A short time ago I wrote a post dealing with a statement by Kevin Rashid in which he claims to have refuted Third Worldism on the Democracy and Class Struggle blog.1 (The Pretend Revolution of Kevin Rashid’s First Worldism.) My post was thorough, and responded to each and every point made by Kevin Rashid. His post was a total misrepresentation of the Third Worldist line which I deftly refuted. I also supplied sufficient data to back up what I was arguing. His blog has now responded to my response,2 and it is simply atrocious; and quite frankly beneath a Marxist to write.
The post also served as an attack on the Leading Light Communist Organization (LLCO). Their goal is made clear with: “In 2014 our revisionist targets were Prachandism and Avakianism in 2015 it will be LLCO’s Lin Biaoism.” The concept is perplexing given that neither myself nor the LLCO are Lin Biaoist in any serious way. In fact, “Lin Biaoism” does not exist. Lin Biao’s works were not significant enough to constitute a whole new stage of revolutionary science. What does exist is the accusation of “Lin Biaoism.” The accusation of “Lin Biaoism” is used as a way for reformists and revisionists to attack the more militant forces who advocate People’s War. For example, when Kevin Rashid accuses us of “Lin Biaoism,” he echoes Bob Avakian’s attack on people’s war in favour of First Worldism:
“ ….to cling to at least aspects of Lin Biao-ism. Lin Biao was a top leader of the communist Party of China in the 1960s and he is associated with the line of singling out U.S. imperialism for a common onslaught from the “third world,” with simultaneous national liberation wars defeating U.S. imperialism throughout the “third world,” and even possibly destroying it altogether. His line (as expressed in a 1965 pamphlet [written by Lin Biao], Long Live The Victory of People’s War) represented the absolutizing of what was then the principal contradiction in the world (between oppressed nations and imperialism) — raising it out of context of world relations and contradictions in which it actually exists and treating it as a thing unto itself and virtually the only significant contradiction in the world. While recognizing the existence of revolutionary situations and favorable revolutionary prospects in many countries in the “third world” it exaggerated this into a tendency to treat the “third world” as an undifferentiated whole, ripe everywhere for revolution. Related to this, in upholding the importance of armed struggle as a necessary means for replacing the old order with the new and insisting on the fact that in many places in the “third world” it was possible and necessary to make armed struggle the main and immediate form of struggle — in opposition to the Soviet revisionist line that attempted to make economic development the main task in the “third world” neo-colonies — Lin Biao’s line exaggerated this to a point of virtually insisting that everywhere in the “third world” revolutionary warfare could and must be launched right away (in Long Live the victory, whether one dares to wage a people’s war is made the touchstone of distinguishing Marxism-Leninism from revisionism). As part of this whole line, the objective fact that the proletarian revolution had been delayed in the imperialist countries and that there was as yet no proletarian revolutionary movement there was absolutized, so that the prospect of such revolution in the imperialist countries was all but dismissed…”3
Similarly, Kevin Rashid echoes the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Kanu Sanyal, a reformist organization that also attacks the militancy of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) as “Lin Biaoist”:
“We have repeatedly pointed out how the ‘Maoists’ (who bring bad name to Mao Tsetung by calling their Lin Biaoist line as Maoism) even after their more than two decades of presence in Bastar districts have failed to organise the adivasis and others in the region in democratic mass organisations and to politicalise them. Their squads like the state forces are also working as overlords negating the Mao’s concept that ‘it is the people, people alone who create history’. In spite of claiming to enjoy immense mass support, they could never prove it as they are boycotting all other forms of struggles including parliamentary ones, sticking to squad actions as the only forms of struggle.”4
Just as Rashid throws the labels of “petty-bourgeois” on the “Lin Biaoists,” so too do the enemies of the more militant trends in India. Rashid similarly echoes the revisionists when they claim the more militant anti-imperialists are disconnected from the masses, that they attack the people. “Lin Biaoism,” “petty-bourgeois,” etc. ” are also directed at the more militant struggles in Peru.5 Even in the United States, “Lin Biaoist” is often a term thrown at those who are willing to confront the state militarily. Those, like the Weather Underground, who said that the willingness to wage people’s war is a dividing line between real Marxism and revisionism are often called “Lin Biaoist” by those who play by the rules of the system. None other than Charu Majumdar, leader of the Naxalbari uprising raised up Lin Biao’s work against the revisionist leadership in his day:
“We defied the revisionist leadership of the party, independently took the road of developing the armed struggle of the peasant masses and accepted the method and principle laid down by Vice Chairman Lin Piao in his great work Long Live the Victory of People’s War!, because this method and principle embody the correct application of Mao Tsetung Thought and the summing-up of the experience gained the world over. This is how we organized the Naxalbari struggle.” 6
If we are indeed “Lin Biaoists,” then I would be glad. However, in truth there is no “Lin Biaoism.” There are revisionists that raise the phony “red flag” of “Lin Biaoism” as a way to attack militancy and people’s war. Kevin Rashid’s blog says nothing new. He just recycles old revisionism.
There is no actual response written to me. All Kevin Rashid’s blog has done is repost an article from 10 years ago which attacks Lin Bio personally. This has absolutely nothing to do any of the information or data I presented, nor anything to do with Third Worldist theory that I presented. In fact much of what I presented had nothing to do with Lin Biao or any of his writings at all. At best Rashid’s blog has made a genetic fallacy, at worst a complete non-sequitur.
“Comrade Nicklglais wrote this article about 10 years ago when he did a study (sic) of Lin Biao and Lin Biaoism.
“We post some links below this article which examine a trend called Third World Maoism which largely but not exclusively turns out to be Lin Biaoism.” 7
This assertion is not only false, but it is one he does not even attempt to back up. Lin Biao left only a few ideas, none of which were fully formulated into any theory. That work was done by others who have contributed much more than Lin Bio did. The LLCO have formulated their own theory based on Third Worldism called Leading Light Communism. I stick with Maoism-Third Worldism as a guiding theory. Attacking Lin Biao personally does nothing to refute any of his ideas, the LLCO’s theory, nor the one I follow. This is “response” is a complete non sequitur.
On top of this I’d also argue that Kevin Rashid has a false narrative of Revolutionary China with this terrible post. However, going into that would take us far beyond the scope of this post. It is sufficient to acknowledge that anything Lin Biao did or didn’t do is not relevant to the argument I made against what Kevin Rashid claimed of Third Worldism. (If anyone is interested in the best analysis of Chinese Revolutionary history I suggest you obtain a copy of the LLCO book Seas are rising, Clouds and Waters Raging here.)
I made a clear and concise argument for the First World lacking revolutionary potential due to its material conditions which are maintained via super-exploitation carried out against Third World workers. At no point was the argument, theory, or data I presented addressed. Kevin Rashid’s blog has not actually made a response at all. This is a complete intellectual failure on ther part.
After their non-argument was made, Rashid’s blog dips into the realm of childishness by saying I’m not a Maoist and telling me to “go to Lin Baoist Hell”. This is unprofessional and frankly beneath the behaviour of a Marxist. If Rashid’s organization wishes to be the vanguard of First World revolution they will certainly have to do better than name calling.
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1. The Pretend Revolution of Kevin Rashid’s First Worldism, Maoist Rebel News
2. Mao and Lin Biao – Refuting the Anti-Maoism of The Leading Light Communist Organisation and so called “Maoist” Rebel News, Democracy and Class Struggle
3. Avakian, Bob. For a Harvest of Dragons. RCP Publications. USA:1983. p 150-151.
4. State Terror Cannot be Challenged and Defeated Through Anarchist Actions: CPI-ML Kanu Sanyal, Resistance India
5. Red Star: Platform for Communist Revolutionaries, Vol.12, Issue.12, March 2012
6. Journal of CPI(ML) NAXALBARI, No: 2, JUNE 2003
7. Mao and Lin Biao – Refuting the Anti-Maoism of The Leading Light Communist Organisation and so called “Maoist” Rebel News, Democracy and Class Struggle