Apologists Are Just Short Of Saying “Red Salute To Corporates” [2nd Instalment]

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

Proletarian Reorganizing Committee, CPI (ML)

Originally published in ‘The Truth’, Issue 12 (April 2021), this is the second instalment of the reply to a criticism presented in ‘Aahwan’ magazine. The first and second instalment of the criticism can be read through here and here respectively. The first instalment of this reply has been published in ‘The Truth’, Issue 11 (March 2021) which can be read by clicking here. The Hindi versions of these two instalments have been published in ‘Yatharth’, Issue 11-12 which can be accessed here (first) and here (second).


In the first instalment,[1] we have seen that our ”educators” are but apologists of Corporate (henceforth ‘the apologists’) who at the same time are well trained in hiding themselves behind their predatory methods of debate and criticism. They create a thick haze of smoke with this method in which they position themselves as nothing less than superrr… rrrevolutionaries. But, as is the case with all such revolutionaries, they have overused this method for every time they are challenged they have to resort to this with only little interesting new flavours to add to it. Not only that it slowly and slowly becomes disinteresting and even a little intelligent person will often understand the tricks they employ in this. This has happened, and inspite of their best of efforts, their politics, their desertion to Corporates in the main, has lastly failed their method. In the debate with us on the ongoing peasant movement which has been alive for more than 120 days now and is constantly deepening[2], they have had to come out in their true colour, while the thick layer of artificial colours they usually wear to adorn themselves as revolutionaries, have started shedding off with just a little jerk given by us. Their shine too has proved not even a thousandth of an inch deep and has started fading.

The ongoing farmers movement is a very important phenomenon and is proving itself with every passing day as a very significant historical movement, even strategically important for the working class and its forces. Therefore, irrespective of what and who the adversaries are and how they fight with us, the issues at stake in the present debate are very important to us and must be debated in the whole movement with patience notwithstanding what rubbish language or methods a few people representing an old moribund reformists and revisionist trend employs against us. The task before us in this regard is to make it more advantageous to the whole movement. One way to do this is to keep our writings short in size and increase the number of instalments instead, otherwise common readers may find the whole exercise useless for a lengthy piece is always inconvenient and cumbersome. Other way to do this is not to resort to any kind of ranting and raving against abuses. Let us give no space, spare no time and spend no brain to counter those who are habituated of this. We live in a common world and here everyone knows everyone else.

History And Revolution

History and revolution are intimately close to each other. A correct and precise history is an important tool to get enlightened, apart from other important things, about the art and the science of making a revolution on the basis of carefully derived lessons from past revolutions. History provides a powerful feel and a close imagination of past revolutions. Hence, in this instalment we shall also discuss some history.

But history can work both ways. It can be also used as a tool for opposite purposes, to dupe ignorant people and throw dust in their eyes. Our ‘apologists’, very fond of history as they are, use history in a very special way. They have their own wishful interpretation of history of revolutions. They seem to have used it entirely for other reasons. Like their predecessors, they try to use history as a weapon to stall revolutionary tasks of the present time. They use history as a veil to hide their inability to derive and formulate revolutionary tasks at a particular important juncture in the present time. It is a very sad fact that they have flooded the movement with their own wishful interpretation of history so much so that it is certainly not an easy task to set things right easily, and given the ‘resourcefulness’ they have amassed for this purpose i.e. to further a definite purpose, it poses a big challenge to our ‘intellectually fragile’ but otherwise a very old and powerful revolutionary movement to refute them all at same the speed at which they are producing and reproducing it all the time.

Recapitulating Our Differences

We have earlier seen that whoever supports the ongoing peasants or farmers movement invites their ire. They say this is a kulak movement mainly for a ‘tribute’ from the toilers and workers in the form of MSP. They use this as their spring board. This is central to what they build up their attack upon to defeat their adversaries. They set out ‘superbly’ with this. But as they proceed it turns out to be an ‘albatross’ which keeps hanging in their neck. They can’t get rid of it. They say that with these new farm laws put in practice corporates will end this ‘tribute’ by dismantling the system of MSP. This is one way they see corporates entry in Indian agriculture through these new laws very useful for the poor. According to them, these laws if implemented will end MSP regime over a period of time and so they are advantageous and useful for poor peasants and working class who will be ‘liberated’ from paying ‘tribute’ to rich peasants. They try but cannot conceal their happiness about it. They write –

“इसलिए आज बड़ी इजारेदार वित्तीय पूंजी इसे अपने हितों के मातहत ख़त्म करना चाहती है। यह एक अलग बात है। …लेकिन इसका ख़त्म होना किसी भी रूप में मज़दूर वर्ग, ग़रीब निम्नमंझोले किसानों और शहरी निम्न मध्यम मध्यम वर्ग को नुकसान नहीं पहुंचाने वाला है।

That’s why we say that they see in corporates a liberator.

But lets us explain it a little more to understand how exactly they do so and where lies their betrayal. They say this ‘tribute’ is being ensured and imposed because of government monopoly over price-fixation favouring rich peasants.[3] Alright! Let us ask: how is this liberation form MSP in the form of tribute or government monopoly over price-fixation that ensures this tribute coming? Is it coming through a people’s revolution? No, it is coming through a replacement of one by the other where the latter would be imposing a much bigger tribute. This,just this very important thing our super revolutionary-turned-apologists of corporates silently conceal from the world. The matter stands that the so-called liberation is coming by replacing the government monopoly over price fixation by corporate monopoly over price fixation. We should rather more precisely say, the government herself is vacating her monopoly position in favour of corporates. They forget, most probably deliberately, that if the government is vacating her monopoly position over price-fixation, she is actually handing it over to corporate capitalists who will not only take control of this ‘tribute’ and just put it in their pocket but also impose on the whole society a bigger ‘tribute’ as they wouldn’t stop at this surplus profit but go for maximum profit. They wishfully draw a veil over this fact and this is how they try to portray corporates as a liberator. Whether they do it knowingly or unknowingly is immaterial here. Here we see where and on whose side our superrr… rrrevolutionaries stand pretending to be a friend of poor peasants and working class.

But this is not all. They see another ‘liberating’ role of corporates, too. They say, apart from dismantling the MSP regime thus breaking the backbone of the rich peasants and ‘liberating’ the poor peasants and working class, these laws will be also useful for the development of the rural productive forces (that automatically includes poor peasants and rural proletariat) as these laws will bring corporates in the position of chief agents of agriculture first in the form of corporate-led contract farming and then full-fledged corporate farming in near future. They say, it is also not without good fortunes for the poor peasants. They say, it will help increase investment and capital accumulation in agrarian sector. The corporates would employ modern machinery in agriculture to increase production as well as productivity[4] and thus help the agrarian sector usher in development of productive forces. They may also be thinking like capitalists’ think-tanks that the agrarian crisis will thus be stymied. They so imagine corporates helping in the fullest development of the productive forces thus clearing land for future socialist revolution. This is how they depict corporates in their new avatar. This is how they magnify the liberating role of corporates.  What we see is that they appraise too many positive aspects and features of the new farm laws which in fact seek to place the corporates as the chief agents of agriculture replacing the peasants from this place of pride where they are the chief agents of farming. We are naturally and vehemently opposed to such an understanding that seeks to portray a very positive, progressive and even a revolutionary image of corporates and the farm laws. We don’t find them in any way advantageous to the poor peasants.

So, what is the essence of our differences? While they see a liberator of poor peasant and workers in corporates (big capital), we see one of the most reactionary roles of corporates. We take the farms laws as measures inaugurating the second phase of capitalist farming with corporates (big capital) on the top of it. According to us, it will be disastrous for the rural poor in the first place, particularly the poor peasants. This is what the crux of our difference is. The destruction of richer sections comes only after this.

Now, think if they see a liberator in corporates, what is left for us or anyone else to say after this? It is not the ‘tribute’ or the MSP per se that constitutes the crux of differences between us. What they have to say about us on this is just fake and false. It is their attempt to portray corporates in the role of a ‘liberator’ that we oppose in the first place. Only then comes other aspects of differences, for example about the vanguard role of the communist forces in the present movement. Their understanding about the role of corporates (via farm laws) is the first chief impediment in the path of any fruitful discussion. Just imagine! According to them, the new farm laws are progressive and even revolutionary as they eventually lead to betterment and development of the poor of the towns and villages as they will be liberated from paying the ‘tributes’ to the rural rich! How can a revolutionary take this position?

Thus, PRC is not wrong in calling these people ‘apologists’ of the corporates.

Now, they naturally want to hide this. But how can they hide this when this is their conviction? Then their predatory method of debate comes to their rescue. Their high-sounding words (read ‘abuses’ against us and others) in our debate on the farmers movement and farm laws are just meant to create a thick smokescreen behind which they seek to hide this particular betrayal. Abuses, scholastic and predatory methods, distortion and even personal slanders are all means to make this smokescreen thicker. This is what we can call the crux of their methodology of participating in or initiating a debate. This is why the debate that has suddenly erupted between us has taken such an ugly turn. The chief reason of their extraordinary ire against us is that we have called a spade a spade. We have named them what they are.

On MSP

We haven’t ever supported MSP, neither today nor before. What we have done is that we have scientifically examined its history and, based on this examination, have analysed the evolution of central demands (about and around MSP) of the Indian farmers movement over the last five decades, and have thus tried to study the essence of changes in farmers’ attitudes towards MSP that can be palpable seen emerge during the last few years when the first phase of capitalist development in agriculture can summarily be said to have just concluded. With the Swaminathan Committee recommendations of MSP as C2 +50% in the first decade of 21st century, that no government till date has implemented, the agrarian crisis was sought to be solved and the continuous erosion of confidence of peasants as a whole (particularly of middle-rich peasants) in capitalist farming was sought to be contained. But the recurrent, unrelenting and world-wide economic crisis of capitalism that has also engulfed India’s economy, was giving no scope to wriggle much in the belly, while the market prices in the second decade completely failed the peasantry as a whole. In the meantime, corporate took control of the state and put the policy on financialisaton of capital on the rail and aiming maximum profit for itself left the erstwhile rural partners of the bourgeoisie rule i.e., the middle-rich peasants in the lurch. Since the first decade in general, and with the beginning of the second decade in the main, a substantial differentiation among the rich peasantry was visible with a section of it suffering heavily under debt that incurred due to severe and continuous losses in capitalist farming, the crisis of ‘overproduction’ being the main reason. There are evidences that the situation of indebtedness in this section grew faster than in other sections in the last quarter of the second decade (of the 21st Century). This section is the most vocal supporter of MSP with legal guarantee which now means a demand that includes both the demand of remunerative prices as well as a guarantee of purchase of all (meaning all major) their produce.[5] They now demand it for all the peasants which means new twists and dimensions have entered into it. 

Having analysed this in the light of permanent crisis of capitalism, we have concluded that the demand of MSP with legal guarantee is but a sign of rupture of confidence in Market as emphasis is more on legal guarantee of the purchase of all the produce than on C2 +50%. On the other hand, the big-ticket entry of corporate in agriculture and the open support given to corporates by Modi government has also led to a deep-rooted feeling (which is true) that their land ownership is at stake. It had led to a rupture in their old political affiliation or behaviour and most of them are now in open political battle with Modi’s led party and government. The condition is such that with more and more deepening of the movement, their confidence in the bourgeois opposition will also erode.  

While analysing the results of our examination of the history of MSP that begins from pre-independence period, we have also taken into account this thing that the kind of rise in retail prices of agricultural produce (from grain to vegetables and fruits) at the door of the final users are exorbitantly high even though their market prices at the door of the seller farmers is very low and most of the produce aren’t being purchased at MSP too. So, the role played by a higher price floor level due to MSP (which in practice is still not C2 +50%) comes under the cloud of doubt. It needs further examination. What do we see that even at a very short distance away from the village farms, the retail markets’ behaviour at the doorsteps of users in the cities is very different. From this we can understand the nefarious role of unregulated and open market forces. One can imagine what would be its role and where the prices will go or jump under the conditions of monopolistic control agriculture and its produce.

In the nut shell, we can neither rejoice at nor remain indifferent to what is going to happen with the agrarian sector with the big-ticket entry of corporates into it. Not only that the peasant as a whole (leaving an upper most crust of super rich stratum of rich peasants) would be in for great troubles, the whole buyer population of agricultural produce will have to live in peril under the regime of monstrous agri-monopolies, belonging to both India and abroad.  

Similarly, we have never called for alliance with rich or even middle peasants to carry out proletarian revolution. This is all non sense and slanders. For carrying out proletarian revolution the only basic alliance that is tenable and can be called scientific is between the proletariat and the poor peasants (rural proletariat included) as only this alliance will be long lasting and reliable in the sense of organising the society on socialist lines. What we have done is that we have done an analysis about the rich peasantry in the new circumstances and taken note of some important changes as has also been already said above. The ‘apologists’ distort it and resort to extrapolation to prove that we are asking for an alliance with them to carry out proletarian revolution. This is nothing but their dishonest ways of debating.

What we believe and have learnt from history is that the immediate success of the alliance of the proletariat and the poor peasants in carrying out proletarian revolution doesn’t depend on their own agitation alone. It also depends, and in some cases heavily depends upon the unrest and bewilderness creeping in the sections of other intermediary classes, too. If we say more precisely, it depends as much on the agitation within our own classes as on the unrest that exists in other prosperous classes and even much more on the changes of conditions needed for the continuation of the rule of the bourgeoisie in the changed circumstances.

Mustn’t a revolutionary party do an analysis of all other classes and their inter-relations as well as changes, even if it is the slightest one, occurring in them and showing ruptures in the old? Mustn’t working class aim at utilizing these ruptures? Only an apologist and a hidden class enemy will deny or abstain from doing this and say that we are calling for an alliance for carrying out proletarian revolution. Mustn’t new permutations and combinations of class relations be taken into account, analysed and then used to the advantage of the working class, pushing forward its revolutionary politics? Only either a charlatan or a diehard reformist will deny or abstain from this. Such are the secondary issues (the main is however their seeing in corporates a liberator of toilers and the poor) involved in our debate between us and our ‘apologists’. One can discuss how not to utilize a particular unrest among peasant masses as a whole or among other intermediary classes, but when one has a ‘hidden’ politics to put Corporates in the role of a ‘liberator’, what naturally follow from here is not a debate, let alone a healthy debate, but a useless exercise in predatory methods, intellectual intimidation, scholasticism, distortion, creating turf of one’s own choice etc to primarily hide this hidden politics and then show off a revolutionary out of an apologist.

But, let us not distract Let us keep ourselves focussed on discussion about the importance of this farmers movement as having a potential of providing a turning point if other favourable situations do also arrive in time, the first and foremost of these favourable situations being the revolutionary initiative and intervention of the working class which is unfortunately still not ready to take the call. In this sense, we want to reiterate that we won’t ever hesitate in utilizing the cracks in the front of the ruling big bourgeoisie classes howsoever less pronounced and insignificant they may appear to be at the moment. We shall discuss and evaluate not only the turmoil in the lives of the proletariat and poor peasantry but will also keep an intent eye on the turmoil in the life of all other intermediary classes and accordingly formulate day-to-day tactics and develop our long-term vision and thus keep our eyes fixed on whether they pose themselves as difficulties or opportunities in promoting the cause of proletarian revolution. In neither case, whether it poses as a difficulty or as an opportunity, we can’t ignore them. We shall take into our account everything, be it even minor things, as we cannot afford to ignore such things as every single development not only of the life of our own people but also of our enemies or erstwhile enemies and their evaluation vis-à-vis day-to-day tactics and long-term vision of working-class politics for the sake of furthering and promoting the cause of proletarian revolution is important. Every single step with this motto is necessary. We accept this as one of the most necessary tasks of our party whose aim is to utilize whatever comes in its way. In this sense, we are opportunist as Lenin puts it. Sure enough, we are not superrr… rrrevolutionaries like our ‘apologists’ and have nothing to hide as such.

What exactly, in short, is our stand on rich peasants? Firstly, we don’t take them per se as rural bourgeoisie. We generally call them capitalist elements or peasant bourgeoisie who mainly thrive on labour and property of the rural poor and a section of this have been constantly converting themselves into rural capitalists[6]that constitutes its upper most and super rich or topmost crust. Secondly, we hold that the culmination of the ruinous path of the first phase of capitalist farming in roughly the second decade of the 21st century, when the agrarian crisis moved from bad to worse, a section of the rich peasants incurred losses inspite of MSP, while the thin uppermost layer remained unaffected and are continuously accruing and amassing profit amid crisis. This section is aligned with Corporates or big capitalists who have been earning super profits amid crisis, even in the period when the economic wheel stood still due to long lockdowns. Isn’t this a correct and factually tenable analysis? Yes, it is.

According to us, it is correct that those who have been hit the most are poor peasants but the latest victims of the capitalist farming and the rural economic crisis resulting in huge losses in farming are undoubtedly the whole lot of middle peasants as well as a section of the rich peasants (leaving a thin upper most and super rich layer). The condition is such that the upper middle peasants and the lower rung rich peasants have become akin to each other and merged in one and both feel serious threat coming on to their future economic well-being. Their old socio-economic status stands threatened in the face of Corporate-led capitalist farming being inaugurated as the second phase of capitalist farming with the onset of the new farm laws that aim at delivering the whole agrarian sector to the big financial magnets of the whole world. The most imminent threat of dispossession from land and agriculture is looming large on the poor peasants (please remember! our apologists say that the Corporate will liberate them) while the middle and upper middle peasants including the lower rung rich peasants are also on target but as of now their immediate dispossession is not on the order of the day. Even MSP is not going to end immediately. It may go on as usual for years while on diminishing scale. The course of its final fate will surely be modified by the ongoing movement. Our ‘apologists’ on the other hand think that only kulaks are going to be hit and no poor peasant will be harmed by the corporates.

So, let us repeat our views that MSP in the present form benefiting only a handful of peasants will not end in near future. The demand of MSP with a legal guarantee is not to be met as the Governments and big capital whose interest this government represents both understand that its odd consequences would be fatal for their future rule. So either this demand is not going be met or it will finally take the form of the old one only even if it is met. Legalising it and truly implementing it in the new form for all the peasants and for majority of produce is simply impossible under capitalism, though it is this new form only which has spelt a huge wave of optimism among poor and middle peasants. See it coupled with the deep propaganda that their lands are at stake (which is true) and would be taken by Corporates, it is natural that the movement has drawn to its fold the whole peasantry (leaving the super-rich cluster) in the movement, how many actively and how many passively is however another matter and can be debated. So, land, prices of their produce and on the top of it the guarantee of purchase (because if entire or all the major crops are not purchased, the prices, whatever they may be, will be of no use) are the three main issues.

Now, according to us, if the well-to-do peasants are not going to be immediately hit hard, why are they so much vocal? They are vocal because they have sensed the inherent danger. Being a part of the ruling class coalition, they very know them and market both. This we have already discussed in our previous literature that they are not unaware of the reactionary milestones the first of capitalist farming has already set and which they themselves have also suffered, though in a limited sense. Since the last decade, the peasants as a whole, meaning even a section of rich peasants, have felt directly the ill consequences of capitalist farming in the form of huge debts in pursuit of profit, otherwise the movement wouldn’t have been able to survive for such a long period making it historic in this sense. Here in lies the strength and the revolutionary potentiality of this peasant movement. And also, here in lies the reason behind the PRC’s call to the working class to intervene into it with a clarion call to the peasants as a whole to choose to unite with the revolutionary proletariat fighting for socialism and proletarian state which will organise the agriculture on socialist line and give the guarantee of not only the purchase of their produce at appropriate price but also a decent and dignified life.

Where do we support MSP in this?

Unlike our ‘apologists’, it is true, we have not raised hue and cry over MSP, even though it is very much like a ‘tribute’ in the present form.[7] Why? Firstly, because, in our view MSP in the old form (without legal guarantee) is not of much value now for the purpose of practical movement as a bigger tribute is going to be imposed by the corporates and has hence become irrelevant as an express issue in the country side even if the broad masses of the peasantry and the middle and well-to-do peasants keep raising it; in the narrowest sense of their own benefit, it means not much for peasants as a whole (leaving the super-rich cluster) for in spite of this (MSP in the old form without guarantee of purchase) their debt has risen and their economic position shaken. The crisis of overproduction lies at the centre of this problem and this has to be highlighted now. Their demand of legalising MSP has arisen only because of this, though they don’t whether it would be met or not, and even if it is met, they don’t how it would be fraught with fatal consequences. Secondly, on the other hand, we analysed the new demand of MSP with legal guarantee. Legalising it means MSP for all the peasants and on all the major produce. Our analysis is that the present bourgeois-fascist state cannot accept the demand of MSP with legal guarantee. If it at all accepts, then also we found that it would be detrimental to middle and rich farmers, too in the end.

So, we find that the farmers i.e., the peasants as a whole who are agitating against farms laws have only false hopes on MSP with legal guarantee thinking it would solve their problem of sale of produce. Actually, they are mistaken. So, according to us, they neither have MSP with legal guarantee as the surest way of salvation, nor will they have the present bourgeois state repeal the farm laws. The prices of their produce in the open market have long cheated them. So, the vagaries of capitalist farming as a whole and absence of any real and worthy solution are pushing them to rise in revolt.

In this situation, if they insist upon their demand of MSP with legal guarantee which is nothing but the demand of guarantee of purchase, it will bring them not only in acute confrontation with the bourgeois state but also bring them in the imagination of a state that can give such a guarantee if it is brought to their notice by the proletarian forces. In our view, only a proletarian state by re-organising agriculture on socialist line can purchase all the produce of the farmers. Why? Because the proletarian state is not a profiteering agent of the bourgeoisie, rather all the bourgeoisie will be expropriated in socialism. It works for the maximum satisfaction of the people i.e. workers and peasants in the main. This is the basic law of socialism.

Stalin writes –

“Consequently, maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirements of the whole of society is the aim of socialist production; continuous expansion and perfection of socialist production on the basis of higher techniques is the means for the achievement of the aim. Such is the basic economic law of socialism.”

Unlike in capitalism, in socialism the state will do every everything to feed all providing quality nourishment. Where as in modern day capitalism, the state’s main work is to ensure maximum profit even though it means leaving crores of poor people to either mend for themselves in the face of rising prices fetching maximum profit for the monopolies or die.

Stalin writes about it, too.

“Hence, the aim of capitalist production is profit-making. As to consumption, capitalism needs it only in so far as it ensures the making of profit. Outside of this, consumption means nothing to capitalism. Man and his needs disappear from its field of vision.”

How can such a State come to help farmers with the plan of purchasing their all produce, except in exceptional situation of continuous war and famine, and at a price that will guarantee according to them their minimum economic well-being, let alone maintaining a tribute? This is the most fundamental question in this regard and every Marxist-Leninist must try to understand it.

That’s why we say that this demand if pursued till the end has a revolutionary potential i.e. its kernel is revolutionary while the outer shell in the form of a ‘tribute’ is reactionary. The kernel will rid itself of its own outer shell if the movement deepens and intensifies beyond a limit. That is why we chose to expose the futility of the demand of MSP as a whole in whatever form rather than criticise it. We also decided to combine with this the all-out exposure of the working of the capitalist system and along with this an all-out campaign for the need of a proletarian revolution and a proletarian state.    

So, although we don’t support MSP per se, yet we chose not to raise much hue and cry over MSP. Rather we chose to explain to the peasants as a whole its growing futility, either in the old form without legal guarantee or in the new from with legal guarantee and called upon them to stand and rally behind revolutionary proletariat for a decisive fight to overthrow bourgeoisie from power i.e. we chose to revolutionarise the movement which by itself and based on its own internal dialectical contradiction has risen against Corporates or big capital supremacy and because of this has acquired great potentialities. We chose instead to describe MSP as something which can’t be supported and at the same time as something which cannot be the solution of their basic problems even if it is assigned the much-demanded legal guarantee. We have told on their (peasants’) faces that the capitalist system as a whole has so much rotten that only a handful of the super-rich among them will or can fetch sustainable profit. So, our advice to them is: Shun the od greed of growing by exploiting others. You are out of race now. Its purpose is clearing the way to hit the target i.e. narrowing down the target. To say that it is to make alliance with the richer sections to carry out proletarian revolution is simply mischievous  

Our decision to intervene in the peasant movement proved for some like our ‘apologists’ to be too original to understand. Such a stand was quite new for those who are as always in the old usual mode. The worst is that it proved a waterloo for our ‘apologists’. It was expected that such an unexpected thing would never come in the imagination of reformists of the ilk of our ‘apologists.’ And it was accordingly quite expected that such people will train their guns at us for such a presentation of this question for it came as an indirect attack on those who thought they are invincible as superr… rrrevolutionaries, while in fact they had betrayed the poor peasants and workers by siding with the corporates on the question of farm laws.

If you intently watch their diatribe as a whole not only against us but against the whole movement and go through what they and their little champs constantly write on Facebook[8], what we find is horrendous. Their politics hinges on betrayal of the peasants’ leaders. They pray that the peasant movement is defeated of its purpose. The soon it is defeated, the better – this is how they think. But who can think thus? One will see the supreme ‘apologist’ very often misquote, misrepresent and extrapolate the interview statements of the peasants’ leader (Ugrahan and others) to magnify even the smallest weakness of the movement to look like big ones with a simple purpose to prove that they are right in supporting the corporates. They hope the peasant leaders betray at the earliest so that the farms laws are put in place/practice and the corporates liberate the toilers and the working class. Their such restlessness is quite above board and one can feel it. They are waiting eagerly for long to parade and raise their hands to say big ‘red salute’ to Corporates. This is like being true apologists! Well done.

Four months down the line, many insider feelers would have been rushed from that corridor to this this corridor. But, till now not many can be seen succumbing. Rather, physical scuffle and violence aimed at intimidating the leaders are surfacing. As they are up against a formidable enemy, many would have accepted a deal inspite of huge pressure from below. That the steam is not all exhausted suggests there is an enormous boiling going on at the bottom. Peasants even know this – that MSP is not going to end in near future and the state may not accept the demand of statutory MSP. Along with this, they are also apprehensive that even if it is legalised, the problem of purchase of all their produce arising because of sustained crisis of ‘overproduction’, may not be solved, while they might also understand that MSP in the new form is fraught with many other dangers that would make it finally detrimental to all including themselves. we have already discussed these things. The point is that even then the movement as well as the underlying unrest is showing no signs of receding.

It can be well argued that it is so because peasants have sensed the danger that are coming along with farm laws and Corporate led contract farming. Their economic conditions have been on road to depletion since long and it is going to be even worse as a result of the second phase of ruinous path of capitalist farming. They perhaps feel this danger in their spine. The contradictory path of development of agriculture on capitalist line has brought a toll on them, they have seen it. In such a background, when new farm laws came that put the second phase of capitalist farming on the rail, they have come on their heels. Unlike our ‘apologists’, we see that the first targets of farms laws i.e. corporate-led farming will be the poor farmers. Unlike our ‘apologists’ who believe these laws are against the rich and kulak only and on the other hand advantageous to the poor, we believe that the poor peasants’ dispossession from land and villages will take a lot more disastrous path form than ever before.[9]

A Proletarian Revolution Without Class Struggle In The countrySide. Is It Possible?

Yes. We can so imagine and history testifies to it. But we know our super revolutionary-turned-apologists of corporates will immediately come at me reprimanding in the strongest possible manner for this. Wildly rubbing their eyes at this, they will furiously attack us: what is this now, uneducated fools? As soon as they read it, they will start training their guns on us once again with new vigour.

But howsoever irked one may be or whatever be the super revolutionary choice and passion one may keep harbouring, it is such a fact than can force itself upon us once again if a similar situation is obtained i.e. if a situation of deep-rooted turmoil is witnessed among the peasantry as whole against a common big enemy. In present day India, the ongoing historic movement of the peasantry directed against corporates offers such a possibility depending upon other favourable situations that may arise in future (if they are not present now). A plus point now is this that the peasantry is estranged against a class (corporates who also happen to be financial giants) who also happen to be an enemy of working class and toilers. It means that history may repeat itself depending upon some special factors attending at a given juncture in the light of the ongoing famers movement, in the main depending upon the general correlation of all revolutionary forces as against the main enemy and a unique combination of all other revolutionary currents (one blowing among the peasantry is the main) with that of the most revolutionary class i.e. the working class and their together being directed against the common enemy, the corporates at the present moment.

what does it mean? It means that the present peasant movement may result in a confluence i.e. a meeting point of two blows that are directed decisively in one common direction and hence can be made into a common giant and stormy tidal wave with the proletariat rising to its crest and made subservient to the most fundamental revolutionary task of the day i.e. overthrow of the bourgeoisie from the driving seat and assuming power by the proletariat in alliance with the revolutionary core of the peasantry thus paving the path of victory of the proletariat in its mission to liberate mankind from the yoke of capital.

That such a situation may actually arrive, either accidentally or otherwise cannot be ruled out. It depends on at what particular turn of a juncture such a flowing together of two revolutionary streams actually happens or comes into being. It all depends upon some naturally and spontaneously occurring decisive moments of these turns that can be expected and also estimated on the basis of concrete analysis of concrete situations but can’t be pre-planned by way of learning and copy-pasting from history and thus can’t be artificially achieved or obtained. Its basic character is ‘spontaneity’. What a proletarian revolutionary party can do in such a situation is this that it can estimate it, foresee it and accordingly plan its own activities to seize upon this opportunity according to an objective evaluation which however may or may not come true and hence the party has to be ready for any eventuality. History comes to our rescue in such a situation but only in a very limited sense, in the sense of its enlightening us with its feel. Apart from this, one has to keep his legs well dug in the ground while making headway amidst storms facing whatever twists come on its way.     

Why and where do our apologists figure here?

Remember, in how many ugly words do they attack us when we bring into debate the question of proletarian state as the truest liberator of agitating farmers for the issues their present movement has raised are such that has brought forth the necessity of overstepping the boundary of capitalism. The possible ruin of the peasantry as a whole are but result or outcome of ruinous path of capitalist farming and hence necessitates its complete reversal but which can’t be reversed in a bourgeoise state. It will rather choose to go ahead with inaugurating its second phase and bring corporates in the driving seat of agriculture sector; and hence the issues thrown by the ongoing peasant movement are such that can be successfully and permanently addressed and solved only by a proletarian state by organising agriculture on socialist lines i.e. by building collective farms as its first step.

They take us to task for we called upon the agitating peasants as a whole to choose to go for rejecting bourgeois rule and accordingly push forward for a unity with the revolutionary proletariat whose aim is to fight for a proletarian state as only such a state would be able to give them guarantee of purchase of all of their produce at appropriate prices and also provide them a decent and dignified life without indulging in exploitation of other’s labour or without ruining others in the race of better life. At this, they immediately put us to their ‘super revolutionary scrutiny’ saying how can the peasants as whole be called upon to rally behind or at least be mute supporters for proletariat’s call of a proletarian revolution or a proletarian state for the complete liberation of the peasants from the vagaries of capitalist farming. They badly admonish us for not taking care of (or taking into consideration) class struggle against rich peasants in the country side while being in a hurry for proletarian revolution. They invariably charge us with attempts of making alliance with kulaks and rich peasants for carrying out proletarian revolution. We have clarified more than once that we are neither in support of MSP nor are we interested in making alliances with rich peasants.[10]

From what the ‘apologists’ have deliberated on this as yet, we can assume here that they rule out in general any possibility of proletarian revolution with such peasants as a whole and consequently they rule out in general the question of taking power by the proletariat unless it doesn’t simultaneously carry out stirring and waging of class struggle in the countryside even though none of it objectively exists at the present moment or in the present scenario, or even if the broad masses of peasantry are in turmoil on such issues that pit them all together against a common big and formidable enemy. As they oppose this movement and overlook the spread of people’s anger against the common enemy of the people, the corporates, then it is quite natural that they don’t see any possibility or worth in politics of riding the crest of such a big movement which is every day inching towards a final showdown. They don’t see in it an uprising of the peasants as a whole whatever be the circumstances.

They seem to be hateful to the very idea of a proletarian revolution with the peasants as a whole on this side, whatever be the circumstances. They despise such a proletarian revolution which is thought of being achieved with peasants as whole on its side! They are so much super revolutionary that they hate a proletarian revolution that come without class struggle against rich or upper middle peasants for the time being!However, the strangest thing is this that they call it Leninism and themselves the only Leninists! But here, let us quickly move to Lenin and let us see in Lenin’s own words how the question of peasants as a whole stood in October Revolution.

Peasants As A Whole In October Revolution

Lenin while deliberating on how the Leadership in the revolutionary proletarian International movement passed to the Russians, he vividly recounts why it was easier for the Russians than for the advanced countries to begin the Proletarian Revolution, even when historical conditions were much more matured in western capitalist countries.

He writes –

“It was easier for us to begin, … because the unusual … political backwardness of the tsarist monarchy gave unusual strength to the revolutionary onslaught of the masses. Secondly, Russia’s backwardness merged in a peculiar way the proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie with the peasant revolution against the landowners. That is what we started from in October 1917, and we would not have achieved victory so easily then if we had not. As long ago as 1856, Marx spoke, in reference to Prussia; of the possibility of a peculiar combination of proletarian revolution and peasant war. (p.316, vol 39 LCW)

So, Lenin clearly writes that in October, 1917 the proletarian revolution and peasant revolution had both merged to make one common invincible current. The developments later showed that Bolsheviks and under their leadership the working class rode the crest of the Russian peasant revolutions in the best successful manner that could be ever possible. It is important to note that the peasants mass confiscation of land and property of Russian landed states was termed as peasant revolution by Lenin. Lenin calls it final consummation of land question, the kernel of the bourgeois democratic revolution, by the proletarian revolution. We have seen above how much importance Lenin ascribes to its combining with proletarian revolution for the easy victory of the proletariat over the proletariat in the struggle for power in the cities.

Lenin and the Bolshevik didn’t waver on this point only because they had well studied and were well in control of the teachings of Marx and Engels on the question of attitude of communists towards different sections of peasants. They knew peasant bourgeoisie and rural capitalists were not the same thing otherwise they wouldn’t have gone for a proletarian revolution with the peasantry as whole on its side as capitalists were all expropriated. 

Lenin writes –

“It is natural that the proletarian revolution had to begin with the fundamental relation between two hostile classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The principal task was to transfer power to the working class, to secure its dictatorship, to overthrow the bourgeoisie ….” (p.206, LCW, Vol-29)

“When we were taking power we relied on the support of the peasants as a whole. At that time the aim of all the peasants was the same—to fight the landowners. But their prejudice against large-scale farming has remained to this day. The peasant thinks that if there is a big farm, that means he will again be a farm-hand. That, of course, is a mistake. But the peasant’s idea of large-scale farming is associated with a feeling of hatred and the memory of how landowners used to oppress the people. That feeling still remains, it has not yet died.” (p.216, LCW, Vol-29)

“Anyone who has studied rural life and come into contact with the peasants would say that it was only in the summer and autumn of 1918 that the urban October Revolution became a real rural October Revolution.”

“In October we confined ourselves to sweeping away at one blow the age-old enemy of the peasants, the feudal landowner, the big landed proprietor. This was a struggle in which all the peasants joined. At this stage the peasants were not yet divided into proletarians, semi-proletarians, poor peasants and bourgeoisie.” [11]

He further writes –

It is therefore clear that our rural organisational work has already gone beyond the limits to which it was confined when everything was subordinated to the fundamental demand of the struggle for power. This development passed through two main phases. In October 1917 we seized power together with the peasants as a whole. This was a bourgeois revolution, inasmuch as the class struggle in the rural districts had not yet developed. As I have said, the real proletarian revolution in the rural districts began only in the summer of 1918. Had we not succeeded in stirring up this revolution our work would have been incomplete. The first stage was the seizure of power in the cities and the establishment of the Soviet form of government. The second stage was one which is fundamental for all socialists and without which socialists are not socialists, namely, to single out the proletarian and semi-proletarian elements in the rural districts and to ally them to the urban proletariat in order to wage the struggle against the bourgeoisie in the countryside. This stage is also in the main completed. The organisations we originally created for this purpose, the Poor Peasants’ Committees, had become so consolidated that we found it possible to replace them by properly elected Soviets, i.e., to reorganise the village Soviets so as to make them the organs of class rule, the organs of proletarian power in the rural districts. Such measures as the law on socialist land settlement and the measures for the transition to socialist.” (p.209, LCW, Vol-29)

As regards the main attitude towards the peasants, Lenin says that

“the task of a socialist party (communist party – PRC’s author) is to neutralise the peasants, i.e. to see to it that in the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie the peasant should remain neutral and should not be able to give active assistance to the bourgeoisie against us” (here Lenin is talking about the old way of thinking as Marxist K. Kautsky at that used to write)

He later writes –

…it was Engels who established the division of the peasants into small peasants, middle peasants, and big peasants, and this division holds good for most European countries even today. Engels said, “Perhaps it will not everywhere be necessary to suppress even the big peasant by force.” And that we might ever use force in respect of the middle peasant (the small peasant is our friend) is a thought that has never occurred to any sensible socialist. That is what Engels said in 1894, a year before his death, when the agrarian question came to the fore. This point of view expresses a truth which is sometimes forgotten, but with which we are all in theory agreed. In relation to the landowners and the capitalists our aim is complete expropriation. But we shall not tolerate any use of force in respect of the middle peasants. Even in respect of the rich peasants we do not say as resolutely as we do of the bourgeoisie[12]—absolute expropriation of the rich peasants and the kulaks. This distinction is made in our programme. We say that the resistance of the counter-revolutionary efforts of the rich peasants must be suppressed. That is not complete expropriation. (p.211, LCW, Vol-29)

Lenin spoke thus one year ago about rich and big peasants

And the last statement I would like to quote is the argument about the rich peasants, the big peasants, the kulaks as we call them in Russia, peasants who employ hired labour. Unless these peasants realise the inevitability of the doom of their present mode of production and draw the necessary conclusions, Marxists cannot do anything for them. Our duty is only to facilitate their transition, too, to the new mode of production.” (p.210 LCW Vol 28, bold ours)

Lenin speaks more on middle peasants and rich peasants

For the middle peasant we say: no force under any circumstances. For the big peasant we say: our aim is to bring him under the control of the grain monopoly and fight him when he violates the monopoly and conceals grain. I expounded these principles the other day at a meeting of several hundred delegates from Poor Peasants’ Committees who had come to Moscow at the time the Sixth Congress was being held.”*(p.211, LCW Vol 28)

This is how the whole matter stood in short with respects to peasantry as a whole at the time of October revolution and after that when the class struggle is stirred in the country side and the soviet power carefully chooses its allies and enemies from among the peasants on the basis of strictest class analysis and employ methods with patience to organise step by step agriculture on socialist line. What is important to note here is that 1) in a special case when the whole peasantry is stirred against a common enemy, aproletarian revolution can be carried out to secure power for the proletariat in the cities by overthrowing the bourgeoisie from power even without stirring and waging class struggle in the countryside for the time being, which can be started after attaining power as the second phase of the proletarian revolution. 2) in special circumstances when the whole of peasantry is in great turmoil over the very question of their existence against a common enemy, the working class must try to rise to its crest in its struggle of power against bourgeoisie 3) the rich peasants per se are not bourgeoisie otherwise such a tactics may prove fruitful. 4) And because of this i.e. because the rich peasants are not bourgeoisie, the attitude towards them in the second phase of the proletarian revolution, too can vary from time to time, can be anything from buying time for peace with them and suppressing their attempted revolt to expropriating or eliminating them altogether as a class as it happened in the USSR when the kulaks having got emboldened by Bukharin and Trotsky i.e. those taking bourgeois and pro-kulak line in the party and the State tried to rise in revolt with a purpose of waging war against the Soviet power. For the first time, they invited state suppression when they revolted against the Soviet power by getting strength from the white guards in the conditions of civil war.

We know, the proper presentation of peasant question in proletarian socialist revolution as also in building socialism is far more vexing and complicated than other issues and tasks, particularly if one is face to face with those who are hell bent to distort its precise history. Although it was F. Engels who wrote for the first time on division of peasantry into poor, middle and rich or big peasants and outlined attitude of communists towards each of them which Lenin also followed in the main, yet Soviet history of huge and sharp practical experiences related with this question comes up every now and then in discussions centred around it. From October Revolution to the successful completion of mass collectivisation campaign, Soviet history is but full of sharpest ever turns that necessitated and brought into play the display of unbelievable flexibility. So, it is necessary to go beyond big headlines of history and grasp the actual feel without which it is impossible to get enlightened by history. This requires us to examine history more rigorously, due to lack of which our whole revolutionary movement often have different and queer perceptions of the same objective facts of this history. The most problematic area is certainly the one related with peasant question, how exactly it appeared and got materialised in practice at the time of October Revolution or after that.

A Little More Explanation, in spite of repetition

In short, the proletariat seized power together with the peasants a whole which didn’t include erstwhile landlords and rural bourgeoise. They were to be expropriated forth with without delay and any compensation and the real proletarian revolution in the rural districts began only in the summer of the next year[13], almost eight months after seizing power in the cities. The true fact about it is that it was stirred and waged from above giving assistance to the poor peasants after realising that kulaks are grabbing most of the confiscated land and properties of the landed estates through the existing communes where they were in dominant position historically. This happens after eight months of assuming state power in the cities. Even then, expropriation of the kulaks was not on the immediate agenda of the party or the state as we have seen.

The law of socialisation of land that the soviet government passed without actually being in accord with it[14] was objectively more in favour to them as it was left to peasant commune to take care of distribution of land where the kulak were in dominant position[15] due to their having a powerful economic strength in terms of more number of horses and other implements they possessed. The policy was however to restrict them by imposing bans on profiteering and hoarding grains, putting restrictions on using wage labour and thus also on enriching at the expense of others’ labour. Even after July crisis of 1918 when the whole of Russia was swept by the kulak revolt against the Soviet Power, the proletarian state didn’t put on its agenda the complete elimination or expropriation of kulak. It was deferred to later date and time.[16] The policy of dealing with them was in the main confined to suppression of their denial to comply with the laws and to suppression of any tendency on their part to join hands with external and erstwhile internal enemy with a purpose to revolt, though every time in a far more stringent manner than before. They, however, were squarely told that those who will exploit will be completely expropriated.[17] These all are the issues related with history of theory and politics of the Russian proletariat vis-à-vis peasantry in the years just after assuming power. To understand its import is necessary as it teaches us a lot about qualities of Lenin’s leadership.

Seeing All These, What Would The ‘Apologists’ Be Up To?

Seeing all these, I know our ‘apologists’, as superr duperr rrevolutionary they are, must be feeling uneasy. They would say: October Socialist Revolution with the kulaks alongside the proletariat and the poor peasants! Impossible!!

They would invariably like to jibe at Lenin, too. But they can’t. Had they read these words of Lenin in which he said that like middle peasants, we don’t have anything against you either[18] they would have been readying to jump from the top of their building and commit suicide or at least their hands would have been itching to write ‘Lenin was trying to mend the tail of kulaks or Lenin was exhorting kulaks to join hands in building socialism and be partner by way of supporting their lust for profiteering.’

But we know they can’t write this. Why they can’t we know this, too.

Actually, the people like ‘apologists’ who only pretend to be revolutionary don’t precisely understand either Leninism or Lenin. Sofar as Soviet history is concerned, I am sure they have just learnt its headlines, that too to just bulldoze others. They have no other purpose.  They can’t understand, not even the least of it as to why October Revolution was so easily successful in taking power in the manner it was, which however never meant sharing of power either with the Kulak or the middle peasants who (the middle peasants) were nevertheless declared a firm and bonafide ally of socialist transformation of agriculture[19] since 8th congress of RCP(B).

In the same congress Lenin also defines the attitude of the party and state towards the kulaks in which immediate expropriation of kulaks was ruled out though suppression of their revolt with heavy hands as well as restriction on growth of their strength was felt utmost necessary and necessary laws were already put in place and executed. Did it mean support to kulaks’ profiteering lust? Was Lenin supporting Kulaks? According to our ‘apologists’ – yes, Lenin was mending their tail! These shameless people who are not worth anything more than being the apologists of corporate can do anything.  

Actually, what they have learnt are some lifeless rigid formulae from Soviet history, a practice which Lenin always opposed as unmarxist. With this attitude they are very adept in using history to stall contemporary revolutionary task in the present-day scenario of proletarian politics, particularly when it comes to deriving revolutionary task of the proletariat vis-à-vis the historic and ongoing farmers movement against new farm laws whose express purpose is to deliver to Corporates not only Indian agriculture but also the whole of rural India. In this scenario, they have turned themselves into a flag bearer of development of productive forces in the country side under the tutelage of Corporates and big capital at a time when in the whole world financialisation of capital has become the main trend; when the unprecedented destruction of productive forces is the only way left for the survival of their rule, for obtaining maximum profit and when the very existence of capitalism is fuelling such crises as are most likely to precipitate revolutionary crisis, however subjective forces may not be ready.

Its Lessons and Relevance Today

We have seen that the October Revolution occurred without stirring of class struggle against the capitalist elements in the country side i.e. against the kulaks, while the basic class alliance in October revolution was however between the proletariat and poor peasants and the rich peasants and kulaks were supposed to be on target. What does it mean? It means that, to carry out and complete the task of socialist revolution in the countryside a class struggle was necessary against the capitalist elements of the countryside, the kulaks, but it certainly doesn’t mean that without class struggles against the capitalist elements in the country side proletariat cannot take power.  No, it doesn’t mean this. On the contrary, the experience of October revolution at the time of taking power has shown that in a given set of special circumstances it is advantageous not to stir class struggle and it is rather useful for the proletariat to be with the peasantry as a whole if it is astir and has rebelled against a common big enemy of all the exploited and oppressed people of the country. This is what is called riding the wave of a peasant rebellion by the proletariat on its way to accomplish the most fundamental and the most important task of the day i.e. the takeover of the bourgeois state power.

We all know class struggle wasn’t sought to be stirred at the time of or before October Revolution, nor did any such objective situation exist. But those who learn lifeless formulae won’t understand this sudden change of tack. The important thing is not this that class struggle wasn’t stirred, the important thing is that Lenin didn’t insist for this i.e. for god’s sake Lenin didn’t behave like our apologists! It (class struggle in the countryside) was begun only after few months. It was stirred mainly from above, when the kulaks were gaining economic strength by grabbing from the poor peasants the land confiscated from the landed estates during a before the October Revolution.

The Bolshevik party had supported the rebellion of the whole peasant class including that of the kulaks against the landlords and the bourgeoisie who were at that time being clandestinely assisted by the government, the birth child of Feb 1917 revolution and led by the ‘socialist’ Kerensky. It was only by riding on the crest of these peasant rebellions that the October revolution was accomplished easily and successfully. Lenin himself admits this fact openly.[20] Lenin evaluated that the Bolshevik party could not have afforded stirring or waging of class struggle in the countryside at the same time. Lenin writes very candidly about this.[21] There were no class struggles as such either. Objectively, the peasants were not divided as such into poor peasants, middle peasants and peasant bourgeoisie, the kulaks. There was no unrest objectively existing among poor peasants against kulaks at that time. If at all it had been subjectively waged by the Bolsheviks, it would have been counterproductive. Lenin knew middle peasants would have then sided with kulaks and the whole exercise of capturing power would have been jeopardized and aborted which however because of a correct policy became successful so easily.

It is well known that kulaks also benefited from the direct mass confiscation of the landlords’ estate i.e. mass confiscation of their land and properties, but Lenin didn’t resist it for he couldn’t have.  Rather, he supported this mass confiscation by the peasants as a whole, while the Socialist Revolutionary, the well-known and established party of the peasants as a whole reprimanded them and called the peasants’ actions lawless behaviour and was thus proved apologists of landlords. This got the SR exposed in the peasants’ eyes. If Lenin had in their party people like our ‘born educators’ as his think tank, one can understand what would have the fate of the October revolution or what would have become of Leninism. It is horrible to keep imagining things along this line!

Again, Lenin knew the law of socialisation of land i.e. equal distribution of land tenure would be utilised by the kulaks in their own favour, still Lenin decided to go by the peasants’ mandate that required him to support it without being in accord with it. Lenin said, it (going against the peasants’ mandate) would amount to going against peasant’s majority views and thus it would also mean going against the peasant revolution. 

All the main promises of peace, bread and land were being denied. Their all hopes were belied by the bourgeois government. It was only Lenin and under his leadership the Bolsheviks who supported the peasants’ and their rebellion and won their hearts. When the Bolshevik came in power, they passed the famous decree on land based on the peasants’ mandate and sealed their support to Soviet power for ever. The peasants’ patience had got exhausted well before the commencement of October revolution. Lenin saw it and rode the crest of the creeping unrest and unfolding rebellion and supported the peasants’ action to smash landlords’ supremacy and utilized the revolutionary energy in accomplishing the seizure of state power from the bourgeoisie.

After October Revolution, the class struggle was waged with the formation of poor peasant committees that enjoyed the full support and help of the proletarian state. It had become the symbol of Soviet power in the rural areas. The tactics with respect to middle peasants was to neutralise them, while tactics towards kulaks was to restrict their power/strength and suppress their resistance to working class power and its orders. The question of expropriating them didn’t come directly or then and there. If the kulaks had not resisted the proletarian state, if we so imagine for a moment, what would have been the course of history is only a matter of conjecture. But one thing is sure that if the peasant bourgeoisie (not the rural capitalists) have had to face the large-scale bourgeois farming under the control of Corporate or big capital as they are facing in India now, Engels’ formulae[22] of applying least force against them have had all the fair chance to be applied. 

After that, seeing a change in attitude of middle peasants during the civil war, seeing they started supporting the Soviet Power after having witnessed the revival of landlords in the event of fall of soviet power[23], the attitude of the party and the state towards the middle peasants was changed from neutralising them to making firm alliance with them and later making them a bonafide partner of socialism as we can see in their continued partnership in collective farm mass movement since 1928 and till its conclusion in the latter half of the 30s. This change in party and state attitude towards the middle peasants was brought under the direct leadership of Lenin in the famous 8th congress of the party. In this congress Lenin also defined the general attitude of the state towards the kulak or big peasants. In this regard, there was no break in policy as such from the past. But, one thing was made clearer that the question of completely eliminating and expropriating the kulaks was not on the agenda till then. It came only in 1928 when the collectivisation movement gained mass character and became a mass movement in itself with the enmass participation of the middle peasants in it and also because the kulaks, as much emboldened they had become due to the support from the internal party detractors led by Bukharin and Trotsky, had mounted an equally formidable enmass rebellion against the proletarian state by all despicable means. This is in short the whole history vis-à-vis middle and rich peasants.

What does this whole thing precisely teach us?

This whole thing first of all teaches us that taking power by the proletariat and building socialism are two different things, former involving a lot more flexibility and having a lot of sharp twists and turns to deal with than the latter. The above description shows that the seizure of the power by the proletariat is possible without waging class struggle in the countryside at the same time. Rather it is useful for proletariat to utilize the contradictions of the whole peasantry against a bigger enemy. But it is impossible to build socialism without waging class struggle till the last against one and all of those who are either capitalist elements or even lesser bourgeois elements. The question of class struggle against rural bourgeoisie generally doesn’t and mustn’t arise as they are the target of revolution at it first stage itself. The taking of power by the proletariat is the result of the then correlation of class forces other than revolutionary classes against the main enemy, while the building of socialism after taking power doesn’t depend so much on the correlation of the class forces other than those of proletarian forces or friendly classes of the proletariat.

Apologists Won’t Give Up, Portray Lenin As Apologists.

But our apologists won’t like to read history in this way. They would be in denial mode. They would rub their eyes at it with disbelief.  To say that class struggle in the countryside sometimes can wait till the victory of proletarian revolution in the cities will certainly irk their superrr rrrevolutionary souls. While some other enthusiasts will cry – how come then October is called a socialist revolution – our super-duper revolutionary gang of ‘apologist’ will however take out their own answer sheet as usual and seek to respond accordingly in the old known fashion yet again, furiously shouting at us-”you’re distorting history to mend the tail of the kulaks and rich peasants”- but this time, by which he will mean not me but Lenin! If suppose we say – please sir, come up with your own version or interpretation of history, they surely will come up with one. What it could? Can you guess, our esteemed readers?

Let me clear. It first of all means our ‘apologists’ will not easily give up. Nay, they will never give up for they are super revolutionaries. Their appetite for being super revolutionary is likewise insatiable as their appetite for being ‘born educators.’

Comrade readers! Have you guessed what they would say? It is not so difficult if you truly know them. They would say, “Lenin did so because the peasants as a whole were waging war against landlords. If this same whole peasantry had risen in revolt or had been waging war against imperialism or corporates, Lenin won’t have supported the peasants as whole. Rather, he would have first of all stirred class struggle against the richer segments of this peasantry,even if it would have meant spoiling of the fundamental mission of proletariat to capture power in the cities which was at hand and possible. And if Lenin had behaved like these educators-turned-apologists, he would have better supported imperialism like these traitors have supported Corporates in the fight between the peasantry as a whole and the Corporates.”

Let us wait. This is how they would answer.

This is where the meaning of their faulty method (scholastic as one may call) of  arguments of ”imperialism being progressive than capitalism and feudalism” has landed them. This is how the apologists of the whole world tend to argue. This is their basic character. Whenever and wherever such historic situations appear, they first of all try to stall the revolutionary presentation of the question so that no revolutionary tasks are derived. This is exactly what our ‘apologists’ have done when the peasantry as a whole have risen in revolt against the Indian as well as foreign Corporates that are hell bent to anyhow take over Indian agriculture with the help of Modi’s fascist regime which rammed farm laws for these corporates through parliament last year. This is exactly how they have argued with us, that too by way of quoting Lenin out of context (readers will shortly see this). It is important thing that we have met a test case for all such pretending super revolutionaries who have the same destiny as our ‘apologists’. All such super revolutionaries have in history turned towards the same goal in the service of the main enemy whether it is Corporates today or it will be imperialism tomorrow. We shall shortly see that by arguing like this how they have tried, though vainly, to bring Lenin to stand on his head! (sic). Their conceit has completely blinded them.

I know many won’t believe that they can treat Lenin like this. But this is true. They have made this attempt by way of quoting Lenin himself out of context, which has become their ‘silver lining’, something that is typical of all such ‘apologists’. The ‘apologist’ thought they demolished us with this. However, they tried to demolish Lenin first. Fully immersed in blindly criticising PRC, they quote Lenin say the following.

“Imperialism is as much our “mortal” enemy as is capitalism. That is so. No Marxist will forget, however, that capitalism is progressive compared with feudalism, and that imperialism is progressive compared with pre-monopoly capitalism. Hence, it is not every struggle against imperialism that we should support. We will not support a struggle of the reactionary classes against imperialism; we will not support an uprising of the reactionary classes against imperialism and capitalism.” (This is the quote that they had used against us in their second instalment of critique)

Comrades! this is a quote from his famous writing ”A caricature of Marxism and imperialist economism” that deals with those who were against Lenin’s political line of supporting the ”right of nations to self-determination’ as against big nations chauvinism and imperialism. But one may feel that Lenin is defending imperialism and was against the ”right of nations to self-determination” as against imperialism. In their conceitful vein to criticise us they have thus tried to turn Lenin on his head(sic).

To those, who doesn’t know Lenin must be feeling that he is batting in favour of Imperialism. We know it is totally wrong. The fact is that he is in a polemical debate with those who are, though in support of national uprisings, are not in support of political independence of nation or ”right of nations to self-determination”, fearing it will lead to or mean support of the renegade social democratic call of ”defence of father land” who had supported their own imperialist bourgeoisie in the first world war being fought for redivision of the world.

What does it mean in the first place? It means Lenin was not in favour of Imperialism at this point and vehemently called for support of ”right of nations to self-determination”, however the above quote when read in isolation gives an opposite impression or feeling.

If we try to examine and understand why they quoted this in a discussion with PRC on the question of the ongoing anti-Corporate peasants’ movement, we find that it is meant to utilize Lenin to bring grist to the mill of those who are in support of the new farm laws i.e. are ‘apologists’ of Corporates meaning the ones that they themselves are. However, the fact that Lenin is opposing those who are opposed to “right of nations to self-determination” in essence goes against them. The readers must Lenin’s well position here that believed that political independence of nations is possible in the age of imperialism and monopoly capitalism, too inspite of their economic dependence on imperialism that very often pushes them into this situation through mechanism and machinations of monopoly capitalism. The ‘apologists’ trick has sought to lower the image of Lenin as apologists of imperialism(sic).

To use Lenin in support of corporates, these shameless people first of all assume that the movement of peasants as a whole is a reactionary movement of either a feudal type or a capitalist type, although peasant bourgeoisie participating in this movement are not capitalists. We have already quoted Stalin to show that peasant bourgeoisie per se are not rural capitalists. This is over simplification and Marxistically wrong. Anyway, according to their well-orchestrated plan, our ‘apologists’ have tried to fit Lenin into their boot i.e. into their own frame of logic to oppose the peasant movement to the extent of believing or saying that Corporate entry may be advantageous to the small and poor peasants. Thus, they want to say that the peasant’s rebellion against corporates and Modi regime is a reactionary uprising of a feudal or a capitalist type and hence Lenin would have better opted not to support this rebellion and hence choosing to ride its crest in order to achieve proletarian revolution naturally doesn’t come.

This fully exposes their bankruptcy of politics. Here what they forget is that what Lenin means by reactionary class uprising is the uprising of the feudal or capitalist class and not of the peasant bourgeoise type. Thus, in order to shine themselves in the discussion, they have tried to portray Lenin as an apologist of corporates.

But let us discuss more

Lenin in the above quote says, “Hence, it is not every struggle against imperialism that we should support.” Why does he say this? To whom is this addressed or pointed and for what purpose? This is pointed at Kievsky who believed that national uprisings are possible and must be assisted but national war and political independence of nations are impossible and ”right to self-determination” a useless thing that would mean stooping down to social democratic reactionary slogan of ‘defence of fatherland’ in the imperialist war and hence he mocked at Lenin saying he (Lenin) had unjustly ”invented” examples of the “right of nations to self-determination in this era.” Lenin on the other hand was in favour of genuine national war and took political independence achievable as against imperialism and big nations.

The above quoted words of Lenin came to outwit and point out Kievsky’s mistake who nonetheless not only supported national uprisings but called for active resistance to its suppression and this prompted Lenin to ask in the typical polemical manner – if political independence is impossible, then why is he in support of active assistance of national uprising, which is also a national war? Kievesky’s answer to this question was that he is in support of the policy of assisting national uprising because it is directed against the “mortal” enemy that imperialism is. See the double inverted quote over the word ”mortal” in the original piece of Lenin, too[24]

Then what is Lenin up to here in this quote?  He took this opportunity to point out how much muddle-headed Kievesky was and cleared that it is not only Imperialism which is “mortal” by which he meant that the other ”mortal”‘ enemies are not to be forgiven or overlooked, especially when they pretend to be against imperialism. And that is why Lenin wrote that “it is not any struggle that we support against imperialism.” But our apologists tried to turn Lenin upside down and made attempt to get him to stand him on his head.

Not only this, when ‘the apologists’ tries to fit Lenin’s quote into their own frame of logic, they also seek to prove that the peasant bourgeoisie i.e. the lower rung sections of rich peasants and well-off upper sections of the middle peasants are competitors of Corporates. It is true that the peasant bourgeoisie thrive on the rural poor toil and property and aspire to grow into capitalists. It is also true that they along with small and middle peasants have been the bulwark of the bourgeoisie rule in India and till recently they were the supporters of the Hindutva brand of fascists. Even tomorrow they may turn the same. But to say that because of these things they are competitors of the Corporates is a big political fraud committed with a design or an evil purpose that can only be understood as a justification of their having turned over to corporates. There is no other way to define or understand this fraud. Otherwise to equate peasant bourgeoisie with corporates and draw parallel between their robbery and then say their revolt against corporates i.e. the monopolists whose connections are worldwide, and accordingly to say to the proletariat to abstain from their revolt and the worst, to say that it is good they are decimated by the corporates and hope that this will bring development of productive forces in the rural area is simply committing big political fraud which is not justifiable by any means.

It is thus evident that the use of this quote here in our debate is aimed at making two political frauds. One, it is meant to portray peasant bourgeoisie are per se capitalists and secondly, they are portrayed as big as corporates or feudals for only then these rich peasants could be viewed as competitors of corporates. All this is simply to side with the monstrous robbers as against street gangsters, to say the most. Those lower rung rich peasants are the latest small victim of capitalist farming and are most likely to be ruined in future if corporate takeover of Indian farming takes faster and long strides. They are peasant bourgeoisie and hence are not friend of the proletariat. This is true. This is also true that their politics, outlook, inbuilt tendency to exploit wage labour and their thriving on the poor must be exposed and resisted and they must be told on their faces what they are, but to paint them at par with corporates, as their competitors is a grave ideological and political fraud meant to anyhow support corporates.

In What Way Is Imperialism Progressive?

Let us ask our apologist, in what way is imperialism progressive? Do they precisely understand it? We hope they do and perhaps deliberately distort it to make it suit their politics.  

Imperialism is progressive because it is capitalism in transition as Lenin puts it, a stage of capitalism where almost complete socialisation of capital and production have been achieved and the rest is being achieved very fast, and only its appropriation remains private i.e. the outer cover of the shell of capitalism remains reactionary while the content becomes progressive and hence Lenin calls it the eve of socialism.

How can it be made appreciable to workers and ordinary mass of people? It can be only understood in this way: at this stage, all the major contradiction of capitalism are leading to fundamental contradiction, the one between socialised production and private appropriation which is so much intensified that it leads to ever increasing rate of exploitation and expropriation of not only of the proletariat and semi-proletarians but of the huge mass of  other classes, belonging to other sections of the small and medium owner-producers including peasants as a whole, leaving a super-rich stratum in alliance with the big directly and indirectly. Leaving this thin super rich stratum, every other section is threatened of their (old) existence in a very dangerous manner.

And this is an opportunity for the proletariat to enter into the scene by exposing before the ruined masses the working of capitalism and monopoly capitalism and try to win over those who can be won to the side of socialism and those who can’t or shouldn’t be must be neutralised. This opportunity that comes because of the ever-growing crisis must be utilized by the proletariat to deprive the capitalists/monopoly capitalists of their old allies as much as possible. Those who can not be won or neutralised their morale must be thrashed taking the opportunity by both hands. Only in this sense and all aspects taken together, imperialism is progressive otherwise it is parasitic and hence unleash violence on the people. Politically, it works towards slavery, against liberty, against freedom and against democracy. It unleashes open dictatorship not democracy. Its prime necessity is fascism and authoritarianism. It is like a cancerous growth, an abscess on an the otherwise healthy body of society. In both ways, it destabilises the old balance of power among different classes. 

Only in this form or sense taking all aspects Lenin writes that imperialism is progressive as compared to capitalism i.e. pre-monopoly capitalism. Imperialism intensifies all the underlying capitalist contradictions and conflicts because capital tends to concentrate in single world trust. Under imperialism this tendency intensifies to its maximum and in the process destabilises the very shell in which capitalism resides whose content becomes incompatible with capitalism and comes in acute contradiction with its outer shell. With the contradiction further intensifying, the shell of capitalism thus explodes and it turns into socialism.     

About Lenin’s Leadership And October Revolution

Let us be very short on this.

Inasmuch as making revolution is an act of art and science full of sharp and acute turns that necessitates splendid display of utmost flexibility with a purpose of winning people to its side and also utilizing even the least of possibilities without uprooting one’s legs from where it should be, then October Revolution is the finest examples among all revolutions that we have read about and seen in whole history. Lenin and in his leadership, Bolsheviks showed that though their eyes were fixed at the target, they would take all possible routes and paths, utilize every contradiction and use all twists and turns to the advantage of the proletariat and make sure those paths and turns meet at a point so that a combination and confluence of favourable things emerges that pushes them on the top and help them reach the target in no time and without much delay and difficulties. October Revolution is an embodiment of all these.

Lenin writes

Capitalism would not be capitalism if the proletariat pur sang were not surrounded by a large number of exceedingly motley types intermediate between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns his livelihood in part by the sale of his labour-power), between the semi-proletarian and the small peasant (and petty artisan, handicraft worker and small master in general), between the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less developed strata, if it were not divided according to territorial origin, trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on. From all this follows the necessity, the absolute necessity, for the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, its class-conscious section, to resort to changes of tack, to conciliation and compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and small masters. It is entirely a matter of knowing how to apply these tactics in order to raise—not lower—the general level of proletarian class-consciousness, revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Bolsheviks’ victory over the Mensheviks called for the application of tactics of changes of tack, conciliation and compromises, not only before but also after the October Revolution of 1917, but the changes of tack and compromises were, of course, such as assisted, boosted and consolidated the Bolsheviks at the expense of the Mensheviks. __ The Communists’ proper tactics should consist in utilising these vacillations, not ignoring them; utilising them calls for concessions to elements that are turning towards the proletariat—whenever and in the measure that they turn towards the proletariat—in addition to fighting those who turn towards the bourgeoisie. As a result of the application of the correct tactics, Menshevism began to disintegrate, and has been disintegrating more and more in our country; the stubbornly opportunist leaders are being isolated, and the best of the workers and the best elements among the petty-bourgeois democrats are being brought into our camp. This is a lengthy process, and the hasty “decision”— “No compromises, no manoeuvres”—can only prejudice the strengthening of the revolutionary proletariat’s influence and the enlargement of its forces.” p.74-75, Volume 31 LCW)

Lenin as a true leader was capable of seeing things and their course of action in advance. That’s why he proved himself an invincible leader who could always pave a new path to revolution if one is shattered or closed and didn’t let slip any opportunity away that happened to come on his way. He said and did things which no one even imagined at that time. He didn’t allow history to rule over him like heap of dead things. For him, history was like a living source of light and the rest depended upon the concrete analysis of prevailing concrete situations in the light of dialectical materialism. Lenin was best at this. He never missed the wood while counting the trees.

His best of abilities was to see things and their course of action well in advance that gave him power of imagining and dreaming things that no one else of his time could do. That’s why we see that even his close comrades (Stalin included) at times couldn’t understand what Lenin was thinking or up to. This happened with the debate on nationalisation of land which Stalin and the majority of his comrades opposed and voted for redistribution of land tenure in 1903. The same thing happened with April Thesis to some extent which many of his close comrades didn’t understand in the beginning and only later, by the next only, did they come in full support. There are many such examples. He was the beacon of light for the Bolsheviks only in this sense. He grew as an authority only thus. He usually saw things in incipient stage itself and then magnified them to make them visible to others which still all were not capable of seeing.

We see Lenin say what one could not even imagine, let alone daring to say. In Two Tactics of Social Democracy, when others were asking, as everyone will naturally do, to learn from revolution, he asked workers and his comrades to get revolution to learn from them and their act. What he meant was to impart proletarian imprints on the bourgeois democratic revolution, the stage of revolution that Russian Society was at that time, and also provide a proletarian turn to it to make it most advantageous to workers and peasants in the sense that it could be immediately be led to next stage of revolution i.e. the socialist stage of revolution. What he wanted was to make the most use of the bourgeois revolution for the working class.

Similarly, when the question of cultural backwardness of Russian working class and peasantry was raised to prove why Bolshevik mustn’t take power, what he said was unique. He posed a counter question asking, why couldn’t working class take power first which is possible to take and then do the cultural revolution?

Many said that owing to the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie and the lack of bourgeois development Bolshevik won’t be able to usher in or build Socialism, while Lenin turned it into one of the strong points of the success of the October Revolution. A weak bourgeoisie was one of the reasons why the Bolsheviks could take power so easily. 

When peasants’ small and scattered land holdings and the resultant small scale production was sought to be one reason to prove that socialism can’t be built here unless international working class comes to rescue, he was of the view that the broad masses of the peasantry can be turned into an ally of working class power by giving appropriate concessions including buying ‘peace’ with those sections who are most likely to act like enemies till the collectivisation of peasants are taken up in full swing.

There are numerous examples. As 22nd April is approaching, let us learn from Lenin, apart from many other things, the art and science of revolution. Let us all humbly follow Lenin and Stalin.

(to continue in the next issue)


Post Script [I] : Here Comes Alive Not One But Many “Inverted” Don Quixotes!

We were about to finish the above article i.e. the second instalment of what the new apologists of Corporate are and how they fight against revolutionaries when the family of educators-turned-apologists of Corporates came out with their criticism of our first instalment. The content in the main shows, apart from other things, they are much more desperate and are now more in hurry than ever before to demolish us as if our very existence is threatening them. They appear to think, how can we exist despite them, the ‘new Brahmins’ of revolutionary movement? They are cursing, why doesn’t the Earth split and PRC get buried in it and thus get lost from the world? We won’t be surprised if they tomorrow act as the sleeping cells of fascists. Anyway, listen our ‘apologists’! we are not going to fulfil your desire inspite of your best of efforts.

In this post-script, I shall at least take up two or three issues in short to show how they now stand more exposed as apologists of Corporates! Actually, they have proved themselves even poorer than an apologist. 

I

In this new/second critique, what are they most disturbed at? They are disturbed because we in the first instalment caught them red hand on the side of Corporate capital. They are in denial mode, but more than that they are looking shy of their own politics when caught. They have done in this piece everything they can do to get rid of this image. The result is that they have hurled more abuses on us than in the first criticism. Why are they so desperate? Because, they and their supporters know that after this there will grow a sense of irrelevance in having discussion or dialogue on farmers movement as also on other issues with these ‘apologists’.

That’s why in utter desperation that can be palpably felt all over in their piece their politics and hence their real face (as apologists of Corporates) stand fully, more and more exposed as one goes through their criticism. The days of pride and honours of these new avatars of Brahmins are at stake now. Let us quickly see the quote given in the footnote on page 8 of The Truth issue no. 11 which they say PRC’s author has quoted out of context.

* 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।  

They have not responded to this. They simply couldn’t. Instead they said it has been quoted out of context which is entirely wrong. Just having said that it is out of context they escaped without even talking of or mentioning the real context.

I ask readers to go through these quotes and say, are we wrong when we say that they are apologist of Corporates? what in the above quote are they up to? Are they not creating illusions about the intention of Corporates that are preparing to enter to capture the entire agrarian sector with a bang through farm laws that are equipped with new sharp teeth and predatory intent? They try to douse the ire of peasants against corporate led contract farming (which aims to establish complete control of agriculture) with the old piecemeal examples of contract farming going for the last decades about which they say have brought fortunes for the peasants. What is this, if not political fraud with an intent to cover up the dangerous design of farm laws that, if implemented with full force, would unleash disaster on peasants?

We don’t expect that super revolutionaries-turned-apologists of Corporates and reformists will ever muster as much courage as to support big capital openly and in exact words or with beating drums to acknowledge this support to the whole world. Everyone knows reformists and revisionists take to clandestine methods of supporting bourgeoisie or big bourgeoisie and thus their such politics is expressed obliquely and in fewer words, not in above board manner. Equivocation is one way to do it. They have done the same.

Anyway, when they found no way to escape from here, they now say, as said earlier, PRC has quoted them out of context. May be, but why have you not mentioned the exact context you are talking about, dear ‘apologists’? Your piece of writing (from where I have quoted) is with us and in front of me and I can say there can be no controversy on context. You are just making a fuss of it. The context is that you are defending the Corporates with the same intent as the quote shows or suggests.

After that they try to befool us and the movement by playing or juggling with words and try to take to trickery. They say, ‘we are not opposing farmers movement. We are criticising it.’ Such tricks won’t work here, dear ‘apologists’! Trying to take this slimy path, which is however not an unbeaten one and is many times beaten by the apologists of the same ilk elsewhere and hence all know about it, they take their defence thus: ‘we are neither with the US imperialism nor with Taliban.’ Very good. You equate the peasants as a whole with Taliban, alright! But what if you also paint a rosy picture about the US’s role in Taliban areas i.e. if you write at the same time that the entry of the US in Taliban area may prove fruitful to the poor citizens living under Taliban’s exploitative rule? Will then also this analogy (via Junior George Bush) apply? No sir, not at all.

II

Actually, when you write about big capital, mechanisation and unemployment in this piece, you tear apart your own gimmicks. Let us see how.

They write —

“कॉरपोरेट पूंजीपति खेतों में खाट डालकर बैठने के लिए कृषि सेक्टर में निवेश नहीं करने जा रहे हैं! कॉरपोरेट पूंजी का निवेश गांव में उत्पादन तथा संचरण की गतिविधियों में होगा ….. “

So, you try to paint a rosy picture about the present-day intent and role of big capital which means financial magnets here. It is clear that they see a progressive role of corporate capital in agriculture. Then sir, what is wrong when we say that you are apologists of Corporates?

See more …

ऐसा लगता है कि लेखक महोदय (they mean here PRC’s author) धनी किसानोंकुलकों के अस्तित्व पर ख़तरे को समूची ग्रामीण अर्थव्यवस्था और गांवों पर ही ख़तरा मान बैठे हैं औरगांवों को बचाओका रूमानी नारा दे बैठे हैं!

Though, we have not raised any such slogan as ”save the villages” slogan, yet we say that it is necessary to save the peasants as a whole from the predatory capitalism. It is our duty and a part of our politics, though not our slogan as such. And this question we raise not from the point of view of petty bourgeoisie but from the point of view of revolutionary proletariat, by placing not the partial demands but asking the peasantry to rally behind the slogan of ”overthrow the capitalists” from power, saying in capitalism it is impossible to save any intermediary strata from ruin at the hands of big capital, all the more from ruin at the hands of finance capital. The ‘apologists’ to hide their own desertion to Corporate capital, they constantly raise the question of point of view of the proletariat despite constant clarifications and rebuttals from us. Is calling for proletarian state a petty bourgeoisie point of view? Is calling for collective farms under DOP to save the peasants of today as peasants a petty bourgeoisie slogan? However, what is important here in what they have said just above is to see that they say the threat is just against the rich peasants and the kulaks and no others. Thus, they try to lower the guard of the people at large including rural poor and broad masses of poor peasants against the corporates. They are confidently saying that there is no danger whatsoever for the poor and downtrodden if Corporate takes over the agriculture and villages. And they say they are the only true friends of poor peasants! Those who talks to save the interests of the corporates can’t be their friend, let alone true friends? If the servants of Corporates are their friends who are their enemies then? This is all non-sense. We have shown in the main article that these friends of poor peasants and rural poor see in Corporate a liberator and very soon, let the Corporate victory commence after the defeat of peasant movement, and let the bands of these robbers led by Corporate capital march in the streets in rural India to rob rich peasants and ‘liberate’ poor peasants, they are preparing for saying them red salutes. This is what their politics is.

They are happy and it cannot be otherwise, as according to them the victory of big capital will end the ‘tribute’ that is imposed on them in the form of MSP by the rich and upper middle peasants. Thus, they think big capital will liberate the poor and workers. But, do they know why the monopolist are coming to take over the peasants as a whole? To impose even a bigger tribute in the form of monopoly prices as they would gradually become the master of land and agriculture both. This is what the farm laws are built for.  

Let us see what Stalin say about basic law of capitalism at its monopoly stage –

The main features and requirements of the basic economic law of modern capitalism might be formulated roughly in this way: the securing of the maximum capitalist profit through the exploitation, ruin and impoverishment of the majority of the population of the given country, through the enslavement and systematic robbery of the peoples of other countries, especially backward countries, and, lastly, through wars and militarization of the national economy, which are utilized for the obtaining of the highest profits.

It is said that the average profit might nevertheless be regarded as quite sufficient for capitalist development under modern conditions. That is not true. The average profit is the lowest point of profitableness, below which capitalist production becomes impossible. But it would be absurd to think that, in seizing colonies, subjugating peoples and engineering wars, the magnates of modern monopoly capitalism are striving to secure only the average profit. No, it is not the average profit, nor yet super-profit — which, as a rule, represents only a slight addition to the average profit — but precisely the maximum profit that is the motor of monopoly capitalism. It is precisely the necessity of securing the maximum profits that drives monopoly capitalism to such risky undertakings as the enslavement and systematic plunder of colonies and other backward countries, the conversion of a number of independent countries into dependent countries, the organization of new wars — which to the magnates of modern capitalism is the “business” best adapted to the extraction of the maximum profit — and, lastly, attempts to win world economic supremacy.” (page 39, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, bold ours)

Will our apologists learn from Stalin? Certainly not. Apologists don’t learn, they only ‘educate’ others. Their own education is out of place.

“अगर उपरोक्त कथन से लेखक महोदय (they mean here PRC’s author) का मानना यह है कि कॉरपोरेट पूँजी के आगमन के साथ कृषि क्षेत्र में बढ़ते मशीनीकरण के चलते निरपेक्ष रूप से बेरोज़गारी बढ़ेगी ही, तो भी यह ग़लत है।”

We have not said anything anywhere like this. Machinery by themselves don’t increase unemployment. Our position is that there is no progressive role of capitalist farming remaining to be seen in its next phase with Corporate on the top of it. We see destruction of not only peasant farming but also their capital invested in it as the corporates will instead resort to financialisaton at even faster rate in this sector as it is already tottering under the burden of over production, the main cause of the agrarian crisis.  

But let us see how the apologists start from here presenting a rosy picture of the present-day health of capitalist accumulation. Posing as if it is given, they go on —

मशीनीकरण के कारण, प्रति मशीन मज़दूर की संख्या घटती है। लेकिन यदि पूंजी संचय स्वस्थ अवस्था में है, यानी विस्तारित पुनरुत्पादन हो रहा है, लाभप्रद निवेश के नये अवसर पैदा हो रहे हैं, तो मशीनों की कुल संख्या में भी निरपेक्ष बढ़ोत्तरी होती है और इस प्रकार रोज़गार से विकर्षित मज़दूर आबादी को पूंजी वापस आकर्षित कर सकती है। (italic and underline ours)

So, as the time passes, the ‘apologists’ are becoming bolder and quite above board and clearly admitting the progressive role of today’s capitalist-corporate farming in the Indian agrarian sector. After this, to expect these people not to support Corporate entry in agriculture will be too much of naivety. Using a sleight of hand (which is meaningless as it’s been caught) they see today a ‘healthy state of capitalist accumulation’ going on and hence they are batting for corporate farming. Then our question is this, why do the apologists blame us for distortion when they are themselves so candidly admitting that they are ‘apologists’ of corporates. So far as our stand about stand is concerned, we see no reason why shouldn’t they support Corporates as against ‘patriarchal’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘big brotherly’, ‘communal’, ‘casteist’ and ‘anti-women’ peasants. Similarly we see no reason why they should oppose the new farm laws.

But let’s move ahead. Let’s see their method of defending Corporate that largely resembles with those of Modi Bhakts. They write…     

शहर की ओर प्रवास और खेतों से उजड़ने का काम तो हरित क्रान्ति के समय से ही जारी है। इसे ऐसे पेश करना कि यह कॉरपोरेट पूँजी के आने के साथ ही शुरू होगा ऐतिहासिक तथ्यों को ही झुठलाना है। धनी किसानों द्वारा भी पिछले चालीस वर्षों में लगातार मशीनीकरण हुआ है और खेती के क्षेत्र से अतिरिक्‍त श्रम खेती के क्षेत्र से विस्‍थापित होता रहा है। गरीब किसानों का विकिसानीकरण तो एक लम्बे समय से पहले से ही जारी है और उनकी बर्बादी के लिए धनी किसानों और कुलकों का वर्ग ही ज़िम्मेदार है जो कि गांव में आढ़ती, सूदखोर और व्यापारी की भी भूमिका निभाते हैं। लेकिन इस तथ्य के विषय में लेखक महोदय (they mean PRC’s author) ने अपने पूरे लेखन में साजिशाना चुप्पी अख्तियार की हुई है और बस कारपोरेट पूंजी द्वारा गांवों के वीरान हो जाने का हव्‍वा दिखला रहे हैं।”

Please refer to the last sentence of the above quote in which they have said that PRC’s author have not raised the issue of ruin of poor peasants at the hands of rich peasants. This is a white lie. We have written it everywhere though I am not obsessed with the past and don’t like to ignore in the name of past the present day most dangerously unfolding situations at a time when the second phase of capitalist farming with the corporates on the top of it is being begun with new farms laws enacted to give them free hand to rob the peasants. Obsession with past is good for Modi Bhakts but not for revolutionaries. Oh! I forgot that these people have long ago turned themselves first into super-duper revolutionaries and then into apologists of big capital as it so happens with their own brand of dialectics. Moreover, this is a typical example of a Modi-Bhakt defending Modi’s misdeeds in the style of ‘where were you when congress was doing such and such ….’ or ‘why are you silent about Congress’s misdeeds……’ etc. Anyway, what peeps through this paragraph is the restlessness for anyhow defending the Corporates.

Let’s reiterate to remove any confusion that in the first phase of capitalist farming the rich peasants benefitted the most at the cost of poor peasants and rural labour. But we also recognise that the new farm laws inaugurate the Corporate take over of the first phase of capitalist farming and usher in its next higher stage that will spell disaster first and foremost upon the poor peasants and only after this on other well-to-do peasants. MSP will be dismantled but not now. It is also true that ‘tribute’ (surplus profit over and above average profit, the land rent) the poor peasants and working class have had to pay will end with the dismantling of the MSP but a new and much bigger ‘tribute’ will be imposed in the form of monopoly prices which will ensure not only surplus profit over and above average profit but accrue maximum profit as the farm laws will ensure their monopoly over land and agricultural produce both. To expect in this condition any better deal for the poor peasantry from the Corporate is not foolishness, it is stretching foolishness to an absurd level. To expect for poor and downtrodden from Corporate take over promising them heaven out of Corporate led development of infrastructure and capital investment can be an expectation of their servants only. What we see is rampant financialisaton of capital. New investment of capital will remain limited to a very small area, for example in building airconditioned silos and granaries for a limited number of years. Instruments and machinery that will be mostly imported. Seed, chemicals and other related inputs will be supplied by the monopolies. That the profit accrued from the monopoly-controlled sale of agri-produce in the ‘open’ (openly monopolised) market i.e. the fact that profit accrued from agriculture will be substantially re-invested in agriculture to further increase productivity and production is doubtful as agrarian sector is already tottering under the burden of ever continuing ‘overproduction’. So only way left for the corporates to secure maximisation of profit is to financialise their gains in the financial market or stock market whether in India or abroad and resorting to speculative investments everywhere. Only diehard apologists like these people can paint such a rosy picture for the rural poor and the rural proletariat under the tutelage of Corporate led capitalist farming.    

And now they feel they have gone far too ahead in eulogising Corporate farming expecting moon from them, so they try to tread back a little to hide this. They write …          

आखिरी बात, गांवों को बचाने से कम्युनिस्टों का कोई भावुक लगाव नहीं होता। वे क्रान्ति के मित्र वर्गों के हितों के नज़रिये से अपनी रणनीति और आम रणकौशल तय करते हैं और गांवों में भी वे क्रान्ति के मित्र वर्गों के हितों के अनुसार ही अपनी रणनीति और आम रणकौशल तय करते हैं। कृषि में पूंजीवादी विकास होने के साथ गांवों की आबादी शहरों के सापेक्ष कम होगी ही और ऐतिहासिक तौर पर इसमें कुछ भी प्रतिगामी नहीं है। हम गांवों के ग़रीबों की मांगों और हक़ों के लिए लड़ेंगे और जहां कहीं जबरन लोगों का विस्थापन किया जाता है, उसके खिलाफ आवाज़ उठाएंगे। लेकिन अपने आप में ”गांवों को बचाओ” का नारा एक रूमानी नारा है, न कि कम्युनिस्ट नारा।”

But, who is becoming emotional about villages? This has been done just to attack at a place where there is no one standing. This is done just for scoring marks by those who are on the verge being declared fail in the examination.  But the most interesting thing they have written is this: the apologists say they will fight where ever the poor peasants are dispossessed by force. The poor peasants would reply – ”Sure sir, you are so kind. It is your great humility that at last you have recognised this danger. But what do you mean ”by force”, sir? If farm laws by the very mechanism inbuilt in them force us to ‘naturally’ leave villages or farming, will you recognise it as having been done ”by force”?  Or take it as usual happening under capitalism by the market rule? But sir, what will you say if the market rules themselves come under monopoly, become monopoly market rules, as it is being seen these days? So, seeing your track record, sri, we fear you will sanction everything that the corporates will do with us. Isn’t it sir? Won’t you say then, sir that whatever is done by the will, blessing and grace of God (read market) is not to be objected? Sir, your track record in this is very bad. Please go away.”

So, at first, they say to the peasants that there is nothing to feel threatened with. According to them, even they are dispossessed they will be dispossessed not by force but naturally by the logic of Market, and now, as if god’s grace has befallen on poor peasants all on a sudden, they boastfully say that if at all poor peasants will be dispossessed by force they would fight. What a joke! Even the least class-conscious poor peasants will say, “why don’t you have some peace of mind, sir? Please don’t make so much of somersaults. Take plenty of rest and then decide peacefully whether we are going to be liberated or dispossessed? Yes, yes, by the Corporates?”.

The main point is however that these superrr… rrrevolutionaries are purely and simply pro-Corporates pseudo-revolutionaries. That’s why they often need to be super-duper revolutionaries. They prove it by hurling abuses on others. These comments aside, the simple fact is however this that they are unable to cover up their desertion to Corporate interests. It may be true that they are unmindful of it, but nevertheless it makes no difference. What you objectively are is what you really are. They are unknowingly or knowingly apologists and they themselves candidly accept it. Still, they will castigate and abuse us for this. They keep doing this paragraph by paragraph as it helps them cover up or draw a veil over this treachery. There is no other purpose.

They have similarly railed against PRC’s authors in the whole piece in the same cunning manner as above castigating us on such issues as MSP with or without legal guarantee, on issues rich farmers and our so-called mending of their tails, charges of lack of elementary knowledge of Marxism, class analysis, dialectics, and what not. We have already replied. Even in this issue we have again replied (see the present article’s sub heading ‘recapitulating our differences’) but knowing fully well that they have their own agenda of trying to drag the discussion in a manner that guarantees the best possible defence of Corporates, at all costs.

In all these they are actually behaving as the inverted image of Don Quixote who, unlike our ‘apologists’, at least was driven by an ideal of fighting for the helpless and destroying those who are wicked even if he wasn’t capable of so doing. By siding with the Corporates, our ‘apologists’ have proved themselves even poorer a fellow than Don Quixote unlike whom they (the apologists) have forswore all ‘ideals’ altogether as they are progressing towards end. While Don Quixote used old horses and decayed sword, our own Don Quixote-turned-upside down uses intermittent doses of abuses as the main weapon to defend Corporates as well as to dupe the poor peasant masses by promising them a pack of ”liberator Corporates” who will free them from the burden of paying ‘tribute’ to the peasants and also help them grow in their cosy and warm companionship. After all, now is not the time when one can use horses and sword. Now is the time when you need modern fire arms that also create a lot of smoke whose thick screen is of great use in covering up behind the curtain sins.

III

Their New Distortions On The Question of Appropriate Prices And Labour Power.

In their first attack, they had said that as PRC didn’t categorically say what exactly the appropriate prices would be, so it means according to them that we are batting for remunerative prices to be given to the collective farm peasants under the conditions of DOP. This is laughable. In our last writing as published in The Truth issue number 11 we had clarified that what to talk of remunerative prices, even the question of profiteering prices won’t come and must not come for in a socialist state it can not arise because of complete elimination of wage labour as such. Let us see what we had written

“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”? … 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…. 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!

But, the ‘apologists’ are still railing the same accusations against us. That’s why we say, nothing makes any difference if they have decided to be on the side of the Corporates. But let us see more of PRC’s

” 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.”

This much, we think, is enough for their railing the issue of remunerative prices that they say PRC has allegedly promised to give to the collective farmers.

Our position is against this very concept (of apologists) according to which “if the prices are just above the cost, it is not a remunerative or profiteering price, and if the prices are 40-50% above cost it becomes remunerative or profiteering price”. Our position is that any price that fetches profit, be it super profit, maximum profit or surplus profit, is prohibited in socialism. We cannot call prices above cost a profit in socialism for they are not profit in the condition of absence of wage labour system i.e. in the condition of absence of sale and purchase of labour power. Profit without wage labour is unthinkable while wage labour in socialism is unthinkable. So, according to us prices to be paid to the collective farmers or wages paid to workers under the conditions of DOP, even if it is multiplied many times over itself will not and cannot constitute profit in the capitalist sense.

That is why we wrote –

“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, not even if it is 40-50% above the cost. It will mainly come as an aid or assistance from the proletarian state provided to the collective peasants at this stage of development of socialist economy. 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 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 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 differences between town and village remain will get eliminated. Farms will be as good as industry based on complete eradication of market and wage labour and other categories of capitalism.”

After this, there should have been no ambiguity. But it makes no difference to our educators-turned-apologists as they have a particular agenda to pursue. Anyway, let us move ahead.

Being Not Able To Deny That Appropriate Prices May Be Any Percentage Above The Cost, Our Poor Apologists Use Sleight Of Hand, Take Much Pain To ‘Defeat’ Us By Trick, Quote Stalin’s Statement (Against Bukharin) Of The NEP Period.

True to their character, finding no other ways, the apologists use a sleight of hand to demolish us in the last. He quotes Stalin’s statement of the time of the NEP period. Just imagine their dishonesty. The matter under discussion belongs to the arena of the victory of Collective farm mass movement, when the kulaks were eliminated as a class, socialist industrialisation had emerged victorious with flying colours and even the last traces of pre-1917 Russia’s exploitative past were swept away, but, our ‘apologists’ are so shameless that they quote Stalin’s statement that he gave to fight Bukharin’s line of giving primacy to Kulaks for the development of agrarian economy. He (Bukharin) had to say that that if kulaks grow richer it is advantageous to socialism for it helps in getting more grain. At that time, the kulaks used to sell most of their grain after giving away what was required to give to the state in the form of tax in kind, in the open markets in which even private industrialists also used to deal. At that time, giving any price above cost was a profit and did go as profit to the kulaks. How can then Stalin’s statement against Bukharin be used to refute a particular fact in discussion about prices above cost that belongs to a timeline many years hence since then i.e. when there were no kulaks, not only that there were no Bukharins or Trotskys either, there were no free play of market forces and hence no prices above the cost could constitute profit as wage labour was completely abolished not only in the collectives but also in other sectors. This is just peculiar, simply astonishing and unbecoming of intellectuals these apologists are supposed to be. This has actually shown their level. When they have turned over to Corporates, they don’t think even of their own prestige that has been constantly falling.

Our apologists are truly Don Quixote-turned-upside down!

Actually, Bukharin in the said period, wanted to put a brake upon or relax the role of the state as the regulator of the market and in essence also of the whole economy. It is altogether a different case. How come the apologists mustered courage to put it here as a logic in our debate on ”appropriate prices” is something amazing for us. In their vein to rail against us, they can stoop to any low.

Stalin criticizing Bukharin writes this (I am quoting from the apologists’ quotes).

“Bukharin proposes to ”normalise” the market and to “manoeuvre” with grain-procurement prices according to areas i.e., to raise the price of grain. What does this mean? It means that he wants to put a brake on the role of the state as the regulator of the market and proposes that concessions be made to the petty-bourgeois elemental forces, which are disrupting NEP from the Right.” (bold and underline ours to highlight the fact the it belonged to NEP period. Moreover, Bukharin was nowhere in the picture or in the party in the time under discussion)

As if Don Quixote turned-upside down has become alive before our eyes! With the next issue of Truth their mental balance will surely deceive them for ever.

But let see their courage as is reflecting and shining through this quote. It is the courage of those whose brain has failed to reason. They bravely but fraudulently quote this useless quotation.

क्या बुखारिन की कार्यदिशा की स्तालिन द्वारा रखी गयी यह आलोचना शब्दश: पीआरसी के लेखक के ऊपर लागू नहीं होती? क्या स्तालिन के उपरोक्त उद्धरणों से यह स्पष्ट नहीं है कि पीआरसी सीपीआई (एमएल) के लेखक की अवस्थिति बुखारिन की ही अवस्थिति का भोंडा संस्करण है? स्तालिन स्पष्ट रूप से कहते हैं कि यह मज़दूर वर्ग और ग़रीब किसानों के मोर्चे को तोड़कर शहरी और ग्रामीण धनिकों के साथ सम्बन्ध स्थापित करना है। बुखारिनपंथियों की तरह ही हमारे पीआरसी सीपीआई (एमएल) के लेखक महोदय वर्ग संघर्ष की गतिकी को भुला चुके हैं।”

Well done dear ‘apologists’! Keep it up!! 

IV

But the most interesting thing has happened on the question of procurement and purchase prices. I am amazed at their boldness!

1. In the first instalment of their criticism of PRC on the question of appropriate prices, they had written that the procurement prices were little above the cost.

सामूहिक फार्मों द्वारा अपने उपयोग हेतु रख लिये जाने के बाद बाकी बचे उत्‍पाद के एक बड़े हिस्‍से (63%) को राज्‍य लागत से बहुत कम ऊपर दर पर ख़रीदता था, जि‍से खरीद दाम (procurement price| कहा जाता था, जबकि बाकी बचे हिस्‍से (27%) को बिकवाली दाम (purchase price) पर खरीदा जाता था।” (underline ours which means that the state purchased the biggest portion of the product that remained after the collective kept for their own use at a price little above the cost)

Now in the second instalment of their criticism, they speak in another language. The procurement price that was little above the cost has now become very little or low price.  

उत्पादन का सबसे बड़ा हिस्सा इसी बेहद नीची कीमत पर ख़रीदा जाता था।” (underline ours)

2. The apologists have deliberately distorted M. Dobb whom he has quoted just above. Let us see what Maurice Dobb writes and how ‘the apologists’ have distorted him in a fraction of a minute.

“In addition to these obligatory deliveries at “delivery prices”, there were so-called “decentralised collections “, which were the result of voluntary sales-contracts to the State at “State purchase prices” which were considerably higher than the former.” i.e. the delivery prices (PRC’s author)

Our apologists distort this statement according to their own need of logic and write

उसके बाद जो उत्पाद बचता था उसे बिकवाली दाम पर (जो कि प्राप्ति दाम से कुछ ज़्यादा था) सरकार को और कोलखोज बाज़ार, यानी कलेक्टिव फार्मों के खुले बाज़ार में बेचने के लिए सामूहिक किसान मुक्त थे और वहां कीमतों को मुख्यत: बाज़ार की स्थितियां निर्धारित करती थीं। 

So, Maurice Dobb writes that the state purchase prices were considerably higher than the delivery prices and these people wishfully distorts it to be प्राप्ति दाम से कुछ ज़्यादा (little more than procurement prices)

3. Now another sleight of hand had been used…. the Dobb’s quote above in point 2 mentions nothing about the Market situations governing the state purchase prices, but, the apologists distorts it too to mean that the purchase prices and the Kolkhoz prices both were subject to variation in the situation of the market.

इसके बाद जो उत्पाद बचता था उसे बिकवाली दाम पर (जो कि प्राप्ति दाम से कुछ ज़्यादा था) सरकार को और कोलखोज बाज़ार, यानी कलेक्टिव फार्मों के खुले बाज़ार में बेचने के लिए सामूहिक किसान मुक्त थे और वहां कीमतों को मुख्यत: बाज़ार की स्थितियां निर्धारित करती थीं। “ (underline ours)

What does it mean in the first place? In the very first place it means that state prices were subject to Marker situations by which they (‘apologists’) seem to say that the role of state as the regulator of economy and market ceased to exists beyond fixed delivery quotas, so that the state purchase prices, which were based on voluntary contract well before the production and sowing, were also subject to market fluctuations.

This is the height of stupidity and in their utter lack of knowledge they have stretched it to its absurdities for they mean to say that the market forces were so strong and free in Soviet socialism that they could make the state prices also fluctuate! Only a charlatan like our apologists can paint such a distasteful picture of Soviet Socialism.

The true fact however is that market forces were not so much free to determine the state purchase prices and undermine the role of state as the sole regulator of the market. They were also not so much free to determine the prices of the Kolkhoz market in whose case they did show some tendency of speculation on some occasions in the early years of consolidation of collective farms, (in 1932, for example) that too because of the remnants of bourgeoisie-induced lure of higher prices found among collective peasants.

The purpose of this whole exercise of distortion or commission and omission is to prove that the prices given to the collective farmers was just little above the cost on the whole. It is yet again proved that apologists are apologist because they commit themselves completely to serve the purpose and interests of their master at whatever costs.

V

Now come to whatever happens to the value of labour in Socialism.

Let us consider a Marx’s illustration to show how labour is divided into necessary labour and surplus labour during a labour process in a capitalist mode of production where labour power is sold and bought. This is how Marx explains this –

“The capital C is made up of two components, one, the sum of money c laid out upon the means of production, and the other, the sum of money v expended upon the labour-power; c represents the portion that has become constant capital, and v the portion that has become variable capital. At first then, C = c + v: for example, if £500 is the capital advanced, its components may be such that the £500 = £410 const. + £90 var. When the process of production is finished, we get a commodity whose value = (c + v) + s, where s is the surplus value; or taking our former figures, the value of this commodity may be (£410 const. + £90 var.) + £90 surpl. The original capital has now changed from C to C’, from £500 to £590. The difference is s or a surplus value of £90. Since the value of the constituent elements of the product is equal to the value of the advanced capital, it is mere tautology to say, that the excess of the value of the product over the value of its constituent elements, is equal to the expansion of the capital advanced or to the surplus value produced. 

Now let us consider a society which is still producing commodities but without wage labour which has been done away with i.e. without labour power being sold or bought. Then in this condition, from (c + v) + s which is equal to the value of the commodity and where s is the surplus value; s will not appear as surplus labor no more exists in the absence of labour power being sold or bought. But it is a part of the labour process and a worker who labours or expends his labour power (every other things remaining as it was) does put it in the commodities. Then, does it vanish into air? Will it get buried somewhere? No. It can not vanish. If all other factors remain the same, both v and s will combine and take the form of a bigger V. The amount of necessary labour increases or we can say the value of labour power increases or variable capital expended on labour power in the form of wages increases. Now the value of commodity C can be considered as C= c + (v+s) or C = c + V where V = s+v.

What I want to prove here is that in socialism, labour power is not sold or bought it is true but its value remains in existence.

But, will it remain in calculation, too? Yes, It will. It will also remain in calculation so long as commodities with which labour power expended is compensated are exchanged according to their values (remember here that machines producing machines or the higher forms of means of production no longer remain as commodities except in case of a foreign trade) or on the basis of law of value.

Our apologists in a hurry to demolish us have picked up a wrong weapon which backfires and will shoot them down only. They thought that in socialism because labour power is not exchanged i.e. sold and brought as all other commodities, hence it will also become valueless and it won’t come in calculation even when the commodities that compensate expended the labour power are still exchanged at their values.

If a worker labours without being sold to a capitalist, will the value of labour power vanishes or not arise. Let us hear Marx on this –

“If instead of working for the capitalist, he worked independently on his own account, he would, other things being equal, still be obliged to labour for the same number of hours, in order to produce the value of his labour-power, and thereby to gain the means of subsistence necessary for his conservation or continued reproduction.”

The value of labour power go into calculation, though not directly but indirectly via commodities that are used to compensate the expended labour. Can it be also confirmed by our teachers directly or indirectly? Let us hear Comrade Stalin himself. He writes —

“But the operation of the law of value is not confined to the sphere of commodity circulation. It also extends to production. True, the law of value has no regulating function in our socialist production, but it nevertheless influences production, and this fact cannot be ignored when directing production. As a matter of fact, consumer goods, which are needed to compensate the labour power expended in the process of production, are produced and realized in our country as commodities coming under the operation of the law of value. It is precisely here that the law of value exercises its influence on production.”

So, it is clear that even though labour power under socialism doesn’t remain as commodity, and it is a very important thing to remember, its value goes into calculation indirectly, via the values of commodities as said above. It is just done in the same manner as law of value exercises its influence on production even though it doesn’t regulate it i.e. doesn’t have regulating function.

Stalin teaches us that the value form of measurement of labour expended on the production of goods is their round about and indirect method of measurement which persists and continues as a necessary evil in the first phase of communism i.e. under socialism, that soviet socialism actually was. It disappears or tends to disappear even in the first phase of communism, whenever and where ever it is or has been measured directly, by the amount of time or the number of hours expended on the production of goods. It was tried in this limited sense (limited because commodities were still to be produced) in collective forms, too and to that limited sense, the value form of measurement of amount of labour, effected by labour power in motion for a given time or total expended labour power in a given time disappeared too in the same limited sense. It will however completely disappear only with the complete disappearance of commodity production in the second phase of communism only when value as a measurement of amount of labour will be directly expressed by the number of hours or by another measurement of amount of time expended on the production of goods. Stalin says that “It will be a society in which production will be regulated by the requirements of society, and computation of the requirements of society will acquire paramount importance for the planning bodies.”

Stalin also teaches us that inspite of value form of measurement of amount of labour expended in a labour process remaining in place till the complete disappearance of commodity production, the distribution of labour among/in different branches of production will not be governed or regulated on the basis of this value form its measurement. or by law of value.

Stalin also suggests that old concepts and old terms must be made consistent with the new situations that has come into being in the condition of victory of socialism in the USSR. For example, talk of necessary labour and surplus labour is superfluous as all labour belongs to workers, either directly or indirectly as under the conditions of socialism, ”the labour contributed by the workers to society for the extension of production, the promotion of education and public health, the organization of defence, etc., is just as necessary to the working class, now in power, as the labour expended to supply the personal needs of the worker and his family ” – says Stalin.

Let us Conclude this discussion

Under capitalism, ‘during the second period of the labour-process, that in which his labour is no longer necessary labour, the workman, it is true, labours, expends labour-power; but his labour, being no longer necessary labour, he creates no value for himself. He creates surplus value which, for the capitalist, has all the charms of a creation out of nothing.’

So, it is only necessary labour that belongs to him (a worker) under capitalism. What happens under socialism, as we have mentioned above, too is that Under socialism, the total labour belongs to him, either directly or indirectly. When directly, his wages i.e. the value of his labour power increases which will get reflected in his greater share that he gets from the entire social labour. When indirectly, it again goes to his well-being in the form of social welfare which collectively belongs to him as has been said by Stalin just above.

Stalin quoting Marx from Gotha programme, writes –

“It should be remarked that in his Critique of the Gotha Program, where it is no longer capitalism that he is investigating, but, among other things, the first phase of communist society, Marx recognizes labour contributed to society for extension of production, for education and public health, for administrative expenses, for building up reserves, etc., to be just as necessary as the labour expended to supply the consumption requirements of the working class.”

So, comrade readers! This is how matter stands with respect to labor and the value of labour power. Coming back to the discussion which is going on between us and the ‘apologists’, seeing the direction in which it is going, we are worried a lot. We very well know from the very beginning that we are here in for a completely futile exercise of debating with them so far as the fruits of this exercise are concerned. with the least hope and consolation that it may be advantageous to the movement, at least in this negative sense that how a debate must not be carried. So far as ourselves are concerned, we don’t expect any learning, not even the least of it. How one can expect to learn from such a debate? But then, what to do when it is forcefully thrust upon us? And so we have had to take a decision. When we have put this extremely sour and big apple in mouth, let us swallow it, too.


Post Script [II] : From MSP To Purchase Guarantee

M. Aseem

Scientific method demands that any theory, however elegant, cogent and logical, be constantly tested against facts and observations obtained from practice and enriched wherever in conflict with such facts. This method of science also needs to be applied to ongoing farmers agitation to understand how and why an agitation, in its origin that of kulaks and rich farmers, has been able to consolidate sympathy and support of not only wider peasant community including small and marginal peasants but to some extent even that of working class.

As the name itself denotes about the history of its genesis, Minimum Support Price (MSP) was a measure of support to ensure minimum price to farmer producers in case the market prices went below the level of MSP. That implies an assumption at that time that the prices usually remain above this level. However, if the prices in the open market went below this level owing to increased supply, MSP would act as an emergency insurance policy for the farmers enabling them to avoid losses by selling to government at this price so that farmers will not be discouraged from growing cereals like wheat, paddy, etc. It was never a guarantee of buying whole produce by the government and the government procurement mechanism was initially designed only to cater to the needs of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and later also the Buffer Stocks. Such is the initial history of MSP.

To understand the issue better we need to go into the history of the government determined price mechanism for agricultural produce and evolution of the demand of farmers’ agitations. In the pre-independence period, colonial British government had actually laid down Market Cap on maximum prices during 1930s and 1940s to prevent profiteering in food crops as the production at that time was usually less than demand and trader stockists jacked up market prices at the time of scarcity, real or created artificially by hoarding. Sir Choturam, the prominent farmer leader of pre independence Punjab led a movement in 1940s to get the market cap for wheat increased from Rs 5 per maund (or mann) to Rs 10 per maund.

In 1960s and 1970s, the production saw a rise under Green Revolution. However, it was still usually less than required consumption and market prices were quite volatile, mostly higher than MSP. Even if the prices were lower at the time of harvest, these tended to go higher a few months later. Hence the rich and middle farmers themselves preferred selling their produce in open market to government procurement at MSP, except in years of depressed prices.  In the 1970s there appeared the market for tin storage silos capable of storing 20-25 quintals of cereals and several of these, sometimes dozens, could soon be seen in most houses belonging to rich and middle farmers enabling them to store several tonnes of not only their own harvest but also that of poor peasants in their own villages who were forced to sell on distress prices as they needed immediate cash. The richer peasants thus could stock up on wheat or paddy and sell these a few months later when the market prices almost invariably went up above MSP levels. (Ironically these silos also brought and made Celphos (sulfas) poison ubiquitous, which in later days became the most used method for increasing suicides in villages.)

Farmers were in fact so reluctant to sell to the government in 1970s that it had to impose a Levy proportionate to the cropped area of land, i.e., a minimum quantity to be mandatorily sold to government agencies so that it would have at least the minimum required to operate PDS, even though a very limited one at the time. Many a times raids under police protection had to be resorted to for the purpose as the farmers tended to hide their harvested grains to avoid selling to the government. Of course, the distress selling small, poor peasants did not have that luxury and had to immediately sell all they had. They couldn’t take their produce to the procurement centres to sell at MSP in case when Market prices fell too low. Whatever little marketable surplus they had, as forced pressed they were for cash, had to be sold at distressed prices to some trader or farmer-cum-trader in the village itself who could later profit from it by storing it to sell later at higher prices. Hence the old statistics are correct when they tell us that only 6% farmers benefited from MSP – richer farmers found it useful only in years when markets failed for them because of low prices while smaller poor peasants were unable to get the benefit at all.

No need to go in detail but similar is the story of west UP farmers’ agitations regarding sugarcane prices. Their idea was simple and straightforward – freedom to sell at higher open market prices if the cane crushers and kolhus were paying higher and putting pressure on Sugar mills to buy maximum possible produce on government determined prices in case the prices in open market were lower.

This amply demonstrates that the rich and middle farmers didn’t then (initially) find capitalist market opposed to their interests. They rather saw profit for themselves in the volatility of prices in capitalist markets and were, therefore, attracted to them. This was also reflected in the old farmers’ movements of 1970s to 1990s. The arguments present in their speeches, articles and statements of 4 prominent farmer leaders of those days – Choudhary Charan Singh, Mahendra Singh Tikait, Sharad Joshi and Nanjundaswami – are clear evidence of this. They essentially reasoned that the farmers unlike all other commodity sellers are not free to sell wherever they want and at whatever prices they want. All other sellers decide their own prices and are free to sell anywhere. But the prices of farmers’ produce are decided by the traders and arhatiyas (commission agents) in the mandi or the government and they have no option but to sell at these prices decided and offered by the buyers. (Though this is not correct in entirety as the market prices are determined in the main by the inter se movement of demand and supply in the market).  Therefore, they emphatically demanded the freedom for farmers also to sell their produce when they wanted, wherever they wanted and at whatever price they wanted like other sellers. To sum up, the rich farmers in that period were fundamentally in support of free trade in agricultural commodities as they considered themselves to be the dominant players in this market. However, they also asked the government to provide an insurance policy to them in the form of MSP in case the market tanked.

But the Modi government is claiming to offer them exactly this very freedom of open market trading through these farm laws. The question then arises – why then the farmers are resisting this? Why have they gone and sat at the very borders of Delhi saying that this is an attack by corporate capital on farmers and conspiracy to dispossess them of their land?

So, what has transpired in the meantime? Actually, the capitalist market has moved forward in last three decades in accordance with its own dynamics according to its inherent laws. As a result after three decades of neoliberal economic policies of capitalism a big section of rich and middle farmers, who were earlier enthralled by free trade and open markets, now finds that the pond in which they thought themselves to be the bigger fish getting able to devour and digest small fish has, moving through the lake of national capitalist market, has now completely merged in the ocean of global capitalist market, the ocean which also contains many big sharks and crocodiles compared to whom these rich farmers can very well comprehend that they, in fact, are only prey and not predators. Hence the same market volatility which earlier seemed to favour them is now poised to bankrupt not only poor small and marginal farmers but also many of these rich farmers. Hence, they now want to turn back the forward movement of the very wheel of capitalist markets and are demanding a guarantee from the government to purchase all their produce at assured ‘remunerative’ prices determined by it.

The development of capitalist production in agriculture during previous three decades has, like in all other industries, resulted that inherent problem of capitalist production, i.e., the problem of over-production – production not ‘over’ to the social needs but in excess of the demand in the market. A report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that 75% of the Indian population cannot afford to buy sufficient food stuffs for a balanced diet and are forced to live in semi-starvation. Hence on one hand people suffer from malnutrition, on the other production of food grains has exceeded demand in the market and more than eight crore tonnes of food grain stocks are lying in the government warehouses. Owing to the supply exceeding market demand the prices of farmers’ produce now rarely go high and mostly remain lower than MSP. However, the prices for rural and urban consumers are still quite exorbitant. But we will not discuss the reasons for that here. That is why the attraction of farmers towards government procurement at MSP has increased in the recent years with farmers in states like MP, Chhattisgarh, Odisha in addition to Punjab, Haryana and West UP increasingly pressurising government to procure their produce on MSP and long queues at government purchase centres have been in news in recent years. Hence, recent reports by researchers like Ritika Khera have found that the number of farmers availing MSP has gone up from 6% earlier to between 18 and 22% now. This same tendency is finding expression in the farmers’ agitation as opposition to free trade and demand of purchase guarantee of all produce at assured ‘remunerative’ prices.

Another effect of this is in the attraction of the small and marginal farmers mostly unable to avail MSP till now to this demand of purchase guarantee. First and foremost, any commodity producer in capitalist economy, however small the resulting profit because of the small quantity of marketable surplus, has a natural inclination to higher prices. Second, even the small marginal farmers, despite their produce sometimes being less than that required for their own consumption, are compelled to be sellers in the market. The reality today is that only poets can talk of not being buyers in the market, for all else capitalism has made it impossible in real life since everyone is forced to be a buyer in the market for bare necessities of day to day life. And to become a buyer, one is bound to be a seller first. Therefore, even those whose production is less than their own consumption tend to sell a part of it in the market, though they are forced to buy these later from the same market through becoming wage workers. One can see children of buffalo owners going without milk since they must sell it in the market to earn some hard needed cash.  Anyone can see large number of such examples in the villages. Another reason for rural semi-proletariat to be attracted to this agitation is the frightening crisis of unemployment. The alternative to tilling their small parcels of land by moving to wage work in industry has also been largely foreclosed by the effects of Demonetisation to Lockdown in accentuating the natural consequences of the capitalist production system – a large reserve army of unemployed labour. The section of small marginal peasants affected by this double whammy of crisis is getting attracted to the guarantee of purchase of agricultural produce at assured remunerative prices.

Thus, the farmers’ agitation led by the rich farmers has acquired its current sizeable strength by getting the sympathy and support of broad sections of the peasant population. However, this has also created a problem for the current leadership as it has made difficult for them to retreat from this demand of purchase guarantee on assured prices. Several of their leaders have faced the ire of common farmers after talking of compromise on this. Hence the very strength of this movement has also turned into its sharpest contradiction.      

It also needs be understood that the new farm laws are not detrimental to the interests of all farmers. A thin uppermost stratum of rich farmers has now metamorphosed into small-medium capitalists passing through the stages of being agri-entrepreneurs dabbling into agro-processing industries, seed-fertiliser-pesticide sellers, petrol-diesel dealers, brick kiln owners, tractor-bike-agricultural implements dealers, etc to commission agents and directors of cooperative sugar mills and cooperative banks. Their interests are now completely aligned to corporate capitalist class. The farmer producer companies being newly formed now are also controlled by this stratum. This section cannot remain stuck with the demand for purchase guarantee at assured remunerative prices since the agriculture produce is raw material for them and lower prices of these are in their own interest. They only need some protection from big capital which the government is ready to offer them. Hence they are bound to break away from this movement at some stage but after creating some panic in the ranks.

If we analyse the demand of purchase guarantee for all agricultural produce at fixed prices by the government then it also leads to the demand for the public distribution of foodstuff at fixed prices. But market and trade are the very basis of capitalist system whereas this demand negates the private trade in agricultural produce. Therefore, capitalist state is in no position to concede this demand. Besides, looked at from another angle, while opposing contract farming with private capital, it is a demand by the farmers for the state to have direct contract for farming with them. But, can the capitalist state do that?

The purchase guarantee of whole agricultural produce at fixed prices or contract farming between state and farmers is possible only in a socialist state. Only a socialist state with planned economy for fulfilling needs of the society can contract with the farmers to supply them all necessary inputs and implements and buy their surplus produce at assured prices to fulfil food requirements of non-agricultural population. The collective farming in USSR and Socialist China was based on such a contract. Thus, we find that the farmers, though not ideologically conscious of this, have been forced by their practical experience of capitalist agriculture and open markets to a demand that transcends the bounds of the existing capitalist system. But majority of the leadership of this movement will make all out attempt to get rid of this demand.

If the working class was at this moment class conscious and organised under the leadership of its own proletarian vanguard party, what action would it take? Would such a party have told the farmers to first become proletarians as necessitated by the dynamics of capitalist system, so that the party could then organise them for revolution?  What did the Bolshevik party led by great Lenin do when, in 1917, Russian farmers rose against Tsar and bourgeois state demanding peace and land? The Bolsheviks told the peasants that only a workers’ state could ensure what they were asking. Today also the demand of the majority farmers can only be fulfilled by a workers’ socialist state. And that is the historical task of most advanced class of history vis-à-vis the Indian farmers.

About Lenin’s Leadership And October Revolution

Let us be very short on this.

Inasmuch as making revolution is an act of art and science full of sharp and acute turns that necessitates splendid display of utmost flexibility with a purpose of winning people to its side and also utilizing even the least of possibilities without uprooting one’s legs from where it should be, then October Revolution is the finest examples among all revolutions that we have read about and seen in whole history. Lenin and in his leadership, Bolsheviks showed that though their eyes were fixed at the target, they would take all possible routes and paths, utilize every contradiction and use all twists and turns to the advantage of the proletariat and make sure those paths and turns meet at a point so that a combination and confluence of favourable things emerges that pushes them on the top and help them reach the target in no time and without much delay and difficulties. October Revolution is an embodiment of all these.

Lenin writes

Capitalism would not be capitalism if the proletariat pur sang were not surrounded by a large number of exceedingly motley types intermediate between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns his livelihood in part by the sale of his labour-power), between the semi-proletarian and the small peasant (and petty artisan, handicraft worker and small master in general), between the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less developed strata, if it were not divided according to territorial origin, trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on. From all this follows the necessity, the absolute necessity, for the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, its class-conscious section, to resort to changes of tack, to conciliation and compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and small masters. It is entirely a matter of knowing how to apply these tactics in order to raise—not lower—the general level of proletarian class-consciousness, revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Bolsheviks’ victory over the Mensheviks called for the application of tactics of changes of tack, conciliation and compromises, not only before but also after the October Revolution of 1917, but the changes of tack and compromises were, of course, such as assisted, boosted and consolidated the Bolsheviks at the expense of the Mensheviks. __ The Communists’ proper tactics should consist in utilising these vacillations, not ignoring them; utilising them calls for concessions to elements that are turning towards the proletariat—whenever and in the measure that they turn towards the proletariat—in addition to fighting those who turn towards the bourgeoisie. As a result of the application of the correct tactics, Menshevism began to disintegrate, and has been disintegrating more and more in our country; the stubbornly opportunist leaders are being isolated, and the best of the workers and the best elements among the petty-bourgeois democrats are being brought into our camp. This is a lengthy process, and the hasty “decision”— “No compromises, no manoeuvres”—can only prejudice the strengthening of the revolutionary proletariat’s influence and the enlargement of its forces.” (p.74-75, Volume 31 LCW)

Lenin as a true leader was capable of seeing things and their course of action in advance. That’s why he proved himself an invincible leader who could always pave a new path to revolution if one is shattered or closed and didn’t let slip any opportunity away that happened to come on his way. He said and did things which no one even imagined at that time. He didn’t allow history to rule over him like heap of dead things. For him, history was like a living source of light and the rest depended upon the concrete analysis of prevailing concrete situations in the light of dialectical materialism. Lenin was best at this. He never missed the wood while counting the trees.

His best of abilities was to see things and their course of action well in advance that gave him power of imagining and dreaming things that no one else of his time could do. That’s why we see that even his close comrades (Stalin included) at times couldn’t understand what Lenin was thinking or up to. This happened with the debate on nationalisation of land which Stalin and the majority of his comrades opposed and voted for redistribution of land tenure in 1903. The same thing happened with April Thesis to some extent which many of his close comrades didn’t understand in the beginning and only later, by the next only, did they come in full support. There are many such examples. He was the beacon of light for the Bolsheviks only in this sense. He grew as an authority only thus. He usually saw things in incipient stage itself and then magnified them to make them visible to others which still all were not capable of seeing.

We see Lenin say what one could not even imagine, let alone daring to say. In Two Tactics Of Social Democracy, when others were asking, as everyone will naturally do, to learn from revolution, he asked workers and his comrades to get revolution to learn from them and their act. What he meant was to impart proletarian imprints on the bourgeois democratic revolution, the stage of revolution that Russian Society was at that time, and also provide a proletarian turn to it to make it most advantageous to workers and peasants in the sense that it could be immediately be led to next stage of revolution i.e. the socialist stage of revolution. What he wanted was to make the most use of the bourgeois revolution for the working class.

Similarly, when the question of cultural backwardness of Russian working class and peasantry was raised to prove why Bolshevik mustn’t take power, what he said was unique. He posed a counter question asking, why couldn’t working class take power first which is possible to take and then do the cultural revolution?

Many said that owing to the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie and the lack of bourgeois development Bolshevik won’t be able to usher in or build Socialism, while Lenin turned it into one of the strong points of the success of the October Revolution. A weak bourgeoisie was one of the reasons why the Bolsheviks could take power so easily. 

When peasants’ small and scattered land holdings and the resultant small scale production was sought to be one reason to prove that socialism can’t be built here unless international working class comes to rescue, he was of the view that the broad masses of the peasantry can be turned into an ally of working class power by giving appropriate concessions including buying ‘peace’ with those sections who are most likely to act like enemies till the collectivisation of peasants are taken up in full swing. (to continue in the next issue)


[1] This is the second instalment of the reply to a criticism presented in ‘Aahwan’ magazine which can be read by clicking here. The first instalment of this reply has been published in ‘The Truth’, Issue 11 (March 2021) which can be read by clicking here. The Hindi versions of these two instalments have been published in ‘Yatharth’, Issue 11-12 which can be accessed here (first) and here (second).

[2] The recent spate of attacks by police and fascist cadres on the leaders and masses of the movement in different parts of the country testifies to this.   

[3] See their latest piece purportedly written by Sunny Singh which can be accessed here..

[4] For more please see the Post Script-1 of this essay (published in this Issue after this essay).

[5] For more on this, one should read a short comment made by Comrade Mukesh Aseem “From MSP To Purchase Guarantee” being published in this Issue as Post Script-2 of this essay. In Hindi, it was already originally published in Yatharth Issue 9 (January 2021). Though it is short, which I would like it to be made fully analytical and comprehensive, yet it covers almost all the essential information and points. 

[6] The thin uppermost stratum of rich farmers who are more a class of agri-business entrepreneurs than farmers, ‘dabbling into different agro-processing industries. They are also seed-fertiliser-pesticide sellers, petrol-diesel dealers, brick kiln owners, tractor-bike-agricultural implements dealers, commission agents and directors of cooperative sugar mills and cooperative banks.’ On the whole, ‘their interests are now completely aligned to corporate capitalist class.’ We may call them junior partners or their commission agents, too. The farmer producer companies being newly formed now are also controlled by the rich peasants of this stratum. They are going to be the next main targets if the farmers movement continues and further deepens. But, if it (the movement) fails, then also, on its ruins will emerge new such movement or a series of such movements which will become more and more aligned to working class.

[7] in the form as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission make it C2 + 50%.

[8] Varuni in one of her videos uploaded on Facebook spoke that farmers will hoard because of the amendments done in essential commodities act, one of the three farm laws that scraps restrictions put on hoarding of grain.  

[9] The debate on ‘spontaneous’ and ‘forced’ dispossession will be taken up in the next instalment.

[10] I have clarified our stand with respect to this in our last instalment itself and the whole needn’t be repeated here in as many words. However, it can be reiterated in short that What PRC is interested in is this that peasants have to be told on their faces that MSP even if it is legalised and MSP is declared for all the produce and even for every peasant from poor to rich as being voiced by the movement, their ruin is not going to stop or come to an end. PRC’s policy is to intervene with the call that only a proletarian state and a complete re-organisation and re-building of agriculture on socialist lines can rescue the agitating peasants from the vagaries of capitalist farming. This has been our stand according to which we can’t run away from the task of intervening into it in the most possible proletarian manner. Sofar as our stand on lower rung sections of rich peasants are concerned, we have been saying that we can only sympathise with them if they are also being ruined and the best we can do for them is that we won’t take them as our enemies if they don’t oppose socialisation of agriculture as proposed by the revolutionary proletariat to the whole agitating peasants. This is what can we reiterate here for interested readers. For more, I refer to The Truth, Issue 11.

[11] This word is however not a synonym of rural bourgeoisie. He means here peasant bourgeoisie. We will see that Lenin used the word ‘rich peasant’ not for bourgeoisie, though rural bourgeoisie develop from rich peasants. Stalin writes in HCPSU about it. He says – “From among the more well-to-do peasants there was emerging an upper layer of kulaks, the rural bourgeoisie.” It means rural bourgeoise was constituted of the upper layer of kulaks. Stalin once again wites – “This peasant bourgeoisie was growing rich …. developing into rural capitalists“. Here also, he differentiates between the two. (p.6, HCPSU, bold ours)

[12] Here it is clear that Lenin didn’t consider the rich peasants per se as bourgeoisie.

[13] see LCW Vol 29 p.203

[14] Lenin had to accept this as this was the peasants’ majority view reflected in the form of peasant mandates. Lenin had clearly expressed his disagreement with this but accepted it. Lenin wanted socialised farming instead, but the peasants were not ready for this at that time. Lenin wrote – “ We Bolsheviks were opposed to this law. Yet we signed it, because we did not want to oppose the will of the majority of peasants. The majority will is binding on us always, and to oppose the majority will is to betray the revolution. We did not want to impose on the peasants the idea that the equal division of the land was useless, an idea which was alien to them. Far better, we thought, if, by their own experience and suffering, the peasants themselves come to realise that equal division is nonsense. Only then could we ask them how they would escape the ruin and kulak domination that follow from the division of the land.

[15] “Having settled on the principles of organization of the new, Soviet industry, the Party proceeded to tackle the problems of the countryside, which at this period was in the throes of a struggle between the poor peasants and the kulaks. The kulaks were gaining strength and seizing the lands confiscated from the landlords. The poor peasants needed assistance.” (see p.221-22, HCPSU)

[16] The main reason was dependence for grain on them as collective farms were just beginning to be built, that too sporadically and in scattered manner. Naturally the poor peasants farming could in no way make up for what kulaks produced. On the other hand socialist industrialisation hadn’t even begun.

[17] Lenin wrote in this way, “We have nothing against you either, but hand over your surplus grain, don’t profiteer and don’t exploit the labour of others. Until you do so we shall hit you with everything we’ve got. We are taking nothing from the working peasants; but we shall completely expropriate all those who employ hired labour and who grow rich at the expense of others.”

[18] see above footnote.

[19] Our apologists however will oppose this. According to their Hindi literature (Disha Sandhan), as the ‘great Marxist thinker’ Abhinav Sinha writes in its July-Sept 2015 issue that the change in policy towards the middle peasants was forced and something tactical, a retreat and not natural whereas the fact is that the middle peasants were very much part of the collective farms even after kulaks were eliminated after 1929. He has created so much of confusion on this as well on NEP while debating with Bettelheim who is of the same ilk as our apologists, that a separate essay is required for that. We shall take this up in our subsequent instalments.               

[20] “It was easier for us to begin, …. because the unusual …political backwardness of the tsarist monarchy gave unusual strength to the revolutionary onslaught of the masses. Secondly, Russia’s backwardness merged in a peculiar way the proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie with the peasant revolution against the landowners. That is what we started from in October 1917, and we would not have achieved victory so easily then if we had not. As long ago as 1856, Marx spoke, in reference to Prussia; of the possibility of a peculiar combination of proletarian revolution and peasant war. (p.316, vol 39 LCW)

[21] It would not have been ‘in accord with their view’ – Lenin writes. He says – “ At this stage the peasants were not yet divided into proletarians, semi-proletarians, poor peasants and bourgeoisie.” (see p.149 LCW vol – 28) 

[22] He had suggested to let them meet their fate independently for quite some time till they are fully ruined in the face of the most vigorous ever expropriation drive of Corporates, the new masters and agents of farming. Engels knew that they would not agree easily to shun their exploitative tendencies and accept surviving on the fruits of their own labour. In the meantime, the proletarian state must establish unity with all other peasants in collective farms or communes. Suppressing them may not be required in most of such cases. Such a condition exists in India where a section of rich peasants with lesser fortunes have started facing the ill effects of capitalist farming. Our efforts and tactics must be to neutralise and restrict their influence by way of sympathising them and at the same exposing the hollowness of their old belief of growing rich based on the exploitation and oppression of others.

[23] Stalin writes- “The peasants saw that victories of the Whites were followed by the restoration of the power of the landlords, the seizure of peasants’ land, and the robbery, flogging and torture of peasants. The activities of the Committees of the Poor Peasants, which crushed the kulaks, also contributed to the change in the attitude of the peasantry.” (HCPSU, p.233-34) Accordingly, in November 1918, he writes –”Lenin issued the slogan: “Learn to come to an agreement with the middle peasant, while not for a moment renouncing the struggle against the kulak and at the same time firmly relying solely on the poor peasant. (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 150.)”

[24] see in Lenin quotes, the word “mortal” is quoted with double inverted commas in the original, meaning that Lenin was against Kievesky’s presentation of only imperialism being ”mortal” as if capitalism and feudalism are not our mortal enemy. This is aimed at exposition of Kievesky’s view and this is what Lenin is limited to in this quote.

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