[A Collection of Articles by Com. Prachanda and Other Leaders of the CPN (Maoist)]

People’s War in the 21st Century and Prachanda Path
-Com. Ananta
"To advance ahead in the direction of continuous revolution by synthesizing scientifically the world proletarian revolution, which is rich in experiences of revolution and counterrevolution, is the fundamental essence of the lesson of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism." -- Chairman Com. Prachanda


 Twentieth century has passed amidst gigantic ebbs and flows of revolution and counter-revolution and the twenty-first century, with indefinite possibilities of development of human civilization, is with us. Mankind of the world, faced the twenty-first century two destructive great wars and innumerable big or small regional wars. Likewise, standing upon the foundation of investigation of Marxism, the ideology of working class and offending the heaven of exploiters and oppressors the working class attained success in this very century through Russian October Revolution. Along with this, Chinese Revolution attained victory in the long campaign of 22 years’ civil war and national liberation movement. Unprecedented great revolutions succeeded, great geniuses took birth, unprecedented events took place and diehard autocratic rulers and bloodthirsty villains also came into being in this very century. High tides of socialist, democratic and national liberation movements also stood up and entire models of revolutions including those of Russia and China, the great heritage of faith of the working masses at one time, also crumbled in this century. How was it possible? Innumerable researches and studies have been carried out on it, they are continuing and will do so. Capitalists and imperialists analyzed it as the failure of communism whereas as revisionists, pessimists and escapists understood it from the angle of liquidationism. But revolutionaries have understood it as a temporary setback and a serious lesson. Where did the proletariat commit mistake? World proletariat class is concentrating on ideological and practical field to transform the working class into an invincible force through its correct evaluation. Along with the communist revolutionaries including in India, Peru, Philippines, Turkey and Iran, in this great campaign, our Party CPN (Maoist), People’s Liberation Army and the Nepalese people are in the field of People’s War since last eight years. In today’s era of imperialism and proletarian revolution and in the midst of People's War our Party has contributed to and enriched in MLM by drawing essence of the lessons of world revolution and counter-revolution. This has already been synthesized in the form of Prachand Path and through the application of this scientific theory in revolutionary practice, it has further developed in the form of "Development of democracy in the twenty first century". Deep investigations and explanations on its philosophy, political economy, scientific socialism and other aspects have already been done and this process is continuing. In this article, a short discussion will be carried out on the fundamental contribution and characteristic of Prachanda Path acquired in the field of military science, a part of scientific socialism, which is a part of the overall knowledge acquired during the great People's War of eight years.

Today’s Imperialism and Military Specificity

 On economic and political characteristics of imperialism, great Lenin has said, "Imperialism is an era of finance capital and monopoly; in each field, it gives birth to the effort of establishing hegemony not to the effort of freedom." And "Politically, imperialism in general is an attempt forward in the direction of violence and reaction." At the same time, Lenin also has said that imperialism is the final and moribund stage of capitalism and "pre-stage of the socialist revolution". He presented an analysis that expansion of colony and semi-colony, exportation of industrial and finance capital, division of world and application of force are the military, economic and political characteristics of imperialism. Apart form this, Mao’s analysis on the development of bureaucratic and comprador capitalism and its explanation are basically correct. Also, Mao’s analysis that imperialism, by using reactionary ruling class of the oppressed nations as their stooges, exploits and oppresses people, uses economy of these countries as its own, grabs unlimited profit by looting raw materials and cheap labor, carries out political, economic, military and cultural oppression and suppression against the people in those countries, and as a result of this, Asia, Latin America and Africa have become the storm center of national democratic revolution, is very much valid even now. Likewise, Lenin’s explanation on the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution and Comrade Mao’s proposition that revolution is the main trend in the world, which he concluded from the correct identification of contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations, is also equally scientific.

 In the world today, there is domination and over-centralization of finance capital, on one hand, and on the other, because of unequal distribution of income, unequal development, unemployment a big gap between rich and poor has been created. Imperialist’s data say, "Rich countries that have 15% of the world population own 80% of the world’s resources, whereas, 85% of the population own only 20 % of them. Consequently, "Two and a half a billion people have been victims of abject poverty. One billion people are under absolute poverty line. It has given rise to unemployment, poverty, anger and anarchy and rebellion simultaneously.

 After the 80s, the development of science and technology, mainly the unprecedented development that has taken place in electronic and information technology has converted  the world into a very narrow village. Amidst contention between world super powers, the fall of Russian social imperialism and the slogans of so-called unipolar New World Order dominated by US imperialism in the garb of globalization and liberalization, the monopoly capitalist fascism has manifested in the form of worldwide military intervention, expansion of military camps, exploitation of economic resources and the massive suppressions against the small resistance and revolts against it. American ill-intentions over entire resources of the world, bloody attacks upon Balkan region by the erstwhile Soviet union, bloody attack upon erstwhile Yugoslavia for oil reserves, attack upon Afghanistan and Iraq are its examples. In fact, today’s imperialism, particularly the US imperialism is sustaining upon the exportation of finance capital, worldwide usury, sale of weapons of mass destruction, naked plundering of natural resources and labor of the third world countries through big financial institutions like World Bank, International Monetory Fund etc. Therefore, the US imperialism has become today a number one enemy of workers, peasants and oppressed nations of the whole world.

 Today, the conflict over the share of spoils of plunder is sharpening among the imperialists. The open contention of Germany, France and Russia with the US in Iraq War is its example. According to the inevitable characteristic of imperialism, it indicates towards world war and regional wars. In the same way, opposition of the third world countries and people and fury of the masses in the imperialist heartland against open loot and naked aggression of the US imperialism has clearly indicated towards world revolution. Marxism has already explained the fact that politics stands on economic base and the war is another form of politics. On the imperialist politics of plunder and war the formulation of Karl Marie Von Clause-Witz, a Prussian military strategist, made in  1833 in his book “On War”, that, “War is the continuation of politics by other means” has been excellently justified. America has deployed its military force to plunder the world resources economically, to encircle its imperialist rivals militarily and to control politically and nip people’s anti-imperialist fury, opposition, rebellion and revolution all over the world. According to a report, the US imperialism has stockpiled "more than half a million of armies" (apart from Iraq), "more than 8 thousands of atomic weapons", "at least 22 thousands of other atomic weapons" in "395 military bases" of the third world countries. A country, which has only 5% of the world population, spends 63.36% of the total military budget of the world including its allies. Whether it be a marine raft in Pacific Ocean or the navy base in Arabian Sea, whether it be a capture of high strategic land in Afghanistan or military aggression in Balkan Region, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia or its moves in South Asia, all of these are inspired from superpower ambition for repressing revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, milking out natural resources from there, encircling imperialist rivals and expanding new areas of influence. From this, the new strategy of imperialism has become "liberalization", "globalization" and "world militarization". It has made World War and World Revolution to come face to face.

Our Party, based upon the analysis of economic, political and military strategy of imperialism, the - US imperialism in particular, has identified that the following four basic contradictions existing in the world today.
 - Contradiction between bourgeois and proletarian class as the contradiction between labor and capital.
 - Inter-imperialist contradiction.
 - Contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and people.
- Contradiction between capitalist and socialist system.

 Among them, the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and people is the principal contradiction in the world. In today’s world, even a small event, rebellion or revolution in the third world has necessarily to confront directly with the imperialism. Owing to this fact, on one hand, a problem of capitulating to imperialism, or cowardice or right revisionism has become the main subjective problem, and on the other, a dogmato-revisionist trend that tries to go ahead without analyzing positive and negative aspects of the worldwide strategy of imperialism, surprising development of productive forces and intensification in the social form of production, is also equally dangerous. For this reason, it has become necessary for the proletariat to enrich the heritage of the great Russian and Chinese revolutions in twentieth century, take serious lessons from the negative events of counter-revolutions and develop and enrich its own strategy and tactics. Explaining this, Prachanda Path has said, "It also shows that there has been a significant change in the prevailing concept of model of revolution after 1980. Today the fusion of the strategies of armed insurrection and protracted People’s War into one another has been essential. Without doing so, a genuine revolution seems impossible in any country."

 In this way, globalized intervention in military, economy and politics has become the characteristics of imperialism, and a unified and co-ordinated offensive has been urgent on the part of the proletarian class, too.

Prachanda Path and the Specificities of Nepalese Revolution

 The flag of Nepalese Revolution was raised in such a period when Mao had died, there was a wave of counterrevolution all over the world including China, setback in Peruvian revolution, recession in national liberation movements and the domination of so-called "new world order", and uni-polar economic and military hegemony of US imperialism. Today, with the intensification of inter-imperialist contradiction an indication of a unipolar world order going step by step towards a multi-polar one, rise in anti-imperialist opinion all over the world, brutality of imperialist oppression, hegemony and exploitation, and in opposition to it, the emerging sparks of  rebellion on the part of the world proletariat and oppressed masses, have created a comparatively favorable situation. In the midst of this objective and subjective situation, the Nepalese revolution and raising of flag of revolt by the Nepalese people is about to complete eight years. The Nepalese revolution with its specificity, originality, grandeur and worldwide influence is face to face with imperialism, particularly the US imperialism. Definitely, some originality and science is working from behind the Nepalese revolution that has enabled it to arrive politically and militarily at the stage of equilibrium amidst low ebb in world proletarian revolution and unilateral hegemony and domination of imperialism.

 Ideologically, Nepalese revolution has waged a long struggle against right revisionism, reformism and parliamentarism. It has succeeded to grasp revolutionary dialectics, which understands the universal theory of Marxism not as a dead object but as a dynamic and developmental living guideline. In addition to this, our Party has gone through a long struggle against dogmato-revisionism, which is widely spread nationally and internationally. It has been able to develop a view on the particularities of today’s world imperialism, forms of revolution and new strategies and tactics. These are the main factors for the development and success of Nepalese People’s War.

 Comrade Mao says, "Correctness and incorrectness of ideological and political line decides everything. If the line is correct everything will come in its way if it is wrong everything will be lost which one had before." This quote of Comrade Mao has become very true for the Nepalese People’s War. Analysis of the Nepalese society, building up of the line of revolution, historical initiation of the People’s War, correct handling of contradiction in the class struggle and two line struggle, centralization of works in the basic masses and rural areas based on the specificity of the protracted People’s War, the main form of organization as army, the main form of struggle of war, small guerilla actions and centralized attacks, countrywide guerilla struggle and the centralization of work in certain strategic areas, countrywide struggle, centralized shock attacks and work among urban workers, students, and intellectuals, propaganda work and countrywide general strikes on the basis of the strategy of insurrection, rehearsal of insurrection through shutdowns, etc. were carried out simultaneously. These along a new revolutionary practice, has led to synthesis of Prachanda Path, which has enriched the MLM. Prachanda Path has enriched and developed all the three components of MLM, the philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism. Developing in the field of military science and in the strategy and tactics of proletarian and democratic revolution in overall, the theory of fusion of insurrection and protracted People’s War with one another, has been a new contribution to MLM and is advancing ahead in the direction of acquiring universal character. Ten tactical principles of fusion have excellently expressed this theory of Prachanda Path.

- Give priority to the work in villages, but don’t leave work in cities too.
- Give priority to the illegal struggle, but don’t leave the legal struggle too.
- Give priority to certain strategic areas, but don’t leave other areas too.
- Give priority to the work of war, but don’t leave works of the mass movement too.
- Give priority to clandestine work, but don’t leave open works too.
- Give priority to the rural class struggle, but don’t leave countrywide struggle too.
- Give priority to the guerilla actions, but don’t leave political exposition and propaganda works too.
- Give priority to the work inside the country, but don’t leave worldwide propaganda works too.
- Give priority to the work of military organization, but don’t leave work of building front organizations too.
- Give priority to depending upon own organizations and strength, but don’t leave tactical unity and the question of taking help and support from international opinion too.

 In brief, the specificity of Nepalese People’s War can be discussed in following points: First, emphasis in building correct line on the basis of the concept of  "Correctness of the political line decides everything" and through that to educate, organize and make millions of the masses agitate. Second, accepting MLM as a guiding ideology and, being firm in the starting point of "masses are the creators of history" to be prepared for back and forth and right and left. Third, to launch the historical initiation of people’s war with its own originality and countrywide shock and in a rebellion-like way. Fourth, to centralize rebellion on the question of political power from the very beginning. Fifth, to centralize main attacks upon feudal, comprador and bureaucratic bourgeois class as the enemy class and its guardian, the imperialism. Sixth, to centralize and handle all the things with the understanding that main form of organization is army and main form of struggle is war. Seventh, considering local power and the question of base area as the fundamental question, to continue in regular practice of mass agitation and central political intervention; examples of which are two times cease-fire and negotiation. Eighth, to place ideology and man in principal position and weapons in secondary position and handle them correctly in a dialectical way. Ninth, acceptance of the inevitable role of use of force in history and use of mass line for the capture of state power through revolutionary violence, under which emphasis upon building a armed sea of masses by developing people’s militia from millions of people. Tenth, to achieve technical superiority of low tech over high tech through quantity to quality, human bravery and people’s initiative. Eleventh, to apply offense and defense and centralization and decentralization scientifically. Twelfth, correct application of total war through ideology, courage and war of the masses during the People's War of eight years has acquired relative superiority and victory over the imperialist war of weapon and technology. This is the basic specificity of the Nepalese People's War.

On the People’s Army of 21st Century

 Learning from the mistakes the proletarian class and its leaderships committed in history, Prachanda Path has visualized making the 21st century a century of world revolution. Today, the Great Russian and Chinese Revolutions, huge people’s army and proletarian powers have become a question of history.  Does it mean that those concepts were wrong? The proletarian class and its Party cannot give a negative answer, as do the imperialist reactionaries and revisionists that have deviated from the great campaign of making history. However, the question in which we are serious is that proletarian class, proletarian power, proletarian Party and proletarian people’s army may be defeated repeatedly. But, accepting ones own mistakes and inadequacy of experience one should make constant efforts to move ahead. History has made the world proletarian class stand right at that very point of self-assessment. To fight against the self is inevitable to learn from the history, to achieve more victories and to build up a new history, but not to deviate from revolution and not to explain history in one’s interest.

 Today we know, Lenin’s red army, the detachment of the Great October Revolution, Stalin’s Soviet Army that led the heroic sacrifice of 23.7 millions of Soviet people and that shattered Nazism and Fascism of Hitler in the hearth of the Second World War, Mao’s people’s liberation army that defeated 5.5 millions of Chiang-Kai-Sheik’s army, millions of Japanese US & British imperialists during 22 years’ of civil and national liberation war, and in the same way, the earth-shaking armies whether they be of Vietnam revolution or Korean revolution have become today the means of counterrevolution and they have not been able to prevent it. Prachanda Path has guided us on how to build a new type of Party, new type of power and organize people’s army from a new height and says, "The People’s Army in the 21st Century should not be in the process of being modernized by way of special training and weapons staying in the barracks after the capture of power, rather it should be guarantee to make them  revolutionary fighters to militarize the whole masses and serve them." This development of Prachanda Path is linked with the concept of Karl Marx to arm the masses and provide general education with weapons to build armed sea of masses.

 In this way, the question of building a new people’s army that is able to prevent counterrevolution by developing the basic theory of MLM, continuation of Proletarian Cultural Revolution and organizational principle of revolutionary ideology, is the principal one. More than that, today’s necessity is to build a people’s army that stands on ideological, organizational and methodological foundation and is capable not only to make revolution but also to prevent counter-revolution. Comrade Mao adhered to mass-line in the field of ideology, politics, organization and struggle to defeat the revisionist and counter-revolutionary gangs that had penetrated into higher posts of Party, State and army, which, is famous in history as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In this revolution, a campaign was launched to expose, carry out mass action and expel the representatives of the bourgeois class, counter-revolutionaries and revisionists who had occupied higher posts in people’s army, by building people’s militia in millions (which were called Red Guards). Together with this, Red Guards pulled out the bourgeois people’s army, which was confined into barracks with the modern weapons and huge bureaucratic structure, to mass revolt and the great campaign of political and economical constructions.  From this, a great and unprecedented unity among Party, army and revolutionary people’s power and vast masses of the people was achieved. Through the course of continuous revolution, Maoism, the scientific ideology that enables the human society to reach communism  was born. Communism is a goal of the proletariat; the means to achieve it are the Party, army and state power. Utilizing the achievement and means of New Democracy and socialism, a process of continuous revolutionization of the three weapons of revolution is the urgent need of today in order to achieve the highest goal of the world revolution.

 History showed that, "After the seizure of power, when entire leaders and cadres of the Party are involved in running it, a danger of the Party being transformed step by step into a bureaucratic, careerist and privileged class becomes intense and dominant from the objective environment." In the same way, "What has also been proved in the context of people’s army is that for the army, which was proved to be invincible in the war front against enemy before revolution by being united with the masses with devotion, dedication, heroism, sacrifice and ideological conviction, an objective environment of staying in barracks with special arrangement and becoming a modern bourgeois army develops gradually after the seizure of power”. For that, people’s army should not be confined within barracks and armed with heavy modern technology. Rather as Marx and Engels proposed, synthesizing the experiences of Paris Commune, the establishment of the organized state of the masses of the people and the overthrow of today’s imperialism is possible only by involving millions of masses in revolution; and also not from the high tech and regular army but from the vast sea of the armed masses and from the strength of its  sacrifice, courage and  with low against high tech. For this, it is necessary for the people’s army to be organized for accomplishing the task of fulfilling "an interim necessity of a small regular army in the form of a school of militias commanders" as Marx said. On this, the concept of Prachanda Path is, "The main task of the People’s Army in the 21st Century should be to accomplish the historical responsibility of developing conscious armed masses capable to use their right to rebel.”

 In today’s era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, it will be possible, only by this way, to destroy the world order, which is sustaining on the strength of a huge regular army and genocidal arms and ammunitions, and to construct the new one. Only in this way, will it be possible to make a leap into the world of freedom from the world of necessity. Not that, the proletarian class will be enmeshed in idealist world or abstract use of force. Undoubtedly, it is possible to accomplish this necessity of history by building people’s army in the 21st century that stands upon the foundation of proletarian ideology and politics and "remains in supervision, control and service of the masses", as practitioner of continuous revolution.

Contribution of Prachanda Path in Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Military Science

 A discussion on Prachanda Path, specificity of Nepalese People's War and its originality has already been made. It has been proved that eight year’s of the great People's War has contributed to and enriched in the field of military science of MLM. Those particularities and originalities of Prachanda Path have become a contribution to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist military science. Particularly, the theory of fusion that has been developed by integrating Russian model of armed insurrection and Chinese model of protracted People’s War is equally applicable to both the developed and underdeveloped countries and revolution in any country is almost impossible in today’s world without this theory. In today’s era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the method of total People's War that fights reaction and imperialism and ten tactical principles too are no less important contributions. In the present era, to defeat imperialism and prevent counterrevolution, to apply right to rebel and conduct continuous revolution by building a state of conscious and armed masses as a guaranteed organizational methodology of reaching to communism through people’s democracy and socialism, the theory of doing away with regular army by completely arming the masses, Prachanda Path through the concept of people’s army in 21st century, has contributed to the theory of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist military science, organization and methods. These facts prove that Prachanda Path is gradually attaining universality.


 Standing upon the subjective condition that is being created again and is advancing the  revolution amidst the objective condition of worldwide hegemony, and interventionist violent character of world imperialism, particularly the US imperialism, Nepalese revolution and Nepalese proletarian class has initiated a great campaign of learning lessons of history. It has initiated a new polemic for the development of democracy in the 21st century; it is not to run away from revolution, but to accomplish revolution and to continue it as well as. Engels, in one context, had mentioned that the development of railways, post offices, banks and heavy industries would be a prerequisite for communism. Thousand times more development has taken place now in science, technology and human society. Huge production branches, transportation and communication and particularly the electronic technology has changed the world into a small village: this is the prerequisite for achieving communism. It is only a question of transferring them from imperialism and their handful of billionaire agents to the hands of numerous masses. Definitely the proletarian class in the aforesaid explosive situation of contradiction needs a scientific ideology, revolutionary organization and correct leadership. Nepalese revolution and Prachanda Path, even though small, has put its step forward towards that.

Amidst the drought of proletarian revolution, Nepalese People's War has provided few drops of water. The world community is looking at Nepalese revolution as a ray of hope and Nepalese revolution is colliding directly with imperialism. It is an inevitable process in today’s world. Nonetheless, this direct confrontation at the stage of strategic equilibrium and at the point of preparation of strategic offense and armed insurrection is definitely a challenging one. For that, if Nepalese People’s Liberation Army could wage real People's War based on the military strategy of being trained from the idea of democracy in 21st century, uniting with masses and as Comrade Prachanda says, "exploding where enemy steps on", against US imperialism, victory is inevitable and ascertained. In the 21st century, Nepalese People’s Liberation Army that is armed with the new idea of Prachanda Path will not only become an instrument of revolution in the new century but also a strong guard for preventing counter-revolution.

(November 2003)
Present Situation and Our Task, CC, CPN (Maoist), June 2003
Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 5, (Hindi)
The Great Leap Forward: An Inevitable Need of History. P. 18, Document CPN (Maoist), 2000
Monthly Review, June 2003
Update, series-9, December 2002
Marx-Engels, Collected Works, Vol.1 (Hindi)