Self-criticism on Three Worlds Theory

MIM always defended Mao’s Three Worlds Theory relative to the pseudo-Maoists. A minority of Trotskyists, all Hoxhaites and the Western pseudo-Maoists were wrong to support Stalin’s Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler while giving Mao crap about shaking hands with Pinochet. Stalin sent Hitler real material aid while preparing the Soviet Union for victorious battle. After that, there can be no simplistic criticisms of Mao’s Three Worlds Theory.

Mao’s theory of the Three Worlds held that the rich imperialist countries constitute the First and Second World. At the time, he was counting the Soviet Union as First World. The Third World always referred to Asia, Latin America and Africa excluding the rich country Japan. The controversial part of what Mao said was that leaders of the Third World need to be supported by the communists against the imperialist countries of the First World especially and to some degree the Second World.

People who peruse MIM’s work carefully will see that we did not go far enough in defending Mao’s Three World’s Theory. We should have linked it to Lin Biao’s report on the global cities needing to be surrounded by the global countryside. And even the pseudo-Maoists knew that Deng Xiaoping’s speech to the United Nations announcing the Three World’s Theory could not have been his persynal victory for line, with all the references to restoration of capitalism being possible. What was in common in the struggle surrounding Lin Biao and Robert Williams in the early 1960s and Deng’s speech to the UN was Mao in the background. It is possible the “Gang of Four” faced too much pressure from the Germans and PLP if it is true that they opposed the Three Worlds Theory. They had to consult with Westerners for their Shanghai textbook on political economy.

The Three Worlds Theory advocated unity with Third World government leaders. This cannot be denied as a class matter that we were talking about collaboration of the exploited with exploiters.

Yet in recent years, even lowly MIM has had some experience in representing interests of the oppressed and exploited. In that situation, one gets offered bribery whether one likes it or not. So we have to admit, that at this stage in history there is no such thing as a communist leader who is not structurally capitalist at the very least. This fact learned by MIM in hard practice proves that the Three Worlds Theory is realistic and its opponents pipe-dreamers.

Of self-critical note, MIM faced down bribery 25 years ago and mainstreaming efforts 10 years ago and did not draw sufficient conclusions. Today the world knows better than ever that capitalist restoration is possible, as we saw in the ex-Soviet bloc and China. Some communist leaders have lines that lead forward and others don’t, but all are in a situation of potential bribery.

The Western pseudo-Maoists and global Hoxhaites put too much pressure on the international communist movement. Whenever one argues too long with people representing the exploiter line, there is a danger of dovetailing and compromising and not developing forward momentum.

The Three Worlds Theory is a theory and not just a strategy, because there is a specific reason of cause and effect to trust the national bourgeoisie more than the labor aristocracy. The national bourgeoisie is always under more pressure from the exploited and oppressed than the labor aristocracy of the rich countries faces from the proletariat. The labor aristocracy does not let the proletariat in from Mexico to pressure it, for example.

Related to the difference of theory and strategy is why though snookered by the Kennedys, Peruvian comrade Gonzalo in his correct phase polemicized to the effect that the principal contradiction was likely to stay unchanged for the rest of imperialist history — between imperialist countries and oppressed nations. He was saying it was no longer just a strategic question, that it has to do with one’s understanding of the development of imperialism.

We should not split the difference with Western and Hoxhaite comrades on this question. It represents the pressure of the labor aristocracy on our movement. Our closer allies are the bourgeois leaders under more pressure from our class, the international proletariat.

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