On Mao and Contradictions

On Mao and Contradictions

Preface by Politsturm

We continue to publish translations of materials from the Communist Party of Sweden. This time we present you two articles by the General Secretary of the Party, Andreas Sörensen, devoted to criticism of Maoism: “Mao and Contradictions” and “Maoism is Not Revolutionary”. Due to the fact that they are logically related to each other, we decided to publish them in one material.

Analyzing the Maoist concept of the main and secondary contradictions, as well as revealing the historical significance of the tactics of the popular and united fronts, the author demonstrates the opportunistic nature of Maoism: the rejection of the class struggle in favor of class conciliation, the subordination of the revolutionary proletariat to the national bourgeoisie; Mao Zedong’s attempt to obscure his conciliatory policy with the help of a revision on the issue of contradictions.

It should be noted that the author’s analysis of the essence and practical results of the tactics of the united/popular fronts adopted by the Comintern in the 30s of the XX century, given in the second article, is of particular interest. Despite the fact that it is, as it were, logically connected with the criticism of Maoism and is needed to establish the historical context, this part, in our opinion, is completely independent. Recognizing the historical validity of such tactics, the author shows that, according to its results, it turned out to be a failure, in some cases even harmful.

Despite the presence of some questions related to a specific assessment of the tactics of the fronts performed by the Comintern and a detailed explanation of the thesis about the failure of the CCP’s attempt to create a united front, the analysis of the historical significance of the tactics of the fronts presented in the materials deserves attention.

Mao and the Contradictions

A comrade once told me that Mao’s “On Contradictions” was a pedagogical presentation of the dialectic – after all, half the text consists of examples! It certainly makes the whole thing very clear, he said, but it can hardly have been a development of Marxism in general and dialectics in particular. But Mao certainly developed the dialectic and the understanding of contradictions. Sadly he took it in the wrong direction.

In addition to illustrating with numerous examples the nature of the dialectical contradictions and the dialectical laws, Mao makes a little intellectual excursion of his own in his reasoning about what he calls the main contradiction. It is precisely this line of reasoning that I want to highlight and criticize in this article.

Background: The Comintern and the fronts

In a number of articles and documents, the party has highlighted, discussed and problematized the policy formulated by the Comintern in the mid-1930s (and which was also adopted in a milder form in the early 1920s) which directed the activities and focus of the communist parties. From having fought social democracy as a left-wing phalanx of capitalism that passiveized the working class, social democracy now became an ally in the fight against fascism.

This also meant the conflict lines shifted. Instead of the old slogan ‘class against class’, the focus shifted to ‘democracy-fascism’ which became the new principal contradiction. If the contradiction is between the classes, it is clear which side the social democrats take, but in the battle between democracy and fascism, the social democrats can be allies. That applied to everyone who considered themselves to be for democracy and against fascism.

The shift also resulted in the logic of lesser evil becoming guiding. Fascism was worse than bourgeois democracy, hence democracy became the first sub-goal. It was in this way that the sub-goals were introduced in the struggle for socialism. Initially, the sub-goals would be achieved and then the struggle for socialism could be conducted.

All of this was done from a perspective of real-political necessities. It was necessary to defend the Soviet Union against the imperialist threat, which primarily consisted of Nazism and fascism. Could the bourgeois democracy be protected and kept safe, could also the direct threat be averted? It is not our task to go back and condemn or judge the politics of communists who were forced to act under a critical period in our movement’s time, rather we should analyze it both critically and self-critically

The background I have now painted forms the background to the essay that Mao wrote about the contradictions, which the reasoning about the main contradictions makes very clear.

Main Contradictions and Secondary Contradictions

Slightly simplified, we can say that Mao makes a virtue of necessity. With philosophical terminology, he justifies the politics which the Comintern out of necessity was forced to adopt and makes it the nucleus of the Maoist doctrine.

In short, Mao’s reasoning is that in every single phenomenon, there is a main contradiction that plays the biggest role. In addition, there exists a series of secondary oppositions, which are determined by the main opposition. In Mao’s own words:

«In the development process of a composite thing there are many contradictions, and of these one is necessarily the main contradiction, whose existence and development determines or exercises influence on the existence and development of the other contradictions.

In general, under capitalism, the main opposition is that between labor and capital. It conditions and determines a series of other contradictions, such as the contradictions that exist between different parts of the capitalist class.

In certain situations, however, the main contradiction can become subordinated and set aside in favor of one or more secondary contradictions», says Mao. To explain this, we will follow his own example.

The main contradiction in China before the revolution was that between classes. As soon as imperialism invades—and it has done so numerous times in China’s history—the former main opposition is temporarily reduced to a secondary opposition. The new main contradiction becomes that between the nation and the invading imperialism. Here, Mao means that pretty much all of the country’s classes can unite against the invasion. We thus have a new main opposition and the previous main opposition has been reduced to a secondary opposition.

This reasoning has a number of consequences.

Using philosophical terms and reasoning, Mao has now reached the conclusion that it is necessary to always proceed from a reasoning of “the least evil”. In the event that imperialism invades, “the least evil” means a Chinese class society exempt from foreign imperialism.

At the same time, this also becomes a step-by-step transition to socialism: since the withdrawal of China from the clutches of foreign imperialism becomes the main contradiction, the goal to be worked towards when precisely this main contradiction prevails is the establishment of a state under the leadership of the former ruling classes. If this succeeds – purely theoretically – the former main opposition (class against class), which was reduced to a secondary opposition during the invasion of foreign imperialism, can regain its former title as main opposition.

It goes without saying that if the main opposition is the struggle of the entire nation against foreign imperialism, then the question of power cannot be raised: the working class cannot claim leadership in the country while forming an alliance with national capitalism. To do so would be to sever the alliance at once.


When Mao gave the lectures that would later become On Contradictions, the line about the united and popular fronts had been introduced two years earlier, at the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern. It was thus a line that the Chinese communists also followed and it is clear that Mao’s reasoning follows the decisions made by the international communist movement.

The possibility of constantly replacing the main contradiction under capitalism with another main contradiction means that the question of the power of the working class constantly risks being pushed aside and ending up in the background in favor of intra-capitalist solutions.

When the main contradiction within capitalism is replaced by other main contradictions, the political goal is also replaced: the intermediate goals on the road to socialism have been introduced and postpone socialism to the future. First, the temporary main contradiction must be resolved, then one can proceed with the next contradiction. Instead of linking the issue of power to the fight against, for example, foreign imperialism, it is postponed to the future.

In this way, class cooperation is also latent in the Maoist ideology – it is always there as a possibility (or risk). With class cooperation, the compromises also begin and the question of whether power cannot be asked.

The conclusion is quite simple: Maoism is not – and cannot be – revolutionary. The tactical decisions which the Comintern took in a defensive situation it has made fundamental. It also means that there is a great and qualitative difference between Maoism and Marxism-Leninism: there is a Marxist-Leninist tradition that has not been weighed down by the defensive decisions that the Comintern had to take, whereas there is no such Maoist tradition, because it made these defensive decisions fundamental elements of its ideology.

Maoism is Not Revolutionary

My article on Maoism published in November this year in Riktpunkt has attracted some attention among the Maoists. It is positive and indicates that I stepped on a sore toe. I therefore take the opportunity to develop my thoughts.

My reasoning is that the theory of main contradictions that Mao developed cements the defensive tactics that the Comintern developed above all in the 1930s and which was based on united and popular fronts. The very theory of principal contradictions has built the defensive tactic into the very foundation of Maoism, while solidifying Maoist thinking according to the logic of the least evil.

My thesis has been that if new main contradictions can arise that overshadow the fundamental contradiction within capitalism (labour-capital), then Maoism constantly risks being accommodated within the framework of capitalism, to the extent that only the contradiction between labour-capital blows up the framework for capitalism. This is in line with the folk front thinking and is central to it. I will show this in the text.

Before I go a little deeper into the question, I just want to make a brief comment. Rickard B. Turesson, who undertook to give me answers to speeches, in his eagerness to quote Mao and thus convince me, did not notice that the long quotes from Mao himself that he uses do not actually refute me, but only further develop my reasoning . Commenting on the quote therefore seems redundant, as it speaks for itself. I’ll leave the fact that Turesson also feels the need to call me a Trotskyist – that’s what you usually do when you lack the ability to make a solid argument. Let my argument speak for itself, then we’ll see if Turesson is able to answer or if he’s content to call me something instead.

Anyway, I have chosen to divide the article into a number of parts, each of which responds to what Turesson claims.

What Are The United And Popular Fronts And In What Situation Did They Arise?

I think it’s time to rewind the tape a little and give a little more context to the discussion we’re having now, because I think it creates a greater understanding in the reader. I therefore want to start by going back in time a bit, to the 30s in particular, to discuss the conditions for the united and popular fronts. These were also introduced earlier, during the beginning of the 20th century, but became public domain within the communist movement only after the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern, which is why I also start there.

The unity front forms the basic front between what was called the “workers’ parties” – i.e. primarily the communist and social democratic parties, but also other socialist parties (in a Swedish context, the Socialist Party was also included under the term “workers’ parties” during the 1930s). This is the core of the front policy and you can call it a first step that was considered necessary.

The People’s Front will be the next step, which presupposes the existence of the United Front. The People’s Front was an even more extended front that also included what was called “progressive citizens”.

In Sweden, the communists’ first goal was a political unity with the Social Democrats and LO. Based on this basis, it was then possible to form what was called a “democratic block” which also included the People’s Party and progressive elements from, for example, the Farmers’ Union.

This is – very simplified – the unity and people’s fronts. There are further aspects to this, for example the aspiration to form a Marxist “unity party” together with the Social Democrats, but we shall not go into that here. We shall move on to the context in which the fronts became the general line.

As the 1930s progressed, the next imperialist war became an increasingly tangible threat to the Soviet Union, while growing fascism became an ever greater threat to the communists and workers in every capitalist country. In addition, capitalism had overcome its greatest crisis to date and the revolutionary upswing that had been expected did not take place.

Faced with the threat of war from imperialism, it naturally became necessary for the Soviet Union to try to break the front of imperialism against the country and to drive as many wedges between the capitalist countries that threatened the country. In that context, one should see all the treaties with, for example, France, Great Britain and Germany that were written during the 1930s.

Here, too, the fronts become important for the Comintern and the Soviet Union: they are needed to try to create within each country an attitude towards the Soviet Union and socialism as non-antagonistic as possible. A left-wing government was simply less of a threat than a fascist government. This was the significance of the fronts for the Soviet Union.

For the communists in each country, who felt the pressure of fascism in a tangible way in the form of terrorist activities, the fronts became a defense for their own activities. Whether the device actually constituted a defense is not certain, but something I will return to later in the article.

This is – too briefly – a brief background to the fronts that I think is useful to have with you. It is also worth noting at this point that Maoism did not yet exist, but that there was a Marxism-Leninism before the fronts. When Maoism arises, it makes them out of a Marxism-Leninism, in which the fronts are central.

What Was Required For The Fronts?

A simple answer: compromises. If social democrats and other socialists, who do not agree with the communists about either goals or means, are to make common cause with the communists, it is natural that the communists must adapt. Sven Linderot illustrates this very clearly when he said that the communists could not present themselves as “infallible and the social democrats as more or less hostile to socialism” if they wanted to “achieve cooperation with the intention of creating political unity with the social democracy.”[1] Instead, he emphasized he the importance of understanding that “there is an honest aspiration to benefit the working class and an honest aspiration to socialism within the ranks of social democracy and among its leaders.”[2]

The accommodating attitude towards social democracy must be contrasted with the offensive attitude that characterized the period before the fronts were introduced. There, instead, social democracy was highlighted as an enemy, whose influence over the working class passiveized it and ensured the survival of capitalism. Partly because of this, the communists also targeted social democracy in every country, and it was not for nothing that social democracy was called social fascism. In order to achieve the front, one had to first turn the analysis of social democracy upside down and then implement a series of political compromises – social democracy naturally did not stand for a revolutionary policy aimed at the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is why the Swedish communists completely easily omitted, among other things, that requirement when seeking unity with the Social Democrats.

A logical consequence of the fronts is also the introduction of intermediate goals. If social democracy does not want to fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat, you have to fight for something else, otherwise the front falls on its own unreasonableness. The choice fell, naturally enough, on bourgeois democracy. It was now set up as the immediate goal of struggle for which, together with social democrats and progressive bourgeois, they fought. The central thing that has happened here is that the main opposition has been replaced .

From being organized along the labor-capital conflict line, the communist parties’ struggle was now organized along new conflict lines, primarily fascism-democracy. The former line of conflict cannot be resolved within capitalism, it is fundamental and constitutes the central contradiction within the capitalist economy. It is in the economic base and can therefore also be scientifically verified. The latter contradiction, however, is of a completely different nature.

Both bourgeois democracy and fascism are political expressions of capitalism and thus both fit within the framework of capitalism . An activity that is directed along this line of conflict is not revolutionary by nature either – we can therefore state that the Soviet Union’s real political needs opened up for a non-revolutionary policy.

What Can We Say So Far?

We have seen in what context the fronts have arisen and that they have been defensive in nature . They have been a defense against an aggressive imperialism and a terrorist fascism. They have arisen in reaction to something, not in offensive struggle for anything.

The fronts, by their very nature, have forced all the communist parties that aspired to them to make concessions and compromises in order to first of all achieve cooperation with the social democrats in each country, in order to then be able to establish a popular front with progressive citizens and also the Marxist unity party with the social democrats. At this stage, the main opposition has also been replaced.

Intimately connected to the fronts is also the idea of ​​milestones on the road to socialism. In fact, one cannot imagine a popular or united front without intermediate goals. Such a front is not about bourgeois or reformist parties approving revolution or socialism, but about the Communist Party agreeing to a common goal acceptable to the bourgeois or reformists. From this logic come the interim goals.

Historical Examples: Sweden, Italy and Spain

In his response to my original article on Maoism, Turesson uses a series of historical examples to demonstrate my confusion. His argument is based on historical and personal anecdotes, such as Mao’s fondness for Dimitrov. The value of these anecdotes as an argument is not great, but they give me the opportunity to comment on the People’s Front in practice and it allows us to draw certain conclusions. There is, of course, a lot to say about these countries that cannot be said in a short article, but I still want to briefly comment on a number of countries that all have negative experiences with Popular Front tactics (is there any country that has a positive experience?) .

Our party has thoroughly analyzed the Swedish conditions in the brochure we have published called The Communist Movement in Sweden during and after the Second World War . In it, we have been able to establish a series of conclusions that are incredibly important. In short, we have shown how the united and popular fronts opened the door to a conciliatory attitude towards social democracy, while at the same time it meant that the opposition labor-capital was relegated to a secondary position and the oppositions democracy-fascism and later democracy-reaction became the dominant ones. All this means a huge shift in the policy of the entire party and is the basis of the illusory policy called the peaceful transition to socialism. This policy naturally included the partial goals of a capitalism freed from monopolies, as a prerequisite for the transition to socialism. The People’s Front took the lead of the revolution – it obscured the question of power. We see this clearly in both Spain and Italy.

In the pamphlet Downfall of Italian Communism I have made a more detailed analysis of precisely the consequences of the Popular Front policy in Italy during the Second World War and it is recommended for a more detailed discussion.

Having achieved a practical dual power in large parts of northern Italy where the partisans’ own bodies ruled and the old, fascist state was more or less sidelined, the communists contributed to a return and re-establishment of the bourgeois state – in many cases even the same state as before the war, let it be given a more democratic character. This was seen precisely as an intermediate goal : the establishment of the bourgeois republic as a basis for a further journey towards socialism. This was done to preserve unity with both the reformists (who often appeared to be more radical than the communists) and with the bourgeois.

The preservation of unity also led, just as in Sweden, to a series of ideological concessions. It was openly declared that it was not possible to go directly from fascism to socialism, with the result that one could also point out that one was not fighting for the dictatorship of the proletariat but for a bourgeois republic. At the same time, it was also necessary to divide the capitalists into good and bad, which has its starting point in Dimitrov’s reasoning about fascism presented at the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern. There he wrote that fascism “acts in the interests of the extreme imperialists” and that it is the ” most reactionary, most chauvinistic and mostthe imperialist elements of the openly terroristic dictatorship of finance capital.”[3]

What becomes clear here is that Dimitrov makes a distinction between capitalists and capitalists; on imperialists and imperialists. When he writes about the “extreme imperialists”, it presupposes the existence of non-extreme imperialists, or more moderate imperialists. In the same way, the existence of a “most reactionary” and “most chauvinistic” part of finance capital presupposes a less reactionary and less chauvinistic part. Above all, it presupposes the existence of a less imperialist part of finance capital – as if imperialism could be more or less imperialist!

The Italian Communists took this seriously and believed that the new industrial groups were the allies of the workers, while it was only the old industrial groups that worked for fascism. The whole thing is set up for an extensive class cooperation which later degenerated into what we know today as Eurocommunism , which can most simply be described as the social democratization of the communist parties.

The Spanish example is hardly different. In a long analysis of the activities of the Spanish communists during the civil war that our Spanish sister party PCTE presented at the European Communist Initiative conference in Istanbul at the beginning of 2019, they were able to state that the stubborn pursuit of the popular front and unity meant that the Spanish communists were unable to take advantage of the revolutionary situation that arose at the beginning of 1937, when the Communist Party was at the height of its power and had the support of basically the entire military. In that analysis they write:

The PCE had the opportunity to implement a different strategy during the war. Especially in the first half of 1937, after becoming the strongest party and having acquired enormous influence in the People’s Army and its Commissariat. But instead of solving the question of power as the only way to actually apply the strategy advocated, they intensified popular front politics and calls to create a unity party of the proletariat – therefore the party’s proposals were never implemented or they were implemented too late.


PCE’s strategy had turned away from the Leninist foundations and the example of the October Revolution. Anti-fascist struggle was detached from the struggle for power by theorizing about a new type of republic or people’s democracy , which was placed between the dictatorship of capital and the dictatorship of the proletariat. [4]

For those who have a deeper interest in the destinies and adventures of the Spanish Republic with a specific focus, it is recommended to keep your eyes open for the article on Spain that will come early next year. The Spaniards’ own analysis is also recommended – so far, however, it is only available in Spanish.

What Does This Have To Do With Mao?

After a long exposition, we are finally approaching Maoism again and it is now time to try to tie the knot.

The attentive reader has already noticed that the reasoning about main contradictions that Mao advanced in On Contradictions is the same as that advanced by the Swedish, Italian and Spanish communists when they justify the intermediate goals, the unity of reformism and the bourgeois and the reduction of the only revolutionary contradiction – capital-labour – to a secondary contradiction. They do so without reference to Mao, of course, but the reasoning is the same because the roots are the same . So that is the meaning of what I meant in my last article about Mao when I wrote:

Somewhat simplified, you can say that Mao makes a virtue out of necessity. In philosophical terms, he justifies the policy forced upon the Comintern by necessity and makes it a bedrock of Maoist ideology.[5]

I will not repeat the arguments that I made in my previous article. They have not been disproved and there is therefore no reason for me to go back to them, but I note that Mao’s view of contradictions is the same that laid the foundations of Eurocommunism and the theory of the peaceful transition to socialism developed in the West and which presupposed precisely a bourgeois democratic intermediate goal. What I want to do in this article is to look a little more at the sub-goals, i.e. what Mao and the Maoists call neo-democracy and what the Italian communists called progressive democracy , what the German communists called anti-monopoly democracy and what the Portuguese communists calledadvanced democracy .

New Democracy: the Maoist Sub-goal

The Maoist version of the famous sub-goal derives from the special circumstances that characterized China at the time before the revolution, if Mao himself is to be believed. In the text On New Democracy from January 1940, Mao writes the following:

It is clear that from the colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of present Chinese society it follows that the Chinese revolution must be divided into two stages. The first step is to transform the colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal form of society into an independent democratic society. The second is to carry the revolution forward and build a socialist society. At present, the Chinese revolution is taking the first step.[6]

For Mao, the establishment of this independent democratic society is nothing more than the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution in the new era ushered in by the October Revolution.

After these events [the October Revolution], the Chinese bourgeois-democratic revolution has changed, it has entered the new category of bourgeois-democratic revolutions, and as far as the ranking of the revolutionary forces is concerned, it forms part of the world proletarian-socialist revolution.[ 7]

This revolution serves, according to Mao himself, to “clear an even wider path for the development of socialism.” [8] In the same way that the Maoists saw the establishment of new democracy as a clearing of the way for socialism, the Swedish communists also saw, for example, through Sven Linderot, that “[w]ell employment, efficiency in business, democracy, high standard of living, government planning and management of production and consumption […] open the way for a peaceful transition to socialism.”[9]

It is clear that what Mao sees as characteristic of the colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries was also seen as characteristic of the advanced capitalist countries. The need for a bourgeois democratic stage was also seen here: it lies in the very nature of the matter. There is no popular front without intermediate goals. It is true that Mao cannot be blamed for the mistakes of the Swedish, Spanish or Italian communists, but it is clear that they operate in the same tradition, bound by the same theoretical framework.

The neo-democratic stage, as Mao envisioned it, entailed

to establish a capitalist society under the dictatorship of the Chinese bourgeoisie, but will result in the establishment of a new-democratic society under a dictatorship common to all revolutionary classes in China and with the Chinese proletariat at the head.[10]

Instead of the dictatorship of capital and the establishment of Chinese capitalism, it is instead about “China’s economy must develop along the path of ‘regulation by capital'”.[11] In addition to the fact that current Chinese capitalism seems to have sprung from Maoism itself, and that the ideas championed today by the Chinese Communist Party were already shared by Mao himself, Mao’s thoughts echo the statements and analyzes of other Communist parties.

In Italy it was believed that new “alliances headed by the old working class and the new industrial groups and based on the peasantry and the urban middle class” were what the future Italy would be built on.[12] In Sweden, the party, through CH Hermansson, makes itself the interpreter for a line that entails an “extended and rationalized social control as a general line” and it is emphasized that “[the] party has not, as is well known, put forward any proposal for the transfer into state ownership of all crucial branches of industry .”[13] Although a nationalization under capitalism is not socialist, it is clear that a decisive influence is left to the capitalists during the transitional phase that the Swedish communists envisioned.


What does all this mean? Simply put: that Maoism runs as a historical parallel to Eurocommunism. The same politics that characterized the parties that later became Eurocommunist and thus reformist also characterize Maoism. Class cooperation is built into Maoism and the tendency to compromise and to find in each individual situation other and more important contradictions than the revolutionary ones is a constant threat. The intermediate goals constantly lead to compromises with capitalism and render both Eurocommunism and Maoism incapable of revolutionary action. The Maoists can no more than the Eurocommunists make reality of Lenin’s revolutionary slogan to “turn the imperialist war into a civil war” which he coined in the article Socialism and War. [14]

Contrary to what history has shown, that national capital is weakened during an occupation or during a war and that national liberation must therefore be put in relation to socialism, the Maoists will act in the same way as the Spanish and Italian communists and save capitalism. With their different kinds of intermediate steps and intermediate goals, they present a historic chance for revolution. The least evil and national unity against imperialism will be guiding the Maoists, completely in line with what Mao also meant:

To perpetuate a protracted war through protracted cooperation, or in other words, to subordinate the class struggle to the current national struggle against Japan—this is the basic principle of the united front[15].

Now the attentive reader will react: if all this is true, how could the Chinese Communists make a revolution? Doesn’t that disprove the whole thesis? Yes, if one accepts that the Chinese communists could have applied their tactics as successfully as the Italian or Spanish communists, then my whole thesis would have failed and the united and popular fronts would have had to be analyzed from a completely different perspective. However, this is precisely the point: the Chinese revolution is based on the failure to establish a united front! An important factor in the success of the Chinese revolution is precisely the failure to apply its own tactics, although of course it is not the only factor in the success.

The Chinese revolution, despite the official Chinese historiography, is a story of a failed united front. In two rounds, the united front was established with the Kuomintang. From 1924 to 1941, two united fronts existed for a total of seven years. The majority of the revolution and civil war was thus characterized by a state of war between the Kuomintang and the Communists, and even when the united front was actually established, regular fighting between the parties took place. In an article from 1940, Mao lists a number of attacks, in which Kuomintang forces attack the Communists and slaughter thousands – while the united front exists! [16]

The constant struggle against both the Japanese and the domestic bourgeoisie represented by the Kuomintang naturally pressured the Communists to establish their own structures and to be constantly in opposition to both the Japanese and the domestic bourgeoisie.

It is, of course, counterfactual historiography and we can never know what would have actually happened if the united front had been successfully established, but judging by the united and popular fronts everywhere else in the world, the establishment of the united front would most likely have taken the edge off the revolution and prevented the communists from the issue and resolve the issue of power in society.

My intention has been to place Maoism in something of a context and show that it runs as a historical parallel to the development of Eurocommunism and that many of the concepts Mao developed have their mirror images in Eurocommunism. In this way it is because both Maoism and Eurocommunism have their roots in the same politics: the front politics formally launched at the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern.

The radicalism with which the Maoists surround themselves is nothing more than a facade – when properly examined, it is clear that Maoism carries the same burden as Eurocommunism. Class cooperation, sub-goals, fronts and all that this entailed are at the foundation of these two ideologies and mean that they cannot go outside the framework of what is acceptable for capitalism. They are inescapable parts of both these currents and however much radical posturing they engage in, it is impossible for them to be revolutionary in practice.

We must contrast these two parallel currents with a Leninism that is not weighed down by the fronts and the ideological development they gave impetus to. The fronts are not a mainstay of Marxism-Leninism as they are in Maoism – this is an important and qualitative difference between Maoism and Leninism, which in this context is best characterized by the very sentence about “turning the imperialist war into a civil war” because it clearly shows the differences.

Where the Maoists had sought class cooperation, Lenin had sought confrontation with his own bourgeoisie. Where Lenin had seen a revolutionary situation, the Maoists had seen a war of national defense. Therefore, I stick to what I wrote in my last article: Maoism is neither revolutionary nor can it be.

Andreas Sorensen

[1] Linderot, “Demokratiskt handlingsprogram”, 1972, p. 283.

[2] Linderot, “Demokratiskt handlingsprogram”, 1972, p. 283.

[3] https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1935/08_02.htm#s2

[4] https://www.initiative-cwpe.org/export/sites/default/.galleries/general/PCPE_La-Estrategia-del-Partido-Comunista-en-la-Guerra-Civil.pdf

[5] https://riktpunkt.nu/2019/11/mao-och-motsattningarna/

[6]  “On New Democracy” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 329.

[7]  “On New Democracy” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 330.

[8]  “On New Democracy” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 331.

[9] Linderot, “Demokratiskt handlingsprogram”, 1972, p. 270

[10] “On New Democracy” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 334.

[11] “On New Democracy” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 340.

[12] Hamrin, Harald, Between Bolshevism and Revisionism, Esselte Studium, 1975, p. 194. Sörensen’s italics.

[13] C.H. Hermansson, Ekonomiskt handlingsprogram, Arbetar Kultur, 1946, p. 7.

[14] https://www.marxists.org/svenska/lenin/1915/08/kriget.htm

[15] “The question of independence and initiative within the united front” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 210.

[16] “United all anti-japanese forces and combat the anti-communist die-hards” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Vol. II), p. 375.