19 October 2009

Military, Political

[CU for Tuesday, 20 October 2009]

Presuming that we have by now established that we are not pacifists but are revolutionaries, who intend, by all means necessary, to assist the working class to expropriate the expropriator bourgeois class; then why can we not move with speed, and without any restraint, towards an armed overthrow of the oppressors?

The late William “Bill” Pomeroy started his essay “On the Time for Armed Struggle” (linked below) from exactly this point of departure, as follows:

“Because of the decisive results that can follow from an armed smashing of the main instruments of power held by a ruling class or a foreign oppressor, some of those who acquire a revolutionary outlook are eager to move to the stage of armed struggle; and their concept of it as the highest form of revolutionary struggle causes them to cast discredit upon other forms as 'less advanced', as amounting to collaboration with or capitulation to the class enemy.”


“Too often the aura of glory associated with taking up arms has obscured hard prosaic truths and realities in the interplay of forces in a period of sharp struggle.”

And later:

“The experiences of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines offer an interesting example of the complex, varied and fluctuating processes that may occur in a liberation struggle.”

Pomeroy writes that “analysis and understanding of the revolutionary experiences of others is indispensable”. He proceeds to offer his own rich and extraordinary experience as a military combatant and revolutionary. His main lesson is that the military must never think that it can cease to be subordinate to the political.

In the second linked item, Le Duan’s very short, very powerful “Political & Military in Revolutionary War”, Le Duan says, confirming Pomeroy:

“… the close combination of political and military struggle constitutes the basic form of revolutionary violence in South Vietnam

The third linked item is the 1980 clandestine SACP publication “How to Master Secret Work”. It is too long to be used for discussion in its entirety, but it makes a point that we need here, which is that there is no virtue in being illegal. The communists do not volunteer for that position. The nature of secret work is really that it is a systematic struggle against banning and persecution. As much as it is secret, yet its purpose is the re-expansion of communication and the re-legalisation of the Party. Its purpose is the renaissance of the organisation politically. In the case of the SACP, within ten years of the publication of this document, it was unbanned and declared fully legal again, as it has been ever since, and up to today.

The picture shows William and Celia Pomeroy laying a wreath at the Lenin Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow. William Pomeroy passed away on January 12 2009 and Celia Pomeroy passed away on 22 August 2009.

Click on these links:

On the Time for Armed Struggle, 1974, Pomeroy (6800 words)

Political & Military in Revolutionary War, 1967, Le Duan (864 words)

How to Master Secret Work, 1980, SACP (13929 words)


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