Alt Left: It Was 70 Years Ago, or It Was Yesterday

Too bad there’s no translation.

People who are unapologetically completely critical of this Revolution have a lot to answer for. Why was it so popular? What did they propose instead? Do they realize that China had a life expectancy of 32 years in 1949? Do they realize that famines had rampaged through the countryside for decades if not centuries at this time? Do they realize that almost all of China was still in a semi-feudal if not fully feudal society in 1949?

Do they realize that India and China had the exact same level of development in 1949? Do they realize that the Nationalists had never done one damned decent thing for the vast majority of the Chinese people? Do they realize that the leaders of the past century had done nothing but sell out China to exploiting foreigners, resulting in the century of humiliation?

Do they realize that most Chinese people were peasants, not knowing where their next meal was coming from, having no shoes on their feet, working for a feudal landlord who stole from them, raped their wives, beat them up anytime he wanted with no recourse under law and held the power of life and death over them at all times?

Do they realize that after the Chinese Revolution, China grew faster than at any time in its history? Do they realize that China now has less poverty than it has ever had? Do they realize that Chinese people now have medical care and education for the first time ever? Do they realize that all Chinese have a home or a farm or a job for the first time in history?

A colleague of mine is a Sinologist. Since I am so controversial, I cannot tell you his name. He has an article about he and his wife climbing a famous mountain in Southern China. His wife can’t understand most of the dialects they hear and she comes from that region. Turns out that these are dialects from right around the mountain, of which she knows nothing. And they say there is but one Chinese language!

On the way down, they see an old man trudging up the mountainside with another man on his shoulders. My friend writes, “The Old China seems to be coming back…”

You see, this was the old China, the China of centuries of millennia. An old poor man being hired to carry a rich man on his shoulders up a mountain. This is the China of a century ago or of a millennia ago. The Revolution had overwhelming mass support. No one wanted the Nationalist warlords, the party of the Rich. Everyone wanted the Communists, the party of the Poor.

The haters of Communist China still need to respond: What would they have done differently? What did they propose in the alternative? As usual, their answer is nothing.

The CCP has mass popular support. 87% support the party, and those polls are good. There is plenty of dissent in China. There are 1,000 protests every single day in China. Sound like any dictatorship you ever heard of? China’s a lot more complicated than that.

Alt Left: Egolitarianism – the Core Disease of the Left

Egolitarianism – the Core Disease of the Left

by Ernest Everhard

But we did, Nathan. And that’s precisely the problem.

In the unlikely event that Nathan J. Robinson of Current Affairs magazine and I were ever to sit down and discuss policy we’d like to see implemented, I’m sure we’d agree on a great deal. We Need to Revive the Fight for Overtime Pay, reads a July 9, 2019 headline.

No argument here.  Doubtlessly Robinson is an advocate of universal single payer health care, preferably with basic dental and eye care included. Probably an advocate of renewed vigor in the union movement. Probably for ending neoconservative petrodollar warfare in the middle east. Probably for overturning Citizens United and getting money out of politics. You get the picture.

At times his enlightenment goes beyond that: Discipline, Strategy and Morality, or why beating up unarmed writers is a poor way to advance left-wing ideas… reads another article, regarding antifa’s recent violent assault on right leaning author Andy Ngo.

While Robinson has no kind words for Ngo, he rightly condemns antifa’s assault on him: “The attack on Andy Ngo does not, to me, meet the criteria for justified violence. A Quillette writer with a GoPro is a nuisance. Punching him might be satisfying (to some, not me). But it is gratuitous and unjustified. It’s wrong. It does nothing helpful, and actually harms the cause of the left.”

Agreed, though to be fair and in the interests of equal time, it’s worth pointing out that there are those who claim that Ngo is no innocent angel or martyr here either.

But I digress. As far as left wing pundits are concerned, expect good stuff from Nathan Robinson. Most of the time.

However, in a recent piece in Current Affairs, Don’t Believe What They Tell You About the Left, he drops the ball, and does so in a manner that reveals the heart of what’s wrong with so much leftism, both past and present. The article criticizes Intellectual Dark Web pundit Bret Weinstein for asserting that the left’s ongoing demonization of White people will drive more and more of them to the embrace of White Nationalism.

I am not naturally sympathetic to the “Black Studies made me become a Nazi” position. Partly this is because, as a straight white male myself (and a college Black Studies major), I have no idea what these guys are even talking about. I’ve never been told “fuck you for being a straight white man.” Nothing of the kind.

The closest thing I’ve ever gotten is “perhaps as a straight white male you should exercise a bit of caution and restraint before loudly giving your opinion on matters that other people may have somewhat more personal experience with.”

But when people insist they “won’t apologize for being white,” I still wonder who has been asking them, because nobody has ever asked me to do anything but show respect for marginalized people’s perspective and critically examine my own assumptions and advantages. Which seems a fairly modest ask. 

Robinson goes on to insist that there are no such voices on the left condemning white males categorically, and that these claims come exclusively from right wing sources. The article favorably quotes one Sam Adler Bell:

These people are not getting the message “everyone hates white straight males” from left wing media. They’re not watching left wing media!! It’s absurd. They’re getting that message from right wing media *interpreting* left wing media for them.

He then goes on to suggest:

Don’t get your understanding of left concepts from Prager University videos. Get them from books! Or from leftists. Go to a DSA meeting and meet some people and listen to what they have to say.

Okay. I like the idea of going to the source. Get your views on the left from right wing sources, and what you’ll get is a telling glimpse of the private obsessions of the right wing mind. The vast majority of the time, these have little to do with the obsessions of the left.

What you’ll get instead is a Shapiroesque gish gallop or a Petersonian word salad, wherein you can count on one hand the number of inhalations the speaker takes before getting into the evils of communism, government intervention in the economy, the need for high income tax cuts and deregulation, one hundred million dead in the 20th century, and no small number of mentions of Venezuela and of course endless hosannas exalting endless private wealth accumulation and concentration.

Whatever the Koch Bro’s pay them to say, basically.

And that hasn’t changed in decades now. Listen to the right wing on any format, and what you’ll get is the clear sense that the western world reached its absolute satori around 1981 or so, when Maggie and Ronnie were slashing taxes, privatizing and deregulating left and right, and sticking it to the unions at home and the commies abroad.

From there, what we have to look forward to is a millennium of glory, as outlined in the gospels of Rand, Mises, Friedman and Hayek. If this actually sounds pretty lame, that’s because it is. An endless future of sweatshops, indebtedness and boom and bust cycles doesn’t sound that exciting to me. Sorry guys.

Plus, I should hope that we’re all smart enough not to be enticed into White Nationalism, no matter how shrill and stupid the anti-White rhetoric on the left gets. Too wrongs don’t make a right, after all.

And let’s especially give Adolf Hitler’s resurgent fan club a pass. Let’s not forget that he did start a war that got tens of millions of Europeans and white males killed, that devastated the nations of Europe and permanently ended their global hegemony. With friends like Adolf, White guys certainly don’t need enemies. Fortunately, this groundswell of neo-fascist reaction against social justice culture doesn’t seem to be a huge big thing.

And no, Trumpism doesn’t count. Neither does the Tea Party. Reactionary politics tap into impulses in the American (and European) body politic that are decades, centuries even, old. It reincarnates on a decade, maybe a generational cycle, but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been here in numerous different forms for ages now. So a surge of White supremacism as a response to social justice excess isn’t a thing, in any event.

So if you want to see what’s going on on the left, check out leftist sources. Agreed, and the reverse is true. Don’t just believe that Jordan Peterson is a Nazi and that Sam Harris is a genocidal neocon. See for yourself (said no leftist ever). Unfortunately for Nathan J. Robinson, doing precisely that actually damns his basic claim.

Frustration with the Left of the kind he’s criticizing isn’t coming from the Heritage Foundation or Liberty University. It comes from people like myself and many others who’ve had countless encounters with left wing people online and in real life and report having very similarly frustrating experiences. Common themes include:

  • Robinson has had good luck with Leftists if the only anti-White, anti-male hatred he’s encountered is strictly tongue in cheek, or hyperbolic expressions of frustration with White and male privilege. If such expressions abound, that should tell us something about the character of the Left in the social media age, and that something isn’t good. If expressions of hate for anyone (except the legitimately horrible; Hitler etc) have become acceptable on the Left, that’s a pretty clear indicator that we’ve lost the plot. Remember when we hated racism, not White people? When we hated sexism, not men? This was the cant on even the radical left as recently as the 1990s. If you don’t think the Left has a White hatred problem and a misandry problem, you’re not paying attention to a host of sources: Twitter, Tumblr, a host of woke blogs, r/socialism, most of Leftbook, a good portion of Breadtube, most online feminism, etc etc. It takes a glaring dose of willful blindness not to see that the Left has become about flagrant racial and gender partisanship. It shouldn’t be.
  • Leftists are too often not direct and honest in conversation. One wonders if protest is the only way they actually have of communicating with other people. In encounters with ideological rivals, the tendency online is to post vague expressions of disapproval in a scolding and parental tone, intended to gaslight their target into assuming a purely rational, “what did I do wrong?” kind of stance. And then eat them alive. Another is a “whew boys, look at this” sort of post, followed by mocking laughter. This is the entire format of The Majority Report with Sam Seder on YouTube. You know, the channel with the cackling asshole in the background at all times. Chapo Trap House is largely about this as well. While satirizing the right is fun and easy, if that’s all they do, one starts to come away from media like this with the impression that what leftists stand for is how smart, clever and funny they think they are. Are actual ideological and policy positions expressed on these shows? Or is it ALL gaslighting? I don’t honestly know. We’d do well to learn from the brilliant Kyle Kulinski, who always lets you know exactly what this is – or should be – about policy wise.
  • Leftists have a love of sloganeering, thought stopping rhetorical tricks, witty portmanteaus and reciting, sometimes word for word, official dogmas. I’ve read the same copy-pasta, word for word, on gender related subjects I don’t know how many times now. And as bad as the intersectional feminists are for this, they have nothing on the classical Marxist-Leninists and (worst of all) the Maoists. Now these are a thankfully small minority on the Left, but do show how we’re not immune to the ills of flagrantly cult like thinking.
  • Closed ideological systems, which contain within themselves easy means to dismiss any and all criticism of themselves. Critics are simply White males defending their privilege, reactionary capitalist roaders, kulaks, etc. They all have a stake in the maintenance of the present “oppressive” system. That the cherished dogmas of the Left, like Marxist-Leninism once upon a time and intersectional feminism today, could be flawed (while still making some correct observations) is inconceivable.
  • Related to this is a tendency to display “moral relativism in monstrous incarnation.”  Which refers to the tendency of Leftists to judge actions on the basis of the “classes” of people who perform them, or whether they belong to a “marginalized” vs a “privileged” group. Leftist hating of White males isn’t really hatred because hatred is “power plus prejudice” and since feminists and minorities have no power (according to their own self referencing dogmas) they can’t be bigots. Violent actions visited upon the kulaks or other enemies of the people are okay. Kto Kovo, right?
  • Frequent expression, or at least implication, of truly bizarre and extreme views. Consider, for instance, the occasionally cited Schrödinger’s Rapist, which implies that all women everywhere should at all times avoid all men, because they have no way of knowing which men are the rapists and which are not. This has clearly not been thought through, and doesn’t reflect the way that virtually all progressives and feminists live their lives in the real world. Gee, I wonder why? Yet even if such ideas are not meant to be taken at face value, what does their popularity among Leftists and feminists say about their underlying mindset? Most of them may not all really hate all men and white people, but their doctrines certainly open the door to legitimizing such hatred, and anti white male exacerbation is a recurring motif in Leftist spaces in a way that would not be tolerated (and rightly so) were the racial and gender identities switched. Are we to believe that only White males have flaws in their character that require self reflection and repentance? At what point do “power” and “privilege” simply become legitimizing rationalizations for why it’s okay when the Left’s charmed circle of preferred identities hate?  I guess the idea that we should not be discriminated against based on our race or gender isn’t really the idea after all. This all says something, whether the Nathan J. Robinsons of this world want it to or not. If men, White men especially, are put off by this ongoing pandering to female moral vanity, can we really blame them?
  • Fragility. Put up serious arguments against Leftist dogmas and watch their adherents fall to pieces or go into full on attack mode. You’ve caused them personal injury, and they’re damn well going to let you – or your employers or people you do business with – know it. They sure the Hell let Andy Ngo know it, among others. Of course, they’re the first to accuse their opponents of likewise being fragile, with “White fragility” being a common thought stopping slogan among critical race theorists to denounce the tendency among whites to dislike being held collectively responsible for historical mistreatment of minorities.

I should like to point out that I, and many others, were not told about any of the above second hand by Bret Weinstein or Dave Rubin. We weren’t all good, dutiful socialists until Stefan Molyneux or Carl Benjamin somehow brainwashed us into falsely believing all of this. They are experiences that I and countless others, including some of these very “rightwing” YouTubers have had, and they aren’t isolated occurrences. They are the rule and not the exception, I’m afraid.

And I hate to say all of this, because I am a Leftist at heart. I don’t even completely disagree with the tenets of today’s Left: intersectionality and so on. Robinson is right in that we’d do well to listen to those with more experience with particular kinds of discrimination, and not be so quick to get defensive.

The problem is the weaponization of intersectionality and the inflation of standpoint theory into claims for full-blown infallibility. Plus, we can reasonably question just who the intersectional ideologues are speaking for, and how representative professional journalists and academics really are of the downtrodden and marginalized?

We’re not stupid, Nathan. We know when these ideas are being manipulated so as to establish social dominance. We’ve been through it with hip, politically correct ideologues time and time again, and the fact our frustration with it gets chalked up to the “alt right” simply compounds the problem.

Where Robinson gives himself, and the mainstream Left away, however, is in this pair of quotes:

I am not naturally sympathetic to the “Black Studies made me become a Nazi” position. Partly this is because, as a straight White male myself (and a college Black Studies major), I have no idea what these guys are even talking about. I’ve never been told “fuck you for being a straight White man.” Nothing of the kind.

One of my colleagues, for instance, has a tendency to joke that all men should be fired into the sun. (At least, I believe she is joking.) Men sometimes email to complain, saying they do not feel “welcomed” into the Left and that these jokes are hurtful because they imply that all men are bad.

I am not very sympathetic to the men who write these notes, because I am of their gender, and I do not feel wounded about remarks advising that men be fired into the sun.

In short, Nathan J. Robinson has not himself ever been told to fuck off for being a straight White man, so we’re to assume that never happens. Nathan J. Robinson himself doesn’t feel wounded by remarks advising that men be fired into the sun. Therefore, such remarks are well and good.

Well, I hate to have to say this, Nathan, but it isn’t all about you. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not wise for Leftists to countenance White male bashing in their ranks because doing so drives away a huge potential base for support. Support the Left needs to actually win elections, take power and actually implement policy that can really help poor and marginalized minorities.

Maybe that support and the politics it can achieve is more important to the broader cause than professional educated professional activists getting to be right and dumb Rightists being wrong about a cherished point of dogma, such as ‘power plus prejudice or of the ego stroking satisfaction of displaying their unbound feminist wittiness in the face of yet another neanderthal male.

But many Leftists will never consider this, and thus the core of the problem on the Left reveals itself, and why self-reflection (except a vain sort of self criticism of one’s own ideological shortcomings, itself a very totalitarian and cultish concept) seems never to be on the table with most Leftists:

The Left Has an Egocentrism Problem

Too many Leftists are caught up in a kind of narcissism wherein their projected self-concepts as warriors fighting on behalf of the underdog (the precise origin of the derisive use of the phrase social justice warrior) must be shielded at all times from any kind of doubt or criticism.

Thus, their reactions to disagreement are always ones of emotionalism, hostility and defensiveness. Never due consideration of what their opponents actually have to say, even if the end result of such consideration would reveal the critics being incorrect and the Left’s position vindicated by the facts.

One gets the sense that, like the religious fundamentalist, many Leftists demand blind faith, and the very notion of fact checking thus offends them. To doubt is to be racist, misogynist etc.

It’s so much easier just to handwave any and all dissent as the shrill hysteria of this or that rightwing pundit, and maybe even call for their deplatforming, milkshaking or the like.

So much easier than meeting the challenge head on. The bubble of self satisfaction doesn’t get burst that way. Not to say that rightwing pundits on YouTube or elsewhere are correct in their own world views. The Right has its own problems. However, the lack of self awareness among so many on the Left is simply breathtaking.

Perhaps this is why most of the intellectual and activist vigor on the Left is poured into digging in their heels over metapolitical dogmas aimed at asserting a kind of ideological infallibility: standpoint theory, power plus prejudice, white male fragility, dissension from feminist and race theory equating to racist and sexist oppression, and “hate” speech as a form of actual violence (justifying censorship).

As opposed to fighting the good fight for actual policies that will help real people in the real world: universal health care, free education, a living wage, ending petrodollar warfare, a new new deal, getting money out of politics and so on.

Witty Leftists so love their portmanteaus, so I have one of my own: too many Leftists are egolitarians. Its meaning should be obvious. So if you are reading this, Nathan J. Robinson, or whoever else on the Left who’s reading this, let’s work at not being egolitarian.

Let’s make this about the policies we all know we need, that Kyle Kulinski and Bernie Sanders so love to repeat so often. I’m not calling for perfection, purity testing or vigorous tone policing. Rather, let’s try to make this about ourselves and our self concepts a little less and about achieving good political results for the most needy and the most marginalized a little more, if we could?

Alt Left: All That Glitters Is Not Capitalist: Various Types of Non-Capitalist Forms of Production That Work Well

Rahul:

I would argue that being pragmatic while being a communist is almost impossible. Communism doesn’t work, because humans are too greedy.

A mixture of a bunch of ideologies is probably the way to go.

If you are talking about hardcore Communism with the state running everything and no market or private enterprise as in the USSR, nobody wants to go back to that anyway. Even most Communists don’t want to go back to that.

But otherwise, you are just wrong. Most Communists nowadays see some sort of a role for a market. There are lots of ways to do this.

For instance, in Venezuela, various neighborhood groups and communities operate bread factories, farms, on and on. They sell the bread at a small reasonable profit to the community. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the enterprise and used to pay the salaries of the employees.

The farms and animal husbandry industries work along the same lines. A community will be organized as a commune. They will raise chickens for eggs or pigs or they will grow various crops.

They then sell the eggs, pigs, or crops to other communities for a reasonable profit. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the company, used to pay the salaries of the workers, and if there is anything left over, they are invested in the community itself – new sidewalks, new roads, a new health facility, water treatment, a community center, on and on.

The Venezuelan communes are considered to be a non-capitalist form of development.

Communists all around the world have supported this model. The Chinese Communists are operating a form of market socialism that utilizes a market mechanism. The Vietnamese Communists are doing the same. The Cuban Communists are doing something similar.

Most Communists also support the cooperative movement, where workers own the enterprise and compete against other firms, including capitalist firms. The enterprise either sinks or swims.

The proceeds and profits are best collected by a regional bank, which reinvests them in the enterprise, uses them to pay salaries, or even gives bonuses to the workers. So a very successful enterprise that made a lot of profits could end up having some workers who were making some good money if they were pocketing some of the profits.

When you give the workers the control over what to do with the money – whether to sink it back into the enterprise or to take it home as increased paychecks, workers tend to choose to take home the bigger checks. This is what happened with Yugoslavia’s otherwise very successful worker self-managed Communism.

The workers would not put enough money back into the firms to keep them going, and the firms would start to deteriorate to the point where they were no longer operative. So everyone was out of a job. But no worries as everyone got a bigger paycheck!

In the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country in Spain, a similar system has unfolded and has been successful for a long time now. There, the workers elect their own management, which is a great idea in my opinion. You would think that workers would elect management that let them slide and screw off, but they elect very good managers.

The decisions about what to do with the proceeds and profits – whether to sink them back into the enterprise or to take them home in higher worker wages – is left up to management and ultimately large regional banks.

These large regional banks are the ultimate owners of all of the Mondragon cooperatives. These are public banks so they are not run on the typical profit motive. They resemble more the customer-owned credit unions in the US which give much better customer service than the capitalist banks do.

I’m not even entirely sure that credit unions are a capitalist enterprise. How can you have a capitalist enterprise that is owned by the consumers of its service? That does not seem possible.

The banks tend to make the best decisions for the firm. Keep in mind that Mondragon cooperatives utilize a non-capitalist form of development.

The problem with Mondragon is that they have to compete against capitalist firms. So all of the cutthroat behaviors that capitalists engage in to reduce costs and maximize profits – exploitation of labor, shafting consumers, investors and the public at large – means that Mondragon is forced to some extent to lower their own costs however they can to keep pace with these firms.

So Mondragon is a non-capitalist system that is still privy to the logic of capitalism in which they are ensnared.

In North Korea in the far north of the country there is a lot of private gold mining going on now in new-found reserves. They are often just one man enterprises of small groups of men working together.

The state’s footprint up there is small, and the state has stepped aside and simply lets these miners mine whatever they want. They only ask for a 25% tax cut on all mining proceeds. As long as you give them your cut, it’s all good. Most of these miners would not be described as capitalists.

In North Korea and Cuba there are now farmer’s markets where farmers can bring their produce directly to farmer’s markets to sell to the public. These are generally not capitalist enterprises. These are just farmers selling the product of their labor to consumers (other workers) buying their crops. There’s no tendency to maximize profits, as the prices are set by the market.

The entire cooperative sector all around the world is a non-capitalist form of development. The workers actually own the firm so there is no exploitation of labor, which is the definition of capitalism. No exploitation, no capitalism.

In this way these cooperatives have gotten rid of the division between Labor and Capital which is the backbone of any capitalist system because capitalist systems work by marking up the products of workers’ labor and then adding onto it something called surplus value when is then pocketed by the capitalist as a profit.

So a worker producing a product that is paid say $20 in labor has his product taken by the owner of the firm, which then proceeds to mark up the worker’s labor cost to $25-30, and thereby make a profit. This is called the Labor Law of Value, and it has been proven to be the backbone of the capitalist system.

As you can see here, the worker is not getting the full value of the product he produced. He produced a product worth $25-30, and he only received $20 for it, with his owner taking the $5-10 surplus value and pocketing it as profit.

Independent contractors such as electricians, plumbers, painters, attorneys, physicians, accountants, etc. are not usually capitalists at all. Instead these are just workers – albeit highly paid workers – who are simply selling their labor time to  others, mostly workers, who purchase their labor time when they hire them or use their services.

Middlemen and traders who simply intervene between the producer and walnuts and the seller of say walnuts, adding on their profit, are not capitalists. Those are simply traders or merchants. They are not exploiting anyone. They can be thought of as a form of workers who act as go-betweens vis a vis producers and sellers, adding their small amount on as a fee for helping to get the two together.

Finance capital or people who buy and sell stocks are not usually capitalists. These are like people who trade in rare books, stamps, coins, precious metals, or anything else.

The stocks and bonds are like rare coins or precious metals. They simply try to buy them at a lower rate and sell them at a higher rate, which merchants have been doing forever even long before capitalism. They have no employees so they are not exploiting anyone.

Music groups and other performers, authors, artists, sculptors, etc. are mostly just workers who sell their labor time as performers or the product of their labor as books, paintings, sculpture, DVD’s, etc. Most of these people, even bands, do not hire employees.

Now granted the book publishers, record companies, galleries, etc. are marking up the labor time and labor products of these entertainment workers and taking the surplus value, hence they are capitalists.

A big rock music band can be thought of simply as performers (workers) who make a musical product and sell it to fans, mostly other workers, who enjoy their entertainment product so much they are willing to pay good money for it. So most bands, artists, authors, sculptors, etc. are not capitalists. They’re just workers for the most part marketing their labor time or the products of their labor time.

Now granted finance capital and speculative capital, while generally not capitalist, are nevertheless regarded as “parasitic” industries because they don’t produce anything.

They can be thought of as gigantic casinos in the sky (the stock market in particular can be seen this way). Speculative capital produces nothing and often has bad effects on society. Look at the wildly inflated housing markets on the US West Coast and in New York and Paris for example.

In China under what they call market socialism or socialism with Chinese characteristics, a Communist party cell sits on the board of directors of every large corporation. When corporations get a certain size the state usually takes them over in a sense. However, the managers have large leeway how to operate their company.

All private enterprises are underneath the state or the Communist Party. The CP sees the market or the private sector as a tool for the development of the productive forces. However, the capitalists are underneath the state. They have to do what the state says.

They have to adhere to 5-year plans. Yes, the 5-year plans that were said to be so devastating to the USSR and other Communist countries are working great in China.

The government, the party, and the private sector all work together on economic goals. In this way it is similar to the state capitalism of South Korea and Japan or even Nazi Germany.

That state capitalism is a non-capitalist form of development because the state works closely with the capitalists on economic goals which are supposed to serve the nation and not just the petty temporal demands of capital for maximal profits come Hell or high water, forget about consumers, workers, society, the environment or the nation.

Under state capitalism, the state controls the commanding heights of the economy. In Japan this boils down to a several huge banks which effectively run all economic development in Japan.

Nazi Germany was similar. Yes, you could have your corporation but you had to do what the state said, or they would just take you over and confiscate your firm. So the firms in Nazi Germany in effect all worked for the state.

In China, if firms do not follow guidelines and do as they are told, the state will simply go in and seize the firm, confiscating all of its assets. The state will then take over the firm or hand it over to  a more obedient capitalist. You see here that the state rules capital. Capital has to do what the state says.

Here in the US, the market is not a tool for the development of productive forces. Instead it is a form of politics. In other words, the market or the corporations basically run society. The market is over the state. The state has to do what the corporations demand, or the corporations will get rid of the state and put in a new state.

The state obeys the demands of capital and not the other way around. Capital, the market, and the corporations are our true rulers in the US. The government simply acts as if they are employees of capital. The state does not rule us except to the extent that it carries out ruling directives that Capital gives to the state to enforce on the people.

In China state firms are often run by local municipalities. So if we had their system,  say Los Angeles and San Fransisco might both have steel mills. These mills would then compete against each other and against private firms both domestic and foreign. It’s sink or swim for all public firms in China.

Firms that are more successful see their incomes rise and more workers move to those cities to be part of those enterprises.

The workers still officially own the enterprises, but the city takes 95% of the income that the enterprise brings in in the form of a paycheck for every worker. 95% of each workers paycheck is taken by the city and reinvested in the firm or in the city itself (similar to the Venezuelan model). The workers get 5% of their check to take home as pay.

Keep in mind that this can be a good paycheck, as cities running successful firms pay their workers more.

There are large cities in Southern China with 700,000 workers where 1/3 of the population works for one of the many enterprises that the city runs. The residents of the city, who are also workers for the city, have a say in how these firms are run.

For instance, they try to fight corruption, since it hurts the firms, which hurts the city, which hurts them in the end. So the firms of the city in a sense are under the control of the people who live and work in there in the sense that their input is used to make decisions about how to run the firms.

Alt Left: Anatomy of Two Chinese Stereotypes: Amorality and Emotionlessness or Stoicism

Thinking Mouse:

What do you make of the stereotype that Chinese are greedy amoral worker drones with no aesthetic taste and little emotion?

Lot of truth to those things. Let’s take these one by one here. Let us look at emotionlessness and  amorality and for starters. I will also look at Jews as they are accused of some of these very same thing, not to mention that Jews and Chinese have a lot in common.

 

Emotionlessness or Very Understated Emotions

 

The Chinese practice inscrutability. This is one of the hallmarks of not only their but also all other Chinese-influenced societies in Asia such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Say a wild, boisterous, screaming, hollering violent fight breaks out on a train. An older Japanese men, maybe 40, gets between the fighters and calms. He never loses his cool or gets very emotional in the process.

These Chinese-type cultures would say that that man is displaying the ultimate in masculinity. He’s the most macho guy on the train, simply because these people regard keeping cool under pressure and not caving in easily to emotions as extremely masculine behavior. And in the Nietzschian sense, the man on the train is indeed the biggest man there, the Ubermensch. He rose above everyone on the train, did he not?

However, the inscrutability, like so many Chinese habits, is largely fake, for show, or like a game. The Chinese are trained to appear inscrutable, not to be emotionless. Of course they have emotions. But they regard a wildly emotional person as akin to a beast of the jungle. After all, most beasts seem to have few emotions being fear or rage, and they are usually showing one or the other or both.

Beneath the inscrutable mask, the Chinese would say you can have any emotion you wish. But you are supposed to hide it from others, once again a form of extreme modesty and politeness taken nearly to the point of obsequiousness.

All of these China-influenced cultures are rather shy, deliberately self-effacing nearly to the point of being self-hating. This is mostly just a show or a game, but in all Chinese societies, modesty is highly valued, and braggarts, loudmouths, showoffs, blowhards and just noisy people in general are regarded as at best uncivilized and at worst barely human.

After all, many animals care nothing about raising a ruckus. Animals lack modesty by their very nature. This extreme, almost bizarre modestly of the Chinese probably comes from Confucian values, which were then overlain with Communism, which also regards showoffs, braggarts, and egotists as lousy Communists at best and downright society-destroying hooligans at worst.

Amorality

 

However, behind that stone-faced mask, the Chinese man may be hatching all sorts of devious schemes because once again like the Jews, the Chinese tend to be underhanded, sneaky, scheming, and conspiratorial nearly to the point of appearing diabolically devious. Check out Sun Tzu if you don’t believe me.

That’s how a Chinaman fights. Rules? What rules? Once again this akin to Jews who have always been accused of fighting dirty, playing hardball, and violating all rules in conflict. The intelligence branch of the Jews themselves after all has the motto of “By way of deception, though shalt do war.” The author of The Art of War himself would have been proud to have written that line.

Neither the Chinese nor the Jews for that matter  engage in savagery and barbarism (though the birth of Israel has created this very thing).

The Chinese are the Jews of Asia with the exception that they are not professional revolutionaries in every way, that they are not out to smash all taboos, and they do not want to change the societies in which they live.

Even in the Philippines and Indonesia, where 2% of population, the Chinese, controls 75% of the wealth, they just let the native Malays do whatever the Hell they want to as far as how to run society. The Chinese just want their money. They keep out of politics and the society-changing efforts that cause so much anti-Semitism when Jews engage in them, as is their nature.

This world-changing, ever-revolutionizing nature of the Jews is one of the main drivers of anti-Semitism, especially among conservative nationalists who see Jews as undermining and destroying the moral and traditional fabric of their lands. The Jews are always rebelling. Now, I am rather sympathetic to this trend, mind you. I’m a bit of a revolutionist myself and always have been.

Both Jews and Chinese also tended to lead Communist revolutions at the same time that their ethnic group was hoarding 32-80% of the wealth. So both the Chinese and the Jews are ultra-capitalists of the worst sort while also being some of the ultimate and often most radical Communists.

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage  when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

Is China Faking Its Crime and Economic Figures?

While i agree that the Chinese are doing a good job, i think they fake some of their data, inst there an large discrepancy between Chinese GDP per capita and energy consumption? Crime stats are also exaggerated, china probably has an homicide rate of around 4-8 per 100K.
I don’t think that anyone has made a good case that China is faking its economic figures. They never did under Mao, why would they now? And they never faked crime figures under Mao, why would they now? Most people who go to China say that it is far safer than say in the US as far as street crime goes. This implies that the homicide rate is not ~6/100,000, which is near the US rate.
The crime rate in China went through the roof after the added a lot of capitalism to the economy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, capitalist fanboys!
 

The Success of America's Longstanding Propaganda War Against the Concept of Socialism

Socialism, the very concept, especially in its social democratic and democratic socialist varieties, is the ho-hum status quo on most of the planet.
The war on the very concept of socialism has probably been worse in the US than anywhere else in the West. It has a 3rd World death squad tinpot dictatorship feel about it. I keep wondering when the rightwing death squads are going to show up in the US. They show up everywhere else in states with a US-style reactionary and Left-hating culture.
The difference between the US war on socialism and the war on socialism waged in various death squad democracies is that the war on socialism has been more successful in the US than anywhere else on Earth other than Colombia, but the Left is armed to the teeth there. The war on socialism was just as bad if not worse due to the death squads and all of the imprisonments, beatings, tortures, murders and genocides all over Latin America and in the Philippines and Indonesia.
These countries differ from the US however in that all those Latin American countries and SE Asian countries have gone Left in recent years.
Even in the Philippines, Duterte calls himself a socialist and had friendly relations with the Maoist NPA  guerrillas when he held office in Mindanao.
In Indonesia, the female elected President recently ran on a socialist ticket.
To the south, Mexico has been officially socialist since the Revolution. The Left in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina was armed to teeth and fought vicious wars against reactionary regimes. That has to count for something.
In El Salvador, the former Left guerrillas are now running the country.
In Honduras, a leftwinger was recently elected President only to be ousted in a coup sponsored by the CIA and Hillary Clinton.
Nicaragua of course had a successful Leftist revolution, and those revolutionaries have been holding office now there for quite some time.
Haiti elected a Leftist in Jean Bertrande Aristide, only to be ousted by Bush Administration officials via a contra death squad army from the Dominican Republic. Aristide himself was arrested at gunpoint in his mansion by armed Blackwater mercenaries acting under the command of the Pentagon.
A number of the island states in the Caribbean have gone Left in recent years and most were members of the Chavista Bolivarian Movement. Most political parties in the Caribbean have words like Left, Socialist, Workers, Progressive, etc. in their party names regardless of their ideology because any party that wants to get anywhere in the Caribbean has to at least dress  itself up in Left garb.
Grenada had a successful Leftist revolution that was subsequently overthrown on illegal grounds by Reagan.
Venezuela of course has been voting Leftist since 1999 when the Chavistas took power. They have never left.
In Ecuador, a Leftist, Rafael Correa, ruled for many years. Recently a man named Lenin Moreno ran on a Leftist ticket of continuing Correa’s Left reforms, but as soon as he got into office, he immediately shifted gears and went hard Right.
Right-wing parties run as fake Leftists all the time in Latin America because generally rightwingers running on a rightwing agenda cannot get elected down there because most Latin Americans hate rightwingers and don’t want them in power. Hence the Right obtains power by contra wars and fascist mob violence in the streets, waging wars on economies and currencies, judicial, legislative, and military coups, and even open fraud.
The definition of conservatism is aristocratic rule. It is the antithesis of rule by the people or democratic rule.
The definition of liberalism is democratic rule by the people, not the aristocrats.
Not many Latin Americans want to be ruled by aristocrats, so the Right down there has to seize power by extra-democratic means.
The Opposition in Venezuela recently ran on an openly social democratic platform, but most people thought it was fake they would turn Right as soon as they got in.
In Brazil, the Left has been running the country for some time under the PT or Worker’s Party until it was removed by a rightwing legislature in an outrageous legislative coup. They even imprisoned a former president, Lula, on fake corruption charges. A female president was recently elected who was an armed urban guerrilla in the 1960’s.
In Paraguay, a Leftist former priest was elected President, only to be removed in an outrageous legislative coup.
In Chile, not only was Leftist Allende elected in the 70’s, the Left was not only armed  all through Pinochet’s rule and once came close to assassinating him. In recent years, a socialist named Michele Bachelet has won a number of elections.
In Bolivia, Leftist Evo Morales has been in power for a long time.
Uruguay recently elected a Leftist, a former armed urban guerrilla in the 1970’s.
Argentina recently elected two Leftist presidents, the Kirchner, a husband and wife. A rightwiger was recently elected after a rightwing Jewish billionaire named Singer obtained a court judgement against Argentina in a US court. That judgement bankrupted the economy, so you could say that the Right destroyed the economy in order to get elected.
So with the exception of Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Guyanas, all other countries have since gone full Left at one time or another recently. Costa Rica’s already a social democracy, and Peru had an ultra-radical murderous Left for a very long time. Panama’s been reactionary since the CIA murdered Omar Torrijos by sabotaging his helicopter and killing him via a fake copter crash. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have not gone Left since the 60’s and 70’s.
But the war on socialism has been so much more successful here in the US than even in the above named backwards countries because even the world norm of social democracy was so demonized here in the US that it never even got off the ground.
In some ways, the US is one of the most rightwing countries on Earth at least in terms of political economy.
 

India as the True Home of White Supremacism

Another great comment by Francis Miville:

If that is your opinion, first give up your Sanskrit name, a language elaborated by Whiter than Whites and used by White supremacists. These people are far Off Whiteness, though many of them are actually off-Whites. Off-Whites as they are generally called are the real center of gravity of all White Supremacism, as they depict their Gods rather than themselves as the perfect White ones that should prevail.
The genocide most needed to end White Supremacism has to take place where it came first from, that is to say among off-Whites, starting with the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and the doctrine best suited to perform it is Cultural Revolution style Maoism as it is still believed in by the Indian Naxalites, not Brown Nationalism. When the issue of money is not tackled in top priority as is the case with nationalism, Brown Nationalism always end up taken over by millionaires who will buy White slave girls to breed with, as Whiteness is valued as movable property even by those who dehumanize it most.
Even the fiercest traditional German Nazi White Supremacists themselves consider their Indian counterparts as purer than themselves, endowed with more desirable features, despite their skin being somewhat darker due to the sun. However darkish you may seem, you are the dirt the plant of White Supremacism keeps on sprouting from. You are the clay the statues of White idols are made from. Whites come from Northern lands such as Russia and Scandinavia, but White Supremacism originally came from India to be taught to the former, not the other way round.

China is a Communist Country, Not a Capitalist Country

US rightwingers keep saying that China is a capitalist country or it is the most capitalist country on Earth.
China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector. How on Earth can China be capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned?
But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level. Also, China’s fully state-owned firms do very well. In fact, Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them. The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies.
You realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.
I would also point out that the Chinese state spends a tremendous amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. They mostly spend it on their own people in one way or another.
As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists everywhere. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system.
But I would like to thank US rightwingers for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism.

More Support for My Theories about Hispanic Intelligence, Culture, Etc.

I would however say that this mostly applies to Mexican-Americans. I am not even sure if it applies to Mexicans in Mexico because there is actually a High Culture in Mexico. In Mexico City there is opera and the main paper has a large book review section every week. In other words, a true highbrow intellectual culture, right in the heart of Mexico. It goes without saying that the members of this highbrow culture are White or a lot Whiter than average Mexicans. But in Mexico, White and people involved in highbrow White Mexican culture extends all the way down to 60-70% White. These people have an idea of lowbrow culture as being “naco.” Naco is also associated with quite a bit of Indian blood. In Mexico, it’s not whether you have Indian blood or not. It’s more a matter of just how much Indian blood you have. I have never thought that Indians were particularly dangerous. Even the racist Latin American Whites that I read on Stormfront (I read 1,000 pages of their threads) said that Indians were fairly harmless. They said that they could get loud, rude and verbally violent, but it didn’t often expand beyond that. One said, “You have give an Indian a handful of tortillas and a six pack, and he’s good for the night. He goes off quietly and you never hear from him again.” On the other hand these Latin American Whites were scathing in their views of Latin American Blacks, who they viewed as very violent and downright dangerous as Hell. It is interesting to note that in Latin America, the existing Blacks are often quite mixed with not only White but also Indian. The result – a White – Indian – Black mix like Hugo Chavez and many others in the far north and the east of Latin America (Venezuela,  Colombia and Brazil ) and the far south of Central America (Panama) and parts of the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) – is called a Zambo. This term is a source of some ridicule among Latin American Whites like Chileans or Peruvians (some of the worst Whites in Latin America) as a term for a mystery casserole of a human so badly mixed that they are nearly indescribable, but a lot of Zambos are quite beautiful. Cali, Colombia is a Zambo city and the women of Cali are said to be the most beautiful in all of Latin America.
The high culture of Mexico City compares starkly with the rest of Mexico.
Your typical Mexican mestizo is a pretty lowbrow person – he’s probably never read a book in his life nor does he wish to. Nevertheless, even the lowliest cook in a corner market knows how to read and write. They definitely teach you that in Mexican schools and most Mexicans have been to school.
And most Mexicans from Mexico,  even a lowly corner cook like I mentioned, know something about Mexican history – the Civil War of course and even the clerical contra rebellion afterwards ~1930 that most Americans have never heard of. Every Mexican knows who Emilio Zapata and Benito Juarez are. I was stunned at how many of these very uneducated people had even heard of Frieda Kahlo. How many Americans know who she was?
How many Chicanos know even a parallel basics of US 20th Century history? And you will never meet a Mexican-American who knows who Frieda Kahlo is nor do they care to find out.
Beyond that, we descend even lower to Mexican Indians, who not only don’t read books but may not even know what a book is. Mestizos believe in some strange saints in their profoundly syncretic Catholicism, but when you get out to the Indian villages, people actually still believe in witches. As you can see, the descent from High Culture down to beyond lowbrow is a steep one indeed. You will nearly break a leg walking too quickly down that slope.
The South Americans I have met in the US are not so anti-intellectual as the Chicanos below. South America after all has a much better High Culture than Mesoamerica. South American High Culture is so intact because the culture of Spain still lingers down there to a great degree while it has nearly vanished from Mesoamerica. I have talked to rich people in Lima and Bogota who literally spent half the year in Spain. Literally.
I had an Argentine girlfriend once. She often called me Senor instead of my first name (imagine an American girlfriend routinely referring to you as sir) and was in stunned awe of the fact that I was an hombre de letras or a “man of letters.” Intellectualism is a big deal in Argentina.
The Salvadorans and Nicaraguans I have met in the US were highly politicized, and I was shocked at how smart they were. You think you are dealing with another “ignorant Mexican in a mini-mart” until you start them off on politics, and they start rattling away and soon leave you in the dust. Every Salvadoran I have ever met has heard of La Matanza (The Massacre), and that happened in 1932. And I’ve not met one yet who could not tell me who Farabundo Marti was (see La Matanza above).  How many Americans know who Farabundo Marti was?
Most Americans don’t have the slightest idea what either of those things are. It just goes to show that you can take a society with an IQ like Chicanos and supercharge them politically and possibly even culturally if the objective conditions are right. The Colombians, Peruvians, and Chileans I met here and outside the US (not to mention the Argentine woman) had a shockingly deep knowledge of politics for an ordinary person, and the Latin Americans were often as learned as a Spaniard or at least wished to be.
How many Americans know who Tupac Amaro was? But the young Peruvian woman I knew all about him and even knew quite a bit about his wife, who is a proto-feminist hero down there to some mestiza and indigena women..
I never asked her who Jose Carlos Mariategui was, but I am sure she could have told me all about him too. Another Peruvian woman I met knew all about Jose Arguedas and his famous novel The Fox Above and Below, which ties in with Mariategui, if you think about it. Arguedas was one of the most famous figures in Peruvian literature and his own daughter, incredibly enough, sat on the central committee of the Shining Path. Sendero was about indigenismo and to a lesser extent feminismo than anything else.
They even his name in the formal long name of their group – El Partido Comunista del Peru en la luz del pasado sendero luminoso del Jose Carlos Mariategui or The Communist Party of Peru in the Light of the Shining Path of Jose Carlos Mariategui.
Here is a recent comment from a half-Mexican American who agrees with most everything I have said about these people.

As a half-Hispanic raised with Hispanics, I mostly agree with this. My Mexican mother who immigrated illegally to the US paid tens of thousands for in-vitro fertilization, and that’s what pulled me out the ditch. This was evidently high-quality sperm because I still managed to turn out above average.
The people around me were impressed that I actually liked to read and learn. When I was young, the other Hispanics were amused that I could memorize the times tables and recite miscellanea about science and history, besides being capable of drawing dragons properly.
To give you context, my mother has been living in the US for over 25 years, and still does not understand a drop of English. They have a culture which consists of strong work-ethic (never missing a day of work and so on) followed by self-induced brain death post 9-to-5. They just watch mindless television and do not learn.
I discovered my own origins at the age of ten. I also achieved standard atheism at the age of nine (which I consider a standard benchmark for the ability to display rudimentary acts of rationality.) Then it took me years of hard work to unwire all the Catholic stupidity in my mother’s brain. This culture has no concept of logical reasoning, so her mind kept swinging in repetitive loops whenever I tried to carefully and methodically pin her down to the implications of specific arguments.
I succeeded in that endeavor, and am now in the process of teaching her where she is actually standing by explaining the crucial insights of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. People may laugh at the fact that she didn’t know the Earth was a sphere orbiting the sun, but yet most ‘educated’ humans alive today are just as ignorant about reality. For example, by not knowing that there is no universal now sweeping forward, or by holding the belief that we are made of little billiard ball particles bouncing around.
In my experience, whites at least fake like they want to learn. They’ll say “Oh yeah, that’s cool. Schrodinger’s cat is dead and alive… lol… because it’s all probabilistic, hur dur” or something. Of course, they don’t know jack-shit and also prefer to consume mindless media, but their culture says it’s okay to be smart. Hispanics just don’t give a shit. A lack of intellectual culture is their biggest setback.
The ghetto lower-middle income schools I went to were torture. The kids couldn’t do basic algebra; the teachers were underachieving whites who couldn’t get higher paying jobs in other districts or who preferred having less responsibility because black and hispanic parents wouldn’t bitch to them about grades, or have any expectations whatsoever really. And the teachers made no secret about this, they outright told us this was the reason.
Also, what you say about Mexicans bringing Mexico is absolutely true. I stayed in La Villita when I went to university in Chicago because some kind family members we barely knew were willing to rent super cheap. As I walked through the dirty streets past yet another leather boot store blasting trumpet music I almost felt ashamed, like ‘How could Mexicans escape to a new country and yet prefer to make it Mexico again?”

Mao Was Right

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

I dunno. There are some North Koreans worth up to $100,000. The party doesn’t seem to care much. There are many rich Chavistas and the Ortegas have plenty of money. There are some Cubans who are living quite well now – marble counter-tops and floors, etc. The state doesn’t care.
I suppose a good CP would just argue that moneyed people can be kept around as long as they support the party and the basic socialist nature of the system. Progressive rich people are not unknown. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a life member of the Venezuelan Communist Party and a millionaire.
Do the Chinese Communists (Chicoms) believe that the rich are inherently oppressive? I doubt it as the party is full of millionaires. There is even a billionaire in the party now pushing the rightwing politics of all billionaires everywhere. I think they ought to throw him out of the party.
Mao said reactionary and capitalist elements would be springing up in the party all the time, and you to wage more or less constant cultural revolution to keep the rightwingers from taking over the party. That’s one of the pillars of Maoism that distinguishes it from other Marxisms.
Then Deng came along, aaand…
Mao was right.

Hardline or Fanatical Anti-Communism Is Nearly Always Reactionary

Sisera: I guess he would say you believe the philosophy but just not how it is being applied.

You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits. You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits.
Not that Communism is great or that there is no rational reason to oppose Communism of course. There is a rational way to oppose Communism, but most anti-Commies don’t seem to abide by it much.
I mean there ought to be space for pro-free speech, pro civil liberties liberals and progressives who are anti-Communists, but they never seem to pop up much.
I mean, Communists do violate a lot of civil rights and there are some serious problems with democracy in Communist states.
Witness the recent violent demonstrations in Vietnam for instance. Those demos are arguably leftwing or at least nationalist demonstrations protesting against objectively rightwing policy by the Vietnamese Communist government to set up more free enterprise zones with 99 year leases. The protesters fear that these will quickly be bought up by rich Chinese and Vietnam will just become a Chinese colony again as it was for centuries. I would support the protesters in this case, but here you see a Communist government enacting rightwing policy in the face of a Leftist opposition by the people. There’s a serious lack of democracy there.
Those of us who oppose police state tactics, support freedom of speech and assembly, extensive civil liberties, etc. would find that these values of ours are not supported by Communists at all.
But there are not a lot of good liberal or progressive rights-based people among the anti-Communists for whatever reason.
Hardline anti-Commies almost always tend to be conservatives or reactionaries, and I include the Democratic Party in the conservatives here.
Typically as you get further left, a lot of social democratic parties don’t really care about Communism. They are not going to implement it of course, but a lot of them think if you do, that’s your business. A lot of social democratic governments in Europe supported Cuba, the USSR and the Sandinistas and a lot even supported the FARC. The social democratic revolutionary PRI government of Mexico had warm relations with Cuba and Nicaragua. They even supported the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador. They were headquartered in Mexico City. But the modern PRI is not even social democratic anymore, or its gone over the European garbage of rightwing social democracy.
Of course all the real left social democrats are gone now, and the only “social democrats” left are rightwing jerkoffs. Many of the parties in the Socialist International now would be characterized by this new rightwing social democracy. The fact that social democrats around the world have all become rightwingers and more or less neoliberals shows me that the Marxists were correct about social democracy. They always said it was bankrupt and unworkable. I think it worked fine for a while, but it probably always had the rightwing seeds of its own destruction planted within it somehow, and now they are bearing fruit.
Perhaps some of my commenters can elucidate the rightwing trend in social democracy, the reasons for it, and whether social democracy was doomed from the very starts, as I suspect, weighted down with its own contradictions.

Jordan Peterson: (Most) Everything He Says Is True


I really hate this guy mostly because he’s a reactionary, but honestly, almost every single thing he says is true.
He’s right that it’s insane that you can talk to a female student behind closed doors anymore. That’s insane! Way to go feminists! Way to backwards, bitches!
Sexual impropriety? What the Hell is that? Can you define it? Define it. Define sexual impropriety. See? You can’t. This Orwellian concept has no definition at all. Truth is, sexual impropriety is anything a woman says it is! Isn’t that great? Now we have a real definition we can all live with. I do want to know what his sexual impropriety bullshit charges are though, just out of curiosity.
Right. Women are not as interested in things as men. So women in academia are not going to be as much into those fields that focus on things. Well, that’s obvious! I don’t even think women like ideas very much. The airy world of pure ideation, the realm of the prowling intellectual, is pretty much a male thing. It’s not that women can’t conceptualize this stuff – it’s more that they think it is flat out boring. I have met women with IQ’s very close to mine – I recall one woman with an IQ of 143 – but she simply could not fathom why I would engage in some wild Herculean task of chopping up German into 138 languages. Why in the Hell would you even do that in the first place? Was her attitude. She was just as smart as I was, not one bit less, but her brain worked differently, being a typical female brain. Women are just as smart as we men are, but their brains work differently so they are interested in different things than we are. Which is fine of course. Vive la difference!
Of course, the more women dress up to be sexually attractive, the more they will contribute to sexual harassment (What the Hell is that anyway?) in the workplace. The more women sexualize themselves to make them look sexually enticing to men, the more men are going to be turned on by them, so the more women will interact with them in a sexual manner because they are getting turned on. I mean, it’s not rocket science, right.
And yes, lipstick does in fact mirror the swelling and reddening of the labia during sex. That’s why it exists in the first place. And I believe cheek blush is based on the same thing. And yes, high heels do indeed mimic a sort of estrus in females, more specifically, heels directly sexualize women by making them appear more as they do in the sex act. Which is, after all, why women wear heels in the first place. Of course.
Women are innately competitive, of course. They especially compete for men. Anyone knows that. And they compete on the basis of beauty too. I know this because women told me so. They told me that women dress up for other women, not for men. I never believed it until I heard it from them.
Of course a man has to remove about 90% of himself when he’s around women, particularly in the case of Peterson, a professor who is banned from having any sexual feelings or even thoughts for that matter. I have to do it myself.
Of course politeness trumps truth with women. Any man knows that. Hell, I learned that in high school!
Of course women manipulate men sexually to advance in the workplace. Duh! Anyone knows that.
Of course makeup is sexually provocative, but I do not agree with Peterson that makeup should be banned in the workplace.
Of course there’s a war on masculine behavior among boys. Boys being banned from throwing snowballs is a straight up war on masculinity itself. Even picking up snow off the ground was seen as toxic masculinity. Of course the bad boys didn’t care and broke all of these stupid rules. Only the good boys obeyed the rules not to act masculine. The worst boys, who probably needed to act less masculine, were not deterred at all. So all you are doing is neutering the mildest displays of masculinity in the best of boys, putting at the back of the pack, while shoving the worst boys to the front. Good job feminists! And he’s correct, in such a dispensation (a topsy turvy morality turned upside down Sadean one at that) the worst boys will get the most women and the most psychopathic males will be fathering the most children while the most decent males will father few if any kids. Way to go feminists!
Of course a transwoman is not a real woman! A transwoman is a man who thinks he’s a woman. His delusion that he is a woman is so fixed that he often has surgery to try to turn himself into some sort of a fake woman, but a man is a man is a man. No man can ever be transformed into a woman. Of course not. Why would anyone think a man can be turned into a woman? That’s ridiculous, I mean given our current technology anyway.
Ok this moron Peterson just compared Chairman Mao, of all people, to trans activists! How ridiculous! Mao was a puritan. The single most awful thing about Peterson is his idiotic fanatical anti-Communism. This dumbass has even covered his entire home with socialist realist paintings just to remind himself, every day mind you, even evil those damned Commies are. Anti-Communism is probably the single driving force behind all of Peterson’s intellectual oeuvre. And that’s where he runs right off the cliff, just like Coyote in the cartoons, following his cartoonish Roadrunner boogeyman of Communism right over the edge of all reason and sense.
And this is what I mean when I say this guy is a reactionary and he can go take a long walk on a short pier. Sure, he’s right most of the time facts-wise, but his mind is just oh so wrong. He’s motivated by sheer puerile idiocy and reaction. Take your anti-Communism and shove it up your ass, Jordan.
He follows online PUA’s because he finds them interesting psychologically. Well, they are saying a lot of psychologically interesting things and most of what they say is flat out true. Look. Let’s get real. PUA’s are all about success. Men don’t mess around with BS and get lost in wildernesses of psychological defenses like women do. Men’s whole raison de etre is “do what works, and all else be damned.” Men don’t care what the theory is as long as it works. If it works and it smells like roses, fine. If it works and it smells like ordure, well, you hold your nose and plow forth anyway because if it works it works, stink or not, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
These PUA’s are absolutely not going to waste any time on bullshit that doesn’t work. That’s something a woman would do. Women would obviously waste endless time on projects that don’t work simply because the ones that did work were so awful. Women would think, “That’s awful, so it can’t possibly work,” and then focus on some feel-good solution that smells like roses but fails every time. Women aren’t concerned with the destination. They’re concerned about the road you take to get there. If it’s a horrible road, they’re not driving on it. They’re taking the scenic route to feel better about themselves, no matter if it gets you anywhere or not.
The idea that these PUA’s would have wasted all these years of intense study on things that don’t work. Men are far too practical for that. These guys conduct nearly controlled double blind studies to test their theories.
And at the end, Peterson violates Godwin’s Law by equating SJW boneheads and fools with literal Nazis. No, Jordan, no. SJW’s are not Nazis. If they are like anyone, they are like Commies, and Commies are not Nazis as you probably think, you silly man.
Peterson gets an 85% rating, but when he’s wrong, good God is he wrong.

One Man Businesses Are Inherently Noncapitalist

Stalin Tonks: All this talk about donations and paywalls makes you sound like a capitalist, Robert. I am so disappointed in you.

First of all, I live in a capitalist country. You have to do what you have to do survive in whatever country you live in. If you want to survive in a capitalist country, you have to play by the rules of capitalism. And it’s not anti-socialist to be rich or to invest in or own businesses. For instance, the FMLN revolutionaries owned and invested in businesses, farms and ranches all over Latin America. All of the money went for revolution – guns, bombs, uniforms, supplies, wages for soldiers, etc. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a Venezuelan millionaire and Communist. That’s not a contradiction, and he doesn’t have to give all his money away. A Communist can be rich in a capitalist country. I would like to think he would do good things with his money though and not use it to rip off the people or exploit workers. Engels was a rich businessman.
I am not a capitalist. No exploitation, no capitalism. I am simply a worker selling his labor on the open market. All one man businesses are noncapitalist. It’s just one guy selling his labor on the market mostly to other workers. It’s workers paying other workers for some service. Also I am not marking anything up, although the profit motive and marking up products as a middleman is not necessarily capitalist and is completely compatible with socialism. I also feel that small businesses are an important part of a socialist country.
Anyway, I’m not really a Communist. I am just a socialist, and I am OK with social democracy where you have private businesses and even corporations and where up to 93% of the economy is private owned, as in Sweden for instance.
Democratic socialism allows a lot of capitalism in it. It just modified it and regulates it, and that is the socialist part as capitalists accept no limits whatsoever on their profits. Any state that limits the profits of Capital is automatically acting in a socialist manner. All regulation of business is inherently socialist. It has to be. Capitalists do not accept the state regulating their businesses to limit their profits in any way, shape or form. That’s their nature.

Where Is Telegu Spoken?

Jason Voorhees: Mr. Lindsey
Telugu meaning Tamil of Southeast India. I was there once, many moons ago.

Telegu and Tamil are two different groups and languages. Tamils are indeed in SE India, but Telegu is spoken to the northwest quite a bit in a region of Andhra Pradesh called Telegana. Telegana is the far southern portion of Andhra Pradesh. It is heavily forested. There was a movement among them to break away and form their own state a while back I think. There was also quite a bit of armed Maoist activity there, but I think most of it was wiped out.
With 85 million speakers, Telegu is one of the largest world languages, but no doubt most folks have not heard of it. It has more speakers than Italian! I am not sure how far apart the Dravidian languages are from each other, but they can’t understand each other, that’s for sure.
I met two Telegus in a nearby town and I have seen photos of others, including one of the leaders of the Telegana Movement, also a Maoist, after he was released from prison. These three Telegus had quite prominent Australoid features, at least as Australoid as Tamils.

How the Pentagon and the CIA De Facto Created the FARC

Colombia has a very strange political system. There are two main political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, who are striking in that there seems to be so little difference between them. They are both parties of the Colombian ruling class, possibly representing a “liberal” versus “conservative” split in the ruling class a long time ago. Just guessing, the split may have had something to do with religion with the conservatives being the more religious party and wanting a bigger role for the Church in the state and the liberals being more modernizing reformers who were more secular and dedicated to more of a church-state split.
Unbelievably, these two ruling class parties who are barely different at all, spent the entire 1950’s murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands in an insane bloodletting called “La Violencia.” A Leftist politican (I think his name was Galan) was elected in the late 1940’s, but he was quickly murdered by the Colombian ruling class, which is what they always do with any Leftist who wins an election down there. This was the first time that Colombia had elected anyone even remotely resembling a progressive reformer, so of course the ruling class murdered him immediately. His killing set off huge riots all over Colombia that raged for a long time and were difficult to put down.
I believe that this set off the Violencia because I think Galan, a Leftist, actually ran on the Liberal ticket. Most of the people slaughtering each other during this idiotic Violencia were just the Colombian urban poor and the poor peasants of the rural areas. The ruling classes formed armies out of these poor people and sent them out to commit mass murder on each other.
After 300,000 deaths caused by the Colombian ruling class in the Violencia, the roots of the Marxist revolution down there took hold. The FARC were the remains of Violencia fighters who said the heck with this war and took refuge at a place called Mariatelia in Colombia in 1964 and set up communal farms there. They were tired of fighting and just wanted to be left alone.
The Colombian media went crazy screaming about the “Communist government” that seceded from the state had formed down there. The CIA was in on this wild propaganda process from the start.
Eventually the Colombian government went down to this area with a large army force and attacked these communes with massive weaponry. The Pentagon and the CIA were involved in the battle. The US and the Colombians even used chemical weapons to try to exterminate these farmers. The farmers fought back, but they were outnumbered. Maybe 90-95% of them were killed, but a few survived.
The survivors realized that there was no way to live in peace with what has always been a genocidal Colombian ruling class, and they took up arms to defend themselves. This is the way that almost all Leftwing guerrilla wars got started in the Cold War. The Left got tired of sitting around waiting for the government to come out and murder them, so they decided that as long as the government was going to come out and try to kill them, they might as well get some guns and try to defend themselves. This is how the FMLN, the URNG, the FARC, the ELN, the Sandinistas and even the MRTA got started.
So this was the beginning of Manuel “Sure Shot” Marulanda and the FARC, essentially created by the mass murders of the Pentagon and the CIA in Colombia.

"Time of Monsters," by Peter Tobin

Peter Tobin is a Marxist activist and author who is an experiment on the recent goings in in Nepal especially with regard to the Maoist revolutionaries who recently fought a brutal civil war there and are now part of the government. Turns out that with disarmament, a lot of the Maoists sold out completely on almost all of their revolutionary principles, become rightwingers and in the process become millionaires with huge mansions. In addition, as you might have guessed, all and I mean all of the Maoist leaders were Brahmins.
And this was an anti-caste revolution.
In this part of the world, caste is like dirt. No matter how many times try wash the dirt off, there’s always some on your skin. And no matter how many attempts are made by South Asians to cleanse the body politic of caste, there’s always some of it remaining on the skin of their culture. you can’t take enough showers to wash all the dirt off and you can’t do enough reforms to wash caste out of the culture. It’s looking like caste in now an integral part of South Asian culture like curry, saris or gurus.
Warning: This work is very long. If it was a book, it would be 60 pages, long enough for a novella if it was fiction.

Time of Monsters

by Peter Tobin

The cartoon above reflects a widespread perception among many Nepalese that the four parliamentary parties are servants – in varying degrees – of New Delhi. It appeared in the 2013, August edition of Nepal – a popular monthly – showing Prachanda (UCPN(M), Nepal (UML), Sitaula (NC) and Gaddachhar (MJN), (Brahmins all!) blubbing uncontrollably as Nepal against history and the odds beat India 2-1 in the South Asia Football Championships in July 2013.

Nepal’s Brahminical State and Problems of Legitimacy

From Machiavelli:

What’s more, you can’t in good faith give the nobles what they want without doing harm to others; but you can with the people. Because the people’s aspirations are more honorable than those of the nobles: the nobles want to oppress the people, while the people want to be free from oppression.
Machiavelli, The Prince, 1516, p.39. Penguin 2009.

To the present day:

How can people trust them to run the state? Our boycott is therefore a political act to expose the failure of this parliamentary system. To build a new democracy and renew the revolutionary process we must go in a different direction.
– Mohan Baidya, ‘Kiran’, Chairman, CPN-Maoist, October, 2013

Introduction

Political parties in all societies reflect specific histories and display the balance of social and political forces at any point in their narratives. Nepal is no exception to this truism; the classes and strata arising from the socio-economic conditions obtaining in the country’s history gave rise to caste, party and faction. The aim of this article is to provide detail of their historical gestation as a means of examining and explaining the present impasse in Nepalese society.
This is presently evidenced by argument as to whether a Consultative Assembly, elected in November 2013 in a disputed ballot, has authority to promulgate a new constitution and is another issue of serious division that pervades every sphere of Nepalese society – political, cultural, social and economic – that cumulatively call into question the legitimacy of the essentially unreconstructed state founded by Prithvi Nararyan Shah in 1769.
The article will argue that discord has been inherent since the state’s inception in the mid-18th century, with the campaign of unification driven by a minority elite imposing a nationality upon a multi-ethnic majority and which despite changing modalities of state power in the succeeding two-hundred and fifty years, remains the dominant power in Nepalese society, surviving monarchical absolutism, feudal clan autocracy, constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, successively appearing as contrasting if not antagonistic systems.
It is certainly the case that internecine power struggles among ruling Nepalese elites, regarding modalities of power, are crucial to understanding the forces shaping the present. However, evident systemic discontinuity should not obscure persistence of upper caste, particularly Brahmin ascendancy, surmounting every upheaval, and turning every change of polity into a vehicle for retention of power and privilege.
Responding to the pressures of the modern world, and with long experience in judging the vagaries of historic authority, these same castes have melded seamlessly into the local bourgeoisie – domestically hegemonic but internationally subservient.
Not every ancien regime is oblivious or impervious to demands for change from formerly subaltern classes. Note the nationalist leader Tancredi’s maxim, in di Lampedusa’s epic novel The Leopard about the 19th century Risorgimento (Italian unification):

“Things have to change so that everything can stay the same.” (“Tutto deve cambiar perche tutto reste uguale.”) (Il Gattopardo, G. di Lampedusa, 1958)

The Nepalese ruling castes are exemplars of this paradox, having survived successive changes in polity, a point underlined in contemporary Nepal where the major constitutional parties and organs of state are dominated by the same higher caste/class, as supreme in the new democratic republic as they were under the preceding Hindu God-Kingdom created through war and conquest by their Brahmin/Rajput ancestors in the 18th century. Unification was more empire than nation building, pitting a warlike Indo-Aryan warrior caste against a rural majority comprised of over sixty Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, each with its own languages and specific Buddhist/pantheist/shamanist cultures.
Over time this may not have precluded the forging of national identity: consider the example of Britain, which emerged from English subjugation and colonization of the tribal Celtic peoples that flourished on the periphery of the later named, with breast-beating triumphalism, British Isles.
Similarly the English had emerged as a distinct people following military invasion and occupation by French Normans over Anglo-Saxon natives. Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism already provided a common ideology for conqueror and conquered. In the centuries following, the former lost both their French language and territories with the European feudal system they imposed upon Anglo-Saxon England taking root and dominating until the emergence of bourgeois capitalism in the Late Middle Ages.
Nepal has never overcome the contradictions engendered by its violent birth which was compromised by its Hindu ruling castes retaining political, cultural and economic ties with caste peers governing India the sub-continental empire, and who, since Bhimsen Thapa, Jonge Bahadur and the Ranas, have, unlike the nation-builders of medieval Europe, proved unable or unwilling to act with national impunity.
The notion of the present ruling caste elite representing the national interest is presently even more unlikely as their growing cosmopolitan class interests political, ideological and economic necessitate the country continuing as neo-colony of Brahminical India, subject to the ubiquitous, all-conquering global market and the multinational institutions established by US and other First World powers after 1945.
The last serious threat to centralized caste power was the People’s War from 1996-2006, which saw a 12-point peace agreement between parliamentarians and revolutionaries, following the success of these two former bitter enemies allying to overthrow King Gyenendra in the 2006 second Thulo Jana Andolan (Great People’s Uprising/Revolution). It did not, as promised, lead to a ‘New Nepal’, instead seeing the elites of ‘Old Nepal’ regrouping, and remaining ensconced in power.
This had also happened after the 1990 Jana Andolan, when the Brahmin leaders of the democratic movement summoned the Janjatis (ethnic minorities) and oppressed castes and classes to join the struggle for democracy against King Birendra and the feudal Panchayat system.
Promises made, offering cultural and political autonomy to redress historical injustices, were later reneged on, with the subsequent constitution drawn up by the victorious New Delhi-backed political parties even retaining Nepal’s status as a divine Hindu Kingdom. It was not until 2008, with the declaration of a republic, that the monarchial system was finally abolished.
However, that was the only tangible political gain from ten years of People’s War, while the major socioeconomic and cultural inequities that had provoked it were left in place, with attempts to ameliorate them blocked or sabotaged by a resurgent rightist bloc that seized the political and military initiative in the years following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Nepal’s political parties are defined by which side they take in relation to this history; whether they want to either preserve the existing system, albeit with minor tweaks and modest reform, or completely replace it with a new dispensation. Conservatives and revolutionaries are adversaries in the struggle for the body and soul of the nation.
First, some empirical details about the country that provide the inescapable, epidemiological conclusion that the socio-economic antagonisms fermenting in Nepalese society point inevitably to further eruption.

Economy and Society

Nepal is an aid-dependent, landlocked country, accessed principally from India, with a population of approximately 28 million. It has over sixty ethnic groups or Janjatis (called Adivasis in India) reflecting a rich linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 80% of its peoples are rural inhabitants, mostly dependent on subsistence farming. The agricultural sector contributes approximately 38-40% to GDP, with the tourism/service industry adding 47-50%, and the industrial/craft sector contributing 10-13% (1).
The CIA World Factbook estimates its labor force at 16 million: 70% of those employed are in agriculture and 18% in the services sector with the remainder in industry and craft production. The imbalance between numbers of population engaged respectively in these sectors and the value each one adds to GDP is striking. What distorts the figures is that 25-30% of the tourism/service GDP (where it measured by income) comes from Gurkha pensions and increasingly over the last decade from émigré labor remittances (2).
As its contribution to GDP shows, the manufacturing sector is small, with carpet weaving dominating its light industrial sector and the rest made up of skilled handcraft production in metal, stone and wood. Since the decline of the jute industry based in Biratnagar, heavy industry is negligible, and Nepal has to import everything from cars to computers – necessities of modern life – which add to its trade deficit.
Nepal has always faced the difficult situation of being a small economic power next to a big one that is denied economies of scale that accrue from size, thus insuring that Nepali companies could not compete with bigger Indian ones in the home market. This problem has, for example, caused the virtual collapse of its cotton and garment industry. Exports are inhibited because India imposes high import duties to protect its own industries.
The pan-Indian Marwari Corporation/Clan dominate the domestic industrial and commercial sector in collusion with the traditional caste elites of Ranas/Shahs. A further aspect of its neocolonial status is that Nepal is forced to concede an open border with India and must endure a ‘take or leave it’ in terms of trade with India, a market that accounts for nearly 70% of Nepal’s total exports. In some instances Delhi has even reneged on prior agreements in order to sabotage specific Nepalese attempts at establishing nascent industry (3).
Nepal’s manufacturing base was further weakened by the global march of neoliberal capitalism (4) that saw, for example, Structural Adjustment Programs introduced in Nepal from the mid-1980s’.
SAP’s are loans to aid-dependent, underdeveloped or economically unstable countries that have strong conditional clauses requiring adoption of rigorous free market policies, including privatization, trade and finance-sector liberalization, prices determined by the market and precluding and retreating from state intervention in any form.
They were implemented by the IMF and World Bank, acting in a ‘bad cop/bad cop’ scenario and affected all sections of Nepalese society; the removal of subsidies on such items as cooking gas hit many homes, while those on fertilizers reduced agricultural production. Privatization programs ended public enterprises, many of which had been initiated by a dirigiste Rana regime in the 1930’s in a desperate attempt to modernize.
There was, for example, sustained pressure from multilateral development financial institutions – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in particular – forcing a sale of water utilities, resulting in their complete privatization by 2006. Tariffs protecting indigenous industries were also removed and the penetration of multinational capital was facilitated across all sectors.

Inequality and Poverty

This regime, which does not even manufacture a needle in the name of a self-reliant and national economy, has handed the whole economy to a dozen families of foreign compradors and bureaucratic capitalists. This handful of plunderers has become billionaires, whereas the real owners of this country and the national property – the toiling masses of Nepal – are forced to eke out a meager existence of deprivation and poverty.
– (CPN(M) leaflet, distributed on the eve of the start of the People’s War, 13th February, 1996.

The UN Human Development Report 2014 listed Nepal as the 31st poorest country in the world and among those classified low in Human Development indices with glaring inequalities in incomes and lifestyles that has the top 10% owning 42% of wealth and the bottom 10% accruing 2.7%. The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which measures schooling, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and access to clean water among its criteria for standards of modern life, puts incidences of poverty at 65% whereas an income-poverty criteria at $1.25 per day gives a 55% figure of those suffering deprivation. (5)
Government Household Survey statistics for 2010/11, by contrast, estimated deprivation at 25% of population but only by using a smaller cohort, with the sole criterion defining poverty as daily consumption of less than 2,220 calories. By whatever measure, poverty is endemic and exacerbated by increased levels of unemployment that since 2000 have inexorably risen to nearly 50% of the working population in 2014. By conflating the above figures along with other relevant indices, the Gini Coefficient statistics for 2010 (6) showed that inequality has worsened over past two decades of western-style parliamentary democracy and capitalism. (7)
While the majority of Nepalese are rural dwellers, the agriculture sector is weak and inefficient; hilly and mountainous topography with subsequent scarcity of arable soil apart from the southern Terai plains allows mostly for only subsistence farming. A poor infrastructure of roads and communications inhibits movement of produce. The continuing failure to reform land ownership sees huge, growing numbers of landless Dalits, Muslims and other minorities, especially in feudal and populous Terai. The failures to implement scientific management and introduce modern technology combine to render Nepal dependent on importing foodstuffs from or through India.
The failure of the present system to provide necessary conditions of existence for an expanding demographic adds greater urgency to the antagonisms between the Establishment Right and Radical Left. These will be further accentuated given that India’s newly elected BJP administration has signaled the intention of pursuing more aggressively expansionist policies and is fully committed to the neoliberal economic project. The latter is being promoted as ‘shock therapy’ necessary for economic lift-off that will rescue the Indian people from poverty and deprivation.
It is it problematic because it is set out as an ideological as opposed to an economically rational project deliberately masking the aim of increasing the penetration of Western monopoly capitalism into the Indian economy through the mediation of the Brahmin/Banyia oligarchy. One of the new regime’s first acts was to increase hikes in diesel prices, allowing the state subsidy to shrivel, while signaling an intention to do the same to fertilizer subsidies. It has since announced that the health budget is to be slashed in a country that already has one of world’s lowest expenditures in this sector.
When all such state aid is rolled back, if wealth ‘trickles down’ perhaps by the conspicuous consumption of luxury commodities and lifestyle of a privileged cosmopolitan caste elite or charity (not a noted Brahmin characteristic) and alleviates some poverty – so be it, but it will be serendipitous. Such an outcome is not what drives au courant ‘capitalism with its coat off’ mutation, (4) so eagerly embraced by India’s caste elite as greed is a noted Brahmin characteristic.
However, for all the Hindutva histrionics and bravura posturing of the demagogue Modi, his BJP regime is in fact morphing effortlessly from Mohan Singh’s Congress Party Administration’s line of march. This became apparent in 2005 US/India Memos of Understanding (MOU) which, inter alia, initiated opening up India’s agricultural research establishments to American monopolies and activated policies of ‘rapid commercialization’ of already hard-pressed Indian farmers.
One commentator noted at the time:

The treaty is a partnership between two unequal partners. American agriculture is highly mechanized and organized, energy-intensive and market-centric. Indian agriculture, by contrast, has been for millennia the way of life for the vast majority of the population. (8)

The present Nepalese establishment invariably marches in step with New Delhi and accordingly rolled out the red carpet for the newly-elected PM Modi’s August 2014 official visit to Kathmandu. Addressing the Nepalese Parliament, he emphasized his government’s neoliberal economic priorities and the benefit Nepal would derive from deepening existing bilateral links by “…taking our relationship to an entirely new level.”
Nepal’s establishment parties were receptive, as the post-1990 administrations had closely shadowed India’s descent into neoliberal policies, and Modi’s regime was seen as continuation of this course.
The August visit was also marked by concluding agreements that increased Indian access to Nepal’s vast untapped water resources, which the revolutionary opposition denounced as a blatant example of neocolonial subservience to Indian expansionists and betrayal of the national interest.
The argument over this abundant but as yet untapped natural resource constitutes a longstanding fault line in Nepalese politics that bears examination; it concentrates many existing socioeconomic and political contradictions in one issue.

The Politics of Water and Unequal Treaties

On September 6th 2014 the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist announced its intention to publicly burn copies of the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) recently negotiated between India and Nepal which allows for the construction of hydropower projects by Indian companies so as to facilitate energy trading, cross-border transmission lines and grid connections between the two countries. (9)
The coalition government concluded a further agreement with the Indian company GMR to construct a 900MW hydropower project on the Upper Karnali. It was claimed that combining these two accords would enable Nepal to utilize its hydropower resources to produce enough surplus to permit the already agreed export of electricity to India and help reduce the country’s trade deficit.
The extraction of Nepal’s water resources began in 1920 when the Indian Raj signed the 1920 Treaty of Sarda that secured access to the Mahakali. After independence, India’s Nehru’s Administration continued in a similar manner with the 1954 Koshi and 1959 Gandak Treaties that saw dams constructed solely to irrigate the thirsty Gangetic Plains of North India. There was outrage at these one-sided deals from Nepalese nationalists and communists, which led to greater caution by successive regimes faced with India’s insatiable water demands paralleled with failed attempts in securing international aid or a loan from the World Bank to develop the country’s hydropower resources independently.
After the 1990 upheaval that ostensibly reduced Birendra to constitutional status, the fledgling democracy experienced renewed pressure from New Delhi that led to the 1996 Mahakali Treaty which was described as revealing:

“…the larger neighbor as bulldozer and the smaller one as hapless and internally divided.” (10).

While this treaty was supported by the both the constitutional communist party, the Unified Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which turned full circle from the anti-Indian position of its mother party in the 1950’s, and the always reliable pro-Delhi Congress Party (NC), it was denounced by CPN (Maoist) spokespersons who pointed out that Nepal would only get 7 out of the projected 125 megawatts output. (11)
The symbolic burning of the present PTA as ‘against the national interest’ by the new Maoist party was manifestation of an ongoing campaign for retaining Nepalese jurisdiction over its water resources, resisting New Delhi’s strategy to monopolize them. This is underscored by observation that Nepal has huge hydropower potential estimated at 40,000 MW but is presently realizing only 600 MW.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of daily power cuts and the fact that 60% of the population have no access to electricity. Harnessing hydropower resources will provide the means of modernizing and enriching the country, putting its growing young unemployed to work and ending its dependent, underdeveloped status.
Lenin famously stated that for USSR: ‘Communism was Soviet power plus electrification’ to which Nepal’s unreconstructed Marxist-Leninists paraphrase the end as: ‘plus hydropower’; reflecting the importance of this power source for realizing an independent socialist Nepal.
The PTA is described by patriots of left and right as yet another unequal treaty among the many that began with the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli imposed by the East India Company. This is now seen a British land grab that resulted in Nepal ceding one-third of its territory to the Company, including Sikkim and what is now called Uttarakhand.
The reduction of ‘Greater Nepal’ to its present territory resulted from military invasion and defeat. Treaties covering trade and resources have been facilitated by the Nepalese ruling caste/class acting in collusion with first imperial Britain then Brahminical India .
The Brahmin/upper caste supporters of the power deal tend either to not recognize or to remain oblivious to the idea that any treaty agreed with brother India has ever been ‘unequal’. The same political class once again faced a 2011 furor over by the ‘Bilateral’ Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) which allowed for greater penetration and increased security for Indian capital in Nepal. This sellout document earned the parliamentary apparatchiks, parties and the Bhatterai Administration who negotiated and agreed to it epithets from the stooges and hirelings of the extra-parliamentary Maoist opposition and royalist factions.
The definition of unequal agreement is where an imbalance of power, political, military or economic, exists between the parties to the agreement. Chinese nationalists and communists in the 20th century used the term to describe all treaties extracted from China in its ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of Western imperialists in the 19th century.
These treaties between Nepal and India involved loss of Nepalese sovereignty over territory and domestic markets and facilitated imports of commodities, including, notoriously, opium produced by East India Company, accompanied by the threat or use of superior military force. The period also saw the emergence of indigenous merchants acting as East India Company agents/intermediaries described as ‘compradors’.
Nepalese patriots use the term “unequal treaties” to describe a history that began with Sugauli, was carried over from the East India Company to the Raj and continued in postcolonial India with the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty formalizing Nepal’s neocolonial status by allowing India increased access and control of the Nepalese economy and veto over Nepal’s foreign relations with third parties.
It guaranteed Nepal as a captive market for Indian commodities and along with further revisions and succeeding agreements allowed exploitation of Nepal’s natural resources, principally water as described above, and access to cheap Nepalese migrant labor.
New Delhi was driven as much by geopolitical considerations; Nehru saw Himalayan Nepal as a bulwark on India’s northern frontier against Communist China, and serving along with Bhutan and Sikkim as part of a “chain of protectorates,” so described by Curzon, a particularly bellicose, expansionist Raj Viceroy at the turn of the 20th century.
Nehru was a ruthless autocrat and saved his fine words regarding nonintervention and non-aggression for the Pansheel Principles set out as a stratagem to bamboozle Mao’s Communists, burnishing India’s Gandhian credentials and non-aligned status in 1954 Treaty with the PRC. Nehru accordingly extracted the 1950 Treaty from the last Rana PM three months before he authorized an invasion of Nepal from India by a joint royalist/ democratic army which signaled the beginning of the end for Rana rule.
Independent India under the imperious Pandit owed more to the martial warrior spirit of the Maharbarata than it ever did to the myth of Hinduism’s essential ahimsa (pacifism) peddled by the casteist charlatan Gandhi. Recent information shows that Nehru may have slaughtered even more Muslims in Manipur in 1947 than Modi managed in Gujarat in 2001.

Constitution or Revolution?

The new Maoist party, the CPN-M, is extra-parliamentary and does not accord legitimacy to the present institutions of state, distinguishing it from the three major parties in the Constituent Assembly, who supported and negotiated the PTA. In descending order of electoral strength, they are: Nepali Congress, Unified Marxist-Leninist CPN; and Unified CPN (Maoist). The first two are in coalition government, with the NC leader GP Koirala as Prime Minister. Koirala’s family is a Nepalese political dynasty akin to India’s Gandhis.
A split in the third biggest party, the UCPN(M), in 2012 led to the launch of the CPN-M by cadre led by veteran Maoist leader, Mohan Baidya (‘Kiran’) (12), increasingly disillusioned with perceived growing revisionism of the UCPN(M) under the leadership of Prachanda and Bhatterai. They concluded that following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the UCPN(M)’s political practice had degraded into reformism, conforming to Lenin’s bitter reasoning for the ultimate treachery of the German SPD’s voting for war credits in 1914:

…by making a fetish of the necessary utilization of bourgeois parliamentarianism and bourgeois legality.

In the view of many cadre, the party had lost its revolutionary edge and has been remade to suit New Delhi’s requirements. The party was guided by two leaders, Dahal (Prachanda) and Bhatterai, reconnecting with their Brahminical caste roots.
The final betrayal was the surrender by Bhatterai’s ostensibly Maoist-led administration of the People’s Liberation Army and its weapons to the Nepalese Army in 2011 after being laagered in UN cantonments following the 2006 CPA. In reaction to this and policies such as handing back expropriated land to the feudal landlords, the new CPN-M declared a return to revolutionary first principles and building on the foundation of the principle of People’s War as a precondition for future political work.
A fourth political bloc represented in the Constituent Assembly (the National Assembly – an upper house created in 1990, was abolished in 2007, and Nepal now has a unicameral system) is the United Democratic Madeshi Front representing landed property class parties from the Terai, a region of flatlands in southern Nepal and topographically an extension of the Gangetic Plains of North India.
Ethnically and culturally the Terai’s upper castes are closer to India, so this group’s political support for increasing bonds between the countries is guaranteed. The Terai was formally a NC fiefdom, but party membership collapsed when leaders and activists principally drawn from the Bhadraloks (Terai upper castes) deserted the party which they believed had become dominated by the Brahmins of the Kathmandu and the Central Hill regions referred to as Pahadis (Hill People).
This political bloc, following the 2006 Peace Agreement, appeared to upper caste Madeshis to be too weak to stand up to the Maoists, perceived as all-powerful after ten years of People’s War and a real threat to feudal and zamindar (landlord) interests in the Terai. Madeshi parties subsequently emerged seeking either regional autonomy or direct integration with India.
The more militant among them advocated armed struggle and were instrumental in driving the 2006/7 murderous conflict with the Maobaadi (Nepali for Maoists) in order to defend the status quo in the region. Indian security services were rumored to have been heavily involved in arming and funding these groups, signaling New Delhi’s growing alarm at the threat to Indian interests posed by the Nepalese Maoists as they stood on the verge of a takeover.
There are 22 other parties represented in the CA, the largest two being royalist – the Rastriya Prajantra Party (Nepal) and the Rastriya Prajantra Party – representing the ancient regime and seeking in one form or another a return to divine Hindu monarchy abolished when the Prachanda’s 2008 UCPN(M)/UML coalition government declared the republic. However, many monarchists are patriots with a deep distrust of India to the extent that some prefer China in all circumstances.
After the RRP(N) and the RPP, there are many small socialist, communist and peasant parties reflecting the patchwork and multirepresentational nature of Nepalese politics. This plethora of parties is also apparent among the forces outside the CA led by CPN-M in a 33-party alliance.
The CPN-M (13) and its allies – other communist, socialist and social democratic parties along with Janjati (ethnic) organizations – came together in 2013 to boycott the November election for a second Constituent Assembly. They argued it was a ‘phony, rigged election’, promoted by the same forces that had blocked a progressive federal constitution in the first CA. Now the parliamentary ‘Four Party Syndicate’ was seeking a mandate to forge an anti-people constitution ensuring that power was retained by upper castes and that in any event, asserted the boycotters, would be written in New Delhi.
Among the international supporters of the second CA election were the US, China, EU, India, the UN, NGOs like the Carter Center, ANFREL etc. 70,000 police, army and paramilitaries along with 50,000 temporary police personnel were mobilized to counter the campaign organized by the CPN-M, leading a 33 party alliance around the slogan:

Boycott this corrupt/so-called election (Kathit nirbaachan bahiskaar gare).

The election duly took place, pre-weighted through the creation of a High Level Commission that excluded all other parties, ensuring the ‘Four Party Syndicate’s unchallenged control of proceedings. Rs 30 billion was allocated to pay for it, a staggering amount considering only Rs 2.8 billion was spent on the 2008 election. The election was further tainted as turnout figures were disputed, with nearly five million voters disappearing from the 2008 election rolls. There was also no postal vote provision for the estimated two million émigré workers scattered through the Gulf States and South East Asia.
Each side claimed higher or lower percentage turnouts, but the significant result was the major setback for Prachanda and Bhatterai’s revisionist UCPN (M). The party lost its place as the biggest party gained by a shock victory in 2008 election, where it garnered 40% of the vote but was now reduced to third party status after the NC and the UML.
In any event, the CPN-Maoist ‘Dashists’ did not halt the election, but held their nerve in spite of powerful domestic and international enemies, a sustained hate campaign from the Brahmin/bourgeois controlled media sequestered in Kathmandu led by the Kantipur Corporation, Nepal’s largest media house, and internal party tensions. Notwithstanding the final number of votes cast, the election showed that the boycotters represented a critical mass of the citizenry. Whatever the outcome of the charade, Kiran said emphatically, they would burn any constitutional declaration emerging from the new CA and “write one in the streets.”

The Caste System & Democratic Deficit

However, it may also be stated that most Dalit leaders are right when they blame the ‘Brahminical’ order of society for the grievous discrimination practiced against them…the reification of the caste system, even to this date, depends for its authority on the socioreligious observances of Brahmins, the high priests of Hinduism.
– V. Rajan “Dalits” and the Caste System in India, p 3, 2010)

As in India, it is formally illegal under the Nepalese Constitution to discriminate on grounds of caste, and the education system is also nominally open to all. In reality though, the caste system remains pervasive with the upper castes constituting 70-80% of personnel in all institutions of the state, education, media, commerce and health sectors, while forming  only approximately 20% of the population.
The Kathmandu Valley Newaris, for example, form 3% of the population but occupy 13% of civil service posts. In the 1990’s it was shown that 80% of civil service, army and police posts were shared among Brahmin and Chetri castes. (14)
A more recent study in 2004 showed little change. Brahmins, while forming 13% of the population, accounted for 74% of top civil service posts. (15) Brahmins also lead the establishment parties which espouse the virtues of western-style multiparty democracy and the global market.
Nepalese Brahmins in politics, culture and business defer easily to fellow Brahmins ascendant in India, claiming a realism similar to the pragmatism of a small boy before a bigger sibling.
This assumes that Nepal and India are ‘family’, albeit one where might confirms right. They also note admiringly that Indian Brahmins have since Independence retained power and privilege in alliance with the Kshatriyas, the military caste, and the Banyias, the commercial and merchant caste, making a mockery of the great Dalit scholar/statesman Ambedkar’s 1947 Constitution prohibiting discrimination on grounds of caste and guaranteeing equality for all citizens.
Words were also cheap in the 1972 Amendment to the Indian Constitution that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ to the original declaration of ‘sovereign, democratic republic’. Against the evidence and from the beginning India was also touted in the capitalist West as rival to Red China’s ‘totalitarian ant heap’ and gushingly described as the ‘World’s Biggest Democracy’.
Yet caste and democracy are mutually exclusive; caste rule is anti-egalitarian, and democracy requires equality. India and Nepal are clear examples, still controlled by the same caste configuration that in the political sphere refracts into parties and factions with acquired skills, resources and enough cohesion to collectively jump through regular electoral hoops. Effective democratic camouflage disguises elective oligarchy. A lesson well learned from the White Sahib’s mastery over and increasing sophistication in the dark arts of electoral manipulation and illusion, important because the popular mandate confers legitimacy to uninterrupted ascendancy of the bourgeois capitalism.
The Dashists and their allies program the end of the upper caste monopoly of state power by establishing a New Federal People’s Democracy that represents the hitherto excluded Janjatis, Dalits, minorities, working classes and urban underclasses. Federalism is crucial to New Democracy as it means breaking up the centralized Brahminical state by devolving power to previously oppressed national minorities.
It will correct the historic wrong that began with the autocracy founded by Narayan Shah and extended by the Ranas through King Mahendra’s Panchayaat and continued since 1990 with elective dictatorship coalescing around establishment parties as they cartelized political and state power.
It was significant that one of the organized manifestations that followed victory in the 2006 Andolan was the mocking of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s statue in Kathmandu by Janjatis, indicating both that there is continuing antipathy to the oppressive central power he founded and that this historical wound remains very much open. The event was complemented by royalist outrage at such desecration, further testament to the irreconcilability of contending forces in Nepalese society.

Maoist “New Nepal”

From Marx:

…the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalist regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation…
Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, p. 73

To the present day:

Gender, Dalit and regional issues are important, and they are tied into the class struggle. But working to solve just these issues will not bring a full solution. This can only be reached by completing the class struggle.
– KB Bishwokarma, Prakanda.

The CPN-M Dashists affirm their wish to break with global capitalism and establish economic autarky featuring tariff walls to protect infant industries along with land reform and infrastructural development, all through socialist state planning and ownership. Nepal, they argue, has failed to straddle the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and its traditional ruling classes have been incapable and unwilling to provide effective governance to tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality. Since 1990 it has increasingly aped India’s development, a huckster capitalism overseen by wholly corrupt caste elites dressed in “emperor’s new clothes” of bourgeois Western multiparty democracy.
Maoists maintain that socialist transformation will improve conditions for the people and ensure genuine national sovereignty. Kiran, citing Mao and Stalin, argues that the national question in the case of Third World countries like Nepal is a class question. These weaker states have become subject to the interests of a dominant First World requiring them to be maintained in various stages of underdevelopment and to enable open markets for imported goods and foreign investment and to increase the plunder of their natural resources to feed insatiable Western consumer societies.
Third World countries are further valuable sources of low-paid indigenous labor for production of cheap commodities intended for the Western market, dramatically highlighted by the 2013 Rana Plaza clothing factory tragedy in Dhaka. These nations also provide a reservoir of migrant labor for international capital projects, graphically exposed by the slave-like conditions endured by émigré workers, many of them Nepalese, on the notorious Qatar World Cup project.
Even if not dramatically affected as migrant workers, neoliberalism, through international institutions led by IMF and World Bank, impacts on the Nepalese masses by shackling its government along with those in other impoverished, underdeveloped Third World countries to market-based austerity policies and denying whole populations benefits of modernity, decent infrastructure, modern schools, basic health care, access to clean water and sanitation, decent housing &c. Measuring everything by market criteria also blocked welfare programs, food subsidies and all state intervention aimed at reduction of poverty or stimulating domestic growth.
In Nepal it has led to growing numbers of Sukumbasi (squatters), increasing, persistent mass unemployment, landlessness, rural flight to towns/cities, especially Kathmandu, exacerbating already high urban poverty, bonded, émigré and child labor; all salient features of a failed state, where a traditional elite continue to flourish, retaining social and economic privilege.
This elite increasingly lives in ‘forts of gold’, while the world and the city outside crumbles over the head of the excluded and increasingly impoverished majority. Kathmandu is symptomatic, where, as in many Third World urban centers, the spectacle of private affluence for the few contrasts starkly with increasing public squalor for the many.
Hope for a more egalitarian Nepal following the 1990 transition from monarchical absolutism to multiparty democracy was quickly dashed in the years of corruption and reaction that followed, when a newly empowered political elite proved even more venal than the Panchas they had supplanted. Ideologically colonized, like the Brahmins of Congress India, they were transfixed by western liberal democracy, whose representative institutions and personal freedoms, they were conditioned to believe, enshrined universally applicable and superior European Enlightenment values.
Whereas imperialists once hawked a Christian Bible, their contemporaries now peddle the snake oil of capitalist democracy as salvation for, in Kipling’s infamous phrase from the poem Recessional, “lesser breeds without the Law”. Just as missionary societies once flourished, now Human Rights industries thrive and NGO’s promoting Western values and practices proliferate, employing some indigenous educated and enlisting them into the comprador class while sustaining patchwork schemes in a parody of development.
From the beginning the conditioning of native elites through education invariably inculcated western values and ideologies which, on one hand informed and articulated claims to national independence and produced the leadership for anticolonial struggle, while one the other, ensured the same leadership was sufficiently psychologically colonized to slavishly adopt after independence the parliamentary model, including the flummery. An exotic plant in wholly unsuitable conditions. (16)
As Franz Fanon caustically opined:

 The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its narcissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual that the essential qualities remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course.(17)

Bourgeois parliamentary institutions emerged in the Europe of the Late Middle Ages as a revolutionary and contingent challenge to residual feudal control by divinely mandated monarchs scattered across the kingdoms of Europe. Increasingly, with bourgeois power assured, they became functional requirements for regulation of class interests and instruments of chauvinist aggression against other nations, initially in Europe. In their early gestation they provided an arena for systemic compromise where differences could be aired and reconciled by parties representing old and new forms of propertied ruling classes in given historical transitions.
This occurred in England following the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, establishing a constitutional rapport between Whigs, the nascent bourgeoisie, and Tories, the old landowning class, but significantly this same transformation did not emerge from Les Etats Generaux of Bourbon France, making inevitable the 1789 Revolution and bloody, bourgeois victory over L’Ancien Regime. However, modern First World states, despite the potential democratic threat of universal suffrage, increasingly stabilized, and bourgeois capitalism established unchallenged supremacy.
Parties are now even less class-based, representing sectional interests within the ruling class competing for control of the state apparatus, with elections determining which of the intraclass rivals accedes to government, enabling exercise of executive power and policy implementation until the next poll. Among the mature Western democracies this increasing homogenization of parties barely masks elective bourgeois dictatorship, now tricked out in ballot box ritualism, steeped in what Marx derided as ‘parliamentary cretinism’ and nailed by Engels as:

…an incurable disease, an ailment whose unfortunate victims are permeated by the lofty conviction that the whole world, its history and its future are directed and determined by a majority of votes in just that very representative institution that has the honor of having them in the capacity of its members.
– Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany, 1852, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 370)

Yet this system was adopted by the ex-colonies of the British Empire in Asia and Africa, all of which have signally failed. India is the worst example, especially after the collapse of Nehru’s dreams of socialist democracy involving state ownership, five year plans, and deficit spending within integument of a mixed economy, etc. all evaporated in the early 1960’s, following the disastrous defeat in the war of aggression launched against China in the Kashmir Aksai Chin. Nehru had always allowed for a degree of corruption, but after him it was unchecked; reflected in the Lok Sabha which degenerated into the kleptocracy presently extant.
In Nepal, similarly, after 1990, the new democratic state institutions quickly became synonymous with cronyism, nepotism and carpetbagging. A pervasive corruption disfigured Nepalese society and subsequently Nepal scored 2.2 on the 2011 World Corruption Perception Index, where 10 is ‘very clean’ and 0 is ‘highly corrupt’. (18) The economist Arun Kumar further estimated that the Nepalese black economy, in 2006, accounted for $4 billion in contrast to an official GDP of $7 billion, an even higher percentage than India where the same phenomenon accounts for a still eye-watering 50% of GDP.
Like a fish stinking from the head, the godfathers or Thulo Hakimharu of NC and UML contributed to this state of affairs by pursuing a brazen policy of enrichessez-vous as vigorously as the state campaign of terror and foreign-funded mayhem they unleashed before and during People’s War against the Left and rural agitators who challenged the new corruption.
Nevertheless, communists are not anarchists, grasping that participation in bourgeois elections is often a tactical necessity, so that if on occasion normative bourgeois control of electoral process as a result of political, economic or military crises is problematic, then communist parties should participate, particularly if it offers them the possibility of advancing proletarian interests. It was on such practical eventualities as well as principles that Marx and Engels campaigned for universal suffrage in the Communist Manifesto. They saw communists using the extended franchise to subvert the elective dictatorship of the bourgeoisie:

Transforme, de moyen de duperie qu’il a ete jusqu’ici, en instrument d’emancipation. (Changed by them from the usual means of deception, into one of transformation.)
(K. Marx, Manifesto for French Workers’ Party, 1880. ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 546)

It was in this spirit that the  CPN (M) following the CPA entered the 2008
election campaign for a Constituent Assembly from which it emerged as the biggest party with 40% of the vote, to the surprise of many and to the particular alarm of domestic and foreign reactionaries. Prachanda had used his premature cult of personality, giving him unique authority over the party, PLA and United Front, to promise that the CPA would provide access to the towns and cities, enabling the party to use a CA as an engine for bringing the urban masses into the revolution.
The Maoists were aware that they had considerable support in towns and cities but could not connect with it as People’s War had reached military stalemate, with the PLA controlling the countryside and the RNA and Armed Police Force (APF) paramilitaries the urban centers, particularly Kathmandu. It was a logjam that had to be broken if the Prachanda Path strategy, the fusion of Maoist protracted rural struggle and Leninist urban insurrection, was to succeed and the revolution carried through.
In any event, the CPN (M) formed an administration in alliance with the UML with Prachanda as Prime Minister.
The administration’s first act was to abolish the monarchy and declare a republic, but an attempt by Prachanda to bring the army under civilian control by sacking the insubordinate CoS, Katawal and the royalist generals around him for refusing to integrate PLA ex-combatants en corps into the NA as per the CPA provoked a virtual coup openly orchestrated from New Delhi involving its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) foreign intelligence service acting in collusion with NA officers and apparatchiks from NC, UML and UDMF.
This resulted in Yadhev, Nepal’s first President, significantly one of the few remaining prominent NC Terai Madeshis, exceeding his constitutional authority and reinstating the insubordinate Katawal.
The UML, following instructions from New Delhi, pulled out of the coalition, and with the Maoists now unable to secure a majority in the CA, Nepal’s first Maoist-led government collapsed after only eight months in office.
What provoked New Delhi to act with such speed and malice was triggered by Prachanda’s challenge to India’s right of veto over Nepal’s foreign policy by ‘playing the China card’, repeating Birendra’s ‘mistake’ with an attempted arms purchase from the PRC. Any hint of a China/Nepal alliance was anathema also to the Nepalese officer class and high command, who were historically close to India, and had, post-9/11, forged a deep relationship with Washington and the Pentagon, based on dollars, weaponry and training in return for allowing Nepal to become another link in the US chain surrounding the People’s Republic.
When Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) was asked during the 2013 boycott campaign why he opposed elections, he replied that Maoists were not opposed to them per se as they were a ‘relative matter’. He opposed this specific one as political and financial larceny on a grand scale, attesting:
“It is a criminal conspiracy against the Nepalese working class.”
The 2009 coup showed that electoral results as democratic expressions of the popular will are also, when the occasion demands, a ‘relative matter’ even for those who peddle democracy as a universal panacea at least when it serves class interest but are as quick to ignore or subvert it when it doesn’t.

Class and Patriotism

It would not be incorrect, if very insulting, to say that Nepal’s top leadership vis-à-vis India, has been morally bankrupt, greedy, hypocritical and have served as no more than errand boys. People are tired of these slick, fast-talking politicians. In fact their reputation has gone down the drain. In a culture aimed above all at seizing power, with material motivations, political democracy and thereby sustained peace is unlikely.
– G. Thapa, Republica, Nepalese daily newspaper, September 30, 2013.

Marxist-Leninists argue that nation and class are linked in Third World countries. In these countries, traditional ruling elites and the emerging bourgeoisie have been suborned by transnational capitalism and accept
neocolonial status as preferable to revolutionary change and national independence. It is therefore not in their increasingly cosmopolitan class interests to seek genuine self-determination; only the exploited working and marginalized classes have a genuine interest in such an outcome. (19) The symbiosis of communism and patriotism is therefore contingent to the epoch of imperialism.
The lack of concern of the present ruling elite for its people is shown in the case of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar, cited above, because their remittances contribute over 25% when included within the tourist/service sector’s contribution to GDP. At the macro level they improve the immediate balance of payments but over a longer term contribute to decline in manufacturing and agriculture, which leads to rises in imports, augmenting the structural weaknesses noted earlier in the economy.
Aside from BOP advantages, the money sent back also reduces governmental responsibility for the alleviation of poverty, especially in rural areas. Consequently there has been little or no representation from successive governments for the rights and well-being of the estimated 2.2 million émigré Nepalese presently working in India, Malaysia and the Middle East. (20)
This echoes an early initiative of Jonge Bahadur, who established Rana power after 1846 Red Kot Massacre by reducing the monarchy to titular status. He negotiated a payment per head for every Ghurkha recruited into the British Army. (21) This was one aspect of a new strategic alliance with the East India Company through which the new rulers began to draw material benefit from trading their subjects as commodities in the form of mercenaries, while being left unchallenged in Nepal to establish Rana monopoly control over all trade and to plunder state coffers and lands with impunity.
The arc that connects the establishment of Gurkha mercenaries with migrant labor is one where benefit accrues to the same high castes exercising state power, albeit under superficially different political systems by different means of extraction in different epochs.
Kiran’s Maoists, in this sense, expand the concept of patriotism beyond concern for territory and existing culture into one that includes the justice and welfare of the people. This criterion goes beyond but does not ignore traditional concerns: the defense of borders against constant Indian encroachments, ending the shameless political obedience to Delhi, the rolling back of foreign ownership in vital economic sectors, and protecting Nepal’s largely untapped vast hydro resources from continued Indian predation.
The CPN-M Dashists are equally quick to point out that they are only anti-Indian to the extent that they oppose the Indian government’s neocolonialist meddling in Nepal. The hatred of Brahminical expansionist policies does not extend to the Indian people, who they argue have and are beginning to make their own revolution against the same enemy.
This internationalist perspective is axiomatic for the patriotism of national liberation struggles in countries oppressed by imperialism and distinguishes it from bourgeois chauvinist nationalism that breeds racist hatred and jingoist aggression. This was the ideology that fueled rivalry between the nascent European states and then mutated into the racial superiority engendered by the subsequent colonization and subjugation of native peoples in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Imperialism no longer requires direct colonial occupation but operates in neo- or semi-colonial form. Exploitation of peoples and resources continue, and even intensify, but are now fronted by local ruling elites, comprador upper castes and classes, conditioned and rewarded to front for and spare imperialist powers from the obloquy and resistance engendered by 19th century European colonial empires.
Mao described the modus operandi:

When imperialism carries on its oppression not by war but by milder means – political, economic and cultural – the ruling classes in semi-colonial countries capitulate to imperialism, and the two form an alliance for the joint oppression of the masses of the people.
– Mao Zedong, On Contradiction, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.331

The present Nepalese ruling class, in this respect, cannot represent the national interest, Maoists aver, as they constitute an anti-patriotic bloc sustained by and servant to international capital and great power geopolitics. Kiran concluded:

Both the King and the Nepali Congress Party represent the feudal, bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie.

Patriotism in Nepal and similar Third World countries, is not, argue the Maoists, ‘a refuge for the scoundrel’, but rather a home for the homeless and the hope of the hopeless. In this regard Pushpa Lal, when founding the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in 1949, absorbed Mao’s definition of patriotism and learned how the Koumintang degenerated from the patriots of Sun Yat Sen into the quislings of Chiang Kai Chek. He also derived lessons from the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Germany’s virulent, fascist imperialism. Patriotism in the modern age was, by these examples, anti-imperialist by definition.
Therefore, in the epoch of imperialism, the mantle of patriotism falls upon the shoulders of the proletariat in the oppressed Third World. The bourgeoisie in the metropolitan heartlands invoke it to mask imperial aggression and aggrandizement, while the big bourgeoisie of monopoly financial and industrial capital have transcended the nation-state and its parochial ideology, instead pledging allegiance to the ascending global megalopolis of money.

Communist Politics: 1949-2014

Inspired by China’s liberation in 1949, the newly founded Communist Party of Nepal took up arms against the Rana regime, which was in power via an alliance with NC led by the Koirala brothers and royalist forces under King Tribhuvan (Nepal’s Ivan the Terrible to the Ranas’ Boyars) Together they forged a Mukti Senaa (Liberation Army) which invaded from India in 1950/51.
These activities were supported, with arms, funds and facilities and funded by Nehru’s Congress government, and even included providing officer staff from Bose’s recently demobilized Indian National Army. Nehru had already godfathered the creation of Nepali Congress in 1948 from progressive Nepalese democrats exiled in India, and wanted to settle accounts with the pro-British Ranas. In the final event India limited their support to the NC, forcing it into a three-way peace agreement with the Ranas and the King.
There followed a short-lived NC/Rana coalition government, the collapse of which signaled a decade of political struggle between the NC and the King, followed by thirty years of monarchial executive government, with New Delhi steering a seemingly contradictory ‘Two-Pillar’ policy of supporting the monarchy and the aspiring democrats of Nepali Congress.
Lal, who, in 1949 first translated the Communist Manifesto into Nepalese, linked armed struggle to a domestic program, principally advocating a ‘Land to the Tiller’ policy in tandem with breaking up big feudal estates and following the example of China’s ‘New Democracy’ also proclaimed the intention of promoting state-sponsored national capitalism.
The party also advocated a Constitutional Assembly, which was agreed among all the parties, foreign and domestic, but reneged on by Tribhuvan’s successor, Mahendra, who, following the 1960 coup, replaced the parliamentary system with a feudal Panchayat, a series of interlocked consultative committees, starting at village level and ending with the King as final arbiter.
It was in these conditions of a Shah/Brahmin autocracy and the international US-led post-1945 onslaught to roll back Communism that saw the Communist Party and movement grow, recruiting from the intelligentsia, disillusioned radical NC members, urban workers, Dalits and oppressed rural minorities.
However, aside from having to operate underground, it faced the same problem as that of succeeding communist parties and cadre in maintaining a united revolutionary line. Lal’s CPN split in the early 1960’s between pro-Moscow reformists such as Tulsi Lal Amatya and pro-Beijing revolutionaries.
There was a parallel split between the Rayamajhi faction which scuttled off to serve the Panchayat system and Puspha Lal, who remained committed to proletarian revolution against domestic reaction and international US imperialism, supported by Mao’s communist China,  at least until Deng Xiaoping’s 1976 Rightist coup left the proletariat at home and abroad to its own devices.
After the Japha Uprising in 1971, Nepal’s first communist armed struggle, the UML emerged. But by 1990, it was fully committed to multiparty democracy and conciliation with Delhi, following the lead set by its homologues in Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Its transformation into a comprador bourgeois parliamentary party epitomized when the short-lived 1994 UML Adhikary administration instigated the Integrated Mahakali Treaty, which, under its NC successor, signed after an orgy of corruption, ceded sovereignty of the river to India. The UCPN (Maoist) path from People’s War into parliamentary politics and accommodation with Delhi has already been noted.
However, Nepalese communism, while disputatious, has shown great vigor, and unlike the post-1945 Western communist parties has never surrendered intellectual or political hegemony to the bourgeoisie. Schisms and splits followed deviations, but the result always ensured that the torch of patriotic, anti-imperialist revolution was passed to a new generation and party. The CPN-M is the latest manifestation of this cycle of action and reaction and may not be the last, but it has inherited the legacy of Puspha Lal Shrestha at a time when Luxemburg’s historical option of ‘Socialism or barbarism?’ confronts with even greater urgency, a century after she coined her prophetic question.

Jo Chor Usko Thulo Sor (Proverb: ‘He Who Steals Shouts Aloud’)

The feudal system was by no means brought complete from Germany, but had its origin, as far as the conquerors were concerned, in the martial organization of the army during the actual conquest, and this evolved after the conquest into the feudal system proper through the action of the productive forces found in the conquered countries.
– K Marx, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.72)

Nepal was unified in 1769 when the Gorkhali warrior state subdued the three kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley and created a myriad of fifty or more smaller principalities under the leadership of Prithi Narayan, who became its first Shah and centralized royal power in Kathmandu. It was not an organic process with common national identity evolving from a shared history, economy, language or culture but one of force majeure that involved conquest and subjugation over many indigenous ethnicities, each with their own language and customs.
Narayan Shah’s ruthless empire building was partly driven by desire to forestall the inexorable northeastern expansion of the East Indian Company, then easily colonizing small kingdoms in its path. The creation of a martial Greater Nepal did indeed halt the feringhees (foreigners) advance, which appeared unstoppable following Clive’s decisive victory at Palashi (Plassey) over the Nawab of Bengal in 1757. This battle secured Company rule over India until the precise centennial challenge of the first War of Independence in 1857, denigrated by the British using the euphemism, ‘The Indian Mutiny’.
However, a decade after Plassey, in 1767, Narayan Shah’s Gurkhali army routed a British expeditionary force under Captain Kinloch at Sindhulighadi and kept the greedy, expansionist British in the guise of the East India Company out of Nepal until the second decade of the 19th century and, many claim, helped ensure that the country was never formally colonized. It necessitated creating a domestic power imbalance with a minority ruling a majority that, apart from some cosmetic modification, exists to the present day and for a century was marked by Rana regimes so servile to British interests that invasion and colonization were rendered unnecessary.

1769 – The Dawn of the Hindu Kingdom

The extent of dominion had been acquired entirely during the last fifty years, by the systematic prosecution of a policy likened by the Goorkhas themselves, and not inaptly so, to that which had gained for us the empire of Hindoostan.
– HT Prinsep, The Goorkha War, p 9, 1825)

Prithvi Narayan Shah established a state in Nepal that in many way was analogous with those of European feudalism that emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire and lasted until the rise of capitalism in the late Middle Ages. It also was an agricultural society presided over by a divinely ordained monarch, nobility and priesthood existing on the labor and produce of a mass of serfs. Even the manner of its inception by force of arms echoes Marx’s comments on the origins of feudalism in Northern Europe as a response to anarchy and decay of the times:

From these conditions and the mode of organization determined by them, feudal property developed under the influence of the Germanic military constitution. (Marx-Engels, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist & Idealist Outlook, p.23. ME Selected Works, Vol. 1)

In this respect, Narayan Shah’s unification of Nepal was similar to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, where advanced military forces involving disciplined infantry and cavalry in integrated battle tactics was decisive in sweeping aside patchy and ill-coordinated Anglo-Saxon resistance.
In terms of comparative logistics and technical support, it was complemented by Narayan Shah’s adoption of modern weaponry and training of a third of his army along British lines that proved crucial to eventual success in a grueling twenty-year campaign culminating in the declaration of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom in 1769.
Gorkhalis and Normans conquered foreign lands and peoples, and Kings William and Narayan used countrywide grants of confiscated lands to their warrior and clerical castes as both reward for past service and to secure the future of the central regime. In each case repression was used to entrench the system and reduce respective populations to serf/Shudra servility. The speed and ruthless nature of Norman expropriations was such that by the end of William’s reign in 1087, 20% of the land was owned by the royal family, 25% by ten of his leading nobles and another 25% by the Church.
It was a more attenuated process in Nepal, but by the time of the Ranas in mid-19th century, similar patterns in ownership and access to land were firmly established that, despite some fragmentation and formal abolition of feudal land titles, remain into the 21st century for want of serious reform. A 2004 Human Development Report, UNDP, reported the top 5% owning 37% of the land, with the bottom 47% in possession of 15% (22). A decade earlier the Maoists presented more dramatic statistics calculating the top 10% as owning 65% of the cultivable land with exactly reversed percentages for poor peasant possession of land. (23)
From the birth of the new state, each of the subjugated peoples were subject to feudal rent in labor, goods or money in the case of Nepal where a sizable portion took immediate monetary form, while in Europe such remittance mode emerged gradually, attenuated by feudal society fragmenting under the impact of a growing urban society of flourishing markets and small-scale commodity production. In this situation money’s use-value as means of facilitating commodity exchange enriched and accelerated the rise of an increasingly prosperous merchant burger class that finally burst the constraints of European feudalism.

Land Tenure Post-1769

Should the direct producers not be confronted by a private landlord, but rather, as in Asia under direct subordination to a state which stands over them as their landlord and simultaneously as sovereign, then rent and taxes coincide, or rather, there exists no tax which differs from this form of ground-rent. Under such circumstances there need exist no stronger political or economic pressure than that common to all subjection to that state. The state is then the supreme lord. Sovereignty here consists in the ownership of land concentrated on a national scale.
– Marx, Capital Vol 3, p 791, New World edition)

Aside from the geopolitical considerations of blocking the feringhees, the Gorkha state was driven by hunger for land, and Narayan Shah particularly desired the fertile Kathmandu Valley. Brahmins and Rajputs who had settled across Nepal, having being uprooted from North India by Mughal invasion and settlement, were also instrumental in securing the new system established by Narayan Shah from the Kathmandu center.
They were particularly enthusiastic participants in the abolition of tribal land rights and the creation of a royal monopoly over all land under the Raikar Law. This allowed for individual/family use and transfer as long as taxes were paid to the King’s state treasury. Private ownership of land eventually mutated from this private use, creating a largely Brahmin landlord class.
When Raikar was abolished in 1950, the system accounted for 50% of cultivated land. Equally important for the Shahs and especially the later Ranas was Birta tenure where land was allotted to servants and soldiers of the King free of tax. When it was abolished in 1959, it accounted for 36% of cultivated land. (24)
The Guthi system further allowed for state or private grants of land to religious institutions and was free from tax and repossession by the donor. This continues to the present time but accounts for only 2% of cultivated land.
A specific subset of Birta was Jagir tenure, which was land in lieu of pay to army personnel, both officers and privates, which intensified expropriations of a scarce resource and entrenched the new order by, as one historian notes:

…granting of Jagir lands to such of them as received appointments in the government and army was an important factor contributing to the stability and organization of the newly established regime. Without the Jagir system it would have been virtually impossible for the government to distribute rewards to its nobility and military personnel.
Land Ownership in Nepal, p 74, MC Regmi).

Certain ethnic groups in Eastern Nepal had traditional rights to common land under the Kipat system. The Limbus in particular had these rights as quid pro quo for their agreement in 1774 to accept merger with Nepal under Narayan Shah’s sovereignty, which extracted a pledge that Kipat land would remain outside the Raikar system in perpetuity. This was never honored by succeeding shahs and particularly the later Rana regimes that relentlessly encroached upon these lands during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Limbus suffered especially as literate and legally informed Brahmins exploited their skills to dispossess them of their traditional lands. It was comparable to the enclosures of Tudor and Georgian England, where the gentry used Acts of Parliaments to dispossess an equally unwitting rural people of their common lands.
Rai Kipat land was largely untouched, reflecting the uneven development in the extension of royal autocratic hegemony mingled with deliberate divide et impera strategy. It shows how oppression was relative, with some national minorities eventually binding to and serving Narayan’s state, even applying stratification by caste among their own peoples, acquiescent in their deities’ acceptance as avatars of the Hindu God, &c.

Caste and the Feudal State

When born in the same way – all are one. None superior –none inferior. What is the use of caste that discriminates between human beings?
– From Basavanna’s Vachanas, written by a 12th century Indian philosopher/statesman.

The modalities of tenure imposed by the first Shah were pivotal in creating the economic and political sinews of a strong central state and went hand-in-hand with the imposition of the Hindu caste system throughout the country. This showed that feudalism in Nepal, while it shared features with the European variety, was deeply rooted in the culture of Indian tributary societies which flourished in the Middle Kingdoms between the first and thirteenth centuries.
The caste system originated as a means for a colonizing group of light-skinned Indo-Aryans to distinguish themselves from the indigenous dark aboriginal peoples (Adivhasis) they were colonizing by establishing three Varnas (Varna denotes color) – Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishaya in order of superiority.
However, according to scholars, by the time of Gupta Dynasty around 100 AD, this structure was recast as a socioeconomic hierarchy after large grants of land were given to the Brahmin priests, administrators, astrologers, temples and monastic institutions. This largesse had earlier been declared a sacred duty in the Dharmashastra, Hinduism’s foundational scripts where Brahmins are declared Pratigraha, the one caste entitled to receive gifts. There are further references along these lines in the epic poem Mahabharata.
The fourth caste, Shudras, were called forth during this period as an agricultural labor force in servile symbiosis with a rapidly expanding landlord class. Slaves at worst, chattel at best; a Shudra could be killed by a Brahmin with impunity. They were untouchables, subject to enforced endogamy and exclusion. The peasantry of contemporary village India are their descendants. Eventually a fifth category evolved, Dalits (Hindi for oppressed) which took over menial tasks connected with bodily waste, pollution and dirt – they and other tribal subgroups became the ‘Untouchables’.
This essentially was the system that Narayan Shah and his Gorkha warriors imposed upon Nepal, notwithstanding the Shah’s attempt at inclusivity by describing his Kingdom as ‘a garden of four castes and thirty-six subcastes’. No rosy description could, however, mask the reality of a ruthless struggle for land (intensified by salient, topographical fact that only 20% of the country’s area is cultivable) resulting in the new masters seizing the best land and extracting disproportionate produce as feudal rent.
Janjatis were accorded the same status as Shudras and Dalits, and aside from extractions of surplus and rent, had to provide free labor for specified periods and military service as necessary, under the Jhara Code, comparable to Corvee Labor in European feudalism. Hindu patriarchal law deprived Janjati village and farmstead women of property rights. This was accompanied by a sustained campaign to ban ethnic languages and culture that culminated in the Panchayat slogan: ‘One nation, one king, one language.’

Religion in Tributary/Feudal Society

In Kalikot, Hinduism has incurred into disfavor after the Maoist uprising, temples have been abandoned or even demolished. There was no use for them after the upper castes lost their land and moved to the city. In this place we had a temple of Dedhedu, and we were not allowed to enter the temple from this area onward. If we are not allowed to worship the idols that we ourselves made, then there is no point. We came to understand this and stopped maintaining the place.”
– Interview with Dalit Kalikot resident.

The Panchas did not add ‘One God’ to the attributes of the Khas nation as this was axiomatic to the state’s divine Hindu conception where religion was integral, functioning as means of ideological control over the laboring masses. It is strikingly similar to the role played by the pre-Reformation, Roman Catholic Church in European feudalism.
The Church of Rome preached that serfs were chattel, a property category introduced into the world as divine retribution for the original sin of Adam and Eve and carried from birth by their descendants. However, by virtuously accepting his/her lot and offering it up as penance in this life, a serf could attain a ‘state of grace’, ensuring admittance in the next life to Heaven at Dies Irae (Judgment Day). The Church was also a great land and serf owner and had a vested material interest in the temporal status quo. As is so often with organized religion, the basest of motives were tricked out as divinely inspired credo by ferocious, proselytizing clergy.
Their Hindu Brahmin homologues achieved the same end by teaching Shudras, Dalits, and other lower castes that their reward for accepting low caste in this life and creating good karma would be reincarnation into a higher one in the next. There is a potentially endless cycle of life, death and rebirth expressed in the concept of Samsara until the totality of Karma, achieved by soul’s migration through various physical manifestations is sufficient to achieve final mukti (liberation).
There are, of course, significant differences between Catholicism and Hinduism – one a transnational, centralized, corporate entity, the other a syncretic, subcontinental, decentralized network, but in credal terms of ‘justifying the ways of God to Man’ as mechanisms for strict hierarchical control, they were equally prescriptive. The Brahmins are as fanatical about  prohibiting intercaste marriage or upholding Sati as Catholic clerics were about burning heretics for denying the Trinity or Transubstantiation doctrines.
Each presented priestly castes functioning to reconcile the exploited and submerged masses to their inferior position by rationalizing the respective socioeconomic systems as ‘divinely ordained’ and eternal. The historian Kosambhi’s assessment below on role of caste in Hinduism could be equally applied to that of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe.

Caste is class at a primitive level of production, a religious method of forming a social consciousness in such a manner that the primary producer is deprived of his surplus with the minimum of coercion.
– D. D. Kosambhi, Combined Methods in Indology, p 59.

Consensus and Conquest

Whatever the arguments concerning the urban genesis of Indian feudalism (25) in the Gupta period (300-600 AD), there is no doubt that in Nepal it was driven from a central urban power in Kathmandu. Whereas towns and cities in Europe rose in opposition to the feudal countryside, in Nepal the city of Kathmandu was instrumental in superimposing a unified feudal system in a region, and the process was marked by an uneven impact upon urban and rural populations. For the former it was consolidation or even preservation, for the latter – a ’Big Bang’ whose reverberations, like the cosmic microwave background, are still detectable.
In this regard, the unification of the petty principalities, city states and major kingdoms within the Gandaki Basin of Central Nepal ranging from Pokhara to Kathmandu was facilitated by shared Indo-Aryan ethnicity, religion and language among the various protagonists. The regional ubiquity of Hindu upper castes – Brahmins, Chetris, Newaris, Thakuris and Rajputs – in various independent micropolities, petty principalities and kingdoms thus enabled Narayan Shah to develop a strategy that allowed for guile, diplomacy or force of arms to be juggled as necessary on a shared terrain as predominantly a manageable political or dynastic problem.
Most of the town and city statelets absorbed were, nolens volens, either feudal or proto-feudal, with rural lower castes and untouchables producing the agricultural surplus appropriated by urban higher castes.
Devout Hindus obviously welcomed the extension of the caste system that underpinned their privileged conditions of existence but were also roused by the Gorkhali King’s call to defend Hinduism against the Christian feringhees’ inexorable advance – Bible in one hand, rifle in the other. The warrior castes, forged in the wars against Buddhism and the later Mughal incursion, responded with particular fervor, ensuring them an influential position in the ruling elite thereafter.
For the Janjati Tibeto-Burman (26) peoples it was a military conquest by Indo-Aryans subjecting them to economic exploitation and cultural coercion. It created multifaceted oppression based on ethnicity, caste and gender that intensified under the Ranas who, led by Jonge Bahadur Rana, seized power in 1846. The Ranas were Rajput warriors (the name means, ‘field of battle’) raised originally by Narayan Shah, and their century-long rule was marked by persecution, corruption, and debauchery. In return for being left alone to plunder the country, a succession of mostly Shamsher Ranas developed a neocolonial relationship with the British that began seriously starting with the 1857 War of Independence.
Domestically, they used the Birta system extensively in order to seize more land, which increased rural deprivation and landlessness. Birta was particularly applied to award large tracts of the fertile Terai Plains to the Rana clan and other upper castes such as Thakhuris, Brahmins, Chhetris and Rajputs.
The 1854 Muluki Ain (Country/Civil Law) was essential to the process of freezing Nepal in the Middle Age. This set of laws derived from orthodox the Hindu sanctions and laws of the Dharmashastras, giving legal validation to the caste system by, inter alia, prohibiting intercaste mixing, regulating submission of peasants before landlords, and generally preserving the sociocultural and economic status quo. It also continued the tradition of Brahmins being exempt in law from capital or corporal punishment.
There was always resistance in some form to Rana autocracy – for example, the Gurung and Magar Risings in the 19th century and the mass movement inspired by a young widow, Yog Maya, a campaign for rural justice and against caste discrimination which lasted for two decades until the early 1930s. The response to any challenge to the existing order, whether socioeconomic or political, was always repression. In 1940 activists from the Prajaa Parisad (Citizens’ Council) Party were hung for daring to advocate a constitutional monarchy.
While the Ranas’ political grip was loosened after 1950, it has maintained military influence in the officer class and high command of the Nepalese Army, with the present Chief of Army Staff, J. B. Rana, one of the seven Ranas out of eleven occupants of the post since 1974.

Failure of Post-1950 Land Reforms

Towards the end of the uncertain 1950s’, Nehru’s duplicitous Delhi Compromise disintegrated, with the Ranas retiring from political, but not military, power. Nepali Congress and King Mahendra entered a struggle to determine ascendancy, as the democratically elected 1959 Koirala government tentatively began land reform with the twin aims of raising agricultural productivity and alleviating rural poverty.
This was undermined in 1960 by Mahendra’s military coup, proroguing parliament, banning political parties and trade unions, and beginning direct monarchical rule through a Panchayat system of ‘managed democracy’, and in 1962 implementing a pro-landlord program.
This provoked the American agronomist who had helped draft the previous NC administration’s progressive legislation complaining, in a 1963 letter,that landlords were an obstacle to reform because:

They opposed any attempt to improve the situation of tenants.
They were content with low productivity because it generated enough surplus that would be at risk from reform. They were pursuing narrow caste/class sectional interests at the expense of national prosperity and advancing the forces of agricultural production. (27)
Garibiko Bahas. Discussion on Poverty

However, by this time Mahendra had consolidated power with help of a ruling elite that included a significant tranche of landlords and therefore substantial reforms such as setting upper limits on land ownership, increasing access to land for marginalized groups, and greater legal protection for poorer tenants were rejected. Subsequently, his successors, kings and democrats alike, emulated this approach, paying lip service to land reform and radical transformation of the agricultural sector.
Probing Mahendra’s support for the landlords encapsulates the premise of this essay, limning a ruling elite that established its caste predominance by force majeure in 1769 and was still clinging to political power and economic privilege.
Looking at the composition of the landlord class extant at Mahendra’s accession provides a microcosm of Nepalese history, with soldiers and high civil servants from established Brahmin and Chetri castes forming a core of absentee landlords. This was leavened by in situ landlords who became the activists and officers (Panchas) of the Panchayat system and were instrumental in implementing the 1967 ‘Back to the Village’ campaign and generally eliminating rural opposition to the absolutist regime.
From 1964 on there were a succession of five Land Acts, none of which led to any perceptible change to the basic inequities suffered by the rural masses. Hopes for restructuring the sector were dashed when both NC and UML’s ‘Land to the Tiller’ policies failed to survive the transition from underground to legality, following the 1990 Andolan that humbled King Birendra and established for New Delhi a more amenable multiparty system.
The short-lived 1996 Adikhari UML-led coalition administration tried to pick up the pieces and set up the Badal Commission which recommended measures to increase access to land by hitherto marginalized rural peoples. Its recommendations fell with the government that commissioned it, and reform was off the agenda, as successive administrations preferred stasis to reform.
The NC-led Deuba regime, in 2002, did propose a program of radical change, ostensibly to aid poor farmers and tenants but which in reality turned out to be a political stratagem rather than a serious reform initiative, the purpose of which was to neutralize and outbid support for the Maoists’ truly radical rural agenda at the height of People’s War.
The only changes attempted by the many governments from 1990-2006 were guided by neoliberal policies enforced on loan-dependent Nepal by the IMF and World Bank. Permitting only market mechanisms, they enabled the landlord-moneyed class to acquire even more land through a Land Bank. Furthermore, land registration and government improvement grants were designed to benefit big Hindu landlords. Meanwhile, the governments resisted ceilings on land ownership aimed at sharing land more equably by creating tenancies among the hitherto landless and marginalized rural populations and also rejected improving rights and security of tenure for existing small and single family tenancies.

Failure of Post-1990 Land Reform

It was significant that the landlord class, following the collapse of the Panchayat system in 1990, flocked into the ranks of Nepali Congress, entrenching it further as a formidable conservative bloc, winning the 1991 election that, after a hiccup, saw the ferocious anti-communist GP Koirala installed as Prime Minister. He needed little urging to launch a harsh campaign of state repression against the urban Left and their Janjati allies in the countryside.
This commenced in April 1992 with police shooting demonstrators in Kathmandu and led remorselessly to the notorious 1995 Operation Romeo which subjected the western district of Rolpa to sustained police terror, lasting weeks and featuring arbitrary killing, rape and mass arrests, followed by detention and often torture. This insensate, brutal operation was decisive in swelling the ranks of a nascent Maobaadi (Maoist) PLA, and provided the spark that ignited a prairie fire of rural revolution marking the decade following 1996. Dr. Bhatterai provided an overview:

The most disadvantaged regions within the country include those inhabited by indigenous people since time immemorial. These regions, which were independent tribal states prior to the formation of the unified state in the latter half of the 18th century, have been reduced to the most backward and oppressed condition due to internal feudal exploitation and external semi-colonial oppression.
They have been left behind in the historical development process because of the blockade of their path to independent development and the imposition of sociocultural oppression along with economic oppression with the backing of the state, by forces that came from outside.
B. Bhatterai, Political Economy of People’s War, 1997, from PW in Nepal, Seddon-Karki, p 153)

It was no accident therefore, that the Maoists in 1996 chose to launch People’s War from rural West Nepal, beginning with the ransacking of an Agricultural Development Bank office located, with appropriate historical symmetry, in Gorkha District. Loan agreements lodged there, which extracted rent from tenant farmers by usurious repayments, were seized and torched, while ownership documents, held as collateral against the loans, were carefully retrieved and returned to respective titleholders.
It was no accident that land reform was a key element in 2006 negotiations for CPA, where Maoists wanted further confiscation of land from the big landlords without compensation and the application of ‘scientific management’ to agriculture. In so doing they were echoing longstanding communist aims of land reform, highlighted in the 40 demands promulgated in 1996 by CPN (M) and whose anticipated rejection was the trigger for People’s War.
Communists and anti-imperialists argue land reform is crucial for underdeveloped Third World countries if they are to gestate into modern genuinely independent societies. Forgetting the propaganda about it being the ‘world’s biggest democracy’, India is presently the world’s greatest failed state, with staggering levels of poverty and deprivation.
This stems from the failure to transform its inefficient feudal land system after independence, because, prior to it, Gandhi and Nehru had made an alliance with the feudal landlords and guaranteed their property and privilege. The much vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ of the 1960’s came and went without altering the systemic depressing reality noted by a leading economist:

Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940’s to 1970’s. Due to faulty distribution of food and because farmers did not receive the true value of their labors, the majority of the population did not get enough food. Malnutrition and starvation were a huge problem.
Sen, A. Poverty and Famine, 1981

In 2008 the World Bank estimated the global poor at 1.29 billion, of whom 400 million were in India. Communist China by contrast expropriated its landlord class and created over 70,000 communes that overcame residual difficulties and not only eliminated famines by 1970, but also, against the background of the mid-1960’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, provided the springboard for Deng Xiaoping’s launching China in the direction of state capitalism (28) after 1976.
Other socialist countries have followed this path: DPRK, Vietnam, and Cuba. Even Japan, post-1945, under MacArthur’s US imperium – initiated land reform clearing away feudalism as precondition for a capitalist future and a bastion against the march of communism in Asia. In all cases it was intended as precursor to industrial development and national autonomy. It is the only way for semi-feudal (29) and feudal societies to advance beyond  subsistence agriculture – by planning, collectivization and ‘scientific management’ in order to expand reproduction and accumulate the surplus necessary to feed the urban populations.
It is especially crucial in supporting a growing working class engaged on infrastructural projects or in domestic industries that hopefully flourish when protected behind tariff walls.
The nature of the society shapes its revolution’s priorities; as Dr Bhatterai, then in camp of revolution, detailed:

In a semi-feudal agriculture based economy like Nepal, the New Democratic revolution means basically an agrarian revolution. Revolutionary land reform, is, therefore, the biggest and the most important economic program of the New Democratic revolution. (B Bhatterai, ibid, p 158)

Summary – Historical Constituents of Discord

The imposition of a feudal system from the urban center created unresolved contradictions in Nepalese society. These contradictions are intensifying under pressurized conditions effected by the modern global capitalist market, but their provenance lies in Narayan Shah’s successful, ruthless unification campaign. More conquest than consensus, it seeded the antagonisms that continue to flourish in a divided, heterogeneous society and are recapitulated below.
1). The urban and rural paradox, which saw an urban center dominating the countryside as was touched on earlier, was an inversion of European feudal experience where towns and cities grew in dynamic opposition to the stagnant nature of rustic society. This caused Marx to remark in the Communist Manifesto that the one thing you could thank the bourgeoisie for, was that they built cities and rescued the mass of the people from ‘rural idiocy’. On the contrary in Nepal, unification and comprehensive extension of Hindu feudalism/Brahminism was driven by an autocratic, central state that remains largely intact and unreformed.
As with many capital cities in the developing world, Kathmandu has also come to epitomize uneven development, with the city growing into a First World citadel, in a Third World society, a progression expedited because its ruling elites in politics, the civil service, the armed forces, business and, increasingly, the media have been suborned by global and regional imperialism, manifested in mixtures of military, economic and cultural Soft Power.
In today’s Nepal, continuing resentment of central power, even dressed up as ‘democracy’, is revealed in dissension between those defending it against federalists seeking to liberate national minorities in the regions.
The CPN (M) placed decentralization among its 40 demands in 1996, and it has since provided detailed policy necessary to establish a federal state. The major parliamentary parties are opposed, wanting to either retain power in the Kathmandu center or gerrymander a federal state that ensures continuing upper caste/class hegemony.
2). Narayan Shah’s triumph is echoed in the confrontation between Hindu Khas chauvinists and Janjati national minorities, with the former from the outset dressing up socioeconomic oppression of the latter in religious and linguist garb. The Rana record of attempting to stamp out the many ethnic languages and cultures is attested, but successive Shahs and soi disant democratic politicians were no better.
As late as 1994, the Adhikari UML administration launched a Sanskrit radio station and tried to make its teaching compulsory in schools. Something to note – Sanskrit, the root of all Indo-Aryan languages as Latin for the European ‘Romantics’, has no linguistic connection with any ethnic minority language in Nepal, and the strategy of its imposition was another cultural humiliation, provoking an anti-Sanskrit campaign led by Janjatis.
This event was a particularly salutary example of the gulf between the UML’s communist appellation and its political practice, which in this case was distinguished by arrogant, implicit Hindutvaism.
Reflecting back to the 1066 conquest of England, Marx, quoted earlier, noted that the Norman system was grafted onto a pre-existing embryonic form of Anglo-Saxon feudalism. It could also be said that the two peoples shared the Catholic faith, perhaps offset by the Papal blessing given to William, rewarding his Ultramontanist credentials and the Church’s temporal interest in extending this more efficient and proven pious Norman feudalism and its own theological-political hegemony.
However, even points of concurrence did not disguise a brutal invasion followed by a century of military oppression at the hands of a French-speaking army and a new nobility ensconced in castle, on expropriated land. The evolution of feudalism into the more benign form of manorialism and the consolidation of Royal and Papal power in England was greatly facilitated by fact that within four generations, the hitherto alien invaders, kings and nobles alike, had abandoned the French language for an evolving English one. This linguistic event was crucial to the formation of the modern English language and vital in establishing a cohesive national identity.
It was not, therefore, unification by force-of-arms at the behest of foreign invaders that has precluded a similar Nepalese national identity from appearing; rather it is the failure to heal the original divisions created between vaunting conqueror and resentful conquered.
3). Landlord and tenant antipathy is rooted in the appropriation and expropriation of land that continued until the second half of the 20th century. The abolition of feudal land tenure and its subsequent mutation from private use to private ownership under market conditions benefited upper caste landlords by enabling them to consolidate their lands, with access to capital giving them immediate preference in acquiring released former royal/state lands.
As shown previously, the pattern of land ownership has scarcely changed since the covetous Ranas and upper castes used the state and its repressive apparatus to monopolize swathes of it. Reforms such as setting ceilings on land holdings were either resisted or circumvented. Small tenants were given few protections, and they either fell prey to usurers or were driven into sharecropping and landlessness.
This last group have swollen to include almost 30% of the rural population, mainly Dalits, ethnics, Terai Muslims, and together they form a reservoir of cheap labor, first supplementing and then replacing Kamaiya bonded labor after its abolition in 2002. Thus the feudal landholders devolved into landlords, rentiers – often absentee – and usurers. Over 80% of this last category were drawn from this traditional rural elite (30) despite the Asian Development Bank’s attempts to break their monopoly of usury. Consequently feudal relations continue to dominate an increasingly proletarianized rural workforce.
4) The crucial component defining the relations of production in the tributary system established by Prithvi Narayan Shah was the rigorous application of the Hindu caste system and the enforcement of it on Buddhist, pantheist, or shamanist Janjatis. The ideas of the ruling class, as Marx observed, tend to constitute the dominant ideas in any society, and in the subcontinent, caste was the Brahmin elite’s mechanism for maintaining and rationalizing oppression and exploitation.
It expressed a fusion of ideological and economic function in a society characterized by the rigid hierarchy of caste and rendered immutable by divine genesis and command:

The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
God made them high and low
And ordered their estate

This Christian hymn’s maxims are paralleled in the precepts of Hindu casteism as set forth, among other sources, by the God Krishna in the Bhavagad Gita:

“The caste system has been created by me…According to the differentiation of…Karma”
Ch 4, Verse 13
“…of (the castes) the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their nature”
Ch 18, Verse 41

The continuing grip of this system, however informal, is evidence of residual feudal mindset and practice. A contemporary Brahmin is just as likely today to be a newspaper editor, political boss, professional, or civil servant, as a Pujaari (priest) or Jyotisi (astrologer), but this has not diluted the influence of the caste; rather it has equipped it to expand into the many crevices of power in contemporary civil societies.
In all events, the secular opinion-former or the Thulo Hakim (party godfather/boss), laagered in Kathmandu, is no less the arrogant, prescriptive Brahmin, than is the cleric, functioning as interlocutor between humanity and God, under the gold roof of Pashupatinath Temple, on the banks of the Bagmati River that flows through Kathmandu and from where Dalits, as with all temples, are barred from entering.
Caste in Nepal often overlaps with class, with Brahmins and Kshatriya morphing into bourgeoisie, and Dalits in their designated laboring and semi-skilled occupations recalibrating as workers and forming unions. Whatever the taxonomy, caste discrimination remains deeply ingrained in a society dominated by upper caste Hindus, despite the advent of multiparty democracy. Dalits and their organizations and unions have consistently supported the Maoists, seeing the revolution as the means of consigning the system into the dustbin of history.
In this respect the CPN (M) were decisive in purging caste-discriminatory practices in liberated base areas, setting an example that stills cries out for general application.
5). The creation of Nepal under the auspices of deeply patriarchal culture was a qualitative setback for gender equality as post-pubertal females under Hinduism were regarded as domestic chattel to serve and gratify male needs and reproduce the species.
This conflicted with the more liberated mores of Janjati societies based the villages and valleys of the hinterland. They represented the close-knit, gemeinschaft ideal, where survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment, was problematic for both sexes, precluding prejudice and requiring cooperation and mutual respect. Consequently women were influential in the community and could obtain and inherit property.
This was prohibited under Hindu religion and law; women were also stopped from working in the fields under this rubric and generally subject to humiliation and constraints that marked their low status. They suffered the twin oppressions of class and gender, expressed in economic, social and political forms.
The Maobaadi slogan was:

Working Women of the World, Unite. You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Double Chains!!

There is also significant empirical evidence that discrimination has deleterious health effects, especially to lower-caste women. Nepal is unique because female life expectancy has always lagged a few years behind that of males, an inversion of the normative death rate gender differential obtaining in most societies. Up to 2000, the country had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world – 875 per 100,000, and it is little better now.
Lower caste women suffer further sexual oppression, are subject to rape with impunity by high caste males and are forced into sex slavery and prostitution. Hindu women, especially in urban centers, are made to observe Teej (husband worship), and the fifth day Tihar (Nepal’s Deepawali) is set aside for Hindu sisters’ Bhai Tikka (brother worship).
However, People’s War raised a challenge to the subordination of women in Nepal; the CPN (M) was committed to female liberation, from Marx to Mao a consistent communist principle, and proved this in the red base areas. There were dramatic effects on women in these zones, both indirect and direct. In the first place the conflict caused male displacement into PLA and militia and accelerated the increasing flight of men into migrant work, leaving the work traditionally assigned to them, from plowing the fields to repairing roofs, to be carried on by females.
That many women enthusiastically took up these challenges and supported the revolutionary cause is further demonstrated by the fact that by the time of CPA, one-third of the 30,000 PLA ranks were women serving alongside men in the front line. As with caste, the Maoists promoted and enforced equality, in stark contrast to the patriarchal and chauvinist Hindu culture of towns and cities. Even these urban centers were affected, as there was an increase in women’s’ organizations and agitation which owed as much to the impact of cosmopolitan petit bourgeois feminism as it did to urban Maoist women engaging in those legal or semi-legal campaigns for women’s rights that were open to them.
However, there remains a long struggle for full equality between the sexes on the subcontinent. The appalling treatment of many, especially Dalit, women in India, highlights the worst effects of Hindu male chauvinism. It is also apparent in culture with the Soft Power of Bollywood and in politics with the election of a Hindutva BJP government showing that patriarchalism is systemic and pervasive on the subcontinent. For Nepal, it forms part of Narayan Shah’s enduring legacy, and for those of Indo-Aryan stock, secular or Hindu, male chauvinism is reinforced by cultural and political mores emanating from ‘Mother India’.

Patriots and Compradors

The major divide between patriots and compradors is not directly attributable to the first Shah but began with the deliberate neocolonialist turn taken by the military clan he had called forth as the monarchy’s Praetorian Guard, the Ranas. Following Jonge Bahadur’s precedent, their subservience to the British rendered direct colonization unnecessary.
In the light of the post-1857 rebellion which the Ranas helped the British put down, the new Raj was more concerned with consolidating what he held than advancing into new territory and he actually returned to Nepal parts of the Terai seized following the 1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese war and Sugauli Treaty.
While the Ranas suffered for their pro-British proclivities in 1950, with Nehru aiding the King and NC invasion, the returned Shahs from Tribhuvan to Gyenendra were always ambivalent towards India. Mahendra, for example, was quite willing to play the China card after its decisive military victory over India in 1962 by securing Peking’s aid in constructing a modern highway from the Tibetan border to Kathmandu. Birendra’s humbling in the events of 1990 Andolan was precipitated by an Indian blockade on Nepal that closed four out of the five major roads and quickly brought hunger to Kathmandu.
This was prompted by the King’s attempt to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from China without consultation with and the agreement of New Delhi. These and other royal stratagems were nevertheless exercises and attempts at national sovereignty opportunistically exploiting interstices in the bedrock of Nepalese general political, cultural and economic deference to India and pragmatic royal acceptance of India’s strategic interests as the regional superpower. This ambivalence continues today as even the two RPP royalist parties are divided by pro- and anti-Indian sentiment.
It is all the more surprising that, from Nehru onward, Indian administrations maintained a ‘Two Pillar’ policy towards Nepal following the collapse of the Delhi Compromise which supported the king and the political parties. It was never a rational option; attempting to balance the conflicting interests of Royalist absolutism and popular democratic sovereignty was destined to end with the victory of one group or another. Tigers want blood – not grass, and New Delhi appears naïve not to have understood this.
It was especially puzzling that it involved India, as mentioned, supporting frequently freewheeling monarchs and marginalizing its natural allies in NC, and latterly UML, who had followed their Indian CPI comrades onto the parliamentary road and establishment status.
New Delhi had a major geopolitical stake in ensuring a compliant regime in Nepal as a bulwark against the threatened proletarian expansionism of the PRC and yet tolerated often opportunist, awkward Nepalese monarchs who, in their turn, were trying to maintain neutrality and pursue and independent foreign policy. They were conscious of Narayan Shah’s warning that: ’Nepal was like a yam between two stones’, therefore, cunning and room for maneuver was required to avoid being crushed.
Why successive Indian administrations continued to tolerate an, at best, ambivalent monarchy, when it had much more congenial partners in waiting is puzzling, especially given that the policy was not abandoned until 2005, when New Delhi finally lost patience and facilitated talks in India allowing the prorogued seven parliamentary parties and the Maoists to forge an anti-Gyanendra alliance.
NC, after all, was created under Nehru’s aegis, and he effectively betrayed the party in the aftermath of the 1950 invasion, with first the Delhi Compromise and next with the subsequent Two Pillar policy.
It may be argued that as the supreme arbiter of power on domestic and international issues, Nehru’s quixotic and capricious nature – if not Brahmin presumption – led to unchallenged contradictions. But even that does not fully explain the persistence of this approach post-Nehru, especially after the 1990 Andolan, which New Delhi precipitated and again drew back from by agreeing to having King Birendra stay on condition of accepting constitutional status (yet crucially allowing him to keep control of the army) in a ‘parliamentary democracy’.
A former Indian diplomat turned critical establishment sage noted in exasperation in 2003:

“There is a serious inherent conflict between the interests of multiparty democracy based on the concept of popular sovereignty and the King’s political aspirations and self-perceived divine role to rule. Even in 1990 the coexistence between the King and the political parties was neither natural, nor sincere nor honest.” (31)
– S. D. Muni

As this essay has argued, it was obvious from 1990 on that the parliamentary parties, governments and upper castes were either supine or in active collusion with Indian interests against the interests of the nation. They stood in even greater neocolonial submission to India than the Ranas before the British Empire. Their anti-national character was reinforced by functioning as agents/functionaries/transmission belts for imperialism in all its manifestations.
There is no role for independent states under the present global imperium. The modern state was called forth by the European bourgeoisie during the early progressive birthing struggles against feudalism. These states later degenerated into a struggle between these new nations across the European continent. It was nationalism distinguished by a xenophobic hatred, intensified when rivalry spread from the continent to a world stage in the age of mercantilism and colonialism as each European power fought rivals for a ‘place in the sun’.
The aim of these various rampaging states was to either exterminate or exploit native peoples and by blocking independent development maintain their subjugation. The aim of the First World has always been to kick away the ladder of protection it climbed up, from under Third World countries preserving them as arenas for super-exploitation. If there are domestic capitalist sectors in underdeveloped countries, they are crushed by unfair competition or leveraged out by multinationals using the dominant financial and political institutions and instruments of international capitalism.
Since national capitalist sectors are not permitted in underdeveloped countries like Nepal, no national bourgeoisie can exist. Only one that is comprador can flourish. Individuals from upper caste/bourgeois backgrounds do at times betray their caste/class interest and join the struggle for national liberation, and their contribution is not negligible, but patriotism finds critical mass among the rural and urban working masses because it is materially intertwined with class interest and takes political counteroffensive against oppressive conditions created by international capital.
For the ‘wretched of the earth’, Fanon’s memorable, passionate characterization, in Nepal and other Shudra states of the present global dispensation, there is no ‘trickle-down’ from the engorging imperial heartlands. The much-touted benefits of capitalism are chimerical, a Coca-Cola sign on a Third World shanty mocking poverty inside.
The gap between a banker on Wall Street and a sharecropper in an Assamese paddy field is as wide and unbridgeable as that between a patrician Brahmin or Newari Thulo Hakim in the gated Lazimpat area of Kathmandu and a barelegged Dalit sanitation operative sifting city filth and inhabiting a hovel in a less salubrious quarter. Capitalist imperialism has overseen Brahmin and bourgeois class rule equalized by mutuality of greed and hierarchical praxis.

Material Basis of Social Contradiction

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history; the simple fact hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even on ideas of religion, have been evolved,…..”
– F. Engels, Speech at the Graveside of Marx, 1883, Selected Works, Vol 3, p 162.)
“…an economic rationale can be provided for the origins of the Indian caste system as it can for European feudalism. All the great Eurasian civilizations being dependent on plow intensive agriculture needed some institutional means to tie labor…..Serfdom, indenture, slavery and the caste system were all ways to do so.”
D. Lal, The Abuse of History, p. 2.

The genesis of Nepal’s divisions principally lies in the system imposed by Narayan Shah after 1769. This was an economic process galvanized by political means, with a ruling elite extracting surplus from downtrodden peasantry in an agricultural society through control of the land. Following Professor R. S. Sharma’s taxonomy (32) of this phenomenon in India during the first millennium AD, the appellation feudalism is used. Asok Rudra created the term ‘Brahminism’ (33) to emphasize the unique nature of the Indian system, rejecting parallels with European feudalism.
What unites them, however, is mutual recognition that, whatever its discrete mechanisms and subsequent nomenclature, this was a tributary society. In other words, a type of pre-capitalist economic formation marked Eurasian history in this period. It was characterized by two main classes – first, a peasantry deployed in communal production, and second, a ruling class comprised of a priesthood, a nobility/military and an absolute monarchy that appropriated the surplus product/labor through control of land by repressive and extra-economic mechanisms
There were marked divergences in the forms taken by these societies in Europe, India and China, but all instantiate the level of class struggle at this historical stage, albeit subject to differential momentum, development trajectories and cultural configurations.
This is applying the methodology of historical materialism, précised in Engels’ quote above, which posits a sociopolitical superstructure arising from and sustained by an economic infrastructure which is appropriate to specific historical stages and the development of the forces of production therein. These successive modes of production encompass therefore not just the technological level of the productive forces but the corresponding relations of production under which they operate.
The conditions under which social formations organize immediate physical necessities such as food and shelter shape their culture and provide a dominant worldview consistent with specific modes of reproduction. There have been qualitatively distinct historical stages in systematizing preconditions of physical existence, each sustaining its appropriate ideology. Marx reasoned:

“The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish social relations in conformity with their material productivity, produce also principles, ideas and categories, in conformity with their social relations.”(34)
– Karl Marx.

Therefore European feudalism gave rise to Roman Catholicism with all souls subsumed in the Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and with divinely ordained functions complementing hierarchical society.
Capitalism, for its part, produces bourgeois individualism as an appropriate ideology for a dynamic or even unbridled society that is in constant flux.
Similarly the caste system on the Indian subcontinent, as has been argued earlier and noted by Lal above, is a socioeconomic phenomenon brought forward by exploitative elites applying superstitious doctrine to rationalize and mask their extraction of surplus. It is, as Dr. Ambedkar rightly concluded, a mechanism for the ‘social division of labor’ within an ’unequal hierarchy’.
Just as Hindu metaphysics spawned numerous avatars and manifestations of Para Brahman (the Supreme Being), increasing refinement in allocation of fixed, discrete socioeconomic functions gave rise to a plethora of subcastes and Jatis that remain determinate to this day, despite the impacts of urban cosmopolitanism and the phenomenon of many Dalits and lower castes forming their own organizations and joining trade unions. Hinduism’s credal syncretism contrasts strikingly with the rigidity of its hierarchical stratification by means of caste.
Religion is an ideological component within a general culture and along with political and legal systems is a constituent element of the superstructure which consistently corresponds to the economic base. It is called forth and shaped by ruling classes to serve the base and changes accordingly as it does. It cannot be otherwise. It is not economic determinism, acknowledging there is a reciprocal relationship between the two.
So, for example, changes to the social relations of production in the base give rise to distinct world views; while conversely, political activity in the superstructure such as revolutionary upheaval can transform the base. Feudalism gave way to capitalism, which reduced religion to residual role and developed education as mode of enculturation.
These are Blake’s “mind-forged manacles,” prefiguring Gramsci’s concept of hegemony in civil society, showing how a dominant class maintains ideological control over exploited classes and thereby complements its monopoly of the physical means of repression. Human societies have always commingled consent and coercion in varying combinations according to circumstances and history, but all rest on specific, sequential economic infrastructures that are ‘determinate in the last instance’:

“… According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimate determining factor is the production and reproduction of life.” (Engels to J. Bloch, 1890. ME Selected Works, Vol 3, p.487)

Conclusion

The ideal for any ruling class is where its ideology takes root and is accepted by the subordinate classes as expressing normative, eternal human verities. The lower classes then, as Marx held, “…share the illusion of that epoch” (35). In this essay I have argued that the brutal genesis of modern Nepal continues to engender resistance that precludes mass popular consent to such ‘illusion’ because its inceptional arrangements remain largely intact.
The caste system therefore remains pervasive and influential, if sotto voce, because the upper castes it benefits retain political and economic power, despite changes in polities from monarchy through the Ranas back to the return of monarchy and finally culminating in the multiparty parliamentary system, with each in turn representing a different modality of Brahminical predominance. This elite has lasted nearly two-hundred and fifty years, and it has managed to preserve a feudal/tributary mode beyond its epochal termination elsewhere.
Although circulation of money, small scale commodity production and burgeoning private property penetrated this society assisted by inherent Brahmin avariciousness mediated as hucksterism, it did not produce a strong national capitalist sector. Therefore, it was easily sold out by entrenched upper caste interests ready to accommodate the socioeconomic and geopolitical authority and objectives of India’s Brahminical oligarchs and international capitalism’s power elites and institutions.
Consequently the heirs of Narayan Shah via the neocolonial Ranas have mutated into today’s comprador ruling class, equally marked by cupidity, corruption and cultural capitulation.
The Seven Party Alliance was squeezed between Gyanendra’s royal coup complete with dissolution of parliament and banning of parties on the one hand and the Maoists, strengthened by the gains of Protracted People’s War, on the other. The parliamentary parties in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave formal assurances to the latter in order to defeat the former regarding restructuring the state and army.
In the following years, re-energized as a reactionary bloc and assisted/prompted by New Delhi and Washington, the same parties, led by NC and UML, decisively reneged on those commitments which they had conceded in a moment of weakness. Those promises, if translated into effective policies, would have effectively ended their role as Nepal’s traditional governing class functioning from the Kathmandu center.
Thus discord continues to disfigure Nepalese society and is characterized by a plurality of contradictions reflected variously as antipathy between landlord and tenant, Brahmin and Dalit, Khas Hindu and Janjati, comprador and patriot, casteist and egalitarian, capitalist and worker, patriarchalist and feminist, centralist and federalist, Maoist and Status Quoist.
They are all aspects and expressions of fundamental class antagonism, with a ruling elite on the right confronting the interests of the popular masses on the left.
Finally, I will conclude with a quote from an assessment made just after the 2006 CPA outlining the steps necessary to avoid a repetition of Protracted People’s War. It encapsulates the arguments made at greater length in the preceding pages. It is not from class warrior ‘usual suspects’ or any of more erudite and equally committed Nepalese specialists, but it hails from a well-meaning and of course well-funded Norwegian ‘Conflicts Resolution’ NGO:

The long-term conflict trends in Nepal are linked to whether or not one succeeds in replacing social, political and economic exclusion with more inclusive institutions, processes and practices. Continued exclusion on the basis of caste, ethnicity, gender or other means of distinction will provide the basis for continued armed conflict, including the possibility for further violence.
In political terms the key issue revolves around the ongoing efforts to establish legitimate political institutions accepted by all groups in society. In socioeconomic terms, this system will also have to, over time, succeed in becoming more genuinely redistributive that the current system.
In the short term, several factors might trigger increased violence in Nepal, including:
Increasing poverty: As noted above, the poverty and exclusion issue will remain central, in particular for the new regime when it will be established. Meanwhile, the government should succeed in providing at least some symbolic progress on the economic front in order to encourage belief in the system and indicate the way forward.
Ethnic mobilization: With widespread exclusion and discrimination still the norm across Nepali society, the danger will remain that some groups may mobilize on the basis of violence. This danger will grow unless the government and Maoists succeed in driving the negotiations forward and ensure redistribution in broad terms. (36)

These aims, necessary for Nayaa Nepal (New Nepal), have been either ignored or had their implementation blocked by a revived Brahminical status quo that despite its rampant corruption and its inability to provide functional government or generally represent the national interest still clings to power and privilege. Meanwhile the country decays and the people grow poorer while a younger generation takes up the challenge of the unfinished revolution.

“The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters.” (Gramsci, A. State and Civil Society, Prison Notebooks, p 276)

Gramsci’s apercu applies to the present right/left impasse in Nepalese society – for the moment.

Postscript

In these poor, underdeveloped countries, where the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by the greatest poverty, the army and the police constitute the pillars of the regime; an army and a police (another rule which must not be forgotten) which are advised by foreign experts.
The strength of the police force and the power of the army are proportionate to the stagnation in which the rest of the nation is sunk. By dint of yearly loans, concessions are snatched up by foreigners; scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nests, and there is not a soul down to the simple policemen or the customs officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.
– F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961, p. 138)

At the turn of the millennium, the Royal Nepalese Army had a complement of approximately 35,000 front line personnel, and bolt-action 303 rifles (first issued to the British Army in 1892) were the standard infantry rifle. Now, post-2008, as the Nepalese Army is 105,000 strong the and standard issue weapon includes the much more deadly American M-16 fully automatic, state of the art, high-velocity, assault rifle, replacing the substandard, fault-prone INSAS light machine gun, India’s generic AK-47.
This results from Washington’s geopolitical strategy of encircling a rising China with a chain in which Nepal forms an important potential link. Egyptianizing the Nepalese Army was important in advancing this aim. Under the pretext of post 9/11 ‘War On Terror’, following the 2002 Powell mission to Kathmandu, Washington agreed to help Gyanendra by equating Maoist rebels with Jihadis in a spurious world ‘crusade’.
In the following years, except for the brief blip of Gyanendra’s absolutist rule, guns, guidance and greenbacks have flowed in to the army as US military advisors implemented a strategy of re-equipping the army. The US has supplied the army with improved weaponry. In the air, the US is supplying aerial reconnaissance and attack capability with helicopters and short take-off-landing aircraft (STOL). And the US has introduced counterinsurgency training. All of this for an army that, prior to being sent into serious action against the PLA following the pro-Maoist King Birendra’s assassination, was only experienced in UN peacekeeping duties in various hotspots.
Through the Office for Defense Cooperation, Nepal’s top military convene monthly at one of the two US Embassies in Kathmandu under the auspices of the US Commander in Chief – Pacific (CINPAC). (37) Many of the NA high command and officer class are Sandhurst trained, and like their Indian Army homologues are willing Koi Hais, the Indian colonial term for a native servant.
Collusion with Uncle Sam, allowing him a forward base in Nepal in return for practical assistance turning the NA into a primarily domestic counterinsurgency force, came easily with this pedigree.
Aside from the Pentagon’s infantry weaponizing of the NA, most of the army’s supplies have come from India. In 2013, India resumed its role of supplying most of the army’s other military requirements, including means for ground and air mobility. This followed an eight year break that had begun in protest against Gyanendra’s coup but was also motivated by suspicion and resentment at growing US presence in India’s traditional sphere of influence.
The recent unity of purpose between Washington and New Delhi in regard to Nepal is evidence of a broader and deeper economic and strategic partnership between the two countries. This has been extended into the military sphere with the Pentagon providing guidance for Operation Green Hunt, a counterinsurgency campaign launched in 2009 aimed at defeating Maoist and Adavasi rebels who are resisting the plunder of resources and destruction of their traditional lands by insatiable multinational corporations in the five states comprising India’s ‘Red Corridor’.
There is also a 40,000 strong paramilitary group, the Armed Police Force (APF). This group was originally set up under Deuba’s NC 2001 administration to offset Gyanendra’s NA monopoly of state repressive potential. With the advent of the republic, it morphed into common purpose with NA, giving the state nearly 150,00 armed personnel at its disposal. The UK, with twice the population of Nepal, has an army half its size of the NA.
Further, Britain’s imperial heritage marks it as a singularly bellicose state, permanently at war with someone somewhere, usually as faithful deputy in various American campaigns of international aggression.
Apart from the People’s War, the Nepalese Army fought a minor war in the 1970’s, routing a marauding Khampa rabble in Mustang Province that had been trained and primed by the CIA to cross into Tibet and continue America’s war-by-proxy against the People’s Republic. Nepal is not threatened by imminent military invasion from either of its neighbors and has a particularly casual arrangement of an open border with India without even a dedicated border guard. The Nepalese Army’s UN peacekeeping duties involve 4,000 personnel at most at any one time.
It is obvious that the NA and APF are primarily intended as forces for domestic repression; they are ostentatious and ubiquitous across the country, with six fixed army divisions straddling the regions, backed up by three mobile specialist brigades. They have used the years since 2006 to improve fortified positions and entrenchments in rural areas and are everywhere in urban centers. Katmandu City itself is like a military camp, with never less than 20,000 personnel in barracks dispersed across the City like chocolate chips in a cookie.
Soldiers regularly patrol streets and thoroughfares, man major chowks (public squares and intersections) and parade in Tudikhel Park, a private army marching ground in the center of the city which, apart from the national football stadium is the only grass covered area in Kathmandu. Strutting their stuff, the soldiery are designed as much to intimidate as impress.
The army is the elephant in the room in the Nepalese situation, and has been referenced throughout this paper for its role and influence at key points in Nepal’s history from its birth under Narayan Shah, to the early years of the 21st. century. In the last decade it has become bigger and better armed, equipped and trained than at any point in its history.
It proved politically decisive in forcing Gyanendra’s surrender that signaled the victory of the April 2006 Andolan, and crucially succeeded in overthrowing Prachanda’s administration when it attempted to enforce the CPA provision that the PLA regulars be integrated as a corps into the NA. The further seizure of PLA weapons from the UN cantonments in 2011 on paper cemented the Brahminical state’s monopoly of violence in Nepal.
Its comprador officer corps and high command, well-groomed by American and Indian patrons, have demonstrated in such interventions decisive executive ability; dumping a malfunctioning, hubristic King, blocking army reform, martialing the phony 2013 election, and holding an informal veto over policies or proposals inimical to the status quo.
The officer corps is dominated by Chetris and Thakuris and represents a military ascendancy formed under the banner of Narayan Shah. It stands ready for counterrevolution either as a state of emergency or military dictatorship as possible options should the existence of the state be problematic or in imminent danger of collapse. The State’s political class presents no coherent power, and in any event is presently sunk in corruption, paralyzed by the specific difficulty in getting the existing order ratified in a bogus constitution and its sheer general uselessness in providing clean, functioning government.

Unfinished Revolution

War hath determined us, and foil’d with loss
Irreparable: terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed, or sought: for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted?
And what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge though slow
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 330/40.

However, the People’s War may resume in some form based on the announcement in early December that barely two years after the CPN-M (Dashists) broke from the UCPN(M) (Cashists), the CPN-M (Dashists) haves also split, with a faction led by Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) forming the CPN Maoist.
At the time of writing, the Two-Line Struggle’s policy differences that prefigured the rupture are not fully understood, but the new party is driven by what it perceives as the treachery and reversals of the eight wasted years since 2006 and declaring that if provisions given by SPA on behalf of the status quo are not honored then struggle will resume, and organs of dual power will be revived in re-established liberated zones.
The split does not appear as politically and ideologically rancorous as that between the Cashists and Dashists and may exhibit a generational difference regarding timing; Biplav and many around him are in their forties but have considerable battlefield experience from the People’s War. On the other hand, Kiran’s close comrades are in their fifties and sixties, and while many are primarily political figures, they also include active-service veterans.
Each party recognizes that the stalled revolution is certain to recommence at some point, but the lack of technical support makes any attempt in the short term to ‘go back into the jungle’ or resume any form of armed struggle against a new, domestically refocused, re-equipped, and expanded state repressive apparatus militarily inadvisable if not suicidal.
A more immediate likelihood is military and police repression of the party that, whatever its evident caution, has openly declared the task of completing the revolution, sooner rather than later. That is why its launch was held at a secure location in the Kathmandu Valley, but there was still a palpable sense of urgency behind Biplav’s opening statement that, failing the NC-led elite unblocking and implementing the reforms of the 12-point agreement of 2005 between the SPA and CPN (M) that were ratified the following year with the post-victory CPA, there would be a return to:

Armed struggle in order to protect national unity, integrity, sovereignty and rights of people. (38)

The Nepalese security establishment and its foreign advisers have every reason to take Biplav seriously. He was an effective military leader during the People’s War. With his close ally Khadga Bahadur Bishwkarma, Prakanda (Mighty) offered a vision of a reformed PLA with the creation of a youth wing in the CPN-M, the National Volunteers, that made a strong impression during the 2013 election boycott with uniform red T shirts and formation marching. It is a proto-army and significantly, most of its cadre have gone over to the new party.
State surveillance agencies will also note Kiran’s statement:

We will meet if Chand will raise arms and fight for people (39).

All of which makes a pre-emptive strike by security forces a rational option. It also demonstrates that the understanding that ‘political power comes out of the barrel of gun’ is the one point of agreement between implacable enemies. This is not only perceived in abstraction, an axiom that distills a precondition for establishment and maintenance of power in human society from its tribal origins to the contemporary nation-state, but it is directly informed and shaped by Nepal’s recent history since unification in the late 18th century.
The major and inescapable lesson is that violence was the midwife of the new state and has marked every significant subsequent upheaval since. From Prithvi Narayan Shah to Jonge Bahadur’s seizure of power in the Red Kot Massacre that established a century of brutal Rana despotism to the NC/Royalist 1950 invasion and uprising to Mahendra’s 1960 feudal coup to the People’s War and Andolans of the last decades to the 2001 assassination of Birendra which paved the way for Gyanendra – all of these events combine to confirm that there has never been any significant change in Nepal without the use of physical force.
All of the present political parties have their roots in violence; the RPP, NC, UML, UMF, and UCPN(M) all emerged sequentially from Nepal’s history through force of arms.
This paper commenced with Machiavelli’s comment on the right of the people to engage in struggle against the ruling class nobility of his time and so will conclude with an equally apposite rubric from the first great European political scientist. It expresses a truth understood by revolutionary communists everywhere on necessity for the revolution to have an experienced, disciplined, combat-ready armed wing, and is reflected in the author’s his rueful conclusion on witnessing the execution of the charismatic Florentine preacher Savonarola in 1498 following Rome’s condemnation of heresy:

That is why the visionary who has armed force on his side has always won through, while unarmed even your visionary is always the loser.
– Machiavelli, The Prince, p 23, Penguin ed.

Peter Tobin, December 2014

Citations/Footnotes

(1) Index Mundi, Nepal Economic Profile, 2014.
(2) Karobar National Economic Daily, 05/10/2013.
(3) Economist, “The Trouble With Ghee”, June, 2008.
(4) A political project to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and restore the power of economic elites.
See A Brief History of Neoliberalism, D. Harvey, p 19. Harvey provides further elaboration of neoliberalism’s elevation of market criteria over all aspects of life, particularly the shrinking of the state’s responsibility for welfare, economic planning, subsidies, &c. From the 1970’s on, it began dethroning Keynesian policies, with neoliberals believing that the Keynesians’ emphasis on state deficit spending as means of stimulating employment and production distorted the market and lacked fiscal rectitude. The phenomenon has also been described in popular parlance as, “Capitalism with its gloves off.”
(5) OPHI Country Briefing: Nepal,  2010.
(6) B. P. Bhurtel. 17/10/2013. “Rich Man’s World as Wealth Gap Grows in Nepal.” The Nation/Kathmandu Post.
(7) However, it can be argued that the link between bourgeois capitalism and bourgeois democracy is purely contingent, with neoliberal capitalism flourishing equally in dictatorships and democracies both. It is worth noting in this respect that Pinochet’s Chile was chosen by Washington as an experiment in extreme free market capitalism, dispatching Friedman monetarist acolytes of the ‘Chicago School’ to Santiago and placing them in charge of the Chilean economy.
This is not because contemporary transnational capital is neutral but because it has become a superior executive power reducing political systems and governments to irrelevance. A review in Le Monde, 10/10/2014, of the German scholar Wolfgang Streeck’s Du Temps Achete – La Crise Sans Cesse Ajournee Du Capitalisme Democratique (Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy) quotes his comment describing advancing global capital as class avatar:

“…elles est inapte a tout fonctionment democratique, par le fait qu’elle pratiquee en tres grande parti, en particulairement en europe, comme une politique international – sous la forme d’une diplomatie financiere interetatique.”
– Wolfgang Streeck. Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy.

A rough translation of which argues that it is incapable of functioning democratically, because it is, in fact a politically dominant power, especially in Europe, in the guise of interstate financial diplomacy. He uses the word ‘post-democracy’ to describe this stage of the present era.
(8) K. P. Prabhakaran Nair. February 2006. Grist for US Mills. GMWATCH. It is salutary to note that up until 2014, over 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide as a result of such policies reducing rural populations to immiseration and destitution.
(9) Republica (English language Nepalese daily newspaper) 07/09/2014.
(10) D. Gywali/A. Dixit. April, 2000. “How Not to Do a South Asian Treaty.” Himal South Asian.
(11) H. Yami/B. Bhatterai. 1996. Nationality Question in Nepal.
(12) ‘Kiran’ is a nom de guerre for Mohan Baidya. It means Ray of Light. All Maoist leaders adopted one during People’s War. ‘Prachanda’ (P. K. Dahal) means ‘Fierce’, ‘Biplav’, (N. B. Chand), means ‘Revolt’, &c.
(13) Colloquially known as ‘Dashists’ because of the –M in their name. Conversely, the UCPN (M), the party the Dashists split from, are called the ‘Cashists’ by their opponents because their leaders and many cadre were accused of falling before ‘sugar-coated enemy bullets’ after ‘coming out of the jungle’ and decamping to Kathmandu and corruption in 2006, following the CPA.
(14) 1991. “Caste and Ethnicity,” Ch. 7 in Nepal – A Country Study.
(15) R. Dangal. Administrative Culture in Nepal,  p.95, Table 9: Caste Distribution of Higher Civil Servants.
16) This needs an essay in itself! Briefly parliamentary/presidential, multiparty systems emerged as systems to meet needs of emerging bourgeois capitalist society in the West. The various parties represented class interests devising contingent institutional solutions. Part of Western hubris is claim their necessity in all circumstances.
It was applied unilaterally by an indigenous elite in many postcolonial situations. Apart from a democratic deficit, adoption of this project indicated loss of nerve and residual ideological colonization among otherwise resolute anticolonial political leaders of independence struggles such as Nehru, Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Kaunda, and Bandaranaike, &c).
But the main reason it proves ‘wholly unsuitable’ is total failure to provide effective governance in postcolonial situations anywhere and to have descended into nests of thieves and similar mechanisms of naked class aggrandizement when not replaced by sanctioned western ‘strongmen’ or red revolution.
Going hand in hand with capitalism and its contingent institutions demonstrated how indigenous elites were fostered and suborned by their colonial masters.
Marx, enthused, saw the inception of the program:

From the Indian natives, reluctantly and sparingly educated at Calcutta, under English superintendence, a fresh class is springing up endowed with the requirements for government and imbued with European science.
– Marx, Future Results of British Rule in India, 1853, M/E Selected Works p. 495.

Nehru is an exemplar of the success of this project:

“By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim and Hindu only by an accident of birth.”

He epitomized Macaulay’s ‘Brown Englishmen’. His pretensions, along with his secularization of Hindutva, are set out in his 1943 magnum opus, The Discovery of India, (written in English of course) where he establishes the existence of a precolonial Hindu ‘golden age’ civilization and his particular ancestral call to restore its historic harmony expressed in language reflecting his Cambridge education in the classics with references to Pericles, Demosthenes, et al, although when required he could refer to:”..the old Vedantic spirit of the life force.”
(17) Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 36. Marx benignly notes emerging use of education as conditioning and improvement mechanism, A hundred years later Fanon is responding to its deleterious postcolonial effect as the ideological component of a comprador class.
Vide (16) above re Nehru shows how this strata were eventually conditioned to reproduce bourgeois polity, albeit in ersatz, parodic form.
(18) WCPI, 2011. Transparency International,
(19):

…the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement…there is no national movement without the peasant army, nor can there be. That is what is meant when it is said that, in essence, the national question is a peasant question.
– J. V. Stalin, The National Question in Yugoslavia, Works, Vol 7, pp. 71-72.

(20) Prachanda’s short-lived 2008 administration might be excused, as it was forced out by a military coup orchestrated by New Delhi in league with NC & UML. But Bhatterai’s second ‘Maoist’ administration, 2011-13, had less excuse for being so supine.
(21) Ghurkhas are not an ethnic group but, according to their websites are a warrior caste claiming descent from the Hindu Rajputs and Brahmins of Northern India. Their valor, tenacity and loyalty deeply impressed the British enemy. After a successful invasion and defeat in 1814-16, the East India Company began recruitment into a specially created regiment that, in modern times, has been mainly drawn from the Rai, Limbhu, Magar and Gurung ethnic nationalities.
The added glory of Hindu provenance (possibly a retrospective embellishment), but their cry “Jaya mahakali – Ayo gurkhali!”  (“Glory to great Kali – Gurkhas are coming!”), shares an evocation of Kali as the goddess of destruction and death with the Rajputs, belonging to the Kshatriya warrior caste, spread across Northern India, many driven into Nepal by the Muslim invasion of North India.
In the Terai they became one of the ruling Bhadralok castes mutating into professional occupations as doctors, lawyers &c. Also Narayan Shah was from a Kshatriya jati, although he was pragmatic enough to recruit given national ethnicities into his army while raising up Hindu upper castes and establishing a divine Hindu Kingdom.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymological root of Gurkha as:

 ORIGIN name of a locality, from Sanskrit goraksa ‘cowherd’ (from go ‘cow’ + raks – ‘protect’), used as an epithet of their patron.
Oxford English Dictionary

This lends credence to Gurkhas’ claims of provenance from Hindu warrior castes.
(22) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 23.
(23)  CPN (M). 1997. One Year of People’s War in Nepal. GS’s Report.
(24) J. Adhikari. Land Reform in Nepal, p 39.
(25) The early Marx claimed centralized despotism as the essential feature of the Asiatic Mode of Production – a pre-capitalist form that he believed existed in static, ossified, oriental societies.
He infamously commented:

Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history.
Marx – Future Results…ME Vol 1, p. 494. 1853.

and, while acknowledging the base motives of the English colonizers, he thought that imperialist incursion would, nolens volens, drag it into the modern world. However, after the first War of Independence in 1857 and subsequent study he revised AMP and undermined the despotic, stagnant society premise by declaring the uprising a ‘national revolt’, and expressed support for the insurgents. Though he never accepted that India, precolonial incursion, was feudal, he conceded that it could be described as in transition to feudalism.
In this respect he wrote in 1859:

In broad outlines, Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society.
Marx – Preface to Critique of Political Economy, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 504, 1859

The concept has been an issue for polemic and debate among Marxists and communists and survives more as an analytic than a descriptive term. Whatever the taxonomy, Marx, by looking at the relations of production, outlined how an elite could appropriate surplus using the state as a mechanism for generalized exploitation. Dalits and Sudras stood before their Brahmin masters in the same relationship as a slave before a slaveowner, a serf before a lord, or a worker before an employer.
(26) These are linguistic categories used by modern ethnographers, and while there were obvious physical differences between the two groups that added to perception in the case of Nepal, they are not a racial classifications. For example, the other linguistic group in South India is Dravidian, with minimal physical differences between its speakers and those of the Indo-Aryan bloc.
(27) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 25.
(28) ‘State capitalism’ is as fraught a term as feudalism, with multiple definitions, inspired by political polemics not only expressed between left and right but also a lively source of debate within the left denoting ultimate political allegiance .
For the right, it can mean any state intervention either through ownership or control such the post-1945 policy of Dirigisme in France where, apart from extractive and heavy industry, private ownership dominated in a free market but was subject to indicative planning from a government setting national objectives.
It could also be applied to the Scandinavian and British mixed economy model that was discarded after the 1980’s. In the case of France, state intervention predated capitalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie, and in the form of Colbertism, was initiated under Louis IV’s first minister, J. B. Colbert.
The concept of ‘state monopoly capitalism’ has also been applied by left wing and extreme rightwing free marketeers to describe the state protection and support for the big corporations in the USA. The Military-Industrial Complex that emerged in the new triumphal global imperium following the Second World War is often cited as example because huge contracts are awarded rather than won, characterizing a cozy symbiotic relationship between business and the political functionaries of the American ruling class.
For anarchists, Neo-Trotskyites and the Ultra Left, it is what happened after 1917 in Russia and 1949 in China, or indeed anywhere else there has been a socialist revolution. It assumes that party apparatchiks and bureaucrats inevitably become a new ruling class, owing to their control of the means of production and the appropriation and direction of the resulting ‘social dividend’ (surplus value).
For Marxist-Leninists/Maoists it is what occurred in the USSR after Stalin’s death with Khrushchev’s failed attempts to follow Yugoslavia’s ‘market socialism’ and re-occurred with a vengeance in the PRC after Deng Xiaoping’s seizure of power in 1976.
Apologists for China’s system describe it as a ‘socialist market economy’, where the commanding heights of the economy, the banking sector and land are state owned and where the state is responsible for macroeconomic policy with microeconomic decisions left both to management of state enterprises and licensed capitalists operating as private companies in designated Special Economic Zones.
Therefore the political decision to allow free market mechanisms to determine price and allocations of goods and services with retention of profit by private companies, commentators opine, is more indicative of state capitalism especially when set against the background of scrapping the egalitarian, ‘Iron rice bowl’, full employment guarantee from the heroic period of socialist construction and mass mobilization. Therefore, it should be said that, like feudalism and indeed semi-feudalism, the concept of state capitalism is often used subjectively, indicating class or political orientation. See following note.
(29) ‘Semi-feudal’ obviously relates to accepting the thesis of pre-existing feudalism on the subcontinent, Samantabaad is the Hindi and Nepalese word for feudalism and derives from the nobility of the Gupta Period, which some historians claim led the emergence of feudal society in India. The Samantas were also influential during the Licchavi Dynasty (400-750 AD) who established the first central state in Nepal.
Even those who do accept the taxonomy applied recognize that it was a tributary society of a type that flourished the early city states, empires and later, nascent nation-states. European feudalism was one type of tributary society, with the exception that it enabled the growth of classes and productive forces that eventually burst its integument and established the capitalist society and mode of production.
Marx did not recognize this dynamic in the Orient, and his AMP was his initial response in distinguishing its ossified despotisms with those of medieval Europe. It was this formulation that, while recognizing the utter venality and brutality of the British, nevertheless led him describe them as unwitting agents of progress, in breaking down the ‘Chinese Walls’ of societies incapable of generating internal change.
Subsequently it has been argued that Indian society, pre-colonization, was subject to change, but that compared to Europe’s historical transformation it was imperceptible (as indeed was most of its history at that time). This had important political ramifications for Indian communists because they refused acknowledging any positive results from imperialist incursion and applying the term feudal to describe periods of Indian history implicitly underpins this position. Plus ‘Down with feudalism’ is less of a mouthful than, ‘Down with the Asiatic Mode of Production!
The notion of semi-feudalism follows this thesis because it posits transitional developments. In the case of Nepal, it is marked by backwardness of the productive forces, sharecropping, increased tenancies and the growth of usury. The last are linked, representing the dominance of money payment in feudal rent, reflecting generally growth of a market economy but specifically the transition of feudal owners into capitalist rentier landlords.
Semi-feudal is also used to describe relations of production continuing after their originating conditions of existing have changed, as expansion of agricultural capitalism has led to increasing numbers of landless and sharecroppers, who are objectively proletarianized but are learning to recognize residual feudal deference as subjective flight from their objective class reality. As descriptive tools, these terms are a continued source of argument not only between Marxists and bourgeois, but also intestinal within these respective groupings.
As a slogan, however, ‘Down with Feudalism’ and the commitment to abolish ‘neo/semi-feudalism’ is a political call to the oppressed to break free of feudal/exploitative relations in order to confront the reality of capitalist modes of employment and exploitation in the agricultural sector. (cf: Pushpa Lal’s CPN’s program and Mazumdar’s for the Naxalite struggle in 1960s.).
(30):

The informal rural credit markets of Nepal seem to be characterized by an aggregate constraint at the village level and oligopolistic collusion on price discrimination. Entries of new lenders are likely to be rare, due to high initial information cost. Lenders need to interact with the borrowers for a long period to be able to screen the borrowers and enforce payments….
Although it is reasonable to target poor households, the analysis indicates that one may as well target the higher priced segments. The analysis thus supports credit programs that target low status castes. Examples from Nepal are programs that target ethnic groups living in Terai. These households pay real interest rates that are almost double of the rates paid by high castes living in the hills.
– M. Hatlebakk. 2000. “Will More Credit Increase Interest Rates in Rural Nepal?” Technical Report and Recommendations, pp. 42-43. Nepal Rastra Bank.

(31) S. D. Muni. 2003. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, p.61. Muni is perhaps too close to see the Brahminical tree from the wood, he is a pragmatic, secular ex-diplomat critical of and puzzled by the ambivalence of Nepalese policy that allowed King Mahendra, e.g. to block: “India’s legitimate and enlightened interests in Nepal.” (ibid, p 62).
His views are an apologia for Indian expansionism, pitting progressive capitalism against residual feudalism, which synchronically informed the position of Dr. Bhatterai, earning him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. India’ in anti-revisionist Maoist ranks. I would also speculate that the attitude towards the last divine Hindu monarchy was schizophrenic, with even ostensibly Westernized secularists like Nehru acknowledging the weight of Brahminical Chaturvarna tradition and unconsciously deferring to caste supremacy, however apparently exotic and uncongenial to a Cambridge-conditioned cosmopolitan world statesman.
Nehru was a Hindutva with an occidental humanist face. Successive Indian administrations, particularly Rajiv Gandhi’s administration, elided further into more open Hindutvaism, which, mixed with growing accommodation with Western capitalism in triumphalist form following the suicide of Gorbachev’s USSR and collapse of Soviet Bloc, was Modiism avant la lettre.
(32) R. S. Sharma, Indian Feudalism, 1965.
(33) A. Rudra, Non-Eurocentric Marxism and Indian Society, 1988.
(34) Marx. 1847. The Poverty of Philosophy, p.105.
(35) Marx, Feuerbach. 1846. Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, ibid, p 43.
(36) NORAD. 2007. Report on Conflict Sensitivities, pp. 67-68.
(37) Tobin, P. 2011. “Balance of Military Forces in Nepal” Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay, website.
(38) http://www.ekantipur.com, Chand Announces CPN Maoist, 02/12/2014.
(39) Republica, D. B. Chhantyal, 06/12/2014.

References

Adhikhari, J. Land Reform in Nepal – Problem & Prospects.
Bhatterai, B. Monarchy vs. Democracy & Articles, Essays from People’s War.
Dangal, R. Administrative Culture in Nepal, 1991.
Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth.
Karki/Seddon, (eds.) The People’s War in Nepal – Left Perspective.
Kumar, A. The Black Economy in India.
Lecomte-Tilouine, M. (ed.) Revolution in Nepal, Collected Essays.
Marx/Engels, Selected Works. 3 Vols, Poverty of Philosophy, Anti-Durhring, Capital, Vols 1 &2.
Maxwell, N. India’s China War. 1970
Muni, S. D. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal.
Nehru, J. The Discovery of India.
Prinsep, H. T. The Gurkha War – 1814-16.
Regmi, M. C. Land Ownership in Nepal. 1976
Sharma, R. S. Indian Feudalism.
Thapa, D. A. Kingdom Under Siege – Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency – 1996-2003.
Upadhyaya, S. P. Indo-Nepal Trade Relations – 1858-1914 .

General

Rough Guide to Nepal.
Studies in Nepali History & Society, Vol. 15.

Reports/Commissions

NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) Report on Conflict Sensitivities in Nepal – 2007.
Transparency International. “Nepal.” World Perception Corruption Index – 2011.
UN Human Development Report – 2014.

Articles

Ambedkar, R. B. The Annihilation of Caste.
Basnyat, P. S. Nepalese Army in the History of Nepal.
Dak Bangla, Nepal’s Civil and Military Relations and the Maoist Insurgency.
Habib, I. Kosambi. Marxism & Indian History.
Lal, D. The Abuse of History.
Puniyami, R. Hiding the Truth About Caste.
Rajan, V. ‘Dalits’ and the Caste System in India.
Tobin, P. Balance of Military Forces in Nepal – in Relation to PLA Integration – 2011.

Newspapers/Journals/ Periodicals/Websites

Dak Bangla – website.
Democracy & Class Struggle – website.
Economist – magazine.
Himal – South Asia – magazine.
Himalayan – newspaper.
Kathmandu Post.
Nepal Monthly – magazine.
Red Front – One-off English language version of Krambaddha (Continuity) Pro-Kiran 2012 journal, editor, Prem Darnal, Bikalpa (Alternative).
Republica, newspaper.
Worker, English-language journal of CPN (Maoist).

In the Female, Sexual Consciousness Trumps Class Consciousness

In other words, when it comes down to tingles versus cash, tingles tends to win.

One time I knew a woman from Colombia. We used to talk online a lot. I called her on the phone a few times, and her upper class Bogota Colombian Spanish accent was one of the sexiest damn accents you have heard in your life. It almost sounded like French or Catalan in its cadence.

She ran with a rich crowd who spent half their time in Spain. A lot of rich Latin Americans are like that. It’s not uncommon for them to spend 2-6 months out of the year in Spain. They’re practically transplanted Spaniards, culturally anyway.

Her brother was an artist who painted very good paintings which he sold for $3,000-5,000/each, which I suppose is a small fortune in Colombia. They were always going off to Spain to sell paintings or go to art shows, etc.

I talked to her, her sister and I think a man there a few times, and they were some of the classiest, most polite people you have ever met in your life. You meet Colombians and it’s often like that. You think, “These are the nicest people on Earth. Why have they spent the last 65 years slaughtering each other?”

She claimed that she hated the Colombian guerrillas, but I don’t think she hated them all that much. A lot of rich Colombians pay war taxes to the guerrillas. There are serious consequences if you don’t pay. You drive outside of Bogota, meet some guerrilla guy at some pre-organized place, and hand over that year’s war tax. It’s not a tiny amount, but it won’t break the bank either. It’s easily payable. So a lot of Colombian rich have guerrilla connections anyway in one way or another.

Despite this woman’s hatred of the guerrilla, she confided in me that in her crowd of rich artsy Bogotans, there were quite a few FARC supporters, many more than you would ever think. The artsy crowd are always a funny type of rich. In a lot of revolutionary situations, quite a few artsy rich go over to the Revolution. They don’t have the class consciousness of a typical rich person.

At that time, I was working for a guerrilla group called the ELN translating some of their statements from Spanish into English.

Whoops! I wasn’t doing that at all! Because that would violate anti-terrorist laws!

Well anyway, I told her about it, and I expected her to scream at me, call me a Commie and never talk to me again, but instead she started teasing me in a really sexy, flirty, dirty voice, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Man of dangerrrrrrrrrrrr (hombre de peligro).”

It sounds a bit funny in English, but that’s the translation. I guess down there being a guerrilla supporter or working for the guerrilla is sort of like running Ultimate Bad Boy Game. I suppose you could even grab some rich women that way. In the female, class consciousness easily gives way to sexual consciousness. The lure of the Bad Boy transcends class interest.

China as a Planned Economy

I’ve been saying this for a long time now.

Dissecting the Concept of Planning

After years of experimenting with different types of planning from 1949 to 1979, the Chinese Communists finally settled down for Market Socialism-based Planning. Yes sir, p-l-a-n-n-i-n-g.
They reclassified their economy as being in the primary stage of Socialism, and then went on to chalk out a 50-year plan. Yes sir, p-l-a-n. Under this fifty-year plan, they have taken up the all round development of one region every ten years. Right now it is Tibet and the South-western provinces.
The result is announced on 15-08-2014 : Chinese Railways has reached the border of Sikkim, will very soon reach the border of Arunachal Pradesh, and will also eventually connect with the Pakistani Railways through Aksai Chin and POK.
That is “communism” for those who care. All about careful, methodical planning which implies two basic things: selection of goals and mobilization of resources for achieving those goals.
Now let us see India. We had a sham Planning Commission at least after 1991, when Manmohan Singh as the then Finance Minister started talking of “Economic Reforms”. Vajpayee started talking of “Shining India” even as he too continued with a sham Planning Commission. Manmohan Singh, after becoming PM, actually appointed Montek Singh Ahluwalia (a self-confessed neoliberal, ergo: anti-planning) as the Chairman of the Planning Commission, and practically destroyed the idea of planning.
And now comes along Narendra Modi, who declares from the ramparts of the Red Fort that planning commission is no longer necessary (because as per the neoliberal economic ideology, planning itself is not necessary). In order to mute his critics, he declares that he will set up a new institution for generating new ideas. His government’s recent budget for railways talks of “FDI in Railways” as the panacea for railways development. The Foreign Direct Investment in Railways is and will always be about high-speed trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, or about air-conditioned double-decker trains between Mumbai and Goa, or about Palaces on Wheels. Never about Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh.
Today, when from Kashmir, Telangana, Chattisgarh, or any other part of India for that matter, when we hear complaints about Government of India, the main burden of the song is about lack of development, leading to frustration, despondency, and militancy.
During his election campaign, Modi precisely cashed in on this lack of development. But the neoliberal that he is, he thinks that deliverance lies through the path of inviting FDI in every field : “Come, Make in India”.
Simultaneously, he announces the jettisoning of the concept of Planning.
Our corporate press hails it as a burial of Nehruvian Anachronisms.
Our “secular-liberal” thinkers also start by sighing as to how Planning had practically ceased in India long ago, and as to how we have to start looking out for “new”, “latest” ideas in development economics.
Those who blindly support Modi, do not wish to tolerate any critic of Modi’s ideas.
The million-rupee fact is that by Planning, the Chinese Railways have reached Sikkim and will soon reach Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The Indian Railways with 67 years of sham planning are nowhere near Sikkim, Arunachal and Ladakh.
And with the jettisoning of the very concept of planning coupled with the wholehearted embrace of FDI, the Indian Railways will never reach there. And perchance, if some Foreign Direct Investor does construct railways in those places, then he would do it to build up his pockets – not to build up India. And more likely than not, the very presence of such FDI predators in those areas would only lead to further alienation, further disaffection, and further militancy.
The concept of Planning was not invented by Nehru. It was invented by the Soviet Socialists. Hence rejection of the concept of planning is hardly an act of anti-Nehruvianism. It is an act of anti-Socialism. And, considering that Socialism is a Basic Feature of India’s Constitution, it is a serious violation of the Constitution and repudiation of the oath to defend the Constitution.

FARC Attack, 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx0a8IM8fbQ
FARC attack somewhere in the jungles of Colombia sometime in 2013.
The lying MSM world media, excuse me the “free press” (TM), all speaks with one mind about the FARC. The FARC are evil narcoterrorists, and the government of Colombia are freedom fighters battling evil Commie thugs. In recent years, all under the phony lying guise of the Drug War, the US has pumped massive amounts of money into the fascist, murderous Colombian state.
The US is virtually the only nation on Earth that supports Colombia, though Israel does send some trainers to help train their death squads. Israeli trainers have been sent to all fascist rightwing dictatorships on Earth, where they trained the reactionaries how to slaughter and torture the people.
Israelis worked training death squads in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia at the very least (let me know if you can come up with some more). The Israeli excuse for this is that Israel is the attack dog of the US, so when the US tells Israel to go in and train death squads, Israel obeys.
Personally I believe that the fascist Israelis, deeply allied with US imperialism, simply see themselves as serving the interests of imperialism by setting up death squads to attack people’s movements. This also shows that the Israeli state has been deeply reactionary for a long time, extending back to the 1980’s, and that the Israelis, even “Labor” Israelis, have always worked for the banksters and the elite world controllers to attack, torture and kill the ordinary masses fighting against oppression. Do you see a corollary with Israeli behavior training death squads and the colonial treatment of the Palestinians?
The lying world media has been saying for some time now that the FARC is nearly defeated, have lost almost all their fighting force, are no longer able to launch attacks and are in retreat everywhere suffering heavy losses.
Part of the problem is that the massive US aid to the elite death squads of the rich attacking the oppressed poor people has included much intelligence gathering aid, in particular – the Pentagon is now operating in Colombia doing sigintel. They have forward that information to the Colombian government who used it to raid and bomb the headquarters of some rebel leaders.
It is true that some rebel leaders have been killed in the past few years, but they are always quickly replaced by the next in command. FARC has a huge leadership structure that is very organized. When one mode is knocked off, they simply promote the next in command, and everyone moves up a notch. No problem.
In addition,  Colombia now has a large air force provided by the US, and the rebels lack good anti-aircraft weapons to down these planes. It’s a major disadvantage as Colombian forces did not use to rely on airpower very much.
Looking at this video here, in which the FARC overrun a small Colombian Army camp and seize a great deal of equipment while killing some of the enemy, tell me if you think this looks like an army on the verge of defeat.

United Snakes Indicts Sendero Leaders on Dubious Charges

Here.
This is truly insane. Apparently US law now extends all over the whole world! Commit a crime in Timbuktu, and you just violated American law! This proves what I have been saying all along, that Uncle Satan is the Dictator of the World.
The crimes are providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Fine, that is a law in the United States, but it only applies to US citizens activities here or elsewhere and obviously it doesn’t apply to anyone else. Where does the US get off indicting Peruvians for things they did in Peru in the course of a civil war?
This is truly terrifying. America is definitely now the dictator of the entire planet. Crazy.
I know some of you are bothered by the anti-US rhetoric. Yesterday was July 4, so I deliberately did not write any anti-US posts day out of respect. Now I am wondering why I even bothered. Hell, I should have posted virulent anti-US posts all day long just to rub it in.

Class War in the US – The Elephant in the Room

American society is very strange. The culture is the culture of the ruling class, as it is in so many capitalist countries. Marxism tells us that under capitalism, the culture of a nation is the culture of the ruling class that is then adopted by everyone else. It’s not true in every case, but it’s true in the US.
On the other hand, the ruling class here has been very smart. One of their Cold War anti-Communist shibboleths was that there is no class war in the US, or anywhere on Earth for that matter. However, Marxism tells correctly that class war is continuous under capitalism.
Mao pointed out that it even goes on under Communism, hence the need for continuous or regular Cultural Revolutions to weed out the capitalist roaders. Mao is actually 100% on this. Under Communism, there will always be capitalist roaders in the party who will be always trying to restore capitalism. Unless you want to go to capitalism, you do need to root them out of the party. Now how to root them out is another matter. I would prefer it be done as nonviolently as possible.
The transition under Deng starting in 1978 is an example. Deng was one of those who Mao said was a capitalist roader, and he took over the party. The result has been higher economic growth (8% under Dengism as opposed to 4% under Maoism) but also lots of problems.
Hence most Americans simply believe that class war does not even exist in the United States! It’s breathtaking but it’s true. Hence the ruling classes are free to wage as savage a class war as they wish, and anyone who points out the elephant in the room is derided as a “Communist.” The ruling class calls those who open their eyes enough to see on this issue to be “waging class war.”
The truth is that the ruling classes are waging class war all the time! In the US, they have the upper middle class as allies – those making over $75,000/yr. So the ruling classes are allowed to wage class war all they want to in the US, but you’re a Commie if you point it out, and if any class other than the rich tries to wage their own class war (as is their right – every class has the right to wage class war in pursuit of its interests), then they are accused of “waging class war” and basically called Commies.

China Versus India

New commenter Jeff remarks on the differences and prospects for both China and India. China comes out on top and looks great for the future, whereas India has its head up it’s ass as usual. Before you accuse me of being racist, I’d like to point out that most of India’s problems are 100% amenable and are attributable to a crap culture.
In other words, India is a mess not because Indians are genetically inferior or defective (although that’s possible, I’m not aware of any good evidence that it is true). Instead, they could knock it off anytime they want to as the problem is with cultural and thinking styles and not and inborn nature or deficiency.
A commenter writes: “Which to me indicates either that the Chinese model is superior or that Chinese culture is superior.”
Jeff responds: It’s both and more. Culturally speaking, the Chinese are more industrious, more meritocratic, more egalitarian, more practical, more disciplined, and more secular. The Chinese articulate a vision, set goals, and then go about achieving them relentlessly. The Indians make idle boasts and delusional forecasts and then vegetate: no one seemed to have taught them that the cart shouldn’t come before the horse.
For China, the erstwhile Maoist system, while monstrously flawed, secured an economic foundation by vastly improving nutrition, numeracy, literacy, healthcare, and advancing women’s rights. Deng Xiaoping’s post-Mao reforms would not have succeeded without the aforementioned accomplishments serving as a steppingstone.
India, on the other hand, is just fucked up, OK? Just straight up FUBAR. It’s still plagued by the caste system and mired in sexism. After some 60 years of self-rule, India still hasn’t managed the basics: 58% of Indian children suffer from malnutrition; 20% of Indians go hungry everyday; functional literacy rate is around a pathetic 50%; 1/3 of the population have no access to electricity; 1/3 of the country is controlled by various insurgencies, etc.
With such atrocious fundamentals, all the Hindutva drivel about India Rising and India Shining will remain just that, drivel.
Whereas Chinese leaders are selected primarily based on merit and qualifications, Indian politics is largely a family affair (e.g. the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty) in which performance is irrelevant but blood ties all important.
Despite the much ballyhooed Indian “democracy”, the Chinese system is far more accountable and responsive. Case in point, when the emergency management system was deemed deficient during the recent flood in Beijing, the mayor was fired; when Bangalore experiences annual floods, the local honchos are re-elected, repeatedly, by promising handouts to largely poor and illiterate vote banks.
The Chinese know what they want: to get rich and to reclaim their former position as the hegemon. They are open to adopt whatever systems or methods that can propel them there: this is the essence of Deng’s motto that it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long it catches mice.
The Indians, by contrast, have never articulated a collective vision and are therefore content with a hodgepodge of caste-based feudalism, socialist license raj, and neoliberal excesses: a little something to appease every constituency and ideological group.
And just to miff the Hindutvas and PC banshees, let me close by pointing out that Chinese are generally more intelligent and have a much tougher mental constitution, which undoubtedly contribute to their superior performance vis-a-vis the Indians.
P.S. For those of you interested in enlightening cross-cultural comparisons between India and China, read Mr. Navneet Bakshi’s blog. Mr. Bakshi is an Indian who had lived and worked in China long-term. He endears with his brutal honesty and incisive observations.

Is the Right Always or Almost Always Wrong? Yes

RR writes (in blockquotes here and below):

The Right is wrong 100% of the time?

Just about.

Was the Right wrong about Communism?

Yes, they lied about it constantly, and they continue to lie about it, and their alternative to Communism is a catastrophe. Much better critiques of Communism emerged from Centrists and especially social liberals and social democrats (socialists).

Is the Right wrong about Feminism?

The Right opposed not just gender feminism but also equity feminism. They are wrong about abortion, reproductive rights, the ERA, gay rights and equal pay. Anyway, feminism is so mainstream now that most female conservatives are basically feminists. Sarah Palin is basically a rightwing feminist. Much better critiques of feminism have emerged on the Left and especially from the Men’s Liberation and equity feminist movements.

Was the Right wrong about welfare reform?

Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes!

Leftists have much more blood on their hands historically than Rightists do.

Not really. Whether history is over or not is irrelevant. Whether history is ongoing and progress is on the horizon or whether it’s dead and capitalism reigns on Earth forever, it’s no matter, because capitalism continues to kill.
By not going with the Chinese model, 120 million Indians were killed. We know this because India and China were equivalent in 1949 in life expectancy. The increase in life expectancy in China versus India means 4 million excess deaths in India every year from 1949-1980.
Stalin and Mao were the greatest humanitarians that ever lived. Never has life expectancy increased so rapidly in so short a time. Combined they saved tens of millions of lives even after subtracting the deaths under their regimes.

From the French Revolution up through Mao’s reign of terror, Leftists have a LOT to answer for.

A few of the rich were killed by the Jacobins, it is true, but the Royals had a lot of blood on their hands. A revolution is not a dinner party you know. Surely the Ancien Regime ground out many more deaths than the Jacobins did.
At any rate, many elements of the Left have always opposed most of these excesses from the guillotines to the Cultural Revolution.

Tang Dynasty, "The Internationale"

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHUowgu-51I]
The Internationale, one of the greatest songs of the last century, is of course the anthem of socialists, anarchists and Communists the world over.
It is the official song of many Communist parties and is the official anthem of the Socialist International.
This is the best hard rock version of the Internationale ever done, off the Tang Dynasty’s 1992 album A Dream Return. This band is extremely popular with young Chinese, and this song has also become very popular with the same group. Tang Dynasty is best described as Chinese nationalists, but they also love Mao and CCP.
The Internationale is the international anthem of the working class the world over, sung and recorded in most major languages. Even if hate Commies, you have to admit it’s one kickass song.
There’s some great Mao-era footage in this video, with lots of photos of the Great Helmsman and young Chinese waving Little Red Books. Even with the major changes in China, Mao remains very popular. And its national yearly Congress, the CCP still plays an instrumental version of the Internationale.

Comrade Kiran's Answers to Journalists During the Press Conference on June 19, 2012

The Nepalese Maoists have been very successful. After waging a long revolutionary war, they hung it up with a peace settlement in an effort to try to obtain power peacefully. In recent elections, they got 40% of the vote.
However, since then, their leaders have been engaged in some major sellout activity, especially Prachandra, their leader. He has aligned himself with the US and India, and has praised unequal treaties signed by Nepal and India in the past in addition to supporting new treaties that India has lined up for its neo-colony called Nepal.
India has always treated Nepal like dirt, used and abused it in a neocolonial fashion. The traitor Nepali Congress Party went along with this treason by aligning itself with the establishment India Congress Party.
What this really is is Indian imperialism. In addition to being a reactionary state, we need to think long and hard about the extent to which India is also an imperialist power. India’s actions in the Northeast and in Kashmir nearly smack of imperialism. These are arguably occupied territories of Indian imperialism and Indian ultranationalism.
As a regional hegemon and a large capitalist state with a huge army, it was only a matter of time before India would start acting as an imperialist power. As Lenin pointed out in his seminal essay, modern capitalism is necessarily imperialist. A large modern capitalist state must be an imperialist state, and modern capitalism must inevitably lead to imperialism.
This is where the antiwar Libertarians have it all wrong. They envision a large ultracapitalist US or even world in which all states would be isolationist and noninterventionist. But if modern large state capitalism cannot be anything other than imperialist, this is simply not possible. Large capitalist states will not sit idly by while other nations take actions against corporate capitalist interests and in favor of their peoples.
The US has supported repeated coups and coup attempts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Bolivia and most recently in Paraguay. There were recent imperialist interventions in Libya and now in Syria mostly to secure the interests of Western capital and Zionism.
Zionism itself has profound links with imperialism, and some argue that the Israeli state itself, while obviously a s colonial power, is also an imperialist power. I am not certain if Israel is actually a regional imperialist power.
I do not know what the BIPPA is, but it sounds like globalist World Bank IMF bullshit designed to privilege corporations and capital at the expense of sovereign nations, people and the Earth itself. It’s mind-boggling to think that Prachandra has gone along with this.
This split in Maoist parties is not a bad thing and was a long time coming. Let’s see where it all leads.
These questions and answers are from the press conference that was organized on the 19th of June 2012 by the newly formed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which finally ruptured from the then Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) after a 2 day long National Convention held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Chairman of the newly formed CPN-M, Comrade Kiran (Mohan Baidya) answered the questions raised by journalists during the press conference.
Thanks to Comrade Pooja for taking her time to make this speech available in English.
Q: – How do you justify the formation of the new party? How should general people understand this?
A: – Communist party is a party for the benefit of the proletariat and the people. In the case of Nepal, the aim of a communist party remains to move forward, raising the issues of safeguarding national sovereignty; people’s democracy and livelihood then ultimately leap towards socialism and communism.
This is self-proven. In the process of attaining this aim we went through people’s war, and did considerable amount of work among and with the people. We built our base areas, practiced our newly formed people’s power but then conciliation took place amidst as we moved forward to build a new Nepal.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t compromise, we should, but while compromising, the act of abandoning our entire basis (achievements) has happened. The act of slipping down from our mission and objectives has happened. The dream we carried was of a constitutional assembly, but where is the constitution? How did the constituent assembly function? Talking about people’s livelihood, how has the corruption been mounting-up?
That fact is clearer. In the process of making a constitution there was an agreement to move forward institutionalizing the rights of the working class, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, women & Dalits; including the rights of all oppressed class, region and gender but ditching all these primary issues of constitutional thematic committees it is apparent that ex-chairman, Prachanda surrendered everything to Congress & UML by forming a dispute resolution sub-committee under the constitutional committee.
In the process of making a constitution the question of ethnic-identity-based federalism is extremely important. Our party takes the decision of an ethnic-identity-based federalism while in process of restructuring the state Prachanda & Baburam joined their necks together with Congress-UML and agreed up on eleven anonymous federal states.
The situation was that they were forced to take their decision back, as we and all others in the constituent assembly carried-out a signature collection campaign against their decision. They have failed to institutionalize ethnic-identity, it is important for us to do it.
Where are the perquisites for women and Dalits? There have been serious betrayals on these issues. That is why we want to raise all these issues again. Not only that, we are also talking about issues of national sovereignty. Since the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) was signed, now the issues of water resources agreement and extradition treaty have come to surface.
The main thing is that there has been a wrong tendency to maneuver our party as a puppet of imperialism and expansionism; along with this all the core concept of the party including the guiding principal has been distorted. We are against this. We cannot let our party function as a puppet of imperialism, expansionism and feudalism. We had to revolt in order to safeguard people’s rights, interests and benefit. This is the main justification of the split.
Q: – In the past we have witnessed vicious confrontations between two factions after the split of Naxalite struggle in India. How are you cautious about bloodshed happening after the party split? What is your view on the question of the government?
A: – You raised the question of possible confrontation between two parties and the question of the Naxalite struggle in India; we are very cautious about this. There won’t be any such confrontation from our side. We won’t go into confrontation. It has been proven even in the course of history of our two-line struggle that we never exerted any physical force anywhere. Instead we have heard many cases of exertion of force by Prachanda’s group in places. During that time we alerted the concerned party to be serious on the matter.
Therefore, firstly what I want to assure you is that we will not be exerting any physical force anywhere from our side. Secondly, we have to be extremely aware. There has been talk with Prachanda and other people within his circle that we have to be very serious in these matters after separation of the party. Therefore, how to move forward is primarily dependent on Prachanda’s group.
Not to become serious in this matter and exert physical force is against  democratic norms; it is a dictatorship to exert force instead of seeking a solution to the problem through discussions and debates in a communist party. That is fascism. No one accept dictatorship and fascism, including us. In such a situation the masses will resist these acts.
There are two things on the issues of how to move forward with other parties. Firstly we have to initiate talks with all the parties and reach an agreement in any issue that can be agreed upon. If anybody raises an issue that is in favor of the nation and the people, we must have to support that. We have been supportive so far, and that will continue.
It doesn’t matter whether the Congress-UML or a neo-revisionist camp, if they raise similar issues as we do, we support that, but again the other important thing is that we should neither merge in the coalition of Congress-UML nor in the coalition of Baburam-Prachanda’s coalition of neo-revisionism. We will carry forward an independent revolutionary line of Nepalese politics.
Q: – There are allegations that the monarchy assisted you to split the party, and you have close ties with Gyanendra, do you have RIM’s support or not? Who played the role from the international community to split the party? Has the president the right to dismiss the prime-minister, what is your say on this?
A: – Firstly, you raised the question of collaboration with Gyanendra, who told you this and where? Reveal the factual basis of this, substantiate and tell me. Secondly, in the process of a two-line struggle, Baburam accused Prachanda as pro-king, and Prachanda had accused Baburam as pro-expansionist. This was documented in writing.
Have you studied that written document or not? Did you understand that the pro-king and the pro-expansionist forces united together to attack us in the process of the two-line struggle? Thirdly, each and every political party has to have a capacity. That capacity means capacity of logical argument.
When it’s not possible to annihilate someone through the means of factual arguments and debates, then there will be malevolent attempts to label them as corrupt, to denigrate them through the means of conspiracy and deception.
Fourthly, if you look at our programs, we ask for establishment of a people’s federal republican state, emphasis on safeguarding the achievements of the ten years of the great people’s war. Let us look at things from a factual basis; when we look from this basis, those baseless allegations bear no truth at all. This isn’t anything but false allegations hatched by the pro-Indian-expansionist elements.
Yes, we are in the RIM. There are many different parties in the RIM. You may even know what sort of discussions there are. Do you raise a question with the knowledge or without? We used to be involved in decision making in the RIM. The RIM is actually not operative at this moment. Perhaps you are trying to point to a particular party, but we had fraternal relationships with all the parties involved in RIM, and that continues.
Fraternal parties reserve some rights. Our communist party is a proletarian internationalist party. If any party involved in such an umbrella organization slips into the quagmire of opportunism, then the other parties oppose this, and the international community has clearly said that the Prachanda-Baburam gang has slipped into the quagmire of revisionism. Therefore, let’s forget about RIM – any other genuine communist parties do not acknowledge that this gang is Marxist anymore. So, the issue of RIM etc. is total nonsense.
Again, power & greed; look at the agenda– the only and one agenda of Congress-UML is that Baburam has to step down from the government. Probably this is a major cause of the dissolution of the constituent assembly without forging any political resolution. On the other hand, the only agenda of Baburam is that he has to retain power. So, these two camps are ready to abandon anything and will abandon everything for power. Therefore, we are not in this controversy.
We are not in the row of their greed of power. As a tactic we have forwarded the agenda of multilateral roundtable conference. The so-called top leaders of these parties have become incapable of solving people’s problems.
We have put forward the agenda of the United Interim Government, and we have said that the problem can be solved from there. Therefore, we won’t involve ourselves in the corrupt power play of the government.
Q: – How will you make the constitution, you have claimed that there has been massive intervention by India, how have you scrutinized the new developments? In the past you formed COMPOSA, will it be continued?
A: – In the process of making the constitution the issue of Indian intervention has always been there since B.S 2007 (1951).
Firstly, making a people’s constitution is not possible by collaborating and wrangling day and night with feudalists, compradors and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie class. Secondly, making a new constitution involves the participation of all oppressed people. Now this has been clearly proven. Therefore, in such a situation, the constitution cannot be made.
So whether the agenda is of reinstating the constituent assembly or yet again another election, this is all incorrect. Now the political outlet has to be forged by conducting discussions and debates through a roundtable conference in a multilateral convention. Even if this process fails to make a new constitution, then those who are in the line of federalism should begin the process of establishing people’s government at a local level.
We have to move forward with the concept of establishing a people’s government even at the central level. It is complete nonsense to talk about making a constitution without forming a pro-people government. We are very clear in this issue.
We are also very clear about what we should do on the question of Indian intervention. Basically, it won’t be wrong to say Nepal is a neo-colony of India. The act of destroying border-pillars by the Indian side has been talking place on a daily basis, and the border has been encroached in many places including Sustaa, Maheshpur and Kalapanee.
Forget the other governments – even Prachanda and Baburam who led the government from our own Maoist party could do nothing to stop it from happening but instead just became hopeless spectators.
The intervention of Indian expansionism in all sectors – economic, political, social and strategic has been rapidly gearing up. Indian expansionism is fulfilling its self-interest by providing space to the Indian puppets in Nepal. Indian expansionism has no respect for the Nepalese. We respect Indian people, but the Indian government points its evil eyes on the Nepalese on a regular basis.
There have been many unequal treaties with India since 1950. Instead of nullifying these unequal treaties, arrangements are being made to sign even more unequal treaties including Upper-Karnalee and Arun-III. Baburam’s government has signed another water resource agreement with India.
Therefore, we have been relentlessly insisting on the nullification of all these unequal treaties. In an interview with The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, Prachanda claimed that we (Nepalese) have an exceptional relationship with India. Those who have exceptional relationship with India are parties like the Nepali Congress.
Now, Prachanda has also started to follow Nepali Congress. Therefore, we rigorously oppose all these trends. What we have said is that all the unequal treaties signed so far in this 21st century between India and Nepal have to be nullified, and new arrangements to sign new coequal treaties that benefits Indian and the Nepalese people need to be made.
If the intervention doesn’t stop, as we have been saying– we also have principal contradiction with Indian expansionism, we will target our struggle of national sovereignty against the bureaucratic bourgeoisie in Nepal as well as Indian expansionism.
Finally, you asked about COMPOSA (Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia), COMPOSA is not something to fear! This is an umbrella organization to struggle in the interest of patriots, leftists and all other pro-people elements in the South-Asian region. This organization has been weakened for sometimes now. We think about the ways to strengthen it again and carry on with it.
The main thing is that if the imperialists, expansionists and opportunists conspire to weaken the people of any countries, and then the people and the pro-people forces also have to unite in tactics and form a united front to struggle.
Q: – In the process of forming a new party there are allegations that the new party is reminiscent of old alcohol in a new bottle, what do you want to say on this? And, what is the assurance that you will also not deviate from the revolutionary line? What do you think of a unity with Prachanda? Now, what will be your relationship with the existing state, will you divorce with it and begin to declare people’s governments as in the past?
A: – You indicted the new party as an old alcohol, on this what I want to say is – please at least look at our decisions carefully. If you examine our decisions carefully, then you will be able to discern whether the new party is old or new alcohol. I think the word alcohol here has been fairly tainted, but it would be better to understand the crux of the matter. We didn’t separate without valid reasons. Many things justify the reasons for this divorce.
I have already said a lot about the issue of Indian expansionism– think about it, can patriots and genuine republicans progress work together with those who sign treaties like the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) and those who claim an exceptional relationship with India?
Can revolutionaries progress together with those who renounced all of the promises that were made to people in the process of the great people’s war and who cremated the constituent assembly by joining their necks together with the reactionaries and opportunists? We have to look at things from this prospective.
Talking about unity with Prachanda – unity is not feasible in such a situation. It is not possible at all. We have kept the door open if someone transforms themselves and comes to unite. This is the main thing. Even under this condition we will not go to Prachanda – he has to come to us.
On the question of separation with the old state, even a person with a very basic knowledge of Marxism knows that communists want to smash the old reactionary state and replace that with new people’s government. The great people’s war we fought, the agenda of socialism, the journey to communism – all this means smashing the old reactionary state and replacing that with new people’s government.
Not just this, beyond here we aim to abolish the existence of the state as a whole to establish a new world of humanism by creating a stateless, classless society that is completely free of all forms of exploitation and oppression. Our politics is fairly farsighted. We won’t stick to the government as a leech like other rulers here do. We will continue to struggle to establish a new state – this is our main goal.
In the current situation, we will carefully think about what can be done for the benefit the people and the country by restricting ourselves within the limitations of the current state and the existing law. Proletarians have utilized parliaments and elections in the past. We cannot detach ourselves entirely from the principals of Marxism. We will decide what to do and where by formulating policies through analysis of the concrete situation.
Q: – What is the decision of the National Convention on the question of dissolution of the constituent assembly? Now that the party has ruptured, which faction has the majority, the new party or the establishment faction? You have mentioned about united front, who would you unite with in united front?
A: – We have already said a lot about the dissolution of the constituent assembly. There is a direct conspiracy of national and foreign reactionaries in dissolving the constituent assembly. The greediness of Baburam and the Nepali Congress to hold on to the power has also played some role here. It is well known to all that the autocratic behavior of those who have been proclaiming themselves as top leaders of the main four political parties has played a vital role in dissolving the constituent assembly.
The autocratic behavior of these top leaders which completely mismatched with democratic practices and also bypassed the dignity of the 601 members of the constituent assembly is a major cause of the dissolution of the constituent assembly.
While talking about which party is smaller and which is bigger, the world knows who is in the majority and how.
Firstly, the issue of majority is transparent, those who came in the party through the unification process, some of the comrades are fine, no argument there, but the majority of them are total rubbish.
We would be in the majority in the Maoist Party– in this situation; the fact is that there had been malevolent attempt to change the color of the party through absolute unification.
Secondly, talking about which party is larger– we can evidently claim that even though we are in the minority in the central committee we have parallel party committees throughout the nation. If necessary we can demonstrate our strength. Thirdly, the issue of which party is bigger and which is smaller– perhaps this issue is not very significant.
Throughout history smaller parties have become bigger, and the big ones have diminished. This is the way we have to understand the dialecticism of party unity. We have come thorough a long history. UCPN (Maoist) was also tiny in the initial phase.
The issue of smaller and bigger– the party with correct thought, politics, ideology, which can substantiate politics in practice advancing resolutely in capacity of a genuine revolutionary communist party, acting in the interest of the country, people and proletarians expands. Those who betray the country and the people gradually evaporate.
I have already clarified with whom we need to form a united front. A united front has to be formed. And we advance ahead forming a united front including the patriotic republicans, leftists, federalists, women, workers and Dalits. Another thing, the issue of party registration is the issue of conditional necessity. We will think about whether we should register the party and if we deem it is important then, we may register.
If not we may not register at all because we are resolutely convinced that through parliamentarianism the people’s problems cannot be put to an end. Therefore, whether to register the party depends upon the situation.
On the question of comradeship with Prachanda and Baburam, we came throughout our life in comradeship with them. Now, we did not leave Prachanda and Baburam but they left us. We did not separate from the party as well but they split themselves ditching the political ideological line of the party. Therefore, now the issue of their class categorization is a real bizarre. An independent political line of Prachanda and Baburam has come to an end.
What should we label those who are the puppets of foreign reactionaries and expansionism? It is not possible to join neck together with the puppets. We cannot join our necks together with class capitulationists.
Our desire and proposal to them is that they have to break all ties with all sort of reactionaries, only then we can go ahead together. As long as they have ties with those reactionaries, we don’t trust them.
Q: – As heard, you are ambiguous about whether to go for people’s war or people’s revolt? What is your say on the question of corruption thought have been taken place in cantonments? How will you treat the journalists?
A: – We are not ambiguous about whether to go for People’s War or People’s Revolt.
Firstly, we will revolt for new democracy against parliamentarianism. We don’t acknowledge parliamentarianism. The democratic republic, the aged-decayed parliamentarianism of which all the parties here sing the retro song of democracy deafeningly, that democracy has completely failed, the Constituent Assembly has also failed.
Therefore, as an alternative, in the interest of the country and the people we move ahead to establish New Democratic Republic in Nepal against Feudalism, Imperialism and Neo-Colonialism. This is our key agenda. To attain this goal, if asked how we move ahead, both ways, legal and underground, a revolutionary party can utilize every essential method. We came to the peace negotiation honestly. When we arrived only the Maoists had to make all the compromises but now we don’t compromise up to this excess.
So, that is beyond doubt, if necessary – People’s War or People’s Revolt, anything can happen, this is the key issue.
And you talk about money and corruption in the cantonments; I’m not here to talk about that. This is not a place to investigate corruption. So lets not talk about these things here. People are finding out where there has been mischief; most definitely the revolutionary members of the people’s liberation army are investigating it. That space is there.
On your query about the role of Baburam-Prachanda while our arrest took place in India, but these are not things that only we look into. This can be a case of a serious investigation. This is also something that the masses and you people (journalists) can look at. Our journalist friends are very far-sighted, introspective and detail oriented. I am convinced that you will help us through this. We want to respect the media on how media is being treated. We will continue to fight for the rights of working class journalists; we will fight for the rights of the working class people.
What we are worried about is that in the veil of professional journalism, mission journalism happens, and that is not a good thing. Let this not be the main issue, and we will respect you. If any shortcomings on our part we are committed to self-criticism.

Maoism in India

Steve wrote:

Do they have a realistic shot of taking power? India is a huge country with many different regions and it has a big army and police force and it would have the support of the capitalist powers.
What is more likely is that people would be killed, maybe lots, needlessly and with no positive result, while the economic development that will probably eventually lift hundreds of millions out of poverty would be retarded by conflict.
If the struggle gets big enough, there would be civil war, which would do nobody any good. There’s nothing worse than utopians with guns. When will people learn to just stop fucking killing each other?
And what do they think they will achieve if they get power? They’ll nationalize Indian companies and suddenly there wont be hundreds of millions of poor people with no toilets? They’ll put an end to corruption? A Communist government will put an end to corruption? Hahahahahaha. In India? Hahahahaha.
India would still be fucked up, dirt poor and corrupt, except it would also be an outright dictatorship, probably a highly repressive one like practically every Communist government in history, and Communism itself would probably actually retard economic development. And good luck outlawing caste.
Communism and the fight for Communism would just bring more miseries to India. That’s what I think of armed struggle in India. Some people just refuse to learn from history.

The system is already killing at least 4 million and probably a lot more anyway.
The Maoists nearly took power in Nepal, and now they are 40% of Parliament.
Communist countries have done great things as far as feeding and housing people, giving them basic education and health care and putting in essential sanitation. India has failed at all of these things, mostly because they haven’t even tried. Communist societies have not been very corrupt. As they became more capitalist, they became much more corrupt.
There won’t be any “economic development that will eventually lift millions of out poverty.” It’s not going to happen under neoliberalism.
Don’t you ever get tired of neoliberals telling us to wait around for the “economic development that will eventually lift millions of out poverty?” Don’t you realize that under neoliberal capitalism reduction of poverty is a goal that has zero value, and I do mean zero value.
Capitalists don’t care. They don’t care about reducing poverty. They don’t care if people are poor or not. In general, capitalists try to increase poverty by reducing anti-poverty programs every chance they get under “reforms.” Even Clinton got rid of welfare, an anti-poverty program.
Capitalists always push austerity, which causes mass increases in poverty as we are seeing in Europe. Poverty reduction is simply not a priority for capitalists, and in fact, capitalists generally oppose explicit programs to reduce poverty. The only people who push poverty reduction programs are socialists and social liberals.
The system is already killing at least 4 million people every year and probably a lot more. To get rid of such a killing system, if you need a war to do it, is a humanitarian act.

Maoism in China: Setting the Record Straight

If Maoism had continued in its pure form as it was in China before the reforms, there would have been no industrial revolution and China would still be weak and poor. And if there was a great leap forward in India, perhaps Indians would learn what starvation really means.

This is not true. Under Mao, the industrial economy grew 10% a year. The industrial revolution happened under Mao. Under Mao, the economy grew 4% a year. That’s not bad.
What’s so great about Deng’s reforms anyway? They have closed down 100’s of 1000’s of schools all over China and now many kids are not getting a full education. They made health care for pay only, and now millions of people are dying every year from illnesses because they cannot afford drugs and treatment.
The death rate was lower and life expectancy was higher every single year under Mao from 1949-1962. The only thing that happened during the Great Leap was that the death rate temporarily become higher than it was in 1949 for one year. I don’t think you realize how bad things were before Mao took power. Life expectancy was 32 years!

The Argument for Armed Struggle in India

From the comments section. This is the argument put forward by Maoist types that the only way forward in India for the Left is via armed struggle. I am not sure how much I believe in it, but India’s problems are so horrific that I figure it’s worth it to take up arms to try to change things. And the Maoists are probably the only people in India who can really change the country in a progressive and start to tackle some of its horrible problems.

India is not a democratic country like a European one. In Europe, you have a democratic space because the democratic institutions developed from the struggles of the people, even though they were and are in the hands of the bourgeoisie.
In India the parliamentary institutions were imposed by the colonial masters to enhance their colonial rule. They were not created through people’s struggles. In India there is little democratic space.
The bourgeois class in India is a deformed reactionary force since its inception. This class hadn’t emerged naturally, but was propped up by the British colonial masters. Therefore, the initial progressive role that was present in the European bourgeoisie was not present in the Indian bourgeois class. It allied itself with the feudal classes from the beginning.
Therefore, we must use armed struggle as the democratic space is not intrinsic to our society after the colonial intervention. The illusion of democratic space is there in the form of parliamentary institutions and formal democratic rights but not in reality. The moment one forwards the people’s demands one will face repression from the state. How do you forward and defend the movement of the people without arms?