[Marxism] Communist Party of Nepal recognises role of Leon Trotsky

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 20 10:34:42 MDT 2009

Communist Party of Nepal recognises role of Leon Trotsky
Written by Pablo Sanchez and Kamred Hulaki Tuesday, 20 October 2009

This summer The Red Spark [Rato Jhilko - see photo], a journal of the 
Communist Party of Nepal published an article by Baburam Bhattarai, 
which stated that, “Trotskyism has become more relevant than Stalinism 
to advance the cause of the proletariat”. This is the result of concrete 
historical experience that has revealed the real essence of Stalinism 
and vindicated the ideas of Leon Trotsky, in the case of Nepal in 
particular of the theory of the Permanent Revolution.

The Red Spark
In The Red Spark [Rato Jhilko - see photo], a journal of the Communist 
Party of Nepal, one of the leading theoreticians of the party, Baburam 
Bhattarai, recently wrote an article that has not gone unnoticed within 
the Communist movement, both in Nepal and internationally. Bhattarai, 
55, is a politburo member of the main Maoist organization in Nepal. He 
was Minister of Finance in August 2008 during the participation of the 
Maoists in the coalition government that they later abandoned. While the 
Communist Party of Nepal has long advocated the ideas of Mao and Stalin, 
this is what he wrote:

     “Today, the globalization of imperialist capitalism has increased 
many-fold as compared to the period of the October Revolution. The 
development of information technology has converted the world into a 
global village. However, due to the unequal and extreme development 
inherent in capitalist imperialism this has created inequality between 
different nations. In this context, there is still (some) possibility of 
revolution in a single country similar to the October revolution; 
however, in order to sustain the revolution, we definitely need a global 
or at least a regional wave of revolution in a couple of countries. In 
this context, Marxist revolutionaries should recognize the fact that in 
the current context, Trotskyism has become more relevant than Stalinism 
to advance the cause of the proletariat”. (The Red Spark, July 2009, 
Issue 1, Page-10, our translation from Nepali language).

Up till now, for the Nepalese Maoists the truth about the life and 
contribution of comrade Leon Trotsky had been hidden, and this also 
applies to their own cadres. Now that the road of Stalinism and Maoism 
is heading towards a dead end, and the party cadres are demanding an 
explanation from their Leaders, the latter have been forced to speak the 
truth about the Bolshevik Revolution in general and about Leon Trotsky 
in particular. This recognition is also an indication of the fact that 
the Maoists are trying to draw a balance sheet of their decades-long 

One of the major differences between Stalin and Trotsky was the issue of 
"socialism in one country". By 1904, Trotsky had developed the idea that 
the Russian revolution against the Tsarist regime, would not stop at the 
immediate tasks of the "bourgeois-democratic" revolution (agrarian 
reform, parliamentary democracy, rights of national minorities, etc.). 
In other words, the Russian Revolution would not stop at the 
establishment of a bourgeois democratic regime. Indeed, Trotsky 
explained that due to the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie and its 
dependence on the Tsar, the leading role in the revolution would 
necessarily fall to the working class. The underdevelopment of the 
Russian economy would not prevent the working class from seizing power 
and then initiating a socialist transformation of society. But at the 
same time, Trotsky explained that it would be impossible to establish a 
viable socialist regime without the extension of the revolution to 
several other countries in a relatively short period of time. This 
perspective entered into the history of Marxism as the "theory of the 
Permanent Revolution".

After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin and other leaders of the Bolshevik 
Party attacked the theory of the Permanent Revolution, to which they 
opposed the theory of "socialism in one country". According to this 
theory, it was possible to build socialism in Russia, regardless of the 
international context. The prospect of a "world revolution" was thus 
abandoned. This theory reflected the nationalist, bureaucratic 
degeneration of the Soviet regime, due to the prolonged isolation of the 
Russian revolution and the economic and cultural backwardness of the 

Bhattarai is, however, mistaken on one point. In 1917, neither Lenin, 
nor Trotsky, nor any other leader of the Bolshevik party (not even 
Stalin himself) considered that the revolution could be confined to one 
country. Nobody even mentioned this idea before it became the motto of 
Stalin from 1924 onwards. But despite this factual error of Bhattarai, 
the fact that a senior leader of a traditionally "Stalinist" party 
recognizes the validity of the ideas of Trotsky is a very significant 
development. This will stimulate a very useful discussion within the 
Communist movement on the historical roots of Stalinism and the ideas of 
genuine Marxism.

Now in Nepal there is a growing interest in the theory of the Permanent 
Revolution. The fact that a Maoist leader has recognised that “in the 
current context of globalised capitalist domination, Trotskyism has 
become more relevant than Stalinism” is an extremely interesting 
development. With this debate there is also a clear step towards 
building links with other movements and organisations that challenge 
capitalism globally. It is in fact the duty of Marxists everywhere to 
debate and discuss the correct tactics and strategy for the revolution 
internationally. In that sense we welcome Bhattarai’s article and wish 
to contribute to the discussions among Nepalese communists. The struggle 
for socialism is an international struggle, and a victory for the 
Nepalese communists would be a victory for the workers of the whole of 
the South Asian subcontinent, and indeed of the world.

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