Conducted by: Comrade Ice
Introduction: As revolutionaries in the United States, humility and seeking guidance/experience from those who have been where we seek to go is essential. To this end, we publish this interview with Comrade Kiran, a veteran of the struggle of the Nepalese people for Communist revolution. This interview was conducted in April of this year. We hope that the reader takes vital lessons from this work and it guides their study and work. – PVN Editorial Board
Comrade Ice: How do you believe the current struggle for socialism, particularly communism, is going in Nepal?
Comrade Kiran: After the class and national capitulation on the part of Prachanda and his clique, the struggle for socialism and communism in Nepal suffered a severe setback. The ideological and political struggle that followed in the party resulted in several splits and organizational weakening of the Maoist movement in Nepal. However, the relentless two-line struggle waged on the part of revolutionaries has considerably exposed the reactionary content of the neo-revisionist betrayers, and a new process of revolutionary class struggle and organizational polarization based on MLM has started taking shape. It is raising a revolutionary optimism among the masses, and we believe the future of the Maoist movement in Nepal is bright.
Comrade Ice: In your interview with Kites last year, you said that the two greatest monsters facing Nepal’s struggle for liberation were imperialism and feudalism. Has that situation changed at all, particularly concerning imperialist powers abroad, and corporate interests trying to sink their hooks into the country’s economy?
Comrade Kiran: Our country is in semi-feudal, semi-colonial, and mainly neo-colonial conditions. She is oppressed and plundered by two monsters: imperialism and feudalism. Therefore, the revolution in Nepal necessarily targets these two enemies to clear the way forward for socialism. We call it new democracy.
However, in the present era of imperialism, feudalism does not exist in its classical form but does as an inseparable blend of comprador and bureaucratic capitalism and feudalism. With the termination of the monarchical system in Nepal, the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie have been in the lead in running the reactionary state power. The imperialist capital that nourishes the comprador and bureaucratic capitalism in collaboration with feudalism has sunk its hooks in our country’s economy as well. As a result, bureaucratic capitalism has flourished in Nepal. However, given its utter reactionary character, we cannot make it a base to erect the socialist economy upon it but must be destroyed to pave the way for establishing new democracy. Mao has explicitly clarified it.
Comrade Ice: Nepal’s current multiparty administration has been criticized by many (within the country and abroad) on the grounds of corruption, revisionism, tailism, etc., Including yourself. Could you explain the main criticisms and problems you have with the ruling coalition?
Comrade Kiran: There has been a mass criticism that corruption has reached local bodies from the central secretariat after the Federal Democratic Republic has been established in Nepal. All the political parties work in unison to exploit the people, hand over natural resources to foreign corporates, and surrender national independence to their imperialist and expansionist masters. Their competition is for capturing a bigger share of the crumb they receive from the MNCs. The major parliamentarian parties, Nepali Congress, a ‘democratic’ party, and CPN (MC) and CPN (UML), the pseudo-communist parties, do not essentially differ in their social and economic programs but all are subject to imperialist neoliberalism. The values and norms of the classical multi-party system do not exist anymore in Nepal. The so-called multi-party democracy has become a tool to exploit the people and grab national assets by a handful of party leaders and the top bureaucrats. Differing party names and contrasting ideological and political positions in their party resolutions have simply been placed as trademarks to dupe the masses. Building a bigger coalition in elections to loot the nation and people has become a political culture in Nepal.
Comrade Ice: Is there a genuine chance to establish real socialism within the country, concerning things such as a central economy, economic independence, nationalization of industry, proletarian-peasant dictatorship, and progressive cultural revolution against reactionary social norms? What are the barriers facing it, and how can those be overcome?
Comrade Kiran: The federal democratic republic in Nepal failed to solve the problems of people’s livelihood, guarantee the democratic rights of the oppressed masses, and defend the national independence of the nation. In contrast, they are further worsening. The new democratic revolution has become an objective necessity to solve these problems in Nepal. However, the subjective strength of the revolutionaries has stood as a barricade for this. Enduring, unyielding, and conscious effort is needed to accumulate the necessary subjective strength to make revolution a success. Once the favorable objective condition and the required subjective strength coincide, the revolution becomes a reality. A revolutionary communist party must untiringly strive for this. It is the first point.
In the present era of imperialism where neo-liberalism is a prevailing ideology, the revolutionary tasks that establish a centralized economy, maintain economic independence, and carry out the nationalization of comprador and bureaucratic capital are challenging. The joint dictatorship of the oppressed masses led by the proletariat is one of the unavoidable aspects of the new democratic revolution. A series of cultural revolutions under the dictatorship of the proletariat is inevitable to clear the way forward to communism. They are arduous tasks, but this is what a revolutionary must do to accomplish the communist revolution. No revolution can take place and advance by escaping these steps. In the name of being ‘creative’, to talk otherwise about the mandatory steps you mentioned is utter right-wing revisionism. It is the second point.
The main hindrance to advancing revolution is right-wing revisionism in the present context. It is true for Nepal and the whole world as well. The correct assimilation of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, its creative application in the particular context of the given society, and firm and principled struggle against the revisionism of all shades are the main aspects that help overcome this barrier. Every revolutionary must grasp the fact that revolution develops only upon the ashes of revisionism.
Comrade Ice: As you may know, there are a variety of pre-party Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organizations in the US, seeking to reconstitute a viable communist party. There are many of these groups, and they often struggle bitterly against one another, over matters of line, despite sharing ideology and practice, and define themselves sometimes in such micro-tendencies as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Principally Maoism, or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo-Thought which are all functionally no different from MLM as developed in India, the People’s War in Peru and from Mao as well. From your experience as a lifelong revolutionary, what would your advice be concerning building unity between squabbling organizations that share ideology, so that they can struggle together, considering they all share the same goals, ideology, and practice?
Comrade Kiran: We are aware that pre-party Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organizations are getting organized in the US. It is a good thing. However, instead of seeking to converge in the search for ideological and political unity to reconstitute a communist party in the US, we see them diverging based on the micro-tendencies you have noted. It does not mean they should compromise on the basic ideological and political questions. What it means is that the revolutionaries must strive for relative unity going through the absolute struggle.
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is an integrated whole, not the arithmetic addition of three different doctrines Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism. Hence, the formulation – principally Maoism – does not grasp the very notion of what the integrated whole stands for. In contrast, laying emphasis mainly on Maoism tends to unknowingly detach three different doctrines from one another and devalue Marxism and Leninism. So, we believe the notion of principally Maoism is wrong.It is correct that Comrade Gonzalo has made some important contributions to enrich Marxism-Leninism-Maoism while developing a revolutionary line and waging the people’s war in Peru. However, whether those contributions have elevated MLM to the next milestone, Gonzalo Thought, is still in debate in the ICM. In this situation, we strongly believe Gonzalo-thought must not be made a dividing line on whether someone is a revolutionary or not. For now, MLM is the base based on which the Maoist revolutionaries must strive for unity to constitute a communist party anywhere in the world, including the USA. The other questions of dispute, for example, the Gonzalo thought can and should be solved in the course of ideological and political struggle in the international communist movement.
Comrade Ice: A great deal of ink has been spilled in polemics and arguments between aspiring revolutionaries in the imperial core about “theory or practice”. In your experience as a veteran revolutionary, having organized under an anti-communist regime, what is the best way for communists to organize and politicize struggles under anti-communist regimes?
Comrade Kiran: Theory and practice are unity and struggle of opposites. Mao correctly identified the interrelation between them. Theory guides practice and practice is the hallmark that proves the correctness or incorrectness of theory. They have a dialectical relation between them. Moreover, Mao has explicitly said that correct ideas come from the struggle for production, class struggle, and scientific experiment. Hence, the source of correct ideas, the theory, is practice. Therefore, in general, practice is principal in the interrelation between them. However, in some cases, the theory also becomes principal. In our experience, the struggle against the anti-people activities of the government by formulating the demands of national independence, democracy, and people’s livelihood has been helpful to organize and politicize the struggles under the anti-communist regimes. And we developed struggle in that way.
Comrade Ice: Does it seem possible for another revolutionary internationalist movement such as RIM to rise to coordinate relations between communist, primarily MLM parties, and MLM pre-party formations in an internationalist way. What conditions would have to be met to make this a reality?
Comrade Kiran: In the present world situation, an international organization of the communist revolutionaries has become an urgent necessity. Efforts are underway to organize such an international organization. But, given the level of ideological unity among the MLM parties at present, an international platform that coordinates the international communist movement seems to be an appropriate form. As said before, MLM should be the base for such an initiative, and other differences are the things that should and can be solved in the course of two-line struggles within the movement itself.
Comrade Ice: What are the most important things to remember for recruiting/creating revolutionaries?
Comrade Kiran: As regards the recruiting of the revolutionary cadres during the people’s war, mainly two things are worth mentioning. First, there were many comrades and well-wishers who aspired for revolution in our party and the Nepalese communist movement. Second, we forcefully raised the economic, political, and cultural problems of the oppressed classes, gender, nationalities, castes, and regions. It also played an important role in attracting new revolutionary cadres to the party.
Comrade Ice: Do you have suggestions on methods of combating male chauvinism and encouraging the participation of women and gender-oppressed minorities within armed struggle?
Comrade Kiran: In the course of the people’s war, we had followed two methods to increase women’s participation and encourage the sexually oppressed genders toward revolution and resist patriarchy. The first one was the method of propaganda. It attracted many women toward revolution. The second was the method of inflicting physical actions upon the diehard representatives of patriarchy. It also played a significant role in inspiring women toward revolution.
Comrade Ice: What is the role of people on the outside in providing organizational and material support to those organizing in prisons?
Comrade Kiran: In our experience, the role of relatives, human rights activists, supporters and sympathizers, and fraternal and friendly parties remained important.