Red Referendum (PROYECT'S REVISIONISM)
hariette at easynet.co.uk
Thu Apr 4 04:39:23 MST 1996
>After his usual introducing insults Adolfo writes:
>>In fact, in whatever other historical circunstance, what appears to you as a
>>"betrayal" and a crime is nothing of the sort. On the contrary, the
>>subordination of the interests proper of the proletariat and its class
>>struggle to the LONG TERM interests of the oppressed masses and other
>>non-proletarian classes of the people -including the LONG TERM INTERESTS
>>OF THE INDIVIDUALS OF THE OPPRESSOR CLASS, is a fundamental threat
>>running through Marxism from the time of the Manifesto.
>>Whatever you say, about Spain, the United Front, etc. is only going to be
>>workerist rubbish. So I will consider this as my answer to all the tons of
><cutting the usual saluting insults>
>I guess Adolfo made an unintentional spelling error writing "threat"
>in stead of "thread" ? If so:
>What I got from Marxism including the Manifesto was exactly the
>opposite of what Adolfo got. I thought that one of the real basic
>"theses" of Marxism was that by liberating itself the proletariat
>would liberate humanity as such - the oppressed masses and other
>non-proletarian classes of the people -including ... THE INDIVIDUALS
>OF THE OPPRESSOR CLASS.
>To me those *threats* to Marxism that use Marxist language
>almost always distinguish themselves by the
>>subordination of the interests proper of the proletariat and its class
>to the long or short term interests of some other class - or individuals
>of these classes.
>This is what has happened to numerous national liberation struggles
>which have used Marxist rhetoric - but none the less have shown up
>to be lead by the interests of other classes than the proletariat.
>Lenin - for one - was quite clear on how Marxists should relate to
>1. Unconditional support for any struggle against national oppression
>2. Don't paint them red - but fight for workers to take the lead in these
>This of course is the opposite of subordination of workers interests,
>which is what Adolfo claims is the red thread of Marxism.
My dear Jorn:
The point is that only by subordinating its immediate interests - economic
and "bourgeois political" (i.e.reformist) - can the proletariat take care of
its real (long term) interests. Subordinating does not mean giving them up
or abandoning them in any way, just looking at the grander picture of the
interests of the class as a whole and acting SELFLESSLY to overthrow all
oppressive social conditions as they arise.
The question of the leadership of the proletariat in the National Liberation
struggles and "not to paint red the National Liberation movements" are
precisely two instances of this necessity.
The proletariat of the oppressor countries has immediate interests such as a
better standard of life, education, social security, etc that are in fact
made possible by the exploitation of the colonies and the redistributive
policies of social democracy.
However the need to take the long term class interests of the proletariat
AND THOSE OF THE POPULAR MASSES in colonial countries as principal, imposes
the subordination of such immediate interests in order to support the
anti-imperialist struggle which in fact can directly affect those immediate
interests in a negative fashion.
Lower electoral appeal for the "left are all of us" style conglomerates such
as Proyect advocates, loss of jobs, economic recession even, the coming to
power of more reactionary and chauvinistic and militarist circles of the
imperialist bourgeosie, curtailing of democratic rights, repression and
persecution even - De Gaulle in France overthrowing the social democratic
dominated IV Republic in the context of the Algerian question, for example,
is a case in point.
Was that in the immediate interests of the working class and its Parties?
No. However, the French revisionists were in fact following the line of
putting the National interest of their own imperialist bourgeoisie above
those of the proletariat by refusing to put the national interest of the
colonial people above those of their own immediate class and political
A case in point is the interests of those workers in the arms industry whose
jobs depend on contracts with Saudi Arabia. Today in Britain, the Tory
rightwing (fascists) and the Labour Party (social chauvinists) leaders and
social democratic right wing elements alike, are both demanding the
deportation of the Saudi opposition leader Dr. Al Massari with the excuse of
protecting "British jobs".
It is in the long term interest of the British proletariat to prevent the
subordination of Britains political life to the dictates of the logic of the
arms industry. However the argument of jobs is an appeal to the immediate
interests of a section of the workers, and to all sections at large in the
grand picture of an imperialist economy.
This argument is also supported by social democracy directly, as well as in
a number of other ways. One of them is by denigrating Professor Al-Massari
as a "fundamentalist" and even as a "terrorist" in order to chime in with
the reactionary Tory extreme imperialists and soften up public opinion for
this violation of international law and fundamental bourgeois democratic
Not very different of the attitude of your "fellow leftists", the SWP (UK)
in Britain in regard to my own person. The only difference, is that I
cannot be accussed of "Islamic fundamentalism", therefore: "class traitor"
"and bloodthirsty terrorists", "millionaire revolutionary", etc. would do
Another important point, and this from the point of view of "immediate Party
interests". It is in the immediate interests of the "Party" to "paint red"
the national liberation movement, since in that way the party suddenly
acquires thousands if not millions of supporters - perfect logic from the
point of view of "we are all of the left for better or for worse" type of
For example, by "painting red" Castro, Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Afghani
regime, and others, the Soviet revisionists not only acquired "new militant
communists" for their de-natured "International Communist Movement" but
whole countries were painted red when in fact they were not, and added
wholesale to their "socialist world community".
So here too, the subordination of Party immediate interests to the principle
of quality and not quantity is in the real long term interest of the class
AND the peoples of such countries as well.
Why is the proletariat of the semi-colonial countries compelled to undertake
the leadership of a bourgeois democratic revolution? Is it in its immediate
interest to bear the brunt of a tremendous effort of this kind, with its
concommitant sequels of repression, job losses, economic crisis and general
worsening of the conditions of their economic and political existance - the
introduction of fascist regimes in order to butress the old semi-colonial
state - the banning of unions, persecution of Union leaders, intellectuals,
The leadership of a bourgeois revolution should be properly the
responsibility of the national bourgeosie. But the national bourgeosie in
the semi-colonial countries is weak, compromising, and unable to exercise
its proper functions.
So they cannot lead, and the leadership - the sacrifice that for the
nation's interests the proletariat and its Party are prepared to undertake
with heroism and SACRIFICE of their immediate interests (electoral and
bourgeois parlamentarian in politics, economic etc.) is in fact a
subordination of its immediate interest in defence of the immediate
interests of the national bourgeoisie and the peasantry (unable to struggle
successfully for their immediate interests under their own leadership) and
in doing so, the Party and the class actually are taking care of the
proletariat's own class interests in the long term. That is the sense of
Lenin's words about the necessity of the proletariat to constitute itself
"the nation (although NOT in the bourgeois sense of the word)".
The national struggle is, in the last analysis, a question of class
struggle, and in that a "subordination" of the immediate interests of the
proletariat, either as a "national defensist" (Lenin: "we are all national
defensists now") in the opressed countries, or as "national traitors", or
anti-imperialists, in regards to the interests of oppressor nations
including their own - because it is clear that from the narrow economistic
(social democrat) point of view, the workers immediate interests and the
imperialists interests are one and the same: butter and bread, housing,
education, etc (conditions of reproduction for the slave class).
Such is the meaning of this subordination, and that is what runs through the
Marxist ideology like an unbroken thread:
The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains!.
The proletariat, unlike all revolutionary classes of the past, is the only
class that its VERY NATURE AND POSITION can ONLY fully emancipate itself by
EMANCIPATING the whole of humanity.
That too is the meaning of SERVE THE PEOPLE, and why the slogan of
revisionism is always: SERVE YOURSELVES FIRST! Or, as Deng Xiao-ping has
it: "Cadres must lead the people in getting themselves rich first". That is
revisionism, and what Proyect advocates is also revisionism, with an
ultra-left mask, as has been demonstrated!.
In the concrete case of the Communist Party of Indonesia, the problem lies
more with the of a line of thought subordinating the interests of the whole
oppressed nation to the immediate interests of the party (growth) and the
proletariat (failure to arm the peasantry for the conquest of the land,
indispensible precisely in the interests of democracy (a bourgeois
democratic task) and in defense of the national independence of Indonesia
(that can only be securely defendend - and now reconquered - by means of
leading the peasant revolution as part and parcel (fundamental basis) of the
national democratic revolution.
In strict terms, the arming of the peasantry and the establishing of bases
of support for the completion of the bourgeois democratic (national
democratic) revolution, would of course have resulted in the persecution of
the legal organisms of the party and the legal unions of the working class,
worsen the economic situation of the labouring people in the cities, etc.
By not subordinating the immediate interests of the working class to those
of the completion of the national democratic revolution, by not assuming the
leadership of this revolution precisely because the national bourgeoisie was
unable and basically unwilling to develop it any further, the KPI lost its
way and deviated from Mao Tse-tung ideology in practice. It adopted
Proyectism, instead of Maoism, and brought upon itself the wrath of reaction
while insufficiently prepared for the continuation and deepening of its
tasks, or even for the succesful defence of its gains.
In other words, it was the "we are all people of the left for better or for
worse" (or we are all communists now) type of social-democrat Proyect like
politics of putting the immediate interests of the KPI (in electoral terms,
number of parliamentarians or similar participation on the councils of
state), the over estimation of Sukarno's own power and commitment to the
national revolution (anti-imperialist revolution, anti-fascist unity), etc.,
what was in fact the reason for the failure of the KPI, and not the words of
Aidit, which are only general principles which need to be interpreted and
put in practice correctly. Marxism is not only theory, but practice. Theory
is not sufficient.
>From that formulation of Aidit, that in no way contradicts Marxism as such
(i.e. is within the pale of Marxism) Mr. Proyect - jumping dialectically in
ethereal space - concludes that Mao Tse-tung, who actually applied correctly
the same formulation, is a revsionist since it recognised Aidit's principled
statement as a Marxist one. The only logic here is anti-communist prejudice
and hatred of the revolutionary leaders of the class on behalf of totally
useless magic potions and eunuch policies whch never have amounted to more
Is this not gratuitous anti-communism, and blaming the victim instead of the
However, from the point of view of the "left are us all" ideology of Mr.
Proyect, the KPI reached indeed "enormous success" (far beyond the wildest
dreams of our eclectic leader in the list who has only mannaged a couple of
dozen of supporters to follow him in his feint of abandoning Marxism 1 in
order to come back with "better" insults and more ridiculous statements of
the same ilk as before) in terms of numbers of militants, trade union
My contention then is, that it was this very "success" in bourgeois
political terms and in economicist terms - without the backing of DEEPENING
AND BROADENING THE SCOPE OF THE DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION (i.e. arming the
peasants, establishing bases of support, etc.), which led the reactionary
circles of Indonesia to reach the conclussion that only a Saint Bartholomew
style massacre could put a brake to this threat to their own immediate
interests in fomenting anti-national (i.e. imperialist) bourgeois
development = bureaucratic/comprador capitalism.
In Peru we have a saying: "Alla va el recogedor, aqui queda el
carnicero".(There goes the recruiter of people, here remains the butcher in
wait). Proyect is such a "recruiter" for the butcher of imperialism. His
recruiting and dispatching to the block, is no mistake, error or honest
deviation. His is a concious anti-communist activity, and that reflect
itself in the service to the class enemy he performs by attempting to
distort, slander and demonise the proletarian led national liberation
struggle of the Peruvian people.
Juggling with words is not going to help him or his hapless social democrat
supporters. Everyone can see that his objective is to silence and drive away
those who have a word for Marxism in the flesh - the actual and live
revolutions - in order to concentrate on the things that matter to him and
his cronies - the immediate interests of the workers' class struggle in the
imperialist countries and the "tasks" of building another social democratic
chauvinistic anti-communist "party".
A "party", whose interests (growth by merging all sorts of people into one
big bag labelled the "left for better or for worse"), he places far ABOVE
the interests of the anti-imperialist struggle and fighting the policies of
his own bourgeois imperialists in one of their semi-colonies, Peru! He is,
in short: a social-chauvinist. A proto Fascist in the new era of
imperialism as "humanitarian nany of the world"
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