On the Slogan of 'New Socialist Revolution'

- Workers’ Socialist Party/ 14.12.2012

Here is the fifth article in the series. 'praxis collective' a stalinist-maoist organisation in India, an outfit of RCLI, has offered platform of 'new socialist revolution'. We present its critique hereunder, exposing the bogus and confused perspectives of these epigones of Leninism: 

for earlier four parts click here:
Part Five
To start with, to demonstrate the fallacy of Stalinism-Maoism, on the question of democratic revolutions in its full splendour we reproduce a para, from the second paper of Oct 1, 2012, of ‘praxis collective’.

 “Two types of democratic revolutions are mentioned in political literature. One, that is accomplished under the leadership of bourgeois, 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 peoples 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.

‘Praxis’ 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 ‘praxis’ excludes bourgeois? No! ‘Praxis’ 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 bourgeois 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 bourgeois.

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 bourgeois, 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, 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, ‘praxis’ 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, ‘praxis’ 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, ‘praxis’, 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? ‘praxis collective’ 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 ‘praxis’? 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 ‘praxis’ 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 ‘praxis’ 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 ‘praxis’ 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 ‘praxis’ lies in its argument that the democratic tasks have been completed by Indian bourgeois after taking power in 1947 and upto last 50’s. Here ‘praxis’ demonstrates its historic myopia in differentiating between the development of capitalism and accomplishment of the democratic tasks.

It appears ‘praxis’ 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 ‘praxis’ 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. 

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