The Freedom Road Socialist Organization recently posted an analysis of the state of the anti-war movement. Mike Ely from the Kasama Project has written a criticalresponse,examining issues around Obama, connecting the anti-war movement to the anti-budget cut movement, and other issues which the FRSO analysis brings up. Given the ongoing bloodshed happening as a result of US imperialism, we are posting this exchange here for radical and revolutionary minded folk to reflect on why the anti-war movement is the way it is. Read, examine, critique.
Mike Ely Engaging FRSO: To Oppose War, We Need To Expose the War-Makers
Let’s start with points of agreement: It is extremely important to build a powerful antiwar movement in the U.S. And it borders on criminal that so many years into these brutal colonial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there is such a shameful silence here.
And we should welcome the attempt by Dennis O’Neil and Eric See to sum up the recent history and put forward their programmatic plans. (And it should be noted that both of them are tireless antiwar activists and have placed their time and energy into the effort against these wars.)
Their article ends with a simple assertion:
“This isn’t rocket science. We know how to do it. Let’s get going.”
Let’s start our discussion of disagreements there.
To tell the truth: I don’t think that much of the current activist world has a clue how to end a war or mobilize people. Sincere people are at a loss.
In the latest turn of events in Nepal, it appears that Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda, or Pushpa
Prachanda Steps Down
Kamal Dahal, as he is also known, has resigned. In recent weeks things have heated up in Nepal, with Prachanda’s dismissal of Army head Rookmangud Katawal. Prachanda dismissed Katawal for continuing to recruit for the Nepalese Army and for refusing to integrate 19,000 Maoist fighters currently restricted to United Nations monitored barracks following a peace accord.
The resignation of Prachanda may come as a surprise to some who have been eagerly following the events in Nepal. However, this may not be such a surprise if we examine the nature of the state in Nepal.
Some claim that the situation in Nepal has been one of “Dual Power,” meaning that the Maoist bloc in parliament represents an a direct challenge on the bloc of landowners and politicians aligned with the former monarchy and of course, its armed wing the Nepalese Army (formerly the Royal Nepalese Army). In order to understand whether or not the situation in Nepal represents Dual Power, it may be worth examining the roots of the term – it was a phrase coined by VI Lenin during the course of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Now, the point here is not to be dogmatic and say something like, “if Lenin said it it’s right! And if anyone doing anything that differs in any way is wrong!” Rather, the point is to examine what the concept of Dual Power meant in practice – in the course of events which gave rise to the theoretical concept. This helps us to get clarity on the application of the concept to the events in Nepal.
Lenin wrote: “What is this dual power? Alongside the Provisional Government, the government of bourgeoisie, another government has arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing—the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.What is the class composition of this other government? It consists of the proletariat and the peasants (in soldiers’ uniforms). What is the political nature of this government? It is a revolutionary dictatorship, i.e., a power directly based on revolutionary seizure, on the direct initiative of the people from below, and not on a law enacted by a centralized state power. It is an entirely different kind of power from the one that generally exists in the parliamentary bourgeois-democratic republics of the usual type still prevailing in the advanced countries of Europe and America. This circumstance often over looked, often not given enough thought, yet it is the crux of the matter. ”
The people and the People’s Army were Prachanda’s only real power. These bases which served to bring down the monarchy disappeared long ago with the dissolved councils and with the allowed enclosure of the people’s army into UN barracks…