with the RIM Committee
Accelerating the Pace of World Proletarian Revolution
is an interview conducted with a member of the Committee of the
Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
in the early part of 2000.
AWTW: How does the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM)
see the current world situation?
CoRIM: We believe that the international situation is generally
favourable for the advance of the revolutionary struggle.
While we are not yet experiencing the same kind of high tide of
revolutionary struggle on a world scale that we have witnessed in
the past and will surely see again, we can speak with confidence
of an emerging new wave of the world proletarian revolution.
It is true that some of the imperialist powers, notably US imperialism,
have enjoyed some respite as a result of the partial re-division
of the world that accompanied the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism
and its bloc. But despite their talk, there has been no world-wide
robust recovery, and new waves of crisis and dislocation have
appeared in areas such as East Asia that were trumpeted as the
beneficiaries and motors of capitalist renewal.
There is no doubt that imperialism has not and cannot remove the
material basis for proletarian revolution. Even today, when US imperialism
is boasting of its successes, the conditions of huge sections of
the masses of people in much of the world are sharply deteriorating.
The new waves of imperialist penetration carried out under the signboard
of globalisation have brought gadgets to sections of the middle
classes, but basic necessities such as food, medical care and housing
are more and more out of the reach of the basic masses. Even in
the most advanced imperialist countries, hopelessness grows. Furthermore,
today's situation can only worsen for the masses, and new waves
of crisis will inevitably sweep the imperialist system.
AWTW: Mao taught that in every process one contradiction is
principal; although all the contradictions are interrelated, the
principal contradiction is that which most influences the development
of all of the other major contradictions. Does RIM have a unified
assessment of the principal contradiction in the world today?
CoRIM: Yes. The contradiction between imperialism and the
oppressed peoples and nations is the principal contradiction in
the world today. Revolutionary armed struggle under Marxist-Leninist-Maoist
leadership is being waged in a number of the oppressed countries.
Furthermore, in the last six years powerful mass upheavals have
taken place in a number of countries such as Mexico, Korea, Indonesia
and Zaire (today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo). While these
upheavals could not go over to proletarian revolution for lack of
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist leadership, they illustrate the sharpening
of the principal contradiction. The storm centres of the world proletarian
revolution remain the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America,
as our Movement has held since our formation.
AWTW: Does this mean that revolution is only possible in the
CoRIM: No. The whole world is full of contradictions and
volatility and all of the major contradictions in the world are
sharpening. This includes the contradiction between the proletariat
and the bourgeoisie within the imperialist countries, which is expressed
through various kinds of struggle, including rebellions such as
Los Angeles in 1992. Significant mass movements directed against
the ruling class and its reactionary institutions are developing
in a number of imperialist countries.
The eruption of full-scale warfare in the Balkans area of Europe,
despite the reactionary character of those armed conflicts, shows
that no region of the world, not even the imperialist countries
themselves, is immune from violent upheaval and dislocation and
the accompanying revolutionary possibilities.
AWTW: How does RIM see the two trends of revolution and world
war in the present international context?
CoRIM: The danger of imperialist world war has temporarily
receded in the past period as a result of changes in the world situation,
and revolution is the main trend in the world today. However, only
when proletarian revolution finally destroys imperialism will it
be possible to definitively rid the world of the danger of world
AWTW: If the conditions are generally favourable, what, then,
is holding back the further advance of the world revolutionary movement?
CoRIM: It is clear to all that we have not resolved the
gap between the growing discontent and even revolt of the masses
on the one hand, and on the other, the ability of the class-conscious
forces, the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, to lead this struggle forward
as part of a revolutionary challenge to the existing regimes. Too
often, in too many countries, the struggling masses are leaderless;
they are fighting blindly, without the liberating ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism
(MLM). Our advances have been real and increasing, but they are
still not commensurate with our declared ambitions of winning the
world. In most countries, there is still no vanguard proletarian
party nor any clear prospect of its emergence.
Without a vanguard party based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the scientific
ideology of the international proletariat, revolution will either
fail or be hijacked by new exploiters. Holding high our red banner
of MLM and building vanguard parties in the face of the imperialists,
reactionaries and opportunists is key to transforming the potential
of today's situation into real revolutionary advances. Today the
existence of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement is a major
factor in making it possible to achieve these objectives more rapidly.
AWTW: How has RIM itself been developing in the past period?
CoRIM: No one should underestimate the accomplishments of
RIM in the sixteen years since its formation. It has established
itself as the embryonic centre of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist
forces. Participating parties and organisations of RIM have made
advances in the revolutionary struggle and this has propelled the
whole Movement forward. Among these advances we want to call particular
attention to the Communist Party of Peru and the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist), which are leading people's wars that are illuminating
the path for the oppressed all over the world.
In Turkey, our comrades are pursuing armed struggle against the
reactionary regime, and the further advances of the TKP(ML) in ever
closer unity with RIM will surely help bring about a mighty revolutionary
upsurge of people's war in Turkey.
In Bangladesh, the Proletarian Party of Purba Bangla (PBSP) has,
for three decades, persisted in carrying out armed struggle in different
forms in the face of tremendous difficulties and enemy repression.
Today comrades in that country are debating how to develop the struggle
to the stage of waging a sustained people's war.
In countries where there are participants or supporters of RIM,
serious efforts are being made to build and strengthen Maoist vanguard
parties and to prepare for the launching of people's war.
But no advances in the communist movement are ever a straight-line
affair. Advances are hard fought and come about through struggle
on all levels. RIM has been developing through twists and turns.
Like all new things, it faces new problems.
AWTW: What is the situation with the People's War in Peru?
CoRIM: Our advanced detachment in Peru, the Communist Party
of Peru, forged under the revolutionary line of Chairman Gonzalo,
which has played such a crucial role throughout the whole history
of our Movement, has written another glorious chapter in the world
revolutionary struggle. In his masterful speech of 24th September
1992 from the prison of the enemy, Comrade Gonzalo pointed out that
his capture was only a "bend in the road" and not the
great defeat the enemy was claiming. With proletarian revolutionary
optimism, sacrifice and hard struggle, the Party has confronted
the difficult period following the capture of Chairman Gonzalo.
It has defended and maintained the People's War and the Central
Committee of the PCP has announced that the People's War is now
coming out of the "bend in the road".
The PCP has also had to beat back the vicious attacks of a Right
Opportunist Line which emerged from within the Party and which is
arguing for peace accords to end the People's War. RIM has participated
in the fight against the Right Opportunist Line, for example through
issuing the Call "Rally to the Defence of Our Red Flag Flying
in Peru" and the publication of a major article written at
the request of CoRIM.1
AWTW: How do you see the claim of the Fujimori regime and leaders
of the Right Opportunist Line that Chairman Gonzalo himself has
called for the peace accords?
CoRIM: It is true that the Fujimori regime and the supporters
of the Right Opportunist Line make this claim. Our investigation
and study has shown that there is no proof that Chairman Gonzalo
was behind the call for peace accords to end the People's War. This
remains the case today six years after the call for peace accords
was first issued from within the Peruvian prisons. The PCP continues
to denounce Fujimori's claims as a "hoax".
RIM's 1995 "Call to Defend Our Red Flag Flying in Peru"
states clearly and correctly: "Chairman Gonzalo remains in
extreme conditions of confinement at the hands of the reactionary
regime, denied contact with lawyers, kept in isolation, refused
the visits of five distinguished international delegations and placed
upon what the regime boasts is an 'information diet'. The Fujimori
regime is notorious for its murder, lies, manipulations and physical
and psychological abuse of prisoners of war. Under these circumstances,
one cannot accept indirect and unverifiable communications attributed
to Chairman Gonzalo as representative of his thinking, and the fight
must continue for an end to his isolation.
"It is clear that the negotiations line runs contrary to the
basic line of the PCP which has led the People's War forward and
which was forged under the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo. It is
important to continue to try to determine Chairman Gonzalo's current
views. The key question, however, is the line, not its author."
AWTW: What about those who claim that it is wrong to talk about
"a two-line struggle" that emerged from within the PCP?
CoRIM: Again RIM's basic position is clear. It is reflected
in an important article which appeared in AWTW [1996/22] entitled
"On the Maoist Conception of the Two-line Struggle". Marxism-Leninism-Maoism
teaches us that two-line struggle is an inevitable feature of all
communist organisations and that this struggle will give rise to
occasional fierce battles over the very line and colour of the party.
This does not mean that we are arguing for liberalism, for "allowing"
a revisionist line or headquarters to remain in the party. To recognise
and fight revisionism is by no means to grant it legitimacy.
AWTW: Some have suggested that CoRIM and the Central Committee
of the PCP are at loggerheads over these points.
CoRIM: Our whole Movement is united with the comrades of
the CC of the PCP in fighting the Right Opportunist Line, in pursuing
the People's War in Peru and in struggling to defend the life of
Chairman Gonzalo, including demanding an end to the isolation of
Chairman Gonzalo and his live appearance before the Peruvian and
international press. And linked to that, we are defending the life
of Comrade Feliciano as well. We are united in defending the line
that Chairman Gonzalo forged for making revolution in Peru. This
unity is strong and will withstand any test. At the same time, there
is no doubt that there are often differences of opinions among the
Maoists internationally. And this question is no exception. Through
the process of discussion and struggle among the Maoists differences
are resolved and give rise to a higher and increasingly solid level
of unity. Sixteen years of RIM's history prove this to be true.
Enemies of the Movement have tried hard to speculate on differences,
real or imagined, between the PCP and the Committee of RIM or other
parties and organisations of RIM. The statement on the occasion
of the new millennium, "For a Century of People's Wars, Forward
towards the Victory of Socialism and Communism!", which the
parties and organisations of RIM formally adopted, shows the futility
of such speculation.
An important principle is for differences to be discussed internally
within RIM, that is, privately among the parties and organisations,
and to avoid the public airing of internal disputes. The RIM Committee
itself made some serious mistakes in this regard, including encouraging
the publication of some articles in AWTW that addressed a number
of questions that were really not appropriate for a public journal.2
CoRIM is determined to avoid any such mistakes in the future that
strain the unity of the Movement. We are also confident that any
others who may have made similar mistakes will also correct them
and learn from them. In the recent period the whole Movement has
reached a higher level of unity and is determined to safeguard this
achievement and advance it to a higher level still.
AWTW: How does RIM look at the Peoples' War in Nepal?
CoRIM: One of the most significant developments in the last
few years in the life of our Movement and indeed in the development
of the world-wide revolutionary struggle more generally has been
the outbreak of the People's War in Nepal in 1996. The tremendous
outpouring of revolutionary energy unleashed by the courageous initiation
of the People's War by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has
been a source of great encouragement for the comrades in all the
parties and organisations of our Movement.
Our whole Movement has, from its very foundation, benefited from
its living links with our comrades in Nepal. Just as the comrades
there had to fight to repudiate the rightist line of M.B. Singh,
the leader of the Nepal Communist Party (Mashal), so too our whole
Movement had to combat Singh, who was the only force in RIM who
argued strenuously against the adoption of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism
The CPN(M) has played an active role in our Movement, and an increasing
one, despite the tremendous pressure and responsibility of leading
the People's War forward. These comrades had closely followed and
studied the experience of the People's War in Peru to assimilate
its lessons, while Singh always denigrated this experience. The
CPN(M) actively took up the criticism of the Right Opportunist Line
that emerged in the PCP and were able to apply the lessons to the
struggle to initiate the People's War. This is an important illustration
of the principle that participation in the international communist
movement does not hinder but rather greatly helps the struggle to
implement an MLM line in one's own country. The expulsion of the
NCP (Mashal) from the Movement in 1998 for its opposition in theory
and practice to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, following a long period
of struggle with Mashal, was an important victory. It underscores
again the interconnection between the struggle in any one country
and the problems posed to the Movement as a whole.
In the course of this process the Committee has learned a great
deal and deepened its grasp of the laws of people's war. The interaction
between the Movement and the comrades in Nepal has meant that it
has been possible for the whole Movement, through the efforts of
CoRIM as well as by other means, to be part of this exciting process
and assimilate the experience and the lessons that the comrades
are acquiring. In this process, as well as by continuing to strive
to assimilate the experience and lessons accumulated by the comrades
in Peru in applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to waging people's war
there, and also through our study of the positive and negative experience
of others in waging revolutionary warfare, our overall understanding
of the laws of people's war has been increasing.
AWTW: How does RIM understand the question of proletarian internationalism?
CoRIM: We have been emphasising Lenin's famous definition
of proletarian internationalism:
"There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism,
and that is - working wholeheartedly for the development of the
revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one's own
country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy and material aid)
this struggle, this, and only this, line in every country without
Lenin's instruction is deep in meaning. It means we can never reduce
proletarian internationalism to a kind of benign "solidarity"
that leaves out the task of making revolution in "one's own
country". We also call attention to the second part of Lenin's
definition, the requirement to support a proletarian revolutionary
orientation in every country and not settle for less.
The party in each country has the fundamental responsibility for
developing the line for revolution there, including in resolving
issues of two-line struggle in that party. But the struggle between
Marxism and revisionism is never a "national" affair.
Responsible communists cannot sit by idly as comrades in other countries
debate life-and-death questions of revolution.
AWTW: Readers of this magazine often ask how they can play a
role in helping RIM develop.
CoRIM: AWTW, which is regularly published in English, Spanish
and Farsi, plays a crucial role in disseminating Marxism-Leninism-Maoism
throughout the world but this needs to expand even further. It is
particularly important to make the journal available in more languages,
to increase its distribution and to spread it to new countries.
We hope your readership will play an active part in helping to accomplish
this. We are happy to learn that a Hindi edition will be appearing
soon and that the Turkish edition will be appearing more regularly
in the future.
We hope readers of AWTW will contact the participating parties and
organisations of RIM or candidate participants in countries where
they exist. In countries where RIM does not yet have a presence
we hope your readers will make contact directly with RIM.
AWTW: How does RIM see the question of forming a new Communist
International? Will this involve Maoists outside of RIM?
CoRIM: From the very formation of RIM we have stressed the
need for a new communist international. Clearly the struggle to
form a new communist international will necessarily involve other
Maoist forces outside RIM. This new communist international must
be composed of the great bulk of genuine Maoist parties, and the
understanding and experience acquired throughout the world in making
revolution must become part of the synthesis that will be reflected
in its line and programme.
We have repeatedly stressed the need for a new communist international.
RIM, while an important step in the direction of a new communist
international, cannot fulfil this role. This is true in both its
quantitative and qualitative features. We are still not present
in enough countries of the world, and there are some very important
struggles of the proletariat and the oppressed led by genuine communist
organisations outside RIM. It is also true that our level of collective
unity and understanding, while a very great accomplishment and one
that has advanced over the years, is still not adequate for a new
communist international. In short, a new communist international
will represent an advance, a leap, beyond the level of unity and
understanding that we have achieved up to now.
AWTW: What is the main obstacle in the way of uniting the Maoist
CoRIM: The biggest is the still uneven and partially contradictory
understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism among the forces that claim
the Maoist banner. This is very much linked to the problem of establishing
a general line and programme for a new communist international.
Some of the key questions on which there are uneven or opposing
understandings between RIM and other Maoist forces include: the
universality of the path of people's war, the full appreciation
of Mao's teachings concerning the continuation of the revolution
under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and
the lessons of the struggle against modern revisionism. This is
clearly expressed in different interpretations of the history of
the international communist movement, particularly the coup in China,
and the question of whether the international communist movement
reached its high point during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,
as RIM has consistently held, or has been more or less in a state
of decline since the time of Khrushchev's coup in the Soviet Union.
This latter view not only fails to recognise Mao's development of
Marxism-Leninism to a whole new and higher stage, it also ends up
undermining the great struggle against Soviet-led modern revisionism.
In addition, some of the communists outside RIM do not accept, in
principle, the need for a "centre" for the international
communist movement. This also means that they have not yet been
convinced of the need for a new communist international.
AWTW: What about other initiatives in the international communist
CoRIM: RIM follows very closely the developments among all
those forces who are claiming the Maoist banner. We are now present
in debate and discussion within the broader international communist
movement and will be increasingly so in the future. For example,
our letter to the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties
and Organisations is one case in point. [This letter is reprinted
elsewhere in this issue - AWTW.]
In the period ahead we must struggle hard, not out of any narrow
organisational interests, but for a correct line to grow stronger,
win out and serve as the basis of uniting the genuine MLM forces
the world over.
AWTW: What has RIM summed up about the process of building new
CoRIM: We are happy to note that the Maoist Communist Party
has just been formed in Italy and is a participating member of RIM.
The recent publication by the Union of Communists of Iran (Sarbedaran)
of a draft programme for a vanguard communist party in Iran represents
one of the final steps in the process of party formation in that
country as well.
The formation of a genuine vanguard party will vary in different
countries and according to the conditions prevalent during any one
period in the revolutionary process in a given country. Nevertheless,
it is possible to ascertain some of the key and universal features
involved in party formation.
The MLM party must be based upon a correct line and programme. This
means the universal principles of MLM must be applied to analysing
the particularities of a given country and to developing the basic
approach to waging revolution. In order to accomplish this it is
necessary that, in the words of the Declaration, party building
be linked to addressing "the pressing political questions which
must be resolved in order for the revolutionary movement to advance".
This implies consistent effort to apply the mass line to leading
the masses forward while learning from them. And it presupposes
efforts to develop at least the skeleton of an organisational structure
capable of carrying forward revolutionary practice based on the
party's correct line.
Moreover, a correct political and ideological line can only be forged
in the course of fighting revisionist lines on both the national
and international level. While it is necessary to combat both right
and "left" errors, to struggle against both revisionism
and dogmatism, the main danger is revisionism. The party must be
built in the course of the class struggle, including the two-line
There have been misunderstandings associated with this process in
the past. Sometimes there have been arbitrary quantitative goals
established which, when not met, become arguments to unnecessarily
postpone the formation of the party. While the formation of the
party implies a certain basic "quality" as mentioned above,
the quantitative expression of this same quality (number of cadre,
influence among the masses and so forth) will vary considerably.
An important task of RIM is to aid in the building and strengthening
of Maoist parties throughout the world. The existence of RIM means
that this process can develop more quickly and successfully.
AWTW: How has RIM's understanding of people's war developed
in recent years?
CoRIM: Our starting point is Chairman Mao's teaching that,
"The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the
issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution.
This Marxist-Leninist principle of the revolution holds good universally,
for China and for other countries."4
When the proletariat and the people do not have state power, it
must be seized through people's war waged in accordance with the
different conditions in different countries. It is thus completely
normal that the work of the whole Movement and that of the Committee
will necessarily be concerned with the thorny problems of preparing
and initiating people's war and advancing it toward victory.
When our Movement adopted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in 1993, an important
discussion took place concerning the different ideological, political
and organisational problems that make it difficult, even for parties
and organisations of our Movement, to initiate and maintain genuine
revolutionary warfare of the masses.
Since then important progress and breakthroughs have been made by
parties and organisations of our Movement in preparing for and carrying
out the central task of seizing political power through revolutionary
warfare, most notably the initiation of the People's War in Nepal.
Important experience and understanding has been accumulated and
our understanding of some of the questions involved has grown stronger.
We have also had the opportunity in the past period to study more
of the positive and negative experiences of others who are waging
revolutionary armed struggle, including those who are struggling
to do so from a Maoist perspective.
AWTW: How is RIM's understanding of people's war different from
the armed struggles waged by non-MLM forces?
CoRIM: Mao's theory of people's war was, and is, qualitatively
different from those armed struggles waged by oppressed peoples
that lacked the leadership of the proletariat and a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist
party. Only with the advent of the proletariat and only under the
leadership of the MLM party does it become possible to actually
build a society (through the necessary stages, of course) in which
the misery of the masses can be finally eradicated and even exploitation
itself and the very division of society into classes are targeted
In today's world there are a number of non-Maoist forces waging
revolutionary guerrilla wars, sometimes very powerful ones. The
essential difference between the armed struggle waged by these non-proletarian
forces and that waged under the leadership of a genuine MLM party
has to do with the kind of society to be created through war and
which class (or class alliance) will hold political power.
The goal of non-proletarian forces stops short of wiping out class
exploitation and inevitably results in these kinds of forces seeking
to be integrated into the exploiting classes, or at least into the
ruling structures of essentially the same system. The goal of the
people's war led by the MLM party is to put power into the hands
of the proletariat and the masses, power that can be used to reshape
and transform society in the interests of the people in the country
But it is not enough simply to proclaim such a goal; indeed, we
have seen that revisionists and opportunists can sometimes try to
confuse the people by adopting our slogans. The difference between
the "war aims" of the genuine MLM forces and those of
other classes is expressed not only in programmes and declarations,
but also very much in the conduct of the fighting itself. It is
absolutely necessary for the long-term aims of the proletariat to
find their appropriate expression in the policies and methods used
by the MLM forces to advance the war from one level to another.
AWTW: RIM has been emphasising the importance of base areas
in waging people's war.
CoRIM: Yes, Mao's writings stress - and the experience of
our own Movement bears out - that the development of base areas
plays an essential role in waging protracted people's war. Advancing
along the path of building base areas is key for increasingly incorporating
the masses into the process of war, including developing the military
strength of the revolutionary army. This Maoist path, with its reliance
on the people, especially the poor peasantry, stands in sharp contrast
to other strategies that would replace reliance on the masses with
the aid and/or "sanctuary" of one or another reactionary
state (for example, Kurdistan, where both the Iraqi and Iranian
regimes have funded and armed different Kurdish guerrilla groups).
Failing to rely on the masses of the oppressed inevitably interacts
with the nature and aims of the war itself and brings with it the
danger that the struggle of the people will be manipulated and/or
betrayed by one or another reactionary power.
Without a policy of working toward and building up base areas step
by step, it will be impossible for the party to carry out the kinds
of transformations, even if limited and partial, that can unleash
revolutionary energy among the people and serve as a spotlight on
the more thorough transformations to be carried out upon the seizure
of power country-wide. If this basic path is not followed, there
is the danger that the armed forces of the people will degenerate
into "roving rebel bands" divorced from the peasant masses.
This would mean that the people's armed forces are not only weak
militarily, but are no longer able to play their role as the main
form of organisation of the masses.
Of course, the realities of fighting a stronger and well-armed enemy
make the establishment of base areas no easy matter. In most cases,
the MLM-led forces will begin with a relatively low level of guerrilla
warfare, which can open the way for a later development into base
areas. Here we can learn from what Chairman Gonzalo told comrades
at the very beginning of the People's War in Peru: "We carry
political power in our knapsacks." In other words, even when
the revolutionary struggle is still at an early stage and the level
of military activity is still low, through their ideology and the
expression of this ideology in concrete policies, through their
ever-increasing integration with the masses of the people, the communist-led
fighters embody the future rule of the workers and peasants. Viewed
in this way, guerrilla warfare does not lead to "guerrilla-ism",
and the establishment of guerrilla zones does not become an end
in itself but rather paves the way for base areas and the deepening
participation of the masses in the struggle.
AWTW: Some comrades outside RIM have argued that the realities
of the world today make the establishment of base areas impossible,
except under highly exceptional circumstances.
CoRIM: The difficulty in creating "relatively stable
base areas" has sometimes been used to unnecessarily prolong
the period of guerrilla zones and delay the stage of building base
areas. It is true that with modern methods of fighting and especially
the enemy's ability to rely on helicopters and other means for the
quick transportation of troops, there is no area of any country
that is completely impenetrable to the enemy's forces. (Of course,
in China the base areas were only relatively stable, and Mao had
to abandon Yenan at one point. Nevertheless, it seems that in today's
world, base areas, even in large countries, will be even less stable
than those in China.)
However, this expresses only part of the truth. It is still the
case that even if the enemy is able to invade or attack base areas,
it does not have the strength to permanently occupy and control
the vast countryside of the oppressed countries. When confronted
with the development of people's war, the enemy can be forced to
"hole up" in strong points and people's power can take
on concrete expression in gradually expanding areas where new laws,
practices, culture and even some new production relations can begin
to be established. In particular, the policy of "land to the
tiller" can become more than just a slogan but rather a living
reality and a clarion call to the whole society.
AWTW: So is RIM's understanding the same thing as calling for
establishing "dual power" in the countryside?
CoRIM: No. The concept of "dual power" can imply
that the power of the masses and that of the reactionary state will
be "intertwined" and "coexist" in the same geographical
area of the country.
Lenin, of course, used the term "dual power", but in a
different way, to describe an inherently unstable and temporary
situation in which neither the reactionary state nor the forces
of the people were able to exercise country-wide power. In our opinion,
this idea does not best describe the dialectical development of
In contrast, the comrades of the Communist Party of Peru often correctly
refer to people's war as being a process of "restoration and
counter-restoration". In other words, areas under the control
of the people can be seized back by the armed might of the enemy
and then the people's forces should seek to recover them once again.
(Of course, not necessarily in a linear way - a war of encirclement
and counter-encirclement will always involve "making feints
to the east to attack in the west" and giving up one area temporarily
while concentrating on others.)
The reality is that it is impossible to defeat the enemy at a single
stroke, but it is possible and necessary to begin to build up the
political power of the people based upon revolutionary armed strength.
The "dual-power" model, as well as our understanding,
are both attempts to develop a line to respond to this reality.
But there is a fundamental difference between them.
In the former ("dual power") model, the proletariat and
the people do not seek to exercise complete power. The extent of
the political power they exercise is self-limited and the power
of the reactionary state is only partially challenged even in areas
of the people's strength. The idea of "restoration and counter-restoration",
however, implies that the struggle should aim to suppress the enemy,
to exercise dictatorship, whilst recognising that the other side
will inevitably attack and seek to violently re-impose its rule
and that this is sure to be a protracted back-and-forth process.
People's war means seizing power bit by bit.
AWTW: What about the goal of nation-wide victory of people's
CoRIM: We need to master the dialectic between continually
directing the movement toward the final goal of the struggle that
we represent (both in the sense of fighting for country-wide victory
and also advancing toward socialism and communism), while also recognising
that the concrete measures we take at any point will inevitably
be limited by objective constraints. We cannot set our goals and
policies subjectively, based solely on our own desires, but we must
also always be straining against the limits of the objective situation
and be seeking to transform it in accordance with our MLM understanding
of the future of the struggle. We must preserve our ranks, but we
can never make self-preservation the highest goal. The course of
the war and the circumstances of its final victory are impossible
to predict and also depend on developments in the region and internationally.
But Mao pointed out that communists must "hasten and await"
favourable developments on a world scale, and our most powerful
form of "hastening" is carrying forward the revolutionary
AWTW: Have changes in the world in the last several decades
modified the possibilities for waging people's war in the oppressed
CoRIM: It has been correct to argue, as RIM has, that the further
growth of bureaucrat capitalism does not negate the semi-feudal
nature of these societies or the basic road charted by Mao Tsetung
in these countries. Still, this basic understanding will need to
be applied to the study of concrete realities, which in many countries
have undergone significant changes in the past 20 or 30 years, including,
for example, the growth of "mega-cities" in a number of
Third World countries, further penetration and new forms of imperialist
domination, etc. Here also the challenge will be to hold firmly
to the basic principles of our MLM science and ideology, whilst
not failing to investigate and understand new phenomena.
AWTW: What has RIM been summing up about how to prepare to launch
CoRIM: It is possible to identify two common errors. One
error, and the biggest danger historically, has been to construct
a whole stage of accumulating strength by carrying out various forms
of mass struggle. This line imagines that people's war will grow
spontaneously out of leading this kind of struggle and downgrades
the necessity for active and specific preparation for a qualitatively
different and higher form of struggle. It would amount to making
a whole separate stage of "preparations", which would
never lead to the actual initiation of people's war.
On the other hand, we have also seen the error of trying to build
the party in seclusion, divorced from class struggle and revolutionary
practice. We should guard against the tendency to be drowned in
the day-to-day and partial struggles, with the temptation of growing
fast on an incorrect foundation. At the same time, we should guard
against the line of building our forces in a "hot-house"
because of the fear of catching a disease. In the first case the
party will lose the purpose of preparatory work, and in the second
case the forces of the party will shrink or become demoralised and
the party itself will become irrelevant. In neither case will the
party be built as a Maoist party with tested revolutionary leadership
and cadre capable of initiating people's war as soon as possible.
AWTW: Would you like to make any concluding remarks?
CoRIM: Our Movement has accomplished a great deal in the
16 years of its existence. But given the magnitude of the tasks
before us, we can never rest content with a few successes.
The participating parties and organisations of RIM are determined
to increase our Movement's capacity to respond to the many pressing
tasks and promising situations in the world as a whole today, despite
the ever-increasing burden of leading revolution in their respective
countries. Any momentary difficulties caused by taking up these
internationalist tasks are more than compensated by the heightened
enthusiasm of the masses for revolution, in their revolutionary
optimism about the eventual triumph of our cause and in their confidence
that the struggle they are waging in a particular country has the
support of revolutionary masses all over the world.
We very much hope that, in addition to the participating parties
and organisations of RIM and the candidate participants, other parties,
organisations, circles and even individuals from countries all around
the world will join in the effort to develop RIM and advance together
towards a new Communist International.
By grasping ever more deeply our scientific proletarian ideology,
by advancing forward along the lines indicated in the Declaration
of RIM and Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!, RIM will make new
and bigger contributions toward accelerating the pace and the ultimate
victory of the world proletarian revolution.
1 "It's Right to Rebel" by the Union of Communists of
Iran (Sarbedaran) AWTW 1995/21.
2 This was especially the case of the article, "A Hard Look
at the Dangers and the Opportunities in the Two-line Struggle in
Peru", in AWTW 1996/22.
3 V.I. Lenin, "Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution",
Collected Works, Vol. 22.
4 Mao Tsetung, "Problems of War and Strategy", Selected
Works, Vol. II.