LATER COMMENT ON ALLIANCE
(GO THERE: ALLIANCE
ON THE POLEMICS BETWEEN PROLETARIAN
PATH & REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY ON THE STAGE OF THE INDIAN REVOLUTION.
Web placed by Alliance October 2001
Kolkata India; January to March
2001, p. 36-51; New Series;
Editor Moni Guha
Foreword By Alliance
In our own opinion this is an important debate for
all Marxist-Leninists in "developing" countries. It describes clearly the
dilemmas they face today.
For Marxists-Leninists in "developed" coutnries,
it is also important - hinging as it does on the interpretation of the
"modes of production" and the "relations of production" - key notions for
For both sets of comrades, other dimensions - such
as the nature of the debates in the Comunist International - make this
debate critical. We will not belabour these matter here but will shortly
comment on them.
THE POLEMIC ON THE STAGE OF REVOLUTION IN INDIA
By Proletarian Path; 2001.
The Proletarian Path, in its Inaugural issue
(New Series, vol.1, I No.1, Nov-Dec,1992) published its stand on the stage
of revolution in India now, calling it socialist. Comrade Vijay Singh,
editor, Revolutionary Democracy (in its vol.3, No.2, Sept, 1997),
challenging the stand of the Proletarian Path and advancing the stage as
a democratic one, published a long article: "A critique of the contemporary
Adherent of the views of M.N. Roy, Evgeny Varga and Leon Trotsky on the
Stage of Revolution in India", on pages 40-60. Subsequently Alliance
M-L of Canada also published an article in its organ No-28, January
1998, in support of the democratic stage of revolution in India - though
it criticised the arguments of Revolutionary Democracy.
A healthy dialogue on this vital issue was in the
process of developing. Proletarian Path was duty bound morally and politically
to continue this dialogue defending its stand which it failed to do. This
unpardonable lapse of the proletarian path is now being rectified by meeting
the challenges of RevolutionM Democracy and Aliance-M-L.
We must meet this challenge in two parts separately.
The Stage of Revolution
And The Journal "Revolutionary Dernocracy"
Introduction: There is a popular Bengali proverb
- Dhan Vante Shiver Geet (Shiva's song while husking paddy) meaning a quite
unnecessary and irrelevant song on the occasion concerned. Our most learned
critique Revolutionary Democracy, sang, likewise, a quite unnecessary
and iirrelevant song of 'real' or 'genuine' industrialisation and
programme of the 6th Congress of Communist International, while speaking
of the determination of the stage of revolution in India; in its rejoinder
to Proletarian Path and its editor in Revolutionarv Democracy
, vol III, No. 2, Sept.1997 [in "A critique of the Contemporary Adherents
of the views of M.N.Roy, Evgeny Varga and Leon Trotsky on the current stage
of Revolution in India" on pages 40 to 60]. Besides its irrelevant songs
of 'real' or 'genuine' industrialisation and programme of the 6th Congress
of Communist International it also tried its best to vitiate and turn
a healthy Marxist polemic into an antagonistic warfare by using such filthy
invectives which can only be used against the worst enemies of revolution
and of the proletarian class. Proletarian path will try its best to avoid
the path of hatred, enmity and revenge and will strictly follow the norms
of Comradely Criticism in continuing this polemic.
The Proletarian Path stands firmly on its
arguments put forward in its Inaugural issue (New Series vol.1, No. I Nov.-Dec.
1992) and as such, this article it will only show and prove Revolutionary
Democracy's utter ignorance of the ABC of Marxism and the essence of
the programme of the 6th Congress of Communist International.
The central pointof the polemic between the Proletarian
Path and the Revolutionary Democracy (hence forth PP
and RD) are NOT on the fake or genuine industrialisation BUT
on the political economy of India. All Marxist-Leninists know that the
proper subject matter of political economy is formed by human social
relations that take shape during the production of the material
things of life the SOCIAL SYSTEM OF PRODUCTION. BUT our critic RD, unfortunately,
bypassing the politica economy or the social relations of India sang the
song of productive forces or machine making machine - completely extricating
it from the relations of production ! It has made capitalism synonymous
with the manufacture of machine making machine, completely ignoring the
emergence of different types of capitalism since the period of imperialism
when export of capital instead of export of goods and the process of globalisation
of capital and capitalism began. Though it referred to the programme
of the 6th Congress of Communist International (hence forth only The
Programme) in its defence, it totally disregarded the programme in
its assessment of capitalism in India. Whereas, in contrast to RD, the
'The uneven development of capitalism, which become more accentuated
in the period of imperialism, has given rise to a variely of types of capitalism";
PP now will show and prove how childish and un-Marxist
is the stand and interpretation of RD's first and foremost important subject-matter
under the sub-heading "Productive forces, production Relations And the
Determination of the Stage of Revolution."
The editor of PP said:
Productive forces And the Relations of
"In determining the stage of revolution Revolutionary Democracy's
point of departure is machine-making machines or heavy industry - not the
relations of production in industry and agriculture. I consider this point
of departure is quite un-Marxist in determining the stage of revolution".
In reply to the above, RD, in its rejoinder, once again
betrayed its ignorance about the ABC of Marxist conception on the indissoluble
relations between the productive forces and relations of production and
their character and role. RD, conciously or unconsciously violating the
law of indissoluble unity and contradiction and analysis and synthesis
of Marxism, extricated the productive forces from the relations of production
and has made the productive forces all-in-all and thus has arrived at the
wrong and un-Marxist conclusion that without the manufacture of Machine-making
machine or heavy industry, there cannot be any capitalism and capitalist
relations. With a view to prove this gem our critique has said:
(see Revolutionary Democracy, vol.111 No.11, Sept. 1997 issue, p.34
in 'Marxist Methodology And the Current Stage of Revolution', by Moni Guha).
"Marx established that the level of development of the productive forces
determines the economics the economic system of society".
(Ibid, p.41, under the subheading under discussion, emphasis on 'determines'
PP most humbly, but quite resolutely challenges RD to
show where and when Marx "established" this arrant nonsense.
On the basis of this arrant nonsense our critique
RD, like that of Napoleon at Waterloo shouts:
We are forced to begin from
the beginning of Marxism and we appeal to the readers to excuse us.
What are the productive
Productive Forces are means
of production and people who set the means of production in motion.
Describing the labour process,
Marx noted that human labour and the means of production are interconnected
and interdependent. Labour is inconceivable without means of production
and the means of production is meaningless without labour. And human labour
always has a definite social form. Lenin said:
"The primary productive forces of human society as a whole is the workers,
the working people".
Else where Lenin said:
(Lenin, C.W., Vol. 29, p. 304)
"The development of human society IS CONDITIONED by the development
of material forces, the productive forces".
We would request our Critic and readers to please note
carefully Lenin's words - "is conditioned". Marx said that the productive
forces are INDICATORS of man's position with respect to technology and
natural forces of human society. What do then Lenin's - "is conditioned"
- and Marx's - "indicators" - really mean? It clearly
means that the productive forces DO NOT DETERMINE the economic system of
society. It can help us to guess the level of development of human society.
(Lenin, C.W., Vol. 2, p.2 1, emphasis on 'is conditioned' by in capital
letters is ours)
So, the un-Marxist and banal theory of our critic
that the level of the development of productive forces determines the economic
system of society holds no water. Marx could not and in fact did not "establish"
What, then, determine the various economic systems
of society? Marx, unambigously and categorically said:
"For production to go at all they (the labourers and the means of Production)
must unite.THE SPECIFIC MANNER IN WHICH THIS UNION IS ACCOMPLISHED distinguishes
THE DIFFERENT ECONOMIC EPOCHS OF THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY". (Marx: Capital,
vol. 11, P 34, Foreign Languages Press, Moscow, emphasis in capital letters
Stalin, in his Dialectical And Historical Materialism
explained Marx's this "specific manner" in a most brilliant way. The three
systems of class exploitation known to history, differ from one another
NOT ONLY in the ownership of the means of production, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY
in the manner in which the labourers and the means of production
are united. Stalin points out that the basis of the relations of production
under the slave system was full ownership by the slave-owner of the means
of production - i.e., the slaves; the basis of the relations of production
under feudal system was full ownership by the feudal lords of the
means of production and the partial ownership of the workers in
production - the serfs; the basis of relations of production under the
capitalist system was the ownership by the capitalist of the means of production
but not the workers in production.
It is crystal clear from the above that Marx "established"
NOT that the level of productive forces determine the economic system of
society, BUT that the specific manner of unity between the labourers and
the means of production determine the specific economic system of society.
The above also means that our RD's critical assertion is nothing but arrant
As the ownership of the means of production plays
so important a part in forming the relations of production, that is why
relations of production are also called "property relations" - which is
the "legal" term of relation of production.
Though the means of production and the labourers who
set the means of production into action constitute the productive forces,
yet to obtain vital material things, "for production to go at all" -
IT IS NOT ENOUGH to have productive forces only - whatever may be
the level of their development. Men have to co-operate with one another
TO ENTER INTO DEFINITE SOCIAL AND PRODUCTION RELATIONS. Hence the productive
forces and the relations of production in their indissoluble dialectical
unity form TWO ASPECTS OF SOCIAL PRODUCTION AND one cannot think one without
Indissolubility of productive forces and
the relations of production:
But RD in its infantile over-enthusiaism towards
the productive forces has, unfortunately, made it all-in-all, as things
without any soul, surprisingly enough, exactly like those of bourgeoise
and vulgar economists. Marx, in refuting such interpretation of capital
in terms of productive forces said:
"Capital is not a thing (means of production) but rather a definite
social production relations belonging to a definite historical formation
of society which is manifested in a thing and lends this thing a specific
Unfortunately, RD has forgotten that the productive
forces always function in a certain economic form WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK
OF RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION OF A SPECIFIC TYPE. No one can isolate and extricate
the productive forces from the relations of production EVEN THEORETICALLY.
Unquestionably the level of development of productive forces (means of
production, technology, science, standard of knowledge and skill etc,..)
of the past society predetermines the basis of relations of production
corresponding to the given stage of history. In this sense, and only in
this sense productive forces are primary and the relations of production
are secondary. But THIS DOES NOT MEAN IN THE LEAST that the level of development
of the productive forces determine the economic system of society. Our
critique (From RD) has gone too far in its wild imagination and thus made
the role of the relation of production a passive by-stander. But the
fact is: having developed on the basis of the past, the societal relations
of production exercise an active and tremendous feed-back influence
on the productive forces, either promoting their rapid development, or,
holding them back and inhibiting their growth. So, ignoring, isolating
and extricating the active role of the relations of production and their
exertion of a feed-back influence upon the productive forces is not Marxism,
but a caricature of Marxism.
(Marx: Capital, vol.111, p. 814, emphasis ours).
Endless caricature of Marxism has been performed
by our critic RD. The Marxist understanding of political economy is so
miserably betrayed. Thus our critique has made the "economic development"
synonymous with the productive forces. It has brought Marx, Engels, Lenin,
Stalin to the witness box in defence of this queer theory of productive
forces. It has said: "in opposition to the approach of Poletarian Path
Lenin took the level of economic developmen of Russia as his point of departure
in determining the stage of revolution".
Then it quoted Lenin as follows:
"The degree of Russia's ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (objective condition)
It is really unfortunate that our critic does not know
about the basic difference between the "level of development of
the productive forces" and "the degree of economic development",
in spite of Lenin's "objective Condition" in paranthesis. Is "objective
condition" or "the degree of economic development" of Lenin synonymus with
our critic's "level of productive forces"? Even a novice knows that the
productive forces and "objective condition" or "economic development" are
NOT the same thing. The two denote completely different things. One cow
and man does never mean two cows or two men. "Economic development" or
the "objective condition" are the sum-total of the socio-economic
condition of society and is the subject matter of political economy of
which the PP spoke. Whereas the productive forces are the subject matter
of technology, science and skills of the workers. What then, is political
economy? In his "Anti-Duhring", Engels said that the political economy,
in its broadest sense, is the science of laws governing the production
and exchange of material values in human society. Obviously, the productive
forces do not cover the production and exchange. To build up economy and
to make economic development a certain mode of production is required.
And what is mode of production? MODE OF PRODUCTION is constituted by the
UNITY OF PRODUCTIVE FORCES AND THE CORRESPONDING RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION.
Without taking all these into account and their laws one cannot have any
understanding of economy or objective condition. Can productive forces
alone, then, be synonymous with the "objective condition"?
RD, further wrote:
"The Leninist approach of taking the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT of a country
into account when determining the stage of revolution was the point of
departure in drafting the programme of the Communist International which
was adopted by the 6th Congress in 1928...".
(Ibid, p. 42, under the same sub-heading under discussion, emphasis
It is clear now that the Leninist approach and the
point of departure of Lenin and the programme in determining the stage
of revolution were NOT "the level of development of productive forces"
or 'machine-making machine' - BUT the economy as a whole i.e., The science
of political economy. The approach and the point of departure of PP (see
PP in its Inaugural issue) is also the economic development or objective
condition of India as a whole; i.e., the science of political economy of
So, it is not PP but the RD, who has made caricature
of Marxism; and PP believes that RD will very soon realise its Himalayan
drawback in grasping Marxist science and acquire the quality of Bolshevik
How Does RD read and understand the programme
of the 6th Congress of Communist International and Stalin?
The PP has challenged RD besides incontestably proving
that RD has misread, misunderstood and thus misinterpreted the question
of relation between the productive forces and the relations of production.
In PP we will now discuss and prove, that our critic has once again misread,
misunderstood and misinterpreted both Stalin and the programme of
the 6th Congress of communist International - so far as the questions of
'genuine' or 'real industrialisation', and the development of world capitalism
and world proletarian socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the
proletariat, are concerned.
Manufacturing of machine - making machine is the
solid criteria of 'real industrialisation'and the development of a society
into capitalism from feudalism - according to RD - who asks us to wait
up to that stage, and meanwhile, let the slogan of socialism be kept in
the cold storage. Objectively and in last analysis it is a slogan betraying
the cause of revolution and socialism. And the wonder of wonders is that
RD referred to Stalin and the programme in its defence. But Lenin in 1921
thought of skipping over the painful developmental stage of backward countries
directly to socialism during the 2nd Congress of Communist International.
Besides, both Stalin and the Programme spoke NOT AT ALL of capitalist industrialisation.
Both spoke about the socialist inclustrialisation and socialist construction,
as they very well knew that since the complete division of the world
imperialist powers there can be no question of 'real' or 'genuine'
industrialisation of the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries.
But that did not mean the stopping of the process of development and globalisation
of capitalism. The programme said:
"The uneven development of capitalism which became more accentruted
in the period of imperialism HAS GIVEN RISE TO A VARIETY OF TYPES OF CAPITALISM
Unfortunately, our critic hopelessly fails to understand
these "variety of types of capitalism" as it understands only one type
of capitalism, the classical type. To it, other types of capitalism is
no capitalism at all as it does not manufacture machine-making machine.
A logic indeed!
Does the above quotation mean that the programme
debated over the question of 'real' and 'fake' or genuine capitalist
Elsewhere, The Programme said:
"Colonial and semi-colonial countries (India, China etc ) and dependent
countries (Argentina, Brazil etc ... ) having the rudiments and in some
case, a considerably developed industry, in the majority cases inadequate
for INDEPENDENT socialist construction ......."
Does the above quotation mean that The Programme debated
over the question of 'real' and 'fake' capitalist industrialisation ? On
the contrary, it recognised capitalism in backward countries as capitalism
and even "considerably developed industry" despite the spectacular absence
of 'machine-making machine' in these countries. And lastly, it spoke
of the "inadequacy" of "independent socialist construction", NOT of capitalist
PP likes to know why, then those childish, unnecessary
and irrelevant babble of RD and its reference to The Programme?
Did Stalin speak and debate over the question of
'real' or 'genuine' capitalist industrialisation in his speech on The First
Five Year Plan? He spoke on socialist industrialisation and the importance
and significance of Department 1, in this respect only.
In this case also the reference of our critics is
irrelevant and unnecessary.
Finally, did the programme direct the colonial, semi-colonial
and dependent countries to effect a bourgeois democratic revolution WITHIN
THE FRAME WORK OF WORLD BOURGEOIS DEMOCRACY AS A PART OF WORLD CAPITALISM,
AS A TRANSITIONAL STAGE, AS IT EXISTS TODAY?
Definitely not. The programme placed the perspective
of world proletarian Socialist Revolution and AS A TRANSITIONAL STAGE TO
THAT WORLD PROLETARIAN SOCIALIST REVOLUTION. The programme directed the
Colonial, Semi-colonial and Dependent countries to effect a bourgeois democratic
revolution WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF WORLD PROLETARIAN SOCIALIST REVOLUTION
AS PART AND PARCEL OF WORLD PROLETARIAN DEMOCRACY AND WORLD PROLETARIAN
REVOLUTION. Or we may call it SOCIALIST GLOBALISATION.
Here is what Stalin said about The Programme:
"3) The draft takes its point of departure Not some particular
capitalism of some particular country or portion of the world, BUT
THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF CAPITALISM counterposing to it THE WORLD SYSTEM
OF SOCIALIST ECONOMY ........
Where, then, is the relevance of our critic in referring
to the Programme? Is there any relevance of the said Programme in today's
context? We do not expect that our critic friend RD - will become a pedantic
and academic one. Why then does our critic advise us to effect a bourgeois
democratic revolution within the frame-work of world bourgeois democracy
and capitalist globalisation and then objectively erects a Chinese wall
between the democratic revolution and socialist revolution? Why then doe
sour critic advocate "revolutionary Democracy" in words?
"5) Instead of the slogan of United States of Europe, the draft puts
forward the slogan of a FEDERATION OF SOVIET REPUBLICS WHICH CONSISTS OF
ADVANCED COUNTRIES AND colonies THAT HAVE DROPPED OR ARE DROPPING OUT OF
THE IMPERIALIST SYSTEM AND WHICH IS OPPOSED IN ITS struggle for world socialism
TO THE WORLD CAPITALISM SYSTEM."
(Stalin : The programme of the Comintern July, 5,1928. Works, vol.11;
By the way, may the PP ask RD why it abandoned Peoples
Democratic Revolution of CPI (M) and others and why it embraced Revolutionary
RD first speaks that "Nothing has changed since the
transfer of power in 1947" and then speaks of the necessity of an agrarian
revolution as the axis of its bourgeois democratic revolution, of course,
under the leadership of the working class. PP likes to know:
Some Straight Questions to Revolutionary
"If nothing has changed since the transfer of power in 1947, how does
RD explain the spectacular onward march of the productive forces in agricultural
sector in post-independent India which remained stagnant in the first half
of this century? (Figures to show a spectacular onward march of the productive
forces in agriculture will be readily supplied if and when demanded)".
This spectacular onward march of the productive forces
in agriculture is due to the change of relations of production in agriculture.
How does RD explain this change of relations of production and at
the same time defend 'nothing has changed since the transfer of power in
What is bourgeois democratic revolution? Emancipation
of the peasant serfs from the stranglehold of feudal bondage so that the
free peasants may freely sell their labour-power in the market in both
industrial and agriculture sector in order to develop capitalism and capitalist
relations of production in both the sectors. Due to the bourgeois democratic
revolution made under the leadership of the Indian bourgeoisie (though
incomplete and unfinished), the peasant serfs have become the free labourers.
Do you RD, agree that the relations of production
in agriculture has changed? If so, how do you defend your assertion that
"nothing has changed since the transfer of power in 1947"?
What is the basis of feudal relations of production,
feudal bondage? The basis of feudal relations of production, according
to Stalin is "full ownership by the feudal lords of the means of production,
the partial ownership of the workers in production - the serf" (Stalin:
Dialectical and Historical Materialism). But the peasants of India are
no longer serfs. Is it not a change of fundamental nature in post-independent
Question 2 : Why, in spite of the emancipation
of the serfs from feudal bondage, and in spite of the spectacular rise
in agriculture production, is Indian agriculture facing a severe crisis
of over-production? And why at the same time does the agrarian population
live a life of utter poverty and misery and remain backward? Is it because
of the peculiar character of Indian capitalism? What inhibits and hinder
India's productive forces to go forward - Feudalism or Capitalism?
Question 3: What is the over-all economy of India - Feudalism
or Capitalist? Is the industrial sector integral part of the feudal economy
and politics? Does feudalism lead capitalism or capitalism lead feudalism
PP is of the firm opinion that it is not feudalism
but Indian capitalism which is holding back the productive forces of India.
Yes, the capitalist relations of production
in India have turned into fetters - not the feudal relations of
production - and our task is to smash these fetters to march ahead. The
incomplete and half-finished bourgeois democratic revolution can only be
completed as a by-product of socialist
PP is quite aware of the tremendous influence of
feudal ideas and practices IN THE SUPERSTRUCTURE, BUT THIS IS NOT
IN THE REALM OF ECONOMIC BASE, IN THE RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION. Determination
of the strategic goal is one thing which is related to the relations
of production, to the economic base; whereas the determination of the tactical
line is another thing which is related to the superstructure
to men's mind. Our critic RD seeing and feeling the tremendous influence
of feudal ideas and practice forgets to distinguish between the base and
superstructure and between the stategy and tactics.
PP is quite aware also of the vastness and unequal
development of Indian economics and politics. Concrete local conditions
should be kept in mind while concretising the slogan and immediate tasks
but, they should always be based on over-all condition of Indian economics
We give below the summerised view of Alliance M-L on
Proletarian Path's position in regard to the socialist stage of revolution
in India to enable the readers to be quite acquainted with the stand of
Proletarian Path's Reply To Alliance-M-L
Alliance On Proletarian Path's Position
"Alliance disagrees with the overall conclusion [that the stage of
revolution in India is socialist] 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 we cannot
be said to be at the socialist stage ......"
"that there has been a significant series of change since 1947 " is
But we would argue to Proletarian Path, that if Lenin's view of deternining
feature of the Democratic stage of the revolution are considered, then
it 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:
"Yes our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with
the peasantry as a whole first with the "whole" of the peasants against
the monarchy, against the landowners against mediavalism (and to that extent
the revolution remain as bourgeois, democratic). Then with the poor peasants,
with the semi-proletarian, with all the exploited against capitalism including
the rural reach of the Kulak the profiteers - and to that extent the revolution
becomes a socialist one."
Moreover, we argue to Proletarian path that if they truly do feel that
as they say, "we do not deny the existence of a certain incidence of debt
bondage among agricultural workers" or, "the relatively considerable incidence
of share cropping, then there are tasks left over. We presume to remind
proletarian path of the advice of Engels to Turati:
(Lenin : Proletarian Revolution And Renegade Kautsky" (Nov, 1918);
Selected works, vol 3, Moscow, 1991 pp. 128-129 by Stalin. "Foundation
of Socialism (April, 1924;p. 105).
"Evidently the Socialist party is too young, too weak to be able to
hope for an immediate victory of socialism what role must the socialist
party play?.... They therefore take an active part in every phase of the
struggle between the two classes without losing sight of the fact that
these phases are just so many stages leading to the first great goal the
conquest of political power by the proletariat.
If Engels can advise in 1894 Italy, what amount to a "re-stepping of Certain
stages" in the condition of an "incompleteness", 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.
(Engels to Turati; Ibid, Selected correspondence p. 444,446).
"We fully agree with the Proletarian Path that serious
changes have occured 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; these have not
been such an advanced as to remove the Democratic first stage.
Besides, we argue that the slogan 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 this sense that Proletarian Path is
thereby skipping even a short interim gap - a stage, thus it takes the
second deviation noted by Stalin:
'The second deviation lies in an over estimation of the revolutionary
potentialities of the liberation movement and is an underestimation of
an alliance between the working class and the revolutionary bourgeois against
imperialism.... A deviation to the left .... fraught with the danger of
the Communist Party becoming divorced from the masses converted into a
(Stalin : Task of the University of people of east Ibid, p. 154)".
Alliance Issue 28; January 1998.
Answer to Argument I : Unfortunately
the above arguement is a quite irrelevant one as the Proletarian Path does
not consider the slogan. "Together with the peasantry as a whole against
mediavalism is an appropriate slogan as "IT CLASHES VIOLENTLY WITH LIFE"
Of Indian situation.
Let us quote the whole passage from our inaugural
issue (NovDec- 1992), chapter 'The class struggle in agrarian Sector p.
'To many of our friends, 'socialist' revolution means nothing other
than admitting the progressive character of the bourgeoisie [that is admitting
that the bourgeois have effected the democratic revolution complete or
incomplete]. Well friend, the Prussian Path is the Path of the most reactionary
bourgeoisie landlord State. But all the same, we find to day before us
CAPITALIST INDIA and should not get dazzled either to the right (as the
CPI-M-L liberation has) or the left (holding the impossibility of social
development). Ideologically if we dogmatically stick to the stage of democratic
revolution and come face to face with reality we will definitely move to
the right of the Chequer board as Liberation has. It means CONTENDING WITH
THE REALITY in a negative manner as given to the opposite class (the bourgeoisie)
- moving right and invariably accepting the left democratic front CPI,
CPM, SUCI etc. THE CO-RELATIONS OF CLASS FORCES ARE THAT THE CALL OF DEMOCRATIC
REVOLUTION CLASHES VIOLENTLY WITH LIFE and hence the democratic (in courseof
time) accepts the hegemony of the bourgeoisie (as & social Democratic
do). (Emphases added)"
We are sorry, the Indian reality compels us not to consider
the democratic stage as an appropriate one and our conclusion is in quite
order with Lenin's determining features.
Argument 2: We argue to Proletarian
Path that if they truly do feel that as they say "we do not deny the existence
of a certain incidence of debt bondage among agricultural workers "or"
the relatively considerable incidence of share cropping "then there are
tasks [of democratic revolution] left over ...........
Answer, to Argument 2: 1)
Bonded through indebtedness:
If we take into consideration the rural urban migration
during the period from 1971 to 1991, we find that during 1971 to 1981,
28 million rural people and during 1981-91, 22 million rural people migrated
from the rural area to cities. Thus a total of 50 million people have migrated
from the country side to the cities.
What does it mean? It means that bonded are no longer
bonded, they are free from the Feudal and semi-feudal bondage. The migration
testifies eloquently to the reality of freedom. Besides, usurious money
lending is no longer as lucrative and as safe as it used to be. It may
be noted that the percentage of share of agricultural money lenders has
gone down from 23.0 percent in 1971 to 8.3 percent in 1981. The rural rich
have diverted their money into others sectors where the rate of return
is higher and more secure.
So, despite the incidence of bonded labour (feudal
and semifeudal) capitalist relations are growing more rapidly. Hence the
Proletarian Path, which taking into consideration the incidence of debt
bondage does not forget to take into consideration the process of change
and its degrees.
2) Share cropping: Though share-cropping is a recognised
semi-feudal feature, however it should please be noted that in absolute
terms (India as a whole) the share cropping arrangements account for only
3 percent of the total operational area (See NSS (National Sample Survey)
Report on Land Holding-1971-72 to 1982). This by no mean can be considered
as a major phenomenon of Indian agriculture.
Lenin, in his Development of Capitalism in Russia
has shown that the share-cropping system also may be a feature of Capitalist
relations. That in India share-cropping is being reduced to a mode of surplus
appropriation under the sway of Capitalist relations, is also clear from
the fact that the surplus produce appropriated from the share croppers
is increasingly being turned into commodity, and is being realised in the
market as a cash profit. Therefore share cropping too has come under
the Cash nexus and under the market relations.
We would most humbly argue Alliance to take the dialectics
of changing process into consideration.
Argument 3: Then, "there
are task [of Democratic Revolution] left over."
Answer to Argument 3 : Proletarian
Path is quite aware that the Prussian Path of the Indian bourgeois-landord
State has left over many vital tasks of democratic revolution. But we argue
1) show us a single instance of the bourgeois democratic revolution
by the bourgeois, even by the American Path where the task of bourgeois
democratic revolution have been made complete?
In fact, the bourgeois democracy because of its very
character cannot complete the task of bourgeois democratic revolution.
It keeps as left over for the socialist revolution to complete it. Lenin
2) Did the Russian February Revolution complete the tasks of democratic
revolution or the October proletarian socialist revolution had to complete
it as a bye-product of socialist revolution?
'The democratic republic 'logically' contradicts capitalism because
"officially" it puts the rich and the poor on an equal footing. That is
a contradiction between the economic system and its political superstructure."
Argument No.4 "if Engels can
advise in 1894 Italy what amounts to a "restepping of Certain Stage" in
the conditions of an "incompleteness" 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"
(Lenin: c.w. Vol. 23 p. 47)
Answer to Argument No.4 :
Proletarian Path thinks that Alliance M-L has misread Engels 'letter to
Turati. Engels did not ask Turati to "reshape certain Stage", On the contrary,
Engels asked Turati to divide the stage of the Conquest of power by the
proletariat" into phases. The stage denotes the strategic
goal while the phase denotes tactical line which leads towards
the strategic goal. Does Alliance conclude that the Proletarian Path would
launch a socialist revolution on the morrow of its announcement of the
stage as socialist? Did Lenin launch a socialist revolution on the morrow
of placing his April Theses? Socialist Revolution as a stage is a strategic
goal. All the tactical lines of different phases of socialist goal
must have a living link with the strategic goal so that the movement of
all phases lead the people to its strategic goal. It means: All STREAMS
TO THE SOCIALIST SEA.
Proletarian Path would like to say that there are many examples in history
that the stern reality has trampled down all the calculations of the wise
men and has compelled the realists to abruptly change their line in order
to successfully meet the exigencies of the reality. We quote below Lenin.
'That the transformation of our Russian Revolution to a socialist revolution
was NOT A DUBIOUS VENTURE, BUT A NECESSITY. For there was no alternative.
Anglo-French and American imperialism will inevitably (Lenin's emphasis)
destroy the independence and freedom of Russia if the world socialist revolution,
world Belshevism does not triumph." (Lenin; c.w.,vol 28, p. 188; emphasis
Proletarian path also thinks that there is no alternative
today When American imperialism together with the Indian ruling classes
are conspiring to destroy the independence, freedom and sovereignty of
India other than socialist revolution. It is a dire necessity.
[When the above paper went for DTP [printing-Alliance], we received a copy
of North Star Compass, vol 9, Dec 6, 2000 (the organ of the International
Council for Friendship And Solidarity With Soviet People) published from
Canada, in which, we find a "report" on "Labour Movement in India" sent
by Comrade Vijay Singh, the editor of Revolutionary Democracy. We
reprint below the relevant portion of the said report and our comments]:
The "report" inter-alia says:
"After analysing the statistics it is a fact that the industrial proletariat
accounts for less than
The above "report"is a concealed challenge to Marxism-Leninism,
above all, a challenge to Lenin and Stalin.
11 % and it also implies that capitalist development is yet to displace
pre-capitalist form of production and that socialization of production
that forms the basis for socialist revolution is still a distant goal.
In other words the overwhelming large segment of the labouring people of
India cannot be treated as having been objectively placed in the role of
a vanguard of social change. It means that overwhelming 80% of the proletariat
is engaged in non-factory sectors."
Firstly because, Marxism-Leninism never said
that the "overwhelming large segment of the labouring people" will objectively
play the "role of a vanguard of social change". There is a qualitative
difference between the industrial proletariat and the "labouring people".
Industrial proletariat are the products of capitalist system of production
relations and its natural "grave diggers": Whereas the "labouring people"
may not necessarily be the products of capitalist relations of production
- they may be the products of different pre-capitalist relations, which
exist in spite of the dominating role of capitalist system of production.
Comrade Vijay Singh in order to revise Marxism-Leninism,
deliberately forgets to make this fundamental difference between the industrial
proletariat and the labouring people.
Secondly, Marx and Engels clearly said that
there are two categories of industrial proletariat viz : "class for itself"
and "class in-itself" - meaning the first as the vanguard and the latter
as "objectively revolutionary".
So, it is clear from the above that Marx and Engels
did never say that "the overwhelming large segment of the labouring people"
should be "objectively placed in the role of a vanguard of social change".
They said that the industrial proletariat as a class are objectively
the vanguard of the social change while a section of the industrial proletariat
is subjectively for the class i.e. the Vanguard.
Why then, this "overwhelming segment of labouring
people" theory? Clearly to sow more confussion in the communist movement.
Thirdly, Lenin and Stalin clearly said that
the proletariat of India is objectively in a position to play the
role of vanguard and it is the tasks of the communists to educate and equip
the Indian proletariat.
In 1921, at the Second Congress of the Communist
International, it was Lenin who on the amendment of M.N.Roy's Supplementary
theses emphasised the need for preparing the Indian Proletariat to be the
vanguard of the liberation movement.
Did Lenin speak of the subjective preparation in
the absence of any objective basis?
In 1925, Stalin, in addressing the "University of
the peoples' of East" had distinguished three different categories of Colonial
and dependent Countries. The social factors were the relative strength
of the working class, the degree of the proletariasation and the potentialities
of the role of a vanguard. (See Stalin, Works; vol.7; Moscow 1954, p. 149)
This classification of Stalin had very serious strategical and tactical
implications for the Communist Party of India. Stalin concluded that in
the ountries like India, the proletariat had the potential to
surge to the leadership of the bourgeois democratic struggles:
"In other words, in colonies like India it is a matter of preparing
the proletariat for the role of a 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".
Did Stalin advise the proletariat to subjectively prepare
the proletariat for hegemony in the absence of any objective basis of its
(Ibid, pp. 150-51, emphasis supplied).
Let Comrade Vijay Singh clearly and categorically
say that the assessment of Lenin and Stalin was a fundamental mistake and
need revision and then, we will deal with his statistics.
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