7 February 2005. A World to Win News Service. People were still arriving at around midday at the Youth Centre in Frankfurt on 15 January, some having travelled great distances from around Europe, to celebrate the 20thanniversary of the founding of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. There was expectation in the air as the crowd milling around the literature tables greeted each other and exchanged news of recent developments, while others browsed through books, magazines, audio and video cassettes, posters and other material put out by the various revolutionary organizations. While predominantly made up of revolutionary-minded people and political activists from Turkey, the crowd of 350-400 also included a number from Afghanistan, Iran, Germany, Greece, Italy, Austria, Peru, Scandinavia, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the majority of whom were non-native Europeans. Significantly, a large contingent of Nepalese living in Europe turned out, despite intimidation attempts by European police and embassy personnel in the period leading up to the programme.

This event was organized by the Maoist Communist Party [Turkey and North Kurdistan] (MKP) and supporters of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). The conference began with a three-minute silence for the martyrs who have fallen in the struggle to attain a world without class exploitation and oppression, the division of human society into classes, the cause of communism. A pin-drop silence gripped the air as clenched fists were raised and well-known names were read out from the podium. Draped on the wall behind the keynote speaker from the MKP and the other main speaker from Nepal was the large, colourful RIM founding banner: the planet earth breaking free of its black chains. The chairperson opened the event to thunderous applause, reminding the audience that this occasion was not only to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of RIM’s founding, but also to salute the advance of the revolutionary people’s war in Nepal. The atmosphere was electric.

The main speaker laid out the great transformations the world has undergone since the 1984 founding of RIM as well as the development of its ideological and political positions and new basis of unity, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, in1993. He discussed the ideological battles between Marxism and the dogmato-revisionism of the Enver Hoxha brand, along with Deng Xiaoping’s revisionism following the counter-revolutionary coup in China after Mao Tsetung died. He highlighted Mao Tsetung’s immortal contributions to the communist ideology, forged through intense struggles against both Soviet and Chinese revisionism, and the struggle for them to gain acceptance. Mention of the people’s war in Peru, Nepal, Turkey and the revolutionary armed struggles in other countries drew immediate applause. The importance of the growing unity of revolutionary communist parties and organizations, forged through heightened ideological-political struggles, two-line struggles, within and RIM and outside its ranks, was greatly emphasized.

The speaker not only vehemently condemned imperialism, especially US imperialism, and all reactionaries, but also took the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and China to task. Moreover, he analyzed the twists and turns in the development of the international communist movement. There have been events and developments, unprecedented achievements of the proletariat, which are causes for rejoicing, yet there have also been things that should cause us to grieve. He laid out some of the limitations and setbacks of the movement during the Stalin era, during the Comintern period in particular, and the outlook of regarding the interests of the struggle of the proletariat in particular countries as synonymous with-and hence subordinate to-the immediate interests of the then-socialist Soviet Union. He drew attention to some of Comrade Stalin’s metaphysical ways of thinking that interfered with the otherwise great achievements of the world proletariat under the Soviet Union’s leadership.

Furthermore, the speaker pointed out that many of the errors of the Comintern period, such as the one mentioned above, continued to plague the international communist movement, even during Mao’s leadership at the head of the CPC in China. He also said that they ran counter to the teachings of Mao Tsetung. All things, he said, both in nature and human society, without exception, divide into two. That is how we Maoist communists understand contradictions: as a unity of opposites as well as a struggle of opposites. Hence the party of the proletariat, the international communist movement and even RIM are unities of opposites and they all divide into two, without exception.

There are contradictions, two-line struggles in communist parties, and so too within the international communist movement in general as well as RIM, he said, including in RIM’s earlier understanding of Mao’s many theoretical and philosophical contributions to the science of revolution. At the time of its founding RIM upheld these developments of the science as a new, third and higher stage of Marxism and yet regarded them as Mao Tsetung Thought before the contradiction was resolved-also through struggle between opposites-by RIM’s adoption of Maoism in 1993. The speaker discussed the initiation, unfolding and rapid advances made by the Maoist people’s war in Nepal, and the role played by RIM. In this light, mention was made of M. B. Singh of the Nepal Communist Party (Mashal) and his views that failed to recognize Maoism as the communism of today, a line that had to be repudiated to pave the way for the initiation of the people’s war in that country.

He also mentioned that there had been differences of view within RIM as to which was the principal contradiction in the world, that is, during the Cold War period when the Soviet Union turned into a social-imperialist power vying for world domination and hegemony with US imperialism.

There were and still are different understandings of the concept of proletarian internationalism, he said. The proletariat is a world class, he pointed out, and hence does not have a country. This is how we approach the notion of internationalism: not with a nationalist outlook toward the struggles in other parts of the globe, that is, not with an outlook of “my” or “our country” extending support or solidarity to the “working class of other countries”, but with a firm understanding of oneness with our class brothers and sisters in other lands, as all of us belonging to a single class and waging a single struggle for communism.

The unity of RIM’s participating parties has developed through contradictions, struggle, unity, more struggle and greater levels of unity. RIM has also sought unity among Maoist communists-through ideological and political line struggle-with other parties in the international communist movement, including those waging important revolutionary struggles in the Philippines and India.

This keynote speech was followed by a speaker from the Nepalese revolutionary intellectual organization. As he delivered his prepared text, darkness suddenly blanketed the hall, the screen behind the stage flashed into light and multi-colours and images of People’s Liberation Army fighters and ordinary people in Nepal intermingling in cultural performances-singing, folk dances and speeches-celebrating the formation of revolutionary districts and autonomous governments, from a specially prepared video.

Clearly the audience was delighted to witness this and greatly enthused by the scenes of the CPN(Maoist) leaders at various levels speaking to the people and participating in collective work and military training and actual combat operations against the Royal Nepal Army and the monarchy. The thousands of poor people assembling expectantly and eagerly in their myriad coloured native costumes was a stirring spectacle even on screen. Here, up close, were scenes of armies of village women descending from great heights to celebrate, singing and chanting, “Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!” along the way, clutching babies in one arm and toddlers in the other.

The Nepalese speaker told the conference of the two-line struggle leading up to the people’s war in Nepal and the process of initiation of the revolutionary war. In the view of the CPN(Maoist), he said, the initiation had to rupture with old ideas in order to make a material breakthrough; the process entailed not only breaking clean from previous positions and outlooks but also demanded a leap, the consolidation of the new line, a forward thrust in the momentum of the movement and hence culminating in a qualitatively new situation, from anon-revolutionary to a revolutionary one.

He said that the revolution in Nepal is at the stage of strategic offensive and the CPN(Maoist) is poised for a nationwide advance and the palpable possibility of taking power. He also discussed the danger of foreign intervention, particularly by the Indian expansionists.

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA was shown on video dubbed with a Turkish translation, while others listened through headphones. His stimulating speech excerpted from a DVD called “Revolution”addressed the problems of winning and holding political power, linked to the kind of socialist society we need, and to the nature of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a transition to communism. Avakian spoke to the importance of the vanguard party in really enabling the people to become masters in all spheres of society on the way to achieving communist revolution worldwide. He spoke of learning from the mainly positive experience of past socialist society but also the mistakes, while refuting the bourgeoisie’s attacks on our communist project as “totalitarian”. He stressed the importance of defeating the world ruling class attempts to crush the revolution in Nepal and the importance of internationalism with its most important expression in the RIM. This speech was applauded loudly and long.

A supporter of the Communist Party (Maoist) Afghanistan, speaking in Dari, talked about the rising hatred of the people in Afghanistan for the occupation of the country by the imperialist powers following the unprovoked and blatant aggression by US imperialism in 2001. After describing the enormous hardship endured by the people under the boot of imperialist occupation, she concluded-to cheers from the audience-that the days when Maoist communists were isolated in the mountains are gone.

A series of other messages to the conference were also given live or readout, including those by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), the Maoist Communist Party (Italy), the Communist Party of India(Marxist-Leninist) Naxalbari and the Revolutionary Communist Group from Colombia, along with RIM supporters from the Communist Party of France(Maoist), the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, and others.

The different speakers and messages to the celebration reflected both the unity that exists in RIM and the different understandings of some important questions facing the Maoist movement in the world. For example, how to understand the developments within the Communist Party of Peru, how to make revolution in the imperialist countries and how to carry out proletarian internationalism in all kinds of countries. These kinds of discussions andstruggle among the Maoists are part of the process by which the movement arrives at a more correct understanding and grows stronger. But communists make a distinction between principled discussion of differences and vile slanders and mud-slinging. When one group used the guise of a solidarity message to launch a vicious and unfounded attack against the Committee of the RIM and some leaders of parties in RIM, they were sharply rebuked by the leadership of the conference, to the applause of the hundreds of participants.

The evening ended with the audience from all over Europe and beyond rising in a thunderous ovation. This was followed by the Internationale, simultaneously sung in different languages.

Avoiding the evening chill outside, many people stayed behind, reflecting on the events of the day, tired but exhilarated. Outside the hall, the walkway and corridor were still abuzz with chatter and animated discussion. Then gradually, around eleven, the crowd began to thin out. Other comrades moved towards the cafeteria, some joining in discussions. For example, a group of people around the Iranian-Afghanistani women’s organization “8th of March”, armed with large German beer mugs overflowing with foam, were singing revolutionary songs. The celebrations, it seemed, had not ended.

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