Monday, September 29, 2008

Maoist Revolution in Nepal (Plus Preamble)

As my interest grew in contemporary revolutionary events, I was most attracted to the Maoist revolution in Nepal that started in 1996. My interest began in about 2002 - an added benefit was, that at this time, I had relocated to China. Earlier, in the 1990s I had been in the Former Soviet Union during its demise, and lived several years in the fledgling new republic of Kazakhstan, in actuality a basically benevolent dictatorship. Engaged during that period in projects of a humanitarian/business nature, it was only slowly that study of socialist history became amusing. Not until some more serious awakening through an infatuation with anarchism occurred, did I start to fantasize about actual activism of some sort.

For me, anarchism meant the purist form of socialism - the spiritual dimension so to speak of socialism, the pure egalitarian essence constituting the evolution of new humanity becoming. Taking into account, as we must, the historical actuality of human nature within the coordinates of our selfishness and violence, I nonetheless fail to dismiss the apparent Utopian vision of the evolution of human nature required for self-organization of society without the imposition of authority, either by a communist vanguard "democratic" parties or the "democracy" of parliamentarian multiparty elites. Nonetheless, some basis of communist theory and practice is necessary and this has historically taken place in the context of an elitist state of one kind or another.

So it was in China that I discovered the early relationship of anarchistic influences on the group of young people in Paris in 1921 who were eventually subsumed, so to speak, by the Marxist-Leninist faction in the formation of the Chinese communist party, there at that time in Paris. My reading therefore extended from anarchists (Classics: Bakunin, Kropotkin, Proudhon, Rocker, then Noam Chomsky mainly) to Marxist-Leninist thought (Marx and Lenin of course, but a lot through Althusser), then reading on Maoism - and eventually, following the scent, to opening my study of Alain Badiou and Savoj Zizek.

I started writing in 2005 about the Maoists in Nepal in an earlier blog, Nepal: Ending of Sorrow 2005-6, dedicated to that topic, because it seemed actual engagement in the world struggle should be attempted somehow - then, being "nearby" in China and having sandbagged some time and money I went to Nepal in 2006 to feel something for myself and interview a few people about the Maoists, mainly journalists and NGO groups. My focus in the blog was the child-soldier issue.
The Maoist movement grew out of a spontaneous uprising against an elitist Indian and Monarchist oppression - an almost feudal society, within which the rebellion emerged from among the poor, an under-caste, and also from among powerless indigenous groups. This spontaneity and its self-organization had, I thought, an anarchist flavor.

Of course, a vanguard Marxist-Leninist Maoist intellectual and authoritarian leadership of the revolution emerged and declared the "official" revolution in 1996. Today, as I write here in New York, a fellow visitor is here speaking at the New School: Prachanda, the Maoist leader and recently elected new Prime Minister of Nepal. Its ironic. The Maoists now control the majority of elected positions, though certainly not the entire situation (for example, the former rebel army is in cantonment with easy access to UN containers of their weapons, while the former Royal Army is far from disarmed). The whole story of the Maoist revolution, and now their participation in government, is fascinating. To what extent the "Maoists" are now becoming counter-revolutionary, or simply engaged in a modern strategy of revolution, is a compelling story.

In the spirit of this blog, I am not seeking to be a direct source of news or analysis of the Nepal revolution; I am engaged in bringing it to world attention through reliable links to the story (please see the blog introduction among the September 2008 entries). The Nepal tag at my Delicious social bookmarking site will take you to articles I find, read, tag and annotate. The Nepal tag below on this entry will take you to a selection of blog entries that touch on the Nepal revolution. The best content for a detailed history of the Maoist revolution (at least a thorough factual account of it, whether or not one adheres to its analysis and recommendations) can be found at the reports issued periodically by the International Crisis Group. Fortunately, our friend Nick's blog offers continuing news updates on the Nepal story at Democracy and Class Struggle.

Also among the initial entries in September 2008 is a guide to the use of Sefandav TV. The widget showing whatever storybook of videos being currently broadcast is on the sidebar to the right. The library of "on demand" video storybooks may, as well, be accessed at the widget. In the library are storybooks on the Nepal revolution, including an excellent documentary "Between Two Stones" spanning the full ten years of the armed conflict between 1996 and 2006.

Blog Guide: A discussion of blog features and primary topic content may be found at the initial entry. The first few entries give a good idea of how best to use the blog, especially for the tagging and social bookmarking at my external Delicious site, and for instructions regarding the Stefandav TV widget.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it !