Thursday, February 11, 2016

Kamikaze Marxists

Shocked and surprised by full blown chauvinistic appeal by Dr Hiren Gohain on his speech at mass meeting of KMSS. He is probably "Last of the Mohikans" of Marxist metamorphosis to nationalist, of course a dearly chauvinist as already "Bagha Bagha" Communist are metamorphosed themselves fully into "progressive nationalist" in Assam. It is concern moment for working class struggles in Assam. Although some of his recent articles and engagement with nationalist progressive bourgeoisie of Assam, denial to self-determination of some ethnic communities such as Karbi, Bodo etc, we assumed that Dr Gohain Sir still believe in pan Assamese nationalism. Reasoning a demand of ULFA he is trying to proclaim "yes, why with India?" and let loose all the cannon. There are many also, who are in favor of a sovereign Assam. It is understandably taken as many love this land affectionately. Pain of this land is felt by them with pure passion and conviction. But nationalist appeal by DR Hiren Gohain SIR at mass meeting is evoked some questions. 

"The more strongly the working-class movement develops the more frantic are the attempts by the bourgeoisie and the feudalists to suppress it or break it up. Both these methods—suppression by force and disintegration by bourgeois influence—are constantly employed all over the world, in all countries, and one or another of these methods is adopted alternately by the different parties of the ruling classes. In Russia, particularly after 1905, when the more intelligent members of the bourgeoisie realised that brute force alone was ineffective, all sorts of “progressive” bourgeois parties and groups have been more and more often resorting to the method of dividing the workers by advocating different bourgeois ideas and doctrines designed to weaken the struggle of the working class. One such idea is refined nationalism, which advocates the division and splitting up of the proletariat on the most plausible and specious pretexts, as for example, that of protecting the interests of “national culture”, “national autonomy, or independence”, and so on, and so forth. The class-conscious workers fight hard against every kind of nationalism, both the crude, violent, Black-Hundred nationalism, and that most refined nationalism which preaches the equality of nations together with ... the splitting up of the workers’ cause, the workers’ organisations and the working-class movement according to nationality. Unlike all the varieties of the nationalist bourgeoisie, the class conscious workers, carrying out the decisions of the recent (summer 1913) conference of the Marxists, stand, not only for the most complete, consistent and fully applied equality of nations and languages, but also for the amalgamation of the workers of the different nationalities in united proletarian organisations of every kind. Herein lies the fundamental distinction between the national programme of Marxism and that of any bourgeoisie, be it the most “advanced”. Recognition of the equality of nations and languages is important to Marxists, not only because they are the most consistent democrats. The interests of proletarian solidarity and comradely unity in the workers’ class struggle call for the fullest equality of nations with a view to removing every trace of national distrust, estrangement, suspicion and enmity. And full equality implies the repudiation of all privileges for any one language and the recognition of the right of self-determination for all nations.
To the bourgeoisie, however, the demand for national equality very often amounts in practice to advocating national exclusiveness and chauvinism; they very often couple it with advocacy of the division and estrangement of nations. This is absolutely incompatible with proletarian internationalism, which advocates, not only closer relations between nations, but the amalgamation of the workers of all nationalities in a given state in united proletarian organisations." -Lenin on "redefined nationalism"

But if we go back some years in history of political activities of Assam, those days of "Kalakhar"edited by Dr Hiren Gohain, we have seen a Marxist with commitment to working class and peasant movement, who was beaten at street by ultra nationalist thugs. Its ironical as Assamese nationalism also non other then other Bihari, Tamil, Gujrati, etc nationalism of modern India. Regional nationalism which are mostly based on "language" are on the verge of self destructive, self exposure to its own contradictions and conflicts. Mostly brahmonical in structure, most of all regional nationalism are deposed, degenerated in own conflicts of self induced historical division of labor or caste and class. Regional nationalism are composed itself to full grown oppressive national bourgeoisie now that what LENIN warned about.

"The difference between Lenin and Luxemburg on the national question may be summarised as follows: while Rosa Luxemburg, proceeding from the struggle against Polish nationalism, inclined to a nihilistic attitude to the national question, Lenin saw realistically that, the positions of oppressed and oppressor nations being different, their attitude to the same question must be different. Thus, starting from different and opposing situations, they proceed in opposite directions to reach the same point of international workers’ unity. Secondly, while Rosa Luxemburg disposed of the question of national self-determination as incompatible with the class struggle, Lenin subordinated it to the class struggle (in the same way as he took advantage of all other democratic strivings as weapons in the general revolutionary struggle). The fount of Lenin’s approach to the national question, missing in Rosa Luxemburg, is the dialectic: he saw the unity of opposites in national oppression, and the subordination of the part – the struggle for national independence – to the whole – the international struggle for socialism. Rosa Luxemburg’s strength regarding the national question lies, as elsewhere, in her complete devotion to internationalism and her independence of thought. This led her, via Marx’s method, to see how the position of Poland had changed vis-à-vis Russia between Marx’s time and her own. It caused her, contrary to Marx, to oppose the national struggle of Poland, but at the same time, and again contrary to Marx and Engels, led her to support the national movement of the South Slavs against Turkey. Marx and Engels had argued that to halt the advance of Tsarism the unity of the Turkish Empire had to be defended; and the national movements of the South Slavs, which were engulfed in Pan-Slavic ideas, and were blind weapons in the hands of Tsarism, had to be opposed. Rosa Luxemburg made an excellent analysis of the new conditions in the Balkans since the time of Marx. She concluded first that the liberation of the Balkan nations suppressed by the Turks would rouse the nations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The end of the Turkish Empire in Europe would also mean the end of the Hapsburg Empire. Secondly, she argued that since Marx’s time the national movement of the Balkans had come under the dominion of the bourgeoisie, and hence any continuation of Russian influence was due only to suppression by Turkey. The liberation of the Balkan peoples from the Turkish yoke would not enhance the influence of Tsarism, but would weaken it, as these peoples would be under the leadership of a young and progressive bourgeoisie which would clash more and more with reactionary Tsarism. Thus, in the case of the Balkan nations, Rosa Luxemburg’s attitude to their national strivings differed greatly from her attitude to Poland." - Tony Cliff

If we monitor above scenario we can a get similar picture of India. Yes even more complex one - multi linear Nationalism, layered social structures in south Asian diaspora. Possible clashes in Kashmir and many places and ethnic questions, infiltration in Northeaset India, so its viable that "progressive national bourgeoisie" is looking for a solution, even in frustrated situation its thrives on "chauvinistic" nationalism. But its very important to know is it only crisis of "Oxomiya" in Assam? Probably not, its a crisis of all regional national bourgeoisie of India under aggressive "globalization" and capitalist agenda. If it is noted as written by Dr Hiren Gohain, to appeal against ruling state on behalf of Assamese nationalism, such kind of appeal from all corner of India will weaken the proletariat struggles in India. Further more its a trap to lure regional nationalism to to divide working class in many dimensions.

Imperialism is the stage of capitalism in which a few economically advanced states dominate the rest of the world. Imperialism reveal itself as a system during the last years of the nineteenth century, but its cruel dynamic also drives the process known as "globalization" today. Humankind continue to live in a world in which a handful of strong nation with imperialist order use their economic and military power to subjugate and exploit weaker nations. Our world is still one in which the strong nations regularly face off against each other--threatening, preparing, or unleashing wars whose basic aim is to secure a competitive advantage for one nation over its rivals in imperialist plunder. One of the consequences of imperialism is nationalism and ultra nationalism to fascism. 

But as capitalism spreads around the globe, it also gives rise to powerful movements of resistance and it will grows proportionately . Initially, the revolt of workers and peasants in countries oppressed by imperialism almost invariably takes the form of nationalism. That is why it is crucial for socialists to understand how to approach nationalism and how to assess the various struggles for national liberation today. Its duty of socialist to understand why it is time for not to play in dirt, not to carried away in emotional waves and downplay working class movement of poor people for all kind of economic demands.

The historically progressive nature of capitalism in relation to feudalism, however, did not mean that Marx and Engels automatically supported every national movement. Marx and Engels welcomed the 1857 Indian uprising as a "national revolt,". But Marx and Engels did not allow economic criteria to dictate whether they would lend support to specific national movements. Rather, they gave or withheld support on the basis of a political assessment of each movement in the international context.

A clear distinction must be drawn between two periods of capitalism with respect to the national question. The formation of bourgeois-democratic society and its state characterizes a first period of waning feudalism and absolutism. Indian National movement during this period are mass movements that draw all classes of the population into politics. In contrast, after 1947 a second period of fully formed capitalist states is characterized by long-established constitutional regimes and a highly developed antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. When the right of nations to self-determination shifts from the political realm to the cultural realm, it proceed towards Lenin declared as - "aggressive bourgeois nationalism, which drugs the minds of workers, stultifies and disunites them in order that the bourgeoisie may lead them around by the halter." That is why Lenin stated repeatedly that socialists "take from each national culture only its democratic and socialist elements; we take them only and absolutely in opposition to the bourgeois culture and the bourgeois nationalism of each nation." 

Lenin proclaimed - "our banner does not carry the slogan 'national culture' but international culture, which unites all the nations in a higher, socialist unity, and the way to which is being paved by the international amalgamation of capital."

"I am not sure to the extent to which Marx saw the Asiatic mode of production as a core concept grounding his discussions of India, China, etc. I have not really thought that through, but certainly the Asiatic mode of production is not something on which he expended a lot of intellectual effort. There is the long section in the Grundrisse on pre-capitalist modes of production that talks about the Greco-Roman mode of production and the ancient Asiatic mode of production. There he is really talking about India, as far as I can tell. But beyond that, Marx wrote a lot journalistically about India, and the phrase “Asiatic mode of production” does not, to my knowledge, occur in those writings. I also used to think that there must have been a long essay somewhere by Marx describing the feudal mode of production. But there isn’t. It’s just a few scattered comments here and there, as far as I can tell. Marx is not Max Weber. Weber was a scholar who spent perhaps most of his intellectual effort on trying to figure out the uniqueness of modern Western capitalism vis-à-vis earlier social forms. He wrote voluminously on China, India, ancient Judaism, ancient Greece and Rome, and the European Middle Ages. With Marx, the concerns are very different. He does look at these kinds of issues sometimes, but he always does so with contemporary concerns in mind, not only about the structure of capitalism, but also to figure out the problems of resistance to and revolution against capital. Thus, Marx’s interest at the end of his life in the Russian and Indian villages develops because he thinks that these were possible sites of resistance to capital that could become allies of the Western proletariat. To the extent that he is concerned with the non-West or the non-core capitalist countries like Ireland in his own time, it is because of their relationship to the problematic of capital and labor inside the core countries. Sometimes he thinks these relationships can reverse themselves. Accordingly, in the late 1860s, Marx feels that an Irish revolution could become the lever that might spark proletarian uprising inside Britain. Similarly, he argues that the Russian communal village could be the starting point for a global communist development if it could link up with the proletariat in the West. These are not isolated questions for Marx. Certainly he never addresses Ireland, India, Russia or anyplace else for the sake of elaborating a philosophy of history. There may be a very interesting philosophy of history there, but that would have to be teased out." - Kevin Anderson, Marx at the margins

On ethnological notes of Marx: 

[In a multitude of variants, the same basic conditions prevailed in Asia, Africa, parts of Eastern Europe, Russia, Canada, Australia, South America, the West Indies, Polynesia-wherever indigenous peoples had not wholly succumbed to the tyranny of capitalist development. After reading Morgan's portrayal of "primitive communism" at the height of its glory, Marx saw all this in a new light. In the last couple of years of his life, to a far greater degree than ever before, he focused his attention on people of color; the colonialized, peasants and "primitives?" 

That he was not reading Morgan exclusively or even primarily for historical purposes, but rather as part of his ongoing exploration of the processes of revolutionary social change, is suggested by numerous allusions in the Notebooks to contemporary social/political affairs. In the Notebooks, as Raya Dunayevskaya has argued, "Marx's hostility to capitalism's colonialism was intensifying...[He] returns to probe the origin of humanity, not for purposes of discovering new origins, but for perceiving new revolutionary forces, their reason, or as Marx called it, in emphasizing a sentence of Morgan, "powers of the mind?"

It was only after reading Morgan that anthropology, previously peripheral to Marx's thought, became its vital center. His entire conception of historical development, and particularly of pre-capitalist societies, now gained immeasurably in depth and precision. Above all, his introduction to the Iroquois and other tribal societies sharpened his sense of the living presence of indigenous peoples in the world, and of their possible role in future revolutions.Reading Morgan, therefore, added far mote than a few stray bits and pieces to Marx's thought-it added a whole new dimension, one that has been suppressed for more than a century and is only beginning to be developed today.

Pivotal to all the excitement, playfulness, humor, discovery and diversity of Late Marx-so reminiscent of the mood of the 1844 texts-his anthropological investigations have a special relevance for today. If a century later, Marx's "return to the projects of his Paris youth" still glows brightly with the colors of the future, it is because the possibilities of the revolutionary strategy suggested in these notebooks and related writings are far from being exhausted.

Fragmentary though they are, the Notebooks, together with the drafts Of the letter to Vera Zasulich and a few other texts, reveal that Marx's culminating revolutionary vision is not only coherent and unified, but a ringing challenge to all the manifold Marxism's that still try to dominate the discussion"" of social change today, and to all truly revolutionary thought, all thought focused on the reconciliation of humankind and the planet 'we live on. In this challenge lies the greatest importance of these texts' A close, critical look back to the rise and fall of ancient pre-capitalist communities, Marx's Ethnological Notebooks and his other last writings also look ahead to today's most promising revolutionary movements in the Third World, and the Fourth, and our own.

Raya Dunayevskaya, to whom 'we owe the best that has been written on the Notebooks, rightly pointed out that "there is no way for us to know what Marx intended to do with this intensive study?" One need not be a card-carrying prophet to know in advance that this undeveloped work on underdeveloped societies will be developed in many different ways in the coming years.

But here is something to think about, tonight and tomorrow: With his radical new focus on the primal peoples of the world; his heightened critique of civilization and its values and institutions; his new emphasis it on the subjective factor in revolution; his ever-deeper hostility to religion and State; his unequivocal affirmation of revolutionary pluralism; his growing sense of the unprecedented depth and scope of the communist revolution as a total revolution, vastly exceeding the categories of economics and politics; his bold new posing of such fundamental questions as the relation of Man and woman, humankind and nature, imagination and culture, myth and ritual and all the "passions and Powers of the mind." Late Marx is sharply opposed to, and incomparably more radical than, almost all that we know today as Marxism. At the same time, and everyone who understands Blake and Lautreamont and Thelonious Monk will know that this is no mere coincidence, Marx's culminating synthesis is very close to the point of departure of surrealism, the "communism of genius."] by - Franklin ROSEMONT

Marx's ethnological notebook raises hope in serious degree for a place like Northeast, mostly dominated by ethnic communities, diverse in language, culture etc. May be I have to back off here due to my disadvantage in academic methodological study and research for this land and possibility , potential in can bring to revolutionary thought and practice. But need to be warned that this exploration in the light of ethnological note cant be a mere phd thesis, it should be marked with or a deep understanding of how to integrate northeast India in to working movement of world.

Recent general strike in India: 

"Between 1991 and 2015 there is a vast gap. The mainstream left parties and the Central Trade Unions and other mass organisations affiliated to them had at that time a much tighter grip on the working people. But they were becoming utterly clueless in a world where the Tien-an Men Square massacre had occurred, where the East European bureaucratized workers states had taken the path of capitalist restoration and even the Soviet Union was about to collapse. The Stalinist ideology and politics most of these parties followed was in its death throes. On the other side was the decades long class collaborationist practice in independent India. This was the time when the BJP had begun its ascent, over the campaign to destroy the Babri Masjid. As a result, in the belief that resisting fascism demanded an alliance with the so-called democratic sections or the anti-fascist sections of the bourgeoisie, they were not willing to take up the fight against the first round of neo-liberal offensive seriously. Indeed, frozen in their doctrinaire position that India needed a two-stage revolution and that globalization was the imposition of imperialism, they did not even realise how much the new policies were brought about in the interests of the Indian ruling class itself. The capitalists globally made no such mistake. A World Bank report at that time said that unlike in many other countries, in India they did not meet with hostility from government bureaucrats and banks when they put forward their Structural Adjustment proposals, but were instead met with similar proposals from the opposite side. This simply means that the Indian capitalist class had decided that further capital accumulation needed a great deal of economic liberalisation. Those leftists who were busy hunting for the “progressive national bourgeoisie: were the ones who did not understand this." - Statement BY radical socialist on "The Political Significance of the All India Strike and the Revolutionary Movement in India".

Question is - who among us being as a Marxist, believe bourgeoisie of India, have ability to produce some solution to suffering of poor and stand against neo liberal policies? 

Question is - why and when we submitted our self to national bourgeoisie?

I have tried to believe that it may strategical Technic of GMSS, KMSS to thrives on national bourgeoisie and give its shoulder to "Assamese nationalism." Although its has it own conflicts of identity, as already right wing brahmonical super structure is exposed. Natural to its division in many dimensions such as religion, ethnicity etc. If we emphatic to “progressive national bourgeoisie" for their kind resolution to Assamese Identity, it should be more economic in structure by characteristic, so "Assamese" nationality will be provided a patronage of its own kind. But It was hammered under British hegemony of capital , ( ie - sad case of MANIRAM DEWAN.) eventually cultural hegemony of imperialist order is placed and consumerism devoured everything.No hope insight for independent industrial capital that will grows from Assam and will provide proper patronage for Assamese nationalism". So by default it will under oppression from big capitalist from India and state will serve interest of big capitalist from in and out of India, of course in also colonial manner.

KMSS is playing a vital role in political scenario of Assam, much ahead of Stalinist left parties in terms of socio political role and engagement. Dynamic in approach and application. KMSS able to provide as Lenin stated ""the amalgamation of the workers of all nationalities in a given state in united proletarian organisations" ie amalgamation of the peasants from all ethnic communities from Assam, this is very significant role to a proletariat struggle or mass movement. But once the leadership deviated the movement to a nationalist in characteristic it will loose credential in decisive proletariat struggle. National bourgeoisie is very good at back stabbing, logger-heading. It is historic call for working class people around the world to overcome all barrier of nationalities and join struggles in solidarity for common a cause. So in this scenario KMSS, dynamic and militant in approach should think of necessity to join the "Maruti sukuki workers struggle", "women workers struggle from Kerala", "unorganized workers struggle movement from Kolkatta" etc and many working class movement from India, without a solidarity unity movement from common platform a local movement cant reach to its goal irrespective of its popularity , it will sink to its own doom, middle class opportunity will take over. Above all its important for KMSS who has formed a political organization as GMSS, to understand hidden dynamics of working class scenario of India, more then middle class, national bourgeoisie, it should build a party on basis of advance working class that back by peasantry and continuous preaching and advocating class consciousness among poor classes from all communities, stand with their all economic demands, because a dynamic movement cant go along with frustrated middle class, they are no hope anymore, it will be wasting of time and efforts to engage with national bourgeoisie or degraded middle class who already falls to trap of consumerism and under complete domination of cultural hegemony.

Fascism and liberal democrats: 

In an informal discussion with Vivek Chiber, he stated that there will be never full fledged fascism in India as per masters of globalization are there. But all kind assault on its own people by state to serve its master will be immanent. But on going assault on democratic values in India, does not give enough comfort to progressive National bourgeoisie, its duty for liberal democrats to fight against it for bourgeoisie democratic values, for freedom expression , for secularism etc at least. Otherwise it will be too late, within crisis of capitalist dominion, confrontation will be brutal in all angle.

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