Asian Marxist Review Summer 2008 Editorial

The new edition of the Asian Marxist Review is about to come out and here we provide the Editorial statement that concentrates mainly on the situation in India.

History never repeats itself in exactly the same manner. Whenever it does repeat, it always does so on a higher plane. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, they have been manufacturing a new history, fabricating it on a colossal scale. The media and the dominant intelligentsia wish to impose on the psychology of the masses the idea that this system is the final destiny of humankind, or as Francis Fukuyama put it, this is the "end of history". This idea has been propagated by the bourgeois means of communication and a so-called "public opinion" has been created around it by the ruling elites.

Unfortunately most of the left leaders, of the traditional parties, the trade union leaders, all have succumbed to this deception. The most blatant and callous example of this can be seen in the role being played by the "mass" CPI(M) and Left Front in India. The land distributed by the Left Front government in West Bengal is now being forcibly snatched away from the peasants, who had been tilling those lands. The brutal killings of these peasants by the police, state force and "cadres" of the CPI(M) are an insult to Communism only second to that of Stalinist Russia. The events in Singhur and Nandigram are sores that only a socialist revolution can heal.

It is now election time in India. It is tragic to view the situation where, in spite of all the mass "economic parties", there is every programme available for the masses except for the socialist programme. All parties have more or less the same economic programme, with Foreign Direct Investment being the only source of economic development, growth and inspiration for the both the "left" and right wing economic gurus. This is an historic capitulation of the left.

The killing of innocent peasants to procure land for the Salim Group ‑ that belongs to the Suharto family ‑ for industrialization in Bengal is adding insult to injury for the supporters of the communist parties. These people conveniently forget that it was General Suharto who orchestrated, in connivance with the CIA and Islamic fundamentalists, the biggest ever massacre of communists in history. One and a half million communists and their families were massacred in Indonesia in 1965.

It is an irony of history that the favourite state governments in India for the Ambanis (the largest business group in India) are the Communist government in Bengal led by the CPI(M)'s Baddudev and the neo-fascist BJP government in Gujarat, led by Narindra Modi. Both are carrying out the most aggressive neo-liberal capitalist policies. Manmohan Singh, Pilalai Chanambrum and Yashwant Senha carried out the same policies in different union governments in Delhi. The growth rate soared, yet 88 percent of India's population was excluded from this economic cycle. The Indian subcontinent has 22 percent of the world's population yet it has the privilege of sharing 46 percent of the world's poverty, and the situation is further deteriorating.

In spite of all this, the largest "democracy" in the world is devoid of any real policy that can offer respite from this awful misery. Neither "profound contemplation" nor the ballot box offer the deprived masses any solace. The Maoists offer the alternative of armed struggle. From Andhra to Chattisgarh a red corridor has been established. Yet this is no solution. The example of Maoist insurgency ending up in a capitalist democratic mess is a stunning example, as is explained graphically by comrade Rajesh Tyagi in this issue. However, the existence of the mighty Indian proletariat is a hope and reality that can extricate society from this quagmire.

The left apologists of Fukuyama do not realize that history cannot be fabricated for ever. This is the year of the 40th anniversary of the 1968 revolutionary upheavals that shook the planet. It will be repeated, but on a higher plane. Movements are beginning to rise once more and they will rise higher in the coming months. There is an unprecedented ferment in the Communist and left parties in general. This process will reach a revolutionary conclusion and will break the decaying stranglehold of the Stalinist leaderships.

The democratic safety valve in India has become clogged up. It has become a painful burden on the masses. It is not an accident that in more than almost a quarter of a century no single party in India has a parliamentary majority. The masses vote in India with a cynical indifference. But in the next period this cynicism will explode in a scintillating and unforeseen wrath. They will start to vote with their feet, and once they do that, rotten Indian capitalism and its decaying state will not be able to stand in their way. Revolutionary socialism will be on the order of the day. The pioneering catalyst could come from Pakistan as happened in 1968-69. Whatever turn of events we may witness, and although the movement of the Indian proletariat may be delayed, its revolutionary entry into the scene of history will change the whole present set up. Across Asia and far beyond, the Socialist Federation of South Asia, from Afghanistan to Burma, will have an impact much greater than that of the creation of the USSR. In today's conditions this will be irreversible.

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