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2016

Tehrik Publications
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Gian Singh

[APPRAISAL OF
THE LEFT]
With collapse of an unique experiment in social engineering
to build a new society and a new man, question is not
adequately answered what happened and why in the
process. Evidently it was a failure of both theory and
practice. A fresh appraisal is necessary.

Appraisal of The Left

LEFT IS BRAIN DEAD

LONG LIVE THE LEFT


Hardly any doubt, the Left is brain dead presently,
both in theory and practice. Peoples in all continents
relied on its veracity to deliver. So had Indians. That
was their fatal mistake. Representatives or leaders are
born to usurp powers to rule over the originals. They
do not deliver. Left had assumed a role, it misfired; it
did not fit its character. History has to be corrected.
When it is brain dead, Left has to be reinvented. its
role redefined and task lineated afresh. Left is not
irrelevant. Long live the Left.
Some say it but differently that capitalism is dead but
new is refusing to take birth. If new is refusing to take
birth it is all due to manoeuvres more of the Left to
keep capitalism alive in the hope that this wait will
help them to rule better in future. It cannot be
accurately said at present that capitalism is dead,
though it is surviving but by sheer manipulations and
deceit through pro-active participation of state power
and deceitful role of Left in keeping the masses in
check. The paralytic Left in bed is reality in contrast,
turning capitalism breathe easy. The loss is
stupendously staggering on this account to the ruled.
But there is nothing to weep about and chest beating;
it is all about to learn and move ahead. Hurdles are to

Appraisal of The Left

cross over. Humanity is for life to blossom. And its


future is with the Left, since status quo does not help,
did not help and cannot help. The Left, despite its
deadly decay currently, conceptually it is the hope.
The Right denotes that is rotten, and rotten beyond
redemption. The hopeful Left needs a bold
resurrection both in theory and practice, without past
blinkers: that wrongly prescribed to govern present
and the future on wrong premises. This is what
failures of the Left underlines. There is much scope
still to take appropriate lessons and move ahead for
appropriate course correction.
The present dispensation is rotten to the core; it
dehumanises man and material both, it demolishes
society and the family as social institutions built by
man passing through long ages of trial and error to
reach a stage of living in community with harmony
assuring harmonious conditions for man to remain
man. The harmony with nature and with fellow beings
is an achievement of human society that is worth
nurturing. After having a disastrous experience of
constant discords and wars during the recent past of
capitalist growth with debilitating oppression and
lacerating inequality, human relations necessarily
have to move again to this harmony and peace.
The hope, however, of humanity rests with the Left.
No doubt, the Left faltered badly during its
endeavours during twentieth century and still is blind
to realities, mostly relying on sanity of the insane and

Appraisal of The Left

false hopes from cheaters. For its failures, it lost


creditability and masses their confidence in their
future. The loss is much higher than what humanity
had at the failure of Paris Commune in 1871. The
credibility has to be reclaimed and reclaimed fast with
dogged firmness allowing no holes to escape in
liberation legend and its practice.
Yes, the old Left has proved senseless after a long
inning and failed to redeem its pledge miserably
leaving the masses shattered, but for its follies in
thought and practice basically. Excuses wont help it
to regain relevance now. It has to reinvent itself
afresh on basics. The past alibis it adopted to bypass
principles at times wont work. It was a bad working
culture. It cannot blame the forces inimical to it; these
were not unknown entities. Its follies are too damning
and inexcusable. Let us not mistake, opponents of the
Left are not an endearing entity either to answer the
call of the people, craving to live in peace with itself.
2
On theory the Left proved dud. With practice it played
truant. It may not sound unreasonable, so let us
recount the tale:
First, it must remain clear what Left in the lane
denotes. The left is a philosophy of liberation from the
old that is rotten. It challenges what is not worth
living on logic and reason. It denotes side of the
people to the story. Historically, the Left side at the

Appraisal of The Left

table subscribes to replace, lock, stock and barrel, to


what Right side occupies at present to govern in the
service of capital. The Left, consisting of various faiths
but largely of Marxist orientation, had concluded that
current dispensation has no capacity to serve the
masses, in its quest to serve the interests of capital,
mainly the corporate now.
The Left is for Labour, though some advocate a socalled judicious combination of both capital and
labour to maintain justice and equilibrium in social
production as Labourites in Britain, France, and
Germany subscribe as SSP and SP in India do, while
Marxists argue incompatibility of interests between
the two. It is the stark truth unless one chooses to
deceive the commons. The subscribers to the Right
side in governance, the believers in status quo, cannot
serve both at the same time; the two incompatibles
with no reconcilable in between. The point is as good
as a dictum. The big question to solve is; how to
negate capital as factor of social production and
distribution so that Labour power remains unfettered
instead.
One may remind: capital was not always a factor of
social production in past and it may not remain so
important, if society happens to decide so. It was a
specific vested interest that emerged from among its
own ranks who forced it on society for its interests to
flourish at the cost of working population. When
resources are owned in common and the malicious

Appraisal of The Left

concept of entrepreneur is demolished as superfluous


in the chain of production where is the necessity of
capital, except as source of expropriation f labour
power? The medium of exchange without interest on
its use defies the logic of capital as necessary factor of
production and distribution to the advantage of social
good.
Recounting an old chapter in history to make a
relevant point, in short, it was an alien element that
was allowed by default to grow in a throbbing society
it peddled self over commons; a new deeply
structured society was born, which mankind is
experiencing for almost four hundred years with much
debilitating effect. The humanity experienced how
Capital the insidious juggernaut, rising it from a
medium to the whip, that replaced common human
Labour as that commanding factor of production but
at a very heavy cost to nature and society, crafting the
market as its device for expropriating fruits of labour
to the benefit of a few lecherous leech. In course of
time it was bound to give rise to anxieties, leading to
many experiments during both nineteenth as well as
twentieth century, to craft alternatives in favour of
peace and harmony in social relations.
The rising tide of operations by traders started
shattering a life of faith and harmony in social
relations among citizens everywhere while allurement
of easy money began shaking their faith in honest
labour. Unearned income became an acceptable norm

Appraisal of The Left

with mischievous manipulations as tricks of trade


dominating the discourse. Later, manufacturing
industry put the social relations asunder that gave a
serious drubbing to the very concept of family, while
wage workers found their life in misery despite back
breaking labour, day and night. The dehumanising
working conditions with long working hours made
them restive. Europe found rising struggles of
distracted workers, mainly industrial workers against
inhuman treatment and oppression. The concept of
eight hour work, eight hour rest and eight hour
entertainment/social obligation was recognised as
legitimate principle of social relations, which now
under corporate culture of maximisation of super
profit is given a go by returning to eighteenth century
barbarism for exploitation of labour power. Efforts
were made to provide legitimacy to labour struggles
by theorising the cause of their misery and the way
for due amelioration by various shades of opinion,
giving rise to organised trade union movement and
the theory of radical change in production relations.
Fabian socialists tried their hand but could lead
nowhere and reduced the efforts ultimately into a
noble fable of least substance to the goal. The idealist
experiment however had pushed others to find a
more sound and logical way of deliverance that is
more real to the ground realities. Anarchists
denounced the State but could not provide a

Appraisal of The Left

workable alternative that can take society ahead


without it.
The Existentialists came next to denounce any kind of
system that brings man into a system in relation with
other fellow beings, raising the freedom of individual
to the extreme. It gave rise to crass individualism and
formed a theoretical base for proponents of industrial
mode in dispersing social institutions like family and
the community by organised efforts like women
liberation movement of American genre (distinctly
different from movement for gender equality by the
Left) that benefited only the crisis ridden capitalism at
the end of Second World War by bringing them out of
family precincts and putting this cheap female labour
in the market and simultaneously, utilising its media
to glamorise Freudian precepts aloud to convert
procreation organs as means for entertainment,
popularising slogans like freedom of choice and free
sex to make it available at a call in free market where
capital dominates over starving millions for want of
productive work, opening the floodgates of sex and
sexuality as lucrative industries, more than 20 in
number at present, for super profits without
investment, leaving the young bereft of tender and
compassion for healthy upbringing. The tale has taken
ugly dimensions for generations to suffer in utter
criminality.
Taking Hegelian thoughts ahead, it was Karl Marx,
with his numerous colleagues just as F. Engels, who in

Appraisal of The Left

between had to wage a determined struggle to come


out of any kind of idealist approach to reshaping the
social relations afresh. Marx, along with Frederick
Engels, outlined the future course in a treatise called
the Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848, which
proved a powerful engine in shaping opinions during
later half of nineteenth and the twentieth century of
both adherents and the opponents to a great degree
in matters of social change.
With inaugural address by Karl Marx on September,
1864 in London the Working Mens International
Association with many strands of socialism, also called
the First International, came into being to provide
alternative to the status quo, guide and coordinate
the struggles of workers that had an intellectual child
in Paris Commune in 1871 although the International
did not lift a figure to produce it, as F. Engels later
commented. After few years, this Association was
dissolved in 1876 to save its core character. Second
International of Karl Kautsky (1889-1916) came up on
the scene to lead the legion which F. Engels also had
attended. This International soon fell apart on various
viewpoints on theory and approach for social change
in general when different strands within made it
ineffective and divisive, before the Third Communist
International of Lenin (1919 to 1943) was given shape
after Union of Soviet Socialist Union came into being
as a result of November Revolution of 1917 led by the
Bolshevik Party in Russia. Later, the Socialist

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Appraisal of The Left

International was resurrected by German Chancellor


Willy Brandt in 1951 with its own understanding of
socialism, which strand still persists.
In all this, First Principle Contradiction in capitalist
society i.e. between capital and labour was
theoretically placed at first place to be resolved as
core of this struggle of the proletariat in establishing
socialism, communism.
3
Marx had died in 1883 and Engels in 1895, leaving a
legacy of their own. By the beginning of twentieth
century, there arose numerous variants of Marxist
groups giving their own interpretations to Marxist
Thought and led struggles for social change in their
own ways. Among adherents Paul Lafarge and J. Gaud
in 1879 organised the Labour Party of France that
worked under guidance of Marx and Engels for a while
that turned later into Socialist Party of France.
By the beginning of twentieth century, it was Lenin,
however, who emerged as a relentless crusader to
actualise what according to him Marx envisioned as a
communist dispensation in social and production
relations in society, taking along such others like
Plekhanov, Bukharin, Trotsky and later, Stalin by his
side to translate his thoughts on the Russian grounds.
Lenin propounded a theory of unity between
Proletariat and Peasants as core of the struggle to
overthrew bourgeois rule that took power from Czar

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Appraisal of The Left

aristocracy in February Revolution of 1917 and


accomplished a socialist revolution in November 1917
led by this unity of workers, peasants, soldiers for
building a new society and shaping a new man.
Taking cue from Marx-Engels duo thus began a grand
experiment, first of its kind, in rebuilding Russian
society on socialist principles as expounded by him,
expropriating state power by staging the November
Socialist Revolution of 1917 there, which later was
termed as Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
abolishing private right to property, though later
private enterprises were allowed under NEP to tide
over difficulties in production that obliquely
glamorised private right to property in need, while
turning peasants hostile when Stalin stated his
campaign to large scale collectivisation of farming
lands.
Despite this, nothing much changed basically there,
except in some exemplary social security measures for
the population. Though involvement of the working
population was at mass scale, but the country
remained chained to industrial mode in social,
economic production relations, the expropriation of
surplus labour continued, rather speedily, within a
low cost economy. Having a highly centralised state it
ruled ruthlessly in the interest of so-called
development as in other capitalist/imperialist
countries, despite noble protestations of high human
values in its constitutions, one promulgated after

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Appraisal of The Left

seizing power and another thereafter in 1935 under


guidance of Stalin, though glamorising of workers and
peasants as rulers under a new dispensation
continued unabated. The country soon became a
super-power in competition with imperialist states
with huge economic and military strength to die as a
socialist state by 1991.
This seizure of power by a block of Peasants, Workers
and Soldiers seeking to end war for peace while
promising buttered bread to all took the world by
surprise and awe in the first instance, but also became
a source of inspiration to all those who were longing
to come out of colonial slavery and those suffering
under capitalist subordination-cum-exploitation.
Meanwhile, Mao-Tse-Tung emerged on the scene as a
formidable leader of Communist Party of China and
also its fighting arm i.e. Red Army comprising mostly
peasants. He, instead of Socialist Revolution on the
lines followed by Lenin, had propounded a theory of
Peoples Democratic Revolution in China comprising a
block of peasants, workers and national bourgeoisie
to take power. Whether he was following the United
Front politics advanced by Third International or
propounded it on his own to oust Chiang Kai-Shek of
Kuomintang or KMT, a party founded by Sun Yat-sen,
describing it as a party of comprador bourgeoisie is a
moot question. The country following the same
course of development soon aspired to become a
super-power, first with economic aid from USSR and

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Appraisal of The Left

later its rulers transformed it into a workshop of


world capitalism with American and World Bank
support.
After takeover in 1949, the national bourgeoisie in
China was a partner in power, which later after Maos
death in 1976, despite bombarding the headquarter
through a unique Cultural Revolution by him to get rid
of bourgeois culture in all walks of life, partner in
power the so-called national bourgeoisie subtly took
over the leadership of Communist Party of China itself
in its own hands and by 1978 virtually overthrew the
charted socialist path to take patent capitalist path
frontally as its logical object to attain the status of a
super neo-colonising power.
Despite protestations constantly of being a
communist state, China became a camp follower
virtually of America after 1978 and against USSR in a
game of upmanship, broke the ranks of a fight against
the First Principle Contradiction of Proletarian Era
between Imperialism and Socialism, as propounded
by Lenin after seizure of power in Russia and
endorsed by the Third Communist International.
Later, it soon was found in armed conflict with its
previous partner, Vietnam which surprised many and
formed a parallel camp of communist formations.
The first contradiction between Capital and Labour
meanwhile became blurred by such overtures of
turning a big part of bourgeoisie who symbolises the
capital, terming it national, into fraternal ranks during

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Appraisal of The Left

this period of United Fronts. In China this national


bourgeoisie while sharing power turned later into big
bourgeoisie first and now has assumed the character
of corporate bourgeoisie expropriating labour by
investing capital in a large number of countries, apart
from China itself, as ruthlessly as in other imperialist
countries of the world.
4
USSR had arisen to become a powerful block after the
end of Second World War in 1945, termed as Soviet
Camp of socialist/peoples democratic countries.
Peoples Democratic Republic of China in 1949 and
Vietnam, after a grim armed struggle first against
France and then American imperialists, emerged as
other country of socialist dispensation after long and
arduous struggles of liberation. There also came a
bunch of liberated countries from colonial subjugation
that later formed into a Non-aligned group.
Sentiments against colonial and imperialist
exploitation as also repression was high in all such
countries that brought pressure on their respective
ruling circles to stand against imperialist camp headed
by America. Putting together all these factors against
capitalist rule had placed the imperialists jittery over
their loss of lucrative markets of over one third of the
globe and doubly weak for a while.
In addition, the leading role of USSR under
Generalissimo Stalin, also the leader of its ruling
Communist Party in routing Nazi Germany in Second

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Appraisal of The Left

World War brought laurels to its stamina to withstand


heavy odds of barbaric nature. Socialism became a
fascinating word all around. Even the Indian ruling
capitalist class, a victim of colonial expropriation for
long, after striking a deal for independence from
British rule in 1947and a founding member of GATT
with America in lead, was quick to declare itself as a
dispensation for establishing socialist pattern of
society inside and leaned heavily on economic aid
from USSR for oiling of its own capitalist machine in
the country to consolidate, while donning a human
face there was no let up in expropriation of both wage
and non-wage labour power at home ruthlessly and
mischievously by sheer administrative fiats and
cunning machinations of its legislative power. Soon it
was an aspirant imperialist power.
This period saw an upsurge in democratic
movements world over while communist parties
caught the imagination of down trodden peoples in
various countries for deliverance. The Third
Communist International (Comintern, in short), as
distinct from what remained of the Second
International, owed allegiance to the theoretical
leadership of Lenin. However, the changed balance of
forces
after
USSR
joined
hands
with
capitalist/imperialist countries like USA and Britain to
fight the armed combination of Nazi Germany, Italy
and Imperial Japan as aggressors in the Second World
War and with declaration of war as Great Patriotic

16

Appraisal of The Left

War for the Defence of Fatherland by USSR, the


relevance of Third International came under cloud. It
signalled a shift from previous conceptual position.
National tendencies took primacy over theoretical
commitments of proletarian internationalism. The
Third International was soon thereafter dissolved in
June, 1943 over exigencies of joint front in the war.
With the dispersal of its centralised organisation,
different tendencies in the Comintern emerged
distinct variants of communism as a philosophy. Eurocommunism was one that had pushed ahead with
much vigour by its proponents. Antonio Gramsci, an
Italian neo-Marxist theorist became curiously a new
face in communist philosophy for a while. With much
attention paying against the persona of Stalin, the
Trotskyites meanwhile had organised the Fourth
International with its variant for social change, but
with little influence on theory and practice, though
surviving a distinct trend.
During the movement for Independence in India,
there arose a few terrorist groups to fight the British
rule here with some theoretical approach. Anushilan
Samiti and Ganshakti were two such well known
groups. Later, Hindustan Socialist Republican
Association/Army by Chandershekhar Azad and Sardar
Bhagat Singh led another small revolutionary brigade
coming out of terrorist approach. Peasants and
Workers Party, as the precursor of a Marxist
approach, could not have a pan India appeal giving

17

Appraisal of The Left

space to Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1925 which


had its allegiance with the Comintern and had a zig
zag trajectory during Independence struggle,
sometime allying closely with the British during a
phase in World War like many other forces working in
the country as the Unionist Party in Punjab and
another variant in Bengal. For a while M N Roy after
parting company with Comintern and after reaching
his home country, organised Radical Humanist as a
distinct group, while RSP, having allegiance to Trotsky
soon split. A small group leaving RSP organised itself
as SUC in 1948. Another split group coming out of
Forward Block called itself Marxist in Bengal. After
independence, the functioning Parliamentary mode, a
plethora of left political parties scrambled to join the
bandwagon. PSP and SSP were prominent for a while
with stars like Acharya Kriplani, Thanu Pillai, Jay
Prakash Narayan, and Lohia, among others.
Split within split was the new phenomenon that ruled
these Left formations. First there was a rift between
CPSU and Communist Party of China, affecting almost
all communist parties in the world. In India, major
split occurred in CPI giving birth to CPI (M) in 1964.
Soon in 1967, however, another split occurred in CPI
(M) accusing it with surrendering interest of
revolution to parliamentary politics, giving birth to
Naxalbari movement first and later named as
Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) with Maoist faith.
Later, CPI (ML) also split into numerous groups on one

18

Appraisal of The Left

account or the other. One of its prominent founders,


Kanu Sanyal heading a separate group was frustrated
to the point of suicide. Similar was the fate of almost
all socialist parties of different faiths in the country
who suffered continuous chain of splits, like
communist formations, with acute groupings vying for
pelf and power in the parliamentary games much like
known bourgeois parties in the country.
5
Curiously enough, the common ground of all variants
of Left fighting capitalism universally is their abiding
faith on the economic foundation of development
that runs through their approach emanating from a
common ancestry with capitalists. It may sound
strange but true, that all of them have learnt their
development economics, which epitomised formation
of capital starting from Adam Smith, Ricardo to Marx
in creating national wealth. Industrialisation is a
common slogan for communists and capitalists alike
as a means to create plenty of wealth, while
communist parties and their leadership conveniently
forgot that industry necessarily generates capital,
inequality and individualism in its wake giving rise to
crass consumerism, corruption, tensions and cut
throat struggle for markets. The rise of individualism
alone was enough to throw out Soviet experiment for
building socialism. The accumulated toxins of 74 years
there burst asunder the whole structure and pushed it

19

Appraisal of The Left

back to its original sin in capitalism by 1991 with more


inhuman face.
Alienated Labour
If formation of capital going on continuously through
industrialisation even under so-called socialist
dispensation through industrial or commercial
concerns with whatever restrictions, it will surely
cause the same effect it creates in countries with
direct mode of capitalist development; a labour force
alienated from social obligations and craze for
accumulation of wealth as a measure of social status
in an atmosphere of acute insecurity. It resulted in a
stale experiment to produce nothing, but the same
individualism in its womb to topple the experiment
itself in due course of time. Individualism and crass
individualism in the era of corporate capitalism is the
bane of society that socialism seeks to reconstruct. It
is a contradiction of colossal magnitude between
socialism and individualism that brooks no
compromise, otherwise the new man which the Left is
destined to create will remain a rootless dream of
dreamers where realism finds no place to stand firm.
Another grave sin that was committed by these
harbingers of socialism relates to the question of
state. The state as institution entails coercive power
to make it run and endowed with innumerable pelf
and privileges for those who operate the juggernaut,
giving rise to constant internecine struggle among
them with right or wrong pretexts to grab its reins.

20

Appraisal of The Left

The State has an inherent tendency to perpetuate


itself; develops a vested interest to keep itself intact
and moving through an elaborate networking of its
deadly bureaucratic reach. The experiment in USSR or
China did not escape this evil to rap it on knuckles
before alienation took alarming proportions against
the system.
Lenin glamorised this armed institution in state of a
dynamic nature by placing it on an artificially built
pedestal, renaming it as proletarian state which it
cannot be ever, more so under industrial mode and
culture. It gave rise to conspiratorial groups within the
ruling party to violently grab power on one pretext or
the other, as it happens in capitalist countries of
parliamentary or non-parliamentary form, on the
spacious plea that a particular group has more
capacity to take the road easy and efficiently than the
other; though everyone realises that allurement was
the uncouth privileges that go with the state power
which marshals their energies for grabbing its reins by
hook or crook, invariably resorting to killings of their
own mentors as it happened in the case of such
stalwarts as Stalin. Nothing surprising: basic character
of state power is such a category. If on occasions per
chance some representatives of proletariat grab its
reins the basic character does not change. It is bound
to reassert. And it so did in USSR or China.
Lenin in Russia tried to build another institution of a
highly dubious value to the masses in the shape of a

21

Appraisal of The Left

Communist Party with Democratic Centralism as


another crafty device to control a mammoth
bureaucratic machine. When in control of state power
it became another juggernaut around the neck of
ruled masses, no less than its own cadres. Perhaps in
his last days of life he arose to the danger when
participating for a while in the meeting of Third
International in 1922 he castigated the Organisational
Principles for universal application sanctifying a
devilish reading of Democratic Centralism, adopted by
Communist International in 1921 where he was not
present, though still labelled as Leninist Principles of
organisation having universal application.
Lenin conveniently bypassed a fact of available history
that political party (ruling or otherwise) is nothing but
a faithful instrument in the hands of ruling
establishment i.e. the state, to run representative
democracy for controlling and regulating the energy
of masses in order to kill participatory democracy and
its mass energy. And, the state necessarily runs an
order of minority over the majority in the interests of
capital. Perhaps, the formulation of a revolutionary
political party devised by Lenin emanated from
another artificial concept of the proletariat as a
revolutionary force to work for social regeneration,
though this class proved a dud in saving its own socalled Soviet rule of 74 years in 1991! Revolutionary
party of Lenin-Stalin did not remain so as a ruling
entity over people, including the working class much

22

Appraisal of The Left

less for peasantry, which was placed on alter soon


after taking power as a dying class. And it did by
1939, to no advantage to revolutionary relations in
production for a new society in the making.
In the whole schema of Lenin and others like him,
Messiahs (an anti-people concept) were to work for
the masses and in their behalf, debunking virtually the
power of the people in history as harbinger of social
change in society basic postulate of Marx; a serious
deviation indeed in hurry perhaps to complete the
task by himself. Working masses in twentieth century
though paid a heavy price for it. The concept kept the
division between leaders and the led remained intact;
rather strengthened to no advantage in history for a
classless society.
In their anxiety to debunk feudal remnants in
capitalist societies all over, the left of all hues fought
the institution of family and its local community
(Biradari and the village in case of India) that still
remained a reliable base for keeping human relations
in shape in the midst of deep alienation and discarded
the job of searching an alternative path of
development despite the fact that industrial mode
had ruined all hopes of plenty for all. Another mode of
development in farming was debunked out of hand as
backward for social development and was ignored,
without scrutiny and hanged.
In no so-called socialist country the state has come
out in favour of the ruled, but for the capital to grow

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Appraisal of The Left

at their cost. This is the story so far, including that in


USSR and camp followers; not less in China, Vietnam,
Cuba and North Korea. State and the capital proved to
be a perfect combination with political party in hand
to rule and ruin the masses, in no sense better than
feudal lords. Rather worse. Bureaucracy, who
necessarily develops vested interest to remain an
entrenched entity, of both Communist Party and the
Socialist State ruled and ruled ruthlessly to subdue.
With it development became a catchy word to hunt.
In their race with imperialist world the expropriation
of labour in so-called socialist states doubled more
than masses could bear while following the same
prescription as their contemporary camp did. The
level of capital growth in China is an example.
On hindsight, now after two decades and more after
collapse of Soviet experiment, it can be said
unhesitatingly that apart from Lenin it was Comintern
phase, which helped more in colouring the vision of
communist parties world over to the wisdom of USSR
and its leading lights on the internal and external
policies of the affiliates than instilling intellectual
independence for creative approach to problems in
their respective countries, concretising tasks and on
Marxist understanding even on different Soviet
personalities like Stalin; painting him onetime as
messiah and villain of worst order at another. Reading
open archival material by now of that phase leaves
little doubt on this aspect of ruling communist parties

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Appraisal of The Left

do befool the people of their countries on matters


substantial, as ruling bourgeois parties do to remain in
power and is not worth confidence before diligent
query and investigation, keeping perceptions focussed
on peoples centric interests to uphold truth. It has
not been done in case of Soviet and Chinese
experiments in chiselling a new society of socialist
order.
Fully dependent on rulers mercies, the masses then
remain easy and helpless prey for their mischievous
games in deception and machinations to rule easy.
There was no better alternative in governance that
Soviet or Chinese or for that matter with any other
ruling party could devise for better social justice.
6
Saga in betrayal
In a later phase, various left parties in India, including
the leading one at the time i.e. Communist Party of
India, started with a confusing search for
characterisation of Indian state that had come out of
British rule in 1947. It used to draw wisdom from
CPSU and Comintern first during Independence
struggle against British rule and later drew it after
gaining independence from a thesis propounded by A
M Dyakov, called Crisis of British Rule in India and the
New Stage in Liberation of Her Peoples, who was a
leader of the Communist Party of Soviet Union and
used to work in the Comintern. The Thesis was later

25

Appraisal of The Left

published as a document for general circulation by P.


P. H., Bombay in 1949 belonging to CPI. The wise
document from afar states: India, as well as Pakistan,
there has been formed finally a reactionary bloc of the
big bourgeoisie, landlords and princes, which has
concluded an alliance with British and American
imperialism. This bloc is interested in the retention of
existing relationships both within India and Pakistan
as well as the relations of these countries with Britain
and USA.
The CPI and later all other splinter parties of Left like
CPI (M), CPI (M L) remained tied to this trend of
analysis for characterisation of Indian State. Other
claimant formations of communist/socialist faith too
did not fare better. USSR or China remained light
house with one or the other for wisdom. For some
quotations from Trotsky, Gramsci or Willy Brandt did
the trick. The same USSR at a later stage pushed
Indian communists to declare the ruling dispensation
in India as progressive which all communist parties
happily adopted to support.
As per this prescription from abroad, India remained
for communist parties of all hues as semi-colonial,
semi-feudal and/or comprador bourgeois/Landlord
state. They theorised to work for establishing in few
cases as Peoples Democratic Revolution or in case of
CPI as National Democratic Revolution; the PDR was
taken over by its splinter group in 1964 called the CPI
(Marxist). Indian state for them remains suffering

26

Appraisal of The Left

from semi-feudal remnants still which are to be


cleared for bourgeoisie proper to take over for rapid
development of means of production of higher order,
giving legitimate cause to befriend a strange national
bourgeoisie placing it into conflict with the ruling
bourgeois-landlord/ comprador/big
bourgeoisie,
resultantly blurring the grim fight against capital,
symbolised by the ruling parties to consolidate its grip
on the socio-economic-political-cultural life in the
country.
Let us consider another piece of such wisdom from
afar:
a top
communist
personality in 20th
century working against capitalist onslaught and for
establishing socialism in the world, surmised about
and suggested the course to be undertaken with
regard to China struggling for its liberation and see
how the game worked and why? A few quotes are,
such as:
To prevent capitalist growth and go for social
revolution is altogether reactionary.
Except through the growth of capitalism is no
guarantee of victory over it.
Do not retard the development of capitalism b
ut accelerate it, forcing it to forcing it
to resort to more
civilised,
technically
advanced methods of capitalism...it suits the
proletariat.
Please bear with us; the above postulates as matters o
f advice are not from any raw communist leader or

27

Appraisal of The Left

anti-communist saboteur. It was no one else but the


great leader/teacher of communist movement in
twentieth century, the leader of Socialist Revolution in
Czarist Russia, Lenin who said so in these terms
quoted above to clear a crucial point under
discussion on the capitalist growth in newly struggling
countries of third world. He was writing these words
of practical wisdom of Marxist genre in a letter to
Maxim Gorky on what Chinese communists need to
follow in their fight for liberation.
The leader was successful to convince his followers
worldwide on the theory to clear the roadblocks on
way of capitalist growth in unindustrialised countries
as first step before any effort is made to build
socialism proper.
And communists of his faith believed it without applyi
ng their brains. In India all shades of communists are
still following it behaving virtually as intellectual slaves
to such teachings from the leader. They are following
on dot and refused to apply their own thinking faculty
for reading their own country. Mouthing slogans in
favour of socialism and revolution their energies were
spent in clearing the path for ruthless industrialisation
at the cost of peasantry in service of the capitalist
growth here. Minesweepers job indeed, while
exhorting the people to rise in fight against capitalist
system! Communist cadres did everything to translate
these old teachings from Lenin into actions
accordingly. Still doing so.

28

Appraisal of The Left

It was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, who


was intelligent enough to understand the balance of
forces worldwide and the internal ground realities of
time in the country to steer clear hurdles in laying
strong foundation for capitalist growth and
simultaneously tackle different political forces inside.
He did it dexterously as a cunning craftsman in the
given circumstances, spilt the ranks of Left and
sidelined them ideologically, sought their support for
building here a socialist pattern of society, while doing
all he could to lay a solid foundation for capitalist
growth at the cost of working population, including
the peasantry. All the wisdom and intellectual acumen
of communists and socialists did not help them to
steer clear of webs of darkness to the disadvantage of
working masses.
And the Left played to his tune well on dot. The deficit
was born by masses that had to pay for its
industrialisation spree with wretched poverty all
around with little respite during 70 years of
development. Fighting feudal remnants worked to
hide this treachery of the Left and assigned
themselves the task of minesweepers for smooth
consolidation of capitalist path in the country instead.
Talking to be practical usually turned into sheer
pragmatism on principles with the Left. When
principles are compromised practice virtually is lost in
dense mire. In twentieth century, the fight against
capital was compromised on various premises by

29

Appraisal of The Left

leaders and lost credibility with the people at large in


consequence. There is then none else to blame for the
precarious situation of the Left in the country.
Following all these Leninist teachings, If Indian
communists, sham or real in faith, are fighting today
semi-feudalism as a creed since 1947 onward one
need not be surprised. While they were labouring
hard to glamorising the State, the political party as
necessary institutions, along with more than due
respect for Judicial hierarchy and the system of law
and order for good governance in the service of
capitalist mode of production and distribution, Indian
communists of all brands were hyper active to break
the institutions of family, community and the village
for urban culture to prevail. Take an example from
extra revolutionary SUCI: its publication On some
aspects of the struggle to build up communist
character holds the view that They (communist
cadres) are true communists only when in matters of
personal life and character, in culture, morals, and
ethics and in their attitude towards their family they
are completely free of self interest and personal ego.
(page 6) If a revolutionary fails to transform
members of his family into revolutionaries then his
relation with them should cease forever. ..a conflict
became inevitable inevitable too was their
separation from their family. Why run after any queer
theory of co-existence with the family (page7).

30

Appraisal of The Left

What a way it is to recruit whole time cadres by a


communist party?
See a similar view from it on sex and love giving blow
to systematised conduct in family and local
community with no regret for these feudal
institutions: In case of many people, the character of
sex is individualistic and self-centred. To a
revolutionary, emotion, pain, tenderness, affection,
love, sense of duty and responsibility, anger and hateall these carry a meaningto a revolutionary these are
not mere personal affairs. The revolutionary may
feel pain if his beloved is not a comrade. Suffer he
may, but momentarily. Party assures such
heartbroken, newer and newer comrades,
countless beloveds will come, relieve him of his
torment and fill his heart full with love. (pages, 12,
13, 16). So, SUCI here supposes its female comrades
to fulfil double revolutionary duties, lest traditional
family bonds do not act hurdles. The SUCI thus
indirectly presumed itself to act as a higher form of
family, of course duly taking cue from Sigmund Freud
on matters sex and love! If so, it forgets conveniently
in its effort to convince such estranged cadres on such
credentials that traditional family is an informal social
institution, while a political party comes under formal
category and that makes a lot of difference. And this
is not a speciality of SUCI; all the Lefts practically
conduct the same way in keeping their flocks together
in folders. This line of action of Left parties, in effect,

31

Appraisal of The Left

works to break the Family as social institution of


worth in shaping the mores and ethics in community.
As for its fidelity to the cause of peoples movement,
less said the better. When others had tacitly backed
out of an outstanding movement in 1990 by women
of first kind in Haryana against the Chautala regime,
finding the movement still in steam, this genuine
communist formation tried a nasty game in treachery,
similar to others of parliamentary parties. The SUCI
central leadership bent its whole energies in trying
unsuccessfully to force the state leadership in striking
a deal with the ruling party at least for one seat in the
forthcoming Assembly poll in exchange for
withdrawing the movement that ultimately led to a
serious split. This left it no better than others for
attention.
However, for the sake of fact, it may be said that
political parties of all shades and colours are on the
same page as the Left on questions of importance
dwelt above including the family and peoples
movements, though rightists do not say it so explicitly
as SUCI has said on these accounts.
Worst aspect, however remains that parties of all
hues and colours, more so the Lefts, are guilty to
peddle sex in the same way as bourgeoisie is doing
happily in its economic interests during the present
times of instability, by craftily coupling the teachings
from Drench philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre with
Austrian psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud and physicist

32

Appraisal of The Left

from USSR, Ivan Pavlov; gaining rich dividends in


return while keeping the peoples power at deep
slumber mode while that of youths at bay to keep
them indulging in such pastimes of brutes in a world
of in-humans.
If one finds such parties touchy on family bonds and
conservative community practices like Khap, for the
sake of freedom of choice in matters sexuality, sex,
same-Gotra or marriage in the same Bhaichara
vicinity of doubtful lineage by young, they have a faith
to keep in fighting patriarchy. If they are fighting
against conservative traditions and customs of rural
uncouth when it is time to fight state cohabiting
capitalist onslaught before the socialist revolution to
occur, it is as per rule of a progressive path they are
following in line with such Leninist faith. If one
finds them decrying family as an institution it is not
beyond their logic of social change as required by
capitalist dispensation. All these are perceived by
them as roadblocks to the capitalist growth by
Leninist standards as quoted above, before they will
embark on struggle for social regeneration! Who can
beat such an understanding of social change that is
required today for smashing corporate capital in India
and the world?
Another outcome of such readings relates to the
political field. Apart from diversion from resolving the
first Principal Contradiction between the state and the
ruled people to strike at capitalist dispensation, the

33

Appraisal of The Left

Left was engaged in shadow boxing of parliamentary


game and peoples movement; parliamentary game
became its well engaged pastime, to cheat and
hoodwink the people on their own politics and rob
the mass movements of substance. Consequently, all
parties of the Left have submerged themselves deep
into the nasty game of deceiving the people and
learnt all the tricks of this trade, like branded
bourgeois parties in opportunism, deceit and selfdeception to serve the capitalist class, represented
now by the corporate houses both native and foreign
to tread the path, which essentially WTO, World Bank,
ILO prescribe for India in its neo-colonial mode of
expropriation.
The CPI (M) led Left Front II led by Jyoti Basu and a
term or so by Bhattacharya ruled W. Bengal for more
than three consecutive decades, alternately Kerala
and Tripura continuously for about two decades and
did everything to consolidate capitalist mode of
relations in respective areas in the country, except for
minor benefits to workers better than others. These
years were the rule of opportunism, strong-arm
tactics and deception while coaxing the capitalist
barons of one hue or the other. The first elected Chief
Minister in Kerala, EMS Naboodripad was not allowed
to function more than a year and through a show of
mass movement that ministry was disbanded by
ruling Congress at Centre. Thanu Pillai proved no
better. Sanyukt Vidhayak Dal experiment where CPI

34

Appraisal of The Left

was a partner along with Jan Sangh in UP was another


opportunistic gathering to rule that failed in ignominy.
Similarly, CPI worked in parliamentary game to
facilitate rule of the progressives. SUCI, once a partner
of CPI M) in a joint front to rule W. Bengal along with
CPI and others led by Ajoy Mukherjee of a splinter
group of Congress in the state, had joined hands,
along with a faction of CPI (ML Maoist), first in Lok
Sabha and thereafter for W. Bengal Assembly
elections with TMC of Mamta Banerjee, supported by
a
powerful
block
of
capitalist barons and where the American interest was
palpable to rout CPI (M) as punishment for opposing
Nuclear Deal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in
2005, in elections there for a gain of one seat in
parliament. At present the same SUCI, a self-claimed
only genuine revolutionary is with CPI M) led Left
Front to fight TMC after top functionary of CPI (M)
visited its Kolkata based central party office to
symbolise thaw.
CPI (M) on its part, have been making GaneshParikrama, since its presence in Indian Parliament
around who so ever is in power at Centre, supporting
at crucial moments legislations, directly or indirectly,
that the governments wish to enact. Trotting excuses
in its favour is a perfectly developed art by all and
sundry of such practitioners in parliamentary games
by now and the people stand cheated. They all adopt
much the same vile practices to win elections that go

35

Appraisal of The Left

under cover of the law and reviling their capacity to


win, but not on the strength of their ideology.
Since 1947 onward there remained a constant game
of shadow boxing between progressive v/s
conservative in their parliamentary game of deception
at the Centre too striking opportunist deals off and
on, while trade unions became mere chips for
bargains in little benefits for organised sector of
workingmen/women. Peasants for them stood a solid
block to be sacrificed at the altar of industrial farming
step by step true to the wishes of ruling bourgeoisie.
This fits well in their theoretical premise that
peasantry as necessity has to fade away, giving place
to wage workers in the interest of industrialisation
spree for development of its own liking, forgetting
conveniently that industrial machines necessarily
alienate the labour from its social obligations to the
disadvantage of a healthy social growth. There is
another theoretical gem from them now: women
liberation is subject to being economically
independent; seek jobs (in an atmosphere that
generates unemployment by employing high
technology for extracting super-profits) and/or have
property rights to enjoy equal rights with men, when
inequality is rising as a matter of capitalist law of
development. Property for now in their estimate is a
sure guarantee for liberation and security, again
forgetting conveniently their own precept that
property is the root cause of inequality and strife!

36

Appraisal of The Left

Equally, they turn very emotional when importance


now of family in society is ever mentioned. They start
citing F. Engels Family, Private Property and the State
wherein he mentions private property as a cause
giving rise to family as an institution. In their zeal to
abolish private property, so the family to rid society
off the evil of strife or inequality and enjoying equally
the rise of man/woman as a liberated manhood/
womanhood of family bond in relations, the Left could
not understand that the cause that once gave rise to
family may not necessarily be the base for its
existence now. How is it that nearly 70 % of the
population now in India stand divested of property,
still family is rooted among them? Consequently they
all stood cheated of the importance of family as a
social institution of unsurpassed value in the struggle
against capitalist domination, which now is the
agenda for any conscious person of worth, more so
for the alert Left anywhere in the world.
PSP and SP too had nothing better to exhibit in the
parliamentary games or conduct of peoples
movements. They slowly lost ground after their
credibility had gone bust.
7
After collapse of Soviet and Chinese experiments and
take over by capitalist mode in Russia, China, Vietnam
and other countries of socialist faith and quick change
of colours by communist parties world over, the swift
buying of suitable stuff of propaganda from

37

Appraisal of The Left

imperialist quarters by them is reprehensible. Take for


example the rabid stories about the persona of Stalin.
All communist leaders of fame everywhere take pride
in duly denouncing, without any viable inquiry, the
crimes of Stalin and personality cult built around
about him by CPSU, they are now swimming along the
easy stream available today. They did not investigate
the truth or brought out any tangible evaluation
about Stalin and did not dare swim the raging waves.
Soviet Union had produced a born dissident in
Alexander Zinoviev (1922-2006) who remained harsh
dissident against Stalin in his lifetime though a living
follower of him now after his death! Can any sensible
person believe in the capacity of such chameleons for
social change in the circumstances of today, who
know only one art of sailing along the winds?? Like in
the past during the hey period of Soviet power, such
master-hands befool the people now on their current
wisdom that was wholly skewed previously dished
out by the cunning rulers in USSR who were masters
in grabbing power through clever machinations in
theory and practice of dubious value, but copiously
followed by communists of the same category
worldwide.
There is plethora of literature from foes and friends
alike on the functioning of states and ruling parties in
these countries where one can glean through
sufficient information on their inner functioning to
fathom what happened and why. One such
publication, namely Socialism Betrayed: Behind the

38

Appraisal of The Left

Collapse of Soviet Union (2004/07) (a good narrative


of events from Khrushchev to Gorbachev) from Roger
Keener and Thomas Kenny, one of them American,
saying extensively on machinations of different
leaders from Khrushchev to Gorbachev in USSR but
nothing flattering about any on principles. This book is
about the collapse of the Soviet Union and its
meaning for the 21st century. In its failure they say,
why did the system produce such leaders and how
could they get away with making poor decisions?
According to them:
Second (informal) economy as economic activity for
private gain whether legal or illegal, from 1950 to
1980, expanded greatly, giving the perfect ground for
emergence of Gorbachev there to dismantle the
experiment altogether.
There was The Secret World of Soviet Capitalism
playing freely all-through its span of life in USSR. Simis
said a network of private factories is spread across
the whole country, multimillion-ruble family clans
that own dozens of factories.171 Prostitution and
illegal drug sales constituted another part of the
second economy,178 everybody was engaged in the
second economy, and it had become the dominant
force in the allocation of goods and services.179
According to Koriagina, official national income and
the value of retail goods and services had increased
four or five times between early 1960s and late 1980s,
while the second economy had grown eighteen
times.183 Koriagina estimated that the annual value

39

Appraisal of The Left

of illegal goods and services grew from approximately


5 billion rubles in the early 1960s to 90 billion rubles
in the late 1980s. Grossman found that in the late
1970s the urban population (which constituted 62
percent of the total population) earned about 30
percent of its total income from nonofficial sources,
that is to say, from either legal or illegal, private
activity, 186. It provided an economic basis for the
ideas and policies that Gorbachev eventually adopted
that doomed Soviet socialism. Alexander Gurov, a top
police official in the USSR, related the development of
Party corruption from the time of Khrushchev to
Gorbachev directly to the development of illegal
economy and organized crime: It [organized crime]
was bound to happen as soon as our system opened
up and that was in the so-called thaw of the 1960s
when Nikita Khrushchev was in power.It was
impossible to imagine powerful organized crime
groups under Stalin. What we got after that in our
society was the moral code of the plunderer. And of
course it was run totally in the interest of the [Party]
bureaucracy. The second economy had created and
fed a great cynicism about the efficiency of socialism,
the effectiveness of planning, and the integrity of the
Communist Party.
They again commented after their deep peep into
many Soviet documents now available: In the Great
Anti-Communist Celebration of the early 1990s, the
triumphant right hammered several ideas into the
consciousness of millions: the Soviet socialism as a
planned economic system did not work and could not

40

Appraisal of The Left

bring abundance, because it was an accident, an


experiment born in violence and sustained by
coercion, an aberration doomed by its defiance of
human nature and its incompatibility with democracy.
The Soviet Union ended because a society ruled by
the working class is a delusion; there is no postcapitalist order.
Among many friends of the Soviet Union an unexamined assumption grew that, after Stalin, the
USSR was perfecting socialism. Khrushchev was better
than Stalin. Gorbachev was better than Brezhnev.
With the rare exceptions of Isaac Deutscher and Ken
Cameron, few attempted to deal with the Stalin,
Khrushchev, or Brezhnev periods in a critical but
balanced way. Particularly in the case of Stalin, Soviet
supporters gave up the effort of an overall
assessment, perhaps because of its inherent difficulty,
perhaps because such an effort could have no
possible payoff, or perhaps because of an assumption
that Soviet progress would make Stalin a historical
anomaly of diminishing importance. The enemies of
the Soviet Union readily filled this vacuum with
shelves of books portraying Stalin as a monster or a
madman. These caricatures in turn influenced the
views of Communists whose only knowledge of the
Stalin period was second hand.
Another view on the opportunist attitude of
communist leadership world over after Khrushchev
stand on Stalin emerged explicitly opines that their
opinions were on Stalin were based upon more on
speculation in an exercise to remain on the same page

41

Appraisal of The Left

while searching relevance in face of the general antiStalin tirade.


However, among such critics of events in USSR, there
was none questioning the source of these features
that helped to erode the credibility of state, party and
the mode of production and the prevailing culture
among cadres too. None questioned ever the very
industrial mode of production that had kept the old
fertile ground intact for subversion to occur in a
deemed socialist dispensation.
One has to say: the Left universally and in India too
collectively and severely failed to grasp the very
science of social change and apply their brains
without the influence of extraneous factors of the
time in analyzing concrete tasks before them,
resultantly betraying the confidence of their people
when agenda for change is knocking at their doors. It
was a colossal tragedy of sorts.
The Need: Turn the Left Robust
The peoples of the world and India too, need the Left.
The conscious Left needs regeneration afresh in the
interest of peoples. The prime necessity for the
people, in their crucial moment of existence, in each
country lies in the fact to come out off capitalist
enslavement and live free. The Left on its part needs
to reinvent itself in the interest of people, shaking off
its old baggage inherited from industrial mode and its
associate culture so that it can empower them in their
thoughts, mores and culture to craft fresh measures
for coming out of state structures, cobweb of political

42

Appraisal of The Left

establishment to invent measures for selfmanagement of its affairs justly and honourably, while
reshaping the production/distribution mediums to
gain relations afresh for peace and harmony, among
themselves within the social frame of families and
local communities and the nature for better life
standards as also its styles.
To begin with the intended system cannot start
emerging from the ashes now, unless Individuals,
groups of individuals or families with local
communities attending in harmonious company, may
start defying the law of capital to break the present
chains. Apparently, Marx and Marxists could not
invent themselves for a fresh model in the service of a
true socialist dispensation to take shape in light of
past experiences in reshaping our world of things.
They need to do it now and so urgently.