Saturday, August 05, 2006

Beginning Of The Betrayal Backlash?

“The CPN [Maoist] has thrown away an historic opportunity for Nepal’s workers and peasants. They have allowed themselves to become part of a slapdash coalition of the parties of Nepal’s ruling class.
“Instead of relying on the support that they were able to mobilize in the cities they are now making secret deals with an incompetent bourgeois crook.”

WITH much of the world still questioning the Maoists’ sincerity to the peace process, the preceding excerpts provide a timely summation of the anxieties emanating from the other end of the spectrum.
These paragraphs, quoted from the summer 2006 issue of the British newspaper Socialist Resistance, serve to underscore the sense of betrayal precipitated by the Maoists’ desire to wage peace.
Castigating the deals the Maoists have made with the Seven Party Alliance, Liam MacUaid, in his article “Nepalese revolution hits the buffers,” states the rebels are no longer accountable to the workers, peasants and urban poor whose pressure forced King Gyanendra to make concessions to democracy in April.
“Maoist organizations have always swung between murderous political gangsterism toward other socialists and a willingness to make deals with the ‘patriotic bourgeoisie,’ MacUaid writes. “The CPN is no different in this respect.”
Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai probably won’t be too concerned by such criticism. After all, the International Socialist Group (ISG), which publishes the monthly together with the Socialist Solidarity Network and some like-minded individuals, is the British Section of the Fourth International.
How could it understand the objective conditions and ground realities of Nepal from the ivory towers of London? (And which mindless layout editor placed the story on the Afghanistan page and got away with it?)
A Trotskyite revolutionary organization committed to the overthrow of the “barbaric” capitalist system, the ISG is appreciative of the Maoists’ many progressive demands. It is infuriated by the way the Nepalese state and the Bush administration have clubbed the anti-Maoist fight into the global war on terror.
The ISG might have played a major part in boosting the Maoists’ PR in Europe, especially within the broad umbrella of the anti-globalization campaign. However, as a Marxist organization, it takes issue with the Maoists’ seeming indifference to the self-activity of the working class.
Admittedly, Nepal’s relatively undeveloped working class limits the kind of action the ISG and its soul mates would like the Nepalese rebels to pursue. But should that reality necessarily translate into what many consider a strategy to allow a different section of the Nepalese bourgeoisie to take power?
Faced with a choice of taking power themselves as representatives of Nepal’s peasants and workers, MacUaid writs, the Maoists opted to send their leader Prachanda to meet Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to discuss a settlement. “The 84-year-old politician is a longstanding figure in the country’s politics and is accused by opponents of being utterly corrupt.” (Perhaps for added effect, the author notes that Koirala is the leader of Nepali Congress, a party that belongs to Tony Blair’s Socialist International.)
Instead of offering a real way forward, MacUaid states, the Maoists seem certain to fight the forthcoming elections as loyal defenders of the new ruling class constitution. “In doing so they will have betrayed the Nepalese peasants and workers who brought the country to the edge of revolution.”
Hey, it’s not as if the Revolutionary International Movement (or whatever incarnation Global Maoists have assumed today) has mounted a blistering denunciation of a lost decade. Nor is MacUaid someone in the league of Li Onesto.
Yet one question must be nagging Prachanda and Dr. Bhattarai: Could such candor embolden Ganapathy and other Indian Maoists to speak out?