The following is a very intersting theoretical article from the newspaper of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the Red Star. Originally called “On Dogmatism“, it is singed by Laxman Pant. I have made some very minor formatting changes to help clearify things for the readers.
Ever since the advent of revolutionary Marxist philosophy the revisionists and opportunists of different shades and colors in the international communist movement have labeled as dogmatists against the partisans of class struggle and dictatorship of proletariat, the cardinal principles and two pillars of Marxism. It goes without saying that being a revolutionary social science, Marxism, like any other branch of science has to pass through the series of application and practice to prove itself. As the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are not like the arithmetical formulae nor these are biblical sermons, merely memorizing or chanting the same will not bring about the revolution in the nations. These formulations have to put into the furnace of class struggle, of the revolution in order to attain the liberation of mankind. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism develops constantly with the practice. That is why practice is called the acid test of revolutionary theory. Necessary changes or adjustments in certain features i.e. tactics are needed as per the changed space and time in a given country in order to carry out successful revolutions. But “under no circumstances is a Marxist-Leninist party allowed to use the pretext of certain new social phenomena to negate the fundamental principals of Marxism-Leninism, to substitute revisionism for Marxism-Leninism and to betray communism.” (The differences between Com. Togliati and Us-The Documents of Great Debate, Antarrashtriya Prakashan, Vol- Page-77 )
Let us examine what Khrushchev, the founder of modern revisionism, has to say on dogmatism. He states – “The communist movement faces yet another danger – dogmatism and sectarianism. At present, when all forces must be united to fight imperialism, prevent war and end the omnipotence of the monopolies, dogmatism and sectarianism can do great harm to our cause.” He further states, “Dogmatism and sectarianism are irreconcilably at variance with the creative development of revolutionary theory and its creative application.” (Khrushchev’s Report On the Moscow Conference; The Documents of the Great Debate, Antarrashtriya Prakashan Vol.-3, Page-17)
It is not accidental that in the middle of nineties, while our party was seriously involved in Four Preparations, namely 1-Theoretical and Political Preparation 2- Organizational Preparation 3- Preparation for Mass and Class struggle and 4- Technical Preparation. The Nepalese revisionists had relentlessly launched a campaign and hurled slanders on revolutionary forces branding them dogmatic and ultra -‘leftists’
All the agents of modern revisionism, right from Bernstein through Khrushchev to Deng, along with scores of other petty revisionists like Tito, Togliatti, Thorez etc. in the international communist movement have unanimously accused the genuine revolutionaries of being dogmatic, sectarian, ultra-‘leftist’ and adventurist while class collaboration and reformism is being extolled as ‘creativeness’.
It is crystal-clear that modern revisionism, under the pretext creative application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and under the pretext of concrete analysis of concrete condition, opposes the very revolutionary soul of MLM; under the cover of opposing dogmatism and ‘left’ adventurism it pursues the line of unprincipled compromise and capitulationism before the reaction.
Revisionists have always based their ‘creativeness’ and ‘concrete analysis of concrete condition’ on the so called changes in objective conditions and world situation. Bernstein and Kautsky held that the analysis of Marx was outmoded, and Khrushchev advocated for class collaboration and peaceful co-existence because according to his formulation ‘the world war would be waged with missiles and nuclear weapons … it would be the most destructive war in all history.’ (Ibid) Their Nepalese counterpart- CPN (UML), as early as in eighties, had advanced the proposal of new definition of Marxism. The same proponents and flag bearers of parliamentary reformism in our country, who claim to have creatively developed Marxism-Leninism to the newer height through People’s Multi-Party Democracy (Janatako Bahudaliya Janabad), have been in the forefront to defame the genuine revolutionary forces as dogmatic and ultra-‘leftist’. Just as the Chinese Communists had rightly pointed out, in repudiation of revisionist line of the Communist Party of Italy and its leader Togliatti in sixties, and said that ‘the huge specter you call “dogmatism” is haunting the world.’ (Ibid, Page-266), the same specter of dogmatism and ultra-leftism is haunting the present-day revisionist forces worldwide and their Nepalese counterparts who have drowned themselves in the parliamentary marsh, and are pursuing the policy of class collaboration with feudalism, Indian expansionism and U.S. imperialism.
Modern revisionism is the main danger of present era because it “mirrors the bourgeois ideology in theory and practice, distorts Marxism-Leninism, emasculates its revolutionary essence, and thereby paralyses the revolutionary will of the working class, disarms and demobilizes the workers, the masses of the working people”.(Ibid, Page-77)
These words, written about a half-century ago by the Maoists of China still hold true in the present times.
The Chinese Maoists have long ago refuted the accusation of dogmatism hurled at revolutionaries by modern revisionists in the following paragraphs:
Some people who call themselves creative Marxist-Leninists say that times have changed, that conditions are no longer the same and that there is no need to repeat the fundamental principles stated by Marx and Lenin. They object to our quoting from the Marxist-Leninist classics to explain issues, and brand this practice “dogmatism”.
To discard Marxism-Leninism on the pretext of shaking off the chains of dogma is a convenient trick. Lenin exposed this trick of the opportunists long ago:
What a handy little word “dogma” is! One need only slightly twist an opposing theory, cover up this twist with the bogy of “dogma”- and there you are!” (ibid page 250)
Once again in the Nepalese Communist movement the sharp debate between revisionism and “dogmatism” is unfolding. History will prove that to firmly uphold the great teachings of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism is not a dogma, to hold high the banner of class struggle and continuous revolution under the dictatorship of proletariat is not the dogma; and to quote the great teachings of Marx, Lenin and Mao is not a dogma at all. Those who attack the genuine revolutionaries for practicing ‘dogmatism’ are the revisionists who are upholding bourgeois pragmatism.