ALLIANCE MARXIST-LENINIST (NORTH AMERICA)
Issue NUMBER 28,  January 1998



 UPON THE POLEMIC BETWEEN PROLETARIAN PATH & REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY - CONCERNING THE STAGE OF THE INDIAN REVOLUTION.


TABLE CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION...  1
THE STAGES OF REVOLUTION ... 2
HOW STAGES ARE AFFECTED BY STRENGTH OF PROLETARIAT: LEADING ROLE OF
WORKING CLASS ... 6
ROLE OF THE SOVIET STATE IN THE ABSENCE OF A NATIVE INDUSTRIAL
PROLETARIAT ... 8
STALIN REFINES COLONIAL THESES TO DEFINE MORE FULLY THE TYPES OF
COLONIAL COUNTRIES ... 8
SUMMARY OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST VIEW 14
REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY'S LINE SUMMARIZED ... 15
SUMMARY ALLIANCE ON THIS POSITION ... 15
PROLETARIAN PATH'S VIEW SUMMARIZED ... 16
SUMMARY: ALLIANCE ON PROLETARIAN PATH'S POSITION ... 17
OUR LONGER REPLIES:
UPON THE ROLE OF HEAVY INDUSTRY...  19
A BRIEF VIEW OF EVENTS LEADING TO THE 1947 CHANGES...  25
Imperial Preference, and the Two Wings of British Capitalism
Increasing Pressure On British Companies By Indian Business and Industry
Brief Conclusions On The State of Indian Industry By 1947
Has there in fact been a change in the Independence of the Indian industrialist?
In summary, what did this Post-Independence period achieve?
What Industrial Base Has been Left To Now?
THE PASSAGE FROM FEUDALISM TO CAPITALISM IN AGRICULTURE... 34
a) The Dispossession of the Peasant masses and the creation of a rural proletariat working
for wages
b) The growth of the industrial masses
c) The increasing commoditisation of agriculture
d) The role of rural capital - transformation of rural surplus into capital
ON THE COMINTERN, M.N.ROY AND "DECOLONISATION" ... 38
The Debate Upon Workers and Peasants Parties
"Decolonisation"?
CONCLUSIONS ... 49
BIBLIOGRAPHY 49


TABLES & FIGURES
APPENDIX 1: Marxist Methodology & The Current Stage of the Indian Revolution. Moni
Guha For Proletarian Path.
APPENDIX 2 : A Critique Of The Contemporary Adherents of the Views Of M.N.Roy,
Evgeny Varga, & Leon Trotsky On the Current Stage of the Revolution In India; By
Revolutionary Democracy.


INTRODUCTION

Alliance believes that today=s situation in India may be compared to that of Italy in 1894, upon which Engels wrote to Filipo Turati. Marx had characterised a general problem arising from an incompleteness= of the bourgeois revolution. Engels then applied this phrase to Italy, where the bourgeoisie had come to power but could not fulfill their revolution and faltered. Let us see Engels= analysis, in order to understand this comparison. Says Engels :

AThe situation in Italy seems to be as follows:
The bourgeoisie which came to power during and after the national emancipation has neither been able nor willing to compete its victory. It has not destroyed the remnants of feudalism nor has it reorganised national production on the modern bourgeois pattern. Incapable of allowing the country to share in the relative and temporary advantages of the capitalist regime it has imposed upon it all the burdens, all the disadvantages of that system. And as if that did not suffice, it has forfeited forever, by filthy bank scandals whatever respect and credit it still enjoyed. The working people- peasants handicraftsmen, agricultural and industrial workers- consequently find themselves crushed on the one hand by the antiquated abuses inherited not only from feudal times but even by the antiquated abuses inherited not only from feudal times but even the days of antiquity (share farming, Latifundia in the South, where cattle supplant men); on the other hand by the most voracious taxation system ever invented by the bourgeois system. It is case where one may well say with Marx : AWe like all the rest of Continental Western Europe, suffer not only form the development of capitalist production, but also from the incompleteness of that development. Alongside of modern evils, a whole series of inherited evils oppress us, arising form the passive survival of antiquated modes of production, with their inevitable train of social and political anachronisms. We suffer not only from the living, but form the dead. ALe mort saisit le vif@@ The situation is bound to lead to a crisis. Evidently the Socialist Party is too young, and .. too weak to be able to hope for an immediate victory of socialism.@AEngels= Letter to Turati,@ January 26th; 1984; In ASelected Correspondence@ Marx and Engels Moscow, 1955; p.443-444.
To Alliance at any rate, the current situation of India now - is akin to this Italian picture painted by Engels at the turn of the century. Engels, and we agree, felt that such matters must be : ADecided on the spot and .. only by those who are in the thick of events,@ Alliance was therefore hesitant to enter the polemic. But, there are several general points of consequence raised by this polemic between Proletarian Path and Revolutionary Democracy, that we venture a few comments. Some readers of Alliance may not have seen the polemic, therefore we also re-print part of both sides of the debate. We will first briefly recapitulate points we have made before, in Alliance 5, Alliance 16 (July 1995), and Alliance 25.

THE STAGES OF REVOLUTION
We first cover what we understand as the key features of the first stage of the revolution, also known as the bourgeois democratic stage of revolution. Lenin provided some distinctive features of the first phase in his writings, which with the Bolshevik vanguard, he would implement. He himself cited Marx :

In his specific application to the situation of Russia, Lenin pointed out the need to Aclear the ground@ for the development of capital : AThe bourgeois character of the Russian revolution..What does that mean? It means that the democratic reforms in the political system and the social and economic reforms that have become a necessity for Russia, do not in themselves imply the undermining of capitalism, the undermining of bourgeois rule.. They will for the first time.. Really clear the ground for a wide and rapid European and not Asiatic development of capitalism. They will make for the first time make it possible for the bourgeoisie to rule as a class.@ p. 48 Lenin; Ibid; In Lenin=s view then, the goals of the democratic revolution were to clear away Athe old order@ and to effect the Arapid development of capitalism@. What constitutes AAsiatic@ development of capitalism, Lenin does not make explicit. But it is clear in his overall context that by AEuropean@ and AAsiatic@ development of capitalism, Lenin does not imply heavy versus light industry. In the next passage, Lenin links the term AAsiatic@ in this usage with connotations of oppressive backward Abondage= in both Arural and factory life@. To emphasise that this democratic first stage is unable to effect socialist change immediately, and that the socialist stage is a distinct second stage, Lenin goes on to say : ASuch a victory will be precisely a dictatorship.. It will be a democratic and not socialist dictatorship. It will be unable (without a series of intermediary stages of revolutionary development) to affect the foundations of capitalism. At best it may bring about a radical redistribution of landed property in favour of the peasantry, establish consistent and full democracy, including the formation of a republic, eradicate all the oppressive features of Asiatic bondage, not only in rural but also in factory life, lay the foundation for a thorough improvement in the conditions of the workers and for a rise in the standard of living, and - last but not least- carry the revolutionary conflagration into Europe.= Lenin Ibid; p.56-57. Speaking in more general terms Stalin in AFoundations Of Leninism@, paints a similarly clear picture, when he explains that the concepts of the stages of revolution, form a key difference between Lenin and Trotsky (Whose followers are Athe adherents of the Apermanent revolution@). This difference explains Stalin, involves the estimation of the peasantry=s capacity for going beyond the democratic stages; and the proletariat=s bringing of the peasantry into the revolution : AWhy did Lenin combat the idea of Athe permanent revolution@? Because Lenin proposed that the revolutionary capacities of the peasantry be exhausted@and the fullest use be made of their revolutionary energy for the complete liquidation of Tsarism and for the transition to the proletarian revolution; whereas the adherents of Apermanent revolution@ did not understand the important role of the peasantry, and thereby hampered the work of emancipating the peasantry from the influence of the bourgeoisie, the work of rallying the peasantry around the proletariat..@ Stalin JV; AFoundations of Leninism@; In AProblems of Leninism@ Moscow 1954 p. 42. Stalin goes on to explain more fully : AThe question is as follows: Are the revolutionary potentialities latent in the peasantry by virtue of certain conditions of its existence already exhausted, or not; and if not, is there any hope, any basis, for utilizing these potentialities for the proletarian revolution, for transforming the peasantry, the exploited majority of it, from the reserve of the bourgeoisie which it was during the bourgeoisie revolutions in the West, and still is even now, into a reserve of the proletarian, into its ally? Lenin replies to this question in the affirmative..@ Stalin JV; AFoundations@ Ibid; p. 58. In speaking more particularly, of the Bolshevik revolution itself, Lenin underpins the pivotal role of the assessment of the situation of the peasantry, in answering the question : AAt what stage of the revolution are we at?@ : AYes our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with the peasants as a whole.. Beginning with April 1917, however, long before the October Revolution, that is long before we assumed power, we publicly declared and explained to the people: the revolution cannot now stop at this stage.. Things have turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution has confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the whole= of the peasants against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (And to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois democratic). Then with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one. To attempt to raise an artificial Chinese Wall between the first and second, to separate them by anything else than the degree of preparedness of the proletariat and the degree of its unity with the poor peasants, means to distort Marxism dreadfully, to vulgarise it, to substitute Liberalism in its place.@ Lenin V.I. AProletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky@ (Nov 1918); In Selected Works; Vol 3; Moscow; 1971; p. 128-9. In part, cited by J.V.Stalin, in Foundations of Leninism=(April 1924); Ibid; p. 105. (NB. Emphasis in original) Another matter arises here, does the democratic revolution get completed fully and always by the first stage? Or, are there other tasks left over, is there as Marx said - to be later quoted by Engels to Turati - a state of Aincompleteness@? In fact it becomes clear that it is not a rule that the national democratic revolution completes its tasks; rather it is the exception. In taking this view, we are not holding any views other than those of Lenin : ADid we not always maintain .. that the bourgeois-democratic revolution is always completed only by the revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry?... The Bolshevik slogans and ideas in general have been fully corroborated by history.@ V.I.Lenin: Letter in Tactics; In Selected Works; Volume 6; London; 1946; p. 33.
 
AWe solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in passing as a by-product= of the main and real proletarian-revolutionary socialist work@. V.I.Lenin: AFourth Anniversary of October revolution@; in: ASelected Works; Vol 6; London 1946; p.503.
Thus the stages of the revolution, depend, for Lenin and Stalin, upon TWO things - both the tasks to be performed; and the forces necessary to undertake alliances with- in order to fulfill those tasks. This same staging was applied, by Lenin, to the strategy for the revolution in colonial countries. This is seen in his repeated insistence that the proletariat cannot ignore in the colonial type countries the democratic struggles of the poor against feudal survivals. In his address to the Baku First Congress of the People=s of the East, Lenin said : AMost of the Eastern peoples are in a worse situation that the most backward country in Europe-Russia. But in our struggle against feudal survivals and capitalism, we succeeded in uniting the peasants and workers of Russia; and it was because the peasants and workers united against capitalism and feudalism that our victory was so easy.. the majority of the Eastern peoples are typical representatives of the working people-not workers who have passed through the schools of capitalist factories, but typical representatives of the working and exploited peasant masses who are victims of medieval oppression.. You must be able to apply that theory and practice (of communism-Editor) to conditions in which the bulk of the population are peasants, and in which the task is to wage a struggle against medieval survivals and not against capitalism.. You will have to base yourselves on the bourgeois nationalism.. At the same time you must find your way to the working and exploited masses of every country. You must tell them in a language that they understand that their only hope of emancipation lies in the victory of the international revolution, and that the international proletariat is the only ally of the all the hundreds of millions of the working and exploited peoples of the East.@ V.I.Lenin: AAddress To the Second All-Russia Congress of Communist Organisations of the Peoples Of the East@; Collected Works Vol 30; Moscow; 1966; p. 160-162 Stalin followed Lenin=s line, for the revolutionary struggles in colonial and semi-colonial countries. That is Stalin agreed that the revolution moved from the first anti-imperialist democratic revolution, through to the second socialist stage of the revolution. The second stage in some countries may itself become a two staged process, moving from anti-imperialism through to an agrarian stage. Stalin obviously had to further develop the basic line of Lenin, as there had been new developments following Lenin=s death. This development can be seen in Stalin=s later speeches. These stages of the revolution flowed from the Communist International Theses. Stalin survived Lenin, and steered the USSR through into the establishment of socialism, and assisted the implementation of this line, in other countries. Stalin analysed the situation for China for example as follows : Stalin=s first stage and second stage here, together constitute what is termed the Bourgeois Democratic Revolution. Stalin emphasised that the Amain axis@ in the Bourgeois democratic revolution was the agrarian one: AThe characteristic feature .. of the Turkish revolution (The Kemalists).. is that it got stuck at the Afirst step@, at the first stage of its development, at the stage of the bourgeois liberation movement, without even attempting to pass to the second stage of its development, the stage of the agrarian revolution.@
Stalin; Speech August 1927; "International Situation & Defence of USSR"; "Works"; Msocow 1954; Volume 10; p.346.
Trotskyism rejects the viewpoint of Lenin and Stalin that the national capitalist class can play a revolutionary role in relation to the national-democratic state of the revolutionary process. As Trotsky argued against Stalin : AThe national bourgeoisie has been essentially an instrument of the compradors and imperialism.@ Trotsky L:=The Chinese Revolution & the Theses of Comrade Stalin=; In Problems of the Chinese Revolution=; Ann Arbor (USA); 1967; p. 21. Elsewhere, we have described Stalin=s rebuttals to Trotsky, and how the correct implementation of the revolutionary line in China was destroyed by Mao and the revisionists of the Communist Party of China.
(Joint Statement Alliance, Communist League (UK) and Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) : Upon Unity and Ideology -An Open Letter to Comrade Ludo Martens.@; London; March 1996).

ON HOW THE STAGES ARE AFFECTED BY THE STRENGTH OF THE PROLETARIAT : THE LEADING ROLE OF WORKING CLASS

Partly following M.N.Roy=s ADraft Supplementary Theses@, Lenin had agreed that if the revolutionary process in a colonial type country were under the leadership of the working class, such a country could avoid the period of capitalist development. As Lenin pointed out this related to the question of whether the capitalist stage of development could be overcome if the working class could lead the democratic revolutionary struggle. Lenin agreed with Roy, that in such a case, it was not inevitable that the country would have to go through capitalism :

AA rather lively debate on this question took place in the Commission, not only in connection with the theses which I signed but still more in connection with Cmde Roy=s Theses which Cmde Roy will defend here and which with certain amendments were adopted unanimously.
The question was presented in the following way:
'Can we recognise as correct the assertion that the capitalist stage of development of national economy is inevitable of those backward countries which are now liberating themselves?.. We reply to this question in the negative. If the revolutionary victorious proletariat carries on a systematic propaganda amongst them, and of the Soviet governments render them all the assistance they possibly can, it will be wrong to assume that the capitalist stage is inevitable of the backward nationalities. The Communist International must lay down and give the theoretical grounds of the proposition that, with the aid of the proletariat of the most advanced countries the backward countries may pass to the Soviet system and, after passing through a definite stage of development, to Communism, without passing through the capitalist stage of development.@ Lenin, Report of the Commission On The National & Colonial Question, Selected Works; Vol 10; London; 1946; p.243.
Hence Marxist-Leninists, see that if the working class gains the leadership of the national-democratic revolution; this revolution can be transformed relatively uninterruptedly, into a socialist revolution. Incidentally Mao disagrees with this key point (Joint Statement by Alliance, Communist League (UK) and Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) : Upon Unity and Ideology -An Open Letter to Comrade Ludo Martens.@; London; March 1996. )

In fact, Roy recognised that in some colonial-type countries - such as India and China - a significant native working class existed, objectively capable of gaining the leadership of the national-democratic revolution there :

AA new movement among the exploited masses has started in India, which has spread rapidly and found expression in gigantic strike movements. this mass movement is not controlled by the revolutionary nationalists, but is developing independently in spite of the fact that the nationalists are endeavouring to make use of it of their own purposes. This movement of the masses is of a revolutionary character.@ M.N.Roy. Speech 2nd Congress CI, In Adocuments of History of Communist party India@ Volume 1; Delhi; 1971; Cited Adhikari, (ed). p.191-2. This was why Lenin approved Roy=s modified supplementary theses. Stalin points out that this was Anecessary@, because of Roy=s key distinction between countries with and countries without a proletariat. This distinction was one that had convinced Lenin : ABoth in his speeches and his theses (at the 2nd Congress of CI-ed) Lenin has in mind the countries where : AThere can be no question of purely proletarian movement,= where, There is practically no industrial proletariat.@ Why were the Supplementary Theses needed? In order to single out from the backward colonial countries which have no industrial proletariat such countries as China and India, of which it cannot be said that they have practically no industrial proletariat=. Read the ASupplementary Theses@, and you will realise that they refer chiefly to China and India...
How could it happen that Roy=s special Theses were needed to ASupplement@ Lenin=s theses? The fact is that Lenin=s Theses were written and published long before the Second Congress opened.. prior to the discussion in the Special Commission of the Second Congress. And since the Second Congress revealed the necessity of singling out from the backward countries such countries as China and India the necessity of Supplementary Theses= arose.@ JV Stalin : AQuestions of the Chinese Revolution@, AWorks@; Vol 9; Moscow; 1954; p.236-238.
ROLE OF THE SOVIET STATE IN THE ABSENCE OF A NATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROLETARIAT

As outlined above, in general the leading role even in the first phase of the revolution (ie the national democratic revolution) should where possible be exercised by the working class. But what should be the strategy of Marxists-Leninists if there was no; or a very small; or only a weak working class in the colony or semi-colony?

In this case, the leadership was to be exercised by the comrades of the working classes of the world. In particular those of socialist states, if there were any. The responsibility of the socialist state and its= proletariat, was outlined clearly in the Theses adopted under Lenin=s direction, at the Second Congress of the Comintern.Without a significant working class in the colonial country, leadership devolved to the Soviet state, and the working class of the developed capitalist countries. In fact under this circumstance it was possible to successfully go through the first national democratic revolution though to the second phase the socialist stage without traversing capitalism :

AIf the revolutionary victorious proletariat carries on systematic propaganda among them, and if the Soviet governments render them all the assistance they possibly can.. the backward countries may pass to the Soviet system, and after passing through a definite stage of development to Communism without passing though the capitalist stage of development.@(Lenin. Report on the Commission. Ibid, p.243). STALIN REFINES THE COLONIAL THESES TO DEFINE MORE FULLY THE TYPES OF COLONIAL COUNTRIES

Even by 1925, Stalin had taken the Leninist theory and critically applied it to the international situation. Stalin, in addressing the AUniversity of The People's of the East@, had distinguished by 1925, three different categories of colonial and dependent= countries. Stalin distinguished between these countries, upon the basis of the degree of proletarianisation, and consistent with this, there were differences in the maturity and the differentiation of the bourgeoisie. In this method Stalin took the injunctions of the Theses Second Congress and brought them up to date for the 1925 period. Moreover, his analysis took the Second Comintern Theses, and applied them, in a country-by-country manner. These were classified by taking into account one critical factor. This critical factor was the relative strength of the working class :

AFormerly the colonial East was pictured as a homogenous whole. Today that picture no longer corresponds to the truth. We have now, at least three categories of colonial and dependent countries. Firstly countries like Morocco who have little or not proletariat, and are industrially quite undeveloped. Secondly countries like China and Egypt which are under-developed industries and have a relatively small proletariat. Thirdly countries like India, which are capitalistically more or less developed and have a more or less numerous national proletariat. Clearly all these countries cannot possibly be put on a par with one another.@
J.V.Stalin : Speech to Communist University of Toilers of the East, 1925; @Tasks of the University of the People=s of the East.@; Works Vol 7; Moscow; 1954; p. 149
This classification had very serious strategic and tactical implications for the proletarian parties in the countries concerned. For example, in the third type of countries, like India, the bourgeoisie was already split into two factions, a revolutionary and a wavering faction. This meant that the bourgeoisie were already very wary of democratic revolution, then inflaming the socialist masses : AThe situation is somewhat different in countries like India. The fundamental and new feature of the conditions of life in countries like India is not only that the national bourgeoisie has split up into a revolutionary part and a compromising part, but primarily that the compromising section of the bourgeoisie has already managed, in the main, to strike a deal with imperialism. Fearing revolution more than it fears imperialism, and concerned with more about its money bags than about the interests of its own country, this section of the bourgeoisie is going over entirely to the camp of the irreconcilable enemies of the revolution, it is forming a bloc with imperialism against the workers and peasants of its own country.@ Stalin, Tasks of the University of the People=s of the East Ibid. p.150 The specific tasks of the proletariat in the different countries would vary then, according to the differences they confronted, in the bourgeoisie that opposed them. In countries like India, the proletariat had the potential to surge to the leadership of the national democratic struggle : AThe victory of the revolution cannot be achieved unless this bloc is smashed, but in order to smash this bloc (ie The bloc with imperialism against the workers and peasants of its own country.= -Ed), fire must be concentrated on the compromising national bourgeoisie, its treachery exposed, the toiling masses freed from its influence, and the conditions necessary for the hegemony of the proletariat systematically prepared. In other words, in colonies like India it is a matter of preparing the proletariat for the role of leader of the liberation movement, step by step dislodging the bourgeoisie and its mouthpieces from this honourable post. The task is to create an anti-imperialist bloc and to ensure the hegemony of the proletariat in this bloc. This bloc can assume although it need not always necessarily do so, the form of a single Workers and Peasants Party, formally bound by a single platform. In such countries the independence of the Communist Party must be, the chief slogan of the advanced communist elements, for the hegemony of the proletariat can be prepared and brought about by the Communist party. But the communist party can and must enter into an open bloc with the revolutionary part of the bourgeoisie in order, after isolating the compromising national bourgeoisie, to lead the vast masses of the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie in the struggle against imperialism.@ J.V.Stalin Tasks of the University of the People=s of the East Ibid. p.150-151 It can now readily be seen, why Stalin should therefore effectively endorse Roy=s objections to the proposed Fifth Comintern resolution on the Colonial Question. There are strong indications that Stalin had already independently come to an agreement, with Roy, that the role of the national bourgeoisie was becoming narrower. Thus at the Fifth Comintern Congress, in 1924, where Stalin was elected to the Presidium and Executive, a controversy arose. This was over the lack of recognition by metropolitan countries, of the importance of the colonial question. This concern was raised by Nguyen Ai-Quoc (Ho Chi Minh) as well as M.N.Roy. Roy was the most vocal and attacked Manuilsky in particular. Roy criticised Zinoviev and Manuilsky for the right deviationist trend in a draft resolution being put to the Congress. This draft resolution had stated : AThe executive in order to win over the revolutionary population of the colonial and semi-colonial countries has to be in direct contact with national freedom movements, that the executive has always endeavoured to have such direct contact and will have it in the future too.@ Cited by M.N.Roy in AOn the National & Colonial Question@ Address of 1 July 1924; In ASelected Works of M.N.Roy@; Volume II ed Sibnarayan Ray; Delhi; 1988; p.292. Roy argued against this using the authority of the Second Comintern Theses, especially that part stating : AWe must endeavour to invest as far as possible the movement of the peasants with a revolutionary character, to organise all peasants and exploited people into soviets and thus to establish the closest possible links between the communist proletariat of western Europe and the revolutionary peasant movement in the East as well as the colonial and other subjugated countries.@ Roy Ibid; Volume II; Delhi; 1988; p. 293. It appears that Stalin studied the text and Roy=s comments and essentially agreed with Roy=s interpretation. This is contained in a book cited by the editor of M.N.Roy=s Selected Works.
(Sibnarayan Ray Cites:@Strategy & Tactics of the Communist International In The National & Colonial Countries@; In AThe Comintern & The East: The Struggle for the Leninist Strategy & Tactics in National Liberation Movements@; Ed R.A.Ulyanovsky; Progress Publishers; Moscow 1979; pp 169-170.)

As cited by Roy=s editor, Stalin=s remarks were as follows, and these remarks were addressed to D.Z.Manuilsky:

AYou mention differences with Roy, who underscores the social aspects of the struggle in the colonies. I don=t know how these differences concretely express themselves. But I should say that there are certain places in the resolution of the Congress which I do not agree with, precisely from the standpoint of the social aspect.... I believe that the time has come to raise the question of the hegemony of the proletariat in the liberation struggle in the colonies such as India, whose bourgeoisie is conciliatory (with British imperialism), and victory over whom (ie over the conciliatory bourgeoisie) is the main condition for liberation from imperialism. A whole number of points in the resolution speak of criticising the national bourgeoisie, exposing its half-heartedness and so forth. That is not what is needed. It is necessary to smash the conciliatory national bourgeoise, ie to wrest the worker and peasant masses from its influence in order to achieve genuine liberation from imperialism. Without fulfilling this preliminary task it is impossible to achieve victory over British imperialism . The basic feature of the new situation in colonies such as India is that the national bourgeoise (ie the most influential and wealthy bourgeoisie) is afraid of a revolution and prefers a compromise with foreign imperialism to the complete liberation of their country from imperialism. In order to smash this bloc it is necessary to concentrate all blows at the conciliatory national bourgeoisie and advance the slogan of the hegemony of the proletariat as the basic condition of liberation from imperialism. In other words it is a question of preparing the proletariat for leadership of the liberation movement in colonies such as India, and to push the conciliatory national bourgeoise out of this honourable post. The greatest shortcomings of the Congress Resolution on the Eastern and colonial question is that it does not take this new decisive aspect in the situation into account and lumps all the colonies together.@ Stalin to Manuilsky On Fifth Comintern Proposed Resolution; Cited Ray; Delhi 1988 Ibid; p. 282-283. By the Sixth Comintern Congress of The Communist International even more serious changes were not only proposed, but this time effected. We have already seen that Stalin was, a leading proponent of the Workers and Peasants Parties. But the Sixth Comintern Congress implemented a disastrous Ultra-Left Turn, repudiating the role of these mixed= parties. As part of this Ultra-Leftism, non-pure= Communist organisations, such as the Workers and Peasants Parties were to be destroyed. This ultra-sectarian approach destroyed the developing revolution in India (Documented in Alliance Number 5; October 1995:@The Role of the bourgeoisie in colonial type countries. What is the Class character of the Indian State?.) This rout was led by the hidden revisionists Dimitri Manuilsky and Otto Kuusinen.

Moving back to Stalin=s classification of the colonial world. What about the other end of the spectrum? What about those countries where Stalin saw little or no proletariat=? He had mentioned Morocco, though he could have discussed many others of course. Here Stalin adhered to the Second Comintern Colonial Theses, where it was argued that the socialist country and its proletariat would have to exercise leadership. Stalin had already pointed out in the same lectures :

ALasting victory cannot be achieved in the colonial and dependent counties without a real link between the liberation movement in these countries and the proletarian movement in the advanced countries of the world@. Stalin; Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East=; Ibid; p. 148. Nonetheless, the immediate tasks in countries like Morocco, were to weld the united national Front against imperialism= : AIn countries like Morocco, where the national bourgeoisie has, as yet, no grounds for splitting up into a revolutionary party and a compromising party, the tasks of the communist elements is to take all measures to create a united national front against imperialism. In such countries, the communist elements can be grouped into a single party only in the course of the struggle against imperialism, particularly after a victorious revolutionary struggle against imperialism.@ Stalin;@Tasks of University of Peoples of East=; Ibid; p. 149. In relation to the other classification, that is cited as being of relevance, Revolutionary Democracy insists that Stalin did not include India as even a Amedium capitalist country@ : AStalin referred to the medium capitalist countries as little developed capitalistically and having feudal survivals (but) Stalin did not include India in this category of countries alongside the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Iberian peninsula.A Revolutionary Democracy Vol III No 2; Sept 1997; ACritique Of the Contemporary Adherent etc@p. 46. But as Revolutionary Democracy own reading of this should point out, ( in their first article on this topic[Revolutionary Democracy : AOn the Stage of the Indian revolution@; Vol II No 1; April 1996; p.64].); that such an extrapolation, is an unwarranted load to place onto Stalin=s text. Thus Stalin is really discussing the national programme in relation to Central Europe and Poland. Stalin=s comments : ALastly as to the remark made by a number of comrades on the statement that Poland is a country representing the second type of development towards proletarian dictatorship. These comrades think that the classification of countries into three types - countries with a high capitalist development (America, Germany, Britain), countries with an average capitalist development (Poland, Russia, before the February Revolution etc;) is wrong. They maintain that Poland should be included in the first type of countries, that one can speak only of two types of countries-capitalist and colonial. That is not true comrades. Besides capitalistically developed countries, where the victory of the revolution will lead at once to the proletarian dictatorship, there are countries which are little developed capitalistically, where there are feudal survivals and a special agrarian problem of the anti-feudal type (Poland, Rumania etc) ; countries where the petty bourgeoisies especially the peasantry, is bound to have a weighty word to say in the event of a revolutionary upheaval, and where the victory of the revolution, in order to lead to a proletarian dictatorship, can and certainly will require certain intermediate stages, in the form say, of a dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.@
Stalin AProgramme of Comintern; July 5th 1928 Speech@; Works= Moscow; 1949; Vol 11; p.161-162.
Stalin ended this talk by pointing out there were two deviations, AWhich must be combatted if real revolutionary cadres are to be trained@.

The first deviation was to dissolve the movement into the bourgeois movement:

AThe first deviation lies in an under-estimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the liberation movement and in an over-estimation of the idea of a united, all-embracing national front in the colonies and dependent countries, irrespective of the state and degree of development of those countries. That is a deviation to the Right, and it is fraught with the danger of the revolutionary movement becoming debased and of the voices of the communist elements becoming drowned in the general chorus of the bourgeois nationalists. It is direct duty of the University of the People=s of the East to wage a determined struggle against that deviation.@ Stalin;@Tasks of University of Peoples of East=; Ibid; p. 153-154. This First deviation would later form the foundation of several related revisionisms : Dimitrov revisionism; then Maoist revisionism; then Tito-ite revisionism; and finally Khruschevite revisionism.

The Second deviation was to leap to a Asocialist revolution now@ - ignoring the Arevolutionary potentialities@, this was a deviation towards Trotskyism :

AThe second deviation lies an over-estimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the liberation movements and in an under-estimation of the liberation movement and in an under-estimation of the role of an alliance between the working class and the revolutionary bourgeoisie against imperialism. It seems to me, that the Communists in Java who not long ago mistakenly put forward the slogan of Soviet power for their country, are suffering from this deviation. That is a deviation to the Left, and it is fraught with the danger of the Communist Party becoming divorced from the masses and converted into a sect. A determined struggle against that deviation is an essential condition for the training of real revolutionary cadres of the colonies and dependent countries of the East.@ Stalin;@Tasks of University of Peoples of East=; Ibid; p. 154. This deviation is the foundation of Trotskyism when applied to the developing countries. Nowadays some honest non-Trotskyite comrades, in disgust at the results of the First deviation applied by revisionists, adhere to this mistaken position.

SUMMARY OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST VIEW :

It is useful before examining the polemic between Proletarian Path and Revolutionary Democracy, to attempt a simple summary of the above guidelines offered by Lenin and Stalin :

1. There is in the early phase of a revolutionary liberation struggle, some potential benefit to the proletarian movement, to allying with the revolutionary bourgeoisie, always maintaining its independence.

2. But this benefit will vary in its importance, by the degree of the already existing
proletarianisation of the country; and the degree to which its counterpart the bourgeoisie has become antagonistic to the revolution and the degree to which it may have formed links to imperialism.

3. Once the revolutionary bourgeoisie have shown their vacillation, it is critical to open fire on them ideologically, and not to continue to attempt to form Arevolutionary alliances@ with them. At this stage the working class must lead in alliance with the peasantry.

4. The exact moment to pass from the first stage of the revolution (ie the national democratic revolution) through to the second stage (ie the socialist stage), depends upon two factors :
The first an objective one and the second one a subjective one:
First - whether there are any tasks of the first phase left to complete? and,
Second - the revolutionary temper of the workers and peasants.

5. The tasks of the first stage are in essence :
Against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (And to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois democratic)=; (Lenin).
But the tasks of the first stage may not be completed by the democratic revolution but will require completion by the socialist stage.

6. Other than the revolutionary bourgeoisie, the allies at that first stage are :
The whole= of the peasants=.

7. The tasks of the second stage are to clearly turn towards socialism :
against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one.= (Lenin).

8. The allies for the second stage are :
The poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited=. (Lenin).

9. To attempt to artificially separate the first and the second stage is Liberalism or worse, conscious revisionism or distortion=:
To attempt to raise an artificial Chinese Wall between the first and second, to separate them by anything else than the degree of preparedness of the proletariat and the degree of its unity with the poor peasants, means to distort Marxism dreadfully, to vulgarise it, to substitute Liberalism in its place.=
Lenin AProletarian Revolution & Renegade Kautsky@ (Nov 1918); Selected Works; Vol 3; Moscow; 1971; p. 128-9. Cited by J.V.Stalin, in Foundations Leninism=(April 1924); Ibid; p. 105.

10. The responsibility of a socialist state, to embryonic liberation movements where there were no large numbers of proletarians was to render assistance, such that the leadership was exercised by the workers of the developed world in particular the socialist countries. In such countries the possibility with such assistance, was to bypass the capitalist stage of development.

Of course, these preliminary remarks are only a repetition for Marxist-Leninists. But we feel they bear repetition, and moreover they are relevant to put into the polemic.

We will now move to understanding the lines of the polemic.
Alliance is unable to simply and totally agree with either party in this conflict.
We will try to justify our awkward piggy-in-the-middle= position below in more detail.
First we will provide a synopsis of each line on the polemic, and Alliance=s brief view of each line.

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY=S LINE IN THIS POLEMIC SUMMARIZED :

i) The fundamental point made is that India=s colonial relationship between world capitalism and India, Ahas remained intact after 1947 with a Acontinuing and deepening dependency on international financial capitalism@.

ii) Imperialism has ensured the Apronounced survivals@ of the features of tribe, caste, and feudalism.

iii) A main general thesis of Revolutionary Democracy is, that without a particular form of industrialisation - heavy industry - any degree of capitalist development (ie. Any other form of industrialisation) in a semi-colonial type country, leaves the character of the state unchanged from the colonial or semi-colonial stage of development. Industrial development without Aheavy industrialisation@ only proceeds Aat a snail=s pace@. Therefore, Revolutionary Democracy argues from this point, it follows that in all such countries, an essential step is a democratic first stage of revolution. This general thesis, is primarily defended, by a citation from Stalin, that does allude to India. This citation purports to show, that Stalin makes the accumulation of heavy industry a prerequisite to taking the road of socialist revolution.

iv) The characterization of the Sixth Congress of Communist International was correct, and that it represents the highest position of analysis of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the colonial world to date. As a subsidiary, it is argued that M.N.Roy believed in Adecolonization@ as a movement whereby imperialism divested itself of its colonies, which was opposed by the Sixth Congress.

THE OVERALL CONCLUSION OF REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY is that the current stage of revolution is the bourgeois democratic stage.

ALLIANCE=S VIEW OF THIS ANALYSIS

Alliance agrees with the final conclusion on the need for an initial democratic stage; it also agrees with the view that India is still today Adependent@ upon international financial capitalism.

Indeed that is the major reason, for our agreement that the current stage is the democratic stage.

We would emphasise more the need to take the peasantry, as far as it can be taken, towards the socialist revolution; and also the fact of dependent nations within the Indian federation and the lack of resolution of the National Question in India today.

But in addition, Alliance has some serious disagreements with some of the overall analyses put by Revolutionary Democracy.

Alliance does not agree that the path from 1947 to today has been steadily Aintact@.

This difference of viewpoint, we argue, has some serious implications for the revolutionary practice of today=s Marxist-Leninists we argue.

We believe that the insistence upon the soundness and correctness of the formulations of the Sixth Comintern Congress represents a bias that is apparently not susceptible to scrutiny, and has misled Revolutionary Democracy.

On the matter of the primacy of heavy industry in determining the stage of revolution, Alliance is somewhat bemused by the insistence of Revolutionary Democracy and disagrees. Revolutionary Democracy argues that fundamentally Stalin placed this somehow as a centerpiece of the analysis of colonial relations. We are not convinced by their evidence to date. We also disagree on a purely factual basis, as to whether there has not been, a significant expansion of heavy industry.

Finally, we also believe that this insistence, contains the possibility of an Aindefinite postponement@ of the revolution in fact. This is a serious matter we believe, since it tends to a Atail-ism@ behind other classes. In general, following the designation of Stalin we perceive a tendency of Revolutionary Democracy, on this question, to take the ARight deviation@ that was noted by Stalin in relation to the movement in colonial type countries :

AThe first deviation lies in an under-estimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the liberation movement and in an over-estimation of the idea of a united, all-embracing national front in the colonies and dependent countries, irrespective of the state and degree of development of those countries. That is a deviation to the Right, and it is fraught with the danger of the revolutionary movement becoming debased and of the voices of the communist elements becoming drowned in the general chorus of bourgeois nationalists.@ Stalin;@Tasks of University of Peoples of East=; Ibid; p. 153-154. That is because there is an under-appreciation of the degree to which Athe snail=s pace@ of industrialisation has changed the prospects of the proletariat; an under-appreciation of the penetration of capital into the countryside; an underestimation of the degree to which there has been such a Adiscrediting@ of all the Indian capitalists who are all tied into imperialism, such that the working class has a real and definite possibility of taking the hegemony of the national democratic revolution and leading it through the Chinese Wall into the socialist stage.

PROLETARIAN PATH=S VIEW SUMMARIZED

i) The primary feature that dictates the stage of revolution is the Arelations of production in industry and agriculture@. Moreover Proletarian Path feels that a series of industrial changes since 1947 have ensured that Athe medium level of capitalist development@ has been superseded. It further believes that Aa series of quantitative changes brings a series of partial qualitative changes and a series of partial qualitative changes brings the overall qualitative change@.

ii) The Land reforms of post-independent India have Achanged the production relations in agriculture@. Proletarian Path believe that the Indian ruling classes have taken, and virtually - if not completely, completed the Prussian path of capitalist development entailed by Aruination of the peasant masses, pauperisation of the peasant masses and the creation of a groups of rich peasants and.. Well-to-do middle peasantry.@

iii) That the three basic features of capitalism in agriculture hold in India today; that is to say production of surplus value and presence of wage labour; commodity production; and conversion of agricultural surplus value into capital. That the features of a semi-feudal nature in Indian agriculture are all fundamentally related to Apoverty (which) is a precondition and a result of Capitalism@. ( Proletarian Path; Inaugural Issue AOn The Stage of the Indian revolution@; 1992; Calcutta p.77). Nonetheless, Proletarian Path accepts that :@We do not deny the existence of a certain incidence of debt bondage among agricultural workers. But the whole of our argument shows that debt bondage cannot be... described as semi-feudal@.
(Inaugural Issue AOn The Stage of the Indian revolution@; Calcutta p.77).

iv) That once capitalism entered the scene of India, it was Abound to develop capitalistically in spite of the contrary will of anybody@ including British imperialism which tried to retard it, and tried to Akeep Indian colonial and feudal@.

v) Proletarian Path appears also to hold that the characterization of the Sixth Congress of Communist International was correct, and that it represents the highest position of analysis of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the colonial world to date.

In summary then Proletarian path believes that the current stage is the socialist stage.

SUMMARY: ALLIANCE ON PROLETARIAN PATH=S POSITION

Alliance disagrees with the overall conclusion, but believes the thrust :

But we would argue to Proletarian Path, that if Lenin=s view of the determining features of the Democratic Stage of the Revolution are considered then we cannot be said to be at the socialist stage. Thus Lenin took as a determining feature, whether or not one could take the peasantry through as a whole : Moreover we argue to Proletarian Path, that if they truly do feel that, as they say: then there are tasks left over. We presume to remind Proletarian Path of the advice of Engels to Turati: If Engels can advise in 1894 Italy, what amounts to a Are-stepping of certain stages@, in the conditions of an Aincompleteness@, it can be argued that given current subjective illusions, and current objective strengths of imperialism, it is necessary to do the same in India in 1997.

We fully agree with Proletarian Path that serious changes have occurred since 1947 in India. But we argue to Proletarian Path that despite the major changes in the country since 1947, it cannot be said that there are not any significant feudal remnants left; there has not been such an advance as to remove the democratic first stage.

Besides, we argue that slogans appropriate to the democratic first stage will still mobilise more peasantry. But the possibility of the proletariat taking the hegemony of the national democratic revolution, means there can be a much shorter interim passage between the first stage and the second stage. In the sense that Proletarian Path is thereby skipping= even a short interim gap - a stage - then it takes the Second deviation noted by Stalin :

AThe second deviation lies in an over-estimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the liberation movements and in an under-estimation of the liberation movement and in an under-estimation of .. an alliance between the working class and the revolutionary bourgeoisie against imperialism... a deviation to the Left.. fraught with the danger of the Communist Party becoming divorced from the masses and converted into a sect..@
Stalin;@Tasks of University of Peoples of East=; Ibid; p. 154.
We should now substantiate our brief replies in a little more detail.

OUR LONGER REPLIES:

UPON THE ROLE OF HEAVY INDUSTRY

Alliance fully agrees about the importance that should be given to the role of heavy industry, or Type I industry as Marx called it. Alliance has written about this in several contexts : regarding the debate with Bukharin (Alliance 16: July 1995: ARed & Green Politics: Environment, Industry & Peasantry@, regarding the character of the post-Stalin Russian state); and about the attempts by Vosnosenksy and Khrushchev to subvert socialism (Alliance 14: 1995 ABland:Restoration of Capital in USSR@; Alliance 17 1995: AVosnosensky &Varga@). But the relevance of heavy industry to this particular discussion, the determination of the stage, seems to us strained.

It would seem to Alliance, that the demarcating features of colonial development, as this term is used by Lenin and Stalin, do not invoke the concept of heavy industry. At this point the reader may legitimately ask :

AWhat about this quote from Stalin then, that Revolutionary Democracy reminds us of?@ It is true that in the main work of Stalin, that is cited (ie. From AEconomic Situation and the Policy of the Party@; Works; Moscow; Volume 8; pp 123-156; dated April 18th, 1926) Stalin does indeed discuss the status of India. This quote cited by Revolutionary Democracy, runs as follows : ATake India. India as everyone knows, is a colony. Has India an industry? It undoubtedly has. Is it developing? Yes it is. But the kind of industry developing there is not one which produces instruments and means of production. India exports its instruments of production from Britain. Because of this, (although of course not only because of this), India=s industry is completely subordinated to British industry. That is a specific method of imperialism - to develop industry in the colonies in such a way as to keep it tethered to the metropolitan country.@
Stalin JV: AEconomic Situation and the Policy of the Party@; Works; Moscow; Volume 8; p.128.
We should note the very significant clause : @Although of course, not only because of this@. But we remain, on the chosen ground of Revolutionary Democracy. In fact the text shows, that Stalin is here really talking in the context of where to direct resources in the USSR. For the path of socialist development, Stalin here plumps unequivocally for heavy industry, in order to : AEnsure the economic independence of our country.@
Stalin JV;@Economic Situation@; p.129.
In other words, Stalin is here talking of Aour country@ - the USSR.

Indeed Revolutionary Democracy itself points this out in its first article AOn The Stage of The Indian Revolution@.Revolutionary Democracy Volume II No 1; April 1996; p.53. Having discussed the need to industrialize in the sphere of heavy industry, Stalin next discusses which methods the USSR might be able to use to achieve the needed heavy industrialisation, and how - historically - has this been done before? Stalin rules out all other roads than ASocialist accumulation@.
    Thus Stalin rules out the plunder of colonies like the British had used; he next rules out the German path which was to use indemnities from the war with the French; and finally he then rules out the old Russian method of bondage and semi-colonial status. That left only one way :

AThere remains a fourth road to industrialization. That is to find funds for industry out of our own savings, the way of socialist accumulation, to which Comrade Lenin repeatedly drew attention as the only way of industrializing our country.@
Stalin JV; AEconomic Situation and the Policy of the Party@; Works; Moscow; Volume 8; p.131.
What does this mean? Does it mean that indeed "soviet accumulation" - eschewing loans-debts to agencies like imperialist countries or their agencies, eschewing war etc is the only acceptable way for communists to advocate and achieve the creation of a heavy industrial base? If so, what are the implications of this? Perhaps, it might mean in fact that the goal of achieving heavy industry is never realizable, by a semi-dependent country other by the route of socialist revolution?

    If so then irrespective of any other considerations, the democratic stage always has to be unfinished in colonial type countries. We believe this is what Revolutionary Democracy means. But using this logic, this analysis of Revolutionary Democracy, would lead to never launching the socialist revolution because, a heavy industrial base would, most likely never be completely finished under imperialism. Revolutionary Democracy seems to believe, that the current stage of the revolution, can only be decided within the framed question of :

AHave the tasks of the national democratic revolution been completed or not?@ If that is so however, we are in a dilemma. Let us ask Revolutionary Democracy : AWhat national democratic revolution other than the Russian Bolshevik revolution, had ever completed its democratic tasks?@
Did even the great French Revolution complete its= tasks vis a vis the national democratic tasks?@
Lenin pointed out that often, it would be the socialist revolution that completed the democratic= tasks : ADid we not always maintain .. that the bourgeois-democratic revolution is always completed only by the revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry?... The Bolshevik slogans and ideas in general have been fully corroborated by history.@
V.I.Lenin: Letter in Tactics; In Selected Works; Volume 6; London; 1946; p. 33.

AWe solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in passing as a by-product= of the main and real proletarian-revolutionary socialist work@.
V.I.Lenin: AFourth Anniversary of October revolution@; ASelected Works; Vol 6; London 1946; p.503.

As Marx said : AWe like all the rest of Continental Western Europe, suffer not only from the development of capitalist production, but also from the incompleteness of that development. Alongside of modern evils, a whole series of inherited evils oppress us, arising form the passive survival of antiquated modes of production, with their inevitable train of social and political anachronisms. We suffer not only from the living, but form the dead. ALe mort saisit le vif..@ We should hear what Revolutionary Democracy says on these matters. Perhaps there are other interpretations? To recap : the points they should reply to here are : As seen above, Stalin refers elsewhere, rather more extensively to India. The various different countries of colonial and semi-colonial rule, had an important underlying key difference -one explicitly pointed out by Stalin, when addressing the People's of the East. Stalin distinguished in 1925 : AAt least three categories of colonial and dependent countries@. The distinguishing characteristic between them all, was the numerical strength of the proletariat as a class.

No mention is made of heavy industry or light industry - only the question is raised as to how much industry there is :

AFirstly countries like Morocco who have little or not proletariat, and are industrially quite undeveloped. Secondly countries like China and Egypt which are under-developed industries and have a relatively small proletariat. Thirdly countries like India, which are capitalistically more or less developed and have a more or less numerous national proletariat. Clearly all these countries cannot possibly be put on a par with one another.@
J.V.Stalin. "Political Tasks of the University of Peoples of the East." May 18. 1925.
Volume 7; Moscow; 1954; p. 148
As discussed above, Stalin distinguished between India and China, on the basis of the degree of proletarianisation. The degree to which this had occurred would influenced the stage of revolution, and the potential allies of the proletariat. In the context of the article from which Revolutionary Democracy takes its= citation from Stalin, India is used as an example of a country, that to that point in time, had remained at the stage of a semi-colonial or colonial state. In general terms, Stalin has discussed the tasks of communists in such colonial-type countries. According to Stalin, these are as follows : AThe task of the communist elements in the colonial type countries is to link up with the revolutionary elements of the bourgeoisie.. against the bloc of imperialism and the compromising elements of their own= bourgeoisie, in order.. to wage a genuinely revolutionary struggle for liberation from imperialism@.
J.V.Stalin :@The Results of the Work At the 14th Congress of the RCP(B), in AWorks@ Volume 7, Moscow, 1954, p.108-9.
In relation to this Stalin advises against a Leftist deviation : AThe second deviation lies.. in an underestimation of the role of an alliance between the working class (of a colonial type country) and the revolutionary bourgeoisie against imperialism.. That is a deviation to the Left, and it is fraught with danger of the Communist Party being divorced from the masses and converted into a sect. A determined struggle against that deviation is an essential condition for the training of real revolutionary cadres for colonies and dependent countries of the East.@
J.V.Stalin, AThe Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East@, In AWorks@, Vol 7. Moscow, 1954, p.154.
To avoid such a Adeviation to the left@ then, we must concern ourselves with the issue of a linkage with a Arevolutionary bourgeoisie@. The question must then be posed now, as : ADoes a revolutionary bourgeoisie exist in India today?@ We do not believe that there is now a class of this type in the pan-Indian state. That there might be in some of the oppressed nation within the Indian state is another matter. But for the entire Indian state, we do not see such representatives. Thus the potential for the proletariat to seize the leadership of the anti-imperialist struggle moving quickly and uninterruptedly though to the socialist stage, is very good indeed. This aspect is not stressed enough in the presentation of the question by Revolutionary Democracy.

Stalin approached the practical question of AAt what stage of the revolution are we at?@ - from the vantage point of which allies had already deserted the revolution. It was the strength of the proletariat that un-nerved and dissuaded even the revolutionary bourgeoisie. Even wings of the revolutionary bourgeoisie in such countries as India, were likely at some stage, to become scared stiff of the democratic revolution which was inflaming the proletarians :

AThe fundamental and new feature.. in countries like India is not only that the national bourgeoisie has split up into a revolutionary part and a compromising part, but primarily that the compromising section of the bourgeoisie has.. struck a deal with imperialism. Fearing revolution .. concerned more about its money bags.. this section of the bourgeoisie is .. forming a bloc with imperialism against the workers and peasants of its own country.@
Stalin, AThe Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East@, Ibid. P. 150
So the Indian bourgeoisie already, in 1925 contained Amoneybag@ sections that had reneged. We have seen that Stalin=s comments to Manuilsky at the 5th Comintern Congress, support the approach of Roy in this regard. Stalin advised that in this analysis, the tasks of the Indian proletariat flowed as follows : AThe victory of the revolution cannot be achieved unless this bloc is smashed, but in order to smash this bloc, fire must be concentrated on the compromising national bourgeoisie... In other words, in colonies like India it is a matter of preparing the proletariat for the role of leader of the liberation movement.. The task is to create an anti-imperialist bloc and to ensure the hegemony of the proletariat in this bloc. This bloc can assume although it need not always necessarily do so, the form of a single Workers and Peasants Party, formally bound by a single platform.@
J.V.Stalin AThe Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East@, Ibid; p.151.
Stalin goes on to state : AHence the immediate tasks of the revolutionary movement in the capitalistically developed colonies and dependent countries are : (1) To win the best elements of the working class to the side of communism and to create independent Communist parties.

(2)To form a national-revolutionary bloc of the workers, peasants, and revolutionary intelligentsia against the bloc of the compromising national bourgeoisie and imperialism.

(3)To ensure the hegemony of the proletariat in that bloc.

(4) To fight to free the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie from the influence of the compromising national bourgeoisie.

(5) To ensure the liberation movement is linked with the proletarian movement in the advanced countries.@
Stalin; AThe Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East@, Ibid; p. 151.

It was this prescription that Stalin gave in 1925, to the Indian proletariat and its allies. We believe all of these are still relevant today. The hegemony of the proletariat must be more likely now than it was, since there has been an exposure of all factions of the bourgeoisie. To pose the question of the staging of the revolution, as dependent upon the presence of a heavy industrial base - seems to us inconsistent with the general writings of Lenin and Stalin. Furthermore, this insistence upon the primacy of a heavy base seems to be a mechanical interpretation of the overall problem. To illustrate this, we follow Stalin as he argues the implications of one of Lenin=s overall conclusion, ie AThat imperialism is the eve of socialist revolution.@ Stalin points out in AThe Foundations of Leninism@, that whereas formerly the perspectives of revolution were approached from an individual country basis, that now it is relevant to talk in terms of a systemic assessment, thus : AFormerly it was the accepted thing to speak of the existence or absence of objective conditions for the proletarian revolution in individual countries, or, to be more precise, in one or another developed country. Now this point of view is no longer adequate. Now we must speak of the existence of objective conditions for the revolution in the entire system of world imperialist economy as an integral whole; the existence within this system of some countries that are not sufficiently developed industrially cannot serve as an insuperable obstacle to the revolution if, the system as a whole or, more correctly, because the system as a whole is already ripe for revolution.@
Stalin JV. AFoundations of Leninism@; In AProblems of Leninism@ Moscow 1954; p. 37.
This meant that the beginning of the revolutionary upsurge was not necessarily Awhere industry is more developed@; but where Athe imperialist link was weakest@, perhaps this was Aeven India@ : AWhere will the revolution begin? Where is what country, can the front of capital be pierced first? Where industry is more developed, where the proletariat constitutes the majority, where there is more culture, where there is more democracy-that was the reply usually given formerly.
No! objects the Leninist theory of revolution, not necessarily where industry is more developed and so forth. The front of capitalism will be pierced where the chain of imperialism is weakest, of the proletarian revolution is the result of the breaking of the chain of the world imperialist front at its weakest link; and it may turn out that the country which has started the revolution, which has made a breach in the front of capital is less developed in a capitalist sense than the other, more developed countries, which have however remained within the framework of capitalism. In 1917 the chain of the imperialist world front proved to be weaker in Russia than in the other countries... Where will the chain break in the near future? Again where it is weakest. It is not precluded that the chain may break, say in India. Why? Because that country has a young militant revolutionary proletariat, which has such an ally as the national liberation movement- an undoubtedly powerful and undoubtedly important ally. Because there the revolution is confronted by such a well known foe as foreign imperialism, which has no moral credit, and is deservedly hated by all the oppressed and exploited masses in India.@
Stalin; AFoundations Ibid; p.37-38.
We feel that the mechanical approach of Revolutionary Democracy tends to downplay and potentially delay the revolutionary potential of the Indian situation. We thus agree with at least one aspect of Proletarian Path=s comments.

In conclusion : Apparently, the stipulation of Revolutionary Democracy - that the defining nature of the industrial basis (whether predominately heavy or light) dictates the stage of revolution is not confirmed by detailed work from Lenin and Stalin.

A BRIEF VIEW OF EVENTS LEADING TO 1947 CHANGES

Given that both Revolutionary Democracy and Proletarian Path see the interpretation of 1947 as pivotal, it is not amiss to examine the events relevant to the hand over of power.

Imperial Preference, and the Two Wings of British Capitalism
British Imperialism underwent a severe crisis during and after the First World War. This spurred the use of Indian owned capital with effects lasting beyond the war years (M.Kidron,@Foreign Investment In India@; London; 1965; p.10.), with the partial infiltration of Indian ownership into previously wholly British firms :

ASo massive was the influx of local capital by mid-1948, in fact that Indian houses held on average, more than 85% of the equity in colonial managing agencies with the remainder held by foreigners. Thus only one year after political independence the financial dependence of colonial British enterprises on Indian shareholders had become nearly complete.@
D.J.EncarnationADislodging multi-nationals. India=s strategy in Comparative perspective@; 1989.p.57-8.
A new awareness developed of a need to industrialise the Indian colony, Vice Roys Lord Hardinge, and Lord Chelmsford, both noted the need for Britain to protect the market of India from other predator Imperialist nations (See Table 1); and to keep India self-sufficient in times of war. Lord Hardinge, to the Secretary of State for India, November 1915 : AA definite.. policy of improving the industrial capabilities of India will have to be pursued .. unless she is to become the dumping ground for the manufacture of foreign nations..@
Cited by Kidron, p.13, from A.R.Desai Social Background of Indian Nationalism. p.98.
The Vice Roy Lord Chelmsford to King George V: AWe are of course handicapped by our inability to procure machinery and by the necessity .. of establishing industries which should have been set up in pre-War days. A
Tomlinson,BR: AThe Political Economy of the Raj, 1914-1947"; Surrey 1979 Ibid. p. 58
A contradiction had developed as to whether or not to industrialise India. The other section of British industry, simply wanted India to Adump@ its= goods. If Indian business were to develop local industry - whether partly or wholly Indian , or similarly wholly or partly British, was irrelevant - this section of British capital viewed it as competition. Over the next few years a swing in the relative balances of Indian trade and British trade took place, due to Indian import substitution. This effected British revenues : ABefore 1914 India.. provided a market for commodity exports and a source of invisible earnings that enabled Britain.. considerable visible surplus and non significant invisible deficit... Overall between 1900 and 1913 at least, India ran a small current balance of payments deficit.. made good by the export of capital from Britain. ..Between 1921-2 and 1929-30 India had an overall current balance of payments deficit of Rs 224.35 crores, but from 1930-1 to 1938-9 she had a current surplus of Rs 7.32 crores... the value of India=s commodity surplus in the 1930's was based on a fall in the value of her imports more than on a rise in the value of her exports @ B.R.Tomlinson, Political Economy of the Raj. Ibid p.45. The net effect was a reversal of the balance of trade towards India=s favour, and against Britain=s : AThe decline in the value of India=s imports especially affected goods sent from Britain .. the main market for gold bullion, India=s major export of the 1930's.. In each year from 1919 to 1930 Britain had a visible surplus with India totalling Pounds Sterling (PS) 219.4 for the 12 years. In 1931 for the first time Britain imported more from India than she exported from her and between 1931 to 1938 ran up a total commodity trade deficit of PS 79.5 million. This..was the result of .. the decreasing importance of Britain as a market for Indian exports and the increasing importance of Britain as a market for Indian exports despite the British Government attempts, at the 1922 Imperial Economic Conference to increase the share of British goods in the imports of other imperial countries..@ Tomlinson, B.R. Ibid, p. 45 Table 1 shows Britain=s declining share of imports into India from 1919-1936;
Table 2 details India's progress through these years in import substitution.

Before World War I, British Imperialism saw India only as a source of raw materials, a market free from tariffs for its manufactured goods, and a military support. (p. 27, Tomlinson, Ibid).

But as Imperialism came into its Finance Imperialism phase, it required new and different conditions. These included the entry of money-capital exports in preference to goods into India. But this then required an expenditure locally of the imported capital. Hence another reason for the Indian construction of industries. A contradiction with British based AHome Industry@ was highly likely.

Providing industry to India was resisted strongly by the British home-based industrialists. But Finance capital would predominate. (Markovit C:@Indian business Nationalist Politics 1931-39@; Cambridge; 1985; 49). An Indian Tariff policy came into being, by the Fiscal Autonomy Convention= of 1919, which ensured that the Government Of India, with the Legislative Assembly of India, could set fiscal policy independently of the Secretary of State for India (Markovit C:@Indian business Nationalist Politics 1931-39@; Cambridge; 1985; 49). The divergence between the interest of British home based Finance and Industrial capital, allowed Tariffs to be brought in behind which Indian industry could shelter.(Markovit, Ibid, p. 49-50).

Although this was rescinded by The Imperial Economic Conference at Ottawa in July 1932. Here an Imperial Preference was upheld against increasing competition for colonial access from Japan, Germany and USA products.(Markovits, Ibid. p.51-2.)

Increasing Pressure On British Companies By Indian Business and Industry

After the First World War, despite inducements to investment, British interests in India did not display new dynamic approaches, compared to the Indian rival entrepreneurs and industrialists (B.R.Tomlinson, Ibid. p.52). Consequently Indian business groups expanded fast :

AIn 1930-1, 46% of the paid up capital of rupee companies was in Indian controlled concerns (those run by Indian managing agent or by groups with a majority of Indian directors); by 1938-9 this figure had reached 55%....Eventually the potent insistence of Indian shareholders that ownership in British agencies be converted into control could not be denied. During the 1950's Indian managed business houses began to replace British firms as the dominant enterprises in the economy. And by 1957, the process of takeover through encroachment had run its course. .. Overall this growth through mergers and acquisitions established the early preeminence of Indian industrial conglomerates.@
D.J.Encarnation.; 1989; Ithaca; Ibid; p.58
Those firms that had industrialised found themselves in a very select group controlled by mostly British firms and a few Indian firms: AIn 1931.. the joint stock companies.. with paid up share capital of Rs 3 million and more, shows that 81 groups, of which 51 were British.. and 30 were Indian; controlled 950 companies (13% of the total number of registered joint stock companies in British controlled Indian and in the major Indian States) with a total of over Rs 166 crores (almost 60% of the total paid up capital of the registered joint-stock companies). Out of these 166 crores, 113 were invested in companies controlled mainly by British groups (although many of their shareholders were Indian) and 53 in companies controlled by Indian groups (of which 26 crores in companies controlled by Tata group the biggest capitalist in India).@
Markovits, Ibid p.14-15.
Further more there was a high degree of concentration of industry : AIn cotton textiles 10 groups (of which 6 were Indian, one Jewish and 3 British) controlled 31.6% of the paid up capital in the industry, 29.1% of spindles and 29.5% of looms, accounted for 30.7% of raw cotton consumption and employed 30.1% of labour. Other branches had a more clearly oligopolistic structure. In jute 4 or 5 groups all British had a dominant position, the upper industry was dominated by 2 British firms, in cement 5 groups (3 Indian and 2 British) controlled the entire output. In the steel industry there was outright monopoly - of Tata Iron & Steel (TISCO). therefore it appears that the corporate sector.. and the large scale industrial sector.. was largely dominated by a few big firms still mainly British but also increasingly Indian.@
Markovits, Ibid p.15.
By 1939 there was a considerable interpenetration of British and Indian capitals. (B.R.Tomlinson, Ibid, p.55-6.)

Brief Conclusions On The State of Indian Industry By 1947.

1. Indian capital had moved from its= mercantile phase to an industrial phase.
But for the most part the strongest sections of Indian capitalists still had major links with British capital.

2. Nonetheless, Indian capital had been growing in strength and adventurousness. It was developing into new areas not previously undertaken by British capital. They were beginning to chafe at the restrictions. Moreover another sector had long been separate from British capital and was even more restless. Some of this section overtly challenged British imperialism, such as the Birlas.

3. The British state was facing political problems in direct and overt control of India. A potential more palatable control was offered by a APseudo-Independence@.

4. Despite the chafing of the Indian bourgeoisie at British control, they were fearful of the Indian proletariat and the mass movements that had been put into play. Their fears could be played on by British imperialism.

5. Because the battle between the Financiers and the older branches of Industrialists in Britain itself, was intensifying, an objective reason to industrialise India had arisen. Thus in a hesitant, self-doubting manner the British had begun the increasingly rapid process of industrialising India.

In conclusion, by 1947 this had resulted in a change in ownership, but not of control of the bulk of industry and trading : ABy the 1920's majority ownership, as distinct from control of the largest organised industry, in jute had passed into Indian hands.. by 1950 it was 3/4 Indian (although still foreign controlled). Indian ownership in the coal industry was unofficially estimated at 78% in 1949 and officially at 85% six years later.. Tea was an exception until the Second World War when a large switch.. reduced the foreign share to 3/5 of the total investment.. The results are clear. By mid-1948, foreign managing agencies held on average under 15% of the paid up capital of their managed companies. A fraction of the rest was held directly abroad. But the bulk - 85% was owned by Indians. The methods of control were naturally complex, involving holding companies, interlocking ownership and direction.. They were largely effective until well into the period of Independence.@
Michael Kidron Ibid. p. 10-11.
Has there in fact been a change in the Independence of the Indian industrialist ?

We find in Revolutionary Democracy a tendency to completely reject the existence of certain events since 1947. Now it is true that India remains a fully dependent and retarded state. But there have been attempts made by the Indian bourgeoisie to overcome their state of dependency by Astealth@. Eschewing the revolutionary road, they tried to minimize the firing up of the masses. They did as Revolutionary Democracy says, obtain some industry in India, by the expedient of screwing the people A

Aworking people and working people=s to pay for the cost of capitalist industrial development as capital was raised by indirect taxation and deficit financing@.
Revolutionary Democracy; Article 1 April 1996; p. 57.
We have previously described the process entailed in the tactic of Aimport substitution.@(Alliance 5; October 1993; AOn National Revolution In Colonial Type Countries India; Distortion of Leninist Line By Comintern; Toronto). We briefly reprise some of these here as we believe they are relevant. The advent of the Nehru government was an attempt by British imperialism to retain its hold on the Indian colony. As pointed out by Revolutionary Democracy, the Indian bourgeois led by Nehru planned to create an independent economy, and appreciated the importance of the heavy industry sector. We note the interesting citation of the 1953 secret note from Nehru to the Commerce and Industry Minister T.T.Krishnachari, which reads : AIn regard to some machinery, we have no choice in the matter and we must order it from abroad, though even in such cases, except a very few, there is no reason why we should go on purchasing these articles from abroad and not try to make them at home. The usual outlook is that it is cheaper to get them from abroad than to make it here. This is false economy. Generally speaking, everything that is purchased from aborad is roe expensive form the national point of view. Apart from expense we have to develop these basic industries.@
Nehru JT Letter of 9.11.1953; cited by Revolutionary Democracy; April 1996; p. 54.
In The Bombay Plan, the leading sections of business and their political representatives would try to APlan@ out the future of India, after the British had Atransferred@ power. In this prototype for a capitalist India, both the two leading industrialists of India - G.D.Birla and J.R.D.Tata - argued for a restriction of foreign technical dependency: ABy ultimately reducing our dependency on foreign countries for the plant and equipment required by us.. the country would require little foreign debt and even less foreign equity A - all the better since political.. interference from foreign vested interests= inevitably accompanied industrial investments by multinationals. According to these industrialists, domestic production after independence should be geared to meet : the internal demand which we advocate in this Plan.. Thus exports were likely to diminish in the future.@
Cited Encarnation, Ibid, p. 28-9.
The strategy adopted by the Indian bourgeoisie was to use one imperialism against another (First British versus USA; then USSR neo-revisionism versus British and USA); to use deficit financing; to use the state sector to build the capitalist industry; and they were able to use selective policies of heavy industry imports to acquire technology to some extent.

Ultimately the strategy was doomed to failure. Ultimately the tactic could not break the ties of imperialism. But this was not for the lack of trying! The presentation of Revolutionary Democracy seems a little voluntarist= - as though the Indian bourgeoisie did not try hard enough:

AIndian capitalists did not follow up the possibilities offered for the production of the means of production by the camp of neo-imperialism.@
Revolutionary Democracy April 1996; Vol II, No. 1; p. 55.
But the Indian bourgeoisie thus have traversed as far as they are able to, and with as much daring as the could muster. The remaining tasks are only possible to clear away by the leadership of the proletariat. The Indian bourgeoisie has shown that they cannot go any further. There are general implications here, especially given the new features of the current period, the so called AGlobalization@ phenomena and Market blocks (NAFTA; EEC; ASEAN etc).

The general implication revolves around the narrower room for the national bourgeoisie to play a progressive role in the national liberation movements. The power of imperialism is even stronger than it was and the need for markets so much more consuming that it was, that the room for the revolutionary bourgeoisie to manouevre in is less. If so, than less is the role on the revolutionary stage. We have discussed these before. (See Alliance 25 :January 1997: How Khrushchev Distorted Struggles In the Colonial World-Alliance With Titoite Revisionism & International national bourgeoisie.@ Toronto).

In summary, what did this Post-Independence period achieve?

1. Over the years 1965 to 1985, the amount of monies entering India from Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) were considerably less than in previous years. In fact there was a net efflux of monies. This is a highly significant change in the direction of cash flow. (D.J.Encarnation.;Ithaca; 1989. p.11.) 




FIGURE 1. From p.35, Encarnation. SHOWS THE DECREASING LEVEL OF FOREIGN OWNED CAPITAL; COMMENSURATE WITH INCREASED STATE OWNERSHIP 




FIGURE 2. from p.38, Encarnation. SHOWS GROSS DOMESTIC CAPITAL OWNED As EITHER STATE OR PRIVATE HOLDINGS. 



 TABLE 3. INDICES OF INDIAN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION 1925-1937. (1925-100)
                                 1931         1937


Cotton                 111         152
Jute                     81             90
Sugar                 128             584
Iron and Steel      84             133
Paper                 119             168
Cement                121           222
Coal                     92             103
Cited by Tomlinson, Ibid, p.33. Source V.Anstey The Economic Development of India, London.





TABLE 4 INDICES OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INDIA & WORLD 1920-1938
             INDIA WORLD                     INDIA     WORLD


 1920     82.4         68.9             1930     100.7     101.6
 1921     78.4         59.9             1931     108.1     90.5
 1922     81.1         73.5             1932     108.1     80.1
 1923     81.1         77.2             1933     116.7     89.9
 1924     92.6         82.0             1934     132.4     100.8
 1925     91.9         89.2             1935     143.0     114.2
 1926     100.7       93.5             1936     150.7     131.6
 1927     105.4        99.4            1937     163.5     144.7
 1928     92.6         104.8           1938     166.8     135.0
 1929 109.5 113.4
Source :League of Nations, Industrialisation and Foreign Trade 1945; p.140-I
Cited Tomlinson, Ibid, p.132.





TABLE 5: Rates of Growth In Industrial Production


Item        1962-66   66-71   71-76     76-81     80-85     88-89     89-90
General     8.25         4.02     4.16      4.62          5.5       7.1         8.6
Index

Basic          9.8           6.16    6.18      4.9            8.5       9.9         5.4
Industries

Capital      16.65        -0.54  5.14       5.82          5.1      7.0         22.4
Goods
lndustries

Intermediate 
Goods
Industries   6.40           2.72   3.50       3.80          3.6     11.5    6.3

Consumer    4.57         4.04    1.40        5.40         3.6     4.2     6.3
Goods
Source: Cited Proletarian Path Volume 1; No 1; 1992; p.19. "On the Stage of the Indian Revolution"; Drawn from Indian Economic Information Yearbook, A.N.Agarwal et al, 1991-92.




2. Some authorities would point out that there has been an increase in the amount gross of monies owing by the Indian state to Western Aid agencies and multi-nationals. But it is also the case that as a percentage of the overall assets owned by State and private enterprises, there has been a diminution over the years 1962-1982. See figure 1.(From Encarnation Ibid. p.35).

3. In keeping with this are figures that show a growth of Indian state owned investments over the years 1951-80. These show an increase in State holdings of major proportions as compared to all private sectors; including private corporation and private non-corporation. See figure 2 (Encarnation, Ibid, p.38) and figure 3 (Encarnation, Ibid, p.92). See also Tables 3 and 4.

4. The means of achieving this was a very conscious policy of Governmental restrictions on the inflow of foreign funds and investment. Those foreign funds actually allowed in were specifically earmarked for the definite purpose of acquisition of new technology.
AFor India independence from foreign financing became a fact of life between the amendment of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (1973) and the next relaxation of government restrictions on foreign investment (1980). To illustrate, let us consider chemicals. Between 1974 and 1980, as we see from figure 4, (fig 2-11 in Encarnation) foreign financial tie-ups declined for Indian business houses from 2/3 of all collaboration agreements in 1974 to 2/5ths in 1980. Among large houses, Only Birla actually increased its= reliance on foreign financing always coupled with technology. Conversely houses like Tata and Sarbhai, long known for their proclivity to seek out foreign financing; by 1980 evinced no such preference.. in 1980 Indian business houses and other local enterprises already had established their financial independence from foreign enterprises.@ (D.J.Encarnation. Ibid. p.63-4).

This all suggests that there were genuine attempts being made to restrict the play of foreign capitals in India by the Indian National Congress, after "Independence".

Figures such as those shown by Revolutionary Democracy in their Table 3: AExternal Debt Servicing Key Indicators@, we accept as generally correct in both their substance and their interpretation by Revolutionary Democracy. These figures dating from the year 1989 show that by this time there had been a failure of the overall strategy; and or that a new faction of Indian bourgeoisie had taken power. But it is well known for instance that the final fall of the Gandhi dynasty was followed by a conscious strategy to Aopen India=s markets@. The so called liberalisation policies were clearly a victory of the comprador factions.

If figures are expressed as indicators as a per cent of GNP, over the period 1970 - 1986 the figures are not so poor for India : Being in the years 1970 and 1986 1.1 and 1.6% respectively. As a benchmark China was 0.9 in 1986; Algeria moves from 0.9 to 8.7 in the same period; Argentina 5.0 to 6.8% Brazil 0.9 to 4.1 etc. (Achin Vanaik; AThe painful transition- bourgeois democracy in India@; London; 1990; Table 2; p. 281).

We were never very good mathematicians. We are therefore relieved that we have already argued that the exact numeric value of heavy industry was not the demarcation of what stage of the revolution we have arrived at! But of course, this does lead to a serious issue - Marxist-Leninists must explain better their choice of various expressions of statistics as opposed to others. Lenin=s pleas for care and high precision in use of statistics regarding capital=s penetration into agriculture are to be echoed in this polemic.

What Industrial Base Has been Left To Now?

Let us now leave aside the importance of the theory of the presence or otherwise of a heavy industrial base, on its= meaning in terms of the revolutionary stage. Let us instead ask:

We find that not all data would support Revolutionary Democracy=s conclusions. The logical place perhaps to start would be with the adversary in this polemic. Thus Proletarian Path=s figures are in contradiction with those of Revolutionary Democracy. For example the figures of the total proletariat and where they are concentrated is a very important one talking to the intensification of capitalist production : A48.7% of the factory workers are concentrated in factories with over 500 workers.@
(Proletarian Path; AOn Stage of the Indian Revolution@ Ibid; p. 18; Source Indian Economic Year Book).
In direct conflict with the thesis of Revolutionary Democracy are figures adduced on Heavy industry : AWe can see the faster growth of basic and capitals goods industries from Table 1; (Editor-Our Table 5). That means faster rate of growth in Department 1 (production of means of production) as compared to Department II (articles of consumption)... It may be mentioned that here was hardly any capital goods industry worth the name at the time of independence. A World Bank team in 1975 evaluated the Indian textile machinery producers. They found them to be competitive and one firm (which was a joint venture project) produced machinery comparable in quality to the very best in OECD countries. A 1984 World bank study team which studied select sectors (power, cement, sugar, chemicals etc) found that Indian firms were capable of setting up plants for manufacturing boilers (power), cement and sugar. However in the chemical industry it was capable of supplying only 50% of the equipment required..@
(Proletarian Path; AOn the Stage of the Indian Revolution@ Ibid; p. 16).
Other sources also are in conflict. For example Vanaik cites data of Mundle=s showing that over the period from 1956 to 1976 a rise takes place in capital goods from a per cent value of 4.71 to a per cent value of 16.76. In contrast is the percent for consumer goods falling from 48.37 % to 27.83% in the same time period. (See Table 6).





TABLE 6: GROWTH RATES : INDUSTRIAL SECTOR: GROWTH RATES OF SUB-PERIODS & TESTS OF DECELERATION: USE BASED & INPUT BASED CLASSIFICATION


(1959-60 to 1965-6 is termed period I; 1966-7 to 1979-80 is termed period II)
          Net Value Added                                   Net Value of Output
                                   I                    II                                   I                     II


A Use Based Classification
Total                   8.0                5.7                                     8.8             6.6
1.BasicGoods     11.0               5.9                                     12.2            7.3
2.Intermediate Goods  5.7         4.5                                     9.4               6.2
3. Capital Goods  15.4              6.6                                   15.8             7.4
4. Consumer Goods    4.7         5.6                                     5.9               6.2
(a) Durables       11.5               10.8                                   12.3             11.9
(b) Non-Durables       4.2         5.0                                     5.7                5.7

B. Input Based
1. Agro based       3.7               4.4                                     5.9             5.0
2.Metal based      14.1              6.5                                 14.6             7.2
3.Chemical Based  8.2               8.1                                   11.3            11.2



From Ahiuwalia 13,. "Industrial Growth In India"; Ibid; p.21; Drawn from Government of India Central Statistics; & Annual Survey Industries Government India.





TABLE 7:
MAJOR MANUFACTURING GROUPS AS A PERCENT OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION:


GROUP:                         1956             1960         1965         1970         1976


BasicGoods                     22.13               25.11        26.84       32.28        26.14
CapitalGoods                     4.71                11.76      18.67       15.74        16.76
Intermediate Goods         24.59                25.88       23.60       20.95        19.27
Consumer Goods:          48.37                 37.25       30.80       31.03         27.83
OfWhich : Durables          n/a                    5.68         6.15        2.92           2.78
Non-durables:                  n/a                  31.57         24.75      28.11       25.19
TOTAL                          100                  100          100           100         100


Source: From Vanalk Ibid; Table 4 p.282; citing from Mundle S: Growth Disparity & Capital Reorganisation in the Indian Economy" Economic & Political Weekly; Annual No.1981.


Thus the study by Ahluwalia suggests that there had been a rapid growth rate in capital goods and basic goods until the 1960's when, it is true, that there seems to have been a fall off in growth here as opposed to that of consumer goods : AIt appears that the relatively fast growing basic and capital goods experienced the maximum deceleration while the slow growing intermediate goods and consumer non-durables experienced none (Table 7 - Originally Table 2.6 of Ahluwalia - Editor). Consumer durables was the only category which did not experience a slowdown after the mid sixties.@
I.J.Ahluwalia : AIndustrial Growth In India- Stagnation in the Mid -Sixties@; Delhi 1985; p. 20.
Ahluwalia finds four primary reasons for the slow-down in the industrialisation of India : Aa)The slow growth of agricultural incomes and their effect in limiting the demand for industrial goods,
(b) the showdown in public investment after the mid-sixties with its particular impact on infra structural investment ;
c) poor management of the infrastructure sectors leading to infra structural constraints,
(d) the industrial policy framework including both domestic industrial policies and trade policies@; Ahluwalia; Ibid p. 168.
There is one objective factor here that Ahluwalia cites, close to the polemic at hand. That is the slow growth of agricultural incomes that reflects the in-complete penetration of modern agriculture and capitalism into the countryside. That slow growth was : AOf the order of 2.5 % per annum between 1956-7 and 1979-80. When combined with the growth of population of over 2% per annum, this yielded a growth of per capita agricultural income of less than 0.5% per annum.. (despite-ed) tremendous strides in particular regions and particular crops over this period.@ Ahluwalia; Ibid p. 168. The other factors of Ahluwalia above, have their own dynamic : The creation of a protected= environment against foreign competition, and an ensuing monopoly position which was extended to domestic competition. This allowed the already profiteering industrialists to rest content, rely on an increasingly old fashioned technology and refuse to face the future; the onset of inflation under the deficit financing of the state; and a fall off in inflow from foreign aid. (Ahluwalia; Ibid p. 108). Moreover imperialism ensured that terms of trade was relatively poor for India. Throughout this time there was a fall off in India=s share in world exports for both traditional colonial stuffs (eg cotton textiles, foodstuffs) but also for manufactured goods. Between 1965 to 1973 for instance, the compound growth rate for India=s manufactured exports to the world were, as a per cent per annum at a compound growth rate, 8.6 %. The next lowest of the countries designated as Adeveloping economies@ was Yugoslavia at 15.2% going via Singapore, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong to Republic of Korea at 50.3%. (Ahluwalia; Ibid p. 116-118).

To summarise :

There are conflicting data. If such figures are a key point, these differences need to be solved. We suggest that Revolutionary Democracy might wish to resolve these issues, since it seems key to their analysis. However again we state, that to us, it appears that the heavy industrial base is not all that insignificant. It does appear that governmental polices began to shift away in the late 1960's and the reasons for this need have been pointed by Ahluwalia. The central points however can be made, as follows. There had been :

a) A sea change in the post 1947 political economy of India;
b) That this faltered - reflecting intensified imperialist pressures;
c) That a policy of Aimport substitution@ and closing off of borders is beneficial for a period but is counter productive - especially if trade barriers are erected by imperialism.

UPON THE PASSAGE FROM FEUDALISM TO CAPITALISM IN AGRICULTURE.

We agree with the general views on this, that are put by Proletarian Path that flows from Lenin. We are therefore somewhat bemused by the reluctance of Proletarian Path to accept the overall conclusions, that were accepted by Lenin, when he was in a similar position in Russia pre-1917. Thus Lenin describes the passage from feudalism to capitalism in agriculture, in general as an Aeither-or@ dichotomy:

AEither the old landlord economy, bound as it is by thousands of threads to serfdom, is retained and turns slowly into purely capitalist AJunker@ economy. The basis of the final transition from labour-service to capitalism is the internal metamorphosis of feudalist landlord economy. The entire agrarian system becomes capitalist and for a long time retains feudalist features. Or, the old landlord economy is broken up by revolution, which destroys all the relics of serfdom and large land ownership in the first place. The basis of the final transition from labour service to capitalism is the free development of small peasant farming, which has received a tremendous impetus as a result of the expropriation of the landlord=s estates in the interests of the peasantry. The entire agrarian system becomes capitalist, for the more completely the vestiges of serfdom are destroyed the more rapidly does the differentiation of the peasantry proceed.@ Lenin@The Development of Capitalism in Russia@ Collected Works Vol 3; p. 33. In relation to this polemic, it should be noted by all, that dogmatic Ascriptural@ citations are not enough. Lenin ends this passage by saying : AOf course infinitely diverse combinations of elements of this or that type of capitalist evolution are possible, and only hopeless pedants could set about solving the peculiar and complex problems arising by merely quoting this or that opinion of Marx about a different historical epoch@. Lenin@The Development of Capitalism in Russia@ Collected Works Vol 3; p. 33. We agree with Revolutionary Democracy here, that there are semi-feudal remnants in the countryside in India. But we would temper this view, with a citation that Proletarian Path also is aware of, and uses against Revolutionary Democracy. It is a quotation from Lenin, that we have cited in relation to the characterization of the revolution in the USA, and the controversy as to whether or not there is a ABlack nation@(Alliance 23; July 1996; AThe Theory of the Black Nation In the USA@; Toronto). We argue there is no such nation. Here the quote illustrates that the forms of land ownership do not prevent the onset of capitalism in the countryside. In ANew Data on the Laws Governing the Development of Capitalism in Agriculture@, Lenin details the transition into capitalism; and points out the variety of forms that capitalism can take in land, using the USA as an example : AIn Volume III of Capital Marx had already pointed out that the form of landed property with which the incipient capitalist mode of production is confronted does not suit Capitalism. Capitalism creates for itself the required forms of agrarian relationships out of the old forms, out of feudal landed property, peasants commune property, clan property etc.. Marx compares the different methods by which capital creates the required forms of landed property.. In America this re-shaping went on in violent way as regards the slave farms in the Southern States. There violence was applied against the slave-owning landlords, Their estates were broken up and the large feudal estates were transformed into small bourgeois farms.@ Lenin, In AThe Agrarian Programme of Social Democracy In the First Russian Revolution 1905-07); In ALenin on the USA@ Moscow 1967; From Vol 13; pp 275-76. p.40. Lenin does not deny that the transition from slavery in the USA towards capitalism was slow, but points out that new modes of production take time to introduce : AIf we get down to brass tacks, however has it happened in history that a new mode of production has taken root immediately without a long secession of setbacks, blunders and relapses? Half a century after the abolition of serfdom there were still quite a number of survivals of serfdom in the Russian countryside. Half a century after the abolition of slavery in America the position of the Negroes was still very often one of semi-slavery@. Lenin: AA Great Beginning.@; July 1919; Vol 29; p.425; In Collection ALenin On USA@; Ibid; p. 397. Proletarian Path, in its polemic points out to Revolutionary Democracy, that Lenin showed three Abasic factors@ that characterised capitalist relations in agriculture.. Proletarian Path lists these as: A1) Employment of wage-labour and the appropriation of surplus value;
2) Commoditisation of the products of peasantry and thereby the market relation;
3) Extended reproduction in agriculture through the transformation of surplus value into capital.@;
Moni Guha;AMarxist Methodology & The Current Stage of the Indian Revolution@;  for Proletarian Path; re-printed in Revolutionary Democracy; September 1997; Volume III, No.2; p. 38.
But let us now argue to Proletarian Path, that Lenin did recognise the penetration and the rapid onset of capitalism in Russian agriculture. We are confident that Proletarian Path will agree with this statement. After all, Lenin recognised in Russia - not in the abstract theoretical sense, but in practice the effects of all the above phenomena. Thus Lenin=s analysis confirmed in Russia:

a) The Dispossession of the Peasant masses and the creation of a rural proletariat working for wages:

AThe old peasantry is not only Adifferentiating@, it is being completely dissolved, it is ceasing to exist, it is being ousted by absolutely new types of rural inhabitants- types that are the basis of a society in which commodity economy and capitalist production prevail, These types are the rural bourgeoisie (chiefly petty bourgeois) and the rural proletariat - a class of commodity producers in agriculture and a class of agricultural wage-workers.@
Lenin; Ibid; ADevelopment of Capitalism In Russia@; p.174.
b) The growth of the industrial masses : AThe industrial (ie non-agricultural) population grows faster than the agricultural and diverts an ever growing part of the population from agriculture to manufacturing industry;"
Lenin; Ibid; ADevelopment of Capitalism In Russia@; p. 67.

AIt is in the nature of capitalist production to continually reduce the agricultural population as compared with the non-agricultural because in industry (in the strict sense) the increase of constant capital at the expense of variable capital goes hand in hand with an absolute increase in variable capital despite its relative decrease; on the other hand in agriculture the variable capital required for the exploitation of a certain plot of land decreases absolutely; it can thus only increase to the extent that new land is taken into cultivation, but this again requires as a prerequisite a still greater growth of the non-agricultural population.@
Marx Capital Volume 3; 2; p.177 cited by Lenin; Development Of Capitalism; Ibid p. 40.

c) The increasing commoditisation of agriculture: AAt the present time commodity economy has become firmly established.@
Lenin; Development Of Capitalism Ibid; p. 156.

AThe social-economic situation in which the contemporary Russian peasantry find themselves is that of commodity economy.. The peasant is completely subordinated to the market, on which he is dependent as regards both his personal consumption and his farming, not to mention the payment of taxes.@
Lenin; Development Of Capitalism Ibid; p. 172.

AAn exact calculation of income and expenditure in cash and kind enables us to determine the relation of the peasantry to the market, for which only cash income and expenditure are important. The proportions of the cash part of the budget to the total budget in the various groups is as follows: 


PERCENTAGE OF CASH PART Expressed as:
of Expenditure to Gross Expenditure     of Income to Gross Income
        a)with no horses            57.10                                                     54.6
        b)with 1 horse              46.47                                                     41.4
        c) with 2 horses            43.57                                                     45.7
        d) with 3 horses            41.47                                                     42.3
        e) with 4 horses            46.93                                                     40.8
        f) with 5 horses or more60.18                                                     59.2
______________________________________________________________
   Average 49.14                                                 47.9
______________________________________________________________
(NB-Editor=s Note : Categories classified by Lenin on data from Atypical farms in 1889A, data Adistinguished by their extraordinary completeness@ says Lenin. He classifies them for analysis on basis of draught animals possessed (see p.149 Ibid;) d) The role of rural capital - transformation of rural surplus into capital:
Lenin pointed out that village usury and trading capital was being displaced into a larger more AEuropean@ penetrating capital : And yet we must therefore ask Proletarian path - AIf this is so - that Lenin=s analysis was that there had been a major entry of capitalism into agriculture in Russia - why did he still advocate the first stage to be a democratic stage.?@ And,
"Why is it different from now in India? Surely it is not purely a question of degree?@
Alliance=s answer to that question is two fold :
I) The answer hinges on the extent to which the communist party can pull the peasantry into the battle - to what extent can one bring them behind the vanguard of the proletariat?

ii) The battle against the Tsar. For us the latter's position, is in modern day terms, taken up by imperialism in the still dependent India of today.

ON THE COMINTERN, M.N.ROY AND ADECOLONISATION@

Both Proletarian Path and Revolutionary Democracy see eye-to-eye on the correct-ness of the Sixth Comintern Congress. We cannot agree with their sanguine view of the Congress. There are too many inconsistencies with both Stalin=s expressed views, and the corpus of Marxism-Leninism, to accept that the Congress was the highest expression of Marxism-Leninism.

We have written before on this matter, and we will need only briefly to outline the key controversies, in relation to this polemic. Revolutionary Democracy, characterise Proletarian Path=s attitude as descended from M.N.Roy and from Varga. Our task here is to try and understand the problems raised in this polemic. We do not regard ourselves as a ASociety for the Furtherance of Roy@. However, we would certainly argue that Roy, who kept a photograph of Stalin on his mantlepiece till his death, and who described Stalin on his death as:

was a different caliber of person than was Varga. Evgeny Varga, was after all given the Lenin Prize by Khrushchev, in 1954, for ADistinguished contributions to the development of Marxist-Leninist science.@ (Great Soviet Encyclopedia,@ Vol 4; New York; 1974; p.509).

Simply compare the above recorded views on Stalin by Roy, with the last views of Varga from his APolitical Testament@ :

We must leave Varga, largely to one side, as we consider he was an unmitigated revisionist. A fuller analysis of his political and economic views has been already provided by the Communist League of the UK, which we have re-printed, and we believe both Proletarian Path and Revolutionary Democracy received those. Alliance 17: 1995: "Revisionist Economics: Vosnosensky & Varga@.

But the issues of decolonisation, the workers and peasants parties of India, and the role of Roy are more opaque, and deserve further discussion. They were first ventilated by the Communist League in 1972, and form much of the basis for the views of Alliance on Roy.

The Debate Upon Workers and Peasants Parties

Roy undoubtedly had a tendency to ultra-leftism, & early on he underplayed the role of the national bourgeoisie; Roy would frequently exaggerate the strength of the working class; he asserted that by 1857, India had no vestiges of feudalism= (M.N.Roy and Abani Mukherji, "India In Transition", Geneva; 1922; p.17. ) But Lenin AWarned (Roy) against wishful interpretation of facts.A (M.N.Roy ;AMemoirs@; Bombay; 1964, p.552).

It is true also, that Roy had earlier flirted with Trotskyism. But, Roy rejected Trotsky, at the critical time that Trotsky was marshalling forces to attack Stalin over his Aalleged failure@ in China. (See Communist League, AM.N.Roy Report- Part Two@; London, 1977).

But in relation to India, Roy's practical line in general correctly followed Lenin's tactics. He recanted his error upon the lack of feudalism in India :

He tried to work with the Abest@ nationalist elements, and tried to win them across. He correctly distinguished between the wings of the national and comprador bourgeoisie. (Overstreet and Windmiller; ACommunism In India@; Berkley 1960).

Roy responded to Sripad Dange=s call in 1922, for a broad Aworkers & peasants party@ to operate within the Indian National Congress (INC), making the points that the working class should attempt to take over the leadership, otherwise the bourgeoisie would ultimately desert and betray the struggle. (Roy to S.A.Dange. November 2nd& Dec.19th 1922, In Adhikari, Vol 1, Ibid. p.595. and Vol 2. p.98; And: Contained in Adhikari. Vol 2, New Delhi, 1974, p.147).

Roy put the Marxist-Leninist line, that there was a Arevolutionary significance@ to the national bourgeoisie; that it represented for the Workers and Peasants Party an opportunity to become part of a broader anti-imperialist united front. (Contained in Adhikari. Vol 2, New Delhi, 1974, p.147).

Therefore the charge that Roy was sectarian and Ultra-Leftist regarding the national bourgeois, must be rejected in his actual practical work in India. He correctly applied United Front policy; but saw that the proletariat had to be independent in such fronts. The British Secret Service saw his role rather clearly as the biggest enemy they had to contend with. Overstreet and Windmiller, p.148 Citing police intelligence From "India and Communism p.164.

But somehow the ECCI leadership did not agree. We briefly recap the spilt that evolved now.

By the Fifth Comintern Congress, the ECCI wished to establish direct relations with the Indian National Congress. This meant to Roy an over-reliance on the nationalists, with potential to limit the workers independence of action. Overstreet and Windmiller. Ibid p. 70-1.

But the ECCI rejected Roy=s implied repudiation of the Indian National Congress having the sole control of the national liberation agenda. Further, the ECCI directed the CPGB to take control of the direction of struggle in India. (Overstreet and Windmiller, Ibid p. 70-1).

Manuilsky publicly rebuked Roy for deviation and nihilism. The Congress appointed a commission (which included among others Roy, Manuilsky, Stalin and Sen Katayama) to review the colonial question and prepare detailed recommendations. We saw above that Stalin stepped out in favour of Roy=s position. The proposed contentious resolution was then simply dropped.

At the subsequent Plenum of the ECCI, the Comintern, the CI was to take a major swing to the Ultra-Left, adopting effectively a Trotskyite line. It should also be clear, that Stalin was a leading proponents of the Workers and Peasants Parties. It was precisely these parties that the hidden revisionists wanted to disrupt.

By the Sixth Congress, Roy was publicly excoriated. He himself was seriously ill and was not present. He was actually finally expelled from the CI in 1930. Of course following this, Roy degenerated into a bourgeois humanism, and gave even more weight to the bourgeois of the INC. But this occurred after his persecution by the revisionist ECCI, and does not in our view, invalidate his earlier contributions.

Stalin was elected to the Presidium of the 6th Congress, to the commission to draft the ATheses on the International Situation and the Tasks of the Communist International@, and to draft the Programme of the CI. But crucially, he attended only the opening session of the congress, and took no part in its proceedings. The Congress was dominated by Otto Kuusinen. Kuusinen later showed himself as a proven open revisionist (See his participation at the infamous 20th Party Congress of the CPSU).
In fact the line of the CI was now brought into contradiction to both Lenin and Stalin.
Lenin had said that :

The Theses of the Congress paid lip service to both Lenin and Stalin=s views on the matter; they recognise the division of the colonial bourgeoisie into two sections including the comprador section; and even speak of a Aradical profound objective contradiction of interest between the national bourgeoisie and imperialism@. Lenin had asserted that there were two types of Abourgeois democratic tendency@in colonial type countries: a Anational-reformist@ tendency and a Anational-revolutionary@ tendency: Stalin had also sharply distinguished between the ACompromising wing@ of the bourgeoisie of a colonial-type country (ie the comprador) and the Arevolutionary wing@ (ie the national bourgeoisie) : Both Lenin and Stalin had pointed out the need to work with the revolutionary sections, until such time as they were exposed, or turned counter-revolutionary. True the 6th Comintern Theses, in places pay lip service to this notion. But the real content and essence of the 6th Comintern Theses is that no section of the bourgeoisie can be a significant ally : The political conclusion is that the national bourgeoisie is fundamentally a counter-revolutionary force in relation to the national-democratic revolution. If this is so, could one work with these bourgeoisie? Apparently not, according to the CI: It was in his Report that Kuusinen now moved on, to an attack upon the Workers and Peasants Parties of India, that had been so successful : AFor a time some comrades considered the advisability of labour and peasant parties=.. this form is not to be recommended ..It would be an easy matter for the labour and peasant parties to transform themselves into petty bourgeois parties, to get away from the Communists..@ O.Kuusinen, AReport on the Revolutionary Movement in The Colonies and Semi-Colonies, 6th Congress, CI@; In : AInprecorr@, Volume 8, No. 70; October 4th, 1928, 1230-1. It must be pointed out specifically, that the Asome comrades@ included Stalin who favoured the formation of such parties in the colonial type countries : AIn countries like Egypt and China.. a revolutionary bloc of the workers and peasants and the petty bourgeoisie.. can assume the form of a single party, a workers and peasants party, provided however, that this distinctive party actually represents a bloc of two forces-the Communist Party and the party of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie.. In countries like India.. a revolutionary anti-imperialist bloc.. can assume, although it need not always necessarily do so, the form of a single workers= and peasants= party, formally bound by a single platform@. Stalin, Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples= of the East@,Vol 7; Moscow, 1954; p.149,150-1. But Kuusinen=s attack on the Workers and Peasants Parties (WPP) was entirely in line with that written by Trotsky in June 1928, and submitted to the congress : The Congress Resolution stated this attack upon the WPP : ASpecial WPP=s, whatever revolutionary character they may possess can too easily at particular periods, be converted into ordinary petty bourgeois parties, and accordingly, Communists are not recommended to organise such parties. The Communist Party can never build its organisation on the basis of a fusion of two classes, and in the same way also it cannot make its task to organise other parties on this basis, which is the characteristic of petty bourgeois groups.. the fighting bloc of the masses of the workers and peasants can find expression in carefully prepared and periodically convened joint conferences and congresses of representatives of revolutionary peasant unions (or their committees) and of trade unions; in certain circumstances it may be found expedient to create revolutionary committees of action, coordinating the activity of the organisations of the workers and peasants, conducting mass activities, etc.@ ATheses On the Revolutionary Movement in the Colonies and Semi-colonies, 6th Congress International,@; In AInprecorr.@ Vol 8, No.88, December 12th, 1928; p.1671 & CPI edition Delhi 1973; Ibid ; p. 104. At the subsequent 10th Plenum of the ECCI, held in Moscow from July 3rd to 19th 1929, Roy was formally expelled from the CI. Otto Kuusinen cited then, amongst other things, Roy's objection to this Comintern line. In his Main report to the Plenum, Otto Kuusinen renewed the attack on the WPP in India, implying that their development had held back the development of the CPI and alleging that they had carried out Ahardly any work@ among the peasantry: But in reality, the WPP were extremely successful at the height of the strike waves in India in 1928, and were seen to be powerful. The principal Thesis of the 10th Plenum AOn the International Situation and the Tasks of the Communist International@, now reiterated another Trotskyite line. It called for ASoviets Now@ in India, just as Trotsky had called for In China: A line was publicly given to break off rank and file contacts with the Congress: AThe Open Letter from the Young Communist International to Indian youth declared:
'The National Congress actually retards the revolutionary movement, it has long ago betrayed the masses of the Indian people.. Sever your contact with the National Congress and the League of Independence.@ Young Communist International : Open Letter to All young Workers and peasants of India In AInternational Press Correspondence@ ;Vol 10, no.2, January 9th; 1930; p.25.
The Ultra-Left turn accomplished a devastating toll on the CPI and its mass links, the WPP. In parallel with police action, it set back the cause of revolution in India immeasurably.

ADecolonisation@?

The attack on Roy, was formally launched at the 6th Congress of the CI., partly on the topic of so called Adecolonisation@. It will be remembered that at the 5th Congress, Roy had already shown Manuilsky and the other hidden revisionists that he was not about to kow-tow.

During this congress, the CI leaders vigorously pursued Adecolonisation@. That the attack was clearly a Aset up@ job, or premeditated, is shown by the fact that, Roy had been asked to prepare a report on the phenomenon of Adecolonisation@. This was a word that had not been until then part of the currency of language in the CI. In 1927, while Roy was still in China, the political secretariat of the ECCI after hearing a report from Savmyendranath Tagore, set up on the proposal of Nikolai Bukharin, a special commission to examine the economic and political situation in India, including the process of Adecolonisation A. As Ghulam Luhani told the 6th Congress of the CI the following year :

M.N.Roy was charged by the ECCI on his return from China to prepare a draft resolution on the matter, He later realised that it was to serve as a means of discrediting him. M.N.Roy and B.Varnik: "Our Differences". Calcutta, 1938; p. 31.

In the document put to the 6th Congress in his sick absence, Roy produced a welter of hard data, in fact identifying a real and new phenomenon. One that was later corroborated by political economists of the Raj who we have already quoted. If Marxist-Leninists persist in dumping upon Roy, without reference to (or explaining, or interpreting for others - what this data - or to use other words these facts - means) - they simply invoke a myopic Aleaderism@, or authority of a supposed great name like Varga. To be frank, it is simply inadequate to rely on the authority of a died-in-the wool revisionist, one who constantly changed his opinion not on facts but on the basis of convenience, a mere changeling- like Varga, to counter Roy=s arguments. Such inadequate comments like:

Since the issue of so called Adecolonisation@ and Roy=s view of it, has been made central by one party in the polemic, we will briefly relate to it. Kuusinen attacked the position of Roy, and incidentally that of the CPGB, as follows : Roy replied to this attack, in an article printed after the Congress, since he was seriously ill at the time - it will be remembered that he had not been there. He pointed out the fundamental distortion that had been introduced by Kuusinen - that the term (a term Roy pointed out that the Comintern asked him to use) Adecolonisation@ did not mean in any way that British imperialism was about to play dead: But Roy pointed out, that new developments must be understood. In summary he adduced facts to show:
a) The crisis for British capitalism had led to a decreased inflow of British exports into India (p.180). All page numbers for these are from the same reference (Roy: On the Indian Question In the 6th World Congress"; In Selected Works; Ed S.Ray Ibid;)  from p. 180-p.196;

b) The volume of capitalist investments in India from Britain was beginning to decline. (p.182; 186).

c) There was a resultant adverse balance of British trade of Avery large dimensions@ (p.184).

d) Britain had been recently Aobliged to write off a considerable portion of the diminishing profit from India@ (p.186).

e) India=s exports to the Britain declines (p.193).

f) An increasing amount of India=s exports were going elsewhere (p.195).

g) Indian bourgeoisie were investing in American securities to an alarming extent for the British bourgeoisie. (P.195).

In summary, Roy argued that an objective problem had arisen for British imperialism. Roy pointed out that Lenin had critiqued Kautsky for maintaining that:

British imperialism argued Roy, was not stupid, but it was trying to rescue itself : This process was not fast, but the British were going to make a Ajunior partnership@ with the Indian bourgeoise in order to create a Dominion status rather than the older form of direct colonial status for India : We argue, that actually Roy was very acute and prescient in his diagnosis of the British policy in India, a transition of India from a colony to a neo-colonial Dominion : Roy=s political sense of what was occurring with the Indian bourgeoisie was accurate and explains a great deal of the subsequent actual history. It is certainly true that that rotatory Aweather-vane@ Eugene Varga, the CI economist had already announced in Inprecor: But the thought processes of the imperialists appeared different. For instance, Lord Hardinge, Vice Roy of India, had argued in . Despatch to the Secretary of State for India, November 1915: AIt is becoming increasingly clear that a definite and self conscious policy of improving the industrial capabilities of India will have to be pursued after the war unless she is to become the dumping ground for the manufacture of foreign nations who will be competing the more vigorously for markets, the more it becomes apparent that the political future of the large nations depends on their economic position.. after the war, India will consider herself entitled to demand the utmost help which her Government can afford, to enable her to take her place so far as circumstances permit, as a manufacturing country.@
Desai A.R. Social background of Indian Nationalism. p.98 in Kidron, M. Ibid p.13,
Varga must have known of the formation of the Industrial Commission chaired by Sir Thomas Holland of the Munitions Board in 1916, in India, whose report was pertinent: Besides as Roy (and of course Revolutionary Democracy) points out, Varga had previously endorsed the position of Roy. Varga would have known that the British were re-negotiating Tariffs, and the Indian traders and industrialists were partaking in discussions at the Ottawa Summit of August 1932. These Agreements, were impelled by several factors. Firstly the need for British imperialism to ensure that in case of war the Indian state could produce goods; the need to prevent penetration of foreign capital and goods- especially in the cotton industry Japan; and finally, the continued pressure from Indian industrialists. As Lenin pointed out these changes were part of the fabric of imperialism itself , creating industry in the colonies : Roy also saw that Lenin had already pointed out a feature, one that has become increasingly apparent in our own days, with the environmental lobbies correctly pointing out the ecological disasters. The Metropolitan capitalists react to their own people=s objections by displacing such activity to the under-developed colonial world. This has been called ANot In My Back Yard-ism@ (NIMBY). Unfortunately, the environmental lobbies have lost sight however, of the driving forces of capital, and they have created a Asupra-class@ theory of today=s ecological nightmares. We have written about this before in an analysis of Vandana Shiva and Gail Omvedt. (See Alliance 16).

Lenin pointed out this phenomenon, of moving Aunpleasant@ and toiling labour - out to the colonies where the Ablack races@ would do it. Roy remarked this passage in Lenin :

If today, Marxist-Leninists wish to understand the driving forces behind imperialism=s connections with the so called ATiger@ economies - albeit the tigers have recently lost some of their speed and ferocity - they might ponder to what extent Lenin was correct in this comment. In doing so they might ponder whether Roy was correct in divining one aspect of a change in the approach of British imperialism. We argue that he was correct in his calling attention to this change. CONCLUSIONS. Like all Marxist-Leninists, we are prepared to be proven wrong. We accept Stalin=s and Lenin=s injunctions on self criticisms : We ask the comrades of both Proletarian Path and Revolutionary Democracy - irrespective of whether they praise Varga or reject him, whether they praise Roy or denigrate him; whether they uphold Kuusinen or not; - but assuming still that they do uphold Stalin - to correct us.

If you simply slag us off as Acounter-revolutionaries" - well that reflects a problem of your bias, and a fear of science on your parts. We have met this fear before - a fear that refuses to argue on the basis of facts, but simply upon the Aauthority@ of the 6th Comintern theses.

We are frankly puzzled that :

1) Proletarian Path accepts Lenin=s masterly work on the development of capitalism in Russia, & cites from it, but cannot accept that its lessons might apply now in India - Comrades, Please assist us on this matter.

2) We are puzzled that Revolutionary Democracy - in castigating Roy for Leftism - upholds Kuusinen and the call for Soviets in 1929; & the destruction of the Workers and Peasants Party - especially puzzling since Revolutionary Democracy, correctly in our view; insists upon the need for the Democratic Stage. Comrades, Please assist us on this matter.

3) We are puzzled that Revolutionary Democracy appears only interested in the Awhere we are now@ and not by the process of Ahow we got there?@ - we are puzzled that they appear to believe that nothing has happened in the intervening phases of the decades since 1947. Comrades Please assist us on this matter.

Long Live the Science of Marxism-Leninism!
Only Its Application to the Under-developed World Can Solve Their Problems!!
Long Live the Working Peoples Struggle for Socialism!


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Adhikari -Editor ; "Documents of the History of the Communist Party India"; Several volumes; Delhi, 1971 - 1982;

Ahiuwalia, I.J.; "Industrial Growth In India- Stagnation in the Mid -Sixties"; Delhi 1985;

Alliance, Communist League (UK) and Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) : 'Upon Unity and Ideology -An Open Letter to Comrade Ludo Martens."; London; March 1996;

Alliance Number 5; October 1995:"The Role of the bourgeoisie in colonial type countries. What is the Class character of the Indian State?;

Alliance 12; January 1995: "Chechnya- Oil & The Divided Russian Capitalist Class"; Toronto;

Alliance 14: 1995 "Bland On Restoration of Capital in USSR";

Alliance 16: July 1995: "Red & Green Politics: Environment, Industry & Peasantry"; Toronto;

Alliance 17 1995: "Revisionist Economics - Vosnosensky &Varga"; Toronto;

Alliance 23; July 1996; "The Theory of the Black Nation In the USA"; Toronto;

Alliance 25 January 1997: How Khrushchev Distorted Struggles In the Colonial World-Alliance With Titoite Revisionism & International national bourgeoisie." Toronto;

Communist League; "M.N.Roy &The Colonial Question" Parts 1 & 2; London; 1977;

Comintern: Theses on the Revolutionary Movement in the Colonies and Semi-Colonies, 6th Congress CI, in "International Press Correspondence", Vol 8, No.88, Dec 12th, 1928. p.1666, 1667;

Communist Party India; "Comintern & National Questions - Documents of Congress" - 1973;

Engels' Letter to Turati," January 26th 1984; In "Selected Correspondence" Marx and Engels Moscow, 1955;

Encarnation D.J.;, "Dislodging Multi-Nationals. India's strategy in Comparative perspective."; Ithaca; 1989;

Great Soviet Encyclopedia," Vol 4; New York; 1974;

Kidron M.,"Foreign Investment In India"; London; 1965;

Kunsinen 0., "Report on the Revolutionary Movement in The Colonies and Semi-Colonies, 6th Congress, CI"; In: "International Press Correspondence", Volume 8, No.70; October 4th, 1928, 1230-1; Kuusinen: Report on The International Situation and the Tasks of the CI, 10th Plenum ECCI, In ‘International Press Correspondence" Vol 9, No.40, Aug 20th, 1929; p.847;

Kuusinen "Revolutionary movement in The Colonies"; 1928; In "Documents of the History of the Communist Party India"; Ed Adhikari; Delhi, 1982;

Lenin V; "2 Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution"; Collected Works Volume 9; Moscow; 1962 Lenin V.1. "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky" 1918); In Selected Works; Vol 3; Moscow; 1971;p. 128-9. V.I.Lenin: Letter in Tactics; In Selected Works; Volume 6; London; 1946;

Lenin' In "The Agrarian Programme of Social Democracy In the Russian Revolution 1905-07); In "Lenin on the USA" Moscow l967; From Vol 13;

Lenin: "A Great Beginning."; July 1919; Vol 29; p.425; In Collection "On USA"; Ibid;

V I.Lenin: "Fourth Anniversary of October revolution"; in: "Selected Works; Vol 6; London 1946;

V I.Lenin: "Address To the Second All-Russia Congress of Communist Organisations of the Peoples Of the East"; Collected Works Vol 30; Moscow; 1966;

Lenin, Report of the Commission On The National & Colonial Question, Selected Works; Vol 10; London; 1946:

Lenin "Proletarian Revolution & Renegade Kautsky" Nov 1918); Selected Works; Vol 3; Moscow; 1971;

Lenin V.I.; "The Development of Capitalism in Russia" Collected Works Vol 3;

Lenin; V.I. "Imperialism- Highest Stage of Capitalism"; "Little Lenin Library" ed; New York; 1970;

Markovit C:"Indian business Nationalist Politics 1931-39"; Cambridge; 1985;

Overstreet and Windmiller; "Communism In India"; Berkley 1960;

Proletarian Path; "On The Stage of the Indian revolution"; Volume 1, No 1; Inaugural Issue; 1992; Calcutta;

Proletarian Path ; "Marxist Methodology & The Current Stage of the Indian Revolution"; Moni Guha; In Revolutionary Democracy; September 1997; Volume III, No.2;

Revolutionary Democracy "On the Stage of the Indian revolution"; Vol II No 1; April 1996; Delhi;

Revolutionary Democracy; "Critique of the Contemporary Adherents Of the Views of M.N.Roy, Evgeny Varga & Leon Trotsky; On the Current Stage of The Revolution in India"; Vol III No 2; Sept 1997; Delhi;

Roy M.N.; Speech 2nd Congress CI, In "documents of History of Communist party India" Volume 1; New Delhi; 1971; Cited Adhikari, (ed);

Roy M.N.; in "On the National & Colonial Question" Address of 1 July 1924; In "Selected Works of M.N.Roy"; Volume II ed Sibnarayan Ray; Delhi; 1988;

Roy MN.; "The Death of Stalin: In "The Radical Humanist"; Vol 17; 1953;

Roy M.N. and Abani Muherji, "India In Transition", Geneva; 1922;

Roy MN.; ;"Memoirs"; Bombay; 1964;

Roy M.N. "How To Organise A Working Class party"; In Masses of India; Vol II November 1926; In "Selected Works" ed S.Ray; Delhi 1988; Vol 2;

Roy M.N.; : "On the Indian Question In the 6th World Congress"; In Selected Works Ed S.Ray Ibid;

Roy MN. and B.Vannik: "Our Differences". Calcutta, 1938;

Stalin JV.; : "Questions of the Chinese Revolution", "Works"; Vol 9; Moscow; 1954;

Stalin J.V.; "On the International Situation and the Defence of the USSR"; Joint Plenum of CC and the CPSU Control Commission; August 1 1927. Vol 10;

Stalin J.V.; Speech to Communist University of Toilers of the East, 1925; "Tasks of the University of the People's of the East."; Works Vol 7; Moscow; 1954;

Stalin J.V.; "Foundations of Leninism"; In "Problems of Leninism" Moscow 1954;

Stalin J.V.; "Programme of Comintern; July 5th 1928 Speech"; 'Works' Moscow; 1949; Vol 11;

Stalin W.; "Economic Situation and the Policy of the Party"; Works; Moscow; Volume 8;

Stalin J.V.; "The Results of the Work At the 14th Congress of the RCPB), in "Works" Volume 7, Moscow, 1954;

Stalin J.V.; "Against Vulgarising the Slogan Self-Criticism"; Work 5; Vol 11; Moscow; 1949.

Tomlinson, BR: "The Political Economy of the Raj, 1914-1947"; Surrey 1979;

Trotsky L: 'The Chinese Revolution & the Theses of Comrade Stalin.'; In 'Problems of the Chinese Revolution'; Ann Arbor (USA); 1967;

Trotsky L; "Summary and Perspectives of the Chinese Revolution", In "Third International after Lenin". London; 1974;

Vanaik, Achin; "The painful transition- bourgeois democracy in India"; London; 1990;

Varga F.; "Testament" In "New Left Review"; No.62; July August 1970
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GO TO SUBJECT INDEX
GO TO CATALOGUE
GO TO HOME PAGE ALLIANCE

 

ML Review     |     Alliance ML     |   WB Bland Archive    |    Albania Society