- Rajesh Tyagi
“Praxis Collective” and “Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Manch” two rabidly Stalinist-Maoist organisations in India, locked horns with each other in an argument that encompasses issues from character of Russian revolution to assumption of power by capitalists-landlords in 1947 in India.
Most degenerated among Stalinists in India, both groups are rooted in Stalinism and Maoism, and agree to its all basic postulates that include adherence to Menshevik ‘two stage theory of revolution’ and ‘socialism in one country’ etc. None of them, however, has formed any real party, nor ever presented any program.
“Praxis Collective” is the banner of Revolutionary Communist League of India (RCLI) a homegrown splinter of old Communist League of India, run by Shashi Prakash, his wife Katyayani and his son Abhinav.
Preachers of Maoism, RCLI leaders are betrayers of revolution. They turned their back on the peasant uprising of Naxalbari as it was subjected to police repression, and started the chorus for a ‘socialist’ revolution under the leadership of renegade Ramnath, the then leader of theirs. Working through dozens of Trusts, Societies and banners, ever under new names, like ‘Dishasandhan’, 'Ahwan', ‘Bigul’, ‘Janchetna’, ‘Disha Chhatra Sangathan’, ‘Rahul Foundation’, ‘Kamla Trust’ ‘Arvind Trust’ ‘Praxis Collective’ etc. and many more, RCLI is no more than a trading junction to mince profits through sale of books.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Manch, run by Shyamji, is a splinter of Socialist Unity Center of India (SUCI) organised by Shibdas Ghosh. For his whole life Shibdas Ghosh strived to curry favour with Mao Tse Tung, virtually worshipped this Chinese Bonaparte, in bright hope that some day Mao may back his party instead of CPM and CPI-ML.
Shyamji, organizer of the Manch, a pedant and very shortsighted man having no real rooting in Marxism, left the SUCI, but has remained adhered to its basic perspective and has since moved more rightward than the SUCI itself.
During the debate, both of them have exchanged two documents each, where they have condemned each other again and again, for being a ‘Trotskyist’. However, one would search in vain for any trace of Trotskyism in the arguments advanced by either of the two. While both are engaged in deciding if the ‘stage’ of revolution in India is democratic or socialist, both have tried their best hands at worst abuses against each other. Not a single para is spared from such demeaning abuses. This depicts the political culture these progenies of Stalin are rooted in, having acquired the same from the schools of historic falsification, in which they are educated.
The discussion between the Stalinist groups, was held stealthily at our back, to keep it away from our eye. Mischievous attempts were made by both of them to defame and demean the October revolution and its co-leader Trotsky, through false imputations, distortion of facts and misinterpreting the fundamental propositions and mechanics of the revolution in Russia, China, India and elsewhere.
WSP was thus forced to intervene, to set the record straight!
The person of Trotsky, the co-leader of October revolution with Lenin, the organiser and Chairman of the first Soviet in Petrograd in 1905, the visionary and organizer of the Red Army in Russia, the first Foreign Commissar after revolution, War commissar during whole period of war till 1925, organiser of Comintern with Lenin, the one who wrote all thesis for first five congresses of Comintern, elected chairman of Petrograd soviet, chief organ of revolution in 1917 and the one who reconstructed shattered railways in USSR, needs no introduction.
Dealing with mudslinging by Stalinist outfits upon Trotsky and his theory, WSP has published a series of articles exposing the manufactured lies and further underscoring the basic tenets of the theory of ‘Permanent Revolution’ propounded by Leon Trotsky and the disputes that he raised against bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union and Comintern under Stalin.
Dealing with mudslinging by Stalinist outfits upon Trotsky and his theory, WSP has published a series of articles exposing the manufactured lies and further underscoring the basic tenets of the theory of ‘Permanent Revolution’ propounded by Leon Trotsky and the disputes that he raised against bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union and Comintern under Stalin.
In this Pamphlet, we are publishing series of six articles that are directed against the RCLI, its bankruptcy in Marxist politics and its bogus and opportunist perspective that it attempted to cover up through lies and falsehood.
Absurd Lies of Stalinist-Maoist ‘RCLI’
RCLI asserts that Trotsky stood in opposition to Lenin on characterization of impending Russian Revolution. According to it Lenin proposed a democratic revolution in Russia but Trotsky believed that there cannot be a democratic revolution and proposed a socialist revolution instead, for which Lenin condemned him for overstepping.
This is height of absurdity!
Trotsky was in total agreement on the bourgeois democratic character of Russian revolution and he never proposed stepping over the bourgeois democratic revolution or substituting it for ‘socialist’ revolution for backward countries, with belated capitalist development.
The fact is, that all three currents led by Plekhanov, Lenin and Trotsky, agreed among themselves as to the bourgeois-democratic character of the impending revolution in Russia, i.e. one emanating from the contradiction between emerging capitalist economy and the ossified political state of Tsars.
Then where did exist the disagreements among these currents?
The dispute is: whether the dictatorship of the proletariat would appear at the start of the democratic revolution, or would be realized at the fag end of the democratic revolution?
To understand this, we must comprehend first of all, the correct political positions of the three Marxist currents, embodied into Menshevism, Bolshevism and Trotskyism respectively, not only on the question of character of revolution but also its driving force and which class would it bring to power.
From the agreed notion of ‘bourgeois-democratic’ revolution, Mensheviks deduced the conclusion that ‘bourgeoisie’ is the natural leader of the revolution and legitimate claimant to the power. So they concluded that impending revolution in Russia would bring bourgeoisie to power. Menshevik’s though that working class is too weak in Russia being too small in numbers, the capitalist economy was too backward in Russia and peasantry predominated the population. So they advocated a role for the workers to constitute the radical left wing of bourgeois, assist it to take power and push it to more and more left, till capitalist economy matures enough for socialism and thus for taking power by the proletariat. For Mensheviks, thus dictatorship of the proletariat would be realized only at the end of the democratic revolution.
This Menshevik proposition obviously fragmented the revolution in ‘two stages’- now bourgeois-democratic led by capitalists, and later socialist led by proletariat. Needless to say, in this formula, no role was sanctioned to rural peasantry.
Basis for this ‘stage-ist’ proposition of the Mensheviks were the old bourgeois revolutions of Europe- France, Germany, England- where bourgeois had taken to power, organizing itself at the head of national revolution. In that, they forgot that those revolutions had taken place before imperialism has come into existence, rendering national bourgeois in backward countries powerless, and at a time when working class, the real contender to power, was not even born as a class.
Lenin and Trotsky both severely criticised and disagreed with the Menshevik proposition, which sanctioned leading role to the bourgeois. Both of them agreed between themselves that Russian capitalists have no role to play in the revolution, much less a leading role.
Both Lenin and Trotsky agreed that it is the combination of working class and poor peasantry, which would lead the revolution, establish its dominance over it and would be catapulted to power.
Having agreement on the fundamental positions regarding character and driving forces of the revolution, both Lenin and Trotsky, thus stood hand in hand, and in stark opposition to the Mensheviks on the estimation of role and character of national bourgeois.
As to the character of the state that would be delivered through the revolution, Lenin left open the question of ‘real’ dominance of the ‘class’ inside the combination of workers and peasants, while proposing a “democratic dictatorship of working class and peasantry”. Trotsky specified it, “Dictatorship of Working Class backed by Peasantry”, which meant a combined state of workers and peasants, under dictatorship of working class.
One can see with open eyes that the agreement between Lenin and Trotsky, in contra-position to Mensheviks was of fundamental importance, while their differences on the question of alignment of revolutionary classes inside the state were of secondary importance.
However, Bolsheviks erred too, in estimating the strength of working class ‘inside’ the precincts of Russia, and not as section of the international working class. So they also put themselves under the misconception that the working class may or may not claim dictatorship in the alliance with the peasantry and thus cannot set out to accomplish socialist tasks, alongside the democratic ones.
Trotsky, in his “Results and Prospects” published soon after the uprising of 1905, wherein he being one of the chief organisers of the Petrograd Soviet, the centre of rebellion, summarised the results of the uprising, and proposed that the impending revolution would open up as a bourgeois democratic revolution, but uninterruptedly grow over to a socialist revolution. Trotsky also proposed that in all prospects, the revolutionary proletariat, marching at the head of rebellious peasantry would transform its dominance over the national movement into its class dictatorship, backed by peasantry. Trotsky predicted that the dictatorship of the proletariat would appear at the start of the democratic revolution and as necessary condition for its advance.
This way Trotsky proposed the dictatorship of proletariat followed by peasantry, inside a combination of workers and peasants, constituting themselves as the revolutionary state. The agreed slogan was “No Tsar- But a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government”. Trotsky developed his ideas later into a whole theory of “permanent revolution”.
It would be worth mention here that a fourth proposition, was made by the German Revolutionary Parvus, common friend of Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, in a series of articles published by him in Lenin’s Iskra, under the heading “War and Revolution”. He proposed the slogan, “No Tsar, but a Workers’ Government”.
After comprehending the positions of the chief political currents in Russian revolution, now we can return to ‘RCLI’. We have shown above that Trotsky has never proposed a socialist revolution by over-stepping the democratic revolution and that there was no disagreement among the Russian revolutionaries on this aspect. It is more than clear that ‘RCLI’ do not possess even a trace of the idea of contending perspectives in Russian Revolution!
‘RCLI’ has not even attempted to read Trotsky, would be absolutely clear by its statement, in concluding part of its article, “against foolish and immature caricature of Marxist-Leninist principles’, where after condemning Trotsky for his assumed denial of democratic revolution, it categorically says, “These ideas were expressed by Trotsky in 1905 in his book ‘permanent revolution”. In fact, the issue was dealt by Trotsky in his book “Results and Prospects” in 1906 and not in “Permanent Revolution” which was written and published in 1929. This wrong citation of the book with incorrect year, coupled with absence of idea of what Trotsky said, shows beyond any pale of doubt that ‘RCLI’ is arguing in the air, without even looking at the relevant text.
In their write-up dated 1.10.2012, under the sub-heading “on the next step of foolishness....”, ‘RCLI’ asserts: “This is the principle of uninterrupted revolution of Trotsky, according to which, in the present era under all conditions, the democratic revolution (whether it is accomplished by the proletariat or the bourgeoisie) would arrive at socialist revolution without a break”.
As is shown above, Lenin and Trotsky are one on the issue that bourgeois has no role to play in democratic revolution, much less a leading role. Then how can the bourgeois accomplish a democratic revolution? Where ‘RCLI’ does gets it? Secondly, Trotsky has never even said that the democratic revolution would arrive at socialist revolution, by itself. As we have quoted earlier, Trotsky talks of “growing over of the democratic revolution” into socialist revolution and inseparability of the two tasks as the same are so mingled with each other in backward countries.
For this ‘growing over’ of democratic revolution in an uninterrupted manner into socialist revolution, the fundamental condition is the leadership of the working class over the revolution.
Thus in Russia, where proletariat established its dictatorship over the revolution in October 1917, the revolution became ‘permanent revolution’ growing over to socialist revolution after opening as democratic revolution and with few months halt due to stupidity of old Bolsheviks-Stalin, Kamenev and Bukharin etc- who defied Lenin in supporting provisional government. On the other hand, in China, Stalinists aborted the revolution of 1925-27 and later in 1949, the bureaucratic Maoist clique backed by peasant armies, prevented the working class from establishing its dictatorship and put the bloc of four classes in power, which included sections of bourgeois and petty bourgeois. These sections, slowly grabbed all power and China grew over to a capitalist counter revolution.
How the two positions, ‘permanent revolution’ on one hand and ‘two stage theory’ on the other found their refraction in practice? As we contrast between the October revolution in Soviet Russia under leadership of Lenin and the Chinese Revolution under Mao, issue emerges crystal clear.
Immediately after taking power in October Revolution, Bolsheviks implemented 8 hour working day in industry through Congress of Soviets. This measure was surely a democratic measure, and not socialist. Capitalists however resisted it and locked out hundreds of factories. Bolshevik power was forced to order acquisition and nationalisation of locked out industries. Now nationalisation was completely a socialist measure. It turned out immediately that all democratic measures, even least of them, even those which are already sanctioned by advanced capitalist countries long back in history, would meet savage resistance of capitalists. In crushing this resistance, only socialist measures could be resorted to. So the two tasks of the revolution- one democratic and the other socialist- merged for all practical purposes, into one revolution. This way, the moment proletariat took power in October, the two revolutions, one emerging from contradictions between Tsarism and the nation as a whole and the other between capitalists and workers- merged into one revolution at the head of which marched the glorious army of the city proletariat supported by proletarians of city and village.
However, things took altogether different turn as peasant armies under Mao took over Peking. As workers demonstrated in Peking in support of 8 hour working day, the Maoist Government prohibited all strikes and demonstrations. Maoists, the Chinese Mensheviks, declined to sanction 8 hour working day. Hostile to ‘permanent revolution’ and ardent supporter of Menshevik-Stalinist formula of ‘two stage theory’, Mao declared China as ‘Peoples Republic’ under the rule of a bloc of four classes, that included sections of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois.
So, contrary to wild accusations of ‘RCLI’, neither Trotsky ever said that a democratic revolution would enter in socialist revolution, nor it can enter as such!
After showing fallacy of this incorrect notion of ‘Trotskyism’ embedded in the mind of Stalinist-Maoist “RCLI”, we now invite attention of the readers to the fact that this “RCLI”, does not at all speak about the position of Mensheviks in Russian revolution. While criticising Trotsky at least 20 times for the sin he never committed, ‘RCLI’ does not even mention or criticise Menshevik perspective even once!
This is for a reason! We will elaborately show in later parts that the positions of ‘RCLI’ itself are replica of the positions of Mensheviks, in that they are advocating the same ‘two stage revolution’ and a subsidiary role for the working class in radical left wing of the national bourgeois. ‘RCLI’ is in total agreement with Mensheviks, that dictatorship of the proletariat, would appear at the end of the democratic revolution. More than once ‘RCLI’ has also preached the workers to act as ‘pressure group’ to push ruling capitalists more and more to the left, to carry out ‘radical reforms’. While arguing for a ‘new socialist revolution’ ‘RCLI’, is making out a case for Indian Bourgeois state, that as it has accomplished the necessary democratic task, the first stage of revolution is over and we are in second stage- socialist stage. Even a step ahead of the Mensheviks, ‘RCLI’ is decorating the capitalist-landlord government in India with a progressive role in addressing the tasks of the democratic revolution, albeit in their words through “Prussian path”. In coming parts, through our discussion of February and October, Indian 1947 and Chinese 1949, we will expose the fallacy of their ‘Prussian Path’ and ‘new socialist revolution’ etc. and will show how these disciples of Stalin and Mao have misled themselves, and behind them those who follow them, on fundamental questions of debate.
Stalinists-Maoists and the Schema of ‘Stage-ism’
We have shown how Stalinists-Maoists at ‘RCLI’ have made a fetish out of the course of old European bourgeois-democratic revolutions of 17th-18th century, where bourgeois could legitimately come to power as leader of the national revolutions in different countries, in absence of a real and politically organised proletariat. In this limited historic sense, it was opportunity for the bourgeois to take power in those advanced countries, which had entered upon capitalist stage before others. Doubtlessly, the bourgeois of these countries has played a limited revolutionary role in history, till the industrial proletariat was born and organised itself.
The question is whether the backward countries, i.e. the countries with historically belated capitalist development, should follow the same course of revolution?
Stalinists and Maoists answer this question in affirmative. Both of them agree that before the backward countries could enter upon their Socialist October, they have to pass through a bourgeois-democratic stage. In that they sanction a revolutionary role to sections of bourgeois, in false hope of repetition of the role it played in European revolutions.
This argument of Stalinists-Maoists is based upon an absurd nationalist understanding where they fragment the integrated world revolutionary process into individual countries to assume that each country will have to pass through the same stage of history and more backward countries will follow in the foot-steps of advanced one.
The course of history, science and nature however defies this simple linear development and consequently stage-ist decree of Stalinists-Maoists based on it.
Historically backward countries do not and need not follow in the footsteps of advanced ones and cover the same voyage, travelled by advanced countries centuries before. Countries with belated historic development have an advantage to directly import the grown up acquisitions in science and technology from advanced countries and virtually start their journey where advanced countries have finished it.
Take for example Afghanistan. It took not less than two hundred years for advanced countries to develop AK-47, and much more for developing modern accounting and book keeping. But these developments of modern science, for which advanced countries of Europe and US have served as incubators for centuries, are acquired by Afghanistan over-night.
Bourgeois took centuries of zigzags in advanced countries of Europe to come to power and accomplish their bourgeois-democracy, but in backward Russia, again, it was just a passing affair, while entering upon the socialist revolution.
This instant import of ready-made achievements of capitalism by backward countries from advanced ones, whether imposed against their will (Afghanistan) or imported voluntarily (India) revolutionises the world scenario.
Backward agricultural country Russia, thus produced the most revolutionary working class and most revolutionary Marxist program and party, while the most advanced capitalist countries, like England, where capitalism had not only ripen but had started to rot, produced worst forms of compromisers like Fabian Socialists.
These achievements of modern capitalism, that are routed to backward countries from advanced ones, co-exist for a fairly long period, alongside the most backward forms of life and technology already existing there. Thus a whole ladder passing through different historic phases comes to exist in these countries. This welding together, this mutual adaptation between the most backward and most advanced forms of life, is chief characteristic in the development of backward countries, where unlike advanced countries, new forms of life have not grown organically through elimination of the old, but through peaceful adaptation between the two. Thus an Englishman would be amazed to see best fastest luxury cars running on roads of Karachi or New Delhi, side by side with bullock carts.
Neither in science nor in history, the countries pass through the same stages. On the contrary they ‘leap forward’ over these stages. Co-leader of Russian revolution, Leon Trotsky has made a great contribution to history and science by discovering this “combined and un-even development”.
Despite the false teachings of Stalinists-Maoists, capitalism never stems out of its own fragments, in backward countries, but from the loins of foreign capitalism, already grown in incubator of advanced countries of the world. It would be so foolish to think that when capitalism in advanced countries would be delivering satellite phones, a backward country can catch up by starting with land-line phones. In fact, the development of capitalism in advanced countries renders it impossible for backward countries to grow it afresh within the confines of their national state.
Needless to say that, under conditions of imperialism, i.e. under military and economic domination of advanced countries, backward countries can never achieve that level of capitalist development which the advanced countries have already achieved. But the tempo and level of development between the ‘two’ continues to diminish more and more, as the tempo slows down in advanced countries and picks-up in backward countries, pushing world capitalism in continuous state of economic and political instability, resulting in wars.
Historic backwardness of the countries, however, does not make them less but more susceptible to revolution. Intrusion of modern capitalism inside them instantly comes in confrontation with old structures and generates more explosive new conflicts, alongside the old conflicts. Backward countries thus become a hotbed, ripe for an explosive political situation which may develop straight into an uninterrupted revolution, under the leadership of the working class, catapulting it to power.
If bourgeois-democratic revolutions of the past centuries brought national bourgeois to power or if bourgeois played a limited revolutionary role in them, it does not imply that it can repeat the same role in backward countries, after more than one century. With advent of imperialism, national sections of bourgeois are rendered too weak to carry out a revolution and can assume power against proletariat only through a counter revolution. It is this way, through a counter revolution, that bourgeois could assume power, from India to Indonesia. It was due to betrayals of its Stalinist leadership that had decorated this counter revolution as ‘liberation’ and ‘limited freedom’, that the working class was prevented from seizing power in 1947. This leadership of CPI working in tandem with Comintern under Stalin remained complacent with sections of national and colonial bourgeois and remained trapped in bogus project of democracy, on the pretext of democratic stage of revolution.
Unable to understand the true dynamics of revolution, and in their insistence to fragment the revolutionary process artificially into stages, Stalinists-Maoists reach more absurd conclusions and divide their assumed ‘democratic’ stage of revolution further into pieces: ‘bourgeois democracy’, ‘peoples democracy’ ‘new democracy’ and so on and so forth. In all cases, keeping sections of bourgeois as next ally, they propose coalition governments with them. At best they sanction a ‘leading’ role to themselves in the coalition, as representatives of working class. But the whole question is that at their best these coalition governments in power under them cannot be anything but a policeman to protect capitalist property! And against whom? Against workers and toilers! What else can capitalists desire?
The states, which could not have developed further on national capitalist basis, due to their historic backwardness, were taken over by Kremlin under Stalin to carve out more bureaucratic states in its own image. These ‘democratic republics’ under Stalinist-Maoists, irrespective of the names they might have acquired, later emerged as bureaucratic states only to serve as workshops of world bourgeoisie, offering cheapest labour and raw materials to world capitalist enterprise. From China to Cuba and from Venezuela to Eastern Europe, all Bonapartist states have ultimately played role of a backyard of global capitalist workshop. These states, which could not have develop further on national capitalist basis, due to their historic backwardness, were taken over by Kremlin under Stalin to carve out more bureaucratic states in its own image.
Russian revolution had opened as bourgeois democratic revolution against Tsarism, only to immediately grow over to a socialist revolution, not because capitalism had matured inside Russia, before, during or after the democratic revolution, but because revolution could not have advanced an inch further on a capitalist, bourgeois-democratic basis. Mensheviks, and behind them the old Bolshevik leaders- Stalin, Kamenev, Bukharin & Co. who thought that revolution can grow on capitalist basis, had thrown their support behind the provisional government, stood corrected by October.
But what was the scenario in Russia in February 1917. Menshevik and Bolshevik leaders had put brakes upon the revolution in February-March, through their support to the capitalist provisional government, and threw it back by sanctioning the power to capitalists. Bolshevik Party and the proletariat behind it, could turn to revolution, only after Lenin rebuked these leaders through his ‘letters from afar’ and ‘April Thesis’ and set out a course for October through complete break with the bourgeoisie.
Lessons of October, showed beyond any pale of doubt, that as victorious proletariat takes power, with or without help of peasantry, the tasks of bourgeois democracy and socialism merge together into a single course of revolution. Contrary to all bogus preaching of Stalinists-Maoists, the task before the proletariat, after victory, is not to protect capitalist property and ownership in any form whatsoever, against the workers and peasants, through ‘blocs of 2, 3 or 4 classes’, but to destroy them at the fastest pace possible.
‘RCLI’ argues for the level of development of capitalism as determinative factor for deciding if proletariat can contend for establishment of its rule in a country or not. In our articles we have repeatedly refuted this illusion spread by Stalinists-Maoists that the question in a revolution “who would take power”, depends upon the level of development of capitalism.
Russian revolution itself is historic proof for our argument that level of development of capitalism, in individual country, is not the determinant factor for coming to the power of the proletariat therein. On the contrary, as Russian experience shows, it is easier for the working class to come to power in the countries with backward economies, as it finds a ready lever of ever deepening agrarian crisis and rebellious peasantry. However, it would be comparatively difficult for the proletariat in these countries to hold the revolutionary power. In contrast, in developed countries, it is difficult for the proletariat to come to power, given absence of rebellious peasantry and a very strong bourgeois state, but would be hundred times easier to hold the power, once it is taken. Thus it is the concrete correlation of class forces, nationally and before that internationally, world political situation and the preparation and will of the proletariat that are determinant factor if the proletariat can assume power or not.
Level of development of capitalism in a given country has limited arithmetical significance only, in the sense that with development of capitalism, proletariat also grows stronger. But backwardness of capitalism does not create an insurmountable impediment in the way of proletariat and cannot prevent it from coming to power. Trotsky puts it like this, ”With the acute agrarian crisis and the intolerable national oppression in the colonial countries, the young and relatively small proletariat can come to power on the basis of a national democratic revolution, sooner than the proletariat of an advanced country on a purely socialist basis”.
This explains why proletariat could come to power in backward Russia before it could even strive for power in the West.
After emerging of proletariat onto the political scene of the world, it is so clear, that it is contender for power everywhere, in all countries of the world, against the bourgeois. Stalinists-Maoists would find themselves at loss in attempting to explain ‘if bourgeois can establish its dictatorship in a country with capitalist backwardness, why not the proletariat’? In backward countries, as Trotsky would put it, the whole question remains as to who would lead the peasantry? If bourgeois holds it through its rich sections, it would hold power; if proletariat leads it through its poor sections against bourgeois power, proletariat would rise to power.
This means, the contest for power between the proletariat and the bourgeois in backward countries, would precipitate, not through level of development of capitalism in individual countries, but through concrete correlation of class forces inside and outside the country.
When Lenin says that ‘imperialism is the dawn of proletarian revolutions’, that clearly means that the world as a whole is mature for proletarian revolution, i.e. under conditions of imperialism, it’s the turn for the proletariat to come to power in all countries, irrespective of the level of capitalist development in individual country. It is for this reason that political revolutions have remained national only in their form, in essence they are international.
But, Stalinist ‘RCLI’ refuses to understand this. It says that the theorem of revolution can be solved essentially within precincts of bourgeois national state. It criticises Trotsky, saying, “International contradiction determines the national contradiction”. Trotsky even did not say this. Trotsky said that international character of capital dictates that national revolutions cannot be hermetically sealed off inside their cocoons. However, in relation to backward countries, Trotsky said, “The peculiarities of a country which has not accomplished or completed its democratic revolution are of such great significance that they must be taken as the basis for the program of the proletarian vanguard.”
‘RCLI’ again holds Trotsky guilty for saying that, “....and from character of state power, character of production relations is determined”. This is again something which Trotsky had never said. We may only have pity upon the genius of ‘RCLI’ that has deduced this conclusion from Trotsky. ‘RCLI’ targets Trotsky for all that he never stood for.
Unable to grasp this ‘combined and uneven development’ of countries, and unable to understand the integrated process of world revolution, ‘RCLI’ plans the revolution according to the blueprint of old European social-democracy, albeit in its ‘second’ stage.
When Stalinist-Maoist ‘RCLI’ sets out ‘new socialist revolution’ as stage for Indian revolution, it does not base the same upon negation of the perspectives of ‘stage-ist’ theory of Stalinism-Maoism, but in fact in its continuation and endorsement. It says that the first ‘stage’ is over and thus it is turn for the second.
In fact, misconceived proposal of the ‘RCLI’- the recipe of ‘new socialist revolution’ is rooted in turn in its gross misunderstanding about the mechanics of the Russian revolution. For ‘RCLI’, maturing of conditions for building socialism inside the given country is a pre-requisite and it proposes to test the ‘socialist’ character of the revolution on the touchstone of its capability to accomplish this task.
October revolution was proletarian socialist, not because it was to set-out to ‘build socialism’ in Russia, but above all, as the correlation of forces inside it was under domination of the working class, directed against a bourgeois government and it was a triggering shot for the world socialist revolution.
However, ‘RCLI’ itself is not responsible for this whole mess. In fact, it is the counter revolutionary Stalinist-Maoist school of thought, the bogey of world capitalism, which has devised these tools to prevent the working class from breaking itself away from world bourgeois.
From February to October
In earlier Chapters we demonstrated how ‘RCLI’ imposes, dishonestly and falsely, it’s own home-grown assertions upon Trotsky, in order to carve out an imaginative conflict between the position of Trotsky and Lenin and in doing this treachery how they totally conceal the positions of Mensheviks, the same positions from which they are criticising Trotsky.
‘RCLI’ condemns Trotsky for his eternal sin of ‘permanent revolution’, assumedly posed against Lenin’s formula of ‘democratic dictatorship’. Through his theory of permanent revolution, as counter-posed to Menshevik ‘two stage’ theory of revolution, Trotsky summarising the experience of 1905, had predicted in his book ‘Results and Prospects’ in 1906 that in Russia, a backward capitalist country, the democratic revolution under proletariat would un-interruptedly grow over to socialist revolution. In its first article, ‘RCLI’ says this: “....but the same February revolution, arrived up to October revolution through an un-interrupted process....” and takes caution by adding, “....for which some exceptional conditions were responsible”.
One cannot fail to see the demagogy of this Maoist band. One cannot fail to see that ‘RCLI’ has endorsed position of Trotsky, while condemning Trotsky for indicating this in advance in 1906. What more proof we need to endorse the perspective of ‘permanent revolution?
Except cut-paste of quotations of Marx and Lenin from here or there, out of context, and adding irrelevant comments to them ‘RCLI’ in fact says nothing on the issue of February or October revolutions. ‘RCLI’ failed to throw light as to what was the understanding and attitude of Bolshevik Leaders in February? Why the whole Bolshevik leadership had opposed Lenin? What were the differences of Lenin with Bolshevik leaders? Was it possible to advance to October, had Lenin not arrived in Russia in April? What would be the scene had Lenin present in Russia in February? ‘RCLI’ would never dwell upon that. It deals with February and October both in less than half paragraph.
Understanding of the path from February to October 1917 is one of the most important lessons to be learnt by revolutionists of today. Different hypothesis of revolution were tested through this revolutionary upheaval as the great mass of workers and peasants entered upon the stage of history as conscious actors.
‘RCLI’ says February reached October, ‘uninterruptedly’! This is absolute Menshevik lie, a conscious attempt to hide the facts.
Great democratic revolution had unfolded itself in February, 1917 in Russia, chiefly as a peasant war of rebel village headed by the armed proletariat in city. Though none of the parties had anticipated and prepared themselves for the moment of uprising, but it was no surprise for Marxist revolutionaries who had predicted that long before.
Within no time, few days at the most, the whole dynasty of Romanovs crumbled before the armed uprising. But this presented straight the question of power before the parties of revolution.
Lenin and Trotsky both were abroad and were prevented by force of political circumstances from reaching the land of revolution, in time.
Mensheviks and Bolshevik leaders behind them- Stalin, Kamenev, Muranov, agreed between themselves upon the bourgeois-democratic character of the revolution, which both understood as – ‘democratic revolution and not socialist’. Socialist revolution was a task of tomorrow for them, not of today. As according to them revolution was not socialist, so working class need not establish its dictatorship against all other classes, inside and outside the revolution. So none of them summoned the working class, which had armed itself to the teeth and organised in its own soviets and held all real power in its hands, for independent class action and to establish its dictatorship forthwith, over and above all other social classes.
The agreement was so complete that the two opposite camps of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks planned to re-merge into a single party. Several local committees of these parties had even started to merge.
Mensheviks, who sanctioned a dictatorship for bourgeois in the bourgeois-democratic revolution, threw their weight behind capitalists-landlords, and assisted in establishment of capitalist-landlord government under Prince Lvov, thereby bringing a dual power in existence. This 'dual power', though, by itself, was not a special feature of February. In all revolutions of past and present, dual power existed, without exception, for short or long durations in transition to complete triumph of one and defeat of other class, depending upon the balance of class forces. Of importance, were the facts that the provisional government under Lvov, was absolutely under domination of capitalists who were frightened by the force of revolution, it was totally toothless and powerless at that time and depended upon the armed soviets of workers and peasants for execution of its orders, it did not sprung up from the new forces summoned by revolution but was carved out of the old Duma, rostrum of capitalists and landlords and thus was a potential instrument of counter revolution.
What was the attitude of Bolshevik leaders to this provisional government and to the February revolution in general? Bolshevik leaders, were in agreement with Mensheviks as to the 'revolutionary' character of the provisional government, and deemed it instrument of revolution. As to their own role, Bolshevik leaders were clear that the revolution being democratic in nature, Bolshevik party, which in their estimation was party of the socialist revolution, had to assist the provisional government and defend it. In their estimation, the 'democratic republic' which Lenin had proposed in his 'two tactics...." was already in place. These Bolshevik leaders joined Mensheviks in appealing to workers and soldiers to support the capitalist government, under their innocent but fatal belief that the provisional government was the organ of revolution. With active assistance of Bolshevik leaders, Mensheviks subdued the soviets of workers and soldiers into submission before the government of capitalists, made them virtual appendage of bourgeois and made the powerless government of capitalists, omnipotent.
Bolshevik leaders falsely imagined the provisional government as embodiment of ‘combined dictatorship of proletariat and peasantry’ in the form of soviets of workers and soldiers and threw their support behind it.
Taking advantage, capitalists virtually seized the state power, leaving 'all powerful' soviets politically powerless.
Lenin’s opposition from abroad, to this capitulation of Bolshevik leaders, went unheard. His ‘letters from afar’ which ran counter to this Bolshevik capitulation to reaction, were suppressed by Stalin and Kamenev, except one which too was edited by them before publication in Pravda.
Travelling through impossible route, Lenin arrived on April 3 in Petrograd and rebuked the Bolshevik and Menshevik leaders for their support to capitalist government, through his 'April Theses'. On his proposal, ‘all powers to the soviet’, which demanded a radical break of honeymoon between Bolshevik leaders and the capitalist government and instead called for head-on confrontation with capitalist government for power, Lenin faced stiff opposition from Menshevik and Bolshevik leaders as well and isolation inside the party.
After great persuasion of Lenin and on arrival of Trotsky from abroad, a section of Bolshevik leaders finally came over to support the position of Lenin. Time had come for revolution to advance once again! Under leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, the Bolshevik party took sharp turn once again to the revolution.
Half million workers responded to the call of Bolsheviks to protest in demonstration on the roads of Petrograd against the capitalist government. As Lvov ordered firing situation was mature for instant uprising. But Bolshevik party had not planned it as it never imagined such a huge response from workers and soldiers. Bolshevik leaders were arrested. Lenin fled to Finland. Revolution took a pause. Dual power evaporated into thin air and capitalists demonstrated that it were they who held the real power.
Political crisis grew, which Lvov was not able to handle. SR Kerensky took over command of capitalist government. In August, party of SRs split into two, with left SRs joining Bolsheviks. Lenin adopted agrarian program of Left SRs and with their support called for preparation for uprising.
Barring what the armed masses had achieved with force of arms in first few days, the provisional government declined to fulfill any of the democratic demands- from 8 hour day to pulling out of the war. It scuttled the revolution first and then turned it into a counter revolution.
It is so clear that the February revolution that had opened itself as ‘democratic revolution’ under the leadership of working class, did not ‘reach the October socialist revolution’ as our ‘RCLI’ says, but was headed off by the counter revolution, within no time. Whatever it could achieve in initial days was due to swift and powerful action by the armed workers and soldiers.
What could not be achieved by February, was achieved by October! Revolutionary democracy could be realised only in October as the proletariat established its dictatorship followed by peasantry and ruthlessly destroyed all remnants of medievalism within no time, while growing over to revolutionary socialism. February opened as democratic revolution under the force of armed proletariat followed by peasantry, but could not accomplish itself, as the proletariat failed to establish its dictatorship over it. First a dual power appeared and then counter revolutionary bourgeois dictatorship took over it.
The capitalist government was not issued by the revolution, but was borrowed from the old Duma, and was instrument of the counter revolution issued by the forces of old society. This government came to power not because it was turn for capitalists in history, not because this government represented the revolution, not because proletariat did not possess the power to establish its dictatorship, but only because proletariat did not contend for power against it. Because the then leaders of the proletariat, Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, sanctioned the provisional government.
If proletariat could not come to power in February it was only for the reason that it was not prepared for it by its leadership, which thought that the impending revolution was democratic and not socialist revolution and thus instead of contending for power proletariat must enter into coalitions. February revolution failed to advance and turned into a fiasco, into dictatorship of the capitalists, which suffocated the revolution.
The revolution could breathe again with the shot of ‘April Thesis’ of Lenin, which reversed the whole course that Bolshevik leaders followed since February. With the clarion call of ‘All Power to the Soviets’ it came back to life. Again took a pause in July and after split in SR party, it again rushed to October.
Had Lenin been present in Russia in February, February would have turned to October and there would have been February; and had Lenin not succeeded in returning back in April, there would have been no October at all!
The course of revolution in Russia, from February to October, demonstrated that the appearance of dictatorship of the proletariat, did not depend upon the level of development of capitalism, but directly rested upon changing correlation of class forces inside it. Level of development of capitalism only determined the tasks before the dictatorship of the proletariat, after it was established in October.
It is Menshevik illusion of ‘RCLI’ that February revolution was democratic revolution and October was Socialist. The fact is, October revolution also opened itself as bourgeois democratic revolution and then grew over to socialist revolution. It is this dual nature of October, which Lenin had pointed out in his address to party congress in March 1919:
‘In October 1917 we seized power together with the peasantry as a whole. This was a bourgeois revolution, inasmuch as the class struggle in the rural districts had not yet developed.’
‘In a country where the proletariat was obliged to assume power with the aid of the peasantry, where it fell to the lot of the proletariat to serve as the agent of a petty-bourgeois revolution, until the organization of the Committees of Poor Peasants, i.e., down to the summer and even the autumn of 1918, our revolution was to a large extent a bourgeois revolution.’
So when ‘RCLI' says that the October was socialist in Russia, as democratic revolution was realised under 'dual power', it only shows that it neither understands October nor February. Lenin, talked about democratic revolution taking place in February, only to repel the persistence of the ‘old Bolshevik’ opposition, that party should fight to realise the old Bolshevik slogan of ‘democratic dictatorship’ and should not advance to take power through uprising.
With its opening, the October revolution immediately realised the long cherished democratic demands of the workers and peasants- 8 hour working day, radical land reforms, self-determination of nationalities, pull-out of the war etc. etc. and then grew over to a socialist revolution. October was the most democratic revolution that human history had seen by now.
The slogan of Lenin, ‘democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasantry’ which failed to realise itself in February, as February grew over to bourgeois counter revolution in no time, ultimately realised itself in the victorious October revolution. This realisation however, was subjected to small and insignificant correction by history- dictatorship that issued from October Revolution, was the dictatorship of the working class followed by peasantry. October, however rejected the vulgarisation of formula of Lenin, by the old Bolsheviks counter-posing the “democratic dictatorship” against “socialist dictatorship” and realised the two together and at once. Looking back now we know well that in October, dictatorship of the proletariat stood at coalition of proletariat and peasantry both inside and outside of the state.
Failure of February revolution and triumph of October revolution proved it beyond doubt that ‘democratic dictatorship’ is possible only through ‘dictatorship of the proletariat, followed by peasantry’. This conquest of power by the proletariat and establishment of its dictatorship, however, would not complete a revolution, but only open it. Under conditions of dominance of capitalism on world arena, this opening of revolution would mean civil war inside and revolutionary war outside. So building of socialism in one country, would be out of question, not by choice or its economic viability, but by force of inevitable circumstances.
Preaching of Stalinists-Maoists goes against all historical experience, so far as it sets up the democratic revolution against socialist revolution in backward countries, and proposes unrealizable regime of democratic dictatorship counter-posing it to dictatorship of the proletariat. Trapped in incubus of Maoism, ‘RCLI’ fails to understand that proletariat can establish its dictatorship in a country, long before that country would be mature for socialism.
Not surprising then that the recipe of 'democratic' alliance, served by Stalinists-Maoists, invariably blends into it, sections of national bourgeois. By accepting the sections of national bourgeois, inside the folds of democratic revolution in backward countries, in China, India, Indonesia and everywhere, they had destroyed the very soul of Lenin's politics based on workers-peasants alliance and its perpetual hostility to the bourgeois. This false policy of Comintern has resulted in defeat after defeat and castration of revolution in all countries.
‘RCLI’ fails to understand this all, as it refuses to understand the revolution and revolutionary ideas in their dynamism and continues to churn our quotations devoid of their historical context. We all, including Lenin and Trotsky, continue to ascend ever new heights in history and in our conception. So if we want to look at the October through the prism of 1906 writings of Lenin or Trotsky, refraction would be blurred. On the contrary we must judge these writings from the standpoint of live experience of February and October and for guidance must look through the writings of these great revolutionists that are produced at the revolutionary climax of October.
Great thinkers present hypothesis based on concrete analysis of existing realities, which are then tested in actual course of practice and are trimmed to generate new experiences and lessons. In any case one cannot resort to churning out quote after quote and then to fit reality in its moulds.
‘RCLI’ is mistaken when it says that bourgeois after coming to power, in a backward country, whether India, China or Russia, can resolve the agrarian question, fully or even partially. Under the conditions of imperialism, the bourgeois rule would further intensify the crisis and not resolve it. This explains the widespread and unprecedented hike in farm suicides in India due to agricultural debts. Similarly, the rule of the bourgeoisie, would not and cannot resolve the crisis in any sphere of social economic or political life.
But as Maoist ‘RCLI’ insists to credit the bourgeois rule with development through Prussian Path, we deem it necessary to point out that in absence of manorial economy in India, Prussian Path is out of question. This is how Lenin put it. However, we point out that even through ‘Prussian Path’, the bourgeois cannot resolve the agrarian crisis.
‘RCLI’ makes the fragmentation of peasantry a pre-condition for the proletariat to take power. Here Maoists again take a pedantic view of the whole matter. They forget what Lenin said about the October: that in pre-dominantly peasant countries the proletariat takes to power as agent of the peasant mass. That means a peoples’ democracy’ is a ‘workers and peasants’ democracy’ realised through dictatorship of the proletariat.
They pose irrelevant material conditions for proletariat to come to power in different countries, distorting and falsifying the lessons of February and October. This they do to clean their own historic trajectory through the Stalinist-Maoist path, to wash out the real sins of Stalinists and Maoists in becoming complacent to sections of bourgeois in India, Indonesia and China and everywhere on the earth.
WSP says that after emergence of proletariat onto the political scene of the world and especially after advent of imperialism in 1900, at no corner of the earth it remains anymore the turn for the bourgeois to come to power. It is everywhere the turn for the proletariat to come to power, and establish its dictatorship at the head of workers-peasants alliance, unless it is not held back and betrayed by its false leaders- Stalinists, Maoists and social democrats. However, the tempo of advance would be different in different countries after the revolution. The task however, of this dictatorship of the proletariat, would not be to build socialism inside the isolated shells of their countries, but to advance for world socialist revolution, through destruction of world capitalism.
It is very clear that the whole edifice of the windbag of ‘new socialist revolution’ prepared by ‘RCLI’ has nothing of the sort of ‘new’, ‘socialist’ or ‘revolutionary’ inside it, it is the same old road to complete destruction of the International working class and its revolution.
The Road to Revolution in India
After explaining in preceding three write-ups, how the understanding of Stalinists-Maoists runs affront to the whole course of Russian revolution, let us now deal with their recipe for ‘Indian revolution’, upon which these nationalists have focused so much in their two papers.
‘RCLI’ insists that the Indian bourgeois came to power in ‘un-natural’ way, i.e. through agreement with colonialists, but never tells us how this ‘way’ is ‘un-natural’! ‘RCLI’ lost in dreams of old bourgeois revolution in Europe, forgets that this 'un-natural' is the sole 'natural' way for the bourgeois to come to power in any country, under the new conditions, the conditions of imperialism. Illusions about the imaginary revolutionary role, power and character of national bourgeois are so deeply embedded in the conception of Stalinists-Maoists that its ‘way through compromise’ appears totally un-natural and exceptional to them. These believers in potency of bourgeois forget that in the era of imperialism, no section of national bourgeois can come to power without such counter revolutionary measures- arrangements with imperialists, on the back of workers and peasants and against them. The trajectory of all bourgeois regimes, from Africa to Latin America, irrespective if they appear as republics or dictatorships, is through such arrangements only.
Oblivious to this historic truth, ‘RCLI’ looks at advent of bourgeois power in India in 1947 traversing through ‘un-natural’ path! In this, it also misleads itself on the character of this power and overlooks the fact that this new power issued itself not only in arrangement with colonialists but with landlords too, and in fact rested upon their coalition.
‘RCLI’ complains again and again that the bourgeois in India fell short of taking power at the head of a real revolution. It goes to explain in detail the best case in 1947 - the scenario if bourgeois regime would have appeared through a revolutionary road by overturning colonial rule and completed the democratic revolution! It also indicates the second best scenario, that the communist party must have pushed the bourgeois regime under Nehru for ‘radical’ reforms! These measures are proposed in its first paper and repeated again and again in the second, under the sub-heading, “Could it have been otherwise in relation to India?” It asks to itself, “Could the capitalism come to India through any other way, i.e. through revolutionary way?”, and then proceeds to explain the error of Indian bourgeois in 'opting' against the revolutionary road.
To be sure, for ‘RCLI’, the riding to power by the national bourgeois in 1947, by itself is not ‘un-natural’. For it, ‘un-natural' is the path through which bourgeois rode to power, i.e. through compromise. ‘RCLI’ is not terming the power of the bourgeois itself ‘un-natural’, or counter-posing it against the ‘natural’ prospects of coming to power of the proletariat. On the contrary, for ‘RCLI’ power of the proletariat was out of question in 1947, as capitalism was not sufficiently mature for it.
'RCLI' tells us, capitalism in India in 1947, was not mature enough to deliver a bourgeois power, and claims that the power under national bourgeois was far 'advanced' than its economic basis. Then how this power of national bourgeois was established in 1947? In -un-natural way! One can only laugh at it!!
If the bourgeois power in 1947 was advanced than its economic basis, as 'RCLI' tells, then this power becomes 'progressive' in history! In fact, this is the central theme of Stalinist and Maoist politics in India. And this is false to the core!
The power of Indian bourgeois that was established in 1947 was not 'advanced', but was already outmode as lagging behind by centuries to the economic basis of world capitalism. Indian economy was integral part of the world economy through capitalist markets of colonial Britain. Long before 1947, the world economy was mature as a whole not only for already obsolete bourgeois power that appeared in bygone centuries, but far ahead of it, for proletarian power. October revolution was live proof of it.
The revolutionary democracy that fought through anti-colonial revolution in India, was in essence, a struggle against this rule of world bourgeois. So in natural course, the anti-colonial revolution in India, could not have issued a bourgeois power, which by all historic parameters was already delayed in history. Bourgeois regime, thus could have established itself, only through a counter-revolution, by suppressing the wave of anti-colonial revolution and through unprecedented violence. And that was the exact course it took to come to power in 1947, first through direct persecution of mass movement and its leaders like Bhagat Singh, followed by intrigue of communal partition.
'RCLI' forgets that even before 1947, India was already ruled by bourgeois power, the power of foreign bourgeois-first Portuguese then English, and that for more than a century before Indian bourgeois could come to power in 1947. So, in 1947, India was not only sufficiently mature but over-ripe, not only for the historically obsolete bourgeois power but in fact for much higher power than that- a proletarian dictatorship, followed by peasantry.
'RCLI' confuses itself by trying to solve the riddle of productive forces and production relations within confines of national frontiers of India, sealing it off from world economy as a whole, to come to a wrong conclusion that the bourgeois power in 1947 was advanced to its economic base and thus essentially had a progressive character. It ignores that the capitalist economy is essentially a world economy in first instance, while its political state is national in character.
To confuse us, ‘RCLI’ says that as capitalism was not sufficiently mature for the proletariat to take power in 1947, so the democratic bourgeois legitimately took to power, albeit through ‘un-natural’ path of compromise. This unambiguously implies that the ‘natural’ path for the bourgeois is not through compromise but through revolution! In saying that, ‘RCLI’ presents itself clearly, as apologist for the historic legitimacy of the bourgeois power of 1947.
Not to our surprise, ‘RCLI’ has sanctioned a revolutionary potential and progressive role to the Indian bourgeois, having deep illusions in its role and capacity in taking to the revolutionary road. The fact is, by virtue of its position within imperialism, Indian bourgeois could not have travelled through the revolutionary road even an inch. The most natural way of its taking to power and further advance, was through compromise and arrangements not only with the sections of imperialists but with local landlords too. And therefore, the revolutionary movement in India, could have culminated not in the power of the national bourgeois in 'natural course', but in the dictatorship of the proletariat resting upon an alliance of workers and peasants in power.
Why this revolutionary possibility could not materialise in favour of revolution and why it settled itself in favour of counter revolutionary national bourgeois, though the anti-colonial revolutionary wave had already put such gigantic forces at the disposal of the proletariat? How the weakest class of bourgeois captured power in 1947 in arrangement with colonialists, who themselves were on the threshold of a political crash? How come the revolutionary movement was brutally suppressed and sub-continent partitioned? These are the real issues that Stalinists-Maoists strive to evade and suppress from workers and youth, as the answers to them uncover the most shameful history of Stalinists.
Workers, Peasants and revolutionary youth were leaned upon the revolutionary road, en-masse. Anti colonial movement was approaching its peaks at the opening of 30s. It took the worst turn both against colonialists and the national bourgeois under Gandhi, as colonial government hanged Bhagat Singh and his comrades- Raj Guru and Sukhdev and Gandhi played an explicitly complacent role in his hanging. The result was a shock wave throughout the country against both of them. Gandhi faced the wrath in run-up to congress president-ship, as elections were held close to execution of Bhagat Singh, where Pattabhi Sitaramaiya, Gandhi’s supported candidate was defeated by huge margin of votes by Subhash Bose. The mass revolutionary wave continued to rise higher and higher against colonial rule, drifting away more and more from the national bourgeois leadership under Gandhi.
Co-incidentally, this was the period when after death of Lenin, Stalin had expelled and executed the whole leadership of the Bolshevik revolution in infamous purges. Stalin and the Comintern under him were commanding the Communist parties in backward countries to remain in permanent alliance with national bourgeois to reach their own ‘February’. This was the time when Stalin was also making zigzags between Hitler and democratic bourgeois. Stalin made a joint front with Fascists and invaded Poland in unison with Hitler. As Hitler betrayed Stalin, Stalin fell to lap of democratic bourgeois of England and France. CPI, like other communist parties, followed Stalin in this zigzag leaving the rank and file into complete disarray. To its worst, as Stalin settled with British against Hitler, he forced CPI to collaborate with British colonialists, and abandon fight against it. Top leaders of CPI, served colonial government even as spies. Finding great opportune time to re-gain its lost credibility among the masses, Gandhi launched his ‘Quit India’ movement. Stalinist CPI supported British rule against the mass movement and was completely isolated from workers, peasants and the radical youth. Completely isolated and defeated National bourgeois staged a come-back and once again placed itself at the head of the national movement, only to head it off very soon in collusion with colonialists.
The movement however, reached its peak with naval mutiny in 1946, which triggered a real uprising. The CPI however was holding the tail of colonial government at that time and failed to play any role. The leaders of mutiny were cleverly trapped to surrender by bourgeois emissaries like Sardar Patel and Jinnah, and the uprising was cowed down, before its leaders were betrayed and punished later.
In collusion with each other, the bourgeois Congress, the Muslim League and the Stalinist CPI agreed on the Mountbatten plan prepared by colonialists, that included communal partition of the country and peaceful transfer of power to the bourgeois. Communal Partition resulted into biggest ever tragedy in human history, leaving more than two million casualties. As masses of workers and peasants lynched each other, national bourgeois in agreement with colonialists and Stalinists, took power on both sides of the border.
This was the live correlation of class forces, achieved on the corpse of the anti-colonial revolution, that had brought Indian bourgeois to power in 1947. It is this correlation of forces, which keeps bourgeois in power today, not only in India, but throughout the world. It is this correlation of forces, in which both Stalinists and Maoists play their role in binding the international working class to sections of national bourgeois and thus prevent it from taking to power and establishing its dictatorship.
But ‘RCLI’ does not even mention this all, deliberately suppresses this, distorts the issue, as it itself believes in the doomed path of Stalinism, on whose hands is splattered the blood of the world proletariat and its revolution.
Leon Trotsky, the leader of the Fourth International, which he organised after complete degeneration of the Third International under Stalin, one year before his murder, wrote a letter to Indian workers in which he gave clarion call to the workers in India to defy the bogus command of Stalin, overturn the British Power through an anti colonial democratic revolution and establish dictatorship of the proletariat, upon alliance of workers and peasants.
After murdering Trotsky, the last surviving top leader of October Revolution, Stalin disbanded Comintern, the world party of socialist revolution, founded by Lenin and Trotsky, and entered into peaceful co-existence with world capitalism through treaties of Yalta, Potsdam and Tehran.
Appearance of the dictatorship of the proletariat in backward Russia in 1917, instead of advanced west, demonstrated it beyond doubt that the establishment of proletarian dictatorship does not depend upon level of development of capitalism inside a country, but upon concrete correlation of class forces inside the revolution at given time. Level of development of capitalism inside the country would only determine the concrete tasks before the dictatorship in its initial phase, the tempo of advance of the revolution and the real correlation between the proletariat in power and the peasantry that follows it.
But ‘RCLI’ intermingles the two different issues: 'coming to power of proletariat' and 'building of socialism' in a country, and confuses itself. It plays soccer between productive forces and production relations, base structure and super structure, to uphold and hail the legitimacy of bourgeois power in 1947, and exclude the possibility of proletarian power. Down with Stalinists Maoists, the eternal servants of capitalists!!
Even after 1947, ‘RCLI’ assigns the task for Communists, to ‘pressurise the bourgeois government under Nehru’, the legitimate government which incidentally came through un-natural path, to carry out the program of reforms more radically’. That means even after bourgeois had come to power, the communists were not to fight for its overturn making a revolutionary opposition to it, but should have formed the left radical wing of this power, striving to lean it to the left instead of right. So the democratic tasks were to be realised not through revolutionary struggle of workers and peasants against the bourgoeisie and its government for power, but by pressurising it! This is exactly the role what old Bolsheviks had been assigning to themselves in February and were rebuked by Lenin for this.
'RCLI' tells us that it was the official line of Comintern under Stalin to pressurise the bourgeois government to carry out the tasks of democratic revolution. Comintern had not survived to witness 1947 and to give any such line, as it had continued to degenerate under Stalin, and was disbanded by him in 1942 to appease and assure world bourgeoisie that Kremlin has completely turned its back upon the project of 'world socialist revolution' for which Comintern was organised under Lenin and Trotsky. But, of course, it was Kremlin under Stalin which had commanded Communist Parties not to fight for power but collaborate with new bourgeois power and rather put pressure on it to carry out tasks of democratic revolution. It is why peasant uprising of Telangana which had presented a great opportunity for the working class to head it towards a revolution under the leadership of its party, was scuttled by Kremlin and the leaders inside CPI under B.T. Ranadive who supported Telangana uprising were thrown out of the CPI. When bourgeois government under Nehru and Patel was brutally crushing the peasant uprising of Telangana under its military boots, Stalin was advocating the policy of pressurising the government to revolutionary tasks. The opposition of Stalinists to the peasant war directed against bourgeois power which could have sent sparks for a workers' uprising in cities, is endorsed by 'RCLI'. It glorifies the illusions that Kremlin itself had and exported them to India, in the power and revolutionary potential of the bourgeois. They do not even mention the Telangana uprising and its lessons!
First casualty of this Stalinist line for communists, 'of pressurising' the bourgeois government for radical reforms instead of fighting for power, was the Chinese revolution itself, where Stalin had forced the CCP to collaborate with and thereby pressurise the bourgeois Kuomintang to the left. This turned out to be death warrant for the revolution of 1925-27. Trotsky, who opposed this substitution of 'pressurising' for the proletarian revolutionary struggle for power, was exiled for this sin, immediately after the defeat of Chinese revolution. Opposing this capitulationist policy of Comintern under Stalin, Trotsky wrote in "from Marxism to Pacifism", in October 1928, from Alma Ata, "Stalinist national socialism tends to convert the communist International into an auxiliary means of 'pressure' upon the bourgeoisie". “The struggle is decided not by pressure upon government, but by revolutionary struggle for power. The pacifist effects of the proletarian class struggle, like its reformist effects, are only by-products of the revolutionary struggle for power and not substitute for it."
It's most touted slogan that Indian bourgeois had carried out democratic reforms through ‘Prussian Path’ falls flat in the face of absence of a manorial economy in India, which is essential pre-requisite for ‘Prussian Path’. Lenin said: “In India the foundation for the ‘Prussian’ Path’ – the gentry’s manorial economy – has been historically absent since there is no allotted peasant land that could have taken the form of ‘wages’. Absence of manorial economy is part of absence in India of feudalism in general and instead of pre-dominance of Asiatic modes of production (AMP), as Marx had put it. When 'RCLI' denies this to say that Marx had later changed his views on it, it only echoes the falsehood of Stalin, which he carved out in 1929 in the aftermath of the defeat of Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, due to false policies of Comintern under him. Stalin had imposed in China a policy advocating collaboration with bourgeois Kuomintang under Chiang Kai Shek and Wang Ching Wei, on the ground that China was 'feudal' and thus the task of Communist Party was not to contend for power against the national bourgeois, but to collaborate with it to carry out 'democratic' revolution. Stalin and behind him Mao, by advocating collaboration with bourgeois in China, and thereafter in all countries, thus destroyed the core of Lenin's politics based on workers-peasants alliance directed in perpetual opposition to the bourgeoisie. This false policy of Comintern resulted in triumph of bourgeoisie, complete annihilation of Chinese revolution and immense set back to the world revolution in general. After defeat of Chinese revolution, Kremlin bureaucracy opened an open assault against proposition of Marx that feudalism, marked by manorial economy in the village, was absent in Asian economies.
Most essential peculiarity of capitalist development in India is that capitalism had come to India much before the birth of national capitalist, in the form of foreign capital and since then its economy has continued under its domination. This leaves the Indian bourgeoisie even weaker historically to take and hold the power. Under no circumstance it could have captured the power against proletariat and peasantry, except through becoming an agency of imperialism and betrayal of working class at the hands of Stalinists.
On the pretext of democratic nature of revolution and low level of development of capitalism, Stalinists and Maoists justify the advent of bourgeois to power in 1947 and have kept the revolution bound hand and foot after 47.
‘RCLI’ then serves the politically meaningless recipe of ‘new socialist revolution’ endorsing the abortion of revolution in 1947 and legitimacy of the bourgeois power that was issued by it.
If 1947 marks anything in history, it marks only continuity of bourgeois power, change of hands between its foreign and national, British and Indian sections, of no real significance for workers and toilers in the country. With the aid of Stalinists, the bourgeois succeeded in throwing back the revolution and could stabilise their power post-1947. Contrary to perception of 'RCLI' that decorates bourgeois power of 1947 as more advanced to its economic base, this 'bourgeois democracy' was a masked dictatorship of the same world capital, that had ruled India till then through a more open and naked form-colonial rule.
WSP calls upon revolutionary minded youth and workers to tear down the illusions created by Stalinists and behind them Maoists, and turn to the true perspectives of Indian revolution, based on lessons of October. Revolution in India would open as democratic revolution to soon grow over to socialist revolution in un-interrupted manner, and the appearance of the dictatorship of the proletariat based upon an alliance of workers and peasants, is the pre condition for this revolution to take-off.
On the Slogan of ‘New Socialist Revolution’
To start with, to demonstrate the fallacy of Stalinism-Maoism, on the question of democratic revolutions in its full splendor we reproduce a Para, from the second paper of Oct 1, 2012, of ‘RCLI’.
“Two types of democratic revolutions are mentioned in political literature. One, that is accomplished under the leadership of bourgeoisie, and is thus a bourgeois-democratic revolution; inside this, a bloc of four classes, against feudalism, would organise- bourgeois, peasantry, petty bourgeois and proletariat. Second would be accomplished under leadership of workers and peasants, and this would include radical bourgeois in its leadership (big or small); in this type of democratic revolution a bloc of anti-feudal four classes will include -workers, bourgeois, peasants, petty bourgeois. (we are not mentioning the national democratic revolutions of colonies separately, because in fact they are peoples’ democratic revolutions, but they are completed there as anti-feudal anti-colonial revolutions”.
Lenin said that ‘our revolution is bourgeois-democratic, from this only a pedantic can draw the conclusion that bourgeois is its leader’. Those pedantic were Mensheviks in old Russia and now Stalinists-Maoists in their shoes! Bourgeois-democracy is led by the bourgeois, so we coin ‘new democracy’. But this is also not sufficient; it must be supplemented by people’s democracy, national democracy and so on. A new brand of democracy for different stages and kinds of democracy in each different country, to suit their own peculiarities!
Unable to understand the meaning of democracy and the dynamics of democratic revolution- from old European revolutions to today’s struggle for democracy in backward countries, Stalinists-Maoists prepare a whole heap of its varieties. Through their senseless inventions and misconceived notions of new democracy, peoples democracy, national democracy and so on and finally a ‘new socialist’ recipe, they virtually have made a mess of political theory and historic experience. This has prevented the youth and workers from understanding the trajectory of revolutions in history and from taking part in the revolutions of today through determining their own tasks and role in the revolutionary process.
We have clarified in earlier articles in the series that the democratic revolution is integral to the socialist one, as in both, proletariat is the leader and proletarian dictatorship is the essential pre-requisite for their take-off.
‘RCLI’ does not agree with this. It insists that bourgeois-democratic revolution would be led by bourgeois and thus democracy needs new sign-boards. Does it imply that ‘RCLI’ excludes bourgeois? No! ‘RCLI’ makes it clear that in both democracies bourgeois will remain there!
This recipe of democratic revolution prepared by Stalinists-Maoists runs counter to the ‘democratic dictatorship’ of Lenin and Trotsky, and is in complete agreement with Mensheviks. It were Mensheviks who gave place to the bourgeoisie in the democratic alliance. Lenin and his disciple Trotsky, both refuted it. Lenin and Trotsky agreed that the revolutionary alliance of democracy must include workers and peasants and must exclude the bourgeois. In fact, the democratic alliance of Lenin and Trotsky stood in complete hostility to the bourgeois, and this constituted its main feature. The core of dispute between Bolshevism and Menshevism is the role and character of the bourgeoisie.
This is what Lenin said about the differences between Bolshevism and Menshevism, in his speech to Fifth Congress of the RSDLP, in 1907: “The question of our attitude to the bourgeois is the nub of the differences in matters of principle that have long divided Russian Social-Democracy into two camps.” Further, “The difference in points of view I have described is fully reflected in the anti-thesis between the Bolshevik and Menshevik resolutions”.
By including the sections of bourgeois inside the ‘democratic alliance’ and sanctioning a radical role to them, Stalinists and Maoists are in fact following their natural predecessors in history- the Mensheviks.
To justify this blatant betrayal, Stalinists-Maoists falsely split the bourgeois in two camps-national and comprador. Trotsky showed that there are no two sections of bourgeoisie; it is the same bourgeois which is national against foreign allies and comprador to world capitalism as a whole. By splitting the bourgeois into two- Stalinists Maoists find pretext to adhere to sections of bourgeois terming them national and progressive. Nehru and Patel in India, Chiang and Wang in China, General Ayub Khan in Pakistan, and Gaddafi in Libya all were revolutionary leaders who represented this national bourgeois.
This adherence to ‘national’ bourgeois, advocated by Stalin and Mao, had destroyed the revolution in China, Indonesia, Germany and everywhere. This Stalinist formula had prevented the working class in all countries from launching revolutionary struggle for power against bourgeois regimes.
Basing itself upon this de-based conception of democracy and democratic revolution, ‘RCLI’ strides forward to a ‘two stage revolution’ in India, one stage of which, according to it, had set in with advent of power of national bourgeois in 1947 and completed in late 50’s. Since 60’s, India has entered upon “New Socialist Revolution”. This implies that the bourgeois has carried out the tasks of democratic revolution.
Completely oblivious to the fact that the ‘capitalist development’ and the ‘tasks of revolutionary democracy’ are two entirely different things, ‘RCLI’ argues at length that stage of democratic revolution is over and India has entered ‘new socialist revolution’ since 60’s, as capitalism has grown inside it, and for this revolutionary stride forward, gives all credit to the Indian bourgeois.
In fact, ‘RCLI’, like other Stalinist-Maoist outfits has intermingled all issues from stage of revolution, to development of capitalism to question of class power.
Which class would take power in a country? ‘RCLI’ tells us, it depends upon the stage of revolution in a country; to clarify further - bourgeois takes power in bourgeois-democratic revolution and proletariat in socialist revolution. It tells further that these stages of revolution in their turn depend directly upon development of capitalism in the country. It condemns its rival Stalinist-Maoist “Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Manch” for stating that stage of revolution would depend upon which class is holding power. Amazingly, in the next breath it justifies the adjective ‘new’ in the ‘new democratic revolution’ as a special stage of revolution, on the ground of ‘comprador’ character of the ruling class in China!
We have said much on this in earlier articles, showing that the coming to power of the proletariat does not depend upon development of capitalism inside a country.
It is however interesting to know as to what is so ‘new’ inside the ‘new socialist revolution’ of ‘RCLI’? We have shown to earlier how in the name of this ‘new’ in ‘new democracy’ Mao has betrayed the Leninist formula of ‘democratic dictatorship’, by inducting bourgeois inside the alliance. Now this ‘new socialism’ of ‘RCLI’ bases itself upon that very ‘new democracy’ of Mao, presents it as recipe for second stage to ‘new democracy’. The first stage of the revolution is completed by 60’s under rule and leadership of bourgeoisie, and thus, this is ‘new socialism’ after ‘new democracy’.
“What is new inside the new socialist revolution”? Asks the ‘RCLI’ in a sub-title to its paper. And answers that this is ‘new’ because the politically independent bourgeois that has come to power in post-colonial countries, is neither national nor comprador.
Contrary to belief of ‘RCLI’ this bourgeois in India and elsewhere is politically independent only in the sense that it is not subjugated by a single colonial master, but it is not independent from political subjugation by advanced countries, who have thrown a very tight noose around the necks of these countries. Fact is that its whole political existence depends upon the will of advanced countries. Secondly, this bourgeois, like the bourgeois of Russia, China and everywhere, is national in so far as it holds a territory for itself and is comprador in so far as it supervises the interests of world capitalism inside those national frontiers. So far as its characterisation as ‘junior partner’ is concerned, in today’s world bourgeois regimes in all backward countries are junior partners to those in advanced countries.
Most reactionary essence of the paper of ‘RCLI’ lies in its argument that the democratic tasks have been completed by Indian bourgeois after taking power in 1947 and up to last 50’s. Here ‘RCLI’ demonstrates its historic myopia in differentiating between the development of capitalism and accomplishment of the democratic tasks.
It appears ‘RCLI’ has no idea of tasks before the revolutionary democracy. Apart from complete elimination of medievalism in ‘institutions of system’, Lenin includes status of women and religious and national oppression etc. within the ambit of these tasks. None of these issues stand resolved after 1947. On the contrary, medievalism has perpetuated and meshed itself more and more into the structures of bourgeois regime and the society governed by it. Proof of this perfection of medievalism, is the caste polarisation, religious prejudices and oppression of minorities that reflect themselves so clearly in every discipline of social and political life in India. Bourgeois, neither has, nor could have completed the tasks of democratic revolution due to its historic weakness.
We have shown earlier that capitalist development in backward countries has nothing to do with resolution of the tasks of revolution, as capitalism in these countries does not grow out of its own fragments, but is exported to it from foreign territories. This peculiar capitalist development thus does not destroy medieval structures and institutions but subjugates them to itself and protects them.
Whole edifice of the wind-bag of ‘new socialist revolution’ is built up on this false understanding of ‘RCLI’ that growth of capitalism in India is same as resolution of democratic tasks.
Despite all senseless caricature of revolution by Stalinists and Maoists, the impending revolution in India would bring dictatorship of the proletariat to power, resting upon alliance of workers and poor peasants, and under it, would grow over to socialist revolution finishing the tasks of revolutionary democracy, as part of the world socialist revolution.
Against the Schema of ‘Democratic Dictatorship’
Failing miserably to understand the political essence of the Leninist proposition, “Imperialism is the dawn of world proletarian revolution”, the Maoist ‘RCLI’, in its fantasy, divides the world into two: countries that are mature for proletarian dictatorship and those that are not. Level of capitalist development in individual countries, is for them, the final yardstick, which determines if the proletariat ‘should’ fight for power or not.
Different formations of Stalinists-Maoists, ardent followers of the 'two stage theory' of revolution, continue to debate among themselves as to which country has become ripe for a socialist revolution and thus for the dictatorship of the proletariat and which country has still not completed its democratic stage and thus is not ripe enough to go for the revolution of the second stage-the socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Yesterday, they had consensus, that India was not ripe for socialist revolution as it has yet to complete the democratic stage. Later, few of these, like 'RCLI' had changed their 'faith', turning to the conclusion that under the regime of Indian bourgeoisie, the core democratic tasks already stand completed and thus the stage is all set for the revolution of second stage. So this 'staging' of the revolution goes country to country and consequently the countries of the world are divided in two categories- those ripe and not ripe for dictatorship of the proletariat. Not surprisingly, every party of the Stalinists-Maoists keeps its own lists calculating the development of capitalism and thus the stage of revolution in different countries of the world, according to its own arithmetic.
In this a-historic and economist thesis of our Maoist, there sounds an indisputable echo of Russian Menshevism, which did not sanction dictatorship of the proletariat as a possible prospect of impending Russian revolution. Russia, for them was not sufficiently mature for such dictatorship because of its low level of capitalistic development.
“April Thesis” of Lenin was an explicit refutation to this pedantic thesis of Russian social democracy in general, and Menshevism in particular. Lenin, looking at the Russian revolution from the height of February 1917, contradicted this imaginary linkage between the fight for dictatorship of the proletariat and the level of capitalistic development. ‘April Thesis’ denied that capitalist backwardness of Russia was an impediment to the establishment of dictatorship of the proletariat. On the contrary, it was exactly this backwardness which dictated the historic course that ensured rise of the Russian proletariat to power in October, even before far more capitalistically developed west could stage its ‘October’.
“April Thesis” was directed against two blocs of epigones: One that out-rightly supported the Provisional Government as embodiment of “democratic dictatorship” and the other that argued for establishment of “democratic dictatorship”, as a separate stage before socialist dictatorship. Both camps counter-posed ‘democratic dictatorship’ to the socialist dictatorship of the proletariat.
April Thesis was a “re-arming” of the Bolshevik party by Lenin, against these two perceptions of epigones on the question of “democratic Dictatorship”. April thesis, however, has no real importance for the epigones of today. For them it is only a re-statement and continuance of old bolshevism.
Like Stalinists and Maoists of today, the majority of leaders of Russian social-democracy thought, and that till October 1917, that class dictatorship of the proletariat would appear only at the fag end of a ‘democratic revolution’ and only at the start of its second, ‘socialist’ stage.
Long ago, in his seminal work ‘Results and Prospects’ published immediately after the uprising of 1905 in Russia, Leon Trotsky had proposed that most probable offshoot of the revolution in Russia would be the appearance of dictatorship of the proletariat, even before the west.
The February revolution of 1917 in Russia, endorsed the thesis of Leon Trotsky, demonstrating it beyond any shade of doubt, that Russian revolution was so intimately bound up with the class dictatorship of the proletariat, that its abortion would directly lead to establishment of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the abortion of revolution itself, leading directly to a counter revolution. February, was a direct denunciation of the ‘two stage theory’ of revolution, i.e. democracy today, socialism tomorrow, which Russian social democracy had borrowed from the revolutions of the past in Europe and craved to apply it mechanically to capitalistically belated Russia, in utter disregard of the new historical conditions created by imperialism. Not Lenin’s but Menshevik’s slogan had come to fruition in February, not as consummation of democratic revolution, but as its abortion.
Lenin, the brilliant leader of the Russian revolution, re-visiting the Russian revolution, from higher echelon in February 1917 than in 1905, correctly appreciated that the dictatorship of the proletariat, followed and supported by a peasant mass through partisan war in rural Russia, was the only road to revolution. Lenin realised that the dictatorship of the proletariat was not the final outcome of the revolution, but the necessary pre-condition for its sustenance and advance.
Lenin, thus turned sharply against, and extremely critical of the leaders of Russian social democracy, who adhered to the old and obsolete Bolshevik idea of ‘two class democratic dictatorship- the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’, a historically unrealizable scheme that proposed to postpone the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat till the consummation of the imaginary first stage, the ‘democratic stage’ of the revolution.
Russian revolution established that the dictatorship of the proletariat appeared on the scene not after the completion of the agrarian democratic revolution but as the necessary pre requisite for its accomplishment.
History of Russian revolution is confirmation of the following postulates, of ‘permanent revolution’:
-Revolutionary process is uninterrupted process and its compartmentalisation in two imaginary stages, is historically false.
-In backward countries, i.e. countries with belated capitalist development, the revolution would open as democratic, only to grow directly to socialist revolution, under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The two revolutions merge into one and cannot be separated in two historic stages.
- Democratic Revolution only opens with the dictatorship of the Proletariat, it does not come to an end with it. Under the dictatorship of the Proletariat, it grows over uninterruptedly to socialist revolution.
-Dictatorship of the proletariat appears at the beginning of the democratic revolution and not at its fag end.
-“Democratic Dictatorship” is that very same dictatorship of the socialist proletariat, supported by the multi-million peasantry, through ‘peasant wars’ against thousands of landlords in villages, in backward countries.
-“Democratic Dictatorship” cannot be juxtaposed to the “socialist dictatorship”, as in both cases, the dictatorship remains exclusive class dictatorship of the proletariat.
Uninterrupted character of the revolution, lies in this very “dictatorship of the proletariat”, which appears at the start of the revolution and continues throughout all of its episodic stages, irrespective of the fact, which other class supports or opposes this dictatorship.
Contrary to historic course of Russian revolution, Stalinists and Maoists, like ‘RCLI’ argue that February was democratic as opposed to socialist October. In this, they fail to answer: Whether Democratic Revolution (successful war of peasantry against manorial gentry, destruction of medievalism, confiscation of landed estates) was realised before or after October? Was the ‘democratic dictatorship’ realised between “February and April”? How, and in what form? Under the regime of Lvov and Kerensky, Guchkov and Rodchenko?
Lenin called for overturn of the bourgeois government and establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat immediately after February, not because the ‘democratic revolution’ was accomplished in February, but exactly because February failed to carry out the democratic revolution. The democratic revolution was thrown out of the gear with establishment of the bourgeois power under Lvov and then Kerensky.
To be sure, at the start of the February, there did appear an informal dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of armed proletariat organised in soviets. Tsar-ism was deposed and destroyed by this dictatorship in first 4 days of “February” and civil liberties were won. The Petrograd Soviet- the soviet of workers- elected from the factories in Petrograd was the chief organ of this dictatorship of the proletariat.
Then appeared in the rear of the revolution, the bourgeois power, in the shape of the provisional government that succeeded in applying complete brakes upon it. A dual power- the power of two hostile classes- armed workers’ soviets and bourgeois provisional government – thus came to exist shortly, for few days in transition only, until the leaders of Russian Social Democracy-both Mensheviks and Bolsheviks- kneeled before the bourgeois power and appealed to the workers and soldiers to support it. This dual power in February, out of which Stalinists and Maoists make a real fetish, was in fact, illegitimate from revolutionary standpoint, both politically and historically, symbolised only the weakness and powerlessness of the proletariat, and was direct fallout of the political immaturity of its leadership, that failed to lead the proletariat to power. Thus barring the initial few days- when Tsarism was deposed, political prisoners freed, hated officials arrested and liberties achieved, i.e. till provisional government appeared and bourgeois consolidated its power-this dual power in February, was not accomplishment, realisation or consummation of any democratic revolution, but its abortion.
Firing upon the July demonstration, upon orders of the provisional government, that forced the revolution to go underground, decisively proved that February has put the real power in the hands of the bourgeoisie and that the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie was a reality and the dual power a sham.
The weak and impotent, Russian Bourgeois came to power in February, as everywhere in backward countries, not as legitimate representative of the revolution, but due to the flawed policy of epigones of Marxism, who prevented it from claiming power for itself, on the pretext that historic stage was not set yet for appearance of a proletarian dictatorship.
Except those initial few days, when armed proletariat ruled the roost and till Guchkovs and Miliukovs had not fortified their positions, February had turned counter-revolutionary and the democratic revolution could resume only in October, i.e. under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
October Revolution, in its first stages, was itself a ‘Democratic Revolution’ and the only genuine democratic revolution. The two tasks-Democratic and Socialist- went hand in hand after October, merged in each other, and the October revolution was the embodiment of the two. October opened as democratic revolution in its first episodic stages which were nothing but prelude to the ‘socialist revolution’. Lenin’s slogan of “democratic dictatorship” was thus realised, albeit not in February but in October, not in letters but in spirit.
Establishment of proletarian dictatorship in Russia was an offshoot of the rising tide of revolutionary wave and the crisis of the capitalism, the world over. Contrary to the perception of Stalinists, the Russian revolution, revolution in the backward agrarian country even before the West, is live testimony to the fact that the establishment of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, does not depend upon development of capitalism in a country, but upon exact correlation of class forces on a world scale.
Thus, given a favourable correlation of class forces on world scale, above all a leadership armed with a revolutionary program, the dictatorship of the proletariat could have well appeared, in February 1917 in Russia, 1925 in China, 2006 in Nepal and much before 1947 in India. But both Stalinists and Maoists deny this prospect, insisting that the failure of proletariat in seizing the power way back in history and establishing its class dictatorship was not due to their flawed policy of opposition to such dictatorship in the name of ;two stage theory’ of revolution, but due to underdevelopment of capitalism. For them, proletariat must wait in individual countries for achieving a definite level first of capitalistic development, before it could strive for its class dictatorship.
For these pedantic, Stalinists and Maoists, proletariat in backward countries is too weak to take to power by itself and establish its dictatorship. Whole edifice of the ideas of Stalinism and behind it Maoism, emanates from such assumed weakness of the proletariat. To overcome this ‘weakness’ of the proletariat, Stalinists summon the bourgeois and petty bourgeois sections, apart from peasantry, to the aid of the proletariat.
“Democratic Dictatorship”, for Stalinists is the ‘joint dictatorship’ that is shared between the proletariat and ‘other’ social classes, above all, the rural peasantry. To this combination, however, they had continued to add, during the last whole century, ever new sections of ‘progressive’, ‘nationalist’ bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, suggesting ‘blocs of classes’ and ‘popular fronts’ in the name of fight for ‘democracy’ and struggle against Imperialism, feudalism and fascism. Through these blocs Stalinists and Maoists had continued to bind the working class to the tail of the parties of bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie and have prevented it from taking to seizure of power for itself.
Making a fetish out of the old Bolshevik proposition of ‘two class dictatorship’ of proletariat and peasantry, the slogan that was rendered obsolete by February revolution in Russia, Stalinists and behind them the Maoists, have sought an opportunity to tag the working class to the sections and parties of the bourgeoisie.
An alliance between proletariat and other social classes that support its agenda, now and then, cannot be conceived as a partnership in the dictatorship. Alliance between proletariat and peasantry can be conceived in its varied forms in different countries, but it remains an agreement between the two classes of different social compositions, essentially based upon the pivot of the exclusive dictatorship of the proletariat.
This Alliance between proletariat and peasantry, rests and realises itself in practice, not upon a sharing of joint dictatorship between two classes, as Stalinists and Maoists preach, but in historic compulsion of the peasantry to support the struggle, leadership, domination and ultimately the dictatorship of the proletariat. Under conditions of capitalism, the march of history culminates in leaving the only choice with peasantry- crushing and devastation under the yoke of bourgeoisie and landlords or liberation through the struggle and victory of the proletariat. Peasantry is thus forced to throw its weight behind the proletariat, not out of its free will, but as the only wise and viable option, conditioned by history.
Whereas, the rebellious peasantry engaged in partisan war against its enemies, seeks the success of its struggle through victory of the proletariat in key cities, the proletariat in turn derives support from these peasant wars, which create necessary conditions for defeat of the bourgeois regime.
In this sense, the alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry pre-supposes at least existence of a rebellious peasantry, if not a real peasant rebellion, as necessary precondition to a democratic alliance. Proletariat can derive support only from a peasant war and not from its dormancy. The peasant war against landlordism is the lever that would play an important but auxiliary role in the revolution and would catapult proletariat to power.
In order to be successful, however the peasant war has to confide under the leadership and hegemony of the proletariat, growing over into dictatorship of the proletariat after victory of revolution.
No doubt, in backward countries, the proletariat finds a ready arsenal in the rebellious peasantry and the peasant wars in rural regions. But the prospects of a Peasant war in thousands of villages against hundreds of the landlords, directly depends upon success of proletarian war upon the bourgeois in dozens of cities. If proletariat wins against the bourgeoisie in cities, peasant would win, if proletariat loses, peasant would lose. So in fact, the peasant war is to be fought, not in villages, but in cities.
Refusing to understand this live correlation between the proletariat and peasantry, Stalinists and Maoists both, oppose the very idea of class dictatorship of the proletariat in backward countries, and instead argue for a joint dictatorship, through a bloc of hostile social classes.
Given the standpoint of epigones, the class dictatorship of the proletariat would never appear. To their formulation: at democratic stage it would be shared with whole peasantry, while at socialist stage it would be shared with poor peasantry. In both cases, thus, it would be a ‘joint’ dictatorship and not the class dictatorship of the proletariat.
In backward countries, the formulation of two class dictatorship-of proletariat and peasantry- is rendered unrealizable by real course of history. It can be realised only as dictatorship of the proletariat followed by peasantry, inside a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. Epigones on the other hand, block the dictatorship of the proletariat on the ground of its invalidity in democratic revolution. Bourgeoisie thus rises to power, by default-as the only choice to history. This is exactly what happened in February 1917 in Russia, in 1925 in China, 2006 in Nepal and 1947 in India.
Moreover, in agrarian countries, the joint dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry would essentially become the dictatorship of the peasantry as it would out-number the proletariat forthwith, due to its huge numerical superiority.
Necessary consequence of the ridiculous notion of ‘joint’ dictatorship, as proposed by Stalinists and Maoists, would be: Proletariat will have to overturn this joint dictatorship itself later, to dislodge and expel the peasantry from this dictatorship, and in order to rise up to the socialist tasks- the establishment of socialist dictatorship. Only this way, through a real mockery of history, the plan of “two stage revolution” can be put to practice. But still, ironically, this assumed socialist dictatorship, so deeply embedded in fantasy of our Stalinists and Maoists, would not be a class dictatorship of the proletariat, but again a joint dictatorship, this time shared between the proletariat and the poor peasantry, according to old Bolshevik formula.
National-Socialist, Stalinist-Maoist, ‘RCLI’, in its imagination links the development of capitalism in India and so in other backward countries, to automatic resolution of the core democratic tasks, chiefly the agrarian crisis, in essence, leaving only residual democratic tasks for socialist revolution. It credits the rule of Indian bourgeoisie after 1947 with solution of these core tasks. These cheerleaders for the imaginary achievements of the bourgeoisie ignore that development of capitalism, by itself, does not resolve the democratic tasks, but, on the contrary, sharpens and intensifies them to the maximum. Be it the agrarian crisis or the question of caste and nationality, the capitalistic development has aggravated this crisis, instead of resolving it, by bringing it more and more in direct conflict with the rule of bourgeoisie. To be sure, development of capitalism before or after 1947 in India, did not lead to resolution of democratic tasks and contradictions of old society. On the contrary, it blended them with new contradictions leading to their more and more sharpening and intensification. Spiraling peasant suicides on mass scale, and ruthless suppression of Kashmiri and other nationalities at the hands of the Indian bourgeois, are glaring example of this ever deepening crisis, preparing ground for a powerful explosion of proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie.
Notably, nationalist ‘RCLI’ counts upon this ‘development of capitalism’ in India, from riding of the national bourgeoisie to power in 1947, and thus ignoring its whole development under the rule of foreign capitalism, and the world capitalism as a whole. The fact that ‘RCLI’ ignores, for its nationalist outlook, is that India was already under the rule of capitalists, British capitalists, centuries before 1947.
Destabilised and weakened during the WW-II, Britain was forced by emerging imperialist powers, chief among them, the US- to leave open the frontiers of the colonies under it for common imperialist plunder, putting an end to its monopoly.
In the wake of this new balance of capitalist power after WW-II, Indian Bourgeoisie rode to power in 1947, riding not upon the tide but the ebb of the anti-colonial wave. It was the alliance of bourgeois and landlords that captured power in 1947 in India, an alliance in which bourgeoisie dominated. In that sense it was class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
Indian bourgeoisie, like all national bourgeoisie in colonies, was born and nurtured in the incubator of the rule of foreign capital and complete domination of foreign powers. In colonial countries, even before emergence of the national bourgeoisie, foreign capitalists had captured the political power from despotic empires and had forcibly annexed territories under these empires to world capitalism, subjugating their most backward structures to themselves. These territories, as a whole and their economy in particular, was thus already annexed to and thus integrated with world capitalism under the rule of foreign capitalists. For this very reason, Marx had credited British colonialism with a great radical role in history, a proposition which Stalinists fail completely to understand.