitsky, a bolshevik cadre, wrote in his autobiography:

«At dusk we heard rumors that a pogrom against the Jews had started on the Moldavanka. Meanwhile a few more members of the [Odessa Party] committee had come to the Duma. We decided then and there to call a general meeting of the Party members the same evening. I was sent to find out what was happening on the Moldavanka.

This is what I saw: a group of young men, about 25 or 30 of them, some of whom were disguised policemen and detectives, were catching hold of every man, woman and child, who looked like a Jew, undressing them naked and flogging them. They did not confine their activities to Jews. When students, schoolboys, or merely persons with intellectual faces, fell into their clutches, they dealt with them in the same way. All this was taking place in Trèugolnaya Street; not far away many people were standing and watching these scenes. We now got together a group armed with revolvers […]. I came up close to the hooligans and shot at them point blank. They dispersed; but suddenly a solid line of armed soldiers appeared between us and them. We retreated. The soldiers then went off and reappeared. This was repeated several times. Obviously the perpetrators of the pogrom were acting in concert with the military authorities.»xxx

This excerpt clearly shows the type of guerrilla warfare which was typical throughout the entire period of the Russian revolution and which was waged against both proto-fascists, police and soldiers. So when I propose following the October Road, it by no means implies that I want guerrilla warfare to be neglected, relegated to spontaneity or underemphasized — I am simply pointing out that the political polarization, to which guerrilla warfare contributes a great deal, is the more difficult task facing us and therefore demands more attention.

Such is the basic outline of the differences between the two roads. However, both are fundamentally different types of people‘s war. This was pointed out by the Communist Party of China in 1971:

«Violent revolution is the universal principle of proletarian revolution. A marxist-leninist party must adhere to this universal principle and apply it to the concrete practice of its own country. Historical experience shows that the seizure of political power by the proletariat and the oppressed people of a country and the seizure of victory in their revolution are accomplished invariably by the power of the gun; they are accomplished under the directorship of a proletarian party, by acting in accordance with that country‘s specific conditions, by gradually building up the people‘s armed forces and fighting a people‘s war on the basis of arousing the broad masses to action, and by waging repeated struggles against the imperialists and reactionaries. This is true of the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution, and the revolutions of Albania, Vietnam, Korea and other countries, and there is no exceptionxxxi (My emphasis.)

This quotation is a sharp weapon against those Right-opportunists who claim that the October Revolution was simply an insurrection and that there therefore is no need for applying the strategy and tactics of people‘s war to the October Road. This is why Comrade Gonzalo pointed out, when he defined and synthesized the theory of people‘s war, that the October Road is a type of people‘s war:

«A key and decisive question is the understanding of the universal validity of people‘s war and its subsequent application taking into account the different types of revolution and the specific conditions of each revolution. It will serve to clarify this key question to consider that no insurrection like that of Petrograd has been repeated, as well as considering the anti-fascist resistance, the European guerrilla movements in the 2nd World War and the armed struggles that are presently being waged in Europe; and to see that in the final analysis, the October Revolution was not only an insurrection but a revolutionary war that lasted for several years. Consequently, in the imperialist countries the revolution can only be conceived as a revolutionary war that today is simply people‘s warxxxii (My emphasis.)

Comrade Gonzalo‘s point is entirely correct and is in agreement with Comrade Mao‘s position as quoted above. However, the dogmato-revisionists often use this quotation to «prove» that Gonzalo supposedly advocated a simple «people‘s war» without specification — as though the revolution in a capitalist country were simply the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside turned upside-down. What Comrade Gonzalo advocated was the creative application of the general political line of the international communist movement as established by Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China to the conditions of different revolutions, and not at all a mechanical and stereotyped copy of the experience of other revolutions to one‘s own. That is why we have to see this quotation in the light of Mao‘s remarks quoted above, as well as in the light of the entire theory and practice of Lenin and Stalin in directing the Great October Socialist Revolution. My future writings will discuss this question in greater detail.

Finally, I want to discuss how the dogmato-revisionists, outside of their «Proposal», handle the topic of the revolution in the imperialist countries. Understanding the context in which each revolution takes place and the laws that govern that revolution is a question of the highest importance. Mao Zedong writes the following on this topic:

«We are now engaged in a war; our war is a revolutionary war; and our revolutionary war is being waged in this semi-colonial and semi-feudal country of China. Therefore, we must study not only the laws of war in general, but the specific laws of revolutionary war, and the even more specific laws of revolutionary war in China.

It is well known that when you do anything, unless you understand its actual circumstances, its nature and its relations to other things, you will not know the laws governing it, or know how to do it, or be able to do it well.»xxxiii

And Lenin wrote as well:

«One of the basic principles of dialectics is that there is no such thing as abstract truth, truth is always concrete…»xxxiv (My emphasis.)

We should look at the problem of the revolutionary road concretely if we are to discern the correct path to take. Therefore, let us look at Germany.

Germany is a second-world imperialist power. Moreover, it is the dominant imperialist power in Europe. It economically, politically and culturally dominates the entire European Union — an alliance with other imperialist powers, mainly the military power France, in order to super-exploit and oppress the third-world countries inside Europe itself (such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Poland, Greece and so on). Germany has a medium-sized geographical area of about 350,000 sq. km. and a population of over 80,000,000 people. Most of these people belong to the German nation, but there are also national minorities, such as the Danes, Frisians and Sorbs, as well as the Jewish and travelling peoples and other minority peoples not constituting nations.

With all this in mind, it should be clear that what has to be carried out in Germany is a socialist revolution following the October Road, right? Yet, if we look at an article by the German dogmato-revisionists — billed as applying the strategy and tactics of people’s war to German conditions — discussion of the particularities of the October Road are nowhere to be found. Instead, these bastards act as though the German revolution will just be the Chinese revolution — turned upside-down. They barely mention the political aspect of the revolution at all, instead relying on a militarist criterion that all one needs to do is build the conquest of power organizationally and militarily — that fighting, building new power and then take over the country. Let‘s take a look, for example, at how our budding German military strategists «transfer» Comrade Gonzalo‘s quotation that «the people‘s war is specified as a peasant war that follows the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside»xxxv «to reality in the Federal Republic»:

«People‘s war is war of the masses.»xxxvi

Eureka! Here I was, thinking the people‘s war is a war of the bourgeoisie — how could I have been so blind? Through this vitaly trascendental contribution to the world revolution (that is: the previously never conceived of idea that a revolutionary war is a war of the masses) these glorious communists have finally proven what they claim of themselves to be: the «vanguard in formation of the proletariat in Germany and the imperialist countries» (try saying that three times in a row). All jokes aside thought, it constantly amazes and bewilders me that these people think that they will be able to direct a war against an imperialist great power armed to the teeth with this kind of strategic genius.

This does lead me to wonder though — since the «people‘s war is war of the masses», am I correct in assuming that it is a war of the workers, peasants and soldiers, since these constitute the working masses as defined by Lenin and Mao? In that case, why do you call it a people‘s war? Does the people not include the small bourgeoisie and the semi-proletariat, as well as others, depending on the situation, since the people are all those who are not the enemy? Maybe I am simply too much of a stupid Swiss peasant to grasp the wise and sagacious teachings of these Prussian schoolmasters.

Their «creative application» identifies the need for «a guiding thought that systematizes the laws of the class struggle of the country»; however, they go no further than stating that such a guiding thought never existed. What about Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg? As Comrade Gonzalo says, a thought is simply «a set of ideas», and these sets of ideas on the German revolution objectively existed, no matter how much you disagree with them or not. Or going further back, did not Karl Marx himself establish «the laws of the class struggle of the country» at the time of the 1840s? Instead of saying anything concrete, five paragraphs are spent explaining, well… nothing! You would think these people were actively trying to get into parliament by the way they master the art of saying less with more like any run of the mill bourgeois politician.

Further, the question of the Communist Party receives only two paragraphs of explanation. Here, we are presented with the following wise and sagacious «marxist-leninist-maoist, principally maoist, with the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, that is to say, Gonzalo thought» thesis: «[Must] every communist […] be a Rambo? No.» These miserables were so proud of this sentence, thought it was so important that it had to occupy 10% of the words dedicated to the topic of the Party of the working class. Beyond this point, militarization and concentric construction of the three instruments are mentioned, but not explained whatsoever — ultimately leaving the promised «systematizing» of «the laws» of these theories to German conditions up to the imagination of the readers, à la «Choose Your Own Adventurism».

In the section «on the people‘s war as a war of the masses», we are treated with a whole lot of words about nothing at all. They write the sentence: «People‘s war can‘t be a mechanical copy of other countries.» Thereafter, the German dogmato-revisionists claim that they don‘t want to follow the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside. Instead, they say, the «essential aspects of the people‘s war […] is a war of the masses, and there are masses in the imperialist countries, too». Oooh, creative! There is intelligent life in Germany after all! Who knew? Certainly no reader of this text, I‘ll tell you that much. They then point out that in Germany, the people‘s war relies mainly on the proletariat and that the road is a question «of urban work, while paying attention to the difference between large, medium and small cities». This proves entirely that the Committee Red Flag revisionists think exactly what I wrote earlier: that the road of the people‘s war in imperialist countries is literally the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside, but in reverse. Instead of peasants — workers. Instead of countryside — cities. They even proclaim that the people‘s war «in our specific case isn‘t a unified people‘s war, because the new power will only be built in the cities, while in the countryside only operational points will happen». So we are not even speaking of a mechanical reversal of the people‘s war in Peru, but of the one in China. Let me quote Comrade Gonzalo‘s words on the unified people‘s war:

«It is a struggle that is waged in the countryside and in the city, as was established as far back as 1968 in the plan for the people‘s war. Here we have a difference, a particularity: it is waged in the countryside and the city. This, we believe, has to do with our own specific conditions. Latin America, for instance, has cities which are proportionately larger than those on other continents. It is a reality of Latin America that can‘t be ignored. Just look at the capital of Peru, for example, which has a high percentage of the country‘s population. So, for us, the city could not be left aside, and the war had to be developed there as well. But the struggle in the countryside is the main aspect, the struggle in the city a necessary complement.

[…]

We think that our activity in the cities is indispensable and it must be pushed forward more and more, because that is where the proletariat is concentrated and we cannot leave it in the hands of revisionism or opportunism.»xxxvii

In Germany, apparently, it is completely fine to leave the peasantry to the enemy. Moreover, even though Germany has vast rural areas, there seem to be no masses there, according to the synthetic intellectuals of the Committee Red Flag. In that case, I will ask you gentlemen labor-aristocrats: Who picks your strawberries, grows your wheat and raises your pigs? The bourgeoisie? Mao stated very clearly: «But this insurrection and war should not be launched until […] the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat.» Are they supposed to give willing help to your «operational points»? Lenin firmly established (as one of the 21 conditions for membership in the Communist International):

«Regular and systematic agitation is indispensable in the countryside. The working class cannot consolidate its victory without support from at least a section of the farm labourers and poor peasants, and without neutralising, through its policy, part of the rest of the rural population. In the present period communist activity in the countryside is of primary importance. It should be conducted, in the main, through revolutionary worker-communists who have contacts with the rural areas. To forgo this work or entrust it to unreliable semi-reformist elements is tantamount to renouncing the proletarian revolution.»xxxviii

Moreover, since it is clear from the documents of the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction) that the Brazilian people‘s war will be a unified people‘s war from the countryside to the cities, complemented by people‘s war in the cities, and since you agree with this line (as do I), then why do you, «great communists» of the Committee Red Flag, not apply the same reasoning to Germany? Brazil is 89% urbanized, whereas Germany is only 77% urbanized.

Clearly, the unified people‘s war is applicable universally, as every country in the world has significant populations in both the cities and the rural areas, which, no matter whether or not the country is imperialist, cannot be left behind as enemy reserve troops.

The article then follows up with a long list of quotations which supposedly prove the universal validity of people‘s war. But there is a problem here — they firstly use examples from Spain and Ireland, which are semi-feudal and not capitalist countries, even though the German dogmatists, in a not-so-rare fit of empiricism, call them «armed liberation struggles in the imperialist countries» — firstly, all examples they mention being national-liberation struggles (with the exception of the Red Brigades) proves nothing about people‘s war in imperialist countries; and secondly, these examples only prove that armed struggle can take place in capitalist countries, not that their «strategy» of «people‘s war» actually works.

Finally, on the topic of building the dictatorship of the proletariat through the people‘s war, the dogmato-revisionists write a lot about the people‘s committees in Peru, which were also developed in Lima as the people‘s struggle committees. Very well. This was and remains an extremely valuable experience. However, the German opportunists are unable to apply this experience creatively. For instance, they use a quotation which mentions six forms of new power, but they don‘t talk about which ones theoretically apply in Germany. Moreover, they don‘t mention anything about the history of the dictatorship of the proletariat in their own country, where it was several times exercised in the form of councils of working people‘s deputies, both as dual power and as the sole form of political power in an area — most significantly, they don‘t mention the Council Republic of Bavaria. How are we supposed to understand how to build the State of workers, peasants and soldiers in Germany when we don‘t know anything about the actual one that historically existed?

The entire premise of the German article is self-contradictory. Its purpose is to be a popular explanation of the application of the strategy and tactics of people‘s war to the socialist revolution in Germany. However, it does not mention much about Germany, and instead just talks about China and Peru all the time. What are we supposed to learn from this? How to wage the people‘s war in Peru, clearly. This can‘t do. Mao Zedong said:

«Although a few Party members and sympathizers have undertaken this work [of studying history], it has not been done in an organized way. Many Party members are still in a fog about Chinese history, whether of the last 100 years or of ancient times. There are many marxist-leninist scholars who cannot open their mouths without citing ancient Greece; but as for their own ancestors — sorry, they have been forgotten. There is no climate of serious study either of current conditions or of past history.

[…]

As for China‘s history in the last 100 years, we should assemble qualified persons to study it, in cooperation and with a proper division of labour, and so overcome the present disorganized state of affairs. First it is necessary to make analytical studies in the several fields of economic history, political history, military history and cultural history, and only then will it be possible to make synthetical studies.»xxxix

One of the most important tasks of communist theoretical work today is to produce a popularization of the October Road as seen in the light of people‘s war. Such a text would be an actual weapon in the hands of the class-conscious workers and would be a contribution to the proletarian revolution, unlike this dogmato-revisionist screech, which only serves to sow confusion about the nature of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries.

5. BRIEFLY ON THE DIALECTICS OF OPPORTUNISM

From the above, it can be seen that the manifesto of the dogmato-revisionists is completely mistaken on several important points of the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries. Specifically, its «sins» are as follows:

1. It falsifies what the classics of marxism-leninism-maoism have established as scientific principles.

2. It negates the necessity of bringing about a revolutionary situation in each imperialist country. It relies on «Leftist» phrase-mongering and doomsday rhetoric to win support from a small group of people already tuned towards their ideas, instead of on a protracted struggle to win the masses for communism and to bring about conditions for revolution.

3. It denies the objective correlation of forces between imperialism and the proletarian-socialist world revolution today.

4. It revises the marxist-leninist-maoist theses on the topic of bourgeois parliamentarism and revolutionary strategy and tactics.

5. It puts forward a stereotyped revolutionary strategy, supposedly applicable anywhere and everywhere, without putting forward the different roads one must take depending on the specific country.

Dogmatism is one of the two forms of subjectivism, along with empiricism. Subjectivism is the source of opportunism. Dogmatic subjectivism generally is the source of «Left»-opportunism, whereas empiricist subjectivism generally is the source of Right-opportunism. What both forms of subjectivism have in common is that they negate the scientific process of human knowledge: (practice → theory → practice). In the introductory note to Mao Zedong‘s «On Practice», we can read:

«There used to be a number of comrades in our Party who were dogmatists and who for a long period rejected the experience of the Chinese revolution, denying the truth that ‹marxism is not a dogma but a guide to action› and overawing people with words and phrases from marxist works, torn out of context. There were also a number of comrades who were empiricists and who for a long period restricted themselves to their own fragmentary experience and did not understand the importance of theory for revolutionary practice or see the revolution as a whole, but worked blindly though industriously. The erroneous ideas of these two types of comrades, and particularly of the dogmatists, caused enormous losses to the Chinese revolution during 1931-34, and yet the dogmatists cloaking themselves as marxists, confused a great many comrades. ‹On Practice› was written in order to expose the subjectivist errors of dogmatism and empiricism in the Party, and especially the error of dogmatism, from the standpoint of the marxist theory of knowledge.»

Mao Zedong pointed out:

«To be superficial means to consider neither the characteristics of a contradiction in its totality nor the characteristics of each of its aspects; it means to deny the necessity for probing deeply into a thing and minutely studying the characteristics of its contradiction, but instead merely to look from afar and, after glimpsing the rough outline, immediately to try to resolve the contradiction (to answer a question, settle a dispute, handle work, or direct a military operation). This way of doing things is bound to lead to trouble. The reason the dogmatist and empiricist comrades in China have made mistakes lies precisely in their subjectivist, one-sided and superficial way of looking at things. To be one-sided and superficial is at the same time to be subjective. For all objective things are actually interconnected and are governed by inner laws, but instead of undertaking the task of reflecting things as they really are some people only look at things one-sidedly or superficially and who know neither their interconnections nor their inner laws, and so their method is subjectivist.»xl

Dogmatism and empiricism exist in a dialectical relationship with one another. They are both forms of small-bourgeois ideology and both lead to opportunism in politics. Moreover, when one of them is fought within the working-class party, the other is strengthened as a result. Comrade Gonzalo pointed this out as follows:

«The experience of our Parties shows that when the Right is fought, ultra-‹Leftism› always appears, demanding to take the struggle further than the situation allows; without seeing with objectivity the concrete conditions, it believes to be able to foresee the future and takes positions that go beyond the goal and possibilities. But as Lenin said, the Right and the ultra-‹Left› represent bourgeois positions, ultra-‹Leftism› is Rightism turned upside-down. The participation of the People‘s Liberation Army in the cultural revolution increased its weight and importance, and Lin Biao took advantage of that. However, we should be aware that Chairman Mao planned the cultural revolution with Lin Biao in addition to the group closest to him, formed by Jiang Qing, Kang Sheng and Zhang Chunqiao. Lin Biao launched a movement of praising Chairman Mao, aiming to turn him into a holy ghost, as Chairman Mao himself calls it in a letter to Jiang Qing. […]

At the 2nd Plenary Session of the 9th Central Committee, Chairman Mao picked apart this campaign. After that, Lin Biao went so far as to plan the assassination of Chairman Mao. However, this devious plan was discovered and Lin Biao tried to abscond. He took a plane and piloted it toward the Soviet Union. Had he really been a communist, he would have stayed to face the internal struggle. But he was not, and it is as Kang Sheng said, the revolution is the best judge and no one can avoid revealing their real nature in it. The plane crashed, or was shot down, or ran out of fuel, whatever the case, the fact is that this ‹winged horse› with ambitions to create a new imperial dynasty died, and it was Brezhnev who sadly announced the news to the world. Where was his Leftism? There we see what Lin Biao was: a revisionist.

Thus, the Left was weakened, because during the struggle against Lin‘s ultra-‹Leftism›, the Right united, pretended to be repentant, because the Right does not know what real self-criticism is, and played a role in the struggle against ultra-‹Leftism› led by the Left. The balance of power changed, a situation reflected in the 10th Party Congress of 1973, which led to the return of, among others, Deng Xiaoping.»xli

With this understanding, we can see how the dialectics of opportunism function in the history of the international communist movement and in the history of each Party. Historically, once Marx and Engels had defeated the Right-opportunism of Proudhon, they had to fight the «Left»-opportunism of Bakunin. After that, they once more had to fight Right-opportunism in the form of Dühring and Lassalle. This continued with Lenin‘s fight against Right-opportunism in the 2nd International, before he had to fight the «Left»-communists in the 3rd International. Stalin then had to fight the Right-opportunism of Bukharin, Zinoviev, Trotsky and Kamenev. After Stalin‘s death, Mao had to fight the Right-opportunist of Khrushchev and Liu Shaoqi, then the «Left»-opportunism of Lin Biao, then the Right-opportunism of Deng Xiaoping. Following Mao‘s death, Gonzalo had to fight the «Left»-opportunism of Enver Hoxha; after his capture, a Right-opportunist line emerged in Peru, Bob Avakian in the USA revealed himself as a Right-opportunist and so did Prachanda in Nepal. This triple revisionist attack on Gonzalo thought had to be fought, but in fighting it, the dogmatic trend was strengthened. The new dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level emerged as a result — and its highest theoretical expression is the «Left»-liquidationist line of the remnants of the Peru People‘s Movement. This is the dialectics of opportunism — there is nothing strange about the emergence of a new, dogmato-revisionist line to replace the old, empiricist-revisionist line in the international communist movement. Mao Zedong pointed out:

«Except in the deserts, at every place of human habitation there is the Left, the Centre, and the Right. This will continue to be so 10,000 years hence.»xlii

But that is not all. In the international communist movement, there is always a leading party, which plays the vanguard role internationally. Historically, this role was occupied by the Social-Democratic Party of Germany under the Leadership of Engels, then by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under the Leadership of Lenin and then Stalin, then by the Communist Party of China under the Leadership of Mao, and then by the Communist Party of Peru under the Leadership of Gonzalo. As the vanguard of the world revolution at a specific point in time, the Leadership of each Party was also therefore the Leadership of the world revolution and its guiding thought the guiding thought of the world revolution. Comrade Gonzalo pointed out:

«We have the three greatest ones — Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong — leaders of the world revolution, because that is their extent; it is secondary that they were also leaders of their Parties and of their concrete revolutions, because the main thing is that they were leaders of the world revolution and therefore established the great process of the development of marxism, shaping marxism-leninism-maoism.»xliii

Thus, when Engels was the Leadership of the world revolution, our ideology was marxism-Engels thought; with Stalin, it was marxism-leninism-Stalin thought; and today, with Gonzalo, it is marxism-leninism-maoism-Gonzalo thought. It is so because there is currently no Communist Party living up to the role of the vanguard internationally, as the Communist Party of Peru used to. But a guiding thought — what is it? Comrade Gonzalo says that it is «a set of ideas». Ideas can be correct or incorrect. We all know that Engels committed errors — under his Leadership, opportunism emerged in the 2nd International. Stalin committed many errors as well. Comrade Gonzalo also committed some errors — such as the promotion of the cult of the individual instead of its restriction, the non-restriction of bourgeois right within the new-democratic State in formation, founding the Peru People‘s Movement as well as some other important problems — all of which helped the emergence of revisionism in Peru and internationally after his capture.

Thus, a different aspect of the dialectics of opportunism emerges — the deviations of leaders who inherit, defend and develop the communist cause, but who themselves do not generate a new stage of marxism. While defining and synthesizing what came before them, they necessarily commit certain errors — not in the definition and synthesis, but in their own practice. Lenin explained:

«But very brief definitions, although convenient, for they sum up the main points, are nevertheless inadequate, since we have to deduce from them some especially important features of the phenomenon that has to be defined. And so, without forgetting the conditional and relative value of all definitions in general, which can never embrace all the concatenations of a phenomenon in its full development […].»xliv

Despite being important communist leaders and having contributed immensely to marxism-leninism-maoism, it was nonetheless under the watch and on the basis of the deviations of Engels, Stalin and Gonzalo that the revisionism of Bernstein and Kautsky, Khrushchev and the new dogmato-revisionist trend were born and grew up. We cannot fault these comrades for the actions of the revisionists. But if we want to understand, prevent and fight the emergence of revisionism, we must understand this fundamental fact. As Mao pointed out:

«The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development. Contradictoriness within a thing is the fundamental cause of its development, while its interrelations and interactions with other things are secondary causes. Thus materialist dialectics effectively combats the theory of external causes, or of an external motive force, advanced by metaphysical mechanical materialism and vulgar evolutionism.»xlv

As members of the Left, it is our duty to look inward in a self-critical manner when seeing how it is that revisionism continues to emerge in our parties and in our international movement. This leads us to realize that when Avakian, Miriam and Prachanda were fought, mainly by the Peru People‘s Movement, they were being fought from the «Left», using dogmato-revisionist criteria to oppose empiricist-revisionist lines. Left unchecked, these dogmato-revisionist criteria developed into a line — the «Left»-liquidationist line of the Peru People‘s Movement since 2012. Moreover, this badly handled two-line struggle, by the admission of the dogmato-revisionists themselves, led to the collapse of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. This «Left»-liquidationism has led it to ally with the 3rd Peruvian Right-opportunist line in a vain attempt to achieve the prestige of a «people‘s war in Peru». It was very true when Mao said that «dogma is less useful than cow shit; one can make whatever one likes out of it, even revisionism».xlvi

At a meeting of the Political Bureau in 1975, Mao Zedong offered some valuable criticism to Comrade Jiang Qing and the other members of the Left. He stated:

«Regardless of what question, regardless of whether it is empiricism or dogmatism, both are revising marxism-leninism […].

You all only hate empiricism and do not hate dogmatism. The ‹28½ Bolsheviks› ruled for four years‘ time. They flew the flag of the Communist International to intimidate the Chinese Party, attacking whoever disagreed with them and holding a bunch of empiricists captive. You, Zhou Enlai, were one, Zhu De was one, and other people, mainly Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai. It is not enough for me to only speak of Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping — without Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai they would not have power.

[…]

Don‘t function as a gang of four, don‘t do it anymore, why do you still do it? Why not unite with the more than 200 members of the Central Committee? Functioning as a minority is no good, it is bad at all times.»xlvii

This was an extremely important point. Due to some dogmatist attitudes and ideas of these comrades, they could not effectively fight the revisionist line which Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai and others were heading. Unable to effectively fight revisionism, they were forced to behave as a «gang of four», isolated from the majority of the Central Committee. This led to their defeat in the two-line struggle and the generation of public opinion in favor of the restoration of capitalism in China.

Already in 1945, the Communist Party of China had pointed out that dogmatism and empiricism not only change places, but in fact support and complement each other. The Party stated:

«Empiricist ideology, which was the collaborator and assistant of dogmatism in the period of its domination, is likewise a manifestation of subjectivism and formalism. Empiricism differs from dogmatism in that it starts not from books but from narrow experience. […]

Thus, in spite of their different points of departure, the empiricists and the dogmatists were essentially one in their method of thinking. Both severed the universal truth of marxism-leninism from the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution; both violated dialectical and historical materialism and magnified partial and relative truths into universal and absolute truths; and the thinking of neither corresponded to the objective, actual situation as a whole. […] Such were the ideological roots which made it possible for these two different sets of comrades to collaborate. On account of their limited and narrow experience, most of the empiricists lacked independent, clear-cut and systematic views on problems of a general nature and therefore they usually played second fiddle in their association with the dogmatists; but the history of our Party proves that it would not have been easy for the dogmatists to have ‹spread their poison throughout the Party without the collaboration of the empiricists; and after the defeat of dogmatism, empiricism became the main obstacle to the development of marxism-leninism in the Party. Hence we must overcome subjectivist empiricism as well as subjectivist dogmatism. Only by completely overcoming both dogmatist and empiricist ideology can the marxist-leninist ideology, line and style of work spread far and wide and take deep root in the whole Party.»xlviii

This is the light in which we must see the current dominance of a dogmato-revisionist trend within the international communist movement. These opportunists have stepped into the very shoes which Miriam, Prachanda and Avakian once wore while they were part of the international communist movement. Once more, the Left must unite all those in the international communist movement who truly want communism, so as to expel these miserable cult careerists from our movement. In doing so, we must learn from history.

It is necessary that the struggle against the new dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level continues to develop and deepen. It is not enough that criticism of these people is coming from Switzerland, where the Left is strong — it should come from the countries like Germany, Denmark, the USA and other places, where the Right is in charge of the communist organizations and the Left is being suppressed. With such a struggle on two fronts, the revisionists will lose the fight, and communism will be given new life everywhere in the imperialist countries.


i It should be noted that I have corrected the English translation of the document, which was originally published in the Castillian language. The English translation provided is incredibly stereotyped, contains falsified quotations and reads like a delusional screech. In addition, a large portion of it is simply a transcription of the International Line of the Communist Party of Peru. The original English translation of the document can be found here: https://ci-ic.org/blog/2022/01/04/for-a-unified-maoist-international-conference-proposal-regarding-the-balance-of-the-international-communist-movement-and-of-its-current-general-political-line/

ii Mao Zedong: «Talk at an Enlarged Working Conference Convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China» (30.01.1962)

iii See Mao Zedong: «Speech at the Moscow Meeting of the Communist and Workers‘ Parties» (18.11.1957)

iv Karl Marx: «Introduction to the Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right» (December 1843-January 1844)

v The Peru People‘s Movement is an organization which claims to represent the Communist Party of Peru abroad. Although it includes some Europeans, it is mainly made up of Peruvians who applied for political refugee status in Europe as members of the Communist Party of Peru. As a national organization without territorial bounds, it operates precisely contrary to the Communist Parties, which are international organizations with territorial bounds, that is, consist of people of all nationalities within a particular State. In this way, the Peru People‘s Movement and certain other organizations applying similar models of «abroad work» actually operate in the same way as the Bund in Russia, which Lenin and Stalin criticized for its parasitic and separatist activities. See J. V. Stalin: «Marxism and the National Question» (1912-13).

vi Karl Marx: Letter to Wilhelm Blos (10.11.1877)

vii Mao Zedong: Letter to Jiang Qing (08.07.1966)

viii Peru People‘s Movement: «On the Revolutionary Situation in Unequal Development in the World» (January 2003)

ix See Mao Zedong: «Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China?» (05.10.1928)

x V. I. Lenin: «May Day Action by the Revolutionary Proletariat» (15.06.1913)

xi V. I. Lenin: «‹Left›-Communism: An Infantile Disorder» (April-May 1920)

xii Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Interview with The Daily» (July 1988)

xiii Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document ‹Elections, No! People‘s War, Yes!›» (August 1991)

xiv https://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/de/t-theorie/t-dokumente/5662-die-strategische-bedeutung-des-wahlboykotts

xv Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Interview with The Daily» (July 1988)

xvi V. I. Lenin: «‹Left›-Communism: An Infantile Disorder» (April-May 1920)

xvii V. I. Lenin: «The Collapse of the 2nd International» (May-June 1915)

xviii V. I. Lenin: «The Boycott» (12.08.1906)

xix V. I. Lenin: «The Tasks of the Left-Radicals (or the Left-Zimmerwaldists) in the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland» (October-November 1916)

xx Ibid.

xxi V. I. Lenin: Letter to the Communist Party of Austria (15.08.1920)

xxii V. I. Lenin: «The Constituent Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat» (16.12.1919)

xxiii Mao Zedong: «Problems of War and Strategy» (06.11.1938)

xxiv See Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «On the Unity of the International Communist Movement and the Joint Declaration of 13 Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations» (July 1981)

xxv V. I. Lenin: «Should We Boycott the State Duma?» (January 1906)

xxvi Mao Zedong: «Problems of War and Strategy» (06.11.1938)

xxvii Central Committee of the Communist Party of China: «A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement» (14.06.1963)

xxviii Mao Zedong: «Response to Ansai Kuji and Others on the Japanese Revolution» (01.12.1967)

xxix V. I. Lenin: «Speech at the Congress of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland» (04.11.1916)

xxx Osip Piatnitsky: «Memoirs of a Bolshevik» (1925)

xxxi Editorial Departments of the People‘s Daily, The Red Flag and the Liberation Army Daily: «Long Live the Victory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!» (18.03.1971)

xxxii Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism» (January 1988)

xxxiii Mao Zedong: «Problems of Strategy in China‘s Revolutionary War» (December 1936)

xxxiv V. I. Lenin: «One Step Forward, Two Steps Back» (February-May 1904)

xxxv See Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Bases of Discussion for the General Political Line of the Communist Party of Peru» (January 1988)

xxxvi https://www.demvolkedienen.org/index.php/en/t-theorie-en/2259-klassenstandpunkt-people-s-war-the-sole-path-to-liberation

xxxvii Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Interview with The Daily» (July 1988)

xxxviii V. I. Lenin: «Terms of Admission Into the Communist International» (July 1920)

xxxix Mao Zedong: «Reform Our Study» (May 1941)

xl Mao Zedong: «Dialectical Materialism» (1937-38)

xli Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Speech about China» (1988)

xlii Mao Zedong: Directives Regarding Cultural Revolution (1966-69)

xliii Abimael «Gonzalo» Guzmán: «Speech on the Fundamentals of Gonzalo Thought» (1988)

xliv V. I. Lenin: «Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism» (January-June 1916)

xlv Mao Zedong: «Dialectical Materialism» (1937-38)

xlvi Mao Zedong: «Interview with André Malraux» (July 1965)

xlvii Mao Zedong: «Talk with Members of the Political Bureau Who Were in Beijing» (03.05.1975)

xlviii Central Committee of the Communist Party of China: «Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party» (20.04.1945)