by Wayne S. Rossi / July 2006 issue of Socialist Action newspaper
Following the massive and valiant popular stand that forced Nepal’s king to reinstate parliament and lose most of his authority, as reported in the June issue of Socialist Action, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has come to an agreement with the Seven-Party Alliance and will form part of the provisional government that will rule the kingdom until a constituent assembly can be held.
We noted last month the limitations of the CPN (Maoist)’s Stalinist program; now the party is seen in action as it readily abandons its “People’s Governments” in the countryside and turns to building the bourgeois state. Its leader, Prachanda, has taken the first steps to bourgeois respectability, with the press supporting his willingness to throw away the armed struggle in return for legitimacy and a part in the provisional government.
While the CPN (Maoist) will not disarm, it has cut itself short, and left the freshly radicalized masses in Nepal without an effective revolutionary leadership. At this juncture, it seems as if Prachanda has not been faced with the pressures (including war with the United States) that forced Mao to uproot the rotten bourgeois society of China and create a deformed workers’ state following the 1949 revolution.
Disarming the king only removes one impediment to progress in the country. Nepal remains desperately poor and underdeveloped—essentially an economic pawn split between India and China. The bourgeois-democratic government, with or without the Maoists, is incapable of solving the nation’s contradictions within the bounds of imperialism.
Nepal is a largely agrarian society, which was unable to seriously develop modern industry for decades prior to the Maoist insurgency. It has a staggeringly large migratory population, and outside of tourist-friendly Kathmandu, the civil service is often the largest non-agricultural employer.
History tells us that the land reform and industrial development policies that Nepal desperately needs are unreachable within the limits of capitalism, but the CPN (Maoist), with faith in Stalin’s discredited theory of separate “stages” in the revolutionary process and support to pro-capitalist “democrats,” has given up on any prospect of socialist revolution.
However, people in a revolutionary situation do not always move predictably. The radicalization in Nepal has been remarkably broad, and if it turns out to be as deep it may well prove difficult for the CPN (Maoist) and the Seven-Party Alliance to move on to bourgeois “stability,” forcing either the Maoists or another force to continue a move leftward.
The valiant Nepalese masses who wrested power from the king are still capable of making a social revolution and changing the course of the nation’s history.