ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Strategic Dilemma of the Indian Left

While the Communist Party of India and the CPI (Marxist) follow a strategy based solely on the category of a "war of position", the CPI (Maoist) is trying to implement a strategy based entirely on a "war of manoeuvre". The interconnectedness of these two categories and their dialectical relation with the state are missed in each party's strategising of the revolutionary movement.

A leading section of the Left mechanically delineates the path of establishing working-class hegemony as a “war of manoeuvre” in the East in contradistinction to the “war of position” in the West. Following the 1970s, in practice, the traditional parliamentary left and the extreme left strategically placed themselves completely in a war of position and war of manoeuvre, respectively. Though this phase is heavily burdened with their past legacy, the post-1970s period demands special attention in view of the neo-liberal phase of capitalism which differs in significant ways from the post-war boom and welfarism. This phase is marked by many new dimensions in the scene of global capitalism due to the far-reaching consequence of the process of centralisation-cum-globalisation of finance capital, but it does not perforce indicate a radical break from Lenin’s prognostication on monopoly capital and imperialism. The mere counterposition of war of position to war of manoeuvre in any Marxist strategy, in the end, becomes an opposition between reformism and adventurism. In the history of the communist movement, once the United Front had been equated with the war of position, against the war of manoeuvre or “revolutionary offensive” strategies of the adventurist period of all-out confrontation, it threatened to slide towards a gradualist reformism that was the mirror image of the ultra-leftist position it proposed to replace (Thomas 2013).

Misconstrued Notion

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