What The New Apologists Of Corporates Are And How They Fight Against The Revolutionaries [1]

Proletarian Reorganising Committee, CPI (ML)

Originally published in ‘The Truth’ English monthly magazine in its 11th (March 2021) issue. To read the Hindi version published in ‘Yatharth’, Issue 11, click here.

First Instalment

Before I get down to main business, let me introduce the “family of intellectuals” heading a Maoist group of activists who of late have taken upon themselves the task of ‘educating’ the revolutionaries. They are profound and famous educators. Readers may ask: what is special about it? Let me explain. They are not like any other educator. They are ‘born’ educators. And like all “born” educators, that every member of this family believes he is, they have insatiable hunger of educating others. Likewise, in a debate they are least interested in debating. Even when they educate, their method is that of a predator. With this goes a ‘gifted’ sense of preying with impunity according to which they assume that they have birth right to use any language (very often sickening and bordering on abuses) and any method they find most useful for ensuring their position of educators (read predator). Over the years, having got fully graduated and trained in these traditions, they have devised a crafty method to pounce on others (adversaries) in which a dirty pattern is palpably visible. What is this pattern? The pattern is that when probably left with no other option, they create a turf of their own choice to begin with in every step based on their own agenda and then pounce. Just like a predator, they also invent mistakes if none exists. After all, they are ‘educators’ and can’t do without educating! The readers will see this pattern in all nakedness in their recent critique of PRC. Anyway, we are accustomed to such critique. We also don’t object much to such bestial ‘hunger’. This is but a part of revolutionary life and we have seen even worse. One should know (and we do know) how to deal with such ‘educators’. So far as our encounter with this ‘family of educators’ is concerned, this is not the first time we are face to face with each other. And given the situation and condition of the movement, this is certainly not going to be the last one.

So, coming to the main point then, I would like to first all apologise to our readers for this polemical essay is going to be a lengthy one and it will be in more than one instalment, too. In the first instalment, I will limit myself to mainly exposing their ‘method’ citing examples extensively showing that they have not only misquoted, distorted and put PRC’s author out of context but also tried to put their own words in our mouth. As they have done it in plenty and almost everywhere, so I will have to invest a lot of space and time in clearing them all. But then, a short discussion on the main subject also goes side by side. The exhaustive theoretical and political discussion will however be taken up in the next instalment which in a way will be also the expanded sum up of this hurriedly prepared first instalment.

Their Position On Farm Laws And Farmers Movement

This is important to know their position on farm laws and farmers movement before proceeding any further. It is necessary to not only set forth the issues involved in the debate and its contour but to also make it clear at the very outset what they actually are, and to also shed some light on why they fight with the revolutionary organisations like PRC in the way they have fought. Anyway, what is their take away on new farm laws and the ongoing farmers movement?

They oppose the ongoing farmers movement, in the main based on this understanding that it is a kulak movement and Corporate entry in agriculture through the new farm laws (except the one that removes restrictions on hoarding of essential commodities) is neither harmful for poor and middle peasants, nor detrimental to peasant farming and villages. Nay, they boldly say that the first two laws are also (sometimes and in some way) advantageous to the poor and lower middle peasants. On whether the new farm laws on contract farming will increase or decrease the rate of poor and small peasants’ dispossession they maintain a deliberate ambiguity.[1] For this, they have used the trick of equivocating. They don’t put up any concrete analysis of the new laws and the subsequent new practice that these new laws will entail, but just equate the ‘would be practice’ (that these new laws will entail) with the old practice and experience of contract farming which has been going on for decades in India in piecemeal manner. Thus, they take a vacillating position that it isn’t certain that the new laws will definitely enhance the rate of poor peasants’ dispossession. The rate of dispossession may be anything, faster or slower – they say. Thus, they leave a scope for speculation. With such a stand, they definitely want to see the poor peasants’ soaring resolve against the corporates dampen.

So far as the danger looming large on MSP and Mandis due to the first two farm laws is concerned they express happiness as they say it will benefit poor peasants and working class both for they think and have put up immense logic to prove that prices of foodstuff will surely come down once MSP and Mandi system are dismantled and farmers movement is vanquished. But more important point according to them is that these laws by trouncing MSP and Mandi system will weaken the economic might of rich peasants. They mean, if MSP is gone, the bulwark of rural reaction will get challenged in a big way and their empire will be washed away by Corporate all-round sweep.

If we summarise their views, we arrive at an understanding that according to them the corporate entry will help grow the productive forces in agriculture by helping the poor peasants and rural workers as against the rich peasants and thus will also help them abolish reaction, the bulwark of the bourgeois rule in rural India. They ‘truly’ say there is no ground, so to say, for a common ground of interests between rural poor and the rural rich peasants. But mind it. According to our ‘educators’, some commonalities do exist after all! If not between the rural poor and rich peasants as against corporates, then definitely between the Corporate and rural poor against rich peasants, as the former benefits the latter! This is undoubtedly a jewel of thought, but what does it mean? It means that they still see capitalism in general and capitalist farming in particular play a progressive role in India’s agriculture when in actuality capitalism’s very existence is day by day fuelling revolutionary crisis. This is where they have led themselves to! It is certainly a matter of objective investigation as to how will the poor peasants feel about their submission (views) on farm laws. Most possibly they will chase these people away. So, if not between poor peasants and corporates as such, then their views (their defence of corporate and farm laws) certainly suggest a commonality of ground between them (their own group) on the one hand and the corporates and Modi government, on the other hand!  PM Modi has been regularly saying the same thing, like our ‘educators’ that these laws are for the betterment of poor and small farmers. I am not saying our ‘educators’ are in league with corporates or Modi government, but a solid ground concretely exists for a united front between them. Doesn’t it? After all, who knows what ‘such commonalities’ will turn out to be and on which beaten or unbeaten path these akin ideas will take these gentlemen to!

Anyway, what is the reality about farm laws? In short, Corporate Farming or Corporate-controlled Contract Farming (a precursor to Corporate Farming) as enunciated by the new farm laws means nothing but the second phase of capitalist farming in continuity with the reactionary milestones its first phase has set ruining the poor and middle peasants in four previous decades. Its second phase will set another milestone in continuity of the first one sweeping the whole peasantry (except a super-rich crust or layer, the rural bourgeoisie in the truest of sense, as from among the rich and well-to-do peasants they emerge) that includes poor, small, middle and even a section of rich peasants with lesser fortune. Unlike our ‘educators’, we don’t subscribe to the view that all sections of rich peasants are at the target of the Corporates or the farm laws. We have termed the onset of this second phase of capitalist farming Green Revolution-Part II. The new laws of contract farming are not just the repeat of the old, but they are laws with new intent and teeth that are orchestrated to deliver the entire rural areas to Corporates which also happens to be in line with the historical mission of capitalism in agriculture. That’s why we say Modi government will not stop here but bring more new laws with the same intent. If Corporates emerge victorious, they will trample villages running over one and all particularly the poor villagers, resort to most cruel treatment, pack them up and throw out of the villages and herd them into cities in acute penury to swell the ranks of the reserve army of the unemployed proletariat thus creating a further downward pressure on already depleting wages of the completely ‘disarmed’ working class. Here one can see the close relation between the farm laws and the labour code. Both together will enslave the whole toiling population in the worst possible way. For villages, aim of the bourgeois-fascist state is to bring down the percentage of those living on agriculture to minimum, in the first attempt to 36% (from almost over 60%) and for town, aim is to turn it into a sea of unemployed youth and workers who will be forced to sell their labour power at the cheapest rate. But these gentlemen, our ‘educators’, say that the Corporates won’t harm the poor. This is on what their ideas are rivetted about the farm laws in the main. Undoubtedly it is shameful, nonetheless, this is what makes it crucial for understanding of the bestial ferocity with which they have attacked PRC and its revolutionary presentation of the task of the proletariat vis-à-vis ongoing farmers movement.   

Only this much on this for now. Let us move ahead.

Making A Turf Of Choice

Recently, this ‘family of educators’ came up with a critique (in Hindi) of PRC’s approach towards the ongoing farmers movement. The method they have used is the one we have discussed above in the beginning itself. They have quoted (read misquoted) very little from the PRC’s Hindi booklet (“Kisano kee Mukti aur Mazdur Varg) or from its Facebook page, but whatever they have quoted is badly misrepresented, misquoted, distorted and put out of context with a purpose to making a case for critique on a self-determined turf and on the basis of a self-prepared syllabus. Only this has been done in their critique. Let us discuss how they have done this.  

Many have gone through the PRC’s booklet, but, unlike our ‘educators’, none would say and nor has anyone said that it is about any history or deals with the “history of socialist experiments[2] in the USSR” and “Marxist-Leninist theories on Peasant question.” Those who have read will confirm that not a single paragraph, nay, not even a single sentence has been used for this purpose. There is no discussion, nor any quote either from history or Marx, Engels, Lenin or Stalin on peasant question. But this makes no difference to our ‘educators’ who blame PRC’s author (of the booklet) for distortion of history, either deliberately or out of ignorance.[3]

And with this, ‘they’ have set out to demolish us in the critique. Sometimes it feels like they are criticising not us but others. We are aghast at it, but, feel sorry for them thinking, are they mentally okay?   

Similarly, the ‘educators’ say that PRC’s slogan of ‘appropriate prices’ for farmers organised in collective farms under the proletarian state is an illusory slogan given with a purpose to mend the tail of the rich peasants.[4] I have discussed in detail this “appropriate prices” for collective farmers under dictatorship of proletariat (DOP) later in this article and shown that our ‘educators’ themselves need a lot of education about it. However, for the moment at hand, it will be interesting for the readers to ask them, ‘Do they deny this so called “illusory slogan” of “appropriate prices” for collective farmers under DOP? Will not be farmers getting it from the proletarian state? Surprisingly enough, the readers will find that they don’t deny it. They eventually haven’t refuted the fact that some appropriate prices will be paid to them. Actually, they cannot deny it. Then how come the slogan becomes illusory? “Because PRC’s author didn’t discuss what it would actually be” – the ‘educators’ say and because he (PRC’s author) didn’t discuss what it would actually be, they feel they can put their own words in his (PRC author’s) mouth saying PRC promises ‘remunerative prices’ (which is according to them 40-50% above cost) to collective farmers under DOP. Peculiar characters as they are, readers must remember that these words (remunerative prices to collective farmers etc) are theirs not PRC author’s and based on their own words they say PRC distorts history. How crafty! However, they have failed to discredit us.

Now what exactly is the PRC’s author’s ‘fault’ here which they have used to rope in some gullible (even they will understand their despicable method now) readers and tried to have many of them believe as if PRC either doesn’t know any history at all or has deliberately distorted it to support remunerative prices. This is not even making a mountain out of a mole. This is making a mountain of mountains out of nothing.  The only ‘fault’ (if at all it may be called a fault) that PRC’s author can be charged with is that he didn’t go into that whole history of collectivisation associated with “appropriate prices” and just mentioned it in passing just to drive home the main direction of our thought and political campaign signifying our stand vis-à-vis India’s farmers demand of MSP or purchase guarantee of all their produce at MSP. They say PRC’s author tried to conceal it. But what for? “To mend the tail of the rich peasants”- they say. Strange as it is, they have lost the balance of their mind. When PRC gives call for a Proletarian State and collective farm as the permanent solution of the long-drawn peasants’ woes of all types including the crisis of sale of their produce, and not only that it brings them in a debate which otherwise was going without it aimlessly, what could this concealment be done for? Proletarian State by itself is such a thing that the exploiters get into fits even at its mention. PRC author had naturally no intention to conceal anything. He didn’t go into the history related with “appropriate prices” because that would have deviated the main blow of his work.

Let us also take up more concretely for discussing such blames as this that “PRC is mending the tail of the rich farmers or kulaks” or take this charge that “PRC calls upon the rich peasants and kulak to do Proletarian Revolution” which again are their words not PRC author’s, or that “PRC is trying to rally the poor peasants or working class behind the rich farmers and be their tail” which is nothing but an attempt to discredit us. If PRC supported the MSP, why should we have raised the question of collective farms and “appropriate prices” under DOP? What we uphold is that the demand of prices of agricultural produce 40-50% above cost is a problematic demand but only because of the fact that we live in a country where production is carried out capitalistically under the regime of capitalist social relations where for a person path to progress is limited by his ability to survive through a fierce capitalist competition, and where there is a free play of laws of capitalist market that gets prices above cost to farmers immediately transmitted as higher prices of commodities used by others and give rise to many other reactionary phenomena. In socialism, it won’t be a capitalist profit to begin with and other reactionary things also do not follow if price above cost is paid to farmers. The actual fact about the ‘prices’ paid to collective farmers also corroborates this. We have discussed this up to some appreciable length later in this piece and will be taken up for exhaustive finish in the next instalments if it would be so needed. But let us at first see what PRC’s author has actually written about farmers movement or rich peasants that amounts to tailism in their eyes.

PRC’s author has tried to analyse newly developing features within the ongoing stubborn and uncompromising farmers movement against Corporates and shown that these new features are such that imbue the movement with a dialectically contradictory motion of its inner self, whose realisation presupposes overthrow of capitalism and hence is revolutionary, against its own exterior outer form which is reactionary. Analysing the internal motion of the movement PRC author has written that if it (the farmers movement) goes on sharpening its attacks on corporates and at the same time if working class also intervenes into it politically and ideologically as the future ruling class and the pioneer of the future proletarian state, then it may turn into a revolutionary movement or at least become a meeting point of general and varied mass discontent gravitating into a confluence of proletarian and peasant unrest on the very axis of balance of social forces. And the reasons and factors of this is not to be imported from outside. It is very much present within the movement, imbued with it. PRC author has discussed in detail about it (but certain more clarification and explanations are still needed, one may correctly argue) and thus shown that the inner contradiction (between its kernel and its form) is imparting to the movement a transitional phase which has its roots in its own interior self – pushing forward against its own outer self – transforming it from within from an old and predominantly kulak or rich peasants movement into a phase of new awakening thus setting its new character in the mould of a violent atmosphere giving rise to “ruptures” between old and new as is being reflected in the changing political and social behaviour of this movement. But while doing so PRC has never shown such deviation as the ‘educators’ have charged us with. We challenge them to show it by quoting in full from the booklet. Their method is clear. Instead of discussing and debating over what PRC has written so as to conclusively refute or otherwise accept it, they have aimed here, as in all other debates that they do, to anyhow demolish us by way of discrediting not only us but also Lenin (we would show it in the next instalment) on the basis of false grounds as I have proved above. For this, the ‘educators’ have to always do certain things that would give them appropriate turf for ‘demolition’ of their adversary. Here in lies the secret of their belligerence.

Let me quote from PRC’s booklet and Facebook (PRC has written posts on farmers movement in three instalments) so that they may judge for themselves what is the political line of PRC vis-à-vis rich peasants and also judge what kind of people our ‘educators’ are.

PRC On Rich Peasants And Farmers Movement  

Let me first of all quote from PRC booklet. At the end of the preface, it is concluded with a call to the agitating peasants in this manner –

“To conclude, we reiterate …… that farmers must continue their agitation till the very eradication of capitalism as their emancipation demands nothing less. The total journey of capitalism in agriculture has demonstrated that the vast majority of working peasantry has nothing to gain by capitalism. Let us lead this movement begun by farmers for their survival from corporate onslaught into a fight against capitalism which gives rise to these corporates and make this into a struggle to remove capitalism from the stage of society and history. Proletariat, the majority of Indian population, will soon join this fight as its vanguard and will stand united in front ranks with the farmers, undeterred and undeviated.” (bold ours)  

Can be it called tailism of rich peasantry? let us see another example from the booklet.

“Except a very thin upper crust (loyal lackeys and super rich partners of corporates#[5]), overwhelming majority of peasants are in agony to see themselves facing the danger of being thrown out of agriculture, as directed by needs of capitalist exploitation. The steady measures of corporate capital towards final and decisive hegemony in agriculture has united many strata of farmers (today we must say, it has united all those other strata and people also who are exploited and oppressed#). This links the broken chain of revolutionary peasant movements of the past to a new (proletarian) one in its kernel and, therefore, points to a new era and opens an entirely new horizon.”

Let me quote a whole paragraph from the booklet which makes clear what does PRC has to say about rich peasants whose existence (of continuing as rich peasants, of course#) is also threatened as they feel so with the advent the advent new farm laws pushing for hegemony of corporate in agriculture.

“Both to make the movement victorious and to avoid the devastating fate under the corporate onslaught, they (a section of rich peasants with lesser fortunes#) will find only one remaining choice – undeterred fight against capitalism in alliance with workers and poor peasants. The road ahead for rural workers and poor peasants is clear. They know that their destiny lies with proletariat. It is mainly the rich and medium farmers who must decide how they can survive the large-scale capitalist production and onslaught of corporate dominance. Only they, among all farmers, face this question. We should allow them to think over it freely. If they do not choose the path suggested by the proletariat, we will have to leave them to their fate. However, it need be said that it is now impossible to prevent emergence of this revolutionary kernel of the present movement (emergence of the path of emancipation of farmers under a future proletarian state) since the inhuman anarchy of capitalist production itself is guaranteeing this by turning more devastating day by day and leaving no other alternative for the entire rural population. This is the only possible path forward for history and the whole of humanity is bound to move forward this way sooner or later for its emancipation.” (bold added)

Is this a line of compromise with rich peasants or a line of leading them in a manner that exposes enemies, if there is any, hiding behind the banner of struggle? We know and have written at various places that the next (higher) phase of the movement will see many more exposed and running away. We have written that if the movement remains firm on demands and the confrontation deepens further leading to more ruptures with the old, bourgeois parties today sympathetic to struggling peasants and the sections of super rich farmers led by them will get exposed and run away. They all will stand with the fascist state in suppressing them. They are supporting them because they feel peasants will oust Modi by voting them and have forgotten the demands after that. In our view, this is not going to happen so plainly.  This is due to revolutionary kernel residing in the demands which will keep pushing itself up towards the top if the movement sharpens further without losing its firmness on the demand. In the above paragraph, in actuality, all possible enemies or vacillating elements have been served a coarse warning that if they finally don’t come under the umbrella of working class to overthrow the rule of capital (as they themselves feel their future at risk due to farm laws), they will have to be left to their own fate which sends more than one message including this sober one, that   they will be also ruined and dispossessed by the Corporates just like the poor peasants who were ruined at the hands of the rich peasants through various methods. Has this been squarely said to the rich farmers in the document? Yes, quite clearly and in a straight forward manner. Let us see.

“Class conscious worker and poor peasant will tell them, ‘You have got it right. Capitalism works exactly that way. This is what is called capitalist development. To become more and more centralised in the hands of big capitalists or their trusts is the inherent character of capital. The hue and cry raised by entry of big capital in agriculture is only an example of this. This is the extended form of capitalist law of big ‘fish’ predating upon small ‘fish’. However, the ‘fish’ (meaning big and small fish both#) now find themselves facing ‘sharks’ and ‘crocodiles’, and in capitalism the result can only be against the ‘fish’ (fish of all sizes#).”

Now, can anyone based on what has been said above say that PRC is raising the issue of centralisation from the point of view of big fishes? No, not at all. When we are raising voice for DOP and Collective farms, it first of all means that we are presenting this question from the view point of the proletariat as the future ruler that would promise the fullest guarantee of fulfilling the demand of dignified and decent life for those peasantry who will shun exploitation and get organised in collective farms under the banner and rule of the proletariat. Guarantee of dignified life also includes “appropriate prices” for collective farm peasants till they are raised to higher form of social organisation voluntarily like state farms and future peasant communes. Is such a presentation a tailism or addressing the issue of dispossession from the point of view of rich peasants? Only those who are opposed to proletarian state and proletarian revolution would talk like this. By the way, presenting the question of dispossession from farming with the view point of small farmers is also not a proletarian revolutionary presentation. We have seen how presentation with the view point of small and poor farmers have led our ‘educators’ to fall in the feet of the corporates. The only correct presentation would be to bring the issue of proletarian revolution and then deal with the issues of peasants and demands whether farm laws or MSP. To deal them within the limit of capitalist social relations only will certainly lead us to economism limiting to reformist partial demands even at the time of a serious combat-like situation unfolding the revolutionary crisis ahead.      

Only with such a revolutionary presentation, the whole humanity and the entire rural population have been exhorted to rise against the present state of things as only this path (the path of establishing proletarian state) is left for the liberation of all.

The booklet also and consistently talks of a revolutionary kernel present in the movement about which only we have said that their rise is unstoppable with the kind of crisis today’s capitalist system is in. Now, what are the classes that this kernel represents? They are undoubtedly the rural poor, those from agricultural proletariat to poor peasantry that constitutes the overwhelming majority of all the landholding rural population. What to talk of rich peasants, it excludes even the middle peasants. Only dishonest people like our ‘educators’ will deny that it is not a revolutionary presentation of the task of the proletariat in the ongoing peasant movement. By saying so repeatedly they seek to dupe the gullible readers and that’s why they refrained from quoting any paragraph on rich peasants from the booklet but shamelessly kept saying ‘पीआरसी धनी किसानों को सर्वहारा क्रांति करने के लिए ललकारता है।’ This is how our ‘educators’ has tried to demolish us and befool the readers.

Let us see a few more examples of PRC’s understanding about rich peasants –  

“They (that section of the rich peasants who like other strata of peasants have ultimately become a victim of irrationality of capitalist farming#) want to reverse the conditions for this scenario (the scenario of corporate hegemonic loot that has been unfolding#) but their attachment to private property also makes them afraid of the leadership of working class and the proletarian state. Hence their predominant tendency is to look back instead of moving forward. However, the apprehension of what lies in future for them also brings them closer to proletariat. Only the passage of time can remove this baggage of past. As the repercussions of corporate dominance will become more and more clear, realisation of the real alternative will dawn upon them. Today they have come into the fight for demands with new kernel and a new temper, in future they will be prepared mentally for other aspects too.” (bold added) 

Only a stupid fellow will say that it is tailism of rich peasants. In the main, it is a description of a section of today’s rich peasants who are forced to oppose the second phase of capitalist farming with corporates on the top of it. Our great ‘educators’ would say, they are fighting for the preservation of their own share of profit. So what? which strata of peasantry doesn’t aspire for profit? How can a rich peasant react to these new situations threatening their existence (of continuing as rich peasants)? Who is saying they have turned or will turn or at all turn revolutionary over night or in distant future? All depends on the way their confrontation with corporate develops and the crisis of the present bourgeois system deepens. Only this much has been said by PRC authors. That’s why PRC welcomes the new awakening of the peasantry as a whole but does not call it a revolutionary awakening. We are waiting for it to become revolutionary and of course doing hard work for this to happen. But it depends on many things as also on the political and ideological consciousness of the working class and its overall preparedness to act as the leader that it really is. Only this much has been written by PRC’s author and we fiercely uphold it that no matter how valiantly peasants fight, there is no way to steer clear of the danger or threat of corporate takeover in the event of capitalism remaining in place due to lack of working-class preparations for Proletarian Revolution and utilizing the present crisis. PRC is only describing their state of mind, that has been thrown in acute turbulence due to the imminence of Corporate takeover.

It is also true, PRC holds that today a section of rich peasants is differentiated from its upper most crust of super rich peasants as they are face to face with corporatisation of agriculture against which they have already risen. Let us see what does PRC say about this changed state of mind of a section of rich peasants whose element or character, PRC says, has not changed forthwith.

“…the rich farmer of today is also not the old one who only benefited by expansion of capitalist farming and market, remaining fully unaware and ignorant of its future negative consequences. They could then find nothing but profit in capitalist agriculture and considered themselves unchallenged in the arena of capitalist farming. While profiting from capitalist agriculture they were unaware of the fact that by deepening and expanding capitalist farming they were paving the path for big corporate capital to enter the arena of capitalist agriculture once developed sufficiently and to bring forth their own giant challengers. They remained fully unaware of the fact they were creating the instruments of their own future destruction and negation. They remained ignorant that this very capitalist agriculture, once developed sufficiently, will put serious question mark on their own very existence and survival. That juncture has now arrived. The spectre of the entry of corporate capital into agriculture, now real and imminent, is making them restless owing to its devastating consequences for themselves. These repercussions can only become greater in future bringing forth more and more crises. Hence, not only the poor peasants but the rich farmers also find their confidence in capitalist agriculture shaken. Their role in the movement till now is quite evident of this.”

Is this an effort to tail behind the rich peasants? No, not at all. It is to take into account and capture the new developing features appearing in them. Those who equate the rich peasants of today’s India who are bonded by not only the exploitative bondage but also by blood and flesh, with those Russian Kulaks who lived a hundred years ago and had no experience of corporatisation are actually blind to today’s permanently crisis-ridden capitalism in which the existence of all intermediary classes is badly challenged and threatened. A revolutionary crisis is in the offing which is enlightening even those who are most backward and also socially reactionary. However, and it goes without mentioning that to overestimate these changes and expect from their changed political behaviour that they will happily accept the alternative pushed forward by the proletariat will be a grave mistake and lead to political and ideological disarming of the toiling peasantry and even the proletariat. But at the same time, being blind and remaining indifferent to these changes which are quite important at least politically means losing sight of important political tactical moves that equips us in the midst of an ongoing uncompromising farmers movement, that too in the background of a serious world-wide economic crisis of the bourgeois system, to awaken and take into a joint move the vast rural poor and also neutralise a section of erstwhile enemy. These are very important things for those who boldly think of preparing for revolution. But, for those who think proletarian revolution is far off, even two and three generations away, these all are meaningless things. They need not occupy their brain here and feel contented with their economic presentation.

PRC clearly writes about this in the following way.

“The main take away is that the task of bringing together of working class and exploited-oppressed farmers as allies still remaining pending. Need of the hour for vast masses of exploited-oppressed peasantry is to stand immediately with proletarian revolution and speak for future proletarian state… Present peasant movement has defined and presented this task to both these classes in most clear terms with some specific characteristics…” (bold added)

PRC also clearly outlines the basis of its support in the end. Please listen.

“Our party as vanguard of working class, stands rocklike and in full force with the agitating farmers on the basis of building abovementioned society free from exploitation and on the appeal to struggle together for this objective (the objective of fighting for overthrow of capitalism and establishment of DOP and then collectivisation of peasants on the basis of socialisation of all the means of production etc as discussed elsewhere in the booklet#)” (bold added)

PRC also says –

“On behalf of our party and working class, we (the central committee of PRC#) wish to convey to the agitating farmers that working class supports their struggle for survival from big capital with this confidence that they (agitating farmers#) will continue it till final victory and will realise that neither farmers nor the society or humanity can gain anything till the rule of capitalist class is overthrown and they come out of its vicious circle. We have no intention to tell farmers that there is any hope of emancipation from misery and solution of the big problems of their life without freedom from capitalism. Saying anything else will be false.’ (bold added)

 Now comrade readers! Judge for yourself and say, is it tailism?

But wait, let us also quote from the PRC’s Facebook posts on farmers (they are all in three instalments#) in Hindi. In its first post itself, it sets out with the following evaluation of the movement (it is there in the very first paragraph itself). I have left the quote as it is in because one may not raise the question of distortion of the content during translation.

“अपने वर्तमान स्वरूप में, जहां तक यह आंदोलन और इसमें शरीक आम किसान कुलकों और बड़े धनी किसानों के नेतृत्व‍ में यानी कृषि क्षेत्र के बुर्जुआ वर्ग के पीछे-पीछे चल रहे हैं, वहां तक और उन अर्थों में इस आंदोलन की सीमा और आंदोलन की मांगों की अतार्किकता दोनों तुरंत प्रकट हो जाती हैं, और इस अर्थ में इसका बाह्य प्रतिक्रियावादी स्‍वरूप सामने आता है कि वह पूंजीवाद से चिपके रहते हुए ही उसे पीछे हटने के लिए बाध्य‍ करने की बात करता है। लेकिन इसका अंतर्य इस अर्थ में क्रांतिकारी है कि इसकी मांगें स्‍वयं इसे पूंजीवाद के दायरे से बाहर खींच ले आने को आतुर हैं और तभी तक अतार्किक प्रतीत होती हैं जब तक इसका नेतृत्‍व बड़े धनी किसान या कुलक कर रहे हैं। यहां मजदूर वर्ग की क्रांतिकारी भूमिका इस आंदोलन के बाह्य स्‍वरूप और इसके अंतर्य के बीच के अंतर्विरोध को तेज करने में निहित है, न कि इसका मूर्खतापूर्ण समर्थन या विरोध करने में। इस आंदोलन में मजदूर वर्गीय हस्‍तक्षेप करने के पहले यह समझना अत्‍यावश्‍यक है कि इसके प्रतिक्रियावादी बाह्य स्‍वरूप का कारण इसका पूंजीवादी समर्थक नेतृत्‍व है, जबकि इसकी मांगे अपने अंतर्य में पूंजी के तर्कों के विरूद्ध हैं। आंदोलन की सबसे महत्‍वपूर्ण बात इसकी अभी तक समझौताविहीन गति है जिसने बाह्य आवरण और अंतर्य के बीच इस दिलचस्‍प अंतर्विरोध के हल को मजदूर वर्ग के लिहाज से एक अत्‍यंत दिलचस्‍प मोड़ पर ले आया है। हम पाते हैं कि किसान और कॉरपोरेट दोनों ही पीछे हटने को तैयार नहीं हैं। अगर किसान अपनी मांगों पर अड़े रहते हैं तो देश की राजनीति में एक क्रांति‍कारी परिस्थित‍ि के आगाज से इनकार करना असंभव है। जो लोग भी इसका जाने-अनजाने मूर्खतापूर्ण तरीके से यानी इस आंदोलन के क्रांतिकारी सार को समझे बिना ही, समर्थन में ऊलजलूल तरीके से चीखे-चिल्‍लाये जा रहे हैं, वे अंतत: इस क्रांतिकारी परिस्थिति की आमद से कन्‍फ्यूज ही होंगे और ऐन मौके पर इधर-उधर भटकते पाये जाएंगे। संभवत: बिना पूर्व मानसिक तैयारी के क्रां‍तिकारी परिस्थिति के आगमण पर इसके धूल और गुब्‍बार में कहीं खो जाएंगे। वहीं जो इसका सार संकलन किये बिना ही सिर्फ इसके बाह्य स्‍वरूप को देखकर इसका जड़तापूर्ण तरीके से एकांगी विरोध कर रहे हैं, उनके लिए सबसे बड़ा खतरा यही है कि वे बूरी तरह अलगाव में चले जाएंगे और वे भी इसके मूर्खतापूर्ण समर्थन करने वालों की तरह ही क्रांतिकारी परिस्थिति में इधर-उधर खड़े हो महज दांत पीसते नजर आएंगे।”

And again, See this from the third instalment

“कारपोरेट खेती की जगह किसान समाजवादी कृषि के तहत सर्वहारा राज्‍य के साथ कॉन्ट्रैक्ट खेती करके ही वर्तमान दुर्दशा से बाहर निकल सकते हैं। वे अपने आंदोलन को उस ओर मोड़ने में जितनी देर करेंगे, उनकी दुर्गति उतनी तेजी से उनका नाश करती जाएगी। यह किसानों के हाथ में है कि वे मजदूर वर्ग के इस प्रस्‍ताव को ठुकराते हैं या स्‍वीकारते हैं। अगर वे अपने बड़े धनी किसान नेताओं पर, जो पूंजीवाद के परिणामों से पूंजीवाद को दूर किये बिना ही लड़ना चाहते हैं, और कारपोरेटपक्षी नीतियों को सरकार पर दबाव बनाकर रद्द कराने का ख्‍वाब पाले हुए हैं, बिना सोचे समझे भरोसा रखते है तथा मजदूर वर्ग द्वारा बताई गई दिशा में अपने संघर्ष को नहीं ले जाते हैं, तो जल्‍द ही उनका विनाश हो जाएगा। खासकर गरीब किसान जल्‍द ही आने वाले समय में सर्वहारा की पातों में शामिल होने के लिए बाध्‍य होंगे। चाहे आज हो या कल, चाहे पूरी तरह उजड़ कर हो या फिर भावी सर्वहारा राज्‍य के सहयात्री किसान वर्ग के रूप में, लेकिन उनका भविष्‍य सर्वहारा एवं मजदूर वर्ग के साथ ही जुड़ा हुआ है। पूंजीवाद पर इसकी जीत में ही उनकी जीत है। अगर किसान आंदोलन मजदूर वर्ग के इस प्रस्‍ताव पर, जो मजदूरों की मांग के आधार पर नहीं स्‍वयं उनकी मांगों के आधार  पर उनके लिए अंतिम समाधान पेश करता है, विचार करते हैं तभी और एकमात्र तभी हम सच्‍चे अर्थों में मजदूर-किसान एकता की बात कर सकते हैं।  भले ही मजदूर वर्ग कारपोरेट द्वारा किसान वर्ग के द्वारा बलात लूटने की कार्रवाई का तब भी विरोध करता रहेगा। लेकिन जब तक गरीब किसानों का व्‍यापक हि‍स्‍सा बड़े धनी किसानों की बुर्जुआ वर्ग व राज्‍य की राजनीति का हिस्‍सा और उनके प्‍यादे बने रहेंगे, तब तक मजदूर-किसान एकता की बात महज एक नारा ही बनी रहेगी।”

So, to say that PRC calls upon the rich peasants to do Proletarian Revolution or PRC is asking the poor peasants and working class to tail behind the rich peasant is utterly false and unfounded, to say the least.

What Are The ‘Educators’ Most Furious At Us About?

Let us directly come at it. They are most terribly furious at introduction of the call of Proletarian State as the only means for the liberation of the struggling peasant masses in the ongoing debate on the Farmers Movement which has become the rallying point of peoples protests against the Corporates and their paid Modi government. They made it the centre of attack against PRC, though they couldn’t muster enough courage to deny the call that only a future Proletarian State can address all the issues or demands on which the Indian peasants are agitating. Finding it difficult to oppose, they took a craftily orchestrated path to deny it, by first making a completely false claim that PRC has distorted the history of socialist experiments in Soviet Union to create a turf of their own choice, and secondly by jeering at PRC for its ‘hurry to complete Proletarian Revolution.’ The intensity of their ferocity at such PRC’s hurry is very high. It shows PRC’s call has hit them right at the heart of their hearts. Out of frustration only, they have labelled a very pleasant charge that PRC is in a hurry for Proletarian Revolution. They have acknowledged that we are in a hurry but for Proletarian Revolution, and not for any other narrow ends. And in this, our educators are hundred percent right! We gladly accept this charge. I know why they are furious at it. It has hurt many of their plans including their plan of investment of at least a few generations before they would be prepared for Proletarian Revolution. This is well in tune with this belief of theirs that capitalism can still play a progressive role and so the revolution is not to be taken as an imminent possibility or a matter of immediate concern. They believe that Corporates’ entry in agriculture would help productive forces grow and abolish reaction in rural India before all the necessary pre-requisites will be fulfilled and only after that they could embark on the path of Proletarian Revolution. How smart they are! We truly apologise for hurting your well-orchestrated plan, gentlemen! But we can’t help you more than this (giving apology).

What In A Nutshell Is The Debate Going On About The Farmers Movement?

There is wide spectrum of differing opinions on peasant movement, though broadly they can be divided in two categories, one in support and the other in opposition. However, within these two lines, there are many other differing lines, mainly centred around the vanguard role of the proletariat or the role of its revolutionary party. In our view, rising in arms of lakhs of peasants of all strata for more than hundred days (which is still continuing and most likely to continue for umpteen days) against Corporate entry in agriculture is not a simple development. It is a very significant socio-political development for it is being waged not only against the Corporates but also in essence against the inauguration of the second phase of capitalist farming. The first phase that began three to four decades ago has already accentuated the long drawn agrarian crisis (that first surfaced in the form of suicides of farmers in the 90’s) to hilt. In this phase a minority sections of rich farmers had benefitted at the cost of poor and lower middle or middle peasants. Corporate entry in agriculture is but entry of big capital which is the logical conclusion of capitalist farming. How could a capitalist-fascist state address this crisis? Only by introducing measures that would open the flood gate for big corporate capital and dispossess a large segment of peasants who have been already in acute economic distress at least for a decade.

What do the peasants want and what can they get (from the bourgeois state) are some of very important questions that need to be answered by those who want to delineate the task of the revolutionary proletariat vis-à-vis this ongoing farmer movement. Only the correct answers of these questions will determine the correct direction and blow of proletarian response to the farmer movement.

What do the peasants want? Peasants want the abolition of the new farm laws which means they want to stop the entry of corporates in agriculture. It means in essence they want to stop the capitalist farming half way. Will the agitating farmers be successful in this? No if they don’t go for overthrow of the rule of the bourgeoisie and yes if they do so. Even if these farm laws are withdrawn under compulsion by the bourgeois state, it will be carried out by another means. What could the other means be? Other means could be anything from enacting similar laws after some time when ‘peace’ among peasants returns to giving backdoor entry to Corporates. Everything depends upon the situations and a revolutionary party of the proletariat, if it is worth its name, must do everything not to allow such a situation to come. This is the kernel of what we call a revolutionary stand in this movement.

So, the peasants have to abolish capitalism if they want to be successful in stalling the corporate entry. Is there any other way to stop Corporate? No, they will have to do away with capitalist exploitation as well as all types of exploitation. But can this idea (of abolishing capitalism) ever occur in the minds of the peasants on their own? No, never. It is only the proletariat in whose leadership Proletarian Revolution will take place and abolish capitalism establishing a proletarian state that will address the peasants’ problems to solve them once and for ever. Is this a new thing in the farmers movement signifying a completely new response to a new phenomenon that the corporate takeover of agriculture has commenced? Yes. This is a new response to a new phenomenon in the sense that it (new phenomenon) marks the beginning of the second phase of capitalist farming against which the peasants are enraged. Such questions and responses never emerged in or were never thrown by previous farmers movement.

Such an awakening, which is still far from being revolutionary, is based on farmers’ own grasping of the essence of the laws which has set the peasants, particularly of more developed areas and states like Punjab, Haryana and western UP, into a rebellion. They have understood the danger through their own experience of three decades of capitalist farming which has amply shown to them that prospering via capitalism or capitalist farming does not work for majority of peasants. When they understood that the new farm laws are but in continuity of the same capitalist farming, they immediately sensed the danger that is coming and the threat being posed to their existence. It’s not because of no reason that peasants are adamant on withdrawal of the farm laws. They are rightly worried that they would lose their land and be thrown out of village.  

Take the question of purchase guarantee of all agri-produce at MSP. This (MSP as a legal right) is also a new thing in farmers movement. At least the background of Corporate takeover of agriculture through laws is giving it a new meaning and adding different substance. Why? Because the demand of purchase of all produce at MSP is a demand that a bourgeois government which has brought new farm laws to facilitate Corporate entry can’t ever fulfil. What is the essence of MSP in new form, in legal form and for all produce? If we analyse its new features in the background of a complete view of its old form, we find that the old form of MSP (without being a legal right) covered only 6% of farmers who were by bulk mainly rich and upper middle peasants, that too belonging to a few states. Why couldn’t all be covered? Because all farmers were not intended to be covered. Why? What stopped others from taking its advantage? It was the competition that was generated among the peasants to sell at APMC. It was as if the bourgeois state said, “sell at Mandi at MSP if you can” How is a competition in a bourgeois society settled? It can be settled only by force, on the socio-economic might of individual peasants in which only those will win who are powerful. There many ‘freedoms’ but for the poor and unprivileged they mean just empty words.

Now, we can easily understand that MSP as a legal right with a rider that those companies who buy any produce below MSP is to be punished will eliminate the competition from among farmers. All peasants will be ‘benefited’ by MSP as per the marketable surplus they produce. Poor peasants also sell but very less than rich peasant, well-to-do and middle peasants and hence they will not be benefitted much, but whatever they have to sell will be sold at MSP. But in a bourgeois society, it will be always fraught with two types of dangers. One, middle and rich peasants who produce more may not find adequate number of big buyers as for any bourgeois govt or capitalist agri-businessmen to buy all the agri-produce at MSP which is 50 percent above cost is very difficult. It is almost impossible because it will upset the already disturbed and shaken balance between Supply and Demand. For corporate businessmen to earn maximum profit they would have to sell the produce or their products at a much higher price. It will badly affect the demand as fixing a higher floor price level for agri-products of all kinds will also harm poor buyers, bulk of whom are also poor peasants who purchase grain. So, if farmers don’t find adequate number of buyers in the market it (MSP for all) will finally go waste and even the rich farmers will be in difficulty in spite of MSP for all. It will further close or seal the end wall, accentuate the problem rather than solve it by bringing a dead end because after that there would be no other way left and crisis will become many-fold. But mind it. This is all for discussion’s sake, supposing the states accept the demand of legal MSP which is however not going to be accepted in reality. For farmers then, this new MSP even if it is won will ultimately not solve their problems or crisis. The whole struggle will finally go in vain.

What is the basic reason of this type of chaos in bourgeois societies? The basic reason is that in a bourgeoisie-run society capitalist profit becomes the only lever and hope of economic progress, well-being and upward mobility on social ladder for all including farmers. But it is a black hole from where you don’t get any light even if you pour a plenty of it. This is like a tunnel at whose end there is no light.  All, even the poorest ones, work for and are lured by the possibility of profit as a result of higher prices of his produce as there is no other way he can think to prosper. But what is the reality behind the allurement of profit for the poor? The reality is that only big ones win as it leads to a fierce competition. Next, any higher price of a commodity, whatever it may be, emanating at any point on the globe, is immediately transmitted to the ultimate buyer in many times over its original price. So is the case with “50 percent above all cost” which farmers think is the minimum necessary at least for their normal well-being. But peasants are also surrounded by constantly rising prices of all other commodities and services which are many times costlier than the total cost involved. So peasants like any other class are always under pressure to keep pace with rising prices of other commodities and service. On the other hand, if peasants are left to the vagaries of market for the sake of profit, the volatility of prices ruin even a section of the rich peasants. They cannot survive if slump and volatility of prices both continues. Thus, their destiny is also sealed like that of poor and small or middle peasants, particularly when corporate enters into agriculture. The agriculture sector is thus becoming a worthless sector for farmers at large and only those can survive in agriculture who are big and super rich able to extract a super margin even in the midst of fierce competition with the corporates in the big capital-controlled market. After some time, we may find even super rich aren’t able to survive because super-duper rich have entered into it. There is no end to it. This is what is called the natural motion of capital, be it in agriculture or in any other sector.

One can argue, those who are incapable of surviving must leave agriculture. This is exactly what Corporate and Modi want. It is also true that so long as bourgeoisie rule the society, there can be no other way things can move. The only option left is to overthrow the state which works for the profit of big capital. But now let us suppose farmers are defeated and Modi government is able to implement the new farm laws, and grain market is also monopolized by corporate agri-business companies, then what would be the scenario? Prices of the agri-produce will go even much higher because they will take the form of monopoly prices. On the other hand, forced eviction of poor peasants will take place. The long-term vision of the State is to bring down the percentage of total village population dependent on agriculture from 60% to 36% in the first round so that vast amount of land is freed up for large scale corporate farming in not-so-distant future. Apart from this, the government is also going to do away with PDS and FCI meaning thereby that with the restriction on private hoarding of grain and pulses already gone the government is handing over the whole grain market to Corporates resulting in monopoly prices for grain, pulses, vegetable, fruit and all other food items.[6]

So, we see there is no solution either way.

Now come again to the new MSP once more. We have seen that there is a possibility of a drastic fall in numbers of big buyers. This will force the farmers to take up even more irrational and contradictory steps. A new struggle will be sought to emerge, this time for the guarantee of buyers. Farmers will have to wage a new struggle for another law that will legally guarantee purchase by the businessmen at MSP and of all produce. But businessmen can’t be pressurised by any law to purchase at a certain price. In this case, the demand of purchase guarantee rests with the government to be accepted. But the government is denying and it will always deny saying it can’t do anything with these mountains of agri-produce. Then, farmers leaders will say that businessmen must buy at MSP and the difference in price must be paid to the businessmen by the government. So, finally it is a demand of guarantee of purchase by government/state for which government will have to depend on public finance which is already depleted to an extent that nothing is saved for the general people now. This will also be twice in favour of corporates. So even if we assume that government will accept this, the crisis of public finance and demand would blast the whole system hurting all very badly in its return, even peasants in many ways. So, it is clear that nothing very precious will come in the pocket of the peasants if the government accepts the demands. The whole exercise around MSP as a legal right or the demand of purchase guarantee goes against the laws of capitalist market. For all these better results, the laws of capitalist market need to be done away with which is possible only by establishing a proletarian state on the ruins of the old capitalist one. So, it is clear the new MSP arrives at its serious violent flaw and lands the whole affair in a queer mixture of internally beset contradictions. This is what PRC has been saying that the solution of these demands presupposes a Proletarian State that alone can give guarantee of purchase of all the produce of the farmers at appropriate prices and also promise them a decent and dignified life without the possibility of any crisis which is very often the case in or under a bourgeois state. On the other hand, we have seen that if the present situation is left to be tackled in capitalist way, its result will be corporate takeover only. It will be disastrous as the village and peasant farming will be delivered to big capital for loot and plunder.

However, farmers are agitated and it seems they are not going to be at peace as long as farm laws are not repealed and MSP as a legal right is not accepted. What does it mean? It means that if their struggle continues and the farmers, convinced as they are about the fall out of farm laws, further go into clash-combat like situation with the state, the agitation is bound to go beyond the bourgeois limit.  Farmers are also getting convinced that even without the farm laws, the very existence of capitalist farming under a bourgeois state is no less than a serious threat to their existence as it is destroying the vast majority with imposing crisis leading to heavy destruction of productive forces and death for the poor men and women, old and young. Even when there were no farm laws, the income of the whole peasantry except a super-rich section in the last 6 to 7 years fell by drastic 30 percent and more.

The Role Of A Proletarian Party In The Above Scene

So, what a proletarian party has to do in the above circumstances is a very serious thing to think over. Even the immediate roots of farmers current problems are the ones that are linked with their future existence and are in no way going to be solved within the boundary of capitalism. That is why their demands are not going to be even heard. In short, within bourgeois parameters, there is no solution of problems of peasants, nor the crisis of agriculture and farmers can be ever mitigated under capitalism which is in the mould of permanent crisis. We have seen above that even MSP with 50% above all cost for all is destined to fail. We have seen that MSP with 50% above cost for all is not a solution, rather it is a part of a bigger problem as it leads the existing critical situation and things to a dead end. What does it mean? It means the new MSP above 50% for all leads the farmers into a violent clash with the boundary of the bourgeois system pushing them to go beyond capitalism. If they keep demanding it, remain firm in their struggle and of course if working class intervenes with the call of Proletarian State and of course proletarian revolution, the farmers agitation is bound to take revolutionary path. This is what PRC has been saying.

Almost entire peasantry (of course leaving a tiny section of super rich) has been mobilised into this protest, whether actively or passively, driven as they are by the apprehension of a grave disaster (which is true) caused by inevitable and complete corporate control on agriculture and rural life through the new farm laws. From their point of view, statutorily-guaranteed MSP has become a thing of vital importance since they want protection from vicissitudes of market for their (especially rich & medium farmers) own survival as the private companies will then be forced to pay MSP despite fall in open market prices. But we have discussed what will become of MSP in the end even if it is accepted. The revolutionaries have to convey it to the peasant masses boldly that in a bourgeois society MSP is not the solution for farmers. We have also discussed that the withdrawal of three farm laws, which will obstruct the further capitalist development of agriculture, is not an easy demand that the Modi government will accept unless there is threat of a proletarian revolution appearing before them eyes. In normal conditions, the government which is in the pay of corporates is not even ready to listen to these demands, whether of statutorily guaranteed MSP or withdrawal of the farm laws. This is the experience of hundred days of the farmers movement. This is the age of moribund capitalism which can no longer accept these demands. Nevertheless, the movement is important for the working class. Why? Because it helps the farmers see for themselves the limit of the bourgeois state’s capacity to solve and address the problems of farmers. Let us hear what the PRC’s author has to say about it.  

” It is clear that if this demand is raised strongly and gains wide popularity, it will lead farmers to not only transcend capitalism but also to the demand of a proletarian state because except for a proletarian state which is not driven by profit no other state can bear the burden of the purchase guarantee for farmers. Hence present farmers movement has a dual role. On one hand, it is a fight by owner farmers for their survival against the corporate capital. On the other, this fight for survival can also …. bring to the fore (spontaneously from below) the necessity of a proletarian socialist state…. Thus MSP, in this form, instead of remaining MSP in original sense, transforms into a demand for purchase guarantee under a contract farming agreement with the state. Hence, though externally bearing stamp of the old demands of the farmers movement, both its aim and kernel have metamorphosed into new. While its objective is to put up an unscalable barrier for the corporates, its kernel is directed towards breaking the boundary of the bourgeois state (and society#)”

And therefore, PRC’s author writes –

” Therefore, their pull towards MSP cannot be the sole criterion for deciding our approach towards the present farmers movement. We need to form a comprehensive view by examining both external and internal aspects of a phenomenon. Not to do so would only demonstrate the political short-sightedness and tactical poverty of those practising revolutionary working-class politics. After more than 50 days of the movement, we are in a position to say that along with the cry of freedom from corporate capital it is also capable of mobilising the countrywide masses against the capitalist loot itself since this agitation has moved towards this new awakening solely under the compulsions of its own internal dialectical dynamics.”

But, as said earlier, even if MSP is not guaranteed and farmers are defeated as our ‘educators’ wish and the pro-corporate farm laws are implemented as again our ‘educators’ are longing for thinking that the laws (except the one removing cap on private storage) will usher India in some golden age of development of productive forces and abolition of reaction, even then prices will go higher, even much higher than what the MSP for all farmers would warrant or could be held accountable for because of the advent of the era of monopoly prices.

PRC vs All Others

In the given circumstances, one has to seriously ponder over what could be the revolutionary stand? According to us, just to support the farmers movement per se cannot be the revolutionary stand. This movement is not an ordinary movement. It has taken on the whole fascist state and the confrontation is deepening everyday. Only a counter-revolutionary will jeer at the anger it is producing which is deep-rooted. To just vaguely propagate revolutionary politics in general terms will not work in this case. It is face to face with a fascist state which is most unlikely to heed and hence a situation of very serious standoff has come that may result in anything including creating ripples landing us all in a situation of a revolutionary crisis. Such a situation may ultimately develop if the movement goes on uncompromisingly like this despite repressions. It will then certainly destabilise the uneasy balance of social forces tearing apart the calm among them and forcing their new alignments in ever changing situation despite the fact the working class is still not taking the call. Let us see how PRC puts it –

“Till capitalism remains, the struggle of farmers against corporate will continue and sharpen. The party of working class should not only oppose farm laws but fully expose the working of capitalism comprehensively, i.e., among and with reference to all classes. This is the second precondition for this movement taking a revolutionary turn, first being the constant onward march of the movement till final victory for present demands, without which second precondition is meaningless……”

“It is remarkable that, though not consciously, this movement is inspired by the idea of a state which will reverse the contradictory progress of capitalist agriculture including all its ruinous consequences. The fear of anarchy of market and the fight to prevent final victory of corporate capital over agriculture is driven by this idea. This demonstrates the farmers’ present level of consciousness. They want a state which will go against the interests of capital, irony being the desire for fulfilment of this demand is dependent on the mercy of a capitalist state! This is the epitome of contradictions inherent in this movement implying that, in case this movement strengthens, it is bound to turn against the rule of capital. If such an outcome comes about, it will be no surprise.”

In such a situation, just to limit ourselves to supporting, even with certain conditions, will fall short of the need of today’s working class revolutionary politics that demands us to come out and intervene in the movement with a clarion call to farmers that in capitalism, in a society which is based on exploitation of the those who are less privileged by those who are more privileged, only corporates and among the corporates only the biggest and the most powerful corporates will thrive. And this is what is happening in agriculture, too. So, the working class, even if it is without any well-equipped powerful headquarter must say to the struggling peasants that it is only the future proletarian state in India based on workers-peasant alliance which can alone guarantee what they are demanding and provide them descent and dignified life without any one exploiting the other and through a very advanced collective farms in which all the peasants who will be ready to shun exploitation of weak by strong will join. Whatever they will produce and on the basis of contract with the proletarian state on mutually friendly and respectful terms well in advance before sowing they will be able to sell at “appropriate prices” to the state that will, apart from the appropriate prices, aid and assist them with whatever they (the proletariat and its state) command. Naturally, all the wealth and capital belonging to enemy of the people, all the creation of toil of workers and peasants will be confiscated forthwith by the proletarian state without compensation with the combined might of the working class and the poor toiling peasantry who will form the core of the collective farms. The working class must invite all the struggling strata of peasants who are so willing. Who will oppose confiscation of corporates? A minority of the super-rich peasantry (if at all we can call them peasantry), the corporates themselves and along with their lackeys (bourgeois parties, anti-people officialdom, remnants of old feudal families and of course the apologists of corporates like ‘our family of educators’ who think corporate entry in agriculture will lead to development of productive forces and abolition of reaction in villages). All sections of the rich who will resist will also be confiscated so that their capital be used in the collective farms. Then, not to mention, workers and peasants state will deal with such lackeys of corporates with heavy hands and without any mercy.

It is also true that the lower rung sections of rich peasantry, who despite the fact that their existence is threatened and they are in struggle, will not accept the path of collectivisation easily and readily. How the proletarian state will deal with them at that time can’t be exactly said now except for this that if the middle peasants are won over, then the game will be over for them as they constitute a miniscule part of rural population and for grain and other produce the proletarian state won’t be dependent upon them. Coercion and force may not be necessary then specially in normal circumstances[7] unless they would try to resist the irresistible wave of collectivisation under DOP. On the ground, this would be led by poor peasants who constitute now almost 87% of the total landowning rural population.                  

What is important is that except for PRC, none brought the question of proletarian state into the debate on farmers’ movement without which attracting poor peasantry would not be possible. Support or opposition, before the entry of PRC in the debate, the discussion was merely moving around the merit or demerit of the farm laws, their good or bad impacts on peasants and workers or general people at large. PRC brought forward in the debate the question of proletarian state in concrete form and not merely vaguely. It introduced this in the debate as the only saviour of the toiling peasantry. It also analysed the question of a section of the rich peasant in the light of the new circumstances and we found that even this section is vocal in opposing the farm laws. When we investigated it, we found a section of it is also beleaguered and is in hapless condition under the heavy burden of the debt incurred in pursuit of profit by capitalist farming and when farm laws came it understood “achche din” are gone for them, too. This section is not trustworthy as it has been in the habit of exploiting wage labour as well as were thriving at the cost of poor peasants. But when in new situation they feel threatened we don’t have any such business as to send them to the enemy camp when they are themselves choosing to be on toilers’ side. So far as MSP is concerned, we have discussed it and found that the idea is not at all implementable under a bourgeois order.

Those who limited their analysis to mere economic presentation (our ‘educators’ are the tallest luminaries among them[8]) got themselves broadly on the side of the farm laws and corporates i.e. in general against the farmers movement branding it anti-poor and anti-working class. Some took neutral stands, however it is difficult to keep such a stand intact for long as this will finally yield against the movement. Similarly, there are revolutionary groups and people who tried to present the question politically but fell short of deriving revolutionary tasks from this and kept limited to deciding to protest the laws and just siding with the movement without any further examination of the dialectical motion of the peasant movement and ground for the subsequent proletarian intervention while taking advantage of the unfolding excellent political situation to push the working class politics in the driving seat, particularly placing boldly the working class as the future master of society and saviour of mankind, as the only class that will save the humanity from the destruction caused by centralisation of capital while linking it with the overall cause and mission of Proletarian Revolution.

On the other hand, the vast majority of the supporter of the movement is of those ML groups who support the farmers movement in as usual mode or at best honestly tailing behind the peasant movement supporting whatever the peasant movement is saying or demanding, without any analysis of its internal contradictory movement. No other idea ever occurs in their mind. What does It mean? It means that all those forming one side of the spectrum of the revolutionary forces who tried to present themselves on the side of the movement, supported the movement giving queer economic logic based on partial demands, for example, saying that workers demands must also be raised by the farmers movement. Some even demanded that the separate demands and issues of poor and small peasants be added to make it truly broad based, when some from the SR camp showing extraordinary love for workers added that the demand of rise of workers’ wages be declared from the ‘borders’. Some other enthusiasts of NDR asked for addition of Land to the Tiller demand. The intentions behind such stands are often quite pious – they all want it to make it more and more broad based, as if one needs to only add immediate partial demands of different intermediary segments of society and the movement will become broad based. However pious this may be, it bears no truth of science of social movement, shows political bankruptcy and betrays eclecticism.

It is true that only PRC brought the question of proletarian state into this debate by not only asking the working class to support this movement but more than this to intervene into it, not on the basis of partial or minimum demands but on the basis of the maximum demand i.e. giving a call to the peasants to continue with their movement till capitalism is overthrown saying them clearly at the same time that it is only in a proletarian ruled state that the final liberation of the peasants can be won. Many came in support as a timely call, but many more particularly the revisionists, reformist and opportunists were clueless and therefore opposed and ridiculed. But no one were so bold as the new apologists of corporates, the great ‘family of educators who even opposed this call that ‘only the future proletarian state in India, like in the USSR, would liberate the peasants by organising them in collective farms, giving them guarantee of purchase of all their produce at appropriate prices and providing a decent and dignified life in an exploitation free society. Just at this (see the words in bold) they furiously attacked us. They kept repeatedly alleging the same thing time and again at more than one place that PRC has wronged ‘the history of socialist experiments in the USSR’ and ‘the policies adopted during the transition to socialism’ etc when PRC has nowhere dealt with the history in the said booklet or on its Facebook page. How can just mentioning the words like in the USSR become history of socialist experiments in the USSR or history of the policies adopted during transition to Socialism? A man on the sly i.e., a man with dishonest intentions only can say on this basis that PRC has distorted the history of socialist experiments. The worst criticism that they could do on this basis was that they would have denied what we said i.e. they would have said that no such guarantee of purchase was given by proletarian state in the USSR. Do they deny this? Not surprisingly though, NO. Then, one may wonder what is the distortion? What is then their fury all about, one may get perplexed and bewildered?

Peasant Would Have Hit Us?

They say, had we not concealed facts prior to collectivisation campaign, such as nationalisation of land just following Bolshevik revolution, liquidation of kulaks as a class, prevention of wage labour in the collective farms, etc to the agitating farmersthey would have hit us on our head and made us conscious of our follies. What is our direct experience? We spend more than week at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders, spoke at length about our politics not only with peasants but also their leaders but I swear they didn’t hit us (don’t laugh). Yes, they became sad when we said from the dais that no such demand is going to be met so long as they don’t overthrow the bourgeois state and that they will have to ultimately choose between bourgeois state and proletarian state. Apart from this we talked many things. They didn’t hit us, rather saluted us with clappings. We also warned them that without working class leadership their struggle would go nowhere and they won’t have good days despite repeal of the farm laws. They again became sad, but I swear again they didn’t hit us! On the contrary, their leaders asked us to come again and discuss. But yes, we didn’t say like you believe we must say, “you profit seeking farmers! will you stop sucking the blood of workers when you too feel distressed now?” We thought at that time, we should leave this for you to say to them. Won’t you?

Apologists Of Corporates Are Also Cowards

One thing is however certain that their such statements (that they hurled at us) amounts to character assassination of the agitating peasants. What they mean to say is that the peasants at the borders would hit those who speak in favour of workers. It is like they are leading a character assassination campaign to tarnish the image of the agitating peasants. It’s a troll behaviour. That is why they fear going there like Modi Bhakts. But, with this they have finally discredited only themselves. They have wronged only themselves. They thought we would be scared. But what is the fact? The fact is that it betrays cowardice hidden in them which is now above board. May I ask them: is it precisely due to this fear of being hit or thrashed that you haven’t propagated your politics among the peasants at the borders? After all, you are super revolutionaries, you must have done it despite such threats. Mustn’t you? At borders there are poor and lower middle peasants, too and you also admit this. Mustn’t you go to them, at least to educate them that this is a kulak movement and so they should go back home. Mustn’t you, our dear educators? If not at borders as it might be very dangerous (according to you), mustn’t you meet them in villages? And if not openly in front of all (in villages or at borders) due to fear of being caught, mustn’t you try doing it secretly, whispering into their ears individually? If this is also not possible and you are too much scared, may I suggest you a method? it is very fascinating. I mean, you may request Modi to provide you some security. He will happily provide you as both of you believe that the farm laws will benefit small farmers. You and your group of little apologists will all feel safe. But even after this, anything may happen, I would like to warn you, my dear ‘educators’! The peasants are very furious at seeing apologists like you. If they smell you, they may measure the length, breadth and depth of your bodies. So, take care, our ‘educators’! You know these ‘rascal’ and ‘patriarchal’ peasants, as you might be calling them, can do nasty things.

Anyway, one thing is sure. Let our educators go to any small peasant of Punjab and Haryana and discuss with him how the farm laws will benefit them. I bet they will be chased away (although I hope they will not beat, they are not so foolish) like they do with any BJP leader. Will wisdom prevail then? Possibly NO. Most probably they will start saying the same things as the BJP leaders are saying – peasants have been misled! what a poor apologist you are, dear educators!

Nevertheless, your status as ‘educators’ is secured for you have taught us a very good lesson in cowardice and in this you have done really well. You deserve a medal. Let an opportune time come, the corporates would surely oblige with one.

This Is Not All

When we call upon the agitating peasants or farmers to accept the leadership of the working class as the future ruler of society so that their woes are permanently mitigated as only a future proletarian state that would be established in alliance with peasantry can guarantee them descent and dignified life by not only guaranteeing the purchase of their produce at “appropriate prices” but also by giving them every possible type of aid and assistance (economic, political, ideological, scientific and cultural, etc) by all means and methods, our ‘educators’ surprisingly at first tend to deny saying (quoting from history of Collectivisation without evidence): No, no, the collective peasants must be given prices just little above the cost (because according to them in the USSR only this much was given). I fear, the small peasants will also deny to join collectivisation at such a presentation!. And secondly, they quite naturally according to their predating character instantly put it all to their own peculiar method of scrutiny (forgetting how many times differentiation of peasantry and accordingly preference of poor peasantry to any other peasants have been mentioned and told), asking, which peasants?[9] Naturally, ‘the struggling peasants’ is our answer. Who are these struggling peasants? They are poor, middle and of course a section of rich peasant sans its super rich strata. Our educators ask: Do we want to also collectivise the rich peasants? We say, our proposal extends to that strata of the rich peasants i.e. comparatively lower rung rich peasants whose existence they themselves feel is threatened and therefore are in struggle against the future corporate control of rural economy taking gigantic steps forward with enaction of farm laws. If a section of such peasants is opposing farm laws which are in continuation of three decades of capitalist farming and hence, they are also opposing in essence capitalist farming, knowingly or unknowingly, this is not our making. This is an objective fact and hence needs to be analysed and the new phenomenon emerging therefrom must be discerned by the working-class headquarters. If we keep ranting on elemental character only, it can be done. But this is elementalism, not proletarian politics that seeks to find allies (both temporary and permanent, faithful and less faithful) to precisely narrow down the target i.e. the super-rich strata of the rural rich folk whose political links with the fascist are still unruptured, are intact even in the so much heat that the farmers movement is producing. Mechanically drawing parallel of a particular incident and a class of a hundred years ago is not the way one should learn from the history. Revolutionaries must desist from copy-pasting and rather concentrate on concrete analysis of a particular phenomenon and factor it into political and ideological. There is no similarity whatsoever with the Russian kulaks who ‘by continuation of capitalist farming in the next higher level’ didn’t ever feel threatened of their existence. There is a gap of 100 years now between them and the Indian farmers who are at present feeling threatened by continuation of capitalist farming in its second phase when corporates are taking strides after strides to gobble up not only the rural economy, but, also rural people sans a few super rich, destabilising the very social balance which is in the offing as those (particularly poor and middle peasants) dependent directly or indirectly on agriculture are being sought to be ousted and expelled from agriculture which also happens to be the historical mission of the second phase i.e. corporate-controlled phase of capitalist farming. Actually, our ‘educators’ support the farm laws and corporates believing that they usher the villages in an age of development of productive forces (which we’ll again take up in its entirety only later in the next instalments) and that is their main problem behind their becoming a tool of corporates!

Will The Poor Peasant Accept Our Proposal Easily?

We have asked about a section of rich peasants: Will the lower rung rich peasants ever accept the working-class proposal? Most possibly, NO. Then why this proposal to them? Our answer is: Simply because they are in the same struggle against the corporates as other lower strata of the peasants and tactically (or otherwise too) we can’t and shouldn’t separate them. But to understand this a little better, a more important thing is to ask the same question about the poor peasants, too. The answer will be this: what to talk of the struggling rich peasants, even the middle, poor or small peasants will also not accept collectivisation with readiness, because this option is out of their imagination, not even in rudimentary political-ideological form and a very dirty propaganda also surrounds them. Only when constant campaign and exposure of capitalism in all details while portraying the unfolding political situation in a way by which we help them imagine that in near or not so distant future a new state or society will emerge which would come to their rescue and that will be their own proletarian state, and if we also prepare ground by political intervention of the advance elements of the working class (even in the absence of a powerful working class) so that the present farmers movement showing acute desperation of the large masses of the peasantry is even remotely helped to grow in such an imagination of a proletarian state, then and only then, after a very hard work, there is a chance that they will en masse follow the historical mission of the proletariat and also become confident of rising on their own feet in alliance with the working class mission, otherwise in absence of this, they will continue to hanker after small gains behind the bourgeoisie. PRC has tried to do precisely this. To limit at this time to just partial demands is to ask them to follow in the image and political footstep of the bourgeois at a time when it is most exposed of its bankruptcy in solving the problem of the peasantry. It is sheer economism and we already know what they are from our experience of previous encounters with our ‘educators’, as also from our knowledge of their manner of fighting elections, which is however not the main issue.

Hence the question of bringing peasantry to our side is not just merely an economic question, not an issue that can be presented only economically. Only if it is presented politically and ideologically i.e. factored into political and ideological, economic explanation works in favour of the proletariat. To the great extent the poor peasantry is economically ruined, it can readily accept nationalisation or socialisation.[10] Similarly, to the lesser extent the middle peasants are economically ruined and they feel their existence in threat, they can be made an ally (but not a natural ally as poor and marginal peasants) of our mission but with a condition that when either an upsurge of class struggle followed by a consistent political struggle drawing in its wake wider sections of society including the peasantry is present or peasantry itself is badly agitated due to their imminent and historically driven dispossession from land due to onward march of big capital in agriculture. And, what is true for middle peasants as a whole is also true for lower rung rich peasants whose political behaviour signifying closeness with the bourgeoisie in power with the introduction of the new farm laws has tended to change, though their element (basic character) hasn’t changed for it doesn’t so easily change with the change or possibility of a change in economic condition. But who can keep ranting about the elemental character which takes time to change in changed economic circumstances threatening their past socio-economic status and existence? Only those who follow elementalism not Marxism, who don’t understand the importance of this new development signifying rupture of their old relations within the ruling class for the working class politics in general and its importance in the present day fascist onslaught in particular, who are hell bent to merge the working class in economism resulting in support for corporates, who see progress of social development in the victory of corporates (big capital) over the whole rural and urban India, who see no harm if the whole of rural India is delivered to Corporates and if a ruling class vision of forcing out half of the rural population out of villages in planned manner step by step in order to hand over the farming sector to corporates and who without any shame see a bright future for the development of productive forces at a time when the wind of financialization of capital is blowing all over the world including India. A situation has come with the introduction of new farm laws in which the vast majority of the peasantry feels threatened and are in do or die struggles against the corporates. In these stormy days that reflects destruction of capital as well as men and material all around, our ‘educators’ have chosen a side in support of corporates. Then this is no surprise that they attack those who want to derive revolutionary task based on concrete analysis of concrete situations for the working class so that at least some proletarian imprint is stamped on the ongoing peasant movement, so that the working class at least gets a chance to address the beleaguered and desperate peasant masses who are not satisfied with the results of the three-four decades of capitalist farming, as the future master and custodian of society. The ‘educators’ are branding this as mending the tail of the kulaks, while they themselves nakedly support the Corporates. In this age of fascism, nothing and absolutely nothing is surprising!

Appropriate Prices To Collective Peasants: Educators Themselves Need Education.  

When we talk of “appropriate price’ of agricultural produce under a proletarian state to collectivised peasants, it all together is a different thing whether it is just above the cost or 40-50 percent above the cost. It can’t be defined and described or characterised as it is done in a capitalist state. To call it remunerative price is the worst thing, to say the least. When we say that a branch of socialised industry is profitable, its meaning is not the same as it is when capitalist state runs the industry. The profit that we generally talk about in socialism is not the capitalist profit. It only means that a part of the production is in excess over the cost, after accounting all costs including value of expended labour power. We know that in a collective farm wage labour is prohibited and not permitted in any condition. Whatever the collective peasants produce is produced by their own labour power and is owned collectively by them through collective farms that express their collective interests. Then, how come (capitalist) profit can be obtained? So, where and how does the question of remunerative prices occur in our ‘educators’ mind when we said that the proletarian state will guarantee the purchase of their all produce at “appropriate price”? On the one hand, he also says wage labour is prohibited in collective farms, but on the other hand he accuses me of supposing the proletarian state to give remunerative prices when I have not uttered a word about it! I leave it to readers to judge who is what.

I ask readers: Who does accrue capitalist profit, and from whom in socialism? From the proletariat, the master of the state? In actuality, the proletariat loses its identity as proletariat under socialism in which he is not a wage slave but the master of the means of productions and owns whatever is produced. So, according to the ‘educators’ and as per their statement, collective farmers can be supposed to be accruing capitalist profit (otherwise there can be no question of remunerative price to be given to collective peasants) from the proletarian State! Are our ‘educators’ enhancing the prestige of Socialism or denigrating it?

In the USSR it is true that what the proletarian state paid as procurement price (which was above the cost) was mainly based on calculation of social labour. What does it mean? It means that procurement price the collective farms got from the state contained cost plus the value of collective peasants’ own labour power. Hence what was paid above cost by the Soviet State was equal (in money for or in kind) to the value of the peasants own labour power. And hence we can conclude that a Soviet collective farm peasant was paid above cost but what was above the cost can be considered to be the value of his own labour power. The ‘educators’ say that the price that collective farm peasant got from the state was in the main based on calculation of social labour.  What is that other (in the main) than social labour that comes in the calculation while paying the farmers for their produce? Our educators are silent on this.

In short, the history of Socialism in progress and relating to prices paid to collective farmers says that the Soviet state paid both procurement prices and purchase price. Procurement prices were delivery prices for the fixed quotas having the character of both, requisition as well as tax in kind, paid in lieu of delivery of fixed quotas of the produce to the State that were fixed in advance on the basis of the quality of the soil and the area of sown land thus skimming the differential rent which otherwise would have been retained with favourably situated collective farms leading to enrichment of a few of them and thus leading to economic differentiation detrimental to the cause of furtherance of socialism. Hence these procurement prices were long way lower than the market prices. On the other hand, the purchase prices, the result of sales contract at state purchase prices with collective farms or individual peasant farming, were a very long way higher than the procurement prices. Now, as the purchase price is long way above the procurement price, it must be also quite higher than the cost. What we can conclude from this is that the value of the collective peasants’ labour power is too high for this segment of price. We don’t know where the purchase price stands in comparison to the market price but it must be somewhere below it. Now the rest of the produce is sold at Market Price outside their village that formed the basis of Kolkhoz market specially meant for collective peasants who, unlike industrial workers and commune peasants, were not in the habit of living on state rationing. Readers must know that even the produce that were sold in the open market was also finally purchased by the state as the market was not so open, and it was operated by private traders on the basis of some pre-determined contract with the state i.e. the area of operation of Kolkhoz market was very much limited and didn’t have a complete freedom as in a capitalist country. Actually, the proletarian state owned the whole produce and also purchased it but through three different channels – procurement, state purchase and through a limited operation of market under its control through state contract with private traders. Readers must not be confused by the use of the word – market.

So, one thing must be clear now that the prices paid to collective peasants were finally prices all paid by the state and taken together they were not just above the cost as it is clear from the above discussion. On the whole it was appreciably on higher side of the cost. Was it then a capitalist profit, I ask our ‘educator’? No, no. They would cry. Why? Because it is not sure it is 40-50 percent above the cost! If some calculation says that the prices paid to collective farmers were 40-50 percent above the cost, they will cry again but this time they will cry to certify that it has become capitalist profit or remunerative price. This is there understanding. (Please don’t laugh). For our ‘educators’ the main criterion is that if prices touch 40-50 percent level above cost it will become remunerative prices, irrespective of whether we are living in a proletarian state or a capitalist state. They have fixed a bar of prices of agricultural produce above which it becomes a case according to which the proletarian state is automatically made to give remunerative prices (capitalist profit) to the collective farms!

In a capitalist production system, any price above the total cost is profit because production is in the main based on wage labour. Similarly, in a socialist society where wage labour has been abolished and working class ceases to be a working class in its old historical sense, no price which is either just above the cost or much above the cost is a capitalist profit.

Because law of value operates in an increasingly limited arena during the first phase of communist society (called socialism), so market speculation and hence price volatility causing upheavals also accordingly cease as a result of this. Market stabilises in spite of limited operation of open market. But does it also mean that speculation finishes altogether? No, so long as market remains how so ever limited in operational sense, they are very much the same open markets as we find in capitalist countries and hence it gives some grounds for the tendency of speculation to grow. Even collective farm peasants, none of whom were from the kulaks strata, were found not always averse to speculation after the collective farm trade was allowed. This was in the main the reason of the bad year that 1932 was in terms of very low procurement.[11] It occurred in pursuit of higher prices and only a prompt check and vigilance could come to rescue. Even state farms sometimes fell victim to it. This much, I think, is enough for those who know only to jeer at farmers who are lured by higher prices and for those who think that allurement of prices is totally gone among poor peasants. For them, the poor peasants live somewhere else, at some other planet where they are not surrounded by everyday capitalist environment!

But, let us not go from here in further detail as to how open market (Kolkhoz) operated where private traders and a few private trading institutions operated. We will take up this later, most probably in our second instalment.      

Prices Above The Cost: How To Understand It In Socialism?

Now coming to the last leg of the article, let us discuss how we can understand the ‘prices above the cost’ that proletarian state in Soviet Union paid and the future proletarian state in India would pay to the collective peasants? First of all, it won’t be remunerative price by any standard even if it is 40-50% above the cost. It mainly comes as an aid or assistance. Whatever price of the collective produce above the total cost (including labour) is given by the proletarian state is actually in the form of state aid and assistance, mainly in the form of state expenditure on the well-being of the collective farm villages as a whole. One important aspect of this is the state’s effort to continuously minimize division of labour and gap between town and country. So, in a socialist state, an appropriate price of collective produce can be any price that guarantees a continuously growing dignified and decent life for the collective peasants through collective farms under the leadership of the proletarian state so that they remain a firm ally and a strong pillar of the working-class state in the long and final journey to state farms after which whatever difference between town and village remains will get eliminated. Farms will be as good as industry based on complete eradication of market and wage labour and other bondage based on exploitation. Only through such aid and assistance to collective farmers does a socialist state win over the heart and mind of collective peasants to agree to be a worthy pioneering part of still higher forms of social organisation for production and distribution in due course of time. But our ‘educators’ knows no such things. He knows only this that the proletarian state will never give more than ‘just above the cost’ to the collective farmers.

Let us see the high level of social development resulting in increased living standard of the collective farm peasants which doesn’t correspond with our educator’s assertion that the proletarian state gave ‘just above the cost’ to the collective farms for agricultural produce. Let us turn to Maurice Dobb, the one whom our ‘educators’ themselves have suggested, who gives a vivid picture of materially and culturally changed villages life which shows that the prices paid to the collective farms in the USSR were not ‘just above the cost’, particular after bad days of 1932.

There was no way to find the actual figures of real wage (of workers) and price movement (of collective farm produce) in absence of system of retail index numbers which was discontinued in 30’s because of a high degree of extension of system of state rationing and multiple prices for the same commodity in different categories of market (Maurice Dobb). Whatever we can say on this subject will be on the basis of objective assessment of the changes that came in workers and peasants live (here we shall limit ourselves to peasants only for the obvious reason). The same is stated by Maurice Dobb, too in connection of his own investigations.

Morris Dobb writes – 

“There is some evidence that during the middle and late ’30’s the average standard of life of the village in most regions improved relatively to that of the towns. Official surveys of a sample of collective farm  villages in the Middle Volga and the Kuban and parts of the Ukraine in 1937 indicated that, compared with the bad year of 1932, the annual dividend accruing to the average collective farmer, both his dividend in kind and his dividend in money, had increased between two and three times, and that members of the peasant families were on the average consuming 50 percent more  bread and  milk and several times as much meat and lard as in pre-1914 days”.

M. Dobb also quotes in the footnote A. Yugoff who gives a figure of 8 times as the increase in meat and fats. He also quotes official figures from an article published in Soviet War News (Feb 16, 1944) that spoke of peasant meat and butter consumption as being double pre-1917, of sugar seven times and a range of manufactured goods such cloth and footwear three times pre-1917.

How can it be understood, particularly to establish consistence with what our ‘educators’ claimed about the prices collective farm peasants got according to which the prices paid to the collective farms was just above cost. Actually, prices paid were not in the form of money only, but also in kind including machinery, trained and qualified personnel and services for the development of the collective farms and villages, but certainly not as profit, rather as aid and it could be any figure, even could be more than 40-50 percent above cost when calculated on the whole dependent upon the overall level of the material development and productivity. That is why we find that face of the villages were completely changed. Let us have a look on it. Quoting an émigré writer, Maurice Dobb writes that,

‘the old hut, built of clay, without a chimney, with its sleeping bunks and tiny windows, has disappeared. Now houses with more light and space have been built in large numbers. The interior of the house has become cleaner, furniture, crockery and linen have appeared for the first time. In the footnote on the same page, Maurice Dobb quotes Yugoff again who adds that “in many regions the villages have electric light, a pump and paved streets …. a reading-room and frequently a club, a day nursery and a hospital.”

The working-class power in the USSR through collective farms had certainly changed the lives of the farmers/peasants.  Itseems, our ‘educators’ themselves haven’t read Maurice Dobb thoroughly and many other literatures that cover the tremendous development that took place in the latter half of 30’s. If they have read them, they didn’t certainly understand them. Our ‘educator family’ wants that such epoch-making changes in the lives of the Soviet collective peasants be not shared with Indian agitating peasants who are fed up with and desperate at the reactionary outcome of three decades of capitalist farming and now threatened with corporate takeover of not only of agriculture but also the broad masses of rural population. Their main business is, one, to say to them that they (Indian peasants) will get prices of their produce in socialism just above the cost, and secondly, to say to the beleaguered poor peasants to look after and fight for their partial demands and keep waiting till the ‘educators’ decides when and how to fight for their own state, and thirdly, which is the worst, to provoke the poor peasant to split the ranks of the fighting peasant, either on this or that pretext, who are waging an uncompromising battle against the corporates.

It is however not a surprise in the end why they attack with maximum ferocity those who even tries to bring to the notice of the agitating peasants the future proletarian state as the only alternative left to them if they want to retain their status as peasants and at the same time secure a decent and dignified life. Any mention of such things, or even a phrase or a sentence about the appropriate price of their produce that they would be able to secure, like in the USSR, under the proletarian state through collective farms and lead a dignified life based on this, fires their anger to the sky. Who can do this? I leave it to the readers to decide, till I take up the next instalment in the next issue of The Truth in which other issues, particularly the issue of MSP in changed circumstances will be dealt exhaustively.

As we sum up this section, what we can say to our ‘educators’? We should say to them only this: Our ‘educator’ gentlemen! Your whole critique is nothing but a shameless display of conceit and vanity. It has become a critique of your own character. If you allow me, I can adorn your personality with a few more qualifying descriptions. For example, your critique of PRC has shown that you seek a question paper according to your own ‘syllabus’ so that you could ‘examine’ us according to your own answer sheet, and artificially prove us miserably ignorant and declare failed. It is true that your hunger of ‘educating’ only thus get satiated, but your character of being an apologist of corporate has also got exposed and it is now clear to all why you have so fiercely attacked PRC. One more qualifying description is that you behave like a stupid student who learns answers of his own choice as suggested by some guide papers and reproduce them in the answer sheet whatever be the questions, though somewhat in moulded form according to the question paper, and to obscure this act from the eyes of examiners (read ‘readers’ here) makes a lot of fuss about the question paper itself. Apart from this, if you allow me to say the truth, your critique makes you resemble with fascist stormy troll troopers who don’t discuss with opponents, rather stall any discussion whatsoever by resorting to sickening methods of discussion particularly when confronted with something beyond your fixed syllabus.

(To be continued in the next issue).


[1] वे एक बहस में लिखते हैं, “इस तरह की व्‍यवस्‍था (ठेका खेती) में भ्रष्टाचार के तत्व को छोड़ दें, तो हमें ऐसे कई मॉडल दिखते हैं, जहां…किसानों को भी इससे लाभ हुआ।” गरीब किसानों की बर्बादी को लेकर वे लिखते हैं कि “बेशक, इस बर्बादी की दर और रफ़्तार में मात्रात्मक अन्‍तर होगा, मगर यह कहना मुश्किल है यह पहले की तुलना में तेज़ या धीमी ही होगी…” यानी, वे इस बात की संभावना के लिए जगह छोड़ दे रहे हैं कि कॉर्पोरेट इंट्री से बर्बादी की रफतार धीमी भी हो सकती है। और, इसीलिए वे मानते हैं और अपनी समझ के अनुसार ठीक ही मानते हैं‍ कि गरीब किसानों के उजड़ने की रफ्तार के सवाल को “क्रान्तिकारी सर्वहारा वर्ग की राजनीतिक लाइन तय करने में” शामिल नहीं करना चाहिए। वे फिर एक जगह लिखते हैं – “लेकिन चूंकि पहले दो कृषि क़ानून एमएसपी व्‍यवस्‍था को ख़त्म करके, मुख्‍य रूप से, धनी किसानों और कुलकों को निशाना बनाते हैं, और उसके लिए “जमीन साफ करके” कॉरपोरेट पूंजी को फ़ायदा पहुंचाते हैं, इसलिए” इनका मानना है कि मजदूर वर्ग के द्वारा इस बिंदु पर कॉर्पोरेट का विरोध करने का कोई मतलब ही नहीं है।

Note: Quotes have been deliberately left in Hindi because one may talk of distortion of the content.

[2] It is noteworthy that for these ‘educators’ the historical significance of Soviet Socialism is that it was just ‘socialist experiments’. For ‘them’, the model of Soviet Socialism as particularly developed under the leadership of Stalin after the death of Lenin is a matter of ‘great’ historical significance only in a limited sense, in the form of ‘experiments’, as a negative example (a bad crop) which is to be upheld because one can learn from it how not to build Socialism i.e. Socialism in the USSR is upheld by them in the manner that allows post-Stalin high flown centimentalese in the name of applying Creative Marxism in building Socialism to flourish and earn prestige. This is something that belongs to another family of intellectuals brandishing Creative Marxism akin to the ilk of Bettelheim, Samir Amin, Bob Avakian, Raymond Lotta and other who all take shelter under Maoism and Mao’s led GPCR to loudly cry at the loudest possible voice, warning – Beware of Soviet Socialism as founded by Lenin and later brilliantly developed and carried by Stalin till his death! This is however another story. Our purpose to quote here is just to mention that the (another) cat has incidentally jumped out of our ‘educators’’ bag which ‘they’ had thought no one would notice.

[3] ये लिखते हैं – “इस मार्क्‍सवादी-लेनिनवादी संगठन के नेता महोदय ने अपने लेख में सोवियत संघ में समाजवादी प्रयोग के इतिहास और कृषि प्रश्‍न पर मार्क्‍सवादी-लेनिनवादी सिद्धान्‍तों, दोनों के ही साथ मनमाने तरीके से ज़ोर-ज़बर्दस्‍ती की है।” ये एक और जगह फिर से लिखते हैं- “लेखक ने अपनी अवस्थिति रखते हुए सोवियत समाजवादी संक्रमण के दौरान अलग-अलग दौरों में किसान प्रश्न पर अपनायी गयी नीतियों को बड़े अज्ञानतापूर्ण और अवसरवादी तरीके से ऐसे पेश किया है….” पूरे लेख में ये इस आरोप को मूर्खता की हद तक बार-बार दुहराते गए हैं।

[4] ये लिखते हैं – “यह संगठन (यानी पीआरसी) “उचित दाम” का भ्रामक नारा उछालकर यह धनी किसानों-कुलकों की पालकी का कहार बनने के अपने अवसरवाद को वैध ठहराने का प्रयास कर रहा है।” इस आरोप को तो इन्‍होंने इतनी बार दुहराया है कि सभी को उद्धृत करने में ही काफी समय और जगह खर्च हो जाएंगे।

[5] # sign indicates that text has been added by the present author.

[6] Even now we can compare the prices of grain, fruits, vegetables in open market and find that they are already many times over and above their purchase price-rates given to farmers at the time of harvest. For an example, a single piece of Cauli-flower packed in a thin plastic cost more than 60-70 rupees. And this is when MSP to all and on all produce is not being given.

[7] Coercion and force are needed only when enemy is dangerously powerful and can destabilise the proletarian state. When the corporates will be confiscated and the poor and middle peasant will stand with the proletarian state, the insignificant number of super rich peasants will not pose much threat, while those of lesser fortune among them who are themselves in distress and are fighting against the corporates in the present movement may not join their super rich against collectivisation. So, the question of rich peasant is not a problem of much importance or something that can be of much worry in today’s India.

[8] Our ‘educators’ have been enthusiastically economistic in approach and hence think that any further capitalist farming (even if it leads to complete monopolisation) is a progressive phenomenon and hence if the farm laws inaugurate its next phase it is of no harm, rather it will be advantageous for the growth of the productive forces and will abolish reaction in rural society. That is why they ridicule and jeet at those who either support or are of the opinion of proletarian intervene into it. They cite history of Jats’ anti-women, patriarchal, casteist, big brotherly and communal history believing the big capital is entering in agriculture will civilize them. This is height of stupidity. It implies that capitalism can still play a progressive role in Indian society, while what we see is that it is now leading to even financialization of assets and capital. Monetization, uberisation etc are examples of this leading to destruction through financialised extraction and soaking of profit which is being accrued in whatever amount from production. The agricultural produce stored in corporate godowns will be used as a tool of financialization through speculation. Intention of use of modern machineries through corporate controlled contract agriculture is to earn profit which will be financialised as investment back in agriculture for its developing will lead to further overproduction. Hence the farm laws that allow monopoly will not only lead to hoarding, it is going to lead to increased financialization of capital and asset already invested and if new capital is invested via contract farming in which monopoly will give modern machinery to farmers will all come from western countries where they have no use and are rotting, it will also meet the same end after extraction of profit from it. Even the hoardings of grain will be subjected to this use through employment of the speculative tool of the futures. It will bring disaster in agriculture and destroy it completely. This is what can capitalism be today. Therefore, there is no substance in advocating for further extension of capitalist farming. It is already heralding a revolutionary crisis of which the ongoing farmers movement is the strongest indication.

[9] As if at every place we say workers-peasant alliance, we have to mention workers-poor peasant alliance or workers-poor and middle or lower middle peasants. it is laughable. It is nonsensical if one take it matter this much mechanically. Even in Soviet literature we find great Lenin frequently writing workers-peasant alliance even when he meant rich and kulak peasants excluded. we can site dozens of such examples, but only at the cost of time and space of the readers and space of this article which is unfortunately has already become lengthy.

[10] In this respect we would make it rather clear that we don’t advocate nationalisation of land then allotment to those who can work on it, given the stage of social development. This is a bourgeois or best a revisionist slogan for Indian peasanty. We see socialisation of agriculture through collectivisation as the first stage if socialism is attained and DOP comes into being in India.

[11] Stalin giving a vivid picture says, ‘in 1932 our harvest was not worse, but better than in the preceding year. … the total amount of grain harvested in 1932 was larger than in 1931 … And yet, despite this circumstance, our grain procurements were accompanied by greater difficulties in 1932 than in the previous year. … So long as there was no collective farm trade in grain, so long as there were not two prices for grain—the state price and the market price—the situation in the countryside took one form. When collective-farm trade in grain was authorised, the situation was bound to change sharply, because the authorisation of collective-farm trade implies the legalisation of a market price for grain higher than the established state price. There is no need to prove that this circumstance was bound to give rise among the peasants to a certain reluctance to deliver their grain to the state. The peasant calculated as follows: “Collective-farm trade in grain has been authorised; market prices have been legalised; in the market I can obtain more for a given quantity of grain than if I deliver it to the state— hence, if I am not a fool, I must hold on to my grain, deliver less to the state, leave more grain for collective farm trade, and in this way get more for the same quantity of grain sold.” Stalin calls it a natural logic and doesn’t decide simply on the basis that they are worthless. He says – “It is the simplest and most natural logic!’ and find reasons for this in the lack of prompt check and vigilance, lack of education in socialist ideals and more than that says that it is the result of lack of faith for some of them in socialist path still haunting in their mind.

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