Myanmar Spring Chronicle – September 01 Scenes
MoeMaKa, September 02, 2023
Political Principle & Practice
After the military coup, various political and military paths emerged. There are different ways of opposing the military coup, such as the path to oppose the coup by political means, the path to oppose and overthrow it through armed means, and the path to eliminate the military dictatorship by combining political and military means. It can be said that this emergence is not unusual. After the military coup in 1988, the people who chose the armed path went to the border areas where the ethnic armed groups were located and established armed forces. Meanwhile, the politicians on the ground chose to participate in the multi-party democratic elections promised by the coup army, in other words, they chose a political method other than the armed path.
After the military coup in 2021, it will be seen that the path of armed resistance is more popular than when the military coup occurred in 1988. At that time, the number of people who chose the armed path and took refuge in the areas where the ethnic armed groups were located was estimated to be more than 15,000. Now, if we estimate the number of people who took refuge a few months after the military coup in 2021 and the number of local people’s defense groups that were formed not in the ethnic armed areas, but in their own regions, it will be in the hundreds of thousands.
Different consequences may arise because the political situation on the ground in Myanmar before 1988 and the political situation on the ground before the 2021 military coup are different.
The situation in 2021 is different from the situation at the time of the coup in 1988, since there are already groups of civil society organizations, student unions, and political parties, and it may be that they emerged based on the established forces in opposing the military coup.
What we want to discuss here is that rather than the political situation of 1988 and 2021, we want to take a closer look at whether politicians have the political stance and political morals that they should have in deciding the political and military course after 2021. Whether self-selected for a leadership position or recognized by the masses within the movement, leaders should decide based on long-term strategy rather than emotional choices when deciding on an armed path.
It is necessary to ask and answer practical questions such as whether the chosen path is the only way to determine the end of military dictatorship, whether the surrounding countries and the international community can provide support while implementing it, or whether they can build on their own strength without needing help.
Political leaders should not make the excuse that they had to choose the armed path because of the brutality of the coup army. It should be a situation where the political leaders take into account the world situation, the situation of neighboring countries, the regional and international political trends, scenes, etc., including ASEAN, and decide on an armed path.
After that decision, it is necessary for them to participate in the implementation of the armed path, not only in terms of policy but also in practice. This is also the sense in which faith and practice coincide with political morality and ethics.
The idea that the Spring Revolution that started in 2021 must be led by itself in different places and at different levels, in other words, that every train has a locomotive, is impossible to implement in practice. The slogan can only be a rallying voice at this stage of the political process. Even in a political force, the role of organization and leadership is important, and if it becomes a military force, a specific leadership, command system, and organized movement will be even more necessary.
Leaders will also need to be on the same pace with their followers. It is necessary to live and participate in the revolutionary struggle, whether in hot or cold weather.
In the armed struggle of the Communist Party against the feudal tyrants in China and the armed struggle led by Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, the leaders were on the ground with their troops and led them. It’s not like they lead from another land, another country. If it weren’t for leaders to live together in the same land and fight, there could be questions to ask about political morals and ethics. As for armed organizations, rather than strictly following the policies and ethics of the organization that is leading them politically, they will be directed towards a path where they will only work according to the ethics and policies established by their group leaders.
In a political organization that does not have a military, it is not dangerous to have different views, practices, and beliefs, but in an armed organization or an organization formed militarily, hierarchical orders, ethics, and rules must be essential. It must be said that if there are different working methods and practices, it is impossible to bring about one force and one political change.
In the long run, we must realize that not only weapons, money, and battle experience but also correct political leadership are essential in order to succeed in the armed struggle.