We already faced this, following the death of Chavez, but this time with the Syrian question, this all is even clearer: the revisionists, sometimes masked as “Maoists”, deform the scientific approach of the question of the national bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.
1. Semi-feudal semi-colonial countries or “national states” ?
Let's remember here shortly the common Maoist point of view, which was the main key for the understanding of imperialism in the 1960's and 1970's. According Maoism, imperialism didn't abandon its colonies to themselves, letting them being “national states”.
What happened was a process where in the countryside, the typical common production of the village (like in India or Algeria) was destroyed, the land being submitted to new landowners.
A feudalism was so produced from outside the countries, whereas in the cities, a bureaucratic class was formed, as intermediary with imperialism. This gave birth to a semi-colonial semi-feudal form.
In this context, of course, imperialist powers support each a different fraction of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, so to be able to have a better domination of the country.
In Syria, nowadays, the government is the one of a bureaucratic bourgeoisie submitted to some imperialist powers (Russia and China) and even a semi-colonial expansionist country like Iran.
Imperialist powers like the USA and France try so to replace the dominant fraction of Syria, or at least, when it is not possible, to strengthen the fractions submitted to them.
2. Revolution of New Democracy or “national democratic revolution” ?
During the 1960's and 1970's, the Maoists following Mao Zedong (and recognized by China) affirmed that the countries in the world were either imperialist, socialist, or semi-colonial semi-feudal.
The semi-colonial semi-feudal countries were fake bourgeois democracies in the best case, all were fascists. People's War had to be launched, guided by the working class, based on the peasants, winning the petty bourgeoisie and with the possible integration in the front of the national bourgeoisie.
This was the line of all the People's Wars initiated or going to be initiated. This is the very basic teaching of Mazumdar and Chatterji in India, Kaypakka in Turkey, Yari in Afghanistan, Sikder in Bangladesh, Gonzalo in Peru, etc.
Three lines were then opposed to Maoism:
a) the guevarists considered that the semi-colonial semi-feudal countries were in fact “neo-colonies” dominated by a very small fraction of the bourgeoisie, an “oligarchy” obeying directly to the orders of imperialism.
The regimes were only puppets of imperialism and the flag was the one of “national liberation”, with the affirmation of the nation, its flag, etc.
This is the line of the Tupamaros in Uruguay yesterday or the DHKP-C in Turkey aujourd'hui; the whole guevarist faction became historically the lackey of the USSR.
b) the revisionists considered that the semi-colonial semi-feudal countries were neo-colonies with a capitalism growing under the guidance of a national bourgeoisie, that had therefore to be helped.
c) the hoxhaists pretended that the semi-colonial semi-feudal countries were capitalists and so that only a socialist revolution could be possible; no democratic aspect had to be taken in account. Nevertheless, there had to be a national “front” against the influence of colonialism.
A classical example of this line today is the PCMLE in Ecuador or the MLKP in Turkey.
So, if we see those three anti-Maoist lines, we can see in fact that guevarists and revisionists but also hoxhaists called and call to a “national democratic revolution”, which would be “anti-imperialist”, with the national bourgeoisie regarded as dominating but being weak (and an ally for the revisionists and the guevarists, but not for the hoxhaists).
3. Anti-imperialism or sole anti-US imperialism ?
If we take a look nowadays at the positions taken about Syria, it is easy to recognize what is Maoist, Guevarist, revisionist, Hoxhaist.
For Maoists, the tendency to war is carried by different imperialist powers, also through the semi-colonial countries. The only path to liberation is the People's War, and the dirty games of all the imperialist powers must be unmasked.
This is the line of the CPMLM of France, the CP of Ecuador Reconstruction Committee, etc. But let's take a look to the others positions.
The erroneous position that exists the most considers that the USA is making “plans” and that any opposition to these plans is progressive. Therefore, even something reactionary like the Syrian government can play a positive role.
This a typical “anti-imperialist” and “anti-zionist” position, with no study of the economical background of the countries, or then to explain that in Syria there would be a national bourgeoisie leading, that the “nation” is attacked by the USA, etc.
This is the position of all the “radicals” revisionist structures coming from a pro-USSR “Communist Party”, but also of different groups and organizations which use massively the Syrian flag as “symbol” of the anti-imperialist struggle, upholding the “nation” as as or more important than the class struggle.
Odio de Clase in Spain has fallen in a open populist discourse and puts forward the Syrian flag, as if the world history would be the history of the Spanish Republic and its defense.
Here we find of course all the anti-marxists upholding Chavez as having had a positive aspect, etc., and so saying that after all Syria is against the USA and so anti-imperialist, etc.
4. Spain and Italy: always the same problems
Again as a real problem comes the situation in Spain and Italy. In those countries, it is a “tradition” to negate its own bourgeoisie and to consider that only the USA counts.
For example, “Gran marcha hacia el comunismo“ explains that the Spanish Prime Minister is the “lackey” of US imperialism... which would mean that the Spanish bourgeoisie is not leading Spain, but an oligarchy.
In the same spirit, the Galician “Maoists” explain that the only path is People's War, against... “both the foreigner imperialism and its own oligarchy”. Oligarchy? It is a non-Maoist concept. And the struggle against imperialism is not possible without the destruction of the feudal aspect of the semi-colonial country.
This reflects the typical erroneous and classical consideration that Spain is either a servant imperialism or even not an imperialism, but a kind of oligarchic system, etc.
This is also the classical point of view in Italy where the Italian imperialism is only seen as a servant of the US imperialism, the Italian imperialism would not have an independent character.
The “Maoist Communist Party of Italy” calls to “support all the Arab masses and all the forces that struggle against imperialism”, and accuses the Italian imperialism of being the support of “imperialism”.
It is here interesting to note that the Syrian regime is considered as semi-colonial semi-feudal, because the “Maoist Communist Party of Italy” openly consider that in Tunisia and Egypt there has been a “revolution”... which means that both country were not semi-colonial semi-feudal, because then a revolution can only be a Revolution of New Democracy.
This is not scientific, and neither are their French friends, which openly explain that in countries Syria and Egypt it was the “national bourgeoisie” that has taken the power during the so called “revolution”; they even present Syria as an “ally” of Russia and China. Never is Syria defined as semi-colonial semi-feudal.
5. Communism or “Yankee Go Hone” populism?
Revisionism is opportunism and always come to social-chauvinism. It is particularly clear in European countries, where there are bourgeois fractions opposed to the alliance with the USA.
For this reason, it is typical to have big slogans against the US imperialism, its crimes, etc. It is nothing radical; in countries like Italy or France it is typical.
And in the same time, of course, nothing is said about its own country; moreover, the lack of content makes all this going in the same populist discourse as the nationalists, the fascists.
Let's finish with an example, again typical. Red Sun, the website of the Peru's People Movement, just promotes so the picture of a banner with “Yankee Go Home! PCP” put over a highway in Sweden, because of the visit of Barack Obama.
It is difficult to do something more cosmopolitan. And worse, everybody in Europe know that a slogan like “Yankee Go Home” is a mere non sense in countries where imperialism is in deep concurrency with the USA.
“Yankee Go Home” has a sense in Peru, but in Sweden, it is clearly acceptable by a whole fraction of the bourgeoisie, that prefers for example an alliance with imperialist Germany, etc.
The use of such a slogan in Germany would directly be understood as a support for nationalism, etc.
And let's not speak of France, where pseudo anti-imperialism is very common and serves directly the fascists.
6. The necessity of the rationalism and of the communist identity
What is happening in Syria is not new in nature; such events already happened in the world. It is a necessity of the communists to elaborate documents where historical materialism is presented with examples, so to understand new situations that arise.
Without that, rationalism has no space in such a situation, and subjectivism will triumph, in the form of ultra anti-imperialism supporting the enemy of the enemy, or collusion with its own imperialism.
What should count is education of the masses and political activity helping in a real situation, not big abstract speeches on the crimes of the US imperialism alone.
Nothing is more ridiculous than the kilometers of leftist speeches about the “geopolitical” value of Afghanistan / Irak / Libya / Syria, etc. This “geopolitical” vision has nothing to do with a genuine analyze of the capitalist system, its tendency to war and to the general crisis.
The imperialists do not think; they are decadent, they are the product of the general crisis of capitalism. Time is ready for the People's War, not for speeches on a brainless decadent system.