People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 14

April 12, 2009


Communism Is Neither Dead Nor Will Die

G Mamatha

IN a recent television show, the secretary general of FICCI vented his ire on the CPI (M) stating, “While Communism is dead around the world, CPI (M) becoming a King Maker will be a disaster for India.” This had produced instant smiles on the faces of television anchors and select audience. Not to be left behind in expressing their loyalty to the ‘mighty capital’, many ‘expert writers’ in the print media too joined the chorus. So much for their wishful thinking, peace be upon them! Alas, history had witnessed many who had prophesised the demise of Communism fade into oblivion rather than Communism.

Right from the days of Karl Marx, many had indeed tried in vain to write epitaphs on Communism and Marxism. Frederick Engels, in the speech he delivered at the graveyard of Karl Marx, had noted: “Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time. Governments, both absolutist and republican, deported him from their territories. Bourgeois, whether conservative or ultra-democratic, vied with one another in heaping slanders upon him”, and confidently asserted, “His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work”.

As the CPI (M) traces its lineage to these forefathers of Communism, so do the present day bourgeoisie who share the same blood of ‘capital’ with those in the days of Marx. Likewise, it is but natural for all the present day apologists of capital to heap slanders on the CPI (M) and pray for its demise. This, they do for no small a reason but for the fear of CPI (M). They know for sure that as a true adherent to the Marxist ideology it is the only force in the country that stands up against the interests of the capital and poses a real threat to their hegemony on the State apparatus. In fact, Lenin had said, the more your enemy hates you, the correct your path is.

Our corporate honchos must have for sure read The New Statesman of December 4, 2008. A report in it talks about the growing support for Left-wing parties across Europe: “At the beginning of the century, the chances of socialism making a return looked close to zero. Yet now, all around Europe, the red flag is flying again.” With the recession looming large and the hard won rights of the workers under attack, no wonder it is the red flag that flutters, illuminating the path of struggle. The Indian capitalists know well enough that the Indian workers are not lagging behind their European counterparts.

In our country, even the conservative official estimates point out that more than one crore people have lost their jobs under the impact of the current recession. While the prime minister and his cohorts have the sagacity to deny the impact of recession, the working class and the common people are well aware of the ground reality.

Deny they may, but the fact is:

It is the wrath of these workers that the capital is afraid of. They are afraid that the CPI (M) that has been consistently waging struggles for these sections of the downtrodden in the society would grow in strength and sound the death knell for its greed.

Here is what Engels had said about Marx and his brilliant teachings - “Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation…” It is for this foundation-the right to eat, drink, clothe and have a shelter that the CPI (M) is consistently fighting. The CPI (M), true to this essence of Marx’s teaching, ensures that the political discourse is always centred on the basic livelihood issues of the people. It helps the people see through the maze of illusions that the bourgeois parties try weave to divert the attention of people. So, the ruling classes are worked up at the prospect of the CPI (M) playing an important role in the government formation at the centre after the 15th general elections.

Cohorts of capital know from the experience of the past five years that it is the CPI (M) as the biggest Left force in the country that is responsible for stalling the passage of the pension bill, insurance regulatory authority bill, banking reforms, capital account convertibility and such other disastrous measures. It is now an accepted fact that if all these measures were left to be pursued, our economy too would have been severely impacted by the recession with serious ramifications. Of course, they are not ready to acknowledge this role of the CPI (M) that had saved the Indian economy. Blind they may be, but people are not!

Common people not only recognise the role of the CPI (M) but also identify the Party as one responsible for the NREGA, the forest rights bill and whatever little increases made to the allocations in social sector. People are aware of the stand of the Left parties on various issues and acknowledge that, but for the Left, the government would have steamrolled their neo-liberal agenda.

It is this increasing acceptance of the role of the CPI (M) from the common people that is making the representatives of capital afraid of the Party. They know that people behind CPI (M) will ‘drive away the birds of prey’ that are ‘fattening’ on their labour and claim the ‘blessed sunlight’. They know that for their survival the demise of CPI (M) and the ideology of Communism are necessary. Just as Engels had mentioned how Marx had “brushed aside as though it were a cobweb” all the slanderous venom that was spit on him, we too cannot but laugh at this wishful thinking and brush them aside.

Our confidence gets strengthened from the fact that Marx was voted as the thinker of the millennium and more and more people are once again earnestly reading him. Moreover, Left leaning governments are voted to office across the world, particularly in Latin America. All these developments point to the fact that though the path towards human emancipation -socialism and communism - is difficult, it is nonetheless the only path to obliterate the sufferings of the people. That is why Brecht had written long back in the, ‘In Praise of Communism’:

It's sensible, anyone can understand it.

It's easy.

You're not an exploiter, so you can grasp it.

It's a good thing for you,

Find out more about it.

The stupid call it stupid and the squalid call it squalid.

It's against squalor and against stupidity.

The exploiters call it a crime but we know:

It is the end of crime

It is not madness, but the end of madness.

It is not chaos, but order.

It is the simplest thing so hard to achieve.