Kommunistiska Föreningen i Sverige (The Communist Association in Sweden) has translated and posted the following (original German) text:
Correction January 3, 2019: I would like to clarify that the post was printed as a discussion post on the pages of KF and not as an editorial article.
(A little comment on this English translation: – The original article which my article is an reply to was originally written in German. It was then translated to English, and then again translated to Swedish. Unfortunately I don’t have the English translation, so the quotes are translated by me back to English again. It should not be fare from the original through all this translations, but it might not be perfect… and since I’m not an native English speaker – the rest of the text are probably no better).
I think this carries the mark of puritanism as well as have an serious ultra-left deviation. It seems like a trend in the past that several Maoist groups are trying to purify Maoism. It seems that they forget that the most brilliant with Lenin and Mao was their ability to apply and adapt Marxism to the reality they lived under. Marx and Engels did not primarily think of Russia and China when writing their theories. As little as Lenin and Stalin wrote for China.
Those who tried to mechanically use Marxism in Russia failed. The same applies to those who tried mechanically to use Marxism-Leninism in China.In fact, the author of the article argues in favor of mechanically introducing Gonzalo’s thinking in Germany. The Peruvians themselves wrote that Gonzalo’s thinking was mlm for Peruvian conditions, but the article writes:
“… but the basic condition is that we strictly apply the” three with “, as President Gonzalo taught us: Work with, live with and fight with the masses. Communists should live according to the needs of the revolution. Generally, comrades should live with the widest and deepest masses, sharing every aspect of the lives of the masses. Communists should have a personal production in the sector where they must develop their respective mass work. “
The reality in Germany, Sweden and Norway is quite different from Peru. The masses in Peru are on another level and are far more susceptible to communist theory and propaganda, then the case is with us. In Germany, Sweden and Norway, there is much longer between everyone who is receptive to being able to organize themselves. There are also fewer large industrial workplaces today in these countries – it is therefore not possible for everyone to come to a workplace with many employees. When you work with few people, the recruitment basis becomes too small. My experience is that the largest recruitment base is with proletarian youth and most of all with politically engaged youth. Work through progressive front organizations that attract a lot of youth is where it is easiest to recruit. Alternatively, talk to many proletarian youths. We must prioritize our forces so that we get the most out of them. Lenin was right when he wrote that it is unimportant whether students or workers are recruited to the Communist Party (in “What Is To Be Done?“) – the important thing is to build a most powerful Communist Party. The workplace is with other words rarely the place one should put most effort into recruiting new communists to the movement.
It gets extra difficult when the author also thinks:
Furthermore, we need professional revolutionaries who give their whole life to the party, to face the power created by a multitude of people to meet the people’s power, which serves the existing order professionally. Living simple and struggling hard is a principle that leads us. We do not need leisure “communists” or parties that are not parties of militants.
This is not an analysis of how Maoism uses the specific conditions in Germany, but expresses the desire to mechanically follow a theory adapted to Russia in 1901. Lenin himself adjusted the theory to the reality he lived in, and already in 1905 he favored major changes regarding the recruitment work for the party.
What is the consequence of a line to only build organization for professional militants in countries such as Germany, Sweden and Norway in 2019? The reality for us is that the time for most young communists is greatly reduced when they come into the establishment phase of work and children. In reality, most experienced cadres will have to choose between work and family towards continuing as organized communists. The result is that we will be left with a small group consisting of militant students, schoolchildren and unemployed people. Most likely, the organization will die out by itself due to lack of experience and too little recruitment related to the number that will disappear over time. It will be especially difficult if one is to combine the goal of being both a professional militant revolutionary and working in an ever-decreasing national industry. How many are there that will pass this narrow requirement?
What we need, however, is a sea of different people who contribute differently in building the party. We need the experienced comrades who no longer have the same amount of time or desire to join all kinds of militant actions. There are many tasks that need to be solved to build a party, and everyone does not have to be involved in everything. People are different – the party cannot be built, and the revolution cannot be led by a small group of militant youth with limited experience and insight into how the proletariat actually has it. In 1905, Lenin realized that the party had to relax the demands for admission to the party to get one big enough and strong enough party to lead the revolution.
Those who talk about “too much Peru”, “too much about other countries and too little about Germany” and even trying to use Liebknecht’s revolutionary defeatistic slogans “The main enemy is at home” to actually negate the proletarian internationalism are exactly that, demagogues and, as such, they are “the worst enemies of the working class” and it is the duty of all comrades to fight such criminals.
It is impossible to build a Communist party without doing mistakes in the process. It is impossible to correct mistakes without having a climate where people can criticize without being branded as “the worst enemies of the working class”. That the author here believes that comrades who criticize that there is too much angulation on foreign affairs at the expense of domestic issues should be branded in this way is an alarming signal. Even worse, this article is translated into several languages and spread like good Maoism. It does not make it any better for the author here that he tries to legitimize himself behind the fact that Lenin used such harsh words against actual demagogues in his day.
What does this have to do with Gonzalo?
This article is not one attack on Gonzalo. Gonzalo is a skilled Maoist theorist and the one who more than any other has summarize Maoism. This article is part of an combat of puritanical Ultra-left deviation spread by several MLM organizations labeled with Gonzalo’s banner. Ultra-left deviation is just as reactionary as right-wing deviation, and must therefore also be combated.
Ideological struggle is a good thing. Without it – we would never had any Maoism at all. Constructive critique, comments etc. are therefore warmly welcome!