1968 - "Boycott Elections!": International Significance of the Slogan
The year was 1937. German, Italian and Japanese fascism, the three advanced detachments of world imperialism, were conspiring to redivide the world among themselves. German and Italian fascism intruded on the stage of Spain as active supporters of General Franco.The world working class came out in support of the united front government of Spain, and an International Brigade was formed with people who came from different countries. But unfortunately Franco succeeded in smashing the resistance put up by the International Brigade and in imposing his brand of fascism on Spain.
Just at that time, the Communist Party of China headed by Chairman Mao liberated a small area, Yenan, and stood up to oppose Japanese militarism. Not only that. It smashed all the boasts of Japanese militarism and began to create one liberated zone after another by rousing the poor peasants in the Japanese-occupied areas. These liberated zones not only survived the fierce Japanese attacks but also struck back hard at Japanese imperialism. At that time the Communist Party of China headed by Chairman Mao Tse-tung had not only to fight Japanese imperialism but also had to resist the reactionary Kuomintang government led by Chiang.
Then the Second World War broke out. The colonies of the older imperialist powers crumbled like a house of cards. The colonial people saw before their eyes how the so-called powerful imperialist powers fled before Japanese aggression like a dog beaten and with its tail between its legs. German fascism brought all the imperialist powers of entire Europe (excepting the British) under its heels through its superior military technique and strength. The old imperialist powers proved unable to meet the onslaught of fascism. With the entire industrial wealth and resources of Europe at their disposal, the power-drunk German fascists launched an aggression against the Soviet Union, the only state at that time where the working class held power. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union headed by the great Stalin soon recovered from the initial shock of this treacherous surprise attack and mobilized the entire Soviet people, imbued them with the sacred determination to defend the country and smashed all the boasts of the German fascist hordes. The defeat inflicted on German fascism in the battlefield of Stalingrad ensured the victory of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin. The example of the great Communist Party of China inspired the world's people wherever they were oppressed by fascism and they rose arms in hand to oppose fascism and established rural base areas in order to fight it. That is how world fascism was destroyed. After the war when the old imperialists tried to reestablish their exploitation and rule, the wrath of the people of the colonial world, who had been roused and had realized their own strength, spread like a wild fire and the flames of armed struggle spread through the colonies and semi-colonies. At the time when the Communist Party of China led by Chairman Mao was advancing towards a decisive victory, there emerged in India, Telengana, where, under the leadership of the communist revolutionaries, a peasant guerrilla force was formed, hundreds of thousands of peasants were roused with the spirit of revolutionary resistance, and hundreds of villages were liberated.
The victory of the great Chinese revolution and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 conclusively proved the immeasurable power of People's War. The Communist Party of China based on Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, established the alliance of workers, peasants and other toiling people on a firm foundation and led the Chinese people to victory along the path of armed struggle This victory stirred up the people of the colonial world and armed struggle began to develop firmly in every colony in Southeast Asia. The victorious Chinese revolution clearly pointed out before the people of the colonies and semi-colonies the path along which they should advance to achieve victory. Then started the era of the total collapse of world imperialism. As world imperialism neared its final collapse, the revisionist leadership of the Communist Parties of the world began to betray the people's struggles. After the death of Stalin the Soviet revisionist renegade clique usurped the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the world's revisionist renegade cliques began to work jointly with a view to saving world imperialism from its destruction. The renegade traitors in India, who masqueraded as communists, were mortally scared at the victory of the Chinese revolution and withdrew unconditionally the Telengana struggle and took to the path of parliamentarism. After the twentieth congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union the Soviet revisionist renegade clique, in collusion with U.S. imperialism, spread disruption and confusion among the people of the colonies and semi-colonies wherever they were waging armed struggle. Chairman Mao has said that world imperialism today is like a house which rests on a solitary pillar U.S. imperialism. And so, the destruction of U.S. imperialism will completely smash world imperialism. This is why the traitorous Khrushchev clique extended its hand of cooperation to U.S. imperialism. And this is also the reason why Chairman Mao warned us in 1957 and declared that in the era of raging revolutionary struggles revisionism is the main danger.
The struggle against revisionism in the international arena, which Chairman Mao launched in 1962, brought a new wave of enthusiasm among the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists all the world over. The Communist Party in every country in the world began to seethe with incipient revolts against the revisionist party leadership, and revolutionary Marxist-Leninists began to close their ranks. The anti-imperialist struggle entered a new higher phase. Taking their place in the forefront of anti-imperialist struggle, the heroic Vietnamese fighters dealt blows at U.S. imperialism, the lone pillar of world imperialism. It became clear as daylight that the doom of imperialism was near.
Any hesitancy, ever so little, to recognize that the thought of Chairman Mao is Marxism-Leninism of the present era, cannot but weaken the anti-imperialist struggle. This is because it blunts the very weapon with which revisionism has to be fought. Chairman Mao has taught us that we cannot advance even one step to attack imperialism without hitting revisionism.
In the present era when imperialism is heading towards total collapse, revolutionary struggle in every country has taken the form of armed struggle; Soviet revisionism, unable to retain its mask of socialism, has been forced to adopt imperialist tactics; world revolution has entered a new higher phase; and socialism is marching irrepressibly forward to victory - in such an era, to take to the parliamentary road means stopping this onward march of world revolution. Today, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists cannot opt for the parliamentary road . This is true not only for the colonial and semi-colonial countries, but for the capitalist countries as well. In this new era of world revolution when victory has been achieved in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, it has become the main task of the Marxist-Leninists the world over to establish bases in rural areas and to build up, on a firm foundation, the unity of workers, peasants and all other toiling people through armed struggle. So, the slogans 'boycott elections' and 'establish rural bases and create areas of armed struggle,' which the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists have advanced, remain valid for the entire era.
By adhering to the parliamentary road the revolutionaries the world over have allowed a formidable blood-debt to accumulate over the ages. The time has now come to settle this blood-debt. Hundreds of thousands of fallen martyrs call upon the revolutionaries: 'Strike hard at the dying imperialism and wipe it out from the face of the earth!' It is time to rebuild the world in a new way! Our victory in this fight is certain!