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Statement by the Russian Maoist Party: “For a Belarus without Lukashenko and capitalists!”

By | 08/20/2020

Alexander Lukashenko’s regime is neither “red” nor progressive. Objectively, it expresses the interests of state-monopoly capital, linked with Russian imperialism and trying to maneuver between it and the West. The hopes that were pinned on Lukashenko in the mid-1990s as a “man of the people” did not come true. Today it is a regime of the Putin or Nazarbayev (ex-president of Kazakhstan) type. He is just as liberal in economics (he carries out privatization, restricts the rights of workers, raises the retirement age) as he is repressive and undemocratic in politics (he purged the political field from both the liberals and the nationalists, and from both the leftists and the real – not controlled by his administration – communists). Lukashenko makes nods towards the Soviet past, but in modern Belarus what has remained of it is at best an outer shell with a bourgeois content. And supporting someone out of nostalgia for the USSR is a big mistake.

The opposition to the Lukashenko regime, for the time being united by the figure of Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya (of course, she is only a symbolical figure), represents the interests of a part of the bourgeoisie dissatisfied with the existing regime. Both Tsikhanovskaya and the Belarusian opposition enjoy the support of the European Union and the United States, and orient themselves towards them. They also have business ties with Russia, with, for example, one of the contenders for the presidency of Belarus, Viktor Babariko, from 2000 to 2020 heading a subsidiary bank of Gazprom – Belgazprombank 1. According to local communists, the bulk of the protesters on the streets were initially students, schoolchildren, and the petty and middle bourgeoisie. According to media reports, workers’ rallies have also begun at industrial enterprises 2. The “single presidential candidate” program 3 is a program of neoliberal reforms that directly requires large-scale privatization, deregulation of the economy, attraction of capital from TNCs, “optimization of the number of old jobs” (in other words, mass layoffs), etc. The program of the “single candidate” and the program of Tsikhanovskaya also contain progressive demands for democratization (to limit the powers of the president and the term of office at that post, etc.), to hold free elections. All other things being equal, competitive and open elections are better, but it should not be forgotten that “freedom” and “honesty” under capitalism are conventions that are meaningful to the extent that they can serve the socialist movement in eliminating exploitation and oppression. On the other hand, among the opposition there are also extreme right-wing forces advocating decommunization and so forth. With the available forces and in a matter of days, this situation cannot be reversed – this is clear theoretically and can be observed in practice.

The proletariat and semi-proletarian strata are almost not represented in Belarusian politics, as elsewhere in the former Soviet republics. The so-called left movement, split into many small organizations, tries to defend their interests. The creation of workers’ councils and the victory of people’s democracy, as an alternative to “Lukashism” and the liberal-nationalist opposition, are possible only if there is a powerful vanguard communist party relying on the proletarian and semi-proletarian masses of workers in the city and countryside. There is no such structure in Belarus yet, in particular, due to the long domination of revisionism of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev type, and also due to the state-capitalist regime, which destroyed the institutions of bourgeois democracy and the possibility of creating uncontrollable political structures, although it would be naive to hope that liberal democracy in itself will automatically open the paths for development for the communists. The current moment may become a chance for Belarusian communists to exit this fragmented state if they can use the social upsurge in order to mobilize, strengthen ties with workers and maintain themselves in the legal field. When the proletariat again becomes a political entity, then and only then will the bourgeois-liberal forces no longer be able to use the workers in their political games as cannon fodder.

The task of defining the strategy and tactics of the proletariat in modern Belarus belongs to the Belarusian communists. We welcome their promising work in this direction, including participation in the organization of rallies and strikes with demands that express the interests of the working class and the working masses. For our part, we condemn the violence on the part of the current Belarusian authorities and support the democratization of the political system – not, however, in doing so supporting Tsikhanovskaya and the Belarusian liberal opposition – we are in favor of nationalization instead of privatization, and against interference in the affairs of Belarus by the imperialists, whether Russian or Western. We must also develop international proletarian solidarity and communist cooperation in our common cause of propaganda, organizational construction and the preparation of socialism.

Long live the Belarusian people!
Long live independent, democratic and socialist Belarus!

P.S. While we were working on this text, the situation continued to develop, and information appeared about the possible intervention of Russia in the state crisis in Belarus. On August 15, Lukashenko, after negotiations with Vladimir Putin, said that “at our first request, comprehensive assistance will be provided to ensure the security of Belarus”. The Kremlin does not rule out this either, hinting at “its readiness to provide the necessary assistance in resolving the problems that have arisen on the basis of the principles of the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State.” 4. The wording is rather vague, because Russia is playing a cautious game, supporting Lukashenko, while at the same time leaving open the possibility of agreement with the opposition if it comes to power. In a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 18, Putin said that Russia is against “any attempts to interfere from outside in the republic’s internal affairs, leading to a further escalation of the crisis.” This can be interpreted both as a warning to the European Union (which has still limited itself to the threat of sanctions), and as a promise not to interfere itself. Of course, the imperialists always lie, they will and do interfere in the affairs of relatively weak countries, dictating their will to them. In the case of Belarus, this is especially true of Russian imperialism, which dominates the republic. It is naïve to hope, as some do, that when “Russia comes” or “we will be in the European Union” life will spontaneously improve. Workers, not without reason, fear that a break with Russia will lead to the collapse of industry and unemployment, but another scenario is no less likely: in the case of concessions to Russia, it will demand a high price – the privatization of Belarusian state-owned enterprises, to which Russian “effective managers” will come, who will in fact will carry out Lukashenko’s threat, who frankly spoke about the “excessive number” of workers at the factories. It is necessary to appeal not to Russia or the European Union, but to the masses. Only they can show real solidarity and put pressure on their governments to respect the independence of other countries.

Notes:

  1. Gazprom is the biggest Russian monopoly controlled by the state.
  2. On August the 16th, a rally of supporters of Alexander Lukashenko and opponents of the liberal opposition took place in Minsk, and on August the 17th, Lukashenko arrived at the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT) to talk to the workers.
  3. That is, the program uniting Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya, Valery Tsepkalo and Victor Babariko.
  4. Russia and Belarus together are officially “the Union State”.

Marxism, Mariátegui and the Feminist Movement

By | 07/05/2020

Publisher’s Note

Marxism, Mariategui and the Feminist Movement (CPP)Surpassing number of bends in the road, the People’s War in Peru is continuing since more than twenty years under the glorious leadership of Communist Party of Peru [PCP]. For the first time in the international communist movement, under the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo, it is the Party that scientifically analysed, explained and stubbornly upholds Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, at present as the guiding principle of revolutionary proletariat of all countries. Upholding Maoism, PCP had built up People’s Army, base areas and initiated People’s War in 1980. The impact of this People’s War can be well understood from the fact that despite capturing Chairman Gonzalo in 1992 and Comrade Feliciano – the chief of PCP after Comrade Gonzalo’s arrest – in 1999 and by keeping them into two separate underground cells at a naval base without allowing anyone to meet them and putting them into complete isolation, Fujimori, then the President of Peru as well as the present President Toleredo could not contain the People’s War. Consequently, Fujimori has to flee from the country. As the President of Peru, he had gone to Japan in a state-visit and there he had asked for the citizenship of Japan under the pretext that he is having a Japanese ancestor and stayed there. Very recently, immediately after the US’s Afghan War the US-President Bush’s Peru visit was also marked with massive violent demonstration and protest in the capital Lima itself.

PCP, a participant-member of Revolutionary Internationalist Movement [RIM], is always holding high the red banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Communist Internationalism.

Apart from other aspects that made PCP a strong Maoist Party that continuously is standing stubbornly and bravely against the US-backed local reaction and narcotic-warfare organised and executed by the US and disguised deployment of the US-army; one of the major aspect is PCP’s position on women and particularly the application of its policy on women. Consequently, at the level of Central Committee of PCP, even numerically, women have already become a significant force. During the Days of Heroism, the women war-prisoners of Callao Women’s Prison had set an example of how in the quest of actual emancipation of Woman can fight against the system that tries to subdue Her, crush Her by staunchly and ardently upholding correct political and ideological position.

We are happily publishing this document of PCP with this hope that assimilating the vital lessons from such a distinguishable document, the Indian Maoist Revolutionaries would take their movement to a qualitative height.

José Carlos Mariátegui

(1895 – 1930)

José Carlos Mariátegui, had founded the Communist Party of Peru in 1928 and died at the age of only 35 years. Shortly before his death, he led the Party in affiliating with the Third Communist International of Lenin and Stalin. When the Party became revisionist, Mariátegui’s teachings – the basis of the Party – were kept aside.

Dating the period of the Great Debate between Mao’s CPC and revisionist CPSU, the ideological issues that came up in the forefront as well as the revolutionary upsurges in Peru, the revolutionary section of the PCP had taken up the study of Mariátegui’s teachings to settle the political and ideological line of the Party, the basic line for the revolution in Peru, its targets and goals and tasks of the Communist revolutionaries.

Under the leadership of Comrade Gonzalo, rebuilding the PCP took 15 years In 1975, a document “Retomemos a Mariátegui y Reconturyamos Su Partido” [Reclaim Mariátegui and Rebuild His Party] was published by the Central Committee of the PCP under comrade Ganzalo’s leadership. The completion of this process was marked by a 1979 Central Committee meeting that approved the initiation and continuation of People’s War, which began a year later, i.e., in 1980 and is still continuing throughout the country.

I. The Woman Question and Marxism

The woman question is an important question for the popular struggle and its importance has become greater today, because actions are intensifying which tend to mobilise women; a necessary and fruitful mobilisation from the working class viewpoint and in the service of the masses of the people, but which promoted by and for the benefit of the exploiting classes, acts as an element which divides and fetters the people’s struggle.

In this new period of politicisation of the masses of women in which we now evolve, with its base in a greater economic participation by women in the country, it is indispensable to pay serious attention to the woman question as regards study and research, political incorporation and consistent organisational work, A task which demands to keep in mind Mariátegui’s thesis that teaches: “Women like men, are reactionaries, centerists or revolutionaries, they cannot therefore all fight the same battle side by side in today’s human panorama in which class differentiates the individual more than sex.” That way, from the beginning, the need to understand the woman question scientifically undoubtedly demands that we start from the Marxist concept of the working class.

1. The theory of women as “deficient feminine nature”

Through the centuries the exploiting classes have maintained and imposed the pseudo-theory of the “deficient feminine nature”. It has served to justify the oppression that still women are experiencing in societies by which exploitation continues to prevail. That way, the Jewish men’s prayer: “Blessed be God, our Lord and Lord of all the worlds, for not having made me a woman” and conformity by the Jewish women who pray: “Blessed be the Lord, who has created me according to his will,” clearly expresses the contempt which the ancient world had for the woman’s condition. These ideas were also predominated in Greek slave society. Famous Pythogoras said: “There is a good principle which has created order, light and man and there is a bad principle which has created chaos, darkness and woman”. Even the great philosopher Aristotle pronounced: “the female is female by virtue of certain qualitative fault,” and “the character of women suffers from a natural defect.”

These proposals passed on to the final period of Roman slave society and to the Middle Ages. Christian thinkers intensified the contempt of Woman by imputing Her as being the source of sin and the waiting room of hell. Tertulian claimed: “Woman, you are the door of the devil. You have persuaded Him whom the devil did not dare to attack frontally. By your fault the Son of God had to die; you should always go dressed in mourning and rags”. And Augustine of Hipona told: “The woman is a beast who is neither firm, nor stable.” While they condemned, others had passed sentence on feminine inferiority and obedience. Thus, Paul of Tarsus, the apostle, preached: “Man was not taken from Woman, but Woman from Man;” and “Just as the church is subject to Christ, let Woman be submitted in all things to Her Husband”. And hundreds of years later, in the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas followed with similar preaching: “Man is the head of the Woman, just as Christ is the head of Man” and “It is a fact that Woman is destined to live under the authority of Man and that She has no authority by Herself.”

The understanding of the feminine condition did not advance much with the development of capitalism. As Candorcet pointed out its social root when he said: “It has been said that women … lack a sense of justice, and that they obeyed their feelings rather than their conscience…. that difference has been caused by education and social existence, not by the nature”. The great materialist Diderot wrote: “I feel sorry for you women,” and “in all customs, the cruelty of civil laws joined the cruelty of Nature against women. They have been treated as imbeciles”. Rousseau, advanced ideologist of the French Revolution, insisted: “All education of women must be relative to that of men…. Woman is made to yield to Man and endure his injustices.” This bourgeois position is carried on to the age of imperialism, became more reactionary as time goes on, joined the Christian positions, by reiterating the old theses sanctioned through John 23: “God and Nature have given women various chores, which perfect and complement the chores entrusted to men.”

Thus, we see how all through the exploiting classes have preached the “deficient feminine nature.” Sustaining their idealist concepts, they have reiterated the existence of “feminine nature”, independent of social conditions, which is a part of their anti-scientific “human nature” thesis However, this so-called “feminine nature,” in its eternal and invariable essence, is also called “deficient” to show that the condition of Woman and their oppression and patronage is the result of their “natural inferiority compared to Man” With this pseudo-theory, it is intended to maintain and “justify” the submission of Woman before Man.

Finally, it is convenient to point out that even an outstanding materialist thinker like Democritus had prejudices with respect to women (“A woman familiar with logic: a fearful thing”, “Woman is much more prone than the male to think evil!”). Moreover, the defence of women is based in metaphysical or religious arguments (Eve means life and Adam means land: created after Man, Woman was finished better than he was). Even, when the bourgeoisie was a revolutionary class, it only conceived of women in reference to men, not as independent beings

2. The Development of capitalism and the women’s movement

With the development of capitalism women are getting incorporated into labour, providing the basis and conditions for them to develop; that way, with their incorporation into the productive process, women are having the opportunity of more directly joining the class struggle and in combative actions. Capitalism carried out the bourgeois revolutions and in this, it forges the feminine masses, especially working women, to be advanced.

The French Revolution, the most advanced one of the revolutions led by the bourgeoisie, was a great nourishment for feminist action Women were mobilised together with the masses, and participating in the civic clubs, they developed revolutionary actions. In these struggles they organised a “Society of Revolutionary and Republican women,” and through Olimpia de Gouges, in 1789 they demanded a “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” and created newspapers like “The Impatient“ to demand for the improvements in their condition. In the development of the revolutionary process, women won the suppression of the rights of the first born male and the abolition of the masculine privileges, and they also obtained equal rights of succession with males and achieved divorce. Their militant participation rendered some fruits.

But once the great revolutionary push was halted, women were denied access to the political clubs, their politicisation was suppressed and they saw themselves blamed and urged to return to the home, they were told: “Since when has Women been allowed to renounce their sex and become Man? Nature has told Woman: be a Woman. Your chores are to tend to infants, the details of the home and the diverse challenges of motherhood.” Even more, with the bourgeois reorganisation initiated by Napoleon, with the Civil Code, a married woman returned to be subjected to patronage, falling under her husband’s domain in her person and goods; she is denied the questioning of paternity. Married women, like prostitutes, lost their civil rights and they were denied divorce and the right to transfer their properties.

In the French Revolution we can clearly see how the advance of women and their setbacks are linked to the advances and setbacks of the people and the revolution. This is an important lesson: the identity of interests of the feminist movement and the people’s struggles, how the former is part of the latter.

Also this bourgeois revolution shows how the ideas about women follow a process similar to the political process; once the revolutionary upsurge was fought and halted, reactionary ideas re-emerged about women. Bonald maintained: “Man is to Woman as Woman is to a child”. Comte, considered as the “father of sociology,” proposed that femininity is a sort of continued infancy and that this biological infancy is expressed as intellectual weakness, Balzac wrote: “The destiny of women and their only glory is to make the hearts of men beat. The woman is a property acquired by contract, a mobile personal property, because the possession is worth a title; in all, speaking properly, woman is but an annex to man”. All this reactionary ideology is synthesised in the following words by Napoleon: “Nature wanted Women to be our slaves. … They are our property. … Woman is but a machine to produce children”. A character for whom feminine life should be oriented by “Kitchen, Church, Children,” – a slogan endorsed by Hitler in the 20th