Maoists reply to Adolf Olaechea

Recently we were expelled from the Marxism-International list by A.
Olaechea after an unprovoked attack by him, without any opportunity to
respond to him. A friend sent us this post which we think helps to
expose the hypocritical and self-serving nature of his revolutionary
posturing. Although we dislike these kinds of petty squabbles, it
should be clear why we consider it necessary to expose the shallow
distortions of Maoism peddled by A. Olaechea.

Maoist Documentation Project



"M. Proudhon's work is not just a treatise on political economy, an
ordinary book; it is a bible. "mysteries", "Secrets Wrested from the
Bosom of God", "Revelations" - it lacks nothing. But as prophets are
discussed nowadays more conscientiously than profane writers, the
reader must resign himself to going with us through the arid and
gloomy eruditions of "Genesis", in order to ascend later, with
M. Proudhon, into the ethereal and fertile realm of SUPER-SOCIALISM.
(See Proudhon, Philosophy of Poverty, Prologue, p.III, line 20.)"

Karl Marx (Foreword to 'The Poverty of Philosophy')

As a person from the third world, I first send my internationalist
greetings. After reading some of Mr. A. Oleachea's materials (quite
callous and shallow, in my opinion) which have come to my attention, I
have decided to present a comprehensive reply to some of the 'points'
he has made. Another reason is to strongly protest the expulsion of
MDP (Maoist Documention Project) from the Marxism-International list
before they were attacked in a most unprincipled fashion by Mr.
Olaechea after they (MDP) had posted some additions to their archive.

After reading the cheap and vulgar 'productions' of Mr. Olaechea,
twice I have tried to subscribe to the Marxism-International list but
both times, it seems, have been refused since the list co-moderator
Mr. L. Godena has declined to reply. It appears that Mr. Godena is a
sycophant and a sidekick of Mr. Olaechea, the latter having recently
installed himself as another 'moderator' (or more accurately, tyrant
or dictator) of the above list after something like a coup-d'etat in
which the previous co-moderator was removed.

First, a word about the the meaning of "1.5 Bolsheviks". This usage is
borrowed from the '28.5 Bolsheviks' - a group of 'Marxist'
intellectuals opposed to Mao Tse-Tung's political line and strategy
during the Chinese revolution. This group of 'theoreticians', mouthing
ultra-revolutionary slogans, were completely divorced from the
day-to-day realities in China and caused great harm to the
revolutionary movement. In our case here, I need not elaborate who is
the 1 and who the 0.5.

>From the point of view of the third-world, where most of humanity
currently lives, it is instructive to see the gutter and abysmal
theoretical level of some of the 'Marxists' which debate on the
Marxism-International list. The random denunciations, coarse language
(with a veneer of 'Marxist' cover), accusations of treachery or
working for the 'imperialist secret services', 'agents', etc, all of
which stands in stark contrast to any honest attempt at ANALYSIS and
making SYNTHESIS (the basis of Marxism as of any science) should send
a clear message to the third-world, especially the youth, that they
cannot look upon some of 'Marxists' living in the rich countries for
any new breakthroughs or guidance in how to advance the revolutionary
movement or to gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in
today. For without revolutionary practice, there can be no development
of revolutionary theory and real revolutionary practice does not
entail in the "hunting of 'revisionist' rabbits" on internet mailing
lists while sitting in an armchair in the promised land of El Dorado.

In my reply, which will be detailed, I will show that Mr. Olaechea
(our modern M. Proudhon, if one can dignify him with that comparison)
espouses a brand of 'Marxism' which can be called "scriptural" or
"religious" Marxism, a Marxism which is stripped of its very
scientific spirit of inquiry of actual conditions and facts, and
comprised mostly of 'philosophical categories' (like the 'economic
categories' of M. Proudhon) with one distinction. While M. Proudhon
tried to at least explain the workings of the economy, however
faultily, Mr. Olaechea Prescribes (and its dialectical relative,
Proscribes) the 'correct' behavior to be followed in the particular
situation we take up below; this prescription seemingly arising from
one of the universal 'philosophical categories' that he claims to have
derived from somewhere. This is a 'Marxism' that has been turned
upside down and converted into its opposite in a truly 'philosophical'
fashion, i.e., into something close to religious dogma.

Mr. Olaechea has forgotten one of the foremost principles of Marxism:
the "concrete analysis of concrete conditions" (Lenin). The kind of
'Marxism' and its practice that Mr. Olaechea has exhibited here will
simply not work anywhere, especially in the third world where the
crisis of capitalism is reaching phenomenal proportions. It is
dangerous in its siren-like quality and is reminiscent of the
adherents of the three 'left' lines during the Chinese revolution.

Let us proceed with the business at hand.

>From "The Poverty of Philosophy" by Karl Marx (1847) - "The
Metaphysics of Political Economy", Chapter 2.

"First Observation:
..Economists explain how production takes place in the above-mentioned
relations (Marx here refers to relations of bourgeois production), but
what they do not explain is how these relations themselves are
produced, that is, the historical movement which gave them birth. M.
Proudhon, taking these relations for principles, categories, abstract
thoughts, has merely to put into order these thoughts, which are to be
found alphabetically arranged at the end of every treatise on
political economy. The economists' material is the active, energetic
life of man; M. Proudhon's material is the dogmas of the economists.
But the moment we cease to pursue the historical movement of
production relations, of which the categories are but the theoretical
expression, the moment we want to see in these categories no more than
ideas, spontaneous thoughts, independent of real relations, we are
forced to attribute the origin of these thoughts to the movement of
pure reason. How does pure, eternal, impersonal reason give rise to
these thoughts? How does it proceed in order to produce them?...."

"....Just as by dint of abstraction we have transformed everything
into a logical category, so one has only to make an abstraction of
every characteristic distinctive of different movements to attain
movement in its abstract condition - purely formal movement, the
purely logical formula of movement. If one finds in logical categories
the substance of all things, one imagines one has found in the logical
formula of movement the ABSOLUTE METHOD, which not only explains all
things, but also implies the movement of things.

It is of this absolute method that Hegel speaks in these terms:'Method
is the absolute, unique, supreme, infinite force,which no object can
resist; it is the tendency of reason to find itself again, to
recognize itself in every object.' (LOGIC, Vol.III) [29] All things
being reduced to a logical category, and every movement, every act of
production, to method, it follows naturally that every aggregate of
products and production, of objects and of movement, can be reduced to
a form of applied metaphysics. What Hegel has done for religion, law,
etc., M. Proudhon seeks to do for political economy."

"Second Observation:
Economic categories are only the theoretical expressions, the
abstractions of the social relations of production, M.
Proudhon,holding this upside down like a true philosopher, sees in
actual relations nothing but the incarnation of the principles, of
these categories, which were slumbering - so M. Proudhon the
philosopher tells us - in the bosom of the 'impersonal reason of

(Karl Marx wrote "The Poverty of Philosophy" in response to the French
anarchist Pierre Joesph Proudhon's work "Philosophy of Poverty". The
historical context of those times and reasons for Marx's reply is
provided in the preface by F. Engels)

Next, we turn to an examination of M. Olaechea's 'colourful' writings:

Mr. Olaechea has written on 28/7/97:

>This practice, as we show, is in complete and utter counter-position
>with Chairman Gonzalo's ideas on that particular.

>That you - who at least do not claim to be a supporter of Chairman
>Gonzalo - may agree with celebrating the anniversaries of the deaths
>of Marxist leaders is one thing, and is neither here nor there.

>However, in the case of the so called MDP, these gentry claim to
>speak for the same ideology as the PCP, and that - in this particular
>instance, not even an obfuscator such as yourself would be able to
>dodge and embroider in order to deny the fact that it has been shown
>to be at complete variance with Chairman Gonzalo's views in the
>particular case below.

>Here is the proof of the pudding:

>>From the "Maoist Documentation Project":

>>On July 28, 1972, the Indian Maoist leader, comrade Charu Majumdar
>>(popularly known as CM and general secretary of the Communist Party
>>of India, Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) from its formation in 1969) died
>>after ten days of torture in police custody in Calcutta, India

>>From Chairman Gonzalo:

>"Too much talk of Mariategui aimed at negating his revolutionary
>outlook. Are these Mariategui's followers? No. They are traffickers,
>enemies of Mariategui. They want to whittle down the celebration of
>Mariategui to the commemoration of the day of his death. That is
>very symptomatic. They celebrate the day of his death because they
>celebrate the fact that he died. Do you get it?". On the contrary, we
>should celebrate the fact that Mariategui was born. We should not
>commemorate the day he died but the day he was born. No one
>celebrates the day great world historical figures such as Lenin died.
>Everyone celebrates the day Lenin was born. By their actions we shall
>know them better.........."

>Here, of course - and should you wish to obfuscate by claiming that
>Chairman Gonzalo is speaking only of Mariategui - the key words are
>as follows:

>"No one celebrates the day great world historical figures such as
>Lenin died. Everyone celebrates the day Lenin was born. By their
>actions we shall know them better..........".

>You will notice that the so called MDP has now been expelled from
>this list. Their expulsion has nothing to do with this "argument" -
>which, as it is now clear, they did not even bother to enter. In
>fact, by entitling they reply as "the rantings of Adolfo Olaechea",
>they were in fact aiming their dirty darts not against Adolfo
>Olaechea, but against the ideas of Chairman Gonzalo which was what
>the substance of my critical posting was based on.

Well, I will 'bother' to pick up the gauntlet that Mr. Olaechea has
hurled. As can be clearly seen from above, M. Olaechea comments that
"This practice, as we show, is in complete and utter counter-position
with Chairman Gonzalo's ideas on that agree
with celebrating the anniversaries of the deaths of Marxist leaders is
one thing, and is neither here nor has been shown to be
at complete variance with Chairman Gonzalo's views in the particular
case below.......but against the ideas of Chairman Gonzalo which was
what the substance of my critical posting was based on." And then he
quotes Chairman Gonzalo criticising the celebration of the death of
revolutionary leaders like Lenin and Mariategui.

The questions that immediately arise from these perambulations are the

1) What was the ACTUAL context and historical background of this
speech which gave rise to these 'ideas' of Chairman Gonzalo in the
particular subject under discussion? Was this speech aimed at the
revisionist parties and charlatans who seem to uphold the
revolutionary leaders in order to fool and deceive the masses?
Examples of such practice can be given from various parts of the
world. But in our discussion here, what was the CONCRETE conditions
and for what purposes was this speech made (remembering Lenin's
injunction above)? Without giving the context, Mr. Olaechea's own
derivation and SWEEPING CONCLUSION (regarding the celebration of the
deaths of revolutionary leaders) from Chairman Gonzalo's speech
(although he attributes his derivation to be the one coming from the
authority of Chairman Gonzalo himself) seems to hang like a universal
truth - valid for all times and all places - similar to the eternal
economic categories of M. Proudhon.

2) Both Lenin and Mariategui died of illness. But Charu Majumdar was
MARTYRED - murdered in police custody. This is a big QUALITATIVE
difference. I will comment more on this later. But regarding Peru,
does not the party commemorate what is called the 'Day of Heroism' -
the day when about 300 prisoners were murdered (and martyred) in the
Peruvian prisons by military forces? Is this a simple 'celebration' of
the death of revolutionaries among whom were many who certainly were
leaders of the proletariat? And has not Chairman Gonzalo himself
called upon the masses to celebrate the 'Day of Heroism' (a day of
death not birth, a 'shining trench of combat'),in APPARENT
contradiction to his speech cited by Mr. Olaechea above, and which is
in DIRECT contradiction to Mr. Olaechea's 'universal' derivation
(condemning the commemoration of deaths of revolutionary leaders) from
the same speech - a derivation or 'philosopical category' seemingly
valid for all times and all places regardless of the actual situation
prevailing on the ground.

Here, we see clearly that Mr. Olaechea has forgotten Lenin's famous
injunction and has lapsed into, what Mao Tse-Tung, would have called
dogmatism, idealism and one-sidedness. For example, in sharp contrast
to Mr. Olaechea's 'universal' principles, Lenin had on some occasions
referred to parliament as a 'pigsty', yet on other occasions,
depending upon the actually prevailing circumstances on the ground,
had recommended that revolutionaries participate in parliament. A
citing of Lenin's quote calling parliament a 'pigsty' (without giving
the historical situation prevaling at that time which led Lenin to
make that statement) and then drawing grand 'universal'
'philosophical' principles from this single quote - will this not be a
travesty and an insult to Lenin and the very spirit of Marxism?

Now we come to the heart of the matter - whether the deaths of
revolutionary MARTYRS (and we are speaking of martyrs here) should be
commemorated or not. Mr. Olaechea has previously also written on
28/7/98 in another letter the following:

>I would say that comrade Mazumdar is not amused at the attempts of
>these foreign parasites to usufruct his martyrdom in order to build
>themselves a library of many columns of electronic ink which may
>constitute their political capital...........However, as it is
>eveident from their commemoration of the day of death of comrade
>Mazumdar, they really do not know Chairman Gonzalo's opinion of such
>practice very much >at all.

First of all, M. Olaechea (using the present tense) here is trying to
foist his subjective wishes onto comrade Majumdar who was martyred in
1972. Second, the Indian (and world) ruling class would be extremely
happy if Charu Majumdar's martyrdom was not observed - they would like
to banish his memory for all time. However, from the point of view of
the international working class, his death is a great loss to
humanity and commemoration of it reminds the world of the crimes of
the Indian bourgeoisie and remembers and recognises the example of the
heroic self-sacrifice by comrade Majumdar in the cause of proletarian
revolution ('shining trench of combat'). That Mr. Olaechea should
twist the words of Chairman Gonzalo, uttered during a particular time,
at a specific place, to address a particular situation, into a 'grand
universal' principle denouncing such commemoration of the deaths of
revolutionary martyrs on all occasions, is an example of his
shallowness, crudity, opportunism and siding with bourgeois reaction
in this case.

Before commenting on matters on which he is ignorant of, he should
follow Mao Tse-tung's advice and do some study and investigation,
which is the scientific and Marxist approach. This is what the CPI-ML
(People's War) say about comrade Majumdar's martyrdom (taken from MDP
website, who in my opinion, have done excellent service to cause of
proletarian internationalism, by making these rare documents and
history, besides many others, available to a world-wide audience):

>From "30 years of Naxalbari (Part 2: The Setback)":

"But, on July 16, 1972 after the brutal torture of a courier, Charu
Mazumdar was arrested from a shelter in Calcutta. At the time of his
arrest he was seriously sick with cardiac asthma. During his ten days
in police custody no one was allowed to see him - not even his lawyer,
family members nor a doctor. The Lal bazar lock-up had achieved a
reputation throughout the country of the most horrifying and cruel
tortures. At 4.00 A.M. on July 28, 1972 Charu Mazumdar died in the
police lock-up. Even the dead body was not given to the family. A
police convoy, with the immediate family members carried the body to
the crematorium.... The whole area was cordoned off and not even the
nearest relatives was allowed in. Charu Mazumdar's body was consigned
to the flames. And with his martyrdom the first glorious chapter of
the incipient revolutionary movement in India came to a close."

So no wonder, the bourgeoisie (and presumably, Mr. Olaechea also)
would like all of us to forget (i.e., not observe) Charu Mazumdar's
martyrdom. And Mr. Olaechea's use of the word "foreign" to describe
MDP is completely against any norms of proletarian internationalism.

(to be continued)


To elaborate this point further, here is once again the voice of the
CPI-ML (PW) regarding this matter [from their "30 years of Naxalbari -
Part 6 (1985-1989 - The First Round of Suppression]":

"In addition to all the earlier types of struggle like tendu leaf etc,
various new forms of struggle and resistance came into existence
during this period, the most significant being - the celebration of
Martyrs' Day, the 'Work Day' in Gadchiroli and the kidnappings in AP.

The party decided to observe July 28, the day Charu Mazumdar was
martyred, as Martyrs' Day every year. On July 28, 1989 memorial
meetings were held all over AP and Dandakaranya. In villages all over
the countryside, meetings and processions, ranging from 50 to 5000
were held, and memorial columns erected in memory of those who laid
down their lives. The people put in their own labour, money and
gathered whatever they could to build the 'stupas' as a memorial to
the martyrs."

The chapter says that such 'stupas' or Martyrs' columns can be found
in hundreds of villages in Andhra Pradesh, North Telengana and
Dandakaranya. Those who are interested, can take a look at the India
section of MDP site ( in Part 6 (1985-1989
- The First Round of Suppression) of "30 years of Naxalbari" in which
they show photographs of a Martyrs' column and such 'stupas', a
commander of the CPI-ML(PW) paying a Red salute on July 28 (Martyrs'
Day), and of a guerrilla column observing Martyrs's Day.

Is not "Martyrs' Day" mentioned above similar to 'Day of Heroism' in
Peru? Here, once again, out of ignorance, subjectivism and arrogant
dogmatism, Mr. Olaechea directly contradicts the actual practice of
PCP in Peru and the CPI-ML (PW) (who recognize PCP as a fraternal
party and who passed a separate resolution calling for the release of
comrade Gonzalo in their 1995 conference - see their 1995 conference
document in MDP site), and who are also carrying out another 'living
revolution' (to borrow M. Olaechea's phrase).

Well, perhaps he can go and express his haughty disapproval of such
practice of commemoration of martyrs, and expound his 'grand universal
philosophical' principle to the millions of simple tribal people and
peasants who indulge, according to him, in this blasphemy of Gonzalo
Thought (as propounded by M. Olaechea). We can well imagine the
reaction of the peasants to such advice coming from a 'Marxist'
intellectual, who in this instance, does not know the actual practice
on the ground or respect the sentiments of the masses regarding this
matter, but declaims from Mount Everest with a 'profoundity of the

Once more, the warning words of Karl Marx from "The Poverty of
Philosophy", Chapter 2, 'The Metaphysics of Political Economy':

"First Observation:
....Is it surprising that everything, in the final abstraction - for
we have here an ABSTRACTION, and NOT an ANALYSIS - presents itself as
a logical CATEGORY? Is it surprising that, if you let drop little by
little all that constitutes the individuality of a house, leaving out
first of all the materials of which it is composed, then the form that
distinguishes it, you end up with nothing but a body; that, if you
leave out of account the limits of this body; you soon have nothing
but a space - that if, finally, you leave out of the account the
dimensions of this space, there is absolutely nothing left but pure
quantity, the logical category? If we abstract thus from every
subject all the alleged accidents, animate or inanimate, men or
things, we are right in saying that in the final abstraction, the only
substance left is the logical category. Thus the METAPHYSICIANS who,
in making these abstractions, think they are making analyses, and
who, the more they DETACH themselves from things, IMAGINE themselves
to be getting all the nearer to the point of penetrating to their core
- these metaphysicians in turn are right in saying that things here
below are embroideries of which the logical categories constitute the
canvas. This is what distinguishes the philosopher from the
Christian. The Christian, in spite of logic, has only one incarnation
of the LOGOS; the philosopher has never finished with incarnations.
If all that exists, all that lives on land, and under water, can be
reduced by abstraction to a logical category - if the whole real world
can be drowned thus in a world of abstractions, in the world of
logical categories - who need be astonished at it?" (our emphasis)

"Fifth Observation:
...Each principle has had its own century in which to manifest itself.
The principle of authority, for example, had the 11th century, just as
the principle of individualism had the 18th century. In logical
sequence, it was the century that belonged to the principle, and not
the principle which belonged to the century. When, consequently, in
order to save principles as much as to save history, we ask ourselves
why a particular principle was manifested in the 11th century or in
the 18th century rather than in any other, we are necessarily forced
to examine minutely what men were like in the 11th century, what they
were like in the 18th, what were their respective needs, their
productive forces, their mode of production, the raw materials of
their production - in short, what were the relations between man and
man which resulted from all these conditions of existence. To get to
the bottom of all these questions - what is this but to draw up the
real, profane history of men in every century and to present these men
as both the authors and the actors of their own drama? But the moment
you present men as the actors and authors of their own history, you
arrive - by detour -- at the real starting point, because you have
abandoned those ETERNAL principles of which you spoke at the outset.
(our emphasis)

M. Proudhon has not even gone far enough along the crossroad which an
ideologist takes to reach the main road of history."

And I add that these prophetic words of Marx apply to the modern-day
Proudhon-like imitations as M. Olaechea (although they do not realise
it) who also writes:

>This merits some serious self-critical application to themselves, or
>does it not? What is the practice of these Yankee incense burners
>regarding their slanderous attempts to smuggle bogus MPPs, falsify
>the history of the PCP, smear and negate its exemplary practice, and
>deceive international public opinion as to the nature of Gonzalo
>Thought - presenting it as some sort of leftish version of the
>Temperance League for consuetudinary revisionists and Trotskysts?

It is amusing to hear M. Olaechea defend Gonzalo Thought after all
what we have seen above. Not only, as I have shown above on a
theoretical plane, is Mr. Olaechea in VIOLATION of the scientific
inquiring spirit of Marxism which leads him to construct and propound
fantastic universal 'philosophical doctrines', but actually, it is Mr.
Olaechea himself who should make some serious self-criticism. He has
used, in a very opportunistic, cynical and despicable fashion, his
grudges against some MPP to attack and expel the efforts of MDP
archive to disseminate news about Indian revolution and history. In
this, he has violated all norms of decency and proletarian
internationalism, while effectively slandering the tens of thousands
of martyrs of the Indian revolution from his armchair in an
imperialist country by proclaiming his "universal" "philosophical
doctrine" that condemns the commemoration and recognition of those who
have sacrificed their lives for revolutionary causes.

As Marx comments in "Class Struggles in France":

"In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents,
men of a different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to
past revolutions, WITHOUT INSIGHT into the PRESENT movement, but
preserving popular influence by their known honesty and courage, or by
the sheer force of tradition; others MERE BRAWLERS who, by dint of
against the government of the day, have SNEAKED into the reputation of
revolutionists of the first water. After March 18, some such men did
also turn up, and in some cases CONTRIVED to play PREEMINENT parts. As
far as their power went, they HAMPERED the real action of the working
class, exactly as men of that sort have hampered the full development
of every previous revolution. They are an UNAVOIDABLE EVIL: with time
they are shaken off; but time was not allowed to the Commune." (our

And as Mr. Olaechea likes to say, the proof of the pudding is in the
eating. As I have shown above, the pudding that Mr. Olaechea peddles
contradicts and is ALIEN to the very spirit of Marxism. It is a most
peculiar kind of 'religious', 'scripture quoting','bible beating',
'scholastic' and distorted 'Marxist' pudding, a 'Marxism' with no feet
planted firmly on the ground but floating in mid-air; FAR REMOVED from
"the concrete analysis of concrete conditions" of comrade Lenin, and
which is miles away from the living and breathing humanity.

Only novices and dilletantes can fall for this kind of 'gospel' which
is similar to that coming from a clever religious preacher whose
discourse has a certain hypnotic quality.

And if what has gone on here is an example of Mr. Oleachea's
'practice' - it has been a sorry spectacle indeed - violating every
norm of scientific scrutiny and proletarian internationlism. Borrowing
from M. Oleachea's quote of Chairman Gonzalo, "By their actions we
shall know them better..........". Nothing could be more appropriate
on this occasion.

This "left-wing disorder" and high "revolutionary phraseology" (after
all, it costs one nothing to make grand subjective pronouncements)
whose root is one type of idealism, whose essence is anti-Marxist, and
which has been severely criticised by Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung and others
can be remedied (to some extent) through a spirit of inquiry, i.e., an
open mind and study of historical, political and economic matters,
especially that related to modern times and less of citing 'polemics'
of revolutionary leaders, polemics, which in their presention (as done
by Mr. Olaechea), have been CUT OFF from their MATERIALIST
FOUNDATIONS. And a little humility and much less pomposity would go a
long way into clearing all the cobwebs and the phantoms that haunt the

But M. Oleachea will probably respond (frothing at the mouth) with
more quotes from the leaders and expletives, accusations and
'categories' like, 'anti-communist', 'anti-Gonzalo Thought', 'secret
police' of 'Fujimori regime, etc and blanketly use it to silence all
criticism, posing all the while as a true defender of the faith.
However, his juvenile tantrums and a smattering knowledge of the
quotations of revolutionary leaders (which any superficial but adept
faker is capable of doing), and which may have a certain following in
the rich countries, do not fool us. His version of 'Marxism' is
actually a parody of it and a violence to its very soul which will not
deserve any further reply.

Finally, I once again thank MDP for their actual practice of
proletarian internationalism in making available many valuable and
rare material (in one place) to the world public.

In solidarity,

Hiren Biswas
The Maoist Documentation Project

An effort to archive and disseminate the
revolutionary works of Lenin, Stalin and Mao
Tse-tung and other revolutionaries.
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