October 1, 1949 is the day of founding of the People’s Republic of China. On this day hundreds of millions of Chinese workers and peasants “rose up” to defeat the forces of reaction. The Chinese Revolution stands along with the Russian Revolution, as one of the single most important events to take place in human history. The example of Revolutionary China inspired the Black Panthers as well as our comrades waging People’s War in India, the Philippines, Peru and Nepal. This essay is in service to the memory of the Chinese Revolution. Taken as a whole, it represents the view of the Maosoleum collective.
No one barring the most chauvinistic Euro-Marxist dismisses Leninism and the Soviet Union out of hand for being solely applicable to the “Third World”. For all intents and purposes Russia in 1917 was a part of the “Third World”, with only 20% of the total population being in the industrial working class; 40% of that number working in large factories. The question then is posed why do many of the detractors of Maoism make this claim? Perhaps had Mao been from an “advanced capitalist nation” not only would Maoism been applicable to the First World but the Third World as well! This misunderstanding of Maoism is based on how Maoists make revolution, which is through Protracted People’s War and our view that it is universal. While we will discuss this erroneous view of Maoism one must also see an aspect of racism here as well. The dismissal of Maoism comes down ultimately to a fear that the First World Left has of actually learning something from Oppressed Peoples around the world. Sure our enlightened friends may know of Mao, perhaps even Kaypakkaya or even Gonzalo, but it is doubtful they have heard of Comrades Ganapathi, Azad or Kishenji. Let us discuss then what non-Maoists view then as the “correct” and universal method for making revolution, especially in the imperialist nations. The people’s army is a development of world historic relevance that has been copied even by the enemy, Mao is held in high regards amongst the U.S. military, even more so than Trotsky, who is also read.
On the October Road and the Distinction Between Leninism and Social-Democracy
The supposed “universal” method for revolution in the First World is actually the mechanical re-application of the Soviet method of revolution, namely the revolutionary insurrection; or the so-called “October Road”. Prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution, and after the conclusion of the Paris Commune, Social-Democracy had emerged as a legalistic and open working class movement that had gained ground in parliaments all across Europe, their greatest success culminated in the creation of the first welfare state by Otto Von Bismark in Germany, who acted in response to pressure put on him by the Socialists. With the possibility of war on the horizon in Europe, the working class movement in Europe was faced with the consequences of decades of legalistic struggle under capitalism that came to a fever pitch at the Zimmerwald Conference in 1915. The Revolutionary faction known as the “Zimmerwald Left”, led by Vladimir Lenin, came out strongly against the opportunism of the time, which had instead of taking the position of opposing inter-imperialist war came out in support of their home countries under the guise of “revolutionary defencism”. Continue reading