Monday 11 November 2013

Basic Strategies for Guerilla Warfare

 The urban guerrilla who correctly carries through his apprenticeship and training must give the greatest possible importance to his method of carrying out actions, for in this he cannot commit the slightest error. Any carelessness in learning tactics and their use invites certain disaster, as experience teaches us every day. Common criminals commit errors frequently because of their tactics, and this is one of the reasons why the urban guerrillas must be so insistently preoccupied with following revolutionary tactics, and not the tactics of bandits. And not only for that reason. There is no urban guerrilla worthy of the name who ignores the revolutionary method of action and fails to practice it rigorously in the planning and execution of his activities.

"The giant is known by his toe." The same can be said of the urban guerrilla, who is known from afar by his correct tactics and his absolute fidelity to principle.
The revolutionary method of carrying out actions is strongly and forcefully based on the knowledge and use of the following elements:

1. investigation and intelligence gathering
2. observation and vigilance
3. reconnaissance, or exploration of the terrain
4. study and timing of routes
5. mapping
6. mechanization
7. careful selection of personnel
8. selection of firepower
9. study and practice in success
10. success
11. use of cover
12. retreat
13. dispersal
14. the liberation or transfer of prisoners
15. the elimination of evidence
l6. the rescue of wounded

Solidarity to the Black Power Movement!

Wednesday 6 November 2013

A Daring Letter to the Principal of Sri venkateswara College, University of Delhi


The Principal

Sri Venkateswara

Benito Juarez Marg

Dhaula Kuan

Sub: Student accommodation and students’ rights

Dear ma’am

With all due respect, I am writing to inform you about the ordeals and the tribulations faced by the students of your college on various grounds right from administrational autonomy and rude behavior of office bearers to lack of even the most basic amenities needed the most by students like ample campus housing, lack of proper drinking water and excessive use of force and guards on student campus and not only will I point out the problems but I will also guide you to the solutions to these problems. Moreover, I would also point to you the consequences should you choose not to heed to my peacefully put solutions for a better and more student friendly campus. In the end, after having created a viable and substantial argument from the perspective of a common student, I would then give your good-self an ultimatum to heed to our demands which would be firm, resolute and absolute. I hope that by the time you reach the end of the letter, you would be so convinced with our issues and agenda that you would be sympathetic to us and give us the proper treatment we so deserve as students of Sri Venkateswara and students of Delhi University.

I would start by pointing to the autocratic nature of the college administration and the hierarchal setup the office bearers who misuse their power for all but students’ welfare and leave no transparency in the working of various aspects of college to students even on their demands. First of all, the counter system of the office is in itself flawed in many ways. The counter system puts pressure on students as students wait in long queues for even the most common work like verification of bus pass forms had the administration not acted so prejudiced and arrogant. We are students, not a bunch of lepers whom you don’t even let inside your office. This is a malpractice that you must eradicate or else the student activists will eradicate it for you. There should at least such amount of official forum between students and administration where a certain level of personal contact or even an emotional one can be possible.

Further, it has also come to notice to certain student activists that a child with disabilities was mistreated by the ICT lab authorities when he went there to avail the username and password for college Wi-Fi. I take it you are well aware that the college internet connectivity is more mine than yours and in fact the whole college is more mine than yours, me being the whole student community here. It is for shame that the college authorities don’t understand this and resort to such fascist sentiments. It has come to notice to certain activists that even though the officials were free and were just lounging around in their ICT office, they said they were busy and the student couldn’t make it out as he was blind. In a way, the officials made a joke on his blindness which is completely unacceptable in a college where there is an active and working Equal Opportunity Cell. This is a direct violation of students’ rights and therefore the administration is liable to action. This is the kind of dictatorial regime the college apparatus of Sri Venkateswara has become and somewhere the student population is to be blamed for all this because we remained silent and let the forces that be take over us our rights, our freedom and our space.

Let me enlighten you with some words about the student population. You might think that ‘student power’ or student mobilization’ are words people use in a speech to make it more rhetorical and fiery. A student is the loneliest person in the world. Students who come from small states or different states will tell you the difficulties of being a student. They are the most miserable, downtrodden and ignored sect of our society, especially here at Delhi University, and more so at Sri Venkateswara. A student from a small city has to cope with many problems than just the course work and the studies in the college and he cannot be called a ‘student’ anymore. When the University ceases to take responsibility of students’ housing and accommodation, food and travel, books and other services, it throws the student into a web of darkness and myriad problems. This is unfair for the student as he is only a student, and he is only supposed to be that way. He is not supposed to be caught in the finance troubles of juggling rent of paying guest accommodation, three-course meal and cost of buying the semester books. As you might know, the University has implemented the Four Year Undergraduate Program Under which there would be four years of undergraduate courses, and under which there was an over-admission of students in almost every course. But the hostel facilities were granted to only one or two students per course. The College authority cannot hide behind the reason of ‘not having enough funds’ because Sri Vekateswara receives bi-annual funding from both Andhra-based TTD committee and Delhi University (Central Govt.). Please understand the compulsion which enabled us to do such extensive research and to go to such extent for our rights. Please try to grasp the fact that we students are humans too, we are a minority too, but there is no Party, no committee, no pressure group for fighting and protecting our rights so we fight our own battles and we take arms to protect our own rights. We take the path of protests and break the barricades of the fascist setup that enslaves us. But we do not do it for our pleasure. We do it just because of the situation you arise, your authority arises and your administration arises. You violate our rights and you expect us to be quiet and then you impose yourself on us even when we are silent.

A great example of your dictatorial stance is the daily appointment of a uniformed guard at the College gate. Let me enlighten you as you may not know properly because your house falls inside the college camps but the guard standing at the gate is dressed in Khaki and enjoys the power that comes with it. I remind you again that the college is a student space and not an LOC border or a terrorist liberated zone where you set up uniformed men. I urge you to stop turning the college campus into a police cantonment.

Actions like these could have been taken silently by students in the past but we have suffered too much now to remain silent. I myself have been at the helm of the ordeals that have cast me now to the path of student activism and fighting for students’ rights. I come from the small town of Andaman and Nicobar and I came to study English literature with aspirations of greatness and ambition but the beasts of real life and the hounds of struggling in a big city gnawed and teethed on my intellectual soul. I was thrown out of my paying guest accommodation because I was contesting for the Delhi University Students’ Union Elections. Consequently, I had to pay a month’s rent for the room in which I stayed for just two days and then I had to pay the full rent, plus the advance and the security deposit for a new room. I was broken, disheartened and totally financially bankrupt. It took me some time to get out of the depression state which I was in.

 Then hidden among the jungles, I find a place of escape, the opium of intellectual mind, Jawaharlal Nehru University and I get more and more engrossed in the campus lifestyle, the witty debates and discussions and the laid out overall environment of a University Campus whose semester fee is just about 200 rupees and the hostel fee is 20 rupees a month and every potential student is given a hostel. Then I analyzed the reason for the establishment of such an idealistic society and this was where I found out about the history of student activism at JNU. The students of JNU are more than aware of their rights and not only are they aware but they are also willing to readily fight whenever their rights are violated. And they don’t stop there. The students there also fight for issues that affect the society in which they live like gender sensitization, minority witch-hunt, fake encounters, peasant revolution and corruption. They have always been at the forefront of activism be it their issues or not, and so they reaped the benefits of their labor.

They have set the example for the next generation of students, us, which you being the educator, the system, could not and they have inspired us to fight for our rights because we have right on our side. They taught us that there is nothing wrong in questioning you vocally, and if need be physically because you are employed because of us and in a way we are your employers. We are the ones whom you should provide the finest service that you never do, not in terms of academic education, or self conduct or basic civil necessities. Let me ask you why there is over a dozen blocks of staff housing when there is not enough housing for students. At least the staff gets a regular salary with which it can afford a lavish house and on the other hand, a student has to spend thousands in college fees, not counting the thousands more on accommodation. This is totally unfair and is a slander of basic students’ rights. Teachers are supposed to be the example for students and here the teachers themselves are money-minded and selfish and the worst part of it is that they are money minded and selfish at the cost of the students.

But now the students are organizing, they are mobilizing. They will not tolerate the lack of housing for their fellow comrades. They will not tolerate the autonomy of college administration and complete opacity in their working. They will not tolerate being shouted at or ignored over by the college staff. They will not tolerate cheap drinking water that is too old to drink just because the maintenance staff is unable to keep a proper water purifier and stabilizing cooler at every floor. They will not tolerate the fascist hierarchy that has been prevailing for long in the college. They will not tolerate the deterioration of any and every student right that is entitled to them, to us, as a part of the Venkateswara student community, as a part of the Delhi University student community.
I have been very respectably and cordially giving you the problems faced by the student community and the solutions that you can opt for that would work towards a mutual benefit but now I must levy upon you the charges, the sentence, the accusation and the ultimatum that we as students, the heartbeat of the education system, the youth and immediate future of the country, and your indirect employers have decided. We would occupy the college ground with every bit of luggage we brought with us as a student because it is the college’s and the University’s combined responsibility to take care of our housing and our belongings which are supposed to be in a college hostel rather than an expensive but worthless paying guest accommodation. We will not vacate the college premises as long as we are not transferred to a college-controlled permanent housing for which we are willing to pay too. This is not just a movement for student accommodation but for every student right that has been incessantly broken down and violated by the whims and fancies of the college authorities. The occupy movement will be convened at an unspecific time if in three days there isn’t a valid assurance for your side. I hope you heed the gravity of the situation, the serious tone of this letter and of the moment and the prime importance of time which you should follow through in your correspondence. This is propaganda of the deed. The whole student community of the college is expected to be a part of this. We have nothing to lose but the chains that enslave us. We have a world to win.

Hoping for a favorable reply from your end.

Yours sincerely


Mobile no: 96503438756

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Philosophy as a revolutionary weapon

1 Can you tell us a little about your personal history? What brought you to Marxist philosophy?

In 1948, when I was 30, I became a teacher of philosophy and joined the PCF. Philosophy was an interest; I was trying to make it my profession. Politics was a passion; I was trying to become a Communist militant.
My interest in philosophy was aroused by materialism and its critical function: for scientific knowledge, against all the mystifications of ideological ‘knowledge’. Against the merely moral denunciation of myths and lies, for their rational and rigorous criticism. My passion for politics was inspired by the revolutionary instinct, intelligence, courage and heroism of the working class in its struggle for socialism. The War and the long years of captivity had brought me into living contact with workers and peasants, and acquainted me with Communist militants.
It was politics which decided everything. Not politics in general: Marxist-Leninist politics.
First I had to find them and understand them. That is always extremely difficult for an intellectual. It was just as difficult in the fifties and sixties, for reasons with which you are familiar: the consequences of the ‘cult’, the Twentieth Congress, then the crisis of the international Communist Movement. Above all, it was not easy to resist the spread of contemporary ‘humanist’ ideology, and bourgeois ideology’s other assaults on Marxism.
Once I had a better understanding of Marxist-Leninist politics, I began to have a passion for philosophy too, for at last I began to understand the great thesis of Marx, Lenin and Gramsci: that philosophy is fundamentally political.
Everything that I have written, at first alone, later in collaboration with younger comrades and friends, revolves, despite the ‘abstraction’ of our essays, around these very concrete questions.

2 Can you be more precise: why is it generally so difficult to be a Communist in philosophy?

To be a Communist in philosophy is to become a partisan and artisan of Marxist-Leninist philosophy: of dialectical materialism.
It is not easy to become a Marxist-Leninist philosopher. Like every ‘intellectual’, a philosophy teacher is a petty bourgeois. When he opens his mouth, it is petty-bourgeois ideology that speaks: its resources and ruses are infinite.
You know what Lenin says about ‘intellectuals’. Individually certain of them may (politically) be declared revolutionaries, and courageous ones. But as a mass, they remain ‘incorrigibly’ petty-bourgeois in ideology. Gorky himself was, for Lenin, who admired his talents, a petty-bourgeois revolutionary. To become ‘ideologists of the working class’ (Lenin), ‘organic intellectuals’ of the proletariat (Gramsci), intellectuals have to carry out a radical revolution in their ideas: a long, painful and difficult re-education. An endless external and internal struggle.
Proletarians have a ‘class instinct’ which helps them on the way to proletarian ‘class positions’. Intellectuals, on the contrary, have a petty-bourgeois class instinct which fiercely resists this transition.
A proletarian class position is more than a mere proletarian ‘class instinct’. It is the consciousness and practice which conform with the objective reality of the proletarian class struggle. Class instinct is subjective and spontaneous. Class position is objective and rational. To arrive at proletarian class positions, the class instinct of proletarians only needs to be educated ; the class instinct of the petty bourgeoisie, and hence of intellectuals, has, on the contrary, to be revolutionized. This education and this revolution are, in the last analysis, determined by proletarian class struggle conducted on the basis of the principles of Marxist-Leninist theory.
As the Communist Manifesto says, knowledge of this theory can help certain intellectuals to go over to working class positions.
Marxist-Leninist theory includes a science (historical materialism) and a philosophy (dialectical materialism).
Marxist-Leninist philosophy is therefore one of the two theoretical weapons indispensable to the class struggle of the proletariat. Communist militants must assimilate and use the principles of the theory: science and philosophy. The proletarian revolution needs militants who are both scientists (historical materialism) and philosophers (dialectical materialism) to assist in the defence and development of theory.
The formation of these philosophers runs up against two great difficulties.
A first – political – difficulty. A professional philosopher who joins the Party remains, ideologically, a petty bourgeois. He must revolutionize his thought in order to occupy a proletarian class position in philosophy.
This political difficulty is ‘determinant in the last instance’.
A second – theoretical – difficulty. We know in what direction and with what principles we must work in order to define this class position in philosophy. But we must develop Marxist philosophy: it is theoretically and politically urgent to do so. Now, this work is vast and difficult. For in Marxist theory, philosophy has lagged behind the science of history.
Today, in our countries, this is the ‘dominant’ difficulty.

3 You therefore distinguish between a science and a philosophy in Marxist theory? As you know, this distinction is often contested today.

I know. But this ‘contestation’ is an old story.
To be extremely schematic, it may be said that, in the history of the Marxist movement, the suppression of this distinction has expressed either a rightist or a leftist deviation. The rightist deviation suppresses philosophy: only science is left (positivism). The leftist deviation suppresses science: only philosophy is left (subjectivism). There are ‘exceptions’ to this (cases of ‘inversion’), but they ‘confirm’ the rule.
The great leaders of the Marxist Workers’ Movement from Marx and Engels to today have always said: these deviations are the result of the influence and domination of bourgeois ideology over Marxism. For their part, they always defended the distinction (science, philosophy), not only for theoretical, but also for vital political reasons. Think of Lenin in Materialism and Empirio-criticism or ‘Left-WingCommunism. His reasons are blindingly obvious.

4 How do you justify this distinction between science and philosophy in Marxist theory?

I shall answer you by formulating a number of provisional and schematic theses.
1. The fusion of Marxist theory and the Workers’ Movement is the most important event in the whole history of the class struggle, i.e. in practically the whole of human history (first effects: the socialist revolutions).
2. Marxist theory (science and philosophy) represents an unprecedented revolution in the history of human knowledge.
3. Marx founded a new science: the science of history. Let me use an image. The sciences we are familiar with have been installed in a number of great ‘continents’. Before Marx, two such continents had been opened up to scientific knowledge: the continent of Mathematics and the continent of Physics. The first by the Greeks (Thales), the second by Galileo. Marx opened up a third continent to scientific knowledge: the continent of History.
4. The opening up of this new continent has induced a revolution in philosophy. That is a law: philosophy is always linked to the sciences.
Philosophy was born (with Plato) at the opening up of the continent of Mathematics. It was transformed (with Descartes) by the opening up of the continent of Physics. Today it is being revolutionized by the opening up of the continent of History by Marx. This revolution is called dialectical materialism.
Transformations of philosophy are always rebounds from great scientific discoveries. Hence in essentials, they arise after the event. That is why philosophy has lagged behind science in Marxist theory. There are other reasons which we all know about. But at present this is the dominant one.

5. As a mass, only proletarian militants have recognized the revolutionary scope of Marx’s scientific 
discovery. Their political practice has been transformed by it.
And here we come to the greatest theoretical scandal in contemporary history.

As a mass, the intellectuals, on the contrary, even those whose ‘professional’ concern it is (specialists in the human sciences, philosophers), have not really recognized, or have refused to recognize, the unprecedented scope of Marx’s scientific discovery, which they have condemned and despised, and which they distort when they do discuss it.
With a few exceptions, they are still ‘dabbling’ in political economy, sociology, ethnology, ‘anthropology’, ‘social psychology’, etc., etc...., even today, one hundred years after Capital, just as some Aristotelian physicists were still ‘dabbling’ in physics, fifty years after Galileo. Their ‘theories’ are ideological anachronisms, rejuvenated with a large dose of intellectual subtleties and ultra-modern mathematical techniques.
But this theoretical scandal is not a scandal at all. It is an effect of the ideological class struggle: for it is bourgeois ideology, bourgeois ‘culture’ which is in power, which exercises ‘hegemony’. As a mass, the intellectuals, including many Communist and Marxist intellectuals, are, with exceptions, dominated in their theories by bourgeois ideology. With exceptions, the same thing happens in the ‘human’ sciences.

6. The same scandalous situation in philosophy. Who has understood the astounding philosophical revolution induced by Marx’s discovery? Only proletarian militants and leaders. As a mass, on the contrary, professional philosophers have not even suspected it. When they mention Marx it is always, with extremely rare exceptions, to attack him, to condemn him, to ‘absorb’ him, to exploit him or to revise him.

Those, like Engels and Lenin, who have defended dialectical materialism, are treated as philosophically insignificant. The real scandal is that certain Marxist philosophers have succumbed to the same infection, in the name of ‘anti-dogmatism’. But here, too, the reason is the same: the effect of the ideological class struggle. For it is bourgeois ideology, bourgeois ‘culture’, which is in power.

7. The crucial tasks of the Communist movement in theory :
– to recognize and know the revolutionary theoretical scope of Marxist-Leninist science and philosophy;
– to struggle against the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois world outlook which always threatens Marxist theory, and which deeply impregnates it today. The general form of this world outlook: Economism (today ‘technocracy’) and its ‘spiritual complement’ Ethical Idealism (today ‘Humanism’). Economism and Ethical Idealism have constituted the basic opposition in the bourgeois world outlook since the origins of the bourgeoisie. The current philosophical form of this world outlook: neo-positivism and its ‘spiritual complement’, existentialist-phenomenological subjectivism. The variant peculiar to the Human Sciences: the ideology called ‘structuralist’;
– to conquer for science the majority of the Human Sciences, above all, the Social Sciences, which, with exceptions, have occupied as imposters the continent of History, the continent whose keys Marx has given us;
– to develop the new science and philosophy with all the necessary rigour and daring, linking them to the requirements and inventions of the practice of revolutionary class struggle.
In theory, the decisive link at present: Marxist-Leninist philosophy.

5 You have said two apparently contradictory or different things : 1. philosophy is basically political ; 2. philosophy is linked to the sciences. How do you conceive this double relationship?

Here again I shall give my answer in the form of schematic and provisional theses.
1. The class positions in confrontation in the class struggle are ‘represented’ in the domain of practical ideologies (religious, ethical, legal, political, aesthetic ideologies) by world outlooks of antagonistic tendencies: in the last instance idealist (bourgeois) and materialist (proletarian). Everyone had a world outlook spontaneously.
2. World outlooks are represented in the domain of theory (science + the ‘theoretical’ ideologies which surround science and scientists) by philosophy. Philosophy represents the class struggle in theory. That is why philosophy is a struggle (Kampf said Kant), and basically a political struggle: a class struggle. Everyone is not a philosopher spontaneously, but everyone may become one.
3. Philosophy exists as soon as the theoretical domain exists: as soon as a science (in the strict sense) exists. Without sciences, no philosophy, only world outlooks. The stake in the battle and the battle-field must be distinguished. The ultimate stake of philosophical struggle is the struggle for hegemony between the two great tendencies in world outlook (materialist and idealist). The main battlefield in this struggle is scientific knowledge: for it or against it. The number-one philosophical battle therefore takes place on the frontier between the scientific and the ideological. There the idealist philosophies which exploit the sciences struggle against the materialist philosophies which serve the sciences. The philosophical struggle is a sector of the class struggle between world outlooks. In the past, materialism has always been dominated by idealism.

4. The science founded by Marx has changed the whole situation in the theoretical domain. It is a new science: the science of history. Therefore, for the first time ever, it has enabled us to know the world outlooks which philosophy represents in theory; it enables us to know philosophy. It provides the means to transform the world outlooks (revolutionary class struggle conducted according to the principles of Marxist theory). Philosophy is therefore doubly revolutionized. Mechanistic materialism, ‘idealistic in history’, becomes dialectical materialism. The balance of forces is reversed: now materialism can dominate idealism in philosophy, and, if the political conditions are realized, it can carry the class struggle for hegemony between world outlooks.
Marxist-Leninist philosophy, or dialectical materialism, represents the proletarian class struggle in theory. In the union of Marxist theory and the Workers’ Movement (the ultimate reality of the union of theory and practice) philosophy ceases, as Marx said, to ‘interpret the world’. It becomes a weapon with which ‘to change it’: revolution.

6 Are these the reasons which have made you say that it is essential to read Capital today?
Yes. It is essential to read and study Capital.
– in order really to understand, in all its scope and all its scientific and philosophical consequences, what proletarian militants have long understood in practice: the revolutionary character of Marxist theory.
– in order to defend that theory against all the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois interpretations, i.e. revisions, which seriously threaten it today: in the first place the opposition Economism/Humanism.
– in order to develop Marxist theory and produce the scientific concepts indispensable to the analysis of the class struggle today, in our countries and elsewhere.
It is essential to read and study Capital. I should add, it is necessary, essential to read and study Lenin, and all the great texts, old and new, to which has been consigned the experience of the class struggle of the international Workers’ Movement. It is essential to study the practical works of the Revolutionary Workers’ Movement in their reality, their problems and their contradictions: their past and, above all, their present history.

In our countries there are immense resources for the revolutionary class struggle today. But they must be sought where they are: in the exploited masses. They will not be ‘discovered’ without close contact with the masses, and without the weapons of Marxist-Leninist theory. The bourgeois ideological notions of ‘industrial society’, ‘neo-capitalism’, ‘new working class’, ‘affluent society’, ‘alienation’ and tutti quanti are anti-scientific and anti-Marxist: built to fight revolutionaries.
I should therefore add one further remark: the most important of all.
In order really to understand what one ‘reads’ and studies in these theoretical, political and historical works, one must directly experience oneself the two realities which determine them through and through: the reality of theoretical practice (science, philosophy) in its concrete life; the reality of the practice of revolutionary class struggle in its concrete life, in close contact with the masses. For if theory enables us to understand the laws of history, it is not intellectuals, nor even theoreticians, it is the masses who make history. It is essential to learn with theory – but at the same time and crucially, it is essential to learn with the masses.

7 You attach a great deal of importance to rigour, including a rigorous vocabulary. Why is that?

A single word sums up the master function of philosophical practice: ‘to draw a dividing line’ between the true ideas and false ideas. Lenin’s words.
But the same word sums up one of the essential operations in the direction of the practice of class struggle: ‘to draw a dividing line’ between the antagonistic classes. Between our class friends and our class enemies.
It is the same word. A theoretical dividing line between true ideas and false ideas. A political dividing line between the people (the proletariat and its allies) and the people’s enemies.
Philosophy represents the people’s class struggle in theory. In return it helps the people to distinguish in theory and in all ideas (political, ethical, aesthetic, etc.) between true ideas and false ideas. In principle, true ideas always serve the people; false ideas always serve the enemies of the people.
Why does philosophy fight over words? The realities of the class struggle are ‘represented’ by ‘ideas’ which are ‘represented’ by words. In scientific and philosophical reasoning, the words (concepts, categories) are ‘instruments’ of knowledge. But in political, ideological and philosophical struggle, the words are also weapons, explosives or tranquillizers and poisons. Occasionally, the whole class struggle may be summed up in the struggle for one word against another word. Certain words struggle amongst themselves as enemies. Other words are the site of an ambiguity: the stake in a decisive but undecided battle.
For example : Communists struggle for the suppression of classes and for a communist society, where, one day, all men will be free and brothers. However, the whole classical Marxist tradition has refused to say that Marxism is a Humanism. Why? Because practically, i.e. in the facts, the word Humanism is exploited by an ideology which uses it to fight, i.e. to kill, another, true, word, and one vital to the proletariat: the class struggle.
For example : revolutionaries know that, in the last instance, everything depends not on techniques, weapons, etc., but on militants, on their class consciousness, their devotion and their courage. However, the whole Marxist tradition has refused to say that it is ‘man’ who makes history. Why? Because practically, i.e. in the facts, this expression is exploited by bourgeois ideology which uses it to fight, i.e. to kill another, true, expression, one vital for the proletariat: it is the masses who make history.
At the same time, philosophy, even in the lengthy works where it is most abstract and difficult, fights over words: against lying words, against ambiguous words; for correct words. It fights over ‘shades of opinion’.
Lenin said: ‘Only short-sighted people can consider factional disputes and a strict differentiation between shades of opinion inopportune or superfluous. The fate of Russian Social-Democracy for very many years to come may depend on the strengthening of one or the other “shade.”’ (What is to be Done?).
The philosophical fight over words is a part of the political fight. Marxist-Leninist philosophy can only complete its abstract, rigorous and systematic theoretical work on condition that it fights both about very ‘scholarly’ words (concept, theory, dialectic, alienation, etc.) and about very simple words (man, masses, people, class struggle).