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
Dear friends and comrades around the entire world!
Today the ICOR is ten years old and sends you warmest revolutionary greetings on this occasion! On October 6th, 2010, 90 years after the October Revolution and the founding of the Second International in Berlin, we celebrated its founding in an international festive ceremony. The Founding Resolution summarized: "The time is ripe to counter highly organized, globally linked international finance capital and its imperialist world system with something new - the organized power of the international revolutionary and working-class movement and of the broad masses in a new stage of the cross-border cooperation and coordination of the practical activity.” Words were followed by deeds! The ICOR has been consolidated and strengthened. Founded by 41 revolutionary organizations and parties on four continents, it has grown to include more than 60 member organizations on all five continents of the world. Congratulations on these successful ten years and many thanks to all ICOR organizations for their great efforts, their persistent work; many thanks to all those for their selfless commitment in taking over functions and responsibilities - from the first groundbreaking Main Coordinator Stefan Engel to the newest pending ICOR admission applications from Portugal and Siberia; to all friends of the ICOR and all allies all over the world. The basis for the growth and attraction of the ICOR are the far-sighted fundamental guidelines and principles decided ten years ago, when they are actually being lived and realized:
- In the face of many remaining differences among the revolutionaries of the world, common organization on the basis of ideological-political core questions: revolutionary overcoming of the capitalist/imperialist system; perspective of socialism/communism; necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat; leading role of the working class; a clear dividing line to revisionism, anarchism and Trotskyism.
- Each organization decides itself in which activities of the ICOR it participates – however, if a commitment is made, it must be carried out reliably!
- Ideological-political unification step by step with seminars, the right of every organization to make monthly contributions to discussion on the website and, last but not least, with resolutions which only become valid with the majority consent of the ICOR organizations. In the year 2020 alone, 15 resolutions on the burning issues of the time were drawn up on the initiative or with active participation of many ICOR organizations.
- Financial independence. Everyone pays a self-defined contribution - but this reliably. The ICOR finances its work exclusively from membership dues, donations and imaginative financial activities. It is free of debt.
- Proletarian culture of debate, mutual respect and attention to the sovereignty of the member organizations.
- Policy of open doors for membership or cooperation with others.
The main task of the ICOR is the practical coordination and cooperation on these foundations. It has already taken important steps in this direction:
- On four internationaldays of struggle of the ICOR - May Day, March 8th, the days of commemoration and struggle against war and the environmental day of struggle - the ICOR organizations strive to become active together on the basis of a common call with demonstrations, awareness-raising meetings and publications.
- Practical solidarity in the struggle for democracy, freedom and socialism with the climax of the solidarity pact with the Kurdish liberation struggle; the construction of the health-care center with 177 brigadists under most difficult conditions, today a maternity clinic in Kobane, where thousands of babies have been born in the meantime.
- A highlight was undoubtedly the ensemble for the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution - starting with publications and activities in the individual countries, an international seminar with 60 participating organizations from 40 countries and the climax of activities and demonstrations in St. Petersburg from 05.11. to 09.11.2017.
- The continental coordinations organize joint campaigns or also seminars, such as on the environmental issue, on new phenomena in the imperialist world system, for example on the controversially discussed question of the new-imperialist countries.
- ICOR organizations appear together militantly and critically at international conferences such as the World Climate Conferences of the UN.
- The ICOR initiated and supported campaigns with other revolutionary associations like with the ILPS against nuclear power in the year 2011.
- It is an active partner and driving force of non-party affiliated associations worldwide. For example, the important international coordination of miners and automotive workers or at two world conferences of grassroots women so far.
- Oriented toward the future are the conferences of peasants and agricultural workers, which have already been held several times regionally and are planned as worldwide events in the future.
- Together with the ILPS, the ICOR has meanwhile taken the initiative and created essential preconditions for the worldwide building of an antifascist and anti-imperialist united front.
These jointly achieved successes cannot be valued highly enough. They stand out attractively from the deserved decline or the splits of revisionist, Trotskyist or sectarian-separatist alliances. Without exaggeration and with pride we can therefore say today: the ICOR has become the living and initiative exponent of the revolutionary associations of the world. Without splits, signs of disintegration or liquidationist quarrels. But nothing would be more foreign to the ICOR, nothing would be more inappropriate than complacency. Considering the tasks that the future poses for the revolutionaries of the world, the ICOR is still in its infancy and still has a lot to learn and build up. It faces enormous challenges to put its guidelines and principles into practice consistently and at all times. Above all, it must further develop actual practical cooperation and coordination. It must be even more determined to identify, discuss and clarify the present burning ideological-political questions on time and to work consistently on awareness-building and organizing. We are currently experiencing the deepest world economic and financial crisis, intensified by the corona pandemic. The transition to a global environmental catastrophe is accelerating. Mass poverty, mass unemployment, millions of refugees, hunger, epidemics and wars are attacking and threatening the foundations of human life. The inter-imperialist competitive struggle with the growing number and aggressiveness of the various imperialist forces is intensifying and extremely dangerous. The exploitation and oppression of the international working class are being pushed to the extreme. The double exploitation and oppression of the masses of women and the brutal violence against them is intensifying. The youth are only provided with a future in capitalist barbarism! The ruling powers respond to class and mass struggles with state terror, the fascistization of the state apparatus and the suppression of the revolutionary forces. One of their main methods today is openly reactionary or modern-looking anticommunism. Its representatives pretend to be critical of capitalism, but declare it to be without alternative, all efforts to find a revolutionary perspective to be pointless, and they rant against the alleged "Stalinists" and "Maoists". Today anticommunism is more and more proving to be a decisive obstacle in the consciousness of the masses, for the development of class consciousness and for the decision to fight for democracy, freedom and socialism. Primarily for this reason, scientific socialism still has a relatively weak influence in the world's major struggles and movements. However, in the deepened crisis-proneness of the imperialist world system, the ruling powers are often no longer able to govern in the old way. The masses increasingly do not want to live in the old way. In more and more countries, general societal crises are emerging and worldwide the accelerated tendency towards an general societal crisis of the imperialist world system. The working class, especially the international industrial proletariat, is making its voice heard with determined struggles. Women are rising worldwide, especially in mass movements against discrimination and violence against women. Environmental activists are increasingly recognizing the need for society-changing orientation. The youth of the world rebel against exploitation and oppression, against racism, fascism, state terror, militarism, environmental destruction and anticommunist patronizing. The biggest problem in these diverse struggles is the often missing or too weak forces of Marxist-Leninist party building in the individual countries as well as effective international cooperation. Our entire attention must be focused on the dialectics of targeted party building in the individual countries and the decisive strengthening of our international cooperation in the ICOR and the anti-imperialist united front. The ICOR looks optimistically to the future. We live, work and fight for our socialist, communist ideal of freedom. The political situation in the world is crying for a solution. Never before, alongside the immense destructive forces, have the material conditions for the construction of socialism been so pronounced as today. Let us work even more resolutely to fulfill our historical societal role! Let us take the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ICOR as the occasion for a great initiative: Revolutionary organizations of the world - join the ICOR and the anti-imperialist united front! Draw your consequences from the fact that today the imperialist world system can only be fought and defeated in a coordinated way across borders. Overcome skepticism or doubts and place your trust in the power of our common, critical-self-critical process of learning! We call upon the member organizations of the ICOR:
- Be determined in winning members - for the party in your own country, for the ICOR and the anti-imperialist united front.
- Invest more efforts of your parties in the international work!
- Strengthen your initiative and activity in the actual practical coordination and cooperation, especially on the continental and regional level.
- Let us identify, discuss and clarify the ideological-political core questions in the preparation of the international socialist revolution even more consistently .
2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the establishment of the world's first dictatorship of the proletariat. Wouldn't this be an excellent opportunity for the ICOR organizations to meet with other revolutionaries of the world to discuss the lessons of the Paris Commune, to apply them to today and to join forces even more closely? We do not yet know how the corona pandemic will continue - but we will find ways and means. The international revolutionary and working-class movement can, must and will become a force superior to imperialism. Forward with the building of ICOR, the anti-imperialist united front and strong revolutionary parties in all countries! Workers of all countries and oppressed peoples, unite! Forward in the struggle for democracy and freedom, forward to international socialist revolution.
[Presently right deviation, revisionism, is the main danger in the communist movement internationally and nationally what do we mean? There are numerous instances we can point out to substantiate it. But, what is this revisionism, is a question raised by many friends. The following article by Lenin written by 1908 on Marxism and revisionism gives a very good analysis of what is revisionism and how it manifests in various fields.- KN]
There is a well-known saying that if geometrical axioms affected human interests attempts would certainly be made to refute them. Theories of natural history which conflicted with the old prejudices of theology provoked, and still provoke, the most rabid opposition. No wonder, therefore, that the Marxian doctrine, which directly serves to enlighten and organise the advanced class in modern society, indicates the tasks facing this class and demonstrates the inevitable replacement (by virtue of economic development) of the present system by a new order—no wonder that this doctrine has had to fight for every step forward in the course of its life.
Needless to say, this applies to bourgeois science and philosophy, officially taught by official professors in order to befuddle the rising generation of the propertied classes and to “coach” it against internal and foreign enemies. This science will not even hear of Marxism, declaring that it has been refuted and annihilated. Marx is attacked with equal zest by young scholars who are making a career by refuting socialism, and by decrepit elders who are preserving the tradition of all kinds of outworn “systems”. The progress of Marxism, the fact that its ideas are spreading and taking firm hold among the working class, inevitably increase the frequency and intensity of these bourgeois attacks on Marxism, which becomes stronger, more hardened and more vigorous every time it is “annihilated” by official science.
But even among doctrines connected with the struggle of the working class, and current mainly among the proletariat, Marxism by no means consolidated its position all at once. In the first half-century of its existence (from the 1840s on) Marxism was engaged in combating theories fundamentally hostile to it. In the early forties Marx and Engels settled accounts with the radical Young Hegelians whose viewpoint was that of philosophical idealism. At the end of the forties the struggle began in the field of economic doctrine, against Proudhonism. The fifties saw the completion of this struggle in criticism of the parties and doctrines which manifested themselves in the stormy year of 1848. In the sixties the struggle shifted from the field of general theory to one closer to the direct labour movement: the ejection of Bakuninism from the International. In the early seventies the stage in Germany was occupied for a short while by the Proudhonist Mühlberger, and in the late seventies by the positivist Dühring. But the influence of both on the proletariat was already absolutely insignificant. Marxism was already gaining an unquestionable victory over all other ideologies in the labour movement.
By the nineties this victory was in the main completed. Even in the Latin countries, where the traditions of Proudhonism held their ground longest of all, the workers’ parties in effect built their programmes and their tactics on Marxist foundations. The revived international organisation of the labour movement—in the shape of periodical international congresses—from the outset, and almost without a struggle, adopted the Marxist standpoint in all essentials. But after Marxism had ousted all the more or less integral doctrines hostile to it, the tendencies expressed in those doctrines began to seek other channels. The forms and causes of the struggle changed, but the struggle continued. And the second half-century of the existence of Marxism began (in the nineties) with the struggle of a trend hostile to Marxism within Marxism itself.
Bernstein, a one-time orthodox Marxist, gave his name to this trend by coming forward with the most noise and with the most purposeful expression of amendments to Marx, revision of Marx, revisionism. Even in Russia where—owing to the economic backwardness of the country and the preponderance of a peasant population weighed down by the relics of serfdom—non-Marxist socialism has naturally held its ground longest of all, it is plainly passing into revisionism before our very eyes. Both in the agrarian question (the programme of the municipalisation of all land) and in general questions of programme and tactics, our Social-Narodniks are more and more substituting “amendments” to Marx for the moribund and obsolescent remnants of their old system, which in its own way was integral and fundamentally hostile to Marxism.
Pre-Marxist socialism has been defeated. It is continuing the struggle, no longer on its own independent ground, but on the general ground of Marxism, as revisionism. Let us, then, examine the ideological content of revisionism.
In the sphere of philosophy revisionism followed in the wake of bourgeois professorial “science”. The professors went “back to Kant"—and revisionism dragged along after the neo-Kantians. The professors repeated the platitudes that priests have uttered a thousand times against philosophical materialism—and the revisionists, smiling indulgently, mumbled (word for word after the latest Handbuch) that materialism had been “refuted” long ago. The professors treated Hegel as a “dead dog”, and while themselves preaching idealism, only an idealism a thousand times more petty and banal than Hegel’s, contemptuously shrugged their shoulders at dialectics—and the revisionists floundered after them into the swamp of philosophical vulgarisation of science, replacing “artful” (and revolutionary) dialectics by “simple" (and tranquil) “evolution”. The professors earned their official salaries by adjusting both their idealist and their “critical” systems to the dominant medieval “philosophy” (i.e., to theology)—and the revisionists drew close to them, trying to make religion a “private affair”, not in relation to the modern state, but in relation to the party of the advanced class.
What such “amendments” to Marx really meant in class terms need not be stated: it is self-evident. We shall simply note that the only Marxist in the international Social-Democratic movement to criticise the incredible platitudes of the revisionists from the standpoint of consistent dialectical materialism was Plekhanov. This must be stressed. all the more emphatically since profoundly mistaken attempts are being made at the present time to smuggle in old and reactionary philosophical rubbish disguised as a criticism of Plekhanov’s tactical opportunism.
Passing to political economy, it must be noted first of all that in this sphere the “amendments” of the revisionists were much more comprehensive and circumstantial; attempts were made to influence the public by “new data on economic development”. It was said that concentration and the ousting of small-scale production by large-scale production do not occur in agriculture at all, while they proceed very slowly in commerce and industry. It was said that crises had now become rarer and weaker, and that cartels and trusts would probably enable capital to eliminate them altogether. It was said that the “theory of collapse” to which capitalism is heading was unsound, owing to the tendency of class antagonisms to become milder and less acute. It was said, finally, that it would not be amiss to correct Marx’s theory of value, too, in accordance with Böhm-Bawerk.
The fight against the revisionists on these questions resulted in as fruitful a revival of the theoretical thought in international socialism as did Engels’s controversy with Dühring twenty years earlier. The arguments of the revisionists were analysed with the help of facts and figures. It was proved that the revisionists were systematically painting a rose-coloured picture of modern small-scale production. The technical and commercial superiority of large-scale production over small-scale production not only in industry, but also in agriculture, is proved by irrefutable facts. But commodity production is far less developed in agriculture, and modern statisticians and economists are, as a rule, not very skilful in picking out the special branches (sometimes even the operations) in agriculture which indicate that agriculture is being progressively drawn into the process of exchange in world economy. Small-scale production maintains itself on the ruins of natural economy by constant worsening of diet, by chronic starvation, by lengthening of the working day, by deterioration in the quality and the care of cattle, in a word, by the very methods whereby handicraft production maintained itself against capitalist manufacture. Every advance in science and technology inevitably and relentlessly undermines the foundations of small-scale production in capitalist society; and it is the task of socialist political economy to investigate this process in all its forms, often complicated and intricate, and to demonstrate to the small producer the impossibility of his holding his own under capitalism, the hopelessness of peasant farming under capitalism, and the necessity for the peasant to adopt the standpoint of the proletarian. On this question the revisionists sinned, in the scientific sense, by superficial generalisations based on facts selected one-sidedly and without reference to the system of capitalism as a whole. From the political point of view, they sinned by the fact that they inevitably, whether they wanted to or not, invited or urged the peasant to adopt the attitude of a small proprietor (i.e., the attitude of the bourgeoisie) instead of urging him to adopt the point of view of the revolutionary proletarian.
The position of revisionism was even worse as regards the theory of crises and the theory of collapse. Only for a very short time could people, and then only the most short-sighted, think of refashioning the foundations of Marx’s theory under the influence of a few years of industrial boom and prosperity. Realities very soon made it clear to the revisionists that crises were not a thing of the past: prosperity was followed by a crisis. The forms, the sequence, the picture of particular crises changed, but crises remained an inevitable component of the capitalist system. While uniting production, the cartels and trusts at the same time, and in a way that was obvious to all, aggravated the anarchy of production, the insecurity of existence of the proletariat and the oppression of capital, thereby intensifying class antagonisms to an unprecedented degree. That capitalism is heading for a break-down—in the sense both of individual political and economic crises and of the complete collapse of the entire capitalist system—has been made particularly clear, and on a particularly large scale, precisely by the new giant trusts. The recent financial crisis in America and the appalling increase of unemployment all over Europe, to say nothing of the impending industrial crisis to which many symptoms are pointing—all this has resulted in the recent “theories” of the revisionists having been forgotten by everybody, including, apparently, many of the revisionists themselves. But the lessons which this instability of the intellectuals had given the working class must not be forgotten.
As to the theory of value, it need only be said that apart from the vaguest of hints and sighs, à la Böhm-Bawerk, the revisionists have contributed absolutely nothing, and have therefore left no traces whatever on the development of scientific thought.
In the sphere of politics, revisionism did really try to revise the foundation of Marxism, namely, the doctrine of the class struggle. Political freedom, democracy and universal suffrage remove the ground for the class struggle—we were told—and render untrue the old proposition of the Communist Manifesto that the working men have no country. For, they said, since the “will of the majority” prevails in a democracy, one must neither regard the state as an organ of class rule, nor reject alliances with the progressive, social-reform bourgeoisie against the reactionaries.
It cannot be disputed that these arguments of the revisionists amounted to a fairly well-balanced system of views, namely, the old and well-known liberal-bourgeois views. The liberals have always said that bourgeois parliamentarism destroys classes and class divisions, since the right to vote and the right to participate in the government of the country are shared by all citizens without distinction. The whole history of Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the whole history of the Russian revolution in the early twentieth, clearly show how absurd such views are. Economic distinctions are not mitigated but aggravated and intensified under the freedom of “democratic” capitalism. Parliamentarism does not eliminate, but lays bare the innate character even of the most democratic bourgeois republics as organs of class oppression. By helping to enlighten and to organise immeasurably wider masses of the population than those which previously took an active part in political events, parliamentarism does not make for the elimination of crises and political revolutions, but for the maximum intensification of civil war during such revolutions. The events in Paris in the spring of 1871 and the events in Russia in the winter of 1905 showed as clearly as could be how inevitably this intensification comes about. The French bourgeoisie without a moment’s hesitation made a deal with the enemy of the whole nation, with the foreign army which had ruined its country, in order to crush the proletarian movement. Whoever does not understand the inevitable inner dialectics of parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy—which leads to an even sharper decision of the argument by mass violence than formerly—will never be able on the basis of this parliamentarism to conduct propaganda and agitation consistent in principle, really preparing the working-class masses for victorious participation in such “arguments”. The experience of alliances, agreements and blocs with the social-reform liberals in the West and with the liberal reformists (Cadets) in the Russian revolution, has convincingly shown that these agreements only blunt the consciousness of the masses, that they do not enhance but weaken the actual significance of their struggle, by linking fighters with elements who are least capable of fighting and most vacillating and treacherous. Millerandism in France—the biggest experiment in applying revisionist political tactics on a wide, a really national scale—has provided a practical appraisal of revisionism that will never be forgotten by the proletariat all over the world.
A natural complement to the economic and political tendencies of revisionism was its attitude to the ultimate aim of the socialist movement. “The movement is everything, the ultimate aim is nothing"—this catch-phrase of Bernstein’s expresses the substance of revisionism better than many long disquisitions. To determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the chopping and changing of petty politics, to forget the primary interests of the proletariat and the basic features of the whole capitalist system, of all capitalist evolution, to sacrifice these primary interests for the real or assumed advantages of the moment—such is the policy of revisionism. And it patently follows from the very nature of this policy that it may assume an infinite variety of forms, and that every more or less “new” question, every more or less unexpected and unforeseen turn of events, even though it change the basic line of development only to an insignificant degree and only for the briefest period, will always inevitably give rise to one variety of revisionism or another.
The inevitability of revisionism is determined by its class roots in modern society. Revisionism is an international phenomenon. No thinking socialist who is in the least informed can have the slightest doubt that the relation between the orthodox and the Bernsteinians in Germany, the Guesdists and the Jaurèsists (and now particularly the Broussists) in France, the Social Democratic Federation and the Independent Labour Party in Great Britain, Brouckère and Vandervelde in Belgium, the Integralists and the Reformists in Italy, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia, is everywhere essentially similar, notwithstanding the immense variety of national conditions and historical factors in the present state of all these countries. In reality, the “division” within the present international socialist movement is now proceeding along the same lines in all the various countries of the world, which testifies to a tremendous advance compared with thirty or forty years ago, when heterogeneous trends in the various countries were struggling within the one international socialist movement. And that “revisionism from the left” which has taken shape in the Latin countries as “revolutionary syndicalism”, is also adapting itself to Marxism, “amending” it: Labriola in Italy and Lagardelle in France frequently appeal from Marx who is understood wrongly to Marx who is understood rightly.
We cannot stop here to analyse the ideological content of this revisionism, which as yet is far from having developed to the same extent as opportunist revisionism: it has not yet become international, has not yet stood the test of a single big practical battle with a socialist party in any single country. We confine ourselves therefore to that “revisionism from the right” which was described above.
Wherein lies its inevitability in capitalist society? Why is it more profound than the differences of national peculiarities and of degrees of capitalist development? Because in every capitalist country, side by side with the proletariat, there are always broad strata of the petty bourgeoisie, small proprietors. Capitalism arose and is constantly arising out of small production. A number of new “middle strata” are inevitably brought into existence again and again by capitalism (appendages to the factory, work at home, small workshops scattered all over the country to meet the requirements of big industries, such as the bicycle and automobile industries, etc.). These new small producers are just as inevitably being cast again into the ranks of the proletariat. It is quite natural that the petty-bourgeois world-outlook should again and again crop up in the ranks of the broad workers’ parties. It is quite natural that this should be so and always will be so, right up to the changes of fortune that will take place in the proletarian revolution. For it would be a profound mistake to think that the “complete” proletarianisation of the majority of the population is essential for bringing about such a revolution. What we now frequently experience only in the domain of ideology, namely, disputes over theoretical amendments to Marx; what now crops up in practice only over individual side issues of the labour movement, as tactical differences with the revisionists and splits on this basis—is bound to be experienced by the working class on an incomparably larger scale when the proletarian revolution will sharpen all disputed issues, will focus all differences on points which are of the most immediate importance in determining the conduct of the masses, and will make it necessary in the heat of the fight to distinguish enemies from friends, and to cast out bad allies in order to deal decisive blows at the enemy.
The ideological struggle waged by revolutionary Marxism against revisionism at the end of the nineteenth century is but the prelude to the great revolutionary battles of the proletariat, which is marching forward to the complete victory of its cause despite all the waverings and weaknesses of the petty bourgeoisie.
What happened and happening in Hathras are horrific. On 14th September night, a 19 year dalit girl was dragged out to nearby field from near her house, as she resisted she was thrashed, gang raped, her spine damaged under torture and thrown to the fields to die by four Thakur goons. After hours of search when she was found and taken to nearby police station in precarious condition, SHO refusing to file FIR, delaying her hospitalization for hours, doctors under orders from above not giving proper treatment, shifted to Safdarjung hospital after a week where she succumbs to injuries. Though the girl complained of gang rape and told the names of the culprits police refuse to record. When the girl died, after a hurried post mortem, instead of handing over the body to family, under DM’s orders body taken to her village, and after surrounding her house and other dalit houses by hundreds of police men, detain all in their houses, burn the body to destroy all proof at 3 am on 30th September! Journalists and activists of political parties trying to go to the village are forcefully stopped or detained declaring 144 in the whole area. While her family and neighbours are still detained and prevented from moving out of their houses, the Thakur goons are allowed to demonstrate with threatening slogans and demanding the release of the culprits. The RSS parivar and the whole state machinery is seen distorting the case, even accusing the girl for everything and protecting the culprits, even after Allahabad High Court taking suo-moto case against the horrific incident.
What is happening under RSS led Modi-Yogi rule reminds us of the days of Brahmanical offensive under Adi-Sankara, in 8th century, killing thousands of Budhist Shramans, destroying Budh vihars, eliminating the Charvaks and Lokayats, burning down their books, and imposing Manusmrithi in the most barbarous form. Under it women should be detested, kept enslaved by men for fulfilling their lust and getting served well. All Sudra and Ati-Sudra women were reserved for Brahmins’ sexual plunder, and laws were made for it. Though some of the earlier Sudras have raised their economic status and behave like upper caste today, in every region their women had to satisfy the Brahmin-Thakurs, men had to work like slaves for these upper caste lords. Many of the neo- Brahmanical leaders of middle castes and dalit, Adivasi sections forget their past under Brahmin-Thakur raj. In Bihar villages and many other places the Brahmin-Thakur landlords had the first night right of dalit brides till many of them were annihilated by the first wave of naxalites. That is why they organized many senas to protect themselves. Now the coming of Manuvadi Hindutua of RSS, these Brahmin-Thakur who have become capitalist landlords and neo rich sections want to re-establish the right to enslave dalit men by throwing out of whatever little reservation rights they have to their old menial jobs and their sexual rights over dalit women. In different states in different form this new onslaught is taking place in newer forms. In UP under Yogi the Thakur raj has taken most horrific forms, In this they help the naked support of the IAS-IPS lobby and top administration, police men also. Whether Mayavathi, or SP raj they had done it at low key, but under Modi-Yogi they are coming out to openly assert with the still Brahmin-Thakur dominated political and administrative system. The Communists who recognize the need for caste annihilation and revolutionary social change and the dalits and other oppressed sections who are prepared to pursue caste annihilation, women’s liberation, educational, economic uplifting of the women and all oppressed should join hands to overthrow the barbarous domination of the caste system and corporate plunder for social revolution to create a casteless, genuinely secular, democratic and egalitarian society.
CPI (ML) Redstar
3rd October 2020