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1 The unprecedented meltdown starting from US, which is termed worse than the Great Depression by IMF like imperialist agencies, is showing no roll back with 18 big banks broken and AIG like insurance firms also in crisis. What was started as a sub-prime crisis in the real estate sector has spread to all fields. Even after $ 700 billion bail out moves, another bigger bail out is planned to stem the rot. As it is spreading to all imperialist countries, US together with EU countries, Russia, Japan and China have announced $ 3 trillion bail out plans, resorting to ‘nationalisation’ of these financial institutions without naming it so. In spite of all these, the crisis and consequent recession or depression is intensifying with unprecedented gravity. None of the imperialist centres or agencies is daring to forecast an early resolution to this Greatest Depression so far. 2 Marxist analysis on the fundamental contradiction within the capitalist system, the one between socialisation of production and its private appropriation, reveals that it cannot come out of the perennial crisis created by it. The experience of the 300 years history of the capitalist-imperialist system which experienced 30 crises, almost one in every decade prove it. If the imperialists, mainly US imperialists, and their lackeys all over the world shouted after the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1990 about ‘end of history’, ‘socialism becoming obsolete’, etc. they are cutting sorry figures today. As socialisation of production is spreading fast, as the finance capital has become overwhelmingly speculative and parasitic in character intensifying the frequency and intensity of the crises, only by the overthrow of the imperialist system and social ownership of the production, only through production for the people, this crisis can be resolved basically. That is, the capitalist-imperialist system is a failed god and it is again and again proved that socialism is the only alternative before the humanity. 3 In the 1970s following the crisis created by stagflation, the imperialist camp had launched neo-liberal policies, in place of the hitherto Keynesian policies, and the imperialist globalisation-liberalisation-privatisation recipe was imposed over the Asian-African-Latin American countries through the comprador rulers there, under guidance of the IMF-World Bank and MNCs, and later, the WTO. In this way their economies were integrated into the global capital-market system. The Congress Government in 1991 imposed the neo-liberal regime in India also. While all ruling class parties applauded it and the CPI (M)-led social democrats embraced it, repeating “there is no alternative to globalisation”, from the very beginning the Marxist-Leninists had denounced it as a further intensification of neocolonisation. The dangers they pointed out then are proved correct as the crisis in the imperialist economy is fast spreading to these countries, including India. Apart from the already serious, double-digit inflation transforming to deflation and the price-rise irrespective of them, the recession and economic retardation are fast spreading. With the closure of export oriented units, including cutting down workers and employees strength, IT units facing acute recession, more than 35 lakhs are going to loose jobs soon worsening the already acute unemployment and pauperisation. Instead of ‘development’ boasted about by those running the Central and State Governments, as far as the vast majority of the people are concerned, they are facing devastation in all walks of life. Similar to the ‘India Shining’ propaganda of the BJP-led NDA in 2004, the so-called 9% GDP growth and the stock market boom talked about by the Congress-led UPA Government are loosing whatever value they had fast as the Lok Sabha election dates are coming nearer. The whole gamut of imperialist globalisation is proved hollow with the consequences of the imperialist meltdown spreading fast all over India. 4 Elections to the six state assemblies have taken place at this critical time. All the ruling class parties including the CPI (M)-CPI social democrats had joined hands to conceal the unprecedented imperialist crisis and its grave consequences, exposing the hollowness of whatever sham propaganda they were making to project imperialist globalisation as the only alternative. The election campaign was made more and more apolitical, leaving aside any serious discussion about the neo-liberal policies pursued by all those in power in these states.
Instead communal, caste, parochial vote banks were sought to be created, and money-liquormuscle power was utilised. BJP and Congress had led this heinous game. BJP aided by the Sangh Parivar was in the forefront to communalise the elections, to win it utilising all dirty tricks. Though BJP’s frenzied propaganda about terrorism, trying to project the whole Muslim minority as terrorists, is fully exposed with the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and others linked to the Sangh Parivar for the Malegaon blasts, it was persisting with more pernicious forms of communal fascist tirades creating hatred among communities and vandalising the election atmosphere. When the terrorist attacks took place at Mumbai on the eve of MP and Delhi assembly election, BJP utilised it with maddening haste to recover the lost ground. The corrupt, communal appeasement policies of the Congress and the autocratic attitude of the election machinery had added fuel to the criminalisation taking place. All these factors are going to get aggravated during the Lok Sabha elections, overruling any possibility of any serious discussion on the economic, political crisis faced by the country and the devastation of the vast masses. The results of these assembly elections show that frantic communalisation and threat of terrorism utilised by the BJP has not helped it much. The pattern of the main ruling class parties sharing the spoils being repeated for decades happened again in these elections also. 5 Four and half years of UPA rule, propped up, till recently by the CPI (M)-led LF, has further enslaved the country to imperialists, especially to US imperialists, in the name of a “strategic alliance” with the US. The signing of the Indo-US Nuke Deal in spite of strong opposition from the popular forces has intensified the neo-colonisation process. All welfare policies are further cut down, depriving food, housing, drinking water, education, healthcare and employment to the vast masses. The number of people under the poverty line has further increased. The so-called development policies under the neo-liberal raj have only led to devastation of the country economically, politically, culturally and environmentally — leading to the rich becoming richer while the poor becoming more pauperised. In implementation of these anti-people, anti-national policies, all the ruling class parties and social democrats have joined hands. From Congress, BJP to CPI (M)-led LF all are executioners of these archreactionary policies. It is these policies including appeasement or promotion of religious fundamentalists by these parties which have led to growth of criminal gangs, ‘quotation squads’, and terrorist groups all over the country. These policies have only aggravated the situation in J&K and Northeast. By pursuing a reactionary foreign policy to appease US imperialists, the relations with all neighbouring countries have also worsened. 6 Grasping the critical importance of these developments in the objective situation both internationally and nationally, which are intensifying all major contradictions to unprecedented levels, and creating a favourable situation for the revolutionary forces to launch an all-out offensive, is the important responsibility of Marxist-Leninist forces today. As far as the CPI (M)-led Left Front is concerned, the total bankruptcy of its ‘there is no alternative to globalisation’ line and attempts to give a ‘human face’ to globalisation are fully exposed by the unprecedented recession, depression and devastation caused by the unprecedented crisis in the imperialist system, making its ‘third alternative’ and the very unity within the Left Front itself a mirage. By embracing the line of peaceful transition in its 8th Congress of December 2007 CPI (ML) Liberation is in the middle of its own crisis, similar to what is happening to other rightist groups. As far as the CPI (Maoist) and its apologists are concerned, the developments in Orissa following the killing of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and during the Chhattisgarh elections have exposed their anarchist line fully, further weakening them. The political line of those forces which are characterising India as a capitalist country, is further exposed, as the consequences following the crisis in the imperialist system in India is exhibiting, more than ever, the neo-colonisation becoming intense. In this situation the conditions for the polarisation of all genuine Marxist-Leninist forces, fighting against all these alien trends, have become more favourable than ever. 7 In this context, the CC of CPI (ML) resolves to:
a) Develop relations among all like-minded Marxist-Leninist organisations at the international level so that an Anti-imperialist International Forum of Marxist-Leninist forces can be develop; b) Take initiative to start discussions with Communist Revolutionary organisations in India to carry forward the call for unity issued by the 2005 Vijayawada Unity Conference; c) Take immediate steps to develop All-India organisations of the workers uniting all trade unions associated with our party and other like-minded trade union centres into a single AllIndia trade union centre or federation, to develop All-India peasant, youth, student and women’s organisations as called by the Political Resolution adopted by the 2005 Vijayawada Unity Conference; d) In view of the gravity of the economic and political situation in the country, and the impending Lok Sabha elections, to take immediate initiative to start discussions with all revolutionary left, patriotic, democratic, secular forces to launch an All India Anti-imperialist People’s Democratic Forum as the people’s alternative against all ruling class alternatives. 8 The Central Committee of the CPI (ML) calls on all party state committees to take up the following tasks immediately: a) All State Committees should immediately launch an ideological-political campaign in the context of the ever-intensifying present crisis in the imperialist system and consequent recession and depression, at the state level with the slogan “Not imperialism, socialism is the only alternative for the world’s people”. The form of the campaign can be decided by the state committees. b) Intensify the activities of all class/mass organisations at the state level, and prepare conditions favourable for taking up All-India movements. Launch working class struggles and agrarian movement with land to the tiller slogan. c) Take steps to forge unity with all revolutionary left, patriotic, democratic, secular forces so as to build up the Anti-imperialist People’s Democratic alternative at the State level with a view to develop joint struggles and to utilise the impending Lok Sabha elections. 22-01-2009 CC, CPI (ML)
Satyam: Biggest Scam in Indian Corporate History
SATYAM, the fourth biggest IT company in India, has fallen as a result of Rs. 8000 crore fraud through manipulation of accounts by none other than its chairman B. Ramalinga Raju. He was pampered by earlier chief minister Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desham as well as the present Congress chief minister, and by the whole state machinery. It helped Raju to manipulate the company’s funds diverting this huge sum to Maytas, a real estate company owned by his family, to engage in large scale speculative business. Though the chairman claims that he alone is responsible, after he was compelled to talk as the manipulation could not be kept secret and he was about to get exposed, it is damn clear that the top executives, those dealing with the accounts, the auditors, his close relatives and political associates are all involved in it. How can one believe that such a big fraud did not show up somewhere and could not be spotted by the numerous investment analysts or the several investment banks and institutional investors holding huge shares in the company? Satyam’s collapse exposed how the corporate governance is run in India. If the imperialist meltdown had not started exerting pressure on Indian economy and the real estate business, the Satyam chairman’s fraud may not have come out at all. In all senses,
Satyam is like India’s Enron. That the central and state governments thought of bailing out this company even after such huge swindling, in the name of rescuing its 53,000 employees, shows where the loyalty of the ruling establishment lies. People should raise their voice against any form of bailing out of such companies. Stringent action should be taken against all those who are responsible after thorough investigation in to all aspects of it. All the properties of those who benefited from this huge fraud should be confiscated. The company should be reconstituted in a transparent manner under public sector to help the employees and strengthen the IT sector. As the imperialist meltdown is going to sweep across the country more such companies are going to become bankrupt and many more such frauds are going to come out. Instead of bailing out exercises which will only benefit the sharks responsible for their collapse, pressure should be put on the central and state governments to take stringent action against all scamsters, and to reverse the neo-liberal policies of liberalisation-privatisation. When the enormous crimes committed by the MNCs and the corporate houses are becoming clearer day by day, the slogan Kick out MNCs and Corporate Houses has become more relevant. Not privatisation, only social control of the fields of production and services can reverse the present trend of scams, frauds, swindlings and speculation leading to unprecedented stagnation and crises.
Gujarat Model in Karnataka
IT SEEMS Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa is in a hurry to implement the Gujarat model in his state by unleashing the Sangh Parivar thugs over the people and making the state’s law and order forces impotent. Otherwise how could a handful of Bajrang Dal rowdies and ‘Sri Ram Sene’ goondas let loose such criminal attacks first on religious minorities and now on women in a Mangalore pub? The Sangh Parivar has taken over the mantle of ‘moral police’ when it is itself a most immoral, criminal, fascist outfit. The morality it is trying to impose is primitive, barbarian and arch-reactionary. Still the BJP government in the state is dealing it with kid gloves providing all protection and encouragement to it. As far as the Congress-led UPA government at the centre is concerned it is following the very same policy of procrastination, in effect collaboration, the earlier Congress led governments had followed towards demolition of Babri Masjid and saffronisation of Gujarat. The hard Hindutva and soft Hindutva are working in tandem. The democratic forces should come out boldly to expose, to confront and to defeat the criminal gangs of Sangh Parivar and the plethora of various ‘Senas’. Terrorism can be defeated only through active resistance.
Bangladesh Elections: Crushing Defeat to It Fundamentalists
THE BANGLADESH ELECTIONS on December 29 have given a crushing defeat to the alliance of the right-wing Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its main ally, the Islamic fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami. In this election when more than 80% of people voted, this alliance could get only 34 seats out of 299. The unprecedented level of corruption and tyranny during BNP’s rule from 2001 to 2006, its handing over of power to the military to prevent an Awami League victory and its alliance with Islamic fundamentalists leading to growth of communal fascism have made the people antagonistic to it, paving the way for it getting trounced in the elections. At a time when the fundamentalist forces aided and abetted by imperialist-led international reaction are destabilising the entire South Asia, the humiliating defeat of the BNP-Jamaat alliance is a positive factor. The Awami League has scored a massive victory by forging a Grand Alliance, evoking the memories of the 1971 liberation and by putting forward a Vision 2021 document which has
encouraged the youth and women to vote for it massively. Awami League’s victory has raised high hopes among large sections of people. How to resist the imperialist domination, how to defeat the fundamentalist forces, how to fight corruption and how to bring relief to the impoverished people are the major challenges by the new Awami League-led government.
After LTTE, What?
THE DECIMATION of LTTE reducing its presence to few pockets of Kilinochi in the northern most region by the Sri Lankan army is almost bringing to an end the 25 year war for a separate Eelam. We along with the democratic forces all over the world hope that the Sri Lankan army and government will not act with vengeance and would help the Tamilian people in the region to move to safer places. The humanitarian problems of the Tamilian people shall be given due attention. The popular upsurge of Tamil people in the 1970s against the oppression of their rights by the chauvinist Sri Lankan government was massive. Various attempts were then made to provide a mass, democratic orientation to the movement by the leftist groups who had good influence among Tamil people then. The popular left slogan was to achieve unity of Sri Lanka based on right of self determination of both Sinhala and Tamil people. But the LTTE under Prabhakaran systematically decimated all left, progressive forces and focussed on a militarist solution to the problem. Separate Eelam was put as the only possible solution. Rest is history. Terrorist actions of LTTE and counter terror by the Sri Lankan state had destroyed whatever democratic atmosphere existed, bringing increasing miseries to the people. As the left influence in the polity was attacked the fascist tendencies grew. Imperialist, especially US imperialist penetration intensified. The comprador government in India also interfered with ugly intentions worsening the situation. The disappearance of LTTE as a major player in the political scene shall provide an opportunity for regrouping of the left forces in that country and for taking up the rights of Tamil people through a democratic mass movement, we hope. The struggle for self-determination of the nationalities is a democratic question, and it can be resolved in this era of imperialism and proletarian revolution only as a part of the struggle for national liberation and democratic revolution to overthrow the imperialist stranglehold, comprador forces and feudal remnants under the leadership of the proletariat.
Significance of the Ideological-Political Struggle in Combating Alien Thoughts and Throwing Out the Barbarous Imperialist System
KN Ramachandran THAT THE OBJECTIVE CONDITIONS around the world are becoming once again more and more favourable for the working class and other toiling masses to overthrow the imperialist system and its lackeys and to lead the people’s democratic and socialist revolutions to victory is the concrete reality today. With the unprecedented outbreak of the meltdown sweeping across US, the talks of making 21st century a century of US hegemony, often repeated in recent past by the neo-conservatives (neocons), are no longer heard. Imperialist economies of Japan and Western Europe are also in turmoil. This global financial crisis has started creating havoc in all the vast number of countries at various stages of neo-colonisation, who had opted for imperialist globalisation and were integrating fast the economies of their countries to the
imperialist capital-market system. At international level these developments have intensified the contradictions between imperialism and oppressed nations and peoples of the world, between capital and labour and among the imperialist countries and among the monopoly groups, paving the way for the contradiction between imperialism and socialism coming to the foreground. This is a qualitative change in the international situation compared to two decades back when the imperialists and their lackeys had launched a frenzied attack on the international working class movement, repeating socialism has become obsolete, in the context of the disintegration of Soviet Union which had started degenerating to capitalist path long back. This transformation in the objective conditions has created a favourable objective situation for the all round advance of the revolutionary communist parties all over the world. But such a qualitative transformation is still not visible to any significant extent anywhere, even after the anti-imperialist movement is gaining momentum in numerous forms in many regions. Why? It is vital question to be raised and an answer sought by the communist forces in our country, and internationally. IDEOLOGICAL POLITICAL LINE DECIDES EVERYTHING Marxist-Leninist teachers have repeatedly stressed that just because an excellent objective situation exists, no social revolution creating qualitative changes is going to take place. Referring to the uncompromising and bitter struggle the Bolshevik Party under his leadership had unleashed against all alien thoughts, against the Mensheviks, the Narodniks and others, Lenin repeatedly stressed that without a revolutionary theory no strong communist party can be built up. Continuing on his footsteps Mao stressed: “The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything”. Without a revolutionary theory at its helm there can be no revolution. The correctness of this Marxist-Leninist teaching is substantiated by the hitherto history of the international communist movement. When capitalist system emerged and started growing in to a dominating force about three centuries back, it had created a new situation. The contradiction between emerging barbarous capitalist system and the toilers took unprecedented ugly forms. Wage slavery intensified the miseries of the working class in Western Europe and North America. This situation led to various reactions, to resistance, to upsurges of the wage slaves against capital in numerous forms. The barbarous character of capitalism provoked the emergence of utopian socialist ideas and resistances based on them also. But only when a scientific socialist analysis of the capitalist system was put forward by Marx and Engels, and the Communist Manifesto gave a revolutionary orientation, the First International came in to existence giving leadership to the working class organisations, Paris Commune took place and taking lessons from it the Second International was initiated providing new orientation and encouragement to the revolutionary working class movement. Thus the history of the 19th century became the history of emergence of the communist movement and the history of it pausing mighty challenge against the marauding capitalist system. Along with the inherent contradiction within the capitalist system, it was also the emergence and development of the working class movement which speeded up the transformation of capitalism to its monopoly, highest stage, the imperialism. Analysing the imperialism and developing the Marxist theory to combat it became a challenge before the Second International. But its leaders totally failed in this and they were reduced to class collaborationist positions, to apologists of the imperialist forces and their colonisation policy. Once again the working class movement was in a crisis. It was Lenin who took up this challenge, scientifically analysed imperialism and the qualitative changes it has brought about. Based on this analysis he developed the theory and practice of Marxism to a new stage. It led to momentus developments like the historic victory of the October Revolution, coming in to existence of Soviet Union, the reorganisation of the international communist movement by organising the Third International or Communist International, and along with the mighty advance of socialist construction in the Soviet Union,
the great upsurge of national liberation movements in the colonial, semi-colonial, dependent countries. It unfolded a new era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The great world-wide significance of the October Revolution was analysed by Stalin in the following words: “The great world-wide significance of the October Revolution chiefly consists in the fact that: 1. It has widened the scope of the national question and converted it from the particular question of combating national oppression in Europe into the general question of emancipating the oppressed peoples, colonies and semi-colonies from imperialism; 2. It has opened up wide possibilities for their emancipation and the right paths towards it, has thereby greatly facilitated the cause of the emancipation of the oppressed peoples of the West and the East, and has drawn them into the common current of the victorious struggles against imperialism; 3. It has thereby erected a bridge between the socialist West and the enslaved East, having created a new front of revolutions against world imperialism, extending from the proletarians of the West, through the Russian revolution, to the oppressed peoples of the East.” Explaining the new situation following the victory of the October Revolution Mao Tsetung said: “It is an era in which the world capitalist front has collapsed in one part of the globe (onesixth of the world) and has fully revealed its decadence everywhere else, in which the remaining capitalist parts cannot survive without relying more than ever on the colonies and semi-colonies, in which a socialist state has been established and has proclaimed its readiness to give active support to the liberation movement of all colonies and semi-colonies, and in which the proletariat of the capitalist countries is steadily freeing itself from the socialimperialist influence of the social-democratic parties and has proclaimed its support for the liberation movement in the colonies and semi-colonies. In this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, i.e., against the international bourgeoisie or international capitalism, no longer comes within the old category of the bourgeoisdemocratic world revolution, but within the new category. It is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist, world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian-socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter revolutionary front of world capitalism; they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism. “Although such a revolution in a colonial and semi-colonial country is still fundamentally bourgeois-democratic in its social character during its first stage or first step, and although its objective mission is to clear the path for the development of capitalism, it is no longer a revolution of the old type led by the bourgeoisie with the aim of establishing a capitalist society and a state under bourgeois dictatorship. It belongs to the new type of revolution led by the proletariat with the aim, in the first stage, of establishing a new-democratic society and a state under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes. Thus this revolution actually serves the purpose of dearing a still wider path for the development of socialism. In the course of its progress, there may be a number of further sub-stages, because of changes on the enemy’s side and within the ranks of our allies, but the fundamental character of the revolution remains unchanged. “Such a revolution attacks imperialism at its very roots, and is therefore not tolerated but opposed by imperialism.” As the working class led numerous struggles in the imperialist countries, and combining the tasks of national liberation and democratic revolution, as the national liberation movements advanced in the countries under colonisation, as the East European countries became part of the socialist camp and China, North Korea and North Vietnam were advancing to successfully complete their democratic revolution, a new world situation was emerging. The east wind of socialist forces looked like going to overwhelm the west wind of imperialism. The last years of World War II and the post-War years was a critical period. The US imperialism
taking over the mantle of the leader of the imperialist camp dropped nuclear bombs in Japan more as a challenge to the socialist forces, built up various military blocs and let loose a fierce counter attack against the communist revolutionary forces in a number of countries including the Cold War against Soviet Union on the one hand, and initiated ‘de-colonisation’ process under its control to replace the colonial plunder with the neo-colonial forms of plunder. NEO-COLONIAL OFFENSIVE BY US-LED IMPERIALIST FORCES What happened following the World War II was the old colonialists changing in to neocolonialists led by US imperialism. Old colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries were turned in to countries under various stages of neo-colonisation. For this purpose along with the Brettonwood twins (IMF and World Bank), and launching of GATT, military blocs were organised, military bases were established and the control over the neo-colonial countries were retained through the comprador classes. It was an all out neo-colonial offensive by USled forces in the economic, political, military and cultural fields to perpetuate imperialist hegemony in a new form. In the post-Stalin years the CPSU leadership came under the sway of revisionism and later capitalist path started getting consolidating there as it failed to grasp the phenomenal changes taking place at the international level. As a result, the Krushchovite leadership argued that the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and peoples and between capital and labour has got diluted. It replaced the contradiction between imperialism and socialism with that between the US imperialism and Soviet Union. It argued that imperialism has weakened and advocated for peaceful competition and peaceful co-existence with imperialism and peaceful transition to socialism. It amounted to the class collaborationist theory of dying out of class struggle. What happened was similar to the revisionist KautskyBernstain gang usurping the leadership of the Second International. Krushchovites tried to land the international communist movement in to the mire of revisionism, after becoming apologists of neo-colonialism. It was Mao and the CPC under his leadership which waged an uncompromising struggle against these capitalist roaders by putting forward A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement in 1963 in reply to CPSU’s revisionist positions and by launching the Cultural Revolution in China to overthrow the capitalist roaders. This historic struggle raised hopes of an all out attack on the capitalist roaders, development of MarxistLeninist theory and practice according to the new concrete conditions, and polarisation of the Marxist-Leninist forces at international level based on the General Line for a new world-wide offensive against imperialism and its lackeys. The advancement of the revolutionary struggles in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries and a new upsurge of people’s movement around the world in 1970s created hopes of a new leap forward in spite of degeneration of Soviet Union and East European countries to the capitalist path. NEW DEVIATIONS But before long it was proved that the above revolutionary initiatives under the leadership of Mao Tsetung and the revolutionary advances of early 1970s could not block a whole brand of new deviations coming up in the international communist movement (ICM). The two line struggle within the CPC was so intense that in 1960s it came under the domination of first the capitalist roaders and then the Lin Piaoist ‘left’ sectarian positions. Though the 10th Congress in 1973 could restore the party to some extent to the Marxist-Leninist line, soon the capitalist roaders started gaining strength and after Mao usurped power degenerating China also to capitalist path. The Albanian leadership also deviated, first took an anti-Mao line and soon collapsed to capitalist degeneration. The South Asian liberations soon lost their momentum and they once again came under imperialist domination in the new forms. With the presentation of glassnost-peretroika by Gorbachev and later disintegration of Soviet Union the setbacks suffered by the ICM have reached extremely dangerous levels. Today the international communist movement is divided in to multitude of alien trends creating difficulties to identify the Marxist-Leninist streams among them. Compared to the height of the ideological-political clarity provided by Lenin through his historic analysis of the imperialist
system developing Marxist theory to a new stage, today what we are witnessing is an entirely different picture. If one goes through the contents of the various shades of alien trends and goes through the history of their emergence, whether it is Krushchovite revisionism, the neo-Trotskyist trends, the Dengist line, the Lin Piaoist aberration, the Albanian line or any others like them, it can be seen that all of them have originated from an erroneous understanding of the imperialist system today. Starting with this erroneous understanding all of them have degenerated first to apologists of neo-colonialism, and later to pursuing neo-colonial policies wherever they are in power. All of them have drifted away from Marxist-Leninist theories on class struggle, state and revolution. From Kautsky to these modern day alien trends, their basic formulation is the theory of class collaboration. So re-establishing of the hegemony of the revolutionary theory is possible only by starting with an all out effort to understand imperialism in its neo-colonial phase and to develop the Marxist-Leninist understanding and practice to combat it un-compromisingly. DEVELOP THE THEORY AND PRACTICE GUIDED BY MARXISM-LENINISM-MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT ACCORDING TO CONCRETE CONDITIONS OF THE NEO-COLONIAL PHASE OF IMPERIALISM After World War II, under the twin blows of the socialist revolutions and the national liberation movements, the imperialists were forced to recognise that if they had attempted to perpetuate the status quo of colonialism, it would have made violent revolutions inevitable and defeat inevitable. So for them it became necessary to change the form and practice to neocolonialism. But even after embracing the neo-colonial phase of plunder, the imperialist system could not escape from a severe crisis in the 1970s and 1980s compelling them to replace hitherto Keynesian economics with neo-liberal policies. Through it whatever competitive powers the neo-colonial countries had were systematically liquidated and their economies were progressively integrated to the international production and distribution of the MNCs, to the imperialist capital-market system. But with the imperialist meltdown surfacing in the last months of 2008 taking unprecedentedly menacing forms, the imperialist countries are searching for newer theories to transfer the burden to the neo-colonial countries to save themselves. It shows that resorting to neo-colonial forms of plunder has not saved the imperialist system from its inherent crises. Instead the crisis is only intensifying. So more barbarous methods are being searched for by the imperialists to escape from it. As a result, as noted in the beginning, all major contradictions at international level have intensified and they are going to intensify further in coming days. The basic contradiction between imperialism and socialism has come forward more glaringly than ever. So, as Lenin fought against Kautsky, Bernstain and all other apologists of colonialism in the colonial phase of imperialist plunder, today the Marxist-Leninists should sharpen their theoretical understanding to uncompromisingly struggle against all brands of apologists and practitioners of neo-colonialism, and to develop the revolutionary practice according to the concrete conditions of this present neo-colonial phase of imperialism. In this way the ideological-political line should be developed and the importance of the revolutionary theory should be re-established according to the needs of the neo-colonial phase of imperialism.
CPI(ML) Launches Campaign for 15th Lok Sabha Elections
[We are reproducing below the concluding part of the Election Manifesto presented by the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) for the 15th Lok Sabha elections and the slogans. This
Election Manifesto approved by the CC of CPI(ML) on 22nd January, 2009 will be published by 15 February - Red Star] CPI (ML)’S APPEAL It was at an important juncture in the history of our country when two decades of Congress rule had intensified the contradictions between the ruling system and the people, and when CPI and CPI(M) leaderships had degenerated to reformist, opportunist positions, the Naxalbari struggle putting forward the agrarian revolution with land to the tiller slogan broke out, the Communist Revolutionaries started uniting, and CPI (ML) was formed in 1969 to carry forward the tasks of people’s democracy and socialism. Though the movements was influenced by sectarian tendencies for some time in the beginning, it has played a historic role in radicalizing the socio-economic-political-cultural scene, struggling against all reactionary and reformist positions. It has a consistent legacy of many great struggles and sacrifices, a legacy of thousands of martyr comrades and cadres who inspired the toiling millions and continued the fight for a people’s democratic India. When the imperialist globaliza-tion policies were imposed and the country was being opened to IMF-WB-WTO-MNCs and capital-market system, and when almost all prominent political parties from Congress and BJP became its executioners, and even CPI (M) led LF surrendered to it stating ‘there is no alternative’ to it, the CPI(ML) along with communist revolutionary forces went on opposing and struggling against it from the beginning. While launching anti-imperialist movements, it took up struggles against all reactionary policies of consecutive governments. In some states it developed agrarian movements with land to the tiller slogan besides struggling for the rights of all oppressed classes and sections. Vijayavada Unity Conference of 2005 January became a landmark when uncompromisingly struggling against the degeneration of CPI (M) –led LF’s to ruling class positions and the CPI(Maoist) continuing the sectarian and anarchist line, the CR forces united under the banner of CPI (ML), developing their activities all over India, pursuing revolutionary mass line. During the present UPA government’s tenure it has led numerous struggles against its anti-national and anti-people policies, fighting bitterly against surrendering the country to strategic subservience to US imperialism. Along with its efforts to develop anti-imperialist movements uniting the Marxist-Leninist parties at International level against US imperialism and its allies in solidarity with the Iraqi, Afghan, Palestinian and other peoples, CPI (ML) was always in the forefront to develop resistance to UPA government’s moves including signing of the Indo-US Nuclear Act, enslaving the country to US masters. In a number of states the Party and class/mass organizations were continuously waging struggles against the UPA government’s and state governments’ anti-people policies. Besides the party and the landless peasants-agricultural workers organizations led by it have launched agrarian movements with land to the tiller slogan in many areas. The CPI (ML) is contesting the Lok Sabha elections putting forward a good number of candidates in almost all important states for utilizing the election to vigorously campaign for this Election Manifesto calling for building up Anti-imperialist People’s Democratic Alternative. At a time when the neo-colonial stranglehold, communal fascist onslaughts and influence of caste politics are intensifying day by day, and when imperialism, especially US imperialism, is engaged in accelerating its efforts to impose its hegemony in all fields building such an alternative uniting all revolutionary left, and patriotic democratic secular forces has great significance. CPI (ML) appeals to the working class, landless-poor peasants and agricultural workers, all other toiling masses and the patriotic democratic secular forces to rally for building this people’s democratic alternative. CPI (ML) appeals to the people of the country, to the toiling masses, to all patriotic democratic forces to exercise their right to vote in support of the Election Manifesto put forward by the Party, to vote for the candidates fielded by the party and all forces supported
by the party based on this orientation. Come forward to vigorously utilize the election to fight the ruling system and to initiate the building of the People’s Democratic Alternative. RALLY FOR ANTI-IMPERIALIST PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE - Scrap Imperialist Global-isation-Liberalisation-Privat-isation policies; Scrap SEZ and CMZ. Kick out IMF-World Bank-WTO and MNCs. - Throw out Present Anti-People Development Policies Dominated by Capital-Market System. Struggle for People Oriented, National, Democratic, Self-reliant Development Policy. - Control Corporate forces, Stop Privatisation, Nationalise all Core Sectors, Strengthen Public Sector. - Restore and Develop all welfare Policies; Ensure Food, Housing, Education, Healthcare and Employment for all. Throw out MNCs and Corporate Forces from Agricultural and Plantation Sectors. - Implement Land to the Tiller slogan through Revolutionary Land Reforms; Distribute Land to Landless Peasants and Agricultural Workers Including Dalits, Adivasis and All Other Oppressed Sections; Write off Loans of Peasants Holding up to 5 Acres of Land, Agricultural Workers and all toiling classes. - Scrap Contract Labour System and ‘Hire and Fire’; Ensure Need-based Minimum Wages, Social Security and Democratic Rights to Working Class. Scrap All Black Acts, Ensure Civil Rights for All. - Struggle for Secularism Separating Religion from Politics; Fight Communal Fascism, State Terror and Terrorism Promoted by Religious Fundamentalism and Caste-based Suppression. Scrap Indo-US Nuclear Act and All other Unequal Treaties with Imperialist Countries. - Unite to Realise the Dreams of Freedom struggle; Carry Forward Struggle for People’s Democracy and Socialism. STATE COMMITTEES INITIATE ELECTION CAMPAIGN KERALA: Rallying to the call of the CC of CPI(ML) to launch a vigorous campaign fielding maximum candidates to propagate the line of People’s Democratic Alternative being explained in the Election Manifesto, the Kerala State committee of the Party has decided to field candidates in 11 out of the 20 seats in Thiruvananthapuram, Mavelikara, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idikki, Ernakulam, Chalakudy, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Wynad and Kannur. The candidates for these seats will be announced by 31st January and the campaign will be started soon thereafter. Along with the Manifesto issued by the CC, the SC is going to publish an appeal highlighting the vital issues to be raised in the context of Lok Sabha elections including the burning issues confronted by the people in the state. The campaign will be focussed against the UDF and LDF alliances ruling the state in rotation, acting like two sides of the same coin basically, and against the communal fascist BJP. The SC is holding discussion with the co-ordination committee of the large number of CPI(M) members who have revolted against the social democratic CPI(M) leadership and who have come out mainly in Kozhikode and Palakkad districts in order to organise joint election campaign based on above slogans. In the context of the intensifying conflict within the CPI(M) leadership as the name of its state secretary is included among the accused in the notorious Lavalin case, the dissidence within CPI(M) is going to be more serious. The CPI(ML) has extended support for the candidates fielded by the co-ordination committee and plan a joint campaign in all the seats in the state.
TAMIL NADU: In TN the 15th Lok Sabha elections are also going to be reduced to a replay of the contest between the two so-called ‘Dravidian’ contestants DMK, which is in power, and AIADMK, which is in opposition. All the burning issues at national level including the grave consequences of the imperialist globalisation policies in the context of the crisis and stagnation started in the imperialist countries are side lined, as both parties have no basic differences in embracing these anti-people policies. Even on Tamil question in Sri Lanka in the context of military offensive there, which is nearing the elimination of the LTTE, there are no basic differences between the two. Even when DMK is exhibiting lip sympathy to the plight of the Tamil speaking people there, it has not asked for cessation of Indian arms supply to Sri Lankan government. In this situation the CPI and CPI(M) shifting their ‘loyalty’ and alliance from DMK to AIADMK is nothing but another opportunist policy in search of more seats. Though the PMK like parties have not decided on their election partners, in Tamil Nadu the main contest is once again going to be between the ruling class alliances led by DMK and AIADMK, with BJP and BSP contesting alone. Policy-wise the parties led by few film stars are also not having any difference with the above. In this situation the TN state committee of the CPI(ML), in line with anti-imperialist people’s democratic alternative called by the CC, has already decided to context six seats, viz, South Chennai, Salem, Dharmapuri, Coimbatore, Krishnagiri and Kanyakumari and formation of election committees and propaganda campaign have already started. In alliance with forces who oppose imperialist globalisation and stand for land to the tiller struggles, mainly the dalit and adivasi organisations, there are possibilities for contesting many more seats and to launch a vigorous campaign in the state. KARNATAKA: In this state while the ruling BJP and Congress are the main ruling class parties, the alliance of Janata Dal (Secular) with CPI-CPI(M) and the BSP are basically pursuing the very same ruling class policies. None of them are ready to oppose even the mining mafia controlling the state politics, which is swindling fabulous wealth. When the meltdown in imperialist centres and lessening of outsourcing by them have started affecting even the ‘IT boom’ in the state, none of these parties/alliances are ready to oppose the neo-liberal policies enslaving the country to neo-colonisation. Besides, after the BJP government taking over, the already serious communal divisions and caste-based oppression have taken a worsening form, with the communal fascist Sangh Parivar running amuck with the support of state machinery. In this situation, in line with the CC’s call for building a people’s democratic alternative based on the central slogans announced by the Party, the state committee has decided to issue and appeal focussing on state level issues also and to launch an active campaign fielding maximum possible candidates. The SC has decided to announce candidates for Raichur, Koppal, Chikmangalur, Hassan and Mysore seats by 31st January and for Bangalore, Shimoga, Davanagere, Bellary and Gulbarga seats by 28th February. The strengthening of party committees at local level and the political campaign are already started. Talks with like-minded dalit and adivasi organisations are already started to forge a state level anti-imperialist people’s democratic alternative based on people’s struggle. MAHARASHTRA: The state political scene is in a confused condition with both Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena alliances facing turmoils. Leaderships of ‘dalit’ parties like the Republican Party factions and BSP are adding to the confusion hobnobbing with the ruling class parties, while the chauvinist outfit of Raj Thakeray is seeking a place to butt in. CPI-CPI(M), though they are further marginalised, are in frantic search of some ruling class party to align with. At the same time, in continuation to the global financial crisis and consequent stagnation, the state’s economy is in acute crisis with tens of thousands of workers and even IT engineers being rendered jobless. The crisis in the agricultural sector is also worsening. Still the state government, in line with the UPA government’s policies, is going ahead with displacement of tens of thousands of families, procuring their land for SEZs and in the name of ‘developmental’ projects. Unemployment, price rise and corruption have worsened the living conditions of the masses.
In this situation, in line with the basic orientation put forward by the Party, the state committee has decided to launch a vigorous campaign against the ruling class policies of central and state governments utilising the Lok Sabha elections. With this perspective the SC has initiated moves to launch five candidates in Mumbai, Thane and around focussing on the struggle areas. Discussion with like minded revolutionary left organisations have started to launch a state level people’s democratic front with anti-imperialist globalisation orientation and ‘land to the tiller’ perspective. CHHATTISGARH: The campaign for the recent assembly election had given a new impetus to spreading the party’s political line among the masses and to spread and consolidate the organisation. As a result, during the post-assembly election months party has launched many struggles and local level campaigns focussing on various issues. In continuation to these and in line with the basic orientation for the Lok Sabha elections put forward by the CC, the state committee has decided to field party candidates from Durg, Raipur, Jagdalpur and Bilaspur seats and to unite all like-minded forces to field more candidates in other seats. MADHYA PRADESH: The recent campaign during the assembly elections fielding 9 candidates had given a new fillip to the efforts to carry the party line to the people and to spread and consolidate the Party organisation. The political campaign has led to a good number of CPI cadres including four state committee members resigning from it and joining the CPI(ML). It has helped to vigorously support the struggle of the peasants including adivasis in Singrauli district against the land acquisition for super thermal power plants and other industries. The activities to mobilise the construction/contract workers under TUCI have picked up further momentum. The land to the tiller campaign is embolding dalits and adivasi families to occupy government/surplus/banjar lands and to start cultivating it. The youth and student movements led by the Party have started taking up many issues concerning these sections. In this situation the state committee on 24th January has decided to field two candidates from Sidhi and Guna seats and seek possibilities to field candidates in Rajgarh, Rewa and Satna seats. Besides the discussion with like minded organisations have started based on basic orientation towards Lok Sabha election campaign. ORISSA: The recent campaign against Sangh Parivar and the reactionary policies of the BJDBJP government in the state uniting with like minded political organisations, the support to the continuing Kalinganagar and Posco movements, the activities of the organisation of the slum dwellers of Bhubaneshwar resisting eviction, etc. have given a new fillip to the Party and the class/mass organisations in the state. In this situation the state committee has decided to field candidates for Bhubaneshwar and Bhadrak Lok Sabh seats and for 5 assembly seats in these districts. Discussions with like-minded forces to field candidates based on common slogan is also started. PUNJAB: The ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance and Congress are the major ruling class parties fighting the Lok Sabha elections in the state, while BSP is making attempts to create inroads by pausing as a better champion of the very same basic policies of the above two, but on a caste-based alliance. CPI and CPI(M) are in frantic search for their ‘third front’ alliance which is still a non-starter at all India level. In this situation the state committee based on the basic slogans put forward by the Party at central level has appealed for a polarisation of like-minded forces based anti-imperialist, pro-people slogans. It has condemned the efforts for opportunist alliances based on parliamentary illusions. The state committee is planning to contest the Mansa, Barnala and Ludhiana seats in alliance with like-minded forces and to support candidates of such forces in other seats. In line with the decisions of the Central Committee meeting on 22nd January and based on the Election Manifesto for the Lok Sabh elections finalised by the CC, a vigorous campaign is already launched to reorganise and strengthen the state committees in other states and to organise a country-wide campaign to build up anti-imperialist people’s democratic alternative against all the ruling class alternatives. The CC has decided to publish the Election Manifesto
by 15th February, to pursue talks with like-minded forces and to finalise the candidates in all states by the end of February so that a country-wide campaign can be started from the first week of March. APPEAL TO THE REVOLUTIONARY LEFT, DEMOCRATIC, SECULAR FORCES BY THE CC OF CPI(ML) The 15th Lok Sabha elections are going to take place most probably during April-May 2009 at a critical time in the history of our country. As the consequences of the global financial crisis starting from US have started creating havoc in the country, the total bankruptcy of the claims of the ruling classes and their political representatives for the last two decades that imperialist globalisation, that is, integrating Indian economy with the global finance-market system is the panacea for ‘development’ are proved hollow. While the ruling system here is engaged, similar to what is being done in the imperialist countries, to bail out the speculative sharks who are responsible for this crisis, which is the greatest depression so far and from which no immediate recovery is possible, utilising state revenues, the vast masses of working class and all other oppressed classes and sections are left to reel under growing unemployment, sky rocketing prices of essential commodities and services and all round pauperisation. Still the UPA government at centre and the state governments run by various ruling class parties and social democrats or their alliances are pursuing the very same neo-liberal policies, intensifying the miseries of the people. They are all united to pursue imperialist globalisation still, whatever may be their interpretations for it. Side by side, the communal fascist offensive started by Sangh Parivar and BJP, and aided and abetted by the Congress through the demolition of Babri Masjid to divert the anti-government struggles and the mobilisation of oppressed classes and sections based on Mandal Commission Report has taken the country to unprecedented communalisation, caste-based oppression, criminal-isation and growth of state terrorism, along with terrorism promoted by both majority and minority religious fundamentalists. The whole electoral scene is reduced to communal, caste, parochial based divisive vote bank politics. Following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, both Congress led UPA government and the BJP and Sangh Parivar, aided by the corporate media are competing with each other to spread jingoism, targeting Muslims and Pakistan as the root causes of India’s ills, thus playing in the hands of US imperialism which is engaged in destabilising and controlling the whole region. The UPA government and both Congress and BJP are sabre rattling and working up a war fever with Pakistan with a view to gain upper hand in the Lok Sabha elections. The has further aggravated the communal divisions and all round crisis including the huge economic burden the war build up going to impose over the people. The Congress-led UPA as well as BJP-led NDA are engaged in a frenzied competition to utilise the jingoism against Pakistan and the vote bank politics to win the 15th Lok Sabha elections. The CPI(M)-led Left Front had propped up the UPA government for more than four years and cannot disclaim responsibility for the reactionary policies it pursued. Now the LF has entered into opportunist alliance with AIADMK in Tamilnadu and Telugu Desham in Andhra Pradesh. From Congress and BJP and all other ruling class parties of various shades to CPI(M) are united in implementing the imperialist globalisation policies wherever they are in power. Whether it is UPA or NDA or CPI(M)’s ‘Third Front’, all are basically ruling class alternatives bent upon following the imperialist dictated policies which are ruining the country and pauperising the masses. Continuation of their rule means further intensification of the acute crisis faced by the country and the people. In this grave situation we are of the view that all the revolutionary left, patriotic, democratic, secular forces at all India level should start discussions to chalk out a joint platform of anti-imperialist people’s democratic alternative against all the ruling class alternatives and contest the elections to the Lok Sabha from maximum seats. We propose the following slogans to help our discussion. An early response is requested so that we can start the bilateral discussions to be followed by multilateral discussions among the like minded forces to forge this people’s alternatives as early as possible.
On CPI-CPI(M)-CPI(ML) Liberation Alliance
ON 14TH JANUARY the CPI(M) owned newspapers in different states gave banner heading about the ‘CPI-CPI(M)-CPI(ML)’ alliance forged in Bihar and Jharkhand, calling it broad left front. Though CPI(ML) Liberation is a registered party with the Election Commission in the this name, CPI(M) papers wrote everywhere CPI-CPI(M)-CPI(ML) in order to confuse the revolutionary left forces. It was a cunning game. As far as the CPI(M) leadership is concerned, it is facing a real drought to find alliance partners outside south India. After propping up the Congress-led UPA government faithfully for four years and two months allowing it to impose one after another reactionary policies over the people, it had withdrawn this support as its principal opponent is Congress in the election battle in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. Within days CPI(M) general secretary had visited BSP chief Mayawati at Lucknow and announced prospects of alliance with her, projecting her as next prime minister candidate. But as Mayawati did not entertain alliance with CPI(M) and CPI in the recent state assembly elections preferring to go it alone in all seats, the CPI(M) leaders’ hopes were belied. As shrewd Mayawati has asked for a seat each in Bengal and Kerala for a seat each to them in UP, their hope for alliance with BSP has vanished in thin air. Outside Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, CPI(M)-CPI have succeeded to forge alliance only with Jayalalita’s AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Telugu Desham in Andhra Pradesh and Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka. But as the prospects are for a more splintered hung Lok Sabha after the elections, if the BJP or its alliance turns up as the numerically bigger force, these partners of CPI(M)-CPI will not have any difficulties to once again join the BJP-bandwagon as they did during 1998-2004. CPI(M)’s claims about supporting the UPA government for such a long period in the name of keeping the BJP away from power are getting more and more hollow with this type of outright opportunist alliances. In spite of going to any extent for winning partners for its Third Front in other states, as it is still a non-starter, the CPI(M) has gone for alliance with Liberation to claim some headway in the Hindi belt. Liberation’s adoption of the path of peaceful transition has become helpful to CPI(M) to change its earlier policy and ally with it. It has thus become broad alliance of the social democrats in Bihar and Jharkhand. This alliance shows how far the Liberation has degenerated even from its earlier reformist positions. The CPI(M) has degenerated to an out and out ruling class party today even compared to the 1980s when com. Vinod Mishra had called for a Left Confederation of CPICPI(M)-Liberation. So the present leaders of the Liberation will find it quite difficult to justify this alliance by quoting VM today. Today CPI(M) is a party in which one of its polit bureau members is charge sheeted as one of the accused in the multi-crore Lavlin deal. Its neoliberal path is compelling the revolutionary minded ordinary cadres to leave it in large numbers as evident in Kerala. By joining hands with redundant CPI and neo-liberal CPI(M) leadership, Liberation has proved how far it has also degenerated to the social democratic path. The only alternative before the revolutionary minded forces still left in it is to rebel and get out of it as hundreds of its members have already done in Tamilnadu, AP, Punjab and Gujarat. Naxalbari struggle was waged by the communist revolutionaries within CPI(M) as a revolt against the neo-revisionist CPI(M) leadership. The CPI(ML) was formed in 1969 as a rebellion against CPI and CPI(M). And in spite of his grave mistake of adopting annihilation line and leading CPI(ML) to sectarian line and to severe setbacks and disintegration to numerous groups, com. Charu Majumdar had initiated the rebellion against the revisionist and neorevisionist lines of CPI and CPI(M). So after forging alliance with CPI and CPI(M) leadership, the Liberation leadership has no right to speak about Naxalbari, CPI(ML) and com. CM.
Not Imperialism, Socialism is the Path Forward
THE UNCONTROLLED RULE of the world capital-market that is being run as a casino by the financial czars, and where the parasitic, speculative character of capital is dominating more and more, has been shaken by an international financial crisis to an unprecedented extent and depth. There is great anxiety and the confidence of the masses in the viability of the capitalist economy has severely been shaken. We call to mind that during the last three decades world capitalism has been hit by various forms of economic and financial crises 30 times. About once per decade, worldwide overproduction crises occurred. Such economic crises are inseparably linked up with the capitalist system. Now, even the IMF has announced that the present financial crisis is more serious than even that of 1930. Accordingly the impending world economic crisis will be deeper and more extensive than the previous ones of 1991 and 2001. In order to save the imperialist system from the financial crisis starting from the US, the Bush administration has pumped $700 billion into the financial markets. These are state subsidies to bail out the financial sharks of the crisis for which they themselves are to be blamed. In financial circles it is being estimated that the capitalist states will spend a total of the inconceivable sum of more than $ 10 trillion in order to check the uncontrolled destruction of capital and to settle the losses of finance capital on the back of the broad masses. All this can temporarily decelerate the worst excesses of the international financial crisis, but it can neither solve it nor cancel it. The measures for checking the crisis will rather even intensify or provoke the future development of crises. There is a growing trend that invests hope and political energy in seeking Keynesian solutions that would be efficacious in transcending the crisis. Given the weakening of the national state structures due to globalization, such solutions will be discovered to be illusory. These huge sums of money being paid out by various governments, to keep the fat imperialists afloat, are being squeezed out of the people by means of taxes, abolishment of social rights, higher inflation and intensified exploitation, which may cause a considerable aggravation of class contradictions. Even today hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs due to the interruption of payment transactions. The imperialist crisis management holds the entire society liable for the incapability of those in power to lead society for the benefit and in the interests of the broad masses. It is a cover for the increased looting of the vast masses and the transfer of this wealth to the hands of a few in the ruling classes. It also shows that the Governments in such imperialist and neo-colonial countries are not working in the interests of the masses but merely to safeguard the imperialist system of exploitation. This financial crisis reveals the insatiable greed of the ruling finance capital for maximum profits and the corruption of the imperialist economy, which is a parasite on the toiling masses of humanity. The same imperialist system, in which it is possible that a few finance oligarchs are gambling away the fruits of social wealth at the roulette table of speculation, is not by chance also responsible for the US wars of occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and other onslaughts against the world people. The imperialist world system is against the interests of the majority of mankind and has to be called into question fundamentally and to be overcome. The upcoming world economic crisis will combine with deep political crises - the already chronic latent political crises will break out deeper and more often. It will intensify the class struggle between the monopolies and the working class, and between the imperialist system and the nations and people of the world to the utmost and constitute the basis for revolutionizing the working class and the broad masses. The ruling classes are well aware that the tendency towards a revolutionary world crisis is inherent in the imperialist world system. For this reason they prepare themselves to maintain their power with every means available to them under the hypocritical banner of the fight against terrorism. As long as the fundamental contradiction in the imperialist system, between the everincreasing socialization and internationalization of production and the private appropriation of the produce by the ever narrowing internationally operating finance oligarchs exists, there is no escape from world-wide havoc. That is why Marx and Engels, and later, Lenin, have taught that without overcoming the imperialist system, without its replacement by a socialist social order, the proneness to crisis of society cannot be resolved.
We therefore call upon all Marxist-Leninist Revolutionaries to come together in this period of crisis and organize themselves and to organize the masses for the struggle against the imperialist system and for people’s democracy and socialism. Down with the imperialist system! March forward along the path of the Worldwide Democratic & Socialist Revolution! Signatories : Resistance Movement, Bulgaria; Communist Party of Columbia–Maoists (PCC-M); Communist Party of Czechoslovakia-Czechoslovakian Workers Party (KSC-CSSP); Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD); Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); PCC, CPI(ML); Communist Organization of Luxembourg (KOL); Nepal Communist Party(Mashal); GML/Red Morning, Netherlands; New Communist Party of Romania (NCPR); Marxist-Leninist Platform,Russia; Russian Maoist Party (RMP); Workers Party (Partija Rada),Serbia; Workers Education Zürich,Switzerland; Bolshevist Party North-Kurdistan Turkey (BP NK-T); Coordinating Council of the Workers’ Movement, Ukraine.
People Around the World Condemn Israeli Attacks on Gaza
Denounce US and European Complicity in the Barbarous Attacks on Gaza by Israel ! Express Militant Solidarity with Gazan People !
GAZA AND WEST BANK inhabited by the Palestinian people are turned in to the biggest prisons in the world, prisons where millions of people are subjected to barbarous attacks, shellings, bombings, rocket attacks, aggression using even poisonous gases, killing, maiming thousands, and flattening houses, hospitals, schools, worship places, markets and whatever is standing. Children and women become the easy targets. In the name of disciplining Hamas what was let loose for weeks in the coldest days of December and January by the Zionist thugs, murderers, sadists, fascists is an attack on the humanity itself. The CC of the CPI(ML) has condemned this aggression with all its might and has called for protest actions all over the country, alone and joining with other anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist forces. Reports are received from different states about various forms of protest actions. The CC of the CPI(ML) expresses its firm solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people and the fighting forces there who have
once again humiliated this marauding brutes with their sheer heroism. We shall continue to stand firmly in support of you. The CC of the CPI(ML) strongly condemn the US imperialists, the European imperialists and all the Security Council members including Russia and China for their support to this beastly aggression, to this pogrom, for arming and encouraging the Zionist fascists, and for not doing anything significant in the Security Council to block this genocide. We appeal to all anti-imperialist forces across the world to unite in militant solidarity with the Palestinian people and against the Israeli aggressors and their overt and covert supporters. 22-01-2009 CC, CPI(ML) [We are publishing below a statement by comrade Khalid Mishal, head of the Hamas Political Bureau, and some of the reports of worldwide demonstrations against the Zionist aggression on Gaza. - Red Star] THIS BRUTALITY WILL NEVER BREAK OUR WILL TO BE FREE For 18 months my people in Gaza have been under siege, incarcerated inside the world’s biggest prison, sealed off from land, air and sea, caged and starved, denied even medication for our sick. After the slow death policy came the bombardment. In this most densely populated of places, nothing has been spared by the Israel’s warplanes, from government buildings to homes, mosques, hospitals, schools and markets. More than 540 have been killed and thousands permanently maimed. A third are women and children. Whole families have been massacred, some while they slept. This river of blood is being shed under lies and false pretexts. For six months we in Hamas observed the cease-fire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start. Israel was required to open crossings to Gaza, and extend the truce to the West Bank. It proceeded to tighten its deadly siege of Gaza, repeatedly cutting electricity and water supplies. The collective punishment did not halt, but accelerated - as did the assassinations and killings. Thirty Gazans were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds of patients died as a direct effect of the siege during the so-called cease-fire. Israel enjoyed a period of calm. Our people did not. When this broken truce neared its end, we expressed our readiness for a new comprehensive truce in return for lifting the blockade and opening all Gaza border crossings, including Rafah. Our calls fell on deaf ears. Yet still we would be willing to begin a new truce on these terms following the complete withdrawal of the invading forces from Gaza. No rockets have ever been fired from the West Bank. But 50 died and hundreds more were injured there last year at Israel’s hands, while its expansionism proceeded relentlessly. We are meant to be content with shrinking scraps of territory, a handful of cantons at Israel’s mercy, enclosed by it from all sides. The truth is Israel seeks a one-sided cease-fire, observed by my people alone, in return for siege, starvation, bombardment, assassi-nations, incursions and colonial settlement. What Israel wants is a gratuitous cease-fire. The logic of those who demand that we stop our resistance is absurd. They absolve the aggressor and occupier — armed with the deadliest weapons of death and destruction — of responsibility, while blaming the victim, prisoner and occupied. Our modest, home-made rockets are our cry of protest to the world. Israel and its American and European sponsors want us to be killed in silence. But die in silence we will not. What is being visited on Gaza today was visited on Yasser Arafat before. When he refused to bow to Israel’s dictates, he was imprisoned in his Ramallah headquarters, surrounded by tanks for two years. When this failed to break his resolve, he was murdered by poisoning. Gaza enters 2009 just as it did 2008: under Israeli fire. Between January and February of last year 140 Gazans died in air strikes. And just before it embarked on its failed military assault on Lebanon in July 2006, Israel rained thousands of shells on Gaza, killing 240. From Deir Yassin in 1948 to Gaza today, the list of Israel’s crimes is long. The justifications change, but the reality is the same: colonial occupation, oppression, and never-ending injustice. If this
is the “free world” whose “values” Israel is defending, as its foreign minister Tzipi Livni alleges, then we want nothing to do with it. Israel’s leaders remain in the grip of confusion, unable to set clear goals for the attacks from ousting the legitimately elected Hamas government and destroying its infrastructure, to stopping the rockets. As they fail to break Gaza’s resistance the benchmark has been lowered. Now they speak of weakening Hamas and limiting the resistance. But they will achieve neither. Gaza’s people are more united than ever, determined not to be terrorised into submission. Our fighters, armed with the justice of their cause, have already caused many casualties among the occupation army and will fight on to defend their land and people. Nothing can defeat our will to be free. Once again, Washington and Europe have opted to aid and abet the jailer, occupier and aggressor, and to condemn its victims. We hoped Barack Obama would break with George Bush’s disastrous legacy but his start is not encouraging. While he swiftly moved to denounce the Mumbai attacks, he remains tongue-tied after 10 days of slaughter in Gaza. But my people are not alone. Millions of freedom-loving men and women stand by its struggle for justice and liberation - witness daily protests against Israeli aggression, not only in the Arab and Islamic region, but worldwide. Israel will no doubt wreak untold destruction, death and suffering in Gaza. But it will meet the same fate in Gaza as it did in Lebanon. We will not be broken by siege and bombardment, and will never surrender to occupation. [Khalid Mish’al is the head of the Hamas political bureau. Statement issued on 6th January 2009] STATEMENT OF THE CC, PALESTINIAN COMMUNIST PARTY Since Saturday noon 27/12/2008, our Palestinian people in Gaza which is in the state of siege for more than 20 months facing the worst bloody massacre. Hundreds of our people were murdered due to Israeli air strikes which is carried with total disregard to human beings and with disregard to Civilian Institutions such as Schools, Universities, Mosques etc. Hundreds are dead and over one thousand and seven hundreds wounded due to the Savage air strikes and attacks on civilians up to now. The Zionest State uses all sort of weapon from air, land, and sea to blockade people in order to break their will in resistance and steadfastness and force our people to accept the Zionist-Imperialist plans and give up the right of Palestinians for self- determination to establish their free state on their occupied land since the year of 1967 according to the International legitimacy and the Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 194. We in the Palestinian Communist Party, as part of this striving people, suffers for more than 60 years from oppression of the racist-zionest regime. The Palestinian suffers from the International community’s double standards and biases. We look forward to you and to your free peoples to stand with our people and our Party at all International fronts and in all related International conferences. Long live Communist Unity Long live the unity of all oppressed peoples. APPEAL BY THE LEBANESE COMMUNIST PARTY In solidarity with Palestine and Gaza strip facing the Israeli Massive Aggressions Palestine is still under the aggressive brutal actions of the Israeli enemy whereby hundreds of people by today morning were either killed or injured. The massive aggressions today in Gaza target the innocent children, women, and civilians in accordance with the American Project in the Middle East. Gaza massacre is viewed as a new momentum to the famous project entitled: “The New Middle East”. Elements of this project are very evident: introducing more of the expansionist
policies whereby free people are deprived of their right to struggle and strive for a better living. Therefore, this is a single episode of the long project including wars and conflicts sponsored by the US. In fact, the peoples of Gaza, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and the whole Arab region are suffering from the same organized Israeli aggression aiming at cancelling the rightful Palestinian cause. Therefore, it is our responsibility, as the Lebanese communist party to call on all the communist, socialist, democratic parties, social forces, civil societies to act upon this and struggle in the face of the on going aggression. Thus, we call for issuing solidarity statements to put pressure on the international society to stop Israel’s brutal aggressions immediately, without any conditions. Also we call for solidarity movements and appeals for supporting the resistance and freedom struggle of the Palestinian people and for everlasting peace. l 27-12-2009 COMMUNIST PARTY OF ISRAEL CONDEMNS DEADLY ATTACKS ON GAZA AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL MOBILIZATION The Communist Party of Israel and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) condemns today’s deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of over 150 Palestinians. The CPI calls on Communist and Workers parties and social movements throughout the world to mobilize against these Israeli war crimes and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak, and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel’s election process. Today’s Israel’s military attack is part of the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel is exploiting the last moments of the Bush administration to implement the deadly but ineffective imperialist policy of utilizing military force to effect political change. Demonstrations against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are planned in the major Israeli cities, and demonstrations will be held tonight in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Nazareth. 2008-12-29 MASSIVE LONDON DEMONSTRATION OPPOSES ISRAEL’S GAZA ATTACKS Up to 150,000 people took to the streets of London on Saturday in a mass show of solidarity with Palestinians caught under Israeli bombs in the Gaza Strip. The London demonstration was part of a wave of outrage at Israel. More than 10,000 marched in Edinburgh. At least 30,000 protested in Paris and 100,000 in Barcelona. There were further marches in the US, Norway, Greece, Malaysia, Sweden, Bosnia, Lebanon, Thailand, South Korea and India. The London demonstration drew families, young people and trade unionists. As the march assembled Hyde Park had a thick covering of frost. Demonstrators braved freezing temperatures to march from Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, through Notting Hill Gate, up Kensington High Street by the Israeli embassy to a rally filling the road by Kensington Gardens. Police initially claimed that only 12,000 people marched (the same figure they chose for a sizable, but far smaller march last Saturday), though they later increased this to 20,000. Many protesters stopped outside the gates to the road containing the embassy, to throw shoes. As the numbers grew after the rally, witnesses said riot police defending the gate sprayed white clouds of gas at a section of the crowd. Some fainted as they were overcome by the gas. Those who attempted to escape the confrontation found their way blocked by increasingly aggressive police. Baton wielding riot police then stormed in from a side street to split the demonstration in two. In the panic many demonstrators became crushed against a double line of police barriers that blocked off the pavement. Police pushed back people who were attempted to cross the barriers to safety. The pressure of bodies eventually caused the barriers to give way.
Furious demonstrators then succeeded in forcing the riot police back down the side street to release those caught in the crush. Hours of confrontations followed with police eventually driving vans into the back of the crowd, as mounted police, supported by more police reinforcements, made several charges into the demonstration. Many of the protesters took refuge in buildings to escape the ensuing police riot. Others were chased down side streets. As they stumbled away a number of these were set on by gangs of police. They beat several people with batons and kicked them, as they lay helpless on the ground. A section of the crowd then set up a series makeshift barricades to stop the police charges. This action allowed people to retreat safely. The police riot continued into the evening. It marks a new phase of violent police behaviour against anti-war demonstrations that have always passed off peacefully. The demonstration was called by the Stop The War Coalition, the British Muslim Initiative and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. (January 12, 2009) 250,000 SPANIARDS DENOUNCE ISRAEL’S BLOODSHED In the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in Europe so far, over 250,000 Spaniards denounce Israel’s bloodshed in Gaza and call for ceasefire. Protesters in Spain’s capital Madrid and in other cities, including Seville, Malaga, Oviedo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Ourense, carried banners saying “Peace”, “SOS Gaza” and placards with the word “Gaza” above a red-stained hand and mock blood-spattered bodies of children. Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem’s mother Pilar, also an actress, was among the speakers who addressed the crowd. “The Spanish government has to do something. The Gaza Strip is now practically a concentration camp,” AP quoted her as saying. Sunday’s protests are a follow-up of Barcelona’s mass demonstration the previous day, where police estimated the crowd around 30,000 but according to organisers accounts, 100,000 people took to the streets. The demonstration was organised by an alliance of groups, which in the past had organised mass protests against the US-led invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, 30,000 people protested in Brussels on Sunday denouncing the Israeli carnage in Gaza. Children carrying effigies of dead and bloodied babies were at the head of the procession. Also in the Italian cities of Rome, Naples and Verona, thousands of people marched in pro-Palestinian rallies. In Athens, Greece, dozens of children and their parents, carrying effigies and photos of bloodied children, marched to protest Israel’s incursion and bloodshed in Gaza. (12-01-2009 ) 100,000 DEMONSTRATE IN PARIS French protesters marched through Paris, other French cities to denounce Israeli’s offensive in Gaza. Tens of thousands of protesters marched through central Paris and other French cities Saturday to denounce Israeli’s offensive in Gaza and express support for the Palestinian cause. Thousands of French men and women carried Palestinian banners, amid cries of “Israel murderer”. As the various groups gathered, portraits of slain Hamas chief Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah were carried behind those of revolutionary Che Guevara and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. A banner strung along a truck carrying a sound system declared: “Support for Hamas”, as all the chants laid the blame for the fighting at Israel’s door. “We are all Palestinians. We are all children of Gaza,” the cortege chanted as it set off down a treelined boulevard separating eastern Paris’ districts from the Marais, the city’s oldest Jewish quarter. “I have no problem marching with Hamas. Hamas has been victim of a campaign of disinformation,” Mark Cramer, a 62-year-old a former journalist from New York and founder member of Paris group “Americans Against the War.” Cramer put the blame for the collapse of the Middle East ceasefire on Israel. “There was a mediaeval siege against Gaza. That siege was violent. People were starving,” he said. Some 3800 police were deployed, equipped with riot shields and body armour, but remained
discreetly in side streets as the crowd marched on under a sea of Palestinian and Hezbollah flags. Despite the biting winter chill, organisers claimed a turnout of 100,000. In the northern industrial city of Lille around 10,000 protesters gathered, according to both police and organisers. Other protests took place in Toulouse in the southwest and Mulhoise in the east. (10-01-2009) TENS OF THOUSANDS PROTEST ACROSS THE UNITED STATES On Saturday, January 10, hundreds of cities, and hundreds of thousands of people, responded to the call for an International Day of Emergency Action to support the people of Gaza. Outside the United States, marches took place in London, Edinburgh, Cairo, Athens, Kuala Lumpur, Beirut, Seoul, Mexico City, Jakarta, Montreal, Paris, Barcelona, Marseilles, Lyon, Oslo, Berlin, Bern, Karachi, Nablus, New Delhi, Amman, Sarajevo, Ramallah, Stockholm and Tokyo. The protests continue to grow — today, another 250,000 took to the streets in Spain and more than 100,000 in Algeria. In the US, the Day of Action was initiated on just one week’s notice by a call from the ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda - International Palestine Right to Return Coalition. In Washington DC, over 20,000 took to the streets in the freezing rain to demand, “Let Gaza Live!”. The streets were so backed up that thousands of people in buses and cars were still arriving after the march had left Lafayette Park. The demonstration began with a rally at the White House. Featured speakers included former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was just on a humanitarian relief mission attempting to bring supplies to Gaza when the boat she was on was intentionally struck by an Israeli military vessel; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom; Rev. Graylan Hagler, National President of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice; Mounzer Sleiman, Vice Chairman, National Council of Arab Americans; Ralph Nader; Paul Zulkowitz, Jews Against the Occupation; Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice; and others. The spirited march then led to the Washington Post, where demonstrators denounced the paper for its biased pro-Israeli coverage of the massacre and its complete blackout of protest activities in the United States. In San Francisco, 10,000 took part in the march and rally. The rally included a huge outpouring from the local Arab community, and energetic participation from Bay Area youth. A crowd of 2000 demonstrators confronted a heavy police presence in downtown Orlando for the “Let Gaza Live: Florida Statewide March for Palestine” called by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition/Florida—just six days prior. The demonstration is the largest antiwar demonstration in Florida in more than a decade and certainly the largest ever protest in Florida calling for a free Palestine. Police tried to intimidate marchers by initially searching all bags, forcing protesters to remove sticks from signs, and denying the use of amplified sound. Organizers and protesters challenged and pushed back their unwarranted scare tactics, and the protest turned out to be a powerful success. In Los Angeles, 10,000 people participated in a regional mass march and rally to “Let Gaza Live” at the Westwood Federal Building. Hundreds of Palestinian flags and signs reading “Stop bombing Gaza!” and “The real terrorists: US/Israel war machine!” lined all sides of the street and the lawn in front of the federal government headquarters. It was the largest protest and the first major march in Southern California since the Israeli bombing campaign and invasion began. A funeral procession led the march with makeshift coffins draped with Palestinian flags, representing the hundreds of people killed by Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza. Hundreds of children followed, along with a huge, hand-made Palestinian flag, in a contingent organized by the Palestinian American Women’s Association.
The worldwide movement is continuing to grow with more protests today, January 11. There will be countless other actions in the days to come. Today in New York City, the police carried out a violent assault against those marching in mid-town Manhattan in support of the people of Palestine. A number of people were injured and arrested. With the support of the United States, the Israeli military machine has expanded its invasion into urban areas of Gaza. The death toll among Palestinians is now nearly 900, with many thousands wounded. The injured and hungry of Gaza have no relief. We must do everything in our power to deepen and broaden this movement in the coming days. (January 11, 2009 ) THOUSANDS PROTEST ACROSS TIES SOUTH AFRICA, CALL FOR SANCTIONS AND CUTTING DIPLOMATIC
In Tshwane, Durban and Port Elizabeth, thousands of people protested today (Friday) against the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel. Some 2000 people laid siege to the Egyptian Embassy in Tshwane, while thousands marched in Durban, Port Elizabeth witnessed a placard demonstration, and a huge rally was held in Cape Town. Actions follow a week of energetic activity by Palestine solidarity organisations throughout the country. 15,000 people marched in Cape Town one day before and the city also saw placard demonstrations throughout the week. The messages emerging from the protests and from the spokespersons of the various organisations have been - A demand that Israel ceases its “genocidal campaign” and withdraws its troops from Gaza; Calls on the South African government to recall the South African ambassador from Tel Aviv, expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa, and sever all diplomatic ties with Israel; Calls on the South African government to impose sanctions against Israel — as has been called for by more than 200 Palestinian political, social and other organizations representing the vast majority of Palestinian society; and A commitment to a sustained campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions. In addition, speakers at yesterday’s march and at today’s protests emphasised the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation of their lands. In Tshwane, today, people from across the province protested against the involvement of the Egyptian government in the current massacres in Gaza. Salim Vally, of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, said that in the past 18 months, while the people of Gaza were under siege and no food, fuel or medicines were allowed freely to enter the territory, Egypt had ensured that it kept its border with Gaza — the Rafah Crossing — sealed as well. The rulers of Egypt are proving how faithfully they are serving the Zionists and their US imperialist masters.
The Inauguration of a New President: The Continuation of US Imperialist Rule
ON JANUARY 20, 2009, in front of the largest inaugural crowd in U.S. history, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the USA under the U.S. Constitution. As many as three million people are expected to make the pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. A large number of them, especially among the Afro-American people, are motivated by many of the same religious feelings that possess millions of other distressed and oppressed human beings who travel to Rome or Mecca or Jerusalem or the holy sites of India or elsewhere around the world in the expectation that their lives will be enriched, their distress will be relieved, their oppression will be lifted. The millions who travel to Washington, D.C. will be clinging to their “faith” in “the Obama dream” in the face of a mountain of facts, a mountain which grows larger every day. We hope this Newsletter is a source of cold bracing water – not serving as a “wet blanket” spoiling a big celebration. Rather, we hope it serves as an aid to wake up those millions in the USA and billions worldwide who have been taking a nap, induced by the soothing lullaby of the two years-long epic flim-flam of the U.S. presidential campaign and its ultimate product, “the Obama dream.” We all need to deal seriously and effectively with U.S. imperialism, and international capital, especially in the world capitalist economic crisis that has now erupted. In the period since his election, Barack Obama has rapidly assembled his leadership team. Especially in the most crucial departments of the U.S. imperialist state apparatus, Obama has not only elevated the Democratic Party hack “usual suspects” but has even retained a number of key Bush Regime war criminals for his own inner circle. This is certainly true of his National Security team, tasked with defending the U.S. Empire at home and abroad, and his Economy Team tasked with providing a turnaround for the collapsing U.S. and world capitalist economy and providing relief to the rapidly increasing millions of dispossessed in the USA itself. MILITARY FACTS AND PROSPECTS FOR PEACE: One of the earliest and most important forces behind the Obama candidacy were those pacifists and anti-war activists who opposed the Bush Regime’s war policies to one degree or another. Obama’s opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq while he was still in the Illinois Senate was much of the basis for the Obama campaign’s ability to surpass Hillary Clinton and make him the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. This anti-war credential remained a key ingredient in his successful run for the Presidency against Republican John McCain, who was saddled (thanks to the Iraqi and Afghan people’s resistance movements) with the Bush Regime’s criminal and failed war policies. As soon as he became President-elect, however, Obama praised Senator McCain, a classic war criminal in the Vietnam War.* Obama said of his Republican “rival,” “He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.” (Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech, 11-4-08) *As a privileged fighter pilot, this son and grandson of four-star admirals had enthusiastically bombed the Vietnamese people until he was shot down, captured and made a prisoner of war by the heroic Vietnamese national liberation fighters. Since then, Obama has selected a National Security Team of war mongers, connected to the military-industrial and finance capitalist complex. All have already proven themselves in the service of arch war criminal George W. Bush! First of all, Obama has chosen to retain Bush’s own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to lead the entire U.S. military apparatus! And Gates has already begun to implement Obama’s plans to expand the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama has selected
Clinton, with her track record of six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee and strong support for Bush’s so-called war on terror, to be his Secretary of State. Finally, he has selected Marine four-star General James Jones to be his National Security Adviser. At the beginning of 2003 George W. Bush had made General Jones the head of the U.S. European Central Command and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in which capacity he served until the end of 2006. In 2007, Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a fellow board member of Chevron Corporation, appointed then retired General Jones as Special Envoy for Middle East Security where he represented the Bush Regime and U.S. imperialism in building the security infrastructure of both the Israeli settler state and the imperialist puppet Palestinian Authority and conducted U.S. security negotiations with them. General Jones concurrently served as the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Institute for 21st Century Energy” and today remains a member of the board of directors of the Boeing Company as well as Chevron. As he deals with the Middle East and other national security matters, General Jones will not forget where his bread is buttered. In addition, Obama’s very first appointee, Rahm Emanuel, his Chief of Staff, is a dual citizen (U.S. and Israel) who is a combat veteran of the Israeli military as well as a former Wall Street investment banker and insider at Freddie Mac. And one of Obama’s earliest acts, as President-Elect, was to intercede with the Senate Democratic leadership to allow the “Independent Democrat,” Joseph Lieberman, a key link between the Israeli settler state and the U.S. imperialist state, to retain his Chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in spite of his unqualified support for Obama’s Republican rival, McCain, for the Presidency! Obama’s national security team has been praised by John McCain, and his key Senate allies, Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) and, of course, Joseph Lieberman (Independ-ent Democrat-Connecticut) as well as by George W. Bush’s former political director and chief strategist, Karl Rove. Rove observed that Obama’s national security team “represents, to a substantial degree, continuity.” Rather than peace becoming a reachable goal in Afghanistan and Iraq on the eve of the Obama inauguration, the settler state of Israel, the most reliable ally of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East, has launched a massive air war and ground invasion on the Palestinian people of the Gaza strip. This Israeli military assault has the full backing of the disgraced Bush Regime and, more importantly, the clear backing of the incoming Obama administration. This latter point helps explain why virtually no government in the world has raised its voice in defense of the Hamas-led Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip nor condemned the role of U.S. imperialism in this brutal war crime.* *An indication of the significance of Obama’s support for the Israeli aggression in Gaza is that, in the truthful words of anti-war heroine Cindy Sheehan, “‘the anti-Republican war’ movement will stand down, as evidenced at the recent United For Peace and Justice gathering where it was decided to do a mass protest highlighting the ‘economic crisis’ in NYC instead of an anti-war protest on the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.” Evidently, the argument that prevailed at this anti-war (but definitely not anti-imperialist) group’s convention was to give Obama a “honeymoon” opportunity to end the war on his own rather than demanding that the new administration carry out the anti-war agenda they supposedly elected him to carry out. From the standpoint of the international working class and the oppressed peoples, the incoming Obama Regime, somehow freed of all the Bush baggage, represents a new counter offensive in defense of the U.S. Empire and a temporary strengthening of U.S. imperialism. A CALL TO THE US WORKING CLASS 1. Had the world communist movement been armed with a proletarian internationalist world outlook over the past two years, “the Obama phenomenon,” providing a new and exciting façade for bourgeois democratic illusions about the U.S. imperialist state, and thus representing a new U.S. imperialist ideological and political counter-offensive, would have been thoroughly exposed. With a clear internationalist view that the liberation movements of the Afghani and Iraqi peoples are on the
frontlines of our struggle, President-elect Obama’s decision to retain George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, would have been the “last straw” rather than the first hint about Obama’s key role in defense of the U.S. Empire. 2. Those proletarian revolution-aries, Marxist-Leninists, scientific socialists, who understand clearly that Obama has become the leader of the U.S. imperialist state, the chief bulwark of world capitalism, have a responsi-bility to help unite those working people who have illusions about Obama with those who do not, in practical activities – tactically projecting petition campaigns, marches, strikes and solidarity strikes, sit-ins and sit-downs – making demands on Obama, channeling the mass mobilization into a fight for our own working class and mass interests in opposition to the interests of U.S. imperialism. 3. The working class and oppressed masses of the USA cannot afford to watch and wait in the face of the deepening economic crisis, wars at home and abroad and the continuation of U.S. imperialist rule, now coming under the baton of the new Obama administration. The encouraging examples of struggle of the Smithfield, Republic Windows and SEIU 250 workers help chart the path for militant “Fight Back” actions against the Wall Street rich and their obscene trillion dollar government bail-outs as well as the oil wars in defense of U.S. Empire in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. Struggles for more union jobs and decent wages and a massive public works program, to keep homeowners and renters in their homes, to win guaranteed pensions, to fight for health care for all (the new coalition “Labor for Health Care” is a positive example), to gain “the right of return” for the AfroAmerican masses and other displaced people to and the reconstruction of the Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast and for nationalizing the banks and placing them in the service of the people are all on the order of the day! Let us heed the words of Georgi Dimitroff, the outstanding leader of the Communist International and hero of the fight against Hitler and world fascism leading up to and during World War II: “… in history great revolutions have grown out of small movements for the defense of the elementary rights of the working class.” [Revolutionary Organisation of Labour, USA]
President Obama’s Special Envoys: So Where is the Change?
Feroze Mithiborwala PRESIDENT OBAMA in his urge to show the world that one of the first acts of his administration will be to get actively involved in the Palestine/Israel conflict and the larger Arab arena as well as the South Asian theatre has made three appointments. But the imbalance inherent in the appointments of George J. Mitchell as special envoy to Palestine/Israel and the Arab states, Richard Holbrooke to Afghanistan/Pakistan and Dennis Ross to Iran have sowed the seeds for further destruction and war. Of the three, George J. Mitchell is the only one with track record of past negotiations in Ireland. He is a democrat of the Jimmy Carter mould. While announcing Mr. Mitchell’s appointment, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who herself is beholden to the Israeli Lobby and is a Zionist herself, did not even mention Palestine and stated that G.J. Mitchell would undertake to negotiate between Israel and the Arab States. It was only after Mr. Mitchell mentioned Palestine as being the key to the region, did Hillary refer to the matter. One may also recall that Hillary had also threatened to “nuke Iran” and today she is the Secretary of State. Moreover President Obama himself is giving very little room for Mr. Mitchell to involve all the representative forces within Palestine. Obama still believes that ex-President Mahmood Abbas enjoys the support of his people, even after his constitutional term expired on 9th January 2009. The Palestine Authority is in tatters due to the Israeli intransigence and yet Obama wants to exclude the democratically
elected Hamas government from the dialogue. This is a sure recipe for a guaranteed disaster and will only serve to reduce any space for maneuver for Mr. Mitchell who faces the most daunting and onerous task. Especially after the Israeli genocidal attack on Gaza, where Obama chose to keep mum, the will of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation has grown and so has the global support for the cause of the Palestinian nation. Even during Obama’s inaugural speech, he chose to desist from condemning the “shoah” in Gaza that was witnessed across every household in the world and had miraculously (?) come to a halt two days prior to the swearing in of the new president. Richard Holbrooke the special envoy for Afghanistan & Pakistan is a hawk and is currently part of the neo-conservative organization, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). Mr. Holbrooke is also referred to as a Hillary neo-conservative. He has co-authored a statement with the extreme hawk and Neo-con, Dennis Ross that openly threatens military action against Iran. Holbrooke has also been part of the National Endowment for Democracy that advocates “regime change”. Holbrooke is also part of the “Council for Foreign Relations” (CFR) which is the bastion of the Israeli lobby and it is the CFR that dominates and determines US foreign policy. Dennis Ross who is the special envoy to Iran is a hardened Neo-con, an Iran baiter and an Israel-firster. He supported the war on Iraq which Obama has opposed. Ross has also served with the pro-Israel think tank, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) as well as with the “Jewish People Policy Planning Institute” (JPPPI), based in Jerusalem. Dennis Ross has co-authored the report “Meeting the Challenge: US Policy towards Iranian Nuclear Development”. This report alludes to an Iranian nuclear programme that has been debunked by the CIA National Intelligence Report (Nov 2007) that said that the Iran nuclear program was on hold. The report calls for the military encirclement of Iran, pressure on Iran to abrogate its nuclear programme and thus leading to its logical extension where “war becomes inevitable”. It is clear to all those who understand the regions of the Middle East and South Asia that the Obama appointees are doomed to fail. If Obama was serious in pursuing peace then Holbrooke and Ross would not have been the considered choice. And failure, as per the calculations of the Neo-conservatives and the Zionists will lead to war. The call for war under a McCain would have not found support either within America or the world at large, but the Neo-conservative/Zionist calculation is to have a supposed liberal called Obama, who having tried to negotiate and use diplomacy and having failed, will then appeal for war. Obama in his inaugural speech had also stated that, “Our nation is at war against a farreaching network of violence and hatred” and “We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense” and more ominously he further states that, “For those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughter of innocents (very applicable to Israel), we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken, you cannot outlast us & we will defeat you”. All of the above are classic Bush-Neoconservatism, couched in the suave & sophisticated liberalism of a Black president, with Hussein as his middle name. And therein lies the danger !
Obama’s Coronation and After
LIBEL AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE The phrases in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech that have evoked the greatest enthusiasm across the political spectrum of the US establishment, from the Republican right to liberal Democrats, were those suggesting that the American people are responsible for the present economic catastrophe. “Our economy is badly weakened,” he declared, “a
consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.” Precisely what those “hard choices” are Obama did not specify, but he made clear they in no way involve a challenge to the capitalist market system, declaring that “its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.” He broadly hinted that the “hard choices” he would make involve sweeping cuts in social programs, including ending programs that don’t’ “work.” This policy of austerity, which, as he had previously indicated, would include cuts in bedrock programs such as Social Security and Medicare, was summed up in his call for “a new era of responsibility.” The working class bears no responsibility for the collapse of the financial system and the resulting recession that is developing into a full-scale depression. Working people have no control over the policies and actions of the multimillionaires and billionaires who bestride Wall Street. They had no say in concocting the Ponzi schemes that generated multimillion-dollar compensation packages and colossal personal fortunes for the financial aristocracy until they collapsed, as they were bound to. Working people are the victims of the maniacal greed of the corporate-financial elite, which itself is an expression of fundamental contradictions within the irrational economic system over which they preside. One would think from Obama’s remarks that the broad masses of people in the US have been living the good life. In reality, for three solid decades they have seen their social position decline and their living standards deteriorate as an ever-greater share of the national wealth was funneled into the bank accounts of the ruling elite. This is a system that for decades has starved and dismantled basic industry, allowed the social infrastructure to rot and driven down the living standards of the majority of the population in order to generate higher profits for the elite from financial manipulation and speculation. The American ruling class stands exposed and disgraced before the world as a semi-criminal social layer. LEAVE FRAMEWORK OF TORTURE, INDEFINITE DETENTION KEPT INTACT President Barack Obama issued executive orders mandating the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in a year’s time, requiring that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and military personnel follow the Army Field Manual’s prohibitions on torture, and closing secret CIA prisons overseas. While the media is portraying these orders as a repudiation of the detention and interrogation policies of the Bush administration, they actually change little. They essentially represent a public relations effort to refurbish the image of the United States abroad after years of torture and extralegal detentions and shield high-ranking American officials from potential criminal prosecution. In cowardly fashion, Obama staged his signing of the orders in a manner aimed at placating the political right and defenders of Guantánamo and torture and underscoring his intention to continue the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” He was flanked by 16 retired generals and admirals who have pushed for the closure of the prison camp in Cuba on the grounds that it impedes the prosecution of the global “war” and reiterated in his own remarks his determination to continue the basic political framework of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. They do not affect the hundreds of prisoners—600 at the Bagram prison camp in Afghanistan alone—incarcerated beyond the barbed wire of Guantánamo. If and when Guantánamo is closed, the US government will simply ship alleged terrorists caught up its international dragnet to other American-run prison camps. On the question of so-called “harsh interrogation techniques,” i.e., torture, Obama’s orders leave room for their continuation. White House Counsel Gregory Craig told reporters the administration was prepared to take into account demands from the CIA that such methods be allowed. Obama announced the creation of a task force that will consider new interrogation methods beyond those sanctioned by the Army Field Manual, which now accepts 19 forms of interrogation, as well as the practice of extraordinary rendition.
The new administration has ruled out the only constitutional remedy for those who have been held under barbaric conditions, without due process, for years—either releasing them or giving them a speedy trial in a civilian court, with all of the accompanying legal protections and guarantees. There has been a great deal of speculation that the administration may support the establishment of a special National Security Court within the civilian court system to try Guantánamo prisoners and other alleged terrorists. This would represent yet another attack on civil liberties, setting up a drumhead court system to railroad those charged with terrorism—something that could in future be used to repress political opposition. STOKES UP TRADE TENSIONS WITH CHINA In an ominous move in only the second day of the new US administration, President Barack Obama’s treasury secretary-designate issued a pointed and provocative threat of punitive trade measures against China. Timothy Geithner, currently the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, accused China of “manipulating” its currency in a written statement. It signalled a more aggressive and confrontational policy by the new administration toward China than that of the Bush administration. His use of the term “manipulation,” in particular, was calculated to provoke the Chinese government, because the Treasury Department is required, under a 1988 trade law, to submit a report to Congress in the spring on international currency questions in which the official designation of a country as a currency “manipulator” sets in motion aggressive diplomatic steps that can lead to punitive tariffs and other retaliatory trade and currency measures. The Bush administration and its treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, avoided using the term “manipulation” in the course of protracted efforts to push the Chinese to further drive up the value of the renminbi, resisting pressure from US manufacturers and the trade unions which have demanded more aggressive steps, including trade sanctions, in order to force Beijing to sharply increase the value of the renminbi so as to raise the prices of Chinese exports and thereby make them less competitive with US goods. Since 2005, when China ended its currency peg with the US dollar, the renminbi has risen by some 20 percent in relation to the dollar, but has dropped slightly in recent weeks as the global economic slump has taken hold and China’s exports and overall economy have slumped. The newly confrontational tone signaled by Geithner’s statement portends growing protectionist trends fueled by the accelerating US and global recession, and threatens the kind of “beggar-thyneighbor” policies that dominated the Depression era of the 1930s and led ultimately to world war. In his statement to the Finance Committee, Geithner wrote: “President Obama—backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists—believes that China is manipulating its currency.” The statement further noted Obama’s support as a senator for “tough legislation to overhaul the US process for determining currency manipulation and authorizing new enforcement measures so countries like China cannot continue to get a free pass for undermining fair trade principles.” Obama would, the statement continued, “use aggressively all the diplomatic avenues open to him to seek change in China’s currency practices.” ESCALATED BLOODLETTING IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN In a series of meetings and public appearances, and with the first military strikes of his administration, President Barack Obama has given a clear signal that he plans intensified bloodshed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the US escalates its military intervention in Central and South Asia. Missiles fired from unmanned Predator drones struck two targets inside Pakistan Friday morning, killing at least 18 people. As is always the case with such exercises in remote-controlled murder, US officials claimed they were targeting Al Qaeda, although even US media accounts admitted that the majority of those killed were local residents. Three missiles struck the village of Zharki in North Waziristan, killing ten people, of whom five were described by US “security sources” as Al Qaeda militants. A few hours later, another missile hit a house in South Waziristan, killing eight people whose identities were not known. The strikes were the latest in a series of more than two dozen such attacks since last August, and
Pentagon officials said they had carried out the attacks under existing authority from the outgoing Bush administration, while keeping the new president fully informed of the action. The death toll from the missile campaign, according to Pakistani government figures, numbers at least 263 people. Even US government officials claim only a handful of those killed had any ties to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. The attacks on sovereign Pakistani territory are blatant violations of international law, which the regime in Islamabad protests verbally, while continuing to accept billions in US subsidies to the country’s military. NO ANSWERS YET FOR THE CHALLENGES FROM MELTDOWN The extraordinary speed at which the US economy is contracting continues to confound economists’ forecasts. According to new housing market data released by the Commerce Department yesterday, new home and apartment construction in December plunged 15.5 percent on an annualized basis. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 4 percent fall. Regionally, construction of new homes last month declined at the greatest rate in the South (down 22.2 percent) and the Midwest (down 24.5 percent). The December decline marked a record low, confirming 2008 as the worst year for US builders since such records were kept in 1959. Housing starts last year totaled just over 900,000, down from 1.35 million in 2007. Last year’s construction surpassed the previous low recorded in 1991 of 1.01 million starts. Applications for building permits, an indicator of future home construction, also plummeted last month by 10.7 percent, far worse than economists’ expectation of a 0.8 percent decline. Home prices are still going down. The Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday released its index tracking homes bought with mortgages from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The value of these homes dropped by 1.8 percent between October and November 2008, higher than the 1.1 percent fall recorded a month earlier. The latest data has dashed hopes that the devastated US housing market would recover ground this year. “The market is bloated with excess supply and demand is weak,” Moody’s economist Ryan Sweet told Bloomberg. “The pace of housing starts will remain depressed until 2011.” The meltdown of the housing market has deepened the crisis of the financial sector—with sub-prime mortgage “toxic assets” threatening the entire banking system with insolvency—as well as the economy’s productive base, with the collapse in home values triggering a deflationary spiral of lower consumer spending and business output and investment. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless benefit claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 589,000 in the week ending January 17, the largest recorded since 1982. Economists had forecast just 540,000 new claims. The number of those continuing to seek benefits rose by 97,000—50,000 higher than analysts had anticipated—to 4.6 million. Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth reported that the state’s official unemployment rate for December stood at 10.6 percent. This was up from 9.6 percent in November, and marked the highest jobless rate since December 1984. Most of the state’s December job losses were in the business and professional services sector, with 15,000 layoffs, and the manufacturing sector, with 12,000 jobs cut. A large proportion of the layoffs in each category were made by auto and auto-related companies. Economists expect things to worsen throughout 2009, with Mackinac Center’s David Littmann telling MLive.com that Michigan’s unemployment would likely reach 12 percent as soon as July. Layoffs continue to mount across the US and world economy. Chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corp. is cutting its workforce by 9 percent, shedding 1,175 salaried employees and 490 contractors. Many of the lost jobs will be in Britain, where Huntsman is closing one of its titanium dioxide plants. Computer chip manufacturer Intel is to close five plants, two in the US and three in Asia, and will lay off between 5,000 and 6,000 workers. The announcement follows Intel’s report last week of a 90 percent fall in profits for the final quarter of 2008.
Microsoft announced it will eliminate 5,000 of its 94,000 employees in the next 18 months. This is the first major layoff announcement in the software giant’s history. Another 5,000 contractors may also be dismissed. Falling software sales have seen Microsoft’s net income drop to $4.17 billion in the second quarter, compared to $4.7 billion a year earlier. The company’s shares yesterday fell by nearly 12 percent on Wall Street yesterday. A number of other companies also announced lower revenue and profit streams, driving down the major stock indexes amid volatile trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.3 percent lower, the Nasdaq lost 2.8 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 1.5 percent. The S&P’s financial sector fell by 6.7 percent, due to ongoing concerns over the viability of the major banks. Bank of America lost 14.5 percent of its value while Citigroup declined by 15.3 percent. In Japan, Sony said it expected to post a record annual operating loss of nearly $3 billion. The electronics company last month revealed plans to cut 8,000 positions and close up to six manufacturing plants; it is now to cut an additional 1,000 contract workers and close two more plants in Japan. “The massive economic upheaval being experienced across the world is sparing no one in the consumer electronics world,” Sony CEO Howard Stringer declared. He added that “consumer credit has been stifled” and “some of our biggest retailers have been liquidated.” The collapse of consumer spending in the US and other major economies is badly affecting many export-dependent economies in Asia. Japan’s exports plunged by 35 percent in December on an annualized basis, the largest fall on record. Particularly sharp declines were recorded for exports of cars to the US and Europe and chemicals and electronic components to China. Japan’s trade surplus last year was 80 percent lower than in 2007, and was the smallest recorded since 1982. In South Korea, fourth quarter 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 5.6 percent, the most severe downturn since the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis. The recession is being driven by lower exports—for the fourth quarter, Korea’s goods exports declined by 11.9 percent from the previous three-month period. This was the largest fall since 1979. Fitch Ratings has said it expects the South Korean economy to contract by 2.4 percent this year. Chinese GDP growth stalled in the last three months of 2008. According to official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday, the economy grew by 6.8 percent on an annualized basis, down from 9 percent in the third quarter and 10.6 percent in the second. Fourth quarter growth was the weakest recorded since Beijing first released quarterly figures in 1992. China’s 6.8 percent GDP growth, while higher than most other economies in the region, falls short of the 8 percent level understood to be the minimum required to absorb the continual influx of workers moving to the cities from the countryside. “The situation is really very serious,” Chang Xiuze, of the Macro-Economics Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing, told the Washington Post. He predicted an increase in labor disputes. “If economic growth is too low, the government cannot solve unemployment. If the growth rate is less than 7 percent, the country cannot operate normally.”
Reports From States
Impact of Global Meltdown on Kerala Economy
PJ James COMPARED WITH OTHER INDIAN STATES, the negative fallout arising from the global economic meltdown is more conspicuous in Kerala on account of its close integration with world market. Export orientation and extraversion that serve the interests of global capital had been the hall mark of Kerala economy during the colonial period. During the neocolonial period too under
various governments belonging to the Left and Right varieties this trend continued with intensified vigour. Lack of inter-sector linkages or disarticulation between various sectors of the economy as is well exemplified in the lack of correlation between production and consumption together with the complex interaction of speculative and parasitic financial capital with all spheres make Kerala most vulnerable to the current global capitalist crisis engineered by unhindered financial speculation. In other words, the extreme dependence of Kerala on external markets for its sustenance through the export of primary products and labour power together with the preponderance of speculative capital whose role in the global melt down is self evident automatically expose the State to the harmful consequences of this crisis. This foreign market orientation and the consequent domestic disarticulation became more pronounced since the advent of neoliberal globalization since the 1990s especially with the political and ideological embrace of the same by the CPI (M) led LDF government along with the UDF. This led to a further reorientation in agriculture towards the needs of export on the one hand, and further alienation of the real ‘tillers’ from land itself which became more and more concentrated in the hands of the speculative mafia on the other. At the expense of traditional sectors that provided sustenance to the broad masses, under the neoliberal period the foreign market oriented ‘new economy’ composed of IT, tourism, real estate and similar other money-spinning spheres are being proposed as Kerala’s development alternative leading to ever-intensifying domestic disarticulation on the one hand, and integration of the State’s economy with the vagaries of global market on the other. Consequently, the bursting of the speculative bubble and shrinking of the global market have put Kerala in a most critical situation. For instance, most of the sprawling IT parks in the State were depending on the works outsourced by transnational banks and financial institutions who were utilizing the comparative advantage involved in making use of Kerala’s cheap labour. However with the collapse of such financial institutions, outsourcing has been vanished and the State’s IT bubble is burst. Tourism sector is also facing similar debacle as foreign tourist inflow into the State has been abruptly shrunk due to the slowdown in economic activity and earnings at a global level. In the same vein, Kerala’s foreign exchange earnings from cash crop exports are also shrinking due to lack of demand abroad. Kerala also faces the horrible prospect of the massive return of Gulf migrants following the decline in construction and other economic activities in West Asia consequent on the sudden collapse of crude oil prices. One can provide any number of such instances pertaining to the harmful effects on account of Kerala’s export and foreign market orientation. Therefore, compared to other regions in India, the impact of global economic meltdown becomes particularly significant in Kerala due to the specific pattern of so called development pursued by the State over the years. In fact, Kerala has to learn lessons from this, at least at this critical juncture. That is, it must strive to pursue an inward looking development path oriented to the domestic market with its logical emphasis on productive sectors so that the harmful effects from such shocks can be minimized. Unfortunately, from the pronouncements coming from the leading ruling party in the State, no such thinking is there. On the contrary, as a manifestation of its ideological bankruptcy, the LDF government is bent on pursing the beaten track of export orientation and dependence on foreign speculative capital still more vigorously. This will certainly aggravate the crisis confronting the State. What is required is an inward looking, domestic market oriented, self-reliant development path that strives to enhance employment opportunities and strengthen the purchasing power of the broad masses of people. A firm stand against neoliberal globalization led by speculative finance capital on the one hand, and democratization of land relations based on the slogan ‘land to the tiller’ on the other are essential preconditions for this pro-people path. [Abstract of the Paper presented at the national seminar on Global Financial Crisis by Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala]
TUCI Holds Its 6th All India Conference
TUCI WILL BE HOLDING its 6th All India Conference in Kanpur on 6th and 7th March 2009. Though the next Conference was not due till 2010, due to the massive increase in strength in various states and due to the establishment of its presence in various new states, the General Council decided to prepone the conference. In MP, where the strength was about 3000 in 2007, the strength has gone up to about 40000 and in TN, where the strength was around 1000 in 2007, the strength has gone up to around 25000. States like Odisha (Orissa), where the work has grown significantly was not represented in the Central Committee. TUCI has established its presence quite significantly in states like Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, West Bengal and AP in the period since the last conference. Hence it was felt that the organisational arrangements could not be satisfactorily modified by mere co-options and a need was felt for significant expansion of the Central Committee and of the General Council. Hence the conference. The General Council is meeting in Mumbai on 31st January to finalise the preparations of the conference. The papers planned to be presented in the Conference are “On the International and national situation”; “General Secretary’s report” and “Tactics for TUCI in the present situation”. Drafts of the papers are presented for approval by the General Council. The Co-ordination Committee for Construction Workers, which was formed last year, also is meeting at Mumbai at the time of the General Council meeting. It was decided that the Coordination committee would also present its report to the Conference. This co-ordination committee will also be strengthened by inclusion of representatives of some of the new states. It was decided that there would be about 275 delegates from about 12 states at the Conference. The Conference would be followed by a seminar on closed factories and mills to be held in Kanpur on the 8th of March 2009. This seminar would concentrate on the causes of the recent spate of closures and how globalisation is responsible for the wanton destruction of jobs and the effects of recent economic melt-down. It would also focus on what are the rights that need to be secured for workers in such an environment and would end up by forming a charter of such demands for which all unions and organisations should unite to fight. The seminar will be attended by various unions and organisations from all over India who are uncompromisingly fighting globalisation and also those involved in life-and-death struggles against closures. The seminar will also highlight the role of women who are the worst sufferers in closures and will pay homage to women fighters against closures in commemoration of International Working Women’s Day on 8th March. It is of great significance that this seminar is being held in Kanpur, once the hub of textile mills, where there are only four mills partially functioning at present. The brave fighters of the working class at Kanpur have forced the Government to re-open a closed Jute mill and the Trade Union Council and the Kapda Mill Mazdoor Union, which are affiliated to TUCI have been struggling for re-opening the Elgin Mills here since the past six years. The gates of Elgin Mills have seen the longest active dharna in India (possibly in the world) where the dharna has been going on for over six years and still about 50 workers attend the gate each day. This struggle has forced the cabinet to take a decision to re-open the Elgin Mills but the decision is not being implemented. We hope that this discussion will help the millions of workers all over India who are fighting the closure of industry and we invite all struggling unions in the country to join us at this seminar to find a common solution.
CPI State Council Members and Cadres in MP Join CPI(ML)
THE IDEOLOGICAL, political and organisational offensive launched by the MP state committee of the Party during the November assembly elections and continued thereafter have led to some of the state council members of CPI openly challenging the relevance of it continuing as Communist Party in the 22nd December state council meeting at Bhopal. Following it they have resigned from the membership of the CPI and applied for membership in the CPI(ML). The Madhya Pradesh state committee meeting of the Party on 24th January presided by the state secretary com. Babulal Yadav has accepted the application of comrade Anand Pandey (Sidhi), Ramanuj Tiwari (Rewa), Shivsankar Soni (Singrauli), Arun Pratap (Satna) and a number of cadres in lower committees. Among them com. Anand Pandey was secretary of Sidhi district committee of the CPI and com. Shivsankar Soni was the CPI candidate to Singrauli seat in the just concluded assembly elections. This bold decision by the former leaders and cadres of CPI and the intensification of the struggle of the peasants threatened with displacement for opening Singrauli district as a haven for MNCs and corporate houses have given a new fillip to the communist movement in Rewa division of MP.
Karnataka: RYF State Conference
THE SECOND STATE CONFERENCE of Revolutionary Youth Front (RYF) was successfully held at Raichur on 28-29 December 2008. Before the conference not only Raichur but also Bellary, Koppal, Chikmangalur, Kudagu and other places RYF’s campaign slogans against imperialist globalisation, against communalism, casteism and terrorism were propagated through wallwritings, colour posters and large number of handbills. On 28th December hundreds of youth participated in a colourful and militant rally which culminated in a well attended public meeting. It was inaugurated by com. Manasayya, state secretary, CPI(ML) who called on the youth to intensify the anti-imperialist struggles along with the struggle for demands of the youth. Youth leaders from other states as well as leaders of class and mass organisations addressed the rally. The delegate session started at District Employees Bhavan on 28th evening attended by more than 50 delegates from different districts. While com. Basavalingappa presented the report, com. M. Gangadhar presented the programme and constitution drafts. Delegates from other states greeted the convention. The RYF conference successfully concluded on 29th evening with cultural programmes by the RYF cultural teams. A nine member state committee with com. M. Gangadhar as president, H.E. Sannappa as vice-president, Umesh Kumar as secretary, Venketesh as treasurer was elected. Resolutions urging the youth to fight against the anti-people policies of government, unemployment, corruption, communalism, casteism and terrorism and for demands of youth, for democratic rights were adopted. A resolution in solidarity with the Palestinian people was also adopted. The RYF state conference gave a good encouragement to democratic youth movement in state.
Step Towards Formation of All India Youth Organisation
THE MUCH DELAYED INITIATIVE to build an all India democratic youth organisation with antiimperialist perspective and fighting against all reactionary, communal, casteist, parochial and social democratic trends in the youth movement had gone a step forward when the representatives of the youth organisations attending the state conference of Yuvajana Vedi at Kozhikode, Kerala, in March 2008 had formed an all India coordination committee for this purpose.
In continuation to this the representatives of youth organisations from Kerala, TN, Chhattisgarh, MP and Maharashtra attending the state conference of the RYF of Karnataka on 28, 29 December at Raichur have formed an organising committee to build an all India youth organisation. Its members include comrades MK Dasan (Kerala), Kuchelar (TN), M Gangadhar and Umesh Kumar (Karnataka), Govinda (Maharashtra), Tejram (Chhattisgarh) and Vijay Kumar (MP). Com. Tejram was elected the convener. They discussed the draft programme and constitution and approved the present flag. The next meeting of the organising committee will be held at Bhopal on February 21-22 in which the proposals on name, flag, programme and constitution shall be finalised. Apart from these states, representatives of youth organisations from Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Orissa are also attending the next meeting. An organisational programme at all India level starting from membership campaign, unit, area, district and state conferences culminating with all India conference in one year time and a work programme to launch campaign and struggles focussing international and national issues and problems confronting the youth shall be chalked out. l
MP: Struggle Against Displacement Intensifies in Singrauli
THE CELEBRATION of its election victory by the BJP in MP was by sending police to forcefully throw out peasants of Bandhaura village in Singrauli district on 6th January. Against the peasants, who were opposing the confiscation of their land for the super thermal power plant of ESSAR, police made barbarous lathi-charge and resorted to tear gas attack. Many people were injured. After this brutal attack false cases were charged against more than 200 people. Police is raiding houses and arresting people. The MP state committee of CPI(ML) severely condemned the land acquisition and police attack on protesting peasants. A fact finding team was send on the next day to Bandhaura village under the leadership of com. Badri Prasad, CC member, including comrades Anand Pandey, RP Singh and RMP Mishra. The peasants told the team that for ESSAR project about 2000 acres of land is forcefully taken over. Out of this about 1500 acres are irrigated land. About 1800 families are facing threat of displacement. Previously when Rihand Dam was being constructed they were thrown out of their land for the first time. Some of them who had pattas were given 5 acres each and settled in Bandhaura village and surroundings. More than half those displaced then were dalits and adivasis. As they had no land record, they were not given any land. Now all these landed and landless families are being once again thrown out. The villagers said that they are not ready to hand over the land for ESSAR project. To oppose displacement they are organising dharna from 14th December under the banner of Visthapan Virodhi Simiti. On 6th January without any prior notice the district administration started demolishing their houses using bull dozers. A six month old child sleeping in the house was injured in this. When people opposed the bulldozing of their houses police resorted to brutal attack on them. Six people were arrested. Police terror is still continuing. Many families have locked the houses and ran away. Still the villagers are determined that their resistance will be continued as they will not go away leaving their land. It is not a question of compensation as the government and the BJP leader are trying to project. When in Singrauli district two more power plants of Reliance, one super thermal power plant of ESSAR, bauxite smelter plant of Hindalco along with a captive power plant, two power plants of JP Group, Jindal power plant and dozen more projects are planned utilising the coal and bauxite deposits nearby one lakh acres or more of the land is going to be taken over, Where the villagers, mostly adivasis will go? If the villagers are thrown out without providing alternative land and houses and employment in the projects, they are ready to fight back at any cost. Especially when a reverse method of first starting a large number of projects and then declaring the whole area as SEZ is being imposed over the people, they have no way out
other than to fight back. As many of the families have the bitter experience of displacement more than once, they are not ready to go through this ordeal once again. The MP state committee of CPI(ML) has called for immediate stopping of the whole land acquisition moves. It has demanded that all arrested people should be released, all false cases should be withdrawn, and the injured people and whose houses were damaged should be compensated. As administration is creating terror among the people, the Party has called for withdrawal of all police forces from the villages. The Singrauli and Sidhi district committees as well as TUCI committee have called on the people to continue the struggle. They have extended full support to the struggling people.
Kolkata Visit of MLPD Leaders
COMRADE Stefan Engel, Chairman of MLPD, with association of Clos and Ester visited Kolkata factory of German multinational Henkel (formerly Calcutta Chemical) on 24 November. Workers honoured them with flowers in a meeting organized by the left trade union, Henkel India Mozdoor Union. Manik Samajdar, General Secretary of union honoured the German Marxist-Leninist leaders in his welcome address. Com. Stefan Engel read out a message from the Henkel workers of Germany. Henkel have 53000 thousand of workers through out the world in 125 countries. In the name of world wide financial crisis, multinational management planned to retrench more than 3000 workers. Therefore, German Henkel workers urged for international workers unity to fight against transnational exploitation of finance capital. Kolkata Henkel workers supported German workers urge with spontaneous claps. Then Stefan made an important deliberation on world wide financial crisis for which Kolkata workers invited the German Communists. All the workers and leaders present there whole heartedly supported him that it is the time to build up international working class unity to fight capitalism and imperialism. German communists visited Dunlop factory on 26 November. The factory has been closed down by the management in the same plea of financial crisis. The factory was reopened by the new group of management after several years. At that time, workers were agitating at the gate. They invited the MLPD leaders to speak. Com. Stefan told that he support the just struggle of Dunlop workers. Workers should build up workers unity irrespective of nationalities and languages to fight capitalist plunder. Stefan’s speech made much enthusiasm among the Dunlop workers.
From The Marxist-Leninist Classics
A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement - Part II
(7) Taking advantage of the situation after World War II, the U.S. imperialists stepped into the shoes of the German, Italian and Japanese fascists, and have been trying to erect a huge world empire such as has never been known before. The strategic objectives of U.S. imperialism have been to grab and dominate the intermediate zone lying between the United States and the socialist camp, put down the revolutions of the oppressed peoples and nations, proceed to destroy the socialist countries, and thus to subject all the peoples and countries of the world, including its allies, to domination and enslavement by U.S. monopoly capital. Ever since World War II, the U.S. imperialists have been conducting propaganda for war against the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. There are two aspects to this propaganda. While the U.S. imperialists are actually preparing such a war, they also use this propaganda as a smokescreen for their oppression of the American people and for the extension of their aggression against the rest of the capitalist world.
The 1960 Statement points out: “U.S. imperialism has become the biggest international exploiter.” “The United States is the mainstay of colonialism today.” “U.S. imperialism is the main force of aggression and war.” “International developments in recent years have furnished many new proofs of the fact that U.S. imperialism is the chief bulwark of world reaction and an international gendarme, that it has become an enemy of the peoples of the whole world.” U.S. imperialism is pressing its policies of aggression and war all over the world, but the outcome is bound to be the opposite of that intended—it will only be to hasten the awakening of the people in all countries and to hasten their revolutions. The U.S. imperialists have thus placed themselves in opposition to the people of the whole world and have become encircled by them. The international proletariat must and can unite all the forces that can be united, make use of the internal contradictions in the enemy camp and establish the broadest united front against the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys. The realistic and correct course is to entrust the fate of the people and of mankind to the unity and struggle of the world proletariat and to the unity and struggle of the people in all countries. Conversely, to make no distinction between enemies, friends and ourselves and to entrust the fate of the people and of mankind to collaboration with U.S. imperialism is to lead people astray. The events of the last few years have exploded this illusion. (8) The various types of contradictions in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; these are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centers of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism. The national democratic revolutionary movement in these areas and the international socialist revolutionary movement are the two great historical currents of our time. The national democratic revolution in these areas is an important component of the contemporary proletarian world revolution. The anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America are pounding and undermining the foundations of the rule of imperialism and colonialism, old and new, and are now a mighty force in defense of world peace. In a sense, therefore, the whole cause of the international proletarian revolution hinges on the outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the people of these areas who constitute the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. Therefore, the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America is definitely not merely a matter of regional significance but one of overall importance for the whole cause of proletarian world revolution. Certain persons now go so far as to deny the great international significance of the antiimperialist revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples and, on the pretext of breaking down the barriers of nationality, color and geographical location, are trying their best to efface the line of demarcation between oppressed and oppressor nations and between oppressed and oppressor countries and to hold down the revolutionary struggles of the peoples in these areas. In fact, they cater to the needs of imperialism and create a new “theory” to justify the rule of imperialism in these areas and the promotion of its policies of old and new colonialism. Actually, this “theory” seeks not to break down the barriers of nationality, color and geographical location but to maintain the rule of the “superior nations” over the oppressed nations. It is only natural that this fraudulent “theory” is rejected by the people in these areas.
The working class in every socialist country and in every capitalist country must truly put into effect the fighting slogans, “Workers of all countries, unite!” and “Workers and oppressed nations of the world, unite!”; it must study the revolutionary experience of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, firmly support their revolutionary actions and regard the cause of their liberation as a most dependable support for itself and as directly in accord with its own interests. This is the only effective way to break down the barriers of nationality, color and geographical location and this is the only genuine proletarian internationalism. It is impossible for the working class in the European and American capitalist countries to liberate itself unless it unites with the oppressed nations and unless those nations are liberated. Lenin rightly said, The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would actually be a sheer fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of “colonial” slaves who are oppressed by capital. [Lenin, “The Second Congress of the Communist International”, Selected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 2, pp. 472-73.] Certain persons in the international communist movement are now taking a passive or scornful or negative attitude towards the struggles of the oppressed nations for liberation. They are in fact protecting the interests of monopoly capital, betraying those of the proletariat, and degenerating into social democrats. The attitude taken towards the revolutionary struggles of the people in the Asian, African and Latin American countries is an important criterion for differentiating those who want revolution from those who do not and those who are truly defending world peace from those who are abetting the forces of aggression and war. (9) The oppressed nations and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America are faced with the urgent task of fighting imperialism and its lackeys. History has entrusted to the proletarian parties in these areas the glorious mission of holding high the banner of struggle against imperialism, against old and new colonialism and for national independence and people’s democracy, of standing in the forefront of the national democratic revolutionary movement and striving for a socialist future. In these areas, extremely broad sections of the population refuse to be slaves of imperialism. They include not only the workers, peasants, intellectuals and petty bourgeoisie, but also the patriotic national bourgeoisie and even certain kings, princes and aristocrats, who are patriotic. The proletariat and its party must have confidence in the strength of the masses above all, must unite with the peasants and establish a solid worker-peasant alliance. It primary importance for advanced members of the proletariat to work in the rural areas, the peasants to act organized, and raise their class consciousness and their national respect and self-confidence. and, is of help self-
On the basis of the worker-peasant alliance the proletariat and its party must unite all the strata that can be united and organize a broad united front against imperialism and its lackeys. In order to consolidate and expand this united front it is necessary that the proletarian party should maintain its ideological, political and organizational independence and insist on the leadership of the revolution. The proletarian party and the revolutionary people must learn to master all forms of struggle, including armed struggle. They must defeat counter-revolutionary armed force with revolutionary armed force whenever imperialism and its lackeys resort to armed suppression. The nationalist countries which have recently won political independence are still confronted with the arduous tasks of consolidating it, liquidating the forces of imperialism and domestic reaction, carrying out agrarian and other social reforms and developing their national economy and culture. It is of practical and vital importance for these countries to guard and
fight against the neo-colonialist policies which the old colonialists adopt to preserve their interests, and especially against the neo-colonialism of U.S. imperialism. In some of these countries, the patriotic national bourgeoisie continue to stand with the masses in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism and introduce certain measures of social progress. This requires the proletarian party to make a full appraisal of the progressive role of the patriotic national bourgeoisie and strengthen unity with them. As the internal social contradictions and the international class struggle sharpen, the bourgeoisie, and particularly the big bourgeoisie, in some newly independent countries increasingly tend to become retainers of imperialism and to pursue anti-popular, antiCommunist and counter-revolutionary policies. It is necessary for the proletarian party resolutely to oppose these reactionary policies. Generally speaking, the bourgeoisie in these countries have a dual character. When a united front is formed with the bourgeoisie, the policy of the proletarian party should be one of both unity and struggle. The policy should be to unite with the bourgeoisie, in so far as they tend to be progressive, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal, but to struggle against their reactionary tendencies to compromise and collaborate with imperialism and the forces of feudalism. On the national question the world outlook of the proletarian party is internationalism, and not nationalism. In the revolutionary struggle it supports progressive nationalism and opposes reactionary nationalism. It must always draw a clear line of demarcation between itself and bourgeois nationalism, to which it must never fall captive. The 1960 Statement says, Communists expose attempts by the reactionary section of the bourgeoisie to represent its selfish, narrow class interests as those of the entire nation; they expose the demagogic use by bourgeois politicians of socialist slogans for the same purpose. . . . If the proletariat becomes the tail of the landlords and bourgeoisie in the revolution, no real or thorough victory in the national democratic revolution is possible, and even if victory of a kind is gained, it will be impossible to consolidate it. In the course of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples, the proletarian party must put forward a programme of its own which is thoroughly against imperialism and domestic reaction and for national independence and people’s democracy, and it must work independently among the masses, constantly expand the progressive forces, win over the middle forces and isolate the reactionary forces; only thus can it carry the national democratic revolution through to the end and guide the revolution on to the road of socialism. (10) In the imperialist and the capitalist countries, the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat are essential for the thorough resolution of the contradictions of capitalist society. In striving to accomplish this task the proletarian party must under the present circumstances actively lead the working class and the working people in struggles to oppose monopoly capital, to defend democratic rights, to oppose the menace of fascism, to improve living conditions, to oppose imperialist arms expansion and war preparations, to defend world peace and actively to support the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations. In the capitalist countries which U.S. imperialism controls or is trying to control, the working class and the people should direct their attacks mainly against U.S. imperialism, but also against their own monopoly capitalists and other reactionary forces who are betraying the national interests. Large-scale mass struggles in the capitalist countries in recent years have shown that the working class and working people are experiencing a new awakening. Their struggles, which are dealing blows at monopoly capital and reaction, have opened bright prospects for the revolutionary cause in their own countries and are also a powerful support for the
revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples and for the countries of the socialist camp. The proletarian parties in imperialist or capitalist countries must maintain their own ideological, political and organizational independence in leading revolutionary struggles. At the same time, they must unite all the forces that can be united and build a broad united front against monopoly capital and against the imperialist policies of aggression and war. While actively leading immediate struggles, Communists in the capitalist countries should link them with the struggle for long-range and general interests, educate the masses in a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary spirit, ceaselessly raise their political consciousness and undertake the historical task of the proletarian revolution. If they fail to do so, if they regard the immediate movement as everything, determine their conduct from case to case, adapt themselves to the events of the day and sacrifice the basic interests of the proletariat, that is out-and-out social democracy. Social democracy is a bourgeois ideological trend. Lenin pointed out long ago that the social democratic parties are political detachments of the bourgeoisie, its agents in the working-class movement and its principal social prop. Communists must at all times draw a clear line of demarcation between themselves and social democratic parties on the basic question of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat and liquidate the ideological influence of social democracy in the international working-class movement and among the working people. Beyond any shadow of doubt, Communists must win over the masses under the influence of the social democratic parties and must win over those left and middle elements in the social democratic parties who are willing to oppose domestic monopoly capital and domination by foreign imperialism and must unite with them in extensive joint action in the day-to-day struggle of the working-class movement and in the struggle to defend world peace. In order to lead the proletariat and working people in revolution, Marxist-Leninist Parties must master all forms of struggle and be able to substitute one form for another quickly as the conditions of struggle change. The vanguard of the proletariat will remain unconquerable in all circumstances only if it masters all forms of struggle—peaceful and armed, open and secret, legal and illegal, parliamentary struggle and mass struggle, etc. It is wrong to refuse to use parliamentary and other legal forms of struggle when they can and should be used. However, if a Marxist-Leninist Party falls into legalism or parliamentary cretinism, confining the struggle within the limits permitted by the bourgeoisie, this will inevitably lead to renouncing the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. (11) On the question of transition from capitalism to socialism, the proletarian party must proceed from the stand of class struggle and revolution and base itself on the Marxist-Leninist teachings concerning the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Communists would always prefer to bring about the transition to socialism by peaceful means. But can peaceful transition be made into a new world-wide strategic principle for the international communist movement? Absolutely not. Marxism-Leninism consistently holds that the fundamental question in all revolutions is that of state power. The 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement both clearly point out, “Leninism teaches, and experience confirms, that the ruling classes never relinquish power voluntarily.” The old government never topples even in a period of crisis, unless it is pushed. This is a universal law of class struggle. In specific historical conditions, Marx and Lenin did raise the possibility that revolution may develop peacefully. But, as Lenin pointed out, the peaceful development of revolution is an opportunity “very seldom to be met with in the history of revolutions”. As a matter of fact, there is no historical precedent for peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism.
Certain persons say there was no precedent when Marx foretold that socialism would inevitably replace capitalism. Then why can we not predict a peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism despite the absence of a precedent? This parallel is absurd. Employing dialectical and historical materialism, Marx analyzed the contradictions of capitalism, discovered the objective laws of development of human society and arrived at a scientific conclusion, whereas the prophets who pin all their hopes on “peaceful transition” proceed from historical idealism, ignore the most fundamental contradictions of capitalism, repudiate the Marxist-Leninist teachings on class struggle, and arrive at a subjective and groundless conclusion. How can people who repudiate Marxism get any help from Marx? It is plain to everyone that the capitalist countries are strengthening their state machinery—and especially their military apparatus—the primary purpose of which is to suppress the people in their own countries. The proletarian party must never base its thinking, its policies for revolution and its entire work on the assumption that the imperialists and reactionaries will accept peaceful transformation. The proletarian party must prepare itself for two eventualities—while preparing for a peaceful development of the revolution, it must also fully prepare for a non-peaceful development. It should concentrate on the painstaking work of accumulating revolutionary strength, so that it will be ready to seize victory when the conditions for revolution are ripe or to strike powerful blows at the imperialists and the reactionaries when they launch surprise attacks and armed assaults. If it fails to make such preparations, the proletarian party will paralyze the revolutionary will of the proletariat, disarm itself ideologically and sink into a totally passive state of unpreparedness both politically and organizationally, and the result will be to bury the proletarian revolutionary cause. (12) All social revolutions in the various stages of the history of mankind are historically inevitable and are governed by objective laws independent of man’s will. Moreover, history shows that there never was a revolution which was able to achieve victory without zigzags and sacrifices. With Marxist-Leninist theory as the basis, the task of the Proletarian party is to analyze the concrete historical conditions, put forward the correct strategy and tactics, and guide the masses in bypassing hidden reefs, avoiding unnecessary sacrifices and reaching the goal step by step. Is it possible to avoid sacrifices altogether? Such is not the case with the slave revolutions, the serf revolutions, the bourgeois revolutions, or the national revolutions; nor is it the case with proletarian revolutions. Even if the guiding line of the revolution is correct, it its impossible to have a sure guarantee against setbacks and sacrifices in the course of the revolution. So long as a correct line is adhered to, the revolution is bound to triumph in the end. To abandon revolution on the pretext of avoiding sacrifices is in reality to demand that the people should forever remain slaves and endure infinite pain and sacrifice. Elementary knowledge of Marxism-Leninism tells us that the birth pangs of a revolution are far less painful than the chronic agony of the old society. Lenin rightly said that “even with the most peaceful course of events, the present [capitalist] system always and inevitably exacts countless sacrifices from the working class”. [Lenin, “Another Massacre”, Collected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1961, Vol. V. p. 25. ] Whoever considers a revolution can be made only if everything is plain sailing, only if there is an advance guarantee against sacrifices and failure, is certainly no revolutionary. However difficult the conditions and whatever sacrifices and defeats the revolution may suffer, proletarian revolutionaries should educate the masses in the spirit of revolution and hold aloft the banner of revolution and not abandon it It would be “Left” adventurism if the proletarian party should rashly launch a revolution before the objective conditions are ripe. But it would be Right opportunism if the proletarian
party should not dare to lead a revolution and to seize state power when the objective conditions are ripe. Even in ordinary times, when it is leading the masses in the day-to-day struggle, the proletarian party should ideologically, politically and organizationally prepare its own ranks and the masses for revolution and promote revolutionary struggles, so that it will not miss the opportunity to overthrow the reactionary regime and establish a new state power when the conditions for revolution are ripe. Otherwise, when the objective conditions are ripe, the proletarian party will simply throw away the opportunity of seizing victory. The proletarian party must be flexible as well as highly principled, and on occasion it must make such compromises as are necessary in the interests of the revolution. But it must never abandon principled policies and the goal of revolution on the pretext of flexibility and of necessary compromises. The proletarian party must lead the masses in waging struggles against the enemies, and it must know how to utilize the contradictions among those enemies. But the purpose of using these contradictions is to make it easier to attain the goal of the people’s revolutionary struggles and not to liquidate these struggles. Countless facts have proved that, wherever the dark rule of imperialism and reaction exists, the people who form over ninety per cent of the population will sooner or later rise in revolution. If Communists isolate themselves from the revolutionary demands of the masses, they are bound to lose the confidence of the masses and will be tossed to the rear by the revolutionary current. If the leading group in any Party adopt a non-revolutionary line and convert it into a reformist party, then Marxist-Leninists inside and outside the Party will replace them and lead the people in making revolution. In another kind of situation, the bourgeois revolutionaries will come forward to lead the revolution and the party of the proletariat will forfeit its leadership of the revolution. When the reactionary bourgeoisie betray the revolution and suppress the people, an opportunist line will cause tragic and unnecessary losses to the Communists and the revolutionary masses. If Communists slide down the path of opportunism they will degenerate into bourgeois nationalists and become appendages of the imperialists and the reactionary bourgeoisie. There are certain persons who assert that they have made the greatest creative contributions to revolutionary theory since Lenin and that they alone are correct. But it is very dubious whether they have ever really given consideration to the extensive experience of the entire world communist movement, whether they have ever really considered the interests, the goal and tasks of the international proletarian movement as a whole, and whether they really have a general line for the international communist movement which conforms with MarxismLeninism. In the last few years the international communist movement and the national liberation movement have had many experiences and many lessons. There are experiences which people should praise and there are experiences which make people grieve. Communists and revolutionaries in all countries should ponder and seriously study these experiences of success and failure, so as to draw correct conclu-sions and useful lessons from them. (13) The socialist countries and the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations support and assist each other. The national liberation movements of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the revolutionary movements of the people in the capitalist countries are a strong support to the socialist countries. It is completely wrong to deny this.
The only attitude for the socialist countries to adopt towards the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations is one of warm sympathy and active support; they must not adopt a perfunctory attitude, or one of national selfishness or of great-power chauvinism. Lenin said, “Alliance with the revolutionaries of the advanced countries and with all the oppressed peoples against any and all the imperialists—such is the external policy of the proletariat.” [Lenin, “The External Policy of the Russian Revolution”, Collected Works, 4th Russian edition, State Publishing House for Political literature, 1949, Moscow. Vol. XXV, p. 69.] Whoever fails to understand this point and considers that the support and aid given by the socialist countries to the oppressed peoples and nations are a burden or charity is going counter to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. The superiority of the socialist system and the achievements of the socialist countries in construction play an exemplary role and are an inspiration to the oppressed peoples and the oppressed nations. But this exemplary role and inspiration can never replace the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations. No oppressed people or nation can win liberation except through its own staunch revolutionary struggle. Certain persons have one-sidedly exaggerated the role of peaceful competition between socialist and imperialist countries in their attempt to substitute peaceful competition for the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations. According to their preaching, it would seem that imperialism will automatically collapse in the course of this peaceful competition and that the only thing the oppressed peoples and nations have to do is to wait quietly for the advent of this day. What does this have in common with Marxist-Leninist views? Moreover, certain persons have concocted the strange tale that China and some other socialist countries want “to unleash wars” and to spread socialism by “wars between states”. As the Statement of 1960 points out, such tales are nothing but imperialist and reactionary slanders. To put it bluntly, the purpose of those who repeat these slanders is to hide the fact that they are opposed to revolutions by the oppressed peoples and nations of the world and opposed to others supporting such revolutions. (14) In the last few years much—in fact a great deal—has been said on the question of war and peace. Our views and policies on this question are known to the world, and no one can distort them. It is a pity that although certain persons in the international communist movement talk about how much they love peace and hate war, they are unwilling to acquire even a faint understanding of the simple truth on war pointed out by Lenin. Lenin said, It seems to me that the main thing that is usually forgotten on the question of war, which receives inadequate attention, the main reason why there is so much controversy, and, I would say, futile, hopeless and aimless controversy, is that people forget the fundamental question of the class character of the war; why the war broke out; the classes that are waging it; the historical and historico-economic conditions that gave rise to it. [Lenin, “War and Revolution”, Collected Works, 4th Russian edition, SPHPL, Moscow, 1949, Vol. XXIV, p. 362] As Marxist-Leninists see it, war is the continuation of politics by other means, and every war is inseparable from the political system and the political struggles which give rise to it. If one departs from this scientific Marxist-Leninist proposition which has been confirmed by the entire history of class struggle, one will never be able to understand either the question of war or the question of peace. There are different types of peace and different types of war. Marxist-Leninists must be clear about what type of peace or what type of war is in question. Lumping just wars and unjust wars together and opposing all of them undiscriminatingly is a bourgeois pacifist and not a Marxist-Leninist approach.
Certain persons say that revolutions are entirely possible without war. Now which type of war are they referring to is it a war of national liberation or a revolutionary civil war, or is it a world war? It they are referring to a war of national liberation or a revolutionary civil war, then this formulation is, in effect, opposed to revolutionary wars and to revolution. If they are referring to a world war, then they are shooting at a non-existent target. Although Marxist-Leninists have pointed out, on the basis of the history of the two world wars, that world wars inevitably lead to revolution, no Marxist-Leninist ever has held or ever will hold that revolution must be made through world war. Marxist-Leninists take the abolition of war as their ideal and believe that war can be abolished. But how can war be abolished? This is how Lenin viewed it: . . . our object is to achieve the socialist system of society, which, by abolishing the division of mankind into classes, by abolishing all exploitation of man by man, and of one nation by other nations, will inevitably abolish all possibility of war. [Ibid., p. 363] The Statement of 1960 also puts it very clearly, “The victory of socialism all over the world will completely remove the social and national causes of all wars.” However, certain persons now actually hold that it is possible to bring about “a world without weapons, without armed forces and without wars” through “general and complete disarmament” while the system of imperialism and of the exploitation of man by man still exists. This is sheer illusion. An elementary knowledge of Marxism-Leninism tells us that the armed forces are the principal part of the state machine and that a so-called world without weapons and without armed forces can only be a world without states. Lenin said: Only after the proletariat has disarmed the bourgeoisie will it be able, without betraying its worldhistorical mission, to throw all armaments on the scrap heap; and the proletariat will undoubtedly do this, but only when this condition has been fulfilled, certainly not before. [Lenin, “The War Program of the Proletarian Revolution”, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. I, Part 2, P. 574.] What are the facts in the world today? Is there a shadow of evidence that the imperialist countries headed by the United States are ready to carry out general and complete disarmament? Are they not each and all engaged in general and complete arms expansion? We have always maintained that, in order to expose and combat the imperialists’ arms expansion and war preparations, it is necessary to put forward the proposal for general disarmament. Furthermore, it is possible to compel imperialism to accept some kind of agreement on disarmament, through the combined struggle of the socialist countries and the people of the whole world. If one regards general and complete disarmament as the fundamental road to world peace, spreads the illusion that imperialism will automatically lay down its arms and tries to liquidate the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations on the pretext of disarmament, then this is deliberately to deceive the people of the world and help the imperialists in their policies of aggression and war. In order to overcome the present ideological confusion in the international working-class movement on the question of war and peace, we consider that Lenin’s thesis, which has been discarded by the modern revisionists, must be restored in the interest of combating the imperialist policies of aggression and war and defending world peace. The people of the world universally demand the prevention of a new world war. And it is possible to prevent a new world war.
The question then is, what is the way to secure world peace? According to the Leninist viewpoint, world peace can be won only by the struggles of the people in all countries and not by begging the imperialists for it. World peace can only be effectively defended by relying on the development of the forces of the socialist camp, on the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and working people of all countries, on the liberation struggles of the oppressed nations and on the struggles of all peace loving people and countries. Such is the Leninist policy. Any policy to the contrary definitely will not lead to world peace but will only encourage the ambitions of the imperialists and increase the danger of world war. In recent years, certain persons have been spreading the argument that a single spark from a war of national liberation or from a revolutionary people’s war will lead to a world conflagration destroying the whole of mankind. What are the facts? Contrary to what these persons say, the wars of national liberation and the revolutionary people’s wars that have occurred since World War II have not led to world war. The victory of these revolutionary wars has directly weakened the forces of imperialism and greatly strengthened the forces which prevent the imperialists from launching a world war and which defend world peace. Do not the facts demonstrate the absurdity of this argument?
Bhagat Singh ki Murat (Statue of Bhagat Singh)
Fahmida Riyaz There is news from Delhi alas! Alas!! What a mess they have made Of Bhagat Singh In the Parliament Complex! For sixty years they petitioned The British rejected him But YOU! Our own government. Erect his statue in the Parliament Complex At last the government thumped its chest and said why not! and erected the statue in the Parliament Complex. But when the veil was lifted You discover it is not Bhagat Singh That 24 year old beautiful lad Nor his young limbs that they could not properly burn On the fateful night when they hanged him. It is some 60 years old guy Flabby and tired looking With upturned mustaches Oh what the hell is this. This is not our Bhagat Singh In the Parliament Square Who the hell is he? Ha ha ha! Dear friends Wipe your tears look closely At all the other statues in the Parliament Is it the same Jawaharlal as he was?
Is it the same Gandhi? The same Abul Kalam Azad? The in-coming and out-going respected parliamentarians Have made an omelet of their reality And gobbled them up long long ago. In this grand square Only cissored and edited versions Can find a lasting place. Bhagat Singh was the child of his time And times have changed. He loved Urdu poetry and Ghalib And Glaib, getting rid of his robe Is Ghalib now, winking and singing some trashy “gazal” Aishwarya Rai is dancing on it So kind of her. And in his city Lahore Bhagat Singh is a Sikh Who perhaps migrated to India in 1947 Such names make people nervous Is the god-damn man coming back? to claim his property?? We shall never let that happen After all we left fields and barns shops and houses in Ludhyana. Bhagat Singh was a pure Indian His times are swept away with the wind He was a purely Indian earth-song Light in the water a Rustling in the wind He was a purely Indian passion of his time And times have changed. Let his statue remain where it has remained for 60 years Across both sides of the border In a heart or two. There every morning Longings as innocent and ignorant as little children Cover his young body with fresh garlands of marigold Bathe his limbs with tears of love and adoration He belongs there He is happy there. [This is a rough translation by me of my Hindi Kavita.—F.R., Courtesy: Mainstream, 20 December 2008]
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