Marx's Ethnological Notebooks, feudalism in Asia, and strategy in Nepal - Stephen Lawrence Mikesell

View of Kathmandu City

The author argues that the common leftist definition of Nepal as wholly or partially “feudal” is wrong and historically inappropriate and that those ‘Marxists’ claiming it are in contradiction with Marx’s own expressed views.

THE NEPALESE Left starts with the premise that the countryside of Nepal, if not the state, is feudal. Although this is a more critical stance than many works which describe the country in terms of being timeless and 'traditional', it is theoretically, historically and comparatively incorrect. Moreover, it seems strategically unwise.

Myths and realities: the Nepalese Maoists and their strike ban legislations

Bhattarai & Prachanda - Maoist Party leaders and factional rivals

In January and April 2009 two libcom news articles were published[1] reporting that the Maoist-led government had expressed their intention to use legislation to ban strikes in some industries. These articles were quite widely reproduced on various websites and caused some controversy; online pro-maoists were particularly upset. So much so that some of them used a combination of inaccuracy and distortion in an attempt to discredit the articles. We have refuted these dishonesties wherever possible, but as they have continued[2] we have decided to restate the facts here for convenient reference.

Since the articles were written we have also found some additional proof of the Maoists' intentions to ban strikes and we present it here.

Part 2 is a more general commentary on the political role of Maoism in Nepal and its function in promoting capitalist development.

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A Himalayan Red Herring? Maoist Revolution in the Shadow of the Legacy Raj - Saubhagya Shah

Written during the Maoist guerilla war in Nepal, an analysis of how the Maoists and the conflict were put to use by Indian diplomacy as part of their wider regional domination.

"...The core tensions of the Legacy Raj are sustained by the polymorphous character of the post-independence power elites, whose conception of self and mission oscillates between that of anti-colonial heroes on the one hand and heirs to the British Raj on the other. It is this contradictory impulse that generates cycles of destabilisation outwards into the regional system in the form of economic pressures, political subversion, proxy wars and military adventures."

... "Precisely because India lacks formal treaty rights commensurate with its ambitions in Nepal, New Delhi has undertaken a range of diplomatic and covert manoeuvres to 'mold the political evolution of Nepal in its own image and to establish some kind of de facto protectorate'." ...

"The fierce one" speaks with forked tongue; Nepalese Maoists leave government - sackings, lies and videotape

Last week (on Monday 4th May) Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (also known as Prachanda, "the fierce one") resigned. This was the latest twist in a long running power struggle.

Prachanda had sacked Nepal Army (NA) chief Katawal, who is considered central to resistance to Maoist attempts to seize control of the Army, after General Katawal had refused to integrate thousands of Maoist guerilla People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops into the regular Army.

Nepalese Maoists restate intention to ban strikes and other news

Reports of recent developments in Nepal and the Maoist-led government's proposed crackdown on workers' struggle.

Several months ago we reported public statements by Maoist government ministers that they intended to legislate to ban strikes (see

Nepal: victory turns sour

As a strike wave sweeps the country, the Maoist leadership agrees to banning strikes.

Since the Maoists emerged in the April 2008 Nepal elections as the largest party (though without an absolute majority) to lead the new coalition government, they have failed to heal existing divisions - in their own party, within the parliamentary political system and its ruling class - or within the intermingled social, caste and ethnic tensions across the wider society.

Nepal; a nice little earner for the Maoist ruling class - in Lenin's footsteps

"First time as tragedy, second time as farce" - Lenin & Prachanda

Nepal's Maoist Party has won around 220 seats in the recent Constituent Assembly (CA) election, about one-third of the total. Though the largest party, they don't have an overall majority; they have stated their wish to lead a coalition government.

But as the result became clear Maoist leader Prachanda told journalists “I will be declared the acting President of this country very soon…which will be followed by occupying the post of the all powerful President of New Nepal…this is the peoples’ mandate…no force on earth can disobey this mandate”.

Maoists win the election in Nepal

Nepali Maoist flags

The Maoist party - former guerrillas CPN(M) - have won a clear majority in last week's elections. But what changes will this mean for Nepal's workers and peasants?

The result so far is for the 240-seats first-past-the-post vote for the Constituent Assembly. Results for the decisive 335-seat proportional representation part of the Assembly will take longer, but the Maoists are expected to do well in this too.

Nepal; Terai ethnic strike ends with concessions

Tharu women of the Terai

The general strike called by Madhesi ethnic groups of the southern Terai plains region has ended with most of their demands granted.

Two days after an agreement with the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) - paving the way for the April 10 Constituent Assembly elections - the government today signed an agreement with the Federal Republic National Front (FRNF), an alliance of seven groups agitating in Terai and eastern regions.