By a former AKP member.
This post is based on a discussion I had a while ago with a member of the Red Party, where we discussed people’s war and Maoism. The person I spoke with said that the entire discussion on people’s war felt a lot like the debates within the Catholic church regarding how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
In AKP [trans. Worker’s Communist Party], revolutionary strategy felt a lot like theology. This is typical within Western ML-movements and a number of similar Western movements. There is such a wide gap between theory and practice that discussions about theory become a lot like the discussions about “angels on the head of a pin”.
Discussing syndicalism’s general strike versus Marxist-Leninist Soviets and the Bolshevik Party becomes completely removed from reality when none of the groups are even close to achieving anything of the sort in practice.
It has also been typical for the reformist workers’ movement to have an “orthodox” Marxist wing of the Kautsky variety. Or the Socialist Left Party’s Knut Kjeldstadli and Hans Ebbing – or people who are easily confused for them; the old AKP members in the Red Party.
These are people who are in theory extremely revolutionary, but then the distance between theory and practice is so great that they become completely removed from one another. In practice, they can be totally reformist – even if they are in theory for armed revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. They can be for the automated “space communism”, but at the same time in the here and now work for reforms within capitalism’s limited political frames.
This is not something that I have discovered myself. Mao Zedong describes such thinking, and I think it is the screaming image of “how it is” with KPml [trans. Communist Platform (Norway)], AKP, and so on. For those of us who have been in these spaces for a long time, revolution has become this kind of exercise, a theological/abstract discussion.
This is the way it has been, but it doesn’t have to be like this any longer. The proletarian military theory, people’s war, is a framework that makes it much easier to tie theory and practice together. Or, to be even clearer: it is completely necessary to do so in order to make revolution in practice, and not just discuss the abstract or some far-removed history.