From: Kiev, The Ukraine.

I wish to acknowledge with many thanks the receipt of your message of 28th May and express my gratitude to you for sending me the printed matters.

The Armed Insurrection in Albania and the Imperialist Intervention will be translated into Russian and published in our Communist press.

As for Revolutionary Democracy, in our opinion, such a reputable magazine needs to be more careful in publishing all kinds of programmatic criticism without acquainting the readers with a full text of the concrete programme.

So we qualify A. Plevo's fabrication about the AUCP(B) programme, to put it mildly, as being unfriendly and simply insulting.

Such articles lead to the systematic ruin of the Communist movement.

It would be better for them as members of 'The Anti-Fascist Front' to develop struggle against Zionism and the American imperialist octopus which has enmeshed the entire terrestrial globe with 1500 military bases in 32 countries. The Pentagon's 'peacemaking' boot trampled down 29 countries with impunity: against Cuba alone the USA used armed forces 13 times; against Mexico - 14; Panama - 11; Nicaragua - 10; Colombia - 7 times and so on.

We consider that one of the problems which your magazine must closely watch are the anti-NATO activities. Let us all welcome the measures of France to halt the process of entry into NATO.

We are revolutionaries and consider it our duty to say that the six years of our fight for democracy and socialism in our country (1991-1997) the teaching of Lenin is reaffirmed:

'The transition of the bourgeois state to the proletarian one is impossible without forcible revolution'.

So let us together remind the toilers: 'The people have the right to take up arms in order to show resistance to any usurpation'. (Jean Calvin, XVI century).

With Best Wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Galina Savchenko,
Member of The Central Committee of the AUCP(B).

From: New Delhi, India.

Revolutionary Democracy takes a bookish approach on all matters of importance to the revolutionary communist movement of the world in a typical Hoxhaite fashion. Hoxhaism is a trend in the international communist movement that is basically bourgeois (national bourgeoisie), intensely patriotic but definitely not socialist but still an ally of the world communist movement. It is interesting to note that Revolutionary Democracy has printed articles on various subjects, an unsigned article on the stage of revolution in India, given broad coverage to various Hoxhaite groupings all over the world but has conveniently brushed under the carpet the question of why 'socialist' Albania collapsed like a pack of cards. Intellectual honesty begins with self-criticism. If the Hoxhaite movement is so important to Revolutionary Democracy then can it keep mum on the question of Albania and still call itself honest? The sooner Revolutionary Democracy comes out with a statement on Albania, the better it will be.

Hoxhaism reduces proletarian ideology to the collected writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Such reductionism can be convenient. Now one does not have to be an activist to understand Marxism but a thorough reading of the classics is enough. This is typical of magazines like Revolutionary Democracy which cannot deal with a single real life problem. As a small example is the article by Tripta Wahi on Orientalism. There is no critique of Said's theories, just proof that Said's scholarship is incomplete (the radical might call Said dishonest but as far as we are concerned this is not the issue). Very boring for an activist. I elaborate to make my point clear. As far as Said's theories are concerned it is important to place these views in the historical context they have arisen. The key questions for a Marxist studying Said are the following: [I] which class does Said represent? [2] What is the alliance he is trying to put together? and [3] What is the effect on the world communist movement? Said represents the national bourgeoisie of Palestine. He is looking for an anti-imperialist democratic revolution in Palestine throwing out the Zionist regime but stopping well short of socialism. He is trying to build a broad alliance of all oppressed nations against the imperialist powers. The point Tripta Wahi fails to appreciate is that despite the shortcomings in the scholarship of Said, he is critiquing the dominant trend in historiography.

A political analysis must reveal the nature of alliances being formed. Said recognises this (dominant) trend as a product of imperialism but being bourgeois himself cannot see imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. The alliance he is putting together is with the upcoming bourgeoisie of the underdeveloped countries. Said's impact on the Maoist trends in the world communist movement should not be underestimated. Said's theories find a natural ally with the three world theorists. The maoist trends that oppose the three worlds theory are also not immune from influence. The gross overestimation of the nationality question with respect to the class question, which is peculiar to the armed strugglers in India is a breeding ground for Saidean theories. The only way to fight the influence of Said is to show that the national bourgeoisie of Palestine is going to stop short of socialism; this means showing the limitations of the theories themselves vis a vis revolution. On the question of the role of the industrial proletariat of the advanced industrial countries, Said has very little to say. This can be disastrous for the Palestinian movement. Tripta Wahi should note that the national bourgeoisie in Palestine is an ally of the revolution but if it leads the revolution as it is doing now, nothing much is going to come out of the struggle.

The unsigned article 'On the Stage of Indian Revolution' is typical of Hoxhaite scholarship. Profuse with quotations from various sources it meanders through the subject getting nowhere. The Hoxhaite scholar, when he leaves the realm of scriptures, meets with the most wonderful adventures.

[1] 'The starting point of an analysis is the examination of social existence forms of labour power which is the decisive criterion in characterising the mode of production'.

The starting point itself is wrong. The starting point of an analysis is the available means of production to the society under study. The plough gives rise to the ploughman and the tractor to the driver. Can the plough give rise to a tractor mechanic (and then as per the logic of the article the tractor will be invented!). Labour power can be developed to run the means of production within a very short time. But the means of production must exist. How long does it take to train a man to drive a bus? The means of production determines the forms of labour power.

[2] 'Capitalist production is distinguished from other modes of production by the fact that the commodity is the dominant and determining feature of its product.'

[3] 'The second distinguishing feature of the capitalist mode of production is the production of surplus value, which is transformed into profits, as the direct aim and the determining motive of production.'

[4] 'In pre-capitalist societies the forms of labour are characterised by non-economic coercion.

Marx is analysing a country where the bourgeoisie carried out the bourgeois democratic revolution and completed the democratic tasks. What happens when the bourgeoisie of a country comes to power but due to historic circumstances cannot carry out the democratic tasks? India is one such country. Today in India, even the most remote village is filled with commodities. The landless labourer buys his cereal from the shops. Commodity production has developed to a very high level and with some exceptional fringe aberrations is the order of the day. The overwhelming bulk of the economy is organised on the basis of the profit motive. Given this condition, one variant of Trotskyism (the CLI-ML) argues that because there is capitalism in India, the democratic tasks have been completed. The reverse Trotskyite position taken up by Revolutionary Democracy and incidently also the Maoists, is that because the democratic tasks have not been completed, India is still feudal. It is interesting to note that Hoxhaism and Maoism converge on the same analysis on this question. It should also be noted that both the Trotskyite and the reverse Trotskyite position assume that a slow development of commodity production will ensure the end of the pre-capitalist forms of coercion. But the democratic tasks can only be completed in a revolution. And the fact is that the Indian bourgeoisie cannot complete the democratic tasks and as a result India has reached the stage of imperialism without the pre-capitalist forms being done away with. A cursory study of the export of capital that is taking place from India by the big houses will reveal the situation. The fact is that the elimination of the putrescence of the old can only be accomplished by the proletarian revolution and not by a simple development of the commodity production. By Revolutionary Democracy's own admission even tribal quarry workers are paid money. What do they do with their money? Don't they buy commodities?

[5] 'The problem of ensuring economic independence from world capitalism was also faced by the Soviet Union after 1917. In this context Stalin in 1926 distinguished between industrialisation and the development of any kind of industry. He held that the centre of industrialisation was 'the development of heavy industry (fuel, metal, etc.), the development in the last analysis, of the production of the means of production, the development of our machine building industry'. This alone could safeguard the USSR from being converted into an appendage of world capitalism.'

Albania which never produced its means of production is socialist. But India which produces far mon means of production than Albania ever did is colonial. This is the kind of delightful contradictions one gets into if one does not understand Stalin. Self-sufficiency is not to ward off imperialism. USA is far from self-sufficient but it is not colonial. In fact USA cares two hoots about self-sufficiency. The Stalinist concept of self-sufficiency in fact is not only of the entire country but also of the regions. Why did Stalin ensure self-sufficiency of the regions also? Is this to prevent Moscow from becoming the appendage of USSR? Self-sufficiency is the last struggle against the unevenness of capitalism and is necessary to do away with the contradictions that lead to the crisis in the renewal. For a discussion of this question one can refer to Engels'

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. When Khrushchev was still considered a socialist by Hoxha, he proposed a deal to Albania whereby Albania will specialise in growing fruits while USSR will provide the heavy industries. Hoxha raves and rants about how Khrushchev was trying to make Albania into a appendage of USSR but gives no critique of the proposal. What is wrong with the Khrushchevite thesis of division of labour? If all of us are one socialist family, what is wrong? The funny thing is that Cuba which accepted the division of labour and produced only sugar is still fighting imperialism while Albania which supposedly built socialism has collapsed. Further, Revolutionary Democracy is trying to concoct a theory of imperialism based on trade! In this regard, even the Maoists are more advanced as they 'prove' that India is colonial by showing export of finance capital to India. Leninist theory of imperialism says that firstly imperialism is the export of finance capital and secondly it is the skinning of the ox twice or the dominance of the foreign capital over the native capital. Unless the dominance is established in the extraction of surplus, one cannot conclude imperialism. Foreign capital in India is growing but so is Indian capital. In fact our preliminary study shows that the percentage of foreign capital in India is remaining at a constant rate.

[6] 'Because of the higher organic composition of capital in large scale machine production the industrial worker creates greater surplus value and so is the most exploited class of Indian society. There is a preponderance of the backward castes, dalits and adivasis in those sections of the working class marked by lower skills, lower wages, and contract work. These sections constitute the most oppressed sections of the Indian working class.'

The industrial proletariat is the most exploited class and the low caste worker is the most oppressed. What should one conclude from this? The naive reader will conclude that the industrial worker of lower caste is the most exploited as well as the most oppressed and therefore (?) the most revolutionary! But the fact of the matter is that in India, Maoism is dominant and Maoist logic argues that the most oppressed is the most revolutionary class. But then, the Hoxhaite calculates the most revolutionary class in different ways. The Hoxhaite calculates the surplus extracted, throws in the caste factor and arrives at his grand conclusion. The Maoist on the other hand takes into account nationality, religion, caste, income and then throws numerical strength in a higgledly-piggledly fashion and concludes that the landless labourer is the most revolutionary class. The erudite Maoist of course has read that the industrial proletariat is the most revolutionary class and so he makes the compromise: the party is the party of the industrial proletariat but we will organise base areas among the rural poor. Marxism addresses this question in a rather different way. Revolutionary activity is impossible without a revolutionary theory. The class that gravitates towards the revolutionary theory most easily is the most revolutionary class. Consciousness is the reflection of social being. The industrial proletariat, being involved in the most advanced means of social production is also the most revolutionary class.

There are many quotations from Comintern and other sources but suffice to say that we have dealt with the main points and we have very little faith in Comintern writings. It is funny to note that the Hoxhaite thinks all Soviet writings during the Stalin period are authoritative (as long as Stalin did not attack them). No wonder the bourgeoisie calls Stalin 'The Big Brother'.

The wimpish programme that follows from this analysis is interesting and with rare exceptions the Maoists would go along with bulk of it. But I must add that even the Maoists have greater clarity in the formulation of the programme. The Maoists for example talk of confiscating the assets of the imperialists while the Hoxhaite talks of just a break with imperialism.

[7] 'Complete break with world imperialism headed by US imperialism'.

What is world imperialism? We quote Lenin:

'the notorious theory of 'ultra-imperialism' invented by Kautsky, is just as reactionary... whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or of a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a 'truce' in periods between wars. Peaceful alliance prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one conditions the other, producing alternating forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle on one and the same basis of imperialist connections and relations within world economics and politics...' ['Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism', by Lenin]

It is interesting to note that along with the Hoxhaites, the Maoists also take up a Kautskyite position when dealing with the current world situation. This follows directly from the semi-colonial (neo-colonial or blah-blah colonial or whatever else) thesis. The Hoxha-Mao combine hold that the Indian state is the state of the imperialists (and some Indian classes). The question we pose is - which imperialist? The neo-colonialist will argue that that matters only in the semi-colonial category and vice-versa. But the fact remains is that if all the imperialists have been peacefully controlling the Indian state and are even more peacefully exploiting the Indian labour, then what happened to inter-imperialist contradictions? Perhaps the Indian state is harmonising them? Ultra-imperialism far from dead is the dominant trend in India.

We conclude this critique with a brief statement on this question giving our positions. The Indian bourgeoisie attained power in 1947 but due to historical reasons cannot complete the democratic tasks. Land to the tiller will be an attack on private property and will only assist the socialist movement in India and therefore the Indian bourgeoisie is not going to carry out the democratic tasks. This is retarding capitalist development hut due to the political reasons, only the proletariat can complete the democratic tasks. Monopolisation, merger of the banks with industry, etc. have proceeded under the benevolent gaze of the state since 1947 leading to the development of capitalism to its highest stage. Today India has a huge standing army and export of capital is increasing at a rapid rate. The proletariat is strong enough to lead the socialist revolution and its allies are the small and middle peasantry, the progressive sections of the intelligentsia and oppressed sections. The socialist revolution will begin with the democratic tasks and carry on uninterruptedly towards socialism.

Finally Revolutionary Democracy should change its name to Stalinist ideology. There is no defence of revolutionary democracy in the magazine. There is only Stalinist ideology.

K.S. Raghavan,
Indian Marxist Leninist Study Group.

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