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On Leading Light Communism and Religion

 

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On Leading Light Communism and Religion

By Comrade Rizal Roja

Across the globe, religious extremism poses a serious threat to the revolutionary cause. In many third world countries, terrorist mercenary groups, motivated by supposed “religious purity,” are funded and armed by the United States, and other Imperialist countries. These extremists are terrorizing secularists, political activists, ethnic minority groups and other innocent civilians in massive numbers. In India, the imperialists openly fund and arm “Hindu” extremist groups to murder and terrorize Muslims, Buddhists and Christians [1]. In the neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan, the Imperialists send massive amounts of money and material support to “Islamist” groups to terrorize and murder non-muslims [2][3]. The aim of the Imperialists is a classic “Divide and conquer” strategy which aims to turn the oppressed against each other and weaken unity amongst the people. This strategy is an old one, and has been exploited for centuries by the Imperialists to conquer and exploit the peoples of the colonial and neo-colonial world.

As a result of recent developments in religious extremism on the global stage, a revisionist and “ultra-leftist” line influenced by the growth of the reactionary “New-Atheist” movement, has emerged. This line calls for denouncing religion and outright attacks against comrades and institutions of faith. Individuals and groups supporting this line claim that religion itself is the underlying cause of sectarian terrorism and violence, and that the masses should be berated and criticized for their faith. This line is at best, an erroneous position that absolves capitalism and imperialism of the guilt for the mal-development, impoverishment and suffering of the third world in favour of a simplistic theory that the suffering of the masses can be faulted on their own supposed “superstitious ignorance.” This is also called “blaming the victim.” At its worst, it justifies the supposed “Civilizing force” of the secular Imperialist powers in their destructive wars and terror campaigns against third world people. Either way, this line is both reactionary and harmful to the revolutionary movement.

Along similar lines, many so-called Communists are equally quick to dismiss or attack people of faith. They have been known to quote Marx when he states “Religion is the opiate of the masses,” claiming that religion is simply an addictive drug used by the bourgeoisie to oppress the people. However if one examines Marx’s full statement, the true meaning becomes clear.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

In context, we see that Marx recognized that religion was not simply a series of superstitions and rituals performed by the ignorant, but a tonic for the pains that come with oppression. It is important to recognize that having faith is an attempt by people to soften the harshness of their lives. If we mock the oppressed for attempting to relieve their pain we will be harsh and heartless. We must show the oppressed that Leading Light Communism is their path to true liberation without spitting on their deeply held beliefs.

So what is to be done?

It is important that Leading Lights expose these terrorists operating under the guise of “Religious purity” as spineless traitors and agents of the Imperialists. It is important that we expose their wicked and cowardly lying, and their overarching goal of dominating the poor masses of the third world for their Imperialist masters. However, we must not make the mistake of condescending or attacking the majority of people of faith. We must aim to unite the masses of the third world, and educate them on how to identify and fight these Imperialist-Mercenary charlatans. We must show the religious masses that regardless of their faith, they have more in common with each other than they do differences. We need to ensure that all people can contribute to the struggle. This includes secular forces as well as religious peers, priests, imams, monks, and holy men. All must be won over to Leading Light Communism. Those with an understanding of religious ideas are able to reach the people in a unique way, and are indispensable as comrades in our movement. We must not underestimate the ability of those with a solid understanding of religion and genuine love of the people to be able to communicate with the masses in a language they can understand. While we must maintain secularism as an organization, we still must unite all who can be united, and lead all who can be led. At the same time we must expose the wicked deceptions of the Imperialists and their cowardly butcher-agents who seek to manipulate religious differences in service to Empire. It is the responsibility of Leading Lights to guide the way.

1. http://scroll.in/article/667071/an-unnoticed-fact-the-rss-indias-biggest-ngo-gets-foreign-funding-too

2. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36462026

3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-yousaf-butt-/saudi-wahhabism-islam-terrorism_b_6501916.html

Will First Worlders benefit from socialism?

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Will First Worlders benefit from socialism?

(llco.org)

“Dear Leading Light,

Will First Worlders benefit at all from socialism?”

Thank you for writing.

Socialism will lead to a lower-material standard of living for First World peoples. First World peoples earn many times more than the value of their labor. They earn many times more than an egalitarian, socialist distribution worldwide would entail. First World populations get more than their share of the pie. They live off the labor of the Third World. Under socialism, First World populations will have to give up their privileges, their lives of luxury, based on extracting super-profits from the Third World. The New Power of the Leading Light will rule over the First World until First World populations can live as contributing members of global society. Here are some positive things that the New Power of the Leading Light has to offer First Worlders:

1. Healthier lives. Even though socialism will entail a drop in the overall standard of living of peoples of the First World, in some ways life will improve for First World populations under socialism. With socialism, the capitalist food industries will not be free to control the diets of the population. First World peoples, generally, do not want for food. However, the food they consume can be extremely unhealthy. This is especially true of fast food and snacks. This has led to some of the highest obesity rates in the world being amongst First World populations. This situation won’t be allowed to exist under socialism. People will come before profits under socialism. Thus science will govern the dietary choices that people have available to them. In addition, socialism will encourage and may even require exercise as part of the work or school day. Time at work or at school may be allocated for an exercise regimen. In addition, people will receive health care under socialism. Health care should be considered a human right under socialism. Thus the First World population, even though materially poorer, will generally lead healthier lives. A healthy population is a happier one.

2. Meaningful lives. Maoists in China thought that people could change. Maoists had a strong belief in people power. Under the Maoists, Chinese society was seen as a giant school of Maoism that had many elaborate practices that all aimed to educate and remold the entire population, both friends and enemies. These elaborate measures ran the range from criticism and self-criticism before the masses, to Mao Zedong Thought teams and classes, to labor and prison reform. In labor reform, people were sent to do hard work alongside the masses to be humbled and to learn. This was often the prescription for communist cadres who had acted as high-handed bureaucrats toward the people. Such cadres were sent to the countryside to be humbled, to learn of the plight of the masses, and to learn from them. This practice was an old one, it pre-dated the Cultural Revolution. It went at least back to the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s. It was also practiced, with limited success, during campaigns such as the Socialist Education Movement prior to the Cultural Revolution. However, the Cultural Revolution raised this practice to new levels. An entire system of May 7th cadre schools were set up at the height of the Cultural Revolution as part of the process of rehabilitating and remolding cadres through labor. In addition, an entire generation of red guards were sent down to learn from the peasantry from 1968 onward. Many of these red guards would participate in the radical push to reestablish the collective economy of the countryside from 1968 to 1970. Just as those who needed to be humbled and reeducated were sent to the Chinese countryside, First Worlders might also be sent to the “global countryside,” the Third World, to do work for and alongside the truly oppressed. This hypothetical process need not be one that is seen as punishment. Rather, this hypothetical process will be one that ends the empty, decadent, and often boring and dreary lives of First Worlders. Instead, First Worlders will be sent on an adventure to reinvent themselves alongside the masses of the Third World. What is more exciting than self-reinvention and creating a whole new, just world? Capitalism limits the horizons of people, socialism will open First Worlders up to new possibilities. What is considered the good life should not be endless consumption, it should be a life of adventure, excitement, creativity, and doing good by humanity. Capitalism offers meaninglessness. Socialism offers meaning.

3. A future. The First World way of life is not sustainable. If First World populations continue to live as they do, then they will not only destroy themselves but also the entire planet. Socialism entails a more sustainable, balanced relationship between man and nature. Capitalism ensures a future that is an ecological hell. Socialism ensures that future generations will be happy and prosperous.

4. Peace. Capitalism is a system that has generated countless wars for profit. Many First World people die in these wars. The worst wars of this century were intra-imperialist wars, both World War 1 and 2 killed tens of millions, including many First World people. Socialism will guarantee that nobody will die in a war over profit. Nobody will die to maintain a class of parasites. Nobody will die in this senseless way. Socialism will provide peace from imperialist war.

Unfortunately, these benefits of socialism do not establish First World peoples as a social base for revolution. First World peoples are, and will continue to be, the most reactionary populations in the world for the time being. However, socialism is not about punishment, it is about liberation. However, we cannot let sentimentalism stand in our way from setting the world right. Let there be no mistake, liberation of humanity will entail the destruction of the First World way of life. In the end, in the long run, this will even be good for First World peoples themselves.

Summing up “Black Lives Matter” and the rebellions against police terror in the USA

Summing up Ferguson USABuyjzAxCUAENMa6

(llco.org)

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, USA, a suburb of St. Louis. The evidence suggests that the shooting was unwarranted and, in part, racially motivated. As a result, protests occurred throughout the United States highlighting the problem of police brutality  and racism. In Ferguson itself, protests have been continuous since the shooting. A militarized police department occupied the streets there, occasionally harassing and arresting protesters in the mostly Black community. And, after the grand jury chose not to indict Darren Wilson, riots broke out. This resulted in many arrests and much damage to property. Cars and businesses were seen burning in the media. On social media, a new phrase began to find its way across peoples profile pages: “Black Lives Matter”, which then became a loose network of activists across the US seeking to end police terror of Black communities in the United States. While the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was originally coined during the acquittal of self-styled “neighborhood watchman” George Zimmerman in his trial for the murder of 17-year old Black youth Trayvon Martin, the phrase didn’t become widely used until the death of Mike Brown at the hands of Darren Wilson.

It goes without saying the the resistance to police should be supported and strengthened. It goes without saying that national oppression and police terror must be opposed by any means necessary. Those who stood up and spoke up against injustice deserve support. We salute all those who took to the streets against injustice. Leading Light has advanced the line of “resistance in the First World; revolution in the Third World.” Standing against the police terror, white supremacy, and internal colonialism certainly counts as resistance. Even so, we must be materialists about the facts on the ground.

Some First Worldists see the events of Ferguson as heralding some great, new wave of discontent that can be channeled into First World revolution. They embrace ridiculous rhetoric about the Ferguson riot being a people’s war or the beginnings of a new anarchist world. There is even a meme floating around that borrows an image of an Irish Republican woman with a gun that states “arms up, shoot back.” Even with virtually the entire “far-left” of the United States focused on Ferguson, sending activists, etc., it is significant to note that the reports of shots fired on police from the resistance in the past couple years has been few and far between. This is in a country where firearms are legal and easy to acquire. There is a big reality gap between “far-left” rhetoric of First Worldists and conditions on the ground. Ferguson is not the Third World. It is not even Northern Ireland, as the meme suggests. There also is a big reality gap between the rhetoric of the First Worldist “far left” and what they are really prepared to do. This kind of over-the-top rhetoric, guerrilla pornography, might have some limited use at the level of low science, it may work to recruit the unadvanced, but we should not mistake this kind of myth making for reality.

Police terror and mass incarceration exists, and the most directly affected have been overwhelmingly Black and Brown people. National oppression is still an issue in the United States, although the contradiction between the white nation and these internal colonies is not nearly as acute as it once was. As scientific revolutionaries, we have to understand long-term trends, not get swept up in what happens to be in front of us at a given moment. There are very real, material reasons that national liberationist politics do not resonate in the United States nearly as much as they once did. The long-term trend is toward integrating the African diaspora of the United States into a multi-national First World. National oppression will continue within the First World. Every so often, these colonial contradictions may even lead to rebellion and resistance. However, the contradictions are not so great that they will lead to revolution at present. Nor are the contradictions within the First World so great that they can sustain a people’s war. To think as much is simply delusional utopianism.

All things being equal, having people resist the system inside the United States is better than having them not resist. This is true even if the First Worldists doing the resisting are delusional about the revolutionary possibilities within the heart of empire. For those who are not particularly advanced, this kind of resistance can be a healthy way to learn. It can also be a learning moment for others about what is possible at present. Resistance is a good thing. Even so, the most advanced, should not lose sight of the real task. The Global People’s War of the Leading Light will not emerge from within the First World. Our people are the real proletariat, the masses of the Third World. Our duty is to the global poor. Those who are advanced enough to be channeled into real revolutionary work should not get distracted from the main task, even as we offer our material support for such resistance within the United States. We must concentrate our forces against the weakest links of the imperial system. This means our battle is principally in the Third World.

Our future is our own. Long live the Great Strategic Plan! Follow the Leading Light! Be the Leading Light! Long live the Leading Light! Our sun is rising. Our day has come.

Summing up "Black Lives Matter" and the rebellions against police terror in the USA

Summing up Ferguson USABuyjzAxCUAENMa6

(llco.org)

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, USA, a suburb of St. Louis. The evidence suggests that the shooting was unwarranted and, in part, racially motivated. As a result, protests occurred throughout the United States highlighting the problem of police brutality  and racism. In Ferguson itself, protests have been continuous since the shooting. A militarized police department occupied the streets there, occasionally harassing and arresting protesters in the mostly Black community. And, after the grand jury chose not to indict Darren Wilson, riots broke out. This resulted in many arrests and much damage to property. Cars and businesses were seen burning in the media. On social media, a new phrase began to find its way across peoples profile pages: “Black Lives Matter”, which then became a loose network of activists across the US seeking to end police terror of Black communities in the United States. While the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was originally coined during the acquittal of self-styled “neighborhood watchman” George Zimmerman in his trial for the murder of 17-year old Black youth Trayvon Martin, the phrase didn’t become widely used until the death of Mike Brown at the hands of Darren Wilson.

It goes without saying the the resistance to police should be supported and strengthened. It goes without saying that national oppression and police terror must be opposed by any means necessary. Those who stood up and spoke up against injustice deserve support. We salute all those who took to the streets against injustice. Leading Light has advanced the line of “resistance in the First World; revolution in the Third World.” Standing against the police terror, white supremacy, and internal colonialism certainly counts as resistance. Even so, we must be materialists about the facts on the ground.

Some First Worldists see the events of Ferguson as heralding some great, new wave of discontent that can be channeled into First World revolution. They embrace ridiculous rhetoric about the Ferguson riot being a people’s war or the beginnings of a new anarchist world. There is even a meme floating around that borrows an image of an Irish Republican woman with a gun that states “arms up, shoot back.” Even with virtually the entire “far-left” of the United States focused on Ferguson, sending activists, etc., it is significant to note that the reports of shots fired on police from the resistance in the past couple years has been few and far between. This is in a country where firearms are legal and easy to acquire. There is a big reality gap between “far-left” rhetoric of First Worldists and conditions on the ground. Ferguson is not the Third World. It is not even Northern Ireland, as the meme suggests. There also is a big reality gap between the rhetoric of the First Worldist “far left” and what they are really prepared to do. This kind of over-the-top rhetoric, guerrilla pornography, might have some limited use at the level of low science, it may work to recruit the unadvanced, but we should not mistake this kind of myth making for reality.

Police terror and mass incarceration exists, and the most directly affected have been overwhelmingly Black and Brown people. National oppression is still an issue in the United States, although the contradiction between the white nation and these internal colonies is not nearly as acute as it once was. As scientific revolutionaries, we have to understand long-term trends, not get swept up in what happens to be in front of us at a given moment. There are very real, material reasons that national liberationist politics do not resonate in the United States nearly as much as they once did. The long-term trend is toward integrating the African diaspora of the United States into a multi-national First World. National oppression will continue within the First World. Every so often, these colonial contradictions may even lead to rebellion and resistance. However, the contradictions are not so great that they will lead to revolution at present. Nor are the contradictions within the First World so great that they can sustain a people’s war. To think as much is simply delusional utopianism.

All things being equal, having people resist the system inside the United States is better than having them not resist. This is true even if the First Worldists doing the resisting are delusional about the revolutionary possibilities within the heart of empire. For those who are not particularly advanced, this kind of resistance can be a healthy way to learn. It can also be a learning moment for others about what is possible at present. Resistance is a good thing. Even so, the most advanced, should not lose sight of the real task. The Global People’s War of the Leading Light will not emerge from within the First World. Our people are the real proletariat, the masses of the Third World. Our duty is to the global poor. Those who are advanced enough to be channeled into real revolutionary work should not get distracted from the main task, even as we offer our material support for such resistance within the United States. We must concentrate our forces against the weakest links of the imperial system. This means our battle is principally in the Third World.

Our future is our own. Long live the Great Strategic Plan! Follow the Leading Light! Be the Leading Light! Long live the Leading Light! Our sun is rising. Our day has come.

Our Day Is Coming (Video)

Our Day is Coming

(llco.org)

The world cries out in pain. Two futures, two roads are before us: communism or barbarism, the Leading Light or endless night. There is a choice to be made.

We must transform ourselves for revolution. Do away with pettiness, greed, ego, smallness of mind. We must think beyond ourselves. An offense against one is an offense against all. When one bleeds, we all bleed. We must think as humanity and beyond. Not only is this a battle for our future, it is a battle for the future of our planet.

We, warriors of the people, must also act as guardians of the animals, the plants, the lands, the seas, the skies that sustain us all. The war to liberate the poor of the Third World is also a war for the future of our planet. It is through this righteous struggle that we become lights in a world of darkness, it is through this righteous struggle that we become who we really are. it is through this struggle that we forge the future.

Unity is strength

Capitalist culture teaches every individual that they are the center of the universe, that they are a castle unto themselves. We must break down the walls that keep us apart. It is only through organization, discipline, loyalty, leadership that we can really win.

Duty. Patience. We must be humble. We must find our roles. Learning to lead is also learning to listen and to follow. Well all stumble at times. Everyone makes mistakes. To be human is to fall. Pick yourself up when you have fallen. To learn from mistakes is the nature of science. To go forward against all obstacles is to be great.

To create we must destroy. We must pursue our cause to the end. To be ruthless, decisive and bold, to do everything that it takes to win. To the old world, we are a firestorm, to burn away, to annihilate, to turn to dust all that stands against us. We must be the sword of history. At the same time, we must have bigness of heart, humility, kindness. One hand holds the sword, the other must be extended outward to help.

We must dare go beyond the horizons.

New possibilities. We will not win by repeating the past. The last waves of revolution were defeated. We do not go forward by cobbling together the fragments of the past. We must understand the past, learn from the past, but we must go beyond it. The next wave of revolution is made by boldly striking out, casting aside dogma, by putting the most advanced revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, in command.

We declare total war on the old ways, the Old Power. We declare total war on the First World. We demand nothing less than a whole new world, a world without poverty, without suffering, without cruelty, without war, without hunger, without chauvinism, without rape.

We demand a world of equality, a world of peace, a world of justice. Happiness. Joy. Serve the people. Imagine true freedom where we can be our best selves. A better world is possible, an equal world is possible, but we must fight hard and to the end.

Global people’s war all the way to Leading Light Communism. To give oneself over, to live and die for justice, for revolution, for our world is to be great. To this we pledge everything, our resources, our talents, our lives. The future is there for the taking if we dare. Never surrender.

Follow the Leading Light. Be the Leading Light. Our sun is rising. Our day is coming.

Support the growing anti-American protests in the Muslim world

American-Imperialism-300x185Support the growing anti-American protests in the Muslim world

(llco.org)

Leading Light Communist Organization supports the growing tide of anti-American sentiment, protests and actions throughout the Muslim world. Although the initial spark for the protests and actions appears to be a sensationalist, vulgar, anti-Islamic film made in the United States, the anti-imperialist anger that drives the masses to protest has very real, material causes. The United States and other imperialists have been waging a global war against the Third World, including the Muslim Third World. Supporting the growing tide of anti-Americanism on the Muslim street even when such protests are not led by proletarian, Leading Light Communist, forces, is part of upholding the worldwide united front against imperialism. The Leading Light stands against imperialism everywhere. The Leading Light Communist line continues to be “uphold the broad united front against imperialism! Hold the Red Flag high!” In other words, support all those resisting imperialism, while at the same time express criticism and contend for leadership where possible.

LLCO will have more to say on these events in the coming days.

On the electoral crisis in Bangladesh

On the electoral crisis in Bangladeshimage

(llco.org)

Bangladesh is in the middle of a political crisis. Recently the Awami League (AL) regime deployed the army to several election precincts under the pretense of preventing violence during the elections. In response, the main opposition, the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) and BNP’s ally Jamaat-e-Islami  (JI) boycotted the elections. The opposition has stated that it will not participate in the elections and demands that a new, “caretaker government” be placed into power. The BNP makes this demand even though the AL had previously created a multi-party coalition and had offered Khaleda Zia of the BNP any post in the coalition regime. In addition to the boycott, the opposition is marching in opposition to the regime. The contradiction between the Awami League regime and opposition led by the BNP and JI has become more acute in recent days. The contradiction is not new. The political divisions that exist go back to the Bangladesh liberation struggle. The AL played a key role in liberating Bangladesh, while the Islamists forces sought to remain part of Pakistan. Recently some of the Islamist leaders were put on trial for their crimes during the liberation struggle. This has heightened the political crisis in Bangladesh.

We must be clear that neither the AL regime nor the BNP and JI opposition have the solution to the problems facing the masses of Bangladesh. Both groups represent the differing factions of the reactionary classes. Both groups are comprador. The current conflict is a conflict amongst the enemy. However, several points should be considered.

The AL is not a revolutionary force. The AL and its Soviet patrons were responsible for ending the social revolution that was connected to the liberation struggle that the AL itself led. Although democratic gains were made, the real revolution was left incomplete. Although formal independence was achieved, the people of Bangladesh were still dominated by foreign imperialist interests. Even so, a victory by the BNP and JI opposition would represent a backward step in terms of democratic gains, especially for women and civil rights like the freedom of speech. In addition, Islamist compradors coming to power at this juncture would make it more difficult for the revolutionary forces to organize. The reactionary opposition coming to power would also mean a step back in terms of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. The Pakistani state and its ISI are working to manipulate the political situation in Bangladesh. It is important to safeguard the Bangla Zone from the influence of reactionary states, Pakistan in particular. Although the AL is not seriously hostile to imperialists, including the United States, the BNP and JI opposition has advocated for even closer relations to imperialism, the United States especially. It is important to safeguard what remains of the democratic gains achieved in the context of the liberation struggle against Pakistan.

The correct line under these circumstances is to oppose both the reactionary regime and the reactionary opposition. We should point out the problems of both. However, we should place an emphasis on the disaster the country would face if the reactionary opposition wins. The only real solution for the problems we face is complete, total revolution: Global People’s War of the Leading Light, New Democracy, New Socialism, Leading Light Communism. Only the masses armed with the most advanced science of Leading Light Communism can create a new future. Follow the Leading Light! Be the Leading Light! Our sun is rising, our day will come!

What is revisionism?

What is revisionism?maomask

(llco.org)

Some people falsely think that revisionism is to deviate from an orthodoxy, to “revise” a tradition. This is an incorrect view of what revisionism is in a Marxist context. We should not treat Marxist writers the same way that Medieval Church scholars treated Aristotle. Mao was right when he said we must oppose book worship. We should not quote the classics of Marxism in the same way that Jesuits quote the Bible.  Real Marxism, Leading Light Communism, is not a dogma, it is simply revolutionary science. Marxism is simply applying science to the task of total liberation, to the task of reaching Leading Light Communism. Like any science, revolutionary science evolves over time. If any deviation from Marx’s original works were revisionism, then everything published after Marx’s lifetime would be revisionist. This is not the case. So what  is revisionism?

Revisionism does not mean simply to “revise” Marxist works. Sometimes we need to “revise” in order to advance science. Some “revising” is good. Marxism requires us to deviate from the revolutionary classics sometimes. Revisionism is something very different. Revisionism is to revise the revolutionary heart out of Marxism. Revisionists are those who turn revolutionary science into its opposite. It is putting a “Marxist” face on counter-revolution and oppression. Revisionists “wave the red flag to oppose the red flag.” There are different kinds of revisionism. They often overlap and imply each other. Here are some of the main forms of revisionism:

1. Reformism. Reformists often say that we do not need revolution. They say that the system can be gradually reformed. They think that we can reach socialism (and communism) through legal and parliamentary means. They do not see the current state as an instrument of reactionary class rule. They see it as a semi-neutral or independent agent that stands above class struggle. According to this view, the reactionary state can be contested; the reactionary state can be a place where class antagonisms can be negotiated. The people’s forces can gradually extend their influence over the state through legal means, according to this view. They believe that the people’s forces can get elected, lobby, etc. This is related to the view that communist consciousness evolves spontaneously from economist struggles for things like better wages. This gradualism and evolutionism was held by the revisionists of the Second International. Sometimes these forces are referred to as “social democrats.”

Lenin sharply criticized these revisionists. Lenin advanced another view of the state. Lenin advanced the view that the state is not neutral. It is always a dictatorship of one class against another. The state is always an agent of repression. It cannot be captured in its current form by the revolutionary forces. It cannot be wrangled away from the forces of reaction. There is the parable of the man who drops his bag of gold into the oceans and dives in after the gold. He drowns. Did he own the gold or  did the gold own him? Such is the nature of the reactionary state. Those revolutionaries who try to enter the state only end up  getting captured in the process. They do not capture the state, the state captures them. Rather, the old state must be smashed. A dual power must be built within society to contest with the old power.  A New Power must be built from the ground up. A New Power must be built up to replace the Old Power. This New Power is the order of the proletariat. To embrace reformism is to deny the New Power.

2. Social imperialism/social fascism. There are those who claim to be Marxist, yet they advocate imperialism. They wrap their imperialism in a red flag. The original social imperialists were the social democrats of the Second International. The German and French social democrats supported the war efforts of their imperialist homelands in World War 1. They reasoned that a victory in the war would benefit their homeland’s workers. These nationalists sought to advance their population’s interests with the spoils of imperial conquest. The revisionists placed their own peoples, their own workers, ahead of the global proletariat. These social democrats were narrowly nationalist. By contrast, Lenin was internationalist. Lenin advocated the policy of “revolutionary defeatism” for imperialist countries. Lenin sought the defeat of his own country, the Czarist empire, in the hope that a defeat for his imperialist homeland could lead to a revolutionary situation. Contrary to Lenin, the revisionists of the Second International were the social imperialists and social fascists of their day. They were socialist in name, but in reality, they were imperialists and fascists.

Other kinds of socialism imperialism have existed. For example, the Soviet Union stopped moving forward toward communism in the mid-twentieth century. The Soviet bureaucracy became a new capitalist class. They began implementing capitalist policies. Even though they claimed to be socialist, they acted like a big imperialist power. They exploited other peoples. They imposed their own colonial order across parts of the Third World. Like the imperialists before, the USSR and the Western imperialists divided up the world into “spheres of influence.” Both imperialist blocs, the West and East bloc, worked together to control the Third World. The imperialists as a whole reconfigured the world economy to the benefit of the imperialists at the expense of the Third World. The USSR carried out its imperialist ambitions under a red flag.

3. First Worldism. First Worldism is a widespread variant of social imperialism. First Worldism is a form of revisionism that claims that there exists a significant social base for revolution in the First World or that there exists widespread, significant exploitation in the First World. First Worldism recognizes various enemy classes of the First World as progressive. Some First Worldism claims that the wage-earning and working bourgeoisie (the “labor aristocracy” or so-called workers) in the First World is exploited and potentially revolutionary. Other First Worldism claims that the lumpen bourgeoisie in the First World is so oppressed that it constitutes a stand-in proletariat. Other First Worldism claims that the majority of non-Whites in North America are a stand-in proletariat. Other First Worldism claims that women, youth, or homosexuals in the First World are a stand-in proletariat. Other First Worldists say they will create a “social base” in the First World, as though one can, without state power, simply will a revolutionary agent into being. All of these social groups are, on the whole, enemies of the Third World majority. To advocate on their behalf along economic and gender lines is, on the whole, reactionary. First Worldists, whether they know it or not, end up supporting imperialism against the Third World to one degree or another.

4. The Theory of the Productive Forces. This revisionism downplays the need for class struggle in the revolutionary process. Instead, this revisionism sees development of technology as the main key to creating a better world. This view overemphasizes technology’s role in the revolutionary process. It sometimes acts as though technological development will serve up communism. These revisionists set the goal wrong. Instead of setting the goal as the end of oppression, they see creating a bountiful society filled with consumer goods as the goal. Third World socialism will not measure up to First World capitalism in terms of creating a consumer society because socialism is based on sustainability and not based on imperialism. When Third World socialism fails to measure up to First World capitalism in terms of creating a consumer society, these revisionists argue that socialism itself should be rejected. They dangle the carrot of consumer society in front of the masses to encourage reactionary thinking. This is related to economism.

5. Failure to go all the way to Leading Light Communism. Some revisionists say that we do not need to go all the way to communism. This revisionism is one that downplays the need to continue class struggle under socialism. These revisionists say that class struggle simply dies out under socialism. They do not see socialism as a transition to communism. Rather, they see socialism simply as nationalization of industry and a welfare state. By contrast, communists of Mao’s era held that if one isn’t advancing to communism, then the revolution will slide back into capitalism. If one doesn’t continue to push forward, counter-revolution will defeat the revolution. Inequalities left over from the old society and new inequalities will solidify and a new capitalist class will arise within the organs of power. Reactionary ideas spread, reversing revolution. This is why Mao said, “Never forget class struggle!” Revolutionary struggle must continually be waged against inequality and reactionary culture, otherwise a new bourgeoisie will arise and reverse the revolution. This is “continuing the revolution under the New Power of the proletariat.”

This list is not exhaustive. It only covers some of the bigger forms of revisionism. There are many other forms. These revisionisms are almost always intertwined. They usually imply each other. To embrace one is to embrace the others. When it comes down to it, all revisionism is simply denial of the most advanced revolutionary science, all-powerful, awesome Leading Light Communism. The only anti-revisionism today is real revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism. Remember, past revolutions were defeated from within. Leading Light Communism is our sword and out shield against all enemies.

On the protests in Bangladesh: What is to be done?

On the protests in Bangladesh: What is to be done?

(llco.org)  130228044456-bangladeshi-war-crimes-protests-story-top

On February 5, 2013, Bangladesh erupted. Protests began in the Shahbag neighborhood in the capital Dhaka, but quickly spread across the country. The protesters demanded justice for the genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity committed during the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. The International Crimes Tribunal, which, despite its name is not a United Nations organization, is an organ of the state of Bangladesh, is charged with bringing those responsible to justice under the Bangladesh International Crimes Act of 1973. This is the catalyst that is bringing the masses of Bangladesh onto the streets. Recognizing the danger to the social order, the regime, some Islamists, and paramilitaries have beat and shot the protesters. Complex history and complex interests have led us to this point. Again, we must ask Lenin’s question: What is to be done?

Background

Prior to 1971, Bangladesh was internationally recognized as part of Pakistan; it was often referred to as “East Pakistan.” Even so, Bangladesh was a separate nation, part of the greater Bangla Zone, locked inside and oppressed by Pakistan. Bangladesh existed as a kind of colony within the semi-colonial, regional hegemon of greater Pakistan. Many of the land owners and capitalists of East Pakistan resided in West Pakistan or had close ties to the West. The majority of wealthy strata supported unity with Pakistan.  The majority of the middle and poorer strata experienced discrimination, second class citizenship, and loss of opportunity in the greater Pakistan dominated by Western Pakistan. Even though both regions had a majority that practiced Islam, there were ethnic and linguistic differences between West and East Pakistan. For example, Urdu was declared by Pakistan to be its only official language even though the majority in East Pakistan spoke Bangla, and many others spoke Punjabi. Many died protesting the linguistic discrimination. Several civilians lost their lives on February 21, 1952 when the Pakistani police cracked down on protesters. To this day, the day is remembered as Language Martyrs Day. Those in the East were excluded from many aspects of Pakistani society due to national chauvinism. While the West taxed and ruled the East, little was spent on infrastructure and development of the East. Even though Easterners constituted a majority of the country, those in the East were underrepresented in the Pakistani military, government, and other technical posts. The way elections were held in Pakistan sought to ensure that Easterners were underrepresented and kept out of power. Where there is oppression, there is social tension, there is resistance.

A political crisis occurred when the Eastern Awami League, despite the unfair electoral system, had a landslide victory in the elections of 1970. Under the constitution, the Awami League had the right to form a new government and select the Prime Minister. However, the Western economic and political establishment refused to go along with the vote. There had been a long history of the establishment refusing to cede political power to Easterners. The pro-Western Pakistani military establishment tightened its hold on the East. Between March 10th and 13th, Pakistan began increasing its troops and weaponry in the East. This would be followed by a brutal pacification effort against the East. In November of that year, the deadliest cyclone in history hit the East, killing an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people. The West intentionally let the East bleed by responding slowly with very weak relief efforts. A general strike and other acts of resistance would follow. It was in December that the Bangladesh Liberation War began.

On March 26th, 1971, the Mukti Bahini, the Liberation Army, was formed to resist the Western-imperialist backed genocide. Although the Soviets sought to use this to their advantage, the main danger to the world at the time was Western imperialism led by the United States or imperialism as a whole, not Soviet social-imperialism specifically. In the case of Bangladesh, class interest and national interest coincided as the national liberation movement gained traction among the masses. Three million died. Eight to ten million became refugees from the violence. Most of the violence was committed by the Pakistani military and their paramilitary supporters. Mass graves exist across Bangladesh where students, intellectuals, workers, peasants, anyone suspected of opposing the Pakistani establishment was murdered. There was a systematic effort to eliminate the intellectual and cultural elite of Bangladesh. Hindus and other minorities were especially targeted by the Pakistani military. An estimated 400,000 women were raped as part of the pacification efforts. Women students from Bangladesh were forced into brothels to serve the Pakistani military. Journalists were rounded up or deported to hide the extent of the atrocities. Yahya Khan, president of Pakistan, declared, “Kill three million of them, and the rest will eat out of our hand.”

The conflict took on an international dimension. The United States and Mao’s China aligned with the genocidal Pakistani regime. India and the Soviet Union aligned with the national liberation movement. Internal documents of the Nixon administration characterized events in Bangladesh as a “selective genocide,” yet the United States supported the Pakistani regime regardless. A high-ranking US official was quoted as saying, “It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland.” China, as it slid into revisionism, also played a reactionary role. The revolutionary period in China was ending with the purging the radical left and rehabilitation of the revisionist right. Lin Biao was falling from power. China was beginning to align with the United States against the Soviet Union. In addition, China had historically been in conflicts with India. India also feared that the Bangla freedom movement would spill over into its own borders, where a significant Bangla-speaking population exists. India was already facing numerous peasant uprisings, including the continuation of the Spring Thunder Naxalite movement led by the Indian students of the writings of Mao and Lin Biao. After India intervened, the liberation war ended on December 3rd, 1971. An independent Bangladesh emerged. Bangladesh, already poor, was devastated. This was only made worse when in 1974, natural disasters and rising rice prices led to mass starvation across Bangladesh. The corruption of the new regime made things worse. An estimated 1.5 million people died as a result of the food crisis and epidemics: cholera, malaria, etc. Hit hardest were the poor: workers, peasants, lumpen. The United States saw this as an opportunity for revenge and cut off any aid to Bangladesh. The nominal reason was that Bangladesh traded with Cuba. The reality is that the United States helped to inflict genocide on Bangladesh because the regime would not fall into line with US-backed imperialism, because the regime tilted toward Soviet social-imperialism. By the time Bangladesh stopped jute trade with Cuba, the aid was too little, too late. The imperialists bled the masses.

The conflicts left deep wounds on Bengla society that have never healed. Many of the social and political conflicts were unresolved in the following decades. On December 24, 1971 Home minister of Bangladesh A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman said, “war criminals will not survive from the hands of law. Pakistani military personnel who were involved with killing and raping have to face tribunal.” In 1972, plans were announced to try to put one hundred top Pakistani military officers on charges of genocide. The Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunals) Order 1972 was enacted to put on trial only those Bangladeshis who had collaborated. However, over the years, the laws were modified to suit political agendas of the parties in power. For example, a general amnesty was issued in November of 1973 that granted amnesty to all except those found guilty of rape, murder, attempt of murder or arson. Yet in 1975, this amnesty was revoked. This pattern would continue until the present.

The International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 sought to expand prosecutions, irrespective of nationality, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, ‘‘violations of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid out in the Geneva Conventions of 1949’’ and ‘‘any other crimes under international law.” However, nothing came of this since Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated in 1975 by military officers who opposed his consolidation of power and his corruption, but also opposed his support of moderately socially progressive policies: moderate land reform, advancing the status of women, secularization of society against Islamization etc. It is reported that the CIA knew of the planned assassination against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and did nothing to prevent it, perhaps even having a direct role in the plot. His regime fell in a military coup along with many of the policies associated with the Awami League regime. This assassination would throw Bangladesh into more chaos as a series of coups were unleashed. Some of the plotters of the assassination, after they had been overthrown by another coup, are reported to have taken refuge in Mao’s China, which had been quickly sliding into revisionism and aligning with the West since the decline, and ultimately death, of Lin Biao. The military ruled Bangladesh until 1990 when mass movements forced a return to civilian rule.

The Awami League came to power again in 2009 with the election of Sheikh Hasina against the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the main opposition, a coalition which includes Jamaat-e-Islami. Wounds were reopened when in 2009, the Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of Bangladesh stated that Pakistanis would not be persecuted under the 1973 law. Thus those in Pakistan with much blood on their hands were given immunity. It was in December 2009 that Ghulam Azam, who had been collaborated with Pakistan, ascended to become chairman of Jamaat-e-Islami of Bangladesh. Many other collaborators found refuge within reactionary Islamist political parties known for stirring up sectarian violence against minorities. These parties often have deep ties to the security establishment in Bangladesh and to their counterparts in Pakistan.

Protests and counter-protests

Protests began in the Shahbag neighborhood of Dhaka on February 5th, 2013. The protesters had several immediate demands. They demanded the death sentence for those found guilty of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal. They demanded reversal of earlier verdicts in favor of capital punishment. Since then the protests have spread across the country with widening demands. Like other recent protests globally, social media, the internet, has played an important role. Events globally and in Bangladesh confirm Leading Light’s analysis that revolutions and social movements today have to break from past dogma to recognize new possibilities that technologies have opened up for both revolution and counter-revolution. In “New World, New Challenges, New Science,” Leading Light states:

“New technology and greater mobility open up new paths for revolution. Greater communication and mobility mean that revolutions may be increasingly dynamic in important ways. Subjective and objective conditions can change in explosive ways, very rapidly. Tempos can accelerate seemingly out of nowhere. Events in one location can quickly influence events and conditions around the world. Revolution will become more globalized in important ways. New technologies will have a profound  impact on how revolutions are made. New technologies will open up new possibilities during socialist construction.”

Even so, it is not just the mass movement that has quickly placed feet on the streets. So too have Jamaat-e-Islami and the security forces. Everyday more are shot and wounded. The streets are battlegrounds between protesters, counter-protesters, and security forces. At the beginning of March, 2013 the death toll stands at over 60. There will surely be more deaths on the horizon.

These protests occur on the heels of nationwide discontent and strikes over the factory fires that claimed hundreds of lives last year. They also occur on the heels of numerous natural disasters that have ravaged Bangladesh’s poor, with the ruling regime slow to react, if it reacts at all. All parties of the reactionary classes, whether they cast themselves as social-democrats, capitalist-modernizers, Islamists, socialists, communists, etc. are discredited in the eyes of the advanced segment of the masses, the Leading Lights of the Bangla Zone. Sheikh Hasin’s discredited regime faces a national election this year. Even though the protests have legitimate demands, the regime seeks to use the protests to deflect criticism of itself. The regime seeks to use the legitimate discontent of the masses as a pretext for the suppression of the opposition. Various revisionists have reportedly uncritically aligned with the state. The contradiction between the regime and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which includes Jamaat-e-Islami, is a contradiction amongst the enemies. Two manifestations of the Old Power are slugging it out while the masses bleed. Imperialists and the First World manipulate the situation to their own advantage.

Even so, there is an opportunity here to try to push the masses further toward real revolution, toward Leading Light Communism, the end of all oppression. Leading Lights must not tail the regime as many of the revisionists have. Leading Lights ought to use this opportunity to raise awareness amongst the masses of the larger problems facing society. Look at the big picture. Channel the anger of the masses against the collaborationists into anger directed against the whole system of Old Power, the whole of capitalism, imperialism, semi-feudalism, and all the horrors of the old system. The masses lose no matter which faction of the ruling class holds power. The problems of the Bangla Zone will not be solved through social-democratic reform. The nature of the Old Power is to preserve its rule in one way or another. Whether the Old Power wears a social democratic, Western face or an Islamist one, the masses lose. Although the protests will not lead to genuine revolution, Leading Lights can use this opportunity to educate, to train, to lead, to gain valuable experience. Mass movements of these kinds, where there is mass outrage, but genuine revolutionary infrastructure is lacking is all too common. Objective conditions — poverty, oppression, etc — are not enough to make revolution. Subjective conditions — the development of New Power, revolutionary political-military-cultural infrastructure, revolutionary consciousness, the genuine leadership of the Leading Light Communist Organization and the most advanced revolutionary science of Leading Light Communism — is also required. Seek to elevate the sites of the masses, while still keeping a realistic, scientific perspective. Scientific leadership is key.

Old Power versus New Power

Revolution is not achieved through compromise with the Old Power. The Old Power is there to serve the reactionary classes. The Old Power — the state, the civil and cultural institutions, the security-military apparatus, etc. — is a weapon only wielded by the reactionary classes. The state does not sit above class struggle, it is an instrument of class oppression. It is a means by which one class oppresses another. Revolution is not made by achieving piecemeal reforms within the Old Power. Revolution is made by sweeping away the Old Power, the old society. Revolution is a process of creating what Lenin called dual power, New Power that exists alongside the Old Power but, at the same time, contends against it. The New Power of the Leading Light is a shadow state, a shadow society, a shadow power, a shadow leadership that is largely clandestine until the time is right and it can emerge to openly contend with the Old Power through politico-military confrontation, through the global people’s war of the Leading Light. When the New Power of the Leading Light is strong enough to emerge in the open, red zones, base areas, will be established to go head-to-head in military confrontation with the forces of reaction. Mass movements like the protests in Bangladesh give us the opportunity to educate, train, recruit, gain experience. We should not dismiss them simply because the reactionary classes also strive to manipulate them. Rather, as much as possible, we should seek to lead. However, we should not lie to the masses. Even if this particular regime falls only to be replaced by another capitalist one due to the social unrest, we should always point out the limited nature of the protests and reforms generally.  We must be patient with the masses, but also firm in our resolve. We must not be afraid to lead, to be Leading Lights. While it is important to involve ourselves in mass movements, we must not liquidate into them. We must try to channel the masses in our direction. We must use these opportunities to expand our ranks. However, we cannot place our entire focus on the mass movement. We must continue the construction of the New Power of the Leading Light. We must hold firmly to the glorious strategic plan of the Leading Light. There will always be bumps in the road. There will always be twists, turns, surprises. We must continue on our course as laid out by the most advanced revolutionary science to date, Leading Light Communism. Patience. Loyalty. Discipline. Sacrifice. Leadership. Long live memory of the heroes of the Bangla Zone! Be the Leading Light! Follow the Leading Light! Long live the Leading Light! Our sun is rising. Our day is coming.

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_famine_of_1974
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Bangladesh_atrocities#Operation_Searchlight
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Liberation_War
4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/28/bangladesh-death-sentence-deadly-protests
5. http://tribune.com.pk/story/515492/large-scale-protests-bangladesh-deploys-troops-as-protest-toll-hits-76/
6. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/asia/bangladesh-sees-deadly-day-as-protests-persist.html?_r=0
7. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/04/bang-m04.html
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Hasina
9. http://llco.org/184/
10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Nationalist_Party