Communist Party of Burma & Cultural Revolution

Communist Party of Burma Meeting

This articles explorers how the Communist Party of Burma committed serveral massacres and implemented red fascism in the wake of Cultural Revolution. The article will reveal some internal conflicts between the red fascist Than Tun gang and communist H. N. Goshal fraction.

Submitted by heinhtetkyaw on October 25, 2022

Thakin Than Tun, the chairman of the Communist Party of Burma is popular for his leadership in "Cultural Revolution". There were some policies changes during 1960s within CPB. Ne Win military government used the term “Burma Socialist Programme” to justify their coup and single party dictatorship. A significant amount of Burmese leftists and communists fell for the trap and thought of U Ne Win military dictatorship as a communist regime. That includes some of the communists inside CPB. Under the 1964 policy of CPB, all the reactionaries who backed Ne Win's military rule were subjected to a widespread campaign of purges and killings. Even the devoted party supporters who are not Pro Ne Win but were viewed as reactionary by Thakin Than Tun’s fraction got perished in the purges and executions for no reasons.
Such kind of fascistic red terror acts were challenged by some life-long politburos and members of the party. The politburo H. N. Goshal and the General Secretary Yebaw Htay led that opposition fraction. On the other hand, Thakin Than Tun, the leader of the CPB and some party members who studied in Gang of Four era China led the red fascist fraction. The massive internal ideological struggle happened. These topics were debated in that internal ideological struggle:

  • the question of democratic revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariats
  • Three stages of revolution
  • Ne Win’s BSPP and Marxism-Leninism
  • the question of anti-imperialism
  • On the question of revolutionary strategy towards New Democracy

Three stages of revolution
The fraction of red fascists didn’t know the differences between the Stalin’s democratic revolution, Karl Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariats and Mao’s new democracy. In a party meeting discussing the differences between Stalin’s democratic two stage revolution, Karl Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariats and Mao’s new democracy, Thakin Than Tun was reported to be confused to point out the differences between Karl Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariats, Stalin’s state capitalism and Mao’s new democracy. It explains how naive Thakin Than Tun was. It comes as a surprise that a chairman of the CPB was too illiterate to confuse the essence of communism, state capitalism and new democracy. However, H. N. Goshal correctly pointed out the theoretical differences between these stages of revolution by referencing Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Stalin, Lenin, and Karl Marx.
Anti-imperialism under Burma Socialist Programme Party
Moreover, Thakin Than Tun analysed the government of Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party as pro-western imperialist. However, such kind of view was totally false. H. N. Goshal correctly pointed out that the BSPP indeed is anti-imperialist since Ne Win participated in the Non-Aligned Movement and kept his distance from both the US and the Soviet Union in foreign policy matters during the Cold War, maintaining a rigors neutralist posture. Moreover, the relationship between China and Burma under Ne Win’s military regime was excellent too. Here, it can be concluded that Thakin Than Tun also failed to understand the theory of imperialism and didn’t even know the basics of how imperialism works.
Thakin Than Tun’s revolutionary strategy
Around 5,000 people were believed to be CPB members in the middle of the 1960s, according to the US State Department. The Burmese military was expected to have a troop strength of around 100,000 to 250,000 in 1960s. However, Thakin Than Tun proposed his idealistic plan to conquer the whole Burmese military within 4 years. However, H. N. Goshal reminded him that facts and figures matter when it comes to developing a military strategy. That would be extremely immature to think of conquering the whole military which is at least several times bigger and stronger than yours within a few years. Such kind of immaturity should be found in a novice new party member, not in a chairman of a communist party.
Maoism and the gang of four
Similarly, Thakin Than Tun and his red fascist followers, being theoretically illiterate didn’t understand the contexts of the political struggles within Chinese communist party. Out of his ignorance, Thakin Than Tun supported the fraction of fascistic bureaucratic gang of four in China’s cultural revolution despite calling themselves communists. The life-long CPC leaders such as Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping were paranoia about such bureaucratic dictatorship within the party. As a result, they were purged. Similarly, H. N. Goshal pointed out that and warned them to maintain the democratic centralism within the party. In short, Than Tun’s red fascists fraction chose to stand with bureaucratic gang of four and Goshal’s communist fraction chose to support for the democratic centralism within the party.
Eventually, the theoretical debate has escalated into personal conflict, resulting the executions against H. N. Goshal, his fraction and those who sympathise him. Yebaw Htay and H. N. Goshal were equated as "Burma's Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi". It was reported that racist racial slurs were used against H. N. Goshal (since he is a Bengali) while he was persecuted. It was also reported that H. N. Goshal sang “the Internationale” till his last breath while he was executed. Even though H. N. Goshal considered himself a Marxist-Leninist, his analysis on the imperialism, economic situations, and political circumstances revealed that he indeed is a genuine revolutionary who seek and learnt well from both experience and literatures. Under the proper access to information, there is no doubt that H. N. Goshal will become a genuine Marxist who can analyse the material conditions historically.
In conclusion, since its founding, the Communist Party of Burma has never had a proper democratic revolutionary policy. Since Stalinism had already affected early left-wing writing in Burma, it had rooted in that party since the beginning. Alternative left-wing ideologies such left communism, Trotskyism, democratic socialism, and classical Marxism weren't well understood or studied. Nowadays, the CPB is still a pro-Putin and pro-Xi bureaucratic red fascist party that continues to promote Russia's neo-colonialism and China's imperialism blatantly.