By the editorial staff of Tjen Folket Media.
The tactic against imperialists today must serve the strategy for the revolution. Without the guidance og Marxism (today Maoism), without being led by this and by our strategy, the work will occur spontaneously and blindly. In an imperialist country, the path is short to reformism and chauvinism, without correct direction and tactics.
How one as a revolutionary approaches NATO, US imperialism, the Norwegian state, and so on is not just an abstract or theoretical question. It can quickly become quite concrete. It can determine whether or not Norwegian proletarian youth do the imperialists’ dirty work in the world’s poorest countries. It has to do with the existence of any real anti-imperialist movement, or if those who claim to be such a movement end up serving as pawns in somebody else’s game.
An incorrect position and understanding can lead to a chauvinistic defense of the Norwegian state. It can lead to one becoming a tool for other imperialists’ agendas. It can paralyze a movement or make it so that it becomes completely fused together with the current state and its expanded political-ideological apparatus.
Old and New Errors in this Question
The Marxist-Leninist movement in the Nordic countries in the 1970s made enormous errors on the question of the state’s character and relation to other imperialists. Swedish Marxist-Leninist ended up as de facto supporters for NATO, who waved the Swedish flag and were enthusiastic proponents for building up the bourgeois military apparatus. Almost just as bad was the Norwegian AKP (m-l).
On the other side, the so-called “Marxist-Leninist” critics of this position – like the Swedish KFML(r) – ended up as supporters for Soviet social imperialism. They contributed directly and in practice to Soviet satellites in Palestine, Angola, and Cuba, and enthusiastically supported Vietnam’s aggression against Cambodia, and by extension Vietnam’s war against China.
We see similar tendencies today, where Yankee imperialism’s critics invariably end up as Putinists or place their trust in China’s social imperialist regime. Or they criticize imperialism for being “globalist” and prop up the defense of the fatherland as a chauvinistic answer to imperialism’s wars and crises.
Anti-Imperialists Because We Are Marxists
For communists, it holds as Mariategui said in 1929 that we are anti-imperialists because we are Marxists, and not the other way around. We are not supporters of Russian imperialism, Chinese imperialism, or Norwegian imperialism as a “counterweight” to Yankee-imperialism, even though we regard Yankee-imperialism as the world’s largest and only hegemonic superpower and therefore the primary enemy of the people’s of the world.
We are revolutionaries, we are for combatting capitalism with revolutionary war, and not by supporting the “lesser evil” in the competition between imperialists. We are for the proletariat pointing its guns towards “their own” officers and leaders, rather than at their comrades in other countries. We are for the rule of the proletariat, and this will never be established with guns that are directed by the bourgeoisie, and even if the “lesser evil” were to win each and every battle, this is not the path to final victory for the proletariat.
Correct Tactics Serve the Strategy
One cannot, through a series of tactical deviations in the wrong direction, end up in the right place. The revolution has a destructive side, but the primary side is creative. It is not enough to destroy the enemy; one must concretely build the alternative in the form of organizing the masses for struggle and resistance and making all necessary preparations for the proletariat to seize the power in the socialist revolution.
Marxism – today Maoism – must not only be guiding in the long-term strategy. The short-term tactics must also be guided by Marxism. The short-term tactics must serve the long-term strategy. This does not mean that revolutionaries put forth their maximum program at every and all occasions. It does not mean that revolutionaries cannot enter into tactical alliances and temporary fronts. On the contrary, it means that one must work to ensure that neither short-term demands nor tactical alliances stand in the way of long-term goals or undermine them. And that they help develop the revolutionary structures. This does not happen on its own. It must happen consciously and in line with a plan.
To be guided by Maoism means that the revolutionaries – communists – must work to ensure that the movement does not end up as a supporter for “lesser imperialists”. It means working to ensure that the main battles are fought against Yankee imperialism, the primary enemy of the world’s people, and against Norwegian imperialism, the primary enemy in our own country.
Stalin writes on tactical leadership:
“Tactical leadership is a part of strategic leadership, subordinated to the tasks and the requirements of the latter. The task of tactical leadership is to master all forms of struggle and organisation of the proletariat and to ensure that they are used properly so as to achieve, with the given relations of forces, the maximum results necessary to prepare for strategic success.”
Read the rest of the text in Strategy and Tactics, an excerpt from Stalin’s “The Foundations of Leninism”