Defeat Fascist and Regressive Forces, Defeat BJP and Allies!
Unite, Organize and Fight for People's Real Alternative!
Unite for People’s Democracy and Socialism!
- Comrades, just a few days are only left now for the commencement of Bihar Assembly elections. As expected, the ground situation is posing very serious questions, as well as challenges in front of the working class, peasantry, the toiling masses and all other exploited/oppressed classes. What must be the concrete call to the people by the revolutionary left forces? Whom should the Revolutionary Left support, keeping in view the onward march of fascism in the country? The question before us is also this; to what extent, as a form of struggle, the bourgeois elections are effective in defeating the fascists, and which alliance in the field is committed to fight them. Such very serious and concrete questions are posed before all those who are concerned with the continuous rise of fascist onslaught in the whole country.
- It is true that in Bihar, the fascist forces are still not so strong as to rule the roost alone. The NDA is also not well cemented. LJP has deliberately opted to remain outside Bihar NDA and target the Nitish Kumar leadership. Due to this and many other reasons, the relation between JDU and BJP is strained. Tussle for greater share of power has always been there. However, BJP is playing a very sinister game, though not unbecoming of fascists, by using tactics of deliberately pitting Chirag Paswan's LJP from behind the curtain and trying to usurp power through other means, that smacks of a dangerous post-election plot. Hence, so far, the question of what comes out of Bihar election this time has assumed far more importance. Therefore, we need to discuss a comprehensive picture of our tasks being mirrored through Bihar election. Bihar is also poised to become the next hunting ground of the fascists as can be seen with respect to the overall political situation existing and developing in the whole of India.
- In this election, two main blocks have surfaced, namely the RJD-led grand alliance consisting of Congress, CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML (Liberation), and few other groups on the one hand, and the Nitish Kumar-led BJP-JDU, the NDA alliance consisting of some small parties like Manjhi's HAM and Mukesh Sahani's VIP also, on the other hand. LJP under the new and young high command of Chirag Paswan, the son of the late Ramvilas Paswan, refuse to accept the leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar NDA and has opted to remain out, as said above. It is, though, well known that there is a clandestine election alliance of BJP with Chirag Paswan's LJP which has declared to fight from wherever JDU fields its own candidates. Not only that LJP is giving tickets to those who are known Sanghis and erstwhile BJP functionaries. So, as of now, Chirag Paswan's LJP is just an extension of BJP in Bihar. His most widely trumpeted, propagated and catchy slogan in this election is: ''Modi tumhse bair nahin, Nitish teri khair nahin''. This is an indication that he has been entrusted with some special role in this election i.e. the role of wrecking Nitish's boat from outside with the help of (BJP's) inside support.
- The Bihar Deputy Chief Minister’s statement that 'Come what may be the election result, it is only they who will form the government' coming just in the wake of all these inner assaults and counter-assaults going on daily is neither just a slip of tongue nor a mere coincidence. Seeing the pattern of Modi Government using all dirty methods, including that of using the state machinery as well as money power, to help install BJP's own Governments in the states, by hook or by crook, this statement indicates that far more sinister make sinister things to happen. It is well aimed to make gullible the administration that still takes orders from Nitish Kumar. This is also aimed to keep the morale of its own forces aroused to meet post-election 'unseen' challenges. In this lies an indirect threat to all those forces, whether in the administration or outside it, to support BJP's efforts to come to power particularly when a situation of acute crunch crops up in which something untoward for BJP is likely to happen i.e. a situation where BJP is most likely to lose power. We know, as the very nature of fascists in general suggest, they will not easily digest such a situation. Clearly, a very grave situation may emerge in the event of BJP's election fortune in Bihar is landing in trouble this time.
- So, as far as the RJD-led grand alliance with the ‘left front parties’ is concerned, it is purportedly supposed to take on the fascists in the election, or in the post-election situation. But, the way in which the ‘left’ has completely submitted the reigns to RJD and has abandoned or deserted the leadership position and independent assertion of the ‘left’ politics shows nothing but a complete defeat of the purpose of taking on the fascists. What they have shown is sheer opportunism. Apart from this, there are other reasons that compel us to conclude that such a bourgeois party led alliance sans any solid and grand independent left block on its back will prove fruitless even if it wins a majority. For example, even if this alliance secures a comfortable win in terms of number of seats over NDA, there is no doubt that it will not be able to lead anti-fascist struggle to any meaningful conclusion.
- So, the Revolutionary Left Coordination (RLC) clearly opines that the ongoing fascist loot and embezzlement of democracy won’t stop by merely swapping governments. Even the attacks on the mass movements and democratic voices in Bihar are not likely to stop. As a result, despair will engulf the masses after a short while. In the absence of any real people's alternative, the ground for re-emergence of fascist powers will stay intact. The ruling classes and their lackeys (bourgeois parties of any hue and color) can in no way lead the masses to conclusively fight against fascism. The very high command-based structure of bourgeois parties built on fraudulent promises and their close proximity to the core interests of the present day crisis-ridden neo-liberal corporate capitalist class facing the threat of logjam of their profit cycle, promises no such hopes at all. Thus, opportunism is rampant and openly visible in both the camps.
- On the other hand, the ‘left forces’ as a whole also promises no hope, not even a dimmed hope It does not at all appear that the ‘left forces’ are struggling to fill the empty space for revolutionary struggle. The parliamentary left, the CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) Liberation, has gone with the RJD led ruling class parties’ alliance. Then, communist revolutionary forces should have taken up the task of putting forward a revolutionary alternative. But we do not see any eagerness on the part of many in this regard. That they take up numerous united struggles on immediate mass issues is a fact. But this unity shatters as soon as the question of intervening politically such as in the present elections comes up, even when we are facing the danger of fascism, when it is more important than ever to raise a united revolutionary voice, to put forward an immediate as well as long term revolutionary program before the masses without which the fight against fascism will not go further ahead. Without a constant propagation of the politics of revolutionary alternative along with fight for immediate issues of the masses, people at large can't be mobilized against fascism. Unless people are mobilized to fight for real freedom from the yoke of exploitation and oppression, there can be no serious battle against fascism. The movement will have to pay a heavy price for such a failure. Organizational weakness is an issue for sure, but the primary reason here is a sense of fatigue, a sheer lack of will which has affected many, including creeping influence of defeatist thinking, as a result of increasing influence of right deviation, which is the main danger in the communist movement.
- When this is the time for an all-out struggle for arousing the revolutionary potential of the masses, how serious is the disunity among the so-called CR forces can be seen when without considering the critical importance of defeating the BJP led forces to weaken the fascist onslaught, some of them are fielding candidates for self-satisfaction in aimless manner and there are seats where two or three candidates of them fighting each other!. Where will this lead us to at a time when fascism is spreading its domination fiercely?
- We have seen the ruin of common people of Bihar under the coalition government of JDU and BJP with Nitish Kumar on the top. It is called the ‘government of double engine’. In reality though, it is a 'doubly anti-people' government. Murder, rape, police brutalities and corruption are rampant. Unemployment, poverty and starvation related deaths are ever increasing. As per the government’s data itself, 1450 rapes were reported in 2019, with one rape happening every six hours. The Nitish government has proved itself as an utter failure in tackling the issues of education, health, women safety, corruption control and safety from corona pandemic. Even something as basic as a ration card is not available to everyone. The food grain supplied are mostly rotten and uneatable. The government data showed that unemployment in Bihar rose by 3 to 10.2 percent during the year that ended in June 2019. Also, there is no limit to the perils faced by the corona infected patients and their families. Even the middle class is terrified after witnessing the dilapidated condition of government hospitals and the sheer uncontrolled loot in private hospitals that is going on in the name of healthcare. As of August 2020, there were only four covid-19 dedicated hospitals in the entire state. The IMA (Bihar Chapter) shared data on the deaths of doctors due to Covid-19, which indicate that Bihar has the highest death percentage among all the states. Floods cause havoc in the north Bihar region almost every year and no real measures are taken by the State Government. This year, during a raging pandemic, the Bihar floods affected 7.6 lakh people (till July) and the government’s effort to safeguard their lives and livelihoods was negligible.
- It is to be specially noted that all the BJP-ruled states are worse off. Let us take the example of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from rape, murder, police brutalities and deteriorating conditions of healthcare, the situation in Uttar Pradesh is such that the students qualifying competitive exams for government jobs will also have to work for 5 years under a kind of contract system with meagre wages or salary where they’ll be subjected to an appraisal every 6 months and only after clearing all this will they be granted the status of permanent government employee. And to add to that, in order to curb the growing restlessness and shimmering revolt among the masses, the government is putting together a special police force called UPSSF (Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force) that will have the power to search and arrest even without a court’s warrant and also without any fear of legal reprimands as courts are also debarred from taking cognizance of any complaints filed in this regard unless the government gives its nod. There are also reports of the oncoming of an ordinance against 'Love Jihad'.
What Is at the Root of People's Sufferings
- Voting is an essential weapon in a bourgeois democracy in order to give a befitting reply to the anti-people and oppressive governments. And the people of Bihar should certainly use this right, even when we have to put up a fight for this, as attempts of rigging will be made on a large scale by the fascist alliance and other adversaries using muscle, money and state machinery
- It is in this situation, analyzing the present grave situation, based on a Common Program which calls for rejecting the neo-liberal/corporate economic policies which is a facing a collapse in the Covid19 pandemic, and an all out attack on the theoretical foundations of the RSS neo-fascism, the RLC was launched on 15th August in a webinar by the four organizations. RLC has called upon the people of Bihar that we must use this weapon, the elections, this time with a clear and a revolutionary understanding/perspective in the upcoming Bihar elections. For example, while we must utilize our right to vote against the fascist block, we must also address this question: If till now there has been no material (positive) change in the lives of the people by just choosing or removing a particular bourgeois government, how will it be any different this time? Can the fascists be defeated forever, or will it in any way do good just by voting them out? Will not the next government be a friend and servant of the capitalists? How can fascism be uprooted without overthrowing the present rule of the big and corporate capitalists, landlords and Kulaks who are all in collusion with imperialism and multinationals to keep intact the system of loot, fraud and plunder? Without putting before such questions before the people, they will neither understand the importance of the voting out the ultra-right, nor understand its historical limitations.
- Based on the experience of the past 70 years and even before it, it is clear that the masses, especially the working class, peasantry and toiling masses cannot free themselves either from poverty or from their exploitation without completely doing away with and uprooting the capitalist system as a whole including the capitalist mode of production. With the onset of unrelenting economic capitalist crisis, there is now no other option or relief available to them. Be it Bihar Election or General Election, the masses have had the taste of every party’s rule. Today, the parties who sit in the opposition were in power yesterday and today’s rulers were in the opposition then. There wasn’t much difference in their regimes. Today, Congress is criticizing the Modi government but the economic policies of both Congress and BJP are pro-corporate. The regional bourgeois parties exhibit the same or even worse tendencies, and are no less, rather the most opportunist and corrupt. Today, the extremely anti-people deeds being done and executed by BJP are an extension of the anti-people policies of Congress itself. Even today, they share the same line and position so far as the economic policies of liberalization, privatization and globalization are concerned. All these parties who are squabbling and criticizing each other, are all faithful servants of the corporate capitalist class. If this is not the case, then how come only the capitalists are having increasing growth and prosperity? The parties which thrive on the vote bank of Dalits and backward classes and castes are also not an exception. So, no matter who wins or loses, nothing much is going to change for the masses. Even while keeping in mind the prime question of defeating the fascists and overthrowing them, we can say that the change of guards will only bring cosmetic changes and quite temporary relief from fascist attacks.
- In present Indian society, prosperity for all is an illusion. Remember when in 2014 and again in 2019 Narendra Modi came with what appealing promises! It seemed as if this time he’ll take away all the grief and sorrows of the poor. But what actually happened or what is happening right now is before us all. Where the wealth of capitalists like Adani, Ambani and many others has multiplied a number of times, the conditions of the masses have further deteriorated. Not only jobs, but their rights are also being snatched away today. Tomorrow if their right to vote is also snatched from them, it won’t be a big shocker.
- We know that in a class divided society, the fruits of labor are grabbed and enjoyed by the capitalists and other exploiting classes, owing to its special position in the society. They are the rulers who own the means of production and run their own production system with the help of the State Power they have built up and got entrenched throughout the society and into all its pores. The system, although, allows toiling people to choose and form governments by casting their votes and thus electing their representatives in the successive governments, in reality, it gives them neither a position of authority, nor any solution to their problems and sufferings as the capitalist and other exploiting classes take away all the wealth created. Thus people don't have any respite, though it is they who choose a government. This system works so efficiently that no basic change can be brought by just changing or replacing a government as the system works mainly on the basis of omnipotence of capital which guarantees their rule by fetching support from all the pillars of the system even through bribes and other means. Corporate capitalists are the real masters of the society and this is the root of all the rotten things such as slavery, unemployment, hunger, poverty etc. and other related problems that the modern society today has to face everywhere in the world.
- While the laboring masses are being exploited in more and more regressive manner as the time passes and the rule of the capitalist class consolidates itself, capital grows, concentrates and centralizes with more and more accumulation of social wealth in their hands, the number of the proletariat (those who live by selling their labor power alone) is also swelling very fast now-a-days. This is because with the rise and accentuation in fascist loot, the intermediary classes are also being ruined very fast.
- We know that causes and factors leading to economic crisis that generally exhibit in tendency of over-production and fall in demands are inbuilt in the capitalist mode of production. When this crisis deepens, the cycle of profit tends to stop and accumulation of capital, the real motive force of capitalist production, is threatened. To deal with this, the capitalist class further intensifies the rate of exploitation and even destroys the capital and productive forces. This leads to ruin of the proletariat as well as those who are petty owners of capital. And if the crisis becomes structural and permanent, like the present crisis, then the big corporate capitalist class increases its loot in an exceptionally intensified manner. The destruction of productive forces rises too high and becomes too rampant.
- Today, the anti-people and anti-worker policies imposed by the Modi government from the center as well as in various states are the result of this same economic crisis. With the help of the Modi government, just a few big corporates and capitalists are looting all the resources belonging to the people and created by man's labour and nature, and sucking even the last drop of blood of the toiling masses. They are taking over all the resources and bringing them under their monopoly rule. Mines, farms, water, forests, mountains, minerals, airports, telephone services, defense sector, railways, banks, insurance, steel industries, petrol and diesel companies, eatables, education and research, school, college, universities, hospitals and healthcare sector, i.e., all the valuable public, private or natural resources available to mankind are being taken over by them and the government is aiding by curbing all the voices of dissent against this unprecedented loot and plunder.
- We find that in the last six years Modi quite ‘magically’ did everything which was necessary for continuing the super profits of the corporate capitalist class. Without even removing the tag of ‘democracy’, the Constitution and ‘independent’ judiciary, the Modi government successfully took over all the institutions of the capitalist democratic state established after ‘independence’ and strengthened the foundation of Hindu Rashtra, the Indian variant of neo-fascism. The attack on democratic rights of people is ever increasing. In this way, the nexus of the State, corporates and the shrewd fascist gangs were successful in slowly but steadily digging the grave of Indian democracy. However, the shroud covering it to give the due appearance of democracy was left as it is. The difference between the existence and non-existence of the parliament and other such institutions has been eradicated by Modi. Parliament or no parliament, it makes not much difference. The way in which the farmers’ bill was forcefully passed in the parliament, the labour codes were passed without any Opposition's presence, the National Education Policy 2020 was by the Cabinet bypassing the Parliament itself, are the latest and the most concrete examples and proof of this. Judiciary was also made to submit to the fascist powers as is quite evident after the recent verdict of the CBI’s Special Court in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case where all the 32 accused belonging to RSS-BJP-VHP were acquitted.
Rise In Arms To Fight For Socialist Future
- Today, the election is in Bihar, but the truth is that the situation of the whole country is in danger, in peril and Bihar cannot alone escape the fate befallen on the country. If the country won’t survive as a democracy, then how will Bihar? Similarly, the people of Bihar have a solemn duty to give a befitting reply to the fascist forces who are hell bent to further intensify their rule also in Bihar so as to make it a most rabid hunting ground of the corporate loot.
- On the other hand, the people will have to think about the ways to come out of the swamp of the current exploitative system because until then there would no letup in the assault of the corporate loot. RLC firmly believes there is no way out of this mess other than the establishment of a People’s State uniting with all the oppressed and exploited sections of the masses under the leadership of the working class. This is the only real option available not only to the toiling masses, but also to other intermediary classes whose existence will get extinguished if fascists regime is not overthrown which however can't be done away with forever until its roots along with the soil i.e. in the capitalist system are not uprooted. Here merges our politics related with exercising our voting right to defeat the fascist coalition with the historical task of overthrowing the capitalist led old system and replacing it with an entirely new i.e. proletarian led society. Old has completely rotten and become fruitless so far as the forward movement and advancement of society is concerned. The old society and system ruled by capitalists has become permanently crisis ridden which breeds within itself and carries the germs of fascism. And until it is changed and completely overhauled destroying all the muck of ages, there can be no permanent solution to the acute problems faced by the masses today.
- The change of government and defeat of fascists in elections is however not completely useless. It will bring a dampening effect on their morale, while it will help in creating a positive environment to lift up the democratic spirit and the morale of the struggling masses whose victory will not be attained in one single stroke. After this, the masses will more victoriously travel on the path ahead that comprises the further expansion and deepening of the mass movement and maintaining its continuity till an oceanic currents of Pan-India spontaneous mass movement, with revolutionaries on its crest, crushes, drowns and wrecks the whole capitalist system beyond any possibility of recovery. It is important to take a resolution for this, as the situations are becoming more and more ripe for this with the economic crisis bound to further deepen and engulf the whole capitalist system in immediate future. Signs of this are more brightening than ever before.
- Therefore, RLC calls upon all the progressive democratic forces to come together to defeat the fascists in Bihar election and at the same time also declare that until the creation of a socialist state under the leadership of the working class our fight must continue. Only a proletarian democracy i.e. a socialist state can establish true democracy as its aim is to free the mankind from the shackles of capital and from all its ill effects and where all the people would be prosperous by ending the exploitation and oppression once and for ever.
- At the moment, when fascism is engulfing democracy and democratic rights, our fight against fascism, for democratic rights and for a truly democratic state are united together intrinsically and intricately. Every step of small victory will add to our morale. Let us overcome all our differences to unite against fascism, the biggest enemy! Defeat RSS neo-fascism!
- Let us unite all oppressed and exploited sections and launch a mass movement by combining the immediate demands of the masses with their long-term goal after the election is over.
With Revolutionary greetings!
CPI (ML) Red Star
CPI (ML) PRC
UCCRI (ML) Kishan
All India Workers Council
Evaluation of Present Situation; And Proposal for Revolutionary Left Unity
1. The Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the human society at global level. This has led to further worsening of the already permanently crisis-ridden world capitalist economy. Still, treating this as business s usual, the imperialists and their junior partners everywhere are trying to intensify their neoliberal plunder of the working class and nature, and at the same time to throw the whole burden of the crisis on to the backs of the working class and the oppressed people. It is true for the whole world including India.
2. Major capitalist crises are major, just because they bring a great deal of uncertainty and require abnormal responses from the ruling classes as well as from the revolutionary forces. While the fascist ruling classes are showing their own in the way they are known for, by resorting to more pernicious measures whether in pursuing neo-liberal policies or in introducing fascist onslaught, revolutionary forces are yet to show any such initiative of their own and come out with a well defined plan to counter them. The most necessary
Plan as for today on the part of the revolutionary forces is certainly to get united in the first place, as without this it is now even more difficult to challenge the fascist multipronged response with respect to and in the name of dealing with this Covid-19 health and economic crises.
If a major crisis turns permanent, like the one that erupted in 2008, it makes even abnormal responses far more difficult for the ruling classes. Since then, this is our experience that it has not been easy for capitalism to move on from there. Covid-19 has hit world capitalism just at such a time. The present juncture of crisis as induced by Covid-19 is such that it is giving rise to permanent and successive moments of turmoil with bold openings for new political developments. Good or bad depends upon how working class forces and oppressed people rise to the occasion and act to lead the oppressed humanity in such a grave situation. But one thing is sure, if we don't act boldly to seize the opportunity thrown to us in the given circumstances such as these, the reactionary fascist forces will surely utilize this situation to crush even whatever democracy is left.
Today's crisis of world capitalism, as it stands more accentuated and aggravated by Covid-19 pandemic, has little chance to get stymied by any government or bank measures. In no way is it poised to be overcome or stemmed by fiscal or financial measures. Its edifice is crumbling and falling non-stop. If we don't seize this moment, the fascists surely will, and where the fascists are already in power they will get further strengthened. If not overthrown by a revolution, crisis will further worsen and help fascists to fix humanity even more perniciously. In this lies a great opportunity, though it may seem impossible to many, for the working class and oppressed people and humanity to strike at the roots of the crisis and come out with a better world. Let us all show our revolutionary will, exemplary courage and come up with such a dream with a well planned offensive, in the situation when we see fascists tightening their grip.
Insofar as Covid-19 has seemingly forced a shift in narrative on public health and a change in discourse on the future of neo-liberalism and globalization as being evident among bourgeois economic experts, it bears not much substance and is like a temporary fit stemming from internal convulsions caused by the sudden and severe attack of Covid-19 pandemic. Nothing much sans a few cosmetic changes and a temporary ostentatious makeover is going to occur. Even that may evaporate once normalcy resumes. Neither is neo-liberalism going to be put in back gear, nor is there any possibility of globalization getting reversed. There is, however, an avalanche of such views pouring in from all directions that seek to paint a picture of their reprocessing, if not reversing. This is a newly born utopia of the petty bourgeoisie class being expressed and echoed by the bourgeois economists/experts with a sinister plan to divert the public attention away from realizing the need of rebuilding a new society on the ruins of capitalism. Such a narrative is a veiled attempt to further help the completely rotten and inefficient capitalist system get some lease of life that stands threatened due to increasing mass unrest in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic attack. Long supply chains collapsed and hard borders are back and international travel has been severely constrained, yet this is not going to be a permanent takeaway of today's situation. The revolutionary sections of the working class must not fall victim to it and grasp that its reversal lies in completely dismantling and overthrowing it. Given the gigantic growth of monopolies and level of centralization, growing merger of the monopolies giants with the state and thus taking over by them of all its organs, no switch over from private control to state control is possible, either. There will be no let up in growth of barbarism all its way if the present situation is not overturned by the revolutionary forces of the working class.
The outbreak of SARS virus in 2003 and MERS in 2012 were sufficient warnings on the danger of emergence of such viruses and other severe calamities as a result of continuing ecological devastation. As became evident in 2019 Madrid conference on climate, following US administration under Trump, many imperialist forces and neo-colonially dependent countries also went even against Kyoto Protocol like treaties in practice. So, carbon gas emission, deforestation etc intensified further. In this situation, it was already warned by many scientific studies that old viruses may get mutated and appear again in more dangerous forms, or new viruses shall appear as many of them dormant for many millennia have come out as glaziers in both poles are melting and breaking as a result of global warming. So, it will not be incorrect to point out that the capitalist imperialist system in its most voracious and devastating neoliberal/corporate phase is responsible for the outbreak of novel corona virus or Covid19
Capitalism as a system of production runs on the objective logic surplus value or profit and this is manifested primarily as the contradiction between capital and labour and, secondly, also as competition among the class of capitalists for market that eventually leads to development of science and technology that increases efficiency of labour and thus become a productive force. It is here that the source of an immense and never-ending development in scientific knowledge and technology ushers in human history. However, as knowledge and technology are not just the fruits of capitalist mode of production based on profit and they existed even in prior societies, yet it is capitalism that created enormous potential, hitherto completely unknown, for humans to explore into the natural sources of knowledge rendering its laws and having got the power of the methods to reckon with them. Thus, it has also created a great potential to intervene into the Natural world external to human species. The problem is that the extent and nature of the realization of the scientific potential that capitalism produced or engendered in a positive manner is undermined by the objective logic of profit. The whole development of capital is contradictory and this is now most reflected in the destruction of Nature in the worst way. Thus, only by way of exploiting the contradiction between labour and capital has capitalism attained the capacity to destroy the nature. Capitalism created capacities that now remain idle as a result of loss of areas and options of further investment of capital and hence it has now gone on a destruction spree. It has led to unprecedented destruction of productive forces, too, in the absence of the requisite profit incentive. Marx had already said that capital is the real barrier of capitalist production and the means of capitalist development i.e. the unconditional development of the productive forces of society comes continually into conflict with the limited purpose, the self-expansion of the existing capital that hence the laws of development of capital that feeds and grows on exploitation of labour finally leads to destruction of capital, Nature and the whole society through wars, hunger, malnutrition, diseases, inviting natural calamities and all possible means and measures.
Coming to the present crisis, when Covid-19 invaded, once again the warnings coming from scientists were neglected for many weeks by almost all the leaders of the main capitalist world. As China is most globalized economy, Covid19 spread very fast through international passengers. Then there were lockdowns and other abrupt reactions, without making any prior preparations in the medical field or in preparing the government machinery and the masses for it. As a result, the number of affected and dead went up phenomenally, and the masses of workers as in India were subjected to avoidable human tragedy, seeing which it can be said that more will die due to hunger and other diseases than due to pandemic.
The pandemic has almost stopped all manufacturing activities and paralyzed the whole service sector, the economy is severely affected. So, in spite of the fact that the number of people affected and dead have reached almost 3.5 million and more than 3 lakhs globally, and these numbers are still increasing, most of the governments have decided to go for some form of phasing out of the lockdown, while developing vaccines and medicines to contain Covid-19 may take many months or even more. So, clearly covid-19 is going to stalk the planet for a longer time to come. It is also a fact that covid-19 can even switch over to back gear and show its resurgence in places where it was controlled and contained. Also, it may attack in waves like manner while the present phase is just its first wave. Whether world capitalism which is based on only profit motive will efficiently and effectively be able to manage this before it becomes even a greater catastrophe in future is the major question before the whole humanity. Crisis-ridden as the world capitalism already was before covid-19 struck, it is highly expected that world capitalism may seek to project and resort to some very irrational or even false steps in the name of curbing it resulting in its most dangerous flaring up. Even in Africas and Americas, its spread has shown some very disturbing and troubling upward trend. The poor countries are in very precarious situation in facing this pandemic.
Like in most other countries, In India too, it was much after WHO's declaration of a pandemic and health emergency that the Modi government decided to act, that also through an abrupt announcement of lockdown only after Trump's announcement of it in the US. And the lockdown was announced by Modi, without making any preparations for many weeks for facing the pandemic at national level, without planning the action with the state governments who have to do the actual field work, without providing financial assistance to them, without taking into consideration what will be the plight of the 40 to 50 crores of casual/contract workers, most of whom are migrant workers who will lose jobs and shelter. Still, after 55 days of lock downs, no sufficient arrangements for testing, treatment of patients, for isolation and quarantine, for medicines, equipments or safety gear has been made. As a result, though the phasing out is started from 4th May, the Covid19 graph shows no sign of flattening in India and both infection rate and death rate remain high.
The first glaring fact before us is that, similar to what happened in earlier occasions like 2003 and 2012, though the Ecological Catastrophe is coming nearer intensifying climate change and global warming, giving rise to possibilities for Covind19 pandemic like crises more frequently, threatening even the extinction of the human species from the earth, once again the global capitalist-imperialist system and its junior partners like Modi are still showing no serious concern to this grave issue. So, the chasm between capital and humanity based on the basic contradiction of labour vs. capital, as reflected in the ongoing unfettered capitalist destruction of Nature is intensifying very fast. Therefore we should make all efforts to take it up internationally through all possible platforms, and within the country by developing our studies and discussions with like-minded forces. We should launch a powerful movement focusing on this question, educating the whole humanity of the need of replacing this capitalist world with a new world based not on profit, but on the overall well being of the whole humanity. We should fight the capitalist-imperialist system and its junior partners with the strategic concept of overthrowing their rule.
The world economy is facing the biggest plunge since the Great Depression of the 1930s-- economic contraction as of now is estimated at an absolute shrinkage of around 9 trillion dollars, equal to the combined GDP of Germany and Japan--not happened even during WW II, as at that time the war-oriented production was flourishing. The consequences including unemployment, poverty, destitution, etc. are going to be unimaginable. These developments have considerably weakened the US position as world's largest economy for more than a century. With around 800 military bases all over the world and military spending of around three times that of China, in spite of its most destructive military machine, in the long-run it will be difficult for it to sustain its present hegemonic positions. NATO is going to weaken further. US economy is slowing down. It is also losing its grip over UN system as is manifested in the recent of WHO’s stand leaning to the side of China, which is already the biggest commodity exporter and trading partner and is trying for establishing its supremacy in the capital export, too through OBOR initiative, etc. There are possibilities for the new vigor and avenues opened for Digitisation and Digital currency before and during the pandemic and global lockdown may reduce the role of US dollar's international role as medium of exchange and store of value. This may have its impact in US led imperialist institutions, IMF, World Bank, WTO and their subsidiaries. The inter-imperialist contradictions and trade war shall assume new dimensions, and Post-COVID international relations also may change accordingly.
The total disruption in production, supply chains, transportation, trade, travel, etc. in the post-pandemic situation is not going to revert to the earlier position but to a new situation with far-reaching consequences for the working class, especially for the 'informal working class', the women, migrants, refugees and all oppressed. With the latest developments in data processing, production and processing technologies, capital will try to bring about an alteration in the accumulation process and for avoiding possible disruptions in future. As at present, as there is no immediate possibility for an intervention by the revolutionary forces, the new international division of labour that is going to emerge will put heaviest burdens on the back of the working people and oppressed. Along with possible alterations in energy use, pattern of employment including more emphasis on home-based work, and lengthening of working time, emphasis on video conferencing instead of travel and physical meeting, adaptation to electronic mode and e-services, change in education system and research, etc. will have far-reaching consequences for the working class. Though no immediate intervention looks possible, primarily due to absence of a strong revolutionary working class party, yet there are such indications coming from the whole world that throws possibilities of widespread unorganized and spontaneous working class eruptions of protests and revolts and this gives a very strong ground that can be utilized to move on from here and get prepared to give a befitting challenge to the ruling classes. No doubt, this needs an all India party having roots in the working class and the toiling masses. So, we find there is still a silver lining even where there are dark clouds all around.
What is going to happen in the Indian situation should be analyzed in this global context. The increasing economic contraction and social crisis in India, with its own specificities, can become more gruesome, under one of the most reactionary regimes in the world. Among other things, the un-organized and informal workers, whose number according to ILO is 400 milllions, comprising 95 percent of Indian working class, including inter-state migrants question is unique to India. This issue has become glaring in the pandemic context. The case of another 6.5 million Indian migrant workers in Gulf countries, majority of whom are in labour camps, is another serious issue that needs attention of the revolutionary forces. They have to give specific attention to such areas and work out programs for organizing them. As the Modi regime is utilising COVID19 pandemic as an opportunity for speeding up implementation of the RSS agenda of Hindu Rashtra, revolutionary forces likewise should strive for a counter-offensive appropriately intervening in this situation.
It will be factually, analytically and historically wrong to think that the imperialist system and all those who follow its neoliberal path shall change because of the Covid19 pandemic. From what the ruling classes are doing even while the pandemic continues, it is clear that they take this as business as usual even though the bourgeois experts are saying things that seem to suggest otherwise i.e. a change or shift in narrative, in a direction opposite to the one that goes with neo-liberalism. But, in actual life, as said above, there is nothing to suggest such a change. Once preventive vaccine and medicines are developed, they will feel free to continue destroying nature in pursuit of capitalist greed, which is going to never end. At the same time, they are utilizing the present opportunity to take away more rights of the working class and the oppressed people and to make the system more fascistic.
Though Covid19 affected all, all the burden of the crisis was thrown to the back of the masses. They are in colossal misery, with practically no end to it in sight. It is possible that more people may die due to starvation or commit suicide due to agony than the ones who will die due to Covid-19. The way Modi government is communalizing the issue spreading Islamophobia, pushing forward RSS agenda, arresting more Muslim students and youth falsely alleging involvement in anti-CAA movement or Delhi pogrom, using police force to suppress people under all pretexts, refusing to provide shelter, food and medical care for the millions dumped in concentration camps like places, not procuring adequate medical equipments, safety kits, testing kits, medicines etc, it is dead sure that this natural calamity will remain no more natural and will turn into a capitalist and imperialist driven man-made perpetration of the biggest ever human tragedy, while ruling classes are stipulating siphoning of whatever social wealth created by human labour is left with the society and the government. This is increasingly alienating the masses and forcing them to revolt. The revolutionaries must take this into account while assessing the overall situation. There are still signs of hope.
Like the whole capitalist world, India too was facing serious recession, leading to galloping unemployment when the Covid crisis broke out. During the last two months, if the Covid-19 crisis has led the world economic scene to an acute crisis; in India, the condition is going to become worse. What is going to happen? In 1970s when serious crisis broke out, the world capitalist-imperialist system adopted neoliberal policies of globalization, liberalization and privatization, threw the entire burden of the crisis to the backs of the working class and oppressed peoples, while making more accumulation of wealth in the hands of elite and ruling classes. Again, when the 2008 crisis happened, they further intensified plunder of labour and nature and got more enriched, accumulating most of the world’s wealth in fewer hands. Though the neoliberal model advocated by IMF, World Bank and WTO has failed, instead of accepting it, in the post-Covid19 phase they will be further called for taking plunder of human labour and nature to unprecedented and newer levels to continue their barbarous practice. Irrespective of whatever may be the consequences of the sharpening trade war between US and China, whoever may come to dominance, similar to what happened repeatedly in the past, this time also the working class and the oppressed people shall be the losers, if the present hegemony of the global imperialist system and its junior partners is allowed to continue. So, appropriate action should be taken to continue ongoing efforts more vigorously, while intensifying the ideological struggle focusing on how capitalist imperialist system is intensifying its attacks on labour and nature, from a revolutionary perspective.
Coming to state of India's economy in brief, let us be more specific to the point. After 55 days of lockdown, while the workers and toiling masses are clueless about the ways and means of their survival in the face of mounting unemployment and hunger like situations that may not subside even after lock down is over
At the same time, Modi government is providing all forms of incentives, writing off of bank loans, cut in taxes, delayed payment of taxes, packages to ensure their profit to the corporate houses. The main content of the ‘Rs.’20 lakh crores’ package announced by Modi is basically for helping the entrepreneurs of all levels. Besides, the chief ministers, especially of the BJP ruled states are coming forward with the cut down of all labour rights, reducing them to bonded labour, to please these blood suckers.
Actually, while the actual preparations for opening up is started from 4th May, the Modi government has accepted all demands of the Indian big and medium bourgeois have been demanding for the last few weeks their desire that government should take over the existing bad loans and also provide some kind of future guarantee to take over such bad loans if they go bad in the event of failure of economic recovery. So clearly the crisis has sent things to their extreme limit. That means, transferring not only today's, but also future capitalists’ private losses to the public finances. It only means that the worst of neo-liberalism is yet to come. Worst form of austerity and extortionist methods such as extracting higher taxes and levies from public shall be clamped upon the masses. This also shows that, notwithstanding pessimistic claims that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it's time for the revolutionary forces to brace up for something more than being confined and shackled to 'spontaneity', even if it is resorted to in the name of immediate demands of working class. The key task here is to combine the most immediate demands with appropriately well defined intermediary political demands and then to finally come up with the slogans of proletarian led revolutionary interventions in due course of time.
It is already clear how the burden of the pandemic is going to be thrown to the backs of the migrant workers, to the urban and rural poor to the masses of the people in general. Already, there are calls for moratorium on trade unions for a year. Another call is, to help economic recovery the workers should work in 12 hour shifts with same pay. All labour laws have been suspended. Some are calling for cutting the wages to Rs 200 per day like that of MNREGS workers. Though the government asked the managements to pay the wages for lockdown period to workers, following a writ petition, the Supreme Court has in effect invalidated it.
So, in the post- lockdown phase, firstly, an all round intensification of plunder of the working class, natural resources and the agricultural sector by the corporate forces can be expected, making life more miserable for them and intensifying the agrarian crisis, too. Secondly, while intensifying Islamophobia, more genocides as happened in Northeast Delhi may be resorted to, intensifying police raj and all out attack on Muslims, dalits, Adivasis and other backward sections and women. There will be a powerful move again to launch the NPR along with Census to prepare the NRC based on CAA. Along with these. Modi government may go for more militarization and closer relation with US imperialism, whipping up anti- China campaign further and attempts at a possible military skirmish with Pakistan. And we must make no mistake, using such planks and these and many other grounds, an anti-communist law may also be brought through as an ordinance.
It means we are going to face a very testing time both internationally and within the country. We have to get prepared to fight on all these fronts and also against the continuing impact of Covid19 among the urban and rural poor. It is better to start discussion on these questions, to unite the revolutionary left forces and to make the whole movement politically and organizationally prepared to take up these challenges.
This evaluation and proposals are being sent for discussion to all revolutionary organizations with an appeal to unite so that the fascist offensives in such a condition of a serious health and economic crisis could be countered and the regressive situations may be overturned.
Comrades, let us take up immediate tasks, and combine them with intermediary political demands as emanating from the immediate tasks, and finally come up with revolutionary slogans of proletarian led intervention in due course of time. The preparation of such tasks can be taken up once a possibility of a broad unity seems to be arriving and surfacing. If the revolutionary left forces agree, in the main, with this analysis and proposals, or are prepared to sit together for discussion with others based on it, we can advance to drafting the Common Program for coordination, if immediate unity is not possible, and united actions based on it. Our appeal is, comrades, at this critical juncture, let us take up this challenge.
KN Ramachandran, GS, CPI (ML) Red Star,
Ajay Sinha, GS, CPI (ML) PRC.
Dated 17th May, 2020