Reply to Øystein Iversen, tjen-folket.no

tjen-folket.no has published one post from Øystein Iversen entitled “Reply to blog posts against Gonzalo”. This article is aimed at my article: “Gonzalo and ultra-left deviation

This article has an Norwegian version.

There are a number of actual errors in the post from Øystein Iversen (ØI) that I would like to point out, as well as some statements and views I believe are incorrect:

Allegation of purification and puritanism gives more or less the same sound as anti-communism to countless opportunists and others who are against communism. It is an attack that does not match and is an old myth.

This argument can be used against all arguments against left-wing deviations that have been made, including those by Lenin, Stalin and Mao. This is an argument as if left-wing deviation does not exist, and consequently all claims of this are “anti-communism”. In the best case, this is rhetoric, in the worst case, ØI does not realize that there is a ditch called left-wing deviation since he himself walks in it.

We Communists are not talking about ideological “purity”. Our political line comes from the 200 year class struggle. Countless line battles have separated straight lines from erroneous lines. From Lenin’s break with other international and Mensheviks, to Stalin’s struggle against Trotsky, to Mao’s great controversy against Khrushchev revisionism. In all these cases, communists were met with the same kind of accusations. But combating revisionism and revisionist errors is not “purification” or “puritanism”; it is a matter of living or dying for the red line.

Combating revisionism is not the same as puritanism – where we agree, but when one no longer settles for the fight against revisionism, but mechanically and dogmatically relies on the texts, then it’s no longer fight against revisionism, but a result of left-wing deviation which I think we also can cal puritanism.

Otherwise, I wonder a little about what ØI means by “Mao’s great controversy against Khrushchev revisionism”? Is it the great controversy between the CCP and the CPSU he is aiming for? In the case, there were more contributors than Mao from the CCP’s side here.

Why should we reject their universal contribution to Marxism by “not writing for China” or similar?

I have not written that we should reject the universal contributions. This is to argue against a straw man.

What is the Marxism (or Maoism) to be used? What is universal? Can’t that used by history’s premier communists be used by anyone who wants to make a revolution today?

The universal must be adapted to the peculiar conditions. If one takes special action that suits one place at one time and will mechanically copy it into a completely different time somewhere else then it will fail. This is some of the point in my article that ØI writes criticism of.

The Maoists do not go as it is claimed to only build professional militant organization. The Communists will build the Party, the People’s Army and the Unity Front in concentric circles. The party is core and consists of the most educated, experienced and dedicated. And applying Lenin’s line that professional revolutionaries are the backbone of the party. Not the whole party, but the backbone of it.

I agree that the “Maoists” don’t want to “only build organization for professional militants”. It seems like ØI here forgets that I do not polemize against Maoism, but against a very specific article, and on this question more specifically against the following:

We do not need leisure “communists” or parties that are not parties of militants.

http://kommunisten.nu/2018/03/10/en-klass-en-ideologi-ett-parti-en-revolution/

ØI writes:

“MLMT” writes as if self-sacrifice and dedication are something stupid that people don’t want.

It’s wrong – I don’t.

This relatively short paragraph from Lenin’s 1903 book cleans up the misunderstandings that the MLMT blog is spreading. Here it is clear what Lenin thinks, and what is the right way to organize the party (the revolutionary organization) and how this does not contradict a broad movement, but on the contrary is a prerequisite for being able to create one such.

What “misunderstanding” is it that I spread? Is it eg. the fact that the party model Lenin describes in “What to do” cannot be mechanically copied into our countries in our time?

I criticized the following written in “One Class – One ideology – One Party – One Revolution” for creating a climate where it becomes impossible with open discussions:

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

This ØI defends with:

… This type of attack on proletarian internationalism has a function. It is about removing the communist movement from its most advanced leadership internationally.

I think this reason is pretty hair-raising. In the best case, ØI has not read or understood what our German Puritan companion actually writes. If we focuses too much abroad, and instead of agitation that concerns the country in which we lives, we will become uninteresting for the vast majority who struggle to make ends meet in the reality they live in. The result will be that the organization shrink to a small sect. Probably it was a well-founded criticism of a virtually liquidationist line that the German author describes as “the worst enemies of the working class”. Ie irreconcilable attacks on people who make a very timely criticism.

ØI writes:

The Revisionists and the Capitalists don’t want us to look to Lenin, they don’t want us to go to Mao and now they will stay away from Gonzalo or degrade him to “one of many” revolutionary leaders. This is because they don’t want a real communist party, a militarized Maoist party for the war.

With this, in reality, ØI describes most people who engage in public war for communism on the Philippines and in India to be revisionists, since most people consider Gonzalo as “one of many revolutionary leaders”. In other words, the right teaching is a very narrow path. There are not many deviations that are needed before one is stamped as an revisionist and thus an agent for the capitalists.

I have no desire to keep people away from studying Gonzalo. On the contrary – Gonzalo has written a lot of sense and should be studied. But not uncritical. Not everything he writes is good (see, for example, my article on “Great Leader or Collective leadership?”).

We cannot leave the ideological discussions to one or more great leaders. We must not imagine that we are infallible. We will all make mistakes. If we had to have perfect theory and be the perfect cadre for the success of the revolution, then there would never have been any revolution. Incorrect ideas are addressed through discussion and practical experience. Mao wrote that contradictions are good, because this is what leads the development forward. The Puritans agree with this in words, but in practice they stamp out anyone who is not 100% in agreement with themselves as revisionists and thus creates a climate where contradictions become irreconcilable and where one cannot get discuss to a higher unity.

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