[Marxism] For a revolutionary approach to rural proletarians and peasants (was:India: On the issue of Third Front)

new wave new.wave.nw at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 05:07:03 MDT 2009

Dear Fred,

The difficulty is that the peasant oriented politics, which emerged later on
as an instrument of bureaucracy, after crushing of workers in China in 1927,
has developed into a malignant variety of socialism under the banner of
Maoism. Without having a thorough understanding of 1925-27, neither can one
understand the alignment of class forces in Chinese revolution, nor the true
character of what is popularly known as Chinese Revolution- the bureaucratic
overturn of 1949. This overturn which instead of takingdeparture form
nationalist-bureacratic attributes, more and more immersed into them and as
we may see, has ultimately developed into a bogey of world capitalism. The
peasantry, however, played the same role in this overturn- a lever in the
hands of Maoist bureaucracy- the bureaucracy that came to power on the back
of defeats of proletariat in 1925-27 uprsings, the defeats which were
forstered by none but by the bureaucracy itself, acting under direct command
of Stalinist Comintern. Without comprehending the real dynamics of Chinese
Revolution of 1925-27, it is not possible to understand the role of
peasantry in China or in other developments in the mirror images of China. I
would suggest you to go through the book "The Hidden Dynamics of Chinese
Revolution" published by Aakar Books, which throws sufficient light on the
secondChinese revolutions bringing the day to day disputes on the Chinese
question that were going inside the Comintern at that time.

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:52 AM, Fred Feldman <ffeldman at bellatlantic.net>wrote:

> New Wave ("That old-time Religion" would be a better moniker):
> "The rural proletariat
> thus may form only the rear of the army of proletariat."
> To the rear, march, rural proletarians and fighting peasants of India! The
> "vanguard" has given you your orders.
> People can still write this kind of stuff after the experiences of China,
> Vietnam, Laos, Cuba Bolivia, Outer Mongolia, Laos, and many other places --
> not to mention the Mexican revolution, El Salvador, Peru, and many other
> very important struggles.
> That Old-Time Religion continues:
> So far as the emergence and weight of rural proletarians is concerned,
> nobody can deny that and surely they do not fall within the ambit of 'rural
> petty bourgeois'. The whole point is that these proletarians belong to a
> strata of population which in the matter of its culture and political
> consciousness is thoroughly backward, attached to age old techniques of
> production in most cases and its exploitation is so indirect, scattered and
> concealed as compared to the exploitation of urban factory proletariat,
> that
> it prevents it from gaining sharp class consciousness.
> Has there been a nationwide revolutionary upsurge in India since
> independence that would put this opinion of the incapacity of rural
> proletarians to achieve "sharp class consciousness" to the test? What we
> have is simply a set of traditional -- and probably sound -- generalities
> about the conditions of the rural proletariat in India. How do these PROVE
> the assertion about their incapacity for "sharp class consciousness"? Does
> history indicate that they cannot develop "sharp class consciousness" and
> forge a significant layer of vanguard fighters who are also revolutionary
> mass leaders in the national, social, and class struggles as workers are
> often able to do despite many cultural and social obstacles in factories
> despite the added difficulties facing rural workers.
> Will you tell me where Lenin or Trotsky said that rural workers are
> "prevented" (i.e., CANNOT develop "sharp class consciousness" by their
> conditions? Not even Stalin said this and, if he had, it would have made
> his
> formal politics even worse, not better. Not even Marx and Engels ever made
> this kind of statement about either workers or peasants after the populist
> revolutionary movement developed in Russia after the 1860s, and not even
> about peasants in more advanced countries after the 90s. And Lenin,
> Trotsky,
> the Communist International continued to develop in the OPPOSITE direction
> to that of New Wave.
> For instance, I don't think you can find anywhere where Lenin, Trotsky (or
> even Stalin) concluded that the bloc with the Left Social Revolutionaries
> was a "fiasco" as New Wave seems to have done. I don't see how you could
> argue that unless you think that taking power was a fiasco. Do you really
> fantasize that the "vanguard" can take power in an Indian revolution with
> the rural proletariat and the peasantry confined to a strictly rearguard
> role and without being represented in a revolutionary government?
> Finally, the last straw:
> However, it [the rural proletariat] is a very important link between the
> urban factory
> proletariat and the rural peasantry and definitely a tool in the hands of
> workers' party to exert influence upon the rural peasantry."
> A "tool in the hands of the workers' party"!  Can you tie that?
> New Wave may be banking a bit TOO heavily on the illiteracy of the ENTIRE
> rural proletariat in India in publicly presenting this instrumental,
> administrative approach to the rural proletariat and peasantry as a matter
> of course. Historically, illiteracy is in decline, and I suspect there are
> Indian rural proletarians who can read.
> I suspect at least a few of them and maybe more are getting pretty tired of
> being treated as tools rather than human beings with creative capacities
> and
> of being consigned to the rearguard of human advance by upper-class
> professional ideologues.
> Reading this kind of crap makes me feel like grabbing a pitchfork a la
> Stephen Colbert (more accurately, buying a pitchfork and then grabbing it)
> to have a word with such would-be tool-users.
> In my humble opinion,New Wave has quite a bit of both study and experience
> to go through before he or she can regard theirself as part of the vanguard
> in the world today.
> Fred Feldman
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New Wave

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