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

Some Ideological and Military Questions Raised by People's War

-Com. Prachanda

“Revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them” – Mao Tse-tung

 The People's War that took birth amidst the class contradiction of the Nepalese society and started growing up and diverging into the masses is approaching two years. According to the dialectical law of development class contradiction gave rise to People's War and People's War today is intensifying and sharpening the class contradiction. This is the historical reality of Nepalese society today. Despite who had what subjective wish, People's War by becoming an objective reality for both the supporters and opposition has reached at the center of our country’s politics. This reality itself is manifesting originality and particularity of the Nepalese People's War.

 People's War, since its birth, has been facing intense repression, conspiracy and opposition of the reactionaries and revisionists. In order to nip a two years old healthy baby, the People's War, to which the masses amidst blows and counter blows have brought up at the cost of their life, the enemy is preparing for further fierce repression and conspiracy. In fact, the People's War has become the central expression of strength of the people, who want progress and emancipation, whereas, the fascist repression has become the central expression of the regressive elements. In this circumstance of history, it is necessary on the part of pro-people force to seriously study ideological and military questions related to People's War and raise up the development of People's War to another new height in order to ensure victory of people’s force against the regressive forces. Without a continuous process of synthesizing the experiences of knowledge it will be impossible to lead People's War to its victory.

People's War: A General Concept

 The horror of war that has emerged from a certain objective situation of human development will end in another particular situation of human development itself. Historical materialism has clarified that the process of violent conflict among men is inseparably linked with the situation of division of labor, emergence of private property and development of social class division. Capitalism and imperialism have made the contradiction between social labor and production, and private ownership extensive and intense, and created a conducive situation to make an end of private property and class division. Therefore, the communists, basing on the synthesis of historical materialism, carry on revolutionary wars of today’s world in the form of ‘last war’.

 In its essence, real communists and masses never like war and don’t make war in desire but we communists are clear on the scientific fact that it is necessary to raise the flag of just war in order to oppose the unjust war being conducted by the exploiting class and to end war forever amongst the human being. In the class society, it is impossible to make a forward leap without a revolutionary war. The exploiting class has been carrying out ill effort to stop social development by imposing unjust war against the masses whereas the oppressed masses have been stepping up towards social advance through revolutionary war. In the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism that has been developed in course of synthesizing the experiences of earth shaking class struggles waged by the proletarian class has provided with an invincible weapon of comprehensive military theory of People's War for the revolutionary war of the masses.

 The great People's War, which we are waging to build an economically, politically and culturally prosperous and democratic Nepal by abolishing feudalism and imperialism, is also a part of that last war. Therefore, here lies the worldwide historic significance of the revolutionaries in shedding blood and sweat to make it success.

Role of Guerrilla War in Comprehensive People's War

 On the basis of semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition of Nepal and scientific and revolutionary teaching of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, we have adopted the strategy of protracted People’s War, the line of encircling cities from the countryside, as the military strategy of Nepalese New Democratic revolution. Although its implementation and expression come into sight differently according to the particularities of different country, time and situation, but this military strategy does have universal significance for the countries, which are victimized by dual exploitation and oppression of feudalism and imperialism. protracted People’s War is a comprehensive military strategy to resolve antagonistic contradiction prevailing in a certain historical stage. In our situation, protracted People’s War under the leadership of the proletariat is a military method of resolving the contradiction between feudal, bureaucrat and comprador bourgeois class, and another classes, level and section of the masses. The terminology of protracted People’s War shows the fact that people’s armed force in the beginning is very weak compared to the strength of the enemy force. Protracted People’s War is the art of war in which a weak armed-force of the people defeats the powerful armed-force of the enemy.

 Many people have already conceived that this type of total war becomes victorious by completing three main strategic stages. In these three main stages of defense, equilibrium and offense, guerrilla war has principal role in the first strategic stage, mobile warfare in the second stage of equilibrium and positional warfare in the third stage of offense. Positional or mobile warfare is impossible in the first stage because of unevenness of power balance and an attempt to do so becomes a stupidity. Politically that is a manifestation of adventurism. Likewise, if priority is given to guerrilla war even in the stages of equilibrium and offense that goes to be capitulationism or right opportunism. During the whole course of strategic defensive, it is indispensable to accept the strategic role of guerrilla warfare. Nepalese People's War being now in the stage of strategic defense guerrilla war should be the main agenda for all revolutionaries. We will reach at mobile and positional warfare by successfully enhancing the guerrilla warfare. In other words, we are not fighting guerrilla war for the sake of guerrilla war itself rather we are conducting it in the form of preparation for positional warfare. From this viewpoint, strategic role of guerrilla war is self-evident.

Guerrilla War Before and Now

 The history of guerrilla war, which is an art of fighting against strong enemy, is as old as that of other conventional wars. There are innumerable examples in history in which people have defeated militarily very strong army of the enemy through People's War. Also in the history of Nepal, not only in the legendary stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana, the art of guerrilla war had been used in the process of building modern Nepal since hundreds of years. Whether it be in the process of chasing away a very strong Tibetan army, 800 years back, which the people of Kathmandu valley defeated through guerrilla style, or be it in course of surprising resistance actions adopted by Nepalese people against the British or be it in the course of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s state expansion campaign, we see effective application of guerrilla war tactics everywhere.

 We can easily see the reality that such examples exist in China, Russia, Europe, America and elsewhere. Without exceptions, what can be seen in the world history is that guerrilla warfare has been effective when pro-people forces carry on war against anti-people army, which are relatively more equipped with training and arms that is, guerrilla war has always become effective weapon for militarily weak masses.

 Despite this, guerrilla war has not been able to achieve expected final successes in  history. Mainly the lack of established political leadership and lack of military strategy to develop guerrilla war to regular warfare seems to be the reason behind this. This is the main conclusion of the experiences of all guerrilla wars in the past.

 Now, it is the era of emergence of Marxism in general, and the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, in particular. Arriving at this period, Marxism defined scientifically the role of revolutionary war on the basis of all the experiences of history. It did not only ensure necessary ideological and political leadership for the people’s guerrilla war but also prepared a whole series of tactics and military strategy of developing guerrilla war into regular war. Masses have waged several successful wars against feudalism and imperialism on the basis of general theories of war. Guerrilla war has played a historical role in course of the First and Second World War and mainly in the Russian revolution and in the war against Hitler’s fascism.

 From the general theory of Marxism-Leninism and the experiences of class struggle, Mao Tse-tung, in the context of experiences of the Great Chinese Revolution, accomplished the task of establishing guerrilla war qualitatively at a new height of development as an inseparable part of comprehensive People's War. In the context of defining strategic role of guerilla war in the protracted People’s War, Comrade Mao Tse-tung, by developing comprehensive military line of encircling cities from the countryside and base area, developed Marxist-Leninist theory on war to a new stage.

 In this way, today’s guerrilla war can not remain like that of the past, it has been established as a systematic science of revolutionary war. Without grasping this science or the military science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism it is impossible to successfully develop guerrilla war in the form of people’s military strategy in today’s world.

Some Principal Conditions for the Success in Guerrilla War

(a) Leadership with a correct ideological and political line is the principal condition to propel forward the guerrilla war successfully in the form of people’s military affair in the present era. In the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, however good the military strategy may be, if it fails to acquire constant leadership of scientific ideology and politics revolution can not succeed. Only by grasping Marxism-Leninism-Maoism ideologically and strategy of People's War as the guiding theory militarily, can the guerrilla war, achieve victory one after another and develop into regular war, and reach to its final victory.
(b) Guerrilla war can be developed only if it is conducted for the masses and by the masses. When there is no determination of serving the people whole-heartedly guerrilla war cannot be an important part of comprehensive People's War rather that goes to become a terrorist activity of a handful of people. This is the main inherent reason behind the guerrilla war, which when waged world over only under the leadership of genuine communists could develop to regular war and succeed in building people’s power. Only when guerrilla war, is fought selflessly for the people and fighters act as the sons and daughters of the masses, it becomes an important part of comprehensive revolutionary war. The reactionary class, in order to crush revolutionary guerrilla war, has also provided guerrilla training to their mercenary soldiers, but whatever training they provide, it is impossible for those mercenary asses to win over confidence of the people. Owing to their class character, their interest is to loot the people. In this situation, it is not possible for those looters of the people to use strategies of guerrilla warfare.
(c) As Comrade Mao said guerrilla war does not develop without a continuous process of awakening and organizing more and more people through faster and better methods. What needs here to deeply understand is that guerrilla war does not mean only to fight the enemy; but it is to propagate among the masses and to organize them; and without making them advance as producers for themselves and the people, guerrilla war cannot be a part of comprehensive revolutionary war. It is clear, that without becoming a part of revolutionary war it cannot succeed.
(d) It is impossible to continue and develop guerrilla war if the negligence on the question of following certain basic tactics. Among them it is mainly the tactics of hit and run as Mao said, “when enemy advances, we retreat”. And other points are: centralizing our forces to fight the enemy, decentralizing it to arouse the masses, finding out the weakest point of the enemy with adequate preparation and to attack by ensuring victory, carrying out dependable geographical and other surveys, always trying to keep enemy in surprise, maintaining regular alertness, mobility and secrecy etc.
(e) Without the concrete goal of building base areas and without developing them, it is not possible to develop guerrilla, mobile and regular war. It is impossible to continue guerrilla war for long without developing it to mobile and regular war. In protracted People’s War the concept of base area, which Mao has developed, is a strategic concept of historic significance. To devaluate the necessity and significance of base areas with any argument or pretext is in fact to oppose the protracted People’s War. Therefore, another necessary condition for the anticipated success in guerrilla war is to develop base areas.

Some Preliminary Experiences of Nepalese People's War

(a) As it is said, in spite of the basic principles remaining same guerrilla war has its own fundamental expression according to different country, time and situation. Several new experiences have come into light in the short course of initiation and continuation of Nepalese guerrilla war. Firstly, the process of initiation of Nepalese People's War had been different than any other experiences of the world. The originality -- a forceful shock under centralized planning, a unified campaign of military and non-military action, work in both rural and urban areas, mass mobilization and mass action – that appeared in the initiation of People's War is in fact a result of convergence of correctness of ideological leadership of the Party and objective situation of the Nepalese society. When looked at minutely, the glimpse of particularities of initiation of Nepalese People's War can be noticed nicely. The questions like, mass characteristic of guerrilla war, significance of convergence of different actions, relation between countryside and cities, importance of clandestine working system, use of surprise in actions, position of arms in guerrilla war etc contain an embryo of particularities of Nepalese revolutionary war.
(b) In this period, a series of efforts that the revolutionaries have made to transform their political supremacy into military supremacy and that the enemy has made to transform their military supremacy into political one, have been particularly expressing the dialectical relation between political and military offenses in Nepal. The enemy is carrying out political offensive by making military supremacy dominant and creating horror of massacre, loot, rape, arrest and torture, and just opposite of it the revolutionaries are making political supremacy dominant and carrying out political exposition and are executing military offensive. Enemy’s policy is, “confuse, encircle and annihilate”. The experience, which has been acquired in the process of emphasizing political and military offensive according to the ebb and flow of the situation and in handling the dialectical relation between them, has been very much lively and important.
(c) The Nepalese People's War has mostly and intensively influenced the masses of oppressed class, caste, nationality and the region. Increasing participation of the masses of oppressed nationalities from East to West, initiative of peasants and workers, extensive participation of women, and the attraction that has appeared in the masses of Terai including Karnali region and remote areas oppressed by the old state, elucidates the great revolutionary character of Nepalese People's War. This process has been intensifying further despite innumerable cases of repression and conspiracy carried out by the enemy and the opportunists. There is no doubt that the success of Nepalese revolution depends in this fact.
(d) The process of development of Nepalese People's War is very fast. The severe crisis of the reactionary state, which is rotten to its core, the intensity of class struggle and the revolutionary ideological and political line of our Party are responsible for this. As a consequence of intense development of the war the situation of political power vacuum and guerrilla zones came into being in the different parts of the country within one and half a year. The People's War transformed into a lifestyle of hundreds of thousands of people. Unmasking the charges, like “people’s war without people”, leveled by the reactionaries and revisionists, the situation of power vacuum extended to new regions of the country. Party has taken this as a very positive but challenging experience of Nepalese People’s War.
(e) Party’s understanding that the role of urban region is important for the development of People's War despite of countryside remaining principal has been brilliantly justified during this period. Although the urban region plays a secondary role in the initial period of People's War, the possibility and significance of it is very important in the historic specificity of Nepal and should be advanced constantly as a preparation of future insurrection. This fact has been well established. This is also a specific experience of Nepalese People's War.
(f) In a very short period, the Nepalese People's War has succeeded to acquire wide sympathy from young students, teachers, professors, lawyers, human rightists, independent intellectuals and doctors to petty businessman and industrialists. People's War is also gaining sympathy of national bourgeois class one after another. Except the sectarian and prejudiced persons, which are totally polluted by poison of diehard reactionaries and revisionists, members of other different political parties who are till now most honest to people and revolution have extended support towards People's War. All these facts elucidate the ideological level of the  Nepalese people and the historical necessity of radical change in the country.
(g) The Nepalese People's War in a short span of time has provided qualitative speed to the process of rectification, consolidation, expansion, transformation and maturity of the political Party of the proletariat. It is another experience of People's War to have made this process further extensive and intense. People's War has created attraction among the Nepalese people staying in America, Canada, Europe and mainly the millions workers in India. The  increasing role of migrant Nepalese people to assist the People's War in different ways is another pleasant experience.
(h) People's War has widely extended and consolidated the fraternal relations among genuine communist revolutionaries of the world including the RIM on the basis of proletarian internationalism. Nepalese People's War in this short span of time has acquired sympathy of millions of struggling masses around the world. It has qualitatively increased the Party’s international responsibility and role.
(i) Certainly, in order to develop People's War to this situation, the martyrdom of best sons and daughters of Nepalese people, resistance thousands of prisoners against jail, and torture of the reactionary state and devotion, dedication and sacrifice of millions of the masses has contributed a lot. People's War, within two years, has acquired so many experiences of ebb and flow, loss and achievement, and shortcoming and weakness. Even now the main problem before the People's War is to maintain proper balance between military development and  political advancement. But what can be assured is that, as is said the morning shows the day, all these problems can be successfully faced.

Present Situation: Possibility and Challenge

 Because of the aforesaid situation of development of Nepalese People's War and its historical necessity the domestic and foreign reactionary classes, which are experiencing earthquake shocks in their state of plunder and exploitation, are making exercises for further  repression and conspiracies. All the facts like, employing army before completing one and half a year, exercise of introducing draconian laws and game of changing state equation one after another express intentions of the reactionary classes to carry out bigger fascist repression. Now the formation of Panchayati  (i.e. monarchist) fascist government in the pretext of their more  capabilities in governing is the latest move of the reactionary conspiracy. Formation of such a government, on the one hand, is the result of betrayal and slavishness of stupid groups like Nepali Congress and UML and on the other, it is a political farce and military challenge posed by the reactionary class against the entire Nepalese masses. Soon after this fascist state equation had been built up, their act of blind firing on the masses that had gathered to condole the death of a young revolutionary woman Kamala Bhatta, in Gorkha, has made its strategy clear. Reactionary class lifts up a stone always to drop over its feet. Kamala Bhatta brutal killing is a blow to the millions of women fighting for independence and equality. It will not be tolerated by the  Nepalese women and revolutionary masses. Nepalese people, who have risen up to the level of People's War, will hit back at each level.

 We communists before that the conspiracy and repression, which is carried out keeping People's War at the center, is the result of the development of People's War. It is a historically proven law of revolution to advance giving rise to powerful counterrevolutions. It will be nothing other than their stupidity to try to frighten genuine revolutionary masses. It is necessary to take each activity seriously by grasping this truth ideologically. It will also be a mistake not to take enemy seriously from tactical view. Defending from both ‘left’ and right mistakes, it is necessary for the revolutionaries to further centralize and expand their strength in order to make the People's War attain victory one after another. In this great campaign of initiating a new era by shattering feudal exploitation and imperialist oppression, it is necessary for the revolutionaries to increase diligence and resoluteness further, organize entire masses and study more deeply the theories of People's War and synthesize the experiences. No fascist power will survive before the masses, the creators of the history. Whatever challenging the situation may be, the people’s victory is certain.

Long Live People's War !
Down With Regressive Element !