[In continuation from previous issue]
Less than a month is left now for Bihar Assembly elections. But for the poor and the toilers, the question of whom to vote and why still remains a ‘mystery’ as independent Left or Revolutionary Left alliance didn’t appear at all. Pre-election alliance of Parliamentary Left with RJD and Congress has also not yet finally materialized. The atmosphere within the left is one of gloom and despair as the euphoria of alliance with RJD and the possibility of increasing the list of tally of its winning candidates in this election is now dying down. ‘Mystery’ also shrouds if the Parliamentary Left would at all join RJD-led Mega Alliance i.e. Mahagathbandhan or not.
‘Voting’ is not only our democratic right but is also an essential weapon in/under a bourgeois democracy for giving a befitting reply to the anti-people and oppressive governments. And the people of Bihar should certainly use this in the upcoming Bihar elections.
But we’ll also have to address this question: If till now there has been no material (positive) change in the lives of the people by just choosing or removing a particular bourgeois government, how will it be any different this time? Will the new governments not act as the ‘right-hand man’ of the capitalist classes? We’ll have to seriously ponder upon the fact that why under the rule of such governments as materialized and formed by the votes of the toiling masses who constitute the majority, the capitalists are getting richer and the toilers and poor sections of society have been pushed further and further into penury and pauperization. How is it possible that everything in this society is made by the toiling sections, the majority of Indian society, and at the same time it is only them who vote and put people in place to run the government, even then their lives are getting more and more miserable by the passing second? Let us dwell upon the present times and the tasks in the elections as well as without elections.
How does choosing a government through elections and ballot help the toilers in a class divided society? In a class divided society, the fruits of labour are enjoyed by the capitalists i.e. the capitalist class as a whole owing to its special position in the society. They are the rulers, owns the means of production and run its own production system with the help of a well-defined System of State Power entrenched throughout the society and in all its pores, that however allows toiling people to choose and form governments by casting their votes and thus electing their representatives in the successive governments. This system works so efficiently that no basic changes can be brought in the system by just changing, overthrowing or replacing a government as the system works mainly on the basis of omnipotence of capital which guarantees their rule by fetching support from all the pillars of the system through bribes and other means. Armed forces are the mainstay of its rule in just the same way as feudal army was the mainstay of Monarchy. Thus based on a completely calibrated system of their rule, they turn the labour of the laboring masses into profit and capital and thus increase their capability further bribe the governments and all who matter. They have the government’s support for this as only they have brought this parliamentary system of elected governments into being by overthrowing or replacing the erstwhile feudal system and monarchy. This is how, in short and without going into jargons, a capitalist system works based on the theory of ”base and superstructure” dialectics.
In India, the above story of amassing all wealth, the creation of the laboring masses, and distributing among themselves by the capitalist classes has been going on uninterruptedly since the last 70 years irrespective of which party governs. Whatever wealth India possesses is the result of their hard work only. The wealth and capital so produced by the laboring masses in return for just their meagre wages is getting concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.
While the laboring masses are being exploited in more and more regressive manner as the time passes and the rule of the capitalist class consolidates itself with more and more concentration of wealth in their hands, the number of the proletariat (those who live by selling their labour power alone) is also swelling very fast now-a-days. Why? Because the small and petty capitalists are being ruined, getting devastated and joining their ranks. This is in the sync with the law of capitalist growth where the capital gets accumulated in the hands of an increasingly fewer hands at the top and the vast majority at the bottom are forced to live in poverty and on sweat. In a capitalist society, prosperity for all is thus an illusion. Prosperity for everyone will not be possible until the capitalist system as a whole and not just capitalist government is overthrown and in its place a socialised mode of production is establish which will put all capital under social ownership. The goal of private profit and private capital needs to be abandoned completely, if prosperity for all is to be ensured.
That’s why we see that the masses are tired of voting again and again with no real change coming as a result. As soon as one imposter is caught, the other one comes right along to dupe the masses. Thus no change is guard (of whatever colour) would come to rescue the society from the clutches of the capitalist class. By changing parties and leaders that rule we let ourselves be fooled every time and vote one of them, again thinking that possibly they’ll bring some constructive and basic change in our lives this or that time.
Remember when in 2014 and again in 2019 Narendra Modi came with such appealing promises! It seemed as if this time he’ll take away all the griefs and sorrows of the poor. But what actually happened or what is happening right now is all before us. Where the wealth of capitalists like Adani, Ambani and many others has multiplied a number of times, the conditions of the masses have further deteriorated. Not only jobs, but their rights are also being snatched away today. Tomorrow if their right to vote is also snatched from them, it won’t be a big shocker.
The main reason of this extreme loot under Modi’s rule is that the wheel of profit of the big capitalist class is completely stuck due to the unending economic crisis, and that is why the capitalists have wreaked havoc on the toiling masses. After all, the capitalists hoard the riches by sucking the labour only. But this time under Modi’s rule even the last drop of blood of the working class is also not being spared.
Not only this, the current crisis is such that the existence of all the intermediary classes (like the petty capitalists, small and medium farmers, urban middle and lower-middle classes and small-medium business class, etc.) have also come under threat so far as their economic existence is concerned. The new farmers’ bill brought by the Modi Government aims to establish complete hegemony of the corporate capitalist class in the agriculture sector.
This is all happening because the rule of the capitalist class and its whole system exists and works for profit. Only this is propelling the society to such brutalities and extreme exploitation. There would be no let up until the rule of the bourgeoisie is overthrown
Based on the experience of the past 70 years, it is clear that the masses, especially the working class and toiling masses cannot free themselves either from poverty as well as from their exploitation without completely doing away with and uprooting the capitalist system as a whole including their mode of production. There is no other option or relief available to them. Be it Bihar Election or General Election, the masses have had the taste of every party’s rule. Today, the parties who sit in the opposition were in power yesterday and today’s rulers were in the opposition then. There wasn’t much difference in their regimes. All these parties who are seen squabbling and criticising each other, are all faithful servants of the capitalist class. If this is not the case, then how come only the capitalist class has seen growth and prosperity? The parties which thrive on the vote bank of dalits and so called backward classes and castes are also not an exception. So, no matter who wins or loses, nothing much is going to change for the masses. Even while keeping in mind the prime question of defeating the fascists and overthrowing them, we can say that the change of guard will only bring cosmetic changes and quite temporary relief from fascist attacks.
Bihar has a coalition government of JDU and BJP, also popularly called ‘government of double engine’, under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. This government is also ‘doubly anti-people’. Murder, rape, police brutalities and corruption are rampant. Unemployment, poverty and starvation related deaths are ever increasing. The Nitish government has proved to be an utter failure in tackling the issues like education, health, women safety, corruption control and safety from corona pandemic. Even something as basic as a ration card is not available to everyone. There is no limit to the perils faced by the corona infected patients and their families. Even the middle class is terrified after witnessing the dilapidated condition of government hospitals and the sheer loot in private hospitals that is going on in the name of healthcare.
It is to be specially noted that all the BJP-ruled states are worse off. Let us take the example of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from rape, murder, police brutalities and deteriorating health conditions, the situation in Uttar Pradesh is such that the students qualifying competitive exams for government jobs will also have to work for 5 years under a kind of contract system with meagre wages or salary where they’ll be subjected to an appraisal every 6 months and only after clearing all this they will be granted the status of permanent government employee. And to add to that, to curb the growing restlessness and shimmering revolt among the masses, the government is putting together a special police force called UPSSF (Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force) that will have the power to search and arrest even without a court warrant and also without any fear of legal reprimands as courts are also debarred from taking cognizance of any complaints filed in this regard unless the government gives its nod.
A capitalist system unexceptionally breeds economic crisis and provides no solution for it from within, however it may work flexibly and efficiently. The very reasons of crisis are inbuilt in it. The length, breadth and depth of the ongoing crisis lingering for years now is such that no flexibility in bourgeois rule will come to its solution. Not even extreme exploitation is a solution. This is the inevitable result of the over ripening of capitalism or the capitalist mode of production.
When this crisis deepens, the capitalist class’s ability to make profit and accumulate capital is threatened. And if the crisis becomes structural and permanent, like the present crisis, then the capitalist class increases its loot exceptionally. Today, the anti-people and anti-worker policies brought on by the Modi government in the center as well as in various states is the result of this same economic crisis. In this situation, the biggest capitalists in the whole capitalist camp, that is, the big Capitalists and Corporates start engulfing and gobbling up the smaller capitalists. That is why, in 2014, the corporates and big capitalists hailed Modi as ‘saviour of the nation’ and sat him on the central throne. With the help of the Modi government, just a few corporates and big capitalists are looting all the resources available to and created by man’s labour and nature, and sucking even the last drop of blood of the toiling masses. They are taking over all the resources and bringing them under their monopoly rule. Mines, farms, water, forests, mountains, minerals, airports, telephone services, defense sector, railways, banks, insurance, steel industries, petrol and diesel companies, foodings, education and research, school, college, universities, hospitals and healthcare sector, i.e., all the valuable public, private or natural resources available to mankind are being taken over by them and the government is aiding by curbing all the voices of dissent against this unprecedented loot and plunder. ‘Democracy’, bourgeois constitution and justice, everything is under serious threat. The society has thus been subjected to regression.
Today, Congress is criticising the Modi government but the economic policies of both Congress and BJP are pro-corporate. The regional bourgeois parties exhibit the same or even worse tendencies, and are the most opportunist and corrupt. We shouldn’t forget that it was Congress who, in 1991, brought liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation under the National Economic Policy and they also brought the policies to demolish the labour laws along with other pro-people laws. Today, the extremely anti-people deeds being done and executed by BJP are an extension of the anti-people policies of Congress itself. Even today, they share the same position as far as the economic policies are concerned.
Then we must ask why did the corporate capitalist class left Congress in the lurch and support Modi? Why did they bring BJP into power? The answer is easy to understand. The crisis ridden corporates and big capitalist class needed such a dictatorial regime as one that could serve their purpose by enabling them to loot and plunder all the resources of the country and suck the last drop of blood or even the marrow from the bones of the working class while curbing or distracting the people’s protest in any way possible. Gujarat 2002 became the perfect resume for Modi who by slaughtering the Muslims and flaunting his image of ‘Protector of Hindus’ showed that he could help the capitalist class in this time of severest crisis by distracting the masses with the politics of hate between Hindu and Muslim and jingoism. Congress’ image was already tarnished by its long anti-people reign. The name of Sonia Gandhi, originally an Italian resident, attached with Congress was also an obstacle. On the other hand, apart from Gandhi family, Congress also didn’t have a leader of such a stature who could attack the rights of the people and still stay popular among them and also continue the regime of the capitalist class without much damage with the same calibre as Modi.
We find that in the last six years Modi quite ‘magically’ did everything which was necessary for continuing the super profits of the corporate capitalist class. Without even removing the tag of ‘democracy’, constitution and ‘independent’ judiciary, the Modi government successfully took over all the institutions of the capitalist democratic state established after ‘independence’ and strengthened the foundation of Hindu Rashtra, the Indian variant of fascism. The attack on democratic rights of people is ever increasing. In this way, the nexus of the State, corporates and the shrewd fascist gangs was successful slowly but steadily digging the grave of Indian democracy. However, the shroud covering it to give the due appearance of democracy was left as it is. The difference between the existence and non-existence of the parliament and other such institutions has been eradicated by Modi. Parliament or no parliament, it makes not much difference. The way in which the farmers’ bill was forcefully passed in the parliament, is the latest and the most concrete example and proof of this. Judiciary was also made to submit to the fascist powers.
Corona pandemic completely demolished the already crisis ridden economy and its burden was dumped on the shoulders of the toiling masses. The current economic crisis is permanent and will not easily be resolved. And hence, the fascist loot will continue and no one will be spared; masses from the working class as well as the middle and lower middle class along with them all the intermediary classes will be faced with unseen and unprecedented miseries as a result of this. The working class and toiling masses will be pushed further deeper into the quagmire of unemployment and starvation. The government will further increase the attacks on democratic rights in order to stifle the voices of dissent. And if the working class strikes back, the fascist power may directly take the parliament and constitution in their hands as they did in order to pass the farmers’ bill.
The other way of curbing protesting voices is to feed the people at large the vicious politics of Hindu-Muslim, mandir-masjid, China-Kashmir-Pakistan and ultra-nationalism, using which they’ve already corrupted a big chunk of the population. Even today, media is devoted to spreading their propaganda. In this sense, the current regime of the Modi government is much more dangerous than Indira Gandhi’s emergency. It’s not going to be easy to defeat these fascists because their regime at the center is backed by a surge of an extremely reactionary and communal mass movement and ultra-nationalism which has hindered the capacity of logical reasoning of the common masses disabling them from deciding what is right or wrong for them. By instilling the fear of a national insecurity and by continuously blaming Muslims for this, the people have been robbed of their ability to differentiate between truth and lies.
But this situation won’t always stay the same. Extreme unemployment and starvation is forcing people to see things clearly.
Brothers and sisters! The election may be in Bihar, but the truth is that the situation of the whole country is in danger and peril. If the country won’t survive, then how will Bihar? The people of this country will have to think about the ways to come out of the swamp of the current capitalist system. And there is no way other than the establishment of a socialist state with all the oppressed and exploited sections of the masses under the leadership of the working class. This is the only real option available to the toiling masses which is also their long term goal. It is the rotting, crisis ridden capitalist system which breeds fascism. And until it is overthrown and completely done away with, there can be no solution to the problems faced by the masses. The change of government will only help in creating an environment in which the spirits and the morale of the masses can be lifted. After this, the path ahead comprises the expansion of the mass movement and maintaining its continuity, for which the situations are becoming more and more ripe as the economic crisis is bound to deepen further.
Therefore, let us come together and declare our only valid goal – the creation of a socialist state under the leadership of the working class, which will be a truly democratic society free from all the ill effects of capital and where the people of Bihar as well as the whole country would be prosperous by ending the exploitation and oppression for once and for ever. (to be continued in the next issue)
Originally published in The Truth: Platform for Radical Voices of The Working Class (Issue 6/ October ’20)