Saturday, December 10, 2011

On Nepal

Of school exercises in line struggle...


Reports in the press inform us that the Constitutional Assembly in Nepal has decided to further extend its term by six months. The steps and process to be adopted for the working out of a draft constitution and its submission have also been decided.
What is of interest here, or rather of concern, is the information that these decisions have been adopted unanimously. If that is accurate, the adherents of the left faction within the UCPN (Maoist), led by Kiran, have also voted in favour of these decisions. In other words, despite their vehement criticism of the rightist turn taken by that party's leadership, they still remain undifferentiated in the one of most substantial manifestations of that rightism.
Since we are on the topic of Constitutional Assembly it would be quite educative to cite an observation made by Marx while commenting on the political situation in Germany.
“A Constituent National Assembly must first of all be an active, revolutionary active assembly. The Frankfurt Assembly however, is busying itself with school exercises in parliamentarianism while allowing the government to act. Let us assume that this learned assembly succeeds, after mature consideration, in evolving the best possible agenda and the best constitution, but what is the use of the best possible agenda and of the best possible constitution, if the German governments have in the meantime placed the bayonet on the agenda..."*
That precisely is the point. The Bhattrai government has, quite systematically at that, been busily formalising the surrender of all that remains revolutionary or even pro-people. It has indeed even exceeded the expectations of the Indian expansionists and their imperialist mentors. This is of course a continuation of what has been happening in Nepal over the past few years. The novelty is in the stability of the government, of the whole process.  The various factions of the ruling classes and the new aspirants have evidently arrived at a broad understanding on the reactionary direction to be followed. In other words, they have already “placed the bayonet on the agenda”. The unanimity of the Constitutional Assembly firmly pushes it into the guts of revolution.
The Constitutional Assembly has itself become a convenient tool for reaction. It can no longer offer any tactical advantage to the revolution; except, perhaps, negatively - as a means of exposing how the rightists are colluding with reaction to bury the revolution, of educating the party rank and file and the masses why revolt against the rightist party headquarters and the setting up of a new Maoist party is the only way out.
But those who should do this, those who still wish to be Maoist and persist on the road of revolution are busy, in the words of Marx, 'with school exercises in parliamentarianism'. Even worse, they are indulging in this in the party with their illusion of 'two line struggle'. It is an illusion because the rightist HQ, Prachanda and Bhattrai, are not in the least bothered or bound by this party's decisions. So the rightist HQ decides, it acts and sells out to the enemy at will. And the left has its statements, its line struggle articles and, of course, street demonstrations. Truly, this is 'school exercises in line struggle'. Given the hard fact that there is no united party, in any meaningful sense of that word, a weird exercise at that; being done on a virtual stage.
It would have been catchy to end this by observing that we need a 'revolt within the revolt', if not for the sad truth that the revolt (of the serious type) seems yet to be thought of. (end)

*This is taken from Lenin's 'A Contribution To The History Of The Question Of The Dictatorship', also quite relevant for studying the Nepal issue. These texts can be accessed from the website.